By Milton B. Beckerman
1. The Louisiana Purchase may not have been made had it not been for Toussaint Louverture.
2. Louverture freed the slaves of Haiti in the only permanently successful slave revolt in history.
3. He developed the idea of dominion status for Haiti as part of France. Rejected by Napoleon, the idea subsequently was used by Great Britain 66 years later on July 1, 1862, when Canada became the first dominion.
4. He wrote the first constitution for Haiti. It was the second constitution for a republic in the Western Hemisphere.
5. He was the greatest Black general in history, except for Hannibal 2000 years earlier.
6. He was the most outstanding Black statesman in history.
7. He possessed outstanding ability as a civil administrator.
8. He set up the first legal code for Haiti.
9. He devised the first universal school system for Black people.
10. He dealt with the first five presidents of the United States or their representatives, either when they were in that office or when they were Secretary of State.
11. He was the first Black man to be the subject of poems by two of America's leading poets.
12. He was the only Black general to defeat three of the world's biggest armies: French, British and Spanish.
13. He declared emancipation for slaves 61 years before U.S. president Abraham Lincoln did so.
14. He devised a plan for how slaves could gain economic freedom, before those rights were granted in any other country.
15. By bringing the freedom of slaves to the world's attention, Louverture' example helped other worldwide liberation movements develop (women's right to vote and other women's issues, child labor laws, environmental movements and others).
16. He caused European governments for the first time to deal with the aspirations of Black colonial people. His example was followed by Simon Bolivar in South America, Russians with serfs, British in India, and Boers in South Africa (due to Gandhi's leadership).
17. Set up the first new and simplified tax code. 2
18. He got rid of corrupt French tax collectors in Haiti. Substituted clear-cut tax rules.
19. He promulgated and administered new laws with justice (unique for colonials).
20. He improved the quality of slaves' lives measurably. Gave them pride as members of society. 3
21. He was the "First one who brought guerrilla warfare to he notice of military historians. He used strict discipline and precision with athletic prowess." 4
1. Slaves Who Freed Haiti, Katherine Scherman, 1954, pg 121
2. Slaves Who Freed Haiti, Katherine Scherman, 1954, pg 121
3. The Black Jacobins, C.L.R. James, 1963, pag 265
4. This Guilded African, Toussaint L'Ouverture, Wenda Parkinson, 1978 pg. 31
©Milton B. Beckerman