The Gentleman's Second Letters From Cape Francois

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The only revolution to achieve widespread emancipation of slaves in the Americas occurred in Haiti. Slaves in the French colony of Haiti revolted against their masters in 1791 and chaos ensued as the upper class and the slave masters tried to contain the revolution. In the process, many people were killed on both sides and entire towns in Haiti were burned to the ground. The uprising of the slaves and the consequent attempt to contain the uprising was captured in the letters published in The Pennsylvania Gazette on October 12, 1791. The letters were written by a gentleman from Cape Francois to his friend describing the scene in Haiti. The letters were written between August 24th and September 13th. In the letters, the gentleman also includes…show more content…
He describes the slaves murdering the white people as “savages”, while at the same time decrying a massacre of black prisoners, which included women. The writer invokes a great deal of anger in his letter toward the slaves who have attacked the white people. The writer also seems appalled by the murder of the black prisoners, suggesting that although he is mostly likely white, he still has sympathy for the slaves. Lastly, the gentleman speaks about how many white women and children have been displaced from their homes and his sympathy for their suffering. In his third letter from September 4th, as the rebellion continued, the gentleman’s letters change to more of a paranoid tone with less sympathy for the slaves. He writes about how slaves have murdered more people than whites and that a plan to kill all whites had been discovered, so every citizen is on…show more content…
Although the gentleman from Cape Francois expresses some sympathy for the slaves in the beginning, he still does not examine the cause of the rebellion or the slave's position. All of the letters express a need to control the slaves rebelling and a need preserve the institution of slavery. The letters being published in The Pennsylvania Gazette also show the intrigue and concern of the world. Since these letters were published in a newspaper in the U.S., the point of view represented would probably not be that of the slaves, since the U.S. also had slavery at this time and held a more racist mindset and therefore letters from a white gentleman were chosen. In addition, because these letters were published in a newspaper, the letters that were chosen could be more dramatic than the actual scene since dramatic articles help sell newspapers. Regardless of the reason for the lack of perspective from the black community, whether it be because of who wrote the letters, where the letters were published, or the racist views of the times, the letters purely focus on the white class views and experience and did not mention the views of the slaves and their motivations for

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