Page:Haiti- Her History and Her Detractors.djvu/90

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Haiti: Her History and Her Detractors

the release of Laveaux. He gathered at Fort Belair the black officers Pierrot, Barthélemy, Flaville, etc. Toussaint Louverture intervened energetically on behalf of the Governor. He threatened to lead an attack on Cap-Français if Laveaux were not immediately set free. Such an attitude decided the municipality to reconsider its action. On March 22 Laveaux was set at liberty and Villate withdrew to La Martellière camp. The Governor, however, did not consider himself in safety at Cap-Français; accordingly he went to Petite-Anse, where soon new riots occurred. On March 28 Toussaint came to his help. Two days later the blacks at Cap-Français took up arms; they had been told that Laveaux intended to reestablish slavery. Toussaint Louverture restored order; he became henceforth indispensable and was master of the situation. Entirely discredited, Laveaux was no longer able to maintain his authority except with the support of his former protégé: he appointed Toussaint Lieutenant-Governor. Toussaint was turning to his advantage the mistakes and passions of all.

Whilst Villate was committing the fault of participating in the arrest of the representative of France, Rigaud and his followers were valiantly defending the tricolor flag.

Great Britain had sent heavy reinforcements to Saint-Domingue. In command of over 3,000 men, General Bowyer and Admiral Parker left Port-au-Prince on March 20, 1796; on the 21st the combined land and sea forces attacked Léogane. Alexandre Pétion, who was at that time a major in the army, was in command of Fort Ça-Ira; he compelled the English fleet to withdraw. Renaud Desruisseaux successfully repelled the two assaults made upon Léogane. The English hastened to return to Port-au-Prince when they heard that Beauvais, from Jacmel, and Rigaud, from Cayes, were moving with the greatest haste to aid in defending the town.

In the mean time the Directory had been authorized, by an act adopted on January 24, 1796, to send five