François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture, also known as Toussaint L’Ouverture or Toussaint Bréda, was a French general and best-known leader of the Haitian Revolution. He was a leader of the growing resistance. He was a former Haitian slave who led the only successful slave revolt in modern history. Louverture fought to end slavery and gain Haiti’s independence from France and Spain.
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Most Famous Toussaint Louverture Quotes
Whatever defamation of character my enemies are spreading about me, I do not feel the need to justify myself toward them. While discretion obliges me to remain silent, my duty compels me to prevent them from doing any more harm. – Toussaint Louverture
I was born a slave, but nature gave me a soul of a free man. – Toussaint Louverture
I took up arms for the freedom of my color. It is our own we will defend it or perish. – Toussaint Louverture
For too long we have borne your chains without thinking of shaking them off, but any authority which is not founded on virtue and humanity, and which only tends to subject one’s fellow man to slavery, must come to an end, and that end is yours. – Toussaint Louverture
It is easy to cut down the tree of liberty, but not so easy to restore it to life. – Toussaint Louverture
They have in me struck down but the trunk of the tree; the roots are many and deep – they will shoot up again! – Toussaint Louverture
Unite; for combination is stronger than witchcraft. – Toussaint Louverture
This gun is liberty; hold for certain that the day when you no more have it, you will be returned to slavery. – Toussaint Louverture
It is not a liberty of circumstance, conceded to us alone, that we wish; it is the adoption absolute of the principle that no man, born red, black or white, can be the property of his fellow man. – Toussaint Louverture
We have known how to face dangers to obtain our liberty, we shall know how to brave death to maintain it. – Toussaint Louverture
In overthrowing me, you have done no more than cut down the tree trunk of the Black Liberty in St. Domingue it will spring back from the roots, for they are numerous and deep. – Toussaint Louverture
We are free today because we are the stronger; we will be slaves again when the government becomes the stronger. – Toussaint Louverture
I am faithfully devoted to the Republic but will not serve it at my conscious and my honor. – Toussaint Louverture
Avoid Sloth the mother of all vices. – Toussaint Louverture
The Spanish offered me their protection and liberty to those who would fight for the Kings. I accepted their offers, seeing myself entirely abandoned by my brethren the French. – Toussaint Louverture
Since the revolution, I have done all that depended upon me to return happiness to my country and to ensure liberty for my fellow citizens. Forced to combat internal and external enemies of the French Republic, I made war with courage, honor and loyalty. I have never strayed from the rules of justice with my enemies as much as was in my power I sought to soften the horrors of war, to spare the blood of men. – Toussaint Louverture
God, who knows our most secret thoughts and who sees all, is witness to the purity of my principles. They are not founded on this barbarous ferocity that takes pleasure in shedding human blood. – Toussaint Louverture
I know how to move the people, but I know also where to stop in my own actions so that, when I strike, I shall be felt and not seen. – Toussaint Louverture
I have undertaken vengeance. I want Liberty and Equality to reign in Saint Domingue. I have work to bring them into existence. Unite yourselves to us, brothers and fight for the same cause. – Toussaint Louverture
I accept everything which is favorable for the people and the army; for myself, I wish to live in retirement. – Toussaint Louverture
I have taken my flight in the region of eagles; when I alight, it must be on a rock, and that rock must be a constitutional government, of which I shall be the head so long as I shall be among men. – Toussaint Louverture
We went to labor in the fields my wife and I hand in hand scarcely were we conscious of the fatigues of the day. Heaven always blessed our toil. – Toussaint Louverture
I invite you, citizens, to open your eyes and to give serious attention to the future. Reflect on the disasters which may ensue from longer obstinacy. Submit to lawful authority, if you wish to preserve the South untouched. Save your families and your property. – Toussaint Louverture
I am faithfully devoted to the Republic but will not serve it at the expense of my conscience and my honor. – Toussaint Louverture
When it shall be known that, at the time which I was accused of wishing to sunder this island from France – my benefactress – I repeated the oath of fidelity to her, I take pleasure in believing that the government I own, and my fellow-citizens, will render me the justice I merit, and that the enemies of my brethren will be reduced to silence. – Toussaint Louverture
At the beginning of the troubles of Saint Domingo, I felt that I was destined to great things. When I received this divine intimation, I was four and fifty years of age; I could neither read nor write. – Toussaint Louverture
[Let us overcome] the barriers that separate nations, and unite the human species into a single brotherhood. We seek only to bring to men the liberty that [God] has given them, and that other men have taken from hem only by transgressing His immutable will. – Toussaint Louverture
I am kind; I am humane. I open to you my fatherly arms. Come, all of you; I will receive you all – no less those of the South than those of the West, and of the North, who, gained over by Rigaud, have deserted your firesides, your wives, your children, to place yourselves at his side. – Toussaint Louverture
The heads of regiments are required to see that the troops join in prayer morning and evening as far as the service will permit. – Toussaint Louverture
Idleness is the source of all disorders, and if it is at all tolerated, I shall hold the military commanders responsible, persuaded that those who tolerate idleness and vagabonds are secret enemies of the government. – Toussaint Louverture
Tear up the roads with shot; throw corpses and horses into all the fountains; burn and annihilate everything, in order that those who have come to reduce us to slavery may have before their eyes the image of hell which they deserve. Idleness is the source of all disorders, and if it is at all tolerated, I shall hold the military commanders responsible, persuaded that those who tolerate idleness and vagabonds are secret enemies of the government. – Toussaint Louverture
Citizens, not less generous than myself, let your most precious moments be employed in causing the past to be forgotten; let all my fellow-citizens swear never to recall the past; let them receive their misled brethren with open arms, and let them, in future, be on their guard against the traps of bad men. Tear up the roads with shot; throw corpses and horses into all the fountains; burn and annihilate everything, in order that those who have come to reduce us to slavery may have before their eyes the image of hell which they deserve. Idleness is the source of all disorders, and if it is at all tolerated, I shall hold the military commanders responsible, persuaded that those who tolerate idleness and vagabonds are secret enemies of the government. – Toussaint Louverture
Toussaint was a giant. He had an array of talents equaled by few men. He had intelligence intuition and vision.
Toussaint had a driving vision to create a society in which people of all races would be equal before the law and could rise according to their abilities.
Toussaint’s vision for Haiti projected a society embracing equal opportunity for all with social leveling through education and hard work.