Page:Haiti- Her History and Her Detractors.djvu/103

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93
The English Leave Saint-Domingue.

the French Government advocating division and discord, the Agent of the Directory managed in this way to sow in the hearts of two gallant officers seeds of hatred which would cause the soil of Saint-Domingue to be once more stained with blood.

However, Toussaint continued in the performance of his duty. He was successful in his negotiations for the evacuation of Jérémie, of which place Rigaud took possession on August 20, 1798. Through his special agent, Huin, the Commander-in-Chief signed with Colonel Harcourt, the representative of General Maitland, a convention for the abandonment of Môle, the last place then occupied by the English (August 16). Almost at the same time (August 18) Dalton, Hédouville's agent at Môle, had come to an agreement with Colonel Stewart for the evacuation of the same place. General Maitland discarded the last agreement and Hédouville's agent was even kept for a while on the Abergavenny, then in the harbor of Môle.[1] Anxious to separate from France the man who was omnipotent in Saint-Domingue, the English were exceedingly deferential toward Toussaint. And when, on October 2, 1798, he took possession of Môle, he was received with much state. General Maitland presented him with valuable guns and a bronze culverin. The English General went so far as to suggest that Toussaint should proclaim himself King, promising the assistance of the fleet to protect him in case of need, provided that Great Britain be granted the exclusive privilege of trading with the island. Toussaint's sound common sense put him on his guard against such a proposal. He refused the crown but deemed it wise to maintain good relations with those he had just expelled from the country.

So, after a partial occupation of five years, the English were compelled to quit Saint-Domingue. The island was forever lost to them.

The expulsion of the English was unquestionably due to the successful effort of Toussaint Louverture in the

  1. B. Ardouin, Studies on Haitian History, Vol. III, p. 470.