Page:Haiti- Her History and Her Detractors.djvu/126

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Haiti: Her History and Her Detractors.

Domingue. On December 14, 1801, five squadrons simultaneously left Brest, Lorient, Rochefort, Toulon, and Cadiz. Forty-five thousand of the best soldiers of France were embarked on forty ships, twenty-seven frigates and seventeen corvettes. Bonaparte appointed his brother-in-law, General Leclerc, chief of the expedition and Captain- General of Saint-Domingue. Thirteen major-generals and twenty-seven brigadier-generals were to assist the new Governor in destroying Toussaint's authority. André Rigaud and his companions Pétion, Léveillé, Birot, etc., who, after their defeat in the South, had fled to France were sent back to Saint-Domingue with the invading army. In spite of the strength of these forces Bonaparte condescended to the use of stratagems in order to more easily get rid of the black general. Toussaint's two sons, Placide[1] and Isaac, were in France. With many messages of advice, to which were joined various warnings for their father, he ordered them to go to Saint-Domingue with their teacher, Coisnon. Appointed sub-lieutenants by the first Consul, Placide and Isaac were sent for the purpose of endeavoring to persuade their father to acknowledge France's authority.

On January 29, 1802, the French fleet arrived at Samana Bay, whilst Toussaint Louverture was at Santo Domingo.

General Kerverseau was despatched to the latter place, whilst Leclerc sailed for Cap-Français. General Rochambeau was instructed to occupy Fort Liberté; and General Boudet was to take possession of Port-au-Prince.

On the 1st of February, 1802, Leclerc's squadron arrived at Cap-Français, where Henri Christophe was in command. The latter went at once to Fort Picolet, and without any hesitation he opened fire on one of the vessels which was trying to enter the harbor. Neither the demands, the promises of favor made by an aide-de-

  1. Placide was Seraphin's son. When Toussaint married the mother, he adopted her child.