Page:Haiti- Her History and Her Detractors.djvu/215

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195
Discontent Against Charles Hérard

The prerogatives of the mayors and the municipalities had to some extent restrained the powers hitherto vested solely in the military commandants of the arrondissements and communes, who therefore strove to regain their former importance; hence there started a struggle with the new civil functionaries created by institutions of too recent a date to command the respect of all, more especially as the Executive Power was giving his hearty support to the military party. The President set the bad example of not submitting to the civil power; consequently there existed between him and the Constituent Assembly, which but recently elected him President, a state of open warfare.

The popularity of Charles Hérard ainé was already on the wane when, at the head of the Haitian army, he undertook to subdue the insurgents of the Spanish portion of the island. The soldiers bravely performed their duty, so that the President entered Azua in the first days of April. There was nothing seriously to impede the advance of his army upon Santo Domingo. The days of the Dominican Republic were numbered, had it not been for the events which occurred at that moment at Cap-Haitien, Port-au-Prince, and Cayes, and which saved its existence. The discontent provoked by the acts attributable to the inexperience of Charles Hérard ainé broke out simultaneously in various places. In a proclamation of April 25 the inhabitants of Cap-Haitien seceded from his government; and a council of state appointed General Guerrier President of the Northern Department. On the 3d of May, 1844, Port-au-Prince, following Cap-Haitien's example, acclaimed Guerrier President of the Republic. The Southern Department was also in a much agitated condition. The peasants of Cayes were bent upon obtaining the fulfillment of the promises made to them. On the 27th of March, 1844, they assembled at Camp-Perrin and assumed the name of "L'Armée Souffrante" (the army of the sufferers). They chose a leader of their own, Jean-Jacques Acaau, who adopted the title of "General, Chief of the claims of his fellow-