From French and Creole to Spanish, the domain of the Napoleonic Empire to the king of Spain, crossing the strait separating the French colony of Saint-Domingue and the Spanish colony of Cuba entailed a change of language and government. Some 18,000 people made that transition between the spring and summer of 1803 during the Revolutionary War in Saint-Dominque. Six years later, many crossed the Gulf of Mexico from Cuba to New Orleans and the recently acquired Louisiana Territory under the authority of a territorial governor and the United States Congress. What would these crossings lead to for those who had been slaves in Saint-Domingue and to those who would claim them as property?
This article explores these issues in two overlapping dimensions: first, through the land and other official classifying documents; second, through the families and life experiences of these immigrants. The central figure is a woman named Rosalie of the Poulard Nation, born in Africa and held as a slave in the Jérémie region of Saint-Domingue. We must approach her life obliquely by gathering fragments written by others. However, through these fragments, the roles and powers that could turn a human being into a "person with a price" will become clear. In the end, we will also show that the ability to maneuver in the world of paper and power could sometimes return a "person with a price" to their status as an individual.
Scott, Rebecca J. "Reinventar la esclavitud, garantizar la libertad: De Saint-Domingue a Santiago a Nueva Orleáns, 1803-1809." Caminos 52 (2009): 2-13.