Horrible as were the atrocities of which the monsters of
the French Revolution were guilty, they paled before the
fiendish outrages committed by their black imitators in Hayti.
Indeed, for some six years the island presented a saturnalia of
massacre, attended with indescribable tortures. It may be
admitted that the retaliation inflicted by the maddened whites
after the first massacre was as full of horrors as were the outrages
perpetrated by the blacks, and both were rivalled by the
mulattoes when they joined in the general madness for blood.
The result was ruin to all concerned. France lost one of her
fairest possessions, and a wealthy race of cultivators, many belonging
to the best blood of France, were annihilated or driven
into poverty among strangers. The mulattoes, many of whom
were also wealthy, soon found that the passions they had done
so much to foment were too powerful for them; their position
under the blacks was far worse and more precarious, than it
had been under the whites. The negroes gained a nominal
liberty. Nowhere were the slaves so well treated as by the
French colonists, and they soon discovered that, so far from
profiting by the massacre of their masters and families, they
were infinitely worse off than before. They were still obliged
to work to some extent to save themselves from starvation;
they had none to look to for aid in the time of sickness and
old age; hardships and fevers had swept them away wholesale;
the trade of the island dwindled almost to nothing; and at last
the condition of the negroes in Hayti has fallen to the level of
that of the savage African tribes. Unless some strong white
power should occupy the island and enforce law and order,
sternly repress crime, and demand a certain amount of labour
from all able-bodied men, there seems no hope that any amelioration
can take place in the present situation.
G. A. HENTY.
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