Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 2.djvu/38

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men had little time for thought; and the last subject on which Bonaparte thereafter cared to fix his mind was the fate of Toussaint and Leclerc. That the "miserable negro," as Bonaparte called him, should have been forgotten so soon was not surprising; but the prejudice of race alone blinded the American people to the debt they owed to the desperate courage of five hundred thousand Haytian negroes who would not be enslaved.

If this debt was due chiefly to the negroes, it was also in a degree due to Godoy and to Spain. In the new shifting of scenes, Godoy suddenly found himself, like Toussaint eighteen months before, face to face with Bonaparte bent on revenge. No one knew better than Godoy the dangers that hung over him and his country. Aware of his perils, he tried, as in 1795, to conciliate the United States by a course offensive to France. Not only did he restore the entrepôt at New Orleans, but he also admitted the claims for damages sustained by American citizens from Spanish subjects in the late war, and through Don Pedro Cevallos negotiated with Pinckney a convention which provided for a settlement of these claims. [1] Although he refused to recognize in this convention the spoliations made by Frenchmen within Spanish jurisdiction, and insisted that these were in their nature claims against France which Spain was not morally bound to admit, he consented to insert an article copied from the expunged Article II. of

  1. Claims Convention, Aug. 11, 1802; State Papers, ii. 476.