haiti: petion: our rights are sacred

Lucien - June 4 2008, 10:08 PM

Alexandre Sabes Petion believed that: "Our rights are sacred; they have their source in nature which created all men equal.

We will defend our rights against all those who will dare to think of subduing us. Our aggressors will find on this island ashes mingled with blood, bullets and an avengeful climate.

Authority rests on your will;(the people) and your will is to be free and independent.

You will be so or we will give to the world the awful spectacle of burying ourselves under the ruins of our country rather than submit again to servitude, even in its mildest form."Alexandre Petion.

According to historians, some not so well known facts about Petion are: On the 9th of March 1807, Alexandre Pétion, then a Senator, was elected President of the Republic of Haiti for four years.

After several desperate attacks on Port-au-Prince by Henry Christophe to subdue Pétion, he failed.

In 1812 Christophe made one last attempt to take possession of Port-au-Prince then he returned to the Cap. According to historians, Pétion was of a kind nature and was easy tempered.

He was hampered by the Constitution of which he had largely contributed; In more or less open opposition with the Senate, which finally adjourned after he died; Petion had to contend with many plots.

"Goman," in the vicinity of Jérémie, further harassed him by keeping up a guerilla warfare.

In 1810 General André Rigaud, who had returned from France, became Commander-in-Chief of the Southern Department, thus establishing an administration independent of the President's control.

Pétion's authority was thus restricted to the Western Department.

This secession occurred without any bloodshed, and ended peacefully after Rigaud's death, when the Southern Department acknowledged once more the authority of the President of the Republic (1812).

{{André Rigaud was born at Cayes on the 17th of January, 1781; his father was a Frenchman and his mother a negrese named Rose Bosley.

He was one of the minted militiamen who fought at Savannah for the independence of the United States.

He died at Cayes on the 17th of September, 1811.}}Owing to the unfavorable influences of these disturbances, agriculture suffered much neglect.

However, Pétion's kindness to the peasants won over all their sympathies; and he gained their entire confidence and devotion when, through liberal grants and frequent sales of land, he transformed those who had been until then but simple tillers of the soil into LANDOWNERS.

By establishing this system of small estates Pétion bound up the interests of the people to that of the Republic, thereby gaining their support for the maintenance of the national independence.

To public instruction he gave likewise his earnest attention; among other schools he founded was the "Lycee" at Port-au-Prince, which still bears his name. Imbued with a sense of the necessity of having the independence acknowledged by the great Powers he strove to display abroad the country's flag.
Ships flying the Haitian colors were dispatched to England and the United States, where they were made welcome; foreign commercial intercourse was thus secured.

Great Britain even forgot that she had forbidden her colonies in the West Indies to have any dealings with Haiti.

Being at war with the United States she was scarcely able to supply Jamaica with provisions; the island would therefore have suffered from famine were it not for the help gladly given by Haiti.

Under the administrations of Petion, prosperity reappeared.

But anxiety caused by France's attitude soon paralyzed his efforts.

Louis XVIII had succeeded Napoleon I; and the new monarch thought that it would be easy to reconquer Haiti.

With this object, at the end of June, 1814, he dispatched to Haiti three agents: Dauxion Lavaysse, Dravermann, and Franco de Medina.

Among the papers of Franco de Medina, whom Christophe had caused to be arrested and tried under the charge of being a spy, were discovered the secret instructions given by the French Government, which revealed the intention of the Bourbons, not only to send an army to recover Haiti, but also to reestablish slavery in the island.

The feeling provoked by these instructions was intense.

Christophe and Pétion's one thought was to have all in readiness for the national defense.

Arms, ammunition, and all the necessary provisions were accumulated in the mountains, in the places most difficult of access, where Haitian strategy would be able to wear out the European troops.

The expenses were considerable; but the people stoically endured every discomfort and displayed the greatest enthusiasm to defend, with their lives if need be, the liberty of the soil, of which they meant to remain the sole masters.

In July, 1816, Lieutenant-General Viscount of Fontanges, the Councillor of State Esmangart, and Captain du Petit Thouars of the French Navy were appointed the King's Commissioners at Saint-Domingue.

But they failed in their purpose, and the resistance offered them by both Christophe and Pétion left to them no other course of action but to return to France; consequently they sailed from Port-au-Prince on the 12th of November, 1816. (B. Ardouin, Vol. VIII, p. 257.)

Subject:

MASSACRE DES MULATRES EN HAITI

MASSACRE DES MULATRES EN HAITI 1964, août : Événement connu sous le nom de « massacre des...

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