Sévère Courtois's modest ambition was to revolutionize the world. “It is man's holy cause and duty to protect and aid the defense and to establish Independence in all the Universe,” he instructed his brother Joseph in October 1821. At the time, the Courtois brothers were a mere hundred miles apart; Sévère had set up an independent government on Providencia Island, in the western Caribbean, and Joseph was embarking on a political career of his own in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Though the two brothers were born in the French colony of St. Domingue, the tumults of the Age of Revolutions had swept them away from their native island. At the time Sévère penned the letter urging his brother to support his universal liberation enterprise, Joseph had just come back from fighting in the Napoleonic wars in Europe. Sévère had participated in multiple revolutionary coups and moved from New Orleans to Cartagena, and from there to Texas and then Florida.