Stateless and Destitute: The O’Rourke Family of Saint-Domingue, Nantes and Wexford, 1788–1805
The activities of Irish sugar planters, slave owners and merchants are integral to our understanding of Ireland’s imperial history. This chapter analyses a series of letters between members of the O’Rourke family before, during and after the Haitian Revolution (1791–1804). The correspondence creates a web of association that links Saint-Domingue, Maryland, Dublin, Wexford, Nantes and London. It traces the impact of the Haitian revolution on the O’Rourke family’s fortunes. In particular, it focusses on the women of the family and reveals their experience in exile as reluctant émigrés.