Page:Haiti- Her History and Her Detractors.djvu/93

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83
Unsuccessful Campaign Against the English

on July 17 he had left Cayes, taking shelter in the Baradères Mountains.

In order to establish their authority more firmly the Delegates were eager to win a few victories over the English. In consequence they instructed Rigaud to storm the fortified place of "Irois" and Desfourneaux was ordered to attack the Davezac camp. On the 7th of August Rigaud assaulted Irois but failed in his attack; he retreated to Tiburon. On his side Desfourneaux, who was accompanied by the Delegates, was equally unsuccessful in his attempt at storming the Raimond camp; he had to withdraw to the Perrin camp. This double defeat in thwarting the plans of the Delegates so irritated them that they were unable to conceal their disappointment. In their report[1] they said that "they could maintain their authority only by fighting the English. A victory together with the kind treatment they intended to extend to the vanquished were to lead them from the South to the North. The colony would be saved and the Frenchmen would be once more its masters."

The blacks and mulattoes were not then considered as Frenchmen. According to the Delegates the whites alone were capable of being the masters of Saint-Domingue. In case of success their intention therefore was to come to an understanding with the colonists of the Grand'Anse, who were known to entertain the greatest hostility toward the members of the black race. The Agents of France who were at Cap-Français had already issued an amnesty in favor of the emigrants and colonists who would join the French cause.

After their defeat the delegates returned to Cayes (August 18, 1796). They dismissed the "Commandant of the Arrondissement," Augustin Rigaud, the brother of General André Rigaud, and replaced him by Beauvais. Their idea in taking this step was that such an appointment could not fail to create bad feeling be-

  1. B. Ardouin, Studies of Haitian History, Vol. Ill, p. 251.