From Saint-Domingue to New Orleans: Migration and Influences by Nathalie Dessens
By Nathalie Dessens
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Dessens examines the legacy of roughly 15,000 Saint-Domingue refugees--whites, slaves, and unfastened humans of color--who settled in Louisiana among 1791 and 1815. pressured to escape their French Caribbean colony following a slave uprising that gave delivery to the Haitian Republic in January 1804, they unfold in the course of the Caribbean and alongside the North American Atlantic coast.
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Extra info for From Saint-Domingue to New Orleans: Migration and Influences
31 Although it is not possible to give either exact figures, with accurate dates and detailed information about the way people departed from the island, or a list of the precise destinations in all cases, a general schema may be drawn of who left the island, how, when, and for what destination. Despite these difficulties, it is possible to indicate some important waves of departures, thanks to eyewitnesses or through deduction from the refugees’ arrivals at their various destinations. 32 The second main wave occurred in 1793, as a consequence of the burning of Cap Français by rebellious slaves.
Throughout his stay, he moved from one address to another, staying with various friends at Santiago, San Antonio, San Diego, Havana, giving news of the ones to the others, also mentioning other friends he visited or heard from. The Saint-Domingue Epic / 21 There were obvious contacts between friends or mere acquaintances, but there were also close ties between members of a same family who had settled in various American refuges. 67 She clearly shows that they are in constant contact, since she discusses their settlement in their various residences, and she comments on their feelings and successes.
59 This population increase went along with a reopening of the slave trade and thus a re-Africanization of the colony. 61 Although this already gives a good measure of the ratio of refugees to this population, a closer look at the city of New Orleans shows it to be the main pole of attraction of this migration. In 1791, before the first migrants started arriving, New Orleans had a total population of slightly over 5,000 (2,386 whites, 862 free persons of color, and 1,789 slaves). 62 The arrival of the last wave from Cuba doubled the population of New Orleans.