Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

sons admitted to their table, and who were appointed to all the civi 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 therWhites and them.

* 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, counterrevolutionists, 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-flûte, 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.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

the insurrection in the western province. He was received with
great acclamations, and entered on his government without opposi-
ion, declaring that he was not dependent on the commissioners, or
bound to execute their proclamations.
letters took place between the new governor and the commissioners.
the instructions he had received from the executive council to
He desired them to repair to the Cape, that he might communicate
them. They replied, that he was an entire stranger to them; that
they had not seen any decree by which they were superseded; and
shat, being vested with authority to suspend or appoint a governor
to themselves. On the 10th of June, having reduced Port-au-

they might think proper, he could only be an agent subordinate
Prince and Jacmel, they arrived at the Cape, and were received by

an estate in the West Indies could be governor, and Soirées Bermudiennes, pp. 207, 208. 3.

ET A considerable borde of Negroes, under the command of Pierrot,

I man of colour, occupied a part of the promontory of Cape Fran-
cik called the Morne Rouge, and extended their position almost
to the Bay of L’Acul. From these points they commanded the town,
ainepted the convoys of provisions, harassed the outposts, and

pe up a correspondence with the slaves in the city. Fatigued by
Ze perpetual alarms at the out-posts, the inhabitants of the Cape
Derailed upon the commission intermediaire” to permit a general
stack to be made upon the Blacks at Morne Rouge.

Sotwithstanding 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 alitia of the town — they blamed the national guards, who refused to advance during the action, complaining that they were dying of bunger, and that for the last eight months they had been without put. 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


, the colonists and republicans, accused the other of reason. With such a mutual want of confidence, they were not Soon afterwards, their mutual hatred

proMonsieur Galbaud was appointed to succeed M. Desparbes as ernor of St. Domingo; he landed at Cape François on the 7th

of Mav, at the time the commissioners were endeavouring to quell f

A quick interchange of }

respect. A serious altercation, however, immediately

an unrepealed act of the old government, no prowas possessed of a coffee plantation in St. Domingo.

are betrared and lost !”


likely to act in concert.
duced more fatal effects.


Galbaud with

took place : by i M. Galbaud

prietor of

Edwards, vol. iji. pp. 121, 122.


The governor

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 preparations for hostilities.

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. 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 flames. 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

[ocr errors]

Edwards, vol. iii. pp. 23. 123, 124, 125. 128, 129.

Soirées Bermudiennes, p. 225.

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, M. 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; sever ral, 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.
Steele's Chronologist.

Coke's West Indies, vol. jii. p. 462.

with the council of public safety of that part of the island, they took possession of the town, forts, and harbour, without the least 3 opposition, and the inhabitants took the oaths of allegiance. The commodore remained here but a few hours, when he sailed for : Cape St. Nicholas Mole, which surrendered on similar terms on the 22d September. The parishes of St. Marc and Gonaives > surrendered to Major Grant, commandant at St. Nicholas Mole, in December, and Commodore Ford blockaded Port-au-Prince.

Colonel Whitelock having been assured that 500 French, under a M. Duval, would assist at the capture of Tiburon, made the attempt, but Duval and his troops did not make their appearance; is the enemy were more formidable than had been represented, and Colonel Wbitelock was obliged to retreat with the loss of twenty men killed and wounded.

Between seven and eight hundred men from Jamaica reinforced the British troops, and led the planters to conclude that the English would pursue the conquest of the island.

In January, his Majesty's ship Providence, Captain William Bligh, and the Assistant brig, Captain Nathaniel Portlock, arrived at Jamaica from the South Seas, having on board several hundred plants of the bread fruit tree, and a vast number of other choice and curious plants: by December, some of the bread fruit plants were upwards of eleven feet high, with leaves thirty-six inches long. The gardeners' success in cultivating them exceeded his most sanguine expectations. There had been several attempts to introduce the bread fruit tree made before, but without success.

Three hundred bread fruit plants, in excellent order, were left by Captain Bligh at Kingston, in St. Vincent's, for the purpose of being distributed among the different islands. The Providence was only twenty-seven days on her passage from St. Helena to St. Vincent's.

At Jamaica, the bread fruit plants, some of which were nearly three inches in diameter, and in high perfection, were divided by the commissioners ; eighty-three to the county of Surrey, and an equal number to the county of Manchester, and the same to the county of Cornwall.

The white population in Grenada were estimated at 1000 this year.

The island of Tobago was captured by the English: it surrendered without any great struggle, on the 15th of April, to Sir John Laforey, in his Majesty's ship Trusty, of fifty guns, the Nautilus, of sixteen, the Honourable H. Powlett, and the troops under the command of Major-General Cuyler.

The Danish government allowed the free exportation of cotton from Santa Cruz, on payment of 74 per cent. duty.

[ocr errors]

Edwards, vol. i. Preface; vol. ij. p. 436. Annual Register, 1793, pp. 10. 17.

Colquhoun's British Empire, pp. 357. 362.
Brougham's Colonial Policy, book i, sect. 3. p. 494.

« AnteriorContinuar »