Page:Haiti- Her History and Her Detractors.djvu/134

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Haiti: Her History and Her Detractors.

slightest feeling of distrust Rigaud went on board the Cornélie. This frigate made for Cap-Français, whilst La Guerrière, which Leclerc had boarded, sailed for Port-au-Prince. Upon the inquiry of Rigaud the Commandant of the Cornélie notified him that he was a prisoner and demanded his sword. Replying to this only by a gesture of contempt, the former Commandant of the Southern province hurled into the sea the sword which had so faithfully defended Saint-Dorningue against the English.[1]

The ill-advised measure of which Rigaud was the victim at once made clear to the eyes of the mulattoes the true aim of Leclerc's expedition; this inexpedient action was in consequence destined to strengthen their union with the blacks, whose avowed leader, Toussaint Louverture, was, in his turn, about to fall a victim to the French reactionists.

Meanwhile, Leclerc was enjoying good fortune in his undertaking. After some parleys cleverly managed he brought about the surrender of Christophe. After this fresh blow Toussaint Louverture could resist no longer. The late Governor of Saint-Domingue was forced at last to acknowledge France's authority. On the 6th of May, 1802, he went to Cap-Français, where cannon were fired in his honor from the forts and the men-of-war. Leclerc gave him a most flattering welcome. At La Marmelade, on the 8th of May, Toussaint bid farewell to his guard and withdrew to Descahaux, one of his plantations in the Commune of Ennery, where he devoted himself to agriculture. His downfall was the consequence of his attitude toward the men of his race. He had no longer the influence over them which he had formerly exercised. The blacks who he believed were devoted to him had been alienated by the severity he displayed against them to the benefit of the wealthy planters. The soldiers fought indeed very gallantly; but the people had not the enthusiasm which inspires

  1. Disembarked at Brest on the 22d of May, 1802, Rigaud was relegated at Poitiers and Montpellier; he was afterward arrested and locked up at Fort de Joux.