An inquiry into the causes of the insurrection of the negroes in the island of St. Domingo

Material Information

An inquiry into the causes of the insurrection of the negroes in the island of St. Domingo
Garran de Coulon, Jean Philippe, 1749-1816
Guadet, Marguerite Elie, 1758-1794
France -- Assemblée nationale
Place of Publication:
Printed and sold by J. Johnson
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
32 p. : ; 21 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
History -- Haiti -- Revolution, 1791-1804 ( lcsh )
Colonies -- France -- Santo Domingo ( lcsh )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
023054089 ( ALEPH )
ADB8158 ( NOTIS )
03006338 ( LCCN )
28203865 ( OCLC )


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29th Feb. 1792.



nru~eor ~~II

I R,


b 0r t H I




A FTE R a contefi of five yearsbetweeit the Friends
of Juftice and the African Slave-D.ealers, the moral,
phyficali and political evils, of that difgraceful traffic,
have been fully developed and afcertained to the king
dom at large. The convi 6ion of truth has been followed
by the glow of honeft indignation, and the voite of the
people has called up6n their Legiflaiors; to wafh away the
S national ftain: Contradiced in their bold affertions, and
"; refuted iri their arguments, the abettors of this trade had
almost withdrawn themselves from a ftrugglej in which
their own weapons recoiled upon themselves: for it may
"juftly be remarked, that the moft expeditious method of
forming an abhorrence of the Slave Trade, is to read the
pieces written in its defence.
S At this juncturej when nothing remained but for the
S Representatives of the people to comply with the wifhes
of their Conftituents, in pronouncing the Abolition of
this Trade, another, and it is hoped a laft attempt is made
by its advocates to influence the public mind:-An in-
A fuyre&tio

furre&ion of the Negroes has taken place in the Ifland of
St. Domingo, and this circumstance is to be adduced as a
proof of the dangerous confequences to arife from the
proposed meafure.-" Beware," fay the Partizans of this
Trade, how you interfere with the concerns of your Weft
Indian Iflands-let the example of the Trench deter you from
proceeding a ftep further in fo dangerous a path."-But let
us be allowed to afk, How far the events that have taken
place in St. Domingo apply to the.qiuefion now before
the;Briti(h Houfe of Commons ?- Were there diflurb-
ances the confequence of an Abolition of the Trade by
the French ?-No--Even the eloquence of Mirabeau was
in this inflance ineffe&ual. Were they the result of any
regulations made by the Affembly for the government or
relief of the Slaves ? No: for the decrees of the Affembly
on this fubje6 uniformly purport, that all regulations on that
head/hould originate with the Planters themselves. If thofe
dreadful disorders are chargeable to the National Affembly,
it is because they did not interfere: -becaufe they left the
black labourers in the islands at the mercy of their masters;
and, after having declared that all mankind were born equal,
fan6tioned a decree that gave the lie to the firft principles
of their conftitutioi.
Of thefeveral pieces that have made their appearance
ort this. fubjell, the addrefs or remonifrance of the Deputi74
"of St. D.:,mii3, to the National Afembly of France,* calls for
particular notice But'before we proceed to an examina-
tion into the cafes of the enormities it records, let us be
permitid a few' reeffions on the awful fcenes that the
Ifland of, St. Domingo has of late exhibited: the pjAure
of there outragess forms indeed the moif striking part of
:the narrative in quefiion. The defruCtion of flourishing
plantations the burning of houfes; the flaughter of the
Tianflated into Englifh, and published under the title of
A Particular Account rf the Commencement and Progrefs of
the Infurreaign of the Negroei in St. Domingo." It is Icarcely
necellhry to olferve, that its being printed (in France) ty or-
der ofthe Naiional. 3fembly, give it no additional authenticivy;
it bing a measure always adopted in papers of length, in orjer
.toafford the Members an opportunity of tonfidering them. .
.. whites


/ >

whites by secret treachery, or open revolt; the grofs
violations of female chastity; the diffolutioh of all the
bonds of fubordination, -and all the attachments of society,
contribute to fill the dreadful sketch.
Are thefe enormities to be lamented? they furely
are.. Can they excite our wonder ? by no means.. What
is the fate of the labouing negro ? Is he not a being
bound down by force ? labouring under constant compul-
fion ? driven to complete his taf by the immediate difc -
pline of the whip ?-Are affee&ion, 1enity, and forbearance
the refult of oppreflion and abufe ? When the native fero-
city of Africa is fhariieid' by the keen fenfe of long con-
tinued injury, who fall fet bounds to'its revenge'?
Again, how have the fierce difpofitions of favage life
beeh countera&ed or improved by the example of their
white fuperi6rs? Refiftance is always juffifiable where
force is the fubffitute of right: nor is the commiflion of
a civil crime poflible in a ftate of slavery. Yet the punifh-
ments that have been dei'fed in the French iflands to
repiefs crimes, that cold only exift by the abufe of the.
Slave Holder, are fuch as nature revolts at. How often
have thefe uinfdrtiriate beings beheld their fellows, beat, in
famiiie and'difiration, the baks of an iron cage, in which
they vere" doomed to pafs in inconceivable mfery the laft
days of their exiftence ? Is it not known, that in thefe
wretched iflands a human being has resigned his life in the
torments of a flow-confuming fire ? An unavenged inflance
of an at fo awfully atrocious, marks out for perdition the
country that could fuffer it. When the oppreffor thus
enforces his authority, what muff be the effes sof the
suffererss resentment

In the forcible violation of female chaftity we trace the
moft deteffable extreme of brutality, and, in the eftimation
of fenfibility, the lofs of life is preferable to its difgrace :
but modefly is not confined to the capacity of a blufh, nor
fenfibility to a particular form and feature. Let this ac-
"c6uiit then be fettled between the African Trader, or the.
imperious Planter, who compels to his embrace the un-
S willing objea of his luft, and the exasperated Slave, who
A 2 gratifies

( 4 )
gratifies by hatefu4lthis a, not his fenfuality, but his
But let us fuppofe, that the fenfe of fhame is incompatible
with a black complexion, and that the negro could wit-
nefs without emotion the grofs abufe of the objea of his
affection; let us fuppofe toot that the unnatural punifh-
ments before mentioned were forgotten, because they were
rare; and that 'the daily discipline of the whip was un-
heeded, because it ws 'fo modified as feldom to be the
immediate occafign of death. Yet the Negro had other
examples before his eyes. A diffention had arifen amongft
the Holders of the Slaves; thofe who had before united
in opprefling them, were now at variance amongft them-
felves. They had proceeded to open violence ; whilft the
Slaves waited the event with filence, though not with in-
difference. One party obtained an early superiority; the
leader of the weaker number was taken, and the Negroes
were fpe6tators of the death of Og6, a man who partook
of their cqlour, and who was broken alive upon the
wheel. Twenty-five of his followers (hared the fame fate.
If the cold-blooded fons of Europe, educated in the habits
of impro ed fuciety, and affe&itig to feel the precepts of
a mild aid merciful religion, can thus forget themselves,
and infult their own nature, ought they to wonder that the
African fhduld imitate the pattern, and if poffible improve
upon their exaniple ?
Upon this part of the Addrefs refle&ions fill occur, in
whidi the platker is deeply interefied-7an opinion Is there
inciulcated, that if acceded to and ated upon, muff render
the islands a cohffiant fcene of cruelty and bloodshed. We
are fold, that the Slaves' who had been mdit kindly treated
by their masters, were the foul of the infurre&ion ; that
it was they who betrayed, an4 delivered their humane
maf/ers to th'e Afajn's word, and reduced and firred up to
revolt 'the gangsdtpofed to fidelity."- Hear this, ye Planters!
and if there be otneamongft you, fo fihgularly foolish as
to harbour a lurking fehtimnit of humanity, let him, for
his own Tafety, diveft himfelf of it without lofs of time !

Particular Account, p. ii.


The Negro is a being, whole nature and difpofitions are
pot merely different from thofe of the European, they are
the reverfe of them. Kindnefs and compafflon excite in
his breast implacable and deadly hatred: but ftripes, and
infults, and abufe, generate gratitude, affe&ion, and in-
violable attachment Upon this principle we are enabled
to reconcile an apparent inconfiftency in the Addrefs.
** Slaves, we are informed, were fill found who gave
proofs of an invincible fidelity, and who made manifefl their
determination to deteft the feduAion of thofe who would with
promises of liberty i.:', .';:v their. to certain dejfrution." If
the humanity of the maftr dinly f(arpens the appetite of
revenge, is it difficult to di 'cover by what mode of treat-
ment the fi end ,iip of thdie Sbves was ftcured ? Be
grateful, ye Planters, to the man who has at length dif-
clofed this important truth; arid admire his courage, who
has dared to avow it, even in the bofom of a nation
devoted to liberty!
But the horrors of the laughter increase. The white
father falls a viftim to the unnatural rage of his Mulatto
fon.- Have human crimes their origin and caufes in
human affairs? or are they incited by fome malignant
"demon, who poffeffing himself of that cup of affeion,
the human heart, pours out its contents, and fills it with
poifon ? Alas we vainly feek in fable the apology of
bur own depravity; and unhappily the caufes of thofe
tranfa&ions, which would fcarce meet credibility on any
other part of the globe, are in thefe regions of guilt too
apparent. However the Author of Nature may have in-
ftilled affecion into the breaft of a parent, as the means
of preserving the race from defirudion, we muff allow
that the corresponding sentiment in the mind of the
offspring, is merely the effect of a long continued course
of care, partiality, and tenderness. Shall the harveft then
rife up without feed ? and where no fondnefs has been
town, fall filial attachments be c.prfted ? In a country
where it is by no means unusual for the known children
of the Planter to undergo all the hardships, and the igno-
miny of Slavery, in common with the molt degraded clafs

Particular Account, p. I .
A3 of

(6 )
of mortals, is it there we are to feek for inRanices of
filial affeain ?
"In thus endeavouring to unfold the primary and ever
taive causes of thefe troubles, let it not be thought that
I wifh to palliate the enormities committed by the infur7-
gents: enormities deeply to be deplored, by every one
not totallyvinfenlible to the fufferings of humanity. .But
let" it not be forgotteni, that to know the origin of the
nialady is the firft ftep towards an efficacious remedy:
should that origin be fouidd in the mistaken condu& of the
Planters, it is for their .to apply the cure aftei the accu-
inulated cruelties of ag.' Do they wait till the revolted
ilbjects of tieir opprelliIn, let them the firf example of
wic-gnanimity, lenty, and forbearance ?
I come now to a clofet examination of the Addrefs in
"After a long and laboured difplay of the crimes com-
miitted'by the infurgents, in which it is ,to be obferied;
everyinftance of vindiaive retaliation on the partof the
White Inhibitants is caftioufly fuppreffed; the Deputies
of the Colonies pour down the whole %ial of their col-
)elted wrath, on the society' efblblilhed in France for abo-
lifhing the Slave Trade, under the name of Les Amis des
Noirs. If we credit this narrative, the Negroes before
they were reduced and alienated by the efforts of this So-
ciety, *" were providedwith every comfort, and with accom-
modations superior to half the Cottagers in Europe.-Secure
in the enjoyment of their properties, nurjerd in time officknefs
withlan expence dnd an attachment fought for in vain in the
much boa/led hospitals of England; protected and refpeafed
in the infirmities of age, at eafe in refpef to their children,
their families and their affedions ;-fubjeaed to a labour cal-
culated according to the frength of each individual;--.hd, to
conclude all,-enfranchibed, w'.'in'r ley merited it by
important fervices."-"a We /,'pt in',',rity add- the Re-
monitrants, in the midfl of ';: tl/at ;' re, become our bre-
itren, and many of us had neither locks nor bars to our
Particular Account, p. 19.

( 7 )
This.period of confidence and of flicity, did not, if we
may believe the Colonifts, fatisfy the Amis de Noirs, who
it feems could not comprehend how emancipation could
be the highest reward of merit, where Slavery was a fate
of happinefs.-*From the time of the Revolution in France,
this Societyr it is affected, or at leal fame of its members,
have given an unbounded loofe to their enterprise : all means
havefeemed to them good, jo they might tend to its accomplifh-
ment.-The open attack, the deep and fludied inuendo, the
bafeft and mot despicable calumnies, have, been praaiteed to
forward their design." Such are the charges, again re-
peated in different parts of the work, brought against the
Advocates for'the Abolition of the Slave'Trade in. France,
and which the abett6rs'of that.traffick in England, are de-
firous of transferring at this critical juncture, to the
friends of that important measure here.

The prelude of the Remonfirants is striking, their
accusation is boldly made.-The punifhments due to the
authors of fuch outrages will be willingly conceded. 'How
ever they may difguife from the world, or from themselves,
their real motives, under the mafk of philanthropy, they
cannot efcap'e the indignation of their countrymen; and
the treachery of the means they employ, fairly marks out-
the criminality of the end at which they aim.'
One thing only is wanting to charge with this' crimi-
nalty the Amis de Noirs, and this the Remonftrance does
not fupply-the proof that they have adopted that courfe
of conduf imputed to them by the Colonifls. This defe&
cannot be compenfated, either by the atrocity of the
crime, or the virulence and audacity of the' accusation.
Had the Society in France been the caufe of the dif
orders in the Colonies, where was the difficulty, where
the impropriety, of laying the proofs of it before 'the Af-
fembly and the World? Was it neceffary to keep any
terms with men, who had fheai n that they 'ad aimed at
nothing lefs than the extirpation of theCofonies ? 'Certain,
however, it is, that all we can colle&f on this head from
"- Particular. Account, p. 22.

the publication in queffion, infiead of attaching the itii
putation on the society, evidently proves, that the difor-
ders had a different caufe.-A caufe, which it is as-evident
the Remonfirants did not dare to avow,
Slight however, as thefe pretended indications of guilt
may appear, they ought not to pafs unnoticed. They
bear with them their own refutation. Like the giants
that warred against heaven$ every ftone thrown by thefe
,champions of oppreflion, feems defined to return with
double weight upon their own heads.
The Society, fay the Deputiesi take hbld of the Di-
claration ofthe Rights of Man: this immortal work bene-
ficial to enlightened mens but inapplicable, and therefore
dangerous to ou. regulations, they fend with profusion into
own Colonies. The journals in their pay or under their influ-
"ence, give this declaration vent i the mnidf of our gangs.
The writings of the AMIS des NOIRS, openly announce, that
the freedom of the Negroes is proclaimed by the Declaration
of Rights.
Miferable effects of injufticei rapleaiy, and bppreflion !
In the evidence of their own freedoms the Colonifts of
St. Domingo read their own condemnation That affer-
tion of the universal rights of Man, which if true at all
ought to be as general as day-light; was in the itetched
iflands of America, defined to give a candle-like light
in the refidence of the Planter, whilft the poor and def-
titute Negro was to fit in darknefs in his hut.
The declaration of the Rights of Man, was it feefims
Tent with profufion into the Coloniesi but the declaration
of the Rights of Man, was not the work of the Amis des
Noirs; whatever right be its effecs, they were not-there.-
fore answerable for its confequences. As a conftituent
part of the dominions of Francee the laws of Frenchmen,
were properly transmitted to St. Domingo. But it ap-
pears from no evidence, but the affertions of the deputies,
that the Amisdes Noirs were more acive than others in
furnishing the island with a work, which the Colonifts in
the fame breath, execrate and applaud; which they regard
Particular account, p. z2.

as the charter'of their own 'liberty, and the caufe of all
their diftreffes.

But again, the writings of the Amis des Noirs, it is
faid, openly announce, that the freedom of the X. is
proclaimed by the Declaration of Rights. If the Amis des
Noirs,have made fo infipid a comment, they have mife-
rably mifpent their time. Is it necelfary to prove, that
the fun fines when the dial marks the hour. If all men
be born equally free, let the Colonifts prove the Negroes
are not men, and the dispute will- fettle itself. Is the
voice of nature and of truth to be for ever filent, hecaufe
the Colonifts choofe to hold in fubjeation fome unfortu-
nate natives of Africa ?

Such however, are the proofs, and fuch their authen-
ticity, upon which the accusations against the society are
founded. This defect is attempted to be remedied, by
adverting to fome expreflions, which in the many, and
violent debates that have agitated the National Affemblir
on this fubjed, have marked the virtuous indignation of
its members-* Perijh the Colonies rather than we /bould
betray our principles," faid one of the representatives.
" Peri/h the Colonies," became indeed, -t" the final of
blood and conflagration," but not I ..i,1, the Negroes-it
was the Planters, who fevered thefe words from their
context, and made them the apology of their own enor-
mities. Be juf?, and eat graj ;" faid the Abbe Gre-
goire." We choofe rather to be unjufJ and live in lux-
ury" the Colonifts reply.

I hall not detain my reader by a longer review of there
unfounded calumnies, I haften to a more important tafk,
that of tracing the disturbances of St. Domingo to their

"* With indecent affectation they have dared to reproach a
friend of humanity, with having faid, Peri/h the Colonies
rather tbha a principle pAbldd be ,a .. .';" and they dare
themselves to fay, Pe ijh the Colonies rather than we jh:uld
gran -to-the PeopleJf -eCloou the rights of alive citizens."
Speechlof M;. Guadet; 6th Dec. 1791,
Particular Account, p. 25.

"( to )
origin, and purfuing their progress, If developed with
truth, they will be the moft effefual answer to the accu-
fations of,the Deputies. Let me, however, firft be al-
lowed to render more specific, an aflertion I have before
made.-It is to the white Colonif/s alone, we are to attribute
the misfortunes of the Colonies. *" You have heard of enor-
mities that freeze you with horror but Phalaris fpoke not
of his brazen bull, he lamented only the daggers that his own
cruelty had railed againfl him. The Colonif/s have related
inflances of ferocity ; but give me, faid Mirabeau, an unin-
formed brute, and I willfoon make him a ferocious monjfer.
-It was a white, whofif' plunged a Negro into a burning
oven,-who dajhed out the brains of a child in the presence of
its father ;-who fed a Slave with his own proper fefh.-
Thefe are the monsters that have to account for the barbarity
of the revolted Savages.-Miillions of Africans, have perished
on this foil of blood.-You break at every fep the bones of the
inhabitants that nature had given to thefe islands, and you
shudder at the relation of their vengeance.-In this dreadful
jfruggle, the crimes of the Whites are yet the mofi horrible :
-They are the offspring of defpotifm; whilfl thofe of the
Blacks, originate 'in the hatred of lavery-the thirJl of
vengeance. Is philosophy chargeable with thefe horrors?
Does jhe require the blood of the Coloni/ls ? Brethen, jhe
cries, be jzil-be beneficent-and you will profper.-Eter-
nal flavery, mn'l be an eternal force of crimes ;-divefl it
at leafl of the epithet eternal; for anguish that knows no
bound can only produce despair."
It is well known, that a large portion of the Proprietors
or Planters of St. Domingo, confift of free People of
Colour, or thofe who have fome mixture of African blood.
-This description comprehends every fhade of complex-
ion, from the flighteft tinge of colour, to the original hue
of the native African. Though many of this clafs of inha-
bitants are as diftinguifhed by their wealth, as for their
talents and integrity, the invidious diftinacion has always
been religioufly adhered to. The White Colonifts ex-
eluded them from their focial circles, from their affem-
blies, from their municipal functions; and continually
held them in a kind of profcription.
Speech of M. Briffot, in the National Affembly, ift De-
cember, 1791.

( 7I )
The effe ts of this arrogance, were not, however, in-
jurious to the People of Colour. Infulted by their coun-
trymen, they found the means of rendering themselves
refpetable in the eyes of their European correspondents.
They were as remarkable for their industry and their
pund(uality, as the White Planters for their indolence and
extravagance. In cafes of internal infurredions, or ex-
ternal attack, they were regarded as the fole barrier of
the ifland.--"'The White Coloni/t," fays Mr. Blanchelande,
cannot march without the attendance of his cooks ; he is
unfit for a continualfervice : but the Man of Colour, bare-
fboted, robufJ and temperate, supports without difficulty, the
hardships and fatigues of war."
In the contemplation of the French laws, the People of
Colour had long flood upon an equality with the White
proprietors.--Iy an Edit of Lewis XIV. in the year
1685, this' equality was acknowledged and confirmed.
Such was the situation of the Colonifts at the time of the
French Revolution. t" At this Epocha," fays Mr. Ber-
geras, the White'Colonifts advanced rapidly in the career
of freedom ; but the People of Colour trod back their fleps
towards flavery."
The situation of the French Colonies, early attracted
the attention of the Conflituent Affembly. At this time
all was tranquil; at leaft as tranquil as fuch a late of op-
preffion will permit. Political health can only be attri-
buted to a country with a free constitution. The fitua-
tion of the iflands, is that of a paralytic: one part js
torpid, whilft the other is affeced with the frantic mo-
tions of St. Vitus's dance.
The firft interference of the National Affembly in the
affairs of the Colonies, was by a decree of the 8th March
1790, which declared (" that all free persons, who were
proprietors and residents of twoyearsJtanding, and who con-
buted to the exigencies of the late, should exercife the
rights of voting which conflitute the quality of French
"* Letter of M. Blanchelande, read in the National Af-
fembly, Jan. 17th, 1792.
t Speech of M. Bergeras; in the National Affembly, 7th
Dec. 1791.
"t Que toute perfonne libre, proprietaire ou domicili6 depuis
deux ans, et contribuable, jouira du droit de fuffrage qui
conftitute la quality de Citoyen aaif. Ait. 4.
B 2 This

( 12 )

This decree, though in fact it gave no newrights to
the People of Colour, was regarded with a jealous eye by
the white Planters; who evidently faw that the generality
of the qualification included all descriptions of proprietors.
They affeCed, however, to impose a different confiruaion
upon it. The People of Colour appealed to common juf-
tice, and common fenfe*: it was purpose. The
Whites repelled them from their Affemblies. Some commo-
tions enfued, in which they mutually fell a sacrifice to their
pride, and their refentment.-The Amis des Noirs have not
been accused of any interference in theie diffentions, to
which it is however probable that the flaves were not in-

Thefe li!il!.ib -ic- again excited the vigilance of the
National Affernbly. The neceffity of fome definitive ar-
rangement was apparent; but the difficulty and danger of
too violent an interference was not lefs fo. In order how-
ever to relieve the Colonifts from any apprehenfions that
the French Conftitution was intended to be enforced in the
Iflands, fo as to liberate or meliorate the the condition of
the flaves, a decree was paffed on the 12th day of Otober,
1790, by which the Affembly declared, as a constitutional
article, That they would no regulations refpelting
the internal government of the Colonies, without the precife
andformal requeJl of the Colonial Afemblies."

By this -decree the Conflituent Affembly not only dif-
abled themselves from exercising any future discretion on
the condition of the flaves; but, as far as in their power
tied up the hands of their fucceffors from affording relie
to that devoted race, or refcuing them from any tyranny
that might be exercised over them. They were delivered
over to their masters, who were at. oce their accufers,

The arguments of their advocates upon this head are un-
anfwerable Je m'attache A cette expreffion general toutes les
perfonnes, et je demand ii les hommes de couleur ne font pas
des perfonnes: alors, s'ils 6toient proprietaires, domicili6s et
contribuables, je ne vois aucune difficult, je ne vois aucun
gaifon pour leur refufer les avantages attaches a ces qualit6s.
Speech of Mr. Petion, I th of May, 1791.

( 13 )
their judges, arid their executioners; accountable for their
mnifcondud to no human power. So far from opposing
the aims, or fettering the authority of the Colonifts, the
Affembly became their accomplice in oppreffion, and fent
armies of freemen to maintain the reign of defpotifm. All
was in the power of the Colonifts; and if they had only
maintained unanimity among theLnfelves, the blood of'the
negroes might have cried to heaven, but France had for
ever fhut her eyes to their fufferings, and ftopt her ears to
their lamentations.

Peace was not, however,the consequence of this decree.
The proprietors, is is true, had obtained a legal right of
tyrannizing ; buit the uii;:orctanr:'queftion fill recurred,
Who should be permitted to' exercif that right? On this
head the decree was fileiht' NeXw diffentions arofe: each
of the parties covered under a faAtious patriotism the
moft atrocious defigns. Aftaffination and revolt became
frequent. Mlazdut, a Frenchofficer of rank loft his-life
by the hands of his own countrymen. The unfortunate
Ogi, a Planter of Colour, who had exerted himfelfiin
France in the caufe of his brethren, resolved to support
by force their juf pretenfions. He landed in the Spanifh
territory of St. Domingo, where he affembled about 600
mulattoes. Before he proceeded to hoftilities, he wrote to
the French general, that his defire was for pe?ce, provi-
ded the laws were enforced. His letter was "'.' ': con-
fidgred as a declaration of war. i1:. attacked and van-
quifhed he took refuge amongft the Spaniards, who de-
livered him up to his adverfaries. The horrors of his
death were the harbingers of future crimes.

Thefe disturbances fill increasing, the National Affem.
bly found it neceffary, at length, to decide between the
contending parties. A long and violent debate took place,
in which several members who had on other occafions dif-

IL faut bien preter des crimes a celui qu'on veut affaffiner
avec le glaive-de la justice. Og6 eft mort martyr de la libcrte
et de la loi; car tout etoit pour lui, humanity, jufiice, decret.
Le ccnordat l'a veng6; l'infamie ne fletrit plus fon nom.
.Q'elle fletriffe a jamais celui de fes tyrans.
Speech of Mr. Briffpt, lit of December, 179r.
ii m l. i cdi~n:


( I4- 5
t:iagilc:.i themselves by their talents, and their patriot-
ifm, oppofed with a degree of warmth as pertinacious as
it was inconfiftent, the pretenfions of the People of Colour.
Their refiltance was, however, unfuccefsful. On the 15th
of May, 1791, a decree was made, confifting of two
articles, by the firft of which the Affembly confirmed that
of the 12th of O&ob'er, fo far as refpe6ted the flaves in
their iflands. It is true that the wordflave was cautioufly
omitted in this document, and they are' only chara6ter-
ized by the negative description of men not free," as if
right and wrong depended on a play of words, or a mode
of expreffion.

This part of the decree met with but little opposition,
though it paffed not without severe reprehenfion from a
few enlightened members. The second article refpe&ing
the People of Colour was strongly contested. Thofe who
were before known by the appellation of Patriots divided
upon it. It was, however, determined in the refult, that
the People of Colour born of free parents should be
considered as active citizens and be eligible to the offices
of government in the iflands.

This Second Article which decided upon a right that
the People of Colour had been entitled to, for upwards of
a century*, inflead of refloring peace, may be considered
as the caufe, or rather the pretext; of all the" fubfequent
evils that the colony of St. Domingo has fuftained. They
arofe not indeed from its execution, but from its counter-
a&ion by the White Colonifts. Had they, after the awful
warnings they had already experienced, obeyed the ordi-
nances of an affembly they pretended to revere; had they
imbibed one drop of the true fpirit of that conflitution to
which they had vowed an inviolable attachment; had they
even fuppreffed the didates of pride in the fuggeftions of
prudence; the form that threatened them had been avert-

This decree after all was not the extension, but the reftric-
tion of a privilege. It was afferted in the National Affembly
that of 1oo free Negroes, fcarcely z would be found who could
quahfy under this title.
Speech of Mr. Rewbell, 7th of Sept. 1791.

( 15 )
ed, and in their obedience to the parent fate, they had
displayed an aft of patriotism, and preferred themselves
from all poffibility of danger.

But the equalization of the People of Colour rfung the
irritable nerves of the White Colonifts. The defendants
of flaves might have loft the refentments of their fathers;
but the hatred of a depot is hereditary. The European
maxim allows That they ne'er pardon who have done the
wrong"; but in the colonies this perverfity attains a more
monftrous growth, and the averfion to African blood
defcends from generation to generation. No fooner had
the decree paffed, than the deputies from the Iflands to the
National Affembly withdrew their attendance. The Co-
lonial Committee, always under the influence of the
planters, fufpended their labours Its arrival in the island
truck the Whites with consternation. They vowed to
sacrifice their lives rather than fuffer the execution of the
decree. Their rage bordered upon phrenzy. They pro-
pofed to imprifon the French merchants then in the ifland,
to tear down the National Flag, and hoift the Britifh
Standard in its place. Whilft the joy of the Mulattoes
was mingled with apprehenfions and with fears, St. D.
mingo re-echoed with the cries of the Whites, with their
menaces, with their blafphemies against the conffitution.
A motion was made in the streets to fire upon the People
of Colour, who fled from the city and took refuge in the
plantations of their friends and in the woods. They were at
length recalled by a proclamation: but it was only to
fwear fubordination to the Whites, and to be witneffes of
frefh enormities. Amidit thefe agitations the flaves had
remained in their accustomed fubordination. Nor was it
till the month of Auguft, 1791, that the symptoms of the
infurredion appeared amongit them. If the notoriety of
this faft require any evidence, it may be found in the e-
port of the Colonial Committee, in the letters of Mr.

"* Vide letters of M. Blanchelande read before the Afiemblv,
22nd of Auguft, 1791.
Addrefs of the Syndicks of the Chamber of Commerce of
Rouen, read the 7th of September, 1791.
Speech of M. Briffot, iftof December, 17 r.

( 16
Blanchelande*, in the speeches of the members of the'
afiembly, in the publication which is the fubjea of thefe
remarks. A considerable number both of Whites and
People of Colour had loft their lives in thefe commotions
before the flaves had given indications of difaffedion-
They were not, however, infenfible of the opportunities
of revolt afforded by the dlfi;';t..n; of their mafters.
They had learnt that no alleviation of their miseries was
ever to be expeded from Europe; that in the struggle for
Colonial Dominion their humble interefits had been equal-
ly sacrificed or forgotten by all parties. They felt their
curb relaxed by the disarming and d;i i ..i of their Mu-
latto mafters, who had been accuffomed to keep them
under rigorous discipline. Hopelefs of relief from any
quarter, they role in different parts and fpread defolation
over the island. If the cold cruelties of defpotiiin have
no bounds, what hall be.expeced from the paroxifms of

To this crifis our prefent Inquiry is particularly direct-
ed, nor ought it to pafs over with an unfupported affer-
tion,. or a probable fuppofition. The caufe of the infur-
retion has been agitated in the National Affembly, long
after the presentation of the Addrefs of the Deputies. In
the course of the debate, it was affected, without contra-
diaion, that all the Mulattoes, except thofe in the southern

The letter, dated the 4th of September, 1791, from Mr,
Blanchelande thus deferibes the commencement of the infur-
On the zzd of Auguif the Colonial Affembly requested my
presence at the examination of several perfons, as well Whites
as Blacks, who had been apprehended by the patrol. I was
convinced from their depositions that a conspiracy was formed
against the Colony, and particularly against the Cape. I
learned that on the night of the fame day, it was intended to
burn federal 1-.; l. Ii near the Cape, and to mafilare all the
"Whites. On the morning of the 23d several perfons from the
country took refuge in the town. They brought information
that many of the Black labourers had revolted, 'and that many
Whites had been- put to- death'.
Read November Sth,. 79'.-

C I7 ):
parts were disarmed by thM Wbites, and that the Negroes
had revolted becauf thofe who 'had been accrutfomed to coerce
them were incapacitated. Is' it extraordinary, faid the O-
rator, that the Slaves /flould revoli'when they find the Mu-
lattoes disarmed;. when they fee them 'n:'. I. ,7., to quit the
Cape, or be expofed to the moi/ horrible punihinents? Even the
Colonial Committee, though ever attentive to the repre-
fentations of the Whites were unable to difcover any oilier
caufe of the infurreftion. After all the accusations of the
Colonifis, as well in the AdiJ-fs now under confidera-
tion,. as in other intemperate pieces, they li:,ed
that no proof had been adduced to them of the initerference
of the Society of the Amis des Noirs. The Whit& Colonijys,
fay they, in their Report of the i th of Janunry lff, a .:-:
complained of the calumnies and outrages t'.,; ifi .l:. ., iv
writings of te Amis des Noirs. Ir .' / :ih t'; ;..EJ ./.:, ; I.. ;
has been their moral ,r. ... : but /.i!. 'i there is. no evi-
dence that the Amis des Noirs have excited itj,- ; i., .!.':,
and we have found all the i, j. ':. .". them total
unfupported by proof.

Before we proceed with our n1 rr, .'. let us be per-
mitted a refleEtion on the comparative fate of the iriha-
bitants-of St. Do:mniir., at the time the infurre6tion took
place. The White Colonifts had juft recovered. their
liberties, and were called upon to exercise the highest
political rights, and prefcribe for themselves their own
constitution. The Slaves had been refined up to their
unlimited control; all that defpotifin can wifh for they
enjoyed : paramount and uncontroulable themselves, they
exercised uncontrouled and undefined authorityover others.
One only circumfiance embittered their enjoyment of a
power fo gratifying to the perverted tafte of man. They
were required to fhare it with others, who, though equally
free with themselves, equally competent to the exercise
of it, and equally interested in its refult, were unfortu-
nately diftinguihed by a different thade, of colour. Jea-
loufy is infeparable from the luft of power, and a natural
diftintion ferved as a plea for reffriting all authority to

Speech of Mr. Briffot, 27th of OQober, 1791,
/ C the

( 1I )
the hands of a few. The People 6f Colour remonfirated
agaifift this injuftice. They represented the dangerous
confequences that might arife not only to themselves but
to the Ifland, if they were degraded in the eyes of their
dependants, and compelled to contribute to the support of
a government in which they were as paflive as their Slaves.
The decree of the Iith of May juftified and confirmed
their pretenfions. But the hard gripe of Injuftice relaxes
not without force ; and the White Planters avowed their
resolution to suffer every extremity rather than fubmit to
a measure that was indifpenfibly neceffary not only to
their own prosperity, but even to their own prefervation.

If fuch paffions can agitate the human bofom, when
required to fare with others that power to which they
have an equal right; if the People of Colour in afferting
their claim to a feat in the Colonial Affembly, felt an im-
pulfe that fet danger at defiance, and cheerfilly encoun-
tered death, even in its moft horrid forms ; what fall we
conceive were the feelings of the Negroes ? The claims
of the People of Colour had been recognized by the Parent
Country; but the Negroes had been formally confined
over to the will of their Mafters, without one ftipulation
in their favour. Political fubordination, however hateful
to a liberal mind, is as bright as day when compared with
the dark and hopelefs bondage of the Negro: a bondage
that combines the pangs of intellectual mifery, with the
fufferings of a brute. Under thefe circumfiances was it
neceffary for the Amis des Noirs to inform the Negroes
that they were an unhappy and an injured race ? Is it to
be fuppofed they were unacquainted with the causes of
contention amongft the Planters ? and is not the love of
freedom contagious ? When they faw men whofe wealth
n ot only exempted them from personal labour, but fup-
plied them with all the blandishments of luxury, contend
at the peril of their lives for a fhare in the government of
het Ifland, could they turn with indifference to the con-
templation of their own numbers, and their own oppref-
fiois ? It was not then the voice of the Amis des Noirs,
it was the irrefiftible call of Nature that excited th.
Infurreaion : the former would have foothed them to

( 19 )
peace, the latter hurried them blindly on to inevitable

In its commencement this infurre&ion was'however by
ho means formidable ; and the General Blanchelande has
been accufed in the National Affembly ofpufillanimoufly
entrenching himself in a town already fortified, when he
should have led out his troops to fupprefs the revolt.
t* Whoever, fays Mr. Briffot, advifed him to this mea-
fure, has occafioned the ruin of the Colony." There is
indeed, little doubt but a vigorous exertion would foon
have extinguified the flame. Even when the number of
infurgents ,amounted to 50,000, and they had formed
themselves into two bodies, an engagement of an hour
destroyed the camp of one, and the other was totally dif-
perfed by the discharge of a few pieces of cannon.

Avoiding the repetition of the difgufting barbarities
alternately exercised by the contending parties, let us
inquire what effea the infurrection of the Slaves had upon
the diffentions of the Planters which had given rife to
them. The White Party foon discovered, that although
they could legiflate without the affiftance of the People
of Colour, they could not preserve the Ifland from de-
ftruaion without them ; and they at length bowed their
stubborn necks under the irrefiftible weight of their com-
mon danger. In thus calling for affiftance upon thofe
whom they had injured and infulted by every means in
their power, they thrunk from that.arrogant inflexibility
of chara&er which was expected from them. Amongft
the conjetures that took place in France when informa.
tion of the Revolt was firft received there, we may no.
tice that of the Reporter of the Colonial Committee.*
"< Believe not, fays he, that the White Creole will ever
unite in the common caufe with the Man of Colour, although
they are both proprietors, and have both the fame interefls to
.defend. Even the imperious yoke of Necefity will bend
under the odious prejudices againJ/ his origin."-" Nothing
*an efface the unjufJ diftintions which keep him atfo infinite

Report of the Colonial Committee, 27th Otober, 1791.
/ C2 d-

(20 )
a dif/ance, that the White would with lefs horror hear his
enemies accufe him of a crime, than affert that ,a drop of
African blood circulates in his veins. Such a reproach is
considered as the moft outrageous .infult. He transmits his
vengeance to his pofterity; and hence originates that un-
quenchable hatred which is 4';".V''* known only in thefe cli-
mates, in which the fofte pajfions arife to an excefs of
phrenzy." The Reporter was, however, miftaken.
Fear operates more forcibly. than hatred, even in the
breast of a Creole. On the 25th of Auguft the Colonial
Affembly condefcended to invite the People of Colour to
pnite with them for the common defence, On the 2d,
gd, and 4th of September, they deliberated on the quef-
tion of admitting them to their rights. The People of
Colour in the mean time had armed for their defence,
but had kept aloof both from the Whites and the Negroes.
On the I th of September a convention took place,
which produced the agreement called the Concordat, by
which the White Planters ftipulated that they would no
longer oppose the law of the i5th of May, which gave
political rights to the People of Colour. The Colonial
Affembly even promised to meliorate the situation of the
People of Colour,* born of parents notfree, and to whom
the decree of the 15th of May did not extend. An
union was formed between the Planters, which, if it had
fooner taken place, had prevented the Infurrefion. The
nfurgents were every, where difpirited, repulfed, and
difperfed; and the Colony itself preferred from total
At the moment thefe tranfaaions happened at St. Do-
mingo,. an important fcene was a&ing in the National
Afiemnbly of France. From the time of paffing the de-
cree of the 15th of May, the White Colonifts in France,
and thier numerous Friends in the National Affembly,
had never ceafed to accufe the authors of it of having
conspired together for the ruin of the Colonies. In
execrating its purport, and predi&ing its consequences,
they had inflamed the minds of the resident Whites to the
See Decree of the Colonial Affembly, zpth Sept. 1791.

( 21 )
eigheftpitch of rage. The true Incendiaries of St. Do-
mingo are to be discovered amongst the Colonifts who,
immediately after the decree of the 15th of May, failed
for that Ifland to frustrate its publication, and oppofe its
execution. The Affembly had been weak enough to
entruff the Colonial Committee with expediting the de-
cree. In that Committee the apoifate patriot Barnave
had unlimited authority. The confequence was, that
the firft publication of the decree at St. Domingo appeared
in the French newspaper called The Monitor. The
inftrudions intended to accompany, it were intentionally
delayed till their effe& was totally frustrated. Before the
decree arrived, all was prepared for its reception, and the
refuit was fuch as has before been fRated. So far the
White Colonifts had succeeded in the(t aims. 'The pre-
di ted difentions between them and the People of Colour
had taken place, and all that now remained was to charge
the decree of the I5th of May as the caufe of that mif-
chief, which the Whites had themselves voluntarily occa-
fioned. Barnave and his adherents were indefatigable in
their exertions, and almoft in the very moment when the
justice and neceffity of the decree of the 15th of May had
been acknowledged by the Concordat, the repeal of it was
pronounced in the National Affembly. By the decree of
the 24th of the fame month of September, the People of
Colour were virtually excluded from all right of Colonial
Legislation, and exprefsly placed in the power of the White
Colonifts.* 'On this disgraceful measure it is only to be
remarked, that it was as defective in point of legal' autho-
rity a it was in abftrac justice. For :itrhcugh it is deno-
mtnated a: Conlitutional aR,t it was paffed fifteen days
after the rnetv code had been presented to and accepted by
the King, and was the firft infringement of a fyftem of
government, which the founders at leaft ought to have
held factyd.
"* ART. 3. Les lois concernantl'etat des Per/fones non libres,
et l'@tat poliique. des Hommes de Couteur, ,i Negres libres,
ainfi qye les reglemens relatifs A P1'xecution de ces mimes
lois front faites par les A4Ecmblies Coloniales.
t Speech 'of M; Fauchet, Izth Deccmber, 1791, and of
1M. Garan de Ceulon, zd March, 1797.

( 22 )
If the decree of the 15th of May could inftigate the
White Colonifts to the frantic a&s of violence before
described, what hall we fuppofe were the feelings of the
People of Colour on that of the 24th of September, which
again blasted thofe hopes they had juftly founded on the
conflitutional law of the- Parent State, and the folemn ra-
tification of the White Colonifts ? No fooner was it
known in the Iflands than thofe diffentions which the Re-
volt of the Negroes had for a while appealed, broke out
with frefh violence. The apprehensions entertained from
the Slaves had been allayed by the effects of the Concordat ;
but the Whites no fooner found themselves relieved from
the terrors of immediate deftru6tion, than they availed
themselves of the decree of.the 24th of September ; they
formally revoked the Concordat, and treacheroufly refused
to comply with an engagement to which they owed their
very existence. The People of Colour were in arms;
they attacked the Whites in the Southern Provinces ;
they poffeffed themselves of Fort St. Louis, and defeated
their opponents in several engagements. A powerful
body surrounded Port-au-Prince, the capital of the Ifland,
and claimed the execution of the Concordat.* At three dif-
ferent times did the Whites affent to the requifition, and
as often broke their engagement. Gratified with the
predilelion for Ariftocracy which the conftituent Affem-
bly had in its dotage avowed, they affeced the appellation
of Patriots, and had the addrefs to transfer the popular
odium to the People of Colour, who were contending for
their indifputable rights, and to the few White Colonifts
who had virtue enough to efpoufe their caufe, Under
this pretext, the municipality of Port-au-Prince required
M. Grimoard, the captain of the Boreas, a French line
of battle fhip, to bring his guns to bear upon, and to
cannonade the People of Colourt affembled near the town:
he at firft refused, but the crew deluded by the cry of Pa-
triotifm, enforced his compliance. No fooner was this

La Caufe des Troubles eft dans l'infernale vanity des
blancs, qui troisfois ont viola un Concordat, que troisfois il&
avoient jur6 de maintenir.
Speech of Mr. Brijot, ioth Feb. 1792.
t Report of the Colonial Committee, z9th Feb. 1792.


( 23 )
measure adopted, than the People of Colour gave a loofe
to their indignation; they fpread over the country, and
fet fire indiscriminately to all the plantations ; the greatest
part of the town of Port-au-Prince foon afterwards shared
the fame fate. Nothing seemed to remain for the White
Inhabitants but to feek their safety in quitting the Colony.
In the Northern Parts the People of Colour adopted a
more magnanimous and perhaps a more prudent conduct.*
V Ihey begun, fays Mr. Verniaud, by of ring their blood to
"C the Whites. We /hall wait, faid they, till we have faved
" you, before we afirt our own claims. 'They accordingly
opposed themselves to the revolted Negroes with unex-
ampled courage. They endeavoured to foothe them by'
attending to their reasonable requifitions,t and if the Co-
lony of St. Domingo be preferred to the French ration,
it will be by the exertions of the People of Colour.
After this recital of authentic and indifputable fats, is
it difficult to trace the caufes of the Infurre6ion ? Is it
to the Amis des Noirs-to the Society for abolishing the
Slave Trade, that they are to be imputed ? The fenti-
ments of Mr. Briffot are thofe of all tre true friends of the
Negroes : "< I challenge, faid he, the authors of thefe
calumnies tofpecify afingle fa again/i the AMIS DEsNoiRS.
I will bow down my bead on thefcaffold, if it be proved that I
have written a ingle line to the Colonies, or have supported
any relation or correspondence with them whatever. I wijh
thefituation of the Negroes mitigated, but not at the expenfe
of the blood of my brethren. I Jhould be unworthy of the
liberty I enjoy, if I could advice a single Negro to rife upon
Speech of Mr. Verniaud, ift December, 1791.
t Dans la province du Nord les Hommes de Couleur, A
exception de ceux de quelques paroiffes, fe font comports
qvec la plus grand prudence ; toujours ils fe font empreff6s de
combattre les noirs : toujours ils ont montre la plus grand
confiance dans les decrets do 1'Affembl6e Nationale. Deux
d'entre eux, M. M. Rouanet .& Laforeft, font atlls dans le
camp des revolts, pour y negocier la paix; leur zele, les
foins qu'ils fe font donn6s, dans cette occasion font au-deffus
de toute 1ioge. Report, z9th Feb. 179:.
SI Speech of Mr. Briffot, Nov. 9, 1791.
I hi

( 24 )
lis Maifer; and it is detefable that they who know my prin-
riples and thofe of M. M. Petion, Roberfpierre, Gregoire,
Claviere, Condorcet, Jhould be the authors of fuch accufa-
tions." In proportion as the forces of thefe calamities
have been more diftindly traced, the White Colonifts
have felt the convi&ions of truth, and their advocates
have been reluctantly compelled to acknowledge it. On
the Ioth of February, 1792; a letter was read in the
N.irioiaJ Affembly, from Mr. Poymonbrun, a Colonift
"of St. Domingo, in which he attributes the trouib, to
the pride of fome of the 'Whites, who refiufed to admit the
IMen of Colour to the rights of alive Citizens. In the Re-
port of the Colonial Committee of the I2th of the fame
month, they fay, fl' r'::,t doubt the Colonifs- are not
exempt from all reproach ; but bccaufe fome individuals are
culpable, mufl the whole population be facrificed? Should
even that culpability ajfeit THE MAJORITY, they muft in-
tereft us even by their misfortunes, and call upon us for a
moment to forget their errors and their crimes." May their
diftreffes be alleviated; and may they learn humanity
from their fufferings !

By the latest accounts from St. Domingo it appears the
apprehenfions from the Negroes have ceafed; but that the
inveterate prejudices of the Planters, and the effects of a
culpable dereliaidn of principle in the Conflituent Affenn-
bly, fill continues to agitate it. The difafers of St. Do-
mingo, fays M. Tarb6, (the Reporter for the Colonies)*
have now their principal cazife in the mifunderfanding be-
tween the Whites and the Mulattoes." In the Northern
Parts, adds he, the Men of Colour have joined the Whites,
and the Negroes are. either reduced or rendered incapable of
further mfichief. In the Wejfern Provinces not a Negro is
in rebellion, but the Men of Colour have poffed thenfelves
f many difriats, and occupy the plains. The Southern Parts
are in the fame situation : the Negroes are at peace, but the
People of Colour exercise the, greater enormities. t In one
"*Report, 29th February, 1791.
En un mot, dans toute la Colonie, il n'y avoit plus rien
A craindre des revolts; tout de la mefintelligence entire les
blancs et les gens de couleur. Report, zgth Feb. 1792.

( 25 )
word, adds he, throughout all the Colony NOTHING is to be
apprehended from the Negroes ; EVERY THING, from the
mifunderflanding between the Whites and the People of

Such is the present situation of this Colony : a prey to
the pride and to the prejudices of the white proprietors,
not to the violence of the revolted Negroes. Whilft the
fears arifing from the latter, are, it appears, totally allayed,
the former are fill exerting every nerve to effe' a pur-
pofe that can only end in their own ruin. Chaftized, but
not improved, in the school of misfortune, they now me-
ditate a new outrage, and call upon the parent fate to in-
validate the Concordat, and to eftablifh by force the pre-
tended decree of the 24th of September. Shall then the
advocates of peace, irrationally accufed of the moft atro-
cious defigns, shrink from the question fo infolently put
to them by the Deputies of the Colonies, through the
medium of the National Affembly ? or hall they not
answer with the convi&ion of truth-Yes, miffaken men.
It is you who have placed fire and word in the hands
of your Negroes. It is you that have lighted the torch
that has destroyed your plantations. It is you that have
sharpened the daggers that have affaffinated your brethren
and your friends. It is you that have prompted the brutal
paffions of which your females have been the haplefs
viaims: who have kindled in your country the volcano
which has already covered it with afhes, and will perhaps
reduce it to nothing."

If, however,, no conclusions can be drawn from the
history of thefe difo,ders, either to impeach the pro-
moters of the Aboltiion of the Slave Trade, or to deter
the Briti(h Parliament from daily considering, and fully
deciding on that important measure; it will afford in-
ftrudion of a different nature. Nourifhed in inveterate,
and it will be feared, irremediable prejudices, it may fhew
us, that the Colonifts are not the beft judges even of their

Particular Account of the Infurretion, p. z6.

D own

owp interest : it may apprife us of the dangers of facri-
ficing general principles of fubftantial justice, tp variable
and temporizing expedients: it may demonftate to us,
that the prefervatioif of oui own iflands, from fimilar
difafters, depends on the early adoption of measures that
whilft they are vigorous and decisive, are juft, conciliatory,
and humane; and may caution us, that where we choofe
not to impart the beamings of hope, we excite not the
ratings of defpair.



O tk THE







Read ith his absence by M. GiADET before the Nationl
Affembly, z9th of February, 1792.

T HE accounts received of the diflu'rbances in St.
Domingo, undoubtedly leave us in much uncer-
tainty; but the principal faas are unqueftionable. They
reduce themselves to a fmall number of important and in-
conteftible points. We ought at length to follow our own
judgment and not relyupon others. It is by examining mat-
ters maturely, that we put ourfelves on our guard against
the fpirit of party and difhonefty, which.have frequently
led aftray the friends of liberty. By thefe means, the ca-
lumnious reports which have been propagated against the
Amis des Noirs will be filenced.

The infurre&ion no fooner broke out than it was aitri-
buted to the Amis des lNirs. Nothing but rage and weak-
nefs could have produced fo rafh an accufation-Let them
cite a single action, a single publication, which has pro-
-ked the infurre&ion. We furely seed do no more thaii
S% r p epeat

( 28 )
repeat the names of the principal members of this afbocia.
tion, Meffrs. Mirabeau, La Rochefoucault, Condorcet,
La Fayette, &c.'in order to do away thefe calumnies.
An affociation formed at a more early period than ours
exifts in the capital of Great Britain. Ever fince the
formation of this fociety, philanthropic attempts have in-
ceffantly been the objeas of its cares. Neverthelefs, the
Negroes in the Englifh Colonies have continued to bear
their yoke with the greatest fubmiffion-If then, we can
at prefent with any certainty affign a caufe to the troubles
in St. Domingo they muff be attributed to the degradation
of the People of Colour, rather than to a Philanthropick
Society. In fat, in North America, there is a religious
fet which, without exciting difturbances, is continually
devifing means for obtaining the enfranchifement of the
Negroes. The Congrefs itself is preparing for the adop-
tion of this meafure at fome future period, and there is
only one of the American States where the traffic is
not already abolished. Let us then attribute the troubles
to the contagion of counter-revolution principles; and
above all, to the injuftice of which the Whites have been
guilty in refuting to let the Mulattoes partake of the blef-
fings of liberty; and laftly, to the culpable neglea of the
enforcement of the decree of the isth of May. Have we
not, in the Conflituent Affembly, feen deferters from the
Caufe of the People connea themselves with the Arifto-
cracy to pave the way for the repeal of that decree, by pre-
venting the departure of the Commiffioners ? And does
not this evidently prove that thofe troubles have had the
fame origin as thofe of Avignon and the camp of Jales ?
Like the Avignonais and the Liegeois, the People of Colour
were oppreffed, and they wifhed to become free; and there
emotions have excited in the minds of the Negroes the
fame defire of independence. In like manner, at Paris,
when the 13aftile was taken, did not the prifoners in the
Chatelet and the Bicetre, break their fetters ? Thefe un-
civilized men, who were nearer to a ftate of nature, were
not deaf to the cries of liberty which rebounded on every
fide. Perhaps too, the Whites have themselves excited
the discontent of their Negroes : as we faw the court in
1789, when it had an army under its command, rejoice in
the troubles at Paris, and as the King of Spain was pleafe1'

( 29 )
at the revolt of the Portuguefe; because it afforded an
apt pretence for numerous confiscations.

At St. Domingo the party inimical to liberty expected
a counter-revolution, disorder and civil war (for a coun-
ter-revolution could refilt only from a general confusion)
and the men of this party fubftituted the black cockade in
place of the cockade of liberty, even in the very fight of
the Colonial Affembly. But not even there proofs were
neceffary to discover the schemee of afterting their inde-
pendence, which was formed by the planters of St. Do-
mingo and Martinico. Before thefe troubles they had
dared to decree, as a conflitutional article, that the efta-
blifhment of interior regulations belonged to the colony
alone. Did not the former General Affembly of the
Ifland of St. Domingo undertake to difband the army of
the nation? In fine, did not thefe deputies, in the name
of the colonies, threaten France with a separation similar
to that which has taken place between the United States
of America and England ? Is it difficult to conceive that
men accustomed to defpife their : il.'w men, to fubjugate
them under the yoke of their defpotick wills, can have no
greater love for their country than they have for equality.
Thefe fame planters, who might have found fo many
advantages in their union with France, and whofe depu-
ties filed themselves the deputies of the whole nation, pre-
tended that the other deputies of France could not take a
fhare in the formation of their laws ; whilft, however,
thefe men took a part in the formation of ours, their de-
puties effected a separation, and they returned only to re-
peal the decree of the 15th of May. The Conftituent
Affembly which, in its old age, suffered the National So-
vereignty to be trampled on, yielded to their fophifms, and
pronounced the fatal decree of the 24th of September, the
fole cafe of all the difafters of St. Domingo.

In truth, the repeal of the decree of the r5th of May,
had not taken place when the infurre6ion of the Blacks
commenced: but the decree had been paffed for the fpace
of three months, without having been enforced. It was
well known what struggles patriotifin had made in order to
obtain it, and it was well known that patriotism diminifh-

( 30 )
ed every day, that plots were formed to obtain the repeal
of this decree, and that culpable hopes were founded ever
on the diflurbances of the colonies.

Thofe Obfervations which point out the caufe of the
misfortunes of St. Domingo, teach us that we ought never
to fuTer any infringement to be made upon the National
Sovereignty; much lefs upon the rights of universal rea-
fon : they teach us that we ought to defend the planters
themselves against their obftinate purpofe of lulling them-
klves afleep to their own deftrufion, amidit the preju-
dices of pride,-in fine, that we ought to naturalize among
them the character of citizen, by making them enjoy the
bleflings of the revolution. Let us then afford fuccour to
the Whites, fince they are unfortunate, let us grant them
all the affiftance that lies in our power. You would not
refufe it to your enemies, in a fimilar situation. But, here
I flop-it is very true that our moft implacable enemies
would not have had it in their power to do us more inifchief:
I will not mention the damage which they have done to
our commerce, at a time when it had already experienced
a considerable diminution-but can we forget the ftains
which they have brought upon our Revolution, the pro-
grefs of which, they have topped by giving, under the
reign of infant liberty, an example of the greatest injuflice,
by placing tyrannic laws by the fide of the Declaration of
Rights, when they caused the paffin of the Decree of the
24th of September.

This Decree has deeply affliced all the friends of li-
berty. Ought we to let it ftand? Would it not be a
proof of extraordinary weakness, were we to retain this
law, which people have the audacity to term a con/iitutional
law, although it was enacted after the conflitution of
the kingdom, and even after the conflitution of the
Colonies was framed. This law, will tend to render the
Planters independent of their French creditors ; and fall
we fuffer the sovereignty of twenty-five millions of men to.
be trampled on, to support the tyranny and all the ca-
prices of unreflrained defpotifm ? Let the White Colonifts
at lift know, that they cannot do without the mother
country ; that fhe alone, can free them from the misfor-
tunes into which they have plunged themselves.

[ 31 3
The criminal ufurpations of the clergy and the n b;I ty,
and all the abufes of the royal power;-in a wo-d, all
kinds of difafters would follow upon the Decree of the
24th of September; and this independence would make
the Colonies the centre of union for the ariftocracy and
the Counter-revolutionifts. We are affur-d, that none
of the reafons which the Conflituent Afiembly has made
in the administration ofjuftice, have been enforced at St.
Domingo: that the moft atrocious proceedings of the old
government, are fill pra6ifed there that Oge was exa-
mined on thefellette, and that he was not allowed coun-
fel. It is at left evident, that the liberty of the prefs,
that guarantee of public liberty, the lofs of which nothing
can fupply, has been profcribed; that arbitrary orders
take the place of laws; that Frenchmen have been tranf-
ported without a trial, and under falfe pretexts; that a
veffel has been forced to difpofe of its cargo, at a price
fixed at arbitrary discretion. This is what the Colonial
Affembly has done; you may judge what it would do in
future time, were it in'vefted witn independent authority.
The minister of the marine, after a long declamation
againff tie Amis des Noirs, and the People of Colour, has
already proposed to you a plan of efl-,iilhin, at St. Do-
mingo, a national guard, composed only of proprietors;
of erecting on that ifland certain fi t, c.--, not to defend
the coat, but to be made ufe of, as RouiTeau fays, in the
interior part of the country, as nefh for tyrants. In fine,
if the Colonies, rendered independent of the ]eiilatihe
body, were to be connected with the king alone, what a
means of confidence would the executive power derive
from this exclufive right of giving its fan6tion 'Being
supreme chief of the army, he could fill enflave it, by
fending the moft patriotic regiments into the iflands,
under pretence of eftabliihing discipline there; but in
reality, because in this exile, they would in vain appeal
to the principles ofjuftice and liberty.

If, however, you are determined to declare the Colo-
nies independent, this declaration ought not to be made
till the Decree of the 24th of September has been re-
pealed, otherwise this independence would be extended to
the Whites alone, who would preserve the means of per-

S32 5
petuating aristocracy. America emancipates its Colonic;
as foon as they are fifficientlv populous ; but fhe has ex-
prefsly decreed, that they hall not inflitute an arbitrary
government, or make any law in contradiction to the
Declaration of Rights. In Greece, the parent fates,
when they allowed their Colonies to govern themselves,
did not efteem themselves by that means freed from the
obligation of defending the citizens of thofe Colonies
against oppreffion. This reciprocal affliance, which
kindred should mutally arFord each other, we ought
now to give to the citizens of Colour at St. Domingo, as
well as to the Whites.

The Planters have formed a projea of afferting their
independence, in order to ',;: .':h tyranny beyond the
feas ; we ought to be wfier than they. This separation
might lead them to their ruin, and perhaps would not be
fo eafy as they imagine; the difpofitions of the Englifh,
of America, and fill more their own experience, flould
convince them of this. If it be poi-ble that the Colo-
nies should be happy in this separation, on this fuppofition,
the parent fate muff reap from it the fame advantages
as Price prediced, when the American Colonies fepa-
rated from England. The commerce of England with
the United States, never was fo :'.,z I i ',ng as it has been
fince their separation They who are moft incrufted with
the ruff of ancient prejudices, do not dispute the advan-
tages of this independence.-On this fubjef, there is
only one opinion. But fince our Colonies fill land in
need of the protection of the mother country, fince we
are obliged to protect their internal freedom, we ouht to
agree to the laws upon which the liberty is founded.
D.. i.- does not prevent the National Affembly from
making laws concerning their external regulations ; and
flce the ki1n can refuse to give his fandion to the laws
for teirc internal government, why i.. ul 1 no: thefe latter
laws be likewife submitted to the approbation of the le-
;,1 ,. body ? The laws under the empire of reason,
ought no longer to be the result of ancient p-ejudices
relpOe-fuily accumulated, but the greater the number of
fnI:-! !hi.cned underftandings which concur in their forma-
.io,, the near: do they approach to perfection. .

( 33 )
would the Colonies prefer the 'Veto of the king, to the
opinion of the popular representatives of eighty-three de-
partments, especially when this veto is not fubordinate to
the uniform will of three legiflatures ? Would they cbufe
rather to be fubjedt to the will of a miniffer who will al-
ways be ambitious to augment his authority ? If this be
their wifh, why do they addrefs themselves to the Na-
tional Aflembly, requesting our afliftance ? Is it not
ridiculous to fee them asking the representatives of a free
people to fipport an arbitrary government-a government
alien to our laws, and contrary to our conftitution ?
Our fleets, our armies, the produf of our contribu-
tions, are no longer, as they formerly were, the patri-
mony of the monarch-they belong to the nation; they
ought not to be made ufe of, except for the benefit of the
nation, and conformably to the constitution. The king
can require obedience from the troops of France, only in
the name of the French laws, made by the representatives
of the French people, and our amics are by no means
fubje6 to the laws of the Colonies. If circumfjances did
not permit us to enfranchife the Negroes, nothing could au-
thorife us to fet up as conJitutional principles the temporary
measures which prudence might have figgeted to legislators.
This is the reason why there exifts not in the American
constitutions a single article that gives a fantion to fla-
very; and the framers of this constitution, themselves
proprietors of Slaves, perceived that they muft leave to ihe
maturity of time, to the progrefs of understanding and
manners, the confummation of the deftrucion of flavery.
On the contrary, a proposal is made to you, to annul the
Concordat, or to temporize for the purpose of giving the
"Whites the means of annulling it by force.
I know not what can be expected from there dilatory
meafuresj unless the involving in frefh miferies, the Whites,
who have with difficulty efcaped from the fury of the re-
volted Negroes. Will any one dare to affert, that the
Decree of the 24th of September, of which they wiih to
avail themselves, is a constitutional article ?
Let the French Conflitution answer this queftion-a
Conflitution, all the principles of which it contradits.-
E L:


( 34 )
Let the Confitutional Decree of the t5th of May laft
anfier it,--all the provisions of which it has infringed.
We can hardly imagine, that the Conftituent Afl mbly,
notwithllanding all its power, could deprive a numerous
clafs offree and proprietary citizens of their civil rights,
especially without having summoned or heard them. If
the exclufive Initiatire had been granted to the Colonies on
the I5th of May, it is evident, that, after this Decree,
the Conflituent Affembly could no longer make laws con-
cerning the civil existence of any clafs of men, without
having been formally authorized fo to do by the Colonial
In vain will it be objected, that an article of the Con-
ftitution declares, that the Colonies, although they form
a part of the French empire, were not comprized in the
conflitutional laws of France.-What conclusion hall we
draw from this ? that the constitutional law of the x5th
of May, not having been repealed by this article, cannot
have been repealed fince the completion of the confritu-
tion. I mutf observe, that the king having accepted the
French Conftitution, and that formed on the 15th of May
for the Colonies, the Conflituent Affembly could not
trouble his throne with a new condition, which would
occasion a lofs of rights, and if a refufal of accepting the
Decree of the 24th of September would not have occafi-
oned a lofs of rights ; it follows of course, that it was
lrt conflitutional. The Conftituent Affembly might
reduce to principles the Conftitutional laws which it had
already made, but it could not make laws of a contrary
Could we oblige the king, who had juft fworn that he
would maintain liberty and equality, to enforce a confli-
tulion which deprives a numerous clafs of men of the
rights which nature gives them ? Is it not evident that his
acceptance of this decree could not have given it validity ?
and that, as an aft of the legislative power, it is null,
fince it has not gone through the formalities preferibed by
the conflitution. Let us proceed to the examination of its
contents : In the conftitution we fee that privileges no
longer exift in any part of the French Empire; that the
.:,'io, 0i fovereignty is indivifible and hereditarily delege

( 35 )
ted to the reigning family; that the colonies are effential-
ly a part of the French empire. It was upon thefe prin-
ciples alone then that the Conftituent Affembly could de-
termine concerning the conflitution of the colonies. Ne-
verthelefs, their independence is declared in fuch a man-
ner by the decree of the 24th of September that they are
freed from the authority of the legislative body, and even
from the authority of the con'ituent aflemblies; and as
the regal power is not comprifed in this decree, the con-
fequence is that the colonies might chufe a king for them-.
felves; but they will hardly imagine themselves indepen-
dent of the authority of that ineftimable article of the de-
claration of rights, which allows infurrecion and refift.
dance against oppreffion.

I may now confirm the timorous confciences of thofe
who have affected that they wifhed for the repeal of the
decree of the 24thof September, but were afraid of infring-
ing upon a conftitutional law. But neither the people,
who muff ratify all conftitutions, nor the Conftituent Af-
fembly, nor even the executive power, have ever lookci
upon this decree as truly constitutional. The Confli-
tuent Affembly did not present it for the acceptance of the
King; and had it been conflitutional, all the citizens, and
particularly the deputies of this aflembly, whofe powers it
would have limited, muff have fworn that they would act
in conformity to it. When you have produced from your
archives the constitutional aa7, how happens it that not one
voice has ever been raised to demand that the decree ot
the 24th of September alfo should be brought to the Tri-
bune ? This decree had been too recently paled, too fadiy
renowned to be forgotten; and if the nation had not re-
fufed to ratify it, whence comes it that among the loya!
addreffes which have been presented to the Conf:ituent
Affembly there has not been a single one in favour of this
decree? The universal feelings, the spontaneous judgment
of all the citizens, are better proofs than all the fubtleties
of argument, that this decree is not constitutional. Had
it been fo effeemed by the executive power, the minrffer.
of the marine would not have proposed to you different
laws for the internal government of St. Domingo, for
Mnflance, for the eflablifhment of hired guards, and of
g E ? forts


( 36 )
forts to be ereaed in the interior parts of the country.
Let us then declare, that this decree is an infringement on
the sovereignty of the nation; we fubmit not to it either
as citizens or defpotics; but as men we ought to deteft it.

Mr. Garan Coulon then prepared the form of a decree
abrogating that of the 24th of September; declaring a
general amnefty throughout the colony, enacting, that
the Colonial Affemblies should be formed purfuant to the
decree of the I5th of May, that they should give their fen-
timents on the fubje& of the internal government of the
colonies, and on the beft method of effecting the Abolition
of Negro Slavery.



5.:,,'e the preceding Inquiry was printed,
Advice has been received, that the NA-
TIONAL ASSEMBLr, on the 24th iflant,
pajjeda, anlmqf unaninzoufy, the following
DECREE refpecting the COLONIES.

T H E National Affembly acknowledges and decrees
that the People of Colour and Free Negroes ought to
enjoy the equality of political rights, as well as the Whites,
in confequence of which it decrees as follows.
ARTICLE I. Immediately after the publication of the
present decree, they hall proceed, in every one of the
French Colonies in the Windward and Leeward Iflands,
to the re-eledion of the Colonial and Municipal Affem-
blies, after the manner prescribed by the decree of the 8th
of March, 1790, and the inftrudtions of the National
Affembly of the 28th of the fame month.
II. The

( 38 )
II. The People of Colour, and Free Negroes hall
be admitted to vote in all the Primary and Ele&toral Af-
femblies, and hall be eligible to all places, provided they
poffefs besides, the qualifications piefcribed by the 4th
article of the inftruftions of the 28th of March.

III. Three Civil Commiflioners hall be named for the
Colony of St. Domingo, and four for the Iflands of Gua-
deloupe, St. Lucia, and Tobago.

IV. Thefe Commifioners hall be authorized to dif-
folve the present Colonial Affemblies, to take every mea-
fire neceflary for accelerating the Convocation of the
Primary and Elecoral Affemblies, and therein to efta-
blifh union, order, and peace : as well as to determine
provifionally referringg the power of appeal to the Natio-
nal Affembly) upon every question which may arife con-
cerning the regularity of convocations, the holding of
affemblies, the form of ele&ions, and the eligibility of

V. They are equally authorized to procure every
information poffible, in order to discover the authors of
the troubles in St. Domingo, and their continuation, if
they have continued ; to fecure the perfons of the guilty,
and put them under arreft, and to fend them over to
France, there to be put in a fate of accufation, by virtue
of a decree of the legislative body, if that be found'

VI. The Civil Commiffoners hall be obliged for
this purpose, to addrefs to the National Affembly a dispatch
in form, of the verbal proceffes which they may have
made, and of the declarations they may have received,
concerning the accused perfons aforefaid.

VII. The National Affembly authorifes the Civil
Commiffloners to demand the public force, whenever
they think meet, either for their own safety, or for the
execution of orders they may give, by virtue of the pre-
c'ding Articles.


( 39 ) Le..
SVJIT. The Executive Power is directed to fend a
fufficicn force into the Colonies, which is composed in
great measure of National Guards.

IX. The Colonial Affemblies immediately after their
formation and inflallation, fall iffue, in the name of each
Colony refpeaively, their particular judgment refpefing
that Conftitution, thofe laws, and the administration of
them, which will promote the prosperity and happinefs of
the people; conforming themselves nevertheless to thofe
general principles by which the Colonies and Mother
Country are conneaed, and by which their refpeftive in-
terefts are fecured, agreeably to the decree of 8th March,
1790, and the inftruaions of 28th fame month.
X. The Colonial Affemblies are authorized to no-
minate Reprefentatives to deliver their judgment to, and
unite themselves with the Legiflative Body, in numbers
proportionable for every Colony, which hall be imme-
diately determined by the National Affembly, according
to the Report which its Colonial Committee is directed
to make.

XI Former decrees refpe6ting the Colonies hall be
in force in every thing not contrary to the present De-



A (- 3 1262 07412 035 2

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Full Text




,..,-, /,7;/.:(t.J1tf".4.-...._n_-....-..,-/I, ----------I


I,,,,,t,.'I,"R\,.", IN'Td......"THECAUS'ES,010THI, iNSURRECTIONOFTHENEGROES,OJ'- <..-..".'--....'.--,I'...,...'..y.FTER.acOrltelloffiveyears:ioctweelitheFrien4s.ofJuftice and the African Slave-Dealers, the moral,' phyfical; and p'oliiicalofthat difgraceful traffick, have been fully developedaridafcertained to theking.:.dom at large;ThecoI1victionbftruth has been followed by the glo\\tofhoneft indignation" and the voiceofthe people has tailed upon their Legi/lators; to wafu away the national. ftain: Contradicted in their bold affertions, and refuted iii tneir arguments, the abettorsofthis trade had almoft withdrawn theinfe1ves from a ftruggle;inwhich their own weapons recoiled upon themfelves; foritmay jufHy be remarked. that the moftmethod'Of.forminganabhorrenceofSlaveTrade,istopieces written in its defencelAtthisjunClure, when nothing remainedbut(or the Reprefentativesofthe peopletocomply with the"oftheir Confiituents,inpronouncing the Abolition,9fthisTrade,another, and itishoped a laft attempt ismade:byit" advocates to' influence the publit;jctuilld;...,..Anin-A'fUFreBion,,


,( 2 ),,-,rurreCl:ioriofthe Negroes has taken place in the IfIandotSt. Domingo, and ti;is' circumftance is to be adducedasaproofofthe dangerousto arife from the propofedmeafure.-,"Beware,"faythe PartizansofthisTrade,"howyouwit,htheofyour117tjlIndianIjlands"":"let'theexampleOftheFrenchdeteryoufromproceedinga flep further in /0dangerousa path."-Butletus be allowedtoaik,How:far the events that have taken place inSt.Domingo'applytothe,qtieftionnowbefore thet.Br\!.ilhot?,.1\':ere 'tllefe'difl:j.irbances the confequenceofan AbolitionoftheTradebytheFrenchthe,of.Mirabeauwasjnt\1isinftance ineftectual.Werethey the refultofanyregulations made by the A!fembly for the governmentor' reliefofthe Slaves?No:for the decreesofthe Alfemblyonthisfubje6]:uniformly purport,that all regulationsonthatheadJhouldorigina.tewiththe,PlantersIfthofe dreadful di[orders are chargeabfe to the National AfIembly,ii:is becaufe they didnotinterfere': becaufetheyleft the black labourers in theifland_satthe mercyoftheir mafters; artd,after having declared thatallmankind were born equal, farictioneda decree that gave the lietothe firft principlesoftbeir conftitution. -, 'aqdrefs oroftfieDeputrf.&,oftothe/{atiqnal.(iJJemblyojFran,te,for particular,BJ.ltbefore we proceed to an exammationi'nt'othe caufes .of'the enomiitiesit'let usbep,etmi tte'd.areflections on -theawfulthat thh Ih-andoeSt.Domingohasoflate -exhibited: thef<:rmsin'deed,theIhik:,ing p,art.the narrativeinquefrion.ThedefrructlOuofflourilhing plautationS; 'i'he burning,ofhoufes.; the flaughter:9f.the'.intoErl'glilh,-andpubli1l:tedundertheof..A PartieularAccountiftheCommencement'and Progrejsof'ib!!n.{urrec.li9n..ofin.St ..D...0m{ngo:",l,tis1carcely nect;fiarytoobferve, that Its bemg(mor-.,der'ofth.eJyational,oAjfembly,'give.s:itnoadditionala meafure alwaysorder ,(),alford the -Members'anopportunityofl>onlidenng them...,';)',.-"..',"'.,,, ,, , ,


,'",,,,[3]whites'byfec'retoropen.revolt;.thegrofsviolationsoffemale chafiity; the dilTolutionof'all tlie .bQndsoffubordination,,muall the attachmentsoffociety, contribute to'fillthe dreadful !ketch. "I,..,.AreItltefe enormit.iesbe lamented? they furely are.Canthey excite our wonder? bynomeans;.What'ts.the'ofthe.'?'Ishenotboundby force? labourmg under confrant compul fion?to completeby'die immediatec1jfci..plineotthe whipa,ffecHon,'lenity,the [efultofoppremon and abufe?Whenthinative" fero e,ityo(Alricai,s{harpe,ned' by therente of.16.ngtmued lllJury,'Yho{hall,,(....,.,.'. Again, how have the .fierceoffavagelife-b:;eil'i1TIProvedby theexao:plfor!hci.r,wniteRefifi:ance is always jufi:ifiable w;here,fCirceis,ih,;;ofright:n'or is the commiffion,of"a.cririt,ep'offiPle,a flavery: .y,e1:J?uni19 ments that have been devlfed.In the French.'l{jandstoexifi:byabufe'ofHolder, are fuch as natureat...How'often havebeings beheld theirbeat,infamine and..'oilhaCtion, the bars'ofanh:on cage, in 'which they'wereto pars'indaysoftheir eXlfi:ence?IsItnotknown, tpatInthe.fci{jandsa human being has refigneg Jiis lifeinthe tonrientsoffire?Anunavenged infianceof;macx(0ayvfullymarks ou't for perdition the that could,Cufferit..'Whenthe oppre(for thys enforceshis,authority, what muff be the'effeCl;s,ofthe.'..,',.Inthe forcible violationoffemale chafiity we,tracethe,mofi:detefi:able extremeofbrutality, and, in the efiimation,9ffenftbility, the is preferabletoits, difgrace : butis,notto'the capacityofanorJenfiblhty to a particular fopn and feature; L,etthISac'count then befettle-dbetween the AfricanTrader,orthePlanter, who compels to 'hise.rribracethe un-, willingofhis luft,,"and fhe exafperatedShve,who--A2gratifie!l, I,./,9,,


,(),byaCt,refentment; notfenfuality.,,,,ButletusCuppofe,that thefenfeofis inp>mpatiblewitha black complexion, and that the negro couldnefs witGoutgr?,fsabufegfthe objeCtl,)faffeCtion; letfU'pppfetoo\ tqat the llnnatwal puniili: ments yeforewere forgotten, becaufe they wererare;'an,dthat thed,ai!ydifcipliheofthe whip washeeded, 'becaufeitwas 'fo modifiedasfeldom 'to be the immediate occafi6nofdeath.YettheNegrohad..,.......'exam'ples beforeeyes.AdiITention had arifeq amongft the Holdersofthe Slavesjthofe who had before unitedinoppreffing them, were now at variance amongfithelTl;-'felves.'Theyhad proceeded to open violencej'whilfi theS}avesthe eventthoughin

\,,,',(5)TheNegrois a b.eing, whore nature and di/pofitipmare:pot merely different from thofeofthe European, 'they arethereverfeofthem.and compaffion excite ill his breaft: implacable and deadlyhatred:butandinfults, and abufe, generate, gratitude;alfeai6n,andin..,violableattachment!Uponthis principle we are en a ble4toreconcileanapparent inconfiftency in the,:,*'Slaves, weareinformed,werejiillgave proifsofa;;invincible fidelity,a:ndwhoniade manifdl4eterminationtodetif!tlHfedut710noftbofewho'Would'WIthpromifesofliberty'inveigleth,e1(i,tocertaind.dlrut7ion."Ifthe humanity,of theonly'{harpens the appetiteofrevenge,.isitd}fficult todi!coverwhat modeoftreat..,menttheofthefe Slaves was fecured?Be'grateful, ye Planters, to'!Janwhohasatlength difdofedthis importa-nttruth;alid admire his courage,whD. has -daredt9avowit,even in the haromofa nationI .devoted to libertY!,'Buttheqorrorsofthe flaughter increare.Thewhite father falls aviai\llto the unnatural rageofhisMulattofon.HaYehuman'crimeS th'eir origin and caufesinaffairs?orare they incited by fome malignant (lemon, who poffeffing himfelfofthat cupofaffection, the human heart,.P0\,\fSoutits contents,fillsitwith poifon?Alas!we vainly feek in fable the apologyofourown depravity;af!dunhappily ther;:aufesofthofetranfaaions,which would fcarce: meet credibilityonanyotherpartofthe globe, are in thefe regionsofguilttoo Apparent. However theAuthorofNaturemayinfiilledaffeaioninto the breafiofa parent, as the means.ofpreferving the race fromdefiruaion,we mufi allowthatthe correfponding fentiment in the mindoftheoff.<;pring,is men;ly thee/feaofa long continued courfeofcare, partiality, and tendernels. Shall the harvefi then rife up vyithoutfeedr.and ,wherenofondnefs has beenIhoWJ1,{hall filial attachmentsbeexpeaed?Inacountrywhereitisbynomeans unufual for theknownchildrenoftheflantertoundergo all the hardfhips, and theignominyofSlav,ery, incommonwith the moH degraded clafsI(I, Particular AecQunt,p.II.A3,-of


,,, ,(6)'".to,., ,9fqtqrtaIs,.it\vye,aretofilial affectIon? -...\",.,-'.,feek for"inilancesC)f,t...."Intothe' primary and everqu(esqftheCetroubles, let it'l,l9t be thoughtthatI willi,enormities committed by theinCurenormities d'eeplyto'bedeploJ;,ed,byeveryonethe fufFeriqgsof!lu'manity..:Butit,bethat,toICno\y"originofthemal<\dyIS,thean.efficacIOUSremedy:th,!t originfiefoul1d,InthemdhkenconduCtoftileitis[0.1'J;'qapply: the cure altertheaccu.,.)Dothe);'wait till the revoltedthemthefirfrexamplemagnammlty, IeAlty, ani! forb,earance ? .r._"._""\,0,)'". \ i':'lcome'no\v,clofet 'examinati'ori'ofthll: Addrcfsinfl."1\1_tqueulOl1.'" ,. '...aIOJ!g'and .laboured' diiplly'ofcrimes'C61Pfuitte:dby the infurgents, in Whichitis ,to' beofIStheof'the Colomes pourthey.:b<,>le.:vIal<;>ftpelrhi:edwrath, on the foclety eftabhfhed-InFr<\l1cefor abo"lifhingthe SlaveTrade,underLes Amisd,e$Noirs. 'Ifwecredit this narrative, theNegroesthey wete {educed and alienated by the effortsofthis So...ciety,.Hwere pt:ovidedwith everycomfort,and withaccom;''Inodationsfuperio' 'Europe'7Secure in .th;oftheirproperties,,!:urfid111,tfmeofwabanexpmcet!,!danfqught formvamttlmuch'boaf/cdbofpitalsofE?/glanci;andrefpelTedtheinfirmitiesofage,ateafeinrefpelftotheitc1Ji{dren,their families andtheir:affilTions;-:-jubjelTedtoalabourcal culateda't,-ordingtothejIr'engthof;-ecmd,to:oncludetheym,eritedit'byImportant Cervices.".:....HWejlept infecurJtyadd'the,Rc'"\!TI0nfrrants,intbemidJ!of?(lenthatwere-becomeourbre-:andmanyq!ushad neitberlocksflW,barstooUY'hiUfe$",..-,.. Particular Account,p.19 ..,...,.This,....,


,.,-.This.periodofconfidenceoffelicity, did not,ifwe may 'believe the Colonifrs, [atiify theAmisdeNoirs,W!)Oitfeems couldnotcomprehendhciw:emancipation couldbethe highefrofSlavery. w1safi'ateofhappinefs.-%FromtbetimeoftbeRevolution in France, tbisSociety,..itis 'afrerted,oratlealllomeofitsmembers,ha:Vegivenan1!-llbounded100fttotheir enterprize: allmeanrhavefennedtothemgood,fOthey1Jlighttendtoitsaccomplijhment.-rheopenattack,thedeepand fludied inuendo,thehaJeftandm?fidefpicabticalumnies"havebeenprafli'cedt,forward tbeirdejign."Such are theagainrepeated in different partsofthework,broughtagainfrtheAdvocates for 'the Abolitionofthe $laveTradeinFrance,and which the abettors'ofthattraffickinEngland, aredefirousoftransferringatthis criticaljuncture,tothe'friendsofthatimportant meafure here.The'preludeofthe Remonftrantsis':lHiking, theiT accufationisbdldlymade.-Theptl'niihmentsdu'etothe'authorsoffuch'outrageswillbeeverthey may difguife from the world,orfrom, their real motiv'es, under the mafkofphi!anthropy, theycannotefcap'e the indignationoftheir-countrymen;'and the treacheryofthe means they employ, fairly marksoutthecriminalityoftheendatwhichtheiaim...:., I ..'.Onething onlyiswantingtocharge with this',crimi nalty theAmisdeNoirs,and this theRemonfhancedoesnotfupply:-the proof thattheytha.tcourft0/conduflImputedtothemby'theColonijls.defect ca.nnot be.either.bJ':the atrocityofCrime,orthe Virulence and 'audacltyofthe'accufation.Hidthe Society in France been the caufeoftheordersinthe Colonies, where 'was the difficulty, where the impropriety,oflaying the proofsofitbefore 'the Affemblya?dthe vVorld?W'aS'itnece{[aryany termsWithmen, who hadlhewnthat they 'had aimedat.,nothinglefs thanextirpationofthe'Colonies ? -Certain however,itis,that'allwe' can' collect 6n this headfron;I,,-"'l.,..,......,,"Particular. Account,p..the,,,.......,


, ,,(s),,-, ,thepublicatioit in quefHon, infteadof'attaching the iih..putationonthe fociety, evidently proves, that thedifor..;dershad a diffirentcaufe.-Ataufe, whichitis as.evident'theRemonftrants didnotdare.'!toavow.,Slight howevert as there pretended indicationsofguiltmayappear, they oughtnotto'pafsunnoticed;'Theybear with them theirownrefutation.Likethegiantsthatwarred againft heaven; every fronethrownbythefe -<:hampionsofoppreffion, feems defHnedtoreturnwith double weight upon theirownheads.,,TheSociety, fay the Deputies;*tulu'holdbftheDe..;claratilmifthe RightsofMan:this immortal workficialt-oenlightened men;hut inapplicable, and therefore iangeroustoou"regulations;theyfend with profufionown'Thejour.na1sintheirpayDrundertheir, '(net, gtve thts det/aratton vent'inthet1iic!Jlofour gangs; The writing.oftheAMISdesNOIRS,openlyannounce,that thefreedomojthe NegI'misproclaimedbytheDeclaration0/Rights. .. MiferableeffeCl:s.ofinjul:ice,htpiteitYiand 6ppreffion!Inthe evidenceoftheirownfreedom, the Coloniftsof,St. Dqmirtgo read theirowncondemnation: .Thataffer" tionofthe univerfal rigl1tsofMan,whichiftrueatall,?ughttobe asas,day..light? wasinthedlandsofAmenca)deft/nedtogIve a tandle-ltke ltghtinthe refiden'ceofthePlanter,whilft the poor anddef.!tituteNegrowastofitindarknefsinhishut;ThededarationoftheRightsofl\1;an, wasitfeetjisj rent with profulion into the Coloniesjbutthe declaration ()f theRightsofMan,wasnottHeoffheAmi;desNoirs ;whatever right be itsthey were not'there. forefor its cqnfequerid:s. As a conftitueht partofthe dominicmsofFrdnce;th;: lawsofFren,hmen,wereproperly tranfmittedtoSt.Domingo.Butitappears from no evidence,butthe affertionsofthe deputies)thattheAmisdesNoirswere more acl'ive than othersinfurnilhing the ifiandwitha work, which the Coloniftsinthef<\mebreath, execrate andapplaud;which they regardas,. Particular account, p.zz,t


,,(9)asthe chaitel"oflheirown 'liberty, their difireires. andtheeauteofall,,.OfP'l!i''",I,Butagain, the writings of the Amis desNoirs,iti.3[aid, openly announce,theofthe Negr?esISp,roclaimedbytheDeclaration,ofRights.Ifthe Anus des N oirs )have madefoinfipid a comment, they have,mife:rably mifpent their time.Isit neceJfarytoprove, tha,t the fun [hines when the dial marks the hour.Ifall men be born equally free,letColon!{l:sare not men,and'the dtfpute'wJ1lfettle Itfelf.Isthe voiceofnature andoftrutht9be for ever filent, becaufeColonifts choofetohold in fubjecti'on fomenate nativesofAfrica?,', Such however, are the proofs, and fuch their authen ticity, upon which the accufationsagainH:the fociety are founded.Thisdefeaattemptedtobe remeJied,Qyadvrting to fome. in the many, ,and violent debates thathave agitated the National Affemblyonthis fubjea, have markeJ the virtuous indignationofitsmembers-*"PerijhtheC.oloniesrather tban we jbould betrayourprinciples,"faifloneofthe reprefentatives." PerifhtheColonies,"became indeed,t"thejlgllalofbioodandconflagration,"but not amongit theNegroes-:twas the Planters, who fevered thefe words fromtheircontext,and made thelll the apologyoftheir ownenOf.:mities."Bejz1l,and eat,grafs;"faidtheGregoire.""l'Vechoof rathertobeunjujl and live in luxury"the Colonifts reply. ', ,,I !hallnotdetainmyreader by a longe'r reviewofthefe l!lnfounded calumnies, I haftentoa more importanttai1<:,thatoftracing theofSt; Doming'o to their'""WithirtdeceritalfeC1:adonthey have dared to reproach a frien'dofhuman'ity, with havingfaid,'"PeriJhthe Colollies ratheraprinciple':/hol/leibeand theydarethen:telv'es to fay, "'Pe'rijhihe Coloniest'ather theln'Wejlutiizrant-tothe PeoplMf'Colour, the rightsifali,7Jecitizens." ..SpeechlbfM!i-Guadet;6thDec.179'"tParticularAccount,.p.25.,,'D".,..,


-(to),\origin, and purfuing their progrefs,Ifdevelopedwitli.truth, theywillbe themofi:eife8:ual anfwer to thefationsof,the Deputies.Letme, however,firfi:be al lowed to render more fpecific, an alfertion I have beforemade.-ItistothewhiteColonijlsalone,wearetoattribute the misfortunesojtheColonies.have heardojenormitiesthatfrazeyouwith horror! but Phalaris!pokenatojhisbrazen bull,helamentedonlythedaggersthat hisown cruelty hadraiJedagair!flhim.'TheColonijlshave related ilyIancesojferocity; but giveme,faid Mirabeau,anunin formed brute, and I will flonmakehim aferociousmor!fler.-Itwas a white,whojiljlplungeda Negroillloa burningoven,-whodajhedoutthebrainsojtIchildinthepreftnceojits father;-whofeda Slave withhisownproperjie}h.Theftarethemonflersthat,havetoaccountforthebarbarityojt,herevolted Savages.-MillionsojAfricans, have perijhedonthis foilojblood.-Youbreakat every Jlepthebonesojtheinhabitants that nature had giventotheftijlands,andyoujhudder attherelationojtheirvenge(lnce.Inthis dreadful jlruggle, tl)(crimesojtheWhites are yetthemqJlhorrible: TheyaretheoffspringofdeJpotifm;vJhiljithoJeojtheBlacks, originate 'inthebatredojjlavery-thethit)}ofvengeance.,IsphiloJophychargeablewith theft horrors?Doesjhe requirethebloodojthe' Colonijls? Brethen, jhe cries,bebeneficent-andyouwill proJPer.-Eter nal jlavery, m'!flbealZeternalFuneofcrimes;-diveJfitat leqjloj"theepithet eternal; for anguijh thatknowsnoboundcanonlyproducedeJpair.",Itiswell known, that a large portionofthe Proprietors or Planters ofSt.Domingo, confifi:offree PeopleofColour, or thofe \vho have fome mixtureorAfrican blood.-Thisdefcription comprehends every ihadeofcomplex ion, from the flightefi: tingeofcolour,tothe original hueofthe native African.Thoughmanyofthis daIsofinha bitants areasdifi:inguiihed by their wealth,asfor their t"lents and integrity, thei.t;lvidiousdifi:inetion has always been r-eligioufly adhered to.,TheColoniftsexcluded them from their focialfromtheiralfem blies, from their munic;ipal fun,8:iQns;. and continuall)'heldthem in a kindofpto[cripti0n .-'"SpeechofM.Briffot,cember, 1791.o...intheNationalAffembly,1f1:De-,


,.'(11),,Theeffectsofthis arroo-ance, were not, however,. bjurious to the PeopleofColour. Infulted by theircoun-trymen, they found the meansofrendering themfelvesrefpeCl:ablein the eyesoftheir European correCpondents.Theywereasremarkable for their induftry and their punchiality,astheWhitePlanters for their indolence and extravagance.Incafesofinternal infurreCl:ions,orexternal attack, they were regardedasthebarrierofthejfland.-*"'TheWhiteColonijl,"faysMr.Blanchehnde,wnnotmarch without tbe attendanceofbis cooks;beis unfitfora continualfervice:but tbeManofCo!t;ur,bare footed, roblfil and tempirate, JuPpgrtswithoutdiiJiculty, the hardjhips and fatiguesofwar.",Inthe contemplationoftheFrenchlaws, the PeopleofColourhadfrood upon an equality with the year1685,this', equality was acknowledged and confirmed. Suchvvasthe iittiationofthe Colonifrs at the timeoftheFrenchRevolution.t"Atthis Epocha,"faysMr.Bergeras,"thelPhiteColonijls advanced rapidly in the careeroffreedom; but the PeopleofColourtrod back theirfiepstowardsjlavery.".ThefituationoftheFrenchColonies, early attracted the attentionofthe Confl:ituent Alfembly.Atthis time all wastranquil;atleaR:astranquilasfuch a Hateofop preffion will permit. Political health can only beattributedtoa country withafree confritution.Thefituationofthe it1ands,is'thatofa paralytic: one partIStorpid,whiHl:theis affectedwiththe franticmotionsofSt.Vitus's dance.Thelidl:interferenceofthe National Alfemblyintheofthe Colonies, was by a decreeofthe 8thMarch1790,which declaredt"thatallfreeperfons, who were proprietors and reJidentsoftwo years Jfanding, aud who con, butedtothe exigenciesofthe)late,jbould exercife the rightsofvotingwhichcoriflitute the qualityofPrench..".cztzzens. .'"LetterofM.Blanchelande, read in the National Af,fcmbly, Jan. 17th, 1792. .tSpeech ofM.Bergeras,' intheNational Aifembly, 7th Dec. 1791.ttouteperConnelibre, proprietaireoudomiciliedepuilideux ans, et contribuable, jouiradudroitdefutfrage qui conllitute101qualitedeCitoyen actif. Art.4.B2This,


I( 12 )'thisdecree,thoughinfaCtitgavenonewrio-htstothePeopleofColour,was regarded wi th ajealouseyeQYthewhitcPlanters;whoevidently fawthatthegenera\ityofthequalification included all defcriptions'rietors.TheyaffeCted,however,toimpofe a differentconfhuCtionuponit.ThcofColourappealedtocommonjuftice,andcommon{enfe"':itwastonopurpofe.TheWhitesrepelled themfromtheirAflemblies.Somecommotionsenfued,inwhichtheymlltllall y fell a facrificetotheirpride, andtheirrefentment.-TheAmisdesfloirshavenotbeenaccufCdofanyinterferenccinthe'ediffentions,towhichitishoweverprobabltthatthenaveswerenotin-attentIVc.Thefedifiurbances againexcitedthevigilanceoftheNationalAffembly.Theneceffityofrome definitivearrangementwasapparent;butthedifficulty anddangeroftooviolentaninterferencewasnotlefs[0.Inorderhoweverto relievetheC010llifishomanyapprehenfionsthattheFrenchConfiitutionwasintehdedtobeenforcedinthe.-Iihmds,[0astoliherateormelioratethetheconditionofthenaves, a decree was paffedonthe12thdayofOCtober,1,790'bywhichtheAfIembly declared, asaconfiitutionalarticle,"Thattheywould11ablijhnoregulations refpetfingtheinternal governmentqftheColonies,withouttheprecife olld flnTlalojtheColonialAlfemblies." .BythisdeereetheConfiituentAffemblynotonlydif abled themfelves from exercifinganyfuture difcretionontheconditionofthenaves;but,as far asintheirpowerf,tiedupthehandsoftheirfuccefiors from affording relit;tothatdevotedrace,orrefcuingthemfromantyrannythatmightbeexercifedoverthem;Theyweredeliveredovertotheirmatters,whowereatoncetheiraccu[ers, ..Theargumentsoftheir advocates .upon thrs head are un anfwerable "Je m'atta<:he a cette expreffion generaIelouinlesperJonnes,etjedernandefiIeshommes de couleur ne font pas aes per[onnes; alars, s'ils etoient proprietain;s, domicilies et contribuabIes,jene vois aucune difficulte,jene vois aucunpour leur refuferlesavantages attachesacesqualites. ,ofMr.Petion,IIt4ofMay,1791.,,,-I,.tnelfL


(13):theirjudges,aridtheirexecutioners;accountablefortheirmifcpnduettonohumanpower.Sofar fromoppollngtheaims"otfetteringtheauthorityoftheColoniil:s,theAiTemblybecametheiraccomplicein oppreffion,andfentoffreementomaintainthereignofdefpotifm. Allwas'inthepowerofthe'Colonifis;andiftheyhadonlyunanimitybloodof"thenegroesmIghthavecnedtoheaven,butFr::jllce had forever{huthex eyestotheirfufferings,andfioptherearstotheirlamentations.'.,j..Peacewasnot,however,theconfequenceofthis.d'cct:Ce.Theproprietors,isistrue,hadobtaineda legalrightoftyranniz,ing;ibtlttheunfo!turiate'qu'e'ftionfl:illrecurred,lFhofho/tldbepi:l''.exercife that right?Onthis headthedecreewas,fileht'.'New,diffentionsarofe:eachofthepar-ties cbvered' 'urt,der; a faettiouspatriotifmthemoffatrooiotts defig1ils. AlT:i.flinatiGnand.nth,offiGer 'ofrank10i1:his.lifebythehandsofhisowncountrynl'cn.Theunfortunate0ge,aPlanterofCoI0u'r,whohadexertedhimfelfIinFranceinthecaufeofhisbrethren,refol \cdto.fupportbyforcetheirjuU'pretenfions.HelandedintheSpanifh:territoryofSt.D0Iningo,whereheaflembledabollt600mulattoes.Beforeheproceededtohofiilities,hewrotetetheFrencngeheral,thathis defire was for peace,provipedthelawswereenforced.HisletterwasabfurdlyCOI1ii:den;ldasadedarationofwar.Beingattackedandvanquiihed-hc'took'rerugeamongfrtheSpaniards,'whQdeliveredhitiluptohis adverfaries.*ThehorrorsofhisdeathweFetheharbingersoffuturecrimes..The[edifiurbancesfri)lincreafing,theNationalAiTem.blyfounditneceffilry,atlength,todecidebetweentheoontemting.parties. A]0tlgandviolentdebatetookplace,inw'hich -feveralmemberswhohadonotheroccafionsdif-,.'!t,n,[aut bien preterdescrimesacduiqU'ODvetit 21t,lllner avecIeg!aive'de12jui1ice.Ggeeft!TIonmartyrdelaEberteetl;!elaloi;cartout etoit pour lui, humanite, juilice, dec ret.Leconcordatl'avenge;l'infamie ne fletrit plus [on nom.fletriireitjamais celui derestyrans. .'SpeedlofMr.Brilfpt,111ofDecember,1791.tiilO'uiiheJv,,,,",,


\(14--)tinguilhed themfel ves by their talents, and theirpatriotifm, opporedwithadegreeofwarmthas pertinacious asitwas inconfiftent, the pretenfionsofthe PeopleofColour.TheirrefiJ1:ance was, however, unfuccefsful.Onthe15thofMay,1791,a decreewasmade, confifl:ingoftwoarticles, by thehrftofwhich the Affembly confirmedthatofthe12thofaerobeI',fofar asrefpeered the lavesintheiriflands.Itis truethatthe wordjlavewas cautioulyomittedinthis document, and theyare'onlycharacterizedbythe negative defcriptionof"mennotfree,"asifrightandwrongdependedonaplayofwords,ora mode flf expreffion. . Thispartofthe decreemetwithbutlittle oppofition,thoughitpaffednotwithoutfevere reprehenfion fromafew enlightened members.Thefecond articlerefpeeringthePeopleofColourwas ftrongly contefted.Thofewhowerebeforeknownbythe appellationofPatriotsdivideduponit.Itwas,however,determinedinthe refult,thatthePeopleofColourbornoffree .parentsihouldbeconfideredasaeri ve citizens and be eligibletothe officesofgovernmentinthe il1ands. ,,,ThisSecond Article which decideduponarightthatthePeopleofColourhad been entitled to, for upwardsofacentury",infl:eadofrelloringpeace, may be confidered as the caufe,orrather thepretext;ofallthefubfequent evilstbatthe colonyofSt.Domingohas fuftained.Theyarofenotind::ed fro:n itsexecution,butfrom itscounterbythe'1'-hite Colonifis. Had they, after the awfulwarningstheybadalready experienced, obeyed the ordinancesofanaflembly they pretendedtorevere;had they imbibed one dropofthetruefpiritofthatconfiitutiontowhichthey had vowed an inviolableattachment;had theyevenfuppreffed the dieratesofprideinthe fuggeftionsofprudence;theftonnthatthreatenedthemhad heenavert-1791 . ed)*'Thisdecreeaf,erallwas not the extenfion, but the reftric tionofa privilege.Itwasalferted in the National Alfemblythatof100free Negroes, [carcely2would be found who could qualIfyunderthis title. SpeechpfMr.RelVbell,ofSept.,


,C15)ed,andintheirobediencetotheparentflate,theyhaildifplayedanactofpatriotiiin, andprefervedthemfelvesfromaUpoffibilityofdanger.ButtheequalizationofthePeopleofColourfiungtheirritablenervesoftheV\7hiteColonifrs.Thedefcendantsof{lavesmighthave lofitherefentmentsoftheirfathers.butthehatredofa defpot ishereditary.TheEUTopeanmaximallow.s "'Thattheyize'erp.ardonwhohavedonethewrong";butinthecoloniesthisperveffityattainsamoremonfhousgrowth,andtheaverllontoAfricanblooddefcends fromgenerationtogeneration.Nofooner haddecreepaffed,thanthedeputies fromtheWandstotheNationalA1Temblywithdrewtheiratt':;l1dance.TheColonialCommittee,alwaysundertheinfluenceoftheplanters,fu(pendedtheirlaboursItsarrivalinthei{landihucktheWhiteswithconilernation.'"Theyvowedtofacrifice their' livesratherthanfuffertheexecutionofthe.,decree.Theirragebordereduponphrenzy.TheypropofedtoimprifontheFrenchmerchantstheninthetoteardowntheNationalFlag,andhoifitheBritiih,Standardinitsplace.WhilfithejoyoftheMulattoeswasmingledwithapprehenfions andwithfears,St.Domingore.,.ech6edwiththe'criesofthevVhites,withtheirmenaces,withtheirblafphemiesagainfitheconftitutioil.Amotionwasmadeintheiheetstofire 'UponthePeopleofColour,whofled fromthecityandtookrefugeillthe,plantationsoftheirfriends andinthewoods.Theywere;-,tlengthrecalledbyaproclamation:butitwasonly10fwear fubordinatio!1totheWhites,andtobe witneffesoffrefilenormities.Amidfi: thefeagitationsthe{laves had,,.intheiraccu!1:omed rubordination.Norwasit'tillmonthofAugu!1:,179I,thatthefymptomsoftheinfurrectionappeared amongil:them.Ifthenotorietyof_thisfactrequireanyevidence,itmaybefoundintheReportoftheColonialinthelettersofMr.-,.. Vide lettersofM.BlancheIande read before the Affemblv,,:zzndofAugull,'791.' Addrefsofthe Syndicksofthe ChamberofCommerceofRouen, read the7thofSeptember, /791 . SpeechofM.BriiTot,I((ofDecember,I.,tBJanchelanoc)l',


,(16)BiancheLll'lde*,inthefpeeches ofthemembcrsoft'he ;;Hembly, inthepublicationwhichisthelubjecroftheferem:liks.AconliderablenumberbothofWhitesandPeopleofColourbadJofttheirlivesinthefecoinmotioi;sbeforetheDaves,hadgivcnin,9ications'ofdifattecrionTheywere'not)however,it,[enllbleoftheopportunities.ofrevoltafFordedbythepftheirmaftersrTheyhadlearntthatnoalleviationoftheir miJerieswasevertobeexpelled [i-om Europe;thatintheftruggleforColonialDominiontheirhumbleintereil:s hadbeenequallylacrificedorforgottenbyaliparties.Theyfelttheircurbrelaxedbythedii:\rminganddifperllonoftheirMulattomafters,whohadbeenaccuftomedtokeepthemunderrigoreusdifcipline. Hopelefsofrelieffi'omanyquarter,theyrofeindifferentpartsandfpread defolationovertheiDand.Ifthecojdcrueltiesofdefpotiiinhavenobounds,whatihallbe.expecredparoxi{msofdefpair?1 ',Tothis crijisourprcfentInquiryisparticularlydireCted,noroughtittopafsoverwithanunfupportedaDertien,.oraprobablefuppolition.ThecaufeoftheinfurrecrionhasbeenagitatedintheNationalAlfembly,longaftertheprefentationoftheAddrefsoftheDeputies.IntheCOl:rfeofthedebate,itwasalferted,withoutcontradidion,thatalltheMulattoes,exceptthofeinthefouthern.,"Theletter, dated the 4thofSeptember, 1791, fromMr.,Blanchelande thus defcribes the commencementofthe infur reClion.OnthezzdofAuguft theAlfemblyrequeftem.myprefenceatthe examinationoffeveral perfons,aswell Whites as Blacks, who had been apprehended by the patrol.Iwas convincedfroEltheir depoiitions that a confpiracy was formed againil: the Colony, and particuiarly again!!: the Cape.Ilearnedon thenightofthe fame day, itlVasintended t()burnfeveral dwelEngs near the Cape, and to malI'lere ali the Whites.Onthe morningofthe z 3d feveral perfons from the country took refuge in the town.Theybrought informationthatmanyofthe Black labourers had revolted,'andthat many Whites had been.putto-death. Real! November3th,179']'\parts:.J,(,,


(17),/'parts wel'e difarmedbytheWhites"andthattheNegroeshad revolted*"becaufethofewho"hadbeenaCC/!flomedtocoercethem were incapacitated. .Is'itextr.i:lOrdinary,[aid theO.rator,thattheSlaves jhould,tevolt"whentheyfindtheMulattoesdiJarmed; whentheyfeet/J81(lcompelledtoqitit theCape,Orbeo.pofedtothemoJlborrible punifhments?EverttheColonialCommittee,thoughever attentive to th'e repre..: [entationsofthe\Vhiteswere unabletoany

\,(1g-Jthe hands of a few.ThePeopleofColour remonfhated againft this injuftice.Theyreprefented the dangerous confequences that mightariCenot only to themfelvesbutto the Hland, if they were degradedinthe eyes of their dependants, and compelledtocontribute to the fupportofa government in which they werepaffiveastheir Slaves.Thedecreeofthe 15tnofMay juftified and confirmed their pretenfions.Butthe liard gripeofInj'uftice relaxes not without force ; and theWhitePlanters avowed their refolution to fuffer everyexfremity 'rather than fllbmit to a meafure that was indifpenfiblynecelTarynotonlytotheir own' profperity, but even to theirprefervation.Iffuch paffions can agitate the human bafom, when required to !hare with others that power to which they have an equalright;ifthe PeopleofColour in alTerting their claim to a feat in the C,olonial Affembly, felt an im pulfetl1atfet danger at defiance, and cheerfully encoun tered death, even in its moft horrid forms; what{hallwe conceive were the feelingsoftheNegroes?Theclaimsofthe PeopleofColourhadbeen recognized by the ParentCountry;butthe Negroeshadbeen formally confignedoverto the will of their 'Mafters, without one ftipulation in their favour. Political fubordination, h\lwever hateful to a liberal mind,isasbrightasdaywhen compared with the dark and hopelefs bondage of theNegro:a bondage that combines the pangsofintelleCtual mifery, with the fufferi,ngsofa brute. Under thefe circumfl:ances wasitncceffary for theAmisdesNoirsto inform' the Negroes that they were an unhappyandan injuredrace?Is ittobe fuppofed they were unacquainted with the caufesofcontel!tion amongft the p,lanters ? and is not the loveof. freedom contagious?Whentheyfawmen whofe wealthnotonly exempted them from penonal labour, but fup plied them with allth,e blandiihmentsofluxury, contend at the peril of their livesfora fhare in the governmentofhet Wand, could theywith indifference to the con templationoftheir own numbers, and theirownoppreffioris?Itwas not' then the voiceoftheAmisdesNoirs,itwas the irrefiftible call of Nature that excitedInfurreCtion: the former would have foothed themtopeOlcl::,,(


,19)peace, theJatterhurriedthemblindlyontoinevitable defiruetion.,\Inits commencement this'infurreClion was'noV'rever byhomeans formidablejand theGeneralBIanchelande has beenaccuf

-I( _20)a diflanct, thattheWhite 'would withleft-horror.hea,rhz'senemiesaccufehimofacrime,thana1!ertthat.adropofAfricanbl'ood-eirculatesinhisve.ins.Sucharepro{lchisconfide,redasthemqfloutrageousi1}-fult.He tran/mits hisvengeancetohis.pqflerity;andhenceoriginatesthatun.,-hatredishappilyknownonlyintheJeclirrza,t;es,whichthefoftejlpaffionsarifefOane,xceftofphr.enz).'TheReporterW.flS,mdhken,f.ear operatesforcibly than hatred, cv.en in the breail:ofa Creole.Onthe25thofAugi.tlltheColollialAfiemblycondefcendedt,oinvite the 'PeopleofColourto\!1'litewith them for the common defence,Onthe2Cl,find4thofSe.pte.mber, they deliberated on the queftifhavingtogether for theruinofthe Colonies.its purport; and predicting its confequences, they,!lad}nflamedthe mindsofthe reftdent\VhitestheDeq'ee.ofC()\..,


-2J),,highe1l: pitchofrage"ThetrueIncendiariesof'St.Domingoare to be difeovere.d among1l: the Coloniftswho,jmmediate1y after the decreeQfthe15thof1\1ay, failed for that II1and to fruih:ate its publication, and oppofe itsexecution.TheAirembly had been weak enoughtoentrufrthe ColonialCommitteewith expediting' the deGee.'InthatCommitteethe apoil:ate patriot Barnave had unlimited authority.Theconfequence was,thatthefitfr publicationofthe decreeatSt.DomingoappearedjntheFrenchnewfpaper called'Tb"eMonitor.TheinfrruCtions'i.ntendedtoaccompany. itwereintentionally ,delayed tilltheireffeCt was totally frufrrated. Beforethedecree arrived,allwas prepared for its reception, and the' refult was fuch as has before been fl:ated..SofartheWhiteColonifrs had fucceeded in the(t aims.,Thepre-diCl:eddiirentionsbetweenthem and the PeopleofColournad taken place, and all thatnowrelu.ained was to chargethedecreeof'the15thofMayasthe caufeofthatmif..chief, whichth:eWhiteshad themfe)ves voluntarilyoccafiolied:Birnaveand his adherents were indefatigableintheir e)(ertions, 'and almofr in the verymomentwhen the j)lfrice.';lndneceffityofthe decreeofthe 15thofM.ayhadbeenacknowledged by theCmcoraat,the repeal 'of it was pronounced in the National Alfembly. By the decreeofthe24thofthe fame monthofSeptember, the PeopleofColourwerevirtually excluded from allrightofColonial Legiilation, apd exprefsly placed in the poweroftheWhiteColonifrs.'*'Onthis difgraceful mea{ureitis'0'n1ytobe remarked, thatitwasasdefeCtiveinpointoflegal' autlio':.-rityas,itw.asinabHraujufrice.Foralthough it 'is deno-minatedaD,titwas pairedNteendays afternew'codehad beento and accepted bytheKmg,and was the firfrmfnngementofa fyfremofthe foundersatleaftoughttohavefaqe'd. '*'AR.T.3. Les lois concernantl'etatdesPerfinnesnonfihres,etpolitiquedesHommr.stie'Couleur,Negres libres,-queles reglemens relatifsal'cxecutiondecesmemes 'lois feront faites parlesA.lfimbleesColoniafes.,tSpeech 'ofM.Fauchet,IzthDecc.mber,'791,andofM.GarandeC-ilu]on,ldMarch,'797..'' ,People,,


, ( n )Ifthedecreeofthe15thofMaycould infi:igatetheWhiteColoI).iilst.othe franticaCtsofviolence before defcribed,what!hall we fuppofe were the feelingsofthePeopleofColouron thatofthe 24thofSeptember, which again blafied thofe hopes they had jufi:Jy foundedontheconfiitutionallawoftheParentState, and the {olemnratificationoftheWhiteColonifis?Nofooner wasitknownin the Wands than thofe diffentions whichtheRevoltof. theNegroes/lad for a while appeafed, broke. 'outwithfrefh violence.Theapprehenfions entertained fromtheSlaves had been allayed by the effeClsoftheConcordat;"tJuttheWhitesno fooner found themfelves relieved fromtheterrorsofimmediate defiruCtion, thantheyavailedofthe decreeof.the24thofSeptember;theyformally revoked theConcordat,and treacheroul1y refufedtocomply with an engagementtowhich they'owedtheirveryexifience.ThePeopleofColourwereinarms;theyattacked the-Whitesin the SouthernProvinces;theythemfelvesofFortSt.Louis,and defeated their opponents in (everal engagements.Apowerful body {urrounded Port-auPrince, the capitalofthe Wand, and claimed the executionoftheConcQrdat."Atthreedifferenuimesdid the vVhites affenttotherequiution,and as often broke their engagement. GratifiedwiththepredileCtion for Arifiocracy which theconfiituentAffem bly hadinits dotage avowed, they affeCled the appellationofPatriots,and had the addrefstotransferthepopular odiumtothe PeopleofColour, whoweJ;econtendingfortheir indifputable rights, and to the fewWhiteColonifiswhohaa virtue enoughtoefpoufe their cal,lfe.,Underthis pretext, the municipalityofPort-au-PrincerequiredM.Grimoard,the captainoftheBoreas,aFrenchlineofbattleiliip,tobring his gunstobear upon, andtocannonade the PeopleofColourtaffembled near thetowp: heatfirfi refufed,butthe.crewdeluded by the cryoftriotifm, enforced his compliance.Nofooner-&asthis,'*'LaCau[e des Troubles en 'dans l'infemale vanite des blancs, quitroisfoisont violeunConcordat, quetroisfoilUs'avoient juredemaintenir.SpmbofMr. BriffOt,10thFeb.179Z'tReportofth,eColonial(,:9mmittee, 29th1792., in'cafure,,Il\


his\.,,/I,1(23)adopted,thanthe PeopleofColourgave a100fetotheirindignation;. they fpread oller thecountry,andfetfire indifcriminatelytoall theplantations;the greateil: partofthetownofPort-au-Princefoon afterwards iharedthefame fate.Nothingfeemedtoremain for theWhiteInhabitantsbuttofeek, their fafety inquittingtheColony.IntheNorthernPartsthe PeopleofColouradopted amoremagnanimous and perhaps a more prudentl;onduCl.:K:

,I,,,,h!sMaJler; anditistheywh?knowmyprinciplesandthoJcofM.iV!.Petlon, Roberfpzerre, Gregoire, Claviere,Condorcet,jhouldbetbeauthorsofJuc.haccufa tions."Inproportion as the fourcesofthefe calamities havebeenmoredifrincHy traced, theWhiteCQlonifrs' have felt the 'convi8:ionsoftruth,andtheit: advocates havebeen,reluCtantly compelledtoacknowledge it.Onthe'lothofFebruary,1792,aletterread intheNationalAffembly, fromMr.'Poymonbrun,a'ofSt.'Domingo,.in which he attri'butes the tr0l.iblestop'nae'ojlomeofa'hites,1;Uhorifllfedtoadmit the MenofColourtotbe nghtsofal1lve Cltlzms.IntheReBprtoftne.Colonialofiqe12thofthe farr:e'mqnth,. they fay,".Withoutdoubttbe'Colonijlsarcnotexemptall'reproacq;'butbecauje[ome'illdividuals arccZ:/pable,'mlfftthewholepopulationbefacrijiced? Should even tEat culpabilityaffitiTHEMAJORITY;theymlfft in tereJlusevcnby their misfortunes,andcalluponusfor amomenttoforget their errors and tbeir. crimes.",Maytheirdifrreffes bealleviated;andmaytheylearnhumanityfromtheirfufferings,Bythe latefi:accountsfromSt.itappears the apprehenlions from theNegroeshave ceafed;.butthattheinveterateprejudicesofthe Planters, and the effectsOfa c,ulpable dereliCtionofprincipleinthe Confl:ituent Affeill bly, frillcontinuestoagitate it.Tbe dijaflersofSt. Do mingo,faysM.Tarbii,(theReporterfor theColonies)*havenowtheir pt'incipalCOll.feintbemifimaetjlanding be tween the Whites and the Mulattoes.""Intbe NDrtbem ParIs,addshe,theAIenofColourhave joinedtheWbites, and theNegroesare.eitherreducedor'renderedincapableoffurthermifehiej. In the WeJlern Provincesno!a Negroisinrebellion,hutthe}denofColourhavepolfeJ!edthenifelvesmanydijlril1s, and,occupytheplains. Tbe Southern P qrts are in the fametbeNegroesarcat,feace, but theP.-opleofGolOllrexerciJethegreatt/l monmtles.tInone Report, 29th February, 1791.tEnun mot, dans toute la Colonie, il n'yavoi'tpIllSriMacrailldredesrevoltes;toutde1amefintelligence entre lesblancslesgensdecouleut'.Report, 29thFeh.,c'Wora,,\,-


,(15)"word,addshe,throughout alltheColonyNOTHINGistoheapprehendedfromtheNegroes;'EVERYTHING,fromthe1l2ifunderflandingbetweenthe,Whites andthePecpleofColour."I,""Suchisthe prefent fitL!ationpfthisColony:a prey tothepride 'and tothe'prejudicesofthe white pr

II26,9wninterefis:itmay apprife usofthedangersfacti: ficing generaloffubfiantialjufiice,tp;tpd temporizingexpedients:itmay demonfiatetous;thatthe'prefervatiohof. ourown'iilands,fromumilat difaficrs, dependsontheearly adoptionofmeafure's that w/li1fiare vigorous andqe<;:ifive,j,andhumane;and may caution us,thanvherewe choofenottoimpart the beamingsofhope,;.'.'",,, , , ,, ,.OBSERVATIONS-..'(


IOBSERVATIONSoNTHEINSURRECTIONS\OFTHENEG'R0ESIlTHEISLANDOFST.DOMINGO.BYM.GARRACOULON.,-,,Readinhisabfence byM. GliADE Tbefore tileNatiohaI Alfembly, 29thofFebruary, 1792..,-.,''."....""THEreceivedoftheIIIDOfnmgo) undoubtedly leaveusIll'muchuncertainty;butthe principal facts are unqudl:ionable. Th.ey reduce themfelves to a fmallnumberofimportant andincontefti1.5le points.Weoughtatlength to' followourownjudgmentandnotrely upon others.Itis by examiningmat,,:,.tr;:rsmaturely, thatweputourfelvesOR' OUT,guard againfl:thefpiritofparty and difhonefty, which', have frequently led afiray the friendsofliberty.Bythefe means, theca1l.lmriiusreports which ,have been propagated agairrfi:the.AmijdesNoitswill be lihmced. .'..'",...'.Theinfurreetionnofoonerbrokeouttban'itwas attri-' butdtotRe.Ami!defMirs.'Nothingbut:agearidy.reak':ndscudhave producedforafuanaccufatlOn-Letthem(;ite a linglea lingle pubiication,. whichhaspro-.keQtheinfurreCtion.WefUTelv'Jeeddonomorethan;D2' tepeat,r


,(28)repeat the namesofthe pri,ncipal membersofthis affociar tion, Meffrs. Mirabeau,LaRochefoucault, Condorcet,LaFayette,& order todoav:;aythere calumnies.Anaifociation formed at a more early pel iod than ours exifrs in the capitalofGreatBritain.Everfince the formationofthis fociety, philanthropick attempts haveincelfantly been the objectsofits cares. Neverthelefs, theNegroesin the Englifu Colonies have contimled to bear their yoke with the greatefrfubmiffion-Ifthen, we canatprefent with any certainty affign a caufetotroublesinSt.DomingotheymuG:be attributed to the degradationofthe PeopleofColour, rather than to a Philanthropick Society.Infaa,inNorthAmerica, there is a religious fect which, without exciting difrurbances, is continually devifing meanslorobtaining the enfranchifementoftheNegroes.'TheCongrefs itfelfispreparing for the adop tionofthis mea(ure at fome future period, and there is only oneofthe American States where the traffick is,notalready abolifued:Letusthen attribute the troublestothe contagionofcO\.lnter-revolution principles; and above all, to the injufl:iceofwhich theWhiteshave been guilty in refufing to let the Mulattoes partakeofthe blef fingsofliberty; and lafl:ly,tothe culpable neglectofthe enforcementofthe decreeofthe 15thofMay. Have wenot,in the Confl:ituent Airembly, feen deferters from the Caufeofthe People connect themfe1ves with the Arifl:o craey to pave the way for the repealofthat decree, by pre ventingthedepartureofthe Commiffioners? And doesnotthis evidently provethatthofe troubles nave hadthefame origin as thofeofAvignbn and the campofJales?Likethe A vignonais and the Liegeois, the PeopleofColour were cppreired, and they wilhed to become free; and thefe emotions have excited in the mindsofthe Negroes the lame defireofindependence.Inlike manner, at Paris,whenthe .Bafl:ile was taken, did not the prifoners in the Chatelet and the Bicetre, break their fetters?Thefeuncivilized men, who were nearer toOl.fl:ateofnature, werenotdeaf to the criesofliberty which refounded on every fide. Perhaps too, theWhiteshave themfelves excited the difcontentoftheirNegroes:as we faw thecourtin1789, whenithad an army under its command, rejoiceinthe troublesatParis) and as theKingofSpain was pleafe('at,-,


,(29)atthe revoltofthePortuguefe;becaufe'itaffordedanaptpretencefor numelOus confifcations.AtSt.Domingothe party inimical to liberty expected a counter-revolution,dihrderand civilwar(for acounter-revolutioncould relultonlyfrom a general confufion) and themenofthis party fubftituted the black cockadeinplaceofthe cockadeofliberty, even in thever}'fightofthe Colonial Affembly.Butnoteven thefe proofs were neceffarytodifcover thekhemeofafferting theirindependence, which was formed by the plantersofSt.DomingoandMartinico.Before thefe Froubles theyhaddared to decree, as a confiitutional arti.c1e,thattheefiablifhmentofinterior regulations belonged to the colony alone:.Didriotthe,formerGeneralAlfemblyoftbe Iflandof,St.Domingoundertaketodifband the armyofthe nation?Infine, didnotthefein thenalJ1eofthe'colonies, threatenFrancewith a feparation fimilar tothatwhichhastaken place between the United StatesofAmericaandEngland?Is it difficult to conceivethatmen accufiomedtodefpifc theirfeHowmen, to fubju,gate them undertheyokeoftheir defpotick wills,wnhaven<>greaterlove for theircountrythan they' have for equality.Thefefame planters,whomighthave foundfomanyin their union withFrance,and whofedeputies fiiled themfelves the deputiesofthe wholenation,pretendedthattheothudeputiesofFrancecouldnottake a fhareintheformationoftheirlaws;whilfi, however, thefementook a part in the formationofours,theirdeputies eftected a reparation, and they returned onlytorepeal the decreeofthe15thofMar.TheConfiituentAlfembly'which, initsold age, fuffered tbeNationalSovereigntytobetrampled on, yielded to their iophifms, and pronounced the fatal decreeofthe24thofSeptember, theColecaufeofall the difafrersofSt.Domingo.,Intruth,the repealofthe decreeofthe 15thofMay,, had nottakenplacewhenthe in(urrcctionofthe.Black:>commenced:butthe decree had been palfed for the fpaceofthreemonths,withouthaving been enforced.Itwas wellknownwhatfiruggles patriotifin had made in orderto,obtain it) and it was wellknownthatpatrioti(m diminifh-ed, ,,,


The,I,everyday"thatp!ots werc, formedtothe repeatofthIs dccree,andtnatculpable hopeswerefoundedeveillllthe difiurbancesofthe colonies. ,'fhofeObfervatio!'s which pointoutthe caufeofthc' misfortuncsof81.Dc,mingo,teach us that weoughtneverto(uTer anyinfringementtobe made upon theNationafSovereignty;'puchlefs upon the rightsofuniver[al rea..:fon:they teach usthatweoughttodefend the planters tnemfe]vesaQ'ainfl:their obfHnate p'urpofeoflullino-them-bfe]ves afleeptotheirowndefirucrion, amidfi thepreju-dicesofpride,-infine,thatvveoughtto natllralize allJong them the chara6terofcitizen,bymakingthemenjoy the bleilingsofthe revolution.Letus then alfordfuccourtothe vVhitcs, fince they are unfortunate, let usgrantthemall the ailifl:ance that lies inourpower.YOllwouldnotrefl1feit to your enemie5, in a fimilar frtuatiOli.But,hereIis very truethatourmoH irnplacable enemies wo.uldnothave haditin their power to do us more inifchief:Iwillnotmention the damage which they have donetooUrcommerce,at atimewhenithad already experienced a confiderablediminution-butcanwe forget thethinswhichhavebroughtuponourRevolution, thepro-,gre(sofwhich, theyh,LVeHopped by giVing,underthereign of infant liberty,anexampleofthe greatefi injuil:ice,byplacingtyranniclawsbythe fideoftheDeclarationofRights,whentheyc

I[31 ]Thecriminal ufurpations,of the clergy and the n"bi.bty:; ;and all tbe abufesofthe royal power;-ina woed,a11kindsofdifalers would follow upon theDecreeof24thofSeptember;andthisindependence wouldmaketheColonies thecentreofunionf0.fthe ariloC'acyalllltheCounter-revolutioniHs.VVeare a!fured, thannoneofthe reafons which theConflituentAHemblv has madeinthe a'dminiHrationofjuHice,havebeenatSt.Domingo:thilt the mof! atrocious proceedingsofoldgovernment,are HillpraCl-ifedthere;thatOgewasexaminedonthefe/lette,andthathe was not allowedcounfe!'Itisatleal evident,thatthe libertyofthe prefs,thatguaranteeofpublicthe lo(sofwhichnothingcanfupply, hasbeenprofcribed;thatarbitrarytakethe placeoflaws;thatFrenchmenha;:e beentran{i:..portedwithouta trial, and under falfepretexts;thatav.elTelhas been forcedtodifpo.feofits cargo,ata price fixedatarbitraFY difcretion. Thi,s iswbatthe ColoHi?l AlTembly hasdone;youmayjudge'whatitwould doinfuturetime, wereitin'veUed w'ith independent authority. 'TheminiHerofthemarine, after a10ngdeclamationag<}inrttheAmi,desNairs,andthe PeopleofColour,hasalreadypropofedtoy.oua planofefi:ablifhing atSt.Domingo,a nationalguard,compofedonlyofproprietors;QfereCl-ing ontpatilland certain fortref[es, not to defend the coafi:,butto be made ufe ,of,asRoulfeau fays, in the interiorpartofthe country,asn1fsfort)rants.IIIfine,iftheColonies,rendered independentofthe,AJo.dy,w,eretobe connected with thekinga.]une, whatameansofconfidence would the executivepower denivefromthis its fanEtion'.'Beingfupremechiefofthearmy,he couJdHillit,byfendingtbe.mon: Ipatriotic regiments into.theiftl;mds,underpretence of eftablilhing difciplinethere;bwtin 'reality,i.nthis exile, th.ey wouldinvain appeal 'tothe prine] plesofju lice and liberty , ) I .If,however,youare determinedtodeclare theColo-nies. iudependent, this declarationoughtnot.tbbemadetillthe D.ecreeofth,e14thofSeptemberhas beenrepealed, otherwife thisindependence would be extendedtoiheWhitesalone,whow.ould pre(crve the meansofper-l.;,I..".petuatlng-,,


(petuatingilrifl:ocracy.Americaemancipates its Colonie,; as [oon astheyare fufficientlvpopulous;butthehasexprefsly decreed,thattheyih,,11notinfiitute an arbitrarygovernment,ormakeany Jaw in contt:adiClion tothe:DeclaratiunofRights.InGreece,theparentfiates,whentheyallowedtheirColoniestogovernthemidves,didnotefieem themfelvesbythatmeans rreed fromtheobligationofdefending the citizensoftholeColoniesagainil: oppreilion.Thisreciprocal ailifcance, whichkindredfhould' mutallyartcxdeachother,weoughtnowtogive tothecitizensofColouratStoDomingo,asvvellas to the\Vhites.ThePlantershave formed a projectofaffertingindependence,in order to efiabliihtyrannybeyond the[eas;Wioughttobewiferthanthey.Thisfeparationmightleadthemtotheir ruin,:ll1dperhapswouldnetbe[0eaftastheyimagine;the difpofitionsoftheEnglifn,ofAme:ica,and Hill moretheirowaexperience, {houldconvincethemofthis.Ifit be poiliblethattheColonies ihould be happy in this {eparation,onthisfuppofition,thep;trent fiate mufi reap from it the fameadvantagesash-icepredie1ed,whentheAmericanColoniesfeparatedfromEngland.ThecommerceofEnglandwiththeUnited States, neverVlasfa flouriiliing as it hasbeenfince their feparation.Theywho arcmoitincrufieclwiththerufiofancientprejudices, donotdifpute thetagesofthisindepcndcnce.-Onthisfubje8,there is onlyoneopinion.ButfinceomColonies Hill fiandinlJeedofthe proteCtionofthemothercountry,finetweare obliged toprotecttheirinternalL-eedolll, weou?httoagreetothelawsuponwhichthe libertyisfounded.DiitancedoesnotpreventtheNationalAffemhly from llJakinp' lawsconcernirwtheir externalregulations;andaD1lnce theki!J2;canreiufetogivehis fanction tothelawsL.torthei; internalgovernment,\-vhyinould no: thefe Litter Jaws be likewjre ii.lbmitted totheapprobationofthelegiilativebody?Thelawsundertheempireofreaion,oughtnolongerto be the refultofancientre!pel1fullyaccumulated,butthe grc;,terthenumberofunderftandincrsvvhichconcurintheir forma-ubCQ.-tien,thedotheyapproachto/V.1Ywouid


,(33)would theprefer the'Vetoofthe king,tothe opinionofthepopular reprefentativesofeighty-threedepartments, efpecially when thisvetoisnotfubordinatetothe uniform willofthree legiflatures? vV puld they chufe rather to be fubjeEt to the willofa minifier who willalways be ambitious to augment his authority?Ifthis be their wifh, why do theyadrJrefsthemfelves to the National Aflemblv, requefl:ing our aHifiance?Isitnotridiculous tothem afking the reprefentativesofa free people to fupport an arbitrary government':"'-a government alien to our laws, and contrary to our confiitution?Ourfleets, our armies, the produEtofourtions, are no longer,astbey tormerly were, thepatrimonyoftbemonarch-theybelong tothenation;they ought not to be madeufeof, except for the benefitofthe nation, and conformablytothe confiitution.Thekingcanrequire obedience from the troopsofFrance, onlyinthe nameoftheFrenchlaws, made by the reprefentativesoftheFrenchpeople, and our amics are by no means fubjeEt to the lawsofthe Colonies.Ifcircwr!flances did not permit ustoenfranchife the Negroes, nothing couldauthoriJeustoJet up as cor!flitutional principles the temporary mea/ures which prudence mighthave/ugglledtolegijlators.Thisis the reafon why there exifis not in the American confiitlltions a fingle article that gives a fanB:ion tovery;and the framersofthis confiitution, themfelves proprietorsofSlaves, perceived that they mull: leave tomaturity0f time, to the progrefsofunderfiandingandmahners, the confummationofthe defiruCl:ionofflavery.Onthe contrary, a prop0falismadetoyou, to annul theConcordat,or to temporize for.thepurpofeofgiving theWhitesthe means of annulling itbyforce. Iknownot what can be expected from there dilatory meafures; unlefs the involving in freib miferies, the vVhites. who have with difficulty efcaped from the furyofthe re volted Negroes. vVillanyonedare to altert, thatDecreeofthe 24thofSeptember,ofwhich they willitoavail themfelves,isa confiitutionalarticle?LettheFrenchConfiitutioi1 anfwer thisquell:ion-aConftitution, all the principlesofwhichitcont,,-,.diEts.-E .J.-t'


(34-).LettheConftitutic1l1alDecreeofthe15th(1JfMay laftan(Wf.'i"it,-alltbeproviGonsofwhichithasinfringed.Wecall hardly imagine, th,.t the Conf1:ituent A/Iembly, notwithltandingalljtspower, could deprive adafs offree and proprietary citizens of their civiletpecially without having fummoned or heard them:Ifthe exclulivelnitiatirehadbeen granted totheColonies011the 15th of May, itisevident, that, after this Decree, the Confiituent Alfembly couldnolonger make laws con Cerning theciviiexifienceofallYcla("ofmen, without having been formally authorizedfato dobythe Colonia! Alfemblies.Invain will itbeobje8:ed, thatanarticleoftheftitution declares, thattheColonies, although theyforma partofthe French empire, were not comprized in the confiitutional laws ofFrance.-'What conclufion {hallwedraw fromthis?that the confiitutional law of the 15thofMay, not having been repealedbythis article, cannot: have been repealed fincethecompletion of the confiitu tion. I mufl: obferve, thattheking having accepted the French Confiitution,andthat formed on theJ5th of May for the Colonie8, the ConfiituentAfTemblycould110ttrouble his ,throne withanew condition, which would oceaGon alofsofrights, and jf arefuCalofaccepting the Decreeofthe 24thofSeptember would not have oceall. oned a lois ofrights;itf0110wsof courfe, that itr,..'tconftitutional.TheConftituent Alfembly might reduce to principles the Conftitutionallaws which it had already made, but it could not make lawsofacontrary nature'. Couldweoblige the king, whohadju!l: fworn that he would maintain liberty and equality, to enforceaconfiituIion which deprivesanumerous clafsofmenofthe rights which nature gives them? Is it not evident thathisacceptanceofthis decree could not have givenitvalidity? and that,asanaaofthe legiilative power, itisnull, fince it has not gone through the formalities pre(cribedbythe confiitution.Letusproceed to the examinationofits contents:Inthe confiitutionwefeethat privilegesnoItlllgerexi!l:in any partofthe FrenchEmpire;that the nJtionaJ [Qvcreignty isindivifibleandhereditarilyted-,


,(35)ted to thereigningfamily;thatthe colonies arelya partoftheFrenchempire.Itwas upon thefeprinciples alone thenthatthe Conll:ituent Alfembly coulddeterminecOllcernilw the conll:itlltionofthe colonies.Ne-o .verthelefs,taeirindependenceisdeclared in fuch a1i1?\1ncrby the decreeofthe24thofSeptemberthat theyarefreed from the authorityofthe legiilative body, andevenfromthe authorityofthe con'1:ituentalfemblies;and astheregal power isnotcomprifed in this decree, the<:onfequence isthatthe coloniesmightchure akingfor them..fclves;butthey will hardly imagine themfelves independentofthe authorityofthat inell:imable articleofthedeclarationofrights, which allow5 inrurreCl:ion and refill:. ance again!i: oppreffion. I maynowconfirm the timorous confciences.ofwhohave afIcrtedthatthey wifhed for the repealofthe decreeofthe24thofSeptember,butwere afraidofinfringingupon a conltitutional law.Butneither the people,whomull: ratifyallconititutions,nQrtheConll:itumtAffembly, nor even the executive power, have everlookelupon this decree as truly con!l:itutional.TheConftl.tuentAlfembly didnotprefentitfor the acceptanceoftheKing;and haditbeen conll:itutional, all the citizens, and particularly the deputiesofthis aHembly, whofe powersitwould have limited, mull: have fworn that they would actinconformitytoit.Whenyouhave produced from yourtheconJtitutionalatt,howhthe Con!1ituem Affembly there hasnotbeen a fingle one in favourofthisdecree?Theuniverfal feelings, the fpontaneousjudpnemofall the citizens, arebetterproofs thanal!thefubtletit:Sofargument,that this decree isnotHadItbeenfoe!l:eemed by the executive pmver, theminlftq'ofthe marine wouldnothavepropokdtoyoudifterent laws for theintemalgovernmentofSt.Domingo,for inftance, for thg eHahlifhmentofhired guards, andofE-::fona


forts to be erectedinthe interior partsofthe country.Letus then declare, that this decree is an infringementonthe fovereigntyofthenation;we fubmitnotto it either;ascitizensordefpotics;butasmenweoughtto detefi:it.,Mr.GaranCoulonthen prspared the formofa decree abrogatingthatofthe24th'ofSeptember;declaringageneralamneJ1:ythroughout the colony, enaCting,thattheColonial Affemblies lhould be formed purfuant to the decreeofthe 15thofMay, that they lhould give their fen timentsonthe fubjeCtofthe internal governmentofthecolonies, and on the beft methodofeffeCting the AbolitionofNegroSlavery. .APPENDIX


.",.APPENDIX.ISilJctthe preceding Illquirywasprinted,,Advicehasbeenreceived, tbat theNA-TIONALASSEMBLr,onthe 24th it!flallt,p{1fed,almoflunanimozf!l)I,the followingDECREErifpeEling theCOLONIES.HENational Affembly acknowledges andthatthe PeopleofColour andFreeNegroes oughttoenjoy the equalityofpolitical rights,aswellastheWhites)inconfequenceofwhich it decrees as follows.ARTICLE1.Immediately after the publicationofthe prefent decree, they fhall proceed, ineveryonebftheFrenchColonies in the Windward and Leeward lflands,tothe re-electionofthe Colonial and l\:Iunicipal Aifem blies, after the manm:r prefcribedbythe decreeofthe 8thofMarch,Ii90'and the infiructionsofthe National Affcmbly of the 28thofthe[1ITlemonth.I ,T1.he


(3 8 )II.ThePeopleofColour,andFreeNegroes{haJJbe

,,(39),,,,;V.,lII.TheExecutivePowerisdircCl:edto fend a 'fuffi'dent force into the Colonies, which is compofedingreatmeafureofNationalGuards.IX.TheColonial Alfemblies immediately after their formation and inftallation,{hallilfue, in the nameofeach Colony refpeCl:ively, their particularjudgmentrefpeCl:ing that Conftitution, thofe laws, and the adminiftrationofthem, which will promote the profperity and happinefsofthe people; conforming themfelves neverthelefstothofe general principles by which the Colonies andMotherCountryare conneCl:ed, and by whichrefpeCl:iveinterefts are fecured, agreeablytothe decreeof8thMarch,1790,and the inftruCl:ionsof28thfame month.X.TheColonial Aremblies are authorizedtonominate Reprefentativestodeliver their judgment to, and unite themfelves with. the Legillative Body, in numbers proportionable for every Colony, which {hall beimmediately determined by the National Alfembly, accordingtothe Rctport which its ColonialCommitteeisdireCl:edtomake.XI.FormerdecreesrefpeCl:ingthe Colonies{hallbeinforce in every thingnotcontrarytothe prefentDecree.FINI,tlMITEIl CIRCULATIon


,,J-"J-- ,., -,,.,,...._..,.,"(I31262074120352...,, (,.,., '.. j,'-\..-.".',.. "., ,.I',..',-'.p.'.I, !\......',.\--.. '.r-r-J,\...,"I"-T '0- /-'".B-.'.. ,,

xml record header identifier 2008-11-16setSpec [UFDC_OAI_SET]metadata oai_dc:dc xmlns:oai_dc http:www.openarchives.orgOAI2.0oai_dc xmlns:dc http:purl.orgdcelements1.1 xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.openarchives.orgOAI2.0oai_dc.xsd dc:title An inquiry into the causes of the insurrection of the negroes in the island of St. Domingodc:creator Garran de Coulon, Jean Philippe, 1749-1816Guadet, Marguerite Elie, 1758-1794France -- Assemblée nationaledc:subject History -- Haiti -- Revolution, 1791-1804Colonies -- France -- Santo Domingodc:publisher Printed and sold by J. Johnsondc:date 1792dc:type Bookdc:format 32 p. 21 cm.dc:identifier (ALEPH)ADB8158 (LTUF) 03006338 (LCCN)dc:source University of Floridadc:language English