Page:Haiti- Her History and Her Detractors.djvu/63

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55
The "Affranchis" Defeat the Colonists

leaders of the colored army which was besieging the town immediately requested an interview with him. They showed the greatest deference to the agent of the metropolis. Complying with his request they allowed the city to be revictualed. And in order to entirely win him over, they agreed even to raise the siege: they accordingly returned to La Croix-des-Bouquets.

The whites of Port-au-Prince, highly displeased with Saint-Léger on account of his good disposition toward the colored men, refused to assist him in the repression of the crimes which the followers of "Roumaine-la-Prophétesse" were committing in the plain of Léogane. The "affranchis"' very cleverly profited by this opportunity to make themselves useful: Beauvais and Pinchinat placed a body of 100 soldiers at the disposal of the Civil Commissioner.

Whilst Saint-Léger was at Léogane endeavoring to restore harmony and concord between the colored men and the whites, the planters of Port-au-Prince tried to surprise the army of the "affranchis" quartered at La Croix-des-Bouquets. Being warned in time of the approach of the troops despatched against them, Beauvais and his companions retreated into the mountains of Grand-Bois and Pensez-y-Bien.[1] Incensed by the perfidy of the whites, the "affranchis," who up to that time had been very moderate, resorted to radical measures: they roused the slaves of the Cul-de-Sac plain to rebellion. Headed by Hyacinthe,[2] an intelligent and gallant black, these slaves attacked the colonists at La-Croix-des-Bouquets, defeated them and pursued them as far as the neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, which was again besieged (April, 1792).

In the South the struggle still continued between the "affranchis" and the whites; the latter, in order to rid themselves of their foes, called upon their slaves to arm themselves in order to render them assistance.

  1. Placide Justin, History of Haiti, p. 234.
  2. Hyacinthe believed that an ox-tail which he always carried in his hand had the power of preserving him from bullets; he was regarded as invulnerable.