Page:Haiti- Her History and Her Detractors.djvu/120

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Haiti: Her History and Her Detractors.

ing France's prerogatives. In consequence, by a proclamation of February 5, 1801, Toussaint Louverture ordered the meeting at Port-Républicain (Port-au-Prince) of a Central Assembly consisting of ten members.

After the elections had taken place he arrived in the town, where he was accorded a most flattering welcome; the streets through which he passed were strewn with flowers; bells were rung and cannon fired in his honor, He conferred with the Deputies and afterward returned to Cap-Français in order not to be charged with influencing the decisions of the Assembly.[1]

Whilst the body assembled on March 22, 1801, after electing Borgella as its chairman, was occupied in preparing the Constitution, Toussaint, with his usual activity, continued, at Cap-Français, to legislate in the interest of the colony. By a Decree of May 8 he reduced to 6 per cent the duties on biscuits, flour, salt, provisions, and building timber; he adopted a uniform tariff for the custom-houses. By an act of May 9 he prohibited gambling; civil or military officials found in a gambling-house were to be dismissed and sentenced to one month's imprisonment; private citizens were liable to four months' imprisonment with hard labor.

The Constitution[2] intended to be observed in Saint-Domingue was adopted on the 9th of May, 1801. Toussaint Louverture was appointed Governor-General for life, with the right to choose his successor. He was empowered to fill all vacancies in civil and military offices, and held chief command in the Army. The Governor was authorized to submit to the Assembly the drafts of laws pertaining to the colony. After Toussaint's death the term of office for the Governors was to be five years; and in case of death or resignation of

  1. The Central Assembly consisted of Bernard Borgella and Lacour as members for the West; Etienne Viart and Julien Raymond for the South; Collet and Gaston Nogéré for the South; Juan Mancebo and Francisco Morillas for Engano; Carlos Roxas and Andre Munoz for Samana.
  2. Louis-Joseph Janvier, The Constitutions of Haiti.