Toussaint Louverture Biography
(Leader of the Haitian Revolution)
Birthday: May 20, 1743 (Taurus)
Born In: Saint-Dominigue (present day Haiti)
Toussaint Louverture was a former slave who led the Haitian independence movement during the French Revolution and briefly established Haiti as a black-governed French protectorate. The Haitian Revolution is the only successful slave revolt in modern history—at a time when most of the slave revolts ended in executions and failure, he led a revolution that culminated in the establishment of an independent state. Born into slavery at an era where the harsh treatment meted out to blacks was legal, he was fortunate enough to have white masters who treated him kindly and allowed him to gain an education. An intelligent and hardworking young man, he also acquired knowledge about medicinal plants and was a talented horseman. He was deeply influenced by the writings of the French philosophers who wrote of individual rights and equality. Inspired by the French Revolution that called for radical social and political reforms in France, the colored people in Saint-Dominigue (present day Haiti) also decided to revolt for their right to freedom and dignity. Soon a major slave rebellion began and Toussaint emerged as the leader of this movement. He was a very tactful, courageous and idealistic general who converted a society of slaves into an independent state of which he became the governor.