Isaac Toussaint-Louverture


(Born in Ennery, Bréda Plantation, 1786; died in Bordeaux, 1854)

Son of the famous General Toussaint Louverture, Isaac and his half-brother were sent in 1797 to Paris to study at the Liancourt military school and then to Le Collège de La Marche (Morpeau 39). Sent back to Saint Domingue briefly in 1802 by Napoléon Bonaparte in an episode he describes in his memoirs (238-39), he spent most of the rest of his life in France. Many nineteenth-century scholars claimed that the epic Haïtiade, published anonymously either in 1827 or 1828, was written by Isaac Toussaint-Louverture, though modern critics have proposed other authors (see Kadish xxviii-xxx for an overview of the attributions and 121-129 for translated excerpts). Underwood translated his “Le Passager” as “Farewell” (153-54). It appears here, translated by Carter Charles, as “The Passenger.”

Biography by Emeline Frix, 2023


“Isaac Louverture.” Isaac Louverture -TLP, 21 Oct. 2007,

Kadish, Doris Y. and Deborah Jenson, eds. Trans. Norman Shapiro. Poetry of Haitian Independence. Yale, 2015.

Morpeau, Louis. Anthologie d'un siècle de poésie haïtienne 1817-1925. Bossard, 1924.

Toussaint-Louverture, Issac. Mémoires d'Isaac, fils de Toussaint Louverture sur l'expédition des Français sous le Consulat de Bonaparte. [1818] Ed. Antoine Marie Thérèse Métral, Fanjat aîné, 1825.

Underwood, Edna Worthley. The Poets of Haiti, 1782-1934. The Mosher Press, 1934.


Subscribe to RSS Feed

Sunday, January 1st
12:00 AM

Le Passager / The Passenger

Isaac Toussaint-Louverture

Translation: Carter Charles