Toussaint Louverture campaigned tirelessly on behalf of slaves during the Haitian Revolution, and his actions helped push France to abolish slavery in all its colonies in 1794. He wrote this letter in response to a speech in French parliament calling for slavery's restoration on Saint-Domingue. He warned the French that he would fight for Haitian independence if France ever revoked abolition.
A letter signed by Toussaint Louverture to Charles Humbert Marie Vincent from Cap-Français (now Cap-Haïtien), Haiti, on October 21, 1797. The text itself was recorded by a scribe as Louverture's written French was limited, though the content comprises his own thoughts. At the top of the first page is pre-printed letterhead for Toussaint Louverture, Chief General of the Army of Saint-Domingue. The letter is handwritten in black ink on the front and back sides of two (2) sheets of paper. The contents of the letter are in regards to ongoing conflicts in the French colony of Saint Domingue, later the free nation of Haiti, and military leader Louverture's dissatisfaction with a speech given in the French parliament earlier in 1797 in which Viénot de Vaublanc spoke against abolition and people of African descent as uncivilized.
Paul Cuffe was born a free man in Massachusetts. His mother was Native American and his father was of West African Ashanti lineage. An entrepreneur and philanthropist, Cuffe gained wealth as owner of an international shipping company. Despite his success, as an African American he was viewed as a second-class citizen and denied equal rights. As a taxpayer, Paul Cuffe petitioned the Massachusetts legislature in 1780 and demanded his right to vote. Free and enslaved African Americans petitioned for freedom, equality, and justice through the courts and state legislatures. They sought to assert their rights, promote their identity as citizens of the new nation, and challenge their status as enslaved people.
Source: Nancy Bercaw, Curator, Slavery and Freedom
A petition to the court of Bristol County, Massachusetts, in Taunton written by an unidentified hand and signed by John Cuffe and Paul Cuffe. The text is handwritten in black ink on the front and back sides of the same sheet of paper. The petition is in regards to taxation by the state upon the signatories, who are of Indian descent and are arguing they are therefore not subject to such taxation.
Sojourner Truth cabinet card depicting Sojourner Truth seated, wearing a dark dress and a white shawl and cap. Her right arm is folded at the waist, her left arm is resting on a small table. She holds knitting in her left hand. On the table are a book and a vase of flowers. Beneath her image is a printed caption that reads "I sell the shadow to support the substance/ Sojourner Truth." On the back in the center is a block of printed text that reads "Entered according to act of Congress in the year 1864, by SOJOURNER TRUTH, in the clerk's office, of the U.S. District Court, for the Eastern District of Michigan."