Républic of Haïti 1819-1829 "Don national"
Signed document, Port-au-Prince, "August 10, 1819, year 16 of independence". 1 p. folio. Beautiful letterhead in the name of "Jean-Pierre Boyer, President of Haiti", palm stamped vignette, tax stamp "Republic of Hayti". This document bears an autograph apostille signed by Mr. Dias aîné, public surveyor, indication "Vu & arpenté".
This document is accompanied by a sketch and a plan; the minutes of the surveyor; a discharge in favor of Jacques-René-Laurent Ardouin to Joseph Nicolas Bossand, procurator of the Saintinettes citizens; a notarized copy of the deed of transfer of the land from them to Ardouin; a commercial current account of Ardouin aîné in Port-au-Prince (1818); and finally, an extract of the declaration of death of Ardouin (1832).
This file allows us to follow this procedure. It begins with a document signed by J.-P. Boyer which "authorizes the citizen Saintinette, mother of several children, to occupy as a national gift, a quantity of five square meters of land to be taken from the Mariany dwelling located in this commune. The general commander of the district of Port au Prince will put the said citizen Saintinette in possession of the said five squares [...].
The "national gift" was widely used by presidents Alexandre Pétion as early as 1809, then Jean Pierre Boyer to reward discharged soldiers, their families, "important" personalities, defeated leaders, etc. This file, which goes from the donation of a parcel of land to its sale, corroborates perfectly the movement of crumbling of the Haitian agrarian domain.
* Doctoral thesis of Jean Alix René, Université de Concordia, Montréal, Québec, Canada. Avril 2014.
Beaubrun Ardouin, Étude sur l’histoire d’Haïti, Chez l’auteur, 1853 (Tome 8) Chapitre XI.
Jean-Pierre Boyer was born in Port-au-Prince on February 15, 1776, the son of a white Creole and a freed African woman. He belongs to the class of men of color, known as "mulatto.
Boyer joined the army and showed his bravery in 1792, when the free men of color joined the black slaves. They won their freedom, before the French Convention had decreed the abolition of slavery (August 29, 1793).
Under the Empire, he was initially loyal to Dessalines but in 1806 he participated in the conspiracy, led by Pétion, which put an end to the regime. He supported the candidacy of Alexandre Pétion as president of the Republic. But General Henri Christophe, close to the ex-emperor Jacques and Toussaint Louverture, proclaimed himself president and moved to the north of Haiti. Pétion resisted Christophe and proclaimed himself president in the south. Haiti was then divided into two states.
Pétion appointed him to succeed him as president (1818). In 1820, he took advantage of the northern revolution to overthrow Christophe and unify the north and south of Haiti. Then he annexed the Spanish part of the island.
During his presidency, Jean-Pierre Boyer tried to halt the decline of the economy, which had begun with the victorious revolt of black slaves against their French masters in the 1790s, and passed the Rural Code.
Boyer negotiated an agreement with France in 1825, whereby France agreed to recognize Haiti's independence in exchange for the payment of a heavy indemnity as compensation for the massacre of French planters by black slaves during the wars of independence.
Even reduced this indemnity, added to the destruction of the plantations, represented an impossible financial burden for an already impoverished country.
The unpopular Boyer was ousted and left the island with his principal advisors. He died in Paris, in near misery, at the age of 74, on July 9, 1850.
The former Haitian senator, Mesmin Villevaleix, gave the funeral oration.