Wordsworth's "To Toussaint L'Ouverture" apostrophises the eponymous freedom fighter as "O miserable Chieftain!" (line 5). In "Black Heroes/White Writers: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the Literary Imagination", Cora Kaplan writes:
the speaker is careful to invoke neither Toussaint's race nor his previously enslaved status; the generic positioning of Toussaint depends on these elements of his identity remaining unstated, although known to the poem's readers. Colour, for example, is significantly absent from Toussaint's description—in fact, only the word Chieftain gestures at an "indigenous" or African origin. (p. 40)
Kaplan, Cora. "Black Heroes/White Writers: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the Literary Imagination". History Workshop Journal Issue 46 (1998), pp. 33–62. Retrieved September 18, 2023, from http://www.l-adam-mekler.com/kaplan_touissant.pdf.
The point about the absence of any racially specific identifiers is well taken, but I do not understand the qualification. What about the word "Chieftain" suggests Toussaint's race? Wordsworth's contemporary Thomas Campbell uses the word to describe a Scotsman in "Lord Ullin's Daughter" :
A Chieftan to the Highlands bound,
Cries, ‘Boatman, do not tarry;
And I’ll give thee a silver pound
To row us o’er the ferry.’
‘Now who be ye would cross Lochgyle,
This dark and stormy water?’
‘Oh! I’m the chief of Ulva’s isle,
And this Lord Ullin’s daughter.
If "Chieftain" could describe a Scot as well as it described a St Dominguan, what about the word "gestures at an 'indigenous' or African origin" as Kaplan claims?