38. My Haitian Pen: Baron de Vastey

Posted on 27 October 2019

The Baron de Vastey unveils the horror of colonialism as a system and defends the monarchy of King Christophe in the tense early years of Haiti’s independence.

Note: this episode repeats some of Vastey's vivid descriptions of violence against slaves, so please think twice before listening to it around kids for example.

Further Reading

• C. Bongie (trans.), Baron de Vastey: The Colonial System Unveiled (Liverpool: 2016). [Original: de Vastey, Le système colonial dévoilé (Cap-Henry: 1814)]

Online text of the English version of de Vastey’s Reflections on the Blacks and Whites (London: 1817). [Original: de Vastey, Réflexions sur une lettre de Mazères (Cap-Henry: 1816).]


• M.L. Daut, “Un-Silencing the Past: Boisrond-Tonnerre, Vastey, and the Haitian Revolution, 1805-1817,” South Atlantic Review 74 (2009), 35-64.

• M.L. Daut, Baron de Vastey and the Origins of Black Atlantic Humanism (New York: 2017).

• D.L. Garraway, “Empire of Freedom, Kingdom of Civilization: Henry Christophe, the Baron de Vastey, and the Paradoxes of Universalism in Postrevolutionary Haiti,” Small Axe 39 (2012), 1-21.

• D. Jenson, Beyond the Slave Narrative: Politics, Sex, and Manuscripts in the Haitian Revolution (Liverpool: 2011).

• D. Nicholls, “Race, couleur et indépendance en Haiti (1804-1825),” Revue d'histoire moderne et contemporaine 25 (1978), 177-212.

• N. Nesbitt, Caribbean Critique: Antillean Critical Theory from Toussaint to Glissant (Liverpool: 2014).


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