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Full text of "Notes on Haiti, made during a residence in that republic"

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NOTES ON HAITI, 



MADE DURINa A RESIDENCE 



IN THAT REPUBLIC. 



BT 

CHARLES MACKENZIE, Esq. F.R.S. F.L.S. 

LATE HIS UAJSSTt's COKSUL-OBNERAX. IN HAITI, 
AND NOW B18 MAJESTy's COMMISSIONBR OF ARBITRATION 
IN THB HAVANNA, &C. &C. 



Quid d«m? quid non dem t renois quod ta, Jnbet alter. 

HORAT. 



IK TWO VOLUMES. 

VOL. L 

C^ lONDON : 

HENRY eOLBURN AND RICHARD BENTLEY, 
NEW BURUNGTOK STREET. 

1830. 






PRINTED BY A. J, VALPT, 
RBD tlON COURT, FLBET STREET* 



TO 



JAMES COWLES PRICHARD, 



M« D. F. R. S. 



Sue. &c. &c. 



My Dear Prichard, 

I inscribe these two small Volumes 
to you^ first to gratify my personal affec- 
tions^ and, secondly, to associate my name 
with that of a man whose profound research 
and accuracy of thought give him a high rank 
in the literature of the world. 



The largest portion of both our 
lives has passed away since it was my pride 






IV 



to be considered your friend ; and it is now a 
subject of gratification, that neither separation 
nor diversity of pursuit has impaired our origi- 
nal feelings. 

Allow me, therefore, to avail myself 
of the first public opportunity I have ever 
had of subscribing myself 

Your truly affectionate Friend, 

C. M. 



LowpON, AvftiLlSSO. 



PREFACE. 



In laying before the public notes originally 
made for my private use^ it is necessary to 
offer a few explanatory remarks, lest I should 
be chained with attaching undue importance to 
them. 

On my going to Haiti in 1 826, in addition to 
mere consular duties, others of a higher order 
were assigned to me ; and among these I was 
required to report on the state of society^ and 
the actual condition of the new repubUc in all 
its relations : this was a task no less invidious 
than difficult ; but I performed it with zeal and 
to the best of my ability, utterly regardless of 
any consideration beyond the faithful discharge 



VI PREFACE. 

of my public duty, I was, however, fully 
aware that imperfection was inseparable from 
such an undertaking, under the circumstances 
in which I was placed ; I therefore pointed out 
the difficulty of acquirmg accurate information, 
and reserved to myself the right of future cor- 
rection, whenever inaccuracy should be de- 
tected. This right I repeatedly exercised, and 
I^have the gratification of knowing that my ex- 
ertions were folly appreeiftted by His Majesty's 
govermnent: the maaner too in which theif a)>^ 
probation was conveyed to me by the faite 
Mr. Canning, vms eqwiHy flattering to me as 
a private individual and as a public offieer. 
Proud of such a testimonial, and conscious of 
having faithfolly discharged the trust reposed 
in me, I retiuned to Eurof« coi the-temsinfttion 
of my mosi important duties, without any de^ 
sign of appearing at Ae bar of public criticiwp. 
Immediately, however, after my am^ in 
town, I learned, for the first time, thst pro- 
ceedings wete- m progress before, the Privy 
CoiiiK!il on the sabjeet of compidsony manu- 



PREFACE. Vll 

mission^ and that in the course of these, one 
of my dispatches had been produced as evi- 
dence by the opponents of that measure. I was 
further informed that the learned counsel on the 
other side had indulged in a strain of nu^repre- 
sentation as httle creditable to his taste as to 
his acuteness. 

Very shortly afterwards the Houie of Com- 
mons ordered my reports to be laid on their 
table, which was done early in the tosiiing 
session, and they were printed in the month of 
May, 1829. So soon as this ^^s done^ I felt 
that it became a duty to draw up (as iea as 
would be consistent with the confidential cha* 
racter hi which I stood) some account of the 
manner in which I had been enabled to obtain 
, the information of which a summary bad been 
printed, and for that purpose I entered into ar** 
rangements with my publishers. 

This step was taken after mature deliber* 
ation^ but had I ever entertained a doubt of 
its expediency^ that doubt would have been re- 
moved by a nmEnber of the Anti-slaivery Reporter 



Vlll PREFACE. 



which was put, about the beginning of the pre- 
sent year, into my hands by a friend wholly 
unconnected with the West' Indies. This gentle- 
man had been struck with the coarse vulgarity 
and the impudent iklsity with which I was as- 
sailed. I also felt these as strongly as he did ; 
but on examination I was still more impressed 
with the dishonest style of criticism, with the 
flagrant misrepresentations of facts, with the 
garbled quotations, and above all, with the 
jumbling together statements made at different 
periods, with those which they were intended to 
correct, as parts of the same document. It is 
not my intention to engage in controversy with 
this person, and my reasons are powerful. 

In the first place, the imputations he has 
cast upon me do not alter facts, and I am sure 
that all impartial people will see in them much 

r 

passion, but little reason; and will also be 
convinced that " they disgrace only those who 
utter them, and show only what it is that they 
who are capable of imputing base motives to 
others, would themselves be, if they were in 



PREFACE. IZ 

sitaatJona."* In the second place, a 
contest is on sudi unequal terms between a< 
known laid responsible person and an anony- 
mous assailant, as to warrant any man to de- 
dbe it. And lastly, as I am not a partisani I 
will uSord no ground for my being so rqm- 
seated by tbe wannth into which I mi^t be 
betrayed in repelling ungentlemanly imper- 
tii^aee* 

I haye diadxarged my duty to my govern* 
ment, and I now discharge a duty to myself, 
by diowing diat I bad aMesa to information 
beyond most. other EngUslmii^, and that I 
made an honest use of it by stating facts, with- 
out reference to the pleasure or displeasure of 
any party. But even were I disposed to enter 
the lists of ccmtroversy, there are cinmmstances 
QOHnected with the present case, that would 
^eotually preclude me iVom taking the field. 

When I first read the paper in question, pity 
and contempt were alternately called forth ; fi>t 



I * Mr. Canning in reply tu Sir Francis Burdeti and Mr. Cok«. 



* PBEFACE. 

the ooaraenesB of the mmmer, and the dishonesty 
of the matter, led me to ascribe it to some igno- 
rant but unprincipled nian,redde8sof chaiacter 
fiom being unacquainted with its value, who 
had been hired to make out a ease against me, 
because my reports were considered to militate 
against the dogmas of his principals : but my 
feeling has been <Kie of unmitigated contempt, 
Mnce I find it univeraaUy attributed to one in- 
dividual—an individual so identified with sor- 
did mendacity, as to render either victory or 
defeat in any contest with him, equaUy discre- 
ditable. But were this consideration not aU- 
powerfol, in my humble opinion no advantage 
can accrue from the most perfect exposure that 
can be made ; since it is hopeless to expect to 
convince those who give credence to mcA an 
oracle; and it is no less hopeless to look for 
the conversion of a skulking libeller, whose 
self-gretulationfl, amid profound contempt, 
prove his superiority to all sense of shame : 



Ipte domi. 



Populus me Bibilat, at mihi plaudo 



PREFACE. Xi 

Refatation on refutation would be perfectly 
unayailingy for 

Yoa break his web of sophistry in vuo : 
The crettare's at hii dhiy work agaiii. 

To those who take any interest in the 
truth, a careful reading of my reports and of 
these Tolumesy will ftimish my best 'vindication 
from the charge of interested misrepresentation. 
My statements may be faulty ; but I give them 
as the best I could command. My inferences 
may be wrong ; but until their logical inaccu- 
racy be made evident, I must consider them 
valid, for they w^re not hastily nor rashly 
deduced. 

In the present work, I have endeavoured, in 
the first place, to show that my relation is 
founded on actual inquiry and resear(;h ; and 
in the next, to trace the leading features of the' 
origin and progress of a very curious experi- 
ment in the history of man : nor do I hesitate 
to avow that, by that examination, I have been 
convinced that the experience of nearly six 
thousand years has a living confirmation in 



tii PBEFACE. 

Haiti. Nations as wdl as individuals caa ac* 
quire maturity only by imperceptible d^rees ; 
and every step taken, to be efiSectual, must be 
in accOTdance with the peculiar character of 
the people to be improyed* Haiti ia in its in- 
fancy ; and the population, formed out of dU* 
eordant matmals, is precisely in the state that 
might be anticipated by any one at all cc^* 
Tersant with the history of mankind. The 
difficulties incident to such a stage of national 
existence constantly present themselves to those 
eng^ed in the maintenance of its govern^* 
ment, and in the promotion of the arts of life. 
These difficulties have been long ago forcibly 
stated by one whose vigour of diction i» only 
rivalled by the extept and variety of his Isnaw^ 
ledge. ^Mt may be safely assumed/^ say« 
Mr. Brougham, ^' on general principles, that 
a multitude colleeted at random from various 
savage nations, and habituated to na subordi- 
nation but thai of domestic slavery, are totally 
unfit for uniting in the relations of r^ular go* 
vermnent, or being moulded into a system of 



PREFACE. XUl 

artificial society; more especially after living 
for a series of years in a state of tumult and 
disorder, unnatural even to baitMurians." ^He 
shortly afterwards adds, '' In fact, the sudden 
fonnatic«i of a political body has always been 
found the most arduous achievement in the art 
of government." 

What the ftiture prepress of the new republic 
may be, is a point that I do not attempt to 
discuss — my business being to represent the 
posting fillets, not to engage in conjectural 
inquiries. 

The first volume is devoted to an account of 
the journey made in pursuit of information, and 
the second to a summary of the principal 
matters of interest, accompanied by such docu- 
ments as may be illustrative of particular points. 
In my historical sketch, Baron Lacroix's work, 
and the Histoire d'Haiti by Justin, have been 
my principal guides ; but the statements that 
I make have been conroborated by actual re- 
searches in the RepubUc. I also derived con- 
siderable assistance from a large body of Chris- 

VOL. I. b 



Xiv PREFACE. 

tophe's papers, among which there is some cu- 
rious correspondence, which, if my leisure per* 
mit, may hereafter be made public. To those 
individuals, whom for obvious reasons I do 
not name, but to whom I am indebted for 
much invaluable information, I take this op- 
portunity of ccmveying my grateful acknow- 
ledgements. I may further add, to the candid 
and dispassionate, that these sheets have 
passed through the press while I have been 
making preparations for a long voyage, and a 
protracted residence abroad. 



CONTENTS 



OV 



THE FIRST VOLUME, 



CHAP. I. 

Departure for Haiti-- Arrifal— Interview with Preiideiil^- 
PoTt-aa-Pnnce—Ita neighbourhood — Inhabitants — CQitoma— 
Officers of Government — Police— Funerals — ^Le? eea— Celebra- 
tioD of F^te dindependence— Dinner at Palace • . Page 1 



CHAP. U. 

Population and Society of Port-an-Prince-v-Ezdasion of 
White Proprietors — Case of Darfonr — ^American Servants — 
Slothful Habits — Style of Visiting-- Caltivation and Wages — 
Roral Police— M. Nan's Plantation 24 



CHAP. in. 

Departure from Port-an-Prinoe— Journey to Leogane— Com- 
mandant and Town of Grand Goave— Rumours of rural disci- 
ptine— Crossing the Tapion — ^Petit Goave — M. Baudain — 



Xn CONTENTS. 



L'A4xl d0 Pedt Gosfe—Sc Mk&cl— Bind bc^gpr— Port 
Vigile — DMi gci o — fovd — ^Acqnm—Jage de Paix— St. Loais — 
M. DuMrie — GKndUoA-- CajM— Historj----Towii-«djataBt — 

54 



CHAP. IV. 

FlaBtatkn Labotde- School mt Cajes — Gaumi — Sir Jane* 
Yco-— Lapointe — General Maiioii*s estmte — Free Americans— 
fitttertainment — ^L*AUiance — ^M. Dnbreoil — Plabnu — Desaa- 
linea' discipline — Coffee coltme — ^Plain of Cajes — ColtiTatioii 
— Prodnce — ^Labouien — Interest of money-— Maorice Larao— 
Inhuman conduct —Mr. Downie — Betuxn from Cayes U> Port- 
au-Prince 81 



• CHAP. V. 

Stay at Pott-an-Piince — ^Election of memhen of Hooae of 
Commona — Explosion of aiaenal — Defects of police — ^Mr. Gor- 
don — Mr. Everaerts — ^M. Godaid — Aggressions of cattle — 
Prosecution of M. Courtois — Rumours of insurrection — Edn- 
catioo—Diplonas—Post-oiBco— Departure lor 3& Iftark's— 
Goaaiws — Amusing oficer— Toussaint — St. Mark's — Petite 
Riviere-- Crete i Pierrot — Hill-forts —Marchaad—Insunec- 
lion in 1820— Gourmands of Haiti 100 



CHAP. VI. 

Leading 'Gonaiyes-^Poteaii— L'Escatier— Plaisasce— Camp 
Lecoq— Madame Babier—Iimb^— Approach to Cape Haitian 
— Fiinctioiiarics— City of the Cape— Society— Fossette— School 



CONTENTS. XTU 



— Executioner — Christophe — Bratal condnct— ] 

— Character — ^Noyadas — Sans Sonci — La Femere — Suicide of 

Christophe— Murder of hie Bon-— Le Rainier — Mr. Larocbe 14ff 



CHAP. VU. 

Visit to Dondon and Grand Riviere— -Abb^ de la Hi^e*— 
Reported caye — Idols— ^-Coflfee-trees in bloom — Col. Moncaidj 
— General Kayer lot, RiTiere— History — Adventares — Habita- 
tion Gallifet — ^Retom to the Cape — Quartiers Morin and 
linumade — Breda — Duplat-^ Brossard— Actual condition- 
Departure for Spanish part — ^Intermediaire — Fort Libert^— > 
General Lacroix — ^Butchery by Jean Francois — ^M. Meha — 
Account of Christophe's system of agriculture — Departure for 
Ooanamintho— Account of it — Laxaron — ^Vega Real — Grazing 
farm — ^Jacouba — Escalante— L'H6pital — ^Mao— -Sleeping in the 
woods — ^River Yaqui — Arrival at St. lago 182 



CHAP. VIII. 

St. lago— Antiquity— Convoits— Destruction of town and 
institutions-^— Christophe an active agent — Population— Attach- 
ment of former slaves to their former owners — Sugar farm-'- 
Castes friendly to each other — Cultivation — Increase of births 
— Due de Limonade — Cura and Jnes de Paz — Journey to Port- 
au-Plate — ^Altamira — Landlady — Villanueva's eatecismo-— Sce- 
nery — Hazardous ride — ^La Poerta — ^Approach to Port-au-Plate 
— Guide fantastical and conceited — Arrival at Port-au-Plata— 
Kind reception — General Jacques Simon — Administrator— 
Parrot shooting ..«,. 911 



XVIll CONTENTS, 



CHAP. IX. 

Retiim to St. lago^Jold dost— F<tfmer abundance— Rece&t 
reMazcbes — General BeUitrd — Accoont of Christopbe — Hotpi- 
tality of inhabitants — National ■chool — Departare-^-Santo Cerro 
'—Chapel — ^View of La Vega Real — Ancient city of Concep- 
cion de ]a Vega — Raittt-*RiTer Camoa — La Vega — General 
Placide Lebnin — Lodging — Guitars — Bands playing — F^te 
d'agricultuie — Colonel Charlemagne— M. Descfaamps — Penal 
— ^River Yuna — Cotuy — Constance— Sevico — Monte de Don 
Juan — Sleeping in the woods — San Pedro— La Louisa — ^ArriTal 
at Santo Domingo 237 



CHAP. X. 

Crenerals Borgella and Cazrie — ^Vicar-general — ^Visit to the 
archbishop and palace-^Retum of visit — State of feeling — 
BoTgella's history of General BeauTais— Fontaine — Lapoinle 
— San Carlos — ^The suburb— Senor Caminero — Lamotte Duthier 
— A remarkable num) — Strange anecdote of a Maroon chief — 
Description of city — History — ^Peculiar mode of building — 
Cathedral — Tomb of Columbus — Monasteries — Hospitals — 
Barracks — Newspaper — Printing-press— Harbour — ^Trade— Po- 
pulation — ^Adjoining country — Cottages — Gardens — Agricul* 
ture — Borgella's estate— San CristOTal — Regency — Shrine — 
Expedient to secure labour — ^Former want of cultiyators — 
Cattle-breeding — Causes of depression — Attempts of Spa- 
niards to recover the colony . 260 



CONTENTS* XIX 



CHAP. XL 

Effects of reToIudon m the West or the East— Emigntion 
— Check to decay — Depreciation of the Tslae of property— Ac- 
count of the reyolation in 1821 and 1822 — NoSez^Colonel 
Aly and his bkuJc corps — Spanish goTemor — ^P&scual Ileal 
arrested and deposed — Counter-re vol otion — Causes— Occu- 
pation by President Boyer and republican army — Guarantees 
given — ^Tumults suppressed — Trade not very active — Retention, 
of Spanish customs — Mantilla — Guitars — Artisans — Public 
amosements — Preparations for departure 280 



CHA6. XII. 

Biver Jaina^-Ferry-boat — ^Kiver Nisao — Mahogany cutters 
— ^Mode of preparing logs — Dinner with dealers — Road to Bani 
— Arrival — Want of accommodation — Food and forage — Sa- 
vanna Baey — Re-appearance of lost cook — ^Want of forage—- 
Continued rain — Active young negro— Wants supplied— Bay 
of Ocoa — Caracoles — Owner — Family — Accommodation — 
Arrival at Azua — Reception by Colonel Bellegarde — ^His his- 
tory — ^Difficulty in obtaining forage, owing to apprehension of 
the soldiers — Loss of horses — Don Pablo Baez — Entertain- 
ment — ^Departure — Guide — Skirting the banks of tbe Neybe— 
Accident from drunkenness of black officer — Arroyo Salado— 
Picturesque scene — Wild guinea-fowl — Novel lights— Sickness 
of one of the party — Little Yaqui — Passage of the ford — Nica- 
ragua — Hostess — Odd notions — Expectation of invasion — Cros- 
sing of the Mijo — Arrival at San Juan — ^Town-adjutant — His- 
toiy of town — Rock-salt of Neybe — Valley of San Juan — 
Straying of horse — Night travelling bad — Arrival at Lamatte — 



XX CONTENTS. 

— Colonel Gardel — CommandaDt Lasttia — Chief of police at 
RaachoMat6o-~Departare — Rancho Mat6o— Disappointments 
— Miserable night — Passage of the river Joan de Vera — Jour- 
nf y to Las Caobaa 297 



CHAP. XIII. 

Departure from Las Caobas — Boundarj of old colonies — 
River " Fer de Cheval"— Aqueducts— Mirebalais — Fortifi- 
catMms — River Artibonite — Kind treatment by the commandant. 
Colonel Charles Jeune — Journey to the capital — Trianon — 
Mountain pass — Mome Cabrit — Fond an Diable^Plain of Cul 
de Sac — ^Arrival at cottage — Occupations — Rumoured insur- 
rection — Trial and execution of four black officers — General ob- 
servations on Haiti — Illness — Departure for Jamaica . . 321 



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NOTES ON HAITI. 



CHAPTER I. 

Departure for Haiti— Arrifal—Ioterview with President— 
Port-au-Prince— Its neighbourhood — Inhabitants — Customs 
—Officers of Government — ^Police-— Fanerals — Levees— Ce- 
lebration of F^te dlndependence — ^Dinner at Palace. 

His Majesty having been graciously pleased 
to appoint me his Conaul General in Haiti, I 
embarked at Portsmouth on the 28th March, 
18^6, in His * Majesty's frigate Bruid, com- 
manded by my valued friend Capt. Samuel 
Chambers, having as fellow-passengers, (besides 
the gentlemen that accompanied myself,) Dr. 
Coleridge, the Bishop of Barbadoes and his 
family. Major Qeneral Sir Patrick Ross^ the 
Governor of Antigua and the officers of his per- 
sonal staff. We sailed on the day of embarka- 

VOL. I. A 



Z NOTES ON HAITI. 

tioDy and after having visited the Island of 
Madeira^ the natural beauties of which^ as well 
as the unbounded hospitality of the inhabitants 
of Funchaly are well known to almost every per- 
son that has traversed the Atlantic, and having 
landed the friends (to whom we owed the obli- 
gation of rendering most agreeable that which is 
in itself — a sea voy^e — ^perfectly detestable) at 
Barbadoes and Antigua, we arrived^ on the even- 
ing of the 24th May, at the anchorage of Port-au- 
Prince, We approached by the northern passage, 
called St. Mark's Channel, ^d as several hours ^ 
elapsed after having been &irly abreast of the 
Island of Gonave, before we anchored, there v 
was abundant leisure for examining with glasses I 
the appearance of thecoas^from Arcahai to the 
capital. The country is composed of ^a beauti- 
ful undulating surfaee, bounded by a magnifi<4 
cent outline of mountain, the whole complete! 
covered with wood* We looked in vain for even 
a solitary. fishing-boat; but no evidence of hu- 
man existence presented itself, except one 
two small groupes of people on the beach, (pro-! 
jbably attracted by the appearance of a large 
frigate,) and a few buildings in a state of absolute' 
ruiUj^ which from their appearance might have 
been formerly, the residence of opulent pro-^ 
prietors:; 



ARRIVAL AT PORT-AU-PRINCE. 3 

We 9.pproached the city with not sufficient 
day-light to see more than mere traces, which 
blending with the mountain back-ground, had a 
fine effect. Ahnost at the moment of reaching 
ihe anchoring groundca salute ^ fired from 
the two forts in the rear of the city, which was 
.by some of our company considered to be in 
j honour of our flag ; but the real solution was that 
: it is customary to salute at sun-set on the day 
] preceding any great festival, and this was the 
•eve of Corpus ChristL one of the most honoured 
of the Catholic Church. Early in the morning I 
announced my arrival to the Secretary General 
Inginac ; but, as the whole of the authorities were 
engaged in the religious processions, I did not 
land. In the course of the afternoon an officer 
came off from General Inginac, to invite me to 
visit him the following day, which was done, 
and an appointment made for an interview with 
the President at two ofclock on the 26th* At 
the appointed time, accompanied by Captain 
Chambers, and one of the gentlemen who went 
out with me, I landed at a miserable wooden 
pier, where we found the officer, who had visited 
us, waiting with a carriage that had been, pro- 
vided by the Government. In this we proceeded 
to the " Palais du Gouvemement," formerly the 
residence of the French governor general. Some 



4 NOTES ON HAITI* 

-delay occurred in reaching our destination^ owing 
to the circuitous route the carriage was obliged 
to take, on account of the impassable state of 
the leading streets, which are generally torn up 
in the middle by the rush of the tropical rains ; 
and the only mode of repair is to fill up the 
cavities with any refuse that can be procured, 
which of course is washed out by the first 
recurrence of them. 

We however reached the palace in safety : 
before it we passed a cenotaph, in which the 
remains of the late President Petion and his 
eldest daughter repose, and on the opposite side 
is a wooden platform with steps, called '' L' au- 
iel de la Patrie," from which on certain occa* 
feions the president harangues the troops and 
the citizens. A mountain cabbage-tree; (Palma 
nobilis) the tree of liberty in Haiti, grows near it. 
The palace is a large building, with a handsome 
flight of steps leading into good reception-rooms, 
where we were met by the secretary-general and 
some of the president's aides-de-camp. The 
former introduced us to his excellency, (for so 
the president is exclusively designated,) and 
our reception was polite, if not gracious. The 
president, a little intelligent-looking man, with 
very keen black eyes, which he whirls about 
with extraordinary rapidity^ showed that his 



; 



INTERVIEW WITH FKESIDENT. 5 

/ manners had^ been formed on a good French 
modep Our interview was short; as I had 
merely to state the objects of my yiAt, which I 
did with as little circmnlocntion as posnble. 

'We then retired to the ^' Hotel de la Moonaie," 
which had been considerately provided for ns 
by the president, as neith^ house nor lodging 
was to be hired on the spur of the momenf. 
The incUspensable objects of attention, that 

-occupy every new comer in all countries, having 
been as speedily disposed of as posnble, I ap-* 
plied myself with diligehce to the acquisitioD of 
information on every topic of interest, and to the 
performance of those duties which had been 
committed to my chai^« In the execution of 
this two-fold task, I was engaged* until the 
month of February 1827, when I comnunieed 
more extended examination of the island* The 
general result of those inquiries I shall now 'i^ve, 
before attempting to detail my observations in 
other districts. 

The city of Port-au-Prince was first built in 

; the year 1749, since which, with some few in- 
tervals, it has been the capital of French St. 
Domingo, and is now the capital of the whole 

^ islands The first view that we had of it, in an 
uuperfect light, was pleasing; but the broad 
^are of the sun removed the delusion, and ex- 



4 



NOTES ON HAITI* 



hibited a town irregularly built/ though the 
streets are laid out with great precision^ tra- 
versing each other at nearly right angles^ the 
longest passing from north to south* The white* 
ness of those parts of rock which are exposed in 
the immediate neighbourhood, produces an urn 
pleasant glare ; and, in spite of MoreauSt Mery's 
denial of the resemblance to a Tartar camp, I 
cannot help thinking that the escpresskm is by no 
means inapt. The most striking feature in the 
neighbourhood of Port*au-Prince, when looked 
uponfix>m the harbour, is the total absence of all 
visible cultivation — the eye being only relieved 
from the monotony of rank wild vegetation, by 
a few neat4ooking cottages that are scattered 
over the hills close to the city, and which are 
the residences chiefly g( foreign merdiants^ 
Among these the *' Habitation Letor " (virhich is 
of higher pretensions) makes a very handsome 
appearance* It vras formerly the property of 
an opulent Frenchman, and now belongs to the 
only surviving daughter of the late President 
Petion, and is occasionally the residence of the 
family of the present president. 

The city is partially fortified landward, and is 
commanded in the rear by ** Forts Belair and 
Alexandre,'' the last so named in honour of Pe- 
tion } and the harbour is protected by a battery 



•' 



MEIGHBOUBHOOD'09 POftT*-A)J-PRINCE. 7' 

on a small island^ at a very Aott dntafiee^iioai 
the shore. Ini]xi6diately[beliiiidthe«pal&ce isthe: 
j '' Champ de Mars/^ where the troopi»aie drilled^ ' 
I and where inspectioiistake place every SuHdayp 
The buildings being chiefly of woodland sel'- 
tdom exceeding two stories in height^ have a pal** 
f try appearanccii Thk style of house wasadqpted^ 
by the French in consequence of frequent eartfp*' 
quakes, which were found to oTurthiowinoae mtif- * 
st&ntial edifices. There are no public buildinga' 
of any importance, except the palace«. The 
aroenal (which was burnt during my stay), ike 
/prison, the chureh, tiie mint, the oourta^' Ihs: 
I I^ceum, and the military hoepital, ais all iang^ . 
nificant in appeanmce. But with almoet all oi 
these is associated some scene of bloodshed, 
which is quite sickening*.- It was in the fiohtfif 
the church that Colonel MauduU, alternately the 
idol and the object of detestation of the popu-* 
lace, was basely murdered by his own regiment' 
(that of Port<ku^Prince)y and his miserable 
c(Mrp6e torn to pieces by tiie infuriated lafablei 
And in the opposite direction is the burying- 
ground, in which his faithful slave deposited his 
redung remains, and then stretching himself on 
the grave, blew out. his own brains. 

I was also shewn the house in which was per- 
petrated one o£ those remorseless acts of bnitar 



8 NOTES OK HAITI« 

lity, that fio pre-emineiitly distiiigaislied that- 
monster Dessalines. A person now dead, of 
mixed blood, was suspected of having admitted 
his claims to Haitian citizenship, (which was 
detennined by the complexion,) not from any 
{Hide in the fact, bat from motives of temporary* 
conveniencei and the test to which he was ex* 
posed was most atrocious. He was on terms of 
great intimacy with a European Frenchman, of 
the name of Fouch^r, in fttct living in the same 
house in habits of daily and familiar intercourse 
with him* To prove his claims to Haitian citi- 
zenship, he was taken by a party of Dessalines' 
aides-de-camp, and compelled to poignard his 
imhappy friaid. General Lacroix, in his very 
able History of the Revolution of 8L Domingo, 
mentions'the fact, which I could scarcely credit' 
until it was confirmed by an individual who was 
actually in the house when the deed of horror 
was perpetrated. His version of the anecdote 
differed from that of the general, in ascribing 
horror and repugnance to the involuntary mur- 
derer. I would willingly hope that this is true. 
There are three principal roads that lead out 
of Port-au-Prince — one to the north, which 
branches off to St. Mark's and to Mirebalais ; 
another to the east, leading to Fort Jacqueis ; 
and a third, that goes to the south and west. 



leading to Leogane. On the first of these are the 
scenes of two important events in Haitian history, 
ike PontRoiige, where Dessalines was shot from: 
^ ambuscade, formed by his own troops,, and- 
Cibert, where Christophe gained a signal vie-" 
t<Mry over Petion« In the dizectioii of Mireba*' 
lais is the hamlet of Oroix des Bouquets, cele- 
brated as the i^ace at which the first conven-^ 
tion, in 1791, was. entered into between the 
white and coloured population. On the Leo*- 
gane road, close to the entrance into the city, 
there was formerly a block house, and furtiber 
on, rrpoa an eminence, stands the Fort Bizotton, 
which was carried by our troopa in 1793, in a 
night assault. The whole of these roads are in: 
bad order, from being composed of stifi* clay 
without any stones, although there is abundance 
of rock at hcmd ; they are in wet weather nearly, 
impracticable, as a horse sinks at every step 
fetlock-deep, and the shpperiness of the mud 
renders even the slowest motion hazardous. 
On such roads carriages are of little use^ and 
a few waggons, not unUke those used in Spain 
and Portugal, drawn by oxen, are almost the 
only vehicles seen. Asses and horses are ther 
usual beasts of burthen, and almost every per-' 
son keeps a riding horse« 
Port-itu*Priiice is the seat of the republican 



10 NOTES OK HAITI* 



goremment, and is the principal post of aa 
^^ ArrondiflBement/' under the peculiar piotec*- 
tion of the piesidcsity who strictly yindicates his 
claim to hifi official designation by interfering 
with every thing. The effective service under 
him is carried on by different departmente. 
Hie secretaiy-general, Inginac, unites in his 
own persdn the offices of secretary at war, of 
fefeign and home minister. Among his other 
duties he promulgates the orders of the president, 
and such laws as have received his sanction; 
and he also countersigns certain documents. 
I believe a secretary-general existed under the 
colonial system. The minister of finance, desig- 
nated *' Secretaire d'etat des finances/' M. Im- 
bert, and the treasurer-general, M. Nau, ar- 
range all fiscal matters; while the '' Grand 
Juge," who, strange to relate, is a military man, 
presides in the supreme court of justice, and 
exercises jurisdiction over all the inferior courts 
and law officers. There are at Port-au-Prince, 
besides the court already named, one of cassa- 
tion, another for civil and criminal cases in the 
first instance, and a "juge de paix" court for 
mincnr matters of all kinds. A tribunal of com- 
merce was talked of, but I know not whether 
it has been yet constituted. 
The city, as well as Fort Bizotton, is garri- 



(jOVfittKMEKT— MILITAKY BEPOSE. 11 

soned by regular troops, aad there are Ttiious 
military posts both witlsiii and without. At 
most of them the strange edibition is made of 
chairs or seats for the sentries oa duty, and 
hammocks for the ranainder of the guard. The 
first place at winch I remarked this singular 
lUrangement was in the fioirt of the ppesident's 
palace. At the outlet to Leogane, I have re- 
peatedly seen the centinel squattii^ on the 
ground, holdii^ his musket between his knees* 
From this singularly elegant attitude he is 
scarcely ever roused, except by the clattering of 
horses' hoo&, moving faster than is meet in the 
presence of a Haitian post. He then starts up, 
growling the awful words ^^ au pas !" so fanuliar 
to all trotting delinquents. There is also an 
adequate stimulus to move him, in the prospec^^ 
tive confiscation of the plantains, yams, or firuit, 
of any unhappy wight, who, in contravention of 
the " code rural," strays to the market on for* 
bidden days. : 

{Hbe police is military, fonnihg a particular 
Wegiment; and, from having lived above two 
months nearly opposite to the juge de paix, 
I can aver that they have abundant employ- 
ment, which they perform with the U0ual deli- 
cacy of their profession, i The delinquents were 
chiefly offenders of both sexes against the code 



12 NOTES ON HAITI* 

rural — pertons in fact who preferred dandng all^ 
aight^ aiid drioking tafia^ to the labour pre*-, 
fioribed by that law» In some classes of offence, 
I fun sorry to say that they are either not so 
diligei(t or successful. An out-bmlding, at- 
tached to my cotfage in the country, was^ 
bioken open when I was at dinner, and some 
nuMiey in a writing-desk, and a few articles of 
dress belonging to one of my servants, weie 
stolen. The ftct was discovered certainly within 
an hour, and immediately communicated to the 
police, and a reward of one hundred dollars 
o^ered. The inquiry however failed; though 
some time afterwards the desk was found brok^i 
open in a wood adjoining my premises. It is 
however to the credit of the population, that no* 
other robberies took place at my house, as its 
smaU size and the heat of the climate obliged 
us all to sleep with open doors and windows. 
The police is said to be much improved since 
Petion's time, when the most barefaced robbe* 
ries were committed. 

The principal market-day is Saturday; but: 
there are daily markets throughout the week for 
certain articles. The supply of beef, mutton,, 
and fowls, is very tolerable.; that of fish uncer- 
tain; and what is singular enough, although 
turtle abound in the bay, they are rarely met 



vidi for sale. Thare is also a respeelable sap- 
ply not oidy oi tropical vegetables and firtdt, but 
of some European kinds, which are raised by- 
some natives, and by some of the American set-^ 
tiers, who have received grants of land fitmi the 
govermneat. Peaches, not of a good sort, and 
apples come -from the momitains near Fort 
Jacques ; and I have, in my possession scHne ex-^ 
cee<fingly fine cloves, bought in the market of 
Port-^au-Prince, which had been grown at Jere*^ 
mie. The mere necessaries of Hmtian life Bie- 
reasonable in price ; but whatever approaches to 
luxury is extravagantly dear* Housenent, at 
least to every foreigner, » very high. I was 
asked f<Mr an unfurnished house, without either 
kitchen or stable, four thousand dollars a-year« 
Of course I did not take it, but hired a small' 
cottage out of town. For my office in town I 
was obliged to pay 'fifteen hundred dollars 
a-year..;- Water is well supplied by several foun- 
tains, which are fed fix)m the neighbouring 
heights, through channels constructed by the 
French. 

Port-^u-Prince was fmnerly celebrated for 
its theatre and public amusements. There war 
nothing of the kind when I was there. 

Situated as this city is, at thebc^omof a 
very deep bay, and nearly surrounded by marshy 



14 KX>T£S ON HAITI. 

groimdy under a burning sun, it is eaaanently 
unhealthy, and its insalubrity is not a little m-^ 
creased by the interruption that the sea-^breeze, 
80 appropriately called the Doctor in most tro- 
pical countries, meets with in its progress fix>m 
the Island of Gonave, which will be seen by 
a reference to the map, blocks up the entrance 
to the bay. During the months of May, 
Jude, July, August, and September, the heat 
is most intense; for a considerable time my 
thermometer reached 99® every day in the 
shade.* The consequence of these concurrent 
causes is mortal disease among new comers. 
Within a month after my arrival my principal 
servant died of yellow fever ; within three 
months one of the acting vice-consuls fell a 
victim io the climate, and every other indivi- 
dual of my family, including servants, (one of 
whom wsB a native of La Guayra,) wei« most 
seriously, if not dangerously, ill. The chief 
sufferers, in general, are to be found among the 
crews of foreign vessels. The climate and new 
rum are omnipotent. As an instance of &e un- 
fitness of Port-au-Prince for European consti- 
tutions, I may cite the fate of the French con* 
sul general's &mily. I believe that on arrival 

* Moreaa St. Mery gives a catalogue, of fearful extent, of the 
diseases of every month in the year. 



CLIMATE—FUNEBALS, 15 

it c<»isi8ted of six, five of whom were dead 
within fifteen months, M. Maler, the consol' 
general, being the sole survivor. 

At strikes a stranger as very extraordinary 
that the people should seem to delight in at- 
tending funeral^ The women are the principal 
attendants, and the greater the number, the 
greater the honor paid to the deceased. Some 
imcharitable foreigners ascribe this to the want 
of places of public amusement, at which the 
ladies can exhibit themselves. Funerals and 
diurch thus, it is ^aid, become their only re- 
source. I found afterwards in Jamaica, that the 
humblest slave aspires to the glory of a fine 
funeral ; so that personal vanity may not be the 
sole cause of the Haitian practice of inviting the 
whole town to escort the dead to their last 
earthly home. The custom extends to foreigners 
as well as natives, cmd, with half-a-dozen excep- 
tions, I can vrith truth declare that all the invi- 
tations I received for the first six months of my 
residence were to fiuleralsy and I must candidly 
own that I did not do duehonor to the dead; foi^ 
the time of the ceremonial being one at which the 
sun was very powerful, I generally contrived to 
mourn by deputy.* 

* This subject is pstheticallj and adminbly illostrated by 
Sir Walter Scott in the " Antiquaiy." 



16 . NOTES ON HAITI. 

I have been repeatedly asked, is there any 
court in Haiti ? Weie I to answer directly, I 
should say that .there is none according to the 
European sttmdard, and I suspect that there is 
nothing to correspond with the republican le- 
vtees of Washington,. To form a correct idea of 
the meetings, or whatsoever else they may be 
called, at the Palacie of Port-au-Prince, it is 
necessary to discard all the gorgeous accounts 
of Christophe's court. There is no king ; there 
are no dukes, marquesses, counts, barons, or 
knights ; no stars or ribbands ; neither are 
there any splendid equipages : there is, in fact, 
nought but military rank, indicated by military 
attire, that commands respect, and, I may add,, ^ 
almost exclusive authority ) and the most illus- . 
trious of the Haitian chiefs wend their me- 
lancholy way to the -Sunday levee on foot or 
on horseback, as their good stars may enable 
them to do. This is the only fixed public day, 
and at six o'clock in the morning the Pre- 
sident receives all persons, whether natives or 
foreigners, who choose to sally forth at this ap- 
parently unreasonable hour, though in reality 
not a bad one, in a very hot country. When- 
ever a particular audience is required, especially 
by a public agent of a foreign government, dif- 
ficulties are rarely interposed by the president.. 



LEVKES — MILITARY INSPECTION. 17 

After a due allowance of bowing and saying 
civil things, the chief mounts his horse, accom- 
I panied by bis officers of state and perscmal staff, 
and proceeds to the " Champ de Mars," where 
the regiments in garrison, and the militia in 
succession, from the adjacent districts, are form- 
' ed iiito three sides of a square,, round which the 
president rides slowly, inspecting the men* No 
evolutions are performed, and the troops rarely 
fire — ^whether to economize powder, or to avoid 
personal risk to the ^' Etat Major," does not 
appear quite certain. TlefmiUtaiy bands play 
during the inspectioii^ and I dare say that the 
performance is highly gratifying to admirers of 
icracked trumpets, and a '^ pretty considerable '' 
' disregard of tune and time. Sometimes the 
president, " h la Napoleon," on noticinjg jei sol- 
dier unusually neat, calls him out of the ranks, 
pats him on the back, eind holds him out as an 
example to his brethren. I never witnessed such 
a scene, though it was accurately described to 
me ; for I only once essayed the field, and my 
horse was so little an amateur of the music, 
though himself a Haytian, that I was delighted 
to escape without adding to the exhibitions of 
the morning by a43ummer8et. Having no ambi- 
tion to display feats of horsemanship, I never 



18. NOTES ON HAl-n. 

retuined to the charge ; but I had wedcly ac- 
counts confirmatoiy of my own observatioDS. 

, This ceremonial endedy the piesident and his 
suite ride through the city to inspect its cendi* 
tiofif no doubt carefully surveying the very 
rapid accumulation or decrease of filth (accord^ 
ing to the serenity or wetness of the day) that 
adonia the '' beautiful capital/^ And as this 
part <^ the business is conducted with in- 
describable gravity, I do hope that the commur 
nity at large may eventually derive much bene* 
fit from it« 

i Besides these hebdomadal exhitntions/ there 
are three days consecrated by the thirty-lburth 
article of the revised constitution of 1816 to 
public festivity, and on each of these the presi-* 
dent holds a {)ublic court. The days are the 
Ist January, ibe anniversary, of Haitian inde*^ 
pendence ; the 2d Aprils that of the birth of 
Petion, the founds of the republic ; and Ist 
May, that of the establishment of the '< F^te 
d^Agriculture." Of these I had the bad fortune 
to be present only at the celebration of the an- 
niversary o( the Independence of the Republic ; 
the other celebrations having taken place when I 
was absent from the capital. Of the occasion at 
which I was present, I shall give a short account. 



/.-- 



PtTBLIC FESTIVALS. 19 

Some days priw to the '' ftte/' on the 1st Jan. 
1 1827, 1 received an invitation to attend the great 
; meeting on that day, at fthe palace, and. after-' 
wards to dine with his Excellency. Accordingly 
; I went at six in the morning, (the appointed 
, hour,) in all the paraphernalia of office, shining 
I like a dollar, as the Barbadians have it, and 
\ faaad numberless miUtary men as well as civi- 
i lians, of nearly every colour in the rainbow, 
' assembled, interchanging kisses with mousta- 
f chioed lips, a ceremony Aat affected my ner- 
' vouft economy in an indescribable manlier, male 
Idssing being rather against my code of ethics. 
All Were huddled tog^her without order, as 
[there was no master of ceremonies, even- 
such a one as might have appeared at a ball 
after Epping hunt, and every man was left to 
his own resources. I was fortunate enough to 
find my old friend General Inginac, to whom on 
this and every other occasion I was indebted 
for personal Undness. B«t, notwithstanding 
that kindness, I had got into a state- of moral 
" asphyxia," when the appearance of my friend 
and colleague, M. Maler, th^ French consul- 
general, revived me. Thq time passed as plea- 
santly as his wit and eccentric remarks on the 
scene could make it; but expectation undei^ 
accumulating heat is the devil. At lengthy 



20 NOTES ON HAITI. 

about eight o'clock, a buzz was heard, and out 
rushed his Excellency the President, muttering 
a few words, which I was told by a step-son of 
Sonthonax, M. Villevaleix, (who now holds office 
in the republic,) was an apology for having kept 
us waiting. We were then marshalled by my 
informant, who now assumed the duties of act- 
ing master of the ceremonies,'and we proceeded 
to the " Autel de la Patrie^" which from its ap-. 
pearance would be more appropriately named 
" TEchafeud de la Patrie/' By the time in 
which the procession (in which the precedence^ 
of the students of medicine and of foreign} 
agents was a moot point,) had reached its sta- 
tion, the president was on '^ the altar," and we 
had abundant leisure to examine his outward 
^lan• He was dressed in a blue frock-coat, 
very richly embroidered with gold. On the 
beauty of his inexpressibles I cannot pretend to 
descant, from the depth and closeness of his 
coat ; but his boots surpassed any thing I had 
ever seen. The foot, the ancle, and the upper 
part, was each of a different colour, the form, 
Hessian, bound with gold, with an enormous 
gold tassel dependent; and the whole was as 
amply embroidered as a Chinese shoe, and nea)*ly 
as elegant. Over his shoulder was slung a belt 
of velvet and gold, to which was appended a 



FETE D'iNBEPENDENCE. 21 

s wordy such as Bayard may have been sup- 
posed to have used in his last devotions, 
while in his hand he carried a superb cane 
mounted with gold, and nearly rivalling the 
1 presidential altitude. His Excellency's head 
was surmounted with a tremendous '^ chapeau 
a la Claque/' Airhich he dismounted, aind grace- 
fully waving u, he emphatically recalled the 
rglories of the day thus commemorated, antici- 
pated the perpetuity of independence, foretold 
brilliant prospects of futurity, and the annihila- 
tion of foreign aggressors. His Excellency then 
descended, and saying a few civil things to those 
near him, the procession again moved forward to 
the church, where a " Te Deum "was performed, 
and we then returned to '^ the place from which 
we came,'' where we peacefully separated for 
our respective dwellings, half broiled by th^ 
sun, ttnd exhausted by himger and fatigue. At 
seven in the evening, u party of about one 
hundred and fifty persons (including the fo- 
reign agents) dined with the President. Among 
' the toasts were " The President and Republic 
of Haiti," " Charles X." "George IV/' and 
various others. Excess was not the charac- 
teristic of the party; for, after a very few glasses 
of wine, we adjdumed to an apartment^ in which 



22 NOTE9 ON HAITI. 

the female mefkibers of General Boyer's family 
werie assembled^ where we had some music; and 
the honorary laureate of the republic, (General 
Chanlatte, since dead,) sung a song composed 
by himself, the burthen of which was " Vive 
Boyer ! Vive Haiti ! " J More I recollect not, 
though the lyrics were published in a news- 
paper, I ought to have gone home at ten 
o'clock, but my groom, having thought it ne- 
cessary to do honour to the day by potent liba- 
tions, was unable to bring my horses, and I was 
obliged to go in quest of them, 

I regret, now that there is no probability of 
.my ever again witnessing the scenes, that I lost 
the two other national festivals, at which I un- 
derstand a display somewhat different from that 
jufit described takes place. The professed ob- 
ject of that of the 1st of May is to encourage 
agriculture by the award of prizes to the most 
successful cultivators ; but I am not aware 
that the competition is as yet very extensive. 
However, it appears to be one of the objects 
that are very steadily pursued by the govern- 
ment of Haiti. 

Of the president's domestic arrangements and 
private parties, I can say nothing from personal 
observation, as my intercourse with him was 



dh^ner at palace. 23 

purely officiaL It was said that the French 
consul-general was more familiar, owing to the 
predilections of the president, which very natu* 
rally tend to the country of his father, who was 
a Frenchman. 



24 NOTBS ON HAITI. 



CHAPTER II. 



Popnlatioa tati Society of Port-aa-Piince — Exclusion of White 
Fro{)rietor8 — Case of Daifour — ^American Servants — Sloth- 
ful Habits — Style of Visiting^ Cultivatioii and Wages — 
Ronl Police— M. Nmu's naatatioa. 

The > population of the capital and its imitie* 
diate vicinity consists of a few foKe%ners of 
different nations, Ae adopted citizens ^ the re- 
publicy and the natives of tt^ island* The first 
of these classes is composed c^ a few public 
agents, merchants, and some tradespeople. 
With the exception of the British and Fr^ich 
consuls, all the other agents were commercial 
men. Of the style of society I shall presently 
speak. 

The subjects, or citizens (which I believe to 
be the more appropriate republican epithet) to 
Haiti, in this district, were, at the period of 
which I refer, divided into three great classes ; 



C0MP08ITI0K OP SOCIETY. 25 

riz^ a very few white men ; every shade of co- 
lour between white and bladL^to vrhidi M<»eaii 
St* Mery and Lacroix have attempted to affix 
a nomenclature ; and Hbe negroes. In the ctdeat 
' of Iheir nnmerical proportions they stand thns: 
/ biack, coloured, white^ The first two of these 
classes are again subdivided in reality, (though 
all professing a common allegiance) into all the 
tiational distinctions of Europe and America; 
for by the forty-fourth article of the orastitQ* 
tion, all Indians^ Africans, and their descendants, 
vdietbher of mixed or pure blood, may beocmie 
citizens after a residence of twelve months. 
The reedd^ice, however, is often dispensed with, 
though contmry to the thecwy of the conslitn* 
tion, as I have had occasi<»i to know. Henoe 
Haiti, m general, becomes a phce of refuge to 
all persons of those classes, who either have, or 
suppose themselves to have, resmm to be dis- 
satisfied with their own country ; and the ci^- 
tal, from natural causes, is the place of princi- 
pal resort, especiallyon first emigration. The 
remainder are native-bom Haitians, having every 
peculiarity of opinion that may be imagined to 
have been engendered by their situation and 
circumstances. Such, at least, is the opinion of 
the best informed persons (natives as well as 
strangers) with whom I conversed on the sub- 

VOL. I. B 



86 HOT«» «If HAITI. 

«(W^ «6iAi<iMd ^httl I had lieaM fitm ofliet«. 

NbtiiiAstaiiAiiig Ae diflcofdiilce^ 
tmftfe, Ili« ^OTtfisneiit aaBeft^ dkat bII thefi^t^ 
ing^tad pifte^udbseiy d At S f of tlie oldm Itoe/^ 
eb the Mk^^ 4yf eotoifl^^ w m tin* cf nftfiicttai 
€r^, tav^ l)eeii alMcli^d by on itrtense pib- 

lheiM»M4o ipn^idiMs ud fe^jinge ta^tto db 
giMt aiilf eitail:«s ii ^e cupHalitielf ; and I tm 
^BttpDied^tD fearJ^Kt the latter opinion is ibk 
moatifi^tt^; fipMi maikf fii6tB ; but moit espe^ 
eUfyisoi) ftom the miiifftemnce of ihe d8tb 
»ptiol6of'1imconfltitiitk»i^ which prodcnkm iffl 
whkei^'fiotti hecotaiiig ^itissens^ m Bp)t6 
^Mvlctioli of the tnofit ^ighteoedof the 
ynko, rcemiot but b^ieTe, reluetaittiy -defer to 
liie pft^VKliees <^ the'xnany.f 

I wqbA6 many inquiries on this pbint ; ibr, 
besides itft importance in determining the pdlf- 
tioal ooneorcl <<3f tile repnbfic, I vms curtdtus to 
Moertain hovr fut si feVohitkm, founded on hoch 

r 

• * Jbt. 9S. '<^ Abcafi blflftc, qaeli|tt« ioit m sation, ne pbttr- 
JttfBaaSft toi^iMs BUT ce tciiit»b»i tkt^ d€ maSir4 m 4U |ir#« 

t phrtstopbe disappiOTed of this li^w; and Vmstj.^in.ius 
'' Keflezioos Politiqaes/' proposed the substitution of ** aucun 
il^cofe/^ ii*te*d of ^ aocitti Mane.*' 



pt^ffy}Wf|.te lyfertlw tew prd ft ii rt tobftilt 
jm9^y.^giiciiraf^|i Ul ifflre Ipr^aaat^ k^y Ho stMOi 

one i]if < tbfl ]HUDs4r4ifiMltaefibnte of hinlaBJlfcf to 

i^^^ogj^. f ^eh ^n 4q>iQJk>Q> and tb^ «e i%ht; bnt 
l^fi^ if) t^ii;^ ei/jfieoca of no v^ liiiekiit diAe, 
tli^ iii^f ?id»B^jo»^ lonaid icftdy l» «aeite 
^gajmoi^ .^/iiihk^ it is ckaiiy the ialeiest of IIm 
whole should slumber* j^la 19^^ % bkek mm, 
x^ifpyd^j;^fg[ifsm9 a nattre <^ tba ^stnci kaovni 
% ^hat naiae in Africa^ whO| ffbea sbey, hid 
^Qom^^ed a^ FiMbcb^gginttefnaa jpcm Egypt jo 
Fxance^y wb^^re he bad ^lem ediuratodi-emgiatad 
to HaitL /At Port-au-Prinee he e0tabliahed 
'himself as the edited of a newspaper, called 
'/I^£clipser4" and, adopting die option dMi hk 
own caste was undervalued and excluded from 
Offices of trust, he became a vehem^it opponent 
of the govemm^it. His proedediogs Mfere so 



38 MOTES ON BAITU 

violesit ^tmi he was obliged to lay doii^ his p^ 
per, and to 8U{q>ort lumself hj mamiat labour. 
Uk xe$AeBB spirit however, alwa]^ at work, 
ilisooiered, or supposed it bad discovered, soo^. 
aew <^presBictt« He oaabodied his wrongs in a 
petition tOi 4be XSiainber: of C<wuiioiis> which he 
preoeeded. to deliver at the bar of tiiat body, 
Hilh the support of some of its viost distia* 
giiiriAfd- Aaemben. These pcoceedingB were 
nif^d ia the bud ; for the p^tiooei was ar« 
sesited^ led before . a court martial ^although ^ 
civilian)^ tcisd, ocwvieted, and shoty. The.m^i^ 
faecB who had abetted him were eodled^ as I 
aaderstood, withoat tiiaU to a itistance JSfxm 
Foet^^urSnnce, to whieh' they were <peni^tti^ 
to.< return after having duly eJipMedthcAt poUr 
tical sins iby an exile of somQ nsbonths,. • I was 
slso tcid that they were expelled the. Chamber. 
' Aft £ir as I could discover^ there is nothing of 
an imperceptible gradaiion in society*. The pre^ 
ndent avamredJy ata&ds at the head, and the 
military: and civil officers range according to 
their rei^^eetive ranks : blit there is no high- 
er order^ no nnddle ckss^ descending to the 
lower orders in private life. Military and civil 
employmafit, and the possession of moneyy 
alone entitle to consideration; but in general 
tke possessor will associate on terms of faaiilia^ 



BISTltlBUTlON ^V OVFICE. 29 

tity Willi the lowest member in tiift 6C«le of 
society, without any feeling of degnulalioii. 
There are, howe^^r, exeeptioiis to^ tlu an^wwd 
practiee. (Some have attempted to ritowthfli 
tfa^ e^kmred jpop«latiaa' fofm an mstocracy) 
while the whole of the labour h entaikdootlit 
negro) 'Th», Lsudpect, is g&aanJ^timg teo^ex^^ 
tet^iv^iy ; thoughit ie a fact that the Icmner fftery 
0!lgii fi^'the prbneipal offices, ogmgyl supfKiief 
to'theSt being gienerally better edtKaited;* but 
tiiei^ ai^^many itttances in which bUuiksy atm 
: 'wfthOiit education^ ai^ intrusted* witk< inipdilBirt 
' bffices;^ There iii one cireuaagtaiiM whieh api 
fk^ t^ tee'tery estentaally tOteoMnbalefto tkm 
kpi#it' of ^eqtiality. Almost every laAn^ viiMr 
etei) Ms official rank may be^ is either directly 
6r indirecftly ei^ged in commerce, 'the aequisi** 
tim of boney being held in as great repate 9s 
it ever was in Duke's-plaee or the Minoiies. 
Out of the class just mentioned ikere is no 
fiiten^ediate step to diat of ktbourem^ artbans, 
dom^tic servants, &e. These are of all-colours 
land of various ^^alities. The natives are the 
most mxmerous, and there are among them 
some ingenious workmen and. indualrious ht* 
bourers ; but these qualities aare not so general 
as they otight'to be. ■ * ^ o* t, ■..,., 

'J Among the labourers in town, theEei%(a coi|* 



W NOTE! ON HAITI. 

•idenbk nomber of emigrants from th 
Stat^ of America, wt)o, though by n 
4e^ciwt ID iatelligenpQ, are, wit^h few exi 
t»y no means th« most respectable pat 
(jmnmiHUty. My penooal experience, ac 
reral Amenaa wrvant* that I bad, le 
.C9BQlusi<w ; aod on inreBtlgating the c 
fbiMicl that dunog the rage for emigrat 
AffMnoft tp iUUi, the rery refuse -of U 
fwl coloured population of the forit 
foieipotl^ no doubt ia the expectation o 
UQltopl-boy'g Utfqna in the new land of 
B)4 vl(en.thgyfoiuid that the govenli 
«:ted4t)bour in return for food and grattte 
dJKOOtwtond dissatiii&ction followed ; f 
iriio could not remove themselTes, (wbi 
het:s fiuled in dcnng, owing to the vigj 
the ftathorities) became aa systematic 
QfiHr drunkennett, and profligacy) as 
women c(ruH be. 

Jodolence aod inactiTity are not, ] 
qwfi^efl to the em^rants ; they aro Uh 
teristicA of the country : there is a ge 
of ligt)<W«nefls, which may be aptly d 
M " A deaih-ljke languor which is not 
.pcmding all clasBesp I was much stn 
{)ractical illusb^titm which was one day 
by a Haitian of the truth of this rema 



INDOLEKCB OF FKOPLE. 31 

EnglishiQiin had deaiied a potter in Ike hooie 
where he was employed, to go on ioiu mes- 
sage for him to a short distance. As I 
interested in it, I awaited his return, which 
delayed much longer than it ought to have 
beei.. At last the messenger H.pe««I. -««=,. 
pig like snml:^ my acquaintance caUed Mt 
tn the usual phrase on such occ^ons, ^ Vite! 
vite 1'' which seemed rather to retaitl the mck 
tioiis of our Mercury. At last he arrived ; and 
on my asking '* Pourquoi, mon ami, est ce que 
vous ne courez pas?" he replied, with die 
most imperturbable gravity, '^ Vduk ne com^ona 
pas dans ce pays ci/' Had there been any drol- 
lery, it might have been cited as a spedmen of 
iHaitian humour ; but it was no such tl^ng ; it 
.was the sober enunciation of a principle. 

If a doubt remain on a strangei^B mind as to 
the correctness of this view of the case, let him 
ride through Port-au-t^rince at any hour of the 
day, and he will see '^ confirmation strong." 
The manner in which, at all hours of die day, 
the women and men are seen lounging tmder 
canvas, strained in front of the houses to ex- 
I elude the sun, is no bad accompammcait for 
the sentries in chairs ; and I suspect there is nb 
part of the world where more time is literally 
*^ whiled away" than in Haiti. The impress ct 



32 KOTES ON HAITI. 

listless indolence is decidedly given to all ani- 
mated nature ; ^en the dogs and pigs wandar v 
about with an apathy unseen elsewher^ The lat- 
ter seem(^o lean) as almost to convince the spec- >s 
tator, that, contrary to the habits of their race, 
they have abandoned gluttony, {l was once 
much struck by a dry remark made by a caustic ^j 
fellow : *' D-^v^ these Haitians, they cannot / 
even Ifatten a pig.*'^ Whether this be true or no^/ 
or whether the climate exercises the enervating 
influence ascribed to that of Naples, I will not 
presume to decide ; . but(it is a certain feet that u 
wretched pigs and scarecrow dogs aix)undp 

The society of Port-au-Prince, as already 
stated of the population, is either foreign or na* 
tive ; the former very much divided, according to 
the countries to which the individuals belong, 
although they mingle together very generally. 
Their foreign residents are merchants, chiefly 
English, French, German, and North American, 
who visit without restraint, although there are 
individuals who seem desirous of keeping up 
national distinctions. Many conceived it quite 
anomalous that the French consul-general and 
the ofiicers of the French squadron should be 
<m habits of famiUar intercourse with me. In 
spite of such opinions, I steadily maintained an 
intercourse on which I shall always reflect with 



STYLE OF VI&ITIl^G. 33 

"pleasure, as having afforded a pleasing relief to 
the most laborious and irksome portion of my 
life. There is very little systematic Tisitmg 
among foreigners in Port-au-Prince, but a good 
deal of dropping-in visits. Tlie practice of 
breakfasting at mid-day and dining (the nativeB 
call it " souper") at seven o'clock, tends to pro- 
mote this unceremonious kind of intercourse* Am 
there is always enough prepared for the family, 
an interloper is never heeded, except to be wel*- 
cpmed. The chief objection to these late break* 
fasts is the introduction of wine and spirits, 
which sometimes leadB to excess. They are 
however so much in vogue, that many foreigners^ 
%s well as natives, who never ^ve a dinner, 
t)ccasionally give a. ^' dejeuner k la fourchette *' 
to a small party of sixty or eighty. At one of 
these, given by a most respectable and worthy 
Englishman, I vsdtnessed the evil effects of the 
early introduction of wine ; for an official fo^ 
reigner ^ soon carried off senseless; while his 
neighbour had solid reasons for regretting the 
proximity of his pockets to the eruption which 
preceded the melancholy state of repose that 
rendered a bed necessary. 

What the intercourse of the natives with each 
other may be I cannot describe, as I had no 
Bieaiis of making any minute inquiries ; but I 



34 KOTK6 OH HAITI. 

should miSier think that it coomtB chiefly in 
calls ; when slight refreshmentB, such as wine, 
or spfarits aad water, or ** eau svu3r6e/' are pro- 
duced. Theur iHvitetkind to foreignerB are not 
commoA ^ but whte tiiey do occur there «is 
^buadance of every thrag. I cannot aserihe 
t^ mrity to any want of hospitality; for, as I 
shall hereaft^ have occasion to show, that is 
a virtue which abounds, at least in the country 
districtB« I suspect a want of means is the real 
cause. - 

At <he period of our arrival, and for a lotag 
time after, there were no balls anumg 1^ 
better classes, owing, in the first place, io the 
mourning for the eldest daughter of Peti<Hi, 
who had died at a very early age, a short tone 
before; and secondly, to the depressed state 
of commerce, and the general distress : but 
shortly before I left the island the gsiieties had 
recomm^iced. I wished certainly to have seen 
one ; but occupation, and the power of going 
whenever I chose, led me to postpone d<mg so, 
until sickness rendered it impossible. 

From some of my firiends who were pi:esait, 
I learned that European dances were chiefly in 
vogue; the "carabinier," a sort pf cotillon, 
be^ng almost the only one peculiar to the repub- 
lic. The men are describe as zealous, though' 



BALLS AND CONCERTS. 36 

BOt thfi oaast gntceftiL ▼otorioi of TerpfiolKMne ; 
while the softer sex display much grace in eve* 
hi^ofiS) though too nearly allied to the style of 
i^ejbaUet The men are reported not to (jiecw in 
aceordance with the eanons of Stoltz ; but the 
toiklt of tb^ ladies t^ closely resembles that 
on thereastem mde of the Atfaatic, with the ex* 
cepAira f^ the heed^fiSBs^ whieh ie a sort of 
tiurban, xtonstructed generally of a Madraahand- 
kerehief:-! tUbk it pietty, though rather too 
lofty. Wheneyer a lady does not intead to 
liwife, Hm heod-gear is formed of a white 
liandliei^hief j a sort of dag of truce that is 
always hdd. sacred. 

. { ira^ told that H would be diffientt to deter- 
,wmQ^ which was the vrorBiy the mnsie or the 
refresbmeats: the former consisting of two or 
three er^ed dationets and boras ; the latter, 
of orgeat, bad mm, worse water, and coarse 
ft]frup and water, ieq>anngly senred out of a still 
more slender supjdy of glasses* 
.. Private concerts also occurred; and I under- 
stand from c(»npetent judges Uiat they were, to 
ase the pr<^essioQal phrase, very well got up* 
Aiaoiaig the eluef perfbrmem were some native 
GLaUJans, who had held commissions in tha 
Flinch army in Europe, Upon these two im- 



t6 KOT£8 OK RAtTU 

portairt poiixtfl I am <mly a hear8ayi*witee8g> ^ I 
nev^r was present at eitheFk 

The majority of the inhahitante of the ooun<* 
try adjacent to Poit-att-Prince axe small pro* 
prietors or '^ concessionaires ;'* to whom, by stm 
Agrarian law introduced by the late president 
Petion^ mnall aUotments of land hare been 
made. I know of no small tenants payiag retil 
for'hmd. t They cultivate such articles as Chti'* 
aea^grass -and yegetables^ and they rear poultiry» 
In the h^faer grounds coffee is grown to a small 
extent. ^* The same individuais also occasianally 
labour for the foreign residentft near the toim 
fiarwages^ There may be a few professed 'la«* 
bourers ; but of these there are I beliere but 
¥ery few : it is consequently difficult tO'tsecure 
steady labour. Liidng as I did, di>oat two mika 
from town, I found it necessary to cultiv^tei <ui 
much grass as was wanted for my own hpliies.^ 
I had always one labourer, generally an Ameri* 
can emigrant^ residing on my |Nremises; but 
occasionally^ to keep down the rapid growth of 
weeds, extra labour was required : yet in sfnte 
of the inducements of better wages than were 
usually paid, and of punctual pajrment every 
Saturday, I could rarely, if ever, get the same 
set of people to work two wedk» continuously » 



I Ibuifd that the {produce of one week'ft exertioai 
(from 1| to two doUaars), if they could be called 
sc^y enable the lab<mrer to enjoy for a consi"* 
derable period his chief loxury, mm ; as the 
aecessaries of life are to be procured for a mere 
tn&By or vnik veiy little effort* One excepttoii 
Tmust make in favour of an old soas4ieutenant^ 
Who ioA «erred vdidiidr Christophe^ and in hia 
hJsbk tiays r^erted to his original rink, that of 
adabourer; hetdiled: \veek after week: but he 
faad'-ucquired ambition in his military career; 
My hero, i^oogh «)oe: of the ugheat men in the 
n^ubbi^^ Wto named Adonis ! 

IWei^lB of'this' disinclination to laboiu< preai 
hedvily ctn tUs finances of the government, wbo 
hanre^di0(So^?<ered that ^^ ex nihilo nihil fit ;" and 
tb^'^they cannot perform their engagements 
without produce. Haace originated the " code 
raral/' the existence of which was so boldly 
denied in this country. It provides, as I shall 
hereafter show, very amply for enforcing la- 
boisr; but the execution of the law near Port- 
au^Ptiftce becomes difficult from the want of 
subordinate agents* ^Night-dancing, so much 
in vogue, is restricted to those nights that pre- 
cede -holidays ; by which arrangement industry 
, and pleasure may go hand-in-hand. But the 
law is inoperative. During the whole of my 



38 NOTES ON HAITI* 

modenct near Fort'^x^VTmcef my rest wM 
broken at least thrice every week by the \Ag. 
drums at these meetifigs ; and one of tiie princi- 
pal places of resort was the house of the captain \ 
of the rural police, whose duty it was to repress 
such assemblages. This worthy also? afibrded 
his^ Tisitaats an opportunity of disgorging alittl^ 
of their surplus eapital at ^^ rouge et noir/' or 
some other eqiutlly compUcated g^une. This 
man was a character of some note. He was not 
inaptly named ^* Ta»reau ;*' for though bis mesxa 
ipure sssall^ and his cottage still smaller^ h€(hM 
a haiem of no less than six wives^ ime of whooi 
fiir A tiaaoe was my laundress. Great was the 
consternation in the seraglio, when one of the 
ladies was discovered to have, in d^ascf of 
her. all^iance, maintained a less than ques- 
tionable intimacy with a young blac^' gallant, 
yclept Michel, the servant of an English mer- 
chants Complaint after complaint rolled out 
against the lover; and Heaven only knows what 
might have heeia his fate, had not the i^ug^ 
gestions of his master rendered him more cir- 

I once went to one of these rural balls, wMch 
was got up at the instance of one of my English 
neighbours, that I might have an opportunity of 
making my personal observations. A rude hut. 



APPEARAKCB OV THE e6UNTRY. 89 

toTered with the branchee of trees^ was lighted 
with a few candles. The miuiciany dreMed 
"fiyatastically, sat in a comer, beating a large 
drum ; and the dancers of both sexes iiaiov«4 
dowiy y chanting a melaiicholy and wild acoom* 
iMUsiment to the dnmi. The attitudes were v<^ 
4if]^tuous and not devoid df grace : there wa^ no 
'particular motion of the feet, and the figure was 
^erely advancing to and receding from, and 
kioving slowly ^oi:md &e cabin* At the end of 
ibadi dai^e, ihe musician started up^ darted to 
%he place where the ^ta^angers stood^ and exhi- 
l^ted sdme frantic gesticulatbns. Smoking^ and 
drinkiB^ tafia, wei« the other «c«atk». of the 
et^ning^^ 

i have already noticed the uncultivated ap- 
pearance of the country on approaching it from 
the sea. The same character j^evails, though 
to a less extent, on riding through it ; for al- 
though occa^onal patches of cultivation do 
present themselves, they are so few when com* 
pared with the dense masses of rank natural 
vegetation, (which proceeds with a rapidity 
wholly unknown in milder climates,) as to sank 
into the shade. Thus to a person unprepared 
for such quid^ growth, the beautiful plain, of 
Ciil-de-aac, to the N, E. of Port-au-Prince, would 
seem to be an old forest of logwood (hosma- 



40 NOTES ON HAITI. 

tox3^1nxn Campechianum), and of bayahbnd 
(acacia); aHhough^ ivithiathe last thirty years, 
it was covered with sugar establishments^ which 
must have rivalled any in the world. 

The general kind of culture I have already 
noticed, when speaking of the labourers. That 
of canes is carried on to a small extent in the en- 
virons. To the west, on the Leogane road, is the 
plantation Letor, already noticed ; another be- 
longing to General Inginac and the widow of 
M. Sabourin, a former chief judge, called Mon 
Repos : one in the plain of Cul-de-sac, Roche 
Blanche, belonging to the president ; a planta- 
tion belonging to General Lerebours, file com- 
mandant of Port-au-Prince ; another to M; 
Nau, the treasurer-general, on which one hun- 
dred and fifty labourers are employed, beside!^ 
smaller establishments. In the same direction 
there is also a very pretty country-house, be- 
longing to the president, called Drouillard, at 
which Christophe established his head-quarters 
when besieging Port-au-Prince. I do not be- 
lieve that any cultivation goes on there. It 
has much the appearance of the retreat of an 
English gentleman. 

In reply to some queries addressed to me by 
the directions of the late Mr, Secretary Canning, 
I gave some account of Letor^ which having 



M. NAU*S PLANTATION. 41 

been printed l)y the order of the House of C<»ii- 
mons, I fepl myself at lib^y. now to.use^ espe* 
cially as the statement has been fully borne put 
by subsequent inquiries. 

'^ Fonnerly oi^e thousan4 seven hundred caiK 
Teaus (each containing about three hundred and 
eighty square French feet) were in canes; abovs^ 
one thous^d five hunflred slaves wereemploye4 
on it ; thi^ie sugaf -mills wareccHiistantly at work, 
and exceUent Biigar wap made. Now about 
seven, c^n^us are in. qultivation ; not fifty la- 
bouiprs are employe^ ; and the oidy produce^ii^ 
a little syrup a;id tafia, which last is retailed in 
a small shpp by |;he road-side^ in firont of ^ 
president's residence." — ^P. 80. Parliameniary 
Papers, . ... 

M* Nail yery kindly invited me to- his coua* 
try-house, for the purpose of seeing his planta? 
tion^ which is justly considered amongst the 
first in the republic ; for being a man of pro- 
perty, he is never driven by poverty to abandon 
what he has once begun, which is very, often 
the. pase vrith inferior speculators. . I spent the 
day very agreeably with him, and gained much 
useful knowledge of the state of eultivation. 
His arrangements were not quite finished ; but 
as far as I Xwho know npthing of the details of 
sugar cultivfition) can j^dge, they must succeed 



42 HOT£$ ON HAITI,. 

wdmn boQi^ht into AiU pUy» provided thaf he 
mn 0a««fe labour. little or m su^ is n^ade 
•l^y wbercy 9^ least for eiqportation, as I sBal| 
liareafter prove ; the juice of Ihe cfoie b!^in|( 
^hueat inmiiaMy opiy leduced to tb^ 9ta^ o^ 
ngrvnpf aitd W9d la that state fiir dcw^of tic puip- 
pe^ea, ^or diatiUed into tafia^ of which tber^ b a 
wy teige cofMHBnptimi^ being the favou^ 
liquor of the aativea. .- ^^^ 

. Hie commerpe <:f Portf-au-Prince is earned on 
by yaiioyia daaaaa of peiaoDS. The impcNi:a ftxHo^ 
£wope^ lu^ Amenca are prmcipally c(Hisi^;ped 
to Eurcqpeaa and North Ameaoan couwi^si^i;!* 
hmim, besides a few Haitian establisj^menta. 
ThediapiDad ia one of the pcnita to whi^h f^ 
reiga loevc^anits are confined by the laiw, c^ 
pttmlB^ but they are, or at least were duruig 
die time of my residence^ restricted by heavy 
p««aM«. tp wholasale busineas. Of course 
they cannot deal with the conaumerSf but with 
tbe native retailers, who are chiefly wpme^q. 
ityled ^f marchandefi ;" these employ huckst^r^ 
abo women, who traverse the country, attend 
the BMtrketa, and give an account of their trafis- 
aelieiis to fiieir emfdoyers, either every eveain^,/ 
etioe a week, or once a month, according to 
tbeir character for integrity. :, 

Aa the paymaits to the importer are. g^jT^r. 



MOIIE O^ tBAFFIC. 48 

roily in money, and ihere is ^mly one illlfO^* 
tant ardcte of export, cdffee; ^ puBrrhnitg 
for reium^ can only be imrfc after the ciofi 
have been gathered, and these tre f fllM^led by 
brokers, wlio often bargain' witii a dite of tu^ 
tives called coffee specttatbfi^, from "their deal* 
ibg for the chaik^e <^ the market 9fUk Ute aM>^ 
yators, and either sell to the best adrualigie, or 
fulfil contracts previously erttered inAo; ' 

Ambng the t^sp^table mardittiid^, there it 
f»ld to b^ much good fiiith ; botnith tbe glMt 
body di customers, I befiere thef men^uinii «it 
obEged 't6 usd iiie utmod: dfeumipeelloii. > 
' ^AU the onSuary ^^esmeti, sueb m laikmi 
shoe-makers, and even a water-'proof ba^aiaai»> 
^turer, are io be fbtmd in* FortHUHPiiMe; 
And' f confess I was struck w^ thd respoetilili 
appeanmce of several booksdiers* shopsi having 
looked iii vain for such things both in Barbadoev 
and Aiitigua. The books are g^ierallydeaian^ 
tkiy Preilch publications and romances. The 
works of Voltaire, Rousseau, and others of 4i6 
iame class, abound. 

"'Riere are also two printing-presses, one at 
which the government gazette, Le Telegmpto^ 
is printed, and the o&€9'^irom which the FenOtt 
de Commerce issues. The form^ratdy ooa4 
tains more than ihe documents i$0Ued by the 



44 NOTES ON HAITI. 

government; the latter occasionally some spi- 
rited papers, and is conducted by M. Courtdife; 
who was for a short time director of the post* 

4 

office. 

'Hie apothecaries* shops are numerous, as they 
ought to be in such a horrible climate, and Are 
well supplied with all the contents of the Frfeftci 
pharmacopeia. There are also some t^nAeriesJ 
in which the bark of the mangrove Is used ks lite 
tanning material. As far i$ I could asceilain, 
flie great bulk of the border-people were ^ith^ 
of that clafis of Europeans called in the 'Frehcfi 
time *' petits blancs," or people of fcolour^ ' "tM 
labourers either in town or country ar^ gene- 
rally black. ' 'V 
• At the time of my first arrival, the 6ipfecfe* 
tions of the government as well as ofthe people 
were on tiptoe, as to the establishment of a mi- 
ning company, for working gold-mines in the 
district of Cibao. During the era of mining 
delusion, a company which was graced by many 
distinguished names, was formed in London, 
and agents sent out to explore this new Eldo- 
rado, previous to realising golden visions. Un- 
der such auspices the expectations of the Hai- 
tians scarcely knew any bounds ,* but *' la crise 
financi^re,'' as they phrased it in Europe, rather 
deranged their ideas ; and when I was in Port- 



MINING SPECULATIONS. 45 

KnrPri^ce, one of the agents returned to report 
thai no go}d vras to be found, and thus most 
r^uctantly this source of national wealth mm 
abandoned. How far the agents sent out weie 
Cpi7lipe1;ei4 to the inquiry in. which they were 
miployed, or how for they executed with cor- 
s^pt^ue^ and ability their trust, I cannot decide^ 
a§ I.az)! too little informed of the arrangements 
that w^re jnade, or of the talents pf the indiTi<4 
duals in question ; but it is impossible to avoid' 
spispecting that the improvidence which charac^ 
tpri^edtho proceedings of too many similar aa^ 
sct^^tions, was not wanting here ; or that failure 
respited as much from b^ information as horn 
the absence of the precious metal. Indeed, 
one may suspect any absurdity when looking 
back on the sch^nes of 1825 and 1826, a pe«* 
4d at which a company was gmvely formed 
for. the condensation of saw-dust into planks, 
which wei'e to be superior to the original deals. 
No supposition can be too absurd ; and one i» 
onjy surprised that Swift's " Wonder of all the 
wonders that ever the world wondered at'* was 
not fevived and credited. 

At the. time of which I speak, the formation 
of a national bank too v^s said to have been 
1^ object of great solicitude to the president* 
This much is certain, that a law was passed 



« MOTE! ON.HAITU 

wAacMog it ; b«t ^ lo the lupe^ waj iith 
9iiftni% I iMBiwr beaitltbi^ loijrprogmM hA 
Will iiMd« tovniida kfr ooBipletkHi^ ^^.l^mAf^ 
km who I beU««« waacBgi^ed in tbe idispiv 
gjlfl^40meMCQWloCitiabi8>w^ ' 

^;.Sbor% «fter«ay. arrival I had,a jgfei^ a^^f^m 
itt»Qk of "feverii idiich I abook ^; bat ^IbMk 
thr wd4i| Jtdyirorthe b^jJAOivg of-Angwrt^il 
ImM a 96«9Dd| 4u^t,ia a very few difs i^imi 
me to a state of infantine weakness* Captain 
BuHi, pfUkMijmiy'i^ abip Tw^ed^wbicbtwas 
tbtt at Portr«M»tPrino6y with mn^ fcwidne<i 
ffgipos^ a diort ccuize. R^bt ^ad to ea9fip0 
4kwp^ ibo beat of the c^pital^ I. availed nqmdf^ 
bia i^f^, and we failed as.&jr aa Goiiave». vi^ 
sit^ Cape Nicolaa Mirfe, and letwEned iD^abonl' 
t^ days or a fortnight. We circwnnav^ated 
Qonave, wbieb I have already^ meotionedrai^ 
lying acrasa the entrance of the bay, about 
fptrty miles from the anclMiragie at PartHpi^ 
Prince. Formerly some settiementa hjftd been 
made on it ; but of late it has been whoUjf 
Uionhabited, except by a few fishenaeB^ lahoy 
with their families, had pitched their teiriii 
tbeie to enjoy aU the hixoriea of mosqaitoaj 
sand^fhea^ sand^ ^pd heat: but as they al9o 
yantwred to.cut down mahogaAy> and to esta^ 
Uiafa themselvea aa lords of the aoili mud&aftei^ 



YlSir TO TUB MOI^E. 4f 

A^ itMUcm of Ae Americiaii Sqiuilto»y hit 
Eieielfefld^ Ih^ PieiiMetit^ ft very akaft tint 
b<tft)i^^my*anml, had^iakdd out-fta eicpedtlioit 
9^taSMr ^ unball<»i^ kiUMreSy fl&d) ftftet 
kasrilig'dltttioyM idl thek nfimlMpigVy ImNi^ 
lk«lit'W^<te'ii»in Ittd^ ta ooiilribiite to it8 
#l$l4i^' ikkdwtryf mti pronp^ty ; Vary gooi 
ir^K^y to he tetd in a bay od lihe noiikk^ 
i ^ fsmim etifeittty ^-^at least, t tfafiA it iv«i 
ttt^Wlibbiite. ^ * • 

' 0«r <viMt to Cape Kkolas waa ratiMir ill<*£i^; 
We^aHfered Ae harbcFor, ^bjdi k fiiiit-«ale; 
bilihg eonipletely laiuHodked, so Ikal tile 
^terio fts BtUI as thut of a pondy a&d of gieal 
defpdiy close to a very bold shore. As Bocm aa 
#e teftd' dfc^yped otir anchor, Captam Humiy 
iCG«fidifig to eiBtablished usage, sent to tbm 
eoninUUidant, Qetteral Jean Batiste Bastien, to. 
itmngefor an exchange of civilities in the 
Wily of sahxtes* It seems that 'we were, in the 
Manage of the knowing ones, in the wrong 
lifhc ; for the mole is '^ a shut port," not ae* 
ceseible to any vessels except in' stress of wea^- 
Aer^ Captain Hunn's application consequently 
produced infinite constemalion, and a rare spe-* 
etfnen of epistolary composHion: — a specimen so 
n^lLe> that k would have been unfair to thtf 
ftttare race of public writers to have witMieW it,' 



48 KOTES ON HAtTK 

had I not unfortimately mislaid the copy. It 
warned us off; but nothing daunted by 6a 
formidable a warnings we discovered that we 
wanted water, and applied for permission to 
supply ourselves. No difficulty was opposed 
to this ; but the salutes were not to be thought 
of, and to avoid our urgency to do honour to 
the national flag, of the republic, General 
Bastien, who had studied naval and militaiy 
tactics, as well as diplomacy, under Christophe, 
(who had created him Count de Leogane) per- 
formed a feat that has fairiy entitled him to be 
considered the Talleyrand of his country. He 
left his aide-de-camp to negotiate with the 
officer sent by Captain Himn, while he and his 
wife, in a towering black beaver hat with an 
enormous black plume, fairly galloped off to 
the rear of the town. We afterwards dis- 
covered that there was only om gtm mounted 
in this once formidable post. Eariy the follow- 
ing morning the land breeze wafted us from 
this inhospitable place. 

Cape Nicolas Mole, as is well known to 
every one conversant with the revolutions of 
St. Domingo, was fortified at great expence by 
the French government ; and after we obtained 
possession, it was rendered one of the strong- 
holds of the world, seaward. And even now 



CAPE NICOLAS MOLE. 49 

the rained works retam tke names which we 
had given them. After an enormous expense 
had been fruitlessly incurred; the late Sir Tho- 
mas Maitland entered into a convention with 
Tottssaint in 1798, and delivered up* the fortifi- 
cations to him, with so much pomp as to call 
^rth the sneers of the French writers. When 
Christophe and Petion divided the French 
portion of the island, the Mole retained its 
fidelity to the latter* The former besieged it 
in 1812, and after the governor, General La- 
mar, had been kiUed, and his immediate suc^ 
cessor had blown out his brains on despairing 
of succour, it fell into the hands of Chris- 
.tophe, who butchered some of the survivors, 
razed the works, and even cut down the trees 
that adorned the suburbs — a melancholy mo- 
nument of his vindictive fury. The destruc- 
tion of the trees was an act of very wanton fe- 
rocity^ as they afforded almost the only shade 
in that neighbourhood, the country being re* 
markably arid and bare. The city is now re- 
duced to the lowest state, there being no trade, 
flotwiAstanding ite fine situation. In the event 
of war it would still be an invaluable m$tary 
po^itiod, which would probably not be ovetr 
looked either by America or France. . ,. .. t 
After I had landed at Port-au-Prinee,\ the 

VOL. I. c 



fiO IfOTES ON HAITI. 

Tweed was obliged to return to Jamaica, and 
Captain Hnnn visited Gonaives. It seems to have 
been his lot to meet with adventures. While 
tiiere, he invited all the authorities, who gladly 
profited by his politeness, and gave such sub- 
stantial evidence of their approbation of his iare, 
that, to use Bums's appropriate phrase, most of 
them were '' right glorious/' While in that state, 
some busy demon of imagination suggested the 
piossibility that in their helpless conditi<m the fii- 
gate might sail to Jamaica, and the hapless chiefs 
be once more reduced to '^ villain bonds.'' No 
sooner had this idea been excited than sev^l 
of the party disappeared, and were found hiccup- 
ping Iheir apprehensions in the boats alonggide, 
out of which it was fruitless for the boat-keepers 
to attempt to expel them. The story got into 
some of the English papers, and I deemed it a 
fable; but I have since learned from eye-wit- 
nesses that in essentials the narrative was strictly 
true. 

During my stay at Port-au-Prince, I made 
several excursions 'in different directions; but 
that with which I was most pleased was to La 
Coupe, a. district in the highlands to the east- 
ward of. the city, distant about seven or eight 
miles. The road is well planned, but in a hor- 
fiUy dilapidated condition, and the ascent is 



VISJTS TO LA COUPE. 61 

N 

aearly ccmtomous the whole way. There is, on 
the way, considerable variety of bold and pic* 
turesque scenery overhanging the road, and at 
different intervals there are some very neat 
cottages, surrounded by small patches of culti* 
vated land. One of these, belonging to a Hai- 
tian merchant,. I wished very much to have 
rented, but I could not get it. On reaching the 
district named La Coupe, the atmosphere is cool 
^nd e^reeable^ and the few scattered cottages 
that present themselves afford a perfectly pasto- 
ral retreat, in which it is truly grateful to lounge, 
freed from the heat and innumerable ^' d^sagre- 
mens '* of " la belle -capitale." My first trip was 
made with M. Maler and a party of French 
naval officers to the cottage of M« Jacquemont, 
a French gentleman, whose brother, a very 
rising naturalist, is, I believe, now in India; 
My .second was to a little mud hovel rented by 
Mr. Moravia> an English resident. The con- 
trast between the comparative coolness of La 
Coupe, and the oppressive sultriness of Port-au- 
Prince, can only be appreciated by those who 
have been doomed, as was the case with myself, 
to swelter for uninterrupted months in the latter. 
I look back with pleasure to these two excur- 
ei<m6, as an^ong the few gratifying recollections 



52 IVOTES OK HAITI. 

connectei with tlib most miBalisfiictory nuflsioo 
to Haiti. 

Some mQes to the eastward of La Coupe, at a 
still greater elevatioii,' is Fort Jacques, a for- 
tress, I beUere built by the British. I intended 
to have visited it, but business always inter- 
fered, until I was incapacitated by dangercnis 
illness from d<Mng so. The cHmate is there cool 
and agreeable. Apples, peais, and European 
▼egetaUes, flourish ; but the road is execrable, 
and even hazardous; and, what is still worse, 
on reaching this otherwise agreeable, though 
f<^gy, region, there is no acoxmnodation, save 
some misereble negro huts. Were it not for 
these difficulties, although the. distance from 
the coast is not less than aghteen or twenty 
miles, there woulft probably not be one foreigner 
of any comdderation who would not have a 
retreat there ; but at present this is completely 
out of the question. The comfort and healthi- 
ness of such an arrangement would be. im- 
mense, and not to be imagined by those who 
hare never been exposed to a greater degree of 
suffering than being obliged to ride post, instead 
of calmly reposing with air pillows in a chariot 
and four. Often, when oozing at every pore, 
and incapacitated even from holding a pen, have 



VISITS TO LA COUPE. 63 

I wished for such a retreat ; but the wish was 
as unavailing as if I had longed for Gyges' 
ring. Some centuries hence good roads may 
be established^ pleasant villas built, and the 
agents of distant countries may there, forget* 
ful of the annoyances of their predecessors, 
assemble and discuss the destinies of powers 
not yet in being. In the mean time, the un- 
fortunate individuals who may be called to 
dacrifice health, comfort, and perhaps life, in 
the service of their respective countries, must 
be satisfied to endure, and to belieye that 
" Virtus sua praemia tulit/' 



54 NOTES ON HAITI* 






CHAPTER IIL 

Deparcaro from Port-ao-Priiice— 'Journey to Leogane — Com* 
mandant and Town of Grand Goave — Raroours of rartl dun 
dpline — Crossing the Tapion — Petit Goaye — M. Bandain— 
L'Acol de Petit Goave— St. Michel— Blind beggar — ^Post 
Vigile — ^Dangeroos ford — ^Acquin^Jage de Paix-^St. Ixkus 
— M. Dumesle — Cavaillon — Cayes — History — Town-adja- 
tant — Subnrbs — ^Distilleriea. . 

Having made the necessary arrangements 
for my absence,. I left my cottage on the morn- 
ing of the 10th February, at three o'clock, with 
my brother and two of the gentlemen attached 
to the consulate, together with a considerable 
cavalcade of horses and mules, rendered neces- 
sary by the reported impos?Mity of procuring 
any thing on the road. . As I was not well, I 
rode in a gig, which had been very kindly lent 
to me by one of the party. Our road lay past 
Letor and Fort Bizotton, which I have already 
mentioned ; and to the left Mon repos, belonging 
to the secretary-general. Along the road-side \ 
we passed in confused assemblages the broken y 



ROAD TO LEOGANE. 65 

utensik of dugar-works, indicating what had 
, formerly been?) The morning was oool and 
agreeable^ as it generally is, in Haiti at that 
period of the <^ay , when the thermometer rarely 
exceeds 72°. of Fahrenheit ; but by the time we 
had passed the Salines^ a marshy wet portion 
of the road, and Mome-£l-bateau, which is the 
boundary of the '^ anrondissemens '' of Port-au-* 
Prince and Leogane, the sun became perfectly 
intolerable. To ride fast was bad ; but to tra^ 
vel slowly was still worse. Being in a caniagei 
I was obhged to adopt the latter course. The 
pscenery on the road-side, which runs close to the - 
bay, was very beautiful and thickly wooded, with 
• many of the trees in fuU bloom. There is but 
little elevation, except at Mome-^-bateau, where 
our anxieties for home were strongly called forth 
by the appearance of the En^ish flag on a ves- 
sel beating into the, bay. We crossed the river 
of Leogane, which, though now low, changes 
during rains into tA impetuous and dangerous 
current. It traverses a considerable plain of the 
same name, to the east and south of the town ; 
and we reached, overwhelmed with heat, a 
coffee-house called Wmoa, kept by a man of 
the name of Maby, in which there was a plen- 
tiful absence of civility, accommodation, or fare ; 
ihoi^^h the art of making out a biU was as per- 



•I 



66 « NOTES ON HAITI. 

fecily undetstood by M. Maby as it was by- 
Gil Bias' host at Penaflor. * However, there 
was no alternative, unless we had chosen ta 
bask in the sun with empty ston^achs. 

I called on the general commanding the 
arrondissementy Gedeon, I believe the senior 
general i& the republic, (lately dead,) but he 
was absent on a tour of inspection. The'comr 
mandant of the place was exceedingly civil, 
and r^roached me with iiot having made 
his house my quarters ; and I have no doubt 
that he was in earnest; for throughout the 
island I met with the greatest hospitaUty. 
This I ascribe partly to the natural disposition 
of the people, and partly to the general popu- 
larity of my country among them. The libe- 
rality of the British Government during the 
'period that it shared in the local contests, had 
endeared it to the Haitians; and there is, I 
believe, no small portion of them who look up 
to Britain as the only power that could and 
would protect them in any difficulty. This 
impression I found very strong every where, 
whether well or ill-founded I cannot pretend to 
determine ; though if unfounded, I rather re- 
joice that the delusion had not passed awa^ 
when I might have su£fered inconvenience from 
its doing so. It was, however, a subject on 



COMMANBANr OP LK06ANE. 67 

which I never directly or" indirectly expressed 
an opinion. I had rather a long conyersation 
with the commandant^ who was very proud of 
his good roads^ and he had reason' for being 
so, as they were really very respectable. He 
also assured me, that under exceUent direc- 
tions (viz. his own) the code rural worked 
well ; and that, in consequence, the " sifop** of 
his district was very much superior to that of 
any other quarter. He appeared a frank, oblig- 
ing man, quite aware of his own good qiiahties, 
but apparently not so conversant with European 
opinions on some topics ; for, in speaking of an 
officer of rank in the republic, he observed 
with admirable naiviet^ and exquisite logic, 
* *' C'est mon beau fr^re, parceque je vis avec sa 
scBur." 

Leogane is a considerable town, chiefly built 
of wood ; and the streets, though unpaved, are 
better than those of Port-au-Prince. It was 
market-day, and there was a respectable de- 
gree of activity and bustle. There is only an 
open roadstead, but no sheltered harbour. In- 
deed, I believe there is none from Port-au- 
Prince to Petit (Joave. 

During the revolutionary contests, Leogane 
was a point of some consequence, and fre- 
qnently the scene of sanguinary conflicts. It 



58 NOTES ON HAITI. 

WE8 also a place of importance eyen at the time 
of the firet discovery, being then the principal 
place of the kingdom of Xaragaa, under the 
Cacique Behechio, whose successor and sister 
Anacoana was so treacherously ensnared and 
brutally murdered by the orders of Ovando, 
about the year 1497. 

During the French regime, it was a place of 
very considerable importance ; and in more re* 
cent times it fell alternately into the possession 
of all the contending parties, and is noted for 
the executions inflicted by General Rigaud on 
all who had deserted the republican banners, 
when he retook it in 1794. When I was there, 
no trace of such bloody deeds was to be seen. 
I should mention that, before my arriyal in the 
country, some of the English residents of Port- 
au-Prince had entered into a subscription for 
establishing a race-course near to Leogane, the 
plain being well fitted for such a purpose ; a 
stand was talked of, and every necessary ar- 
rangement discussed ; but some how or other 
the project died away, though I never heard 
any reason assigned. 

On leaving this town for Grand Goave, I 
intended to have proceeded by the road close 
to the sea, so as to have seen the mud fort 
Caira, which, under the command of Petion in 



KDAD, TO GBAND 60AVE. 59 

1795, had very handsomely mauled five of our 
lii^ of battle ships, one of which was com- 
manded by the late Sir John Duckworth; but 
by the mistake of my guide we got into the 
main road, which is wide, and for some dis- 
tance screened ftom the burning rays of the 
sun by a double row of trees of considerable 
size. We passed L'Habitation Beauhamois, 
which formerly belonged to the father of that 
gallant, high-minded gentleman, Eugene Beau- 
hamois. It is now the property of a Haitian, 
whose name has escaped my memory. 

On this road there are no inconsiderable marks 
of cultivation, as compared with the neighbours- 
hood of Port-au-Prince; genemlly speaking, 
however, every thing is on a small scale, when 
one reflects on the magnitude of the establish- 
ments of which the ** disjecta membra" are 
profusely scattered on ev^ry road that I had 
previously passed over. On -the right, not far 
from the town, lies the best estate in the district, 
the property of a black oflScer, one of the pre- 
sident's aides-de-camp. This perfection is as- 
cribed by public report (which I believe not 
to be unfounded) to the use of club-law, which 
the gallant colonel is said by virtue of his miU- 
tary authority to administer with equal libe- 
raUty and success. Among other stories, it is 



00 NOTES ON HAITI* 

asMSrted that on one occasion a blow ftcm a 
oocomacac (a heavy jointed cane in commoa 
vie in Haiti) knocked oat the eye of a loit^^er: 
80 horrid a violation of law in an officer on the 
immediate staff of the chief ruler could not be 
overlooked. The colonel was removed from his 
command, and called upon to attend at the 
palace. He obeyed, and the penance 'was 
doubtless great ; for the affairs of the Commune 
went on so very badly during the suspension 
of the cocomacac authority, that he was sent 
back, it is. supposed, with a suitable admonition 
to be more chary of people's eyes for the future. 
I do not vouch for these facts ; L only give 
them as they were told to me. The estate in 
question is described as in good order, whether in 
consequence of the discipline I know not. Others 
in the neighbourhokxi are also said to derive 
advants^e from the inspection of so vigilant a 
person. As m^ht be foreseen, his own estate 
however thrives most. I should fear that, in 
the present state of indusiiy, no one man can 
attend to the cultivation of more tiito one 
estate, and exercise " surveillance" with any 
effect over a whole district. And yet, if the 
commandants were not permitted to be culti- 
vators, I do not see how they can be induced 
to enforce labour 6n the properties of others. 



TAPIOK BE PETIT QOAVE. 61 

Th^re is a choice of difficiUtieSy in which I conr 
sider it fortunate that I am not called upon to 
make a selection. Grand Qoaye was never (as 
£ur as I know) a place of any great note ; at 
present it is a. miserable smaU town, in which 
I only saw a few soldiers loitering about the 
streets. Along the road there are small bi^^ 
Youacks for the ssgne gentlemen, who are sta* 
tioned to repress vagrancy. 

The road is good and shady. About midway 
between Grand and Petit; Goave stands the 
Tapion de Petit Goave, over which a very good 
though steep road runs. It is celebrated as the 
spot on which, in July 1735, the French acade- 
micians, MM. Godin, Bouguer, La Condamine, 
and de Puysegur, determined the length of the 
pendulum. They also ascertained its greatest 
elevaticm to be three hundred and fifty-five 
toises above the level of the sea. It is very 
precipitous towards the sea, and runs about five 
miles. The road passes amid very bold rocks 
richly clad with tropical verdure, among which 
occasionally some small cottages peep out, a^d 
strongly reminded me of some scenes in Spain 
that had been almost forgotten during an ab- 
sence of fourteen years. 

On descending fiK)m the Tapion, the sea burst 
upon us in all the glory of a setting sun, the 



62 NOTES ON HAItl. 

beauty of which can only be known to those 
who have witnessed its descent on the ocean 
in wann countries. About two miles of very 
imperfectly cultivated country brought us to 
the smaU town of Petit Ooave. Indeed, after 
descending firom the magnificent vegetation of 
the Tapion, we found ourselves surrounded by 
the logwood and bayahond^ so abundant in the 
Cul de SaCy the presence of which I beUeve is 
no bad index to the sort of cultivation that had 
previously prevailed. Our first care was to find 
a lodging for the night; but this miserable 
looking place, once the capital of the French 
colony, could not afford us bare walls for hire ; 
and had it not been for the hospitality of M. 
Baudain, a native merchant, to whom I had 
letters of introduction, our pUght would have 
been truly lamentable. I had great difficulty 
too in procuring any forage for my cattle. Al- 
though unprepared for visitors, and our party 
with servants was rather formidable, M. Bau- 
dain and his wife received us with the greatest 
hospitality and good-humour, apologising for 
the inconveniences incident to their not hav- 
ing been apprised of our coming. 

Petit Goave was formerly a parish ; but on 
the change of terms that occurred at the revo- 
lution, it became a commune, which it still re- 



COMMUNE OP 1?ET1T 60AVE. 63 

mains* It includes the hamlet of St. Michel, 
and is under die spiritual direction of a Spanish 

priest. 

The state of the cultivation is reported to be 
h&d, although formerly sugar and coffee were 
produced to some extent. The latter is still 
brought from the mountains, and shipped in 
laige barges to Port-au-Prince, whither whole 
squadrons crowd before the sea-breeie, and are 
well known as the Musquito fleet. Most, if not 
all^ of the sugar works have fallen into decay ; 
and as there are no funds, and less industry, the 
cultivation of the cane for sugar has been wholly 
abandoned. A tittle syrup is still made for the 
purpose of being distilled into tafia. 

The harbour is said to be the best on this 
line of coast, but the climate unhetilthy, and the 
town therefore less frequented than it would 
otherwise be. The sea defences are described 
as having been good under the old regime ; at 
present they are much reduced both in number 
and quality. As I intended to examine Petit 
Goave more at leisure on my way back, and 
I wished to start betimes the following morn- 
ing, our conference ceased at an early hour. 

At three o^clock on the morning of the 11th, 
we were up, and our kind hosts were ready with 
refreshments for the whole party. Having un- 



64 NOTES ON HAITI. 

dsnrtood that it was not imcanmon for Haitianr 
evea of the first cIbbb to receiTe payment for 
an; accommodation afibtded to a tnveller, - 1 di- 
rected my guide, who as a cotintrymBii would 
manage the afiair adroitly, to tender some 
money. This was rejected, much to the satis* 
faction of the servants, amcHig whom the in- 
tended dcmation was divided. These prehmi- 
naries being settled, we parted with onr hos^- 
table entertainers, though not until we w^e 
pledged to make their house our qnarters in te~ 
taming, and to give due notice of ourapproach. 
. On leaving Petit Goave, we porsned a nuse- 
rable road mnmng by the shore, as &r as 
L'Acul de Petit Goave, where it tuns off to the 
left, taking a eoutbeily directi<». At L'Acul 
we found all the negroes dancing to th^ hideous 
drum, vrith the same wild cry to which my j 
^^rs had been familiarised at Port-au-Prince./ 
We passed the Plantation Viallet, beloi^ing to 
. the senator of that Qame> where, as he told me, 
above six hundred thousand pounds of clayed 
stigar were.foimerlyniade. Now not an ounce, 
and no labourers are to be found. We also went 
by L'Ollivier, where we had been recommended 
to halt ,- but as there would have been stune 
loss of time, we pursued our route. The whole 
country is uncultivated, and a rugged steep 



AUIISSGE or ST. MICHEL. 85 

kill^ on ^rfiich Macadam m^it be advantage- 
ously employed, nearly knoeked np our hones, 
and demicdished om* gig, before we reached St. 
Michel, which we did about eight in the moro- 
ing. 

A small hut, entitled an aubeige, aflbnled us 
shelter, and in an instant the whcde of its in- 
habitants, consistiiig of an old ^raoum, her wn 
and daughter, were in a state of actiyity to 
j»ocure food for man and beast. Some of the 
horses were put out to graze ; Guinea grass was 
provided for others ; and servants and masters 
w^:e distributed in the coolest recesses that 
oould be found, until break&st could be pre- 
pared. 

St. Michel was formerly a parish of some 
note, but now it. forms a part of the Commune 
of Petit Goave, and the church is only dedi- 
cated to sacred purposes on the feast of St. 
Michel. His reverence then performs the ser- 
vice of that archangel. This is a melancholy 
feet. 

While at breakfitst, which consisted of all 
the good things that could be collected, eggs, 
fowls, ham, tea and coffee, and wine, to say 
nothing of brandy and tafia, the commandant, 
I believe a subaltern, allured by the smell of 
the viands> strutted in, evidently • for a share ; 



66 l^OTES ON HAITI. 

but as he fieemed stupid, and intent only on 
feeding, I afforded him no encouragement, and 
be with infinite good tact withdrew. After 
being fitted for research by feeding, I com* 
menced my inquiries, and was soon admitted t& 
the confidence of the family. The mother, a 
respectable-looking elderly black woman, had 
formerly . been a slare to Count Leaumont^ 
who was so vehement against the recognition 
jof Haitian independence ; the coimt had, des* 
titute of his present antipathies, wooed mih 
so much success, that she had presented hiai 
with a pledge of their loves, who, when I 
saw him, was an active intelligent young Mm- 
latto, who exerted himself with infinite zeal; 
and talked to me of his noble '^ papa "^ with 
no small share of complacency. The daughtet 
(also a Mulattress) was equally bustling, ac<^ 
tive, and obliging. 

Count Leaumont and M. Duparc were th« 
richest proprietors in the country, and firom the 
reports made to me, they must have been kind 
masters. I especially directed my inquiries to 
the feelings of the people on the changes that 
had taken place, and to their actual condition ; 
and when the groupe was completed by the 
presence of an old blind black mmi, who had 
lost the whole of his toes from both feet, I felt 



BLIND BIBOOAft. 67 

satisfied that I should not be deceired* I found 
all '' laudatores temporis acti/' and all equally 
dissatisfied. The blind beggar particularly 
defriiored the revolution^ to which he ascribed 
every misery that had befallen the country as 
well as himself. He had been a slave of M. 
Dupaic^ and had he remained so, he contended 
that either he would not have lost his eyes and 
toes, or that if he had, he would have been 
certain of kind usage and support, without 
being driven to recur to the casual bounty of 
strangers. 

The expression of dissatisfaction by all was 
not confined to general or vague complaints. 
The whole party entered into a feeling and 
detailed contrast of their present condition, 
thou^ free, with the care bestowed by the 
planters on their slaves in health, in sickness, 
in childhood, and in old age. They assured me 
that now there is not a single sugar estate in 
being in this vicinity : Pemesle, Leaumont, 
Duparc, and others, which had been highly 
cultivated, and had yielded large crops, had 
fallen into complete decay, and coffee was the 
only produce for sale. Although it was Sun- 
day, numbers of drunken men were amusing 
themselves by nding at full gallop along the 
road. 



68 NOTES ON HAITf. 

One of my horses being thoroughly jaded, 
I was obliged to hire one ; as soon as my wants 
were known, several horse-lenders, presented 
tbemselyesy all asking exorbitant sums; and 
one of the worthies, on my repressmg his vio- 
lence, looked very fiercely at me, and exclaimed, 
^' Nous sommes tous egaux ici." I could not 
help thinking that equality had never in all its 
absurdities been more thoroughly . ridiculed 
than by ite assumption on this occasion. 

We left our auberge . about three o'clock in 
the afternoon, and aft;er travelling over an exe- 
crable road, just practicable for a gig, we reach- 
ed a small house in the midst of a garden kept 
in very tolerable order, called Trois Palmistes or 
Post Vigile, which last name it derives from its 
having been a post of the Marechaussee in the 
time of the French. The scenery between St. 
Michel and this place is very bold and romantic, 
very richly wooded. Aloi^ the way-side I 
first remarked groupes of graves, and my guide 
informed me that they were the burying-groundsi 
of the old plantations, which are still appro- 
priated to the same purposes by the people for- 
merly belonging to them or their descendants. 

Our " hostelry" was a wooden building with 
a mud floor, ' standing in Hhe middle of a small 
plain on the summit of a height that rises from 



POST VIGILE, 

H place called '^ Fond aux Negres." The pro- 
prietor, Cyril Dupont, who is an officer of the 
national guard, together with his wife, abounded 
in civility, and their charges were not extrava- 
gant. He told me the same story that I had 
heard every where, that sugar was abandoned 
for coffee, which is preferred by the cultivators 
as less laborious. So recently as 1815, Pemesle 
(which I had passed) had been in canes ; but 
in addition to coffee, small quantities of tobacco 
for hoBae use are reared. This night we felt 
exceedingly cold, as the thermometer fell t6 
69**, which was at least 20° lower than we had 
had it in the shade the preceding days. The dif- 
ference in the sun Ihad not noted. 

To avoid the burning sun, we commenced 
our journey at three o'clock on the morning 
of the 12th, and very nearly got swamped 
in a deep dangerous ford at . the " Fond aux 
Negres.*' The road altogether was very bad, 
and I felt very insecure in the gig. No acci-^ 
dent, however, occurred, and we soon reached a 
succession of round, grass-clad hills, resembling 
the downs of Sussex, which belong to General 
Borgella, the present commandant at San Do- 
mingo, on which formerly there was a conside- 
rable sugar establishment ; but now they are 
exclusively. devoted to herds of cattle. I am 



70 NOTES OH HAITI. 

sarpnaed that there are not more graziiig esta*- 
bhshm^its in Western Haiti. The labour is such 
as would suit the habits of the people, and a 
profitable trade in cattle, hides, homs, and 
tallow, might be carried on. About nine o'clock 
we reached Acquin, where we met an English 
gentleman, Mr. Towning, who had been long 
resident at Cayes, and who had come thus far 
to meet us: He had also been provident enough 
to secure a resting-place and some food for us — 
two most important matters at Acquin, where 
there is no trace of an aubeige. 

This town was formerly of some consequence 
as a place of trade, but has been, ruined by its 
port being closed — an act of the goyemment 
brought about by the unlimited smuggling that 
was openly carried on with the connivance of 
the revenue officers. 

The woman of the house where we put up 
was a young lively n^ress, who, it seems, had 
excited the amorous propensities of M. le Jt^e 
de Paix, who, failing in all his advances whe- 
ther conciliatory or forcible, (in both of which 
he indulged,) had betaken himself to legal per* 
secuti(»i, though with equally bad success ; for 
the lady was obstinate, and I believe threatened 
to withdraw her countenance from Acquin, and 
leave the \<rorthy magistrate to pine in hopeless 



ST, LOUIS DU »UD. 71 

love. What was the result of this amoitms 
combat I never heard, as I never inquired. An 
English poUce magistrate Would make but a 
sorry figure, were he to adopt the Haitian 
'' Juge" as a model. 

After a very broiUog ride through a romantic 
country, oa a very tolerable road, we came to 
St. Louis, formerly the capital of the south ; 
now only remarkable for the beauty of its situa* 
tion, and the excellence of its harbour. The 
anchorage between a small island and the main 
land is first-rate, and capable of receiving the 
lai^est Une-of-battle ships. This island was 
formerly very strongly fortified with sixty pieces 
of artillery; but in, the year .1748 Admiral 
Knowles with a small ^uadron attacked and 
carried it, after which he blew up the works, 
and made a convention with the governor that 
the port should thenceforward be open to Bri- 
tish men-of-war to wood and water. At pre- 
sent the fortificatioiis are utterly ruiiied, and 
the wild Indian fig (ficus Indicus) threatens 
with its insinuating roots final, destruction to 
the remaining walls. It was on this island 
that I first saw the sea-side grape, the firuit of 
which was unripe and tasteless. 

I had been prepared, by Mr. Towning, for com- 
fort in our accommodc^tion at St, Louis, nor ws^ 



72 NOTES OK HAITI.' 

I disappointed. Hie inn is kept by M. Du« 
mesle Lamotte, who holds the property which 
had belonged for some generations to his French 
ancestry. He is really married to his coasin>' 
and is one of the most respectable men in man- 
nersy sentiments, and general character, that I 
had encountered in Haiti. He is also '' Jnge 
de Paix/' and acquits himself, according to com- 
mon report, with firmness and propriety, espe- 
cially in repressing the unconstitutional and arro- 
gant pretensions of the miUtary, who here, as 
well as elsewhere in the republic, too often 
would fain be a privileged class. 

The accommodation and fare are not inferior 
to that of most hotels in Europe, and superior 
to many provincial inns. We dined at a "ta^le 
d'h6te,'' at which Monsieur and Madame Du- 
mesle presided, and for all our board and lodg- 
ing we only paid four dollars each per day. . 

In the evening we strolled along the beach 
to a ruined fort the south of the town, which, it 
seems, gave great offence to the old black com- 
mandant, who was not on terms with the civil 
authorities. To mark his reprobation of so atat>- 
dous an act as that of visiting a ruin, he sent a 
c<»^ral to order us off, an order easily complied 
with, as there was little to be seen, and that 
little we had already seen. 



DEPARTURE FROM ST. LOUIS. . 73 

. Several evil leports are in circulaticm against 
the rural police of this neighbourhood, who are un- 
disguisedly charged with robbing the poor cul- 
tivators of their coffee, under pretence of pro- 
tecting them trosa penalties for breach of the 
law. Resistance had beei^. recently made in 
some instances, though the final result was not 
known, as the question had been finally re- 
ferred to the president for his decision. 

On the morning of the 13th we left this exr 
quisitely beautiful spot before daylight, and 
after travelUng for some little time by the sea- 
side, we struck across a small tongue of huid 
to Cavaillon ; on the way to which we forded 
the river " des Omagers," celebrated for the 
l^urity of its water, and the river Cavaillon 
close to the town. The tovm is in ruins, and 
at the early hour at which we passed through it 
no one was to be seen except a few soldiers, 
who stopped some of the servants who were 
without passports ; but they soon Uberated 
•them on hearing Mr. Towning's name. The 
road, like all that I had seen in the arrondisse- 
ment of Acquin, is ru^ed and bad. A sudden 
improvement in this respect announced our 
arrival in the jurisdiction of Cayes, where 
General Marion's attention has done great 
4;hings. We gradually descended from the 

VOL. I. D 



74 NOTES ON HAITI. 

mountainous district in which we had been 
travelling for some hours^ into the extensive 
and beautiful plain of Cayes, bounded by the 
sea, on the verge of which the city stands. 
The liveliness of the whole is peculiarly striking, 
and fiilly warrants the Haitians in describing 
the city and neighbourhood as " tres riantes." 
We arrived at Mr. Towning's hospitable man- 
sioUy about a mile and a half from Cayes, well 
broiledy and quite ready for an excellent break- 
fast that had been prepared for us. 

Hie city of Cayes is situate close to the shore, 
and was built in its present form about 1720. 
The streets are tolerably regular, and though 
:eKposed and consequently bad in wet weather, 
are clear and without holes, such as di9graQ^ 
the capital. The houses are also of a superior 
xjlads, but generally of wood. The whole plain 
is considerably cooler than Port-au-Prince, and 
there is a regular sea-breeze ; but from the 
"plain being alluvial, there is considerable sick- 
ness in all directions. The entrance to the city 
is graced by a triumphal arch, in honour of the 
present president's entry some time ago. For 
some reason that I do not know,'his excellency 
has not repeated his visit to the good and loyal 
city. 
' Very sooii after the - commencement of the 



GENERAL RI6AT7D. 75 

reyolutic^ in the north of Haiti, the people 
of colour of the aouth took up arms, and after 
various i^mflicts in 1792, they were sufficiently 
organized to constitute an efficient body, under 
the command of Andrew Rigaud, (better known 
as Gr^neral Rigaud,) and his brother Augustin 
Rigaud. The former was recc^nized as a general 
by the civil commission, and he acted with 
zeal in concert with M. Blanchelande. In fact, 
he commanded one of the parties that attacked 
the " platons," of which I shall hereafter 
i!^>eak. 

This city was afterwards the principal place of 
t!^e coloured population under Rigaud, when they 
foramd a party distinct from that at the head 
of which Toussaint had placed himself. Some 
fridttess attempts were made to reconcile these 
rivals by General Hedouville ; but as the black 
party prevailed in 1800, Rigaud, with Petion, 
the present president Boyer, 4nd others, sought 
refuge in France, and Toussaint was left in full 
possession of the north, the west, and the south. 

To reduce the latter to complete subjection, 
he sent Dessalines with a strong force ; and it 
is said that this sanguinary monster put to 
death upwards often thousand people of colour. 
With such recollections, it may be easily ima- 
gined that his memory is as odicmfr as that of 



76 .NOTES ON HAITI. 

Le Clerc or Rochambeau, in the theatre of his 
barbarous exploits. Rigaud on the other hand, 
from having been the chief of the predominant 
party, is revered in a degree corresponding with 
the hatred of his opponent. Rigaud came out 
to join Le Clerc's expedition; but the fidelity 
of his party having become doubtful, .he was 
sent back to France, which was by .all accounts 
the most. injudicious act of all the ill-advised 
proceedings of the French commander-in-chief. 
Until 1810, Rigaud remained in France under 
the surveillance of the police. According to 
the statement of his friends, he then made his 
escape to America, whence he proceeded to 
Port-au-Prince. According to that of his op- 
ponents, the escape was feigned, and he came 
out as an emissary of Napoleon, for the 
purpose of re-establishing French dominion. 
Those who make this assertion also declare 
that he maintained a correspondence with the 
French minister at Washington, and that the 
evidence of the fact is complete. I never heard 
any thing more than bare allegations, and can- 
not even form an opinion. The president 
Petion, who had been Rigaud's adjutant-gene- 
ral, received him with apparent cordiality, 
though with real distrust; but entrusted him 
with a command at Cayes. Disagreements 



CITY OF CAYES. 77 

soon took place^ and a separation of the south 
from the west followed, and General Rigaud 
was placed at the head of a provisional govern- 
ment. Some attempts at an amicable adjust- 
ment of the differences of the two chiefs were 
equally unavailing, as some, bloody encoun-* 
ters. About the end of 1811, Rigaud died, 
and General Borgella, who succeeded him, in 
a short time submitted to the rule of the presi- 
dent, thus re-uniting the two dissentient por- 
tions of the republic. Ever since the union 
has been undisturbed. 

At present, ^Cayes is one of the most flourish- 
ing places that I have seen in the republic. 
There is considerable activity, and there are 
a few opulent merchants, both natives and 
foreigners; but the regulations affecting com- 
merce have of late become so oppressive, that 
many of the latter had resolved not to renew 
their patents, I was not a little surprised at 
seeing the British flag flying on board a small 
sloop in the harbour, which I found to be from 
Jamaica ; — ^with this island, as well as Cuba, 
there is said to be a considerable illicit trade ; 
and what is most surprising, sugar is the princi- 
pal import from the latter island. 

I had but little intercourse with the great 
body of the people ; but of the authorities I 



78 NOTES ON HAITI. 

saw a good deal, and I found them civil and ac* 
ccmimodating. Many foreigners, however, do not 
regard them with favourable eyes, and accuse 
them of doing much that they ought not to do ; 
but of that I know nothing. With all classes, I 
was told that Great Britain is decidedly the 
fiivourite European power; and I am inclined 
to think the statement true. 

The great body of the fown's-people appear 
to be in easy circumstances, and do not, I think, 
lounge quite so much as their brethren of 
Port-au-Prince. A circumstance occurred, 
which I noted as illustrative of die l^tate of 
society. The town-adjutant (who holds the 
rank of captain, if I recollect aright) is more- 
over a professional cook, and generously con- 
tributes to the epicurean delights of .all knd 
any who call upon him, for a doubloon. In his 
former capacity he had called upon me in a 
gorgeous uniform of green and gold ; in the 
latter he was employed by my host, prepa- 
ratory to his entertaining the magnates of the 
city ; and, to my utter surprise, after he had , 
completed his labours, I saw him marched off 
between a file of soldiers. .' I was afraid that 
my friend had incurred the displeasure of the 
general, for degrading his military profession 
by^reverting to his original ctdling, and made 



TOWN-ADJUTANT OF CAYES. 79 

anxious inquiries as to the cause of the phe- 
nomenon that had astonished me ; but great 
was my amazement on being informed that 
the aforesaid adjutant was very prone to get 
drunk after such , hot work as that in which he 
had been engaged ; that the general had fixed 
a day or two after for entertaining his friends ; 
and to secure the assistance of the Ude of 
Cayes^he had marched himin safe keeping to his 
house in the country, before he had any op- 
portunity of making himself "o'er all the ills 
of Kfe victorious V 

The young men of Cayes ^re the dandies 
of the republic, and better mannered than the 
marjority of their countrymen. Many of the 
young women are very pretty, and graceful in 
their forms. 

The young part of the people in the outskirts 
appeared to me to spend the greatest portion 
of their time in dawdling about without any 
apparent object in view ; and I heard that the 
Creoles are decidedly idlers of the first class ; 
and that the only real work is done by the few 
surviving Africans, who, contrary to the habits 
of their progeny who crowd to the plains, 
retire to the mountains, where they cultivate 
some sequestered spot, unheeding, and un- 
heeded by, the world. 



80 KOTES ON HAITI. 

The wayside of the avenue that leads to 
the principal entrance of the town^ has many, 
very neat suburban cottages, to which the 
more opulent citizens retire after the labours 
of the day have ceased. Their distribution 
renders the approach exceedingly lively, as 
they generally have some garden around them, 
and they are painted of as many colours as a 
Dutch summer-house. 

Several small distilleries, ^' guildiveries" as 
they are called, are in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood of the town, and they yield a lai^e 
supply of tafia. They amount in number to 
eighty-one, and consume about two million 
pounds or syrup annually, which are con* 
verted into about one hundred and eighty 
thousand gallons of liquor, which is. said to be 
entirely consumed in Cayes and the adjacent 
districts. This consumption is quite indepen* 
dent of the rum manufactured at Mr. Town- 
ing's establishment. 

This consumption almost rivals that of what 
are termed in the advertisements in the Morning 
Advertiser, the hard gin-drinking parts of 
London. 



PLANTATION LABOROE. Hi 



CHAPTER IV. 

Plantation Laborde— School at Cajret— 'Oamiuui— Sir Jamet 
Yeo— Lapointe-^General Manon'i estate— Frr« Ameikatu 
— Eatertainmeatr-L'Alliapce— -MtDnlnfoU^'P to tO M Bet* 
salines' disdpUne — Coffee cultnre — ^Plsio ci Cajet—Cultiva* 
tion — ^Produce — Laboaren — Interest of money — Maurice 
Larac — ^Inhnmaii conduct— Mr. Dowme^Retum from Cayef 
to Port-aa-Prince. 

I RODE out every day of my stay at Mr. 
Towning's^ for some defined object^ and of 
course(inspected)L'Habitation Laborde^ which 
I. beUeve originally belonged to the family of 
the well-known and accomplished Count 
Alexandre Laborde. It has the reputation of 
having been^^ne of the most splendid pro- 
perties in the colony; It subsequently fell 
into the possession of General Rigaud^ and 
now. belongs to his widow, who is the wife of 
M. Haran, an auctioneer at Port-au-Prince. 
Formerly, according to Moreau St. Mery, there 
were on it one thousand four hundred slaves, 
and one million two hundred thousand pounds 



J 



82 NOTES ON HAITI. 

of clayed sugar were produced, besides other 
matters., People of authority in the plain 
assert that there were two thousand slaves, and 
the produce two million pounds of clayed 
sugar. 

When I visited it, (I found only the walls 
of two of the sugar works standing; the roof 
of the other was falling in) as fast as possi* 
ble. The dwelling-houses^ which had been as 
elegant as substantial, entirely built of stone, 
were quite dilapidated. I did not see a cane, 
and around a few miserable negro huts there i 
were a dozen or sixteen labourers hanging ! 
about, and I was told that they merely culti- * 
vated provisions for their own use. I also saw ; 
a few cattle, not exceeding twenty, grazing in 
the very extensive savannas of the estate.. 

The expense of irrigation throughout the 
entire plain must have been enormous; the 
remains of the aqueducts are really magnifi- 
cent. That at Laborde is among the first in 
excellence that fell under my observation. 

Several attempts have been made to engage . 
some enterprising Englishmen to farm this pro- - 
perty ; but though the project has been very 
seriously entertained, it has been abandoned, 
on. account of the impossibility of command- 
ing- suffidient labour for even a tithe of the 



PLANTATIONS — EDUCATION. 83 

property. Indeed, it has been a favourite 
scheme with many of the proprietors to lease 
their land to foreigners, a scheme, however, 
^ that has been always defeated from the same 
causeV which wiU^ I apprehend, prevail for a 
^ery long time throughout Haiti. 

The plantations Walsh, Mery, Esmangart, 
and O'Sheil, which were before the revolution 
in the most flourishing state, are now utterly 
abandoned. 

There is a school of mutual instruction in 
the city of Cayesy under the direction of M. 
George Cezar. At this academy there are one 
/hundred pupils maintained at the expense of 
the state, and thirty-five at their owny who 
pay each three dollars per month to the io** 
structor, who also receives seventy dollars per 
mcHith as his salary from the government. 

The objects of instruction are, according to a 
list furnished by M. Cezar himself: — Reading 
and writing, French, declamation, arithmetic, 
elements of geometry/algebra, sacred history, 
geography, logic, rhetoric, drawing, simple 
and double book-keeping, analysis, gedmetri'* 
cal and logical, the historical catechism — an 
odd enough assemblage: whether successfully 
taught or not, I had no means of ascertaining. 



84 KOTES ON HAITI. 

All that I can answer for is, that the teacher 
professed infinite zeal in his calling. 

I found the records of the trade at Cayes 
were imperfect : nothing relative to the subr 
ject in ther early periods of the revolutions, and 
some very inaccurate returns during the years 
1810, 1811, and a part of 1812. Since the 
presidency of General Boyer, the records have 
been more correct ; but it is unnecessary to say 
any thing of them here, as when I treat of the 
general commerce of Haiti, the individual de- 
tails will be better discussed. 

It was at one time contemplated by me to 
have visited Jeremie and Jacmel ; but on mak- 
ing inquiries, I learned that travelling was 
so exceedingly bad, that I determined on aban- 
doning my design ; although I should have 
liked much to have examined how far the cul- 
tivation of cloves and other spices had been 
carried there, and what probability there was 
either of increase or decrease. The Jeremie 
district too has some attractions, from recollec- 
tions of buccaniers, and from the fact that the 
first division of our ill-fated expedition, at the 
beginning of the revolution, landed there. 

Among the fastnesses, a black lieutenant-co- 
lonel, named Gauman or Goman, in 1806, when 



gauman's defeat. 85 

the republic was rent by internal divisions^ had 
set himself up as a partisan of Christophe, but 
in reality as an independent chief, and had col- 
lected under his banners some hundred maraud- 
ers^ who kept the whole district in a state of 
feverish excitement, and most effectually check- 
ed any improvement. On the re-union of the 
south and western provinces, General Borgella 
and some other officers were sent with a strong 
force to dislodge Gauman ; but for nine months 
he baffled them by his superior knowledge of 
the country, and the singular dexterity with 
which he destroyed all traces that could guide 
his pursuers. At last, in 1820, he was, I be- 
Ueve, surprised, and in attempting to escape, 
was shot, and the survivors of his party com- 
pletely dispersed. His death is said to have 
been a very substantial benefit to the country, 
for he subsisted by plunder, and his existence 
could only be maintained by its being kept in a 
perpetual state of convulsion. The maintenance 
of so small a band of robbers for twelve years 
may be considered no small proof of the miser- 
able state to which the resources of the republic 
had been reduced by unceasing dissensions. 

During the separation of Cayes from Port- 
au-Prince, Sir James Yeo, then commanding 
the Southampton, captured a ship of war that 



86 NOTES ON HAITI. 

had originally belonged to Christophe^ bat had 
fallen into the hands of General Borgella's 
party. The vessel did not strike before the 
slaughter was immense, when it was taken pos- 
session of, on the gromid that we recognised 
the flags of King Henry, and of the President 
Petion ; but that we knew nothing of any third 
power. The excitement in the city, on the 
news being known, was intense ; and, had it not 
been for the firmness of Oenerals Borgella and 
Faubert, the English residents would have been 
most probably murdered. So I was told by a 
British merchant, who had his life saved by 
having been senl to prison. 

Among other matters of information, I heard 
a good deal of one Lapointe, who had been 
mayor of Arcahai, and is said to have held the 
ccHnmission of a general officer in our service. 
General Lacroix mentions this as a proof of 
the mode in which the British Character had 
been degraded. This man, it is confessed, was 
a most profligate person, yet he had been an 
active, zealous, and useful partisan, in which 
capacity he had served with the army. Whe-* 
ther or not he ever held any regular commis- 
sicMi, I could never determine, nor is it of any 
great moment ; but I believe he received a pen- 
sion* from the British Government, which he 



BRITISH EXPENDITTJKE, 87 

was reduced^ by his habits of profligate expen- 
^ture, to sell long prior to his death, which 
happened at Cayes, not very long before my 
arrival. He died in extreme want, dependent 
on the bounty of the English residents for the 
merest articles of first necessity. I much fear 
t&at there was much more expended uselessly 
than what Lapointe received ; though I beUeve 
that the late Sir Thomas Maitland was most 
successfol in reforming the abuses that had 
prevailed previous to his administration ; and in 
effecting these reforms, he displayed the same 
firmness and right views of men and things, 
that characterised him afterwards, when acting 
on a more extensive field. His memory is re- 
garded by many Haitians with great respect, 
though that respect is somewhat tempered by 
fear. I recollect a huge colonel boasting to me 
that he had had the honour of doing duty as 
a private grenadier at the government-house of 
Port-au-Prince, when General Maitland was 
there. 

Having taken as correct a view of all that a 
stranger could judge of, during so short a stay 
as I could bestow on the souths I made prepa- 
rations to see a little of the country ; and-Ge- 
neraLMarion> on learning my wishes> offered 



88 NOTES ON HAITI. 

every facility, and as a fiirther inducement, in- 
vited me and every peiBon of consideration in 
Cayes to his estate in the comitry. 

On the 22d of Febmary, I visited, with a 
party both of foreigners and natives, the Estate 
Boutilier, in the ancient parish of Torbec, % 
few miles from the town of Cayes, formerly 
belonging to a French proprietor of that name, 
now the property of General Marion, the com- 
mandant of the arrondissenient, and M. Dau- 
blas, an opulent merchant in the city. FroiQ 
the resources of such an association, this is oo^ 
of the most favoured estates in the plain. 
The road by which we travelled, though not 
quite so good as that from London to Green- 
wich, is very respectable ; and I travelled very 
comfortably in a two-horse cabriolet, which 
General Marion had provided for me. .The 
house is as usual of wood, and consequently 
readily overheated in the full tide of the sun, 
which unfortunately shone in all his glory ; but 
the distribution of it was convenient and fitted 
for the comfort of all who are capable of 
enduring heat. While our entertainment was 
preparing, we surveyed the premises, and found 
the sugar-works, moved by water, in very good 
order ; the fences, though scarcely complete, 



AMERICAN LIBERATED SLAVES. 89 

were good as far as they were finished ; and 
the few canes actually planted appeared to be 
healthy and flourishing. 

The most interesting part of the whole exhi- 
bition to me, wa9 a group of about sixty Ame- 
rican negroes,-^ having been Uberated fiom 
the southern states by a society of quakers, had 
been bound for a term of years to General Man* 
on: /The general desired them, when congregated, 
. to tell me freely, as I was an Englishman, all 
: they thought and felt ; and ae he did not under- 
stand one word of English, it is clear that they, 
could have; no fear of giving offence. The pri-- 
vilege conceded was Uberally used, and although 
every person concurred in representing these 
people as orderly, laborious, and well conducted,, 
eadh had some matter of personal complaint, and 
the general grievances were perfectly overwhelm- 
ing. They were altogether a healthy set of 
black men, women and children, of the last of 
whom, for the benefit of the repubUc, there was 
a decided predominance. Wesleyan Methodism 
was the prevaihng religious system, and one of 
their number was a preacher of that sect. Qua- 
kerism and anabaptism (if I may use such a 
word) hovered over the small remnant of the 
flock. The whole party had been better than 
eight months in Haiti ^ they had nearly in- 



90 MOTES ON HAITI. 

closed the whole plaiitati<Mi, but had not yet 
b^iin that portion of their labours which was to 
them the most interesting ; viz. the cultivation 
ct canes, as they were to have one fourth of the 
produce to be divided among themselves.. Their 
lodgings were bad, in a sort of barrack ; but upon 
the whole they were tolerably well treated, be- 
ing fed and clothed by the proprietors, whether 
to be eventually repaid or notwas uncertain ; they 
complained, however, of want of medical attends, 
ance, and many were afflicted with ulcers in their 
1^, which they ascribed to the climate ;. but 
most loud were their denunciationftof their Hai- 
itian neighbours, whom they described as d^ 
■stroying their fences to admit their bullocks .into 
their gardens, and as plundering them of their 
poultry and pigsj so that it was absolutely ne^ 
cessary to keep a regular guard every night. 

Some carreaux of canes were in cultivation, 
which are said to yield about sixty thousand 
pounds of syrup, that sell for from nine thousand 
to twelve thousand dollars. No sugar has yet 
been made : all the hopes of such a manufacture 
depend on the efforts of the American settlers. 

In the course of conversation General Marion 
stated his belief to be, that the total amount of 
syrup produced in the plain was about one mil^ 
lion five hundred thousand pounds ; that last yiear 



BNTERT4INMENT AT BOUTILIER. 91 

(1826>it might amount to two miUions of pounds, 
though this is not probable. Now.it seems that 
two pounds of syrup yield about one pound 
of coarse Muscovado sugar^ and about six ounces 
of common molasses. If the estimate be cor- 
rect of the entire produce, the whole plain does 
not yield as much as one respectable estate didf 
in 1789. k 

Our " dejeuner" was as usual profuse, amount- ^j^ 
ing.to what would be conlsidered elsewhere 
waste^ but such appears to be the system within 
the tropics. 

Eating, drinking, and toasting, were very ac- 
tive, but I cannot recollect any incident worthy 
of record, beyond the remark of Colonel Pois- 
son Paris, who, after having eaten as the French 
phrase runs ** pour quatre," on being rallied on 
his loss of appetite, replied with imperturbable 
gravity, " Oui, je ne fais que le simulacre de 
manger," the exquisite absurdity of which so 
tickled one of the party, that he roared ap- 
plause, which won for him the affectionate con- 
sideration of the colonel for the remainder of 
the day. 

We had made arrangements to establish our 
head-quarters at a small cottage belonging to 
Mr» Towning and some of his friends, called by 
the appropriate name of L'AUiance. After leav- 



4\ 



92 NOTES ON HAITI. 

ing Boutilier, on our way to our resting-place, 
we visited M. Dubreuily a senator, considered to 
be one of the most intelligent men in the south. 
His cottage is in a beautiful mountain yalley, 
hemmed in by mountains so as to form a com- 
plete amphitheatre. We made our arrange- 
ments for the following day, and returned and 
slept at L'AUiance, where we dined, and in 
despite of a mostvillanously huge black sand- 
fly and no curtains, I contrived to sleep. I 
got some good specimens of plants. The rock 
is chiefly limestone. 

Early in the morning of the 23d, we rose be- 
times, and called on M. Dubreuil on our way to 
the Platen, so celebrated for its bloody trophies 
at the beginning of the contest in 1792. " Les 
Platons," as they are called, are the principal de- 
file, (as the name indicates in Creole,) .leading 
from the plain of Cayes, if the Mornes de la 
Hotte, which is one of the most lofty ranges in 
the island. The road to it was traced by the 
French, and is an excellent bridle way, shel- 
tered from the sun by the large trees that co- 
ver the mountain side, but from its situation 
it is very liable to be destroyed, either by rain, 
or the falling down of some loose rock or tree ; 
hence there is infinite facility to the defence of 
the position. The fortification called *' les Pla- 



VISJT TO THE PLATONS. 93 

tons," is only half finished^ and is commanded 
by a neighbouring hill, which however is in its 
rear. It contains the tomb pf General Gef- 
frard, one of the early revolutionary leaders. 
The view is remarkably fine, embracing the 
whole plain, with the city and the Isle de 
Yache in the distance. From the east bastion 
Cayes lies S.S.E. The two rivers I'Acul and 
la Ravine are seen like small threads winding 
through the plain. In the midst of the for- 
tress a huge bell is hung, to give an alarm in 
the event of any enemy's landing ; one of our 
party accidentally sounded it, and direful was 
the alarm th^t was excited in an unfortunate 
national guard, who acted as our cicerone. 

General Blanchelande met with a signal 
check in 1792, when he attempted to dislodge 
the insurgents who were there posted. The 
disobedience of the colonial troops contributed 
very much to the disaster. The Commissary 
Polvorel was more successful the following 
year, when he directed an attack to be made 
by the chef-de-brigade Harty. The post was 
carried with the utmost gallantry. 

The works were, I believe, commenced by 
Dessalines, but were never completed, and now 
they can scarcely be said to be kept up. In a 
ruined barrack we took shelter from a heavy 



94 KOTES ON HAITI. 

thnnder-storm, and exercised our jaws on some 
roast mutton^ with which our provident host 
had suppUed us. 

In the course of this morning's ride, I re- 
marked on the mountain side numerous small 
patches of land just cleared away, and small 
huts erected ; these belonged to the small pro- 
prietors who inhabited them. There was an 
air of infinitely more industry than I had no- 
ticed elsewhere. I also gathered a good deal 
of information respecting the past and present 
state of agricultural industry throughout this 
district, and as it was an important part of my 
duty to determine the real facts, I bestowed 
much consideration on them. And I shall now 
give the general result of my inquiries, not in 
the order in which I made my notes, but in 
the most condensed form of which the subject 
is susceptible. 

When Polvorel proclaimed liberty to the 
slaves of the south, he issued his " reglemens 
de la police sur la culture et les cultivateurs," 
which I shall more fully treat of in a distinct 
chapter. These regulations were clearly com- 
pulsory. Toussaint L'Ouverture and Dessalines 
rendered Polvorel's system more eflPective by 
practically augmenting the penalties, though 
the general avowed principles were the same. 



DESSALINES' DISCIPLINE. 95 

The stick was freely used ; and one of the most 
trust-worthy of my informants assured me that 
he had seen abortion produced by the severity 
of the punishment inflicted by that monster 
DessaUnes. Beating to death was no rare oc- 
currence^ and labouring in gangs was rigorously 
insisted upon. Of these facts no Haitian ever 
expressed a doubt to me. 

After the return of Rigaud, and his assuming 
the government of the south, he is said to have 
resorted to the milder system of Polvorel, which 
was continued by his successor General Bor- 
gdla ; and after the reunion of the south with 
Port-au-Princey Petion's agrarian system was 
established^ and now prevails, although the 
government has ceased to make farther grants. 
This system leads the negroes to the mountains, 
of which I saw the proofs, and consequently 
there arises a scarcity of labourers for large es^ 
tates. At present, in the mountains the negroes 
are the chief labourers; and coffee cultivation is 
preferred, both because it is light work, and 
because one man can manage a considerable 
number of trees without any aid. 

Sugar requires combined and continuous labour 
as well as capital ; neither of which abound. 

The mountain sides are covered with coffee- 
trees of spontaneous growth, which only need 



•96 NOTES ON HAITI. 

clearing to make them most productive. My 
informant says that at least two-thirds of the 
coifee cultivated is lost for want of labour. I 
was startled at the returns stated by M. Du- 
breuily namely^ that good tree3 would yield from 
•five to six pounds ; but the average, he said, was 
good. at two pounds. He had made an expe- 
riment on one hundred trees around his own 
house> which were tended by his own family ; 
and he found, by the care bestowed, nine hun- 
dred pounds were produced, which is enormous. 
The same individual stated as his opinion, that 
the people of the mountains are improving in 
industry, though still indolent, and excessively 
addicted to Obeah. In tl^s remote district there 
are no public schools ; but the respectable per- 
son of whom I have already spoken had esta- 
blished one, taught by a Frenchman, for the 
^benefit of about twenty poor relations, orphans. 
I saw the school-room and the schoolmaster's 
residence, which were pretty and neat, on the 
banks of a refreshing stream. Perhaps I ad- 
,nured them more than I might otherwise have 
done, from the feeling of respect inspired by the 
founder, who is one of the most unpretending 
mea I have ever met. 

In the course of conversation with M. Du- 
breuil, he expressed his conviction that the 



9f. BUBVKUIL. PLAIN OF CAVE8. 97 

people w&e satisfied with the form of gorern- 
malt, though fiom their ignorance they were 
liable to be misled. I never met a more perfect 
anti-galfican than he -was. He stated shortly, 
that, as the son of a Frenchman, his natural pre* 
dilections were in fayour of France ; but that he 
had witnessed the perfidies of Le Clerc and 
Rochambeau, and that he had become a de« 
dded enemy to every thing French, 

Apart from M. Dubreuil, my information 
amounts to what I have stated in my report 
to Lord Dudley, of which I extract the follow- 
ing passages : 

" According to Moreau St. Mery, in 1789, the 
plain of Cayes, one of the finest in the island, 
was divided into two parishes — ^that of Cayes, 
and that of Torbeck. They contained at that 
period one hundred flourishing sugar-planta- 
tions, which were calculated to yield annually 
from one hundred and thirty to one hundred 
and fifty thousand casks of Muscovado sugar, 
the weight of which unfortunately is not stated 
in pounds, so that the absolute amount cannot 
be given. 

" At present the whole of these hundred plan- 
tations are still partially planted in canes, of 
which, however, no care whatever is taken. About 
seventy-five of them have either water or cattle- 

VOL. I. E 



98 » NOTES O^ BAITI. 

milk fer grinding the cane^ with bgiling-boiisM ; 
but goientUy of a most wretched construction, 
and in miserable condition. The boiling^iouaes 
in general are formed by a shed made against 
the old walls, which, during the xevolntion, it 
eequired too much labour to destroy. The canes 
produced on the remaining twenty-five plan- 
tations are transported to those that have miUs^ 
and one-fourth of the sirup or molasses pro- 
duced is allowed for the use of the milL The 
whole of these estates aie^ more or less, in a 
dismembered condition, from the small grants 
made by the government to the military of 
fix>m five to thirty carreaus, and from similar 
sales having been effected by many of the 
large proprietors. The partiea purchasing axe 
called * Concessionaires/ and generally plant 
small patches of canes, which they grind at 
the estate to which the land formerly belonged, 
CMT at some other neighbouring property. 
. '^ It is estimated that there are about five 
hondved carreaus in canes, in a wretched state 
of cultivation, in the whole plain of Cayes. 
The land is never manured, and scarcely ever 
weeded, anid only a part of each year's produce 
is convicted into molasses. This arises princi- 
pally from idleness ; to which may be added 
the depredati^:is of cattle, owing to bad fences^ 



r 



PLAIN OF CAYB8. % 

ttud tiie almost total hnponsiUlity of repaifing 
iMigar-workfly from a want of workmen, and the 
bad faith of all parties coneerned, 

^^ About 2,000 hogisfaeads of raw sugar, of 
' 1,000 pounds eadi, losay be Gonsidered the 
average quantity produced by those estates; 
but it fluctuates very mddk ; one year perhaps 
exceeding 'Ae average considerably, and 'the 
following year decreasing to almost nothii^. 

'' Hie average produce of sirup in the plain 
of Cayes is about 2,000,000 pounds aqnually ; 
but in consequence of the unusually favourably 
i9ieason of 1826, 3,000,000 pounds was pro- 
duced ; and about 200 casks of sugeur, of 200 
pounds each (of very bad quality), procured 
from the granulations of the sirup, aqd after- 
wards put into flour-bands to dram. 

" The sugar not being sufficient for the con- 
sumption of Cayes, about the same quantity is 
annually smuggled into that part of tbue island 
irom Cuba. This is actually less t^ian w^ pro- 
duced from one estate (Laborde's), in the plain 
of Cayes, during the time of the Freftch. Few 
of the plantations make more than from three 
to four hogsheads of sirup per week, and that 
generally at distant periods ; very few having 
the power,* from waiit of manual labour, of 
grinding canes two or three weeks in succession* 



100 



NOTES ON HAITI. 



€t 



Neariy the whole of the molasses is pur- 
chased by the distillers (the proprietors beix^ 
generally too poor to erect distilleries on their 
own plantations), and principally converted into 
tafia (an inferior spirit)^ 4,500 hogsheads of 
which) with 600 hogsheads of nun of 60 gal^ 
Ions eaeh^ were made in 1826< 

'^ The whole of those spirits are consumed 
either in the immediate neighbourhood, or sent 
into the interi<»r, or coastways to Port-au-Prince 
and other ports. None of them are exported 
ibr foreign use* 

" The very little field labour effected is ge- 
nerally performed by elderly people, prii^cipsdly 
old Guinea negroes. ;No meiaisures of the.go- 
vemment can induce the young Creoles to labour, 
or depart firom their habitual licentiousness and 
vagrancy. The whole body of proprietors con- 
stantly lament the total incapacity of the go* 
vemment to enforce labour.^'* 

In reply to inquiries I made respecting corpo* 
ral punishments, I have the following answers : 

'^ The laws recognise no other punishmept 



* The language used is not my owd, but that of my In- 
formanta ; and it is miurked as a quotation in the reports laid 
before Parliament. It is right to add that the indindoals who 
gave this statenienty are deeply interested in the prosperity of 
the Republic^ 



PLAIN OF CAYE8,. 101 

ttian fine and imprisonment mth hard labour, 
. although it is no uncommon thing to see the 
soldiery and nrilitary police use the ' plat de 
^bre* and cocomacac (a species of heavy 
f jointed catie^) in a most arbitrary and some* 
i times cruel manner ; but almost always/ from 
'• ihe natural obstinacy of the negro, without the 
f kitehded effect.'' • . 

^ *^ The few young females thait Iwe on plan- 
tations deldom assist in any labour wbaiever, 
but live in a constant state of' idleness and 
debauchery. This is tolerated by the soldiery 
and military police, whose licentiousness \& gra- 
tified by this taeans." ' 

From these combined causes I learned, from 
the same respectable sources from which the 
foregoing statemients were derived, that thevalue 
of land is very small, varying from 24 to 100 
dollars per carreau, or 2 -^^ acres* Iti some few 
eases 200 dollars have been given. Rent alsd 
varies. It is, however, rare that estates are 
fermed. out in the neighbourhood of Cayes. 
Small properties of from 5 to 10 carreaux, with 
a few negro huts, are let at an annual rent of 
40 to 100 dollars. Larger ones of 100 or 200 
carreaux, from 400 to 800 dollars per annum* 
- Mone(^ is lent at 75 per cent, per annum. 
: This information was abundantly confirmed, 



103 NOTES ON HAITI* 

by all the penonid inquiries that I made id- 
every quarter. 

Cciffee is daltiTated is the Tidiuty of Cayes, 
ud stuall patches present Uiemselyea to the 
trayeller in visitiiig the mountains; but the 
quantity produced is small in proportaen to the 
extent of fruitful soil ; for I GsbA, froih the tw6 
returns from Cayes for 1824 and 1826^ thai 
the coffee exported in the former year Uncounted 
only to 11 9167,411 pounds, and thi^ itt the 
tbllomng year it fell off to 7,135,961 poundsr. 

After a iarewell to L' Alliance, we rode badk^ 
to Mr« Towning's house, and took in our iwf 
the estate Agard^ to which we had be^H in^ 
vited by Colonel Paris, the proprietor* Wb 
fotmd ' the establishment respectable ; but th€ 
labour was inadequate. The colonel told me 
that he had made fifty ffotir barrels of «tigar, 
(each about ivny hundred pounds weight) the 
y^ur before ; but that they were Hot then sold. 
He added tlmt he made 60^000 weight *of 
* sirop,' which was iseriously doubted.- Yet 
tiiis was one of th^ best estates in the pbdn 
under the old regime* 

The whole of the 34th I employed either in 
taking leare of my acquaintance, or in noting, 
such, matters as might be more leistftety an-* 
sw^ed by them at a iuture period* In &e 



M« MAUaiCE LA&AC. I^ 

c(mi«6 of the day I heard two anecdotes, 
wliich, whether true or false, serve to iUus^ta 
the history of the comitry^ The first I faelieytt 
to be tme, and I hope, for the honour of hu^ 
mauity^ that the last is &lse. . . 
-^^•IKowfoi my redeeming atovy. There is one 
Maurice Larttq^ a man. of coloiVi now li^vwg 
^atlea«t4a 1837) at Cayes, a^d a (coosidembte 
^prietov. During the vrevdutionary stiwggle, 
when the natusal children of pixipnetors 9UC-: 
eead«i von. the deaths (howeiner 4prpcured) of 
iimt white, fathers, a bloodthirsty party at* 
ta^d^ed the. house of M. Lajrac's Satheit, fprthe 
purpose of putting him to death as awhii^ 
Fcencfamftn*. At the moment of the attackj 
the ison wa$ at the threshoid^ and declared 
that^ to reach his £Kther, it would be necessary 
to pass -over his dead body.. His firmness suc- 
ceeded, and he ocMdveyed his parent in safety 
beyond tiie seack of the assassins,, and has 
^ver sinoe mipported him to the. utmost of bis 
ability* I was told that the old gentleman 
was at Cayes when I w£(s there; but of that 
I know nothing with certainty. 

la e<m6:ast> I give the other tale, but as I 
hope it is fitlse^ I shall give no Aames ; though 
the parties were said to be alive at the time 
of the narration. 



104 NOTES ON HAITI« 

Two natural sons of two respectable French-^ 
men, resident in St. Domingo, knowing the 
new law of succession to which I have already 
adverted, wished to become proprietors of the 
family estates ; but having some small tincture 
of huinanity, and consequent objection to parri- 
cide, this proposition was made, '^ tue le mien 
(p^re), et je tuem le tien ;" and, sad to tell, 
this was done, and the worthies ranked as 
landed proprietors. 

After all the hospitality and kindness of my. 
fnends at Cayes, I was reluctant to part from 
them ; but it was necessary that I should do so/ 
and in spite of the pressing invitations of M* 
Raganean de la Chenaye, the French consul^ 
and others, I arranged to leave a town with 
which I had so much reason to be satisfied, 
early on the 25th* My host was unable to ac- 
company me; but Mr. Downie, whose loi^g 
residence rendered him an invaluable guide to 
the feeUngs, views, and tendencies of the people^ 
(but who has, I lament to add, fallen, after 
the period of which I speak, a victim to heart- 
rending disappointment,) was kind enough to 
offer to accompany me. The offer I grasped 
at, and it will ever be one of my lasting regrets 
that so valuable a man should have been lost^ 
when a Utile effort might in all human pro- 



THEtATE MR. DOWNIE. 106 

bability hive saved him. I saw little of Mr. 
Downie^ but that little convinced me that hia 
principles were good, his intelligence very su- 
perior, and the kindness of his heart un- 
bounded. I now regret that I saw so little 
of him. There are, I believe, some who sur- 
vive him, that do honour to his memory, and 
to them this honest tribute may not be dis- 
jdeasing, however unavailing it may be in 
essentials. It may be a consolation to those 
who loved poor Downie, to. know that, al- 
though he has left no splendid monument to 
record his last resting-place, there is at least 
one hand ready to render justice to those ami- 
able and intellectual qualities, that, under 
fairer aspects, would have made him an object 
of envy to many who now " strut their fretful 
hour" on a stage for which nature has less 
eminently qualified them. 

Mr. Downie was ready before day-break; 
but rain interfered, and I was very glad of an 
extra half-hour's sleep. We however had an 
early breakfast, and although now exposed to 
the sun, I had the advantage of seeing the 
country better than I had done, when passing 
through it in the imperfect twilight of my 
former transit. We resumed the old road to 
Cavailloh and St* Louis, and I was struck^ 



106 HOTES ON HAITI. 

afl soon as we got out of the immediate booads 
of the city, with the appearance of absolute 
want of habitation or cultivation. Indeed the 
whole way to Cavaillon^ and thence to St. 
Louis, there(was scarcely a solitary hut by the 
road. It is probable that there may be many 
in the woods, where I understand the negroes 
are fond of erecting their dweUingsI^ A few 
cleal^ patches occurred ; but the general 
character of the country was that of an un- 
inhabited district. We took up our abode 
again with M. Dumesle at St. Louis, and found 
our favourable impressions quite confirmed. 
There was some excitement at this time in 

r 

the town, owing to the ci-devant member for 
it having forged a number of signatures to 
a petition against the " Juge de Paix." The 
Aiatter had been taken up warmly, and been 
referred to the President, whose decision I 
never knew. 

On the 26th we retraced our steps to Acquin, 
where we found General Bergerac Trichet ab- 
s^t, and there parted with Mr. Downie. The 
country is in a state of apparent abandonment. 

Wheh riding along, a countryman oa horse- 
back overtook me, and finding that I was an 
Englishman, entered into a series of queries 
as to the progress of the negotiation betweeh 



RETURlff TO POBT-AV-PRINCE. 107 

Oreat Britain and Haiti ; of all these matters 
I -professed the most perfect ignomnce. The 
poor fellow expressed great anxiety that the 
arrangements should be made, as the only 
means of saving the country from the rapacity 
of France. The iiatred in the south to the 
mother country is as strong as it is undiisgttised. 

We returned to " Trois Palmistes/' and were 
told that, in that neighbourhood, ** brigan» 
dage" was general as ^ well as idleness, and 
that the '^ code rural'' did not work at all. 
I did not see or hear of any outrage beyond 
petty larceny ; the idleness was obtrusively 
obvious. 

The following day brought us to the hosjH** 
table residence of M. Baudain at Petit Goave ; 
but the exposure to the sua had brought gb 
so smart an attack of fever, that I was scarcely 
able to note that, being '^ Mardi gras," the 
whole town was busy with a s(»t of camivaL 
A warm bath and bed were more tempting, 
even at mid-<iay, than witnessing the sports, 
that inspired every one else with glee. The 
(avorite masquerade was that of women ap- 
pearing as men. 

- The rehef afforded from fever by the bath 
enabled both my brother and myself to recom.- 
mence our journey on the 28th, and we did 



108 KOTES OK HAITU 

SO, pursuing the same route by which we had 
previously travelled. In crossing the Tapion, 
I was even more struck than I had formerly been 
with its picturesque beauty, which was pecu-^ 
liarly fevoured by the gradual bursting of day* 
Ught, and as we were sheltered, long after the 
sun had risen, from his fiercer rays by the 
foliage and the precipitous sides of the moun- 
tain, our enjoyment was greatly enhanced. 
We passed through Grand Groave, and oane 
more found ourselves at Leogane, in the cofFee- 
house in which we had formerly found imperfect 
shelter and refreshment* 

On arriving there, I found one of the gentle- 
men attached to my office, awaiting my arrival 
with despatches from England, whidi renewed 
my leave to return home ; but though, by no 
means woU, and anxious to do so from private 
considerations, I felt that, having doae so. much, 
in my inquiries, I was bound, at any sacrifice' 
of personal interests or feelings, to complete 
the task I had undertaken. I therefore pur« 
sued my way, and /reached my residence in the « 

t 

country near P(Hrt-au-Prince, quite satisfied that 1 
travelUng in Haiti is very different firom similar i 
operations, in which the '^ Gentlemen of Eng- 
land, who live at home at ease," ever indulge^ 



STAY AT POBT'ATJ-PBIMCE. 109 



CHAPTER V. 

Stay at Port-an- Prince — Election of memberi of Ilooie of 
Commons — Explosion of arsenal— Defects of pdleo— Mr# 
Gordoi»'«Mr* Everaerts-^* Godard*— Aggretssoif efcalllo 
— ^Prosecution of M. Courtois— Rtimoim of iasonectson— 
Edncaiion — Diplomas— -Post-office — Depsiiare for St Mark^s 
— GonaiTes — Amusing officer — Toussaint—St* Mark's— 
Petite Rimre— Crete i Pierrot— Hiil forts— MvcbaiuU- 
Insorrection in 182(MGounnands oi Haiii. 

At Port-au-Prince I remained thirteen day§f 
in preparing for the prosecutianof my jcumey 
ronnd the island, in completing whatever pub- 
lic matters had &llen into arrear, and in mak- 
ing up such notes as I had only briefly re- 
corded on former occasions. The latter part 
of my task I found pecnliarly irksome ; for 
the intensity of the heat rendered exertion 
exceedingly painful, and to the physical dis- 
inclination to mechanical effort was super- 
added a desire, perhaps carried too far, to 
record, with undeniable fidelity, all that I. 
noticed. Whatever I did notice may be de- 



no VOTES OKI YiALTf. 

pended wpoa, for though I registered much, 
I do not here record by a great deal what I 
did see. Without any particular order, I shall 
now notice some matters connected with the 
capital that have been hitherto passed over. 

In consequence of some misconception of 
the President's proclamation for the^ection of 
membf rs of the Chamber of Commons^ the 
elections took place generally in December, 
1826, instead of the followii^ month. CThe 
capital^ however, was correct, and did not exer- 
cise its right of election until the prescribed 
day. This citydretums three regular members 
and three supernumeraries, as in Spain dur* 
ing the constitution, and as is now the case in 
Mexico. 

.Universal sufirage is the law of the land, 
founded on the Haitian Magna Charta, if I 
may so designate the constitution of 1806, |«- 
vised in 1816, and now the apparent rule of 
proceeding. The only individuals who cannot 
vote, are those under judicial sentence, ideots, 
or menial servants. 

Trusting to this law, the American emigrants, 
who are adopted citizens, proposed to elect, as 
one member, a methodist preacher, one of their 
number, and for that purpose proceeded in a 
body to the church, (where the elections take 



ELECTION OF MEnSERS, HI 

ipiacey) and it nms reported to me that the^f 
'were entered iti at one door and dvilly handed 
diat of the opposite one, i?nthont having been 
allowed a solitary votCy^ 

The {irs1(candidat^ was elected without any 
opposition ; the second was proposed by the 
government^ and he of conrse was chosen ; 
bat) some doubts were raised as to the validity 
of the election ; for although there were more 

\ than one opposing candidate, the singular phe*^ 

momenon had occurred, of there being five more 
votes in his favour than there were voters pre* 
^nt. This apparent inconsistency did not 
'affect the proceedings ; and only one individual- 
ventured to make some observations on the 
miraculous excess of votes. He had scarcely 
begun to speak, when so loud a clamour was 

/raised that he was glad to run oflpwhich he 
literally did ^^ au grand pas/' and it is added, 
by the historian of his glories, that he actually 
did not stop until he found himiself safe among 
his household gods, at a distance of half a 
mile from the scene of tumult. 

The party which had so successfully discom- 
fited our hero, emboldened by success, deter- 
mined to pui:sue still farther their ingenious 
and simple expedient, and when the votes 

\ were collected for the next candidate, also on 



112 NOTES ON HAITI* 

the government interest; he was declared the, 
sitting member, in consequence of having - 
twenty votes more than there were voters ^ 
present.' 

' I was hot present at this strange exhibition ; 
but I have faithfully recorded the statements 
made to me by various persons at various pe- 
riods. Ballot is the mode of election em- 
ployed, which of couree facilitates the proofs 
of double voting. 

^ A representation was said to be made to the 
President of these irregularities ; but he is re- 
ported to have declared his utter disbelief of 
the statement made : and as I never heard. of . 
a reference in such a case in Haiti to an elec- 
tion committee, I believe that the two honour- 
able members were assured of their seats until 
the dissolution of the parliament. 

Such an occurrence naturally leads to reflec- 
tions on the expediency of the semblance of 
a popular representation in an unformed com- 
munity, and from what I have seen among 
these people, as well as on the continent of 
America, (I mean among the new republics,) I 
confess that I entertain very serious doubts 
of its compatibility with the permanent ad- 
vancement of the community at large. 

Among other hitherto unrecorded events, I 



EXPLOSION OP ARSENAL. 113 

had passed over the^destruction of the arsenal^ 
a large building in the midst of the towr^ close 
to the water-edge. The incautious striking an 
! iron hoop with an iron hammer^ over a barrel 
J of gunpowder, is reported to have produced 
the explosion. I had^ early on the morning of 

(the 2nd of February, received a bag from En- 
gland, and while busied with its contents, sit- 
.ting in the gallery of my residence^ which over- 
looked the city, my attention was solicited by 
ia distant explosion, followed by a mass of dense 
t' smoke, which, on clearing away, fully ex- 

■J K 

^ plained the nature and extent of the calam ity^ 
I instantly went'down, and applying to the mas- 
ters of the Bristish vessels in port, they cheer- 
fully, adopted my suggestion of placing their 
crews at the disposal of the government, and 
for a time they were very useful. The crewd of 
the French men-of-war also rendered very good 
service, and contributed very essentially to the 
extinction of the fire. It was very fortunate 
that the sea breeze did not set in until the 
flames were nearly extinguished; for had it 
done so, the whole town must have been laid in 
ashes. As it was, thfl(^loss' was great, being 
j estimated at a million of dollars ; for although 
; the quantity of gunpowder was small, there 
I was a large assortment of army clothing, can- 



114 NOTES ON BAITl. 

Don, bomb-vkelb, miukets, utd wbra, th»< 
were entirely destioyed. Ocoawoaal report*' 
of cannoo were heard, proceeding from the 
Vtillflry, which it was eaid haid been loaded, 
and had rcmaioed bo from the tintft of Cluia^ ; 
k^e'filtfltn^eni 1812^ t 

After 4lte lire, there were several attemftaia 
bnmthe town, no dowbt made byfltedy;ad-' 
TOOtumfi to profit by the phdader, wbioh c«dd 
not be effected at the aiseiui. Seretal bub- 
pected persons were arrested for the oStstx, 
but I Dcrer heard that any punishment. was 
isflioted. For Bome time there w&a great aod 
well-founded apprehension, that tiie inoeft* 
diaries would Imve perserered until they had 
aneceeded. Seveval lires were lost in ' thi 
explosion ; end I beUeve that the President 
had aoarcely left the buddmg more than tctt 
nunutes before the accident ha[^>eDed. 'Hie 
building was reduced to on nnaeemly mass of 

In some of my former noticai, I have hinted 
at the defects of the police Bysteou Several 
instances of this hind - occurred at different 
times, which may as well be now stated in« 
cimtinuouB form. One of Hu Majesty's ading 
Ttce^ontols, the late Mr. Cbules Qopdofi, 
had been dining with me in the oounlvy at 



DEF£^T6 OF tHE POLICE. 115 

M, M^tWsy and wd had retained to town 
about ten o'dodc on llie evening of the Yfnt 
atJidf* My hoose wad a few hundred yarda 
fi^ Mfs Gdrdon's lodgings, to which h» 
went i^medikteiy after faaTing placed hia 
horse in the stable/ He had scarcely left 
my dooFy wheti a piuty of bkck soldiera laid 
hbld^of him> under the pretext that he waa 
ItHind in Ihe street after ten o^olock at night 
wtthotit a tentelsi^ eontrary to' die police re-* 
gulatfKms^of wbkh not one of M knew any 
Aring. TJiese* ruffians threatened to drag Mr. 
Ghiirdtai to prison $ and when they found 
him^ an unresidting tictim, they robbed him 
of lill the money he had, and ihey parted. 
Elerly oni ^he following m^Hming the affair was 
reported * to me^-^e detailSi were laid before 
ih^ gofemmentr-and though much vigili^ce 
waa pi^ofessed to be used in tracing the cul* 
prits, they were never detected ; and I believe 
that their impunity was owing to the fact that 
they belonged to ihe black and most numerous 
part of the population. But, unfortunately, 
the unredressed assault^on Mr. Gord(m is only 
one of various' offences committed against the 
pa:«ons of foreigners, without any remedy* 

On the 31st of October, 1826, the Duteh 
consul Everaerts, when quietly riding through 



116 NOTES ON HAITI. 

the streets, accompanied by Commodore de 
Melay, and some other French gentlemen, 
was violently assaulted and abused by the ex- 
adjutant of Port-au-Prince, St, Roume, who 
afterwards violently forced his way into the 
house of a French merchant, named Godard, 
and assaulted him with equal violence. 

M. Everaerts made immediate complaint to 
the President on his own behalf, and the French 
consul-general made another--on the behalf of 
his countrymen. The most ample reparation 
was unhesitatingly promised, and I have been 
told that General Inginac volunteered an assu- 
rance that the delinquent should be sent to 
Samana, a place of baiushment at the north'* 
eastern part of the Island. St. Roume was ac- 
cordingly arrested, but in tWo or three days he 
was bailed by a senator, the brother of the com-^ 
missarj/ of the government^ the government 
law-officer; and on the case being brought 
before the tribunal, the judges declared their 
incompetence, on some technical ground, to de- 
cide ; and the first use made by St. Roume of 
his acquittal, was to seek out and to insult 
Mir. Everaerts. A second representation was 
made to the government, which produced un-. 
bounded promises of redress ; but none ever 
foUowed. Comment on such facts is nn^ 



AGGRESSIONS OF CATTLE. 117 

oecessaty, as the inferences are clea^ and ob- 
Yions. 

So much for insults to public officers of 
friendly powers. . Let us now look to more dor 
iuestic policy, if I may so distinguish it. The 
" Code Rural " imposes penalties on the proprie- 
tors of cattle who permit their animals to stray 
and injure the fences of their neighbours^ while 
it stputly prohibits the slaying of any four-- 
footed offenders, except pigs and goats. It so 
happened, as one of the penalties of my sins^ 
that near to my cottage a large number of the 
goyemment bullocks were brought every even^ 
ingy alter haying discharged their duties to the 
state, under the care of '^ M. le gardien def 
bcBufs/' to an open space near to my cottage. 
The. place into which these hungry animals were 
put had little grass, and was uninclosed, so 
that they naturally dashed at the nearest field 
that held out any inducement, which happened 
to be mine. Night after night my fences were 
destroyed, my grass not merely eaten, but trod- 
den under foot. I represented my case first to 
'^ M. le gardien,'' next to the captain of the ru- 
ral police, the already celebrated Captain Tau;' 
reau, and lastly to the goyemment: the evil 
stiU continued. At last I betook myself to 
{Mracti^g at the bullocks, and in fact used them 



118 MOTES ON HAITI. 

IS targets. This was successful, and everf enjat- 
kig I saw my firiend ^' M. le gardien " scudding 
round my fences, to warn his erring fiodc fiom 
BO dangerous a neighbouihood. I regretted dife 
▼icdation of any law ; but L had no akenun- 
tive, and I do not think that the course I pur- 
sued gave any offence. ' 

A very remarkable proceeding oecuired at 
Poit-au-^Piince in the month of January, and 
as I think it marked the then subasting reli^ 
tions between the govemment and the people, 
I shall note it. The editor of the only print, 
except the GoTcmment Gazette, M. Courtais, 
put f<»lh an article of considerable virulence 
against foreignerSy — ^an article that might haFe 
been considered a preliminary to their expula<m. 
Tbis produced so strong a sensation, that th^ 
government resolved on prosecuting him, as did 
a private lawyer, who considered himself also 
injured by the publication. The paper was sup 
pressed, the editor was arrested and held to bail, 
and proceedings formally coounenced against 
him at the instance of the two a^rieved parties. 

TTie day of trial was postponed fiom that on 
which it had been first fixed, and the conunis^ 
sary of the Court of Cassation, who was mar« 
ried to a relation of the President, rescued his 
office to defend his fiiaid, and still more extras 



PROSETTJTIOIf OF M. COURTOIS. 119 



ordinary, Cdond Bigand, the diirf of ih% 
gineer departamnt, and the boh of the oelebraled 
fevolvtkmaiy chief, stepped fcMifaid as a d»* 
fender of the accused, which may be done fay 
(AtxB than jnofessioiial men in Haiti. 

I was present at the proceedings, and al- 
though there could not be a doubt of the hbd* 
lotts tendency of the pubhcation, M. Courtois 
n^ui acquitted, a result that he had fully 
anticipated, as he had engaged a party to dine 
with him ; and the cdebration of his acquittal 
took place within an hour of the evart. lUs 
event was strongly contrasted with some oAer 
public transactions in the most recent history 
of the repubhc. Various solutions have been 
offered, but as I know not the accuracy of any, 
I shall abstain firom recording those that reached 
my ears ; for even though they might be true; 
I do not imagine they will estabhsh any one 
well-defined position. 

During the latter part of my residence in 
Haiti, there wne constant tumours of some ris* 
ing in the country, though the object was never 
sufficiently defined to enable me to detennine 
the probability ofiis taking place. Still they af> 
fected my plans very seriously, by keeping me 
i^ionary at the capital, ^idien the public ob- 
jects might have been equally wdl served, and 



120 NOTES ON> HAITI. 

my own indiyidual views most decidedly pro- 
moted, by having been sooner enabled to have 
returned to that home which I had most reluc- 
tantly left. 

The rumours of insurrection continued rife, 
but they all ended in mere riietoiical flou- 
rishes ; and I do not now believe more was ever 
seriously, contemplated, even by the most 
vehement declaimer in the utmost fervour of 
declamation ; for the more I have reflected on 
the character of the people and the history of 
the revolution, the more thoroughly have I 
been impressed with the conviction that all 
classes are sated with blood, and that they 
(with ^ few exceptions) would endure much 
wrong rather than have the wretched scenes 
renewed, that have almost identified the name 
of Haiti with that of inhuman atrocity. I 
watched with care how far this feeling ope* 
rated in the capital and elsewhere ; and I am 
persuaded that a discreet government might, at 
least in the tone of mind that prevailed in 
1826 and 1827, do any thing with the people, 
except indeed to make them systematically 
industrious, or lovers of France. 

At Port-au-Prince the government has cer- 
tainly given evidence of its conviction of the 
advantages that mysi result from education — 



STATE OF EDUCATION. 121 

at least I may speak of the external indications. 
Atscording to the law, edaeation may be under- 
taken either by foreigners or natives^ who have 
received the sanction of the permanent ami* 
mission of education^ established at certain 
points. There are eight such courts, as I be- 
lieve they may be called, at Port-au-Prince, 
CSayes, Jeremie, Jacmel, Cape Haitian, La 
Vega, St. Marc, and Santo Domingo. 
• Hie Lyc6e and all the- primary schools are 
at the charge of the government ; all other 
seminaries are at the risk of those wh6 esta- 
blish them. The first-named of these esta- 
blishments, the Lyc6e, was founded by Petion, 
on the model of the institution so named at 
Paris. The first object was to proyide for the 
o^pring of meritorious citizens, who had left 
them without provision. The President can 
also admit a deserving pupil of any of the 
primary schools protected by the government. 
Boarders and day-scholars may also be received 
by the professors. The professed objects of 
iiffitruction are the ancient and modern lan- 
gui^es, rhetoric, logic, ethics, the elements of 
mathematics and physic, ancient and modem 
history, geography, and drawing. There are 
of course a due proporticm of professors ; but 

VOL. I. p 



122 NOTES ON HAITI. 

how far they can acquit themselves with bene- 
fit to their pupils, I cannot say ; and as little 
am I informed, in despite of considerable exer- 
tion to acquire knowledge, of the number of 
pupils. 

The Commission, or I believe it should be 
Anglicized the Education Committee, at Port- 
au-Prince is very respectable, and General In- 
ginac is the president. 

Besides the establishments paid by the govern- 
ment, there are some private ones, and among 
others* one for females, taught by an American 
lady, who had no inconsiderable share of 
patronage. 

But there are higher aspirations in '^ la 
belle Capitale." There is an hospital : the 
President confers degrees in medicine ; and 
there is a school of medicine, of which the 
professor is a French physician named Dr. 
Civet. I have already remarked the diffi- 
culty of placing the medical students in their 
proper place at the " Ffite d'Independence," 
and I may add that they appear a very re- 
spectable set of young men. One of them is 
an African captured in a Spanish slaver by a 
Haitian vessel named the Wilberforce, and I 
was told that he is among the most acute and 



STATE OP EDUCATION. 123 

intelligent of all the pupils. There was an 
examination of these young persons^ at which 
I should have attended had I been apprized of 
it in time. I once saw a diploma, or licence, 
from the President to an English surgeon, to 
practise as a ^^medicin/' and I regret that I 
did not take a copy of it, as it did not resem- 
ble any document for a similar object that I 
ever h^d seen. 

There is no ordinary share of pomp in every 
pubUc act; even an auctioneer's license as- 
isumes the form of a commission, being duly 
preceded by a letter from the President ; and 
lest I should be suspected of either miscon- 
ception or misrepresentation, I shall here give 
foLl copies, which were Lde from the ori- 
ginals: — 

<« Port-aa-Prince, 90 Joio, 1819. 

*' Jean Pierre Boyer, President d'Haiti. 

*^ En conformity de la loi du 16 Mai der- 
oier, sur Torganisation des tribunaux, qui ^ta- 
blit pour la Capitaletrois Encanteurs publics ;•--« 
connoissant, citoyen, votre moralitS, votre prO' 
bits, et votre divouement k la republique, je 
vous previens que je vous ai choisi pour En- 
canteur public dans le ressort du Tribunal 
Civil seant en cette ville, k h charge par vous 



124 NOTES ON HA1TJ» 

de satis&ire aux conditions impost par la 
loi. 

** La pr^sente lettre vons servira pour exe* 
cuter la dite charge, en attendant qu'une com- 
mission dans les formes vous soit exp^diee. 

(Sign6) " BoYEB." 

No. 12, 

** Nous Jacques Ignace Fresnel^ Grand Juge. 

** Vu la d^ision de S. E. portant nomina- 
tion du citoyen 4 la place d'Encanteur 

public pour la ville de Port-au-Prince : 

'' Mandons et ordonnons, que la dite Jionu- 
nation soit transcrite sur le registre du Greffe 
du Tribunal Civil s^ant en cette viUe ; et 4 sa 
prestation de serment en tel caa requis du sus* 
dit commissaire, qui devra d6poser sa sigiutture 
au dit Greffe — 

** Chargeons le Commissaire du Gouveme- 
ment pr^s le dit Tribunal de I'ex^ution du 
present mandement, 

" Donn6 k Port-au-Prince, le 14 Juin, 1819, 
an 16 de Tlnd^pendance. 
. '^ Pour copie conforme au registre de com- 
mission, 

. (Sign^) '^ Fa ESN EL J 



ff 



I give these copies, not on account of ony 



DIPLOMAS — P08T-0FFICE, 126 

importance attached to them, but as specimens 
of the art of magnifying triyial matters into i 
preternatural importance. The reasons as* 
signed by the President for his choice are 
good — the morality, probity, and loyalty, of 
the individual selected. I fancy that else- 
where such rigorous terms are not exacted. 
The individual whose merits are thus recorded 
was a very civil obliging person. 

Among the various attempts at arrange* 
ments that have been made, there are none that 
have so decidedly failed as those for the post- 
office service. I believe that the plan has been 
well digested, but the executive details are 
most defective. , From what cause this pro- 
ceeds, I do not venture to say ; but for the fact 
I vouch. As an instance, I may cite what hap- 
pened to myself. The distance from Jacmel is 
only about seventy miles, and on one occasion, 
when my letter-bag from England had been en- 
trusted to the regular mail, it was twenty days 
on the road. And yet I believe this is a point 
on which the government is most exceedii\gly 
anxious. It is, I apprehend, only one of the 
many proofs that might be adduced of the dif- 
ficulty attendant on the introduction of customs 
familiar to old communities, among those that 



126 NOTES ON HAITI. 

have been prematurely hurried through the 
earlier stages of political existence. 

By the morning of the 14th March^ having 
finished all that I had planned before re- 
commencing my tour, I determined to do so 
without delay ; and, judging from the progress 
I had previously made, I calculated that I 
should have finished my labours in about two 
months more. That I miscalculated will be 
hereafter seen. 

There being nothing of particular interest on 
the road from Port-au-Prince to St. Mark's, by 
the way of Arcahai, and it being described as 
deep and sandy, I determined to avoid it, 
especially as I had so recently suffered from 
exposure to the sun; and accordingly despatch- 
ing my guide and animals to St. Mark's, I em- 
barked in His Majesty's ship Harlequin, in which 
my fnend Captain Charles Elhott had, with 
his usual attention, offered to convey me to that 
city. We sailed at midnight on the 1:4th March, 
favoured by the land breeze ; but as it slack- 
ened, and we had to beat c^inst the sea 
breeze, it was impossible to land before the 
following midnight. We therefore proceeded 
to Gonaives, from which it was easy to pass by 
land to St. Mark's, and all the places worth 



VOYAGE TO GONAIVES. 127 

seeing in the neighbourhood. Our expectations 
were realised, for we were on shore early in the 
forenoon of the 16th, at Gonaives, where we were 
hospitably received, and lodged at the house of 
two English merchants established there. 

From the day of landing to the 18th I em* 
ployed myself in looking around me. Gonaives 
was formerly a place of importance, on account 
of its salt-works, the labourers of which were 
a formidable body, and played a conspicuous 
part at one period of the revolution, under the 
Marquis Borel. The country is low and sandy, 
and is chiefly devoted to the cultivation of 
cotton; but here, as in the south, the com- 
plaints of idleness and want of hands were 
never ending. Date-trees grow here to con- 
siderable perfection, and produce, according to 
my informants, very good fruit; which, how- 
ever,^ I did not see. There are some pleasant 
rides in various directions, one leading to the 
estate and residence of Toussaint L'Ouverture, 
at the time of his seizure by the French. It 
was one of the very few sugar estates, if not the 
only one, in this district. The works, which 
were substantial and good, are now in a state 
of ruin. An old superintendent and his. wife 
live in one of the remaining buildings. It still 
retains the name " Quartier L'Ouverture.'^ 



12d NOTES ON HAITI. 

I called^ the day of my aniyal, on the genml 
commanding the arrondissement, a black offi* 
cer^ who had, I believe, served throughout the 
revolution. He was not at home, and I. left 
my card; which I afterwards heard was a 
matter of utter amazement to him, the purport 
of which he could not, by any possibility, be 
made to understand. He, however, seemed to 
have a faint glimmering that it might be 
expected of him to entertain me; but as such 
a feat entailed charges, although he affected to 
have been confined by lameness, he suddenly 
discovered that his presence was necessary in 
some distant part of his district, and fairly ab^ 
Bconded, I mention this as the only instance 
that occurred to me, during my tour, of even 
the appearance of a want of hospitality. 

^'iCmong my other visitors, I was particularly 
amused by a mulatto colonel, who was most 
anxious to be civi^,^ He generally dropped in 
before nine in the morning ; and, after having . 
taken a dram, became very voluble in discuss- y 
ing his own merits, as well as those of his 
contemporaries. One morning, after having 
worked himself into a state of admiration of 
his own performances, he proceeded to strip 
himself, to show the scars of eleven gun-shot 
wounds which he had received in various con- 



AMUSING OFFICER. I2S9 

fiicts ^th the French ; and he added/ in a tone 
of exultation, ^' Je vous assure, Monsieur, que 
je suiB le plus brave des tous les mulatres de ce 
pays ci!*' iTo these important details he added 
^he iact,^hat he had as many children as 
/[wounds, and hinted that, if properly encou^ 
\i raged, he would contribute very essentially to 
* fhfe much wanted increase of the population.y 
I was afterwards informed that, in spite of 
his vSAn^glorious propensities, this person is 
really a mati of courage. He gave an anec- 
dote, which is strongly characteristic of the 
inefficiency of the laws, to which so much is 
ascribed by those who know nothing of Haiti. 
The Grand Marshal of Haiti, under Christophe, 
was an old African, named Paul Romain, who 
had been imported as a slave, after having 
attained manhood, before the revolution. He apr 
pears to havebeeii a man of considerable mental 
power, of which he afforded no mean evidence, 
by having acquired the art of writing well and 
correctly at an advanced time of life. I have 
seen jtome specimens, which were very good. 
Under his sovereign he had been created Prince 
de Limb^, and was commander-in-chief of the 
army in the neighbourhood of St, Mark at the 
time that Christophe shot himself; After 'the 



130 NOTES ON HAITI. 

reyolution, he reverted to the style and title of 
General Romain; and being implicated in 
Bome revolutionary schemes with Richard (the 
ci-devant Duke de Marmalade), he was sent 
a prisoner on parole to Leogane, under the 
surveillance of the general commanding there. 
After some time he was killed by a party of 
soldiers, commanded by the worthy colonel, 
from whom I had the account. The govern- 
ment version is, that Romain, then eighty 
years of age, had renewed his communications 
with the disaffected, at the head of whom he 
had made arrangements for placing himself; 
and on being ordered into confinement, had 
resisted, and was unfortunately slBxn. The 
other edition, from the chief actor was, that 
the general commanding at Leogane, acting 
on orders received from the palace of the 
government, directed him to pick a quarrel 
with the old chief, and to massacre him ; 
which he did, as he asserted, in the true spirit 
of military subordination. The President 
loudly disclaimed all participation in this 
odious assassination ; and the colonel declares 
that he was made the scape-goat, and sent to 
Gonaives to repent at leisure. 
In Gonaives itself, the traces of a consider- 



TOUSSAINT l'oUVEBTURE. 131 

able building, which Toussaint had erected as 
his palace, are to be seen. In the town there 
are several of his relatives ; and I believe that 
the wife of his son Isaac L'Ouverture, (now 
resident either in Bourdeaux or its neighbour* 
hood,) was there for the purpose of setthng 
some of their affairs. The French government, 
or rather Napoleon, has been charged with 
haying secretlymade away with this individual. 
The allegation is utterly unfounded. 

Some little coffee is produced at the heights 
a short distance from the sandy plains of Go- 
naives. There is an Italian priest resident, who 
is also the vicar-general of the district. He ap* 
peared an unpretending man, but certainly 
did not seem fit to rank with the Molieres, 
Marinis, and other confidential counsellors of 
Toussaint. 

Gonaives is a most unpleasant residence : 
the loose sand, charged with saline particles, 
is in constant motion, and penetrates the slight 
wooden-houses, so as even to load writing- 
paper to such a degree as to impede writing. 
The slightest wind, instead of refreshing, thus 
becomes a source of annoyance to the eyes and 
lungs. The houses are in the same style with 
those of the other towns I had previously 



132 VOTES ON HAITI. 

tisited, low, seldom exceeding two stc^eSy 
built of wood, with a large sitting-room tbftt 
opens to the street, and the sleeping iq^artr 
ments aboye and behind, with a yard interr 
vening between the main house and the kitchen 
and other offices. 

The houses of the poorer classes are all 
equally bad, and I should think uninhabitiiblei 
being perfect lanthoms; so much so that a 
person on the outside can hear with great cor- 
rectness all that passes within — a circumstimce 
peculiarly unfavourable to the little intrigues 
that prevail, and which has on more than one 
occasion led to very unsatis&ctory consequences 
to the suspected. The scandalous stories in cir* 
culation are, as might be expected, very plen- 
tiful, but they are all of a ludicrous character, 

Early on the morning of the 18th, accom- 
panied by one of the gentlemen at whose house 
I stayed, I made my way by a retrogade mover 
ment to St. Mark's, over the road to Port-au- 
Prince, part of which runs over the Igw flat 
salines, and part by the foot of the mountains, 
that rise rapidly at an inconsiderable distance 
from the sea. 

Over the river Ester, (where Toussaint made 
a rendezvous with Colonel Brisbane for the 



VISIT TO ST. maer's. 133 

purpose of belying him,) we passed over 
a very respectable wooden bridge. This is a 
considerable dtream, which from its sluggish 
motion is very favourable to this habits of the 
alligator^ which abound in it. On our way we 
passed one that, in traversing the salines^ had 
been stoned to death by some of the inhabi- 
tants^ who have a mortal hatred to this animaf, 
although I could not learn that it has any of 
the formidable propensities attributed to his 
brother of the Magdelena. We also crossed the 
Artibonite, which at that time was low ; but 
during the rains it swells both rapidly and ex- 
tensively. Though several miles from its mouthy 
vessels of some burthen can go up to the pas- 
sage, and sharks also find their way there. 
There is no bridge, but a cable is strained 
across, and a large flat-bottomed boat attached 
to it by means of a running block ; when 
landed, it is brought into such a position, that 
the current acts on the side opposite to the in- 
tended landing place, and the whole cargo is 
carried over in safety. Some years ago some 
enter{msii^ Englishmen offered to throw a 
suspension bridge over it, on condition of re- 
ceiving certain tolls for a term of years ; but 
difficulties were interposed, and the project 



134 KOTEB OK HAITI* 

was abandoned, without much likelihood of its 
being speedily resumed, from the diminished 
-value of such a speculation. 

The approaches i6 St. Mark are good, though 
the immediate entrance through a dilapidated 
gate is paltry. The town itself is strikingly con- 
trasted with any thing I had previously seen. 
Though filled with ruins, they were ruins of mag- 
nificence ; and some of the houses, especially 
those that face the sea, are of a very superior 
order, being built of freestone, which had be^ 
prepared and sent out firom France/ The town, 
though always small, must have been really very 
beautiful, and there are abundant materials for 
restoring it, if not to its former beauty, cer- 
tainly to a state of comparative grandeur. Ge- 
neral Bonnet, who commands here, received 
me with great attention, and in the evening 
walked out with me to a building out of the 
town commenced by Christophe, but still un- 
finished, which is dignified with the title of the 
palace. It would have been substantial, being 
composed entirely of stone. The situation how- 
ever seemed to have been chosen for the sake 
of security, not of beauty. There are also about 
the town some fortified places, among others 
Fort Churchill, which were erected by our 



GENERAL BONNET. 135 

army during our occupation of the island, and 
which are intimately associated in Haitian re* 
collection with the benefits of a liberal expen- 
diture and double rations. 

We returned to dine with the general, to 
whom, and Madame Bonnet, I was much in- 
debted for polite attention. Our dinner and 
wines were good, and had it not been for the 
too great proximity of the military band which 
played, during dinner, I should have derived 
no inconsiderable satisfaction. As it was, I 
got a good deal of information, and I began 
to learn that the capital was not an example, 
either in point of manners or hospitality, to 
other towns. 

Among the party was M. St. Macary, (who 
has since been employed by his government in 
France, for the purpose of arranging the terms 
of the indemnity,) whose father was the most 
opulent inhabitant of St. Mark before the re- 
volution. He was reduced like many others to 
a deplorable state of poverty, and I was in- 
formed that his son, though a poor man, very 
properly contributes to his utmost to the sup- 
port of his father. 

In conversation, I could gather that industry 
does not prevail more at St. Mark's than it does 



136 KOTE8 ON HAITI. 

elsewhere ; bat that cultiiaktion there too lanr 
guishes. 

In order to be quite unembarrassed in my 
moTementSy^^lhad taken my lodgings at a 
sort of hotel kept by a notary-public^ who 
had been at one time an acting purser ip 
our nav^ He spoke EngUsh well^ luid was 
inteUigent ; but among the other strange topics 
of communication that he selected, hef mformed 
me that a British general officer had formerly 
kept, as a mistress, the lady whom he had since 
honoured by marrying, but had had no children, 
adding, with exultation, that he bad been mor^ I 
successful, as he could boast of several, some/ 
of whom he produced with their honoured mon 

« 

ther. He was very anxious to procure the ad-^ 
dress of Madame's former lover, that he might 
write to infonn him of his superior prowess,/ 

This man was an active opponent of the 
government, setting himself up as the cham- 
pion of the constitution, which he asserted the ^ 
government was constantly undermining. I 
believe that he had been very troublesome to 
all the authorities, especially his immediate 
chief. He either 'was, or had been, a member, 
of the '* Chambre des Communes." . 

The streets of St. Mark were clean; and 



VISIT TO PETITE BITIERE. 137 

the state of quiet in which they were kept 
indicated some good <Hder. Dessalines re- 
duced the town to its present state by fire. 

Early in the morning of the 19th I set off to 
▼isit die Commune of Petite Riviere, accom- 
panied by Colonel Bigaye, a black officer, who 
had served under Colonel Brisbane ; to whose 
merits, both as an officer and a man, he bore 
ample testimony: he had also served with 
Toussaint, and had remained firm in his alle- 
giance to the last moment of Christophers 
life. He is better educated than most of his 
brethren, and was very communicative. He 
had read Baron Lacroix's History of the Re- 
volution, which he insisted was most incorrect : 
though I thought that this arose from a sup- 
pose partiality, on the part of the author, 
to the coloured party. At a short distance 
from the town, just about dawn, he pointed 
out the spot where the gallant Colonel Bris- 
bane fell, leaving a reputation full of honor, 
even ^mong the most inveterate of his enemies. 
We passed through several cotton plantations, 
which bore marks of more care than are 
usually exhibited; and I was informed that 
the sugar-cane was also occasionally culti- 
vated ; but I did not see any. I saw a few 



138 NOTES ON HAITI. 

parties working among the cotton trees, which 
had been nearly cleared of the woollen pods. 
The universal complaint is a want of labourers. 
About ten o'clock we reached ^^ La Petite 
Riviere/' which is under the direction of the 
black Ueutenant-colonel Jean Charles, who 
had formerly been a baron and lieutenant du 
roi under Christophe. We were conducted 
by a party of military, headed by the com- 
mandant, that met us at a spot where I re- 
luctantly parted with Colonel Bigaye, who 
was obliged to return to St. Mark, to a 
house in which the President puts up when 
making tours of inspection. Here we had the 
best breakfast the place could afford; and I 
had toiled through receiving the visits of the 
officers of garrison and the mimicipality, to 
whom a consul-general was about as great a 
curiosity as a Haitian ambassador would be in 
Lancashire. We proceeded to visit the f<»rtifi- 
cation called CrSte k Pierrot, celebrated in 
Haitian annals for the defence it made against 
no less than three divisions of General Le 
Clerc's army. Among my other visitants was 
the " Juge de Paix," a mild-looking young 
black man, one of the innumerable sons that 
Dessalines left to uphold his name.. I endea- 



CRETE A PIERROT. 139 

▼oured to draw him into conversatioii ; but his 
«hare of it was almost confined to the mono- 
syllables "Oui/' or ** Non," On inquiring into 
his character^ I found that it was as remarkable 
for mildness and want of pretension^ as that of 
his father was for ferocity and insolence. 

CrSte k Pierrot is an insignificant fortification, 
built by our army on the right bank of the 
Artibonite, protecting one of the principal 
passages to the north and east of the group of 
mountains called '^ Les Monies de Cahos/' at 
a distance of rather more than a mile from the 
village of Petite Riviere, fix>m which the ascent 
is very gradual, terminating in an elevation 
^which, judging by the eye, cannot much exceed 
three hundred and fifty feet. One side next to 
the river is nearly precipitous, while from the' 
north and south the approaches, though diiE- 
cult, are covered with a considerable quantity 
of underwood and some large trees, under cover 
of which the French made their attacks. After 
three unsuccessful assaults by the French, in the 
last of which, according to General Lacroix, 
who commanded a division there, there were 
fully twelve thousand men, the garrison, 
consisting of not more than one thousand or 
twelve hundred, under the command of the 



140 NOTES ON RAlTf. 

chef-de-lmgade Lamartiiii^re, cut their way 
through their afisailants, and retired in safety 
to the black anny with a loss of less than 
one half of their numbers. The Haitians are 
proud of this achievement, and according to 
the acknowledgements of their candid oppo- 
nenty whom I have quoted, they have good 
grounds for being so. 

Having performed this duty, I proceeded, 
through some very good roads running between 
cotton plantations, from Petite Riviere to Maiv 
chand, a town founded by Dessalines, to which 
he gave his name, but which has fidlen into 
decay, and has reverted to its original name, 
which is that of the French proprietor. Greater 
traces of industry were here perceptible than I 
had seen elsewhere, owing without doubt to the 
vigilance of Colonel Charles, who, on the road, 
met a wandering '^ cultivateur,'' and in an 
instant ordered the delinquent to retrace his 
steps, and to present himself the next morning 
to explain his vagaries. The cotton trees were 
partially picked, and I was told that the want 
of labourers was most seriously felt ; so that, 
even where industry is called forth, the lack of 
hands renders it very imperfect. 

I learned my black friend's history from him- 



HILL-FOBTS — MARCHAND. 141 

self. In consequence of having been one of 
Gbri^ophe's confidential officers of his o^n 
caste^ he did not get employment for a long 
time ; but now I should think that if zeal, and 
the faithAil discharge of the duty entrusted to 
hiin, can ensure the confidence of his govern- 
ment, he must always be on active. service. 

The only remnants of the meditated grandeur 
of the new city, are a laige rambling low house, 
called the palace, and six hill-forts that rise 
abruptly to the north. Dessalines, as well as 
Toussaint and Christophe, appears to have 
entertained strange notions on the subject of 
defence. Thus, in the selection of this moun- 
tain range as welt as the ^' Platons," he in- 
curred an enormous expense in the erection 
of a line of fortifications, which could only serve 
as places of retreat, being so situate as to be 
utterly unfit for defending permanently any one 
part except their immediate site, besides being 
Uable to be turned in almost every direction. 

Our party slept at the palace, and early next 
morning we were on our way to Gonaives, by a 
road close to the base of the mountains, which 
we had seen-fix>m a distance the two preceding 
days. We were 80<m out of the conunune of 
Petite Rivifere, as we knew by the increase of 
underwood^ and the decrease of apparent culti- 



142 NOTES ON HAITI. 

vmtion. We arrived in the couree of the fore- 
noon at Gonaives. I should mention that the 
col<Miel and a captain, who commanded the 
party at Marchand, escorted us out of their 
bounds. 

In the course of my communications with the 
various black chiefs whom I saw within those 
three days, 1 eUcited a great deal of inibrma* 
tion respecting Toussaint, DessaUnes, and Chris** 
tophcy and it was given ¥nth a degree of frank- 
ness for which I confess I was scarcely pre- 
pared. Toussaint certainly possesses the attach* 
ment of these people ; — ^he is represented as 
having been stem and unbending, but just, and- 
intimately acquainted with the best interests of 
his country, as well as vrith the habits of his 
countrymen. The opposite party represent him 
as fullof crafl, dupUcity, and cruelty,^Hiay, they- 
even deny him talent. Among other barbarous 
acts ascribed by the French writers to Tous- 
saint, is this : — on the arrival of the French 
army, he is said to have removed all his trea- 
sure to the mountains of Cahos, and there bu- 
ried it ; after which he murdered the whole of 
the people employed. I enquired particularly 
as to this statement of the black officers, who 
then served with him, and they deny the exis- 
tence and burying of any treasure, equally with 



INSURRECTION IN 1820. 143 

the murder. /DessaUnes, from the concurrent 
testimony of all, was brave, but a monster who 
spared '^ no man in his wrath, or woman in his 
lust.'' Christophe on the other hand seems, 
in spite of many admitted atrocities, which are 
duly recorded by the republican party, to have 
acquired an immense ascendency over the minds 
of his own people. The time of his death was 
repeatedly described to me as ** le terns de 
notre malheur." 

The insurrection, which terminated in his 
suicide in 1820, commenced at St. Mark, in a 
regiment, two officers of which he had dis- 
graced and degraded. They murdered in the 
streets a black general, Jean Claud, who had 
been directed to quell the mutiny; and the 
spirit of disaffection having extended, by the 
machinations of the republicans, to the army 
sent to crush the insurgents, the business was 
soon brought to a close. 

To rest our horses, we determined not to 
start for the Cape before the morning of the 
22nd, which we did at an early hour, having 
our party augmented by some of the officers of 
the garrison, some strangers then visiting Go- 
naives, and some individuals going to the Cape. 
I must not omit to mention that Gonaives is 



144 



NOTES ON HAITI. 



celebrated among the gourmands of the le 
public — ^and they form no contemptible portion 
of the population — ^for its fat capons and luscious 
trufles, with both of which it supplies the capi-* 
tal. That my report of the gounnanderie may 
not seem exaggerated, I may mention what was 
told as a fact to me : — an eminent Haitian law- 
yer^ \i:ell known for his aldermanic piopensi- 
tiesy received as a professional fee, on one oc- 
casion, six thousand dollars. He pleaded his 
cause, and, I believe, gained it ; but he never 
dreamed of returning home until he had lite* 
rally devoured his fee ! 



POTEAV. 145 



CHAPTER VI. 

LeaTing GonaiTes — Poteaa — L'Egcalier — Plakuce — Camp 
Lecoq — Madafiie Babter — limb^ — Approach to Cape Hai- 
tUn — Functipnaries — City of the Cape^Societj — Foaactte 
School — Executioner — Cbnatophe — Brutal conduct— lioea- 
tiousnefts— Character — Noyadea — Saoa Sooci — La Fcmete— > 
Suicide of Chriatophe — Morder of bia aon— Le Ramier— 
Mr. Laroche. 

On the morning of the 22nd, at an early 
hour, we left GcoiaiTes, and, after having tra- 
velled about three hours, we reached a place 
called Foteau, which boasts of a shed in which 
the traveller may get coffee, and rest for a short 
lime. We did both, and escaped a very heavy 
fall of rain, which came down in torrents. 
There are a few straggling houses in this ham- 
let, all sufficiently miserable, except one that 
belongs to one of the surviving mistresses of 
Dessalines, who had nearly as many concubines 
^ as Solomon himself. From Poteau there are 
two roads to Cape Haitian, or, as it is commonly 
called, the Cape, I suppose in contradistinction 

VOL. I. G 



146 NOTES ON HAITI. 

to Cape Nicolas Mole; one by Eoneiy, the 
other by Plaisance, over a steep mountain, and 
called from its steepness L'Escalier. Onr road 
lay over a very wild, uncultivated country, gra- 
dlially rising to the foot of the steepest part, 
where there are the ruins of an old coffee plan- 
tation, and a very pleasant stream. There we 
halted, to put our horses in wind before undeiv 
•taking the aseent. 

The " Escalier'' is remarkably steep and in 
mwy places overhanging precipices, which, 
though not so formidable as those of the '' Cor- 
ral *' in Madeira, are quite sufficent to render 
caution necessary, especially in those who, 
like myself, cannot look from a great elevation 
withoot becoming giddy. The entire road is 
paved, and was constructed by a black colonel 
named Thomas Durocher: he is a native of 
one of our cokmies, and is there called an 
Englishman. The work is very creditable to 
.the planner, and it has been well executed. 
*Per)iaf>s a part of the ascent might have been 
avoided by adding to the distance, as it struck 
-me that though the greatest eminences had 
been avoided, to run ova* the summits of the 
lesser ones was deemed, as in t^e Highlands, 
the shortest cut. 

On reaching the highest point, the view thltt 



l'eSCALIEB — PLAISANCE. 147 

•1>ursts on the eye is remarkably extenBive and 
impojsing, reaching as far as the sea, which 

.'seemed in the distance^ from the reflected rays 
of the sun, to be a .bright line ; the interven- 
ing space being an infinite variety of hill and 
dale, covered with luxuriant vegetation, in 
which there appeared not the slightest trace 
of die hand of man. .Whatever habitations 
might e^st are lost in the prpfunon of trees, 
until the traveller is close upon them. After 
the descent b^ins to the north, the road ceases 
to be good, and part of the way it degene- 
rates into a mere bridle-path. I had been told 
that carriages had travelled over " TEscalier," 
but that I seriously doubt"; at all events I 
should certainly not chu$e to be an inside or 
even an outside passenger in such an experi- 
meiiA. 

: In the midst of the mountains we found Plai- 
'Sance, a sweetly situated spot, though almost 
always enveloped in mist on account of its 
elevation. It is a stra^ling village, consistii^ 
of a few small wooden houses ; in one of whidi, 
beloi^ing to another " ch^re amie" of Dessa- 
lines, we sought refuge, and found that, in 
anticipation of ample remuneration, our hostess 
(having beeii apprised of our incursion) ha^ 
mdde preparations^ which, after a fatiguing 



148 NOTES ON HAITI. 

ride, were very acceptable. Some of oar party 
returned to Gonaives, and the remainder pro- 
ceeded on our route to the Cape. The road 
winds very prettily over the declimng hills, 
where I first saw the wild pine-apple^ and 
long after night-fall we arrived at a small 
hut called ^' Camp Lecoq/' the proprietor of 
whichy a negro man who haa two wives, in- 
duces the youngest and most active to make 
provisicMi for vrayfarii^ persons ''for a con- 
sideration." Our fare was very acceptable^ 
though rather later than we wished^ and served 
in vessels that might have been recorded by 
Haji Baba himself; but these incidents af- 
forded one of my fellow travellers, who pos- 
sesses the Creole dialect in great perfection, 
an opportunity of exercising Madame Babier's 
patience by incessant attacks on her want of 
system and order. At one time she got fairly 
angry, but finding wrath quite unavailing, she 
resumed a more pacific one, and finally be- 
came perfectly amiable. On this occasion, as 
well as in all my intercourse with even the , 
lowest of the Haitian peasantry, I was struck/ 
by the air of perfect independence vrith whichl 
they conduct themselves. Madame Babier ; 
gibed, gibbered, scolded, or joked, as fi-eely as 
if she had been a guest ; and when she had 



MADAME BABIER. 149 

pat oar supper on the table, quietly took a 
seat by us — not at table it is true, but quit^ 
dose to it ; nor did she, in doing bo, seem to 
think that fliere was the slightest iiTegularity. 

The cottage consists of a small sittihg-foom 
and two bed-rooms. The cooking wbm, I be* 
lieve^ carried on either in an out-shed or ia 
the open air. The beds were dean^ and upon 
the whole the dwelling was the most repu-* 
table peasant'^ cottage I had seen in any part 
of the republic. The merchants of the Cape 
have the credit of having held out induce* 
tnents to the owner to have a resting place 
at a very conyenient distance between the 
Cape and Plaisance ; for although the diiK 
tance from Gonaives to the fiormer of ihem 
placed may be traversed in one day, yet ii 
is better to divide the journey^ wbich can 
now be done with tolerable comfort* 

I had requested a gentleman at the Cape 
to purchase a cabriolet^ and to send it to 
meet me at Gonaives; but not finding a vebicie 
of that description, he had purchased an 
English chariot and four homee, which I 
found awaiting me at '' Camp Lecoq ''-hoi 
apparatus which could not be oiied on the 
road with any degree of comfort* 

Eariy on the 23rd we were afoot; aiul after 



150 NOTES ON HAITI* 

tome obstructions to the progress of the carriage 
from the state of the roads^ especially where a 
ford occurred, we got fairly into motion, and had 
a delightfully cool ride, until we reached Limb^, 
a village which owes its chief note to having 
given a title to Romain under Christophe. 
We went on horseback until the road became 
somewhat better, about four leagues from the 
Cape, which was scarcely to be seen, al- 
though the bay called " I'Acul " lay beneath 
to the left. Previous to getting into the 
carriage, we stopped for half-an-hour at a 
small hut consisting of two rooms, with no 
other furniture than a stool or two. The in- 
mates were a young woman, and a grinning 
black infant tumbling about the floor, and 
an elderly black man, who was plastering the 
wattling, of which the walls were composed, 
with a mixture of mud and ashes ; and I was^ 
surprised to see him use his hand, although 
he had a trowel. On inquiring why he did 
so, he answered for the sake of convenience. 
Although the house was in the midst of fenced 
ground, there was no cultivation, and as I 
could discover no trace of food of any kind, 
I inquired how the people lived, but could 
obtain no information. Thinking that I 
had failed to make myself intelligible, I got 






I 



ENTRANCE INTO CAPE HAITIAN. |51 

^y compamon to pursue the inquiry, but he 
x'was equally unsuccessful, .^nd I was never 
jable to ascertain how the people existed. It 
/ is true that their necessaries of life are the 
; simplest imaginable ; but some exertion is re- 
quired to obtain even these : and here was 
: a woman lounging away the day vnth her 
child, without any exertion to acquire the 
sHghtest means of satisfying hunger-nor could 
I find that her husband was more profitably 
employed^ 

As the road improved, the progress of the 

carriage increased, and we soon passed the 

'^ Haut du Cap," some very neat houses of 

stone standing off the road, and entered the 

\ \city of Cape Haitian, once the capital of the 

\ \ ^" Queen of the Antilles." 

I was conducted to lodgings which had been 
provided for me by an English resident at the 
Cape, and found my brother, who had sailed 
round in the Harlequin, and had arrived before 
us, in possession of the premises, which I 
occupied until the 15th of April, with the ex- 
ception of the time passed in little excursions, 
of which I shall give some short notices. 

My first business was to wait upon the autho- 
rities, to whom I had letters from the govem- 
inent, and I was received vrith the most marked 



152 KOTES ON HAIII. 

kindness by General Leo, Colonel Backer, and 
others. General Magny, the commandant of 
the arrondissementi was absent on account of ^ 
his health, which had for a long time been de* 
chning. Some time after my arrival, I saw the 
general, who had played a very conspicuous 
part during the progress of the various revolu- 
tions. He had been one of Christophe's favou- 
rite generals, and had been created Duke de 
Plaisance ; but he had embraced the repubUcan 
cause, and ranged under the banners of Petion. 
He was a negro, and certainly one of the quiet- 
est and best mannered I ever saw. His demea- 
nour was remarkably contitLsted with that of 
most of his compatriots. He had served in 
Toussaint's guard, which he commanded at the* 
memorable defence of Crfite k Pierrot. He died 
lately, much lamented, as he possessed great ' 
influence with his own caste, which he is repre- 
sented always to have exercised for the benefit 
of the whole community. 

The city has had a variety of designations — 
Cabo Santo, Cap Franfais, Cap Republicain, 
Cap Henri, and now Cap Haitien. The Spa- 
niards still give it the aboriginal name Guarico. 
It is built at the base of a mountain, that screens 
it from the north and the west, called Mome 
du Cap; on one of the summits there is the 



HARBOUft OF THE CAPE. 153 

mgnal'-post (vigie), whidi annoqnrfs ^ ap- 
proach of any TesBel, distiiigiiisiimg the wataam 
and the class. The haiboor or road lies to the 
east and sonttiy and is protected by a tongae of 
land that nms out fiom the piam of the 
At the bottom ci the bay thos 
small town of PetHe Anae. The 
difficulty but the anchoiage good. The dfry k 
lai^, the streets spadoos and ndl paved, 
ike houses chiefly bdlt of atone, nidi 
some squares, large markets, and 
supply of wat^ fiom fimntaiii . 

Hie defences io ibe bbsl are respectable, 
had been much attended to by 
salineSy and CSuistofdie. The 
*in the leign of Loda XV., nhoae 
appear over die gate and wind 
was handsome, but is now in nana; ao aae Ae 
theatre, the college of die Jesaits, the gofem* 
ment-hoiise, and twocoofenta of very coHidcr* 
able extent. The qaays are good, and afind a 
pleasant prcHnenade, when the 
so far as to be intercepted by the a^acenti 
tain. The palace of Christophe is kept ap lor 
the president, bat his stables are iniliiMilml 
Upon the whole, flie city is lemarkaUybeaatilaL 
and must have been, daring its f^ory , die moi^ 
agreeable residence in the Western Archtpeia^<r ; 



154 KOTES OK HAITI. 

but now little more is to be seen than the tracet 
of fonner grandeur : even in the Place d'Armes^ 
the handsomest square in it, some of the finest 
houses are unroofed, and plantain trees ar& 
growing in the midst of the ruins. I was par- 
ticularly struck by the strange effect of this, 
in the midst of an inhabited town. 

Those who wish to see a very full description 
of its former prosperity, will do well to consult 
the formidable book of Moreau St. Mery, who 
details even the names of alleys with a mi* 
nutefiess that cannot interest the great body of 
readers. 

The Cape has been singularly unfortunate in 
fires, having been seriously injured seven times 
before the revolution by the flames, and tm6e 
(if not oftener) it has been since nearly laid in 
ruins ; so that the whole of the existing desola* 
tion is not to be attributed to its present masters. 
It was the seat of government, as well as Port- 
au-Prince, according to circumstances, under 
the French; and continued to be so under 
Toussaint and Christophe. At present it holds 
only a secondary rank; though in political 
importance *and extent of trade it is little in- 
ferior to the capital. 

. The inhabitants consist of the same clashes 
as those of other towns in Haiti ; but, as far as 



INHABITANTS—OUTLETS. 165 

I could perceive, the natives are more accessi- 
lAt to gtraiigets, better informed, and blendii^ 
iqoTe cordifdly amoi^ themselves. Such, at 
least, is the appearance to a visitor. Among 
the better dasses there is little entertainment 
given, owing, Ho doubt, to the causes of depres- 
sion that affect all parts of the repubUc. But 
the negroes dance with much zeal every Sunday 
within the walls. What they do in this way in 
other places azid at other seasons I cannot de* 
scribe. 

On the road to limbe, and on the heights over 
the town, in different directions there are seve- 
ral pretty country-houses, in which the re- 
freeing Luence of the sea-breeze is felt from 
Seven o'clock every morning. In the former 
direction there are two handsome residences, of 
stone, one of which belongs to an English mer- 
chant, and the other was vacant. In the time 
of Christophe tins was a sort of club-house for 
foreigners, beyond which they were not allowed 
to go without passports. 

At the entrance of the town there is a public 
walk planted with rows of trees, called " La 
Fossette,'' at one comer of which is the small 
burying-ground to which Toussaint is said to 
have looked with much anxiety, as the destined 
asylum of Le Clerc's army. At ai;iother spot 



156 NOTES ON HAITI. 

is a small theatre, which Christophe caused i0 
be erected in sooie incredibly short time by 
some German artificers, to prove how promptly 
his wishes could be realized. 

Trade is carried on as elsewhere in the re- 
public ; but there appeared to me more activity 
and a greater variety of shops than in Port-au- 
Prince, 

Colonel Baeker, who had served in the 
French fleet at the battle of Trafalgar, is the 
administrator of the finance department, and 
was obliging enough to take me througl^ the 
several branches of his office^ all of which pre- 
sent a clearness of movement which it would 
be well to imitate elsewhere. He also con- 
ducted me to the large military hospital, the 
barracks, and national school, now taught by 
a young mulatto, M. Papillon, who had been 
educated by Mr. GulHfer, in the school esta- 
tablished by Christophe. An examination of 
the pupils in French, English, grammar, and 
arithmetic, took place in my presence,, and the 
eager anxiety of all the boys (between thirty 
and fi^rty) showed that the teacher had suc- 
ceeded in establishing the best ground of suc- 
cess — a spirit of emulation. One little mulatto 
boy was particularly acute, to the apparent 
discomfiture of a little black fellow, whose zeal 



CHRISTOPHERS EXECUTIONER. 157 

fkr exceeded his ability. Upon the whole, 
however, talent appeared pretty equal among 
the castes. 

There was a newspaper, which died a natural 

death, and there is still a printing-press. 

. Among the other things to which a stran- 

/ger's attention is called, is a savage ruffian-like 

/ black many (named Grattie,) who labours as a 

I porter. He" walks about bare-footed, dressed 

i in a Bnen shirt and trowsers, with a large beard, 

I and his eyes fixed on the ground. This fellow 

i was Christophe's chief executioner, of whom it 

' is told that, when directed to perform the duties 

of his office, he invariably waited on the rela- 

I tives of his victim and demanded a fee, in 

' proportion to which he inflicted more or less tor- 

' ture on the unhappy suffisrer. He had attained 

from practice such an unenviable dexterity in 

decapitation, that for a proper remuneration 

he could with his sabre remove the head at one 

stroke, and by the instant prostration of the 

trunk avoid staining the collar with blood. At 

least such is the tale told, when, shuddering lit 

his ill-omened countenance, he is pointed out 

by those who remember him in all his glory 

and iniquity. I repeatedly saw him, but always 

alone. Yet I was told that he earned a decent 

livelihood as a porter among the foreigner. It 



158 NOTBS ON HAITI. 

18 a matter of smprise that he should still Ii?e 
in the scene of his atrocities, in the midst of 
nmnberless indiyiduals, who have been by his 
hand bereft of some of their nearest and most 
valued ties. It speaks well for the people. 

Besides this odious vestige of Christophe, 
there are others of a more agreeable kind^ in 
individuals who had been educated at his insti- 
tutions. ■ I found education among the blacks 
much more general than I had previously deen ; 
and remarked with surprise that all who had 
completed their studies before 1820, or very 
toon after, spoke a little .English. The indivi** 
dual who made the sketches which are en7 
graved in these volumes, is a native Haitian, 
who owed all his instruction to the institutions 
of the king. 

The recent death of Henry Christophe, and 
the existence of many of his chief officers, af-- 
forded me an opportunity of making* many 
researches into his personal character, and the 
history of his reign, which was confirmed l^ 
some intelligent foreigners ; and as I am not 
aware of any very feithful record of either, I 
shall note such matters as may be interestii^. 
I had hoped to have seen Dupuy and Prevost, 
his principal officers, but the one died before 
and the other very shortly after, my arrival ; 



filSTOItY OF CHEISTOPHE. 160 

this loss, however, was in a great measure ob- 
viated by my iiaying had access to the personal 
associates of both, and to the confidential cor- 
respondence between Sans Soud and the Cape 
fior many yeal^y and from them some curious 
materials have been obtained. 

Henry(^Christophe was bom, according to an 
offidal account sanctioned by himself, in the 
island of Grenada, in the year 1769, and 
came at an early age to St. Domingo. He was 
not a pure black, but a sambo or griffe, as it is 
called. He was thei slave of a French gentle- 
nmn^ whose daughter resided there when I was 
at the Cape, to whom the former domestic was 
kind and attentive in his prosperity. He' after- 
wards became a waiter at an hotel, then priva- 
teer's-man) and then returned to an hotel and 
gaming-house. *^ It does ^ not appear when he 
entered the army ; but in 1801 he was general 
of brigade and governor of the Cape. He dis- 
tinguished himself on the arrival of the French 
expedition, first in his negotiations with Le 
Clerc, and second, by filling his house, richly 
furnished, with combustibles, and setting fire to 
it, as a signal for the conflagration of the whole 
city. Before Toussaint submitted, Chriistophe 
had yielded to French ascendancy, and served 
for some time, but afterwards joined the bands 



160 KOTES ON HAITI. 

that were roused to revolt by the unsparing 
atrocities of Rochambeau, whose memory has 
an unenviable celebrity in every part of Haiti. 
On the expulsion of the relics of that corps in 
1803^ Christophefwas one of the ofEcers that 
signed the act of independence^ and although 
he served under Dessalines, he is reported to 
have entered into a confederacy which led to 
the assassination of the Emperor Jacques I. at 
Pont Rouge. That, however, is resolutely de- 
nied by his partisans. 

The death of Dessalines was the signal for 
intrigue ; and Christophe, having failed in ob- 
taining the wished-for ascendancy over the 
whole, retired to the Cape in the beginmng of 
1807, and was proclaimed president and gene- 
ralissimo of Haiti. < On the 28th of March, 
1811, he was elected king,; under the title of 
Henry I. The act called *^ La loi constitution- 
nelle du Conseil d'etat, qui ^tablit la royaut^ 
k Haiti," completely established llie feudal 
law. 

With the succession of public events it is 
not my intention now to meddle ; but rather 
to confine myself to such anecdotes as are cha- 
racteristic of the man. 

During his presidency, and the early part of 
bis reign, he wais mild, forbearing, and humane ,* 



GOOD HUMOUR OF. KING HENRY. 161 

but afterwards his nature seemed to have been 
completely changed, and he indulged in what- 
ever his uncontrolled passions suggested — and 
they suggested almost every act that can violate 
the charities of life ; and as he proceeded in 
his career, he became suspicious and wantonly 
cruel. 

He was( destitute of even the elements of 
education, aiyl scrawled a signature mechani- 
cally''^ without knowing a single letter. He 
however understood English as well as French, 
and possessed a rare memory as well as acute* 
ness. Yet he never would speak the former 
when engaged in discussions with the British, 
by which means he had leisure to consider the 
topic which his interpreter was translating, 
and had at the same time an opportunity of 
determining the fidelity of that officer. A ludi- 
crous story is told of an American captain, who 
had been brought before him for some viola- 
tion of law, and who, indignant at the rating he 
received, and ignorant of his Majesty's accom- 
plishments, muttered to himself a wish that he 
had the sable king at Charleston. Henry 
quietly asked him, " How much do you think I 
should fetch ? '' The offender was dismissed, 

* See note. (A) in Appendix, 



162 - NOTES OH HAITI. 

nor do I believe that any fuiiher notice was 
taken of his irreverent remc^k. 

All his acts were not equally marked by the 
kingly virtue of mercy, his want of which 
began to be felt after he assumed the monarchy ; 
(or although he had aU the semblance of a 
constitution, he - was practically a thorough 
despot, dictating to the puppets, who appeared 
to those at a distance to act independently* 
On his> return from his last imsuccessiul 
attempt on Port-au-Prince in 1812, some busy 
meddler told him, that the women of colour had 
gone to the cathedral to implore Heaven to 
prevent his return. This was sufficient ; bands 
of sanguinary ruffians proceeded from house to 
house of those destined for slaughter,* in the 
dead of the night, and massacred, without 
remorse, an immense number of these hapless 
beings. Indeed it is reported that, on an order 
for the indiscriminate murder of all the people 
of colour, even the sanctities of domestic Ufe 
were violated;, and I have sat at the same 
table with a black general, who I beUeve to 
have put to death, with his own hands, his 
coloured wife and children, in order to satiate 



* There can be no doabt of thisj from the tentiinony of 
•ye-witnesses now at Cape Haitian I 



BRUTAL CONDUCT OF KINO HENRY. 168 

Mis master's thirst forblood. But eren that did 
not secure him ^m outrage, for in a fit of 
passion, he did him the favour to knock out 
one of his eyes." 

lie also assassinated some German officers, 
who had been allured by his promises to erect 
fb^fications, under some vt^e pretence of 
treason ; but th^ real motive was to prevent the 
exposure of hid defences.* 

Whatever may have been the motived of his 
early career, those of his latter life, if we can 
judge from his conduct, were to obtain uncon- 
trolled power, and the most perfect indulgence 
of all his inclinations, however improper and 
licentious. I was told by a person who wit- 
nessed the transaction, that having detected one 
of his servants iat Sans Souci stealing a very 
small quantity of salt fish, he ordered him to 
be laid down in his presence, in the kitchen, 
and the man was literally scourged to d^ath, 
and all entreaty sternly rejected. His majesty 
then went to breakfast with as much composure 
as if he had been performing a very ordinary 
act. 

I had in my possession a copy of the 
sentence of a court on a man who had been 

* See Appendix (B») 



164 NOTES ON HAITI. 

convicted of robbery, with the mandate ef 
the king to cany it into effect within twenty- 
four hours. This gentle punishment was to 
scourge the convict to death with rods. 

An English resident, named Davidson^ fell 
under his suspicion as a spy : he was arrested, 
confined, and was even tortured. At the in- 
stance of all the foreigners he was released, but 
compelled to quit the country at considerable 
loss. A part of the correspondence between 
Christophe and Dupuy, which will also be 
found in a note,t will give the best history of 
a transaction which has rarely been equalled 
in the annals of cruelty and duplicity. 

His indulgences are described to have been 
of the most abandoned description. /He ad- 
dicted himself to brandy, which added fuel 
to his naturally ungovernable passions; and 
though, to gratify. his European friends, he* 
insisted on marriage, and set the example in 
his own person, yet he habitually broke its 
ties ;/and the palace acquired a title to a very 
degrading designation. It is recorded that] 
the ladies attended there in regular rotation] 
to abide the will of their despotic chief; and| 
not one solitary Lucretia has been immortal- 
ized. 

t See Note (D.) 



Jr 



LICENTIOUSNESS OF KING HENRY. 165 

Among his other deeds, he was devoted to a 
female of colour, the wife of one of his officers, 
who, even when I saw her, justified her pre- 
tensions to beauty and grace. In order to 
have undisturbed possession of the lady, he 
voted the husband mad, and consigned him 
for a long time to a mad-house. Sated, how- 
ever, with the charms he had so ardently 
coveted, he discovered that their possessor 
was an improper .character, and, above all, 
that she had *^ une mauvaise langue.'^ He then 
ordered her to go in procession to the '^ Maison 
des Fous, with drums and trumpets sounding," 
to take out her husband, and to restore hiiti 
to his connubial rights;* and though these 
violations of decency were public, yet no one 
dared to report them in Europe, such being 
the vigilance of his police, and such his 
dreaded severity. 

His archbishops (two) were privately taken 
off; and so was Medina, the French agent. 
In short, the dagger and the cord were un* 
sparingly used, and occasionally the poisoned 
chalice took off an unsuspecting victim, whom 
it would have- been imprudent to have sacri- 

L ' 

* See Note (E.) 



166 NOTES ON HAITI. 

fioed more openly. But though I consider it 
more than probable that such statements are 
correct, yet as they may have been exagge- 
ratedy I do not relate them with the same 
confidence that I have felt in such details as 
are supported by documents. 

In the midst of all this brutality, Christophe h^ 
was intent on exalting the conditicm of his p 
kingdom ; although his personal gratifies- \k 
tions were probably the mainsprings of his m 
action. He was the principal dealer in the li 
country; ajid some English merchants, who |« 
had had extensive transactions with him, have U 
described him to me as singularly well in- \i 
formed on all matters connected with this It 
tomch of his business. To promote the civi- 
lization of his subjects, he assembled men of 
talent, even from Europe, established schools, 
built fortifications, disciplined his army, 
formed courts for the administration of justice, 
encouraged commerce and agriculture, and 
undoubtedly promoted activity and enterprise. 
But the monarch was sullied with remorseless 
cruelty. As an ignorant untaught man, he may 
be considered one of those phenomena that oc- 
casionally excite attention, but leave scarcely 
any beneficial trace behind. He seems to 



CHAR^CTBA OF KING HENRY. 167 



•have posaessed a rare degree of native acute^ 
ness, activity, intrepidily, and the art of com^ 
manding the respect of those around him. 
These qualities, however, united with his 
absolute.ignorance, were disadvantageous, as, 
while they made him thoroughly master of 
one view of a subject, he was blind to every 
other; and thus knowing nothing of the 
almost imperceptible degrees by which alonb 
civilization can be rendered permanent, be 
attempted to carry his object by storm, and 

i succeeded, until bodily infirmity convinced his 

[ barbarians that he was mortal. With ^11 his 

/Strength of mind, he could not resist the 

[ temptation of encouraging a belief that he 

was .protected by a tutelary demon, who 

I would have instantly avenged any insult 

offered to him. It is also said that he had 
great faith in Obeah^ With all his atrocities 
he was an affectionate father, and endeavoured 

^ to place his children above himself in mental 

cukure. 

Towards the close of his reign his cruelty 
became dreadful. He buffeted his generals — 

I beat the governor of the Cape, Richard, witfi 

a huge stick whenever he displeased him — de- 
graded generals to the rank of private soldiers — 



Y 



168 NOTES ON HAITI. 

sent his ministers to labour on the fortifica- 
tions ; * and, above all, kept his soldiers in 
arrear of their pay froxa extraordinary avarice. 
A fit of apoplexy gave confidence to the dis- 
satisfied, and revolt broke out, and terminated, 
as is well known, in the destruction of the mo- 
narchy. 

On the shore of Petite Anse, immediately 
below high-water mark, the remains of coffins 
are exposed to the view of the passenger. On 
inquiry, I was told that they contained the 
bodies- of the Haitians who underwent the 
'^ Noyade" under Le Clerc and Rochambeau ; 
diat there was a vessel, with an open bottom, 
into which were consigned the unfortunate 
wretches who were doomed to death, that 
sailed every night with the land breeze, and 
returned the following day with the sea breeze, 
having disposed of her cargo; that, with the 
tide, the bodies that escaped the voracity of 
the sharks were cast on shore ; and it was a 
part of the duty of the Haitian soldiers to 
collect and inter the bodies of their fiiends. 
The statement may be true, but I suspect that 
in such a climate twenty-four years would not 

* See Appendix (F.) 



S.ANS SOUCI — CITADEL. 1^ 

leave even the miserable vestiges of co£Biis that 
were visible. I rather Suspect that some old 
burying-ground has been exposed. 

The President Boyer narrowly escaped this- 
fate, through the intercession of the French 
general Boye, who is, I have understood, now 
in Egypt ; and similar tales are rumoured in 
every part of Haiti, with circumstances of agi 
gravation, that it is unnecessary, without full 
evidence, to repeat, I am, however, inclined to 
give credit to the atrocity, though I doubt its 
connerion of the fact on which the statement 
I received was founded. The French have left 
tiiere, as well as in Germany, Spain, and Por- 
tugal,, fearful records ; yet whenever they again 
appear, a veil of oblivion is readily thrown 
over the past. 

30th March. — As a matter not to be omitted, 
I formed a party to visit the ruins of Sans Souci, 
or MiUot, the former residence of Christophe, 
in the time of his greatest splendour, and thd 
" Citadelle Henri," or " La Ferriere,'* which is 
only three leagues from the palace; and, as a 
piermission fcom the authorities^ at the Cape is 
necessary for so doing, I applied to the conunan^ 
dant General Leo, in the absence of General 
Magny, and he very readily granted it, direct- 
VOL. I. . n 



170 JTQTES ON HAITU 

iugp at the same time, one oi Jtus aidee^p* 
camp, Captain Emile, to. accpippany .uau . ^ 

Sans Souci is oa the4(0)itbera coofio^ of tlj^ 
plaia of the noHih, aod the dii^tcict of LiD[^ona4e^ 
which gare the title of duke to Chris^top^'is 
foreign secretary General Pxevqst^. W^itr^- 
relied over a tcderaUy gopd iTpad^ thr<»i^h^t})ie 
nuns of si)gar plantations^pf) one ,of whif^h 44^ 
{date givea a very accumte repres^nt^tip^ . .;:i , 

We stopped at the Tiltage <>f.}{^}\\ot^,^^fL 
small house, where stiai^gers are ahle tQ proQiffE^ 
refreshment, aoid having 1;^epji;&sted, w/^ /paid i 
our respects toColoneli^Belair, the oQmm&iM^^ | 
a black oi]^cer, who had be^n on guard* fLtr^the| 
palaee at the jtime qf CbricitQplve's. suicide* tjSe! 
also accovapanied. us, to. nmt the r remaiui^KOl ^ 
place in which^ I.belieye, for.^^tiu^^iucffe u^}^' 
imted despotism hM been je^er^ised )^w^ hsm 1 
ever prevailed in any country aspiring to^C^biiSh \ 
tianity and civilization, Itiisa laig^ i^lnio^ i 
building on the side o£.a ^mountain, resejxibling^ : 
a huge cotton factory^ The accompanying vie^r 
is toleraWy correct. We ascended through, the 
gateway up a spacious flight of steps^< whiQhf 
^e pretty well expressed in the engit^^wg/ 
and then passed through a series of ampfe 
apartments^ all now dismantled, but the. usefil : 
of which wece well rememl^ered by o^r ^o^tit 



PALACE — ^tTrsI?R:aECTIO'K OF 1820, 171 

AmUot. Some were destined fof flie reception 
:«of treaanr^y some were pmate, others public 
l^aWmeWa ; otIt<^tB 'W€re oortipied by the mili- 
l^l^f^ iaud ferril fhmeiioAati^. The'floors, which 
|hM been 6f tnahogany/had all been torn up. 
|l Vifjite^ with'partictllar itkterc^t the bed-cham- 
iberof 'C7hristoi[)he/i]i which he had termin&ted 
liis Kfe ^ atad aft I heard most of the details at 
the tiiA^ of this vii^t; I shall give them in this 
pltee^' althoiigh some p^rticitilars may appear 
Hiat have been gleanfed at other periods. 
* ;^SffKen the royal army, which had been sent 
yiftder the Prinbe de limb^ to repress the in- 
/ dtfrrectlbn at St. Marie's, had declared in favoiir 
f dfthe reVrfntion, some' dissatisfied ehiefsj among 
whom 'Wcire- the* Qoverftof of the capital 'arid 
(}6nerali» No^d aJid Prdfetei excited the garriison 
i t0' revolt against 4Ienry, who at that time was 
! iabonring ^di&r a partial paralysis^' On the 
ftewd j^sfehlhgSans Soud, he, with accustomed 
|«riergy, by the use of stimulants, enabled him- 
.' self -to mount his horse, for the purpose of 
pladiig himsdf at the head of his household 
tjro0pS) who still appeared to remain faithful. 
'Sut disease had made too extensive inroads to 
ba resisted, and he was compelled to aban^ 
^Qsn his intentions. This was a complete death- 
Wow to his power^ His presence alone would 



172 KOTB9 OH HAITI. 

have been a host. Resistance^ boweyeir, wvi 
neoessaiyy and he confided the coinmand to hui 
friend and relation^ Prince Joachim^ retaining 
only 4he few guards required for duty at the 
nalace* 

The little army consisted of the etite of Haitii 
but had been a little mutinous, in oonsequeaoe 
of their pay having fallen into arrear, owing tp 
0. foolish niggardlix^ss that latterly influenced 
their chief. In order to restore a pcoper iom 
of feeling, the arr^rs were paid and a dona? 
lion giyen, and they comnxenced thejyr work 
with p«>bably the eame integrity of purpow 
that prompted If ey to pledge himself to brin^ 
his former master in a cage of iron. On arriving 
fit a well-4inoiwu place called '^.Qaut du Cap/' 
they found the insurgents in position. A par* 
ley havuig failed, Jfoachim orderied hi& trpop* 
to^ fire ; l>ut, instead of doing so, they joined 
ike ranks of their opponents, and commenced 
a fiiiEe on their late generinl, and some fe;v indi« 
viduals who ;cetained their fidelity. Flight was 
their only resource, aod I have the details 
tfom one of Christophe's secretaries, who 
shared in the disgraces of the day, and could 
sing of his '^ parmula non bene relicta,'' He 
was the first to reach Sans Souci, and to .com- 
i$uiiicate them. He found Christoph^, wh6. 



ftiCd been calmly didcnssing' with his medical 
Mviser (the late Dr. Stfewart^ a Scotch pfay^^ 
nciaH; who^had been long hid confidential at^ 
tehdant) the most yulnetable parts of the hn^ 
man frame. The disastrous intelligence was 
privately giVen to him, and he tiien communis 
cated it tt^fiis family^ whdm he desired to leav« 
him alone/that he might meditate on the best 
, confse' td be adopted in tiie emergency. So 
^ perfectly calm did he appear that no apprehen- 
sion w^s excited of his purpose. One of hitf 
/ attendants^ on hearing him lock his bed-cham- 
/ ber door,* looked through the key-hole to ascer^ 
laih What was going on, ^nd he sdw the king 
apparently adju^ng himself in' an arm-chair^ 
\ and immediately discharging one pistol through 
\iits head and attother through his hearlf, Jie fell 
*bkck*dead before any alarm could be giv^n* 
This happened about ten o'clock, on the night 
of the 20th of October, 1820, and terminated 
the life of ^ remarkable man, whose career 
exhibits Extraordinary changes, singularly op* 
^osed traits of character, and proves how much 
rafay be eflfected by uncultivated talent, white 
it marks th^ insecurity of trusting a -barbaric 
tnind with excessive power- 
' .The. rapid approach of the insurgent troops 



174 'HOtES ON ftAtTf. 

teodertA H nedeasarf to iemov% his body, lerit 

it should ht txpoBtd' to the hmtal insoUft of a 

ruffian soldiery ; and the performance of thiftaot 

wzi tihe last pfoof 4hat could he «0brded o£ the 

devotion of Dupuy tsA Prevotft, who personally 

assisted in eokiTeying ixm remains, to tfae'4[St&<^ 

ddle Hel&riy trkere it was habtily intenttdi. .i. 

The faimly of the d^oeafied; lung, cKHi^ting 

of bis IvidoWy two daughters, and his sen, ^fspo* 

6eedled to the Cape^ and placed thesBfifilTas 

tinder the proteetioii of Some of the rerdliitiiMft* 

ary leaders. -They were all tieated^ at (fiest» 

Wtth respect, and ^the females ireoe ' plaesd^ m 

safety. TW Pl^ce Eofal, and Us brother ti^ 

^Buke de Mele^ ^Lmtoeal isdn^^oi limryy MaA 

'Prmee Joacliita, wefe ^v^ntnally lodged iobAlt 

^pMson; wh^re, in the desd of night, they wseie 

basdy mtndered- by the^ governor of ^the> Gojm, 

Ifichard Buke of Mannaladc^' (who was alter-* 

wards shot lor treason at iPortHaotPnu(Ktfi,)L at 

^tfae moment that General Noiai was nsktexeedii]^ 

forthfe youthfel jmficew 

' The riew from the palace' towatodsi thoiseaik , 
escceedingly fine, strett^tng over the plain of ' 
the north to the-iity of the Cape« . Behind ' 
there is a terraced garden, filled wi& 



ti^ees t>f different kinds, and adsarabljiisiip- 



• • , ^ . ii.f 



jf^d tvitll water, in . which Urn feiwdei of 
Cfark^ophe's finntty are mi to h^^ «pept mwb 

i>ilii.tiie court th^a* ita^fii^ ^tar.appler 
txta, mil^ fteate.acoimd U0:tnuik| under whicbj 
iaigiKMl Widather, Ohiiatophe beM bis iev^tjU 
and iiL' the' coacbJiduiaa we . fiMud the; XQyal 
Bsrai^es- wholly .vafit finr u§e. Indeed Jiii 
deaithuee^na tOi. have, been th^ sigml tor de^ 
atru«ti4m; for «iwn the gnprd-hooBeii and the 
hMfieain.theiTiUage £>rhWo0hiUty, aseqinite 
dismantled^ . The only building that baa the 
ipeiiiUanceiof. being kept np.iAithQ cbnrch, <^ 
nK>f of wbiebi ia.a cnpola* . Abb4 JBiessoa offlit 
Mstesr dietey<aQd pcaflide^i over % coU^e t^ 
*hssd been Juat aet. on. fool>. lor the formation ^ 
namatiottal id^rgy. How tbia is to be done 
.«4tb<>nftlthfi^Gonciinreiie«; of the pope^ I do not 
'know^ imlaaa ■. the augge^tion of. a vexy in* 
^fluenlaiL nasfi^in 'Haiti* to. xf^e be adf4>tedji 9^ 
iffiififsamng wsfeli^M mtaUe tot thexht^racffiT of 
the people.'^ In such a c^^e, the pr^ident of 
^^tbenew imwersdty may be no bad Mahomet; 
^ fertt is confidently asserted that he is a lienJb^ 
oant^in tho French naTy» and that his pri^« 

bnod IS' quite imaginary t 

/ . Ai^ dus visit we ascended^ by a rngg§d 

and ^ep road, about one league and a half, to 



176 •NOTES ON HAITI. 

m small €<^e plantation occupied by Mr» 
Laroehe^ a partner in an English house at the 
Cape. There we breakfasted, and rested* dnr* 
ing the heat of the day ; and in the afternoon 
commenced our journey to La Ferriere, ot the 
Citadel. We ascended neafly a league and 'a ' 
half over a narrow paved road, at times over- ' 
hanging considerable precipices, and at last \ 
arrived at this mo^mnent of barbaric potirer — It-' 
is situated' at the extremity of a mountain range 
bf considerable elevation, which runs nearly 
north and south, and is a huge ungainly pile, ri- 
valling, in my imagiimtion, the tower of Babel, 
both in point of utility and extents As far as I . 
t;buld see^ it has three tiers of guns oa evtery 
side, and there is infinite accommodation for a 
large garrison, aiid it is said for three years' pro* 
visions, with a profusion of water. The walld 
lire prodigiously thickl; but on one ade the use 
of the plummet must have been sadly neglected, 
as Aey literally bulge out. /Within: the walls 
ther^ is a palace^ and complete plans of lieca- 
rity for the royal household, as well as fot iske 
reception of treasure. We also saw the marble 
tomb of Prince Noel^ the queen's brother^ who 
was killed by the lightning that destroyed a 
portion of the fortress, and scattered about 
some of the hoarded dollars. .But I cazuu^t 



PREJUDfbBS OP THE OFFICERS. tH't 

pretend to give anytfaing lil^e a desckipttoa of 
die buildings ; for tfa^e was eyidehtly a vaiit 
suspieiM* -on the part of Belair and the other 
black officers, trabied in Ae scbocd of ChriflH 
tbpbe, who never adinitted anj foreigners 
wttinn the isacred precincts. He laid hold of 
my haftd under the pretext of guiding, bnk it 
was evident that his object was to prevent any 
Hecurate exftminaition ; and from being hurried 
ftom pointi to point, my diwervations became 
<!onfii6ed. Several^^ircaniBtances occurred whMi 
confirmed my belief* In order to ascertain the 
heif^t, I had with me one <rf Carey's very €fx- 
oeilent portaMe 'barometers, which I requested 
permission to use, having fully explained the 
object, whseh coidd be in no way injurious to 
any one ; but it was refiised, and the aide-de- 
4^amp with vm^ ahbough he felt the folly, was 
abliged to acquiesce. I had a similar refusal 
vfaoi I wi^ed to take -the bearings of the Ckipe 
with an azimu4!h compass ; and I have little 
doubt that some magical influence was ascribed 
by the eld barbarians to the instrumaits; 
' Notwithstandiog alibis foHy, I was strongly 
afected by the deep fedii^ displayed by these 
old men, whenev^ their former chief or his 
iiistitutions were the subject of conversation. 
They never mentioned hb namci but emphatic- 



179 I^OTEa ON HAITI, 

qajliy; ypaJUed im " I'howw," or " Jc rol" \ I 
^hfiU jioi . 40W A^rget th^. mam^ m whicK 
nj ewdttctoK gi^q)^ my band, mhea we ha4 
laached Uie Gtiamber iu which the rei^aiii^ ,of 
Qbiistophe ireppseK por. the.maiuier in whiich< 
l|e poi^vted out the.«pot where hi4 wicoffifn^^ 
r^maiAS haye thmi laat reating-pl^ce* A«»oQg. 
oduur aofodotea that are treaamed cespe^i^ti^g, 
hisb one of them mentioned that i^ler the in^ 
tennent it waA diaooYered that hia right hand 
was extended above the sorfacey aaif ia.der* 
fiaoce of hiaiififiQmieB^ 

Over the gvavB .#ome plasJss are placed 
aprpaa the tranaveyse bi$ani8> which hare never 
been boerded^ under which two. of owpapty 
rather indUcieetly went, and were pursued < 
with extraordinary aJacriity by one of tb^ 
officers and two of his men. I aj^ehend 
that aome violation of the grave waa feaied»'< 
f^r aome angry Creole discusaion took, place^ 
and gat last the ire waa aaaiii^ed* 

In return for the privation of all opportunil^* 
of acc\urate observation, many wondrous talea 
were recounted ; such aa that the lung wished 
to try the range of a gun, and seeing, a fisher^ 
man carrying a basket at the ^' Haut du Cap/' 
at least nine miles off in a straight line, he. 
fired at and cut the mau in two» On another 



( 



MCftsioh, to Aow tltat the gutis cotmiMifidcd 
ft certaiii part 6f the ro&d, he ordered a shot 
to be fired at a horseman just it the angfey 
which wad done^ and both man and horse %pert 
killed. Such ^ta seemed to be reeounted 
wiA'SatiBfaetion^ as evidence of the powet of 
Hie sovereign. I was a!bo shown a pl^ tH 
wWeh a refm<5tory officer, « Cotmt d'Bnnery/' 
had been tortured to death, hj being fixed 
in a sittifttian in which water was ineeSsanUy 
drippmg' on his headi . r 

/-'TEis huge pile is said to contain three hun<^ 
dred 'pieces of airtillery, and the constntctioa 
cf it (which occupied many years) must hare 
c66t ahoiost inconceivable' labour^ The ma^ 
terittb fbr bufldingy and Hie artillery, were aH 
dflLgg^ by human hands ; for which/ in ad* 
(fitioti to th^ troops employed^ there were 
regular levies of the peasantry. In looking 
back Ht the precipices to be surmounted, I 
can easily believe that it cost the labom* of 
an entire regiment a whole day to drag up 
a'single thirty-two pounder. ' Neither age nor 
sex'was exempt from this duty, and the royal 
i)fficers were misparing in their exaction of 
labour,^! saw a young woman) at Gonaives, 
whose back was deeply whealed by a cow-skiH 
lipj^edto it by the general in command, when 



180 .. KOT£S on BAITI. 

employed in canying stones on ber head. The 
mortality was very great, and it is said that the 
severity of this service was one of the prin** 
cipal causes of the revolution.^ No doubt other 
cruelties and oppressions had their share.* 

I cannot suppose that die citadel was ever 
intended to be any thing else than a strongs- 
hold^ into which, in case of rebellion or invasion 
the chief might have retired ; and I believe 
^at such would have been the case, had he 
been in the enjoyment of his original vigoiff 
both of mind and body. All his disposable 
money was there hoarded, and it is said that 
at one time no less than thirty milhons of 
dollars were- collected. At the revolution it is 
calculated that about six millions found their 
way into the republican treasury. . There dire 
various surmises as to the remainder. 

At a short distance from the citadel stands 
a small palace called '^ Le Ramier," also built 
T)y Christophe, to which he occasionally re- 
tired. We did not visit it. 

The mist becoming very dense, and the cold 
severe, we descended; and, as is usual in 
Haiti, a few dollars were given to the colonel 
for the men, and he very quietly divided them 
between the officers and men. 

An instance occurred of the '' jactance '' of 



OCCUBBEKCES AT THE CITADEL. 181 

these people, when Captain Elliot of the 
Harlequin, who had accompanied me, uncon- 
scious of error, looked at some forbidden ob- 
ject. He was warned, and when, to assure 
them that he had no sinister design, he said, 
" n'ayez pas peur," the old gentlemen clapped 
their hands upon their swords, and uttered 
inconceivable nonsense, which was not termi- 
nated for some minutes. The division of th^ 
money had a most soothing influence, ahd 
restored the most perfect harmony; so that 
at the castle gate we shook hands with in* 
finite cordiality. 

On the way back to Mr. Laroche's, where 
we were to spend the night, I observed some 
clearing for coffee, which here as well in the 
other parts that I had seen, is the favourite ; 
but, generally speaking, the old coffee^trees 
in bearing were over-run with weeds. In 
short it seemed that, if they produced coffee, 
it was gathered ,• if they were unfruitful, no 
effort was made to render them otherwise. 



182 XOTBS OH HAITI. 



CHAPTER Vn. 



Viiit to Dondon and Grand Biviere— Abb^ de la Haye-^ 
Heportdd cave^Idola— Coifee-tr^ea in bloom^^Col. Mon* ' 
owdy^^Oetienl Kajar Jji BirUt^^HHtoiy^Aditmimbw 
:— Habitation GalUfetr— Eetnni to tba Capa — Quartiera Mo* ^ 
rin and Limonade— Breda — Duplat^^Brosaard — Actual con- 
dition^Departare for Spanish part — Intermediaire— Foii 
liberty—General Lacroiz — Butcbery by Jean Franfoia — ^' 
X. Mabu-^Aceoont ol Cbriatopbe'a syftm of agncnltnr^— 
Dopartare for Ouaiiaauntbfr<--Acoo«pt of H^-lMoirfM^^ 
Vega Real — GraziDg farm — Jacottba-»-£acalante — L'H6pital 
^— Mao— Sleeping in the wooda— River Yat^ni — ^Arrival at 
St.Iago* 

On the morning of tiie 31st, two of our 
party retraced their ateps to the Cape, while 
I and two others pursued our way round the 
base of the mountain range on which the cita- 
del is placed, to Dondon, so celebrated as '' La 
Vendee" of St. Domingo, in which the royalists, 
at the outset of the revolution, made their 
last struggle to uphold the rights of Loiufl 
XVI, The road is bad, but the valley of 



Dondoir is splendidly beautiful; and as the 
morning was mild, my enjoyment was, I may 
say, almost intense. The village is a miser- 
able one, with small signs of cultivation around 
it, and is more remarkable for what it has been 
than what it is. At the early period of the 
revolution, the Abbe de^ la Haye was the 
parish priest, and distinguished himself both 
as a naturalist and as an earnest advocate of 
the ^la^ye population* . He was probably cos^ 
stKuned /to beeome almoner to Jean Fran^dby 
and on being taken by the opposite party, was 
doomed to death, but escaped by the lemty 
of the commissioners. He thenceforward le- 
mailed m Haiti; but on the return of the 
Fr^dh in 1802, he was suspected of a bearing 
to his countrymen by his pupils, and murderM 
by them. 

After I had no means of examination, I 

he^d of a qave ^ said to have been formed by 

ith^ aboriginal inhabitants, on the waJUs of 

/w^(ih there are some rude sculptures^ I na- 

gr^ muQh having missed the opportunity of 

s^f^ifig them^k as I should have been glad k> 

have ascertained the resemblance, if any, to 

/Uuree uncouth idols which were found in that 

* See Appendix, Note (G.) 



]%4 KOTKft ON HAttt. ^ 

lieighbourhood, and given to me) by an Ehgltelv 
gentleman at the Cape. They ^e now in the 
British Museum^ where they were placed by 
the Earl of Aberdeen/ to whom, as the Presi- 
dent of the Society of Antiquaries, I had taken 
the liberty of sending them. After qtii<*ing 
Bondon, the surface became more varied, and 
we* passed through some beautiful mountain- 
scenery, which was Bt^rally covered with wiM- 
tfoffee-trees in full bloom, that were really wast- 
ing their fragrance in the desert air, there no* 
Beiftg k solitary trace of cultivation^^The desceftt 
firom Dondon to the arrondissement of'** Grande 
Riviere" is through a difficult mountain-gorge 
(fttlled *' Grandchile," in which Hardy's divi- 
sion, during the last French invasion, was 
rtearly annihilated by a small body of Haitians. 
On approaching Grand Rivifere, the road was 
^dently better ; on the confines of the dis- 
trict we Encountered Colonel Moncardy, (the 
<fi-devant grand carver of King Henry,) who 
had been seht out by the general commanding 
to receive and welcome me. He appeared a re- 
spectable, quiet man; and althoi:^h he was a 
ihulatto, and bore testimony to the barbarity of 
Ghristophe, I thought he felt some regret at the 
destruction of royalty. At a little distance we 
met the Genehd Kayer La Riviere in person, at- 



GENERAL KATEH LA BIVIERE. 186 

tended foy his staffs and the indispensabfe ec- 
eompaniments of trumpets and hoi^, which 
were duly exercised. 

As La Riyi^re was one of the most remarkable 
men I met in the rej^ublic, and as I have no^ 
tiling to say of him that can cause him pain, 
I have no hesitation in giving a short sketch of 
him, as derived chiefly from himself, and one 
(^ his most confidential friends. 

His father was a Frenchman, and he himself 
Was, I think, originally a hair-dresser. At the 
time of the revolution he became a soldier, and 
^fter Uie destruction of, the coloured party by 
Toussai&t> lj.e went to France, from which he re* 
turned with'^lie Clerc, as an officer on the staff 
of General Hardy. On the expulsion of the 
tefiinant of the army, he remained faithM, and 
accompanied Rochaidbeau. Along with other 
officers of his caste he was sent to Cornea, of 
which he spoke with unfeigned bitterness. An 
soon as escape was practicable, he effected it 
on. board an English privateer, on boaid of 
which he remained three months, and at last 
arrive in London without money or. friends. 
From this state of destitution he was relieved by 
Messrs. Stanifdrth and Blount, and the account 
of the old man of his pockets being picked of 
bis newly-acquired treasure was quite gr^hiot 



IM KOTftS OK HAITI, 

By the goad offices of Ae siom g^nUem^'liig 
jpade his way to Port'^ttiHPriiieey where he WBi 
loeeired with open armi^ by PetaoA, into whose 
Mmoe he entered, and was a]^p<^ted fo'QM 
eommaad of die Presideiftt's body-gnat^l. 

Soon after his arrival, he ftMmd that a Made 
officer ifi the serrice tyt Cfaristopbe, and in' &e 
aetual ccosunaad of a frontier p6Bt, who had 
been reared by his mother, and to whose t&re 
he had entrusted his two sisters on <fiiitting ^^ 
country, had treacherously miitdered'both:ftfi^ 
the sake of Iheir pro|)erty; He solicited Qi6 
Pl'esident^ leave to take a small body of inal 
to attack his enemy : this was reAided on ^ 
coast of the risk. Nothing daunted, Kaydr 
delected fiom his regiment some ikkbA on whMot 
he could depend, and by marching thrtmgh 
the woods, subsistbg on pArch6d ccofn, h^ -at 
last reached his destinaticm, at no gr^at distance 
from the Cape. He pv^ the sentry to death-^ 
Krtat boldly to the door of the commandtMi 
announcing himself as the bearer of disspatclMA 
from Henry — demanded admission, which lims 
granted. Having, placed his companions t6 
guard the door^ he presented himself to tte 
astounded commandant, and, after upbraidii^ 
hnn with his ingratitude and treachery, plunged 
a dagger to his heart. I believe he fiai^d bjr 



r 



GENERAL KAY«^ LA BIVIERE. 187 

ij^po^y hvA bis knowledge <)£ the coimlif 

l^mod ]^ i^ety to PorHiu-Priiice, where tlM 
bardihp^ of ibe deed secured tilie pvdqo of 

^.iPi^tbe.4^^ ef Cbmtopbe be we» named 
^ i^fmmBxyi»ti% of '^La GraAd Rm^re/' Hi 
Ib^ %iQi in a ^f!^ diatobed state. . He bad 
l^^o^.f^fewaedtbe c^^mmaad before a mu^ 
^g|y:it^]j^ .]^lloe among the (toldierjr. Twp ic^f 
lyti^ fi^l^adera livere $bQt^ and all wa& quiet* 
^J^j^^B^ling^ ,U)a bad thriven luunoleated ; L% 

J^^ od^t^3*e4 two oflfeixteir " flagrwte 
^|^t(>/Van4^bey. wer^ shot; b^prse^Btesdkig 
S^i^pQdHT,.ButjJte^jp^^l^^;e^ with pe(?»liar glee fua 
lldymtlire jwijjii.^ ]^la<;k axti}leiy-!n^fu^> \fb9 cioii^ 
f|l^^d ,^e oojcps JtQ \|i^hich.he belonged esempi 
$p$^T qrdipaij . la};K>m;.. A, bridge wa9 to b^ 
bu»^,and eyw ?^: f^^ on the roadwa* 
jb^fffe^^ed to^fix^ thia necessary work ; asROiig 
fl^^Syt tiie artil]j&ry-i»yan was seised. He i^ 
l^aed ^ bandle.bnck and n^iortar ; — ^be waa le4 
^ore the genera}^ to whom he, declared that be 
fr|::^ld prefer haidi^g bis head betweai bis £eety 
j^ gnbniittiDg.tp such d^^adation. K^yercallejl 
914 a file of men, ordered tbem to load^ saa4 
P9^9^, thdjT muskets ^to the bridge, wberei if 



IS8 NOTBS ON HAITI* 

he retained his predilectioiiSy he was to be iii- 
dtantly shot, and his head cut off aiid placed 
between his feet* A little reflection produced' 
a change of resolution, and he was ready to 
wcHrk. I smiled at this narration, and La Ri* 
viere thinking that I considered him jesting, 
looked grave, and seriously assured me, on 
his honour, that he should have done what he 
}HY>mised. Nor do I doubt that be would. 
■ The old general, in spite of his severity, is' 
just to the poor people around, tod I was please 
ed to hear the market-people (for it was mar* 
ket-day) addressing him as "papa,'' and all 
seemed content. The market was crowded with 
dealers in {uroduce, and with the 'hucksters 
from the Cape, who prefer dealing with the' 
people of Grande Riviere on account of thcSl^ 
greater wealth and honesty.' When ridih^* 
dbottt, I saw some old iron sugar-pans on ihii 
rHmd, which were used for the manufacture of 
the small quantity of indigo consumed in the 
di^rict, which was the only trace I saw of a' 
manufacture once of primary importance. 

We rode up to " L'Habitation GalUfet,'* oir 
which the negro insurrection began. The old 
avenue is still preserved, and the dwellihg 
house of stone is the only residence of an old 
proprietor that I saw in Haiti in a habitable 



r 



3 



PLANTATION GALLIVET. 180 

p^dition : even &e old back pftvemenV and 
clumps of orange trees remain. The site is 
prettjy on a gently rising eminence that over- 
looks the village. 

After partaking of the hospitality of th,e ge*- 
neral, and of his escort on the i^ay to the Cape, 
we parted from him, sincerely grateful for his 
attention^ aad gratified by the unequivocal de-^ 
light with which he recurred to the kindness 
of unknown EngUshmen to him. I should have 
mentioned that Gallifet, in common with nume* 
rous oth^ properties, belongs to the Presi- 
dent. 

On our way to the Cape, we passed as usual 
through the ruins of another period, and found 
the roads very tolerable, though not of a first- 
rate description. 

On the 1st of April the Harlequin left th^ 
Cape, and I was obliged to part from my bro- 
ther, whose health was too bad for him to atr 
tempt to pursue the journey I contemplated ; 
and from that time to the 15th of the same 
months I was employed in inquiries as to the 
points oBf which information was required from 
me. In the course of these researches, I visit*^ 
ed different points of the '* Quartiers Morin 
and limonade^'' which were formerly the most 
beautiful districts in the. north, emd even i^)W 



» - - : • 



IdO MOTtS ON HAITI. 

tttlbin evidence of iSieif fbnner splendou^. 'tfl 

aliftost every 'direction mined buildings are 

to be seen, and fteld^ formerly iiovered With 

canes, are now over-run with wiWGuiava 

trees. 

I visited Breda, to which ^Toussairit had been 

. . . I 

a slave, tod from which he took his first nam^ 

Toussaint Breda, and I found that although 

cultivation is not wholly abandoned, the biiildr 

inge are one heap of ruins. 

In the " Qtiartier Morin'* is the estate iJiir 
plat, which also belongs to the Pre^idenf. 
If formerly belonged to ChristOphe, and^ then 
yielded about four httndted thousMid^eight'ot 
sugar. 'At present it does not yield fifty 'thou^ 
sand pounds, whibh, for some cause or ptlier, 
I was told, were unsaleable, I saiw a'^oiit a 
doeen negroes at work • but there was deciaedify 
more chatter than labour. The overseer or " ge- 
WDftt" actually cbmplaifted to me of starvation. 
There were aboiit one hundred flour barrels of 
$ugar in store, which could not be sold,* 

But as my instructions had particularly ^ 
rected my attention to the estate Brossard, !t 
took' considerable pains to acquire some exact 
knowledge; and by the assistance of Mr. 
'niompson, the British vice-^consul at the Cape,' 
I obtained the substance of my report to the 



PLANTATION BB089ABD. 191 

government, which. ba8 bQeqi ptinted by tho 
order of the Honse of Commons ; ^and aa .thai 
49cument is not in every, on/e'a band, 1 yeotmrQ 
to transcribe it. i , 

'^ As might be inferred from the name, thia 
estate fonnerly belonged to M. Brossard, a 
French colonist^ whose dai^hter majrried M« 
Beaumont^ another Frenchmaji« This posoii 
became the partner of the black gien^ral Richard, 
afterwards Duke de Mairoalade ; and, upon the 
de$^ of the former, the whole was vested in 
the survivor. 

^ ^- In Christophe's reign, Richard, who wa« 
^ o^arshal of JEIaiti, and goverc^t^ of the C^fie, 
collected about one hundred labourers, who 
wer^ attached to the soil, . The- produce was, it 
if said^/rom three hundred thousand to fouf 
h^d^ed . thousand. French poundi of sugar |> 
but po, statements cojald be furnished of any ona. 
year. The average may be distrusted, on ^^^ 
qount of its vagueness and its excessive amoamti 
as compu-ed with the number of labourerSt 
After ,Christophe's death in 1820^ the general 
i^axation (which I was assured by a native 
officer of rank to have been perfect in thr^^ 
numih9) affected Brossard in common with^ 
all other properties ; so that by 1822, wheii> 



198 NOTBS ON HAITI. 

Richard was executed lor a conspiracy agutostt 
the republic, it was entirely abandoned. In, 
1824 Madame Richardj^ to whom the suecesBioa 
devolved, let it to Colonel Neri, who had nc^ 
time to renew the cultivation before he was 
ordered to the city of Santo Domingo vdth his re- 
griment. On his return in 1825, he found the 
cultivation entirely neglected ; and about eleven 
months ago (April 1827), two years after his 
return, he had succeeded in collecting eleven 
persons as labourers, and intended to plant a 
piece of canes. The rent paid at present L 
could not learn ; from which I infer that it is, 
as I know it to be elsewhere, merely nominaL" 
Rep. p. 90. 91. 

The general result of my inquiries was, that? 
some few of the properties which were in 
activity in Christophers time, were kept up for 
making syrup, which was mainly converted into 
ta£a!. The actual quantities I coold not then; 
ascertain, though I did so at a subsequeat 
period. ^ 

I may here remark, that although I fre- 
quently asked for sugar, the produce of the 
country, I saw nojae except that of Duplat. Yet 
it is asserted that large quantities are shipped 
coastways to Jeremie, Caye^, and other places* 



r 



DEPARTURE FROM THE CAPE. 193 

I suspect the fnith to be, that sugar raised at 
kome costs more than the smuggler, with his 
iluiiierous tricks, can import it for. 

In a preceding part of my Notes I have given 
all that I actually collected, wiliiout reference 
to time and place, with respect to the Cape, 
its revolutions, and its most distinguished 
fulers.' Nothing, therefore, remains for me to 
do but to pursue the narrative of my journey. 
>^aving ascertained that there was a carriage 
vo^d as &r as St. lago, and being willing to 
avoid the sUn as much as possible, as well 
as to give security to my books and papers, I 

( purchased a dmall cabriolet drawn by three 
horses); and to have a fair trial of it before 
matching it with riding*>horses and baggi^* 
mules, I left the city at seven o'clock, and 
erosaed the ferry at Petite-Anse. Near Du- 
phtt, my carriage and three horses ('stuck in 

^flie slougli^and my driver was obliged to 
\ekigage iive dancing negroes) from Duplat, 
' alreadyiRentioned/to extricate us. This they 
,^did, and then earned my companion and 
myself on their shoulders across the imprac* 
ticable passage. Owing to this deteiition, we 
did not reach Dluclaireau,(a sugar-farm, until 

/eleven at night; when, by reiterated noises, 

VOL. I. I 






194 NOTES ON HAITI. 

we roused an old woman and a cock-eyed 
fellow out of bed. They furnished a light, by / 
which we devoured a roast-fowl which I had ] 
provided, and swallowed some claret, which I \ 
had also secured ; so that, in spite of these / 
quarters, and a vile bed, I slept like a top.^ 

On the 16th we proceeded to L'Intermediaire, 
cinievant Henry, formerly one of Christophe's 
country-seats and sugar estates, over an in- 
different road and through an uncultivated 
country. L'Intermediare now belongs to the 
state, though I suspect it does not contribute 
very largely to its exigencies. 

The house is large, but most unkingly in 
appearance, being rather that of a' barrack than* 
a palace. It is ill-arranged, with abundance of' 
space for attendants. There was a larger quan- 
tity of canes in cultivation than I had else- 
where remarked, and the mill and works were 
in very good order. I could learn nothing of 
the produce. After some parley with an old 
black lady, I succeeded in inducing heTto pro- 
duce a fowl and some plantains, and by the 
time that they were ready the baggage came" 
up; so that after a short rest for the animals,* 
we were on our way to Fort' Liberte, formerly 
Fort Dauphin, and Fort Republicain, and in still 
more ancient titnes, Bayaha, which we reached 



ARRIVAL AT FORT LIBBRTE. 196 

after dark^ having passed several abandoned 
properties ; the country being, as usual, covered 
with bayahondy logwood, and wild guava trees. 
I immediately made my way to the comman- 
dant, the black General Lacroix, to whom I 
handed my passport, and a letter from the 
government. He received me vrith the warmest 
hospitality ; but the aid of the secretary was 
essential for decyphering the hieroglyphics I 
had brought. The secretary was an intelligent 
young black, who had been educated at Chris-. 
tophe's national school, under GuUifer. It can- 
not be offensive, even to the general and his 
wife, for me to say they were in every way 
the most eictraordinary couple I ever saw. To 
add more would be an ill return for the frank 
hospitality with which I was received by both. 

In the evening Colonel Poux, the comman- 
dant of the twenty-eighth regiment, waited upon 
me, and I mention his doing so to record the 
feats of his brother (General Poux, now dead). 
This officer was esteemed for his gallantry by 
Christophe ; but in one of his reckless fits of 
cruelty, he despatched a band of assassins to 
put him to death. The general gallantly re- 
sisted, and after repelling the assailants, went 
directly to the king, and upbraided him with 
his treachery. This manly confidence affected 



196 VOTES 09 HAITI. 

even lus n^tige nature, and Poux Uved ever 
after in aeciuky . 

I also saw a blaek ctdonel, whose son i& at 
some school in Em^land^ an evidenee of the 
effect of Christophe's attempt to make Engboid 
his model, (or completing which he was gra-* 
dually introducing oar langnage. 

Fort liberte is in a rerj nnnou3 state, to 
which the fact of its being a closed port casH 
tributes Tery essentially ; but it must have been 
a pretty small town, with an adninJble harbour 
weD protected by fortifications. The entraace 
lis narrow, bnt the water deep within the bay, 
where a large fleet of men-of-war might ride 
with perfect s^artty. The general endeavouced 
to revive the industry both of the town, and 
neighbourhood, and for failure the usual rea- 
sons, '' fitute des braa et des capitaux,'' were. 
iifTariably asugned. 

Close to the town there is a pottery for 
coarse jars imd red tiks, whi<^ belonged to 
General Sicard, formerly Christophe's giai^d 
chamberlain, who reports that he never felt his 
head safe on his shoulders until his morning's 
audience was over. I could not learn that there 
is much going on in the manufacture. 

In the year 1794 this town was occupied by 
the Spaniards, who invited by proclamation the 



r 



MASSAC«E AT FORT LJBERTE. 197 

fugitive proprietors to return. Most of them did 
so. Scarcely had they arriyed, when the insiar* 
gent chief, Jean FranQais, encamped in the 
suburbs with his h(H*des. The following day he 
entered at dieir head — ^the garrison turned out 
'—high-mass waB performed— ^ud on a signal 
given^ the whole off the soldi^ divided into 
parties to perpetrate a massacre, which, Lacroix 
says, had been arranged by the Spanish priest 
Vasques with the revolutionary leaders. A 
thousand victims of every age and sex pe- 
riled, and only fourteen escaped in Spanish 
uniforms, I ascertained that the murders did 
take place^ though I had no mean^ of tracing 
the treachery attributed to the Spaniard. Ap- 
pearances are certainly in &vour of Lacroix's 
statement ; for had there been no guilty know- 
ledge, the Spanish troops would not have spon- 
taneously stained themselves with the blood of 
the helpless and confiding French colonists. 

It was my wish to have visited Monte Christi, 
had the roads not been represented as most 
wretched. This city was, during the Spanish 
rule, one of some importance, though now it is 
a closed port. It was founded in 1533, but 
was abandoned by the orders of the court in 
1606, in consequence of smuggling ; but after- 
wards became one of thja pprts through which 



198 NOTES ON HAITI. 

there was commimication with the interior ; and 
its proximity to the French colony rendered it 
a very flourishing place. Now I understand it 
has fallen into entire decay. It stands on the 
right bank of the Yaqui, which takes its rise 
nearly in the middle of the Spanish portion of 
the island, on a point of the Cibao range 
called " Pica de Yaqui ; *' and after a long and 
tortuous course, empties itself in the bay of 
Monte Christi. . La Grange, a well-known land- 
mark-, lies to the north of the town, forming the 
extremity of a high tongue of land. I was also 
desirous of ascertaining if the .road from that 
town to St. lago was as good as I. heard ; btit 
these objects of curiosity were not worth grati- 
fying at the loss of time that would have been 
required, especially as I believe it to be very ge- 
nerally admitted that the population is scanty^ 
^th very little cultivation. 

On the morning of the 17th I despatched 
the baggage for Ouanaminthe, or Juana Men- 
dez, as the Spaniards call it ; and as the dis^ 
tance is short, we did not leave Fort Libert^ 
until a quarter past three in the afternoon. 
The General, Colonel Poux, and Captain Abel, 
of the gendarmerie, accompanied us. About a 
league from the town the old general dis- 
mounted. I did so likewise ; we parted with 



I 



PARTING FROM GENERAL LACROIX. 199 

many benedictions from him, and prayers tiiat 
the prosperity of the country might be restored 
by Great Britain. I said all the civil things 
which his attention and hospitaUty fully me- 
rited, and we parted the best friends imaginable. 
Mr. Hood would have made a good sketch, 
with illustrative notes, of the retreat of the vete- 
ran chieftain. The road was shaded by splen- 
did trees, and the ride was very agreeable, 
through several large sugar plantations, which 
had been worked to considerable advantage by 
Christophe, who appropriated no small number 
of them to himself. As usual, no specific de- 
tails could be obtained, beyond the assertion 
that now they yield little or nothing. The 
.country appears fertile, covered with bayahond. 
Poux and Abel accompanied us to Ouanaminthe, 
a wretched village, consisting of a few thatched 
huts, and a sorry apolc^ for a chapel^ which 
was lighted up in honour of some festival. The 
. oW church had been destroyed in the revblu- 
/jtion, and a sort of fort was erected on the 
-site of the parsonage-house. Wretched, how- 
:ever, as every thing promised to be, we were 
accommodated by the juge de paix and the 
commandant, with whom we dined. " In the 
course of the evening, while the gastronomic 
. preparations were going on, we visited the ruins 



200 NOTB8 Oil HAITI, 

of the church and fort, where in 1791 M;. 
UniTi and about mxty unfcHtunate whites were 
•urprifled and butdiered by the ferocious banda 
of /ean Frangois. The scene, as described to 
me by an eye-witness, was dreadftiL Our 
cicerone, a black captain in the national guards 
was the most uncommunicative person I erer 
met In spite of exerting all my ingenuity to 
get some account of the carnage in which he had 
aaaisted, his replies were restricted to '^ Oui^ 
oui:" whether shame or not influenced him, 
I cannot determine. J was more fortunate with 
M* Mehtt, the juge de paisi, a rery intelligenit 
mim, who had been one of Christophe's secret 
taries^ From him ! got the most ample ddails 
o{ the system of cultivation under that chief, 
which shall be given in his own words else- 
where* 

18th. At an early hour we left Ouanaminthe 
for Laxavon, when Mr. Thompson (now the 
British viee<KK>nsul at the Cape)„ who had gone 
thus fitr, returned to his post. At this last- 
named place we crossed the river Massacre, the 
ancient boundary of the two colonies, which 
empties itself into the bay of Mancenille. On 
the left bank of the river the remains of Laj(^ 
avon or Daxabon stood. This was a pla^e 
foimeriy of some importance, firom bang the 



COMM^KPAVT OF ^B^A REAL. 201 

Spanish frontier; but fr<»ii the uaprodueliye* 
oeds of the soil, it was nerer m«cfa resorted to. 
ThoB poiDit may be said to be the oommeBoe^ 
meat of the immense plain called ** La Vega 
Beal/' whkh stretches to the bay of Samana, 
bounded by the laountain ranges of Ifonle 
Christi and Cibao. It is the laigeat jriain in tha 
island, and is trnversed in different directioaa 
by three large liyerSy the Great Yaqoiy the 
Yuna, and the Camou, besides several tribn* 
tary streams. The Yaqui is said to be naTin- 
^at a short distaiie; fn>m it. enibo^bT; 
but its ra{»dity, and the accumulation of large 
rocks, tog^er with its variable depftha, de* 
pendii^ on the dry or wet seascm, render it 
impracticable further up the stream. 

We entered that part of the '* Vega Beat/' 
which, from ite want of popdation, is rery ap- 
propriately called '' £1 Despobkdo/' Wedid 
not meet a single indiyidual beUnre we anired, 
after travelling four leagues, at a small hst of 
the road, in the nei^ihoarhood of iMdn wear 
some small signs of eidlmition* It was the 
house of a grazmg estabhduneiit of an opoicat 
reflident at the Cape, who eourteoualy reoeiflred 
.us,, and furnished milk, cheese, fresh butter, 
and grass. Every thing else was oo a sump** 
t^ mule. In conversation with the proprietor, 



202 NOTES ON HAITI. 

I had every thing confirmed of the want of po^ 
pulation. The only inhabitants that I saw^ be^ 
sides the owner, were two negroes and one ne* 
gress. The shelter afforded by a few trees 
around the hut was very agreeable, and we 
profited by it until the sun had begun to de-^- 
cline. On going, I considered it quite ''en 
r^le " to offer the usual douceur to our host ; 
but he indignantly refused it, observing, " L'ha* 
bit ne fait pas le Moine." I pacified him by 
observing, that it was intended for the servant : 
** Ah, c*est une autre affaire," and the servant 
was not equally fastidious. I cannot say that 
the indignation was feigned, and that any divi- 
sion of the money took place ; if it was, my 
fiiend was a practised actor. 

Our route for the remainder of the day was 
equally monotonous: no passengers, the road 
leading through uncultivated savannas, bounded 
by some trees, and the chain of Monte Christi 
to the left. After travelling several leagues^ 
we were fortunate enough to find shelter in a 
small hut close to the banks of the Jacouba> 
occupied by one of the herdsmen, a white man 
and a native, who was civil and ignorant. His 
/lack of utensils of all kinds was deplorable^ 
which I felt ; (for hitherto I had travelled with > 
nierely eatables, trusting to find some vessel \ 



JACOUBA — ESCALANTB. 203 

' for cooking' or washing?) Neither was to be 
found at the hut Jacouba. (k. twine hammock 
j to swing in, and a few seats fashioned out of 
I the trunk of the cabbage-tree, constituted all 
the furniture^ which the poor fellow readily 
placed at my disposal, without the unmeaning 
phrase of ^'a la disposicion de usted." Finding, 
on inquiry, that the distance from St. lago 
was much greater than I expected from the 
statements made before leaving Port-au-Pnnce, 
I was anxious to push on ; but it was necessary 
to divide the road according to resting places 
on the way: so we took our quarters for thfe 
night. On the 19th we travelled over a 
dktrtct, closely resembling that over which wfc 
had passed the preceding day; only that we 
cax^sed several streams, tributary to the Yaqui, 
. ?which were very low, on account of the dry 
season. Our journey, of many a wearying 
league, brought us to similar accommodation 
at " Es(?alante," which is the name of a small 
savanna surrounded with wood. The founder 
of this establishment, as well as those of others, 
I remarked had been careful to l)uild very 
close to a river ; the only precaution thatt 
appeared to have been ever deemed necessary. 
The 20th brought us, without any thing 
remarkable, to L'Hopital, which had beeti 



204 . NOTS3 OR UAlTts 

• 

represented «8 the . e&d of the first day's 
jouney from Ouanamiathe. On the momuig 
of the 21st, ^after crossing a small stream, 
the Mao, we reached a cottage of the &ame 
name inth the rirer, decidedly of a better 
description than any thing I had se^i witinai 
tiie Spanish froDitier. It was built of boards \ 
of the cabbage-tree, and thatched with! 
its leaves. It contained three rooms — hsA' 
.tables; and the chaixB, or rather the seats, 
were cut out of portions of the trunks of the 
same palm, with backs of the oi^^er part, 
making very light and comfortable seats. The 
owner was a European Spamar4^ (a Catalan,) 
named Manuel Rodriquez, a ^hoemaker by 
profession) He was (married to a colouied 
woman^ and had two grown-up daughtem- 
The unmarried one, his mother-in-law, one of 
his grandchildren, and a little nephew, with a 
black labours, completed the household. 
Besides the main house, there was an outer 
building behind for the labourer. My host 
and his family were among the most intelligent 
people of their rank I had seen in Haiti. As 
his profession did not give him sufficient 
employment, he cultivated a little coffee, some 
cotton, sugar-canes, which he ground with a 
small mill worked by two horses, and veg^ 



F 
I 

I 



ESTABLISHMSKT OF ItODRIQUEZ. 205 

tables^ He maimfftctured migar, syi^i and 
XsAb. ; from the sale of the surplus of which 
he added to his limited comforts. There was 
altogether an w of intelligence^ comparative 
indufrtry^ and cheerfulness, that was highly 
gratifying; and although Rodriquez assured 
me that he had many compeers, I never had 
the good fortune to meet one of them. All 
flie party were clean and well clothed. In 
short, though poor, they were independent, 
and possessed all that they could desire in a 
genial climate and a productive soil. 

As some of my horses were knocked up, it 
became necessary, as I was anxious to reach 
St. lago before night, after which it was vain 
to think of crossing the rapid and rugged, and 
consequently dangeroiis Yaqui, to hire two 
horses. My host went in pursuit of a neighbour 
some two leagues off, and brought Don 
Francisco Nunez, who might have sat for the 
original of Quintin Matsy's miser. His coun- 
tenance was no bad index to his habits. After 
infinite discussion, I was compelled to take his 
two brutes to St. lago at sixteen dollars, he 
engaging to guide us on such a way that we 
should end our journey that night. Rodriquez 
vowed that the charge was out of all measure ; 
but there being no alternative, I was obliged to 



206 NOTES ON UAITU 

anbniit. ^Ab boob as the cavalcade was lA , 
molioiiy I lemaiked that my host was moimted f 
baie-headedy without a saddle, and guidii^ 
his httle coarser with a rope noosed oyer hia 
mouthy for the purpose of directing us across a 
difficult ford^ across the Amina, about half a 
kaguefromhiahoose. .Off he rtarted, pnm«i.g 
and curvettingy no bad resemblance to a I 
Cossack of the Apurey It would haye puzzled 
any brother oi the gentle craft in London to; 
haye ridden a race with my friendly gut<k% 
We crossed in safety, all except a loaf of 
sugar, which was entirely dissolved ; a loss of 
no mean magnitude in such a situation. When 
quietly reposing within reach of a hundred 
grocers, this would be never thought of; but 
here it was a subject of deep regret, and by no 
one was it m<M'e deplored than my two English 
servants. As socmas Bodriquez had seen the 
whole party in safety, he left us with many 
friendly greetings; and on reaching the opposite 
baids:, waved his hands and huzzaed, as hxt^ 
as we could hear him, with as much zeal as if 
he had been a veritable Cossack. The stream, 
though not deeper than the middle of the 
horses, was rapid and dangerous. 
; Once over, we were at the mercy, of Don 
Francisco el avaro ; and after winding, through 



BLEEPIKG tN THB WOODS. 207 



vadier a pretty country, which had more va-^ 
liety. of surface than might have been expected 
in the midst of an eictensive plain, without any 
signs of the Yaqui, I began to be uneasy, more 
particularly so, as one of my party had gone 
off .unattended to St. lago, in order that we 
might have some dinner and lodging on arriving 
there, which I expected would have taken place 
at a late hour. Don Francisco then for the first 
time announced the impossibility of realising our 
expectations, as the distance was eight instead 
of four leagues, according to our first com^^ 
putation. I deemed this a trick, urged on the 
tanying animals, but met a traveller who more 
than confirmed our ill-omened conductor ; and 
ufter having pressed our steeds to the utmost, we 
found ourselves, after night-fall, in the middle 
of a forest) where the best alternative was to se- 
lect an open space where the baggage might be 
piled — ^the mules and horses picketted, so as to 
graze-^— a fire lighted, and our hammocks slung. 
Then matters were arranged without difficulty ; 
but it soon appeared that the expectation of 
reaiching St. lago that night had led my peor 
pie to acts of wanton waste, for I expected to 
And in the panniers enough food for the party, 
consisting of nine persons. : but, lo ! there was. 
only a firagnlent of cheese, a small portion of 



i 



208 NOT^S ON HAITI. 

bread, and one aolitary bottle of putrid Sdlzer 
water. I made an equkaUb divioon of all, 
and fortunately there was no grumbling, i 
regretted most that there was no water for the 
cattle. All anxious as I was, I do not recoQeet 
that I ever slept more soundly than I did in,thi» 
my first buccaneering feat, slung between two 
trees m a wild country — a priori, it would be 
deemed impossiUe to do so with impunity unt 
der the influence of tropical dews, venomous 
musquitos, and pestilential swamps ; but so it 
was, that not one of the party suffered inconve^ 
, . nienee at the time^ nor could I ever trace die 
' general illness that eventually occurred^to tibk 
I individual exposure, .but rather to the inAa:^ 
/. ence of continued and unceafiing exertion for 
) nearly two months, under circumstances of no 
ordinary suffering and privation ; and I am par^ 
I Huaded that it is to this reiterated application . 
) of active causes we owe the m<Htality that pre^ 
^ vails among Europeans within the tropics. One 
( exposure may be overcome; but the pcnsoQ 
, often recurring, becomes identified with the 
I individual, and eventually destroys the powerp 
I of life. 

/ Having no bath nearear than the Yaqui, 
which we found to be more at hand than, had . 
he&k antidpated, man and beast hastened to 



1 



PASSAGE OF THE YAQUI. 209 

its banks'-^he former to purify, the lattar to 
drink. These important matters being com^ 
pleted, the animals k»aded» and all being ready 
to attempt the passage, I was agreeably sur- 
prised by the appariticHi of my Yolunteer in 
company with a stranger on the opposite bank, 
pointing out the least dangerous part of the 
ford, which, though low, was extremely rapid, 
and encumbered with irregular masses of rock, 
to navigate among which, above the horses' 
girths deep, for a space equal to the breadth of 
th^ Thames at Westminster Bridge, required 
\ /fpcsil knowledge, without which there would 

I have been imminent danger. All the animals, 

['■ 2ifiA even the cabriolet, passed over without 

injury ; and I confess that I felt no slight satis* 
faction when I saw the last of the train fairly 
across. 

The gentleman who accompanied my compa- 
nion was a European Spaniard, who had been 
long established in the country, and then held 
the office of judge of the civil court. Little 
occurred worthy of remark, or (f was too much 
fagged to notice any thing, until we approached 
Vthe city of St. lago, the vicinity of which wa^ 
.marked by roads that had been good, by some 
'passengers, a few detached houses, and some 
cultivated patches. On reaching the town, we 



210 



NOTES ON HAITI. 



were conducted to the house of a Spanish 
priest, which had been prepared for us through 
the considerate kindness of the principal peo- 
ple of the place, who had been, without my 
knowledge, apprised of my comingT? 



>T. lAGO. 311 



CHAPTER VIII. 

St. lagO"— 'Antiquity — Convents — Destmction of town and in- 
stitations — Christophe an active agent — Population — ^At- 
tachment of former slaves to their former owners — Sugar 
farm — Castes friendly to each other — Cultivation — IncreaM 
of births — Due de Limonade — Cora and Juex de Paz— 
Journey to Port-au-Plate — Altamira— Landlady — Villanue- 
va's catecismo — Scenery — Hazardous ride — LaPuerta — Ap- 

' proach to Port-au-Plate — Guide fantastical and conceited—^ 
Arrival at Port-aa-Piate — Kind reception — ^General Jacques 
Shnon — Administrator — Parrot shooting. 

From the day of arriyal (22nd April) to the 
26thy I was employed in looking about and 
getting all the information possible. My friend 

i<t)ou} Francisco (insisted on my paying sixteen 
dollars for lodging in the open air: I was 

' obliged to do so, St. lago de lois Cavalleros is 
one of the oldest cities in Haiti^ having been 
built in 1504. It stands on an elevation on the 
.right bank of the river Yaqui, which forms ^ 

^ deep reach around it, and the banks of which 



212 NOTES ON HAITI. 

are richly wooded. It is quite an open town, , 
though there are one or two slight forts for its / 
protection, which have been thrown up duringl 
the civil commotions. The streets are regular/ 
and well laid out, traversing each other at right ^ 
angles. Many of the houses are of stone, but 
the majority are of brick and wood. The con- 
ventual buildings (now in ruins) must have 
been handsome and spacious. One church 
alone remains of several^ St. lago is consi- 
dered one of the most healthy spots in the 
island, and I believe not without foundation. 
The /town had been more than once pillaged by . 
the French during their contests for supremacy / 
with the Spaniard^; but the last and most fatal 
attack was made by Christophe in 1805. At 
that time Dessalines, then the chief, deter- 
mined to make himself master of the Spanish 
portion, and for that purpose invaded it with 
two corps. The one commanded by himself^ 
entered by the road through San Juan, Azua, 
and Bani ; and the second, under the orders of 
General Clervaux, took the road which I had 
traversed from the Cape. It is well known 
<hat the invaders retired from the siege of the 
city of San Domingo on the approach of a small 
Flinch squadron. Dessalines' passions were 
roused to the highest pitch by this disgrace, and 






DESTEUCTION OF ST. lAGO* 213 

his course^ as well as that of his subaltern, may 
still be traced amidst ruins and marks of confla* 
gration. Christophe, no unworthy minion of 
DessalineSy commanded the rear-guard of Cler- 
raux's corps, and on his retreat halted on 
Good-Friday, of the year 1805, at St. lago — a 
day for ever memorable in that devoted place. 
He commenced with exactions, promising per- 
sonal protection ; but the following day he 
violated his pledges, set fire to the churches 
and convents, among which there was an eccle- 
sia^ical school for priests, and the best parts of 
the town, deliberately murdered six priests, and 
carried off several wretched people as prisoners. 
His more extensive atrocities were stopped by 
his immediate commander. 

In the Appendix I give some account of this 
ruthless proceeding, in the words of one of the 
unhappy sufferers,* who, with all his family, 
was. reduced to the most abject misery. 

The population, as a body, is more respect- 
able than usual. The (proportion of whit0 and 
U coloured men is very considerable) and the 
blacks are a stout fine race of men. There is no 
one rich person, or, at least, who would be so 
considered elsewhere ; but there are degrees of 

* See note (H) in the Appendix. 



214 MOTES ON HAITI. 

wealth e^en there. By the most^ intelligent 
persons to whom I had access, I was informed 
that eyen in the town there are none absolutely 
poor; for wages are high, being three rials a 
day, or one shilUng and sixpence, or two rials 
with food. All classes have the means of 
decent subsistence. 

Since the revolution and the establishment 
of the republican, government, great fideli^ 
had been displayed by the former slaves to 
their masters. They had never been numerous, 
the discipline never very rigorous, nor had 
the labour exacted been ever severe. ^'One of 
the old proprietors, who, from having no other 
resource, remained with his wife and family, 
informed me that not one of the former slaves 
on a small sugar property near to the town had j 

• 

left him; that they retained all the old customs, | 
called him still '^ Amo," and asked his blessing ; 
on their knees whenever he visited them. I i 
had been told that in other parts of Spanish 
St. Domingo, the slaves, who had been equally 
well treated with those of St. lago, had, on the 
first proclamation of freedom, abandoned their 
masters to become soldiers, as being a more 
luxurious life. My informant appointed a time 
for visiting his estate, that I might see what he 
described; he was, however, attacked with a 



BELATIONS OF CASTES. 216 

dangerous fit of gout, and had not recovered 
before my departure. I was, consequently, dis- 
appointed. 

From this and other statements it would ap* 
pear that there is a kindly and good feeling of 
all the castes towards each other in this dis« 
trict; and all of them appear to be what they 
are represented, highly respectable and well con- 
ducted. In proof of this, no insult was offered 
to the whites at the period of the revolution. 
I was not a little amused with the contemp- 
tuous mode ih which even the blacks speak of 
their western neighbours as " aquellos negros." 

It did not appear to me that the arrange- 
ments with France were more acceptable than 
in other districts; and I do not think the' 
people, if even willing, (which they are not,) 
can pay any part of the contribution. 

Tobacco is the principal object of culture: 
other objects of colonial agriculture are partially ^ 
attended to. Formerly there was a considerable 
trade in cattle; but it has been nearly anni- 
hilated by the non-intercourse between Haiti 
and the neighbouring islands : a grievance that 
is very rightly attributed to the change of 
governors. Under the Spanish rule there was 
free communication: now there is none what- 
ever. ^A bullock, which formerly sold for thirty 



216 NOTES ON HAITI. 

or forty doUars, is sold at St. lago for six dr 
eight 

The population of the district forms more 
than one-sixth of that of the whole of the east, 
and was estimated at eleven thousand and fifty- 
six souls, which is augmenting, according to 
the information of the " officier de Tetat civil," 
(who keeps the register of births, deaths, and 
marriages,) in a very wonderful degree. The 
deaths average one hundred annually, while 
the births average five hundred; thus giving, 
if correct, an annual increase of four hundred,' 
which is, in proportion to the reputed popu- 
lation, 3-61 per cent., far exceeding the rate 
in England and Wales. This rapid increase 
is ascribed by the inhabitants to the salubri^ 
of the climate, the facility of maintaining a 
family, and to the general practice of one man* 
having only one wife, which does not prevail 
to the same extent on the French side. 

General Prevost (the Due de Limonade) 
held the command ; but he became tired of the^ 
post, and was succeeded by General Prophete, 
one of the chief conspirators against Christophe. 
He ruled wiA a rod of iron. Complaints were 
at hM made, and a commission sent to inquire 
into his conduct : the result was his dismiss. 
He was succeeded by General Belliard, who 



CUBA, AND JUEZ BE PAZ* 217 

had been registrar of the national domains 
under Christophe. From this officer I received 
much attention during my stay. I frequently 
rode out with him, and remarked with surprise 
the small number of houses that were to be 
seen. This he explained, by telling me that 
the habit of the country people is to hide their 
dwelling in the midst of trees. 

I was visited on the 24th by the '* Cura" 
and the " Juez de Paz," both respectable men. 
The former seemed more conversant with passing 
events than might have been expected in so 
retired a nook; for, among other topics, he 
introduced the Thames Tunnel, the existence 
of which he at first seemed to consider very 
apocryphal ; but, on being assured that such a 
work had actually been undertaken, he re* 
garded it as the eighth wonder of the world. 

On the morning of the 26th, accompanied 
by one of my party, and General BelUard's 
secretary as our guide, I left St. lago for 
Port-au-Plate, which, being the <mly open 
port in the north of the eastern division, was 
wcurth seeing. The road runs to the north- 
west, along that portion of the plain of La 
Vega Real which derives its name from St. lago^ 
to a considerable distance before reaching the 
formidable mountains that form the range of 

VOL. I. K 



21$ KOTES ON HAITI, 

Monte Christi. The greater portion is well 
shaded by immense forest trees^ intermingled 
with flowering plants on the road-side* 
After the ascent has once begun^ it is ex^ 
ceedingly rapid ; and the road^ fn^n neglect, 
is in wretched order, and pften overhangs some 
ugly precipices, at the base of which mountain 
streams dash with a brawling actiyity. The 
breadth of the path renders it not at all danger- 
ous. After having passed through one continued 
mountain forest of mahogany trees, which' it 
9eems may be felled by those that list-^the 
abricotier or mammea grande, laden with its 
large rough fruit — the cabbage and cedar trees, 
besides numberless others— -we arrived at a 
small hamlet named Altamira, composed of 
about fifty huts, which were built of the same 
materials as Rodriquez's cottage at Mao. The 
<5abb£^e-tree is truly the prop of the eastern j 
Haitian: he eats the upper part of it; he 1 
builds and covers his house with its various I 
parts; and he fashions his furniture out of its ( 
trunky 

We stopped, by the direction of our guide, 
pearly in the middle of the village, at the most 
respectable-looking house in it, which belongs 
to '* a widow bewitched," named Gertrude Her^^ 
tnina; who, while preparing some chocolate and 



ALTAMIBA — LANDLADY. 219 

odier refreshments^ cross-questioned me very nar<^ 
rowly as to my name^ quality, and objectSi which 
I answered to the best of my ability ; and her 
gratitude was so excited by my communications^ 
which amounted to nothing; that she amused 
me with her own history. She had married 
early; and had six daughters ; one a widow with 
two infants; the rest unmarried; three being 
perfect children. Her husband had been faith* 
lesS; and; under pretence of business, resides 
on the sea-shore with another woman; leaving 
the poor Seffora to her own resources. These 
she seems to have managed discreetly, by culti- 
vating a small patch of land; and keeping a sort 
of shop for spiritS; winC; sugar, and other mat- 
ters; as well a house of .call for travellers; who 
need not complain either of her civility or the 
fare set before them. She had not confined 
her cai-e of her children to merely rearing and 
clothing them : the girls could read; and I 
found one of them busily occupied with Dr, 
Villaneuva's " Catecismo," written chiefly for 
the AmericaS; and published by Mr. Ackerman, 
in the Strand. 

The situation of Altamira is truly fine— a 
small level surface bounded by vallies of no 
extent, well cultivated; through which innume- 
rable brooks dash ; while the whole if bpunded 



220 NOTES ON HAITI. 

by a BuccesBion of receding mountainB, studded 
with XDdgnificent trees, so bb to form a complete 
amphitheatre. It is beautdfui, and the air of 
seclusion is not to be; surpassed any where. I 
could not help thinking how admirably it was 
fitted to be a petreat for any one who wished to 
withdraw from all terrestrial pursuits : he wouM 
have as much leisure for meditation, and a less 
hazardous post than that of Simon Stylites. I 
am persuaded that in almost every direction, 
within a small circle of three miles, situations 
would be found whither human foot never now 
penetrates. 

Having repoied from ten till two, the 'hottest 
part of the day, we parted from our kind though 
garrulous hostess, leaving strict directions to 
have meet preparation made for us on the se* 
cond day after. We found the road still worsfe 
than it had hitherto been. Recent rains having 
rendered the valley road impassable, we were 
constrained to pursue that over the mountains, 
the acclivities of which are so steep, that I can 
compare them to nothing else thait the roof of a 
house. This was particularly the case on the 
last ascent we were doomed to try, called *' La 
Puerta,"^ where, if the rider had attempted to 
maintain the usual position on horseback, it 
cannot be doubted that he would have fallen 



ROAD TO POKT-AU-PtATE. 221 

backwards. I was obliged to bring my nose 
nearly to a level with my horse's neck. But if 
the ascent were bad, how much more atrodout 
was the descent ? The steepness in each was 
the same ; but there had been most rain on the 
northern side, and the whole road either had; 
or appeared to have, cross bars of some sohd 
matter covered with clay, while the intervals 
were filled with the softest mud, rendering the 
stepping of the horse most insecure. Indeed^ 
one of the party was fairiy unhorsed, and his 
steed laid on his side ; and it cost no small 
effort to extricate both. I met two buUoekft drag* 
gihg up, on a sort of sledge, one iron sugaf-pstn of 
very small size. About a league from the town 
of Port-au-Plate we got into more level ground, 
and were deUghted with the luxuriant appear- 
ance of the plain, bounded by the distant view 
of the sea. At a short distance from the road*- 
side stands the sugar estate of General Jacques 
Simon, the commandant of the arrondissemc9it> 
the buildings on which appeared to be wretdied 
huts ; but the property is understood to be the 
best and most productive in that part of the 
island. 

Further on there are soma neat cottages, sur- 
rounded with remarkably well-dressed gardens 
and fenced .fields. On inquiry, I learned that 



222 KOTES ON HAITI« 

they were the dweUings of some North Amen* j 
can emigrants — ^the few who remained of all the • 
first parties who had so eagerly sought the land / 
of liberty and equalityy 

We parted with our guide on enterii^ the 
town, he to seek liis own quarters, and we to 
go to the house of the .partner of a respectable 
firm at Cape Haitian. He was a very amusing 
fellow in his way, quite such a " bavard " as 
you sometimes meet in France, differing only 
in complexion ; he talked " de omni scibili," 
abounded in lies and grimaces, was "himself 
the hero of each little tale," and was as igno- 
rant of every thing connected with hia country 
as if he had iust fallen from the clouds. When- 
ever he found himself fairly at fault, and unable 
to answer any inquiry, with an indescribably 
ludicrous expression of countenance, and flou- 
rish of a huge cane that he carried, he uni- 
formly exclaimed " pai'bleu ! " "sacre bleu !'* 
" mon Dieu !" and not another word could be 
extracted from him on the unmanageable sub- 
ject* These words were as useful to him as the 
two magical English monosyllables to Figaro. 
I rarely have met with so inveterate and unre- 
flecting a liar. In the course of a very short 
time he convicted himself of falsehood at least 
five times. Yet the man was civil, and meant 



PORT-AU-PLATE — GEN. SIMON. 223 

to be useful. The best apology that can be 
made for him is that of my old French master, 
who, whenever he heard any one abused for 
cowardice, always defended him by saying, " Oh, 
it is hot his fault — ^it is his infirmity.'' 

I found the gentleman to whom I had letters 
of introduction absent with another English mer- 
chant in the mahogany district, but we were hos- 
pitably received by the wife and mother-in- 
law of the former; but having been actually ten 
hours and a-half on the road, exclusive of the 
time spent at Altamira, I was fevered to such 
a degree as to be glad to seek repose in the 
house of the English absentee, where every 
preparation had been made by his orders for 
me. Bed and copious dilution of tea enabled 
me early on the morning of the 27th to be on 
the alert. After looking through the town, 
which is a collection of wretched cabbage-tree 
huts, such as. I have already described, I was 
visited by the general and all the authorities, 
as well as by the Cura, of whom some very 
unclerical reports are in circulation, which were 
duly related to me by his undutiful flock. 

General Jacques Simon was one of Chris- 
tophe's old generals, and on the appointment 
of General Belliard to the command of the 
citadel, had charge of the domains. He com- 
manded one of the three divisions sent to repel 



224 NOTES ON HAITI. 

the rebels at Haut du Cap, all of which, wheil 
ordered to fire on the enemy, ran over with cries 
of '' Vive la liberte/' Simon accompanied his 
corps, and held his command thenceforward at 
Port-au-Plate. He is an intelligent little black 
man, tolerably educated, exceedingly decent in 
his manners, and has the reputation of being a 
brave soldier. About two months before the 
time of which I speak, he had an opportunity 
of proving that his character for cours^e was me- 
rited. In order to enable the troops to earn 
something beyond their pay, they are allowed 
to cut mahogany all the week, if they choose; 
but they are obliged to do what may be neces- 
sary on the public works on Sunday, These 
gentlemen refused to comply with the latter con- 
dition, and would not march off from parade to 
the works, on the score of their pay being five 
months in arrears, which it actually was. 
Simon, with a brace of loaded pistols, went up 
to the leading file, ordered them to face to the 
right and march : they obeyed. The arms were 
pUed. 

In the evening Iftode out, and was much, 
amused with the gasconade of the administra- i 
tor, who, by his own account, far transcended 
in chivalry Amadis de Gaul, or any of King 
Arthur's knights. One of his feats, not of the 
same character, is worthy of record, as a proof 



ADMINISTRATOR — RIDE. 225 

lof the bluntness of the moral sense ia some 
men. He had been* a regimental paymaster 
under Petion. Finding his allowances inade- 
quate, he made false returns of the strength, 
drew the pay of the men of straw, and pocket- 
ed it. This was discovered, and lie was sent to 
' Ae a purser of one of the vessels of war!) This 
he gravely told as a wondrously clever feat. 
Other tales, equally creditable, are current of 
this worthy. 

Our ride added nothing to my knowledge of 
the country, for it only presented the scene, so 
often witnessed, of rank vegetation undisturbed 
by the hand of man, except to trace a road. 
For the first time I saw a sportsman returning 
home, with a dozen or two of parrots hanging 
from his fowling-piece. 

As our two hosts had returned by the even- 
ing, we dined with them, and met all the per- 
sons whom we had seen in the morning, one of 
whom complained that, as he was an abste- 
mious man, Madeira wine was too powerful ; 
yet, be6)re rising, he contrived to finish a bot- 
tle of Hollands. 

It is said, though with what truth I know 
not, that in the neighbourhood there are rich 
mines of gold, silver, and copper. 

The town was formerly flourishing, but was 



226 



NOTES ON HAITI. 



proscribed for smuggling with Monte Christi 
in 1606. Now a small trade is carried on in 
mahogany and some of the minor productions 
of the country* 



It£TV&M TO ST. lAGO. 227 



CHAPTER IX. 

« 

tUtam to St.Iago — Gold dust^Fonner abundance — Becent 
researchei — General Belliard — Account of Christophe — Hos- 
pitality of inhabitants — National school — Departure — Santo 
Cerro— Chapel — View of La Vega Real — Ancient city of 

. Concepcion de la Vega — Ruins — River Camou — La Vega- 
General Pladde Lebrun — Lodging — Guitars — Bands plAj- 
ing— FIte d*agriculture — Colonel Charlemagne — ^M. Des- 
champs— Peffal — River Yuna — Cotuy < — Constance — Se- 
vico — Monte de Don Juan— Sleeping in the wooda— San 
Pedro— La Louisa^Arrival at Santo Domingo. 

Accompanied by our two hospitable ac- 
qiiaintance^ on the morning of the 28th we 
were again on the road to St« lago^ without 
having gained any information to compensate 
for the actual labour and fatigue. The inter- 
vening dry day induced us to try the valley 
road, and we nearly had reason to regret having 
doiie so, as we were obliged to travel at a foot's 
pace, from the depth of mud. We soon, how- 
ever, got into the road over which we had 



\ 



228 . NOTES ON HAITI* 

already gone, after having escaped that terrible 
** La Puerta;" rested at Altamira, and arrived 
late in the evening at St. lago^ havii^ crossed, 
in the course of the day, at least thirty-three 
streams, all of which, except the Yaqui, being 
then very paltry. 

The two days that I spent at this place were 
devoted to complete my stock of local know- 
ledge ; and, among other points, I was curious 
to learn the causes of the failure of the Mining 
Asspciation. Two phials„that contained at least 
three ounces each, filled with gold dust, in the 
form called by the Spaniards *' pepitas," ga- 
thered by hand from the sands of the Yaqui, 
were exhibited to me. One of the grains was 
as lai^e as the end of my little finger. There 
can thus be no doubt that gold does. exist; 
though it does not appear that it is in the form^ 
of ore. The report at St. lago was, that the 
agent of the company sought for mines, and 
found none. If he did so, without attending 
to gold washings, in a district in which it could 
not be questioned that the metal existed, he 
must have been deplorably ignorant of what he 
ought to have known before . he undertook the 
duties of his office. If, on the other hand, he 
did attend to the washings, how did he coa-^ 
duct the inquiries — by experiment or talking ? 



^nd why have the world been kept m igno* 
ranee of his proceedings ? The Association in- 
terested expended a considerable sum of money, 
and I think they are entitled to a full account 
of all that was done. My own conviction is, 
that with suitable machinery, gold washings 
might be advantageously carried on on the 
banks of the Yaqui, Rio Verde, and various 
other streams connected with the ancient auri- 
ferous district of Cibao. Yet, though this is 
ptobable, it might be a question with sober 
people how far capital cotdd be safely vested 
in such a pursuit in a country where the civil 
institutions cannot be said to be firmly fixed. 

From General Belliard I had much satisfac- 
tory information respecting Christophe, which 
he was able to give with more than common 
accuracy, from the confidential situations he had 
held for many years. Among other facts, he men- 
tioned that Duplat and other properties, which 
Chri^ophe had appropriated to himself, usually 
yielded four hundred thousand weight of sugar 
each. This may be possibly an exaggerated 
statement ; but there is no doubt, from the re- 
turns which I shall hereaftier give, that the pro- 
duce was very far beyond what it is at present. 
Christophe never paid for any thing in money — 
always in produce ; while he exacted gold and 



230 NOTES ON HAITI. 

fiilver for all that he sold. The money thus 
acquired was hoarded, and accounts for the 
accumulated wealth at the Citadel. Besides 
his sugar and cofiee plantations, he had enoi^ 
mous grazing estabUshments, and he monopo- 
lized the suppUes of meat* No butcher could 
buy from any other person, unless when he 
granted a Ucense, which he only gave in con* 
sequence of an apprehension of exhausting hk 
stock of cattle. 

He was not only a drunkard, but an epicure ^ 
and among other proofs of his Vitellian pro- 
pensities, he never would eat either the Mus- 
covy or common duck, but reared with uncom- 
mon care a cross-breed of both, which he con- 
sidered a superior delicacy. Upon the whole, 
he was described by the general as a savage 
monster, blood-thirsty, lustful; but acute, in- 
telligent, and an accurate observer, and much 
too violent to dissemble to the same extent as 
Toussaint, whose powers of dissimulation are 
described by all that knew him, as equal to 
those ascribed to Talleyrand. 

All M, Mehu's account of the agricultural 
systaoQ. was fully confirmed by Belliard, who 
also added, that the disoi^anization of that 
system, and the estabUshnf&nt of idleness, was 
rendered complete by Bichard in three months 



THE NOYADES« 231 

after Christophers death. So truly the poet 
says, ** faeiKs est descensus Averni/' 

The Noyades, which I formerly mentioned as 
having been practised in the French army, were, 
according to the accounts of the general, who 
was an eye-witness, carried to a frightful extent, 
and were really effected in the manner mention- 
ed » An entire regiment, commanded by General 
Guerrier, were drowned between the Cape and 
Fort Dauphin, at the time of the evacuation of 
the latter place. Their commander escaped by 
insisting on travelling by land. Such was the 
belief in French cruelty^ that it was asserted to 
me, though never by an eye-witness, that Ro- 
chambeau, to train blood-hounds, used to bait 
the unhappy negro prisoners in front of the 
government-house, and those poor wretches 
were literally torn to pieces. For the honour 
of human nature I trust that this is mere ru- 
mor. Heaven knows, the ample store of well- 
authenticated atrocities in this devoted island 
needs neither embellishment nor addition, 
/"during my stay at St. lago, I was treated with 
/the utmost hospitality, though somewhat of a 
novel kind. I was lodged in the priest's house, 
jand was not allowed to purchase a single thing 
for my table. Every day my breakfast and 
dinner were brought by some smirking black 



232 NOTES ON HAITI. 

girlSy who were the deputies of the comman- 
danty the chief judge, and the '' officier de 
r6tat civil," who never came near me at the 
hours of repast, but insisted most sturdily on 
my being their guest. To have refused would 
h&ve given offence, and I submittedP 
— >^^*^>^ ♦**^ There is a house building for the president, 
^*^ . ;^ as is the case at most of the principal towns,- 
^ though the progress is slow, from the want of 

funds. It will be a large straggling place, 
without the least pretension to elegance. Its 
chief recommendaticm is^ its situation, which is 
very delightful, overlooking the plain, with the 
river rolling rapidly round the foot of the emi- 
nence on which it stands, and is accessible to 
every breeze that can blow. 

The distance from the Cape to St. lago is 
estimated at forty-one leagues. I think it must 
exceed sixty ; and I may mention, as a proof 
of the neglected cultivation, that from Fort 
Liberie to the last town, I could never find a 
blade of Guinea grass for my cattle, but was 
driven to turn them out to graze on the parched 
savannas, with occasional feeds of Indian com. 
At St. lago. General Belliard has succeeded in 
introducing the cultivation of the Guinea grass, 
though the prejudices of the people were 
strongly, opposed to it. . . 



I 



SANTO CERRO — CHAPEL, 233 

There is a national school at St. lago, but no 
teacher; the person sent from the capital by 
the Education Commission having been utterly 
incompetent. 

Haying taken leare of all my fiiends, before 
day-break on the morning of the 1st of May I 
/lound myself on the roa4) to the town of La 
Vega. The/6cenery was the most pleasing of 
rany that I passed through since leaving the 
I frontier, though there was, " ut mos est," no 
' trace of cultivation, except a few plantain 
walks, at all visibl§7 By the bank of a small 
stream, the name of which my guide did not 
know, we ^eakfisisted in the shade, and then 
[proceeded to the Santo Cerro, from which 
Columbus first surveyed the magnificent plain 
of " La Vega Real." He also planted a rude 
cross, said to have been the first erected in his 
I new discovery: the cross has since been re- 
moved to the cathedral of San Domingo, though 
the chapel erected on the spot where it stood 
is still kept up, and is still resorted to by pious 
pilgrimsp Immediately before getting to the 
chapel, we found a small village, in which the 
guardians of the sacred spot reside. fOn enter- 
/ing the building, nothing remarkable presented 
itself, beyond some wretched daubs, represent- 
ing, or at least affecting to represent, the con^ 



234 NOTES ON HAITI* 

tests of the Indians with the Spaniards, in 
which victory was always ensured to the latter 
by some saintly apparition dealing out fleshly 
weapons with infinite zeal and activity. Among 
others, the Virgin Mary seated on a cloud was 
coolly levelling an harquebuss at an Indian 
cacique) doomed to die. The old woman and 
her aide-de-camp were exceedingly diffuse in 
their wondrous narrations, which I was under 
the necessity of curtailing, to avoid being over- 
taken by nightfall on the road* A small gra- 
tuity '* por lo^ pobres" was very thankfully 
received, and before descending, I gazed with 
increasing delight on the splendid scene at our 
feet. Viewed from the Cerro, the La Vega Real 
stretches so far to the east as to appear to be 
interminable — so richly wooded, as to impress 
the beholder with the belief that it is clothed 
with a never-ending forest. Indeed, I am con^ 
vinced that, with very slight changes, the same 
scene is now displayed that is said to have de- 
lighted the illustrious discoverer, who ever dwelt 
with fond affection on this first fruit of his ad- 
venturous enterprise. 

The descent is steep and rugged : once ended, 
the road (which is the direct one between St. lago 
and La Vega) is broad and good, well screened 
by the trees on the summits of which we had 



RUISS OF CONCEPCION. 235 

been recently looking down« In the middle of 
an entangled part of the forest, the remains of 
the ancient city of La Concepcion de la Vega 
lie scattered in awful confusion. The church, 
mint, and fort may, it is said, be still traced ; 
I, however^ only saw jthe former, the gothic 
door-way and window distinctly marking it. 
It was a most flourishing establishment until 
1664, when it was overwhelmed by an earth- 
quake, which left no building standing, and 
destroyed nearly all the inhabitants. Unlike 
the Guatemalians, who rebuilt several times oa 
the ruins of their overwhelmed city, the La 
Vegans abandoned their altars for ever, and some 
of them laid the foundation of the present city, 
tpwu or village of La Vega* 
. A peasant on the road, who conducted us to 
th^ ruins, was intelligent and civil, and to my 
surprise refused a gratuity when offered to him« 
He must have done so from some principle of 
duty, for all his phraseology viras tinctured with 
religion* I marvelled how religious principles 
could find a place in such a district* 

Pursuing our route, we found ourselves on 
the banks of the Camou, a deep and rapid, 
though barren stream. Soon after passing the 
ford, we were at the end of our day's journey, 
having travelled fifteen leagues. My cabriolet 



236 KOTES ON HAITI. 

with all my papers had not, however, appealed ; 
and aB any accident to them would have been 
irreparable, as soon as I had paid my compli* 
ments to the eominandant, Gieneral Placide 
Lebrun, I occupied myself with despatchmg 
messengers to assist in c^se of any imshap, and 
it was fortunate that this was done, for the 
driver and his guide had made up their minds 
to pass the night on the road^ on account of 
some trifling derangement to the carriage. That^ 
however, .being set right, my anxieties wem 
vdieved, so as not to affect the vigour with 
which I applied myself to the discussion of a 
hasty meal that was provided for me, in a 
miserable hut, the only one to be had, in which 
my quarters were fixed. 

The (evening being fine, I strolled out, and 
was strongly reminded of the peninsula by the 
tinklii^ of guitars, and the monotonous chant ! 
so familiar to all -who have visited Spain. I 
saw enough durii^ my stroll to ccHivince me, 
that if La Vega ever had any glories, they had 
vanished, as. nothing but a miserable collection 
cfi wooden houses was to be seen. 

I have hitherto omitted to notice a cust<»aai 
which ia rather irksome to a way-worn traveller, 
Whenever any stomger of note arrives, to whom 
it is deemed proper to pay honour, a band always 



/ 



liA' V£OA. 237 

attends^ and {days as long as he cbooeesi expect* 
ing a handsome douceur for so doing. I was 
obliged to nnikrgo this ceiennMiy at lia Vega, as 
I had been at erery principal town that 
I had visited. The band of the Cape really 
played weU, although I hare not done honour 
to it in the place most befitting. 

The 1st of May is that on which the '^ f£te 
d'agriculture'' is celebrated; yet there were 
no signs <f( exuberant joy^ unless the hoisting 
the national flag in the middle of the ^^ Plftce 
d'Armes/' or the firing of cannon, be so con- 
iidered. 

• ^ spite of dirty fleas, and musquitos, I ma* 
naged to sleep with infinite perseveranoe until 
the following morning, when I had intended to 
have proceeded on my journey, though the 
scheme was defeated. I spent the best part of 
the day with the General and the ^ ' Commandant 
de la Place,' ' Colonel Charlemi^ne, one of the 
few educated black men I had known person- 
ally. The fonner had beat Count de Gros 
Mome under Henry, who is reported not to 
have treated him with much delicacy; yet it 
was clear that there was a lingering feeling of 
regret for stars, ribbands, and privileges, which 
are no longer attainable. . Both these officers 
confirmed all that I bad ever heard from others 



238 NOTES OM HAITI. 

ofChriBtophe's depravity and intelligence. Thift 
personage had secured as faToorable as^ocia-* 
tions with his name at La V^a as at St. lago, 
having there committed, in 1806, unheard-of 
atrocities. The want of energy and the moral 
paralysis of the present day was strongly con- 
trasted, by my informants, with the vigour and 
activity of the older system. 

In the evening I made the acquaintance of 
an old French medical genUeman named Des- 
champs, who had been settled there upwards of 
forty years, and having no means of subsistence 
elsewhere, had been forced to remain softer the 
establishment of the republican government. 
Poor old man ! cut off from all that a man of 
education can deem the world, his fate is the 
most unenviable that can be imagined : he is by 
no means insensible to its inconvenience^ yet 
he bears it with that practical philosophy which 
is so peculiarly familiar to Frenchmen, and 
which seems to have a self-adapting power to 
circumstances where they cannot be controuled. 
He was very intelligent, and had the goodpess^ 
to furnish me with an itinerary to San Domipgo, 
which I foimd eminently useful. 

Under the escort of the friendly coipmandant, 
we quitted La Vega before day-break on the 
tnoming of the 3d of May, and after travelling 



JOURNEY TO COTUY. 239 

thirteen leagues over a wild uncultivated coun-* 
try, only practicable to horsemen, we stopped at 
a '* hatto" named Penal, where we had a cab-' 
bage-tree cut down for our breakfast. There was 
a poor miserable deformed boy about fourteen 
years of age, who called forth much compassion. 
Under any circumstances, deformity and help-r 
less decrepitude are grievous ills ; but in such 
a wilderness, where the death of one or two in-» 
dividuals might leave the unhappy sufferer to 
perish piecemeal, they are horrible. Such scenes 
do not confirm Rochefoucault's maxim, '* II y a 
quelques choses dans les malheurs des nos amis^ 
que ne nous deplait pas ;" but they ought to ex- 
cite a feeling of deep gratitude to Heaven in all 
more fortunately placed. At the close of the 
day we arrived on . the banks of the Yuna, a 
fine deep river, which empties itself into the bay 
pf Samana. We travelled on its banks through 
overshadowing forests for about three quarters 
of a league before reaching the ford, which is 
deep, and about as wide as the Thames at Vauxr 
hall. We had some difficulty in stemming the 
force of the current with our wearied animals, 
but at last succeeded in gaining the right bank, 
whence we proceeded to the miserable village of 
Cotuy. At the house of the commandant, C0I07 
nel 3stnchez, we were bluntly received ; but ii^ 



L. 



SI 



240 NOTES ON HAITI. 

the course of the eremng 'friendly relations 
wek^ established, and we all supped together, 

of course on the produce of my cook's labours.- ^ 

Here we obtained forage with difficulty, and to ^ 

get water, even for the drinking, it was neces- P 

sary to send to the Yuna, which is a fine body ']^ 
of water. . '? 



*iji 



^rt 



Cotuy was never a place of much importance, "^ 

though it was founded very early (in 1505) ; ^ 

but in its neighbourhood there are said to be 
mines which were worked so lately as 1747, 
having been previously abandoned from a dearth 
of labourers. The latter workings were directed 
by the father of Valverde, the historian of Santo '^ 

Domingo. The principal mine, in the moun- '* 

tain Called Maymon, is of copper, which con- 
tains eight per cent of gold. Lapis lazuli has 
been found in the same mine ; and not far dis* ^ 

tant, it is reported that emeralds have occurred. ^ 

Iron in a very pure state also abounds in the 
neighbourhood. 

Cotuy is also near to the gold mines of Cibao, ^ 

the highest mountain range in Haiti ; in which ^ 

Spanish cupidity is said to have entombed * 

thousands of Indians. Although now wholly ' 

unproductive, their reputation of richness is 
almost unbounded. Not only are the mine^ 
reported to abound in this precious metal, but 



VALLEY OF CONSTANCE* 241 

the sand washed dovm by the mountain streams 
is rqx>rted to be charged with it ; and out of 
their produce as much as two hundred and forty 
thousand crowns of gold have been struck off 
in one year in the mint of Concepcion de la 
Vega, A great quantity, besides what was 
brought to the mint, was supposed to have been 
secreted to avoid payment of the king's dues. 

Rearing herds of cattle forms the chief em- 
ployment in this district. Houses too, though 
not numerous, are more frequently seen on the 
way-side ; and grass, plantain, and other tro- 
pical esculents, with a little tobacco, are cul- 
tivated; but I could not learn that more was 
raised than was necessary for home use. 

At a very moderate distance is the mountain 
valley of Constance, situate on the Cibao range, 
where wheat has been raised with perfect suci- 
cess, and which is said to be at times very cold. 

After quitting Cotuy, .(which we did on the 
morning of the 4th of May,) we found the 
character of the country changing very con- 
siderably from what it had previously been. 
Instead of the varied surface richly wooded, we 
liow saw nearly one extensive plain, occasion- 
ally rising into round knolls^ with a few scatT 
tered clumps of trees, chiefly the cashew apple 
and wild guava, bearing in general character 

VOL. I. L 



I 



&42 NOTES ON HAITI. 

a very close resemblance to the arid plains 
of dastile : there iff the same parched appear- 
ance^ the same sandy sofl, the same want of 
trees. After fording the river Maguaca, we 
entered upon a large savanna, well called h. 
savanna grande. To me it seemed interminable. 
We afterwards crossed another stream, the 
Chaquey ; and amid some wood we fell in with 
a small hut, to which, with some others that 
were not visible, the name of Sevico-blanco is 
given. The door was open, and the embers of the 
fire were not extinguished ; but there was no 
semblance of any living being. At last, by dint 
of peering into every comer, I spied a negro boy 
in a plantain walk, who, on being discovered, 
run off like a wild deer. By starting, and making 
every kind of noise that I could, an old negress 
rallied forth to ascertain who the intruders were. 
We soon negotiated a treaty of amity and 
commerce, and the boy went in quest of fowls 
and eggs, while his grandam (for such the old 
lady turned out to be) gathered plantains, 
renovated the fire, and assisted in our culinary 
operations. She had endeavoured to avoid us, 
believing us to be a party of marauding soldiers, 
of whom she had a niost holy horror. Tl^ere 
was produced (very unexpectedly) some forage 
for. the almost ^xhaiisted animals. Sevico is 



SEVICO-BLANCO — SAN PEDRO. 243 

chiefly remarkable for its desolate appearance, 
aad for the most enormous sand-flies I ever 
efiWj of a black colour, and literally causing 
the blood to flow from their bite after they are 
^tiated. It was yain to slay one colony in the 
^ope of relief, tor the vacant ranks were in- 
stantly filled up. At some distance we crossed 
the ]M[ajaqual; after which we found ourselves 
once more in a hilly region, displaying aU the 
jcharacters that distinguish similar districts 
through which I had previously travelled — 
equally beautiful, wild, and uncultivated. We 
4id not meet or see a single individual. After 
haying gmned the mountain, called , where- 
/ore I know not, el Monte de Don Juan, the 
cattle were so completely knocked up, that I 
yr^s compelled to abandon all hope of reaching 
ibe " hatto" de San Pedro ; and selecting an 
open spa^e, where the animals might graze, 
fmd where hammocks might be slung, we pre- 
pared >to bivouack for the night ; and after a 
scanty .supper, we spent the night " sub dio ;" 
and on the following morning, (the 5thy) as soon 
as our stray hprses could be collected, the party 
was on the way to the " Rio Vermejo." After 
liaving extricated ourselves from this branch of 
the Don Juan range, the country became cham- 
pagne, through wjbich we wearily went, until 



244 NOTES ON HAITI. 

the long-expected San Pedro appeared on d 
small eminence to the right. We readily ob- 
tained admission; but not so any provender. 
First a black boy and then a black man appear- 
edy each ringing the changes, to all entreatieis 
and supplications, on the two melancholy woirds 
'* no hay." One of the party, however, dis- 
covered a store of tassajo and plantains. We 
insisted on purchawng — ^blackey insisted on not 
selling ; but finding us resolute as well as nu- 
merous, and, moreover, really inclined to pay, 
he consented to stay our appetites. Hsivihg 
settled these matters, I was anxious to know 
why he refused to sell what he had at his dis- 
posal, with the certainty of profit, as he might 
be sure a man in my situation would not higgte 
much. His answer was characteristic of the 
country. It seems that he procured his pro- 
visions at some distance from his residence, 
and that he sought them only once a-week. 
Now, if he sold his weekly stock, he would be 
obliged to make another journey, which he did 
not choose to do, although he had leisure enough 
to make it each day in the week. Profoundly 
ignorant, my host could give no information on 
any subject ; yet he spoke of his westerh neigh- 
bours with contempt, as inferior to himself and 
his countrymen of the east. He remembered 



h^ LOUISA — BIVOUAC. 245 

the inroads in the time of Dessalines, but 
eould give no accoimt of any thing beyond 
the feet that the anny was ** muy barbaro." 

A fatiguing ride over rather a pretty country 
brought us to the " hatto de la Louisa," 
which is off the road, situated in a beautiful 
iqxoU embowered with trees, at the foot of 
which nms rapidly a small stream, tributary 
either to the Isabella 'or Ozama, the name of 
wbich I could not learn. At La Louisa the 
people were wondrous civil in despite of the 
itch, which affected them all. Under such cir- 
cumstances it will not be considered remarkable 
that we once more bivouacked. During our sup- 
per under two large mango trees, numerous 
half-starved dogs, allured by the smell, sur- 
rounded us so completely^ and made such dar- 
ing incursions, that we were in danger of losing 
Seven our scanty fare. One luckless wight ap- 
proached incautiously, and I gave him a kick 
^ that seemed to affect his master's feelings very 
' severely ; for angyy remonstrance, followed with 
threats, compelled me in turn to threaten to 
,exteFminate both master and dog if any further 
trespass occurred. This, backed by the appea- 
ranee of .fire-arms, induced the chiefs to draw 
off their disappointed cm«, and leave us in 
peace and quiet. We w^re driven to make our 



\ 



246 



NOTES ON HAITI. 



toilet on the banks of the small river which lf^ 
had crossed the preceding evening. At La 
Louisa Indian corn was to be bought in suffi-* 
cient quantity for the waiits of the four-footed 
portion of the party. 

At two o'clock on the morning of the 6th, 
the gentleman who had pushed on to St. lago 
offered to move in advance to St. Domingo, in 
order to secure lodgings and stabling. I fol- 
lowed with the remainder of tie party. We 
crossed the Ozama at two small streams called 
"Las Yucas/' and: passed through a country^ 
abounding in lofty trees, though without much ( 
apparent cultivation for ten leagues, when w^ \ 
reached a small posada kept by an emigrant 
French Creole, at an angle of the river Isabella, 
where, uniting with another stream, it proceeds 
to its confluence with the Ozama, which forms 
the harbour of San Domingo.y Our host had 
escaped during the horrors of the revolution, 
and had ever since resided near this spot with 
his family. After all the privations to which 
we had been subject since leaving St. lago, this 
little inn appeared to be infinitely comfortable t 
there was shelter from the sun, and abundance 
of food for men and animals, and a bustling 
activity very different from our anti-commercial 
fnend at San Pedro. Being Sunday, there were 



POSADA — APPROACH TO THE CITY. 247 



V 



many, neighbours and kinsfolks, who readily 
! conversed, and gave the air of approaching an 
/inhabited district. In truth, for the journey of 
I the last few days I question whether we should 
1 have f(dt more thoroughly cut off from the 
I world if we had been in the midst of the Great 
' Desert of Africa^ One of my mules had be- 
come so sick, that I was under the necessity of 
leaving him at boaid and lodging with the 
Frenchman, as well as to hire a deputy to carry 
his burthen. 
J On leaving "La Isabella" we fell into. the 
" Paseo Real,'\a broad spacious road running 
through a dense forest, in the breaks of which 
patches of limited 'cultivation appear^^ Four 
leagues is the distance from the posada to the 
city, as it is emphatically called by the inha- 
bitants, 

/"^ attention was strongly roused by hearing, 

/ at an angle of the road, screams of agony. I 

^ pressed on, and found an old black man beating, 

» [with a stake that he could scarcely wield, a 

i^black boy apparently about fifteen lOr siffteeBT 

The poor fellow's woolly head was matted with 

gore, and the unfeeling old ruffian, after knock- 

; ing him down, dragged him by the feet through 

\ the dust and stones. Whenever the boy es-» 

^ caped from his grasp, he threw himself oh his 



/ 



248 NOTES ON HAITI, 

kneesy screaming, '' M ata me, padre, mata me !" 
Each appeal was followed by blows that seemed 
to show that it was not fruitless. I hastily \ 
rode up, exclaiming against such barbarity, but ^ 
the only answer was that he might do what he 
pleased with his ownT^ Reasoning with such a 
beast was out of the question ; and when hesi- 
tating what to do^ lest interference might ensure 
more atrocious usage as soon as the fear of my 
pistols should be withdrawn, three or four stout 
countrymen came out of the wood and took 
away the poor boy, leaving his brutal parent to 
himself. Had not the proceeding been inter" 
rupted, I have no doubt that the boy would have 
been killed ; and such, I understood afterwards, 
is the unbounded respect paid by the child to 
his parent among these people, that nothing 
could have tempted him to have resisted* 

Almost immediately after this scene, I met 
the son and aide-de-camp of the commandant, 
General Carrie, who had politely sent out a 
carriage to take me into town. /Approaching . 
the city by the suburb of •j^aa Caclos, and I 
passing through crowds of people in " their j 
Sunday*s best," we entered over a draw-bridge, ' 
and took up our quarters at a sort of inn! or 
lodging-room at the extreme end of the princi- 
pal street, which had been secured for us by the 



I 



r 



AKRIVAL AT ST, BOMINGO. 



249 



gentleman who had undertaken the duties of an 
avant-courier in the morning. The distance 
from Stf lago is estimated at about seventy- 
three leagues — it cannot be much less than 
two hundred and twenty miles — ^making the 
ground I had gone over from the Cape not less 
than four hundred English miles. 



» «« . 



■ « * 



J . J » < t 



250 NOTES ON HAITI. 



CHAPTER X. 

i 

General BorgeHa and Carrie — ^Vicar-general — Viait to the 
archbishop and palace — Return of vint — State of feeling 
— Borgella's history of General BeanTsis — Fontaine — La- 
poante-^an Carlos— The 8ttbaxi>>-^Seiror Caminero— XiS- 
iBotte Duthier — A remarkable man — Strange anecdote of a 
Maroon chief — ^Description of city — History — ^Peculiar mode 
of building — Cathedral — Tomb of Columbus — Monasteries 
— Hospitals —Barracks — Newspaper — Printing-piieils — Har- 
hour— Trade — Population — Adjoining country-— Cottages — 
Gardens — Agriculture— Borgella's estate— San Cristoval — 
Begency — Shrine — Expedient to secure labour — Former 
want of cultiTators — Cattle-breeding — Causes of deprepsion 
— Attemps of Spaniards lo recover the colony. 

Having letters for the general commanding,^ 
Borgella, the commandant de la Place, Gewi- 
ral Carri^, and the vicar-general, Don /Jose 
Aybar, I devoted the day after my arrivU to 
visits, and was kindly received by all. At ten 
o'clock on the morning of the 8th/ 1 waited, 
under the escort of the vicar-general, on the 
archbishop of San Domingo, (also the primate 
of the Indies), whom I was very desirous of 



r 



ARCH-BISHOP AND PALACE. 261 

i^eingy as his reputation for personal integrity 
stood very high. His name is Dr. Don Pedro 
Valera y Ximenes, The archiepiscopal palace is a 
large unadorned stone square buildings after the 
Spanish ikshion, with a quadrangle in the centre, 
from which spacious steps, lead to the first floor, 
which is occupied by the arehbishc^ and his 
officers. The simphcity and want of omcunent 
were strongly .contrasted with the residences of 
many Catholic prelates in Europe^ and even with 
the republican style of the palace at PueUa of 
the late courtly Perez. In the anti-rooms we 
met two clergymen, who ushered us into 
another chamber, into which his Grace, or " su 
illustrissimo," as the Spaniards address their 
prelates, very soon entered.; At this interview 
he was reserved, though polite, and seemed 
much gratified by my having paid him so early 
a visit. He was (in 1827) in his sixty-ninth 
year, quite grey, of a clear dark complexion, 
with intelligent yet mild black eyes. His dress 
was as simple as might be, being the plainest 
black robes. Our visit was short, and on the 
motion of the vicar-general we retired, the 
archbishop over^ruling our opposition to his 
accompanying us to the gateway, at which he 
bestowed his benediction. I learned that his 
^influence with his flock is unbounded^ and that 



>^^ 



352 NOTES ON HAITI. 

ftuch is the unsullied character of his life, as ta 
ensure the respect of thpse to whom he is ppli* 
tically opposed, and the valuable appellation 
among his friends of '' un prelado §anto." 

He is a native of the city, and w^ appointed 
to the see in 1813 by the regency in Spain^ 
though the Papal Bull was not issued for four 
years afterwards. Under the Spanish gpvem-* 
menty his spilary, exclusive of episcopal dues, 
was ten thousand dollars a-year. On the revo- 
lution in 1822, the republicans offered him 
three thousand dollars, which he has declined 
to receive, as well as tp take the paths of all^ 
giance to the new government. He has never 
«ince celebrated divine service, but Qonfines 
himself to watching over his flo^ k, on. whose 
voluntary contributions he supports himself and 
his dependants, the extent of which is very 
far beyond what might be expected in a coun- 
try apparently so poor. 

The good old vicar-general, who is also the 
dean of the cathedral, in our way home, 
amused me not a little by expressing his firm 
belief that in a very short time England would 
be re-united to the church of Rome. I shortly 
endeavoured to point out the progress of pub- 
lic opinion in favour of Catholic relief, little 
expecting that that great act of justice was so 



DEAN AHD CANONS. 263 

near bemg accomplished. All my details only 
^rved to confirm the old gentleman's opinion. 
I did not discuss the question with him^ or at* 
tempt to state the distinction between toleration 
in its most extensive sense, and the adoption of 
the opinions of the tolerated party — for to have 
refuted his millenian schemes would have in- 
flicted real pain on him. 

On the day following, the archbishop, ac- 
companied by the canon Don Francisco Gon» 
zales, the last rector of the university, and Don 
Andres Roson, the archbishop's secretary, re- 
turned my visit. They sat a long time with me, 
and were very frank in their communications 
on all the matters in which I felt interested* 
Ffom them ' I learned that the schools for- 
meriy established and supported by the king 
of. Spain had been abolished, as well as the 
university, in which there had been taught 
rhetoric, belles lettres, canon cuid civil law, me- 
dicine, arid various other branches of science. 
But the most oppressive consideration appeared 
to be the progressive decay of religion. The 
number of ministers had been so deplorably re- 
duced^ that the remnant could not discharge 
their most urgent duties. The chapter of San 
Domingo formerly consisted of fourteen canons, 
two curas, and one sacrist&n mayor. Of these 



254 NOTES ON HAITI. 

fonr only were now left ; and although very zea- 
lons, they had not the power of perforiM^ 
their duty adequately. Although the archbishop 
had refused the stipend offered to him, the 
dean accepted one hundred dollars, and each of 
the^canons fifty dollars, per month. 
/'^It seemed to be the impression of these gen- 
tlemen, that the object of the existing govern- 
ment is to keep the people in a state of ignorance 
and barbarism, in order to fiicilitate the manage** 
ment of them.* How far I may be right in this 
view of their opinion I cannot pretend to say 
positively, as they were very guarded in their 
expressions ; but if it should not be their 
opinion, it is not an unlikely one to be enteiv 
tained by men living among merely the wrecks 
of institutions which, from their childhood, they 
had been in the habit of regarding as sacred. 

I mentioned, in my account of the Cape, an 
attempt made at Sans Souci to form an eccle«- 
astical seminary for a national clergy. I had 
heard doubts, on the clerical character of the 
superintendant. I inquired if these doubts had 
any foundation, and found that his assumption 
of the priestly character was a gross imposture^ 
He has not the necessary documents to prov^ 
' his pretensions, neither has he been able to pro- 
cure them, although he has been long denoitneed 



CIVILITY OP THE CLERGY. 266 

by his diocesan. This, however, does not ap- 
pear to be the first instance of an interloper 
having been protected by the Haitian govern- 
ment. Under that of Petion, it is said that a 
Frenchman appeared at Port-au-Prince, and as- 
sumed the character of a bishop. His imposture 
was exposed, without any further notice from 
the president, whenpre^d for allowing a person, 
so notoriously destitute of claim to his assumed 
character, to remain, than that " it was con- 
venient." Daring the whole of my stay in. this 
eity I continued to maintain the most friendly 
terms with the clergy, for I was daily visited 
by the two canons. Dr. Manuel Gtonzales and 
Dr. Thomas de Portes, to whom I am indebted 
•for the copy of Valverde's History, which I had 
sought in vain in every other place. The cura 
of the cathedral, Padre Soto, and of Santa Bar- 
*bara, (a small parish within sight of the walls,) 
Dr. Jose Ruiz, also called upon me ; and I am 
bound to bear testimony to their kindly disposi- 
tions and unobtrusive discharge of their func- 
tions. 

With General Borgella I also was on a very 
ftgreeable footing. I found him a frank, open, 
manly soldier, without pretension, well versed 
in the history of his country, as well as in the 
character of his countrymen, and exceedingly 



256 NOTES ON HAITh . 

fiiendly. He is the son of a Frencht gentlematii 
who held laige possessions in the Cul de Sac, 
mod, as the president of Toussaint's Constituent 
Assembly, ugned the constitution of the colony 
promulgated by that chief. For his share in this 
transaction he was sent by Le Clerc to France, 
where he died in great want, leaving a ^dow 
and daughter, who are mainly supported by 
the general. 

Borgella was (in 1,827) fifty-three years of 
age, and had served from the earliest period of 
the revolution, having held the French commis- 
sion of lieutenant of g^ns-d'armerie. He after- 
wards adhered to Rigaud, and , would have 
accompanied him to France on his expulsion 
by Toussaint, had he not been disgusted almost 
at the point of embarkation, to which he l^pw- 
ever attended his fallen chief. He remained^ 
and was exposed to much hardship from Tous^ 
saint ; but having a powerful friend in his father, 
his life was saved. When General Boudet's 
division captured Port-au-Prince, Borgella was 
on General Ag6s' staff, the whole of which 
joined the French. Haying saved the lives of 
upwards of one hundred Frenchmen, who had 
been ordered to be massacred by Toussaint, he 
was much sought after and speedily promoted. 
On the division of the island between Chris- 



GENERALS BORGELLA AND BEAUVAIS. 257 

taphe and Petion, he adhered fo the latter, but 
supported Rigaud on his secession from Port-au* 
Prince. Subsequently he has uniformly served 
under the republic, and public opinion has long 
marked him as the future president of Haiti. 

It was important to obtain information from 
an individual so intelligent as General Borgella, 
who, having passed through so many tumul- 
tuous scenes, had never abandoned the island, 
even at her last gasp. I found him ready to 
communicate, and among other acts of civiUty 
for which I am indebted to him, he undertook 
to mark^ in the margin of " L'Histoire d'Haiti " 
by Placide Justin, the errors — which he did ; 
and, to the credit of the historian, they are 
not numerous. 

He gave a very interesting, and even affect- 
ing account of General Beauvais, the first co- 
loured chief, who appears to have been equally 
esteemed by the whites and by his own caste. 
He served with great distinction, and com- 
manded at Jacmel at the breaking out of the 
war between Toussaint and Rigaud ; but being 
unwilling to engage in what he deemed a fra- 
tricidal war, he privately withdrew, leaving as 
his successor the officer next in command. 
Accompanied by his ynfe and two daughters, 
he sailed from Jacmel only to fall into the 



268 NOTES ON HAITI. 

handB of a British cruizer. They were taken 
to one of our islands, and an exchange of the 
general was shortly negotiated. The party 
then embariced in a French frigate for France. 
After being at sea for some time, beyond the 
reach of any port, the vessel was discovered to 
be in a sinking state. The boats could remove 
only a small number of the crew and passen- 
gers. It was determined to draw lots. Beau- 
vais, having stipulated for the safety of his two 
daughters, drew a favourable lot : that of his 
wife was unfavourable. He insisted on her 
safety, and perished. His two girls were adopted 
by a rich old gentleman in France, and have 
been since very advantageously married. 

General Lacroix asserts that Fontaine, Tons* 
saint's aide-de-camp, had been shot by General 
Le Clerc, for maintaining a treasonable corres- 
pondence with his old chief. I was curious 
to determine this fact, and General Borgella 
assured me that he had been sent to France, 
and died, as he believed, at Mantua. He was 
black, had been well educated in France, and 
was a very intelligent person. He had been 
Beauvais' aide-de-camp when he left Jacmel, 
and subsequently served under the banners of 
Toussaint. 

Borgella does not reverence the memory of 



Aoi AND LAPOINTE. 259 

General Ag6, whom he describes as a worthless 
draitkafd^ distrusted and despised by every 
person. He was also equally unflattering in 
his portrait of Lapointe^ of whom I took some 
notice in my account of Cayes. He was a man 
df talent, but a most unprincipled scoundrel. 
He' murdered nearly one hundred of his own 
relations and personal fHends, whom his guilty 
consdence led him to suspect might denounce 
some of his treasons. Among his other quali- 
fication^y he possessed in a very superior degree 
the art of lying; l^inking it, I suppose, as too 
TUtoy 'do, even within the verge of places that 
ffiust hot be named, the perfection of diplomatic 
address. 

r think tfa^t it is the opinion of this officer, 
itisct there is fevery reason to expect that the 
tr^nc[uillity of the republic is not likely to be 
interrupted without much mismanagement, for 
every one is tired of civil dissention, and wishes 
to ^void die renewal of horrors j the very recol- 
lection of which is heart-rending. 

I spent one day with the general at his house 
at San Carlos, a cool retreat on a rising ground, 
about a couple of miles from the town, and 
another at his sugar estate Bassora, on the left 
bank of the Ozama, about twelve miles dis- 
tant. On both these occasions there were 



260 NOTES ON HAITI. 

various persons present, the conunandant Ge- 
neral Cairi^, Seiior Caminero^ an eminent 
lawyer, Lamotte Duthier, the store-deeper. 
General Rich^, the black inspector of fortifica- 
tions,, and yarious others. 

M. Lamotte is a remarkable man ; he is a 
native of Jeremie^ and remained there until 
1802, when he was saved by the commissary 
<rf police from being murdered, and went. to 
America. His account of. the atrocities of M^ 
U'Arbeau, who received twenty thousand doN 
lar? yearly from the " comit^" of public safety 
to give impunity to their hangings and drown- 
ings, was dreadful. Lacroix gives some account 
of the bloodshed in that quarter. ^ Lamotte 
made his way to Europe, where he exercised 
his talents as an artist, which are really very 
respectable. He practised his art at Lisbon for 
some time, but at last returned home.. 

All agreed that the jealousy which prevailed 
among the castes had been excessive ; and 
knowing this to be the case, Sonthonax at- 
tempted to promote it, so as to render each 
party in turn subservient to his objects. This 
commissioner, by the reports made of him, 
must have been totally devoid of principle : 
one anecdote is so characteristic of his system^ 
that I cannot refrain from giving it. 






MABOON CHIEF. 261 

Among the other worthies that he collected 
under his standard^ there was a negro chief, 
previously a runaway, of a most hideous coun- 
tenance and appearance ; and he considered his 
iabominable aspect so essential to his authority, 
that he added to it all that was in his power. 

- * * 

Among other expedients, he hung bells to his 
overgrown beard and whiskers, and painted his 
body white. 

This individual, who was especially protected 
by the French commissary, encamped near 
Beauvais at Croix des Bouquets, at the time 
o^ the schism between Sonthonax and the co- 
loured chief. Under the pretext of establishing 
a friendly intercourse, he invited the latter, with 
his staff, to breakfast with him. The real ob- 
ject was assassination— fortunately it was dis- 
covered by the captain of the gens-d'armerie, 
who selected and despatched to the scene of 
action a confidential serjeant named Phillipeau, 
and fifteen chosen men, (having also secured 
all the outlets, and stationed a strong party of 
soldiers in ambush.) Phillipeau arrived just 
as the general and his party, unsuspicious of 
treachery, had deposited their arms in an outer 
room, and had gone into the breakfast apart- 
ment, where it had been arranged that each of 
the devoted guests w^^s to be placed by the side 



262 NOTES ON HAITI. 

of his intended assassin. PliiUipeau suddenly 
presented himself, and calling out Beauvs^s, 
hastily stated the circumstances* The indivi- 
duals thus summoned resumed their arms. The 
gens-d'armes pressed forward and poured in 9. 
voUey on the conspirators, winch destroyed the 
whole of them. The coloured chief was thus 
saved. 

It is quite certain that Sonthona^ calculated 
much on the prejudices of castes, which for- 
merly prevailed so extensively, and which there 
is too much reason for believing exist with a 
degree of force which muat render the taai«g«. 
ment of the republic a difficult business. 

During my stay in this city, I was fprtunate 
enough to msite a very general acquaintance 
with the leading people of all the castes and 
conditions ; and as they treated me with equal 
frankness, I had probably the best opportunity 
yet afforded me of determining the charact^ 
and dispositions of all. Of these I shall here- 
after speak ; but it is due to those from whom I 
derived so much useful information, for me here 
to express my sense of gratitude. 

Santo Domingo is the earliest European esla? 
blishment now existing in the New Worlds and 
ought to have been the metropolis of the west. 
It was founded in 149^4 by B^tolomeo Colum* 



CITY OF SANTO DOMINGO* 263 

buB on' the left batik of the Ozama, and bore 
the name of '^ La Nueya Isabella/' which waft 
afterwards changed to its present designation, 
it is said, in honour of Columbus' father, whose 
namie was Domingo. On the same side of the 
river, Diego, the son of the great navigator^ 
built a large stone house, with defences against 
the Indians, the remains of which still exist. 

A hurricane in 1602 destroyed the first city, 
and the present one was founded on the oppo- 
site bank of the Ozama, and is described to 
have in a very short time attained a degree of 
grandeur not unworthy of its metropolitan rank. 
It is built on a small platform that commands 
the harbour. Its form is trapezoidal, extending 
^long the Ozama about nine hundred yards, 
and along the sea about eight hundred, having 
a circuit of about three thousand yards. The 
-^hole is surrounded with a rampart, which 
varies in thickness from eight to twelve feet. 
There are also around it traces of a ditch. The 
bastions are small, and tviro half-moon batteries 
protect the two extremes, and some irregular 
works defend the city towards the sea. A 
small hf:ight to the north-west commands the 
rampart in that direction. When I was there, 
the repair of the fortifications was going on as 
&8t as small means would allow. 



264 NOTES ON HAITI. 

The 'interior of the city is regularly laid out 
in streets, that intersect each other nearly at 
right angles. The houses are in the Spanish 
style ; the larger ones forming a square, with 
an inner quadrangle ; those of an inferior kind 
such as are seen in the smaller towns in Spain, 
with massy doors and barred windows. The 
older buildings are generally of a limestone of 
the country ; those of more recent date, of an 
earthy matter called '* tapia." Pillars of ma- 
sonry are run up, a frame of wood-work con- 
necting them, and the intervals are filled up 
with this " tapia," which is beaten down, and 
on setting, as I believe it is technically phrased, 
it acquires a hardness equal to that of stone- 
work, with the advantage of being one conti- 
nuous wall. The larger houses are very good ; 
but the appearance of the whole is deformed 
by small thatched buildings, even in the prin- 
cipal streets. 

The streets are not all paved, but they are 
wide and spacious. The climate is agreeable, 
and what is invaluable, there is a never-failing 
sea-breeze, which, however, is obstructed by 
the rampart to the east : indeed, I may say 
it is entirely excluded from the lower parts of 
the houses* 

But notwithstanding these advantages, the 



CATHEDRAL OF SANTO DOMINGO. 565 

imlx^unded praises layished on it in some of the 
earli^ reports to the Emperor Charles V., can- 
not now be bestowed ; and from the remains of 
its fonner condition, which is exempUfied in the 
public buildings, I may be pardoned for suspect- 
ing that the facility afforded by the Spanish 
language to exaggerated description, may have 
contributed to the glowing pictures that have 
been handed down, chiefly by Oviedo. 

Of these monuments of former splendour the 
cathedral remains, having been founded in 1514, 
and finished in 1540. The architecture is Gothic, 
and it contains a nave and two aisles. The roof 
is so substantial as to have resisted earthquakes 
and even shells, one of which thrown during 
the last siege by the British, is firmly fixed 
in it. In this building the cross which I men- 
tioned in speaking of the Santo Cerro, is pre- 
served as a precious relic, enchased iQ fili- 
greed silver, and there is a particular service in 
its honour, which oAe of the canons. Dr. Por- 
tez, was so obliging as to perform when he 
exhibited the holy relic. Formerly the bones 
of Columbus, and the irons in which he had 
been sent to Spain a prisoner, were lodged in 
the wall ; but on the treaty of Basle the only 
mortal remains that could be found were tran- 
sported to the city of Havana, in the cathe- 

VOL. I. M 



266 NOTES ON HAITI* 

dial of which they now repose. It may, how* 
ever, be geriously doubted whetherthese bones 
are ColombuB*, or those of his son or brother. 
Moreau St. Mery made some diligent inquiries 
which lead to the doubt ; yet if the maxim 
'* crede quod habes et habes " be correct, it 
would be a pity to disturb the popular belief. 

The monasteries of Mercy and of St. Francis, 
and the Jesuits' college, are no longer devoted 
to religious purposes. A decree of the govem- 
m&atf 8th of July, 1824, abolished all monastic 
orders; and there is not, I believe, a single 
monk or fnar in the city. The college of the Je- 
suits, which is now the military store-house, is 
remarkably fine. Its cupola and chief altar are 
carved out of the most beautiful mahc^any. 

Two convents for nuns, one dedicated to 
'* Regina Angelorum," and the other to *' Santa 
Clara," still subsist, but are deprived, by the 
decree just cited, of all their revenues, and no 
fresh inmates are permitted to be received. 
There were (in 1827) six or seven old nuns still 
living in them, receiving cui allowance firom the 
public treasury. 

The Dominican convent was devoted to the 
uses of the University until that establishment 
sunk. It is said that divine service is still per^ 
formed in nine churches, besides the cathedral : 



HOSPITAL — BARRACKS — PALACE. 267 

it may be flo ; but it would be difficult to point 
out the officiating priests. 

To the honour of the Spaniards, notwith- 
standing all that has been said, and may, I fear, 
be truly said, of their misdeeds in the western 
world, they generally established on their set* 
tlements hospitals for the sick and destitute. 
Two hospitals erected by them in Santo Do- 
mingo attest this assertion, and it is creditable 
to the existing government that they are carer 
folly kept up. 

The caserns, or barracks, are large and com- 
modious; the arsenal extensive. The liglit- 
faouse and prison are conveniently placed, both 
under the refreshing influence of the sea- 
breeze. 

Hie national palace is by no means a splen- 
did one. A new building, instead of it, was 
in progress during my visit. 

There are few mcmuments of the fine arts ; 
the only one I saw was a painting of the Cruci- 
fixion in the office of the commandant of the 
city, into which is introduced, among other 
suppliants at the foot of the cross, a Haitian 
sddier in full uniform. The question naturally 
arose, as in the case of the fly in amber, " How 
the devil did he get there ?" 
^A newspaper had been lately discontinued 






268 NOTES ON HAITI. 

for want of encouragement^ but there was still 
a printing-press. 

. The harbour, formed by the terminatioD <^ the 
river Ozama, is excellent, being in fact a natural 
basin, capable of containing a large number of 
vessels, and of protecting them from every tesoL- 
pest The bar G^t the entrance is, however, a for- 
midable dr^kwback; for although earlier wri- 
ters say that vessels of four hundred tons could 
pass it, now it is found that there i3 no greater 
draught of water than ten or twelve feet. Th6 
consequence is, that ships of any burthen are 
obliged to anqhor at the entrance in the roads, 
which are exceedingly exposed.. There is a con- 
venient fountain for watering shipping, said to 
have been built by Diego Columbus. TheOzama 
is navigable for considerable-sized craft for nine 
or ten leagues from the port, a circumstance 
that may be turned to good account if the po- 
pulation on its banks should increase. 

Considerable trade is carried on in. the ar^ 
tides pf consumption of the country; but as 
the chief exports are mahogany, lignum-vitae, 
and other woods, the outward-bouQd vessels 
generally load at the point of the coast most 
convenient for the embarkation of their cargoes. 
There is more appearance of internal traffic 
here than in most towns in Haiti. 



POPULATION — SAN CARLOS. 269 

The population is very mixed^ consisting of 
all the classes and castes that are to be seen in 
the other parts of Ae island. The number of 
foreigners is considerably smaller^ however, than 
at Port-au-Prince, Cayes, or the Cape ; while 
the proportion of native whites and coloured 
people considerably exceeds that of the blacks. 
There did not appear to me to exist to the same 
extent as elsewhere, the prejudices which form 
so inveterate ah obstacle to the consolidation of 
the Haitians z& a nation having only one com- 
mon feeBng. I chiefly remarked that there was 
a considerable dislike between the resident 
J>riesthood and the soldiery from the west ; the 
one party regard'mg the other as a band of men 
without religion or principle, while they were 
deemed a set of fanatic bigots. All outward 
show of rancour has been subdued by Greneral 
Borgella's adroit management of very discordant 
materials. 

To the north and west the country is open 
and very agreeable. Between these two points 
stands the suburb of San Carlos, at the verge 
of which is the country retreat, already men- 
tioned, belonging to General Borgella. San 
Carlos was founded by a colony from the Ca- 
nary Islands, commonly called " Canarios,** or 
Islefios. It is said to have been formerly hand- 



270 NOTES ON HAITI. 

some ; but Dessalines^ when he besieged the 
city, destroyed all but the church, which stiH 
remains, and is a handsome stone edifice. The 
walks are pleasant, and on hot days are crowded 
by gay parties, displaying the mantilla, fan, and | 
elastic step that so fascinate all aflmirers of' 
grace and elegance. The veil may not, however, 
be so frequently removed as it might be, where 
brilliancy of complexion is more prevalent. 

Along the sea-shore there are some pleasant 
cottages surrounded by gardens. I was af two 
of them, and enjoyed the fresh breeze exceed- 
ingly. One belonged to the only English resi- 
sident, Mr* Lawrence, and the other to Sefior 
Caminero; and I heard (too late to visit it) 
that an industrious North American has esta- 
Uished in the same neighbourhood a sort of 
Vauxhall, to which crowds of people resort, 
much to the replenishment of his purse. 

In and about this part of Haiti, I apprehend 
that though agriculture may have improved of 
late, it is still very far behind what it ought to 
be. Guinea grass, so necessary for forage, has 
been introduced, and it is extending. Some 
cacao, coffee, cotton, tobacco, and sugar, are 
produced, for they may be bought ; but I did 
not see the plantations on which they grow, 
with the exception of Bassora already named. 



PLANTATION BAS80BA. 271 

on which there is a good mill, all the requisite 
machinery, and a hmidred men constantly em- 
ployed ; but the superintendant was captain 
.of the rural police — a fact which tended much 
to maintain discipline. Though rather out of 
place, I must record a fact that occurred during 
my visit to this estate :— one of the party, a 
general officer, was missing, and on looking for 
him, he was found sleeping among the senrants ; 
and such was the irksomeness to him of re- 
maining with us, that immediately after break- 
fast he again retired to his associates among 
th,e guides and grooms, with whom he dis- 
cussed cigars until we moved off for the city. 
I mention this as illustrative of the progress 
of society. 

On Bassora very good sugar is made; but 
there is a want of a steady home market, syrup 
being so much more generally used by the 
natives. 

I believe the principal supply of all the minor 
articles brought to the market is derived from 
both the banks of the Ozama, as well as of the 
Isabella, where, in the recesses. of the forest, 
cultivation is said to be gradually advancing. 

At the distance of a few leagues from the 

city is situated San Cristoval, in the midst of 

^the jSourijihing district of " Los Ingenios." 



272 NOTES crs haiti. 

General Borgella has attended with a fostering 
care to this, and the efforts of the inhabitant!) 
are reported to have so well corresponded with 
his views, that the most sanguine expectations 
of improyement there are confidently enter- 
tained. It is in this district that fortificationel 
have been established, to serve as a dep6t in 
case of foreign invasion. The selection of the 
position is desoribed to be pecnliaiiy good, in 
an almost inaccessible point, commanding a 
wide eitent of country, abundantly supplied 
with water, flowing through a rich virgin soil, 
that reaches close to the walls of the fortress. 

About forty leagues from the city is the town 
of Higuey, celebrated for its virgin, to whose 
shrine devotees even from the most remote 
comers of the island resort, either to expiate 
crime or to invoke blessings. I knew an in* 
stance of a female, who had a deaf and dumb 
child, travelling from Port-au-Prince to Hi* 
guey in the vain hope of cure. The reputa- 
tion of the saint, though not equal to her of 
Loretto, is a very abundant source of revenue 
to the superintending priest. The offerings 
of the pious, who beg, boiTOW, or steal, to 
pay him, render him the richest clergyman in 
Haiti. 

The representation of the saint, a« described 



SHRINE AT HIGTJEY— INDUSTRY. 



^73 



to me, is an oiI*paintiiig about a foot in length ; 

tile frame is solid gold, or seems to be so, set 

i^th ptmous stones, so as to correspond in all 

vespects widi a crown of similar materials. The 

neighbouring soil is described as exceedingly 

productive, scarcely requiring cultivation. 

There, however, as well as elsewhere, re*- 
gular labour is procured with difficulty, if 
procured at all. An old settler told me of a 
very whimsical expedient, to wMch he was led 
to recur by his knowledge of the people : at 
the revolution in 1822, all his slaves became 
inoculated, like Cornet OUapod, with a mili- 
t€uy ardour, and left him for ^ the delights of 
a Haitian guard-room. It was necessary for 
the support of his family that his estate should 
not lie fallow — ^but how could he procure la- 
bourers ? — ^Why, he became the godfather to 
every fine stout boy in his neighbourhood. 
Now the authority of a godfather is unbounded 
throughout Haiti : he may actually take liber-^ 
ties that a father could not. All the godsons 
of my acquaintance are employed as labourers, 
and, if idle, they are thrashed without any 
dread of the "code civil;" and as he always 
lakes care to have relays in store, as fast as 
vacancies are produced by attaining the age 
of twenty-ono years, they are filled up by 



.A 



274 KOTE8 ON HAITI. 

the new made Christians. In this way he 
keeps up an efficient set of about twenty stout 
lads: few, however, have the same resource 
at command. Nor is it all surprisii^ such 
should be the case under the new regime^ 
since we find that, even so long ago as in the 
year 1786, with the slave system in full force, 
there was a deplorable deficiency of labour, so 
much so that the proprietors, according to the 
native historian Valverde, were too poor to 
employ managers or overseers, but were ob- 
liged to superintend in person the operations of 
their labourers. Nor does there appear to have 
been any want of industry ; but the lack of means 
of increasing labour kept them in continued 
depression. It is not a little remarkable that 
many of the same individuals who in the rich 
soil of San Domingo remained poor, on removal 
either to Puerto Rico or Cuba made large for- 
tunes. To trace all the causes producing so 
singular an anomaly would require more inti- 
mate knowledge of facts than any stranger 
can acquire in a short residence. I shall how- 
ever point, before I end, at some of them. A 
class of small proprietors of farms called 
" Estancias," with two or three negroes, appear 
to have flourished in San Domingo as well 
as in Cuba, where they form that very efficient 



MONTEROS — CATTLE BREEDING. 275 

body, of men called *' Monteros." They labour 
with their slaves^ and fare nearly as they do. 
Since I have had any knowledge of the fact, 
that Europeans may thrive within the tropics 
as these individuals do, the speculation, first, 
I believe, recommended by the late indefatiga- 
ble Dr. Colquhoun, of encouraging in the high 
lands of our colonies small white proprietors, 
has been one of my favourite schemes j nor do 
I think it would be difficult to show that the 
adoption of such a measure would add to their 
security, no less than increase their value to 
the parent state. Many of the Spanish Haitians 
still hold " Estancias.*' 

Cattle-breeding was always an object of im- 
portance, at least since 1535, at which period 
homed cattle had multiplied to an enormous 
extent; but independent of these, horses, sheep, 
goats, asses, and hogs also abound. 

The grazing estabUshment is called " hatto," 
on which the arrangements (which were very 
extensive) were made with great precision. 
The animals were classed according to their 
habits. The father of the family generally 
directed the whole, while his sons undertook 
the executive part of the duty. Their life was 
one of continued hardship and exposure ; yet I 
question whether there is one who would wil- 



276 NOTES OK HAITI* 

Kngly exchange it for any other* I shall not' 
readily forget the delight with which one of 
these hardy fellows detailed to me the number 
of nights he was in the habit of spending 
among the monntainsy carrying in a acnp a 
small allowance of food, sleeping under a tree, 
with his back propped by it, and exposed to 
incessant wet in the marshy plashy grounds ; 
and, when awake, depending for his safe 
return home on his intimate knowledge of tiie 
country. The gratification which he experi- 
enced most probably arose from the same cir- 
cumstance that animated the French ren^^do, 
mentioned by Chateaubriand, when galloping 
at the utmost stretch across the Great Desart — 
the sense of uncontrolled freedom. 

There has been a variety of cai:»es assigned ) 
for the depopulated and uncultivated condition \ 
in which this most glorious island has been al- 
most from its earliest history, while the adja- 
cent islands were rising into opulence and im- 
portance. At the first view it certainly ap- 
pears to be utterly incomprehensible, for it 
could not depend on the indolence of Spaniards, 
since in Puerto Rico and Cuba the self-same 
Spaniards, as has been already stated, were 
industrious and flourishing ; neither could it be 
ascribed to any sterility of the soil, since this 



CAUSES OF FORMER DECAY. 27?^ 

is unqiiestionably not the least luxuriant in 
tlie world, and decided evidence was given of 
the feet by the success of the French in the 
west. This much is certain, that/ aftet San 
; \ Domingo had been three oenturi^ in the hands 
^ 1 of Spain, she was worth nothing as a colony. 
Valverde, who sometimes aims at being poeti- 
cal, obseiV^s that the riches and splendour of 
Hispaniola resembled those flowers that scarcely 
2AI0W time to admire their beautiful tints, and 
to inhale thfeir fragrance, before they expire. 

It would seem that the first blow given to 
the prosperity of the colony was the infamous 
recal of Columbus, which afforded an oppor- 
tunity to the unprincipled Bobadilla and Ovahdo, 
contrary to the wishes of their sovereigns, to 
distribute the unhappy Indians among the 
land and mine-holders. Goaded by ill usage, 
many of these wretched people escaped to the 
continent ; others died of small-pox ; while the 
sudden change of life from one of unrestrained 
freedom to that of incessant labour, destroyed 
a very large number. On the loss of labourers 
the produce both of the soil and the mines also 
ceased, as an inevitable consequence. 

Next followed the intestine divisions, which, 
in spite of the prohibition by the court of Spain 
of emigration, forced the most opulent proprie- 



378 NOTES ON HAITIi 

tors to seek an asylum in other countries. Yet, 
notwithstanding these difficulties, the colony 
struggled through the sixteenth century by the 
labour afforded by negroes; and cultivation 
prospered to a small extent, while the heids 
rapidly augmented. All trade with the Penin- 
sula, and even with Mexico, having ceased, 
the colony might have been totally lost to Eu- 
rope, had not the Dutch and other foreigners 
maintained an iUicit intercourse with it. ^The 
only, act of interference of Spain, and it was 
one of consistent imprudence, was to destroy 
this resource in 1606, under the pretext of put- 
ting an end to smuggling, by abandoning the 
ports of the north, the inhabitants of which 
w«pe forced into the interior. If the court of 
Madrid had desired to make an experiment on 
the possibility of barbarizing a community in 
the midst of increasing civilization, a better 
mode could possibly not have been devised. 
Jobbing, however, was, I believe, the real 
cause of the atrocious deed. Disease in different 
forms, each equally fatal, earthquakes and fo- 
reign invasion, contributed in turn to destroy 
and to dishearten such of the inhabitants as 
survived. A modem author sums up the state 
of abandonment at the end of the seventeenth 
century, by saying, " Thus the island, the 



FORMEB CONDITION. 279 

metropolis of the fourth part of the world, only 
retained the inhabitants who were bound by 
extreme necessity ; the houses decayed from a 
wsmt of occupants ; the lands abandoned often 
remained without an owner; and the landmarks 
kaving ceased to exist, no man could distinguish 
his property from that of another. The public 
revenue was almost nothing, and the only re- 
turns to the public chest arose from a few quires 
of stamps and a few papal bulls. To defray the 
charges of the government, it was necessary to 
send large sums from Mexico. In a word, so 
wretched was the poverty, that the greatest 
festival in Santo Domingo was on the arrival of 
money to pay the administration. Its entry 
within the gates was announced by the ringing 
of bells, by rejoicing, and cries of joy."* 

To remedy the want of population, the go- 
vernment sent out some families from the Cana- 
ries, many of whom, from injudicious treatment, 
died ; yet the* colony began to revive as its 
French neighbour advanced in prosperity. 
Smuggling was rendered more easy, and the 
demand for cattle considerably augmented. 

* Description de Tlsle de S. Domingue^Partie Eepagnole, 
par Moreau St. Mery, p. 40, voU !• 



280 NOTES ON HAITI. 



CHAPTER XI. 



EfiecU of revolution in the West or the East — Emigration — 
Check to decay — Depreciation of the value of property — Ac- 
cowntof thA revolution in 182 1 and 1822 — NnlSes— Colonel 
Aly and his black corps — Spanish goveznor — Pascmii Real 
arrasted and deposed — Counter-revolution— Causes — Occu- 
pation by President Boyerand republican army — Guarantees 
given — Tumults suppressed— Trade not very active — Reten- 
tion of Spanish cuttonis — MantUla —Guitars — Artisans — 
Public amutements — ^Preparations fbr depaitore. 

Such was the state of St. Doraiogo during 
the greater part of the eighteenth century. New 
dangers arose at the commencement of the 
revolutionary movements in the French colony; 
and the Spaniards are accused of having se- 
cretly encouraged them, even before the war had 
commenced in Europe between the two parent 
states. This much is certain, that, as soon as 
the war had commenced, the Spaniards supplied 
the revolted slaves with arms, admitted them 



EFFECTS OF REVOLUTION. 281 

into their territory y and gave rank to their chiefs. 
Toussaint held that of a colonel in the Spanish 
anny; and it is asserted by French writeis 
that ** Jean Francois/' one of the first insurgent 
black leaders, was elevated to the rank of a 
grandee of Spain. This assertion is as boldly 
denied by respectable Spaniards, though with 
what truth I cannot presume to determine. I 
believe that Jean Francois died not many years 
ago in Madrid, in the receipt of a pension from 
the government. 

The necessary alarm, from the proximity of 
revolutioiaary saaterials, must have, without 
question, operated very powerfully in driving 
away those whose prosperity enabled them to 
remove with their famiUes : probably these 
were accompanied by all their dependants, who 
gladly followed their fortunes to the neigh- 
bouring and more peaceful islands of Puerto 
Rico and Cuba. Since 1795 there can have 
been no assured security, which must have 
eminently contributed to the downfal of the co- 
lony — a downfal which had been progressively 
going on in regular progression, until it has 
been finally brought to its lowest point. 

The further decline is universally allowed 
by the inhabitants to have been retarded by 
the ccmciliatory yet firm conduct of General 



282 NOTES ON HAITI. 

Borgella. Under his administration the ovei*- 
whehning progress of decay has been counter- 
acted, and eventually the current may be 
directed into a better channel; but still the 
want of population and capital are evils thai 
can only be thoroughly remedied by time, 
aided by the judicious encouragement of fo- 
reigners. I may mention, in proof of the depre- 
ciation of property owing to the want of funds, 
and the desire of many of the Spaniards ^ to 
realize and withdraw their property from an 
obnoxious government, that the house in which 
I lodged, which was formerly worth six or 
eight thousand dollars, was offered for sale at 
one thousand ; and the best estate (sugar) in 
the neighbourhood, which was valued at eighty 
thousand dollars, was sold for fifteen thousand, 
to be paid out of the crops. The inducement in 
this case was confidence in the personal honour 
of the purchaser, or it would have been ^old 
for a smaller sum in cash. 

As I collected some interesting particulars of 
the revolution, I cannot, I think, do better 
than give a short account of it in this place, 
while treating of the scene of action. 

It is well known that, by the ninth article of 
the treaty of Basle concluded the 22nd of 
July, 1795, between France and Spain, the 



PROGRESS OV RBVOLlTriON. 283 

eastern part of St. Domingo was added to the 
former power^ in consideration of giving up all 
her conquests in the Pyrenees. There appears 
to have been some subsequent understanding 
between the parent states, for no orders appear 
to have been ever given to the republican chiefs 
in the island to occupy it ; indeed, positive in* 
structions not to do so are said by Lacroix to 
have been sent to Toussaint L'Ouverture, who, 
suspecting their import, pressed on in advance 
of the officer conveying the despatches, and 
had taken mihtary possession of the city itself 
before they reached him. He thus attained his 
object without appearing to do so, in opposition 
to higher powers. 

. After Le Clerc arrived, the city, in common 
with the whole island, fell into his hands, and 
remained so until 1801, when the small French 
force then occupying it capitulated to the 
late General Carmichael, who, I presume, from 
directions from home, delivered possession to 
the Spanish authorities, at the head of whom 
was Don Juan Sanchez : thus the cession made 
in 1795 was actually voided by conquest ; and 
to confirm the right of possession, it was stipu- 
pulated by the eighth article of the treaty of 
Paris, concluded 30th of May, 1814, that 



284 NOTES ON HAITI. 

'' His most Christiaii Majesty* restores in full 
right and sovereignty to His Catholic Majesty, 
the portion of St. Domingo ceded to France by 
the treaty of Basle.*' Thus from that period 
the point of lawful possession was fixed and 
acted upon by the contracting parties. 

The decrepitude of the Spanish govemment 
was never more strongly exemplified than in 
its conduct to this its most ancient western 
possession. On every occasion there was dis- 
played the most marked inability touafford the 
least protection, beyond supplying it with a 
very ample number of public functionaries. AH 
this afforded a strong argument to revolutionary 
minds to propose a change, while all the sins 
of preceding governments furnished never-failing 
topics of declamation. It is not, under sucK 
circumstances, a matter of surprise that turbu- 
lent spirits should be called into activity while 
revolution was raging in every direction ; and 
even in this obscure nook there were materials 
to act and to be acted upon. 

There was, in 1821, resident in the city, and 
holding the rank of " auditor de guerra," a 
lawyer named Jos^ Nunez de Ca^eres, (after- 

• See Appendix, note (I.) 



NUNEZ — BEVOLUTION. 286 

wards the firiend^ secretary-general, and confi- 
dential adviser of Paez in Ck>lombia,) who had 
felled, through the intrigues of his enemies in 
Spain, to obtain the rank of one of the judges 
of the ^'Audiencia Real;" and consequently 
became an inveterate patriot and avenger of his 
counHay's wrongs. At this time the troops 
scarcely amounted to one hundred and fifty 
Europeans, who, it is said, had been all cor- 
rupted — ^and a blacJiL regjyQoent commanded by 
Colonel Aly, which had accompanied Toussaint 
at the time of his conquest, and had subse* 
quenUy entered the Spanish service. Yet, with 
singular improvidence and disregard of the 
dangerous neighbourhood of Port-au-Prinoe, 
the officers were only .allowed to hold rank in 
their own corps, being, as I understood, with- 
out the power o( command over any other; in 
fact, having purely regimental, not army rank. 
Althou^ this body always conducted them- 
selves well, it is not to be supposed that they 
would particularly object to any change that 
would place them in a better relative situation 
to their fellow-soldiers. Of the knowledge of 
these facts Nunez made ample use : he leagued 
himself with seven others to throw off allegiance 
to Spain; and they made their arrangements 
so well, that on the iiight of the 30th of No- 



286 NOT£S ON HAITI. 

vetaber, 1821, they arrested the governor* 
brigadier Don Pascual Real in bed withoat 
opposition, hoisted Colombian colours, and 
were in possession of all the fortifications as 
soon as the dawn broke on the morning of the 
1st of December. They also issued a Decla- 
ration of Independence,* signed by the whole 
party, which, too, had been previously printed 
at the government printing-office. I was informed 
by an eye-witness that the revolution was ef- 
fected without the sUghtest tumult; and the 
only perceptible change to the inhabitants was 
the substitution of the Colombian for the Spa- 
nish flag; so thoroughly was the real power of 
the mother-country destroyed, even in this her 
most feeble dependency. 

All the usual transatlantic themes of a vas- 
salage of three centuries; oppression^ neglect, 
8cc. were duly enunciated by. the revolutionary 
party as the reasons of their proceeding. The 
chiefs then formed a provisional government, 
at the head of which Nunez was placed as pre- 
sident. One of his coadjutors became captain- 
general and commander-in-chief of their Lilli- 
putian army, and the remainder elected them- 
selves deputies of the north, east, and south. 

• See Appendix, note (J.) 



PROGRESS OF REVOLUtlON* 287 

There being no candidate, the west was left 
unprovided with a representative. 

According to the established formula in such 
cases, an ^^ acta constitutiva"* was ushered into 
the. world by this small band of political obste- 
tridans. Commodore Aury, with several armed 
vessels, hovered about the coast, I presume (o 
see that the patriots fulfilled their duty to 
Colombia ; and Baron Jacob paused at Sama- 
na, to see whether any thing favourable to 
France offered. 

Although the scheme went on with so much 
apparent smoothness, there was considerable 
dissatisfaction among no small portion of the 
peculation. The proscription in Colombia bf 
European Spaniards naturally alarmed such of 
that class as held property in Haiti ; and as 
socm as they were certified of the proceedings 
of Aury and Niufiez — ^forgetful of the frightful 
clause of the Constitution of 1806, which pro- 
hibits all white men from being proprietors in 
the republic, they began to intrigue in its fa- 
vour, considering, its rule, as many have fiunkly 
avowed, the least of two grievous evils. It is 
rumoured that for. a long time prior to this the 
Haitian government had active agents feeling 

* S«e Appen^iz* note (K.) 



388 NOTES ON HAITI. 

Khe pnlfle of the people. If so, it is not to be 
supposed that the events just narrated were likely 
to Idl them into repose. Be thlai as it may, 
scarcely had the self-fonned government eoni'* 
menced their legislative functions, when emis- 
saries were despatched by the inhabitants of 
the principal towns in the east, both to Cape 
HaitiaoL and Port-au-Prince, to urge the union 
of the whole island under one head. Before 
their arrival, or that of the news of the revolu- 
tion, President Boyer had despatched Aree 
officers to compliment General Real ; but on 
reaching their destination the change had oc- 
curred. Nunez had taken care to announce to 
his brother president, whose reply detailed the 
invitations received,* his acceptance of them, 
and his intention of marching with an over- 
whelming force. He also guaranteed ihe safe^ 
of persons and property, and stated the grounds 
of taking military possession to rest on the 
fortieth and forty-first articles t of the Consti- 
tution of 1806, vebifeh declare the republic to 
be one and indivisible. How far the Hght of 
the framers of that Constitution extended to 
consider as an integral part of Haitian territory 
that whi<*h they did not occupy, may be safely 

* See Appendix, note (L.) 
t See Appendix, note (M.) 






ANNEXATION OF THE EAST. 289 

feferred to the comnum sense of mankind at 
iarge, without calling in the aid of Vattel, Piif» 
feadoif^ Bynkershoeck, or any other writer on 
public law. 

President Boyer further reconunended a pa- 
cific course to Nuiiezi which was adopted.* In 
the interval the deputation returned from Santo 
Domingo to Port-au-Prince, with a proposal 
for an alUance^ offensive and defensive, between 
the two republics ; which being rejected, citi- 
zen Nufiez, political chief as he was desig- 
nated, proposed to surrender his usurped au- 
thority. 

On the 21st of January, 1822, the Haitian 
flag was first displayed in the city of Santo 
Domingo, and on the 9th of the next monlh 
the municipality, at the head of whom appeared 
the ex-president, met the President Boyer be- 
yond the walls, and offered to surrender to him 

■ 

the keys of the city, which were, however, re- 
fused by him, for he came not as a conqueror, 
but as the father of his people. 

A proclamation of infinite promise was then 
put forth, and was confirmed by a subsequent 
one from Port-au-Prince, dated 22d. of June, 
1822: but pledges were deemed by the new 
republicans insufficient, as they saw their an* 

• See Note (N.) Appendix. 
VOL. I. N 



290 NOTBS ON HAITI. 

cient laws mddenly changed to the Haitaift 
oxle^ the practical inccmvemeiice of which^ 
chiefly, with regard to landed prc^rty, was 
eztensiyely felt, and the whites began to ap- 
preciate file insectthty of their tenure under the 
constitutioa. Nnmefous applications w»e there*- 
foie made to the government, to adopt some 
fixed mode of remedying these inconrenietices. 
The matter was referred to a committee of both 
branches of the legislature. This coi»mittee 
reported on all the points referred to them, and 
{Mttcticai inferences were deduced. The docu- 
ments are too long and uninteresting to be here 
detailed ; * but the united legislature sanctioned 
the report. A ccmimisfflon^ to carry into effect 
the law thus passed, was appointed to reside at 
Santo Domingo ; but (ihey have not given sads- 
factum, and the complaints of violated fisutib 
are loud and frequent. However, the report 
which was adopted may be deemed the bill of 
rights of the white Eastern population, as by it, 
quoad them, the light of holding property, un. 
opposition to the mischievous clause of the con- 
stitution already cited, is preserved. 

Such were the consequences of the revcdution 
when I witnessed them ; and I am disposed to 
infer, from what I heard at different periodft, 

• See Note (O.) Appendii. 



ANNEXATION OF THE EAST. 291 

that the parties refeived to attempted in vain to 
find any trace of compensation for the sacrifice 
of all their ancient {Medilections, and even pret- 
jndices. They consider their clergy degraded 
and injured, by b^ing almost reduced to a staie 
of dependence on the already stinted means of 
th^r flocks, their religion consequently in* 
«ultedy for they have no confidence in French 
or Port-au-Prince Christianity. Their univer^ 
sity no longer exists ; the public schools are 
destroyed ; and they insist that it is a mockery 
to talk of national schools, the teachers of which 
are utterly incompetent ; but the greate3t grie* 
vance (and it is a terrible one) is that, at the 
veiy age when their sons require the utmost 
eare of a parent, they are bound by the existing 
law to become soldiers, and to be initiated 
ifito all the profligacy of a guard-house, as 
privates; from which scene of degradation no 
merit csm rtetise them, while the son of the most 
worthless chief in the West. is at once raised to 
the rank of an officer. They compls^ too, that 
their morals being thus corrupted, there is little 
chance of the unfortunate individuals ever ^e^ 
suming respectable or decent habits. AU these 
points have been most strongly and feelingly 
pressed on me by sufferers, in nearly the lan- 
guage used. 



292 KOTfeS ON HAITI. 

Besides these grievances^ there has been no 
compensation for the slaves liberated at the 
revolution^ many of whom having become sol- 
diers, have left the proprietors without la* 
bourers, thus depriving their late masters of 
their only means of support. The French lan-^ 
guage too is substituted for Spanish^ an insult 
fully appreciated ; and in return for this beau- 
tiful independencey'tf it is found not to be re- \ 
cognized by either France or Spain; yet the 
present government expects the disfranchised 
Spaniard to contribute his proportion to the 
liquidation of the French indemnity. < 

The reduction of the value of property affords 
also, .here grumbling is permitted, a tolerable 
good reason for venting occasional complaints. 
With the effects of these facts I have nothing 
to do, my present business being merely to re- 
cord my observations. 

Some time before my arrival in the island^ 
feelings of discontent had displayed themselves 
so unequivocally that prosecutions were insti- 
tuted, some individuals shot, and others ba- 
nished. That these angry feelings have been 
subdued, and peace maintained, may, I believe, 
be attributed to General Borgella^s admiiiistra- 

• See Note (P.)~Copy of Ordonnance, April IT, 182a. 



COMMERCE OF THE BAST. 293 

tiQiiy which, though not without its defects, is, 
upon the whole, mild and conciliatory, though 
firm and vigilant. 

This state of things, of which the preceding 
pages contain a short sketch, does not warrant 
any expectations pf extensive commerce in Santo 
Domingo, Accordingly we find that it is con- 
ducted CHI a very restricted scale. The popula- 
tion being sm^l, consumption is limited. The 
produce of the soil (that is the cultivated pro- 
duce) is confined to domestic wants ; and 
although there is actually enough mahogany 
and dye-woods to supply the whole of Europe, 
there is nobody to fell, to prepare, or to ship so 
large a. quantity as the earth spontaneously 
yields. 

I have already expressed my sense of obliga- 
tion to all classes with whom I had any inter- 
course. Of their modes of general intercourse 
with each . other I had no means of judging 
accurately; but from all I could gather, it is 
much the same as in the mother country, the 
habits of which* seem to have invariably rooted 
themselves wherever the Spaniards have had 
an ascendancy. I remember being struck with 
seeing in Holland the mantilla of cloth worn by 
the women, nearly three hundred years after 
the Spanish yoke had been thrown off, under 



294 NOTES ON HAITI. 

drcnmstances that might have induced the 
moBt unqualified dismissal of even the most 
agreeable customs of the oppressor. 

Tlie tinkling of the guitar in the streets in 
the evening is associated with so many pleasing 
recollections to most peninsular travellers, that 
even in hands not moulded to elicit eloquent 
music, it excites sensations nearly allied to 
those of the Highlander at the animating sound 
of the pibroch. All is, I apprehend, depen- 
dent on associations with either some pleasing 
reality, or with some equally pleasing' fantasy, 
that has influenced the feelings '^ineaiiier days 
and happier hours." Nearly every evening \ 
these sounds continued until the usual hour of 
repose, ten o'clock ; and I confess they were / 
agreeable to mej 

Artizans of all descriptions in articles of com- 
mon demand are to be found in the city ; but 
they are most celebrated for their work in 
tortoise-shell, in silver, tchen it is to be pro- 
cured J and in hats made of the palm-leaf»- The 
tortoise-shell combs are handsome and substan- 
tial ; and canes are covered with the same ma- 
terial, so as to form a very tasteful walking- 
stick. The hats too are light and pleasant, 
though much inferior to those of Panama and 
Chili. 



PU9LIC AMUSEMENTS. 295 

Of public amusements there was a lamenta- 
^ dearth. I could hear of no bull-fights, no 
theatre^ and only one exhibition of feats on the 
slack-rope by a Spaniard, who performed seye- 
ral times during my stay. Some of my party 
went and. reported not unfavourably of the 
exhibition ; but as it took place at a time when 
I began to feel the effects of exertion and expo- 
sure, I was not disposed to attend. I have for- 
gotten the particulars ; but as well as I recol- 
lect, the usual frolics were stated to have been 
performed much to the satisfaction of the au- 
dience and to the peril of the vaulter's neck. 

Some little time before a company of Spanish 
comedians, who had been making the grand 
tour of the republic, had been attracting over- 
flowing houses. I should have liked much to 
have seen a classical Spanish tragedy, with 
all its declamation, enacted before such an au- 
dience as might be expected at, Santo Domingo. 
I believe that formerly exhibitions of the drama 
were not unfrequent. This is very consonant 
with the Spanish taste ; at Havana there is a 
very pretty little opera-house, with an excel- 
lent orchestra of motley musicians. Indeed, 
I believe that such an establishment uniformly 
accompanied that of every principal town in all 
the Spanish Americas. 



296 KOTES ON HAITI4 

As I had completed my budget of informa- 
tion, and there waa every reason to dread the 
approaching rains^ it became necessary to pre- 
pare for departure ; and after having devoted 
two or three days to the duties of civility, we 
prepared to find our way once more to the. 
capital. 



DEPABTUKE^ROM SANTO DOMINGO. 297 



CHAPTER XII. 

Rjver Jaina-^Ferry-boAl — Rivei Niflao-^Mtkoganjr atitsm-^ 
Mode of preparing logs— Dinner with dealess — Roa4 to Bani 
— Arrival — Want of accommodation— Food and forage-^ 
Savanna Buey — Re-appearance of lost cook — Want of forage 
—Continued rain — Active ^oung negro — Wants supplied — 
Bay of Ocoa — Caracoles — Owner — Family — Accommoda- 
tion — Arrival at Azua— Reception by Colonel Bellegarde-«> 
His history — Difficulty in obtaining forage, owing to appre- 
liensioa of the soldiers — Loss of horses — Don Pablo Baez 
— Entertainment — Departure — Guide — Skirting the banks of 
tlie Neybe — Accident from drunkenness of black officer—^ 
Arroyo Salado — Picturesque sceu6->-Wild guinea-fowl— « 
Novel lights— :Sicknes8 of one of the party — Little Yaqui— ' 
Passage tff the ford — Nicaragua — Hostess — Odd notions — r 
Expectation of invasion — Crossing of the Mijo — Arrival at 
San Juan — ^Tovi'n-adjutant — History of town — Rock-salt of 
Neybe — Valley of San Juan— Straying of horse — Night 
travelling bad — Arrival at Lamatte — Colonel Gardel — Corn* 
mandant Lassaia — Chief of police at Rancho Mat6p — Depar- 
ture — Rancho Mat6o — Disappointments — Miserable night — 
Passage of the river Juan de Vera — Journey to Las Caobas. 

On the 24th of May, at dawn of day, we 
left the city of Santo Domingo, accompanied 
by General Boigella, and Colonels Chardavoine 
and Philipo. Issuing from the gate that leads 
to San Carlos^ we kept by the road that runs 
f^ong the shore^ on which, I was told^ General 



*<«« 



298 NOTES ON HAITK ' 

Carmichael landed in 1808. We passed the 
'^^ MialJ^residences of some inhabitants of the city^ 
already mentioned, and Fort St. Jeronifbio, which 
is a solid redoubt of masonry, capaBle of con- 
taining one hundred and fifty men with the 
necessary provisions. Nearly opposite is a 
. small . chapel, always open for the use of the 
faithful. Cultivation is more exposed along 
the road-side than it generally is. On reach- 
ing the small village called Jaina, on the banks 
of a river of the same name, we found breakfast 
prepared for us, by an express that had been sent 
on by the general ; and after partaking of it 
under a shady tree, we crossed the river in a 
ferry-boat, which swings by a cable strained 
across. The river is deep and rapid, and from 
its proximity to the sea, sharks of an immense 
size gambol about without restraint ; I did not 
see any of them, but some of the party saw 
Several of a monstrous size. They are probaHy 
allured by occasional supplies of dead animals 
that find their way down the river. 

Having parted with our friend the general, 
which I certainly did with regret, as he had 
gained upon me by his frank manliness of 
character, we pursued our way along the sea- 
shore over an irregular surface, until we reached 
the banks of the Nisao, a wide, though at that 



mAhooaky cottkrs. 399 

time a fordabie river ; on the banks of which 
there was a lai^ accumulation of mahogaoy, 
that had been floated down from the upper 
country, in order that it might be prepared for 
shipment ,on board of some of the vessels then 
awaiting their cargoes ; and as the coast is very 
insecure, it was a matter of great moment to 
complete the work with the least possible loss 
of time. 

The right bank of the river is the principal 
scene of operations. Foreigners and natives 
were all collected together, some preparing the 
■■ logs, others marking them, and others placing 
them in such a situation as might be most fa- 
vourable for subsequent conveyance to the 
vessels. The process of preparation ia very 
simple : — the trunk of the tree is squared with 
an adze, the workmen using no measure but 
his eye to determine its accuracy ; and it is 
truly surprising to see the rapidity and pre- 
cbion wfth which, in this rude way, the log ia 
fashioned into the form in which it appears in 
this country. Some of the logs were remark- 
ably iai^ ; and I learned that the wood from 
this district is peculiarly prized for its beauty 
and solidity. Liverpool appears to be the mar- 
ket to which the largest exports are made from 
this coast. 



300 NOTES ON HAITI. 

Among the persons busily ei^ged on tke 
Nisao, I found Sefior Caminero, who had ^- 
gaged to meet me there. Under his escort we 
proceeded to a house kept by a Frenchwomani 
for the accommodation of the mahogany dea- 
lers. The note of the name both of the place 
and hostess I have mislaid, which I regret^ ed 
I should have been glad to have associated 
with both the comfort I enjoyed at finding a 
place where grass and forage were abundant,, 
and where there was no lack of entertainment 
for man. The party was large, consisting of 
French captains, mahogany brokers, Spanish 
residents, our hosts, and our own party. Our 
fare was abundant and good, and. it was with 
no small degree of reluctance that I deter- 
mined on pursuing our way four leagues fur-, 
ther to Bani. The first portion of the roa.d 
was good, but a heavy storm came on, and we 
were soon lost in utter darkness : gropii^ our 
way, we travelled a distance that seemed in- 
terminable, along the course of the river Bani, 
and at last arrived at the town. The rain still 
pouring with \mceasing fury, we made our 
way to the commandant. Colonel Machado, 
who had been directed the preceding day by 
General Borgella to make some preparation 
in the way of lodging, food, and forage*. No- 



fiANI — INCONVENIENCE. 301 

thing, however, was ready, except a miserahle 
house, which, from having been uninhabited, 
smelt most fotllly of damp and rottenness* 
Although every effort was made, not a mouth- 
ful could be obtained for any of the party, 
either bipeds or quadrupeds ; and the latter 
were obliged to stand out in the storm, there 
being no' shelter to be procured. It was per- 
haps lucky that my cook did not appear, as 
thfere was nothing on which he could have dis- 
played Ms talents. On the following morning 
Colonel Machado endeavoured to atone for the 
privations of the preceding night, by giving us 
an ample breakfast ; but nothing could be pro- 
cured for the cattle ; the whole day was nearly 
spent in ineflFectual efforts to get even a little 
grass. The day continued wet and comfort- 
less, and the only remarkable occurrence was 
the instalment of some officers of a masonic 
lodge, which was conducted, I believe, with the 
requisite formalities, for I saw a sentry at the 
door of the lodge, and the procession march 
with intense solemnity through the muddy 

« 

streets. 

The town is small and paltry, though in tHe 
midst of a beautiful uncultivated district. For- 
merly there vwere extensive sugar estates, par- 
ticularly some Said to have belonged to the 



302 NOTES ON HAITtv 

dukes of Veragua^ but they have been long in 
a state of absolute abandonment — ^the mere 
traces of the walls are all that^now remain to 
attest their former size. 

As there was no chance of relief for my suf- 
fering animals, and I was told that^ at about 
four leagues further on the road to Azua^ I 
should find every thing that could be required 
at a small farm called Savanna Buey, belong- 
ing to Senor Caminero's iather-in-lawy I sent 
off the baggage, witfi a messenger from the 
owner directing provision to be made. Some 
of the party remained with me to wait for our 
lost cook, who appeared about four o'clock, 
very drunk, with a strange story of having 
missed his way, and having reached San Cris-» 
toval. I believe that he had remained . with 
some of his pot-companions in the city. 

Colonel Machado flemished me as a guide 
one of the best built negro men I ever saw* He 
had been a slave, was now a small proprie?- 
tor, and a Serjeant of the mounted militia. 
He was exceedingly well behaved and atten- 
tive. Under his escort we proceeded on the 
road to Savanna Buey, but darkness and rain 
overtook us before reaching it ; and on reach- 
ing it, dire was the consternation wh^ it was 
found that the promised abundance had 



MISERIES OF SAVANNA BUEY. 303 

dwindled actually to nothing. (Nor could 
I either entreaty or offers of money induce the 
j sluggard inhabitants of the cottage to make 
\ the smallest effort to relieve the urgent wants 
. of the party: all that could be done for the 
] horses and mules was to tether them in the 
most green parts of the parched savannsD The 
rain continuing with unabated fury throughout 
the following day, rendered it impossible to 
move, and as there was more success in pro- 
curing supplies, I thought it right to afford the 
poor animals rest and opportunity of recruit- 
ing themselves after their long fast. 

The inhabitants of the hut that we occupied 
were blacks, very civil ; and one young fellow, 
when fairly excited, was sufficiently active in 
dmng what was wanted. The great difficulty 
consisted in giving the first impulse. By his 
exertions a tolerable supply of grass was pro- 
cured, some fowls and eggs, which, with plan- 
tains, enabled us to exist until the next day. 

May 27th. — Left Savanna Buey without re- 
gret, at an early hour. The road winds along the 
beach of the Bay of Ocoa, which is a fine an- 
chorage. As I passed along it, I almost fan- 
cied I saw the spot on which the gallant action 
was fought by Sir John Duckworth with the 
French Admiral Seigle on the 6th of February, 



304 NOTES ON HAITI. 

1806| in which one of my most esteemed friends 
seired on board the Canopus, under the flag 
of the late Sir Thomas Louis. We also passed 
through a forest of palm-trees of a large size^ 
but differing from any I had ever seen. The 
name I have forgotten ; but I recollect that 
the wood is employed in building cottages, 
and the leaves in the manufacture of hats. 

We found shelter at a small hut called 
" Caracoles," the residence of a " hattero," the 
son of Spanish parents. He had a wife and 
two very fine children, all of whom appeared 
as happy as people in a state of nature c6uld 
be. He entered freely into conversation, and I 

• 

found that his wants were few, that he could 
supply them very amply with very slight exer- 
tion, and that his utmost enjoyment was to be 
employed in the mountains, either hunting wild 
hogs or the oxen called ** bravos." The con- 
tinuance of the rain, and the exhaustion both 
of servants and animals in consequence of ex- 
posure and privation, led to another day's rest, 
though the smallness of. the accommodation 
rendered a sojourn by no means desirable. It 
was therefore a matter of gratification to find 
that the rain had ceased on the morning of the 
28th, when, at an early hour, we took the road 
to Azua. The road itself is, or rather was, 



AZUA — COLONEL BELLC6ABDE. 305 

tolerable — ^the country uncultivated unto the- 
immediate environs of the town, which we 
reached about twelve o'clock. 

We were very hospitably received by Colonel 
Bellegarde and his wife^ and lodged in the house 
destined for tlie officers of the republic on their 
journeys. It was lai^e and convenient, and 
^ith the aid of a few chairs and tables from the 
commandant's own residence, we were better 
accommodated than we had been since leaving 
Santo Domingo. Colonel Bellegarde, who is a 
man of colour, served with the French army, and 
went with Rigaud in 1800 to France, whither be 
had been accompanied by his wife. He informed 
me that he had remained in that service until 
1816, when he and all his countrymen being re- 
leased from their obligations, they returned to Pe- 
tion, who found employment for them in the army 
of the republic. He had passed through nearly 
the whole of the revolution, and complained 
bitterly of the bad faith of General Le Clerc, 
who twice endeavoured to procure the massacre 
of the coloured people by exciting suspicion 
of their fidelity; but in both instances he 
failed. He had beeji also on the staff of Le- 
blanc, one of the civil commissioners. There 
was infinite difficulty in procuring forage during 



306 KOTB8 ON HAITI. 

the early part of the day ; bat the peasants, on 
finding themselyes faithfully paid, towards the 
evening, brought more than was wanted. I 
found that suspicion of the soldiers, who had 
been sent in quest of it, had led to the h<dding 
back. Indeed one person told me very frankly^ 
that as the military were in the habit. of never 
paying (oc any thing supplied to them, the 
country people always pleaded inability to meet 
their demands. We dined with the comman- 
dant, and as the accounts of fors^e on the road 
were bad, I determined to allow the animals to 
indulge during the whole of the 29th. Although 
I had on all occasions attended as scrupulously 
as possible to the condition of the cattle, I h^ 
been obliged to leave two at Bani, and to en- 
gage two at this place to relieve an equal num- 
ber of their loads. 

Incessant rain prevented any examination of 
the neighbouring country. The town itself was 
soon reviewed, as it consists of little more than 
a square, surrounded by paltry buildings of the 
palm-tree, and three or four narrow streets run- 
ning out of it. SeficM' Pablo Baez, a Spanish 
resident and proprietor, also a member of the 
chamber of commons, entertained us this day. 
There was plenty of food seasoned with gar- 



DEPARTURE FROM A^UA. 907 

Uc^ and viuch rude hospitality. During diii'* 
ner an unfortunate negro girl was grinding one 
of the most wimusical hand-oi^an8 that I ever 
heard ; still I feel grateful for the intention, 
though my ears were almost cracked by the 
attempt at melody. 

Having left two more horses at Azua, Senor 
Baez iinmished us with two others, and a very 
decent guide. We were also joined by two 
black men, the OAe an officer and the other a 
ieijeant, who were conveying despatches to the 
j»resident* We were all put by Colonel Belle- 
garde imder the care of a European i)>aniard> 
who was an officer of the militia cavalry, and 
was directed to see us safe to San Juan. As 
diis person had been in the country during the 
invasion by Dessalines, and we passed over the 
scenes of many of his cruelties, as well as over 
the spot where the only opposition was made, 
between the firontier and the city, I naturally 
expected to have heard some interesting de-^ 
tails ; but I soon ascertained that my compa^ 
nion was too drunk to do any thing but prate 
of his own consequence and the valour of his 
comrades. He became so troublesome that I 
was really glad to shake him off. We travelled 
along the course of the river Tavera, which was 
very shallow, and breakfasted on its right bank 



308 NOTES ON HAITI. 

under the shade of some lofty trees^ where 
there was grass for the horses. As soon as this 
operation was over, our militaiy guide vanished, 
although he had been directed to conduct ns to 
San Juan. After my arrival at Port-au-Prince, 
I received a letter from Colonel Bellegarde 
inquiring what was the cause of his sudden 
departure : I told the plain fact, without adding 
what I might have .done on the subject of 
drunkenness and impertinence. 

We were more fortunate in the attendant 
p(h>vided for us by Senor Baez, who knew the 
country thoroughly, and was civil and Atten- 
tive, On reaching a pass called the ^' Puerta,'* 
one of the best mules was so exhausted that he 
w^ left standing stock-still, and onegf the 
horses laid down and died on the road-side« 
Pursuing our course, we went to the first ford 
of the river Neybe, which communicates most 
directly with San Juan ; but on reaching its left; 
bank, we found that the recent heavy rains had 
swollen it so as to form a furious torrent, sweep-' 
ing every thing before it. The floating body 
of a dead horse excited some apprehensions for 
a courier who had passed us the preceding day, 
but fortunately he had escaped. 

One of the black officers had indulged too 
freely in tafia, and had become very much in- 



ESCAPE OF HORSE FROM DROWNING. 309 

toxicated. He insisted on giving water to thd 
horses^ and dragged in one of our exhausted 
baggage animals^ which was instantly carried 
off his legs ; and before he could be caught, 
he was nearly killed by exhaustion, and all 
the clothes in his load were completely soaked 
through. A second horse was also nearly lost ; 
indeed both were saved by the activity of 
Baez's man, whose energies were roused by the 
fee of seven dollars. We intended to have 
gone on to a house on the banks of the Little 
Yaqui, one of the tributary streams of the 
Neybe ; but the state both of men and horses 
rendering that design impracticable, we con- 
tented ourselves with halting at a miserable 
shed called Arroyo Salado, not far from the 
river Mijo. The hut, or rather huts, were 
wretched ; the only furniture, hides in an un- 
dressed state, stretched over a frame, served 
as a bed, and a place of refuge for fleas 
and bugs, the stench being almost poi* 
sonous. Nothing was to be had except a 
little milk ; but there was a profusion of wild 
guinea-fowls in the adjacent woods ; I had, 
however, no fowling-piece. In such a case 
expedients readily suggested themselves : some 
of my pistol-bullets were soon beaten into small 
slugs, and a rusty musket supplied the place 



310 NOTES ON HAITI. 

of a Mmton or a Moore. By thiB m^aasy be- 
fore dark two of the finest goinea-birds I 
ever saw were quietly stewing for supper. 
Every traveller in Haiti should be provided 
with a. fowling-piece, for there is abundance of 
guinea-fowls, spocmbills, ducks, doves and 
pigeons in every part of the East, and to them 
he must very often trust for his .supper. 

The only lights that could be [»ocured were a 
sort of cane gathered in -the neighbourhood, 
and which burnt very quickly, giving a very 
clear light. While sitting by the door, I was 
attracted to a very pictiu^sque scene : around 
a table illuminated by one of these torches, 
stood all the shepherds coagulating milk, which, 
when prepared, supplied them vnth a frugal 
meal, the remains of which were bequeathed to 
their dogs : the irregular light — ^the various 
shades of complexion — the half-clad men — 
altogether furnished a subject not imworthy 
of a Rembrandt. 

In the course of the evening one of the party, 
whose resistance of climate had been an object 
of admiration to. many, was attacked with se- 
rious symptoms of cholera, which lasted with 
such severity throughout the night as to excite 
considerable apprehensions ; but the use of 
weak tea, the oidy diluent that we had, and a 



ARB.QyO 8AI}ADO YAQUI. 311 

ujmXI quantity of brandy, restored him so much, 
that by the morning of the {ollovnsxg day (the 
31st) he was able to mount with the rest of 
the party, 

BdTore starting, we got intelligence of the 
l^rge mule, so that I sent for him to await at 
Arroyo Salado the return of Baez's servant. 
This being arranged, we travelled about four 
leagioes to the banks of the Little Yaqui, so 
called in contradistinction to the lai^er river of 
the same name, near to St. lago ; but it is, in 
•reality, a very formidable body of water. On 
reaching the first point that is ^eisually fordable, 
though narrow, it was too deep, and fully as 
rapid as the Neybe; we therefore kept still 
on its left bank; and as I had been detained 
so much longer on the road, and begun to fed 
very sensibly the effects of exertion and expo- 
sure, I was exceedingly desirous of pushing 
<m, although I was aware that preparation had 
been made by an opulent "hattero" not far 
from the river. I sent on, requesting his aid 
at the ford; and in about an hour he appeared 
with some assistants and a due supply of ropes, 
aad conducted us safely over the ford, which is 
broad, and, though not deep, was abundantly 
strong. The operation was tedious, as it was 
necessary for the guides to lead each horse se- 



dl2 NOTES ON AAITt« 

pftfaiely; and althmigh tliere were oi let«t 
half<«^<draea men ao eo^lojifiedy nearty tw6 
horns elapBed be&ve the* whri# p%rly«iiad ef- 
feeted the passage. The xoad reeunded me 
strongly <^ a Spanudi ^^ Oaitoino Resi^'' in^state 
ofnegiect — wide and spadova^ bat.fiieareely it 
fctf.tranrihttg* I saw bo traceaof icuiltvatiQBi; 
but passed a few peofrie Gaithe foaiisniidefldy 
we met a consideittble party at the^iford on 
their way to St« DonungD. I iiere sustained a 
grievous loss in suidb a conxilry coid at and^ a 
time; one of my servants was so oUiging»as 
to leave my umbrella cm the. bank of -the 
river. . . -< k ; . • * 

In an open space, not milike an English 
park, with some- very fine tfe«B gtoiE^ied o& 4t, 
a little to the right of &e road, we weie <^- 
ducted to a cottage named If teamgna, which 
was occupied by a Spanish woman and her fa- 
mily — she was a widow, and livisd in a ^tat&of 
primitive ignorance. After disposing, of the ani- 
mals, I api^iied myself to the f^ular inquiry 
as to what was producible. Dona Catalina de- 
clared that nothing was to be had for love or 
money ; but on the withdrawal of the two 
soldiers, and on my explaining that I should 
pay for all that I received, — ^hke Moses in the 
School for Scandal, she had a very good friend 



NICABAGUA — LANDLADY. 313 

viko eould meet my vanto. In a trice, a tur- 
key, fowls, e^s and vegetables, appeared; 
and haying been duly paid for, the Sefiora 
became ccmfidential; and having heard that 
general formed a part of my citesignation, she 
had concluded that I must be a military man ; 
and havBig so concluded, it appeared most 
likely that I was invading the country — ^not 

m 

with the handful ol servants that accompanied 
me, but with a formidable body in my rear. 
Assurii^ me that ail I reposed in her would be 
safe, she proceeded to inquire how many En- 
glishmen I had left at Santo Domingo; and 
when I assured her that there were, to the best 
of my belief, only two drunken sailors, she 
was eonvmeed that I was playing on her cre- 
dulity. Findmg that I could not add to her 
stockofpoKtic^l dreams, she at last contented 
herself with nodding confidentially at me, 
winking, and thereby insinuating to her 
household &at there was a perfect under- 
standing between herself and the formidable 
invader. 

The situation of this cottage was precisely 
such as should be selected as a residence in a 
warm climate — open country, diversified with 
large forest trees, and abundance of water at 
hand. We passed not only the night of the 

VOL. I. o 



314 MOTES OH HAITI. 

3lBt of May^ bttt the best part of the fal- 
lowing day^ at Nicaragua^ allured by the 
cloudiness of the weather, which enabled us 
to take the road at noon-tide without risk 
from the glowing sun. We left Nicaragua in 
the afternooh--<;ro«8ed the Mijo — ^traversed a 
beautiful country, though little cukivated — 
and arrived, . Icmg before dark^ at San Juan. 
The character of the vegetation difiers s^isibly 
from that of the East I the size of the trees is 
less; the country is more open; and there is 
considerably less variety of suriace. 

The commandant of > the arrondissement, 
Colonel Gacdel^ was abse&t; so was the eoilii- 
mandant of the place^ Colonel Herrera ; but 
the town-adjutant vay politely* famished us 
with a house, and put us' in communication 
with bakers, butchers, ^* et hoc genus omtie,'' 
who speedily supplied our various wants. 

San Juan in days of yore had been a place 
of note, and contained, as I was told, some 
convents ; but they were all destroyed during 
the civil contests, though the final blow was 
given by Dessalines. At present, even the 
traces of the church are scarcely to be made 
out; and the town itself reminds one of the ac- 
counts given by travellers in India, of the vil- 
lages ruined by a Pindarrie incursion. There 



SAN JUAN — BOCK SATLT. 315 

being Utile to detain us except the demand 
for rest, we left San Juan as soon as we could, 
about midnday. ^^ 

Not &r fix>m this town^are the masses of 
rock salt nedr to the town of Neyfoe, which 
are so abundant, that it might become an 
article of great trade. I have some specimens 
which are equal, if not superior, in purity, to 
the finest rock salt I have ever seen. At no 
great dktance, too, are the mineral springs of 
Banu]ue> which I should have gladly visited, 
had either my leisure or health permitted me 
to tarry longer on the road. 

After leaving the road, we crossed the upper 
part of the Neybe, which, though narrow, 
W]^ v^ry impetuous. The valley of San Ju^n 
wa& very beautiful, though scantily cultivated. 
The rain was heavy, and retarded our progress 
very much ; .and before night-fall, having 
parted from the bc^gage with one of my own 
ridiiig hpjses, which followed like a dog in or- 
dinary cases, to my horror, when in the midst 
of a thick wood, he bolted off by a cross road, 
from which I vainly attempted to drive him. 
At length, after a chas& of nearly half an hour, 
I caught his collar, and dragged him back, as 
nearly as I could guess, to the road ; but night 
closed so rapidly, that all traces soon vanished ; 



316. NOTES ON HAITI. 

and I was not a litde cheered^ after nearly two 
hours wandering in the dark, to find myself in 
the village of Lamatta. After that, T had some 
httle di£5culty in finding out the commandant 
of the district. Colonel Gardel. When I did 
find him he greeted me with much cordiality, 
and insisted on doing what I attempted to 
e\*ade by a Spanish embrace — ^kissing me With 
|hree audible salutes: it was a trifl6; y^t I 
confess that I was never more completely an- 
noyed by a trifle. At the commandant Lasal&^, 
I found ample and hospitable proldslon ina^e 
for all the party; and by the time th^ bag^a^e 
had arrived, all the cares and annoyance^" of 
the preceding few hours were fbrgottehi La^kt 
is a native of Cuba, but had beeii'long i§'^i(b- 
lished at Lamatta. He was a dec^tit tnw,' ap- 
parently attached to his family^ but* demons 
of convincing me that the elements <t)f improve- 
ment were innate in the country. Ite w4s the 
only person in the Eastern portion of Haiti 
that I ever heard declare that he befieied 
it possible to pay the contribution for the 
French indemnity. He gave some long details 
of the style of warfare under Dessalines and 
Christophe; and I can easily imagine that, 
having no means of subsisting elsewhere, with 
his family aroimd him, he prefers the evils 



ENTERTAINM'ENT AT LAMATTA. 317 

that are fiimili^r, to those at which his recol- 
lection recoils. 

lu the course of the evening some officers 
dropped m, and among others there was the / 
chief of the rural police at a small village 
called " Bancho Mat^o," which it was sup- 
.pqssed we shoijild barely be able to overtake 
. th^. next day, in consequence of the wretched 
stat^ of the roads, arising from the incessant 
rains, • Th,is person undertook to make every 
preparation for us, after what was anticipated 
,avery. w^t ricle.; a^nd he set out for that pur- 
„ppse. . On 4he morni;pg of the. 3d, I took leave 
of CiolonelGardel and Commandant Lasala irt 
tspite of the lyiQeasing rains, which more than 
fulfilled 9ur WjOr^t au^rjes, and riding through 
irillanpu^ yoa^^ oviers:hado\ved by magnificent 
trees, we parsed the river Mjetayaya and arrived 
^ fU Rancho Matep^ where I expected that our 
. fii^nd of the preceding evening would have 
been ready to have done the honours. How 
woefully men sometimes miscalculate on pro- 
mises ! No thorough tried courtier or aspirant 
underling eyer displayed a greater facility of 
forgetfulness than this rural chief: we could 
not even gain admission into the house, and 
with diflGLculty we found a civil old negro to 
conduct us to an adjacent hut. The truth we 



318 NOTES ON HAITI. 

found to be, that our provider had ordered a good 
dinner, but that he and a party of his friends 
had devoured it, and had concluded with get- 
ting most gloriously drunk. He was incapa- 
ble of moving from his seat when I pres€lnted 
myself at the door; However, the t)lace in 
which we obtained refuge' was very decent, 
and the proprietor, a black woman, made am* 
pie amends for the fare that was wanting, by 
her zeal and civility. The worst of the disap- 
pointment was, that the animals were again 
unprovided with any food, except what was 
derived from the scanty herbagfe, and they 
were obliged to stand without any shehei* in 
a torrent of riiin. The mud floors of the cot- 
tage were literally flooded, and my hamniock 
was the only safe place of refuge that I could . 
venture into. On the morning of^the 4th the 
rain had ceased, and was succeeded by Olife of 
those scorching' suns^/that seem to J)enfetrate 
into the inmost recesses of the body. We left 
" Rancho Mat^o" for " Las Caobas,* and 
after travelling through a fine line of road, 
rendered almost impassable by the rain for 
about a league, I saw a man in uniform on 
horseback, awaiting our approach Kke a vidette. 
On distinguishing his features, I soon recog- 
nized our inhospitable volunteer landlord of the 



I 

LUDICROUS BLUNDER. 319 

preceding day. Doffing his huge cocked hat, 
he accosted me by the style and title of admi* 
ral. In vain I stopped him, to assure him 
that I was no admiral : he still persisted, no 
doubt thinking that, as Englishmen are cele- 
brated as seamen, the greatest compUmeqt that 
could be paid to any individual Englishman, is 
to consider him as holding the first rank in the 
most distinguished profession of his .country. 
Finding it useless to press upon him my want 
of title to any thing like a naval character, I * 
listened to his oration, in which he pleaded 
guilty, to having been drunk, to haying eaten 
my dinner, and to having acted most atroci- 
ously and most inhospitably. I expressed my 
regret at his vices, and assured . him that his 
apology was so ample as to assuage all the 
irritation I had experienced. I question much, 
if pay poor animals had been ccmsulted, whether 
he would have got off so easily. I believe he 
,was dreadfully alarmed at my reporting him to 
the President, of which I had never thought 
for one moment. We parted on terms of civi- 
lity, and I proceeded on the road to " Las 
Caobas," w&ich we reached, after having crossed 
the winding river Juan de Vera several times. 
Th^ country was very much like what I have 
so often mentioned, rich, luxuriant, and beau- 



320 NOTES ON HAITI. 

tifiil, but wholly neglected by man? At ^^ Las 
Caobas" there is nothing remarkable, except 
its resemblance to a straggling village very 
famiUar to me in Cumberland. Our accom- 
modation and fare were by no means tempting, 
though Colonel Herrera was most civil; but 
the prospect of soon terminating my weary 
pilgrimage enabled me to endure both without 
difficulty. 



; 



DEPABTUBE FROM LAS CAOBAS. 321 



CHAPTER XIIL 



Departure from Las Caobafl — Boundary of old colonies — Rivet 
" Fer de Chsvar' — Aqueducts —Mirebalais — Fortifications 
—River Artibonite — Kind treatment by the commandant> 
Colonel Charles Jeone — Journey to the capital — Trianon- 
Mountain pass — Mome Cabrit — Fond an Diab1e.--Plain of 
Cul de Sac — ^Arrival at cottage — Occupations — Rumoured in- 
surrectioo — Trial and execution of four black officers — Gene- 
ral observations on Haiti — Illness — Departure for Jamaica. 

The morning of the 6th, which was fair, 
saw us in motion from " Las Caobas.'* The 
road runs over a mountainous district, which 
abounds in some of the finest mahogany trees 
I have yet seen. Were there any means of 
conveyance to the capital, a very advantageous 
trade in that beautiful wood might be carried 
on to a great extent ; but at present nothing 
can be done. 
^ About half a league from the village stands 



322 KOTES ON HAITI. 

a military post called PoBte Gros Roche, 
which was formerly one point of the bomidary 
between the two colonies — the fact is stated 
on the rock, which is also marked 193 : an in- 
scription that was unintelligible, not only to 
myself, but to every person that was asked for 
a solution. 

Lower down, on reaching the valley, we an- 
countered the rapid stream called *' Fer de 
Cheval," which from the recent rains was ren- 
dered nearly impassable. The passage wa^, 
however, effected in safety to all, except an 
unlucky cat belonging to a soldier who had 
joined our party. To secure his dumb com- 
panion, he had put her into a bag with his cap, 
and slung them over his shoulder; but in the 
struggle with the torrent, bag, cap, and cat 
were carried off with resistless force. The 
country traversed on this day was more friee from 
wood, and consisted of grass-dad downs, on 
which very large pine-trees flourished, though 
they were by no means equal to those I had 
seen on the table lands of Mexico. 

Nearer to Mirebalais there are some small 
plains, which are traversed by admimbly ar- 
ranged aqueducts, for the purpose of irrigation. 
During the French sway, enormous expense 



TOWN OF MIREBALAIS. 323 

had been incurred in establishing them.; but 
now the abandonment of the sugar cultivation^ 
and the non-introduction of any other in its 
stead, have rendered them useless ; . and there 
being no urgent necessity for attending to them, 
they are neglected ahd falling intodecay, for 
which there will be soon no remedy, except 
at an expense equal to that originally incurred. 
At a short distance from the town of Mire* 
balais^ the town opened upon us, with its forti- 
fications, standing on the precipitous* bank of 
the Aitibonite, the lower- part of which I had 
passed between Gonaives and St. Mark's. This 
place has been for some time destined to be 
the seat of goverment. A fort has been there 
erected, a depot of arms and ammunition esta- 
blished, and several buildings have been com- 
menced. The progress, however, is slow ; and 
more money must circulate in Haiti than there 
is now, before the new capital can attain perr 
fection. The climate is said to be healthy^ and 
from its elevation the currents of air are less 
stagnant than in the plains below, rendering 
the heat, though considerable, infinitely more 
tolerable. I have remarked that the sensation 
of oppression firom a high temperature within 
the tropics, is very much modified by the state 



324 MOTES ON HAITI. 

of the moticm of the atmosphere. If the air 
circulate freely, almost any heat may be en* 
dured ; but if stagnant, ezhausticp and inability 
to exertion are the unavoidable conseqaences/ 
This fact is well known even in England, but 
is often overlooked in comparing the absolute 
heat of tropical regions, the hottest of whidi is 
often more healthy and bearable than the cool- 
est. This apparent anomaly may, in many 
instances, be explained, by the slowness or 
rapidity of the evaporatum process. 

1 was debarred from determining the eleva- . 
tion by barometric observations in consequence 
of the destruction of the tube of my barome* 
ter — a loss which, having occurred very early 
in my journey, interfered with all my intended 
admeasurements. 

Having letters for the General (Benjamin), 
I repaired to his house, and learned that he was 
at Port-au-Prince ; but the commandant of the 
town, Colonel Charles Jeune, treated us with 
cordiality and kindness. In the course of the 
day we were joined by several officers from the 
neighbourhood, one of whom engf^ed to accom- 
pany us the following day to the capital. It 
struck me as a bad arrangement, that all the 
forage for the horses was obtained from the 



MIBEBALAIS TO PORT-AU-PRlNCE. 325 

opposite bunk of the Arlibotlite — an operatiotf 
that cost nearly the whole afternoon. 

fMivsbalais is ^^1 placed as a clipital as well 
as a milit^nf posHion. It is quite protected by 
a 4[diain c(f faill-fortd towards the plain of Cul 
deSaCy flanked by a-Ti^id and deep stream^ 
and/oooQiniajidiiig the mast important pass to 
the nortli; and to the east. There is an air of 
improvement about it highly creditable to those 
entru&rted with it* ' < 

Early on the movning of the 6th we left 
Mirebalais in the dark^ under the guidance 
of sMMne black officers j and after descending 
thriGiiEgh. gome ugly passes^ we found ourselves at 
the peep-of*day at^^ TmnoBt," a truly beautiful 
Iittie>spot^ once a place of i^etreat to the half- 
broiled inhabitants of Port-au-Prince; bat now 
occuf)ied> apparently by a few cultivators, who do 
not much regard' the' b^aaity of the scene. Pro* 
ceeding on^^^aids through ^* Fond au Diable/' 
we reached the portion df the road which winds 
round the side of ** Mome Cabrit," which ap- 
peal^ to be composed of a very beautiful com- 
pact grey limestone: several hill-forts protect 
thi^ pass. . From this part of the road there is a 
splendid view of the whole Cul de Sac, which,, 
with the excej^on of the open space occupied 






326 NOTES ON HAITI. 

by the " Croix des Bouquets/^ appears to be 
one continuous forest, bounded by the sea, by 
the lakeSj and skirted by the mountain-arm that 
stretches from the south side of the bay of 
Port-au-Prince to the district of Neybe ; and 
at certain breaks a glimpse was caught of the 
approaches to Arcahai. The plan of the road 
is goody but roughy and requiring Macadam's 
aid in an eminent degree. We passed some 
pieces of artaiery waiting by the roaxi-side, I 
suppose, for amended roads. 

After stopping for refreshment at some huts 
by the way-side, and crossing the Grande 
Riviere, we arrived, completely knocked up, 
about five o'clock in the afternoon at my cot- 
tage, where I gladly met the gentleman whom 
I had sent home with despatches in the preced- 
ing October; and the satisfactory assurance 
that no deaths had happened during my ab- 
sence. In the evening the{melancholy remnant 
of my horses arrived ; twelve out of twenty-one 
having been left on the road; and one died 
after arrival. My time thenceforward was de- 
voted to official duties preparatory to going 
home ; and the chief matter to be recorded 
shall be now told, although it is a melancholy 
tale. 



TRIAL OF FOUB OFFICERS. 327 

Very soon after my arrival^ rumours prevail- 
ed of a didsatisfied spirit being at work^ on ac*- 
eount of the arrangements with France ; but no 
overt act occurred, or was said to occur, before 
my return from my journey. At this time the 
boldness of the discussions excited the attention 
of the government, and on the 26th June three 
black officers "were arrested on a charge of 
having tampered with a soldier, to join them in 
assassinating the president. The ostensible 
prime mover of the plan. Captain Bellegrade, 
also a negro, escaped. In the course of a few 
days after several arrests took place, and dis- 
closures of importance were reported to have 
been made as to the extent of the dissatisfac- 
tion* The trial of the three accused was first 
fixed for the 2d July ; but the subsequent arrest 
of a fourth black officer produced a delay until 
the 3d of the same month, when the. four ac- 
cused. Captain Jean Francois, Lieutenant Mi- 
chel, Lieutenant Lion, and Serjeant Lion Cour- 
chois, were brought before a court-martial, 
consisting of nine members, seven of whom 
were blacks. The prisoners were charged with 
conspiring to murder the president, to expel or 
murder all Europeans, and to alter the govern- 
ment. They denied the intention to murder 



328 NOTES ON HAITt« 

the president, or any of the foreigners; but 
avowed their wish to put an end to the existing 
sjrstem of goyemment, which they treated as 
oppressive, and to break off all connexion with 
France — a connexion which they considered 
to be maintained merely to extort the last of 
their miserable pittance. 

I was not in court, 'but I was told that this 
style of defence was soon stopped ; nor were 
the counsel permitted to discuss the majqdica^ 
bility of the law under which the trial was 
going on, to the particular cases ; or to a^du^e 
evidence of their innocence. It was even a^ 
serted that, on one of the advocates urgmg his 
right to be heard, he was stopped by fthe pre- 
sident's holding out his watch, and remarking, 
as he pointed to it, ^' le terns presse.*' 

The accused were convicted and setit^ciced 
to death. They called for a court of rei^i^cp, 
which was refused ; and in two or three hours 
the unfortunate men were at the place of exe* 
cution. _ 

The place of execution is a large open space 
close to the principal burying-grpund, called 
" La Cimetiere." On my riding there I found 
a considerable body of people assembled, and 
some women, clothed in white, close to the 



EXECUTION OF THE OFFICEltS* 329 

c 

ditch that surrounds the place of interment^ 
uttering wild cries^ and exhibiting frantic ges- 
ticulations. They were the wives and female 
relatives of the unhappy convicts. 

The ground was guarded by the civic militia^ 
whose apprehensions had been strongly excited 
by rumours of pillage meditated by the suf- 
ferers. ^A considerable body of troops, said to 
\have been disaffected, remained in quarters, 
1 and the artillery, under the command of one of 
i the most devoted of the president's adherents, 
'' were drawn up, during the time of the execu-* 
tion, at no very remote distsmce,/ 

I had not been long on the ground before the 
; bustle announced the apprpach of the four con- 
j victs. Each was tied, by the arms behind hi^ 
^ back, to a rope in the hands of a police-soldier, 
who walked after him ; each too was dressed 
in a white jacket and trowsers, and smoked a 
cigar. A strong guard surrounded the whole 
of the prisoners, and the melancholy procession' 
was closed by the shooting party>?which con- 
sisted, as well as I can recollect, of About five- 
and-twenty men. 

I shall never forget the firm intrepidity with 
which these. poor fellows advanced to meet their 
fate. They moved on without the slightest hesi* 



330 NOTES ON HAITI. 

tation until they arrived at the fatal spot^ close to 
a dead wall, at the extremity of the open space 
already referred to. On reaching it they still 
remained pinioned; hut the policemen 'relired, 
and the shooting party advanced with evident 
reluctance. - At the word being given the firing 
commenced, and instead of the wretched scene j 
being closed by one, or at most two vrell-directed 
fires, there was absolutely a succession of dis- 
charges resembhng a feu-de-joie. I am store 
that not less than one hundred diteharges mustj 
have taken place before the execution was I 
ended. On reaching the ground, the whole; 
four refused to be bandaged, threw off their | 
hats, and exclaimed to their executioners, " Ne ; 
craignez pas!" The first volley only slightly ^ 
wounded Captain Francois, who stood at the ex* \ 
treme left ; a second brought him down, though ^ 
still alive. Michel was shot through the body ; 
in several places, and had both his arms broken ^ 
before he fell. Lieutenant Lion fell next, after 
having been severely wounded. During the 
whole of this revolting exhibition, Serjeant lion 
Courchoi^ was standing on the extreme right 
of the party, calmly smoking a cigar, vntiiout 
moving a limb or a muscle of his face. A ball 
through his body brought him to the ground. 



EXECUTION OF THE OFFICERS. 331 

and as he touched it, he spat the cigar froni his 
mouthy and calmly discharged the volume of 
smoke from his lungs. The filing party then 
' advanced, and putting the muzzles of their 
pieces to the bodies of. these unhappy men, 
ended their sufferings by blowing them literally 
to pieces^ At this part of the exhibition I 
gladly rode off, for it was the most revolting I 
had ever witnessed ; and strongly as I felt the 
disgusting cruelty of the proceeding, I was more 
strongly . impressed with admiration of die 
cool, resol^ite^ and unpretending intrepidity of 
these poor fellowB^ who had no strong stimulus 
to maiolaia their energy. They dreamt not 
of future immortality, nor that a record should 
ever be made of a firmness and courage which 
would have done .honor to any Roman« Whe- 
ther admiration for the conduct of the dead, 
or disbelief of the charges against them ope- 
rated most, I cannot pretend to say, but there 
was certainly a general- gloom after the execu-^ 
tion, such as I never before witnessed in Haiti. 
On the 6th, proclamation was made that the 
individuals executed, instigated by a desire of 
pillage, had attempted a revolutionary move- 
ment, which had been frustrated ; and that all 
was peace and happiness. 



332- KOTBS ON HAITI. 

Erery friend of humuuty must smeeroly wish 
that this may be the case, aad that thexe may 
be no recurrence to thoee scenes of slaughter 
that must for eyer di^raoe the Haitian annals. 
Yet there is too much reason to fear that the 
expectation held out was too sanguine; for 
since I left the repubUc^ ihefe has been more 
than one account of tumultuary proceechngSi 
whidi have, at least in one instance^ ended vrith 
the death of one or two indiTiduals. Indeed the i 
pressure of the French indemnity is of itself cal- 
culated to unsettle the minds of the population* 
It hangs, like the tyrant's sword, by an invisible . 
hair, and may descend to crush at any momenty' 
France knows, better than I can pretend to do, 
her own interests ; yet I confess that I cannot 
discover the policy of pressing an improvident 
arrangement on an impoverished people, scarce- 
ly able to support themselves, and thereby 
keej»ng up all the ancient recollections of Le 
Clerc and Rochambeau. The (^ominal friends 
of Haiti, in England, France, and the United 
States, have incurred a fearful responsibility on 
this poin^ for what purpose they best know, 
they (have represented the progress ol the new , 
repubUc in the most glowing colours — ^its in- 1 
creasing prosperity has been so often asserte^ 



DELAY OF DEPABTUBE. 333 

aa to expose any one hardy enough to question 
k> to the certainty of attack and worthless im- 
putation. The necessary( consequence has been 

^ tfaat'conditions have been imposed) (as I have 
no doubt in consequence of the excited expec- 

.^ tations of France), (ihat cannot be fulfille<L)and 
even if much reduced, must check tiie improvia- 
ment of the country to an indefinite period. 

In' the preceding Notes I have faithfully re- 
corded my own observations, and such state- 
ments as I found worthy of credit, immediateiy 
connected with these observations. In the lat- 
ter portion of my labours, I shall present thi& 
result of my researches into the more important 
topics connected with the country, its govern- 
ment, inhabitants, and resources. 

i My stay at this time at Port-au-Prinoe (as 
the late Mr. Canning had given me leave to 
return home on account of my health,) would 
\ have been very short ; for I felt the gradual ap- 
/ proaches of an indescribable something that 
warned me to go.) But there was so much to 
conclude that it was impossible for me to leave 
my post with any degree of satis&ction. I had 

nearly accomplished all that I had planned, on 

''■' *^ "•>, 

the 7th of July, 1827, wheii I was attacked by 



334 NOTES ON HAITI. 



fever that rery^ neariy closed my career. For 
seven days I was in a state of delirium) during 
which period neither my medical attendants, 
nor any one about me, deemed it possible that 
Tcould survive. I was partially paralyzed on 
the left side, and I could not pronounce articu- 
/ylate sounds. An immense crop of boils burst ^ 
'/out on every part of my body, and probably 
/ /saved my life^ There are, I believe, few in- 
stances of recovery from so serious an attack of 
yellow fever, the severity of which was very 
considerably augmented by the intense bodily 
and mental exertions I had previously made; 
My recovery was more rapid than might have 
been anticipated, for by the 12th of August I 
had embarked fior Jamaica. 

During my illness, my brother, two of the 
vice-consuls, and my excellent friend. Captain 
Elliot of the Harlequin, were also Idd up with 
dangerous sickness ; most cheering information 
for Sir John Louis, who had brought up the 
Barham to convey me to Jamaica, as Admiral 
Fleming had no vessel that he could send di- 
rect to Europe. 

In His Majesty's ship Valorous, under the 
command of the late Earl of Huntingdon, from 
Jamaica I visited Cuba, ancl afterwards the 



.!<• 

* 



FINAL DEPARTURE. 335 

United States, whence I made my way in the 
packet-ship Corinthian from New York, and 
landed at Portsmouth, on the 27th of Novem- 
ber, after a most boisterous ^nd unsatisfactory 
passage of twenty-seven days, in a condition 
that required constant medical treatment for 
nearly twelve months afterwards. 



END OF VOL. I. 



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