chapter  1
17 Pages

From the Port of Princes to the City of Kings: Jamaica and the Roots of the Haitian Diaspora

ByMATTHEW J. SMITH

Haitian migration is a phenomenon deeply rooted in the early origins of the republic. The powerful image of displaced Haitians, referred to variously as “boat people,” djaspora or “Tenth Department,” is a continuation of a constant movement of signifi cant numbers of Haitians traceable to the eighteenth century. In the days following the outbreak of the 1791 slave uprising in the northern part of St. Domingue scores of French planters left for other countries, often bringing enslaved people with them. The enduring economic and political turmoil that has wracked the country for more than two hundred years hence has kept alive a steady stream of out-migration.