The Haitian Revolution, 1791-1804; Or, side lights on the French revolution: by T.G (Theophilus Gould) Steward, ix+292 p.


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The Haitian Revolution, 1791-1804; Or, side lights on the French revolution: by T.G (Theophilus Gould) Steward, ix+292 p.
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NY, T.W. Crowell Company, (c.1914).


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1791 TO 1804



THOMAS Y. ( )'l0\I.'l.L '()MIPANY
I'l I .1si I Iis

Copyright, 1914

I [N 'I' il:)UCTORY


'Til Haitian 1. i ,.,n1I.,,, or rather the revolution which
converted the colony of Saint Domingo into the Republic
of Haiti, is one of the most inter -lin movements of
modern times. It is not at all like the I- I_,li- revolution
which terminated the long -h i _-1.l between the sovereign
and parliament of that nation, having in its course firmly
j.liilL 1 together the rights of the people and the title of the
king; not like the American revolution which transformed
dependent colonies into independent States and did little
more; not like the French revolution which d. -l'j....1 a
gilded monarchy and brought forth a Napoleon; not like
the revolutions of South America which wrested great col-
onies from Spain and erected them into half-formed re-
publies. T'l.. Haitian Revolution stands alone both in an-
cient and modern times. It is notable for duration cover-
ing a period of thirteen years, from August 22, 1791, to
Jin .i 1, 1, l; notable again for the i- ...- and bloody
character of the -It ri. 1. ; for the number slain and for the
nations involved, considering the pettiness of the territory
and its isolation. Fi ii. Spain and Ik ,;Ll iiil all em-
T1- .1 considerable of their military and naval forces in
combatting the armies of the people who in ii -ril.:il.d and
sustained the revolution and all these nations finally re-
tired from the .., l I without having secured, therein either
gain or glory.
TI'.,t. which most widely separates the Haitian Revolu-
tion from all those other revolutions mentioned above is

Haitian Revolution

the prodigious social cataclysm with which it was accom-
panied. The old Saint Domingo came to a complete end,
and a new social as well as political entity came into being
with the establishment of the new State. Tl.'. political
changes were not unusual in outline; the breaking away of
a colony, the rearing of the standard of independence, and
the attempt to substitute republican for monarchial gov-
ernment such a revolution is of great importance, and it
is exactly this kind of revolution that our fathers accom-
plished on this American soil. 'I i .. -. was almost wholly a
political revolution, leaving the social foundations undis-
turbed and with but little shock to the social system. In
Iaiti it was altogether I,. 1. I I. There the social revolt
preceded and produced the political revolt; the social foun-
dations were destroyed and. the whole social superstructure?
reduced to its original elements, and the State was
organized while society was little more than chaos.
I'l,- Iaitianl Revolution was accomplished on the one
hand by slaves who were fighting primarily for the right
to own themselves; and on the other by men, half free, who
were contending primarily for the other half of freedom-
their rights as I-'r. i. 'i citizens. Both classes were without
political I, I.;1-2. and the most enlightened of the so-called
free men had but the slightest theoretical knowledge of the
duties and problems of government. "I I. -.. people, un-
learned in. i ii. -. i I 1i unskilled in warfare, masses of them
but recently from the wilds of Africa, arose in their native
might and resuming their primitive freedom overthrew the
existing social order '... force of arms and in the end created
a State. They found themselves under the necessity of
forming a political organization before they had grown into
social being or had developed the consciousness of national
life. 'I'li ir consciousness was purely military, and the
army was with them the nation.
The purpose of this volume is to depict this revolution
and to follow to some extent the results i.i ruingi in the

Introductory v

history of the Black Republic. "IT1. reader may not expect
any such gorgeous scenes as he will meet in his Carlyle;
the theater furnished by this little isle cannot be compared
with that furnished by l'i i' ... during the same period.
France then was the center of I .'. .., as it still is in many
respects; and the spectators gazing upon its awful drama
were the 61ite of the world. And the writer who paints the
ever-thrilling scenes holds the master hand in the art of
description. \I1 I. r is a humble one compared to that
of France; the country small and isolated, lihe people poor
and black; and ii-. pen cannot put life rand breath into past
facts as did that otl Carlyle; nevertheless, the reader will
discover in the history which I shall relate touches of genius
in character, and here and there glimpses of moral grandeur
in action which will well i I. i. him for the perusal.
T"I'- story cannot fail to be interesting and i;..ii II..' to
American readers and students, illustrating as it does the
most thoroughly distinctive principles of American civiliza-
tion; and it should be in the most emphatic sense in-
structive and encouraging to the American colored man.
While the Haitian Revolution is the heritage of all the
races, in that it exhibits the IIIin.-I of any man for
slavery, and the ., l lI.1;l r of all for freedom, it is the
special heritage of the '. "' o Race. It is claimed 1,.
Haitian writers as the one ordeal through which the re-
habilitation of the \._,., Race has been accomplished.
Moreover, it is opportune at this time that our attention
should be called to men so low down in the social scale and
so slightly separated from barbarism, and that we should
see these men, unaided and .... .1. seize the reins of
their own d. -liii and without t1i. 1:i. or protectorate,
dare to do for themselves. Such a lesson is necessary to
call us back to our faith in God, and in man. I'1,. two
great doctrines of true Americanism rightly interpreted
All peoples are fit for -. Ir-... r i i nri

Haitian Revolution

No people is fit to govern another.
These two axioms receive striking illustration in the
Haitian Revolution. To study this bloody but neverthe-
less in many respects brilliant history will lead to clearer
apprehension of liberty as it appeared to these ex-slaves,
and at the same time it will open to us a more encouraging
view with respect to the possibilities of the human race.
I regret also to be compelled to record that it will again
show that the way from slavery and disfranchisement to
real liberty is not to be trodden by the aid of the peaceable
virtues alone. Industry, sobriety, fi, ,ll ., I. nI.. I" in..
goodness and even pi.' I,, may all serve to fit men for the
supreme display of that character which must ultimately be
tried in the i,. and upon which alone liberty appears to
depend. \ iI ..Ii. the warlike virtues-tested bravery,
and enduring fortitude rights can never be held or won
so 1.-," as the world is governed as it now is.
"1 I, panorama, not on canvas but in real life, where we
see ll.-I-- ,I-IlIl.....l black soldiers, commanded by black
g,.n1 r 1.. carving the way to recognition and ultimately se-
curing for their people a footing among the nations, is a
most profitable spectacle. It shows us that swords precede
plowshares, and that the spear goes before the iiI;jI
hook. It is only after these weapons of war have done
their work that they may give place to the instruments of
peaceful industry. It is written, they that take the sword
shall perish '. it; but it is also established by experience
that those
who would be free,
Themselves must strike the blow."

The sword was originally the symbol and weapon of op-
pression; it has retaliated upon those who drew it and has
become the symbol and weapon of liberty. ''I ..-. who drew
the sword to enslave mankind have perished by the sword
in the hands of the self-liberated bondsmen. Oppression

Introductory vii

has ever relied upon the sword, and more than once it has
drawn the sword in its own support only to perish by the
avenging sword of its former victims. So should it ever
be. The end of war cannot come, ought not to, until men
learn to be just to their fellow men.
TI.- material for my book has been drawn from various
sources, largely however from writers who have not been in
warm -., i'ill, l with Iaiti. The general histories and en-
<,. 1-1. .l i., furnish many facts more or less confused which
give the casual reader a fair idea of the country and its
history; while the special literature is so filled with sensa-
tionalism and (.if -.I.11. 11. and so panders to popular
prejudice, that it is who is seeking for the actual facts and their reasons and
relations. The Haitians themselves have produced some
, i able writers and their later works are especially clear
and valuable. In this connection we in ;, note that for a
young and small country Haiti has furnished a very coin-
mendable list of names that are counted worthy of en-
cyclopedic mention. 1ThF i l', historians although la-
borious and painstaking as seen in the works of Arduoin
and Madiou, were nevertheless :ill.. I..1 ', the jealousies
and prejudices engendered during the r. ..1iful..n the
causes for which will appear to the reader as he follows the
course of the -I ,r :... In the later works there appears
much more of the judicial temper, especially in such writers
as Antenor Firmin, diplomat, scientist and litterateur, and
whose success in these spheres fully compensates for his
failures in politics; the late Hannibal Price, General Legi-
time, Benito Sylvain and others.
Ti,. Life of F1'.i --n I L'Ouverture written by C. W.
Mossell has also furnished very important aid for imv work.
His long residence in Haiti enabled him to impart a cer-
tain degree of vividness to his book which mine will lack.
His book is very useful, but the scope of it dlhll r- from my
purpi .. Hle sets forth admirably the military ,iinius of

viii Haitian Revolution

T1'i-.- inl and defends him against unjust attacks. The
book i, ., be set down as an important contribution to Hai-
tian literature.
Valuable aid is also acknowledged from the late Bishop
Holly received through both private correspondence and
extensive conversations. His published writings upon
Haiti extending over more than a half century have been
also very illuminating. My own visit to the country as
well as my intimate intercourse with our .III. ii representa-
tives, M ii -I r- Langston and Douglass, and my relations
with accomplished Ilaitian scholars have greatly assisted
me in obtaining a just conception of the origin of the na-
tion and also a vision slight and transient perhaps but
nevertheless correct, as 1 believe, of the east of its character.
"II eloquent Rufus ('I,.... speaking of the American
Revolution I ii1.- .1 the following language:
Turn to a revolution in which a people who were not yet a
nation became a nation one of the great creative efforts of
history, her rarest, her grandest, one of her marked and widely
separated geological periods, 'in which she gathers up the formless
and wandering elements of a pre-existing nature, and shapes
them into a new world, over whose rising the rI.I ;i,.. stars might
sing again.
These revolutions have an eloquence of their own. The cheer-
ful and confident voice of young and giant strength rings through
it--the silver dawn of his hope that sounds to an awakening,
to an onset, to a festival of glory, preparing his look of fire, now
fixed on the ground, now straining toward the distant goal; his
heart assured and high, yet throbbing with the heightened
irregular pulsations of a new consciousness,-beating u,,,..ll\
-the first delicious, strange feeling of national life.

If such eloquent language is necessary to portray the ex-
periences of those who founded the American Republic,
men schooled in freedom and in the practice of govern-
ment, men of education among whom were some bearing
ni;,, r-i;lI honors, writers and authors, and young scien-
tists what language will be equal to the portrayal of

Introductory ix

the experiences of men who by their own arms have trans-
formed themselves from slaves to sovereigns? If their elo-
qr i'i. .'. which we shall meet in these pages I. i. i l. i. shall
appear to us at ili as grandiloquent and bombastic, we
must remember that the occasion is unique. How else
could the slave who immediately conquers his freedom and
finds a country express his emotions or relate his experi-
ence but in language as fervid as his tongue or pen can
command ? His is an eloquence all his own, as free and
untamed as himself.

Toute race a uno civilisation qui lui est propre, derivant du
milieu oi elle evolue, de ses traditions, de ses moeurs.- Pro
fonde est la parole du docteur Illyden, parlant dans son livre
'o ,,; i;.. II,,. Islam and the Negro race' de ses frores africains:
Le n(gre doit suivre sa propre voice, dans son propre pays,
pour pouvoir mettre au jour et dev1lloper la civilisation qui lui
sera particuliere."
L'Afrique Noire, Captain 0. Meynier, Professor
in the Il;i;t.,,. School of Saint Cyr, 1911.


Vie de Toussaint L'Ouverture, par Saint-Rcmy.
Vie de Toussaint L'Ouverture, par Victor Schoelcher.
Toussaint L'Ouverture, by Rev. C. W. Mossell.
Toussaint L'Ouverture, by Harriet Martineau.
Toussaint L'Ouverture, by Wendell Phillips.
Toussaint L'Ouverture, par Lamartine.
Histoire d'Haiti, par Thomas Madiou.
La politique exterioure d'Iaiti, par J. N. Leger.
Constitutions d'll ..I. par L. J. Janvier.
De l'Egalite des Races Hfumaines, par Antenor Firmin.
Roosevel t et Haiti, par Antenor Firmin.
Le sort des Indigenes, etc., par Benito Sylvain.
Do la rehabilitation de la race noire, par la Il,..iiuli ,1 i d'ITniti,
par Hannibal Price.
Hayti, or the Black Republic, by Sir i,..-li.-r St. John.
Hayti, the Black Republic, by Captain Marcus Rainsford.
Numerous pamphlets and r, ;ib ._i from Haitian sources, Haitian
newspapers, and contemporary American newspapers, with cor-
respondence and conversations with various Haitian scholars.

REVOLUTION ......... 11
BREAK .. ...... 1
DECKED BLACKS" .. ..... 132
Tunfas .. .. 279


Toussaint L'Ouverture

General Andr( I i1.-1 .
General Dumas .
General Christophe .
Map ...
General Dessalines
General Boyer
Adjutant-General Menter
Christophe's Palace .
President PCtion .
President Soulouque
President HTypolite .
President Salomon
President Sam .
President Simon .

. 1 ,,, pi e 1 ,, '*


.. 207
. 25
. 265
. 267
. 208
. 269
. 271




Present condition-Two I: ii.lI... ., Black French Republic;
Yellow Spanish Republic Original French colony Buccaneers
-Usually pirates--Honorable H. Price's description--Inden-
tured whites Proprietors, and Indentured whites, when free,
married Negro women Only children born in the colony first
twenty-five or thirty years, mulatto or Negro children--Rich
mulattoes went to France; served as officers in the French army
--White laborers exalted above black, first instance of race in-
equality- Slavery intensified--Presence of old colored soldiers
cause of alarm Og6ron made governor- White women brought
in -Treaty of Ryswick -Population in 1754--Captain Rains-
ford's description of condition of mulatto -Same from Benito
'" I 1 -- Moreau de St. Mery The Departments Popula-
tion analyzed -Economic condition of mulattoes -Maroons-
Vaudoux Colored people in France The Saint Domingo Legion
at Savannah in 1779.

'I'll: Island of Haiti, the second largest of the West In-
dian u"'tl', is situated at the entrance of the Gulf of
Mexico, between the parallels 17 and "',, north lati-
tude, extending in its greatest length 407 miles, and in its
vL-i,. -I. width 160 miles, containing ':,: I', square miles
of territory. It has a population at present of about a
millfl;,i and a half all told, divided by race, 1.II-n i. --, tra-
ditions and tu.-l.ii,-, into two distinct 1)..I. 1, -'. each hav-
ilg its own so-called republican g.,i',inminid. I say so-

Haitian Revolution

called republican because as yet neither peoples have de-
veloped a real republican government, although both are
striving to realize such an ideal. We will, however, re-
gard the governments they have set up as republics and
so speak of them. TI,. republic of Haiti is essentially
I'r. r I.I upon a \. gi. base; the republic of San Domingo
is Spanish, with an admixture of Negro in its population.
I'h.- two republics might be spoken of in the popular lan-
guage of the present period as respectively, the Black Re-
public, and the Yellow Republic. Of these two republics
this book will have to do principally with the Black Re-
public; and with this chiefly as to its origin, defining the
materials of which it was first (,'.'ll 1... and tracing the
progress, social and political, by which these elements
in nature inharmonious, have been sufficiently fused to
begin the work of national evolution.
I'n- Black Republic is the successor of an original IFr, n. h
colony which had its legal birth in the treaty of I. .- i. k
in 1-.',: and received officially at that time its name of
Saint Domingo. As a matter of fact the colony had been
in existence and had occupied territory on the island for
a period of forty .,...1, or more pr.'. i.n, to this treaty.
"'TI.- founders of the colony were originally buccaneers, a
name applied to certain roving bands because of their habit
of curing wild meat '.\ cutting it into long pieces, -..ll;ir.
drying and smoking it. Bucan was the name of both
the place where the meat was smoked, and also of the
process of curing the meat. Instead therefore of calling
these people hunters it was customary to refer to them as
meat-smokers, which would indicate that, rude as they
were, they were possessed of more forethought than the
average Carib among whom they were settled. They were
persons of lawless habits, -1-11 11. pirates, controlling much
of the West Indies and roaming the Caribbean Sea. Those
who settled Haiti came thither from T. rli .
T1'ih late Hannibal Price, sometime Minister from Haiti


to the United States, both a profound and a patriotic
student of his country's history, speaks thus of these early
inhabitants: "The colony of Saint D.. in_... as is well
known, was founded by those celebrated buccaneers, those
meat smokers, known also as freebooters. 'I I, ,'- had been
driven from the island of St. ( Ir , by the Spaniards
in 1.I.-, in which place they had settled f;., years earlier.
Thus dislodged they scattered themselves among the neigh-
boring islands. A party of these adventurers, principally
French, finally took refuge upon the northwest coast of
Saint Domingo f. ;l.:"r the colony and giving to it the
F'rI.-i form of the Spanish name Santo Domingo."
Besides plundering upon the seas these marauders also
built up a trade in skins; and as wild animals were abun-
dant they soon came to feel the need of helpers, and con-
sequently entered into agreements with the ship captains
who traded with them to bring to them laborers from
Fr..iii .. Niiirl,, -, of this class came, and hiring them-
selves each for a term of three years, were designated ac-
cordingly, "indentured persons," and were reduced to a
state of servitude I ii111. fl,; from slavery only in the period
of its duration. \\ 11b, the coming of these white slaves the
method of life changed, the cultivation of tobacco 1.. ii.
and the buccaneers began to recognize the need of some sort
of national protection.
Answering an appeal from them the government of
i'r a.ii. sent them as their IL, governor one T.. -. Ir. a
Huguenot, both ambitious and intolerant, who in 1640 es-
tablished his residence in I'.. i1o..-, 1'. 1111i; .1 the place, as-
sumed independence, and ruled with such li .1 li that in
1 ',"': he was assassinated.
WViln ii the ten years f..11, ,i,; the colony took another
step toward social habilitation. Up to this time their mode
of life had been such that the presence of women and chil-
dren would have been to them an embarrassment; but as
they were now rn'. ln', a condition of comparative stability

4 Haitian Revolution
and security, they found themselves ,iiilu. ... I1 by the im-
perious exigencies of nature. They purchased from Dutch
sailors, and abducted from the neighboring Spanish colony,
young '. -.,,. women who became the iII 1. wives of these
ferocious colonizers of Saint Domingo. Because of these
marriages it .i, i, happened that the indentured white man
from Europe found himself the servant of the Negro wife
of a buccaneer and of their mulatto children. And. -IIIl
further, these indentured white men, when they became
free, also often married .,.'o women and became mem-
bers of the forming community developing into a class.
Thus for tw. ,ni l,. or thirty years .,ii I the founding of
the colony, all the children born within it were either
blacks or mulattoes.
By an ordinance of Louis XIV of September 30, 1686,
it was decreed that every slaveholder should keep as many
indentured persons as he had Negroes. \\ ini, and blacks
were thus nearly equal in number, and there was no social
inequality marked by race. I1'F. a little more than a cen-
tury the families formed in Saint Domingo from the most
humble to those most exalted were composed almost ex-
clusively of people of color. Some of these families who
were rich enough sent their children to France for that
education which they could not receive in Saint Domingo.
Among these mulattoes brought up in ii. i.. were some
children of noble 1... Ini .. and these experienced no iI11i-
i. I I. whatever in taking at the court of Versailles the
social rank that pertained to them. The i i "r part of the
men of this special class served on the battle-fields of I'-:i-
rope as .11.,' -, of the king of 'i 'ii. ; while their less
favored brothers, both black and brown, remained in Saint
)omingo serving their military apprenticeship in the strug-
gles of that 1',lv. This was the golden age for the col-
ored race of Saint Domingo.
I'P,. account of the origin, and development of race in-
equalily in Saint Domingo is a short one, easily told. 'I Ii

Inequality of Race

white laborer proving unequal to the blacks in point of en-
durance, the colonists became strongly opposed to the policy
of Louis XIV, the aim of which was to keep the black and
white slaves equal in number. Consequently, in 1699 a
law was passed under which the planter was not obliged to
have more than one white to I '. I., \' ." ... Ii was
the first act establishing inequality. The whites became
foremen. A feeling of insecurity arising from this begin-
ning favored, consequently, the oppression of the Negro.
I early Negroes of Saint ..'i...;.. who had assimil-
ated with the ignorant, buccaneers and who were often brave
to foolhardiness had on many occasions so distinguished
themselves '., their valor that they had acquired solid re-
nown as warriors long before these humiliating distinctions
were established; and some of these old brave and skillful
soldiers were still living. This was another cause of anxiety
among the whites.
'I I.- Creole free Negroes were also strongly united to the
Creole slaves. One had been a slave himself or was the son
of a slave freed. I I. other aspired to be free by manu-
mission, and the presence around him of free N; .;r. forti-
fied his spirit. 'I I. slave woman sought to marry a free
man in order that their children might be free. T'I.. slave
man married a free ...i, 'i, in the hope that his children
might also become free; for there were many examples of
husbands bought by their wives, and fathers by their sons.
Before the passage of the law establishing the inequality
of race another event of vast social importance had oc-
curred in the colony. On the : Ib of October, 1661, 0:-.'r'..
was made .'..... I i'. the intention then being to strengthen
the ,I .i,. On his arrival he found within the colony only
400 white men. He brought out with him a small number
of young women from. I'1i i. .., about one hundred. TI.....
were sold to the planters for tobacco, in much II,. same
manner as I'.i..1. 111 young women were sold to the early
colonists on the continent of America. ThIl. introduction

6 Haitian Revolution

of these women augmented the increase of the white popu-
lation certainly; but, even then, the fact of their coming
is not .-Ii1, il to account for the number of whites found
in Saint Domingo at the outbreak of the revolution. In
1:c;5 Louis XIV authorized, or rather prescribed, the mar-
riage of persons of the two races, and the ,i11'-li iri of such
marriages in many cases appear to have been later classed
as white.
In 1694 the colonists under the leadership of their gov-
ernor, Du Casse, made an expedition to Jamaica and cap-
tured a large number of slaves some accounts say two
thousand or more; some, three thousand. The
retaliated, and, in conjunction with the Spanish forces,
plundered and destroyed Cape IF,.rl n.....
I'..Fl... ing this state of 1 came the peace of Ryswick
above mentioned, in which the I' i n. I, appear to have se-
cured all the territory west of an oblique line reaching from
Cape li in.i i. on the north coast, to Cape Rosa on the west,
passing through the towns of Isabella and Iago at fli. one
point, and those of Petit Goave and Port St. Louis at the
other. I'Ih. colony, now settled, continued to prosper, al-
though there occurred many internal disturbances and also
numerous feuds with the Spanish settlers. During all this
time, although there were white women in the colony, the
planters continued to consort with their female slaves.
In 1754 the population is given as amounting to upwards
of I III'"1 pure whites; but a large part of this number of
pure whites consisted of persons who had descended from
colored mothers. The free mulattoes at this time num-
bered I,ilii,; but they would have numbered (.-n '.II.-1 il. 1v
more had it not been that many had crossed the barrier and
become white; the N.-g,., -; were upwards of 172,000, mak-
ing the whole population of the colony about 1:I'l,1I11. In
1764 the colony mustered a force of 8,786 white men ca-
pable of bearing arms, with whom were enrolled also 1414
mulattoes; the slaves then numbered 206,000. T'.- culti-

Condition of the Mulattoes 7

vated land of the colony amounted to 2,289,480 Elglli
acres, divided into ';',* plantations of sugar, 3,117 of cof-
fee, 789 of cotton, 3,160 of ini .;.. .. i of cocoa or chocolate,
and 623 smaller settlements for raising grain, yams and
other vegetable food.
The chief force of the colony consisted of the militia of
which each parish raised three companies of whites, one of
mulattoes, and one of free blacks, none of whom received
pay; the king's troops upon the colonial establishment gen-
erally comprised from two to three thousand men.
A description of the mulattoes given ',., Captain Rains-
ford is as follows: "Many circumstances combined to
render the situation of the mulattoes much more eligible
than in any other island, though in some respects worse.
"I'l,, were also more numerous. I'll.. free man of color
had the command of his own property without any restric-
tion both in life and in death; he could bear testimony even
against the whites; he could marry as he pleased and trans-
mit freedom to his children; and he might embrace a lib-
eral profession; but prejudice frequently dampened his
I i1'.i -. and precipitated him below what a hostile law could
have done. I I,. meanness of birth was never forgiven in
his own land. They were also compelled to serve in one of
the brigades of horse furnished in all the parishes under
the appellation of M 1 I I- .1. I i. numbers of this class
were to be accounted for by several circumstances amongst
which were the superior comforts of the lower order of
whites i, |'11.-. .1 in the superintendence of the plantations,
and the engaging manners of the women of color who were
often elegant, if not sometimes really beautiful. The
mulattoes were frequently opulent and respected."
This pen picture is drawn by an English soldier and is
warmed by his own personal observations and experiences.
It accords in part with the more sober view drawn by
Haitian writers and recognizes the same bedrock of fact
which all historians discover.

8 Haitian Revolution

The testimony of all observers is that the colonists were
luxurious, idle and vicious; fond of gambling and addicted
to all kinds of excess, violent and cruel in temper. Tl.
Haitian writer, Benito Sylvain, thus describes them:
"The original l''ri... ih- were of two classes. Th' first
comers, nobles and commons alike, engaged and brought
over other miserable beings, who were treated but little bet-
ter than slaves. The ... 1 .. I. cx-buceancers and free-
booters, called themselves ...' a blancs; while their em-
ployees received the name of pclis blanks,' these (' poor
whites') had '...-, .. for their companions, and thus
gave birth to an intermediate population of free mulattoes,
a population which by successive crossings tended to mix it-
self either with the whites or with ihe black race. At the
time of the Revolution thle blancs were but rarely
represented in the Antilles. All those frightful If,, 1,i ,i
which show the whites to be so cruel towards the colored
I" '.1.-. and intractable upon the question of the *i.i of
political rights, were from the poor whites; and, what is
more, from men the greater part of whom had a notable
portion of African blood in their veins, which they took
all pains to -1. i and conceal. Nevertheless, there were
some II, ...I. them who took the side and cause of the people
of color."
i From the first half of the eighteenth century, the colonial
population of Saint Iomingo was conijosed of whites, mnlattoes
and blacks; the whites were all free; the mulattoes about five-
sixths free; the blacks more than twenty-nine-thirtieths slaves.
These peoples formed three great classes, or rather castes. The
white caste was divided into two classes, the grandss blancs,"
i.e., the large planters, I;i proprietors, rich merchants, colonial
officers, etc., and the petits blanco," composed of laboring men
and others in humble condition. The caste of mulattoes was
divided into free persons, andl manumitted slaves, for the :, i..r
part, and domestic slaves on the other. The caste of blacks
formed the grand army of slaves employed in agriculture, with
a few free persons, employed in the most laborious trades such as

The Departments

Although the wealthy whites who were owners of .he
great estates, especially in the department of the '.iih,
were usually absent spending their time in the utmost lux-
ury in the great capitals of I'.....r their attorneys resided
on their estates and received direction from the absent pro-
prietors. I'h, .... blancs therefore controlled the social
w .1, r. and were responsible for the political condition of the
co un try.
After the lit II of 1. I the ..1r.. received numerous
accessions ,and soon grew into three distinct communities
known as departments, and named respectively the depart-
ments of the North, West, and South. OE these the oldest
was the department of the '..' l i, with Cape I i I, .. .. now
Cape Haiti, as its capital. 'ort-an-Prince, now tle capital
of the country, was originally the capital of the department
of the West, and was not laid out as a city until 1749.
Speaking sociologically, thle West and South may be grouped
together, partaking as they do of the same general charac-
teristics, and .II 11. I i,; essentially from the department of
the North. The North, settled earlier, although by a rude
people, had become wealthy, and before the outbreak of the
Revolution the colonists who occupied this section had
carpentry, masonry, etc., by means of which they arrived at a
pecuniary situation far below one of ease.
The grands blans lived carelessly and proudly, indulging
themselves and forgetting the rest of mankind. Tle petits
blanes hated the grand blames," who in turn despised them;
they themselves despised equally the mullattoes and did not
recognize the blacks as having any place among human factors.
The mulattoes regarded the grandss blames" with a reverent
fear mingled with a, silent contempt, they hated the petits
blanes," despised the Negroes whom they believed as inferior to
themselves as they were obliged to feel themselves inferior to the
whites. The blacks suffered at the bottom of the sca.le,dalways
* **i.,iiI_, in the mulatto whoni they loved, and cursing the white
u I, ,., his visible and impitiable tormentor. Such was the
state of things in the colony of Saint Domingo when the Revolu-
tion broke out in 1780.- ANTENon FrIMIN.

Haitian Revolution

reached a condition enabling them to assume an important
part even in national ,i1.I 1.. White women were numer-
ous among them and it was in this part especially that a
Saint Domingo aristocracy was developed.
Something of the character of the colony in general i .iy
be seen from the fact that although wealthy and exceed-
ingly fastidious and arrogant, the upper classes made but
little progress intellectually; while the lower classes were
poor and ill t.1 I... In all its history from its settlement
until its destruction 1.*, the Revolution, the French colony
of Saint Domingo contributed but one book to French lit-
erature; and from its whites left not a single name of re-
nown in art, literature, science, law, or arms.
Coming now to a more minute description of the popula-
tion at the time of the outbreak, we may quote in substance
from \l..i. i de St. AM. qy as cited '1, M. Price. "l.
reader should be reminded that M.', .i..i de St. M1. I s book
appeared in 1:;'; at the very time when the Revolution was
approaching its climax. TI. r. rr i._" to the .I ...._ i ,l.1 of
the country we In ,, observe that the country readily divides
itself into three 1.i,,-. 1 sections, corresponding to the
political departments established, to wit: the North, the
\\. and the South.
'I Ii- earliest settlements in the country made by the
French were in the neighborhood of Cape I'1:iu.. ,. at
which place the ll..,i; i-;,ll capital grew up. The depart-
ment extended about forty leagues along the northern coast
and ,.I n.ii, .l. including I'. iig..-, twenty-six parishes.
'II, principal towns and harbors were Cape ..i-. Fort
Dauphin, Port Paix and the ...1,. St. 1', li..I.l. 'i I,.
town of Cape I.i...., was elegantly built and had a flour-
ishing commerce. I I.- department of the West began at
the Ml..I St. Nk'l. II.l- and occupied the whole coast of the
Bay, terminating at Cape Tiburon. It contained fourteen
parishes, the chief towns being Port-au-Prince, 1t. MIrk
Logane, Petit Goave and Jeremie, with Ip.- villages of

Population Analyzed

Gonaives and Archaie. TIT. best harbors were at Port-au-
Prince and Gonaives. TI'I,. department of the South occu-
pied the remaining coast from Cape .1'il.iii. to 1'Anse A
Pitre. It contained ten parishes with only two chief towns,
Aux C'a,.-. and Jacmel. Altogether there were fifty par-
Th.' total population consisted of little over half a mil-
lion, divided as follows: I-i., .i.. 1, and creoles regarded
as white, ,ail.ii, ; free colored I" *'... the majority of whom
were mulattoes, 28,000; slaves, mostly black, I :.*'.'1. It
is estimated that 17,000 of the free colored persons were
mulattoes and that about the same number of mulattoes
were also to be found among the slaves. We may farther
a .ii.l, *.* the statistics furnished by the various authorities
as follows: The department of the N\..II, contained 480
square leagues and within this territory there was a popula-
tion all told of I ...,~i i. divided as follows: whites, Ii,.I.1'i;
slaves, 17o.,i"'; free colored iW..,i'l,.. f'.'"',. "I'h. whites
here were, as we have seen, the wealthiest and most aristo-
cratic of the colony and compared to the other elements of
the population were a mere handful. I'l. free colored
people were not numerous; were very respectable in char-
acter and very degraded in position. The majority of the
free colored people of the N.-illl were black and poor.
T'I'h.. who were wealthy and .il;i. nilly light in com-
plexion had either escaped to l'r.iii .. or made their n'.,iv into
the other departments. In the North also the prejudice
against the free colored people was strongest. T'I,. slaves
in this part were for the most part native born, some to the
third and fourth generation; and had become civilized and
Christianized. While the free colored people were most de-
spised and contemned in this aristocratic department of the
North, it was precisely in this department that the slaves
were more 11hII..iI., treated.
In the \\".-t. which contained 820 square leagues,-
nearly twice the area of the North,- there was a popula-

Haitian Revolution

tion of 191, '. 11, made up as follows: Whites, I I ni'I;
Slaves, 1'. .,'1,; l.' ..- Colored persons, 1:, ".,"'. It will be
observed here that although the population in the two doe-
partments thus far examined is nearly equal, the relative
proportions .Iil r greatly. I l. free colored people of the
West were very nearly equal in number to the whites; and
these colored people, nearly all, were mulattoes of a single
p. I, .11;. 'I ,.- free colored I. .-..1. both of this depart-
ment and of the South, were much nearer the whites in con-
dition than those of the ..lth ; while the gap between them
and the slaves was immeasurably greater. The slaves of
this department and of the department of the South were,
to a very great extent, native Africans, uncivilized, and bar-
barously treated by their poorer grade masters.
The South, with Jacmel and Aux C.... as its chief
towns, contained :II square 1. i, .. .. with a population of
I.: i.In I'',. divided as follows: whites, 10,000; slaves, 114,000;
free colored persons, (,500. I I,- condition of the several
elements of this population was exactly similar to that of
the corresponding elements in the department of the West.
The two groups then were about as follows: "I h.- \,..,(h
contained a population of 406 to the square league, and had
within its borders f., it of the free colored people; the West
and South combined contained a population of 210 to the
square league, and had 19,000 of the free colored people.
Ifence, more than two-thirds of the free colored I ..| .1.- lived
in the West and South, in the midst of a white [t..il1 I;,..i
not greatly outnumbering themselves, to wit: free colored,
19,000; whites, 24,000. Within this same territory were
about ?-,,I ., slaves, mostly of African birth and in-
humanly treated.
Of the total number of mulattoes free at this time esti-
mated at 17,111,1, from 1,000 to I1,IIn were sufficiently
wealthy, says Price, to own at least one slave, although
amir ...' them were a few who were comparatively large slave-

Economic Condition of Mulattoes

holders.2 '1 Ir remaining 1' o mo more, were poor. It
is not possible now to say to what extent the pro-slavery
spirit extended among these free mulattoes. Of the 11,000
free blacks there appears no record of their being slave-
holders, but it is not at all improbable that some of them
were. Blacks of America and elsewhere have been slave-
holders. "'i. vast i, ii.,;I., of peoples have been both
slaves and slaveholders in their turn.
T'h. general condition of the free colored people as de-
fined by the laws of the (1 I... did not Iil. greatly from
that of the like class a hundred years later in .\.. Orleans
and in Charleston. Although thle free colored people pos-
sessed the right to hold property, they lived in a state -, ,
near to that of slavery. I I,, were forced to serve very
long periods in the police and militia without 1.' and to
equip themselves at their own expense; they paid much
greater taxes than the whites, with wbom they had almost
no association. I ,,. could not aspire to commissions in
the marine or in the army; they were not permitted to hold
civil positions or to practice i profession. The re fr col-
ored man who struck a white man had his hand cut off;
the white man who struck a free Negro paid a. iii.
Such is the dismal picture of their lot in ,. n. 11, al-
though this was .... i,..I in practice to some degree in the
departments of the South and the West, both because of the
defiant spirit of the free mulattoes in these parts, and also
because of the critical situation of the slaveholding whites.
One more element in the population, not counted in the
FIf., f; i. but important especially from a moral standpoint,
was that composed of escaped slaves, known as maroons.
2M. Raymond speaking before the National Assembly, \1 ,. 14,
1791, in representing the men of color of Saint Domingo said:
" The men of our class possess at least one-third of the lands
and one-fourth of the slaves; these are the people who can
guarantee the colonies against the rebellion of the slaves."-

Haitian Revolution

It is d1!i. lil. to estimate the number of these desperate men
in Saint Domingo, who for a hundred years preferred the
wild freedom of the woods to civilization in chains. Such
men were found wherever slavery reigned. In Guiana, in
Jamaica and in the Spanish and Fr i.i I, colonies of Saint
Domingo, they were formidable enough to call out large
armed expeditions; while in 'I'..i I.l.. they were important
enough to tax the energy of the hero of N. ,," Orleans.
These independent uncivilized Negroes, living in the moun-
tain fastnessess of Haiti, were ready to be moved one way or
the other 1., the surging waves of the Revolution. Happily,
when the Revolution was in full course, the great Tous-
saint L'Ouverture, with his wonderful talent for leader-
ship, was able to seize and control these wild in. ii. bring-
ing thorn to his standard. Rev. C. W. Mossell, in his book
on T..r .ril. L'Ouverture, pages 120-121, relates how these
maroons, called .I him "Docko independents," came to
T'..I -.i.iI L'Ouverture, and how that general "distributed
among them (1..1 ; -, arms and ammunitionn" and after-
wards organized of them a i ,i;lii, regiment designated as
the 1-.'tl of Saint Domingo, placing their own leader at its
head. "I I,. same story is also related by A. Firmin.
In connection with these maroons, it is proper to speak
of the Vaudoux worship. Mr. Price, than whom no one is
better authorized to speak, shows that these i', .-.i;,u
Vaudoux dances ., il'. r.'l i meeting places between the slaves
and the maroons; the food and other 1 1'. ,ing that were
brought there for the gods, were left for the maroons, only
the initiated knowing of the purpose. Persons who were
missed from the estates and were reported as sacrificed had
in reality escaped to the mountains. One of their most
daring leaders, Santiago, had been stolen when a child and
trained in the camp. h1'.1 were liberty-loving men, giv-
ing forth an earnest and continuous protest against slavery,
and were never subdued until they submitted voluntarily to

Saint Domingo Legion 15

the government of I'ii,---.1ii L'Ouverture; hence Vaudou-
ism was a ruse on the part of both the maroons and hl
slaves, similar to many which have been known among the
slaves of the United States.
Outside of Saint Domingo there was in these early i1 1,
as now a respectable colony of colored Dominicans, living
in i ,.-'r .. Some of these were mulattoes sent thither by
their white fathers, a number of whom, as the Dumas,
plr..ii.fil, 1 father, and son, became permanent Fi. I. li-
men; others remained firmly attached to their native land
and continued in deep sympathy with their Negro brethren.
It is said also that there were among the poor free colored
people of Saint D."Ii-,I.. some mothers like those to be
found in this country, who at great personal .. i il, .. sent
their sons to I' 'ii n.. to be educated. 1' .... colored men
in France, becoming imbued with the spirit of republic-
anism then rife in that land of enthusiasm, greatly aided
in opening a highway for the Revolution. I'Il, became
associates of the abolitionists of V n.i-p, and helped to
awaken sympathy for their brothers in bonds at home.
We know also that in 1779 a legion of free colored peo-
ple from Saint Domingo fought in aid of our independence
in Savannah; and it is morally certain that these men car-
ried with them the idea and the love of personal and na-
tional liberty. Soldiers who have measured their skill,
strength and bravery on the Il, 1.1 of blood with other ii, n.
are dangerous material to be held in either slavery or serf-
It is also to be noted that the free colored people, both
blacks and mulattoes, were largely inured to arms, and that
among them were a few at least who had served as .IllI 1'.
One Captain Vincent had -1". i1ll, distinguished himself
and had been presented to the TK;h. Louis XIV, because of
the signal services he had performed. It is important for
the reader to bear in mind the fact of this previous mili-

16 Haitian Revolution

tary experience on the part of the free colored people in
order to account for the r i.i.111, ~i 11, which a vast horde of
slaves and free people were developed into disciplined


Saint Domingo elects delegates to the States-General 1788-
White colonists dissatisfied secured decree of March 8, 1790 -
The society Amis des Noirs secured instructions March 28, 1790
- How secured Rival assemblies in Saint Domingo- .,_Ji,..
five members quit the Island -Jacques Og6 -Question of name
-Error of Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia-Jean Baptist
Chavanne-Battle -Oge and Chavanne escape to Spanish terri-
tory-Brought back, tried at the Cape-Horrible execution
February 25, 1791 -Toussaint L'Ouverture and the slaves of
the North-The 14th of August meeting -Slaves of tihe North
ready for revolt, free people not-Free people of the South and
West ready for revolt, slaves not--New colonial assembly, Au-
gust 9, 1791- Hostility of the whites The Outbreak -Venge-
ance --Note Insurrection well-planned Free colored people at
first with the whites- Soon joined the blacks Took possession
of the plain Whites defeated--Help from Jamaica Account
of eye witness Desolation Money sent away Manifesto -
Liberty or Death -Reply-- Civil Commission Appeal before
the Colonial Assembly Reply Toussaint L'Ouverture visits the

THE uprising of the French people against the I i .ir in of
the Bourbon rulers had reached such a height that the weak
and vacillating 1;i,,. Louis XVI, in December, 1:--, is-
sued a call for the meeting of the I il, --General. "i call
reached the colonies and the white colonists of Saint Do-
mingo called provincial and parochial in.. I;ii.. passed
heated resolutions, and elected eighteen deputies to repre-
sent them in the States-General. TI'.ii body accepted six of
those elected and rejected twelve. TI:n mulattoes who could


Haitian Revolution

have no share in these political movements communicated
with their brethren living in Ir in.. and secured more in-
fluence than did the deputies. The X. g, .. were, however,
more successful than all, for they secured the aid of the
powerful society known as Les Amis des N.\Ir-
I h.I i ii.--General met M i" 5, 1789, and before the
month closed declared itself the National Assembly; and
on August .'"1, published their Declaration of Rights in
which was :ili i,. .1 the doctrine that, All men are born
and continue free and equal as to their rights." In this
National \ iil.1., "All men" meant what it said. The
French nation at that time was too extensively under the
control of the ideas of liberty and fraternity to think of
abridging the meaning of this high-sounding declaration.
TI'. white colonists were so i 1,_. .1 on account of the
attitude which the National Assembly had taken, that
through great iii11.. they succeeded in having that body
adopt on .11 I1 8, 1790, the following resolution: That
it was not the intention of the Assembly to interfere with
the interior government of the colonies or to -,l'j, I. them
to laws incompatible with their local establishments; they
therefore authorized the inhabitants of each Ci..1.l' to sig-
nify their own plan of legislation and commercial arrange-
ment preserving only a conformity with the principles of
the mother country, and a regard for the reciprocal inter-
ests of both." To this was added that no innovation was
intended in. any system of commerce in which the colonies
were already concerned.
T'Ii free colored people of Saint Domingo were ,
more restive hourly, and through their representatives in
I'r ii .., especially the I'. i.-, of the Blacks, brought their
cause dli.. 1il before the National .\A--. ill,.. In that so-
I;. I,- were such powerful names as Lafayette, Bishop
( .._..,., La Rochefoucauld, Robespierre and the A.111y
Sieyes. i'Ir.lli this society the following instructions
were supplemented to the decree of March 8, 1790:

"Les Amis des Noirs"

"Immediately after the proclamation and proper post-
ing of the decree of 11. ch 8, 1790, and of the present in-
struction in each parish, all persons free, who have reached
r-n- ii I l,- years of age, possessors of real estate or in de-
fault thereof, who have resided in the parish five years,
1p.1 ayin taxes therein, shall enjoy the right of -i l'r..i. which
belongs to Frenchmen, and may form themselves into a
parochial assembly."
American readers on examining this decree would natu-
rally infer that it contained the essentials of universal suf-
frage, without regard to race or sex. Its use of "person"
would include females as well as males; and such a law en-
acted by our Congress would mean equal 'I h
colonists of Martinique, of Guadeloupe and of Saint
Domingo pretended not thus to understand this decree of
March 8, 1.;' I, with its accompanying instructions. TI..
Assembly of Martinique on the I .'11 of July rf..1, iio.*
having before it this act, said they did not understand it
to renounce in :;w%, manner the exclusive right of the as-
sembly to regulate with I1, a authority all that which be-
longs to the government and police regulations i. 1". ;1i.,
both freedmen and slaves." Guadeloupe through its legis-
lature after a, preamble which recited as follows: "Con-
sidering that the legislation which concerns the people of
color, their mode of life, and their .1, -1 existence -is
in the hands of the colonists: Resolved that, "all these
people, results of misalliances, should be prohibited from
the active rights of citizens." Saint Domingo through its
assembly declared that this decree "could o,,1\ apply to
the whites according to the usage well established." Thus
was this liberal decree of the National Convention, the first
step towards the amelioration of the condition of the blacks
in the \\'V t. Indies, set aside by the pro-slavery colonists.
T'ie measure referred to had received the sanction of the
Fi iinds of the 111 1 I1. of Paris, and of such abolitionists as
Clarkson and Will..i fr.r of ETIl.ii,. and looked to the

Haitian Revolution

gradual removal of slavery from French territory. Against
this humane initiative the white colonists rebelled.
By the order of the King of 1Fi ni. received in Saint
Domingo in January, 1790, a General Assembly had been
convoked to meet in the town of Leogane, 11 r I, -:iI .li of
that year. I !. colonists, not being 1, 1i with this,
changed the date to April litI1 and the place to St. Mark.
On that date two hundred and thirteen members met in
that city and a plan for a new constitution was proposed.
'I'l, I, were now two bodies claiming legislative and ex-
ecutive functions-a provincial assembly of the \.. li and
the General Assembly. I'li. western and southern depart-
ments were unanimous in their support of the General As-
sembly, while the department of the N .IIi, held to their
provincial or departmental assembly, and were acting in
concert with M. Peynier, the governor-general. In the
preparations for civil war, which were made in conse-
quence of this quarrel, mulattoes were called out but blood-
shed was prevented by ( il;i, i; n members of the reduced
General Assembly quitting the Island. I I. took their de-
parture August 8, 1;',", on the ship 1.......... leaving the
country tranquil in appearance although within it were two
*volcanoes I i,,11., ripening for eruption.
Among the mulattoes who were in Paris, actively engaged
with the i.'i r i I-. of the Blacks," was one Jacques Og6
(O-Zhay), a resident of the town of Dondon, whose mother
owned a .. Ii, plantation in the department of the North;
a man of superior intelligence and possessed of considerable
wealth and influence. \\ Ih, i he learned of the opposition
made by the colonists to the equal .nili i;.- decree, he re-
solved to return to Saint Domingo. The Century Dic-
tionary says: lHe was educated in Paris and represented
the .I.., in the French Constituent Assembly. In 1790
he organized in the United States a secret expedition for
the emancipation of the colored race in Haiti"-all of
which is erroneous. It is remarkable that such a mistake

Jacques Ogi 21

should occur in a work of so great respectability.1 Og6 was
a representative of the free colored people of Saint Do-
mingo, but was not a member of the Constituent Assembly;
as the free colored people of Saint Doringo were without
voice or vote. As well might the free colored people of
New Orleans, or of ('i n I. i-.. r have had representatives in
Congress in I '... Og6, learning that the white colonists
had repudiated the decree of the National Assembly, and
had mobbed and murdered some colored men who had tried
to vote in the election of \1r1. resolved to come home.
Having been successful in his mission in Paris he thought
to use his powers among his own people. Air. I.d, the
colony was in a state of great tension as we have seen.
Og6 arrived at Cape I'l ,.... October 16, 1790, not with
an expedition, but alone. He landed in the night in order
to avoid the danger of being assassinated, and proceeded at
once to his native town, Dondon. His arrival was im-
mediately made 1. ... 1, and orders were issued for both his
arrest and execution. Advised of this, Og6 did not tarry
in Dondon but proceeded directly to Grand Riviere to con-
sult with his friend Jean Baptist ('Ii i. iil.-, an old soldier
who had fought in the Saint Domingo Legion under I''--
taing at Savannah. ('1 rii, advised the calling out of
the slaves, and favored the prompt beginning of an insur-
rection that '., this means 11 I., might get in the first blow
and perhaps break the power of the colonists. Og6 re-
coiled before so prodigious a work, and preferred to stand
by the law as adopted 1., the Assembly. Gathering a few
of their kinsmen and neighbors these two intrepid men pre-
p.1.1 themselves to oppose force '., force. I. ;r little
army numbering about :'..1 met the ,li- assault of the col-
1 The Og6 who headed the insurrection was undoubtedly Jacques
Og6. His brother Vincent Og6 is mentioned by J. O(., in his con-
Benito Sylvain.

Haitian Revolution

onists, who came against them with about 600 ii n1. with so
much vigor and courage, that the colonists were repulsed
and several of their number were taken prisoners. I'i.-
prisoners were kindly treated and released on parole, but
this did not end the Ii i n. I I. contliet was renewed with
1,500 of the best; soldiers from the garrison; and Og6's force
was overwhelmed and scattered.
I I.- two leaders, with about thirty of their followers, l. ,.1
to Spanish I. iI..i crossing the frontier November 6,
1790. They were soon i1. l, all arrested and taken to
Santo I)..,.I;._.. the Spanish (Capital, and on December 21,
the whole number, --". in all, were placed on board a I' i-. I
frigate to be returned to the Cape. ('l1, iII.. protested to
the Governor of Santo ID ... .. Ion Joachin Garcia,
against their rendit ion, declaring that, "the governor had
no right to put them in fetters; that himself and his com-
.,ii. had corner seeking the protection o f Spain and an
. 11 ,I, on her territory fr1om the white F' 11,. 1, rebels who
were fighting against the Sovereign Assembly of I'.i...."
To this protest tlie Spaniard paid no heed.
Brought to the Cape and placed on trial, Og6 demanded
an advocate or counsel; this was refused. After two
months of horrible 1........1;i_ which cannot be called a
trial, it was I i11I decreed that iJacques (0 ', and ('lI... iii.-,
should be broken alive on the wheel and be left with their
faces turned towards heaven as long as it should please God
to continue their lives;" after deal, their heads were to he
cut -ii, and that of Og6 placed on a pole in the road lead-
ing to his native town, )ondon; and that of ('Ih ii,.
placed the same way on. the road leading to his town, Grand
1;.;.... 'This sentence was carried out to the letter on
.I ,1 ,, !; iy *. '., 1 I'.. ('!. i ....n on. m counting the 11il.1,
denounced his murderers and ..1 ,,I1l, I t to his kinsmen
the legacy of avenging his fate. At the same time that
these two heroes perished amid such horrors, thirteen of the
other insurgents, as they were called, were imprisoned for

Toussaint L'Ouverture

life, and twenty-two hanged. I'1. trials and executions
were carried on under the \ I.,11.- of the ..'-th. While
this agitation was in i....i. a mulatto named Lacomrbe
was hanged for addressing a. memorial to the Assembly of
the North arguing his claim to political rights. His execu-
tion took place November 2, 1;'"'. An old white magis-
trate, Ferrand de Beaudiere, was beheaded for I i i r up a
memorial in favor of the people of color. The free colored
people of the South andt \\ I were enraged at these acts;
and the slaves of the North, being more enlightened, were
brought to the point of revolt.
'\. i the Cape where these transactions were occurring
lived at this time the Negro genius Toussaint L'Ouver-
ture, I, ;... then about I '. years of age. He was coachman
in an aristocratic family, had been taught to read and write,
and was treated I.. his master much more as a friend than
as a slave. IHe was t thoroughly aware of what was going on
in the colony and was profoundly stirred, but possessed such
absolute self-control that he was not suspected of any de-
signs against tie established rule.
T1I- slaves of the '..,ii, as we have seen, were more
civilized and better treated than their brethren in the
South and West; and it was in this region tlhait Voodouism
flourished, and that the maroons dwelt in the mountain re-
treats. I'.. nii I'Ouverture had his -..,i,,' ain.i-., and
with them plotted in. great secrecy for the uprising of the
slaves. Og6 and 'lir 1,i. iir had not died in vain. The
horrors of their execution, as well as the appeal, made by
I 'li ,. r II. had stirred tle heart of the civilized and ('ii,.--
tian \. _ir. slaves. I'l. i.- are those who believe that Tous-
saint L'Ouverture had nothing to do with 1l iillr. and
iorn.- I; i ,.- the insurrection, but that he came into it only
as a last resort when he saw it in full -\ ,. i Ti. is the
view taken '... Schoeleher in his life of the great Black; and
by Rev. C. ~.1..-- I. I I.''I ...,, these guides and others
of similar views, I, too, held this opinion until I read the

The Suspense 23

'Haitian Revolution

works of Price and Sylvain. TI'1, '. two writers com-
pletely explode that theory and show that Toussaint L'Ou-
verture was the organizer and captain-general of the in-
surrection from its beginning.
F.''i February 25, 1;i', to August 14, 1791, we have no
events of note, although in June some suspicions were
aroused by the discovery of what appeared to be clandestine
meetings on the part of the slaves. But these discoveries
created only a passing disturbance of thought and soon the
ordinary degree of ii, .- was restored. The bad feel-
ing prevailed, and the whites were generally under arms;
but there were no signs of the impending storm. TIh'
Voodouists were holding their dances in the forests and the
slaves were at work in the cane-fields. All appeared tran-
quil. But on the 14th of Ai,.i'i... 1791, in the midst of a
frightful thunder-storm, the Negroes of the neighborhood
of the Cape held a meeting presided over by TI'.-- lil
L'Ouverture. In that meeting were Biassou, and Bouk-
man, as well as .I. '-1'i.i1 ..... .1 h n -. men all subse-
quently became leaders of the insurrection. Mr. Price thus
describes "T'..-- mil L'Ouverture's relation to that meeting:
1" 1',I--.,Iii I'Ouverture was the promoter, the organizer
of the revolt of the slaves of the North. He was present at
the meeting of the leaders on the night of August 14, 1 ; 1.
He presided at this meeting and assigned to each his part.
All this is incontestable. These are facts iii. \-. ,1.1\' es-
tablished in history." 2 In this in.. ii, held amid the
awful rain, thunder and lightning of that dark night of
August 14th, it was resolved to make the strike for I,.rl ;l
the day was fixed for August 22nd. The colony slept.
'1'T slaves watched.
2 General Keverseau, in his report to the Minister of the Marine,
dated September 7, 1801, -.,.-.
Toussaint, skilled by long enslavery to make use of flattery
and dissimulation, knew how to mask his sentiments and cover
up his acts and was because of this an instrument more terrible

Slaves of the North

The slaves of the N. tlh were, as we have seen, peaceable,
civilized, and better treated than their brethren of the South
and the \\ .- ; while the free colored people, the in i ii l\v
of whom were black, were ill-treated and poor. In the
town of Cape Haiti, called i il, Ithe Ci.." the free
colored people were ...i, .1 to a special quarter which was
called Little Guinea." I I .. people had lost spirit at the
time of the outbreak and were waiting with but little
M1r. Price thus describes the slaves of the North: "The
slaves of the \".thl who had been a long time in slavery
were -ii ... i llj civilized and enlightened to comprehend
and appreciate the injustice and horror of this cruel servi-
tude; accustomed for a 1.,I time to meet under the veil of
pretended Voodou ceremonies, and thoroughly ready in
in the hands of theio I... ii,, It was he who presided in the
Assembly when it proclaimed as chiefs of the insurrection, Jean
I'r *, .. ..- iasson and others.
Concealed behind the curtain lie directed all the lines of in-
trigue, organized the revolt and prepared the explosion. IHe knew
how to read and write and in this stood alone. The advantage
this gave him was inumense; he became the oracle of the con-
spirators. Until when or where was Toussaint the dupe of those
political plays? It is not known. This much is sure, that
he made skillful use of them to instigate the Africans to ac-
tion." -Rehabilitation de la Race Noire, etc., Hannibal I'i.
p. 296.
Benito Sylvain cites among the escaped slaves the names of
Pore Jean, (1679); \1.,I. (1713); I..i (1720); Polydor,
(1730) ; Macandal, (1758); Canga, (1777) ; Santiague, (1782);
G1IllI and IHyacinthe, (1787); as unconscious precursors of
Boukman, Jean 1,r ii....... Biassou and Toussaint L'Ouverture;
while Hannibal Price calls the song to I'.tn_ i the Marseillaise of
the Negroes.
Eh, Eh! Bomba! hen! hen!
Canga bafio ti
Cangar moune de le
Canga do ki la
Canga li.

Haitian Revolution

their hearts to ravage and destroy by fire and sword ihi,;
colony whose riches had been created by their sweat and
blood, they awaited only the signal of an audacious leader
of their own blood, whether Negro or mulatto, to rise en
masse." I'l. slaves of the '.,, th were ready for the re-
volt. Not so the free colored people of the '",th. i I.h
old families of color lad disappe ared, )k broken, dispersed or
absorbed by the all-powerful aristocracy of the skin.
Among the rich, those who were too brown to pass the social
barrier, had gone to 1', ..I. I ..-.- of less means had gone
to the West. Those who remained were the free people too
poor to make any resistance to the white aristocracy, and
too near the slave mass '., the color of their skin to escape
from the fatal resignation to a common lot with therm.
These people, so thoroughly overcome by the terrible preju-
dices of the whites, did not dream, indeed could not dream,
of measuring arms with the wlite colonists. They no
longer had any ambition as a class. Forced in upon them-
selves without hope of ever breaking out of the social circle
which was marked out for them, they ...iii. I their 11,, I -
to seeking some degree of happiness, and enforcing some re-
spect from the dominant race,, the t1 -i,;I, of their man-
ners and the I i; .r of their lives. I I abandoned them-
selves without reserve to their religious sentiment, married
regularly to persons of their own rank and class, and en-
i... l the peace of the hearthstone and the inward satisfac-
tion and -,11 revenge which came from knowing that the
virtues of their private life were a constant reproach to the
dissolute manners of the white colonists with their colored
mistresses-the latter deprived in this section of even
the rank of acknowledged concubines. TIh. free colored
people of the North, in general, were not at this time, and
had not been for a long time, of that disposition of mind
and heart necessary to inaugurate and conduct to a good
end a revolt;- to vindicate with arms in hand the rights
of man so outrageously despised in this colony. And for

Slaves of the South and West

these reasons, we may remark that this class, the free col-
ored people of lthe ...lth ,I,.,..1 a role almost absolutely
nil in the revolutions of Saint Domingo. Their political
and social emancipation could come, and must come, only
through the revolt of the slaves. And let us make haste to
add: with one century more of the colonial I'_ ;I it would
have been infallibly the same with the free colored people
of the South and the West." Il.... description will show
that while the slaves of the '., l.h were ready for revolt,
the free colored people of that section were not prepared
either to load or join them; notwithstanding that the I -1
martyrs to the cause of equal I;_.I -, Og6 and ('Cl1 11 ..-.
were free mulattos from that section. I I .... men repre-
sented the exceptions and even of these two and their fol-
lowers, only ('l 1i iiri -. is known to have been in favor of
In the South and the West, the slaves were no more ready
for revolt than were the free colored people of the \..illi,
but for entirely liii, i. iiI reasons. The slaves of this sec-
tion were uncivilized and unable to comprehend the situa-
tion; 11. ,however, had faith in the free mulattoes and
were not unwilling to follow their lead. The free mulat-
toes of the South, and the West, had never been so thor-
oughly -*1 .i .I... .1 as their brethren of the North. M.
Price describes the slaves and freedmen of that section
thus: "''I1. slaves, not more content of their lot than
their brothers of the \N th were, nevertheless, more passive;
for they had not yet arrived at that stage to depend only
upon themselves to escape from this colonial inferno.
I I counted upon their brother mulattoes; they had faith
in them; they were ri .1. to second them and to move under
their direction. I l, ,. were two reasons for this. The
Il -. was that the mulatto himself was ready for action: he
had not been conquered and was not resigned; he had not
ceased to respond to \I' jil.l;1. by violence. He was vin-
dictive and turbulent; and awaited only a favorable occa-

Haitian Revolution

sion to attempt to overthrow the inequality of political
rights which seemed to him the sole foundation for the ex-
orbitant pretentions of the lower grade whites. The sec-
ond reason for the confidence absolute of the blacks in their
yellow brothers was, that at this epoch the latter were, in
great majority as I have ,IIr I i,, ly said, fresh mulattoes as
they were called, sons of Negresses; their African origin
was not far enough removed to permit the fiction of a
mulatto race. The Negro race had not ;,-l been taught to
see anything but brothers in the sons of their mothers."
'I 11- events happening indicated that the situation was
ripening rapidly and that the harvest could not be long
A new Colonial Assembly was elected consisting of one
hundred and seventy-six members which met in L6ogane,
August 9, 1791, and adjourned to meet in Cape F'i ii ....-.
Whether mulattoes voted in this election is not clear, but
from the events which followed so soon .iFl, 1, it would be
reasonable to infer tfl' did not. "I I. new governor-gen-
eral appeared to be without power; and three commissioners
from F', iii. were awaited, whose mission was to pacify the
colony. But in Saint Domingo at that time there was no
peace. The whites were bitter against the free colored peo-
ple who had gained in law ,.|II.1;l. in rights; they were
hostile toward the mother country and ready to barter away
the colony; the mulattoes were, of course, angry toward the
white colonists and enthusiastically attached to the mother
country. What about the slaves?
The intelligent slaves of the North had witnessed and
watched all of these movements and although they saw that
the N.ill., Assembly concerned itself about the free col-
ored people,-for the slave and his miserable lot there ap-
peared no helper. It was for this reason that about the
time the New Colonial Assembly was to meet at the Cape
that the Negro leaders held their meeting August 14,
1791, and decided upon their own course of action. Eight,

The Outbreak 29

days after that ii, I;i.-. on the night of August 22nd, the
awful insurrection broke out. 'i I- slaves arose armed with
such weapons and tools as 11I could command and with
cries of "Vengeance! Vengeance!" began the indis-
criminate slaughter of the white colonists. Thi.;, spared
neither age nor sex, but killed without mercy all who came
in their way, and burned every dwelling. I'l ir policy
was: "Kill and burn! over, or under ten years, it mat-
tered not. They were slaves i;l, i ,n,, for their natural lib-
erty and knew nothing of the laws of war. Indeed, such
laws could not apply, as revolted slaves were not soldiers;
civilians contending for their natural personal rights are
not an army.
"At midnight on the 30th of October, 1791,* the insurrection
of the blacks of Saint Domingo broke forth. In an instant
twelve hundred coffee and two hundred sugar plantations were
in flames; the buildings, the machinery, the farn-houses, were
reduced to ashes; and the unfortunate proprietors were hunted
down, murdered, or thrown into the ii .. -. by the infuriated
Negroes. The horrors of a servile war universally appeared. The
unchained African signalized his ingenuity by the discovery of
new methods ard unheard-of modes of torture. An unhappy
planter was sawed asunder between two boards. The horrors in-
flicted on the women exceeded anything known, even in the annals
of Christian ferocity. The indulgent master was sacrificed equally
with the human. On all alike, young and old, rich and poor, the
wrongs of an oppressed race were indiscriminately wreaked.
Crowds of slaves traversed the country with the heads of white
children affixed on their pikes. These served as standards of the
furious insurgents. Jean Francois, a slave of vast penetration,
firm character, and violent passions, not unmingled with gener-
osity, was the leader of the conspiracy. His lieutenants were
Biassou and Toussaint. The former of gigantic stature and
indomitable ferocity was well fitted to assert his superiority; the
latter, 1iflT.1 with rare intelligence, dissimulation, boundless
ambition, and heroic firmness, was fitted to become at once the
Numa and the Romulus of the sable republic in the western
hemisphere." Alison, E. (note inserted in Thiers' French Revo-
lution," Vol. II, p. 35).

Error as to date; it was August 22, 1791.

Haitian Revolution

This cry of V i .... raised by the revolted slaves
shows at once their ilI11; .. and their purpose. I'1.-
insurrection broke out in the night and by morning the citi-
zens were convinced that it had been well and thoroughly
planned. Observation showed that the revolt was general
and wonderfully simultaneous. The free colored people of
the "...'thi appeared at 1, -I to stand with the whites, and
some were enrolled in the militia. Seamen from the ships
were brought ashore and an ...1.. i, M. de I'". ... who had
distinguished I1, .l -ii in our r War of Ind'1 .. i .... took
command of a detachment of militia and regular troops and
marched against tie largest body of revolters in the I.. I-
borhood. lie was defeated and ..i.. 11" iI to retreat to the
Cape. All of the inhabitants of Cape I'ri ,i .... were now
called out to build I..-i ll,. Ii .I ... Several camps of white
colonists were formed with a view of checking the rebellion
principally at Grand Riviere, and Iondon, the homes re-
spectively of Og( and ( i ....1. .; but these were attacked
by the N- .... -. now joined '.., the nmulattocs, arnd forced
with great slaughter the whites who escaped 1-.. .I into
Spanish territory. In a week's time the revolting \.;'oes
had possession of the whole northern plain and hd ha Cape
I IM... ;.. shut up. Rainsford in describing conditions in
the early days of the rebellion says: The town of the
(' I. being somewhat strengthened, the governor with the
advice of tihe Colonial Assembly came to the resolution of
I.. .. 11 .li; ..1 !1 ,I .-.. operations against the rebels; ac-
cordingly, a small free under the command of Rouvray
encamped at a place called Roucooa in the eastern part of
the plain. A division of the '.,_; .... at the same time took
possession of the principal buildings on the estate of the
amiable M. (ali fet, and mounted on the walls several pieces
of heavy ar ill. I ., which they Iad procured from the differ-
ent harbors on the coast. In this intrenchment they began
to show somewhat of regular maneuvers; though they sel-
domr stood more than a single volley in their skirmishes yet

Ei,/li/h Succors 31

they were repeated with alacrity and with such success that
they harassed the whites by perpetual alarms and desolated
the country. \Il. I their i1, I stock of ammunition was ex-
hausted. it was discovered I, had been supplied from the
King's arsenal by some Negroes in Cape 1'' 11...-.. ; in a
short time the small American vessels opened a brisk trade
with them in this article for the sugar and rum of their mas-
Meanwhile the whites sent out commissioners to .1 l. 1. i1i
neighboring powers requesting the assistance of troops,
arms, ammunition and provisions. Jamaica responded
sending two frigates, the Illonde and the Daphne, to C ape
i i. --.. I transcribe here the account of the arrival of
this succor as given 1I one who participated in it: We
arrived," says he, in the harbor of Cape Fi -i.. in the
evening of the .'I i of September, and the first .1 i.. I which
arrested our attention as we approached was a dreadful
scene of devastation by in I, I.- noble plain adjoining the
Cape was covered with ashes; and the surrounding hills, as
far as the eye could reach, everywhere presented to us ruins
still .n...i1 i..- and houses and plantations at that moment
in 11 nr. -. It was a sight more terrible than the mind .t'
any man, unaccustomed to such a scene, can I- -il. conceive.
I I, inhabitants of the town, being assembled on the beach,
directed all their attention towards us, and we landed
amidst a crowd of spectators, who, with 'lilI ..1 I hands and
streaming eyes, gave welcome to their deliverers (for such
116, considered us), and acclamations of 'vivent les
.1A .,. '; resounded from every quarter.
I'1,. governor of Saint D.iiii...... at that I;i..-, was the
unfortunate Il ii I .II.. a marcchal de camp in the
I'i i. I, service, who has since perished on the il,1..11,. He
did us the honor to receive us on the ii.',-. A committee of
the Colonial Assembly, accompanied '... the governor's only
son, an amiable and accomplished youth, had before at-
tended us on board the Blonde, and we were immediately

Haitian Revolution

conducted to the place of their meeting. The scene was
striking and solemn. 'I I. hall was -1, I,.l ;lyv illuminated,
and all the members appeared in mourning. ('CI.l. were
placed for us within the bar, and the governor 1, ii,; taken
his seat on the right hand of the president, the latter ad-
dressed us in an elegant and ,i, iir' oration, of which the
following is as literal a translation as the idiom of the two
languages will admit:
"' We were not mistaken, Gentlemen, when we placed our
confidence in your i_. n, ,-i.i. ; hut we could hardly enter-
tain a hope, that, besides sending us succors, you would
come in person to give us consolation. You have .11i;1.1,
without reluctance, the peaceful i,.i i. i i II-, of happiness at
home, to come and participate in the misfortunes of
-li iir. i.-, and blend your tears with ours. Scenes of
misery (the contemplation of which, to those who are un-
accustomed to misfortune, is commonly disgusting) have
not suppressed your feelings. You have been willing to
ascertain the full extent of our distresses, and to pour into
our wounds the salutary balm of your sensibility and com-
"' I h. picture which has been drawn of our calamities,
you will find has fallen short of the reality. That verdure
with which our fields were lately arrayed is no longer vis-
ible; discolored 1'., the 11.IIm, and laid waste by the devasta-
tions of war, our coasts exhibit no prospect but that of
desolation. I'l, emblems which we wear on our persons
are the tokens of our grief for the loss of our brethren, who
were surprised and cruelly assassinated thie revolters.
"' It is by the glare of the conflagrations that every way
surround us that we now deliberate; we are compelled to sit
armed and watchful through the night, to keep the enemy
from our sanctuary. For a long time past our bosoms have
been depressed by sorrow; they experience this day, for the
first time, the sweet emotions of pleasure in 1, I.1,.ling you
amongst us.

Eloquent Address

"'Generous islanders! humanity has operated power-
fully on your hearts; you have yielded to the first emo-
tion of your generosity, in the hopes of snatching us from
death; for it is already too late to save us from misery.
\\ h.I. a contrast between your conduct and that of other
nations! We will avail ourselves of your benevolence; but
the days you preserve to us will not be sufficient to mani-
fest our gratitude; our children shall keep it in remem-
"'Regenerated Fr:i n..i. unapprized that such calamities
might befall us, has taken no measures to protect us against
their i i,-, i..; with what admiration will she learn that,
without your assistance, we should no longer exist as a de-
I" ii1'. I'n to any nation.
""'I l.I commissioners deputed by us to the island of
Jamaica have informed us of your exertions to serve us.
Receive the assurance of our attachment and sensibility.
"' The governor-general of this ;-1.i,.. whose sentiments
perfectly accord with our own, participates .1ii,,a1l. in the
joy we receive at your presence, and in our gratitude for
the assistance you have brought us.'
"At this juncture, the French colonists in Saint
Domingo, however they iii;:lI have been divided in polit-
ical sentiments on former occasions, seemed to be softened
into perfect unanimity. All descriptions of persons joined
in one general cry against the National Assembly, to whose
proceedings were imputed all their disasters. This opin-
ion was indeed so widely disseminated, and so deeply rooted,
as to create a, i strong disposition, in all classes of the
whites, to renounce their allegiance to the mother country.
ITh. black cockade was universally substituted in place of
the tri-colored one, and very earnest wishes were avowed in
all companies, without scruple or restraint, that the British
administration would send an armament to conquer the
island, or rather to receive its voluntary surrender from
the inhabitants. What they wished :mi'ht 1,app.'n. they

Haitian Revolution

persuaded themselves to believe was actually in contempla-
"The ravages of the rebellion during the time that I
reiminied at Cape I i 1.... extended in all directions. I ,
whole of the plain of the Cape, with the exception of one
plantation which Ii,...iir.. the town, was in ruins; as were
likewise the parish of Lioniade, and most of the settle-
ments in t-he mountains adjacent. TI.. parish of Limbo
was i. 1, I on 1. ; and, before my depa rture, the rebels
had obtained possession of the bay and forts at L'Acnl, as
well as the districts of I ..I. Dauphin, )ondon, and La
fGrande i:, ,
destructionn i ... I. r marked their progress, and re-
sistance seemed to be considered by the whites, not only as
unavailing in the present conjuncture, but as hopeless in.
the future. To fill up lthe measure of their calamities,
their Spanish neighbors in the same island, with a spirit
of bigotry and hatred which is, I believe, without an ex-
ample in the world, refused to lend any assistance towards
suppressing a revolt, in the issue of which common reason
should have informed them that their own preservation
was implicated equally with that of tle I' i.. l. n. i', .
were even accused, not only of -II[.,,... the rebels with
arms and provisions, but also of delivering up to them
to be murdered 111 11, ii i i. i., .I. I, planters who had
fled for refuge to the Spanish territories, and receiving
I I.... from the rebels as the price of their blood.
II merchants and importers of European manufac-
tures, apprehending every hour the destruction of the town,
as much rom incendiaries within, as from the rebels with-
out, i .... i their _.-...1 for ready i...I, at half the usual
prices; and applications were made to Captain AlI.i, ,
'. persons of all descriptions, for permission to embark
in the L: ..' .'. for Jamaica. I'Il. interposition of the Co-
lonial governmentt obliged him to i. i.. I their solicitations;
but means were contrived to send on board ,,ij ;..r 1iii. i.i-

A, Manifesto

of money to a great amount; and I know that other con-
veyances were found by which 1. iI.I to a considerable
value were exported both to Jamaica, and the states of
1i thil. America."
After the slave insurrection had been raging nearly one
month, the slaves being entirely victorious, this dispatch
was sent by them to Blanlaclande, the governor of the col-
"We have never thought of turning away from the duty
and respect that we owe to the representative of the per-
son of the King; but, Just .I i, come down. to our situa-
tion. See this land that we have enriched with our sweat
or rather with our blood. :I 1.. .I.. that we have
erected! And have we ever obtained any recompense?
i ..... who should have been to us under God as fa-
thers, were tyrants, m.ii.i I. unworthy of the fruit of our
labors. And cani you wish, Brave General! that we should
be like sheep, that we should throw ourselves into the claws
of the wolf? No; it is too late. God, who iili,. for the
innocent, is our guide; lie will never abandon us. Con-
quer or die! This is our which we will maintain
unto the last drop of our blood. We do not lack either
powder or cannon. IHence; 1.;!, Il, or Death! If God
grant that we may obtain it without the ii .ii of '.1..1.
then all our wishes will be accomplished.
"Believe us, it has cost much to our hearts to take this
i., (the revolt); but do not deceive yourself and think
that it is because of weakness on our part. We will never
change our molto: C. .iii. I. or die for Liberty!
"Your very humble and very obedient servants,
"Signed: All the Generals and ('n I of our arms."
T''Ii. above paper is the first manifesto ever put forth hy
Christian slaves in revolt with arms in their hands, to their
ex-masters. It bears no date, nor is it known by whom it

36 Haitian Revolution

was written; but the consensus of opinion among Haitian
writers is that it was inspired, if not written or dictated
by Toussaint L'Ouverture. The place and date are not
given; but the response to it was made, September 23, 1; t,
one month ,i i. r the breaking out of the insurrection. "I lI.
manifesto is remarkable for its determination. Conquer
or Die!" "Liberty or Death!" "Conquer, or die for
Liberty!" 'I .... expressions declare the spirit and pur-
pose of the one hundred thousand slaves who had taken
their ;1. -I;I i in their own hands and transformed them-
selves into freemen.
To this manifesto the colonial government responded in
its proclamation of September 23, 1791, exhorting the re-
volted slaves to return to their duty and promising them
pardon on condition that they would deliver up their lead-
ers; upon which M. Price remarks: To offer pardon to
men who were demanding justice and liberty was to declare
war upon them; and for another month, war, characterized
on one side and the other by the most atrocious violence,
the most terrible reprisals-a true war of .1. rinli i;..n,
- was waged."
The three Civil Commissioners sent by to Saint
D..i..l,... Roume, M11l.., I, and St. Leger, did not arrive
until the latter part of November. 'I'. Negroes were still
in the field, and had obtained arms and other munitions
of war whether from their own arsenals or from the Span-
ish government is not known. 'II"; were also becoming
daily more expert in the use of their guns. Nevertheless,
T''....-. 1,. L'Ouverture wished to end the war; and made
use of the aid of the priests to address the colonial authori-
ties :,.- ,;, in the interest of peace.
'I I,. address was sent in the name of the free people of
color joined with the slaves in revolt. T'I. ,i announced to
the whites that they wished to live in concord with them,
and asked for a general amnesty, and that the whole po-
litical question should be remitted to France to be settled

An Address and Reply 37

by the Civil Commissioners who were hourly expected.
'I h. -. conditions accepted by the civil authorities, the
blacks promised to return to the fields to work. Jean-
I.'r........ at this time the generalissimo of the blacks, ap-
pended his approval to these propositions.
On the 22d of \,... 11i.. r the ;iI- ... ni .. through the
abbe of the IIaye, presented to the Civil Commission this
their I II., address, .11 I1 IIi to submit on the following con-
ditions: General :,,iii. -I' for all past .l. 1.- .; legal and
complete freedom for a number of revolted slaves; aboli-
tion of corporal punishment and the concession of three
I i ,- each week for the slaves to work for themselves. This
address was signed by six of the principal leaders in the
insurrection: three blacks: .I 1i I'' ii. 'I..I Biassou and
Toussaint; three mulattoes: D. P1.' 1 i .I .11 and Aubert.
It was carried to the Cape by two of the old free ]** .1.. 1. the
mulatto Raymal, and the Negro, Duplessis.
1'1 .. address instead of being acted upon by the Civil
Commissioners was by them turned over to the rabid
Colonial Assembly which had been made '., the late act of
the '- Assembly, sole arbiters of the colored people,
free, and not free. I'l II '...1 bade the d. I 1i.; -. r 1 n.1il
and Duplessis to return at the end of ten days to hear
the answer of the Assembly.
I I,. answer was given December 16, 1791, and was as
I''i, .....n. of the Negroes in revolt: You will now
hear the decisions of the Colonial Assembly. I'!.- Assem-
bly, founded upon the law and by the law, cannot have
communication with people armed against the law, against
all laws. The Assembly would be willing to exercise
1I,-1;' 1 towards persons culpable who were repentant and
returning to duty. -I,,. will not exact in tI;,.. from those
who have been drawn into the revolt against their will.
'I1- will always know how to measure out both clemency
and justice. Retire! "

Haitian Revolution

When Biassou learned of the action of the Colonial As-
.. i.1,. lie was so indignant that he wished to shoot all the
white prisoners in his hands. Toussaint L'Ouverture suc-
ceeded in postponing his action by pleading that the pris-
oners should at least have a trial beforehand, and thus de-
layed matters until the arrival of .1. 1-i in. .. who also
favored sparing the lives of the unfortunate men. I'.
gether they prevailed over Biassou.
The two deputies, however, brought an invitation from
the Commissioners for a conference to be held on the
habitation of Saint l\I. I, I near the Cape at which arrange-
ments were to be made for the exchange of prisoners. It
was subsequently discovered, that although the blacks held
a large number of white prisoners in their 1111... the whites
had. but one \';:,ro prisoner and that one a woman, the
wife of J ,I,-Fr ii,... -. The blacks, nevertheless, accepted
the hard bargain and agreed to turn over their prisoners
and receive ,I .1I ..... i ,ii.- I ..... Ii I escort that ac-
companied the prisoners to the Cape and received \1 I 1....
J. In-Ii i ...... was composed of some 1, ......-, and in
their ranks disguised as a private, was I ..r -I I L'Ouver-
ture. His study of the situation there determined his
future action. He was fully convinced that the Commis-
sion was powerless, and that the only real French authority
on the Island was in the hands of the Colonial Assembly.


The I.1. h.r i.- members in disgrace Governor Peynier's resig-
nation-- General 3lanch la.nde appointed- Colonel Maudit effects
a reconciliation-Rigaud's opinion--National Assembly orders
new election--Mutiny-Mul attoes send Two Deputies to .France
-Robespierre's speech-D eba.te continues live days -)Decree of
May I .. 1791, i ...... the intentions of the Assembly-Circular
Letter of the Abbe ..

TfrE i, 11,-f .* members of the Colonial Assembly who
I 11 Saint D. mii..., August .-li, on the ship T.. ':..-.
arrived in Brest on the I : I of September and were re-
ceived wilh the utmost respect. But this state of feeling
did not long prevail. .\1. P..,i, ,i the govi r. 1. r i 1,
an(d tle representatives of the Assembly of the ',\.rth, were
so bitterly hostile to the General Assembly of Saint Do-
mingo a.nd so active in their hostility, that they succeeded
in I.1.i L.;. 'r. the ..i...i I in Paris, and soon converted
the favorable sentiment which welcomed the deputies into
the most violent antipathy. Ii'l" were dismissed from the
bar of the National Assembly and soon after were placed
under arrest. I'li. report of this treatment reaching Saint
Domingo, there was excited in the minds of the large body
of white colonists of the West and South alarm and in-
dignation. M. P. ,11; r. who had contributed so much to
the disorders which at the time existed, and perhaps .--. i- I
no immediate prospect of I Ir, ;,r. the colony, i, -ji Ii .1 his
,,Ill of governor-general. Hie was succeeded by General
1]I in.l.1i.I. who assumed the ..l .... in December of that
year. It was under his rule and through his own personal

Haitian Revolution

activity that the arrest, trial and conviction of Og6 and
i'I,., inI, related in the preceding chapter took place.
An incipient rebellion among the mulattoes had also im-
mediately followed the. l.,iI.. of Og6 and ('l 11111. .. but
was reconciled through the intercession of one Colonel
I I'...l, an officer of immense popularity and tact and
i .. 1 ill, beloved by the regiment he commanded. I'r,.
reconciliation, however, was not a satisfactory one.
,;_ ,1 l. the chief leader of the mulattoes and a soldier of
i* ; ... -, declared it to be a "transient and deceitful
'11- .,i 11II'.1 a decree from the \ i,..i l --, ,n1.l, arrived
censuring the generall Assembly of Saint Domingo, an-
nulling all its acts, and incapacitating its members from
ever serving again. The decree also approved the conduct
of the governor I1. 1, and applauded the work of the
Assembly of the '...i, l and Il; 1,1 praised Colonel 11..lM.
I'11,- it will be seen that the department of the North
under the lead of the governor and with the aid of the
I,;II., ,-, had won, as against the West and South. ThI .
National Assembly also ordered that a new Colonial As-
,,,,1 should be formed according to the decree of lI 'r.
.-Il, w ith the ...'I. i i ..H ,; instructions of .1I.. :-i .
This would mean that the free colored men should vote
on equal terms with the whites.
TI1'1 white colonists were .. ,. much exasperated and
vented their spleen particularly against Colonel Maudit
who was finally killed in a mutiny. ti.i. troops having
arrived from I',l ir the peace of the country appeared to
be secured. The men of Colonel Maudit's regiment who
had mutinied and slain their commander were compelled
to 1 down their arms and were sent as prisoners to I I in. .
It was thought now that the mulattoes could be concili-
ated, and tlie president of the colonial committee in Fi.Ii. ,
M. Barnave, believed that the mother country would no
i Edwards' Saint Domingo, cited by Rainsford.

Robespierre Speaks 41

longer interfere with the affairs of the colony. We re-
member, however, that the decree of .\AI ii i 8, 1.;', was
accompanied by the instructions of \11. -i :-Il, which di-
rected that every person of the age of tw, i i. .,- and
upward possessing property or having resided iI years
in the colony and paid taxes, should be enabled to vote
in the formation of the Colonial \ .1.1i -. The assertion
was made that this could only II.1.1 to persons who already
had the privilege of ... I;-. and that any other view of it
would make it entirely repugnant to the decree it accom-
panied. In the midst of these ...I. ,n,;.; opinions the
mulattoes sent two deputies to 1', iir.. I Il- brought the
whole subject before the National Assembly and gave
opportunity for a display of great fervor and eloquence.
1'1 colored 1, j11, T, II..... was heard; and Robespierre
gave vent to the following impassioned words: If I
could have supposed that among those who have opposed
the rights of the men of color there was one man who hated
liberty and the C..'i-li; l, ii. I would have expected him to
seek the means to attack incessantly both your decrees and
your principles.
"When it concerns the direct interest of the metropole,
11,, \ -.1, to you: 'You proclaim without ,. i-i,.'. 11 I
Rights of Man"; "You believe in it so little, that you
have established slavery."'
I'l.. supreme interest of the nation and of the colonies
is, that you should live free; and that you do not over-
throw with your own hands the basis of liberty. Perish
the colonies even should it cost your happiness, your glory,
your liberty! I repeat- Perish the colonies, if the col-
onies wish by threats to force you to decree that which is
to their interest alone.
"I declare in the name of the A .... 11, -in the name
of those members of this Assembly who do not wish to
overthrow the constitution--in the name of the nation
entire which desires to be free, that we will not -., ilh I,

Haitian Revolution

to the deputies of the colonies, the nation, the colonies
I ,, ,,,-1 -, and humanity entire." 2
I'.i. N national -- 1 1i11. I i .. : i, of debate adopted
a resolution declaring in exact words that the people of
color had "an equal right with the white proprietors in
the choice of representatives, and to seats in. the colonial
I... ,11111. n." The Colonial Commnittee in Paris imme-
diately dissolved and the deputies from Saint Domingo
ceased to attend the meetings of the Assembly.
After the passage of this resolution the Abbe (Gregoire
addressed a most eloquent letter to the colored citizens
which is so important that despite its length I insert it
here. The side lights it throws upon the political situation
are very valuable.

Letter of the Abbe Gregoire to the Citizens of Color in the
French West Indies, Concerning the Decree of
the 15th .il.... 1791

You were MEN ;- you are now CITTZENs. Reinstated
in the fullness of your rights, you will in future participate
of the sovereignty of the people. The decree which the
National Assembly has just published respecting you, is
not a favor; for a favor is a privilege, and a privilege to
one class of people is an injury to all the rest.-- 1'..
are words which no longer disgrace the laws of the I''i. II. .
In securing to you the exercise of your political rights,
we have acquitted ourselves of a debt:--not to have paid
it, would have been a crime on our part, and a disgrace
to tire constitution. The legislators of a free nation cor-
Ii ;,1 could not do less for you than our ancient despots
have done.
It is now above a century that Louis \l \li ...i. 1n 1i1,
:,i n, .1. I, and proclaimed your rights; but of this sacred
2 From the Official Monitor, cited by Benito Sylvain and School-

Letter of Abbe Gregoire 43

inheritance you have been defrauded by pride and avarice,
which have gradually increased your burdens, and embit-
tered your existence.
The regeneration of the II'. i. Ii empire opened your
hearts to hope, whose cheering r,,1. i11 ..' hlas alleviated the
weight of your miseries; miseries of which the people of
Europe had no idea. \\ II. the white planters resident
amongst us were loud in their complaints against minis-
terial tyranny, they took especial care to be silent as to
their own. N'. a, hint was .,i i- .1 -1 -i.,. 1 ;.;- the com-
plaints of the 'i I'i', people of mixed blood; who, not-
v.i I I 1n;I,._. are their own children. It is we, who, at
the distance of two thousand leagues from you, have been
constrained to protect these children against the neglect,
the contempt, the unnatural cruelty of their fathers!
But it is in vain that they have endeavored to suppress
the justice of your claims. Your '.i -. notwithstanding
the extent of the ocean which separates us, have reached
the hearts of the European Frenchmen; for il. ,' have
God Almighty comprehends all men in the circle of his
mercies. His love makes no distinction between them, but
what arises from the I,1l, i. ni, degrees of their virtues. Can
laws then, which ought to be an emanation of eternal jus-
tice, encourage so culpable a partiality? Can that gov-
ernment, whose duty it is to protect alike all the members
of the same great family, be the mother of one branch, and
the step-mother only of the others?
No, Gentlemcn:-- you could not escape the solicitude
of the National Assembly. In r..1.1f,._.- to the .. of
the universe the great charter of nature, your titles were
traced. An attempt had indeed been made to expunge
them; but, happily they are written in characters as in-
delible as the sacred image of the D)eity, which is graven
on your countenances.
A11 r.ilY had the National Assembly, in the instructions

44 Haitian Revolution
which it prepared for the government of the colonies, on
the 28th of .'1 i 1,, 1;:", comprised both the whites and
people of color under one common denomination. Your
enemies, in asserting the contrary, have published a forgery.
It is incontestibly true, that when I demanded you should
be I --. 1, named, a great number of members, among
whom were several planters, eagerly exclaimed, that you
were already comprehended under general words contained
in those instructions.
M. Barnave himself, upon my repeated instances to him
on that head, has at length acknowledged, before the whole
Assembly, that this was the fact. It now appears how
much reason I had to apprehend that a false construction
would be put upon our decree I
New oppressions on the part of your masters, and new
miseries on yours, until at length the cup of .i1111i. Iii, is
;ll, even to the brim, have but too well ji-1I11IIl my
apprehensions. The letters which I have received from
you upon this head, have forced tears from my eyes. Pos-
terity will learn with astonishment and ;.1;._, ,i;... that
a cause like yours, the justice of which is so evident, was
made the subject of debate for no less than i;.. d ,. suc-
cessively. Alas! when h1m, i;I.. is obliged to st: ,-.1.- so
long against vanity and p-J.j..;,, its triumph is dearly
obtained I
It is a 1.'i-: time that the society of Amis des Noirs have
i 1[.l.. ..1 themselves in finding out the means to soften
your lot, as well as that of the slaves. It is .-li-. ill, per-
haps impossible, to do good. with entire ;Iri l. The
meritorious zeal of this society has drawn upon them much
obloquy. Despicable writers have lanced their poisonous
shafts at them, and impudent libels have never ceased to
repeat objections and calumnies, which have been an hun-
dred times answered and refuted. How H11. i have we
been accused of being sold to the English, and of being
paid by them for sending you i;iil.i m l,,., writings and

Letter of Abbe Gregoire 45

arms? You know, my friends, the wealknes and wicked-
ness of these charges. We have incessantly recommended
to you attachment to your country, I, :... i .,. and pa-
tience, while waiting the return of justice. .'., ; has
been able to cool our zeal, or that of your brethren of mixed
blood who are at Paris. M. P1 ...I i1. in par';. i1 ,, has
devoted himself most heroically to your defense. With
what transport would you have seen this disinist ii shed citi-
zen, at the bar of the National Assembly, of which lie ought
to be a member, 1I ;In before it the I, .. li'.; picture of
your miseries, and strenuously claiming your rights! If
that Assembly had I ..I I them, it would have tarnished
its glory. It was its duty to decree with justice, to explain
itself clearly, and cause its laws to be executed with firm-
ness:-it has done so; and if (which (God forbid !), some
event, hidden in the womb of futurity, should tear our
colonies from us, would it not be better to have a loss to
deplore, than an ;Ii iI ;.. to reproach ourselves with ?
Citizens! raise once more your humiilinted countenances,
and to the dignity of men, associate the courage and noble-
ness of a free people. I I I..1, of 11 i-, the day in which
you recovered your 1; .11.. ought to be ever memorable to
you and to -....i children. This epoch v. II1 periodically
awake in you sentiments of gratitude towards the Supreme
Being; and may your accents ascend to the vault of
Heaven! At length you have a country. I I .il. i. you
will. see nothing above you but the law; while the oppor-
tunity of concurring in the framing of it, will assure to
you that indefeasible right of all mankind,--the right of
(1,. i;, yourselves only.
You have a ; and it will no longer be a land of
exile, where you meet none but tyrants on the one hand,
and companions in misfortune on the other; the former
tl;-1 ilii;lj._ and the latter ... i; ; .. contempt and out-
rage. ItI. groans of your afflictions were punished as the
clamors of rebellion; and, situated between the -,iphll,,i

Haitian Revolution

poignard and certain death, those unhappy countries were
often moistened with ..., tears and sometimes stained with
your blood.
You have a country; and happiness will shine on the
seat of your nativity. You will now ij.., in peace the
fruits of the fields, which you have cultivated without com-
pulsion. Then will be filled tp that interval, which,
placing at an immense distance from each other the chil-
dren of the same father, hlas suppressed the voice of na-
ture, and broke the bans of fr i I ,i asunder. Then will
the chaste ... I of I ...In ,1 union take place of
those vile sallies of debauchery, by wlich the majesty of
moral sentiment has been insulted. By what strange per-
version of reason can it be deemed disgraceful in a white
man to marry a black or mulatto woman, when it is not
thought dishonorable in himn to be connected with her in
the most licentious familiarity
T"'. less real worth a man possesses, the more he seeks
to avail himself of the appearances of virtue. What can
be more absurd than to make the merit of a person consist
in *.lil. I, i shades of the skin, or in a 1'. ;i..1 more or
less sallow? 'I I'. man who thinks at all must sometimes
blush at being a man, when he sees his fellow-creatures
blinded by such ridiculous prejudices; but as, unfortunately,
pride is one of those failings we most unwillingly part with,
the empire of prejudice is the most ,l .b. li to subvert:
man appears to be unable to arrive at truth, until he has
exhausted his strength in traveling through the different
paths of error.
This I'.i'.'l; ji against the mulattoes and \ i.,'r..- has,
however, no existence in our eastern colonies. Nothing can
be more ill. 11 I .' than the eulogirum made on the people
of color by Ihe inhabitants in that part of the world, in
the instructions to those they have appointed their deputies
to the National Assembly. 'I'h. members of the Academy
of Science pride themselves in reckoning a mulatto of the

Letter of Abbe Gregoire

Isle of .'F ..i... in the number of their correspondents.
Among ourselves, a worthy ', ,;ro is a superior .II ... of
the district of St. Iiypolite, in the department of Gard.
We do not conceive that a ,hill .. of color can be the
foundation of -I I I. rI rights among members of the same
political -... i.; I; it is, therefore, we find. no such despicable
pride among our brave National Guards who -.11. I them-
selves to embark for the West Indies, to insure the execu-
tion of our decrees.
Perfectly concurring in the laudable sentiments mani-
fested '., the inhabitants of Bordeaux, they acknowledge
with them, that the decree respecting the people of ...-1..
framed under the auspices of prudence and wisdom, is an
homage rendered to reason and justice. While the depu-
ties from the colonies have endeavored to calumniate '..ii
intentions, and those of the nereanitile part of the nation,
the conduct of those deputies is perfectly contradictory.
Ardently soliciting their own admission along us at Ver-
sailles; swearing with us in the Tennis Court not to sepa-
rate from us until the constitution should be established,
and then declaring when the decree of theI ".1 of al was
passed, that 11i could no longer continue to sit with us!
'I li- desertion is a desertion of their principles, and a
breach of their solemn oaths.
All those white inhabitants of the colonies who are
u\rIli,, the name of I i. n, have hastened to abjure
such ridiculous prejudices, and have promised to regard
you in future as brothers and friends. With what delight-
frul sensations do we cite tie words of the citizens of Jacmel.
"We swear to obey, without reserve, the decrees of the
National Assembly respecting our present and future con-
.I;lill.II, and even such of them as may substantially
change it!" The citizens of Port-au-Prineo tell the Na-
tional Assembly the same thl,;i_, in IIII ,I words:-
"C..i.1. -.1, .. gentlemen," say they, "to receive the oath
which the iin ii., has taken to you, in the name of

Haitian Revolution

the commons of Port-au-Prince, punctually to (1b-v and
execute all your decrees, and never to swerve from them in
any respect whatever."
i l..- has I.1 *.....l,, enlarged its horizon in the new
world, and soon '.IIl absurd prejudices have no other sup-
porters than a few inferior tyrants, who wish to perpetuate
in America the reign of that despotism which has been
abolished in France.
What would these men have said if the people of color
had endeavored to deprive the whites of their political
advantages? \, Ill, what energy would '1, not have ex-
claimed at such an oppression? I 1l I.... I into madness at
III.1 I,,n, that your rights have been pointed out to you, their
irritated pride ., perhaps lead them to make every '.l.,i I
to render our decrees i,. il.. I, i They will probably en-
deavor to raise such disturbances, as, by wresting the col-
onies from tile mother-country, will enable then to defraud
their creditors of their just debts. I I ,- have incessantly
alarmed us with the threat that Saint Domningo will be
lost, if justice be rendered to you. In this assertion we
have found nothing but falsehood: we please ourselves in
the belief, that our decree -. 11 draw the bands still closer
which unite you to the mother country. Your patriotism,
your iii .I. iand your G..l IIi.r.-, will concur in inducing
you to ..i,,Iin your commercial connections to France only;
and the reciprocal tributes of industry will establish be-
tween her and her colonies a constant interchange of
riches and good ..'.- If you act unfaithfully towards
France, you will b te the base and most abandoned of the
human race. But no, .- i.. ii. citizens, -. will not be-
come traitors to your country; you shudder at the idea.
1: tl ,., with all other good Frenchmen, around the stand-
ard of liberty, you will still defend our glorious constitu-
tion. :'l,. day shall arrive when the representatives of
the people of color will cross the ocean to take their seats
with us. The 1, shall arrive among you when the sun

Letter of Abbe Gregoire 49

will shine on none but freemen; when the rays of light
shall no longer fall on the fetters of slavery. It is true,
the National Assembly has not yet raised the condition of
the enslaved ;,'.. oroes to a level with your situation; because
suddenly granting the rights to those who are ignorant of
the duties of citizens, i,;ili. perhaps, have been a fatal
present to them; but forget not, that they, like yourselves,
are born to freedom and perfect equality. It is the ir-
resistible course of things that all nations, whose 11l. ,I,
has been invaded, shall recover that precious portion of
their indefeasible inheritance!
You are accused of treating your slaves much worse
than the whites: but, alas! so various have been the de-
tractions with which .., have been I .....1, that it would
be weakness in us to credit the 1, 1.. If, however, there
be any foundation for what has been advanced on this
head, so conduct yourselves in future as to prove it will
be a shameful calumny hereafter.
Your oppressors have heretofore endeavored to hide from
their slaves the lights of ('1 i. I, i. ; because the religion
of mildness, equality, and. liberty, suits not with such
blood-thirsty men. \, .r your conduct be the reverse of
theirs. Universal love is the language of the gospel; your
1 -... -'.i-, ,1 make it heard among you. Open -....i hearts
to receive this divine system of morality. We have miti-
.I ,.1 your misfortunes; alleviate, on your part, those of
the unhappy victims of avarice, who moisten your fields
with their sweat, and i.I. i, with their tears. Let the
existence of your slaves be no 1..r.- their torment; but by
your kind treatment of them expiate the crimes of Europe!
By leading them on progressively to liberty, you will
fulfill a duty; you will prepare for yourselves the most
comfortable 1. 1Il. li,., you will do honor to him,' m;I,
and insure the prosperity of the colonies. Such will be
your conduct towards your '.i ll.Ion. the \'V. --; but
what ought it to be towards your fathers, the whites?

Haitian Revolution

Doubtless you will be permitted to shed tears over the
ashes of I.', ii-I de Baudiere, and the unfortunate O.,'.,
assassinated under the forms of law, and d1,;i.i on the
wheel for having wished to be free! But may he among
you perish, who shall dare to entertain an idea of revenge
against your persecutors! Ti are already delivered over
to the stings of their own consciences, and covered with
eternal infamy. I I. abhorrence in which they are held
the present race of mankind, only precedes the execra-
tion of posterity. Bury, then, in eternal oblivion every
sentiment of hatred, andl taste the delicious pleasure of con-
ferring benefits on your oppressors. .Repress even too
marked expressions of your joy, which, in causing them to
i. Il.. I on their own i;,,ir-l;.. towards you, will make their
remorse still more poignant.
Strictly obedient to the laws, teach your children to
respect them. By a careful education, instruct them in
all the duties of morality; so shall you prepare for the suc-
ceeding generations virtuous citizens, honorable men, en-
lightened patriots, and. defenders of their country!
How will their hearts be ,Il t .I when, conducting them
to your shores, you direct their looks towards .'r, i. tell-
ing them, I.....n. I hose seas is your parent country; it
is from thence we have received justice, protection, happi-
ness, and liberty. 'T. I. we have sworn an eternal friend-
ship. Heirs of our sentiments and of our .II,. I..,ii-, may
your hearts and your lips repeat our oaths! Live to love
them; and, if necessary, die to defend them!"
PtI -, :l. June, 1791.



The difference in character of the two Insurrections The ques-
tion again before the Assembly -- M. Barnave's speech--Decree
of \1 15 annulled- Further elaboration of agreement of Sep-
tember 12, by action of October 23 -Fraternization The Swiss
-Noble conduct of )aguin and Boisrond--Black stain on com-
manders Arrival of news from Fran ce Whites repudiate agree-
ment War reopens Colored generals reorganize their army-
Commissioners arrive, toumne, Mirbeck and Saint Leger-- Two
last soon leave-Port-au-Prince besieged by colored army-Ca-
pitulates on demand of Roume, July 5, 1792-- cauvais and
RIigaud breveted generals -New act, Ma.rch 24, 1792, announced,
which settles lthe question- Celebrations- A tempt to use mulat-
toes against slaves in revolt fails-Eixaspera.tion of the whites-
Pacification accomplished by I i. I --New Commission 14,000
European soldiers arrive -Touss.aint's situation delicate--Re-
tires to Spanish territory-G(oes into the service of Spain with
his army-- comes Spanish general, 173 Two nations seek the
blacks The lraair of (albtad -- Renewal of war; attlempnt to de-
liver the colony to the I I I '-i-The Treaty.

WEti must now for a moment leave the slave insurrection
of the h, ad return i our narrative the a ren i or narao the free col-
ored people of the Soulth and West. I i.... question is
,1,l r. ilo from that of the Toussaint L'Onverture revolt.
Th, ,r struggle is for entranchisement; while the slaves of
the North are I;Itiii primarily for natural 1;1. I1.. The
freedmen's (1,i 1 is more complex and perhaps more exas-
pri-n ii -_ ; the slave's battle in its i, -1 steps at least, is sim-
ple and furious. lie has the one idea, viz., to break his
chains and 1fi1l himself free; and the man who stands

Haitian Revolution

between himself and freedom is not only an obstacle to be
removed, but also a hated monster whose past cruelties and
outrages are now to be heaped upon his own head with
obliterating force.
\\I the National Assembly passed the decree of M Ai
1,5, 1791, establishing unequivocally the rights of the free
colored people of Saint D)"...II... the deputies from that
.. ..... as we saw withdrew from the i--.. 1.1i. The col-
onists in Paris approved this attitude of the deputies most
heartily, while the parochial assemblies as soon as the news
reached them, protested "against whatever the National
Assembly had done and decreed either for or against the
colonies, and all which they might decree in the future."
We may therefore feel well assured that in the new Colonial
Assembly which met in Leogane, August I.1li, and sub-
sequently held its sessions at the Cape, there were no col-
ored members, and that colored men took but little if any
part in the election.
The free colored people having been informed of the ac-
tion of the National Assembly and perhaps aroused by
Abbe Gregoire's eloquent letter began at once to press their
claims not only by argument and appeal but also by a show
of force. Four days after the breaking out of the T1..i-
saint l'Ouverture Insurrection, as we shall call the slave
insurrection of the North, the free colored people of the
South and West under the leadership of Andre Rigaud
raised the standard of revolt. Again those in the neighbor-
hood of Port-au-Prince appear to have been pacified
through the mediation of an eminent planter, M. de
Jumnnorurt. A Concordat was entered into by the white
inhabitants of Port-au-Prince in which it was agreed that
there should be complete .I. .1 for the past, and that the
whites should admit the full force of the decree of the
S.11, of 11 .. This agreement was i iil:'. .I by the Colonial
Assembly at the (ape. Some military companies of mulat-
toes were formed under the Colonial Assembly,- colored

Barnave Speaks 53

men holding commissions in them. It was this fact, cou-
pled with the expectation of succor from England, which
perhaps emboldened the Colonial Assembly to treat Tons-
saint L'Ouverture's I il.',.. with so much L.iI;'i., con-
The peace between the whites and the mulattoes was an-
other deceitful calm." As the Constituent Assembly in
1'i in.. was about concluding its great work of making a
Constitution for i 11,. and had agreed to go out of exist-
ence on the last (lay of the September that was then pass-
inll.-its members well-worn and weary,--the indefatiga-
ble Barnave, chairman of the Colonial Committee, again
obtained the II....r. I'li. subject of Saint Domingo was
called up afresh and Barnave addressing the body this
24th day of September, 1791, among other things urged
the following:
On account of the frightful disproportion which exists
between the number of whites ( ..;,I)) and that of hll-
slaves (: I .,1,,)), it is necessary in order to continue this
state, that moral means should be brought in to support
the feeble physical masses. I I. moral means consists of
the opinion which places an immense distance between the
black man and the white man. It is by means of this
opinion that the present regime of the colonies is upheld,
and this opinion forms the basis of their tranquillity. T1,
moment that the \ -,o can believe that le is the equal of
the white, or that the man who is intermediate-the
mulatto--is the equal of the white, it becomes impos-
sible to calculate the i.. 1 of this change of opinion.
I',i.-,- are the i'. j,.1l;. which safeguard the existence of
the whites in the colonies. I'li. regime is absurd, but it is
established and cannot be ruthlessly disturbed without en-
training great disorder; the regime is c.o111i--inw, but it
'-.Ii'l1 i ,- in IFr .. several millions of people; the r(.riin,
is barbarous, but it will be much greater barbarity to inter-
fere with it without the necessary information for in so

54 Haitian Revolution
doing ', your imprudence you will cause to flow the blood
of a numerous generation."
'I i. i I.. I of this speech was to induce the Assembly on
the same day to repeal the decree of May I and to declare
the "laws concerning the state of persons not free, and
the political relations of free persons of color and free
X. ... .as well as the regulations relative to the execu-
tion of these same laws, shall be made by the Colonial
Assemblies. They will be executed provisionally during
one year in the American colonies, and two years in the
African colonies wilh the approbatio o the he governor, and
shall be submiitted directly to the sanction of the King."
I I- agreement which was reported to have been made
between the white inhabitants and Port-au-Prince and the
mulattoes, September 12, 1791, and which was subsequently
Siil .. by the Colonial Assembly, seems to have been fur-
ther elaborated on October 23 and made to include the
following particulars: (1) I'li Il the garrison of Port-au-
Prince should be composed, one half of white troops, and
one half of colored troops. (2) "I I. I the judges who had
condemned Og6 and C(1 ... -. should be declared infa-
mous. (3) 1,I tie Colonial Assembly should be dis-
solved, and a new one elected, conformably to the decrees
of M i 1"..
The next morning .ll. r the *-;._'; of this agreement a
force of free colored soldiers numbering from I,.'.1, to 2,000
entered Port-au-Prince and went into garrison.
The citizens and the soldiers fraternized and there ap-
peared to be a prospect of permanent peace. A dark crime,
however, was connected with the signing of this treaty of
peace, a crime most disgraceful to the leaders of the Revo-
lution, but one nevertheless that the Haitian historians do
not 1. ,, or attempt to palliate. I quote the story from
Sylvain, although it is related 1.- the historians generally.
' I .l:.., runs thus: "Three hundred slaves enrolled by
the free colored men had fought in their ranks under the

A Dastardly Crime 55

name of Swiss, '.. analogy doubtless with those of the
monarchy. I I.. whites represented that the presence of
these slaves, they having tasted of liberty, with arms in
their hands, would have a dangerous 1.. I ; and asked that
11,., be returned to slavery. At these words a colored
11 ..l., Daguin, drew his sword and shouted, 'Drummers!
Beat the General! The war is renewed.' I Ih. whites
immediately yielded.
I i. ,' then proposed the deportation of the Swiss; and
it is unfortunately true that the free men consented, in
spite of the energetic protests of two mulatto :- II. i 11-.
Daguin and Boisrond. It was published that the public
treasury would indemnify the masters of these three hun-
dred slaves. 'I hI. were embarked on the Emmanuel, Cap-
tain Cohnin of Nantes, November 3, 1791, to be taken to
Honduras, furnished with arms, and implements of agri-
culture. I' ....' colored commit series were charged to ac-
company them and advise as to their condition. But the
infamous Captain Colmin, deceived the commissaries and
debarked the unfortunate men upon the shores of Jamaica,
after having tried to sell them. Tlh.. English _.. 1,.r.
indignant at such an outrage, sent them back to Saint
I)omingo, and on their arrival the Colonial Assembly put
them in irons and ..iiI i... them on board a lighter in the
roadstead of the 1..II Some days after, a mob went on
board at night and killed thlie greater part of them and
threw their bodies into the sea.
The general belief was that the Colonial Assembly had
itself organized this execution, for it never pursued the
assassins with .111 seriousness.
"The whites sent to the West about twenty of these
slaves as a proof of the |" il.i of the men of color toward
the blacks."
\\ I1I.- great credit is due the mulatto generals, Daguin
and Boisrond, for I I,. i, earnest I11i. I -. to prevent this crime,
blame must forever attach to those higher in command

Haitian Revolution

who, if they did not approve of it, nevertheless silently
Sylvain says that iIl .. -ii d.i -, after this treaty had been
signed at Port-au-Prince the new decree of the National
Assembly, the decree of September 24, arrived. The treaty
of peace was signed October : and i,. -. i days from that
date would be November 7. Immediately upon the arrival
of this decree which made the whites the sole arbiters of
the free colored man, the whites repudiated their agree-
ment and began criminal proceedings against both men
and women of color. Provost courts were established;
-, .1 .1.. wr erecreted; several prisoners were burned alive.
The free people of color with their troops fled from Port-
au-Prince which was set on I ..I- the people of color say by
the white populace; the whites say by the mulatfoes, the
mulatto women -and this gave .1*II1. r pretext for mas-
T''lm mulatto ,. ir., 1,.. Beauvais, Rigaud, P. i;ii. Lam-
bert and I 'lIi ... I.I, immediately reorganized their army.
All of these --II., I- had served with Count D'I')-I ing in
the American War of Independence. TI. rallied the
slaves in and. around Port-au-Prince and went into camp
near the Croix-des-Bouquets.
I'li. Civil Commissioners who had arrived were Roume,
alkl. I. and Saint Leger. Of these perhaps no one was
well il II- i for so delicate a, position. Arriving in the coun-
try December 5, 1;:1', I II,. proclaimed a general amnesty;
but '1. soon found themselves powerless. The Colonial
Assembly assumed complete control under the decree of
September : and( two of the i ....m.-;..;., r-, hINl,., 1, and
Saint Leger, dissatisfied with their helpless position, left
with the purpose of returning to France to render account
to the National Assembly and to the King, of the fri-.l fitl
situation of Saint Domingo."
T'II. whites, seeing the free colored men again in open
rebellion, moved out to attack their camp. After a battle

Mulattoes Renew the War

of six hours the whites were compelled to yield and re-
treated in disorder to the <(;i'. 'I I.. insurgents then laid
siege to the city and kept it shut up for nearly three
months, or until the Governor-General Bilancehlande, and
the Civil Commissioner Roure, with the Commandant of
the naval station, came to the aid of the besiegers. "I'lI.3
threatened to bombard thle city unless it should surrender.
Being without resources the city opened its gates July 5,
1' :. Rioume as Civil Conmmissioner named the two chiefs
of the confederate insurgents, as they were called, Beauvais
and Rigaud, generals of brigade; or as we should perhaps
say, breveted them brigadier-generals. "i'l. historian as-
serts that to see these colored men made generals was the
only indemnity that the vanquished white colonists had to
pay. lie adds: But the poor slaves had -iII to pay
the cost of the -I1, ._1,. T1, were compelled to resume
their ordinary labor, except that four hundred among
them were freed on condition that they serve during Ir...
years in the gendarmerie and that th. maintain dis-
cipline among the slaves."
"11,.- was ended, so far as active hostilities were con-
cerned, the direct -I i _1. of the free colored men of Saint
Domingo for their rights as citizens. The National As-
sembly on the 2 lthl of A.ii, 1;' *:, while the fight between
the whites and nmulattoes of Port-au-Prince was _..;i- on,
passed the act recited below which P.I iiii. I, settled the
question in favor of the freedmen. The Assembly that
passed this act was not Ithe old Constituent Assembly, but
the new Corps LegislatiE under the Constitution which had
been accepted 1.. Louis XVI. T'Ie decree received the
r.. d, sanction, April 4, 1..'. IHere is the decree as far
as it deals with the present question: "'I'I..r .,lr....1
Assembly .....iIi ;r._ that the public safety, the interest
of the mother country and of the colonies, demand that
means most prompt, and most .-11. n i.... -. be taken to remove
the causes of dissensions .,iri.i; the colonists, to repress the

Haitian Revolution

revolt of the blacks, and to I., -rii.; -, peace; recognizing
that one of the principal causes of these troubles is the
refusal that the people of color, free, met to their demand
for the enjoyment of equal political rights-an equality
that justice, general interest, and promises solemnly re-
newed, ought to assure them. It is therefore recognized
and declared that the free colored men, and free Negroes
ought to enjoy, as the white colonists, '1i ,1lI of political
rights. Decreed as follows:
"Art. 2. I 1. persons of color, inulattoes and Negroes,
free, shall be admitted, as the white colonists, to vote in
all the electoral assemblies, and shall be eligible to all
positions when they have also the requisite ."I li'i. I 11-.
Art. 7. 1 I1,. National Assembly authorizes the Civil
Commissioners to i .1... the public force as 1--.i_ as 1,.,
judge necessary, either for their own safety or for the
execution of the orders necessary to enforce the preceding
Art. 10. The Colonial Assemblies are authorized to
name representatives to present their wishes to the Corps
Legislative (National A ....1i1,)."
I in-. decree which went into i 11. April 4, 1;' ., -. ill 1.
as we have said, the question for which the insurrection
of the South and the West had been inaugurated, and thus
completed the movement begun by Og6 and ('Ci, i i...
1'1,.- free colored people had, on paper at least, gained their
rights. T'.. white colonists, however, were far from being
reconciled to these changes. The newly made citizens were
spoken of in derision as the Citizens of April 4th." On
the 14th of July the event was celebrated at the Cape, the
National Guard giving a banquet to the citizens of color
and free N ...- -. and to the troops of the line. On the
-im, the new citizens returned the compliment. In Port-
au-Prince a celebration was made with great pomp also,
on the 14th of July, but the whites took no part in it.
S1'1,, r were not pleased with the turn .,11 lii had taken.


All the plans Ill had formulated on the basis of the de-
cree of September 24, 1. :' were overturned by this decree
of April 4, 1.; '
Of the celebration of the termination of the war between
the whites and mulattoes the following account of the one
held at the Cape is given '-, an eye-witness: In the
evening the National Guard gave a banquet to the citizens
of color, the free Negroes and the troops of the line. l"' i-
ternity in this celebration triumphed over the pride and
prejudice of race. At Port-a.n-Prinee the Commissioner,
Roume, caused the 14th of July to be celebrated with great
ceremony. I In Negroes and mulattoes attended in great
crowds, the whites refused to take any part in it."
The people of color have gained on I'l" i. as we say,
what they contended for. \\ I Ii now is to become of the
slave in revolt?
11H. 1' I. ;. iil.' already described did not affect the great
revolt carried on in the North by I', ..-iiii L'Ouverture
and his coadjutors; nor did it entirely quiet the South
and the West. I 1,, i. were some slaves who had served
with the Rigaud insurrection other than the Swiss, whose
fate has been related, and there was nothing in the decree
of April 4 for their relief. Were they to lay down their
arms and go back to the plantations ,. ;lI to toil under the
driver's whip with no hope of pay? They decided this
question in the negative at once, and resolved not t. trust
their old enraged masters. Consequently, while the free
colored people were iW;. ;i,.. the ex-slaves held on to
their guns. If the white colonists sulked on the one side,
the black ex-slaves I'..1, ii,. themselves in the mountains
on the other. \\. may remark here that the blacks in the
N.ill, with arms in their hands and the great I'.ii-' iil
L'Ouverture at their head, were absolutely free; masters
of themselves and of the territory they occupied. It was
I11"'i 1. however, with those of the South.
'I'l. Governor of the Colony, Blanchlande, who had

Haitian Revolution

formerly tried to arm the slaves against the free mulattoes,
now tried to call to his aid the newly enfranchised citizens
of color against the slaves in revolt, .,ll r having i.- I. tried
negotiations. In the II.. ii at negotiation the blacks an-
swered in exactly the same terms that had been proposed
by their brethren in the i ..rthl: Three hundred to be im-
mediately emancipated; all to have three days each week
to work for themselves; and cruel punishment to be abol-
ished. Th'I, i. i.1, greatly confused the governor. He was
expected both by the Commissioners and France, to repress
the revolt. iHe next tried a ,i;';."'I demonstration,"
establishing a camp near the revolted slaves. The slaves
met this with. military action and attacked the camp,
increasing their demand now to four hundred who should
be declared free. I ll i ,l inl .I. now organized his force
into the "three classic and traditional columns, right iaj,.
left wing and center," and marched, v. iii drums beating
and standards ll1 .i, to the repression of the "brigands."
On d1i \ in. nigh the \i ... -, the miserable mulattoes
and free Negroes in his corps took panic and ran like fright-
ened .- i:.11 -, leaving the white colonists to ilrhI. the bat-
tle alone and to get the worst drubbing from their Negroes
that had yet come upon them, Blanchlande himself, it is
said, fleeing like a rni ..' -, Negro with the patrol after him.
I'lh. next day, it is said, I',1 :i. hil i..l embarked for the
Cape from ('.i,' swearing that he would no more try to
play the part of a conqueror or pacificator, with those
"damned niggers and mulattoes of the South." Tiin. the
Haitian historians describe H111 i. lil iiil.'s attempt to use
the new citizens against their old allies.
This action of the colored troops called forth severe
denunciation and abuse. The whites of Port-au-Prince
published a circular containing the following bitter words:
"Enemies of Pi n... Philanthropists and Negrophilists!
Know then the miscreants you have armed against us!
What is there in these men of color of such interest that


Valuable Services of Rigaud 61

you would wish to -.i. ;I;,. an entire population of men
useful to the state, and the wealthiest proprietors of the
[FI. i, l empire? 'I'l. hateful issue of debauch, a com-
pound of the vices of the white and the Negro and who have
never possessed any of their virtues. I'I.. are a species
the most, ,iii 1 r ,I. the most ,Ii..l. the most atrocious
of the human race. It is I .i. nil to say whether they are
more abandoned than barbarous."
One more ll..1. at ,,.. i,. i in was made, this time
through Andr6 Rigaud. Hle, in order to pacify the re-
volted slaves, distributed among them seven hundred letters
patent of manumission signed by himself, as he reported
September 16, 1; : ', "in the name of the province of the
South, and in virtue of the powers which to me have been
given." He says further, I have organized these men
into companies of one hundred each, to do service in pro-
tecting the plain and the mountains." lie also inserted
in his report that "when the whil-es had armed the blacks
.Ig ill-I the men of color those blacks as soon as they were
armed threw off the yoke." I'li. blacks as slaves armed,
would not I,1;l against the free mnlattoes; nor would the
mulattoes in turn, aid in repressing the revolt of slaves
-tri._1_iii; only to be free.
By the aid of Andr6 Rligaud then, and by granting to
700 slaves their unconditional freedom instead of the three
hundred as at first demanded, the Negroes were I 111.
The mulattoes failing to aid the whites ii.. 1 I, in their
.Il. 'if- to suppress the revolt of the blacks, the whites
abandoned themselves to foolish denunciation of the new
citizens," while l'i.,r, busied herself about a new Civil
Commission. Of the former commission all had left in
disgust except Roume, and he was powerless. A new com-
mission, or triumvirate-consisting of Polverel, honest
and methodical; Ailhaud, a I,,11;I ; and Sonthonax, an
ilri:izii._e and audacious politician-was appointed to
pacify Saint Domingo. "I'Ic- commission was backed by

Haitian Revolution

a strong i1,;1;I -. force. Sonthonax landed at the Cape,
September 17, 1792, with 6,000 European troops. Be-
sides these troops, Rloclhambeau brought about an equal
number, and also called from 11 ,t unique a contingent of
from I '.II to 2,000. Altogether there was an expedition
of about 14,000 European soldiers and a strong II. I; all
for Ihe purpose of quieting this torn and rent colony, and
to sustain the policy marked out 1., tie new commission.
"I I- Commissioners were charged to impress upon the free
colored men the great '..... '-, which they had received and
which had established them in all their rights of liberty and
equality; to lead them as a mark of gratitude, to aid in
the conservation of prosp1 ;I and the establishment of
moral and social order; and to the respect that they should
never lose, toward those who had ll I. 1 them out of the
state of servitude. I II1 Commissioners were to persuade
the white colonists to elevate the free colored men to the
same standing as their own by the mutual guarantee of
the possessions of each, and of their private and public
security; and also to have them aid in the "repression of
the seditious movements of the slaves."
ITere, then, were three elements seeking to ally them-
selves in solid opposition to the slaves in revolt, to wit:
1I .I. iii European soldiers; the white colonists; and the
mulattoes, or rather the free colored people. I'i. -I
trouble the Commission met with came from the whites,
who were opposed to meeting the colored people on terms
of equality.
The situation of I'..n- iln L'Ouverture at the juncture
described in the preceding chapter became critical in the
extreme. As there had been no common understanding
between him and [' mi-,1. and as the two insurrections had
moved upon widely separated, though parallel lines, T..' -
saint was I' 11 to infer that the whole force at the disposal
of the new Commissioners might now be employed against
him. TI',, he had now a respectable army which had

Proslavery Utterances

been under arms and in training for a year, but he was
not prepared to cope with the 14,000 European soldiers,
and the colonial militia, including now the troops of
Bcnito Sylvain gives September 17, 1792, as the date
of the arrival of the new Commission who were to pacify
Saint Domingo. A decree dated August 10 of the same
year declared traitors to the country all bodies, whether
civil or military, and all citizens, who refused obedience to
the Commissioners. So far this would place 'Toussaint
L'Ouverture and his followers in the category of rebels iC
1, did not at once submit to the authority of the Coom-
mission. But as ths li Commission was direct from the
mother country which at that time was moving so r il1ll.,
toward liberty, equality and fraternity, it might be asked:
Why should not '1.....- .li submit his cause to their arbit-
rament? 'I'..i- ni0 was at the head of a body of slaves
in revolt, and the Commnission on the day of their arrival
published the following proclamation: Invariably at-
tached to the laws that we have come to execute, we de-
clare in the name of the National Assembly and of the
KiniI. that we will know henceforth but two classes of ienn
in the ..1-., of Saint Domingo: citizens, without any dis-
tinction of color; and slaves."
1'.,- 1-i,~1 1/Ouverture understood by this that himself
and his army were at present the sole objective.
To remove all doubt from his mind the Colonial As-
sembly held a session in the church at the Cape on Sep-
ternber 20, in which the president of the Assembly called
upon the Commissioners then present to declare their pol-
icy. We are in your hands," said the I.'i -;d. .I, "as a
vessel of clay that you can crush in a moment. It is then
"''l'"lin!. for you to know now a very important truth
badly understood '., the Civil \ i.i..I .ii .., ... 1, -.
your predecessors. This truth recognized finally by the
Constituent Assembly is, that there can be no agriculture

Haitian Revolution

in Saint Domingo without slavery; that there has not been
sought and purchased from the coast of Africa five hun-
dred thousand savage slaves to enter them into the colony
in the capacity of I'i. ii. I, citizens; that their existence
as freemen is physically incompatible with the existence
of your fellow I':i'.', ,I'-."
One of the Comnuissioners, Polverel, I, .l.,;Ii._ to this
said, "I declare to you in the name of my colleagues with-
out fear of being disavowed -I declare to you in my own
behalf, that if, as is impossible the \ ii..ii I Assembly
should change in any way the state of your movable prop-
erty, I would immediately give up my mission and return
to the hands of the nation all the power they have con-
fided to me, rather than to have myself made an accom-
plice in an error so fatal to the colony."
Another member of the Commission, Sonthonax, added:
"We declare that never was it the intention of the Na-
tional Assembly to abolish slavery; and if this ;.--. ni1 y,
misled should attempt its abolition we would oppose it
with all our power."
And yet within one month these Commissioners will
suppress this Colonial Assembly because the men of color
are not represented, an act which they will perform con-
sistently with their instructions and their declarations;
but who could anticipate that soon afterwards s"IIIIIIa.i
would wish to play the part of Emancipator?
Toussaint L'Ouverture well knew the jealousy that ex-
isted between France and Spain with reference to their
colonies on the island of Saint Domingo. France coveted
the eastern part still occupied by the Spanish; Spain be-
grudged I'i.1.. the western part, believing the whole
island hers by the high right of discovery. I :. i-,i
that forethought which ever marked his career, I'..ui-.-nt.
carefully sounded the Spanish authorities and took pains
to incite within them feelings of friendliness toward him-
self and his men.

Toussaint Joins Spain

lI ,. continued to join his standard and his army was
now formidable in numbers at least.
In this state of things I..u- iin L'Ouverture with a
considerable number of his best men, crossed the frontier
into Spanish territory, soon .ill ri the arrival of the for-
eign force described above, and there in security, applied
himself diligently with the aid of the Spaniards, in per-
fecting himself in military knowledge and also in improv-
ing his army. lie continued to live in this state of
brigandage until January, 1I .', when the news arrived
that war had been declared between France and Spain.
T..'-- ,inl. then, with his force entered the service of Spain
and found himself an .. 1;.. r in the Spanish army, with all
the rights and emolumnents of such I....;ll..I. a brigadier-
general in a civilized national army with an armed, trained
and experienced command. Toussaint L'Ouverture, Bias-
sou, and .I1 IiI-l' ... all became generals in the Spanish
army; and by their military successes proved their right
to the uniform and the honor of their grade.
IT..i--..i Ii L'Ouverture remained in the service of Spain
until April 6, 1794. During that time important events
political and military were enregistering themselves in the
history of the Colony. The min sister of thle Colonial M1 i-
rine addressed two letters to the Civil Commissioners, the
one dated I. I.ri, ,r I ', 1 :, the other I. I. 11 ., 'i;, 1793.
I'lT tiri-I of these called upon the Commissioners to employ
the men of color to defend the colony; the second advised
that the brigands noirs be employed also with these colored
men, in the conquest of the Spanish part of the island.
O.,-,li,' fi-orm the latter of these letters, the minister said:
" You must regard and treat the Spaniards as enemies;
you must employ all possible means to take away from
them that portion of this island whose lands languish with-
out cultivation in their idle hands. Let those who are
without means in Saint P..I.I11,. move into the Spanish
part where Ih.-y will find lands that they can render fertile.

66 Haitian Revolution

Arouse the men of color to arm themselves against these
new enemies. See if it is not possible to attract the Ne-
groes in revolt against the Spanish. Consult with those
whom ,..n be lieve are able to give salutary advice; consult
the circumstances and the public mind; these ..ill serve
as guides." I li the French minister '1..,I, wrote in
the hope of winning the revolted slaves to the side of
On the 22d of I. 1 .1 .11 between the dates of these two
French letters the Spanish I.... IPedro Acuna gave
instructions to Ion Joachim (iarcia, the governor of the
Spanish colony-the same I)on Joachim who surrendered
Og6 and ('1, i i.....- that ihe should .. ,I.l, with "the
greatest promptitoude 1 i1i. I i, and dissimulation the
necessary means to gain and. ally to our part the \' oi,.
and mulattoes in revolt." lie mentions especially Jcan-
I i ... and Hlyacinth, and directs that the governor fur-
nish them necessary help and assure them of ... 1 protec-
tion and to promise to both '. I,, .... and mulattoes alike
in the name of Tis 11 ijesty for the present and ever here-
after, the liberties, exemptions, enjoyments and preroga-
tives of his -,l... I "
i ... I .!1 L'Ouverture transmitted these propositions of
the Spanish government, and it was in consequence of them
thit lie was able to hold his army and to draw away so
iri prominent men from the service of France. I I,-
..i' I-. of Spain were clear and definite and were imme-
diately put into 1 !11'. 'l.The revolted slaves became at
once Spanish soldiers. T'.'..- III I.l .1 his part so well
that men of distinction, whites, Negroes and rmulattoes fol-
lowed himi in the service of Spain, which by him was made
to appear as service in favor of royalty and legitimacy, as
against republicanism and license. In June, 1;:.:, I ,.,-
ing to propositions made '., M. \, i ily in chief command
of the cordon of the West, he said:

Replies to Neuilly 67

"The commander-in-chief an(d iiT of the army en-
camped in the Bason Caiman, in the name of the army re-
plies to M. N .,illy, commander-in-chief of the cordon of
the \\. I, and to l ..... signatory--that the said army is
under the protection and subject to the orders of His Cath-
olic M1 .i ; con sequently I., can never treat with the
Civil Commissioners of whom they know neither the au-
thority nor powers; declaring besides, that having up to
the present., i ..;i ly with others of their brothers, fought
to sustain the cause of 1..., 11 / they will shed the last drop
of their blood in the defense of the Bourbons to whom they
have promised inviolable Ii11. 11i i to death.
I, 'i T L'OUVJERTUlRE, General of the Army.
i...-., Brigadier of the armies of the King.
I',.'~ \l jor.
B fASSOU, Governor-General.
G AlBA Colonel.
"In Camp Bason Caimnan, June "., 1793."

Rigaud's forces during this period were operating with
the Commission as against the forces of the Colonial As-
sembly but not against the slaves in revolt. To that extent
they could be counted with the 14, I European troops, but
it had been already proved that they could not be relied
upon to aid in repressing the blacks. The Commission,
I" i .'1- with a view of attaching these colored allies more
r.III,1, t heir cause, on October 12, 1;'.', suppressed the
Colonial Assembly because colored men were not repre-
sented in it, aln constituted a Commission Intermediaire
composed of twelve persons, six whites and six colored.
I I. C(omm issioners were now ,. i, greatly dependent upon
the colored chiefs.
It will be opportune here to relate the .i11' ir of Galbaud,
forming as it does an important i ...I. t;i.: link in the
chain of events which are now l.,-ii-ig before us. In the

68 Haitian Revolution

.1I',ii- of 1 1: '. I1 In..' met the I'I Coalition with a
declaration of war against I., i ,I i,, the \1 ..I iI .1. -. and
Spain; and pursuant to their purpose M. (: ill,..d, an
eminent artillery officer, was sent to Saint Domingo with
full powers to put that colony in a state of defense. IIe
arrived at the Cape with his suite, May 6, 1;', and was
received j.. ....I by the colonists who thought le would
exalt the inil; ,1 authority above that of the Commission.
lie came in the irlIl.r of ,Il I;1 ,,I governor. Unfor-
tunately for (albaud himself, and perhaps for the colony,
lie was a proprietor in Saint Domingo and was classed as
a, creole, not colored for the word at that time did not
signify exclusively persons of color. I'l.. r. was a law in
existence in the -..l.I.. which prohibited any proprietor
from exercising such public ..Ii.. as governor of the col-
ony. 'I I1- law was invoked by the Commission and Gal-
baud was obliged to resign. lie immediately embarked on
one of the ships in the harbor.
On the same day that ( illn .II embarked a vessel ar-
rived in the harbor having on board a score of colonists,
malcontents, and a squad of soldiers, all of whom the Con-
missioners were sending to France that they might learn
how to lose their Ip.ij1n.l'' of color." A dispute having
arisen on the wharf between an ..i:i. r of this vessel and
a colored man, the white marines rallied to their comrade
and demanded that the colored man be punished. I'.-
Commissioners replied that no one would be punished until
it was determined who was in the wrong. 'I'l. excited
inhabitants of the city then induced (General Galbaaud to
debark with a number of seamen. I I. free colored men
and many slaves arose to face this force and to sustain the
Commissioners. A colored .Iii.. r whose name is not .;,. n.
ordered one of Rochamrbeau's regiments to take place in
the defense. T' I,, regiment refused to ..1. ,, and the -.IIi. r
was spoken of as having the color of caf, au lait. The
r., ._itu. ,il then in chorus under arms declared that the

Whites Betray the Colony 69

decree of April 4 ought not to have the force of law and
that the massacre of the men of color was necessary to
the well-being of the colony." A general It broke
out which lasted two .1i ., during which hundreds were
slain and Cape F:, ,i....;- at that time the most beautiful
city of the Antilles, almost, totally destroyed '., iir.. Such
is the account related .1ii1. .11 I... Sonthonax cited from
Ardouin '., Sylvain. I Ii- event prepared the N\..' li to ac-
quiesce in an act of I" i..l, now to be related. As a last
resort the colonists of the South and the West, who had
been as they thought especially outraged ',', the National
.A .. n1.1, in its conferring equal rights upon their colored
sons, sought to turn thio .r1e,. over to the i.I,1.-ll. The
more wealthy planters of the "rth believing this act of the
Assembly to be a fatal blow to slavery were also quite ready
to assent to so unworthy an act, and the .a ,, i;'1 ,i iio at the
Cape rendered them entirely complacent to such purpose.
Accordingly in C, i.1. !. .-, 1793, after much preliminary
correspondence, a solemn agreement was entered into be-
tween the I'',,. ,, through the governor of Jamaica and
M. I ',. iiIiL acting for the colonists. 'IlI- treaty was
; r., .1 September 3, and in it the I.:I, I gran ted about all
the colonists asked as the reader will see by examining the
treaty the full text of which is here annexed. TI'I. paper
was accepted '... Governor Williamson and signed by him at
his home in Jamaica whither it had been carried by M.
( ,,1i O.,y.

Terms of Capitulation proposed by the Inhabitants of
La Grande Anse (;..,'.'':,... ithe Quarter of Jeremie)
represented by .11..-'. de Charmilly possessed of f/1
Powers by a Commission from the Council of Public
Safety of the /fi.. .;.7 Place, .,i, ,I the lll,. of August,
.1 '' and presented to Hlis .F.. .I. /. 1,, IL., r-General
11ri/,i.....,.. His 1/.,. .iy's Lieutenant-Governor of Ja-
i d ,,. for his Acceptance.

Haitian Revolution

(First ..r:. ;ol paper of the British expedition to Raint '..,. ;,,,r -
ART. I. That the proprietors of Saint Domingo, de-
prived of all recourse to their lawful sovereign, to deliver
them from the i-., ii under which l11. now groan, im-
plore the protection of his Britannic \1 i. ly, and take the
oath of fidelity and allegiance to him, and supplicate himi to
take their colony under his protection, and treat them as
good and faithful subjects till a general peace, at which
period tl. shall be in ill., subjected to the terms then
agreed upon between his Britannic Il I' i.y, the Government
of France and the \ II, I Powers, with respect to the sover-
eignty of Saint Domingo.- Answer. Granted.
Aa II. Tl1 i till order and tranquillity are restored at
Saint Domingo, the Governor appointed by his Britannic
M ,.i .:.r shall have full power to regulate and direct what-
ever measures of if. I, and police lie shall judge proper.-
Answer. Granted.
ART. 111. That no one shall be molested on account of
any anterior disturbances, except those who are legally ac-
cused in some court of justice, of having committed murder,
or of having destroyed property '., i-., or of having insti-
gated others to commit those crimes.--Answer. G ranted.
ART. IV. 1I I, i. the M\1,l ... shall have the privileges
, li..- .1 by that class of people in the British islands.-
Answer. Granted.
AnT. V. I I, i. if, at the conclusion of the war, the
..1.. ,, remains under the sovereignty of his Britannic Maj-
esty, and order be established therein; in such case, the laws
'r. -1I I I'...." i ',,, and all civil rights which were in
force in the said colony before the revolution in France,
shall be preserved; nevertheless, until a colonial assembly
can be formed, his Britannic \1 j. I.y shall have the right of
d1, 1. iI;I.-- provisionally upon any measures which the
general good and the tranquillity of the colony may require;
but that no assembly shall be called, until order is estab-
lished in every part of the colony; and, till. that period, his

The Treaty 71

Britannic M ..i. -I,' governor shall be assisted in all the de-
tails of administration and police by a committee of six per-
sons, which he shall have the power of choosing from among
the proprietors of the three provinces of which the colony
consists.- Answer. Granted.
Anr. VI. T1. 1, in consequence of the devastations
which have taken place in the colony by insurrections, i,; ,
and pillage, the :. ... I ir.. appointed by his in, i. -ly, on tak-
ing possession of the colony, to satisfy the demand of the
inhabitants in these respects, shall be authorized to grant,
for the payment of debts, a suspension of ten years, which
shall be computed from the date of the surrender; and the
suspension of all interest upon the same shall begin from
the period of the 1st of An .I.. I. 1:' ., and terminate at the
expiration of the ten years granted for the I '"i' iI. of
debts; but all sums due to minors by their ..- 1; Ii or to
absent planters '., those who have the management of their
property, or from one planter to another for the transfer
of l'..|.. 11., are not to be included in the above suspension.
-Answer. Granted.
ART. VII. TI1 ii the duties of importation and exporta-
tion upon all 1:'l...' II l col1nunodities shall be the same as in
the English colonies.- Answer. (ranted. In conse-
quence, the I iil' shall be made public and .,tii..., that
everyone may be acquainted tlhrewith.
ART. VIII. That the manufactures of white sugars
shall preserve the right of exporting their I, 1 -.,ijr;.
subject to such regulations as it may be necessary to make
with respect to them.- Answer. G ranted. In conse-
quence, the duties upon white sugars shall be the same as
were taken in the colony of Saint Domingo, in 1; -'i
ART. IX. That the catholic religion shall be preserved
and maintained but that no other mode of evangelic worship
shall be excluded.- Answer. Granted. On condition that
such priests as have taken the oath prescribed by the per-
sons exercising the powers of Government in 1'1 Fii., shall
be sent .. ,, and replaced '. others,

Haitian Revolution

AnT. X. I I. local taxes to acquit the expenses of gar-
risons, and of the administration of the colony, -11 ll be as-
sessed in the same manner as in 1;. ', except the alleviations
and remittances which shall be granted to the inhabitants
whose i.... I 1 has -,Il. I I. by il. till their possessions are
repaired. An account shall be kept by the ..1,, of all the
sums advanced on the part of Great Britain, for -.1.'I1 in;
the 1. i. i .. as well as all the public expenses of the I..l..-,,
(except those of his majesty's naval forces, destined for its
protection) I II, .1 .. I be defrayed ',., the said ..1J. .
Answer. Granted.
ART. XI. lis Britannic \M 'y -ly's Governor of Saint
Domingo, shall i.I1. to the Spanish government, to obtain
restitution of the Negroes and cattle sold in the Spanish
territory by the revolted slaves.- Answer. Granted.
AR.T. X I. The importation in American bottoms, of
provision, cattle, I i,, and wood, of every kind, from the
United States of America, shall be allowed at Saint Do-
mingo.--Answer. (ranted. On condition that the Amer-
ican -1;1,-, which shall be 'li.1.,. .1 in this trade, shall have
...1, one deck; and this importation shall be allowed only as
long as it shall appear necessary for the r. -1 Ili 11. iirl or
subsistence of the colony, or until measures have been taken
for putting it in this respect upon the same footing as other
English colonies; and an exact account shall be kept of the
said vessels, with the description of the ,i i... -, and shall
be transmitted every three months to the Right Honorable
the Lords Commissioners of his M I I. I /'s treasure, as well
as to one of the principal Secretaries of State; and on no
account whatever shall i,., of the said vessels be allowed to
take in return any production of the colony, except molasses
or rum.
ART. XII. .'.... part of the aforesaid conditions shall
be considered as a restriction to the power of the parliament
of Great Britain, to regulate and determine the political
government of the colony.- Answer. Granted,

CITHA:I 1il. V


Promptness of the English--Straits of the Commission-
Sonthonax proclaims emancipationt -Situation of the colony-
Toussaint's proclaimation--ll lish account of the invasion-
Rapid occupation by the IEnglis --(attile of Tiburon-- Rein-
forcemnents- Port-al-Prince taken --Colored deputies sent to
Prance- Their reception Abolition of slavery -An old man's
letter Desertions to Toussaint -- To ussaint'ils motives Balanc-
ing between two powers -Toussaint never a, Frenchman or Span-
iardl--Not affected by Southonax's proclamation ---_ ... .....
presses the French- An ally of 'I i .... -- Ca,ptures onaivs -
Returns to the French service-H-is letter -- The colored soldiers
now the real force on the Island.

TTTE agreement between :I ,I i,,. and the colonists en-
tered into in 1 i,1) I,! 17193, was so far anticipated or so
|I,..ill followed up that immediately II I the conflagra-
tion at the Cape, the English had td went y-two vessels off the
coasts of Saint, DI)omingo and were prepared to occupy those
posts which the Colonists were preparing to deliver up to
them. The Commissioners, learning of this agreement and
of the proposed I I ;.n. wereI in their 111rn reduced to a
most -II ; r.- situation. I ..i- iI was safe over Ihe Span-
ish border, and his army was enrolled as auxiliaries of
Spain, while he and two of his companions were commis-
sioned as generals. Ilis troops were armed, .I',." ..1, paid
and fed; consequently lhe could await events.
It was very .,l I. i. with tlie Commission. Ailhaud had
left for II'. ..; Polverel went to Port-au-Prince to look
after the West and South, while Sonthonax remained at

74 Haitian Revolution
the Cape with about one thousand European troops and
seven or eight hundred colored militia. Sonthonax is now
in a crisis. The supporters of the Colonial Assembly have
gone over to the English; the European force has weakened;
the Spaniards are pressing from the eastern end of the Is-
land, and the English are landing in the West and South.
In this extremity, Sonthonax, on the "'-I of August,
f..,._. i11, the promises and oaths lie had made in the
Colonial Assembly, issued his proclamation, "that every
kind of slavery is abolished in Saint Domingo and that the
Negroes were thenceforward to consider themselves and to
be considered free citizens." Sonthonax indulged the hope
that this movement would bring to the Commission the
force necessary to withstand both the Spanish and the Eng-
lish. As for the white troops, they had gone over in large
measure in l11 1r at least, to the colonists.
Thus far the slave insurrection headed by I'..-- il. and
his coadjutors had been everywhere successful. The slaves
were still in the i. 1.1 and had been transformed into an
.i .I.. It.l army, recognized in the service of Spain, and were
henceforth bound by the laws of civilized warfare. In order
to get a correct view of the situation at this time, it will
be necessary to examine a little more minutely the political
movements going on in Saint Domingo, as well as those on
a grander scale which were ill.. l, t(he destinies of I1 i i..
I'l. situation in the colony ii, be I.r11, 1, described.
There were three parties, all armed and belligerent. I'l,, r
were, iin -. the irreconcilable whites, who, because of their
prejudice of race and their pro-slavery inclinations, were
seeking to betray the colony into the hands of the Il'iilr-li.
\\ 11, these, so far as the history shows, there were prac-
tically no colored people. I'll. center of this i_-_r. i ..n
was the old Colonial Assembly. Secondly, there were the
partisans of the Civil Commissioners. "I i. -. were loyal to
the Republic of l'i iir ., and had in the field a strong army,
as we have seen, composed of both Europeans and native

T',u..,,ainl's Proclamation 75

soldiers. In this army the bulk of the free colored men
were enrolled; the chief places were occupied by the col-
ored generals. I 1,11, ii, there was 1..i-'I..III1. and his host,
now in the service of Spain.
On the same day that Sonthonax issued his forced proc-
lamation of .....i i ii., I'. ,I-....IIII L'Ouverture issued his
proclamation from his camp on Spanish territory addressed
to the slaves of the North.

"In Camp Turel, August 7?' 1793.
" BROTHERS AND 1',1 Ii :
"I am I i.... I.i L'Ouverture; my name is perhaps
known to you. I have undertaken to avenge your wrongs.
It is my desire that liberty and equality shall reign in Saint
Iomingo. I am striving to this end. Come and unite with
us, brothers, and combat with us for the same cause.
"Your very humble and very obedient servant,
"Signed: '1'I \I T L'OIUvEI r'UR
General for the public welfare."

About this time 1', ii. .. was invaded on all sides and her
situation, declares 11. Duruy, seemed desperate. "'Il may
have helped to bring about the concession of Sonthonax.
The object in emancipating the slaves at this time, as we
have ii, was to create soldiers of them to resist England;
and also to draw ['...ii- rii-, army from Spain.
'I II- colleague of Sonthonax, Polverel, was not in accord
with this proclamation, believing that it transcended the
1I'%" -,. of the Civil Commission, and belonged properly to
the National Assembly. He yielded however, -, ;ii, no
other way out of the dilemma; and called upon the col-
onists of the South and the West to concur by personally
.-.. ;[pliw:.. their slaves. Some time later came the fa-
mous decree of the National Assembly abolishing slavery
t .,,,1.._Il the colonies and making all the inhabitants,

Haitian Revolution

without distinction of color or origin, citizens of the French
"1'. actual invasion of the Island by the British and their
partial occupation for the space of i.. years caused
prodigious changes in the relations of the various warring
elements and contributed -11, to the evolution and dis-
,pl-, of the wonderful talents which subsequently attained
ascendency in the person of the black General I'...1-- 111.
L'Ouverture. Although with him and to be mentioned are
others, both Negroes and mulattoes of uncommon ability
and heroism. I state the account of the I',,i,-Ii invasion
abridged, from English sources.
The '::ll, l account of the invasion begins with the de-
scription of the forming of the armament at Jamaica, which
consisted of the I ..1 and a part of the I'l i regiments of in-
fantry, and a detachment of artillery numbering 870 men.
On the 19th of September a division of this army took pos-
session of Jeremie. Lieu tenant-Colonel \\lIII... I com-
manded the land forces above described; he was joined by
Commodore I"',.ri who commanded the naval station at
Jamaica. On the 22nd the NIM.h. St. Nicholas was taken,
the town back of it refusing to capitulate. Attempting to
take the neighboring port to Jeremie, Colonel Whitlocke
was repulsed with a loss of twenty men and his troops be-
came disheartened. General \\ 11, II. .,, then sent some
enforcement from Jamaica, viz., the remainder of the I'n l
..;im., l. the :1, h regiment and the 1st battalion of the
Royals. Having taken the provinces of St. 11 r1., Arcahayo
and. Bouccassin, on the 2d I'. 1,111 I 179 an attack was
made on I I..nii which was stormed and i i .i.. .1 by Brit-
ish troops under the command of Colonel Spencer. This
gave the British the command of the whole bight of Leo-
gane, and 11, now awaited '.i .,l i.ii, I, ir. i. ,,. ,i
that they might attack and capture Port-au-Prince. It was
from this point that Colonel Whitlocke attempted to bribe
General Laveaux to surrender Port-de-Paix by an offer of
5,000 pounds sterling.

Battle of Tiburon

I'P1w fort of L'Acul near Leogane was next I i i. I', 1.1 1-
ary 14, with the loss of two British -., .. -, Captain \..i -
head of the 20th Grenadiers and Lieutenant (' 1 i,. I. of the
62nd Infantry. Soon after this one ofr the lieutenants of
Rigaud with I 111 men attempted to retake L'Aeul but was
repulsed by British and colonial troops under the command
of Baron de N.1. i I ,!. t. I. R,, igaud him self also attacked
Tiburon but was defeated, although the British lost -, men,
and the colonists about 100.1
At this time ( \1 19, 1, 1 ) reinforeenints cnme to the
British. Three vessels, the B. '.'.' .. the Irresistible and
1 The report of the Battle of 'Tilron was made by the Chevalier
do Sevre who commanded on the occasion. IIis report was ad-
dressed to Colonel Wiitloeke, commander-in-chief of the British
troops in Saint )Domingo, and is dated Tiburon, April 7, 1794. Tie
says: "At 3.30 in the morning lmy advance post placed at Vigie,
was surprised by an army of brigands, at least 2,000, who had
with them two four-pound I, i i ;.'" at the same time they
surrounded the fort and the town. The brigands had all in their
favor; they eould see the fort and commanded it from all points,
and as it was dark we could not see tlhemi. The combat lasted
about two hours when two caissons of powder took fire in the
grand battery and entirely dismounted it, blowing the cannons
clear out of the fort. This unfortunate event killed or wounded
twenty men and! for a moment I ..... .. I the garrison. I i
soon recovered, however, and reopened a vigorous lire upon the
enemy. I then ordered some negroes under John Kina to go out
upon the road along the river; they combated with the brigands
and forced them to retire to the iills.
I then went out with about 200 men, negroes and whites, and
marched to the side of the town, i. Iii. my troops into two
columns, giving the command of one to M. Philbert, and myself
at the head of the other. I made a, circuit to the rear of the
enemy and tried to seize their pieces, but the first column not
having come up in time the brigands succeeded in carrying away
their cannons.
I had about 100 men victims of the combat, of whom 30 were
killed in the place, and 100 wounded, of whom many have died.
The I.,i:r_ I,- troop conducted itself with the courage which char-
acterizes it everywhere.

Haitian Revolution

the I''', arrived in the harbor of St. Nicholas, rin';t_' the
22d, the 23d and the 41st regiments of infantry under
the command of Brigadier-General \\ 1, 1'. T I.. -. troops
had come from Guadeloupe and were seasoned veterans.
General WL I having landed his sick at St. Nicholas, took
on board 160 men of the garrison and proceeded toward
Port-au-Prince to cooperate with Commodore I'..r i who was
then holding the city in blockade. The il., I now under
command of Commodore I.'. Id comprised four ships of the
line the E.. ...... the P ;. .. the Irresistible and the
Sceptre, and four or five smaller vessels. The land forces
under command of General \\ \I, I,. were I, TI.'. rank and Ill.
fit for duty and 2,000 colonial troops. On the morning of
May 31, a II., was sent demanding the surrender. On the
4th of June, 1794, the outposts being taken, Colonel Spencer
of 11I, advance guard was approaching the city when he was
informed by a mulatto woman that the city was evacuated.
In the harbor were twenty-two vessels laden with sugar, in-
digo and ... ii., thirteen of which were from three to five
hundreds tons burden, and seven thousand tons of shipping
in ballast. It is reported that the party .. i.iir;. car-
ried away a vast amount of valuable property. 'I F.. Com-
missioners, soon .Ill. r in obedience to a decree of the Na-
tional Assembly passed July 16, 1;' :, which discontinued
their returned to France.
While the i Ii. 1. I.1 colonists were trying to turn over to
England the territory which their adventurous predecessors
had forced from Spain, those citizens white and colored,
who were **... i in'''g with the Civil Commission and who
were loyal to France, managed in the midst of the turbu-
lence to hold an election in accordance with the decree of
April 4, 17!)2. I'l. deputies were chosen to represent the
colony in the National Assembly, called at that time the
Convention, and as the inI .r ;l., of those .,1lli;.:" with the
Commission were the newly enfranchised colored men
the deputies chosen were two colored and one white. The

Port-au-Prince Taken

deputies were, Belley, %. -i... who had purchased his
freedom; I.l-, a man of color, and Dl.,, white. '..,.-
ing is known of the previous life of these men, or even of
their after career; but we have a, ,. graphic account of
their reception 1., the Convention, cited from the .Ihl 1i1
record by Benito S ylvain which I here translate.
I iI, RIEPORlri .-'Citizens: Your committee on cre-
dentials has i. il -.I the powers of the deputies of Saint
Domingo as national deputies. I move that they be ad-
mitted to seats in the Convention.'
(The three deputies of Saint Domingo entered the hall.
The black face of Belley, and the yellow face of 1 111., called
forth applause several times repeated.)
LActOlX (1-.. ... and Loire)--' The assembly has wished
to have in its midst some men of color, so many years op-
pressed. To-day we have two of them. I move that their
introduction be signalized by the fraternal embrace of the
T'l.-, motion was adopted in the midst of acclamations.
T'1. three deputies advanced toward the President, and re-
ceived the fraternal kiss. Ti', hall again resounded with
'I', next morning the r.,' Belley delivered a speech
in the Convention in which lie ....1 the Convention to
cause the colonies to i, i.. to the full thie '" Tr I of liberty
and equality. His speech was warmly applauded and at its
close Lavesseur said:
"' I ask that the Convention do not .,; 1.1 one moment to
enthusiasm, but remaining iii n to the principles of justice
and faithful to the declaration of the rights of man, decree
from this moment that slavery is abolished in all the terri-
tories of the Rlepublic. Saint Domingo is a part of the
territories of the Republic and slavery still exists there.'
"LAcuoX -' In preparing the Constitution for the
French people we have failed to think or the i 'II|.,'
N., -in, .. .I, ;I .. will have -i. ,i cause to reproach us in

Haitian Revolution

this respect. Let us remedy this wrong. Let us proclaim
the freedom of the blacks. M r. President, do not allow
the Convention to dishonor itself by discussion.'
'I I, assembly rose up and voted by acclamation. The
President pronounced the abolition of slavery in the midst
of great applause and shouts of, 'Vive la Republique!'
SVive la Convention! '
The two colored deputies were embraced amid great en-
thusiasm. Lacroix conducted them again to the President
who again gave them the fraternal kiss.
GAnMON -' A citizen of color who attends regularly the
sessions of the Convention was so overcome with joy in see-
ing liberty accorded to all his brethren, as for a time to be
unconscious. (Applause.) I ask that this fact be entered
upon the minutes, and that that citizen be admitted to the
session and receive at least this recognition of his civic vir-
I'I. proposition was adopted.
"The citizen appeared wiping tears from his ;, and
took a seat on the bench of the amphitheater on the left of
the President.
"N- move that the Almi-i. of \1 1i. make all
necessary arrangements to < ', to the colonies the happy
news of their emancipation.'
"'I I.-, brought about a discussion. Lacroix ;r.ll, of-
fered the following substitute which was adopted.
"'The National Convention declares the abolition of
slavery in all the colonies; and in consequence it decrees
that all men without distinction of color, domiciled in the
colonies, are French citizens, en'., :.;ii- all the rights assured
by the Constitution.'
Returned to the Committee of Public Safety for them
to report immediately upon the measures necessary for the
execution of the present decree."
Thus on the 4th of February, 1794, while the majority of
the slaves were in revolt either as soldiers of Spain with


IT.- i-.'iit or fighting with Rigaud and his coadjutors
against the I:.J1i-lI, the National Convention -,.1. iwi1,
abolished slavery in Saint Domingo. I'1I.-. appears to us
now, looking back upon it if I events have crystallized, as
almost a work of supererogation. It is to be admitted, how-
ever, that the rabid colonists were able to nil..., some of
their slaves in behalf of English ... I ili;"I. and also that
the EI':.- Il- were also able to hire some and enroll them as
A few d ,, after the passage of this emancipation decree
the Convention gave a popular reception and in the proces-
sion Iliii,;l by the bar of the Convention appeared three
Negroes from \1 l i i-.. of remarkable stature and :i.-
pearance. Stepping out of the line they laid a letter on
the table, ,I. ;i : We were not able to bring this sooner;
the royalist authorities prevent colored people from leav-
ing the Antilles."
'I I. President of the Assembly took the letter and caused
it to be read. It ran thus:

"I am a Negro. It is said in the Antilles that we are
not worthy to be I'i. i I n. ,n. I am ;. 11,-.iir. years old,
broken '., thirty years of slavery and iiil years of labor.
I am too old to I ;Ii. I must die without seeing France.
I send you my three sons; 1,. -, are ..I ; they are strong;
they will perform their duty valiantly. 0, you who have
no prejudices! You who have proclaimed the Declaration
of the Rights of \I I Accept this gift of a father. I
supplicate you to receive my sons in ..,.ir ranks; they wish
to share their blood for the country. An old man will bless

On the reading of this letter the Assembly and the crowd
shouted \ I .. la Republique! Vive les Noirs! 'I I1
young men were enrolled as volunteers, to lose themselves in
the awful maelstrom of war to which the nation was rapidly

Haitian Revolution

. | .r.1..1 i.Ii_ leaving behind them not even the records of
of their names.
It will be necessary to return in our narrative again
to the stirring happenings of Saint Domingo. We left
the colonists with what ''.,roes they still held in slavery, with the I 1'- -l, against the Commissioners
and their army of free colored men. 1..,-- iii.r with his
army, now clothed, armed and fed, is in the service of
Spain and has published a manifesto declaring the willing-
ness of himself and his -1 .i' to shed the last drop of their
blood for the Bourbons. The I'.l'., of the Civil Commis-
sioners had established a line of defense extending from
some point north of Port-au-Prince to the 11. 1l.. .1 ..... of
Cape I', ii, ..i-. I'i. part of the line, designated the Cor-
don of the West, was under the command of M. Neuilly, to
whom. Toussaint directed his memorable reply. Instead
of winning :1 .. -..Inii to the cause of F',, I ..., M '. ,illy
shortly afterward deserted to the blacks. IHe was followed
in this course by the mulatto Brandicourt, who succeeded to
the command of the line. Other important .. .... white,
black and colored, deserted the service of the Commissioners
and took service with ...-I ni combating as he pro-
fessed, on behalf of i.. il. ; but with the primary purpose
of "making liberty and equality reign in Saint Domingo."
I'I. services of I'..11-. Ini in behalf of Spain continued
for more than a year. lte entered the Spanish territory not
later than '\.. i,., 1;'1:; himself and men were warmly
welcomed by the Spanish, and although classed as brigands
II,.. carried on a kind of desultory warfare for eight or ten
months, one authority before becoming regularly en-
rolled as auxiliary troops. I I, period of regular service ex-
tends from \1 I,. I, 1: '., to April, 1794.
"I I,. general consensus of opinion among Haitian writers
is that I'..i -I II L'Ouverture changed from '.. i;i the
leader of a slave revolt into a Spanish general only that he
might make the purpose of the revolt and his own purpose

Desertions to Toussaint

more sure of accomplishment. M. Firmin says, apropos of
Tl'.Ii--.i..ii leaving the service of Spain: i' ..-. ,11
L'Ouverture who was retained in the ranks of the
Spanish army only by the single reason that there he found
a guarantee of liberty for himself and his-had no longer
a motive for remaining ii. i the general liberty of the
blacks was proclaimed in Cthe I. I, 1 part of Saint D)omingo.
He responded to the overtures of General Laveaux who
urged him to return to his old territory."
Yet considerable time elapsed between the issuing of the
emancipation proclamation by Sonthonax, August 29, 1:' ,
and I'...I-- I r,'s return, April 6, 1;' )During this in-
terval he also fought some severe battles, defeating the
troops of Sonthonax, reducing that officer to severest straits.
If this alone was the motive of Toussaint's action it is dif-
ficult to explain why lie did not at once join in with Sontho-
To understand "I'.'...- i,..'s action it is necessary to recall
the occasion of his seeking .1 1... in Spanish territory.
lie had retired because of the violent pro-slavery attitude of
the Commissioners and the presence of their large and well-
equipped military force. It was on his part a military
measure necessary for lthe preservation of his army. I I.
coming of the l.t;,,l I had changed all this and I'...I--. I.
now knew that these invaders and the rebellious colonists
were taxing to the utmost the forces at the disposal of the
Commissioners, and that the question of slavery was solved.
The circumstances of war had at least removed it from the
forum. HIimself and men were free 1,. their own arms and
did not need the proclamation of Sonthonax or even the
decree of the Convention. 'I i had been ,lj... .; : their
liberty since August 22, I;', I, masters of themselves and of
the territory II. had occupied in the North before cross-
ing the frontier, and when the proclamation came were
veteran soldiers in a civilized army.
TI.. i-.iiii t knew that both Spain and England were slave-

Haitian Revolution

holding nations; and his resolution in leaving Spain was
not to place himself and his men as .. i, i1 i but as
masters, in accordance with his previous declaration of mak-
ing liberty and equality reign in Saint Domingo. He had
no notion whatever of receiving emancipation for himself
or his men as a ItIl from Sonthonax or from the French
A .1.1 i. lie was already free, and it was himself who
proposed to abolish slavery and ;I.. 1 1;i r not by paper
proclamations but '.. the sword of his power. Will the
reader note here how the proscribed men of color have now
transformed themselves into an. army with their leaders
commissioned as I. n. I, generals; and the an., slaves
have become a Spanish Ii, with their leaders as generals
also; and then remember that the colored soldiers are for
the most part those resentful mulattoes of the South and
West; and the slaves those most enlightened and ('1, ,-1 i,:
of the '...'Ih. All this has been accomplished through two
years of war: How long would it have taken the mild.
measures of peace to bring about such prodigious changes?
One remark made '.. Price deserves to be quoted here ere
we proceed further in the development of 'I .. i 's mo-
tives. \! Price says T..-. 11,1 never believed himself a
I'I. 1, I ,nr and never became a Spaniard. lie remained a
V\ ,,0o.1
The greatt African served himself with Spain, and em-
1,.. .1 the protection and prestige of that nation as auxil-
iaries in thle I;, extensive work of emancipation recorded
inI ('1,, I in I1,; .i I .. 1 .1II had written to General
Laveaux who comImanded for the Commissioners the de-
partment of the ,'\ith, that he was combating for the gen-
eral liberty of thie blacks, and yet it is known that he did not
hasten to come into accord with Sonthonax, and that he ut-
terly ignored his proclamation. Iis thoughts later ex-
pressed were these: We are free to-day because we are
i He was '... ,.. to the marrow of his bones."- SCITOELCUEIR.

Vigorously Presses the French

the stronger; we will be slaves again when the government
becomes the stronger." To I recruit received into his
ranks he was accustomed to deliver the gun in person, ac-
i ... I ''I. i_ the act with these words: I '1-. gun is lib-
erty; hold for certain that the day when you no more have
it, you will be returned to slavery." I'. iiiii was far
stronger than Sonthonax and was conscious of his power.
The failure of the well-planned coup of the Commis-
sioner to produce any favorable. I.. I upon Toussaint or his
army rendered that ..llII. I furious; he gave orders to La-
veaux, who had now become military governor of the colony,
to burn whatever towns or plantations t1, were compelled
to abandon to Toussaint and to resort to extreme measures
toward those who should be suspected of 111111:1'. with
him, hoping thus to ultimately overcome the great chief.
Against this course on the part of Sonthonax, his colleague
Polverel protested in very vehement language in a letter
written December 1, 1793. I'. .-11. I, although not count-
ing himself a Spaniard, was, at the time to which our narra-
tive now brings us, the most powerful military commander
the Spanish government had in the island; indeed, it can
be truthfully said that he and his army constituted the
only respectable force that Spain was 1 ,i,11.. ;iiT in this
war. \\ hI I then was Toussaint's purpose? I'IL territory
conquered 1,., him from the I',, ,. 1, was left under his
command, and he and his chiefs i, I... .1 practical inde-
pendence. In June, 1: '., Biassou signed himself Gover-
nor-General. I I. plan was to make liberty and i. i.illv\
reign by his own power, acting under the suzerainty of
Spain, from whose arsenals he was receiving arms and
munitions of war. Spain did nothing of consequence in
this war '..ii.l furnishing aid to I'...I-.Iiii and his black
warriors; and had no complications arisen the star of Tous-
saint would have guided him to that resplendent supremacy
under Spain to which he al I.-i i. attained beneath the tri-
color of F'l.,ai..