They proclaimed their freedom boldly — “we must live independent or die,” they wrote — but for decades, Haiti lacked its own official copy of those words. Its Declaration of Independence existed only in handwritten duplicate or in newspapers. Until now.The full story is fascinating, and includes a comment from our brilliant friend at Duke, Dr. Laurent Dubois.
A Canadian graduate student at Duke University, Julia Gaffield, has unearthed from the British National Archives the first known, government-issued version of Haiti’s founding document. The eight-page pamphlet, now visible online, gives scholars new insights into a period with few primary sources. But for Haitian intellectuals, the discovery has taken on even broader significance.
That the document would be found in February, just weeks after the earthquake that killed so many; that its authenticity would be confirmed in time for the donor conference that could define Haiti’s future — some see providence at work.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Haiti's Founding Document Found in London
Perhaps I need to state this at the top: This story, though broken today, is NOT an April Fool. It would never occur to me to 'play with' something this profoundly significant to our Haitian sisters and brothers.