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.
The revolution of Saint Domingo was taking its course. I saw that the whites could not endure, because they were divided and because they were overpowered by numbers; I congratulated myself that I was a black man.
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.
I have undertaken vengeance. I want Liberty and Equality to reign in Saint-Domingue. I work to bring them into existence. Unite yourselves to us, brothers, and fight with us for the same cause.
I took up arms for the freedom of my color. It is our own – we will defend it or perish.
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.
Mastered by deadly passions, Rigaud has dug a gulf at your feet; he has laid snares which you could not avoid. He wished to have you as partisans in his revolt; and to succeed in his object, he has employed falsehood and seduction.
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.