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Haitian Immigration : Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
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Library of Congress, Manuscript Division [Thomas Jefferson Papers]

Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, July 14, 1793

Thomas Jefferson on the Refugees

The political situation in Saint Domingue greatly alarmed all slaveholders. On July 14, 1793, Thomas Jefferson, then secretary of state, sent a letter to Senator James Monroe in which he deplored the fate of the refugees - while denying them financial help - and foresaw the future of the Caribbean Islands: "The situation of the St. Domingo fugitives (aristocrats as they are) calls aloud for pity & charity. Never was so deep a tragedy presented to the feelings of man. I deny the power of the general government to apply money to such a purpose, but I deny it with a bleeding heart. . . . I become daily more & more convinced that all the West India Islands will remain in the hands of the people of colour, & a total expulsion of the whites sooner or later take place, It is high time we should foresee the bloody scenes which our children certainly, and possibly ourselves (south of Potommac,) have to wade through, & try to avert them."

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