Portrait Of Toussaint Louverture by Nicolas Eustache Maurin (1838)
Though officially under French command, Toussaint carried out his own foreign policy. When the French Commissioner Roume
objected to Toussaint’s negotiations with Spain, Toussaint had him arrested, and he was later sent back to France. Realizing the enormity of his act, Toussaint attempted to explain it to the people of Saint-Domingue
in this letter:
Toussaint-Louverture, General-in-Chief, to his fellow citizens:
In his quality as representative of the French government, the obligations of Citizen Roume position were to dedicate his moral and physical qualities to the happiness of Saint-Domingue. Far from doing this, he only took counsel with the schemers who surrounded him so as to spread discord among us, and to foment the troubles that have not ceased to agitate us. Nevertheless, despite the calumnies that he has ceaselessly cast against me in his letters to France, he will be sheltered from anything disagreeable. But my respect for his character cannot prevent me from taking the wisest possible measures in order to disable him from again scheming against the tranquility that I have finally had the good fortune of reestablishing after so many revolutionary upheavals. Consequently, in order to isolate him from the schemers who have constantly surrounded him, and in order to respond to the complaints that all the communes have made about him through their magistrates, the Brigadier General Moyse will see to it that two coaches and a secure escort are sent to said Roume. They will take him, with all due respect for his character, to the town of Dondon, where he will remain until the French government recalls him to render accounts.
Cap-Français, 5 Frimaire, Year IX [November 26, 1800]
Source: Schoelcher, Victor (1889). Vie de Toussaint Louverture. Paris: Paul Ollendorf. (Available online: Google books) 1882 reprint: Karthala. Paris ISBN 2-86537-043-7
Translated by Mitch Abidor www.marxists.org
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2004.
- Schoelcher, Victor (1889). Vie de Toussaint Louverture. Paris: Paul Ollendorf. (Available online: Google books) 1882 reprint: Karthala. Paris ISBN 2-86537-043-7