Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Haiti, Code Noir

One of the cruelest law that ever enforced by any colonialist country for governing their colony. To regularize slavery, in 1685 Louis XIV enacted the Code Noir, which accorded certain human rights to slaves and respohsibilities to the master, who was obliged to feed , clothe, and provide for the general well-being of their slaves. The Code Noir also sanctioned corporal punishment , allowing masters to employ brutal methods to install in their slaves the necessarydocility,while ignoring provisions intendedto regulate the administration of punishments. A passage from Henry Christophe's personal secretary, who lived more than half his life as a slave, describes the crimes perpetrated against the slaves of Saint-Domingue by their French masters.

Code Noir
Alexandre Dumas
"Have they not hung up men with heads downward, drowned them in sacks,crucified them on planks, burried them alive,cushed them in mortars ? Have they not forced thgem to eat shit ? and having fled them with the lash, have they not cast them alive to be devoured by worms, or onto anthills, or lashed them to stakes in the swamp to be devoured by mosquitoes ? Have they not thrown them into boiling cauldrons of cane syrup ? Have they not put men and women inside barrels studded with spikes and rolled them down mountainsides into the abues ? Have they not consigned these miserable blacks to man-eating dogs until the later, sated by human flesh, left the mangled victims to be finihed off with bayonet and poniard ?"