Photocopies of material collected by Kobler in the early 1960s for an unfinished biography of Toussaint Louverture. Documents focus on the socio-economic conditions of the French colony of Saint Domingue and the political activities of Touissaint as Governor of the colony between 1791 and 1802. Photocopies in the collection as well as a few postcards and illustration show various historic sites and clothing of late 18th century France and Saint Domingue. Collection provides general background information on the lives of blacks in Saint Domingue, and material on the history and diplomatic relations between Haiti and the United States, including papers referring to Touissaint, Jean Jacques Dessalines, Charles Leclerc, Pauline Leclerc, and Donatien Rochambeau. Material includes information about the history of Saint Domingue from 1791 to 1804, descriptions of the Haitian war of independence, narrative describing the captivity and death of Touissaint in France, correspondence between Touissaint and the French agent Philippe Roume, and correspondence between Charles Leclerc and Rochambeau.
Biographical/historical: The John Kobler/Haitian Revolution Research Material was collected in the early 1960's by John Kobler, an author and journalist, toward a biography of Toussaint Louverture. The bulk of the material consists of photocopies of books, pamphlets and printed and autograph documents and letters available in public libraries, archival collections and private institutions in France, Haiti and the United States.
Born in 1910 in Mt. Vernon, New York, John Kobler is the author of Ardent Spirit: The Rise and Fall of the Prohibition(1973) and various biographies, including that of John Hunter (1960), Al Capone (1971) and John Barrymore (1977). He contributed regularly to various popular magazines, including the New Yorker, Collier'sand the Saturday Evening Post,and in the 1930's worked as a foreign correspondent in Europe. Kobler served as a civilian intelligence officer and as an attache at the American Embassy in Paris in the post-war period.
A 50,000 word manuscript of his unfinished biography of Toussaint Louverture remains in Kobler's possession.
Content: The material collected by Kobler was written between 1791 and the 1950's and focuses on the socio-economic reality of the French colony of Saint Domingue and the political activities of Toussaint Louverture, Governor of the colony between 1791 and 1802. The photocopies in the collection, plus a few postcards and illustrations showing various historical sites and the clothing of the late XVlII century in France and Saint Domingue, were kept in six volumes and two notebooks by Kobler. An additional folder containing stamps from the Caribbean and Africa has been placed in the Schomburg Center's Stamp Collection. A table of contents prepared by John Kobler has been placed in the beginning of each volume. A bibliography provides additional information on the material excerpted by Kobler -- monographs, periodicals and documents -- many of which can be found in the Schomburg Center.