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References Destruction During the Haitian Revolution

Scarce updated map of what is now called Haiti showing the western half of the island of Hispaniola in the West Indies. The map shows towns, rivers, ports, regional boundaries, churches, and much more. Relief is shown pictorially. This work focuses on the portion of the island that had been under French control, although detail extends into the future Dominican Republic as well, which was then a Spanish territory.

An intriguing reference to the Haitian revolution is made in the key, indicating that "places burnt by the negroes are colored in yellow." Curiously, in this map and in other original color examples we have seen, no such distinction is made, with only yellow outline coloring used. While the decision to not color these areas (or, simply, to indicate that all of Haiti was burned) is unclear, this map was certainly initially conceived in part to indicate the perceived amount of damage wrought during the Haitian Revolution.

The map is based on a Bellin map of Haiti which dates to the circa 1764, La Parti Francoise. . .. The map was updated by Peter Charles Varle during his brief time in Haiti in the late 1780s and early 1790s, before he was forced to emigrate to France. By 1796, Varle was known to be producing maps while based in Philadelphia, and he would create the first edition of his Haitian map in that year. He would still be in the city in 1804 when the first state of the presented map was published, so there is the possibility that Varle collaborated with Carey (also based in Philadelphia) on this map as well. Due to the rebellion, Varle's account, while 20 years out of date at the time of publication of this map would still have been one of the most up-to-date descriptions of the island available to American cartographers.

Text on the map is presented in English and French. The map was engraved in Philadelphia by J. T. Scott. This map appeared in Matthew Carey's General Atlas.

Condition Description
Intermittent staining and fold discoloration.