Haiti, Quebec, and the French Canadian Mission to Quisqueya (December 1937–January 1938): Perspectives from the Founder of the Montreal Botanical Garden, Brother Marie-Victorin

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As part of an initiative to enhance cultural ties between Quebec and Haiti, Brother Marie-Victorin (founder of the Jardin Botanique de Montréal) led a French Canadian mission that visited Quisqueya (island home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic) between December 1937 and January 1938, less than four years after the end of the US occupation of Haiti (1915–1934). The mission's primary aim was to reinforce Quebec and Haiti's positions as important centers for "French Civilization" in the Americas. Through his travelogue and 305 photos, Brother Marie-Victorin created a detailed record of, for the most part, Haiti's plants and society. He greatly appreciated the vitality of Haiti, its people, and various aspects of its society; however, as a member of the Brothers of La Salle Catholic Congregation, he also held negative perceptions of Vodou. Brother Marie-Victorin's journal entries reflect a certain naïveté, as well as uninformed reflections on Haitian society's ethnic and racial structures that seem to indicate that he and the other members of his delegation failed to examine the importance of Haiti's African heritage, particularly in the post-occupation period of nation-(re)building. In spite of these failings, the mission succeeded in offering Brother Marie-Victorin an introduction to Caribbean plants and critical botanical information needed for the seven subsequent expeditions he made to Cuba between 1938 and 1944.

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RESUMEN El Hermano Marie-Victorin (Conrad Kirouac, 1885–1944) fue un distinguido botánico canadiense, cuyos trabajos mejor conocidos son aquellos relacionados con las floras de Quebec y de Cuba. Sin embargo, también realizó viajes de estudio botánico en África, el Medio Oriente, Estados Unidos y Europa. Más aún, el interés de Marie-Victorin por las plantas de las Antillas no se limitó solamente a Cuba, pues también llevo a cabo viajes para familiarizarse con las floras de Haití y Puerto Rico. Las exploraciones florísticas de este botánico a regiones localizadas fuera de Canadá y Cuba han sido poco estudiadas. En el presente trabajo damos a conocer la primera traducción al español del diario de viaje de Marie-Victorin a Puerto Rico, el cual realizó en 1942. Esperamos con este trabajo contribuir a entender mejor la labor de un gran hombre que tuvo una dimensión botánica amplia y un especial interés por esta ciencia a escala global. Palabras claves: Antillas, exploración botánica, expediciones botánicas, historia de la botánica, islas tropicales ABSTRACT Brother Marie-Victorin (Conrad Kirouac, 1885-1944) was a distinguished Canadian botanist, whose best-known works dealt with the floras of Quebec and Cuba. However, he also made botanical study trips to Africa, the Middle East, United States, and Europe. Moreover, Marie-Victorin´s interest in Antillean plants was not limited to Cuba, as he also made trips to become familiar with the floras of Haiti and Puerto Rico. His floristic explorations of regions outside Canada and Cuba have been little studied. In this paper we present the first Spanish translation of the travel diary of Marie-Victorin in Puerto Rico, a trip which he made in 1942. We hope this work will contribute to a better understanding of the work of a great man who had a broad botanical dimension and a special interest in this science at a global scale. Keywords: Antilles, plant exploration, botanical expeditions, history of Botany, tropical islands Recibido: marzo 2016 Aceptado: julio 2016 Publicado online 31 de agosto de 2016 y será incluido en el volumen 37. ISSN 2410-5546 RNPS 2372 (DIGITAL) - ISSN 0253-5696 RNPS 0060 (IMPRESA)
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Trees are an important dwelling place for the spirits of the Vodou pantheon. I describe arboreal rituals dedicated to the veneration of tree-residing spirits, taboos against cutting sacred trees, conflicting taboos against planting certain trees, and a ceremony for removing a spirit from one tree and placing it in another. After discussing common folk beliefs about particular tree species, and examining associations between these species and individual spirits, I suggest that a rapid decrease of trees in Haiti mandated the ceremony for removing a spirit from a tree and placing it somewhere else. Consequently, as tree diversity dwindled into the handful of primary species utilized in rural Haiti today, a large pantheon of spirits had to be funneled into an increasingly limited number of trees. Accordingly, Vodou practitioners had to facilitate spirit flexibility with regard to which trees they inhabit.
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How has women's contribution to science developed over multiple generations? We present the first quantitative analysis of the role played by women in publishing botanical species names, and the first complete analysis of women's contribution to a field of science with a timeframe of more than 260 years. The International Plant Names Index and The Plant List were used to analyse the contribution of female authors to the publication of land plant species names. Authors of land plant species were automatically assigned as male or female using Wikipedia articles and manual research. Female authors make up 12.20% of the total number of authors, and they published 2.82% of names. Half of the female authors published 1.5 or more names, while half the male authors published 3 or more names. Female contribution has accounted for more than 1% of new species names since 1900, and now stands at 11.97%. The difference in productivity between male and female authors has declined over time, and female authors are now 80% as productive as their male counterparts. In spite of botany's traditional image as a feminine pursuit, women's contribution was not significantly reflected in species authorship until the twentieth century, around the same time as in other branches of science.
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The plant hunting expeditions made by David Fairchild on board the research boat Utowana represented some of the most important contributions in the history of plant exploration. These expeditions targeted all the continents except Australia and Antarctica and provided germplasm for the United States Department of Agriculture. As part of our current research to document the details and outputs of David Fairchild's plant hunting expeditions, in this paper we present an account pertinent to the three trips that he made to The Bahamas. Two of these trips were on board the Utowana and were part of larger expeditions that David Fairchild undertook to the West Indies, Central America and the Guianas between December 1931 and April 1933. No plant material was collected on the third trip when David Fairchild and his wife flew to Nassau in April 1939. We believe that the main focus of this last trip was to meet with Anne Archbold to make arrangements for the Chng Ho expedition to the East Indies. This Asian endeavor was the only major expedition undertaken by David Fairchild to collect plant material for Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (FTBG). During the Bahamian expedition eleven islands/cays were visited, 94 germplasm accessions (73 species) were collected, and 132 photographs were taken. Our research has been largely based on documents and photographs that belonged to David Fairchild and that are deposited at the Library and Archives of FTBG. "The more than ten years that I spent in the office that Fairchild founded for our Department of Agriculture made me a great admirer of Dr. Fairchild and to appreciate even more the work that he, Wilson Popenoe, and others in the Division had done for our country. Among their accomplishments was the encouragement or establishment as a crop or industry the date, fig, avocado, mango, pistachio, and other lesser known crops. These explorers were also concerned with introducing germ plasm, or breeding stock, for the improvement of traditional field crops, vegetables, and fruit plants, as well as the introduction and establishment of ornamental and other economic plants such as bamboos and Meyer's Zoysia grass." [Donovan Correll, from his unpublished autobiography "Notes from a Singing Plant Explorer," January 1983 (Korber et al., 2013)].
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Genetic divergence among 40 genetic stocks of vetiver ‘Veteveria zizanioides (L.) Nash’ assembled from different places of India and abroad (Indonesia, Reunion, Haiti and Thailand) were quantified by multivariate analysis for plant height, tillers, fresh, dry root, root length, oil content and oil yield. All the accessions could be grouped into six clusters. Dry root yield, oil content, plant height and oil yield were found to be the common forces of divergence at all the three inter, intra-cluster and inter-genetic levels of differentiation. Diverse agro-ecological conditions, migration of genetic material due to genetic drift, gene flow, out crossing, introduction/exchange of genetic stocks at National and International levels, introgression, mutations, coupled with natural and or artificial selection are the possible factors responsible for such a diversity in vetiver grass. Heritability estimates were over 90 percent for all the characters studied except dry root/plant (78.08%), indicating selection was possible.
Brother Marie-Victorin (1885–1944) was a member of the Roman Catholic congregation of the La Salle Brothers and one of the most important figures in the botanical history of Canada. In 1929, he undertook a 7-month trip across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. During this journey he visited the islands of Gran Canaria (26–27 June) and Tenerife (28 June to 3 July), where he took 118 photographs. The travelogue for this trip (447 pages) is an unpublished document, 26 pages of which are devoted to the Canaries. We provide English and Spanish translations for the portion of this travelogue devoted to the Canary Islands and a catalogue of the photos taken there. Botanical highlights of this visit include accounts for: (1) the Botanic Garden of La Orotava and its Head Gardener, Juan Bolinaga; (2) landmark specimens of Dracaena draco in Tenerife; (3) hybrids between the endemic Phoenix canariensis and the introduced Phoenix dactylifera; (4) an historical individual of Pinus canariensis found in Buen Paso (Icod municipality); and (5) endemic and invasive plants. This travelogue shows that Marie-Victorin had an interest in social, ethnobotanical and historical aspects of the Canaries.
In Community Besieged Garth Stevenson describes the unusual circumstances that allowed English-speaking Quebecers to live in virtual isolation from their francophone neighbours for almost a century after Confederation. He describes their relations with Maurice Duplessis and the Union Nationale and their ambivalent response to the Quiet Revolution. New political issues - language policy, educational reform, sovereignty, and the constitution - undermined the old system of elite accommodation in Quebec, causing conflicts between anglophones and francophones and creating a new sense of anglophone identity that transcends religious differences. The changing relations of Quebec anglophones with the major political parties, as well as the role of newer entities such as Alliance Quebec and the Equality Party, are also examined. Stevenson concludes with a look at the future of anglophones in Quebec. Based in part on interviews with more than sixty English-speaking Quebecers who have played prominent parts in Quebec's political life, Community Besieged is a comprehensive and up-to-date description of the political life of this unique minority at both the federal and provincial level.
The US invasion of Haiti in July 1915 marked the start of a military occupation that would last nineteen years - and that fed an American fascination with Haiti that would flourish even longer. Exploring the cultural dimensions of the US contact with Haiti during the occupation and its aftermath, the author shows that what Americans thought and wrote about Haiti during those years contributed in crucial and unexpected ways to an emerging culture of US imperialism. At the start of this emerging culture, Renda argues, was American paternalism, which saw Haitians as wards of the United States. She explores the ways in which diverse Americans - including activists, intellectuals, artists, missionaries, marines and politicians - responded to paternalist constructs, shaping new versions of American culture along the way. Her analysis draws on; a rich record of US discourses on Haiti, including the writings of policy-makers; the diaries, letters, songs and memoirs of marines stationed in Haiti; and works by such writers as Eugene O'Neill, James Weldon Johnson, Langson Huges and Zora Neale Hurston.
Several years ago, the Academy's Committee on the Recent History of Science and Technology organized a two-part conference on the modern synthesis of evolutionary biology and genetics. This conference was attended by many of the actual architects of the synthesis, leading evolutionists of the next generation, and a number of historians of biology and philosophers of science. From papers prepared for the conference and personal accounts provided by contributors to the synthesis, Ernst Mayr and William B. Provine edited The Evolutionary Synthesis: Perspectives on the Unification of Biology, which was published recently by Harvard University Press. The first section of this book contains analyses of the contributions of the various biological disciplines to the evolutionary synthesis; the second major section is devoted to analyses of the synthesis in different countries; a concluding section contains a discussion of general interpretive issues in the synthesis, an epilogue, and biographical essays. The following excerpts include some observations by Mayr on the history of the synthesis, taken from the preface and prologue, and a portion of Provine's epilogue discussing the contributions of the conference to our understanding of the synthesis.
Bignoniaceae include attractive ornamental flowering trees and lianas and produce hard and durable timbers, many pharmacologically active chemicals, various products used in local handicrafts, and even a few edible seeds and fruits. These uses are summarized here.
"A good history of a sordid intervention that submitted a people to autocratic rule and did little for economic development." --The New York Times "From Schmidt we get the full details ...of the brutal racist practices inflicted on the Haitians for nearly all of the nineteen-year American presence in the country." --American Historical Review "The only thoroughgoing study of one of the more discreditable American interventions overseas." --Journal of Interdisciplinary History "Should become the standard work on the subject...required reading for specialists in Caribbean studies and U.S.-Latin American relations." --Choice Hans Schmidt taught form many years at the State University of New York at New Paltz. He now teaches at the University of Hong Kong.
Notre propos est ici d'étudier certains mouvements de protestation en Haïti durant la période 1915-1946, en nous référant plus particulièrement au rôle qu'a joué l'idéologie dans la vie de ces mouvements. Trois d'entre eux ont retenu notre attention : il s'agira d'en discuter la structure et les fondements, et de déterminer l'influence de l'idéologie qui se greffe sur chacun d'eux dans le déroulement des événements politiques qui aboutirent à la révolution haïtienne de 1946.
Togo is a country located in the Dahomey corridor, which is an interruption of the West-African forest. The forests are mainly found in the sub-humid zone of the country, and are very fragmented due to human activities, generally reduced to forested strips along waterways. Sacred forests in Togo are protected by the local communities. In this very constraining forestry context, our study aims to reconsider these sacred forests as important centres of biodiversity and promote their inclusion in frameworks of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management (SFM). Our results are based on research that has been undertaken for more than 10 years, and show that local communities have a greater respect for riverside and sacred forests than they do for government protected areas which are being degraded. Several of these forest fragments are modern relics of old and disappearing plant communities in Togo. Our inventories show that there are 1500 taxa in these areas, representing ∼45.5% of the local and introduced flowering plants of Togo. Some of the plant species are not found outside the forest fragments. Plant diversity is higher than that found in the surrounding vegetation communities. In the sacred forests, harvesting of minor NTFPs is frequent, while in the riparian forests timber harvesting is having an impact. Unfortunately, threats to the forest are numerous, leading to their disappearance. Many species recorded are potentially threatened because of the current pressure being placed on the forest fragments. It is in this sense that our study provides essential information aimed at valuing these sacred forest fragments which, up until now, have not been addressed in the criteria and indicator frameworks of SFM.
Retracer, même brièvement, la genèse du Jardin botanique de Montréal met clairement en évidence le fait que l’âme de ce jardin lui a été insufflée par le frère Marie-Victorin, l’un des grands bâtisseurs de la première moitié du 20e siècle québécois.
Hispanic American Historical Review 82.3 (2002) 589-635 —Ernest Renan, "What is a Nation?" (1882) In October 1937, Dominican dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina commanded his army to kill all "Haitians" living in the Dominican Republic's northwestern frontier, which borders on Haiti, and in certain parts of the contiguous Cibao region. Between 2 October and 8 October, hundreds of Dominican troops poured into this vast region, and, with the assistance of alcaldes pedáneos (submunicipal political authorities) and some civilian reserves, rounded up and slaughtered with machete perhaps 15,000 ethnic Haitians. Those killed in this operation—still frequently referred to as el corte (the cutting) by Dominicans and as kout kouto-a (the stabbing) by Haitians—were mostly small farmers, many of whom had been born in the Dominican Republic (and thus were Dominican citizens according to the Dominican constitution) and some whose families had lived in the Dominican Republic for generations. Haitians were slain even as they attempted to escape to Haiti while crossing the fatefully named Massacre River that divides the two nations. After the first days of the slaughter, the official checkpoint and bridge between Haiti and the Dominican Republic were closed, thus impeding Haitians' escape. In the following weeks, local priests and officials in Haiti recorded testimonies of refugees and compiled a list that ultimately enumerated 12,168 victims. Subsequently, during the first half of 1938, thousands more Haitians were forcibly deported and hundreds killed in the southern frontier region. Dominican civilians and local authorities played disparate roles in the massacre. Some assisted the army by identifying and locating Haitians, while others helped Haitians hide and flee; the army recruited a few to participate in the killings. Generally these civilian recruits were prisoners from other areas of the country or local residents already tied to the regime and its repressive apparatus. Above all, local Dominican civilians were compelled by the army to burn and bury the bodies of the victims. The extraordinary violence of this baneful episode provides a terrifying image not only of the brutality, ruthlessness, and Caligulesque features of the infamous Trujillo dictatorship but also of the potential depths of Dominican anti-Haitianism. Anti-Haitianism, moreover, has only grown and, above all, diffused during the last 60 years, as Haitian migrants to Dominican sugar zones and other areas—mostly far from the frontier regions—actually increased in number after the massacre. These migrants have been subjected to extraordinary exploitation and continual human rights abuses. In addition, there is a salient racial dimension to Dominican anti-Haitianism, as Haitians have been identified in the Dominican Republic as "black" in contrast to Dominicans who, evidently since the colonial era, have rarely constructed such identities for themselves (even though most also have not identified themselves—nor been identified by others—as "white"). Hence, narrating the history of the Haitian massacre as a story of anti-Haitian racism resonates powerfully with contemporary issues in Haitian-Dominican relations and comparative themes in world history, namely, hostility toward lower-class immigrants and the racial and ethnic conflict, ethnic cleansing, and genocide that marked the twentieth century. Yet to tell the history of the Haitian massacre through the lens of post-1937 Haitian migration to the Dominican Republic, indeed to tell it as a history of Dominicans versus Haitians, of one ethnic group or nation versus another, is misleading and may unwittingly reinscribe and essentialize what are, in fact, historically varying and contingent ways of imagining the Dominican nation. The story of the Haitian massacre is also one of Dominicans versus Dominicans, of Dominican elites versus Dominican peasants, of the national state against Dominicans in the frontier, of centralizing forces in opposition to local interests, and, following the massacre, of newly hegemonic anti-Haitian discourses of the nation vying with more culturally pluralist discourses and memories from the past. It is also a story of how multiethnic communities and shifting, complex, or ambiguous national identities come to be perceived...
In this article, the authors examine the ways Haiti was depicted in anthropological writings during the twentieth century, using the concept of the «anthropological imagination», which they define as an assemblage of representations and practices in the conceptual system of anthropology and the discipline’s communicative interaction. The focus is on the work of the Haitian ethnologist Jean Price-Mars, the American anthropologist Melville J. Herskovits, and the French sociologist Roger Bastide, examining the professional, social, institutional, and political commitments that lead them to construct «Haiti» as a place situated in time through their theoretical elaborations. The mutual influence of these scholars and their place in the development of Afro-American anthropology are documented, and a dialectical perspective is used to locate and explain their thought and intellectual production.
Images floristiques portoricaines: El diario del viaje a Puerto Rico del Hermano Marie-Victorin
  • Ibid
  • Santiago-Valentín
Ibid.; Santiago-Valentín et al., "Images floristiques portoricaines: El diario del viaje a Puerto Rico del Hermano Marie-Victorin," 124.
On the subsequent intellectual and political discussions, see Verna, Haiti and the Uses of America
  • Haiti Verna
  • The Uses
  • America
Verna, Haiti and the Uses of America, 56-69. On the subsequent intellectual and political discussions, see Verna, Haiti and the Uses of America, chapters 2-3.
The Spirits and the Law
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Ramsey, The Spirits and the Law, chapter 4;
Maurice Dartigue and 234
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Verna, "Maurice Dartigue and 234
Service d'Haïti, ix, 16, 135; Dumas
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Bellegarde, Au Service d'Haïti, ix, 16, 135; Dumas, "Luc Grimard";
Rumilly, Le Frère Marie-Victorin et son temps, 432. Future citations to Le Frère Marie-Victorin
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Le Devoir, Montreal, December 2, 1938; Rumilly, Le Frère Marie-Victorin et son temps, 432. Future citations to Le Frère Marie-Victorin et son temps are to this edition and will be cited in the text as FMT.
Relations epistolaires entre le Canada et Haïti
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Cantave, Philippe. "Le Vrai visage d'Haïti." Documents haïtiens 1 (1938): 1-32. ---. "Relations epistolaires entre le Canada et Haïti." Le Quartier Latin, April 25, no. 18 (1943): 8.
Itinéraires botaniques dans l'île de Cuba
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Marie-Victorin and León, "Itinéraires botaniques dans l'île de Cuba."
Historia de la botánica en Cuba. Havana: Publicaciones de la Junta Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología
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Álvarez Conde, José. Historia de la botánica en Cuba. Havana: Publicaciones de la Junta Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología, 1958.
Images floristiques portoricaines
  • Santiago-Valentín
Santiago-Valentín et al., "Images floristiques portoricaines."
The Ceiba Tree as a Multivocal Signifier
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Hartman, "The Ceiba Tree as a Multivocal Signifier"; Tarter, "Trees in Vodou."
Considering Sacred and Riverside Forests
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Kokou et al., "Considering Sacred and Riverside Forests."
Vudú y rará en Elena Celestien Vidal
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Fuentes Elías, "Vudú y rará en Elena Celestien Vidal."
Haiti and the Uses of America
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Verna, Haiti and the Uses of America, 111. 235
Mission to Quisqueya 45 Castor
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Haiti, Quebec, and the French Canadian Mission to Quisqueya 45 Castor, "Veneer of Modernization."
Future citations to "Fewer than Three Percent of Land Plant Species
  • Lindon
Lindon et al., "Fewer than Three Percent of Land Plant Species." Future citations to "Fewer than Three Percent of Land Plant Species" are to this edition and will be cited in the text as FTP.
Immigration, Diversity and Ethnic Relations in Quebec
  • Victor Piché
Piché, Victor. "Immigration, Diversity and Ethnic Relations in Quebec." Canadian Ethnic Studies 34, no. 3 (2002): 5-27.
Brother Marie Victorin in Haiti Botany
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Andre, Nicolas, et al. "Brother Marie Victorin in Haiti Botany." Internet Archive, June 17, 2020. /mode/2up.
Flore d'Haïti. Port-au-Prince: Service Technique du Département de l'Agriculture et de l'Enseignement Professionnel
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Castor, Suzy. L'Occupation américaine d'Haïti. Port-au-Prince: Imprimerie Henri Deschamps, 1988.
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Dumas, Pierre Raymond. "Luc Grimard, gentleman senior (1886-1954)." Le Nouvelliste, September 12, 2006, -grimard-gentleman-senior-1886-1954.
Brother Marie-Victorin's Account of His Second Trip to Haiti
  • Javier Francisco-Ortega
  • Nicolas André
  • Liesl Picard
  • Rose Adme
  • William Cinea
  • Brígido Peguero
  • Geoffrey Hall
  • Luc Brouillet
  • Brett Jestrow
  • Scott Zona
Francisco-Ortega, Javier, Nicolas André, Liesl Picard, Rose Adme, William Cinea, Brígido Peguero, Geoffrey Hall, Luc Brouillet, Brett Jestrow, and Scott Zona. "Brother Marie-Victorin's Account of His Second Trip to Haiti." Huntia (in press).
The Brothers of La Salle and Caribbean Botany
  • Francisco-Ortega
  • Joe R Javier
  • Luc Garrigó
  • Geoffrey Brouillet
  • Nicolas Hall
  • William André
  • Eugenio Cinea
  • Scott Santiago-Valentín
  • Brett Zona
  • Jestrow
Francisco-Ortega, Javier, Joe R. Garrigó, Luc Brouillet, Geoffrey Hall, Nicolas André, William Cinea, Eugenio Santiago-Valentín, Scott Zona, and Brett Jestrow. "The Brothers of La Salle and Caribbean Botany." Tropical Garden 71, no. 4 (2016): 22-25.
David Fairchild's Plant Hunting Expeditions in Haiti
  • Javier Francisco-Ortega
  • Marianne Swan
  • William Cinea
  • Natacha Beaussejour
  • Nancy Korber
  • Janet M Latham
  • Brett Jestrow
Francisco-Ortega, Javier, Marianne Swan, William Cinea, Natacha Beaussejour, Nancy Korber, Janet M. Latham, and Brett Jestrow. "David Fairchild's Plant Hunting Expeditions in Haiti." Huntia 17, no. 1 (2018): 5-35.
Vudú y Rará en Elena Celestien Vidal: Rutas haitianas en el Oriente cubano
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Fuentes Elías, Ismael. "Vudú y Rará en Elena Celestien Vidal: Rutas haitianas en el Oriente cubano." Revista Cubana de Antropología Sociocultural 4, no. 4 (2013): 56-80.
Haiti-en-Québec: Notes pour une histoire
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Icard, Lyonel. "Haiti-en-Québec: Notes pour une histoire." Ethnologies 28 (2006): 45-79.
International Handbook of Universities 1959
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Keyes, H. M. R. International Handbook of Universities 1959. Paris: The International Association of Universities, 1959.
Haitian Writers and the American Occupation: Literary Responses to a Political Crisis
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Larrier, Renée. "Haitian Writers and the American Occupation: Literary Responses to a Political Crisis." CLA Journal 33, no. 2 (1989): 203-214.