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Proclamations, Manifeftos, Correfpondence, &c.
Touffaint Louverture, Commander in Chief of the Cordon of the West, to Citizen Adet, Minifter Plenipotentiary from the French Republic to the United States.
Gonaives, 1ft Germinal, March 21ft, 1796.
HE most horrible attempt has been made in the Cape town, upon the perfons of the Governor General, and the civil magiftrate of St. Domingo.
If this defign of the factious had been followed by full fuccefs, the European whites would have been deftroyed entirely in this part of the Republic-Slavery would have fucceeded to freedom; but the Supreme Being did not allow the crime to be confummated.
The brave General Laveaux, and the civil magiftrate, were befet yesterday morning, 30th Ventofe. A hundred of the people of colour went to the town-house, where they lived, armed with poignards and piftols. This troop of affaffins, among whom there was not one white citizen, nor one black, had little difficulty in feizing these two principal perfons of the colony: they beat them down, and mutilated them by cudgels: they dragged them along by horfes to the gaols of the vileft criminals.
I write to the inhabitants, and demand the liberty of these perfons; that their invaded powers be restored, and themselves reinstated in their functions.
. If these my just demands have not the fuccefs I wifh, I shall march against the Cape with a confiderable force.
The Same to the Same.
Gonaives, 26th Germinal, 15th April.
BY my dispatches dated the 1ft of this month, I announced to you the dreadful event that occurred at the Cape, and the attack committed by a handful of factious men against the national fovereignty upon the perfons of the Governor General and civil directors of St. Domingo.
The narrative which I made to you was undoubtedly alarming, but thanks to the Eternal, calm has fucceeded this menacing ftorm. The virtuous chiefs have been reftored to their fellow citizens and reinftated in their functions.
The leaders of the confpiracy have difappeared from the Cape, the ftage of their crimes. Tortured by remorfe, they fly to thun the juft rewards of their guilt.-But where can they hide themfelves from divine and human juftice?
The Governor General is occupied in drawing out the procès verbal of this great event. All Europe will be aftonished, and France will know how to feparate the good from the bad. Health to the country.
Stephen Laveaux, General in Chief, Governor of St. Domingo, and Henry Perroud, Director of the Colony, to the United States, Commercial Towns, the Merchants and Captains of the Continent of America, and the Danish Islands.
Cape, the Germinal, April, fourth year of the
CITIZENS AND FRIENDS,
HE accounts of the great events that have just taken place at St. Domingo, will undoubtedly have reached you with fpeed. Wicked and corrupted people cannot have failed to reprefent to you the matter under the colours which their malice and atrocity never ceafes to make ufe of. They will even have infpired you with diftruft, in order to arrest your commercial operations with us, and reduce us a fecond time to the former ftate of want, out of which we had already emerged by your aid.
But, citizens and friends, we haften to pre-engage a fenfible and generous people against the effects of envy and calumny; to deftroy by everlasting truths, the fatal impreffions which so many accumulated horrors might provoke, against the dearest interests you have in St. Domingo.
Let not the impure breath of all vices, collected under the fhape of prudence, affect your tranquillity; repel far from you craft and falfehood; let your confidence in the Republicans of St. Domingo be unbounded.
France will pafs a vote of thanks to you, and the cultivators of the colony will redouble their industry, in order to discharge what they owe you.
Horrible outrages have indeed been committed against the representatives of the French nation. The firft authorities of St. Domingo, the only perfons entrusted with the powers of the French people to govern the colony, have been torn from the
helm of government, dragged, abufed, ill-treated, and thrown into dungeons like real criminals, and the virtuous men who were attached to them, in confequence of their functions, fhared the fame fate.
A horde of factious people and intriguers, ungrateful men, loaded with crimes, have done all thole horrid acts, although France had heaped up benefits upon them.
A horrible profcription, extending to all the white people, was already pronounced in all the quarters of the colony, and its deftruction was about to be effected, when on a fudden the true people, the real friends of order and general liberty, the faithful fubjects of the French Republic, rofe up in a mafs, and ftifled in its birth the difaftrons moniter, anarchy and rebellion.
The true Republicans, the African cultivators, were ftruck with the horrors of that outrage, and haftened to join in a mafs, in arms, in order to take off our fetters, without leaving to the ambitious criminals more than they wanted to escape, the arm of vengeance.
The whole plain of the north in St. Domingo was already reviving from its afhes, and a great part of the habitations rebuilt under our eyes, began to regain their former latitude. The freemen who cultivated the foil, enjoyed in peace the fruits of their labour, and no day paffed but they lifted up their hands to heaven, and returned thanks to the Almighty for the facred rights which France has reftored to them.
These very men, fo gentle and peaceable at their respective homes, became furious, when they heard of our being arrested. All in a mafs, and led on by virtuous and intrepid chiefs, they fummoned the town of the Cape, to reftore to them the reprefentatives of the French nation and their fathers; elfe that town would again be reduced to ashes, and thofe concerned in arrefting us, fhould be put to the fword.
The intrepid Touffant Louverture, this man, without his equal, to whom St. Domingo and its conftituted authorities owe their fafety, has just been made an affiftant in government operations, der the title of Lieutenant-Governor.
We are three reprefentative heads, forming three ftrong columns, whereon you may with fafety eftablish the continuance of your commerce. Here all the means of guarantee, as far as lies in our power to promife, are expreffed, and you ought to rely
The wish of the whole Republican army difperfed in different quarters, the consent of all the united municipalities, the union of all the brave generals and commanders, who, with their troops, have broke our chains; in thort, all the legal authorities, demand earnestly the return of good order, fubmiflion to the laws, refpect to the chiefs, and protection to the commerce of neutral nations.
All thofe brave cultivators have recommenced their works; the earth continues without interruption to grow fertile under their
Therefore we entreat you, in the name of the French Republic, which has always been your friend, to expedite veffels to us, as the explosion which we have just gone through renders our operations fafer than ever. You will fee, that at no former period you have traded with us on a more certain and secure basis than at this new epoch,
Health and profperity,
In the name of the French Republic.
Leger Felicitè Santhonax, Julien Raymond, Marie Antoine Alexis Gi raud, Pierre George Leblanc, and Philippe-Rofe Romme, Commiffioners delegated by the French Government to the Windward Islands. To all the Citizens of the Colony, and to all those who compofe the Land and Sea Forces defined for its Defence.
AFTER fo many forms and critical emergencies, infeparable concomitants of a revolution, France enjoys at last a consti tution worthy of a people who know how to value liberty.
Already under a truly republican government, the French peo ple begin to reft from their long and arduous toil, and to enjoy the happy effects of the liberty which they have attained.
Firmly refolved to caufe the conftitution to be executed, the Executive Directory is constantly employed in searching out means to have it established in all parts of the Republic.
The fixth article of the conftitution ftates, That the French colonies are infeparable parts of the Republic, and fubjected to the fame conftitutional law.
It is particularly for the execution of that article, that we have received from the government the honourable miffion intrusted to us; and, at the fame time, to let you know all the means you ought to employ to preferve liberty and equality, which are the fundamental laws of that conftitution.
Citizens, rally at the voice of the delegates of the Republic, fince it is in her name, and for her dearest interests, that they are going to addrefs you.
The antient government of the colonies had diftinguished three different claffes-the whites, the coloured people, and the flaves.
To thofe different claffes, now united and honoured with the name, of French citizens, we are going to speak alternately. We fhall first address that portion of the people of the colony, which has moft fuffered under the tyrannic order which has been abolished, and we fhall fay to them: By the republican constitution, which the French nation has just adopted, you have recovered your primitive rights; but you must know the proper means to preserve them without trouble, and to tranfmit them without interruption, to your remoteft pofterity. Thofe fhips, the warriors whom they bring to you; all, those formidable preparations are defigned against the English, who are the most cruel enemies of your liberty! They dare to indulge the hope of framing new chains for you. See thefe blood-thirsty tygers bending ftill your brethren under their homicidal whips. We cannot fuffer any longer fo dismal an object; join the forces which France fends to you, expel from the territory of the French Republic thofe tyrants of mankind, pursue them even to their haunts, and destroy the laft of them! What is it not incumbent upon you to revenge your brethren, whom they keep fettered in the furrounding iflands? Yes, citizens, every thing ought to imprefs you with an implacable hatred for those tyrants, whofe moft lucrative trade is, reducing you to flavery, mifery, and death. What can withhold your vengeance? Rufh on this impious race; make it disappear from that facred fpot, which, too long has been the theatre of its crimes and depredations.
Labour and inftruction, citizens, are neceffary to the prefervation of the people, and the conftitution impofes them as a duty upon all citizens. The 15th article of the fecond title contains thefe words: Young men cannot be inscribed in the civic register, if they do not prove that they can read, write, and follow a mechanical branch of bufinefs. That claufe, citizens, can and ought to take place only agreeably to the conftitution, after the first day of the 12th year of the Republic.
The mutual operations of agriculture belong to the mechanic
Yes, labour and agriculture particularly, is abfolutely neceffary to him who wishes to preferve his rights, and enjoy his liberty. Through labour we procure the neceffary things to our existence and enjoyment; through labour only we can preserve our li berty.
Had your ancestors, the inhabitants of Africa, devoted them felves to the culture of their fruitful lands, they moft affuredly would not have debased themselves by reciprocal bloody wars, of which greedy Europeans have availed themselves to reduce them to the most intolerable and degrading flavery. What remains for you to do, in order to avoid all the misfortunes which are infeparable concomitants of idlenefs? Nothing, but to devote yourselves to