Martineau, J: Arada Pledge
As a punishment for having been to the forbidden mountain, Bambolo spent the night alone outside Kalame, one of the three Arada villages. The boy returns the next morning to find his village destroyed and most of the villagers, including Nguele his best friend, captured and taken away. Nguele and other Aradas are hold captives in a European's slave ship which later lands in Saint-Domingue. Nguele becomes a slave on the Bréda plantation which belongs to a French nobleman Baron de Libertad. Old Toussaint, a freed slave, nurses him back to health, has him baptized as Marcus, and teaches him the ways of healing people and animals. ln 1791, there is a general slave revolt in the colony, Toussaint and his protégé join the insurgents as a doctor and his assistant. Toussaint organizes a small army of about three thousand men. After fighting and kicking out the French, the Spanish and the British, Toussaint becomes governor of the colony. To curb the ambition of the new governor, Napoleon Bonaparte, the French emperor, sends an expeditionary army to put him down. When Toussaint is arrested and deported to France, Marcus becomes the personal physician of General Dessalines, Toussaint's successor. Fifteen years after the attack on Kalame, another raid takes place. Bambolo and a hundred young Arada men are captured while attending the king's funeral. They are embarked on a slave ship that will take them to Cuba to be sold. During the trip, Bambolo wins the cooperation of other captives. They manage to seize the ship and land at Arcahaie in Saint-Domingue on May 1803. The two childhood friends, Bambolo and Nguele, meet again. On January 1804, after a series of battles won his army, General Dessalines proclaims the independence of the colony. He restores its authentic name of Haiti. Bambolo the memory of his people, the custodian of their past, returns to Africa. Marcus wants to stay in the new nation he has helped create. On the same ship that was supposed to take them into slavery, the Aradas leave Haiti to return to their native land, the flag of the new nation floating from the mast. The multiple story lines also include information on religion and tradition, several love stories, as well as narratives of loyalty and resilience. All of these serve as the setting for an account of the only successful slave revolt in human history.
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