Marlene L. Daut, "'Sons of White Fathers': Mulatto Vengeance and the Haitian Revolution in Victor Sééjour's 'The Mulatto'"(pp. 1––37)
Although many literary critics have traced the genealogy of the tragic mulatto/a to nineteenth-century U.S. letters, in this essay I argue that the theme of tragedy and the mixed-race character predates the mid-nineteenth-century work of Lydia Maria Child and William Wells Brown and cannot be considered a solely U.S. American concept. The image can also be traced to early-nineteenth-century French colonial literature, where the trope surfaced in conjunction with the image of the Haitian Revolution as a bloody race war. Through a reading of the Louisiana-born Victor Sééjour's representation of the Haitian Revolution, "Le Mulââtre" or "The Mulatto," originally composed in French and first published in Paris in 1837, this essay considers the implications of the conflation of the literary history of the tragic mulatto/a with the literary history of the Haitian Revolution in one of the first short stories written by an American author of African descent.