Page:Haiti- Her History and Her Detractors.djvu/266

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Haiti: Her History and Her Detractors

late General Thélémaque were called, organized a provisional government at Cap-Haitien, at the head of which General Hyppolite was placed; whilst the constituents of the Western and Southern Departments, after meeting at Port-au-Prince, elected F. D. Légitime Chief of the Executive Power on the 14th of October, 1888. Seeing that their colleagues of the North, Northwest, and Artibonite persisted in keeping aloof, they elected Légitime President of the Republic on the 16th of December. His opponents protested against this election, contending that the Constituents assembled at Port-au-Prince had not the proper quorum. However, Légitime's authority was recognized by the European Powers, whilst the United States appeared undecided as to what course to pursue; but being evidently made uneasy by the intimacy which existed between the new President and Comte de Ses Maisons, then Minister of France in Haiti, Hyppolite's cause by degrees grew in favor with the Americans. Their partiality almost provoked grave complications. On the 22d of October, 1888, the Haitian man-of-war Dessalines captured the American steamship Haitian Republic as she was leaving Saint-Marc after having previously entered several Southern ports with a Commission on board, whose object was to try to detach them from Légitime's authority. The same steamer also carried soldiers, arms, and ammunition for General Hyppolite's cause. The case was in consequence laid before a prize court. The Department of State at Washington intervened; and after some protracted parleys the Haitian Government gave up the Haytian Republic, which had been declared confiscated; and the ship was restored to Rear-Admiral Luce on the 20th of December.

Légitime being unable to maintain his authority, sailed from Port-au-Prince on the 22d of August, 1889.[1]

  1. In 1896 Légitime returned to Port-au-Prince, where he is still living.