The opportunity; or reasons for an immediate alliance with St. Domingo (By the author of "The crises of the sugar coloni...

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The opportunity; or reasons for an immediate alliance with St. Domingo (By the author of "The crises of the sugar colonies",) London, 1804. (BCL-Williams Mem.Eth.Col.Cat. #647)
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Washington, Pan American Union, 1963.

Notes

General Note:
4-tr-Opportunity
General Note:
Stacks JX9 OAS.74 R42 H15

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(f
TliE
OPPORTUNITY;
REASONS
FOR AN
IMMEDIATE ALLIANCE
WITH
ST. DOMINGO.
BY THE
AUTHOR OF THE CRISIS OF THE SUGAR COLONIES.9' LONDON:
MINTED BY C. WHITTtXGHAM, Dtan Stmt, Pttterlmt;
FOR J. HATCHAED, PICCADILLY.
uo*.


'$Mi/V. Awt.
to the
RIGHT HON. WILLIAM PITT,
CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER, &c &c.
SIR,
1USE a freedom which may appear a little extraordinary in prefixing your name to a letter originally addressed to Mr, Addington.
To conceal this seeming impropriety, by expunging his name from the following sheets, would not be difficult; for I wrote not to Mr. Addington, but to the Prime Minister of this country: but to make such an alteration in a work already printed, would be to incur two inconveniences loss of time, which in this case, perhaps, may be important to the public, and loss of money, which you know is rarely unimportant to an author.
This


[ vi ]
This work was commenced soon after the evacuation of St. Domingo by the : French was first announced in Europe. The Author, to his surprise, then found reason to suspect, that his Majesty's ministers were irresolute as to the line of policy which it might be expedient to adopt towards the people of that island; and conceiving that by such indecision an opportunity of obtaining much good, and averting great evils, might be irrecoverably lost, he resolved to offer his advice on that interesting subject, both to the Minister and to the Public,
. The execution of this purpose, however, was repeatedly interrupted by unavoidable private impediments, and the work has loitered long in the Press, as well as in the closet. One half of the following sheets were printed, and nearly the whole remainder composed, before the late change of administration took place or was expected ; and yet it has been impossible to publish them sooner.
Delay, Sir, in these eventful times, is peculiarly inconvenient to statesmen and political writers.
The


t ** ]
The titles and) sitwrtk^a of alt my pria-cipal parties are already become ofesw tete. Mr. Addington is no longer Cban-telior of the Exchequer; Buonaparte itr become Emperor of the French; and Dessalines sole Governor, instead of '(En* umvir, not of St. Domingo, but Hayti. But what is more important, the events which it was my aim to avert are already beginning to outwing the tardy progress of my pen and of the press. Dessalines, if late rumour may be trusted, is not only acting upon maxims very opposite to those by which he lately attempted to conciliate his European neighbours, and perpetrating crimes which a better policy on our part might have prevented, but is already waging that maritime war which was predicted in the following sheets, and denouncing, with a voice far more impressive than mine, the necessity of our restoring peace to the Gulph of Mexico, if we would avert from it new revolutions. I must publish without further delay, lest we should hear next of his having quarrelled with Jamaica, and conquered Cuba, or of a reconciliation on the basis of
in-


[ ]
iodependeacy between St. Domingo and Eraaee.
Allow me, therefore, Sir, to transfer to yon, in its original shape, as an official heif-loom, the advice which was meant for your predecessor.
I have the honour to be,
SIR,
Your most obedient
humble Servant,
May 31,180*.
THE AUTHOR.


the
OPPORTUNITY.
TO THE
RIGHT HONOURABLE
HENRY ADDINGTON,
CHANCELLOR OF TIJE EXCHEQUER, &c. &c.
sir,
Near two yeafis ago, I publicly addressed to you some reflections on West Indian affairs, in a pamphlet entitled, The Crisis of the Sugar Colonies. <
Had the opinions maintained in that publication been refuted by intermed&jte events, it would have been unreasonable to expect from you at this period, a favourable or a patient attention $ but i on the contrary, those opinions have been since strikingly verified by experience, I may, without presumption, claim a second audience on the same interesting subject.
Nor will it weaken this pretension, if you should be able to recollect, that the author's views were thought on their first promulgation, to be singular, and his practical conclusions rash; for the tes-
B timony


C 1
timony of experience in their favour is not the less decisive; and when political suggestions are demonstrated to have been just, their singularity and apparent boldness become arguments of their necessity and importance.
Unless vanity deceive me, that publication* however diffidently received by yourself or your colleagues, was not wholly fruitless of some important public effects.
Though personally a stranger to you, I know that you honoured the work with a perusal -y and would hope that it contributed in some degree to fix you in a line of conduct in what relates to St. Domingo, from which you have had much excitement to swerve, but of which the wisdom as well as the rectitude, is now universally acknowledged.
If so, my claim to your patient attention rests upon a still stronger title than that which has been already advanced.
To my former advice, much popular prepossession certainly stood opposed j and as I have now to offer further counsel, suggested by the same views, to which, perhaps, in some points, the current of public opinion may still be adverse, a brief retrospect of some of the leading opinions maintained in The Crisis," and of the experimental confirmation which they have received, may be no improper or unnecessary prehtde.
After


* i a ]
After offering many reasons for believing thM the ostensible purpose held out by the French government was not its real object ivt the great expedition then proceeding againt St. Domingo, but that the restitution of private slavery was the Consul's true purpose, I endeavoured in that pamphlet to point out the peculiar obstacles, both physical and moral, by which the accomplishment of that purpose would be opposed *.
In delineating these, it was found necessary to adduce facts relative to colonial slavery, of which the true nature was generally misconceived in Europe f; and here, to some minds celebrated for political knowledge in general, as well as to many ordinary readers, the author's premises, as he has reason to believe, appeared not less questionable than his conclusions: yet, reasoning from these premises, he inferred with much confidence the high probability of events which have since actually occurred in St* Domingo, extraordinary and wonderful though those events have appeared to the European public J. The harsh and unparalleled nature of West India bondage in general, and those distinguishing features of that state which were delineated in the Crisis, were tfce very corner stones, and
* Crisis, Letter 9*. f lb. p. 7 to 15. X lb. p. 561* 70.
foundation


foundation walls, upon the solidity of which the Whole structure 6f thfe argument depended.
From the terrible peculiarities of th&t state, and from these alone, it was inferred, that the negroes of St. Domingo would never submit to it again*; for it faas admitted, that td any yoke known elsewhere by the name of slavery, the gigantic power, the relentless vengeance, the craft, and violence of the French government, might probably be able to enforce submission. Political, and even personal freedom had been completely overthrown in many parts of Europe; and there was nothing te the air of the Antilles to make the spirit of liberty thete thore vigorous, or less tameable by the terror bf the sword; but it was predicted that negfo freedom would be found invincible in St. Domingo, because the horrors of the state opposed to it were experimentally known to its defenders: and because they were of that intolerable kind which the author endeavoured to describe f. He foresaw the tree though strange issue of the unequal contest between the colossal republic of France, and the negroes of a West India island, only because he dearly understood the nature of the practical question in dispute.
The great local and personal advantages,
* Crisis, p. 55-6.
f lb. p. 46 to 56, 75-6, &c
which


in
which favoured the cause of freedom in that climate, were not overlooked or concealedon the contrary, they were flilly explained and, relied upon* as necessary means y but the vital dhd indomitable principle, which could alone give life and efficacy to those means of resistance, was an aversion to the former yoke not to be overcome; an antipathy more powerful, than all the terrors that despotism could oppose to it, more stimulating than any passion or appetite that could -plead for submission, and more obstinate than the love of life itsel
Upon these premises and these calculations, it was foretold early in March, 1802, that the issue of the French expedition would be such as, to the astonishment of Europe, it has ultimately proved disappointment to the views In the progress and incidents, as well as the final event of that extraordinary contest, flife u Crisis of the Sugar Colonies1* has proved for the most part a history by anticipation of the war of St. Domingo. '* '
That the arms of France would probably have a short-lived apparent success was foreseen f; nor
* Crisis, p. 58 to 69. f lb. p. 44-5.
were


CM
were the artifices and frauds, which concurred with force in the attainment of that ephemeral triumph, unexpected*; but it was also foreseen that the discovery of the true object of the war would produce a new and decisive resistance fv
The facility, so clearly manifested, of obtaining a loyal submission to the republic without the restitution of the former slavery J; the speedy resort to a compromise on that basis, such as was actually, though perfidiously, made by Leclerc; after force had been tried in vain ; the division of the jsegro chiefs and troops, by a crafty con^ cealment of the design against freedom in the outset, and the consequent defection of many of them from Toussaint ||; their faithful adherence, nevertheless, to the cause of general freedom, when the mask was dropped by the invaders %; these, and other leading incidents of the contest, were all foretold in the Crisis, with more or less confidence and clearness, in proportion as they were more or less necessary results of the general premises from which they were all inferred.
To point out at large the agreement of these
* Crisis, p. 45. | lb. p. 45-0. Jib. p. 45: lb. p. 85; H lb. p. 45.
f lb. p. 45-6. 56-7, 8.
conjectural
t


coajectural conclusions with subsequent events, would be to exceed those limits, which regard to your time, Sir, and my own, must prescribe to this address. The task will be more easy when a tolerably fair and intelligent account of the late war in St. Domingo shall meet the public eye; but in spite of the unprecedented falshood of the consular press, no Englishman is so ill informed of the events of that horrible war, as not to perceive, should he now turn over the pages of the Crisis, that the opinions there disclosed have been fully verified, and the author's expectations very strikingly confirmed.
To the purpose for which this brief review is offered, the confirmation of the premises of fact contained in that pamphlet, some events unforeseen by the author, are no less important than those which his conjectures embraced.
That a compromise would be the result of the obstinate resistance which the French generals would encounter, and of their despair of final success, he foresaw to be probable*; but that perfidy so unexampled in the history of this bad world, as was practised by the French commanders, would be employed to frustrate the compact, was as much beyond his foresight as that of the illustrious victim of the crime, the generous and immortal Toussaint. Ignorant of the yet
* Crisis, p. 85.
unfathomed


C 8 ]
urtfat homed depth of French depravity* md Supposing that thp consul had more political wisdom than he has lately exhibited, the author did not foresee the probability of a measure, at once the basest and the weakest that ever dishonoured a nation. The second jeopardy, therefore, to the cause of African freedom, which resulted from this perfidy, put the strength of the defensive principle and means, upon which the author relied, to a proof unexpectedly severe: yet such were the truth and the force of those premises upon which his reasoning was built, so invincible were the feelings which withstood the restitution of slavery, and such the natural means of resistance, that the betrayed and disheartened colonists, though perfidiously deprived of their leaders, of their military chamr pions, and of their arms, again made head against the armies of the republic, and again jtriumphecj over their powerful and ferocious oppressors. r
The desperate perseverance with which ti$e w#r was afterwards prosefcuted by the consul, the terrible means which he employed, and the remorseless devotion of thenionstrsLeclerc andRochambeau, and their troops, to their master's horrible behest^, were also far beyond the author's calculations but the principles upon which he relied have passed unhurt through all these extreme ordeals, and their justice has by every trial been more dearly established.
The


[ '* J
The last and strongest confimatioft hS b^en given by the cohsul hiitaself. Pkl9 whtf' act&f *pon notions diame Without! detaining you lorig^r with a rdvffiw, tid Ifhe seething egotism of wfiieh Fcould be reconciled enly by its undehiafife public importance, Idemaritf in general new credenfee ttrtfite fects, and some increased regard to t&e concisions contained in my former address; to some of whicA I shall Havie occasion to retert in the course of the ensuing discussions. In particular, I hope that one great truth, which was matter of argumentative induction in the Crisis, the invindbility of freedom in St. Domingo, may now be fidrljr assumed, as a proved and mcontestible truth.
The new and interesting question which I propose now to discuss, is "what line of conduct a British minister ought, at the present juncture, H to adopt towards the people of St. Domingo ?"
C Upon ?


[ io ]
Upon this important question, but one practical notion, and that of a very indefinite kind, seems as yet to have entered into the conception of the public. That every degree of amity towards this new society, consistent with a due regard to our own colonial interests, ought to be observed, seems to be a unanimous sentiment. It seems also to be in general thought, that some commercial intercourse ought to be formed with them, so as to secure to ourselves whatever trade their industry may immediately furnish. But these opinions, as far as they have met the public eye, are qualified by so many cautious and ambiguous terms, that their authors may be affirmed to have yet formed no decisive practical judgment. For my part, having a distinct and firm opinion on this interesting subject, an opinion, which, however erroneous it may be, is simple, practical, and, in my own poor judgment, highly important to my country, I feel myself bound to declare it; and shall do so without management or reserve.
you ought, sir, i conceive to acknowledge without delay, the liberty of the negroes of St. Domingo ; and to enter into fcederal engagements with them as a sovereign and independent people y and you ought further, not only to grant, but, if necessary, to volunteer, a guarantee of their indspendency against the Republic of France.
Should this proposition startle at first by its apparent


[ 11 ]
parent boldness, it is no more than Lexpect. So lot me again hint, did the opinion maintained in the Crisis, that the cojossal Republic of France, the terror of continental Europe, could not with aH its force, crush this same petty community of negroes. So it might be added, did at its first promulgation, almost every opinion or measure of national policy, which in this age of wonders has ultimately proved to have been wise. These are times in which hesitating choice and tardy decision will generally be found at a fault, and in which a British statesman should remember Cato's maxim, that
r "tj,^Fear admitted into public council* Betrays like treason."---
But should you favour me with a patient attention, you will perhaps find that the course here proposed, though a decided, is not a rash onet: that the measures I recoipmend are bold in appearance only, not in reality; and, that they are in truth essential to any plan of colonial policy, from which future security can be expected or hoped.
Let not my advice be prejudged at the outset by that dislike of innovation in the abstract, which the experience of the, age has inspired. A new order of things has arisen in the West Indies, to which former precedents are quite inapplicable. The British statesman has there no beaten path to pursues he has a new country before him* and a new


[ 18 ]
ft ntdw fM^-to axfAore. An unprecedented m-volution has reat asunder the basis of our old Colonial policy, aod farther perseverance in it, Owttofmere respect to it* antiquity, would savour wore of pedantry than prudence: its former wis* jokWrAad it indeed been wise, would perhaps be the dearest ftyidenoe of fts future foUy.
It \tas, I grant, a fundameotal maxim of all the powers of Ewjope who possessed colonies in the AhtiUes, that the supremacy of the European race, and the depression of the African, must be 9k all time*, and at the expence of every other public principle, maintained. It was a rale paramount m importance to all national rivalships, and to all national quarrels. There was an in* tercommunity'of feelings and privileges among the white skinned colonists, which, when the sub* ordination of negroes was in question, made English and Trench, Dutch and Spanish, Euro* pean friend and European enemy, very unimportant distinctions.
But this strong chain of sympathy, forged by mutuality of despotic abuse, and rivetted by % sense of common danger, has been broken by the sstme shock that overthrew the social edifices of Europe; and effects have followed, of which the stability can now no more be doubted, than the novelty or the importance.
An African people, msubordinated to any
European


[ w ]
European inhabitants of the same territory, and independent of all exterior government, is planted in the centre of the Antilles; and possesses ai* entire island, the most important of the group*: An island of far greater extent than any other (Cuba alone excepted) in the whole Wester^ Archipelago, and which, in population and pro* duce, was lately equal to all the rest united.
This new society has already proved itself, in Up very infancy, unconquerable by the greatest powr ers in the civilized world, having successively do-fended its freedom and its territory against the long continued hostility of Great Britain at one period; and against the vast, impetuous, persevering, find merciless, efforts of France at another. By power and victory, therefore, as well as by freedom and independency, is the African race raised from its late prostrate amj despised state in this very considerable part of the West Indies. Instead of that abject and brutal condition which was before their universal lot, the black islanders may now reasonably elerate their heads above their pafefaced neighbours; for whether theif country shall remain permanently severed from
* The language of an old historian of this island is re-mafkabte*: La situation de oettc isle par rapport aux autre* Antilles, nepouvoit etrc plus avaniageuse. Elle en est presquc environte, Sf Von diroit qu'ellc A H6 place1 e au centre de ce grand Archipel pour lui donner la lot" Hist* de Uisle Es-pagnofc par Charlevoix, Tom. I. Liv. i.
France


r J* 3
the dominion of France or not; it possesses a potential independency, of which none of its neighbours can boast: while they continue to lean for support and protection upon distant states, Sib Domingo is found to be able not only to sustain itself without the aid of those states, but to set the. greatest of them at, defiance.
To persist after so extreme a revolution, in our anterior policy, would be more irrational, than even to retain the prejudices by which that policy was introduced and upheld. If we can be so far the dupes of prepossession as still to hold these sable heroes and patriots personally cheap, let us at least respect their power; 'and advert to the danger of still acting' towards them upon principles of Creolian antipathy and contempt.
National prejudice may indeed, in this case, a in others, survive the causes from which it was derived; but a wise statesman will, in such cases, rather veer round with the refluent tide of events, than vainly attempt to stem it, by still courting the lingering breeze of opinion. Rome had not ceased, perhaps, in the days of Honorius to de* spise the northern barbarians; but Stilicho was not absurd enough to disdain to treat with those hardy warriors, upon Roman ground; or to apply to them in other respects the old imperial maxims. At this dgy w$ regard, with just derision, the arrogant and contemptuous style of the impotent
successors


[ w ]
successors of Otbman; but though they eall us, cc Christian dogs," they are too prudent to adhere in their public councils, to a correspondent practice. They thankfully accept us as allies, and are happy to secure the patrimony of the prophet by our unhallowed aid.
Though revolution in this case touches only the skirts of the empire, the principle of policy is the same; and let not the British cabinet dis-play more bigotry, and less wisdom, in the western Archipelago, than the Turkish Divan, or Grand Vizier, in the eastern.
An entire and absolute adherence tp our ancient policy in the Antilles, will scarcely however now be thought advisable, even by the most prejudiced mind. The necessity of a material departure from it has indeed, been practically admitted, in many measures of the last and present war; especially in our convention with Touissaint, and in the assistance lately given to his successors against their European enemies: for such measures, wise and necessary though they must be allowed to have been, were directly at variance with the policy adhered to at all former periods.
But prejudice, though Obliged to abandon its former lines, may be disposed in this case to make only a partial and lingering retreat. Though it is demonstrably unwise still to treat the new people as natural inferiors and enemies, it may to
many,


C w }
taany, seem a boldness of innovation to treat them as independent equals and friends. Of this hesitating sentiment, I am sorry to perceive strong symptoms in our htte conduct on the coast of St. Domingo. My advice, therefore, may possibly stilt be opposed by some adverse prepossession on the score of novelty. If obliged to innovate, left us, it may be said, be slow and cautious in the process.
But let it well be considered, that the circumstances out of which our colonial policy arose, are! not merely altered; they afle eompletely reversed. From universal bondage in the Antilles, the African race, I repeat, has started into liberty, sovereignty, and power- Instead of subjection to the lowest of foreign states, they have triumphed over the most powerful. A correspondent re-verse has also, in a more important point, been? adopted in the conduct of this and other nations. To that close confederacy of the European race in the Antilles, by which the chains of the negroes seemed to be for ever rivetted, have succeeded wars between European powers, in which these once despised objects of the common hostility and oppression have been received as auxiliaries and co-belligerents at least, if not also as allies. The change, so far as regards the queen of the West Indian islands, the sole subject of these remarks, is, in all points, perfect and extreme. Now if different situations, require different measures,


[ i7 r
sures; opposite situations, seem to demand opposite measures. But at least, it can furnish no sound presumption against the wisdom of a new system of conduct, that it is diametrically opposite to former principles, when the case itself has been totally reversed; and this is all for which I wish at present to contend.
Let us proceed then to consider, without any prepossession or bias, the arguments by which the advice I have offered may be fairly recommended or opposed.
The first step towards a right choice, is to survey attentively the different objects among which We have to chuse: and as it seems to me, that in this case there are, in a general view, but four different paths of conduct, in one of which you must of necessity tread, it may be proper to say something of each. They are,
1st. To interdict all comniercial intercourse Whatever, between his Majesty's subjects and the people of St. Domingo.
2d. To permit such intercourse, but without any conventional basis.
3d. To enter into some commercial treaty or convention with the negro chiefs, not involving any relations closer than those of general amity and trade.
4th. To adopt the decisive measures which I have ventured to recommend.
D Of


[ 1* ]
Of the first of these plans little perhaps need be said, for it will probably find few, if any, supporters*
Such a measure would in the first place be-found to be attended with great practical difficulties. The advantages of the prohibited trade, and the facility of a clandestine intercourse between St. Domingo and Jamaica, would probably give rise to an extensive contraband commerce. Every view of political caution upon which the prohibition could be founded, would in that case be defeated ; for if a trade with this new people, though lawfully and openly conducted, would be dangerous to our colonies, a secret, illicit, and consequently unregulated intercourse, could not be less so. *
But the prohibition, whether abortive or effectual, would be very likely to produce a consequence which every reflecting mind must strongly deprecate. A total interdiction of trade between British subjects and the inhabitants of St. Domingo, could not well consist, in the notions of the latter, with the belief of a pacific disposition on our part, and would naturally incline them to regard us as secret foes to their freedom as well as their independence.
Besides, the strong means by which alone such a prohibition could be enforced, would look too much like war, not to be easily mistaken for it, by a people inexpert in political distinctions, and


[ 19 ]
justly jealous of the disposition of all their more civilized neighbours.
But supposing this line of policy to be open to no such practical objections, it involves a sacrifice of advantaged, which this commercial and maritime country ought not, without very important reasons, to make.
The ports of St. Domingo, notwithstanding all the desolations of the late dreadful war, and the wasteful effects of foreign and intestine calamities during nine or ten preceding years, will still have some valuable exports to furnish. The captures made of cargoes shipped from that island since the commencement of the present hostilities, sufficiently prove thjat agriculture, however diminished, had not been wholly abandoned; much less will the hoe be idle when the musket may be safely laid aside; for that freedom and a negro government are not incompatible with a large and increasing growth of exportable produce, was, under the beneficent administration ofToussaJnt*, very clearly proved.
The
* The exports from St. Domingo, throughout the last war, however small when compared to their former amount, were by no means contemptible. But under the government of Tous-saint, especially after his treaty with General Maitland had relieved him from the severe pressure of a maritime war, the tillage of the island was rapidly improving. The French commanders on the arrival of their ill fated expedition,


C 20 J
The barbarous and impolitic measures of the consul, have unquestionably occasioned a vast deterioration in the state of the colony since that fortunate period, in respect not only of immediate produce, but of the works and buildings necessary in the manufacturing of sugar y but of so great and fertile a field even the gleanings must be important; and there is no good reason for doubting that its prosperity will speedily revive.
tion, were surprised to find agriculture in so high a degree restored. The cultivation of the colony," said Leclerc, in his first official dispatches, "is in a much higher state of pros-" perity than could have been imagined." Official dispatches of February Oth, 1802, in London newspapers of March 26th.
Upon this head, the word of the French government or its commanders may safely be taken; because the exaggeration of existing prosperity, would have magnified the merit of the man, whom they had recently proscribed as a traitor; and tended strongly to recommend an order of things, winch they were labouring by the most dreadful means to abolish.
An equally unexceptionable testimony of the same tendency, lately met the author's eye, in a letter found on board he Bon Accord, Pierre Patissier, master, a prize taken at the commencement of the present war. The writer, who appears to be a very intelligent Frenchman, and to have been commanding engineer at Port au Prince, and who addresses himself confidentially to a superior officer of his own corps in France, in speaking of the recent battles and conflagrations in the south of the island, says: La partie du sud, qui il y a deux mois et demi etoit encore intafite et valait mieux, Que
" la martinique, tant par son etendue, que par ses rapports,
" est maintenant le theatre de la guerre la plus horrible, &c.M
The original letter is in the Registry of the High Court of Admiralty: it is dated at the Cape, 18 Floreal, An. 11. (May 7, 1803.)
That


[ i ]
That the produce of the island will soon be as great as it was before the revolution, is, I admit, more than can be reasonably expected. The number of adults fit for labour is unquestionably reduced in a very great proportion; nor will free men and women ever be brought to work so intensely as slaves are compelled to do by the coercion of the whip. They will not labour more severely than consists with the preservation of health, with the ordinary duration of life, and the maintenance and increase of native population; which is only saying in other words what is expressed in the preceding sentence.
But unless new demons should arise to re-act the madness of Buonaparte, the effects of the new system will, in a few years, amply make up for this double drawback on the immediate efforts of the planter. The superfecundky of unoppresscd human nature, will not only give back what the sword and the drownings have destroyed, but will produce rapidly an overflowing population; and husbandry will regain in the number of labourers, what it loses by mitigation of toil *.
Whatever
* M. Malouefs information on these subjects must have been more copious and authoritative than that of almost any other man in Europe; for in addition to his long experience in colonial affairs, and extensive private acquaintance in the West Indian circles, he, as the public apologist of the Consul, had access, no doubt, to the official correspondence and other papers in the bu-Y- reaus


Whatever the amount of the exportable produce of this great island may be, its import of foreign commodities will be as great at least as the barter of that produce may suffice to purchase; and its export, as well as import trade, will long be entirely carried on in foreign shipping, and on account of foreign merchants: for it would be extravagant to suppose, that this new community of husbandmen and soldiers, will soon acquire a trading capital of its own, or a commercial marine.
No branch of commerce which we possess, can in its kind be more desirable than this to a manufacturing and maritime country. Its value in a national view will, in proportion to its actual extent, very far exceed that of our present West Indian trade : for the ships which bring over the produce of our islands, do not, upon an average, obtain one-third of an entire freight on their outward voyages; and for this obvious reason, that a small proportion only of the proceeds of the imported colonial
reaus of the colonial department.The following testimony of M. Malouet is therefore of great importance. Tous les rapports annoncent un beaucoup plus grand nornbre d'enfans, et mains de mortalkeparmis lesnegrillom, qu'ilnyy en avoit avant la revolution: ce qui est imputiau repps absofu dont jouissent lesfemmes grosses, et a un moi ndre travail de la part des ntgres" (Collection de Memoirs sur les Colonies, &c. par V. P. Malouet, ancien Administrates des Colonies et de la Marine, Tome IV. Introduction, p. 52.) M. Malouet, let it be observed, is no ami des tioirs, but a West Indian, and a defender of the Slave Trade,
produce


[ 23 ]
produce is sent back in European goods, perhaps not a twentieth part ; whereas these new customers would lay out in our manufactures nearly the whole net value of their sugar and coffee, or rather would barter those tropical products in their own ports, for the goods of Birmingham and Manchester, giving us the carriage of both.
This important consideration cannot be fully discussed without exceeding the limits which must be prescribed to the present publication; but to the reflections of any well informed and dispassionate mind, it will be obvious that such views are by no means chimerical; and that a thousand hogsheads of sugar brought from the ports of St. Domingo, would perhaps be the medium of more substantial benefit to the manufacturers, merchants, and ship owners of Great Britain, collectively considered, than five thousand from St. Kitt's or Jamaica; with this most important difference, that the farmer branch of trade would
* The rum made on a sugar plantation, of which but a small part is brought to Europe, sometimes defrays all the ordinary expences of the estate. Generally speaking, however, one-tenth part of the proceeds of the sugar is computed to be a necessary auxiliary fund, to supply deficiencies, and provide for contingencies ; but this, for the most part, is applied by the consignees in paying bills drawn by the planter for the purchase of American goods and other colonial expences, and therefore forms no part of the returns in European investment and freight.
not


t 2* 1
not involve as a drawback upon its advantages, any part of that enormous expence of life and treasure by which our West Indian colonies are protected.
It is needless to dwell on the importance of in* ducements, like these; fof they are in their na-tttre, Considerations to which the people of "this country are more than sufficiently awake, and to which from a British Minister, I should rather in general feat too eager and exclusive an attention, than any improper indifference.
Aft inevitable consequence, on the other hand, of our abstaining from this commerce, would be Its falling into the hands of other powers, who Woiitd have no motive for a similar sacrifice and here the commercial jealousy of the nation will be also sufficiently quicksighted and apprehensive, without any argumentative excitement. But the importance of this consideration is still greater in a political, than in a commercial view, as 1 shall soon have occasion to shew. At present, I will not enlarge upon this topic, as its discussion more properly belongs to a subsequent branch of my subject.
The arguments which may be opposed to the permission of commerce with this new people, can only, I conceive, be drawn from the dangers to which our own islands may be exposed by it.
Yh0t the new state of St. Domingo will be perilous to our sugar colonies, unless great and
speedy


C & ]
gpeedy reformation shall meliorate their own interior system, it is far from my intention to deny. The danger is real and great, and, as I have elsewhere endeavoured to demonstrate*, calls loudly for preventative measures from the government and parliament of Great Britain. Unhappily no such measures Ijave hitherto been adopted; and therefore though the folly and wickedness of Buonaparte have, fortunately for this country, suspended the progress of the danger, and diminished its immediate magnitude, our colonies, Jamaica especially, are unquestionably still in very serious jeopardy. But that the cause of alarm Would be lessened by our avoiding all amicable relations with the negro chiefs, and holding towards them a face of jealous dislike, is a proposition which it would be difficult to maintain.
Among the many advantages whichtthe apolo- gists of the slave trade have taken of the misconceptions naturally prevalent in Europe, respecting tjie true nature and effects of West Indian bondage, an outcry was raised by them on the score of alleged dangers from the speeches and writings of abolitionists 5 which, they preteaded, would reach the ears of the enslaved negroes, and inspire them with revolutionary notions. With equal gravity, thevir-" tuous Le Clerc" declaimed, amidst the details of his destructive campaign, against the "misv
?Crisis, p.79,80-124, &e.
E "chieft


t )
" chiefs of abstract principles Were sttch ideas sincere and well founded, or were not these poor degraded beings placed by their incessant labour, by the domestic police of the plantations, and still more by that dulness and stupidity to whiqh a brutalizing oppression has reduced them, below the reach of the revolutionary means used by the Jacobins of Europe, I admit that a commercial intercourse with St. Domingo might be no less dangerous to Jamaica, than a hostile disposition in these new and formidable neighbours. Their acquaintance might, even in that case, be more perilous than their hatred. But to those who know the true state and character of those oppressed fellow beings, such grounds of apprehension are not very alarming > and as to the dread of democratical or revolutionary theories being employed totexcite disaffection in a gang of field negroes, a West Indian could not hear of such a notion without laughing; unless indeed it were in England, where policy might induce him in such a case to do violence to his risiblemuscles. To him, such fears must appear scarcely less ridiculous, than those of a waggoner, who having read the voyage to the Hhuynhymms, should dread the effects upon the temper of his team, of a democratical song from the ostler.
* .See his dispatches of February 9th, 1802; London Paper* of March 24.
It


t n }
t It is in truth, through the new means of physical force, not those of political suggestion Or intrigue, that the propagation of freedom from For the justice of these views, more fillly explained in my former pamphlet, I might appieal to our experience durir^g the whole of the last war; for if precept or example could have excited insurrection among our slaves, those means were riever .wanting to the enemy; and revolutionary freedom was exhibited for many years in a living model of grand dimensions under the very windows of some of our colonies, especially at Mont-serrat and Jamaica; yet no insurrection took place among the slaves of those islands; nor Was .the p0ntagion felt for a moment any where, except where it was carried by hostile fprce. But more satisfactory proof how innoxious the new system is in the way of pacific intercourse, may be found in the conduct of those who are most interested in, as well as best acquaintedy with the subject. The planters of Jamaica are a body not inattentive to their own peculiar interests in public measures, nor badly represented in this country. Have you then, Sir, had any
application


[ 28 ]
appticatit* fcom them to prohibit a trade vHth St. Domingo ? If so, they have strangely altered their views since the last war; for such an intercourse was openly carried on between the two islaads to a great extent, after the convention with Toussaint; and not a murmur against it was heard, either from the assembly of Jamaica, or from the very active West Indian committee. It was, on the contrary, so favourite a branch of commerce in that island, that the restrictions which the royal prudence had imposed upon it, for the sake apparently of diminishing the dangers in question*, were there thought to shackle too strictly the profitable intercourse with St. Domingo; and were so broadly violated in the face of day, that English ships* belonging to the ports of Jamaica, were seized by his Majesty's squadron, and confiscated for that cause f. When we next hear of danger to the peace of our islands, from the speeches of abolitionists, I hope these facts will be remembered.
Were the intercourse in question really dangerous to our sugar colonies, there would be no necessity either to expose them to any such peril, or to forego, for their sakes, the national advantages
* Order in Council of 9th January, 1799.
t Case of the Achilles, Sutherland, master, heard before the Lords Commissioners of Appeals in Prize Causes, March 3d, 1804.
Of


[8*]
of the trade; for We have port% ev^a i*th$W*ft I*ifes, from which the commerce might be eahied on, without producing any such political iftoonve*-nience. On this faint I propose to enlarge hereafter. Meantime, supposing enough to have been already said to prove that the commerce which courts our acceptance ought not to bfe wholly declined, and believing that thus far jhy opinion is that of the public at large, I wiH proceed to consider the second of the four projects proposed for discussion: cc That of allowing trade to be carried on with the negroes of St. Domingo *' without any conventional basis."
This scheme has certainly more practical facility than the former: but if it be admitted that a com-mercial intercourse of any kind ought to be allowed, it will, I conceive, be difficult to deny, that it ought to be sanctioned and regulated by some express compact.
If in the mercantile intercourse of civilized and polished nations, positive conventions are found useful or necessary, in order to prevent disputes, to obviate inconveniencies, and to improve the mutual advantage, surely they cannot be lesfc so in this case, in which, supposing disputes to arise, there are with one of the parties no precedents or known principles, by which they could be decided.
By a treaty with the negro chiefs, better assurance


[ 30 ]
wee might be obtained, for the observance of mercantile faith, and for the security of British subject* in their property and their persons, while trading in the ports of a country, still perhaps likely to be the seat of much interior disorder. By a treaty $lso, regulations might be framed whereby such political inconveniencies and hazards as must J>e in some degree incident to this new branch of commerce, might be materially lessened. Par> ticular ports for instance might be limited, as m his Majesty's order of council for licensing the trade with Toussaint's government, or in the West Indian free port acts, which in like manner innovated upon the general restrictions of our maritime code, and ip. which it was therefore found necessary to provide many precautions against the probable ill effects of innovation.
Fiscal, as well as political regulations, would obviously, on our side, be necessary; but without a treaty the most salutary and necessary sanctions iq. laws of that kind, might in their execution, give umbrage to these unenlightened neighbours. It may be added, that by mutual agreement only pould adequate security be obtained against some dangerous abuses, and sources of future contention, such as the carrying off negroes, to which there would be strong temptations on both sides. Put a still more powerful argument for a commercial


C 31 J
tnetei&l treaty is, that without a compact, we can have no permanent privilege or favour in the ports of that island.
We are now in a situation to become not only the most favoured nation at St. Domingo, bufceven perhaps to obtain from this new people a monopoly of their trade y for we who alone can defy the resentment of France, can alone venture to contract with them at this critical period any fooderal relations. Herein consists one material advantage of that opportunity, to which I invite your attention?.
The considerations which we must probably give for such exclusive privileges, will be pointed out under the next head of discussion. At present, I would only remark that a treaty of some kind, is the necessary medium of such an important acquisition; and that if we are content with a mere tacit allowance of general trade, we shall be rivalled by other powersy and soon, in consequence of the advantages of neutral navigation now possessed by them, shall be undersold and virtually excluded from this valuable branch of com* merce. We shall gratuitously relinquish in fevour of America, Denmark, and Sweden a great, and perhaps hereafter an inestimable boon, which the circumstances of the present war, as some compensation for its evils, happily throw within our reach. *
North America bids fairest to be our great rival


[ 32 ]
val in the future trade of St. Domingo; but at the injured islanders have seen the American flag bringing supplies to their oppressors, during the deepest horrors of the late dreadful contest, they can at this moment have no predilection for thfe people of that country; while our present 1k>3-tility to the Republic, and the assistance we haVe ^iven in blockading the French armies in their ports, must dispose them very favourably towards ourselves*. Supposing we should acquiesce, aslt might be necessary to do, in their importing fronti ^Jbrth America some articles of provisions arid lumber, they would, I doubt not, readily g&e to our merchants exclusively, the benefit of sup? plying them with all other commodities. Extend your view, Sir, to that future complete restitution of the agriculture of this vast island, which is at least a possible, and in my poor judgment, no improbable, or distant event. Reflect, that upon such a restitution, we might import Trom St. Domingo alone, far more in bulk and value of the rich tropical productions than all the other islands in the West Indies now collectively
* If there should 1)e some abatement of this disposition at present, from our conduct, in destroying or carrying aw*y their means of defence at Fort Dauphin, the policy of which I am by no means able to comprehend, the favourable "sentiment might, by means hereafter to be noticed, be easily and fullyrestored.
afford,


[ 95 ]
fiyt - lost for ever.
But it may be asked, what effectual security ^ivould be derived from a treaty for the preservation of any privileges which it might concede? I answer, fin the first place, that of a faith which there is no'good" reason to distrust, for it has hitherto been unviolated, though strongly tried during the last war, the faith of this new community. Rude nations, perhaps, are not the least observant of such engagements. You would, however, have the ad-ditipna^.and ever growing security of established
. custop;; for they would soon become habitually .partial to our manufactures, and our modes of commerce: but what is a much stronger ground ,of reliance, their self-interest, their love of freedom, and their abhorrence of a dreadful slavery, would bind them to your side; for a guarantee of their 4jberty mpst, as I shall presently show, be the price of the supposed concessions.
To all these probable advantages of a commer-,cj^l treaty, there does not seem to stand opposed
F any


any sound objection which would not at least equally apply to the project now under review.
The countenance and support given to the new order of things would be substantially the same, and the actual intercourse with the people strictly so, whether our trade to their ports were carried on with, or without, any conventional basis.
I will here dismiss the consideration of the second plan, and pass to the third.
3d. To enter into some treaty or convention with the negro chiefs, not involving any rela-" tions closer than those of general amity and commerce."
This is probably the scheme of policy which will at first view appear the most plausible.
" We ought not, it may be conceded, to ab-> *' stain from the advantages which a trade to St. Domingo may afford, or contract the suspi-i "cion and odium of its new masters, by pro^ hibiting an amicable intercourse between theft territories and our own; we may even pnu dently and advantageously form with them a commercial treaty ; but care should be taken not expressly to recognise their independency* nor to ent$r into any stipulatiohs whWk rotff'bfe found inconvenient i a future pacificatfofe wftfc "France."
As thes^ views may be thought to derive sftfftfc recommendation


[ 85 }
ftswtemeridatiMi from their sealing corifortdit to tbe-policy adopted during the last war ftr oat
convention with Toussaint, I would in the first place remark, that the precedent is quite inapplicable ; for between the leading* circumstances of that case, and of the present, there is not only great diversitv, but a direct and manifest opj)osition.
At no time prior to s- peace of 1801, was there an opportunity of separating the cause of negro liberty from that of French ambition, had we been disposed to adopt that policy. When* by evacuating St. Domingo, we ceased to make war against the sable defenders of that island, a great majority of them were indeed disposed to become our friends and our commercial customers* but no party ggfeoQg them evineed any disposition to becomi Q9r general allies, or our confederates ggaiiist the sgpi^lic* In a considerable part oft he island, where G^eral Rigaud commanded, hostility to this coda* tgy continued to prevail almost to the end of 'the WW?> and Toussaint himself, was so fer from choos* Pgito engage with us as a confederate, that he l^ptatRed strictly the duties of neutrality .Though necessity justified in his eyes; taud erea ^t|^ opinion of the French government, the $$c oonvention which he made^with an enettry of the mother country, he never ceased to aekriow-Uer^vereignty,and governed the colony in u 1 right


[ 36 3
light of successive commissions from the mmeSfr ateruiers of France. j ^
i^Had-we- at that period offered a guarantee of liberty and independency, it would in all probata* 1 ity have been rejected; for the republic, fctitbd | remembered, had not then violated the law b^ which she had1 recognised the freedom of her cofoi-rial negroes, nor shewn any disposition to restore the ancient system.
r- But such measures as I now recommend, woiifej; during the last war, have been, on other accountfc also, dearly unwise. That France, when released from the restraints imposed upon her by a coat*, toentaland maritime war, would attempt a coiilter-revohition in that great colony, was at least pre* fable; and that the remains of half a million tff | uncivilized people, after ten years of revolution and war, would be able to effect in the new world w
4 '


t 37 V
rtfe^wew dttenained to adhere -in our o#a U*W
nies; and wilfully to exclude it, wouki, On on*oessisfeK ing maxims of policy, Have been inconsistent ind
absurd. But could even the event of the contest have been with certainly foreseen, it would have been thought bad policy to prevent an attempt by which the armies and the resources of France were to be wasted, and the immediate population of St. Domingo at the same time materially reduced ; and, what is of far greater importance, by which the attachment of the black colonists to the republic, might be converted into enmity and detestation.
> The invincible stability of the nfcw order of things in St. Domingo, and the opportunity of effectually separating that important island fiforjfc *he dominion of France* are essential foundations
my present advice; but of these the former, was Unknown during the last war, and the latter did ot-exist. ,r ^
- Skice then the project riow under discusskJii etev claim no sound recommendation from precis* felefijt, let us proceed to examine its iiitfihsicp&s* tensions to your choice. -^-^
UI have thus far reasoned justly, we are already arrived at the conclusion, that a tracte with Sfc Domingo ought not to be wholly declined^ and that & should be placed on the basis of sonae mercial treaty to be made with the negro chiefs. It remains, therefore, next to consider whether
commercial


i 4 3
commercial arrangements should be the only objects embraced by such a treaty, or whether it ought to extend to relations of a closer and more comprehensive nature.
There is obviously no middle point between a commercial treaty, which necessarily implies perfect amity between the contracting parties, and apolitical league or alliance -y for any advance beyond mere amity and mutual commerce, must amount in some degree to that society in political objects which constitutes the relation of allies.
But to form an alliance with the new people, is virtually to acknowledge their independency ; and that if we make this recognition, we ought at the same time to engage them, if possible, in a defensive league against France, seems almost a political axiom. I shall, nevertheless, shew in the sequel, the prudential necessity of this consequence. Meantime, as it is sufficiently obvious that my argument is now reduced to a comparison between the third I and fourth of the projects proposed for discussion; and that recommendation of the one will, for the; most part, be an objection to the other, it may save time, and prevent repetition, to consider them together.
... i. ..... *U.i
.........Tkf $4 and &h Plans compared.
j
The same arguments which have been already urged in favour of a commercial intercourse in general,


nerd, and for invin^ that intercourse a conven-tional basis, will be found to recommend the going still further; for if we form commercial relations alone, the expected benefits will, in the first place, be less extensive, and in the second place, far less permanent, than they might be made by a political alliance
1st. They will be less extensive."
The beneficial effects to be expected from amity and commerce witt the people of St. Domingo, are not only the acquisition of a valuable branch of trade, but a great diminution of the dangers to tffiteh Jamaica and our other sugar colonies will be ih future exposed from the power of these for-rrfidable neighbours. Now both these advantages wiU'Hfe proportionate in their extetit, to the degree in which agriculture shall be re-established and hereafter maintained in St. Domingo.
'That this is true in respect of the commercial benefits, is sufficiently obvious; and it is fairly presumable, that as the mutual advantages of the intercourse shall increase, so also will ttte Imutuafr a&fiy aiid confidence which they naturally fehd to' inspire. The more amply these new customers arfe' able to deal with us in the sale of their sugar an^' coffee, and in the purchase of our manufactures, the more they will find their comforts,fteir enjoyments, and growing prosperity, dependent upon English commerce $ and the more carefully will they, obr


C )
serve that pacific and amkjable cowj^ towwds our colonics, a violation of which would i&taft rujt and diminish those blessings. *
But some negative effects of their agricultural pursuits will be not less important to our future^ vantage and security; for that military spirit whk& their late successes, and long exercise in war, must have strongly tended to inspire, will obviously be less general and less dangerous, in proportion as the cultivators are drawn back to their peaceful employments, and the rising generation tr^ingd, through the excitement of commerce, to the culture of the soil. The more of their youth they. kepfn-ploy in the cane pieces, and the fewer they send to the drill, the less danger will there be that their indigenous military strength will soon be engaged in annoying their impotent neighbours.
But any great increase in agricultural industry or abatement of military preparation, is not to be expected from them, at this critical period, unless we determine to form with them more than commercial engagements.
. There is now, let it be well considered, an cttgj$ct infinitely more interesting and important than agriculture or commerce to engage their anxious attention :for after the dreadful experience they have ; had, they cannot safely conclude that the French ^government is even yet disposed to le^ve them in the undisturbed possession of their liberty.
Tha


41 3
The present maritime war gives them indeed a momentary security against invasion by the enemies of Great Biitain; but if left to expect that upon the termination of our quarrel with tne republic, they shall have again to struggle .singly against that despotic and mereih-ss power,, against all the ruffians of IVauee and all the bloodhounds of Cuba, not only for independence, but ior freedom, and for life itself, the great and almost exclusive ohjrel of their present endeavours will naturally be to prepare the means of war.
In the contemplation of' "that ko?*ric!e vukt which 1 hrc atens them," to use t he words of the illustrious Toussaint, all minor considerations will be sunk. Instead of planting the sugar cane, the cotton bush, and the coffee tree, they will cultivate chiefly those provisions of which they may form plantations or lay up magazines in the interior, and thereby enlarge the means of subsistence in anew defensive war. Instead of rebuilding sugar mills and boiling houses, they will erect forts and cast up entrenchments. Instead of the manufactures of Birmingham or Manchester, they will import scarcely any thing but ammunition and amis. Of the rising generation, which we know from the best authority to be very numerous, the males, 'when of an age to be trained to labour, will be sent, not to the cane piece, but to the drill; and G ^ people


/
MM
\$3t$lk, dh Whdfe ctiatact^ MMhdYM Allies ft fctisf*Mid#d, WSi bec6me a nktion &4Mtets. % SuMf it is tmjtossibte that a British ^t&MB, a {ihilatithrbjiist, should coittemplktel this'ffrb-$pe& without dismby. Not otily Will fadusfllfy, order, civilization, and all the othei- blessings '8f social life, be retarded fn their growth, btift a ira-ffonal character formed in this new community, equally Unfriendly to its own happiitess, and tremendous to its European neighbohrs.
That St. Domingo, whatever course we tak&, Ml one day be mistress of the Western Archipelago, is indeed highly probable; and that the shocking'slavery of our colonies cannot much longer 1be maintained, is Sufficiently certain; bht by ia ju^t arid rational policy, we might be enabled to look \ forward to the progress not Only of African fre&-A doiri^but of African sovereignty, in the Wdst Indies, with satisfaction rather than dismay.
The subversion of establishments so guilty, and so fertile in misery and in death, both to Africa and Europe, can be deprecated only from the terrible nature of the means, by Which the changfc, if sudden and hostile, must necessarily be effected, and the ruin in which it would involve individuals: and instead of a misfortune, it Would be a great advantage, to this commercial and maritime empire, could we hereafter commute by cotti|&ct
with


fn* po^te a^to
*flmn9J^Jf ^ Y^u?We trad^. gut if i^fc iH^fy,.%vjl9f P9titu$l, should dbte i^trod^^ j$to aijp sugar colonies by insurrection t}Of|i|| force, dreadful indeed would be the e{% Igt it not tl\ei\ be considered as a qugstip^i of Sfl^ll j^pjppnt, to whfit pqliticiaj character the 4igenes> as tljey c&U themselves, shall \>e at this cri? tical period inclined. A restless warlike spirit iij WjU sopn p$rry liberty and African dominion l^getftef iu 3, tempest of revolution through all the sjjroi}nding islands. On the contrary, a pacific ajid industrious dispositipj* in ttyjs infant society fyp^d at lpast enable 14s to meet the approaching chap^e by tjrnely preparation j and, perhaps, by the fj^ntaneoij? n4 gradual correction pf existing abuses, to introduce freedom generally into our colours, the only jrnean of Ipng preserving our spver feignt^ oyer them, without $ny disorder or ipise^jef. Jjie liappy effects of liberty and jpeace in St. Do-fpii^o would irresistibly influence tbp policy of all European powers who possess colonies iij the Wegt I&cjfcs, afid incline them to 3 willing Hnita-tjo#. Preju|dice ai^d self jpvje might indeed still dis-poe fhe colonial party to .oppose the salutary jpbijgige s bijit their influence, unhappily now top po.^ejrfyl in this realm, would progressively decline i


C 44 ]
dine j falsehood would vanish befefe the clear light oT experience, the true interests of thfe natiPri would be distinguished from the partictktar inte* rtsts of the slave holder, and the chains of oppr&s** sibn would at length be loosened by the hand ofr an impartial legislature.
What sedative then, Sir, can be found for thai warlike temper, so likely to mark the infancy' 0$ this new community, and so much to be deprecated* in a view both to commerce and security, except the measures I propose ? '
Tranquillize the minds of the new people on that heart-stirring subject of anxiety, the defence of
J theirfreedom,by guaranteeing it against the power of France, and they will be enabled to reduce, instead of enlarging, their military establishment and preparations; to restore the cultivators to the plantations, and to train up their youth to the peaceful labours of the field. Relying upon the national faith, and the maritime power of England, they will feel no necessity for a larger internal force; than such a moderate army as may suffice to
^ maintain industry and order; they will, in a word, revert to the wise policy of Toussaint, and pursuing the maxims pf that illustrious statesman and patriot, will apply themselves indefa-tigably to the restitution of agriculture and commerce. You will reap the reward not only iri the rapid increase of a trade, to the monopoly


C ** )
poly of which ydu will acquire the 'strongest of titles, biit in the future security of Jamaica an^ the rest of our valuable islands. < ->
Here it may be proper to point out a new abd material difference between the present circumstances of St. Domingo, and those whkJ* existed there during our last war with Franoe. It was not so necessary in the former case, as the present, to guard with anxiety against the progress of a warlike character, and to encourage earefuUy the restitution of peaceful industry^ because, after our pacification with Toussamt, that general and his followers had no such power* ful motives as must at present be felt by the African leaders, for cherishing the one disposition, and neglecting the other.
The black colonists, let it be remembered, had at that time no apparent grounds of uneasiness in regard to the intentions of the mother country j and naturally relied for the security of their freedom, not only upon the assurances of thq go-, vernment, but upon the then unviolated law of the republic, by which their title to all the rights of French citizens was solemnly declared. It is no impeachment of the discernment of Toussaint to say, that he seems to have had no jealousy on this momentous point; since even the interest of the republic, if rightly understood, would have been a pledge for her good fldth toy^ards
tho$Q


[ 3
those loyal and u*fcl (Mtem* a*l tfca* thefo maua Buonaparte would he sp$h 3 dw**Ur #* *ft act upon the prejudiced vmm of hip wife's Indiaa cabinet, a&d to i&feifee tfceiffeelgh Apathies to a black diia, a* tke espeftfie q^ljF of the colonial importwoe frf FifcP0& fettt Certain howeyer it is, that tfce AfrJCW %f was deceived; *d dow to the wpjwpt of Leclsre's iwasiw, r and


MM
ah8 ^'til^atbfs, Who quitted ftefr pl^tatiotis Ih tfrdSr t6 flocJk to thefctaiidafd Of loussaint, & composing the bulk, not only Of thfe general po-f illation, but df the artiiy by which the catise of ftt&dOfn Was s'u&aiiieA.
*ft We cantiot expect that the ^ccesfcors df this unless famished ttith better security thah that tipoh Which he fatally relied, will pursue, at 'the present period, the Kame course of policy.
professions, and rid practical measures of the ^Vendh government, fcati riieW in their minds the confidence Vhich had so dreadful an issue. As 'f&Us&aitit was fatally in haste to sink the Varridr in the legislator, the rieW leaders will, if left to 'their own resources, take ah opposite cotirste. He WaS at oride the ftdfnulus, and the Ntiiha, df St. >Oriiii%o, but Dessalines will be rather the Hostilius.
"Nb?J^S^y in 'Short, but the security which their dear uffigkt freedom ttiight derive by being placed tmdftr thfe safeguard of Great JBritaln, can prevent ihii rieW people from devoting air their resources to preparations for future War; from neglect-ihg 'those arts which might render them mot valuable friehds to us, arid cultivating thbse habits #hfch Will make them rhost 'formidable heigh-bout%.
I remarked, ih the second place, that the advantages, commercial and political, of a trade with
St/


t 1
St. Doming*, would, without the proposed att ance, be less permanent" than such an alliance might make thenar
The negro chiefs will probably be willing enough to enter with us into a treaty simply commercial, should they find that no more can be obtained; or even without a treaty, they will allow us freely to trade to their ports; and under the circumstances of the moment, amicable conduct towards the subjects of this country will perhaps beGarefolly observed ; but if we wish for a lasting privilege or preference beyond other foreigners, we must, as already observed, obtain it by* compact ; and though we are the only people on earth who dare at this moment to accept of such a grant, yet in order effectually to obtain and preserve it, we must give in return some equivalent benefit.
The reciprocity of commercial advaq^je^gdone will not entitle us for a moment to any^ph distinction ; for in this respect other nations will have equal or superior pretensions. Their vessels will bring the commodities of Europe and America into the ports of St. Domingo for sale upon terms at least as cheap as those of the British importer; and will receive West India produce in return, at a price at least as high as our merchants can afford to offer. In order, therefore, to outbid all other competitors, We must add to mere mercantile considerations,
what


[ 49 ]
*wfa*t Wendaneteaa offer, aad ea$itk oupetitt iiqt ofti$llQ M pjas^Bfcpredilection, but, future gcotitttde ^nd attachment, by the offer of a defensive aifc-
vSh^uJd it be supposed, that the assistance which hfs^for our own sakes, and in a very equivocal spirit, been given toWards the expulsion of a cemmofc enemy, would at the present moment be so favourably considered, as to procure for us., without any further consideration, a commercial preference to other nations, the permanence of any advantages which should upon that account alone be obtained, might still be reasonably doubted. The powerful motive of self-interest would be wanting to ensure their stability; they would soon therefore be viewed with a grudging eye, as the price of services which were past, and the value whereof had perhaps been over-rated: rival merchants would represent our privileges as unreasonable restraints of trade, and labour, not without success, to render them unpopular in the island, till they might at length become, rather sources of contention, than bonds of mutual amity.
Not so, if a great or exclusive preference of British commerce, wTere the stipulated considers-tion for a guarantee of their freedom and a perpetual defensive alliance. In that case, our privileges would stand upon the strongest and most durable r
H pidars


pillars that the gratitude and self-love of the new people, could conjointly raise to support them; the British flag would be regarded as the palladium of their social happiness and safety, and an attachment might be expected to ensue, not less powerful and lasting than their love of liberty, or their antipathy to a horrible bondage.
So assiduous and successful have been the arts of calumny against this much injured race, that with those who have viewed them only in the pictures "dfawn "by their oppressors, it may not be here unnecessary to assert their claim to human character in the sense of benefits conferred*. National gratitude is certainly a virtue which the page of history does not often exhibit in the conduct of polished societies; but if any one doubts whether the people of St. Domingo can distinguish and
*$ee a shocking instance of misrepresentation on this head jn an author of no vulgar name, well exposed by Mr. Brougham in his able work on the Colonial Policy of the European Powers, vol. ii. p. $58.
:- This work, though it contains some important errors, abounds in valuable information, deep reflection, and ingenious argument upon West Indian affairs. Mr. B/s views of practical policy in relation to St. Domingo were diametrically opposite to those which were developed in the Crisis, and which it is the object of these sheets to impress; but Mr. B. wrote when, in common with the European public in general, he thought a counter revolution in that island an attainable object. The contrary being now demonstrated, the authoi may safely invoke much of that gentleman's reasoning u iugtiliary to his own.
adhere


adhere to their public benefactors, let him advert to their unprecedented steadiness of attachment to all their faithful leaders. From the first establishment of their freedom? till they were treacherously bereaved of Toussaint, their fidelity to that great roan, in peace, as well as war, was truly remark* able; and since his fall, Dessalines and Christophe* who were his most faithful adherents, and principal officers, have been objects of as steady an attachment. I rely, however, upon principles much surer and stronger than gratitude, which would bind them for ever to Great Britain, should she now become the patroness and guardian of their freedom.
We have hitherto adverted only to those commercial benefits, and that better security of our sugar colonies from revolutionary dangers, which might be derived from the proposed alliance. But the same measure is necessary to avert some political inconveniences and perils of a more direct and comprehensive kind, which am likely to flow $pm, the present state of St. Domirigo. These I willi proceed to consider, 1st. As they belong to the existing state of affairs,
2d. As they will aris$ in future, but certain, or highly probable situations.
At this moment, the various political relations Of St, Domingo sre singular, and higtyy per^fexing,
'the


[ 52 ]
The new state is at war with all our confederated enemies, and at war also with one of our friends; It is the foe of France and Holland, who are also our foes, and yet is not our confederate; it is* equally hostile to Spain with whom we are in amity, and yet is at peace with ourselves.
What makes these cross relations more singular and more embarrassing, is, that the principal parties to them are all placed within sight of each others territories. The same visible horizon comprises,, together with St. Domingo, some of the* most .important colonial coasts of Spain and Great Britain; and for all the purposes of war against the negro people, Cuba, which* is one of those neighbouring shores, may be regarded as a colony of France. It is from the ports on the East end of that island, and from that station alone, that the French cruizers and fugitive troops are now feebly annoying their sable enemies, and menacing them with a new descent.
,. A roian must be totally ignorant of the navigation and trade of the gulph of Mexico, not to perceive at a single glance the mischievous tendency of this state of things to the commerce of Great Britain, and the disputes which it must soon unavoidably occasion between such of the parties as are yet at peace with each other.
Let us advert, for instance, to that profitable trade which is carried on between our free port) :
in


[ ]
in ffcfe West Indies, and'the Spanish colonies. A gfreat part of the goods which are the subject of that cormherce, are, during their transit to and irdm our ports, the property of Spaniards, and of course liable to capture and condemnation by these sable enemies of Spain, the only foes she ndw has to seize them; and though no inconsiderable portion of the same lucrative trade is car* ricd on upon account of our own merchants,- yefc from the rigid system of the cabinet of Madrid^ the British owner is for the most part obliged to cover his property under the names of Spa* niards, and to send it in vessels really or ostensibly Spanish. The consequence is, that when vessels Engaged in this trade shall be captured by tber cruizers Of St. Domingo, they and their cargoes, tHbu'gh actually British, will be apparently hostile.
Such property will, by the law of nations, be fairly confiscable, even though the fact of British ownership should be capable of being clearly established ; for it is a principle in the prize court, that a hostile flag and papers are conclusive against the claimant. But supposing the negro chiefs to be either uninformed of this law, or so indulgent to* ward* our merchants as to wave its application, and allow them, on proof of their property in such cases, to obtain restitution; still very serious ex- pence, inconvenience, and loss, must be sustained before their daims could be established: nor isit
easy


[ 54 J .
easy to say what species Of evideflccwouW or ought to satisfy the captors, or a prize tribunal, that property embarked in a transaction wholly conducted by enemies, and avowed by all the papers to be hostile, really belongs to a friend. That siteh captures would at least be a fertile source *f troublesome and dangerous disputes, is certain j nor can it be doubted that they would very greatly discourage, if not wholly ruin, a trade highly &e~ ueficial to this country.
The effects of these hostilities between St. Domingo and Cuba, will be the more vexatious, because by them only, at tbi$ period, can peace of the Gulph of Mexico and of the Wind~ ward Passage be disturbed. We shall loo& through this cause alone, the profound train* quillity which our commerce might otherwise, from circumstances unprecedented in any fon&er war, enjoy in that part of the world. Though France has now no port to leeward of Guadaloupe, though St. Domingo is amicable to us, and Spain is still indulged with the rights of neutrality, yed British property may be captured, and British navigation greatly disturbed, in that important gulph, and its outlets, even within sight ofa maica. -
Whether any great inconveniences have hitter-, to arisen from this situation of things, 1 affe not Informed. -1ri some degree its bad effects dgubttes*


[ 55/]
bare already been fdt ; but the surrender of the Cape, and the expulsion of the French from St. |)omingo, were, at the date of the last advices from that quarter which have been given to the -public, very receiit events; and the hostilities between that island and Cuba had but just com-; meaced. Their noxious tendency therefore in re-r$gard to British commerce, could not well so soon Jhave displayed itself, in any very extensive consequences.
^ These hostilities, however, will, in all probability, soon be greatly increased both in their extent 5*nd activity. The Indigenes, otherwise called^ like all the other brave opposers of French usurpation, yj&rigbnds, were able, even during their arduous contest with Rochambeau, to fit out many armed tboats and vessels, which greatly annoyed the commerce of their enemies on various parts of tjie coast; but now, when the harbours are in their possession, and when they have no enemy in the interior, their cruizers will naturally become far more numerous; and mapiy of them will probably be 0f sufficient force to attack openly the largest merchant-men, if not also any armed vessels, by Wllich they are likely to be opposed. Within a short distance of their shoires, or in either of those *&rrow but important channels which divide them from Cuba and Jamaica, it will soon not be easy to ^a undescribed


t 66 ]
unueseribed phenomenon, the flag of th$ WlWf Indian republic.
Is it a^kerl by what means this rude C0O^lf-miy v/iJJ be able speedily to acquire ships 3nd naval stores? fcyery capture which they rastke will add to their petty marine such a bottQip & may be fit for annoying, in those calm se^ the unarmed merchantmen of their enemy, many. $f which are continually passing within sight qf their ports: nor can it be doubted that they hayp evejn at the present moment, produce enough to barter with neutral merchants for such naval su^d qiilitary stores as may suffice for the equipment 9f .their vessels. Indeed the valuable cargoes which ,must fall into their hands, will soon furnjsh qn ample fund to pay for these, and all other n^-cessarysupplies.
But privateering, let me add, is a species of trade which will never be at a stand through the want of capital, where there is a good prospect pf profitable captures; and if the proper resources of the new state itself should be inadequate to the tting put of a sufficient number of cruizers effectually to annoy their enemies, they will be at no Joss for foreign assistance, not even, strange though it may seem, for that of his Majesty's ^subjects. The rich commerce of the Spanish W^pt Indies is a bait which always fascinates the eyes of pur seamen, and of all adventurers^ accustomed


[57]
tdttied to engage in the fensiries^of jwivate^rittg, especially such of them as inhabit or frequent the Bahama and Bermuda islands; and these men hotr regard with impatience the delay of a wan tfitK1 Spain; for as to the trade of the few co-tontes remaining to France and HoHaftd, it offers to such sportsmen but poor game any where j andin the Gulph of Mexico, or its passages* Scarcely any at all. Rely upon it, therefore, that should We much longer continue at peace with the court of Madrid, no small part of thk privateering capital and ent^rprize of British subjects will be transferred from our own COtoified to St. Domingo. At the same time, thd Vemnant of the old Buccaneer race still remaining dispersed in various parts of the West Indies, ^and ^ho assume always that particular national character which favours most for the momfent fcheir WVe! of contraband employment and maritime' plunder, will flock with avidity to the ports'of that island, to engage under the new flag in their dOciistomed pursuits. '
Never since Hispaniola was rendered formidable by the exploits of that piratical race, not even wh^n, during the 17th century, they tevelled atf once in the spoils both of Spanish and-English commerce, were there such dazzling inducements offered to privateers-men, as the same island at the present conjuncture holds forth. Not only will the trade of Porto Rico, the rich com-*
I meree


, L 1
u*efee of the Havannab, and the great eiporta of Ctjba a$ Jorge, increased ats they are of late y$a*$ far beyoad all former example, be a suift
and easy prey, but a great part also of the treasures of Mexico and Peru may be intercepted on its passage to Europe by the cruizers of this centrical island: and the facility of bringing the spoil into port, will be not le^ tempting, than the ease with which it can be captured.
Let the possible effects of these combinations be pursued by the eve of state prudence beyond the present day. I have already adverted to the consequences of a military spirit being formed in this infant society; but would an appetence for maritime capture, be less dangerous to their commercial neighbours? Their war with the Spanish colonies may sow deep in this new soil the seeds of a predatory disposition, which, springing up among the first shoots of social habits and institutions, may be found very hard to eradicate, and the independent Africans of the Antilles, may hereafter, like those of Barbary, be a scourge to all maritime powers.
Should it be objected to these calculations, that Spain, not having acknowledged the independency of St. Domingo, and being at peace with France, might reasonably treat the negro priva-teersmen and their foreign associates as pirates ; I answer, that it would argue great ignorance of the character of such adventurers, and of the
spirit


spirit of prifetewitig In geiteml, sdj>pfc*s#*li such severity would ra*tferk*liy ob*Cfctfc%ir ttte&eK ft %*oald be much easier indeed fop p*fii^04fi#ftt ei such penaWee, than actually to Ififiict tMett* fer so slender is her maritime fei^e kithelflBifc Indies, when cetofrpared wit* the ^*r*Ph*fc possessions and trade in that quarts, that she can-hOt check, in any tolerable degree, that eiilfHIAMS contraband commerce with her colonies, which notoriously prevails. Although her guarda costa's # are sufficiently disposed to mab* seiaurt*^ tfefe smuggler despises their feeble-efforts, m*i4ttfai mt, often by dajr light, and upotiiltewy po} ttaUKhe brigand boats, as they were called, fteqUiaKty aptupedtli< merchantmen which hroughtestili-piteato Itoehwmbeau, even winter stjocgFreiick ^madron i was stationed at the

qapnce f their l^ipg.made prisons by*heF4ich a^tth&t tunq,^ould have bwn death to these enr terprizing i m$a, and death too in some boraible %^,? TheSp^iaidSjhoweyer^w^ treat as pirates, men acting uncier; the commissi*** ^\^,ff^rment rwhxck is defwto independent, jW^whiohis wejil able to practise a dreadfehru*
; Without dwelling longer on *his copiorasr sub* j^t, Ima^,3afely coaskler it as proved, that if the ^vp^tpf Spawsh booty is to be reaped by the cruisers,of, St. Domingo, and by thpiri only, there :Will be go jgant of labourers or sickles for tibe ,v?p/&, ,
, But, woaldsuah a treaty as- is proposed be a preventative of all the evils, commercial and poiit-tjcai, to which We ham adverted ?" It would give JUfe lartBwr, the best attainable security against
. f Such aHtepae with the negro chiefs would, for Change, imtHle us in so high f a degree to their yerom^nt might be allowed by bm to operate as a spfijqipDt protection to British property, evaa wfeen found in the hands of enemies, add under a .Sjpwj?h disgue. They would probably go stiH fattier, and allow Spanish vessels to pass uijh ^tested \a ai^d from British ports* even wikpn .trading on their own account, At ail events, a ^persuasion of otic mcere aa^ity in the breast
of


[ 61 ]
off the In&fr ^^mtiiminU would bp a *fe$8fto against dangerous contentions; and would ihsure to us easy redress, when our confuherc^ itiight, through the ignorance or misconduct of indfVt dwals, be improperly disturbed. j r 01
Our great influence might; however, esSfencPtd purposes still more berieficia! arid important, We might very possibly engage our gratefbl &fieSlItb renounce their just enmity towards the Sp&nfd&s; lasnd thus, with the concurrence of the lattfer, toft^ pletely restore peace to those seas, Iti thevtfeSi-cpiHHty of which We have so large an interest, 4fc Wiuld be no unequal condition fti the proposed league, to require, as a consideration of the^iAi-portant guarantee we should give, tl&t odr'^new allies should be hereafter the friend of Ou^fK&ietf; as^well as the enfcmy of our enemies; and as t& Spain, she would have little right or Mclinaiiofi to cpmplain, should we, in consequence of Ml^fi an alliance, detfiand of her the termination bf a war, which, without any rational'object on'fie? part, must be a present nuisance to fter coldntes&fc well as our own, and threatens to both in its W>-gress the most perhicious and destructive effects.
The court of Madrid must, doubtie^, afreacty view with regret a troublesome and useless qtistf-rel, in which nothing but necessary c6hiplafsanc& td the French republic, tx>tildbavefiricfuce(f it^fl eagage; arid Would rejbkfe td'pforar V$^6 ttowgh otfr mediation, if^ witl^utndlfertceWtl^
same


[ 62 ]
tame necessary principle, that end could be attained.
I presume not indeed to say whether France would permit such a measureI cannot venture to conjecture how long the neutrality of Spam may be deemed by the consul more important* to his treasury, than her co-operation in the war would be to his arms; nor, on the other hand, can I presume to appreciate those considerations, by which our own court has been induced to treat hitherto, and may be led still to treat, as a friend* this tributary vassal of France. But as Buonaparte must have powerful reasons for permitting 90 dependent and obsequious a neighbour to pro* serve her pacific attitude, and to admit freely into her ports that odious British commerce which he js anxious to banish from the Continent, the same motives may perhaps induce htm to relinquish the object of giving to his sable enemies a trivial an* noyance from the ports of Cuba, should be find that a neutrality towards them is firmly demanded from the Spanish court by the ministers of this country.
If, on the contrary, a measure essential to the safe passage of the colonial wealth of Spain in its'way to Europe, and consequently to the French es*; chequer, should be prohibited by the consul, it might perhaps deserve to be well considered whe* ther his latent views in such conduct must oot be of a kind highly dangerous to this county and*
whether


C 1
M^U^ii Jkt^di^lvantages of o^r gmity with Spjun in the West ladies, were not in that case greater than, the tetfaoce of precarious profit which we <&pive from it in Europe. Let, it be reeoJleetedj tfcftt her war with St. Domingo the only pre-> ten
, But if, in the ease last considered, it should be tiaottght more prudent to submit to seme of the inconveniences which have been suggested, than to obviate them at the expence of a rupture with: Spain; still a strict amity and alliance with the negro chiefs, would avert from us a great part of the impending evils. If we could not restore peace to the Gulph of Mexico, and its outlets, at least we should obtain the best chance of preserving ear pacific and commercial relations with' both the neighbouring combatants, and that with the Jef&t possible degree of inconvenience and loss.
. j Having


[ ]
Having thus far adverted to the inconveniences and danc-'-s which, during our exist ng: political rr!at ion.s an* hkelv to spring from the new state
St. Domingo, let us-next, as was* proposed, consider those which are likely to flow from the same source, in future, but certain or highly 'pno-bable situations. t
If we anticipate, in. the first place, an event, which must be admitted to be highly probable, that of-Spain becoming a party to the present war, job our enemy, and the confederate of France, it;wiil be found, th^t the same causes which have already been staled, would still operate very unfavourably to our commerce, as well as to our colonial security. *' < ^' c It was the policy of our, government, during 4he last) war, to profit by the necessities of the Spanish colonies, 90 as to supply them, notwithstanding the existing: hostilities, with our manufactures, in ex-changefor their produce and bullion; and though aH commerce with an enemy is in general prohibited, tender penalty of confiscation of the property engaged in it, yet in favour of this particular branch of trade*-that rule of the law of war was dispensed with by orders of his Majesty in council*. British subjects were permitted, to trade upon their own account to and from the ports of Spanish America > and the subjects of Spain were protected by
' Orders of Council of 28th March, 1st May, ancl 7th August, 1798.
the


[ 65 ] .
tfarsaim authority, in trading as in time of peace tes our free ports in the West Indies. Licences irom From the same important national considefr-,aidons upon which tins indulgence was founded, awfctmay reasonably expect its renewal, in the event'-of a new quarrel with Spain; and beyond doubt, our manufacturers and merchants are greatly interested in the maintenance of such commercial policy in that quarter of the globe, x But tore the hostilities between the Spanish co-lonies'and St. Domingo, will present to us new and utost formidable obstacles for in war, as well as in peace, our trade with those colonies has always, by their ownlaw, been strictly prohibited; and could only be carried on clandestinely, by means of fictitious papers, under the Spanish flag, and a tually, or ostensibly, on account of merchants of that nation. Even during the greatest straits to which their colonies were reduced by our hostilities in the late war, through the dearth of essential sup-plies, their vessels were seized and confiscated by their own government, when detected in trading to or .from a British port. It is obvious, therefore, that the property which may be engaged in this trade during a future war with Spain, will be exit posed


posed to the same jeopardy, and^e subject to th& same inconveniencies and losses, that have ready been pointed out, in respect of our now sub* sisting intercourse with those colonies. ^ ; We shall obviously have no right to protect tha ships or goods of Spanish merchants from tffe hflatitities of their new enemy, though we may exempt them from our own; and to elicit the fart of British ownership from the mass of Spanish evidence in vviiic'i it is difgttised, would, as before observed, be a very difficult or impracticable task* Atracke, therefore, which already not only exposes the property embarked in it, but the persons of the immediate agents, to serious dangers, would be sutyected to such new and formidable adi ditienaLrisques, that it must be greatly fli*eou* raged and diminished, if not wholly destroyed.
The operations of war carried on from the neighbouring coasts of Jamaica and St. Domingo against an enemy within sight of both, could not fail to produce other, and numerous, occasions of dispute, and of serious public inconvenience, unless the mutual stipulations of a treaty, and the good will and confidence arising from an express confederacy, were the wholesome expedients of prevention.
Cases of joint capture, for instance, and of recapture or rescue, would m those narrow channels very frequently occur; and the necessary but
invidious


If I
bsHjg^rentp. The neutral ships, trading to the ports of St. Domingo* and their oargoes, would i^K> be objects of frequent and dangerous eonr t$We&* especially as the mew people wilTha** o($apmi lar^y to import articles of a contraband i*a&u;e,t and as the pretence ctf a destination t* th^irpofts, might be made a specious mask for the conveyance of such noxious goods to Cuba, oezt* the Spanish main. Questions of still greater deft* and danger might arUe, from the opposite pfipfjiples whpch would be applied by our captor** m$ these of the ne^v state respectively, to the na* ti^ves of Africa, or Creole negroes, Ibund on board prize vessejs^ especially should they be the sate ject of Joint capture, or of recap tune; or shoufcl theyffhy any other means, be supposed to be pri-* yi}fage4 Vy.the new s^qatfqary of African captives ^od bondsmen-
, And here another copious source of discord pre* seats itself.- To what extent shall the harbours and roadsteads of St. Domingo on the one sid% a^nd of Jamaica on the other, be privileged from the operations of war against any cruisers haft their own ? or how far shall the property of prizes ma<^ within their limits,, vert m the government ^ jjhe $qui#iy to which tbe^bek>g ? wuV4#Wftt>antfcfWLtipg aqy further grounds af ^ controversy,


p^trtwtoji, I may safely tffirra, that the^nd& .Anxious oaavantiooal precautions, and that con* fidjence which belongs to the most traequiaoeal ^mity,,oan. alone secure us, in the case last sup* :posedf .from pernicious and fatal disputes; khd that 'whatever chance we may have of avoiding, #uder present circumstances, a quarrel wifli the people of St. Domingo, their spfeedy enmity would, Unless prevented by an alliance, be almost an inevitable consequence of hostilities* between this country and Spain. / *
v It Ji^y, perhaps, at first sight be thought that hatred" to a common enemy, would be a suffice out bond Qf attaehment*, and that when &t wat Fith.the only hostile neighbour of the new state, We should have inQuence enough over this inferior co-belligerent for every useful purpose, without qny express alliance. But as there would be no wmwcn cause* or mutual object in the war* much less any claim on our part to. be consider* ed as volunteer auxiliaries, the n*gro chiefs could feel little disposition to abate for our sakes any part of their belligerent rights; much less to qonduot their war upon principles calculated to Consult our convenience, interest, or security, at the expense of their own. r It would,not be forgotten by them, that Spam had beeu suffered to lend the ports of Cuba* to the French fugitives, for purposes hostile to
St, Domingo $


St. Domingo; and thatnhe measure, tht^gfedfitf gerous to ourselves, had not been regarded by tft as any violation of her neutrality to this country, merely because the Indigenes were the immediate
objects of annoyance. Perhaps the memory of these chiefs might take a still longer retrospect, and by suggesting to them our conduct towards the illustrious Toussaint, at the conclusion of our former war with France, might admonish them to look in the existing contest to their own security alone; lest by furthering our selfish views, they should only accelerate a new invasion, and a new surprise, by the armies of the republic. The extraordinary measure of our destroying or carrying away their means of defence upon the surrender to our ships of certain fortresses, after those places had been previously reduced, at the expence of much African blood, to the necessity of an immediate capitulation, might also be remembered; and, to be sure, ho conduct could indicate more plainly a design on our part of resuming towards them our former policy, on the close of our neW quarrel with France. < But such indications of a separate and selfish object in our war with their enemies, would iio be necessary to teach them to take care of themselves. It would be enough that we had not acknowledged their independency, much less Undertaken to defend it; and that there was no
conventional


conventional association with them in those hostilities in which we had, at length, for our own sakes, engaged. In the selfish and discordant propensities of human nature, at least, the calumnia* tors of the African race will not refuse them a share; and their friends, on the other hand, will neither admit them to be so dull, nor assert that they are so preposterously generous, as to renounce, for the sake of our constrained co-operation, the care of their own interest and safety. For my part, I should expect as little regard from them to their reluctant foreign coadjutors, as if they had been educated at Vienna or Berlin; and should look for as little of practical concert, and mutual deference, between the casual co-belligerents of the Antilles, as was exhibited between those of the late war in Europe.
In the case immediately under consideration, and in all our future wars, much of positive advantage would be lost, as well as very serious evils incurred, should you neglect to avail yourself, as I advise, of the present happy opportunity.
The geographical position of St. Domingo is such, as would make the free use of its ports, of the greatest importance to either party in a war between this country and its ancient enemies. From no station can the trade of Cuba and the Mexican provinces be so effectually annoyed; and
that


{ 71 3
inland of Jamaica, an inspection of f he witfi attention to the course of the trade Wind, *wltf sufficiently demonstrate. ('f,JC;
The importance of the island in a maritime ww Hats hitherto been infinitely lessthdtiit is tikefy 1ft MUre to prove; because, sincd the cMdftial^HitS-ifests, and the naval strength of Great ftftt^iri atift France fully attained to their gr6at andfong0cotff tinued preponderance, and engaged those leading' Jitwers in frequent West Indian wars; Stf Doming ahd the Spanish colonies have never* tiH now tikeri litfitfile to each other, btit have been iirider tfie do-ihihion of allied and confederated sovereign^' rft& belligerent consequence of this gtf eat island^ tfigfe-ibre, has been chiefly felt in the annoyance gtiM by French ships, rendezvousing in its ports^ to the commerce of Jamaica; and this effect has been mitigated, not only by the great naval force of this country, which has enabled us to keep up strong squadrons on that station, and to employ very powerful convoys, but from the imniense extent and value of the exports of St. Domingo itself and of the Spanish colonies, which obliged our 4ftifed enemies for the most part to limit their rtiaritime efforts in that quarter to purposes iherely defensive. Many of Our merchantmen #bm Jamaica, indeed, ibere carried into the ports t*f St. Domingo, but a much larger proportion of
the


[ 7 1
$he emmyf$ ships whicji sailed to and frpm thoae ports, were captured by British cruizers; so th$t the balance of prize acquisition and loss, wa usually* much in our favour. It may be added, that great incidental protection was afforded to our commerce igk %he windward passage, and the Gulph, by th? numerous British privateers which, invited byt&e hope of Calling in with rich St. Domingo-n^^ff, made those seas their constant resort.
A moment's attention to the singular reversg ip piost of these circumstances which must arise from the great change that has lately taken place, will suffice to shew the important influence which the amity or enmity of the new state, would have Upon our maritime interests, in our wars with our ancient eoepiies.
Hispaniola, no longer under the dominion of the house of Bourbon, or of that power, styling itself a republic, which has seized upon one of the thrones of the Bourbons, will, if hostile to Spain, and in confederacy with ourselves, be found a most important ally. With the numerous ports on^ the North, South, and West of this large island at our command, and with an auxiliary army of negroes at our call, our power to distress the Spanish colonies and commerce, would be as wide as our inclination to do so. From the same advantages, thg. defence of Jamaica, and of all our commercpTO the Gulph of Mexico,
would


[ 73 >
^tvould be a work of unprecedented cheaprid& &n9 fecflity.
; Great on the other hand, beyond all formefr experience, would be the annoyance to which wfe should be exposed by the hostility of St. Dor raingo, supposing its government to side in future wars with a maritime enemy of this country. While Jamaica, perpetually menaced with inva^ sion by a negro army, would cost us a frightful "watte of British lives, as well as treasure, in a service merely defensive, our trade in that quarter Would be harassed by the undiverted operations of such ships and squadrons, as a European enemy, the ally of the new state, might send to rendezvous in its harbours. Nor would these evils be compensated in any material degree by such rich spoils as were formerly made from the commerce of St. Domingo; for supposing its exports to regain even their former magnitude, the new political relations of the island would rescue them from th^ grasp of our cruisers. Its external commerce, to whatever extent revived, would no logger be conducted on account of the islanders themselves, or of our European enemies, but being at all time? entirely in the hands of foreign merchants, would in time of war, be carried on upon account of such foreigners only as should possess the advantage of neutral characttr; the property engaged
Lv in


t 74 ] s
in it would consequently, unless under special circumstances, be exempt from capture. That important belligerent right, the right of maintaining against neutral intervention in time of war, the commercial restrictions by which a hostile government had monopolized the trade of its co* Ionics in time of peace, will here have no application. In this, and many other respects, we shall experience the important difference between a transatlantic enemy, the satellite of some European power; and the same enemy, when en* franchised from all exterior connection, and acting against us as a principal in the war, or an independent confederate.
To undervalue or slight these considerations on account of the present depression of the French marine, and the pacific disposition of Spain, or because France has no longer any territory in the Leeward division of the Antilles, would be highly improvident; for of these extenuatory circumstances, the two latter may be very speedily reversed, and the first considerably altered. Thfe Consul could, no doubt, with a single mandate, obtain the cession of Porto Rico, or even Cuba, as well as compel the court of Madrid to join him in the war; and that the navy of France may be one day sufficiently restored to be troublesome to our commerce and colonies, is surely no impossible event.
Whether


- [ 75 ]
Wðer then, sir, you regard the probable eft fects in the West Indies of our existing relations; or anticipate the changes likely to take place in those relations before we can sheath the sword* & Took forward, with a providence which the s&te of Europe loudly demands, to fiiture wars, th^ prudence of embracing the present fortunate opportunity is too manifest to be denied, in tither view, it is of vast importance to insure, H possible, that the new born West Indian power thall hereafter be propitious to ourselves, and ad-* verse to our enemies,
But to this end no half measures will suffice, If af connection merely commercial will not, as has beei* already shown, be an adequate security against discord qnd future enmity, much less will it entitle uf to the positive benefits, which we might derive from more intimate relations with the new people, whetf at war with a maritime power. A commercial treaty might indeed so far abate their reasonable distrust, that they might no longer fear to achnit our ships of war into their harbours, as Dessau-lines apparently did, when he declined to fiir* nish us with pilots ; but if we would have th*
free
* AtffieCape. SccGazette ofFebruary7th, 1804^. jti^apitjri that the whole correspondence upon the subject of the capitulation with Kochambeau was not published, because the apparent
mutilatioii


E 76 J
free use of th^fr ports for the pu**poses of riavsfl equipment and enterprize, and avail ourselves M Other respects of their very important aid against a common enemy, as well as guard against their great power of future annoyance, we must Conciliate their confidence and attachment, by a defensive alliance.
Were I to stop here, considerations enough perhaps have been offered in support of the plan recommended to justify its immediate adoption, Unless more weighty objections than I am able to anticipate can be placed in the opposite scale.
feut these, cogent though they appear to be, lire by no means the most important or urgent, of the motives that call for such a measure.
"The grand/ and I will venture to add, the conclusive, arguments yet remain to be opened.
Hitherto we have not supposed the possibility of a speedy reconciliation between St. Domingo and Francenor have we considered the conse-
mutilation of it, leaves room for conjecture, that the negro chief had still better grounds for his conduct than met the public eye. Was it intended to destroy or carry away the military stores at the Cape, as well as at Fort Dauphin ? A refusal of Rocham-beau to permit us so far to frustrate his capitulation with Des-mimes, or at least his refusal to capitulate to our squadron on those terms, would appear to have been one cause of the resentment which his conduct inspired at Jamaica.
'r quences


[ 77 ]
quences of leaving the republic on the.tenteiq^ tion of the present war, in possession of bet claim to that islandbut to these most moment tons and alarming views of our subject, I must now proceed to invite your serious attention.
And first, let us advert to the chance ofa reconciliation, between the Indigenes and their former atoastefs.
If wrongs the most perfidious, cruel, and exa$ derating, that were ever offered by a government to a people, could to a certainty preclude the chance of future amity between them, St. Domingo must be for ever lost to France, not only as a province, but a friend. It seems at this moment a monstrous notion even, and injurious to the character of the brave Indigenes, to conceive that they can ever be brought again to profess them* selves, subjects or friends of the republic. Their unparalleled wrongs appear to justify, and evefc to demand from them, an indignation against their barbarous oppressors never to be ended qt assuaged.
" Immortale odium, et nunquam sanabile vulnus." '
But let us not draw precipitate conclusions upon this truly important subject.
That the present despot of France should eror again conciliate the confidence of that injured r people,


C 78 }
jteopte, is in4eed I hope impossible. He has pwv baWy sinned against them beyond forgiveness* and:has deceived and betrayed them so basely-' asKto preclude ail future faith in his promises or hi&oaths.But Buonaparte, let it be remem** bered, is not immortal; nor is his authority, se-* care from a sudden and speedy subversion.
What changes the death or deposition of that tyrant might make in the European policy of France, it is not easy to foresee ; but this may with almost certainty be predicted, that in what regards her West India colonics, his measures would be totally reversed. The loss of St. D<>~ mingo, the new infamy brought upon the French name by his detestable conduct in the Antilles, the sacrifice of sixty thousand brave and veteran troops, by a project which both in its conception and its intemperate prosecution, was superlatively wicked and weakthese are faults which his inimical successors would be happy to b!'>zon,and which even a new government friendly to his memory, could such a one be expected to succeed to hi> power, would find it more politic to exhibit than conceal.
Those pernicious measures had, prior even to their ignominious catastrophe, become very unpopular; especially with the army ; and it maybe questioned whether they were not so from the
beginning,


[ n 3
bsgUttuttg, with a great majority of^he pepple of France. But now at least, their fatal effects must be a source of general discontent; and would furnish reason enough to a new administration, fpr condemning the past, and adopting anpppcn site system. How powerfully must these considerations be strengthened by recent events!A new war with England, the reconquest of some of the Windward Islands, the danger of the rest, and? the ultimate evacuation of St. Domingo, have brought back a state of things such as led the convention, in 1794, to decree enfranchisement to the colonial negroes at large; and such as mtttt make even the Consul himself deplore his om& egregious folly, in wholly reversing that decreet! If not yet heartily inclined to retrace his steps, and to replace on the side of France, allies who could not only make for him a most pow^rfofc diversion of the regular British army, but emabfe him to preserve his remaining oolonies, &i*l tor stab deep into the bosom of our <#mtnerce, ife must be because his despotic pride* aa*d the wv* fluence of his West Indian connections united**ene an overmatch for his policy, and even for his (hatred of England. But his successors, on whm such a reverse of system would reflect po djftr grace, would infallibly be disposed to sdopt it; at I^ast in respect of St. Domingo.
They
V


I 90 ]
. Thay would first, probably attempt to regpiif the sovereignty of the island; by offering $ijcb a solemn recognition of freedom, and such security for its future maintenance, as might induce th* Indigenes to wave their claim of independency, and again to profess themselves citizens of the public. But supposing this attempt to fail, political independency, would probably be conceded* upon the condition of their giving to France the exclusive right of trading to their ports, and entering with her into a perpetual alliance. If the new governors of the Republic should be enlightened politicians, they may possibly perceive that such a confederacy would make St. Domingo far more valuable to France, and more formidable to England, than it would* become even by the renewal of its former subjection.
Upon such a basi^ as Hits, the practicability of a reconciliation cannot reasonably be doubted. But that a submission even to the sovereignty of the Republic, would be inexorably refused to a government, by which the odious power of the Consul had been overthrown, is by no means cei-tain,.
The new rulers of France would be able speciously, and even truly, to ascribe to the despotic government which they had abolished, those hideous sins against the African race, by which the Republic had been, disgraced; and credibly to ailed ge


[ -81 ]
ledge that the trans-atlantic measures of the Consul had been as opposite to the sense of the TYench people, as to the dictates of justice and frumanity. At the time, it might be said, When the freedom of the colonial negroes was perfidiously invaded, that of the French citizens in Europe had been totally suppressed; and a new reign of terror, had made them irresponsible foi the acts of the second Robertspierre.
Injustice to our unhappy enemies, it must M acknowledged, that they have in this case as fair an apology, as their own enslaved condition can afford. It is a striking fact, that the law brought into the senate by the agents of the Consul, to revive tlie slave trade, and abrogate that charted of colonial freedom, the decree of February* I7*94J was opposed with much greater boldness, than any of those domestic innovations by which that assembly was made to sacrifice its own boasted rights,and ihe liberty of the Republic. No less than twenty-seven members had the courage and the virtue td vote against that execrable law, in opposition td a government majority of fifty-four*. In an attempt to conciliate the negroes of St. Domingo, this fact would not be forgotten, and might fairly produce a very considerable effect.
; # Paris Newspapers of May 20th, 1S02.
u M It


{ M ]
It is obvious, that if such apologies for past rah* duct, should suffice to appease the resentment, acid remove the suspicion of the black colonists, or if -a new French government should prudently limit its pretensions to a mode of connection of which confidence is no indispensibJe basis, there are many powerful inducements which would dispose the new people to intimate connections with France, in preference to any other nation.
Unity of language is one of these motives, of which among an illiterate people, the effect wilj be peculiarly great.
But a still more powerful sympathy Will fee found in the unity of rqligious worship, aad.te* nets.
The slaves in the French islands, prior to ths revolution, were by no means wholly neglected in point of religious culture. Many pious missionaries, laboured earnestly for their instruction and conversion, and were protected and aided by the government in the prosecution jo that charitable work. Nor did the established clergy of those islands, regard this degraded class, as -unworthy of their pastoral care: m that by the concurrence of regular and irregular efforts, a large proportion pf the jiegmeg* were^ brought to as much knowledge of Christianity, as is usually the portion of the poor and
illiterate


E 83 1
Mlit^afe m the Roman Catholic countries of Eu-Wpe: Masters, or colonial assemblies, were not lift at liberty, as in some other colonies, to gratify tftear own latent infidelity, or their prejudice* agpftast the African race/by obstructing either 1fee parish priests or missionaries, in this part of 4feeir clerical duty.
Religion brought in her train, to these un-happy men, temporal, as well as spiritual comforts: They obtained, during the great annual festivals tf the church, periods of repose which the master durst not iftvade; ahd found in their confessor, By these causes, not only was their attachment and zeai for, religion prbmoted, but that reverence which the Romish tenetfe and ceremonies are strongly calculated to secure to the priesthood, was naturally encreased; so that the clergy had a rery powerftd influence upon the xbind* of the
riaves;


[ U ]
slaves; and the effect survived at St.' Domingo the revolution which gaye them their freedom 4 for tte priests were notoriously in high favour with Tous-saint, and were supposed greatly to influence his councils. The popularity of the clergy has since no doubt been much impaired; but it is probably not entirely lost; for though some of the body, seem to have become the dupes, or willing instruments^ the Consul's perfidious policy, the greater part of them it is fair to presume, have deplored. the vile measures of the government; and if they durst not oppose, have at least not openly involved themselves in its crimes. But at all events, if the religious principle has survived among any large portion of the people, it will be a necessary effect of the Romish faith, to restore the influence of the priesthood.
To the independency of the new society, the clergy will probably feel no disinclination, provided it can be placed under the safeguard of a powerful guarantee; but if not, their prudence, and their European feelings, will conspire with their predilections as Frenchmen and Catholics, to make them desirous of a reconciliation with the Republic:Their powerful influence therefore may in that case be expected to favour any agreer jnent which France may propose; at least if it be not inconsistent with the freedom and happiness of their converts.
Nor


v Nor are tbtese the only adherents by whom the indigenes are likely to be influenced in favour of compromise with France, should we leave them awaoccupied by a better exterior connection. They bane European inmates and fellow soldiers, whose superior knowledge and talents must naturally J^ave great weight in their public councils; and to these, an equivocal or irresolute conduct oft our part in regard to the independency of tfife anew state, will create an evident necessity 4f making their peace with France. The Polish, Italian, and French deserters, and even such ,of the planters, who either from the first opposed the violent measures of the government, or forsook the sinking cause of Rochambeau, are now of course inimical to, and proscribed by, the consular government. The situation of these men must at present be one of considerable uneasiness and anxiety; for though they were induced by prudence, or driven by oppression, or by just horror at the crimes of the Consul, to forsake the execrable standard of the French army, and join the insurgents, it must be an alarming consideration with them that they are at present cut off from every European community, and embarked in cause which no civilized state has yet patronized or acknowledged; at the peril, on the one hand, of the popular jealousy to which their complexion exposes


titan* iuaong tbcir new asstjciat^ tl on
Jthe other, of the indignation of the QmmL, and the perils perhaps of a new invasion. To such men, nothing could be more desirable than to see the freedom a$d independency of St. Doming**, taken under the protection of Great Britain; but should they find that all our animosity to tfe* Republic, will not induce us at this most favour*-able juncture, to coalesce with an African pes* jj&e in the Antilles, they will perceive ha# an accommodation with France, can alone deliver tbm from the dangers of their present situation. They will therefore be eager to make, their peace with the existing or some fptare government of that country; and will be glad to purchase their pa(% don, by using all their influence to bring mm the African chiefs to such a compromise' as xtfsy be safely recommended.
From these united cdnsiderations I infer, that you ought not to reJy on the present great aad just exasperation of the people of St. Doming**, as full security against the attempts of France to regain their dependency as colonists; mudt less against the wiser endeavour on her part, to obtain their friendship and alliance.
There^ isy however, at this critical juncture*, A' principle far more influential upon the new so*, f iety than the motives and the interests to, vphieh
I have


[ *7 ]
J ha^e adverted, ^ind all other popular feeling! nuked i and by this, if wisely enlisted on our fide, you may raise insuperable bars to their future re-union with France, and perpetuate their animosity to that country. You have only to appeal to that heart-stirring feeling, their soK-ekttde for the safety of freedom, their dread of the horrible yoke," and bid them to look to our maritime power, for the protection at once of their private liberty, and their independency as a nation. Guarantee those important objects-make the price of the. stipulation a perpetual alliance against Franceand their breach with her will be widened so extensively as to close no mere. The Republic will thenceforth have nothing to concede, that will not be regarded s already securely obtainedno offers to make, that wiH not be considered^ insidious^no menaces to B$e, but such as will be despised.-*Then ia-deed, you may rely upon the lasting effect of the Consul's cruelties a#d frauds, may pronounce a final divorce between this injured people and their merciless oppressors, md effectually sayy "pugmnt ipsi nepotts"
A treaty or an intercourse merely commerctal, ttould be so &r from produciag these important maeqiMmee*, that our disposition to form such **U*i^# *&d to stop short at that point, m^ht
fimuplr


w ]
furnish arguments against us to the advocates of the Republic. Such a half measure under present Circumstances, might speciously, nay, it might truly, be represented, rafcher as a proof of our in* curable hostility to the freedom of the African race in the Antilles, than any symptom of a contrary disposition. That we advanced so far, might be reasonably ascribed to commercial cupidity; that we offered no closer relations, could only be accounted for by what may be too fairly imputed to us, a bigoted antipathy to the new order of things in St. Domingo.
The violent and acrimonious natureof our present contest with the Republic, would add great force to such an inference. Our abstemiousness in such a case, could admit but of one solution, a solution so obvious, that neither the emissaries of France, not the sincere friends of the Indigenes, would faif to point it out to them." England, it would be f* said, is again practising the policy she used u towards Toussaint.She will take your com-" merce during the war, but leave you exposed again at its conclusion, to all the vengeance of the Republic. Nay, she will perhaps again for cilitate, even at the expence of her own imme-c< diate security, new efforts of that power against your freedom, by allowing French fleets to pa$e the ocean, prior to a definitive treaty, in order that you may the more effectually be surprised by a
" powerful v


[ '89 ]
** powerful invasion. She withholds tKe Vecognt *^tion of that independency which you now assert u against France, and avoids an alliance witft yon, in order that she may play again this a part, without incurring the reproach of opeii At this moment any conciliatory efforts which the French government might be disposed to employ, however favoured by the hesitating conduct of this country, and by the particular interests of individuals in the colony, would be made under such great disadvantages, as might very probably render them abortive. The injured colonists would naturally regard them as the result of a necessity imposed upon their late oppressors by the renewal of a maritime war, and as mere stratagems of a temporising policy; and there would be no immediate dread of a hostile alternative, to second the other motives which might incline them towards an amicable settlement; but when the sea
N shall


[ 90 ]
shall again be open to the enterprises of the Rfc* public, she will be able to offer to them the olive branch with a better grace, and with a far more powerful effect. The recollection of past horrors even will then plead on the side of peace, and if no dangerous confidence be demanded, may contribute powerfully to silence the lingering voice o^ hatred and revenge. Should the French govern* ment then be prudent enough not to demand the admission of any army, or the submission to any exercise of its authority in matters of interior legislation or police, its sovereignty might very probably be acknowledged; but the closest foe-deral connection at least, would hardly be refilled. Indeed I see not how a reconciliation on such a basis, could at that period possibly be declined: for some exterior connection, of a commercial pature, would be indispensably necessary to the welfare of the new people themselves; rod no other power could then venture to accept the advantages of their commerce, since France, as against other nations, would assert to it an exclusive, and indisputable title.
" But will not the supposed reconciliation be innoxious to this country, when our dispute with the Republic shall end ?" Such a thick haze of prejudice and ignorance always hangs over the horiaon of our colonial interests, that I
should


I 91 ]
should not wonder were this question to arise in the mind of a British politician. But unless our tiext peace with France is to be eternal, and unless she shall lay clown together with the sword, all her disposition to impair the commercial and colonial interests of this country, the restitution of her authority or influence at St. Domingo would be not less formidable to us after, than before, the termination of the war. To demonstrate this proposition would be easy; but it would be to lengthen an argument already too long for your time, if not for your patience. Besides, it is a work which has been anticipated in my former letters *, and if any part of the reasoning contained in them met a pretty general assent, it was that, as I have ground for believing, which applied to this part of my subject. To the Crisis of the Sugar Colonies, therefore, I beg leave to refer, for the probable effects of negro liberty in St, Domingo, when associated with the power, and directed by the councils of France.
To suppose that the Republic will, at the close of her present war with this country, choose rather to embark in a new crusade against liberty in the West Indies, than acquiesce in its establishment, would be to deem the madness of the Consul quite incurable j or if such a choice be expected
* Crisis, p. 85 to 93.
from


I m ]
from the ^successors of that despot, it mfc$t tfe from the belief that Frenchmen>m general are*ift-fected with the same disease; for never was interest more palpable than that which the .public now has in supporting at St. DorAingo the system she has vainly attempted to subvert"; nor did experience ever attest any .truth iriore dearly, than the impracticability of the opposite course.
But let it be supposed that the preposterous project of restoring slavery in that great island, will indeed be revived* In that case, an early reconciliation between the black colonists and Fsance is not, I pdflifr, to be apprehended: but will there be no danger to this country, from the jaew and furious contest which must inevitably ensue ? Will our own. colonies stand safe within ihe wind of suph contention ?
Here again I must use the right of referring to arguments which were offered two years ago to the public *. In calculating the probable effects of the thep depending French expedition against St. Domingo, and of the armaments which were preparing to follow it, I pointed out the perilous consequences to which our colonies would, in either event of the contest, be speedily exposed; and shewed that if the attempt of the Consul
, Crisis, Letter 3d.
should


C 3
-should prove successful, the new situation of affairs in the West Indies would be such as to place CQutinually at the mercy of an ambitious afld perfidious power, our most valuable transatlantic possessions.
-The reality of those grounds of alarm was, I believe, very generally felt, and the defensive precautions employed upon the Jamaica station, evinced that they were not wholly disregarded by >his majesty's ministers.
*, If the arguments here referred to were convincing, in the month of March, 1802, they can-, not be less so at this period; for intermediate events have not tended to detract from their force: every incident* on the contrary, of the war of St. Domingo, and every official letter from the French commanders, might be invoked to verify the grounds of apprehension in question, as they Were stated in the Crisis*.
Cast
* I abstain, in general, from extracts ; but as a striking confirmation of one of the opinions here referred to, viz. that France, if successful in her war with the negroes,* would al-tedge, and really find, a necessity of forming such a military establishment in St. Domingo, as would enable her4 at the commencement of a new war, to overwhelm our colonies by a sudden and irresistible invasion, I request attention to the following parallel passages.
Crista p. 97. Le Clrrc's Letter of March 26, in I pretend not to determine, to the Moniteur of May 22 /, 1802. M what extent her permanent mili- I hope that tl^e divisions of
" ^ary establishment muit-necegsa- "Flushing and Havre, that which rily you


I & ]
Cast your eye then once again, sir, over the pages to which I have referred, and estimate coolly* with the aid of that light which has been skide afforded by experience, the probable effects bfia new war between France and her revolted colonists. 1 hough the renewal of such a contest, and with the same extreme arid irrational object, on the part of France, to exasperate the quarrel, is a sup* position sufficiently wide of probability, let it be made; and add, if you please, that the obstinate resistance of the black colonists will at length be overcome, and the old system restored. This was the supreme object of the vows erf our jbtaa*.
M rily be enbwuted; it is sufficient to say, that beyond the defence of the old fortifications, endan-** gered perpetually by a new in-" ternal enemy, she must establish '* and maintain a military organi-" zation in the interior, ramified enough, and strong enough, to overawe the slaves^ and to give security and confidence to the masters, without this the coun-" ter-revolution, we are supposing would be fruitless of every thing but blood; and with a permanent u force like this at her command, no hostile neighbour could be safe for a moment. Draughts that would hardly be missed from such an establishment, would be ade-" quate to overpower the strongest garrison we ever maintained dur-*' ing peace, in the largest of our islands."
" you announced to me frofjf Brtftl, 41 and that from Toulon, will speer u dily arrive. They will be use-" ful to us, by enabhpg us to ec-" eupy cantonments upon all the points of this vast colony j which is the only means of arriving at the re-establishment of order and tranquillity."
On this head general Le Clerc's word may be takenyet he probably had, at the date of this letter, at least thirty thousand men uuder his command.
ters
V