The Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast #56 – Nick Stark on Haiti (Part Two)

We’re back with Nicholas Stark to discuss St. Domingo / Haiti and Napoleon’s reinstitution of slavery in 1802. Was Toussaint L’Overture really a “saint” (his name translates as “all saints” or “all souls opening”)? Was Napoleon really a racist?

Nick does another amazing job of delving into the primary sources from this period to paint a picture of Napoleon’s motivations for his actions and his subsequent regrets.

Thanks to everyone for the wonderful feedback we had from the last episode. I’m sure you’ll agree that Nick does an amazing job for a 19-year old undergrad. He has a huge career ahead of him.

The Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast #55 – Nicholas Stark on Napoleon and Haiti (part one)


I know – it’s been a long, long…. long time!

But we are glad to be back!

On this episode, our special guest is Nicholas Stark, a 19-year-old wunderkind who David and I first met in Paris back in 2008. Nicholas is an undergraduate at West Chester University and a Fellow of the International Napoleonic Society, who has an article published in Volume 3 of the Internatonal Napoleonic Society’s Journal and who authored a paper on Napoleon and Haiti which was recently read (by INS “First Lady” Barbara Markham) at the recent INS Congress held in Malta.

One topic we often get requests to talk about in more detail is Napoleon’s involvement in the restoration of slavery in Haiti after the slave revolt lead by Toussaint L’overture. It’s a fascinating topic that is often dredged up as a criticism of Napoleon and indeed one which requires much further discussion on this podcast. In fact, this is only part one of the discussion and we’ll finish it up in at least one additional episode in coming weeks.

In this episode, Nicholas helps us understand more about the background to the slave revolt in Haiti (or Saint Domingue as it was known at the time), the role of the French Revolution and fascinating characters such as Léger-Félicité Sonthonax.

If you want to follow Nicholas’ activities or chat with him, you can find him on Twitter and his blog.

And don’t forget to keep an eye on the INS site and to buy some of David’s excellent books!

Oh and if anyone is interested, today’s version of La Marsellaise can be found here. It’s the one by Mireille Mathieu.

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