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This chapter recovers the performances of Saint Domingue’s refugees who fled the slave uprisings and acted out their relationship to Haiti on professional American stages. The Haitian Revolution’s refugees also appeared as stage characters in original plays such as John Murdock’s 1795 The Triumphs of Love, which reimagined refugees as refined but unfortunate figures, integrating them into American culture by differentiating them from comic but rebellious slaves.
This chapter examines two commencement ceremony performances that explored the political implications of Haitian independence, one by two white Dartmouth students in 1804, and the other two decades later by Bowdoin College’s first black graduate. In these acts, Americans dramatized Haiti’s founding fathers and its emerging democracy while incorporating Haiti into performances of pedagogy and credentialing central to the American national imaginary.
The conclusion examines Herman Melville’s 1855 Benito Cereno, a novella of shipboard slave revolt, which imagines the Haitian Revolution as a hidden source of fashion and style. Melville’s tale also gestures toward the dominant tropes that would emerge in the later nineteenth century—the stories of zombis, vodou, and cannibalism as well as the constant preoccupation with natural disaster, disease, political corruption, and abject poverty that would predominate by the early twentieth century. Those tropes emerged in response to and often continued to reanimate the early history of Haitian revolutionary performances.
This chapter examines the performances of Haitian revolution that could be marshalled from the pro-slavery ridicule of minstrelsy. Abolitionist political performances, ranging from petitions on Haitian recognition to oratorical celebrations of Toussaint Louverture, restaged Haiti’s revolution as a source for their own style of celebrity performance. In the process, abolitionists elevated the Haitian Revolution to iconic historical status while using it as underpinning for their own celebrated oratory.
This chapter examines the diverging ways that minstrelsy used Haiti as source material. Minstrelsy took direct and mocking aim at the aspirations of African Americans, even as its turn to Haiti implicitly acknowledged the transformative power of racial revolution. In popular transatlantic plays like M. M. Dowling’s Othello Travestie, minstrelsy used Haiti to reimagine the rising hopes and transgressive desires of the Black Atlantic. By the 1850s, minstrelsy used Haiti as an empty signifier, a marker of ludicrous and disruptive Blackness.
The Introduction examines the trope of revolution as theatre, which took shape during the 1790s as the “horrors of St. Domingo,” a spectacle of violence and play. Blending horror and pleasure, theatre brought the Haitian Revolution into the Atlantic consciousness and established formats and tropes that shaped representations of Haiti for the next half century.
This chapter turns to the black New York actor Ira Aldridge, who began building his transatlantic fame in 1825 with London performances in the popular play The Death of Christophe, King of Hayti. These performances helped construct complicated but popular notions of Haitian sovereignty and black celebrity. London’s illegitimate theatre remade figures of black power in its own image, undercutting Haiti’s legitimacy while using popular conceptions of Haiti to launch the first African American tragedian to international fame.
American culture maintained a complicated relationship with Haiti from its revolutionary beginnings onward. In this study, Peter P. Reed reveals how Americans embodied and re-enacted their connections to Haiti through a wide array of performance forms. In the wake of Haiti's slave revolts in the 1790s, generations of actors, theatre professionals, spectators, and commentators looked to Haiti as a source of both inspiring freedom and vexing disorder. French colonial refugees, university students, Black theatre stars, blackface minstrels, abolitionists, and even writers such as Herman Melville all reinvented and restaged Haiti in distinctive ways. Reed demonstrates how Haiti's example of Black freedom and national independence helped redefine American popular culture, as actors and audiences repeatedly invoked and suppressed Haiti's revolutionary narratives, characters, and themes. Ultimately, Haiti shaped generations of performances, transforming America's understandings of race, power, freedom, and violence in ways that still reverberate today.
Trifludimoxazin, a new protoporphyrinogen oxidase–inhibiting herbicide, is being evaluated for possible use as a soil-residual active herbicide treatment in cotton for control of small-seeded annual broadleaf weeds. Laboratory and greenhouse studies were conducted to compare vertical mobility and cotton tolerance of trifludimoxazin to flumioxazin and saflufenacil, which are two currently registered protoporphyrinogen oxidase–inhibiting herbicides for use in cotton, in three West Texas soils. Vertical soil mobility of trifludimoxazin was similar to flumioxazin in Acuff loam and Olton loam soils, but was more mobile than flumioxazin in the Amarillo loamy sand soil. The depth of trifludimoxazin movement after a 2.5-cm irrigation event ranged from 2.5 to 5.0 cm in all soils, which would not allow for crop selectivity based on herbicide placement, because ideal cotton seeding depth is from 0.6 to 2.54 cm deep. Greenhouse studies indicated that PRE treatments were more injurious than the 14 d preplant treatment when summarized across soils for the three herbicides (43% and 14% injury, respectively). No differences in visual cotton response or dry weight was observed after trifludimoxazin preplant as compared with the nontreated control within each of the three West Texas soils and was similar to the flumioxazin preplant across soils. On the basis of these results, a use pattern for trifludimoxazin in cotton may be established with the use of a more than 14-d preplant restriction before cotton planting.
Fomesafen is a protoporphyrinogen oxidase–inhibitor herbicide with an alternative mode of action that provides PRE weed control in strawberry [Fragaria×ananassa (Weston) Duchesne ex Rozier (pro sp.) [chiloensis×virginiana]] produced in a plasticulture setting in Florida. Plasticulture mulch could decrease fomesafen dissipation and increase crop injury in rotational crops. Field experiments were conducted in Balm, FL, to investigate fomesafen persistence and movement in soil in Florida strawberry systems for the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 production cycles. Treatments included fomesafen preplant at 0, 0.42, and 0.84 kg ai ha−1. Soil samples were taken under the plastic from plots treated with fomesafen at 0.42 kg ha−1 throughout the production cycle. Fomesafen did not injure strawberry or decrease yield. Fomesafen concentration data for the 0.0- to 0.1-m soil depth were described using a three-parameter logistic function. The fomesafen 50% dissipation times were 37 and 47 d for the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 production cycles, respectively. At the end of the study, fomesafen was last detected in the 0.0- to 0.1-m depth soil at 167 and 194 d after treatment in the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 production cycles, respectively. Fomesafen concentration was less than 25 ppb on any sampling date for 0.1- to 0.2-m and 0.2- to 0.3-m depths. Fomesafen concentration decreased significantly after strawberry was transplanted and likely leached during overhead and drip irrigation used during the crop establishment.