|UFDC Home||myUFDC Home | Help ||
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
This copy of a rare volume in its collections,
digitized on-site under the
LLMC Extern-Scanner Program,
is made available courtesy of the
Library of Congress
' ' "/
THE REPUBLIC OF
TO WHICH 19 ADDrD
THIE CORRESPONDENCE OF HIS MOST CHRISTIAN
THE PRESIDENT OF HAYTI:
PRECEDED BY A
THE PEOPLE AND THE ARMY.
-.--O., .'. eee-
PUBLISHED BY JAMES TREDWELL.
TO THE RE.IDER.
HAVING lately visited the island of Hayti, to
satisfy myself and some particular friends re-
specting the present situation of those (once op-
pressed) sons and daugltei-s of Africa, it was a
matter of great consolation to me, rnot only to
find them freed from the cruel bondage which
they once laboured under, but by strict inquiry
to find them fatl improving in their morals. While
I was in Port au Prince I had frequent interviews
with the Secretary-General of government, Mr.
B. Inginac, from whom I received the following
documents, which I take the liberty to present
to the public for the encouragement of those
who are zealous for the prosperity of Africans.
To you, dear friends, who labour for the abo-
lition of slavery, that cursed traffic, is not the
day fast approaching when you will see your
labours recompensed; when the monsters in ha-
man shape shallno more haunt the coast of Af-
rica, to deprive th'e wife of her husband, and the
husband of the wife, the parent of the children,
and the children of the parent ; when they shall
enjoy the blessings of pace, and the love of
God shall fill their hearts, and Ethiopia stretch
out her hands to heaven with the rest of the
Christian world ? But to you, proud monsters,
who deal in human flesh and blood, as though
they were beasts, have you not reason to fear
lest the wrath of God should burst upon your
heads, while your slaves are supplicating the
Throne of Grace in behalf olf our souls? Yes,
poor wretches! your cases are more pitiable than
that of your slaves. But I leave your to the
mercy of God.
The following letter was given to me in Port
au Prince by Mr. Inginac, as an invitation to the
toloured people in America to emigrate to that
Liberty. RLEPiBLIC OF IIA'.I. Equality.
Port au Prince, .'ov. '21, 1 I17, 14th year of Inde-
The Sccrcrary-Gcneral nar hin Excelleney the President of
HaLitt, to Mr. Ja.ons Tredwell.
I have communicated to H. E. the President of Hayti
the verbal message which you brought me from your fel-
low countrymen, the black anl coluured men of the city of
New-York, who groan under the dominion of a barbarous
prejudice, and desire to become partakers of those bless-
ings which the Constitutiun ne haie given ourselves af-
fords. This message, Sir, could not but be received with
the greatest sali'factiour by those who have sacrificed
eight and twenty years of their lfe. in order to efface the
traces of a yoke to which other ien, who pretend to vir-
tue and justice, had too long enchained them. The patriots
who have fought to erect the Republic of Hayti, and
render it independent of a despotic monarchy, have never%
forgotten, during tlhe period of their painful labours, that .
far from them there existed brethren of the same complexion
with themselves, who, sooner or later, would need a help-
ing band to draw them from the infamy prepared for them
'by certain men pliding themselves on account of a
white skin. \1'ho would have thought, Sir, that in the
Legislature of the United States of America, a resolution
should hac gone Ibrth tending to expatriate under a re-
tence of benefitting them) a portion of men, whnn, its
fundamental law, the Constitution of the country, has re-
conizied as members of the Union in common with others,
as citizens, equals, free aiid independent ; a portion of .
men who have helped to acquire and defend this very in-
dependelce, which the member- of the National Legisla-
ture boast that they will iia;nilain in oulate O shame !-
if, Ium the iosoi ol Elernity, Ihe Spirit of 'ashington
could hear suhe a proposition, by which some in the Uni-
ted Siates of America would brand the foreheads of the
men of colour with the seal of reproballun and send them
to vygetste amon; the wilds of Africa, ihow iould that
noble soul revolt at the idea Did then the Hero of Co-
lumbia lead forth men to combat for the 4eliveance of
the country, that one day thc samne men might be igno-
miniously driven from that land which they had 6priukled
with their blood, and saved by their courage?
A just indignation, Sir, ou,jbt to iinpire: i.,ur oppressed
Well! let them know how to oppose to persecution the
firiness of men made to be respected. Let them aban-
don an ungrateful country which repulses them, and seek
elsewhere a more hospitable land, before violence drags
ilenm into reginns uninhabitable by civilized men: open to
their e)es the Constitution of ourRepublic, anJ let them so e
in its 44th Article a fraternal hand opened to their dztireise1.
Since they are at this day refused the title of Members of
the American Union, IIt them come among us, in a country
firmly organized, and enjoy the rights of Citizens o0'Hayti,
-of happiness and of peace: lailti, let Ihlin come and
Show to wile men that there yet exists coloured and black
,men who can raise a fearlessfront, secured from insultand
We are well aware, Sir, lhal the enemies of our inde-
pendence, by a wretched and shallow policy, please them-
selves in spreading reports rcspeclimg the stability of our
Republic, which are capable ol intimidating none but those
pusillanimous souls, who are weak enough to prefer de-
gradation to the (rijryment of Ibe sacred rights ofmnan.
You, who base had leisure and opportunity to see our
means of defence against all tho-e who dare to attack us,
you, Sir, can make knonn to our cominatriuts. that the
Republic of Hayti has no more to fear from invasion than
that of the United States of America.
'The men of culuur %ho nima desire to become Hay.
tians will find but little diflfrence in our manner of living
from that of the places they shall leave: they who possess
some capital will use it either in commerce or in culti-
vation, which produces ordinarily more than fifty per cent.
per annum be) ond the original disbursement. Men of all
arts, of all trades--miths, braziers, tinmen, ship, and
house-carpenters, milwrightw caulkers, coopers, cabinet-
makers, bout and shoemakers-can einn in this place
from six to tielse dollars per week, and even more, ac-
cording to their taleiits and actisily The cultivators of
the soil can get from two to four dollars per week, besides
board and lodging ; those among the last class who have
numerous families can find portions of land already plant-
V:d," either in coffee, sugar-cane, or cotton, to work on
shares with the proprietors. The result of these associ-
ations are very advantageous to those who undertake
them. Others can raise stock, particularly horned cattle.
Labourers are in great demand, jnd will easily gain a dol-
lar per day, if induttrious, besides board and lodging.
Sailors will find employment either in the coasting trade
or long voyages. In a word, all such as will come with
a resolution to establish themselves in this country, will be
protected by the government, which on its part will grant
bounties of land to those who wish it. Men, women,
children, of our colour, let them come; we will receive
them with pleasure, and we wait for them with open arms.
I shall be flattered, S;r, if this sialtenitnt of facts, this
genuine picture, which you can present to our urnha.py
fellow-cunulrynin, shall delermi.e a great number of
them to come and console themselves beneath the protec-
tion of our laws, from the cruel idea of being tran pi.rted
to the deserts of Africa, the land, 'tis true, whence we all
derive our origin, but which our civilization has now\ ren-
dered altogether a foreign country.
The character of the President, which you have been
able to appreciate, guarantees to you, sir, as Vell as 1o s our
fellow-citizens, the good reception .lof Ih--e bho dI irce
to become our brethren and friend;. The governincnt
will pay the passages of those who have no means, atthe
rate of forty dollars per head for men and women, and
half that sum for children from three to twelve years of
I have the honour to salute you.
(Signed) B. INGINAC.
The above communication was received from
the Secretary-General, in reply to an inquiry,
What privileges people of colour ,ight expect who
should emigrate thither from Jimerica? in'the in-
terim accounts reached the Government, through
the captains of certain vessels, that there was
a design to transport the blacks to Africa to get
them out of the country; and a law was cilher
passed to that effect, or soon would be." Un-
der this erroneous impression the Letter \as
written, but I lost no time in assuring the Secre-
"tary Inginac that the reports were altogether
untrue; that the Government of the United
States was too just to itself, and too much the
advocate of our oppressed race, to do any thing
so glaringly inhuman and flagitious. He how-
ever continued the same friendly offer of assis-
tance, and expressed his anxiety to have it made
public in the United States.
Relating to the Correspondence of the Commissioners
of his Most Christian Majesty with the President of
Hayti, preceded by a Proclamation addressed to
the People and Army.
Port aul Prince, 181C, from the press of the Government Offite
Liberty. REPUBLIC OF HAYTI. Equali;y.
Alexander Petion, President of Hayti, to the People and
The French flag has appeared on our coasts, and
the-king of France has sent commissioners to Hayti.
In what circumstances have they presented them-
selves? at the moment in which we were about to
t consecrate the edifice of our laws! at the moment in
which I was called upon by your choice to defend those
laws! It is in the height of the enthusiasm of a nation
the most jealous of her rights, that they have dared to
propose to her a compromise! and for what advanta-
ges ? are there any preferable to those we enjoy ?-
there does not exist a Haytian whose soul is so base
as to consent to retrace those steps which our glory
has surmounted: our duty is marked out, it is dictated
to us by nature; she has created us equal to the rest
of mankind; we will sustain our laws against any one
who shall dare to conceive the base design of subduing
us. They will find on this island nothing but ashes
mingled with blood by an avenging ord and climate.
On this occasion, as well as on thlt ubhich has pre-
ceded it, you have shown the same circumsi ction and
the same respect for the rights of man. You have cal-
culated your strength; and in leaving to your magis-
trates the care of explaining to you your dearest in-
terests, you have waited with tranquillity till they
should inform you of what they had done for you:
Your confidLlnce shall riever be deceived. The autho-
rity rests on 3our own will, and your will is to be free
and independent; )uu shall be so, or we will give to
the universe the terrible example of causing ourselves
to be buried under the ruins of our country, rather than
to return evcn to the mildest servitude.
When all Euroipe re-united at the voice of philan-
thropy to annihil rte even the remembrance of the most
disgraceful traffic; when the most polished nations
prepare and meditate the plan of the general emanci-
pation of those who yet groan under oppression; we
behold with sorrow governments who boast of being
the most religious, indulge principles which justice
and humanity condemn.
Ha tians, your safety is in your arms ; reserve them
against those who would attempt to trouble you, and
profit by your labour of the advantages which the most
fruitful land continually offers you.
I have ordered my correspondence with the com-
missioners of the king of France to be printed; it will
be laid before you. I have done my duty, and my
duty is yours.
Given 3a the National Palace of Port au Prince,
Nov. 12, 1816, and the .13th of the Independence of
By order of the President,
(Signed) B. INGINAC, Secretary General.
CORRESPONDENCE, N-.. 1.
,th sea, on board his Majesty's f .ii La Flare, Oct.
TO GENERAL PETION.
The flag which you have for a long time defended
with courage, has been hoisted with enthusiasm for
more than two years, over the territory formerly sub-
ject to the k;ng; St. Domingo alone has kept back to
ihis day, and hi- Majesty is greatly grieved at it; de-
sirous of repairing the misfortunes which the neglect
of duty towards him has occasioned, this good prince
wishes to re-unite all those who compose his family;
and his children of St. Domingo are not less dear to
him than those which he has met with in Europe.
The criminal attempts of the usurper, and the evils
which they have occasioned, have delayed the execu-
tion of the designs of the king;. now that his return
has restored security and peace to Europe, that good
order is re-established in the kingdom, his majesty
has ordered us to come to St. Domingo to concert with
those who are vested with the authority, the means to
be employed to restore to this country "the security
which it cannot enjoy in a precarious situation; to le-
gitimate in his name whatever needs it; to acknow-
ledge the services and the cares of those who have re-
established and maintained good order in the colony;
to consolidate by his royal will, the institutions and
changes which circumstances have rendered necessary
in this island, and which are neither incompatible
with the dignity of his crown, nor with the known in-
terests both of the colony and the mother country.
The disasters which have desolated St. Domingo,
the public and private misfortunes, all have been
known to the king: nothing that is attached to the
glory of the French name has escaped him, all that
could tarnish it has been erased from his remembrance.
H.ppier situated than the provinces of France, St.
Domingo, laid waste by the man who has so much
abused his power, has separated herself from France
as long as France has been separated from its king;
his Mijesty is not ignorant that if on one side the in-
habitants of this island have constantly resisted usur-
pation, they have not shown less courage when they
have believed themselves threatened by a foreign in-
vasion ; these are the only circumstances which he is
desirous of retaining in remembrance.
If malevolence endeavoured to create some doubts
or to raise some apprehensions on the intention of our
mission, have as much confidence in us, General, as
we have in you, and in the authorities with whom the
king has ordered us to treat; it is to them and |to
you, io point out to us all that can be to the people an
object of desire or inquietude, that can ensure its pros-
perity and its repose ; and you will soon enjoy, like
the rest of the French people, the happiness of having
found ag iin in the king the best of fathers.
Full of confidence in your loyalty and in your char-
acter, we do not doubt of the reception which shall be
given to the commissioners of the king. We will im-
mediately follow on board of a frigate of his Majesty,
the small embarkation commanded hb Captain Begon,
on board of which we dispatch Colonel Chevalier de
Tonette, the Chevalier Dominge, admiral, who are
the bearers of this letter, and Mr. Le Due, one of your
countrymen, who has expressed a desire to accompany
Your aged and former general, Viscountde Fontan-
ges, under whose orders you and yuur countrymen
have with honour defended the cause of the king, when
perjured subjects dared to attack it, is the commander
of this pacific mission. Without consulting his age or
infirmities, he has not hesitated to cross once more tte
ocean, to come and bring to men whom he has a long
time loved and defended, the intentions and kind-
nesses of the king.
We beg you, General, to receive the assurance. of
our distinguished consideration.
The Lieutenant-General of the armies of the king,
Commander of the order of St. Louis, Officer of the
royal order of the Legion of Honour,
(Signed) Viscount De FONTANGES.
The Counsellor of State, Chevalier of the royal
order of the Legion:of Horour,
Liberty. REPUBLIC OF HAYTI. Equality.
Port au Prince, October 6, 1816, Thirteenth year of
the Independence of Hayti.
.1itH render Petion, President of Hayti, to the Commis-
sioners of his Most Christian Majesty at the Republic
We have, indeed, defended with a great deal of
courage and an unlimited faithfulness the French flag;
but in doing it we were far from foreseeing what would
be the conduct of those who have compelled us to take
it down-no example of it can be fond in history.
Since that epoch, the institutions, the manners, the
character, the increase of knowledge, the fruits of ex-
perience, and other circumstances, have rendered the
citizens of this republic a new people; already they
began to survey their career and to merit some consi-
deration by their good faith in thlcir connexions with
strangers and by the exploits of their arms, when
peace was restored to Europe by the unanimous con-
currence of sovereigns, when it was resolved that his
Christian Majesty should ascend the throne of his an-
We flattered ourselves that this great epoch in the
world would likewise be that in which we should ap-
pear in our turn before the tribunal of public opinion,
and this idea did not disturb us, when consulting our
hearts, and judging favourably of men, under the
happy auspices of morality, ofjustice, of philosophy,
and of an enlightened religion; we have nothing to
reproach ourselves of towards his Christian Majesty;
his character, known before the revolution, his mode-
rate principles, his great misfortunes, those of all his
family, a contention as long as it has been cruel and
bloody, the uncertainty of his fate, which has only
been decided by slow and extraordinary events, our
implicit assent to the league which has support-
ed it, every thing induced us to believe that we should
be a particular exception in the view of a wise policy;
we thus explained in our favour the efforts and the
immortal successes of a distinguished government,
which had brought to light how hideous and opposed
to the spirit of Christianity is that base traffic in men,
and which had afforded proof that the sugar and coffee
colonies could prosper without having recourse to such
shameful and barbarous means; whatever may have
been the weakness of our conceptions, we pierced
through the veil, and the simplest logic explained to
u?, that if there was no traffic with the negroes, there
would be no slaves. This plan has not yet been exe-
cuted, because nothing good can be operated upon in
haste and without reflection; but events are preparing
and are directed by the wisdom of men, benefactors to
humarrnily, who occupy themselves with the welfare of
their brethren: it shall be executed.
Whatdid there remain for us to apprehend? the
wickedness of olr enemies and of our persecutors; of
those obstinate men, true authors of their own evils,
and whom nothing could correct; the difference of our
epidermis, which in the eyes of the colonial system as-
similates us to animals; the reserve made by his Chris-
tian MIajesty to continue the slave -rade during five
years; the cries of the former planters of this country ;
the pamphlets; the incendiary libels issuing from the
presses of the kingdom, distributed even under the
eyes of the king, soon warned us how far *our happy
presages had vanished, and we thought of nothing but
to prepare ourselves for war, although entirely inclined
to peace, and to fill up our arsenals with arms and am-
munition, as if on the eve of being invaded. We
would even be permitted to think that our predictions
were well founded, and that an armament was prepare.
ing at the moment in which Napoleon made for short
time his new appearance in France. '
At this time, the General Dauxion Lavaysse land.
ed at Jamaica, and assumed the title of "Commissioner
of the king: a handbill published under his sanction
was, like the brand of discord, thrown to disunite and
divide the heads from the family, or the family from its
heads; the modified slavery was represented in it, un-
der specious colours ; the people were mildly recall-
ed ; the fate of the chiefs was that of the hostile savages,
death or exile to the Isle ofRatan, after having help-
ed to seduce and chain up their brethren, their friends,
the companions of their arms and of their glory; in
spite of all that, General Lavaysse dared to present
himself at Port au Prince, and was admitted with kind.
ne ; the acts of his mission have been rendered pub.
lic, his instructions revealed and acknowledged by
him ; under what connexion could his mission be con-
sidered? like the part of a spy: in this case what
dangers did he not expose himself to? however, it was
signed and sanctioned by an influenced minister of
the king; it bore the stamp of authenticity. What
a subject of reflection for us! All those documents, we
are certain, have-remained a long time before the
eyes of his Christian Majesty, and he has, without
doubt, attentively perused them. The newspapers of
all Europe have exalted them, and they have many
times appeared in them with observations which do us
a great deal of honour, and in which our wisdom and
moderation have been approved of. General Lavaysse
has returned to France, after having received from us
all the testimonies of the greatest hospitality.
The commissioners whom his Majesty has been
pleased to send to this republic, on landing, will soon
perceive how sacred are the rights of men in this
government, and how every body, without exception
of colour or nation, breathes under the protection of
of the laws with the most perfect equality.
Appointed by the nation the guarantee, and not the
arbiter, of its'destinies, I shall receive in its name the
proposals concerning its happiness and rights, in
the execution of the powers which if has marked
out to me.
I request you, gentlemen, to accept the assurance
of my distinguished consideration.
On board of his Majesty's frigate La Flore, October
We think it our duty to transmit to you a copy of
the decree of his lMjesly which appoints ushis Com-
missioners Extraordinary at St. Domingo.
All that we could write and tell you would surely be
less expressive than the very words of the king. This
decree ought to calm all your inquietudes and fill all
your hearts with hope: it will-also inform 3you, General,
of the extent of our powers, as well as of the paternal
intentions of the king; finally, it will evidently prove
to you that the happiness of the colony depends en-
tirely from this day on those who are actually invested
with the power and authority; and we do not doubt
that in this respect it will soon owe to you more than
to any other person.
Receive, General, our distinguished consideration.
Commissioners of the king,
(Signed) Viscount De FONTANGES.
DECRIE OF THE KING.
Louis, by the grace of God, king of France and Na-
varre, to all whom these presents concern, Greeting :
Since our return to Frahce all our solicitudes, after
having secured peace, have been employed in repair-
ing the evils which the effects of usurpation had caused.
Our colonies even the most remote have constantly
been present to our remembrance. We have cem-
manded an exact statement of their condition to be
made to us, of the misfortunes which they have expe-
rienced, and what were their necessities.
The colony of St. Domingo has particularly drawn
our attention. We have been of opinion that it was
necessary to send commissioners to soothe the inquie-
tudes which the inhabitants of that island might have
in respect to their situation; to put an end to their
doubts, to determine the future, to sanction the changes
which recent events may have rendered necessary,
and more particularly those which tend to meliorate
the fate of our subjects.
Our commissioners will act with the adminis-
trators upon all which concerns the legislation of the
colony, the interior government and public order, the
civil and .military functionaries; the situation of
persons, and of the re-establishment of the commer-
cial relations with the mother country. They will
point out to us those of our subjects who have render-
ed themselves worthy of our benevolence, and who
shall have deserved rewards by their attachment and
their fidelity to our person.
For these reasons, and on the report of our minister,
Secretary of State of the Marine Department and of
the Colonies, we have named and do appoint as Com-
missioners Viscount de Fontanges, Lieutenant-Gene-
ral of our armies, Esmangart, Member of our Council
of State, Dupetit Thouars, Captain, and M. Laujon,
Secretary-General of the Legation.
Messrs. Jouette, Colonel of Infantry, and Cotelle
Labouterie, our Attorney-General of the court of the
Common Pleas ofGien, are appointed Assistant Com-
The instructions necessary to this mission shall
be delivered to our commissioners by our Minister Se-
cretary of Marine and of the Colonies, in order that
they may comply with their contents.
Given at Paris, in the house of the Thuilleries, July
24, in the year of grace 1816, and the 22d of our
and by order of the king, undersigned
Viscount DUBOUCFIAG E.
CQpy compared, the Minister Secretary of Marine
and the Colonies.
(Signed) Viscount DUBOUCHAGE.
Copy compared, Commissioners of the king, the
Lieutenant-General of the armies of the king, Com-
mander of the Order of St. Louis, Officer of the loyal
order of he Lcgion of Honour.
(Signed) Viscount De FONTANGES.
The Counsellor of State, Chevalier of the royal or-
der of the Legion of Honour. ESM A NGART.
By the commissioners of the king, Secretari -Gene-
ral of the Legation. A. De LAUSON.
Port au Prince, Oct. 8, 1816.
In consequence of the conversation I had the ho-
nour to have with you the day before yesterday, I
would beg of you the favour to appoint' an hour on
which you would be at leisure to admit us. Mr. Es-
mangart and myself earnestly wish, General, to have a
private conversation with you, either alone or with the
members of the government. You will be pleased to
call in the Counsellor of State, and I will accept any
thing that you may think proper on the subject,
Accept, General, the assurance of my most distin-
(Signed) Viscount De FONTANGES.
Liberty. REPUBLIC OF HAYTI. Equality.
.llexandtr Petion, President of.Hayh,
To Alr. De Fontanges, Commissioner of His Jlost
In answer to your letter, which I have just re-
ceived, I have the honour to inform you, that I shall
he prepared to receive you this evening at 7 o'clock,
with Mr. Esmangari, and that the principal authorities
of the Republic will be present at the interview.
Accrpt, Sir, the assurance of my distinguished con-
sidera,:,n. (Signcd) PETION.
On board his majsty's frigate La Flore.
October 23, 1816.
Having been detained more than ten days by
calm weather between St. Marc and the Mole, our ab-
sence from the north has been much longer than we
Our first care, General, is to forward you a copy of
the letter which we wrote to General Christophe, un-
der the care of the Commandant of Gonaives, the do-
plicate of which we forwarded him by his majesty's
brig, commanded by the Chevalier De Begon, the
pilot of the Cape not having answered the signal of
Theintention of this letter, as you will perceive,
General, is to inform General Christophe of our arri-
val in the colony, and to let him know what are the
intentions of the king.
Having returned into the bay of Port au Prince, we
hasten to resume with you the communications which
are the object of our mission.
We shall briefly answer, General, to your letter
dated the 6th instant, which was in answer to ours of
the 3d, by which we informed you of our arrival. We
shall not permit ourselves to recriminate on the re-
proaches you make against France: it is to be wished
that the evils which both countries have mutually done
to each other may soon be forgotten; and this is cer-
tainly the first and principal wish of the king.
St. Domingo has, without doubt, been the place
which has felt the revolution with the most force; it is
unquestionably thecouutry where the greatest barbari-
ties, injustice, cruelties, and crimes have been com-
mitted. The king has lamented all those misfortunes,
.as well as those which have happened to France, during
his absence; and it is this very remembrance which
has determined him to dispatch commissioners to this
island, to endeavour to concert with the present au-
thorities the best means to save this unfortunate colony.
When the king has pardoned his personal injuries,
every one ought to forget his reciprocal wrongs; he
ought to forget them for the sake of public tranquillily,
and prevent by that those reproaches which bring re-
criminations, which generally end in rendering recon-
ciliations impossible. Thus, General, let us draw a
weil over those disasters, and let us occupy ourselves
only in endeavouring to repair them;. and above all,
to try by every means in our power to preserve the
colony from a repetition of them in future. Tell us
then, what is your situation, your experience, your at-
lachment to the public good; the knowledge you have
acquired of the true mind of the people, can inspire
you n ith; and we shall soon agree with you on the
means of restoration.
As to what you tell us on the mission of Mr. Dauxion
Lavaysse, we can only repeat to you what we told you
the day we had the honour of seeing you with your
principal authorities. Mr. Dauxion Lavaysse never
had any power from the king; his majesty had never
any other knowledge of his mission than from its re-
sult and public reports; he obliged him to disavow it
officially; he even censured the mission; and still
more, the condulir which had been practised in it: we
are not allowed to doubt the motives of the king; his
denial ought to be sufficient.
His majesty, knowing neither your desires nor your
wants, nor any of the changes which have taken place
in consequence of the revolution, has granted us very
extensive powers to answer your demands, and to do
all in our power in order to prevent this colony from
becoming again the theatre of new wars.
It is not the desire of recalling a country, already
laid waste an] divided by internal iurs, that has dic-
tated the paternallsteps which his m:'j-sty now takes:
it is a father, who, after having been aban luijnc! by
his children, stretches out a helpful hand to them to
extricate them from the precipice in which lihe most
terrible revolution has thrown .them-he gives this
moment to Europe, nnd to the whole world, an exam.
ple of moderation and goodness which will be record-
ed in history.
France. fatigued with her victories, after having
made an unfortunate and imprudent trial of oil kinds
ofgovernmenti,has recovered her happiness and hope,
under the government of princes, who, during more
than eight centuries, had placed her in the first rank
among the European nations, and had acquired for
her an unspotted glory. We have no other ambition
in view but to maintain the legitimate government, and
to remain husbandmen and manufacturers. Without
inquietude for the future, each one is quietly employed
in industry: the same happiness is offered to you, and
this is the 'bject of our mission. Placed on a volcano,
you dare not to undertake or repair any thing; your
houses are fallen, your fields uncultivated, your coun-
try-seats deserted :-always uneasy about the misfor-
tunes which may befall you on the morrow, you think
only on the means of defending yourselves, and your
torches are always ready to destroy each other.
Those whom you are so much afraid of,. come with
the olive branch in hand, to otTer you security and re-
pose. The king who sends us does not even wish to
choose the means of preserving them to you; he would
even fear of mistaking them: he wishes to consult you
on the means which can restore them to you. Speak,
and you will soon be convinced to what extent the
goodness of the king, his moderation, his justice, and
his love for his people, can go.
Receive, General, the assurance of our distinguished
The Commissioners of the king,
(Signed) Viscount De FONTANGES.
ESM A NGART.
P. S. You surely have received, General, the copjy
of the Decree of the king which appoints us his Com-
missioners of St. Domingo: we forwarded it to you,
enclosed in our letter of the 7th inst.; you will permit
us to bring to your recollection, that as we sailed for
the north the next day, you did not inform us of your
having received it.
Copy of the letter written by the Commissioners of the
King, to General Christophe.
.-I Sea, on board hi; majestyfs frigate La Flore, in sight
of the Gonaives, October 12, 1816.
After twenty-five years of troubles, civil discords,
wars, and battles, France, restored to herself, has
again found tranquillity by throwing herself into the
arms of her king. Since that epoch shehas neverceased
to repair the evils which Ihose times o( confusion had
drawn upon her, and which the goodness of the king
endeavour every day to cast into oblivion.
His majesty, in resuming the exercises ofhis func-
tions, has, in his profound wisdom, perceived that it
would not be the interest of his people to re-establish
all that had been destroyed during the revolution ; he
has, on the contrary, endeavoured to restrain all the
passions; he has required new sacrifices from his most
faithful subjects, of which he has himself given the
first example ; he has confirmed by his royal will the
changes which he has believed to be the national wish.
Every one at present, satisfied as to the future welfare
of their children, have beheld with certainty that which
was only precarious, and are eager in the offices and
employment which the king has respectively allotted
them, to serve faithfully so good a prince.
The advantages which the king has procured for
France, he wishes likewise to procure for St. Domingo;
it is with this intention that he has ordered us to come
and concert with the civil and military authorities upon
all subjects that can contribute to the welfare of the
His majesty has commanded us to come to Port au
Prince as the central and intermedial point, in order
that we should communicate with the north and the
south, to acquaint you all with his royal and paternal
Invested with the command of the North, you have
more particularly the means, General, of explaining to
the people the truth and the intentions of the king; to
'dissipate all doubts which malevolence, private ambi-
tion, or cupidity, could endeavour to propagate as to
the intent of our mission ;-to inform, in the name of
the king, the citizens of all classes, that the wish of his
majesty is, that no person should lose any thing by lhis
return; that all the changes which they are pleased
to threaten them with, are no more his intention than
to promote the general interest; that he does not in-
tend to send any armed force in a country in which
there. exists already an army, generals, public func-
tionaries, and subjects, who will be faithful to him;
and that the only intention of his majesty in sending
commissioners furnished with his powers, is to strength-
en and sanction all that is admissible, without de-
teriorating from that which he owes to the dignity of
his crown, to justice, and to the interests of his peo-
We shall wait, General, for all the communications
which you may be pleased to make to us; and we do
not doubt an instant that you will embrace with eager-
ness the opportunity now offered .you, to prove to
your countrymen on so solemn an occasion, that you
sincerely wish their happiness.
We think it a duty incumbent upon us to annex to
our letter the Decree of the king, which orders us to
come to St. Domingo; it will convince you better than
all we could say or write, how beneficent and pater-
nal are the intentions of the king.
The Commissioners of the king, the Lieutenant-Ge-
neral of the armies of the king, Commander of the
royal order of St. Louis, and Officer of the royal order
of the Legion of Honour,
(Signed) Viscount De FONTANGES.
The Counsellor of State, Baronet of the royal order
of the Legion of Honour,
Copy compared-the Commissioners of the king,
Viscount De FONTANGES.
Liberty. ArPUBLC OF HAYTI. Equality.
Port au Prince, Oct. 25, 1816, Thirteenth year of
Alexander Petion, President of Hayti, to the Commis-
I have the honour to inform you, that I have receiv-,
ed your letter dated on board the frigate La Flore, the
13th inst. enclosing a copy of your communication to
Christophe, dated at sea the 12th, and the Decree of
his most Christian Majesty, which appoints you his
Commissioners, enclosed in your letter of the 7th, to
Which I could not answer on account of our absence.
After the horrid crimes committed by French peo-
ple-crimes which will for ever redden the pages of
histoiy-the independence of Hayti has solemnly been
sworn on the yet smoking remains of our countrymen,
by the intrepid warriors who had just conquered it.
The sacred oath, taken for the first time by an exas-
perated people, has never ceased to thrill in all our
hearts; it is renewed every year with enthusiasm;
it is the palladium of public liberty ; to retract it, or
even to conceive the guilty thought of forgetting it,
would be a disgrace and an infamy of which no Hay-
tian is capable; to. alter it would be to draw upon us
misfortunes well deserved; our laws imperiously for-
bid it to us, and as the first magistrate of the Repub-
lic, the most sacred of my obligations i& to cause it to
be respected. I have sworn it before heaven and
men (and I never swore in vain); to make us retract
that holy resolution is beyond all human power; we
enjoy it, and we believe ourselves worthy of preserv-
ing it; to deprive us of it would be necessary to de-
stroy us all. Well! if such a thing, was even possi-
ble, we would submit ourselves to it, rather than
peaceably renounce it.
We might have been allowed to think that our char-
acter, little known throughout France, wher6 they are
accustomed to judge of us by the reports of former
planters from this colony, would perhaps have induced
the French people to think that we kept on our guard
only from a want of confidence in the guarantees
Which they could have proposedin order to trrniiuillize
us for the future, and by thus employing formalities
which might appear satisfactory to us, it would be
easy for them to bring us back towards that end which
they had proposed to themselves; let them consider
- how the mission of General Dauxion Lavaysse had
frightened the minds, and also that it has not yet es-
caped our memoy, that this mission appeared cloth-
ed with the authenticity that the acts of governments
generally have, since his instructions, which remain
yet in our possession and acknowledged by him, bear
the signature of the Minister of Marine. You do me
the honour to repeat to me, that this mission has been
disclaimed by his majesty: I agree to it, as well as on
the nullity of all the other acts passed by his majesty;
I shall therefore say nothing more on this subject.
Since the restoration of his majesty to the throne of
France, he has had before him all the acts officially
passed in this government; none of the epochs of our
revolution can be strange to him, and he ought to have
been convinced by every one of them that we hold to
our independence as much as to our own existence;
and although we separate, his Mijesty, from the mis-
fortunes which have for so long a time afflicted us,
we were induced to believe, would by acknow-
ledging the independence of this republic, do as he did
when he sanctioned other acts still more painful to
him, if he had not-been' hindered from it by the oppo-
sition he met in the m-inds'of his people; for, urged by
the other powers to renounce the shameful traffic of
the Africans, he notwithstanding claimed, in 1814, the
continuation of it for five years longer; when, in 1815,
he said, that this renunciation was already in his heart
on re-entering into France; but that he had at that
time been governed by circumstances: with a much
stronger reason, why would he not deny, at this time,
what interests entirely strange to him appear to require,
and which would cost so much blood! it is thus that we
represent to ourselves the sentiments of his most
Christian Majesty; it would be in vain for you to at-
tempt to make us alter our opinion.
The face of the world is changed, and it has been,
so to speak, renewed by the French revolution during
a period of twenty-five years; every one has since
created to himself new habits and occupations to sa-
tisfy his ordinary rn-cesiities; proscription seems to
have revived ancient pretensions which exist only in
remembrance, and the most part of those interested
in them are no more.
The return of peAce and good order has called men
back to labour and industry ; the continual urgent
wants of the government have deep wounds to heal ;
the results of the war are the same in every country :
country-seats deserted, fields laid waste-all suffers
till the return of confidence, which cannot soon be re-
established; this principle is of a general application,
and does not, however, destroy the means which each
country conceals in her bosom, nor the ways of, re-
dering them profitable. It is an indisputable truth,
that ours cannot be rendered useful but by ourselves;
we must then during peace look for our resources, to
encourage agriculture and manufactures; and where
shall we find them if it is not in industry and tom-
merce ? The commerce of France cannot have any in-
terest in the re-establishment of the ancient order of
things; it requires to be maintained, to receive emu-
lation, and to make useful profits for itself and its goi
vernment; it requires, in order to act, only to be clear
of the shackles which restrain it, to resume all the ex-
tent of its speculations.
The manufactories claim also the same advantages,
and the necessary exportations, in order to support
and meliorate themselves. Nobody is ignorant that
if this country produces less, it makes the greatest con-
sumptions of commodities, because the desire of the
SHayrians, where every one enjoys the advantages of
his labour, is to secure to himself as much ease as he
My intention is to answer you with sincerity, since
you tell me that your powers are very extensive on the
execution of your mission, which you pronounce to be
entirely pacific and disinterested, and that it is not the
desire of his majesty to recall this country, already
ransacked and laid waste by civil wars, that have in-
duced his most Christian Majesty to take this step.
This sincerity has prompted me to enter into some de-
tails in which there are no recriminations on my part,
nor any refusal to grant what is just and reasonable,
and at the same time very important to be previously
If the intentions of his most Christian Majesty coin-
cide on this point with ours, and that the powers with
which you are invested agree with this spirit of jus-
tice and moderation, then, setting aside all private mo-
tives, and guided by the pure sentiment of truth and the
desire of doing what is right, you will look upon us as
a free and independent government, whose consolidat-
ed institutions repose on the will of the national love.
You will not hesitate to admit it as an essential basis
between us ; and on entering thus into the spirit of our
laws, you will facilitate me the means of corresponding
with you on all the points which may reciprocally he
advantageous to our respective governments.
Every thing induces me Io believe that previous to
your sailing from France you was well aware that we
could i t decently admit any other principles; by
acknowledging it you will reap the most glorious fruit
from your mission, and be entitled to the merited rights
of our esteem snd consideration.
I have the honour, gentlemen, to salute you with the
most distinguished sentiments.
Port au Prince, Oct. 251h, 1816.
We have landed in the city and country over which
you comnmnd, fully persuaded that all that concerns
the rights of man would be respected. We have had
to this day no reason to disbelieve it; but we now
find ourselves under the painful necessity of informing
you of what is going on between the Carthaginians and
Mexicans, who are in your port, and a part of our
crew. The first entice away our sailors, and the
others prompt the rest to insubordination. Complaints
concerning those transactions have reached us, and
the only way to stop them is, we believe, to apply to
your authority for redress, well persuaded that you
will immediately give orders to your police officers to
search for our men, and command that they be re-
stored to us. To urge any further upon a demand
of this nature would be to accuse your government of
Receive, General, the assurance of our distingnish-
The commissioners of the king,
(Signed) Viscount De FONTANGES,
Libcrty. REPUBLIC OF HAYTI. Equality.
Port au Prince, Oct. 26th, 1816. Thirteenth of the in-
Alexander Petion, President of Hayti, to the Commission-
ers of his most Christian Majesty.
I received your letter 25th inst. by which you com-
plain of the bad conduct practised by the Carthagi-
nians and the Mexicans in our harbour, and your
crew. Your 'application to the authority of the go-
vernment for redress will not remain unnoticed, we
assure you, ana we -..o oing to give strict orders to
put an end to such disturbances, I n2avejut orwrd-
ed the most positive orders to the general of this dis-
trict, not only to prevent your sailors from being en-
ticed away under other flags, but also to prevent by
armed forces the inconveniences which desertion might
occasion in future.
You may rest assured, gentlemen, that in all cir-
cumstances you will find all the protection you may
stand in need of, in all that which will concerns the
subordination of your crew.
Receive, gentlemen, the assurance of my distin-
guished consider lion.
Port at Prince, Oct. 30th, 1816.
We received on the27th inst. your letter of the 25th.
France, like St. Domingo, has experienced reactions.
The parties which have succeeded each other, some-
times conquerors, sometimes conquered, have exer-
cised, as is the case in all civil wars, revenge and re-
prisils equally blameableon both sides: but none of the
different paiies upon the return of his majesty, which
put a stop to all these disturbances, have pretended to
attribute to the king the faults and injustices of the
party which he had opposed; nor to assume it as a
pretext to refuse acknowledging the royal authority
and its rights. Each one, on the contrary, taught by
experience, has been perfectly convinced that truth
and legitimacy alone could put an end to the violent
dissentions and ambitious designs which for twenty-
five years had rendered France so unhappy. All that
had been done for the interest of one party against the
other was repealed and annulled, because they were
only preservative measurpc. _hml each party believed
to b ueecessary against that which they opposed.
But the sovereign and legitimate authority resuming
the exercise of its functions, these precautionary mea-
sures, or, to speak more properly, of defence of the
different parties, became useless. Their laws have
necessarily been repealed by the return of the king,
and these only have remained which the king in his
wisdom has thought proper to confirm; all others have
ceased to be binding, even for those who had sworn to
support them, because the effect was to cease with the
cause. To maintain those laws and regulations in
force would have. been to perpetuate civil war; it
would have been to commit hostilities after the conclu-
sion of peace.
His majesty, fully persuaded that twenty-five years
of revolution had entirely changed the manners, ha-
bits, and even the thoughts of the people, sanctioned
all that was consistent with the dignity of his cr'wn,
and has given us other laws calculated upon our new
character, and thus restored tranquillity to all families.
The solicitude of the king has been the same in fa-
vour of St. Domingo. Our preceding letters have
without doubt well informed you of it; but the king
can only sanction what appears to him just and ad-
vantageous to his people. He ought not to consult
their passions, but only their wants; and the same
principles will govern his future conduct relative to
this country as have guided him in what he has done
Not to acknowledge the kindnesses of the king, or
the value of the royal sanction, without, which all that
you have acquired by the revolution, as rights, ho-
nours, fortune, wealth, and dignities, will for ever re-
main very precarious. You have communicated to
us an act which would alone evidently prove to the
king that he cannot and ought not to abandon you to
yourselves, because by abandoning you he would
leave you on the dreadful precipice upon which a great
imprudence has thrown you.
When we read with reflection, and without preju-
dice, the first pages of the act which forms the basis
of your institutions, we immediately find that this act
carries with it the root of your own destruction. It
will be sufficient to prove to you the truth of it, to re-
fer you only to the three following articles.
"No white man, of whatever nation hemay be, shall
ever set his feet on this territory under the title of
master or planter."
White men who'form a part of the army, those who
exercise civil functions, and those who were admitted
in the Republic at the publication of the Constitution
of the 27th December, 1806, are acknowledged as
Haytians; and no other in future after the publication
of the present revision, sh3ll ever pretend to the same
right, or be employed or enjoy the right of citizen, or
hold any fast property in the Republic."
"All Africans, Indians, and those issued from them,
born in the colonies, or in foreign countries, who come
and reside in the Republic, shall be reputed Haytians,
but they shall not enjoy the rights of citizen until after
one year's residence."
You re-establish by these articles in a manner much
more absolute than any former decree, the difference
of colours which philanthropy endeavoured for more
than half a century to extinguish. You commit an
act of hostility towards Europe ; you entirely break
off with her, and you give her the right of confiscating
by reprisals the property of all those who bear with
you the name of Haytians: you deprive them of the
right of inheritance, and all the political rights which
they enjoy in all their extent, and without distinction.
By a capriciousness of which we find no example
except in the history of revolutions, after having fought
during twenty-five years in support of contrary princi-
ples, your first act, your fundamental law, establishes
a distinction which you had endeavoured to destroy
even at the expense of your blood.
If Europe judged of you by your laws, she would
be far from believing this contradiction of your go-
vernment, of which we are well convinced, and of
which we think it incumbent upon us to give an ac-
In effect you renounce all civilized nations, to adopt
exclusively as the only ones to form a society with
you, on one part, the barbarous powers, whom Eu-
rope at this moment is combined to repress, and on
the other, the nations among which the light of civili-
zation has not yet penetrated. If philanthropists who
are not exempt from the proscription which you pro.
nouncr against colour, exclaim then against the repri-
sals which Europe may exercise towards them, they
can answer them by showing them your Constitution:
the principles will have been established by you;
what right will they have to complain ?
Such is, however, General, the thing you propose
to the king to acknowledge; can he sanction it with-
out failing in his duty to himself, or in what he owes
to his people and to other powers ; can he ever con-
firm it for your own interest ?
The greatest desire of the king, we repeat itto you,
General, is in do for this country all which is consist-
ent with the dignity of his crown and the welfare of
his,people. He wishe% only for that which can in-
sure in a stable manner the happiness of the inhabi-
tants of St. Domingo; we have requested you to point
out to us the means which cnuld insure it, and we ask
it of you again. You can, General, judge for yourself,
after the observations we have just submitted to you,
if what you propose to us can coincide with the end at
which the king aims.
You are not ignorant that there are duties incum-
bent on subjects to fulfill towards their king, and there
are also obligations incumbent upon kings towards
their subjects. Kings cannot abandon them even in
their errors, or in their misfortunes. The greater the
danger in which they have pccipiilated themselves is,
the more they ought to hasten to their surcour. His
majesty, more than any other king ever did, has just
given to the world a proof of that paternal solicitude
which ought to have, in this country as well as in
France, conciliated all hearts to him.
As for us, who possess his confidence, we are fully
convinced that it would be to sink you deeper into dif-
ficulty, and make a bad use of our power, to take
,upon ourselves to consent without restrictions to what
you require of us, particularly at ihis moment, in which
you are guided only by the impulse of passion.
We shall not answer the reproaches which you
again prefer against France by recriminations; without
doubt France has committed greal errors; she has
above all been very guilty towards her king; like all
nations in the effervescence of revolution, she has been
the theatre of great excesses: but her errors, her faults,
and even her crimes, will be shaded in history by a
forest of laurels.
Finally, God has broken the rod which he had in
his wisdom sent to punish us for our crimes, and has
at length restored us our king and our legitimate prin-
ces. Let us then think only of our duties; let us on-
ly consider the means of repairing our past misfor-
Should we not succeed to convince you, General,
and the authorities which surround you, we shall not
have to reproach ourselves of not having employed in
our discussion with you that moderation which will
always be found in the heart of the king, when the
question is to ,bring into his paternal arms children
whom false ani deceitful theories had snatched from
Receive, General, the assurane of our distinguish.
The Compiissjonqrs of the king,
Viscount De FONTANGES.
No. I 3.
liberty REPUBLkr C o, iAYTI. Eqality.
.Ahxander Petion, President of Hayti, to the Commis-
sioners of his most Christian 3.1,ijtsty.
SI have received the letter you honoured me with on
he 30th ult. The nineteenth century was reserved to
produce extraordinary events. Providence had also
decreed that it would tear asunder the band which
blind-folded the most unhappy and the most oppressed
portion of mankind, and which hindered them from
perceiving in the great charter of nature their una-
lienable rights, and the object which God had intend,
ed in the creation of men. It is from the domineering
minds of the parties which France has caused to suc-
ceed each other in this beautiful country, that the holy
ark of the independence of Hayti has ,risen from the
bosom of o.pprcision and injustice. In swearing to,
maintain it, we were as far from thinking that it would
in the least injure the authority of the king of France,
as we were from the idea of foreseeing wheth-.r lie
could one day triumph over the French people, and
consequently that he woulJ set up against us titles
which our arms had already destroyed: useless titles,
which policy renounces, and which reason despises;
and a great deal less necessary to his crown, than any
other privileges which circumstances have compelled
him to give up, without doubt through powerful mo-
tives; and we may yet add, that in resuming our non
acknowledged rights we have constantly been occu-
pied in providing for our own security. Too happy in
having shaken off the most frightful of all yokes, our
greatest desire has been to enjoy the sweets of peace
and liberty with all the rest of mankind; and as the
resources of our country would only be illusory if we
did not improve them with our own hands, we cannot
employ them under any other influence than that of
the spirit of brotherly love which unites us. We may
appear guilty in the eyes of an interested policy, but
we cannot be so before the tribunal of justice and
equity which legitimate our rights.
We have never feared open observation, and so far
from losing we can but gain by it, particularly if those
observations are made with reflection, and without
animosity. It is perhaps that which has rendered us
so accessible in so delicate a cause, because we are
strong of ourselves, and it is after a mature delibera-
tion that we have established our social covenant,
which is the expression of the national will.
In placing before me articles 38, 39, and 44, of our
institutions, you seem to challenge us, and decpnrt
from the present question, and make out of a private
cause a general one with all the European powers ;
this appeal to governments so enlightened would come
too late, for none of them have cnnsilered the subject
in the same light as you, since you call it a mark of
hostility against them. These articles are found ex-
pressed in the act of our independence, in those which
have followed it, and in the Constitution of December
27th, 1806. They have received a more extensive
explanation in article 39 of the revision, which con-
tains the same meaning as at ticle 27th of the Consti-
tution. They have then never ceased to be in force,
and they have for their end nothing but our own secu-
rity, which can only be contested by the French go-
vernment, as you at present do, when the other pow-
ers feel no concerns in them, although they have had
constant intercourse with us; you may be convinced
of the truth of this assertion by ;he presence of an au-
thorised agent of the United Slates of America near
this Republic, by the order in council of the king of
England of December 14th, 1808, which has never
been repealck, and by the foreign iessels uhich are in
our harbour, into which they are admitted as ours are
in theirs; you may also have observed in this city
many Europeans carrying on quietly a traffic, no'.
t ihstanling the proscription ofcolk.ur.
We would ask, is there any reciprocity of advan-
tages in the commercial relations between foreigners
and the island of Iia ti ? The question, I think, isre-
solved.-ls there any incompatibility concerning fast
property or rights of citizens? the answer cannot be
We rely entirely on the justice of our cause, and on
the purity of our intentions; and we cannot imagine
that Europe will take up arms against us because we
wish to be free, under the only form which can insure
us to be so, or that the lphilanthropists who are the
objects of our admiration, can disapprove of measures
which they would have, beyond doubt, sanctioned
themselves, if requested. If under all these circum-
stances they could yet resolve on our desti auction, we
would submit to it; and putting all our confidence in
the hands of the great Ruler of the Universe, implore
his mighty protection to send us new forces to defend
ourselves: this is our resolution, and we cannot admit
The comparison you make of us with the barbarous
powers, receives its answer in the conduct which we
have shown towards England and America in the
course of the war in which they have lately been en-
gaged, in which no government ever gave proof of a
more strict neutrality, and greater respect for the rights
of.nations. The question of reprisals was never spo-
ken, nor even thought of, on either side, against us.
It is a principle well acknowledged by all nations,
that they cannot refuse the right of any government
to regulate its own laws. Louis XIV., in repealing
the Edict of Nantes, excluded a part of the French
people frm the very bosom of France; yet no pow-
er intermeddled with it, and every one more or less
profited of the advantages which that emigration occa-
At Japan, China, and among many other well po-
lished nations, measures of precaution have prohibited
to foreigners even access to the interior of their coun-
try, and yet we behold commercial intercourse well
established and flourishing, with'people whose political
existence does not interfere with the peace of other
nations. Examples of this nature would not be diffi-
cult for us, should we wish to mention them.
However our efforts may be judged in the course of
our revolution, history cannot deny thatwe have been
sacrificed and deceived, and that our arms have, not-
withstanding, been crowned with some laurels.
If your powers have not the necessary latitude to
allow you to treat on the basis which I have had the
honour to propose to you ; or if you think it improper
or inexpedient to make use of them in this case, I sin-
cerely think that my duty forbids me any further cor-
respondence with you on the subject of your mission.
Whatever may happen, I shall never have to re-
proach myself with having neglected the smallest op.
portunity to procure peace and happiness for my coun-
trymen; as my firm resolution is, and shall for ever
be, to render myself worthy of their confidence, and
do all in my power to cause their rights and privi-
leges to be respected, even to my latest breath, with-
out departing, for a single instant, from the principles
which I have always professed.
Receive, gentlemen, the assurance of my distin-
Port au Prince, Nro. 10, 1816.
Your health being re-established,. we hasten to
transmit to you the answer which we have delayed on
account of your indisposition.
In your letter of the 2d inst., as in every other which
have preceded il,you again complain ofthe violence and
injustice which you have experienced. We have ab-
stained, in consequence of the pacific character with
which we are invested, from stating to you any of the
reproaches which we might have opposed to those
which you make against some violent Frenchmen. We
shall then proceed with the same moderation even to
the conclusion of our mission.
You, however, agree, that during the time of the
usurpation, when the king found it impossible to ex-
ercise his rights, you were reduced to the necessity of
adopting a mode of govcianment: that independence
belongs to every goverrinent: and that 'his appearing
to offer you the greatest security, had finally been
adopted by the nation, bi that ) ou had done nothing
against the king.
All this, General, coincides perfectly well with what
we have had the honour of representing to you in our
last communication.. So far you have not committed
any hostility against the king. The measures you
then adopted were against the'enemies of J:is crown
it is a weapon with which you fought against them;
but when the king has resumed the functions of his
rigtits; when all the different parties have laid do wn
their arms, when all his subjects range themselves un-
der the protection of his laws, would you be the only
ones who wi'h to make use of l'that which has been pref
pared against his enemies, and oppose yourselves to
him Such a conduct would provoke a new war
against a legal power, which would be injured without
having provoked the aggression; it would be to de-
clare an open war. The rights of the king, as sove-
reign, are unquestionable; the covenant which exists
between him and his people is indissoluble ; in a word,
his rights, which are indubitable,cannotbe destroyed,
nor in the least altered, by having for a moment lost
the exercise of his functions. Thus, so long as the
king has not pronounced it, the state of war will be
permanent, and all will remain uncertain till the epoch
of peace, which we can no longer foresee. All this is
a truth so well acknowledged, that we need say no-
thing further on the subject.
-IC we have in our last communication pointed out to
you certain articles of your Constitution, our sole in-
tention was to make you observe, what you proposed
to the king to acknowledge, by confirming your inde-
pendence; and to show you, at the same time, that
the fundamental law of your institutions carries with-
it the root of your own destruction. It has surely
been far from our minds'to represent to you, as you
call it, an appeal to foreign governments. France,
in separating herself from her king, has experienced
great misfortunes; but her honour, as well as her
power, are far from being lost; and the king possesses
sufficient strength to defend his rights according to
his own pleasure and will, without the assistance of
any other power.
Our intention has not been, General, -to avoid or
elude debating a question, the discussion of which has
nothing embarrassing for us. If, however, (we can
assure you, General) we had followed our first inclina-
tion, we should have limited ourselves, after the ieceipl
of your communicati-i, to take leave of you, set sail,
and g.. and give an account to the king of the.persa-
verance with which you persisted in supporting, %i without
explaining either the necessity, advantages, or its be-
nefits, an-indepenJence which shows only 'your reso-
lution ef.not acknowledging the rights and authority
of his majesty; but the -king who has directed us to
employ with constancy in. our discussions ith you,
all the moderation which he possesses in his heart,
would have blamed us for having so suddenly quitted
this territory, without having previously enrdca c ured
to .show you all the Inju4ice of such perseverance, and
the danger which the government you have ado lted
would necessarily be exposed to. If our arguments
can bring you back to the truth, we shall have the sa-
tisfaction of not having appeared too hasty in our de-
terminations-we shall have rendered you a signal
service,and we shall have complied with ihe iiLentions
as well as the orders of the king.
We are now going, previous to the close of our mis-
sion, to present you on this independence, as we have
done on several a ticles of your Constitution, some re-
flections which are imposed upon us by our duty, and
dictated by the interest of the colony.
To be independent we must have the c.rtainry of
being able at any time and every where to cause our
independence to be respected; we must possess with-
in ourselves sufficient strength to resist the efforts as
well as the ambition of those who become jealous of
Ihe'prosperity we may acquire; we must of ourselves
defend our subjects within and nitlout, and have the
power of avenging an injury sustained. Tf the country
that wishes to declare itself-independent does not pos-
sess these means within herself, ifihey are reduced to
apply to a foreign power to obtain their support, they
cease then to be independent, and their political exist-
ence is exposed every instant.
Let us now examine what is the situation of this co-
lony. Weaker in population than the smallest pro-
vince of France; trusting to your courage and your
climate ; you are disposed to challenge, if necessary,
all the European powers, to support a pretension
which no reason can at present countenance. You
have within your country no resources for carrying on
war; every thing must come to you from foreign
countries ; and ii by chance, in the time of a war with
.inv power, your comniunicati"n with others should be
interrupted thle climate which causes so many men
to perish will also destroy your armies and draw upon
you all the evils which war carries with it; the desti-
tute situation in whihih you will fired yourselves at the
end of a certain period, will, beyond doubt, render
,ou dependent o0a foreigners. You are not less so by
ihe' necessi:i'- which new habits have intcoducel
among yo':, the privation ofwhieh.would be painful,
and would sonn become insupportable to many of you.
It is a certain truth, that the very day on which the king
should sanction your independence,-he would from that
moment abandon you to the subjection of all nations.
As to your interior means of defence, eveiv one ac-
knowledges that you have no other, if you are threat-
ened by nn imposing force, than to conflagrate your
cities and fields, and carry every where throughout
the plains fire and destruction, and to retire within the
mountains with your wives and children, where you
must defend yourselves until death.
This, however, may be the consequence of a great
resolution ; but ihis proves neverih'eless a great weat-
ness: for a people %ho have nothing to oppose to ihe
power which attacks'them but their own destruction,
cannot exist without the support of a powerful protec-
tor. In your actual situation, a feigned attack by any
power whatever would reduce you to the most fright-
ful extremity, since from the first hostile applirance,
armed with the torches which ornament your arsenals,
you become the most useful auxiliaries of your ene-
If we consider all your means, we easily perceive
that your indlcpendcnce can still less be defended with-
out, than on your own soil: for you do not possess,
beyond the reach of two cannon shot, any possibility
to cause her to be respected, still less to avenge an
insult which might be offered to any of the subjects
of your republic, who sail under your flag. Your ac-
tual independence is then a perfect chimera, and a
pretension which cannot be supported; which would
become fatal to yourselves, and still more fatal to the
people whose interest you pretend to espouse; and if
the king, provoked with the resistance he finds in you,
should yield'to your foolish pretensions, he would soon
after be but too well revenged of you.
In exposing to you, General, with the greatest sin-
cerity, the true political situation of your country, our
only aim is to open your eyec on what ought to be
your dearest interests. There is no glory to sustain
without necessity: a contention in which sooner or
later one has the certainty of sinking under, and of
bringing destruction on the people. It is a blameable
temerity, and as contrary to humanity as it is to rea-
Finally, General, wishing to draw as near as possi-
ble-to that independence which alone, as you say, can
secure the happiness of the people under your com-
mand, we % ill now inform you of the concessions
which we could subscribe in the name of the king:
they are as as follow:
A T.- 1.
It would he declared in the name of the king, that
slavery should be abolished in St. Domingo, and ne-
ver be re-established.
That civil and political rights should be granted to
all citizens, on the same footing as in France, and un-
der the same conditions.
That the army -hould be mairnltincd on the same
footing as it is at present, viz. general, superior, and
inferior officers would be confirmed by the king in
their respective ranks; and all should enjoy the same
pay, honours, and distinctions which the armies of the
king enjoy in France.
That the kingof France shoulrl never send any Eu-
ropean troops to St. Domingo. The defence of the
colony should always be confided to the courage and
the fidelity of the natives, who would never be employ-
ed out of the colony.
The President of the Republic, and the Senators
would preserve their prerogatives. and the Senate their
privileges. It would follow from thence that the ad-
ministr.iti'e and judiciary authorities would provi-
sionally remain such as they are, except the modifica-
tions which the President might propose anj resolve,
agreeing on this with the Commi sioners of his majes-
ty ; and in case of any alterations in future, they should
be made only conform.ble to the mode which should
be agreed upon in the revision of the constitutional
SThat former planters should.not come and reside in
the colony without abiding by the laws and regulations
which would be established; especially to those which
should be enacted concerning the situation of persons
and civil right.
That the actual authorities, jointly with the Coi-
missioners of the king, would establish general regula-
tions on the properties, to put an end to uncertainties,
a:ill prevent by that the creation of new disturbances
to delay again the re-establi'hnmeit of the colony.
That the actual President should be appointed Go-
vernor General of the colony, and the actual Comman-
dant General of the army should be appointed Lieu-
tenant general of the government: both preserving
the powers which they respectively enjoy at present
in their offices, except the nodificaiiroIi] which the state
of things might require; but this would be executed
only by their consent: they would be in future ap-
pointed by the king, on the presentation of three can-
didates by the Senate.
That the ports should continue to be opened to all
powers, under the conditions at present established for
foreigners. The Spn:te, according to circumstances,
and at the request of the Governor General, repre-
senting the person of the king, could alone modify the
The king would use his infliince, near his holiness
the pope, to obtain a bishoprick for this colony, and all
the spiritual favours which afford to the people a
greater degree of consolation.
Ali the concessions of the king would extend to the
north, the south, and the west.
The constitutional act would be revised by the Se-
nate within a yar, together with the Commissioners
of the king, to make it correspondent with ill the dis-
positions and orders which they might think proper to
establish. The king would be requested to sanction
it after the revision, and secure it for hire and his suc-
After such concessions, it will be proved to the whole
world that instead ofa fictitious independence, the king
has otiered you a real one, and so much more durable,
that it will give suspicions It no person, that i will
hurt no interest, and tha3 it will be supported within by
yourselves, and will receive from without a powerful
protection. Indeed, is there a people more indepen-
dent tha, those who have the choice of their magis.
traces, of their generals, and of their public function-
aries; who tax bhcmsel'ce, who compose their army
when they have the certainty that it will never be
employed in foreign services; and who, to support
these prerogatives, receive the help of a great prince
who commands a warlike nation of twenty-four mil-
lions of men ? Not to acknowledge the advantages of
such concessions is to show a disposition to rnounce
the substance for the shadow.
How then can the king acknowledge the indepen-
- dence of a country where there exists two different
powers, enemies to each other, under two different
sorts of government ; entirely opposed to each other,
and possessing nearly the same strength; where one
(the fate of battles being precarious) may sink under
the efforts of the other ? The king, by sanctioning now
your independence, must also acknowledge in t-ih
your republic; and if in spite of your courage and
your resolution, and in consequence of the very extra-
ordinary chances of war, you happened to be defeat-
ed, this republic would then immediately be replaced
by a phantom of monarchy, horribly absolute; .,id
if the king had condescended to ynur wishes, he
would ha\ e sealed the destruction and the miseries of
We hope, General, that you will appreciate the in-
tentions which have dictated our observations; they
are the consequence of the sincere desire which we
have of seeing this colony enjoying peace and happi-
ness, and thus to fulfil one of the dearest wishes )f
the king. We shall proceed even to the foot of the
throne with our pacific mission, and we shall there be-
seech the king, however just his displeasure be, to
leave the people of this colony the necessary time to
reflect on these new propositions, and consider in their
wisdom which can afford them the greatest advanta-
ges; either what you yourselves asked, or what the
king wished to grant you. IHis nmjly, who expect-
ed to find in thiscountry, as he found in all the rest of
his dominions, grateful children and faithful subjects,
will be painfully disappointed should he find himself
under the terrible necessity-of speaking as a king when
his intentions would have been to speak as a father.
As for us, General, our stay in this country becom-
ing useless, and we may add inconvenient, we shall
sci sail .1 soon as you shall have informed uis of the re-
eeption of this communication, sincerely thankful for
the kind reception we have received from you, of
which we shall not fail to give an account to the king.
We shall then depart with the sincere regret of not
having succeeded in our endeavors to restore peace
and happiness to this colony and its inhabitants; and
ifi, r.uure they are not so happy as they might have
been-if new misfortunes come again to desolate them,
they may attribute their sufferings to your refusal and
persistence in not having accepted the concessions we
have proposed to you, but never to the heart and jus-
tice of the king.
Receive, General, the assurance of our distinguish-
The Commissioners of the king,
Viscount De FONTANGES.
Liberty. REPUBLIC or HAYTI. Equality.
Port au Prince, Nov. 10, 1816. Thirteenth year of the
Alexander Pelion. President of Hayti, to the Commis-
sioners of his most Christian Majesty.
I have received the letter you have done me the
honour to write to me under this date, through which
I have observed a full repetition of the same princi-
ples and the same ideas as those expressed in all your
preceding communications, and which tend to induce
the inhabitants of this island to acknowledge the sove-
reignty of the king of France. I believe I have fully
answered all your observations therein contained, in
the course of our correspondence i and if the expres-
sions of the oath I have taken in presence of the nation
(according to our laws) were not so deeply impressed
on my heart, I should have only to peruse them over
again to be convinced that I have done my duty, and
that it is the decided national will that I announc-
ed to you, when I informed you that no alteration in
the form of our government was admissible.
You appear, although without wishing to acknow-
ledge it, to justify the choice of government we have
adopted for our own security, even from the very first
epoch when we swore to maintain it. Circumstances
having been altered in France,you conclude from thence
that ours must likewise be altered : it would be more
congenial with justice to infer, that, if the motives
were lawful in their principles, it would also be more
natural to acknowledge them now, than to refute them.
By that solemn act of the will of the king of France all
the consequences of the misfortunes which you foresee,
would be destroyed. The precautions which you
take in the system of the mixed government which you
propose to us would even become useless; nothing
could alter the prosperity of this republic in her con-
nexions honourably calculated with the French go-
vernment, and all distrust would be at an end.
The people of Hayti, in declaring their indepen-
dence, have declared it in the face of the universe, and
not in the face of France alone. Nothing can ever in-
duce them to retrograde from this firm resolution; they
know but too well by their past misfortunes; by their
wounds, which are yet bleeding, that their security
cannot be expected but from within themselves, and
without diversion ; they have measured all the strength
and the extent of their conduct, and they would now
prefer devoting themselves to death rather than to
retrograde. They have no intention of committing an
act of hostility against any government.
It is in the name of the nation, whose chief and in-
terpreter I am, that I have spoken to you. I shall
never expose their sovereignty, and my responsibility
is to comply strictly with the intentions of the, social
covenant they have established. The people of Hay-
ti wish to be free and independent; I sincerely agree
with thermon this point: this is the cause of my refusal
refusal and of my opposition. It belongs to the na-
tion to alter our institutions, and not to the Chief.
In announcing your departure, I receive, gentle-
men, with satislaclion, the assurance on your part that
you have met, during your stay in this Republic, with
that kind reception and regard which were due to you.
Receive, gentlemen, the assurance of my distin-
Liberty.- IPUBLIC OF HAYTI. Equality.
Enacted by the Representatives, dated .pril 25, 1817,
concerning the districts and parishes of the Depart-
m ntis of the West and South of the Republic; the
exact distances of each Department to the capital;
proposed by the House of Ryprentratoref of the De-
partments, in their sitting of April 25, 1817-Four-
teenthyear of Independence.
The Departments of the West and South of the Re-
public contain twenty-six counties and seventeen pa-
The counties are the places where are a justice of
the peace, a commandant of the place, the judiciary
officers, and the Council of Notables.
The parishes are boroughs or hamlets, where there
is only one church built, or to be built.
The counties of the said departments are known and
named in the following order, as to what concerns
their topographical position, vir.:
Croix de- Bouquets,.
Port au Prince .
Grand Guave . .
Petit Guave . .
Miragoane . .
L'Anse a Veau .
Petit Trou .
Corail . ... .
Jeremie . .
Tiburon . .
Coteaux . .
Port Salut . .
St. Louis . .
Acquin . . .
Baynet . . .
. 15 leagues.
. . I1
. .. 23
. . 31
* . 35
S . 53
. . 66
S. . 72
* . 75
. . 72
. . 62
. . 43
. . 40
. . 33
. . 25
The parishes of the said Departments are, Les
Grands Bois, St. Michel, Petite Riviere de Nippes,
Baraderes; Pestel, Petit Trou, des Roseaux, Trou-
bonbon, L'Anse I'Eclere, Petite Riviere de Dalmarie,
les Trois, les Anglais, La Chardonniere, Port a Pi-
ment, Roche Bateau, L'Etron de Pore, Cotes DeN
Fer, Ca es de Jacmel.
Passed and delivered at Port au Prince, the day,
month and year as above.
The President of the Chamber,
(Signed PIERRE ANDRE.
DI BREUIL, Secretary,
The Senate decrees the acceptation of the law bear-
ing the title of Legal Distances of each county and
parish of the Departments of the West and South, to
1e capital; which shall be, within twenty-four hours,
dispatched to the President of Hayti, to receive his
sanction and its execution, according to the establish-
ed mode expressed in the Constitution.
At the Government House, Port au Prince, June
24, 1817, and 14th of Independence.
(Signed). SIMON, President.
J. B. BAYARD, Secretary.
In the name of the Republic, the President of Hayti
orders that the above law of the legislative body be
sealed with the seal' of the Republic, and printed, pub-
lished, and executed.
Given in the National Palace of Port au Prince,
June 27, 1817, and the 14th year of Independence.
CONSTITUTION OF HAYTI,
December 27, 1806, and its Revision of June 2, 1816-
Thirteenth Year of Independence.
Report made to the Constituent Assembly, by its Com-
mittee, in its sitting of the 27th December, 1806.
In order to render a revolution useful, we must, at-
ter having been revenged of the tyrant, deprive ty-
ranny of the sieaes of reproduction. Such has been
the wish as wellas the object of the people, in calling
upon you to give them a Constitution. Appointed by
,you, citizens, to suggest the most proper principles
and laws, to establish and insure the liberty and hap-
piness of ou country, we submit to you the result of
It is an indisputable truth, that the best system of
government is that, which, being the best adapted to
the character and habits of the people for whom it is
calculated, procures them the greatest degree of hap-
piness; but it is equally evident and certain, that there
are principles common to evey good constitution r the
most essential is the division of powers, since their
concentration in the same hands is what constitutes
We then propose to you, citizens, to establish a Se-
nate, whose members shall be elected, for this time
only, by the Constituent Assembly; and shall be in
future taken from among the public functionaries,
whom the people shall have appointed. Thus the
Senate will be composed of officers who shall have dis-
tinguished themselves in services rendered to their
country, and citizens, who, by their talents and vir-
tues, shall have deserved the public confidence.
The advantages which will result from thii Consti.
tution, are, that our laws shall no longer be the expres-
sion of the caprice and the will of an individual, al-
ways inclined by his passions to separate his private
from the general interest. They will be the produc-
tions of upright and learned men : they will be sub-
mitted to a severe and strict examination, and to a
public discussion. Those who shall have dictated them
as senators will-be compelled to obey them like the
rest of the citizens. The people will no longer ap-
prehend that taxes weigh upon them beyond the ne-
cessities of the state; because they will have among
their representatives defenders so much more interest-
ed to sustain them on that account, and because the
weight would likewise falljupon them and their families,
it is by the division of powers, citizens, that the
Americans have become numerous and flourishing, in
a progression so rapid, that the annals of no people
offer such an example.
The separation of powers has cast over England a
splendour, which the defects of her government have
not been able to tarnish.
We have, therefore, thought proper to propose to
you a Senate composed of twenty-four members.
This body ought not to be too numerous; the dispatch
of business would suffer by it; it ought to be, however,
sufficiently so, in order that the laws may meet, as
much as possible, the approbation and will of the peo-
The appointment to offices and to the functions of
the state, which we have granted to the Senate, will
ahlay; be one of the most important articles through-
out the Constitution. It would be deceiving the pub-
lic mind, it would be preparing the slavery of our
country, to grint this important pri\ ilege to the execu-
tive power. The public functionaries ought not to be
considered as the creatures of an individual; every
thing ought, on thd contrary, to bring to their recol-
lection, that they are the agents and the delegates of
the people, or their representatives. Thus, then, in
the theory and practice of every well organized go.
government, the right of appointing public functionaries
belongs to the legislative power.
You have not f'o gotten what were the consequences,
under Dessalines, of the prerogative of appointing to;
offires-whi,:h was one of his usurpations.. Ambi-
tion and cupidlity seized all hearts: unblameable men,
until then, consented to obtain, or preserve an office,
to become the support and the agents of tyranny:
others became at the will of the tyrant the instruments
of his Ierocity.
All chiefs, it is true, are not Dessalines; but in le-
gislating, they should be governed by principles and
He who is charged to make laws for his country,
discards from him all passions as well as particular
affections. The holy love of country occupies his
whole-heart.; the present is not solely before him; his
very soul runs into futurity; he associates with the
gerierati.ns which are to succeed him; he wishes that
the political and civil-lars be in harmony with, the
laws of nature, because he considers himself as the or.
gan and minister of that Divine Providence which has
created man to be happy at all times.-
Besides, citizens, if we granted to the chief ofthe
government even only one part of the legislative
power, instead of effecting our liberty, we should es-
tablish despotism. Does not experience prove to us,
that the legislative power continually aims at relaxa-
tion, whilst the executive always acquires a greater
intenseness of force ?
We also propose to you, citizens, that no funds shall
ever come out of the public treasury, without the sig-
nature of the Secretary of State, who, placed near
the Senate, will always be ready to give them an ac-
- count of his operations. It is just that the people,
whose contributions form the revenues of the state,
should be informed of the employment made of their
funds. If it was otherwise; if, as in monarchies, the
public treasury should become the treasury of an in-
dividual, corruption would soon be introduced, even
in the Senate, men being all alike every where; let us
then have the modesty to believe that we shall not be
less incorruptible in our Republic than they are else-
In the situation in which we find ourselves with"other
governnment.s it is important togrant to the Senate the
right of the management of the exterior relations, and
of conducting negotiations. We ought likewise to
court the benevolence and cultivate the friendship of
all governments. By showing them the regard and re-
spect which are due to them, we shall have a right to
expect on their part a return of noble and generous
On the article of the executive power, we have been
of opinion, that the modest title of President was that
which best suited to the first magistrate of the Repub-
lic. 'We propose to you that he be appointed for the
term of four years, and that he may be indefinitely re-
elected: we propose to you likewise to invest him with
the chiet command of the army, and that he appoint
functionaries of the different tribunals.
These powers, and prerogatives, which exceed
those possessed by the executive directory of France,
render extremely important the career which he is go-
ing to run, and we already hear the voice of the peo-
ple, who cry to him:.
Our representatives have appointed you to the first
magistracy of the state; they wish you to be the first
citizen of the Republic.-Honours, dignities, fortune,
have all accumulated on your head.-If you deserve
it, you will be for life surrounded with the splendour
of command but let your object be to render us hap-
py :-remember there is always a time in which all the
illusions of men disappear, and that when you shall
have arrived at the term to which nature calls you as
the rest of men, you will then find nothing more real
and consoling than the testimony of an irreproachable
conscience, and the remembrance of the services ren-
dered to the country."
In the article concerning civil justice, you will find
dispositions which insure the security of your persons;
and in that which concerns criminal justice, you will
find dispositions which breathe humanity.
In allowing to every citizen the right of communi-
cating and publishing his opinions on matters of go-
vernment, we establish the liberty of the press, the
palladium of public liberty.
Governed by such principles, obeying a Constitu-
tion which shall for ever be the compass which will
prevent us from going astray in the route we are to
follow, what shall we want more tobe happy? Nothing,
citizens, if we make good use of the kindnesses of that
Divine Providence which has to this day protected us
in all our undertakings; and which having placed us
in the centre of this archipelago, with a delightful cli-
mate, on a land of a wonderful fertility, appears to
have intended to render us the happiest people of the
Signed Petion, Caesa Telemaque, Theodat Trichety
Magloire Ambroise, Brunot, Blanchet, David- Troy,
Manigat, Bonnet, and Lyss.
Address of the Senate to the people.
After having once more regained your rights, and
declared to the universe that you wished to live free,
independent, and governed by your own laws; you
have had again to fight against the tyranny which had
sprung from your own bosom. The genius of liberty
has triumphed, and you have given to yourselves a
Constitution in which the rights of the people are sti-
pulated, their security insured, and social order esta-
blished: you are indebted to Providence for that kind-
ness, to your courage, and to the fidelity of your chiefs
whohave directed you. You have thought with reason,
that a Constitution framed in the tumult of arms, on the
bloody remains of Despotism, and in the midst of pas-
sions hardly extinguished. might perhaps present some
errors for experience to rectily ; you had reserved to
yourselves the right of revising it in the period of nine
years; this proposition has been submitted to the Se-
nate which represents you.
SCitiz, ns. this era is arrived; the Republic has sur.
mounted all the obstacles and shackles which could
have opposed her firm andintrepid steps; she
has raced her majestic head above all the storms
which were raised against her; n ihing has resisted
the accomplishment of her high destinies.
SThe period of our political existence has been exe-
cuted under the sanction of the Senators, whose seats
were taken by your election, and according to the
terms of our law, under the pre-idAncy of thatwise
and virtuous man, whose skilful hands, and righteous
and generous heart, have, cunjoinilly with your legis-
lators, preserved the integrity of the Republic; the
precious deposit of our laws and our national honour.
With such brigh'ex.lmples and pure intentions, we
shall find ourselves very happy if we can imitate them,
and walk in the paths which lthey have so nobly point-
ed out to us.
Citizens, our duties, the happiness of the people,
their rights, their liberty, and their independence, shall
always receive our first attention and care; we will
never swerve from that obligation, and the love of
country shall be the palladium of your representatives.
SThe first exercise of our aiithlrily ought to be for
the welfare of the Republic; to make an appeal to the
people to consecrate for ever their r iik in society,
and their privileges; to shelter flimselves under the
sacred shield of a firm conltitutimn. irn order that they
may for ever enjoy the advantages which it ought to
insure them, and teach to the world that the Republic
of Hayti is an upright government, founded upon wise
and unalterable laws, where every one can exercise
and enjoy the rights and privileges granted by them,
and lind security and protection.
In consequence, the Sepate, after having maturely
considered the twelfth section of the Constitution, pro-
poses to the people, after they have conformed to the
183, 184, 185, and 186, of the same section, to revise
SSection I. General regulations.
Section II. Of the territory.
Section III. Of the political situation of the people.
Section IV. Of religion and morals.
Section V. The legislative power.
Section VI. The promulgation of the laws.
Section VII. Of the executive power.
Section VIII. Of the judiciary power.
And Sections X. and XI. of agriculture and com-
merce, as well as that of the Secretary of State.
All the articles of the above mentioned sections re
ijliring alterations, they are pointed out to you to
make the necessary amendments.
The appointed place for the sittings of the council
of revision is fixed at the Grand Goave the first of the
This address will be read, published, and forward-
ed, by a messenger to the President of Ha) ti, for his
At the Government-House of Port au Prince/the
6th day of February, 1816, thirteenth year of inde-
(Signed.) PANAYOTY, President.
CONSTITUTION OF .HAYTI,
December 27, 1806, and its revi-ion of the 2d of Jum,
1816.-Thirteenth year otf independence.
The Haytian people proclaim in the presence of
the Supreme Being the present Constitution of the
Republic of Hayti, which is to consecrate for ever
their liberty and independence.
Article 1. There cannot exist any slaves on the ter-
ritory of the Republic: slavery being for ever abo-
Art. 2. All debts contracted for the acquisition of
men are for ever cancelled.
Art. 3. The right of hospitality is sacred and inYi-
olable throughout the Republic, only in cases of ex-
ceptiun prescribed by law.
Art. 4. The government of Hayti is nothercdilary ,
it is elective.
drt 5. The Republic of Hayti will never form any
kind of enterprise with the intention of making con-
quests, or disturbing the peace and interior govru-
ment of foreign states or island.
Art. 6. The rights of man in society are liberty,
equality, security, and property.
Art. T. Liberty consists in doing only that which
does not interfere with the rights of othel i.
.Ar. 8. E.|uinlity consists in this, that the law is the
same in protecting or punishing every man.
Eqaility a.'nitsi no distinction of birth, or any he-
SArt. 9. Security results from the uniting of all to
insure the rights of each other.
Art. 10. Property is the right of enjoying and dis-
posing of one's income, wealth, labour, and industry.
Art. 11. Property is saced and inviolable; every
citizen, either by himself, or by his representative, is
allowed the free disposition of what is acknowledged
to be his own property. Whoever infringes this right
renders himself criminal before the law, and responsi-
ble to the person thus disturbed in the enjoyment of
.rl. 12. The law is the general will expressed by
the majority of the citizens, or of their representa-
Art. 13. What is not prohibited by law cannot be
hindered by law; no one can be compelled to do
what the law does not command.
Art. 14. The city of Port au Prince is declared to
be the capital of the Republic, and the seat of go-
Art. 15. No civil or criminal law can have a retro-
Art. 16. The sovereignty rests essentially in the
'generality of the citizens; no individual or partial re-
union of the citizens can assume it to themselves.
Art. 17. No one can, without a legal commission.
exercise any authority or fulfil any public function.
Art. 18. Public functions cannot become the pro-
perty of those who exercise them.
Art. 19. The social compact cannot exist if the di-
vision of powers is not established, if their limits are
not settled, and if the responsibility of public func-
tionaries is not secured.
.rt. -20. All the duties of man and of the citizen are
derived fi om these two principles, engraved by nature
in all hearts-~do unto others as you would thfy should
do unto you; and do constantly to others all the good
you would wish to receive from them.
Art. 21. The obligations of every one towards so-
cic-y consist in defending and servingg it, in obey ing
the laws and respecting those who are their organs.
Art. 22. No one shall be reputed a good citizen, if
heis not a good child, good lather, good friend, and
Art. 23. No one shall be reputed an honest man,
if he does not sincerely and religiously observe the
Art. 24. Ha who openly infringes the laws, declares
himself in a state of war with society.
Art. 25. He who, without openly infringing the
laws, eludes them either by cunning or stratagem, in-
jures the community, and renders himself unworthy of
their kindnessand esteem.:
Art. 26. On the security of property depend the
culture of the land, all productions, all means of labour,
and all social order.
Art. 27. Every citizen owes his services to the coun-
try, to the support of liberty equality, and property,
whenever the law calls upon him to defend them.
.Art. 28. The dwelling of every citizen is an invio-
iable asylum-during night no person has the right of
entering it except in case of fire, .inundation, or calls
from within. During :hi day they can enter it only
for a special object, determined] either by the law, or
by an order i.sued hy a public authority.
Art. *29. No .lomii-liiry visit can take place but in
virtue ofa lat% or a superior order, and only for the
person or object e.xprc'ly meriorincd in the orders
for the visit.
Art. 30. No ,ne can be per's, 'ute.l', arrested, or
detained, butin the cases determined by law.
Art. 31. No one can be hindered from telling,
writing, or publishing his opinions. No wriiiig; can
be subject to any c'nsire hbel'.e their publication.
No person is resporn-i-.le for what he has pulbh-heId,
except in rases pioriJed by law.
Art. 32. Individual responsibility is explicitly at.
tached to all public functionaries.
Art. 33 The Constitution guarantees the alienation
of the national domains, as well as the concessions
granted by the government, either as national com-
pensation or otherwise.
Art. 34. The national festivals instituted by the
laws of the Republic will be preserved, viz. that of
the Independence ofHayti, the first of January in each
year that of Agriculture, the first of May; that of the
Birtll of Alexander Petion, President ofHayti, will be
celebrdied the second of ApriL, in remembrance ofhis
Art. 35. A General Institution shall be established
and organized for public aid, to bring up foundlings
and orphans, to assist the aged and infirm poor per.
sons, and to procure work for those who cannot pro-
cure it for themselves.
.Arl. 36. There shall also be established andorganiz-
ed a Public Instiulion, free to all citizens, as it respects
that kind] of instruction necessary for all men, the esta-
blishment of which shall be gradually distributed with
a combined reference to the divisions of the republic.
Art. 37. Codes of civil, criminal, and penal laws
shall be instituted, as also those respecting the prac-
tice of law and of commerce, uniform throughout the
.rt. 38. No white person, of whatever nation, shaU
set foot on this territory as a master or a proprietor.
Art. 39. Those whites are acknowledged Haytians
who form a part of the army) who hold civil offices,
and those who have been admitted ifro the republic
at the publication of the Constitufion of the 27th De-
cember, 1806, and no other, after the ptblication of
this present revision, shall hereafter pretend to the
same right,-or be employed, or possess the right of ci-
tlenship, or hold property in the republic.
Of the Territoryl.
SArt. 40. The island of Hayti (formerly St. Domingo)
with the adjacent islands, compose the territory of the
.rt. 41. The Republic of Hayti is one and indivi-
sible; it is divided into depal ments, as follows:-
the Department of the South, the West. the East, and
the North, the limits of which are known and desig-
nated by the law of the Central Assembly of St. Do-
mingo, dated the 10th July, 1801 :"he other Depart-
ments will be designated by a law which will assign
.rt. 42. The departments will be divided into dis-
tricts and counties; the number and limits shall like-
wise be fixed by law ..
.rt'. 43; The legislative power can change and as-
sign the boundaries of the departments, districts, and
counties, whensoever it shall think proper.
SPulhcal RJ, ltion of the Citizens.
Art 4. All Indians, Africans, and their descen-
danti, born in the colonies or elsewhere, who shall
hereafter reside in this republic, shall be acknowledged
as Haytians; but they shall not enjoy the rights olci-
tizenship, until they shall have resided one year with-
in the limits of the republic. -
Art. 45. No Haytian shall commence his military
career except as a private soldier.
Art. 46. The exercise of the right of citizenship will
be lost to those who are condemned to ignominious or
.Art. 47. The exercise of the right of citizenship is
Ist. By judiciary prohibition, on account of violent
passions, madness, or imbecility..
2d. By being in the condition of an insolvent
debtor, or immediate heir, the defender of a pretended
free gift, either in whole or in part of the succession of
a person failed.
3d. By being a domestic. .
4th. By being under a criminal accusation.
5th. By being outlawed, as long as the sentence is
Of Religion and Morals.
Art. 48. The Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman re-
ligion being that of ll the Ilaytians, is also declared
to be that of the government; it shall be particularly
protected, as well as #s clergy.
Art. 49. All other religious denominations are tole-
rated in the republic, conforming themselves to the
Art. 50. The Constitution grants to the President
of Hayti the power of soliciting hereafter his holiness
the Pope to permit a bishop to reside in this republic,
to educate for the ministry those of the young Hay-
tians whose inclinations miy lead them to receive'the
Art. 51. The executive power assigns to each mi-
nister of religion the extent of his spiritual adminis-
tration. Clergymen can in no instance form a body in
Art. 52. Marriage, by its civil and religious in'titu-
tion tending to promote purity of morals, tho'-e hus-
bands who shall practise the virtues which their silua-
tion requires, shall always be distinguished and parti-
cularly protected by the government.
.Arf. 53. The rights of children born of unmarried
parents shall be ret-ulated by laws which will lend to
sprea I social virtues, and to encourage and cement
the bonds of families.
S rt. 54. The legislative power consists of a House
-of Representatives of the different districts, and a Se-
: House of Rtpresentalires.
Art. 55. No.law shall be published until its plan
shall have been proposed hy the executive power, dis-
cussed and a'lolted h;, the House of Representatives,
and decreed by the Serdie.
.rt. 56. Thp H-juse of Represenratives shall con-
sist of three member- from the capital of the republic
(or the seator government) twofiynthe principal city of
each department, and of'onc member from each county.
.rt. 57. The House of Representlires shall lay
the public tacxs, determine their nature, the quola,
and the mode of collection.
.irt. 58. It will en.ct lakes and regulations, accord-
ing to the forms Established by the Constitution, upon
Will form aiid maintain the army ;
Make laws and regulations on the mode of its or-
ganizatinn and government; '
Determine the value, the weight, and the stamp of
Establish the standard of weights and measures,
which shall be uniform throughout the republic;
Determine definitively the alienation of the national
Euact all the necessary laws to enforce the execu-
lion of the powers limited and appointed by the Con-
Determine the formation and privileges of a Council
of Notables in each district, to enact laws of local ad-
ministration, which shall not have been provided for
'by the general laws;
Finally, the House of Representatives shall exer-
cise the legislative power jointly with the Senate.',
Art. 5)9. No person shall be admitted in the house
as a representative without being a freeholder and at
least twenty-five years of age. ,
Art. 60. The representatives of the several coun-
ties represent the whole nation, and cannot receive
any personal order.
They shall exercise their powers as representatives
five years, and shall be elected as follows:
Art. 61. Every five years from the first to the tenth
of February, county meetings shall assemble in each
county, or shall be called together by an address of
the President of Hayti, and each county meeting shall
elect from among the citizens of the county the num-
ber of delegates prescribed by article 56.
.rt. 62. They shall elect besides one substitute to
supply the place of the delegate in case of death, re-
signation, or removal; which delegates thus elected
shall assemble at the government house to I'im the
House of Representatives.
Art. 63. County meetings cannot exercise any other
functions than those which are prescribed to them 1by
the Constitution : the mode of electing belongs to
them ; :nd the elections are made by tickets.
Art. 64. Any citizen convicted of having sold or
bought a vote, is excluded for twenty years from all
public ofires; and in case of repetition, he shall be
excluded f:i--m them for ever.
-Art. 65. The delegate of the executive power at
the civil court of each department. his ,ubltitu!es and
notaries performing hi. fuiictions in the counties, are
bound, under the penalty of removal, to inform the
executive power of the opening and closing of the
They caiinot interfere in their operations, nor enter
in the place of their assembly; but they can demand
a communication of the minutes of each meeting in the
succeeding twenty-four hours; a;nd they are bound to
report to the executive the infractions which may be
made on the Constiiuiion.
In all cases the House of Representatives'pronoun-
ces on the validity of the operations of the county
Art. 66. The age of majority is required to vote in
the county meetings.
Art. 67. County meetings shall not last longer than
Arl. 68. A representative may be indefinitely re-
Art. 69. As soon as notice shall be given toa repre-
sentative of his election, he shall repair to Port au
Prince to exercise the rights with which he is invest-
ed : the abholite najorrity of the representatives as-
sembled form the House of Representatives.
.Ar. 70. The stated place for the sitLinis of the
House of Represerctikej s is appointed in the capital
of each department.
.At. 71. The representatives shall assemble on the
first day of April in each year at the place appointed
for their deliberations.
Adr. 72. Their session shall not last longer than
Art. 73. 'he House shall annually receive the re-
port of the Secretary of State concerning the account
of expenditures, to be transmitted to it by .he Presi-
dent of Hayti; discuss and approve it according to
circumstances. and order its publication.
Art. 74. During the interval from one session to ano-
ther, the President has power to call an extra session
in cases of urgent necessity.
A.rt..75. The opening of each session of the House
of Representatives shall be made by the President in
.At. T6. If in ease of invasion, or any other hin-
derance, so tha the legi-ltiive body should be pre-
ventrled from .issrmbliiig in Poit au Prince, the Senate
shall determine the pl ice of its meetlhg.
Art. 77. The House of; Representatives has the'
power of police over its members ; but it cannot-pass
a more severe sentence th.in censure or arrest for fif-
S.4t1. t8. The sittings of the House are public: it
can, however, dcllberate.with closed doors,and its de-
liberations shall be rendered public by a journal under
the title of'" Bulletin of Laws."
,rt. 79. All decisions in the H, ll;e are taken by
sitting and standing; in ca-e of doubt hey canbe made
by nominal appeal, but th, n the votes are secret.
Art. 80. The members of the House receive a com-
pensation at the rate ofl' t huinilteddollars per month,
and one dollar for every league*of the journey they
take to reach the scat of government, which compen-
sation is charged to their respective counties, inthe
form whi-h will be prescribed by law.
.4Ar. 81. There shall be an incompatibility between
the functions of a member of the House of Represent-
atives, and all other public functions in the pay of go-
Art. 82. No motion can be discussed or adopted by
the House of Repreentatives, bat in observance of
the following regulations :
Every motion shall be read three times before the
The interval between each reading cannot be less
thnn five days; the discussion upon it shall be opened
immediately after each reading: nevertheless, after the
first and second reading the House can decide that
there is room for postponement, or reject all delibera-
tiots upon it.
Every motion shall be notified to the members of the
louse two days before the second reading takes place.
.a. 83. After the third reading the House will de-
cide whether there is room for postponement.
'A.rt. 84. All motions submitted to the House for dis-
cussion, and definitely rejected after the third reading.
cannot he proposed again till after the lapse of one
.rt. 85. Motions acknowledged and declared ur-
gent by a previous deliberation of the House, shall be
exempt from the formalities prescribed by the preced-
.Art. 86. The House of Represenratives shall send
to the Senate, within tventy-four hours, the laws en-
acted by them, which cannot be put in force until after
the concurrence of the Senate.
Art. 87. Any law rejected by the Senate can again
be presented by the House after a delay of one year.
Art. 88. At any time a motion forming part of a
project of law already rejected, can nevertheless be
presented again in a new project.
lAr. 89. The members of the House or of the Se-
nate can at no time be prosecuted, accused, or im-
peached, for what they may have said or written while
in the exercise of their official duties.
Art. 90. Any civil action can be instituted against
the members of the House; but amoliirr I:r imprison-
ment cannot be exercised against then.
Art. 91. For criminal deeds they can be seized in
the act, but notice 'hust be, without delay, given to the
House ; and the suit cannot be continued until it shall
have ordered the prosecution to be carried on.
Art. 92. When not taken in the act, the members of
the House of Representatives cannot be brought be-
fore the police, nor be put under arrest, until the House
shall have ordered the prosecution.
.Art. 93. In the case of the two'preceding articles, a
member of the House cannot be cited before any other
tribunal than the Supreme Court.
Art. 94. They may be cited before the same court
for treason, misdemeanor, plots to overthrow the Con-
stitution, and designs against the interior safety of the
.rt. 95. No denunciation against a member of the
H"use can authorise a prosecution, if it is not reduced
to writing, signed, and addressed to the House.
Art. 96. If after having taken the denunciation into
consideration, according to the forms prescribed by
article 79, the lHouse admits it, i will be declared in
these terms: "The denunciation against for
having under date of signed by is
The culprit is then called; the House grants him a
delay, and when he appears he is heard in the interior
of the ball of the sittings.
Art. 97. Whether the culprit appears or not, after
the delay, the House, upon examination of the facts,
will declare whether there is cause or not for prosecu-
Art. 98. All deliberations concerning an accusation
made against a member of the House shall be taken by
.rt. 99. An accusation admitted against a member
. (|- .Q.
of the House carries with it the suspension of his fnc-
Art. 100. If he is acquitted by the court he shall
resume his functions.
Art. 101. The Senate shall be composed of twen-
ty-four members, and shall never exceed that number.
Art. 102. The House of Representatives shall ap-
point the Senators, whose duties shall last nine years.
Art. 103. No one shall be admitted Senator under
thirty years of age.
Art. 104. Every citizen can be eligible to the office
of Senator by his virtues, talents, and patriotism.
Art. 105. Military functions alone are not incom-
patible with those of a Senator.
Art. 106. A military man appointed Senator cannot
pretend to the two offices ; he will then choose be-
tween the indemnity of a Senator or that qf hts mili-
Art. 107. At the session which shall precede the
time of electing Senators, the executive iill form'a list
of three candidates for every Senator to be elected,
taken from the generality of the citizens, which it shall
present to the House of Representatives.
Art. 108. The House shall elect from among the
candidates thus proposed, the number of Senators re-
,. quired to form the Senate, and their election shall be
made by ballot.
Art. 109. The same mode of election shall be used
in case of deattl, resignation, &c. of the Senators, and
the appointment to vacant seats shall be made within
eight days at the furthest.
Art. 110. The Senate shall inform the President of
Hayti of the election of the new Senators; who shall
repair to the performance of their duties within fifteen
days after the notification of their election.
.rt. 111. The Senators thus to be elected can in no
instance be taken from the members of the House then
Art. 112. A Senator cannot be re-elected except
after an interval of three years.
.Art. 113. The Constitution shall be deposited un-
der the care of the Senaie.
Art. 114. The Senjte shall bp permanent, and can-
not adjouurn during the session of the Hlouse of Repre-
.Alt. 115. The sittings of the Senate are fixed at
Port au Prince, except in the cases mentioned in arLi-
Art. 116. Their silinge are public, but they may sit
with closed doors when they think it proper.
.rt. 1 1. A majority of the members, when assem-
bled, shall constitute the Senate.
Art. 118. The Senate shall by a message inform the
executive of the opening of their sittings.
It informs by the same message the House of Re-
presentatircs, and the President of Hayti, of the ap-
pointments to be made to fill vacancies of its body, by
death, resignation, &c. of one or more of its members.
.JAr. 119. The Senate shall install its new members,
and receive their oath of fidelity.
AIrt. 120. The Senators shall receive from the pub-
lic Treasurer an annual compensation of sixteen hun-
.Ar. 121. The Senate shall correspond directly
with the President of Hayti, on all that concerns the
general adininistraion of public business, but can in no
instance make him accountable to their body for any
acts of his administration.
.Art. 122. All private correspondence respecting
public affairs is prohibited between Senators and mem-
bers of the louse of Repreqentatives.
.qrt. 1 3. It is the duty of the Senate alone to elect
the President of Hayti: any other election is illegal,
and an infringement of the Constitution.
Art. 124. The Senate, upon the denunciation of the
isecutive, or of the House of Representatives, can is-
sue warrants against accountable agents and members
of the judiciary body; who cannot be judged by the
ordinary tribunals without this formality.
Art. 125. The Constitution grants to the Senate the
.power of sanctioning or rejecting all treaties of peace,
alliance, or commerce, concluded by the President of
Hayti with foreign powers, as ircll as declarations of
Art. 126. The Senate decrees the sums which ought
to be appropriated to each part of the public services
from the budget presented by the Secretary of State.
Art. 127. Neither the Senate nor the House of Re-
pesentatives can delegate the powers vested in them
by the Constitution.
Neither can they interfere in judiciary causes, nqr
in the prerogatives of the executive authority.
Art. 128. The responsibility resting essentially on
the Secretary of State, or on the other great functiona-
vies, the Senate and the House of Repre'enainacs can
call them to hear either on ihe acts of their adminis-
tration, or on the inexecution of the laws v which con-
The delinquent functionaries thus admitted by the
present article, called by the Senate and representa-
tives to give an account of their conduct, shalllbe
heard in a committee of the whole; ahd if the result of
their conduct, proves a misdemeanor, embezzlement,
-or any ether offnce tending to overthrow the Consti-
tution, and to endanger the safety of the late. the Se-
nate shall isJe a decree of accusation against them.
.rt. 129. The said functionaries thus f.uind guilty
are suspended from their functions, and referred to the
supreme court, thei e to be judged according to law.
Art. 130. A functionary acquitted by the supreme
court will immediately resume the exercise of his func-
.rl. 131. The Senators, and the members of the
House, while on duty or not, ought to command the
respect of the citizens.
The national and legislative guarantee, as well as
their responsibility to the nation, is common to both
houses, as provided in articles 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94,
95, 96, 97, 98, 99, and 100.
SArt. 132. Every law submitted to the Senate by the
House of Representatives shall undergo the formalities
prescribed by articles 82, 83, 84, and 85.
Art. 133. All the laws concurred in by the Senate
shall bear this preamble: "The Senate 'decrees the
adoption of (such law, bearing. such title) which shall
be within twenty-four hours -forwarded to the Presi-
dent of Hayti, to receive his. sanction, according to
the forms ordered by the Constitution."
Art. 134. In case of the rejection of a law by the
Senate, proposed by the House of Representatives,
the Senate shall not be obliged to explain their.mo-
Art. 135. The Senate possesses the same power of
police over its members as prescribed in article 77 for
the members of the House of Representatives.
Art. 136. When the Senate shall adjourn, it will
leave a permanent committee; and this committee can-
not pass any decisive decree but for its convocation.
ProMulgation of the laws.
Art. 137. The President of Haytishal cause all the
laws and decrees made by the legislative body to be
pealed within two days after his sanction.
.Art. 138. The promulgation of the lans and acts of
the legislative body shall be made in the following
In the name of the Republic, the President of
Hayti orders that the present (law or decree) be in-
vested with the seal of the Republic, published, and
put into execution."
".Jrt. 139. Every law is binding twenty-four hours
after its promulgation for the capital; after three days
for its district after eight days for the other districts
of the department, and after a month throughout the
.drt. 140.'In no instance shall the promulgation of
the acts of the legislative body be suspended.
E ec utive power.
Art. 141. The executive power is vested in a ma-
gistrate, who assumes the title of President of Hayti.
.qrt. 142. The Presidency of Hayti is for life.
dtrt. 143. The President, before entering upon the
duties of his office, shall take before the Senate the,
I swear, in presence of the nation, to fulfil the du-
ties of President of Hayti, to maintain to the best of
my power the Constitution, and to respect and cause
to be respected, the rights and the independence of
the people of Hayti."
IArt. 144. If the President shall not have taken the;
afore-mentioned oath within fifteen days after te no-
tice of his election, he shall he considered as having
declined the appointment, and the Senate shall within
twenty-four hours after proceed to a new election.
.qr. 145. To be eligible to the Presidency a per-
son must have reached the thirty-fifth year of his age.
Art. 146. Any. citizen ofthe republic is eligible to
the situation of President of Hayti.
Art. 147. In case of a vacancy of the Presidency by
death, resignation, or removal from oiice, the Secre-
tary or Secretaries -of State in Council shall exercise
the executive authority till the election of a new Pre-
Art. 148. If the Senate be not in session, its perma-
nent committee shall call an extra session, in order to
proceed without delay to the election of a President.
Art. 149. The President makes provision, according
to law, for all-that relates to the internal or external
*security of the republic.
Art. 150. He may issue proclamations,- according
to law, and for their execution.
Art. 151. He has the command of the sea and land
S* Art. 152. He watches and causes to be executed
the laws in every tribunal of justice, by delegates ap-
pointed by him, whom he can remove at will.
Art. 153. He can propose laws; those, however,
excepted, which concern the assessment, quota,, dura-
tion, and manner of collecting public taxes, and their
increase or diminution; these are discussed, adopted
or rejected by the Legislature, which, in case of re-
jection, gives its reasons for refusal.
Art. 154. The projects proposed by the President
are reduced into articles, and at any time, even during
their discussion, the President can withdraw them; he
can modify and present them again at the ensuing ses-
Art. 155. He can also conclude any treaty of com-
merce, alliance, or peace with foreign nations, as well
as declare war; which, however, shall have no force
till after having received the sanction of the Senate. .
Art. 156. He can appoint agents near foreign pow-
ers or governments, whom he can recall at pleasure.
Art. 157. He will appoint all the.civil and military
functionaries, and designate the place of their respec-
Art. Ia0. All exterior relations, and all that con-
cerns them, belong exclusively to the President of
.4Ar. 159. If the President of Hayti is informed of
any conspiracy against the interior security of the
state, he can issue warrants of arrest against the au-
thors and their accomplices ; but he is obliged, under
the penalties pronounced by law against arbitrary-
arrests, torefer them within two days to the competent
tribunal for prosecutirin.
.Iqr. 160. The President of H-ayli shall be allowed
annually the salary of forty thousand dollars.,
Art. 181. The Fxecutive shall oversee the receipts
and expenditures of the revenues, and gi% e all neces-
sanr orders concerning them.
Art. 162. He will also, by agents appointed by
him, watch over the mint.
fArt. 168. The Senate alone has power to examine
and decide np the conduct of the President of
.rt. 164. The Constitution grants to the President
of Hayti the right of pointing out the citizen who is to
This choice shall be communicated to the Senate
in the hand writing of the President, sealed and ad-
dressed to the Senate, which shall not be opened till
after the vacancy of the Presidency.
This letter shall be deposited in a particular box,
locked up with two different keys, one of which shall
remain in the hands of the President of Hayti, and the
other in those of the President of the Senate.
Art. 165. The President can at will withdraw his
appointment and propose another, with the same for-
malities as before.
Art. 166. The Senate can admit or reject the per-
son thus proposed by the President to succeed him;
and in case -f rejection the Senate will proceed with-
in twenty-four hours to the election uf a President. -
.Art. 167. Tlcre shall be attached to the President
of Hayti, a Secretary-General, charged with personal
Of the Judiciary Power.
Art. 168. A Chief Justice shall be appointed,
charged with the administration of justice, and whose
prerogatives shall be determined by law.
Art. 169. The judges cannot interfei'e in the exer-
cises of the legislative functions, nor can they make
Art. 170. They can neither retard nor suspend the
execution of any law, nor call before their tribunals,
on account of their functions, any officers of the ad-
.'lr. 171. The judges can be divested of nothing
which the law assigns them, by any commission or any
other privileges than those which are already determin-
ed by an anterior law.
Art. 172. The judges, the delegates of the execu-
tive and their subtttiltes, near the different tribunals,
are paid by the state.
Ar. 173. The judges cannot be removed but for
trespasses in their functions, legally proved, nor sus-
pended but by a well-grounded accusation.
Art. 174. The judges, the delegates of the execu-
tive, and their substitutes, cannot he called from their
official duties for any other public services, except in
case of imminent danger.
Art. 175. Connexions in direct line, as fathers,
brother&, uncles, nephews, first cousins, and all the
connexions in these divers degrees, cannot, at the
same time, be members of the same tribunal.
Art. 176. The sittings of the tribunals shall be pub-
lic ; the judges can deliberate in private; but the
judgments shall be pronounced in a loud voice; they
shall be explained.
Art. 177. No citizen, who shall not be at least
twenty-five years of age, can hold the office of a judge
or be appointed delegate of the executive.
Of Civil Jestice.
Art. 178. The right of settling differences by arbi-
tration shall be allowed to every citizen ; each party
concerned will appoint his arbiter, and these n ill then
give their decision.
.rt. 179. The decision of these arbiters shall be
without appeal, unless the parties have previously
agreed other% ise.
Art. 180. The legislative power shall determine by
a law the number of justices of the peace and their
assistants in each department.
.Art. 181. The law also determines those cases in
which there is no appeal from the dccikion of the jus-
tices of the peace, and their assistants, and points oqt
to .hem others in which an appeal can be made.
.rt. 82. The causes whose decision do not be-
long to the justices of the peace, can be brought be-
fore them for conciliation; and if the justice of the
peace cannot reconcile them, he refers them to the ci-
.rl. 183. The law shall determine the number of
courts in each department, the places where they shall
he held, the mode of their organization, and the exter n
of their jurisdiction.
Arlt. 18-1. There shall be attached to each civil tri-
bunal a delegate of the executive, a substitute, and a
Art. 185. The decisions of the civil court are final
in the cases determined by law, on the appeals from
judgments, whether from justices of the peace, from ar-
biters, or courts of other tribunals.
Of Criminal Jistice.
,.Art. 186. No person shall be apprelhicnde d but to be
brought before a police officer; and no one shall be
put under arrest, or detained by a writ issued by the
police officers. or by hie executive, as expressed in
Article 159, or by virtue of a writ of habeas cCrpus is-
sued by a court or by an orderfrom the legNiltive au-
thority ; and in those cases which belong to its cogni-
zance, or in virtue of a sentence of condemnation to
.Art. 187. In order to put in execution the act which
orders the arrest, it is necessary, 1st, to express plain-
ly the causes of the arrest and the law in conformity to
which it is ordered: 2d, it must be notified to the per-
son who is the object, and a copy left with him.
Art. 188. And person so seized and carried before
the police officer, shall immediately be examined, or at
least in the course of the same day at furthest.
Art. 189. Ifthq result of the examination proves
that there is no cause for accusation, the person so ar-
rested shall immediately be released ; and if there is
cause for imprisonment, he or she shall be carried
there as soon as possible, of which delay in no instance
shall exceed three days.
:Art. 190. No person arrested shall be detained, if
S a sufficient security be given in the cases in which the
law admits a bail.
Art. 191. No person in cases in which his deten-
tion is authorized by law, can be detained or:conduct-
ed to any other place than those legally and publicly
appointed as prisons.
Art. 9'2. No keeper or gaoler can admit or detain
any person, except by virtue of a writ in the forms
prescribed in Articles 159 and 161 of a writ of habeas
corpus, of a decree of accusation, or of a condemna-
tion to prison, and without the transcription has been
carried on his register.
.rl. 193. Every keeper or gaoler shall be bound,
and nothing can excuse him from it, to present the
person detained to the civil officer having authority
over the house of detention, whenever that officer may
Squire it of him.
.Art. 194. Interviews with the person detained can-
not be prohibited to his relations and friends, bearing
a permission from the officer, who shall always be al-
lowed to grant it, except in cames in %ihich the gaoler
can.present an express order from the judge, and in-
scribed on his register, ordering him to keep the p.i-
soner in close confinement.
.rt. 195. Every person, of whatever office or em-
ployment they may be, except those to whom the law
grants the power of arrest, who shall give, sign,
execute, or shall cause to be executed, an order of ar-
rest against an individual,- or whomsoever in cases
even of arrest authorized by law, shall conduct, re-
Ceive, or detain, any person in any place of confine-
ment not publicly and legally appointed; and all keep-
ers or gaolers who shall be guilty of infringing any of
the preceding articles, shall be prosecuted as guilty
of the crime of arbitrary detention.
Art. 196. All violence employed in arrests, deten-
tions, or executions, other than those prescribed by
law, are criminal.
Art. 197. The law shall determine the number of
criminal courts in each department, the places where
they shall be held, their mode of organization, and the
extent of their jurisdiction.
.4,r. 198. Civil judges can exercise the functions of
Art. 1.9. The legislative body can regulate the
trial by jury in criminal cases.
Art. '200. There shall be established a Court of
Errors for the whole republic. Its mode of organize.
tion and prerogAtives shall be detei mined by law.
Art. O I. The executive shall decide on the appli-
cation of the interested parties, and without prejudice,
of their respective rights, the acts and judginents in
which the judges shall have exceeded their powers.
Art. 202. The Court of Errors shall annul all ille-
gal decisions, and impeach the offenders, after having
called and heard them.
Art. 203. This court cannot pronounce on the
merits of the cause, but must refer it to the competent
tribunal, which is to give its final decision.
Art. 20-. Military ofi'nces shall be submitted to
courts martial, and, under particular forms of judg-
ment, determined by law.
Art. 205. There shall be a Supreme Court to pro-
nounce on accusations admitted by the legislative au-
thority, whether against its own members or against
the President of Hayti, or against the Secretary or
Secretaries of State, or any other high public officers.
Art. 206. The Supreme Court shall assemble only
by virtue of a proclamation of the Senate.
Art. 207. It shall meet at the place which shall be
assigned to it, which shall not be more than the dis-
tance of twelve leagues from that in which the Senate,
Art. 208. When the Senate shall have proclaimed
the formation of the Supreme Cout, it will be formed
South of a number ofjudges, taken by vote in the differ-
ent tribunals of the departments.
Their number cannot be less than fifteen, and the
Chief Justice shall preside.
S.qrl. 209. In case the Chief Justice shall be sus-
pended by a decree of accusation, the President of
Hayti shall appoint from among the great public func-
Sionaries, the one who shall preside in the Supreme
.qrt. -210. The judgments rendered by the Supreme
Court being without appeal, the accused shall have the
right of challenging one-third of the members, and the
judgments shall be rendered by the two-thirds.
Of the Ar d Force.
1,t. 211. The armed force must essentially be ube
dient; it can never have power to deliberate : and
cannot be put in movement: except for the maintain,
ance of public order, for the protection of the ci'i-
zens, and for the defence of the republic.
Art. 212. The army shall be divided into nati-'nal
guards, under pay, and a non-embodied national
guard, without pay.
.-rt. 213. The non-embodied national guar.] shall
icever go oul of the limits dt its parish, except in cases
of imminentdanger, and under the command and re-
sponsibility of the military commander of the place.
Out of the limits of its parish, it shall be under pay,
and be subject in those cases to military discipline;
in all other circumstances it is only subject to the law.
Art. 214. The army shall be recruited after the
mode prescribed by law.
: E CTION X.
OfAgriculture and Commerce.
Art. 215. Agriculture, thechiefsource of prosperity
to the states, shall be encouraged and protected,
Its increase and duration depend equally upon the
confidence and justice which ought reciprocally to ex-
ist between the proprietor and the cultivator.
Art. 216. The police of the country shall be sub-
ject to particular laws.
Art. 217. Commerce, another great cause of pros-
perity to the nation, shall not be obstructed by shackles,
but shall receive the greatest protection.
Art. 218. The person and commercial establish-
ments of strangers shall be placed under the loyalty
and safeguard of the nation.
Of the Secretary' of State.
Art. 219. There shall be a Secretary of State ap-
pointed by the President of Hayti, who shall reside in
the capital of the Republic.
Art. -220. The law shall fix the prerogatives and
emoluments of the Secretary of State.
.Ar. 2-21. The detailed accounts concerning the
public expenditures, signed and certified by the Se-
cretary of State, shall be closed on the 31st Decem-
ber in each year, to be presented to the House of Re-
presentatives at the opening of each session.
The same shall be done with respect to the receipts
of the different contributions, and all the public reve-
nues of the state.
Art. 222. The accounts of the expenditures and re-
ceipts shall be specified according to their respective
nature; they will show the sums received and ex-
pended, year by year, in each part of the general ad-
.rt. 223. The Secretary of State and Chief Jus-
tice shall respectively be responsible for their neglect
in the execution of the laws enacted by the legislative
body, as well as for the acts of the executive authority.
Art. 224. These two great functionaries shall Ibe Ihe
organs appointed to transmit the addrs-c. Ironi the
executive to the Senate and House uf el-rese nt ,I e.i.
Art. 225. On the representation r.f the President
of Hayti the House of Representatives will alj'.lint as-
sistant Secretaries of Slate it the public service shall
Rer;,;'on of the Constitution.
Art. 225. Should exprriPnce prove the inconve-
niences of some articles of the Constitution, the Senate
shall propose its revision.
Art. 227. After the expiration of nine years, at three
different periods at least of three years each, when the
Senate shall have demanded the revision of the Con-
stitution, an assembly of revision shall then be con-
A.rt. 228. To elect the assembly of revision, the
parishes will assemble in their respective places of
election, and each will appoint an elector.
Art. 229. The electors thus chosen by their respec-
tive parishes shall meet within ten days after their
election, at the chief city of their department, to con-
stitule an electoral assembly.
.rt. 230. The electoral assemblies shall appoint
within ten days after their reunion the same number of
members as their respective departments sends to the
Art. 231. The deputies elected to compose the as-
sembly of revision shall assemble at the place desig-
nated by the Senate, there to proceed to the discussion
of the articles of the Constitution, the revision of
which shall have been demanded.
Art. 382. The place appointed for the sittings of
the assembly of revision shall be twelve leagues from
that in which the Senate holds its sittings.
.Irt. 233. The assembly of revision can change the
place of its sitting. appointed by the Senate, observ-
ing the required distance.
Art. -2. 1. The citizens who shall be members of the
Senate at the time of the convocation of the assembly
of revision, cannot be appointed members of that as-
Art. 235. To crntitle to a membership of the council
of revision requires the necessary qualifications of a
Art. 236. The assembly of revision shall not exer-
cise any of the functions assigned to the legislative or
executive authorities; it will confine its labours solely
to the constitutional articles which the Senate shall
have pointed out to it.
Art. -237. All the articles of the Constitution, with-
out exception, shall continue in force until the amend-
ments proposed by the council of ievikion shall have
been presented and adopted by the Senate.
Art. 238. The members of the council of revision,
shall deliberate together.
The deliberations shall be decided by the. majority
This assembly shall immediately inform the Senate
of the amendments made by them.
It shall be dissolved as soon as the amendments
have been addressed to the Senate.
Art. 239. In no instance shall the sittingsof the as-
sembly of revision exceed three months.
Art. 240. The members of the.assembly of revision
cannot be called to an account, accused, or impeach-
ed, at any time, for what they may have said.or writ-
ten, while in the exercise of their duties.
During the continuance of their functions, they can-
not be sued, except by a decision of the members
composing that same assembly of revision.
Arl. -241. The council of revision shall exercise the
power of police over tne parish where they hold their
.Arl. 242. The members of the assembly of revi-ion
shall receive during their session the same treatment
as the members of the Sen3ae.
BECTiO N X ll.
O thi z'ciiol.o f ib'l- C(,,,inittllri .
Art. 2-1.. The Cr.an itution shall immediately be
put in force.
.-rt. 244. During the time that the members who
shill have been appointed by the constitutional as~sem.-
bly meet at Port au Prinre to the number prescribed by
the Constitution, the constitutional a3enmbly will fIrm
itself into a legislative body. and will exercise all the
legislative acts ascribed to the Sen3le.
.Art. 245. As soon as the Senators shall have assem-
bled at Port au Prince, they shall give notice to the
legislative assembly, nho shall immediately dissolve.
N. B. Articles 80 and 201 are thus understood.
Art. 80. The members of the House of lepresenta-
tives shall receive a compnsiiion of two hundred dol-
lars per month during their session, and a dollar for
every league they travel to reach the seat of govern-
ment; which compensation is at the expense of their
respective counties according to the mode which shall
be established by law.
Art. 201. The executive shall denounce to that
court, without prejudice to the parties interested, the
arts and judgments in which those judges shall have
exceeded their powers.
(Signed by the President and members of the As-
The revision took place at Grand Goave, June' 2d,
1816. Year 13Lb.
The as-;.mbly of revision consiJcering its official du-
ties accomplished, declares itself dissolved : in conse-
quence it decrees that the deputies Boisrond, El :y, and
Brice, are appointed to present tu the Haytian Senate
the present act of revision.
At Grjnd Goave, June 2d, 1 16. Year 1,3th of in-
(Signed) A. D. LABOURIN, President.
LA FARGUE and DOUGE, Secretaries.
Copy compared w ith the original, deposited, and re-
gistered in the public record-.
At the National-ihous- of Puot au Prince, June 23J,
1816. Year 13th of the independence of Hayti.
(Signed) J. B. BAYARD, President.
P. SIMON, Secretary.
|0||sobekcm_page_globals.constructor||Application State validated or built|
|0||sobekcm_page_globals.constructor||Navigation Object created from URI query string|
|0||sobekcm_page_globals.display_item||Retrieving item or group information|
|0||sobekcm_page_globals.get_entire_collection_hierarchy||Retrieving hierarchy information|
|0||cached_data_manager.retrieve_item_aggregation||Found item aggregation on local cache|
|0||item_aggregation_builder.get_item_aggregation||Found 'all' item aggregation in cache|
|0||html_echo_mainwriter.add_style_references||Adding style references to HTML|
|0||html_echo_mainwriter.add_text_to_page||Reading the text from the file and echoing back to the output stream|
|2||html_echo_mainwriter.add_text_to_page||Finished reading and writing the file|