Haitian Monument (Savannah, GA)

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Dublin Core

Title

Haitian Monument (Savannah, GA)

Subject

Subject (Topic)
Associations--Military
American South
American Revolution

Description

The Haitian Monument commemorates the contributions of the Chasseurs-Volontaires de Saint-Domingue, a French regiment of free men of African descent, during the American Revolution. The work depicts five uniformed and armed soldiers, rifles pointed at the ready. One of the soldiers sits, wounded, his face contorted in a grimace as he rests his rifle across his lap and brings his right hand to his chest.

The  young drummer boy, who stands just to the left of the armed group, is Henri Christophe, an important leader in the Haitian Revolution and the only monarch of the Kingdom of Haiti. Christophe, who joined the Chasseurs-Volontaires as a teen is believed, although firm proof does not exist, to have participated in the Siege of Savannah. 

Creator

Mastin, James

Date

First four figures dedicated: October 8th 2007;
Two additional figures unveiled: October 2009

Contributor

Haitian-American Historical Society

Format

JPEG

Language

English

Type

Visual Arts-Sculpture

Coverage

Franklin Square, Savannah, GA 31401, United States

Has Part

Plaque on base:

“The drummer represents young Henri Christophe, who participated in the October 9, 1779 Battle of Savannah. Christophe later became a larder in the struggle for Haitian Independence from French colonial rule, ending in 1804. A commander of the Haitian Army, he became King of Haiti, being among the first heads of state of African descent in the Western Hemisphere.”

Plaque on base:

“The largest unit of soldiers of African descent who fought in the American Revolution was the brave “Les Chasseurs Volontaires de Saint Domingue” from Haiti. This regiment consisted of free men who volunteered for a campaign to capture Savannah from the British in 1779. Their sacrifice reminds us that men of African descent where also present on many other battlefields during the Revolution.”

Plaque on base:

“Although hundreds of other “Chasseurs Volontaires” remain anonymous today, a number of them are documented and listed below: Pierre Astrel, Louis Jaques Beauvais, Jean-Baptiste Mars Belley, Martial Besse, Guillaume Black, Pierre Canfe, Jean-Baptiste Chavannes, Henri Christophe, Pierre Faubert, Laurent Ferou, Jean-Louis Frounmentaine, Barthélemy-Médor Icard, Gédoéon Jourdan, Jean-Pierre Lamert, Jean-Baptiste Lêveillé, Christophe Mornet, Pierre Obas, Luc-Vincent Oliver; Pierre Pinchinat, Lean Piverger, Andre Riguad, Cesaire Savary, Pierre Tessier, Jérome Thoby, Jean-Louis Villate

We honor all their collective sacrifices, known and unknown.”

Plaque on base:

“In its fourth year the American Revolution had become an international conflict. Rebelling American colonies and their French allies attempted to capture Savannah from the British in 1779. Haitian soldiers of African descent where part of the Allied forces. Following the battle, many of these Haitians were diverted to other military duties returning to their homes years later, if at all. Several veterans of the campaign became leaders of the movement that made Haiti the second nation in the Western Hemisphere to throw off the yoke of European colonialism.”

Plaque on base:

“Acknowledging the deeds of “Les Chasseurs Volontaires de Saint Domingue” at Savannah, American Secretary of State Cordell Hull Dedicated a commemorative plaque on April 25, 1944, at the Cathedral in Saint Marc, Haiti, with these words: “Nous payons aujourd’hui tribut au courage et à l’esprit des volontaires Haitians de 1779 qui risquerent leurs vies pour la cause de la liberté dans les Amériques.”

“Today we pay tribute to the courage and spirit of those Haitian volunteers who in 1779 risked their lives for the cause of American liberty.”

Medium

Bronze

Rights Holder

Renée Ater

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Sculpture

Citation

Mastin, James, “Haitian Monument (Savannah, GA),” Contemporary Monuments to the Slave Past, accessed May 28, 2024, https://slaverymonuments.org/items/show/1169.

Geolocation