Black History: Haitian Monument

The Haitian monument in Franklin Square.
The Haitian monument in Franklin Square.

By Dawn Baker - email | bio

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - When you think about the American Revolutionary War, you probably have visions of President George Washington crossing the Delaware, the first move in a surprise attack against forces in New Jersey. But there was fierce fighting right here in Savannah.

Among those on the battlefield were African-Americans, some born here and others sent here to fight. Ironically, the they fought for the British against American interest.

"The British had taken over Savannah and had control of Charleston. They said to African people if you join with us, we'll give you your freedom so those men who were born right here they were like oh we have to join the British," explains Jamal Toure', owner of Day Clean Journeys Tour Company.

Free blacks were also in the fight. They joined American colonists and French soldiers as they tried to drive the British out of Savannah during the Siege of Savannah on October 9, 1779.

"Those black men fought right here in Savannah during American Revolution they were called the volunteers of San Domingue. That is black men from San Domingue. We know San Domingue as Haiti today," adds Toure'.

Just last year, the City of Savannah and the Haitian American Heritage Society unveiled a monument in Franklin Square to honor the 500 men who defended the city during the war.

"The drummer boy represents the only monarch to fight in the American Revolutionary War, King Henri Christophe. He went back to Haiti and became one of the four founding fathers," says Toure'.

The monument stands as a symbol of their courage and sacrifice now in place for generations to visit and learn from, right here in Savannah.

Our tour guide, Jamal Toure' was also one of the models for the monument.

To learn more about history in the Low Country and Coastal Empire, visit,