Duke University Exhibits a Copy of the Haitian Declaration of Independence

dukeuniversitylogoDuke University has placed on display an original handwritten copy of the Haitian Declaration of Independence. The document was found in France among the papers of the colonist Jean-Baptiste Colheux de Longpre.

The document was not produced by the new government of Haiti, formed in 1804 after a revolt by slaves, but was probably written by a Haitian who was listening to a public reading of the declaration. The only known government-issued copy of the declaration was discovered in 2010 in the British National archives. The version obtained by Duke contains many spelling and grammatical errors.

The document will be permanently housed in the Rubentein Library on the Duke campus. A facsimile of the original will be on permanent display.

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