Brookes’ Universal Gazetteer, page 256
Click on the image to view a larger, bitmap (.bmp) image suitable for printing.


Click on the image above for a larger, bitmap image suitable for printing.

DOM    256    DOM

of a small river, which in compliment to his
patroness, Isabella of Spain, he named after her.
The avarice of the settlers soon excited the just in-
dignation of the native inhabitants, whose resent-
ment, however, was readily subdued by the more
ample and destructive means of warfare of the
Spaniards. Columbus returned to Spain in
1496, leaving his brother Bartholomew in com-
mand of the settlement, who soon after removed
to the southern coast, and founded the city of St.
Dominnro, which afterwards gave name to the
whole island. The number of settlers from Spain
increased rapidly, and the natives were compelled
to the severest labour, which soon brought on dis-
ease and premature death, and so fatal to life was
the cruel policy of the Spaniards, that after a
lapse of about 20 years, an efficient labourer scarce-
ly remained on the island. Under this exigency,
about 40,000 of the inhabitants of the Bahama
Isles were decoyed from their homes to become
labourers or slaves in St. Domingo ; but such was
the perverse policy of the Spaniards; that not-
withstanding this acquisition, and 1,000,000 of
native inhabitants, (some historians even carry
the number as high as 3,000,000,) which the isl-
and was supposed to contain on its first discovery
in 1492, by the middle of the following century
scarcely 150 remained alive; whilst the Span-
iards had progressively sunk into indolence, and
the island was reduced again to a wilderness.

The French obtained a footing on the W. end
of the island about the middle of the 17th century,
and resumed the culture of the sugar-cane which
had been early introduced by the Spaniards from
the Canary Islands, but had been entirely neglect-
ed by them. By the treaty of Ryswick in
1691, Spain ceded to France all the west part of
the island from the little river Pedernallo on the
S. to the Capotillo falling into the Bay of Man-
cenilla on the N., in the long, of about 71. 40. W.,
being about a third part of the island. After this
period the French plantations progressively in-
creased in number and importance, and in 1789 the
population of the French part of the island had
increased to 30,830 whites, 24,000, mulattoes, and

480,000 slaves, making a total of 534,830 inhabi-
tants, whilst the total population of the'Spanish
part did not exceed 155,000, and in 1791, the fol-
lowing produce was exported to France : viz.
84,017,328 lbs. of coffee, 11,317,222 lbs. of cotton,
3,257,610 lbs. of indigo, 1,536,017 lbs. of cocoa,
and 217,463 casks of sugar.

From this period a new and important era in
the history of St. Domingo commences. The deso-
lating mania of the French revolution, had ex-
tended to this island ; an insurrection ensued, in
which upwards of 5,000 of the whites fell a prey
to the fury of their slaves. In 1792 the national
assembly of France proclaimed the political equal-
ity of the negroes and whites; in the following
vear three commissioners were despatched from
Prance, who on their arrival in St. Domingo pro-
claimed the emancipation of the slaves. This served
as a signal far the slaves to wreak their vengeance
on their whhe oppressors, and on the 21st of
June 1793, a force of 3,000 blacks entered Cape
Francois and began an indiscriminate slaughter
among the white inhabitants, whilst the most
cruel vengeance displayed itself over all that
part of the island.

In the midst of this confusion, the English at-
tempted to establish their authority ; and a force
from Jamaica succeeded in taking possession
of Po-t au Prince, but after suffering much from
disease and the resistance of the blacks, they aban
doned the island in 1798. By this time the
whole of the white population had become nearly
extirpated, whilst the blacks, under the command
of Rigatrd and Toussaint L'Ouverture, had effect
ed considerable progress in military discipline
On the 1st of July 1801, the independence of the
island was formally proclaimed in the name of the
republic of Hayti, when Toussaint L’Ouverture
was appointed governor for life, with the power
of naming his successor. On the 6th October,
1801, the French concluded a peace with England,
and in the December following despatched a
squadron with 20,000 men, under the command of
general Le Clerc, to attempt the subjugation of
St. Domingo. The troops landed in Samana
Bay, at the E. end of the island. Le Clerc com-
menced the campaign in February 1802, and
fought with varied success until the following
May, when a truce was concluded upon ; during
which Toussaint was inveigled on board a ves-
sel and conveyed to France, where he died in
prison, in April, 1803. Suspicion of treachery in
his death having been entertained against the
French, hostilities recommenced with greater an-
imosity than ever. The command of the black
troops devolved on Dessalines, and the English
being now regarded as auxiliaries against the
French, on the 30th December 1803, the whole of
the remaining French forces surrendered prison-
ers of war to the English.

Thus St. Domingo was again freed from aL'
European oppression ; but new calamities no*
awaited it. On the 1st of January 1805, the gen
erals and chiefs of the army entered into a solemn
compact, in the name of the people of Hayti, rc
nouncing forever all dependence on France
Dessalines was then appointed governor for life
and invested with extensive powers ; in Septem
her following he assumed the imperial title of Jac
ques the 1st, Emperor of Hayti. His ambitios
and tyranny brought upon him the detestation of
the people, and he was slain by a military conspi
racy in October 1806. He was succeeded by
Christophe as “ chief of the government,” hul
Petion starting as a rival candidate for the su-
preme authority, a severe battle was fought be-
tween the forces of Petion and Christophe, on the
1st of January 1807, in which Petion was defeat-
ed. In the same year Christophe was appointed
chief magistrate for life, with the power of ap-
pointing his successor, but like his predecessor
Dessalines he was not content with conditional
power, and in 1811, he assumed the regal title of
Henry I. King of Hayti, making the title heredi-
tary in his family, and
Sans Souei, a village about
15 miles from Cape Francois, now called Cape
Henry or Cape Hayti, the seat of his court and
government. King Henry was both avaricious
and cruel, and like Dessalines fell a prey to his
own soldiery, who dragged him from his palace
by force, and massacred him in October 1820. In
the mean time, from 1801 to 1818, Petion after his
defeat in 1807 retreated to the south of the west
part of the island, and remained at the head of a
considerable portion of the country. In 1816 he
was appointed president for life, but died in May
1818, universally lamented byallwhr had espous
ed his cause. He was succeeded by Boyer, who
on the death of Christophfe obtained the.command
and government of the whole of what was for-
merly the French part of the island.

In 1794 Spain ceded the whole of the remaining
part of the island to France, but the trouble*

Public domain image from

Brookes' Universal Gazetteer of the World (1850)


This page was written in HTML using a program
written in Python 3.2