Page:Haiti- Her History and Her Detractors.djvu/111

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English and Americans Side with Louverture

unreserved support to Toussaint and to do their utmost to prevent a reconciliation between the latter and Rigaud, whilst President Adams placed under an interdict all the southern ports of Saint-Domingue, and by a proclamation of June 26, 1799, prohibited their entrance to all American ships, thus depriving Rigaud of the means of getting provisions and war material.[1] He even went so far as to place American men-of-war at the disposal of Toussaint, so much was he won over to the latter's cause.

The conflict brought about by the intrigues of the Agents of France broke out at last. At night on the 17th of June, 1799, Rigaud's soldiers who were quartered at Pont-de-Miragoane attacked and stormed the

  1. Letter of Toussaint Louverture to John Adams, President of the United States, dated Port-de-Paix, August 14, 1799. Extract: "Mr. Edward Stevens has communicated to me your letter concerning the measures adopted in your proclamation. … Of all the coercive means at my disposal I can make use only of those which this country offers to me in order to repress the criminal audacity of the rebellious Rigaud and of his followers; but other means more powerful are wanting. Without a navy, the pirates of the South, who infest our coasts, plunder and murder Frenchmen and foreigners whom they meet on their way. … With their barges they reinforce the rebellious towns of the North without my being able to go in pursuit of these pirates. It is to put an end to their piracy that, whilst my land forces will endeavor to crush them, I beg of you, full of confidence in your fairness and your principles of justice, to let me have the assistance of some men-of-war. By granting my request you will have the glory to have helped, you and your nation, in repressing a rebellion odious to all the governments of the world. It is of very little importance that in your proclamation you have prohibited the ships of your nation from going to the ports of Saint-Domingue, except to Cap-Français and Port Républicain; such a measure will be of no avail if you have not some strong way to cause it to be respected. By granting my request for a few men-of-war, you repress a rebellion which all the governments have interest in repressing, while you secure the execution of the will of your own Government."