Toussaint Louverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the Haitian Revolution’s two most important leaders, have long been considered each others’ foils. Whereas Dessalines has been subjected to vicious, racist caricature, Toussaint has tended to elicit more sympathetic portrayals. This paper examines a rare, recently rediscovered exception to this dichotomy. Stephen Farley and Avery Williams, two Dartmouth College seniors, co-wrote and performed a short play in August 1804 that offers a nuanced understanding of Dessalines. Farley and Williams’s play-script thus affords insight into the impact of Haitian independence on representational forms in the United States in the early nineteenth century.
Slavery and Abolition
Department of Law and Legal Studies

Gaffield, J. (Julia), & Kaisary, P. (2017). ‘From freedom’s sun some glimmering rays are shed that cheer the gloomy realms’: Dessalines at Dartmouth, 1804. Slavery and Abolition (Vol. 38, pp. 155–177). doi:10.1080/0144039X.2016.1196996