In 1804 French Saint-Domingue became the independent nation of Haiti after the only successful slave uprising in world history. When the Haitian Revolution broke out, the colony was home to the largest and wealthiest free population of African descent in the New World. Before Haiti explains the origins of this free colored class, exposes the ways its members both supported and challenged slavery, and examines how they created their own New World identity in the years from 1760 to 1804.

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