Rare autograph letter signed by the leader of the Haitian Revolution, François-Dominique Toussaint L'Ouverture
April 28, 1800.
Rare original letter signed and in the hand of the leader of the Haitian Revolution, François-Dominique Toussaint L’Ouverture. One page, folded, bearing the original wax seal on the verso, containing both the original message sent by Toussaint L’Ouverture and a forwarded reply by its original recipient Michel Etienne Descourtilz to General Augustin Honore d’Hebecourt. The letter in Toussaint L’Ouverture’s hand translates as, “The Passport requested by the Petitioner cannot be granted at this time. Le Général en Chef Toussaint Louverture.” Descourtilz has written in reply, “Citizen, Our friend Huin, more occupied with general interest than his own in particular, reminded me when he left that he had forgotten to recommend that you obtain a passport to pick up animals in the Spanish section. He is economically and socially linked to one of my uncles to whom he has left the task of reinforcing the product of his cabin in Grand Islet. It is therefore for the same relative, and the men necessary for this voyage that I serve as interpreter to impose on your good graces. RSVP. Yours, Descourtilz P.S. My difficulty meeting you required me to write to you.” On the verso Descourtilz has also written, “If your care allows you to meet my three requests, you would very much oblige me to tell me at what time I can find you Décadi [part of the Republican calendar], my plans being to leave for Artibonite on Monday of the Décadi, where business awaits me.” Descourtilz was a French botanist, physician, taxonomist and historiographer of the Haitian Revolution. A passport from Toussaint L’Ouverture allowed him to serve as a physician with the forces of Jean-Jacques Dessalines in Haiti, where he arrived in 1799. In very good condition. Exceptionally rare.
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