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Étienne Polverel

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Étienne Polverel was one of two French Revolutionary Civil Commissioners who ended slavery in Saint-Domingue in 1793 during the Haitian Revolution.

His more famous colleague Sonthonax is usually given full credit for this achievement. But Polverel wrote his own set of laws governing post-emancipation plantation labor, different from those established by Sonthonax. These laws continued under the rule of André Rigaud until 1800.

Although France confirmed the end of slavery on February 4, 1794, emancipation was controversial and the two Commissioners were recalled to Paris. Polverel died there in 1795, before being exonerated.

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