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13 March, 00:01

How did Toussaint L'Ouverture learn to read?

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  1. 13 March, 00:46
    François-Domenica Bréda known as Toussaint-Louverture (1743-1803) was one of the leaders of the Haitian revolution and the first black man to become governor of a colony.

    Toussaint-Louverture was born into slavery in approximately 1743 in the French colony of Saint Domingue. He belonged to a small and priviledged class of slaves employed by humane masters as personal servants. The Count de Breda, Toussaint's owner, actively encouraged him to learn to read and write. He developed a passion for books and his readings were to become a great influence in his political life. Toussaint was freed from slavery at around the age of 33 and colonial records show that he became a land and slave owner himself.

    The French Revolution of 1789 had a powerful impact on Saint Domingue. A complex civil war broke out in 1790 when free men of color claimed that they too were French citizens and should be allowed to enjoy the rights proclaimed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man.
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