페이지 이미지

as other men. If then, you see me evidently wrong, you have authority from me to correct me." Memorable words, which afford a striking instance of grandeur and magnanimity on the part of the monarch who uttered them!

Happy, thrice happy shall we esteem ourselves, if in the course of this work, we have succeeded in giving to Europe a just idea of the character of our august sovereign, and of the government, laws and institutions of our country!

Most fortunate, if we have succeeded in causing Europe to augur propitious omens of the liberty and independence of Hayti, and have drawn the eye of justice, protection, and benevolence, on a good, generous, and once most unhappy people!

Most fortunate, if we have been able to direct the views and thoughts of our countrymen to such things as contribute to their comfort!

Most fortunate, if we have been able to instruct them to cherish that love of order, union, peace and justice, which animates us for the individual happiness of each, of families, of the people, and remote posterity! Fidelity to our king and country, is the profession of faith we have made in numerous writings!

Whatever be the sentence finally passed, our conscience at least will never have cause to accuse us of having betrayed the sovereign and nation, in a subject intimately connected with the best interests of both.





If there ever were a righteous cause, worthy of exciting the attention of men, it is that of the people of Hayti, inasmuch as it is connected with the interests of all mankind; and if there ever were unjust, chimerical and revolting pretensions, they are those which are unceasingly advanced by the French in respect of a brave and generous people.

"Passions and resentment alone" they say, "have occasioned the loss of St. Domingo: to re-establish former ties of interest and affection between France and that rich colony, all the prudence of a regular and legitimate government, will be indispensably requisite."

We shall further develop that system of prudence, which we expect from the French. But first, we ask, who kindled the passions which lost St. Domingo? who inflamed them? who called them forth? who proclaimed the freedom of negroes in the Leeward Islands? who would have forcibly deprived them of the noble boon ten years after it had been granted? who murdered men and put them to the torture, merely because they resolved to be free? Could it be expected of freemen, that they would again resume their chains at the caprice of tyrants? what could justify the introduction of war, devastation, pillage, fire, plague, and death, amongst an inoffensive people, before warmly attached to them? what could authorise the attempt of that expedition, and commission of so many acts of perfidy, injustice and barbarity? Where was the authority to oblige Toussaint and an immense number of innocent victims to perish by the most horrible torments ? >'•-• • Terrible, but salutary tidings, which will ever preserve us from the yoke of those cannibals!

We reposed such confidence in France, at that time, that General Toussaint sent his children there. Some other generals and persgng of distinction, followed his example; and gave the same proof of attachment to the metropolis, in sending their children also, with money to defray the expenses of education. At the time of General Leclerc's expedition, the French endeavoured to employ Toussaint's children as instruments to detach the father from his Brethren's cause; they then sent back two of them with M. Coisnon, their preceptor. In the conference which took place at Ennery, between the general, his children, and the preceptor, the love of his country had to struggle with paternal affection; the unfortunate father was driven by the barbarous French, to the cruel alternative of sacrificing, either the safety of his brothers and country, or the life of his own children. After a severe struggle and much irresolution, the wretched parent nobly accomplished the sacrifice of his children for his country's good. He sent them back with their preceptor, to the French general; who, deceived in his hopes by the magnanimity of the action, returned them to him again. It was only after the violation of the treaty by the French general, that he was arrested, loaded with chains, and his children, family, officers, transported to Europe, where that great man breathed his last, in the dungeons of the castle De-Joux. His deplorable death, the great character and firmness of soul he displayed in his long and dreadful confinement, render him worthy of a place amongst the heroes of ancient times.

As nothing more was to be apprehended from General Toussaint, his children became useless instruments, and were permitted by the French government to live: not so the children of existing chiefs. That perfidious, cruel and barbarous government, avenged on those innocent victims, the resistance which their fathers had opposed. They were immolated to the manes of the murderers who fell under the arms of their brave progenitors. Bereft of every support, abandoned to the Orphans' Hospital in Paris, separated for ever from their unhappy families, they were doomed to perish with hunger, cold, misery, and poison!

Three months after the arrival of the French, peace was concluded between general Toussaint and general Leclerc, on the strength of the flattering promises of the latter, who affirmed upon oath, that the First Consul, his brother-in-law, had sent him to maintain liberty and equality. The king, our august sovereign, then a general of brigade, intrusted to the care and friendship of general Boudet, who was setting out for France, his eldest son, Francis Ferdinand, then nine years of age, with money for his education; in the hope of seeing him, at some future period, instructed in the politeness, learning, and manners of Europe.

Delusive hope! Fate and French perfidy were to dispose of him otherwise. The unhappy child, when he quitted his native land,


was destined never more to enjoy the tender looks and embraces of his parents, and of an unfortunate family.

M. Le Borgne de Boigne affects to be unacquainted with these circumstances, and has the confidence to say, that the King had two sons at M. de Coisnon's School; who were, he affirms, sent back with the rest when the expedition took place: while no one has been suffered to return; but all have perished, in a manner that renders infamous the government of France. Though we had witnessed many of their crimes, we could scarcely believe, that the government of a civilised country would consent to pollute itself by a deed so atrocious, as the murder of children by the instrumentality of distress and poison.

Nothing, unhappily, is more notorious than that, of those unhappy creatures, not one has made his appearance in this country a second time i and we have the depositions of some eye-witnesses, who prove that his royal highness, the much-to-be-lamented Prince Ferdinand, died in Paris, at the Orphans' Hospital, the 18th Vendemaire, in the year 14, {French style,) corresponding with the 7th of October, 1805.

Such was the melancholy death of a child of our king. O cruel French! O death ! O calamity ever to be regretted! Such is the reward of the confidence a father reposed in you! Thus you gratify a thirst of revenge, and punish the innocent child, because you could not make its father your victim \ O Henry! O my king 1 afflicted parent I be comforted; it is better for your beloved son to be no more, than to continue still in the power of monsters, who would have treated you as they did General Toussaint; have inflicted the same agonising torture, and have put in the scales, his life on the one hand, with the safety of your country on the other. We know the magnanimity of your soul. There would have been no hesitation on your part, for an instant, to make that painful and noble sacrifice to your country.

M. de Boigne pretends, (and it is easy to conjecture the reason,) to know nothing of that crime. Because he affects, or (to speak more intelligibly,) is unprincipled enough to affect, doubts on the numberless enormities of which his countrymen have been guilty. We ought, says he, to reject every thing that appears to be evidently exaggerated, and inconsistent with the dignity of man. The calamities were in themselves so severe, as readily to admit of amplification. The imagination, continues he, is prone to assign supernatural causes to evils under which we are laboring, if their effects be extraordinary.

So then, according to M. de Boigne, it is in imagination only, we saw thousands of the bodies of our countrymen floating on the .shores, and drowned in Carrier-boats.1 It was in imagination only, we were chased, persecuted, and hunted by blood-hounds, as wild beasts. We were dreaming, when we supposed we were hung, burnt, and slaughtered by grape-shot, when on the faith of treaties we had laid down our arms. It was in imagination only, we were transported to Europe to constitute the forlorn hope of the armies j to be cast into dungeons, condemned to die of hunger, poison, and excruciating torture, and compelled as galley-slaves, to dig the wells of Corsica, and fill up the marshes of Mantua! We imagined only, that the French behaved with such consummate dissimulation and treachery ; and that, after having followed them with negligent confidence on board their ships, accompanied by our wives, chilr 'dren, and effects, we were stripped, loaded with irons, men, women, and children, stabbed and thrown into the depths of the ocean, or transported to the colonies of Terra-firma, to be sold for slaves 1 Shades of my unfortunate countrymen! Toussaint Louverture! Maurepas! Belair! Thomany! Dommage'! Lamahotiere! and you, Ferdinand, unhappy prince! and ye victims,basely murdered { is it an illusion of fancy? Were you not their victims? Frenchmen! what then is the nature of your disposition; and what are the arguments you employ?

What else had we to endure, for having a right to repel your ignominious yoke? Were we to suffer ourselves to be utterly exterminated? What is wanted to establish the rights of a nation, become, in fact, independent by the strength of her arms, and, in principle, by the equity of her cause?'

Impressed with a conviction of the powerful reasons which forced us to separate from France, our enemies acknowledge that the expedition directed against us was unjust, and that we were under the necessity of proclaiming our independence, to avoid utter ruin.

Having, as they themselves admit, lost the ancient rights they had upon this country, by unjust aggression and innumerable crimes; they would create new privileges, which they endeavour to maintain by various pretensions and idle sophistry.

Let us travel through the objections lately urged. In the first place, then, the Bourbons are not the authors of the ills we have suffered; the mischief proceeds from Bonaparte alone. On that point we are agreed: no person in Hayti has yet gone the length of imputing the crimes of Bonaparte to the Bourbons. Before we reply to the argument, specious as it is, let us leave Bonaparte to himself on the rock of St. Helena; he is not in a situation to injure us, or any other person. We encountered and destroyed his armies^,

.So named from their inventor, Carrier.

« 이전계속 »