By Judy Garrison
Our hearts have been with the Haitians of late. Want to delve back into Haitian history to get more perspective on that ill-fated country? I recently dipped into James Michener’s Caribbean: a novel, and read the chapters “Christopher Columbus in Hispaniola” and “The Tortured Land,” stories with echoes into the Haiti of today. In his inimitable manner, Michener narrates a compelling tale, replete with life-like conversations and scenarios based on well-researched history. The mass killings and betrayals on the island by the Spanish of the Arawaks and later the French of the blacks, including multiple massacres, and later the slave rebellion led by General Touissaint L’Ouverture in pursuit of black independence (many killings of whites) make for riveting reading. In 1804 Haiti was established as the only black republic in the world. But there was no happy ending, as we know.