The transnational material network of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) has enjoyed substantial critical analysis: however, most scholarship tends to focus on the novel’s influence in Europe. Haiti plays a much greater role in the novel than any European country, yet in contrast to Britain, France, or Hungary, the first black republic is seldom considered a serious actor within Uncle Tom’s reception history. This essay considers how Stowe’s cautionary specter of the “San Domingo hour” was translated to Haiti and, in turn, the diverse ways in which Haitians responded to l’Oncle Tom. Ultimately, this essay argues that Haiti, far from being an isolated figure, was aware of, responded to, and cannily attempted to retranslate its own image both at home and abroad. This essay contributes to a long-neglected archive of Haitian cultural production while more broadly asking how Haitian writers revised Stowe’s conceptualization of nationhood.

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