Page:Haiti- Her History and Her Detractors.djvu/96

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Haiti: Her History and Her Detractors

Toussaint resorted to a clever device. For the election of the Deputies to the French Legislative Assembly the Agents had summoned to Cap-Français one electoral college only. Up to that time each of the three provinces, North, South and West, had had its electoral assembly. By ordering the electoral college to meet at Cap-Français the Agents thought that it would be a very simple matter to secure the election of men devoted to their party. But they were wrong in their calculations. From Gonaives, where he resided, Toussaint Louverture was able, through the intermediary of Henri Christophe, a member of the electoral college, to rule the elections; he managed to secure the election of Sonthonax and Laveaux, whose removal from Saint-Domingue was indispensable to the realization of his plans. With much delight at having been elected, Laveaux sailed for France on October 19, 1796. Sonthonax, surprised and highly flattered by the honor conferred on him, saw at first in his election but a new token of the devotion of Toussaint Louverture and of the blacks in general. However, he did not seem to be anxious to leave Saint-Domingue, where he was exercising an absolute dictatorship. His colleague, Giraud, disgusted by all the intrigues which were going on in the island, returned to France. He was soon followed by Leblanc, who sailed on the frigate La Sémillante, after having quarrelled with Sonthonax, whom he charged with having tried to poison him: which proves how small was the trust reposed in Sonthonax by his colleagues.

The Agency of the Directory was then reduced to two members: Sonthonax and Julien Raymond, the latter but a negligible quantity. At the end of November, 1796, the news reached Cap-Français that the rank of major-general conferred on Toussaint had been ratified. At the same time the Directory sent to the new major-general a sword and pistol of honor.

Sonthonax, convinced that these demonstrations of his good will had entirely won over Toussaint Louverture, expected that the latter would be henceforth his