Although arguably no insurgent leader in the early stage of the Haitian Revolution had a greater concrete impact than Romaine-la-Prophétesse, scholars have thus far focused more attention on maroon leaders in the North Province of Saint-Domingue, like Makaya, Boukman, and Jean-François. Entitled “Romaine-la-Prophétesse,” and based on extensive research of primary source material, this chapter provides a detailed biography of Romaine Rivière, a black immigrant from the Spanish side of the island of Hispaniola, who was transformed from a respected coffee farmer into a religiously inspired, gender-bending warlord in the colony’s West Province. The chapter’s principal categories of analysis are religion, race, gender/sexuality, marronage, and royalism, providing what is not only the most extensive biographical portrait of Romaine but of any insurgent leader during the first stage of the Haitian Revolution. The time period covered is 1750 to 1791, or Romaine’s life up until the Trou Coffy insurgency.
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