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The Black Republic and Louisiana
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The New York Public Library, Humanities and Social Sciences Library, Milstein Division

Dunbar Rowland, ed., Official Letter Books of W. C. C. Claiborne, 1801–1816, vol. 4 (Jackson, Miss.: State Department of Archives and History, 1917)

Refugees from Cuba

After being displaced by the Haitian independence, thousands of people took refuge in Cuba from where they were expulsed in 1809. Most migrated to Louisiana. A partial list of twenty-eight ships that arrived that year shows the landing of 1,495 enslaved men, women and children; 1,369 free people of color, and 1,261 whites. By July 5, 754 Haitians had entered Louisiana (1,979 slaves, 1,977 free blacks, and 1,798 whites). Very few free black men were allowed into the state. Only 178 are recorded in this list. Governor Claiborne wrote on November 10, 1809, "Among the Refugees from Cuba, were many free people of Colour; - motives of humanity induced us to receive the women and children; - But all males, above the age of fifteen, have in pursuance of a Territorial Law been ordered to depart."

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