Page:Haiti- Her History and Her Detractors.djvu/130

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Haiti: Her History and Her Detractors.

was soon joined by Christophe, to whom he gave instructions. In proceeding to d'Héricourt he fell in with the troops under the command of General Hardy; they fired at his escort. Toussaint's horse was wounded and he was compelled to make his escape on foot across the fields.

There was great delight among the colonists at the arrival of the French army; even the priests, upon whom Toussaint had heaped favors, immediately abandoned his cause. The black General saw then the mistake he had made in counting upon the gratitude and the fidelity of the whites.

After taking possession of the smoking ruins of Cap-Français, Leclerc tried to win over Toussaint. With that end in view he sent Placide and Isaac, accompanied by their teacher Coisnon, to Ennery where Madame Louverture was living. Informed of the arrival of his sons, Toussaint hastened to go and see them; they had been away six years. Nevertheless, he could allow himself but two hours for the affectionate welcoming of the children from whom he had been so long parted. After receiving the letter addressed to him by Bonaparte he returned to Gonaives, and from there he wrote to Leclerc. Placide and Isaac brought him the answer of the Captain-General, who promised to appoint him his first assistant should he at once acknowledge his authority. Toussaint rejected this proposal and made up his mind to fight; however, he refrained from influencing his sons' decision; he left them absolutely free to act as they thought best. Placide, the adopted son, espoused his cause, whilst his own son, Isaac, declared that he would never take up arms against France.

Threats and promises having failed to produce any effect, Leclerc, on February 17, 1802, outlawed Toussaint and Henri Christophe. The campaign was immediately opened. Imposing forces marched against Gonaives, with the expectation that there Toussaint would be surrounded and captured; but he had had time to leave the town and withdraw to Ennery. On the 24th of February the French occupied Gonaives, which had been