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think it credible,” he says, " that in the city of Havaña alone, where there was no court of appeal, there were computed to be, in 1792, seventy-two advocates, besides 34 in the other cities and villages, making 106 advocates, to a population of 254,821 souls; and the territorial exports did not amount to the value of five millions of dollars. Whilst St. Domingo, with a population of 600,060 souls, and produce to the value of twenty-seven millions of dollars, had in the two councils, and over the whole colony, but thirty-six advocates,
Upon the 21st of January, 1793, the French republicans decapitated their monarch, Louis XVI. The English government immediately dismissed the French ambassador, and commenced that long and arduous contest which terminated in the destruction of the most appalling and flagitious tyranny that ever afflicted Europe.
Upon the 1st of February, the French convention decreed a declaration of war against His Britannic Majesty and the Stadtholder of the United Provinces.
Upon the 12th of January, M. de Rochambeau was appointed general of Martinico, and quitted St. Domingo soon afterwards. M. Laveaux became general of the troops, and received fresh orders from Santhonax, to renew the general attack against the Blacks. This officer commenced his operations by attacking Morne Pélé, and the post of the Tannerie. During thirty days his success was greater than was expected. The Blacks were driven to the woods ; and about the middle of February, the hopes of the Whites were raised to anticipate their complete subjugation ; when an order, from Santhonax to suspend their operations, and march no further, gave rise to various conjectures; his partisans attributed the cessation to the refusal of the citizens of the cape to finish the campaign. They were, however, too few to have stopped a general attack by near 12,000 troops.
The release of 500 Blacks from the prisons of the cape — the order to pull down all the gibbets — to keep only upon the defensive - the proclamation declaring that one-third of the vacancies for officers should be filled up with people of colour - the banishment of those Whites who most strenuously urged the accomplishment of the decree of the 4th of April, and the liberation of the curés of Dondon and Grande Riviere, open abettors of the revolt of the Negroes, and taken among them: all these facts made the Whites conclude that the commissioners were hostile to them, and seeking adherents among the people of colour, who were now the only per
Barlow's History of England, vol. v. p. 388. Soirées Bermudiennes, p. 184.
sons admitted to their table, and who were appointed to all the civil and military situations, as they became vacant.
M. Therou, commandant at Jacquesy, was ordered to quit the colony in twenty-four hours, for sending a letter to Candi, the Mulatto chief at Trou, declaring, that notwithstanding the new law, there never would exist any equality of rank between the Whites and them.
6 To Candy the commissioners granted, by the treaty of union, permission to descend into the plain, and to occupy with his troops the village of Trou — to form a camp, and to fortify it: they were to be supplied with provisions and ammunition, and to remain independent of all other authority than that of their chiefs. As the Mulattoes were never called upon to act against the Blacks, the Whites felt that they were protected for the purpose of being employed against them.
À convention was also entered into with the Blacks, who were stated to be about to surrender themselves, and therefore not to be irritated by further hostilities.
Santhonax proceeded to punish the agitators, aristocrats, counterrévolutionists, and friends of the English. Upon the 4th of March, he sailed in the America, seventy-four, accompanied by two frigates, and a vessel armée-en-fûte, with troops on board, and anchored in the road of St. Marc, where he ordered the Mulattoes to seize a great number of the Whites, permitted them to plunder the houses, and banished such of the Whites as he chose. The inhabitants of Portau-Prince saw that the storm was approaching them ; for, in addition to the troops which Santhonax brought, he ordered the people of colour of the fourteen adjoining parishes to invest the city by land - at the same time he attacked it by sea. The Blacks were also again in arms, and infested the plain of the Cul de Sac.
The inhabitants of Port-au-Prince sent two deputies, the one white, the other a man of colour, to the commissioners, to request that they would enter their town without the troops. The man of colour only was admitted to an interview. The overtures were rejected; and a second embassy shared the same fate. · 'Upon the 5th of April, the vessels anchored before Port-auPrince. For a week the inhabitants tried to mitigate the rigour of the commissioners, who insisted upon an unconditional surrender. Upon the 12th, the town, attacked by sea and land, was obliged to surrender at five o'clock in the evening, after having had several men killed and houses beaten down. The next day the military executions commenced. Five hundred Whites were sent on board the ships in irons, and the town was condemned to pay 450,000 livres within three days. M. Borel, who was particularly the object of their hatred, escaped from the town, with 200 Whites and 300. Negroes.
Soirées Bermudiennes, pp. 201. 204.
A considerable horde of Negroes, under the command of Pierrot, a man of colour, occupied a part of the promontory of Cape François, called the Morné Rouge, and extended their position almost to the Bay of L'Acul. From these points they commanded the town, intercepted the convoys of provisions, harassed the outposts, and kept up a correspondence with the slaves in the city. Fatigued by the perpetual alarms at the out-posts, the inhabitants of the Cape prevailed upon the “ commission intermediaire" to permit a general attack to be made upon the Blacks at Morne Rouge.
Notwithstanding the orders of Santhonax, who from Port-auPrince continued to forbid Laveaux to act offensively, Laveaux commanded this sortie, which was repulsed with loss: he blamed the militia of the town — they blamed the national guards, who refused to advance during the action, complaining that they were dying of hunger, and that for the last eight months they had been without pay. The militia under Dubisson had gained some advantages in the front: but seeing the inaction of the centre under Laveaux, they regarded themselves as betrayed, and cried, “ Sauve qui peut.” Lieutenant-Colonel Desprez, commander of the column of mutineers, seeing the situation of the troops, blew his own brains out, exclaiming at the same time to his serjeant-major, “ My friend, we are betrayed and lost !"
Each party, the colonists and republicans, accused the other of treason. With such a mutual want of confidence, they were not likely to act in concert. Soon afterwards, their mutual hatred produced more fatal effects.
Monsieur Galbaud was appointed to succeed M. Desparbes as governor of St. Domingo; he landed at Cape François on the 7th of May, at the time the commissioners were endeavouring to quell the insurrection in the western province. He was received with great acclamations, and entered on his government without opposition, declaring that he was not dependent on the commissioners, or bound to execute their proclamations. A quick interchange of letters took place between the new governor and the commissioners. He desired them to repair to the Cape, that he might communicate the instructions he had received from the executive council to them. They replied, that he was an entire stranger to them; that they had not seen any decree by which they were superseded; and that, being vested with authority to suspend or appoint a governor as they might think proper, he could only be an agent subordinate to themselves. On the 10th of June, having reduced Port-auPrince and Jacmel, they arrived at the Cape, and were received by Galbaud with respect. A serious altercation, however, immediately took place : by an unrepealed act of the old government, no proprietor of an estate in the West Indies could be governor, and M. Galbaud was possessed of a coffee plantation in St. Domingo.
Soirées Bermudiennes, pp. 207, 208.
Edwards, vol. iij. pp. 121, 122.
When, therefore, he was asked why he had not acquainted the executive council with this circumstance, he was utterly disconcerted, and made no reply.
On the 13th, the commissioners ordered M. Galbaud to embark forthwith on board La Normande sloop of war, and return to France. At the same time they sent instructions to M. de la Salle, commandant at Port-au-Prince, to repair to the Cape, and receive from them, in the name of the French republic, the command of the colony. The seven following days were spent in intrigues and
Carations fore seven follo the Frenchir to the Con M. de la Saito
on th being to the holour fierce cu
cannession of a wired to retire molested.
Galbaud's brother had collected, from among the inhabitants and the seamen in the harbour, a strong party to support his brother. On the 20th, the two brothers landed at the head of 1200 sailors, and, being joined by a considerable body of volunteers, proceeded immediately to the house in which the commissioners were, defended by the people of colour, a body of regulars, and one piece of cannon; the conflict was fierce and bloody, but the seamen getting possession of a wine cellar, soon became ungovernable ; and the column was obliged to retire to the royal arsenal, where they remained the ensuing night unmolested. The next morning many skirmishes took place in the streets, in one of which Galbaud's brother was taken prisoner by the commissioners' troops, and in another, Galbaud's seamen took Polverel's son. The governor proposed an exchange, but Polverel rejected the offer with indignation, declaring that his son knew his duty, and was prepared to die in the service of the republic.
About three thousand revolted Negroes, commanded by a Negro chief called Macaya, whom the commissioners had called in by offering them an unconditional pardon for the past, freedom for the future, and the plunder of the city, entered the town at noon : they immediately began an indiscriminate slaughter of men, women, and children; the white inhabitants fled from all quarters to the sea-side, in hopes of finding shelter on board the ships, but a body of Mulattoes cut off their retreat, and a massacre ensued, which continued from the 21st to the evening of the 23d, when there being no more white inhabitants to murder, the Negroes set fire to the buildings, and more than half the city was consumed by the fames. Only twelve or fifteen hundred persons (the French say five thousand) are supposed to have escaped, some of whom were saved by the white soldiers. · Three hundred persons were burnt in one house ; numbers of both sexes were shot as they were swimming off to the ships, and the convoy sailed for America on the same evening, filled with a miserable and destitute freight of human beings.
Some of the wretched fugitives on board an American brig, the Thomas of Boston, were detained on their passage for two days by an English privateer from Nassau, the Susannah, Captain Tucker, who, after plundering the French of all their remaining valuables, and of their Negroes, who had voluntarily followed them, let the vessel go.
After this triumph of the republicans, Polverel left his colleague at the cape, and went to the westward. Santhonax quitted the government house, which formerly belonged to the Jesuits, and was indefensible, and removed to Grigri, Ň. Bailly's house, situated within gun-shot of the town, near the little « Carenage," upon the side of the mountain facing the anchorage, and in a steep place. There was only one narrow road to it between the “ Morne a Pic" and the sea. A steep path led to the house, which could only be entered by a long flight of steps. Above it the heights were inaccessible, and before the house was a large terrace, underneath which was a garden, consisting of five or six platforms, still narrower, which ended at the road. Here two brass guns were placed, and a strong guard of Blacks; and here Santhonax remained. Upon the 29th of August, he declared all the Blacks and persons of mixed blood actually in slavery free, and entitled to enjoy all the rights attached to the quality of French citizens. .
Polverel had done the same to leeward by a proclamation dated the 27th of August.
All the particulars of the precipitate departure of Santhonax (the French writer says) prove that he dreaded the animosity of the Mulattoes, and dared not trust himself to the Blacks; he could not hope either for any produce in a country so ruined. He took with him all the provisions and ammunition which remained in the magazines, and all the white troops, and only white ones, who were now reduced from 15,000 men to 1000, of whom 400 were so ill, that, despairing of curing them in that country, he sent them to the United States ; these were shipped without necessaries and without surgeons; several, indeed, died during the process of embarking. When these were gone, Santhonax, upon the 10th of October, sailed for Port de Paix ; quitting the famous anchorage of Cape François, which used, before the revolution, to contain continually four or five hundred merchant vessels of all sizes, and leaving in it only five or six small craft belonging to the Americans.
It is more probable that Santhonax was afraid of the English. Upon the 9th of September, Commodore J. Ford, in his Majesty's ship Europa of fifty guns, sailed from Jamaica with the expedition against St. Domingo. The troops were under the command of Colonel Whitelocke. Upon the 19th, the Europa, Le Goelan, fourteen guns, Captain T. Woolley, and Flying Fish (schooner), Lieutenant Prevost, arrived at Jeremie, and the troops were landed the ensuing morning; as the terms of capitulation had been previously arranged
Soirées Bermudiennes, pp. 233. 235. 239.