An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti: Comprehending a View of the Principal Transactions in the Revolution of Saint Domingo: with Its Ancient and Modern State


Marcus Rainsford was a soldier who served for many years with the British Army in the British West Indies. He visited Haiti in 1799, where he became an admirer of Toussaint L'Ouverture, the former slave who led Haiti’s revolution and struggle to end slavery. This book is Rainsford’s account of the slave uprising that began in August 1791 and the subsequent fighting that, at different times, involved French, Spanish, and British troops and various factions in Haiti. The book includes the first known representations of Toussaint, which were engravings made from Rainsford’s sketches and descriptions. Also included are extensive documentation of the revolution and Rainsford’s disturbing accounts of the brutal treatment of the slave population by their French masters, as well as of the atrocities committed by all sides in the course of the struggle. Toussaint died in Paris in April 1803, after having been seized by French forces acting under orders from Napoleon Bonaparte, who in 1802 sent an army to Haiti in attempt to reassert French control. Rainsford’s wholly admiring account of Toussaint appears in chapter 5 of the work.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

J. Cundee, London


Title in Original Language

An historical account of the black empire of Hayti: comprehending a view of the principal transactions in the revolution of Saint Domingo; with its ancient and modern state.

Type of Item

Physical Description

467 pages : illustrations, map ; 28 centimeters

Last updated: May 24, 2017