The massacre of the whites [in Haiti in 1805 under Jean-Jacques Dessalines] was a tragedy; not for the whites. For these old slave-owners, those who burnt a little powder in the arse of a Negro, who buried him alive for insects to eat, who were well treated by Toussaint, and who, as soon as they go the chance, began their old cruelties again; for these there is no need to waste one tear or one drop of ink. The tragedy was for the blacks and the Mulattoes. It was not policy but revenge, and revenge has no place in politics. The whites were no longer to be feared, and such purposeless massacres degrade and brutalize a population, especially one which was just beginning as a nation and had had so bitter a past. The people did not want it—all they wanted was freedom, and independence seemed to promise that. Christophe and other generals strongly disapproved. Had the British and the Americans thrown their weight on the side of humanity, Dessalines might have been curbed. As it was Haiti suffered terribly from the resulting isolation. Whites were banished from Haiti for generations, and the unfortunate country, ruined economically, its population lacking in social culture, had its inevitable difficulties doubled by this massacre. That the new nation survived at all is forever to its credit for if the Haitians thought that imperialism was finished with them, they were mistaken.
- C.L.R. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (1938)