Agents to Saint-Domingue. Roume, Sonthonax, Juien Raymond, Giraud, and Leblanc were appointed. Roume was to reside at Santo Domingo. Pie arrived there on April 8, 1796; and his four colleagues landed at Cap-Français on May 12. The new Agents were accompanied by Major-General Rochainbeau, in command of the Spanish portion of the island, Major-General Desfourneaux, and Brigadier-Generals Martial Besse, A. Chanlatte, Beclot, and Lesuire.
The day after their arrival the Agents ordered Villate to appear before them. He therefore returned to Cap-Français, where he was given an enthusiastic welcome by the inhabitants. Displeased with this friendly attitude toward his opponent, Laveaux, at the head of a detachment, charged the crowd: 45 women were wounded.
Villate was at first sent back to his camp; but afterward he was sentenced to be deported and outlawed. To avoid bloodshed he left on the frigate Méduse for France, where he was tried and acquitted.
When Sonthonax left for France in 1794 he already bore feelings of enmity against the mulattoes; he came back to Saint-Domingue with the determination to exert every means in his power to destroy their influence. He found it comparatively easy to carry out his plan; for Laveaux had the same design. There was in consequence nothing else to do but to continue the policy already adopted, and the object of which was to use the blacks against the mulattoes in order to restore to the whites the supremacy which they had lost; afterward the blacks would be dealt with.
At the time when the peace of Bale made it possible to undertake an energetic campaign against the English, the agents of France spent their time in sowing and fostering discord everywhere, instead of trying to unite all those who were willing to defend the cause of the mother country.
Soon after appointing Toussaint Louverture major-
- On his arrival in France Sonthonax was tried and acquitted of the charges brought against him.