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during the year 1832 and the first 6 months of 1833

by the Commission

charged with distributing the Indemnity attributed to the former colonists of Saint-Domingue, in execution of the Law of 30 April 1826, in conformity with the provisions of the Ordinance of 9 May 1826

(This statement ends 30 June 1833, period of the dissolution of the Commission, according to the Law of 22 April 1833.)


Royal Printery



The above copy of the Title page of Volume 1832-1833 is more or less typical of the title pages of the other five volumes, viz 1828, 1829, 1830, 1831, 1832.

If I remember rightly these six volumes are beautifully bound (red and gold); there is also another set bound in green and differently arranged. Both these sets are in the N. Y. Public Library at 42 St. and 5th Avenue.


The following is a copy of page XIII of Volume 1832-1833.

"Expenses of the settlement of the Saint Domingue Indemnity, divided into two periods or financial periods, that is to say: The first (containing four and a half years from 1 July 1826 to 31 December 1830; the second (containing two and a half years) from 1 January 1831 to 30 June 1833, the date of the dissolution of the Commission."


The following Extracts are taken from the report:

"Report. A.M. the Minister of Finance, for present him with the final accounting of the Indemnity settlement of 150,000,000 assigned to the former colonists of Saint Domingue by the Law of 30 April 1826."

1. Fixing the means of settling the basis of the indemnity; difficulties in the operation.

Before agreeing to recognize Haiti, the French Government had to research, and obtain information which was reliable enough to evaluate the properties in the Colony and the slaves which cultivated them, at 1,500,000,000. Consequently the indemnity destined to be pay to each proprietor one-tenth of the total of his loss, has been fixed at 150 million. The facts will prove, in the following report, the justice in this valuation.

The Commission instituted by the ordinance of 1 September 1825 to research and propose the method of making claims, the basis and means of reparation, limited claims to the former colonists, their purchasers, donees or legatees, their heirs in direct line, there brothers or sisters and descendants of their brothers and sisters; but the Law of 30 April 1826 intended that the successions were, in this way, regulated by common law; any relative in the twelfth degree therefore became capable of claiming the indemnity, when there was no closer relative.

The events and the disasters which led to the loss of the colony of Saint-Domingue are too well known for it to be necessary to recount them here; those disasters, which took away the greatest portion of the population, could not fail to reach the documents establishing private property; the deeds which remained in the possession of their proprietors have most often been destroyed, and fire swallowed up all the public depositories which where destined to conserve them. It has therefore been necessary to make up the deficiency, and reestablish, after 40 years, the cadastre of such a rich country; to follow the transmission of more than 10,000 properties in 5 or 6,000 families, for the most part to the second or third generation; to recognize the statements of opposing claimants; to elicit the remittance of titles which the claimants were in the process of furnishing; to indicate to them the means of justifying their demands; to research the small number of former colonists who were capable of furnishing information on the evaluations that had not been justified; to proceed with some inquests, to resolve imperfect evidence acquired after loan and indispensable inquiries.


The number of requests, both main and supplementary, submitted to the judgment of the Commission exceeded 27,000; the number of those which resulted in an indemnity was about 12,000: it was therefore necessary to turn down about 15,000. On sees how dangerous it was to make an unjust distribution of the indemnity.


The number of original suits for settlement were made up as follows:

Those of original colonists or their rightful claimants . . . . 15,536

Those of their creditors, 11,396, of which a tenth, or about 1,140 gave rise to a serious claim. . . 1,140

(The rest were rejected in the mass, and for this reason I do not include them here)

Total suits to examine and judge. . . . 16,676


The report is signed by Labienvenue at Paris, 31 January 1834.


[Page translated by jamaicanfamilysearch.]

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