Marie-Louise Christophe, Queen of Haiti

The planters talked over their billiards and their wine, and the longer they played and the more they drank the more they talked. They said things not intended for slave ears. The wine loosened their tongues and blurred their intellects.

Christophe listened with amazement and then coolly digested what they said; and within the short tropic twilight told what had been said, with his disgusted reflections to Marie-Louise. It was as new to her as to Christophe. First it amazed her as it had her lover. Then she cogitated upon it. Then it was that Christophe became teacher.

What he had heard the planters say was that Saint Domingue was a powder barrel and liable to blow up at any time. There were, they said, twenty thousand planters with five hundred thousand black slaves, and between them were twenty-four thousand people neither white or black, and the three classes were opposed to each other. If the slaves ever found out the power of numbers, it would be death to the whites; also, if the jealousy of the mulattoes increased to the boiling point, so they could join the blacks, the boiling would become fiercer. But they were so jealous that they would not unite.

Marie-Louise listened and thought as she listened to Christophe.

“There may be a revolution,” she mused. “A black kingdom may take the place of the white one.”

Charles E. Waterman, Carib Queens (1935) [As transcribed by Bob Corbett]

Image: Aaron P. Garcia, Marie-Louise Christophe, Milot, Haiti, 2008.

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  1. Posted April 6, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Marie-Louise Christophe, Queen of Haiti:

  2. Posted April 7, 2013 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Incidentally, Cap-Haitien’s first dance school (est. 2011) is named after her – Académie de danse Marie-Louise Coidavid []. There’s a Batterie Coidavid (artillery battery) at the Citadelle Henry Christophe, also.

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