Item #2670 [Caption title:] Convocation de l'Assemblée coloniale. Jean-Baptiste Caradeux de la Caye, Dumas.
“Free People of Color Not welcome As Equals”

[Caption title:] Convocation de l'Assemblée coloniale.

[Au Port-au-Prince]: [Chez Bourdon, Imprimeur du Roi & du Conseil supérieur de Saint-Domingue], [1790]. First edition. In later, black half maroquin. Panels covered with marbled paper, gilt title on spine. 4 p. In later, black half maroquin. Panels covered with marbled paper, gilt title on spine. Dated on first leaf in ink by a contemporary hand on “27. Fév. 1790”, underlined in red pencil. / Wide margins, untrimmed. Trace of folding and light tan in the center of each leaves. Otherwise in fine condition.

Extremely scarce pre-revolution Saint-Domingue imprint, an official convocation of the Colonial Assembly, with important racial reference.

“Early 1790 was a time of great disarray in the capital of Port-au-Prince. Royal officials were fleeing the colony, garrisons were in mutiny and riots and lynchings had erupted. Councils and assemblies were convened, adjourned, and abandoned. Some wore white cockades supporting the king. In February the white planters of the western province called for a colony-wide assembly to meet at Saint-Marc in late March. Article IX of the call made it clear that free people of color were not welcome as equals. Just as has always been the case, Mulattos, Negroes, and other free people of color, will not be eligible to vote in the parish assemblies; but they can submit their questions to the selected deputies in each parish, and thus presenting them to the Colonial Assembly; they may, alternatively, apply to the same assembly through a single representative or patron whom they will choose from among white citizens.” (Ghachem; Danforth, 2014)

This restriction will be one of the major reasons for the uprisings of the year 1790. The assembly, which was exclusively composed of whites, convened in Saint-Marc on March 25th, 1790, and lead to the significant Colonial Assembly on the following April 14th, which began “issuing radical decrees and reforms, pushing the colony further toward autonomy from France and creating conflict between the colony’s royalists and patriots. Saint Marc planters also vow that they will never grant political rights to mulattoes, a “bastard and degenerate race,” and expressly exclude them from the primary assemblies. Mulattoes continue to be frustrated in their attempts to secure their rights and a new Colonial Assembly is elected without a single mulatto or free black vote.” (Shen, 2015) Scarce document, we could trace only one copy in institutional holdings (JCB Library).

Literature: Ghachem, M. W.; Danforth, S.: The Other Revolution: Haiti 1789–1804. Retrieved from; Shen, K.: History of Haiti - Slave Resistance Gains Momentum 1790—1791. Retrieved from

Price: €6,000.00

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