The Black Jacobins - Chapter VIII: The White Slave-Owners Again Summary & Analysis

James, C.L.R.
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Summary

James notes that while Sonthonax and Laveaux were exceptions, most of the blacks viewed the whites on the island with suspicion. Sonthonax worked hard to encourage the blacks to work, without resorting to coercion. The blacks viewed Toussaint as their savior from the whites who, they knew, would eagerly enslave them again if they could. Both Sonthonax and Laveaux considered returning to France, where they could better advocate for the colonial black subjects. Begged to stay, Sonthonax remained and worked passionately for the “liberties and privileges of all, laborers and generals alike, as if he had once been a slave” (186).

One day, in 1797, Toussaint has Sonthonax run out of town because he disagreed with Sonthonax’s talk of massacring the island’s whites. James notes that the reasoning behind Toussaint’s unusual decision remains unknown. The French Government became...

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