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Louis Boisrond Tonnerre on a Haitian postage stamp for the 150-year anniversary of the Haitian Revolution, (1804-1954).

Louis Félix Mathurin Boisrond-Tonnerre (born June 6, 1776; executed 24 October,1806), better known as simply Boisrond-Tonnerre, was a mulatto Haitian writer and historian who is best known for having served as Jean-Jacques Dessalines' secretary. Boisrond-Tonnerre was educated in Paris until 1798 when he returned to Haiti (Daut 56). He is the author of the 1804 Independence Act of Haiti, which formally declared Haiti's independence from the colonial rule of France. He is also known for his work chronicling the Haitian Revolution, Mémoires pour Servir à l'Histoire d'Haïti.

Boisrond-Tonnerre was born Louis Boisrond in Torbeck in southwest Haiti. He acquired the name "Tonnerre", French for "thunder", as an infant when his cradle was hit by lightning. His father, a carpenter named Mathurin Boisrond (see Daut below), amazed that his infant son was unharmed, gave him the name "Tonnerre". Boisrond-Tonnerre studied in France before returning to Haiti.

According to the Haitian author Christophe Phillippe Charles, Boisrond-Tonnerre scribbled the following quatrain on the walls of his cell before his execution on either the night of the 23rd or the 24th of 1806:

Humide et froid séjour fait par et pour le crime
Où le crime en riant immole sa victime
Que peuvent inspirer tes fers et tes barreaux
Quand un coeur pur y goûte un innocent repos? (Christophe 35).


  • Schutt-Ainé, Patricia (1994). Haiti: A Basic Reference Book. Miami, Florida: Librairie Au Service de la Culture. p. 90. ISBN 0-9638599-0-0. 
  • Daut, Marlene. "Un-Silencing the Past: Boisrond-Tonnerre, Vastey, and the Re-Writing of the Haitian Revolution." South Atlantic Review 74.1 (2009): 35-64.
  • Charles, Christophe Phillippe. Panorama de la Littérature Haïtenne de 1804 à 2004, Tome 1. Port-au-Prince: Editions Choucoune, 2003.

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