Portrait of Vincent Oge

Born a free man with African ancestry in Saint-Domingue (Haiti), Vincent Ogé (1757−1791) challenged notions of societal control and forced a reconsideration of categories such as “white” and “citizen.” When his prolific wealth as a ship-owning merchant in the slave and Atlantic trade failed to bring him citizenship, he set out to reinvent himself as a central figure in Saint-Domingue politics. Here he wears a military suit he purchased. Ogé campaigned for the rights of the free colored community in Saint-Domingue while upholding the institution of slavery for others. His actions established him as the first great martyr of the Haitian Revolution.

 

Vincent Ogé
Jean-Baptiste Fouquet, designer
Gilles-Louis Chrétien, engraver
Paris, France; 1790
Hand-colored engraving
Museum purchase with funds provided by the Henry Francis du Pont Collectors Circle 2017.13.1