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carrying fire, and pillage and massacre over all the surrounding country, which, in the course of four days, exhibited only heaps of ashes. The fire,' says Lacroix, which they set to the plantations of canes, and all the buildings, the dwelling-houses and stores, covered the face of the heavens during the day with volumes of smoke, and in the night the horizon blazed with the appearance of the aurora borealis, which, to a great distance, threw a reflection as of so many volcanoes, and communicated to every object the livid tint of blood.'
The white population deemed it expedient to imitate the conduct of the blacks, by torturing and massacring every negro, whether innocent or culpable, that fell into their hands. Frequently,' says Lacroix, did the faithful slave, who presented himself with confidence, perish by the hands of an irritated master, whose protection he had sought.' It is indeed gratifying to find, that amidst the horrid atrocities committed by this enslaved and uneducated race, on the first bursting of their chains, they soon began to distinguish their enemies, and to shew compassion on the helpless. women and children of the planters who fell into their power. Neither were instances wanting of self-devotion and gratitude to their former masters. When Colonel de Mauduit had been basely murdered by his own troops, a black servant, of the name of Pierre, collected his scattered limbs, gave them that burial which had been refused to them by the soldiers, and, having watered them with his tears, made, says Lacroix, that tomb his own funeral pile, which had been raised by his piety. Bryan Edwards relates a story of the extraordinary fidelity and attachment of a negro slave, who, although he had joined the insurgents, was determined to save the lives of his master and his family. He conducted them by night to a place of safety, and in the day returned to the revolters; and thus continued for nineteen nights, during which they were entirely fed by the exertions of this faithful negro.
The colonists were at length induced to try the effect of conciliatory measures. The governor, M. de Blanchlande, issued a proclamation most earnestly entreating them to lay down their arms and return to their duty; but it was too late they were already well organized under two principal leaders, named JeanFrançois, who had taken the title of grand-admiral of France, and his second, named Béassou, generalissimo (as he styled himself) of the conquered districts. To this proclamation they replied in a letter to the governor, signed All the general and chief officers who compose our army. It stated that they entertained all possible respect for the representative of the person of the king; but that those who should have been to them as fathers, after God, were tyrants, monsters who had rendered themselves unworthy of the fruits of their labours;
labours; and will you,' they add, brave general, that we should be like sheep, and throw ourselves into the jaws of the wolf? No, it is too late. God, who fights for the innocent, is our guide; he will never abandon us; thus then behold our motto,-"To conquer or die."'
The fortifications being now completed, a feeble attack was made on the main body of negroes, who soon drove the detachment back into the town. When the whites were able to oppose them with increased numbers, the practice of the blacks was to stand their ground no longer than to receive and return a single volley; and as soon as one party was dispersed or cut off, another appeared, and thus, by their superior numbers, they succeeded in harassing the whites, and spreading desolation in every quarter.
In this terrible war, human blood was poured forth in torrents. It was computed that, within two months after the revolt first began, upwards of two thousand white persons, of all conditions and ages, had been massacred; that one hundred and eighty sugar-plantations, and about nine hundred coffee, cotton and indigo settlements had been destroyed (the buildings thereon being consumed by fire); and one thousand two hundred Christian families reduced from opulence to such a state of misery, as to depend altogether for their clothing and sustenance on public and private charity. Of the insurgents it was reckoned that upwards of two thousand had perished by the sword or by famine, and some hundreds by the hands of the executioner.'— History, p. 148.
The time seemed now to be arrived for the men of colour to avenge the martyrdom of Vincent Ogé. A general rising took place in the west; joined by the negro slaves, they set fire to the coffee plantations, and continued to burn and lay waste the country to an extent of thirty miles round Port-au-Prince. The chiefs, however, of this caste intimated that they had no objection to treat with the white inhabitants of Port-au-Prince, and accordingly a treaty was signed called the concordat, the conditions of which were, an amnesty for the past, and an engagement on the part of the whites to admit in full force the national decree of the 15th May.* They further permitted the formation of certain free com
On concluding this concordat, a transaction occurred of a most disgraceful nature. About two hundred negro slaves had been embodied and trained with the mulatto troops. To return these to the plantations was considered as a step pregnant with mischief. Their masters were therefore indemnified out of the public treasury, and a ship hired to transport the men, as a recompense for their services, to the Mosquito shore, there to be landed on some desert spot, with three months provisions, their arms, and a few husbandry utensils. The captain, however, landed them clandestinely in Jamaica, Commodore Affleck caused them to be carried back to St. Domingo. The Colonial Assembly sent them in irons on board a hulk in the roadsted of the Môle St. Nicolas. In this situation, about sixty of these poor creatures were in one night butchered, and their bodies thrown into the sea; the rest were left to perish in extreme misery.
panies of mulattoes, to be commanded by their own officers; but these concessions came too late, and the flame, which had only been smothered, soon burst out again with redoubled fury. It bappened, that almost at the same moment in which the decree of the 15th May was acknowledged by the colonists, its repeal was actually voted in the National Assembly in Paris. On the news of this reaching St. Domingo, the mulattoes, believing themselves betrayed by the whites, flew instantly to arms, and the most sanguinary conflicts ensued.
Three commissioners had been sent from France with an armed force to regulate the affairs of the colony, and to see the decrees of the National Assembly carried into effect. Their arrival caused the utmost terror, suspicions having arisen of a design to declare a general emancipation of the negro slaves. They acted in the most arbitrary manner, cashiered no less than three governors, and finally quarrelled among themselves. All was confusion and uproar. Galbaud, the last governor, had been seized and sent on board a ship; but his brother, a man of spirit and enterprize, gained over the militia, landed twelve hundred seamen, and being joined by a considerable body of volunteers, attacked the government house, where the commissioners were assembled under the protection of the regular troops and the men of colour. The conflict was fierce and bloody; Galbaud's brother was taken prisoner, and the son of Polverel (one of the commissioners) fell into the hands of the governor's party. The latter sent a flag to the commissioner, proposing an exchange of the brother for the son; but this sturdy jacobin rejected the proposal, declaring that his son knew his duty, and was prepared to die in the service of the republic.
Terrified at the passing scenes, and apprehensive of the yet more dreadful ones, to which these seemed the prelude, thousands of persons of all descriptions embarked with the wreck of their fortunes on board the vessels in the roadsted, and made their way to the United States. Many of the planters repaired to England; and in consequence of their representations and entreaties an expedition was sent from Jamaica under Colonel Whitelocke, to occupy such parts of St. Domingo as should be willing to put themselves under British protection. On the 19th September, 1793, he took possession of the town and harbour of Jeremie, and a few days afterwards of the fortress and harbour of St. Nicholas; but the town refused to submit, and joined the republican army raised by the three jacobin commissioners. This army consisted of the troops brought from France, the national guards, and the militia, constituting altogether a body of fourteen or fifteen thousand whites; to which were added a motley band of slaves who had deserted their masters, and negroes from the gaols, making
in the aggregate an effective force of twenty-five thousand men. Not considering this army sufficient to repel the attack of the British, the Commissioners resorted to the desperate step of proclaiming the total abolition of negro slavery; the consequence of which was, that upwards of one hundred thousand blacks fled to the mountains, and possessed themselves of the natural fastnesses of the interior; and a desperate band of thirty or forty thousand armed negroes and persons of colour ravaged the whole of the northern districts, more intent on plunder than in opposing the progress of the English forces, who, after several skirmishes, became masters of the western coast of the island.
On the capture of Port-au-Prince by the English, the republican commissioners retired towards the mountains, with about two thousand persons in their train, and a large booty; but finding the people of colour and the blacks in possession of the heights, under the mulatto general Rigaud, and a negro of the name of Toussaint L'Ouverture, they took the first opportunity of escaping from a colony, of which their conduct had completed the ruin. General Lacroix is pleased to say, that the agents of the cabinet of St. James's, well versed in the scale of venality, and acting treacherously towards France, offered a bribe of three million livres to Rigaud, the chief of the mulattoes, while they offered only one hundred and fifty thousand to the Count de Laveaux, governor of the colony, because he was a white man, and the whites were cutting each other's throats. Colonel Whitelocke did, we believe, offer the French general five thousand pounds to surrender Port de Paix, which he rejected with becoming indignation.
It should be mentioned to the credit of this incorruptible chief, that he was the first to discover, and duly appreciate the admirable talents of that extraordinary character, Toussaint L'Ouverture, who, after being a slave for nearly fifty years, became the governor and captain-general of the whole colony, which, by his excellent measures, was brought to a state of prosperity little inferior to that which it enjoyed previously to the revolution.
As our object is to exemplify the character of the negroes, rather than to detail the history of St. Domingo, we shall be excused for dwelling a little on that of Toussaint L'Ouverture. He was born in a state of slavery in or about the year 1745, on the plantation of the Count de Noé. His early life was marked by a sedateness and patience of temper, which nothing could ruffle or disturb, and by a peculiar benevolence towards children and the brute creation. At the age of twenty-five, he attached himself to one negro woman, by whom he had several children, and whom he treated with the most affectionate tenderness and regard. By the kindness of the bailiff of the plantation, M. Bayou de Libertas, as some say, but by his
own unassisted efforts according to others, he learned to read and write, and made some progress in arithmetic. These acquirements being noticed by M. Bayou, he took him from the field, and made him his postilion. Toussaint was not ungrateful for his kindness. When the insurrection of the negroes broke out in 1791, he refused, for some time, to join in the revolt: the plantation, however, was about to be ravaged by the infuriated blacks, and Toussaint immediately set about the means of rescuing his master from the impending destruction. He procured a passage for him to North America, embarking at the same time a considerable quantity of sugar to support him in his exile; he then joined his countrymen in arms, and by possessing some little knowledge of simples, was constituted physician to the forces of the king under Jean François. After this he became aide-de-camp, then colonel, next brigadier general, to which rank he was elevated by the governor Laveaux, for his services in reducing the blacks to order, and recovering from the Spaniards the northern parts of the island; and for his successful opposition to the British army. In an insurrection under Villate, a mulatto, Laveaux had been seized and thrown into prison at the Cape. Toussaint, on hearing this, immediately appeared at the head of ten thousand blacks, and released him from his perilous situation; for this, Laveaux appointed him his lieutenant-governor, and declared that for the future he would be guided solely by his advice. It is this black,' said he, this Spartacus, predicted by Raynal, who is destined to avenge the outrages committed against his whole race.' From this moment, the condition and the conduct of the blacks were sensibly changed for the better, and the most perfect order and discipline established among them; and it is even admitted by de Lacroix, who is not particularly friendly to the blacks, that if St. Domingo still carried the colours of France, it must be allowed it was solely owing to an old negro, who seemed to bear a commission from heaven to reunite its dilacerated members.'
The French continued to send out commissioners, but Toussaint directed all their movements, and on the return of General Laveaux to France, the Commissioner Santhonax was prevailed on to nominate him Commander-in-Chief. General Rochambeau, who had been sent out in this capacity, finding himself a mere cipher, began to complain; upon which Toussaint ordered him on board a corvette in the roads, and sent him home; and nearly at the same time he got rid of Santhonax, by making him the bearer of dispatches to the Directory. Aware, however, that the reports of these persons could not fail to make an unfavourable impression on the French government, he sent two of his sons to be educated in France, to prove (as he said) his confidence in the Directory, by placing his children in their power, at a moment when the com