Page:Haiti- Her History and Her Detractors.djvu/100

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Haiti: Her History and Her Detractors.

Français. On the 20th he reviewed the troops and secured the good will of the officers. He went afterward to Sonthonax. Accosting the Agent with the greatest deference he handed him a letter inviting him, in the interest of the colony, to go to France and take his seat in the Legislative Assembly. Such a request was equivalent to an order. Sonthonax tried to resist. But he had by his own fault lost the sympathy of those whose assistance might have been of use to him. He had not an influential man, not a competent officer to help him in opposing Toussaint. The latter, noticing the inclination of the Agent to adopt an attitude of firmness, withdrew to Petite Anse, where Henri Christophe was in command. At night on August 23 he fired the alarm-gun. Sonthonax understood the warning and decided to sail. He gave way to Toussaint by leaving Cap-Français on August 25, 1797. The Commander-in-Chief despatched Colonel Vincent to France with the mission of explaining his conduct to the Directory, and he charged Sonthonax with having attempted to induce him to proclaim the independence of Saint-Domingue, making use in this way of the same method to which the Agent had resorted against Rigaud. Moreover, Toussaint believed that the French Government would surely be indulgent to him if he succeeded in expelling the English from the colony. In consequence he reorganized his army, and announced his intention of marching against the invaders. Alexandre Pétion stormed the fortifications of La Coupe[1] built by the English, compelling the latter to retreat to Port-au-Prince. Rigaud, in compliance with Toussaint's order, attacked and took possession of Camp Thomas, not far from Pestel. The campaign was then resumed in the West and in the South.

The Directory now began to be uneasy as to the extent of Toussaint's ambition. But, until the conclusion of peace would allow of their sending sufficient forces to help in restoring the supremacy of the whites, they

  1. Known at the present day as Pétionville, a summer-resort in the neighborhood of Port-au-Prince.