Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 'More than just a man'
 Echoes of the Bastille
 Boukmann's revolt
 Farewell to Bréda
 Rebels versus landowners
 The rebels side with Spain
 Slavery abolished
 Rival leaders
 Toussaint breaks with Spain
 The capture of Mirebalais
 The mulatto rising
 Motives and ambitions
 Intrigues of Rigaud
 Exit Sonthonax
 Rout of the English
 Hédouville makes mischief
 A secret treaty with England
 Hédouville is expelled
 Commissioner Roume takes over
 War with the Mulattoes
 Rigaud is beaten
 Defeat of the Spaniards
 The fatal constitution
 The shadow of the Corsican
 France invades Saint Domingue
 A letter from Napoleon
 Crête à Pierrot: 'The will to be...
 Treachery and surrender
 The trap
 'Yet die not...'




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.-.....-.'> ,.' ILLUSTRATIONS" 144Frontispiece " 160"192"192"208" 144""""" "EndpapersFingpage4896Toussaint LouvertureNegroand Mulatto Leaders: Christophe,Bouk-trum1l,Dessalines, and others General Maitland meets ToussaintThebattleof'Snake Gully'TheburningofCapCaptain-General Leclerc, commanding the,French invasion forces Toussaint's sons and their FrenchtutorbringtheNegrocommander a letterfromNapoleon Dessalines takes theoath:'Thosewhowishtodie free rallyroundmenow'CreteaPierrot:'Symbolofthewilltobefree'FortdeJouxMapofHaiti.'--,-,,R-


,,,PREAMBLEToussaintLouverture,Libbataurd'Haiti,the originalworkfromwhichBlatkLiberatorhasbeenabridgedinan English translation, is a much longer book, aboundinginthe reflectionsoftheauthor,himselfanotedHainan diplomat and writer,onthe destinyofToussaint and theNegrorace.Inofferingthistranslation, the publishers were confrontedwiththechoiceofpublishing the entirework,inwhich case its interestmighthave been connedtoanarrowcircleofstudents,orofabridgingittomake its romantic story accessibletoafarwiderpublic.Theychose the latter course,withthefUllconsentofthe author.Itis difficulttorealize to-day the enormous importancetoEuropeoftheWestIndianislands150years ago.Thisexplainstheconstant interest and anxiety shownbyFrance over SaintDomingue(the present Haiti),herwealthiest colony.Thewealthwasdependent upontheinstitutionofslavery, and the Negroes were consideredtobescarcely human, evenbyenlightenedmenand women.' Hencethecompletelackofmoral disciplineinthe rela tionsofmost white planterstotheir slaves, and the unashamed profligacy which ledtothe creationofthe mulatto rare,allitspoliti?!cotisequencesinthe island. Againstthisbackgroundthe magnitudeofToussaint's achievements and thoseofhis associates becomes intelligible,asdoes the subsequent stormy historyofHaiti,nowhappily free andatpeace.,,9




-I'MORETHANJUSTAMAN'AULINEGAOUGUINOUwalked slowly and heavily out .of the chapelofHaut du Cap.Shehad been toMass,and a streamofslavesmoved past her along the highway. They talked noisilyofthe happy days they had known in their native land and about the miseriesoftheir present lives. One group hummed a strange, sad melody, filled withallthe unhappinessofslavery.Anold Bambara Negress named Pelagia, whowassaidto be able to foretell the future, went up to Pauline, touched the girl's stomach with a sprayofredlaurel, andsaidsolemnly: 'Your wombissharply pointed, Pauline. Youwillbring forth a male child, and hewillbe a great chie' 'Ah! Youthinkso,Pelagial' replied Pauline wistfully. 'As trueasI am the servantofSobo Dahomey!''Ifit happensasyousay,the boyshallbeyour godchild.'9nthe nightofMay20,1741,shegave birth to her child,Dominique Toussaint, a boy whowassosickly that itwasthought he would not live. Yet Pelagia had notbeenmistaken, for Pauline's sonwasdestined to become, in Lamartine's phrase,'morethanjust amana nation'. Pauline's husband, Prince Gaouguinou,wasthe second sonofthe kingofthe Arada tribe. He had been brought from Africa by a Portuguese trader among a batchofslavesacquired at the famous Wydah market in Dahomey, andsixtydayslater, after a terrible voyage,hadbeensold in the market-place at Capin Haiti. The prince's new master, Comte de Noe, a kind and chivalrousman,owned the beautiful estateofBreda, aboutthreemiles from the Cape. One day he noticed Gaouguinou's noble bearing, and on questioninghimlearned that hewasofroyal blood. He at oncegrantedthe Negro prince whatwasknownaslibertedesaVaIfe,a status which gavehimboth freedom and the protectionofhisliberator.Nordid the ownerofBreda stop atthis,for healsopresented the prince with.agiftofland and five Negroes. Gaouguinouwasreceived into the Catholicfaith.Indue course he had married Pauline, a young womanofhisown tribe, whoII


12BLACKLIBERATOR...,I,.\.,rwas,according toonechronicler, 'both beautifulandlively'.OnGaouguinou's wedding day thede Noe gavehisslavesa holiday,andthe countrysidewasfilledwith the.soundsofsongs,games,anddances.. Their child Toussaintgrewup a peculiar, sickly lad, not par ticularly presentable, and invariably downcast.Hisgodfather,an old NegrocalledPierre Baptiste who worked at the hospitaloftheFathersofCharity,passedon tothechild what the Jesuitshadtaughthimofreading,writing,and arithmetic. YoungT01lSSaintwasoften in and outofthe hospital, anditwas-thus thattheSuperior, Father Luxembourg,strUckby the boy's evidentintelligenceand aptitude, took chargeofhisreligious education. For a time he lived with theFathers,workingasa servantinthe refectory. Prince Gaouguinou contributed towards Toussaint's education by teachinghimtheAradalanguageand thescienceofmedicinal herbs. Later, theformer accomplishment wonhimthe supportofthe Aradaslaves,allofthemfirst-classwarriors; the latter investedhim,intheeyesofthe Negroes, with the reputationofbeinga great sorcerer whowasableto commune with the 'good spirits'. GaouguinoualsotoldhissonstoriesofhisAfricanancestors.Withsuppressedexcitementtheboy listened totalesofthe forest and thebush,and heardofthe straemsemployed byhisfore-fathersin their tribalwars.L.ancestry, and.grew to considerhimselfpcrip.rt9hispla,r-mates,.from-whomtheyearswent b. .entofirehisspirit andturnhismind.to..thesingle.4im.of.settingfreehisfellow. One aftemoonm January1758hewasin Capwhen afamousNegro by the nameofMacandalwastobeput todeathin thePlaceRoyale. Macandal hadsucceededin poisoningseveralofthesettlersandoverseers,buthadat lastbeencaughtandsentencedtobeburntalive.Having run away fromhismaster eighteenyearsearlier, hehadwaged arelendesswaragainst the landowners and had poisoned a numberofthe settlers and even someofthe more valued Negroes.hadaccomplicesamonghouseslaves,and hehadgiven themhispoisonstobemixed with the food anddrinkoftheirmasters.Inthisway wholefamilieshaddiedin agony .


'MORBTHANJUSTAMAN'.13standingamongthecrowdofspectatorsin thePlaceRoyale,Toussaintsawtwistingandwrithingintheflames.He watchedthewhite men jestingandmocking at themartyr'Shelplesscontortions; the innocentNegroesbreathlessbeforethehorrid sight;thewretchedvictim,forcedintocrimeandmurder by thevilestofallhuman institutions, nowgroaningandcursingasthefireBickeredgreedilyupathisbody. AllthesesightsfilledTous-/'saintwiththeambitiontoridSaintDomingueofslavery,but howwaslie,a poverty-5tricken youth, to fightagainstthesemighty whitemenlAsuddenshoutofhorror fromthecrowd burst in on Toussaint'smeditations.Thevictim,'aftermakingexertionsbeyondthoseofother men',had&eedhimselffrom the ironchainwhich boundhimto thestake,andwasnowrunningacrossthesquare,hisbodyscarredwithbums.Confusion reigned untilthemotmtedguardscaught their preyoncemore. The Negro onlookerswerescatteredbysavageswordblows.Astheslavesfledinalldirectionstheycriedout: 'Brother youwereright when yousaidthat no humanbeingcouldeverkillyou!'Yethishandsandfeetwereboundagaiil.andhewasthrownbackintothefire.Heart and mindfilledwithbitterness,ToussaintreturnedtoBreda,accompaniedby a youngfriendcalledBiassou,aslavewho worked at thehospitaloftheFathersofCharity. From that dayhismelancholybecameevenmore markedtheofaslavewhosehearthadbeenhardenedandwhovieWedlifeand men-alikewithbitterness.Meanwhile, thebondsofslaverylay lighdy onToussaint,for /thelandownerofBredaentertained kindfeelingstowardstheGaouguinoufamily.Hisparentsowned afewcawe,andtheywereabletosellthesurplusfrom theirgarden.Negroeswhowerehungryknewtheycouldalwaysbesureofa bite toeatatthe'goodGaouguinous'. _SometimesToussaintwouldgowithhismother tothemarketatCapwherehewouldmarvdatthis'ParisoftheAntilles', withitsglitteringshopsand statdymansions.Buthiseyesnever losttheirsadness.Hisdayswerepassedin .andhebecamemoreandmoretaciturn..Sometimeshewastobeseen.thesteepestrockswith the agilityofa oat;andwhen horizon.AsanetChehadnorival,but notwithstandinghisaptitudehisyoungfriendsdubbedhimjatrQSbaton(weedystick)-


14BLACKLIBERATORonaccountofhis sickly appearance.Hehad, however, a finely shaped head, a lofty brow, and a clear-cut triangularface.His large, close-set eyes seemedtostandoutofhis face;withsmallbutthick lips, a resolute chin, and sharp white teeth, there was a suggestionofsardonic cruelty abouthisfeatures. .Whenthe time came for Toussainttotake uphisdutiesasa slave the factorofBreda, M: Bayon de Libertad,tookhimunder his wing, impressedbyhis serious looks and natural intelligence.Hewasputinchargeofthe livestock,inwhich capacityhedid hisIworkconscientiously and showed great initiative.IHis life was oneofwork, suffering, andpride-thesecret prideofhumble folk.Hewas saddenedbyall the servile, mechanical tasks which the NegroeshadtOjerform,andwhich filled the bright sunlit landwithunbounde afHiction.Bynight the"9"oicesofhis brotherswouldcometoToussaint, echoing across the countryside,asthey called ingenuouslyontheir godsindistant Africatoaidthemintheir distress.Dayafter dayhewouldwatch the slavesatworkonthe sugar plantations, toiling under the constant threatofthe lash.Buthehidhisfeelings, smiledatthe overseer, and gave the impression thathewas a contentedyoung-/ ster, inwhomthe seedofrebellion could never germinate.Heplayedhisrole so well thathismasters were completely deceived for forty years, every day holdinghimupasan exampletothe other slaves.HewasM.Bayon de Libertad's favourite, and the expression 'as wiseasToussaint' became proverbial.Hehadan instinctive knowledgeofhorse-breeding, and soon learned theartoftaming wild horses and mules, proving soskilfulthat he was nicknamed 'the centaurofthe savannah'.Inall weathershewasoutinthe open, toughening his body,andperhaps dreamingofwhatthe future heldinstore forhimand the huge masseswholanguishedinslavery.Duringthese lonely journeys Toussaintwouldallowhisambitionstohave free rein;butassoonasBreda cameinsight againhewas once more the smug, contented slave. About this time Toussaint suffered a great personal sorrowinthe deathofhismother. Pauline was survivedbyherfive children,ofwhomToussaint was the eldest.Theyoungest, Jean,whowas saidtobe the imageofhis royal grandfather, the African king, diedinchildhood.Theother three childrenwerePierre (who wastodie fightingatthe sideofhisbrother Toussaint), Paul, and Marie Noel. Gaouguinou himself, overcomebygrief, didnotlong survivehiswife .


'MORBTHANJUSTAMAN'ISToussaint was thus leftasheadofthe family.The.ysense-was highly developedinhim,andhewatchedoverhisbrothersandsisterwiththe greatest solicitude,makingsurethattheywonthe favour and esteemoftheir master. As arewardforhi$highmerits,andasa further testimonytohis irreproachable loyalty,M.deLibertad made Toussaint his personal coachman, a positionofgreat trust, sinceitnaturallybroughthimintoclose touchwiththe master and his family. :Retiring,industrious, Toussaint made splendiduse'ofhis position. Soon after hispromotionbyM.deLibertadhewas appointedstewardofBreda. Beforethisappointmentnoslave had ever held suchanimportantpositioninSaint Domingue. His qualitiesasanadministrator and leaderofmen,seennowinthe exerciseofhisnewduties, made a lively impressiononToussaint's master, for under his stewardship the estateofBreda became themostprosperousinCapFran,?is.Therevenuesweretrebled.ItwasasthoughToussaintwerenotacting for somebodyelse,butinhisowninterests.Andindeeditwasnotreallytheowner's interestwhichhehadatheart;itwas aprouddesiretodisplayhisabilitiestothefull.Althoughinwardly grieving,hewouldsome times severely punish lazyorrebellious slavesandbehatedbytheminconsequence;theywerequite unabletounderstandwhyoneoftheir fellows shouldshowsuchanimmoderatezealforworkwhenthe profitswouldgotosomeone else.Theyears passed by,andoutwardlyToussaint's life wastranquil.Yetworkingfor his masterinthe fieldsorinthe stifling sugar-mills,heknewprofoundmelancholy,ashereflectedonthe plightofhisfellow slaves,butkeptittohimselSometimes theywouldseehimatnightwalking alonethroughthe woods, musinginanundertone.Manyofthe slaves already regardedhimastheir natural leader, andintheir admiration and fearofhimtheywouldsaytooneanotherthathewas'thebelovedofthe African gods,withwhomhe wasincommunication'. Toussaint was well awareofthese rumours,butdidnothingtodiscourage them,astheyservedtoenhance his prestigeinthe eyesofthe innocentandsuperstitious. His triangular-shaped facewithitsprominenteyes remindedthemoftheir ancestral African idols.Hewouldtakenopmintheir dancesorothersimple pleasures, keepinghimselfaloof,yetfreefromarrogance, anotherproofofhis instinctive sense ofleadership.In1777,whenhewas thirty-four, Toussaint was solemnly


16BLACKLIBERATORliberated by Bayon de Libertad. Aboutthistime he became apreyto violent passions, and there were few beautiful Negresses at Breda who did not come to know his embraces. Although hewasremarkably discreet, hisexcessescame to the earsofPierre Bap tiste, who reproachedhimandadvisedhimtotakea wife and settle down.Hispatronalsospoke tohim,and even recommended an Arada girl renowned for her beauty and liveliness. But Tous saint rejected the suggestion with a smile: he would onlymarrya woman ofhis own choosing, andhisare recorded:'Ihave chosenmywife myself: M. BayondeLibertad wanted me tomarrya vivacious, high-spirited young Negress.ButI have always been able to withstand people who thought they were doing me a goodtum,when their endeavours ran contrary tomyowninclination.SoI have married Suzanne, because I preferred to have a wife who was already familiar with thecaresand worriesofrunning a house.'Hiswife, Suzanne Simone Baptiste, hadbeenthe mistressofa freed mulatto called Seraphin Clerc, and shehadbornehimone child, Placide. Suzannewasmodest, gentle, and pleasing to look at. During the first years ofhis married life Toussaint appeared to \ be perfectly happy.Heto give the impression to his masterofan apatheticslavewho had achieved his ideal and wished for nothing more. But already hewasshaping in his mind the broad outlinesofthe strategy he would employ in what was to beIhisphenomenal ascent to power. He would lull his adversary into afalsestateofsecurity, and then, at the right time,tumand crushhimutterly, swiftly, and rdentlessly. Suzanne bore her husband twosons,Isaacand SaintJean.Withan unusual sensitivity Toussaint made no distinction between his ownsonsandhisstepson, and appeared equally fondofallthree.Asa husband hewasalways kind and cheerful. He and his wife followed a truly Biblical wayoflife. HereisToussaint's ddight fullyfrankaccountofthis:'OnSundays andonfeast daysmywife,myrdatives, and I went toMass.Onreturning home we would have a pleasant meal together, and after remaininginone another's company for the restofthe day,wewould conclude with family prayers. Until the outbreakofthe Revolution Ihadnever been separated frommywife for any lengthoftime.'Wewould work side by side in our little garden, holdinghandsaswe went to and from our work. Heaven alwaysblessedourlaboUrs,for not only did we lack for nothing and were even able .


'MORETHANJUSTAMAN'17tosave,butwealsohadthepleasureofgivingfoodtotheNegroeswhoworkedonthe estatewhentheywereinneedofit.' Toussaintnowhadagoodhome,andhispositionofauthorityatBredasatisfiedtosome extenthisdesire forpower;buteventsinEuropewere..tobring grave expressionstothe facesofhismasters,anwithhissecretambitioninmind,he.lentajoyfuleartothe disturbing rumours from Paris.II


,2ECHOESOFTHEBASTILLEHE Fallofthe Bastille on July14, 1789,symbolized the destr.uctionofan epoch which went back to the MiddleAges.It threatened the dogmas which had forsolong been the pillarsofan aristocratic society basedonprivilege and injustice, and held the promiseofa new orderoffreedom and brotherhood. Themessageofrevoltwasheardbyallpeoples andraces,and, like the Sermon on the Mount, its appealwasdisturbing and over whelming.Inevery comerofthe world the oppressed and en-,/slaved harkened; they pulled and tugged at their chains, not least in the islandofSaint Domingue. Here, where slavery kept seven hundred thousand men and womeninwretchedness, the burning voiceofFrance was to resound with an intensity greaterthananywhereelse./ The freedslaves*ofthe island were the firsttorespond to the marchofevents. Realizing their chance towinthe political rights rigidly denied by the landowners, they met and appointed dele gates to present their claims in Paris. The most remarkableofthe three deputies chosen was Vincentage,a young quadroon from Dondon, distinguished forhisintelligence and audacity. The out breakofthe Revolution had surprisedhimin Paris, wherehisfather, a rich landowner, had senthimforhiseducation.Hisenthusiasm broughthiminto touch with the revolutionary authorities, and he was allowed to pleadhiscause before the National Assembly.Hissincerity and the picture he drewofthe conditionofthe freed menofSaint Domingue made such a deep impression on the Assembly that the President declared that 'no partofthe Nation would plead in vain for its rights before the representativesofthe French people'.ageandhiscolleagues associated themselves with what was knownastheClubdesAmisdesNoirs,a Negrophile organization which advocated the idealofequality. Established in1778byBrissot de Varville, the Society numbered among its members the principal figuresofthe Revolution, among them Mirabeau, the Duke DeLaRochefoucauld,t Danton, Robespierre, Lafayette,*Thefreed slaves were mainly mulattoes.Itwas the custominSaintDominguefor a mulatto to be set free at the ageoftwenty-four.tDeLaRochefoucauld-Liancourt(1747-1827).the philanthropist.18


ECHOESOFTHEBASTILLE19the Abbe Gregoire,Sieyes,Condorcet, Dupont de Nemours, and ______ Vergniaud.Asa resultofthe Society's representations the Assembly pronounceddecreesrecognizing infullthe political rightsofthefreedmenofSaint Domingue, andgrantingthem the same statusasthat enjoyed by the white men. During a stormysessionthe question was debated whether or notthisprivilege should be extended toallthe Negroes in the island. Bamave, a Girondin who represented the interestsofthe great landownersofSaint Domingue, protested stronglyagainstthissuggestion. He declared that the Assembly should intervene only at the instanceofthe respective colonialassemblies,and that to decide in favouroftheslaveswould not onlybepremature, but would lead to an outbreakofdisorder which would end in France losing her fairest colony. The answer to Bamave came from Maximilien Robespierre, who, after a violent tirade againstslave-

/-BLACKLIBERATORtheslaves.Finally,there were theslavesthemselves, whoseaim,though slill inarticulate,wasto put an end to their torments by fire and sword. om their pointofview the wealthy landownershadgoodcauseto heapcursesonthisprecious French Revolution. The Colonywasthe greatest supplier in the worldofsugar,coffee,cocoa, cotton, precious woods, andspices;in1789its prosperitywasalmost fabulous. The island portshadbeen visited byvesselsfrom every partofthe world, and the turnover amounted totwo-thirdsofFrance'soverseastrade. The leisurely, comfortable wayoflifeofthe eighteenth century,sofrequently celebrated and lamented, reached its apogee in Saint Domingue.Lifepossessedan .. ble splendour in whichallthat Nature and man could contrive to delight thesenseswas entirely at thedisposalofthe great planters.Asthey indulged inalltheexcessesofunbridled I, their moralsensewascom pletely perverted.Inparticular, e MarquisofCaradeux, the CountofLaToison-Laboule, and the ViscountofFlonc carried human wickedness to its uttermost limits.Onthe slightest pretext Negroes would be thrown alive into cauldronsofboilingsugar. Others would be buried alive in a standing position, with theirheadsabove the ground, which would then be smeared with syrup to whet the appetitesoftheants,sothat the wretched victims were glad to be stoned to death by their own compassionate comrades. Another torturewasthe 'four-stake death', from which not even pregnantNegresseswere exempt. Eachofthe four limbs was lashed to a post while the victimwasflogged to death. Manyslaveswere hung up by the ribs and left todie,such crueltiesbeingdaily occurrences. Thelessimportant whites, enviousofthe wealth and grandairsofthe great landowners, were only too eagert?ill treat and exploit the mulattoes and Negroes.Notallofthem were French; many wereItalians,Greeks,Portuguese, and Spaniards, mostlyescapedgallows-birds. The presenceofthese men constituted a constant threatofanarchy and disorder in the Colony. The mulattoes orhalf-castes,bornofthe unionofwhite men and 'lasciviousNegresses'(touseFather Labat's phrase), formed a group apart. Some were well educated andpOssessedlands andslaves;butthisdid not protect them from the universal scorn and contemptofthe white men. Excluded fromallpublic functions, and obligedtobear the insults and outragesofasocietylargely


ECHOESOfTHEBASTILLE< basedonracial...tion, the mulattoes hatedallwhites,not exceptingtheirownfathers.Inthestreetsthey wereforcedtomakeway for the humblest white man; atthetheatreandin churchtheyhadtositapart.Theyintumspumed anyassociationwith the Negroes, upon. whom they looked downfromthe.ethnical heightoftheiryellowcomplexions.Nor didtheirraceprejudicestopatthis,for theyevensubdividedthemselvesintoas. manyastwelvecategoriesaccording to themixtureoftheirblood-bir,dark, albino, andsoforth.Andthe wholesocietyrestedon theoppressedNegroes.illfed,they toiled in the betories or on the land,andweresubjecttoallmannerofphysicalandmoral degradation.SaintDominguewasthusamosaicofraces,asocietysatedwith /wealth,vice," vanity,misery,and indulgence-a meltingpotofcontrastsin wch various irreconcilableforceswere bound in the end toflareupinto a vast conflagration, even withoutthesparkofthe year1789tosetitoff.Itwastothisstateofaffairsthat Vincent Oge, the ardent delegateofthefreedmen to the NationalAssembly,now returned fromFrance.He arrived on the nightofOctober21,1790,on .board ashipflyingtheAmericanflagwhichsailedinto the diminu tive bayofPetiteAnse.Twodayslaterhe presented himselfbefore the ColonialAssemblyofCapWiththevehemenceoftheagehe appealedto the 'sensibility'ofthe great landowners and to theirrespectfor 'immortal principles',andbesought them to giveeffectto the twodecreesofMarch8and March28,whereby the NationalAssemblygrantedfullcivicstatusto themulattoes.The membersofthe ColonialAssemblyreplied that in nocir-./cumstanceswould grant within the Colonyfullcivilandpolitical equality to edescendantsofthe Negrorace.Oge pleaded withthem,now nowthreatening,buthiswords weregreetedwithderision.Nothingdaunted,he toldhishearersthattheRevolutionhadraisedupa new spirit inFranceandthatthisopposition to the NationalAssembly'sorderswassheerrebellion, for which wouldhaveto pay dearly.Thelandowners,exasperatedby impertinence, authorized theirPresident,Archbishop Thibaud, tohavethedelegateexpelled frpm the building. / Angered bythisrebuJf,thefreedmen decided to take up arms. At ameetingheld in Limonade to work out a planofaction Oge


22BLACKLIBERATORinsistedontheexclusionoftheslavesfromthefreedmen'sranks,butJeanBaptiste Chavannes, eithermoregenerousormorefar,..sighted, objectedtothis,maintainingthattherewasanaturalsolidaritybetweenthefreedmenandtheslaves,theresultoftheircommonbloodandsuffering.Hedeclared alsothatthewholecauseoffreedomdependedonthesupportoftheNegroes.agewasunabletosee this,andChavannes, suspectingthathis friendhadbeenwonoverbytheslave-owners,turnedonhimviolendy:'Doyousecredy cherishtheterrible projectofseparatingourcausefromthatofouroriginal'Idobutobey,'repliedage,'thedecreesoftheNationalAssembly,whichreferonlytofreedmen.'Vincentage'srisingwasdisastrous.Attheheadofacontingentoftwohundredyoungcolouredmenhea peared beforetheforthwiththedecreesoftheConventionwhichrecognizedeircivilandpolitical rights.Butinhisultimatumheparticularly emphasizedhisattitudetotheNegroes:.'Ishall,however,donothingtostiruptheslaves: such a courseofactionwouldbeunworthyofme.'TheColonial Assembly'sreplywastoattacktherebelswiththeNationalGuardofCapFranc;:aisandwithacontingentofregular soldiers.TheAssembly musteredeighthundredmeninall,andtheinsurgents, afterholdingoutafewdays,wereoverthrownatLa Tannerie,nearCapFranc;:ais.Thesurvivorsoftherebelarmy,amongthemageandChavannes, fledtotheSpanishpartoftheisland,butwerehandedovertotheColonial AssemblybyDonJoaqufnGarda,theGovernorofSantoDomingo.A tribunalcomposedoflandownersthenjudgedandthecaptives:age,Chavannes,andsix othersweretodieonthewheel;nineteenoftheircomradesweresenttothegalleysforlife,andtwenty-twomorewerehanged.Infull statethemembersoftheColonial Assemblymettosee their sentence carriedoutonageandChavannes.ThiswasdoneinthePlaced'ArmesonFebruary25,1791.agewasunabletoresisttheterribletorture,andthepainmaddenedhim.Hescreamed,wept,andbesoughttheirmercy,butChavannes, scornfully stoic,didnotutterawordofcomplaintasthewheelcrushed his bonesonebyone.Thisepisode revealsthemoralcontentofthedrdIlainwhichthemulattoesofSaintDominguewerethevictims.Twobloods


ECHOESOFTHEBASTILLE23andtwoheredities waged perpetual warfarewithintheir nature. Despitethecontemptwithwhichhewas regardedbythewhiteman,themulattofelt a stronger attraction tothatsideofhisnaturethanhe didtohis degraded, unhappy, and illiterateNegrobrother.Ina colonial society, basedonslavery and discrimination accordingtothe colourofa man's skin,themulatto was socially theNegro'ssuperior,anditwas therefore reasonablethatheshould have nothingtodowithhim.Customhadeventually becomeanunwritten law, sothatallmulattoes,atthe ageoftwenty-four,wereautomatically set free.In1674the King had decreedthat'allthe childrenofslaves are slaves'. This instruction, however, never became operative,andthe mulatto continued to enjoythe privi lege conferredon-himbyreasonofhispercentageofwhitebrood, sothatfewofhisnumberever became slaves.Theusual practice was for the landownertoseethathis illegitimate son was educated,granthimhis protection, sethimupinlife, and givehimland and slaves.Therewas thus createdinthe island akindofmiddle class, which ranked half-way between the masters and the slaves.Everyage produces itsownethical code, anditisthereforenecessary,ifwearetounderstand the psychologyofthe freedman,l'affranchi,whodissociated hisowncausefromthatoftheNegromasses,tounderstand the mentality and the social atmosphereofthe period.Thedogmawhichheld swayinSaintDominguewas that anything linked With Africabythe slightestdropofblood was abject and degrading, and brandedwithaninferiorityofwhichitcould neverberid.Fromthis belief arose the mulatto's tendencytoshakeoffthe racetowhicha detestable fatehadboundhim.Hisblackbloodwas a causeofunending personal sufferingtohim,andhewoulddoalmost anythingtoovercomethecolour bar. All freed men,whetherNegroormulatto,hadspecial seats set aside forthematthetheatre andinchurch,butthe mulattoeswould'haughtily refusetohave anythingtodowiththe Negroes'.Therewere, moreover, strictly material considerationswhichinfluencedOgeandhis followersintheir decisiontohavenothingtodowiththe slaveswhenpresenting their claims.Thefreedmenownednearly a thirdofallthe slavesinthe colony;tosetthemfreewouldhave meant financial disaster. Moreover, a political factor militated against a unionofthe mulattoes and the Negroes, for the revolutionaryGovernmentwasnotyetprepared to include Negroesinthe affianchisementitadvocated for everyone dwelling


24BLACKLIBERATORonFrench soil.In.his&mollsMessagetotheMu14ttoesofSaintDomingue,the Abbe Gregoire, a &mous opponentofslavery,wrote:'TheAssemblyhasnotyetassociated.theNegroeswithyourselves because suddenlytograntfullcivil rightstopersonswhoarenotacquaintedwiththedutiesofa citizenmightmerely lead themtodisaster.Butdonotforget that, like yourselves, they arebornfree and remain freeasallmendo.Itisyouwhoare accused, evenmorethanthe white men,ofcrueltytotheNegroes.' For the mulattotobecuredofhisfoolish oudook, andtobe//forced eventuallytounitewiththe Negro,hehadtosuffer re peated setbacksinisolated attemptstowinhisnatural rights.Hehad first to learn the lessonofthe lashinordertorealizethewhiteman's unwavering scornofhim.Onlythen did the mulatto losehisillusions and understandthatitwashisNegrohalf-brotherwhohad themoreabiding affection forhim,and that destinyhadcasttheminthe same mould, so that theymightfacetheircom-_manexecutioners and either conquerorperish sidebyside.I


3BOUKMANN'SREVOLTTwasJuly1791,and the wholeexpanseofthe flowering plainofCapseemedtoriseandfallaswith a hidden ground-swell. There were mysterious comings and goings, .secretmeetings and whisperedparleys,and by night the hilltops. ____ glowed withfireslit by runawayslaves.The first risingofthe.slaveswasbeing prepared. The leading spiritofthe revoltwasa Jamaican Negrocalled/ Boukmann, whose namewasalready legendary. Withhistwistedfeaturesand tragicexpression,hewaslooked on by theslavesasa great sorcerer.Sincekillinghismaster, he had livedinhiding, in the thick undergrowth, incaves,and on the rugged, lonely heights. A typical fugitiveslave,hisraidsand incursions were a constant terror to the landowners. At the headofhisbandhewould bum downmansions,fu:tories, andcrops,disembowel men andbeastsalike,and then vanish into hidingagain.AssoonasthenewsfromParisreached the Colony the sombre silhouetteofBobeganto appear in the north and4lthe Artibonite, faint sparkofrebellion whichbeganto glimmer in the h -hearted Negroes. Athisbiddingstrikeshadalready broken out inseveralfactories,but theyhadbeenbloodily put down, and theoverseersand landowners merely multiplied their tortures and executions in order to terrorize theslaves,whom they considered were..to show too much independence. Nevertheless, Boukmannwasplanning and dreamingofageneralrevolt. When he judged the momentwasripe he sum moned the principal Negroes to amassmeeting atBoisCaiman,. in theforestofMome Rouge. Itwasa nightofstorm and tempest,lashedwith torrentialrain.Lightningflickeredinzigzagsacrossthesky,and theheavensechoed and re-echoed topealsofthunder. The hurricanewassoviolent that giantmapoutreeswere uprootedandtossedaboutasthough they hadbeensaplings.Itseemedthat Nature sought to give expression with unbridledfuryto the over whelmingafflictionsofthe Negroes.Inhundreds theslavesmovednoiselesslyinto theforest,and at length the leader appeared before them. He wore the longgarmentofpapa-loi,the red robeofsacrifice,and inhisright hand'-5


26BLACKLIBERATORglittered a heavy sword. A big fire, flamingwithresin,burnedona huge rock, behindwhichanaltarhadbeenset up, adornedwithfoliage. Leaning against the altar,Boukmannspokeoftheirmartyrdomand their hardships;hesworebytheir ancestral godsthathewouldavenge them, and toldthemtopassonhisinstructions to others.Ina deep,hollowvoice, he begantochanthissavagehymnofdoom,callingdownonthe Negroesalltheblessingsofthe invisible powers.Byvirtueofhisinspired imageryandhisgestures, he succeededinunleashingallthereligious feelingwhichlaydormantinhis audience.At;lsignfromBoukmann,acolytesbroughthima gazelle, a pig,andagoatwhichwerekilledanddisembowelled, and the entrailspouredout. Eachmanpresent slowly approached, plungedhishandsintothe entrails, and raised them,vowingaloudashe did sothathewouldsuffer death rather than continue tobea slave. Ayoungvirgin,naked, statuesque,withredlaurels twinedaboutherbrow,was leduptothehighpriest.Boukmannlaughedather,threwa flowerinherface, and gavehera phialfromwhichshedrank.Then,herbodyswaying lightlytoand fro, she chantedanAradasong, a song filledwitha strange, disturbingjoy,sothatallherlisteners wept. Like ayoungsybil,withhergleaming teeth,herimmaculate breasts, andhersmoothtattooed stomach, she beganina loud and clear voicetotellofgreatthingstocome:the long, infernal battle, the land laid waste, defeats,andfinalvictory tobeachievedbya predestined leader. Shemadeasiftodance, suddenly moaned, gave a frenzied laugh, and fell dead.Thepotionwhich gives a knowledgeofthe future had also stilled the beatingofherheart. She had beenanunsullied offeringtothe tutelary godsofthe Negroes. BoukmaIUl kneltdowninthe midstofthemysticorgy;anditwas then thatheimprovised the famous Creole prayer:'BonDiequi fait soleil qui claire nouseri.haut, qui souleve la mer, qui fait grondel'orage.BonDiequi tende tout, cache dans nuage, garde-nous,sauve-nous, puisqueououetouts:ablanes fait nous.BonDie!blancs mande crimes, nous z' autes nous vIe bien faits.BonDie,banous vengeance, conduis bras nous,banous assistance. Negues,jetezportraitBonDieblanes, qui soif d'leaunanzieux nous.BonDie, coute la Liberte qui parlenancoeur a nous tous.'**'GoodGod,whomakest the.suntolightusfromonhigh.whoraisestuptheseaand Iilakest the storm tothunder-goodGodwhowatchest overall,v1


BOUKMANNtSREVOLT27The prayer, vehement andsad,echoed through the forest and the night. Itisby nomeanscertainthat Toussaint Louverturewaspresent___atthismeeting,assome historians have maintained, but itisa reasonable hypothesis,ashewasin touch withallthe rebel leaders. Obviously, at the outbreakofthe Revolutionhishatredofslavery would urgehimto join in; but Toussaintwasalsoa prudent realist, andhisnaturalzealwaschecked byhisdispassionate estimateofthe situation.Ashesawno prospectofcertainsuccess,it seemed to Toussaint unwise to run therisk.oflosing a relatively splendid position at Breda. Moreover,allhisdreamsofthe future were in embryo: hehadnot yet clearlyassessedtheir worth. Evenifwe concede Toussaint's presence in the screaming, weeping, hysterical crowd on that stormy August night, we may be sure that amid the frenzied throng hewascold and unmoved.Onhiswayback.he could have been certainofone thing only: that everywhere in Saint Domingue the budsofregeneration were swelling, and were ready to burst into flower. This reflection must have filledhisheart with high hopes, instinctively awareashewasofthe great destiny awaitinghim.But how to attain it Toussaint did not know; he only realized thattakingshapein the mysterious futurewasthe tremendousprocessofliberation, a springtimeofgloriousthings.Sohe prepared and waited, controllinghismount- mgexCltement.Onthe nightofAugust22a furious hordeofNegroes, under the leadershipofBoukmann, sweptacrossthe plantations, bound for CapThe firstfireofthe revolt had been the burningofthe Chabaud plantation. ThousandsofsavageNegroes, armed withstakes,spears,ironbars,axes,knives, andspades,poured in a maddened torrentacrossthe countryside.Nota single whitewasspared, regardlessofage orsex.The whole plainwasinflames.The horde advanced steadily to the rhythmofwildsongsthat were carried into Capto theearsofthe terrified land owners. Nearlyallthe wealthy mansions ofHaut du Cap were onfire.Estates which had borne illustrious names Fronsac, Vau dreuil, D'Argenson, Grammont, Charmettes, Noailles becamehiddenina cloud, protect and save us from what the white mendotous.GoodGod, the white men do crimes, butwedo not.GoodGod,give us vengeance,guideourarms.give us help. Negroes, show the imageofthe goodGodtothe white men. thatwethiIstnot.GoodGod,grantusthatfreedom whichspeakstoallmen!' .


o28BLACKLIBERATORSOmanyheapsofashes.The atmospherewassickly with thesmellofburning sugar and burningflesh.Wispsofburning cotton floated through the crimsonskylike tonguesoffire. It was a truly apocalyptic night:allthefieldsofsugar-cane wereaflameasfarasthe eye couldsee,allthe immensityofthe Negroes' suffering had blazed up in an instant. The revolt had taken the authoritiesofCapunawares, and they had few troops available.Messengerswere hastily sent to Santo Domingo,Jamaica,andto imploreassistance,but withoutsuccess.Allwhite men capableofbearing arms were mobilized into resistance corps. M. de Grandmaison, a rich land owner, sent the following letter, dated September9,1791,to a friend in Paris: 'Despite the helpofthe mulatto freed men, who have generously offered theirassistance,we are not strong enough toattack.and destroy thesesavagebeasts.When they areaskedwhy they have revolted they claim the RightsofMan, or freedom, or three days' holiday a week with pay orelsetheysaytheywilldo without masters,sincethe whites have decided to do withoutkings.'.M. Bayon de Libertad, whowasat Capwhen the rebellion broke out,wasunable to return to Breda, andhiswife and two daughters were preparing tofleeto the city. They were busy packing their valuables when Toussaint quietly entered the room.Halfcrazedwithfear,Mme de Libertad threw herself on herkneesbeforehim,begging for mercy. With a melancholy smile he replied: 'How little you know Toussaint. I have taken the libertyofcoming simply to tell you that you cannot besaferanywherethanyou are at Breda.Theslavesobey my orders, and even therebelswillrespect the place where I am. I promisethisbefore God.' The certaintyofhistone,hisquietself-assurance,and thesincerity had theireffecton Mme de Libertad.'Wesubmit to your generosity, Toussaint,'sheanswered tearfully.Inthe distance the rebellion roared and rumbled like atempestuoussea.Failure metallthe attempts to repel the insurgents, who now encircled CapThe Negroes, although badly led and poorly armed, were upheld by a spirit which made them formidableenemies.Some, armed only with knives, hurled themselvesat loaded guns, and were blown to bits when the gunners fired; but what did it matterlothers would take their place and doastheyhaddone, singingasthey did so:-


BOUXMANN'SREVOLT'Lapoudreced1eau! ping pandang Canoncebambou ping pandang !'* Irresolutely the battleragedto and fro,sothat now the othersidehadthe advantage; but therewasno quarter either givenortaken. Boukmann's principal lieutenants were two other nmawayslaves,JeanandBiassou.They tried frequently topersuadeToussaint to jointhem..but heresisted.He considered Bouk mann's revolt bound to end infailure,becauseitsaimswere-Xuncertain andilldefined, andbecauseofthe Negroes'limitedresourcescompared withthoseofthecolonial Government. Nor did hethink.hishourhadcome. Completelymistakingthereasonsunderlying Toussaint's neutrality, the landowners naturally extolledhiswisdom and loyalty.Asthoughtohoodwink them even further, heoccasionallycondemned theexcesSesand futilecrimesoftherebels.He often inspected the Bredafactories,urging the men to have patience, .. wordsofmysterious promise with therestofhisspeeches.Bayon de Libertad, whom Toussainthadbrought back to Breda, unceasinglypraisedhisfidelity and other virtues. Indeed, Toussaint's generosity duringthistimeofblind hatred madesucha lively impression onhispatron that the latter continued to entertain the warmestfeelingsforhimwhen, long after the revolt, thecourseofevents showed only too clearly what hadbeenthetruesentimentsofhisformerslave.Towards theendofSeptember1791the colony received reinforcementsfromFrance,and theoffensiveagainstthe insurgentswasresumed vigorously.AsToussaint hadforeseen,therebelswere defeated.DUringthe last battle, in the Capdistrict, Boukmannwaskilled. Whenhisbody had been identified the .headwascut off and exhibited on astakein thePlaced'Armes.The rebelbandswere scattered and tooktothehills.. Butthiswasnot theend.Jeanwho became the newralliedhisforcesand reorganized them. The new leaderwasa young Negroofpowerful build, and a nmawayslave.He had a well-proportionedfacein which theeyesglittered wildly.Ofoutstanding courage, but littlemilitaryskill,hewasfondofallkindsofpleasure;hisembroidered clothes,hismedalsandcrossesandhissilkscarveswere thetalkofthe time. Devoidofloftyideas,hisonlyassetwasrecklesscourage.*'Gunpowderisbutwater!Ping!Pandang Cannonisbutbamboo! Ping Pandang !'


30BLACKLIBERATORJeansecond-in-<:ommand was Georges BiassouswhomToussainthadknownatthehospitaloftheFathersofCharity. Leavingthehospital, Biassouhadworkedasa sugar refiner for a landowner,buthadlater escaped.Unlikehehadsome military ability,butwas vainandcruel, adrunkard,and jealousofanyone superiortohimse1Hehadrebelled simplytoenjoy himself,todominate others,andtocarryoutreprisals.Thethirdoftherebel leaders was Jeannot,whowasbothacowardanda murderer.Undertheordersofthese threetherebellionmarkedtime. Nevertheless, their forceskeptupa pitiless guerilla warfarethatstruck damaging blows againstthecolonial troops.ItwasnowthatthewholefabricoftheColonybegantobreak up. Passions. /anddisorders reached their height. This wasthemomentfor>f-whichToussainthadbeen waiting. /Theattitudeofthe freedmenhadbeen a bitter disappointmenttoToussaint;andhewas evenmoredisillusionedbythewayinwhichtheyhadhelped the landownersinthefight againstBoukmann.Hewas also embitteredbythebehaviourofthemulattoesofthesouthandwest. LedbyAndreRigaud,Louis JacquesBeauvais,andPierre Pinchinat,theyhadfoughtfortherecognitionoftheNational Convention's decrees.Butwhen,withtheaidofthreehundredNegroslaves,theyweresuccessful,theyhadimmediately washed their handsoftheir loyal auxiliaries.TheMarquisofCaradeuxandM.deLerembourg,themayor,toldthemduringthefinalstagesofthenegotiationsthattheNegroes couldnotbeset free,thattheir liberationwouldbeabadexampletotheotherslaves,thatitwouldmerelyaddtothedisorderintheColony,and, finally,thatitwouldbebesttosendtheslaves backtotheir owners. Boisrond-JeuneandDaguin,twoofthemulatto representatives, protested againstthisproposal.Thelatter, indeed,onhearingtheperfidy suggestedbyCaradeux,drewhis sword,rantowards thearmyoftwothousand mulattoesdrawnupinfrontofthehouse,andorderedthetroopstosoundthealarm, declaring thatthecolonial representatives wishedthemtodisgrace themselves.Thelandownershastilychanged theirsuggestingtothemulattoes that the slaves shouldbedeported.Tothis iniquitous arrangementtheyagreed,ontheadviceofPierre Pinchinat Alexandre Petion, Daguin, and Boisrond-Jeune protestedinvain,I


BOUKMANN'SREVOLT31andthe wretched Negroes 'Switzers'astheywerenicknamed-wereplacedonboard theEmmanuel,under Captain Colonin,onNovember3, 1791.Thestory was circulated that they weretobe takentoHonduras, where 'theywouldfind plentyoflandonwhichtoworkinhonourand happiness'. Four mulattoes, Cadet Chanelette, Charles Haran, Louis Bonneau, and Barthelemy Richiez, embarkedinthe warshipPhilippine,withCaptain Balanger, having been orderedtogowiththe Negroes and see that the instructions were carried out.ButCaptain Colonin,whowas undoubtedly a slave-trader, eitherbygivinghiswatchers the sliporperhaps becausehewasincollusionwiththem, discharged his cargoatEnglessey, anisletoffthe coastofJamaica, where the 'Switzers' were sold.TheGovernorofJamaica, Lord Effingham, refusedtoauthorize the transaction and sent the Negroes backtoSaint Domingue. Here, the Colonial AssemblyofCapplacedthemonapontooninthe roadsbythe Saint Nicolas Mole. A week later,ona dark night, theywerestabbed and their bodiesthrownintothe sea.'Thecriminalswhoslew theNegroSwitzers werewhitemenfromthe Artibonite', states one authority.Themulattoes, especiallyAndreRigaud, vigorously deniedanyresponsibility forthiscrime, and maintained that Pierre Pinchant had been deceivedbythe landowners.ButtheNegropopulation didnotforgive the mulattoes for the contemptiblewayinwhichthey had abandoned the Switzers.Itisnotdifficult, therefore,toimagine the bitter thoughts and the longing for revengewhichmust have surged upinToussaintwhenhesaw the mulattoes' cowardly attitude towardstheSwitzers.NorisitgoingtoofartoplacethismUlatto disloyaltyamongthe goads which finally inducedhimtoabandon prudent expectation and openlyjointhe revolt, despite the doubtshestill entertained about its outcome. Six years later,atthe heightofhispower, Toussaint wastorecallthisunhappy episodeinthe struggle for liberationwithgreat bitterness.Onthe 24th Germinal, Yearvn,hewrotethustotheSecretaryoftheNavyandColoniesoftheFrench Republic, defendinghimselfagainst accusations levelledathimbysomeofthe freedmen:'Thewhite men, fearing universal freedom, soughttoseparate the mulattoesfromtheNegroes.Thatiswhythey accepted thelawofApril4;andwhatthey had foreseen happened: themu--,


32BLACKLIBERATORlattoes, having achieved theiraim,and afraidoffor the Negroes...cutthemselvesofffromtheir comrades-in-anns and companionsindistress...and allied themselveswith'the whitementotrample the Negroes down. Treacherouslydeserted,the Negroes fought for long against the combined effortsofwhites and mulattoes; but, harriedinevery quarter, and disillusionedintheir hopes, they accepted the offers madebytheKingofSpain.' It was1797before Toussaintwrotethese bitter words.Wemay infer that the episodeofthe Switzershadleftanindelible impressiononhismind.Itwas the spark which firedhissoul, consumingallprudence and hesitation, and causinghimtoplace himself wholly attheserviceofmenforgotten, despised,andbetrayed.'-


FAREWELLJTOBREDA.OUSSAINT'SinaCtionhadbegun to create a bad impres sion among theslaves,and JeanandBiassouhad continually urgedhimtodeclarehimselThey hadbeguntosuspecthimofbeingsecretly in league with the landowners, and itwasclear that he could not postponehisdecision indefin itely. Toussaint had already madeuphismind, buthewanted to reflect and consider the situation yet again beforecrossingthe Rubicon. He knew thatthiswasthe turning-point inhislife.Once he / had left Breda he could never look back; it wouldbevictoryordeath. Toussaintwasa man who never liked exchanging reality for a shadowy uncertainty, andhischoice involved biddingfarewellto the simplepleasuresoffamilylife.tohismaterial security(atthe outbreakofthe Revolutionhissavingsamounted to650,000francs),and tohisdaily work. What would he find inplaceofthesethings! And what would hebeabletoachievewithhisfellow NegroeslTrue, they were brave; but they were little morethana gregarious, inchoatemassofhumanity. Being a manofaction, Toussaint liked to putideasinto effect; he did not, likeBiassou,regard the risingasanendinitself,butsawitasameansto winningjustice for the Negroes. Would hebeable' to mouldthesemen tohisinward vision! He had noillusionsabout human nature, and hewasawareofthe difficultyofachieving even the simplestofvictories, knowing thattheseare the fruits not onlyofcourage, butofreason,foresight, and method.Suchwerehisdoubtsashe stood on the very threshold ofhis destiny . And how, too, would he proveasa soldierlHe thought tohimself:'Must I fight under leaders who are my inferiors in foresight and intelligencelIfonly JeanandBiassoucould catch a glimpseofthe City -which I am building in my mind, they wouldbesodazzledat the vision that they would hand over the leadership tome.I havebeentoo prudent: it would have beenbetter-to have directed the whole movementromthe beginning. And now thecourseofevents obliges me to makemychoice soonerthanI had intended.' H 'realizedwithdistasteo n


34BLACKLIBERATORru.t, for the moment at least, he would havetorelinquish the leadership and serve undermenwhowere incompetent and devoidofgreatness. Perhaps he had deferred too longinjoining the rebels.TheBreda Negroes were already grumbling and complaining, and his influence over them would soon begin to decline. Every day they heardofthe rich booty pillagedbythe rebels, while they themselves were still subjected to rigid discipline and forcedtowork. Meanwhile, Toussaint's master andhisfamily were congratu lating themselvesontheir miraculous stateofsecurity.Oneeven ing towards the endofSeptember1791they were sittingonthe verandahoftheir house listening to the soundofdistant firing at Cap Fran'?is. All around them the other white families were sufferingruin,privation, and death. Their safety, they knew, was due to the loyalty and generosityofToussaint, and they blessed the manwhohad broughtthemsuch security. Bayon de Libertad didnotdoubt that the rebellion would eventually beputdown, and he wasnowdiscussing withhisfamilyhowthey could show their gratitude to their saviour when peace was restored. Suddenly they sawhimapproaching.'Whatisit, Toussaint?'M.de Libertad askedasthe other mounted the steps. There was a slight pause, and then Toussaint replied:'Idonotthink,sir, that1am able to guarantee any longer the protection1promised you. You andyourfamily must leave Bredathis..,evenmg.'What!'groaned de Libertad, shaken abruptlyoutofhis dreams.'Didn'tyoupromise to protect Breda from disaster and keep theslavesatwork?''Events, sir, are stronger thanmywillandmygratitudeto,you.Thewomen, white-faced, satasthough turnedtostone.DeLibertad wanted toknowwhatnewcircumstances had arisen to warrant their departure from Breda. Toussaint cuthimshort: 'Thisisno time for words, sir: evennowthe barbarous Jeannot and his brigands may beontheir way to Breda, and 1 couldnotsave you from theirfury.''Buthowcanweever get through to Capthey've cut all theasked his master,nowfranticwithfear.'Ihad foreseen that.Thehorses and mules are ready.My--


FAREWELLTOBREDA3Sbrother Paulwillleadyoubya little-known mountaintrackand see thatyoureachCapwithoutmishap. I can answer for it.''Oh,Toussaint!'Mmede Libertad beggedhim,'areyougoingtoabandon'Madame,itistospareyouandyourdaughters from irreparableharmthatI begyoutoleave this place at once.' 'So,' cried Bayon de Libertad,withaffectionate indignation,'thewise Toussaint, too,isjoining the murderers and incendiariesHedidnotanswer, and the unfortunate family saw a strange lightinToussaint's eyes, a light they had never seen before. A long silence ensued, and then Toussaint addedina toneofcommand: 'Collect togetherallyourvaluables;wehave beentoolongasitis.I shall returninamoment.'Andwithoutanotherwordhewithdrewwiththe same impassivenesswhichhewas latertoshow eveninan extreme crisis. Later he instructed Pierre Baptiste,whowas too old tojoininthe turmoilofwarfare,totakehiswife and children into the SanRafaelmountains,inSpanish territory. Knowingthepersonal meritsofevery slaveatBreda, Toussaint carefully selected a hundred andfiftyofthem, andwhenthedawncamehesetoutattheir head,boundfor the campofJean Franl1ois, which hadbythen been establishedonthe Gallifet plantation near CapFranS.This, then,the great adventurewithits glorious prospects, its decisive encounters, its revelationsallundertakeninthe intoxicationofdanger,ofbroken bonds, and ofhalf-seen possibili tiestocome.Ashishorse trotted along Toussaint fell into a reverie. Occasionally a sheafofflames would shootupintothe sky, sending forth a showerofgolden sparks; andfromtimetotime the mournful noteofthedrumwouldsound acrosstheplain. Toussaint'smindwas filledwithgrave reflections,ashetriedtodetermine the course he must take;buthisbrain was fevered andhisideas confused. Once againhewas besetbydoubtsastohisabilities, and was tormentedbyunanswerable questions.Whatdid the future holdinstoreWhatwasthisdestinytowhich Heaven had summonedhimHowwashetotumthisundisciplined mass into a reasoning,' organized forceJeanFranl10isand Biassoudidnotreceive Toussaintwithmarked enthusiasm, for they still resentedhisprolonged neutr:ility. Moreover, there was somethinginthe man's bearinghissearch-


36BLACKLIBERATORing glance,hisstudied words,hisairofmystery-whichhadtheeffectofchilling theirfriendliness.Theyrealizedonly too well that they were notcastin thesamemould, and their jealous pride warned them thatinToussaint they had a dangerous rival. And, indeed,heinvariably commanded a quite inexplicable respect, which in meaner spirits soon turned to hatred. The rebel hordewasmade upofan assortmentoftribes fromallpartsofthe African continent Congos,Senegalese,Dahomeans,Lybians,Abyssinians,Bambaras, Peuhls, Ibos, Yoloffi, Guineans,Aradas,Touaregs, Moroccans. Itwasa mixtureofprimitive humanity,ofviolent, unstable tribesmen who wereasuncertainofthemselvesasthey wereofwhat they wanted. Itiseasy,then, to picture the confusion which reigned amongthisarmyofslaves,thrown together by the crueltyoftheir masters. / And itwasoutofthisheterogeneousmassthat Toussaintwasto'forge a strikingforce,crush the enemy, and build up a nation.AssoonasToussaint mingled withthesemen they were aware, /"-instinctively,ofhissuperiority andofthe mission he had tofulfil.They felt they had at last found their real leader. Naturally, JeanFranc;:oisandBiassouwere not slow to resent their followers' preference for the new-comer, although he displayed a carefully calculated modesty inhisrelations with them, having noticed their petty arrogance at the first glance. Imposed upon, flattered, and encouraged byallthe counter revolutionaries-emigrants, slave-traders, landowners, priestsrJeanFranc;:oisandBiassouwere little betterthantools in the handsofthe reactionaries. Oneofthese,for instance, a certain Abbe Bienvenu,wasJeanFranc;:ois'ssecretary, and hadmadehimsayina proclamation: 'The rebel Negroes are fighting for the KingofFrance.' And JeanFranc;:oishad raised aflagbearing the armsofthe houseofBourbon: on the onesidewasinscribedViveIeRoy!and on the otherAncienRigime!Inhisludicrously gold braided uniform, covered withmedalsand decorations, JeanFranc;:ois,who had appointed himself 'Grand AdmiralofFrance', provided anoteofgrotesque opulence in the midstoftragedy; andthisprofoundly disturbed Toussaint's loveofsimplicity.AsforBiassou,hehadbestowed upon himself the high-sounding titleof'Viceroyofthe Conquered Countries'; and betweenhimandFranc;:oisthetewasan unending rivalry in the matterofuniforms, epaulettes,sashes,medals, bandoliers adorned withfleurdeIys-allofwhich were showered upon them by agentsof,


/FAREWELLTOBR:tDA31theKingofSpain andbylandowners who soughttowintheir favour. Toussaintwasdisheartenedbythe superficialityOfh'5colleagues.j/and by their inability toriseto the greattaskto which theyhadI'appointed themselves. But hewasvery careful to refrain from speaking to them about thesethings,for to have done50would have broughthimintodangeroUsconflict with their inflammable susceptibilities and with the interestsofthe emigrants who surrounded them. "Rather, by careful manoeuvring, Toussaint appeared to be infullagreement with the two leaders. Like them, he cried out 'ViveIeRoi" and he addedhisown signatUre to the foolish documentinwhich their scribes made them declare:'Wehave taken up arms in defenceoftheKingwhom the white men have taken prisoner in Paris; for the King wanted tosetfreethe-Negroes,hisloyal subjects.' This ruseofToussaint's inducedcertainchroniclersofthe time toassertthat he had revolted at the behestofthe landowners and the royalist priests, andwasactually their agent. Future events, however, were to show that Toussaint's royalism was merdy amaskforced uponhimbythe delicate situation in which he then foundhimselAndthismaskhe wore until the momentwasripeiforhimto takefullcommandofthe rebellion, and to give to theImovetilent its true purposeofsocialjustice for the Negro peoples.cWhile -waiting forhishour to dawn Toussaint spent every day at the headofhismen,facingthe Frenchlines,and astonishing everybody withhiscalmcourage andhisintuitive understandingoftheartofwar.Sdf-eff"acingand modest, he would sometimesasBiassou's secretary. He wouldalsocure the wounded with herbsofwhich he had a rare knowledge,thanksto the early teachingofhisfather. Amazed athissuccessesinthisfidd, Jean Fran'rois promptly bestowed uponhimthe titleof'Physician-in Chief to the ArmiesoftheKingofFrance'. Toussaint proudly accepted the honour andusedit occasionally afterhissignature. And every dayhisprestige steadily rose in the estimationoftheNegroes. They believed that he maintained communication with the spiritsoftheir ancestors and with the spiritofMacandal, who hadbeena master in theartofhealing and poisoning by meansofsecret herbs and potions.Onthe plain before Capthe strategy and tactics employed by Toussaint cameasasharpsurprise to the French. Here were not thereckless-,irresponsible attacksofa Boukmmn


38BLACKLIBERATORora JeanFran<;:ois,for Toussaint's assaults showed careful forethoughtand a knowledgeofthe situation.Aftersuffering several reverses,hisadversaries begantorealizethattheywerenowfacedwithanopponentwhoknewwhathewas about. Toussaint hadnoillusionsastotheoutcomeoftherebellion.Itwas impededbyitstwoleaders,whohad' already fallen foulofeachotherovera matterofprecedence.Intheir attitude towards Toussaint, Biassou wasmoreenviousthanJeanFran<;:ois,and had alreadyprovokedhimpersonally.HaditnotbeenforToussaint's deliberate restraint thereisnodoubtthatthe discordofthe rebel campwouldsoon have reached thepointofbloodshed. Toussaint thus found himselfamonghisownpeople,buthe/ was mortified and disillusionedtodiscoverthathehadtowaste somuchofhis energiesinbeing forcedtoco-operatewithleaderswholacked vision.Butheplungedintothe great purposetowhichhe was dedicated,anddrewfromitthe courage he needed .


SREBELSVERSUSLANDOWNERSHEwhole Colony was shakentoits foundations.Therewereclashes betweenthe'little'whitemenandtheRepublican freedmenonthe onehan4and the great land owners,whowereroyalists,onthe other. Thesetwogroupswerepopularlyknownaspomponsrougesandpomponsblancrrespec tively. Meanwhile therehadbeen a general risingofthe mulattoes, deprivedoftheir franchisebythecolonial assemblies. As a resUltofanewdecree promulgatedbytheNational Convention, authorizingthecolC?nialassembliestolegislateonthe internal g:>vernmentofSaint Domingue,thelandowners had questionedthevalidityofthe decree granting political equalitytothe freed men. Scaffolds, gibbets,andwheelswereset upthroughoutthe lengthandbreadthofthe country. Summary courts,fromwhich there wasnoappeal, passed merciless sentences.Thelandowners resortedtoeveryformofatrocityintheir endeavourtoterrorize the mulattoes.AtJeremie a planterbythe nameofLanguedoit hackedopenthestomachofa pregnant mulattowoman'toseeifthere was a little mulatto inside!'Thearmyofthefreed men, ledbyBeauvais and Rigaud,although'itmetwithvarying fortunes, was indomitable.Thelandowners, hardlyknowingwheretoturnfor aid, sent envoystoJamaica offeringtohelp the Englishtoseize the Colony. Commerceonthe island was completely ruined: the plantationswerelaid wasteorabandoned, public and private stores had been looted,andthecolonial treasurywasempty.Inthe courseofanightthe fair and wealthytownofPortau Prince became a massofflames.ThewholeColonywasonthepointofdisintegrating illa blazeofwhite-hot passions. Towards theendofNovember1791theFrench Government, learningofthe crisis which threatened France's most treasured.. oversea possession, dispatched a deleg ltiontotheislandtogrant+the rights claimedbythe freed men, improve the conditionsinwhich the slaves lived,andrestore peace.TheCommission consistedofcitizensRoumede Saint Laurent, Saintand Mirbeck.Theybroughtfullpowerswiththem,anddid their utmosttocalmthe general excitementandfulfiltheir mission39


40BLACKLIBERATORwithjusticeandhumanity.Ontheir instructions, givenontheverydaythey reachedtheColony,allthescaffoldsandweredismantled.Ina decree dated DecemberStheygranted an amnestytoallthe insurgents.Theythen attemptedtoapply the decreesofMarchinfavourofthemulattoes.Thelandowners protested violentlyatthis, and stubbornly opposedalltheprudentrand appeasing measuresthesituation demanded.Inthissame spiUtofappeasementtheCommissionersdispatched an emissarytoToussaint,Franlj:ois,andBiassou,totrytopersuade the rebels to laydowntheir arms.Theenvoyappointed was thecureofDondon, a certain Father Delahaie, an ardent abolitionistwhoenjoyed the confidenceofthe rebels. Toussaint was atto make his colleagues agreetotheideaofnegotiating.Hesaw clearly thatintheend,asthe resultoftheir irresponsible leadership, the risingwouldeither be crushedortheywouldhavetofallinwiththe Spanish party controlling the easternhalfofthe islandonbehalfofthe KingofSpain, and,ofcourse, bitterly opposed to the French Revolution. Toussaint, therefore,aspracti calasever,nowsought to save somethingofhisideal:atleasthemight be abletobring about a notable improvementintheexistingconditionsofthe slaves,andafterwardshewouldconsiderthefuture.Hehadnodifficultyinwinning overFranlj:oisand Biassou,whowerefighting solelytosatisfy theirlowerinstincts;andhepersuadedthemto welcome the Commissioners' overtyres. Father Delahaie's mission was thus crownedwithsuccess./"Tonegotiatewiththe representativesofFrance the rebel leaders appointedtwoyoungNegroofficers,RaynalAlexisandDuplessis,bothofwhomhad beenbornfreeandcould readandwrite.Theytookwiththema long letterinwhichtherebel leaders described the distress and miseryofthe slaves.Thedocument was signedbyJeanFranlj:ois,Biassou, Toussaint Breda,

-REBELS VBRSUSLANDOWNERS41Onhearing the envoys' story Biassou became furious.rantoa shedinwhichsixtywhitehostages were held, andturnedthemovertothe angry rebels,who$laughteredthemall.Thebattlewasresumed evenmorebloodilythanbefore. Toussaint,atthe headofa corpsofsixhundred pickedmen,the nucleusofhisfunouseliteguard,wroughtmiracles.TheFrench historian Cousind'Aval,whosawhiminaction, said thatheseemedtopossess the fierce energyofa tiger.Hewasthe idolofthe army, and the Negroeswouldobey the least signalfromhis eyeorlittle finger.Twicehenearly forced hiswayinto CapAlthoughtheycouldnothelp admiringhim,Jeanand Biassouwerebeginningtoresentmoreand more Toussaint's outstanding qualities. Jeannot,whowasascravenashewas cruel, fledinthe courseofbattlefromthe strategic positionhehadbeeninstructedtohold. Toussaint recaptured the post, and then insisted that Jeannot should be court-martialled. Toussainthimselfpresided over the court; Jeannot was condemnedtodeath and the sentence was carriedoutonthe spot.Theinadequate tacticsofBias sou,towhomhadbeenentrusted the defenceofMornePeIe,a key position, called for a changeincommand.Itwas a post which needed amanwhowasnotonlybrave,butalso alert, tenacious, and resourceful; andasthe Frenchwereattacking day andnightinthissector, Jeangave thejobtoToussaint. Scarcely had Toussaint taken over hisnewdutiesthanthe Colonial Assembly confrontedhimwiththe bravestoftheir officers. This was the Chevalierd'Assas,the commanding officerofthe National GuardatCapand a direct descendantofthe legendaryLouisd'Assas,the captainofthe Auvergne regiment and heroofCIQ.stercamp. Toussaint did-not waittobeattacked,butwentouttomeet his foe. A fierce battle ensued the hardestofthe campaign.Inthe turmoilofthe encounter chancebroughtthetwocommanders,bothdismounted, facetoface.Theycrossed swords, and Toussaint was woundedinthe right arm.Theleftwingofhis forceshadfallen back, and,inviewofthe threatofencirclement, Toussaint disengaged and withdrewtohissecond lineofdefence, a tannery.D'Assaswas hardonhisheels and forcedhimuptothe topofPeM.Thevaliant Chevalier then stormed the height. Toussaint re-formedhismenrapidly and ledthemback into battle, hisarmina sling.HedroveD'Assasdownfromthe newlyI


42BLA.CKLIBERATORconquered height, and remained there firmly entrenched, despite the enemy's repeated and furious counter-attacks. AyoungNegroofficer, Jacques Dessalines, particularly distinguished himselfinthisaction.Inorder to fightwithgreater freedom he hadtomoffhis shirt, andhisbody, bathed in sweat, gleamed and glistened like living bronze.Woundedinthe right foot, he seized a horse and continued to wreak havoc among the foewithunbated vigour.Bornin1758onthe Marchand plantationinArtibonite, Dessalines was a magnificent and terrible fighter, andhisoutstandingvalour compelled men's admiration. Originally a slave belonging to a landowner called Dessalines, the \'icissitudesofa lifeofslavery had taken him, while still a youth,tothe north, where he became the propertyofa freed Negro. Dessalines,whowas a carpenterbytrade, was well-built,withregular features.Hisskin wasofa reddish hue, andthisfact, togetherwithhispTOudair, high cheekbones, beautiful eyes, and abodyaslithe and suppleasa jaguar's, suggested thatinhisSenegalese stock there was a tinctureofPeuhl blood. Delightedbyhiscourage, Toussaint had at once pickedhim,outand madehimcaptainofhiselite guard, and under his guidancess was destinedtobecome oneofthe greatestfighters in the Americas, and the founderofHaitian independence.lWithan eye to the future and the part hewouldbe calledupontoplay, Toussaint had begun to selecthisteamatthe very outsetofhis career, pickingoutcarefully all his immediate lieutenants and trainingthemtoform the nucleusofhisstaff:.Therabble he commanded had, under his guidance, already become an expert and well-disciplined groupofmen, a shock force whose fightingworthwas exceptional. Clinging toMomePeIe, Toussaint set about fortifyinghisposition.Tothe leftofthehillhe had a long ditchdugto ensure a supplyoffresh water from the river; andtothe righthecut a deep trench, protectedbya palisade. Half-way up the hillsideheestablished a batteryofcannoninfrontofa solidwoodenrampart. Meanwhile, the colonialarmywas quiteunable to get the betterofthe rebels.was being slowly strangled, caughtinthe tenacles which grippeditfromnorthand south.Roumeand SaintUgermade a fresh attempt to negotiate; Mirbeck, disgustedwithall the complicationsofthe situation, having returnedto..-Prance.Theywere frankly in favourofimproving the statusof


REBELSVERSUSLANDOWNERS43the slaves,butthe royalist landownerswouldnotacknowledge-_"their authority.Invaindid the Commissionerstrytomake them see that the Revolutionhadintroduced anewJiinciple into the relations between capital and labour, and that their intolerancewouldbe fatal; the landownerswouldhear noneofit, and merely scoffedatthemand their Revolution.ButRoumeand SaintUgerconveyednewpeace proposalstothe rebel leaders.Thelatter agreedtonegotiate again,butdeclared that theywouldnotsend emissariestoCap Franl?is.TheplantationofSaint Michel, adjoining the town, was then selectedasa suitable meeting-place, and the Commissioners invited the Colonial Assemblytosend representatives there.OnApril20,1792,a deleg;ttionofthree landowners, accom paniedbythe Commissioners, arrived at Saint Michel a few moments before the rebel leaders.Thefirstofthese to appear was Jeanmountedonhorseback and followedbyBiassou and Toussaint.The'Grand AdmimlofFrance' was attiredina garmentofcrimson velvet, glitteringwithgold braid and decora tions.Hishat, adornedwithplumes and precious stones, provided a striking spectacle. Biassouworea richly embroideredcostume and sumptuous black silk scarf, spangledwithsilver;butToussaintworehisusual dress: a white silk jacket devoidofinsignia, blue cotton trousers, and a wide felt hatwithan upturned brim.Atthe sightofJeanheightofvainglorious arrogance,ashishorse, richly caparisoned, cavorted beforethem----oneofthe landowners' delegates,M.deBulet,whohadonce been the 'Grand Admiral's' master, was filledwithfury,and rushed uptotheNegroleader, seizing the bridleofhis horse and raising his whipashe did so; Jeanhowever, had already unsheathedhissword.Themeeting thus brokedownbeforeithadeven begun, and thetwogroups returnedtotheir respective quarters, Jeangivingventtohisindignationbyhaving ten white prisoners killed.TheColonial Assembly realized that their delegatehadbeen overprecipitate and, fearing thatalltheir hostagesinthehandsofthe rebelsmightbeslaughtered, intimatedtoJeanthat they were preparedtoresume the discussionsoncondition thathewouldsurrenderallthe hostages held.Therebel leader at first refusedtoreopen the negotiations;butToussaint intervened and managedtopersuadehimtochange his mind .


44BLACKLIBERATORThelandowners werewearyofthe disturbancesandrevolts,whichhad literally ruinedthem;buttheyfoundithardtocometotermswithwhoyesterdayhadbeen their slaves,andthey were unwillingtorelinquishanyoftheir prerogatives.Thisexplainswhythey vacillated so often between concessionsandretractions. For their part, the rebelswouldhave founditdifficulttocontinue fighting haditnotbeen for Toussaint's bold tactics, and the supportofthe Spaniards,whokeptthemsuppliedwithfood and ammunition. Jeantold the Colonial Assembly thathewouldnotrelease all the white hostages,butthat hewouldsendthemtwentyinexchange for his aged mother,whomthe landownershadthrowninto prison, where she was under sentenceofdeath.BothIsides agreedtothisarrangement,andnegotiators thenmetina last attempt to cometoagreement."-Butthenewparleys werenomoresuccessfulthanthe othershadbeen ..TheColonial Assembly employed delaying tacticsinthe hopeofgaining time.Theymade promises,wentbackonthem, replied evasively, and continually asked formoretime, hoping that reinforcementswouldarrive and enablethemtocrush the rebellion. Meanwhile the Commissioners finding themselves unable to bring the landownerstoshare their desire forconcessions, left for France,toinformtheir Governmentofthe dire stateofaffairsinthe Colony.TheauthoritiesofCapassembling all their forces,nowinitiated a vigorous offensive against the rebels,whogavewayonevery front. Courage couldnotcontinue indefinitelytotake the placeofammunition and arms.Atthistime Spain was,ofcourse"atwarwithFrance, and the agentsoftheKingofSpain,whohadhitherto been supplying armstothe rebels,nowkeptthe baitjustoutofreach, soasto force the Negroes to fallinwiththeThis wastobring the wholeofthe island underthesovereigntyofSpain,asithadbeenatthe timeofits discovery.DonJoaquin Garcia and the Marques de Harmonas, the Spanish king's principal representatives, bombarded theNegroleaderswithattractive proposals.Underthe mounting pressureofthecolonial forcestherisin wasonthe vergeofbeing crushed,whenthreenewCommissionersfromFrance landedatCaponSeptember17, 1792.Thesombre pictureofthe stateofthe ColoI!ythatRoomehad given the National Convention' had.1edtotheappointment,.-


REBELSVEllSUSLANDOWNERS45ofSonthonax, Polvecel,andAilhaud,three revolutionaries distinguished for their energy, boldness, and ability.TheprincipalmemberoftheCommission,UgerSonthonax, had beenbornatOyonnaxin1763.A briefless barrister, he cameofa well-to-do family, andonhisappointmenttothe National ConventionasaDeputyhehadbeennoted forhisextreme Jacobinism.Hewas quite readytodealwiththe colonial oligarchy, forhisheart was filledwithbitterness againstallaristocrats, andhismindwiththepreceptsofthe Encyclo paedists.Theexorbitant demandsofthe landowners, andtheselfishnesswithwhich they clungtowhatthey consideredtobe_their rights,weretoexasperate Sonthonax's revolutionary fanaticismand leadhimtocommitthe most violent excessesindoinggoodaswellasill.TheCommission arrived, escortedbysix thousand troops. Its first act wastoforcethelandownerstoputintoeffect the decreeinfavourofthe freed men.Thiscompulsory observanceofthe decree was a humiliating defeat forthecolonial aristocracy and a mortalblowtothe white men's prestigeinSaint Domingue. Furthermore, the landowners hadnochoiceinthe matter, forthemulattoes themselveswereenforcing the decreeinthe south and westbythemightofthe sword. In their enthusiasmathavin their rights formally recognizedbythe landowners, the freed men,ingratitude;joined forceswiththe landownerstoextinguish the last sparksofthe rising, andtomake the Negroes returntotheir duties. Sonthonaxatoncetooksideswiththosewhowereworstoffand p:lost despoiledbythe others, and, haditnotbeen for the oppositionofhiscolleague Polva-el,whoestablishedhishead quartersatPortau Prince, while Sonthonax remainedatCapitisprobable thathewouldhave boldly proclaimed the liberationofthe slaves. Even the mulattoes detested the 'furious Sonthonax',whodidnothingtohidehispreference for theNegromasses, and madenodistinction whatsoe betweenthemand the mulattoes.ThestateoftheColonywas rapidly deteriora g.InFrance, LouisXVIhadbeen8uillotined, and the noblesofSaintDomingue, ruined, disillusioned, andindespair at the Revolution,wereemigratingenmassetothe east,tothe neighbouring islands, andtotheUnitedStates.Inadditiontothe dissensions within the Colony,theyearbeganwiththethreatofa British invasion, whilethearmiesoftheKingofSpaininSantoDomingowere


46BLACKLIBERATORalso being mobilized againsttheFrench.Everyconceivablemisfortune seemedtoconvergeupontheColonysimultaneously. Sonthonax held the landowners responsible for these disasters. Their greed and their refusaltograntanyconcessionstothe lower classes, he said, wereattherootofeverything. Among the military chiefswhoaccompanied the Commission, the man whose feelingsweremost similartothoseofSonthonax was Etienne Maynaud Bizefranc,Comtede Laveaux, lieutenant colonelofthe Orleans Dragoons,whohadjoinedthe Revolution at the beginning.Hehad foughtunderDumouriezagainst the loyalistsatValmy andJemmapes, and had shown that his braveryasa soldier was fully equaltohis altruism.Hewasthemost attractive and sympatheticofthe Frenchmenwhoappeared upon the sceneinSaintDomingueat this time.Fromthemomentoflandingonthe island he embraced the causeofthe slaveswithunderstanding sympathy, and he never waveredinhis attitude.Inthe lifeofToussaint, andinthe miracleofhisascenttopower,_____Laveatpe:was to play an important role. ---Had this French aristocratnotgonetoSaint Domingue,itispossible that the careerofthe firstofthe Negroeswouldhave degenerated into the adventurousbutcommonplace lifeofacondottiere.Toussaint himself, referringwithamazementtohis extra ordinary risetopower, expressedina magnificent phrase his gratitude for theparttheComtehad played:'MterGod,itwas Laveaux.' Before ordering decisive action against the rebels, Sonthonax tried,ashis predecessors had done,toestablish peacethroughnegotiations, and intimatedthistotheNegroleaders. This timeitwas ToussaintwhowenttoCaptostate the Negroes' terms.OnOctober23, 1792,Sonthonax saw, entering his office, a remarkable Negro, simply dressed, short, ascetic,andfragileinappearance,withlarge eyes that gazed keenlyathim,hardand gentlebyturns.Hespoke little,butwithconvictionandgoodsense.Theclaims heputforwardwerenot-.excessive:hedeman ded, pendingthe abolitionofslavery, a real improvementinthe statusofthe slaves, 'three hundred freedoms' (for eachofthe rebel leaders), and a sumofmoneytoindemnify the insurgents.ButSonthonax found that the intolerable pressureofthe landowners madeitimpossible forhimto meet these demands. Disheartened, Toussaint returnedtohis<:amp,and the battle was rejoinedwithrenewed ferocity.ItfelltoLaveal!:Xtohave thehonourofdriving Toussaint----


REBELSVERSUSLANDOWNERS47from the heightofMornePeIe,where hehadentrenchedhimselfsofirmly. One evening, after losinghalfhismen, Toussaintwasobliged to order a retreat infaceofthe'jUriaftanasa'.Back on the plain, however, he continued to harry the French, doing enor mous damage. When Laveaux heard the news that Toussaint had overrun a camp at PetiteAnseand reappearedasit were in the instant at Haut du Cap he cried out: 'Great God,thisToussaintseemsto beableto force an opening forhimselfanywhere: Toussaint's vanity was Battered, and thenceforthheadopted the nameofLouverture (the oyening), under which designation hewasto takehisplacewitTitile immortals. The French victory at Morne PtIewasa grievous blow tothe'_ rebels. JeanandBiassouwere particularly annoyed; and they wentsofarasto hold Toussaint responsible for the setback, despiteallthe courage and inventiveness he had displayed in holding on to the position forsolong with scarcely anymeansathisdisposal.Undaunted, however, Toussaint continued to attack and to trust in the future; and he managed to instil into the armyhisfaith in betterdaysto come. Exaggeratinghisroleofsorcerer and magician, he made an impression on the frustrated horde and again raised their morale.Hisown moral and physical heroismwasbasedonhisbelief that God, whoisallJustice and Mercy, would, in the end, intervene directly and recompense the un Bagging courageoflucklessmen who fought for a justcauseunlesstherewasno God. But Toussaint was convincedofGod's reality; andhewould surrenderhimselfto prayer, in the briefrespitesthe struggle lefthim,praying for the mercyofProvidence. To give a new impetus to the rebellion inthesesombredaysToussaint developed a new strategy. The rebelforceswere divided into three groups, which were to engage in a relentless guerilla warfare. Jeantook to theValliereshills,Biassouwasdespatched in the directionofDondon, Saint Raphael, and Saint Michel, while Toussainthimself,at the headofa reliable forceofsevenhundred-men, establishedhimselfin the woods andpassesofthe northern plain,facingGenerals Laveaux and Desfoumeaux. Ravagedcamps,sudden night attacks, bloody ambushes,swiftunexpected onslaughts, murderous charges....The enemy were given no time to breathe orsleep,harried day and night by fierce,inaccessiblebands, and itwasnot long before the rebels showedsignsofrecovering from theirreverses.


'.-,.A.'l1'A.1\..\r"-,-,, ,-"6.THEREBELSSIDEWITHSPAINNTERNALdiscordathome presages the eclipseofa nation's glory abroad:ittells her rivals that the time has cometoseize / her goods and possessions. Thus Spain, seeing Francetomintwobythe Revolution, decided that therewouldneveragainbesuch a favourable opportunity for depriving herofSaintDomingue, the brightestjewelinthecrownofthe French colonialemprre. Nearly all the great landownersinSaint Domingue, finding } themselves leftinthe lurchasthe resultofthe Revolution, flockedtothe bannerofthe Spanish Bourbons. Mostofthemwere ready to hand over the island eithertothe Spaniardsortothe English rather than forgo their privileges and give the slaves their freedom.Theycouldnotconceive that there couldbeprosperityorcolonial law and orderwithoutslavery, and they cUrsed the insane follyofFrance, which,withher stupid Declara tionoftheRightsofMan, had utterly destroyedherrichest oversea possession and undermined the 'sacred foundationsofcolonial society'.Itwas while Toussaint was harrying the French troopsontheplainofCap Franljdis thathiscolleagueswerewonovertothe Spanish cause.TheAbbe Sulpice, a Capuchin priestwhowas thecureofLeTrou,was the principal negotiator.Theclergy were alwaystobe found supporting the slaves' struggle for freedom, for they were nearlyallardent abolitionists.Theyplayed a partinthe Macandal incident; and they were also active in the BoukmannIJFather Sulpice,inthe nameofthe Spanish general,theMarques de Harmonas, promisedallmannerofthingstoJeanand Biassouiftheywouldagreetoserve the interestsofHisCatholic Majesty.Heguaranteed titles, money, arms, ammunition, and the solemn liberationofallNegroeswhojoinedthe Spaniards.Theproposals were communicatedtoToussaint, reachinghimata time when Laveaux hadhimcornered like a beastatbay;ata time, indeed,whenhe was beginningtolose heart.Hewas wearing himselfoutin a superhuman, unequal struggle. Being a realist,hefelt thatwarhadnojustification exceptasa meansto48-




THEREBELSSIDEWITHSPAIN49a betterwayoflife;andthis,asyet, he foundhardtoenvisage.Heeven felt humiliatedbytheguerillawarfarehewaspractising.Howmean andpettyitmust have seemedtohimtohavetolieinambush waiting for nighttofilltosurprise the enemy; andtohavetocreep like a serpentthroughthethornyundergrowthinordertopouncewhenheknewhimselfcapableoffightingoutintheopen, andofconqueringbythe true marriageofcourageandforesight!Butthemost agonizing torture forhimwasthe prospectoflosing his lifewithoutfirst having given hisfullmeasure:ofdying like acommonbrigandinsomecomerofthe forestwithallhis Messianic hopes unfulfilled, having merely flashed across the skyofSaintDominguelike a meteor. Thusitwasthatthereligious Toussaint was readytosell his soultothedevilifdoing sowouldhelphimtoachieve his abiding purpose.JHedidnothesitate, then,toentertheserviceofSpain,and,gathering together his troops,whowere commandedbya braveyounggroupoflieutenants Moise Breda, Jacques Dessalines, and CharlesBelair-hesetouttomeetGeneral Cabrera,thecommanderofthe Spanish forces,whohad established his head quartersatSaint Raphael.ThetwomenmetonMay15, 1793.Thegeneral gave Toussaint awarmwelcome, for his famehadalready precededhim;andonhis arrival he was appointed,inthenameofCharles V,KingofSpain, a KnightoftheOrderofI$abella.Byhis natural piety and unassuming behaviour, Toussaint .'.....'......:made a verygoodimpressioninthe Spanish camp.Bothtohis./'superior officers andtothe French exileshewasa constantsource.-.':ofwonderand curiosity,notunmixedwithanxiety.t'Whatmighthenotaccomplishwiththe supportofSpainin-this,the third phaseofhislifelHehad already calculated exactlyhowmuchhewouldextractfromthisgreatpowerfor hisownpurposes.Hisunspoken delightatbeinginthe Spanish camp was immense, for he wassecretly amusedatthethoughtthat these detestable whitemenreally believed theyweregoingtomake a toolofhim.But,hereflected,towinthe confidenceofthe Spaniardsitwould be desirabletogain their admirationbya seriesofvictories; then, having donethis,hewouldturnandcrushthemwiththeirownweapons, and thus redeem hisNegrobrethren. Legendhasitthat during the night followinghismeetingwiththeSpanish leaders Toussaint had a vision. Descending from thehillwhichoverlooks Saint Raphael,hebeheld a dark-skinned virgin coming towardshim,enthronedupona crimson cloud.AsD


-50BLACKLIBERATORshe scattered scarlet rose-petals through theair,which resoundedtothe pure notesofunseen trumpets, she said tohim:'Thouartthat Negro Spartacus, foretoldbythe AbbeRaynal,whowillavenge the wrongs done tothyrace.' Toussaint shrewdly summedupthe various men withwhomhe came in contact; and they,inturn,formed their impressionsofthe Negro leader.DonJoaqufnGardaregardedhimasa good fellow, devoidofrancour, a talented soldierofgreat courage but quite incapableofconceiving and carryingouta large-scale plan. Toussaint did everything possible to encouragehiminthisbelieHewasnotslow tosee,despite all the fine wordsofthe Marques de Harmonas andofGeneral Cabrera, that slaveryinSpanish territory was even more mercilessthanithad beeninSaint Domingue.TheSpanish landowners, indeed, were notorious/'for the refinementoftheir cruelty, and had the distinctionohaving trained their dogstotrackdownrunawayNegroes."Toussaint, unlike Jeanand Biassou, wasnotto be duped__byall the titles and decorations which the Spaniards bestowed.Hewas going to makeuseofthe means at the disposalofthe",,--Spanish crown,notto become a toolofSpain,buttoliftthe Negro raceoutofthe hellinwhichithad languished for three hundred years. After conferringwiththe Marques de Harmonas and re-organizing and equipping his troops, Toussaint resumedhiscampaign.Hesweptdownupon Capinflictingblowafter blow upon the French andseizing La Tannerie and Morne PeIe, which were defendedbyLaveaux and Desfoumeaux. Finding thatallits communicationswiththe interior were cut off, Capwasthrowninto astateofpanic. A numberofthe royalist officers deserted from the French (notablyDeNullyandDeLafeuille), and Toussaint gave them positionsonhisstaf GeneralDeBrandicourt,whoconunanded a French camp at Dondon, was capturedbythe Negro leaderbya strokeofincredible audacity. Brandicourt, finding himself cutofffrom Capwas retreatinginthe directionofLa Marmeladewiththe objectofmaking contactwiththe main French forces. Toussaint methimwitha screenofmen commandedbyMoise Breda, and then, moving themupthe sheer heightofthe rocks,wentright roundhisadversary.Thelatter, meanwhile, was proceeding tranquilly, believing that the region was inaccessibletothe enemy, when!>uddenly,inthe middleofthe night, he found


THEREBELSSIDEWITHSPAIN51himseIffacetofacewithToussaint. Caught completely unawares, the general was momentarily demoralized. -Resolved to sellhislife dearly, however, he drewhissword, orderinghismentocharge. Undeterred, Toussaint rodeuptohimwithhisescort, saying:'Quiteuseless,mydear General:youare surroundedonallsides. I admireyourcourage,butI would admireyourheart still moreifyou were to order your column to surrender and thus avoid a battle which can bringyounoprofit whatsoever.' Dumbfounded, and believing that he really was surrounded and outnumbered, Brandicourt surrendered without offering any resistance, even feeling touchedbyhisadversary's generosity.Hehad been completely outwitted. ImpressedbyToussaint's brilliant exploits, the Marques de Harmonas senthima letterinthe Spanish style, filledwithgrandiloquent congratulations. In a special decree Toussaint was hailedasthe 'BenefactorofSaint Domingue'. Indifferent to these Batteries, however, Toussaint continuedtoconcentrateontheworkinhand, capturing the heightsofCreteaPins, and then Ennery, Plaisance, Bedouret, and the whole region southofCapFrom easttowest he was building a lineofmen against whichallthe attacksofthe French were to break down. Leaving nothing to chance, Toussaint personally directedalloperations, inspecting the terrain and estimating the directionsofthe rivers and mountainstofacilitatehiscampaign. Sonthonax and Polverel,nowrealizing that Toussaint's sword was going toturnSaint Domingue into a Spanish colony, sent emissaries to the Negro leadersinan attempt to drive a wedge between them and Spain;asan encouragement they promised to grantalltheir claimsinfull.Butitwastoo late, and the Negroes sent backthisanswer:'Wehave lost the KingofFrance,butweare cherishedbythe KingofSpain.Wecannot recognize you, Commissioners, untilyouhave enthroned a king.Weshallshedallourblood for the Bourbons.' Unless he was to revealhistrueattitude Toussaint couldnotbutapplaudthisreply, and, accordingly,itborehissignature togetherwiththoseofBiassou, Moise, Gabart, and Thomas.Thedocument, clearly drawn upbysome royalist,isofcon siderable significance.Itwas precisely the illusion that he was a soldierofthe KingofSpain that Toussaint was attempting to instil into the mindsofthe French royalists andofGeneral Cabrera and the Marques de Harmonas.


I,,..lr()f&.-'-.--.,52BLACKLIBERATORSoonToussaint was the undisputed masterofDondon,La Marmelade, and Plaisance,anditwasnotlongbeforehesummonedthe landownersofthese placestoresumeworkontheir. property. Between assaults,hedictatedhisfamousOrderon/'agriculture, obliging slavestoreturntothe landwhere'ilieyitadbeen working,andthe landownerstopaythe slaves for theirwork.Theslaveswerealsotoreceive a quarterofthe produce.Attimes he was temptedtodisclosehisreal intentions;butheknewthathe wasnotyetstrongenoughtorevealhispurpose completely.Hismoods found expressioninanalternationofcunni.Dg modestyandimpetuous pride, the latter being discern ibleinthe proclamation he addressedtothe slavesfromhiscamp atTurelonAugust29, 1793:'Friends and brothers, IamToussaint Louverture, andmynameisperhapsnotunknowntoyou. I have undertaken theworkofvengeance. I wish liberty and equalitytoreign in Saint Domingue. Iamworkingtomake these a reality.Joinwithme,mybrothers, and fightwithmefor the same cause.Yourservant, Toussaint Louverture.'Howdid Toussaint daretouse such language!Washenotfightinginthe servicepfthe royalists!TheFrench refugees, their distrust aroused, begantowatchhisactivitieswithunveiled suspicion. Meanwhile thegulfwas widening between Toussaint and Jean Frans:ois and Biassou,who,Batteredbytheirnewmasters,hadcompletely givenupanyconcernJortheir fellow slaves. Again and again Laveaux and Desfoumeaux attempted to pierce the lineofsteel which stretchedfromeasttowest.CapFrans:ais was languishing under the pressureofToussaint's troops.FromGonaIves, Desfoumeaux was totryto recaptureEnneryandSaint Michel;butToussaint lethimadvancenofartherthanCoupePintade, where he overwhelmedhim.Toussaintnextpreparedtoattack Gonaives.ButChanlatte, a valiant mulattowhowasincommandofthePlaisance sector (and was later tojoinToussaint'sranks),felluponhimatRoufeliers,inthe cantonofEnnery, and obliged Toussainttoretreat, thus saving GonaIveswhichhadalready given itselfupfor lost. Toussaint, however, turnedandcounter-attackedtosuch effectthathe overran the French camps at AudigerandMerion,and stopped short only eighteen milesfromGonaIves.Henowdevoted himself to drawing up a planofattack againstthistown,which held a peculiar attraction forhim.-


7SLAVERYABOLISHED,JN May6,1793,at a time when the whole islandwasin turmoil, General Galbaud, who hadbeenappointed totakethe placeofD'Esparbesasconunander-in-chiefofthe colonialforces,landed at Cap Franf?is. The counter-revolu tionaries hailedhimwith delight, for hewasa nativeofthe island andthe'owneroflargeestates, and would clearly defend the interestsofthe landowners against the Commissioners. The latter, how.:ver, immediately questioned the leg.llityofGalbaud's appointment on the ground that a law dated April1791made it illegal for anyone born in Saint Domingue,orpossessinglandsthere, to hold a highmilitaryofficein the Colony. Galbaud, apparently acquiescing with a good grace, withdrew on board .LaNomumde,but at once set to work to bring about a revolt andJoverthrow Sonthonax.Onbothsidespassionswere rapidly reaching a climax, and itwasa trivial incident which eventually provided the spark. A quarrel had broken out between a mulatto and a navalofficeron the quay at Cap Franf?is, and theofficerinsisted that Sonthonax should punishthiscolouredinanwho 'had dared to insulthim'.When the Commissioner said that it wouldbenecessaryto holdaliinquiry before he could doso,the whites and the crewsoftheshipsanchored in the roads were indignant. The latter now prepared to attack Sonthonax and Polverel, while thefreedmen and the Negroes rallied to the defenceofthe two Commissioners. A cannonwasfiredfrom the frigateJupiter,whose crewhadbeenwon over by Galbaud, and the General then landed at the headof six thousand sailors,from theBeetanchored in the harbour.Asa preliminary, the conunanderoftheBeet,Admiral Gambis, andhisstaffhad been taken prisoner by Galbaud. Street fighting followed the landing, and for three days' Capwasasceneofcarnage. Sailors andslaves,drunkwith liquor looted from the shops and warehouses, ravaged and pillaged the town. A forceofNegroes from Haut du Cap, conunanded by Picrrot andMartialBesse,swept like a hurricane through the city streets and squares, and throughout the nightofJune21CapbUrnedlikea torch.Butby five o'clock nextday\


S4BLACKLIBERATORGalbaud and his followers had been compelledtoDuring these daysofterror Commissioner Polverel achieved the moral statureofoneofPlutarch's heroes. His son, senttonego tiate, was taken prisonerbyGalbaud, to guarantee the safetyofthe General's brother Cesar,whohad illen into thehandsofthe Commissioners. Galbaud then proposed that thetwocaptives should be exchanged. Telling Polverelofthis proposal, Sonthonax said : 'You are a father:dowhatyoumust. I agreetowhateveryoudecide.' And Polvcrcl, his eyes filledwithtears, replied:'Iadoremyson,buthe can die. I sacrificehimto the Republic. General Galbaud's brother was caught fighting against theofFrance.No;myson cannotbeexchanged for a traitor.' Although Sonthonax and the other wimessesofthissceneallbesought Polvereltosave his son's life, Polverel merely added: 'I adoremyson. Pleasedonot refer to the matter again. General Gal baud,withhis defeated followers, setsailfor America onJune24,1793,on board theJupiter.Hewas followed by seventeen other warshipsofthe fleet, only the frigateAmericaremainir: g behind. Every day brought fresh

SLAVERYABOLISHED55before the National Assemblythroughthe eloquent andim-.passioned tonesofBarnave and Lameth. Sonthonax, however,withthe desperateofanunhurling himself into the \ flamestorecover an irreplaceable treasure, solenmly decreed.onAugust22.1.12J.the generallibcrationofthe slaves.rThedayoftheir emancipation was an upfi1rgettable day for the slaves.Theysaw France. through her legally appointed repre sentative. decree that one man should no longerbethe propertyofanother. Under the indigo skyofSaint Domingue, filledwithflames and auguries. a hurricaneofjoywas suddenly unleashed.TheNegroesfromthe PlaineduNordburst in on Capshouting. weeping. dancing, screaming with almost demoniac happiness. caught up in a surgeofdelirious delight.Asthe evening light shed golden rays over the joyous multitude theyallkneltdowninfront ofSonthonax:s house. calling him 'the good God'.Andthegrimrevolutionary appeared on the balcony. weeping like a child. forcingouthis words b::tweenhissobs.AtPortau Prince, however, Polverc1 at first refusedtohave anything to dowithhiscollegue'sdecision.Aetirgon hisownauthority, Sonthonax had destroyed the very foundationscfthe colonial system. and had himself taken the placeofthe French State.ButtoPolverel's protest Sonthonax replied that he couldnotrevokehisdecision and that he acceptedfullresponsibility for it.Whena landowner attackedhimin a violent diatribeSonthonixreplied magnificently: 'I declare that untilmydying day1shall support the rightsofthoseofmixed blood,ofthe Africans, andofthe descendantsofAfricans; and even though they grindmybonestopowderina mortar1willnever retractmyproclamationofAugust29:Polverel. fearing the consequencesofgiving full supporttoSonthonax, suggestedtothe landownersofthe south and west that they should pretend that Sonthonax's decision had theirfullapproval. Accordingly. registers wereinallthetownships,inwhich the landowners solenmly declared that they spontaneously ratified the freedom which the Commissioners had accordedtothe slaves.&,it happened, the landowners were obliged to performthisactofgenerosity, since the slaves, having burst their bonds, threatened to annihilate themall.Even so, the honourofhaving shown a sublime initiative belongs to Sontha nax, andtohimalone.Wehave seen that the great landowners had for some time been


,",56BLACKLIBERATORurging the Englishtoseize the Colony, and the eventsofAugust."made English interventionmoredesirablethanever:it...''seemed the onewaybywhich the landowners could hopetoregain their wealth and power, evenifitmeant disloyalty to\""""\France. Accordingly, early in September a representative, the.;'Marquis VenentdeCharmilly, was senttoJamaicatonegotiate the incorporationofSaint Domingue into the British Empire._._--Anagreementtothis end was signedbythe Marquis and Major ) Adam Williamson, the Britishun.-to're-establish and maintainalllawstoproperty'. A week later,onSeptember19,five hundred English troops landed at Jeremie, atownin the southern peninsula, andonthe 22nd a forceofa thousand men seized the Saint Nicolas Moleinthe north-west, a stronghold knownasthe GibraltaroftheNewWorld.Withinthe spaceofa fortnight the English captured Saint Marc, Archahaie, Grand-GoS-ve, and Tiburon, and wherever they went the landowners welcomed themwithcriesof'Long live King George!'Bythe endofthe year the only open ports still controlledby. the Commissioners werePortau Prince, Aux Cayes, Jacmel, and Cap Frant;ais. Gonaives had already fallentothe Spaniards after a lightning attackbyToussaint Louverture,whomade a triuniph ant entry into the townonDecember6.Thevaliant defendersofthe town, Paul Lefranc, Caze, and Blanc Casenaveallmulattoes-hadbeen appointedtotheir conqueror's staff, forbynowwhite men and mulattoes alike were hasteningtoplace themselves under the protectionofToussaint. Early in February an English squadron appearedoffPortauPrince, whither Sonthonax had removed in hastetooffer a better resistancetothe invader. A British launch set ashore three officers,whoaskedtoseethe Commissioner.Theywere takentoSon thonax, and requested a private discussionwithhim.'Englishmen,' replied Sonthonax, 'can havenosecretswithme:speakoutinpublicorwithdraw.'Thefollowing message was then conveyedtohimbythe leaderofthedekgltion:'Inthe nameofHis Britannic Majestywecall upon you to surrender this town and port, togetherwithall its installations.''Wereweever forcedtoleave this place,' Sonthonax replied, 'nothing would be leftofyourshipsbutsmoke, since the restofthem would beatthebottomofthe sea.'Thenext day Commodore Ford, commanding the squadron,-o


SLAVERYABOLISHEDS7sent Sonthonaxanultimatum.Thereply was significandy brief:'Ourgunners, MonsieurIeCommodore,areattheir posts.'Inthe faceofthisbelligerent attitude the British commander weighed anchor, impressedbythe Commissioner's determination.JNotthe leastofthe cruel perplexities thatbesetSonthonaxatthistimewas -howtodealwiththe mulattoes,andhedeveloped a violent animosity towards them.'Theirdemands',hewrote,'appeartoknownobounds,andthey seemtorequire every kindofoffice;yettheydonotceasetocomplainifthey arecalled.either Negroesorwhites.'Arevolutionarythroughand through, his beliefin the equalityofmenhad reached the pitchofareligion,forhewas quite Wlabletounderstandhowthe descendantsofNegroes couldnotshareinthe idealofequity which inspiredhim.So he endedbyhatingthemjustashehated the royalistsandthe great landowners.Withexcessive injustice Sonthonaxwentoutofhiswaytohumiliate thefreedmen, and wheneverhehadtheopportunityhewouldfavour someNegroattheirexpense.Bybehavinginthiswayhe merely aggravated thefratricidalstrife.InMaythe English returnedtothe attack, and,withtheassistanceofa'fifthcolumn', soon captured Fort Brissotin.findingthemselveswithoutmilitaryresources, and betrayedbythelandowners, SonthonaxandPolverel evacuated thetownonJune4.1794,andtookrefugeatJacmel, protected onlybya meagre detachmentofloyalandgrateful Negroes under thecommandofa br:ave mulatto,LouisJacques Beauvais. Meanwhile the Commissionerswerealsobeing accused beforetheNational Assembly,atthe instigationoftheClubMassiacandthetwoParisian landowners, PageandBruley. Brissot, Sonthonax's friendandprotector, had alreadybeenguillotined,andnoonewouldundertakethedefenceofthetwoCivilCommissioners,whointhemostadverse circumstanceshadshownthemselvesworthyservantsofrevolutionary Franceandofherideals. SonthonaxandPolverel setsailonJuneIS,1794,toface their judgesinParis. Before departing they appointed the threemulattoes, Beauvais, Rigaud,andVillatte,asbrigadier-generalscommanding. respectively, Jacmel,AuxCayes,andCapunderthe ordersofEtienne Laveaux,towhomthey entrustedtheinterinl governmentoftheColonyinitshourofperil.Whonowwastosave the pearlofthe Antilles for France,thecolonywhichseemedabouttofallintothehandsoftheSpaniardsandtheEnglish,-


L.,8RIVALLEADERSHEMarques de Harmonas andGeneralCabrera saw their dreamofconquest beginningtotake shape. Toussaint had extended and moved forward the noose in which he was seekingtothrottle the French army, and Plaisancehadbeen capturedbyDessalines.Onlybygreat heroism was Capabletowithstand the repeated assaultsofCharles Belair and Moise.ThetownofFort Dauphinwasonthe' pointoffalling: Candy, a mulatto,whowas defending itwitha forceoffreed men, had informed Villatte that he was unable to holdoutany longer. Even Laveaux wasathiswits' end tryingtoresist the attacksofJacques Maurepas, ayoungNegrolieutenantofToussaint's, famed for hismilitaryskill and courage. After consolidatinghisposition in Gonaives, Toussaint returnedtoSaint Raphael to conferwiththe Spanish commanders,whomhe hadnotseen during the seven months' campaign.Theyreceivedhimlike a triun1phant Caesar:TeDeums were sunginhishonour and there was universal rejoicing.Insolemn state the Marques de Harmonas bestowed uponhimhisofficialcommissionasa general, the Diplomaofa CommanderoftheOrderofIsabella, and a gold medal inscribedwiththe words,ElMaTito.Toussaintalwhad the opportunityofseeinghiswife and children again. AlthoughMmeLouverture constantly prayed for thesuccessoftheNegrocause, she was placid and self-effacing,notparticularly imaginative and completely unpretentious. ShepJ;'eferredtoliveonthe gentle slopesoflife rather thanonthe heightstowhich Tous..aint aspired. She wasbothamazed and delighted that her humble companion from Breda hadwonsuch renown, forithad never crossed her mind that hewouldbecome a great man. She saw amanwho,thoughhehad aged, had lostnothirgofhisvitality, and whose lean, shrewd countenance revealedth.the was fully awareofhisownworth.Every morning hewouldgotoMass and receiveHolyCommunion; and already someofthe priests were beginnir.gtorecognize his leadership, foreseeinghisgreat future.Heinvariaply treatedthemwiththe greatest respect. Mostofthe Spaniards were delightedwithhispiety, being unabletobelieve that amanso58--


RIVALLEADERSS9-devoutcould possiblyharbourall the terrible thoughts attributedtohimbyhisenemies and rivals. Biassou, however, wasbynomeans convincedthatwasassimple and piousashe appeared.Hesensed Toussaint's duplicity, andhada shrewd suspicionofthe sinister projects he was formulating. Biassou continUally warned CabreraandGarciaagainsthim,andonthe slightest pretextwouldreprimandhimpublicly and irritatehimwithpettyvexations. Toussaint,witha serenityinwhichwas mingled a shadeofcontempt, usually suffefed the other's impertinenceinsilence.Thereweretimes, however,whenthese pinprickswouldgotoofar,andthen Toussaintwouldturnuponhimwithsuch alookoffurythatBiassouwouldrecoilinfear. A few dayswouldpass and then Biassouwouldreturntothe charge. Eventually Toussaintre-/ solvedtoputanendtothistreatmentbysetting BiassouandJeanagainst each other.Hebegan to insinuatetoJeanthatBiassou was a menacetohisauthority,andhisonly adversary.Hetoldthathewas quite preparedtorecog-nizehis superior rank, provided that Biassou,whohadnomilitary victorytohiscredit, was removedfromthe army.Oncethisintolerable mischief-maker wasoutoftheway,he concluded, therewouldbenobodytocontest Jeans supremacyintheNegrohierarchy.whowas himself secretly irritatedbyBiassou's, self assumed authority, wasbothflattered and deceivedbyToussaint,andswallowedthebait.Heordered Toussainttohave Biassouthrownintoprisonwithoutmoreado.OnthemorningofMarch12Biassou ordered Toussainttoparadehistroopsforaninspection.Withapparent submission Toussaint linedhismenupin the Place d'Armes. Biassou,hischest glitteringwithmedalsanddecorations, andhisthreecorneredhatalmost losttosight beneath asheafofmulti-coloured plumes, rodewithmeasured dignity towards the colours, while thedrwnsbeat a general salute,andthe fifesechoedshrillythroughthemorningair.Toussaint followedhimata few paces' distance;butsuddenlyhegave the prearranged signal.Inthe twinklingofaneye Biassou was surrounded, disarmed, and takentothetownjail,wherehe was imprisoned.'AnorderfromGeneral Jeanexplained Toussaintwithcynicalamusementtohisamazed,infuriated prisoner. Fortwodays Biassou filled theairwithanindignant uproar.


60BLACK:LIBBRATOR1Toussaint urged Jeantoforma councilofwartojudgethe prisoner, but,asthoughhewere belatedly..gtosee daylight, Jeanwas reluctanttocarrythe farcethroughtothe bitter end.Hehad a vague feelingofhavingbeentricked, and Toussaint, seeing that there wasnohope ofBiassou'simme-_oA "diate execution, suggestedtoJeanthat Biassou should be(-i"expelledfromthearmyand the Spanish party. Jeanstillhesitated, andatthispoint a groupofFrenchrefugees-among, "themLaplace,hissecretaywhowere in the habitofusing Biassou ",;.asa tool for theirownpurposes, intervenedinhisfavour.They"\\:told Jeanthat he had been trickedbyan imposter.The'Grand Admiral', realizingwhata fool he had madeofhimself and ashamedathaving given his supporttoToussaint's personal bitterness, hastily changed his tactics and thought onlyofhowhe could revenge himself on Toussaint.Heset freeBiassou and rein-Istatedhimin his command.TheFrench refugees managedtobring about a complete reconciliation between the two men, and thentheyallvowed to rid the Spanish campofToussaint, 'who, according to Biassou, 'said a thousand rosaries a day in ordertodeceive everyone the better'.Bythen Toussaint was far away, having returnedtohishead quartersatLa Marmelade, bitterly disappointed.TheSpanish leaders,bythistime, were becoming suspiciousofToussaint's activities, andhisrivals neverceasedtopress General Garcia toputan endtohis exploits. A party was formedinthe Spanish camp for the purposeofgetting ridofhim;butthe repre sentativesofthe KingofSpain had a high opinionofToussaint's co-operation, which had so far brought nothingbut.happy results.Theyratedhimfarabove his colleagues, foritwastohimtheyowednearlyallthe French territory they held.Why,then,onquite insubstantial grounds, should they deprive themselvesof. such a valuable auxiliary! Cabrera was consciousofsomething disturbing about Toussaint,butnobodycould say for certain thathewas betraying Spain,oreven thinkingofdoing so.Moreover,ifthey decidedtoget ridofToussaint,howweretheytoset aboutit!Themanwasalert, brave, and trustednoone.Henever sought private interviews, and whenheappearedathead quarters he was always surroundedbyhisfanatical supporters. Perplexed, alternately doubting and believinginToussaint's loyalty, Cabrera decidedtolet events take theirowncourse. Meanwhile Toussaintwasalso reflectingonhisdelicate situa--


RIVALLEADERS'61tion in the Spanish camp, andwasalready preparing to makehisvolte-flUe.But he judged the moment not yet ripe, and considereditwould be wiser to let the Spaniards believehimentirely devoted to their cause, until he could cut loose from them. Knowing that victories speak more loudlythanwords, he)Ctout for the north and carried the tideofbattle rightuptothewallsofCapwhich twice he nearly captured. The last strongholdsofFrench resistance in the north were the townsofFort. Dauphin, Capand Port de Paix. The Spaniards were particularly anxious to captureFortDauphin,asithad held out for a year againstalltheir attacks. Its capture, moreover, would mean thelossto Franceofnearlyallthenorthern province, the richest regionofthe Colony. Itwasdefended-bya Norman regiment commanded by a certainIColonel Knapp, and by a detachmentoffreed men led by Candy.LThey met their enemies with a stubborn resistance, for Villatte, ) theofthe French armies in the north, hadIt....issued an order that the Fort was to be held whatever the cost. Toussaint decided to take it. He knew that to dosowouldvide positiveproofofhisloyalty to Spain, and a decisive answer toallwho urged that he should be expelled from the Spanish camp. For the spaceofeight days he attacked the town in vain.Onhisleft wing he had Charles Belair, and on the right wing Moise; hehimself,on foot, commanded the central sector.Onthe ninth day, at noon precisely, he seized a horse and orderedhismen 'to storm the tqwnordie in the attempt'.Bythe evening the French troops were retreating in disorder before the furious charges led by ToussainthimselfAhandfulofFrenchmen then withdrew to the fortress, determined toselltheir lives dearly; but their defeat was inevitable and their heroismuseless.Moved by their courage, Toussaint sent an envoy to offer them thefullhonoursofwarifthey would capitulate.Anagreementwasdrawn up guaranteeing the heroes' lives and promiiing them honourable treatment, and the bannerofHisCatholic Majesty was unfurled overFortDauphin. The next day Toussaint left the city, after reorganizing its government. He set out in the directionofCapbut had travelled only a few miles when a messenger caughthimup with the news that the Spaniards were massacring the French prisoners.Ina ragingfuryhe galloped back to Fort Dauphin, wherehistimely intervention saved the French garrison from annihilation.-


BLACKLIBERATOR./Toussaint was tiringofthe Spaniards, the royalists,Jeanand Biassou, and was sickenedbyhaving to be the toolofambitions he held in contempt.Withmounting irritation he sawonlytooclearly the game Spain was playing: shewouldimpose servi-onthe Negroes again once SaintDominguewas firmlyin. her grasp.Ifonly there were the faintest chanceofjoiningforceswithFrance andofmaking the abolitionofslavery a reality,howwillinglywouldhe leaveallthese rapacious speculatorstotheirownresources!Inhis meditations Toussaint returnedtoFrance, theenemylwhomhe loved. She was superior to theotherpowersbyreasonofher generous feelings. She was a nationofcontrast. FrancelA huge sensitive heart awareofthe immense sufferingofenslaved men.Andhadnothergreat Commissioner,Sonthonax-inwhose eyes Toussaint had seen the bright flameofpitywhenhewenttodemand the freedomofthree hundredmeninOctoberI792-hadnotSonthonax, before sailing forhisowncountry, solemnly proclaimed the abolitionofslaveryinthe nameofthe RepubliclButwasthisa solid realitylTheoppressorswereso powerful, so cunning. Yetitmust be placed to the creditthat at a timewhennations were frenziedwiththelust forpower_ she was the most humane.TheNegroeswouldgainmoreatthe sideofFrance than SpainorEngland.


9TOUSSAINTBREAKSWITHSPAINHENhe had travelledasfarasLimonade, Toussaint turned and set off in the directionofSaint Raphael. He wouldtalk.to Cabrera,sOWldhim,tryto find outhisplans, and estimate the strengthofthe Spaniards. He reached Cabrera's headquarters at daybreak and received a lukewarm welcome. The general's reticence, and the way in which he avoided Toussaint's eye, were not thebestofomens. Toussaint felt that, were it not for the presence ofhis cavalry, the Spaniard's tacit disapproval might have taken a more drastic form. But he assumed an almost stupidairofinnocence and spoke ofhissuccesswith great humility. Aftertenminutes' conversation he left forLaMarmelade, not without reassuring the Spanish general ofhis devotion to the interestsofthe KingofSpain. But a shock awaitedhim.DuringhisabsenceBiassou had stormed intohisheadquarters, carried offallhisammunition and supplies, andhangedoneofhismost gallantofficers,Captain Thomas, having first told the captain that hewascarrying out Toussaint's instructions. Toussaint receivedthisnews with an impassivenessbodied ill forBiassou.Filled with thoughtsofvengeance,heset out for the Artibonite, where the troops commanded by Dessalines and Charles Belair were stationed, near Saint Marc. He made/'swift progressWltilhe reached a place called Barade, where he-/fellinto an ambush prepared forhimbyBiassouand the French royalists. Hewasgreeted by ahailofbullets, andhisbrother Pierrefellathisside, mortallywOWlded.Seven otherofficerslost theirlivesinthisambush, from which Toussainthimselfescaped unharmed. Toussainth:ailovedhisyoung brother like a son, but he showed no signofgrief; he merely vowed inexorable hatred towardsallthe Spaniards and their followers, and resolved to break with them once and forall.Breaking offhisjourney to the Artibonite, Toussaint went back north. He stopped atLaMarmelade long. enough to pick aspecialgroupoffighters on whose toughness and speed he could rely, and then set out in pursuitofBiassou and his royalist friends.Ashe had expected, hefOWldthem atEnnery.63


64BLACKLIBERATOaByusing little-known forest tracksandpaths, Toussaint came upon them suddenly and struckdownSpaniards and French royalists alike. Biassou, caught unawareswithoneofhisnumerous concubines, had barely timetotake to his heelsandescapewithhis life. Exhausted,heandhis fellow fugitives called a haltatDondon. Toussaintpromptlysetoffinpursuit, seizedsackedDondon,andkilledallBiassou's supporterswhofell into his hands.WhereverhewentToussaint stirreduprebellion againstthe Spaniards. -. -Intheir terrified race acrossthecountryBiassou and his followers had reached Fort Dauphin.Herethey addressed a letterofviolent protesttoGarcia,signedbyall the French royalists resident at Gonaives, Saint Michel, Ennery, Plaisance,LaMarmelade, and Dondon.Thedocument stated the case for Biassou and Jeanand enumerated thewhitemen's grievances against Toussaint.Itsaid,amongotherthings: 'Toussaint arrives. ...Heat once stirsupand arms the slavesonall the plantations and then informs the wretchesthatthey are free.Hepreaches disobedience and insubordination. .Hehimselfclaimstobe the leaderofallwhorevolt,andhasrecently soughttoassassinate hisownleader, Biassou.whoescapedfromthejawsofdeathbya special dispensationofProvidence. ..WejoinwiththeIfaithful Biassouinsustaining hisjustplea,andclaimthe headof/theguilty man.' /Itmightwellbesupposed that after these actsofopen hostility towards Spain Toussaintwouldbreakoffallconnectionwithher.Buthe hadnotyet cometoanyarrangementwiththe French,andwas too wily to leave himselfwithoutanysortofsupport.HedecidedtoattempttoconvinceGarciathathewas still afaithfulofficerofthe Spanish army. Toussaint's reporttoDonJoaqufnGarciahadsuch animprintofsincerity and humility thatitwouldsurely have disarmed the wariestofhis opponents. It consistedofthree letters dated March20,March27,and April4, 1794.Fromthe greathetooktonotedownall the detailsofthe case, including the circumstances which ledhimtoenter the serviceofthe KingofSpain,itwouldappear that he was anxioustojustifyinadvancethe decisionshewastotake later. Letusconsider a few extractsfromthisremark able document:'WhenJeanandBiassou placedthemselves under the protectionofthe KingofSpain, Iwasfighting outsideCapTheytoldmeofthegoodfortune which."


TOUSSAINTBREAKSWITHSPAIN65Spain offeredthem.Togetherwithallmytroops 1visitedDonJoaquinGardaatSaint Raphael,andheconfirmedtheSpanish proposals.Bythisveryfact1wishtoshowthat1 was neveratanytimedependentonthem;andcertainlynotonBiassou, sincemyactivitiesatCaphadbeenarrangedinconjunctionwithJeanBiassou,atthattime,wasatSaint Michel.Haditnotbeenforhisfoolishandirresponsible conduct,wewouldlongago have takenCapToussaintthenwentontodescribethedeathofhisyoungbrother,torecount Biassou's attemptstodisbandhisarmy,andtorelatehowBiassouandJeanwereinthehabitofselling Negroes totheSpanish landowners.AtanotherpointinthedocumentToussaintdeclared:-'MtertheconquestofGonaives, while 1wasatLaMarmelade, Biassou cameandestablished his camp there.Oneevening I dinedwithhim.Duringthe meal a letter wasbroughttohimfromSaint Michel,andhe beggedmetoreaditouttohim.Whatwasmyastonishmenttofindthatitwas a communicationfromthelandownerLaPlace,warningBiassou againstme,sayingthat1 wasan.oldCapuchinwhodidnothingbutprayalldaytothegoodGod,andthatifhewasnotcarefulhewouldfindmesupplantinghim.Biassoutoldmethathedaily received such niissivesfromLaPlace,butpaidthemnoattention. Biassou wants the Negroestoreturntoworkasslavesontheplantationswhich1 havereconquered. These Negroes complaintome;andwhen1 speakofittoBiassouhegets angry.'Hetells everybodythat1ama monsterandavillain.Biassou isnotmysuperiorandneverhasbeen.If1 seemtoinformhimofmymovements,itis merelyinthebest interestsofourcause.But1 cannotnowcontinuetohave dealingswithamanwhodoesnothingbutseekmydestruction;itis only astonishingthat1 havebeenabletobearwithhimsolong...Norwill1besubordinatedanylongertoJeanwhoisasjealousofmeasBiassou,andwhom1 fearasmuch.'Toussaint recalledtheambusheswhichBiassouhadlaidforhimatthe Carrefour VmcentandatBoisCaiman;andtheattemptshehadmadefor monthstoavoid aclashwithBiassou,..forsucha clashwasboundtobedisastrous.Andthencomesthelast touchofall:'IcallJesus Christ,forwhose sake I have endured everything,towitnessthat1 continue loyal and faithfultoSpain. 1amasdeterminedasevertoshed everydropofmybloodinthe serviceofGodandtheKing.'


BLACK:LIBERATORAsToussaint had foreseen,Gardaconsideredhimtohave provedhiscase. Cabrera, however, sidedwithBiassou,whoadvocated attackinghisrivalinhis strongholdatLa Marmelade. Meanwhile, Jeanrealizing the disastrous consequences thatwouldensueifToussaint left the serviceofSpain, attempted to bring about a reconciliation betweenhimandBiassou.Hewrotetopropose a meeting,butToussaint refused. General Cabrera, franticatthethoughtofToussaint's possible defection, thoughthewouldmake sureofhimbyimprisoning his nephew Moise,whowasatSaint Raphael, recoveringfromawoundreceivedinthe fightingatFort Dauphin. Making oneofthe worst moves he could have made, Cabrera also' set a military guardroundthe house whereMmeLouvertureandher children residedinSaint Raphael, thus convertingtheminto hostages.Notallthe bloodinSpain woQld sufficetoappease the bitter ness this futile violence raisedinToussaint's bosom.Thepunish ment wastobe merciless;andifGeneral Cabrera escaped,itwas onlytotremble andgrowpale for the restofhis life attherecol lectionofthe fury which Toussaint was soon to unleashinhis lust for revenge. For the moment, however,itwas necessarytoset free the hostageswhomhe loved so dearly. Toussaint protested to Garda, and,withoutrevealing the rage which filledhisheart, merely underlinedhowgreatly disturoedhewasatthis action.TheGovernor,whostill hoped to retain Toussaint's servicesanddidnotbelieve thatallthe faultswereonhisside-particularlyafter receiving the detailed letter and the renewalofToussaint'soathofallegiance ordered General Cabreratorelease Moise,MmeLouverture, andherchildren. Grudgingly, Cabrera obeyed the order.Hethen instructed / Toussainttoresume the campaign andtocaptureCapAndthemanwhomCabrerahadirreparably harmed thankedhimeffusively forthis'justandgenerousgesture towardshisfamily'.Herequested arms, munitionsandextrapayfor his troops, and setoutoncemoreforthefighting line. EchoesofToussaint's resentment against the Spaniardsandofdisagreementswithhis colleaguesandthe French royalists,had" reached the earsofthe acting Governor-General, Laveaux,whonowaddressed himselftoToussaint.Thelatter, anxioustoleave openanydoorwhichhemightsubsequently havetouseinoneI


TOUSSAINTBREAKSWITHSPAIN67wayoranother, didnotflatly reject Laveaux's proposals.Forthemomentheevaded the Frenchman's invitation,butcouchedhisrefusalinterms whichwerehopeful for the future. Laveaux returnedtothe charge oncemoreinMarch1794,sendingasenvoy Chevalier,whocommanded the regionofTerre Neuve.Hewas instructedtoemphasize the fact that Francehadsolemnly decreed the abolitionofslavery throughoutherterritories, andhadspecifically confirmed Sonthonax's great initiativeinSaint Domingue.Inaddition, Chevalier,withgreat adroitness, pointedoutthatinthe serviceofthe Republic Toussaint woJJld enjoy a privileged positionas'thefirst generalofhisrace'. Toussaint's conversationswithChevalier lasted for a week. After carefully considering the French proposals, he finally sentwordtoLaveaux,onApril6, 1794,thathewouldputhis swordatthe serviceofthe Republic,butthat thehourofdoing so wastobeofhisownchoosing.Whatprecisely was Laveaux's situationwhenhe wasunexpectedly succouredbyToussaintThecolonial treasury was completely bare; everyportwas blockadedbythe combined naval forcesofEngland and Spain; every daybroughtfresh clashes between the 'little' whites and the great landowners. Spanish pressureinthenorthandinthe Artibonite was increasing daily; and in the south and west British forces were driving the Republicans backonevery front.Underconstant fire, continually harriedbythe English and the Spaniards, the French army, ragged, barefoot, starving, continued fighting. Even its enemies, headedbyToussaint, were movedbyits displayofheroism. Franceherself,tombyinternal strife and invadedbyforeign armies, didnothear the moving appealofhersplendid colonial troops.Andevenifshe had, she couldnothave gonetotheir aid, forhernavy was amemoryofthe past,andEngland wasnowthe undisputed mistressofthe Atlantic. Toussaintnowtookallthe steps necessarytobreakoffhisdealingswithSpain, first conferringwithhischief lieutenantsi Dessa1ines, Moise, Charles Belair, Jacques Maurepas, Clerveaux, Desroupleaux, Dumesnil, Morisset,andBonaventure.Histroops were orderedtobe ready for any eventuality.Butbefore bidding farewelltothe Spaniardshemeanttogivethemsomethingbywhichtorememberhim.OnSunday,May6,1794,an early spring sun shonedownonthe


-68BLACKLIBERATORlittle townofSaint Raphael, with its rowsofneat, cleanhousesgrouped round the church. Thefaithfulwere wending their way toMass:beautiful Spanishladies,wearing mantillas and richly embroideredshawls,elegant and haughty Spanish landowners, and French royalists, nonchalant and a littlewistful.The churchwaspacked. Cabrera, resplendent in the uniformofa Captain-General,satin the choir, surrounded byhisstaff.Suddenly therewasa soundoftrumpets:Toussaint had arrived at the headofa hundred dragoons, who took up battle positions in thePlaced' Armes opposite the church. Toussaint dismounted and with ceremonious dignity,hisslight form flanked by JacquesDessalinesand Moise, entered the churchand.took his place just beneath the altar-rail. General Cabrerawassurprised atthisunexpectedarrival.Tous saint, however,greetedhimwith a respectful inclinationofthe head. Theservicebegan.Massover, General Cabrera went up to Toussaint with a friendly greeting.Sidebysidethe two men walked down the lengthofthe church, while an almost imper ceptiblesmileplayed about the Negro General'slips.At the topofthestepsoutside they paused to exchange mutual congratulations. The crowdwasslowly dispersing, when ashrillwhistle soundedacrossthe square, followed immediately by pandemonium, mus ket shots, and theclashofswords.Ina single moment Toussaint had leaped tohishorse and the slaughterofthe Spaniardsbegan-soldiers andciviliansalikeled by Morisset,DessalinesandMoise.Cabrera appeared to vanish intothinair.A few groupsofSpaniardstried to stand and fight: they were mown down likegrass.At the uproar and clamourofthe slaughter fresh troopscamefrom the neighbouringmilitaryposts to succour the victims. They, too, were hewn down by Toussaint andhisdragoons.Screams,moans, andcursesfilled the bloodstained city, while the man who had wrought all the carnage caught uphisfamily and galloped away toLaMarmelade, leaving Saint Raphael stunned. By noon Toussaint had reachedLaMa.rm.elade.He at once sentMoiseagainst Grande Riviere, where Jeanwasestablished dispatched Colonels Gabart and Papaul toseizeand occupyPlaisance,whilehehimself, accompanied by Vemet,Dessalines,and Clairveaux,setout to attackBiassou,whose headquarters were at Ennery. Taken unawares,Biassoucould onlyfleeonce more.Inhisreport to Laveaux on the day's events Toussaint omerved with a touchofhumour thatBiassouowedhislife


TOUSSAINTBREAKSWITHSPAIN69'tohis&miliaritywithallthe copses andthicketsofthe...,VlClDlty. .Thesame day he swooped down on Gonaives, which he captured 'sword in hand'. Duringthisaction hewasWOtDldedin the right hip, but tDldeterredhecontinued his pursuitofthe SpaniardstDltilhe finally defeatedthemonthebanboftheArtibonite at the Pont de rEster. Meanwhile, Toussaint's lieutenants were equallysuccessfUl.Byattacking it in the rear they put Garcia's army to Bight outside Capandusedthe same tactics at Port dePm.Thesiegeofthese two towns was thus automatically raised. The officers commanding at Gros Morne, Limbe, the northern plain, and Borgne,allplaced themselves at Toussaint's disposal. JeanhadbeendrivenoutofGrande Riviere by Moise, andhadthen evacuated Limonade and Quarrier Morin, without evenattempongresIStance.. Laveaux, receiving a newleaseoflifeasthe resultofthesesuccesses,dispatched Desfoumeaux, Villatte, Pierre Michel, and Uveille to recapture Fort Dauphin and Port Margot. They were repulsed. Toussaint promptly sped thither and took both strong holds. Athissudden appearance before them the SpaniardsBtDlgdown their arms andBed,knowing in advance that they were lost. At Dondon, Cabrera inflicted a defeat on Moise, but, tDlwearymg, Toussaint appeared outside the town and took it by storm. Having pursuedtheSpaniardsasfarasthe frontier, he retorned to Gonaives and wrote to Laveaux on May18,informinghimthat hewasnowat the ordersofFrance. The letterisa documentofconsiderable historical value, and deserves to be reproducedinpart: 'Youwillrecollect that before the disasterofCapI made certain overtures to you in the sole hope that we would be able tojoinforces to fight agairist the enemiesofFrance. Unfortunately for everyone concerned, the conciliatory means which I proposed recognitionoftheNegroes' freedom was rejected. It was atthisjtDleture that the Spaniards offered metheirprotection and freedom forallwho would fightinthe serviceoftheir King. ...I accepted their offers, finding myself abandoned bymyrightful brothers, the French. I have seen the Decreeofthe National Convention, dated February 4,1794.declaring the abolitionofslavery:thisismost comforting news forallfriendsofthe human race. Letusthereforejointogether once and forall,and forget the past.Letwoccupy ourselvesSolelywiththe


70BLACKLIBERATORdefeatingofourenemiesandwithavenging ourselves,inparti cular,onourperfidious Spanish neighbours.' Toussaint pursued the Spaniards relentlessly, givingthemnotime to re-form their forces,andhisreportstoLaveaux toldofa seriesofdazzling victories.GarciaandCabrera realizedonlytoowellhowmuchToussainthadmeanttothem,andthathisdefection was a mortalblowtoSpanish hopesinSaint Domingue. All the blood ;md goldofSpain lavishedonthispartofthe island hadnowbeen pouredoutinvain. Towards theendofJuneJeanappearedtoreawakefromhis stupor, renewing his offensivewithconsiderable vigour.Butonevery front he wasmetwiththemartialspirit which Toussaint had infusedintothe Republican army.Hewasdefeated wherever he fought,andthere was a mass desertionofNegroesfromthe Spanish army, which melted likewaxinthe sunlight before the irresistible Toussaint.BytheendofJulythe Spanish / soldiers had all beenthrownbackintoSpanish territory, while some, like JeanFranc;:ois,tookrefugeinthe heights above Cibao. This brilliant campaign, which lasted three months, filled Laveaux and the French military expertswithdelight.Wherethey had failed a former slave, an uneducatedman,hadsucceeded magnificently,andhad succeeded, moreover,inre-establishing order wherever hewent.Those landownerswhosupported the Republic, filledwithadmiration for their saviour, flocked backtotheir estates.Hopewas beingbornagainintheheartsofmenthroughoutthe devastated plantations.TheFrenchmenwerecurioustomeetthisamazingNegrowhohadbroughtthemvictory.ItwasatDondononJuly27thatLaveaux firstmetToussaint.Theysaw a short blackmanoffiftyone years, almost asceticinappearance,withanalert, mobile face. Exquisite taste was tobeseeninevery aspectofhis personandbearing.Nodecoration adornedthewhite silk coat which, openatthe neck, revealed the lace cambricofhis shirt.Heappeared before themwiththe bearingofamanwithoutpretensions,butthey recognizedinhimabornruler, likelytoachieve great.Laveaux's eyes were filledwithtearsofgratitudeashe em1)raced Toussaintinthe nameoftheRepublic;andhemadehima solenmvowthat Francewouldnever forget the servicewhichToussaint had rendered her.Asamarkofhisgratitude, the French commander removed the scarlet grenadier's plume whichheworeinhis hat, and placeditonToussaint's. Resting against four white


ITOUSSAINTBREAKSWITHSPAIN71feathers the scarlet plume made a brave show; anditwaswearingthisthat Toussaintwastoenter history. Toussaintthenpresented his famous lieutenantstothe French general; Moise, commanding the regionofGrande RiviereduNordandDondon;Dessalines, commanding Saint Michel del'Attalaye and Petite Riviere del'Artibonite; Dumesnil, the commanderofPlaisance; Jacques Maurepas, commanding GrosMorneandBassin Bleu; Christophe Mornay, Desrouleaux, Vernet, Clairveaux, CharlesBelair,and Bonaventure,allcommanding various parishes; Morisset, the ColoneloftheArcibonite dragoons;andhistwowhite aides-de-camp, Birotte and Dubuisson. Thesemenwere the nucleusofthe terrible teamwithwhich theNegroofBreda wastochange the destinyofthe slavesofSaint Domingue.-


-10THECAPTUREOFMIREBALAISURINGthe last few weeksof1794the English under Major Brisbane renewed their offensive and crossedtheArtibonite. Verrettes, capturedbyToussaintatthe.endofNovember, changed handsmorethanonce before finally remaining in his hands. .TheNegro general, deciding that its topographical situation madeituseless, had the grandiose ideaofbuilding another city.Hetold Laveaux that his ambition was'tobuild something whichwillprove advantageousinwar, and simultaneously afford proper protection for the advancementofagriculture'.ToToussaintJIconquest didnotmean only driving the Englishfromthe soilof. the colony;itmeant also creating ordered life and prosperity. Between thetwobattles, he hastenedtothe banksofthe Arti bonite to stopupa breach madebythe English,whohadbeenhoping to flood the plain and destroy the crops.Heuseda thou sandmentocutdowntrees and transport stonestothe breach.Inwar,asin peace,itwas characteristicofToussainttoattendtothe detailsofanyimportantoperation evenwhenhehimselfwasnottaking part in it. Brisbane's offensive came at a crucialmomentfor the defendersofthe colony. Treachery was rife everywhere, and more andmoreofthe landowners were going overtothe sideofthe invaders. France's foothold in Saint Dominguewouldindeed have been lost haditnotbeen for Toussaint. For five whole monthshefought against the Englishonthe Mirebalais plain. Again and again the various strategic positionsofthe zone changed hands, .butonAugust2,wornoutafter somuchbloodshed, the English abandoned Mirebalais, Lascahobas, Grands Bois,Troud'Eau, and the whole surrounding region. This brilliant success wasnotduetoToussaint's military skill alone;itwas also the resultdfhis diplomacy.Oneofhis basic principles was to attempt,inthe first place,toachieve victorybypersuasion and negotiation.Weget ahintofthetruesecretofhisvictoryatMirebalaisina report. he senttoLaveaux,whowas curioustoknowhowToussaint had managedtoachieve such a success over the powerful resourcesofthe English army.Witha72


THBCAPTUllBOFMIllBBAlAIS73touchofpride Toussaint answered Laveaux: 'Satisfyingyourdesiretoknowwhatcircumstances have ledtothereintegrationofthe vastandbeautiful regionofMirebalais intotheRepublic, I mustinformyouthat forthepastthreemonths I havebeenconducting secret negoti'ltionswithpersonsinthat region.'Bymeansofbribery, threats, and promises Toussainthadworkedtosuchgoodeffectonthe landownerswhohadthrownintheirlotwiththe British that he succeededincreating a strong anti-British feeling throughout the area. Repeatedly hehadreturnedtothe themeofFrench patriotism., andbydaily proofsofhisownpowerhehadmanagedtoconvince the French renegades that, despite the mightofBritain, France and herarmywould have the last word.Theretreating enemy made one last attempttostandatLascahobas,butToussaint swe tinandI ed e whole r'onallremainin ElisenandS. ds.TheoccupationofMirebalaisputanendtothe military campaigninthissector; among the prisonersweresixteen senior English and Spanish officers .. Mirebalais,withits waterfalls, gardens and orchards,throughwhichthe Artibonitewoundits way, glisteninglikea silver serpent, provided a leasant halting-placeinToussaint's career. Here heestablished'Ifina huge mahogany building, the residence usually occupiedbythe leading officialofthe region, andhishousewasthemeeting-place for the high societyofthetown. Toussaint amazed the landownersbyhisbearing and good manners, for hewasnotinthe least disconcertedbyhisnewcircumstances.Onthe contrary, he accepted a lifeofcomfort and authorityasifhehadbeenborntocommand, and hewasalways the centreofthe meetings held athisresidence,atwhicha formerfreedwomanmightbeseen rubbing shoulderswitha Marquiseoftheancienregime,and ayoungNegrowhohad yesterdaybeena slavewouldconverseasan equalwitha white officer..TheconquestofMirebalis created a great impression throughoutthe colony, and even the mulatto generals,AndreRigaudand Jacques Beauvais,whowere puttingupa stout resistancetotheinvadingarmyinthe south and west,wereobligedtoadmit the meritsofToussaint. Encouragedbythe 'generosity and the spiritofjustice which distinguished theNegroleader, the landowners returnedtoMirebalaisbythescore; the Negro labourers,whohadbeen


74BLACKLIBERATOR.idling about, were obligedtoreturntotheplantationstowhichthey were attached,butwerenowpaid aproperwage. Three hundred great landownerswhohadtaken refugewiththeSpaniards swore, before Toussaint, anoathofallegiancetotheRepublic, and those whose propertieswereinthenorthweregranted passportstoreturnandresume their peacetime activities.Contrarytothe revolutionary decrees confiscating allthepropertyofthe SaintDominguenobles, Toussaint restored their estatestoa largenumberoflandowners;such a bold action was typicalof,his attitudeofindependence,andforeshadowed his subsequent supremacy.Hehadnowtaken a stepwhichshowed clearlythathe hadnointentionofsaddlinghimselfwiththe lawsoftheRepubliciftheywerecontrarytothe Colony's interests,tothecauseofjustice,ortohisownpersonal outlook.Buthealways' soughttoobtain the consentofthe French authoritiestoanyactions which set aside the emctsfromParis.Hegave the impres sion thathecarefully observed the principles embodiedintherevolutionary code: this he didtoenablehimselftocounterthemwithgreater ease, for he consideredthemoftentodisregard the order and happinessofthe colony.Inviewofthe fact that Laveaux was virtually dependentonthe Negro leader,itisobviousthatanydesirewhichToussaint caredtoexpress was little shortofacommand;andLaveaux fully realized thatwhenToussaint asked for instructionsitwas purely a poseofdeference.TheFrench Governor must certainly have been displeasedatToussaint's actioninrestoring their propertytothelandownersofMircbalais, for Laveaux, a Republicantothe bone, was a zealous advocateofall revolutionary laws and prohibitions;inthe circumstances, however, there was nothing he coulddoabout it.Atthispointitmaybe desirabletoconsidermoralattitude towards the landowners.Fromtheveryoutsetofhis career he had realizedthatthelandowners, despite their cruel excesses, did provide SaintDominguewitha measureofpros perity and civilization.Whatwas needed, he felt, wastorestrictandcontrol their power, andtomake the exerciseofitmoderateandequitable.Itwas thereforeoneofT.,entalthat the landowners shouldbeencouragedtoremaininthe Colony,asthiswouldbe alltotheadvantageofthe city whichhedreamedoffounding. Furthermore; he believedthatthe massofNegroes could derive nothingbutprofitfromcominginto


-THECAPTUREOFMIREBALAIS75contactwiththe landowners.Hefelt that the bestwayofimprovingthe statusofhis racewasfor the Negroestomixwith\ Europeans,andtostudyhowthey set about theirwork,andevwhatlawsofconducttheyobeyed, provided everything wason\ the basis ofliberty and fairness.Itwasthis outlook, then, which led )himknowinglytoviolate the decreesofthe National Conventionwhenhere-established the French landownersonthe estateswhichhehad liberatedbythe sword.OnceMirebalais hadbeenreconquered Toussaint's principalpreoccupation wastodrive the EnglishoutofArchahaie.Thishad become an obsessionwithhim,foritwasvital thatheshould have aportinthiszonetoprovideanoutlet for the rich and fertile valley.Theproduceofthe zone sugar, coffee, cocoa, cotton, and indigo--could readily be soldtoneutrals, despite the English blockade;andtheportofArcahaie,withits countless hidden bays and coves, was ideal for the dispatchofsecret expeditions. Furthermore, the Colonywassorely in needofmoney andrawmaterials, and tradewastherefore essentialifresistance against the invader wastobe maintained. Toussaint foundthathehadsuddenlytobreakoffhissojourninMirebalaisandride northwardsasfastashe could,asthe Spaniards, supporting the English, had attacked again.Settingoutfromthe frontieronAugust14, 1795,JeanandBiassou,atthe headoffour thousandmen,hadhurled themselvesonFort Dauphin,nowFort Liberte. Moise Louverture,commanding atDondon,wasinfull retreat, hotly pursuedbythe enemy. Scarcely had Toussaint reachedLaMarmelade, where he reorganized his forces,whenhe heard the gunfirefromSaint Michel. Here he found that Moise, havingrunoutofammunition, was loading his gunswithstones.ThepresenceofToussaint hadanel..g effectonthe army, which hepromptlyre-formed, and then proceededtorecapture Saint MichelandDondon,personally leading the pursuitofJeanand the fleeing SpaniardsasfarasPiton des Roches.Thisresurgenceofthe Spaniards wastobe their last serious action against the north. Spain,inEuropeasinSaint Domingue,wastiredofthe coalition andofthe rebuffi shewassuffering; and the Treaty ofBasl& (the firsttobe signedbya European monarchyandflie Revolutionary Government)wassoontorelieve theColonyofSpanish raids, for,inaccordancewithArticle9ofthe Treaty,SpaincededtoFranceallher claimstoterritoryinthe..easternhalfofthe island.,


76BLACKLIBERATORInJanuary1796JeansailedawayfromSaintDomingueandretired to Cadiz, where Spain, grateful forhisloyal service, conferredmanyhonoursanddignitiesonhim,accordinghimtherankoflieutenant-general. SubsequentlyhewenttoOran,where he diedasGovernorinthe year1820.Biassouisreportedtohave endedhiscareerinFlorida, wherehedied averywealthyman.BoththesemenhadbeenovercomebyTowsaintLouverture,towhomtheynowresigned the stageofSaintDomingue.Manya time,intheir exile,theymusthave rememberedthemonthofSeptember1791,whentheywerejoinedat Gallifetbya weakly, silent, mysterious-looking little man.Andnodoubttheysecretly admired thismanoftheirownracewhomtheyhadatfirst./treatedwithsuch condescension.Theself-effacing physicianof//the King's armies, the sometime secretaryofBiassou, wasnowthemightyToussaint Louverture, whose shadow lay acrossthewhole Colony. Toussaint was soontodiscoverthatBritish tenacityofpurposeisnoidle concept.HebelievedthatMirebalaiswasfinallycon-.quered for the Republic andproofagainst any further EnglishTattacks.Herehewas grievously mistaken.Duringthe last daysof.V'August,whenToussaint was preparingtoorderalare;assaultonthe English linesinthe Artibonite sector, hedthat'f (Y\the Englishhadreturnedinforceto. eb .dorWilliamsonqvhadraised theUnionJackoverthe city once1D.ore,andMajorForbes had regained Lascahobas andTroud'Eau.Hasteningtothe. invaded region, Toussaint foundthatthe British offensivewasnotlimitedtothe Mirebalais area,buthadspread north-westandsouthwardsinthe directionofVerettesandGonaives.Itwas onlybymeansofdaily prodigiesofcourage andmgenuitythatToussaint was abletopreservehislines intact. Laveauxinthenorth-west,andAndreRigaudandJacques Beauvaisintll,esouthand west, alsowroughtmiracleswithequal heroism,thoughToussainthadtowithstand themainweightofthe English army_TheRepublican soldiers, unpaid,inrags, barefoot, oftenhadtofight unarmed. France,stilloccupiedwithherowntragedy, could dispatchnohelptohercolony,nowreeling beforetheBritish onslaught. /Oncemoreitwas Toussaintwhosaved the situation,routing.theEnglish after a battleinwhichhisforesightandferocity clearly showedthemthattheyhadtodealwitha masteroftheartofwar.Itwaswithahappypena happiness chargedwith


/THECAPTUREOFMIREBALAIS77irony at theexpenseofhisToussaint sent Laveaux an accountofthisnew victory.Hisdescriptionofthevicissitudesofthebattle, and thetersenessand spontaneityofthestyle, have thefreshnessofa pageofthe C.. Toussaint's stylewascertainlyhisown, forhis-secretaries were obliged to rewriteasoftenasten times a letter or memorandum,ifthephrasing did not givefullexpression to theessenceand the rhythmofhisthought. Itisdifficult for the modern reader to appreciate howamazedthe whitesofSaint Domingue were at Toussaint's intelligence and ability, for in thosedaysNegroes were held to be incapableofany serious mental exertion. Toussaint's own talents were still the subjectofviolent arguments. Manyofthe landowners and mulattoes still regardedhimaslittle betterthanBiassouagangleader who hadsofarbeenlucky. Yetthiswasthe man whowasinflicting crushingdefeatson theEnglishtroops, commanded byableregular soldiers. Laveaux knew that Toussaint's abilities were markedly superior to thoseofanyofthe mulatto leaders, and when the Directory, in____appreciationofthe heroicresistanceshown by the native com manders, sent Laveauxofficialcredentials granting therankofbrigadier-general to AndreRigaud,Jacques Beauvais, Villatte, and Toussaint Louverture, Laveaux instructed Toussaint to con vey their commissions tohiscolleagues. The mulatto generals were disgusted; they interpreteditasa studied insult intended to draw attention to the greater regard entertained for Toussaint by the Frenchman. Their resentment towards the Governor-General increased noticeably, and the incident merely served to accentuate the strained relations between themselves and Laveaux, a situation whichwasbound to end in open conflict. Meantime Toussaint devotedallhisspare time and energy to the economic reconstructionofthe regions hewascontrolling and defending. Hewasparticularly interested in..-thepositionofthe newlyfreedslaves,insisting on the one hand that they must work, and on the other that they must receivefair.wages. Many philanthropistsofhistime complained that Tous saint's strict regulations were merely establishing another formofslavery. Such criticismwasquite irrational, forittook"noacc01mtofthe psychologyofa formerslave.Toussaint's love for those who had known slavery urgedhimto promotetheirmoral and material welfare. Unguided,thenewfreedmen ofSaintDomin-


78BLACKLIBERATORgue confused their righttofreedomwiththeconceptionofhavingtodonowork;Toussaint soughttoimprovethestatusofhis fellow Negroesbymakingthemworkinreturnforfair payment.TheEnglish hadbynomeansup hopeofrecoveringtheground they had lost,andToussaintwasworriedbythefact that France wasnotsending theColonyanyreinforcements;heknewthathecouldnotholdoutindefinitely.Hisbrilliant victorieswerenever decisive, neverfinal;lackofsuppliesmightonedayforcehimtoretreat.Thecritical military situationofthe French was, moreover, aggravatedbyinternal dissent, rivalries, prejudicesandpersonal ambitions, and, haditnotbeen fortherigid will-powerofToussaint, binding everything into auniformwhole, the colonial machinewouldhave disintegrated completely.Hecontrolled and watched over the Colony's entirewareffort and government: he wasbothits heart and its head. Towards theendofFebruarywefind ToussaintatMirebalais, inspecting the French lines.TheEnglish were preparingtolaunch an offensiveinthis zone, and hopedtoputanendtoFrench resistance once and for all. Despite theTreatyofBasle, the Spaniards were actively helping the British behind the scenesandgrantingthemall the facilities they required. Spanish aiddidmuchtoencourage the Englishintheir attempttobringSaintDomingueintothe British Empire.Eversince the first Mirebalais campaign Toussaint had been anxious toputinto effect the clausesofthe Treaty dealingwiththe easternhalfofthe country,andtoincorporate BanicaandLascahobasintotheregionofMirebalais. Gently,butfirmly, however, Laveaux had refusedtogive his consent.Now,there fore,inviewofthe evident duplicityofthe Spaniards, Toussaint reminded Laveauxofhis refusal: 'If,'hewrote,'youhad permittedmetoseize thesetwoplaces the Spaniardswouldnothavebeenable to grant so many facilitiestothe English.Theharmisdonenow,andwemust take the consequences.'Manyofthe bold measures which Toussaint was latertoputIinto effect are to be seeninthe standpointheadoptedatthe veryIoutsetothis career, for oneofhisoutstanding characteristics was continuityofpurpose.Oncehe had decidedthata thing wasrightandjusthe never relinquishedit;and fiveyeuslater he was to sweep aside every obstacle which stoodinhiswayandputinto effect every clauseofthe TreatyofBasle.


IITHEMULATTORISINGHEsuccessofToussaint and his fellow officers was parti-cularly irritatingtothe mulatto leaders. They, realizing that powerWasrapidly. slipping .from the hands?fthewhite)landowners, were detemuned that It shouldnotfallmtothoseofithe Negroes.Thestruggle between the triumvirateofmulattoes"-Villattein thenorth,Pierre Pinchinatinthe west, and Andre /Rigaudinthesouth-andtheNegro,Toussaint, wastobeasrelentlessasitwas long, andoneofHaiti's greatest misfortunes. After Toussainthadjoinedforceswiththe French the previous year, Laveaux's attitudehadbeenstrongly resentedbythemulattoes ledbyvillatte andhewas havingmoreandmoredifficultywiththem.Theformer freedmennolongerattemptedtoconceal their hostilitytothe Governor, while he,onhis part, inclined moreandmore towards Toussaint, untilhecame publiclytoregardhimashis second-in-command. Toussaint realized the storm was coming.Heknewwhatwas goingonineverypartofthe Colony, and was fully informed aboutallthe meetings that were heldinprivate houses,inthe camps, andinthe fields. Althoughhewouldoccasionally issue unctuous appeals for unity,hewas secretly delightedatthis stateofaffairs;hewould reap the harvest. Those mulattoeswhodidthrowintheirlotwithToussaint could feel nothingbutsatisfactionathis senseofjusticeandhis attitude towards them: Andre Vernet, Juste Chanlatte, Dupuy,/\ JulienRaymond,Morisset,Mars Plaisir, and othersallbore witness _'C,c.tothis.Ifa whitemanora mulatto wantedtogetonwellwithIJ.Toussaint,allhehadtodowastoacknowledge the Negro's"',ability. Toussaint wasnotsusceptibletothemorevulgarformsof'" Battery,buthelikedhis talentstoberecognized, andinthisrespect the great landowners never failedtopleasehim.Theycalledhim,withrespectful familiarity, 'Papa Toussaint,'thus subtly drawing his attentiontothe protectiontheyknewthey could expectfromhim.Theresultofallthiswas that the landowners formedToussaint's most intimate circleoffriends, a fact whichsome exasperated grumblingamongsomeofhis officers. ,The principal interestofthe landowners wastoencourage the79


80llLACKLIBERATORdiscord latent between the Negroes and the mulattoes, and theywentoutoftheirwaytotell Toussaintofthe slighting references which (they claimed) the mulattoeswere,circulating abouthim.Although he fully realized that the landowners were grinding theirownaxes, he knew, too, that therewasmorethana grainoftruthintheir tales, which were borneoutbythewaysomeofthe mulatto leaders behaved towardshim .Behindallsuccessful political careers there aretobe foundnotonly the particular qualitiesofan individual,buta seriesoffavour able events and circumstances adroitly exploitedatthe right moment. Such a situation aroseinthe lifeofToussaintonVentose20,1796.Onthat date a special messenger arrivedfromCapbearing the news that Laveauxhadbeen ignominiously assaultedbythe mulattoes, hustledfromhis palace, dragged barefoot through the city, ahd cast into prison.HenriPerroud, the financial controller, had also been imprisoned,withDeBrothier, the engineer-in-ehief, and Laveaux'stwoaides-deand Noel.Withoutlossoftime, Toussaint sent instructions to Dessalines at Saint Michel del'Attalaye,toMoise Louverture at Dondon, andtoCharles Belair at Plaisance, orderingthemtoadvanceatonceonCapEntrusting the defenceofGonaivestoClerveaux, Toussaint then setouthimselfatthe headofthree hundred horsemen.Hereached Capat midnight and immediately presented Villattewithan ultimatum: 'Toussaint Louverture informs General Villatte and his followers that unless, within the spaceoftwohours General Laveaux and his civil officers are set free hewillhimself come and setthemfreebyforce.' Toussaint's lightning appearanceonthe sceneofaction threw the rebels into confusion, and theynowrealized the probable consequencesoftheir foolishness. Laveaux's partisans, commandedbyJean Pierre Leveille,tookpossessionofthe arsenal, and groupsofNegroes crowded into the streetswiththecryof'Yield to thelaw!'Villatte, lacking courage to face thenewsituation, fledwithsix hundredofhissupporters during the nightofGerminalI,and established himselfinFort Lamartheliere at Caracol, where he began toputup a somewhat belated showofheroism. 'Atfive o'clockinthe afternoonofGerminal2the membersofthe municipal council,whohad so recently displaced the Governor-General, went to the prison and set Laveaux and his--


THBMULATTORISING81It2ffree,amidheartyapplause fromthearmy andthepeople. Laveaux wasconductedingreatstatetotheTown Hall,wherehe gaveproofofa generous spirit by announcing 'that he would refrain fromand p..theguilty,with the sole exceptionofVillatte ..that Villatte would continue fighting to the bitter end, Laveaux set out at once with two regiments, and onMarch26occupied Petite Anse,soas'tobenearerhisadversary.OnMarch28Toussaint entered Capand then joined Laveaux at PetiteAnse.He was accom panied by an escortofone thousandinfantryand eight hundred horse. Villattehadpreviously informed Toussaint in a letter that the rising was a spontaneous rebellionofthe sovereign people against the Governor, and that he (Villatte) had nothing to do with it; and Toussaint, by arrangement with Laveaux; now replied, suggesting that he should come at once and provehisinnocence.Notunnaturally, Villatte did not fallinwiththisproposal, but declaredhimselfwilling to meet Toussaint on the plain outside Caracol todiscussthe matter. Toussaint, intum,wascareful not to accept the invitation, for hewaswell aware that the mulattoes would unhesitatinglyseizehimifthere were the least prospectofbeing ridofhim.He was even more inclined to mistrust Villatte,asinvestigations into the recent plot had shown that a simultaneous attack onhimhadbeenplanned originally. Itwasclearly meant tobea large-scaleaffair,forPinchinatwhose presence invariably foretold a mulattorising-hadvisited Villatte at Captwodaysbefore the trouble started.Nowthattheconspirators .were at bay they sought tostirup the people, in an attempt toescapetheir fate. They managed to make someofthe Negroes believe that LaveauxandPerrondhadsent for shiploadsofchains,and that thearsenalwas now stored with these symbolsofslavery. Skilfully led on, the mob rushed with its wontedfuryto the residenceofthe Governor, who, with Toussaint, had remained at CapAsthecryof'Death to Laveaux!' grew fiercer and fiercer, Toussaint appearedinthemidstofthe mob, urging the Negroes not to believe the rumours; and, to prove thattheiraccusations werefalsehe tookthemtothearsenal,and had the doorsflungopen. When the crowd saw that there were nochainsthere they streamedbacktotheGover nor's house shouting:live Laveaux!' The same day Toussaint summoned the Negroes totheofficialp ound, and, standingbesideLaveaux beneath the tri-p


/82BLACKLIBERATORItellyou.InthisColonytherearemoreNegroesthantherearewhitemenandmulattoesputtogether:andifthereisanyfurthertrouble,theFrenchRepublicwillsupportus, sincewearethestrongest party.Asyourcommander,Iamresponsibleforthemaintenanceoflawandorder.'Inthiswayherevealed his guiding principle:therightofthe majoritytoruleintheisland-amajorityofwhichheconsideredhimselftheincarnation. Cleverly, too, Toussainttooktheoppor-tunityofemphasizingtheNegrosupremacy.Lawandordernowreignedthroughoutthenorth.Villatte wanderedfromplacetoplaceinthedesert regionofCaracol,notJhavingthe couragetoemerge.Onebyonehis followers lefthimandthrewthemselvesonToussaint'smercy;Toussaint, chivalrousinl-.ishourofvictory, treatedthemwithindulgence.Hedidnotevenattempttohuntdownthe rebel leader, preferringtolethimwaste away, consumedbyhisownbitternessatthefollyofaplotwhichhadmerelybroughthimshameandremorse. Laveaux wasata losstorewardToussaintforhis timelyintervention;his gratitudebroughthimtotearswhenhegreetedhimatPetite Anse.OnAprilI,1796,hesummoneda special meeting, and, standing beforethenational tribunal, solemnly installed Toussaint as his lieutenantinthegovernmentoftheColony.ToussainthadmodestlytakenrefugebehindLaveaux,who,turn-inground,pushedhimtothefront, declaringtotheassembly;I'Hereyoubeholdthesaviouroftheofficially constitutedauthori-Ities,thee .who,astheAbbeRaynalforetold, hascometoavengethewrongsdonetohis race.FromthisdayforthI shalldonothingwithouthim,andmylabourswillbehis.'WiththesewordsLaveaux had,ineffect,handedoverhispowertoToussaint.If,inthewhirlofemotionswhichmusthave filledhimatthemomentofachieving his desire, Toussaintrememberedthedistanttimewhen,frailandmelancholy,heusedtosellgardenproducewithPaulineinthis same citywhichnowwitnessed histriumph;ifherecalledthatterrible eveningwhenMacandal wasburnedtodeath;andhowlaterhehadswallowed his shameandbegged the Colonial Assemblytograntfreedomtothreehundredslaves;ifall these things came backtohiminthishouroftriumph,.thensurely his heartmusthavebeenfilledwithprideandjoy.But,impassiveanddistantasever, Toussaint appearedtoregard


THEMULATTORISING.83his own glorification with com lete detachment.Nota traceofelationdisturbedthe slow, y studied rhythmofhiswords and gestures. Four yearsofbattles,ofvigils, hidden fears, and political andmilitaryanxieties hadallhelped to agehim.Hewasnowfiftythree years old, and hishairwasgreying at the temples.Onthe rare occasions when he dropped the maskofimpassivity hisfaceassumed an imperious expression.Twodeep furrows cut down hisfacefrom his burning eyes, defining the delicate jaw-line and thethin,strong lips.Whywas Toussaint the only sombre person in his houroftriumphlHe was thinking it an empty victory, which would not help to changeorstabilize the future for his luckless brothers. Toussaint valued victory onlyasa spur to yet further heights. And while the plaudits, unheardbyhim,rose into theair,Tous saint Louverture renewed hisvowto make the Negro race free and honoured throughout the world. The following day he arranged for Laveaux to confer the rankofbrigadier-general on Colonels Pierre Michel, JeanPierre Leveille, and Pierrot. Healsomade a considerable increase in thesizeofhisarmy, drafting intoitmany Frenchofficerswho were to give trainingtohis lieutenants; andinviewofthe new"cam paign he was planning against the English he created five new regiments threeinfantryand two cavalry. For his bodyguard he formed a corpsofa hundred dragoons commanded by amulatto officer, Morisset, who was famed both for his courage and his good looks. All the men who formedthiselite cavalry were,instature and strength, perfect specimensofthe Negro race. Sumptuously clad, and equipped with fine horses, they wore silver helmets adorned with scarlet plumes; and across the helmets Toussaint had a proud motto engraved:Qui pou"aen,,'eni,aboutl'Whoshall overcometheml'Itwas Toussaint's own conceptionofhimself.TherevoltofVentose30,ifoflittle significanceinitself,wasofthe first importance by reasonofthe stateofminditrevealedinthe relationsofmulattoes and Negroes at that time, and the con sequences that followed. It was the first serious conflictinSaint Domingue between an African branchofhumanity, relativelycivilized,and themassofthe Negro proletariat.Inthe nameofthe majority, and because


84BLACK LIBERATORitssuffering hadbeensogreat,thisproletariatclaimeditsshareinthespoilsofanaristocracy which both groupshadinoverthrowing by their independent efforts. Thefreedmen, who hadthemselvesinitiated the Revolution in Saint Domingue, foun .. they could not stop the inexorable developmentofthe movement. Having profited by the damage it had wrought, the mulattoes,likethe Girondins and other moderates inFrance,now wanted to halt it, collect their ill-gottengains,and take theplaceSofthevictimsthey had sweptaside.But itwastoo late: the machine had .beensetgoing and would destroy anyone who attempted to arrestItsmotlon.- --.


//MOTIVESANDAMBITIONST last Francewasable totumher attention to the dangers threatening Saint Domingue.In1']96the Directory sent./a Civil Commission to the Colony, headed by Sonthonax, and comprising julien Raymond, RoomedeSaint Laurent, Giraux, and Leblanc. Sonthonax and Polverelhadentirelyrefutedthechargesbroughtagainstthemby the ClubMassiac,andtheverdictoftherevolutionary tribunalhadbeena triumph fortheaccused'men.Sonthonaxhadbeengiven the presidencyofthe mission to Saint Domingue tohisrehabilitation. The Commissioners, accompanied by four regiments underthecom mandofComte Donatien Rochambeau, broughtasorely needed cargoofsupplieswiththem-threethousandrifles,ammunition, uniforms, artillery, and foodstuffi. When theyhadwith VillatteandhisaccomplicestheCommissioners,incollaboration with Laveaux and Toussaint,set /about driving outtheEnglish andquellingthe variousactionswithin the Colony. At the Negrogeneral'ssuggestion twelve new / demi-brigades were created, and by December1']96Toussaint was now theundisp.utedruleroftheArtibonite,thewest,andthenorth. Meanwhile,theDirectory's representativesconfirmed therank Laveauxhadconferred onhim,andhispromotionwas_indicated in aspecialdecree,whichalsoannounced thathistwo children wouldbeeducated in France at the expenseofthenation./With great pomp SonthonaxinstalledToussaintasLaveaux's lieutenant in themilitarygovernmentofSaint Domingue, and during the ceremony held' at Caphepaidhimthe'homage due to a dictator'. When Toussaint's enemiessawthathewasnow in commandofthe entiremilitarymachine theybegantobenervous about what would happen totheColony.Theyknewhewouldstopatnothing in the fulfilmentofhisambitions, whichwerenow becoming plain. Much agitated, theysentamessageto the Directory saying that 'too much powerhasbeengiventothisman'. But Toussainthimselfappeared tofeelno pride inhishighoffice.Hehadalwaysbeena modest man, and couldalsofeign modestyifnecessary.Surrounded byhisofficersglitteringinIS


86BLACK LIBERATORgold braid, the simplicityofhisappearancewasstriking. His unadorned uniform,hisvictories,andhisamnestiestopolitical opponentslater drewfromChateaubriand the line'Thewhite Napoleon, aping and killing the black'.* Sonthonax expressedhisadmiration for Toussaint's asceticisminthe following terms: 'All the Negroes compete for positionsofrank and authority soastohave plentyofrum, money, fine clothes, and women. Toussaintisthe only oneofthemwhohasan intelligent, rational ambition, andhasa love for real glory.'TheNegro generalnowhad .one objective:tobe leftinsole commandofthemilitaryforces.Hewanted even Laveauxtoleave the Colony Laveaux,whohadbeenthe principalinstrumentinhis ascenttopower.Thelongingfor supremespurred his ambition, for onlyifhe possesseditcould herealizehisdream.Hebelieved that hewasanexceptional being, aman.bornto fulfil an historic missioninaccordancewitha Divine!decree.JHedevoted the closing monthsof1796tounravelling the tangled threadsofthe colonial administration. After the ceremony at Caphe accompanied Sonthonax and JulienRaymondtoGonaives.Hewas anxioustoenrich the colonialtreasury,impoverished after three yearsofthe British blockade. First, he issued anumberofproclamations declaring the portsofSaint Domingue open againtoneutral shipping.Oneofthe proclama tions stated that merchantswhoboughtmanufactured articlesorrawmaterials from abroad must pay for such purchasesinkind,soastomaintainthe levelofcurrencyinthe Colony. Ships fromallover Europe, and a few flying the American flag, began trading againwithSaint Domingue,andgradually the financesofthe iColony began to recover ..JToussaint also introduced a systeIJloftaxpaymentsoncon fiscated property, the rents paid being adjustedtothe productivityofthe plantations.Inthe Artibonite and northern regions, the sugar-mills had resumed their former activity. SonthonaxandRaymondwere amazed at the discipline which reigned there, and were highly impressedbythe excellenceofthenewroads and the good conditionofthe old ones.Theclasseswhich had formerly exploited theirlessfortunate fellows werenowalmost resignedtothe victoriesofthe prole- *'Le Napoleon blanc imitantettuatltIeNapoleon noir.' Chateaubriand,Memoriesd'OutTe-Tombt .I


.."MOTIVESANDAMBITIONS87tariat.Whena great landowner, the Marquis decongratulated Toussaintonthe results he had obtained, he replied:'Iwould notwish,sir,to betakenfor an African"savage; Iamascapableaswhite men areofturning Saint Domingue's resources to good advantage. The Negroes' freedom can only be consolidated by meansofagriculturalprosperity.' Toussaintwasnowonthe thresholdofthe third phaseofhiscareer. He had already achievements tohiscreditinmany fields-political,economic, andsocial.Hewasa generalofthe French army, and virtuallyMilitaryGovernorofSaint Domingue. Itisnecessary to realize whatthesedistinctions, conferred on a former slave, meantina colonial society basedonslavery and colour castes:howstaggering they must have appearednotonly to the white men and the mulattoes, but even more to the Negroes, mostofwhomhad come to believe that their racial inferioritywasright and inevitable.Hisnamewasnowfamous throughout the land, andinthe evenings the Negroes would speakofhimwith hope and pride, with a dawning realizationofthe greatnessofhismission, the missionofoneoftheir race. The whites and mulaqoes,intonesofmingled fear and admiration, asked each other: 'Whereishe making forlWhatdoes he really wantl'These were urgent questions; the answerlNone could give it.Inthescaleofhuman values, was Toussaint a freed slaveora conscious liberatorlDid he work according to calculationsorbyinstinctlWas he a systematic doctrinaireormerely an oppor tunist; an ordinary ambitious manora disinterested reformerlWas he more cruelthanmagnanimous, more hypocriticalthansincere, more slapdashthanpainstakinglWecan only judgehimbyhisacts. Itwasalways natural tohiminachievinghisaims to follow a double course, andhisacts betray at the same time the joint imprintofgood and evil.Hiswhole adventure was a mixtureoffrankness and deceit, cruelty and kindness, temerity and prudence. Dedicated entirely tohisdreamofredeeminth, he paid"no heed to the proprietyofthe means he employed:even"crime seemed tohimlegitimate when itwasforthispurpose. Allhisplans had first topassthrough the filterofhisexacting, logical mind.Inemergencies, however, he acted first and reasoned afterwards.Toeverything he appliedhisown standards, and thus no one could ever persuadehimto changehismind.Inpolitics,/'religion, administration, and the conductofwar, he was com-


88BLACKLIBERATORpletely independent, fortifiedbyrigidbeliefswhichhenever willingly abandoned.Helovedpower,buthewas convincedthatonlybyexercisingpowercouldheconfe{ benefitsonothermen.Public honours scarcely interestedhim.Noautocrat wasevermoreindifferenttotheplauditsofthepIe.Witha spiritthatnever ceasedtostrive towards ection, ToussaintsoughtconstantlytobehimselftheproofofNegroperfectibility. Hencenotemporary satisfaction couldeverappeasehimandhis triumphsinpeace,asinwar,lefthimdissatisfied. Intuitivetothepointofdivinationandinu::lligenttothepointofprescience, forhimpolitics sprangfroma higherwillwhichintervenedinhumanlife.Whenhehaddonehis besttofaceallpossible contingencies,hewouldreligiously minimize man'spartinhistory.Hewas convincedofthe direct participationofGodinhumanaffairs,asheproclaimedtotheNegroesinamomentofjoyatthe realizationofhisdream:'Havingseenthechainswhichheldyouforsolongfallfromoffyou;having recovered allyourrightsasmen,youhave,intheintoxicationofyourjoy,attributedthischangeinfortunetotheactionsofmenalone.Butthisiswrong:realizeyourerror,andbelievethatitisGodalonewhohasordainedandwroughtthisRevolution,sothatHemaysetyoufreefromtheshamefulyokeputuponyoubyyourfellowmen. .ItisHisbeneficenceandHisjusticewhichhavemadeyouintohumanbeings again. LearntrulytofulfilyourdutiestoHimaswellastothesocietyofwhichyouatlastformapart.'. Toussaint soughttosettheNegroes freethroughwork,lawandorder,andmoralandmaterialwell-being-allinconformitywitha religious discipline.Hefoughtagainstanyloosenessinmorals:incustoms, amusements,andeveninthestyleofclothingwornbywomen.Thereweretimes, indeed,whenhis behaviour smackedofhypocrisy,andwithhis loveofsermonizinghegavetheimpressionofaNegropreacher dressedupasaLikemanydictators,heappearstohave regretted sometimesthathecouldnotplayareligiousaswellasa temporal role. Since Toussainttookanextremely pessimisticviewofman'snatural inclinations, particularly thoseoftheNegro,hebelievedthatabidinglawandorder couldbeachievedonlybytheimpositionofrestrictionsandprohibitions.HiswholeconceptionofgovernmentwasonthedoctrineofoP,.ginal sinandontheevilinstincts inherentineveryhumanbeing.Nomancould-have hadlesssympathywiththeprevalent theoriesofRousseau.Ifthe-


MOTIVESANDAMBITIONS89Negrowastotakehisrightfulplaceintheworld.itwasneedful. in Toussaint's view, toestablishan intelligent control overhisactivities and to build up asocialhierarchy onthebasisoftalent,efficiencyat work, and amoral"wayoflife.Itwasasthoughhesought to convert Saint Domingue into one huge factory, run on monasticlines,in which the inhabitants' only joy and relaxa tionwastobefound in work. Twomaininfluenceswere mingled in Toussaint from whichhispoliticalsystemandhismoralcodehad evolved.Inthe Jirst place therewasthe bloodofhisfather, Gaouguinou. a native African prince, from whom he inhentedhisconceptionofstate craft, curbingallopposition by subtle or brutal means; secondly, therewasthe contact he had made with thejgl.Uts,from whom he had acquiredhistaste forasceticismand learned the valueofreligious precepts, which he now sought to convert into politicallaws.HisfamousCodeduTravailwasinspired byhisbelief that therewasaconBictbetween theneedsofthe State and thedesiresofitscitizens.Thesameprinciplealsogaverisetohisdeclarations on behaviour, marriage, and religion.Inpolitics Toussaintwasnot a good man, butheeMeavoured toachievegoodness.Hewascapableofactsofgreat generosity, but he wouldalsocommit theblackestcrimesifanyone opposedhimorifhethought thatanindividual or group threatened thesuccessofhislabours. Oneofhisweaknesseswashisunbounded confidence inhisowninfaJIibility,andthisledhimeventually todespiseother men's intelligence. He had overthrownhisadversariesand triumphedsocompletely over circumstance that in the end he really believedhimselfto be superhuman. Toussaint's personalitywasnot attractive indeed, therewassomething almost repellent aboutit-buttherewasundoubtedly a grandeur inhistitanic struggle toraiseup a whole stratumofmankind, brought low through three hundredyearsofslavery He forged a nation out ofhis spiritualthefactthat he didsomaybeheld to justifyallhiscrimes ana shortcomings./.Asa youngslavehe had secretly cherished theideaofrising withhisfellowsto a completely new level oflife; in theposehe adopted atBreda.therewasacertainheroism inhisability to hope when there appeared tobenothing to hope for. Althoughhismedium height, narrowchest,andthinbonesgave Toussainttheappearanceofa weakling, he had thesupplenessofa well-tempered sword.Hislean buildwasthatofthe athlete,


90BLACKLIBERATORaccustomedtoriding, walking, and hill-climbing.Noone could beholdhismagnetic glancewithoutbeing fascinated.Theadmir-" able portraitbya miniaturistofthetimeshows Toussaint wearing the light blue uniformofa general, its braided collar leaving a glimpseoflaceatthe neck.Theexpressiononhisfaceisoneofcold-blooded ambition.Itis a faceoftriumph,inwhichwemayread a fanatical determinationtoreachhisgoalbyany means.


13INTRIGUESOFRIGAUDHEmulatto generals were exasperated and mortiedby, the honours showeredonToussaintbySonthonax and the Directory. Rigaud, whose unswerving loyaltytothe Republic hadbeenignoredinthe heatofthe enthusiasm for theNegroleader, had reasontobe particularly resentful. Quite apart fromhispersonal vanity,Rigaudfelt a senseoffrustration at being deprivedofhisshareofthe glory and awards which were being handed out.ToshowhisdisapprovalofSonthonax,Rigaudsuddenly raised the siegeofPortau Prince, and withdrewtohis headquartersinhigh dudgeon. All the disgruntled mulattoes./ralliedtohisstandard, anditwasnotlong before they werefan-ning the flamesofinsurrection throughout the south and west.Withthe objectofrestoring -order, Sonthonax appointed Leborgne,Rey,and Arnaud de Pietryashisrepresentativesinthe zone, and instructed General Kerverseautotake over the military command there.ButRigaud refused to recognize the civil and military powersofthe delegation.Thepredominanceofthe mulattoes was the principal characteristicofthe south, and all the important civil, municipal, and military posts were filledbythem.Theytookpossessionofall confiscated estates and plantations, and paidnotaxesonsuch property. Rigaud's armyofeight thousand Negroes wascommanded entirelybymulattoes, Negroesnotbeing promoted beyond the rankofcaptain.Themajorityofthe factory and plantation workers received littleornopay, despite the solemn proclamationoffreedom. Sonthonax's representatives found that 'nine hundredmenwere languishinginthe prisons, accusedofvarious offences; among these there were onlytwomulattoes, the remaining eight hundred and ninety-eight being white men and Negroes'. / Sonthonax had senthisrepresentatives topromoteequality :qld / justice; andwhenthe delegation found itself blockedbyRigaud's obstructionist tacticsitasked the Commission for troops. Desfourneaux,whohadbeensenttoconveythisrequest to Sonthonax, was soon back at Cayeswiththe Artois andNor-mandy regiments, whereupon Rigaud agreedtoallow the delega-91


9.2BLACKLIBERATORtiontocarryoutits reforms.Thedelegates set toworkonJuly30, 1796.Theybeganwiththe municipal government, which they changed completelybythe introductionofnewofficials.ThevarioUs estates were sharedoutamong thosefumerswhowere prepared to pay an appropriate rent to the Government.Thewhite men were authorizedtoform a National Guard, and they were granted various civil, municipal, and administrative posts.Thedelegationalsoordered the immediate destructionofallthe jails and cellsinwhich the landowners andwereinthe habitofimprisoning recalcitrant labourers, and at the same time they prohibited bodily torture and the useofchains.;.Themulatto minority protested indignantly at these reforms.l/Thefreedmenhadnointentionofbeing strippedofalltheirIprivileges without putting up a fight, andonAugust28rebellion broke out. Groupsofmulattoes took possessionofallthe strategic pointsinthe city, and ran through the streets ejaculating:'DownwithSonthonax!Ourlibertyisinperil!' Meanwhile, some Negroes from the Cayes plain sweptintothe cityatseveral points, and the usual pillaging and slaughtering ensued. Sixty white men and a few Negroes were killedinthe rioting. /Theevents which leduptothe rising, and those which fol-jlowed,alltend to show that GeneralRigaudwas themanbehind it. His feelings were particularly bitter towards Leborgne, forthisdelegate,bypaying a higher price, had stolen fromRigaudoneofhismistresses. According to Bonnet the risingwaspurely 'the revengeofcertain hot-headed citizens';butthisstatement cannot be sustainedinthe faceofthe great influence which Rigaud exercisedonhisfellow mulattoes.Thedelegates, however,ifound themselves obliged to reinstateRigaudto pacify the region.Ina proclamation they emphasized 'thatinthe presentcircumstances they were powerless to act themselves'.Asifbymagic,calmwas instantly restored throughout theJwhole region. Rigaud, callingonthe citizenstoreturn to their normal law-abidingwayoflife, declared that he had taken over the reinsofgovernment until the complete re-establishmentofpeace permittedhimtoconform to the requirementsofthe Constitution.Hewas,ofcourse, appointinghimselfdictator, which had been the objeCtofthe whole rising. General Beauvais was much disheartenedbythepractisedbyhisfellow mulattoes. Before returningtoJacmelonAugust20he had a stormy interviewwithRigaud,towhomhe '......I;.


-INTRIGUESOFRIGAUD93exclaimed:'Uptillnow ourcausehasbeena good oneandajust one, but now we are pursued by shame, and the Frenchwill. neverbeable to look onusagain without a shudderofhorror:Theincidentdoesmuch to explain the attitude which Beauvaiswasto adopt in the fratricidal war which later torethesouth asunder. When Toussaint LouverturewashuntingdownRigaud and the other mulatto leaders Beauvais would notlifta finger to help them. Deaf to theirappeals,he preferred to disappear ratherthantakesideswith theircause.Kerverseau and Leborgne, now devoidofany authority, livedinconstant fear that Rigaud's friends mighttrytokillthem. The time indeed came when Rigaud, tiredofseeing them about the place, ordered them to leave at once, and they sailed for Santo Domingo, where Roome de Saint Laurent had establishedhimsel Rigaud sent two envoys with the Frenchmen to explain.toRoome, whom he sought towintohisside,thereasonswhich had ledhimto actashe had done. Commissioner Roome, however, not only refused to receive the envoys, butalsoreturned Rigaud's letters tohimunopened.iAssoonasLeborgne and Kerverseau weresafelyon board theirIship, Rigaudissueda proclamation cancelling.allthe reformsthetwo Frenchmenhadinstituted. All theofficialsthey had appointed weredismissedand followers ofRigaud's installed in theirplaces.Throughoutthesouth the mulattoes, indifferent to the fateofthe Negroes, resomedtlieiilifeofeaseagain, while the formerslavesbenttheirbacksover the soil once more, toiling to provide new delights for the mulattoes. Despitethis,Toussaint displayedself-control. Al though he made a careful mental noteofthe injustice with which the mulattoes in the south were treating the Negroes, he did not allowa traceofindignation to appear. Toussainthadbeenhoping that Sonthonax would sendhimto Cayes to restore order, but the Commissionershadnot supported the proposal. Toussaintbelievedthat the resentment ofRigaud andhispartisanswasdirectedagainstSonthonaxpersonally,and that, therefore,ifthelatterwere to empower anyofhisimmediate entourage totakeover in the south, the hostility felt towards Sonthonax would automaticallybetransferred tohispersonalrepresentative. Toussaint, onthe:other hand, thoughtthathe wouldbefully capableofwinningthe confidenceofthe mulattoes;thisat least was the impression he sought to give Sonthonax.Hisreal idea,I


94BLACKLIBERATORhowever,wasthatifhewere appointed arbiterinthe dispute, he would have an opportunity to control the southern region and curb the authorityofRigaud. Such aschemewas in accord withhisambitions; moreover, Rigaud, noticing that Toussaintwaskeeping aloof from the wholeaffair,had sent a representative to givehima full accountofthe courseofevents, and towarnhimagainst believing the slanderous tale-bearers who 'would no doubt tellhimthat the mulattoes were nothing but thieves and robbers,.pretending to be philanthropists'. _Sofar Toussaint hadhad no particular disagreement with Rigaud; on the contrary, the relations between the two men were quite cordial.Ontaking overhisnew appointment in the Colonial Government Toussaint had even, by flattering letters, sought to mollify Rigaud and makehimforget his promotion. But Rigaud, being considerably piqued athisrival's advancement, had coldly rejected Toussaint's olive branch and cuthimselfoff in haughty isolation. No doubt itwasthisattitude which decided the Negro general to deal withhimashe had dealt with Villatte.OnDecember13,1796,the Civil Commissionissueda procla mation on the whole historyofthe Cayes revolt. The reason underlying the incidentwasdeclared to be thesameasthat6fVentose30,ofwhich 'itwasthe continuation'. Sonthonax contemptuously rejected the mulatto minority's accusation thathe'had conspired with the objectofproscribing or killing the entire mulattoclass',and went outofhisway tostressthe patience{o',-\1....1and tolerance he had shown inhisdealings with them. He added thathewasfully entitled to punish Villatte andhisaccomplices himself, but, not wishing to beaccusedofpartiality, he had sent the guilty men to France to speak for themselves. HealsodecreedIthat Andre Rigaud, Duval, Monville, Salomon, Lefranc, and Pinchinat, the ringleadersofthe Cayes rising, were to go toFranceto be judged there. This proclamationwasduly communicated to Rigaud. Losing hishe publicly threatenedallthe membersofthe Commission, and Sonthonax in particular. All thecopiesofthe proclamation which had been sent to Cayes were, on Rigaud's instructions, taken tohisoffice.There he had them made up into a huge roll, which he tied on to thetailofa donkey. The animalwasthen led through the streetsofthe town to the jeers and laughterofthe populace. This demonstrationofchildish anger not only revealed Rigaud's


INTRIGUESOFRIGAUD95flippancy; italsoshowed how little importance he attached to the Commission's condemnation.Rigaudknew that he could do what helikedat Cayes with complete impunity, since the in creasing threatofanother English offensive prevented Sonthonax from diverting troops from thevitaltheatreofoperations. / While these unfortunate events were taking place Toussaintwasbusy trying to manoeuvre Laveaux outofSaint Domingue. But Toussaint had a great affection for Laveaux, to whom, principally, he owedhishigh positionofauthority in Saint Domingue. No other white man had donesomuch forhimorwascloser to his heart. Nevertheless, Toussaintwasdetermined that Laveaux must leave the Colony,ifnecessary by force. The Constitutionofthe Yearill(August22,1795)had allotted to the Colony sevenseatsin the CouncilofElders (ConseildesAnciens)and the CouncilofFive Hundred. Toussaint took advan tageofthisto get Laveaux into the Legislative Assembly andsoberidofhim.Thus, on August17, 1796,he wrotehima letter bearing the superscription 'For your attention only'. This was the letter: 'My dear General, my father, and my very good friend.SinceIforesee,unhappily, that you may have to suffer grievous privations inthiswretched landofours for which you have sacrificed your life, your wife, and children, andsinceIwould not wish to witness such a sorry spectacle, I would very muchliketoseeyou namedasoneofour Deputies, which would enable you to have thejoyofseeing once more your real fatherland, and permit you to rest secure from thetroubles which are brewing here in Saint Domingue. Both I and my brethren, moreover, would know that we had in you oneofthe most ardentofdefenders.Itistrue,mydear General,mydear benefactor and father, that Francehasmanysonsbut who wouldbesuch a true friendofthe Negroesasyou yourselflCitizen Lacroixisthe bearerofthisletter: heismy friend and heisyours. Hewilltell you that itisessential that we should meet andtalktogether. I havesomuch to tell you! I embrace you a thousand times and beg you to rest assured that should my earnestwishesanddesiresbefulfilled youwillhave in Saint Domingue the most sincere friend that therehasever been. Your son andfaithfulfriend, Toussaint Louverture.' This letterisquite indefensible when we consider the motive underlying its cordialphrases.With supreme hypocrisy Toussaintmakesa weaponofthe noblestofall human sentiments, friend-


96BLACKLIBERATORship.inordertograsp the little remainingpowernotinhishands. SomeofToussaint's panegyrists Victor Shoelcher .ly-.haverefusedtoconsider Laveaux' s electiontotheCouncilofEldersasa ruseofToussaint" storidhimselfoftheFrenchman.althoughthisopinion was currentatthetimeofthe event. Shoelcher holds that Laveaux was electedtothe Councilasan. expressionofgratitude;butsuch a view merely revealsanimperfect understandingofToussaint's psychology..Toussaint's later actions, and anofhischaracter.anprove thatthiselection wasbynomeans the giftofa candid and disinterested friend.Onewonders whether Laveaux was takeninbyToussaint's fine words,orwhetherhesaw the unspoken threat behind theinvitation. Howeverthismay' be, Toussaint playedhiscards so effectively thathisbenefactor continuedonthe friendliest termswithhim.Thetwomentherefore met.asToussainthadsuggested, and La:veaux acquiesced.TheNegro leadernowkilledtwobirdswithone stone,forSonthonax had been angling for thehonourofbeing aDeputyfor Saint Domingue. Sonthonaxwasa pure demagogue and throveonpopularity: he lostnotimeintelling Toussaintwhathewanted, and the latter promptly offeredtoarrange matters forhim.Had the Commissioner been abletoseewhatwasgoingoninToussaint's head,hewould certainly have backed out. Forbytelling Toussaint his wishhewas providing the Negrowithatrumpcard which was latertobe played ruthlessly.Indue course the election was held, andnobodywasfoolish enoughtooppose the candidates nominatedbyToussaint. His agentswentfromplace to placewithhisinstructions; and,ata meeting heldinHautduCap, General Pierre Michelwentsofarastoannounce thatifLaveaux and Sonthonaxwerenotelected 'hewouldburndownCap Frans:ais'. Naturally.:illToussaint's nominees came throughwithflying colours: LaveauxandBrothier were electedtothe CouncilofElders, Thomacy, Sonthonax, Periniaud, and BoisrondtotheCouncilofFive Hundred. Laveaux sailed for FranceonOctober13, 1796,and beforehewentonboard thetwofriends embraced, made solemn vowsoffriendship, andweptunrestrainedly.Whenhisship calledatVigoonDecember8Laveaux sentoffa lettertoToussaint:'Asniuch




INTRIGUESOFRIGAUD97asithasgrievedmetohavetoleave you,whomI regardasmydearest friend, so muchshallInowenjoy the pleasureofwritingtoyou...'There followmanyeffusive expressionsoffriendship.Inhisreply Toussaint wasnotlessaffectionate.'Howhappy Iwouldbe',hewrote,'tobe beside you,toseizeyouinmyarms .andembraceyoua thousand times over .Yourmany acts oflcind ness towardsmehave forgedmetoyouwithbondsofgratitude and tender respect. I shall never ceasetotellyouthattomeyouare an affectionate friend, a respected and honoured father, and thatyourkindnessisso deeply engraved uponmyheart that Ishallceasetothinkofitonlywithmydeath.'Andnow,taking advantageofthe flattering Decree publishedinhisfavourbythe Directory, Toussaint senthistwochildren, IsaacandPlacide, aged fourteen and sixteen respectively,tobeeducatedinFranceatthe expenseofthe State.Theywere senttothe CollegeofLaFleche, where they were well treatedbythe French authorities.Atthis stageinhis life Toussaint gave the impression ein amanwhowas devoted bod France. It was only w en epowerpassedtoNapoleon, whose attitudetoslavery he suspected, that he was inducedtoactindefianceofFrench sovereigntyinSaint Domingue. Toussaint wastobe caught upinthe machineryofhisownpower;and thenhebecamethevictimofhisdestiny.-

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14EXITSONTHONAXN February1797Toussaint launched a full-scalea,ttackagainsthisarmyfinallytookMirebalais itself, the EnglisharmyfleeingindisordertoPortauPrince. Sonthonax,whofrankly supported the Negroes, made useof'thisvictorytoplace themilitaryleadershipintheirhandsbyappointing Toussaint commander-in-chiefofthe whole Colony. Toussaint had already calculated that once Laveaux wasoutofthewaythe successionwouldnaturally passtohim;anditwasonly after hehaddisposedofLaveaux that he madehissuperhuman effort and reconquered Mirebalais. Inevitablythisbroughtinits train the commandofthe wholearmyinSaintDomingue;forwhowoulddreamofsendingouta superior officer after so greatanachievement? Sonthonax invited the conquerortoCap Fran-"lj:ais,andonMay2,1797,hewas ceremonially installedinthepkceofLaveaux.. After thepompand ceremonyofhisinstallation, Toussaint abruptly returnedtohis estateatEnnery,withouteven taking leaveofSonthonax.Thetriumph had lefthimunmoved, and thereisnodoubt thathewas displeasedwithhiscolleagues.Therewas somethinginhislong silencestosuggest that a planwasforming inhismind.Heresumedhiscampaign against the English,butwithout his accustomed vigour, being contenttoleave the enemy /inrelative peace.What,then, had comeoverToussaint and broughtthisheavymoodupon him? Quite apartfromhi.5autocratic outlook, which inclinedhimtorid himselfofany person whose authority was aboveorequalto/ his own, there was, between Toussaint and Sonthonax, afundamental incompatibilityofcharacter.TheCommissioner's whole moral and political attitude offended Toussaint, the advocateoflawand order, the intolerant Catholic.TheCommissioner's anarchical principles,hissquanderingofmoney, his atheism,hiscoarse speech, andhisdissolute habits wereinstriking contrasttothe moral and political austerity practised by Toussaint. ) Sonthonaxtookthe view that the masses should have and98,

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EXITSONTHONAX99enjoyalltherights,andbethesovereignpower;forToussaintrewasonlyonerightthatofnotbeing exploitedandforthesakeofa selfish minority.Government,inoussaint's view, shouldbeplacedinthehandsofa leaderwhowouldbeentirely subservienttothematerialandmoralwelfareofthemasses,andwhoseenjoyments shouldallbecompatiblewiththewelfareofthecityasa whole.HeconsideredthatSonthonax's attitudeofunprincipled philanthropy* wasbothdangerousanddisruptive.Thiswastheprincipal reasonofToussaint's hostility towardstheCommissioner,anditmadehimenvisage,withoutanycompunction,thelatter'swithdrawalfromSaintDomingue.Sonthonax, indeed,byhisdailycallstohatredandmurder,andbyhisownexaggerated behaviour, wasmerelyunleashingtheviolentinstinctsoftheNegroes.Anideologistbytemperament,hewasthemostdangerousofgenerousmen.Hisdreamwastorebuild SaintDomingue,againstanyopposition;hehopedtomakeittheembodimentofrevolutionary ideals. Since,contrarytothefamousmaxim,.hepreferred disordertoinjustice,hebecametheperfect specimenofdenationalizedman.AnimpracticableUtopiawasinthemindofthisfair-skinned revolu tionary,withhisshockofredhairandsmouldering eyes,inwhomanaggressive idealism was perpetuallyatwarwiththerealitiesoflife.OnecannotbuthonourhimforhisprofoundsympathywiththemartyredNegroes, overwhelmedbythewrongstheyhadtobear.Thefactthatcompassioninahumanbeingcouldreach such apitchthathewouldwillingly have destroyedeverythingaroundhimtoachieve justiceandequitycommandsourrespectfortheterrible, sublime logicefthisrevolutionary.Inaway,hadcuthimselfofffromhisownroots,fromhisowntraditionsandthefundamental principlesofhisownrace, sothathecouldoffertheNegroesthepurest elementsofhisnature. FacedwiththemiseryoftheNegroes,hedidnotpausetoreason thingsout,asToussainthaddone,butsoughttochangethestateofaffairsbythedictatesofhisemotions alone.Thusthecontrast betweenthetwomencouldscarcely havebeerimoremarked:Toussaint's Caesarianandpuritan attitude contrastingwiththeCommissioner's libertarianoudook.Privately, ToussainthadalreadycondemnedSonthonax,but*To be understoodinthesemeofdevotiontotheJacobiDoutcomeoftheprinciplesofRoUSlCllU.-W.s.

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100BLACKLIBERATORtheCommissioner could suspectnothingfromToussaint'sbehaviour. Indeed,toputSonthonaxoffthescent, Toussaintwrotehiman extremely cordial letterthankinghimforthewannwelcome hehadgiventoToussaint's sonswhentheyhadpassedthroughCapFrans;aisinDecember1796ontheirwaytoEurope.Therewas, nevertheless,onethingwhichwas..gto/"aroUse Sonthonax's suspicions: Toussaint was secretlycorrespondingwithAndreRigaud.TheCommissioner realizedatoncethatifthe relations between thesetwomenweretoimproveitcouldonlybeathisownexpense,andhetried, unsuccessfully,tosolve the mysteryoftheirnewcordiality. Toussaint, despite his grievances againstRigaud,didnotdespairofmakinga friendofhimandwinninghimovertohisside.Untiltheveryeveoftheir final encounterheforcedhimselftousetheweaponofconciliation;andthismaywellhavebeenJbecausehelikedRigaudfor his courage.Itwasonlywhenherealizedthatnothingwouldshakethemulattoleader's hostilitythatToussaint resolvedtoeliminatehim.Forthemoment,however,knowingthatnothingwoulddelightRigaudmorethanthedownfallofSonthonax,hehadthemulattogeneralinformedthathemightfinditnecessarytotake stepstoremovetheCommissioner.OnewondersifSonthonax reallydidharbourtheideaofseparating SaintDominguefromFrance,withwhichToussaint formally chargedhim.Thereis littletosuggestthatthiswas so, despiteallthe evidenceprovidedinhisreporttotheDirectory.Itismorethanlikelythatafterhiscoupd'hathemerelyaccused the Commissionerinordertojustifyhisowndictatorial actions,whichwereundoubted,,"aimedatFrance'sauthorityintheColony.Whatwas certainlytrueinToussaint's denunciation wasthatSonthonax,asthe resultofhis revolutionary actsandspeeches, wasimpedingthe properous developmentoftheColony.Throughallhisfiery speechesandextravagant behaviourSonthonax's ambitiontobuildinSaintDominguea Statewhichhewouldguide and ruleinaccordancewithhisrevolutionary ideology can be clearly seen. AsanardentabolitionisthefannedtheNegroes' enthusiasmtoapointborderingonfrenzy;andonce,whenhewas distributing riflestoagroupofplantation workers,hepickeduponeofthe weapons, brandisheditintheair,andcriedoutdramatically:'Ifawhitemanevertriestotakethisrifle

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EXITSONTHONAX101from you,youWillknowthat he planstoenslaveyouagain.' Suspecting that Toussaint was preparing an unpleasant sur prise forhim,Sonthonaxbeganto lookontheNegroleader's behaviourwithmisgivings.Hisinsolence had, indeed, reached the pitch where he didnothesitatetocriticize the Commissioner's political conduct,hismethodofgovernment,hissquanderingofpublic funds, and the excessesofhisprivate life. At the same time the great landowners,atToussaint's iustigation, dispatched numerous and harsh denunciationsofSonthonaxtothe Directory.TheGovernment was so impressedbyallthese reports thatiteventually determinedtorecall the Commissioner'togiveanaccountofhimself'. Meanwhile, guessingthatthe nobles and landowners wereworkingin collusionwithToussaint, Sonthonax instructedhim'topurge the colonyofits plagueofaristocrats, since the protec tion he gave them was contrarytothe interestsofthe Govern ment'. Naturally, Toussaint ignored the order, and continuedtogive the royalists his protection. Sonthonax's first reactiontothiswastoconsider degrading Toussaintfromhishighoffiee-acourseofaction he was fully authorizedtotake.Todothis,however, hewouldrequire the co-operationofhis colleague, JulienRaymond,whohad already beenwonovertoToussaint's side, chieflybyintimidation. Shocked and disillusioned, Son thonax hadtoswallow the bitter pillofknowing that he hadhimself contributed towards thepowerwieldedbyhis opponent. Toussaint then swept into Cap Franljais, followedbyhissilver helmeted dragoons.HewentatoncetoSonthonax's house, andhashimself reported the cool effronteryofhis interviewwiththe Commissioner: 'After greetingmethe Commissioner invitedmeinto his study, andassoonaswewere alone he askedmemany questions.Hewas clearly tryingtoreadmymind, since perhaps he knewatleast partofthe reasonofmydisquiet.Heappearedtobeuneasy, for he saw that I wasnotaspleasedwithhimasonprevious occasions.TheCommissioner triedtoturnthe conversa tion...[to the questionwhyToussaint had suddenly appeared in Cap Franljais] ...butI evaded the subject andlefthima few minutes later.' Leaving Sonthonax in a stateofconsiderableperplexity,Tous.saint calledonRaymond.Heexplained thattosafeguard the peaceofthe Colonyitwas essential that the PresidentoftheCommissionshoulddepartatonce.Headdedthatinviewofthe

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i02BLACKLIBERATORimminenceofreal dangeraslongasSonthonax stayed,Raymondshould persuadehimtogosoastoavoidanypossible violenceorscandal. JulienRaymondwasdumbfoundedatthisfantastic demand.Heinsisted that Toussaint should state elearlywhyhehadcometothis unexpected decision,whichwasa threattothesovereigntyofFrance whose highest representative Sonthonax was. Toussaint replied that he couldnotdisclose his reasons 'his tongue was tiedbya solemn oath'.ButheaddedthattheColoJ!YwouldbelostifSonthonaxwerenottodepartwithoutdelay,that, forhispart,hewas preparedtoexpeditethisdeparture,whateverthecost,andthatonceRaymondhadspokentohimSonthonaxwouldinstantly realizehowvitalitwas forhimtogo. Alarmedatthe commander-in-chief'sfirmresolveandathismaddening reticence, JulienRaymondfoughtfortime,andtheyagreedtodiscussthematteragainthefollowingmorning.Feelingasconfusedandbewilderedashehadbeenthenightbefore, JulienRaymondpresented himselfatthepalaceofthecommander-in-chief.Onceagainheurged Toussainttotellhimonwhatgrounds his colleaguehadtobehurriedfromthecountry,andinthehopeofluringToussaintintofrankspeechheeven letitbe understoodthathemightbewillingtocQ-Qperatewithhim-butnotifheweretobe leftinthedark.Thegeneral, however, remained silent, merely repeatingthatitwas'agreatsecret'.Thesecond interviewdrewtoa closewithoutRaymondbeinganythe wiser. \\ Meanwhile Sonthonax was quite determinednotto-capitulatewithouta fight.Hesetaboutorganizing his resistance, and, relyingonhis immense popularitywiththeNegroes, triedtostirthemupagainst Toussaint.TheNegromasseswerecertainly sympathetic towards their liberator,butwhoamongthemwouldlifta handtodefend amancondemnedbyToussaintlOnthethirddayofthese parleysandintrigues,JulienRaymondagain visited Toussaint,whothistimeconsentedtospeak.Hepaintedanapocalyptic pictureofthe disasterintowhichSonthonaxwas preparingtohurltheColony;eskeofdetailedr ts whichhehad received concernin e ommissioner's......., ueysaymgtnonaxweretoremaininSaintDomingueforanotherweekthewholecountrywouldbethrownintoa stateofchaos.WhetherJulienRaymondbelievedallthisfarragoofnonsense

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-EXITSONTHONAX103isnotknown:thefactis,however, that beingmo. Toussaint,hepretendedtobelievehim,andrepoedtimidly thatone0most dastardly acts,butthatnowallwasknownhe wasnolonger dangerous.HeproposedthatToussaint should have afrankdiscussionwithSonthonaxinthe.presenceofhimselfandPascal, Secretarytothe Commission,andToussaintagreed.Raymondand Pascal thenwenttosee Sonthonax and informedhimofthe serious allegations againsthimmadebythe commander-in-chief.Notunnaturally, Sonthonaxcharacterizedthemasslanderous. A few moments later Toussaint himself arrived at the Commissioner's house. .Raymondbegan speaking,butSonthonaxcuthimshort, saying thathewouldprefertotalkwithToussaint alone,andtheothertwowithdrew. Toussaint himself has leftusa dramatic accountofthisinter view.TheCommissionerisdepictedasa broken reed,whoagreed thathehad committed innumerable wrongs against the Colony, had offended the interestsofFrance, had ruined social harmony,andhad committed divers crimesinhis privateandpublic life.Thereport also records that Sonthonax offered Toussaintmoneyifhewouldonly granthimpermissiontoremaininSaint Domingue. Scornfully, Toussaint gives us the sketchofa humble, beseeching, shamed Sonthonax,boweddownbythe implacabletruthaspresentedbyToussaint.Onthenextday, August20,thetwomen resumed theirconversation, which (accordingtoToussaint) wasashumiliatingtoSonthonaxasithad been thedaybefore. Toussaint's accountmaycontain some elementsoftruth,butitiscompletely uselesstothe historian, sinceitisknownthat he habitually used every meanstorid himselfofhis enemies. For three days Sonthonax Soughttofind somewayoutofhis plight.Hehadnodesiretoleave Saint Domingue, where he lived a happy lifeofdissipationwithhis beautiful mistress, Madame ViHevaleix, an attractiveyoungmulatto:butToussaint was unyielding. ./RaymondandPascal then visited the Commissioner,andtogether they drafted a letter whichwastoconcealfromthe public the illegalityofSonthonax's withdrawal.Theletter wastobe signedbythe commander-in-chiefandhis principal lieutenants.Itranasfollows: 'GivenatCaponthe thirddayofFructidorinthe Yearv,August22,1797.ToLeger Felicite Sonthonax, Commissionerofthe Executive Directoryin

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1 04BLACKLIBERATORSaint Domingue,andDeputyofthisColonytotheCouncilofFive Hundred: Deprived for so longofanynewsfromthe French Government, the citizensofthe Colony, true friendsoftheRepublic,growanxious.Theenemiesoforderandfreedom,moreover, take advantageofthe lackofnewswhichwe,forourpart, haveconveyedtoFrance,andare sowing evil rumourswiththe objectofcreating troubleinSaint Domingue.'Inthese circumstances itisneedful that amanwhoisinformedofwhatevents have befallen here,andwhohaswitnessed the changes which havebroughtabout the restorationoftranquillity, should give aproperaccountofthe factstothe Executive Directory . 'SinceyourappointmentasDeputyoftheColonytothe Legislative Assembly, forceofcircumstancehasdetainedyouhere,yourgreat influence being necessarytocalmourruffled spirits. Today, however,lawand order, peace, zeal forwork,thereestablishmentofagricultureandoursuccesses againstourenemies permityoutotake upyourduties: go to France, then,andtellherwhatyouhave seen,whatprodigiesyouhave witnessed;andcontinuetobe always the defenderofthe causewhichwehave embraced, and forwhichweshall fight forever!Long LivetheRepublic! Health, and greetings.'Thearmygenerals were summonedtothe palaceofthecommander-in-<:hief to sign the lettertoSonthonax. Pascal, secretarytothe Commission, readitoutinthe presenceofJulienRaymond.Thegathering remained completely silent,andthen Toussaint,inan atmosphereofincreasing uneasiness, signed his name. Someofthemorefair-minded officers, however,whenitcame to theirturnto sign, raised certain objections. Some saidthattheywouldfirst have likedtoheartheprecise viewsofthe French Representative abouthisdeparture; others declaredthatthey werenotqualifiedtosign such a letter. Toussaint's lieutenantswerenotprovingasdocileashehad anticipated. Disturbedatwhatmightbe the consequencesoftheir act, and genuinely upsetatthe pain they would be causingtothe fierce revolutionarywhohad given them their freedom, theywereonthe pointofmutiny. JulienRaymondhastily dispatched Pascal to ask Sonthonaxtodispel the officers' apprehensions and to calm the rising mood. Hearingofthismoveofsympathy, however, Sonthonax hoped thathemightturnthe tablesandrefused point-blank to declare that he left Saint Domingue willingly.Hishouse begantofill

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EXITSONTHONAX105withNegroofficers; and the smaller folk, groupsofworken,and the like,hungaboutinmenacinggroupo)outside the house, protesting silently at the ignoble treatment which their commander was metingoutto their benefactor.WhenPascal returned without Sonthonax's declaration Toussaintgotupfromthe arm-chair where he hadbeenreclining, walked overtothe long mahogany table, placedhisswordonit, and saidintonesofieyharshness:'Ihavenotsummonedyouhere for a debate. I require neitheryourapprovalnoryourassistanceinthe matterofCommissioner Sonthonax's departure.Hehastoldmeofhiswishto return to France so that he mayfulfilhisdutiesasa Deputy. Since, moreover, he requested a congratulatory addressonthe conclusionofhismissioninthe Colony, indicating also the reason forhisdeparture, I haveyoufor the pUrposeofsigning the address.Ifyourefuse todoso, I shall sign alone.' Terrified, mostofthosewhohad protested flocked to the table to sign the address,butToussaint informed them he hadnofurther use for their signatures. For this reason the letterbearsonly the following names: Toussaint Louverture, Commander in-Chief; Moise Louverture, Brigadier-General1-HeI!1"YChris to he Charles Chevalier, Clerveaux, Adjutants-General; Jean -n-aptiste Papaul, JeanDupuy, Brigade-Commanders;R.Guybre, principal secretarytothe military staff.Thatsame evening Sonthonax,whohad already made secret overtures to the officersofthe Capgarrison, pretendedtoagreetoToussaint's wishes.Heacknowledged receiptofthe address, saying that he regardeditasaproofoftrustinhim,and would leave for France immediately. Toussaint thanked the Commissioner for his expressionsofgoodwill,but, refusing to be hoodwinkedbySonthonax's fine words, he added:'Iamdisturbed to learn, Citizen Commissioner, thatyouhave sUmmoned toyourpresence the officersofthe Capgarrison and enjoined themtoopposeyourdeparture, while,onthe other hand,youinformmethatyouare pleased to havethisopportunityoffulfilling the honourable mission en trusted toyoubythe peopleofSaint Domingue. Your actioninrelation to the officersisinmarked contrastwiththe feelings which (you assure me)youentertain for the welfareofthe Colony.'TheCommissioner,afterchanginghismindthisway and that,/

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106BLACKLIBERATORdistressedand humiliated, eventually summonedtheSupreme Councilofthe Commission,andthere, beforeallthecolonial authorities, he announcedthathewouldleave SaintDomingue.Ina proclamation, JulienRaymondexpressed thesorrowfeltbythe entire colonythatcircumstances should have obligedSonthonaxtoresignfromhishighoffice,tohandovertothe'hispowersasCommissioner Delegatetothe IslandsintheWind,and to takeuphisdutiesasDeputy.AtRaymond'sinsistence, Toussainthadgranted. Sonthonax three daystopackhisbagsandputhisprivateajEUrsinorder. Meanwhile Sonthonax's partisanswouldnotleavehishouse,andhewas the objectofmanymovingscenesofsympathyandaffection. Toussaint, merciless and suspicious,notedthesemanifestationsofthe people's fondnessforSonthonaxwithirritation. Furthermore, heknewthe Commissioner,andfearingthatatthelastmomenthemightdosomethingtostirupthe latent angerofthe populace, the commander-in-chief sent the followingcommunicationtothe municipal councilofCap'Certainpersons, paid,nodoubt,tocreate trouble, are forming themselvesintogroupsinthenameofthe People,andholding secret meetingswiththe objectofpreventing Sonthonax's departure.Itisyourdutytotake stepstoensureandmaintainlawand order.Ifyoudonotdosoatonce,youalonewillberesponsible for the consequences, and I shall seethatthe Directory is fully informed.'Thetime limit expired, andtheCommissioner still appearedtobedisinclined to embark, despiteallhispreparationsforthevoyage.Raymondwasina constant stateofapprehemion lestthecommander-in-chief should suddenly appearonthesceneandcommitsome irreparable actofviolence, and. pleadedwithhiscolleaguetohastenhisembarkation. Sonthonax wastombyregrets, remorse, and shame,andchagrinforallthe kindness hehadshowntoToussaint,whonowdiscardedhimlike abrokentoy.OnthenightofFructidor8,Capwas suddenly shakenoutofits sleepbythenearbyroarofgunfire:itwastheimperious, enraged voiceofToussaint Louverture,remindingSonthonax that the crucialmomentwas come. EarlieronToussaint had sent the followingbriefmessagetoRaymond:'IfSonthonax hasnotleftbysunrise, I shall enterCapwithmydragoons,andcarryhimonboardbyforce.'Raymondhad-

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EXITSONTHONAX"107replied in a note begging the commander-in-cmef toremaiJ;lathisheadquarters until eight o'clock in the moming, when, he said, Commissioner Sonthonax would beonboard the frigateL'Indien.AsRaymond had promised, the next moming at the appointed hour Sonthonax, accompanied byhismistress, took the road to the harbour, escorted byhiscolleague and a deputationofmilitaryandcivilofficials.It was"August28,1797.Speaking to no one, the Commissioner walked to the landing stage amid the pathetic silenceofthe fearful city. Little groupsofNegroes gathered inhispath, theirfaceslined withsadness,not daring tocallout their gratitude to theman they called 'their father'. Suchwasthe endofLegerFelicite Sonthonax's mission to the ColonyofSaint Domingue. And yet, in spiteofeverything, he..../remains the greatest benefactorofthe NegroesofSaint Domingue. Itwasthe realizationofthisthat made thousandsoftear-filledeyesgaze wistfully after the graceful frigate that borehimback tohisfatherland. Toussaint now re-entered Capandknewonce more the sweet incenseoftheTe Deums,the Batteryofhisfollowers, and the laurel-deeked triumphal arches. And for the first time men saw this Negro, normallysosombre andsotaciturn, laughing and jesting openly, unable for once to conceal the feelingofwell being which filledhisspirit.,

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t. lQISROUTOFTHEENGLISH......OUSSAINTrealized that the French Governmentwouldbe likelytoreact unfavourablytohis treatmentof/'Sonthonax,andheknewthatafinalvictoryovertheEnglishwouldbethe bestwayofpersuading the DirectoryofhisloyaltytoFrance.Hetherefore begantoprepare a violent offensive against the English army.Hisplan was for the divisions stationedinthe west and the southtosynchronize their attackswithhisown,so that the English, assailedonall sides,wouldhavenochancetomovereinforcementsfromonepartofthefronttothe other.HeorderedRigaudto march into Grande Ansewitheight thousandmenandcapture the strongholdatJeremie; Beauvais and Laplume were instructedtoassaulttheBritish campsinthe Charbonnieres Mountains,whichprotectedPortauPrincefromthe south;andToussaint himself, assistedbyMoise Louverture, Dessalines,andMaurepas, wastoattack.inthe Artibonite valleyandthe north-west. Laplume and Beauvais at first told their commander that they werenotwell enough equippedtoconduct a large-scale operation,butoninsistence they carriedouthis instructionstothe letter, achieving magnificent successes.Itwasinthe courseofthis campaigninthe west that Alexandre Petion coveredhimselfwithglory.Hewas the heroofthe battleofLa Coupe,wonafter the hardest fighting.TheEnglish, attacked everywhereonthe CuI de Sac Plain, were defeated andwithdrewingreat disordertothe perimeterofPortau Prince,justasToussaint had foreseen. Meanwhile, the commander-in-ehief was drivingtheenemyoutofthe Artibonite valley andthenorth-west.Themainbattle beganonFebruary6, 1798.Toussaint,atthe headofa thousand dragoons, seemed to be everywhereatonce, fighting wherever the issue wasindoubt. Moise Louverture, annihilating everythingthatstood inhisway, drove the Englishoutoftheir last strong holdsonthe Mirebalais plain. Dessalines, having penetratedintotheCommuneofGrands Bois, foughtanddefeated Major Sincoe atCroixdes BouquetsonFebruary7.ChristopheMometputthe Englishmen toroutatThomazeauandGarde Espangnole on.J'ebruary28.Bythe wholeofthe Mirebalais valley,<::--108

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ROUTOFTHEENGLISH109clearedofthe English, wasinthehandsofToussaint'sdivisi
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noBLACKLIBERATORMaitlandnowdecidedtonegotiatewithToussaint.Whilepreparations were beingmadeforthepeacetalks,General the / Marquis Theodore Hedouville,an.outstanding soldierwhohadparticularly distinguished himselfin subduing the Vendee, arrivedinSaint DomingueasthenewRepresentativeofthe Directory. Toussaint hastened to have the Marquis fully informedofthe negotiations he was conductingwiththe English. Everythingwentahead smoothly and briskly. Major Gillespie,onbehalfofMaitland, proposed an armisticeonthe following terms:(I)Theprecise durationofthe armistice should be left to the convenienceofGeneral Maitlandbutshouldnotexceed ninety days;(2)the immediate surrender to ToussaintofPortau Prince, Saint Marc, Arcahaie, and Fort Bizoton;(3)the Frencharmyto respect the lives and propertyofthe inhabitantsofthe places surrendered;(4)Toussaint to undertakenotto attack the Saint Nicolas Mole,norto assistinanywayanattack uponit;(5)the same conditionas(4)toapply to Jeremie and the whole districtofGrande Anse throughout the period during which the places agreeduponwere being evacuated;(6)to leaveAndreRigaud isolatedinthe south, andnottoassisthiminanywaywhatsoever to attack the Englisharmy-thisconditiontolast for a lengthoftime to be determined. General Maitland,inmaking such proposalstoToussaint clearly didnotappreciate the Negro's deep sagacity. Toussaint returned the text to the Englishmanwitha few modifications notedinthe margin:(I)the armistice must be validnotonlyonlandbutalso at sea;(2)itsmaximumdurationwillbe three months, during which period neutral shippingwillbe freetotradewiththe Colony. Regarding clause(6)ofMaitland's proposals, the Negro general noted: 'Since Iammyselfcommander-in-chiefofthe armiesinallsectors, when I agreetosuspend hostilitiesasrequesteditisobvious that I shall notassist an attackinany quarter, since there can benoattack atallwithoutmyorders to that effect.'Byinsertinghissixth clause Maitland had,ofcourse,beenattempting to ... te betweenRigaudand Toussaint,whohad, however, seen through the manoeuvre. Maitland, awareofthe disagreements betweenhistwoopponents, hadbeenhopingtothe ill-feeling and thus establish himselfmoreeasilyinJeremie and the Mole, which he wantedtopreserveintactfor England,inviewoftheir strategic positioninthe Caribbean.OnApril30theofthetwonations signed /.-

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ROUTOFTHEENGLISHIIIthearmisticeOIlboardanEnglishcorvette, whichwaslyingatanchorinthe harbourofPortauPrince.TheAdjutant-GeneraI. Nightingale, signed forMaitland,and Adjutant-GeneralHuinlorToussaint Louverture.Thetwolastclausesofthe armistice, being regardedasaccessorytothe main treaty, weretoformthe subjectofa later agreement.Twodays later Toussaint ratified thetermsofthe armisticeathis headquartersatPetite Riviere.Hethenissueda proclamation explaining thathehadagreedtoaccept the English proposal onlyfromreasonsofhumanity, andtogive the unfortunate Frenchmenwhohad strayed into the enemy's camp a chancetomendtheir ways.Asa kingly gesture, Toussaintthengranted an amnestytoallwhitemenwhohadremainedontheirestatesthroughoutthe English occupation,ofcourse, thattheyhadnottaken sideswiththe enemy.Healsoextended his pardontoallpersonswhowereinthemilitiabeforethearrivalofthe English, andhadcontinued servinginit;toallNegroeswhohad been soldascannon-foddertothe Englishbytheir masters;tothe emigres; and,inshort,toallFrenchmenwho,inanswertohisappeal,haddesertedfromthe Englisharmybefore the signingofthearmistice.Notincludedintheamnestywerethose Frenchmenwhohad goneonfighting for England rightuptotheend, particularly emigreswhohadcometofightinSaint Dominguebuthadnever lived there before. Toussaint's clemencywasextremely elastic, and could embrace highly guilty individualsifitpleased the conquerortopardon them. Having therefore savedhisfacebypublishing the amnestyonthe terms stated, Toussaintthenproceededtoaccord special pardontocertainFrenchmenwhowerenotorious traitorstotheir country. General Hedouville, a fanatical revolutionary, was furiousattheNegrocommander's bold actsofindulgence, andwrotetoToussaint informinghimofhisdispleasure.Duringthe eveningofMay15Toussaint Louverture enteredPortauPrinceforthefirst timeinhislife. -Thenextday thecitygavehima welcomesuchasithadnever giventoanyone before. Triumphal arches, adornedwithgreenery, roses,andred laurels, andwithflagswavinginthe breeze, had been setupallalong the route thathewastofollowonhiswaytothe parish church, where the traditionalTe Deumwas.to be sung.Whitemen, mulattoes, and Negroes jostledoneanotherinthe

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II2BLACKLIBERATORcrowded streetstocatch a glimpseofthe slight figureofthemanwhose name was already a legend.Theclergy, bearing banners, censers,anda canopy, repairedtoresidencetoescorthimtochurch. For this occasion Toussainthadputona tricolour sash,andthe cuffsandcollarofhis light blue coatwereslashedwithgoldandcrimson.Healsoworehis famous three-plumed hat, adornedwiththe cockadeofthe Republic, and his hair was elegantlyknottedatthe backwitha black ribbon.Noswordhungfromhis richly jewelled belt,but-whetherasa gestureofarroganceoran affectationofsimplicity-hecarried a superbly fashionedgold-toppedmahoganycane. Followedbythreeofhis dragoon officers wearing their silver helmets and scarlet cloaks, he gavetheclergy the signalthathewas ready.Thecanopy underwhichhe wasnowinvitedtotake his place was supportedbyfournoble landowners. Toussaint, however, modestly refused this honour, saying that 'this was duetoGodalone,towhomonlyshould such incense be offered'.Theprocession was madeupofeveryonewhohadanyclaim to distinctioninthe cityorneighbourhood,whetherbyvirtueofposition, wealth,orbirth.Eventhe celebrated Marquis de Caradeux, renowned for his cruelty,tookhis placewithimperturbable equanimity, sidebysidewithladieswhobore the noblest namesoftheancienregime.Whenthe procession reached the first triunlphal arch Citizen Lespinasse, the presidentofthe landowners' delegation, delivered atrulyPindaric speech,inwhichhegave expressiontothe city's feelings towards this 'proverbialman'whohadbroughtthempeace.Atthe church Toussaint occupied a placeofhonourbeneath a golden-fringed, red silk canopy. Abovethisthrone therehadbeenembroideredinlettersofgold:'Godhasgivenhimtous:Godwillpreservehimfor us.'MtertheTeDeum,Toussaint was seentostandupand slowly climb the stepsofthe pulpit. Allthe'Frenchmenwhohadbeeninthe serviceofEngland had,onhis orders, beenbroughtto the placeofworship before the ceremony.OncemoreToussaint rebuked themenforhaving served a foreign enemy.Theywell deserved death,hetoldthem,butashe finished speakiP.g a mildness seemed to shinefromhis face:'Everydaywebeseech God,inthe Lord's Prayer,toforgive usourtrespassesasweforgivethemthattrespass against us; and so Inow,following the exampleofOurLordJesus Christ,doforgiveyouall!'

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16HEDOUVILLEMAKESMISCHIEF....HEEnglish forces evacuatedfromMirebalais,PortauPrince, Saint Marc, Archahaie, Leogane, andCroixdes Bouquets had been splitupintotwogroups, oneofwhich was togotoJeremie and the othertothe Saint Nicolas Mole.Inthe latter sector themaincontingentofforces was alreadyonitswaytothe Mole. Toussaint, despite the obvious obstaclestostorming the Mole, didnotconsider the task beyond his powers.Onthe pretextofcarrying fresh proposalstoMaitland he had sent Captain Verrettothiszone,tofindoutallhe could about the enemy's positions and defences, andtoexplore the feelings and sympathiesofthe local population. Verret didnotmeet Maitland,whohad gonetoJeremie.Buthe was able tofulfilhis real mission, andtoprovide his chiefwithinvaluable information regarding the military situationinthe north-west.Themainbodyofthe English fleet was at anchorinthe harbour, and Verret estimated its strengthatseven shipsofthe line, nine frigates, twelve corvettes, and ten privateers.Headded that there were at least a hundred and twenty-five American and British merchant vesselsatanchor.TheEnglish werenotunawareofToussaint' s extensive prepara tionstoattacktheMole; theNegrogeneral had so frequently forced his enemiesoutofseemingly invincible positions that Maitland wasbynomeans happy about the Mole's impregna bility.Anorder hadbeenissuedtothe artillery commanderinthe north-westtodestroyallhis cannonifthe infantry shouldbeforcedtowithdraw.Whileawaiting the assaultinthis sector, the English didnotleave the initiativetothe enemyinthe south.Anoffensive was launched against Andre Rigaud,whowas hurled backfromthe vicinityofJeremietoBar:r&l'es. Givinghimnotimetopause, the English continued the pursuittoCavaillon, driving a danger ous wedge intoCampPerin and threatening thetownofCayes. Irresistible, the British army, ledbyMajor Churchill, ravaged the entire plainofTiburon, while twenty-one men-of-warbombarded thetown,whereRigaudhad taken refuge. Completely-J{113

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II-4-BLACJ[LIBERATORoverwhelmed,RigapdappealedtoToussaint,whoimmediatelyinstructedallofficersnearthedangerzoneto-hastentoRigauds assistance. Toussaint himself,bringingtroopsfromthenorthbya seriesofforced marches,moveddowntotake personalcommandoftheoperationsinthesouth. .ThefightingforTiburonandCavaillon wasthebloodiestofthesoutherncampaign.TheEnglish,determinedtoholdontoGrande Anse,hadcovered these districtswithalltheirforcesinthesouth,andtheir warships,inco-operationwiththelandarmies, subjectedthecoastaltownstoa ceaselessbombardment.Itwasa criticalmomentforthecolonial defenders.DuringthesedarkhoursAndreRigauddisplayedthehighest courage:althoughcompletelyoutnumbered,hecontinuedtoresisttheEnglish attacks.Tiburonwas capturedandrecaptured.Ontheeveofa supreme effortwhichhemeanttomaketoseizeTiburonfromChurchill,RigaudwrotetoToussaint:'Restassured, Citizen General,thatweshall liberateTiburonorbewipedoutintheattempt,ifsuch isourdestiny.'Hiscounteroffensive was successfulandhaltedtheEnglishtorrent.MaitlandnowsoughttoachievevictorythroughthetreacheryofRigaud.LordHarcourtgotpermissionfromRigaudtovisithim,andassoonastheEarlfoundhimselfalonewithhimhetouchedonthemainreasonforhisvisit,remindingthegeneralofallthedisagreementshehadhadwithbothToussaintandtheFrenchGovernment,stressingtheinjusticetowhichhe,Rigaud,hadbeen subjected.HarcourtalsoemphasizedthefavourandthesuperiorrankgrantedbyFrancetotheNegroleader,tothedetrimentofallthemulattoes,andconcludedbyassuringRigaudofthelivelysympathyandadmirationfeltfor@m..byalltheEnglish officersandinparticularbyGeneral l-/ai.tland.Understandingperfectlywellwhitherallthiswasleading,RigaudobservedgentlytoLordHarcourtthathesupposedthatthelatter's visit was concernedwiththeevacuationofGratideAnse.'England,'repliedHarcourt,'willinnocircumstancesabandon.herpositionsinthesouth. Shehaswithdrawnfromthewestmerelywiththeobjectofreinforcingherstrengthinthesouth.Weshall remain,whateverthecost.' 'France,' rejoiiiedRigaud,'willneverleaveyouinpossessionofthesouthofSaintDomingue.AndI,formypart,shallcontinuetowagerelentlesswaragainstyou.'-

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,HtDOUVILLEMAKESMISCHIEFlISToussainthadno intention ofletting theEnglishinstallthemselvesfor good in the regionsoftheSaint Nicolas Mole' and Jeremie. Withhisusualswiftnesshe launchedhiscolumns against the north-west, while, fromhisheadquarters at Port au Prince, hesetabout 5trenghtening Rigaud'5 army, at present too feeble to undertake theoffensivehewasplanning against the English in GrandeAnse.Withthisin mind, Toussaint ordered Rigaud to come andseehim.Eventually Andre Rigaud appeared at Port au Prince and met Toussaint Louverture. These two men, whohadsomany interests in common,somany conflicting ambitions and secret rancours constantly drawing them together and separating them again, now beheld each other for the first time. Therewasno love lost between them, but each had an almost reluctant admiration for the other,asisthe way with great soldiers, even when theyarerivals. Rigaud showed Toussaint a restrained deference, although the latter went outofhisway tobecharming and tomakehisrival forgettheirdifference inrank.Wehave alreadyseenhow, from the moment when he firstbegancontemplating Sonthonax's expulsion, Toussainthadrealized that it wouldbeuseful to improvehisrelations with Rigaud,inspiteofhisparticipationin theCayesrevolt. Once the Commissionerwasoutofthe way the mulatto general felt acertainmeasureofgratitude towards 1'oussaint, for heknewthat hewasnow ridofa dangerous enemy who might well have put an end tohiscareer. Toussaint, forhispart,wasonly toowillingto adopt a friendly attitude towards Rigaud.Thetwo generals held severalmilitaryconferences, and went over everyaspectoftheoffensivethey were preparing against the English. It now seemed that thecloud between the two men had beendispersed,and that their mutual understanding would develop steadily. Meanwhile, however,HOdouvillewasvery anxious to meet Rigaud andseehowhecouldusehimasa foil against Toussaint. The southern commanderwasequally ready tomakecontact with the French Representativeassoonaspossible,soasto get into the Government' 5 favour once more, for the factthatthedeaeeaccusinghimhadnotbeenannulledlefthimina somewhat delicate position. Rigaud therefore informed Toussaintofhisdesire toseetheRepresentative, and Toussaint approved, even carryinghisbenevolence50farastoassureRigaud onhiswordof

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n6BLACKLIBERATORhonourthatnohaml,ina political sense,wouldbefallhimduringhis visittothenorth.Inhis reporttoHedouville regarding the decisions reachedbyRigaudand himself, Toussaintwrote:'SinceRigaudhasexpressed a desire toseeyou, I have offeredtoaccompanyhimtoCapFrans;ais.Thatwillalso affordmethe pleasureofconversingwith.,youagam. Suspicious and perspicaciousasever, Toussaint wasmuchtoowilyto letRigaudconferwithHedouvillewithouthimselfbeinginthe vicinitytowatchwhatimpressionthetwomenmadeoneach other.Whenthetwogenerals reachedCapHedouvilleatonce plungedintoa seriesofpolitical,military,andadministrative discussionswiththem.Throughoutthe conversationstheFrench Representative appearedtohave forgottenthepresenceofthe commander-in-chief:allhis attentions,allhis little courtesies,wereforRigaud.This was a dangerousgametoplaywithamanlike Toussaint,butHedouvillewentfurtherbyintitiating a seriesofprivate meetingswiththe mulatto. As soonashehadreached SaintDomingue,Hedouvillehadresolvedthatthe basisofhis policyintheColonyshouldbetoaggravate the rivalry between the mulattoandtheNegroleaders to the ultimate advantageofFrance.Hisobject wastoplaythemoffagainst each other,andforthisreason his first actonseeingToussainthadbeentoproposethatRigaudshouldbearrested. Hedouville,ofcourse,hadnointentionofdoingthis;hemerely wishedtoassessthe degreeofanimositywhichToussaint felt forRigaud;andthis manoeuvrewhichhadfailedthefirst time, succeeded perfectlywhenhetrieditagain.DuringRigaud'ssojourninCapHedouville'sattempttosetthe mulatto against theNegrowascrownedwithsuccess.Atfirst glancehehadsummedupthe southern commander's vanity,andnotedallthe weaknessesofhisproudbutinconsistent spirit. Hedouville. therefore, did all he couldtoextol Rigaud's ,personal meritsandthe icomparable serviceshehadrenderedtoFrance.HeregrettedthattheColonymustbegivenovertothe despotismofToussaint Louverture,andexpressed deep sympathy for the mulattoes,who,he said,wereknowntobeso sincerely devotedtotheirmothercountry. Perversely. Hedouville dangled before Rigaud's eyes the postofcommander-in-chief,andeven managed to find excuses forRigaud'srevolt against Sonthonax, whose

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-HEDOUVILLEMAKESMISCHIEFIIipolicy.,he declared, had been altogether too biased andNegrophile; and he undertooktoseethat the whole matter wasputrightwiththe Directory. Eventually Hedouville was abletoinsinuate thatitwas obviouslyinthe interestofthe mulattoestojoin forceswithhim;ifnottooverthrow Toussaint,atleasttomakehimconformtothe lawsofthe Republic. Hedouville concludedhisfinalinterviewwithRigaudbysaying solemnly,tothe other's great delight: 'General Rigaud,youare the only rampartofFranceinSaint Domingue.' Hedouville, though hemightdailyvowhatredtoroyalty and deathtothe aristocrats, washimselfbynomeans devoidofaristocratic leanings. Moreover,hismilitarybackground had instilled intohimthe senseofhierarchy in a nation; for he wasnoSonthonax. It secretly exasperatedtoseea Negro, a former slave, takinghisplaceatthetopofthe ladderonFrench soil and dictating lawstoalland sundry.Inhisdesiretohumble Toussaint, however, Hedouville had forgottenwhathe hadbeentoldbyKerverseau about Toussaint's character, and that the Negro's position was unassailable.Heimagined thatRigaudwas just the persontousetooverthrow the Negro leader. Rigaud, forhispart, was vain enoughtobelieve thathewas capableofoverthrowing Toussaint; and he eagerly joined forceswiththe Frenchman...Thetrue explanationofToussaint' s .so-called divinatory powersistobe foundinhisunerring instinct, and in the fact that he always made a pointofbeing minutely informed about every thing thatwentoninthe Colony. Although he spent little moneyonhimself,hepouredoutgoldtopaya wholearmyofspieswhopermeated every stratumofsociety.Heeven had his spies in the officesofGovernment MinistersinParis, and these kepthimregularly informed about political developmentsinFrance, and toldhimwhatmoves were being plannedbyhisadversaries.Itis .morethanlikely, then, that hehadplanted oneofhisspiesinHedouville's immediate entourage possibly some servantorother-whokept a careful watchoneverything. Such a systemofvigilance was typiCalofamanwhowas naturally inquisitorial, andwhodelightedinallm.annerofintrigue.Whenthetwogeneralstookleaveofeach other Toussaint, playing the gamehisownway, madenotthechange in his attitudetoRigaud. AccordingtoJuste Chanlatte, 'he even hoped thatRigaudwouldconfide the secretofHedouville's treachery in

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,ItSBLACKLIBERATOR.him'.Themulatto, however, saidnota word.Thesouthern commander, firedwithanewardour, delightedwiththe con wrsations he hadhadwiththe Civil Commissioner, and enchantedatthe new prospects which were openingoutbeforehim,returned to Cayes, resolved morethaneverfightanddefeat the English, andsoputan end to the legend6fToussaint Louverture. .

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17-ASECRETTREATYWITHENGLANDENERALawareofallToussaint's prepara tions, began to doubt more and more whether theofthe Saint Nicolas Mole and Jeremie wouldbeable to withstand the impending onslaught.Toprevent a cata strophe and to wind up the campaign with a remnantofhonour, he decided to withdraw voluntarily from Saint Domingue.OnJuly30Lord Harcourt arrived at Port au Prince, having been authorized by the English commander todiscussthetermsofthe capitulationofJeremie with Toussaint Louverture. Huin, who had achieved such notable results in the previous negotiations, was appointed to represent Toussaint with instructions to insist on the evacuationofthe Saint Nicolas Mole. Lord Harcourt and the French plenipotentiary took ship for Jeremie together. Negotiations were opened in Jeremie harbour, andonAugust10the agreement to surrender Jeremie andallthe neighbouring zone had been signed. It wasalsoagreed to suspend hostilitiesonthe north-western front. General Maitland provedlessamenable to the proposal that the Mole should be surrendered.ButTous saint ordered Huin to insist on its evacuationorto breakoffnegotiations. Healsosent Maitland a personal letter on the same subject,halfconciliatory,halfthreatening. The English gave way yet again. Huin then sent to Toussaint, for ratification, an instru mentofsurrender, themainclausesofwhich dealt with the 'surrenderofSaint Nicolas Mole, theguaranteeby Toussaintoflives and properties there, and a suspensionofhostilities for forty-two days. Andre Rigaudnowtook possession ofJeremie and the wholedistrictofTiburon by virtueofa special agreement. Ignoring Toussaint, andindefianceofmilitarydiscipline, he sent Hedou ville a full reportofthe taking overofthe town. This actionwas,inToussaint's eyes,proofpositiveofan agreement made behind his back at CapFrans;ais.General Maitland, being fully informed about the disagreements between Hedouville and Rigaud on the one hand and Toussaint on the other, sought toshufflethe cards once more.Hisplanwasto exacerbate the differences of-opinion whichsep-..ratedToussaint119

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120BLACKLIBER!.TORfromthe other two, and provoke anewrivalry for authority. Stubbornly, Maitlandwasstill tryingtofulfilthe ambitionsofEnglandinSaint Domingue; andhisplan was a clever one.Hehimself signed an agreementwithToussaint, dealingwiththe evacuationofthe Mole, and giving guaranteestothe French landowners.Aboutthe same time he arranged,bydevious means, that another English general should sign a similar treatywithHedouville, covering the same ground. Thus Hedouville had fallen into the English commander's trap, and the situation which Maitland soughttobring about was developing very smoothly.Toroundoffhisscheme, Maitland hastenedtothe Saint Nicolas Mole, where he denounced and toreupthe second agreement, reportedittoToussaint Louverture, and awaitedrepercussIons. Toussaint realized preciselywhatGeneral Maitland's tactics had been, and replied warily, stressing the fact thatinsigning the treaty he hadinnowayexceeded the powers entrustedtohim.Thedispute between Hedouville and the former slave was developing rapidly. Itistrue that discord between thesetwomenwas boundtocome eventually,butitwas Maitlandwhotouchedoffthe fuse. Hedouville wasnotthemantoaccept such a situation meekly, and the rift between thetwomen, separatedbythe conflictoftheir ideologies, widened ominously.OnAugust31, 1798,Toussaint setoutat the headofa columnofcavalrytotake possessionofthe Saint Nicolas Mole.Hewas welcomedbyGeneral Maitlandata little place called Pointe Bourgeoise, and the two generals conferred fortwodays. It was officially givenoutthat their discussions were limited to detailsofthe evacuation,butactually theirtalkswentmuchfurther. Maitland was taking advantageofthese-deliberations toputinto action a carefully workedoutplanbymeansofwhich he hoped towinover Toussainttothe British Crown.TheEnglishmantrodwarily, for heknewfrom experience that a crude offer would merely have the effectofangeringhisadversary.Hisfirst aim, therefore, wastoinstil into the Negro general'smindsenti ments favourable to England, b,efore embarkingonthemoredelicate stageofveiled and tempting insinuations.Withthisendinview Maitland had prepared an elaborate programmeoffestivitieswithwhich he soughttoimpresshisguest.Twodays later the commanders proceededtothe Saint

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ASECRETTREATYWITHENGLAND121Nicolas Mole. Surroundedbyanimposingandresplendent escortofwhite, mulatto, andNegroofficers, Toussaint enteredtothe pealingofbellsand the firingofheavy cannon.Thewholeofthe fleetatanchorinthe bay greetedhisarrival With salvoes and salutes, and a specialTeDeumwas sunginthe church,onwhich occasion Toussaint walked thither under a canopy,althoughhe had refusedtodo so for the landownersatPortauPrince. After the religious service, Maitland and Toussaint walked to the Placed'Armes, at a distancefromwhich a spacious tenthungwithscarlet velvet had been set up. A military display,inwhich a thousand English soldierstookpart,nowbegan.Itwas a splendid spectacle and appealed particularlytoToussaint,whoderived special pleasure from the musicofthe trumpets, and the clockwork precisionwithwhich the troops manoeuvred beforehim.Theillustrious visitor was visibly delightedbythe disciplineandbearingofthe British army.Atlunch-time the Negro commander was led into the tent, where a long table had been set up, ladenwithcostly foods, wines, and roses.Atthe conclusionofthe banquet AdmiralWhitepresented the wholeofthe silver waretoToussaintinthe King's name.Theprocession then adjournedtothe Palace occupiedbythe British Government.Itwas a beautiful and stately buildingofcarved stone and marble, generously proportioned and luxuri ously furnished, having been builtbyLordWhitein1795.Maitland then presented the PalacetoToussaint personallyonHisMajesty'sbehalf.Maitland was hoping that the former slave, overwhelmedbyall these ceremonies,wouldeventually yield to the unspoken suggestion.ButifToussaint felt any satisfactionatthis tremendous receptionitcan only have been for its social significance.IntruthToussaint's triumph couldnothave been greater: the proudest nationonearth was honouringinhima whole race which had till recently dweltinshameful degradation. Modestly and discreetly, Toussaint reported the ceremoniestowiththe barest touchofirony:'Ididnotexpecttobe treatedwithsuch deferencebyEngland. I trust thatthishonourable reception accordedtoa French generalbyan English generalwillnotdisplease you. I behavedinawaywhichI considered suitedtomyrank and repliedtothe bestofmyabilitytothemanydemonstrationsofhighregard for me.' Envious and resentfulofall the honours showered upon Tous-

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122BLACKLIBERATORsaint, Hedouville answeredthecommander'sreportwithacrudenesswhichwas agravetacticalerror:'Iwouldindeedbedelightedaboutthereceptionwereitnotthat1amcertainyouwerethedupeofMaitland.'Whatpreciselyhadtaken placeduringthetwodaysthatMaitlandandToussainthadspenttogetheratPointeBourgeoise?HadtheNegrogeneral reallybeenbeguiledbyMaitland, as Hedouville declaredWehavenoreasontoassumethis.AstheresultoftheBritish blockadeoftheportsandharboursofSaintDomingue,thestocksofeverykindofcommodityintheColonywererapidly diminishing.Moneywashardtocomeby,andrawmaterialswerestill scarce. Despitethefresh impulsewhichToussainthadgiventoproductionandagriculture,mostoftheinhabitantsoftheColonylived wretchedly.Thelandowners,havingnooutletfortheirproduce, became apathetic,andToussaint wastombyhis inabilitytosolvethesituation.DuringthemeetingsatPointeBourgeoisethetwogeneralsmadefinal arrangementsfortheevacuation. ToussaintthenaskedtheEnglish generaltoraisetheblockade. Maitland,whowasonlytooanxioustowinovertheNegroleader,wouldhavebeenwillingtomakethisconcession,butunfortunatelyhispowersdidnotpermithimtodoso. Suchanact woUldhavesetatnaughtthestateofwarexistingbetweenEnglandandFrance.Heacceptedtheproposalinprinciple,however,promisingToussaintthathewouldobtaintheconsentoftheBritishGovernmentassoonashereturnedtoLondon.Meanwhile,MaitlandundertooktosendfromJamaica shiploadsofmanufactured foodstuffswhichwerevitally needed,andwhichToussaintwouldpayforinkind.Itmaybeinferredfromtheirsubsequent correspondencethatthere existed a secrettreatybetweenthetwocommanders.Napoleonsawcopiesoftheletterswhichpassedbetweenthemandwhichindicate thebroadlinesonwhichthesecrettreatywasdrawnup. Thesemaybesummedupasfollows:I.Infuture thereweretobefriendly commercial relationsbetweenToussaintandEngland;2.England,inadditiontosupplyingtheNegroleaderwithfoodstuffsandothernecessities,wouldalso furnishhimwitharmsandammunition;3.ToussaintwouldguaranteetoprotectthelivesandpropertyofallFrenchmenwhohadfoughtforEnglandinSaintDomingue.4.England,undercoveroftheAmerican flag,wouldbeentitled

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ASECRETTREATYWITHENGLAND123totrade freelywiththe islandtothe same extentashersel Scarcely had Maitland reached LondonwhenhewroteToussaint a letter (dated January15, 1799)which clearly reveals the understanding thetwomenhad reached:'Iammost distressedtolearn that sincemydeparturefromthe Mole something must have happenedtomakeyouthinkthat a change was conte-mplatedinthe articlestowhichwebothsuscribeet. ...1ampersuaded, however, thatwhenyouhearofthe measures whichHisMajesty's Ministers havejustadoptedyouwillfindthemsufficienttoprove the contrary, for the Ministers are resolvedtouse the utinost energyinputting into effect the friendly discussions whichweheld together,andthustosubstantiate the secret agreement signedatthe Mole. Havingbeengranted fresh powerstothisend,andso that 1maymakeallthe necessary arrangementswithyoutoguarantee the securityofthatpartofthe island whereyouhold sway, I have been instructedbyHisMajesty's Ministerstoreturn yet againtoSaint Domingue.'TheMorningChronicle,commentingonthe arrangements madebyToussaint and Maitland, said:'OnJuly27,General Maitland reached England, having madehisvoyagewiththe latestfleettoarrive here "from Jamaica.Weare abletoinformourreaders thatthisdistinguished officerhasbeencompletely successfulinhisnegotiationswithToussaint Louverture.Hehasestablishedourcommercial relationswithSaintDomingueona footingwhichensuresusallkindsofadvantageous facilities.' Afterallthe spectacular reviews and celebrationsatthe Saint Nicolas Mole, Maitlandhadformally proposedtotheNegrogeneral thatheshould proclaimhimselfan independent KingofSaint Domingue, andhehad guaranteed that Great Britainwouldofficially recognizehimassuch. Toussaint, however, remaineddeaftothese fine proposals, where amoreambitious man, whiteorblack,wouldcertainly have succumbed.'Hispride,'saidGeneral PamphiledeLacroix.'inbelongingto.the greatestmilitarynationinthe world, and the secret pleasurehederivedfrombeing a General of" France, evenasBonapartewas,led Toussainttoreject England'sfairoffers.' Toussaint refusedtoyield, becausehehad greaterrithintheFrench Republicthaninroyalist England,whichstillpermitted slavery; and becausehewas unwillingtoputhimselfatthe mercyofa harsh and terrible power, which might easily,hefelt, isolate

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124BLACKLIBERATORhimand place againonhis brethren those chains whichtheFrench Republic had broken.WhenToussaint made his secret treatywithEngland, he was turningnotagainst France,butagainst Napoleon Bonaparte,who,asa rabid Negrophobe, advo cated slavery. Toussaint hoped thatbymeansofthe English alliance hewouldhave some supportinan emergencyNapoleon seektoannul the freedom grantedtothe NegroesofSaint DominguebyRevolutionary France which was indeed Napoleon's intention. Great Britain's surrenderofthe Saint Nicolas MoletoToussaint Louverture created a sensationallover the world. Some French officers, indeed, astoundedbysuch an inexplicable capitulation, attributedittoa secret agreement reached between the former adversaries. These critics felt that the factofwithdrawingfromsuch an invaluable strategic position, a place particularly desiredbythe Admiralty, and one which, accordingtoallFrance's military experts, Toussaint could never have captured, must necessarily imply that some project wasonfoot.Theythoughtthat Great Britain was merely leaving the Mole for the time being, and would later take possessionofthe whole islandwithoutthe needtosacrifice lives. Toussaint, they declared, had beenboughtbyEngland, and this alone could explain such an unexpected retreat. Toussaint,infact,asa resultofhisvictory, was suspectedofhaving givenallsortsofundertakingstoMaitland,tothe detriment,ofcourse,ofFrance.Itistrue that Toussaint had played his cards so carefully that Maitland did believe that eventually hewouldwinsomeofthe fruitsofvictorybyroundabout means.ButMaitland's principal reason for negotiatingwithToussaint was thathefeared the latter's armed might.TheEnglishman had seen that theNegrowas quite capableofachieving the apparently impossible; and Toussaint, whetherasa bluffornot, was certainly preparingtoforce the gatesofthe Mole and ofJeremiewithhisarmyoffanatics.Thecampaign in Saint Domingue, oneofthe few ever lostbyEngland, had lasted for ten years and had cost,000,000,andthelivesof45,000Europeans.Andtoonemanalone wasthiscostly disaster due: Toussaint Louverture. So Englandthoughtvery respectfullyofToussaint. Maitland therefore set out,withadmirable tenacityofpurpose,towinToussainttohis cause, andinthiswaytoincorporate Saint Domingue within the British Empire.

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ASECRETTREATYWITHENGLAND125Toussaint's army, commandedbyGeneral Clerveaux,tookpossessionofthe Saint Nicolas MoleonOctober3.During the afternoon thecommander-in4efhimselfentered thetownat the headofsix hundred dragoons.Hewasproposingtoset about reorganizing the region's administrative and agricultural affairs,whensummonedhimtoCap Frans;ais. Toussaintsetoutatonce,butwhenhewas onlytwoleagues from the northern capital, oneofhis secret agents informedhimthat his life would be endangeredifhe visited HedouvilleinCap Frans;ais. A trap had alreadybeenprepared forhim.Pensive and sombre, Toussaint turned aside and withdrewtoGonaives.Therelations betweenhimselfand the French Representative had been steadily deteriorating.Thecorrespondence that passed betweenthemwas filledwithoffended pride, recriminations, reproaches, and exasperating insinuations. Something wasboundtosnap soon.Atlast, tiredofHedouville's continual recriminations, Tous saint sentinhis resignation, informinghimthat he had sent Colonel GuybretoParis to conveyhisdecisiontothe Executive Directory. Hedouville, alarmed atwhatthe consequencestothe ColonymightbeifToussaint suddenly withdrewfrompublic life, and realizing that themanhe hated was nevertheless the'keytoSaint Domingue' and the only personwhocould sustain French authorityinthe island, refusedev:entoconsider Toussaint's resignation.Heknewthat the situation wasnotyetsufficiently stabilizedinSaint Domingue forhimtobe abletodo without Toussaint Louverture: later, perhaps,butnotyet. Thus the interestsofFrance obligedhimtoreject Toussaint's resignation, despite the active hatred he felt forhim.Toussaint,ofcourse, hadnointentionofwithdrawingfromthe public stage.Hisresignation was the bluffofaborngambler, andhewasverywell awareofhisvaluetoFranceinSaint Domingue.Hehad carefully assessedhisindispensability, and had determinedtooblige the DirectorytoinstructHedouvilletocontinue dealingwithhim.Nevertheless, Hedouville continuedtoreprimand Toussaintonevery conceivable occasion; andonSeptember21thecommander-in-chief wrote tohimwithassumed humility: 'Allyourletters seemtohave the one objectofremindingmeofmyduties. ...Whocould possiblybemore devotedtothe principlesofthe ConstitutionthanI was a slave andithas setmefree; I

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-12.6BLACKLIBERATORwasan outcast from society:mdithasdrawnme and my brothers within the fold; Iwascondemned to scorn...overburdenedbythe humiliations inherentinslavery, and I have nowbeenraisedto the highestmilitaryrank, without aspiring to such a height,orsuggesting that itwasmy due. .. 'You remind me that I am answerable to you and not to the Directory. ...I recognized your authority when I sentmy resignation. Had I not doneso,you would not haveailedtodrawmy attention to it, and no doubt reminded me over and over again that itisinyour power todismissme whicliinanycaseI am obliged tothinkyou would greatly like to do.' This letter must have exasperated Hedouville even more, for,inaddition to the underlying ironyofits tone, it clearly revealed Toussaint's annoyance. IfHedouville had understoodhisman and been able to interpret the tone ofhis letters, he would have taken heed, and wondered what Toussaintwasquietly planning againsthim.Actually Toussaintwassomuch angered by the crudenessofHedouville's attacks that he wrote to Laveaux, informinghimofthedifficultieswhich the Representativewascreating; andindoingsohewassubtly preparinghisgreat defenderinFrance for thecoupd'etathewasplanning.-

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18HEDOUVILLEISEXPELLED EDOUVIILEdetermined to take drastic stepstorestrict the power which Toussaint had taken uponhimselAsa pre" he issued a decreeinwhich he announced thatallFrenchmenwhohad fought for the English and hadbeenre-enlistedbythe commander-in-chiefwouldbe expelledfromthearmy;he then announced thatallproperty belongingtosuch Frenchmen, which hadbeenconfiscatedbythe Republic and returnedtothembyToussaint,wouldbe re-confiscated.Thecommander-in-chief ripostedwitha proclamation reaffirmingthathis amnestywasstill effective and irrevocable, that any property which he had returnedtoformer ownerswouldcontinueintheir possession irrespectiveofwhether they had fought for Englandornot, and thatallthe emigres he had accepted intohisarmywouldremain there.TheRepresentative, losingallpatience, then issued anewdecree reducing the sizeofthe army.TheNegrobrigades,alldevotedtoToussaint, weretobedissolved, 'as a measureof,-economy.Althoughnoattention was paidtothese decrees,themoral" effectwasdisastrous, and the suspicious hostilityofallthe Negroes -la.bourers, soldiers, officers, and gene ed at once against Hedouville andhispolicyintheColony. Toussaint preparedtomakefulluseofallhisopponent's tactical errors.Hisfirst stepwastowrite officiallytoHedouville, protesting against the decrees and exhortinghimtoannul them.Ina toneofassumed friendship he warned the Representative that the decrees were boundtobewrongly interpretedbythe masses, who,inrevenge, might well plunge the whole Colony into anarchy. Hedouville, however, stucktohisguns,justasToussaint had hoped.Thenthe Negro generalwenta step further.HewenthimselftoCapand publicly begged Hedouvilletorescindhismeasures.Thelatteragainrefused, and Toussainttookadvantageofthe occasiontooffer the Representativehisresignation once more, complaining thathewas being persecutedbypersonswho'hatedhiscolour',andwhospreadfalseandslanderous rumours abouthimamong the membersofthe Directory.Heassumed theairofbeing utterly127

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128BLACKLIBERATORwornoutbythe arduous responsibilitiesandcaresofhishighoffice. And Hedouvillethoughthehadhimbeaten.WhenToussainttookhisleaveofHedouville he seemed sad and subdued.TheRepresentative had receivedtheimpressionofamanwhosepowerhad been vastly overestimated, andwho,. resigned to lossofauthority,wouldnowbe easytobringtoheel.ButToussaint ever since his arrivalatGonaives had been carefully preparing his plans. Scoresofpetitions accusing Hedouvilleandhis administration pouredintothe Directory, signedbyallthe most influential landowners, spurredonbyToussaint. Toussaint sent his emissariesthroughouttheColonyspreading therumourthat the freedomofthe Negroes was threatened, since Hedouville's sole ambition wastobe ridoftheir commander-in-chieTheresultofthis campaign was preciselywhatToussaint had antici pated: the masses were/being stirredupatthe mere whisperofa possible returntoslavery. Hedouville had a vague presentimentofthe storm which was brewing, and took steps to dealwithit.Onthe pretextofhavingtogivehimnewinstructions, he summoned AndreRigaudtoCap Franyais to discusswithhimthe bestwayofneutralizing Toussaint's influence and activities. Toussainthadbeen waiting for this verymomenttounmask his batteriesandhave donewithHedouville. Toussaint wasinthe Government PalaceatPortau Prince when,onthemorningofSeptember20,1798,his staff officers toldhimthat General AndreRigaudwas passingthroughthetownonhiswayto CapFranr;:ais.Theofficers asked whether they were to permitRigaudto continue his journey. ThisisPamphile de Lacroix's versionofthe incident:'Ihaveitongoodauthorityfroma reliable Creolewhowas thenwithToussaint thatwhenthe commanderofPortau Prince and. several Negroes, officersofToussaint's staff, toldhimindisturbed tonesthatGeneralRigaudwasonhiswayto CapFranr;:ais,the commander-in-chief replied,"Lethimgo, lethimgoandreceive his instructionsfromthe Representativeofthe Directory. Havenofears.Withdraw,ifyouplease."Theofficers obeyed,andthe personfromwhomI have this account also wishedtowithdraw,whenToussaint said,"No,no. Please stay.Youarenotinmyway."Hethen began a monologueina hollow, inspired voice:"Icould easily havehimarrested. ...ButI must not. ...I need Monsieur Rigaud. ..Heisviolent and excitable. ...I needhimfor waging war. ...Andthiswarisnecessarytome. ...WereItodeprivethe

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HtDOUVILLEISEXPELLEDmulattoesofMonsieur Rigaud, theymightfind another and better leader.IknewMonsieurRigaud...Hegives free reintohis horsewhenhe gallops, and shows hisarmwhenhestrikes; I, too, gallop,butIknowwhenitll'prudenttostop.AndwhenI strike a blow Iamfelt,butnotseen. MonsieurRigaudcan contrive rebellions onlybymeansofbloodshed; Ialsoknowhowtostirmenup,butdonotwaxfurious myselAndwhenI appear.everything must be tranquilagain." ,After his visittoCapRigaudhadreturnedtoCayes, delightedwithhis conversationswithHedouville.Asexuberantasever,hehadbeenso unwiseastotalktomorethanone admirer, sayingthatthehourofhisreckoningwithToussaintnotfardistant. Such imprudent speeches were,ofcourse, relayedtoToussaint. Toussaint,whoalways preferred attackingtodefending, wasnowonly waiting for the slightest sliponthepartofthe French Representativetolet loose the revolthehad prepared.AtmiddayonOctober 19, 1798, a scared, dusty courier, his eyes still staringatthe carnagehehad witnessed, burstintoHedouville's palaceatCapand handedhima sheetofpaper. Hedouville glancedatitand leapedtohis feetwithan exclamationofhorror:'MassacreatFort Liberte!' -TheregionofFort Liberte had been carefully worked overbyMoise Louverture,who,helpedbya.drought,had foundnodifficultyinstirring the populaceupagainst the FrenchRepresentative.Thedroughthadbroughtme regiontothe vergeoffamine, and Moise's troops stationedatFort Liberte hadbutscant rationsoffood and money.Theywentabout almostnaked,andhadtolive little betterthancommonmarauders.Ontheotherhand, the white soldiers were well fed and wellclad.ThemilitarystoresatFort Liberte werefilledtooverflowingwithprovisionsofallkinds,butthese were only for Europeans.Everyday theNegrosoldierssawgreat loadsoffood settingoutforCapfor the delectationofthe white men.TheNegroes were thus ripe for trouble.Onemorning the store manager, aFrenchman,actingonHedouville's instructions, was preparingtosend twenty-five barrelsofsmoked fishtoCapTheportcommander, Herlin, was abouttohave the barrels shippedonboard,whentheNegromilitarypost refused point-blanktopermit it. This was reportedatoncetoHedouville,whoheld Moise LouvertureI

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130BLACKLIBERATORresponsible, and administered a severe reprimand.Withsel.assurancethe general replied: 'Herlinhadsaid the evening before that there were no rations available..After the guard hadfusedto allow the provisions to be shipped, Herlinaskedme toislue an order that they were tobeput on board, and I refused. Hedouville replied .contemptuously to Moise's observations. and orderedhimto do whathewastold in the future withoutcomment'on painofdismissal'.Mrer this incident an atmosphereofrevolt reigned at Fort Liberte. A fewdayslater Moise found himself obliged to arrest oneofhisown half-brothers, Captain Charles Zamor, and a French captain, called Marteau, who had quarrelled. Iinmediately afterwards Moise had to leave Fort Liberte and proceed toVallieresonofficialbusiness.No sooner hadhegone than Charles Zamor brokelooseand began searching forhisadversary. White men and Negroes split up into hostile groups, ready to fight. Hedouville, learningofthe stormy atmosphere at Fort Liberte, and knowingofthe mutinous anger stirring in the Fifth Colonial Regiment, which was Zamor's, held General Moise Louverture to blame, and virtuallydismissedhimfromhiscommand. Moise rode off to the arsenal, whencehesent aspecialcourier tohisapprisinghimofHedouville's action againsthim.Inaccordance with Hedouville's order, the Regiment were ordered 'to lay down their arms before the national tribunal'. 'You must know,' replied Adrien Zamor, the Colonelofthe Regiment, 'that the Fifthreceivesorders from General Moise alone!' Hearingthis,the French 84th Regiment, which formed the National Guard at Fort Liberte, andwascomposedofmulattoes andmen, opened fire on the Fifth. A brief and bloody battle ensued, andCharles Zamorwasoneoftheslain.The Fifth, being in the minority, scattered in all directions, and Gener:tl Moise disappearedinthe 'directionofthe mangroves.'Hissuccessor,now masterofthe situation, promptly proclaimed thatMoisewasdeprived ofallhismilitary ranks and titles, and declaredhiman outlaw.AssoonasToussaint heardofthe disorders at Fort Liberte he instructedallhislieutenants to converge on CapFrant;ais.Hedouville, terrified at the rapid developmentofthe disorders at Fort Liberte, hastily sent a delegation to the commander-in chief, urginghimto come and pacify the demonstrators.Toussaint allowed the revolt to mount higher and higher, and did not himselfsetfoot outside Gonaives. From thehillsround CapFrant;aisthere descended bandsofplantation workers carrying-

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UiDOUVILLBISBXPBLLBD131spades, forks,andpickaxes. HCdouville's predicament became hourlymoreacute. ..'Toussaint, feelingthatbynowHedouville's morale should havebeensufficiently shaken, decidedtovisit the sceneofaction.Ashe rode into the midstofthe rebelshewasgreetedbycriesof'DownwithHedouville" Revertingtothe tacticshehad usedwithSonthonax, he ordered the cannon at Fort Belairtobeired every five minutestoinstil fearintothe heartsofHedouville andhissupporters. Sofar,Heclouville couldnotbelievethattheleaderofthisinsurrection could really be the commander-in-chiefhimself, and still cherished the hope thatitmightallbe the doingofMoise Louverture alone.When,however, the news spreadamongthe defendersofCapFrant;aisthatToussaint Louverture'waswiththerebels', a waveofpanic sweptthroughdie Representative's followers,withthe result that hewas'almost abandonedtohisfate.Thenext day Hedouville sentbysea, viaMonteChristi, a special emissary advising the authoritiesatFort Libertetowithdrawto Santo Domingo, andfrom theretosetsailfor France, whitherhewashimself planning to go.ItwasonOctober22that HedouvillewentonboardthefrigateBravotlre,followedbya thousand otherswhohadmanagedtofindroomontwoother vessels. Before goingonboard the Representative hadissueda proclamationinwhich hedeclared,amongotherthings:'General Toussamt Louvertureisabouttoputintoeffecthisplan for independence, agreeduponinconcertwiththeCourtofSaint James and the Governmentofthe United States.'ToAndreRigaudhewrote:'Forcedtoleave the Colony, CitizenGeneral,bythe perfidious ambitionofToussaint Louver tore,whohassold himselftothe English, the emigres, and the Americans, andwhodoesnothesitatetoviolate the most solemnofoaths, I conveytoyouallthe authoritywhichhasbeenentrustedtohimascommander-in-chief, and I inviteyoutotakeoverthecommandofthe south.' ScarcelywasHedouvilleonboardtheBravourewhentherebellion died down. Toussaint enteredCapFrant;ais the same day, andhisfirst act wastoinvite Hedouville, whose shipwasstillinharbour,toland again and takeuphiscommand.Heknewperfectly well that Hedouvillewasnotso foolishastoputhisheadintothe lioh's jaws,butitwastypicalofthe moves which Toussaintwouldmakeinadvancetoprovehisinnocenceifnecessary.-

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19COMMISSIONERROUMETAKESOVERHENHedouville leftCapthe Ministerofthe Navy,asa precaution at a time when anything might happen from one day to the next, had despatched to MonsieurduMaine, the financial controllerofthe Colony, a sealed envelope which wastobe opened onlyinthe eventofHedouville's death; and, to the Colony, Hedouville's departure amounted to the same thing.OnBrumaire 7 M.duMaine visited Toussaint at Gonaives and handedhimthe sealed envelope.Itcontained instructions authorizingRoume,representing the DirectoryinSanto Domingo, to succeed Hedouville in the eventofthe latter's death. Thus, at the very moment when Toussaint was beginning to feel that he was rid, at least for a few months,ofthe Directory and its Commissioners, he found himself facedwithanother Commissioner, fallenasitwereoutofthe blue. Roume's papers were forwarded tohim,and he himself reached Capon January12,1799. Completelywonover in his first meetingwithToussaint,RoumewrotetoLaveaux: 'Although heissuffering greatly from an old wound, Toussaint came toseemehere on the 2ndofthismonth. I had already formed a high opinionofhisheart and mind,butI find that evensoI had fallen far short inmyestimateofhim.Heisa philosopher, a legislator, a general, and a good citizen. Toussaint s merits aresooutstanding that Iseeonly too wellwhycertain persons denyhimany merit whatsoever and seek only to heap ridicule and slander uponhim.'Had he really failed to grasp that all Toussaint's high-handed actions against Hedouville and Sonthonax sprang from a determi nation to make all France's Commissioners subservienttohiswillOfcoursenot:butwhy,then, shouldRoumelaunchoutinto such ahymnofpraise for the autocratBecause Roume's plan, the result perhapsofwhathe had learned from the fateofhis ,predecessors, was to bind ToussainttoFrancebysinging his praises, givinghimhis head, and granting his everywish.TheRepresentative perceived that Toussaintwasundoubtedly the mainstayofFrench authority in Saint Domingue, and that there was nothing to preventhim,inanaccessofdispleasure,from1)2

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COMMISSIONERROUMETAKESOVER133proclaiming himself independentofFrance.Roumetherefore considereditgoodpoliticstoavoid giving Toussaintanyexcuse for breakingoffrelationswiththemotherCOWltry,andfromthemomenthetookuphisnewdutieshesubmitted himselftothe yokeofthe commander-in-chieOnthe very dayofhisinstallationRoumeissued a proclama tion invitingallthe citizenstorespect and admire the virtuesofthe greatmantowhomFranceowedthe fact that shewasstill mistressofSaint Domingue. ..'Youcannot,' he added, placetoomuchconfidenceinhim;and the decrees and pro.::lamations publishedbytheAgencywillbe hisworknolessthanmine.' Toussaintdidnotomitto address amemorandumtothe Directoryonthe recent courseofevents, andhetooktheopportWlityofplacing the responsibilityonHedouville's bad faith, lackofjudgment,and politicalandsocial shortcomings.Hedeclared that Hedouville had personally engineered the Fort Liberte revolt; and hewasatpains toshowthat Hedouville's measures against the plantation workers and native army, and the hostility which he showedtoToussaint himself, could only leadtoa rebellion against whichToussaint-despiteallhisloyaltyanddetermination-waspowerlesstoact.Hefurther declaredthathe had seen the revolt coming,andprecisely for this reason had offeredhisresignation soasnottobe involvedinanyway.Turningtothe Fort Liberte affair, Toussaint declaredthathewasonhiswaytorestorelawandorderwhenhe received detailed information regarding 'Hedouville's evil intentions' towardshim.Undeterred, however, he had endeavouredtoquell the rising,buthis effortswereofnoavail against the angry temperofthe masses,whoevenwentso farastoreproachhim'for the slaughterofthe NegroesatFort Liberte, and for the dismissalofGeneral Moise, a loyal servantofFrance, andmyownnephew'. Toussaint describedhowthe angerofthe populacehadmOWlted higher and higherasthe resultofHedouville's political mistakes. Hedouville, amanofswift :md drastic decisionswhenitcametodefending himself, had shown himself hesitantandcontradictory during the timeofthe risings: andthisfactinitself clearly proved his guilt. Toussaint concludedbyemphasizing thathemanaged,inthe end,byprayers, threats, and promises,toobtain a periodofcalm.Hethen hastenedtoCaptoset Hedouville free,

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134 BLAClCUBElA'tolbutwas astonishedtofind that the Representative, actingwithill-considered precipiution,hadembarked for France. Offering the Directory furtherproofofhisdisinterestedness, Toussaint again resigned,knowingverywellthathis resignationwouldnotbe accepted.Hehad therumourofhisresignation. bruited abroad,andeveryone believedthatitwas genuine.Thegreat landowners, however, realizinghownecessaryitwastoretain Toussaintinpower, begged their 'father and benefactor'notto desert them,anddeclared thathiswithdrawalfrompublic lifewouldmean the returnofanarchy.TheDirectory gave the impression thatitaccepted Toussaint's versionofthe risingasCOrrect;butevenhaditnotdonesoitwouldhave been quite unable toshowthe commander-in-chiefanymaterial signofdisapproval. So Hedouville was officially censured for his ineptitude andhismistakes, while hisopponentwas confirmed in his appointment and congratulated oncemoreonhis successful administrationofthe Colony. Napoleon,however, was already beginning to resent the activitiesofthisNegro'--leader, a manwhowas certainly essential to the welfareofthe Colony,butwhoseauthoritarian methodswerespeedily becoming intolerable. Meanwhile, General AndreRigaudwasbothdistressedandindignantatHedouville's fate, anddidnotconcealfromthe commander-in-chief his regretatthe expulsionofhispatron.Inhisownmind, Toussaint had already condenmedRigaudonthe day following theirjointvisit to Hedouville; and the southern commander's conductduringthe Maitland negotiationshadmerely strengthened Toussaint inhisresolvetohave donewithhim. Toussaint's autocratic logic wassummedupinthe beliefthatwho'wasnotforhimwas againsthim.Rigaud,therefore, must be removed. .Thwartedand oppressedbyToussaint's dictatorial behaviour,RigaudgaveoutthatheWastiredofthe struggle forpower,andthepettyintriguesoftheColony;and he, too, spokeofresigning.Hecommunicatedhisdesiretowhonaturallydidnotbelieve awordofit, being fully awareofthe spirited pugnacityofhisproudand stubborn subordinate. Forhispart,Roumede Saint Laurent fearedthatthe differences betweenhiscommander-in-chief and GeneralRigaudmightrapidly deteriorateintocivilwar..Inordertoobviatethis,andinanattem:pttoharmonize their pointsofview,hesummoned

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-COMMISSIONERROUMETAXES OVERI3S(with Toussaint's acquiescence)allthe commandersofthezonesandregionstomeetatPortauPrinceatthebeginningofFebruary1799.Itwillbe recollected, however,thatwhenGeneralHedouville left SaintDominguehe formally releasedRigaudfromanyobligationtoobey the commander-in-ehief; and the result wasthatthetwomenviewed eachotherwithill-concealed hostility.Theirantagonism was further increasedbya decree that separatedthetownshipsofGrand Goave and Petit Goavefromthe western region,andincorporatedtheminthe south. ActingonTowsaint's advice, Sonthonax had cancelled thisdecreewiththe objectofreducing the extentofthe territory controlledbyRigaud.Thetwozones had beenjoinedinto one autonomous region,withUoganefor capital,andhandedovertotheNegrogeneral, Laplume,whowasdevotedtoToussaint.Rigaudhad never acknowledged this stateofaffairs.Heconsidered Sonthonax's cancellation invalid,andclaimed that thetwotowns carne under hisownmilitary jurisdiction.Athis departure, Hedouville had revived Rigaud's claimbyrestoringauthoritytothe decree. This gave pointtothe unspoken divergenceofopinion betweenRigaudand Toussaint.IninvitingRigaudto'takeoverthe commandofthe south' Hedouville was bequeathing a treacherow legacytothe colony; and he had fore seen the consequenceswithMachiavel4an accuracy.Themainproblem which confronted the CongressofPortauPrince, then, was to determine whether thetwoplacesinquestionweretobehandedoverto the westortothe south. All the principal generals, Rigaud, Beauvais, Laplume, Toussaint, Des salines, and Moise, answeredRoume'ssummons.Thequestion was so delicate, however, thatithadtobe approachedwiththe greatest caution,andthe conference openedinan explosive atmosphereofmistrwt.RoumehimselfandLouis Jacques Beauvais (who commandedtheJacmel zone),werefilledwitha genuine desire for peaceandconcord,butalltheothermembersofthe conference had gonetoPortauPrincewithfirmlypreconceived notionsofwhatthey wanted,andwereliabletoBareupatthe slightest provocation, realorimagined.OnFebruary4, 1799,after a pompous ceremony celebrating the abolitionofslavery,Roumeissued amovingappeal for unity,..........whichwas endorsedbyToussaint.Thecommander-in-ehief's endorsement, however,waspurely verbal,asheconsideredthat

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136BLACKLIBERATORwrity could be achieved onlybytotal submission tohispersonal authority. And he was resolved to dealwithRigaud: forifhe couldnotbe ridofthe mulattohiswhole social and political .project would necessarily come to naught.Roume,meanwhile, raised the vexed questionofthe geo graphical boundariesofthe southern region. General Laplume, supportedbyToussaint, laid claim to Grand Goave and Petit Goave, a claim which was instantly rejectedbyRigaud.Duringthe courseofthe discussion tempers grew more and more heated, and thetwogenerals exchanged bitter words.Atone point. indeed, the argument becamesoviolent thatbothRigaudandLaplume drew their swords, while the haplessRoumeprayed to allhissaints to helphimfind a peaceful solution to the problem.TheConunissioner couldnotmake up his mind which sidetofavour. Throughout the altercation Toussaint remained silent,butasthe discussion drew to a close he spoke. Supporting Laplume, he decreed,ascommander-in-<:hiefofthe army, that thetwoplaces under discussion should be included in Laplume's command.Rigaudwouldnotbudge fromhisattitude, and trembledwithfuryand indignation. Once Toussaint had spoken, however,Roumeemerged from his vacillations and hastened to endorse the viewsofthe co:mmander-in-<:hie Usinghisauthorityasrepresentativeofthe French Republic, he urgedRigaudtoconform to the proposed solution. Speechlesswithanger, the southern commander rose to his feet and left the council chamber, slamming the door behind him.Onehourlater he leftPortau Prince,notwithout sendingRoumea letter in which he accused the Commissioneroffavouritism, and offeredhimhis resignation. AcringonToussaint's instructions, Laplume returned tohisheadquarters immediately. Three days later, Saint Domingue was floodedbya hostofsatirical lampoons aeclaring thatRigaudwas a hothead, and a soldier whose inept administration was equalled onlybyhis vanity. Even Saint Domingue'sOfficialBulletinjoinedinthe defamation, denouncing the southern commanderasa constant sourceoftrouble to France. Toussaint wasnowquite ready for the fight,buthe was anxious to makeRigaudthe aggressor. It was to achievethis,therefore, that he prickedhimwithhisbanderillos,asa bullisirritated and blinded into fury and madnessinreadiness for the matador's final blow.R;gaudretaliated upon these attacksbya seriesofbitterandinsulting leaflets which must certainly have wounded the prideof

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COMMISSIONERROUMETAXESOVER137the commander-in-chief,whomhecharacterizedasamonster, having betrayed,onebyone, Spain, England,andFrance'. Thus thetwogenerals, like the Greeksofold, exchanged_______scornful gibesandinsults before having recoursetoarms.Andthe tension increased accordingly.

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20WARWITHTHEMULATTOESTtheendofApril1799 Toussaint signed atreatyof'allianceandfriendship'withtheUnitedStates. FearingthatFrancemightseektotake reprisals,hewantedtomakesurethathewouldhave helptohandinanemergency,andafewdays after Hedouville'sdeparturehehadsentanenvoytotheAmerican President,JohnAdams.IgnoringFrance, President AdamshadrespondedbysendingtoSaintDominguea special representativetodeal directwithToussaint. Negotiationsbeganduringthefirst daysofApril 1799,andwereconcludedbythe25th.Thetreatywhichresultedfromthediscussions was.submittedtoRoumeonApril 27,andtheFrench Representative,'byconstraintandforce', ratified it. Soastoretain aremnantofprestigeintheeyesoftheAmerican diplomat,Roumemadeafewminoralterationsinthetext.Inpointoffact,thetreatywasquite opposedtotheinterestsofFrance, sinceitdidawaywithalltherestrictionswhichhadpreviouslymadea FrenchmonopolyofSaintDomingue'scommerce.Therewas also a special clause'ofallianceandfriendship'prohibitingFrench privateersoperatinginSaintDomingue'sterritorial watersfromseizing American vessels passingthroughthezone.TheUnitedStates,onherpart,undertooktosupply Toussaintwithallherequiredinthewayof'armamentsandmanufactured goods. This'goodneighbour'treatywaswarmlywelcomedinAmericantradingcircles,andJohnAdams announcedittohis fellow citizensina stirring proclamation.Roumefully realizedthatthetreatywastothedetrimentofFrance,andwrotetoKerverseautoexplainwhyhe.hadratifiedit:'AlthoughIsawthatitwouldnecessat.ilyfavourtheEnglish,asalliesoftheAmericans, I also feltthatitwas essentialtoavoid reducingtheinhabitantsofSaintDominguetosuch a pitchthattheymu..t either starveor,declaring independence, deal privatelywitha foreignGovernment.'Carewas takentoexcludethesouthernports,cOIIUn;UldedbyfromenjoyingthebenefitoftradingwithNorthAmerica: indeed,theblockadeofthese ports wasrenewedwitheven greater vigour.Inthisway,whileawaiting the firingoftheshot,thecomnlander-in-clllef .was seekingtoisolate hisenemyandstarvehimintosubmission.138

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WARWITHTHEMULATTOES139Twoweeksafterthe signingofthe treaty a frigate anchoredoff CapFranS.bringing backtoSaint Domingue General Mait land,whowasaccompaniedthistimebyGeneral Grant. Maitlandhadnowthe fullest powerstodealwithToussaint Louverture. Indeed,onJanuary7, 1799,the KingofEngland had issued a public proclamation declaring that the portsofSaint Domingue werenowopentoBritish trade. Clearly, the British Government were anxiou'ltocompromise Toussaint in the eyesofthe French Government, and thus forcehimtotake the irrevocable stepofdeclaring a stateofindependence and sidingwithBritish interests. Britain'saimwastolure Toussaint,byhookorbycrook..into autonomy, and thentopluck the fruitsofhi.;defection from the French Republic. .-Ontheir arrival Maitland and Grantatonce calledonRoume.Taken abackbythisunexpected visit from the official enemiesofFrance,hegreetedthemcoldly, treatingthemwithfrigiddiscouragement.Thesudden appearanceofthe English pleni potentiary gaverisetothe wildest rumours throughout CapFranS,mostlytothe detrimentofToussaint Louverture.Thelatter entered the city during the courseofthe afternoon. After a short interviewwiththe Englishmenitwas decided that the discussions should be heldatGonaives.TheEnglish frigate reached GonaivesonMay18,andallthe officen andmenweregiven shore leave. All eyesinSaintDominguewereturnedonthiscity in which,itwasdeclared, the fateoftheColonywas being played out. Everyone believed that Toussainthadselected Gonaivesasthe place from which hewouldmake a sensational announcementtothe waitingworld:the establishmentofan independent State.Whatthe subjectofthe negotiations goingonat GonaiveslAlthough nobodyknewthe exact details, the general linesofwhatwas happening could be pieced togetherfromindiscretions let slipbymembersofToussaint's entourage.Itwas reported thatbothMaitland and Stevens, the American Charge d'Affaires, were making the most strenuous effortstoforce their colleaguetodeclarehisindependence andputhiscardsonthe table.With'prudentstubbornness, however,theNegrogeneral refusedtoJcome.toany formal agreementwithEngland and the United Statesinthisrespect. .Whenitcametothemomentofcasting the die, Toussaintwasbesetbyahostofperplexities and fears.Herealized that the

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140BLACKLIBERATORFrench Republic was,inspiteofhernaval weakness, stillpowerful, and he wonderedifhewouldbewisetomake any formal alliancewithEngland. Toussaintdidnottrust England,andhetherefore refused toconunithimselftothe persuasive envoys, although,atthe same time, he was carefultoleavethemthehopethatanagreementmightbe reachedintheHewasanadeptintheartofequivocal speech, and, like all Negroes,knewhowtoavoid saying either 'yes'or'no'.Maitland,findingthathewasnotabletoextract the categorical answer forwhichhe hoped,thoughtthatatleast his allywouldagreetoauthorize British shippingtoenter the island's ports and harbours under itsowncolours; and hethoughtalsothatToussaintwouldpermitGranttoremaininSaintDomingueasthe official representativeofGreat Britain. TheseweretwoconcessionswhichwouldvirtuallyamounttoanactofindependenceonToussaint'spart:butthe commander-in-chief saw the pitfUl,andrefused point-blanktograntthe Englishman's requests.'Butthisisall so humiliating for GreatBritain!'declared Maitland.'Thenwemust breakoffournegotiations,' retorted Toussaint.TheNegrocommander, indeed,hadembarkedonthe perilous courseofnegotiationswithEnglandandtheUnitedStatesonlyallthe resultofthe Colony's dire need,andhisownlust for power.Hefully appreciatedthathe was skatingonthe thinnestofice,andthat he was endangeringnotonly hisownfuture,butalsothatofall hisNegrobrethren. Hence his sudden silencesandhis apparently caprkious advances and retreats.Inthe evenings, after his fellow negotiators had returnedtothe English frigate,Toussaint was to be seen wandering restlesslyaboutthe gardensofhisvilla, apreyto anxious reflections.Butinspiteofhis vacillations agreement was reachedonanumberofimportantissues.Thepointsofthe agreementwerethese:(I)England,inreturn for Toussaint's friendship andforthe commercial advantageswhichhewouldgrantherinSaintDomingue(the saleofcolonial produce and the right to anchorinthe portsofSaint Domingue),undertooktosupplyhimwithmanufactured goods;(2)England guaranteed to assist theNegrocommanderintheeventofan armed disputewithFrance;(3)Thestateofwarexisting between EnglandandFrance

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WARWITHTHEMULATTOES141wouldinno-wayaffectthisagreement betweenthetwocon tracting parties; and, forherpart, America, enjoyingthesame commercial privilegesasEngland,wouldkeep Toussaint suppliedwithfood and provisionsbyvirtueofa special agreementtobedrawnuptothis effect. .TobothEnglandandtheUnitedStates SaintDominguewasnowdefaaoan independent State, and,bythe versionofthe agreement which they disseminated, they gave the impression thattheColonyhad become autonomous.AndwhenMaitbndleft, Harcourt remainedtoamplifyandperfect the arrangements implicitintheagreement.Itwas obviouslyoutofthe question that the FranceofNapoleon Bonapartewouldlook favourablyonthis obviousencroachmentonhersovereignty.overSaint Domingue. For the time being, however, she foundobligedtofeign ignoranceofwhatwas going on,:oinceshe was quite unabletodoanythingaboutToussaint. Sheknewthathewas likely, should Fran.:eshowherdisapprovalofhis action,todeclare a stateofindependenceandthrowinhislotwithFrance's enemies. Meanwhile, exasperatedbythewayhe had been treatedbyToussaint,Rigaudhad resolvedtomake war.OnJune15, 1799,hepublished Hedouville'letter releasinghimfromhisoathofallegiancetothe commander-in-chicf.Inhiscrazymoodofbitterness,Rigaudalso sent a lettertoRoumeinforminghimthathedidnotrecognizehisauthority,andadding that he was appealingtothe Directorytothiseffect.Twodays laterRigaudmovedtoMiragoane,andsenthistwoprincipal lieutenants, FaubertandRenaudDesruisseaux, against LaplumeatPetit Goave,andthe stronghold was takenbystorm. Toussaint, however,whowasatPortau Prince, had already sentwordtohisarmiesinthenorthand the Artibonite valley, .andtheywerenowadvancingbyforced marches under the commandofDes salines andHenryChristophe.ThenorthernandArtibonite armieswerenowhurledagain,>tthe south andonJuly3Roumedeclared AndreRigauda rebel and an outlaw.Ina special address. the Representative delivered an apologiaonToussaint's behalf,andordered all able-bodiedmentotakeservicewiththe commander-in-chief in orderto'punishRigaudforhiscriminal offence against the French Nation'.Itwas a pitiless war,noquarter being givenortaken. Toussaint,assoonasthe fighting began, instituted innumerable shootings.

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142BLACKLIBERATORChristophe Mornet, the commanderofPortau Princeandthe famous heroofMirebalais, was suspectedoffavouringRigaud,and executedwithouttrial.Bywayofamilitarydiversion the Rigaudinstookuparmsinthe north-west, capturingJeanRabeland the Saint Nicolas Mole. Toussaint, handing over hiscommandofthe forcesinthe southtoDessalines, sweptdownonthesenewdanger zones, whichhecaptured after thirty-five hoursofbloody fighting,withthe helpofGeneral Moise. All rebels captured bearing arms wereputtodeath. Toussaint had apparently forgottenallthatissaidaboutforgivenessinthe Lord'sPrayer whichhedelightedtoquote so often. Reaching 'the GrosMornecrossroads,onhiswaybackfromJean Rabel, Toussaint almost fell into an ambush neatly prepared forhim.Hispersonal physician,whorode besidehim,killed instantly,butToussaint himself was unhurt, although a bullet carried away the plumefromhis hat.Hepressed on, onlytoencounter a second ambushatSources Puantes,onthe outskirtsofPortau Prince. This time only his foresight savedhim:his carriage, empty,wentonaheadofhim,and receivedalltheenemy's fire, horses and coachman being killed. Between thetwocamps was onemanwhose heart bledatthisfratricidalwar-themulatto Louis Jacques Beauvais,whocommanded the regionofJacmel.Inthis merciless conflicthewas avictimofunfortunate and tragic circumstances:onthe onehandhis natural feelings urgedhimtospeedtothe aidofhisown'colour', forwhomall his old comradesinarms and his friends were fighting;onthe other handdutyandmilitarydiscipline orderedhimtojoinforceswithToussaint and fight against them. Beauvais had beenborna freemanand had studiedinFranceatthe CollegeofLaFleche. Tall and slender,withpleasant features and a fair complexion, he was a manofgreat nobilityofbearing.Theauthority he exercised over his fellows was considerable, for he had been oneofthe first to wrest the rightsofthe mulattoesfromthe white men.Hadhe wished it, Beauvaismighteasily have become the acknowledged leaderofthe mulattoes, andthiswouldcertainly have been a fortunate thing for them, for he was moderate, disinterested, just, and conciliatory. Beauvais had a marked enthusiasm for the conceptofunion, which he regardedasindispensable to thetwoAfrican groupsinSaintDomingue;buthe lacked ambition, andboththe modestyofhis philosophy

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WAIlWITHTHIlMULATTOES143-andthe simplicityofhistemperament ledhimtodeclinetheroJeofleaderinfavourofRigaud.Toussaint ordered BeauvaistoattackAquinanddriveRigaud'sforcesfromthetown.Beauvais refused, and the commander-inchiefsent Laplume againsthim.Beauvais repelled Laplume's attack, maintaininghispositionatJacmel intact, and sent areporttoRoume,stressing the factthathe was neutralinthiscivilwar.TheRepresentativeorrather Toussaint repliedinharshterms,addre-singhimasa 'leaderofthe rebels ... actingunderordersfromthe traitor,AndreRigaud'.Beauvais was thus forcedtochoose,anditmusthavebeena bittermomentforthismanwhosaw so clearly the faultsofbothparties.Ratherthantake sides, however, he preferred'towithdrawfromthe sceneofaction the course often adoptedbymenwhoaremoresensitiveandofgreater integritythantheir fellows.Heandhisfamily embarked for the neighbouring islandofCura/?o.Hedidnoteveninformhismenofwhathe plannedtodo.Theship, however, wasonlya day's sailoutofJacmelwhenastormblew up.Thehighseasmade the destructionofthe ship inevitable,andthe captainhadthe lifeboats lowered. Since there wasnoroominthese for all the passengers, the latterdrewlotstodeterminewhoshouldbesaved. Beauvais,butnothis wife, wasamongthe lucky ones,buthe surrendered his placetohis wifeandtheirtwoyoungchildren..Whenthe vesselsankbeneath the waves, Beauvais was seen leaningoverthetailsofthedoomedship,ascalmasever,wavinggood-byetothe survivorswithhishandkerchie Dessalines, acting for Toussaintinthe south, had madeuphismindtocapture Jacmel costwhatitmight. Before theorderfor a general assault couldbegiven, however,itwas vital toconquerFortBelair,whichwas the keytothetown,and wascommanded.byanexceptionally brave mulattonamedGefttard.HewasnowoneofAndreRigaud'saidp,and hemetalls attackswithstubborn resistance. Eventually, however, his great valour was overcomebythe sheerweightofnumbers,andonthenightofNovember14bothFortBelairandFortBellevuewerestormedbyDessalines. AfterthissetbackRigauddispatched Alexandre PetiontoJacmel.Hearrivedbysea after beinghotlypursuedbyoneofToussaint's frigateswhichwas attemptingtoblockade theport.PeqonwasbornatPortauPrinceonApril2, 1770,the sonofa

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144BLACKLIBERATORwealthy landowner, Paschal Sabes,aI}da mulattowomancalled Ursule. Petion himself was a born artilleryman, and haddistinguished hirriselfinthe strugglesofthe mulattoes against the land owners. Alert and clever,hemade useofa studied modesty and nonchalancetoachieve his objectives; andinthe political sphere his mastery was unrivalled.Hehad a mordant senseofhumourand a tolerance which were the expreSsionofhis contempt forhumanity.NoHaitian statesman'hassucceededindeceiving history so completely about the true natureofhis character. Petion had no love for white men, although thereweretimeswhenhe appearedtoserve their causewiththe utmost devotion.Itappears that his fatherwouldnotrecognize Alexandreashis son, since, he maintained, such a brown-skinned child couldnotpossibly bebornofa whitemanand a mulatto woman. This treatmentnotunnaturally left the boywitha rooted hatredofhis father in particular and whitemenin general.WhenRigauddeclaredwaronToussaint, P6tion wasatPortau Prince, and, like all officers posted in the western region, was ordered to march against the southern rebels.Hepretendedtobe loyal to Toussaint's cause, andtookpart, underin the first battles fought against Rigaud.Onenight,however, while Dessalines was busily engaged in supervising the settingupofa battery which wastobombard Grand Goave, Petion and a few otherstookto the woods and joined forceswithRigaud.UnderPetion's command, Jacmel was successful in repulsing all Dessalines's attacks, for Petion was a brilliant strategistaswellasan exceptionally brave soldier.OnJanuary6,1800,Dessalines launched his supreme attack against thecity,butthis,too, was repelled; whereupon Toussaint himself visited the sceneofaction, studied the enemy's systemofdefences, and ordered his lieutenanttolay siegetoJacmel insteadofallowing the valiant Petion to slaughter all his men. .Itwas while the commander-in-chief wasinthevicinityofJacmel that he received newsofa risingofRigaud's partisansinthe north.ThroughoutSaint Domingue the mulattoes were uniting to attempt the finaloverthrowofToussaint Louverture, and in everytownandcityofthe Colony they harangued the populace tojoinwiththemincrushing the 'tyrant'. Toussaint hurried to the threatened area, slaughteringmanyofhis enemiesonthe way. Moise Louverture, however, had already dealtwiththe revolt and set up a kindofconcentration camp at PetiteAnse,

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WARWITHTHEMULATTOES145near CapIntothiscamp were thrownall .ty and suspected mulattoes. and they were treated with utmost cruelty. Toussaint swept into Caplike a whirlwind. andeverymulatto in the city thought thathislast hour had come. The commander-in-chief summoned the whole population tohispalace,and when they hadassembledbefore him he surveyed them wrathfully. Suddenly. however.hiseyelit upon a young Carmelite nun who had brought herlittle white girls, to the meeting. Toussaint had them brought before him, and then proceeded to subject the children to a detailed examination on the catechism, and urged them to learn theirlessonswell, 'since on the following day, in the-church wherehewasgoing to hold anotherassembly,he would interrogate themagainon questionsofreligion'. The meetingwasthendismissedwithout a word having been spoken by Toussaint concerning the grave probleIns which had brought him to CapToussaint's mysticismisanotheraspectofhisunique and complex character; he had gone to Capwith every' intentionofdisplayinghisunrelenting anger, when the 'sightofthe light bluedressofa Carmelite nunwassufficienttoassuagehisfuryand incline him to mercy. The next day the church at Capwasfilled with citizens. Soldiers lined bothsidesofthe centralaisle,and in the midstofthe congregation the mulattoes were herded together, a haggard, dejected group. Toussaint himselfsatin the choir upon a golden throne over which a canopyofcriInsonsilkhadbeenerected.Hiscountenance had anairofgreatmildnessashe rose tohisfeet and delivered anaddresson thevirtuesofclemency, striving to makehisvoice sound gentle and loving. He declared that the wretched mulattoes had been sufficiently punished by their own pride, and that everyone should forgive them,ashedid. He announced that he would give them food, clothing, and safe-conducts to enable them to return to their homes, andthat itwashisdesirethat they shouldberegardedasbrethren who had gone astray, and who were therefore tobepitied ratherthanilltreated. Thisdiscourseproducedanoutburstofcheering eveninsidethe church, and Capwasenchanted by the mercy shown by the commander-in-chie But Toussaint's actofpardonwasnot entirely disinterested.It

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146 .BLACKLIBERATORfor, although itsatisfiedhisreligiousinstinct,itwasalsoatactfulmanoeuvre to make people forgetallabout the earlierexcessesto whichhisrepressivemeasureshad givenrise,andtodisarmthemulattoes by showing them how moderatehewas.Alternately harshandindulgent, Toussaintusedmagnanimityasoneofhismostreliableweapons; forhebelieved that to rule men they mustbelashedandcaressedinturns.

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21RIGAUDISBEATENSa resultoflackofprovisions and ammunition,thebesieged cityofJacmel eventually fell to Dessalines's army. English and American warships helped Toussaint's coastal vesselstoimpose a strict blockadeonthe port,thisAnglo-./American assistance being oneofthe conditionsofthe secret alliance which Toussainthadmade WithJohnAdams and General Maitland.Hadfresh evidenceofthe existenceofsuch an alliance been needed, this blockade certainly provided it, sinceitwas obviouslytothe interestofEngland and the United States that the outcomeofthe civilwarinSaint Domingue should leave Toussaint Louvertnreasundisputed masterofthe Colony.Onenight, towards the endofthe siege, Petion's three principal lieutenants, Birot, Fontaine, andBomoDeIeart, fled from the burning city under ahailofbulletsfromthe besieging forces. Petion continued his defence alone.OnMarchII,however, realizing that he could holdoutnolonger, he andhismenhacked theirwaythrough the enemy, leaving behindthemeight hundred dead and wounded. Petionhadnotlost a single colourwhenhejoinedRigaudatAquin.BythistimeRigaudwasnolonger the resolute commanderwhohad fought so bravely against the English:hewasa pictureofcomplete demoralization.Hehadnoprearranged plan, and based everythingonthe hope that somethingwouldturnup and that Francewouldreinforcehim.Hisvanity had precipitatedhiminto a crisisfromwhich there wasnowithdrawing. Therewerewhole dayswhenhisinaction and apathywouldamounttoprostration; and then,ina suddenaccessoffeverish excitement,hewouldlaunch a futile attack, shedding the livesofhismentonopurpose. Sometimeshewouldspend the whole day drinking, .orwouldgallop furiouslytoCayes, wherehewouldhold extravagant banquets and balls.Hehad recentlymarried,andatCayes hewoulddance through the night in the hopeofforgetting thedoomwhichhungoverhimand which filledhimwithcold fear eveninthe midstofhisexcitements.Thecommander-in-chief eventually ceasedtotake his opponent seriously,andissueda numberofordersofthe daywhichwere147

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148BLACKLIBERATORremarkable for their contemptuous clemency and irony: 'Citizensofthe south! I repeat to you that Ibearno grudge against you, but only against Rigaud, whom,byreasonofhisdisobedience and imubordination, I shall compel to remember where his dutylies..I am human,andlike a father I stretch outmyarms to welcome you, even now. .. EvenifRigaudhimself, the authorofall these troubles, were to come to menowingood faith, confessinghismisguidedness, I would receivehimyet again.Didnot the fatherofthe prodigal son royally receive the sinner once he had repentedl'ThefallofJacmel had sown theseedsofdefeat among Rigaud's army, and desertions became more and more numerous. Rigaud tried to re-establish his men's morale by issuing bellicose pro clamations; but it was too late, the spiritofthe whole army was broken. Defeatism spread everywhere, undermining thewillto fight on. Geffrard and Petion, still indomitable, strove desperately by their heroic courage to rally the south, butitwas a vain effort.Theend was near. Irresistibly, Dessalines and Christophe swept into the south, and on May15,1800,General Clerveaux took Miragoane by storm. The defeatofthe Rigaudins wasnowsocomplete that Petion and Geffrard were obliged to take to the woods. Rigaudhimself,at his headquarters at Aquin, did not stir. The municipal councilsofhisregion senthimdelegation after delegation, be seechinghimto negotiatefor peace and save the south from the vengefulfuryofthe north. Rigaud answered these appeals by dismissing the civicofficialsresponsible. Blinded by his pride, he could notseethat he was beaten. Meanwhile, Dessalines had made up his mind to finish off the campaign by personally eliminating General Rigaud. At sunrise on May20he marchedonAcul, where the rebel had taken refuge. Dessalines arranged his troops for thefinalassault, and at the same moment Toussaint Louverture himself appeared at the headofhisdragoons. The commander-in-ehief was radiant; at the sightofhimthe whole army knelt down and welcomedhimwith tumultuous applause. Rising inhisstirrups, he then delivered a passionate speech which rousedhislisteners to a pitchoffanatical excitement. He ended with the following words: 'This warisbeing waged by your own dignityasmen, and itisessential to the proper orderofthings. I swear to you onmysword that you shall never again suffer from the scorn and cpntemptofany other men !'

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-RIGAUDISBEATEN149Toussaint's columntookuptheir position for the assault, whileRigaud,having recoveredmuchofhisformervitality,was equally determinedthatthe day shouldbringallornothing. Captain Segrettiernotedinhismemoirsthata few minutes before the attackhehad foundRigaud'inhistent, apreytodespair, cursing the evil destinywhichnever grantedfairfortunetohisarms'.Thebattle, furiousandsavage, wasjoinedatlast.Rigaudappeared tobeseeking deathonthe battlefield.Thematchless courage displayedbyPetion,Bazelais,Geffrard, Faubert, Delva, Blanchet, CharlotinMarcadieu, and the valiant youthswhosurroundedRigauddrewacryofadmirationfromDessalines.Buttonopurpose: defeat overwhelmed the southernarmy.RigaudwithdrewtoAquin, reorganizedhisforces, attacked Dessalines and wasagainbeaten.HeretreatedfromAquinandbegantopitch his camp atMomeTreme. Implacableasfate, Dessalines rusheddownonhimafterhehad been there onlytwohours, and inflicted a crushing defeatonhim.Rigaudreturned to Cayes where he issued a furious proclama tion, endingwiththewords:'Iftheenemywillnotadheretothe termswhichIshall present tohimindue course, Ishallfighthimuntil the lastmanisexterminated.Hewillfind that even the treesinthe south raiseuptheir roots againsthim.'ItwasjustafterRigaud'ssuccessionofdefeatsthatthreemenreachedPortauPrincefromParis.ThethreewereColonel Vincent,whowas in chargeofthe fortificationsinSaintDomingue, JulienRaymond,theformerCommissioner,anda French General, Michel: theybroughtwiththema proclamationfromNapoleon. Bonaparte hadjustsuccessfully stagedhisfamouscoupJ'etatofBrumaire,andinhisaddress the First Consul exhorted____the island's commanderstopeace,'forthe welfareofthisbeautiful French possession'.OnarrivinginSaintDomingue,Colonel Vincentatoncesetoutfor AquintoconferwithToussaint Louverture.Atthe first military outpost he reached he was arrestedandhispapers seized. Six hours later he was released and escortedtothecommanderin-chief,whoexpressed his indignation and regret. TollSsaint's regrets were,ofcourse, assumed, sinceitwashehimsClfwhohadordered the French Representativetobearrested andhbdispatches seized; and these hehadreadatonce.Ifthe dispatches hadbeenunfavourable, Toussaintwouldnothave allowedthemtobepublished.

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ISOBLACKLIBERATORActingontheinstructionshehadreceivedfromNapoleon. Colonel Vincent urged Toussaint to giveRigaudandhissupponersanother chance.In(esponsetothis,the commander-in chief inunediate1y issued a decree giving a solemn promiseofanmesty'toallwhohadborne arms against Franceatthe instanceofRigaud, save (for the crimeoftreason): Bellegarde,whowastobe exiled from the "Colony,andMillet,Dupont,and Petion,whoweretobe detained foraperiodofthree days'. Toussaint appointed a delegation consistingofColonel Vincent, Philippe Cesar(aNegro), and Arrault (awhiteman),toconvey the olive branchtothe rebellcader.Rigaudhimself wasnotatCayeswhenthe delegation arrived, and theywereleceivedinhis absencebyColonel AugustinRigaud,the general'syoungbrother. News was conveyedtoRigaudofthe delegation's arrival, andwhenheappeared beforethemhe was wearing a blue dolman,andcarried a musket.Athis waist there were a braceofpistols, and he was also armedwith. a sword and dagger. Bad-tempered and scowling,Rigaudstalkedintothe council chamber, refusing eventogreet the delegates. Vincent, the firsttospeak, handedhimNapoleon's proclamation, and then gavehima dispatchfromthe Colonial Minister,informing the southern commander that France continuedtorecognizeToussaint Louvertureascommander-in-chieAshe read the messageRigaudwentwhite, and then burstoutintofinious indignation.Hepouredouta streamofinsane recriminationandinvective against France, the First Consul, Toussaint, the Dele gates, and the universe in general.HewhippedouthisdaggerandmadeasthoughtostrikehimselHisbloodshot eyes6.lledwithtearsofself-pity. For themomenthewas completely besidehimself. Vincent then told Ril}\ud that since Toussaint's appointment had been confirmed he mustnowlaydownhis arms.Rigaud shot a lookofexasperationatVincent,andsuddenly lungedathimwithhis dagger. Leaving the building, he called thetownto. arms,butnoone moved.Mterthree daysofthis,Rigaudfell into a fitofdepression,andsent a deputationtoToussaint asking for peace.Thecommander-in-chief agreed;butDessalines, unawareofthe armistice, made a lightning advance and captured the villageofCavaillon, only nine leagues distantfromCayes itself. Fearingthathemightbetaken prisoner,asked Vincent tointer--

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JlIGAUDISBEATENlSIvene andputan endtoDessalines'sadV2Jlce.Vincent sent a special couriertoToussaint,whoimmediately orderedhisfiery lieuren anttorefrain from entering Cayes.Heeven wantedRigaudto remaininthe countryatleast. soitseemed, for he wrotetoVincent:'WhydoesRigaudwanttotearhisfamily from their hearthhomelLet them stay safely here in Saint Domingue: theywillbe well looked after andprotected. InvitehimtogotoCapwithyou;then,ifhe persistsinhisdesire togotoFrance. he can gowithGeneral Michel,whoisbound thitherbywayofthe United States. If,onthe other hand, he preferstopresenthisaccountstotheRepresentative [Rigaud was accusedofhaving embezzled lalge sumsofmoney belongingtothe southern region] he candoso inCapFranl?is, and rest assured that after he has done so I shallbepleased forhimtoreturntothe southwiththe rankofBrigadier -General, conunanding the southern region undermyorders.'WasToussaint sincere in this offerofclemency,orwasitjusta covertomask somenewperfidyl There aretworeasons which incline onetothinkthat.onthisoccasion, Toussaint was actingingoodfaith.Inthe fust place.gesture was quite in character, for Toussaint was always inclined to act contrarytogeneral expectation.Nothingwouldhave delightedhimmore, after defeating Rigaud,thanto astound theworldby treating his worst enemywiththe greatest generosity; and the actofreinstatingRigaudwould flatter Toussaint's vanity, sincetohimitwould be the actofa god. In the second place Toussaint was looking to hisownsafety, although thismayseem paradoxical; for RigaudatCayeswouldundoubtedlybelessofa menacethanRigaud in France.Inspiteofeverything, he still wielded a great influence over' the mulattoes and throughout the south; and a brave and boldmanwouldbea useful instrument in thehandsofNapoleon, should the latter decide to rid himselfofToussaint. -Thewholeofthe southern peninsulanowacclaimed the conqueror, while Rigaud, gloomy and dejected, refusing to follow Vincent's advicetoremain in Saint Domingue, boarded a Danish ship at Tiburon, and set sailonJuly29, 1800.Petion, Geffrard, Faubert, Chanlatte,Roger,and manyofRigaud's partisans followed their leader into exile, someofthem establish ing themselves in Cuba.Onreacliing Paris. and led into the presenceofNapoleon himself,Rigauddescribed tohimin detailhowthe whole Colony was subjectedtothe tyrannyofToussaint .-

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152BLACKLIBERATORTheFirst Consul listenedtohiminsilenceandwithgreatattention; thenhearose, signifying the conclusionofthe audience,andremarkedwiththecruel soomofa realist:'TheonlythingyouhavedonewrongthroughoutthiswholeafEUr,General, istoallow yourselftobedefeated: Toussaint LouvertUremadeatriumphalentryintoCayesonAugustI,1800.Hewas receivedwithextraordinaryhonourandrespect, and,inaccordancewithhis usual custom,heproceededtothe church,mountedthe pulpit,andpublicly declaredhisforgivenessofall.Thecruelwarwhichhadcaused somuchgrievou: bloochhedinthesouth had beenboundtocome. Carefully fomentedbythe policyofthewhitemen,Hooouville in particular,itwas inanycase inevitable, sinceboththeNegroesandthemulattoes aspiredtoabsolutehegemonyintheColony.Itwas also a consequenceofthedisastrousorderingofsociety, based (in Sonthonax's phrase)onthe 'aristocracyofthe skin'.Inthefireofthe civilwarToussaint was beginningtoforgetheunityoftheHaitianfamilyinaccordancewithhis lofty ideals.The(southhetransformed completely;andparticularlydidheimprovethelotoftheNegroes,dra.goutofobscuritymenwithnameswhichwerelatertobecome famousinhistory.Toalltheinhabitantsofthesouthhehadmanagedtoconveythebenefitswhichhis progressivemindsuggested, subject onlytothelawsoforderandjuStice. Toussaint's handlingofthe State treasury wastrulyexemplary. Frugal and passionately fondofthe land,hehadnosooner savedupa smallsumthanitwouldatoncebemadeproductive;and his natural generosity could neverpermithimtoremainindifferenttopeoplewhowereinreal need. Toussaint ateonlyonce a day,andlikedplentyofhomelyfood:calaloubroth,andmaizecakes.Herarelytookwine.Hewas a strict vegetarian, and his physical asceticism matched hismoraldiscipline.Hecoulddowithaslittleasthree hours sleep a night,andwas alwaysupatdawn. Hisdayinvariably beganwithprayers, followedbya bath,duringwhichhis correspondencewouldbeplacedona little table besidethebathtub sothathecould readitthroughandmakenotesofhis replies.Whenhewasnotbusy campaigning, he devoted all histimetoaffairsofState.Heenjoyed -thelabourofcomposing letters,andregrettedthathewas unabletodoall hiswritinghimself,forhis lackofeducation wasoneofhischiefregrets.

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RIGAUDISBEATENIS3InhisprivateaffairsToussaint always showedthathehadanextremely grateful nature. Everymonthhe remitted three hundred dollars tohisformer master theComtedeNoe,wholivedinexileinthe United Statesandhadnoincomeatall.Asfor BayondeLibertad, Toussaint was even successfulinhavinghisnameerasedfromthe listofproscribed emigres.OnhisreturntoSaint Domingue, Bayon de Libertad was invitedtoa reception which Toussaint happenedtobe givingontheverydayofBayon's arrival.Theformer managerofBreda,movedatbeholdinghisold slave enthroned,atthe heightofhispower, rushedtoembracehim,butToussaint stoppedhimwitha gestureofthe hand.'Gently!'he said,'Todaythereisa greater distance between usthanthere was evenatBreda. Iamverypleasedtoseeyouagain.Returntoyourestate, and makeitbringforthabundantly foryourownbenefit andthatofthecom-.,mumty.

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DEFEATOFTHESPANIARDSOWthatAndreRigaudhadbeendefeated. Toussainthadnomoredangerous rivalsintheColony.andeveryonewassubjecttohiswill.Roume.ina constant stateoffear for hisownsafety. automatically signed thes decrees.Butfeelingwornedabout the commercial treaty between ToussaintandJohnAdams.whichhe hadbeenforcedtoratify.herepeatedly urged thetoorganiseanexpeditionagainst Jamaica.Roumefeltthatthiswoulddemonstrate his loyalty to Napoleon.'Wheredoyouthinkwewouldfindallthe ships for such a businessl'Toussaint repliedonedayinexasper ation; andinanycasenowmorethanever.inviewofhisencroachmentsonthe powersofthe First Consul. Toussaint neededtokeepinwithEngland.ThatToussaint didnotconsideranexpedition against Jamaica likelytobesuccessfulisshownbyanotehe had sent cwo months earliertothe island's Governor, the English having.inerror.captured the flotillawithwhich ToussaintwasblockadingJacmel:'TheNegroGeneralofSaintDomingueinformstheGovernorofJamaicathatthe English islandisonlyonenight'ssailawayfromCapTiburon.TheNegrogeneralisprepared to sacrifice the livesofthousandsofhismenatsea to give the GovernorofJamaica the lesson he deserves.' Speedily Toussainthadhis ships returnedtohimwithprofmeapologies andanindemnityofone-and-a-half million francs. Certainly Toussaint didnotconsider suchaninvasion beyond his means;butitwas completely opposedtohis present policy.Theprey ToUssaintwasitching to seizewasthe Spanishhalfof_the island; his obsession wastounifythewholecountryunder his command. Furthermore, he saw three po.iitive advantagesintheconquestofSantoDomingo:itwouldsavehimfromtheriskofbeing attackedinthe rearbyNapoleon;itwouldincreasebothhis prestige and his financial resources; anditwouldenablehimtoabolish the slaveryinwhich the NegroesofSanto I?omingo still lang uished. According to theTreatyofBasle,drawnuponJuly22,1795.between France and Spain, the latter. country abandoned the entirelSi'1--',1

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DEFEATOFTHESPANIARDS155territoryofSanto Domingo to the Republic. Yet, although Francehadsent severa1Representatives thither, first Rochambeau, then Roume and Kerverseau, the easternhalfofthe island continued'toremainthepropertyofthe KingofSpain, who governedhisColony through hisofficialRepresentative, Don Joaquin Garcia.AsfarbackasOctober1795Toussaint Louverturehadcon sidered the occupationofSanto Domingo a vital necessity, but, although hehadfrequently besought Laveaux's authority to accomplishthis,the Frenchmanhadgently but firmly refused. Later, while hewasstill outside the wallsofJacmel, he hadwrittento Roume seeking permission to takepossessionofthe Spanishhalfofthe island. For once the Representative, tiredofagreeing to ev Toussaint proposed, had protested. and toldhimthatsucha courseofaction wouldbemost inopportune; moreover, headded,the Spanish territory would eventuallybe.occupied only by whiteforces,which hewasexpecting to arrive from France in the near future. Toussaint notedthisreply withhishabitualcalm,and the heatofbattle gavehimno chance to registerhisannoyance and disapproval. Roume was now attempting toregaincontrolofthings.He had hoped that, by making a numberofconcessionsand yielding to Toussaint's views he would eventuallybeable to moderate the acquisitive ardourofhiscommander-in-chief, and thus limithisactivities.HisreportsofToussaint Louverture to the .Directory were now frankly denunciatory, and Toussainthimselfdid notfailto noticethechange inhisattitude.With the objectofmaking the Representative more tractable he senthimaletter askinghimto joinhimin the south. Roume replied by issuing a decree instructing the island's authorities to driveallthe emigres'spiesin the payofEngland' outofthe Colony; and he told Toussaint to carry out the instruction. He added: 'The enemiesofFrance (the emigres) have suggested that you should takecertain!ltepswhichwillindeed justifyAndreRigaud's rebellionifyou have notthecourage to come out against the English.'Inthisfrankcom munication Roome did notheSitateto revealhisdispleasure and anxiety at Totmainc'ssecretnegotiations with the English. UnRoume did notrealisehow the rommander-in-chief would retaliate. Toussaint's reactionwastobethe more violentsincehis consciencewasuneasyby reasonofhisalpolicytowardsEngland,whichhadalreadysenthimnoewerthanthree

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-156BLACKLIBERATORspecially accredited representatives.AndthisvirtuallyamountedtotreasononToussaint's part.RoumewasinhispalaceatCaponApril25,whenhis orderly announcedthatGeneral Moise Louverture requested an immediate audience.Roumereceived Moise,whodemandedthatthe Representative should there and then sign anorderauthorizing his uncle, Tou.,saint,tooccupy the easternhalfofthei!>land.Roumerefusedtohave anythingtodowithsuch a scheme.'Then'roared MoIse Louverture,'thecommander-in-chiefwillgoaheadwithoutyou;andasa preliminaryyouwillbe imprisonedandallthewhitemeninthenorthmassacred !'TheRepresentative wasunmoved,butatthatverymomentagroupoffrightenedlandowners burstintohis officewiththenewsthattheplantation workersatHautduCaphadrevoltedandwereonthepointofsweepingintothecityanddestroying alltheyfound.Roumewentouttoface theangrymultitude, whose delegatesdemandedthatheshould issue a decree instructing the commander-in-chieftomarchagainst SantoDomingo,where,theyclaimed, their brethren still languishedinthechainsofslavery.Therebels, insisting that the Representative shouldatonceput'anendtoslave raidsfromtheEast, declaredthatifherefusedtoauthorize Toussainttomarchagainst SantoDomingohewouldbeshowing thathewas an accompliceofthe slavers.'No,'repeatedRoume,'Iwillneversign the death-warrantofthese peace loving Spaniards;andsince I havetochoose between being sacrificedandauthorizingthisnewwar,I have decided: strike,andstrikehard!Francewillavengeme!'TheNegroes seizedholdofRoume,and heandall his escortwereforciblyremovedandthrowninto a henhouse. Findinghimselfso inhospitably accommodated,Roumenowhadtimetoreflect,andrealized that hewouldhavetogiveway-asindeedhisfellow captives besoughthimtodo.Hedecidedtocapitulate,andinformedtherebelsthathewoulddoasthey wished.Hewaspromptlyset free.Inanattempt, however,tosave his face,Roumerequestedthemunicipal counciltowritetohimofficially askinghimtoactinaccordancewiththe desiresofthe rebels.Roumesigned the decreeontheveryday thedocumentreachedhim.Oneweeklater Toussaint Louverture appearedatCapandshowedgreat surprise and angeratthepresumptuous behaviouroftheplantation workerswhohadbeen soboldastoset handsonthe, inviolate personoftheRepresentativeofFrance'..-

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DEFEATOFTHESPANIARDS157AlthoughToussainthadhis armies readytomarchintoSantoDomingo,he madenouseofthemfor thetimebeing.HefirstsenthischiefofstafftotheSpanish zone, a French generalbythenameofAge,torequestDonJoaquinGardatobegoodenoughtohandoverhisterritorytothe French Government.Assoonasthe Spaniardsgotwindofthe purposeofGeneral Age's visittheyflewtoarms. General Kerverseau,theFrench Government's official Representativeintheregion, supported the. Spaniardsintheir determination.ForlongKerverseauhadseenwhitherToussaint's ambitionsweretending, andhadbeenworkingagainsthiminthebackground.Henowdecidedtooppose,byforceifnecessary,theunionbetweenthetwohalvesoftheisland.DonJoaquin Garcianextpaidanofficial visittoGeneral Kerverseauandinformedhimthathecouldnolonger considerhimselfresponsible forthepersonal safetyofGeneral Age andhisstaff; the latterwerethenescortedtothe frontier,totheaccompanimentofhostile demonstrationsfromthe Spanish populace.Roume,scaredbythe warlike activitiesofthe SpaniardsandtheundignifiedreturnofGeneral Ageandhiscompanions,prompdycancelledhisdecree authorizing the expedition.Hehastily sent Brigadier-General Antoine ChanlattetoDonJoaquinGardatoinformhimofthisnewdecision.Healsoconveyed the newstoToussaint, telling.himthatheconsideredhisoriginal decree'nullandvoid',andthatinthe meanwhile Toussaintmustbe satisfiedwithhis possessionofthetwocitiesofAzuaandSantiagodelos Caballeros,whichalready came underhisjurisdiction.AlthoughToussaint was furiousatRoume'ssudden volte-face,hewas carefulnottoshowhisanger. Since oneofNapoleon's delegates, General Michel,wasreturningtoFrance, Toussaint gavehimalonglettertohandtothe First Consul.Inthisletterthecommander-in-chief thankedNapoleonforhisproclamationandthecongratulationstransmittedtohimverballybyColonel Vincent,andthenoudinedthe pressing circumstanceswhichobligedhimtoproceedtooccupytheeasternhalfoftheislandtoimplementtheTreatyofBasle.Onesentenceintheletter showsdearlyhowToussaint's vanityhadbeen piquedbyBonaparte's refusaltodeal directlywithhim'Ithas givenmegreatpleasuretosee GeneralMichel...butmysatisfactionwouldhave indeed beencrownedwithjoyifhehadbroughtmejusta siqgle linefromyoursel'

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IS8BLACKLIBERATORThemainthemeofthe letter, however, wastheproposed occupationofthe easternhalfofthe island. Toussaint justifiedhhprojectbystressing the Spaniards' persistenceinraiding French territoryandabducting Negroes and pointingoutthat theonlywaytoputan end to these activities wastobring SantoDomingodirectly into the French Empire. Toussaint's lettertoNapoleon also expressed his indignationatthe slanderous rumours which were being circulated abouthiminParis.Hesaid he wasnotignorantofthe intrigues which were being conducted againsthiminFrench Government circles, where his adversaries had bribed theirwaytopower'.Inthis same letter Toussaint requested Napoleontoreturntohimhistwochildren,atpresent residentinParisandbeing educatedatthe expenseofthe French Government. This was the second timeofasking, anditiseasy toseethat Toussaint was anxious to have his children back so that hewouldbe abletoenjoy greater freedomofactioninthe campaign he was planning against thehomecountry. Napoleon, however, hadnointentionofreleasing thesetrumpcardswhenplayingwithsuch an expert. gamblerasToussaint:hepreferredtoretainthemasvirtualhostages. . Toussaint'sarmywasnowready for the invasionofthe east, and therode into CaponNovember28, 1800.Hehad gone therewiththe objectofforcingRoumetoissue a second decree authorizing the incorporationofSantoDomingointo Saint Domingue.TheRepresentative.had mean while sent an SOStothe First Consul: he had told Napoleonofthe cruel yoke he had to bear and describedhowhe was forced to supportallToussaint's actions and decisions, which were fre quently contrarytothe interestsofFrance.Thetwomen had one last meetingtodiscuss the situation.Roume,ina sudden accessofauthority, refusedtochange hismindabout the inopportunenessofputtingintoeffect the clauseofthe TreatyofBasle referringtothe occupationofthe east. Angrily Toussaint returnedtoGonaives.Twodays later heseqffor General Moise Louverture,whomhe instructedtoseizeRoumeand his family and conductthemto theDupuyestateatDondon,where they were to be vigilantly guarded.Thefollowing morning a proclamation was published informing the ColonyofToussaint's decision.Nothinghad been able to preventthehaplessRoomefrom.-

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DEFEATOFTHESPANIARDSIS9suffering an even more humiliating fatethanthat meted out to Sonthonax and Hedouville. Toussaint's attitude toallthesentativesofFrench authority in Saint Domingue (not even exceptinghisdearfather' Laveaux)wasthe same: he would brook no authority higherthanoreven equal tohisown.I,()Toussaint launchedhiseastern offensive with an armyoften_____thousand men. He had preparedhisplanofcampaign withclockwork precision, and nothing was left to chance; battle orders, the destructionofenemy camps, the stormingoftowns and cities,allhadtheir appointed place in the schedule. Moise was to attack in the north and bear down on Santo DomingoviaOuanaminthe; Paul Louverture would operate in the west againstSanJuan de la Maguana andAzua;Toussainthimself,at the headofsix hundred cavalry, would coverallthe strategic frontier posts.OnDecember19he sent a communication to Don Joaquin Garcia insisting on reparation for the affront to General Age, and informinghimthatreasonsofstate had led the Representativeofthe French Govern ment to instructhimto takepossessionofthat portionoftheis,landceded to France in accordance with the TreatyofBasle.Don Joaquin Garcia affected not to understand a wordofToussaint's ultimatum, and replied that both this letter and previous communications he had received from the commander-in-chief were quite incomprehensible.Onreceivingthisreply, Toussaint at once took horse and swiftly followedhisarmy, which was already over the frontier. Therewasa second reason forthissudden haste: the look-out at CapFranr,:aishadsighted-a French frigate approaching the harbour, and Toussaint had groun
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160BI;ACKLIBERATOR-smile, would gallop away. This perverted humour in the midstoftragedy reveals the delight Toussaint took in making others ridiculous and in showing that hewasWltouchableasthe wind. Supported by Kerverseau and ChanIatte, the Spaniards prepared to resist and Garcia proclaimedanemergency throughout Santo Domingo.OnJanuary3Toussaint captured San Juan de la Magauana without having to strike a blow. Fromthiscity he sent Don Joaquin a copyofhisultimatum.Toit he added a bland proclamation inviting-the Spaniards to submit themselves tohim.and promising, in return,hisbenevolence and protection, provided they wouldWldertakCto avoid bloodshed. Fifteen hWldred Spaniards, hastily mobilizedbyGenerals KerverseauandNWlez,were advancing to meet the invader in the west.OnJanuary8Toussaint Louverture entered Azua, still without having to fight. Baniwasoccupied on January10,and indeed the Negro armywassteadily takingpossessionofthe wholeCOWltryasthoughitwere on a holiday excursion. One large detachment advanced along thebanksofthe Nigua while Toussaint was still at Bani. Moise Louverture's troops, after two minor engagements at Portezuela andMao, were already linking up with thearmyin the west. OnJanuary14the Spaniard"led by Kerverseau, attacked Tous saint on the left bankofthe Nizao. After a brief and bloody fight, the Spaniards disengaged and took refuge in the capital, whichwasgenerally regardedasa well-fortified stronghold. One by one theSpanishcitiesand towns surrendered, while Garcia, shut up in Santo Domingo City, continued to publish innumerable protests. To avoid destructionofthe capital Toussaint ordered that itwasto be besieged,sinceheknewthat his men would undoubtedlysackit utterlyifhepermitted them to storm it. After a fortnightofrecriminations and tearful protests, Garcia capitulated and asked for terms. Agreement was reachedbyJanuary21.The wholeofthe Spanish partofthe island wasnowmerged with the FrenchhalToussaint madehisstate entry into Santo Domingo on January26,.1801.His first act was to proceed to the cityhall,where he himself hoisted the tricolourofFrance; this ceremony herepea.tedat the Fortaleza del Homenaje. He next adjourned to the Govern ment Palace, whereallthe Spanish authorities, the clergy and the city dignitaries, awaitedhim.Inthe Council Chamber, Don Joaquin Garcia, who had beenhissuperior officerin1793,looking

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DEFEATOFTHESPANIARDS161pale.confUsed,andresigned,requested Toussaint to accept thekeysofthe city which lay on a scarlet velvet cushion on a tablebetweenthem. 'No.sir,'replied Toussaint. 'It might give the impression that Iwastaking them by force; besogood thereforeasto hand them tomeyourself,ifyouplease.I have not come to Santo Domingoasanenemy. butasa representativeofa Government whichisa friendly allyofyour own. toseethat the termsofa treatyareduly carriedout.Redin the bce. Don JoaqufnGarciahad to doasToussaint wished. The commander-in-chief. however. had the tact not to appear before the Spaniardasa haughty conqueror, and went outofhisway to soothe the woundhehad inflicted onCastillanpride. The commander-in-chief had by nomeansforgotten themiseriesofhisfellow Negroes whom theSpaniardskept in servi tude. The liberationoftheseunhappy mortals had been oneofthe principalcausesofToussaint's present campaign, and on January28.1801,hej.ssueda decree abolishing slavery throughout the eastern partoftheisland.Healsosent a long letter toGarcia.reproaching the Spaniard severely for having continued to toleratethiscrime against human dignity in the territory for whichhewasresponsible.Moreover. added Toussaint. the dailyembarcationofNegroes bound for slavery in otherlandswasjust stupid cruelty,sinceitdeprived Santo Domingoofthemeanswherewith her agriculture could best be developed. Thetaskofmaking theeasternterritory again productive took Toussaint two months.OnJanuary30hesetout for Santiago delosCaballeros. where he eventuallycamefacetofacewith the navalofficerwho had followedhimallthe way from CapCaptain Hulot handed Toussaintdispatchesfrom Napoleon order inghimtodesistfromhisproposed invasionoftheSpanishportionofthe island.With anairofthe greatestdistressToussaint turned to the envoy: 'I am greatly upset that I did notreceivethesedispatchessooner. But surely youwillagree withmethat they come too latelHowcanIpossiblymake over to Don JoaqufnGarciaa perfectly legal conquest whichhascostme thelivesofsomanyofmy breth-renl The commander-in-chief now tr.lvelled throughout the length and breadthofthe country; andhisworkofreconstruction won the admiration evenoftheSpaniards.The Negro leader furrowed the country with magnificent roads and highways, andthanksto-L

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BLACKLIBERATORhiszealitbecame possibletodrivebycarriageallthewayfrom_ SantoDomingoCitytoLaxavon, a distanceofsomeeighty(-leagues.Heprovidedthecitiesandtownswithsanitation,reorganisedanddeveloped the harbours,andirrigated the plains.Hisuntiring energy was spentincountless administrativeandeconomic activities,inan efforttobringprosperitytoanarea nearly twiceaslargeasthe Frenchpartofthe island, whichyethadnomorethantwenty-twosugar plantations.Cottonandindigogrowingwildinenormous profusionwereimmediately controlledanddeveloped. Hitherto the Spanish landownershadexerted themseves only to the extentofhaving whatever coffeeandtobaccogrewintheirimmediate surroundings picked for theirownpersonal needs. Toussaint issued a seriesoflaws forcing the 'indolent' Spaniardstodevelop theirland-thiswas a task theyhadneglected, sinceitwasmucheasiertorear livestock.Cocoawas theonlyproducttheyhadattemptedtodevelop. Toussaint also reorganised the Spanish courtsandmadethem. observe the basic principlesofFrench law.Heinstituted anumberofadministrative, civil,andmunicipal}awstoraise the standardoflivingthroughoutthecountryinaccordancewithitsnewnational status. Carefully, too,hemade his military arrangements:hisyoungbrother, Paul Louverture, was given thecommandofthe provinceofEngmo,withresidenceatSantoDomingo;General Clerveaux was appointedtothecommandofthe provinceofSamana;Colonel Jean Phillipe Daut, commanderofthe 10th demi-brigade, was attachedtoPaul Louverture;andthe6thdemi-brigade was orderedtoClerveaux's headquartersatSantiago de los Caballeros.Negrosoldiery occupied all strategic pointsinthe easternhalfofthe island.TheSpaniards, althoughmuchhumiliatedatbeing governedbyaNegro,couldnotbutappreciate Toussaint's evidentgoodwill, and the restraintshowninhishourofvictory.

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23THEFATALCONSTITUTIONHEconquestoftheSpanishpartoftheisland setthecrownonToussaint's political, economic,andmilitary achieve ments.Hisinexhaustiblegoodfortuneledhimtoshowless restraintthanformerly,andhenowmadenoattempttoconceal his real feelings.:hewas dictator,andthere wasnothingmoretobesaidabout.it.Inhis dispatchtoNapoleonontheconquestofSantoDomingo,Toussaint saidverylittleabouttheactual occupation.Thewholecommunication extolledthevalourofhisarmy,its magnificent powersofendurance,andtheskillandbraveryofhis officers. Clearly,hewishedtodiscourage Napoleonfromexposinghimselftotheriskofsending a punitive expeditiontoSaintDomingue.When.he referredtoRoomeitwasinatoneoffrank impertinence: 'Malevolent spite eventually inducedhimtocancel his decreeandthuspreventmefromcarryingouttheoccupationofSantoDomingo.Since I was resolvedtogoaheadanduse forceifnecessary,I deemeditadvisable, before settingout,toinvite CitizenRoometoset aside hishighofficeandtowithdrawtoDondonuntil further notice.InthiswayI ensuredthatfresh intriguesandspiteful manoeuvres shouldnotinfluencehimanyfurther.Heisatyourorders,andIwillsendhimofftoyouwheneveryouwanthim.'Itis amazingtoreadhowthisex-slave addressedthemanbeforewhomnationsandmonarchs trembled.Theletter tellingNapoleonthat,onhisownauthorityalone, ToussainthaddismissedtheofficialoftheFrenchGovernmentinSaintDominguewas, intentionally, a slapinthefacefortheGovernmentofFrance. Toussaint was certainly sufferingfromthedizzinessofpower,yetthedizziness left hismindextraordinarily clear.Heknewthatthe. First Consul wasthelast adversaryhewouldhavetoovercomeifhewastoensurethatthefreedomoftheNegroesofSaintDominguewasnotjusta passing phase.TheduelwithNapoleonfitted in, logically,withtherealizationofhissecret vision;yethewasnotreadytoht.Deeplyinvovedinthemostperilousofall garnes, Toussaint enjoyedeveryminuteofits complicated movesandhiddendangers.16 3

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164BLACKLIBERATORDespitehisstatements to the contrary, he hadmadeseaetments with England and the UnitedStates,which would come tohisaidifnecessaryand would keephimwell stocked withsuppliesofallkinds;he hadalsoforeseen,with a rare understandingofthe European mentality, that Europe would never tolerate Napoleon's hegemony. Thus the creationofa Negro State in America, which had previously been little morethana vague ideal, now became the over-riding objective, and led Toussaint to defy the imperial mightofNapoleon Bonaparte.Astalented in thetasksofpeaceasofwar, Toussaintwas;tbleto instill a progressive and harmonious rhythm into agriculture and commerce. Saint Dominguewasonce more regaining the &bulous prosperity it had enjoyedofold. The export trade alone rose to four millionfrancs,and twenty per cent.ofthis sum went to the admin istration. According to M. Perroud, whowasinchargeofthe Colony'sfinances,expenditure for the year1800amounted to34,492,408francs;and another authority, PamphiledeLacroix, maintains that the commander-in-chief purposelymanipulated thefiscalreceipts to avoid whetting the appetiteofFrance.Ashisvision began at last to materialize, Toussaintclosedhismind more and more to secondary considerations. Beyondhispolitical,social,and educational work nothing interestedhimany longer. Men were mere tools inhishands.Cold, silent, and pro digiously active,hismultipletaskswere yet quite unable to exhausthisenergy andpassionfor creation.Hissecretariesdropped down with &tigue;hisaides-de-camp,hisagricultural inspectors, andhisengineers were utterly worn out.Scarcelyoneofhisgenerals, subjectasthey were to an iron discipline, did not tremble athisapproach. Saint Domingue's nerves weretensewithfear,hard work, and the ubiquitous presenceofthisexacting, legendary, yetrealman. Toussaint had now reached the pointofbelieving that hewasreally a manofdestiny with a high political and spiritual mission; and empowered atwillto distributecensures,life, and death.Hefound absolution forhisharshnessin the belief that every human accomplishmentofimportanceisachieved only at the priceofblood andtears.Enhancinghispower day by day with a view to completing the structureofhisperfect Negro State, he punished the slightestfaultswith the utmost severity. To acerteiinextent, hewasaffectedby the overweeningcertaintythathewasinfalliblyright.

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,,.THEPATALItSs .The contempt in which Napoleon continued to holdhimsearedlikea hiddenflame.Resentment and hurtsensibilitiesled Toussaint tofreehimself more and more fromallsubservience to the homePrivately, he did not considerany way1iissupenor. The respect the Negro demanded forhisachievements, which were,afterall,to the advantageofFrance,wassurelyhisrightfuldue.ItseemsalmostcertainthatifNapoleon had realized the extentofToussaint's power and thetrueposition in the Colony, and had treatedhimwith greater respect, the whole historyofSaint Oomingue would havebeendifferent. Itwasnow the monthofFebruary1801,and the entire colonial Statewassubject to Toussaint'swill.Nevertheless, he burned tosetdown awrittencharter,which would be the comer-stoneofhisachievement and would perpetuatehiswork. One paragraph in the proclamation Napoleon addressed to theo.fS:unthadseemedt?Toussaint: A constitution whichhasbeenunable to Wlthstand mnumerableactsofviolenceisbeing replaced by a new one, withtheobjectofensuring and consolidating national freedom. Oneofthe principal articles inthisnew constitutionlaysdown that French colonieswillbe subject to special1aws.Thisrulinghasarisenfrom the very natureofthings,for it h clear that the inhabitantsofFrench colonies in America,Asia,and Africa cannotallbe,subject to theSamelaw. Oneofthefirstactsofthe new Government, therefore:willbeto draw up the laws to which y6uwillin futurebesubject in Saint Domingue.' ToussaintwasnervousofNapoleon's 'special Jaws'; he could not help fearing they wouldruinallhiswork and curbhispower. He begPl asking himself what right the Corsican had to administerlawsfor the inhabitantsofthe Colony; and he reflected that no one couldbebetter qualifiedthanhimselftoestablish a suitable legal code,sincehewasfully conversant with thesocial,economic, and psychological problemsofa tropical country. The Negro leader therefore decided that thestepmustbetaken.Inan atmosphereofsecrecyhe carefully madeplansinhisvillaat Gonaives. First he arranged thatallthe municipal councils and thepr.incipallandowners should sendhimpetitions asking for a new Constitution.possessedofthese,he proceeded to PortauPrin,ce,and on Februarys,1801,to theamazement, hepublishedadecreesignedbyhimself,orderingthemunicipal\

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166BLACKLIBERATORcouncils to appoint constituentstodrawupanewCharter for the Colony. Dumbfounded, Colonel Vincent hastenedtoresidence andhimtohave nothingtodowithsuch awildscheme. Quietly and firmly Toussaintgavehisanswer:'Itis neces sary for the Colonytoensure the continuanceofitspeaceand prosperitybymeansoflaws suitabletoourcustoms,ourclimate,andourneeds: laws moreover, whichwi11linkusmorermlytothe Republic. I shall establish these laws.'Theconstituents were duly appointed:AndreCollet, JulienRaymond,Gaston Nogere,DeLacour, Carlos Roxas,AndreMunoz,JuanManceba, Etienne Viart,andBernard Borgella. Six were white men, three were mulattoes, andallwerenotorious supportersofToussaint Louverture. Borgella wasmayorofPortau Prince and appointed chairmanofthe committee. Formerly he hadbeenadvocate to the ParliamentofBordeaux, andasan active supporterofthe Englishin1793hehadbeendistinguished forhisroyalist leanings andhisfavouringofcolonial indep::ndence.ByMay9,1801,the Constitution hadbeendrawnup.Itcomprised seventy-seven articles, andineffect wasnothingbuta legal instrument absolving Toussaintfromany further obediencetothe French Government, which was leftwitha purely theoreticalholdoverherColony.Whenthe termswerepublished they caused general surprise, and even someofToussaint's personal lieutenantswereafraidofthe consequences: oneofthese wasHenryChris tophe.Thedocumentconverted Saint Domingue intowhatamountedto an autonomous State. All authority andpowerwereplacedatthe disposalofToussaint Louverture,whowastocontinuetorule Saint Domin gue 'for the restofhisglorious life'.Itistrue that the Constitution also made provision for the setting upofa Central Assemblyoften members, chosenfromeachofthe five departments. Nominallythisassembly was entitledtoreject the official actsofthe Governor-General,butthisright was purely illusory.Therealpowerremainedinthe handsofToussaint.Healone had the righttomakeciviland military appointments,tocontrol internal security,todetermine the laws, to-censor the press,toadminister justice,tolaydownstandardsofemployment,toorgmizethe plantations,towatch over manners and morals; and, finally,'toensure the tranquillity which theColonyowestothe unwearying zeal and exceptionalvirtuesofGeneralToussaint

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THEFATALCONSTITUTION167Louverture,heisgranted the exclusive right, 2gainst the grievous dayofhisdeath,tochoose his successor.' .Withoutdelay Toussaint endorsed the Charterinthe followirg terms: 'Having carefully examinedthisConstitution I giveitmyapproxal.Iregard the Assembly's invitationasanorder,andcomequendydispatch the Constitutiontothe French Government for approyal.Thedesireofthe Assemblytoputitinto effectthroughoutthe lengthandbreadthofthe Colony shallbefu1illedforth-th 'W1Thewhole document bears the ineradicablemarkofToussaint'smind;he had, indeed, dictated everywordofittoBorgella,whohad merelyputitintogoodFrench. His absolutism,hispreoccupa tions Withhis dogmatism, his taste for order areallreflectedinthe various articles. TheConstitution abolished slavery for ever,butat the same time .thefreedomofthe former slaveswastobecarefully controlled. Labourersinthefieldsweretoshareinthe produceofthe planta tions.Anagriculturalworkerhadtoworkona given plantationandcouldnotleaveitwithouthismaster' sTheConstitution also cutofftheColonyfromanyadministrative, financial,orcommercial dependenceonthe mother country.Twoarticlesofthe Constitution,inparticular, havedrawnthe fireofToussaint's critics.Oneofthese articles recommended the increaseofmanpowerinSaintDominguebythe introductionofmoreNegroes.This,say the critics, looks suspiciously like the re establishmentofthe slave trade. Yet Toussaint was never onetoquestion the meansheemployed provided theendwas justifiable.Hecertainly intended to increase theNegropopulationofSaint Dominguethroughthe slave trade,andthis,tohis mind, had three distinct advant:2ges.Htwouldbeabletooffer the new-comers amuchbetter existence than the sort oflives theyhadledinAfricaorinslavery;havirgmorelabour,hewouldbeabletodevelop the Colony's agriculture still further; and, finally,hewouldbeabletoincrease hisownpowerenormouslybyenrollingtheimmigrantsinhisNegroarmy. .Thesecond CriticismbroughtagainsttheConstitutionisthat the plantation workers werenottobepermittedtoleave the estates where theyworkedoftheirownfree will.ButToussaintknewhisNegrocontemporaries; and he wantedtonukeSaintDomingueprosperousandorderly, so thattheworldwouldbeholdwithamazement the Negroes' abilitytogovern themselves well,toexcel

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168BLACKLIBEllATOll.in every sphereofaction, and to force their detracton into unqualifiedadmiration. Being only toofamiliarwith the indolenceandfatalismnatural to those who live in hot countries, Toussaintrealizedthatunceasingvigilance wouldbeneeded.Thedelightful climateoftheEastIndies,where livingseemsrelativelyeasy,wooed and won the formerslavesparticularly afteryearsoftheoverseer'swhip. The commander-in-chief, therefore, sought to put an end tothisidliI;g by restrictinghisfellow's freedom. The restric tions were admittedlytyrannical,but they were, at that time, singularlysuitablefor a peopleinwhomidlenesswasa congenialweakness,springing naturally fromaswilitlandofeverlasting spring. Toussaintwlderscoodcrowd psychology, andheknew-theeffecton the public mindofspectacularceremonies.SoheinauguratedhisfamousConstitution on July18,1801,with truly regal splen dour. Hehimselfhad carefully drawn up the procedure for theoccasion.Itwasa brilliant sunlit morning when delegations fromalltheparishesofthe Colony arrived at the Place d' Armes, where the NationalTribWlalhad beensetup. A cannon thundered in the distance at intervalsofone minute. Nearer at hand trumpets sounded to the rollingofmilitary drums.Suddenly a profoundsilencedescendedontheassembly.And then Toussaint,cladin a blue and gold uniform.hisLce wrapped in contemplation, alone and withouthisstaff,beganto climb thestepsofthe Tribunal. He spokeofthe wonderfultaskalreadyaccomplished,ofthe dignity foundagainby theslavesofyesterday,ofthe great en deavour which mustbeunremittingly pursued; andfinally,with acryofmatchlesspride, hepro<..laimedthe complete Redemptionofhisrace.Toussaint told the people that the Constitutionwastheinstrument consecrating their freedom; and that itwasthe dutyaswellasthe interestofallto defend it againstenemiesat homeandabroad.He next invited Borgella to read out the preamble to the docu ment. This showed thereasonwhy Saint Domingue must haveitsownlaws,different from those which governedFrCUlce;and it criticized thedisorderswhich the Revolutionaries' Constitutionhadengendered inFranceuntil Napoleon Bonaparte finally put an end to anarchy. The preamblealsopointed out thatsincethedelegatesofSaintDomingue had not taken part in the drawingupofthe new French Constitution it wouldbenaturally unsuited to the Colony . There followedanexordium on Toussaint's great achievements and on the historyoftheisland..-

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THEFATALCONSTITUTION169Toussainthimselfthenspokeagainand took an oath torespectthe COnstitution. That evening the municipal councilofCaprounded off the day by giving a banquet in Toussaint's honour. The whole citywasilluminatedand decked withBags;and-throughout the Colony there werefetesand popular rejoicings. Twodaysaftertheseceremonies Colonel Vincent received a packet containing printedcopiesofthe Act. Therewasalsoa letteraddressedto the First Consul. Toussaintwasburninghisbridges once and forall,knowing thatifhedid not takethissupremeriskhisachievement would be unworthyofhisambition.illhismessageto Napoleon, Toussaint said: 'The NationalAssemblyhaving instructed me to give provisionaleffecttothisConstitution, I have doneasthey wished. ... Ithasbeenwel comed byallclassesofcitizenswith transportsofjoy, whichwillassuredlyberepeated when itisreturned here, invested with the sanctionofthe French Government.'Thisamounted to an invi tation to Napoleon toacceptthefaitaaompli;and, tocapeverything Toussaint concluded by requesting theFirstConsul to return tohimhistwosonsa request which the French ruler couldscarcelyfailto interpret correctly. Colonel Vincent reachedFranceat the beginningofOctober1801,while thedetailsofthe TreatyofAmienswere still underdiscussion.Itisnotdifficultto picture Napoleon'sfuryon reading Toussaint's impertinent Constitution. He stamped theBoorangrily, threw downhishat, and vowed thathewould punish the insolent 'old Negro' who dared to contesthispower. To Colonel Vincent the First Consul observed harshly: 'NeveragainwillI leave an epaulette on the shoulderofa Negro!'. Napoleon did not reply to Toussaint's impudent communica tion.Hisarrangements with England were not yet complete. Meanwhile hewascareful toseethat the Negro should not get wind -ofhisdispleasure,for he wished Toussaint toassumethat he would do nothing to upset the Negro leader's achievement. Afterhehad struckhisblow, Toussaintbecamenervous and .uneasyabout theconsequenCes.No one knewbetterthanhimselfhowaudacioushehadbeen;andhesawthathecould not retreat, thathiswhole idealwasatstake.Hissecret anxietiesbecameapparent in gloom and severity.Histwo favourites wereGeneralsMoiseandDessalines,and on them hehadheaped both riches and favours. The latter'spalaceat

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170BLACKLIBERATORSaint Marc,withits sumptuousfurnishir.gsandGobelin t2pestries,hadcostatleast five million francs. Dessalines also controlled thirty-two sugar-millswhichbroughtina million francs a year. Moise Louverture,ontheotherhand,was a negligent pleasure seekingyOWlgman,whospent littletimeinadministratir:g his estates.Hewas Toussaint'sfaithfulcompanionthroughoutthemanyand various vicissitudesofhiscareer, and, like Toussaint,hadan innate military sense.With Dessalineshewasoneofthetwosenior generalsofToussaint's almy.OnOctober22,1801,Toussaint wasatPetiteRevieredel'Artibonite,whenthe news wasbroughttohimthatthe plantation labourersatDondon,Limbe, Plaisance,andPortMargothadrevolted, andweremassacring the whites.Threehundredwhitemenhadalready perished,andthedisorders were spreadingtoCapFrant;:ais,onwhichmenacirggroupsofNegroes were steadily converging. Toussaint spedswifJytothe sceneofthe trouble.AtDondonhefound that Moise, gallopingfromFort Liberte,wherehehadbeenonatourofinspection,hadalready quelled the revolt, while Christophehaddone the sameinthe north.Assoonasthey heardofToussaint's approachallthe rebelshadreturned,interror,totheir plantations. General Moisedidnotbothertowaitfor his uncle,butwentontoCapWithoutlossoftime, Toussaint institutedaninquiry,whichrevealed that the plantation workershadbecome excited because theyhadbeen told theyweretobe enslaved again,thatDessalines, Christophe, and even the Governor-General himselfwereinagreementaboutthis,andthatGeneral Moise was theonlytruedefenderoftheir liberty.Therebelshadindeed revoltedtothecryof'ViveIeGeneral Moise!'Itisvirtually certain that the rising was none ofMoises's doing.Thefact, however, thatithadbeen associatedwithhisname was quite enoughtocompromisehimintheeyesofToussaint. Reaching the Hericourt plantation nearCapFrant;:ais,Toussaint immediately sent for Moise,whowas inspecting the areaswhichhadrevolted, and restoring order everywhere.AssoonasMoise arrivedhewasputunder arrestandconductedtoPortde Paix, wherehewas imprisonedina fortress.OnNovember20the court-martial whichwastositinjudgmentonMoisemetatCapFrant;:ais.Inordertobegintheirexamination the judges requested the presenceofthe defendant.Toussaint sentthema letter saying that'ifthe unanimous reports received

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THEFATALCONSTITUTION.171fromLaMarmelade,Plaisanceand Port Margot and the statementsmadeby Moise's accomplices did not provide sufficient evidence to condemnhim,then, doubtless, a document signed by Moise hitruelf, provinghisguilt, would be sufficient'.This'evidence'wasthefactthat, contrary to Toussaint's instructions, Moise had had the ringleaders executed at once. Toussaint,ofcourse, interpretedthisaction not to justifiablezeal,but to the fact that Moisehimselfwas deeply involved and was hoping to destroy the proofsofthis by slaughteringhisaccomplices before they couldsayanything againsthim..Sincethe court-martial found the charges brought against Moise to be quite inadequate, they promptly acquittedhim.Toussaint tore up the verdict and had thecasebrought up once again before the same judges.Thistime it"\'Vasan order; and Moise, inhisabsence,wascondemned to death'asbeing guiltyofconspiring against the public safety, andofdisobeying the ordersofToussaint Louverture'. Thatsameday Moise was shot by a firing squad outside the fortressofPort de Paix.

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THESHADOWOFTHECORSICANFirst ConsulhadbynowgrowntiredofToussaint's high-handed, activities.Buttooverthrowand punishhimwasnoeasy task andwouldinvolve many serious difficulties. France was engagedina majorwarinEurope:howcould she afford to send a powerfularmytoAmerica, above:illwhenEngland controlled theseasFurthermore, findinghewas unabletostrike a mortalblowatGreat BritaininEurope, Napoleon still cherished the ideaofstrikingatBritain's overseas possessions,andat one time he had even thoughtofenlisting the 'aidofToussaint Louverture agaitbt his 'constant enemy'. Indeed, he had written a lettertoToussaintonMarch4.1801(aletter which, unhappily, was never sent),thatmightwell have altered the whole courseofrelations betWeen France and Saint Domingue. Inthisdocumenthehadsaid he was instructing the Naval Ministertosend Toussaint the insigniaofCaptain-Generalofthe French portionofthe island, and 'the timeisnottoofardistantwhena divisionfromSaintDominguewillbe abletoextend and amplifyinyourregion the glory and possessionsoftheRepublic'. In conclusion, Napoleon had sent his 'affectionate greetings'. This letter showed clearly that Napoleon was planningtouse Toussaint, whose military genius he fully recognized,toattack Great BritainintheNewWorld.Hadthe letter reached Toussaint it might have changed his attitude towards France; for thepromotionitannouncedwouldundoubtedly have appeased the Negro's offended pride.TheexpulsionofHedouville, the arrestofRoume,andthe insolent dispatch informing Napoleonofthe seizureofthe Spanish partofthe island; aboveall,the promulgationofthenewConstitution-thesewere the principal reasons' thatbroughtabout a radical changeinNapoleon's attitude.Henolonger felt that Toussaint's arroganCe could be overlooked:hethoughtonlyofavenging his pride. Napoleon wasnowdeterminedtopunish the 'rebel Negro'bysending an army-toSaint Domingue, however great the difficulties involved. .TheTreatyofAmiensbroughtpeacewithEnglandandgreatly facilitated Napoleon's plans for a punitive expedition, foritmeant

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THESHADOWOFTHECORSICAN173thattheseaswere open toFrenchshipping once more. Nevertheless,he was careful to keephisplans from theearsofToussaint:onthe contrary, he madeitknown that,inprinciple, he acceptedthe .new Constitution. Napoleonhimselfdrew uptheentire plan for the expeditionary force. Seventeen warships, tocarryseven thousand men, were concentrated at Brest under the commandofAdmiral Joyeuse.ThisBeetwas tocallat Rochefort, where it wouldbejoinedbya squadron commanded by Rear-Admiral Latouche Treville,carrying a further two thousand five hundred men. From Cadiz sevenshipsunder Rear-Admiral Linois were ready tosetsailwith six hundred men. Rear-Admiral Bedout, at Nantes, was responsible for a thousand more men, and a Botillaoffrigates, anchored at Havre, had been ordered to .transport six thousandmen.Thetotal expedition amounted to fifty-fourvesselsofvariousclasses,carrying twenty-three thousand men, mostofthem drawn from the Rhinearmy. .Whenthe preparations hadbeencompleted, Napoleon sent forhisbrother-in-law, Victor Emmanuel Leclerc, the husbandofhissister Pauline, and appointed him commander-in-chiefofthe force and Captain-Generalofthe Colony. At the same time he cancelled Toussaint's seizureofthe easternhalfofthe island. Leclerc was empowered to give proper effect'tothisvexatiousclauseofthe Treaty ofBasle in a more orthodox manner. Napoleon then sent for Toussaint's twosons,Isaacand Placide, who were pupils at the Liancourtlycee.The boys were received by Napoleon inhisprivateofficeat the Tuileries, and he treated them with greatkindness.Outwardly cordial, Napoleon extolled the meritsofToussaint and spokeofhimasa.'great man'. He ledtheladsto understand the the expedition was not aimed at overthrow ing their father, but at reinforcing thestrengthofSaint Domingue.Inconclusion he told them they wouldbereturning totheircountry with the expeditionary force, and he entrusted to them the taskofinforming their fatherhowgrateful he, Napoleon, and indeedthewholeofFrance, was and mustbeto Toussaint Louverturefor..hisbrilliant services. Napoleon was much excited abouttheoutcomeofthishazardous expedition, which appealed totheromantic sideofhisnature.Hehad,ofcourse, no doubts about the new victories whichthisdistant campaign would bring him:hisvoluptuous sister,thebeautifulPauline,alsosetoutonthisWrvoyageonwhich Napoleonbadso

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174BLACKLIBERATORlightheartedly launchedmuchofthe fairestyouthofFrance. Yet they were sailing towards a volcano that was alwaysina dangerous stateoferuption. Evenasbirdsofprey getwindofapproaching tempests,Toussaint felt the imminenceofthe French cyclone.Theconclusionofthe TreatyofAmeins had beenbotha surprise and a disillusionmenttohim,for he hadnotimagined that England and Napoleon would cometoterms so quickly. Toussaint's whole scheme was crumbling, andhisconstant references,atthisperiod,to'perfidious Britain and her innate treachery', are a clearproofofthe secret political agreements which must have been made between Toussaint and England the previous year. Thereisnodoubt that oneofthe principal reasons which led Toussainttoact so boldlyinhistreatmentofthe French Governmentwas precisely thefactthat it never occurredtohimthat France would have time to dealwithhisinsubordination for a long time to come.Hisinsolent self-confidence was basedonhiscer tainty that it would be many years before the fighting was overinEurope: hence the audacityofhis assumptionofpowerinthe Colony, andhisattitude to the representativeofFrance. Toussaint saw furthergroundfor fearinthefactthat the GovernorofJamaica, BrigadierNugent,had suddenlywithdrawnhis envoy,who,inaccordancewiththe agreement madewithMaitland, was supposedtoberesponsible for the supplyofmili-tary eqwpment. Although Britain's policy has invariably been opportunist, she did attempttofulfilherobligationstotheNegrogeneralbypreventing Napoleonfromlaunchinghisexpedition.TheFirst Consul, however, paidnoheed to the English protest, and gave Talleyrand the following instructions:'InformEnglandthatintakingmydecisiontoliquidate Toussaint Louverture's governmentinSaintDomingueI havenotbeen guidedbycommercial and financial considerations somuchasbythe needtostampoutineverypartoftheworldanykindofanxietyortrouble.Thefreedomofthe Negroes,ifrecognizedinSaintDomingueandlegalizedbyFrance,wouldatall times be a rallyingpointfor the freedom-seekersoftheNewWorld.'Talleyrand also reportedtothe Spanish Minister for Foreign AffiIirs, Senor Carvallos, the attitude adoptedbyNapoleon. Napoleon was right about theimpetusgiventothe spiritoffreedominLatin Americaasthedirectresultofthe libertywon

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THESHADOWOFTHECORSICAN175bythe NegroesofSaint Domingue. All the rulersofthe little island,withsplendid generosity, gave unqualified support to the rebelsthe Americasinthe formofmoney, arms, ammunition, and men; andinturnall the great leaders from Bolivar to Jose Marti visited Saint Domingue towinthe s'fipportofthe young Negro Republic. Meanwhile, Colonel Vincent had indeed a thankless task. Havingwornhimselfoutinrepeated efforts towarnToussaint, henowbesought Napoleon to refrain from sendinghisarmy against the Negro, feeling that catastrophe would inevitablybefallit. Although deploring all Toussaint's encroachmentsonthe sovereigntyofFrance, Vincent thoughtitmost undesirable to use force to bringhimtoheel.Herealized that the Negro hadnointentionofbreakingoffSaint Domingue's political relationswithFrance-atleast for the time being:whatToussaint sought to establish was the kindofrelationship which today exists between the United Kingdom and her great Dominions. Once France had ratified Toussaint's Constitution, she had nothing more to fear fromhim.Hehadnointentionofdeclaring the Colony's independence,ashe had announced repeatedly: thisisquite clear from allhisacts before and after the promulgationofthe Constitution. Colonel Vincent had the courage to tell Napoleon thathisexpedition against Toussaint was a crazy venture. Vincent beganbygivinghima detailed descriptionofthe military and natural resources at Toussaint's disposal, which would undoubtedly enablehimto wage a long and costly war.Heendedhisaccountinthe following terms:'Incontrolofall these resources thereisthe most active, the bravest, and the most indefatigableofmen.Heisdistinguished forhisgreat sobriety andhisunique ability to go without rest. ...Heknowshowto charm and deceive every one; and heissofar above allwhosurroundhimthat complete respect and submission tohimare regardedbyhimasindispen sable.Yoursplendid troops, although they have conquered Europe,willnotbe abletoaccomplish anythinginthe all destructive climateofthe tropics. Furthermore, the United States and Englandwillhelp Toussaint to fight you.' Napoleon,whohad listened to Vincentinsilence,nowrose and saidwithsome force:'TheEnglish Cabinet has already sought to dissuade me from sendingmyexpedition to Saint Domingue. I have instrUcted Talleyrand to inform the English

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176BLACKLIBERATORthatiftheydonot agree to my project IshallgrantToussaintunlimitedpowers and recognizehisindependence.They_haveletthe matter drop.' 'Then.sir:askedVincent, 'youwilloffer up the flowerofyour soldiery to the mercyofEngland and the climateofSaint DomingueThe news quickly spread through Saint Domingue-thatNapoleonwassending an army to reimpose slavery in the Colony. Toussaint himselfhadseento it that this rumourwasput about, and the whole countrysidewasin a stateofcommoti<;>n.At the soundofthe sinister wordslaverythe Negromasseswere rising, filled with a grim determination.Acrossthe plains sounded the mournful noteofthelambis,calling the Negroes to battle, and the echoingofthese giant pink conches brought terror to the heartsofthe landowners; whofledfrom theirestatesinlarge numbers.OnDecember18Toussaintissueda proclamation to the peopleofSaint Domingue:'Wemust welcome the orders and the envoysofthe Metropolis withfilialpiety. Nevertheless, I am a soldier anddonotfearmen: Ifearonly God.must die itwillbe with the honourofa soldier whohasnocauseto reproach himsel'

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25FRANCEINVADESSAINTDOMINGUEN.FebruaryI,1802,thefleet cameinsightoffSamana Bayinthe Spanishhalfofthe island.Warnedbyhislook-outs, Toussaint rode swiftlyfromSantoDomingoCitytothe shoresofthe bay, andwhenhebeheld the mighty arrayofthe French armada he experienced a momentary terror.Hewas taken completely unawaresbythe lightning speedatwhich the fleet had been prepared and dispatched, (or he hadnotexpecteditforatleast another month.Hewasnotyet ready, and despitehimselfthe tears pouredfromhiseyes.Thenhisexpression hardenedashe turnedtohisescort: 'Friends,wemust die.ThewholeofFrancehascometoSaint Domingueto.avenge herself and makeusslaves again. Letusatleast proveworthyofliberty "Theregular troopsathisdisposal amountedtoeighteen thousand men,buthisbrigades were scattered throughoutthe island.Notknowingwhenorwhere the fleet would arrive, he hadhadtotrytocover any possible landing, and he had under estimated its size.Fromthe military pointofview, therefore, Toussaint was momentarily handicapped, since he hadnoconcen trationofforceswithwhichtomeet the French invaders. Meanwhile, a councilofwarwasbeing heldonboard the flagshipOceantoexamine Napoleon's minute instructionsonthe landingofthe troops.Asthe ships sailingfromToulon, Flushing, Cadiz, and Havre were delayed, Leclerc had only eleven thousand nine hundred men,buthedecided to commence operationsatonce. A forceoffourteen hundred men, commandedbyGeneral Kerverseau, was orderedtoadvanceonSantoDomingo;twothousand foot, under the commandofGeneral de Rochambeau, weretocapture Fort Liberte; and General Boudet wastolead three thousand five hundredmenagainstPortau Prince. Leclerchimself,atthe headoffive thousand men, and assistedbyGeneral Hardy,wouldmarchonCapEachofthese divisions was launched accordingtoplan.Thefirst shot was firedbyRochambeau's men,whostormed Fort Liberte after abriefbutbloody combat. Infuriatedbythe fierce resistance offeredbythe six hundredmenwhodefended the fort under the ordersofa youngNegroofficer,Capois,ITT

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178BLACKLIBERATORRochambeau had everyNegrowhofellintohis handsputtod.::ath.General Leclerc's squadron appearedoffCapinthe afternoonofFebruary2.Toussaint had given GeneralHenryChristophe precise instructions:hewastodonothingatalltoprecipitate matters. Christophe was thus ready foranyeventualitya peaceful meetingwiththe French.Assoonashis ships dropped anchor Leclerc appointed ayoungofficer named Lebrun to negotiate.ButwhenLebrun was told thathecouldnotsee Toussaint he requested Christophetohandoverthe city. Christophe refused, sending a message to Leclerc declaring that hewouldmeetwithforce any attempttoland. Meanwhile, Rigaud, Petion, Villatte, Quayer-Lariviere, Leveille, Boyer, Birot,BornoDeIeart, Nicolas Geffrard and otherswhomToussaint had defeatedinthe southern war, wereonboardthe corvetteVertu,anxiously awaiting theoutcomeofthe pre liminariestothe great dramanowbeing enactedonshore.Welcomingthe opportunity togethisownbackonToussaint,Rigaudhad begged Napoleontolethimjointhe expedition, offering his servicesinany capacity.TheFirst Consul wasbynomeans certainhowfar he could trust the mulatto officers,andtheir fate (accordingtosecret instructions he had given Leclerc) dependedonthe course events should take.Ifthere wastobeanyfighting Leclerc was to make useofthe hostility to Toussaint, and the knowledgeofthe terrain which distinguished the mulattoes;ifnot,the 'golden-skinned Africans' werepromptlyto. be deportedtoMadagascar. Petion,whohad somehowgotwindofthese secret instructions, told his friends:'IfChristophewon'tfight,weare lost.'OnFebruary3Leclerc issued anewultimatumtoChristophe: 'Iwarnyouthatifyoudonothandovertometoday thefonsofPicoletandBelair andallthe coastal batteries, then fifteen thous andmenwillbe landed at daybreaktomorrow.'Whenhereceived this communication,HenryChristophe turnedonLebrun: 'Does this precious Leclercofyoursthinkweare still slaveslGoandhimthatifthe French marchinhereitwillonlybeona heapofashes,andthe very soilwillburnthem!'Atdawnthe flagshipOceanopened fire,andthe shore batteries replied.Thegunfire rolled and echoedfromlandtoseaandback again.HenryChristophe, having made hisarmytake an oaththattheywoulddie rather than retreat, seized a burning tar-brush and

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FRANCEINVADESSAINTDOMINGUE179himselfset firetohis palacewithoutremoving a singleoneofhisrich possessions.OtherNegroes then ranfrombuildingtobuild ing, torchinhand, firetoallthe fine mansions and palacesofCapandine twinlclingofan eye the'Parisofthe Antilles' became a bonfire. ToUssaintwasatthismomentapproachingatfullspeedfromthe east.Herodethroughthe suburbsofCapnear Providence Hospital and reached FortBelair,already evacuatedbyits garrison,whohadspikedalltheirgunsbefore withdrawing.Nearthe hospital he made contactwithChristophe, leaving thecitywithhisrearguard. 'Bravo, Christophe!'hecried.Thedestinationofevery officer hadbeenarranged beforehand, and Christophewastomake for thepeakofBonnet a l'Evequeinthe regionofGrand RiviereduNord.After abriefconversation thetwogenerals separated.Onthe horizon, Capcon tinuedtoburnandpourforth smoke and flames like a live volcano. .FromHautduCap Toussaint andhisescort, composedofhis nephew, Bernard Chaney,hissecretary, Marc Coupe, and eight dragoons, setoutfor the northern plains. Herehecame upon Leclerc's vanguard,whohadlanded that morningatAcu1duLimbe and were advancingonCapToussaint foughthiswaythroughthemamid ahailofbullets.AtMornets,Toussaint halted for a moment, and then made for Gonaives, whence hehada message conveyedtoJacques MaurepasatPortde Paix thathewastoset firetothecityifhe foundhimselfobligedtowithdraw.Byten o'clockinthe eveningofFebruary6General Leclerc, after a twelve-hour march interspersedwithbriefand bloody encounters, had taken possessionofthe half-destroyedcityofCapWherever theywentinthenorthand the Artibonite the Frenchmetwithfierce resistance. ColonelCapois, defending Fort Liberte,hadleft Rochambeau little morethana heapofashes. Dessalines,atSaint Marc, had repeated Christophe's splendid gestureatCapbyhimselfsetting firetohismagnificentnewpalace.Theinvaders,onthe other hand, were meetingwithmoresuccessinthe west, theeast,and the south.PortauPrincehadbeenoccupiedbyGeneral Boudet after averyshort action brokenoffbythe defenders, Lacombe and Bardet,whohadpreviously fought for Rigaud. Kerverseau, entrustedwiththe taskof

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180BLACKLIBERATORduing the east, had receivedtromPaul Louverture, commandingatSanto Domingo, a reply similartothose sent backbyallToussaint's lieutenants. AgroupofSpaniards, supportingtheFrench landings, attemptedtoinitiate a rising inside Santo Domingo,butthis was instantly crushed,andthe survivorstookto thehills.Undaunted, however, Kerverseau landed some twenty-four milesfromthe city,towhichhelaid siegebyland and sea, thus cuttingoffPaul Louverturefromhiscommander in-chief,whowas unwittingly responsible forhisbrother's surrender. _AtSaint Marc, Toussaint, having received urgent dispatchesfromPaul tellinghimofthe French attackandofhisownvigorous resistance, sent backtwocourierswiththe messagethathe wastodo everythinginhispowertocontinue the defenceandeven to capture Kerverseau and his army.Atthe same time, however, Toussaint gave the couriers another writtenorderinwhich he told Paul to cometotermswithKerverseati. Realizing that his messengermightwellbeintercepted, Toussainthadgiventhemthe second message, whichtheyweretohandoverifthey were captured; the first message theywoulddestroy.Thecouriers, however, were killedenroute,andboththe messageswerefoundontheir bodies.Notunnaturally, Kerverseau forwardedtoPaul Louverture the dispatch which was favourabletohimself,and_ the city was surrenderedtohimwithoutbloodshed.AtCayes, Adjutant-General Toureaux, a formerRigaudinwhohad gone over to Toussaintandnowcommandedtheregion, urged LaplumetogotoBoudetanddiscuss certain attractive proposals which the Frenchman had made.Thesouth,ingeneral, was certainlynotparticularly disposedtosustain the causeofToussaint Louverture. Grande Anse, however,whichwascommandedbyGeneralDommage,continued loyaltoToussaint, but, receivingnoinstructionsfromhiscommander-in-chief,andbeing surroundedbyformer Rigaudins,Dommagesurrendered to the Frenchassoonasthey appeared before thetowninawar-ship. -Thewholeofthe southandpartofthe westwerenowinthehandsofthe expeditionary force;butelsewhere the invaders found nothingbutscorched earthtogreet them. Toussaint devised amethodofwarfareinwhichthe'groundistomfrombeneath the enemy's feet'. Here arehisinstructionstoDessalines : 'Thereisnoreasontodespair, CitizenGeneral,-

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PRANCEINVADESSAINTDOMINGUElSIprovidedyouare successfulindepriving the invadersoftheportfacilitiesonwhich they must rely for receiving their supplies.Try,therefore,byevery possible means,toset firetothecity.Iiisbuilt almost entirelyofwood, andallyouneedistofind ahand. fulofloyal and resolute men. Ah,mydear General,howunfortunateitisthat there was a traitoratPortauPrince, and thatbothyourandmyorders were ignored.Waitfor themoment'whenthe garrisonisexhaustedbyanumberofsortiesonthe plain, and thentrytostorm thecityfromthe rear.Donotforget that whilewewait for therains,whichwillhelp us in getting ridofthe enemy,wecan always destroy and burn.Rememberthatthissoil, nourishedonourblood and sweat, mustnotyield a crumboffoodtoourenemies. Keepallroads under constant fire,throwthe bodiesofmenand horses intoallwells and springs, destroy everything andburneverything so that thosewhohave cometomake slavesofus againwillfind before their eyes, wherever theytum,the imageofthat Hell they so richly deserve...'Thepassionatefuryofthisletter clearly reveals Toussaint's attitudetothe French invasion.Itshows the stubborn determina tionofamanwhoishunted down, andwhendeprivedofallmeansofdefencewilluse deathinevery conceivableformasa weapon againsthisenemy.AtPortde Paix, GeneralHumbert,onboard theWattignies,summarily ordered Jacques Maurepastosurrender thetownforthwith.TheyoungNegrogeneral answeredwitha scorchinghailofbullets, burned thetown,andwithdrewtoFort Pageotwiththe ninth demi-brigade.Humbertsucceeded in landinghismenunder coverofcannon firefromhisships.butafter a preliminary success the French suffered an overwhelming defeat, and lefttwohundred dead andalltheirwoundedonthe fieldofbattle,Humbertwithdrawing to the beach.

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ALETTERFROMNAPOLEONVERYWHEREthe expeditionary force was encounteringsavage and totally unexpected resistance. Leclerc's lightning --.Jcamp.ugn was petering out, despiteallhis sacrifices.Hisfirst report to Napoleon concluded:'Theyare beside themselveswithfury.Theywillnotretreat, andtheysingastheygotothC?irdeath. Send reinforcements.'Atthis point, Leclerc considered the possibilityofa peaceful settlement. Accordinglyhesent for Toussaint's sonsandtheir tutor,whohad remainedonboard theCreoleinCapharbour. Carefully explainingtothe boysthattheattackontheir father was the resultofa complete misunderstanding, he requestedthemtoseekoutToussaintandconvey his peaceful intentions.Healso toldthemtotakewiththemthe letter, signedbyNapoleon, which theyhadbroughtfromFrance. AccompaniedbyM.de Coisnon, IsaacandPlacide setoutinsearchofToussaint.TheywenttoEnnery,butthe commander-in-chief wasinthe regionofSaint Marc, reorganizing the defences.Newswas hastily dispatchedtohim,andhereached EnneryonFebruary12Withdeep emotion Toussaint beheld again the childrenwhohad spent six yearsinFrance, and his eyes were moistasheembraced them. Isaac was the firsttospeak..InaccordancewithNapoleon's request he at once conveyedtohis fathertheFirst Consul's feelingoffriendship and admiration for theNegrocommander. Isaac becamemoreandmoreeloquentandpersua sive.Withthe greatestwarmthhe pleaded the causeofFrance, personally guaranteeing the genuinenessofNapoleon's feelings for the Negroes and their commander-in-chie Isaac endedbybegging his father to cease operationsandsubmittothe authorityofLeclerc.ThenM. de Coisnon advanced and heldouta crimson casket, fastenedbya tricolour silken cord,whichcontained a French SealofState, and the letter signedbyNapoleon Bonaparte. Toussainttookthe casket casually, broke theseals,and scannedtheletter quicklybythe lightofthe candles. Having readithecriedout:'I can understand nothingofallthis:oneofthemsaysthat Iam. numberedamong"themost illustrious citizensofFrance", while181.

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,.ALETTERFROMNAPOLEON183the other treatsmeasan African savageandbrigand.WhichamItobelievelHowcan I possibly cease operationsnow!Itistoo late.Thewarisinfullswing,andfightingisgoingoneverywhereatthisveryminute.Mysoldiers' bloodisup, and theywillwinordie; they are destroyingorburning everything they can lay hands on.ThisGeneral Leclerchaslet loose a veritable cycloneonSaint Domingue.When I seemyfellow Negroes,whommen seektoenslave again, subjectedtoactsofviolence, I cannot forget, Monsieur,thatIcarrya sword. ...IfGeneral Leclerc really wants peace,asyoumaintain, lethimtell his troops to cease fireandsave the Colonyfromtotal destruction.' For amomenthe fell silent, then hewenton:'Ishall writetohiminthissense, and you, Monsieur Coisnon,willreturnwithmysons and takehimmyanswer.'Thenext day, the group,nowincluding Citizen Granville, thetutorofSaint Jean, Toussaint's second son, returnedtoLeclercwiththereply.Inhis letter Toussaint reproached Leclerc for havin come to Saint Domingue tooverthrowhim,for havinge monthstodeliver Napoleon's letter, and for having forcedthNegroestotakeuparmsindefenceoftheir rights. Leclerc sent back a reply which wasbothconciliatory and threatening.'Itwas only after General ChP..stophe's formal refusaltoreceivemethatI found myself obligedtoadopt a hostile atti tude. Thereisstill timetosave the Colony...Please cometosee me, I should liketotake advantageofyourcounsels. ... Anddobutthink:whatever thenumberofyourforces,youareboundtogivewayinthe end. ...Donotfear for the freedomofyour fellow citizens,butcome and conferwithmeaswitha friend. ...Toprovetoyouthatmysentiments are genuine, Iampleasedtoinformyouthat for the next four daysmyarmiesatCapwillnotcommita single hostile act ...butif, after four days,youhavenotcometowithme, I shall regarditasa refusaltocontributetothe savingofthe Colony, andshallcontinuemymilitary operations.'Anultimatum! Toussaint,withhis military pride, didnotaccept ultimatums.Hisforces, although scattered, were still intact, andhewasnotafraidofLeclerc's momentary numerical superi ority.Hewas confident, moreover,oftheunBinchinggeofhis men,andoftheir fanaticism; and he trusted implicitlyinhisownstar.Hefelt that an insipid pseudo-peacewouldnecessarily be filledwithsnaresinwhich his safety and the successofhislife's

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184BLACKLIBEllATOllworkmightwell become entangled,andsohewaspreparedtotake the risk: doubleorquits. Leclerc's ultimatum was againbroughtbyhischildren,andina moving conversationwiththemToussaint said:'Ifyouwishtodo so,youare freetogoand serve France; but,asfor me, I cannot compromise the futureofmyracebyputting myselfatthe mercyofan expeditionary force filledwithmypersonal enemies.'Withtearsintheir eyes IsaacandPlacide begged their fathertolaydownhis arms, minglingalltheir affectionwiththeir pleas.ButToussaint remainedfirm:'Choose which sideyouwish,mychildren. I have mademychoice.' Isaac suddenlytorehimselffromhis father's neck saying, 'Father!Youseeinmea loyal servantofFranceandIwillnever take up arms against her!' .ThenPlacide,hisadopted son, embracedhimwarmly,asthoughtoprotecthimfromsome unseen menace,andsaidamidsobs: 'Father, Iamforyou...I'mafraidofthe future..afraidofslavery ...Iamreadytofighttopreventit..I shall forget France.' Madame Louverture, the entire family, and the servantswhowitnessedthisscene werenowreducedtotears.AndnowToussaint could onlyseehis real son Isaacasthoughhewerea stranger. Taking Placidebythe hand, Toussaint ledhimfromtheroom.Together they reached the Place d'Am!.esatEnnery, where the commander-in-chief's bodyguard was drawn up. Toussaintwalked .towardsthemand presented Placide, saying:'Ibringyoumyson .Heisready to die foryourcause.' Isaacwroteto Leclerc the following day informinghimofhisfather's inflexibility, and saying that,owingtohismotheJ.'s fond insistence, he was delaying his returntoCapfor a few days. Placide wasyears old,andIsaac eighteen. General Leclerc hadbeenhopingitwouldbe a simplematterforhimtowinfresh laurels for himselfatSaint Domingue,andforthisreason he had omitted tocarryoutthe instructions that any landing in the Colony wastobe precededbythe arrivalofTous saint's sons, takingwiththemNapoleon's letter.Itisalmost certain that had this letter been remittedintime,aswastheintention, the courseofeventswouldhave taken amuchlessdisastrous turn.Theletter was couchedinterms thatwouldperhaps have appeased Toussaint's rufBed pride. Someofthe First Consul's compliments were indeed political feints,asmaybeseenfromhis

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, ALliTTEllFllOMNAPOLEON18Ssecret instructionstoLeclerc,butwouldatleasthavemadetheNegrogeneralmoredisposedtowelcometheexpeditionary force,whileeventsworkedthemselvesoutinamoremanner.WhatdidNapoleonsayinthisunouslettertoToussainuHavinginformedToussaintoftheappointmentofhisbrother-inlaw,Leclerc,as'First MagistrateoftheColony',Napoleonwenton:'Wehaveconceivedthegreatest esteemforyou,andwetakepleasureinpublicly proclaimingthegreatservicesyouhaverenderedtotheFrench people. ... CalledbyyournaturaltalentsandtheforceofcircumstancestoassumethegovernmentoftheColony,youhavestampedoutthecivilwar,andbroughtintorespectandhonouroncemorethereligionandworshipofGod,fromwhomallthingsderive.'TheConstitutionyouhavedrawnup,whileitembodiesmanyexcellent things, also contains certain clauseswhicharecontrarytothedignityandsovereigntyoftheFrench people,whereofthepeopleofSaintDomingueformonlyapart...Thecircumstancesinwhichyouhavefoundyourself, surroundedbyenemiesonallsides, nevertheless justify certain articlesoftheConstitution;thesituationissoverymuchbettertoday,however,thatyouwillbethefirsttopayhomagetothesovereignityofanationwhichcountsyouamongstthenumberofhermostillustrious citizensbyreasonofthegreatservicesyouhaverendered,andthetalentsandllltrengthofcharacterwithwhichnatureendowedyou...'TellthepeopleofSaintDomingue...tellyourbraveNegroes,whosevalourwesomuchadmire,thatFrance's solicitudeontheirhasoftenbeenrendered powerlessbytheimperious circumstancesofwar...tellthem,that,iftheyprizelibertyastheirgreatest possession,itcanonlybeintheircapacity as French citizens,andthatanyactcontrarytotheinterestsof.theircountry,totheobediencetheyowetotheGovernmentortheCaptain-General,wouldbea crime greatenoughtocancelouttheir services,andwouldnecessarilyconvertSaintDomingueintoa theatreofwarinwhichsonsandfatherswouldriseupandslay eachother..'Andasforyourself, General,dobutreflect that,althoughyouarethefirst representativeofyourracetoattaintosuch a positionofpowerandtobe distinguis4edbysuch personal courageandtalents,yetyouare also, beforeGodandbefore us, responsiblefortheconductoftheNegroesyoucommand...Weshallthinkof

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186BLACKLIBERATORthe past, however, onlyinorderto have the pleasure ofidentifying thosewhofought so valiantly against the Spaniards and the English, thenourenemies.'youmayrely unreservedlyuponouresteem,andyouwillcomportyourselfasbefits oneofthechiefcitizensofthe greatest nationintheworld.-Bornparte.'Napoleon had instructed Leclerc to arrange for Toussaintandhis principal lieutenantstobedeportedtoFranceassoonasa favourable opportunity presented itself.Thenativearmywas also tobedisarmed and disbanded. Even the mulattoeswerenottobeexcepted.Thelandownerswhosupported Toussaintwerealsotobedeported, despite the general amnesty solemnly decreedinthe proclamation to the inhabitantsofSaint Domingue, publishedonNovember8, 1801.Onthe particular questionofslavery Napoleonwrotetothe Consul Cambaceres: 'Attachedyouwill find notes whichwillservetodrawup"aproposed decreetotake theformofasenatusconsulturn.Art.5:"AllNegropersons,notincludedinthe cate gories specifiedinArticleI,willbe subjecttothe laws and regula tions indicatedinthe Landowners'NegroCode,asof1789." ,Napoleon was determined towipeoutinSaintDomingueall the measures adoptedbythe FrenchRevolutionfor the benefitofthe Negroes. This repudiationmorethanjustified the former slavesinallthe actsofviolencetowhichtheyhadrecourseinthe defenceoftheir rights. Force was the only possible deciding factor between former slaves and slave traders.TheNegroesatthat timehadoneadvantageontheir side:asthe military resourcesofbothsidesweremuchthe same, the issueofthe battleswoulddepend chieflyonindividual courage,ona man's intelligencewhenactually fighting, andonthe strengthofhis limbs."

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27",CRETEAPIERROT:'THEWILLTOBEFREE'NFebruary17, 1802,Captain-General Leclerc issued aproclamationinwhichheinvited the inhabitantsofSaintDomingue'toregard Toussaint,whohas refuesdtoactasmylieutenant-general,asatrulymonstrous creature and anoutlaw'. Toussaintatonce retortedbypublishing an addressinwhichhe outlawed General Leclerc. Sentencebysentence he reproduced the Frenchman's manifesto, insertinghisreplyattheendofeach paragraph.Thedocumentdescribedinfullthe circumstancesofthe French landing, and laidfullresponsibility for the ensuing disasteronGeneral Leclerc.Thusthetwocommandersnowembarkedona battleofinvective,inwhichtheir irreconcilable viewpoints became onlytooapparent. Toussaint's polemicswereheavywiththe inevitabilityofdoom,revealing the impossibilityofany agreement between blackmenandwhiteinSaintDomingue. Although the slaveofBreda sometimes disclosedhisfearthatfor themomentthe Frenchmightprovetobestrongerthanhis genius, he also foretoldwithproudclairvoyance the inevitable collapseofNapoleon's plans. Toussaint established his headquartersatPetite Rivieredel'Artibonite.TheFrench army, approachingfromfour different directions, was convergingonthe Gonaives plain,whereitwas hopedtocrush theenemyata single blow. Desfourneaux's division was advancingfromPlaisanceandHardy'sfromLaMarmelade. Rochambeau's forceshadsetoutfromSaint Michel del'Atalaye,whichtheyhadtaken after fierce fighting; and Boudet's division was advancingfromPortauPrinceonSaint Marc,withthe objectofoverrunning theArt.bonite plain. .HenryChristophe,atthe headoftworegiments, was senttoblock theEribourgroadinthe Bayonnais sector. Toussainthimself hastened toEnnerytoengage Desfourneaux's troops,nowspeedingdownfromthe Puilboreau heights.TheFrencharmy,however, was advancing fast:ithad alreadyoverrunthe defendersofGros Morne, and was filteringthroughontothe Gonaives plain,whereRochambeau's forceswereadvancingfromthe direction ofBarades. Toussaint quickly realizedthateven a victoryatEnnerywoulddonothingtostop the encirclingmovementof187

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188BLACKLIBERATORhis enemies.Hetherefore hastened backtoGonaives and,with. fifteen hundred grenadiers and sixty dragoons,hesetouttomeet Rochambeau. Toussaint stationed hismenata place called RavineaCouleuvres 'Snake Gully' through which Rochambeau and his four thousandmenwouldhavetopass. 'Snake Gully'isabout seven-and-a-half miles.fromGonaives.Itisa wild place, threadedwithtreacherous gorges and passes bristlingwithcactus and slashedwithfissuresinthe ground. Three plateaux dominate the scene, and Toussaint had disposed six hundredofhis grenadiersonthe highest places overlooking the gully.Tomakeupfor his numerical inferiorityhetookadvantageofthe slightest changeingradient. For twelve hours hismenlay flatonthe groundorbehind rocks, their fingersonthe triggersoftheir guns. Fifteen hundred plantation workers, armedwithaxes and hatchets, were concealedinthe surrounding woods; their mission wastoharry the enemy'sflanks,butthey werenottojoinin the fighting until Toussaint gave the word.Atdawn themainbodyofthe French troops swept into the gully. From their vantage-points the Negroes poured a mUrderous fire into the enemy's ranks. Toussaint Louvertureinfulldress uniform and swordinhand, marched at the headofhisgrenadiers right into the heartofRochambeau's army. Rochambeau,alsoonfoot, fought sidebysidewithhis soldiers.Thebattle was joinedatonce, and savage bayonet charges, hand-to-hand fighting, and wild attacksBynoon Toussaint saw that the French attack was losing someofits violence, andhepromptlyordered the plantation workers tojoinin the fighting.Atthis savage and totally unexpected interventionRochambeau's offensive drive was shattered, though hisarmyheld on.Atsunset fighting was still continuingwithundiminishedfury,butasnightdrewonthe battle was broken off; Toussaint, having succeeded in dislocating the enemy's encircling movement, was swiftly withdrawingfromthe jawsofthe French vice.HeproceededatoncetoPontde l'Ester, adjoining the battle field. Here Vemet informedhimthat, after being attackedatGonaivesbyDesfoumeaux and Deplanques,hehad managedtoholdoutfor twelve hours, but, in the end, hehadbeenforcedtowithdraw-notwithout reducing thetowntoa heapofashes.VemetbroughtwithhimMadame Louverture and thecommander-in-ehief'stwonieces, the Mesdemoiselles Chancy.Intheconfusionofthe retreat Toussaint's youngest son, Jean Pierre,had

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CRtTEAPIERROT:'THEWILLTOBEFREE'189illen into thehandsofHardy's scouts. The ather showed no emotion whatsoever on receivingthisnews. Toussainthadhisfamily conveyed to the safetyofthe Grandmountains, and himself moved off to the Couriotte planta tion, where hesetuphisheadquarters. Christophe joined him there on the eveningofthe 24th, havingbeendefeated by Hardy and driven outofBayonnais. The Cahos mountains concealed Toussaint's principal supplies, arms, and ammunition dump; and here, too,washiddenallhiswar booty. Captain-General Leclerc camped at Gonaives on February25.Hewashard on Toussaint'sheelswhen he learnedofthe severedofeatssuffered by Humbert and then by Debelle at Trois Pavillons, the key positionofthe wholeofthe north-western region. Maurepas s stubbornresistancehadthe effectofcompletelyimmobilizing Debelle'division. Another setbackwasprovided by theactthat Boudet's troops, which hadsetout from Port au Prince for Saint Marc, were prevented by savagebandsofirregulartroops from reaching their destination. Leclerc, seeking to eliminate the threat provided by Maurepas in the north-west, sent Desfourneaux to launch an attack on PortdePaix. Desfour neauxwasto co-operate with Debelle in finally defeating the invincible Maurepas. Hardy, advancing from Bayonnais,wasalsoto take the Negro army in the rear. Leclerc himself took over the commandofHardy's division. Reaching Gros Morne on February28,"Leclerc was on the pointofordering anattack on Maurepas when aspecialcourier came to him with the news that Marepaswaswillingto negotiate. It soon appeared that Debelle hadwrittenMaurepas pledginghiswordasa soldier that Toussaint hadbeendefeated; he therefore guaranteed that the Negro's personal security would be respectedifhewould surrender. Maurepas, in the totalabsenceofnews from Toussaint,hisammunition almost exhausted, harriedby a Rigaudin, and surrounded by three French divisions, finally replied that he would surrender. The two adversaries then met at Trois Rivieces, and an honourable agreement wasreached.Maurepasdismissedthe national guard and all the plantation workers who hadbeenfighting for him, and, at"the headofthe ninth demi-brigade, returned to Port de Paix, where he formally surrendered. Accompanied by Debelle, Maurepaswasthentaken before Leclerc, and the captain-general, feigning the most cordial feelings fortheNegro, at once re-established himascommander

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190BLACKLIBERATORinthe north-west. Maurepas's moral strength wasnotequaltohisbravery, and he had been unabletowithstand the insidious defeatism which filled somanyofToussaint's lieutenantswhenthey found themselves gravely outnumbered.Hissurrendernotably diminished the potential strengthofToussaint's forces.HadMaurepas continuedtoholdoutinhis sector, the commander in-chiefwouldnothave had to face the French troops which werenowreleased and greatly increased Leclerc's strengthinthe Artibonite and northern regions.Atthe verymomentwhenMaurepas was surrenderingtoDebelle, Toussaint was planning a bold movetoextract his lieutenant from his hopeless position.Heintendedtocross the Limbe and appear suddenlyatPortde Paix. DessaIines,fromwhomhe hadhad no news for some time, eventually madehiswayto Toussaint'..headquartersatCouriotte. Before he set out, the commander-in-chiefheld a meeting during the nightofMarch2,and addressed his lieutenants Dessalines, Vernet, Lamartiniere, Larose, Monpoint, Magny, and Morrisset. Toussaint's words were brief and to the point: 'Gentlemen, Iamleaving for thenorthtoengageouroppressors. Confident inyourvalourIentrust toyouthe defenceofCrete:iPierrot and the Artibonite lines.''Youmay leave without fear,' replied Dessalines, 'deadoralive,weshall makeyouproudofus.' Morisset, whose bravery was legendary, andwhocommanded Toussaint's superb cavalry, the'RedCloaks', said gently:'Theonly regret feltbyyourold servant and comrade in armsisthatyouwillbe exposing yourself to somuchdanger withouthim.'..Thatsame night Toussaint leftwithseven infantry companies under the commandofColonel Gabart, five hundred grenadiers, and three hundreddr2goons; and wherever hewentheraised more troops. Using a short cut through theCoupe:il'Inde gorge Toussaint appearedatdaybreakonthe plainofSaint Michel del'Atalaye, where the Frencharmywas assembled. Takingthembysurprise,hefought hiswaythroughtoEnnery, recapturingitbybayonet chargesfromHardy,whoretreatedindisordertoGonaives.Hewas sorely temptedtoexploithisvictory andrecapture Gonaives, forhehad continued his pursuittotheverysuburbsofthetown;butprudence restrainedhimandhedeter mined to holdtohis original plan. ReturningtoEnnery,he raised more troops, consolidatedhispositions, and proceededtoLa Marmelade, which, underthe

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CRETEAPIERROT:'THEWILLTOBEFREE'191commandofColonel Jean Phillipe Daut, had firmly withstood the enemy's attacks. AtLaMarme1adeToussaint summoned Christophe from Dondon to conduct operations against CapThe commander-in-chief then received news that the relendess Rochambeauhadforced the Cahos, and thatDessalines,swamped by the enemy, had transferred to Calvaire. CreteaPierrot, magnificendy defended by .. ere"andMagny,wasbeing beset by all Leclerc's available troops. Toussaint marched off toPlaisance.Hewastortured by the continuedsilenceofMaurepas, whose intrepid courage heknewofold. Toussaintsenseddisaster in the north-west.OnMarchShe swept down on Desfourneaux's positions beforePlaisance,and stormedhisfirstdefences.During the courseofthisbawe Tous saint noticedamong the uniforms ofhis European opponents the coloursofthe ninth colonial regiment from Port de Paix.Thissorry sight toldhimonly too clearlyofMaurepas's elimination. News from the Artiboniteeetorgot steadily worse. The French Army's attack on CreteaPierrotwasincreasing infury.In, vain didDessalinesfight to pierce the enemy'slinesand forcehisway through to the garrison; the Cretewasencircled. Receiving a last minute appeal fromDessalines,Toussaint realized that he must himself haste to the Crete, for its defencewasessentialto the maintenanceofhisbawe-lines. .OnMarchII,1802,at sunrise,Dessalines,who had returned for the time being to CreteaPierrot,wasgazing through a tele scope at the splendid French Cavalry deproying in the plain beneath when hewasseizedwithan'uncontrollablefuryofdefiance.Summoning the entire garmon, he addressed them:'Weshallbeattackedthismorning. I want only brave men at myside.All those whowishto become theslavesofFrance may leave the fort; but let those who wish todiefreerally round me now!'Toa man, the garrison swore they wouldgoon fighting for freedom.Dessalinesthenseizeda burning torch, held it above a kegofgunpowder and cried: 'Then Ishallblow youallto gloryifyou let the Frenchmen intothisfort!' He then left the fort in searchofreinforcements.,_A ,ierrotwasto become a symbolofthe age; for itwasthe embodiment0thewilland determinationofsevenhundred / thousandslavesto befree.For eightdaysthe fortwasattacked \ without intermission by twelve thousand Frenchsoldiers.Itwas "defended by only a thousand Negroes. At the four cornersofther

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-,192BLACKLIBERATORfort its commander, ere,hadhoistedtheredBagwhich meantnoquarter, for the Negroeshadgiven theirwordtotheir general.When the attackers aftertwodays' heavy bombardment advancedonthe fort, convinced that nothing could remain aliveinsuch an inferno, a hordeofragged, naked and wild-eyedNegroes roseupand forced thearmytowithdraw.Inthe courseofa single day Debelle assaulted the fort ten times.Tentimeshehadtoretreat,anahehimself was seriouslywoundedinthefinalencounter.Thenitwas Boudet'sturn.Helost four hundred and eighty picked men,an([washimself carriedoffthe battlefieldwitha bullet wound. Hoping to be more fortunatethanhiscolleagues, Rochambeau hurled himselfonthe fortwithhisaccustomed ferocity,but_ ___...' ... : ere, a blue-eyed quadroon, fighting besidehisyoungwife, rushedtothe Frenchman,andforcedhimback once more. Next, General Du,ordinatelyproudofhisprowess, found himself suffering e samefate.Itbecame obvious to Leclerc thatitwouldbe impossibletostorm CreteaPierrot, and he therefore issued instructions thatitwastobe bcsieigedinthe orthodox way. For eight days the height was subjecttoan intensive bombardment.Bythe seventh day the besieiged men had five hundred dead,nofood, and were nearlymadwiththirst;butthey still refusedtocapitulate.Oneoftheir French captives thus described the situationinthe fort:'Themen':never even thoughtofgiving in. Lacking food and water,inalmost intolerable heat, they chewed lead bullets, hopingto"'.assuage their burning thirst.Bysucking the bullets, they were able partlytostimulate a flowofsaliva which they greedily swalloweddown....Towards theendthe wounded criedouttobe killedorremoved from the fort. Someofthe officers,atthe mere thoughtofbeing taken alivebythe French, begged the medical officerstoprepare poison for them.'Thefour chief officersinthe fort,m .ere, Magny, Larose, and Monpoint,nowheld a councilofwarand decidedtoevacuate the position. .. ere urgedhiscolleauguestodefer this action fortwelvehours more,inthe hope that Dessalinesmightbe abletobreak theironringfromwithout.Hespent the whole day eagerly scanning the horizontoseeifDessalines'smenwere advancing in the distance,But,asso often happensinfamous battles, the hoped-for reinforcements never arrived. Hardy was makinghisprogress slow and costly.Thatevening, Lamar tiniere received newsfromaNegrowhoplayed thepartofa

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CRiTEAPIERROT:'THEWILLTOBEFREE'-193madmaninordertocross the French lines,thatDessalines had agreed to the evacuationofCreteaPierrot. .InthenightofMarch24the besiegedmenmade all their planstomake their seemingly impossible escapefromthe stronghold.TheFrench staff officershadnoteven botheredtoconsider the possibilityofsuch a move, andwereexpectingtotake the 'terrible garrison' alive. Thisishowoneofthe French generals described the event: 'This retreat, conceived and carriedoutbythe commanderofCreteaPierrot, was an incredible featofarms.Wehadhimcompletely surroundedbymorethantwelvethousand men,buthenotonlygotthrough, hetookwithhimmorethanhalfhis garrison, leaving us only his dead.' Almostatthe sametimeTomsaint Louverture reached Des salines's headquartersatCalvaire.Thetwomenwerespeedily drawingupa plantorelease 'ere,whenToussaint heardthehailofbullets:'Toolate,myfriends,toolate!'he cried.'Theyare evacuatingCreteaPierrot....!tismost regrettable ...Iwouldcertainly have foundmywayintothe fort.Hadmyplans been successful Iwouldhave sent the Captain-General back to Napoleon, togetherwitha complete accountofthe general's conduct, and a requestthathewouldsendmesomeone elsetowhomIcould transfermycommand.'Thefactthatthe Negroes had been forced to abandon this base provided Leclercnotonlywitha material advantage,butalso helpedtoraise the moraleofhis army. Nevertheless, exhaustedbythe heavy priceofhis victory, he was unable to exploitittothe full.Hehad suffered quiteasmuchashis adversary, whose morale remained intact.ThebattlesofSnake Gully and CreteaPierrot had enabled theNegrotroops to measure themselves face to facewiththe French,whowere, for the most part, quite carried awaybyadmiration for Toussaint's men.TheFrench never lose their senseofchivalryandnever permitconflieting interests to blindthemtothe meritsofanenemy.InpraiseofthetwoarmieswhofoughtatCreteaPierrot, Leclerc proclaimed :'Youhavebuttosay"IwasatCreteaPierrot"formentocry"Theregoes a braveman!",AlthoughLeclerc's victoryatCreteaPierrotwas singularly &uitless,itmeantthatToussaint hadtosetupanewdefence system. Abandoning his techniqueofmass attacks Toussaintnowsubjected theenemytoshort fierce skirmishes, and thenbrokeoffactionwhenhehad inflicted sufficient damage.Wild, mobile,and1'1

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194BLACKLIBERATORferocious,hewould100moutofthe darkorin broad daylightslashdeeply intohisfoe,and then be off before theyCouldeven catch a glimpse ofhis scarlet plume.Hisinstinct for the enemy's weak spots compelled their admiration.Leclercwasconfronted by a manofpride, intelligence, and inexhaustible activity. Toussaint's newidea.wasto isolate the French army in the north from the army in the west, and with thisaimin view the enemy must be driven from the right bankoftheArtibonite, from Limbe,Plaisance,and Gonaives. He in structedDessalinesto reconquer the Artibonite plain and CreteaPierrot, supported by Charles Belair, who controlled Cahos and the strategic points ofplassac and Calvaire. To VemetWasgiven the taskoffightinghisway down on to the Gonaives plain once more. For himself Toussaint reserved the most difficult under taking: he would drive Hardy's men, who were covering CapoutofPlaisanceand Limbe. Henry Christophe, firmly entrenched in Grand Boucan,wastosetout withfivethousand men and endeavour to recapture Dondon andLaMarmelade; he wouldalsoattack Capfrom theeastwith theassistanceoftwo guerillaleaders,Macaya andSansSouci, at present camped at Valliere and SainteSuzanne. Meanwhile,Leclercwasbeginning to grow tiredofthe heavy pricehewaspaying forhisvictories. The splendid.FrenchArmy he had brought to Saint Dominguewasrapidly being bleddry.He had landed withmen and now, two months later, he hada barethousand. Those who hadescapedthefuryofthe Negroes hadfallena prey to tropicaldiseases.OnApri121he sent a communication to Napoleon in which hesaidhe had seven thousand colonial troops, upon whose loyalty he could not rely, and eleven thousand European soldiers, but required another twelve thowand before he could embark on a further campaign.TheCaptain-General's ownlieutenant:>wereastiredashewasofthisunending war. Boudet had settled down in Port au Prince; Rochambeau, at Gonaives, gave vent tohisdisillusionment by crucifying, shooting, or drowningallthe Negroes whofellintohisclutches; Hardy was resting at CapOnhis way through Saint Michel he had utterly destroyed threeofToussaint's privateestatesand slaughtered all the livestock. The commander in-chief had at once set out in pursuit, having first sent word to Christophe thathewasto attack Hardy in front, whilehehimselfattacked in the rear. They caught up with Hardy at Dondon and

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cRlTEAPIERROT:'THEWILLTOBEPREE'I9Sinflicteda crushing defeatonhim:caught betweentwofires, and surroundedonalltides, only Bightbynightsaved the Frencharmyfromtotal destruction. Toussaint, while waiting for a propitiousmomentto launch a general offensive,wasthus constandy scabbing and thrustingatt1;leenemyina. warfareofambushes and surprisesmall---scale attacks; andhewasproducing enormous havocinthe enemy's ranks. Unfortunately forhim,however, someofhislieutenants were becomingasdiscouraged and defeatistasweremanyofthe French officers, and theynownolonger hoped forultimate victory.

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TREACHERYANDSURRENDER'"""'lOUSSAINTtookadvantageofthelullin the heavy fightingtothank Napoleonforhis letter. Althoughhedidnotbelieve awordofit, he surpassed himself inhisexpressionsofgratitude, and reassuredhimofhis loyaltytoFrance and his respect for her authority.Hepointedout,however,thathe wasatthemomentquite legitimately engagedinself-defence:hecouldnotverywellhis arms resignedlyinfaceofLeclerc's criminalandstupid actofaggression.Inthe twilightofhis meteoric career,whenhe wasanexileonSaint Helena, Napoleon eventually realizedthathisdownfallhadbeenoneofaims.Turningoverinhismindhisownpartinthe affairsofSaintDomingue,Napoleon saidtoBaron de Las Cases,whowas takingdownhis memoirs :'Iamsorry aboutmyattitude towards SaintDomingueatthetimeofthe Consulate.Itwas a bad mistake totryandforceitinto sub mission. I should have contentedmyselfwithletting Tous.>aint.,govern It.Withthe ideaofnegotiating, Toussaint senttwoFrench officers, Brigadier Pascal Sabes and Lieutenant Gemont,whomhewas holdingasprisoners-of-war, to General Boudet.Assoonasthe latter received the message he seized the opportunityofinitiating peace talks.Heconsidered that negotiationswerenowimperative, since the situationofthe Frencharmywas deteriorating daily,andyellow fever wasnowspreading its sickly maskoverthecountryside. Boudet having received the necessary authorization, dispatched Bernard Chancy, his prisoner-of-war,toToussaint. Chancytookwithhima letter filledwithprotestationsoffriendship and peacefulintentions. Toussaint, onlytoowilling to re-establish relationswithFrance providedthe_Negroeswouldnotsuffer, senthimbacktoBoudet declaring oncemorethathe wasnotguidedbyambitionbutbyhonourand that he was readytomakeanyfurther sacrificetoprevent the damagefromspreadinganyfurther, provided the freedomofthe Negroes was guaranteed.Anotherreasonwhichled Toussainttofavour negotiations was the factthatLeclerc andotherFrench Generalswereachievingno196

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TREACHERYANDSURRENDER197small measureofsuccessinunderminingtheloyaltyofsomeofToussaint's lieutenants. French emissarieswerecontinuallytryingbyevery meansintheirpowertoseparate Toussaintfromhisprincipal assistants. Leclerc had,infact,alreadyprovedhissympathywiththembydeportingAndreRigaudfromtheColony.His deportation was bitterly receivedbyhis followers,foritshowed onlytooclearlytheofficial French attitude towardsthemulattoes:itprovideda lessonwhichwastoguide their future conduct.TheNegrogeneralwhowasmostfavourably impressedbyLeclerc's perfidiouswasHenryChristophe,whocommanded the firstNortherndivision. Christophe was aNegrofromSaint Christophe Island,andhadbeenbornoffreeparents.In1791he-hadjoinedupwithamulattocompanytofighttheslaves. AfterthisChristophetooktothe seaasa pirate,boardingandpillaging mercilesslyalltherich galleonsthatcame hiswayintheCaribbean.When Toussaint declared for France,HenryChristophejoinedhim.Recognizing his organizingandmilitary qualities, hischiefappointedhimtotheconunandofPetiteAnse.Mterthewarinthesouth, the commander-in-chiefpromotedChristophetotherankofbrigadier;andwhenMoise Louverture wasshotHenryChristophetookhis placeasnorthernconunander.Towinhimover, Leclerc senttoPetite Anse amancalled Vilton,withwhomChristophe wasonfriendly telms. Vilton tol,?himofallthehewouldreapifhewentovertoLeclerc.Justwhentheywereonthevergeofa meeting Leclercsaid.ina letter confirmingandguaranteeing Vilton's promises,'ifyou.intendtosubmittotheRepublic,thinkwhatagreatserviceyouwouldberenderingherbysecuring for us the personofGeneral Toussaint'. Christophe was then sofaradvanced in his negotiationswithLeclerc thattheFrenchmanthoughtitfeasibletomakehima ploposalofthis nature.Itmwtberecordedtohis creditthatherepliedtoLeclerc's ignoble suggestioninthefollowing terms: 'This degrading suggestion showsmethatyouobjecttocreditingmewiththe slightest sentimentsofdelicacyorhonour.Heismycommanderandmyfriend.Howcan friendshipbecompatiblewithsuch cowardicel'Leclerc hastenedtosendanotherletter, suitably filledwithflattering compliments.HeurgedtheNegrogeneraltoignorehisearlier communicationandproposed a meetingatHautduCap'tocleareverythingup'.

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198BLACKLIBERATORChristophenowproceededtoLaMarmelade,whereheinfonnedToussaintofLeclerc' s proposals.Heshowedhimthelettenhe had received,buttactfullykeptLeclerc's.proposalaboutToussainttohimself:Thecommander-in-chief,whohadalready been considering a cessationofhostilities, authorizedHenryChristophe togoand hearwhatLeclerc had[Qsay.Themeeting between LeclercandChristophetookplaceonApri126, 1802.TheCaptain-General exerted all hischarmtowinoverToussaint's lieutenant once and for all, and he was completely successful.Bythe endofthe conversation theNegrogeneral had,withoutToussaint's authority, surrenderedtoLecbc,andundertaken tohandoverwithoutdelay one hundred piecesofcannon, twelve hundredmenfromhis reserve,allhis ammunition, French prisoners-of-war, the Limbe,andallhis strategic positions.Itwas a stab in the back for Toussaint. Leclerc gaveHenryChristophe a cordial messageofgreeting to Toussaint, and the negotiator returriedtoLaMarmelade.Hewas careful to refrainfromtelling Toussaintofhiscomplete sub mission to Leclerc: he merely handedoverthe Frenchman's letter which Toussaint placedonhis tablewithoutfor themomentreading it. ChristophedidnotstaylongatToussaint's head quarters,buthastened backtohisowncommandat the conclusionofthe audience. As soonashis lieutenant had gone, Toussaint turned to read Leclerc's letter, andwaSastonishedtofind that his lieutenant had concluded an armistice. Furious, Toussaint swiftly dispatched hischiefofstaffinpursuitofChristophe, tellinghimtoreturn forthwith and giveanexplanationofhis action. Needlesstosay, Christophe didnotobey the imperious summons. Toussaintatonce summoned a councilofwarandinfonnedhis officersofthe treacheryofHenryChristopheoneofthe mainstaysofhis military power.Therewas general consternation.Hiswhole planofa strong, honourable capitulation was disintegrating,andhe mustnowmeetLeclerc almost in the roleofa conqueredman;butthe conqueror wasnothis enemy,itwas hisownfavourite,HenryChristophe. Leclerc had concluded his lettertoToussaintinthe following terms:'Itwouldbe a happy day formeifyouwouldundertaketocometoan agreementwithmeand submittothe Republic.' Toussaint replied that he had never ceasedtobefaithfulto-France,andthatifhe, Leclerc,hadbehaved towardshiminaccordancewiththe military code, and asbefittedtheservices Toussainthad-

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-..TREACHERYANDSURRENDER199rendered France. not a single shot need havebeenfiredinSaint Domingue. He ended withanacid aiticismofChristophe' swhich was.hesaid.contrary tothemost elementary principlesofmilitaryloyalty and discipline. Like a good gambler. Toussaint accepted the unfortunatesituation withhisaccustomedcalm.Inorder to determine thepeaceclauses.heproposed a personal meeting withLeclercat Henricourt near CapFran\olis.Leclercrefused to agree tothis.Toussaint then deputed twoaidp to confer with Leclerc. The meeting lasted for three hours. at the endofwhich the delegateshadagreed with the Captain-General that apeaceshouldbedrawnup on the following lines:(I)inviolable liberty foraUNegroesofSaint Domingue;(2)allNegroofficersto remaininfullenjoymentoftheir rank) and dignities;(3)Toussaint Louverture to retainhis\staffofofficers.and to retire athisconvenience to oneofhis/estates.Leclercwasdelighted withthisarrangement. andheexpressedhispleasurein a mo..t generously worded letter. Here are a few extracts from it: 'Today we must not waste our timeingoing over theevilsofthepast-Ishalldevote myselfsolelyto thetaskofrestoring the Colony toitsformer splendour ... You. and theGeneralswith you. need have nofearthat Ishallinvestigate past conduct. for I draw a veil overaUthathashappened here in Saint Domingue ..InthisI emulate the examplesetby the Fint Consulinhisattitude to France after Brurriaire 18thIshall distinguish in future only between good citizens and bad citizens. Your generals and your troopswillbetreated andusedliketherestofmy army" Leclerc now expressed a desire toseehisformer enemy. and itwasarranged that the two men should meet at CapThere ensued greatanxietythroughout the city. for everyone knew that Toussaint would rarely trust anyone; and they won deredifhe would appear afterall.Buthewent. Itwasasthough Toussaint. in the events through which hehadlived.hadseenthe emptinessofhumanprudence; and now yielded once more to impulseasifreverting to the inherentfatalismofhis race. Almost indifferent to what might happen. he set out forhismeeting with Leclerc on Mays.accompanied by a glittering escortofsixhundred horse. under the personal commandofMorisset.Tothe amazementofthe French Army. whichhadnot expected him, Toussaint Louverture appeared at thegatesofCap

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/200BLACKLIBERATORAtthe well-known soundofhistrumpets the wholecityflocked into the streets, while Generals DebelleandHardyhastenedtogreethim.Ashe enteredCapNegromenandwomenkneltdownbeforehim.Hewas conducted to Leclerc's residence near the harbour,andwas taken into thesalled'honneur,which was adornedwitha portrait ofhimsel Leclerc was absent,lunchingonboard Rear-Admiral Maguy's frigate. Suddenly all theartilleryofthewelefiredinhonouroftheNegrogeneral, and the warships anchoredinthe roads echoed the shore salutes.Inthetwinklingofan eye Leclerc's residence was invaded byimultitudeofFrench officers eager to behold their legendary enemy. Leclerc hastened ashore. Toussaint was conversing amicablywithDebelle andHardywhenthe Captain-General hastened to embracehim.Hecomplimented Toussaintonthemarkofconfidence he hadshownbyvisltinghimin thiswayinthe midstofthe French army.'Ourreconciliation.' hewenton, 'will bring prosperity oncemoretothis wonderful island which owessomuchtoyourgreatworkofrestoration.''Inever thought;' replied Toussaint,'thatIwouldone day have to offer resistancetoFrance,ournatural protector.Ifonly news had been sent aheadofyouthe cannonwouldnever have been firedasourwelcome to the envoyofa great power; instead, you would have been received with bonfiresofjoyand happiness. General Christophe requested you to granthima few days in which to receivemyorders and you should have accededtohis request.' 'I knewofyour absence,' said Leclerc,'butasthe commander-ofa French army, and therefore superiortoChristophe in rank and authority, I considereditwouldbe an affront tomydignitytowaitupon the wishesofa Brigadier.' 'And yet, General,youdid wait four days; andyouwillsurely concede that a fewmoredays orore could have made no differ ence, cast no slur uponyourhonourFor accordingtoyourbrother-in-law'letteryourmission was a peaceful one.''NodoubtI was over-hasty,' admitted Leclerc. 'Let us forget the past, however, anditwillbe the sooner mended. Let us rejoiceinourreunion, General! Eachofus has donewrong;butnowyoursons,yourofficers andmyofficers, must bear witnesstoourfriendship.' Andashe spoke, Leclerc threw open the doorsoftheroomandthe multitudefromthesalled'hOntleUrpouredinonthem. Leclerc then,in.the presenceofall, receivedfromToussaint the renewalofhis oathofloyalty, and himself reiteratedthat

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TREACHERYANDSURRENDER201Toussaint's lieutenants wouldallretaintheir rank and honour with the exception ofDessalines. 'Thatiscontrary to our agreement:Bashedout Toussaint. andhisexpressionCOntractedwith suddenfury.'Very well. weshallnot except Dessalines: amended Leclerchastily..Nightfellon Caplit up like daylight in honourofToussaint Louverture. Leclerc gave a...tate reception:allthe vastsalonsofthe CarenagePalacewerei11edwith redroses.the favourite flowerofthe commander-in-chief. Violins played softly and rich perfumesi11edtheair.Pauline Bonaparte wore a mowy white gown that seemed ready toslipoffher shoulders; her gloves reached up to them. andshenegligently carried a cashmerescarfembroidered with gold thread. Itwasnoticed thatshewasparti cularly gracious towards the handsomest man present-General Henry Christophe. dazzling in a uniformofscarlet and gold. Meanwhile the commander-in-chief found himself surrounded by French generals. who. in a comerofthe great salon. were arguing about thevicissitudesofthe recent campaign. Someofthem could not stomach the tremendous self-confidence apparent in Toussaint's attitude, only partially concealed by anairofstudied modesty.Inparticular General Debelle was exasperated at the superiority complexofthe formerslave,and with a view to humiliatinghimsaid abruptly: 'I have serious doubts, General Toussaint,ofyour loyalty to Bonaparte: sinceritydoesnot strike measbeing a Negrovirtue;whichisscarcelysurprising,sincenobodycantransform asackofcoalinto flour.' 'Possibly: replied Toussaint with heat, stung by the innuendo; 'but thatsackofcoal can produce a force capableofdestroying not only flour, but bronzeaswell.' Debelle's discourteous insinuation hadcasta cloud over the commander-in-chiefs mood, and hewasannoyed withhimselffor having repliedina way which betrayed, only too clearly,his_ true stateofmind. He made to leave the reception. but Leclerc managed todissuadehim.Ashe left Leclerc's reception Toussaint realized that despite all the honours paidhim,despite the honourablepeacehe had obtained,hewasby nomeanssatisfiedwith the courseofevents, nor withhisown part in them. He was oneofthose men who can never really be content to compromise.

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202BLACKLIBERATORWhenever Toussaint wasnota conqueror and abletodictate hisownterms, he felt that he was conquered; and heknewinhisheart that he was sonow.Moreover, he discerned the hypocrisy and felt the fragilityofLeclerc's undertakings and guaranteeS.Norfor his part did Leclerc place any trustinthe continued loyaltyofhis former foe. Thus thetwogenerals felt that theirententeowedmoretothe forceofdrcum:tancethanto any real desire for peace, and thisgermofmutual distrust made their relationship a hazardous thing..---'.

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THE TRAPT was a bright May"moming when Toussaint took leave ofhis comrades in arms in the little townofLaMarme1ade.Sum moninghiscroopsto the Placed'Armes, he announced thathehad just madehispeacewithLeclerc.With controlled emotion,heextolledhismen's valour and their loyaltycohimself; 'Never forget that you are theguardiansofthe honourofyour,race. Toussaint, standingstifByinhisblack and gold uniform, concealedhistearsfromhissoldiers'eyes.The only outwardsignsofhis emotion were thethicknessofhis voice, the slighdy rounded shoulders, thesadnessofhiseyes.Asthough tearing himself away fromhisarmy by force,heleaped on tohishorse, and, followed by asmallescort,disappeared in the directionofEnnery. Andhismen had the feeling thatalltheir glory and freedom was vanishing withhimover the horizon.Fivethousand soldiers wept unrestrainedly.Inthe afternoon, under the commandofMoris set and Magny, they went to place themselves at the serviceofCaptain-GeneralLeclerc.Toussaint did not stay long atEnnery, but almost immediately pushed on to Gonaives, whereGeneralsDessalinesand Charles Belair had established their headquarters. At the outset they flatly refused to lay down their arms, andthisisToussaint's own accountofthe interview he had with them: 'I invitedDessalines,whowasstaying at the Georges plantation, to come and meet me. I urgedhimto surrender,asIhaddone, tellinghimthat greatsacrificeswerenecessaryin the public interest. I pointed out that I had gone the lengthofsacrificing my power,that he wouldbeableto retainhis.I said thesamethingsto my nephew, Charles Belair. I even brought myself to plead with them, despite my natural repugnance. . They seemed heartbroken at having to leave me, and evenshedtears.Afterthisintervieweachreturned tohisown residence.' From the very outset ofhis career DesWines had envisaged thetotalindependenceofthe Colonyashisultimate goal. Toussaint's various political moves and the carefullycalculatedstepsinhis203

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204BLACKLIBERATORnegotiationswiththehomegovernmentwerenotalltoDessa lines's taste.Hewouldundertaketoserve Franceonlywiththemental reservation thatindue course hewouldblowupthe entire colonial machinery.HesetouttosurrendertoLeclercatCapFranfj3is, riding proudlyintothe cityatthe headoffive hundred dragoons.Inthe regionofEnnery, Toussaint Louverture possessed four beautiful eStates: Sensay, Beaumont, Rouffeliers,andDescahaux.Thelast-named,withits flourishing coffee plantation, was theNegroleader's favourite,andtoithe retired.Duringhis sojourn there Toussaint, surroundedbyhis family, reverted to the customs which had been interruptedbythe imperious demandsofwar.Everymorning, wearing the costumeofalandowner-longwhite tunic and white trousersanda broad-brimmed strawhathe;would ridethroughhis fieldsandpersonally direct the labourersintheirwork.His life was peaceful, and filledwiththe tranquil lityoftoil and meditation.Hismanifold dissappointments seemedtohavelenta spiritual quality to the lean features, and he had become extraordinarily kindwiththe mildnessthatso often springsfromdespair.Hislabourersnolonger recognizedintheir. master the imperious, dogmatic autocrat they hadknown.Heeven relaxed his excessive religious practices.Hadhe ceasedtobelieveinGodItalmost seemed so, foronthe dayonwhichhe had taken leaveofhismen, he had gonetothe churchatEnnery.UnknowntoToussaint, his nephew Bernard Chancy had followedhiminside. Chancy saw his uncle walk slowlyupto the altar where there stood a beautiful marble crucifix, which he himself had presentedtothe church.Withan angry countenance Toussaint staredattheimage,andthen,inthe bitternessofhis defeat, he proceededtoapostrophizerit:'You!Youare theGodofthewhitemen,nottheGodofthe Negroes!Youhave betrayed men, and desertedme!Youhavenopityformyrace!'Andwitha violentmovementofhishandthis man,whofeared only God, hurled the crucifixtothe ground,.,whereitlayshatteredina thousand pieces. Hismoodofdespair wasnotfinal, however. Toussaint was a tenaciousman;and he hadnotabdicated.Hethought thathecould still,whenhe wished, pick up the broken piecesofhis sword and setoutoncemoreinquestofthe ever-tantalizing goaloffreedom.TheCaptain-General had been victorious,buthe entertained

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THETRAPserious misgivings abouttheextentofhis triumph.Hewasnotlonginrevealing his bias against theNegroleader.Hehadalready requested Toussainttodismisshis private guard, which, accordingtotheir agreementhewasentitledtoretain; and Toussainthaddoneso. SoldiersfromtheEnnerygarrison raided Tou"saint's plantationdayand night, pillaging the crops, ill-treating his employeesandslaughtering his livestock.Armedmen, spies, continuallyhungaboutinthevicinityofhisresidence. Toussaint had already sent a vigorous lettertoLeclerc protesting agaimttheraids and the espionage;butthe Captain-General hadnotdeignedtoreply. Since the depredatiollswentfrombadtoworse, and threatsweredirected against Tomsainthimself,he then sent Placide to Leclercwithyetanother letterinwhichhewrote:'having found thatmyresidenceinthe mountainsisnotsuchastoinspire confidence, Iamproposing tomovetoBeaumont,justoutside Ennery.'Hedid so forthwith. This removaldidnothingtoappease....theFrench officers' suspicions,andthe pastimeofsubjecting Toussainttoirritations and pinpricks merely increased .inintensity.Heagain informed the Captain-Generalofhisdesire for peace, toldhimthat therewerenoarmedmenonhis estates,andsaidthat.ifthe molestations didnotcease hewouldremove far awaytooneofhisremote eastern estates. Fearing thathemightlose his prey, Leclerc determinedtoseizeToussaint's person whilehecould.Ifthis project wastobe accom plished honourablyitmight,ofcourse, leadtoanother general conflagration;itwas therefore desirabletolure Toussaint into somesortoftrap. Meanwhile the Frencharmywas havingtoconfront anenemymuchmorerelentless than Toussaint had everbeen:yellow fever.Withinthe spaceofa fortnight six thousand white men, soldiers and civilians, succumbedtothedisease.Particularlywerethe soldiersandthe hospitalsofCapandPortau Prince were filledtooverflowingwithsick men, whose moaning could be heardfaraway. Leclercdidnotknowhowto meetthisnewscourge.Hissplendidarmywas disappearing before his eyes, transformed into carrionina tropical climate already poisonedbybitter warfare. Furthermore, sincewarhadagain brokenoutwithEngland, the British Fleet was blockading the harboursofSaintDomingueonce more, and very few French supplyshipswereabletowinthroughtotheColony. .Thetaskoffinally pacifying SaintDominguealsomeant daily

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BLACKLIBERATORand bloody combats.absolutely invincible, formedfanaticalbands,and from diehills,theforests,and thebushthey planned and carried outpitilt"SSraidson the Frenchcamps,on the towns, and even into the suburbsofCapitsel Every where the French armywascontinuallybeingharried by these 'irascible brigands', touseLeclerc's own phrase. Toussaint followed the courseofevents with delight. Strictly speakinghewasnot the brain behind the rebellion, but itadmirhblyexpressedhissecret longing. Silent, he gave no inkling ofhis pleasure; butLeclerc,throughhisspies,knew that anairofoptimismwasreigning among the veterans ofTomsaint'sguard.,who lived nearhim.These veterans frankly declared that they were only waiting for the right moment to take up their armsagam.Leclerc, on the otherhand.,hisnerves stretched to breaking point byanxietyandfear,wasgradually being worn down.Hisnervousness andalarmcouldbeseenin the wholesale slaughteringofNegroes that he now ordered. He even wentsofarasto hold Toussaintresponsiblefor thedefeatsofthe French soldiers by the rebelbands.Hewasnow convinced that Toussaintwasdirecting the whole rebellion from behind thescenes.Onthe othersideofthe picture,wasToussaint really conspiring against the French armylTherecanbelittle doubt that hewas,forsuchhidden activity would appeal tohimastheonly meansoffurtheringhisaim;and he must havebeenurged to it by the tremendouseffecton the French armyofthe deadly onslaughtsofyellowfever.Toussaint thus lived dangerously, virtually unpro tected, onhisestate,knowing well that hewasconstantly menaced, and yet taking a voluptuouspleasurein throwing the dice just once more, even when he knew that theoddswere againsthim..Inorder to justifyhisdecisionto arrest Toussaint, Leclerc produced two letters which, itwasalleged, Toussainthadsent tohisformer chiefofstaff,Fontaine, who resided at CapToussaint flatly denied havingwrittenthem, and stated that they mustbeapocryphal.Whichofthe two men are we to believelItiscertain that the letters arewrittenin Toussaint's inimitable style, and the veryphrasesseemto reveal Toussaint's wayof..Ifthey arefalse,then the author certainlyknewhow to getinsideToussaint's mind, for the whole correspondenceisimbued with. the spiritofToussaint, withhissenseofirony andhisgra".cr',wit. Hereisanextract:'Atlast Providence [the name0the

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".THETRAPhospitalinCapovedlowing with sickFrenchmen]bascometoouraid.Howmany journeys do they maketo"Fossette[thecemetery]everynightlItisknown thatGeneralLeclercisfarfrom well at Tortue. I must be kept informedofthis.Ifyouseethe Captain-General. do notfailto tellhimthat the plantation workers do not obey me. Find outifwe canwinover anyone whohasaccesstohim.You mustseeXabout theA..s fromNew Orleans.Asfor how much flour [gunpowder] canbesent. it cannotbesent atallunlessitissent to the east.Write to me at Majaca, and Ishalltell you where itm\L\tbelanded.Tell Gingembre Trop Fort that he must not leave the regionofBorgne. for itisessential that the plantation workers should not resume theirlabours.AssoonasGeneral Leclerchasfallen seriouslyill...pleasebegood enoughtoinformme. Thereisno doubt that this documentisToussaint's work, even though he did not appendhissignature. Everythingistypicalofthe man: the subtlety. the cynicism. the touchoffanaticism, the delight in sombre humour. And there are two other indications that he must havebeenthe author.Inthe second letter thereisapassageofinvectivedirectedagainst Henry Christophe. andtegretsare expressed atDessalines'sseeming indifference to the writer.Dessalineswasinactcooling towards Toussaint. He considered the former chiefasfinished,andhissole objectwastosucceedhim.Leclercwasquite within his rights in wanting to eliminate Toussaint from the scene. injustasToussaintwasequally entitled totryto restore the situation tohisown advantage. for. despite the harshness ofhismethods.hissoleaimwasto abolish the odious systemofrepression and achieve thefinalvictory and freedomofhisrace.Sohe feigned inaction. while secretly organizing the revolt which would enablehimto leap on to the stage once more withallthe ferocity and bitterness that had accumulated withinhimasthe resultofhisrecent defeats and experiences. Unceasingly Leclerc was turning over inhismind howhecould ridhimselfofToussaint without having recourse to violence, which would only mean5ettingthe whole Colony in a turmoil once more. Butitwas noeasytaskto capturethisastute man.aswilyasa"fox.Besides.the most unforeseen consequence might ensue. forifhisattemptweretofailLeclerc would findhimselfconfronted with awildbeastwhothistime would wage a waragainsthimfarmore savage and desperatethanthe previous one; and Leclerc's army was nowdecimated.

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208BLACKLIBERATOR,TheraidsonToussaint's estateswererenewed, and Toussaint protested violentlytoLeclerc,who,having perhaps been waitingjustforthisreaction, replied tellinghimthatGeneralBrunethadbeen instructedtoputanendto the incursions, andthatitwouldtherefore be desirableforhimtotalkthematteroverwithBrunethirnselBrunetthenwrotetoToussaint sayingthathewouldbedelighted tomeethimandtoprofitbyhiswisdomandexperience, since, havingjustarrivedinthe Colony,hewasnotsufficiently conversantwiththe local topography toknowwheretostation his outposts.Hethenwentontosaythathismilitary dutiespreventedhimfromvisiting Toussaint, and he therefore begged the lattertomake the shortjourneyhimself; andheendedhisletterwitha duplicityunworthyofany soldier:'Inmycountryestateyouwillnotfind all the comforts and amenitieswithwhichIwouldlike to welcomeyou;butyouwillfind the frankriessofa bravemanwhose only desires are foryourpersonal welfare .. I repeat,mydear General, thatyouwillnotfind amoresincere friend than mysel' Toussaint, persuadedbythe French general's tone, flatteredbyhisdeference and respectful modesty, repliedthatthoughunwell hewouldvisit the Frenchmanathisresidence.OnJune5,1802,he setoutfromthe Beaumont plantation, followedbya handfulofhorsemen.Ridingthroughthe littletownofEnneryhewas slightly surprisedtonotethatthe French garrison didnotpayhim. the usual honoursdueto his rank.Thesoldiers,ashe passed,weresilent, and the officers glancedathimwithfurtiveembarrassment. Quickening his pace, ToussaintrodeswiftlyontothePontGaudin plantation, whereBlunet was awaitinghim.As soon as Brunet sawhiminthe di!.tance he ran towardshim.Tomsaint dismounted at once, and thetwomenembraced eachotherwarmly. Entering the house togecher theywithdrewtotheroomset aside for the discussions.ThecourtyardofBrunet's residence was filledwithFrench guards,allarmed. Toussaint's small escort mingledwiththe groupsofsoldiers. Drinks and cordial greetings followed, while the fornler enemies talked togetheroftheir past battles. Meanwhile inside the house, Toussaint andBrunetwereconversing together amicably. Suddenly the French general rosetohisfeet, andwitha muttered apology left theroom.Almostimmediately a detachmentoftenmenwithfixed bayonets sweptin.Drawinghis sword, Toussaint leapedtohis feet, his eyes flashing angrily. 'Useless, General,' said Ferrari, the officerincharge, and

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THETRAP209oneofLeclerc's personalaides.'Yourmenare alreadyinchains,ourtroops command the entire countryside, andyouare sur rounded.TheCaptain-Generalhasorderedmetoarrest you.Younolonger countforanythinginSaintDomingue:surrenderyoursword.' Stiffly,incomplete silence, Toussaint handedhisswordto_Ferrari.Onhisfacetherewasnota traceoffear, indignation,oranger, only an expressionofinfinite shame: the shameofhaving fallen intothisobvioustrap-heofall men,whowas normally59prudent.Hedidnotseemtobe worriedbyspeculationonhis fate;hewas only humiliated that the proverbial eagle had once more fallen victimtothe cock.Hewas conducted,onfoot,toGonaives, and throughout thejourneythe roads and streets were linedwithgroupsofwhite soldiers.Itwas a bright, sunlit morningwhenhepassed through the streetsofGonaives, and the frightened townspeople beheld their legendary hero,boundlike acommonthief, surroundedbynervous guards a slight, tragic figurewithstaring eyes, the blue silk kerchief knotted abouthishead, and wearing the celebrated three-comeredhatwithits tricolour cockade and its red and white plumes.Inhisproudbearingtherewasa dignifiedairofresigna, tion which commanded respect. .Hewas then takenonboard the,which had been lyingoffGonaives formorethana:lndwasgreetedwitha crude remarkfromthe masterofthe ship:,Ha!Sowe'vegotyouatlast, eh, Toussainti'TheNegroleader,whohadnotuttered awordsincehisarrest, retortedwithcoldfury :'Yes,youhavemyhead,butnotmytail' .JeromedePesquidoux, the commanderofthe military escort, was profoundly distressedatthe event.When theCreolereached Capbay, she moveduptotheHeros,towhich Toussaint was transferred.Therehewas receivedbyGeneralwhotoldhim,toaddtohishumiliation:'Youwon'tbe abletoplaymeNegroNapoleon anymorenow,willyoul'Toussaint gave the French officer a scornful glance, andthensaid, speaking slowly,asthoughhewerereading the future:'Byoverthrowingmeyouhave merely succeededincutting thetrunkofSaint Domingue'sTreeofLiberty:butitwillgrowagain,for the roots aredeep,and many.' Tears :filledhiseyeswhenhisfourteen-year-old son, Saint Jean, rantohimandclaspedhislegs.Gendyhestroked theo

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210BLACKLIBERATORboy's head, and then pmhedhimaway, ::aying,ashelookedsteadily intohiseyes:'Myson mustnotcry.Hemust learntobebraveinnllifortune, and dreamofthe future.'EverymemberofToussaint's family had been seized and conveyedfromtheGuerrieretotheHeros:Madame Louverture, Isaac, Placide, Bernard Chancy, Louise Chancy, and a mulatto girl called Victorine Thuzac.Amongtheother captives were Monpoint, thecommanderofthe elite Guard, MorrissetoftheRedCloaks,Toussaint's personal valet,MarsPlaisir, and a servant-girl, Justine. Toussaint's reunionwithhisfamily wasofshort 4uration. General Savary,hisjailer, torehimaway and ledhimdowntothe: cabin where he wastobe leftinsolitary connement.Assoonasitbecameknownthat Toussainthasbeen carried off,itwasasthough a trainofgunpowder had been ignited.TheNegromasses, frenziedwithgrief, screamedouttheir rage and despair.Thelambissounded again, summoning the warriorstowar. Charles Belairinthe Saint Marc mountains, Sans SouciatVallieres, PetitNoelPrieuratDondon, and ScyllaatPlaisance,allrevolted, and sweptdownfromtheir hiding-places at the headofinfuriated forces. PetitNoelhurled allhisforcesatEnnery, destroying everything that layinhispath. Leclerc ordered Christophe, Dessalines, and Clerveauxtoputdownthe rebels. Charles Belair, falling into the handsofDes salines,whowas jealousofhimasToussaint's political heir, was shotbythe sideofSanite, his wife. Jacques Maurepas, the glorious conquerorofDebelleatKellola Pass, was drowned, togetherwithhis wife and fiveyoungchildren.TheCaptain-Generalhadfeared Maurepas morethanany otherNegrogeneral. Before drowninghim,Debelle had Maurepas's epaulettes nailedtohisbare shoulders..,Lamartiniere, the indomitable heroofCreteaPierrot, was killed,byLeclerc's orders,inan ambush. Paul Louverture and Simon Baptiste were drowned. Fontaine andDomangewereputtothe sword. Leclerc, depressedbyillness and maddenedbythe conflagration he had provoked, thoughthecouldputan endtoallthe disordersbya blood-bath.Thepublic executionofwomen,rotting corpses hanging from gibbets, drownings,these were the methods usedbythe Captain-Generaltopreserve the Colony for France..-

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THETRAPLeclercandRochambeauhadwoodencages built,whichtheycalledetouffoirs.Theirvictimswereshutupinthese,whichwere.thenfilledwithburningsulphur,andthenthrownincothesea, sothattheydiedofasphyxiationordrowning.DogswerethenimportedtodevourtheNegroes.TheNegroes,duringthecourseofthese eventsinSaintDomingue,werealsoguiltyofgrave excessesintheir reprisalsbuttheyneverreachedthepitchofsadismandcrimeachievedbytheir'educators'.ThecaptureofToussaint Louverttn:.e wasnottheonlycauseoftherebellion:thegeneral .entoftheplantationworkers,decreedbyLeclerc,wasanotherveryimportantcause.TheNegroeshadneverforgottenhowLeger reliciteSonthonaxhadtoldthemthatifthewhitemensoughttotakeawaythegunshehadgiventhem,thenthewhitemenmeanttoenslavethem.Theywerethemoreinfuriated because Francehadre-established slaveryintheneighbouringcolonies. A decree authorizingthishadappearedintheOffidelonMay20,andinGuadeloupe, General Richepansehadcarrieditout'withthesword'.Leclerc, virtuallyatbay, sent frantic messagestoNapoleonbyeveryboat, pleadingforreinforcementstorectifythesituation.Napoleon,however,whowashimselfsquanderingtheyouthofFranceonthebattlefieldsofEurope,hadnoreserve available for SaintDomingue.Veryoccasionally,however,small quantitiesofreinforcements came trickling in,andpromptlyhurledthemintotheholocaust,wheretheyrapidly disappeared.OnSeptember13hewroteagaintohisbrother-in-law:'Ihave sofarreceived6,723ofthe12,000menpromisedme,andsentthematQnceintobattle.Theyhaveallbeenwipedout.Myposition is deteriorating rapidlyeveryday.Mylosr.esare incalculable.'Then,maddenedbyfearandillness, Leclerc redoubledhisferocityinanattempttoterrorize his adversary,who,farfrombeing fiightened,merelyseemedtodevelopanaddedheroismwithwhichtofacetheoppressor.Therebels pillagedanddestroyedeverythingtheycould lay handson,andthelandowners livedunderthethreatofimminentdeathbyfire, poison,orambush.Theyellow fever increasedinvirulence,andtwenty-two. French generalshadalready succumbed. SaintDominguehadbecomea bottomless abyssofterrorandhorror.ThroughtheCaptain-General's lettertoNapoleonthere runsanundercurrent, seemingtopredictthatdeathisnotfardistant

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212.BLACK:LIBERATORLeclerc,intheseletters, spoke ofhis anxieties,hisdisappointments.hisweariness; and he asked over and over again for soldiers,arms,and money tobepoured into theunqUenchablevolcanoofSaint Domingue. Deep melancholy underlayhismartialwords, forLeclercwell knew now that to preserve the Colony for France every single Negro would have to be destroyed. Yct,despite everything, he still thought that ifhis brother-in-law were to sendhima sufficiendy large armyofmen, he wouldbeableto regain controlofthe situation. He therefore wrote in the following terms:'Ihave received your latest dispatches. . Do notthinkofre-establishing slavery before the momentisripe. Therewillbe time enough for mysuccessorto act on the Government's decree. .. Afterallmy proclamations assuring the Negroesoftheir freedom1cannot possibly goback.on my word. .. 'Until todayDessalineshad not even considered raising the standardofrevolt, but heisthinkingofitnow. ..1cannot havehimarrested,becauseit would merely upsetallthe other Negroes who theoretically remain loyal tome.1have slighdy more confidencein Christophe. But whenthesetwo are arrested itwillhave tobesimultaneously...The troops which arrived a month ago have already been wiped out. .. Let the Government sendme10,000men, apart from the reinforcements already on the way; let themalsosendme two million incash,not in orders on Vera Cruz. When1askyou for money you do not reply. Put yourself in my place..suchdesertionisenough tocastdownalesshardy spiritthanmine. ...1amseriously thinkingofleavingthiscountry. .. Youwillonly be able to preserve Saint Domingue by maintaining an armyof70,000hardened and acclimatized men.' At the landingofthe splendid troopsofthe French expeditionary force Toussaint had cried out: 'Whatcriminalfolly to exposethisarmy on the brinkofa volcano!' And Leclercwasnow learning the bitter truthofthis. Disappointed inhishigh-hopes,worn out withcaresand fatigues, the yellow fever found the ground wellprepared for its onslaught on the Captain-General.On October21,while directing operations against ColonelFranlfoisCapois, who had recently annihilated an army commandedby General Brunet at PortdePaix,Leclercwasseizedby the un controllable vomitings which invariably precede the dreaded.,'omitonegro.Hewasat once conveyed to bed. Pauline,asbeautifulasever, now showed herself tobea courageous and devoted-

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THBTRAP213wife.Quiteunafraidofcontaminationshetendedherhusbanddayand night; but her care wasallinvain.Atteno'clock in the eveningofNovember2,whileathindrizzleofrainwasblling outside,Leclerc,feelingtheapproachofdeath, sent forhischiefofstaff,General Boyer, and dictatedhislastGeneral Donatien Rochambeauwasgiven thetaskofcontinuing the operations against therebels.Leclercdied a quarterofan houraftermidnight, groaning about the follyof. man'. Hewasthirtyyears old.Dessalines,Christophe, Clerveaux, Penon, andGeffrard,allthe rebel leaders, Negroes and mulattoes, were already up in arms, forced intounityofaction. Three monthsafterToussaint's departurehisprophecyhadbeenfulfilled.Napoleon and Leclerchadattempted something beyond their power: nothing couldenslaveagain the men who had once known freedom .

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30'YETDIENOT. ..',...Yetdienot;dothouWearratherinthybondsacheeifulbrow.'Herosdropped anchor off Brest on July2,1802.Police swarmed all over the quay when Toussaint was set ashore. TheWlusualspectacleofa Negro dressed upasa general drew the jeers and catcallsofthe excited crowd which thronged the landing-stage to catch a glimpseofthe prisoner. Toussaint wascalm,dignified, andsad.Along with his valet, Mars Plaisir, he was thrown into a dWlgeon in the fortressofBrest, overlooking thesea.Toussaint's family, with the exceptionofPlacide, were sent to Bayonne and keptWldersurveillancebythemilitaryconunander. Placide, for having servedasoneofhisfather's staffofficers,was transferred to the brigNaiadeand conveyed to BelleIsleen Mer, where he was imprisoned.OnJuly25,Napoleon ordered that Toussaint Louverture, together withhismanservant, was to be moved to Fort de Joux, in the JuraMOWltains.Whydid henothave Toussaint tried immediately by a court-martial and summarily executedlThere were three reasons: he wanted to extract the secretofthe Negro's negotiations with the English; he wantedhimto disclose where he had hiddenhisreputedly fabulous fortWle; and, finally, hewasacting on advice senthimby Leclerc:'Inthe present stateofaffairs, to judge and executehimwould merely exacerbate the Negroes out here.' From the prison at Brest, Toussaint had sent a dignified protest to the First Consul, complainingofLeclerc's treachery andofthe treatment inflicted onhisfamily:'Amotherofa family may well, at the ageof53,merit the indulgent benevolenceofa generous and liberal nation. Sheisguiltyofnothing. Iamalone responsible formyconduct.' But this protest was met with silence. At dawn on August13,Toussaint and Mars Plaisir were taken from their dWlgeon and conveyedbyIaWlchto Landerneau. There they were put in a carriage and, escorted by two companiesofcavalry, taken to Morlaix, which they reached by nightfall. The next morning the journey continued to Guingamp, where a groupofsoldiers showed themselves to be chivalroussonsof21"

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,, fYETDIENOT2ISFranceinthe presenceofa brave adversary.Ithappened that the garrisonatGuingamp was suppliedbythe 82nd regiment, which had fought under General Toussaint's ordersinSaintDomingue;andthe officers begged the escort commandertoallow the car riagetohalt, so that they couldpaya last tributetothe conquered general.Theescort commander granted their request, and then, onebyone, these brave soldierswentupandembraced theoldNegro.They.then lined up, presented arms, and paidhimthefullmilitary honoursofhisrank, while their eyes shonewithtears.Theprocession continuedonitswaytoParis, reaching the capitalinthe eveningofAugust17.Toussaint was lodged for the .nightinthe Temple prison.Thenext morninghewas senttowhich he reached three days later. Fame had carriedhisname throughout the lengthandbreadthofFrance,andthe streetsofthe ancienttown,where VietorHugohad beenborna few months previously,werethrongedwithpeople anxioustosee for themselves Toussaint Louverture,whomthey had nicknamed'theMoorish King'.Bymidday on August 23, Toussaint,halfstarving andwornoutwithfatigue, foundhimselffacing the entire populaceofPontarlier gathered together outside the Hotel de la Poste, where the procession had halted. All thegriefand sorrowintheworldseemed to gazeoutofhis eyes. Baille, the commanderofFort deJoux,was alreadyatPontarlier, waitingtoreceivehisfamous guest.Relayhorses hadbeenprovided.Thefeudal citadelofFort deJoux,facing towards Switzerlandandset high amid the snow-coveredpeaks,stands like an eagles' nestonthe rugged height.Ithad been the residenceofa cruel old hypochondriac, whose nameitstill bears. Mirabcau,inthe courseofhismanydisputeswithhisfather, had been imprisoned there.AndFort deJouxwasnowNapoleon's favourite prison, where be confined his most redoubtable opponents. Severalofhisfoes had alreadyknownits cells,amongthemd'Andigne and Suzannet,whohad succeeded in escaping.Thefortislittle betterthanan inhabited blockofice, save for afewmonthsofspringandsummer.Assoonastheautumnbegins, the whole regionisenclosedbya thick hardwallofmow,and the steep winding pathways are quite impassable.Thefew inhabitantsofthe region arevirtualprisonersintheirownhousesthroughoutthe winter.Eveninside the fort thereisbarelyanywarmth;the Inighty walls oozeanddrip all the time,anda cruel frost adornsthemwithgrotesquepatterns.

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-21BLACKLIBERATORHere, then, in the coldest and most uncomfortable cell, they confined the 'centaurofthe savannahs'.'Hiscellislittle betterthana trench: wrotehisfaithful valet, 'barely nine yards long andlessthanfour yards wide. The lownessofthe ceilingseemsto weigh down heavily upon our shoulders. At the opposite end from the door, three-quartersofthe loop-hole whichservesasa windowisblocked up.Wecanseeonly a tiny rectangleofsky, and even thatispartially cut off by a comeroftheroofoutside. Betweenusand the sky there arealsoheavy iron bars. The cellwassodamp when we came in that water covered the Boor completely. For thefumicure-abed, a chestofdrawers, a little table, and two chairs.Tothe left, a crude little fireplace:Themalignity ofBaille far surpassed thatofNapoleon's gaoler, Hudson Lowe, at Saint Helena. Baille, a despicable person, re doubled the cruel ordersofhissuperiors in order tocurryfavour with them. There was no kindofmoral torture to which hedic:lnot subject hishaplessprisoner. Toussaint had been addressing numerous memoranda to Napoleon, justifyinghisconduct both before and after the events, and emphasizing the treacheryofLeclerc. This correspondence soon exasperated the FirstCol)Sul,and suddenly the order waspassedon to FortJoux: The prisonerisnot to write any more letters to the Government.With zealous haste Baille sped to Toussaint's cell and removed all his paper and writing materials.Allthe regional authorities, the prefect, and the police were daily reminded by the Government tomaintainthe utmostvigilance over their captive. During the night Toussaint would be woken upasmanyasfour times by the guards on-duty. The little moneyhiswife had been able to convey tohimon board theHeroswas taken fromhimon the threatof'searchinghistrousersifhedid not hand over all he had. and on one occasion Toussaint was stripped naked. BailIe, however, wasbyno means satisfied with his searches. For example, he burst into the cell at midnight, followed by oneofhisofficers.'Whatdo you wantnow!'asked Toussaint wearily fromhisbed.'Iam certain: replied Baille, 'that you have not handed everything over. Have you any papersofimportance here!' Toussaint sat up and took from theinsidepocketofhisjacket three letters which he held out to the gaoler: onewasfrom Leclerc requestinghimto confer with Brunet; the secondmadetheappointmentfor thefatefulmeeting;andthethirdwasfrom

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218BLACKLIBERATORpreviously occupiedbyhis servant. 1 have expressly forbidden Toussainttoutter a singleword.'There was still another humiliationtoinflictonthe prisoner,tocomplete his demoralisation. Everything connectedwithhismilitaryuniform was to be taken away. Gleefully, Bailie hastenedtothe celltocarryoutthislatest order .When he gave Toussaint the news theNegrogeneral replied:'Iamtreated thiswaybecauseofthe colourofmyskin.Buthasitever preventedmefromserving FranceIsitany reflectiononmyhonour,myreputationormyRolling his general's uniform, his trousers and his plumed hat into a bundle, hethrewitat the jailer's feet, sayinginsudden fury: 'There,youlackey!Takethattoyourmaster !'BySeptember9,1802,Napoleonjudgedthat his prisoner's resistance must be completely underminedasthe resultofthe rigorous treatment to which he had been subjected.Hetherefore considered that themomentwas ripetosendtoToussaint a special agent, chargedwiththe taskofextractingfromthe captive the information desired. Forthismission he appointed oneofhisaides de-camp, General Cafarelli, renowned for his subtlety and harsh ness. Cafarelli paid Toussaint three visits,butneither threatsnorpromises couldmovethe manofirontouttermorethan he was willing to reveal. Quietly evasive and restrained, Toussaint referred to nothingbutthe eventsofhis resistance, haughtily assumed responsibility for them,andsaid no more. Napoleon's agent found himself talking to a man ravagedbywretchedness and bitterness: scarcelymoresubstantialthana ghost,butstill strong enough to rise above his misfortunes. Let Toussaint speak for himself: 'Everything 1 have done has been for thegoodofthe Colony, to gq.arantee the freedomofmypeople.IfLeclerc hadnotannounced his arrivalinSaintDominguewithcannon-shot, all the evil consequenceswouldnothave ensued.WhenHenryChristophe set firetoCapinanswertoLeclerc's attempttoforce hiswayintothe city, he was carryingoutmyorders; so also were General Mareupas,atPortde Paix,andDessalines, at Saint Marc. I was exasperatedbyLeclerc's imprudent and impolitic attack.Inthe faceofhis unwarranted aggression I couldnotforget that I carried a sword.MyConstitu tionItwas necessary. I admit that I didwronginpromulgating it,butmydesire to make the Colony prosper, and the hope that

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,, ,YETDIENOT.219itwouldbe approvedbythe Government, decided me.Asfor England, I only dealtwithhertwice. Once waswhenIhaddefeated her anditwasnecessarytoarrange the termsofevacu ation.Theother time waswhenitwas vitally urgenttoobtain supples for the Colony. France was quitecutofffromSaint Domingue. Indeed, I refusedtobecome KingofSaint Domingue so that I couldremain loyaltothe Republic. In the courseofhissecopd meetingwithmeatGonaives, General Maitland did every thing inhispowertopersuademetogranthiscountry exclusive trading rights, andtoplace the island under English protection:butI fooledhimand all the representativeswithwhomhesur rounded me.'Theconditionsofthe second treaty were never carriedoutbecause Admiral Forker, ofJamaiea, said that Maitland had allowed himself to be fooledbya Negro. Apartfroma horse's trappings and a setofgold plate presentedtomeasa personal giftfromKingGeorge-whichI wasatfirst reluctanttoaccept-Ihave. receivednogifts from England. In the end I accepted these itemsatthe personal insistenceofGeneral Maitland. Ah, yes!TheAmericans soldmeten thousand rifles, gunpowder sentinBour barrels, and sixteen four-pounders. These things were necessarytomefor the defenceofthe Colony.Asfor the treasuresofwhichyoutalkso persistently, 1 have none. Observing that thosewhodealwithpublic monies are rarely completely upright, 1 have always madeita strict ruletoleave the public monies severely alone ...Yourassertion that I had six Negroes shotwhohad buriedmytreasures, and that 1 have sent other richestoEngland and the United States,isa slanderous invention.''Butyouhad money invested in business!' 'I have never been interested in business, Monsieur: 1workonthe land,' replied Toussaint proudly. .'YousayinyourMemorandumtothe First Consul thatyouhad648,800francs before the Revolution:whathaveyoudonewithitall !' Atthat time the Colonywasruined, and Francewassendingno'supplies. 1 spentmymoneytopay the army. ... Saint Domingue is a treasure-house,buttofind the treasure amanmustwork,and the Negroes must have peace, and freedom.'Thedialogue was interruptedbyBaillewho,coming into the cell, saidtoToussaint: 'Here are the clothes they've made for you.'Theywere the grey garmentswornbyconvicts.

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220BLACKLIBERATORTheNegrowasso overcome that Cafarelli noted: 'Seeinghim.so shaken, I remindedhimthat there was stillonewaywherebyhecouldwinsome favourwiththe Governmentbyfrankly tellingeverything..Thisappearedtodisconcerthim,andhethought for a moment.Thenhebeganagainreiterating his protestationsofloyaltytotheRepublic.I visitedhimagainthe next morning and fgundhimilland tremblingwiththe cold.Heseemedtobe suffering greatly and could scarcely speak. I interrogatedhimagain, and urgedhimtotrust me, since Iwouldnot[Iassuredhim]abuse his confidence.Hethen picked-up the memorandum [already quoted], beggedmetotakeitaway, and toldmethat I would find initallI wishedtoknow.'. Cafarelli concluded his reporttoNapoleoninthe following terms:'Itwas obvious that the man had madeuphismindtoconfess nothing ... Stubbornly dissembling, always masterofhimself, subtle and adroit, giving anairofgreat franknesstoeverything he said,heyet said onlywhathe wantedtosay.Heoften speaks ofhis family, above allofhisson Placide. I was unabletotellhimwhere they were. His prisoniscold, healthy, and very secure.Hehascommunicationwithnoone. Toussaint believes that his only misdeed was the proclamationofhisConstitu-.,non.Renewedprecautions werenowtaken against the prisoner's escape, because a stranger, pretendingtobe a doctor, hadalreadysucceeded in piercing the cordon which encicled Toussaint.Thisperson hadnotonly approachedhim,buthad spokentohim:true,thishad been in the presenceofthe jailer, but, nevertheless, the impossible had happened. Toussaint's audacious interviewer was acertainunfrocked priest, AbbeDormoy,a notorious adventurerwhodidnotknowthe meaningoffear.Onemorning in October he had appearedatFort de Joux, and, after showing Baille a false permit,hadannounced that,asa doctor, he wishedtoseeToussaint. Completely deludedbyDormoy's self-assurance, Baille duly ledhimdowntothe cell, where the pseudo-doctorgravely sounded the prisoner, askedhimseveral questions, spoke about the stateofhis health. and said that he would call in andseehimagain.Itseems certain thatDormoywas the emissaryofa religious organization which was attemptingtosave Toussaint,who,itwillbe remembered, had done muchtohelp and favour the clergy during his governmentinSaint Domingue.Itisnotunreasonable

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toSUpposethat the Jesuits should have sought to rescue a man who had rendered them such invaluableassistancewhen their religionwaspersecuted and hunted down. At any rate, the Abbe's exploit made a multitudeofofficials-ministers, prefects, andfrantic withfury.But the police did notsucceedin laying hands on Dormoy, and the mystery ofhis visitwasnever explained.Tohisjailers the dying prisonerwasnow becoming anobsession,'--making themillin theirtum.Sheerfatigue and exhaustion affected Baillesoseriously that hewasno longer able tosleep,and he resignedhisposition. Baille was succeeded by Amiot, whose crueltyfarexceeded thatofhispredecessor: he even refused to grant Dr. TavernierofPontarlier permission toseethe dying man. Toussaint's visionofthe futurewashisconsolation for every thingelse.He couldsee,among the wildruggedrocks and gullies and the flaming plains, the men whom hehadreared carryinghisgreat work to its glorious conclusion in the struggle to the death.Hisbody mightbedestroyed, but his work lived on. The winter was growing more cruel now, and its icy needles pierced through the poor swollenfleshofToussaint Louverture. Every day he moved nearer tohisend with a dignity that compelled the respect even ofhis brutal jailers. From time to time a little moan revealedhisagony: but they must not hearhim...Toussaint swallowed downhissobs.Tosustainhiscourage he would painfully push the table towardstl:Iefireplace, openhisbookofprayers, crouch back onhischair, and, by the faint candle-light, comforthimselfwith the beautyofthePsalms.Buteyeswould cloud oversothat he could not read; and the holy book wouldfallunheeded to the floor.Asthough to make men forget the rigoursofthe winter, spring came swiftly and suddenly in the year1803with radiant loveliness. April, glorious in her flowers and fragrance, smiled throughout the length and breadthofFrance, but the unhappy prisoner knew nothingofthisvernal sweetness: the cell in which he lay dying retained the wintry cold and darkness. For the past three days he hadbeengiven no wood atalland could not stop shivering. During the nightofApril6Toussaint wastakenviolentlyill.Hischesburned, he vomited blood, he broke into a cold sweat,,and a usand daggers stabbed athislungs.Histhroatwason fire, bl trickled from the comersofhislips.Greatscenescameflood.in&backintohismind ... Saint,,.,YETnlENOT.221

PAGE 229

222BLACKLIBERATORDomingue ... its blue mountains ... its turquoise skies ... Breda ... the family cabin ...hiswife ..hischildren... MarsPlaisir...the red plume given-tohimbyLaveaux ... Napoleon's swordofhonour...Maitland..the celebrationsatthe Mole ...Andthe bittermemories-theyoungbodyofMoise Louverture ... Rochambeau ... 'Snake Gully' .. the red roses ofSesnay...and then a wholearmyofNegroes....'Freeatlast!' groaned the dyingman,hisproudsmile twistedinpam.Suddenly the breathing lessened, and a chokingsound camefromthe throat. Toussaint Louverture had died, sittinginhischair.Nextmorning, at eleven o'clock, Amiot entered, smilingatthe thoughtofthejokehewould playonthe prisoner sittingmotionlessinhischair beside the fireplace.'Eh!Toussaint! Lotsoffoodtoday!'Noanswer.Hewentup to theNegrogeneral; thebodywas stiff:Heshookitbrutally, and then he understood.Thejailer stepped back awkwardly, baring his headwithinstinctive respect .for the dead.Thenhewentout;butyoucould never tell,hethought,withthese black princes...Tomake quite sure,hewentback and carefully locked thedoor.

PAGE 230

/INDEXAAdams, 138,147, IS4 Age, IS7, IS9 Aichaud,4S Alexis, 40 Amiens,Treatyof, 172 Anse, Grande, 108,110,114, 180 Petite, 81, 82, 197S6,7S,109,113Arrault,ISOArtibonite, 63,67, 72,73,8S,141Assas,41 Assembly, Colonial, 21, 22,31,43,44National, 18, 19, 21, 104Aubert,40BBaille, 216, 217,218, 219, 220,221. Balanger, 3I Baptiste, Pierre, 12, 16, 3SSuzanne, 16 Baraderes, 63, 113, 187 Bardet, 179, 189,194,19SBamave, 19,SSBasle,Treatyof,7S,78, IS4,IS7,IS8, IS9 Bastille, Fall of,18Bayonde Libertad, 14. IS, 16, 28,29, 34, IS3 Bazelais, 149 Beauvais, 30,39,S7,73, 92, 93, 108, 13S, 142,143Belair, 49,S8,61, 63, 67,71, 80, 194. 210 Belair, Fort, 131, 143, 178 Bellegarde,ISOBesse,SSBiassou, 13, 29, 30,33,3S,36,37, 40, 41, 47, SI,S9,60,62, 63, 64,6S,66,67, 68, 76 Bienvenu, 36 Biridet, 173, 177,179, 180Birot,147, 178Birotte,71Bizefranc, 46 Blanchet, 149 BoisCaiman,6SBoisrond, 30,96Bonapane,Pauline,201, 212 Bonaventure, 67 Bonnet, 92 Bonneau.31Breda,II,13,14, IS, 16,17,27,28, 29,34,S8,71, 89, 187 Brisbane, 72 Brissot de Varville, 18,S7Brothier,80,96Bruley,S7Brunet,208, 212CCabrera, 49,So,SI,s8,60, 63,68, 70 Cadiz, 76CandY,S8,61CapFran<;ais, 12, 13, 21,22,2S,28, 34.3S,37, 41, 42, 44,SS,S6,S7,S8,61, 64,66,69, 80, 81,8S,98, 107, 128, IS6, 169, 170, 179, 180, 182,199,200,20SCapois, 177,1'79Caracol, 80,81, 82Caradeux,20,30Carrefour,6SCasenave,S6Cavaillon, 113, 114 Cayes, 91, 9 2 93,94,113,114.118, 147, 149,lSI,IS2, 180Caze,S6Cesar,ISOChancy, 179, 196 Chanelette, 3I CharUatte,79, 117, 160 Charmilly,S6Chateaubriand, 86Chaubaud,27Chavannes, 22 Chevalier, 67,lOSChristophe,lOS,141, 148,170, 189. 194. 197, 198, 207, 210, 212,213

PAGE 231

EEnnery,S2,63, 64,96,182, 184, 187, 190, 203,204,20SHambert,181 Haran, 3 1 Harcourt,II4,II9Hardy,177,187, ISg, 190, 194,200Harmonas,So,SI,S8Hedouville, IIO,lIS,II6,117, 119, 120, 122,12S-35,138, 141,IS2,159, 172Herlin,129, 130Huin,III,II9Hulot,IS9, 161Gaban,SI, 68 Galbaud, 53,S4Gambis,53Gaouguinou, Pauline,II,14, 82 Prince,II,12, 14 Garde Espagnole, 108 Greffrard, 143, 148,149,lSI,178, 213Giraux,8sGonnaives,S2,S6,S8,S9,64,' 125, 128, 130, 139,160,179,187,188, ISg,194,2ogGrandmaison, 87 Grant, 139, 140 Guibert,logGuvbre,lOS,125IIsaac(sonofToussaint).Ib,Ii..21016,97.173.GHFFaubert, 141,149,lSIFlone,2O Florida, 76 Fontaine, 147Forbes,76Ford, 56INDEXDDaguin,30Dahomey,IIDanton,18Dauphin, Fort, 58, 61,64,68, 69,75Debelle, 189,192,200,210Delahaie, 40 Deleart, 147, 178 Delva, 149 Deplanques, 188 Desfoumeaux, 52, 69, 187, 188,189,191D'Esparbes,53Desprez,40 Desroupleaux, 67,91Desruisseaux,141Dessalines, 42, 49, 58, 63, 67, 68, 71, 80, 108,log,135,141,143, 147, 148,149,150, 151, 169, 170, 190, 191,193, 194, 201,203,210, 212,213Dommage,180,210Dondon,47, 52, 64, 69, 70,71,7S,So,170, 171,191,194, 210Douet,logDubisson,71Dubourg,logDupontdeNemoun,19Dupuy,79,105Duval, 94224<:hurcbill, 113, 114Gboa,70Gvil<:ommission, 94, 95 <:lerveaux, 67, 80, 105, 148, 162 <:lubdesAmisdesNom,18<:lub Massiac, 54,57,85<:ode de Travail, 89 <:oisnon, 182,183<:ollet, 166 <:olomin, 3I <:ommune des grands Bois, 108 <:ondoreet, 19 <:ornillon,log<:ouncilofElders,96<:ouneilofFiveHundred,96<:reteaPierrot, 191,192,193,194,i95,210<:roixdeBouquets, 108,II3

PAGE 232

/P-Manzeau, 40 'Margot,Port,68. 69, 170, 174 52. 60, 63. 64.6S,68,7S,171. 187. 190, 191. 198.Z03MarsPlaisir, 79. 210, 214. 217,ZZ3Martenau, 130 Massiac,109 Maurepas. 58, 67, 179, 181.18g, 190.210 Michel, 69. 83, 96. 149. 151. 157 Millet,ISOMirabeau,18Mirebalais. 72,73. 74. 75.76. 108.142Mirbeck,39,4258.61.66.67-71.75.80. 105. 108, 109.129.130, 135, 142.158.160,162. 169, 170. 171. 197. 222MonviUe,94Morisset, 67.68.79, 83. 190Morne.Gros. 69. 142. 189Mornet,108. 109Munez.l66NNapoleon, 149.ISO,151. 154.157.158, 161. 163. 164. 168, 169, 172-6. 182. 183. 186, 211.216, 218Neybe,l09Nightingale,IIINogere.l66Nugent.174Nunez,160oOge,18, 21. 22.23Papaul, 68. 105 Pascal. 103, 104. 105Paul(brotherofToussaint). 14. 35. 159, 162. 180,Perinioud.96.Perroud.80.81peuon,30.108.143, 148.ISO.151Peynier,19Pierre (brother14.63Pietry.91LJJacmd.S6.S7.13S,142,143, 147, 148, IS4. ISSJamaica,28.31Jean29. 30, 33.3S.36. 37, 40,",59. 60. 64.67,68. 69, 75. 76JeanPierre, 188.Z09Jeremie.S6.67,"68. 69, 109,110, 113.lIS.119KKerverseau, 91,93, 117,138, ISS. 157. 160. 179. 180 Knapp. 61MMacandal.12.13.82Maine, 132" Maitland, 109. 110.III.113. 114. 119.lZO,121. 122.12.3,124, 134. 139. 140. 174. 218,222INDBXLabat.zoLacombe. 179 Lacour. 166 Lacroix, 95,12.8.164 ,191. 192. 193. 210Lameth.55Laplume, 108. 109. 13S, 136. 141. 180 Lascohabas. 72,73Laveaux.69-83.85.86,95,96,98,126, 132. IS9Leblanc.8sLebrun, 178 Leclerc. 173. 177.178,179.180,182, 183, 184. 186. 187. 189. 191-zo5,213Lefranc.94Leogane. 113. 135 LeveiUe,69. 80. 83. 178 Liberte. Fort.7S.129. 130,131 133,177.179 Limbe.69,170Limonade, 21. 63.69Louverture.Mme.58. 66. 69, 184. 188. 210.I,

PAGE 233

.--..-.226INDEXPinchinat, 30, 79.81Pitondes Roches,75Placide, (stepsontoToussaint), 16, 97, 173, 182. 184. 210, 214 Plaisance,52,58.64,170.171, 187,210 Pointe Bourgeoise, 120, 122 Polverel, 45. 51,53, 54, 56. 57Portau Prince, 57, 61, 91.98. 108, 149Portde Paix,69RRaymond.79, 85, 86, 101,102.103,106.107, 149, 166 Raynal, 50,82Rey.91Richiez,31Rigaud,30,31, 39. 57. 73. 79, 91,92,93,94,95,100, HO,H3,H4,H5, H6,H7,H9,128,129,13I,135, 137. 141. 142, 154, ISS, 178,179. 197 Robespierre, 18,19Rochambeau, 85, ISS, 177,187,188, 191,194.2H.222 Rochefoucauld,18Roume,42,43, 44, 93, 1]2, 133, 134, 136,138. 139,141,144. 147, 148, 149,ISO.151.154, ISS,156 157, 163, 172SSaint Jean (sonofToussaint). 16 Saint Laurent, 39.85Saint Leger, 39, 42,43Saint Marc,51,63,109,H3,180 Saint Michel, 64,65,75Saint Michel de L'Attalaye. 80, 154-162 Saint Nicolas Mole, 56, 109, HO,H3-H9.142 Saint Raphael, 58, 63, 65-8 Salon 'lon, 94 SantoDomingo,93,H3.163, 177 Savary, 209 Segrettier, 149 Shoelcher,96 Sie)cs.19Sincoe, 108, 109 Snake Gully, 188, 193,222 SQIlthonax, 91, 93-103, 106, 107, 108,H5,H6,131,132,152,211Stevens, 139 Sulpice,4 8TTannerie, 50TerreNeuve, 57Thibaud,21ThomaCY,96 Thomaseau, 108Tiburon,56, 113, 119,151Toison,20Tourneaux, 18oToussaint-and Biassou, 13. 30,38, 40,47, 52,58-60,68. 76asDictator, 163-70, 172-4 and the \ English.Ho-15, H9-24,139-4 1 family,H-15.16,97,182, 184 and Hedouville,H3-19,125-31 and Laveaux, 67-70. 72-7.81--6militaryvictories, 50, 52,56. 64,69,72-3, 108,129,145, 159, 188. 190 and Meise, 66, 71, 144, 169-71atMornePe'e, 41, 47 and Napoleon, 154, 157-8, 161,163,172--6,182--6,196 philosophy,85-90,99,145,204aspnsoner, 209, 210. 214-22 andRigaud,91-7,134-5,138,141-4,147-51 rise to power, 32-8, 41-4, 49-52, 58-71,89-"90asa slave,14-17,28-35and Southonax, 96, 98-107, 108 and the Spaniards, 49-52, 56, 58-69, 156-62atwarwithFrance, 179-88, 183, 184, 187-202 Treville,173Troud'Eau, 72Turet,52,vVendee, 110Ventosc.80

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INDEXVergniaw:l.19Vemet. 79.19<4Verret. 113.188Vian.166Vigo.96Villate.57.58.61.,121Williamson.76Zamor.130Wz

Black liberator
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00074066/00001
 Material Information
Title: Black liberator the life of Toussaint Louverture
Physical Description: 227 p. : illus. ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Alexis, Stéphen
Publisher: Macmillan Co.
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: 1949
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: Tr. from the French by William Stirling.
General Note: An abridged translation of the author's Toussaint Louverture, libérateur d'Haiti.
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000687896
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notis - ADM9044
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Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Half Title
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Table of Contents
        Page 7
    List of Illustrations
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    'More than just a man'
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Echoes of the Bastille
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    Boukmann's revolt
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    Farewell to Bréda
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
    Rebels versus landowners
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    The rebels side with Spain
        Page 48
        Page 48a
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
    Slavery abolished
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
    Rival leaders
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
    Toussaint breaks with Spain
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
    The capture of Mirebalais
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
    The mulatto rising
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
    Motives and ambitions
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
    Intrigues of Rigaud
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 96a
        Page 97
    Exit Sonthonax
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
    Rout of the English
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
    Hédouville makes mischief
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
    A secret treaty with England
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
    Hédouville is expelled
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
    Commissioner Roume takes over
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
    War with the Mulattoes
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 144a
        Page 145
        Page 146
    Rigaud is beaten
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
    Defeat of the Spaniards
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 160a
        Page 161
        Page 162
    The fatal constitution
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
    The shadow of the Corsican
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 176a
    France invades Saint Domingue
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
    A letter from Napoleon
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
    Crête à Pierrot: 'The will to be free'
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 192a
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
    Treachery and surrender
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
    The trap
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 208a
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
    'Yet die not...'
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
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        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
Full Text


ri- .:4'

I -no
I' --


The Life of
Toussaint Louverture


Formerly Haitian Minister at the Court of St. Jamess



First published in the U.S.A. 1949

The French edition is published by
L'Editions de fArbre, Inc., Quebec

Made and printed in Great Britain

(Published in the Morning Post, February 2,
Toussaint, the most unhappy man of men
Whether the whistling Rustic tend his plough
Within thy hearing, or thy head be now
Pillowed in some deep dungeon's earless den; -
0 miserable Chieftain! where and when
Wilt thou find patience I Yet die not; do thou
Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow:
Though fallen thyself, never to rise again,
Live, and take comfort. Thou hast left behind
Powers that will work for thee: air, earth, and
There's not a breathing of the common wind
That will forget thee; thou hast great allies;
Thy friends are exultations, agonies,
And love, and man's unconquerable mind.

30. 'YET DIE NOT ..'




Toussaint Louverture
Negro and Mulatto Leaders: Christophe, Bouk-
mann, Dessalines, and others
General Maitand meets Toussaint
The battle of 'Snake Gully'
The burning of Cap Franqais
Captain-General Leclerc, commanding the
French invasion forces
Toussaint's sons and their French tutor bring
the Negro commander a letter from Napoleon
Dessalines takes the oath: 'Those who wish to
die free rally round me now'
Crete a Pierrot: 'Symbol of the will to be free'
Fort de Joux
Map of Haiti


Facing page 48
,, ,, 96
,, ,, 144
,, ,, 144

s i6o
,, ,, I60

,, ,, 176

,,,, 192
,,,, 192
,, ,, 208


Toussaint Louverture, Librataur d'Haiti, the original work from
which Black Liberator has been abridged in an English translation,
is a much longer book, abounding in the reflections of the
author, himself noted Haitian diplomat and writer, on the destiny
of Toussaint and the Negro race.
In offering this translation, the publishers were confronted
with the choice of publishing the entire work, in which case its
interest might have been confined to a narrow circle of students,
or of abridging it to make its romantic story accessible to a far
wider public. They chose the latter course, with the full consent
of the author.
It is difficult to realize to-day the enormous importance to
Europe of the West Indian islands 150 years ago. This explains the
constant interest and anxiety shown by France over Saint Domin-
gue (the present Haiti), her wealthiest colony. The wealth was
dependent upon the institution of slavery, and the Negroes were
considered to be scarcely human, even by enlightened men and
women. Hence the complete lack of moral discipline in the rela-
tions of most white planters to their slaves, and the unashamed
profigacy which led to the creation of the mulatto race, with all
its political consequences in the island. Against this historical back-
ground the magnitude of Toussaint's achievements and those of
his associates becomes intelligible, as does the subsequent stormy
history of Haiti, now happily free and at peace.

P AULINE GAOUGUINOU walked slowly and heavily out
of the chapel ofHaut du Cap. She had been to Mass, and a
stream of slaves moved past her along the highway. They
talked noisily of the happy days they had known in their native
land and about the miseries of their present lives. One group
hummed a strange, sad melody, filled with all the unhappiness of
slavery. An old Bambara Negress named Pelagia, who was said
to be able to foretell the future, went up to Pauline, touched the
girl's stomach with a spray of red laurel, and said solemnly:
'Your womb is sharply pointed, Pauline. You will bring forth
a male child, and he will be a great chief'
'Ah! You think so, Pelagia' replied Pauline wistfully.
'As true as I am the servant of Sobo Dahomey!'
'If it happens as you say, the boy shall be your godchild.'
n the night of May 20, 1743, she gave birth to her child,
Francois Dominique Toussaint, a boy who was so sickly that it
was thought he would not live. Yet Pelagia had not been mistaken,
for Pauline's son was destined to become, in Lamartine's phrase,
'more than just a man-a nation'.

Pauline's husband, Prince Gaouguinou, was the second son of
the king of the Arada tribe. He had been brought from Africa by
a Portuguese trader among a batch of slaves acquired at the
famous Wydah market in Dahomey, and sixty days later, after a
terrible voyage, had been sold in the market-place at Cap Francais,
in Haiti. The prince's new master, Comte de NoC, a kind and
chivalrous man, owned the beautiful estate of Brd&a, about three
miles from the Cape. One day he noticed Gaouguinou's noble
bearing, and on question him learned that he was of royal
blood. He at once granted the Negro prince what was known as
liberty de savane, a status which gave him both freedom and the
protection of his liberator. Nor did the owner of Br&da stop at
this, for he also presented the prince with a gift of land and five
Gaouguinou was received into the Catholic faith. In due course
he had married Pauline, a young woman of his own tribe, who

was, according to one chronicler, 'both beautiful and lively'. On
Gaouguinou's wedding day the Comte de No6 gave his slaves a
holiday, and the countryside was filled with the sounds of songs,
games, and dances.
Their child Toussaint grew up a peculiar, sickly lad, not par-
ticularly presentable, and invariably downcast. His godfather, an
old Negro called Pierre Baptiste who worked at the hospital of
the Fathers of Charity, passed on to the child what the Jesuits had
taught him of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Young Toussaint
was often in and out of the hospital, and it was thus that the
Superior, Father Luxembourg, struck by the boy's evident intelli-
gence and aptitude, took charge of his religious education. For a
time he lived with the Fathers, working as a servant in the
Prince Gaouguinou contributed towards Toussaint's education
by teaching him the Arada language and the science of medicinal
herbs. Later, the former accomplishment won him the support of
the Arada slaves, all of them first-class warriors; the latter invested
him, in the eyes of the Negroes, with the reputation of being a
great sorcerer who was able to commune with the 'good spirits'.
Gaouguinou also told his son stories of his African ancestors.
With suppressed excitement the boy listened to tales of the forest
and the bush, and heard of the stratagem employed by his fore-
fathers in their tribal wars. by tl h gn t 1
importance of his ancestry, and grew to consider himselfmnepior
toespa mates, from whom he tnda nf f more and more as
the years went by.
Y iT~ Ionussainte was fifteen nsmething happened that was-to
fire his spirit and turn his whole mind tothe sngle aim rof eating
free his fellow Negroes.
One afternoon in January 1758 he was in Cap Frangais when a
famous Negro by the name of Macandal was to be put to death
in the Place Royale. Macandal had succeeded in poisoning several
of the settlers and overseers, but had at last been caught and
sentenced to be burnt alive. Having run away from his master
eighteen years earlier, he had waged a relentless war against the
landowners and had poisoned a number of the settlers and even
some of the more valued Negroes. Macandal had accomplices
among house slaves, and he had given them his poisons to be
mixed with the food and drink of their masters. In this way whole
families had died in agony.

Standing among the crowd of spectators in the Place Royale,
Toussaint saw Macandal twisting and writhing in the flames He
watched the white men jesting and mocking at the martyr's help-
less contortions; the innocent Negroes breathless before the horrid
sight; the wretched victim, forced into crime and murder by the
vilest of all human institutions, now groaning and cursing as the
fire flickered greedily up at his body. All these sights filedTos-
saint with the ambition to rid Saint Domingue of slavery, but
how was he, a poverty-stricken youth, to fight against these
mighty white men
A sudden shout of horror from the crowd burst in on Tons-
saint's meditations. The victim, 'after making exertions beyond
those of other men', had freed himself from the iron chain which
bound him to the stake, and was now running across the square,
his body scarred with bums. Confusion reigned until the mounted
guards caught their prey once more. The Negro onlookers were
scattered by savage sword blows. As the slaves fled in all directions
they cried out: 'Brother Macandal, you were right when you said
that no human being could ever kill you!' Yet his hands and feet
were bound again, and he was thrown back into the fire.
Heart and mind filled with bitterness, Toussaint returned to
Breda, accompanied by a young friend called Biasson, a slave who
worked at the hospital of the Fathers of Charity. From that day
his melancholy became even more marked-the melancholy of a
young slave whose heart had been hardened and who viewed life
and men alike with bitterness.
Meanwhile, the bonds of slavery lay lightly on Toussaint, for
the landowner of Br6da entertained kind feelings towards the
Gaouguinou family. His parents owned a few cattle, and they
were able to sell the surplus from their garden. Negroes who wee
hungry knew they could always be sure of a bite to eat at the
'good Gaouguinos'.
Sometimes Toussaint would go with his mother to the market
at Cap Francais, where he would marvel at this Paris of the
Antilles', with its glittering shops and stately mansions. But his
eyes never lost their sadness. His days were passed in dreaming,
and he became more and moe taciturn. Sometimes he was to be
seen scaling the steepest rocks with the agility of a goat; and when
he reached the top he would sit down and gaze for hours at the
horizon. As an athlete he had no rival, but notwithstanding his
aptitude his young friends dubbed him fras baton (weedy stick)

on account of his sickly appearance. He had, however, a finely
shaped head, a lofty brow, and a dear-cut triangular face. His
large, cose-set eyes seemed to stand out of his face; with small
but thick lips, a resolute chin, and sharp white teeth, there was a
suggestion of sardonic cruelty about his features.
When the time came for Toussaint to take up his duties as a
slave the factor of Br&da, M. Bayon de Libertad, took him under
his wing, impressed by his serious looks and natural intelligence.
He was put in charge of the livestock, in which capacity he did his
work conscientiously and showed great initiative.
His life was one of work, suffering, and pride-the secret pride
of humble folk. He was saddened by all the servile, mechanical
tasks which the Negroes had to perform, and which filled the
bright sunlit land with unbounded affliction. By night the voices
of his brothers would come to Toussaint, echoing across the
countryside, as they called ingenuously on their gods in distant
Africa to aid them in their distress. Day after day he would watch
the slaves at work on the sugar plantations, toiling under the
constant threat of the lash. But he hid his feelings, smiled at the
overseer, and gave the impression that he was a contented young-
ster, in whom the seed of rebellion could never germinate. He /
played his role so well that his masters were completely deceived
for forty years, every day holding him up as an example to the
other slaves. He was M. Bayon de Libertad's favourite, and the
expression 'as wise as Toussaint' became proverbial.
He had an instinctive knowledge of horse-breeding, and soon
learned the art of taming wild horses and mules, proving so skil-
ful that he was nicknamed 'the centaur of the savannah'. In all
weathers he was out in the open, toughening his body, and per-
haps dreaming of what the future held in store for him and the
huge masses who languished in slavery. During these lonely
journeys Toussaint would allow his ambitions to have free rein;
but as soon as Br&da came in sight again he was once more the
smug, contented slave.
About this time Toussaint suffered a great personal sorrow in
the death of his mother. Pauline was survived by her five children,
of whom Toussaint was the eldest. The youngest, Jean, who was
said to be the image of his royal grandfather, the African king,
died in childhood. The other three children were Pierre (who was
to die fighting at the side of his brother Toussaint), Paul, and
Marie Noel. Gaouguinou himself overcome by grief, did not
long survive his wife.

Toussaint was thus left as head of the family. The family sense
was highly developed in him, and he watched over his brothers
and sister with the greatest solicitude, making sure that they won
the favour and esteem of their master. As a reward for his high
merits, and as a further testimony to his irreproachable loyalty,
M. de Libertad made Toussaint his personal coachman, a position
of great trust, since it naturally brought him into cose touch with
the master and his family.
Retiring, serious, and industrious, Toussaint made splendid use
of his position. Soon after his promotion by M. de Libertad he /
was appointed steward of Brd&a. Before this appointment no slave
had ever held such an important position in Saint Domingue. His
qualities as an administrator and leader of men, seen now in the
exercise of his new duties, made a lively impression on Toussaint's
master, for under his stewardship the estate of Breda became the
most prosperous in Cap Frangais. The revenues were trebled. It
was as though Toussaint were not acting for somebody else, but
in his own interests. And indeed it was not really the owner's
interest which he had at heart; it was a proud desire to display his
abilities to the full. Although inwardly grieving, he would some-
times severely punish lazy or rebellious slaves and be hated by
them in consequence; they were quite unable to understand why
one of their fellows should show such an immoderate zeal for
work when the profits would go to someone else.
The years passed by, and outwardly Toussaint's life was tran-
quil. Yet working for his master in the fields or in the stifling
sugar-mills, he knew profound melancholy, as he reflected on
the plight of his fellow slaves, but kept it to himself Sometimes
they would see him at night walking alone through the woods,
musing in an undertone. Many of the slaves already regarded
him as their natural leader, and in their admiration and fear of
him they would say to one another that he was 'the beloved of the
African gods, with whom he was in communication'. Toussaint
was well aware of these rumours, but did nothing to discourage
them, as they served to enhance his prestige in the eyes of the
innocent and superstitious. His triangular-shaped face with its
prominent eyes reminded them of their ancestral African idols.
He would take no part in their dances or other simple pleasures,"
keeping himself aloof, yet free from arrogance, another proof of.fc
his instinctive sense of leadership.
In 1777, when he was thirty-four, Toussaint was solemnly

liberated by Bayon de Libertad. About this time he became a prey
to violent passions, and there were few beautiful Negresses at
Brdda who did not come to know his embraces. Although he was
remarkably discreet, his excesses came to the ears of Pierre Bap-
tiste, who reproached him and advised him to take a wife and
settle down. His patron also spoke to him, and even recommended
an Arada girl renowned for her beauty and liveliness. But Tous-
saint rejected the suggestion with a smile: he would only marry
a woman of his own choosing, and his observations are recorded:
'I have chosen my wife myself: M. Bayon de Libertad wanted me
to marry a vivacious, high-spirited young Negress. But I have
always been able to withstand people who thought they were
doing me a good turn, when their endeavours ran contrary to my
own inclination. So I have married Suzanne, because I preferred
to have a wife who was already familiar with the cares and worries
of running a house.'
His wife, Suzanne Simone Baptiste, had been the mistress of a
freed mulatto called Seraphin Clerc, and she had borne him one
child, Placide. Suzanne was modest, gentle, and pleasing to look
at. During the first years of his married life Toussaint appeared to
be perfectly happy. He continued to give the impression to his
master ofan apathetic slave who had achieved his ideal and wished
for nothing more. But already he was shaping in his mind the
broad outlines of the strategy he would employ in what was to be
his phenomenal ascent to power. He would lull his adversary into
a false state of security, and then, at the right time, turn and crush
him utterly, swiftly, and relentlessly.
Suzanne bore her husband two sons, Isaac and Saint Jean. With
an unusual sensitivity Toussaint made no distinction between his
own sons and his stepson, and appeared equally fond of all three.
As a husband he was always kind and cheerful. He and his wife
followed a truly Biblical way of life. Here is Toussaint's delight-
fully frank account of this: 'On Sundays and on feast days my
wife, my relatives, and I went to Mass. On returning home we
would have a pleasant meal together, and after remaining in one
another's company for the rest of the day, we would conclude
with family prayers. Until the outbreak of the Revolution I had
never been separated from my wife for any length of time.
'We would work side by side in our little garden, holding hands
as we went to and from our work. Heaven always blessed our
labours, for not only did we lack for nothing and were even able

to save, but we also had the pleasure of giving food to the Negroes
who worked on the estate when they were in need of it.
Toussaint now had a good home, and his position of authority J
at Breda satisfied to some extent his desire for power; but events
in Europe were beginning to bring grave expressions to the faces
of his masters, and, with his secret ambition in mind, he lent a
joyful ear to the disturbing rumours from Paris.


THE Fall of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, symbolized the
destruction of an epoch which went back to the Middle
Ages. It threatened the dogmas which had for so long been
the pillars of an aristocratic society based on privilege and injustice,
and held the promise of a new order of freedom and brotherhood.
The message of revolt was heard by all peoples and races, and,
like the Sermon on the Mount, its appeal was disturbing and over-
whelming. In every corer of the world the oppressed and en- /
slaved harkened; they pulled and tugged at their chains, not least
in the island of Saint Domingue. Here, where slavery kept seven
hundred thousand men and women in wretchedness, the burning
voice of France was to resound with an intensity greater than
anywhere else.
The freed slaves* of the island were the first to respond to the /
march of events. Realizing their chance to win the political rights
rigidly denied by the landowners, they met and appointed dele-
gates to present their claims in Paris. The most remarkable of the
three deputies chosen was Vincent Og6, a young quadroon from
Dondon, distinguished for his intelligence and audacity. The out-
break of the Revolution had surprised him in Paris, where his
father, a rich landowner, had sent him for his education. His
enthusiasm brought him into touch with the revolutionary
authorities, and he was allowed to plead his cause before the
National Assembly. His sincerity and the picture he drew of the
condition of the freed men of Saint Domingue made such a deep
impression on the Assembly that the President declared that 'no
part of the Nation would plead in vain for its rights before the
representatives of the French people'.
Oge and his colleagues associated themselves with what was
known as the Club des Amis des Noirs, a Negrophile organization
which advocated the ideal of equality. Established in 1778 by
Brissot de Varville, the Society numbered among its members the
principal figures of the Revolution, among them Mirabeau, the
Duke De La Rochefoucauld,t Danton, Robespierre, Lafayette,
The freed slaves were mainly mulattoes. It was the custom in Saint Domingue
for a mulatto to be set free at the age of twenty-four.
t Francois De La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt (1747-1827), the philanthropist.

the Abbe Gr6goire, Si6y&s, Condorcet, Dupont de Nemours, and
Vergniaud. As a result of the Society's representations the Assem-
bly pronounced decrees recognizing in fll the political rights of
the freed men of Saint Domingue, and granting them the same
status as that enjoyed by the white men.
During a stormy session the question was debated whether or
not this privilege should be extended to all the Negroes in the-
island. Barnave, a Girondin who represented the interests of the
great landowners of Saint Domingue, protested strongly against
this suggestion. He declared that the Assembly should intervene
only at the instance of the respective colonial assemblies, and that
to decide in favour of the slaves would not only be premature,
but would lead to an outbreak of disorder which would end in
France losing her fairest colony. The answer to Barnave came
from Maximilien Robespierre, who, after a violent tirade against
slave-drivers and tyrants, ended his speech with the following
words: 'If the Assembly decides in favour of this view, it will be
announcing its own dishonour. Let the colonies perish if we are
to sacrifice our freedom and our glory in order to preserve them !
His words fired Adrien du Port, who leapt to his feet with the
famous maxim: 'Perish the colonies, rather than a principle!'
Barnave's motion was defeated, but the Assembly took no
decision on the slaves. Meanwhile, the two decrees affecting freed
men were sent to Saint Domingue, but the Governor, M. de
Peynier, being completely under the thumb of the great planters
who formed the assemblies of Saint Marc and Cap Francais, was
unable to enforce them. Before we trace the events that began
with the landowners' resistance to the decrees, we must, however,
look at the situation in the Colony in 1789.
At that time Saint Domingue was a huge melting-pot in which
a score of heterogeneous groups and violently conflicting interestsy- -
boiled and bubbled. On the one hand were the great planters,
determined to go to any lengths to preserve their privileges, even
if it meant breaking off relations with France. Then there were
the less important white men-craftsmen, artisans, overseers, and -
the like-who regarded themselves as having as great a claim to
the spoils of the Colony as the planters, whom they were ready
to supplant if the opportunity arose, though violently opposing
any improvement in the status of the freed men. These last, in
turn, were firmly resolved to seize the political rights which were
their due, but they were not in the least interested in the fate of

the slaves. Finally, there were the slaves themselves, whose aim,
though still inarticulate, was to put an end to their torments by
fire and sword.
C-rom their point of view the wealthy landowners had good
cause to heap curses on this predous French Revolution. The
Colony was the greatest supplier in the world of sugar, coffee,
cocoa, cotton, precious woods, and spices; in 1789 its prosperity
was almost fabulous. The island ports had been visited by vessels
from every part of the world, and the turnover amounted to two-
thirds of France's overseas trade.
The leisurely, comfortable way oflife of the eighteenth century,
so frequently celebrated and lamented, reached its apogee in Saint
Domingue. Life possessed an unimaginable splendour in which all
that Nature and man could contrive to delight the senses was
entirely at the disposal of the great planters. As they indulged in
all the excesses of unbridled luxury, their moral sense was com-
pletely perverted. In particular, the Marquis of Caradeux, the
Count of La Toison-Laboule, and the Viscount of Flonc carried
human wickedness to its uttermost limits. On the slightest pretext
Negroes would be thrown alive into cauldrons of boiling sugar.
Others would be buried alive in a standing position, with their
heads above the ground, which would then be smeared with syrup
to whet the appetites of the ants, so that the wretched victims were
glad to be stoned to death by their own compassionate comrades.
Another torture was the 'four-stake death', from which not even
pregnant Negresses were exempt. Each of the four limbs was
lashed to a post while the victim was flogged to death. Many
slaves were hung up by the ribs and left to die, such cruelties being
daily occurrences.
The less important whites, envious of the wealth and grand airs
of the great landowners, were only too eager to ill treat and
exploit the mulattoes and Negroes. Not all ofthem were French;
many were Italians, Greeks, Portuguese, and Spaniards, mostly
escaped gallows-birds. The presence of these men constituted a
constant threat of anarchy and disorder in the Colony.
The mulattoes or half-castes, born of the union of white men
and 'lascivious Negresses' (to use Father Labat's phrase), formed
a group apart. Some were well educated and possessed lands and
slaves; but this did not protect them from the universal scorn and
contempt of the white men. Excluded from all public functions,
and obliged to bear the insults and outrages of a society largely

based on racial discrimination, the mulattoes hated all whites, not
excepting their own fathers. In the streets they were forced to
make way for the humblest white man; at the theatre and in
church they had to sit apart. They in turn spumed any association
with the Negroes, upon whom they looked down from the
ethnical height of their yellow complexions. Nor did their race
prejudice stop at this, for they even subdivided themselves into as
many as twelve categories according to the mixture oftheir blood
-fair, dark, albino, and so forth. And the whole society rested on
the oppressed Negroes. I fed, they toiled in the factories or on
the land, and were subject to all manner of physical and moral
Saint Domingue was thus a mosaic ofraces, a society sated with
wealth, vice, sufferig, vanity, misery, and indulgence-a melting-
pot of contrasts in which various irreconcilable forces were bound
in the end to flare up into a vast conflagration, even without the
spark of the year 1789 to set it off.
It was to this state of affairs that Vincent Og6, the ardent dele-
gate of the freed men to the National Assembly, now returned
from France. He arrived on the night of October 21, 1790, on
board a ship flying the American flag which sailed into the diminu-
tivebay of Petite Anse. Two days later he presented himself before
the Colonial Assembly of Cap Francais. With the vehemence of
the age he appealed to the 'sensibility' of the great landowners
and to their respect for 'immortal principles', and besought them'
to give effect to the two decrees of March 8 and March 28,
whereby the National Assembly granted full civic status to the
The members of the Colonial Assembly replied that in no cir-,
cumstances would they grant within the Colony full civil and
political equality to the descendants of the Negro race. Og0
pleaded with them, now beseeching, now threatening, but his
words were greeted with derision. Nothing daunted, he told his
hearers that the Revolution had raised up a new spirit in France
and that this opposition to the National Assembly's orders was
sheer rebellion, for which they would have to pay dearly. The
landowners, exasperated by this impertinence, authorized their
President, Archbishop Thibaud, to have the delegate expelled
from the building.
Angered by this rebuff, the freed men decided to take up arms.
At a meeting held in Limonade to work out a plan of action Og6

insisted on the exclusion of the slaves from the freed men's ranks,
but Jean Baptiste Chavannes, either more generous or more far-
sighted, objected to this, maintaining that there was a natural
solidarity between the freed men and the slaves, the result of their
common blood and suffering. He declared also that the whole
cause of freedom depended on the support of the Negroes. Og6
was unable to see this, and Chavannes, suspecting that his friend
had been won over by the slave-owners, turned on him violently:
'Do you secretly cherish the terrible project of separating our
cause from that of our original stock e' 'I do but obey,' replied
Og6, 'the decrees of the National Assembly, which refer only to
freed men.
Vincent OgZ's rising was disastrous. At the head of a contingent
of two hundred young coloured men he appeared before the
colonial authorities and summarily ordered them to promulgate
forthwith the decrees of the Convention which recognized their
civil and political rights. But in his ultimatum he particularly
emphasized his attitude to the Negroes: 'I shall, however, do
nothing to stir up the slaves: such a course of action would be
unworthy of me.'
The Colonial Assembly's reply was to attack the rebels with the
National Guard of Cap Francais and with a contingent of regular
soldiers. The Assembly mustered eight hundred men in all, and
the insurgents, after holding out a few days, were overthrown at
La Tannerie, near Cap Francais. The survivors of the rebel army,
among them Og6 and Chavannes, fled to the Spanish part of the
island, but were handed over to the Colonial Assembly by Don
Joaquin Garcia, the Governor of Santo Domingo. A tribunal com-
posed of landowners thenjudged and sentenced the captives: Og6,
Chavannes, and six others were to die on the wheel; nineteen of
their comrades were sent to the galleys for life, and twenty-two
more were hanged.
In full state the members of the Colonial Assembly met to see
their sentence carried out on Og6 and Chavannes. This was done
in the Place d'Armes on February 25, 1791. Og6 was unable to re-
sist the terrible torture, and the pain maddened him. He screamed,
wept, and besought their mercy, but Chavannes, scornfully stoic,
did not utter a word of complaint as the wheel crushed his bones
one by one.
This episode reveals the moral content of the drama in which
the mulattoes of Saint Domingue were the victims. Two bloods

and two heredities waged perpetual warfare within their nature.
Despite the contempt with which he was regarded by the white
man, the mulatto felt a stronger attraction to that side of his nature
than he did to his degraded, unhappy, and illiterate Negro brother.
In a colonial society, based on slavery and discrimination accord-
ing to the colour of a man's skin, the mulatto was socially the
Negro's superior, and it was therefore reasonable that he should
have nothing to do with him. Custom had eventually become an
unwritten law, so that all mulattoes, at the age of twenty-four,
were automatically set free. In 1674 the King had decreed that 'all
the children of slaves are slaves'. This instruction, however, never
became operative, and the mulatto continued to enjoy the privi-
lege conferred on him by reason of his percentage of white blood,
so that few of his number ever became slaves. The usual practice
was for the landowner to see that his illegitimate son was educated,
grant him his protection, set him up in life, and give him land and
slaves. There was thus created in the island a kind of middle class,
which ranked half-way between the masters and the slaves.
Every age produces its own ethical code, and it is therefore
necessary, if we are to understand the psychology of the freed man,
I'affranchi, who dissociated his own cause from that of the Negro
masses, to understand the mentality and the social atmosphere of
the period. The dogma which held sway in Saint Domingue was
that anything linked with Africa by the slightest drop of blood
was abject and degrading, and branded with an inferiority of
which it could never be rid. From this belief arose the mulatto's
tendency to shake off the race to which a detestable fate had
bound him. His black blood was a cause of unending personal
suffering to him, and he would do almost anything to overcome
the colour bar. All freed men, whether Negro or mulatto, had
special seats set aside for them at the theatre and in church, but
the mulattoes would 'haughtily refuse to have anything to do with
the Negroes'.
There were, moreover, strictly material considerations which
influenced Og6 and his followers in their decision to have nothing
to do with the slaves when presenting their claims. The freed men
owned nearly a third of all the slaves in the colony; to set them
free would have meant financial disaster. Moreover, a political
factor militated against a union of the mulattoes and the Negroes,
for the revolutionary Government was not yet prepared to include
Negroes in the aranchisement it advocated for everyone dwelling

on French soil. In his famous Message to the Muattes of Saint
Domingue, the Abbe Grigoire, a famous opponent of slavery,
wrote: 'The Assembly has not yet associated the Negroes with
yourselves because suddenly to grant full civil rights to persons
who are not acquainted with the duties of a citizen might merely
lead them to disaster. But do not forget that, like yourselves, they
are born free and remain free as all men do. It is you who are
accused, even more than the white men, ofcruelty to the Negroes.'
For the mulatto to be cured of his foolish outlook, and to be /
forced eventually to unite with the Negro, he had to suffer re-
peated setbacks in isolated attempts to win his natural rights. He
had first to learn the lesson of the lash in order to realize the white
man's unwavering scorn of him. Only then did the mulatto lose
his illusions and understand that it was his Negro half-brother
who had the more abiding affection for him, and that destiny had
cast them in the same mould, so that they might face their com-
mon executioners and either conquer or perish side by side.


IT was July 1791, and the whole expanse of the flowering plain
of Cap Frangais seemed to rise and fall as with a hidden
ground-swell. There were mysterious comings and goings,
secret meetings and whispered parleys, and by night the hilltops
glowed with fires lit by runaway slaves. The first rising of the
slaves was being prepared.
The leading spirit of the revolt was a Jamaican Negro called /
Boukmann, whose name was already legendary. With his twisted
features and tragic expression, he was looked on by the slaves as
a great sorcerer. Since killing his master, he had lived in hiding,
in the thick undergrowth, in caves, and on the rugged, lonely
heights. A typical fugitive slave, his raids and incursions were a
constant terror to the landowners. At the head of his band he
would burn down mansions, factories, and crops, disembowel
men and beasts alike, and then vanish into hiding again.
As soon as the news from Paris reached the Colony the sombre
silhouette of Bounmann began to appear in the north and in the
Artibonite, fanningt faint spark of rebellion which began to
glimmer in the hei4y-hearted Negroes. At his bidding strikes had
already broken out in several factories, but they had been bloodily
put down, and the overseers and landowners merely multiplied
their tortures and executions in order to terrorize the slaves, whom
they considered were beginning to show too much independence.
Nevertheless, Boukmann was planning and dreaming of a
general revolt. When he judged the moment was ripe he sum-
moned the principal Negroes to a mass meeting at Bois Caiman,
in the forest ofMore Rouge. It was a night of storm and tempest,
lashed with torrential rain. Lightning flickered in zigzags across
the sky, and the heavens echoed and re-echoed to peals of thunder.
The hurricane was so violent that giant mapou trees were uprooted
and tossed about as though they had been saplings. It seemed that
Nature sought to give expression with unbridled fury to the over-
whelming afflictions of the Negroes.
In hundreds the slaves moved noiselessly into the forest, and at
length the leader appeared before them. He wore the long gar-
ment ofpapa-loi, the red robe of sacrifice, and in his right hand

glittered a heavy sword. A big fire, flaming with resin, burned on
a huge rock, behind which an altar had been set up, adorned with
foliage. Leaning against the altar, Boukmann spoke of their mar-
tyrdom and their hardships; he swore by their ancestral gods that
he would avenge them, and told them to pass on his instructions
to others. In a deep, hollow voice, he began to chant his savage
hymn of doom, calling down on the Negroes all the blessings of
the invisible powers. By virtue of his inspired imagery and his
gestures, he succeeded in unleashing all the religious feeling which
lay dormant in his audience. At a sign from Boukmann, acolytes
brought him a gazelle, a pig, and a goat which were killed and
disembowelled, and the entrails poured out. Each man present
slowly approached, plunged his hands into the entrails, and raised
them, vowing aloud as he did so that he would suffer death rather
than continue to be a slave.
A young virgin, naked, statuesque, with red laurels twined
about her brow, was led up to the high priest. Boukmann laughed
at her, threw a flower in her face, and gave her a phial from which
she drank. Then, her body swaying lightly to and fro, she chanted
an Arada song, a song filled with a strange, disturbing joy, so that
all her listeners wept. Like a young sybil, with her gleaming teeth,
her immaculate breasts, and her smooth tattooed stomach, she
began in a loud and clear voice to tell of great things to come: the
long, infernal battle, the land laid waste, defeats, and final victory
to be achieved by a predestined leader. She made as if to dance,
suddenly moaned, gave a frenzied laugh, and fell dead. The potion
which gives a knowledge of the future had also stilled the beating
of her heart. She had been an unsullied offering to the tutelary
gods of the Negroes.
Boukmann knelt down in the midst of the mystic orgy; and it
was then that he improvised the famous Creole prayer:
'Bon Did qui fait soleil qui claire nous en haut, qui soulev6 la
mer, qui fait grond6 l'orage. Bon Did qui tend& tout, cach6 dans
nuage, gard6-nous, sauv&-nous, puisque ou oue tout ga blancs fait
nous. Bon Did! blancs mand6 crimes, nous z'autes nous vl bien-
faits. Bon Did, ba nous vengeance, conduis bras nous, ba nous
assistance. Negues, jetez portrait Bon Die blancs, qui soif d'leau
nan zieux nous. Bon Did, coutd la Liberte qui parld nan coeur a
nous tous.'*
'Good God, who makest the sun to light us from on high, who raisest up
the sea and makest the storm to thunder-good God who watchest over all,

The prayer, vehement and sad, echoed through the forest and
the night.
It is by no means certain that Toussaint Louverture was present
at this meeting, as some historians have maintained, but it is a
reasonable hypothesis, as he was in touch with all the rebel leaders.
Obviously, at the outbreak of the Revolution his hatred of slavery
would urge him to join in; but Toussaint was also a prudent
realist, and his natural zeal was checked by his dispassionate esti-
mate of the situation.
As he saw no prospect of certain success, it seemed to Toussaint
unwise to run the risk of losing a relatively splendid position at
Br6da. Moreover, all his dreams of the future were in embryo: he
had not yet clearly assessed their worth.
Even if we concede Toussaint's presence in the screaming,
weeping, hysterical crowd on that stormy August night, we may
be sure that amid the frenzied throng he was cold and unmoved.
On his way back he could have been certain of one thing only:
that everywhere in Saint Domingue the buds of regeneration were
swelling, and were ready to burst into flower. This reflection must
have filled his heart with high hopes, instinctively aware as he was
of the great destiny awaiting him. But how to attain it Toussaint
did not know; he only realized that taking shape in the mysterious
future was the tremendous process of liberation, a springtime of
glorious things. So he prepared and waited, controlling his mount-
mg excitement.
On the night of August 22 a furious horde of Negroes, under
the leadership of Boukmann, swept across the plantations, bound
for Cap Francais. The first fire of the revolt had been the burning
of the Chabaud plantation. Thousands of savage Negroes, armed
with stakes, spears, iron bars, axes, knives, and spades, poured in
a maddened torrent across the countryside. Not a single white
was spared, regardless of age or sex. The whole plain was in
flames. The horde advanced steadily to the rhythm of wild songs
that were carried into Cap Francais to the ears of the terrified land-
owners. Nearly all the wealthy mansions ofHaut du Cap were on
fire. Estates which had borne illustrious names-Fronsac, Vau-
dreuil, D'Argenson, Grammont, Charmettes, Noailles-became
hidden in a cloud, protect and save us from what the white men do to us. Good
God, the white men do crimes, but we do not. Good God, give us vengeance,
guide our arms, give us help. Negroes, show the image of the good God to the
white men, that we thirst not. Good God, grant us that freedom which speaks
to all men !'

so many heaps of ashes. The atmosphere was sickly with the smell
of burning sugar and burning fesh. Wisps of burning cotton
floated through the crimson sky like tongues of fire. It was a truly
apocalyptic night: all the fields of sugar-cane were aflame as far
as the eye could see, all the immensity of the Negroes' suffering
had blazed up in an instant.
The revolt had taken the authorities of Cap Francais unawares,
and they had few troops available. Messengers were hastily sent
to Santo Domingo, Jamaica, and Curaqao to implore assistance,
but without success. All white men capable of bearing arms were
mobilized into resistance corps. M. de Grandmaison, a rich land-
owner, sent the following letter, dated September 9, I791, to a
friend in Paris:
'Despite the help of the mulatto freed men, who have generously
offered their assistance, we are not strong enough to attack and
destroy these savage beasts. When they are asked why they have
revolted they claim the Rights of Man, or freedom, or three days'
holiday a week with pay-or else they say they will do without
masters, since the whites have decided to do without kings.'
M. Bayon de Libertad, who was at Cap Francais when the
rebellion broke out, was unable to return to Br&da, and his wife
and two daughters were preparing to flee to the city. They were
busy packing their valuables when Toussaint quietly entered the
room. Half crazed with fear, Mme de Libertad threw herself on
her knees before him, begging for mercy.
With a melancholy smile he replied: 'How little you know
Toussaint. I have taken the liberty of coming simply to tell you
that you cannot be safer anywhere than you are at Brida. The
slaves obey my orders, and even the rebels will respect the place
where I am. I promise this before God.'
The certainty of his tone, his quiet self-assurance, and the sin-
cerity had their effect on Mme de Libertad. 'We submit to your
generosity, Toussaint,' she answered tearfully.
In the distance the rebellion roared and rumbled like a tem-
pestuous sea. Failure met all the attempts to repel the insurgents,
who now encircled Cap Frangais. The Negroes, although badly
led and poorly armed, were upheld by a spirit which made them
formidable enemies. Some, armed only with knives, hurled them-
selves at loaded guns, and were blown to bits when the gunners
fired; but what did it matter i Others would take their place and
do as they had done, singing as they did so:

'La pondre c6 d'eau! ping! pandang!
Canon c6 bambou! ping! pandang !'*
Irresolutely the battle raged to and fro, so that now the other
side had the advantage; but there was no quarter either given or
Boukmann's principal lieutenants were two other runaway
slaves, Jean Francois and Biassou. They tried frequently to per-
suade Toussaint tojoin them, but he resisted. He considered Bouk-
mann's revolt bound to end in failure, because its aims were
uncertain and ill defined, and because of the Negroes' limited
resources compared with those of the colonial Government. Nor
did he think his hour had come. Completely mistaking the reasons
underlying Toussaint's neutrality, the landowners naturally ex-
tolled his wisdom and loyalty. As though to hoodwink them even
further, he occasionally condemned the excesses and futile crimes
of the rebels. He often inspected the Breda factories, urging the
men to have patience, mingling words of mysterious promise with
the rest of his speeches. Bayon de Libertad, whom Toussaint had
brought back to Br&da, unceasingly praised his fidelity and other
virtues. Indeed, Toussaint's generosity during this time of blind
hatred made such a lively impression on his patron that the latter
continued to entertain the warmest feelings for him when, long
after the revolt, the course of events showed only too dearly
what had been the true sentiments of his former slave.
Towards the end of September i79i the colony received rein-
forcements from France, and the offensive against the insurgents
was resumed vigorously. As Toussaint had foreseen, the rebels '
were defeated. During the last battle, in the Cap Francais district,
Boukmann was killed.When his body had been identified the
head was cut off and exhibited on a stake in the Place d'Armes.
The rebel bands were scattered and took to the hills.
But this was not the end. Jean Francois, who became the new
commander-in-chief rallied his forces and reorganized them. The
new leader was a young Negro of powerful build, and a runaway
slave. He had a well-proportioned face in which the eyes glittered
wildly. Of outstanding courage, but little military skill, he was
fond of all kinds of pleasure; his embroidered clothes, his medals
and crosses and his silk scarves were the talk of the time. Devoid
of lofty ideas, his only asset was reckless courage.
'Gunpowder is but water I Ping Pandang I
Cannon is but bamboo I Ping I Pandang !

Jean Frangois's second-in-command was Georges Biassous
whom Toussaint had known at the hospital of the Fathers of
Charity. Leaving the hospital, Biassou had worked as a sugar-
refiner for a landowner, but had later escaped. Unlike Francois,
he had some military ability, but was vain and cruel, a drunkard,
and jealous of anyone superior to himself. He had rebelled simply
to enjoy himself, to dominate others, and to carry out reprisals.
The third of the rebel leaders was Jeannot, who was both a
coward and a murderer.
Under the orders of these three the rebellion marked time.
Nevertheless, their forces kept up a pitiless guerilla warfare that
struck damaging blows against the colonial troops. It was now
that the whole fabric of the Colony began to break up. Passions
and disorders reached their height. This was the moment for
which Toussaint had been waiting.
The attitude of the freed men had been a bitter disappointment /
to Toussaint; and he was even more disillusioned by the way in
which they had helped the landowners in the fight against Bouk-
He was also embittered by the behaviour of the mulattoes of
the south and west. Led by Andr6 Rigaud, Louis Jacques Beau-
vais, and Pierre Pinchinat, they had fought for the recognition
of the National Convention's decrees. But when, with the aid of
three hundred Negro slaves, they were successful, they had
immediately washed their hands of their loyal auxiliaries. The
Marquis of Caradeux and M. de Lerembourg, the mayor, told
them during the final stages of the negotiations that the Negroes
could not be set free, that their liberation would be a bad example
to the other slaves, that it would merely add to the disorder in
the Colony, and, finally, that it would be best to send the slaves
back to their owners. Boisrond-Jeune and Daguin, two of the
mulatto representatives, protested against this proposal. The latter,
indeed, on hearing the perfidy suggested by Caradeux, drew his
sword, ran towards the army of two thousand mulattoes drawn
up in front of the house, and ordered the troops to sound the
alarm, declaring that the colonial representatives wished them to
disgrace themselves.
The landowners hastily changed their tactics, suggesting to the
mulattoes that the slaves should be deported. To this iniquitous
arrangement they agreed, on the advice of Pierre Pinchinat
Alexandre P6tion, Daguin, and Boisrond-Jeune protested in vain,

and the wretched Negroes-'Switzers' as they were nicknamed
-were placed on board the Emmanuel, under Captain Colonin,
on November 3, 1791. The story was circulated that they were
to be taken to Honduras, where 'they would find plenty of land
on which to work in honour and happiness'.
Four mulattoes, Cadet Chanelette, Charles Haran, Louis
Bonneau, and Barthelemy Richiez, embarked in the warship
Philippine, with Captain Balanger, having been ordered to go with
the Negroes and see that the instructions were carried out. But
Captain Colonin, who was undoubtedly a slave-trader, either
by giving his watchers the slip or perhaps because he was in
collusion with them, discharged his cargo at Englessey, an islet
off the coast of Jamaica, where the 'Switzers' were sold. The
Governor of Jamaica, Lord Efingham, refused to authorize the
transaction and sent the Negroes back to Saint Domingue. Here,
the Colonial Assembly of Cap Francais placed them on a pontoon
in the roads by the Saint Nicolas Mole. A week later, on a dark
night, they were stabbed and their bodies thrown into the sea.
'The criminals who slew the Negro Switzers were white men
from the Artibonite', states one authority.
The mulattoes, especially Andr6 Rigaud, vigorously denied
any responsibility for this crime, and maintained that Pierre
Pinchant had been deceived by the landowners. But the Negro
population did not forgive the mulattoes for the contemptible
way in which they had abandoned the Switzers.
It is not difficult, therefore, to imagine the bitter thoughts and
the longing for revenge which must have surged up in Toussaint
when he saw the mulattoes' cowardly attitude towards the
Switzers. Nor is it going too far to place this miilatto disloyalty
among the goads which finally induced him to abandon prudent
expectation and openly join the revolt, despite the doubts he still
entertained about its outcome.
Six years later, at the height of his power, Toussaint was to
recall this unhappy episode in the struggle for liberation with great
bitterness. On the 24th Germinal, Year VII, he wrote thus to
the Secretary of the Navy and Colonies of the French Republic,
defending himself against accusations levelled at him by some of
the freed men:
'The white men, fearing universal freedom, sought to separate
the mulattoes from the Negroes. That is why they accepted the
law of April 4; and what they had foreseen happened: the mu-

lattoes, having achieved their aim, and afraid of freedom for the
Negroes ... cut themselves off from their comrades-arms and
companions in distress... and allied themselves with the white
men to trample the Negroes down. Treacherously deserted, the
Negroes fought for long against the combined efforts of whites
and mulattoes; but, harried in every quarter, and disillusioned in
their hopes, they accepted the offers made by the King of Spain.'
It was 1797 before Toussaint wrote these bitter words. We
may infer that the episode of the Switzers had left an indelible
impression on his mind. It was the spark which fired his soul,
consuming all prudence and hesitation, and causing him to place
himself wholly at the service of men forgotten, despised, and

T OUSSAINTS inaction had begun to create a bad impres-
sion among the slaves, and Jean FranCois and Biasson had
continually urged him to declare himself. They had begun
to suspect him of being secretly in league with the landowners,
and it was dear that he could not postpone his decision indefin-
itely. Toussaint had already made up his mind, but he wanted to
reflect and consider the situation yet again before crossing the
He knew that this was the turning-point in his life. Once he
had left Breda he could never look back; it would be victory
or death. Toussaint was a man who never liked exchanging
reality for a shadowy uncertainty, and his choice involved bidding
farewell to the simple pleasures of family life, to his material
security (at the outbreak of the Revolution his savings amounted
to 650,000 francs), and to his daily work. What would he find
in place of these things e And what would he be able to achieve
with his fellow Negroes t True, they were brave; but they were
little more than a gregarious, inchoate mass of humanity.
Being a man of action, Toussaint liked to put ideas into effect;
he did not, like Biasson, regard the rising as an end in itself but
saw it as a means to winning justice for the Negroes. Would he
be able to mould these men to his inward vision He had no
illusions about human nature, and he was aware of the difficulty
of achieving even the simplest of victories, knowing that these
are the fruits not only of courage, but of reason, foresight, and
method. Such were his doubts as he stood on the very threshold
of his destiny.
And how, too, would he prove as a soldier He thought to
himself: 'Must I fight under leaders who are my inferiors in
foresight and intelligence t If only Jean Francois and Biassou could
catch a glimpse of the City which I am building in my mind,
they would be so dazzled at the vision that they would hand over
the leadership to me. I have been too prudent: it would have
been better to have directed the whole movement from the
beginning. And now the course of events obliges me to make
my choice sooner than I had intended.' realized with distaste
a 33 /

that, for the moment at least, he would have to relinquish the
leadership and serve under men who were incompetent and
devoid of greatness.
Perhaps he had deferred too long in joining the rebels. The
Br6da Negroes were already grumbling and complaining, and
his influence over them would soon begin to decline. Every day
they heard of the rich booty pillaged by the rebels, while they
themselves were still subjected to rigid discipline and forced to
Meanwhile, Toussaint's master and his family were congratu-
lating themselves on their miraculous state of security. One even-
ing towards the end of September 1791 they were sitting on the
verandah of their house listening to the sound of distant firing at
Cap Francais. All around them the other white families were
suffering ruin, privation, and death. Their safety, they knew, was
due to the loyalty and generosity of Toussaint, and they blessed
the man who had brought them such security. Bayon de Libertad
did not doubt that the rebellion would eventually be put down,
and he was now discussing with his family how they could show
their gratitude to their saviour when peace was restored. Suddenly
they saw him approaching.
'What is it, Toussaint?' M. de Libertad asked as the other
mounted the steps.
There was a slight pause, and then Toussaint replied: 'I do not
think, sir, that I am able to guarantee any longer the protection
I promised you. You and your family must leave Br6da this
'What!' groaned de Libertad, shaken abruptly out of his
dreams. 'Didn't you promise to protect Breda from disaster and
keep the slaves at work e'
'Events, sir, are stronger than my will and my gratitude to
The women, white-faced, sat as though turned to stone. De
Libertad wanted to know what new circumstances had arisen to
warrant their departure from Br6da. Toussaint cut him short:
'This is no time for words, sir: even now the barbarousJeannot
and his brigands may be on their way to Br&da, and I could not
save you from their fury.'
'But how can we ever get through to Cap Frangais-they've
cut all the roads e' asked his master, now frantic with fear.
'I had foreseen that. The horses and mules are ready. My

brother Paul will lead you by a little-known mountain track and
see that you reach Cap Franqais without mishap. I can answer
for it.'
'Oh, Toussaint!' Mme de Libertad begged him, 'are you going
to abandon us '
'Madame, it is to spare you and your daughters from irreparable
harm that I beg you to leave this place at once.
'So,' cried Bayon de Libertad, with affectionate indignation,
'the wise Toussaint, too, isjoining the murderers and incendiaries '
He did not answer, and the unfortunate family saw a strange
light in Toussaint's eyes, a light they had never seen before.
A long silence ensued, and then Toussaint added in a tone of
command: 'Collect together all your valuables; we have been too
long as it is. I shall return in a moment.' And without another
word he withdrew with the same impassiveness which he was
later to show even in an extreme crisis. Later he instructed Pierre
Baptiste, who was too old to join in the turmoil of warfare, to
take his wife and children into the San Rafael mountains, in
Spanish territory.
Knowing the personal merits of every slave at Br&da, Toussaint
carefully selected a hundred and fifty of them, and when the dawn
came he set out at their head, bound for the camp ofJean Francois,
which had by then been established on the Gallifet plantation near
Cap Frangais.
This, then, was the great adventure with its glorious prospects,
its decisive encounters, its revelations-all undertaken in the
intoxication ofdanger, of broken bonds, and ofhalf-seen possibili-
ties to come. As his horse trotted along Toussaint fell into a
reverie. Occasionally a sheaf of flames would shoot up into the
sky, sending forth a shower of golden sparks; and from time to
time the mournful note of the drum would sound across the plain.
Toussaint's mind was filled with grave reflections, as he tried to
determine the course he must take; but his brain was fevered and
his ideas confused. Once again he was beset by doubts as to his
abilities, and was tormented by unanswerable questions. What did
the future hold in store ? What was this destiny to which Heaven
had summoned him ? How was he to turn this undisciplined mass
into a reasoning,-organized force
Jean Francois and Biassou did not receive Toussaint with
marked enthusiasm, for they still resented his prolonged neutrality.
Moreover, there was something in the man's bearing-his search-

ing glance, his studied words, his air of mystery-which had the
effect of chilling their friendliness. They realized only too well
that they were not cast in the same mould, and their jealous pride
warned them that in Toussaint they had a dangerous rival. And,
indeed, he invariably commanded a quite inexplicable respect,
which in meaner spirits soon turned to hatred.
The rebel horde was made up of an assortment of tribes from
all parts of the African continent-Congos, Senegalese, Daho-
means, Lybians, Abyssinians, Bambaras, Peuhls, Ibos, Yoloffs,
Guineans, Aradas, Touaregs, Moroccans. It was a mixture of
primitive humanity, of violent, unstable tribesmen who were as
uncertain of themselves as they were of what they wanted. It is
easy, then, to picture the confusion which reigned among this
army of slaves, thrown together by the cruelty of their masters.
And it was out of this heterogeneous mass that Toussaint was to-'
forge a striking force, crush the enemy, and build up a nation.
As soon as Toussaint mingled with these men they were aware,
instinctively, of his superiority and of the mission he had to fulfil.
They felt they had at last found their real leader. Naturally, Jean
Francois and Biassou were not slow to resent their followers'
preference for the new-comer, although he displayed a carefully
calculated modesty in his relations with them, having noticed
their petty arrogance at the first glance.
Imposed upon, flattered, and encouraged by all the counter-
revolutionaries-emigrants, slave-traders, landowners, priests-
Jean Francois and Biassou were little better than tools in the hands
of the reactionaries. One of these, for instance, a certain Abbe
Bienvenu, was Jean Francois's secretary, and had made him say
in a proclamation: 'The rebel Negroes are fighting for the King
of France.' And Jean Francois had raised a flag bearing the arms
of the house of Bourbon: on the one side was inscribed Vive le
Roy! and on the other Ancien RWgime! In his ludicrously gold-
braided uniform, covered with medals and decorations, Jean
Francois, who had appointed himself'Grand Admiral of France',
provided a note of grotesque opulence in the midst of tragedy;
and this profoundly disturbed Toussaint's love of simplicity. As
for Biassou, he had bestowed upon himself the high-sounding
title of 'Viceroy of the Conquered Countries'; and between him
and Francois there was an unending rivalry in the matter of
uniforms, epaulettes, sashes, medals, bandoliers adorned with
fleur de lys-all of which were showered upon them by agents of

the King of Spain and by landowners who sought to win their
Toussaint was disheartened by the superficiality ofh's colleagues
and by their inability to rise to the great task to which they had
appointed themselves. But he was very careful to refrain from
speaking to them about these things, for to have done so would
have brought him into dangerous conflict with their inflammable
susceptibilities and with the interests of the emigrants who
surrounded them. Rather, by careful manoeuvring, Toussaint
appeared to be in full agreement with the two leaders. Like them,
he cried out Vive le Roi !' and he added his own signature to the
foolish document in which their scribes made them declare: 'We
have taken up arms in defence of the King whom the white men
have taken prisoner in Paris; for the King wanted to set free the--
Negroes, his loyal subjects.'
This ruse of Toussaint's induced certain chroniclers of the time
to assert that he had revolted at the behest of the landowners and
the royalist priests, and was actually their agent. Future events,
however, were to show that Toussaint's royalism was merely a
mask forced upon him by the delicate situation in which he then
found himself. And this mask he wore until the moment was ripe 7
for him to take full command of the rebellion, and to give to the
movement its true purpose of social justice for the Negro peoples. c
While waiting for his hour to dawn Toussaint spent every day
at the head of his men, facing the French lines, and astonishing
everybody with his calm courage and his intuitive understanding
of the art of war. Self-effacing and modest, he would sometimes
act as Biassou's secretary. He would also cure the wounded with
herbs of which he had a rare knowledge, thanks to the early
teaching of his father. Amazed at his successes in this field, Jean
Francois promptly bestowed upon him the title of 'Physician-in-
Chief to the Armies of the King of Frarice'. Toussaint proudly
accepted the honour and used it occasionally after his signature.
And every day his prestige steadily rose in the estimation of the
Negroes. They believed that he maintained communication with
the spirits of their ancestors and with the spirit of Macandal, who
had been a master in the art of healing and poisoning by means of
secret herbs and potions.
On the plain before Cap Frangais the strategy and tactics
employed by Toussaint came as a sharp surprise to the French.
Here were not the reckless, irresponsible attacks of a Boukmann

or a Jean Franqois, for Toussaint's assaults showed careful fore-
thought and a knowledge of the situation. After suffering several
reverses, his adversaries began to realize that they were now faced
with an opponent who knew what he was about.
Toussaint had no illusions as to the outcome of the rebellion.
It was impeded by its two leaders, who had already fallen foul
of each other over a matter of precedence. In their attitude
towards Toussaint, Biassou was more envious than Jean Francois,
and had already provoked him personally. Had it not been for
Toussaint's deliberate restraint there is no doubt that the discord
of the rebel camp would soon have reached the point ofbloodshed.
Toussaint thus found himself among his own people, but he
was mortified and disillusioned to discover that he had to waste so
much of his energies in being forced to co-operate with leaders
who lacked vision. But he plunged into the great purpose to which
he was dedicated, and drew from it the courage he needed.

T HE whole Colony was shaken to its foundations. There
were clashes between the 'little' white men and the
Republican freed men on the one hand and the great land- /
owners, who were royalists, on the other. These two groups were
popularly known as pompons rouges and pompons blancs respec-
tively. Meanwhile there had been a general rising of the mulattoes,
deprived of their franchise by the colonial assemblies. As a result
of a new decree promulgated by the National Convention,
authorizing the colonial assemblies to legislate on the internal
government of Saint Domingue, the landowners had questioned
the validity of the decree granting political equality to the freed
men. Scaffolds, gibbets, and wheels were set up throughout the
length and breadth of the country. Summary courts, from which
there was no appeal, passed merciless sentences. The landowners
resorted to every form of atrocity in their endeavour to terrorize
the mulattoes. At Jdr6mie a planter by the name of Languedoit
hacked open the stomach of a pregnant mulatto woman 'to see if
there was a little mulatto inside!'
The army of the freed men, led by Beauvais and Rigaud,
although it met with varying fortunes, was indomitable. The
landowners, hardly knowing where to turn for aid, sent envoys
to Jamaica offering to help the English to seize the Colony.
Commerce on the island was completely ruined: the plantations
were laid waste or abandoned, public and private stores had been
looted, and the colonial treasury was empty. In the course of a
night the fair and wealthy town of Port au Prince became a mass
of flames. The whole Colony was on the point of disintegrating
in a blaze of white-hot passions.
Towards the end of November 1791 the French Government,
learning of the crisis which threatened France's most treasured
overseas possession, dispatched a delegation to the island to grant.
the rights claimed by the freed men, improve the conditions in(
which the slaves lived, and restore peace. The Commission)
consisted of citizens Roume de Saint Laurent, Saint LIg-r, and
Mirbeck. They brought full powers with them, and did their
utmost to calm the general excitement and fulfil their mission

with justice and humanity. On their instructions, given on the
very day they reached the Colony, all the scaffolds and gibbets
were dismantled. In a decree dated December 5 they granted an
amnesty to all the insurgents. They then attempted to apply the
decrees of March in favour of the mulattoes. The landowners
protested violently at this, and stubbornly opposed all the prudent
and appeasing measures the situation demanded.
In this same spirit of appeasement the Commissioners dis-
patched an emissary to Toussaint, Franqois, and Biassou, to try to
persuade the rebels to lay down their arms. The envoy appointed
was the cure of Dondon, a certain Father Delahaie, an ardent
abolitionist who enjoyed the confidence of the rebels. Toussaint
was at pains to make his colleagues agree to the idea ofnegotiating.
He saw clearly that in the end, as the result of their irresponsible
leadership, the rising would either be crushed or they would have
to fall in with the Spanish party controlling the eastern half of the
island on behalf of the King of Spain, and, of course, bitterly
opposed to the French Revolution. Toussaint, therefore, as practi-
cal as ever, now sought to save something of his ideal: at least he
might be able to bring about a notable improvement in the exist-
ing conditions of the slaves, and afterwards he would consider the
He had no difficulty in winning over Franqois and Biassou, who
were fighting solely to satisfy their lower instincts; and he
persuaded them to welcome the Commissioners' overtures.
Father Delahaie's mission was thus crowned with success.
To negotiate with the representatives of France the rebel leaders
appointed two young Negro officers, Raynal Alexis and Duples-
sis, both of whom had been born free and could read and write.
They took with them a long letter in which the rebel leaders
described the distress and misery of the slaves. The document was
signed by Jean Franqois, Biassou, Toussaint Brd&a,'Desprez,
Manzeau, and Aubert. It claimed that the lot of the slaves should
be materially improved, and that complete liberty should be
granted to fifty persons-the leaders of the army.
The Commissioners considered this moderate request fully
justifiable; but they had counted without the intolerance of the
Colonial Assembly and the landowners, who merely laughed at
the rebel claims. The two envoys were asked to present themselves
before the Assembly, where they were told by the President that
the Colonial authorities could not negotiate with rebel slaves,.
and were asked to withdraw.

On hearing the envoys' story Biassou became furious. He ran to
a shed in which sixty white hostages were held, and turned them
over to the angry rebels, who slaughtered them alL
The battle was resumed even more bloodily than before.
Toussaint, at the head of a corps of six hundred picked men, the
nucleus of his famous dlite guard, wrought miracles. The French
historian Cousin d'Aval, who saw him in action, said that he
seemed to possess the fierce energy of a tiger. He was the idol of
the army, and the Negroes would obey the least signal from his
eye or little finger. Twice he nearly forced his way into Cap
Francais. Although they could not help admiring him, Jean
Frangois and Biassou were beginning to resent more and more
Toussaint's outstanding qualities.
Jeannot, who was as craven as he was cruel, fled in the course of
battle from the strategic position he had been instructed to hold.
Toussaint recaptured the post, and then insisted that Jeannot
should be court-martialled. Toussaint himself presided over the
court; Jeannot was condemned to death and the sentence was
carried out on the spot.
The inadequate tactics of Biassou, to whom had been entrusted
the defence of Morne P66, a key position, called for a change in
command. It was a post which needed a man who was not only
brave, but also alert, tenacious, and resourceful; and as the French
were attacking day and night in this sector, Jean Francois gave the
job to Toussaint. Scarcely had Toussaint taken over his new
duties than the Colonial Assembly confronted him with the
bravest of their officers. This was the Chevalier d'Assas, the
commanding officer of the National Guard at Cap Francais, and a
direct descendant of the legendary Louis d'Assas, the captain of
the Auvergne regiment and hero of Clqstercamp.
Toussaint did not wait to be attacked, but went out to meet his
foe. A fierce battle ensued-the hardest of the campaign. In the
turmoil of the encounter chance brought the two commanders,
both dismounted, face to face. They crossed swords, and Toussaint
was wounded in the right arm. The left wing of his forces had
fallen back, and, in view of the threat of encirclement, Toussaint
disengaged and withdrew to his second line of defence, a tannery.
D'Assas was hard on his heels and forced him up to the top of
P66. The valiant Chevalier then stormed the height.
Toussaint re-formed his men rapidly and led them back into
battle, his arm in a sling. He drove D'Assas down from the newly

conquered height, and remained there firmly entrenched, despite
the enemy's repeated and furious counter-attacks. A young Negro
officer, Jacques Dessalines, particularly distinguished himself in
this action. In order to fight with greater freedom he had torn off
his shirt, and his body, bathed in sweat, gleamed and glistened
like living bronze. Wounded in the right foot, he seized a horse
and continued to wreak havoc among the foe with unbated vigour.
Born in 1758 on the Marchand plantation in Artibonite,
Dessalines was a magnificent and terrible fighter, and his outstand-
ing valour compelled men's admiration. Originally a slave
belonging to a landowner called Dessalines, the vicissitudes of a
life of slavery had taken him, while still a youth, to the north,
where he became the property of a freed Negro. Dessalines, who
was a carpenter by trade, was well-built, with regular features.
His skin was of a reddish hue, and this fact, together with his
proud air, high cheekbones, beautiful eyes, and a body as lithe
and supple as a jaguar's, suggested that in his Senegalese stock
there was a tincture of Peuhl blood.
Delighted by his courage, Toussaint had at once picked him
out and made him captain of his 6ite guard, and under his
guidance Dess es was destined to become one of the greatest
fighters in the Americas, and the founder of Haitian independence.
With an eye to the future and the part he would be called upon
to play, Toussaint had begun to select his team at the very outset
of his career, picking out carefully all his immediate lieutenants
and training them to form the nucleus of his staff. The rabble he
commanded had, under his guidance, already become an expert
and well-disciplined group of men, a shock force whose fighting
worth was exceptional.
Clinging to Morne P Il, Toussaint set about fortifying his
position. To the left of the hill he had a long ditch dug to ensure a
supply of fresh water from the river; and to the right he cut a deep
trench, protected by a palisade. Half-way up the hillside he
established a battery of cannon in front of a solid wooden
Meanwhile, the colonial army was quite unable to get the better
of the rebels. Cap Francais was being slowly strangled, caught in
the tenacles which gripped it from north and south. Roume and
Saint L6ger made a fresh attempt to negotiate; Mirbeck, disgusted
with all the complications of the situation, having returned to
_Prance. They were frankly in favour of improving the status of

the slaves, but the royalist landowners would not acknowledge
their authority. In vain did the Commissioners try to make them
see that the Revolution had introduced a new principle into the
relations between capital and labour, and that their intolerance
would be fatal; the landowners would hear none of it, and merely
scoffed at them and their Revolution. But Roume and Saint
LRger conveyed new peace proposals to the rebel leaders. The
latter agreed to negotiate again, but declared that they would not
send emissaries to Cap Frangais. The plantation of Saint Michel,
adjoining the town, was then selected as a suitable meeting-place,
and the Commissioners invited the Colonial Assembly to send
representatives there.
On April 20, 1792, a delegation of three landowners, accom-
panied by the Commissioners, arrived at Saint Michel a few
moments before the rebel leaders. The first of these to appear was
Jean Franqois, mounted on horseback and followed by Biassou
and Toussaint. The 'Grand Admiral of France' was attired in a
garment of crimson velvet, glittering with gold braid and decora-
tions. His three-cornered hat, adorned with multi-coloured
plumes and precious stones, provided a striking spectacle.
Biassou wore a richly embroidered orange-coloured costume
and sumptuous black silk scarf, spangled with silver; but Toussaint
wore his usual dress: a white silk jacket devoid of insignia, blue
cotton trousers, and a wide felt hat with an upturned brim.
At the sight of Jean Franqois-the height of vainglorious
arrogance, as his horse, richly caparisoned, cavorted before them
-one of the landowners' delegates, M. de Bulet, who had once
been the 'Grand Admiral's' master, was filled with fury, and
rushed up to the Negro leader, seizing the bridle of his horse and
raising his whip as he did so; Jean Franqois, however, had already
unsheathed his sword. The meeting thus broke down before it
had even begun, and the two groups returned to their respective
quarters, Jean Frangois giving vent to his indignation by having
ten white prisoners killed.
The Colonial Assembly realized that their delegate had been
overprecipitate and, fearing that all their hostages in the hands of
the rebels might be slaughtered, intimated to Jean Francois that
they were prepared to resume the discussions on condition that he
would surrender all the hostages held. The rebel leader at first
refused to reopen the negotiations; but Toussaint intervened and
managed to persuade him to change his mind.

The landowners were weary of the disturbances and revolts,
which had literally ruined them; but they found it hard to come
to terms with men who yesterday had been their slaves, and they
were unwilling to relinquish any of their prerogatives. This
explains why they vacillated so often between concessions and
retractions. For their part, the rebels would have found it difficult
to continue fighting had it not been for Toussaint's bold tactics,
and the support of the Spaniards, who kept them supplied with
food and ammunition.
Jean Francois told the Colonial Assembly that he would not
release all the white hostages, but that he would send them twenty
in exchange for his aged mother, whom the landowners had
thrown into prison, where she was under sentence of death. Both
sides agreed to this arrangement, and negotiators then met in a /
last attempt to come to agreement.
But the new parleys were no more successful than the others
had been.. The Colonial Assembly employed delaying tactics in
the hope of gaining time. They made promises, went back on
them, replied evasively, and continually asked for more time,
hoping that reinforcements would arrive and enable them to crush \
the rebellion. Meanwhile the Commissioners finding themselves
unable to bring the landowners to share their desire for con-
cessions, left for France, to inform their Government of the dire
state of affairs in the Colony.
The authorities of Cap Frangais assembling all their forces, now
initiated a vigorous offensive against the rebels, who gave way on
every front. Courage could not continue indefinitely to take the
place of ammunition and arms. At this time Spain was, of course,
at war with France, and the agents of the King of Spain, who had
hitherto been supplying arms to the rebels, now kept the bait
just out of reach, so as to force the Negroes to fall in with the
\ Spanihplan. This was to bring the whole of the island under the
sovereignty of Spain, as it had been at the time of its discovery.
Don Joaquin Garcia and the Marques de Harmonas, the Spanish
king's principal representatives, bombarded the Negro leaders
with attractive proposals. /
Under the mounting pressure of the colonial forces the rising1
was on the verge of being crushed, when three new Com-
missioners from France landed at Cap Frangais, on September 17,
1792. The sombre picture of the state of the Colony that Roume
had given the National Convention had.led to the appointment

of Sonthonax, Polvrel, and Ailhaud, three revolutionaries
distinguished for their energy, boldness, and ability.
The principal member of the Commission, Leger Felicitd
Sonthonax, had been born at Oyonnax in 1763. A briefless
barrister, he came of a well-to-do family, and on his appointment
to the National Convention as a Deputy he had been noted for
his extreme Jacobinism. He was quite ready to deal with the
colonial oligarchy, for his heart was filled with bitterness against
all aristocrats, and his mind with the precepts of the Encyclo-
paedists. The exorbitant demands of the landowners, and the
selfishness with which they clung to what they considered to be
their rights, were to exasperate Sonthonax's revolutionary fanatic-
ism and lead him to commit the most violent excesses in doing
good as well as ill
The Commission arrived, escorted by six thousand troops. Its
first act was to force the landowners to put into effect the decree
in favour of the freed men. This compulsory observance of the
decree was a humiliating defeat for the colonial aristocracy and
a mortal blow to the white men's prestige in Saint Domingue.
Furthermore, the landowners had no choice in the matter, for the
mulattoes themselves were enforcing the decree in the south and
west by the might of the sword. In their enthusiasm at havinQ
their rights formally recognized by the landowners, the freed men,
in gratitude, joined forces with the landowners to extinguish the
last sparks of the rising, and to make the Negroes return to their
Sonthonax at once took sides with those who were worst off
and most despoiled by the others, and, had it not been for the
opposition of his colleague Polvrel, who established his head-
quarters at Port au Prince, while Sonthonax remained at Cap
Frangais, it is probable that he would have boldly proclaimed the
liberation of the slaves. Even the mulattoes detested the 'furious -
Sonthonax', who did nothing to hide his preference for the
Negro masses, and made no distinction whatsoever between them
and the mulattoes.
The state of the Colony was rapidly deteriorating. In France,
Louis XVI had been guillotined, and the nobles of Saint Domin-
gue, ruined, disillusioned, and in despair at the Revolution, were
emigrating en masse to the east, to the neighboring islands, and
to the United States. In addition to the dissensions within the
Colony, the year began with the threat of a British invasion,
while the armies of the King of Spain in Santo Domingo were

also being mobilized against the French. Every conceivable mis-
fortune seemed to converge upon the Colony simultaneously.
Sonthonax held the landowners responsible for these disasters.
Their greed and their refusal to grant any concessions to the lower
classes, he said, were at the root of everything.
Among the military chiefs who accompanied the Commission,
the man whose feelings were most similar to those of Sonthonax
was ttienne Maynaud Bizefranc, Comte de Laveaux, lieutenant-
colonel of the Orl&ans Dragoons, who had joined the Revolution
at the beginning. He had fought under Dumouriez against the
loyalists at Valmy and Jemmapes, and had shown that his bravery
as a soldier was fully equal to his altruism. He was the most
attractive and sympathetic of the Frenchmen who appeared upon
the scene in Saint Domingue at this time. From the moment of
landing on the island he embraced the cause of the slaves with
understanding sympathy, and he never wavered in his attitude.
In the life of Toussaint, and in the miracle of his ascent to power,
Laveaux was to play an important role.
S Had this French aristocrat not gone to Saint Domingue, it is
possible that the career of the first of the Negroes would have
degenerated into the adventurous but commonplace life of a con-
dottiere. Toussaint himself, referring with amazement to his extra-
ordinary rise to power, expressed in a magnificent phrase his
gratitude for the part the Comte had played: 'After God, it was
Before ordering decisive action against the rebels, Sonthonax
tried, as his predecessors had done, to establish peace through
negotiations, and intimated this to the Negro leaders. This time
it was Toussaint who went to Cap Frangais to state the Negroes'
terms. On October 23, 1792, Sonthonax saw, entering his office,
a remarkable Negro, simply dressed, short, ascetic, and fragile in
appearance, with large eyes that gazed keenly at him, hard and
gentle by turns. He spoke little, but with conviction and good
sense. The claims he put forward were not-excessive: he deman-
ded, pending the abolition of slavery, a real improvement in the
status of the slaves, 'three hundred freedoms' (for each of the rebel
leaders), and a sum of money to indemnify the insurgents. But
Sonthonax found that the intolerable pressure of the landowners
made it impossible for him to meet these demands. Disheartened,
Toussaint returned to his camp, and the battle was rejoined with
renewed ferocity.
It fell to Laveaux to have the honour of driving Toussaint

from the height ofMorne P616, where he had entrenched himself
so firmly. One evening, after losing half his men, Toussaint was
obliged to order a retreat in face of the 'furiafrancesa'. Back on the
plain, however, he continued to harry the French, doing enor-
mous damage. When Laveaux heard the news that Toussaint had
overrun a camp at Petite Anse and reappeared as it were in the
instant at Haut du Cap he cried out: 'Great God, this Toussaint
seems to be able to force an opening for himself anywhere.'
Toussaint's vanity was flattered, and thenceforth he adopted the
name of Louverture (the op ig), under which designation he
was to take his place witfi te immortals.
The French victory at Morne P616 was a grievous blow to the---
rebels. Jean Francois and Biassou were particularly annoyed; and
they went so far as to hold Toussaint responsible for the setback,
despite all the courage and inventiveness he had displayed in
holding on to the position for so long with scarcely any means at
his disposal.
Undaunted, however, Toussaint continued to attack and to
trust in the future; and he managed to instil into the army his
faith in better days to come. Exaggerating his role of sorcerer and
magician, he made an impression on the frustrated horde and
again raised their morale. His own moral and physical heroism
was based on his belief that God, who is all Justice and Mercy,
would, in the end, intervene directly and recompense the un-
flagging courage of luckless men who fought for a just cause-
unless there was no God. But Toussaint was convinced of God's
reality; and he would surrender himself to prayer, in the brief
respites the struggle left him, praying for the mercy of Providence.
To give a new impetus to the rebellion in these sombre days
Toussaint developed a new strategy. The rebel forces were
divided into three groups, which were to engage in a relentless
guerilla warfare. Jean Francois took to the Vallires hills, Biassou
was despatched in the direction of Dondon, Saint Raphael, and
Saint Michel, while Toussaint himself, at the head of a reliable
force of seven hundred-men, established himself in the woods and
passes of the northern plain, facing Generals Laveaux and
Ravaged camps, sudden night attacks, bloody ambushes, swift
unexpected onslaughts, murderous charges ... The enemy were
given no time to breathe or sleep, harried day and night by
fierce, inaccessible bands, and it was not long before the rebels
showed signs of recovering from their reverses.



INTERNAL discord at home presages the eclipse of a nation's
glory abroad: it tells her rivals that the time has come to seize
her goods and possessions. Thus Spain, seeing France torn in
two by the Revolution, decided that there would never again be
such a favourable opportunity for depriving her of Saint Domin-
gue, the brightest jewel in the crown of the French colonial
Nearly all the great landowners in Saint Domingue, finding j
themselves left in the lurch as the result of the Revolution,
flocked to the banner of the Spanish Bourbons. Most of them
were ready to hand over the island either to the Spaniards or to
the English rather than forgo their privileges and give the slaves
their freedom. They could not conceive that there could be
prosperity or colonial law and order without slavery, and they
cursed the insane folly of France, which, with her stupid Declara-
tion of the Rights of Man, had utterly destroyed her richest
oversea possession and undermined the 'sacred foundations of
colonial society'.
It was while Toussaint was harrying the French troops on the
plain of Cap Francais that his colleagues were won over to the
Spanish cause. The Abbe Sulpice, a Capuchin priest who was the
cure of Le Trou, was the principal negotiator. The clergy were
always to be found supporting the slaves' struggle for freedom,
for they were nearly all ardent abolitionists. They played a part in
the Macandal incident; and they were also active in the Boukmann
Father Sulpice, in the name of the Spanish general, the Marques
de Harmonas, promised all manner of things to Jean Frangois and
Biassou if they would agree to serve the interests of His Catholic
Majesty. He guaranteed ties, money, arms, ammunition, and the
solemn liberation of all Negroes who joined the Spaniards. The
proposals were communicated to Toussaint, reaching him at a
time when Laveaux had him cornered like a beast at bay; at a
time, indeed, when he was beginning to lose heart. He was
wearing himself out in a superhuman, unequal struggle. Being a
realist, he felt that war had no justification except as a means to

;L oii

a better way of life; and this, as yet, he found hard to envisage.
He even felt humiliated by the guerilla warfare he was practising.
How mean and petty it must have seemed to him to have to lie
in ambush waiting for night to fall to surprise the enemy; and to
have to creep like a serpent through the thorny undergrowth in
order to pounce-when he knew himself capable of fighting out
in the open, and of conquering by the true marriage of courage
and foresight! But the most agonizing torture for him was the
prospect of losing his life without first having given his full
measure: of dying like a common brigand in some corner of the
forest with all his Messianic hopes unfulfilled, having merely
flashed across the sky of Saint Domingue like a meteor. Thus it
was that the religious Toussaint was ready to sell his soul to the
devil if doing so would help him to achieve his abiding purpose.
He did not hesitate, then, to enter the service of Spain, and,
gathering together his troops, who were commanded by a brave
young group of lieutenants-Moise Br&da, Jacques Dessalines,
and Charles Belair-he set out to meet General Cabrera, the
commander of the Spanish forces, who had established his head-
quarters at Saint Raphael. The two men met on May 15, 1793.
The general gave Toussaint a warm welcome, for his fame had
already preceded him; and on his arrival he was appointed, in the
name of Charles V, King of Spain, a Knight of the Order of
Isabella. By his natural piety and unassuming behaviour, Toussaint
made a very good impression in the Spanish camp. Both to his
superior officers and to the French exiles he was a constant source
of wonder and curiosity, not unmixed with anxiety.
What might he not accomplish with the support of Spain in
this, the third phase of his life e He had already calculated exactly
how much he would extract from this great power for his own
purposes. His unspoken delight at being in the Spanish camp was
immense, for he was secretly amused at the thought that these
detestable white men really believed they were going to make a
tool of him. But, he reflected, to win the confidence of the
Spaniards it would be desirable to gain their admiration by a series
of victories; then, having done this, he would turn and crush them
with their own weapons, and thus redeem his Negro brethren.
Legend has it that during the night following his meeting with
the Spanish leaders Toussaint had a vision. Descending from the
hill which overlooks Saint Raphael, he beheld a dark-skinned
virgin coming towards him, enthroned upon a crimson cloud. As

she scattered scarlet rose-petals through the air, which resounded
to the pure notes of unseen trumpets, she said to him: 'Thou art
that Negro Spartacus, foretold by the Abbe Raynal, who will
avenge the wrongs done to thy race.
Toussaint shrewdly summed up the various men with whom
he came in contact; and they, in turn, formed their impressions of
the Negro leader. Don Joaquin Garca regarded him as a good
fellow, devoid of rancour, a talented soldier of great courage
but quite incapable of conceiving and carrying out a large-scale
plan. Toussaint did everything possible to encourage him in this
belief. He was not slow to see, despite all the fine words of the
Marques de Harmonas and of General Cabrera, that slavery in
Spanish territory was even more merciless than it had been in
Saint Domin gue. The Spanish landowners, indeed, were notorious -
for the refinement of their cruelty, and had the distinction of
having trained their dogs to track down runaway Negroes.
Toussaint, unlike Jean Franqois and Biassou, was not to be duped ,-
by all the titles and decorations which the Spaniards bestowed.
He was going to make use of the means at the disposal of the -
Spanish crown, not to become a tool of Spain, but to lift the
Negro race out of the hell in which it had languished for three
hundred years.
After conferring with the Marques de Harmonas and re-
organizing and equipping his troops, Toussaint resumed his -
campaign. He swept down upon Cap Franqais, inflicting blow
after blow upon the French and seizing La Tannerie and Morne
P616, which were defended by Laveaux and Desfourneaux.
Finding that all its communications with the interior were cut
off, Cap Frangais was thrown into a state of panic. A number of
the royalist officers deserted from the French (notably De Nully
and De Lafeuille), and Toussaint gave them positions on his staff.
General De Brandicourt, who commanded a French camp at
Dondon, was captured by the Negro leader by a stroke of in-
credible audacity. Brandicourt, finding himself cut off from Cap
Frangais, was retreating in the direction of La Marmelade with
the object of making contact with the main French forces.
Toussaint met him with a screen of men commanded by Moise
Br6da, and then, moving them up the sheer height of the rocks,
went right round his adversary. The latter, meanwhile, was
proceeding tranquilly, believing that the region was inaccessible
to the enemy, when suddenly, in the middle of the night, he found

himself face to face with Toussaint. Caught completely unawares,
the general was momentarily demoralized. Resolved to sell his
life dearly, however, he drew his sword, ordering his men to
charge. Undeterred, Toussaint rode up to him with his escort,
saying: 'Quite useless, my dear General: you are surrounded on
all sides. I admire your courage, but I would admire your heart
still more if you were to order your column to surrender and thus
avoid a battle which can bring you no profit whatsoever.'
Dumbfounded, and believing that he really was surrounded and
outnumbered, Brandicourt surrendered without offering any
resistance, even feeling touched by his adversary's generosity. He
had been completely outwitted.
Impressed by Toussaint's brilliant exploits, the Marques de
Harmonas sent him a letter in the Spanish style, filled with
grandiloquent congratulations. In a special decree Toussaint was
hailed as the 'Benefactor of Saint Domingue'. Indifferent to these
flatteries, however, Toussaint continued to concentrate on the
work in hand, capturing the heights of Crete a Pins, and then
Ennery, Plaisance, Bedouret, and the whole region south of Cap
Frangais. From east to west he was building a line of men against
which all the attacks of the French were to break down. Leaving
nothing to chance, Toussaint personally directed all operations,
inspecting the terrain and estimating the directions of the rivers
and mountains to facilitate his campaign.
Sonthonax and Polvdrel, now realizing that Toussaint's sword
was going to turn Saint Domingue into a Spanish colony, sent
emissaries to the Negro leaders in an attempt to drive a wedge
between them and Spain; as an encouragement they promised to
grant all their claims in full. But it was too late, and the
Negroes sent back this answer: 'We have lost the King of France,
but we are cherished by the King of Spain. We cannot recognize
you, Commissioners, until you have enthroned a king. We shall
shed all our blood for the Bourbons.'
Unless he was to reveal his true attitude Toussaint could not
but applaud this reply, and, accordingly, it bore his signature
together with those of Biassou, Moise, Gabart, and Thomas.
The document, dearly drawn up by some royalist, is of con-
siderable significance. It was precisely the illusion that he was a
soldier of the King of Spain that Toussaint was attempting to
instil into the minds of the French royalists and of General
Cabrera and the Marques de Harmonas.

Soon Toussaint was the undisputed master of Dondon, La
Marmelade, and Plaisance, and it was not long before he sum-
moned the landowners of these places to resume work on their
property. Between assaults, he dictated his famous Order on
agriculture, obliging slaves to return to the land where thy-had
beei-working, and the landowners to pay the slaves for their
work. The slaves were also to receive a quarter of the produce.
At times he was tempted to disclose his real intentions; but he
knew that he was not yet strong enough to reveal his purpose
completely. His moods found expression in an alternation of
cunning modesty and impetuous pride, the latter being discern-
ible in the proclamation he addressed to the slaves from his camp
at Turel on August 29, 1793: 'Friends and brothers, I am Toussaint
Louverture, and my name is perhaps not unknown to you. I have
undertaken the work of vengeance. I wish liberty and equality to
reign in Saint Domingue. I am working to make these a reality.
Join with me, my brothers, and fight with me for the same cause.
Your servant, Toussaint Louverture.'
How did Toussaint dare to use such language e Was he not
fighting in the service of the royalists ? The French refugees, their
distrust aroused, began to watch his activities with unveiled
suspicion. Meanwhile the gulf was widening between Toussaint
andJean Franqois and Biassou, who, flattered by their new masters,
had completely given up any concern for their fellow slaves.
Again and again Laveaux and Desfourneaux attempted to pierce
the line of steel which stretched from east to west. Cap Francais
was languishing under the pressure of Toussaint's troops. From
Gonaives, Desfourneaux was to try to recapture Ennery and Saint
Michel; but Toussaint let him advance no farther than Coupe
Pintade, where he overwhelmed him.
Toussaint next prepared to attack Gonaives. But Chanlatte, a
valiant mulatto who was in command of the Plaisance sector
(and was later to join Toussaint's ranks), fell upon him at
Roufdliers, in the canton of Ennery, and obliged Toussaint to
retreat, thus saving Gonaives which had already given itself up for
lost. Toussaint, however, turned and counter-attacked to such
effect that he overran the French camps at Audiger and Mdrion,
and stopped short only eighteen miles from Gonaives. He now
devoted himself to drawing up a plan of attack against this town,
which held a peculiar attraction for him.

N May 6, 1793, at a time when the whole island was in J
turmoil, General Galbaud, who had been appointed to
take the place of D'Esparbes as commander-in-chief of
the colonial forces, landed at Cap Francais. The counter-revolu-
tionaries hailed him with delight, for he was a native of the island
and the owner of large estates, and would dearly defend the
interests of the landowners against the Commissioners. The latter,
how.-ver, immediately questioned the legality of Galbaud's
appointment on the ground that a law dated April i791 made it
illegal for anyone born in Saint Domingue, or possessing lands
there, to hold a high military office in the Colony. Galbaud,
apparently acquiescing with a good grace, withdrew on board
La Normande, but at once set to work to bring about a revolt and
overthrow Sonthonax.
On both sides passions were rapidly reaching a climax, and it J
was a trivial incident which eventually provided the spark. A
quarrel had broken out between a mulatto and a naval officer on
the quay at Cap Francais, and the officer insisted that Sonthonax
should punish this coloured man who 'had dared to insult him'.
When the Commissioner said that it would be necessary to hold
an inquiry before he could do so, the whites and the crews of the
ships anchored in the roads were indignant. The latter now pre-
pared to attack Sonthonax and Polvdrel, while the freed men and
the Negroes rallied to the defence of the two Commissioners. A
cannon was fired from the frigate Jupiter, whose crew had been
won over by Galbaud, and the General then landed at the head of
six thousand sailors, recruited from the fleet anchored in the
harbour. As a preliminary, the commander of the fleet, Admiral
Gambis, and his staffhad been taken prisoner by Galbaud.
Street fighting followed the landing, and for three days Cap
Francais was a scene of carnage. Sailors and slaves, drunk with
liquor looted from the shops and warehouses, ravaged and pillaged
the town. A force of Negroes from Haut du Cap, commanded by
Pierrot and Martial Besse, swept like a hurricane through the city
streets and squares, and throughout the night of June z2 Cap
Francais burned like a torch. But by five o'clock next day

Galbaud and his followers had been compelled to re-embark.
During these days of terror Commissioner Polv6rel achieved the
moral stature of one of Plutarch's heroes. His son, sent to nego-
tiate, was taken prisoner by Galbaud, to guarantee the safety of
the General's brother Cisar, who had fallen into the hands of the
Commissioners. Galbaud then proposed that the two captives
should be exchanged. Telling Polverel of this proposal, Sonthonax
said: 'You are a father: do what you must. I agree to whatever you
decide.' And Polv6rel, his eyes filled with tears, replied: 'I adore
my son, but he can die. I sacrifice him to the Republic. General
Galbaud's brother was caught fighting against the representatives
of France. No; my son cannot be exchanged for a traitor.'
Although Sonthonax and the other witnesses of this scene all
besought Polv6rel to save his son's life, Polv6rel merely added:
'I adore my son. Please do not refer to the matter again.
General Galbaud, with his defeated followers, set sail for
America on June 24, 1793, on board the Jupiter. He was followed
by seventeen other warships of the fleet, only the frigate America
remaining behind.
Every day brought fresh disasters to the Colony, and the
Commissioners, devoid of resources and cut off from France, no
Longer knew how they were to retain the island. Polv&rel had
been obliged to depart for the south and west, where there was
the threat of an English landing. The royalist landowners, with a
view to salvaging as much as they could from the wreckage, had
been pressing the English to seize the Colony, and a squadron of
English warships, laden with troops, was now cruising off Saint
Domingue. Meanwhile Spain, with the able assistance ofToussaint -
and his colleauges, was hourly increasing her stranglehold on the
French, while the slaves continued to pilkge the length and
breadth of the country. Sonthonax had only a thousand white
troops, a militia of eight hundred mulattoes, and a corps of five
hundred slaves who, attracted by his humanitarianism, had joined
forces with him.
In this desperate situation he decided to promulgate the aboli-
tion of slavery in the Colony. This extremely bold measure meant
far-reaching consequences for the future, and immediate and
/terrible results for the present. It meant the destruction, at a blow,
.)of the Colony's economic and political structure. And it was to
Spring a tremendous outcry from the powerful slave-owners,
represented in Paris by the Club Massiac, which was able to speak

before the National Assembly through the eloquent and im-
passioned tones of Barnave and Lameth. Sonthonax, however,
with the desperate courage of a man hurling himself into the
flames to recover an irreplaceable treasure, solemnly decreed, on
Augut 29 x73, the general liberation of the slaves.
The day of their emancipation was an unforgettable day for the
slaves. They saw France, through her legally appointed repre-
sentative, decree that one man should no longer be the property
of another. Under the indigo sky of Saint Domingue, filled with
flames and auguries, a hurricane of joy was suddenly unleashed.
The Negroes from the Plaine du Nord burst in on Cap Francais,
shouting, weeping, dancing, screaming with almost demoniac
happiness, caught up in a surge of delirious delight. As the evening
light shed golden rays over the joyous multitude they all knelt
down in front ofSonthonax's house, calling him 'the good God'.
And the grim revolutionary appeared on the balcony, weeping
like a child, forcing out his words between his sobs.
At Port au Prince, however, Polv6rel at first refused to have
anything to do with his colleague's decision. Actirg on his own
authority, Sonthonax had destroyed the very foundations of the
colonial system, and had himself taken the place of the French
State. But to Polverel's protest Sonthonax replied that he could
not revoke his decision and that he accepted full responsibility
for it. When a landowner attacked him in a violent diatribe
Sonthonax replied magnificently: 'I declare that until my dying
day I shall support the rights of those of mixed blood, of the
Africans, and of the descendants of Africans; and even though
they grind my bones to powder in a mortar I will never retract
my proclamation of August 29.'
Polverel, fearing the consequences of giving full support to
Sonthonax, suggested to the landowners of the south and west
that they should pretend that Sonthonax's decision had their
full approval. Accordingly, registers were op med in all the town-
ships, in which the landowners solemnly declared that they
spontaneously ratified the freedom which the Commissioners had
accorded to the slaves. As it happened, the landowners were
obliged to perform this act of generosity, since the slaves, having
burst their bonds, threatened to annihilate them all. Even so, the
honour of having shown a sublime initiative belongs to Sontho-
nax, and to him alone.
We have seen that the great landowners had for some time been

urging the English to seize the Colony, and the events of August
1793 made English intervention Inore desirable than ever: it
Seemed the one way by which the landowners could hope to
S regain their wealth and power, even if it meant disloyalty to
. France. Accordingly, early in September a representative, the
Marquis Venent de Charmilly, was sent to Jamaica to negotiate
the incorporation of Saint Domingue into the British Empire.
SAn agreement to this end was signed by the Marquis and Major
Adam Williamson, the British representativeBritain undertaking
to 're-establish and maintain all laws relative to property'.
A week later, on September 19, five hundred English troops
landed at Jer6mie, a town in the southern peninsula, and on the
22nd a force of a thousand men seized the Saint Nicolas Mole in
the north-west, a stronghold known as the Gibraltar of the New
World. Within the space of a fortnight the English captured
Saint Marc, Archahaie, Grand-Goive, and Tiburon, and wherever
they went the landowners welcomed them with cries of 'Long
live King George!'
By the end of the year the only open ports still controlled by
the Commissioners were Port au Prince, Aux Cayes, Jacmel, and
Cap Francais. Gonaives had already fallen to the Spaniards after a
lightning attack by Toussaint Louverture, who made a triumph-
ant entry into the town on December 6. The valiant defenders of
the town, Paul Lefranc, Caze, and Blanc Casenave-all mulattoes
-had been appointed to their conqueror's staff, for by now
white men and mulattoes alike were hastening to place themselves
under the protection of Toussaint.
Early in February an English squadron appeared off Port au
Prince, whither Sonthonax had removed in haste to offer a better
resistance to the invader. A British launch set ashore three officers,
who asked to see the Commissioner. They were taken to Son-
thonax, and requested a private discussion with him. 'Englishmen,'
replied Sonthonax, 'can have no secrets with me: speak out in
public or withdraw.'
The following message was then conveyed to him by the
leader of the delegation: 'In the name of His Britannic Majesty
we call upon you to surrender this town and port, together with
all its installations.' 'Were we ever forced to leave this place,'
Sonthonax replied, 'nothing would be left of your ships but
smoke, since the rest of them would be at the bottom of the sea.'
The next day Commodore Ford, commanding the squadron,

sent Sonthonax an ultimatum. The reply was significantly brief:
'Our gunners, Monsieur le Commodore, are at their posts.' In
the face of this belligerent attitude the British commander
weighed anchor, impressed by the Commissioner's determination.
Not the least of the cruel perplexities that beset Sonthonax at J
this time was how to deal with the mulattoes, and he developed
a violent animosity towards them. 'Their demands', he wrote,
'appear to know no bounds, and they seem to require every kind
of ofce; yet they do not cease to complain if they are called
either Negroes or whites.' A revolutionary through and through,
his beliefin the equality of men had reached the pitch ofa religion,
for he was quite unable to understand how the descendants of
Negroes could not share in the ideal of equity which inspired him.
So he ended by hating them just as he hated the royalists and the
great landowners. With excessive injustice Sonthonax went out
of his way to humiliate the freed men, and whenever he had the
opportunity he would favour some Negro at their expense. By
behaving in this way he merely aggravated the fratricidal strife.
In May the English returned to the attack, and, with the
assistance of a 'fifth column', soon captured Fort Brissotin.
Finding themselves without military resources, and betrayed by
the landowners, Sonthonax and Polv&el evacuated the town on
June 4, 1794, and took refuge at Jacmel, protected only by a
meagre detachment of loyal and grateful Negroes under the com-
mand of a brave mulatto, Louis Jacques Beauvais.
Meanwhile the Commissioners were also being accused before
the National Assembly, at the instigation of the Club Massiac
and the two Parisian landowners, Page and Bruley. Brissot,
Sonthonax's friend and protector, had already been guillotined,
and no one would undertake the defence of the two Civil Com-
missioners, who in the most adverse circumstances had shown
themselves worthy servants of revolutionary France and of her
Sonthonax and Polvdrel set sail on June S, 1794, to face their
judges in Paris. Before departing they appointed the three mulat-
toes, Beauvais, Rigaud, and Villatte, as brigadier-generals com-
manding, respectively, Jacmel, Aux Cayes, and Cap Francais,
under the orders of Etienne Laveaux, to whom they entrusted
the interim government of the Colony in its hour ofperil.
Who now was to save the pearl of the Antilles for France, the
colony which seemed about to fall into the hands ofthe Spaniards
and the Englishi


'|HE Marques de Harmonas and General Cabrera saw their
Dream of conquest beginning to take shape. Toussaint had
Extended and moved forward the noose in which he was
seeking to throttle the French army, and Plaisance had been
captured by Dessalines. Only by great heroism was Cap
Frangais able to withstand the repeated assaults of Charles Belair
and Moise. The town of Fort Dauphin was on the point of falling:
Candy, a mulatto, who was defending it with a force of freed
men, had informed Villatte that he was unable to hold out any
longer. Even Laveaux was at his wits' end trying to resist the
attacks ofJacques Maurepas, a young Negro lieutenant of Tous-
saint's, famed for his military skill and courage.
After consolidating his position in Gonaives, Toussaint returned
to Saint Raphael to confer with the Spanish commanders, whom
he had not seen during the seven months' campaign. They
received him like a triumphant Caesar: Te Deums were sung in
his honour and there was universal rejoicing. In solemn state the
Marques de Harmonas bestowed upon him his official com-
mission as a general, the Diploma of a Commander of the Order
of Isabella, and a gold medal inscribed with the words, El Marito.
Toussaint also had the opportunity of seeing his wife and
children again. Although Mme Louverture constantly prayed for
the success of the Negro cause, she was placid and self-effacing,
not particularly imaginative and completely unpretentious. She
preferred to live on the gentle slopes of life rather than on the
heights to which Toussaint aspired. She was both amazed and
delighted that her humble companion from Br6da had won such
renown, for it had never crossed her mind that he would become
a great man. She saw a man who, though he had aged, had lost
nothirg of his vitality, and whose lean, shrewd countenance
revealed th t he was fully aware of his own worth.
Every morning he would go to Mass and receive Holy Com-
munion; and already some of the priests were beginning to
recognize his leadership, foreseeing his great future. He invariably
treated them with the greatest respect. Most of the Spaniards were
delighted with his piety, being unable to believe that a man so

devout could possibly harbour all the terrible thoughts attributed
to him by his enemies and rivals.
Biassou, however, was by no means convinced that Toussaint
was as simple and pious as he appeared. He sensed Toussaint's
duplicity, and had a shrewd suspicion of the sinister projects he
was formulating. Biassou continually warned Cabrera and Garcia
against him, and on the slightest pretext would reprimand him
publicly and irritate him with petty vexations. Toussaint, with
a serenity in which was mingled a shade of contempt, usually
suffered the other's impertinence in silence. There were times,
however, when these pinpricks would go too far, and then
Toussaint would turn upon him with such a look of fury that
Biassou would recoil in fear. A few days would pass and then
Biassou would return to the charge. Eventually Toussaint re- /
solved to put an end to this treatment by setting Biassou and
Jean Francois against each other. He began to insinuate to Jean
Francois that Biassou was a menace to his authority, and his only
adversary. He told Francois that he was quite prepared to recog-
nize his superior rank, provided that Biassou, who had no
military victory to his credit, was removed from the army. Once
this intolerable mischief-maker was out of the way, he concluded,
there would be nobody to contest Jean Francois's supremacy in
the Negro hierarchy.
Francois, who was himself secretly irritated by Biassou's self-
assumed authority, was both battered and deceived by Toussaint,
and swallowed the bait. He ordered Toussaint to have Biassou
thrown into prison without more ado.
On the morning of March z1 Biassou ordered Toussaint to
parade his troops for an inspection. With apparent submission
Toussaint lined his men up in the Place d'Armes. Biassou, his
chest glittering with medals and decorations, and his three-
cornered hat almost lost to sight beneath a sheaf of multi-coloured
plumes, rode with measured dignity towards the colours, while
the drums beat a general salute, and the fifes echoed shrilly
through the morning air. Toussaint followed him at a few paces'
distance; but suddenly he gave the prearranged signal. In the
twinkling of an eye Biassou was surrounded, disarmed, and taken
to the town jail, where he was imprisoned. 'An order from
General Jean Francois,' explained Toussaint with cynical amuse-
ment to his amazed, infuriated prisoner.
For two days Biassou filled the air with an indignant uproar.

Toussaint urged Jean Franoois to form a council of war to judge
the prisoner, but, as though he were belatedly beginning to see
daylight, Jean Francois was reluctant to carry the farce through
to the bitter end. He had a vague feeling of having been tricked,
and Toussaint, seeing that there was no hope ofBiassou's imme-
diate execution, suggested to Jean Francois that Biassou should be '
expelled from the army and the Spanish party. Jean Francois still
hesitated, and at this point a group of French refugees-among
them Laplace, his secretay-who were in the habit of using Biassou "
as a tool for their own purposes, intervened in his favour. They
told Jean Francois that he had been tricked by an imposter. The
'Grand Admiral', realizing what a fool he had made of himself
and ashamed at having given his support to Toussaint's personal
bitterness, hastily changed his tactics and thought only of how he
could revenge himself on Toussaint. He set free Biassou and rein- /
stated him in his command. The French refugees managed to
bring about a complete reconciliation between the two men, and
then they all vowed to rid the Spanish camp of Toussaint, who,
according to Biassou, 'said a thousand rosaries a day in order to
deceive everyone the better'.
By then Toussaint was far away, having returned to his head-
quarters at La Marmelade, bitterly disappointed.
The Spanish leaders, by this time, were becoming suspicious of
SToussaint's activities, and his rivals never ceased to press General'
Garcia to put an end to his exploits. A party was formed in the
Spanish camp for the purpose of getting rid of him; but the repre-
sentatives of the King of Spain had a high opinion of Toussaint's
co-operation, which had so far brought nothing but happy
results. They rated him far above his colleagues, for it was to him
they owed nearly all the French territory they held. Why, then,
on quite insubstantial grounds, should they deprive themselves of
such a valuable auxiliary Cabrera was conscious of something
disturbing about Toussaint, but nobody could say for certain
that he was betraying Spain, or even thinking of doing so. More-
over, if they decided to get rid of Toussaint, how were they to
set about it The man was alert, brave, and trusted no one. He
never sought private interviews, and when he appeared at head-
quarters he was always surrounded by his fanatical supporters.
Perplexed, alternately doubting and believing in Toussaint's
loyalty, Cabrera decided to let events take their own course.
Meanwhile Toussaint was also reflecting on his delicate situa-

tion in the Spanish camp, and was already preparing to make his
volte-face. But he judged the moment not yet ripe, and considered
it would be wiser to let the Spaniards believe him entirely
devoted to their cause, until he could cut loose from them.
Knowing that victories speak more loudly than words, he bet
out for the north and carried the tide of battle right up to the
walls of Cap Frangais, which twice he nearly captured.
The last strongholds of French resistance in the north were the
towns of Fort Dauphin, Cap Francais, and Port de Paix. The
Spaniards were particularly anxious to capture Fort Dauphin, as
it had held out for a year against all their attacks. Its capture,
moreover, would mean the loss to France of nearly all the
northern province, the richest region of the Colony. It was
defended by a Norman regiment commanded by a certain r
Colonel Knapp, and by a detachment of freed men led by Candy.
They met their enemies with a stubborn resistance, for Villatte,
the commander-in-chief of the French armies in the north, had
issued an order that the Fort was to be held whatever the cost.
Toussaint decided to take it. He knew that to do so would pro- -t
vide positive proof of his loyalty to Spain, and a decisive answer
to all who urged that he should be expelled from the Spanish
camp. For the space of eight days he attacked the town in vain.
On his left wing he had Charles Belair, and on the right wing
Moise; he himself, on foot, commanded the central sector. On
the ninth day, at noon precisely, he seized a horse and ordered his
men 'to storm the town or die in the attempt'. By the evening
the French troops were retreating in disorder before the furious
charges led by Toussaint himself
A handful of Frenchmen then withdrew to the fortress,
determined to sell their lives dearly; but their defeat was inevitable
and their heroism useless. Moved by their courage, Toussaint
sent an envoy to offer them the full honours of war if they would
capitulate. An agreement was drawn up guaranteeing the heroes'
lives and promising them honourable treatment, and the banner
of His Catholic Majesty was unfurled over Fort Dauphin.
The next day Toussaint left the city, after reorganizing its
government. He set out in the direction of Cap Frangais, but had
travelled only a few miles when a messenger caught him up with
the news that the Spaniards were massacring the French prisoners.
In a raging fury he galloped back to Fort Dauphin, where his
timely intervention saved the French garrison from annihilation.

/ Toussaint was tiring ofthe Spaniards, the royalists,Jean Fran4ois
and Biassou, and was sickened by having to be the tool of ambi-
tions he held in contempt. With mounting irritation he saw only
too clearly the game Spain was playing: she would impose servi-
/tude on the Negroes again once Saint Domingue was firmly in
her grasp. If only there were the faintest chance ofjoining forces
with France and of making the abolition of slavery a reality, how
willingly would he leave all these rapacious speculators to their
own resources!
In his meditations Toussaint returned to France, the enemy
Whom he loved. She was superior to the other powers by reason
of her generous feelings. She was a nation of contrast. France A
huge sensitive heart aware of the immense suffering of enslaved
men. And had not her great Commissioner, Sonthonax-in
whose eyes Toussaint had seen the bright flame of pity when he
went to demand the freedom of three hundred men in October
I792-had not Sonthonax, before sailing for his own country,
solemnly proclaimed the abolition of slavery in the name of the
Republic: But was this a solid reality The oppressors were so
powerful, so cunning. Yet it must be placed to the credit of France
that at a time when nations were frenzied with the lust for power
she was the most humane. The Negroes would gain more at the
side of France than Spain or England.

W HEN he had travelled as far as Limonade, Toussaint
turned and set off in the direction of Saint Raphael. He
would talk to Cabrera, sound him, try to find out his
plans, and estimate the strength of the Spaniards.
He reached Cabrera's headquarters at daybreak and received a
lukewarm welcome. The general's reticence, and the way in
which he avoided Toussaint's eye, were not the best of omens.
Toussaint felt that, were it not for the presence of his cavalry, the
Spaniard's tacit disapproval might have taken a more drastic
form. But he assumed an almost stupid air of innocence and spoke
of his success with great humility. After ten minutes' conversation
he left for La Marmelade, not without reassuring the Spanish
general of his devotion to the interests of the King of Spain.
But a shock awaited him. During his absence Biassou had
stormed into his headquarters, carried off all his ammunition and
supplies, and hanged one of his most gallant officers, Captain
Thomas, having first told the captain that he was carrying out
Toussaint's instructions.
Toussaint received this news with an impassiveness which
bodied ill for Biassou. Filled with thoughts of vengeance, he set
out for the Artibonite, where the troops commanded by Dessa-
lines and Charles B6lair were stationed, near Saint Marc. He made
swift progress until he reached a place called Barade, where he -'
fell into an ambush prepared for him by Biassou and the French
royalists. He was greeted by a hail of bullets, and his brother
Pierre fell at his side, mortally wounded. Seven other officers lost
their lives in this ambush, from which Toussaint himself escaped
Toussaint had loved his young brother like a son, but he showed
no sign of grief; he merely vowed inexorable hatred towards all
the Spaniards and their followers, and resolved to break with
them once and for all. Breaking off his journey to the Artibonite,
Toussaint went back north. He stopped at La Marmelade long
enough to pick a special group of fighters on whose toughness
and speed he could rely, and then set out in pursuit of Biassou and
his royalist friends. As he had expected, he found them at Ennery.

By using little-known forest tracks and paths, Toussaint came
upon them suddenly and struck down Spaniards and French
royalists alike. Biassou, caught unawares with one of his numerous
concubines, had barely time to take to his heels and escape with
his life. Exhausted, he and his fellow fugitives called a halt at
Dondon. Toussaint promptly set offin pursuit, seized and sacked
Dondon, and killed all Biassou's supporters who fell into his
hands. Wherever he went Toussaint stirred up rebellion against
Sthe Spaniards.
In their terrified race across the country Biasson and his fol-
lowers had reached Fort Dauphin. Here they addressed a letter of
violent protest to Garcia, signed by all the French royalists
resident at Gonaives, Saint Michel, Ennery, Plaisance, La Mar-
melade, and Dondon. The document stated the case for Biassou
and Jean Franqois, and enumerated the white men's grievances
against Toussaint. It said, among other things: 'Toussaint arrives.
S. .He at once stirs up and arms the slaves on all the plantations
and then informs the wretches that they are free. He preaches
disobedience and insubordination. .... He himself claims to be
the leader of all who revolt, and has recently sought to assassinate
his own leader, Biassou .who escaped from the jaws of death
by a special dispensation of Providence. We join with the
faithful Biassou in sustaining his just plea, and claim the head of
Sthe guilty man.'
/ It might well be supposed that after these acts of open hostility
towards Spain Toussaint would break offall connection with her.
But he had not yet come to any arrangement with the French,
and was too wily to leave himself without any sort of support.
He decided to attempt to convince Garcia that he was still a
faithful officer of the Spanish army.
Toussaint's report to Don Joaquin Garcia had such an imprint
of sincerity and humility that it would surely have disarmed the
wariest of his opponents. It consisted of three letters dated March
2o, March 27, and April 4, 1794. From the great pains he took to
note down all the details of the case, including the circumstances
which led him to enter the service of the King of Spain, it would
appear that he was anxious to justify in advance the decisions he
was to take later. Let us consider a few extracts from this remark-
able document: 'When Jean Franqois and Biassou placed them-
selves under the protection of the King of Spain, I was fighting
outside Cap Frangais. They told me of the good fortune which

Spain offered them. Together with all my troops I visited Don
Joaquin Garda at Saint Raphael, and he confirmed the Spanish
proposals. By this very fact I wish to show that I was never at any
time dependent on them; and certainly not on Biassou, since my
activities at Cap Francais had been arranged in conjunction with
Jean Francois. Biassou, at that time, was at Saint MicheL Had it
not been for his foolish and irresponsible conduct, we would long
ago have taken Cap Frangais.' Toussaint then went on to describe
the death of his young brother, to recount Biassou's attempts to
disband his army, and to relate how Biassou and Jean Francois
were in the habit of selling Negroes to the Spanish landowners.
At another point in the document Toussaint declared: 'After
the conquest of Gonaives, while I was at La Marmelade, Biasson
came and established his camp there. One evening I dined with
him. During the meal a letter was brought to him from Saint
Michel, and he begged me to read it out to him. What was my
astonishment to find that it was a communication from the land-
owner La Place, warning Biassou against me, saying that I was an
old Capuchin who did nothing but pray all day to the good God,
and that if he was not careful he would find me supplanting him.
Biassou told me that he daily received such missives from La
Place, but paid them no attention. Biassou wants the Negroes to
return to work as slaves on the plantations which I have re-
conquered. These Negroes complain to me; and when I speak of
it to Biassou he gets angry.
'He tells everybody that I am a monster and a villain. Biassou
is not my superior and never has been. If I seem to inform him
of my movements, it is merely in the best interests of our cause.
But I cannot now continue to have dealings with a man who does
nothing but seek my destruction; it is only astonishing that I
have been able to bear with him so long. Nor will I be
subordinated any longer to Jean Frangois, who is as jealous of me
as Biassou, and whom I fear as much.'
Toussaint recalled the ambushes which Biassou had laid for
him at the Carrefour Vincent and at Bois Caiman; and the
attempts he had made for months to avoid a dash with Biassou-
for such a clash was bound to be disastrous. And then comes the
last touch of all: 'I call Jesus Christ, for whose sake I have endured
everything, to witness that I continue loyal and faithful to Spain.
I am as determined as ever to shed every drop of my blood in the
service of God and the King.'

As Toussaint had foreseen, Garcia considered him to have
proved his case. Cabrera, however, sided with Biassou, who
advocated attacking his rival in his stronghold at La Marmelade.
Meanwhile, Jean Franqois, realizing the disastrous consequences
that would ensue if Toussaint left the service of Spain, attempted
to bring about a reconciliation between him and Biassou. He
wrote to propose a meeting, but Toussaint refused.
General Cabrera, frantic at the thought of Toussaint's possible
defection, thought he would make sure of him by imprisoning
his nephew Moise, who was at Saint Raphael, recovering from
a wound received in the fighting at Fort Dauphin. Making one
of the worst moves he could have made, Cabrera also set a
military guard round the house where Mme Louverture and her
children resided in Saint Raphael, thus converting them into
Not all the blood in Spain would suffice to appease the bitter-
ness this futile violence raised in Toussaint's bosom. The punish-
ment was to be merciless; and if General Cabrera escaped, it was
only to tremble and grow pale for the rest of his life at the recol-
lection of the fury which Toussaint was soon to unleash in his lust
for revenge.
For the moment, however, it was necessary to set free the
hostages whom he loved so dearly. Toussaint protested to Garcia,
and, without revealing the rage which filled his heart, merely
underlined how greatly disturbed he was at this action. The
Governor, who still hoped to retain Toussaint's services and did
not believe that all the faults were on his side-particularly after
receiving the detailed letter and the renewal of Toussaint's oath
of allegiance-ordered General Cabrera to release Moise, Mme
Louverture, and her children.
Grudgingly, Cabrera obeyed the order. He then instructed /
Toussaint to resume the campaign and to capture Cap FranCais.
And the man whom Cabrera had irreparably harmed thanked
him effusively for this 'just and generous gesture towards his
family'. He requested arms, munitions and extra pay for his
troops, and set out once more for the fighting line.
Echoes of Toussaint's resentment against the Spaniards and of
disagreements with his colleagues and the French royalists, had
reached the ears of the acting Governor-General, Laveaux, who
now addressed himself to Toussaint. The latter, anxious to leave
open any door which he might subsequently have to use in one

way or another, did not flatly reject Laveaux's proposals. For the
moment he evaded the Frenchman's invitation, but couched his
refusal in terms which were hopeful for the future.
Laveaux returned to the charge once more in March 1794, /
sending as envoy Chevalier, who commanded the region of
Terre Neuve. He was instructed to emphasize the fact that France
had solemnly decreed the abolition of slavery throughout her
territories, and had specifically confirmed Sonthonax's great
initiative in Saint Domingue. In addition, Chevalier, with great
adroitness, pointed out that in the service of the Republic
Toussaint would enjoy a privileged position as 'the first general
of his race'.
Toussaint's conversations with Chevalier lasted for a week.
After carefully considering the French proposals, he finally sent
word to Laveaux, on April 6, 1794, that he would put his sword
at the service of the Republic, but that the hour of doing so was to
be of his own choosing.
What precisely was Laveaux's situation when he was un-
expectedly succoured by Toussaint? The colonial treasury was
completely bare; every port was blockaded by the combined
naval forces of England and Spain; every day brought fresh
clashes between the 'little' whites and the great landowners.
Spanish pressure in the north and in the Artibonite was increasing
daily; and in the south and west British forces were driving the
Republicans back on every front. Under constant fire, continually
harried by theEnglish and the Spaniards, the French army, ragged,
barefoot, starving, continued fighting. Even its enemies, headed
by Toussaint, were moved by its display of heroism. France her-
self, torn by internal strife and invaded by foreign armies, did
not hear the moving appeal of her splendid colonial troops. And
even if she had, she could not have gone to their aid, for her navy
was a memory of the past, and England was now the undisputed
mistress of the Atlantic.
Toussaint now took all the steps necessary to break off his /
dealings with Spain, first conferring with his chief lieutenants-
Dessalines, Moise, Charles Bdlair, Jacques Maurepas, Clerveaux,
Desroupleaux, Dumesnil, Morisset, and Bonaventure. His troops
were ordered to be ready for any eventuality. But before bidding
farewell to the Spaniards he meant to give them something by
which to remember him.
On Sunday, May 6, 1794, an early spring sun shone down on the

little town of Saint Raphael, with its rows of neat, clean houses
grouped round the church. The faithful were wending their way
to Mass: beautiful Spanish ladies, wearing mantillas and richly
embroidered shawls, elegant and haughty Spanish landowners,
and French royalists, nonchalant and a little wistful.
The church was packed. Cabrera, resplendent in the uniform
of a Captain-General, sat in the choir, surrounded by his staff
Suddenly there was a sound of trumpets: Toussaint had arrived
at the head of a hundred dragoons, who took up battle positions
in the Place d'Armes opposite the church. Toussaint dismounted
and with ceremonious dignity, his slight form flanked by Jacques
Dessalines and Moise, entered the church and took his place just
beneath the altar-rail.
General Cabrera was surprised at this unexpected arrival. Tous-
saint, however, greeted him with a respectfl inclination of the
head. The service began. Mass over, General Cabrera went up to
Toussaint with a friendly greeting. Side by side the two men
walked down the length of the church, while an almost imper-
ceptible smile played about the Negro General's lips. At the top of
the steps outside they paused to exchange mutual congratulations.
The crowd was slowly dispersing, when a shrill whistle sounded
across the square, followed immediately by pandemonium, mus-
ket shots, and the clash of swords. In a single moment Toussaint
had leaped to his horse and the slaughter of the Spaniards began
-soldiers and civilians alike-led by Morisset, Dessalines and
Moise. Cabrera appeared to vanish into thin air. A few groups of
Spaniards tried to stand and fight: they were mown down like
grass. At the uproar and clamour of the slaughter fresh troops
came from the neighboring military posts to succour the victims.
They, too, were hewn down by Toussaint and his dragoons.
Screams, moans, and curses filled the bloodstained city, while the
man who had wrought all the carnage caught up his family and
galloped away to La Marmelade, leaving Saint Raphael stunned.
By noon Toussaint had reached La Marmelade. He at once sent
Moise against Grande Rivibre, whereJean Francois was established
dispatched Colonels Gabart and Papaul to seize and occupy
Plaisance, while he himself, accompanied by Vernet, Dessalines,
and Clairveaux, set out to attack Biassou, whose headquarters
were at Ennery. Taken unawares, Biassou could only flee once
more. In his report to Laveaux on the day's events Toussaint
observed with a touch of humour that Biassou owed his life

'to his familiarity with all the copses and thickets of the
The same day he swooped down on Gonalves, which he
captured 'sword in hand'. During this action he was wounded in
the right hip, but undeterred he continued his pursuit of the
Spaniards until he finally defeated them on the banks of the
Artibonite at the Pont de 1'Ester.
Meanwhile, Toussaint's lieutenants were equally successful. By
attacking it in the rear they put Garca's army to flight outside Cap
Frangais, and used the same tactics at Port de Paix. The siege of
these two towns was thus automatically raised. The officers
commanding at Gros Morne, Limbd, the northern plain, and
Borgne, all placed themselves at Toussaint's disposal. Jean
Frangois had been driven out of Grande Rivire by Moise, and
had then evacuated Limonade and Quartier Morin, without even
attempting resistance.
Laveaux, receiving a new lease of life as the result of these
successes, dispatched Desfourneaux, Villatte, Pierre Michel, and
L6veill to recapture Fort Dauphin and Port Margot. They were
repulsed. Toussaint promptly sped thither and took both strong-
holds. At his sudden appearance before them the Spaniards flung
down their arms and fled, knowing in advance that they were lost.
At Dondon, Cabrera inflicted a defeat on Moise, but, unwearying,
Toussaint appeared outside the town and took it by storm.
Having pursued the Spaniards as far as the frontier, he returned
to Gonaives and wrote to Laveaux on May 18, informing him
that he was now at the orders of France. The letter is a document
of considerable historical value, and deserves to be reproduced
in part: 'You will recollect that before the disaster of Cap Francais
I made certain overtures to you in the sole hope that we would
be able to join forces to fight against the enemies of France.
Unfortunately for everyone concerned, the conciliatory means
which I proposed-recognition of the Negroes' freedom-was
rejected. It was at this juncture that the Spaniards offered me their
protection and freedom for all who would fight in the service of
their King. .. I accepted their offers, finding myself abandoned
by my rightful brothers, the French. I have seen the Decree of the
National Convention, dated February 4, 794, declaring the
abolition of slavery: this is most comforting news for all friends
of the human race. Let us therefore join together once and for all,
and forget the past. Let us occupy ourselves solely with the

defeating of our enemies and with avenging ourselves, in parti-
cular, on our perfidious Spanish neighbours.'
Toussaint pursued the Spaniards relentlessly, giving them no
time to re-form their forces, and his reports to Laveaux told of a
series of dazzling victories. Garcia and Cabrera realized only too
well how much Toussaint had meant to them, and that his
defection was a mortal blow to Spanish hopes in Saint Domingue.
All the blood and gold of Spain lavished on this part of the
island had now been poured out in vain.
Towards the end of June Jean Franqois appeared to reawake
from his stupor, renewing his offensive with considerable vigour.
But on every front he was met with the martial spirit which
Toussaint had infused into the Republican army. He was defeated
wherever he fought, and there was a mass desertion of Negroes
from the Spanish army, which melted like wax in the sunlight
before the irresistible Toussaint. By the end of July the Spanish j
soldiers had all been thrown back into Spanish territory, while
some, like Jean Franqois, took refuge in the heights above Cibao.
This brilliant campaign, which lasted three months, filed
Laveaux and the French military experts with delight. Where they
had failed a former slave, an uneducated man, had succeeded
magnificently, and had succeeded, moreover, in re-establishing
order wherever he went. Those landowners who supported the
Republic, filled with admiration for their saviour, flocked back
to their estates. Hope was being born again in the hearts of men
throughout the devastated plantations.
The Frenchmen were curious to meet this amazing Negro who
had brought them victory. It was at Dondon on July 27 that
Laveaux first met Toussaint. They saw a short black man of fifty-
one years, almost ascetic in appearance, with an alert, mobile face.
Exquisite taste was to be seen in every aspect of his person and
bearing. No decoration adorned the white silk coat which, open
at the neck, revealed the lace cambric of his shirt. He appeared
before them with the bearing of a man without pretensions, but
they recognized in him a born ruler, likely to achieve great things.
Laveaux's eyes were filled with tears of gratitude as he embraced
Toussaint in the name of the Republic; and he made him a
solemn vow that France would never forget the service which
Toussaint had rendered her. As a mark of his gratitude, the French
commander removed the scarlet grenadier's plume which he wore
in his hat, and placed it on Toussaint's. Resting against four white

feathers the scarlet plume made a brave show; and it was wearing
this head-dress that Toussaint was to enter history.
Toussaint then presented his famous lieutenants to the French
general; Moise, commanding the region of Grande Rivire du
Nord and Dondon; Dessalines, commanding Saint Michel de
1'Attalaye and Petite Rivire de 'Artibonite; Dumesnil, the
commander of Plaisance; Jacques Maurepas, commanding Gros
Morne and Bassin Bleu; Christophe Mornay, Desrouleaux,
Vernet, Clairveaux, Charles B61air, and Bonaventure, all com-
manding various parishes; Morisset, the Colonel of the Ari-
bonite dragoons; and his two white aides-de-camp, Birotte and
Dubuisson. These men were the nucleus of the terrible team with
which the Negro of Br6da was to change the destiny of the slaves
of Saint Domingue.

DURING the last few weeks of 1794 the English under
Major Brisbane renewed their offensive and crossed the
Artibonite. Verrettes, captured by Toussaint at the end of
November, changed hands more than once before finally remain-
ing in his hands.
The Negro general, deciding that its topographical situation
made it useless, had the grandiose idea of building another city.
He told Laveaux that his ambition was 'to build something which
will prove advantageous in war, and simultaneously afford proper /
protection for the advancement of agriculture'. To Toussaint
conquest did not mean only driving the English from the soil of
the colony; it meant also creating ordered life and prosperity.
Between the two battles, he hastened to the banks of the Arti-
bonite to stop up a breach made by the English, who had been
hoping to flood the plain and destroy the crops. He used a thou-
sand men to cut down trees and transport stones to the breach.
In war, as in peace, it was characteristic of Toussaint to attend to
the details of any important operation even when he himself was
not taking part in it.
Brisbane's offensive came at a crucial moment for the defenders
of the colony. Treachery was rife everywhere, and more and more
of the landowners were going over to the side of the invaders.
France's foothold in Saint Domingue would indeed have been
lost had it not been for Toussaint. For five whole months he fought
against the English on the Mirebalais plain. Again and again the
various strategic positions of the zone changed hands, but on
August 2, worn out after so much bloodshed, the English
abandoned Mirebalais, Lascahobas, Grands Bois, Trou d'Eau, and
the whole surrounding region.
This brilliant success was not due to Toussaint's military skill
alone; it was also the result of his diplomacy. One of his basic /
principles was to attempt, in the first place, to achieve victory by
persuasion and negotiation. We get a hint of the true secret of his
victory at Mirebalais in a report he sent to Laveaux, who was
curious to know how Toussaint had managed to achieve such a
success over the powerful resources of the English army. With a

touch of pride Toussaint answered Laveaux: 'Satisfying your
desire to know what circumstances have led to the reintegration
of the vast and beautiful region ofMirebalais into the Republic, I
must inform you that for the past three months I have been
conducting secret negotiations with persons in that region'
By means of bribery, threats, and promises Toussaint had
worked to such good effect on the landowners who had thrown
in their lot with the British that he succeeded in creating a strong
anti-British feeling throughout the area. Repeatedly he had
returned to the theme of French patriotism, and by daily proofs
of his own power he had managed to convince the French
renegades that, despite the might of Britain, France and her army
would have the last word.
The retreating enemy made one last attempt to stand at
Lascahobas, but Toussaint swet in and cleared the whole region
of a remainin n en an Spaniards. The occupation of
MirelJais put an end to the military campaign in this sector;
among the prisoners were sixteen senior English and Spanish
Mirebalais, with its waterfalls, gardens and orchards, through
which the Artibonite wound its way, glistening like a silver
serpent, provided a pleasant halting-place in Toussaint's career.
Here he established himself in a huge mahogany building, the
residence usually occupied by the leading official of the region,
and his house was the meeting-place for the high society of the
town. Toussaint amazed the landowners by his bearing and good
manners, for he was not in the least disconcerted by his new
circumstances. On the contrary, he accepted a life of comfort and
authority as if he had been born to command, and he was always
the centre of the meetings held at his residence, at which a former
freed woman might be seen rubbing shoulders with a Marquise
of the ancen regime, and a young Negro who had yesterday been
a slave would converse as an equal with a white officer.
The conquest of Mirebalis created a great impression through-
out the colony, and even the mulatto generals, Andr6 Rigaud and
Jacques Beauvais, who were putting up a stout resistance to the
invading army in the south and west, were obliged to admit the
merits of Toussaint.
Encouraged by the generosity and the spirit of justice which
distinguished the Negro leader, the landowners returned to
Mirebalais by the score; the Negro labourers, who had been

idling about, were obliged to return to the plantations to which
they were attached, but were now paid a proper wage. Three
hundred great landowners who had taken refuge with the
Spaniards swore, before Toussaint, an oath of allegiance to the
Republic, and those whose properties were in the north were
granted passports to return and resume their peacetime activities.
Contrary to the revolutionary decrees confiscating all the property
of the Saint Domingue nobles, Toussaint restored their estates to
a large number of landowners; such a bold action was typical of
his attitude of independence, and foreshadowed his subsequent
supremacy. He had now taken a step which showed clearly that
he had no intention of saddling himself with the laws of the
Republic if they were contrary to the Colony's interests, to the
cause of justice, or to his own personal outlook. But he always
sought to obtain the consent of the French authorities to any
actions which set aside the edicts from Paris. He gave the impres-
sion that he carefully observed the principles embodied in the
revolutionary code: this he did to enable himself to counter them
with greater ease, for he considered them often to disregard the
order and happiness of the colony.
In view of the fact that Laveaux was virtually dependent on the
Negro leader, it is obvious that any desire which Toussaint cared
to express was little short of a command; and Laveaux fully
realized that when Toussaint asked for instructions it was purely a
pose of deference. The French Governor must certainly have been
displeased at Toussaint's action in restoring their property to the
landowners of Mirebalais, for Laveaux, a Republican to the bone,
was a zealous advocate of all revolutionary laws and prohibitions;
in the circumstances, however, there was nothing he could do
about it.
At this point it may be desirable to consider Toussaint's moral
attitude towards the landowners. From the very outset of his
career he had realized that the landowners, despite their cruel
excesses, did provide Saint Domingue with a measure of pros-
perity and civilization. What was needed, he felt, was to restrict
and control their power, and to make the exercise of it moderate
and equitable. It was therefore one of Tousaint's-mndiaental
beliefs that the landowners should be encouraged to remain in the
Colony, as this would be all to the advantage of the city which he
dreamed of founding. Furthermore, he believed that the mass of
Negroes could derive nothing but profit from coming into

contact with the landowners. He felt that the best way ofimprov-
ing the status of his race was for the Negroes to mix with
Europeans, and to study how they set about their work, and eve
what laws of conduct they obeyed, provided everything was on
the basis ofliberty and fairness. It was this outlook, then, which led
him knowingly to violate the decrees of the National Convention
when he re-established the French landowners on the estates
which he had liberated by the sword.
Once Mirebalais had been reconquered Toussaint's principal
preoccupation was to drive the English out of Archahaie. This had
become an obsession with him, for it was vital that he should
have a port in this zone to provide an outlet for the rich and
fertile valley. The produce of the zone-sugar, coffee, cocoa,
cotton, and indigo-could readily be sold to neutrals, despite the
English blockade; and the port of Arcahaie, with its countless
hidden bays and coves, was ideal for the dispatch of secret
expeditions. Furthermore, the Colony was sorely in need of
money and raw materials, and trade was therefore essential if
resistance against the invader was to be maintained.
Toussaint found that he had suddenly to break off his sojourn \
in Mirebalais and ride northwards as fast as he could, as the
Spaniards, supporting the English, had attacked again. Setting
out from the frontier on August 14, 1795, Jean Francois and
Biassou, at the head of four thousand men, had hurled themselves
on Fort Dauphin, now Fort Libert6. Moise Louverture, com-
manding at Dondon, was in full retreat, hotly pursued by the
enemy. Scarcely had Toussaint reached La Marmelade, where he
reorganized his forces, when he heard the gunfire from Saint
Michel. Here he found that Moise, having run out of ammunition,
was loading his guns with stones. The presence of Toussaint had
an electrifying effect on the army, which he promptly re-formed,
and then proceeded to recapture Saint Michel and Dondon,
personally leading the pursuit of Jean Francois and the fleeing
Spaniards as far as Piton des Roches.
This resurgence of the Spaniards was to be their last serious
action against the north. Spain, in Europe as in Saint Domingue,
was tired of the coalition and of the rebuffs she was suffering; and
the Treaty ofBasle (the first to be signed by a European monarchy
and the Revolutionary Government) was soon to relieve the
Colony of Spanish raids, for, in accordance with Article 9 of the
Treaty, Spain ceded to France all her claims to territory in the
eastern half of the island.

InJanuary 1796Jean Frangois sailed away from Saint Domingue
and retired to Cadiz, where Spain, grateful for his loyal service,
conferred many honours and dignities on him, according him
the rank of lieutenant-general. Subsequently he went to Oran,
where he died as Governor in the year i820. Biassou is reported to
have ended his career in Florida,where he died avery wealthyman.
Both these men had been overcome by Toussaint Louverture,
to whom they now resigned the stage of Saint Domingue. Many
a time, in their exile, they must have remembered the month of
September 1791, when they were joined at Gallifet by a weakly,
silent, mysterious-looking little man. And no doubt they secretly
admired this man of their own race whom they had at first
treated with such condescension. The self-effacing physician of/
the King's armies, the sometime secretary of Biassou, was now
the mighty Toussaint Louverture, whose shadow lay across the
whole Colony.
Toussaint was soon to discover that British tenacity of purpose
is no idle concept. He believed that Mirebalais was finally con- &
quered for the Republic and proof against any further English J
attacks. Here he was grievously mistaken. During the last days of
August, when Toussaint was preparing to order a largely
assault on the English lines in the Artibonite sector, he ed that
the English had returned in force to irebjai M or Williamson'
had raised the Union Jack over the city once more, and Major
Forbes had regained Lascahobas and Trou d'Eau. Hastening to the
invaded region, Toussaint found that the British offensive was not
limited to the Mirebalais area, but had spread north-west and
southwards in the direction of Verettes and Gonaives.
It was only by means of daily prodigies of courage and ingenuity
that Toussaint was able to preserve his lines intact. Laveaux in the
north-west, and Andre Rigaud and Jacques Beauvais in the south
and west, also wrought miracles with equal heroism, though
Toussaint had to withstand the main weight of the English army.
The Republican soldiers, unpaid, in rags, barefoot, often had
to fight unarmed. France, still occupied with her own tragedy,
could dispatch no help to her colony, now reeling before the
British onslaught.
Once more it was Toussaint who saved the situation, routing
the English after a battle in which his foresight and ferocity
clearly showed them that they had to deal with a master of the
art of war. It was with a happy pen-a happiness charged with

irony at the expense of his opponents-that Toussaint sent
Laveaux an account of this new victory. His description of the
vicissitudes of the battle, and the terseness and spontaneity of the
style, have the freshness ofa page of the Commentaries. Tossaint's
style was certainly his own, for his secretaries were obliged to
rewrite as often as ten times a letter or memorandum, if the
phrasing did not give full expression to the essence and the
rhythm of his thought.
It is difficult for the modern reader to appreciate how amazed
the whites of Saint Domingue were at Toussaint's intelligence
and ability, for in those days Negroes were held to be incapable
of any serious mental exertion. Toussaint's own talents were still
the subject of violent arguments. Many of the landowners and
mulattoes still regarded him as little better than Biassou-a gang-
leader who had so far been lucky. Yet this was the man who was
inflicting crushing defeats on the English troops, commanded by
able regular soldiers.
Laveaux knew that Toussaint's abilities were markedly superior
to those of any of the mulatto leaders, and when the Directory, in
appreciation of the heroic resistance shown by the native com-
manders, sent Laveaux official credentials granting the rank of
brigadier-general to Andre Rigaud, Jacques Beauvais, Villatte,
and Toussaint Louverture, Laveaux instructed Toussaint to con-
vey their commissions to his colleagues. The mulatto generals
were disgusted; they interpreted it as a studied insult intended to
draw attention to the greater regard entertained for Toussaint by
the Frenchman. Their resentment towards the Governor-General
increased noticeably, and the incident merely served to accentuate
the strained relations between themselves and Laveaux, a situation
which was bound to end in open conflict.
Meantime Toussaint devoted all his spare time and energy to
the economic reconstruction of the regions he was controlling
and defending. He was particularly interested in regularizing the
position of the newly freed slaves, insisting on the one hand that
they must work, and on the other that they must receive fair
wages. Many philanthropists of his time complained that Tous-
saint's strict regulations were merely establishing another form of
slavery. Such criticism was quite irrational, for it took no account
of the psychology of a former slave. Toussaint's love for those
who had known slavery urged him to promote their moral and
material welfare. Unguided, the new freed men ofSaint Domin-

gue confused their right to freedom with the conception of having
to do no work; Toussaint sought to improve the status of his
fellow Negroes by making them work in return for fair payment.
The English had by no means given up hope of recovering the
ground they had lost, and Toussaint was worried by the fact that
France was not sending the Colony any reinforcements; he knew
that he could not hold out indefinitely. His brilliant victories were
never decisive, never final; lack of supplies might one day force
him to retreat.
The critical military situation of the French was, moreover,
aggravated by internal dissent, rivalries, prejudices and personal
ambitions, and, had it not been for the rigid will-power of
Toussaint, binding everything into a uniform whole, the colonial
machine would have disintegrated completely. He controlled and
watched over the Colony's entire war effort and government: he
was both its heart and its head.
Towards the end of February we find Toussaint at Mirebalais,
inspecting the French lines. The English were preparing to launch
an offensive in this zone, and hoped to put an end to French
resistance once and for all. Despite the Treaty of Basle, the
Spaniards were actively helping the British behind the scenes and
granting them all the facilities they required. Spanish aid did much
to encourage the English in their attempt to bring Saint Domingue
into the British Empire.
Ever since the first Mirebalais campaign Toussaint had been
anxious to put into effect the clauses of the Treaty dealing with
the eastern half of the country, and to incorporate Banica and
Lascahobas into the region of Mirebalais. Gently, but firmly,
however, Laveaux had refused to give his consent. Now, there-
fore, in view of the evident duplicity of the Spaniards, Toussaint
reminded Laveaux of his refusal: 'If,' he wrote, 'you had permitted
me to seize these two places the Spaniards would not have been
able to grant so many facilities to the English. The harm is done
now, and we must take the consequences.
Many of the bold measures which Toussaint was later to put
into effect are to be seen in the standpoint he adopted at the very
outset ot his career, for one of his outstanding characteristics was
continuity of purpose. Once he had decided that a thing was
right andjust he never relinquished it; and five years later he was
to sweep aside every obstacle which stood in his way and put
into effect every clause of the Treaty of Basle.

T HE success of Toussaint and his fellow officers was parti-u
cularly irritating to the mulatto leaders. They, realizing that
power was rapidly slipping from the hands of the white
landowners, were determined that it should not fall into those of.
the Negroes. The struggle between the triumvirate of mulattoes
-Villatte in the north, Pierre Pinchinat in the west, and Andr6 /
Rigaud in the south-and the Negro, Toussaint, was to be as
relentless as it was long, and one of Haiti's greatest misfortunes.
After Toussaint had joined forces with the French the previous
year, Laveaux's attitude had been strongly resented by the
mulattoes led by Villatte and he was having more and more
difficulty with them. The former freed men no longer attempted
to conceal their hostility to the Governor, while he, on his part,
inclined more and more towards Toussaint, until he came
publicly to regard him as his second-in-command.
Toussaint realized the storm was coming. He knew what was
going on in every part of the Colony, and was fully informed
about all the meetings that were held in private houses, in the
camps, and in the fields. Although he would occasionally issue
unctuous appeals for unity, he was secretly delighted at this state
of affairs; he would reap the harvest.
Those mulattoes who did throw in their lot with Toussaint
could feel nothing but satisfaction at his sense of justice and his
attitude towards them: Andr6 Vernet, Juste Chanlatte, Dupuy,
Julien Raymond, Morisset, Mars Plaisir, and others all bore witness -
to this. If a white man or a mulatto wanted to get on well with
Toussaint, all he had to do was to acknowledge the Negro's
ability. Toussaint was not susceptible to the more vulgar forms of
flattery, but he liked his talents to be recognized, and in this respect
the great landowners never failed to please him. They called him,
with respectful familiarity, 'Papa Toussaint,' thus subtly drawing
his attention to the protection they knew they could expect from
him. The result of all this was that the landowners formed
Toussaint's most intimate circle of friends, a fact which usedt
some exasperated grumbling among some of his officers.
The principal interest of the landowners was to encourage the

discord latent between the Negroes and the mulattoes, and they
went out of their way to tell Toussaint of the slighting references
which (they claimed) the mulattoes were circulating about him.
Although he fully realized that the landowners were grinding
their own axes, he knew, too, that there was more than a grain of
truth in their tales, which were borne out by the way some of the
mulatto leaders behaved towards him.
Behind all successful political careers there are to be found not
only the particular qualities of an individual, but a series of favour-
\ able events and circumstances adroitly exploited at the right
moment. Such a situation arose in the life of Toussaint on Ventose
20, 1796. On that date a special messenger arrived from Cap
Francais, bearing the news that Laveaux had been ignominiously
assaulted by the mulattoes, hustled from his palace, dragged
barefoot through the city, and cast into prison. Henri Perroud,
the financial controller, had also been imprisoned, with De
Brother, the engineer-in-chief, and Laveaux's two aides-de-
camp-Charrier and Noel.
Without loss of time, Toussaint sent instructions to Dessalines
at Saint Michel de 1'Attalaye, to Molse Louverture at Dondon,
and to Charles B6lair at Plaisance, ordering them to advance at
once on Cap Francais. Entrusting the defence of Gonaives to
Clerveaux, Toussaint then set out himself at the head of three
hundred horsemen. He reached Cap Francais at midnight and
immediately presented Villatte with an ultimatum: 'Toussaint'
Louverture informs General Villatte and his followers that unless,
within the space of two hours General Laveaux and his civil
officers are set free he will himself come and set them free by
Toussaint's lightning appearance on the scene of action threw
the rebels into confusion, and they now realized the probable
consequences oftheir foolishness. Laveaux's partisans, commanded
by Jean Pierre Leveille, took possession of the arsenal, and groups
of Negroes crowded into the streets with the cry of 'Yield to the
law!' Villatte, lacking courage to face the new situation, fled with
six hundred of his supporters during the night of Germinal i, and
established himself in Fort Lamarthelihre at Caracol, where he
began to put up a somewhat belated show of heroism.
At five o'clock in the afternoon of Germinal 2 the members
of the municipal council, who had so recently displaced the
Governor-General, went to the prison and set Laveaux and his

staff free, amid hearty applause from the army and the people.
Laveaux was conducted in great state to the Town Hall, where
he gave proof of a generous spirit by announcing 'that he would
refrain rom pursuing and punishing the guilty, with the sole
exception of Villatte. Thinking that Villatte would continue
fighting to the bitter end, Laveaux set out at once with two
regiments, and on March 26 occupied Petite Anse, so as'to be
nearer his adversary. On March 28 Toussaint entered Cap
Frangais and then joined Laveaux at Petite Anse. He was accom-
panied by an escort of one thousand infantry and eight hundred
horse. Villatte had previously informed Toussaint in a letter that
the rising was a spontaneous rebellion of the sovereign people
against the Governor, and that he (Villatte) had nothing to do
with it; and Toussaint, by arrangement with. Laveaux, now
replied, suggesting that he should come at once and prove his
innocence. Not unnaturally, Villatte did not fall in with this
proposal, but declared himself willing to meet Toussaint on the
plain outside Caracol to discuss the matter. Toussaint, in turn,
was careful not to accept the invitation, for he was well aware that
the mulattoes would unhesitatingly seize him if there were the
least prospect of being rid of him. He was even more inclined to
mistrust Villatte, as investigations into the recent plot had shown
that a simultaneous attack on him had been planned originally. It
was dearly meant to be a large-scale affair, for Pinchinat-whose
presence invariably foretold a mulatto rising-had visited Villatte
at Cap Francais two days before the trouble started.
Now that the conspirators were at bay they sought to stir up
the people, in an attempt to escape their fate. They managed to
make some of the Negroes believe that Laveaux and Perroud had
sent for shiploads of chains, and that the arsenal was now stored
with these symbols of slavery. Skilfully led on, the mob rushed
with its wonted fury to the residence of the Governor, who, with
Toussaint, had remained at Cap Frangais. As the cry of 'Death to
Laveaux!' grew fiercer and fiercer, Toussaint appeared in the
midst of the mob, urging the Negroes not to believe the rumours;
and, to prove that their accusations were false he took them to
the arsenal, and had the doors flung open. When the crowd saw
that there were no chains there they streamed back to the Gover-
nor's house shouting: 'Long live Laveaux!'
The same day Toussaint summoned the Negroes to the official
parade-ground, and, standing beside Laveaux beneath the tri-

colour of France, he said: 'Pay no attention to what the rebels
tell you. In this Colony there are more Negroes than there are
white men and mulattoes put together: and if there is any further
trouble, the French Republic will support us, since we are the
strongest party. As your commander, I am responsible for the
maintenance of law and order.'
In this way he revealed his guiding principle: the right of the
majority to rule in the island-a majority of which he considered
himself the incarnation. Cleverly, too, Toussaint took the oppor-
tunity of emphasizing the Negro supremacy.
Law and order now reigned throughout the north. Villatte
wandered from place to place in the desert region of Caracol, not
having the courage to emerge. One by one his followers left him
and threw themselves on Toussaint's mercy; Toussaint, chivalrous
in his hour of victory, treated them with indulgence. He did not
even attempt to hunt down the rebel leader, preferring to let him
waste away, consumed by his own bitterness at the folly of a plot
which had merely brought him shame and remorse.
Laveaux was at a loss to reward Toussaint for his timely inter-
vention; his gratitude brought him to tears when he greeted him
at Petite Anse. On April I, 1796, he summoned a special meeting,
and, standing before the national tribunal, solemnly installed
Toussaint as his lieutenant in the government of the Colony.
Toussaint had modestly taken refuge behind Laveaux, who, turn-
ing round, pushed him to the front, declaring to the assembly;
'Here you behold the saviour of the officially constituted authori-
ties, the egrSpa who, as the AbbW Raynal foretold, has
come to avenge the wrongs done to his race. From this day forth /
I shall do nothing without him, and my labours will be his.' With
these words Laveaux had, in effect, handed over his power to
If, in the whirl of emotions which must have filled him at the
moment of achieving his desire, Toussaint remembered the
distant time when, frail and melancholy, he used to sell garden
produce with Pauline in this same city which now witnessed his
triumph; if he recalled that terrible evening when Macandal was
burned to death; and how later he had swallowed his shame and
begged the Colonial Assembly to grant freedom to three hundred
slaves; if all these things came back to him in this hour of triumph,
then surely his heart must have been filled with pride and joy.
But, impassive and distant as ever, Toussaint appeared to regard

his own glorification with complete detachment. Not a trace of
elation disturbed the slow, carefully studied rhythm of his words
and gestures.
Four years of battles, of vigils, hidden fears, and political and
military anxieties had all helped to age him. He was now fifty-
three years old, and his hair was greying at the temples. On the
rare occasions when he dropped the mask of impassivity his face
assumed an imperious expression. Two deep furrows cut down
his face from his burning eyes, defining the delicate jaw-line and
the thin, strong lips.
Why was Toussaint the only sombre person in his hour of
triumph ? He was thinking it an empty victory, which would not
help to change or stabilize the future for his luckless brothers.
Toussaint valued victory only as a spur to yet further heights.
And while the plaudits, unheard by him, rose into the air, Tous-
saint Louverture renewed his vow to make the Negro race free
and honoured throughout the world.
The following day he arranged for Laveaux to confer the rank
of brigadier-general on Colonels Pierre Michel, Jean Pierre
Leveille, and Pierrot. He also made a considerable increase in the
size of his army, drafting into it many French officers who were
to give training to his lieutenants; and in view of the new cam-
paign he was planning against the English he created five new
regiments-three infantry and two cavalry. For his bodyguard
he formed a corps of a hundred dragoons commanded by a
mulatto officer, Morisset, who was famed both for his courage
and his good looks.
All the men who formed this 6lite cavalry were, in stature and
strength, perfect specimens of the Negro race. Sumptuously
clad, and equipped with fine horses, they wore silver helmets
adorned with scarlet plumes; and across the helmets Toussaint
had a proud motto engraved: Qui pourra en tenir a bout ?-'Who
shall overcome them?' It was Toussaint's own conception of
The revolt of Ventose 30, if of little significance in itself, was of
the first importance by reason of the state of mind it revealed in
the relations of mulattoes and Negroes at that time, and the con-
sequences that followed.
It was the first serious conflict in Saint Domingue between an
African branch of humanity, relatively civilized, and the mass of
the Negro proletariat. In the name of the majority, and because

its suffering had been so great, this oletariat claimed its share in
the spoils of an aristocracy which both groups had succeeded in
overthrowing by their independent efforts. The freed men, who
had themselves initiated the Revolution in Saint Domingue, found--
they could not stop the inexorable development of the movement.
Having profited by the damage it had wrought, the mulattoes,
like the Girondins and other moderates in France, now wanted to
halt it, collect their ill-gotten gains, and take the places of the
victims they had swept aside. But it was too late: the machine had
been set going and would destroy anyone who attempted to arrest
its motion.


T last France was able to turn her attention to the dangers -
threatening Saint Domingue. In I796 the Directory sent
a Civil Commission to the Colony, headed by Sonthonax,
and comprising Julien Raymond, Roume de Saint Laurent,
Giraux, and Leblanc. Sonthonax and Polv&rel had entirely refuted
the charges brought against them by the Club Massiac, and the
verdict of the revolutionary tribunal had been a triumph for the
accused men. Sonthonax had been given the presidency of the
mission to Saint Domingue to complete his rehabilitation. The
Commissioners, accompanied by four regiments under the com-
mand of Comte Donatien Rochambeau, brought a sorely needed
cargo of supplies with them-three thousand rifles, ammunition,
uniforms, artillery, and foodstuffs.
When they had dealt with Villatte and his accomplices the
Commissioners, in collaboration with Laveaux and Toussaint, set /
about driving out the English and quelling the various factions
within the Colony. At the Negro general's suggestion twelve new
demi-brigades were created, and by December 1796 Toussaint
was now the undisputed ruler of the Artibonite, the west, and the
north. Meanwhile, the Directory's representatives confirmed the
rank Laveaux had conferred on him, and his promotion was
indicated in a special decree, which also announced that his two
children would be educated in France at the expense ofthe nation.
With great pomp Sonthonax installed Toussaint as Laveaux's
lieutenant in the military government of Saint Domingue, and
during the ceremony held at Cap Francais he paid him the
'homage due to a dictator.
When Toussaint's enemies saw that he was now in command
of the entire military machine they began to be nervous about
What would happen to the Colony. They knew he would stop
at nothing in the fulfilment of his ambitions, which were now
becoming plain. Much agitated, they sent a message to the
Directory saying that 'too much power has been given to this
man'. But Toussaint himself appeared to feel no pride in his high
office. He had always been a modest man, and could also feign
modesty if necessary. Surrounded by his officers glittering in

gold braid, the simplicity of his appearance was striking. His
unadorned uniform, his victories, and his amnesties to political
opponents later drew from Chateaubriand the line 'The white
Napoleon, aping and killing the black'.* Sonthonax expressed his
admiration for Toussaint's asceticism in the following terms:
'All the Negroes compete for positions of rank and authority so
as to have plenty of rum, money, fine clothes, and women.
Toussaint is the only one of them who has an intelligent, rational
ambition, and has a love for real glory.'
The Negro general now had one objective: to be left in sole
command of the military forces. He wanted even Laveaux to
leave the Colony-Laveaux, who had been the principal instru-
ment in his ascent to power. The longing for supreme authority
spurred his ambition, for only if he possessed it could he realize
his dream. He believed that he was an exceptional being, a man
born to fulfil an historic mission in accordance with a Divine
I decree.
S He devoted the closing months of 1796 to unravelling the
tangled threads of the colonial administration. After the ceremony
at Cap Francais he accompanied Sonthonax and Julien Raymond
to Gonaives. He was anxious to enrich the colonial treasury,
impoverished after three years of the British blockade. First, he
issued a number of proclamations declaring the ports of Saint
Domingue open again to neutral shipping. One of the proclama-
tions stated that merchants who bought manufactured articles or
raw materials from abroad must pay for such purchases in kind,
so as to maintain the level of currency in the Colony. Ships from
all over Europe, and a few flying the American flag, began trading
again with Saint Domingue, and gradually the finances of the
.Colony began to recover.
J Toussaint also introduced a system of tax payments on con-
fiscated property, the rents paid being adjusted to the productivity
of the plantations. In the Artibonite and northern regions, the
sugar-mills had resumed their former activity. Sonthonax and
Raymond were amazed at the discipline which reigned there,
and were highly impressed by the excellence of the new roads
and the good condition of the old ones.
The classes which had formerly exploited their less fortunate
fellows were now almost resigned to the victories of the prole-
*'Le Napoleon blanc imitant et tuatt le Napoleon noir.' Chateaubriand,
Memories d'Outre-Tombe.

tariat. When a great landowner, the Marquis de Grandmaison,
congratulated Toussaint on the results he had obtained, he
replied: 'I would not wish, sir, to be taken for an African savage;
I am as capable as white men are of turning Saint Domingue's s
resources to good advantage. The Negroes' freedom can only be
consolidated by means of agricultural prosperity.'
Toussaint was now on the threshold of the third phase of his
career. He had already achievements to his credit in many fields
-political, economic, and social. He was a general of the French
army, and virtually Military Governor of Saint Domingue. It is
necessary to realize what these distinctions, conferred on a former
slave, meant in a colonial society based on slavery and colour
castes: how staggering they must have appeared not only to the
white men and the mulattoes, but even more to the Negroes,
most of whom had come to believe that their racial inferiority
was right and inevitable. His name was now famous throughout
the land, and in the evenings the Negroes would speak of him
with hope and pride, with a dawning realization of the greatness
of his mission, the mission of one of their race. The whites and
mulattoes, in tones of mingled fear and admiration, asked each
other: 'Where is he making for What does he really want '
These were urgent questions; the answer None could give it.
In the scale of human values, was Toussaint a freed slave or a
conscious liberator ? Did he work according to calculations or by
instinct? Was he a systematic doctrinaire or merely an oppor-
tunist; an ordinary ambitious man or a disinterested reformer
Was he more cruel than magnanimous, more hypocritical than
sincere, more slapdash than painstaking ? We can only judge him
by his acts.
It was always natural to him in achieving his aims to follow a
double course, and his acts betray at the same time the joint
imprint of good and evil. His whole adventure was a mixture of
frankness and deceit, cruelty and kindness, temerity and prudence.
Dedicated entirely to his dream of thrg Ncgwes, he
paid no heed to the propriety of the means he employed: even
crime seemed to him legitimate when it was for this purpose.
All his plans had first to pass through the filter of his exacting,
logical mind. In emergencies, however, he acted first and reasoned
afterwards. To everything he applied his own standards, and thus
no one could ever persuade him to change his mind. In politics,
religion, administration, and the conduct of war, he was com-

pletely independent, fortified by rigid beliefs which he never
willingly abandoned. He loved power, but he was convinced that
only by exercising power could he confer benefits on other men.
Public honours scarcely interested him. No autocrat was ever
more indifferent to the plaudits of the people. With a spirit that
never ceased to strive towards perfection, Toussaint sought
constantly to be himself the proof of Negro perfectibility.
Hence no temporary satisfaction could ever appease him and his
triumphs in peace, as in war, left him dissatisfied.
Intuitive to the point of divination and intelligent to the point
of prescience, for him politics sprang from a higher will which
intervened in human life. When he had done his best to face all
possible contingencies, he would religiously minimize man's part
in history. He was convinced of the direct participation of God in /
human affairs, as he proclaimed to the Negroes in a moment of
joy at the realization of his dream: 'Having seen the chains which
held you for so long fall from offyou; having recovered all your
rights as men, you have, in the intoxication of your joy, attributed
this change in fortune to the actions of men alone. But this is
wrong: realize your error, and believe that it is God alone who
has ordained and wrought this Revolution, so that He may set
you free from the shameful yoke put upon you by your fellow
men. It is His beneficence and His justice which have made you
into human beings again. Learn truly to fulfil your duties to Him
as well as to the society of which you at last form a part.'
Toussaint sought to set the Negroes free through work, law
and order, and moral and material well-being-all in conformity
with a religious discipline. He fought against any looseness in
morals: in customs, amusements, and even in the style of clothing
worn by women. There were times, indeed, when his behaviour
smacked of hypocrisy, and with his love of sermonizing he gave
the impression of a Negro preacher dressed up as a general. Like
many dictators, he appears to have regretted sometimes that he
could not play a religious as well as a temporal role.
Since Toussaint took an extremely pessimistic view of man's
natural inclinations, particularly those of the Negro, he believed
that abiding law and order could be achieved only by the imposi-
tion of restrictions and prohibitions. His whole conception of
government was based on the doctrine of original sin and on the
evil instincts inherent in every human being. No man could have\
had less sympathy with the prevalent theories of Rousseau. If the

Negro was to take his rightful place in the world, it was needful,
in Toussaint's view, to establish an intelligent control over his
activities and to build up a social hierarchy on the basis of talent,
efficiency at work, and a moral way of life. It was as though he
sought to convert Saint Domingue into one huge factory, run
on monastic lines, in which the inhabitants' only joy and relaxa-
tion was to be found in work.
Two main influences were mingled in Toussaint from which
his political system and his moral code had evolved. In the first
place there was the blood of his father, Gaouguinou, a native
African prince, from whom he inhi<ed his conception of state-
craft, curbing all opposition by subtle or brutal means; secondly,
there was the contact he had made with the Jisits, from whom
he had acquired his taste for asceticism and learned the value of
religious precepts, which he now sought to convert into political
laws. His famous Code du Travail was inspired by his belief that
there was a conflict between the needs of the State and the desires
of its citizens. The same principle also gave rise to his declarations
on behaviour, marriage, and religion.
In politics Toussaint was not a good man, but he endeavoured
to achieve goodness. He was capable of acts of great generosity,
but he would also commit the blackest crimes if anyone opposed
him or if he thought that an individual or group threatened the
success of his labours. One of his weaknesses was his unbounded /
confidence in his own infallibility, and this led him eventually to
despise other men's intelligence. He had overthrown his adver-
saries and triumphed so completely over circumstance that in the
end he really believed himself to be superhuman.
Toussaint's personality was not attractive-indeed, there was
something almost repellent about it-but there was undoubtedly
a grandeur in his titanic struggle to raise up a whole stratum of
mankind, brought low through three hundred years of slavery.
He forged a nation out of his spiritual torment; and the fact that
he did so may be held to justify all his crimes and shortcomings./
As a young slave he had secretly cherished the idea of rising with
his fellows to a completely new level oflife; in the pose he adopted
at Brd&a there was a certain heroism in his ability to hope when
there appeared to be nothing to hope for.
Although his medium height, narrow chest, and thin bones
gave Toussaint the appearance ofa weakling, he had the suppleness
of a well-tempered sword. His lean build was that of the athlete,

accustomed to riding, walking, and hill-climbing. No one could
behold his magnetic glance without being fascinated. The admir-
able portrait by a miniaturist of the time shows Toussaint wearing
the light blue uniform of a general, its braided collar leaving a
glimpse of lace at the neck. The expression on his face is one of
cold-blooded ambition. It is a face of triumph, in which we may
read a fanatical determination to reach his goal by any means.

SHE mulatto generals were exasperated and mortified by /
the honours showered on Toussaint by Sonthonax and
the Directory. Rigaud, whose unswerving loyalty to the
Republic had been ignored in the heat of the enthusiasm for the
Negro leader, had reason to be particularly resentful. Quite apart
from his personal vanity, Rigaud felt a sense of frustration at
being deprived of his share of the glory and awards which were
being handed out. To show his disapproval of Sonthonax,
Rigaud suddenly raised the siege of Port au Prince, and withdrew
to his headquarters in high dudgeon. All the disgruntled mulattoes /
rallied to his standard, and it was not long before they were fan-
ning the flames of insurrection throughout the south and west.
With the object of restoring order, Sonthonax appointed
Leborgne, Rey, and Arnaud de Pietry as his representatives in
the zone, and instructed General Kerverseau to take over the
military command there. But Rigaud refused to recognize the
civil and military powers of the delegation.
The predominance of the mulattoes was the principal charac-
teristic of the south, and all the important civil, municipal, and
military posts were filled by them. They took possession of all
confiscated estates and plantations, and paid no taxes on such
property. Rigaud's army of eight thousand Negroes was com-
manded entirely by mulattoes, Negroes not being promoted
beyond the rank of captain. The majority of the factory and
plantation workers received little or no pay, despite the solemn
proclamation of freedom. Sonthonax's representatives found that
'nine hundred men were languishing in the prisons, accused of
various offences; among these there were only two mulattoes,
the remaining eight hundred and ninety-eight being white men
and Negroes'.
Sonthonax had sent his representatives to promote equality and
justice; and when the delegation found itself blocked by Rigaud's
obstructionist tactics it asked the Commission for troops.
Desfourneaux, who had been sent to convey this request to
Sonthonax, was soon back at Cayes with the Artois and Nor-
mandy regiments, whereupon Rigaud agreed to allow the delega-

tion to carry out its reforms. The delegates set to work on July
30, 1796. They began with the municipal government, which
they changed completely by the introduction of new officials.
The various estates were shared out among those farmers who
were prepared to pay an appropriate rent to the Government.
The white men were authorized to form a National Guard, and
they were granted various civil, municipal, and administrative
posts. The delegation also ordered the immediate destruction of
all the jails and cells in which the landowners and farmers were in
the habit of imprisoning recalcitrant labourers, and at the same
time they prohibited bodily torture and the use of chains.
The mulatto minority protested indignantly at these reforms.
The freed men had no intention of being stripped of all their /
privileges without putting up a fight, and on August 28 rebellion
broke out. Groups of mulattoes took possession of all the strategic
points in the city, and ran through the streets ejaculating: 'Down
with Sonthonax! Our liberty is in peril!' Meanwhile, some
Negroes from the Cayes plain swept into the city at several
points, and the usual pillaging and slaughtering ensued. Sixty
white men and a few Negroes were killed in the rioting. /
The events which led up to the rising, and those which fol- j
lowed, all tend to show that General Rigaud was the man behind
it. His feelings were particularly bitter towards Leborgne, for
this delegate, by paying a higher price, had stolen from Rigaud
one of his mistresses. According to Bonnet the rising was purely
'the revenge of certain hot-headed citizens'; but this statement
cannot be sustained in the face of the great influence which
Rigaud exercised on his fellow mulattoes. The delegates, however, I
found themselves obliged to reinstate Rigaud to pacify the region.
In a proclamation they emphasized 'that in the present circum-
stances they were powerless to act themselves'.
As if by magic, calm was instantly restored throughout the J
whole region. Rigaud, calling on the citizens to return to their
normal law-abiding way of life, declared that he had taken over
the reins of government until the complete re-establishment of
peace permitted him to "conform to the requirements of the
Constitution. He was, of course, appointing himself dictator,
which had been the object of the whole rising.
General Beauvais was much disheartened by the excesses
practised by his fellow mulattoes. Before returning to Jacmel on
August 20 he had a stormy interview with Rigaud, to whom he

exclaimed: 'Up till now our cause has been a good one and just
one, but now we are pursued by shame, and the French will
never be able to look on us again without a shudder of horror.'
The incident does much to explain the attitude which Beauvais
was to adopt in the fratricidal war which later tore the south
asunder. When Toussaint Louverture was hunting down Rigaud
and the other mulatto leaders Beauvais would not lift a finger to
help them. Deaf to their appeals, he preferred to disappear rather
than take sides with their cause.
Kerverseau and Leborgne, now devoid of any authority, lived
in constant fear that Rigaud's friends might try to kill them. The
time indeed came when Rigaud, tired of seeing them about the
place, ordered them to leave at once, and they sailed for Santo
Domingo, where Roume de Saint Laurent had established him-
self. Rigaud sent two envoys with the Frenchmen to explain to
Roume, whom he sought to win to his side, the reasons which
had led him to act as he had done. Commissioner Roume,
however, not only refused to receive the envoys, but also
returned Rigaud's letters to him unopened.
As soon as Leborgne and Kerverseau were safely on board their
ship, Rigaud issued a proclamation cancelling all the reforms the
two Frenchmen had instituted. All the officials they had appointed
were dismissed and followers of Rigaud's installed in their places.
Throughout the south the mulattoes, indifferent to the fate of the
Negroes, resumeJiEr life of ease again, while the former slaves
bent their backs over the soil once more, toiling to provide new
delights for the mulattoes.
Despite this, Toussaint displayed remarkable self-controL Al-
though he made a careful mental note of the injustice with which
the mulattoes in the south were treating the Negroes, he did
not allow a trace of indignation to appear. Toussaint had been
hoping that Sonthonax would send him to Cayes to restore
order, but the Commissioners had not supported the proposal.
Toussaint believed that the resentment of Rigaud and his partisans
was directed against Sonthonax personally, and that, therefore, if
the latter were to empower any of his immediate entourage to
take over in the south, the hostility felt towards Sonthonax would
automatically be transferred to his personal representative.
Toussaint, on the other hand, thought that he would be fully
capable of winning the confidence of the mulattoes; this at least
was the impression he sought to give Sonthonax. His real idea,

however, was that if he were appointed arbiter in the dispute, he
would have an opportunity to control the southern region and
curb the authority of Rigaud. Such a scheme was in accord with
his ambitions; moreover, Rigaud, noticing that Toussaint was
keeping aloof from the whole affair, had sent a representative to
give him a full account of the course of events, and to warn him
against believing the slanderous tale-bearers who 'would no doubt
tell him that the mulattoes were nothing but thieves and robbers
pretending to be philanthropists'.
So far Toussaint had had no particular disagreement with
Rigaud; on the contrary, the relations between the two men were
quite cordial. On taking over his new appointment in the
Colonial Government Toussaint had even, by flattering letters,
sought to mollify Rigaud and make him forget his promotion.
But Rigaud, being considerably piqued at his rival's advancement,
had coldly rejected Toussaint's olive branch and cut himself off
in haughty isolation. No doubt it was this attitude which decided
the Negro general to deal with him as he had dealt with Villatte.
On December I3, 1796, the Civil Commission issued a procla-
mation on the whole history of the Cayes revolt. The reason
underlying the incident was declared to be the same as that of
Ventose 30, of which 'it was the continuation'. Sonthonax
contemptuously rejected the mulatto minority's accusation that
he 'had conspired with the object of proscribing or killing the
entire mulatto class', and went out of his way to stress the patience cAo
and tolerance he had shown in his dealings with them. He added
that he was fully entitled to punish Villatte and his accomplices
himself, but, not wishing to be accused of partiality, he had sent
the guilty men to France to speak for themselves. He also decreed /
that Andr6 Rigaud, Duval, Monville, Salomon, Lefranc, and
Pinchinat, the ringleaders of the Cayes rising, were to go to
France to be judged there.
This proclamation was duly communicated to Rigaud. Losing
his self-control, he publicly threatened all the members of the
Commission, and Sonthonax in particular. All the copies of the
proclamation which had been sent to Cayes were, on Rigaud's
instructions, taken to his office. There he had them made up into
a huge roll, which he tied on to the tail of a donkey. The animal
was then led through the streets of the town to the jeers and
laughter of the populace.
This demonstration of childish anger not only revealed Rigaud's

flippancy; it also showed how little importance he attached to the
Commission's condemnation. Rigaud knew that he could do
what he liked at Cayes with complete impunity, since the in-
creasing threat of another English offensive prevented Sonthonax
from diverting troops from the vital theatre of operations.
While these unfortunate events were taking place Toussaint
was busy trying to manoeuvre Laveaux out of Saint Domingue.
But Toussaint had a great affection for Laveaux, to whom,
principally, he owed his high position of authority in Saint
Domingue. No other white man had done so much for him or
was closer to his heart. Nevertheless, Toussaint was determined
that Laveaux must leave the Colony, if necessary by force.
The Constitution of the Year I (August 22, 1795) had allotted
to the Colony seven seats in the Council of Elders (Conseil des
Anciens) and the Council of Five Hundred. Toussaint took advan-
tage of this to get Laveaux into the Legislative Assembly and so
be rid of him. Thus, on August 17, 1796, he wrote him a letter
bearing the superscription 'For your attention only'. This was the
letter: 'My dear General, my father, and my very good friend.
Since I foresee, unhappily, that you may have to suffer grievous
privations in this wretched land of ours for which you have
sacrificed your life, your wife, and children, and since I would not
wish to witness such a sorry spectacle, I would very much like
to see you named as one of our Deputies, which would enable
you to have the joy of seeing once more your real fatherland, and
permit you to rest secure from the troubles which are brewing
here in Saint Domingue. Both I and my brethren, moreover,
would know that we had in you one of the most ardent of
defenders. It is true, my dear General, my dear benefactor and
father, that France has many sons-but who would be such a
true friend of the Negroes as you yourself? Citizen Lacroix is the
bearer of this letter: he is my friend and he is yours. He will tell
you that it is essential that we should meet and talk together. I
have so much to tell you! I embrace you a thousand times and
beg you to rest assured that should my earnest wishes and desires
be fulfilled you will have in Saint Domingue the most sincere
friend that there has ever been. Your son and faithful friend,
Toussaint Louverture.'
This letter is quite indefensible when we consider the motive
underlying its cordial phrases. With supreme hypocrisy Toussaint
makes a weapon of the noblest of all human sentiments, friend-

ship, in order to grasp the little remaining power not already in
his hands.
Some of Toussaint's panegyrists-Victor Shoelcher particularly
-have refused to consider Laveaux's election to the Council of
Elders as a ruse of Toussaint's to rid himself of the Frenchman,
although this opinion was current at the time of the event.
Shoelcher holds that Laveaux was elected to the Council as an
expression of gratitude; but such a view merely reveals an
imperfect understanding of Toussaint's psychology. Toussaint's
later actions, and an examination of his character, all prove that
this election was by no means the gift ofa candid and disinterested
One wonders whether Laveaux was taken in by Toussaint's
fine words, or whether he saw the unspoken threat behind the
generous invitation. However this may be, Toussaint played his
cards so effectively that his benefactor continued on the friendliest
terms with him. The two men therefore met, as Toussaint had
suggested, and Laveaux acquiesced.
The Negro leader now killed two birds with one stone, for
Sonthonax had been angling for the honour of being a Deputy
for Saint Domingue. Sonthonax was a pure demagogue and
throve on popularity: he lost no time in telling Toussaint what he
wanted, and the latter promptly offered to arrange matters for
him. Had the Commissioner been able to see what was going on
in Toussaint's head, he would certainly have backed out. For by
telling Toussaint his wish he was providing the Negro with a
trump card which was later to be played ruthlessly.
In due course the election was held, and nobody was foolish
enough to oppose the candidates nominated by Toussaint. His
agents went from place to place with his instructions; and, at a
meeting held in Haut du Cap, General Pierre Michel went so far
as to announce that if Laveaux and Sonthonax were not elected
'he would burn down Cap Frangais'. Naturally, all Toussaint's
nominees came through with flying colours: Laveaux and
Brother were elected to the Council of Elders, Thomacy,
Sonthonax, Periniaud, and Boisrond to the Council of Five
Laveaux sailed for France on October 13, 1796, and before he
went on board the two friends embraced, made solemn vows of
friendship, and wept unrestrainedly. When his ship called at Vigo
on December 8 Laveaux sent off a letter to Toussaint: 'As much


as it has grieved me to have to leave you, whom I regard as my
dearest friend, so much shall I now enjoy the pleasure of writing
to you... .' There follow many effusive expressions of friendship.
In his reply Toussaint was not less affectionate. 'How happy I
would be', he wrote, 'to be beside you, to seize you in my arms
and embrace you a thousand times over. Your many acts of kind-
ness towards me have forged me to you with bonds of gratitude
and tender respect. I shall never cease to tell you that to me you
are an affectionate friend, a respected and honoured father, and
that your kindness is so deeply engraved upon my heart that I shall
cease to think of it only with my death.'
And now, taking advantage of the flattering Decree published
in his favour by the Directory, Toussaint sent his two children,
Isaac and Placide, aged fourteen and sixteen respectively, to be
educated in France at the expense of the State. They were sent to
the College of La Flche, where they were well treated by the
French authorities. At this stage in his life Toussaint gave the
impression~ ein a man who was devoted body and soul r
France. It was only w en e power passed to Napoleon,
whose attitude to slavery he suspected, that he was induced to act
in defiance of French sovereignty in Saint Domingue. Toussaint
was to be caught up in the machinery of his own power; and then
he became the victim of his destiny.


IN February I797 Toussaint launched a full-scale attack against
the English in the Mirebalais area. After two months' campaign
his army finally took Mirebalais itself, the English army fleeing
in disorder to Port au Prince.
Sonthonax, who frankly supported the Negroes, made use of
this victory to place the military leadership in their hands by /
appointing Toussaint commander-in-chief of the whole Colony.
Toussaint had already calculated that once Laveaux was out of the
way the succession would naturally pass to him; and it was only
after he had disposed of Laveaux that he made his superhuman
effort and reconquered Mirebalais. Inevitably this brought in its
train the command of the whole army in Saint Domingue; for
who would dream of sending out a superior officer after so great
an achievement e Sonthonax invited the conqueror to Cap Fran-
Sais, and on May 2, 1797, he was ceremonially installed in the
place of Laveaux.
After the pomp and ceremony of his installation, Toussaint
abruptly returned to his estate at Ennery, without even taking
leave of Sonthonax. The triumph had left him unmoved, and
there is no doubt that he was displeased with his colleagues. There
was something in his long silences to suggest that a plan was form-
ing in his mind. He resumed his campaign against the English, but
without his accustomed vigour, being content to leave the enemy /
in relative peace. What, then, had come over Toussaint and
brought this heavy mood upon him
Quite apart from his autocratic outlook, which inclined him to
rid himself of any person whose authority was above or equal to /
his own, there was, between Toussaint and Sonthonax, a funda-/
mental incompatibility of character. The Commissioner's whole
moral and political attitude offended Toussaint, the advocate of
law and order, the intolerant Catholic.
The Commissioner's anarchical principles, his squandering of
money, his atheism, his coarse speech, and his dissolute habits
were in striking contrast to the moral and political austerity
practised by Toussaint.
Sonthonax took the view that the masses should have and