The Journal of Caribbean History: Volume 46, Issue 2

Article 1
Recovering the Fugitive History of Marronage in Saint Domingue, 1770–1791

Jason Daniels


This article explores the phenomenon of marronage in Saint Domingue during the two decades before the Haitian Revolution by examining over 19,000 unique incidents of marronage reported in the colonial newspaper. By addressing the typology, the dimensions, the composition, and the evolution of marronage in Saint Domingue, this article argues: first, that the maroons of Saint Domingue were an extremely heterogeneous group comprised of enslaved Africans, enslaved Créoles, and possibly free people of colour from around the Atlantic World; second, that skin colour, gender, literacy, language proficiency, occupational specialization, and knowledge of the outside world all provided certain benefits in maintaining success in taking flight; and finally, that the practice of marronage during the years approaching the revolution was in decline and therefore had little effect on the impending revolution.