The Failure of the American Occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934

Marie-Josée Mont-Reynaud
March 2002

American Marines entered Haiti in 1915 in order to maintain peace and help stabilize the Haitian government.  They occupied Haiti until 1934, controlling the Republic through a puppet Haitian government. This Occupation failed to achieve its goal of building a democratic government that would last after its forces departed. This paper ascribes this failure to the predominantly military character of the occupation, which undermined the sovereignty of the Haitian Republic and the development of democracy.


Many American officials involved in the Occupation believed their efforts were to aid in the peaceful governance of the country because Haitians were deemed incapable of such. American attitudes toward Haitians were typically paternalistic, claiming, for example “these people had never heard of democracy and couldn’t have comprehended it had they heard.”[1]


This paper maintains that Haitians did not want foreign intervention; Americans were in Haiti because they wanted to be there, not because they had been invited, and they remained there only by military force. The will of the Haitian people was not expressed because Haitian political sovereignty was constrained by the American military. This survey of the literature shows that military force was used to impose a democracy by undemocratic means. Elections under the Occupation were rigged; a treaty was passed by force; martial law was declared; military tribunals were held; the press was censored; the Haitian Senate was dissolved; the constitution was changed by an unconstitutional plebiscite, and opposition was violently repressed. These procedures reveal the ideology of the Occupation forces that might could make right in Haiti.


Ultimately, it would be this characteristic repression and lack of adequate preparation for self-government that would leave Haiti vulnerable and worse off than before the Occupation. The American attempt to correct the Haitian political environment made the mistake of using force, which only exacerbated problems. American might did not set Haitian politics right.


“Haiti is a rebellion called a republic”[2]

Reasons for the U.S. decision to intervene varied. Different views accorded primacy either to strategic, military, economic or humanitarian objectives.[3] The intervention had long been considered and planned by the United States before its actual occurrence. For a long time there had been concerns about German presence in Haiti as a threat to American territory, as well as various attempts at negotiating U.S. control of customs receivership.[4] Because of Haiti’s violent history, and the several interventions of the U.S in the past[5], the U.S was well prepared to intervene again. Indeed, in anticipation of yet another crisis, the Navy Department’s “Plan for Landing and Occupying the City of Port-au-Prince” drafted the situation calling for its intervention:

Situation - The government has been overthrown, all semblance of law and order has ceased; the local authorities admit their inability to protect foreign interests, the city is being overrun and in the hands of about 5,000 soldiers and civilian mobs. [6]



The event ultimately provoking the United States into action was eerily similar to the Navy Department scenario. On July 27th 1915, Haiti’s president, Vilbrun Guillaume Sam ordered 167 political prisoners killed. A mob, outraged at this “butchery”,[7] invaded the French Legation where President Sam was hiding and mutilated his body in the street.[8] This exceptionally barbaric event paved the way for the U.S. marines to enter, ostensibly to protect American property and interests. The USS Washington under Rear Admiral William B. Caperton landed in Port-au-Prince.[9] An ex-U.S. marine reflected, “We had a perfect right to go into Haiti, just as I believe that the police have a right to go into the house of any man who maintains a nuisance.[10] On the other hand, members of the Haitian Union Patriotique, an organization of elite Haitian nationalists, felt that this intervention was unwarranted.[11] Dantes Bellegarde, diplomat and leading member of the Union, deemed the intervention “in violation the right of the people and in contempt of Haiti’s sovereignty.”[12]


Although there was confusion among the U.S. leadership about “what we ought to do or what we legally can do,”[13] orders were given to protect if not seize government money[14] and to assure the Haitian people that the United States had “no design on the political or territorial integrity of Haiti”.[15] Shortly thereafter, American marines took charge of Haitian customs houses and Caperton declared martial law[16] and press censorship.[17] The American Occupation of Haiti had begun.


“Primitive African Peasants”

American officials who entered Haiti in 1915 came with preconceived ideas about the African race and its capacity for self-government.[18] In addition to skewed racial perceptions[19], the Americans also arrived believing that their role was, among other things, to teach a recalcitrant child nation to behave like a mature, democratic nation.  Americans believed the Haitians to be “primitive African peasants” to whom they had a “duty to develop their political capacity,”[20] and whom they would teach to govern so that Haiti would “be fit to enter the family of nations.”[21] Smedley Butler, Colonel at the time, explained how the Marines saw themselves as “the trustees of a huge estate that belonged to minors”[22]. With such a mind-set, the United States “set out to spread the blessings of a stable government of law”[23] in Haiti.


Teaching Democracy with Undemocratic Means

An examination of United States procedures in Haiti reveals the use of physical intimidation to forcibly mold policies to U.S. interests, evident in the American involvement in the election of the Haitian President and the signing of the Haitian-American treaty. These two examples illustrate the dictatorial, authoritarian and unconstitutional practices, and the bullying attitude of the Americans towards the Haitian government. 


With the passing of Guillaume Sam in 1915, Haiti needed a new President and the United States sought a candidate it could support to maintain order. Of the several candidates, one, Dr. Rosalvo Bobo, was eliminated as hostile to United States interests and leader of caco rebel groups;[24] a second, J-N. Leger, an otherwise suitable candidate, refused due to patriotic inclinations;[25] a third candidate, Phillipe Sudre Dartiguenave, appeared to be more compliant.[26] Not surprisingly, U.S. Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels telegrammed “The U.S prefers election of Dartiguenave.” He later noted, “Of course, you and I know that this was equivalent to America making Dartiguenave President”.[27] As the National Assembly selected Dartiguenave on August 12th, “the Marines stood in the aisles with their bayonets”.[28] Their commander, Colonel Butler, reflected “His Excellency Phillipe Sudre Dartiguenave was put in office in September. I won’t say we put him in. The State department might object. Anyway, he was put in.”[29]


President Dartiguenave was soon presented with a treaty, which was to be signed without modification.[30] The treaty provided for U.S. control of customs, an American Financial Advisor, establishment of a Haitian gendarmerie, and American aid in the development of sanitation, agriculture, and public works. The sole mention of military force permitted its use only to protect the country from foreign invasion.[31] The U.S. threatened the reluctant Dartiguenave to sign the treaty quickly or risk the imposition of military government. Recognizing that he had no other choice, Dartiguenave signed but the National Assembly demanded revisions and stalled ratification. The U.S., in control of the Haitian treasury, promptly withheld the legislators’ salaries.[32] Thus, Caperton negotiated the treaty by physical intimidation and coercion.[33]


These coercive methods violated “every canon of fair and equal dealing between independent sovereign nations and of American professions of international good faith”.[34] Secretary Lansing himself had misgivings: “I confess that this method of negotiation… does not meet my sense of a nation’s sovereign rights and is more or less an exercise of force and an invasion of Haytian independence.”[35] Given such financial and military pressure, a declaration of martial law and the imprisonment of journalists, Pierre Hudicourt, a member of the Union Patriotique, rightly questioned whether the approval of the treaty could possibly be the free expression of the Haitian people.[36] Indeed, this forced treaty marked the beginning of repression of the Haitian voice and will through coercion. These examples of U.S. policies were not good lessons in democracy, but rather a usurpation of Haitian political independence.


Fantôme d’autorité

          Under the terms of the treaty, the Americans controlled everything in Haiti, except education and the courts.[37] These conditions made the Haitian government a phantom authority[38] without any real power of its own. Laws needed the approval of the American High Commissioner, who effectively blocked many Haitian initiatives from being enacted.[39] Members of the Union Patriotique, including Dantes Bellegarde and Pierre Hudicourt, criticized this state of affairs. According Bellegarde, “nothing would be undertaken in Haiti, the credit for which could not be wholly attributed to the Americans.”[40] With the treasury in American hands, the Haitian government did not even have discretion over the use of public funds. Dartiguenave was “no more than a toy in the hands of … the High Commissioner who has absolute omnipotence.”[41] High Commissioner and Brigadier General of the Navy, John J. Russell kept a troop of Marines housed behind the Presidential Palace.[42] The American military was no mere presence; it reflected the strong union of politics and power in the American Occupation of Haiti.


Non Participatory Democracy

Under the Occupation, Haitians were not able to be actively involved in government as would be expected in a democracy. Haitians were barred from the higher offices in the administration, which were filled with Americans. American officials such as the Financial Advisor had much more power than was outlined in the treaty; instead of merely guiding the Haitian government in developing successfully, they had “exceeded their role as counselors and … transformed themselves into veritable dictators.”[43] With the Haitian Senate dissolved in 1916, the country was essentially left in the hands of Dartiguenave and a handful of cabinet members, who were heavily influenced by American interests. Thus the Haitian masses did not benefit from representation, nor were they able to participate in government through elections, which were restricted by Marines. In one instance, the Marines closed polls on election day, to the protest of the voters who tried to enter anyways, and the Marines resorted to violence to disperse the crowd.[44] Dantes Bellegarde protested this exclusion of Haitians from the politics of their own country, exclaiming “What a way to teach us self control, by taking from us all control of our affairs!”[45] How could the Haitians be taught the principles of a democratic government if they were not participating in its administration?



          The Haitian Republic won its independence from France in 1804, and it was determined to keep it. The intervention of American marines in 1915 undermined that hard-earned freedom. Although the American government claimed its entry was solely to benefit  the Haitians, to establish peace and a democratic government,[46] it stole from the Haitians what was in fact most dear to them. The Haitians were very protective of their sovereignty, as represented by the attitude of one Haitian lawyer, when he said, “What characterizes our political existence, our personality, is our independence. We must therefore try to preserve it by every means possible.”[47] Thus, during a century of government overthrows, revolutionary forces had been careful to avoid situations that would prompt foreign intervention, by never harming foreigners and consistently maintaining payment on foreign debts.[48] Haiti did not want the Occupation because it directly threatened its political sovereignty, so vital and cherished by its people.


The Repression of the Haitian Voice

Opposition to the Occupation began right after the Marines disembarked. Rebels, termed “cacos” by the Americans, vehemently tried to resist American control of Haiti. In response, the Haitian and American governments began a vigorous campaign to disband the rebel armies.[49]


Charlemagne Péralte, a prominent caco leader opposed to Dartiguenave, rallied caco support to “drive the invaders into the sea and free Haiti”.[50] His attacks, aimed at isolated posts of guards and gathering more advanced weapons were recognized as a considerable threat. The repression of caco rebels began with the difficult task to “Get Charlemagne.”[51] Following his betrayal, Péralte was trapped and killed on November 1st 1919 and with him died much of caco resistance. Péralte’s naked body was set on a door, in a semblance of crucifixion, and left as an example to other cacos. In the killing of Péralte, Americans displayed the same brutality that they had found so shocking when exhibited by Haitians in the murder of Guillaume Sam.[52]


In the campaign to free Haiti of “banditry,”[53] large numbers of cacos were killed, with estimates ranging from 1,500[54] in the most conservative accounts to 3,000[55]. Some sources also suggest that up to 5,500 Haitians died in forced labor camps under the corvée system operating under the Occupation.[56] The corvée was a law contained in the rural code of the Constitution that required citizens to work up to 3 days per year on the public roads to maintain them, or pay a tax[57]. The Occupation used this clause to justify raids and remove men from their families to work in marginal conditions for months at a time.  This system was reminiscent of the conditions of slavery under the French; it seemed as though the Americans were forcefully keeping the Haitians in bondage to serve their interests.[58] To maintain worker morale, there were “weekly pep talks by Dartiguenave and his cabinet ministers whom Smedley (Butler) brought out to ‘impress upon (the workers) that they were doing this for their country and not for the white man.’”[59]


In response to opposition from vocal political dissidents, Admiral Caperton had declared martial law and strongly censored the press back in 1915.[60] Beyond a mere lack of freedom of speech, journalists were also arrested and incarcerated for inflammatory articles and their presses were shut down[61]. When the editors of several prominent Haitian newspapers were imprisoned, they asked the editor of The Nation to “let the American public know how the Haitian people is forbidden to cry when it is being crushed.”[62] When news of these circumstances returned to the U.S., many Americans raised objections to such authoritarian American policies as “clear violations of international law and of our own constitution.”[63] Riots against the Occupation provoked also Marine reprisal, as in Aux Cayes in 1929. In order to dissolve the encroaching crowd of protesters, Marines shot into the unarmed mob killing at least two dozen people.[64] This incident became known as the Cayes Massacre, and served as the chief example of possibly (in many cases unwarranted) American brutality. Press censorship and the campaign against the cacos are examples of the Occupation’s use of force to stifle dissent and the voice of the Haitian people.


“Bulwark to peace and security”

The Marines left Haiti believing they left behind “a bulwark to the peace and security of the Western Hemisphere.”[65] In a popular narrative of the day by ex-Marine John Craige, this legacy is described:

“For the first time in her history the Haitian Republic saw an Inauguration Celebration when both the incoming and outgoing president took part in the ceremonies in a perfectly peaceful manner. Both on the same platform, both alive, both free and both reasonably happy. How the old times had changed and the old order of things had passed away.”[66]


However, beneath this calm surface, “resentment against the American Occupation had long been smoldering”[67] and burst after the Marines left. Dantes Bellegarde claims the United States didn’t even establish the peace and order so tooted by the imperialists: “Haiti does not have peace. Peace, real peace, is not material order imposed by the force of bayonets.”[68] Indeed, Haiti’s subsequent turbulent history reveals the failure of the American Occupation to establish a secure democratic government.


Haiti - a New Order?

Despite John Craige’s wishful thinking, Haiti’s violent history repeated itself. The first president elected when the Haitians were on their own, Elie Lescot fell under protest from the masses, at which point the army assumed power, and ushered the next President in. Subsequent presidents came and went by a series of such coup d’états, culminating in the Duvalier’s dictatorial reign in the 1950s. The Gendarmerie, the American-trained Haitian police force, facilitated these years of bloody coups and dictatorship. While hailed as one of the great achievements of the Occupation, the Gendarmerie became a tool in the hands of politicians who bought their support to overthrow governments and bring new presidents into power.  Indeed, the rulers who succeeded each other violently from 1951 to 1958 (Paul Magloire, Leon Cantave and Antonio Kebreau) had been trained by American Marines in politics and crowd control and graduated from the American Military School in Haiti in 1931.[69] This presidential parade illustrates that the Occupation failed to teach Haitians the tools to maintain a democracy. Instead of fostering democracy, the Occupation championed military might, schooled dictators and trained Haitians to respond to force: “We are teaching them to accept military control as supreme law, and to acquiesce in the arbitrary use of superior power.”[70]


The Occupation failed to transform the underlying political system in Haiti. Rather, it perpetuated the way power changes hands by force, and reinforced “the tradition that power comes out of the hand holding a gun.”[71] A Haitian Creole proverb “Konstitisyon se papye, bayonèt se fè” (“A constitution is paper, a bayonet is steel”) speaks to this legacy of Haiti’s history. The ideology of the American Occupation that “might makes right” ultimately failed to set government right in Haiti.




[1] John H. Craige, Black Baghdad (New York: Minton, Balch & Co., 1933), 15.

[2] John W Blassingame, “The Press and American Intervention in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, 1904-1920.” Caribbean Studies 9, no. 2. (1969), 30. quoting from the September 5, 1915, Chicago Tribune.

[3] H.P. Davis, Black Democracy: The Story of Haiti (New York: Dial Press, 1928), 171-2. Emily Greene Balch, Occupied Haiti (New York: Writers Publishing Co., 1927), 20-1. Joseph Chatelain, La Banque nationale: son histoire, ses problemes, Collection du Tricinquantenaire de l’Independence d’Haiti (Lausanne: Imprimerie Held.1954), 107-8. Recognizing American economic motivations, Colonel Smedley Butler felt that he was “a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers.” Hans Schmidt, Maverick Marine. (Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky, 1987), 2.

[4] Paul H. Douglas, “The American Occupation of Haiti I,” Political Science Quarterly 42 (1927): 229-232. Balch, 1927:21. Michel-Rolph Trouillot Haiti: State Against Nation. (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1990), 100. Raymond Leslie Buell, “The American Occupation of Haiti,” Foreign Policy Association Information Service 5, no. 15 (1929): 337-8.

[5] Alex Dupuy, Haiti in the World Economy: Class, Race and Underdevelopment since 1970.  (Boulder: Westview Press, 1989), 117-8. John H. Craige, Cannibal Cousins (New York: Minton, Balch & Co., 1934), 16-24. Lowell Thomas, Old Gimlet Eye: The Adventures of Smedley D. Butler as told to Lowell Thomas (New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1933), 181.

[6] Schmidt, The United States Occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934 (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1971), 64.

[7] Davis, 165.

[8] W.B. Seabrook The Magic Island (New York: Literary Guild, 1929), 281-2: “The mob, of course, simply tore him to pieces. Mostly they used their hands. But one woman cut off his head with a machete and marched with it. Another woman, they say, ripped out his heart and marched, tearing it to shred with her teeth. Ropes were fastened to the torso, and it was dragged through the streets.”

[9] Information from whole paragraph summarized in various sources: Buell 1929, 340-2. Davis 1928 161-72. Robert Debs Heinl Jr. and Nancy Gordon Heinl, Written in blood: The Story of the Haitian People, 1492-1971 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1978) 406-22.

[10] Craige 1934, 60.

[11] Dantes Bellegarde claims “the United States intervened in the domestic affairs of the Republic of Haiti in July 1915, although the Haitian people had committed no violation of the rules of international law and had not imperiled the lives of interests of American citizens” Dantes Bellegarde, “Haiti Appeals to the World.” The Nation117, no. 3051 (1923): 750

[12] Dantes Bellegarde, Pour une Haitie heureuse. Vol. 2 (Port-au-Prince: Imprimerie Cheraquit, 1929), 5. translated from the French

[13] Heinl, 406.

[14] Captain Edward L. Beach suggested, “Take up your quarters in the Legation… Give what orders you deem necessary… Find out where government money is kept. Take any necessary measure to protect it.” Heinl, 407.

[15] Arthur C. Millspaugh, Haiti Under American Control, 1915-1930 (Boston: World Peace Foundation, 1931), 40.

[16] In his declaration of martial law, Admiral Caperton proclaimed himself “invested with the power and responsibility of the government in all its functions and branches throughout the territory,” Millspaugh, 60.

[17] “The freedom of press will not be interfered with, but license will not be tolerated. The publishing of false or incendiary propaganda against the Government of the United States or the Government of Haiti … or matter which tends to disturb the public peace will be dealt with by military courts.” Heinl, 426

[18] Secretary Lansing’s assessment of the African race’s inability to self-govern was due to “an inherent tendency toward savagery and a physical in ability to live a civilized life.” Galeano 1996

[19] When Williams Jennings Bryans, then Secretary of State, is first briefed on Haitian history he exclaims: “Dear me, think of it! Niggers speaking French!” Heinl, 388

[20] Medill McCormick, “Our Failure in Haiti,” The Nation 111, no. 2891 (1920):615.

[21] Rayford W. Logan, “Haiti: the Native Point of View,” Southern Workman 58, No. 1 (Hampton Institute: 1929): 39. Rayford W. Logan similarly likened the American intervention in Haiti to the way one would resolve a quarrel between children, by portraying the “self-appointed redeemers’” attitude thus: “You can’t squabble anymore… Do what I tell you. Although I am of a different and superior race, although I do not speak your language, I know what is best for you. I am going to pay off you debt out or your money; and make new loans for you… We are going to teach you how to govern yourselves so that you will be fit to enter the family of nations.”

[22] Butler cited in Schmidt 1978, 89.

[23] Editors, “Editorial Paragraphs,” The Nation 122, (1926): 167.

[24] Editors, “The Rape of Haiti,” The Nation 113, no. 2940 (1921): 548. Lowell 933, 182.

[25] “I cannot bind myself in advance to any terms that the U.S. will demand. I must be in a position to defend Haiti’s interests. I am for Haiti; not for the United States.” “The Rape of Haiti,” 548.

[26] Ibid: According to Caperton, Dartiguenave “realizes Haiti must agree to any terms laid down by the U.S. (and) professes to believe any terms demanded will be for Haiti’s benefit”.

[27] Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels in Schmidt 1971, 73.

[28] Thomas 1933, 182.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Heinl, 418.

[31] James Weldon Johnson, discussing article XIV of the treaty, finds it ironic that “this clause which the Haitians had a right to interpret as a guarantee to them against foreign invasion should first be invoked against the Haitian people themselves, and offer the only peg on which any pretense to a right of military domination can be hung.” Self-determining Haiti, I: The American Occupation.” James Weldon Johnson, “Self-Determining Haiti, I: The American Occupation.” The Nation 111, no. 2878 (1920): 237.

[32] Editors, “The Concession of the National City Bank” The Nation 111, no. 2880 (1920): 310. Heinl, 423

[33] In a message of September 8th, Caperton wrote: “Successful negotiation of treaty is prominent part of present mission. After encountering many difficulties treaty situation at present looks more favorable than usual. This has been effected by exercising military pressure at propitious moments in negotiations.” Cited in “The Rape of Haiti,” 1921, 552.

[34] Report by 24 American lawyers presented to the Secretary of State, entitled “The Seizure of Haiti by the United States,” cited in Davis, 353-4.

[35] cited in Schmidt 1971, 74.

[36] Pierre Hudicourt, Anexion de la Republica de Haiti por los Estados Unidos del Norte [Memorandum dedicado a la Quinta Conferencia Panamericana de Santiago de Chile en nombre de la Union Patriotica de Haiti] (Santiago: Casa Amarilla, 1923), 21. Translated from the Spanish

[37] Complete Original Treaty in E. Mathon, Annuaire de Legislation Haïtienne (Port-au-Prince: L’imprimerie de l’Abeille, 1916), xii-xvi.

[38] Georges Sylvain, Dix Années de Lutte: Pour la Liberté 1915-1925. Vol. 1 (Port-au-Prince, Henri Deschamps, [1950]), 81.

[39] Balch, 32.

[40] Bellegarde 1929b, 242.

[41] Huddicort, 23. Translated from Spanish.

[42] Balch, 32-3.

[43] Dantes Bellegarde 1923:750.

[44] “The morning of election day, in Port au Prince, the voting places were closed and guarded by the police and a marine officer called Lieutenant Beale. A candidate for the mayoralty, Mr. Windsor Bellegarde made an appeal to the dean of the Court of First Instance and the latter issued an ordinance… ordering that the doors of the voting places be open and the election held. The Chief of the Constabulary, an American officer, refused to obey the peremptory order of the court. In the afternoon, the voters were brutally dispersed and beaten by Beale and his policemen. All over the country, the Government acted in the same way. In the town of Leogane the constables fired on the voters, wounding several of them dangerously. No representatives and no senators were elected and taxation is going in Haiti without representation.” Perceval Thoby, "Haiti Misruled” The Nation 122, no. 3170 (1926): 376.

[45] Dantes Bellegarde, La Republique d’haiti et les Etats-Unis devant la Justice Internationale (Paris: Librairie de Paris-Lires, 1924), 16.

[46] Captain Beach’s statement to the Legislature on August 11th 1915: “What has been done as well as what will be done, is conceived in an effort to aid the people of Haiti in establishing a stable Government and in maintaining domestic peace throughout the Republic.” Mathon, ix: translated from the French.

[47] Magdaline W. Shannon, Jean Price Mars, the Haitian Elite and the American Occupation, 1915-1935 (London: St. Martin’s Press, 1996), 6.

[48] Douglas, 232.

[49] Harry Johnson, “Haiti and its regeneration by the United States.” The National Geographic Magazine, (Dec. 1920): 506.

[50] Péralte cited in Heinl, 452.

[51] Captain H.H. Hanneken later reflected upon being given this order: “It was a pretty big order. It meant running down one Haitian out of several millions of Haitians in a country as big as the State of New York. And that one Haitian was surrounded by his friends, operating in a country almost entirely sympathetic to him.” Heinl, 456.

[52] This earned the U.S, military the nickname “cacos en kaki” [cacos in khaki] Roger Gaillard, Les Blancs Debarquent. Vol. 6, Charlemagne Péralte, le caco (Port-au-Prince: Imprimerie le Natal, 1982), 38.

[53] Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, Race, Class and Ideology: Haitian Ideologies for Underdevelopment, 1806-1934 (New York: The American Institute for Marxist Studies, 1982), 19.

[54] as Reported by the Senatorial Investigation Committee. Suzy Castor, La ocupación norteamericana de Haití y sus consequencias (1915-1934) (Mexico, Siglo XXI editores, 1971), 138.

[55] James Weldon Johnson, “Self-Determining Haiti, IV: The Haitian People.” The Nation 111, no. 2882 (1920) available from haiti_occupation_series_03.shtml

[56] Trouillot, 106.

[57] Dantes Bellegarde, Les Blancs Debarquent. Vol. 5, Hinche Mise en Croix (Port-au-Prince: Imprimerie le Natal, 1982), 229-30.

[58] Paul H. Douglas claimed that the construction of roads largely benefited the American Marines who used them to trek across the country hunting down cacos. Douglas, 378.

[59] Schmidt 1987, 92.

[60] Heinl 1978.

[61] Editors, “The Press in Haiti,” The Nation 125, no.3241(1927):167-168.

[62] Moravia et al., “A Voice from a Haitian Jail,” The Nation 125 no.3241: (1927): 168.

[63] The Seizure of Haiti by the United States cited in Davis, 353. However, Carl Kelsey, an observer in Haiti, suggested that the censorship of press of the Americans was not in fact as oppressive as it was made out to be. He explains, “In pre-occupation days no paper dared criticize the government unless it could get ample protection and editors were often arrested and papers seized. The establishment of censorship, therefore, had little real effect on their activities but it gave a chance for an argument that might appeal to Americans at home.” Carl Kelsey, “The American Intervention in Haiti.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science vol. C (1922): 140.

[64] L.J. de Bekker, “The Massacre at Aux Cayes” The Nation 130, no. 3376:308-10.

[65] Sheperd, Lemuel C. in James H. McCrocklin, Garde d’Haiti (Menasha, WI: George Banta Company, 1956), v.

[66] Craige 1934, 101-3.

[67] Schmidt 1971, 205.

[68] Dantes Bellegarde, L'occupation americaine d'Hayiti, ses consequences morales et economiques (Port-au-Prince: Imprimerie Cheraquit, 1929), 11. Translated from the French.

[69] Trouillot, 106.

[70] Balch, 153.

[71] Trouillot, 104.

Bibiliography of Works Consulted and Works Cited

Primary Sources:


Balch, Emily Greene, ed.

            1927  Occupied Haiti. New York: Writers Publishing Co.


Bellegarde, Dantes

1923        "Haiti Appeals to the World." The Nation 117, no. 3051: 750.


1924            La Republique d’haiti et les Etats-Unis devant la Justice Internationale.

Paris: Librairie de Paris-Lires.


1929a  L'occupation americaine d'Hayiti, ses consequences morales et economiques. Port-au-Prince: Imprimerie Cheraquit.


1929b  Pour une Haitie heureuse. Vol. 2: Port-au-Prince, Haiti: Imprimerie Cheraquit.


1936    Haiti and her Problems; Four Lectures, Delivered at the University of Puerto Rico, Ibero American Institute of the University, April.Imprint: Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico: University of Puerto Rico Press.


Buell, Raymond Leslie

1929    “The American Occupation of Haiti,” Foreign Policy Association Information Service 5, no. 15 (Oct. 2, 1929): 327-92.


Craige, John H.

1933        Black Baghdad, New York: Minton, Balch & Co.


1934        Cannibal Cousins, New York: Minton, Balch & Co.


Davis, H.P.

1928        Black Democracy: The Story of Haiti, New York: Dial Press.


De Bekker, L. J.

1929        “The Massacre at Aux Cayes.” The Nation 130, no. 3376:308-310.


Departement de la Justice

1917    Bulletin des Lois et Actes Annee 1916, Edition officielle.  Port-au-Prince: Imprimerie Nationale, Directeur Edg. Chenet.


Douglas, Paul H.

1927    “The American Occupation of Haiti I.” Political Science Quarterly. Vol. 42, (Jun., 1927): 229-258.


1927        “The American Occupation of Haiti II.” Political Science Quarterly. Vol. 42, (Sep., 1927): 368-396.


1927        “The National Railway of Haiti.” The Nation 124, no. 3211 (Jan. 19, 1927): 59-61.



1920        “The Concession of the National City Bank.” The Nation 111,

no.2880: 310



1927        “The Press in Haiti,” The Nation 125, no.3241: 167-168.


Hudicourt, Pierre            

[1923]  Anexion de la Republica de Haiti por los Estados Unidos del Norte [Memorandum dedicado a la Quinta Conferencia Panamericana de Santiago de Chile en nombre de la Union Patriotica de Haiti]  Santiago, Chile: Casa Amarilla.


Johnson, Harry 

1920        “Haiti and its regeneration by the United States.” The National Geographic Magazine, Dec.: 497-505.


Johnson, James Weldon

1920        “Self-Determining Haiti, I: The American Occupation.” The Nation 111, no. 2878 (Aug. 28, 1920): 236-8.


1920        “Self-Determining Haiti, IV: The Haitian People.” The Nation 111, no. 2882 (Sept. 25, 1920)

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Kelsey, Carl

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1907    Haiti: Her History and her Detractors. Westport, Connecticut: Negro University Press, reprinted 1970.


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1929        “Education in Haiti.” Journal of Negro History. Vol. 15, No. 4. (Oct.):



Logan, Rayford W.

1929    “Haiti: the Native Point of View,” Southern Workman (Hampton Institute) LVIII, No. 1 (Jan. 1929): 36-40.


Logan, Rayford W.

            1927            The Haze in Haiti.” The Nation 124, no. 3219 (Mar 16): 281-282.


Mathon, E.

1916    Annuaire de Legislation Haitiene publie. Port-au-Prince: L’imprimerie de l’Abeille.


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1920    “Our Failure in Haiti.” The Nation 111, no. 2891 (Dec. 1): 615-616.



Millspaugh, Arthur C.

1931    Haiti Under American Control, 1915-1930.  Boston: World Peace Foundation.


Moravia, Charles and Ern. G. Chauvet, Jolibois Fils, Jean Charles Pressoir, Clamart Ricourt, Edmond Liautaud, Luc E. Fouche and P. Thoby.


            1927            “A Voice from a Haitian Jail.” Nation 125, no. 3241:168


Pierre-Paul, Antoine

1929        La Premiere Protestation Armee Contre l’Intervention Americaine de 1915 et 260 Jours dans le maquis. Port-au-Prince: Imprimerie Panorama.


Price-Mars, Jean    

[1928]  Ainsi Parls L’Oncle[So Spoke the Uncle]. Trans. by Magdaline W. Shannon, 1983. Washington, DC: Three Continents Press.


Seabrook, W. B.

1929        The Magic Island. New York: Literary Guild.


Seligman, Herbert J.

            1920            “The Conquest of Haiti.” The Nation 111, no. 2871 (July 10, 1920): 35-36.


Steedman, Mabel

            1939            Unknown to the World: Haiti. London:  Hurst and Blackett.


Sylvain, Georges

[1950]  Dix Annees de Lutte: Pour la Liberte 1915-1925. Vol. 1.  Port-au-Prince, Henri Deschamps.


Thoby, Perceval

1926            "Haiti Misruled.” The Nation 122 no. 3170 (1926):376-9.


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1922            “American Imperialism,” The Nation 114, no. 2952: 115.


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1930    “Victory in Haiti. Nation 130, no. 3377 (Apr. 2): 378-80.


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Bellegarde Smith, Patrick

1982    Race, Class and Ideology: Haitian Ideologies for Underdevelopment, 1806-1934. New York: The American Institute for Marxist Studies.


Blassingame, John W.

1969        “The Press and American Intervention in Haiti and the Dominican      Republic, 1904-1920.” Caribbean Studies 9, no. 2: 27-43.

Castor, Suzy

           1971            La ocupación norteamericana de Haití y sus consequencias (1915-1934). Mexico, Siglo XXI editores.


Chatelain, Joseph.

1954        La Banque nationale: son histoire, ses problemes, Collection du      Tricinquantenaire de l’Independence d’Haiti. Lausanne: Imprimerie Held.


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1989    Haiti in the World Economy: Class, Race and Underdevelopment since 1970.  Boulder:  Westview Press.


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1996    Haiti, Despised by All. World Press Review, December 1996; available from

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1981    Les Blancs Debarquent. Vol. 3, Premier ecrasement du Cacoisme.  Port-au-Prince: Imprimerie le Natal.


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Langley, Lester D.

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University of Georgia Press, 1980.


Leyburn, James G.

1941        The Haitian People. New Haven: Yale University Press.


McCrocklin, James H.

1956            Garde d’Haiti, Menasha, WI: George Banta Company.


Millet, Kethly

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Mintz, Sidney

1966            “Introduction.” In The Haitian People, James G. Leyburn,  [1941]

New Haven: Yale University Press.


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Paul, Edmond

1976        Les causes de nos malheurs:  appel au people. Port-au-Prince: Fardin.


Renda, Mary A.

2001    Taking Haiti: Military Occupation and the culture of U.S. imperialism, 1915-1940.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.


Schmidt, Hans

1971    The United States Occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.    

            1987            Maverick Marine. Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky.


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1977        “The U. S. Commission for the Study and Review of Conditions in Haiti and its Relationship to President Hoover’s Latin American Policy.” Caribbean Studies 15, no. 4: 53-72.


1996    Jean Price Mars, the Haitian Elite and the American Occupation, 1915-1935. London: St. Martin’s Press.


Trouillot, Michel-Rolph

            1990             Haiti: State Against Nation. New York: Monthly Review Press.


Thomas, Lowell

1933            Old Gimlet Eye: The Adventures of Smedley D. Butler as told to Lowell

                        Thomas.   New York: Farrar and Rinehart.