Page:Haiti- Her History and Her Detractors.djvu/106

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
Haiti: Her History and Her Detractors.

After the sailing of the representative of France, Toussaint went to Cap-Français, where, in accordance with his habits, he ordered the singing of the Te Deum. He set in motion all the communes of the colony; and they sent to him numerous addresses protesting against Hédouville's behavior. He gave over all these addresses to Gaze, whom he despatched to France to explain to the Directory the recent occurrences in Saint-Domingue. And in order to disclaim the appearance of all pretensions to independence, he hastened to ask Roume, who was at Santo Domingo, to come and reside in the French portion of the island. Meanwhile, he did not conceal his resentment at Hédouville's letter to Rigaud. He quite naturally believed that the Commandant of the Southern province was in full sympathy with the Agent of France. This started a bitter exchange of letters between the two principal military authorities of the colony. Conceit and false pride played a large part in aggravating the disagreement between the two generals.

Rigaud enjoyed great prestige in the South. Released by Hédouville's order from all obedience to Toussaint, and thus rendered somewhat independent, there was a possibility of his becoming a dangerous rival. To maintain his authority it would be necessary for Toussaint completely to cripple the power of the only man who could successfully resist him. Therefore he lost no time in beginning to discredit him.

Such was the situation when, on January 12, 1799, Roume arrived at Port-au-Prince. After concerting with Toussaint Louverture he called a meeting of Rigaud, Beauvais, and Laplume. At this meeting, which took place at Port-au-Prince, Roume requested Rigaud to resign his position of Commander-in-Chief of the Southern province and to relinquish Petit-Goave and Grand-Goave to Laplume, who was already in command of the Arrondissement of Léogane. By accepting such a proposal Rigaud's authority would have been reduced to nothing practically. So he tendered a full resignation of all his authority; and having been elected