Page:Haiti- Her History and Her Detractors.djvu/101

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Entrance of Louverture at Port-au-Prince

thought it advisable to be careful in their dealings with the black general. Without openly blaming his actions toward Sonthonax, the Directory sent out General Hédouville to Saint-Domingue. The new Agent arrived at Cap-Français on April 20, 1798. His reception was not enthusiastic on the part of the Commander-in- Chief, whose desire was to be supreme in command; for this reason he had sent Laveaux and Sonthonax away from the colony. Therefore, it was against all his speculations to be relegated to the second rank just at a time when the success of his campaign against the English left no doubt as to their early expulsion from the island.

In fact, it so happened that a few days after Hédouville's arrival, General Maitland, who was in command of the English forces and whose resources were quite exhausted, wrote to Toussaint Louverture offering to evacuate Port-au-Prince, Arcahaie, and Saint-Marc. The Commander-in-Chief of the army of Saint-Domingue took possession of Saint-Marc on May 8, 1798, of l'Arcahaie on May 12, and of La Croix-des-Bouquets on the 14th. On the 15th he made a triumphal entrance into Port-au-Prince. "The colonists gave him a gorgeous reception. The priests went to meet him with the banners of the church unfurled. They carried the cross and the canopy, as it was the custom at the reception of the Governors-General of Saint-Domingue. Magnificently dressed white women showered flowers on him. Some colonists even prostrated themselves before him."[1]

White women, who not long ago had regarded the Africans and their descendants with the utmost contempt, were throwing flowers to a former slave! The proud colonists were at the feet of a black man!

Toussaint Louverture had become the protector of the former wealthy planters of Saint-Domingue. Foreseeing the assistance they might be to him he spared nothing in order to secure their good will. Most of the colonists and the emigrants were in the English army.

  1. B. Ardouin, Studies on Haitian History, Vol. III, p. 420.