Touissant Lagorille, was the genius, negro moneymaker and banker for the Kingdom of Haiti, under the rule of Emperor Faustin I. Sent to France to secure much needed funding for Haiti, whose resource rich economy, even as early as 1849, had already been crushed by substantial debt, demands from France for slaveowner compensation, and special American trade barrier laws. All of it, was designed, to bring the new Haitian black republic to famine and destitution.
History has judged the events and the people who shaped Haiti, in its early post-revolution era, with an extremely harsh pen. We are only told of their despots, dictators and tyrants. We are never told of their geniuses who helped to create the first black republic, in the New World, out of a blood stained, race divided, slave colony.
European and American condemnation of Haiti in the 19th century was all too common; while their writers conveniently forgot the blood stained battlefields, slave ships, and land grabs by the Europeans in the New World and Africa.
For Touissant Lagorille, he would be lost to history, if it were not for his nephew, who chose to record his life at the moment of his death, in 1883, in France.
JUNE 14, 1843 VERMONT, UNITED STATES
America had virtually cut off all trade markets and routes to Haiti, fearing that the designs of the new black republic might somehow influence rebellion among slaves in the Southern States.
It is more than forty years since the people of Haiti, following the example which had been set then, achieved their independence, and established a government of their own.—
By their acts of valour and patriotism, they became as much entitled to a rank among the governments of the earth, as we did by our revolution. This claim has been acknowledged by France and England, and indeed, so far as I am informed, by all the civilised nations of the Earth, except for the United States.
So far from recognising the government of Haiti, at an early day we passed a law to suppress all commerce intercourse between our people and the people of the island. ( Vid. act of Congress approved 28th February 1806.)
This was done because the people had, most of them, been slaves; and it was designed to withhold from them our provisions in order to bring upon them famine and distress, lest their example might induce the slaves in the southern States to assert their liberty.
(The Middlebury People’s Press, June 14, 1843)
Lagorille had to become clever, more shrewd than the French bankers who sought to block him at every turn. Despite polite lip service, no one wanted a black ruled Haiti to succeed. No one expected it to.
When European bankers refused to extend bills of credit to Haiti, after Faustin Soulouque declared the new republic dead, and himself Emperor, it was Touissant Lagorille, who devised an ingenious money generating idea called ‘raising the wind.’
Touissant Lagorille promised to pay back 100 percent a year on all debt.
It was said, at one point, Lagorille promised to pay 2,000 percent interest.
As was a common trait of the American press, in 1883, as a negro, petty insults were levied at Lagorille.
(The Burlington Free Press, Thursday, 22 March 1883)
THE BEGINNING OF HAITI’S DEBT OBLIGATION BEGAN WITH THEIR FORCED COMPENSATION PAYMENT, IN GOLD, TO THEIR FORMER SLAVEOWNERS
PARIS, MAY 28, 1836 – Discussion of Haiti’s Debt to France
(The Morning Chronicle, London, Monday 30 May, 1836)
1838 – Haitian Loan Debt traded on French Fund Exchange
(The Morning Post, London, Monday, 27 August, 1838)
In 1825 France demanded 150m gold francs in compensation after Haiti gained independence in a slave revolt.
Campaigners say that demand was illegitimate and illegal.
“The ‘independence debt’, which is today valued at over 17bn euros illegitimately forced a people who had won their independence in a successful slave revolt, to pay again for the freedom,” said the appeal to President Nicolas Sarkozy, published in the French newspaper Liberation.
In 1825, barely two decades after winning its independence against all odds, Haiti was forced to begin paying enormous “reparations” to the French slaveholders it had overthrown. Those payments would have been a staggering burden for any fledgling nation, but Haiti wasn’t just any fledgling nation; it was a republic formed and led by blacks who’d risen up against the institution of slavery. As such, Haiti’s independence was viewed as a threat by all slave-owning countries – the United States included – and its very existence rankled racist sensibilities globally.
Thus Haiti – tiny, impoverished and all alone in a hostile world – had little choice but to accede to France’s reparation demands, which were delivered to Port-au-Prince by a fleet of heavily armed warships in 1825.
By complying with an ultimatum that amounted to extortion, Haiti gained immunity from French military invasion, relief from political and economic isolation – and a crippling debt that took 122 years to pay off.
M. TOUISSANT LAGORILLE, A FULL BLOODED NEGRO, ONCE THE “Due de la Grand-Terre” and FINANCIAL AGENT IN FRANCE OF THE EMPEROR SOULOUQUE
SOULOUQUE’S FINANCIER DIES 1883
The San Antonio Light, Thursday, 12 April 1883)
THE NEGRO MONEY MAKER
WHO WAS FAUSTIN SOULOUQUE?
Faustin-Élie Soulouque (15 August 1782 – 6 August 1867) was a Haitian politician and military commander who served as President of Haiti from 1847 to 1849 and Emperor of Haiti from 1849 to 1859. When Soulouque declared himself Emperor, it effectively dissolved the new republic, effectively turning it into a kingdom.
Emperor Faustin I, was born, Faustin-Élie Soulouque, a slave in Petit Goave, Haiti. Soulouque became a military commander who represented the Haitian black majority against the mulatto elite.
(The Liberator, Friday, 28 September 1849)
As history tells it, Faustin Soulouque was 65-years-old, retired from military life and relaxing in his hammock, when he was told that he was elected President of Haiti. This was news to him, considering that he never expressed any want or need for such office.
Empress Anne Justine L’Evenque Soulouque, wife is Faustin Soulouque, died in 1878.
(The Inter Ocean, Saturday, December 28, 1878)
REPORT OF THE DEATH OF FAUSTIN SOULOUQUE 1867