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violation of public faith and of the been easily accommodated; and if most sacred treaties, of setting the the princes had even in some degeneral opinions and laws of man- gree overrated their demands, woj. kind at defiance, and of wishing to tical prudence would have thewn, dissolve or overthrow all those that it was more eligible to submit compacts between nations, which to some small present pecuniary exhad been constructed as mounds for tortion, and thereby get quit of a the preservation of their mutual claim which could never be renewpeace and security. In this tem- ed, than to luffer, particularly in so per, and with these opinions, the critical a season as the present, such Germanic body, through the me

a bone of endless discord to conti. dium of its diet, only waited for nue constantly in view. the arrival of the proper season, and When it was too late, the assem. the concurrence of the proper bly seemed in some degree to bemeans, to carry the effect of their come sensible of its error, or at least resentment, and the redress of the to be alarmed at the effect which it injury offered, at once into execu- was already producing, and several tion

months after the aboiition of the Thus from the habit of giving feudal rights, it carelessly voted an a loose and unbounded scope to indemnihcation to the German haughty, contemptuous, and arro- princes. But the season for conci. gant language, of turning all mat. liatory accommodation was now ters, however serious, to ridicule, past; the resentment of the injured which did not entirely correspond had risen to its utmost pitch; they with their own ideas, or directly perceived that the indignation of suit their liking, and by, a dictato- their friends, neighbı urs, and co(țial and peremptory mode of pro- estates in general, was equally ex. ceeding, in all points corresponding cited with their own; they had been with the language and manner, forced to appeal to another source were the seeds of a severe, bitter, for redress, which they knew would and extensive war, capable of events sooner or later be obtained, and and consequences far beyond all that probably accompanied with a calculation, most industriously fown pleasing gratification of their venby the national affembly in that géance. Under these circumstances, wide and powerful empire. Where and in this temper, they refu'ed to as, if a due attention had been at fell or to barter their birthrights, firit paid to propriety of language The asembly thewed a iloical inand conduct, if the semblance of difference, which thcy seemed to justice and equity had been observ- think consonant with the stern and ed, by duly examining and conti- inflexible dignity of kepublicans, dering the rights of the princes and upon this refusal. They, however, the obligations of treaties, and if ordered the offer of indemnification the result of this enquiry had been, to be repeated, and left the matter the proposal of a fair compentation after to take its ordinary fourte. to the former for the surrender of Nor was the national assembly their feudal rights, there is not the more fortunate with respect to the smallest room for doubting, that this government of the French colonies troublesome business would have in the West Indies, than it was in

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its transactions with foreigners; and measure ; but neither these conh-these great, and apparently inex- derations, nor the eloquence nor haustible sources of the commerce, warnings of Barnave, were at all wealth, power, and naval force of capable of resisting that democratiFrance, have in the issue been to- cal rage for liberty and equality tally ruined, by a series of precipi- which now prevailed. tate measures, of rash and untried A society had for some time subschemes, adopted without due con- fisted in France under the title of fideration, or competent knowledge L'ami de Noir, or the friends of the of the subject, and founded upon negroes, which owed its origin to the same order of abliract notions, the societies formed in England and metaphysical dreams, which had upon the same principle; and like involved the parent country in its them issued feveral publications in prefent unparalleled situation. It favour of the oppreffed Africans, had been early and well observed which being industriously circulated in the assembly by M. Barnave, an in the West India Islands, and well able and eminent leader in the ac- suited to the capacities as well as to complishment of the revolution, and the likings of that people, produced who went all lengths with the ruling such an effect, that they are supparty,” that, unfortunately, their pofed to have contributed much to “ rights of men could not apply to the dreadful enormities which af“ the West Indies; that if they en- terwards took place in these colos “ deavoured to make the applica- nies. Although this fociety was

tion, they would lose their colo. not much distinguished by the rank, “ nies, impoverish their trading abilities, or even number of its “ and manufacturing towns, until members, nor indeed by any thing, ? the common people, grown despe- but the humanity of its object, and “ rate by the disappointment of the private virtues of several of the “ their hopeș, would be ready to sell įndividuals of which it was com« themselves to the enemies of the posed, yet this being the age of “ revolution.” Indeed there can be sentiment, as well as of innovation, no question, but that considered and the doctrines it held out ac. merely as a subject of state policy, cording with those favourite ones without any reference to philofo- of universal liberty and general phy, or to the milder feelings of hu- equality, they became so fashion, manity, that the general declaration able that some names of confideraof the rights of man, without any ble eminence were rendered odious, distinction of country or colour, by and their poffeffors marked out, not a nation possefing great and ex- only as enemies to humanity, but tensive colonies cultivated by flaves, to the new philosophy and the sysand still determined to retain these tem formed on it in all their parts, colonies, under a full inteņtion of for having ventured, on motives of seaping all the cuftomary advan- policy, of general safety, and of tages from thein, without providing justice to the planters, to expose, any substitutes for the faves, or what appeared to them, their falla. any indemnification for their own- cy, impropriety, and danger. ess, muft ever be deemed a rash, as The planters had made a comwell as a hasty and improvident plaint to the king, long before the

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commencement of his troubles, of the first, the greatest, the most laftthe dangers to which they were al- ing, and the most deplorable vicready exposed, and of the greater tim to the ensuing calamities, to which they were liable, through Though a contempt of all governthe proceedings of this society; but ment and subordination foon bethey were grievously disappointed came general among all orders and upon receiving for answer, " That degrees of men, yet the troops “ he was glad to hear there was seem to have been among the first “ such a fociety, and that some of who afforded a practical example of “ his subjects had humanity enough the enjoyment of their new liberty. to concern themselves about the This was displayed by the regiment “ fate of the poor negroes.

An of Port au Prince, in the murder answer which sufficiently testifies the of their colonel, a brave and dil-. natural tenderness and goodness tinguished officer; who, in open which pofseffed the heart of the fo- day, was slaughtered at the head of vereign; whatever impression it his regiment. Single enormities, may make with respect to his poli- however striking in themselves, tical wisdom or knowledge. His

were foon lost in the general glare ministers, however, held very dif- of the greater which were to fucferent sentiments from the king up- ceed. The colonifts, like the peeon this subject. Calonne had de- ple in France, were divided into creed considerable bounties to en- two great parties, the royalists and courage and increase the flave the republicans, each of which aptrade; and Neckar, the avowed peared at different times to predochild of fentiment, philanthropy, and minate ; but the pressure of domorality, not only continued these mestic troubles and dangers excited. bounties, but in a treatise, abound- by the new state of things too im-, ing otherwise with precepts and sen- mediately affected the planters, to timents of the greatest humanity, admit of their yet cutting each ļaid it down as an incontrovertible others throats about the politics of axiom, “ that the nation which sets Europe. “ the example of abolishing the For the present occasion drew " llave trade, will become the dupe forth and brought into a state of “ of its own generosity.”

great notoriety a new race of men, The exertions of the friends of who had hitherto been little known the negroes, whether at home or or heard of, at least on this fide the abroad, seemed, however, to have Atlantic. These were the mulatloft all confideration and even re- toes, a numerous, bold, hardy, darmembrance, as soon as an accounting, and profligate race; who being of the revolution at home reached derived from the promiscuous interthe islands, and that the doctrines of course between white men and neuniversal liberty and equality were groe women, were, by a strange promulgated among the colonists. perversion of language, distinguishThe beautiful island of St. Do- ed by the appellation of people of mingo, the fineft parts of which colour. The much greater part of were covered with a number of the these were by birth in the condition poft flourishing, rich, and happy of free men, with respect to person folonies perhaps in the world, was and property, but were fecluded by

race.

law from any share in the civil go- void of principle, if not of abilities, vernment, and consequently from instead of attempting to heal difgiving their votes in the election of ferences, they, upon their arrival, magistrates or deputie's. These depending upon the chances which now infifted upon a full participa- length of time, distance, and the tion of all the rights and privileges uncertain state of government in of free citizens, without any regard the mother country, might produce to the distinctions of birth or co- in their favour, looked only to prolour, which, they said, had been cure immediate power and conseformed in the days of despotism, quence, by placing themselves at darkness, and ignorance; and being the head of some of the contending much more numerous, as well as factions; and thus rushing at once far exceeding in bodily strength as principals, into all the rage and and courage the luxurious and fury of civil discord, increased to its enervated whites, they supported utmost pitch, that confusion and their claims, not only with an ap- mischief which they were intended parent sense of their superiority, but to remedy,

. with all that prompt intemperance It would fill a volumc of no in. and arrogance, which seems to be considerable size to give only a brief peculiarly characteristic of that narrative of the troubles which en

sued in the French islands; of the Both parties sent deputies to the continual disputes which arose, and national assembly ; jarring, contra.

the short irtermissions of seeming dictory, and inexplicit decrees were conciliation which took place befent out: some of which were said tween the whites and the mulattoes, not to be understood, fome imprac- the masters and their llaves, the goticable, and others would not be vernors and the colonial assemblies, obeyed. The colonial assembly was and between the national assembly {aspected by the national of aiming at home, and the two laft: Withat independency; and it was said out taking into the account the pothat the planters talked publicly of litical factions which raged, and incalling in the English and surren- creased the general confufion and dering the island to them. Some fury; while every arrival from of the decrees were understood by France was pregnant with new the mulattoes to confer rights on sources of difcord. In St. Do, them, which the whites would not mingo alone, three different coloallow them to poffefs, and which nial assemblies were chosen in three the others prepared to wrest from different parts of the island, who all them by force; and until this at- fitting at the same time, were orly tempt was made, the animosity, and diftinguished by their endless conmutual abhorrence of the parties, tention. was increased to a degree seldom A curious obfervation, which may equalled. In process of time, com- not, perhaps, be entirely unworthy millioners were repeatedly fent from the contemplation of philosophy, France; but these carrying out arises from a cursory consideration with them the violent political pre- of this subject; which is, that manjudices which they had imbibed at kind are scarcely more flow in the home, and being generally men de progress of moral - improvement, than they are in totally shaking off of their disaftrous career, that plots, all ideas, natural or acquired, of or- conspiracies, and insurrections,

than ficers.

were der and justice. We fee in the pre- the constant subjects of discourse and sent instance, misrule and disorder apprehenfion at home, and that the producing a jumble of all the pal- smothering seeds of foreign war fions, of almost all orders, parties, were ill covered in Germany, the colours, and degrees of men, which state of the army, which had in a are thrown into a state of the most great measure thrown off all suborviolent fermentation; and yet we dination and discipline, was a source see, that it required fome consider- of much uneasiness to the national able course of practice in the com- assembly. The troops had been mission of crimes, and no fmall ex- guilty of great outrages in different tent of time, before this chaos of parts of the kingdom; but tumult anarchy and confusion could produce and outrage were things now fo its ultimate effect, and plunge, even common, that these might have the most depraved, or moft ignorant passed without much notice, if it of mankind, into the last possible de- had not been for the uncertainty gree of atrocity and guilt.

from what fpirit they proceeded, As the series of calamity and ruin and of the political sentiments which which fell upon the French colonies operated on the foldiers. Proper are still scarcely closed, it must suffice means were used to found the prinfor us at the present to observe, that ciples both of officers and private the mulattoes were the first, in St. men, and the result of the enquiry Domingo, who had recourse to arms; was said to be, that the former were that numbers of negroes were by very generally aristocrates, and were degrees armed and drawn in as supposed to have been already cor auxiliaries ; that after dreadful rupted by chat party; but that the scenes of devaftation, slaughter, and soldiers were as generally well difhorror, the flaves being trained to posed to the revolution, and might lose all respect for, and dread of their without much difficulty be firmly semasters, rofe upon their own ac- cured to it. This object being account in rebellion, to the rumber of cordingly easily attained, the army a hundred thousand or more, with a became, like the nation, divided view of totally exterminating the into two great parties. But the whites. And that thus, though by means thus used for gaining or feflow degrees, the aid of artillery, curing the soldiers, however necesand the benefit of fortifications long fary it might have been on the prepreserving some degree of balance, sent occasion, had the ill effect of the final ruin of that fine island was destroying all remains of subordinapreceded and accompanied by such tion and discipline in the army; the horrid scenes of cruelty, murder, foldiers, swelling with the importmassacre, confagration, and general ance which they found they poffefdesolation, as have seldom diigraced sed, and thereby secure of fupport the page of history, or equally and protection in all cases, now addwrung the hearts of mankind in the ed contempt and party animosity to recital.

that dislike, arising only from an While the colonies were thus aversion to command, which they commencing, or already in the course had before entertained for their of

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