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[Slavery - Haitian Revolution] Autograph letter to General Etienne Laveaux regarding Prisoner Release

PARKER, ADMIRAL WILLIAM (1743-1801)

  • Published: 1795 , St. Nicholas, Haiti
Autograph manuscript letter, 4pp., addressed to Etienne Laveaux, Port-de-Paix, signed "Wm Parker, Rear Admiral of the Blue Squad..." mailing folds, ink slightly toned, 330 x 200mm, St. Nicholas, Haiti, 26 April, 1795A letter between Admiral William Parker, as Commander-in-Chief of Jamaica, written during Toussaint Louverture's Haitian Revolution, to the French General Etienne Laveaux. The Letter formally discusses the release of mulattos and other prisoners. "...respecting your former letters, and your impatience to have restored the thirty seven men of colour, of whom you have named many… You may rest assured Colonel Lewis and myself wish to be upon as amicable terms with you as circumstances will permit, and therefore send you those women you have required and the whole of the Prisoners at the Mole…" "[I] have to request that you will be good enough to send the names once more of other people of Colour, giving you assurance that if there are any in the custody of the English, and that a strict enquiry shall be immediately made they, or such of them as can be found shall be restored to you as early as possible…Lieutenant Dunn of the Navy is the bearer of this in a Vessel I have hired for the purpose, and navigated by Men from the Raisonable: He will deliver you Sixty Prisoners… I must desire leave to recommend Lieutenant Dunn to your protection and countenance while he stays, requesting at the same time you will dispatch him back as early as possible". Admiral William Parker saw action in the Seven Years War and The French Revolutionary Wars. From 1756 he served in the Americas, including under Vice-Admiral Byron in the West Indies. He served aboard various ships and as commodore and commander-in-chief on the Leeward Islands Station between 1787 and 1789. During the 1790s he served under Admiral Lord Howe In 1794 he commanded HMS Audacious at the Battle of The Glorious First of June and was promoted to Rear-Admiral. Etienne Laveaux was a general who became one of the most senior French leaders during the Haitian Revolution. During his time as Governor of Saint-Domingue, from 1793 to 1796, he ensured that the law that freed the slaves was enforced. Laveaux supported the black leader Toussaint Louverture. Laveaux and Louverture met for the first time on 8 August 1794, and immediately became good friends. From then on, each would often praise and support the other. Toussaint Louverture later established the independent republic of Haiti.

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