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A Plan of investigation - To what degree is the Bois Caiman incident in Haiti at 14th of August 1791 a legend and what are facts?

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Introduction

A Plan of investigation To what degree is the Bois Caiman incident in Haiti at 14th of August 1791 a legend and what are facts? This investigation seeks to evaluate the nature around the Bois Caiman ceremony and whether or not it affected the Haitian revolution 1791-1804, or actually occurred at all. In the evening of August 21 1791 the first great slave rebellion in Haiti occurred and it's believed that this rebellion was organised on a secret slave meeting at August 14 in the Bois Caiman woods on Haiti. Some say at this day Haiti gave itself to the devil, others say slave rebellion leaders arranged the meeting, some historians even claim that the meeting never occurred, or that it was organised by the French governor to show the rich white people on Haiti that they needed French support and therefore should remain a French colony. Gathering information about the topic proved to be more difficult than assumed. Sources have mainly been internet web pages, and interviews with historians through mail and chat. There are remarkably few books written about the subject as well, so the information gathered in this essay comes from quite a variety of sources. ...read more.

Middle

However as stories told through generations has a tendency to be slightly exaggerated one should be careful with how much one can rely on personal interviews with grandsons of those that lived at the time in question. Rachel Beavoir-Dominique also mentions that it's odd that Antoine Dalmas was able to predict the exact sacrifice of a black pig which is a petro Voodoo rite if he knew nothing of it. Dominique's investigation is an important factor I've taken into account in the investigation. First hand interviews are always interesting, and these clearly shows signs that something happened a night in Bois Caiman 1791. Her findings clearly contradicts the theory Hoffmann, and I'll use parts of her information when forming a conclusion. D Analysis A problem with analysing the Bois Caiman meeting is that the sources are so contradicting. Leon-Francois Hoffmann is the main contradiction of all other sources. He claims that the Bois Caiman meeting never occurred at all7. That France would've kept records if anything like that happened, and since it's not mentioned in the French national Archive it didn't happen. He uses Antoine Dalmas as a proof to back up his theory. ...read more.

Conclusion

This meeting was of a more religious nature, here a Houngan priest sacrificed a pig, and the people drunk its blood. Presumably a woman at the meeting became processed by the Warrior Spirit Oungon, and gave his support to the slaves. There are many memories of this meeting up to today, songs being sung about it and oral stories tells of how the sky opened up. This final conlucsion is pieced together by facts from most of my sources, and it seems like this is the way it all went by. There's reason to believe the Bois Caiman meeting was organised and existed, and that it encouraged slaves everywhere to fight the white planters and end years of torture. F List of Sources Corbett, Bob Haiti page http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti/haiti.html Including a Haiti mailing list, book reports and discussions regarding all Haitian aspects http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti/history/revolution/revolution1.htm Geggus, David 'The Bois Caiman ceremony' Journal of Caribbean history Beavoir-Dominique, Rachel http://www.anycities.com/koridobaskya/ Hoffmann, Leon-Francois 1984 Haitian Fiction Revisited Passeggiata Press Bishop Jeune, Joel http://www.jesus.org.uk/dawn/1998/dawn9802.html 1 http://www.yorku.ca/nhp/seminars/law.rtf 2 Geggus, David The Bois Caiman ceremony page 134 3 http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti/history/revolution/revolution1.htm 4 http://www.jesus.org.uk/dawn/1998/dawn9802.html 5 http://www.anycities.com/koridobaskya/ 6 Hoffmann, Leon-Francois Haitian Fiction Revisited p.185-212 7 Hoffmann, Leon Francois Haitian Fiction Revisited p. 185-212 8 http://www.jesus.org.uk/dawn/1998/dawn9802.html 9 http://www.jesus.org.uk/dawn/1998/dawn9802.html 10 http://www.yorku.ca/nhp/seminars/law.rtf 11 Daniel Simidor in a mail to Bob Corbette's haiti mail group ...read more.

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