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BUREAU OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLICS,
WASHINGTON, U. S. A.
BULLETIN NO. 62.
[Revised to September I, 1893.]
BUREAU OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLICS,
NO. 2 LAFAYETTE SQUARE, WASHINGTON, U. S. A.
While the utmost care is taken to insure accuracy in the publications of the Bureau of the American
Republics, no pecuniary responsibility is assumed on account of errors or inaccuracies which may occur
WASHINGTON D.C., U. S. A.:
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
LIST OF BUREAU PUBLICATIONS.
i. Hand Book of the American Repub-
lics, No. I.
2. Hand Book of the American Repub-
lics, No. 2.
50. Hand Book of the American Repub-
lics, No. 3.
7. Hand Book of Brazil.
9. Hand Book of Mexico.
31. Hand Book of Costa Rica.
32. Hand Book of Guatemala.
33. Hand Book of Colombia.
34. Hand Book of Venezuela.
55. Hand Book of Bolivia.
61. Hand Book of Uruguay.
62. Hand Book of Haiti.
5. Import Duties of Mexico.
8. Import Duties of Brazil.
Io. Import Duties of Cuba and Puerto
II. Import Duties of Costa Rica.
12. Import Duties of Santo Domingo.
20. Import Duties of Nicaragua.
21. Import Duties of Mexico (revised).
22. Import Duties of Bolivia.
23. Import Duties of Salvador.
24. Import Duties of Honduras.
25. Import Duties of Ecuador.
27. Import Duties of Colombia.
36. Import Duties of Venezuela.
37. Import Duties of the British Colonies.
43. Import Duties of Guatemala.
44. Import Duties of the United States.
45. Import Duties of Peru.
46. Import Duties of Chile.
47. Import Duties of Uruguay.
48. Import Duties of the Argentine Re-
49. Import Duties of Haiti.
13. Commercial Directory of Brazil.
14. Commercial Directory of Venezuela.
I5. Commercial Directory of Colombia.
16. Commercial Directory of Peru.
17. Commercial Directory of Chile.
18. Commercial Directory of Mexico.
19. Commercial Directory of Bolivia, Ec-
uador, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
26. Commercial Directory of the Argen-
28. Commercial Directory of Central
29. Commercial Directory of Haiti and
38. Commercial Directory of Cuba and
39. Commercial Directory of European
Commercial Directory of Latin Amer-
42. Newspaper Directory of Latin America.
3. Patent and Trade-Mark Laws of Amer-
4. Money, Weights, and Measures of the
6. Foreign Commerce of the American
30. First Annual Report, 1891.
Second Annual Report, 1892.
35. Breadstuffs in Latin America.
40. Mines and Mining Laws of Latin
41. Commercial Information Concerning
the American Republics and Col-
53. Immigration and Land Laws of Latin
63. How the Markets of Latin America
may be reached.
Manual de las Rephblicas Ameri-
Monthly Bulletin, October, 1893.
Monthly Bulletin, November, 1893.
The above list includes publications of the Bureau from its organization to December, 1893. No re-
quests based upon the above will be noticed.
On the following page, will be found a list of publications issued by the Bureau of which a limited
number remain for distribution.
BUREAU PUBLICATIONS AVAILABLE FOR DISTRIBUTION.
Hand Book of the American Republics.
Hand Book of Guatemala.
Hand Book of Colombia.
Hand Book of Venezuela.
Hand Book of Bolivia.
Hand Book of Uruguay.
Hand Book of Haiti.
Import Duties of the Argentine Republic.
Import Duties of Brazil.
Import Duties of Cuba and Puerto Rico.
Import Duties of Costa Rica.
Import Duties of Haiti.
Import Duties of Nicaragua.
Import Duties of Mexico (revised).
Import Duties of Bolivia.
Import Duties of Salvador.
Import Duties of Honduras.
Import Duties of Ecuador.
Import Duties of Colombia.
Import Duties of Venezuela.
Import Duties of Guatemala.
Import Duties of the United States.
Import Duties of Peru.
Import Duties of Chile.
Import Duties of Uruguay.
Commercial Directory of Brazil.
Commercial Directory of Venezuela.
Commercial Directory of Cuba and Puerto
-Commercial Directory of European Colo-
Commercial Directory of Colombia.
Commercial Director) of Mexico.
Commercial Directory of Peru.
Commercial Directory of Chile.
Commercial Directory of Bolivia, Ecua-
dor, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Commercial Directory of the Argentine
Commercial Directory of Haiti and Sante
Commercial Directory of Central America.
Commercial Director) of Latin America.
Newspaper Directory of Latin America.
Patent and Trade-Mark Laws of America.
Money, Weights, and Measures of the
First Annual Report, 1891.
Second Annual Report, 1892.
Immigration and Land Laws of .Latin
How the Markets of Latin America may
Manual de las Repfblicas Americanas,
Foreign Commerce of the American Re-
Monthly Bulletin, October, 1893.
Monthly Bulletin, November, 1893.
Chapter 1. Geographical Situation-Topography and Climate .................. I
II. Historical ..................................... ..... ........ 14
III. Number, Character, and Language of Population .................. 24
IV. Religion and Education ........................ ................ 31
V. Government and Laws ......................................... 41
VI. Cities and Towns-Inland Transportation-Railroad Projects...... 49
VII. Foreign Relations.............. .. .............. .. .... ........ 65
VIII. Facilities of Communication and Foreign Commerce ................. 71
IX. Possibilities for Neglected and Undeveloped Industries ........... 87
X. Finances-Circulating Medium-Coinage ....................... 96
Appendix A. Commercial Directory ................. ....... .... ...... 113
B. Import and Export Duties.................. .. ........... 117
C. American Trade in Haiti ........... ........ ................ 226
D. Weights and Measures ................ ......... ... ...... 232
E. Tariff Proclamation of the President of the United States....... 233
Index ....................... ............................................ 236
Map of Haiti and Santo Domingo................................... Frontispiece
Harbor, Port au Prince ................... .............. ...... .... ...... 6
The National Palace, Port au Prince ....................................... 23
House of Deputies, Port au Prince ........................................ 43
Cape Haitien, from the Sea. ............................ ................. 50
Rue Am6ricaine, Port au Prince ........................................... 55
Rue des Bonnes, Port au Prince................ .. ................. ..... 56
Place de la Paix, Port au Prince.......................................... 57
GEOGRAPHICAL SITUATION, TOPOGRAPHY, AND CLIMATE.
If, starting from the port of New York, we follow a straight
line running almost directly south for a little less than 1,400 miles,
we should come to the city of Port au Prince, which is the capital
of the Republic of Haiti; and if starting from the port of Boston
we proceed on a straight line running just the fraction of a point
to the east of south for about the same distance, we should find
ourselves in the city of Santo Domingo, which is the capital of
the Republic of that name. These two Republics together cover
the island which is itself sometimes designated by the name of the
one and sometimes by the name of the other of them. But, to
speak more accurately, Haiti constitutes about one-third of the
island and covers the western part of it, while Santo Domingo
occupies the remaining two-thirds, covering the eastern part of it.
Though forming parts of the same island, the two Republics are
just as distinct and dissimilar in language, in traditions, and in social
ideas as are France and Spain; they are two entirely separate
and distinct nations-a person may know much about one of them,
and yet be quite uninformed as to the other.
For several reasons, the island, materially and geographically,
as well as historically, is one of the most remarkable places in this
hemisphere. It is, as just indicated, situated somewhat less than
1,400 miles directly south of the central New England coast, and
it is only a little more than that distance east from the City of
Mexico. Cuba is some o5 miles to the northwest and Puerto
Rico the same distance to the east, while Jamaica lies about 1oo
miles to the southwest of it; so that it is placed, as it were, right
in the center of the four great Antilles, of which it is one and the
next in size after Cuba. It is, besides, within 600 miles of the
northern coast of South America, and to the north of it, not far
away, are Inagua, Turk's, and other smaller islands. It lies be-
tween 170 37' and 200 north latitude and between 680 20' and
740 30' longitude west from Greenwich, so that it is to be noted
that the whole island is well within the tropics, and that its topo-
graphical position is such as to command the entrance to the Gulf
of Mexico from the southeast and to give it importance on the
great ocean highway leading from Europe and the United States
to the isthmus which joins the two Americas and which must, in
the opinion of many, open some day a convenient passage between
the great oceans.
The island under consideration is very large, so large indeed
that a person on any central part of it would find it difficult to
conceive that he is not on the mainland of a continent rather than
a mere island. Its greatest length from east to west is a little more
than 400 miles, while its breadth from north to south varies from
about 160 miles, measured from near Point Isabella to Cape Beate,
to about 17 miles across the narrowest part of the extreme western
peninsula, and it is estimated that its perimet r, not including
its very numerous bays and inlets, would measure not far from
900 miles. Compared with European countries as to square miles
of surface, it is nearly three times as large as Belgium, one-
fifth larger than the Kingdom of Greece, more than twice the
size of Denmark, and is only a little smaller than Portugal or
Ireland. Compared in this respect with the States of the American
Union, it is one-fourth larger than the whole area covered by
Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut together;
it is more than six times as large as Connecticut, or a little
larger than South Carolina; that is, it contains about 31,000
square miles of surface. These figures are confined to the main
island. But there are in addition thereto, several considerable
islets whose adjacency to it is such as to preclude all question as
to their falling under its sovereignty. There is Gonaive, which
stretches for 40 miles from just below and to the right of the
Mble St. Nicolas in sailing down the great bay which ends at
Port au Prince; there is the famous Ile de la Tortue, which lies
on the northern coast about midway between the Ml6e and the
City of Cape Haitien, and which has 22 miles of length and 4 to
5 of breadth; there are La Saona to the east, nearly the size of
La Tortue; Alta Vela, covering a number of square miles off the
southern coast, looking like a huge pile standing straight up out
of the sea, and from which guano has been exported, and sev-
eral other islets of lesser size, although they add more than 500
square miles to the territory. At whatever point the island be
approached from the sea, it looks, when seen from afar, like a
huge mass of mountains running in all directions and all jumbled
up in hopeless confusion, so that credence can easily be given to
the story, told in some of the books, that an English Admiral,
when asked by George III for a description of the island,
crumpled up a sheet of paper in his hand, threw it on the table
before His Majesty, and said, "Sire, Haiti looks like that."
At first glance, these mountains appear to come right down to
the water's brink and to be covered all over with shrubbery and
stubby trees of a not particularly inviting aspect, and one begins
then to wonder where people can live or valuable crops can be
grown. A closer examination, however, discloses that these moun-
tains consist, in the main, of two long ranges running from east
to west through the whole island, their general character and that
of their almost numberless offshoots being such as to divide the
rest of the land up into valleys and plains, of which some on the
coast are the sites of cities and villages, and others in the in-
terior are of marvelous fertility. From these mountains, too,
flow innumerable streams, which, in some instances, become navi-
gable rivers, and in other cases, serve to irrigate the fruitful plains
and valleys. It seems, indeed, as if it were not possible to go any-
where on the island, not even in the centers of the extensive plains,
without being in proximity to mountains all round.
The trees which, when seen from afar, looked like forbidding
shrubbery, prove, many of them, to be very large and such as might
be useful in commerce. Some of them bear delicious fruits, and
some are laden with flowers of enchanting odors, which can often
be distinctly perceived for miles at sea. Of the mountains, too,
some rise to a considerable height, the highest in the Cibao dis-
trict attaining 7,672 feet, as also La Salle and La Hotte in the
southern and western districts. But none of them reach up to the
frost line. Moreau de Saint Mary, who wrote, toward the end of
the last century, with an accuracy which makes him still an au-
thority about the island, says:
The number of mountains and their height, notwithstanding the vast extent
of the numerous plains, give to the country, when seen at a distance, a moun-
tainous appearance, and this is the reason why the first view is far from giving
to us the favorable opinion of the island which it deserves.
Everywhere on the coast, there are bays and inlets, many of
which afford safe anchorage and shelter for vessels. There are no
less than eleven ports open to foreign commerce in the Haitian
part of the island, three or four others where foreign vessels are
permitted to take cargoes, but not to clear for the high seas, and
there are besides, a large number of smaller ports open only to the
coasting trade. In the interior, are mineral springs, where there
were once considerable establishments for persons desiring the
benefit of the water. There are eight of them which are well
known, more than half the number being in the southern part of
Of rivers, properly so called, there are three, the largest being
the Artibonite, which flows in a northwesterly course through the
great plain of that name, emptying into Gonaive Gulf between St.
Marc and Gonalves. Of the other two, one, Trois-Rivieres, has
its mouth near Port de Paix, and the other, La Grande Anse, flows
into the sea near Jeremie. There are forty-three rivulets well
known and distinguished by name and locality. Some of them are
made to serve the useful purpose of watering the fertile plains in
the dry season. In the interior, also, are some quite large lakes,
the Etangsale, which is 22 miles long and has 60 miles of shore
line, being the largest. A peculiarity of some of them is that
their waters are often very deep, and in one of them, the water has
a bitter, salt taste, and ebbs and flows with the sea. There are
several great plains in Haiti, and they are all remarkable for their
fertility and productiveness. They are known as the plains of
Cayes, Leogane, Archahaie, Cul-de-Sac, Gonaives Hinche, and
The climate is, of course, wholly tropical, and to some tempera-
ments, the blazing sun and the unceasing heat are well-nigh intol-
erable. Generally, however, it is the unbroken continuation rather
than the intensity of the heat in the tropics that renders a residence
there so often enervating to northerners. Higher temperatures
sometimes visit New York and Philadelphia than ever come to
Haiti. But there is a considerable variation of temperature accord-
ing to locality even there. The heat at Port au Prince is, owing
to its situation, probably as great as at any other seaport in the
West Indies. From the middle of April to the middle or end of
October, the mercury in the Fahrenheit thermometer indicates from
940 to 960 every day; but it never rises higher than 960, and it
seldom falls below 940 or 93 through the middle of the day, during
the half of the year when the sky is usually clear, the rains falling,
as a rule, late in the afternoons or evenings, a rainy day as it is
understood in New England being a rare occurrence there. The
nights are, on an average, from 100 to 200 cooler than the days, so
that they seem cool and refreshing by comparison. During the
rest of the year, which covers the "dry season" from October to
April, the temperature is, on the average, about 10o cooler; that is,
the mercury indicates from 840 to 86 every day, very rarely
indeed lower than 840, though if the dry land breezes are blowing,
as they often are, the mercury runs up sometimes to 900 and even
All this is true of Port au Prince, of which experienced naval
officers have said that there is no more beautiful or better site for a
seaboard city anywhere. But it is, as already indicated, notoriously
one of the hottest places in the West Indies. It stands at the
head of a great bay hemmed in by Gonaive Island on one side, and
on the other by the shore running down from the Ml6e St. Nico-
las, while back of it and on either side of it, are ranges of moun-
tains, so that it is not as open, as most other seaboard cities of the
Antilles are, to the full sweep of the breezes. At Cape Haitien
and all along the northern coasts, as well as in other localities, it is
cooler than at the capital. Of course, as one goes higher up in
the mountains the intense heat of the seaboard becomes mod-
erated. A ride of 6 miles up the mountain side from Port au
Prince will reach La Coupe or Petionville, a beautiful retreat
about 1,400 feet above the sea, where a very few degrees of lower
heat seem quite refreshing. And at Turey (more than 1,600 feet
above the sea), only part of a day's ride higher up than Petion-
ville, Americans and Europeans have often been heard to com-
plain of the cold at night, though even there the mercury never
falls below 450 F. So that, altogether, it is not now thought that
a residence in the island is either dangerous or unhealthful for for-
eigners on account of the heat. Indeed, it is believed that it would
be easy, owing to the mountainous character of the country, to hit
upon localities there which would be more strengthening and
more health-giving to northerners of weakly constitutions and
impaired vitality than any of the places now frequented by them
during the winter months either in the tropics or elsewhere in the
South. It has already been predicted that Haiti will some day
become a popular winter resort. If a foreigner will install himself
a mile or two back from the seacoast and observe the ordinary rules
of health, he will find no more danger from fevers at any season of
the year in Haiti than in more temperate climates.
Moreover, the climate, the locality, the topographical and other
conditions seem materially to affect and modify many of the ail-
ments and diseases familiar to the medical profession and to man-
kind. In reference to this phase of the subject, the subjoined
statements are given, chiefly on the authority of two educated
physicians,'both foreigners, of whom one, Dr. Smith, an English-
man, practiced his profession in Haiti for more than thirty-five
years up to 1874, and the other, Dr. Terres, is a well-known
American who, since 1875, has been and still is in active practice
at Port au Prince.
The most common of all bodily ailments in that country are
fevers. If one receives the sting of a wasp, or a shock from a fall
or a wound, or "catches a cold," a slight fever may result. But
the ordinary fevers are not by any means regarded as serious or in
any way dangerous. Generally speaking, they are all of a bilious
type; they are well understood and readily yield to treatment.
Among the natives, the worst type is the pernicious, the dreaded yel-
low fever, which is now considered infectious, but not contagious,
and which, as a matter of fact, is exotic in Haiti; it is always
brought from abroad, though it is thought to be endemic in all the
West Indies. "I have never," says Dr. Terres, "known a case here
that was not brought from some other place. At the same time,
I do not doubt that it might originate here." It is not regarded
as necessarily fatal, much depending on the constitution and pre-
vious habits of the patient. The alkaline treatment has met with
marked success. All fevers of the typhoid type are very rare.
Pulmonary disease is almost unknown, except, singularly enough,
among the natives, and among them, it is always hereditary. For-
eigners suffering from this ailment in any form find relief in that
climate. Rheumatism among the natives is believed to originate
almost entirely from want of care and a too free use of stimulants.
Acute dysentery and other bowel troubles are very rare, and so are
Bright's disease and other kidney affections.
Indeed, Haiti is thought to be an excellent resort for persons
afflicted with this latter class of maladies. The great activity
given by the climate to the skin, together with the character and
quality of the waters there, seems to act almost as a specific in those
cases. Scarlet fever and throat and eruptive diseases exist only in a
mild form, and yield readily to treatment. Tetanus seems much
more common there than in colder countries. Persons sometimes
bring on lockjaw from the merest abrasions by so slight an
indiscretion as bathing while the abrasions last. Several cases
within the past year are reported to have resulted from the punc-
ture of the hypodermic needle. The precaution for a person hav-
ing any flesh wound, however slight, is to keep from bathing and
from all avoidable dampness. The dreaded -tetanus is, however,
no more common in Haiti than in other tropical countries.
The Republic has been freer than most other countries from
epidemics. But in 1881-'82, it was visited by the smallpox,
which raged for several months, and thousands upon thousands
fell victims to it. Once before, the same disease came upon the
country, but in a less deadly form. Cholera has never appeared
there. Last year, la grippe found its way to Haiti for the first
time, but it was not by any means as severe there as in Europe
and the United States. The few deaths that resulted from it were
confined to old persons.
Dr. Terres says that it is difficult to get at the statistics of the
average death rate, but he thinks it less than the same average in
the United States, in Cuba, or in Jamaica. "I think," says this
most careful and successful practitioner, that Haiti is much more
healthy than any other island in the Antilles. Port au Prince is
certainly much more healthy than Kingston or Havana." Dr.
Smith observes that away from the towns in the interior and
rural districts but few diseases or distempers are known. Indeed,
the interior of the country is so healthful as not to be at all the
physician's Eldorado. People die there as they must die every-
where, but it is very seldom that we hear of any illness of a com-
plicated or alarming character, such as is common in America and
elsewhere." Let it be repeated that no foreigner who is temperate
in habit and cleanly in person, and who will avoid the midday
sun, the rains and unnecessary exposure to dampness, and take
care to sleep a little back from the immediate seacoast, need have
the slightest anxiety about his health in Haiti. In regard to the
wet and the dry season, it ought to be stated that neither the one
nor the other prevails over the whole country at the same time.
At Port au Prince, the rainy season covers the summer months and
runs up to "les pluies de la toussaints" (the beginning of Novem-
ber). But in other parts of the Republic, the rains run into and
cover most 6f the winter months, so that there is never a season
when rains are not prevalent in some parts of the island, and never
a season which is dry everywhere there.
INSECTS, REPTILES, BIRDS, AND ANIMALS.
The presumption that all tropical countries are teeming with
insect life is quite correct. Mosquitoes, fleas, chigres, cockroaches,
ants, butterflies, fireflies, bees, locusts, spiders, scorpions, centipedes,
and the like do abound there. But, generally speaking, those that
are most troublesome are less numerous in Haiti than elsewhere
in the West Indies; a fact that may be due to its peculiarly moun-
But there are a few localities that are in this respect an excep-
tion to the general rule; for instance, the vicinity of the lake wells
in the interior is pestered with clouds of noisome insects. On
some of the practically uninhabited islets, as Gonaive and l'Ile-
i-Vaches, mosquitoes are found in profusion, and on the latter islet.
the chigre, an infinitesimal insect of the tick species, is a source of
annoyance. The chigre seeks a hiding place anywhere it can on
the person, preferably on the feet or lower limbs; there unseen, and
for the time unfelt, burrowing itself and laying its eggs in a kind
of tiny sack. If these eggs be not discovered and carefully ex-
tracted in due time, quite serious consequences may follow. But
the chigre is scarcely known in the parts of the country which are
In general, mosquitoes and fleas are no more numerous in Haiti
than in portions of the United States during the summer season, so
that Haiti can not at all be considered a mosquito country.
Cockroaches and ants, the latter of almost every conceivable sort
and description except the African "driver," confront the house-
keeper at every turn. The former seem gifted with extraordi-
nary omniverous powers, spreading havoc among books, papers,
and even articles of clothing, unless checked in their ravages.
Still, with ordinary care, both ant and cockroach can easily be
kept from doing injury or even occasioning much inconvenience.
The common house fly, so annoying to some people in northern
homes during the warm seasons, is not at all abundant in Haiti;
but of butterflies and fireflies of the most brilliant species, there is
no lack. The honey bee of several different species is plentiful,
and its culture, particularly in the southern and western districts,
has resulted in the production of honey and wax for exportation.
Centipedes, scorpions, and the most repellent-looking creatures in
the form of spiders abound. The bite or sting of all this class of
creatures is considered poisonous, but ordinarily, it is no more
harmful than the sting of the northern wasp. The land crab is
also plentiful, and is sold in the markets regularly, as under the
culinary art, it makes a palatable dish.
There are no poisonous snakes and comparatively few of any
kind in Haiti. Land turtles are found in abundance, and, like
the crab, they are made to add to the delicacies of the table.
But of all reptiles, lizards are by far the most common. They
abound everywhere and are of almost every known species, but
they are entirely harmless. And so, too, of frogs, whose vocal
power is in no way inferior to that of their northern kindred.
Once on the spot, the foreigner never bothers himself about any
of the insects or reptiles in Haiti, or even thinks of them. And
so, too, of hurricanes and earthquakes; they do sometimes visit
the island, but nobody ever suffers by anticipation of them.
It is stated on scientific authority (see Wallace's Geographical
Distribution of Animals, Vol. II, page 66) that there are forty
different species of birds in Haiti, of which seventeen are peculiar
to it; but it must be borne in mind that the island has never yet
been wholly subjected to the scrutiny of modern science in any
respect. Certain it is that birds are very numerous everywhere.
The ortolan and other toothsome birds are daily sold in the
markets, and this is true of all the common domestic fowls and
With the exception of wild hogs on the Ile de la Tortue and
possibly in one or two other localities, some untamed horses and
horned cattle running at large in the eastern part, and some wild
goats, particularly on the islets in the lakes and their vicinity, there
are no wild animals on the island. Even the agouti, which is
still mentioned in the books, is believed to be entirely extinct.
All the ordinary domestic animals, horses, donkeys, horned
cattle, sheep, goats, hogs, dogs, cats, etc., are common and generally
It is said that no city, in proportion to extent and population,-has
more dogs than Port au Prince except Constantinople, but they
are mostly of the "cur" species, and they never fail to announce
their presence on the slightest provocation, especially in the night
time. Still, hydrophobia is almost unknown in the island. Until
recent years, cats were rather scarce, and were bought and sold
there as well-bred dogs are now bought and sold in Chicago and
New York, though not at such high prices. The cats of Haiti
are of symmetrical form and beautiful in appearance.
The donkey is very common and very useful everywhere in
the country, and his proverbial docility, reliability, and enduring
strength there reach their height. He seems, besides, to have
acquired an understanding of the creole intonations on the word
li1, which would puzzle even the intelligent foreigner for weeks,
for his mountaineer master cries out to hitn la la when he is to go
ahead, or back, or stop, or turn to the right or the left, and he
appears to know what is expected of him by the intonation.
Of native horses, there seems to be an ample supply. They
were originally of the Andalusian breed. They are noticeably
smaller than the average horse of the temperate zones, but they
are spirited, strong, very hardy, and very seldom intractable, and
are generally trained to the saddle. Those in use in the cities
especially are almost all stallions. Except on market days, when
the country folks bring them, mares are seldom seen in the cities;
they are kept in the back country and the mountains for constant
breeding. Horses are never exported commercially from Haiti.
There have been a few isolated attempts at introducing some of
larger and more improved types from Jamaica and the United
States, but they have been mostly geldings, and those from the
north have not thrived well.
The homed cattle in use as beasts of burden are universally
bulls, hardy and of good size. The cow does not produce milk
in sufficient quantities to render making of butter and cheese an
industry even for home consumption. This must be greatly
owing to the fact that the grasses on which these animals and
sheep thrive in the temperate zones grow only sparsely in the
tropics, and can not there be made to grow from sowing the seeds.
It may also be partly due to this fact that the sheep-producing
industry has never been attempted on a commercial scale, and
that the beef and mutton are decidedly inferior to those meats in
more northern climes.
Sheep and goats are found everywhere. The former are never
shorn, and the milk of the latter is used to supply the lack of that
article from cows.
Either the native supply of cattle is diminishing or there has
come about within the past few years an increased demand for
them, for within that period, the importations of them, mostly
for slaughtering purposes, from San Domingo, Puerto Rico, and
Cuba have been notably augmented.
The Haitian hog is, to the northern eye, a queer-looking crea-
ture. He is usually lean; his legs, his head, and his caudal ap-
pendage are very long, so that he presents the appearance of an
elongated caricature of the average sleek and chunky American
hog. It would be easy to improve him by crossing him with a
There has never been any attempt to raise any of the domestic
animals in Haiti for exportation, and the curing of meats by the
ordinary processes is, owing to the climate, well-nigh impossible
there without resort to refrigerating methods, which have never
yet come into use. It may be affirmed that these animals are
raised in the country only for domestic use and home consump-
In order to show how the existing political conditions of things
came about in this Republic, a brief page of history not altogether
unfamiliar to the general reader must be turned over.
The island, whose original name was Haiti, signifying a moun-
tainous country, was the sixth point of land discovered in 1492
by Columbus during his first voyage in the New World, and was
named by him Hispaniola. If an average of the estimates made
by historians be taken, it may be stated that he found it peopled
by about 1,ooo,ooo aborigines. Of them and the island, he wrote
to his sovereigns of Spain: I swear to your Majesties that there
is not in the world a better land or a better people." Here was
founded the first Spanish colony in the New World.
The early discovery of gold soon brought great numbers of
greedy adventurers, who forced the aborigines to till the fertile
fields and especially to toil in the mines and the streams where
the precious metal was at first found in moderate abundance.
The relentless colonists drove them on with pitiless rigor, in spite
of protest, revolt, and resistance, until wealth poured into the laps
of the rulers and ran in golden streams to the Spanish throne.
Cities and villages sprang up and flourished; magnificence and
splendor were the order of the day in Hispaniola. Spaniards
loved to compare it all with the splendors of Andalusia, and the
colony became the commercial emporium of the New World.
Meantime, it was found that under the cruel exactions, the
aborigines were rapidly declining in numbers. Indeed, so speed-
ily did they decline that, according to one estimate, of the l,ooo,ooo
whom Columbus found there at the end of 1492, not more than
60,000 were left at the expiration of fifteen years from the time
when he first cast anchor in the peaceful waters of the M6le St.
Nicolas, and within twenty-two years from that date, that is, in
1514, the numbers had, some authorities assert, gone down to less
than 14,000; so that it would appear that a peaceful population
of one million souls practically passed out of existence in their
own country under foreign oppression within twenty-five years.
Even assuming the original estimate to have been greatly ex-
aggerated, the reduction in numbers must have been fearfully
rapid, and the destruction was so complete that not a trace of
the Indian blood is found in the island to-day.
At first, to keep up the supply of labor, the natives of the
surrounding islands were decoyed from their homes and re-
duced to slavery in Hispaniola, but this did not suffice, and as
early as 1502, Africans were purchased from the Portuguese for
servitude in the colony. And this was the date of the introduc-
tion of African slavery and the origin of the presence of the negro
The beginning of this slavery was due to the Portuguese,
and a sale mart was established at Lisbon, where, in the "fif-
teen thirties," thousands of Africans were sold annually.. The
Dutch were also mixed up in the traffic. The African did not
die out under hardships as the Indian did, and for a time, with
the forced labor of the former and of the remnants of the lat-
ter, the splendors of the colony were maintained and pushed for-
ward, but the yield of the gold fields began to diminish rapidly,
and then the colonists commenced to rush off en masse to the
newly discovered mines in Mexico and Peru, taking with them
in many instances their African slaves, thus planting negro slavery
on the American continent. Then it was that the colony
entered upon a period of decline and decay from which it never
recovered. The only indications that one sees to-day in Santo
Domingo of the splendors of the first Spanish occupation are
the ruins here and there of what must have been truly mag-
nificent edifices, notably of the monastery at the Dominican
capital, which are grand and imposing almost beyond descrip-
tion, but the Spaniard left behind him the impress of his
language and his form of religion, and one sees now in a
majority of the population unmistakable evidences of Spanish
The French occupation of the western part of the island
came about in this way: The policy of the Spaniards led them
to keep up a strict police of the Antillean seas and to claim
everything there as theirs; so, when war had been declared be-
tween France and Spain, about 1520, and Henry VIII had turned
against his former ally, the Emperor Charles V, England and
France began, in the interests of their own commerce, to con-
nive at and encourage the fitting out of privateersmen to make
reprisals on the Spanish in those waters. By a mere coinci-
dence, the privateersmen selected different parts of the same island
of St. Christopher as the base of their operations. Spain, in due
season, sent out forces against them, destroyed their rendezvous,
and drove them away. Those who escaped, especially the French,
gathered on the island of Tortuga (Ile de la Tortue), on the
northern coast of Haiti. This occurred about 1530, and was the
beginning of the French occupation of the island. The colonists
at La Tortue, though attacked again and again by the Spaniards,
succeeded in maintaining themselves and largely increasing their
numbers there, and at length, began to spread over on the main-
land, pushing little by little into the interior, establishing settle-
ments, cultivating the fertile fields, and importing whole cargoes of
African slaves, to the number, finally, of many thousands an-
nually. Governors were sent out to the colony from time to
time, and its material growth and prosperity went on until it
became phenomenal among the most favored places in the world
It must be noticed that all this while, Spain had never relin-
quished an iota of her claim to the whole island, and that, from
time to time, according to the condition of things among the
nations of Europe, in their relations to one another, she made
determined efforts to assert that claim by the sword. Still, the
French held their own until they spread all over the western part,
and when Louis XIV concluded the treaty of Ryswick with the
allied powers, in 1697, he secured to the French Crown all that
part of the island actually occupied by his subjects. From this
treaty, therefore, dates the recognized authority of the French in
Perhaps it may be well to note here, parenthetically, that in
1795, Spain, by the treaty of Bale, ceded the whole island to
France, but the eastern part went back again to the Spanish
Crown after the downfall of Napoleon and the restoration of the
Bourbons. In 1822, the Spanish portion placed itself under, and
was absorbed by, Haitian sovereignty, but it resumed its autonomy
after the revolution of 1843, and thereafter, on the ground that it was
an object of conquest by Haiti, it went voluntarily in 1861 again
under the Spanish Crown. In 1863, it revolted against Spanish
domination, and in 1865, Spain formally gave up her attempt to
subdue it; so that, since 1865, Santo Domingo has been continu-
ously an independent republic. In this connection, also, it ought
to be stated that the laws of the Dominican Republic are extremely
liberal toward foreigners, and that American capital, to the amount
of at least $4000,000ooo,, is already invested there, the entire foreign
capital so invested running up to more than $13,000,000.
The treaty of Ryswick did not accurately define the boundaries
between the Spanish portion and the French. This was not done
until 1770, when a zigzag line was run from Fort Dauphin and
Mancenillo Bay on the north to Anses-a-Pitres on the south so as
to give to the French about one-third of the island, and that one-
third constitutes to-day the Republic of Haiti.
At the time of the conclusion of the treaty of the boundaries,
as that of 1776 is called, France was at peace on all the seas of the
world, but shortly thereafter, war broke out between her and Eng-
land, and it is within the knowledge of every patriotic American
that in 1778, France and the American colonies entered into a treaty
by which they agreed to render mutual assistance against England.
In the following year, Count d'Estaing was ordered to recruit a force
in the French Antillean colonies to cooperate with the Americans
who were then engaged in the fierce struggle for independence. In
this way, it came about that 800 Haitian volunteers, all blacks
and mulattoes, took part in the siege of Savannah and in all that
the Count d'Estaing did thereabout, and to that extent, the United
States were aided by the valor and the blood of the Afro-Haitians
to achieve their independence.
In the same way, too, nearly thirty years later, Haiti lent to
Simon Bolivar material aid which turned the scales in favor of the
freedom and independence of what are now Venezuela and Colom-
bia. When the French Revolution burst like a tornado on the
world, it found the elements in Haiti quite ripe for a similar out-
burst. There were 30,000 whites steeped in luxury and politically
divided into hopelessly irreconcilable factions, but all of one
accord in the purpose to maintain the status quo of the blacks
and mulattoes; about 30,000 mulattoes, many of them rich and
educated, and all free,* but smarting under the most galling and
humiliating social, industrial, and legal discrimination against
them, and back of both these two classes, nearly 5oo00,000 black
slaves, sullen, silent, groaning under a cruel form of bondage and
yearning for almost any change whatever.
When, therefore, in 1789, news of the decrees of the .National
Assembly at Versailles, reached Haiti, the whole colony was speedily
thrown into excitement, turmoil, and finally anarchy, which, in
"The-free men of color in the French colonies, though released from the dominion
of individuals, were considered the property of the public." Bryan Edwards, Vol Iv,
spite of all efforts to the contrary, continued until the mulattoes
carried their point, which was to secure a full recognition of their
citizenship under the decrees, and until at last, both they and the
whites alike appealed to the blacks. In the fierce strife which fol-
lowed, all parties seemed to vie with one another in practicing the
most fearful cruelties, and it was these atrocities, surrounding
death with every conceivable terror and suffering, that constituted
the far-famed Horrors of the Negro Insurrection in San Dom-
ingo" The state of things led commissioners Southanax and
Polverel, who had been sent from France with full powers for
restoring order, to proclaim general emancipation in 1793. Their
proclamations were confirmed by the National Legislative Assem-
bly at Paris and extended to all the French colonies February 4,
1794, so that legalized slavery ceased in Haiti after this latter date,
though for some time before that, it had in reality ceased, inasmuch
as everywhere the negroes we're in arms.
Toussaint l'Ouverture, one of the self-emancipated blacks, who,
with Jean Francois, Biasson, and other black leaders, had gone to
the Spaniards in the eastern part, came back when he heard of the
emancipation, and flung his sword into the balance in favor of
France, which was then at war with Spain and England. Tous-
saint at once developed extraordinary military genius. He speed-
ily drove the English out of all their strongholds in the north, and
quickly restored comparative order. He made himself felt every-
where and in everything in the island, and soon became practically
the sole governing power there. He was generous and humane,
and his great character still shines out on the pages of history
as the one illustrious figure which gives relief from the pain of
those dark days and trying times. Order having been restored,
he devoted himself to reorganization, in which he displayed
quite as much genius as he had exhibited in the field. The
wheels of peaceful industry were again set in motion. The
old planters returned to their plantations under the guarantee of a
word that never was broken, and the fields once more smiled with
flower and harvest. In the course of this work of reorganization,
he had, in May, 1801, promulgated a constitution which conferred
special powers on him, but which was, however, distinctly made
subject to the approval of the mother country.
It seems to have been this constitution which aroused Napo-
leon's suspicion of Toussaint's possible ambition, and induced him
to lend ear to the incessant and impassioned appeals of some of
the planters who considered themselves ruined by the negro
insurrection. It was after the treaty of Amiens, and France was
at peace with the world. Napoleon had failed to establish a con-
tributary' tropical colony in the east, so that, for weeks, the great
arbiter of Europe was absorbed in gathering information about
Haiti. "Why," said he, "why should this rich colony, alone free
in the midst of slavery, be left to form a possible alliance with
England? After planning in every detail with as much care and
skill as he afterwards planned for the invasion of Russia, he de-
cided to send and did send to Haiti the famous expedition of 1802,
which arrived at the harbor of Cape Haitien on the 12th of Feb-
ruary of that year. It was an imposing force of 30,000 men and
40 vessels, under the command of Napoleon's brother-in-law, Gen.
Leclerc. The avowed object of the expedition was to restore
slavery. Napoleon first employed all the skill of artful persuasion
of which he was such a consummate master to win Toussaint over
to his plans. He wrote him letters with his own hand, holding out
glittering flatteries and promises. But the great black stood firm,
and at once resolved to resist to the last extremity this attempt to
reduce freedmen to slavery. So hostilities were inaugurated with
vigor on both sides. It was characterized by unspeakable atrocities,
the blacks insisting on fighting Leclerc with his own weapons, ex-
acting an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. They were ably
led by Toussaint, Christophe, and Dessalines, and fought with the
bravery of desperation.
New forces came from Europe. The French fleet and army
were so distributed that all the important points were attacked sim-
ultaneously. Some of Toussaint's ablest lieutenants were won
over to Leclerc, who never ceased to use blandishment and in-
trigue, and finally, Toussaint was induced to lay down his arms
under the most solemn guarantees. Leclerc seemed now about to
attain the object of his mission, but when the blacks saw their chiefs
perfidiously dealt with, Toussaint, Rigaud, and others being en-
trapped and sent away to imprisonment and probable death under
inclement skies beyond the seas, they again flew to arms under those
of their old leaders who, like Dessalines and Christophe, were still
left to them. The yellow fever came to their aid, decimating the
ranks of the French. Leclerc tried to repair his losses by bringing
in more fresh troops from Europe, but it was all in vain. The blacks
stood like a stone wall, and were still ably directed. Leclerc him-
self fell a victim to the dread fever. Rochambeau succeeded him,
but, pressed on all sides by the brave blacks fighting against im-
pending reenslavement, and his ranks thinned by the ravages of
disease, he was glad to abandon the contest in December, 1803.
It is estimated that this attempt of Napoleon to reenslave "the
rebel blacks of San Domingo," as he was wont to style them,
cost him not less than 55,000 European troops and more than
Haiti was now freed from the presence of the foreign invader,
and on the 1st of January, 1804, Dessalines promulgated the Dec-
laration of Haitian Independence, which through many vicissitudes,
trials, and menaces from the great powers, has ever since been firmly
maintained. After having been proclaimed Governor-General fbr
life, Dessalines issued on the same day a proclamation in which he
foreshadowed his bloodthirsty policy of exterminating the French
subjects still remaining in the country. Dessalines, who had been
proclaimed Emperor, was assassinated in November, 1806, and
subsequently, a new constitution, modeled somewhat after that of
the United States, was adopted. It limited the powers of the
executive and established the principle of religious freedom from
which Haiti has never departed, but it excluded white men from
citizenship and ownership of landed property, a restriction which
is-still in effect in Haiti, but not in San Domingo. Christophe
refused the Presidency under this Constitution, and set up a gov-
ernment of his own in the north. He created it into a kingdom,
and styled himself Henri I, King of Haiti. His reign was mar-
velous for the material prosperity which he developed. He intro-
duced the Protestant religion and the English language into the
schools. On a lofty mountain top, near Cape Haitien, he built a
citadel and not far from it, the palace of Sans Souci, which must
for all time be regarded as a marvel of human achievement, but he
was cruel and arbitrary in the extreme.
Meantime, Petion has accepted the Presidency under the new
constitution, but Christophe kept up an unceasing war with him
during his whole administration, which ended with his death in
1818. Christophe committed suicide in 1820. Boyer succeeded
Petion, and immediately after Christophe's suicide, took posses-
sion of the kingdom in the name of the Republic. Boyer's term
of office covered twenty-five years. During this period, the whole
island came under one rule. England recognized the independ-
ence of Haiti in 1825, and France made full recognition in 1838,
on condition that there should be paid to her an enormous and
burdensome indemnity, which has been fully discharged. From
the overthrow of Boyer, in 1843, Haitians date an era in their his-
tory; it is the dark and deadly era of revolution.
Altogether, Haiti has, during her 88 years of independence, had
17 chiefs of state. The United States during the same period
have had 21. A glance at the lives of the Haitian chiefs of state,
after they came to power, is suggestive of the tendency of things
hitherto in that country, as well as of a singular phase of human
vicissitudes. Toussaint L'Ouverture died a prisoner in the castle
THE NATIONAL PALACE, PORT AU PRINCE.
of St. Joux, France, before the independence; Dessalines was
assassinated; Christophe committed suicide; Pition died in office;
Boyer and his immediate successor, Riviere, were overthrown by
violence and died in exile; Guerrier, like Petion, died in office;
Pierrot, retired from sheer incapacity before an approaching
storm, and was permitted quietly to end his days at home in
comparative obscurity; 'Riche, like Petion and Guerrier, was still
in office when he died, by some supposed to have been foully
dealt with; Soulouque, overthrown by revolution, practically spent
his after life in exile, though he was allowed to return to his native
town just before he died; Geffrard was driven by violence into
exile, where he ended his days; Salnave, likewise driven from
power by revolution, was captured and shot by order of his suc-
cessor; Saget alone retired at the end of his term and died in
his country; Domingue went out under violence and died in
exile; Canal retired voluntarily before a revolution and is now in
exile; Salomon, after nearly ten years of office, broken down by
overwork, disease, and old age, went out in revolution and died
in exile; L6gitime, driven from power by revolution, is still in
exile, and Hyppolite is now in power.
It is of interest to those having relations with Haiti at present
to state that, in spite of the criticisms passed upon President Hyp-
polite, he is, nevertheless, a man of experience in the public affairs
of his country, and has shown capacity and dignity in office. His
constitutional term will expire May 15, 1897.
NUMBER, CHARACTER, AND LANGUAGE OF THE POPULATION.
According to the returns drawn up by the Legislative Assembly
of France, which met in October, 1791, there were at that time in
Haiti about 30,000 whites, 455,000 slaves, and mulattoes about
equal in number to the whites, though no census of them seems
ever to have been taken. Inasmuch as the master class was
obliged to pay a tax on each slave, it is believed that there was a
tendency to evasion in giving full returns in some cases, especially
where slaves were unfit for service, so that the popularly accepted
census puts the negro population down at a round half million at
that time. It must be remembered, too, that at that period the
annual importations of African slaves amounted to about 30,000,
the exact number returned for the year 1787 being 30,839.
It is not thought that any full and accurate census has been
taken since 1791, or at any rate since the colonial days. Gen.
Geffrard, who was President from 1859 to 1866, caused an enu-
meration of the population to be undertaken, but it only went far
enough to establish the fact that the footing up would show con-
siderably less than a million. This was about thirty years ago.
Lately, however, the Roman Catholic clergy, who are scattered
about here and there in all the communes of the Republic, and
who are nearly all educated Europeans, have taken an approximate
census of population for their own purposes, under the direction
of their resident central head, the Archbishop of Port au Prince.
They had ample opportunity for their work. Their figures show
the present population of Haiti to be somewhat more than a mil-
lion. This indicates a substantial increase within the past thirty
It does not appear that distinctions of age or sex were observed
in this approximate census, but the universal impression in Haiti
is that the female sex greatly predominates. Some estimate the
proportion as high as two to one, and even higher than that, and
although the estimate may be correct, still it appears to be very
much a matter of observation and conjecture. In colonial times,
the males outnumbered the females. In the same way, it is esti-
mated that less than one-tenth of the population consists of white
foreigners, mulattoes, quadroons, and octoroons, the remaining
nine-tenths being what would, in the United States, be called per-
sons of unmixed African blood, though they have names out there
to designate and define the various degrees of admixture from the
mulatto toward the pure black, and whenever the matter is brought
up to a Haitian in his own country, he seems to prefer to have
the correct designation applied to him and his. Thus, the child
of a mulatto and a black is a griffe (feminine griffonna), the child
of a griffe or griffonna and a black, is a marabou, or marabout and
so on. (See Ouvrage de Moreau de St.-Mery sur l'Ile de St.
Domingue, Vol. I; page 83, et seq.)
Two notable attempts have been made to increase the popula-
tion by inviting immigration from abroad, of persons of African
or Indian origin, more especially of colored people from the United
States. The first attempt was made under the Presidency of Gen.
Boyer in 1824, when the whole island was under one government.
Thousands of these people availed themselves of Boyer's invita-
tion and settled in different parts of the country. Only a few of
them, however, became prosperous, but some of them and quite
a number of their descendants are still living there, and it is a fact
worthy of mention that these have preserved the love of the
American Union and their knowledge of the English language.
The other attempt to secure immigration was made in 1860
under the government of President Geffrard, which offered quite
liberal terms to colored settlers from the United States. Their
passages were to be paid, land was to be placed at their disposal;
they were to be housed and cared for during a reasonable period,
and were to be exempt from military service by the Government;
and to further still more the end in view, an imposing and fully
equipped emigration bureau was opened at Boston under the di-
rection of Mr. James Redpath. Enticing circulars were issued
by Government authorities at Port au Prince, but all the essential
results which characterized the similar movement of 36 years
before followed this second attempt to induce immigration from
the United States. It is therefore not at all likely that any further
direct measures will be put forward by the Government of Haiti
to induce wholesale immigration.
During the past few years, a strong current of colored people
has been flowing into that country from the neighboring islands,
especially from those where the English language prevailS, and it
is altogether probable that when good government shall bring
about an established order of things, the lines of internal trans-
portation are put in better condition, and new industries, for which
there is ample room and which are sure sooner or later to come,
shall be opened up, considerations of intelligent self-interest will
induce immigration, which all direct Government persuasion and
influence in the past have failed to secure.
Intermarriage among all colors and races in Haiti is common
and excites neither special attention nor comment. It is claimed
that there is no racial hostility to respectable foreigners of any
class or color, but that, on the contrary, the popular disposition
toward them is one of respect. There are, however, or were until
very recently, some features in the constitution and the laws not
favorable to the foreigner; but these grew very naturally out of
the condition of things prevailing at the time when Haiti achieved
her independence, and which the popular mind has become so
accustomed to associate with independence that it did not seem
prudent for any Government there entirely to remove them. The
one all pervading national idea is that which was expressed in the
first constitution and has been in effect reproduced in all subsequent
revisions of that instrument, to wit: "The Republic of Haiti is one
and indivisible, essentially free, sovereign and independent. Its
territory and the dependent islands are inviolable and can not be
alienated by any treaty or any convention." (See the Constitu-
tion of 1889.) On this subject of complete autonomy, the Hai-
tian people are an indivisible and extremely sensitive unit.
If one will pause to recollect that it was not until the 26th of
April, 1862, that the Senate of the United States acting on the
recommendation of President Lincoln, voted to recognize the polit-
ical independence of Haiti (and of Liberia at the same time),
and to recollect also that it was not until January 1, 1863, that
slavery was abolished in the great American Union, one can easily
see that the Haitian people hardly had suitable guarantee and en-
couragement to abate the restrictions referred to until nearly two
full generations after the achievement of their own independence.
As a rule, the natives are more comely in form and feature than
the same race of people in the United States. Their ordinary
habits of life are simple, and longevity among them is common.
No more honest, cheerful, hospitable people exists any where than
the Haitian peasantry. It is asserted that one could travel from
end to end of the country with his pocket filled and clinking with
gold coin at every step without losing a penny's value, or a night's
free lodging, or incurring any personal danger on that account.
The great crimes, felonies like arson, rape, highway robbery, mur-
der for gain, scarcely exist there, or at all events, are extremely rare.
The language of Haiti is French, which is spoken and written
in all its purity by the educated classes. Indeed, it is a saying
in Paris that the only classes of foreigners who speak French with.
out a trace of foreign accent are Haitians and Russians. This is
not surprising as far as the former are concerned, because it is and
for more than two generations has been quite the rule for the
wealthy and well-to-do citizens to send their sons, and their
daughters, too, to France for their education, and to have them in
addition, spend a year or two in England or Germany, and often
in both, in order to acquire a knowledge of the languages of those
countries. It is, however, asserted that preference would be given
to the United States for these purposes, if it were not for the color
prejudice there existing, a prejudice of which the blackest Haitian,
according to his own testimony, never finds any trace in Europe.
The country people generally speak only what is called the creole,
which almost deserves to rank as a separate language, though it is
really only a dialect. Everybody in the Republic, the educated and
the uneducated alike, speaks this creole, which is absolutely neces-
sary in dealing with the country people. It is a very interesting
form of human speech. Spoken by the educated classes among
themselves, it is always a sign of familiarity and good feeling.
Probably, it had its origin in the condition of things during the time
of slavery when the master class spoke only French, while Afri-
cans of different tribes and many dialects, were brought among them
in numbers equal to their (the white's) own every year. Under
these conditions, it was but natural that some common form of
speech should have been evolved, having French as its basis; still
Frenchmen, as well as Americans, there to-day seem, notably
from indifference, the last to learn to use it, though it is not at all
difficult of acquisition.
The creole is essentially an unwritten language. Its leading
characteristic is abbreviation. Little attention is paid too distinc-
tions of gender, number and case; plurality is indicated by a
particle only when it is absolutely necessary, and the feminine
adjective seems to be preferred. The article, that stumbling block
to the foreigner learning French, cuts a very small figure in the
creole. The verb is never changed in form, five monosyllabic
particles serving to distinguish the modes and tenses. There is
only one form each for the personal pronouns. Conjunctions,
prepositions and all similar parts of speech, though in use, are, as a
rule, mercilessly sacrificed, yet shades of thought and emotion can
be as clearly expressed in the creole as in our more cultivated
forms of speech.
This peculiar dialect abounds in proverbs and quaint sayings.
A collection of more than a thousand of these has recently been
gathered together-and published by an enterprising Haitian citizen,
Mr. J. J. Audain, of Port au Prince; and some years ago, a Roman
Catholic priest caused the ritual of his church to be printed in a
book so that one page was in French and the opposite page in
There are other publications of earlier date on the French Creole.
In 1802, M. S. J. Ducoeur-July issued at Paris a manuel de habi-
tants de Saint-Domingue. Volume ii, pages 282-355 of this work,
contains a vocabulaire Frangais et Crdole, and on pp. 357-391, are
found Conversations Crioles.
On pages 131-135 of James Redpath's Guide to Haiti (Boston,
1861) there are a scheme of Creole conjugations and some other
general statements on the subject.
In 1869, Mr. J. J. Thomas, of Port of Spain, published there his
Theory and Practice of Creole Grammar, which is considered a
In the same year, M. Marbot issued Les Bambous: Fables de La
Fontaine, travesties en patois Crdole.
It must, however, be borne in mind that the Creole'of Haiti
differs very materially from that of Martinique and Guadaloupe,
and indeed, there is a marked difference even between the patois
of these two latter islands.
Contributions to Creole Grammar by Addison Van Name of
Yale College (see Transactions of the American Philological As-
sociation, 1869-'7o), is a learned and instructive examination of
the Creole dialect.
For any intelligent foreigner desiring it and on the spot, the
Creole is easy to acquire, a residence of a few months sufficing
generally for a fair beginning to that end. Here, for example, is
the Lord's Prayer in Creole as it is pronounced among the moun-
Papa nou qui ciel, nou vle nom on sanctifi6, rigne ou rive,
volont0 ou faite nou t6 comme nou ciel. Baille nou jaudi pain
nou chaque jou. Pa(r)donne nou p6ch6 (or offense) nou comme
nou pa(r)donn6 moun qui ti offense nou; pas quitt6 nou tombi
nou tentation, mais ouet6 nou nou main satan (sometimes this is
mais delivre nou toutte mal). Ainsi soit-il (or Amen).
RELIGION AND EDUCATION.
It has been noted in another chapter of this work that in Haiti
the recognition of the principle of full religious toleration was co-
temporaneous with the Declaration of Independence. In some
repects, this is a most remarkable fact.
From Columbus's discovery of the island in 1492 to the Dec-
laration of 1804, a period of more than three centuries, the Roman
Catholic church was the only Christian denomination there-a
quite natural consequence of the joint domination of Spain and
France. The Reformation of the sixteenth century never obtained
a foothold in Spain and had only a precarious existence in France.
The Huguenots did not, therefore, seek refuge in colonies of those
countries, of which Haiti was one.
Religious toleration in other countries has come after long
struggles between different religious denominations and as a result
of their actual existence there. Haiti was an exception to all
such precedents in this as in some other respects, inasmuch as
without possessing, so far as is known, a single Protestant citizen,
and certainly without a single Protestant church or meeting ever
having been held there, she boldly proclaimed religious freedom
and her independence at the same time.
The reasons and motives for this remarkable step were probably:
(1) That the French clergy left the country when the old colo-
nist planters were driven out by the insurrection of the blacks and
mulattoes; (2) that the founders of the independence desired to
attract to their country immigrants of the African race from the
United States and from the surrounding islands of the Antilles,
where the Protestant religion generally prevailed among the peo-
ple of that race; and (3) that the spirit of free religious inquiry
which had sprung up in France had probably reached Haiti dur-
ing the closing years of the last century.
It should be remembered that the Roman Catholic religion has
never ceased to be fostered by the state or to be professed by the
great majority of I aitian citizens, but in spite of the return to
duty in the Republic of many of the priesthood, the ecclesiastical
system remained in a semi-disorganized state from 1804 to 1869.
In the latter year, the government of President Geffrard concluded
a concordat with the Holy See.
The concordat as finally agreed to consisted of nineteen articles.
Its objects were: To secure full and special protection for the
Roman Church and the presence in the country of a recognized
and responsible priesthood, which had not before been the case
since the independence. It established an archbishopric at Port
au Prince and dependent bishoprics elsewhere, all paid by the
state. The incumbents are to be nominated by the President and
approved by the Pope, and they are all bound to take an oath of
fidelity to the Government. Provision is also made for the estab-
lishment of chapters and seminaries. The priests are nominated
by the bishops, but the nominations must be approved by the
Government. Besides the pay which they all receive from the
state, it is bound to furnish them with suitable residences, and they
are allowed to exact certain fees agreed to by the Government for
special masses, baptisms, marriages, funerals, etc.
In due season, after the ratification and promulgation of the
concordat, the Pope delegated Monseigneur Tostard de Cosquer
to put it into active operation. Monseigneur brought with him
a body of priests, all Frenchmen, whom he installed in the differ-
ent parishes of the Republic. In this work he encountered the
most bitter and determined opposition on the part of the mod-
erately large body of irresponsible priests and other ecclesiastics,
all foreigners, who, though still professing the Roman Catholic
faith, had, in most instances, been deprived of authority in their
own country, and had then come to Haiti, where they exercised,
wholly on their individual responsibility, the priestly functions.
The Archbishop was not installed until 1864, but the concordat
speedily put the church in Haiti on a regular footing, which has
ever since been maintained.
In the hope of raising up a native priesthood, and in order
that there might always be at command priests specially prepared
for the work in Haiti, Monseigneur Tostard de Cosquer, acting in
accord with the wishes of the Government, established at Pont du
Chateau, Paris, the Grand Seminary of Haiti, which is still main-
tained, and to the support of which the Corps LEgislatif at
Port au Prince voted 20,000 francs a year. The outcome of
this commendable plan does not seem to have proved as fruitful
in all respects as was anticipated, for President Hyppolite in his
annual messages has deplored the fact that there is constantly an
unsatisfied demand for priests, and out of one hundred and ten
priests referred to in his message of 1891, only five appear to be
natives of the Republic, all the others being Frenchmen.
The Republic is divided into five dioceses. These, together
with the number of ecclesiastics in each, are as follows:
Port au Prince ..................................................... 34
Aux Cayes ......................................................... 24
Gonaives ..................... ....................................... 12
Cape Haitien ................................................... 34
Port de Paix...................................................... 6
Of this number, several are always absent on leave, so that those
in actual service at any one time probably are somewhat less than
a hundred, but even that number would give more. than one priest
for every commune. There are, however, only eighty-four par-
ishes, though there are chapels in many places which have not
yet been formally constituted into parishes, either because the
chapels themselves have grown out of the fact of there being too
large a population to be accommodated in the regularly established
places of worship, or else they are in localities where the sparseness
of population has not seemed to warrant the creation of separate
parishes. For instance, at Port au Prince, besides the venerable
cathedral in the central, the commodious St. Anne's in the south-
ern, and the equally commodious St. Joseph's in the northern sec-
tion of the city, there are chapels in Bel Air, at Turgeau, at St.
Francois de Sales, near Fort Per, and so on.
In brief, it may be stated that under the present organization
of the Roman Catholic Church in Haiti, there is no part of its
territory whose spiritual needs are wholly neglected.
The Archbishop, Monseigneur Hillon, died in 1890. Since
that period, the office has been vacant. In addition to the arch-
bishop, there are in actual service two bishops, five vicars-general,
and a secretary-general each for the archbishop and the two
Suitable provision is made by the state for the residences of the
three latter-named dignitaries, that of the archbishop at Port au
Prince being a considerable establishment. Two thousand four
hundred dollars and $1,200, respectively, are set apart annually
for the rental of the houses of the two bishops, and $3,876 a year
for parsonages. The appropriations for religious purposes in the
budget for the fiscal year 1891-'92 amounted to $89,158.08.
The archbishop receives $3,750 and each of the bishops $2,250
per annum, and, in addition to these sums, $1,875 for installations
and $3,375 for what is called exaltation of the archbishops and
bishops are appropriated, so that these three high ecclesiastical
functionaries together received $13,500 for that year over and above
the rentals of their official residences.
The vicar-general at Port au Prince has $750 and each of the
other vicars $562.44 a year, while the secretaries-general have each
$337.44- Provision is made for 120 priests at $1,875 a month,
making $27,000 for twelve months, and besides, there are still
further appropriations for supplementary pay to 22 priests at
$30 a month, $7,920; for the pay of the personnel employed
$4,860, and for furniture and other materials $1,500, amounting
altogether to $14,280, and still further, $7,500 are to be devoted
one-half to the wardrobes and passages of 20 priests (probably for
those coming to the country), and the other half to the passages of
a like number of those on leave, $187.50 being allowed to each.
Twenty thousand francs, which are quoted in the budget at only
$3,750 are applied to the support of the Grand S6minaire d'Haiti
at Pont du Cha2teau, Paris, and there are $1,640 noted for extra-
ordinary expenses connected with the church.
It is thus seen that the Government of Haiti has appropriated
directly $79,158 for the ordinary operation and support of the
Roman Catholic Church in the Republic for one year. For the
support of the Protestant churches, during the same period the
appropriations were $1o,ooo. The disparity is believed to be
fairly based on the numbers belonging to each denomination. The
Government of Haiti has given and is still giving proof that it
stands ready to encourage and aid every legitimate effort to estab-
lish and spread within its jurisdiction the Christian religion of all
Of the Protestant denominations in Haiti, the oldest is the
Wesleyan Methodist. The Constitution of 1805 practically held
out an invitation to all the then existing Protestant churches to
enter this new field of labor. None of them spontaneously re-
sponded to the invitation, but in 1816, long before France had
recognized the independence, President P6tion, feeling great need
for teachers in the public schools, had recourse to England. He
offered such liberal salaries that teachers were forthcoming, the
Wesleyans being the first to respond, and thus they began their
work in Haiti. The teachers made favorable reports to the mis-
sionary committee at London, and in 1818, three pastors of that
denomination were sent to the island. Their work there has been
encouraged and maintained ever since. The Rev. M. B. Bird,
now succeeded by the Rev. T. R. Picot at Port au Prince, was the
leading pastor for more than forty years, and pastors are still
supplied from England or Jamaica. After more than seventy
years of existence in the country, not a single regularly installed
native clergyman of that denomination is to be found, but there
are six principal stations now in good working order, there being
one each at the capital, at the cape, Gonaives, Jacmel, J&remie and
Petit Goave, together with some few outposts. An official report
made in 1884 placed the number of faithful and professing Wes-
leyans at 3,000. The Government allotted to their work $2490.66
The African Methodist denomination was introduced by the
colored emigrants from the United States in 1824. This church
has at present only one principal station at the capital and one
outpost, but it has ordained two native pastors with several lay
helpers. It received $1,5oo of the Government appropriations of
The Baptists also owe their establishment to the colored emi-
grants from the United States in 1824,'but they have had pastors
from England and from Jamaica as well as from the United
States. They have at present five principal stations in as many
cities of the Republic and several important outposts, chiefly in
the north, and they have also two native ordained pastors, two from
Jamaica, and no lack of lay helpers. They had $3,000 of the
last Government appropriations.
The Episcopalian Church was also introduced there by colored
American immigrants, a colony of them having come out from
New Haven, Conn., in 1861, partly for that purpose, with their
pastor at their head. From the beginning, their avowed aim has
been to found an autonomous church in Haiti, to be carried on
by a native ministry; and, indeed, that church was recognized to
be of that character by the house of bishops of the United States
in 1874, when the Rev. James Theodore Holly, an American by
birth, but a Haitian citizen by adoption, was consecrated as bishop
for Haiti. In 1878, the conference of Anglican bishops at Lam-
beth Palace, at which Dr. Holly was present as a member, form-
ally extended to his church the full recognition of the whole An-
glican communion. While having four principal stations in the
cities of the Republic, Dr. Holly's most extensive work has been
in the rural districts. There are eight organized congregations
in these districts of the west. There are twelve ordained clergy-
men, five deacons, twelve lay readers, all citizens of the country,
and seventeen stations of this church in Haiti. It received $3,000
from the Government in 1891-'92.
Let it be noticed that these several Christian denominations
work in the same field without clashing and without friction with
one another, and that the continual call of the Government is for
more of them all. It is only fair that the impartial reader should
ask himself how much opportunity there ought to be now in Haiti,
in the face of all of these active religious influences, for the practice
and propagation of the alleged Voudoux and cannibalistic worship
to which so much space has been given in recent works and pub-
lications on that country.
From the beginning, the Government of Haiti has manifested
a commendable concern for the education of the youth of the
country, and to that end, it has never ceased to encourage the
establishment of primary schools and institutions of higher grade
throughout the Republic. Although, under Boyer and Soulouque,
that concern seemed to lapse somewhat, yet there has been a steady
tendency toward increased educational facilities at the public ex-
pense. To-day, any intelligent foreigner passing through the cities
and the rural districts could hardly fail to be impressed by the
number of schools of every grade and description and for both sexes
that he would meet with on every hand, though of course he
would find only primary and secondary schools in the country
places away from the cities. The Government gives encourage-
ment to all of them and aid to nearly all.
The appropriation for public instruction for the fiscal year
1891-'92 was $981,816, which can be only a little less than $1
per capital for the entire population. This is not very greatly less
than the appropriations for the purpose in some other states and
countries which lay claim to higher advancement than Haiti.
In 1881-'82, the appropriation under this head was $575,187 as
against $981,816 ten years later.
In 1860, there were 136 public schools containing 10o,ooo pupils.
In 1865, the schools had increased to 228 and the pupils to 15,697.
Ten years later (1875) there were 368 schools and 19,250 pupils.
In 1877 the figures were:
Schools. Number of Number of
Colleges (lyc6es). ...................................... .. 4 543
Superior girls' schools .................................... 6 563
Secondary schools ........................................ 5 350
Primary schools .......................................... 165 I, 784
Rural schools ..................... ....................... 200 5,939
School of medicine .............................. ...... I 25
School of music .......................................... I 46
Total ............................................ 382 19,250
In 1891, there were 750 schools and 33,391 pupils of both sexes,
which gives considerably more than eight schools for every com-
mune in the Republic. These figures do not include a number
of purely private schools, especially in the cities, and it should be
remembered too that every one of the religious denominations in
Haiti has its school or schools, from the African Methodists, who
have one, to the Roman Catholics, who count theirs by the dozens.
These figures indicate the steady tendency of the popular de-
mand in Haiti for increasing facilities for public instruction in
every direction; still, it must be observed that the percentage of
the population attending school is as yet quite below that which is
desirable. Both the growing interest in education and the law
for compulsory attendance at school advocated by President Hyp-
polite's Government must soon result in an increase of this per-
A noticeable feature in the work is the careful provision made
for the education of girls. There are supposed to be now more
than a hundred "Sisters" and "Filles de la Sagesse" of the
Roman Catholic Church, all French women, who are wisely and
most devotedly laboring for the careful education of the young
daughters of Haiti. It is believed that they have now under their
care and instruction not less than ,000o Haitian girls, from all
sections of the country. This number does not, of course, include
the girls in the purely public or common schools.
Some of the educational institutions under the care of the
Roman Catholic frtres in the cities are models of architectural
adaptation approaching beauty and grandeur. The Petit Semi-
naire College St. Martial, commonly designated as the Petit
Seminaire," standing on neat and ample grounds at the head of the
Rue des Miracles, Port au Prince, and having a corps of twenty
instructors, and the Seminaire College de St. Louis de Gonzague,
in the Rue du Centre of the same city, would do credit to any
city. There are at the capital quite a number of other schools
which are quietly doing an important educational work. The
medical college, the law school, the Lycie, or National College,
the schools of the Sisters of Cluny, and many others, come under
this head. And it is a fact, too, worthy of note that in all the
higher institutions, the great majority of instructors are foreigners,
chosen for their approved character and competency, and brought
to the country especially for that purpose.
What is true of the capital in these respects, is also, to a greater
or less extent, true of the other cities in the Republic, and indeed,
it may be stated that the proper education of their children and
youth seems now to occupy the controlling place in the minds of
a decided majority of the Haitian people, and that no other sub-
ject, if the maintenance of the public order alone be excepted,
receives greater care and solicitude from the Government itself.
Hundreds of Haitian youth of both sexes are abroad every year
to complete their general education or to pursue special studies.
In many instances, the Government comes to the rescue of the
parents whose means are not adequate to bear the expense of send-
ing their children abroad.
GOVERNMENT AND LAWS.
The Government of Haiti is that of a Republic. Its powers
are, and from the beginning, have been defined and limited by a
written Constitution. This fundamental instrument has several
times been changed, but in some essential features, it has always
remained the same.
Reference has already been made to the one promulgated by
Toussaint L'Ouverture in 1801, but that was before the independ-
ence, and mention is made of it here because it was, as far as is
known, the first in which the negro outlined his idea of free gov-
The first Constitution after independence was framed by Des-
salines in June, 1805, but the year before that he had, follow-
ing the example set'by Napoleon, caused himself to be proclaimed
Emperor, so that the Constitution was drawn up in view of that
state of things.
The removal of Dessalines by assassination in October, 1806,
necessitated a new fundamental pact, which is known as that of
1806, and which was, as noted in a preceding chapter, so liberal in
character that Christophe repudiated it and set up a Government
of his own in the north. The instrument of 1806 was somewhat
modified ten years later, and then endured till after the overthrow
of Boyer in 1843. In 1846, President RichE promulgated a re-
vised Constitution, which was again changed when Soulouque be-
came Emperor. These "imperial" changes were not, however,
radical, for even Soulouque's republican successor Geffrard carried
on the Government during his whole administration from January,
1859, to March, 1867, without a constitutional revision.
On Geffrard's downfall, however, another fundamental instru-
ment was adopted restricting still closer the powers of the Execu-
tive, and this was further modified in 1874, 1879, and 1889, each
modification or revision following, as it may be said, a revolution;
for although Saget is credited with having retired at the end of
his term in 1874, yet it was in the face of demonstrations which
clearly signified hostilities if he did not so retire.
A learned review of the constitutions of Haiti has recently been
issued at Paris by a Haitian citizen. (Les Constitutions d'Haiti
par le Docteur Louis Joseph Janvier: Paris, 1890.)
It is interesting to note that the essential principles of free
republican government have been preserved in all these instru-
ments since the time of Dessalines, and that in general, the changes
made in them from time to time have shown a steady tendency
toward liberalism-less power to the Executive, greater freedom
of choice to the people. For example, in addition to the provi-
sions as to the inviolability of the territory and the absolute free-
dom of religious worship hereinbefore mentioned, the equality of
citizens before the law, the independence of the judiciary, the trial
by jury, individual freedom, exemption from unlawful domiciliary
visits and arbitrary arrests, encouragement of education, primary
school attendance being made obligatory, the freedom of the press
and of speech, the sacredness of the secrecy of epistolary corres-
pondence, the inhibition of ex post facto laws, the inviolability of
property rights, individual responsibility for any public function-
all these find a place in the existing Constitution of Haiti known
as that of 1889.
Although citizenship was, until a recent period, restricted to per-
sons of Indian or African origin, and the right to possess real
property goes with citizenship, just as it did in Great Britain and
her colonies up to 1870, and just as it does now to some extent in
HOUSE OF DEPUTIES, PORT AU PRINCE.
. !.. i
some of the States of the American Union, yet the Constitution
expressly provides that every foreigner can become a citizen by
fulfilling the regulations established by law. ('Tout stranger est
habile a devenir hadien suivant les regles itablies par la loi. See
the Constitution of 1889, Title ii, Chapter i, article 4.)
It is further declared that the national sovereignty resides in the
whole body of citizens, and that that sovereignty is delegated to
three powers, which are the legislative, the executive, and the judi-
cial, and of which each one is independent of the other two.
For purposes of convenient administration, the Republic is
divided into five departments, each department into arrondisse-
ments, each arrondissement into communes, and each commune
into sections. Every one of the divisions and subdivisions has a
chief executive officer, who is assisted in most cases by what is
called a council, the whole system being thus closely modeled
.after that of France.
The principal divisions may be summarized somewhat as fol-
Departments. Chief cities. Arrondisse- oms.*
North...................... Cape Haitien ..................... 7 22
Northwest............. .. Port de Pai...................... 2 5
Artibonite .................. Gonaives ................... ...... 3 o1
\W est ...................... Port au Prince .................... .5 15
South......................I Les Cayes ........................ 6 22
Total ................................................... 23 74
*Some changes made in x889-'90 increased the number of communes by several.
The Legislature or National Congress (Corps L6gislatif) is
composed of two Houses-a Chamber of Deputies and a Senate.
The former consists of members elected by free suffrage from each
commune according to the population, but every commune is en-
titled to at least one Deputy, so that the lower house has now 95
members. This house chooses the Senators from two lists submitted
to it, one by the executive and one by the electoral assembly.
When the two Houses meet together according to the constitution,
they constitute the National Assembly, and it is this body that
elects the President of the Republic, whose term of office is seven
years, whose salary is $24,000 per annum, and who can be reflected
only after an interval of seven years from the end of his term.
To the National Assembly, belongs also the power to declare war,
to approve or reject treaties, and to revise the Constitution.
The Legislature meets yearly in April. Its annual session is
limited to four months. Each Deputy is paid $300 a month only
while the session lasts, and is elected for three years. The Senate
consists of thirty-nine members, each chosen for six years, and each
receiving a salary of $15o a month for the whole term. Both
Senators and Deputies are indefinitely reiligible. To be eligible
as a deputy, a citizen must be 25 years of age, in the full enjoy-
ment of civil and political rights, an owner of real property or fol-
lowing some profession or industry in the Republic. These.
qualifications are also required in order to become a Senator or
President, except that the former must be 30 and the President 40
years of age.
The President is entitled to a cabinet of six Ministers (called
Secretaries) of State, and no act of his, other than one naming or
displacing his cabinet or any member or members thereof, is valid
unless it be countersigned by one of them. The ministers can be
and sometimes are elected members of the Congress. In any case,
whether members of that body or not, they can appear before it to
advocate or explain executive measures or proceedings, and they
are bound to appear whenever either House so requests. A Sec-
retary of State must possess the same qualifications as to age, etc.,
as are required of Senators. Each Secretary receives a salary of
$6,000 per annum.
As the origin of the Republic, its language, its traditions, the
manners and social customs of its people are essentially French, so
its laws and forms of legal procedure are based on those of France.
The Code Napoleon which has so strong a foothold in all coun-
tries of Latin origin, is probably more closely followed in Haiti
than in any other of the American Republics. Indeed, the codes
in Haiti are, as far as possible, an exact copy of those prevailing
Persons falling under the scope of the law in Haiti have often
felt aggrieved by its operation and made it the subject of complaint,
as if it were a relic of times less advanced than the present. The
fact is that when a person from an English-speaking country, who
has had no previous knowledge of the French law, finds for the
first time in Haiti that there is no common law, no habeas corpus,
that only in specified instances is there recognizance or bail in
cases to which the public is a party, that the presumptions of the
law lean against accused persons, that no court decision forms a
binding precedent, and that the mesne processes are much less
tender of personal liberty than in countries of English origin, he
is apt to make an unjust estimate of Haitian law and Haitian
advancement, and accordingly make an appeal, as has in fact often
been the case, to his own Government for relief, but he should
remember that all the features which to him seem so much in
violation of the rights of a defendant belong to the established
law not only of Haiti and France, but also essentially to that of
all the Latin-American Republics.
The Constitution provides that no extraordinary tribunal what-
ever shall be created, and it also provides for the administration
of justice by the establishment of: (1) One court of cassation
for the whole Republic; (2) five courts of appeal, one for each
arrondissement; (3) at least one tribunal de paix (corresponding
generally to American tribunals of the ,first instance or resort) for
every commune; (4) a civil tribunal "for one or more arrondisse-
ments;" (5) tribunals of commerce "in localities fixed by the law;"
(6) military tribunals whose attributes, exact functions, direction,
etc, shall be precisely defined by special law.
In general, all the judges are appointed directly by the President,
but those of the court of cassation, of the courts of appeal, and
the civil tribunals have a permanent tenure of office, while those
of the tribunaux de paix are removable.
The chief judge of the court of cassation receives a salary of
$3,000 a year, while the twelve other judges of that court receive
each $2,400 per annum.
The appropriation for the Department of Justice for the fiscal
year 1891-'92 amounted to $486,817.92.
The entire appropriations which figure in the Budget for that
year sum up $7,967,516.1 1; but the year 1888-'89 had seen the
whole country torn by a prolonged and exhausting civil strife in
the course of which the Republic had naturally been placed under
burdensome financial strain. Thus, only a little less than two
millions of the appropriations was for the service of the public
debt. Still, among the appropriations for the period indicated,
were, for the Department of Public Works, $574,125.40; De-
partment of Agriculture, $361,574; Department of Worship
(religion), $89,158.o8; Department of Public Instruction,
$981,816; Department of Foreign Affairs, $135,530.
The largest sums were set aside for the Departments of War
and of the Interior, which latter includes that of the Police Gen-
eral, the said sums being $1,147,242.47 and $1,171,184.46, re-
The law of Haiti does not allow foreigners to engage in the
retail trade, which is reserved for its citizens. Complaints of the
existing law have been made, and there are now questions pending
in regard to it between the Government and the legations of
France and Great Britain,at Port au Prince.
President Hyppolite refers in his last annual message to the
Congress to the diplomatic discussion, as if he expected modifica-
tion of the law to be made. It is to you, Senators and Represen-
tatives," says he, "that it appertains to indicate the points upon
which changes in this law are to be made, if you think it useful to
the high interests of the country."
The law of Haiti also requires that persons who engage in busi-
ness or practice a profession must be provided with a license, which
is payable to the commune or city government, though the grant-
ing of it must first be approved by the Executive. Applications
for license are seldom, if ever, refused. The fee for them, however,
is twice as much to the foreigner as to the citizen; and this on the
avowed ground that it is the only direct tax that the foreigner is
required or expected to pay toward Government support in the
country in which he has chosen his residence and risked his for-
The licenses to merchants are divided into four classes, and the
annual charge as fixed by law for each is as follows: First class:
To the foreigner, $300; to the citizen, $15o. Second class: To
the foreigner, $250; to the citizen, $125. Third class: To the
foreigner, $200; to the citizen, $1oo. Fourth class: To the for-
eignter, $15o; to the citizen, $75.
Merchants at Port au Prince alone are believed to come under
the first class; those of Cape Haitien, Jacmel, and Aux Cayes
under the second class, and those of the other seaports under the
third and fourth classes.
It is easy to see that the restriction to citizens of the right to
hold real property has been and still is liable to give rise to em-
barrassment to the foreigner domiciled in Haiti; as, for instance,
in meeting the requirements of bail in civil cases; especially as the
law for imprisonment for single debt has not yet been abolished,
though recommendations to that end from those in authority have
not been altogether wanting. The evil effects, however, of this
law have been in a measure offset, at least theoretically, by a provi-
sion in the Constitution by which any foreigner can become
Owing to the too frequent occurrence of insurrection and revo-
lution from 1843 to 1888, there was a constantly increasing ten-
dency on the part of persons born in Haiti partly of foreign origin
or educated and reared abroad, to seek foreign nationality, the
French law affording for this facilities which might result in
making a considerable portion of the. educated and well-to-do
natives foreigners, but that tendency has recently been somewhat
abated, and a late diplomatic discussion with the Government of
France on the subject has resulted in an understanding satisfactory
alike to both governments.
CITIES AND TOWNS INLAND TRANSPORTATION- RAILROAD
There are, as elsewhere noted, eleven ports in Haiti open to
foreign commerce. Each one of them is an outlet to a compara-
tively large, populous, and productive country lying back of it.
Generally, the exports and imports at these ports reach far beyond
what one might be led to expect if one were guided by the ap-
pearance and size of the ports themselves and their immediate
surroundings. For instance, careful and competent authorities
have observed that the volume of business done at Port au Prince
is as great as that of any other city of its size in the world.
Whether or not this estimate be correct, it is true that Port au
Prince is the point of outlet and source of supply to a populous
back country extending for miles north, south, and east, and this
is also true of Cape Haitien and Jacmel.
The seaports of Haiti impress unfavorably the newcomer to
the Antilles and Central America, because he finds there very
little of the aspect of neatness and prosperity that characterizes the
towns and cities farther north. The wharves, where there are any
at all, present a dilapidated appearance; the port service is not
always prompt or efficient; the streets and sidewalks are poorly
kept; of pavement, there is almost none; the stores and dwellings
bear an irregular look; hotels are scarce and poor enough at
,best; in some places, the streets are not lighted, and the roads
leading into and throughout the interior are in a very bad condi-
tion. Some of the causes for this disagreeable state of things are
Bull. 62---4 49
earthquakes, as at Cape Haitien; fires, revolutions, governmental
indifference at the port, and a general lack of confidence heretofore
in the stability of things for the immediate future. Of course,
there can be no guarantee against earthquakes, but it is to be
observed that there has not, for many* years, been any serious
damage from that source. In regard to the other causes indicated,
the general impression is that the Haitian people have, after all,
profited by their sad experiences of the past, that it has finally and
fully dawned upon them that revolutions not only bring no lasting
gain to anybody there, but that they would now expose their coun-
try to great injury from without.
It can with confidence be stated that no Haitian of intelligence
now thinks it possible to keep his country in isolation or out of
line in the onward march of the nations. With these prevailing
opinions and with other favorable forces at work, it may be hoped
that order and development will obtain in Haiti. The tendency
of things there is clearly against irregular changes of government.
Following in the order of geographical situation and beginning
at the northwestern one of them, the open ports are as follows:
(1) Cape Haitien, or, as it is universally called in Haiti, "the
Cape," is the second in size and importance in the Republic and
is by many considered as the most picturesque city of all in the
island. It is situated at the foot of a hill which slopes gradually
to the sea. It fronts a commodious harbor and is hemmed in on
three sides by mountains. Its population is estimated at 29,000
souls.* Under the rule of the French, it was the gay capital of
the colony, and its wealth and splendors and luxury gained for it
the name Little Paris, or the Paris of Santo Domingo. It was
*The estimates given in this chapter of the population of the towns and communes
are taken from the Nouvelle Geographie de l'lle d'Haiti par Dantes Fortunate,"
(edition of 1888), which was issued under Government encouragement, and is used as a
text-book in the public schools and colleges of the Republic. It is apparent that
M. Fortunate, who had special facilities for preparing his work, has, in giving his
estimates of the population of cities and towns, here and there confounded it with that
of their entire communes. At all events, his estimates seem rather liberal, though in
the aggregate, they do not exceed those given for the entire population.
CAPE HAITIEN, FROM THE SEA.
also the capital of King Henri's dominions. It was beautifully
laid out, and built on the plan of some of the older European
cities with the rigoles or gutters in the middle of the streets. The
Cape is further noted as having been the theater of a terrible
earthquake in 1842, when, in an instant, it was nearly all thrown
into ruins and thousands of its inhabitants perished; for a bom-
bardment by the British in 1865, and for civil commotions and
disastrous fires; but in spite of all these misfortunes, and in spite,
too, of the fact, striking to the new visitor, that many of the fine
buildings thrown down by the great earthquake have never yet
been rebuilt, the Cape is to-day the center, so to speak, of a
remarkably thriving and prosperous district, of large and increas-
ing business interests, promising well for the future.
There, as at other ports facing the sea to the north, the trade
winds come over the cool, blue waters, and the tropical heats are
thus greatly modified.
In its vicinity, that is to say, within easy distances from it, are
the considerable commercially contributing towns and communes
of La Plaine du Nord (population, 5,ooo), L'Acul du Nord (popu-
lation, 10,000), Milot (population, 6,000), where are still to be seen
the truly imposing ruins of Christophe's palace of Sans Souci, and
not far off those of his wonderful citadel, Laferriere, which from its
mountain height overlooked and commanded the commune;
Limonade (population, 8,000), Quarties Morin (population, 7,000),
and other places of less note, all of which find outlet and supplies
at the Cape and thus add to its notable prosperity in trade.
Official returns show that during the calendar year 1791 the
exports made from Cape Haitien, notwithstanding the rebellion
of the slaves which broke out in August of that year, were:
Sugar .....................................pounds, French.. 45,482,041
Coffee......................... ................. do.... 29, 367, 382
Indigo ......... ............. .................... ... do.... 195,099
Hides (raw) .......................................hampers.. 2, oo6
Hides (tanned) ..................................... do.... 6,975
Sirup .........................................hogsheads.. 1o,654
In consequence of the insurrection, the exports for 1791 were
about 30 per cent less than they were for each of the years 1787,
1788, and 1789, from the Cape.
The exports for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1890,
Coffee............................. .....pounds, French.. 8,987,706
Cacao.............. ............................ do.... 479.671
Logwood ........ .................... .... ...........do.... 59, 679, 898
Beef hides ....................................... do.... 70, 880
Honey................. .... .. .............. gallons.. 230
Goat skins ....... ....... .... ......... .......packages.. 1o
Tanned hides ........................... .........hampers.. 16
Peppers...................................... ....... barrels.. 12
For the fiscal year ending September 30, 1891, the exports
Coffee ........................... ...... pounds, French..
Cacao............. .... .... ........ .............. do....
Logwood ........................................... do....
Beef hides ....................................do....
Honey............... ........ ..... .. ...... ...... gallons..
Goat skins ................... ....... ...... .....packages..
Tanned hides .....................................hampers..
9, 704, 874
The customs duties collected at Cape Haitien during the year
last above indicated yielded to the Government, on
Exports, in gold .......................................... $463,533.39
Imports, in Haitian currency ............................... 788, 127.07
Total ........................ .................. $1,251,660.46
(2) Port de Paix, named by Columbus Valparaiso (valley of
Paradise), is only a part of a day's sail westward from Cape Haitien.
It is a town of 1o,ooo inhabitants, and is noted as the last point
evacuated by the French, in December, 1803. It is well situated,
facing the famous Ile de la Tortue, and is considered healthful. It
has a good harbor in front, and a fine, rich country back of it.
Near it, a little to the south of east, is the important town of St.
Louis du Nord, which has a population of 16,000. There are at'
present on foot propositions and projects looking to the construc-,
tion of a railway from Port de Paix southward through the valley'
of the Trois-Rivikres, which is a considerable stream, to Gros
Morne, a town of 22,000 inhabitants, there to connect by an off-
shoot with a road projected to run through the great plain of the
For the two fiscal years of 1890 and 1891, the exports from Port
de Paix were:
Coffee ............... .......... pounds. French.. 435,068 I,549,633
Cacao......................................... do.... 28,087
Logwood ................ ..................do.... 30,057,000oo 36, 685, ooo
During the latter year, the customs duties collected there and
paid over to the Government were on exports (gold) $120,470.61;
imports (currency), $142,703.20; total, in gold and currency,
(3) Gonaives, which is considered more purely a Haitian town
than any other on the seaboard, because its foundation and origin
were less due to the French colonists, is reached from Port de
Paix by part of a day's sail, going first westward to the M6le
St. Nicolas, and then sailing to the east of south down the Great
Bay, which ends at Port au Prince. It has a population of 18,ooo,
is one of the most thriving towns in the Republic, is considered
healthful, though situated in the midst of a sandy, salty region, and
in spite of the fact that it has more than once been devastated by
revolutions and fires, it still has an important foreign commerce.
It was from this port that Toussaint L'Ouverture was embarked
as a captive during the nights of June 7-8, 1802, on board the
French frigate La Crdole, and it was here, too, that Dessalires
issued the declaration of Haitian independence January 1, 1804.
Within its district in the interior, are Terre Neuve (population
6,000), Gros Morne (population 22,000), and Ennery (popula-
tion 6,000), the cherished residence of Toussaint, all rich and
productive centers of population.
The exports from Gonaives during the years 1890 and 1891
were as follows:
Coffee ...........................pounds, French.. 8,667,687 7,540,759
Cacao.......................................do.... 587 944
Logwood ................................... (o ... 25,292, 550 38,oo009, 900
Cotton... ..................................do.... 503, 267 290,987
Hides..................................... .do.... 590 7,172
Mahogany..................................feet. None. 26,052
These exports yielded in duties to the Government for 1891
$351,642.54 gold, and it received for import duties collected at
the same port that year $467,095.26 currency, making a total of
$818,737.80 in gold and gourdes.
(4) St. Marc is situated on a horseshoe-shaped bay whose waters
are very deep, and at one extremity of the Great Plain of the
Artibonite, Gonaives being at the other extremity; the river of
that name, the largest in Haiti, flowing into the bay between the
two cities. The plain faces along the coast for a distance of about
50 miles between them and stretches back into the interior for
fully 60 miles. It is noted for its great fertility and richness in
every tropical production, in which respect it has hardly a superior
anywhere. There are now on hand projects,. pretty well matured,
for running a railway through it.
St. Marc was formerly built almost entirely of stone, but the
structures of that material have gradually given place to others of
wood. It is a town of commercial importance, and is in a com-
mune whose population is estimated at 20,000. The largest place
back of it and within easy reach is Verrettes (population, 12,000).
.RUE AMRIoAINE, PORT AU PRINCE.
RUE AM .RICAINE, PORT AU PRINCE.
I HAITI. 55
The exports from St. Marc in 1890 and 1891 were:
Coffee............................pounds. French.. 1,145,786 910,118
Logwood .......... ..................... do.... 34,395,000 22, o98,ooo
,Cotton......... ....... ......... ........ do.... 593,580 555,624
Mahogany .................................... feet.. 15.310 None.
Duties collected in 1891 on exports (gold), $99,135.40; im-
ports (currency), $178,295:78; total, $277,431.18. The noticeable
falling off in the exports between the two years was due to natural
(5) Port au Prince, the capital as well as the largest and most
important city of the Republic, is only a few hours' sail from St.
Marc. It is built on ground which slopes most gracefully to the
water's edge, and the streets are laid out at right angles to one an-
other, very much as they are in Philadelphia. Its topographical
position, all beautiful as it is with its environs of mountains and
plains, is nevertheless such as to make it the hottest place in the
island, but in spite of all that has been said and written to the
contrary, it is not now regarded as unhealthful for foreigners.
An approximate census recently taken shows its population to be
nor far from 60,000. It is well supplied with pure water brought
from the mountainside in its rear. Some of its immediate envi-
rons, such as Turgeau, which, covered with commodious residences
of the wealthy is on the hillside back of the large and beautiful
Champ de Mars on which are two well-kept hotels; Petionville, a
delightful summer resort about 5 or 6 miles up the mountain a
little to the left and back of Turgeau; Martissant and Bisotou
overlooking the bay to the right of the capital and about 4 or 5
miles from it; the great and important plain of the Cul de Sac in
which are the considerable places, Drouillard and Croix des Bou-
quets, are quite charming. A favorite place for foreigners to
visit is Furey which is part of a day's ride, passing Kenskoff up
the mountain from Petionville. The elevation is probably not far
from 6,ooo feet at Furey, and to one accustomed to the heats of
the capital, the temperature seems absolutely chilly, though the
lowest recorded temperature is only 450 F.
Scattered all about here and there through the Cul de Sac and
running up to the mountain sides on its borders, are large planta-
tions under cultivation. In some instances, these plantations form
communities by themselves, the laborers generally working on
shares and having schools for their children and a chapel for
religious worship Sundays, on each of them.
Port au Prince was nearly destroyed by an earthquake in 1770,
and it has so frequently been visited by appalling fires that it has
been estimated that the equivalent of the whole city at any one
time has been destroyed by conflagration every twenty-five years.,
It is not, however, probable that this will be the case hereafter
because of the present plentiful supply of water, the introduction of
suitable means for combatting fires, and the tendency to erect fire-
proof buildings rather than those of wood. The National Palace
is of wood, but it, the "quartre ministries" (the offices of the
several departments of the Government) and some of the build-
ing devoted to commerce, to religious worship and to schools, the
National Foundry and other edifices, would be regarded as credit-
able to any country. It is said that there are more than a thou-
sand "busses" (cabs), licensed to carry passengers in the city at 20
cents a "course" (ride from one place to another without stopping)
within the city limits. It is well, however, for strangers to make
a strict bargain with a "Jehu" before engaging him to go one rod
beyond those limits.
Amid all vicissitudes, Port au Prince has maintained its relative
In 1791, its exports were-
Sugar.............................. .............pounds, French.. 61, 441, 142
Coffee................................ .... ............ do.... 14584,023
Cotton ................ .... ........................... do.... 370,021
Indigo ................................................do.... 176,918
RUE DES BONNES, PORT AU PRINCE.
PLACE DE LA PAIX, PORT AU PRINCE.
Hides ... ...................... ................hampers.. r, 6oi
Hides, tanned ........................ .....................do.... 752
Sirup ............................................hogsheads.. 8,350
To these quantities, must be added from 25 to 30 per cent to
bring them up to the average exports of 1787, 1788, and 1789,
because of the civil commotions which reached Port au Prince
near the end of 1791.*
For the fiscal year ending September 30, 1891, the exports
Coffee .................................... pounds, French.. 17, 618, 584
Cacao...................... .. ....................do.... 171,565
Logwood ............................................ do.... 5,856, ooo
Cotton ............. ................................. do.... 120, 79
Mahogany.............................................feet.. 8, 88o
Seashells .................................. pounds, French.. 143
Bois Jaune ...........................................do.... 7,900
Hides....................................... do.... 37,772
Gum guiacum ... ................ ................... do.... 30, 600
Copper................... ......................do... 4, 593
Rum ............................................gallons.. 79
Honey............................................. do.... 7,230
Orange peel ......................... ......pounds, French.. 8,675
W ax .............................................. ...do.... 986
The custom-house duties collected on the foreign commerce
at Port au Prince for the same year were, on exports, in gold
$575,129.65; imports, in currency, $1,740,847.49; total,
(6) Petit Goave stands facing an excellent bay only a few
leagues to the westward of the capital. The population of the
commune is estimated at 25,000ooo. Not far to the southeast of it,.
*As late as the 4th of June, 1794, when, after nearly three years of domestic strife
and in the midst of hostilities with England, Port au Prince fell into the hands of the
British forces, the latter "captured in the harbor twenty-two topsail vessels fully
laden with indigo and sugar, of which thirteen were of 300 tons burthen and the
remaining nine were of 50 to 300 tons, besides 7,000 tons of shipping in ballast, the
values of all of which, ata moderate compensation, could not be far short of 4oo,ooo'
(about $2,ooo,ooo). Vide Bryan Edwards's West Indies, Vol. 4, page 164.
is the lake called Etang Duricie, which is filled with fish and
turtles and is frequented by wild ducks and other water birds. In
the town itself, is a considerable establishment for hulling and pre-
paring coffee for the market. Its exports for 1891 consisted of:
Coffee, 8,947,535 pounds, French; logwood, 614,000 pounds,
French. The duties on them were $327,255.88. The duties paid
on imports there were $193,545.53 currency. Total, $520,801.41.
(7) Miragoane, still further on the westward, was formerly a
port of fair importance, but the town itself was nearly destroyed
and its commerce ruined by the Bazelais attempt at revolution in
1883-'84. Its population is set down by M. Fortunate at 18,ooo.
In 1891, its exports were: Coffee, 778 pounds, French; logwood,
584,000 pounds, French; on which duties were paid amounting
to $18,558.65 gold, and the duties on its imports were $53,599.97
currency. Total of duties, $72,158.62.
(8) Jeremie, the birthplace of the elder Dumas, lies to the
west of Miragoane on the same northern coast of the western
peninsula of the island, and is noted for its export of cacao. It
is a prosperous and thriving place, and its population is estimated
at 35,000. It stands or faces on a bay whose waters are often so
turbulent as to render landing there somewhat difficult. In 1891,
Coffee ......... ........ .............. pounds French.. 5,237,391
Cacao ........ ........... .............. ......... do.... 2,337,607
Logwood ............................................ do.... 1,047,ooo
Iides................... ......................... do.... 3,480
Duties collected on exports, $297,391.44 gold; imports, $320,-
897.58 currency. Total, $618,289.02.
(9) Aux Cayes was formerly the most populous and thriving
city in the south of the Republic. From J&rimie, it is.reached by
sailing first westward to Cape Dame Marie, then turning south
round the end of the peninsula, passing Cape Tiburou, and finally,
proceeding east along the southern coast. It has a population
estimated at 25,000, an important foreign commerce and a variety
of domestic industries. A small stream running partly through it,
called La Ravine du Sud, inundates parts of the city sometimes
in the rainy seasons. The Government has recently entered upon
measures to correct this evil and to improve the harbor.
Exports from Aux Cayes in 1891 were:
Coffee ............... ................... pounds, French.. 10. 29,442
Cacao................................... ...... .....do.... 3,730
Logwood ............................................do.... 780, ooo
H ides............................... ... .......... ...do. 294
Duties collected there that year on exports $291,934.82 gold;
imports, $597,531.49 currency; total, $889,466.31.
(io) Aquin is a smaller town lying only a few miles farther
east than Aux Cayes, but the population of the city and com-
mune is given as 20,000. From its port, are shipped large quan-
tities of dye-woods. The exports for the fiscal years of 1890 and
Coffee .......................... pounds, French.. 27,510 412,740
Logwood .................................. do.... 14,393,ooo 9,711,ooo
Bayarondes ..........................:.......do.... 193,000 None.
Gum guiacum .............................. do.... None. 436, ooo
Duties collected in 1891 on exports, $33,450.09, gold; im-
ports, $30,878.42, currency; total, $64,328.51.
(11) Jacmel, situated on the southern coast farther east than
Aquin, is an interesting and prosperous place. M. Fortunate es-
timates the population at 50,000, but in this, as in other instances,
he undoubtedly includes the whole outlying commune. The
city stands at the extremity of a bay whose waters are very fre-
quently boisterous. The steamers of the English Royal Mail
line touch here, both on their outward and homeward voyages.
The journey from Port au Prince to Jacmel overland is by mule
paths through and over precipitous mountain passes, and between
the two cities, there is a very winding stream which it is necessary
to ford an astonishing number of times and which, in the rainy sea-
son, makes the journey rather disagreeable. Couriers, however,
are constantly passing from one city to the other. The exports
from Jacmel in 1891 were:
Coffee..................................... pounds, French.. I6, or, oo002
Logwood ............................................do.... 174,ooo
Cotton ............................................do.... 26, 8s1
Sea shells ............ ............................ do.... 167
Hides............... ...... .............. .......... ...do.... 5,480
Gum guiacum ........................................do.... 44,ooo
Orange peel ....................... ........ .....do.... 60, 137
Cotton seeds ................................. o.......do.... o9,44
Its custom house collected in duties on exports, $523,953.67,
gold; imports, $550,022.72, currency; total, $1,073,976.39.
In all these places, foreign governments, whose cities or subjects
have commercial or other interests there, maintain consular repre-
sentatives, except that at Aquin, the United States has no such
Besides the eleven ports herein enumerated as fully open to
foreign commerce, there are four others at which vessels are per-
mitted to take cargo, bu; not formally to enter from or clear for
the high seas. They are Fort Liberte on the northern coast
east of Cape Haitian; M61e St. Nicolas at the northwestern ex-
tremity of the island; Anse d'Hainault, which was once an open
port, at the end of the western peninsula; and Port-a-Piment, be-
tween Cape Tiburon and Aux Cayes.
In addition to these fifteen ports there are at least twenty others,
mostly in the south and west, which afford fairly safe approach
and anchorage to vessels, and all of which contribute more or less
to the coasting trade.
It is to be noticed that a resume of the customs duties collected
by the Government at the several open ports in 1891, those duties
constituting practically its sole source of revenue, shows the amount
received by it to have been $8,166,000.65, of which $3,102,456.14
was in gold and $5,063,544.51 was in currency. These revenues
in 1890 were: Gold, $3,306,447.90: currency, $5,694273.66;
Among the inferior ports, may be mentioned in the order of
their geographical situation, beginning on the northern coast a
little to the east of Port de Paix and proceeding first west-
ward around the Haitian coast, and then, after turning the capes
of Dame Marie and Tiburou, passing toward the Dominican
boundary on the south; Borgue, St. Louis du Nord and Henne
in the north; Archahaie, population 16,000, near Port au Prince;
and then (a Ira, Grand Goave, population 16,000; Petit Frou
de Nippes, Pestal, population 6,000; Corail, population 8,000;
Abricots, population 6,000; Dame Marie, population 6,000; Ti-
buron, population 4,ooo; Coteaux, population 12,000, which is
the most southerly port in the Republic; Torbeek, population
15,000; St. Louis du Sud, population 8,00o; C6tes de Fer, pop-
ulation 10,000; Bainet, population 25,000; Saltrou, population
8,000, and Grand Gosier, population 12,000, all around and bn
the southern coast, a little east of the western peninsula of the
Away from the coast in the interior, are a number of other con-
siderable and populous towns, some of which have just been indi-
cated. They are mostly in the northern section and to the north
and east of the capital, though there are some on the western penin-
sula, the largest of the latter being LUogone (population 30,000).
The most populous of the interior towns is Mirebalais, population
25,000, about 15 leagues to the northeast of Port au Prince. Then
there are in the northern half of the interior, Gros Morne, popu-
lation 22,000; Plaisance, population 25,000; Grande RiviEre du
Nord, population, 22,000; Limb6, population 16,000; Frou,
population 10,000; Dondou, population 12,000; Jean Rabel,
population 9,ooo; and to the east of Mirebalais, Las Cahobas,
population 12,000. In the plain of the Cul de Sac, is La Croix
des Bouquets, population 20,000, and up the mountain side, near
the capital, is the charming summer resort, P6tionville; popula-
Although these towns and communes and others not here men-
tioned do not always present the well-regulated, pleasing aspect of
cities and towns in the United States or in Europe, they never-
theless do suggest important possibilities in the future.
As it has been already stated at the beginning of this chapter,
the roads in the interior leading to and from these places are in a
very unsatisfactory condition, being in fact, in most cases, little more
than mere mule paths. This is due partly to neglect and partly to
topographical conditions which expose the roads in the interior to
the destructive influences of the torrential tropical rains.
In the times of the French occupation, however, many of them
were kept in excellent condition, and as late as the empire of Sou-
louque, carriages and other vehicles could be freely used through
quite a number of localities where that kind of transportation is not
The fact that Haiti once had good roads and that in the island
of Martinique, where the conditions for maintaining them are quite
as difficult as in Haiti, French engineering has established and
maintains the best of highways, prove the possibilities in this
respect for the latter-named country.
The present Government appears to be alive to the necessities
in this and in other kindred respects.
In the President's annual message addressed to the National As-
sembly, June 22, 1892, occurs (page 2) the following passage,
which throws some light on this phase of purpose toward progress
Our agriculture is seeking to rise again from the ruins heaped up on all sides
by our recent civil strife. The employment of machinery adapted better than
mere work by hand to cultivating the soil; our highways and public buildings
now in course of construction or repairs; iron railways on the point of being
constructed in all directions, but principally in our great centers of production;
concessions of land sought from the Government at all points of our territory,
and which must by agricultural cultivation, established on a large and fruitful
basis, furnish to our commerce, now lagging, a support which, constantly re-
newed, will be at once life and force to our social body; lines of telegraph which,
in two or three months or later, will bind together the most distant points of the
Republic, all this shows that a new era is open to us if only we give ourselves
up to the useful and remunerative works of peace and invite to our shores the
foreigner and his capital.
There appear to be at present, under promising consideration,
projects and contracts for lines of railway principally as follows:
(l) From Port de Paix to Gros Morne, with offshoots; (2) from
the Grand Saline, near the mouth of the Artibonite, up through
the whole stretch of the great plain of that name; (3) from Cape
Haitien to Onanaminthe, including a line to Gonaives, if that
should be thought best, and touching the arrondissements of the
Nord. The contract for this line, with its offshoots, was signed
with M. Nemours Auguste, March 22, 1892. (4) From Port au
Prince to the Lakes, running through the Plaine du Cul de Sac,
for which the contract was signed March 23, 1892, with Dr.
There are other minor projects on foot and in process of exe-
cution for improving and extending the facilities for communica-
tion and transportation throughout the Republic.
It will be readily inferred that the common and in fact almost
the only way of traveling through the interior is on horseback.
Mules and donkeys are, of course, in demand for this purpose as
well as horses.
Foreigners thus passing through the country are not infrequently
struck by coming unexpectedly upon some neat and cosy village
or upon the remains of roadways and buildings which must have
been admirable in their day. A noticeable fact also is the distri-
bution of the population. There seems to be no section of the
Republic which is not inhabited.
Much has been written about Christophe's magnificent palace
of Sans Souci and the remarkable citadel constructed by him
called La Ferri&re, both near Cape Haitien. If the circumstances
and the time of these remarkable constructions be duly considered
and if they be taken together, the latter being on the top of a moun-
tain 5,000 feet above the sea level, with walls 80 feet high, 16 feet
thick, and of the most solid masonry, the whole covering the en-
tire mountain peak, they ought almost to be ranked as a wonder
of the world. Gen. Hyppolite's Government has, within a year
or two, caused all the ruins there to be carefully photographed by
Mr. W. Watson, an English photographer at Port au Prince.
President Hyppolite opens his annual message to the Corps
Legislatif in 1891 with this passage:
If there is one sentiment which is more and more emphasized among modern
nations, it is that of their community of interests. It is this that renders them
constantly more and more attentive to investigate and know one another better
and to strengthen the cords that bind them together. It seems, in fact, that,
though a state be crowned with every material prosperity and be in possession
of the most powerful of equipment, it can not feel itself prosperous or happy
if it be isolated in its grandeur, if other nations do not unite to surround it, if
not with their sympathy, at least with their esteem and their consideration.
Therefore, it is an imperious necessity for every state to preoccupy itself most
especially with its foreign relations.
However trite these views may seem, they nevertheless serve to
show the importance and the necessity which Haiti attaches to the
onward march of the nations as well as their steady trend toward
a fuller recognition of independence.
In a preceding chapter, mention has been made of the hesitancy
and tardiness with which the great powers admitted Haiti into the
family of States, but the progress of events and the spirit of the
time long since did away with all that, and to-day, almost all those
powers, except Russia, are represented at the Haitian capital by
either a diplomatic or consular officer.
France maintains there a minister plenipotentiary, the United
States, Germany, Great Britain,* and Liberia each a minister resi-
*Great Britain has lately maintained only a consular officer in Port au Prince. For
years, she had a charge d'affaires. In 1874, the rank was raised to that of minister
Bull. 62--5 65
dent; Santo Domingo a charge d'affaires, and Spain a consul who
has a quasi-diplomatic character, while Portugal, Belgium, Hol-
land, Norway and Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Greece, Italy,
Mexico, Gautemala, Honduras, Venezuela, the United States of
Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Argentine, and Uruguay
are each represented by a consul, and a majority of all these
powers have also vice-consuls or consuls at the other open ports of
Haiti is in treaty relations with several of these States, especially
with all the great powers, and she maintains six legations abroad:
Ministers plenipotentiary at Paris, Washington, Berlin, London,
Madrid, and Santo Domingo, at an aggregate ordinary cost of
$81,000 per annum. Each Haitian minister abroad receives a
salary of $10,0ooo and $1,5oo for incidental expenses per annum,
and is in addition to that, allowed a secretary of legation whose
compensation is $3,000 per annum, except that the salary of the
minister at Santo Domingo is $7,000 a year, and with it, goes in
addition an appropriation of $900 for a secretary and $600 for
Haiti has also in its service more than fifty consuls-general,
consuls, and vice-consuls, who are stationed at so many different
ports in the United States, on the Isthmus, in the Antilles, in
Europe, and elsewhere. Appropriations are made every year so
that each one of these officers receives compensation, the average
ordinary pay for each being about $5oo. The highest annual
salaries on this list are paid to the consuls at Colon, Barbados, and
Martinique, each being $1,800. The presumption is that the
functions of these three last named officers are quasi political in
It is perhaps hardly necessary to add that Haiti is considered to
have always shown good judgment in the selection of her diplo-
matic agents. They have all acquitted themselves creditably,
and each one of them speaks the language of the country to which
he is accredited. Mr. Stephen Preston was the Haitian Minister
at Washington continuously for nearly twenty years, and during a
third of that time, he was the dean of the diplomatic corps there.
His immediate predecessor, the late Gen. Alexander Tate, and
his wife are still favorably remembered by the older officials in the
American capital. Mr. Hannibal Price, the recent minister, main-
tained the good impression left by his predecessors. The minister
at Berlin, M. Delorme, has already won fame as a litterateur at
Paris, and it is an acknowledged fact that all those whom Haiti
has chosen for her diplomatic service have proved themselves to
be men of character.
As far as the general public knows, there are pending between
foreign governments and Haiti no questions of sufficient impor-
tance to affect her dignity, menace her autonomy, or interfere with
the free working of the ordinary machinery for administering her
It may be stated that, in the long run and in her own way, Haiti
always meets every financial obligation, and it is confessedly a
fact that she has sometimes consented to pay and has paid claims
which no great powers like France or Great Britain would have
been expected to recognize. It is believed that she has taken this
course in order to avoid what seemed at the moment like possible
complications with foreign powers which, at times, as she has
thought, have appeared to be only too ready to take advantage of
her comparative isolation and weakness. In these instances, she
has apparently feared some ulterior designs on the part of the in-
terfering great power. For example, during the last years of
Gen. Salomon's administration, Great Britain sent a commis-
sioner (Mr. Hill) backed up by a display of force to demand a
prompt settlement of the claims of British subjects. Haiti became
so convinced that the ulterior object of that demand was to secure
a footing on some remote part of her territory (L'Ile de la Tortue)
that she invoked the friendly offices of the United States in her
Aside from these claims for pecuniary indemnity, Haiti has
seldom on her hands important international questions, though to
her, as to other independent states, these questions do sometimes
Great stress was laid on the recent negotiations for the cession
or lease to the United States of the Mble St. Nicholas for a naval
station. The importance which Haiti'attached to these negotia-
tions, all friendly as they were on the part of the United States,
grew partly out of the unmistakable national sensitiveness which
permeates all classes there about the most jealous conservation of
I know very well," recently said the President of Santo Do-
mingo, "that what the great powers think they need, they must
sooner or later have. But if they take time to decide about making
the initial request, they must give us time to decide whether we
can grant it. It will be found that in reference to all matters of
international moment, the people of Haiti are not altogether in-
sensible to or incognizant of the tendency of things, the march
of events, the spirit of the times."
For years, there have been pending between the two Republics
of the island questions the settlement of which they have repeatedly
declared to be "absolutely necessary to the pacific development, the
progress, and prosperity of the two peoples," and in 1874, there was
negotiated and concluded between the two powers a treaty which
has some features of reciprocity. According to this treaty, certain
special neighborly relations were to be established, and most par-
ticularly, there was to be a free exchange of products between them
over the frontier and otherwise, and as the balance of that traffic
was presumed to be in favor of Haiti, she agreed to pay to her
neighbor a certain stipulated sum for eight years from that date as
a compensation for the probable losses which would come to the
revenues of Santo Domingo in consequence of the free exchange
of products provided for in the treaty.
The latter power claims that this indemnity, now running up
to nearly $1,ooo,ooo, has never been fully paid, and claims also
that the old "treaty of the boundaries" of 1776 needs a readjust-
ment. Several attempts have been made to come to an under-
standing over these matters. In February, 18qo, the Presidents
of the two Republics had a formal meeting on the outskirts of
the commune of Port au Prince to discuss amicably the existing
disagreement. Later on, in the same year, the Dominican Presi-
dent, with manifest impatience at delay, convoked the Cuerpo
Legislative (Congress) in special session over the matter. Finally,
Haiti, in December, 1890, sent an imposing commission of pleni-
potentiaries, all able and experienced men, to the .Dominican cap-
ital, there to come to a friendly settlement of the long:standing
difficulties. The effort, as had all previous ones, failed, and the
questions between the two Republics are still pending. The facts
are that, by a sort of long-continued tacit consent or acquiescence,
the boundaries are taken to be where the two languages begin to
commingle, and that no power short of a strong standing force is
likely to hold in check effectually the traffic over the frontiers, all
the people living there being deeply interested in it. Still it is
not thought that the relations of friendship and good neighborhood
will be seriously affected by a continuance of the status quo, how-
ever much it may appear, from time to time, to be a source of
The German element in Haiti is important, not so much on
account of its numbers as of its orderly intelligence and energy,
which have created important German interests there, and the
German Emperor has, within the past year, promoted his repre-
sentative to the grade of minister resident. Through him, His
Majesty has proposed a treaty of peace, friendship, navigation, and
commerce, having for its principal basis "the most-favored nation"
The diplomatic and consular officers of every grade in Haiti
are there treated, as indeed they should be, with special considera-
tion and respect. They enjoy in that country at least as great an
influence by reason of their official character as the same grade of
officials enjoy in any other country in the world. Their rights
and immunities are strictly observed, and their official representa-
tions always command serious attention.
Haiti took measures to be properly represented at the World's
Columbian Expositon at Chicago. Appropriation of money was
made for that purpose, and early in 1892, she appointed two com-
missioners to the Exposition, who were charged to make the neces-
sary preparations. One of them is Frederick Douglass and another
is Mr. Clark A. Preston, who was for many years secretary of the
Haitian legation at Washington. The Haitian building and the
very creditable exhibit at the Exposition are the results of these
FACILITIES OF COMMUNICATION AND FOREIGN COMMERCE.
The principal convention of the Universal Postal Union was
signed at Paris in 1878. Haiti formally became a member of the
union in 1880, and she is in the full enjoyment of all the mail
facilities which the membership implies, but she comes under the
provision which allows to some countries a charge of to cents in-
stead of 5 on letters weighing one-half an ounce or less and
addressed to Europe or the United States. She has also a safe
and regular inland postal service at established postal rates.
She is, moreover, in touch with the outside world by means of
the submarine telegraph which was completed and opened for
operation at Port au Prince December 30, 1890, though long
before that, there was a cable station at the Mble St. Nicholas, and
lines of telegraph are in process of binding together her inland
towns and cities.
Aside from the large numbers of foreign sailing vessels which
visit, and some of which are always to be found in her ports, there
are several lines of steamers running upon regular schedule time
between her principal ports and New York, Europe, Venezuela,
Colombia, some of the ports of Central America, Mexico, and the
islands of the Antilles. They are:
FROM NEW YORK.
(1) The Atlas Steamship Company, who have a fleet of twelve
commodious iron and steel steamers, all built by the best ship-
builders in Scotland especially for this service of plying between
New York, the West Indies, and the Spanish Main, and of which,
seven range from 2,000 to 2,500 tons, dispatch a steamer every
week for Haitian ports, alternating between those of the north and
those of the south of the Republic. These steamers afford special
facilities for frequent and short winter tours to the tropics. Most
of them touch and make brief stays at several ports in the West
Indies and on the Spanish Main. The charge for a first-class
passage from New York to Port au Prince is $60. The outward
steamers which touch at the northern ports take the mails there for
New York, leaving them at Navassa and passing on to Savanilla,
Carthagena, and Port Limon, and then the next steamer which
comes, returning from these latter ports, takes the mails up at
Navassa, bringing them directly to New York. By this route, it
takes just ten days for letters from Port au Prince to reach New
York. It has proved to be an entirely safe and reliable mail
service. The homeward-bound steamers of this line do not touch
at Port au Prince or any other place in Haiti.
(2) The Royal Dutch West India Mail Service Company,
who have five staunch commodious steamers on the line between
New York and Amsterdam, via Port au Prince, Aux Cayes, Jac-
mel, and other ports in the Antilles and on the Spanish Main, dis-
patch a steamer every three weeks, which goes directly from New
York to Port au Prince in about five days. As these steamers go
over the same route and are promptly despatched one every three
weeks, the outward bound and the homeward necessarily meet at
some fixed point on the route. That point happens to be Port au
Prince, and from thence, the latter come directly to New York.
The steamers of this line are the only ones that do so come from
the Haitian capital to the American metropolis. The passage
prices on them are the same as those on the Atlas line.
*(3) William P. Clyde & Company have also two (and some-
times three) steamers running between New York and Haitian
ports, one of which sails about every three weeks, touching at Cape
Haitien (sometimes also at Port de Paix) and continuing on to the
several ports of San Domingo, and the others going to St. Marc,
Gonaives, and Port de Paix. The time of the steamers of this line
is so arranged that there are about two departures for Haiti every
(1) The Royal Mail Steamship Company's steamers calling
every second week at Jacmel on their way from Southampton and
Barbados, and stopping at the same port in coming from Kingston.
(2) The Compagnie G.nErale Transatlantique's steamers sail-
ing from Havre and Bordeaux which, on their outward voyages
to Vera Cruz, stop at Cape Haitien the 7th and at Port au Prince
the 8th of each month, and on their homeward run, touch at those
ports the 27th and 3oth bf each month, respectively, calling be-
tween these latter dates at St. Marc and Gonaives. This company
has also an annex steamer, which, starting from Fort de France
(Martinique), calls once or twice a month at Jacmel, Port au
Prince, Petit Goave, J&remie, Aux Cayes, and numerous other
places in the West Indies. At St. Thomas, it meets the main
steamers of the line on their outward runs the 2d and 3d of each
month, and at Port de France, it connects with those of the line
between Marseilles and Colon. The steamers of the Transatlan-
tique Company are greatly patronized by Haitians passing
between their own country and France, which large numbers of
them visit annually. Within the past few years, however, there is
a noticeable disposition on their part to avail themselves of the
Dutch steamers to go by way of New York.
(3) A Royal Spanish Mail steamer, after meeting those of the
line from Europe and the United States, touching at Puerto Rico,
calls at Port au Prince the 17th of every month en route for Cuba,
Mexico, the United States, and Europe. At Port au Prince, it
takes freight, mails, and passengers for the latter countries via
Havana, the passage to New York being $80. By this line, the
West India mails are sent to New York via Tampa, Fla.
(4) A steamer of the Spanish line Sobrinos de Herrera coming
from Havana and Santiago de Cuba en route for Cape Haitien,
Puerto Plata, and Puerto Rico, calls at Port au Prince the 16th,
and returning, bound for Cuba, touches the two Haitian ports just
named the 28th of each month, taking freight, mails, and passen-
gers for New York and Europe via Havana and Santiago.
(5) Steamers of the Hamburg Mail Steamship Company com-
ing from Hamburg, Grimsby, Havre, and Colon touch at Port
au Prince the 4th, 18th, and 27th of each month. They call at
St. Thomas and also at Cape Haitien, Gonaives, Petit Goave,
JerEmie, Aux Cayes, and Jacmel, and continue their voyages to
Venezuela and Port Limon.
In addition to these regular communications, "tramp" steamers
not infrequently call at Haitian ports. Those of the Franco-Russe
line, those of the line formerly known as the Liverpool line, and
those coming under special charters, are occasional visitors to
Mention was made in the beginning of this chapter of the in-
land postal service. There is, besides, a coast service which has
been maintained since 1863. It is carried on by four steamers,
three of them being 250 tons each and one of 76 tons, all of
course under the Haitian flag and owned by a Haitian company
of which M. B. Riviere is the head. The Government pays a
subvention of $80,000 a year to the line, and reserves the right to
use the steamers in case of need on condition of paying $250 a
day for each. Their regular trips are so arranged that they cover
the whole extent of the Haitian coasts every ten days, taking pas-
sengers and mails, and touching regularly at no less than twenty-
six ports. Their course in the north from the capital covers 240
miles, and in the south, 315 miles of the coast.
It is, in fact, thus seen that Haiti has no lack of the ordinary
means of communication with the rest of the world, and though
she has as yet no railways in operation, all her inland towns will
soon be put more than ever before within quick reach of one
another by the inland telegraph lines already mentioned as now
being erected to traverse her interior.
In another chapter of this book, it has been noted that the pro-
ductive capacity of the soil of Haiti has from the first been and
still is considered to be most remarkable, and some statistics have
been given to show the high degree of production which she at-
tained in her colonial days with a population of scarcely more than
half of that which she now has.
In those days, the articles of export, in the order of their impor-
tance ad valorem, were sugar, coffee, cotton, indigo, sirup, cacao,
hides, raw and tanned, sea shells, woods (mahogany, logwood,
and lignum vite), and tafia; and, to repeat what has already been
stated, the total value of the exports, as officially given for the
year 1791, was 200,301,634 livres tournois, or about $40,060,327,
the value of the single article sugar being 117,612,348 lives, or,
say, $23,522,469, more than half of the whole.
SStatistics of the importations of this period do not seem to
be so easily attainable; but, in 1788, the value of imports from
France amounted to 86,414,040 livres, or $17,282,808, and that
of imports from other countries to 16,538,820 lives, or $3,307,764
more, making apparently only $20,590,572 for the importations of
goods, wares, and merchandise. In this, however, is not included
the estimated value of about 30,000 slaves brought during that
year, and rated as costing about $12,500,000.* At this period,
too, numbers of the wealthy planters kept up expensive establish-
*In the official return of property of all kinds in the colony at that time, appears the
item "negroes of all descriptions, adults and children, 455,000, at 2,500 livres ($500oo)
each." Inasmuch as there was a tax on each, the figures are probably not exaggerated.
ments in France, thus dispensing their income abroad, and, besides,
nine-tenths of the population of the colony were slaves, who were
consumers of only what was necessary to maintain their physical
well being. These facts account in part for the disparity between
the exportations and importations of the time.
The heaviest item in the list of imports was dry goods, includ-
ing linens, woolens, silks, cotton, etc., which ran up to nearly
$8,000,000 (39,008,600 lives tournois). Next in order, came
wines (of which 120,587 casks were imported), beer, brandies,
cordials, and liqueurs, amounting to $3,083,198, and then came
flour to the amount of $2,454,249.
To the list of exports, tobacco was added while the whole island
was under the Government of Haiti, and in 1842, there were
2,518,612 pounds, French, of it exported, but after the secession
of San Domingo in 1844, that article no longer figured as. a Hai-
A full list of the articles of export, as it is officially given for
the years 1890 and 1891, is as follows:
Coffee, cacao. cotton, logwood, mahogany, and other woods, as
bois jaune, bayarondes, and lignum vite, hides, raw and tanned,
including goat-skins, sugar, honey, rum, wax, gum guiacum, pep-
pers, tamarinds, orange peel, sea shells, and old copper.
It will be observed that, if sugar and rum be excepted, scarcely
any others of the articles in the above list require for their prep-
aration the use of machinery, so that Haiti may at present be
ranked as almost wholly an agricultural country.
The value of the foreign commerce of the Republic for the year
1889 is officially stated to have been:
With France ........................................... $6,275,oo0.oo
W ith the United States.................................... 7,732,904.00oo
With Germany (importations only) ......................... 412, 305. 77
With England (importations only) ......................... 739 934. 36
With all other countries (importations only) ................ 28,424.93
Total.............................................. 26, 188, 569.o6
The volume of the commerce for the year 1890 amounted to
$24,226,758.13, in which the exports figured for $14,165,788.86,
and the imports, consisting of manufactured products and of provi-
sions from the United States and from Europe, for $10,060,979.27.
The exportations were to:
United States ............................................ $2,289,292.15
France ................................................ 8,437, 500.00oo
Other countries not specified ......... ...................... 3, 518, 996. 71
Total............................................... 14, 165, 788.86
The importations were:
United States ............................................ $6, 454, 600. 91
France .............................. ..................... 917,994 23
Germany ............. ... ............................. 1, 930, 713.40
England................................................. 662, 190. 53
Other countries not named ............................... 95,480. 20
Total.................................................. o, o60, 979. 27
It will be noticed that nearly two-thirds of all the imports for
this year came from the United States, and amounted to nearly
three times as much as the exports to that country, but of the im-
ports therefrom, $852,177.97 was in gold coin. Altogether, the
trade between Haiti and the United States for the fiscal year ended
September 30, 1890, was $8,743,893.06.
The statistics of the foreign commerce for the fiscal year ending
September 30, 1891, as given in President Hyppolite's annual
message covering that period, are less ample and satisfactory than
the general tone and fullness of that document might lead one to
expect, but the total value of that commerce was $23,164,010.39,
of which $ 14,340,234.39 represented the exports and $8,823,776.01
the imports. The imports were from:
United States ......................................... $5, 873. 501. 12
France ............................................... 897,791. 13
Germany....... ....................................... 1,498,676.82
England...................................... ........ 489, 735.70
Other countries not indicated ................................. 64,071. 24
Total.................................. .......... 8,823, 776.or
Of the imports from the United States, $431,525 was in gold
coin, and the exports to that country as given in the message,
"according to a statement received from our consul-general at
New York," were $2,099,799.56, which would make the trade for
the year between the two countries $7,973,300.68.
The statistics thus far cited are taken wholly from Haitian offi-
cial sources. The fiscal year there runs from October 1 to Sep-
tember 30, inclusive. In the United States, the fiscal year ends
June 30, so that there are the months of July, August, and Sep-
tember of each year that are covered by the report of one govern-
ment and passed over to the next year by those of the other.
Either for this or some other reason, there appears a very marked
discrepancy between the reports of the two governments as to the
value of Haitian exports for 1891. According to the Haitian re-
port, it was, as stated above, $2,099,799.56. According to that of
the United States, it was $3,243,454, a difference of $1,143,654.44.
According to the statements issued by the Treasury Depart-
ment of the United States of the foreign commerce for the year
ended June 30, 1892, the total value of the imports from Haiti
was $3,202,729, and that of the exports thereto was $5,282,883,
making the volume of the trade between the two Republics
$8,485,612 for the fiscal year.
Of the ships which were engaged in this trade entering the
ports of the United States, 120 were sailing vessels, whose aggre-
gate tonnage was 26,348, 78 of them, with a tonnage of 17,056,
being under the American flag, and there were 56 steamers whose
aggregate tonnage was 58,o51, 14 of them, with a tonnage of
17,036, being American.
Of those which cleared for Haiti from the ports of the United
States, there were: American sailing vessels, 72; tonnage, 15,732;
and other than American, 45; tonnage, 9,430; steamers, Ameri-
can, 15; tonnage, 18,265; and other than American, 65; tonnage,
Of the steamers on any regular line, those of Wm. P. Clyde &
Co., of New York, are the only ones under the American flag, and
the only ones, too, that limit their outward voyages to Haitian
and Dominican ports.
As to the sailing vessels, it is quite frequently the case that after
discharging their outward cargoes at the Haitian port of original
destination, they clear from that port in ballast for another in the
Republic or elsewhere, in order to find a homeward cargo. The
statistics show that only 6 of the 120 which entered United States
ports from Haiti during the year ended June 30, 1892, came in
From April 30, 1869, while the revolution against Salnave was
raging, until the meeting of the Corps L.gislatif in 1891, there
was in force a provision by which sailing vessels themselves, and
not, as in the case of steamers, their cargoes only, were held respon-
sible for the customs duties on their merchandise discharged. In
this way, sailing vessels of all nationalities were frequently detained
for an unreasonable period for their clearance papers after they were
otherwise ready for sea. For some reason or reasons which do not
appear, the discriminating regulation never evoked a unanimous,
or anything like a united, protest, but only fugitive complaints at
irregular intervals from those most affected by it. In 1891, how-
ever, the American minister, Mr. Douglass, made to the Haitian
Government representations on the subject which induced Presi-
dent Hyppolite to announce in his message of that year that, there
being no real law of the country authorizing the practice com-
plained of, it would, unless the National Assembly should order
otherwise, be thereafter discontinued.
In regard to Haiti's importations, there do not appear to be in
any accessible form details which will show in full the kind and
the quantities of the articles imported.
On this point, the Minister of Commerce, in an official commu-
nication made to the Corps Legislatif at the opening of its session
in June, 1892, says:
Unfortunately, one has always been satisfied at the Department of Commerce
to draw up en bloc the amount of importations, taking into consideration only
the deductions to be drawn relative to the product of our custom-houses. The
most essential part of a work of this kind, that relative to the determination
of the quantity of each article imported, has been constantly neglected. This
is an omission which will be speedily remedied. The Department is, indeed,
happy to place from this time forward under the eyes of the representatives of
the nation the beginnings of the work, executed according to its indications,
which must be so useful as the foundation of every custom-house tariff.
Even recourse to the statistics of countries that export to Haiti,
if that were feasible, would fail to produce a complete detailed
statement of her imports, inasmuch as some of those countries,
Great Britain, for instance, have not always given the figures con-
cerning that Republic separately.
The importations from the United States for 1891 may be
stated as follows:
Agricultural implements ................... ............. ............. $170
Breadstuffs (including 224,938 pounds wheat flour) ...................... I, 223, 671
Carriages and similar objects ......... ........................ ......... 37, 770
Chemicals, drugs, dyes, and medicines .............................. 22,6Io
Cotton, manufactured, of all kinds..................................... 676,666
Fish, dried, smoked, or cured ........................................ 791, 359
Flax, hemp, and jute, manufactures of ................. .............. 11,921
Glass and glassware ... .............................................. 17,354
Gunpowder and other explosives ....... ..................... ... ....... 947
Iron and steel, manufactures of............................. ..... .. 92, 826
Leather and manufactures of ...................................... ..... 50,10o3
Malt liquors, in bottles ....... .......... ......................... 22, 193
Oils, mineral, refined or manufactured....................... .......... 43, 770
Paints and painters' colors........... ....... .................. ..... 12, 817
Provisions, comprising meat and dairy products ...................... 1,492, 165
Soap ........................................ ...................... 278,338
Straw and palm leaf, manufactures of.................................. 15, 490
Sugar (mostly refined) and molasses .................................. 119, 133
Tobacco and manufactures of .......................................... .... IoI
Vegetables (beans and peas)........................................... 25,243
Wood and manufactures of, including lumber and furniture .............. 383,461
All other articles ......... ..... ..... .............................. 162,059
Imported from the United States, but not produced there.................. 370,635
Total value ................................................... 5,959, 813
For more minutely detailed statements under this head, see the
publications issued periodically by the Treasury Department of
the United States entitled "Commerce of the United States with
The total value of precisely the same articles imported from
the United States during the preceding year (1890) was $5,335,068.
The same importations were for:
1885. ................ ....................................... $3, 307,307
1886 ..................................... .... ...... 3, 67, 720
1887................................................ ....... 3, 230,128
i888 ............ .... .................................. 4,617, 125
1889..................... .................................. 4,160,251
It is estimated that the present average import duties on dry goods
practically amount to about 40 per centum ad valorem, and the
same duties on provisions to about 50 per centum ad valorem. The
duties are placed as high as possible for purposes of revenues only.
It should be noted that in all these statements concerning the
trade of Haiti, the statistics of the exchange of products and other
articles over the frontiers and along the coasts of the two Republics
of the Island, between the citizens thereof, are not included. It is,
however, known that the volume of that trade is quite considerable.
Of exports, by far the most important article is coffee. Indeed.
so important is this product that the prosperity of the country is
measured by it from year to year.
The plant flourishes everywhere in the uplands, that is, after
passing an altitude of 300 feet above the sea level, and it is met
with on all sides above that altitude. The coffee tree, as it is
usually called, lives and bears for about 30 years, but new ones
constantly spring up from the seeds that fall from the parent plant,
so that, in that remarkably rich soil, coffee trees would, even with-'
out care, probably always be found.
If it be properly cultivated, the rule is to plant one tree for every
to feet, which would give 1,225 trees to each carreau of land, the
carreau being equal to about 31 (3.1935) acres. It is estimated
Bull. 62- 6
that the average annual yield of a tree under good cultivation is
about 5 pounds. A carreau of land ought, therefore, to produce
6,125 pounds of coffee on the average. This would be at the
rate of 1,914 pounds to the acre.
The quality of Haitian coffee is confessedly most excellent, but
owing to the imperfect and indifferent way in which it was, until
within a few years back, gathered and prepared for foreign markets,
it has never become a favorite in the United States, and most of
it finds its way to France and Belgium for final consumption.
At Petit Goave, Petionville, and in other localities considered
convenient for the purpose, there are establishments at which it is
suitably cleared, hulled, and prepared for shipment by machinery.
This has led to greater care as to gathering the berry when it is in
the proper state of ripeness, a very important step which was for-
merly too much neglected.
In 1789, there were 88,360,502 pounds of it exported, but in
1791, the quantity fell to 63,151,180 pounds. The export of this
article in 1789 has never been equaled. At that time, however,
only a comparatively small quantity was consumed in the country,
whereas the Haitian historian, M. Madiou, who wrote more than
forty-five years ago, considered that 5,ooo,ooo pounds were so
used annually. It would probably be safe to place from 8,000,000
pounds to 10,00o,000 pounds under this head at the present day.
A "good crop" for export is set down at 70,000,000 pounds,
and calculations are apt to be made on that basis; but, as a matter
of fact, the quantity exported annually since the foundation of the
Republic has varied from 41,000,000 to 86,138,208 pounds, and
once, in 1818, it went down to 20,281,000 pounds. Only very
rarely, has it passed the 70,000,ooo-pound mark. Some of the
best years were as follows:
1863.................................................... ... 71,712,345
1875.................................. ...................... 72,637,716
888.................. ................................... 86, 38,208
1890 ......................................... ....... ............ 79, 340, 53:
If the average annual exportation since 1876 be taken, it will
be found to be not far from 63,000,000 pounds. The pounds
here mentioned are French, and about 8 per cent must be added
to bring them to represent the American or English pound avoir-
dupois. This would place the average annual export of coffee
at 68,040,000 pounds avoirdupois. Then, if 8,000,000 pounds,
French, be allowed for home consumption, the average annual
yield of the crop since 1876 will stand at about 78,040,000 pounds
avoirdupois. The customs duty on that which is exported is
$3.86% on each 100 pounds, French.
The article of export which figures next to coffee in importance
is logwood. It is found growing in all parts of the country, and
the demand for it is steady and increasing. It is considered to be
of the very best quality; indeed, it is said to stand almost without
a peer in the markets of the world. The tree flourishes best in
damp places, and is ready for the market at ten years' growth.
The amount of it exported annually depends on the disposition
and energy of the country people in cutting it, trimming it, and
transporting it within easy reach of a place of shipment.
In 1880, when profound peace reigned and there were hopes
for its continuance throughout the Republic, 321,729,801 pounds
of logwood were shipped, but the average yearly exportation
since and including that year has been about 178,000,000 pounds.
In the colonial times, it scarcely if ever exceeded 2,000,000
pounds. Lately, the export of it has been in-
*There are some discrepancies that appear between the returns given in the national
bank's report and those issued by the Chambre des Comptes. For instance, in the former,
this item is set down at 159,406,485 pounds. These discrepancies crop out in some
other instances. Thus the coffee exported in 1890 is given in one report as 78,213.445
pounds and in the other as 79,340,531 pounds. Generally, however, the two reports
The present export duty on logwood is $5.90 on each ton of
2,000 pounds. Coffee and logwood form the two great staples on
which, it is considered, the financial prosperity of the country
Cacao comes in as a sort of adjunct to coffee. While it is found
in several localities, it can not be said that it flourishes and is abun-
dant everywhere. The great bulk of it is grown on the western
half of the peninsula whose chief sea port is Jermie, and it is
from this latter port that more than five-sixths of that which is
exported are shipped.
Under the French, there were, on the average, less than 300,000
pounds of it exported annually, though the figures for 1789 give
600,000 pounds. From the fall of Soulouque in 1859 up to 1880,
the yearly export averaged about 1,700,000 pounds. In that year
it reached 2,729,833 pounds. Within the past few years, more
attention has been given to the culture of this product. Of it,
there were exported in
1891................ ...............................* .......... 2,873,774
1892 .............................. .................0- 4,054,378
The cultivation of this article is clearly on the increase, and it
is likely within the next few years to take a high place in the list
The raising of cotton on a large and important scale in Haiti
would be easily attainable; the soil and climate alike seem espec-
ially adapted to this end. In the very height of colonial pros-
perity in 1789, 8,400,000 pounds of it were exported. After the
independence, the quantity soon fell to less than 2,000,000 pounds
a year, and in 1845, it came down to 557,480 pound. From this
time, the average annual exportation was about 900,000 pounds,
though in 1835, it was 1,649,717 pounds,* until the impulse given
*It must be remembered that from 1822 to 1843, the whole island was under the
Government of Haiti.
to prices for this article in consequence of the civil war in the
United States, led to increased cultivation, and the exportation
1862........ ................................................. ,473,853
1863 .......................................................... 2, 217, 769
1864 .................................... ..................... 3, 237, 594
1865 ......................................................... 4,500, ooo
After the close of the American civil war, however, prices went
down, and the production of cotton again fell off. The exports of
it lately have been in-
89o....................................................... 2, 56, 145
189I .......................................................... 994, 207
1892...................................................... .. 1, 313,446
Of the woods other than logwood regularly exported, there are
mahogany, lignum-vite, bois juane, and bayarondes, though they
seem not always to appear in the list during the past few years.
The most important of these is mahogany, which is said to be
of excellent quality. In 1845, just after the secession of San
Domingo, 7,904,283 feet of it were exported, and then for several
years, covering the Presidency of General Geffrard up to 1867, the
average yearly exportation was about 2,200,000 feet. Since then,
there has been a marked falling off, which is due partly to the diffi-
culty of transporting that which is still to be found to convenient
places for shipment, and a growing tendency to make use of it in
the country. The shipments of it recently have been for-
1890 ............................................................. 33, 948
1891................................ ...... .................. 34,932
1892 ........................... ........................ ... ....... 9,397
A complete list of the exports of all products during the fiscal
years 1890, 1891, and 1892,
as it appears in official documents, is
Articles. 89go. 1891. z892.
Coffee ........ 56, 692,039 pounds 79,340,485 pounds 67, 831,893 pounds.
Cacao ........ 4, 270, 145 pounds 3,349, 353 pounds 4,054, 378 pounds.
Cotton........... 2, 56, 145 pounds 994, 217 pounds I, 313,446 pounds.
Logwood ..... 19, 861, 248 pounds 165, 423,485 pounds 114, 542, 697 pounds.
Mahogany .... 38, 948 feet 34, 932 feet. 9, 397 feet.
Sea shells..... 676 pounds 655 pounds I, 270 pounds.
Bois juane .... 34, 250 pounds 9,470 pounds 3, ooo pounds.
Beef hides .... 129, 789 pounds 106,966 pounds 154,997 pounds.
Gum guiacum. 36,671 pounds 303 pounds 157, 300 pounds.
Old copper ... 5,739 pounds 5, 188 pounds 3, 892 pounds.
Sugar......... 98,958 pounds 89, 077 pounds 40, 095 pounds.
Rum ......... 571 gallons 15 barrels 1, 070 gallons.
Honey........ 7,080 gallons 7, 558 gallons 6, ooo gallons.
Orange peel... 37, 304 pounds 60.430 pounds 221, 389 pounds.
Goat skins.... Io packages 9 2,36 pounds 3 packets.
Peppers ...... 12 barrels ..................... 6 barrels.
Hides, tanned 16 hampers 5 hampers I5 hampers.
Bayarondes ... 193, oo pounds ..........................................
W ax ......... ........... ......... 926 pounds I, 322 pounds.
Cotton seeds.. 42, 500 pounds Io9, 440 pounds ..................
Lignum-vitae .. ................... 436, ooo pounds I, ooo pounds.
Tamarinds................... ...... 20 barrels .....................
It can safely be affirmed that if copper, and possibly hides and
skins, be excepted, there is not an article in the foregoing list whose
exportation could not with comparative ease and facility be very
materially increased-nay, in most instances, doubled. It should
not be forgotten that there are, besides, quite a number of industries
and easy possibilities, some of them long neglected, others never
yet tried, which await only continued peace in the country, intelli-
gent enterprise, and capital for development.
POSSIBILITIES FOR NEGLECTED AND UNDEVELOPED INDUS-
Reference has been made in a preceding chapter to the high de-
gree of prosperity reached by the Spaniards in Santo Domingo dur-
ing the earliest decades of their occupation there, and to the state-
ments of authorities to the effect that the annual exportations con-
sisting in part of sugar, coffee, cotton, tobacco, indigo, etc., created
a trade that made the colony the emporium of the New World.
All this paled, however, before the subsequent prosperity of the
French colonists in Haiti. They pushed forward the development
of the natural resources to such a point that immediately preceding
the Revolution of 1789, the annual value of their imports ran up
to 193 millions of livres tournois and that of their annual exports
to 200 millions of lives tournois. The livre tournois, which was
superseded by the franc in 1795, but in which the official money
returns were made up as late as that date, may, for convenient
calculationin round numbers, be set down at 20 cents American
money. (Its more exact value was 19 cents). The annual value
of the foreign commerce of Haiti at that period was somewhat
more than $78,000,000. It kept in constant service 1,400 vessels,
about only half of them being under the French flag, and more
than 11,ooo seamen were employed in the trade between Haiti
and Europe alone.
The value of personal property in the colony was returned
at 1,487,840,000 livres tournois, which was equal to about