Page:Haiti- Her History and Her Detractors.djvu/69

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61
Beauvais Chief of the Militia

Borel, arrested General Lasalle, then acting Governor. Rochambeau had been sent to Martinique. General Lasalle succeeded in making his escape; he went to Saint-Marc, where Sonthonax had already arrived; Polvérel soon joined them. The colored men hastened to render to the Civil Commissioners all the assistance in their power. A strong army marched against Port-au-Prince. After a hard and desperate straggle the town surrendered. Beauvais was appointed commander-in-chief of the militia of the West; and a body of regular troops, "the Legion of Equality," was organized, with the mulatto Antoine Chanlatte as its colonel.

Their authority once more established in Port-au-Prince, Polvérel and Sonthonax tried to subdue La Grand'Anse. For this purpose they despatched a delegation accompanied by 1200 soldiers under the command of André Rigaud. The colonists of that portion of Saint-Domingue had gradually rid themselves of the control of the agents appointed by France; they had elected an Administrative Council at Jérémie, which voted even taxes. They had armed their slaves and placed at their head a black man by the name of Jean Kina. Aided by them they had succeeded in expelling from their "département" all the "affranchis," blacks and mulattoes. The army of the colonists was intrenched at Desrivaux. André Rigaud attacked it on June 19, 1793. He was completely defeated. After their victory the whites of La Grand'Anse transformed their Administrative Council into a Council of Safety and Execution (Conseil de Sûreté et d'Exécution), which they vested with extraordinary powers.

In the mean time, the greatest excitement was prevailing once more at Cap-Français. The Governor of the island, General Galbaud, had espoused the interests of the colonists. Upon the arrival of Polvérel and Sonthonax in that town, all the inhabitants were plotting against them. But having with them a battalion of colored men with Antoine Chanlatte in command, they felt that they were sufficiently powerful to order Galbaud to immediately leave the island and sail for