Faustin Soulouque was proclaimed Emperor of Haiti in 1849 and called himself Faustin I. In 1859 a military officer made a successful coup d’etat. With that action he finished prematurely Faustin I pretentions of governing Haiti for life and expanding his empire to include the rest of the West Indies.
The Emperor Faustin I and The Dominicans
The relationship between Emperor Faustin I and the Dominicans went from bad to worst. He invaded the Dominican Republic on three occassions (1849, 1853, and 1855/1856), and almost made a fourth invasion in 1859. The initial motive for the invasions was his desire to forcibly reincorporate the Dominican territory to Haitian rule.
His Future Is Sealed by His Failed Attacks Against the Dominicans
His own military officers were influenced by the failed invasions against the Dominicans, eventually causing them to do a coup d’etat against his rule. It was also well known among the Haitian military that the masses of the Haitian people was not in favor of the recurring invasions against the Dominicans. The public opinion that existed in Haiti was of leaving the Dominicans alone, because in every invasion thousands of civilian Haitian teenage boys and men were forced to join military and take part of the invasions. In the process, Haiti’s economic activities were affected negativele. In addition, many Haitian mothers feared what could happen in those invasions to their sons, brothers, and husbands.
Faustin I Fundamental Desire Was the Extermination of the Dominican People
Despite the humaine desire of the Haitian people and of Haiti’s military soldiers themselves, Faustin I insisted in putting an end to Dominican independence and submitting the Dominican population to a general massacre. It was Faustin I himself who once in his invasion of the Dominican Republic said “even the chickens will be killed.” That saying that remembered the Dominicans of Jean Jacques Dessalines invasion in 1805 when he tried to make an ethnic cleaning against the Dominican population. His invasion destroyed everything in his path, including the animals of our defenseless countrymen.
Faustin I Racism Towards the Whites and Light Skinned Mulatto Kept His Hatred of the Dominicans
While Dessalines hated the Dominicans due to rejecting his authority, Faustin I hated the Dominicans due to a skin color issue. The average Dominicans are lighter skinned than average Haitians. In fact, he committed several massacres in Haiti against mulatto Haitians for having the blood of the whites mixed and running through there veins.
Evidence of Faustin I Racism in the Mass Communication of Those Times
The evidence becomes obvious in the following articles and books that we cite.
In Soulouque and His Empire, published in 1861, says:
“…[The desire of Faustin I was] a war of caste (a skin color war), the destruction of all the mulattoes, and the expulsion of foreigners by monopolizing the business in the hands of the government, that it might transmit it to a few. The entire destruction of the Dominicans was represented as of imperious necessity, inasmuch as they stood in the way of the general establishment of a black government under a foreign protectorate. Soulouque, as we have said, deprecated this policy, and clung to the dictates of his sense of justice, but he was at length overpresuaded by the machiavellian influence of cruel men.”
On February 22, 1859 the New York newspaper The New York Times published Hayti and the Dominican Republic, and says:
“…The hatred [that Faustin I had] towards the Dominicans apparently caused by their speaking Spanish instead of French, and having a smaller allowance of African blood than he himself has.”
There are many additional evidences that demonstrate the reasons behind Faustin I hatred not only towards the Dominican peope, but also towards the Haitian minority that is light skinned. In more than one occassion Faustin I committed massacres and attempted of exterminating the Haitian mulattoes for the simple fact that they had blood of the whites mixed and running through their veins.