This volume was donated to LLMC to enrich its on-tine offerings and
for purposes of long-term preservation by
THE HERO OF SAINT DOMINGO,
SOLDIER, STATESMAN, MARTYR;
TRIUMPH, INDEPENDENCE, AND ACHIEVEMENTS.
BY REV. C. W. MOSSELL, A. M., B. D.
L cxKP r, lN. Y.:
WARD & COBB.
C. W. MOSSELL ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
This book is dedicated to the good and brave people of the United States, who in any way have contributed to the preservation of the Union and the abolition of slavery; and who in the future by their votes and every other legitimate method, will seek to perpetuate free institutions and bequeath to posterity a government of the people and for the people ; in which every citizen shall remain equal before the law, and secure in all his rights. In this relation it affords no ordinary pleasure to mention the name of judge Albion W. Tourgee, who is doing his whole duty in creating a wholesome public opinion, without which the hopes and sentiment herein expressed cannot be realized.
NoT.-The authority upon which this work is based is four fold: Unpublished official documents, historic and secret letters of the L'Ouverture family, contemporary history, and current Haytien tradition. For the two former sources of rare information we are indebted to Gragnon-Lacoste, member of the Academy of Science, Belle-Lettres, Art of Bordeaux; so also a member of the Legislative Academy of Toulouse, one of the commission appointed on historic monuments and the author of several works on Saint Domingo.
Hayti, as its name signifies, is a country full of mountains. It is not, however, to be inferred that it is not rich in plains and valleys of inexhaustable fertility, nor that the mountains are not productive even to their summits. Indeed it would be difficult to find a country more abundant in all those qualities of nature and soil calculated as developed in richness, character and quantity of production, to make a people independent and wealthy, Hayti is, too, a country of wondrous beauty. Her landscapes, no less than her matchless skies, charm and delight one, and it is no mistake to call this island the Queen of the Antilles. But the chief glory of Hayti, that which gives her name and place among even the most advanced nations of the world, is her brave defense and triumph in behalf of human freedom. There is n~o spot in the 28,000 square miles, which compose her territory, which has not been made even richer by the blood spilled thereon as it flowed from the veins of some brave son, wounded and dying for liberty.
The most remarkable fact connected with any people's history, of which the world has knowledge, distinguishes the life of the former slaves of this island. The history of the world outside of Hayti furnishes no record of a slave class asserting its right to freedom as against their masters, and maintaining such assertion through all the stages of personal liberty and national independence and sovereignty. The honor and glory of self-emancipation, crowned with the final consummation of national masterhood, belong only to the Haytian slave, who was led to his victory by the matchless, indomitable heroes, L'Ouverturc and Dessalines. There is nothing pertaining to
& & I Vill.
such a people, their past history and present condition,. their prospective progress and prowess, which may not justly command the attention and consideration of mankind, and every effort to make fully and correctly known the true character and hope of such a people, should be recognized as a special and useful service done the world. How can one better serve his race than in making known the virtues of a brave people, whose examples in deeds and sacrifices to advance individual and popular welfare, furnishes a light by which the conduct of others who struggle for freedom, for just recognition, may be guided ? And how can this be done more successfully than in the portraiture of the character and deeds of the person who by presence and word animated and controlled such people ? Indeed, Toussaint L'Ouverture is the strong, steady mirror which reflects nobility and power of Haytian character. Too much cannotbe said of him. He deserves the applause of the world.
A work at this time, after eighty-six years of national freedom and independence, as secured to Hayti through the struggles of Toussaint and Dessalines, and sustained through the efforts of Boyer and Petion as the exemplars of the later leaders and statesmen, Soulouque, Jeffrard, SaInave and Solomon, not to mention others, must be welcome as a valuable contribution to the world's literature upon a subject full of interest and importance. Especially must this prove to be true if such work be written by one whose impartiality of conviction and learning, inspired and supported by actual observation of the people and the country, their character, habits and life, in daily intimate social, educational and religious association with them at their own homes, in their own cities, upon their own plantations, in their own schools and colleges, in their own churches and cathedrals, in their own courts of justice, their legislative assemblies and their marts of trade and commerce. Then add the ability still, after large observation of them from such standpoints, connected with their
divers revolutionary movements, as to be able and ready to do them, in such respect, simple justice, and one is fitted for the task of impartial and just authorship in their case. The author of this book, an American by birth, education and habits of correct study, reflection and conclusion comes to his work fully and fitly prepared.
The Rev. Charles W. M ' ossell, a missionary of the African Methodist Episcopal church, of long residence on the island of Hayti, enjoying while there large social, general contact and observation, is the author of this book. Every page of it will be found full of interest, instinct with historical and personal reminiscence, as well as learned in philosophical comment and conclusion. It is commended therefore to the careful, appreciative consideration of the public.
JOHN MERCER LANGSTON, LL. D. Petersburg, Va., July :z6th, 18go.
The island of Hayti, with the exception of Cuba, is the largest of the West Indies group, and is situated at the entrance of the Gulf of Mexico, between 170 37' and 200 north latitude, and between 680 20' and 740 28' west longitude. It has a territory as extensive as that of Ireland. The extreme western point is Cape Tiburon. The extreme eastern, Cape Engano. Its greatest length is 407 miles, and its greatest width is i6o miles. From Cuba the distance is 70 miles and from Jamaica 130 miles. Puerto Rico is 60 miles east, and from the United States to Hayti the distance is 1200 miles. The population of the whole island, which is occupied by the two republics, Haytian and Dominican, may be estimated at twelve hundred thousand; of these, 800,000 are found within the limits of the Haytian republic. This beautiful island, which presents such a varied aspect, elevated and mountainous, is very properly characterized by the name of Hayti, which was given to it by the aborigines. Their ancient traditions bring to light two other names, and the significance of both depends upon the point of view from which the territory is considered. Quisqueya was the name applied to the eastern section, the interpretation of which is, extensive territory. Bohio was the name applied to the western section and signified the territory where there are many valleys. In the time of the aborigines Hayti was divided into five kingdoms, LaGua, LeMarien, LeXaragua, LeMaguana, LeHiquey, governed by Kaciks, hereditary chiefs, who had under them as tribal and vassels the Nitaynos, or governors of provinces. When Christopher Columbus, after having touched at Cuba, discovered
the island of Hayti, December 6th, 1492, finding between it and parts of Spain a striking resemblance, he gave to it the name of Hispanola-Little Spain. He wrote to Ferdinand and Isabella: "Hispanola is a marvel." Recently one of Hayti's poets, M. Charles Villevalaix, charge d'affaires d' Hayti, at London, has saluted Hayti in a charming manner, as the island nestled among the evergreen and as the amiable daughter of the waves. And later still he has spoken of the fascinating odor of the foliage, of the variegated hues of the fish which swarm the waters and of the unequalled lustre of the moonlight nights. Had I not visited the country I would not attempt to describe it, but even now after having resided there a number of years, I hesitate. My best effort to convey correct impressions as to what the island really is must necessarily give a very faint idea of the beauty of her landscapes. I shall faithfully perform my task without even hoping to produce a good imitation of the original. The reader is invited to assist by his imagination. Picture to yourself an island green as an emerald, surrounded by and elevated above a sea as blue as indigo, and whose sides are indented with a number of beautiful bays, upon the silver sands of which the waves exhaust their force and subside. The artist who will prove most successful in' throwing this tropical picture upon the canvas must be the one who understands best how to blend the opal of the sky, the verdure of the hills, and the indescribable blue of the ocean, which modifying each other, throw a soft halo of glory over the landscape. The interior of Hayti, like the interior of Cuba, is crowded with rough mountain chains, which differ very much in construction, are unequal in height and which extend in all directions. Between these mountain ranges are plains; the more extensive resemble the prairies of the United States, the less extensive the dales of Europe. Cultivation in these plains reminds one of the famous garden of Hesperides, so exuberant is the growth of the orange tree and the mango tree, covered with golden
fruit ; so prolific are the banana trees and the fig trees, whose' branches are burdened with delicious fruit. Beside this nutritious food, we find growing in great profusion on these fertile lands the palm tree, the cocoa tree, the coffee tree, the cotton tree, and sugar cane. In Hayti nature seems to have been prodigal in the distribution of her blessings. She has given without calculation, and the result is Paradise. Nevertheless this garden spot of the world has been the theatre of horrible scenes; the stage upon which has been enacted dramas almost too awful to be mentioned, which prove, however, the strength and weakness of human nature. The soil of Hayti has been moistened with blood from the summit of the highest mountain to the seaboard. Soon after the discovery of the island the search for gold attracted to it large numbers of colonists. They divided among themselves the native population. These avaricious masters forced them to work the mines. In a very short time the nature of the labor they were called upon to perform and the hardships they endured led to the extermination of the native population. In fifteen years there was a decrease of x,ooo,ooo. The Spanish emigrants soon repaired this loss by bringing in Africans, supplied by the Portugese, who at that time occupied themselves with the slave trade. Aerrera, who claimed to be an authority, said that one negro would do more work than four Indians. It is worthy of remark that more gold was dug out of the mines of Hayti than is now in circulation in Europe. In 1630, a number of French adventurers were expelled by the Spanish admiral, Frederick de Tolede, from St. Christophe, which place they had taken possession of five years before, under the leadership of Niel d' Enambuc of Dieppe. They sought refuge on the western side of Hayti, but fearing they would be disturbed there they abandoned their refuge and shortly afterward established themselves at La Tortue. They now asked for the protection of the Metropolis. In 1640, the govprnor of the Frenqli Islands in Aiperica seqt to take charge of
them Levasseur. This man, who was always so fortunate in his contact with the Spanish, was shot by Willis, chief of the English buccaneers. After the death of Levasseur, his lieutenant, Rausset, became his successor, and gathering around him 500 men at Port Margot, recaptured La Tortue, of which he was first proclaimed governor, then afterward proprietor. Called to France to render an account of his administration, Rausset was shut up in the Bastile. From this prison he was not permitted to emerge until the i5th of November, 1664, after he had conceded his rights in La Tortue to the West Indes Company. The company, in order to take possession of the island in its own name, made choice of Birtrand d'Orgeron, who had resided in the new world for eight years. His administration was very satisfactory, but he died in 1675. His successor was De Pounancey, his nephew, who moved the seat of government to Cape Francais. He died in 1682, and his place was filled the following year by M. de Cussy, who was charged to organize the government of Saint Domingo after the system in vogue at Martinique. At the same period M. de St. Laurent and M. Degon established at Petit-Goave a supreme court, from which place it was afterward transferred to Leogane. This was the tribunal of final resort. They established also four imperial courts, at Petit-Goave, Leogane, Port de Paix and at Cape Francais. To the end that he might maintain order through his administration, not always peaceable, the new governor sent an expedition to Mexico, which returned with rich spoils. After that he took from the Spaniards San Yago. It is proper to say, however, that attacked by the enemy the following year, he was defeated and shot on the plains of Limonade. The victorious Spanish taking possession of the Cape burned it. Le Ducasse, who was sent in October, I691, to occupy the position made vacant by the death of de Cussy, found the colony in a deplorable condition. In 1695, he had to sustain a war both against the English and the Spanish, who pillaged the Cape and Port de Paix in order
to avenge the loss Of 3,000 slaves which they had taken the year previous on the coasts of Jamaica. It was not until 1697, by virtue of the treaty of Ryswyk, that an end was put to these savage contentions. Louis XIV. obtained, under the treaty mentioned, from the King of Spain, Charles II., the cession of all the western part of the island, which for forty years belonged to the French by virtue of conquest. The section of country around Cape Beata was sparsely settled indeed. One might travel the country to the extent of 1 50 miles and not find ioo inhabitants. The Marquis de Signaley granted it, in 1698, for thirty years, to the company called St. Louis, which placed itself under obligation to transport in the course of five. years, i,500 whites and 2,000 negroes. This company made poor use of its privilege and was ruined by the extravagance of its agents. Ducase was made commander of the navy, in 1703. His successor in office was M. Anger, a native of Guadaloupe. Up to this time the civil and military power exercised by the governor, was placed in the hands of a commission. These two administrators, under whom the colony prospered, died in 17o6. The former was replaced by Count de Choisell-Beaupre and the later by M. J. J. Methon de Senneville, who received the title of Minister of justice and of Finance, and who occupied the position for nearly four years. The following named gentlemen were his successors in office: de Gabaret, Count d' Arquin, Charles de Blenac, de Chateau, Morand, Le Marquis de Sorrel. Under the government of the last mentioned official, during the year 1722, complaints against the Indies Company were frequently made. This company had a monopoly of the slave trade, but it did not furnish enough Africans to do in a profitable manner the extensive cultivation projected by the planters. In consequence of which they took up arms. They burned the houses of the company and laid violent hands on the Governor, whom they forced to agree with them. This revolt did not subside until the privileges enjoyed by the company were abolished by the
treaty of Leogane. Two years later great distress prevailed throughout the colony, caused by an earthquake which lasted fifteen days. During these days of tribulation Port au Prince was demolished. De Nolivos was governor at this time. His successor in office was the Count d' Ennery, to whom the colony was indebted for the convention, the object of which was to settle the boundary question, and which did, in 17'78, definitely fix the frontier line between the two possessions. It is worthy of remark that while the Spanish settlement declined, the French colony, although more recently established, seemed to take on new vigor every year. It was at this epoch that the greatest splendor of the French colony clearly manifested itself. The Haytian historian, in his work entitled, "Petion and Hayti," writes that one cannot imagine a more beautiful spectacle than the cultivation of the soil as conducted in this island, which he was pleased to call the Queen of the Antilles. At the time of which Moreau d' SaintRemy writes, "there were established in Hayti 792 sugar refineries, 2,810 coffee plantations, 3,097 indigo manufactories, and 705 cotton factories in full operation. 'The exports amounted to sixty-four millions, three hundred and thirty thousand dollars annually; the imports were a trifle in excess of the exports. One thousand four hundred vessels were required annually to carry the cargoes shipped from the ports of Hayti."
There is nothing more interesting in a country than its population. Between the colonists and the slaves there grew an intermediate class, which was composed of what was known as the Aifranchis. This class muliplied as rapidly by marriages among themselves as they did by the marriages which they contracted with the whites. In 1789, the number of slaves on the island was estimated at 500,000 the class known as the Aifranchis at 300,000, and the colonists at 40,000, and these 40,000 were responsible for the painful, oppression, the degrading servitude endured by a multitude
numerically speaking twelve times greater. As for the Affranchis, they were not permitted to exercise any political rights. As a result of the presentation of their grievances, which were urged by the society known as the Friends of the Blacks, organized at Paris, 1787, and which numbered among its members Brissot, Gregoire, Mirabeau, Lafayettet Petion, Robespierre, in harmony with Barnave's proposition, appeared the decree of the 28th of March, 1790. The colonists not only became irritated when they saw the Affranchis, by virtue of said decree, permitted to exercise political rights, but positively refused to submit thereto. Vincent Oge, who represented at Paris the Affranchis, allowing himself to be deceived by the pretended friendship of the chief of the French navy, aided by the goodness of Clarkson, the English philanthropist, returned to Saint Domingo under the assumed name of Poissac. He tried in vain to reach the Governor, Count de Peinier. After every effort and every measure proving ineffectual, seconded by his friend, J. B. Chavannes, he took up arms at Dondon, and associated with him were 250 men of color. What could this handful of determined men do against 1,500 regular troops, supported by two pieces of artillery, commanded by Colonel Cambefort? Put to flight they sought an asylum, one in the wood of the Grand Riviere, the other in the Spanish part of the island. Oge was arrested at Hincha, Chavannes at San Juan. Rouxelle de Banchelande, who was the successor of Peinier, and who was at the time exercising gubernatorial functions, required their extradition. The Spanish governor, Don Joaquim Garcia, gave them up. The superior court, which convened at the Cape, condemned them and ordered them to be broken upon the wheel. After this painful death, their heads were separated from their bodies; that of Oge was placed upon a pole and set up in the public road which enters Dondon, and that of Chavannes, treated in the same way, appeared in the highway which entered Grand Riviere. In this case, from the blood of the martyrs, there
sprung up, like the teeth of the dragon, a multitude of warriors. A few days intervening and insurgent bands appeared on different habitations. On the 14th of August, 171 they were seen near the Red Bluff, on the habitation of Lenormand de Mazy. The 21 St, they appeared on the habitation Rateau ; the 26th of the same month they were seen on the habitation Diegue, not far from Port au Prince in the west. The revolt once started moved on by virtue of its own momentum. The slaves seized the neck of the vulture which had devoured them through long years and wrung it without remorse, without compunctibon of conscience. They called upon God to witness while they wrought destruction by the torch and indescribable havoc with the machette, more terrible in their hands than the claymore in the hands of the Scotch Highlanders. The chiefs who directed these firebugs, these murderers, these fiends given to pillage, did their awful work in a painfully thorough manner. They were, with a few honorable exceptions, a strange lot of fellows. They were wicked ; they were cruel. Their hearts were stone; their nerves steeled. Beauvais was followed by 300 blacks, which he called ground squirrels. Buckman, of Jamaica, was the chief of 125 negro maroons from the Blue Mountains, and in obedience to his orders these maroons drank the blood of a hog, sacrificed according to the dark rites of the vaudoux-worship. Then there was Martin, the furiopis; Romaine Riviere, a mulatto, who called himself the god-son of the Holy Virgin, and who exercised undefinable influence over the unfortunates who were in the revolution, not so much for the cause of liberty as for the opportunity it afforded them to indulge their inordinate appetites and baser passions. To this list we must add the name of Hallaou, the much dreaded, who carried a charm in the thickest of the conflict, which was said rendered him invulnerable; and we add another name, Biassou, who called himself the viceroy of the conquered territory, and who slid not hesitate to burn in a slow fire the prisoners who fell
into his hands. And again, jean Francois, who was known as general1-in-chief and grand admiral of France, covered himself with laces and crosses and other articles taken from his victims. He inspected his troops, mounted upon a richly harnessed horse, or in a carriage drawn by four chargers. Jeannot, who was perhaps the most ferocious of the insurgents, called himself the avenger of Oge and Chavannes. His standard was the body of a white child fixed to the end of a pike. The entrance to his camp was between two rows of poles and the end of each pole was crowned with the head of one of his white victims. The trees surrounding his camp were provided with hooks from which were suspended by their chins the bodies of the white masters. The prisoners who fell into his hands were placed between boards and sawn asunder. He mingled the blood of his victims with rum and drank it in order to quench his thirst. This list is completed when we add the names of J. J. Dessalines, who was the incarnation of the destructive forces of the revolution; Henry Christophe, a king of the north, who became the Nero of the times, and whose end was like that of the notorious Roman; and finally, Toussaint L'Ouverture, who was in the war not for revenge, but to advance the cause of liberty, who at an early stage in the revolution separated from the insurgents, positively refused in any way to be made responsible for them, who declared that the crimes committed by them were calculated to compromise, rather than help, the cause of freedom, and whose character and reputation, whose life and deeds we have labored faithfully to unfold, in what we have written, and so also in the translation of works which rest upon the very highest authority.
We have named the leaders of the Haytian Spartans who forced Governor-General Blanchelande to fly; who tired the civil commissioners, Roume, St. Leger and Mirbeck, Polverel, Sonthonax, and Ailhaud; who thrashed, at Crate-a-Pierrot, General Leclerc, the brother-in-law of Napoleon Bonaparte;
who routed, at the ridge known as Tranquility, General Panphile de Lacroix, and who humiliated Chambeau-Chambeau, whose guard was a pack of miserable Cuban blood hounds, used for the purpose of hunting down runaway slaves. These terrible warriors, who buried the English in the ;ands of Grande-Anse, Leogane, Archaie, St. Marks, Mole St. Nicholas, and who caused the Spaniards to find premature graves along the ridges of Quanaminthe, Marmelade, Plaisance, Limbe and Borgne, have written their names where they cannot be erased. France, in whose path the disturbance of the peace of Amiens had thrown many difficulties, let go her grip. During this favorable period the insurgents proclaimed, with becoming solemnity, their independence, on the first of January, 1804. This was the first arrow shot from the palm planted by Toussaint L'Ouverture. J. J. Dessalines, elected governor, soon declared himself emperor, under the title of James I. His immoral conduct and impolitic measures alienated the hearts of his partisans. He was murdered at Pont Rouge. A stilletto in the hands of an obscure Brutus was the instrument with which the fatal wounds were inflicted. After the death of Dessalines public gaze fixed itself on Henry Christophe, who had distinguished himself in the revolt against the Metropolis. The important question, especially the question which suggested itself to the more intelligent of the community, was: Will he profit by the example of his predecessor ? Will he amend the course of conduct through which he has already become notorious ? The most anxious were not kept long in suspense. In imitation of Dessalines, he caused himself to be proclaimed king, under the name of Henry I. His was a reign of tcrror, through which massacre followed massacre ; and for this reason his government stood in marked contrast with that which ha~d been established by Petion in the south. Alexandre Petion, wise, just, pacific, spared the blood of his countrymen, and his mild government in the south offered a refuge for those who were fortunate
enongh to escape the tyranny of Christophe. In the death of Petion the country sustained an irreparable loss, and the profound grief which seized the hearts of the people gave ample proof that they were conscious of their misfortune. The successor of Alexandre Petion was Pierre Boyer. The accession of Boyer to power seemed to intensify the wrath of Henry I. He ordered St. Marc, the bulwark of his kingdom, to be put in condition of defence. This order would have without doubt been executed had it not been that he was stricken with apoplexy. The administration of President Boyer was a success. In thirteen months order was established and prosperity everywhere restored. He conquered the Spanish part by force and ingenuity, and made one government out of the two sister republics. For twenty years Hayti had been permitted to hold on in the even tenor of her way without interruption from other nations. All-things considered this was a tacit recognition of the independence of the island. In 1825, after negotiations with France, which covered a long period, the Republic of Hayti obligated herself to pay to the colonists the damage which they sustained in the loss of habitations, thirty million francs in thirty years, and Charles X. added to the instrument, which carried this agreement, an explicit declaration, "France's sanction and recognition of Hayti's autonomy." Here we give the rulers of Hayti which came after Boyer, in the order of their service: Riviere-Herard, Guerrier, Pierrot, Riche, Soulouque. Jeffrard, Salnave, Nissage Saget, Michel Dominque, Boisrond-Canal, Solomon, and Hypolite, the present incumbent, whose administration is both vigorous and progressive. Since the reigns of Dessalines and Christophe, the only crown government known to Hayti was that of Emperor Soulouque, Faustian I. His majesty'occupied the throne, which he ascended in 1848, for twelve years. In form of government Hayti is a republic. The president is the chief executive officer; the legislative functions of the government are confided to the National Assembly and the
Senate. The Cabinet is ordinarily composed of five Secretaries of State, who preside over as many different departments, namely: justice, Finance and Foreign Affairs, Interior and Police, Agriculture and Commerce, War and Navy, Public Instruction and Worship.
The forty-two chapters of this book are replete with valuable information never before presented to the American public. Thirty-four of these chapters crystallize around the hero of San Domingo; the events which transpired in rapid succession between 179o and 18O4-the most important period in the history of Hayti-the period of violent changes, and the beginning of the transition in which a nation passed from the house of bondage to the promised land. We have produced overwhelming evidence which proves conclusively that the most stupendous struggle in the life of the Haytian nation was, after all, conducted by a moral, intellectual and humane force, of which Toussaint L'Ouverture was the personification.
In the name of the hero of San Domingo we send forth this book, and in the name of this man, who conventionality made a slave, but whom God made great, may this volume convince. the world that while the nobles t qualities of heart-and mind do not at all enter into the character of the whites, who are vain and intolerant, they most assuredly ornament the lives of the blacks who are civilized.
C. W. MOSSELL,
WEKDELL PtIILLIP$' E8TIMUlE Of TOUSiT L'OUYERTURE.
History says that the most statesman-like act of Napoleon Bonaparte was his proclamation of 18o2, at the peace of Amiens, when, believing that the indelible loyalty of a native born heart is always a sufficient basis on which to found an empire. He said, "1Frenchmen, come home; I pardon the crimes of the last twelve yegrs ; I blot out its parties ; I found my throne on the hearts of all Frenchmen !"-and twelve years of unclouded success shows how wisely he judged. That was in 1802. In 18oo, this negro made a proclamation; it runs thus: "Sons of San Domingo, come home. We never meant to take your houses or lands ; the negro only asked that liberty which God gave him. Your houses wait for you, your land s are ready; come and cultivate them." And from Madrid and Paris, from Baltimore and New Orleans, the emigrant planters crowded-home to enjoy their estates, under the pledged word that was never broken. Carlisle has said, "The natural king is one who melts all wills into his own." At this moment Toussaint L'Ouverture turned to his army-poor, illclad and half starved-and said to them: "Go back and work on these estates you have conquered, for an empire can be founded only on order and industry, and you can learn these virtues only there." And they went. The French admiral who witnessed the scene, said that in a week his army melted back into peasants. It was i8oo.
The world waited fifty years before, in 1846, Robert Peel dared to venture, as a matter of practical statesmanship, the theory of free trade. Adam Smith theorized, the French statesmen dreamed, but no man at the head of affairs had
,~.WENDELLPHIILLIPS i ESTIMATAO
ever dared to risk it as a practical measure. Europe waited till 1846, before the most practical intellect in the world, the English, adopted the great economic formula of unfettered trade. But in 18oo, this black, with the instinct of statesmanship, said to the committee who were draughting for him a constitution, "1Put at the head of the chapter on commerce that the ports of San Domingo are open to the trade of the world,"
Again it was i8oo, at a time when England was poisoned on every page of her statute books with religious intolerance, when a man could not enter the House of Commons without taking an Episcopal communion, when every state in the Union, except Rhode Island, wa full of intensest religious bigotry. This man was a negro. You say that that is a superstitious blood, he was uneducated. You say that makes a man narrowminded. He was a Catholic. Many say that is another name for intolerence. And yet-negro, Catholic, slave-he took his place by the side of Roger Williams, and said to his committee, "1Make it the first line of my constitution that I know no difference between religious beliefs."
It was 18oi. At this time Europe concluded the ?eace of Amiens, and Napolean took his seat on the throne of France. He glanced his eye across the Atlantic and with a single stroke of his pen reduced Cayenne and Martinique back into chains. He then said to his Council, "What shall I do with San Domingo ? " The slave-holders said give it to us ; Napoleon turned to the Abbe Gregoire, " What is your opinion ?" He replied, "I think these men would change their opinions if they change their skins." Colonel Vincent, who had been private secretary to Toussaint, wrote a letter to Napoleon, in which he said, " Sire, leave it alone, it is the happiest spot in your dominion. God raised this man to govern; races melt under his hand; he has saved you this island, for I know of my own knowledge that when the Republic could not have lifted a finger to prevent it, George the III,
WENDELL PHILLIPS i ESTIMATE*
offered him any title and any revenue if he would hold the island under the British crown. He refused and saved it for France." Napoleon turned away from his Council and he is said to have remarked, " I have sixty thousand idle troops, I must find them something to do." Then again like Napoleon,-like genius always-he had confidence in his power to rule men. You remember when Bonaparte returned from Elba and Louis XVIII sent an army against him, Bonaparte descended from his carriage, opened his coat offering his breast to their muskets and saying, " Frenchmen, it is the Emperor," and they ranged themselves behind him, his soldiers, shouting, "Vive L'Empereur." Thatwasin18i5. Twelve years before, Toussaint finding that four of his regiments had deserted and gone to Leclerc, drew his sword, flung it on the grass, went across the field to them, folded his arms and said: "" Children, can you point a bayonet at me ?" The blacks fell on their knees praying his pardon. His bitterest enemies watched him and none of them charged him with love of money, sensuality, or cruel use of power. I would call him Napoleon, but Napoleon made his way to empire over broken oaths and through a sea of blood. This man never broke his word. "' No retaliation " was his great motto and rule of his life, and the last words uttered to his son, in France, were these: " My boy, you will one day go back to San Domingo, forget that France murdered your father." I would. call him Cromwell, but L Cromwell was only a soldier, and the State he founded went down with him into his grave. I would call him"Washington, but the great Virginian held slaves. This man risked his empire rather than permit the slave trade in the humblest village of his dominion. You think me a fanatic to-night, for you read history not with your eyes, but with your prejudices. But fifty years hence, when truth gets a hearing, the muse of history will put Phocion for the Greek, and Brutus for the Romans, Hampden for England, Fayette for France, choose Washington as the bright consummate
xxvi. WENDELL PHILLIPS'9 ESTIMATE,
flower of our earlier civilization and John Brown the ripe fruit of our noonday ; then dipping her pen in the sunlight will write in the clear blue above them all the name of the soldier, the statesman, the martyr, Toussaint L'Ouverture.
Origin, education, early occupation of Toussaint. Insurrection of San
Toussaint throws himself into the insurrection. The position he occupies
in the Black Army.
Toussaint takes an active part in the Revolution.
Toussaint enters the service of Spain.
Toussaint subjugates Dondon and Marmelade. In consequence of these
victories he receives the name of L'OUVERTURE.
Toussaint L'Ouverture enters Gonaives. Invasion of the English.
Toussaint L'Ouverture, having conquered all his enemies, placed himself
with 4ooo men within the pale of the French Republic.
Toussaint L'Ouverture distinguishes himself in the service of France.
Toussaint L'Ouverture engages in several battles with the English, and
takes possession of several positions, which prove advantageous.
Toussaint L'Ouverture takes from the Spanish St. Michael and St. Raphael.
Rigaud recaptures Tiburon and Leogan from the English.
Toussaint L'Ouverture takes vengeance on the Spanish for the masssacre
committed by them at Fort Dauphin. His first interview with Gen9W Laveaux.
Toussaint L'Ouverture defeats the English in several engagements and
recaptures Verrettes. Toussaint leaves a testimony of his humanity at at Petite Riviere. Expedition against Jean Francois. Composition
of the Western line of workers. Death of Blanc Cazenave.
Toussaint L'Ouverture takes Mirebalais. His magnanimous conduct
after the victory. He receives a deputation of Independent Blacks.
Toussaint L'Ouverture obtains a brilliant victory over the English. The
English again take possession of Mirebalais. * CHAPTER XV.
Touissaint L'Ouverture receives the brevet General of Brigade. His indignation on learning the trouble at the Cape. Generals Laveaux and Desagneaux visit the places where he was in command and exercised authority. Pinchinat, principal instigator of the movement at the Cape.
Efforts of Toussaint L'Ouverture in favor of the French Republic.
Conduct of Toussaint L'Ouverture during the events of the 20th of March.
He is named Associate Governor of the Colony. Reflection on the
crisis at the Cape.
Toussaint L'Ouverture receives from the new Civil Commissioners the title
General of Division. Troubles in the South. Election of the Colonial Deputation. Toussaint L'Ouverture recompensed by the Supreme Executive Council of France. Toussaint L'Ouverture organizes his regiments. He evades the proffers of Rigaud. He sends his sons to the
Colonial Prytaneum at Paris.
Toussaint L'Ouverture drives the English from Mirebalais. Results of
Toussaint L'Ouverture is proclaimed General in Chief of the Colonial Army,
His installation at the Cape. Comments on the discourse of L'Ouverture. He coiresponds with Laveaux. Promotions in the Army of the North. New conquest of Verrettes and Mirebalais. Toussaint L'Ouverture's efforts prove abortive before Saint Marc.
Toussaint L'Ouverture expels Sonthonax from the Colony. The reason
why. The manner in which Toussaint L'Ouverture protects his former
Toussaint L'Ouverture is proclaimed the Benefactor of the Colony. Refutations of Saint Remy. Toussaint L'Ouverture assumes an offensive attitude toward the English. Hedouville at Saint Domingo. Toussaint L'Ouverture negotiates with the representative of Great Britain for the evacuation of Port au Prince. His interview at the Cape with Hedouville. Hedouville gives audience to Toussaint and Rigaud.
Results of the interview.
The English evacuate Jeremie. Toussaint L'Ouverture negotiates with
Brigadier Maitland for Mole Saint Nicholas. Merry making at the Mole.
Toussaint L'Ouverture refuses the Kingship of Saint Domingo. Refutation of the French historian. Report of the giving up of the Mole.
Toussaint L'Ouverture dissaproves of the order of cultivation carried
out by Hedouville. Dissatisfaction among the soldiers.
Toussaint L'Ouverture gives protection to the Emigrants who have become
landed proprietors. His proclamation. He appears at the Insurrection of Fort Liberti. Departure of Hedouville. Toussaint L'Ouverture sends delegates to France. Melancholy proclamation of Hedouville. The General-in-Chief, Toussaint L'Ouverture, repairs to the
habitation Descahaux and there resides.
Toussaint L'Ouverture Governor-General in the mean time. His sojourn
on the Habitation Descahaux. Anecdotes. Thoughts on prejudice
Toussaint L'Ouverture commences correspondence with Rigaud. Arrival
of Roume at Port au Prince. Emancipation celebration. Roume changes the Government from Port au Prince to the Cape Francais.
Troubles at Corail. Execution at Jeremie. Toussaint L'Ouverture foresees the need of the Colony. Treaty of Commerce with the United States. The contracting parties, the President of the United States of America, John Adams, and General Toussaint L'Ouverture. Toussaint
L'Ouverture refuses to receive the English Envoy.
Toussaint L'Ouverture, unable to secure by peaceable means the submission of Rigaud, carries war into the South.
Toussaint L'Ouverture M Aux Cayes. He organizes both the civil and
CHAPTER XXVIII. Toussaint L'Ouverture disposed to take possession of the Spanish part of
the Island. Toussaint L'Ouverture receives the new French Constitution. Don Garcia surrenders the Spanish part of the Island to Toussaint L'Ouverture.
CHAPTER XXIX. Toussaint L'Ouverture causes the Colonial Constitution to be written out.
CHAPTER XXX. Toussaint L'Ouverture sends the constitution to France. Character of
M. de Vincent. Work of codification. Insubordination of General
CHAPTER XXXI. The French Government receives the Colonial constitution from San Domingo. Motives of and preparation for an expedition against the Colony.
CHAPTER XXXII. Manuscript of M. Isaac L'Ouverture. Three months war.
CHAPTER XXXIII. Departure of Toussaint L'Ouverture and his family. The Blacks take up
arms again. Aboard the vessel Heros. Toussaint L'Ouverture's voyage to France. Arrival of other members of the family at Bayonne.
CHAPTER XXXIV. Fort de-Joux. Toussaint L'Ouverture interrogated. The circumstances
of his death. The post-mortem examination. Evacuation of San Domingo. The autonomy of the Haytiens recognised. The Island is again called Hayti: the name by which it was known when discovered by
CHAPTER XXXV. Presidents Jeffrard and Solomon contrasted.
CHAPTER XXXVI. The Revolution of 1879.
CHAPTER XXXVII. Revolutionary condition of the country.
CHAPTER XXXVIII. The aims of President Solomon's administration.
CHAPTER XXXIX. Hayti and the Uuited States.
CHAPTER XL. A Question in Diplomacy.
CHAPTER XLI. Haytian Proverbs.
CHAPTER XLII. The Christian Religion in Hayti.
TOUSSAINT L' OUVERTURE.
ORIGIN, EDUCATION, EARLY OCCUPATION OF TOUSSAINT L' OUVERTURE.
INSURRECTION OF SAN DOMINGO.
The origin of this black man, that the abolitionist of the last century considered as providential ; of this individuality which to say the least was extraordinary; whose fame occupies a place in both the old and new world; and who had in hand during several years the destiny of San Domingo, the most important of the colonies which the- French still possessed in America at the commencement of this century, merits our consideration and deserves our attention for a moment.
Pierre Dominique Toussaint, surnamed at first Breda, afterwards L'Ouverture, was descendant of Gaou Guinou,* chief of a powerful nation of the Aradas, who on account of his military qualities, was feared or dreaded among all those people who in former times inhabited the slave coast. The father of Toussaint, second son of this king,f was taken prisoner in one of those severe engagements that the love of combat and thirst for gain keep up among savage people, and was sold as a slave, following the custom of the barbarous Africans.t
*Guinou in Arada, or Adra, signifies good, a language which is yet spoken at Dahomey, the kingdom of which this ancient tribe constitutes a part.
tAbout 1802, after the capture of Toussaint, one reproached him as being the descendent of an African king.&
tChataubriand has often described, in his journeys through America, the wars to which the savages of Louisiana and Natchez gave themselves up. So far as ferocity is concerned, all these wars are much alike, only in Africa the prisoners, reduced to a state of slavery by the conquerors, were sold in the market. To-day they serve in the hecatombs, that is, in the religious service w~iib requires 4 sacrifice of an hundred oxen,
3TOUSSAINT L I OUVERTURE;
The slave ship landed the father of Toussaint L'Ouverture on the island of San Domingo, toward the middle of the eighteenth century. There reduced to a most abject condition by an odious prejudice which Christian sentiment repels, he was left in the midst of one thousand of his ancient subjects, whose condition was congenerous to his own, on a sugar habitation that Count de Noe owned, in the section of the cape* known as the highlands.
Separated from his native land, the second son of Gaon Guinon, who took his father's name, heard no more the war songs of his nation in which was celebrated the valor of their kings and the exploits of their ancestors. But he had treasured them up in his memory, and their recollection in some degree, softened the first years of his captivity. He found in the house of Count de Noe, and among the laborers of neighboring habitations, some of his countrymen, who like himself were slaves in another hemisphere ; but they recognised him as their Chief, and rendered to him the honor due his rank, saluting him according to the manner of their country.
Informed of this fact M. Beager, overseer of the habitation Breda, a Frenchman of a very polite stamp, anticipated the intentions of the master of the house in giving to the African Prince la liberte de savanne.f
*This point is interesting from historical consideration. The first French who left the island of Tortue in order to establish themselves in San Domingo, were but a dozen in number, at the time they commenced to dispute with the Spanish, and it was in San Domingo they mustered their forces and nieans,-attracted there by the superb and sublime so grandly displayed in nature. The Count de Noe owned in this place, 1789, a rich sugar habitation, which was called by the name of the former proprietorCount de Breda. Count de Noe, originally from L' Ile-en-J I Ourdain (Gascogne), was very highly esteemed. He was considered by the blacks a very humane master, so much so that they often used the expression, "Happy as a negro of Breda." Chain, so dear to the readers of Charivari, has perpetuated in France the good reputation of his family.
tLa liberte de Savanne is a sort of liberty of which the historian does not speak, and therefore merits a word of explanation. The condition of the African passing from servitude to this new state was, at the time, almost
OR, HAYTI'0 S STRUGGLE. 3
He was put in charge of five negroes with whom he cultivated the portion of ground assigned to him. It was not long before he became a member of the Roman Catholic Church. He married a woman of his own country who was both beautiful and virtuous, and who had received in baptism the name of Pauline. The occasion of this marriage, brought about in the region of the Cape, a tragic event, which we will relate in abridging the notes we have had transmitted to us.
Among the prisoners of war sold on the market of Whyda,* and crowded aboard the slave ship which entered the harbor of Cape Francais,f for the purpose of leaving there a cargo of human freight, was found the woman and two infants of the son of Gaou Guinou. Slavery had united for the
second time, this young couple ; barbarisrfi and cupidity had to break this double union, in order to rivet hand-cuffs on them in their separation.
The young African was the daughter of the king of the Aygas-Aguapeens of to-day-neighbors of the Aradas. Two children, a boy and a girl, formed the appendage of the unfortunate woman, and doubled the value of the future slave. She was of slender figure, not deficient in grace; a physiognomy at all times agreeable and imposing, presenting in her person the harmonious blending of those native qualities
preferable to a freedom absolute, in this particular, that he who obtained such a favor rested under the protection of his former master, both as to his person and his goods. This intermediate class was not numerous. A partial liberty did not equal, however, what we might call, for want of a better term, freedom absolute, notwithstanding the train of inconveniences connected therewith. The freed people were not like the whites in regard to their prerogatives.
*The word Whyda the black Aradas pronounced Ouida. This word is Creole. Whyda, a large village situated some distance from the sea coast, belonged to the kingdom of Dahomiey. This city was open to Europeans, as well as Godoune, a rival city. Whyda, or Ouida, had long been an important slave market.
TOUSSAINT L IOUVERTURE;
attributed by the ancients to warlike women,* whom they claim to have met in the plains of Themiseyre, and whom travelers still find in some countries of Asia and America and who constitute in this our day the best battalions of Dahomey.t
Affiba was beautiful indeed, under the rag of cotton which scarcely covered her person. The African girl became the property of the highest bidder. Happily he was a man very much esteemed for his humanity, who, when he became acquainted with the circumstances of her captivity, set her free and placed her under the care of a worthy person, in order that she might be initiated in the first notions of civilization.4 Slave on the earth, man, whatever may be the color of his skin, which is, when we have said the worst, a mere accident of birth; does not differ from his neighbor in the sight of God.
D'Affiba, pagan, became therefore by the grace of baptism, Catharine ; her daughter took the name of Geneviere; her son the name of Augustin, which was associated always with the former name of his mother,-D'Affiba.
If it were not that Catharine found herself in a strange land, so differnt from her native patrie,-the remembrance of which strongly binds itself about the heart of the exile, l'ajoupa paternal,-if it were not that she had regrets caused by a cruel
*The king of Siam has his warlike women. tBadon, the actual king of Dahomey, finds his best troops for assault and attack among his warlike Aradien women. The word Arada is Creole. One ought to say Allada in French. Allada is the word used by modem geographers. "The Aradas," says M. Morean de Saint Mery, "respire from a large chest, and a view of their bodies gives an image of force and beauty. These qualities, which do not discover themselves in the house of Toussaint L'Ouverture, reappear in an eminent degree in the person of his eldest son. Les Bordelais, the people of Bordeaux, a few years ago, saw in their midst a negro remarkable for his height; in appearance, grave and distinguished. His forehead was marked by the intelligence it concealed; his physiognomy reflected the beauty and purity of his soul. This negro was the son of General Toussaint L'Ouverture, who was the ancient governor of St. Domingo."
tShe was baptised by a Catholic priest.
OR, HAYTI'IS STRUGGLE. 3
separation from the grand lakes, where the copious moingrove trees unite their branches in forming a thick grove,-a forest of sweetest perfume in which one's ears are constantly saluted by the chirping of birds, whose plumage represents a hundred different colors exceedingly bright and beautiful,-we repeat, were it not for these sad recollections added to another, viz.: that while she was free, she was in the midst of her brothers and sisters bowed under the yoke of slavery; the young negress had almost no reason whatever to envy the whites.
In the meantime, shouts qf joy were heard from a distance, and these announced a day of merry-making on the habitation of Breda. Catharine, obedient to a sentiment of curiosity which moved her to seek the cause of this emotional efferv escence, learned soon that an emancipated slave was about to be united in marriage to the beautiful Pauline, a young girl of Arada, like herself. Now it was that a thousand -bitter thoughts traversed her soul. 0, despair! The happy husband is Gaou Guinou from whom an awful destiny had separated her on the slave coast.
A chagrin, mortal in its nature seized her soul and very shortly afterwards she died. The Aradas who dwelt on the highlands about the Cape related long afterwards to their little children the painful history of D'Afflba, the African girl.
From the marriage of Gaou Guinou with Pauline, five children were born. John, the youngest, who resembled his gra-ndfather, received the name of Gaou. He died in infancy; Peter, who received the grade of colonel and served in the army of Charles IV., King of Spain, who was at that time in possession of the Spanish part of the Island of St. Domin go; Paul, who became a general in the colonial army of France; Marie Jeanne, who was united in matrimony to Colonel Claude Martin ; last, but not least, the oldest of all, Toussaint, mo6re illustrious by himself than by the rank his forefathers had occupied in Africa,
3TOUSSAINT L'I OUVERTURE;
Several historians copying from each other have fixed the 20th of May, 1743, as the date of the birth of Toussaint. C'est une erreur. He was born on the heights of the Cape, on the habitation of Count de Noe, the 20th of May, 1746.
Toussaint from his birth was so frail and puny, that his parents feared for a long while they would not be able to conserve the life of their first born. Being in a suffering condition in his infancy, his constitution very naturally became weak, and every part of his body was so badly formed that his associates called him nothing but fatras-baton. Fatras taken in the sense of disorder, confusion, and baton giving the idea of his whole being. Baton literally means a stick, a cudgel. In the evenings after the victories, which he won so often over the enemies of France, Toussaint L'Ouverture pleased himself in exciting the patriotic enthusiasm of his officers, by relating narratives of the heroes of the mother country. " For me," he would say pleasantly, with the fine tone of voice which was peculiar to him, " I am 'fatras-baton,' as you know." This qualification, to which his own words bear ample testimony, indicating an amount of good nature and a large degree of personal satisfaction, caused his hearers to laugh and inspired their courage in battle.
In spite of his apparent feebleness, Toussaint, whose nervous system was extremely exercised by the activity of his mind and the bias of his character, gave himself to various physical games. No child of his age could dispute with him the prize or reward of the race, nor surpass him in the games which required suppleness, and in which youth loves to participate. None knew better than he how to lance a citeval to the end of the -road, and riding bare back to jump over a precipice, and in a word to excite, curb or moderate, the ardor of a racer. It seems as if we see here something which foreshadows the future destiny of the young Toussaint ; for the success of his arms, and indeed the safety of his person, he owed more than gne time to his dexterity in the art of managing a horses
OR, HAYTI IS STRUGGLE. 3
Intelligence was not lacking in the home of our young negro, whose development was not postponed for a great change or amelioration in the physical forces.
Gaou Guinou, his father, taught. him what he knew: the history of his forefathers, the language of the Aradas, and the knowledge of plants known for their medicinal qualities. Toussaint owed to these precious notions his first elevation in the black army, where there was a want of doctors.
One has said it was a happy hour for the old Aradas of the habitation of Breda and the village on the heights of the Cape, when they could talk with the young Toussaint about the Fatherland, in the idiom which recalled to them the joys of childhood and the land of their nativity,-" Home, sweet home,"~
There was living on the highlands of Cape Francais, a black man esteemed for the purity of his manners, and who was not wanting in knowledge. His name was Pierre Baptiste. He knew a little of French, still less of Latin ; add to this some notions of geometry, and a thorough knowledge' of the map of his district, and you have an accurate idea of the scientific baggage of our sage.
Pierre Baptiste was in fact a scholar for the time and place where he lived, and especially when we take into consideration the prejudice of caste. A black man instructed as was Pierre Baptiste, in the midst of a multitude degraded and demoralized, was he not truly a prodigy ? He possessed in a high degree a -quality more precious than all others,-the philosophy of the heart. AhM How true it is, if slavery debases the soul, liberty exalts the man and creates a consciousness of his own worth, his rights and his duties! Pierre Baptiste emancipated, set at liberty, was no longer the creeping worm of servitude, no longer the plaything of chance.
This black man, Pierre Baptiste, owed the favor of his instruction to the goodness of one of those Jesuit missionaries, who irf preaching the power of a holy religion, enlight-
3TOUSSAINT L 0 OUVERTURE;
ened and ennobled the spirit of man in the different countries where Providence led them. This important and influential man was the godfather* of the son of Gaou Guinou, and did all in his power to transmit to his godson a'll that he had learned at the school of the good missionary.
A writer speaking of Toussaint, said: Having received some rays of light, he conducted himself in an admirable manner in the revolution, which, terrible as a volcano of the Andes, turned upside down the island of St. Domingo.
Toussaint might properly be spoken of as a self-made man. He was endowed with great intelligence, with excellent judgment, with a prodigious memory, and with an astonishing faculty of assimilation. By his example he neither encouraged indolence nor ignorance. Looking to future honors, he read first, history and biographies, and afterwards treaties on military tactics and the commentaries of Cwsar. He read also the lives of the great military chieftains. He had his manner of thinking and writing,-his style we discovered in a multitude of writings, proclamations, correspondence, administrative acts, memoires, etc., which reflect the fire of his imagination and the individual stamp of his genius. 0
Toussaint knew what a major ought to know :-to draft a plan for a campaign, to take the topography of a place, to dictate to his secretaries orders, proclamations, and all other official communications, which disclosed a superior spirit and
*The negro respects, perhaps, his godfather more than his father. " Ce papa douan bon Die disait-il." " This papa, or father, the good God gives," says he. The same is true of the godmother. The force of this nepotism was so strong in St. Domingo that one of the ancient colonists wrote truthfully that the godfather, the godchildren and the godmother decided all when occasion required it. The godfatherhood became the cause of sublime devotion on the part of some of the negroes during the horrors of thle revolution, in which the whites were the victims, in expiation of the enslavement of their black brothers. It is worthy of remark that on many occasions when they were powerless and in imminent danger, the godchildren put their own lives in jeopardly in order to save the lives of their godfathers and godmothers who were white.
OR, HAYTI'S, STRUGGLE.
a degree of knowledge simply wonderful. Such is the property of the man of genius. He comes from the hand of God, if not entirely developed, fully endowed. Some have undertaken to reproach this man, who sprang as a meteor from the bosom of darkness; this man whom God raised up in order to restore a people to their proper place in the human family. We repeat, some reproach this man on account of his little knowledge of language*. It is to be believed that Merovee, Pepin-le-Bref, Hugues-Capet, and many other illustrious warriors, knew no more of letters than did Toussaint L'Ouverture ; but did this hinder them from founding dynasties and winning victories ? What! was he only an ordinary man,-this black who was placed at the head of the simple laborers of the cornfield; who improvised himself general; this valiant gladiator that the French Convention proclaimed general of brigade, and whom the Directoire Executif made general of division; this warrior to whom the hero d'Abouker et des Pyramids gave for the second time the supreme command of San Domingo; this legislator whose work still lives in the destinies of the people, which it ought to have conducted into the path of modern civilization, at a time when France had neither admintration nor law ?
The French generals who took part in the expedition against San Domingo-Bourdet, Dagua, de Vincet, Tressinet; the admirals, Latouche, Treville, and Gautheaume-have rendered justice to the ability, military and administrative; to the elevated character of Toussaint L'Ouverture, whom they had seen engaged on the battle-field.
When Toussaint became a full grown man, he had no longer the appearance of a fatras-baton. He was of ordinary height, of a striking figure ; his deportment did not lack that dignity which ought to be the appendage of the chief who exercises
*M. B. Ardouin, a Haytien writer of whom we shall often have occasion to speak, has wished to push this matter to the point of demonstration. To what end ?
4TOUSSAINT L 0OUvERTURE;
the first command. Hiq face round and almost without beard, showed a nose with open nostrils, and thick lips, but expressive, with eyes sparkling, reflecting the fire of his soul. If his forehead appeared uncovered, it was because he combed his hair back in order to make a queue, which he wore after the French mode. In everything he studied to appear as he ought. His civilian clothes, as well as those he wore on parade, evinced a taste equal to that of a cutter, expert in his art. He loved jewelry and beautiful accoutrements. His house at the Cape was built entirely of white marble, and held beautiful furniture. He was in the same condition on each of his habitations, where he loved to rest himself after the fatigues of his campaign, and to enjoy the sweet association of his family.
In following the order of facts from which we digressed for a mounent, we find Toussaint on the habitation Breda, not armed with the lash of the commander, but overseer*, after having acted in several different capacities intelligently and caring for the utensils of the sugar refinery, etc. For this high position he was indebted to the intendant general, M. Bayon de Libertat,-a position calculated to satisfy his ambition, for it elevated him to the rank of the whites, and gave him the advantages enjoyed by them. Since one has spoken of his
-good qualities, why should not one declare his faults ? Toussaint had the reputation of being inconsistant and fickle. Pierre Baptiste, having had notice of some wicked proposals, wished him to marry. Toussaint has himself said somewhere, that M. Bayon de Libertat wished him to choose a young and frisky negress, but that he prefered to marry a woman well versedd in the art of housekeeping." He chose Susan Simon, the sister-in-law of Pierre Baptiste, a girl of Aradas, in order not to be unequally yoked. Both had already followed the custom of the Colony, or using a more common expression,
*A free negro, or mulatto, they called overseer. This commander was most of the time very hard on the slaves, whose work he superintended in the field and in the workshop.
they had contracted marriage according to the Creole.* The domestic circle was therefore complete on the day when the nuptial benediction was pronounced. Susan who was good and industrious, had by a former husband, a son named Placide. Toussaint welcomed him around the domestic hearth# and brought him up as his own son, and called him in the day of his prosperity, to a brilliant destiny. But what returns did the adopted son make to the family of Toussaint ? He was nothing less than a judgment in the Yard d'Agen, where the family resided during several years. Some events, which will be related further on, hindered Placide from usurping the name of L'Ouverture, and denied him all right to the heritage of the General in Chief.
Toussaint cultivated with care the homestead. We went," said he, one day, " Susan and I to work in our field. Scarcely did we perceive the fatigue of the day. Heaven has always blessed our labors. Not only do we roll in abundance, but we have still the pleasure of giving food to those who stand in need of it. Sundays and holidays we went to mass; after an agreeable repast we passed the rest of the day at home, and we terminated it by prayer, in which we both took part."
The happy Toussaint, on account of the regularity of his habits and his application to study-which elevates the spirit of a man and directs his thoughts-was really loved and respected by all classes. His own people, after a manner, worshipped him, and often did him honor, recognizing in him a child of royal parentage. The planters themselves, surprised to find in a black man so much elevation of soul and depth of thought, were not able to prevent themselves from esteeming him. His intellectual faculties matured in proportion' to the habitual contact with the more intelligent.
Dwelling often in his thoughts on the degradation that a barbarous regime had caused to weigh heavily on his brethren,
*Nobody, except the priests, regarded it as an evil in the colonies,
OR, HAYTI'S STRUGGLE.
2TOUSSAINT L' OUVERTURE;
he asked himself if it were a result springing from the curse prononnced upon Ham; or, simply the result of an inhuman speculation? "For God," said he, to himself, " has created all men in His image, and for the same end." Had he not read in his books that the civilization which the whites spread out with great vanity, had had its birthday in the extreme Orient ? And was not humanity symbolized in the adoration of the wise men, who, following the star, left their homes in the East ? Elevating his thoughts, and dwelling upon metaphysical subjects, he did not see in the color of the skin but an accident, the result of climate ; nature having prepared all beings for the necessities of their existance, in the midst of which they were born, and where they were to go the rounds of the days allotted them. The supplement of this was made known to him by a man of science,* viz.: That the children of the negroes scarcely differed from those of the whites at their birth, and that the air altered the color of their bodies in developing a quality, or, speaking in a more commonplace manner, a corruption of blood.f
It was also in reflecting on the law which governs the transformation of men in our epoch, and the conditions which bring about this transformation, that he arrived at this result indicated by science: That the transformation of man is by transition, from the white type to the black type, in the action of the tempers. He knew also that in Africa, par example,
*In San Domingo there were several learned societies. The men who constituted them sent their communications to the French Academy, and the Academy of Science, Belle-Lettres and Arts of Bordeaux. They all convened at Cape Francais, capital of the French portion of the island. tIt is necessary to consult the works of M. Moreau de St. Mery when one writes on San Domingo. He has made this observation: Negro children have on the day of their birth, a skin of which the red tinge would remain the index of their color, if a slight dark border were not observed on certain parts of the body and at the roots of the nails. We will add that one finds white lines in the hands of negroes, whatever may be their age. Buffon says, that negroes are only found in climates where all the circumstances combine to produce a constant and excessive heat. " Hist. Nat."'
OR, HAYTI'0S STRUGGLE. 4
certain portions of the population of Asiatic origin have conserved the white type in the northern portion of the desert; while those dwelling in the regions negricentes of the south, were transformed in proportion to the time they remained there; that in the transformation one recognizes the march of the active operation of the tempers, which is different from that which is the result of crossing the blood.
"Has not the black man," said he again, " been created as the white man, to look to heaven ; does he not enjoy the ability to think ? Has he not a conscience, a soul ; and does he not carry about with him the idea of God ? And does not religion in stamping upon the forehead of the negro the seal of Christianity, assign to him his place ? In what, therefore, consists the moral ? If he is degraded, only by his color does he differ from others."
Toussaint, who was not able to see from this time a reason for slavery, which is an institution contrary to nature, and in opposition to the religion of Christ,-which has regenerated the world-found himself so close to liberty; and yet such a simple difference in the skin, had placed such an enormous distance between one man and another. His imagination exalted him, while listening to passages in a new book, that the abolitionists of Europe had introduced clandestinely into America: L'Histoire Philosophique des Deux-Indes de l'Abbe Raynal.* He finally procured for himself this work. The reading of certain passages enabled him to see all the infamy which crushed his neighbors. Perhaps, indeed, he asked himself then, if he would not become one day their liberator ? t For the
*The celebrated society, " Friends of the Blacks," lisez des mulatres, distributed at the same time in the colonies, the work d' Hilliart d' Auberteuil, treating of the legitimate revenge of the black race.
tThe philosopher, Raynal, called forth the liberator of the blacks by this vehement cry: " Nations of Europe! Your slaves are not in need of your generosity, or of your councils, in order to break the sacreligious yoke which oppresses them. The negroes lack but a chief. Where is the great mnan? He will appear; we have no doubt of it. He will show himself; he
TOUSSAINT L I OUVERTURE;
moment the exaltation that a similar discovery ought to have stamped upon his mind, was happily tempered by the sentiments that he imbibed in -the Holy Book whose doctrines he cherished. What have they not said of his " monkish ideas ? "
A partisan fanatic of the colonial, system has written, 11 The negro differs from the white." Mark the affirmation. Let us hear now the explanation: " For the yan, the worms of Guinea, crabs at the sole of the feet, the disease of the skin, the spalme in the adults, and the convulsions among children are diseases common among the blacks, but infinitely rare among the whites, whether Creole, or not." And this is sufficient to disturb the laws of human nature. Another sophistry: " In the New World, one has only found light and civilization in the temperate zone-Peru and Mexico." Let us bear in mind these citations, for the reader will soon be left to exercise his own judgment. The time advanced. A new philosophy came to throw in doubt all that which men had respected up to the present-authority and religion. A grand revolution, which resulted in changing the principles of which we have just spoken, burst upon the continent of Europe, in the bosom of the metropolis. The echo of the canon of Bastile was heard as far as San Domingo. The moment was solemn for a man of the intelligence and courage of Toussaint. We will soon see him face to face with the events. A word, in the way of preliminary explanation of the immense catastrophe, which spreads itself out before our eyes. The colonists, having had to groan for a long time, on account of the despotism exercised by those who administered the affairs of the government, welcomed with a blind enthusiasm the day of a revolution which will unfurl the sacred standard of liberty. This venerable signal will cause to gather around him the companions of his misfortune. More impetuous than the torrents, they will leave everywhere the indelible traces of their iust resentment. The Old World will join in applause with the New. Everywhere people will bless the name of the hero, who shall have established the rights of humanity. Everywhere, the people will institute trophies to his glory."
OR, HAYTI ) S STRUGGLE.
promised to free them from the yoke of an administration extravagant and unstable. Heavy taxation, injustice and service in the militia, constituted the burden of their complaints. They swore to win, unber favorable- circumstances, their ancient privileges, and to establish for themselves, also, their constitution. The movement came without any further provocation, and developed itself with fury. The freedmen, blacks and mulattoes, entered in favor of the famous declaration-the rights of man. The resistance of the white patriots, to some exigencies which would have caused them to forget their griefs, was obstinate. (From both sides they came in arms.) The execution of a colored man who had come from France, armed with the chart granted by the National Assembly, was the improvised signal for the uprising of the mulattoes, which preceded but a few days the revolt of the blacks.* The insurrection burst out in the northern part of the island, on the night of the 21St of August. The negroes under the leadership of Bouckmann, rose with fury for the massacre of the white's and to burn the habitations. They committed such atrocities that pen is unable to depict them. This subject has, however, tempted some writers. The spread of the fire," wrote a man of color, grieving over the losses, " traced by the flames, were so rapid, that in the space of a week the burnt district covered all the plains of the north, from the east to the west, from the sea-beach to the foot of the mountains. These wealthy mansions, these superb manufacturers of great productiveness, which poured out millions in the bosom of the metropolis, were annihilated. The activity of the flames was such, that the smoke and cinders, pushed by the breeze in the mountains, caused them to resemble volcanoes ; the air intermingling and dry, resembled a burning furnace. The habitations, already set on fire, threw out perpetually, sparks, ruin, debris. Fine clothing was dispersed and disappeared. The
*His name was Vincent Oge. He left France with a coat ribboned and decorated with the enpip of the Golden Lion,
6TOUSSAINT L'0 OUVERTURE;
land was watered with blood, strewn with dead bodies abandoned to the voracity of birds of prey and ferocious beasts. Here is the picture which the richest portion of the colonies presented in a very'short time after the work of destruction commenced. The flames which devoured Cape Francais, now called Cape Hayti, a little while afterward were the complements of the triumph of the mulattoes over the whites, and the step of the advance guard of the pre-eminence of the blackswho continued to give themselves to devastation and to cruelties the most unheard of-less by cupidity than by the spirit of hatred and vengeance.
Sections of the west and south did not witness at first parallel atrocities on their territories; but there also civil war commenced, and massacres followed in regular order. The evil, however, was neither as general nor as terrible as in the north. The most civilized countries are the most horrible to see in times of revolution.* " In the midst of this universal conflagration," says M. Saint-Remy, a historian of Hayti, "1and of this outburst of all the excesses of vengeance, Toussaint, faithful to his master, protected the plantations during a whole month, at the head of the blacks of the habitation,f and hindered the insurgents from burning the fields of cane." All the whites, women and children, flying bewilderd from their residences in the country, flocked to the city. Madame Bayon de Libertat continued at her own house under the protection of Toussaint.1 M. Bayon de Libertat was encamped on the heights of the Cape and came often to the habitation to excite the vigilance of the laborers. " It was,"
*Cape Francais was called the capital of the island,-the Paris of the Antilles. The civilization there was more advanced than in any other part. tHe managed the habitation of Breda. It is well known that Toussaint was the manager of the sugar refinery of this habitation. tIt is an error that M. St. Remy wrote Bayon de Libertat. The overseer of the Compte de Noe appertained to an honorable family of Languedoc, who maintained a warm attachment for the son of Toussaint L'Quverture, during his captivity in France,
OR, HAYTI I S STRUGGLE.
said he, with inexpressible joy, " that Toussaint saw me among the slaves in a moment, when to be white, was sufficient reason to be massacred."
Thus the revolution embraced all the country; but Toussaint Breda still fulfilled all the duties towards his unfortunate masters. " Finally," says the author already quoted, " Toussaint, seeing the revolution take an irresistible course, from this moment, exhausted by fatigue, perceived no means by which he might longer protect the residence of Madame Bayon, at Breda. Fearing, on the contrary, for her existence, he prevailed upon this woman to set out for the Cape, during the absence of M. Bayon. He put the horses to the coach and placed in it a few necessaries and some very valuable things, and then causing Madame Bayon to enter, he committed the charge to his brother Paul, who afterwards became a general in the French service. After the departure of Madame Bayon the greater portion of the working men took part in the insurrection."
4TOUSSAINT L IOUVERTURE;
TOUSSAINT THROWS HIMSELF INTO THE INSURRECTION. THE POSITION
THAT HE OCCUPIES IN THE BLACK ARMY.
One asks himself what part will Toussaint take in these distressed and perplexing times, the revolt being in every camp. Will he allow himself to go over to the whites on account of the horror of the excesses committed by the insurgents ? The recognition accorded him invited him to that side; but the whites themselves divided into patriots and counter-revolutionists, or to say the same thing, into red pompoons'and white pompoons,* gave an example of the most vile dissension. Will he turn his eyes towards the west or the south, in order to find shelter during the outburst of the tempest ? Andre Rigaud, Beauvais, Lambert, and others,-old members in the legion of the French army-had raised the flag of liberty in these quarters only for the people of color, leaving to the blacks their chains, their bondage. Will Toussaint permit himself to remain longer insensible to the misfortunes and to the aspirations of those for whom he ought to sound the hour of deliverance ?
He was their liberator, reserved by Providence!I It will be under the banner dipped in his own blood that Toussaint will
*There was in San Domingo a party of patriots composed of colonists, and one of royalists, composed of the chiefs of the army and the principal agents of the government. The provincial assembly of the north intended to manage affairs in a different manner from that of the general assembly for the French part of San Domingo. The former of these wore the black cockade instead of the cockade of three colors, and gave to the troops following their division cockades of white, green and yellow. They formed two regiments. The flag of the first was white, with stripes of white, black and red, having a lizard in the middle, with these words : " Je vis dans le feu. I The second flag was black, red and white, with white stripes, having a phoenix in the white, beneath which was this device; "Je renais de ma cendre,"
MARBLE PALACE Vicn'ty of Cape Hayti.
OR, HAYTI'9 S STRUGGLE. 4
enroll himself ; not for crime, but for liberty-holy cause-to which he will remain faithful from that time on, till the day of his death.
" Toussaint," said M. Saint Remy, the testimony of whom we love to invoke, because we find more often in him, a contradictor, " was for the most part known by the chiefs and the members of the bands for his instruction and his moderation. No one blamed him because he came at a late day, into the revolution. In the meanwhile it required a little time for him to establish himself in the confidence of the insurgents and increase his influence among them."
At this epoch, more than a hundred thousand negroes were in revolt in a single quarter of the north. These bands, organized to kill and burn, had no arms other than torches, clubs, knives, marchettes,* a few swords, and a few guns stolen from the habitations. They had that which was more powerful than all the rest, an inordinate fury for destruction. After Bouckmannt had been killed in repelling an attack made on the village of the Cape, the insurgents recognized for their principal chief a young Creole, of a happy exterior, who had belonged to a colonist by the name of Papillion.- Long before the revolution he had fled from the house of his master, from which time he lived the life of a maroon, in the mountains. This negro was not exactly cruel, yet in the meant ime his hands became stained with crime.I
jean Francois had for lieutenant a negro named Biasson, one of the slaves of the Fathers of Charity, who lived near the Cape. He was a monster in the true acceptation of the word. Nature had stamped him with a repulsive countenance and evil instincts. His predominent faults were lewdness and drunkenness. As for other things, he was enterprising and active in conducting business. jeannot, a slave of the habita*The instrument with which they cut sugar cane. tA man endowed with Herculean force, he sowed fire and flame, and strewed his path with dead bodies. He commanded the first insurgents,
TOUSSAINT L I OU'VERTURE;
tion Bullet, was a little man, and in every respect frightful. Naturally wicked and vindictive, he lived without regret or remorse for his horrible crimes. Like Biasson, he was capable of conducting the grandest enterprises, especially when he had to spill torrents of blood.
Such were the men that Toussaint joined in camp Galiffet, in the plains of the north, where dwelt the quartermaster general of the insurgents. Toussaint remarked that the blacks did not spare any but the surgeons, on the habitations where they committed devastation and murder; not from pity, but from an instinct of self-preservation.
Not wishing to be an assassin in the midst of brigands, Toussaint commenced, on the contrary, to render himself useful to humanity by turning to profit the special knowledge of the secret virtue of plants which he had received from his father. He dressed the wounds of those who had fallen in battle and organized the service of the ambulance. While the others drew upon t eir heads the malediction of Heaven, Toussaint, who had been drawn into the movement only by force of circumstances, fulfilled to some degree the mission of an apostle of charity. In this modest position he had time to study the art of war and to familiarize himself with the strategies of the camp. Both the art and war itself were alike new to him. We will see later the progress made, which was to make for him the reputation of a genius. He was able to form a correct idea of the faults and qualities of the generals who had the principal commands. This discrimination in characters carried him to the conquest of supremacy.
" Letters really humanize," said M. St. Remy, " if authorized to speak of humanities in a country where they were not generally in favor." It was owing to the art of reading and writing-and this was not the limit of his instruction-that Toussaint possessed a sufficient influence over the people to enable him to make his way without staining himself with murder, or dishonoring himsiplf by plundering and committing
OR, HAYTI'S STRUGGLE.
crimes, examples of which too often came under his notice. As for the rest, we will say here,.his godfather, whose counsel he followed almost blindly, had marked out for him the line of conduct he ought to observe; which was indeed, to direct the insurrection according to the preponderance of his knowledge, rather than to imitate insignificant men and traitors to the African cause-whom one met following circumstances at this time; now in the ranks of the insurgents, then in the militia, as the government of the colony poised on one point or another; on victory or defeat. In harmony with this tactic, Toussaint, when the time came, exchanged his position of doctor for the title of aid-de-camp of General Biasson.
In the meantime, Jean Francois and his lieutenants, finding nothing more to avenge in the plains of the Cape-but recently the pride of the colony-resolved to go and beard the whites in their camp.
Jeannot succeeded particularly well in the most audacious undertakings. The inhabitants of Grand Riviere and. of Dondon* took to flight before these triumphant hordes.
The evening came, and the insurgents danced the Chica in the glare of devasting and wide-spread conflagration. The day following a night of such debauch, Jeannot went out intoxicated with wine, and stained with carnage. Proud of such exploits, he covered himself with the epaulettes of a general. He gave himself the name of the Great Judge. He who was but a hideous tormentor, covered his meanness with marks of distinction and ensigns of glory. Once master of Dondon, Jeannot marched against Valliere, which he took on the 26th day
*It is not difficult to discover the ridiculous in these peculiar and fantastic names. Dondon, Marmelade, Sale-Trou, Anse-a-veau, Coupe-a-Pintade, et Tulli-Quante, for the most part have their etymology from the peculiarities of the places found and occupied by the first colonists, and from other circumstances either natural or fortunate. We may laugh at the word Marmelade, or Lemonade, but have not the French une Ville d'Orange-a village called Orange, a principal city, and in other days a principality of great celebrity.
5TOUSSAINT L 0 OUVERTtJRE;
of October, 1791. Of fourteen prisoners who fell into his hands, eight perished by tortures thje most atrocious. The cruelties of, this hideous brigand grew with the fortunes of war. No sooner was he seated in his camp on the habitation Dufay, near the Grand Riviere, than he seemed to undertake the task of rendering the place celebrated by a series of crimes, of which not even the most infamous were capable. The decorations of his camp were gibbets and scaffolds.
Toussaint who exercised already a marked ascendancy over the insurgents, comprehended that to kill men from whom the possibility of defence had been taken, murder prisoners of war, put to the knife innocent women, impale and mutilate dead bodies, drink the blood of victims with the sensuality of cannibals, was rather to compromise than to serve the cause of liberty and independence ; and in the interest of the sacred cause for which he was contending, he never ceased to call the attention of jean Francois and Biasson to the conduct of Jeannot and the long list of his crimes. He required them to respect le droit des gens.
Surprised by Jean Francois in his camp, at Dufay, during a night 'in October, Jeannot was brought before a council of war. At the moment of the execution, the priest Bienvenu, rector of Marmelade, offered him the pardon of God, to which he gave little or no attention,-so great was his anxiety, and so earnest his petitions in asking and begging for his life.
The war, if one may call it thus, viz.: eruptions, hand-tohand fights, in turn followed by successes and reverses, assumed a character before unknown, and Toussaint had become influential, in the council especially, when it was a question of administration.
In proportion as the opposing assemblies formed their regiments and distinguished their armies by local colors, jean Francois, Biasson and Toussaint had it in mind to organize their battalions. Their companies were constituted. The flag Was white, aux armes de France, bearing on one side this
OR, HAYTI i S STRUGGL#.53
device, "'Vive le Roi," and on the other, "Ancient regime." They called themselves "sGens du Roi,"-"s People of the King." The officers wore a black scarf. Do you not see here two antithesis the most piquant-the black and the white unite together,-despotism and independence compounded in the same love ? They gave themselves titles in order that they might wear the corresponding decorations.* jean Francois, who fought only by land, called himself Grand Admiral of France. Biasson, who never had the military merit of his aneient chief, wished to be military dictator of the countries won by conquest. Toussaint appropriated to himself also,and why not, since he was an officer superior-the uniform of general, though he was in reality only a non-commissioned officer; yes, but a brigadier of the king. The two principal officers decorated themselves with lace and large red cords, shoulder straps covered with flowers in imitation of the lily, and large-sized epaulettes.
It now becomes necessary that we should initiate the reader into the tendencies of the times and new events of the war.
Why these colors; why these devices; why these aristocratic uniforms among men, who, with the exception of Toussaint, the favorite of Breda, had known but the dress and condition of the slave ? In arraying themselves in the manner already described, did they obey only a sentiment of stupid vanity ?
The answers to these questions are implied in the terms of the proclamation which these chiefs of the blacks addressed to the inhabitants of St. Domingo-a proclamation, the echo of which they thought would resound in the ears of the powerful monarch of the metropolis. " We have taken arms," said they, "for the defence of the king, whom the whites retain as a prisoner in Paris, for the reason that he wished to free the blacks, his faithfnl subjects." Hence they
*The soldiers were fantastically dressed in the belongings of their masters,
did not make the war in order to massacre and pillage, but in order that they might enjoy the rights of those who wore the red turbans-the patriots. Such was indeed the policy of the negroes, in this second phase of the insurrection-a policy which disclosed the mind and intention of Toussaint.
The war of St. Domingo assumed the double character of politico religzeux comme en Vendee, with this difference, the Vendeens fought for God and the king, while the black French fought to the end that they might mitigate their sufferings and ameliorate their condition.
Toussaint asked himself now and then, what would be the end of the insurrection, and if the condition of the negroes would not be worse after the overthrow of the existing regime, as the colony would not be able for a long time, to recover from it. Was it not, therefore, more wise and more advantageous to compromise, and accord pardon always on condition of repentance. He profited* on an occasion o f the suspension of arms, at the hour of bivouac to suggest to his military chiefs, that propositions looking to the establishment of peace would be favorably received from the whites ; to weigh well all things, as the war would possibly turn to their disadvantage, for he had heard it said that the National Assembly had had information concerning the troubles in St. Domingo, and that the Assembly was disposed to send commissioners to the colony with an armed' force quite sufficient to remand each faction to its respective task ; that they knew quite as well as himself the ameliorations that the crown proposed to substitute in lieu of slavery. It was therefore prudent in this matter, to confide themselves to the word of the king. He added that no one could say truthfully, that fear had been the cause of their determination. Had they not sufficiently proved that which showed the valor of their arms and courage ? Did heaven not appear to declare in their favor by throwing discord in the camp of their enemies ? No one would question their fidelity when it was known tac-
bit, HAYTI'S STRUGGLE.
ictly that the colonists had essayed to turn St. Domingo over into the hands of the English.*
The representatives of France received with deference the negro deputies, but on the other hand they themselves did not find a welcome reception from the colonial assembly. Toussaint advised his colleagues not to divulge the results of his first interview. Finally the assembly dismissed the emissaries without giving them a satisfactory reply.
When Biasson learned of th-e failure of this new measure, he allowed his temper to control him in all of his actions. Already he had given orders to have all the prisoners of, war brought into his camp, and he was himself disposed to cut off their heads, when Toussaint, in whom the sentiment of humanity was predominant, unexpectedly arrived. He first praised his idea of vengeance, in order more easily to appease his wrath. Speaking upon this subject, M. Saint-Remy said, " Toussaint possessed an eloquence rapid,*animated and figurative ; an eloquence, the triumph of which, was in perfect accord with the laws of nature. And this is precisely the distinguishing property of a man of genius." Thus the wrath of Biasson was subdued.
We would say in passing that the pamphlets, the libels, the cry of " wolf," and indeed political writings published at a certain epoch, had left on the popular mind the impression that it was common to hear in these words: "1Toussaint, the black, was a monster of cruelty, and that he took to himself the honor of every crime of which the negroes, and indeed
*In a moment of despair, the colonists of the Cape addressed themslves to the governer of Jamaica, asking him for protection. This step on their part gave rise to the accusation, viz.: that which they did in this particular, was in perect keeping with a long-cherished desire to turn the colony over to the English. The proclamation of this fact was the very instrument~by which their enemies succeeded in crushing them. The deputies whom they sent to Paris, gave certain explanation to the National Assembly in session Nov. 3oth, 1791. Their memorial rejects the accusation. The tactics of Tonssaint were, to say the least, adroit and ingenious.
T'OUSSAINT L'0 OUVERTURE;
even the mulattoes, proved themselves capable." Posterity, however, on the contrary, will render justice to his humanity.
The commissioners foresaw the deplorable effect which would follow the resistance of the Colonial Assembly to the divers conciliatory efforts, that they endeavored to arrange with caution, and which were always, it is necessary to say, accepted or challenged with respect by the principal chiefs of the blacks. Therefore despairing of success in the object of their mission, and seeing the authority of the government disregarded by the personal treatment they received, they resolved to re-embark. On their arrival at Paris, Messrs. de Mirbec and de Saint Leger* enlightened the National Assembly on the true situation of things in St. Domingo. They declared to the Assembly that if the amnesty of which they were the representatives had in no way been made profitable to the negroes, conciliation had become of less importance among the men of color. This exposition of the condition of things in St. Domingo gave rise to the decree of the National Assembly, April 4th, 1792, by which it was declared that men of color and free negroes were to enjoy the same political rights as the whites ; and ordered new elections both for the municipalities and the colonial assemblies. The decree also named three new commissioners, on whom it conferred almost unlimited power.
Associated for the purposes of carnage, destruction and theft, jean Francois and Biasson were thrown into confusion when they learned, by the decree, that their rule was at an end through the abandoned districts where they had each taken the title of vice-roi of the conquered countries. Several times they were about to come to action in the borough of the Grande Riviere. By common consent they established two governments, after a manner; one in the north and the other
*1M. de Roume entertained particular views, and being a Creole, was more familiar with the colonists and the natives, but took good care not to disclose his views.
ORt HAYTI 0 6 STRUGGLE. 57
in the east. These two chiefs, jean Francois and Biasson, were now without a rival. It was, however, an officer of the army of Biasson, already very high in rank and influential on account of his intellectual superiority, who contemplated for himself an independent course.
Toussaint,' according to the testimony of his detractors, remained in the very crisis of the insurrection perfectly free and clear of all crime. M. Saint Remy rendered him this justice. How can we reconcile the good he thought of Toussaint with the evil he said of him ? The answer to this question is easy when we learn that M. Saint Remy, in writing his book, complied first of all a un esprit de system. The same spirit has tended for a long time to pervert the moral sense among the Haytiens,
TOtJSSAINT L'OUVERTURk ;
TOUSSAINT TAKES AN ACTIVE PART IN THE REVOLUTION.
Up to the present time Toussaint seemed to be attached to the army with the object of gaining its esteem without taking a direct part in the war. He was, however, no mere novice in the art of commanding. A certain document gives us to understand that he possessed a thorough knowledge of the theory of arms. His professor, in fencing and the military art, was an old officer in one of the regiments of the Cape. As he had great intelligence, he was soon able to conduct, not only the movements of a campaign, but also the undisciplined battalions of Biasson. Charles Belair, who became his aide-de-camp assisted at these exercises, and indeed on one occasion he informs us that Toussaint received the felicitations of "ungrand manceuvrier" Lieutenant-Colonel Desfourneaux.*
The manner in which Jean Francois and Biasson conducted affairs, brought disgrace on the cause of the blacks in the eyes of Toussaint, who resolved on that account to commence and continue the war for liberty, with due regard, under all circumstances, for the rights which belong to prisoners.
The law which went into effect on the 4th of April, so favorable to the men of color, maintained and encouraged slavery.t
Toussaint rather assumed that he might obtain the command of Camp Pele, the advanced post in the section of the Tannerie. This position, which occupied the crest of an elevation between Dondon and Grande Riviere, overlooked
*Un autre officier, nomme Gilles Lorette, ancien soldat dans la milice du Cap, lui servit, au debut, de premier instructeur; l'armee blanche Coloniale lui fournit par la suite de quoi former des cardres. tThe Assembly, complying with the solicitation of the society known as the Friends of the Blacks-Amis des Noirs-accorded to the Affranchis the liberties for which they had taken up arms.The slave institution, however, remained intact.
OR, HIAYTI S 5TRUdGL9*S
the surrounding country for a great distance, and constituted a permanent menace to the soldiers camped in and about the Cape. A young officer by the name of Assas,* who commanded the National Guard of the C2ape, received the order to drive the negroes from the heights they occupied and take possession of their *battery. Toussaint did not wait to be attacked in his camp. He took his position some distance in advance of it; drew up his army in battle array, and watched the enemy bravely, in order to advance himself. The troops of the Cape, animated by a noble ardor, precipitated themselves, struck and dashed headlong. Stubborn determination was manifested equally on both sides. The officers proved to be embodiments and prodigies of courage. Toussaint was seriously wounded on the arm in the melee ; his ranks were broken, and his men covered the earth. He simply sounded the retreat and withdrew to the Tannerie, leaving to the brave Assas the advantage he had gained, October, 1792. The conqueror received a few days later the epaulettes which belong to the rank of colonel.
The new commission, composed of Sonthonax, Polverel and Ailhaud, three enthusiastic Jacobins, landed at the Cape, the 17th of September, 1792. The commission was accompanied by i0,000 troops, commanded by three generals. In the ranks of this army figured several captains with whom we will soon become acquainted, through the unfolding of events-Etienne Laveaux, lieutenant-colonel ; Desfourneaux and Montbrun, both of the same military grade. The last mentioned-Montbrun-was a mulatto and creole of St. Domingo. General Rochambeau was also with the squadron. He was at the head of a small army destined to repress any attempts at revolution which might manifest themselves at Martinique.
Rochambeau, who was for the time being intrusted with the general command, cleared the sections of the Tannerie and
*He was related by blood to a hero of the same name.
oTOUSSAINT L f OUVERTURE;
the Grande Riviere without difficulty. The 8th of November he recaptured the village Quanaminthe by assault, the fort of which was defended by jean Francois in person. Several other forts met the same fate. In the north the success was not so complete. Toussaint, although suffering from the wound recently' received, had retaken bluff Pele, sur le Colonel d'Assas, and maintained his position there, in spite of the efforts of the troops of the Cape to dislodge him.
Laveaux, who had taken the command after the departure of Rochambeau, finally came into possession of this fortification, and soon did not find any serious resistance, except before the Tannerie. This point had always been considered as the bulwark of the insurgents. The road which conducted thither was shut up by double doors which stood eight feet from each other. The first door was lined with copper, and on the side towards the camp there was a large trench into 'Which had been turned the water of the river ; on the other side there was a trench running up to the middle of the bluff, strengthened by a thick palisade. The batteries were placed on a platform in the center of the bluff, protected by a barricade constructed according to the rules known to the art of civil engineering.' It is acknowledged that Biasson encamped at the Tannerie. The happy arrangements-if indeed we are not agreed to say the surprising means of defence described in the the report* of this siege-had been prized by Toussaint, who was in himself the embodiment of the genius of the black army of the North. After the loss of this position which they regarded as impregnable, Biasson and Toussaint aimed to situate between themselves and the enemy, the double range of mountains of Valliere. As under the circumstances amnesty had been happily proclaimed, an opportunity was lost, and a second error committed, viz., the voluntary halt of Laveaux in in his victorious course. Sonthonax seemed to consider no
*The Report of Laveaux.
OR, HAYTI'0 S STRUGGLE.*6
want more pressing than certain changes in the army, in order to make room for volunteer companies composed of negroes and mulattoes. There were the Legion of Equality, the Legion of the West, and the Legion of the South. This arrangement points back to an intention to draw upon and drain the African blood at the very source, for the black men and the colored men were soon to find themselves face to face, for the purpose of destroying each other.
At this epoch the unfortunate Louis XVI. was put to death on the scaffold! With one breath France declared war against the great powers. In this provocation England found a pretext to send an army for the purpose of invading an Domingo. Monge, who was secretary of the navy and of the colonies, thought it best to withdraw from the sections of San Domingo in revolt, and he so advised; but on the other hand, the commissioners Polverel and Sonthonax offered the insurgents un code noir, in which they annulled that which was objectionable in the former ordinances (May 5, 1793).
The destruction of the city of Cape Francais showed to what disastrous consequences the policy followed by the commissioners had led. All that ancient history recounts about the sack of Thebes, the fires which consumed Troy, the despair of the inhabitants of Sagonte, and the sad and painful extremities to which the Jews were reduced in Jerusalem at the time when Titus beseiged it, dwindle into insignificance as they are brought into comparison with this awful calamity.
Such crimes ought not to go unpunished. The convention had already pronounced, on the 16th of July, against the civil commissioners. A second acquisition against them, brought before the tribunal after the burning of the Cape, was strongly supported by Jeambou-Saint-Andre. The dictators were not able to maintain themselves in their positions, flattering and caressing the men of color, whom they were not slow in sacriAicing to the blacks,
In the meantime Don Gaspard, of Gassassola, called the soldiers of Jean Francois and Biasson into the service of the king of Spain.
CITY OF CAPE HAYTI.
OR, HAYTI'I S STRUGGLE. 6
TOUSSAINT ENTERS THE SERVICE OF SPAIN.
As the apathy of jean Francois rendered him indifferent to every thing which did not become in some way a satisfaction in gratifying his vengeance and increasing his pleasure, he regarded with a jealousy mingled with fear, the progress which was bringing fame to Toussaint in his command. Indeed, did he not already see in him a rival ? He conceived an animosity' against Toussaint, the first lieutenant of Biasson, after the brilliant military feat at the bluff known as Morne Pele, and under a pretext which remains unknown, caused him to be arrested and put in prison at Valliere. Placed at liberty, however through the favor and intervention of his chief, Toussaint resolved to depend in the future solely upon himself. He knew full well that since the battle at Morne Pele, all the soldiers of whom he had command, were disposed to follow his fortune in war, whatever that might be. Toussaint owed nothing to the generosity of the king of Spain. Following the example of captains of the ancient regime, he had formed on his own account a corps of six hundred choice men, well disciplined and armed. It was, therefore in the quality of Marechal de Camp
-Lieutenant-General-the title with which he was already decorated, that he placed himself under the orders of the Marquis d'Hermonas, Governor of Saint Raphael, reserving to himself liberty of action and the right to direct his movements. The commissioners, hoping still to retain the negroes in their service, opened negotiations with jean Francois and Biasson. They wrote to them, and said, "1Come and rejoin us; you will be free; you will be citizens; and you will conserve your military grades, &c." These agents counted unseasonably and preposterously without Toussaint-Toussaint, who was a man 9f true courage. To attack him for the purlt
6TOUSSAINT L'9 OUVERTURE;
pose of subduing his spirit, was not to attack him at all. It was to M. de Nully, then commander of Dondon, that the commission confided the task, which was fraught with anxiety, of winning over the army of Biasson. The officers came together' in the camp, which occupied the Bassin Caiman, and declared to him in every response, that they would never treat or have negotiations with the civil commissioners, whose authority and power they did not recognize; that having up to the present time fought with their soldiers to sustain the rights of the king, they would shed the last drop of their blood for the defence of the Bourbons, to whom they had promised an inviolable fidelity. " Jusqu'a la Mort.*" June 25, 1793.
From the attitude of these officers it would seem that the commissioners were responsible for the conduct of the insurgents. After the defection of the blacks came the revolt of the whites.
The attitude of the commissioners was dictatorial. The unjust orders frequently issued to the officers of the regular army, were a constant. source of vexation, and brought about a condition of things, insupportable. In France many officers of the army were put to death ignominously. They sought, therefore, a place of refuge under the Spanish flag. MM. de Nully, de Lafeuillee, and several other officers of the first rank, were among the number. TI~e defeat and loss most keenly felt was that of the Tannerie, recently captured by Laveaux. This camp covered nearly the whole plain. The officer who commanded it, instead of seeking to winlroussaint by promises, according to the trust which had been committed to him by the commissioners, delivered himself up to the black general, arms and baggage. All of his officers left the service, and being generally well instructed, were voluntary and valuable accessions to the line and staff of Toussaint.
*This reply, written by the secretary-general of the army, was signed thus: "Toussaint, General of the Army of the King; Moyse, Brigadier; Galbart, Colonel ; Thomas, Commandant de le Crete & Ronge; IDiasson, Governor General for the King."
OR, HAYTIIS STRUGGLE.
TOUSSAINT SUBJUGATES DONDON AND MARMELADE. IN CONSEQUENCE OF
THESE VICTORIES HE RECEIVED THE NAME OF L'OUVERTURE.
The departure, or rather the flight, of M. de Nully left Dondon without a defender. This post, as a consequence, fell tp the charge of Colonel Brandicourt, whose merit was equal to his courage. But was it possible at this moment to maintain a position already compromised by the loss of the Tannerie ? All the communications with the Cape were intercepted, and a scarcity of provisions was an early probability. A council of war decided the evacuation of Marmelade, where they had hoped that the army would be able to find subsistence.
Toussaint saw very clearly, from the point of view where he was making his observations, the movements of M. Brandicourt, and judged as to his intentions. After which he stationed himself in ambush on the way between Dondon and Marmelade. He had but 6oo black soldiers and some reserves who came from Dondon and Grande Riviere, to oppose an army of 1,500 men, composed of soldiers bearing all sorts of arms, and a great number of auxiliaries. Lieutenant-Colonel Pascaud commanded the white troops; M. Raynal, the auxiliaries; the lieutenant of the grenadiers, Planel, was at the head of the advance guard; M. Brandicourt occupied the center.
Toussaint entertained the notion that artifice and tactics alone, on this occasion would be able to triumph over the greater numbers and valor of the French. He would effect this result if he could manage to obstruct and bar the passage of his adversary and turn the enemy in a different direction.
"Toussaint," mentions a document which we consult, "approaches as near as possible to the borough of Dondon and intercepts the wute which leads to the Cape." The next day,
6TOUSSAINT L I OUVERTURE;
having perceived the movement in the earthworks of M. Brandicourt, he judged that the intention of his adversary was to come to action, or to evacuate the borough of Dondon; to go as soon as possible towards the camp at the bluff, known as Morne Pele, in order to draw near to Marmelade once more. Toussaint took the following precautions in case of an attack: He set out at the head Of 300 choice men, and in passing crossed some by-ways and frightful precipices. He continued his march in order to place them advantageously in ambush between the two camps, under the orders of his first officer, Charles Belair. Then he came and rejoined his troops, who were in front of Dondon, with the firm resolution to give battle in the position he occupied, or to pursue the enemy if he moved out of his position.
From five o'clock in the evening until dark the two parties were near enough to observe each other. M. Brandicourt awaited this moment as the most favorable to facilitate his retreat. M. Pascaud had received orders to effect it, and while he commenced from his side a retrograde movement in the direction of Camp Pele, the colonel advanced, accompanied by a few officers. From a military point of view he regarded the route upon which he was passing without interruption, as inaccessible to the enemy-made so by Nature's own arrangement-and therefore perfectly free. He perceived his error, however, when he fell into the hands of the vigilant Charles Belair, and discovered from the situation the greatness of his peril, and the grandeur of the intrepid movement attempted by Toussaint. M. Brandicourt, surprised and surrounded, was made prisoner, with all his attendants, and conducted to the general quarters of his happy adversary, who was absent. An officer came to the advanced post and announced the news to the general-in -chief. Toussaint repaired very soon to his headquarters and treated M. Brandicourt very honorably, exhorting the chief of so many brave men not to expose them inconsiderately, as all
OR, HAYTI'9S STRUGGLE. 6
further attempts at defence would prove abortive. M. Brandicourt responded that if he was a prisoner, his soldiers were not, and inasmuch as they were surrounded by enemies whom they would be obliged to face on all sides, honor required them to fire their last cartridge. It was for this purpose he asked the privilege to expedite a courier to M. Pascaud. Toussaint replied: 11I have too much admiration for your courage not to grant that which you desire, but I would admire much more your humanity, if-all possible retreat being cut off from your troops-you should not give an order to invite the effusion of blood." In the interval, an officer arrived whom Lieutenant-Colonel Pascaud had dispatched to M. Brandicourt, in order to ascertain his last instructions. M. Brandicourt, touched by the magnanimity of Toussaint and the painful position in which he found his soldiers, advised M. Pascaud to yield to the force of circumstances, and not to make any use of his arms, whatever, unless the enemy should refuse to accord him the honors of war. M. Pascaud surrendered in obedience to this order; entered the Grand-Bassin, while Toussaint's quartermaster-general was beating the tambour, and displaying the flags. One had then a spectacle altogether new, in the camp of Toussaint-the conquerors perfectly delighted in the midst of the vanquished, whose apparal was imposing, but who trembled in the presence of their enemies, and perhaps would have attempted flight had they not been reassured as they read the countenance of their general. " This was not a matter of surprise," adds the historian; "it was the first time that such good fortune crowned their efforts, and the war had in reality only commenced." M. Pascaud and his troops filed out with their baggage, in charge of a small detachment. All of the officers were allowed to retain their side arms and carry them in the march to Saint Raphael, where M. Brandicourt had already arrived.* The
*The commissioners did not neglect to accuse this unfortunate officer of treason. At other times he was the spoiled child of the revolution. M.
6TOUSSAINT L I OUVERTURE;
Marquis of Hermonas wrote Toussaint a letter in which he expressed his thanks and satisfaction, touching the unexpected event.
Encouraged by the success of an enterprise, in which the good fortune was itself a proclamation of superior qualification on the part of the leading spirit, Toussaint conceived a grand project, which was to subjugate the entire section, including Marmelade, Ennery, Plaisance and Gonaives.
This combination, once achieved, would prove judicious and advantageous. By establishing a strong line of works from east to west, he would make himself master of all the communications and roads to which access to the north was possible. He calculated also t hat in possession of the places mentioned, it would require less men to defend a single line and less trouble for him, personally, to overlook the works and pieces of artillery, than if he had his soldiers and all his means of defence scattered over a vast plain. There were, also, other considerations; he would be able to supply his army with greater facility in a country where all the inhabitants were his friends. His munitions of war dispersed here and there in the impregnable parts of the line, would be less exposed when surprised by the troops of the republic. Finally, inasmuch as he intended to give his persorial attention to all matters appertaining to the army, the fortifications and redoubts, the oversight would be much less difficult.
He not only put himself into communication with the people of the districts where he desired to extend his operations, but gave his personal attention to all correspondence, and was prompt and exact in, all his negotiations. These reliable means naturally suggested themselves to him in the absence of topographical maps, viz.: Charts, giving distances from one point to another; the direction of mountains;
Ardouin, who was seldom capable of being generous, indulged this opinion. Thanks for the details furnished in our document, M. Brandicourt is free from any such crime.
Oit, HAYTI'S STRUCGLt.
the course and depth of streams; the difficulties of roads, and the accommodations for filing out in case of retreat.
Hereafter we shall understand better these advantages. Toussaint was already experienced in the art of war, although up to the present he had practiced it by intuition.
We see very clearly from preceding events that the insurgents were already nothing more nor less than soldiers in the cause of liberty-fighting to better their condition before serving the interests of Spain. They were not unmindful of the assistance rendered by Spain, and expressed themselves well and fully with regard to it, in order to draw therefrom munitions of war and money with which to pay troops.
Royalty was at this time in sympathy with their fetich worship. In Charles IV. we see an example of it, the most remarkable. In the eyes of the insurgents two men, Polverel and SonthonbLx, the authors of the new black code, personified the Republic. For these men they had nothing but contempt and that in the highest degree ; and the Republic with its retinue of irritating patrons and furious declamations was odious to them.
The proclamations issued by the civil commissioners followed each other in rapid succession, and for a few days, there was on every occasion, an effort to inaugurate a war, that would be in its character detestable, and in its far-reaching results the most unfortunate.
The war as set forth in the plan of the commissioners and to some extent carried out, was fratricide. The soldiers with whom the government fought the blacks, were the very superior white Silhouettes selected from the mulatto troops. From this moment and occasion a prejudice of color sprang into existence, which neither time nor mutual interests have been able as yet to overcome entirely. Toussaint's first object, and first prize which he hoped to win, was Marmelade, the country adjacent to Dondon. He took, by storm, under a heavy and severe fire of musketry, Camp Pele, situated in front of Bluff
TOUSSAINT L' OUVERTURE ;
and Crete-a-Pin, positions which formed two formidable barriers to the aggressors whose objective point was Marmelade. The brave Vernet commanded at this point, having at his command Lafrance, colonel of the legion known as "Nouveaux Libres." Toussaint entered the field with two corps of troops, the right wing having been placed under the command of Colonel Desrouleaux, who came of his own accord into the ranks of the black army, Toussaint himself directing the left wing. Vernet, commanding a strong force of artillery, occupied the center of the borough of Marmelade. Colonel Lafrance and Captain Jean Baptiste Paparel with their armies faced on either side the right and left wings of Toussaint's forces. From the moment they began action, which took place in the morning, Lafrance compromised his position. Both sides fought bravely, until prevented by the shades of night, manifesting at times, the spirit of desperation. Then it was that the adversaries of Toussaint decided to pour out their troops on the Ennery.
The conqueror found in Marmelade large quantities of munitions of war, of which he had great need and a dozen field pieces. In possession and master of Marmelade, after a a battle which covered him with honor, Toussaint gave for the second time since he exercised an independent command, an example of wise moderation, a proof of executive ability and the genius of organization which were inate in him and manifested everywhere in his movements and establishments. He called together all the proprietors, who, from the commencement of the civil war, were refugees, thoroughly organized throughout the country, on Spanish territory; and to Jean Baptiste Paparel who joined him after his great victory, Toussaint confided the care of these refugees and the responible mission of defending the country from all outside aggression. Very shortly after this, 300 men from the regiment of Bearn came over and joined the ranks of Toussaint, from whom he selected some of his best officers. Dubuisson, a native-of
OR, HAYTI'6 STRUGGLE.
Bayonne, Birette, a young planter of Marmelade, and Jacques Maurepis, from a company of footmen, were attached to his staff. The following is an extract from a MS., showing the popularity and high esteem in which Toussaint was held at the time. "Tout le monde," porte un manuscrit, "etait content de lui; on ne parlait que de l'elevation de son esprit de son genie et de sa magnanimite." " Everybody," said a MS., "was satisfied with him and talked only about his high moral tone, c-est-a-dire the elevation of his spirit, his genius, and his magnanimity,"
After the battle which resulted in the overthrow of Marinelade, Lieutenant Colonel Desfourneaux marched against Saint Michael, a village situated on the Spanish frontier, in order to commence a movement that would enable him to carry out his intention of extending his line of works from east to west. Desfourneaux did not go very far beyond Gonaives. August 27, 1793.
If Toussaint triumphed by virtue of his tactics and the valor of his troops, he at least sometimes owed his success to the inconsistency of the civil commissioners. This assertion rests upon the following facts : After the evacuation of Marmelade, Colonel Vernet came and camped with his troops at Ennery, on the habitation Pilboreau. This place was a short distance from the Grande Riviere, where Polverel had made a halt during his march from Port au Prince to the north. Vernet profitted this occasion to make some explanation of his defeat at Marmelade. He said to the commissioner: "If Marmelade has been lost, it is to be attributed simbly to the little attention given to the declarations made from time to time by Paul Lafrance, and to the insufficiency of the means of defence at command." In answer to which Polverel, in an angry tone, asked the question, "How many men did you have?" "Twelve hundred," said the colonel. "Twelve hundred men! You had better say twelve hundred cowards," responded the commissioner. This insult was a slap. It was a fatal slap.
Indignation seized Vernet, and he went over to increase the force of Toussaint, who gave him a position of great distinction; won his esteem; secured his devotion, and afterwards gave him the place of a relative in his family.
A few days after the event of which we have just spoken, the same commissary, Polverel, speaking before several persons on the slope of Rouffeliers about the hero of Dondon and Marmelade, made the following exclamation: "Ce b-grela se fait donc ouverture portout !"* The word passed from mouth to mouth, and from the moment it was uttered public opinion confirmed the epithet. From this time the chief of the blacks never dropped his surname, L'Ouverture (the Opener), which he transmitted as a glorious heritage to his family.
Let us pass in review the result of these events. Colonel Desfourneaux, whose objective point was Saint Michael, continued his retreat towards Gonaives, which it was his purpose to protect in marching toward the east, leaving Paul Lafrance on the habitation Pilboreau. He was not aware that he was followed by an indefatigable adversary, who was actuated by the principle contained in the axiom, "A good general ought not to accord truce to the enemy." Toussaint invaded the district of the Ennery; attacked the post at Pilboreau ; took possession of it without much difficulty, and installed himself there, while Lafrance hastened to seek succor at Gonaives. The Ennery was handed over on conditions. Duvigneau passed into the service of the conqueror.
Toussaint was now inclined to lead in person a large number of troops against Gonaives, the possession of which would place him in direct communication with the sea. It would be an outlet, the point of departure for the line of defence, the eastern extremity of which touched the confines of the Spanish frontier. At this very moment, while Toussaint was con* "This negro makes an opening everywhere."
tR, HAYTI0S STRUGGL#.
templating his grand march to the sea, A. Chanlatte, commander of the post at Plaisance (pour la Republique), arrived suddenly at Rouffeliers, where the garrison of Pilboreau found supplies, drove Toussaint L'Ouverture from his position, and reassured the people of Gonaives by his presence. Bleck, captain of the Legion Republicaine de 1' Ouest, landed at Gonaives at the same time a reinforcement of 1,5oo men of color. The results of this victory, like summer fruit, were of very short duration. Toussaint L'Ouverture recaptured Ennery, after coming in possession of the camps of Audigier and of Merion-the first situated on the Grande Colline and the second on the Grande Riviere d'Ennery. This success caused Toussaint L'Ouverture to think more seriously than ever over the contemplated conquest of Gonaives.
The following Haytien authors have made mention of Toussaint L'Ouverture: Thomas Madiou, Saint-Remy and Beaubrun Ardouin,* but they have apparently, with intention, taken no notice of several victories which the chief of the blacks won over his enemies at the commencement of his career. M. Beaubrun Ardouin confesses, however, what was the art of his military success, "He understood himself better than the others."
After he had made himself master of the stronghold known as the Ennery-a position in which he could command all the plain of Gonaives-Toussaint L'Ouverture, faithful to his plan, which consisted, as we have said, in the purpose to form a line of works from west to east, strengthened by fortifications, around which were great trenches, desired very much to be in possession of the Tannerie-a place already taken and retaken some twenty times. He presented himself before this fort in a manner calculated to display the great strength of his military forces; but. as he had an aversion to the
*These are the principal ones whose writings exercise a baneful influence in perpetuating prejudices between the two colors, into which the people 9f Hayti are divided.
TOUSSAINT L OUVERTURE;
effusion of blood, he called upon Brammant Lazary, a black man, who commanded the fort, to surrender at his discretion. Brave, and knowing only his duty, Brammant not only refused to surrender, but he had the audacity to go so far as to make the general who menaced him a tableau seductive of the benefits for which the men of his color were indebted to the Republic.* Toussaint L'Ouverture admired the courage of Brammant Lazary, but he did not think as Lazary thought. For Toussaint L'Ouverture, the word and promises of the commissioners were by no means the gospel.
Lazary, surprised in his camp, on the ioth of September, had jnst time enough to make his escape with a few of his soldiers; the rest were incorporated in the army of the conqueror. In the meantime Captain Villate dispatched a force from the Cape, recaptured the Tannerie, but was not able to maintain himself in possession of it. Toussaint L'Ouverture now judged it prudent to demolish a place which was the object so much desired by both sides.
He afterwards repaired to Marmelade, as much to rest, after the fatigue of a laborious campaign-during which he received several slight wounds-as to complete his arrangements in view of a future campaign, in which he hoped to subjugate Gonaives. His family was en surete at Saint Raphael.
*The commissioners first gave liberty to the blacks who served as auxiliaries ; afterwards they made a general proclamation, not authorized by the convention.
OR, HAYTI'IS STRUGGLE.
TOUSSAINT L'9OUVERTURE ENTERS GONAIVES. INVASION BY THE ENGLISH.
The commissioners, Polverel and Sonthonax, to whom the committee on public safety had made somhe complaints, July 14th, 1793, were not able to maintain in the colony more than a shadow of authority.
On the ioth ot November, the inhabitants of Verrettes, of Petite Riviere and of Saint Marc, issued a manifesto under the caption, "Resistance to Oppression." In it they protested against the act of general emancipation, declaring it to be productive of no good, originating with, and coming from, the two dictators of San Domingo.
Toussaint L'Ouverture, who had hoisted the flag of liberty, was not disposed to participate in the views of these malcontents. He resolved, on the contrary, to profit by the division which so clearly manifested itself among them. Not more than a fourth part of the people of Gonaives were loyal.
Bleck, a soldier devoted to the interests of the Republic, had his headquarters at Gonaives, but unfortunately for him he was commanding troops who were demoralized and wanting in almost every particular, even discipline. Surrounded by these circumstances, he formed the resolution to repair to Saint Marc. Here, in the very place where he hoped to obtain aid and receive conseil de paix et d'union-in the midst of those he considered his companions in arms-he found nothing but a prison.
Toussaint L'Ouverture now thought the moment had arrived and that circumstances were favorable for him to enter Gonaives. He set out, followed by an imposing force, and arriving at Gros-Morne, he was so situated as to be able to make observations. Masseron, Cazes, and Paul Lafrance thought for a moment of defending Gonaives. In the meantime the two last mentioned, realizing that the means of de-
TOUSSAINT L OUVERTURE;
fense at their disposition were so entirely insufficient that they could not entertain any hope, decided therefore to make terms with Toussaint L'Ouverture. Masseron, standing alone in his opinion, resolved to give battle, but at the approach of 950 men, composing the army of Toussaint L'Ouverture, who had'gained, by a forced march, Gros-Morne, he made his way to Pont-de-l'Ester-from which place, if necessary, he might gain without difficulty, Mirebalais. "The council of war was scarcely over," says M. Saint Remy, "when they heard at Gonaives the report of twenty-one cannons, which followed in peals of quick succession-the echo being heard like thunder in the camps of Coupe-a-Pintade and of Couleuvre."
"The English are about to embark," was heard here and there, as a menance; but the last echo of the artillery announced the triumphant entrance of Toussaint, and the additional conquest of Gonaives, December 6th, 1793 The people of Gonaives saw in this great general a liberator, and offered magnificent civic honors to him. Cazes and Paul Lafrance were continued in their positions. Another officer, who afterwards achieved irenown in the army of Toussaint, was received and placed as captain on his staff. This soldier was Clerveaux.
Masseron, not having time to carry his sick out with him, on the entrance of Toussaint, left them behind. Their sad condition was in itself a successful appeal to the heart of Toussaint L'Ouverture, who sent them to Masseron under the protection of a strong guard. The conqueror received at Gonaives the representatives of Blanc-Cazenave, the commander of Ester, by whom they were authorized to make the announcement that he, their commander, recognized Toussaint L'Ouverture as his chief, and that all the men under his command were animated by the same disposition. Thus Toussaint L'Ouverture saw rallying under his standard, not only the refugees from bondage, but whole battalions of anciens libres,
OR, HAYTIpS STRUGGLE.
deserting the flag of the Republic. This happy turn of fortune placed the victorious general in the ascendancy.
The accomplishment of the task of establishing a line of works extending from west to east was not yet realized, inasmuch as Plaisance remained in the hands of General Laveaux. A. Chanlatte, colonel in the Legion de 1' Egalite, was in command at this place. The commander of the army of the north, having no disposition to make any allowance whatever in favor of this officer, this place shared the fate others had, which was really desirable, on the part of Toussaint L'Ouverture. From this time and occurrence, Chanlatte conceived for the man who was an honor to the African race,* an enmity which was never extinguished.
The Republic had nothing more left under her jurisdiction in the north, except Fort Dauphin, where Candy was entrenched; Port-de-Paix, at which place Laveaux had established his general quarters, and which if once abandoned could not be re-occupied; and Cape Francais, commanded by Viilate, who was still in possession of the bourgade of Petite-Anse and that of Haut-du-Cap. These localities, as well as many ports of the south, were menaced by the combined squadrons of Spain and Great Britain.
Authority which loses its prestige is often forsaken by its ablest and most enthusiastic supporters. Buquet, commander of Petite-Riviere; Morin, commander of Verrettes ; Savary, commander of Saint Marc, and the commander of L'Arcahaye, followed the example of Cazes, of Paul Lafrance, and of BlancCazenave. In reality, according to M. Saint-Remy,t all was
*M. Saint Remy remarked: "Toussaint made the opening for my race to all social distinction." According to this confession Toussaint was such a saviour as Moses was, and by a sigular aberration-not by jealousy, spite or foolish pride-you throw from the pedestal the idol, in order to place thereon a fetich.
tOf the three historians whose names have already been mentioned, Saint Remy, a man of color, who lived at Cayes, was the most impartial in Ais expressed view. Wtguching Toussaint L'Quverture. His work, one has
TOUSSAINT L I OUVERTURE;
in subjection in the presence of the glory which covered Toussaint L'Ouverture.
The spectacle which Saint Domingo presented at this time was most pitiable. On one side she was afflicted by all the horrors which follow in the wake of civil war ; and on the other, by what was still more terrible, the scourge of foreign invasion.
On the 19th of September, 1793, two frigates, with 500 men on board, detached from the garrison at Jamaica, appeared before Jeremie, and were welcomed by the shout of " Vive le Roi Georges! Vivent les Anglais !" Andre Rigaud* and a few officers of the south repelled the attacked of Colonel Whitelock, off Tiburon, October 4th. There was no place whatever in the south, at this time, that could be regarded as the principal aim or object of the English ; their desire caused them, first of all, to wish possessions in the north.
There on a point projecting out from the sea coast, which stands as a sentinel, is a formidable rock known by the name of Mole Saint Nicholas. Some one has called it the " Gibraltar of the Antilles."
Count d'Estaing built this fortification May, 1749, when he took possession of Saint Domingo in the name of France, with a view of commanding both the ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Dubeux, who was commanding it when the English appeared, and who was already pushed to extremity by Sonthonax- whose vile character rendered him incapable of exercising moderation-and by the excesses of the mulatto, Lapoint, whose name remains odious in the history of Saint Domingo, surrendered the fort and village to a ship carrying fifty guns-1'Europa. From that hour the English held the keys of the island, or perhaps it is better to say, the French
assured us, during his stay at Paris, where he went for the purpose of securing an editor, did undergo important modifications. This writer while in France, kept up a correspondence with the son of Toussaint L'Ouverture, who was residing at Bordeaux.
OR, HAYTI'9 S STRUGGLE. 7
part of it. The Spanish surrounded the eastern part by land and by sea. Arcahaye, Saint Marc, Leogane, and Grand Goave received the English as friends-perhaps we might say, as protectors.
About this time Sonthonax did not seem to exercise his better judgment; he required Laveaux to expose himself to flame and iron, after the manner of those he called brigands. Polverel was in favor of another method of discipline, possibly more in harmony with legal provisions. He established the guillotine at Port au Prince. The aspect of the first execution was so horrible to the blacks, who witnessed it, that they pulled it down, and this awful instrument of death has not since been rebuilt among them.
In the interval Sonthonax bravely refused to deliver up Port au Prince into the hands of Commodore Ford; but Tiburon fell to the enemy, February 2d, 1794, after making, however, a heroic defence. An unsuccessful attempt to seduce General Laveaux, by Colonel Whitelock, ended in the offer of a cartel, which was not accepted. Laveaux drove his ships from Port de Paix.
The condition of things at Fort Dauphin became more and more intolerable. Candy, chief of the colored soldiers, and Knappe, captain of the white troops, signed with the Spanish articles of agreement, which were the conditions of capitulations. These two traitors suffered the punishment of their crime in the same place. Candy, at the place called Liberty, was put in irons, and the bleus were massacred there without mercy.
Toussaint L'Ouverture, having learned in his camp-which was situated quite far from Fort Dauphin-that the conditions upon which the capitulation had been made were violated, and that there had been a terrible massacre of the French, made haste to present himself before the Spanish chiefs. He said to them: "Desist from killing these men. Jf you do coQt, I wiLl cause my troops to take arms and compel
you to respect the oath, under which you bound yourselves in the articles of capitulation." This energetic representation, coming from a soldier whose character and merit were not unknown to them, resulted in the conservation of what remained of the garrison, who proclaimed Toussaint to be their savior, by acclamation.
The English and French occupied the principal places on the sea coast of Saint Domingo, during the month of May, 1794, with the exception of Cape Francais-which was not very desirable, being a heap of ruins-Port Republican, on the west, and Cayes on the south.
BARRACKS AT CA PE HAYTI.
OR, HAYTI 9'6 STRUGGLE. 8
TOUSSAINT L'9 OUVERTURE, HAVING CONQUERED ALL HIS ENEMIES,
PLACED HIMSELF, WITH 4000 MEN, WITHIN THE PALE OF THE
After an absence of seven months, Toussaint yielded to the desire to see his family, which he had located at Saint Raphael, in the Spanish territory, safe from the accidents of war. The Marquis d'Hermonas, commander of the section of country where his family temporarily resided, celebrated his arrival by public demonstrations, and presented him, in the name of the King of Spain-to the success of whose arms he had contributed largely-the brevet of General (the functions of which he exercised nominally, while at Saint Raphael) a sword of honor, and the decorations of Charles IV.*
Toussaint L'Ouverture left Saint Raphael for Marmelade, at which place he had established his head-quarters, about the middle of the month of March, 1794. By the way, he stopped at Saint Michael. Don Cabrera, who was the governor, gave some public demonstrations in his honor which were in no particular inferior to those tendered him at Saint Raphael.
We will substitute some facts, mentioned by L'Ouverture in an address which he delivered the 20th of March, 1794, to Don Garcia, Governor General of the Spanish Colony, in his residence at Santo Domingo, for the doubtful stories published by the historians covering this period of the life of Toussaint L'Ouverture. He declared in a document, that, from the beginning of the war, he was satisfied by his own persuasion to be close by Don Cabrera, as he was already no longer dependent upon Jean Francois or Biasson ; and that he was left to conceive and accomplish the various expedions-the results of which were so favorable to the Spanish cause-according
*At this time he wore a medal upon which was engraved these words~ "El Merito."
8TOUSSAINT L'9 OUVERTURE;
to his will and pleasure. " I informed and rendered account of my operations," said he, " to General Biasson ; not that I considered myself his subordinate or inferior, but for the good of the cause, knowing his impetuous, intermeddling and thoughtless character, which rendered him capable of doing more evil than good, as was demonstrated on all occasions."
In the meanwhile, designing persons arrived for the purpose of prejudicing the commanding general, Don Garcia, against Toussaint L'Ouverture. An order was issued for the arrest of Brigadier Moyes, his nephew, who was at Saint Raphael, under medical treatment, made necessary by a wound he had received. The same order required the commander not to allow the family of Toussaint to go out of his sight. The purpose was to strike Toussaint where he would feel it the most; also to furnish him a pretext which would be sufficient excuse for his making an attempt to realize the project he had had under consideration for some time : viz., to place himself with his soldiers under the flag of the Republic. The monarchy, in the service of which he intended to enter when he threw himself into the movement, disappeared with Louis XVI. General Laveaux, informed of the disposition which animated Toussaint L'Ouverature after his quarrel with Biasson and Don Cabrera, thought the time had come to attempt through the man holding in his hands the principal forces of the country, some indirect measures, but of such nature as to confirm him in his real intentions-those he had entertained from the beginning of the movement. Chevalier, an officer of Toussaint L'Ouverture, was charged with this mission. A letter which will appear further on, will acquaint us with the results that followed the conference, afterwards convoked to discuss the measures.
Toussaint L'Ouverture was not the man to re-enter the French army as a fugitive and deserter. Besides, he had to avenge himself on Biasson and Cabrera, who had become in a manner the gaolers of his family, on Cabrera, who had jutt refused to
OR, HAYTIIS STRUGGLE.
render him simple justice. Toussaint L'Ouverture reasoned thus, touching the propositions which had been made to him : Would not General Laveaux, who was already favorably disposed towards him, esteem him more, if he should present himself covered with the laurels of victory ? Of a double victory won over the enemies of the French Republic, of which he (Laveaux) was the most devoted of soldiers, if not the happiest ? Having decided in his mind to carry out the following plan, he gave the command of Marmelade and Plaisance to Colonel Gabart and Jean Baptiste Paparel. At the same time, he ordered Brigadier Moyse, who commanded Dondon, to hold the Spaniards in check on the frontier, as well as General Jean Francois, whose headquarters were on the Grande Riviere. Under all conceivable circumstances the orders which Moyse had received, required him to defend himself to the very last.
As for Toussaint, he placed himself at the head of 250 men, formerly of the ancient regiment of Bearn, and five battalions of black troops, commanded by Colonels Vernet and Dessalines and Lieutenant-Colonel Clerveaux. Besides these he had with him his aides-de-camp, Birette, Dubuisson, Charles Belair, and some officers of merit who had just left Biasson. Toussaint L'Ouverture, figuratively speaking, fell with the rapidity of lightning upon the section of the country known as the Ennery, and drove General Biasson from the habitation Lariviere, demolished the camp, and drove him back to Saint Michael, situated on Spanish territory. Generous after victory, he returned to General Biasson his gold watch, snuff box, enriched by diamonds, and his carriage horses,-Biasson in his hasty flight having left behind all his valuables. From the Ennery, Toussaint made haste to march on Gonaives, where he was wounded on the thigh by a grape shot. For this reason he was able to pursue the Spaniards only as far as the bridge of Ester. Leaving his enemies at this point he returned and entered Gonaives opce more, This point waï¿½
very highly regarded on account of its importance, and it afterwards became the theatre on which his army performed glorious exploits.
Thinking at Gonaives over the distressed condition of General Laveaux, and Villate, his second, he directed towards Port de Paix and the Cape-now freed from the blockade of the Spanish and Euglish-a large portion of the provisions which he found in the warehouses of the enemy.
The events which had followed in quick succession, both at the Ennery and at Gonaives, were sufficient proof to Don Garcia that the domination of Spain in the French part of Saint Domingo was about to be severely shaken. This was the prelude of graver misfortunes.
The officers in command at Acul, Gros-Morne, Haut Limbe, and those who occupied the plains of the north, came over to Toussaint L'Ouverture. In the presence of these manifestations and with a knowledge of these facts, Jean Francois did not believe it prudent to remain longer with the enemy. He evacuated the plains of Limonade and the section known as Morin, without daring to run the risk which might follow a contest with the weapons of war. The people were really happy to be delivered from a yoke, which they had supported
-if not under protest, at least with repugnance-and saluted Toussaint L'Ouverture as the liberator. He was, in fact, the liberator of his race, for he proclaimed universal liberty in every section where he exercised authority.
We will soon see him conferring the same inestimable boon, not simply upon sections, but throughout the length and breadth of Saint Domingo.
On his return to Marmelade, after a glorious and successful expedition, he gave several proofs of the natural kindness of his heart. Toussaint L'Ouverture wrote to Laveaux on the 18th of. May, declaring that he had placed his victorious armies at the disposition of France. This chief of the blacks has been too shamefully misrepresented by his enemies, for
OR9 HAYTI I S STRUGGLE.
us not to use the explanation on this occasion, which he himself furnished in his correspondence with Laveaux:
"TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE, General of Brigade, to ETIENNE
LAVEAUX, Governor-General, Etc.The citizen, Chevalier, commander of Terre Neuve and Port a Pinent, has delivered your letter to me, bearing date 5th courant, and animated by the most ardent recollections, I appreciate as I ought, the truth it contains. It is very true, General, that I have been led into error by the enemies of the Republic. You ought to recall that the object desired and awaited by me, before the disasters which occurred at the Cape, and as seen by the measures offered by me, now in your possession, was only to unite, in order to fight successfully the enemies of France, and so put an end to the war among the French of the colony. Unfortunately for all concerned, the methods of reconciliation proposed by me-the liberty of the blacks recognized, and a general amnesty declared-were ' rejected. This caused my heart to bleed, and I again took up arms against the unfortunate situation of my country, foreseeing the misfortunes which followed, and in this I was not mistaken, as a fatal experience has proven the realities of my predictions. In the meantime, the Spanish offered me their protection, and liberty to those who would fight for the cause of the kings. I accepted their offers, seeing myself entirely abandoned by my brethren, the French. It is, however, very certain, that the national flag now floats at Gonaives, as well as through all the subjugated territory, and I have driven the Spanish and emigrants from Gonaives ; but my heart has been wounded by the sad results which have fallen upon some of the unfortunate whites, who were victims in the days of tribulation. I am not as some others, who can look upon the horrible events in cold blood. I have always had the disposition to interfere, and grieved when I found myself unable to pre-
vent the evil.* There have been several insurrections among the laborers and working men, but I have now established order, and all are at work as heretofore.
"Gonaives, Gros Morne, Cantons d' Ennery, Plaisance, Marmelade, Dondon, l'Acul, and all the dependencies, with the Limbe, are under my jurisdiction, and I have an army of 4,000 men, without counting the citizens of Gros Morne, which number 600.
"I am at this moment at Port Margot, occupied with the the affairs of Camp Bertin, the chief of which appears to have the intention of attacking our forces. I have ordered my troops to march from Limbe and Plaisance, in order to fight him. I imagine myself now in possession, and as soon as taken will inform you, in order that you may march against Borgne from your side, if you should judge proper. I will then commence a similar movement from my side, and in this way we will surround the parish and, if necessary, attack him. After the subjugation of these two places, we will be free in camp to see and arrange more fully for the Republican interests. As for the enemy's forces, they will amount to but little without General Jean Francois, who holds to, and throws his influence on the side of the Spanish. He is at this moment at Fort Dauphin, where he repaired with his troops after having been defeated at Trou and at Caracol. The Spanish are not strong at Saint Raphael nor at Saint Michael, but they have surrounded themselves with fortifications. Nevertheless I am persuaded there is nothing to fear, so far as they are concerned."
Toussaint L'Ouverture, conscious of his superiority and of the service he was yet to render France, saw all and made
*M. General de Vincent, who knew Toussaint L'Ouverture well, wrote in 182o, as follows: "The chief of the blacks never showed himself cruel, and it is not just that he should be thus charged and made responsible for barbarous acts committed without his knowledge, by his lieutenants-notably Dessalines, Christophe and Moyse."
provisions for the future. Unseen he walked about the camp of his enemies. He knew what was transpiring in the very interior of their strongholds. The very walls of their fortifications seemed to speak to him, and the echo repeated the orders of his adversaries. His penetration enabled him to read their thoughts. He saw their movements before they began to make them. A secret police, assisted by a few who were perfectly devoted, placed him beyond the danger of a surprise, pointed out to him a snare-the lurking place of the enemy-brought him information of a meeting, and made him acquainted'with the culpable. Do they need munitions ? He takes them from the enemy. Do they need provisions ? They are procured for them. Is not the land of Saint Domingo productive in the extreme ? The fig, banana, igname, potato, honey, the wine of the palm and the fermented juice of the cassada plant, are among the delicious productions. Upon such provisions they subsisted as best they could ; sometimes upon very little, sometimes with great abundance. Such was the mode of existence among the African soldiers. Toussaint was the gravest of the grave, and never asked anything that he was able to secure himself.
The union hie formed with Laveaux was followed by the happiest results, which were seen in the changes which took place in the affairs of the Republic on the island of Saint Domingro.
TOUSSAINT L OUVERTURE;
TOUSSAINT L'IOUVERTURE DISTINGUISHES HIMSELF IN THE SERVICE OF FRANCE.
General Laveaux received the letter for which he had waited with patience, from his new "comarade,"with great joy. We find the proof of this in his account of the event, to the House of Representatives, April 5th-2oth, 1797.
In a discourse delivered by this same general, on the 19th of the following September, in the presence of the Conseil des Anciens, of General L'Ouverture, it was said: "He fought against us until the 6th of April, 1794. He fought, however, for the liberty of the blacks. He had been told that this general liberty could only be obtained from a king. When at this epoch I proved to him that the French Republic would accord this liberty, he placed himself under the flag of France and made war on the Spanish in the borough of Gonaivestaking possession of it and bringing with him into our ranks more than 500o armed blacks, who were fighting with him."
On the 24th of May, 1794, General Laveaux informed the civil commissioners, Polverel and Sonthonax, of the important addition that the army of the Republic had just received. The commissioners rejoiced over the news and were very anxious to send their felicitations to Toussaint L'Ouverture In the meantime the Spanish and the lieutenants of Jean Francois continued to occupy Fort Dauphin. camp Bertirr, all the lower Limbe, Port Margot and Borgne. It was very necessary to drive them from these positions and rid the country of such destructive bands. Laveaux, who had been favored by fortune, charged Colonels Villate, Pierre Michael and Leveille, with this work. The Spanish and their auxilaries occupying these places, made a vigorous resistance. As the effort to subjugate them was prolonged, Toussaint L'Ouverture, moved with impatience, left Marmelade for
OR, HAYTI'9S STRUGGLE.
Plaisance, from which place he fell upon Limbe, and by this fortunate diversion and happy combination, hastened the taking of Camp Bertin. This post was commanded by a brave officer, Charles Coco, who died with his arms in his hands. Jean Francois attempted to force Moyse to take refuge at Dondon. Toussaint suddenly appeared and took possession, and the bands of auxiliaries fled at his approach. The activity of Toussaint on this occasion was looked upon as something prodigious. Night and day he was on horseback.*
Toussaint L'Ouverture at this time allowed the English to beseige Goniaves. Their balls and shells carried death and destruction by fire in every direction. Colonel Vernet was no longer able to hold his own, when Toussaint, unlooked for, appeared, visited the different sections, and passed from one battery to the other-sometimes on foot and sometimes on horseback-in order to give his orders and to encourage the soldiers. The hail of grape shot did not prevent him from taking this precaution in order to strengthen his position. Suddenly the roar of the cannon ceased; once more Gonaives was saved. These facts show us the man.
Pinchinat, a mulatto, of extensive information and of great intelligence, to whom due deference was naturally accorded, answering at the French tribunal, discourses, pronounced before the legislative corps and the supreme executive council of France, by Borgne, Garigon, La Chapelle and Sonthonax, applied himself to impairing, if possible, the services rendered by the blacks, by attributing to the men of color exclusively, the glory and success merited by the colonial army. It is thus that he accorded to Villate,t commander of the Cape,
*The name of his horse was Bel-Argent. Monture and Cavalier signify one and the same thing-from which we have the name, Centaure des Savanes, given to Toussaint L'Ouverture. Centaure, in English Centaur, was a name given to a fabulous being and also to a constellation. tOf whom the historians of color make a true phoenix, that in contrast with the black, L'Ouverture, he may appear to great advantage. This is understood and becomes in their writings a matter of ridicule.
under General Laveaux, all the honor of the events which followed the return of L'Ouverture to the Republic. The injustice appeared so obvious to the black general-who ordinarily displayed more moderation in what he said than in what he did-that the very tone of his voice seemed to indicate the ebb of his feelings, when answering the misrepresentations, he said: "Who, achieved successive victories before I arrived among ydu ? Which one of your number drove the Spanish from the neighborhood of the Cape ? Through whose influence was Port Margot brought under the laws of the Republic ? Who recaptured Dondon, notwithstanding the efforts of Jean Francois ?"
In the meantime Pinchinat had the audacity to do honor to General Villate, for the conservation of a portion of the north. Pinchinat, no more than M. Ardouin, has ever ignored the facts in the case; but both have united in disfiguring them by crafty police, which makes fewer dupes in proportion as the citizens of the young Republic advance in knowledge and experience.* Villate was as yet only colonel. He had been the unfortunate lieutenant of a general still more unfortunate. But what does this amount to ? He was a mulatto, and as such ought to have been superior to Toussaint L'Ouverture; but he was not.
In the west the scene was much the same as in the north. Andre Rigaudf had tried in vain, on the 16th of April, to recapture Fort Tiburon from the English. Montbrun contended for Fort Bizoton, which was the key to Port au Prince, but without success. Beauvais fled as a fugitive from Croix des Bouquets. The English had no need to bombard Port au Prince. The commissioners, on the 4th of June, 1794, tacitly
*It is the same policy which has dictated the famous seventh article of the Haytien constitution, which separates the Haytiens from other people. tMulatto of the village of Cayes. He learned the business of a watchmaker at Bordeaux. Rigaud and Beauvais belonged to the black militia of Saint Domingo, which went to the seige of Savannah under the command of Count d'Estaing, during the American war.
dR, 1AYTI S STRUGGLE.9
consented to a capitulation, and withdrew-with the officers of color, mentioned above, and Pinchinat-to the village of Jacmel, where they awaited the sloop of war, the Esperance. Captain Chambou, the commander of the sloop, was intrusted with the mission of making known to Polverel and Sonthonax, the decree of July i6th, 1793,* which discontinued them in office and ordered their transportation to France. The captain of the Esperance was intrusted with another mission, viz.: To announce in Saint Domingo the decree proclaimed by the National Convention, the 16th Pluviose,t 1793, which declared the abolition of slavery in all the French colonies.
*Messidor, the tenth month of the calendar of the first French Republic. tPluviose, the fifth month of the calendar of the first French Republic.
CROIX DES BOUQUETS.
9TOUSSAINT L'v OUVERTURE;
TOUSSAINT L'I OUVERTURE FIGHTS SEVERAL BATTLES WITH THE ENGLISH
AND TAKES POSSESSION OF SEVERAL POSITIONS WHICH PROVE
The commander of the Esperance, by virtue of superior orders, gave over to General Laveaux the general management of the colony. Feeling certain that he would find henceforth in Toussaint L'Ouverture a powerful support, as he was in a position well situated for holding the Spanish in check on one side, and menancing the English on the other, the new governor was able to devote some of his time to the cultivation of the soil in the section of the country around Port-dePaix, where his headquarters were established. Villate was now at Cape Francais in a condition so favorable that he was able to follow the example of the governor-general; so that in the midst of war one was able to see and taste to some extent the sweetO and fruits of peace. In reality, this relative abundance was not long in replacing the misery of the evil days, by an amelioration long desired. Ships and vessels of of commerce no longer hesitated to unload their cargoes in some of the ports of the North. Provisions augmented in proportion to the transportation of the products of the soil. Alas! What a reduction ! What has become of the riches of the ancient Tyre of the Antilles? The queen of this archipelago was now no more than a poor plebeian ; a mother, it is true, with large paps but barren.
Toussaint L'Ouverture wrote to General Laveaux that he would not allow any respite to the enemies of the Republic; that he would not break his word with a chief whose esteem he desired to keep. Moreover, activity in war constituted a large part of his military tactics.
In the early part of the month of July, he had forced jean Francois back into the Montagne Noire (the Black Mount-
OR, HAYTIfS STRUGGLE.
ains). He learned at Camp Marchand that the conquered general, returning suddenly, had given Fort Dauphin to be pillaged by his bands, and that he presided with pleasure over a massacre in which all the population was sacrificed. Indignant at seeing a general shed blood when it was not necessary, and feeling that the injury was an appeal to himself, Toussaint L'Ouverture informed General Laveaux that he would undertake himself to avenge the act. "As for me, General," said he, "you may depend upon my humane sentiments. I have always abhorred those chiefs who love so much to shed blood. My religion forbids me to do so, and in harmony with its principles I live."*
Toussaint L'Ouverture, although suffering from wounds received at the outset, fought the Spanish at Savannah d' Altort ; captured some prisoners, who belonged to the regiment of Cantabre, and returned to the north with the intention of avenging the barbarous acts of which Jean Francois was culpable-made so by his conduct at Fort Dauphin.t
The Spanish had scarcely submitted to defeat which had awaited them, when some secret communication called Toussaint L'Ouverture to the banks of the Artibonite, where the English contemplated establishing themselves.
In the meantime, Laveaux, the commander-in-chief, was exhausting his strength by unprofitable efforts to maintain his position at Port-de-Paix ; while his first lieutenant had to face the Spanish and English, united against the Republic. The most imminent danger for the moment was anticipated from the side of the English. Toussaint L'Ouverture attacked them and cut in pieces, in front of Camp Marchand, their legions, reinforced by the Spanish- auxiliaries and the royal Gondrons (Africans). This was the name the people gave to the
*" Toussaint," says Saint Remy, in a passage of his book, "had a good heart." It is, therefore, wrong that the historians of color should impute to him barbarous acts.
TLetter of Laveaux,
recruits. He took possession at once of the bridge of 1' Ester, of Petite-Riviere, of Coup-a-Pentade, as well as all the positions occupied by the enemy on the right bank of the Artibonite. He was disposed to follow up his success, when he received from the general-in-chief the order to make an attempt to subjugate Saint Marc, the inhabitants of which, one had said, seemed quite ready to rally around the standard of the Republic.
Toussaint L'Ouverture made an attack on Saint Marc, during the first days of September, 1794. He was repulsed by a garrison of more than 2000 men. While abiding his time that he might return, as he had intefided, under the walls of this place, he surrounded it and went in person and hoisted the flag of France, at Verrettes. At this point he fought three days, during which time he measured arms with Major Santa Coecilia and Brigadier Brisbane.* The 6th of October, Toussaint reappeared before Saint Marc. This time Fort Belair and Morne-Diamant fell into his hands, notwithstanding the constant fire from the ships of war in the harbor. Almost immediately, the enemy returning, moved on the positions they had lost, with the intention of driving him from the posts into which he had just established his forces. Toussaint L'Ouverture had had the five fingers of his right hand broken, in aiding his gunners to mount a battery at Morne-Diamant, in consequence of which he was carrying his arm in a sling. Nevertheless he sustained the shock of the attack and in turn charged them at the head of a company of grenadiers. However, the pain that he experienced constrained him to leave the direction of the operations of the siege to his lieutenants, Guy, Blanc Cazenave and Morin. But on account of the absence of the principal chief, as Toussaint wrote to Laveaux, matters did not go well.t For another reason it was neces*He avenged himself on this officer, who had driven from him two of his best captains, by treachery.
tLetters of Toussaint L'Ouverture to General Laveaux, October 4, 1794.
OR, HAYTI'9S STRUGGLE.
sary to discontinue the siege; the army had used up all its ammunition.
"The ancient partisans of the Counseil de Paix et d'Union, who had themselves come over to Toussaint," says M. Saint Remy, " discouraged, abandoned him, in order to join again the masters they had fought. Toussaint himself came very near being a victim to their perfidy. He owed his life to Captain Antron, whom he named chief of batallion, in the presence of the whole army."* In his report to General Laveaux, Toussaint L'Ouverture spoke thus of this affair: "This check comes to us through the perfidy of the men of color who are members of this party.t There never was so much treachery prevalent. I declare to you that hereafter so far as they are concerned, I will conduct myself quite differently from what I have done heretofore. When I made prisoners of them, I treated them like a good father, and in return what do I receive? Have not these ingrates tried to deliver me, by a horrible course to our enemies?" M. Ardouin, who was moved by the reading of these words, said to the men of his color, "You see very well that Toussaint L'Ouverture detests the mulattoes." M. Saint Remy saw others when he wrote the following:-" It is sad to think that Toussaint L'Ouverture may have been able to find men sufficiently ignorant at any time during the Revolution of Saint Domingo, to say,'I will not obey a white man; I will not obey a black man; I will not obey a mulatto.' Unfortunate and ignorant blockheads! Let us turn aside from this discussion of the epidermis which disappears before the immensity of the power of God." In another passage the same writer expressed himself thus: " Rigaud invited L'Ouverturel to reunite with him at Leogane.
*Note of M. Isaac L'Ouverture.
tSaint Marc remained the boulevard of the reaction. All the mulattoes who had adhered to the Counseil de Paix et d'Union or who had deserted the cause of the Republic, sought and found refuge there.
M. Saint Remy always writgï¿½ Toussaint L'Ouvertur as is written
L'Ouverture had no prejudice of color although he turned it to the best account in his policy." The object in view, if one were not mistaken, was to induce the black general-who was heaven-sent-to reunite under the law of the Republic. The intentions of M. Ardouin are all the inore blameworthy, as Toussaint L'Ouverture had not spoken in his report but of the treacherous men of Saint Marc.
Notwithstanding the failure of his enterprise against Saint Marc, Toussaint did not withdraw from the contest. He marched his army to the ferry d'Aquin, and leaving sufficient force to hold the enemy in check at Petite-Riviere on the Artibonite, at Verrettes and at Pont de l'Ester, he formed his advance posts and afterwards appeared wherever danger called him. The character of Toussaint L'Ouverture was clearly revealed during this memorable campaign, in an unpublished letter that he addressed, March 24th, 1798, to the secretary of the navy and of the colonies. He appears to us as a tableau, succinct, but picturesque.
"I was obliged," he wrote, "to direct more than two hundred engagements against the enemy, in order to drive them back as far as the banks of the Artibonite, and that without other munitions than we were able to take from them. Powder was so scarce that we regarded the five or six kegs, of ten pounds each, sent at long intervals by General Laveaux, as an inestimable blessing. Being without the necessary munitions with which to continue the war, we substituted force and artifice, courage and prudence. These followed and accompanied each other as the circumstances demanded."
Now that we know the facts, is it necessary to refute the following assertion, made by a French historian-the great apologist for the Consulat and the Empire ? "He called himself Toussaint L'Ouverture, Military Mediocrist, knowing at
Scipion L'Africanus. The Louvertpres never place the apostrophe before their name,