Page:Haiti- Her History and Her Detractors.djvu/125

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

Quiet Reigns at Saint-Domingue.


of France, saw nothing to prevent his taking advantage of this opportunity to check Toussaint's ambition.

In the mean time, the new Governor-General was organizing the colony. At his suggestion the Central Assembly enacted many useful laws. Toussaint achieved success where various Agents of France had known but failure of their plans; under his energetic and vigorous government prosperity had reappeared in the island. Scrupulous to a degree as to the management of public funds, he insisted upon the strictest probity from all those into whose charge was committed the money of the colony. Agriculture was flourishing;[1] justice was being administered by competent men.

Quiet reigned at last after all the agitations which since 1791 had been dyeing the soil of Saint-Domingue with blood. But this peace, so earnestly desired, was destined to be of short duration; fresh storms were gathering over the unfortunate island.

Bonaparte, the arbitrary ruler of France, could never permit the continuance of Toussaint's encroachments; he was preparing to crush the black man who had dared to usurp France's prerogatives. To crown the Machiavellian politics of the Directory, he was planning, not only the annihilation of the influence of the blacks, but also the restoration of slavery. The various Agents of France had done their utmost to instigate the blacks against the mulattoes. The latter were now to be used to subdue Toussaint and his followers, with the ulterior design, in case of success, of deporting them all. Such at least was the advice given by General Kerverseau.

Peace with Great Britain was scarcely concluded when a formidable expedition was organized against Saint-

  1. From 1800 to 1801 the products of the island were the following: refined sugar, 16,540 lbs.; brown sugar, 18,518,572; coffee, 43,220,270; cotton, 2,480,340; indigo, 804; cocoa, 648,518; logwood, 6,768,634; molasses, 99,419. In 1790, before the beginning of the troubles which ruined Saint-Domingue, the total products of the island were: refined sugar, 70,000,000 lbs.; brown sugar, 93,000,000; coffee, 68,000,000; cotton, 6,000,000; indigo, 1,000,000; cocoa, 150,000; molasses, 30,000.
    (B. Ardouin, Studies of Haitian History, Vol. IV, p. 400.)