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selves, and the madness of the planters, who refused to make any concessions to a population in arms, threatened to prove their own ruin.
These commotions were at their height, when, in 1793, the English invaded St. Domingo ; in consequence of which, the French commissioners ventured upon the dangerous experiment of issuing a proclamation of freedom, with a view to ensure the assistance of the revolted negroes in repelling the invaders. Had not England been known to be at that time the largest trader in slaves, and the most deeply involved in the system of piracy and oppression from which the negroes sought to extricate themselves, they would, no doubt, have hailed the invaders as their best friends. It speaks volumes, that, to expel the English from their shores, the insurgent slaves instantly joined their old masters, whom they might, at this crisis, with ease have destroyed; and to their fidelity and bravery, France was indebted for the preservation of her finest colony.
Slavery being now abolished, the blacks were placed on an equality with the whites; and the brave negro, Toussaint L' Ouverture, was, on account of his distinguished talents and integrity, raised to the most honourable station in the colonial government. His administration is admitted to have been most exemplary; and under it, the negroes gave every proof of industry, subordination, and content. Their freedom had not destroyed their diligence ; the colony had seldom been more productive to the mother-country; nor had the persons and property of the planters been at any time more secure.
• In this manner,' remarks the present Writer, things would have no doubt proceeded,-the natives improving in the arts of peace and civilization, the produce of the Island yielding increased wealth both to the proprietors and the cultivators, till the distinctions of colour and the prejudices founded on them would have been forgotten; had not the restless ambition of the usurper of France and the discontent of the ex-colonists disturbed the tranquillity of the island, and suddenly renewed those contests which, it was hoped, had for ever ceased.'
Early in 1802, the expedition under the execrable Le Clerc arrived at St. Domingo.' Its treacherous object was soon detected, and the population a second time rose in arms to assert their freedom, which had been solemnly recognised by the French Government. The contest was conducted, on the part of the French, with cold blooded and diabolical barbarity : on that of the negroes, it assumed the character of desperation and dire revenge. After thousands of them had been massacred or drowned, the French adopted the horrible expedient of hunting down and destroying the fugitives by blood-hounds. At length, Divine Providence seemed to interpose to put a stop to these atrocities. A contagious fever broke out in the French army, which proved fatal to Le Clerc himself; and ultimately, the majority of the surviving planters and soldiers were glad to escape from the vengeance which awaited them. The French were finally expelled in Dec. 1803, and the independence of Hayti was again formally proclaimed on the first day of the new year. In Oct. 1804, Dessalines was crowned
emperor of Hayti ;' a title of ill omen, as well as of absurd pretension, in selecting which he consulted only his vanity, and betrayed himself the negro. His short reign, ushered in with a treacherous massacre of the remaining whites, was a continued scene of folly and tyranny towards his own subjects. At length, his crimes provoked the usual fate of tyrants : he was assassinated by his officers.
Christophe was the first general of the Haytian army; and both his rank and his well-known abilities pointed him out as the successor of the emperor. . He at least shewed his good sense in assuming, with the sovereign power, the title of Chief of the Government of Hayti, though he subsequently exchanged it for that of king. The nomination of a second negro to the supreme power, roused, however, the jealousy of the mulattoes; and Petion, a mulatto general, placed himself at the head of the malcontents. A sanguinary civil contest ensued, which terminated at last in a tacit agreement to suspend hostilities, each retaining the territory which he occupied.
It is difficult to say which of the chiefs was, at this time, in the most prosperous circumstances. The territory of Christophe was somewhat more extensive than that of his rival, but was, in many parts, less cultivated and less productive : and its towns, although more numerous, were said to be more thinly peopled. The repeated engagements of the two armies shewed, in the event, that their num. ber and strength were nearly equal. The majority of Petion's officers were mulattoes;-of Christophe's, negroes: and if the former were superior in skill, the latter excelled them in courage. The population was divided between the two chiefs into nearly equal parts. Christophe was inferior to Petion in commerce; but the riches of the negro chief rendered him, in this respect, superior to the mulatto.'
pp. 104, 5. The legislative farce of transforming a republican presidency into an hereditary monarchy in the person of his Majesty Henry the First, took place in 1811. A sable peerage, in imi
tation of the white noblesse of old Europe, was deemed a requisite appendage to Royalty, and a Royal Haytian Almanack speedily announced the splendid creation.
No sooner was Christophe crowned king of Hayti, than he sur. rounded himself with all the appendages of royalty, and displayed, in the magnificence of his palaces, in the richness of his habiliments, and in his pumerous and expensive retinue, all the pomp and splendour of a rich and powerful monarch. The rich and splendid garments in which the sable monarch occasionally appeared on levee days, and always on great and important occasions, could hardly be surpassed by those of the most wealthy and powerful rulers of civilized states. His palaces were prepared for his reception with all possible magnificence; the floors of the apartments were made of highly polished mahogany, or of marble ; the walls were adorned with the most valu. able paintings that could be obtained ; every article of furniture was of the most costly kind; and whatever the most unbounded passion for splendour could suggest, was procured to decorate the habitations of-an uneducated negro.' p. 127.
An uneducated negro-did this form any reason that they should not be so decorated ? Was it because his majesty was a negro, or because he was uneducated, that this splendour provokes a philosophic smile? The king of Ashantee, the king of Sennaar, and other legitimate sovereigns of the African dynasties, are also negroes; and it might perhaps be shewn, that black is to the full as royal a hue as copper, yellow, olive, or wbite. What were the old Egyptians, the Ethiopians, the Cushite Arabs, the Moors of Barbary and Spain, but blacks ? And in what respect did the education of King Christophe come behind that of the conquerors and heroes of romance? The true explanation of the ridiculous effect excited by the incongruity of all this magnificence with the person of his Haytian majesty, is to be found in the mushroom origin of the monarchy. Among the associations upon which depends the imposing effect of all titles of honour and majesty, that of antiquity is found to have the most powerful effect, as connecting with them the idea of prescriptive right, and as throwing an illusion around the object upon which they are conferred. New titles seldom dignify their possessor, and the parvenu is never an object of high admiration. King Jerome and King Joseph were still more ridiculous pageants than King Christophe ; for, in power and dominion, the latter was a substantial king, while the others were but shadows of royalty. It must, however, be allowed, that the palpable mimicry of European grandeur by his sable majesty, contributes not a little to the burlesque effect.
• The number of his Household corresponded to the magnificence of his palaces. This consisted of a Grand Almoner, who was the archbishop of Hayti ; of a Grand Cup-bearer, the first prince of the blood-royal ; of a Grand Marshal of the royal palace, and a marshal of his Majesty's apartments; of teu Governors of palaces, and the same number of Governors of castles; of sixteen Chamberlains, with a Grand Chamberlain at their head; of five Secretaries and a Librarian ; of twelve Knights, fifteen Pages, with a Governor, and seven Grand Huntsmen; of a Grand Master of the Ceremonies, with three inferior Masters and five Assistants; and of fourteen heralds of the army, seven professors of arts and sciences, together with a great number of physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries. The « Maison Militaire du Roi" was still more numerous and equally expensive. It was composed of an “ Etat major general, of a Commissariat general of troops, of a corps of royal artillery, of a body: guard, of a regiinent of grenadiers named the Haytian Guard, and of several corps of light horse and of infantry.”. The Etat major general consisted of four lieutenant-generals, three of whom were dukes; four field-marshals and four major-generals, all barons ; twelve colonels, and eight lieutenant-colonels, two captains, one lieutenant, and two generals of the Commissariat.' pp. 128, 9.
The Queen's household was upon the same scale, while the etiquette of the court was regulated according to the most rigid forms of old French bienséance. A royal and military order of knighthood, called the order of St. Henry, was also instituted, which has since shared the fate of its founder, and St. Henry has been struck out of the Haytian calendar.
Although vanity and ambition had doubtless a considerable share in prompting the adoption of all this state pageantry, yet, there was evidently a shrewd, if not an enlightened policy, mingled with more vulgar motives. • Few men,' says his present Biographer, “had more successfully studied the negro • character, or better understood by what means his people
could be properly governed, than this chief.' In aspiring to the honours of royalty, he was' partly influenced by a sincere • regard to their interests. And the result in some degree justified this view of his conduct. The people rejoiced and said, Long live the king. In the early part of his reign, Christophe was regarded by his subjects with affectionate loyalty, which bore honourable testimony to the benefits of bis admi. nistration. By the institution of courts of justice and the enactment of severe but salutary laws,' by a sedulous attention to the improvement of his army, and above all, by promoting the establishment of a general system of education, his Haytian Majesty deserved, indeed, the popularity which he enjoyed, and shewed that he was not unworthy of his elevation. It was an inestimable advantage to the Haytians,' remarks Mr. Harvey, that they had, at this period, a ruler possessed of no ordi. nary genius, who, however ambitious of power, had not yet suffered his love of dominion to overcome his solicitude for the welfare of his subjects. It was no less a happy circumstance for Christophe, that he was not entirely destitute of men whose education, though limited, qualified them to carry the plans of their sovereign into effect. Nor is it improbable, that they first suggested to him the propriety and advantages of establishing places of public instruction, and of giving them the sanction and support of the Goveronient. On the other hand, Christophe spared neither labour nor expense in order to the accomplishment of an object so essentially necessary to the improvement of the people; and he readily embraced every measure that appeared calculated to render the establishments more permanent and generally useful. Under these circumstances, education was rapidly advancing in Christophe's dominions ; its beneficial effects soon began to appear; and time only was required to render, its influence more extensive and lasting.' p. 218.
During the whole of Christophe's reign, the greatest encouragement was also given to agriculture ; and the merit of having introduced the use of the plough into this island, attaches to this extraordinary man. In fact, the progress of improvement appears to have been as rapid as could be expected under any mode of government, and the condition of the Haytians was at least so far meliorated, as to furnish a satisfactory answer to that objection to the emancipation of slaves, which is founded on their alleged incapacity of subordination, industry, and improvement. The following remarks, as coming from an eye-witness, are highly deserving of attention.
• Respecting the industry of the Haytians, it may be proper to be somewhat more explicit ; for, since it is frequently affirmed,' that indolence forms one of the most conspicuous traits in the character of negroes while slaves, it becomes a question of some interest, whether the same disposition be equally prevalent among them when in possession of their liberty. As it regards the subjects of Christophe, their emancipation, though effected under many unfavourable circumstances, had subsequently wrought a change in their general habits, no less beneficial to themselves as individuals, than important to their security and prosperity as a people. At the era of their liberty and independence, they perceived that their support, and, if they possessed any sparks of ambition, their advancement, whether as soldiers or cultivators, depended wholly on their own exertions. Objects were placed before them calculated to awaken their ambition, and excite them to diligence ;-not merely the establishment of their freedom and independence, but wealth, influence, and distinction. They felt the force of motives unknown to them during their slavery ; which, together with the regulations to which they have been subject, have effected a degree of improvement in their character, beyond what their original condition afforded the least ground to expect. Though Vol. XXVII. N.S.