In the late 1700s, the western part (St. Domingue) of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola was under French colonial rule. It had long been a major centre of sugar production on plantations using enslaved African labour. In 1791, Toussaint Louverture led the first – and only – successful uprising of slaves, in St Domingue. After a series of bloody conflicts and traumas with European colonial powers, St Domingue was renamed Haïti and became the first independent Black republic in 1804. These events became known as the Haitian revolution and played an important role in the decline of the Transatlantic slave trade. This lithograph depicts the Battle of Vertières in 1803, the final engagement between Haiti’s revolutionaries and Napoleon’s French forces.
This print was one of over a thousand satires produced by the celebrated caricaturist, James Gillray, who became known as the ‘father of the political cartoon’. In the 18thcentury, cartoons and caricatures were a popular way of mocking the establishment and calling them to account. They would be discussed and enjoyed in shop windows, coffee houses and taverns. The arrival of the industrial printing press in the 1800s helped to spread them far and wide, through broadsides (posters), newspapers and pamphlets. This one was inspired by the resumed hostilities and ongoing rivalrybetween Britain and France in 1805.
Napoleon rose to power during the French Revolution, crowning himself Emperor of France in 1804. He had ambitions to carve out a vast empire and dynasty, and successfully invaded and conquered countries across the European continent in a series of bloody battles, before he was finally defeated at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. These became known as the Napoleonic wars.
September 28, 2018 - The Chairman
This remarkable object has come up for sale and although beyond our pockets is an interesting item. A relic of the exhumation and return of Napoleon I’s mortal remains from St. Helena to France in 1840. It comprises a piece of mahogany from the outer coffin in which the Emperor was interred in 1821, applied with a […]
This hat was worn by the French Emperor Napoleon when he commanded the French Army at the Battle of Waterloo.
A series of wars which reconfigured nations and societies within Europe, across the Atlantic, and far beyond, culminating in the legendary Battle of Waterloo.
The wars precipitated by the struggles for independence and attempts at empire building that characterise the Age of Revolution, and their impact on the changing world map.
Jean-Jacques Dessalines (1758 – 1806) was born into slavery in St Domingue (now Haiti) he went on to become the first ruler of the independent republic.
In 1791 Toussaint Louverture (1743 – 1803), who was born into slavery, led the first - and only - successful uprising of enslaved Africans.
March 6, 2017 - The Chairman
Published by Allen Lane and Penguin Books ISBN: 978-0-141-98460-5 This book was put in my Christmas stocking by my wife and she seldom selects books on Military History as he is fed up with books everywhere in this house. I recently finished the book and I must say I have seldom found a book so […]