Virtual Branch recording: Henry Christophe, the Haitian Revolution and the Caribbean's Forgotten Kingdom

The Black Crown

By Paul Clammer, published 23rd August 2023

Virtual Branch Film

How did a man born enslaved on a plantation triumph over Napoleon's invading troops and become king of the first free black nation in the Americas? This is the forgotten, remarkable story of Henry Christophe. Christophe fought as a child soldier in the American War of Independence, before serving in the Haitian Revolution as one of Toussaint Louverture's top generals. Following Haitian independence, Christophe crowned himself King Henry I. His attempts to build a modern black state won the support of leading British abolitionists – but his vaulting ambition helped to plunge his country into civil war.

In this Virtual Branch talk author Paul Clammer explores the life of this remarkable man, discusses his research process for recovering Christophe's life and explains why the Haitian Revolution and its aftermath deserve to be better known today.

This recording was taken on 4 July 2023.

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