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12196: Alexander Petion's 1816 rejection of French recolinization

>From Bob Corbett:

Folks, I am unearthing lots of documents which I have purchased over the
years and found this 1817 magazine which has this fascinating piece in
it from Alexander Petion.

It may be seen in a nicer format on my web site at:


However, for those who want a quick fix, here it is below:

Reprinted in: NILES WEEKLY REGISTER. Baltimore, Jan. 4, 1817. p. 308.


>From the Baltimore Patriot.
A respectable merchantile friend has put into our hands a French copy of
the correspondence between Petion and the commissioners sent by Louis 18th
to negociate (sic) with him me concerning the recolozination (sic) of
Hayti. The following proclamation may be considered as exhibiting the
spirit in which that negotiation was treated by Petion, and his resolute
rejection of any attempt to encroach upon the liberty and independence of
the people of whom he is the chief.



Alexander Petion, president of Haiti, to the people and the army.

The French flag has appeared on our coast, and the king of France has sent
commissioners to Hayti.

Under what circumstances did they present themselves at the moment that we
were about consecrating the edifice of our laws --At the moment that I was
called by your choice to defend it! -- at the height of the enthusiasm of
a nation the most jealous of its rights, have they proposed to compromise
them! for what advantages? Are there any preferable to those we enjoy?
-There does not exist a Haytian whose soul is sufficiently lukewarm to
consent to retrace his steps in the path our glory has urged us on; our
duties are pointed out; nature gave them birth; she has created us equal
with other men; we will sustain them against all who dare conceive the
criminal desire of subjecting us. They will find only on these shores
ashes mixt in blood, the sword, and an avenging climate.

On this occasion, as on that which preceded it you have shewn the same
circumspection and the same respect for the rights of men. You have
calculated your strength, and in leaving to your magistrates the task of
explaining your dearest interests, you have patiently awaited until they
explain what they had done for you; your confidence shall never be

The authority rests on your will, and it is your will to be free and
independent; you shall be so; and we will give the terrible example to the
universe of burying ourselves under the ruins of our country, sooner than
return to servitude even in its most modified form.

Whilst Europe entire unites at the call of philanthropy to annihilate even
the trace of that most dishonorable traffic; whilst the most polished
nations meditate and plan a general emancipation of those who still groan
under oppression; we observe with grief; governments, who style themselves
the most religions, nourishing principles which justice and humanity

Haytians, your protection is your arms; reserve them for those that may
disturb you, and let your labour enrich a soil whose fruits you only shall

I have had printed my correspondence with the commissioners of the king;
it will be placed under your eyes  I have done my duty and my duty is

Signed at the national palace of Port au Prince, 12th November, 1816 the
13th year of the independence of Hayti. &c. &c.

B. Inginac, secretary general.