Tabitha’s Letter Essay #5

A couple weeks ago I finished reading the book The Slave Who Freed Haiti. This book is non fiction/ a biography and was written by Katharine Scherman, who I googled and is apparently an author of non-fiction. She has other books such as Catherine the Great, The Sword of Siegfried and more. I chose to read this book because I found it in my basement, also because it is my heritage (as both my parents were born in Haiti…) so I figured why not. It is was a short read with 177 pages and 24 illustrations by Adolf Dehn throughout the book.

This book is centered around Toussaint Louverture, aka the slave who freed Haiti. It highlights all of his time growing up, and how he was shaped to become the popular leader he eventually was.  This story also conveys all the ups and downs the little Caribbean island went through to get one thing that should be guaranteed at birth: freedom. Slaves at the time, and the backbone of Haiti, were trying to get their freedom from France, after being taken from their homeland (Africa) with no say.  All through this biography it is constantly shown how miserable slaves were, because slavery was a miserable thing. I don’t really think it is understood how bad slavery actually was (way worse than what history books in the US –for the most part– will tell you.) Anyway, this book is mainly the biography of Toussaint Louvertue, the first ruler of Haiti once they obtained their freedom, and the greatest leader Haiti’s ever had, (greater than Obama for sure.) Not only did he love his country, he put it before his life. Obviously you have to show you deserve to be on top, which Toussaint definitely did. He wasn’t just ordering all the former slaves to go fight against France, he was there fighting with them!

One reason I really enjoyed reading this book was not simply because it was about my ancestry but because although it was non fiction the author made it into a story. Not just a book spouting facts and dates, but actually placing the reader in the scenes as well. That really kept me interested in the story. This book was bias and definitely in favor of Haiti, but I can’t argue with the author’s siding. Here is a passage from the book that I feel really expresses Toussaint’s love for his country. Even though he knew many other greedy, powerful people had it out for him, in the end his heart was only in one place, his country’s well-being:

“But Toussaint stood alone, deserted and betrayed. His peaceful, harmonious little country was torn apart. The careful work of ten years was scattered to the winds. The lovely countryside was again ravaged by fire, and the rivers ran with blood. Toussaint’s dreams of a perfect free state where all would be equal was at end. He had given his whole soul to his country, and he had defeated the French who wanted to enslave it again. But his own greedy and ambitious general had destroyed him.

What was he to do next? He was not afraid. As he contemplated his own end he was sad, not for himself, but for his beloved country.”

(pgs 166-167)

I would give this book a 9.5 out 10, because I really fancied it, and it was an intriguing read…but there is always room for improvement.




Print Friendly, PDF & Email

13 thoughts on “Tabitha’s Letter Essay #5

  1. Good job Tabitha i really enjoyed reading your letter essay and i really liked how you mentioned how Toussaint Louverture was willing to put his country before his very own life. Also i really liked how you said at the very end that there is always room for improvement which i see to believe that it is very true.

    Erick M

  2. Dear Tabitha,
    I really enjoyed your letter essay. I liked how in your introduction you made a connection and some background on Haiti. I also liked how you ended the reflection with the quote and analyzed it before the quote. This gave it a good lead up to the passage.
    Your friend,

  3. Dear Tabitha,
    Your letter essay was really descriptive and gave me a clear view about was the book is about. Hearing that it was non-fiction made me think of it more as a book with just facts and dates, but you clearly showed how that it was an interesting story . I also liked how you left “room for improvement” instead of a 10 out of 10.

  4. Dear Tabitha,
    I really enjoyed reading your letter essay. this book sounds really interesting, I think its cool that you read a book about your heritage and had an opportunity to learn more about your cultural background.
    From, Michael.

  5. I really liked reading your letter essay. This book sounds like a book i would enjoy. I love the cultural background in this book and I most likely will read it. Thank you for the really great book recommendation.

  6. I really liked your letter essay. I thought it was very well put together. There was a lot of detail throughout your essay. The book seems very interesting. You’ve put together your piece wonderfully. I really enjoyed it.
    -Alex N

  7. Dear Tabitha,
    I really liked reading your letter essay. I liked how you incorporated a lot of description and your connection to the book. I also liked how you talked about the highlights of the book. Your piece was very interesting, thank you for the recommendation.
    -Zoe W.

  8. Dear Tabitha,

    I really enjoyed reading your Letter Essay. It is very interesting on how you did a book on your ancestry, Haiti is a very interesting place. I liked how you used a lot of parentheses in you letter essay, that’s so you.

    From, Kristine

  9. Dear Tabitha,
    I really enjoyed reading your letter essay. This book sounds very interesting and I liked how you explained your connection to the book. Your letter essay was great and I liked the passage you chose. I might read this book to so thanks for the recommend.


  10. Tabitha,
    This book looked very intense and interesting, I enjoyed reading your letter essay. I like the way that you described the leader. Nice job!
    Alex H

  11. Tabitha,
    This sounds like an interesting book and I’m glad you enjoyed it. There is a lot of good nonfiction out there (much better than textbooks) and the trend in publishing recently seems to be the production of that sort of writing. Your letter-essay was enjoyable to read. I’ll just say that I think your Reflection needs to be longer and you should elaborate a bit more and also explain what you like about the passage you choose to quote. Thanks for posting this.
    Mr. Jockers

  12. Tabitha,

    I liked you letter-essay. You were very discriptive and it seems that you really liked your book. I also liked your quoted passage.

  13. Dear Tabitha,
    You did a great job on your letter essay. This book seems very interesting, I think I’m going to read it. I think it’s cool that your reading about where your ancestry is from. I think you could have explained why you chose your quote, but overall your essay was great.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *