Page:Haiti- Her History and Her Detractors.djvu/279

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The Markomania Incident

Firmin embarked on the Crête-à-Pierrot on the 30th of June, and went to Gonaives, where he had been elected Deputy. On his arrival he protested against the Provisional Government, declaring that the elections had not been rightly conducted. Killick, who had followed Firmin to Gonaives, boarded the German steamship Markomania on the 2d of September and forcibly took possession of the arms and ammunition which had been shipped from Port-au-Prince to General Nord Alexis at Cap-Haitien. At Berlin this act was considered as piratical; and on the 6th of September the German man-of-war Panther arrived at Gonaives where the Crête-à-Pierrot was anchored. Her captain demanded that within five minutes the Haitian ship be delivered to him. Killick, thoroughly taken by surprise, was incapable of offering any resistance; he requested to be allowed fifteen minutes. Sending his crew ashore he lighted a fuse connecting with the powder magazine; having done this, he seated himself on deck, lit a cigar, and quietly awaited the explosion, which was not long in taking place. Rather than give her up to the Germans, he preferred to sacrifice his life in the destruction of his ship. The tragic death of Killick and the loss of the Crête-à-Pierrot left no chance of success to Firmin's cause. In consequence the latter sailed from Gonaives on the 15th of October and went to Inagua.

In the mean time, the electoral campaign was going on; and it looked as if the contest for the election of the President would be very protracted. Tiring of a seemingly endless struggle, the population of Port-au-Prince put aside the three candidates who were striving for the Presidency and, on the night of December 17, 1902, declared in favor of General Nord Alexis, whom the National Assembly elected President of Haiti on the 21st of December for a term of seven years. According to article 93[1] of the Haitian Constitution he will retire from office on the 15th of May, 1909.

  1. See page 251.