Haiti’s Declaration of Independence found in the British National Archives

DUKE (US)— The only known printed copy of Haiti’s Declaration of Independence has been found in the British National Archives by a graduate student from Duke University.

While researching the early independence of Haiti in February, Julia Gaffield found the document, an eight-page pamphlet dated Jan. 1, 1804, in the British National Archives in London.

It is only the second declaration of its kind in the world, the first being the U.S. Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson and others.

Gaffield, who is researching early 19th century Haiti for her doctoral dissertation in history, says the document had been overlooked in the British archives, even as researchers spent decades searching for it in Haiti.

“I wasn’t specifically looking for it, but I had an eye out for it because I knew it was missing,” Gaffield says. “We figured there was an original somewhere, but didn’t know if it still existed.”


Social Media Plays a Big Role in Helping Haiti

Retweets from the States has meant that Red Cross has been trending for around 24+ hours, as people are asked to donate $10 each via text messaging. My tweet 9 hours ago: “Red Cross have been using amazing text campaign for Haiti in the States, but in UK, can donate online:“. ITV ‘This Morning’ has started to appear on Twitter this morning: “RT @itvthismorning: Haiti Emergency Appeal Red Cross 24hr Donation Line: 0845 053 5353.” Interesting to see comments people are making – in the States, reflections on how easily $10 is throw away, and how much difference each individual can make… inspiring stuff.