Lothrop Stoddard’s “The French Revolution in San Domingo,” Part 2

Go to Part 1.

There were complex combinations of oppositions according to race and class. On one hand, poor Whites and wealthy Whites saw a common interest in opposing the mulattos, some of whom were wealthy. From the standpoint of the poor Whites, the wealth of his perceived racial inferiors was particularly galling. In 1789, when the French Revolution had compromised the power of the Royal government, the wealthy Whites “anxious for poor white support, were not likely to embroil themselves to protect their race opponents [i.e., the mulattos]. By this time the local offices were becoming filled with poor whites, and to the will and pleasure of these new functionaries, the mulattoes were now delivered almost without reserve.”

On the other hand, the lower-class Whites (described by Stoddard as “mostly … ignorant men of narrow intelligence”) engaged in class war against wealthy Whites: They were “too short-sighted to realize the results of white disunion or too reckless to care about consequences.” They excluded upper-class Whites from voting by “violence and intimidation.”

Some observers have argued that the revolutionary ideals of moral universalism were an ingredient in the revolt of the non-Whites. Stoddard quotes approvingly an observer who attributes the fervor for revolt among slaves and mulattos to their being exposed to revolutionary rhetoric.  “To discuss the ‘Rights of Man’ before such people—what is it but to teach them that power dwells with strength, and strength with numbers!”  Stoddard expresses his own view that “there seems to be no doubt that the writings and speeches of the French radicals did have a considerable effect on the negroes.” And he provides the conclusion of contemporary investigations: “Both the existing evidence and the trend of events combine to show that the great negro uprising of August 1791 was but the natural action of the Revolution on highly flammable material.”

Nevertheless, as with all complex events, the causes remain in question. Stoddard suggests that the quarrels among the Whites were a major contributing factor. In any case, we do know that the Jacobin radicals in France refused to help their racial brethren in San Domingo—their refusals motivated by partisan politics couched in the high-flown rhetoric of moral universalism:

These appeals [from the French colonists in San Domingo and their relatives in France], coupled with the horrors contained in every report from the island, might well have moved hearts of stone; — but not the hearts of the Jacobin opposition. Time after time a grim tragi-comedy was enacted on the floor of the Assembly. Some fresh batch of reports and petitions on San Domingo would move moderate members to propose the sending of aid. Instantly the Jacobins would be upon their feet with a wealth of fine phrases, patriotic suspicions, and a whole armory of nullifying amendments and motions to adjourn; — the whole backed by gallery threats to the moderate proponents.

Besides the radicals, French business interests cared far more for retaining their markets than in racial solidarity: “The very commercial classes were now estranged from their former allies, since the French merchants had no desire to be ruined for the upholding of the color line. What appeared to colonists a vital principle seemed to Frenchmen a foolish prejudice, and the whites of San Domingo were more and more regarded as a stiff-necked generation in great part responsible for the woes which overwhelmed them.” 

Whereas the radicals and the merchants cared nothing for racial cohesion, the colonists remained committed to racial solidarity, albeit with the class divisions mentioned above. Unlike the legislators and merchants in far off France, they could easily see how allying themselves with mulattos would affect them in the long run. They refused to make an alliance with the mulattos against the Blacks, fearing that they would eventually be out-voted by the mulattos. They also feared that lowered social barriers would eventually result in intermarriage and the mixing of blood. “The colonial whites grimly resolved to keep San Domingo a ‘white man’s country’ or to be buried in its ruins.” Despite the feelings of horror by the Whites of San Domingo, the mulattos were given the vote April 4, 1792 and a Jacobin army arrived to enforce the law.

Stoddard is openly contemptuous of the Jacobin radicals who refused to aid the Whites of San Domingo. “Of this opposition to the relief of San Domingo it is difficult to speak with moderation. For not even on grounds of fanaticism can the Jacobin policy be palliated.” Stoddard labels Léger-Félicité Sonthonax, one of the commissioners sent to enforce the law on mulatto political equality, “a sinister figure,” “a mere mouther of phrases, corrupt in both public and private life, his one real talent a certain sly ability to trim with the times which was to bring him safe through the storms of the Revolution.” “If such a man can be said to have real convictions, his ideas on colonial questions may be gathered from a signed article published in one of the ultra-radical sheets about a year before.  ‘The ownership of land both at San Domingo and the other colonies … belongs in reality to the negroes. It is they who have earned it with the sweat of their brows, and only by usurpation do others now enjoy the fruits.’”

Sonthonax surrounded himself with mulattos and engaged in brutal military campaigns against Whites. Eventually he turned on the mulattos by freeing the Blacks under his control without authority from the French government. He wrote “it is with the real inhabitants of this country, the Africans, that we will yet save to France the possession of San Domingo.” Needless to say, freeing the Blacks was not warmly greeted the mulattos, many of whom owned slaves: “The mulattoes had everywhere greeted Sonthonax’s negrophil policy with ill-concealed rage; his emancipation proclamation had roused them to furious mutiny.”

Sonthonax is truly remarkable in his hostility toward the colonial Whites. One of his closest associates reportedly stated that “The white population must disappear from the colony. The day of vengeance is at hand. Many of these colonist princes must be exterminated.” Not surprisingly, there was a general exodus of Whites, mainly to the US.

Stoddard notes Sonthonax’s “lavish expenditure” and his opposing a White captain-general who had expressed an attitude of superiority to the mulattos. Stoddard notes pointedly that this mulatto leader “had torn out the eyes of his wretched prisoners with a corkscrew and had been guilty of unspeakable outrages upon white women.” The mulatto’s vicious crimes against Whites were nothing in comparison with the enormity of the racial insult uttered by the White military officer.

Stoddard contrasts two of the Jacobin commissioners. Sonthonax is described as personally corrupt and unprincipled, acting against his White racial brethren for personal gain. On the other hand, Polverol was highly principled: his “Jacobinism, though fanatical, was sincere, his personal honesty was never questioned, and ripening years brought some insight and reflection in their train.”

This contrast also doubtless applies to the behavior of contemporary Whites who eagerly go along with the multicultural agenda of displacing White people and their culture. There are many Sonthonaxes who earn very good salaries because they are public liberals—Whites who by their every statement and action express support for the multicultural zeitgeist. Because the multicultural revolution is far advanced at this point, there are many lucrative opportunities for those willing to publicly utter the sorts of niceties needed to climb the ladder. An example that comes to mind occurred at Duke University where faculty who loudly condemned White men who had been falsely accused of raping a Black prostitute were rewarded by becoming deans and other high-level administrators of the university.[1] This incident is particularly remarkable because the behavior of these faculty cost the university a great deal of money when the victims later sued the university.

On the other hand, there are doubtless a great many Polverols as well in the contemporary West, intent on punishing Whites whom they see as violating principles of moral universalism. They see massive non-White immigration and the decline of Whites as moral imperatives, and their views are constantly drummed into them by the mass media, the academic world, and the political class. Like the nineteenth-century Transcendental idealists, they ignore the realities of human nature, preferring to envision a utopian society expunged of evil.

It’s interesting that Whites are the only group to exhibit principled attitudes and behavior in the world depicted by Stoddard. When he obtained power, Toussaint L’Overture brutally enslaved his own people. Instead of being owned by Whites, they were now slaves of the Black oligarchy that dominated Haiti. “Shirkers and rebels were now publicly buried alive or sawn between two planks.”

The hatred toward the White colonists by other Whites was palpable. During the height of the Reign of Terror in France, colonists sent home were greeted, in the words of one such unfortunate, with “a furious hatred …. A hatred so intense that our most terrible misfortunes did not excite the slightest commiseration.” At the same time, mulatto and Black delegates from San Domingo were greeted with delirious applause.

In the end, it was a war of racial extermination. The French under Napoleon returned and were winning the war, despite heavy losses from yellow fever. There was a common understanding that huge numbers of Blacks would have to be exterminated in order to restore the colony. But when the British intervened against the French, the White cause became hopeless. After a brief period when Whites were encouraged to return, they were exterminated under the leadership of the Haitian leader, Dessalines. “The destruction of French authority was but the prelude to the complete extermination of the white race in ‘la Partie François de Saint-Domingue.’” Like the White Jacobins and merchants, the British did not see the colonists as fellow Whites but as enemies, in the case of the British, because they were French. 


The main message here is that individualism has served Whites well in enabling societies based on free markets, science, trust and innovation. Individualist European societies created the modern world. However, there is a tendency to short-term thinking that enriches individuals and produces long-term disaster for Whites as a group. In San Domingo, the short-sighted planter class imported masses of Africans without thinking clearly what this portended for the future, especially in a society where ideologies of moral universalism were becoming influential. The same thing happened in the U.S. and elsewhere in the Western hemisphere where large numbers of Blacks were imported as slaves. The tensions from slavery continue to loom over American society as the U.S. becomes increasingly polarized along racial lines. A similar phenomenon continues to occur as wealthy business interests lobby to import ever more low-IQ workers—workers who will eventually become citizens, vote, become the clients of aggressive, anti-White ethnic activist organizations, and seek their interests by expanding government entitlement programs.

There is an obvious sense in which the moral idealism so typical of the Western intellectual tradition can be fatally maladaptive. In the contemporary world of political correctness defined by the multicultural left, moral ideals incompatible with the interests of European-derived peoples are constantly trumpeted by elites in the media, the political class, and academic world. Such messages fall on fertile ground among European peoples, even as other races and ethnic groups continue to seek to shape public policy according to their perceptions of self-interest. The European proneness to moral idealism thus becomes part of the ideology of Western suicide.

With the exception of South Africa—another society where Whites eventually ceded power to Blacks and are now reaping the consequences in terms of violence, exploitation and insecurity, White populations are currently far safer than the tiny White population of San Domingo surrounded by a sea of hostile Blacks. However, the policies currently bringing millions of non-Whites into Western societies will ultimately create White minorities in all the societies that Whites dominated, including their ancestral homelands in Europe. Many of the peoples they are admitting have historical grudges against Whites for past evils like slavery, perceived anti-Semitism, etc. And in any case, the voting patterns of these groups are already clear—they are part of the ascendant non-White coalition centered in the Democratic Party in the United States and similar parties in other Western countries (e.g., the Labour party in the U.K). Whites should think about what happened in San Domingo before they continue embarking on their multicultural adventure. When Whites become vulnerable, as a result of these changes, the gloves will come off. The raw biological power of race for separating humans into mutually antagonistic groups will once again rear its ugly head, and the fine phrases of moral universalism that paved the way for White suicide will seem hollow indeed.

[1] William L. Anderson, “The Obama Administration’s Vicious Attack on Reade Seligmann.” LewRockwell.com, February 24, 2011.


12 replies
  1. PaleoAtlantid
    PaleoAtlantid says:

    “The raw biological power of race for separating humans into mutually antagonistic groups will once again rear its ugly head.” Very true, but liberals can’t or won’t face the realities of this world. The moral universalism engendered within high trust individualist societies does indeed appear to be the source of maladaptive thinking and policy. How can ‘moral universalism’ be turned off? Surely our only recourse to reset the moral imperative of Western societies is by propaganda, in the positive sense, and by education, such as TOO continues to do.

  2. Tim Folke
    Tim Folke says:

    The author is spot on in saying our undoing (albeit a virtue in most circumstances) is individualism.

    My brothers and sisters, we need to look past petty differences – aversion to or love for Mexican food, Fords versus Chevys, loud clothes verses conservative attire, city verses country, meat eaters verses vegans, slobby verses being neat, preferences for brunette Whites verses Blond Whites, etc… ad nauseum.


    Let this be our racial, familial, and spiritual motto: WE BEFORE ME.

    • Tim Folke
      Tim Folke says:

      OK, sorry, I misspelled ‘versus’ as ‘verses’ several times. So, to add to the list of petty differences, how about those who misspell in the passion of sincerity?

  3. HK Wills
    HK Wills says:

    Trenchant article as usual. A disturbing augur of the possible full flowering of a “Ferguson” type phenomenon. The fact that many Whites are maladaptive in their moral universalism, and over long expanses of time, would strongly suggest the problem – as ever – is biological. Such problems are usually intractable requiring the slow hand of evolution to effect change. However much is determined by the relatively fast changes that culture can produce. The challenge is capture the opinion molding institutions of society and put them to racially adaptive purposes. As I have stated before the chief impediment is that to capture them requires their use in mobilizing White masses to that purpose: as they say “you can’t get there from here”.

    • T
      T says:

      Following the money trail does indeed often help to explain much. I’ve come across some accounts which seem to indicate France had been manipulated financially into the French Revolution.

        • T
          T says:

          Thanks for the link Trenchant. Interesting stuff. As a related aside French financial woes were compounded after the 1789 Revolution when the US reneged on its debts incurred with France during the 1776 Revolution declaring the debts were owed to the monarchy and not the new revolutionary government. Not surprisingly, and somewhat understandably this enraged the French whom would authorize privateers to attack US shipping. The US responded in kind (this situation havin been exasperated by the XYZ affair) and between 1799 – 1800 there was something called the Quasi or Undeclared War between the two nations. While there were significant losses on each sides part the US was believed to have lost two thousand merchant ships durin the conflict.


          • Trenchant
            Trenchant says:

            Thanks, that’s news to me.

            You know, I don’t think reneging on that debt was illegitimate. It might have been expedient to honor it but I see no legal obligation after the sovereign creditor is deposed by force.

            If anything, the big mistake was the Jacobins’, honoring the Crown’s debts to please the (((credit markets))).

            The bitter fruits of defeat are usually shared by creditors.

  4. T
    T says:

    K Mac writes: ‘However, there is a tendency to short-term thinking that enriches individuals and produces long-term disaster for Whites as a group.’

    Yes, and as you have alluded in other of your entries, this personally enriching behaviour is often wrapped up in a thin veneer of self deceptive utopian thinking which helps in their minds to rationalize away their destructive actions. Depending on its import in many instances they then attempt to convince others, all too often succeeding, using the very same self-deceptions they tell themselves.

    Regarding San Domingo (according to the writer Fon Belcher whom I’ve linked to below) members of the founding revolutionary elite of the United States, ie Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, while in France during the 1780’s were intimately involved in the shaping and construction of the ideological framework that would soon evolve into the French Revolution, a controlled counter-revolution to Capitalism I submit, which many think would lead to the calamitous events described on the island, and ultimately to formation of states such as the Soviet Union, North Korea, North Vietnam, and Fidel Castro’s Cuba, etc.

    With the French Revolution of 1789 and its Declaration of the Rights of Man of the same year it would prove to be within only a single generation of the July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence by the United States that the template for the Cold War between the Capitalist US and the Communist Soviet Union had already been set.

    What might have been the ulterior motives for Ben Franklin’s and T Jefferson’s actions regarding the French Revolution if what Belcher says is correct? Was it the thought that they would be helping in the creation of a future truly all encompassing global empire, the ‘New Rome’, aka the ‘United States of the World’, the ultimate manifestation of a future reformed (in theory) republican British Empire that would be centered in the United States, of which they in their then present endeavor and their personal family descendants would greatly profit from? Was something like that thinking perhaps the real reason for the British intervention in the Caribean which so badly affected the French at San Domingo, ie a part of the taking away by the British of whatever autonomy the French may have had in their 1789 Revolution, culminating with Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo (in effect reducing France and its Empire afterwards to the status of being a satellite of the British Empire) and so as to ensure that France and its nascent ‘Red republican’ revolution and its off shoots would not get off the beaten path and would safely be integrated into the planned future global super state?

    While a relative few elites and their hangers on do indeed personally benefit from empires most persons don’t in any meaningful way as there is simply not enough of the newly acquired wealth/loot to go around. Though to be sure one will most certainly have the ‘opportunity’ to go fight in some foreign land and all too often die to acquire this ’empire’

    What Fon Belcher says at the linked article regarding the founding US revolutionary elite and the French Revolution fits the historic record perfectly. While it’s well known that Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the 1776 US Declaration of Independence isn’t it interesting how it’s so much less well known that he was also heavily involved in the formulation and writing of the 1789 French Revolution’s Declaration of the Rights of Man as well?

    The Declaration [of the Rights of Man] was drafted by General Lafayette, Thomas Jefferson, and Honoré Mirabeau.

    ‘The Declaration of the Rights of the Man and of the Citizen of 1789 (French: Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen de 1789), set by France’s National Constituent Assembly in 1789, is a human civil rights document from the French Revolution.

    The Declaration was drafted by General Lafayette, Thomas Jefferson, and Honoré Mirabeau.[2] Influenced by the doctrine of “natural right”, the rights of man are held to be universal: valid at all times and in every place, pertaining to human nature itself.’

    The below is an excerpt from the Courier of New Hampshire newspaper published in the US on March 6, 1794. A portion of it is a purported eyewitness account of the execution of Marie Antoinette whom had been executed some four months earlier. Regarding the French Revolution with its representatitive assembly the Commune, the article uses language that not coincidentally would sound quite familiar during the Cold War between the US and Soviet Union over 160 years later, terms such as ‘counter-revolution’ and ‘defection’ were already making their appearance in the US media of the day. A scanned in photocopy of the 1794 newspaper with the excerpted quotes can be found in the link below marked ‘majority rights’ and ‘revolution and counter-revolution’. It’s the next to the last entry of the comments on that thread.

    The defection of Marseilles soon produced that of Lyons. This important city became the central point of the counter revolution in the South…

    ‘Her [Queen Antoinette’s] beautiful hair from behind was entirely cut off & her hands were tied behind her back…On her right, upon the cart, was seated the executioner…At half past twelve o’clock the guillotine severed her head from her body. She died in the 38th year of her age…A young man who dipped his pocket handkerchief in the Queen’s blood and pressed it with veneration to his breast, was instantly apprehended. Upon him were found the portraits of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.’






  5. jerry Cornelius
    jerry Cornelius says:

    I just needed to get out for a walk, Relax a bit, not get too wrapped up in politics. (I had just seen on the News, BTP were looking for an Indian sex deviant who was flashing his Slock on the tube system)
    So I set off down the road(Hackney, London) Had not got too far when I saw flashing Police lights, so I had to investigate.
    I walked past the taped off area, only to find blood drops leading to the bookkeepers(A haunt of Black drug dealers laundering their money-From Crack and heroin selling-Contribution to the community!)–[BTW the Bookies know this, so strategically place their shops-To mop up that cash surplus]
    Leftist apologists should engage bookkeepers for a cultural insight into reality.
    One more stabbing stat-London lefties are sending kiddies-”Just don’t Cawwy knives, leaflets”.
    The denial is deep, anyway, sorry for straying off subject, I just needed to vent some stress-The English way!
    (I had tried to add to the Tube Rape Epidemic post, but that was closed)

  6. ws
    ws says:

    Fascinating set of articles. Very well done. Real scholarly work on history / social science. You won’t be finding such an analysis at university these days.

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