Sebastien Lefresne Correspondence, 1797-1803
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Brief Description: This collection contains eight letters written by Sebastien Lefresne, a French colonist in Saint-Domingue employed in the administration of the French military in Cap-Français.  These letters date from 1797 to 1803 and document the effects of both the Haitian revolution and the Napoleonic Wars on life in Saint-Domingue, including violence from both the rebels and the English, and the results of the English blockade of the city.  Included is a first-hand account of the burning of Cap-Français by the Haitian rebels in 1802, descriptions of the severe famine caused by the blockade, the financial struggles of the colonists, and the yellow fever epidemic affecting the French troops.  Also included are Lefresne’s observations of the incompetence of the French commanders, especially Commander Rochambeau’s abandonment of Cap-Français in favor of Port-au-Prince, leaving the population subject to further attacks from the Haitian rebels.  Of particular note are the descriptions of Toussaint Louverture, commander of the rebel forces.
Held at:
Boston Public Library Archival and Manuscript Finding Aid Database
700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116
Created by: Lefresne, Sabastien
Volume: 8.0 Items
Arrangement: Arranged chronologically.
Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.
Subject Index
Caribbean, French-speaking — History — Autonomy and Independence Movements
France — Colonies — History
Haiti — History — Revolution, 1791-1804
Haiti — History — Revolution, 1791-1804 — Personal Narratives
Slave Insurrections — Caribbean Area.
Slavery — Haiti — History.
Languages of Materials
French [fre]
Rights/Use Restrictions:

Items in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. The Boston Public Library does not hold copyright on the material in this collection. Researchers are responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations that hold copyright.

When reproducing material from this collection, please use the credit line “Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/Rare Books.”

Acquisition Notes:   Purchased from Michael Brown in October 2014.
Related Materials: Haitian Collection For more information please see
PreferredCitation: Sebastien Lefresne Correspondence, MS 7320. Rare Books and Manuscripts Department, Boston Public Library. Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/Rare Books.