Page:Haiti- Her History and Her Detractors.djvu/110

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Haiti: Her History and Her Detractors

of the blacks and afterward wrote him a most insulting letter.

Roume purposely held aloof and allowed the quarrel to grow more bitter. Since February 25 he had left for Cap-Français; but he continued to keep up a cordial correspondence with the Commandant of the Southern province. However, he suddenly issued a proclamation in which he denounced Rigaud as a man whose ambition was a menace to the established governmental authority. Nevertheless, Roume did not dismiss him, neither did he inflict on him any disciplinary measure. Instead of this he requested Toussaint Louverture to call the insubordinate to order, thus attaining his end in creating a civil war.

Rigaud found himself in a sad dilemma: he had to choose between fighting or fleeing from Saint-Domingue. He accepted the former alternative—incited by his hasty temper, the recollection of his past services to France and the authority intrusted to him, which he considered his duty to exercise. Toussaint proceeded with his usual caution in preparing for the unavoidable struggle by taking such measures as to insure him success. He gave special thought to the supplies of his army, provisions being somewhat scarce. For this reason lie entered into direct relations with John Adams, then the President of the United States, who appointed Edward Stevens Consul-General at Saint-Domingue. Toussaint's negotiations with England and the United States resulted in a similar commercial arrangement with both countries, to which Roume gave his approval in April, 1799. The two powers pledged their assistance to the black General. In consequence General Maitland[1] advised his agents to give their

  1. On board H. M. S. Camilla, of l'Arcahaie, General Maitland addressed to Lieutenant-Colonel Grant, who had been recently appointed British Agent in the island of Saint-Domingue, a letter of instructions from which I reproduce the following extract: "I do not apprehend that there can be the smallest danger arriving to Jamaica if Toussaint gains the superiority; and so long as this island (Saint-Domingue) is in its present state (that is, of actual warfare) it is equally clear that it is perfectly safe. One great object therefore of your duty here will be to endeavor to keep it in one of these two situations as far as you can, that is, to prevent any amicable arrangement taking place between Rigaud and Toussaint, of which indeed I see no possible chance; and should Toussaint gain the superiority you must exert yourself to the utmost to hinder him from receiving anything like an agent on the part of the Directory. The present will be displaced long before your arrival. … You are to endeavor by every means in your power to keep Toussaint in supreme authority in the island and to enter into any fair views of his that may have this obvious tendency."