to maintain friendly relations with both Great Britain and the United States, and did his utmost to propagate public instruction. The portion of the country under his command was therefore prosperous, although there existed a feeling of discontent among the people.
Pétion, who was of a kind nature and easy tempered, was hampered besides by the Constitution to the adoption of which he had largely contributed; he was thus unable to proceed in his administration with the same vigor displayed by his competitor. In more or less open opposition with the Senate, which finally adjourned sine die, he had to contend with many plots. Goman, in the vicinity of Jérémie, further harassed him by keeping up a guerilla warfare. And in 1810 General André Rigaud, who had returned from France, became Commander-in-Chief of the Southern Department, establishing an administration independent of the President's control. Pétion's authority was thus restricted to the Western Department. This secession occurred without any bloodshed, and ended peacefully after Rigaud's death, when the Southern Department acknowledged once more the authority of the President of the Republic (1812).
Owing to the unfavorable influences of these disturbances, agriculture suffered much neglect. However, Pétion's kindness to the peasants won over all their sympathies; and he gained their entire confidence and devotion when, through liberal grants and frequent sales of land, he transformed those who had been until then but simple tillers of the soil into landowners. By establishing this system of small estates Pétion bound up the interests of the people to that of the Republic, thereby gaining their support for the maintenance of the national independence. To public instruction he gave likewise his earnest attention; among other schools
- André Rigaud was born at Cayes on the 17th of January, 1761; his father was a Frenchman and his mother a negress named Rose Bossey. He was one of the colored militiamen who fought at Savannah for the independence of the United States. He died at Cayes on the 17th of September, 1811.