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Dessalines could not read, but had learned to sign bis name. He employed a reader, and used to sit in a most attentive attitude to hear the papers that were read to him. Among these, were some of Mr Wilberforce's speeches on the Slave Trade, which Mr. t had seen, as translated and printed by his imperial majesty's order, in the Gazette of Cape Francois.
The empress was the most handsome and most accoma plished negress perhaps in the West Indies. She was the favourite mistress of a rich planter, at whose expense she had been well educated; and Mr. spoke of her as a highly amiable woman, who did all she could to soften the natural ferocity of her husband's character, though it would appear, with little success. He had daughters by a former wifo, but no son. He was a man of profligate habits. This extraordinary man was short in his person, but strongly made ; of great activity, and invincible courage. His military talents were thought superior to those of Toussaint, but in general capacity he was vastly inferior to that illustris ous character, and was not thought by Mr. to rise above mediocrity. He commanded great respect, but it was by the terror he inspired. Yet it would appear that he was sometimes open and affable, and that he could even be generous. He was distinguished by some odd caprices, evidently the effect of personal yanity. He was fond of embroidery and other ornaments, and dressed often with much magnificence, at least accorda ing to his taste and ideas: yet at times he would put on the meanest cloths he could find, and exhibit him. self publicly in them. But what was still more singular and ridiculous, he had a great ambition to be an accomplished dancer, and actually carried about with him a. dancing-master in his suite, to give him lessons at leisure hours. Nor conld a more acceptable compliment be paid him, than to tell him he danced well, though con trary to the ordinary case of the negroes, he was very awkward at that exercise. His age was about forty-two. He was put to death in the year 1806, soon after I received this account.
Character and Anecdotes of Christophe. Christophe, who was then second in command, but has since succeeded Dessalines, is a man of a very dif.
ferent character. He was born at Greneda, and was also a slave at the time of the revolution. He was about the same age with Dessalines, and like bim, had been an early friend and faithful adherent of Toussaint; and seemed by no means so dissimilar in character to that great man, as Dessalines had proved himself in particular, he was not stained by any gross vices, but was a good husband and father, and observant of the duties of religion. Christophe was of a hospitable turr, keep good wine, and partook of it freely; though not to excess. As commander in chief at Cape Francois, he often gave public dinners, and entertained very handsomely, not to say magnificiently. The officers of the British navy, as well as foreign merchants, were his frequent guests. Both he and Dessalines had a propriety, and even dignity of manner, which were very extraor: dinary in uneducated men.
Though Christophe was equally illiterate with Dessa. lines, he much exceeded him in general capaciiy. Mr.
said, he was a man of uncommonly strong natural parts, and spoke in the colonial assembly in a very able and forcible manner. He understood the English language sufficiently to enable him to converse in it with
He was so far from suspecting treachery, or feeling disaffection, after peace had been concluded with Le Clerc, that he entrusted his eldest son to general Boudet, when that officer, a fovourite of Buona parte; returned to France ; and he gave him 8000 dollars to defray the expence of the lads education. The general pocketed thc money, and put out his charge as foot-boy; a station in which unless murdered by Buonaparte; he probably still remains.
Christophe had once an opportunity to slew his moderation of temper and good sense at the expensc of our national credit. Captain ---- bad the command of a man of war on the Jamaica station, and was frequently on shore at Cape Francois, where our officers had always been very respectfully treated. He went one night to the theatre (for it continued open there till the time of the massacre), and took with him a large party of marines. When the seamen, at a late hour, were re. turning to their boats, the black centinel on the wharf stopped one of them, who carried a large bag or sack, it being contrary to regulations that any goods should be conveyed from the shore at right. It is said that the
bag contained a French child, whom they were humane. ly carrying away in that clandestine manner, at the request of its parents, the emigration of the white French being at that time strictly prohibited. The boatmen would not give way to the centinel, who gave the alarm; and the news of the dispute being carried to the theatre, captain -- marched his marines to the wharf, and, instead of paying respect to the laws, was very outrageous with the black soldiery. On this Chris, tophe was sent for, who hastened to the place to prevent mischief," On his arrival, he gently and respectfully expostulated with captain on the impropriety of breaking through the necessary regulations of the barbour. $ You and your officers and people,' said he,
may go on board at any hour you please, though even this is contrary to rule ; but the centinel did right, and must be supported, in the embarkation of any goods at this hour.? In returu, captain - loaded him with abusive epithets, and used other language of the most offensive kind, A word or a sign from Christophe would have been certain destruction to the whole party; but he preserved the most perfect self-command, and reproved the vulgar insolence of the British commander with a dignified moderation. “You are," said he, "a disgrace to the English navy; but I shall not judge of your countrymen in general from you. I consider and shall treat you as a boy. Go off in safety ; but learn to behave yourself better in time to come
After this, of course, captain ---- landed no more; and our navy officers, in general, kept aloof from the island till a new squadron arrived on the Jamaica station. But their successors were on very good terms with the Haytians, often entered the harbour of Cape Francois, and were bandsomely entertained on shore by the black commanders. The negro chief, were notwithstanding of opinion, that we were in general determined enemies to their freedom.
END OF VOL. II.
Alexander the Great, anecdote Drama, Remarks on the Slavi
Mr. Booth, 120
Prologue to Manuel 189
Epilogue to ditto,
Manuel, a Tragedy, 189
D'Enghein, Duke, anecdote of
Epigram, country ruined, 155
Clergy, avarice of, 14
Greeks, banners of the ancient,
60, 75, 93, 111
ventures, 139, 192, 209.
standing one at a small dis. Hayti, Memoranda respecting,
Henry 2d, Emperor of Germany
-4th of France and Astro-
Hobby-horsical propensities 41
Johnson, Dr, and the country