Slike strani
PDF
ePub

Proclamations, Manifeftos, Cor

respondence, &c .

THE

Toussaint Louverture, Commander in Chief of the Cordon of the West,

io Citizen Adet, Minister Plenipotentiary from the French Republic to the United States,

Gonaives, ift Germinal, March 21/1, 1796. *HE most horrible attempt has been made in the Cape

town, upon the persons of the Governor General, and the civil magistrate of St. Domingo.

If this design of the factious had been followed by full succoss, the European whites would have been destroyed entirely in this part of the Republic-Slavery would have succeeded to freedom; but the Supreme Being did not allow the crimne to be consummated.

The brave General Laveaux, and the civil magistrate, were beset yesterday morning, 30th Ventose. A hundred of the people of colour went to the town-house, where they lived, armed with poignards and pistols. This troop of affaflins, among whom thete was not one white citizen, nor one black, had little difficulty in seizing these two principal persons of the colony: they beat them down, and mutilated them by cudgels: they dragged them along by horses to the gaols of the vileft criminals.

I write to the inhabitants, and demand the liberty of these persons; that their invaded powers be restored, and themselves reinstated in their functions.

If these my just demands have not the success I wifh, I shall march against the Cape with a considerable force.

The Same to the Same.

Gonaives, 26th Germinal, 15th April. BY my dispatches dated the ift of this month, I announced to you the dreadful event that occurred at the Cape, and the attack committed by a handful of factious inen against the national sovereigniy upon the persons of the Governor General and civil directors of Si. Domingo. VOL. V.

" The

The narrative which I made to you was undoubtedly alarming, but thanks to the Eternal, calın has succeeded this menacing storm.-The virtuous chiefs have been restored to their fellow citizens and reinstated in their functions.

The leaders of the conspiracy have disappeared from the Cape, the stage of their crimes. Tortured by remorse, they fly 10 thun the just rewards of their guilt.--- But where can they hide themfelves from divine and human justice ?

The Governor General is occupied in drawing out the procès verbal of this great event. All Europe will be astonished, and France will know how to separate the good from the bad. Health to the country. (Signed)

TOUSSAINT LOUVERTURE.

TH

Stephen Laveaux, General in Chief, Governor of St. Domingo, and

Henry Perroud, Director of the Colony, to the United States, Eommercial Towns, the Merchants and Captains of the Continent of America, and the Danish Islands.

Cape, the --Germinal, April, fourth year ef the

French Republic, one and indivisible.
CITIZENS AND FRIENDS,
HE accounts of the great events that have just taken place at

St. Domingo, will undoubtedly have reached you with speed. Wicked and corrupted people cannot have failed to represent to you the matter under the colours which their malice and atrocity never ceases to make use of. They will even have inspired you with distruít, in order to arrest your commercial operations with us, and reduce us a second time to the former ftate of want, out of which we had already emerged by your aid.

But, citizens and friends, we halten to pre-engage a sensible and generous people against the effects of cnvy and calumuy ; to deItroy by everlasting truths, the fatal impressions 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 Mape of prudence, affect your tranquillity ; repel far from you craft and falsehood ; let your confidence in the Republicans of St. Domingo be unbounded.

France will pass 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 first authorities of St. Domingo, the only persons entrusted with the powers of the French people to govern the colony, have been torn fro'n the

helm

[ocr errors]

helm of government, dragged, abused, ill-treated, and thrown into dungeons like real criminals, and the virtuous inen who were attached to them, in confequence of their functions, shared the same fate.

A horde of faclious people and intriguers, ingrateful men, loaded with crimes, have done all tholc horrid acts, although France had heaped up benefits upon them.

A horrible proscription, extending to all the white people, was already pronounced in all the quarters of the colony, and its destruction was about to be effected, when on a sudden the true penple, the real friends of order and general liberty, the faithful subjects of the French Republic, rose up in a mass, and stifled in its birth the disastrous moniter, anarchy and rebellion.

The true Republicans, the African cultivators, were ftruck with the horrors of that outrage, and hastened to join in a mass, in arms, in order to take off our fetters, without leaving to the ambitious criminals more than they wanted to cscape, the arm of vengeance.

The whole plain of the north in St. Domingo was already reviving from its alhes, 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 pafled but they lified up their hands to heaven, and returned thanks to the Almighty for the sacred rights which France has restored to them.

These very men, so gentle and peaceable at their respective homes, became furious, when they heard of our being arrested. All in a mass, and led on by virtuous and intrepid chiefs, they fummoned the town of the Cape, to restore to them the representatives of the French nation and their fathers; else that town would again be reduced to ashes, and those concerned in arresting us, should be put to the sword.

The intrepid Toussant Louverture, this man, without his equal, to whom St. Domingo and its constituted authorities owe their safety, has just been made an aslistant in government operations, under the title of Lieutenant-Governor.

We are three representative heads, forming three strong columns, whereon you may with safety establish the continuance of your commerce. Here all the means of guarantee, as far as lies in our power to promise, are expreiled, and you ought to rely thereon.

The wish of the whole Republican arıny dispersed in different quarters, the consent of all the united municipalities, the union of all the brave generals and cominanders, who, with their troops, have broke our chains; in thort, all the legal authorities, demand earnestly the return of good order, subinillion to the laws, respect to the chiefs, and protection to the commerce of neutral natìons.

All

B 2

All those brave cultivators have recommenced their works; the earth continues without interruption to grow fertile under their hands.

Therefore we entreat you, in the name of the French Republic, which has always been your friend, to expedite vessels to us, as the explosion which we have just gone through renders our ope. sations safer than ever. You dvill see, that at no former period you have traded with us on a more certain and secure basis than at this new epoch,

Health and prosperity,
(Signed)

STEPHEN LAVEAUX.
Henry PERROUD.

LIBERTY-EQUALITY.
In the name of the French Republic.

A PROCLAMATION.
Leger Felicitè Santhonax, Julien Raymond, Marie Antoine Alexis Gi.

raud, Pierre George Leblanc, and Philippe-Rose Romme, Commisfioners delegated by the French Government to the Windward Ipands. To all the Citizens of the Colony, and to all those who compose the Land

and Sea Forces destined for its Defence. CITIZENS, AFTER so many storms and critical emergencies, inseparable

concomitants of a revolution, France enjoys at last a confti. tution worthy of a people who know how to value liberty.

Already under a truly republican government, the French peo. ple begin to rest from their long and arduous toil, and to enjoy the happy effects of the liberty which they have attained.

Firmly resolved to cause the constitution to be executed, the Executive Directory is constantly employed in searching out means to have it ettablished in all parts of the Republic.

The fixth article of the constitution states, That the French colonies are inseparable parts of the Republic, and subjected to the fame constitutional law.

It is particularly for the execution of that article, that we have received from the government the honourable mission intrusted to us; and, at the fame time, to let you know all the means you ought to employ to preserve 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 address you.

The antient government of the colonies had distinguished three different claffes-the whites, the coloured people, and the flaves,

To

[ocr errors]

To those different classes, now united and honoured with the name of French citizens, we are going to {peak alternately. We shall first address that portion of the people of the colony, which has most suffered under the tyrannic order which has been abolished, and we shall say 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 transmit them without interruption, to your remotest posterity. Those Mhips, the warriors whom they bring to you; all those formidable preparations are designed againit the English, who are the most cruel enemies of your liberty! They dare to indulge the hope of framing new chains for you. See these blood-thirsty tygers bending still your brethren under their homicidal whips. We cannot fuffer any longer so dismal an object ; join the forces which France sends to you, expel from the territory of the French Republic those tyrants of mankind, pursue them even to their haunts, and destroy the last of them! What! is it not incumbent upon you to revenge your brethren, whom they keep fettered in the surrounding islands? Yes, citizens, every thing ought to impress you with an implacable hatred for those tyrants, whose most lucrative trade is, reducirg you to Navery, misery, and death. What can withhold your vengeance? Rush on this impious race; make it disappear from that facred spot, which, too long has been the theatre of its crimes and depredations.

Labour and instruction, citizens, are necessary to the preservation of the people, and the constitution imposes them as a duty upon all citizens. The 15th article of the second title contains these 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 business. That clause, citizens, can and ought to take place only agreeably to the constitution, after the first day of the 12th year of the Republic.

The mutual operations of agriculture belong to the mechanic arts.

Yes, labour and agriculture particularly, is absolutely necessary to him who wishes to preserve his rights, and enjoy his liberty. Through labour we procure the necessary things to our existence and enjoyment; through labour only we can preserve our li. berty. Had

your ancestors, the inhabitants of Africa, devoted them selves to the culture of their fruitful lands, they most affuredly would not have debased themfelves by reciprocal bloody wars, of which greedy Europeans have availed themselves to reduce them to the most intulerable and degrading slavery. What remains for you to do, in order to avoid all the misfortunes which are inseparable concomitants of idleness? Nothing, but to devote yourselves to

the

« PrejšnjaNaprej »