Seeking Liberty after the Haitian Revolution: Local Economies and Family Strategies of Formerly-Enslaved Women in Haitian Santo Domingo, 1809-1821
A GIGH US History Workshop with Dr. Maria Cecilia Ulrickson (Morgan State) and Dr. Andrew Walker (Wesleyan University)
This talk considers how Afro-descent women refashioned a local economy and society from the margins of early Haiti. The story begins in Spanish-speaking Haiti (today, the Dominican Republic, a region unified with Haiti from 1822-1843). As the Haitian state issued emancipation, land reforms, universal citizenship, and the right to civil divorce in its new territory, formerly- enslaved women reconstituted their families, claimed property, and managed businesses. Their activity in the public sphere both extended and redirected the goals of the state. The constitution in force (1816) made family belonging and property ownership into symbols for the new nation but on gendered lines. Using notarial testaments, civil registries, and court records, this article considers how the work and families of formerly-enslaved women outstripped the vision of the reforming state.
Friday, April 26 at 4:00pm to 6:30pm
Edward B. Bunn, S.J. Intercultural Center, 662
37th and O St., N.W., Washington