Notes on Haiti, made during a residnece in that republic, by Charles Mackenzie, 2 vols., London, 1830. (BCL-Williams Mem...


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Notes on Haiti, made during a residnece in that republic, by Charles Mackenzie, 2 vols., London, 1830. (BCL-Williams Mem.Eth.Col.Cat. #589)
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Quid dem ? quid non dem ? renuim quod tu, jubet alter.


VOL I. -. ..




w* a. .




M.D.. F. R. S.

&c. &c. &c.


I inscribe these two small Volumes

to you, first to gratify my personal affec-

tions, and, secondly, to associate my name

with that of a man whose profound research

and accuracy of thought give him a high rank

in the literature of the world.

The largest portion of both our

lives has passed away, since it was my pride


to be considered your friend; and it is now a

subject of gratification, that neither separation
nor diversity of pursuit has impaired our origi-
nal feelings.

Allow me, therefore, to avail myself
of the first public opportunity I have ever
had of subscribing myself

Your truly affectionate Friend,

C. M.

LoNDoN, AP IL 1830.


IN laying before the public notes originally
made for my private use, it is necessary to
offer a few explanatory remarks, lest I should
be charged with attaching undue importance to
On my going to Haiti'in 1826, in addition to
mere consular duties, others of a higher order
were assigned to me; and among these I was
required to report on the state of society, and
the actual condition of the new republic in all
its relations: this was a task no less invidious
than difficult; but I performed it with zeal and
to the best of my ability, utterly regardless of
any consideration beyond the faithful discharge

of my public duty. I was, however, fully
aware that imperfection was inseparable from
such an undertaking, under the circumstances
in which I was placed; I therefore pointed out
the difficulty of acquiring accurate information,
and reserved to myself the right of future cor-
rection, whenever inaccuracy should be de-
tected. This right I repeatedly exercised, and
I have the gratification of knowing that my ex-
ertions were fully appreciated by His Majesty's
government: the manner too in which their ap-
probation was conveyed to me by the late
Mr. Canning, was equally flattering to me as
a private individual and as a public officer.
Proud of such a testimonial, and conscious of
having faithfully discharged the trust reposed
in me, I returned to Europe on the termination
of my most important duties, without any de-
sign of appearing at the bar of public criticism.
Immediately, however, after my arrival in
town, I learned, for the first time, that pro-
ceedings were in progress before the Privy
Council on the subject of compulsory manu-



aiesion, and that in the course of these, one
of my dispatches Aad been produced as evi-
dence by the opponents of that measure. I was
further informed that the learned counsel on the
other side had indulged in a strain of misrepre-
sentation as little creditable to his taste as to
his acuteness.
Very shortly afterwards the House of Com-
mons ordered my reports to be laid on their
table, which was done early in the ensuing
session, and they were printed in the month of
May, 1829. So soon as this was done, I felt
that it became a duty to draw up (as far as
would be consistent with the confidential cha-
racter in which I stood) some account of the
manner in which I had been enabled to obtain
the information of which a summary had been
printed, and for that purpose I entered into ar-
rangements with my publishers.
This step was taken after mature deliber-
ation; but had I ever entertained a doubt of
its expediency, that doubt would have been re-P
moved by a number of the Anti-alavery Reporter

which was put, about the beginning of the pre-
sent year, into my hands by a friend wholly
unconnected with the West Indies. This gentle-
man had been struck with the coarse vulgarity
and the impudent falsity with which I was as-
sailed. I also felt these as strongly as he did;
but on examination I was still more impressed
with the dishonest style of criticism, with the
flagrant misrepresentations of facts, with the
garbled quotations, and above all, with the
jumbling together statements made at different
periods, with those which they were intended to
correct, as parts of the same document. It is
not my intention to engage in controversy with
this person, and my reasons are powerful.
In the first place, the imputations he has
cast upon me do not alter facts, and I am sure
that all impartial people will see in them much
passion, but little reason; and will also be
convinced that they disgrace only those who
utter them, and show only what it is that they
who are capable of imputing base motives to
others, would themselves be, if they were iu

official 'situations."* In the second place, a
contest is on such unequal terms between a
known and responsible person and an anony-
mous assailant, as to warrant any man to de-
cline it. And lastly, as I am not a partisan, I
will afford no ground for my being so repre-
sented by: the warmth into which I might be
betrayed in repelling ungentlemanly imper-
I have discharged my duty to my, govern-
ment, and I now discharge a duty to myself,
by showing that I had access to information
beyond most other Englishmen, and that I
made an honest use of it by stating facts, with-
out reference to the pleasure or displeasure of
any party. But even were I disposed to enter
the lists of controversy, there are circumstances
connected with the present case, that would
effectually preclude me from taking the field.
When I first read the paper in question, pity
and contempt were alternately called forth; for

Mr.-Canning in reply to Sir Francis Burdett and Mr. Coke.




the coarseness of the manner, and the dishonesty
of the matter, led me to ascribe it to some igno-
rant but unprincipled man, reckless of character
from being unacquainted with its value, who
had been hired to make out a case against me,
because my reports were considered to militate
against the dogmas of his principals: but my
feeling has been one of unmitigated contempt,
since I find it universally attributed to one in-
dividual-an individual so identified with sor-
did mendacity, as to render either victory or
defeat in any contest with him, equally discre-
ditable. But were this consideration not all-
powerful, in my humble opinion no advantage
can accrue from the most perfect exposure that
can be made; since it is hopeless to expect to
convince those who give credence to such an
oracle; and it is no less hopeless to look for
the conversion of a skulking libeller, whose
self-gratulations, amid profound contempt,
prove his superiority to all sense of shame :
-- Populus me sibilat, at mihi plaudo
Ipse doinL


Refutation on refutation would be perfectly
unavailing, for
You break his web of sophistry in vain :
The creature's at his dirty work again.
To those who take any interest in the
truth, a careful reading of my reports and of
these volumes, will furnish my best vindication
from the charge of interested misrepresentation
My statements may be faulty; but I give them
as the best I could command. My inferences
may be wrong; but until their logical inaccuv
racy be made evident, I must consider them
valid, for they were not hastily nor rashly
In the present work, I have endeavoured, in
the first place, to show that my relation is
founded on actual inquiry and research; and
in the next, to trace the leading features of. the
origin and progress of a very curious experi-
ment in the history of man : nor d6 I hesitate
to avow that, by that examination, I have been
convinced- that the experience of nearly six
thousand years has a living confirmation in


Haiti. Nations as well as individuals can ac-
quire maturity only by imperceptible degrees;
and every step taken, to be effectual, must be
in accordance with the peculiar character of
the people to be improved. Haiti is in its in-
fancy; and the population, formed out of dis-
cordant materials, is precisely in the state that
might be anticipated by any one at all con-
versant with the history of mankind. The
difficulties incident to such a stage of national
existence constantly present themselves to those
engaged in the maintenance of its govern-
ment, and in the promotion of the arts of life.
These difficulties have been long ago forcibly
stated by one whose vigour of diction is only
rivalled by the extent and variety of his know-
ledge. It may be safely assumed," says
Mr. Brougham, on general principles, that
a multitude collected at random from various
savage nations, and habituated to no subordi-
nation but that of domestic slavery, are totally
unfit for uniting in the relations of regular go-
vernment, or being moulded into a system of



artificial society; more especially after living
for a series of years in a state of tumult and
disorder, unnatural even to. barbarians." He
shortly afterwards adds, In fact, the sudden
formation of a political body has always been
found the most arduous achievement in the art
of government."
What the future progress of the new republic
may be, is a point that I do not attempt to
discuss--my business being to represent the
existing facts, not to engage in conjectural
The first volume is devoted to an account of
the journey made in pursuit of information, and
the second to a summary of the principal
matters of interest, accompanied by such docu-
ments as may be illustrative of particular points.
In my historical sketch, Baron Lacroix's work,
and the Histoire d'Haiti by Justin, have been
my principal guides; but the statements that
I make have been corroborated by actual re-
searches in the Republic. I also derived con-
siderable assistance from a large body of Chris-
VOL. I. b

tophe's papers, amopg which there is some cu-
rious correspondence, which, if my leisure per-
mit, may hereafter be made public. To those
individuals, whom for obvious reasons I do
not name, but to whom I am indebted for
much invaluable information, I take this op-
portunity of conveying my grateful acknow-
ledgements. I may further add, to the candid
and dispassionate, that these sheets have
passed through the press while I have been
making preparations for a long voyage, and a
protracted residence abroad.





Departure for Haiti-Arrival-Interview with President-
Port-au-Prince-Its neighbourhood-Inhabitants--Customs-
Officers of Government-Police-Funerals-Levees.-Celebra-
tion of Fete d'Independence-Dinner at Palace Page p


Population and Society of Port-au-Prince-Exclusion of
White Proprietors-Case of Darfour-American Servants-
Slothful Habits-Style of Visiting-Cultivation and Wages-
Rural Police-M. Nau's Plantation . .. 4


Departure orom Port-au-Prince-Journey to Leogane-Com-
mandant and Town of Grand Goave-Rumours of rural disci-
pliae-Cromsing the Tapion-Petit Goave-M. Baudain-


L'Acul de Petit Goave-St. Michel-Blind beggar-Post
Vigile-Dangerous ford-Acqvin-Juge de Paix-St. Louis-
M. Dumesle-Cavaillon Cayes-History-Town-adjutant,--
Suburbs-Distilleries . . . 54


Plantation Laborde-School at Cayes-Gauman-Sir James
Yeo-Lapointe-General Marion's estate-Free Americans-
Entertainment-L'Alliance-M. Dubreuil Platons-Dessa-
lines' discipline-Coffee culture-Plain of Cayes-Cultivation
-Produce-Labourers-Interest of money-Maurice Larac-
Inhuman conduct-Mr. Downie-Return from Cayes to Port-
au-Prince ................ 81


Stay at Port-au-Prince-Election of members of House of
Commons-Explosion of arsenal-Defects of police-Mr. Gor-
don-Mr. Everaerts-M. Godard-Aggressions of cattle-
Prosecution of M. Courtois-Rumours of insurrection-Edu-
cation-Diplomas-Post-office- Departure for St. Mark's-'
Gonaives-Amusing officer-Toussaint St. Mark's-Petite
Riviere- Crete a Pierrot Hill-forts-Marchand-Insurrec-
tion in 1820-Gourmands of Haiti . .. 109


Leaving Gonaives-Poteau-L'Escalier-Plaisance-Camp
Lecoq-Madame Babier-LimbW-4pproach to Cape Haitian
-Functionaries-City of the Cape-Society-Fossette-School



-Executioner-Christophe Brutal conduct-Licentioumsnes
-Character-Noyades-Sans Souci-La Ferriere-Suicide of
Christophe-Murder of his son-Le Ramier-Mr. Laroche 145


Visit to Dondon and Grand Riviire-Abb6 de la Haye-
Reported cave -Idols-Coffee-trees in bloom-Col. Moncardy
-General Kayer La Riviere-History-Adventures-Habita-
tion Gallifet-Return to the Cape-Quartiers Morin and
Limonade Breda Duplat- Brossard-Actual condition-
Departure for Spanish part-Intermediaire-Fort Libert6-
General Lacroix-Butchery by Jean Francois-M. Mebu-
Account of Christophe's system of agriculture-Departure for
Ouanaminthe-Account of it-Laxavon-Vega Real-Grazing
farm-Jacouba-Escalante-L'H6pital-Mao-Sleeping in the
woods-River Yaqui-Arrival at St. Iago ..... 182


St. lago-Antiquity-Convents-Destruction of town and
institutions-Christophe an active agent-Population-Attach-
ment of former slaves to their former owners-Sugar farm-
Castes friendly to each other-Cultivation-Increase of births
-Duc de Limonade-Cura and Juez de Paz-Journey to Port-
au-Plate-Altamira-Landlady-Villanueva's catecismo-Sce.
nery-Hazardous ride-La Puerta-Approach to Port-au-Plate
-Guide fantastical and conceited-Arrival at
Kind reception General Jacques Simon Administrator-
Parrot shooting ... . 211



Return to St. lago-Gold dust-Former abundance-Recent
researches-General Belliard-Account of Christophe-Hospi-
tality of inhabitants-National school-Departure-Santo Cerro
-Chapel-View of La Vega Real-Ancient city of Concep-
cion de la Vega-Ruins-River Camon-La Vega-General
Placide Lebrun- Lodging- Guitars Bands playing-FAte
d'agriculture- Colonel Charlemagne-M. Deschamps-Peinal
-River, Yuna Cotuy- Constance-Sevico-Monte de Don
Juan-Sleeping in the woods-San Pedro-La Louisa-Arrival
at Santo Domingo .. . .27


Generals Borgella and Carrie-Vicar-general-Visit to the
archbishop and palace-Return of visit-State of feeling-
Borgella's history of General Beauvais-Fontaine-Lapointe
-San Carlos-The suburb-Sefior Caminero-Lamotte Duthier
-A remarkable man-Strange anecdote of a Maroon chief-
Description of city-History-Peculiar mode of building--
Cathedral Tomb of Columbus Monasteries-Hospitals-
pulation-Adjoining country- Cottages -Gardens-Agricul-
ture-Borgella's estate-San Cristoval- Regency-Shrine-
Expedient to secure labour-Former want of cultivators-
Cattle-breeding Causes of depression Attempts of Spa-
niards to recover the colony .. 250




Effects of revolution in the West or the East-Emigration
-Check to decay-Depreciation of the value of property-Ac-
count of the revolution in 1821 and 1822-Nuiiez- Colonel
Aly and his black .corps-Spanish governor-Pascual Real
arrested and deposed Counter-revolution Cjuses Occu-
pation by President Boyer and republican army-Guarantees
given-Tumults suppressed-Trade not very active-Retention
of Spanish customs- Mantilla -Guitars -Artisans- Public
amusements-Preparations for departure ... 280


River Jaina-Ferry-boat-River Nisao-Mahogany cutters
-Mode of preparing logs-Dinner with dealers-Road to Bani
-Arrival-Want of accommodation-Food and forage-Sa-
vanna Buey-Re-appearance of lost cook-Want of forage-
Continued rain-Active young negro-Wants supplied-Bay
of Ocoa Caracoles Owner Family- Accommodation -
Arrival at Azua-Reception by Colonel Bellegarde-His his-
tory-Difficulty in obtaining forage, owing to apprehension of
the soldiers- Loss of horses-Don Pablo Baez Entertain-
ment-Departure-Guide--kirting the banks of the Neybe-
Accident from drunkenness of black officer-Arroyo Salado-
Picturesque scene-Wild guinea-fowl-Novel lights-Sickness
of one of the party-Little Yaqui-Passage of the ford-Nica-
ragua-Hostess--Odd notions-Expectation of invasion-Cros-
sing of the Mije-Arrival at San Juan-Town-adjutant-His-
tory of town-Rock-salt of Neybe-Valley of San Juan-
Straying of horse-Night travelling bad-Arrival at Lamatte-


-Colonel Gardel-Commandant Lassala-Chief of police at
RanchoMateo-Departure-Rancho l ateo-Disappointments
-Miserable night-Passage of the river Juan de Vera-Jour-
ney to Las Caobas ... . . 297


Departure from Las Caobas-Boundary of old colonies--
River Fer de Cheval"-Aqueducts-Mirebalais- Fortifi-
cations-River Artibonite-Kind treatment by the commandant,
Colonel Charles Jeune Journey to the capital -Trianon -
Mountain pass-Morne Cabrit-Fond an Diable-Plain of Cul
de Sac-Arrival at cottage- Occupations-Rumoured insur-
rection-Trial and execution of four-black officers-General ob-
servations on Haiti-Illness-Departure for Jamaica 821



Departure for Haiti-Arrival-Interview with President-
Port-au-Prince-Its neighbourhood-Inhabitants-Customs
-Officers of Government-Police-Funerals-Levees-Ce-
lebration of FMte d'Independence-Dinner at Palace.

His MAJESTY haNvng been graciously pleased
to appoint me his Consul General in Haiti, I
embarked at Portsmouth on the 28th March,
1826, in His Majesty's frigate Druid, com-
manded by my valued friend Capt. Samuel
Chambers, having as fellow-passengers, (besides
the gentlemen that accompanied myself,) Dr.
Coleridge, the Bishop of Barbadoes and his
family, Major General Sir Patrick Ross, the
Governor of Antigua and the officers of his per-
sonal staff. We sailed on the day of embarka-


tion, and after having visited the Island of
Madeira, the natural beauties of which, as well
as the unbounded hospitality of the inhabitants
of Funchal, are well known to almost every per-
son that has traversed the Atlantic, and having
landed the friends (to whom we owed the obli-
gation of rendering most agreeable that which is
in itself-a sea voyage-perfectly detestable) at
Barbadoes and Antigua, we arrived, on the even-
ing of the 24th May, at the anchorage of Port-au-
Prince. We approached by the northern passage,
called St. Mark's Channel, and as several hours
elapsed after having been fairly abreast of the
Island of Gonave, before we anchored, there
was abundant leisure for examining with glasses
the appearance of the coast from Arcahai to the
capital. The country is composed of a beauti-
ful undulating surface, bounded by a magnifi-
cent outline of mountain, the whole completely
covered with wood. We looked in vain for even
a solitary fishing-boat; but no evidence of hu-
man existence presented itself, except one or
two small groups of people on the beach, (pro-
bably attracted by the appearance of a large
frigate,) and a few buildings in a state of absolute
ruin, which from their appearance might have
beeu formerly the residence of opulent pro-

We approached the city with not sufficient
day-light to see more than mere traces, which
blending with the mountain back-ground, had a
fine effect. Almost at the moment of reaching
the anchoring ground a salute was fired from
the two forts in the rear of the city, which was
by some of our company considered to be in
honour of our flag; but the real solution was that
it is customary to salute at sun-set on the day
preceding any great festival, and this was the
.eve of Corpus Christi, one of the most honoured
of the Catholic Church. Early in the morning I
announced my arrival to the Secretary General
Inginac; but, as the whole of the authorities were
engaged in the religious processions, I did not
land. In the course of the afternoon an officer
came off from General Inginac, to invite me to
visit him the following day, which was done,
and an appointment made for an interview with
the President at two o'clock on the 26th. At
the appointed time, accompanied by Captain
Chambers, and one of the gentlemen who went
out with me, I landed at a miserable wooden
pier, where we found the officer, who had visited
us, waiting with a carriage that had been pro-
vided by the Government. In this we proceeded
to the Palais du Gouvernement," formerly the
residence of the French governor general. Some


delay occurred in reaching our destination, owing
to the circuitous route the carriage was obliged
to take, on account of the impassable state of
the leading streets, which are generally torn up
in the middle by the rush of the tropical rains;
and the only mode of repair is to fill up the
cavities with any refuse that can be procured,
which of course is washed out by the first
recurrence of them.
We however reached the palace in safety:
before it we passed a cenotaph, in which the.
remains of the late President Petion and his
eldest daughter repose, and on the opposite side
is a wooden platform with steps, called L' au-
tel de la Patrie," from which on certain occa-
sions the president harangues the troops and
the citizens, A mountain cabbage-tree, (Palma
nobilis) the tree of liberty in Haiti, grows near it.
The palace is a large building, with a handsome
flight of steps leading into good reception-rooms,
where we were met by the secretary-general and
some of the president's aides-de-camp. The
former introduced us to his excellency, (for so
the president is exclusively designated,) and
our reception was polite, if not gracious. The
president, a little intelligent-looking man, with
very keen black eyes, which he whirls about
with extraordinary rapidity, showed that his



manners had been formed on a good French
model. Our interview was short, as I had
merely to state the objects of my visit, which I
did with as little circumlocution as possible.
We then retired to the Hotel de la Monnaie,"
which had been considerately provided for us
by the president, as neither house nor lodging
was to be hired on the spur of the moment,
The indispensable objects of attention, that
occupy every new comer in all countries, having
been as speedily disposed of as possible, I ap-
plied myself with diligence to the acquisition of
information on every topic of interest, and to the
performance of those duties which had been
committed to my charge. In the execution of
this two-fold task, I was engaged until the
month of February 1827, when I commenced
more extended examination of tlie island. The
general result of those inquiries I shall now give,
before attempting to detail my observations in
other districts.
The city of Port-au-Prince was first built in
the year 1749, since which, with some few in-
tervals, it has been the capital of French St.
Domingo, and is now the capital of the whole
island. The first view that we had of it, in an
imperfect light, was pleasing; but the broad
glare of the sun removed the delusion, and ex-



hibited a town irregularly built, though the,
streets are laid out with great precision, tra-
versing each other .at nearly right angles, the
longest passing faim north to south. The white,
ness of those parts of rock which are exposed in
the immediate neighbourhood, produces an un-
pleasantgre; and, in spite of Moreau St. Mery's
denial of the resemblance to a Tartar camp, I
cannot help thinking that the expression is by no
means inapt. The most striking feature in the
neighbourhood of Port-an-Prince, when looked
upon from the harbour, is the total absence of all
visible cultivation-the eye being only relieved
from the monotony of rank wild vegetation, by
a few neat-looking cottages that are scattered
over the hills close to the city, and which are
the residences chiefly of foreign merchants.
Among these the Habitation Letor" (which is
of higher pretensions) makes a very handsome
appearance. It was formerly the property of
an opulent Frenchman, and now belongs to the
only surviving daughter of the late President
Petion, and is occasionally the residence of the
family of the present president.
The city is partially fortified landward, and is
commanded in the rear by Forts Belair and
Alexandre," the last so named in honour of Pe-
tion; and the harbour is protected by a battery


o"a small isrand, at a ery short d-tan-c from
the shore. Immediately behind the palace iwthe
"Champ de Mars," where the troopiare dUlled,
amd where inspections take place every Suniday.
The buildings being chiefly of wood, and sel-
dom exceeding twoatories in height, have a pal.
try appearance. This style of house, was adopted
by the French in consequence of equent earth-
quakes, which were found to overthrow moremsb-
stantial edifices. There are no public buildings
of any importance, except the palace The
arMenal (which was burnt during my stay), the
prison, the church, the mint, the courts, the
Lyceum, and the .military hospital, are all insig-
nificant in appearance. But with almost all of
these is associated some scene of bloodshed,
which is quite sickening. It was in the front of
the church that Colonel Mauduit, alternately the
idol and the object of detestation of the popu-
lace, was basely murdered by his own regiment
(that of Port-an-Prince), and his miserable
corpse totn to pieces by the infuriated rabble.
And in the opposite direction is the burying.
ground, in which his faithful slave deposited his
reeking remains, and then stretching himself on
the grave, blew out his own brains.
I was also shewn the house in whichh was per-
petrated one of thoee remorseless a&ts of bruta-


lity, that so preeminently distinguished that
monster Dessalines. A person now .dead, of
mixed blood, was suspected of having admitted
his claims to Haitian citizenship, (which was
determined by the complexion,) not from any
pride in the fact, but from motives of temporary
convenience, and the test to which he was ex-
posed was most atrocious. He was on terms of
great intimacy with a European Frenchman, of
the name of Fouch6r, in fact living in the same
house in habits of daily and familiar intercourse
with him. To prove his claims to Haitian citi-
zenship, he was taken by a party of Dessalines'
aides-de-camp, and compelled to poignard his
unhappy friend. General Lacroix, in his very
able History of the Revolution of St. Domingo,
mentions the fact, which I could scarcely credit
until it was confirmed by an individual who was
actually in the house when the deed of horror
was perpetrated. His version of the anecdote
differed from that of the general, in ascribing
horror and repugnance to the involuntary mur-
derer. I would willingly hope that this is true.
There are three principal roads that lead out
of Port-au-Prince-one to the north, which
branches off to St. Mark's and to Mirebalais;
another to the east, leading to Fort Jacques;
and a third, that goes to the south and west,


leadingto Leogane. Onthe first of these are the
scenes of two important events in Haitian history,
the PontRouge, where Desalines was shot from
an ambuscade, formed by his own troops, and
Cibert, where Christophe gained a signal vic-
tory over Petion. In the direction of Mireba-
lais is the hamlet of Croix des Bouquets, cele-
brated as the place at which the first conven-
tion, in 1791, was entered into between the
white and coloured population. On the Leo-
gane road, close to the entrance into the city,
there was formerly a block house, and further
on, upon an eminence, stands the Fort Bizotton,
which was carried by our troops in 1793, in a
night assault., The whole of these roads are in
bad order, from being composed of stiff clay
without any stones, although there is abundance
of rock at hand; they are in wet weather nearly
impracticable, as a horse sinks at every step
fetlock-deep, and the slipperiness of the mud
renders even the slowest motion hazardous.
On such roads carriages are of little use, and
a few waggons, not unlike those used in Spain
and Portugal, drawn by oxen, are almost the
only vehicles seen. Asses and horses are the
usual beasts of burthen, and almost every per-
son keeps a riding horse.
- Port-au-Prince is the seat of the republican


S"tOA bS


government, and is the principal post of an
Arrondissement," under the peculiar protec-
tion of the president, who strictly vindicates his
claim to his official designation by interfering
with every thing. The effective service under
him is carried on by different departments.
The secretary-general, Inginac, unites in his
own person the offices of secretary at war, of
foreign and home minister. Among his other
duties he promulgates the orders of the president,
and such laws as have received his sanction;
and he also countersigns certain documents.
I believe a secretary-general existed under the
colonial system. The minister of finance, desig-
nated Secretaire d'6tat des finances," M. Im-
bert, and the treasurer-general, M. Nau, ar-
range all fiscal matters; while the Grand
Juge," who, strange to relate, is a military man,
presides in the supreme court of justice, and
* exercises jurisdiction over all the inferior courts
and law officers. There are at Port-au-Prince,
besides the court already named, one of cassa-
tion, another for civil and criminal cases in the
first instance, and a "juge de paix" court for
minor matters of all kinds. A tribunal of com-
merce was talked of, but I know not whether
it has been yet constituted.
The city, as well as Fort Bizotton, is garri-


soned by regular troops, and there are various
military posts both within and without. At
most of them the strange exhibition is made of
chairs or seats for the sentries on duty, and
hammocks for the remainder of the guard. The
first place at which I remarked this singular
arrangement was in the front of the president's
palace. At the outlet to Leogane, I have re*
peatedly seen the centinel squatting on the
ground, holding his musket between his knees.
From this singularly elegant attitude he is
scarcely ever roused, except by the clattering of
horses' hoofs, moving faster than is meet in the
presence of a Haitian post. He then starts up,
growling the awful words au pas !" so familiar
to all trotting delinquents. There is also an
adequate stimulus to move him, in the prospec-
tive confiscation of the plantains, yams, or fruit,
of any unhappy wight, who, in contravention of
the code rural," strays to the market on for-
bidden days.
The police is military, forming a particular
regiment; and, from having lived above two
months nearly opposite to the juge de paix,
I can aver that they have abundant employ-
ment, which they perform with the.usual deli-
tacy of their profession. The delinquents were
chiefly offenders of both sexes against the-code


rural-persons in fact who preferred dancing all
night, and drinking tafia, to the labour pre-
scribed by that law. In some classes of offence,
I am sorry to say that they are either not so
diligent or successful. An out-building, at-
tached to my cottage in the country, was
broken open when I was at dinner, and some
money in a writing-desk, and a few articles of
dress belonging to one of my servants, were
stolen. The fact was discovered certainly within
an hour, and immediately communicated to the
police, and a reward of one hundred dollars
offered. The inquiry however failed; though
some time afterwards the desk was found broken
open in a wood adjoining my premises. It is
however to the credit of the population, that no
other robberies took place at my house, as its
small size and the heat of the climate obliged
s .all to sleep with open doors and windows.
The police is said to be much improved since
Petion's time, when the most barefaced robbe-
ries were committed.
The principal market-day is Saturday; but
there wae daily markets throughout the week for
certain -articles. The supply of beef, mutton,
and fowls, is very tolerable; that of fish uncer-
tain; and what is singular enough, although
turtle abound in the bay, they are rarely met


with for sale. There is also a respectable sup-
ply not only of tropical vegetables and fruit, but
of meane European kinds, which are raised by
some natives, and by some of the American set-
tlers, who have received grants of land from the
government. Peaches, not of a good sort, and
apples come from the mountains near Fort
Jacques; and I have in my possession some ex-
ceedingly fine cloves, bought in the market of
Port-au-Prince, which had been grown at Jere-
mie. The mere necessaries of Haitian life are
reasonable in price; but whatever approaches to
luxury is extravagantly dear. House-rent, at
least to every foreigner, is very high. I was
asked for an unfurnished house, without either
kitchen or stable, four thousand dollars a-year.
Of course I did not take it, but hired a small
cottage out of town. For my office in town I
was obliged to pay fifteen hundred dollars
a-year. Water is well supplied by several foun-
tains, which are fed from the neighboring
heights, through channels constructed by the
Port-au-Prince was formerly celebrated for
its theatre and public amusements. There was
nothing of the kind when L was.there.*
Situated as this city is, at the bottom of a
very deep bay, and nearly surrounded by marshy



ground, under a burning son, it is emineikly
unhealthy, and its insalubrity is not a little in`
creased by the interruption that the sea-breeze,
so appropriately called the Doctor in most tro-
pical countries, meets with in its progress flon
the Island of Gonave, which will be seen by
a reference to the map, blocks up the entrance
to the bay. During the months of May,
June, July, August, and September, the heat
is most intense; for a considerable time my
thermometer reached 99* every day in the
shade.* The consequence of these concurrent
causes is mortal disease among new comers.
Within a month after my arrival my principal
servant died of yellow fever; within three
months one of the acting vice-consuls fell a
victim to the climate, and every other indivi-
dual of my family, including servants, (one of
whom was a native of La Guayra,) were most
seriously, if not dangerously, ill. The chief
sufferers, in general, are to be found among the
crews of foreign vessels. The climate and new
rum are omnipotent. As an instance of the un-
fitness of Port-au-Prince for European consti-
tutions, I may cite the fate of the French con-
sul general's family. I believe that on arrival
Moreau St. Mery gives a catalogue, of fearful extent, of the
diseases of every month in the yearn



it consisted of six, five of whom were dead
within fifteen months, M. Maler, the consul
genesl, being the:sole survivor.
It strikes a stranger as very extraoinary
that the people should seem to delight in at-
tending funerals. The women are the principal
attendants, and the greater the number, the
greater the honor paid to the deceased. Some
charitablee foreigners ascribe this to the want
of places of public amusement, at which the
ladies can exhibit themselves. Funerals and
church thus, it is said, become their only re-
source. I found afterwards in Jamaica, that the
humblest slave aspires to the glory of a fine
funeral; so that personal vanity may not be the
sole cause of the Haitian practice of inviting the
whole town to escort the dead to their last
earthly home. The custom extends to foreigners
as well as natives, and, with half-a-dozen excep-
tions, I can with truth declare that all the invi-
tations I received for the first six months of my
residence were to funerals, and I must candidly
own that I did not do due honor to the dead; for
the time of the ceremonial being one at which the
sun was very powerful, I generally contrived to
mourn by deputy.*
This subject is pathetically and admirably illustrated by
Sir Walter Scott in the Antiquary."



I have been repeatedly asked, is there any
court in Haiti ? Were I to answer directly, I
should say that. there is none according to the
European standard, and I suspect that there is
nothing to correspond with the republican le-
vees of Washington. To form a correct idea of
the meetings, or whatsoever else they may be
called, at the Palace of Port-au-Prince, it is
necessary to discard all the gorgeous accounts
of Christophe's court. There is no king; there
are no dukes, marquesses, counts,, barons, or
knights ;, no stars or ribbands; neither are
there any splendid equipages: there is, in fact,
nought but military rank, indicated by military
attire, that commands respect, and, I may add,
almost exclusive authority; and the most illus-
trious of the Haitian chiefs wend their me-
lancholy way to the Sunday levee on foot or
on horseback, as their good stars may enable
them to do. This is the only fixed public day,
and at six o'clock in the morning the Pre-
sident receives all persons, whether natives or
foreigners, who choose to sally forth at this ap-
parently unreasonable hour, though in reality
not a bad one, in a very hot country. When-
ever a particular audience is required, especially
by a public agent of a foreign government, dif-
ficulties are rarely interposed by the president.


After a due allowance of bowing and saying
civil things, the chief mounts his horse, accom-
panied by his officers of state and personal staff,
and proceeds to the Champ de Mars," where
the regiments in garrison, and the militia in
succession, from the adjacent districts, are form-
dd into three sides of a square, round which the
president rides slowly, inspecting the men. No
evolutions are performed, and the troops rarely
fire-whether to economize powder, or to avoid
personal risk to the Etat Major," does not
appear quite certain. The military bands play
during the inspection, and I dare 'say that the
performance is highly gratifying to admirers of
cracked trumpets, and a pretty considerable ',
disregard of tune and time. Sometimes the
president, A la Napoleon," on noticing a sol-
dier unusually neat, calls him out of the ranks,
'pats him on the back, and holds him out as an
example to his brethren. I never4Witnessed such
a scene, though it was accurately described to
me; for I only once essayed the field, and my
horse was so little an amateur of the music,
though himself a Haytian, that I was delighted
to escape without adding to the exhibitions of
the morning by a summerset. Having no ambi-
tion to display feats of horsemanship, I never


returned to the charge; but I had weekly ac-
counts confirmatory of my own observatidhs.
This ceremonial ended, the president and his
suite ride through the city to inspect its condi-
tion, no doubt carefully surveying thb very
rapid accumulation or decrease of filth (accord-
ing to the serenity or wetness of the day) that
adorns the beautiful capital." And as this
part of the business is conducted with in-
describable gravity, I do hope that the commu-
nity at large may eventually derive much bene-
fit from it.
Besides these hebdomadal exhibitions, there
are three days consecrated by the thirty-fourth
article of the revised constitution of 1816 to
public festivity, and on each of these the presi-
dent holds a public court. The days are the
1st January, the anniversary of Haitian inde-
pendence; the 2d April, that of the birth of
Petion, the founder of the republic; and 1st
May, that of the establishment of the FRte
d'Agriculture." Of these I had the bad fortune
to be present only at the celebration of the an-
niversary of the Independence of the Republic;
the other celebrations having taken place when I
was absent from the capital. Of the occasion at
which I was present, I shall give a short account.


Some days prior to the ffte," on the Ist Jan.
1827,1 received an invitation to attend the great
meeting on that day, at the palace, and after-
wards to dine with his Excellency. Accordingly
I went at six in the morning, (the appointed
hour,) in all the paraphernalia of office, shining
like a dollar, as the Barbadians have it, and
found numberless military men as well as civi-
lians, of nearly every colour in the rainbow,
assembled, interchanging kisses with mousta-
chioed lips, a ceremony that affected my ner-
vous economy in. an indescribable manner, male
kissing being rather against my code of ethics.
All were huddled together without order, as
there was no master of ceremonies, even
such a one as might have appeared at a ball
after Epping hunt, and every man was left to
his own resources. I was fortunate enough to
find my old friend General Inginac, to whom on
this and every other occasion I was indebted
for personal kindness. But, notwithstanding
that kindness, I had got into a state of moral
" asphyxia," when the appearance of my friend
and colleague, M. Maler, the French consul-
general, revived me. The time passed as plea-
santly as his wit and eccentric remarks on the
scene could make it; but expectation under
accumulating heat is the devil. At length,


bout eight o'clock, a buzz was heard, and out
rushed his Excellency the President, muttering
a few words, which I was told by a step-son of
Sonthonax,'M. Villevaleix, (who now holds office
in the republic,) was an apology for having kept
us waiting. We were then marshalled by my
informant, who now assumed the duties of act-
ing master of the ceremonies, and we proceeded
to the Autel de la Patrie," which from its ap-
pearance would be more appropriately named
" l'Echafaud de la Patrie." By the time in
which the procession (in which the precedence
Qf the students of medicine and of foreign
agents was a moot point,) had reached its sta-
tion, the president was on the altar," and we
had abundant leisure to examine his outward
man. He was dressed in a blue frock-coat,
very richly embroidered with gold. On the
beauty of his inexpressibles I cannot pretend to
descant, from the depth and closeness of his
coat; but his boots surpassed any thing I had
ever seen. The foot, the ancle, and the upper
part, was each of a different colour, the form,
.Hessian, bound with gold, with an enormous
gold tassel dependent; and the whole was as
amply embroidered as a Chinese shoe, and nearly
as elegant. Over his shoulder was slung a belt
of velvet and gold, to which was appended a



sword, such as Bayard may have been sup.
posed to have used in his last devotions,
while in his hand he carried a superb cane
mounted with gold, and nearly rivalling the
presidential altitude. His Excellency's head
was surmounted with a tremendous chapeau
a la Claque,". which he dismounted, and grace-
fully waving it, he emphatically recalled the
glories of the day thus commemorated, antici-
pated the perpetuity of independence, foretold
brilliant prospects of futurity, and the annihila-
tion of foreign aggressors. His Excellency then
descended, and saying a few civil things to those
near him, the procession again moved forward to
the church, where a "Te Deum" was performed,
and we then returned to the place from which
we came," where we peacefully separated for
our respective dwellings, half broiled by the
sun, and exhausted by hunger and fatigue. At
seven in the evening, a party of about one
hundred and fifty persons (including the fo-
reign agents) dined with the President. Among
the toasts were The President and Republic
of Haiti," Charles X." George IV." and
various others. Excess was not the charac-
teristic of the party; for, after a very few glasses
of wine, we adjourned to an apartment, in which



the female members of General Boyer's family
were assembled, where we had some music; and
the honorary laureate of the republic, (General
Chanlatte, since dead,) sung a song composed
by himself, the burthen of which was Vive
Boytr! Vive Haiti !" More I recollect not,
though the lyrics were published in a news-
paper. I ought to have gone home at ten
o'clock, but my groom, having thought it ne-
cessary to do honour to the day by potent liba-
tions, was unable to bring my horses, and I was
obliged to go in quest of them.
I regret, now that there is no probability.of
my ever again witnessing the scenes, that I lost
the two other national festivals, at which I un-
derstand a display somewhat different from that
just described takes place. The professed ob-
ject of that of the 1st of May is to encourage
agriculture by the award of prizes to the most
successful cultivators ; but I am not aware
that the competition is as yet very extensive.
However, it appears to be one of the objects
that are very steadily pursued by the govern-
ment of Haiti.
Of the president's domestic arrangements and
private parties, I can say nothing from personal
observation, as my intercourse with him was



purely official. It was said that the French
consul-general was more familiar, owing to the
predilections of the president, which very natu-
rally tend to the country of his father, who was
a Frenchman.



Population and Society of of White
Proprietors-Case of Darfour-American Servants-Sloth-
ful Habits-Style of Visiting- Cultivation and Wages-
Rural Police-M. Nan's Plantation.

THE population of the capital and its imme-
diate vicinity consists of a few foreigners of
different nations, the adopted citizens of the re-
public, and the natives of the island. The first
of these classes is composed of a few public
agents, merchants, and some tradespeople.
With the exception of the British and French
consuls, all the other agents were commercial
men. Of the style of society I shall presently
The subjects, or citizens (which I believe to
be the more appropriate republican epithet) to
Haiti, in this district, were, at the period of
which I refer, divided into three great classes;


viz. a very few white men; every shade of co-
lour between white and black, to which Moreau
St. Mery and Lacroix have attempted to affix
a nomenclature; and the negroes. In the ordet
trf their numerical proportions they stand thus:
black, coloured, white. The first two of these
classes are again subdivided in reality, (though
all professing a common allegiance) into all the
national distinctions of Europe and America;
for by the forty-fourth article of the constitu-
tion, all Inidians, Africans, and their descendants,
whether of mixed or pure blood, may become
citizens after a residence of twelve months.
The residence, however, is often dispensed with,
though contrary to the theory' of the constitu-
tion, as I have had occasion to know. Hence
Haiti, in general, becomes a place of refuge to
all persons of those classes, who either have, or
suppose themselves to have, reason to be dis-
satisfied with their own country; and the capi-
tal, from natural causes, is the place of princi-
pal resort, especially on first emigration. The
remainder are native-born Haitians, having every
peculiarity of opinion that may be imagined to
have been engendered by their situation and
circumstances. Such, at least, is the opinion of
the best informed persons (natives as well as
strangers) with whom I conversed on the sub-


ject; and my own observations, as far as they
went, confirmed what I had heard from others.
Notwithstanding the discordance of these ma-
terials, the government asserts that all the feel-
ings and prejudices, either of the olden time, cw
on the subject of colour, or on that of national
origin, have been absorbed by an intense pa-
triotism: others again aver, that in no part of
the world do prejudices and feelings exist to so
great an extent as in the capital itself; and I am
disposed to fear that the latter opinion is the
most correct, from many facts; but most espe.-
cially so, from the maintenance of the 38th
article of the constitution, which proscribes all
whites* from becoming citizens, in spite of the
conviction of the most enlightened of the chiefs,
who, I cannot but believe, reluctantly defer to
the prejudices of the nmany.t
I made many inquiries on this point; for,
besides its importance in determining the poli-
tical concord of the republic, I was curious to
ascertain how far a revolution, founded on hos-

Art. 3s. Aucun blanc, quelque soit sa nation, ne poor-
ao mettre les pieds sur ce territoire d tire de maitre on de pr.-
t ChristophIe disapproved of this law; and Vasty, in his
" Reflexions Politiques," proposed the substitution of aucun
Francois,' instead of ", aucun blanc."



utility to prejudice of colour, had ended, with
refence to what has been professed to be its
most active immediate cause. The state of the
case, such as I believe to exist, is by no means
unnatural, however unfortunate it may be fot
abstract principles: indeed, I apprehend it to be
one of the most difficult efforts of humanity to
remove prejudices, however absurd, in a limited
community, with which they have been almost
identified. If this be true, a solution will be at
once given to this apparent anomaly in a society
formed out of the most dissimilar elements.
The government, as I have already remarked,
deny such an opinion, and they are right; but
there is direct evidence of no very ancient date,
that individuals may be found ready to excite
passions which it is clearly the interest of tlhe
whole should slumber. In 1822, a black man,
named Darfour, a native of the district known
by that name in Africa, who, when a boy, had
accompanied a French gentleman from Egypt to
France, where he had been educated, emigrated
to Haiti. At Port-au-Prince he established
himself as the editor of a newspaper, called
"L'Eclipse ;" and, adopting the opinion that his
own caste was undervalued and excluded from
offices of trust, he became a vehement opponent
of the government. His proceedings were so


violent that he was obliged to lay down his pa-
per, and to support himself by manual labour.
His restless spirit however, always at work,
discovered, or supposed it had discovered, some
new oppression. He embodied his wrongs in %
petition to the Chamber of Commons, which he
proceeded to deliver at the bar of that body,
with the support of some of its most distin-
guished members. These proceedings were
nipped in the bud; for the petitioner was ar&
rested, led before a court martial (although a
civilian), tried, convicted, and shot. The mem-
bers who had abetted him were exiled, as I
understood, without trial, to a distance from
Port-au-Prince, to which they were permitted
to return after having duly expiated their poli-
tical sins by an exile of some months. I was
also told that they were expelled the Chamber.
As far as I could discover, there is nothing of
an imperceptible gradation in society. The pre-
sident avowedly stands at the head, and the
military and civil officers range according to
their respective ranks: but there is no high-
er order, no middle class, descending to the
lower orders in private life. Military and civil
employment, and the possession of money,
alone, entitle to consideration; but in general
the possessor will associate ot terms of familia-


rrty with the lowest member in the scale of
society, without any feeling of degradation.
There are, however, exceptions to.this awkward
practice. Some have attempted to show that
the coloured population form an aristocracy,
while the whole of the labour is entailed on the
negro. This, I suspect, is generalizing too ex-
tensively; is a fact that the former very
often fill the principal offices, owing, I suppose,
to their being generally better educated; but
t*heie are many instances in which blacks, even
without education, are intrusted with important
offices. There is one circumstance which ap-
pears to me very essentially to contribute to this
spit of equality. Almost every man, what-
ever his official rank may be, is either directly
or indirectly engaged in commerce, the acquisi.
tion of money being held in as great repute as
it ever was in Duke's-place or the Minories.
Out of the class just mentioned there is no
intermediate step to that of labourers, artizans,
domestic servants, &c. These are of all colours
and of various qualities. The natives are the
most numerous, and there are among them
some ingenious workmen and industrious la.-
bourers; but these qualities are not so general
as they ought to be.
Among the labourers in town, .there is a con-



siderable number of emigrants from the United
States of America, who, though by no means
deficient in intelligence, are, with few exceptions,
by no means the most respectable part of the
community. My personal experience among se-
veral American servants that I had, led to this
conclusion; and on investigating the causes, I
found that during the rage for emigration from
America to Haiti, the very refuse of the black
and coloured population. of the former were
foremost, no doubt in the expectation of finding
a school-boy's Utopia in the new land of promise.
But when they found that the government ex-
acted labour in return for food and grants of land,
discontent and dissatisfaction followed; and those
who could not remove themselves, (which num-
bers failed in doing, owing to the vigilance of
the authorities) became as systematic in idle-
ness, drunkenness, and profligacy, as men and
women could be.
Indolence and inactivity are not, however,
confined to the emigrants; they are the charac-
teristics of the country: there is a general air
of listlessness, which may be aptly described
as a death-like languor which is not repose,"
pervading all classes. I was much struck by a
practical illustration which was one day afforded
by a Haitian of the truth of this remark. An



Englishman had desired a porter in the home
where he was employed, to go on some mes-
sage for him to a short distance. As I was
interested in it, I awaited his return, which was
delayed much longer than it ought to have
been. At last the messenger appeared, "creep-
ing like snail:" my acquaintance called out
in the usual phrase on such occasions, Vite!
vite !" which seemed rather to retard the mo-
tions of our Mercury. At last he arrived; and
on my asking Pourquoi, mon ami, eat ce qua
vous ne courez pas?" he replied, with the
most imperturbable gravity, ", Nous ne courons
pas dans ce pays ci." Had there been any drol-
lery, it might have been cited as a specimen of
Haitian humour; but it was no such thing; it
was the sober enunciation of a principle.
If a doubt remain on a stranger's mind as to
the correctness of this view of the case, let him
ride through Port-au-Prince at any hour of the
day, and he will see confirmation strong."
The manner in which, at all hours of the day,
the women and men are seen lounging under
canvas, strained in front of the houses to ex-
clude the sun, is no bad accompaniment for
the sentries in chairs ; and I suspect there is no
part of the world where more time is literally
whiled away" than in Haiti. The impress of


listless indolence is decidedly given to all aid-
mated nature; even the dogs and pigs wander
about with an apathy unseen elsewhere. The lat-
ter seem so lean, as almost to convince the spec-
tator, that, contrary to the habits of their race,
they have abandoned gluttony. I was once
nuch struck by a dry remark made by a caustic
fellow: D-n these Haitians, they cannot
even fatten a pig." Whether this be true or not,
or whether the climate exercises the enervating
influence ascribed to that of Naples, I will not
presume to decide; but it is a certain fact that
wretched pigs and scarecrow dogs abound.
The society of Port-au-Prince, as already
stated of the population, is either foreign or na-
tive; the former very much divided, according tq
the countries to which the individuals belong,
although they mingle together very generally.
Their foreign residents are merchants, chiefly
English, French, German, and North American,
who visit without restraint, although there are
individuals who seem desirous of keeping up
national distinctions. Many conceived it quite
anomalous that the French consul-general and
the officers of the French squadron should be
on habits of familiar intercourse with me. In
spite of such opinions, I steadily maintained an
intercourse on which I shall always reflect with


pleasure, as having afforded a pleasing relief to
the most laborious and irksome portion of my
life. There is very little systematic visiting
among foreigners in' Port-au-Prince, but a good
deal of dropping-in visits. The practice of
breakfasting at mid-day and dining (the natives
eall it "souper") at seven o'clock, tends to pro-
mote this unceremonious kind of intercourse. As
there is always enough prepared for the family,
an interloper is never heeded, except to be wel-
comed. The chief objection to these late. break-
fasts is the introduction of wine and spirits,
which sometimes leads to excess. They are
howeverso much in vogue, that many foreigners,
as well as natives, who never give a dinner,
occasionally give a d6jeuner i la fourchette "
to a small party of sixty or eighty. At one of
these, given by'a most respectable and worthy
Englishman, I witnessed the evil effects of the
early introduction of wine; for an official fo-
reigner was soon carried off senseless; while his
neighbour had solid reasons for regretting the
* proximity of his pockets to the eruption which
preceded the melancholy state of repose that
rendered a bed necessary.
What the intercourse of the natives with each
other may be I cannot describe, as I had no
means of making any minute inquiries; but I



should rather think that it conMists chiefly in
calls; when slight refreshments, such as wine,
or spirits and water, or eau suer6e," are pro-
duced. Their invitations to foreigners are not
common; but when they do occur there is
abundance of every thing. I cannot ascribe
this rarity to any want of hospitality; for, as I
shall hereafter have occasion to show, that is
a virtue which abounds, at least in the country
districts. I suspect a want of means is the real
At the period of our arrival, and for a long
time after, there were no balls among the
better classes, owing, in the first place, to the
mourning for the eldest daughter of Petion,
who had died at a very early age, a short time
'before; and secondly, to the depressed state
of commerce, and the general distress: but
shortly before I left the island the gaieties had
recommended. I wished certainly to have seen
one; but occupation, and the power of going
whenever I chose, led me to postpone doing so,
until sickness rendered it impossible.
From some of my friends who were present,
I learned that European chances were chiefly in
vogue; the carabinier," a sort of cotillon,
being almost the only one peculiar to the repub-
lic. The men are described as zealous, though



not the most gaceful votaries of Terpsichore ;
while the softer sex display much grace in evo-
lations, though too nearly allied to the style of
the ballet. The men are reported not to dress in
accordance with the canons of Stultz; but the
toilet of the ladies very closely resembles that
on the eastern side of the Atlantic, with the ex-
ception of the head-dress, which is a sort of
turban, constructed generally of a Madras hand-
kerchief: I think it pretty, though rather too
lofty. Whenever a lady does not intend to
dance, this head-gqar is formed of a white
handkerchief; a sort of flag of truce that is
always held sacred.
I was told that it would be difficult to deter-
mine which was the worst, the music or the
refreshments: the former consisting of two or
three cracked clarionets and horns; the latter,
of orgeat, bad rum, worse water, and coarse
syrup and water, sparingly served out of a still
more slender supply of glasses.
Private concerts also occurred; and I under-
stand from competent judges that they were, to
wee the professional phrase, very well got up.
Among the chief performers were some native
Haitians, who had held commissions in the
French army in Europe, Upon these two im-



portant points I am only a hearsay-witness, as I
never was present at either.
The majority of the inhabitants of the count*
try adjacent to Port-au-Prince are small pro-
prietors or concessionaires;" to whom, by an
Agrarian law introduced by the late president
Petion, small allotments of land have been
made. I know of no small tenants paying rent
for land. They cultivate such articles as Gui-
nea-grass and vegetables, and they rear poultry.
In the higher grounds coffee is grown to a small
extent. The same individuals also occasionally
labour for the foreign residents near the town
for wages. There may be a few professed la-
bourers; but of these there are I believe but
very few: it is consequently difficult to secure
steady labour. Living as I did, about two miles
from town, I found it necessary to cultivate as
much grass as was wanted for my own horses.
I had always one labourer, generally an Ameri-
can emigrant, residing on my premises; but
occasionally, to keep down the rapid growth of
weeds, extra labour was required: yet in spite
of the inducements of better wages than were
usually paid, and of punctual payment every.
Saturday, I could rarely, if ever, get the same
set of people to work two weeks continuously.



I found that the produce of one week's exertions
(from 1 to two dollars), if they could be called
so, enabled the labourer to enjoy for a consi-
derable period his chief luxury, rum; as the
anecessaries of life are to be procured for a mere
trifle, or with very little effort. One exception
I must make in favour of an old sous-lieutenant,.
who had served under Christophe, and in his
latter days reverted to his original rank, that of
a labourer; he toiled week after week: but he
had acquired ambition in his military career.
My hero, though one of the ugliest men in the
public, was named Adonis!
The evils of this disinclination to labour press
heavily on the finances of the government, who
have discovered that "ex nihilo nihil fit;" and
that they cannot perform their engagements
without produce. Hence originated the code
rural," the existence of which was so boldly
denied in this country. It provides, as I shall
hereafter show, very amply for enforcing la-
bour; but the execution of the law near Port-
au-Prince becomes difficult from the want of
subordinate agents. Night-dancing, so much
in vogue, is restricted to those nights that pre-
cede holidays; by which arrangement industry
and pleasure may go hand-in-hand. But the
law is inoperative. During the whole of my


residence near Port-au-Prince, my rest wa
broken at least thrice every week by the big
drums at these meetings; and one of the priaci-
pal places of resort was the house of the captain
of the rural police, whose duty it was to repress
such assemblages. This worthy, also afforded
his visitants an opportunity of disgorging a little
of their surplus capital at rouge et noir," or
some other equally complicated game. This
man was a character of some note. He was not
inaptly named Taureau;" for though his means
were small, and his cottage still smaller, he had
a harem of no less than six wives, one of whom
for a time was my laundress. Great was the
consternation in the seraglio, when one of the
ladies was discovered to have, in defiance of
her allegiance, maintained a less than ques-
tionable intimacy with a young black gallant,
yclept Michel, the servant of an English mer-
chant. Complaint after complaint rolled out
against the lover, and Heaven only knows what
might have been his fate, had not the sug-
gestions of his master rendered him more cir-
. I once went to one of these rural balls, which
was got up at the instance of one of my English
aeighbours, that I might have an opportunity of
making my personal observations. A rude hut,

covered with the branches of trees, was lighted
with a few candles. The musician, dressed
fantastically, sat in a corner, beating a large
drum; and the dancers of both sexes moved
slowly, chanting a melancholy and wild accom-
paniment to the drum. The attitudes were vo-
luptuous and not devoid of grace: there was no
particular motion of the feet, and the figure was
merely advancing to and receding from, and
tnoving slowly around the cabin. At the end of
each dance, the musician started up, darted to
the place where the strangers stood, and exhi-
bited some frantic gesticulations. Smoking, and
drinking tafia, were the other recreations of the
I have already noticed the uncultivated ap-
pearance of the country on approaching it from
the sea. The same character prevails, though
to a less extent, on riding through it; for al-
though occasional patches of cultivation do
present themselves, they are so few when com-
pared with the dense masses of rank natural
vegetation, (which proceeds with a rapidity
wholly unknown in milder climates,) as to sink
into the shade. Thus to a .person unprepared
for such quick growth, the beautiful plain of
Cul-de-sac, to the N. E. of Port-an.Prince, would
soem to be an old forest. of logwood (homma-


toxylum Campechianum), and of bayahond
(acacia); although, within the last thirty years,
it was covered with sugar establishments, which
must have rivalled any in the world.
The general kind of culture I have already
noticed, when speaking of the labourers. That
of canes is carried on to a small extent in the en-
virons. To the west, on the Leogane road, is the
plantation Letor, already noticed; another be-
longing to General Inginac and the widow of
M. Sabourin, a former chief judge, called Mon
Repos: one in the plain of Cul-de-sac, Roche
Blanche, belonging to the president; a planta-
tion belonging to General Lerebours, the com-
mandant of Port-au-Prince ; another to M.
Nau, the treasurer-general, on which one hun-
dred and fifty labourers are employed, besides
smaller establishments. In the same direction
there is also a very pretty country-house, be-
longing to the president, called Drouillard, at
which Christophe established his head-quarters
when besieging Port-au-Prince. I do not be-
lieve that any cultivation goes on there. It
has much the appearance of the" retreat of an
English gentleman.
In reply to some queries addressed to me by
the directions of the late Mr. Secretary Canning,
I gave some account of Letor, which having



been printed by the order of the House of Cornm
mona, I feel myself at liberty now to use, espe-
cially as the statement has been fully borne out
by subsequent inquiries.
Formerly one thousand seven hundred car-
reaus (each containing about three hundred and
eighty square French feet) were in canes; above
one thousand five hundred slaves were employed
on it; three sugar-mills were constantly at work,
and excellent sugar was made. Now about
seven carreaus are in cultivation; not fifty la-
bourers are employed; and the only produce is
a little syrup and tafia, which .last is retailed in
a small shop by the road-side, in front of the
president's residence."-P. 80. Parliamentary
M. Nau very kindly invited me to his coun-
try-house, for the purpose of seeing his planta-
tion, which is justly considered amongst the
first in the republic; for being a man of pro-
perty, he is never driven by poverty to abandon
what he has once begun, which is very often
the case with inferior speculators. I spent the
day very agreeably with him, and gained much
useful knowledge of the state of cultivation.
- His arrangements were not quite finished; but
as far as I (who know nothing of the details of
sugar cultivation) can judge, they must succeed




when brought into full play, provided that he
can ensure labour. Little or no sugar is made
any where, at least for exportation, as I shall
hereafter prove ; the juice of the cane being
almost invariably only reduced to the state of
syrup, and used in that state for domestic pur-
poses, or distilled into tafia, of which there is a
very large consumption, being thev favourite
liquor of the natives.
The commerce of Port-au-Prince is carried on
by various classes of persons. The imports from
Europe and America are principally consigned
to European and North American commission-
houses, besides a few Haitian establishments.
The capital is one of the ports to which fo-
reign merchants are confined by the law of
patents; but they are, or at least were during
the time of my residence, restricted by heavy
penalties to wholesale business. Of course
they cannot deal with the consumers, but with
the native retailers, who are chiefly women,
styled marchandes;" these employ hucksters,
also women, who traverse the country, attend
the markets, and give an account of their trans-
actions to their employers, either every evening,
once a week, or once a month, according to
their character for integrity.
As the payments to the importer are genp-



tally in money, and there is only one import
tant article of export, coffee; the purehales
for returns can only be made after the crops
have been gathered, and these are effected by
brokers, who often bargain with a class of na-
tives called coffee speculators, from their deal-
ing for the chance of the market with the culti-
vators, and either sell to the best advantage, or
fulfil contracts previously entered into.
Among the respectable marchandes, there is
said to be much good faith; but with the great
body of customers, I believe the merchants are
obliged to use the utmost circumspection.
All the ordinary tradesmen, such as tailors,
shoe-makers, and even a water-proof hat manu-
facturer, are to be found in Port-au-Prince.
And I confess I was struck with the respectable
appearance of several booksellers' shops, having
looked in vain for such things both in Barbadoes
and Antigua. The books are generally elemen-
tary French publications and romances. The
works of Voltaire, Rousseau, and others of the
same class, abound.
There are also two printing-presses, one at
which the government gazette, Le Telegraphe,
is printed, and the other from which the Feuille
de Commerce issues. The former rarely con-
tains more than the dommunts issued by the




government; the latter occasionally some spi-4
rited papers, and is conducted by M. Courtois,
who was for a short time director of the post-
The apothecaries' shops are numerous, as they
ought to be in such a horrible climate, and are
well supplied with all the contents of the French
pharmacopeia. There are also some tanneries;
in which the bark of the mangrove is used as the
tanning material. As far as I could ascertain,
the great bulk of the border-people were either
of that class of Europeans called in the French
time petits blancs," or people of colour. The
labourers either in town or country are gene-
rally black.
At the time of my first arrival, the expecta-.
tions of the government as well as of the people
were on tiptoe, as to the establishment of a mi*
ning company, for working gold-mines in the
district of Cibao. During the era of mining
delusion, a company which was graced by many
distinguished names, was formed in London,
and agents sent out to explore this new Eldo-
rado, previous to realising golden visions. Un-
der such auspices the expectations of the Hai-
tians scarcely knew any bounds ; but la crise
financitre," as they phrased it in Europe, rather,
deranged their ideas; and when I was in Port-



tu-Prince, one of. the agents returned to report
that no gold was to be found, and thus most
reluctantly this source of national wealth was
abandoned. How far the agents sent out were
competent to the inquiry in which they were
employed, or how far they executed with cor-
rectness and ability their trust, I cannot decide,
as I am too little informed of the arrangements
that were made, or of the talents of the indivit
duals in question; but it is impossible to avoid"
suspecting that the improvidence which charac-
terised the proceedings of too many similar as-
sociations, was not wanting here; or that failure
resulted as much from bad information as from
the absence of the precious metal. Indeed,
one may suspect any absurdity when looking
back on the schemes of 1825 and 1826, a pe-
riod at which a company was gravely formed
for the condensation of saw-dust into planks,
which were to be superior to the original deals.
No supposition can be too absurd ; and one is
only surprised that Swift's "Wonder of all the
wonders that ever the world wondered at" was
not revived and credited.
At the time of which I speak, the formation
of a. national bank too was said to have been
an. object of great solicitude to the president.
This much is certain, that a law was passed



authorizing it; but up to the time of my de-
parture, I never heard that any progress had
been made towards its completion. Mr. Frank
lin, who I believe was engaged in the scheme,
gives some account of it in his work on Haiti.
Shortly after my arrival I had a pretty seven
attack of fever, which I shook off; but about
the end of July, or the beginning of August, I
had a second, that in a very few days reduced
me to a state of infantine weakness. Captain
Huna, of His Majesty's ship Tweed, which was
then at Port-au-Prince, with much kinds
proposed a short cruise. Right glad to escape
from the heat of the capital, I availed myself of
his offer, and we sailed as far as Gonave, vi-
sited Cape Nicolas Mole, and returned in about
ten days or a fortnight. We circumnavigated
Gonave, which I have already mentioned as
lying across the entrance of the bay, about
forty miles from the anchorage at Port-auw
Prince. Formerly some settlements had been
made on it; but of late it has been wholly
uninhabited, except by a few fishermen, who,
with their families, had pitched their tents
there to enjoy all the luxuries of mosquitos,
sand-flies, sand, and heat: but as they also
ventured to cut down mahogany, and to esta-
blish themselves as lords of the soil, much after



the fashi. of the American Squatters, his
Excellency the President, a very short time
before my arrival, had fitted out an expedition
against the unhallowed knaves, and, after
having destroyed all their squattings, brought
them to the main land, to contribute to its
welfare, industry, and prosperity. Very good
water is to be had in a bay on the north*
western extremity ;--at least, I think it was
Our visit to Cape Nicolas was rather ill-fated.
We entered the harbour, which is first-rate,
being completely land-locked, so that the
water is as still as that of a pond, and of great
depth, close to a very bold shore. As soon as
we had dropped our anchor, Captain Hunn,
according to established usage, sent to the
commandant, General Jean Batiste Bastion, to
arrange for an exchange of civilities in the
way of salutes. It seems that we were, in the
language of the knowing ones, in the wrong
box; for the mole is a shut port," not ac-
cessible to any vessels except in stress of wea-
ther. Captain Hunn's application consequently
produced infinite consternaton, and a rare spe-
cimen of epistolary composition--a specimen so
unique, that it would have been unfair to the
future race of public writers to have withheld it4




had I not unfortunately mislaid the copy. It
warned us off; but nothing daunted by so
formidable a warning, we discovered that we
wanted water, and applied for permission to
supply ourselves. No difficulty was opposed
to this; but the salutes were not to be thought
of, and to avoid our urgency to do honour to
the national flag of the republic, General
Bastien, who had studied naval and military
tactics, as well a&s diplomacy, under Christophe,
(who had created him Count de Leogane) per-
formed a feat that has fairly entitled him to be
considered the Talleyrand of his country. He
left his aide-de-camp to negotiate with the
officer sent by Captain Hunn, while he and his
wife, in a towering black beaver hat with an
enormous black plume, fairly galloped off to
the rear of the town. We afterwards dis-
covered that there was only one gun mounted
in this once formidable post. Early the follow-
ing morning the land breeze wafted us from
this inhospitable place.
Cape Nicolas Mole, as is well known to
every one conversant with the revolutions of
St. Domingo, was fortified at great expence by
the French government; and after we obtained
possession, it was rendered one of the strong-
holds of the world, seaward. And even now




the ruined works retain the names which we
had given them. After an enormous expense
had been fruitlessly incurred, the late Sir Tho*
mas Maitland entered into a convention with
Touseaint in 1798, and delivered up the fortifi-
cations to him, with so much pomp as to call
forth the sneers of the French writers. When
Christophe and Petion divided the French
portion of the island, the Mole retained its
fidelity to the latter. The former besieged it
in 1812, and after the governor, General La-
mar, had been killed, and his immediate sue-
cessor had blown out his brains on despairing
of succour, it fell into the hands of Chris-
tophe, who butchered some of the survivors,
razed the works, and even cut down the tree
that adorned the suburbs-a melancholy mo-
nument of his vindictive fury. The destruc-
tion of the trees was an act of very wanton fe-
rocity, as they afforded almost the only shade
in that neighbourhood, the country being re-
markably arid and bare. The city is now re-
duced to the lowest state, there being no trade,
notwithstanding its fine situation. In the event
of war it would still be an invaluable military
position, which would probably not be over-
looked either by America or France.
After I had landed at Port-au-Prince, the



Tweed was obliged to return to Jamaica, a&d
Captain Hunn visited Gonaives. It seems to have
been his lot to meet with adventures. While
there, he invited all the authorities, who gladly
profited by his politeness, and gave such sub-
stantial evidence of their approbation of his fie,
that, to use Burns's appropriate phrase, most of
them were "right glorious." While in that state,
some busy demon of imagination suggested the
possibility that in their helpless condition the fri-
gate might sail to Jamaica, and the hapless chiefs
be once more reduced to villain bonds." No
sooner had this idea been excited than several
of the party disappeared, and were found hiccup-
ping their apprehensions in the boats alongside,
out of which it was fruitless for the boat-keepers
to attempt to expel them. The story got into
some of the English papers, and I deemed it a
fable; but I have since learned from eye-wit-
nesses that in essentials the narrative was strictly
During my stay at Port-au-Prince, I made
several excursions in different directions; but
that with which I was most pleased was to La
Coupe, a district in the highlands to the east-
ward of the city, distant about seven or eight
miles. The road is well planned, but in a hor-
ribly dilapidated condition, and the ascent is



eay continuous the whole way. There is, on
the way, considerable variety of bold and pic-
turesque scenery overhanging the road, and at
different intervals there are some very neat
cottages, surrounded by small patches of eulti-
vated land. One of these, belonging to a Hai-
tian merchant, I wished very much to have
rented, but I could not get it. On reaching the
district named La Coupe, the atmosphere is cool
and agreeable, and the few scattered cottages
that present themselves afford a perfectly pasto-
ral retreat, in which it is truly grateful to lounge,
freed from the heat and innumerable d6sagre-
mens" of la belle capitale" My first trip was
made with M. Maler and a party of French
naval officers to the cottage of M. Jacquemont,
a French gentleman, whose brother, a very
rising naturalist, is, I believe, now in India.
My second was to a little mud hovel rented by
Mr. Moravia, an English resident. The con-
trast between the comparative coolness of La
Coupe, and the oppressive sultriness of Port-au-
Prince, can only be appreciated by those who
have been doomed, as was the case with myself,
to swelter for uninterrupted months in the latter.
I look back with pleasure to these two excur-
sions, as among the few gratifying recollections



connected with this most unsatisfactory mission
to Haiti.
Some miles to the eastward of La Coupe, at a
still greater elevation, is Fort Jacques, a for-
tress, I believe built by the British. I intended
to have visited it, but business always inter-
fered, until I was incapacitated by dangerous
illness from doing so. The climate is there cool
and agreeable. Apples, pears, and European
vegetables, flourish; but the road is execrable,
and even hazardous; and, what is still worse,
on reaching this otherwise agreeable, though
foggy, region, there is no accommodation, save
some miserable negro huts. Were it not for
these difficulties, although the. distance from
the coast is not less than eighteen or twenty
miles, there would probably not be one foreigner
of any consideration who would not have a
retreat there; but at present this is completely
out of the question. The comfort and healthi-
ness of such an arrangement would be im-
mense, and not to be imagined by those who
have never been exposed to a greater degree of
suffering than being obliged to ride post, instead
of calmly reposing with air pillows in a chariot
and four. Often, when oozing at every pore,
and incapacitated even from holding a pen, have


I wished for such a retreat; but the wish was
as unavailing as if I had longed for Gyges'
ring. Some centuries hence good roads may
be established, pleasant villas built, and the
agents of distant countries may there, forget-
ful of the annoyances of their predecessors,
assemble and discuss the destinies of powers
not yet in being. In the mean time, the un-
fortunate individuals who may be called to
sacrifice health, comfort, and perhaps life, in
the service of their respective countries, must
be satisfied to endure, and to believe that
" Virtus sua praemia tulit."



Departure from Port-au-Prince-Journey to Leogane-Com-
mandant and Town of Grand Goave-Rumours of rural dis-
cipline-Crossing the Tapion-Petit Goave-M. Baudain-
L'Acul de Petit Goave-St. Michel-Blind beggar-Post
Vigile-Dangerous ford-Acquin-Juge de Paix-St. Louis
-M. Dumesle- Cavaillon- Cayes History-Town-adju-

HAVING made the necessary arrangements
for my absence, I left my cottage on the morn-
ing of the 10th February, at three o'clock, with
my brother and two of the gentlemen attached
to the consulate, together with a considerable
cavalcade of horses and mules, rendered neces-
sary by the reported impossibility of procuring
any thing on the road. As I was not well, I
rode in a gig, which had been very kindly lent
to me by one of the party. Our road lay past
Letor and Fort Bizotton, which I have already
mentioned; and to the left Mon repos, belonging
to the secretary-general. Along the road-side
we passed in confused assemblages the broken


utensils of sugar-works, indicating what had
formerly been. The morning was cool and
agreeable, as it generally is, in Haiti at that
period of the day, when the thermometer rarely
exceeds 720. of Fahrenheit; but by the time we
had passed the Salines, a marshy wet portion
of the road, and Morne-A-bateau, which is the
boundary of the arrondissemens of Port-au-
Prince and Leogane, the sun became perfectly
intolerable. To ride fast was bad; but to tra-
vel slowly was still worse. Being in a carriage,
I was obliged to adopt the latter course. The
scenery on the road-side, which runs close to the
bay, was very beautiful and thickly wooded, with
many of the trees in full bloom. There is but
little elevation, except at Morne-4-bateau, where
our anxieties for home were strongly called forth
by the appearance of the English flag on a ves-
sel beating into the bay, We crossed the river
of Leogane, which, though now low, changes
during rains into an impetuous and dangerous
current. It traverses a considerable plain of the
same name, to the east and south of the town;
and we reached, overwhelmed with heat, a
eoffee-house called L'Union, kept by a man of
the name of Maby, in which there was.a plen-
tiful absence of civility, accommodation, or fare;
though the art of making out a bill was as per-



fectly understood by M. Maby as it was by
Gil Bias' host at Penaflor. However, there
was no alternative, unless we had chosen to
bask in the sun with empty stomachs.
I called on the general commanding the
arrondissement, Gedeon, I believe the senior
general in the republic, (lately dead,) but he
was absent on a tour of inspection. The com-
mandant of the place was exceedingly civil,
and reproached me with not having made
his house my quarters; and I have no doubt
that he was in earnest; for throughout the
island I met with the greatest hospitality.
This I ascribe partly to the natural disposition
of the people, and partly to the general popu-
larity of my country among them. The libe-
rality of the British Government during the
period that it shared in the local contests, had
endeared it to the Haitians; and there is, I
believe, no small portion of them who look up
to Britain as the only power that could and
would protect them in any difficulty. This
impression I found' very strong every where,
whether well or ill-founded I cannot pretend to
determine; though if unfounded, I rather re-
joice that the delusion had not passed away
when I might have suffered inconvenience from
its doing so. It was, however, a subject on



which I never directly or indirectly expressed
an opinion. I had rather a long conversation
with the commandant, who was very proud of
his good roads, and he had reason for being
so, as they were really very respectable. He
also assured me, that under excellent direc-
tions (viz. his own) the code rural worked
well; and that, in consequence, the sirop" of
his district was very much, superior to that of
any other quarter. He appeared a frank, oblig-
ing man, quite aware of his own good qualities,
but apparently not so conversant with European
opinions on some topics ; for, in speaking of an
officer of rank in the republic, he observed
with admirable naivete and exquisite logic,
" C'est mon beau frbre, parceque je vis avec sa
Leogane is a considerable town, chiefly built
of wood; and the streets, though unpaved, are
better than those of Port-au-Prince. It was
market-day, and there was a respectable de-
gree of activity and bustle. There is only an
open roadstead, but no sheltered harbour. In-
deed, I believe there is none from Port-au-
Prince to Petit Goave.
During the revolutionary contests, Leogane
was a point of some consequence, and fre-
quently the scene of sanguinary conflicts. It


was also a place of importance even at the time
of the first discovery, being then the principal
place of the kingdom of Xaragua, under the
Cacique Behechio, whose successor and sister
Anacoana was so treacherously ensnared and
brutally murdered by the orders of Ovando,
about the year 1497.
During the French regime, it was a place of
very considerable importance; and in more re-
cent times it fell alternately into the possession
of all the contending parties, and is noted for
the executions inflicted by General Rigaud on
all who had deserted the republican banners,
when he retook it in 1794. When I was there,
no trace of such bloody deeds was to be seen.
I should mention that, before my arrival in the
country, some of the English residents of Port-
au-Prince had entered into a subscription for
establishing a race-course near to Leogane, the
plain being well fitted for such a purpose; a
stand was talked of, and every necessary ar-
rangement discussed; but some how or other
the project died away, though I never heard
any reason assigned.
On leaving this town for Grand Goave, I
intended to have proceeded by the road close
to the sea, so as to have seen the mud fort
Caira, which, under the command of Petion in


1795, had very handsomely mauled five of our
line of battle ships, one of which was com-
manded by the late Sir John Duckworth; but
by the mistake of my guide we got into the
main road, which is wide, and for some die-
tace screened from the burning rays of the
sun by a. double row of trees of considerable
size. We passed L'Habitation Beauhamois,
which formerly belonged to the father of that
gallant, high-minded gentleman, Eugene Beau-
harnois. It is now the property of a Haitian,
whose name has escaped my memory.
On this road there are no inconsiderable marks
of cultivation, as compared with the neighbour-
hood of Port-au-Prince; generally speaking,
however, every thing is on a small scale, when
one reflects on the magnitude of the establish-
ments of which the disjecta membra" ane
profusely scattered on every road that I had
previously passed over. On the right, not far
from the town, lies the best estate in the district,
the property of a black officer, one of the pre-
sident's aides-de-camp. This perfection is as-
cribed by public report (which I believe not
to be unfounded) to the use of club-law, which
the gallant colonel is said by virtue of his mili-
tary authority to administer with equal libe-
rality and success. Among other stories, it is


asserted that on one occasion a blow from a
cocomacac (a heavy jointed cane in common
use in Haiti) knocked out the eye of a loiterr.
So horrid a violation of law in an officer on -the
immediate staff of the chief ruler could not be
overlooked. The colonel was removed from his
command, and called upon to attend at the
palace. He obeyed, and the penance was
dpubtless great; for the affairs of the Commune
went on so very badly during the suspension
of the cocomacac authority, that he was sent
back, it is.supposed, with a suitable admonition
to be more chary of people's eyes for the future.
I do not vouch for these facts; I only give
them as they were told to me. The estate in
question is described as in good order, whether in
consequence of the discipline I know not. Others
in the neighbourhood are also said to derive
advantage from the inspection of so vigilant a
person. As might be foreseen, his own estate
however thrives most. I should fear that, in
the present state of industry, no one man can
attend to the cultivation of more than one
estate, and exercise surveillance" with any
effect over a whole district. And yet, if the
commandants were not permitted to be culti"
vators, I do not see how they can be induced
to enforce labour on the properties of others.



Thete is a choice of difficulties, in which I con-
sider it fortunate that I am not called upon to
make a selection. Grand Goave was never (as
far as I know) a place of any great note; at
present it is a miserable small town, in which
IL only saw a few soldiers loitering about the
streets. Along the road there are small bi-
vouacks for the same gentlemen, who are sta-
tioned to repress vagrancy.
: The road is good and shady. About midway
between Grand and Petit Goave stands the
Tapion de Petit Goave, over which a very good
though steep road runs. It is celebrated as the
spot on which, in July 1735, the French acade-
micians, MM. Godin, Bouguer, La Condamine,
and de Puysegur, determined the length of the
pendulum. They also ascertained its greatest
elevation to be three hundred and' fifty-five
toises above the level of the sea. It is very
precipitous towards the sea, and runs about five
miles. The road passes amid very bold rocks
richly clad with tropical verdure, among which
occasionally some small cottages peep out, and
strongly reminded me of some scenes in Spain
that had been almost forgotten during an ab-
sende of fourteen years.
- On descending from the Tapion, the sea burst
upon us in all the glory of a setting sun, the



beauty of which can only be known to those
who have witnessed its descent on the ocean
in warm countries. About two miles of very
imperfectly cultivated country brought us to
the small town of Petit Goave. Indeed, after
descending from the magnificent vegetation of
the Tapion, we found ourselves surrounded by
the logwood and bayahond, so abundant in the
Cul de Sac, the presence of which I believe is
no bad index to the sort of cultivation that had
previously prevailed. Our first care was to find
a lodging for the night; but this miserable
looking place, once the capital of the French
colony, could not afford us bare walls for hire';
and had it not been for the hospitality of M.
Baudain, a native merchant, to whom I had
letters of introduction, our plight would have
been truly lamentable. I had great difficulty
too in procuring any forage for my cattle. Al-
though unprepared for visitors, and our party
with servants was rather formidable, M. Bau-
dain and his wife received us with the greatest
hospitality and good-humour, apologising for
the inconveniences incident to their not hav-
ing been apprised of our coming.
Petit Goave was formerly a parish; but on
the change of terms that occurred at the revo-
lution, it became a commune, which it still re.


mains. It includes the hamlet of St. Michel,
and is under the spiritual direction of a Spanish
The state of the cultivation is reported to be
bad, although formerly sugar and 'coffee were
produced to some extent. The latter is still
brought from the mountains, and shipped in
large barges to Port-au-Prince, whither whole
squadrons crowd before the sea-breeze, and are
well known as the Musquito fleet. Most, if not
all, of the sugar works have fallen into decay;
and as there are no funds, and less industry, the
cultivation of the cane for sugar has been wholly
abandoned. A little syrup is still made for the
purpose of being distilled into tafia.
The harbour is said to be the best on this
line of coast, but the climate unhealthy, and the
town therefore less frequented than it would
otherwise be. The sea defences are described
as having been good under the old regime; at
present they are much reduced both in number
and quality. As I intended to examine Petit
Goave more at leisure on my way back, and
I wished to start betimes the following morn-
ing, our conference ceased at an early hour.
At three o'clock on the morning of the 11th,
we were up, and our kind hosts were ready with
refreshments for the whole party. Having uno


derstood that it was not uncommon for Haitians
even of the first class to receive payment for
any accommodation afforded to a traveller, I di-
rected my guide, who as a countryman would
manage the affair adroitly, to tender some
money. This was rejected, much to the satis-
faction of the servants, among whom the in-
tended donation was divided. These prelimi-
naries being settled, we parted with our hospi-
table entertainers, though not until we were
pledged to make their house our quarters in re-
turning, and to give due notice of our approach.
On leaving Petit Goave, we pursued a mise-
rable road running by the shore, as far as
L'Acul de Petit Goave, where it turns off to the
left, taking a southerly direction. At L'Acul
we found all the negroes dancing to their hideous
drum, with the same wild cry to which my
ears had been familiarised at Port-an-Prince.
We passed the Plantation Viallet, belonging to
the senator of that name, where, as he told me,
above six hundred thousand pounds of clayed
sugar were formerly made. Now not an ounce,
and no labourers are to be found. We also went
by L'Ollivier, where we had been recommended
to halt; but as there would have been some
loss of time, we pursued our route. The whole
country is uncultivated, and a rugged steep


MU, on which Macadam might be advantage-
oualy employed, nearly knocked up our horses,
aud demolished our gig, before we reached St.
Michel, which we did.about eight in the morn-
A small hat, entitled an auberge, afforded us
shelter, and in an instant the whole of its in-
habitants, consisting of an old woman, her son
and daughter, were in a state of actvity to
procure food for man and beast. Some of the
horses were put out to graze; Guinea grass was
provided for others; and servants and masters
were .distriited in the coolest recesses that
-could be found, until breakfast could be pre-
St. Michel was formerly a parish of some
note, but now it forms a part of the Commune
of Petit Goave, and the church is only dedi-
cated to sacred purposes on the feast of St.
Michel. His reverence then performs the ser-
vice of that archangel. This is a melancholy
* While at breakfast, which consisted of all
the good things that could be collected, eggs,
fowls, ham, tea and coffee, and wine, to say
nothing of brandy and tafia, the commandant,
I believe a subaltern, allured by the smell of
the viapds, strutted in, evidently for a share;


but as he seemed stupid, and intent only ot
feeding, I afforded him no encouragement, and
he with infinite good tact withdrew. Afte
being fitted for research by feeding, I comr
menced my inquiries, and was soon admitted to
the confidence of the family. The mother, a
respectable-looking elderly black woman, had
formerly been a slave to Count Leaumont,
who was so vehement against the recognition
of Haitian independence; the count had, des,
titute of his present antipathies, wooed with
so much success, that she had presented hiii
with a pledge of their loves, who, when I
saw him, was an active intelligent young Mu*
latto, who exerted himself with infinite zeal,
and talked to me of his noble papa" with
no small share of complacency. The daughter
(also a Mulattress) was equally bustling, ae-
tive, and obliging.
Count Leaumont and M. Duparc were the
richest proprietors in the country, and from the
reports made to me, they must have been kind
masters. I especially directed my inquiries to
the feelings of the people on- the changes that
had taken. place, and to their actual condition;
and when the group was completed by the
presence of an old blind black man, who had
lost the whole of his toes from both feet, I felt



satisfied that I should not be deceived. I found
all "laudatores temporis acti," and all equally
dissatisfied. The blind beggar particularly
deplored the revolution, to which he ascribed
every misery that had befallen the country as
well as himself Het had been a slave of M.
Dupare, and had he remained so, he contended
that either he would not have lost his eyes and
toes, or that if he had, he would have been
certain of kind usage and support, without
being driven to recur to the casual bounty of
The expression of dissatisfaction by all was
not confined to general or vague complaints.
The whole party entered into a feeling and
detailed contrast of their present condition,
though free, with the care bestowed by the
planters on their slaves in health, in sickness,
in childhood, and in old age. They assured me
that now there is not a single sugar estate in
being in this vicinity: Pemesle, Leaumont,
Duparc, and others, which had been highly
cultivated, and had yielded large crops, had
fallen into complete decay, and coffee was the
only produce for sale. Although it was Sun-'
day, numbers of drunken men were amusing
themselves by ending at full gallop along the



One of my horses being thoroughly jaded,
I was obliged to hire one; as soon as my wants
were known, several horse-lenders presented
themselves, all asking exorbitant sums; and
one of the worthies, on my repressing his vio-
lence, looked very fiercely dt me, and exclaimed,
"Nous sommes tous egaux ici." I could not
help thinking that equality had never in all its
absurdities been more thoroughly ridiculed
than by its assumption on this occasion.
We left our auberge about three o'clock in
the afternoon, and after travelling over an exe-
erable road, just practicable for a gig, we reach-
ed a small house in the midst of a garden kept
in very tolerable order, called Trois Palmistes or
Post Vigile, which last name it derives from its
having been a p6st of the Marechauss6e in the
time of the French. The scenery between St.
Michel and this place is very bold and romantic,
very richly wooded. Along the way-side I
first remarked groups of graves, and my guide
informed me that they were the burying-grounds
of the old plantations, which are still appro-
priated to the same purposes by the people for-
merly belonging to them or their descendants.
Our hostelry" was a wooden building with
a mud floor, standing in the middle of a small
plain on the summit of a height that rises from



a place called Fond aux Negres." The pro-
prietor, Cyril Dupont, who is an officer of the
national guard, together with his wife, abounded
in civility, and their charges were not extrava-
gant. He told me the same story that I had
heard every where, that sugar was abandoned
for coffee, which is preferred by the cultivators
as less laborious. So recently as 1815, Pemesle
(which I had passed) had been in canes; but
in addition to coffee, small quantities of tobacco
for home use are reared. This night we felt
exceedingly cold, as the thermometer fell to
69, which was at least 200 lower than we had
had it in the shade the preceding days. The dif-
ference in the sun I had not noted.
To avoid the burning sun, we commenced
our journey at three o'clock on the morning
of the 12th, and very nearly got swamped
in a deep dangerous ford at the "Fond aux
Negres." The road altogether was very bad,
and I felt very insecure in the gig. No acci-
dent, however, occurred, and we soon reached a
succession of round, grass-clad hills, resembling
the downs of Sussex, which belong to General
BorgeIla, the present commandant at San Do-
mingo, on which formerly there was a conside-
rable sugar establishment; but now they are
exclusively devoted to herds of cattle. I am



surprised that there are not more grazing esta-
blishments in Western Haiti. The labour is such
as would suit the habits of the people, and a
profitable trade in cattle, hides, horns, and
tallow, might be carried on. About nine o'clock
we reached Acquin, where we met an English
gentleman, Mr. Towning, who had been long
resident at Cayes, and who had come thus far
to meet us. He had also been provident enough
to secure a resting-place and some food for us-
two most important matters at Acquin, where
there is no trace of an auberge.
This town was formerly of some consequence
as a place of trade, but has been ruined by its
port being closed-an act of the government
brought about by the unlimited smuggling that
was openly carried on with the connivance of
the revenue officers.
The woman of the house where we put up
was a young lively negress, who, it seems, had
excited the amorous propensities of M. le Juge
de Paix, who, failing in all his advances whe-
ther conciliatory or forcible, (in both of which
he indulged,) had betaken himself to legal per-
secution, though with equally bad success; for
the lady was obstinate, and I believe threatened
to withdraw her countenance from Acquin, and
leave the worthy magistrate to pine in hopeless



love. What was the result of this amorous
combat I never heard, as I never inquired. An
English police magistrate would make but a
sorry figure, were he to adopt the. Haitian
"Juge" as a model.
After a very, broiling ride through a romantic
country, on a very tolerable road, we came to
St. Louis, formerly the capital of the south;
now only remarkable for the beauty of its situa-
tion, and the excellence of its harbour. The
anchorage between a small island and the main
land is first-rate, and capable of receiving the
largest line-of-battle ships. This island was
formerly very strongly fortified with sixty pieces
of artillery; but in the year 1748 Admiral
Knowles with a small squadron attacked and
carried it, after which he blew up the works,
and made a convention with the governor that
the port should thenceforward be open to Bri-
tish men-of-war to wood and water. At pre-
sent the fortifications are utterly ruined, and
the wild Indian fig (ficus Indicus) threatens
with its insinuating roots final destruction to
the remaining walls. It was on this island
that I first saw the sea-side grape, the fruit of
which was unripe and tasteless.
I had been prepared, by Mr. Towning, for com-
fort in our accommodation at St. Louis, nor Vas



I disappointed. The inn is kept by M. Du-
mesle Lamotte, who holds the property which
had belonged for some generations to his French
ancestry. He is really married to his cousin,
and is one of the most respectable men in man-
ners, sentiments, and general character, that I
had encountered in Haiti. He is also "Juge
de Paix," and acquits himself, according to com-
mon report, with firmness and propriety, espe-
cially in repressing the unconstitutional and arro-
gant pretensions of the military, who here, as.
well as elsewhere in the republic, too often
would fain be a privileged class.
The accommodation and fare are not inferior
to that of most hotels in Europe, and superior
to many provincial inns. We dined at a table
d'h6te," at which Monsieur and Madame Du-
mesle presided, and for all our board and lodg-
ing we only paid four dollars each per day.
In the evening we strolled along the beach
to a ruined fort the south of the town, which, it
seems, gave great offence to the old black com-
mandant, who was not on terms with the civil
authorities. To mark his reprobation of so atro-
cious an act as that of visiting a ruin, he sent a
corporal to order us off, an order easily complied
with, as there was little to be seen, and that
little we had already seen.



, Several evil reports are in circulation against
the rural police ofthis neighbourhood, who are un-
disguisedly charged with robbing the poor cul-
tivators of their coffee, under pretence of pro-
tecting them from penalties for breach of the
law. Resistance had been recently made in
some instances, though the final result was not
known, as the question had been finally re-
ferred to the president for his decision.
On the morning of the 13th we left this ex-
quisitely beautiful spot before daylight, and
after travelling for some little time by the sea-
side, we struck across a small tongue of land
to Cavaillon; on the way to which we forded
the river des Ornagers," celebrated for the
purity of its water, and the river Cavaillon
close to the town. The town is in ruins, and
at the, early hour at which we passed through it
no one was to be seen except a few soldiers,
who. stopped some of the servants Ywho were
without passports; but they soon liberated
them on hearing Mr. Towning's name. The
road, like all that I had seen in the arrondisse-
ment of Acquin, is rugged and bad. A sudden
improvement in this respect announced our
arrival in the jurisdiction of Cayes, where
General Marion's attention has done great
things. We gradually, descended from the



mountainous district in which we had been
travelling for some hours, into the extensive
and beautiful plain of Cayes,,bounded by the
sea, on the verge of which the city stands.
The liveliness of the whole is peculiarly striking,
and fully warrants the Haitians in describing
the city and neighbourhood as tres riantes."
We arrived at Mr. Towning's hospitable man-
sion, about a mile and a half from Cayes, well
broiled, and quite ready for an excellent break-
fast that had been prepared for us.
The city of Cayes is situate close to the shore,
and was built in its present form about 1720.
The streets are tolerably regular, and though
exposed and consequently bad in wet weather,
are clear and without holes, such as disgrace
the capital. The houses are also of a superior
class, but generally of wood. The whole plain
is considerably cooler than Port-au-Prince, and
there is a regular sea-breeze; but from the
plain being alluvial, there is considerable sick-
ness in all directions. The entrance to the city
is graced by a triumphal arch, in honour of the
present president's entry some time ago. For
some reason that I do not know, his excellency.
has not repeated his visit to the good and loyal
Very soon after the commencement -of the



revolution in the north of Haiti, the people
of colour of the south took up arms, and after
various conflicts in 1792, they were sufficiently
organized to constitute an efficient body, under
the command of Andrew Rigaud, (better known
as General Rigaud,) and his brother Augustin
Rigaud. The former was recognized as a general
by the civil commission, and he acted with
zeal in concert.with M. Blanchelande. In fact,
he commanded one of the parties that attacked
the platons," of which I shall hereafter
This city was afterwards the principal place of
the coloured population under Rigaud, when they
formed a party distinct from that at the head
of which Toussaint had placed himself. Some
fruitless attempts were made to reconcile these
rivals by General Hedouville; but as the black
party prevailed in 1800, Rigaud, with- Petion,
the present president Boyer, and others, sought
refuge in France, and Toussaint was left in full
possession of the north, the west, and the south.
To reduce the latter to complete subjection,
he sent Dessalines with a strong force; and it
is. said that this sanguinary monster, put to
death upwards of ten thousand people of colour.
With such recollections, it iAay be easily ima-
gined that his memory is as odious as that of



Le Clerc or Rochambeau, in the theatre of his
barbarous exploits. Rigaud on the other hand,
from having been the chief of the predominant
party, is revered in a degree-corresponding with
the hatred of his opponent. Rigaud came out
to join Le Clerc's expedition; but the fidelity
of his party having become doubtful, .he was
sent back to France, which was by all accounts
the most injudicious act of all the ill-advised
proceedings of the French commander-in-chief.
Until 1810, Rigaud remained in France under
the surveillance of the police. According to
the statement of his friends, he then made his
escape to America, whence he proceeded to
Port-au-Prince. According to that.of his op.
ponents, the escape was feigned, and he came
out as an emissary of Napoleon, for the
purpose of re-establishing French dominion.
Those who make this assertion also declare
that he maintained a correspondence with the
French minister at Washington, and that the
evidence of the fact is complete. I never heard
any thing more than bare allegations, and can-
not even form an opinion. The president
Petion, who had been Rigaud's adjutant-gene-
ral, received him with apparent cordiality,
though with real distrust; but entrusted him
with a command at Cayes, Disagreements



soon took place, and a separation of the south
from the west followed, and General Rigaud
was placed at the head of a provisional govern-
ment. Some attempts at an amicable adjust.
ment of the differences of the two chiefs were
equally unavailing, as some bloody encoun*
terms. About the end of 1811, Rigaud died,
and General Borgella, who succeeded him, in
a short time submitted to the rule of the presi-
dent, thus re-uniting the two dissentient porv
tions of the republic. Ever since the union
has been undisturbed.
At present, Cayes is one of the most flourish-
ing places that I have seen in the republic.
There is considerable activity, and there -are
a few opulent merchants, both natives and
foreigners; but the regulations affecting com-
merce have of late become so oppressive, that
many of the latter had resolved not to renew
their patents. I was not a little surprised at
seeing the British flag flying on board a small
sloop in the harbour, which I found to be from
Jamaica;-with this island, as well as Cuba,
there is said to be a considerable illicit trade;
and what is most surprising, sugar is the princi-
pal import from the latter island.
, I had but little intercourse with the great
body of the people; but of the authorities I



saw a good deal, and I found 9eWn civil and ac-
commodating. Many foreigners, however, do not
regard them with favourable eyes, and accuse
them of doing much that they ought not to do;
but of that I know nothing. With all classes, I
was told that Great Britain is decidedly the
favourite European power; and I am inclined
to think the statement true.
The great body of the town's-people appear
to be in easy circumstances, and do not, I think,
lounge quite so much as their brethren of
Port-au-Prince. A circumstance occurred,
which I noted as illustrative of. the state of
society. The town-adjutant (who holds the
rank of captain, if I recollect aright) is more-
over a professional cook, and generously con-
tributes to the epicurean delights of all and
any who call upon him, for a doubloon. In his
former capacity he had called upon me in a
gorgeous uniform of green and gold; in the
latter he was employed by my host, prepa-
ratory to his entertaining the magnates of the-
city; and, to my utter surprise, after he had
completed his labours, I saw him marched off
between a file of soldiers. I was afraid that
my friend had ,incurred the displeasure of the
general, for degrading his military profession
by reverting to his original calling, and made