Skip to Search

A Guide to the Saint-Domingue and Haitian Autograph Collection

Finding aid created by Keith Manuel

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
August 2007

Descriptive Summary

Title: Saint-Domingue and Haitian Autograph Collection
Dates: 1769-1802
Abstract: Miscellaneous autograph documents related to Saint-Domingue and Haiti at the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th century.
Extent: 0.2 Linear feet. 1 box.
Identification: MS Group 218
Language(s): French

Scope and Content

This collection includes seventeen autograph letters written to or by individuals in Saint-Domingue, or Haiti. The letters are dated 1769-1802, spanning the last years of French colonial rule and the Haitian revolution. A majority of the letters are written by Turc de Pradine of France to her son and daughter-in-law in Saint-Domingue. She discusses family matters, the irregular and slow pace of correspondence between them, and the activities of various family members. One letter is written by L'Abbé de Pradine to his brother. There are two 1802 letters from General Jean-Jacques Dessalines to General Rochambeau discussing rations and arms for the troops under his command. Other correspondents include Jambon Dieudonné, the Widow Moulin de Fontenelle, the Widow Plantart, and the mercantile firm of Dubon, Demante, and Millot.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Saint-Domingue and Haitian Autograph Collection, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Contents List

1 1. Turc de Pradine to Madame de Pradine [her daughter-in-law], Martigue, 6 November 1769. Longs to embrace her but does not want her feelings to weigh too heavily on her mind. Relates that her brothers-in-law are in Paris.
1 2. Turc de Pradine to [Monsieur de Pradine, her son in Saint-Domingue], Martigue, 23-24 January 1770. Harshly criticizes her son for breaking his promise to her and his family to send them letters every chance possible. Most of the letter is her criticism of what she sees as his negligence towards his parents still in France, while he and his household are in Saint-Domingue.
1 3. Turc de Pradine to Monsieur de Pradine, Martigue, 13 February 1770. Complains that ships going between Provence and Les Cayes [Saint-Domingue] are rare and the mail slow. She relates that his sister-in-law would like to hear from him. She discusses other family matters in France, has sent some fruit du pais, encourages him to get out of debt, sends regards from his friends, and reports on Carnival [Mardi Gras] in Provence.
1 3a. Turc de Pradine to [her son], Martigue, 13 February 1770. Reports on a letter dated 12 November from the recipient's brother Auguste [the son stationed in Saint-Domingue]. Comments on the recipient's travels, other family matters, and very briefly mentions Carnival [Mardi Gras] in Provence. Reminds him of his promise to write every month to his parents or his brother or sister-in-law.
1 4. Turc de Pradine to [Monsieur de Pradine, in Saint-Domingue], Martigue, 15 September 1770. Responds to recent letters and discusses family matters, including the recipient's decision to buy land, and she complains because he does not write every month as he had promised.
1 5. Turc de Pradine to Monsieur de Pradine, Aix, 2 April 1771. Expresses joy over receiving the letters he had sent her, but chides him for not sending monthly letters as he had promised. She is happy that he is now a father and sends her best wishes; thanks him for sending her coffee from his first harvest and asks for a bottle of taffia (rum); and updates him on what his siblings have done recently.
1 6. Turc de Pradine to Madame de Pradine [her daughter-in-law], Aix, 2 April 1771. Responds with great joy to letter of 30 December 1770, in which she learned of her daughter-in-law's pregnancy and of her daughter-in-law and son's plans to name the child after his or her paternal grandfather. Madame Turc de Pradine expresses her wish to see her grandchild and his parents in the coming year.
1 7. Turc de Pradine to Monsieur de Pradine, Aix, 24 August 1771. Responds to three letters from her son, expressing her pleasure over how her daughter-in-law and newborn grandson are doing in Saint-Domingue. She reports on other family members, including the addressee's sister-in-law and Auguste, perhaps his brother, who intended to go to the royal court, and comments on the addressee's sister, a nun.
1 8. Turc de Pradine to Monsieur de Pradine, Martigue, 19 September 1772. Reply to Monsieur de Pradine's letter of 26 June 1772; discusses problems of mail going between Marseilles and Les Cayes in Saint-Domingue and expresses her longing to see her sons again, both Auguste, to whom she writes in Saint-Domingue, and an unnamed son who is a priest away in Paris, as well as for Auguste's wife and the grandson she has not yet seen. She thanks Auguste for the cacao and the beautiful macaw (le harra) and asks for him to send her some coffee.
1 9. [Turc de Pradine] to [her son], undated. Laments her son's departure, which he told her was for five years. She mentions his brother Auguste and other members of the family.
1 10. L'Abbé de Pradine to Monsieur de Pradine (his brother), Not dated. Responds to earlier correspondence from his brother, the addressee, stating that Monsieur de Châteauneuf did not think well of Monsieur de Pradine's appeal for a [military] command.
1 11. Jean-Jacques Dessalines to General Rochambeau, St. Marc, 8 prairial an 10 (28 May 1802). Relates a dispute between the port captain (capitaine de port de cette ville) and the division's commissary of war (commissaire des guerres), over whether the army should accord rations to the port captain, who claims to be without any other means of feeding himself.
1 12. Jean-Jacques Dessalines to General Rochambeau, No. 137, St. Marc, 23 messidor an 10 (12 July 1802). Sends by sea in care of Citizen (Citoyen) Tonnelier the weapons resulting from the disarming of Dessalines's division, in conformity with Rochambeau's orders. He also sends lists of weapons from various units (not included). Mentions General Martialbesu.
1 13. Jambon Dieudonné to General Leclerc, Jacmel, 28 ventôse an 10 (18 March 1802). Gives a report of two barges he sent from Jacmel; informs the general of the arrival of four more American ships in his port, bringing the total of 33 American vessels in Jacmel; and comments on his arrest of "divers persons" armed and attempting to cause trouble among the "peaceful" agricultural workers (cultivateurs) living in the mountains nearby.
1 14. Dubon, Demante, and Millot to Messrs. Garreché and Billoteau of Port-au-Prince, dated Cap Français, 5 September 1781. Letter between a mercantile firm established at Cap Français and another at Port-au-Prince; discusses wartime convoys between the French West Indies and Europe, bills of exchange, and coffee and cotton and the danger of the British navy to French shipping near Saint-Domingue and Martinique. Merchants and ship captains mentioned: Monsieur Latouche (of the ship La Néréïde); Messieurs de Runy, Gauger and Cie; Messieurs LeGriel and Raboteau (of St. Marc); Captain Larose (commander of the ship Le Pailote).
1 15: Widow (veuve) Moulin de Fontenelle to Messrs. Garreché et Bioto [Billoteau], Jérémie, 18 August 1781. Response to earlier letter from Garreché et Billoteau, requesting coffee from the sender. She declares that she cannot comply with their request because she does not have enough coffee sacks (des Saque). She sends a bill of exchange on Monsieur Bocalin worth 400 livres and says that they are beginning with the harvest.
1 16. Widow (veuve) Plantart to Monsieur le Chevalier de Pradine, Port-au-Prince, 1 January 1772. Response to letter of 14 December 1773. She is unable to send him all the merchandise he wants in the colors and style he specified but sends him what she can, including three black plumes. Requests a bill of exchange worth 90 livres on Monsieur Roberjot.

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Haiti -- History -- Revolution, 1791-1804.
Haiti -- History -- Sources.
Saint-Domingue -- History -- 18th century.

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

University of Florida Home Page