What if, by some strange twist of secret history, Haitian Military Leader, General and best known figure of the Haitian Revolution, Touissant L’Overture, didn’t actually die in a French prison, in April 1803, as is popularly recorded?
What if, while still alive, Touissant was smuggled out of France and a dead body of another obscure negro prisoner was used? What if the French had secretly ordered his quiet freedom, if he, disappeared somewhere, never to show himself or reveal who he really was?
What if Touissant L’Overture lived out his last days in New Providence, in the Bahama Islands, hiding as a slave, to one person, a man who in fact, was sworn to be his protector and servant for the rest of his life?
What if, despite all outward appearances, this white slaveowner was in fact the bodyguard of the aged black slave who, in truth, had helped liberate a nation?
This would indeed make for a great piece of historical fiction… or improbable, unimaginable, too crazy to be believed historical fact…wouldn’t it? Who knows!
1822 NEW PROVIDENCE, BAHAMA ISLANDS – Who was PETER DE MORIN and moreover who was his only recorded slave from Santo Domingo, named Touissant?
There is still so much we do not know, and if we know, do not fully understand about slavery in the West Indies; and in particular, the Bahamas. There were people from all over the European and American world trading and living in the Bahama Islands. There were free negroes and mulattoes as well. For the slaves, they passed, largely, nameless and faceless.
The British had ordered a registration of slaveowners and slaves in their colonies.
In 1822, a slaveowner by the name of Peter DeMorin, registered as owning just one slave. The slave was recorded as being somewhere around or past sixty years of age. The slave’s name was Touissant. His place of origin, Saint Domingo.
A great mystery lies here.
Who was this Peter De Morin and how long did he live in New Providence. He records as having just one elderly slave from of all places, a liberated former French slave colony of Saint Domingo (Haiti).
News of the Haitian Revolution was all over the known world at the time. Would this elderly man not hear that there was a great battle in Saint Domingo, and of Toussaint, Dessalines and other freedom fighters?
Wouldn’t this Peter De Morin and his slave Touissant not know, in 1822 that French slaves from that region were now free, and had been for some twenty years?
More questions than answers for sure.