Page:Haiti- Her History and Her Detractors.djvu/118

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Haiti: Her History and Her Detractors .

United States, Mr. Edward Stevens, whose assistance had been most valuable to him during the campaign against Rigaud, Toussaint, on December 31, reduced the import duties to 10 per cent.

The Decree of December 12 emphasized the attitude of independence of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army of Saint-Domingue. All merchandise, without exception, had to pay the import tax; French goods were therefore to be treated as foreign products. With his usual perspicacity Toussaint foresaw that Bonaparte would not forgive his encroachments as easily as the Directory. A conflict was inevitable; for he was determined in his resolution not to acknowledge any authority superior to his in Saint-Domingue. Not wishing to leave any place which would act as a base of operations to the forces which would be sent against him, he persisted in his idea of occupying the Spanish portion of the island. On December 20, 1800, he gave notice to Don Joachim Garcia that General Moise had been empowered to execute the treaty of Bâle by taking possession of that portion of the colony which had been transferred to France. Without awaiting an answer he despatched an army against the Spaniards. Whilst Moise invaded the former Spanish territory, by crossing the Massacre River, Toussaint, on January 4, 1801, occupied San Juan de la Maguana. On January 14 he had reached the banks of the Nisas near to Bani, where a battle was fought in which the Spanish were defeated; yet France and Spain were at peace. Further resistance on the part of the Spanish was useless. Toussaint had the satisfaction of seeing his former chief, Don Joachim Garcia, entirely at his mercy. The black General was destined to humble all those who had thought of using him as a tool. On January 21, 1801, a convention was signed at Jayna for the surrender of Santo Domingo; and on the 28th Toussaint made a triumphal entrance into the town, where the traditional Te Deum was sung in the church.

Toussaint did his utmost to win over the sympathy of his new fellow-citizens. In order to increase the trade