Hayti, Or Haiti. I. An Island Of The West Indies formerly called Hispaniola (Span. Es-panola), and afterward Santo Domingo. It is one of the Greater Antilles, and after Cuba the largest and most beautiful of the West India islands, lying between lat. 17° 36' and 19° 59' N., and Ion. 68° 20' and 74° 38' W. Its greatest length E. and W., from Cape Engano to Cape Tiburon, is 405 m., and its greatest width N. and S., from Cape Isabella to Cape Beata, 165 m.; area, including the islands off the coast, 28,030 sq. m.; pop. about 708.500, three fourths of whom are negroes or mulattoes, and the remainder whites or mestizos. Hayti is 48 m. E. S. E. of Cuba, from which it is separated by the Windward passage, 118 m. E. N. E. of Jamaica, and 76 m. W. X. W. of Porto Rico, from which it is separated by the Mona passage. In the Windward passage, about 40 m.
W. of Cape Tiburon, is the guano island of Navaza. The island of Tortuga or Tortue lies a short distance from the N. W. coast, and that of Gonaivo in the southern division of the great gulf, 85 m. wide, formed by the vast peninsulas which stretch W., the one toward Cuba and the other toward Jamaica. Hayti is now occupied by two independent states, the republic of Hayti to the west and the Dominican Republic to the east. The island is of very irregular form, being so deeply indented by bays and inlets as to constitute a coast line of about 1,500 m., presenting numerous excellent harbors. Of the great peninsulas, the southwestern is the most conspicuous, being 150 m. long by 18 to 40 m. wide; the northwestern is about 50 m. long by 30 to 45 m. wide; and that of Samana, to the northeast, is about 40 m. long by 6 to 8 m. wide. The island is intersected W. and E. by three chains of mountains, connected by transverse ridges, and intervening are extensive plains and savannas. The central chain, the principal part of which is the Sierra del Cibao, runs E. S. E. from Cape San Nicolas to Cape Engano; its culminating point, near the centre of the island, attains an elevation variously estimated from 7,200 to 9,000 ft.
Nearly parallel with this chain is the Sierra de Monte Cristo, stretching from near the town of Monte Cristo to Escocesa bay, where it terminates abruptly. Between these two ranges extends the Vega Real or Royal valley, 130 m. long, watered by the Yuna and Gran Yaque rivers, and comprising extensive pasture lands. The third or southern mountain range commences at Cape Tiburon, extends E. through the S. W. peninsula, and terminates at the Rio Neiva, about midway between the cities of Port-au-Prince and Santo Domingo. The secondary chains, running from the main ones toward the sea, divide the country into plains of various figures and extent, which are intersected by still other ridges reaching sometimes to the beach. Besides the Vega Real, there are other extensive plains and valleys, as the llanos or flats of the southeast, also a rich pasture district 80 m. in length, and the plain of Les Cayes at the W. end of the island. The latter has been greatly extended by the formation of a kind of rock consisting of comminuted shells and coral, in-crusted with calcareous cement, resembling travertine, a species of rock in process of formation throughout the whole of the West India islands; fragments of pottery and other human works have been found in it at a depth of 20 ft.
The proximity of the mountains to the N. coast prevents the formation of any considerable rivers, and hence the principal streams have their courses either in a \Y., S., or E. direction. The Artibonite flows S. E. and X. W., and the Gran Yaque N. W.; the Yuna flows S. E.; and the Neiva, Nisao, and Ozama flow S. They are all obstructed by sand bars, and few of them are navigable even for short distances. The Ozama, however, admits vessels of any size into the harbor, and for 3 m. up is about four fathoms deep. Lakes are numerous; those of Enriquillo and Azua are salt; the former, in the valley of the Neiva, is 20 m. long by 8 m. broad, and the latter half that size. 8. of these lies the fresh-water lake of Icotea or Limon, about the size of Azua. Near the mouth of the Yuna are extensive salt marshes known by the name of Gran Estero. Mineral springs exist in various parts; in the east are the hot springs of Banica (temperature 112° to 125° F.), Biahama, Jayua, and Pargatal, and in the west the chalybeate spring of Sainte-Rose, the saline of Jean Rabel, and the sulphur of Dalmarie. The minerals found in the island are various, including gold, silver, platinum, mercury, copper, iron, tin, sulphur, manganese, antimony, rock salt, bitumen, jasper, marble, and several kinds of precious stones.
The gold mines have been abandoned, and gold washing is only carried on by the poorer classes in the northern streams. Indeed, all the minerals are neglected for want of machinery and capital. On the shores of the bay of Pearls are the remarkable caves of San Lorenzo, similar in character and formation to those of Matanzas in Cuba. - The climate is hot and moist, but generally salubrious; in the north, and especially in the more elevated localities, there is a perpetual spring. The seasons are divided into wet and dry; in some localities years have passed over without a single heavy shower. The rainy season is from April to November in the W., S., and central portions, and embracing the other half of the year in the N. districts. It is only on the southern coasts that hurricanes are common. At Santo Domingo the extremes of temperature are 60° and 95°, with an annual mean of 78.5°; and at Port-au-Prince the extremes are 63° and 104°, with a mean of 81°. The maximum occurs in August and September, but the summer heats are much tempered by the sea breezes by day, and the terral or land breeze during the night.
Hayti has on several occasions suffered from earthquakes; the most disastrous on record are those of 1564, 1084, 1691, 1751, 1770, and 1842. By that of 1751 Port-au-Prince was destroyed, and the coast for 60 m. submerged; and by that of 1842 many towns were overturned and thousands of lives lost. Vegetation is of a tropical character, except where elevation has a controlling influence, and for beauty and luxuriance is unsurpassed by any in the world. The mountains are clothed with majestic forests of pine, mahogany, ebony, fustic, satinwood, and lignum vitae; also the roble or oak, the wax palm, divi-divi, and numerous other cabinet woods; while the graceful palma real or royal palm flourishes everywhere in the lowlands. The richest of flowering plants abound; and the usual tropical esculents, grains, and fruits, including plantains, bananas, yams, batatas, maize, millet, oranges, pineapples, cherimoyas, sapodillas, with melons, grapes, and tamarinds, grow in all parts of the islands. There is a species of agave, Fourcroya Cubense, extremely abundant, from the fibres of which is made almost all the rope used in the country. The western or French section has always been the best cultivated and most valuable part of the island, as it is the most populous.
The articles chiefly raised for export are coffee, cotton, cacao, sugar cane, indigo, and tobacco. Some of these are now less and others more extensively produced than in colonial times. In 1789, 70,-000,000 lbs. of coffee were exported from the whole island; in 1854-'5 only 50,749,876 lbs. were exported; in 1855-6 the quantity was 35,497,724 lbs.; and in 1857-'8, 46,699,270 lbs. The sugar cane was first planted here by Pedro do Atienza in 1520; and no country produces it in greater perfection. The other most important exports are guano and other manures, logwood and other dyes, and mahogany and other woods. - The native quadrupeds are small, the largest being the agouti; but the animals introduced from Europe, and now in a wild state, have thriven prodigiously, large numbers of cattle, swine, and dogs roaming freely in the savannas; the cattle of hundreds of owners graze in herds, and are annually collected and counted, and the young branded. Birds are not numerous; still large numbers of pigeons are annually taken and used as food, and ducks and other water fowl frequent the marshy places. Insects abound, many of them venomous, such as scorpions, tarantulas, and centipedes.
There are many species of snakes and lizards; the iguana sometimes attains a length of 5 ft., and is then much feared; its flesh is by the natives considered a delicacy. The lakes and rivers contain caymans and alligators; in the surrounding sea whales are frequently taken; manatees or sea cows are numerous; and turtles, lobsters of enormous size, oysters, and crabs abound on the coasts. II. A republic, occupying the W. portion of the island, and divided from the Dominican Republic on the east by an irregular line drawn from the mouth of the river Anses-a-Pitre or Pedernales on the S. coast to that of the river Massacre, which flows into the bay of Man-zanillo, on the N. coast. Its territory extends between lat, 17° 55' and 19° 55' N., and Ion. 71° 52' and 74° 38' W., and, including the islands of Tortuga, Gonaive, etc, contains 10,204 sq. m. It is divided into six departments, and subdivided into arrondissements and communes; the population is about 570,000. The capital and chief port, Port-au-Prince, situated at the head of the great bay, has a population of about 21,000; and the other ports open to foreign commerce are Capo Haytien, Port de la Paix, Gonaives, Saint-Mare, Mira-goane, Jeremie, Aux Caves, Aequin, and Jac-mel. In this portion of the island the mountains, although relatively more numerous, are of less elevation than in the E. portion; and between them are beautiful and fertile plains and valleys, well watered, and yielding spontaneously valuable timber, precious woods, and | dyes.
Agriculture is imperfectly carried on, with inadequate implements. In earlier times, when the soil was cultivated by slaves, some of the staples were more abundantly produced. The articles most largely exported are coffee, cotton, cacao, wax, logwood, fustic, and other dyes, mahogany, and tortoise shell. Cotton, though always cultivated extensively here, has been subject to numerous fluctuations; before the revolution 7,200,000 lbs. were annually sent to France alone; in 1858 the total quantity exported was only 463,608 lbs. On the outbreak of the American civil war cultivators were stimulated by the rise in price from 4d. to 2s. 6d. per pound, and the exports increased to 5,000,000 lbs.; and notwithstanding a heavy fall in prices in 1805, the crop in 1866 reached 7,000,000 lbs. The civil war of 1868 again checked the trade, reducing the exports to 2,000,000 lbs.; but an interval of peace brought the exports for 1871-2 to 4,130,315 lbs. The yield of the most favorable year above recorded is, however, greatly inferior to the capabilities of the country; and this restricted production is due to the disorganized state of society, the system of peasant culture, and the lack of field hands.
The coffee yield has been less intermittent than that of cotton; during the last 15 years of the 18th century it averaged 70,000,000 lbs.; from 1850 to 1860 the annual average was 45,000,000 lbs., and in the following decade 00,000,000.. All the Haytian coffee is in common designated Santo Domingo; it is of excellent quality, and comparatively cheap; but there is a general prejudice against it, as it is often sent away imperfectly hulled, and even with an addition of sand and gravel to increase the weight. It is mostly sent to France, where large quantities are bought for the army. The coffee exports to Hamburg were 19,303,858 lbs. in 1872, and 9,401,666 lbs. in 1873. The home consumption is estimated at 1,044,000 lbs. annually. Of cacao, which of late years has been much neglected, the produce might with care be augmented indefinitely. The quantities of the principal articles exported in the year ending Sept. 30, 1872, were as follows: coffee, 64,774,861 lbs.; cacao, 3,003,488; cotton, 4,140,315; logwood, 183,600,000; wax, 139,-740; mahogany, 608,941; honey, 88,060 gallons; hides, fustic, and other articles unenu-merated. Their total value was $7,504,633. The largest share of the exports in 1871 went to England, $1,400,000; but it is probable that much of this was for merchandise in transitu, the Liverpool packets taking through freight for Havre and other continental ports.
The imports from England embrace small quantities of almost every article manufactured in that country, which owes this advantage to its direct steam communication with Hayti. Large quantities of English hardware are taken, and galvanized iron has of late been extensively imported for roofing houses, a precaution rendered necessary by the frequency of disastrous fires. Only the high class of provisions are brought from England, this branch being monopolized by the United States. Certain kinds of American cotton fabrics now find a good market in Hayti; for, though somewhat dearer than the British, they are found to be more durable. The total value of the imports for the year ending Sept. 30, 1872, was $6,860,408. The imports from England in 1870, $3,900,000, were more than one half the total imports into the country; and although they fell to $2,500,000 in the following year, the same proportion was preserved. The United States sent 40,399 gallons of petroleum to Hayti in 1871, 69,377 in 1872, and 87,421 in 1873. The port movements in 1871-2 were: 904 vessels entered, tonnage 105,903, and 850 cleared, tonnage 186,985. There being little cargo in Hayti for the United States, it is advantageous to ship coffee and cotton for England via New York, there to be transhipped.
Vessels under 50 tons burden, not being subject to tonnage dues, do not appear on official returns. Two steamers from New York make about 18 trips annually to the island. The internal carrying trade is almost exclusively carried on by horses and mules. - Owing to protracted civil wars, the finances are in extreme disorder, and it is impossible to obtain accurate statements thereof. The revenue in 1870 was estimated at 40,000 000 of gourdes, or $2,500,000, and the expenditure at double that amount. There is a large floating debt, arising from the accumulation of the paper money successively emitted by several governments, especially from 1853 to 1855, when the annual emission was about 4,500,-000; and this currency, amounting in 1872 to some 800,000,000, has at times been subject to great depreciation; in the year just mentioned it fluctuated from 165 to 350 per cent., while during the late civil war it was almost valueless. A measure initiated by the government in 1873 to redeem the paper money proved abortive, the rate of exchange having been fixed at 300 per cent., while the commercial value was 250 paper dollars to one of silver.
Another scheme for the same purpose, namely, increasing temporarily, first by 10 and afterward by 25 per cent. the import and export duties, already very high, had an evil effect upon commerce. Smuggling became an organized system; only one half of the duties was paid to the government, and the other divided between the merchants and the custom-house officials. Heavy payments lately made to France on account of the public debt, and of the indemnity for losses sustained by French subjects during the revolution, have considerably embarrassed the finances. In 1873 a like compensation of £9,073 was paid to England. The remaining debt to France in 1872 was $3,863,242, to be paid in 11 annual instalments. - The government is based on the constitution proclaimed on June 14, 1867, by the terms of which the legislative power rests in a national assembly composed of two chambers, the senate and the chamber of deputies, the latter being elected by direct vote of all male citizens for a term of three years, while the senators are appointed by the deputies for two years. The executive power is vested in a president elected by the people for four years, and who must have completed 35 years of age. A president can be reelected only after a lapse of four years from the expiration of his term of office.
Four ministers, of finance and foreign affairs, justice and public instruction, interior, and war, aid him in the administration of the republic. The judicial power rests in a high court of cassation, being the highest tribunal of appeals, with superior courts in the capitals of departments, and subsidiary and primary courts in the arrondissements and communes. The laws are founded on the civil code of France. The Roman Catholic is the religion of the people, under the jurisdiction of an archbishop. There are four colleges in Hayti, and each commune has a number of common and grammar schools. - Hayti was discovered by Columbus in December, 1492, and here, at Isabella on the N. shore, was founded the first Spanish colony in the new world. Santo Domingo was founded Aug. 4, 1496. For nearly half a century these settlements received much attention and rose to great prosperity; but as other parts of America were discovered, the population was drawn off, and the natives having been extirpated, the island became almost a waste. In 1585 Admiral Drake seized Santo Domingo city, for which he received a ransom of 25,000 ducats.
About 1632 the French took possession of the W. shore, and their numbers (increased in a certain measure by the buccaneers who had established themselves on the island of Tortuga and on the N. W. coast of Hayti) multiplied so rapidly that the Spaniards were unable to cope with or banish them; and by the treaty of Ryswick, Sept. 20, 1697, the western portion of the island was guaranteed to France. Cultivation in Hayti (as the French now called their part of the island) rapidly extended under the new rule; a large proportion of the cotton and sugar consumed not only in France, but in all Europe, came toward the end of the 18th century from Hayti, which by that time had become one of the most valuable possessions in the new world. The boundaries between the two colonies were not fixed till 1777. In the mean time the eastern or Spanish portion made little or no progress. In 1790 the population of the western colony numbered about 500,000, of which number 38,360 were of European origin and 28,370 free people of color, the remainder being negro slaves.
The free people of color were mostly mulattoes, and some of them had received a liberal education in France and possessed large estates; still they were excluded from all political privileges, and were not eligible to positions of authority or trust. The great revolution in France was heartily responded to by the whites of the colony, who sent deputies to the national assembly at Paris, and proclaimed the adhesion of the colony to the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity. The application of these principles, however, it was intended should be confined exclusively to the whites. But the mulattoes demanded their extension to themselves; and this appeal being treated with contempt and indignation, they resolved to resort to arms. Accordingly some 300 of them rose in insurrection in October, 1790, under one Vincent Oge, who had been educated in France; but he was defeated, captured, and with his brother broken on the wheel, and 21 of his followers were hanged. Much indignation was expressed in Paris against the colonists, and by the influence of the society of les amis des noirs, the national assembly, May 15, 1791, passed a decree declaring that the people of color born of free parents were entitled to all the privileges of French citizens.
This decree did not touch slavery or meddle with the slaves, but it excited to the highest pitch the jealousies and apprehensions of the planters, who forced the governor of the colony to suspend its operation until they could appeal to the home government. The refusal of their rights caused much commotion among the mulattoes, and civil war again appeared inevitable, when a third party, little considered by either of the others, unexpectedly interfered. The slaves on the plantations rose in insurrection, Aug. 23,1791. The whites in alarm consented (Sept. 11) to admit the mulattoes to the civil rights granted them by law, and for a time there seemed some prospect of the restoration of peace. But on Sept. 24 the national assembly at Paris, moved by the remonstrances which had been received from the white colonists, repealed the decree of May 15. The mulattoes now flew to arms, and the civil war continued with increased ferocity on all sides for several years. Commissioners were repeatedly sent from France, but could effect nothing.
The whites themselves were divided into hostile factions, royalist and republican, the French part of the island was invaded by the Spaniards and by the English, and the insurgent blacks and mulattoes under able chiefs held strong positions in the mountains and defied all efforts to subdue them. The French commissioners, involved in difficulties on every hand, at length decided to conciliate the blacks, and in August, 1793, proclaimed universal freedom, in apprehension of an English invasion, which took place in the following month. In February, 1794, the national convention at Paris confirmed this act of the commissioners, and formally guaranteed the freedom of all the inhabitants of the French colony. Meantime the English conquered the whole western coast of the island, took the capital, Port-au-Prince, and besieged the governor, (Jen. Laveaux, in Port de la Paix, the last stronghold of the French, who were reduced to extremities by famine and disease. At this juncture the blacks, led by Toussaint TOuverture, relying on the proclamation of emancipation, came to the aid of the French governor.
The siege of Port de la Paix was raised, the Spaniards were driven back, and after a long contest, during which Toussaint was appointed by the French authorities commander-in-chief of the army, the English in 1797 were expelled from the island, the whole of which, by the treaty with Spain concluded at Basel, July 22, 1795, now belonged to France. Under the energetic administration of Toussaint l'Ouverture, peace was restored, commerce and agriculture revived, the whites were protected and their estates restored to them, and a constitution for the colony was adopted, acknowledging the authority of France, but making no distinction between the citizens on account of race or color. In 1801, however, Napoleon Bonaparte, then first consul, resolved to restore slavery in Santo Domingo; the French legislature at Paris decreed its restoration; and an expedition under Gen. Leclere was sent to enforce the decree. The army landed at Samana at the end of January, 1802, the campaign was commenced, and fought with various success until May 1, when a treaty of peace was concluded.
Notwithstanding this treaty, Toussaint was treacherously seized at midnight, and conveyed to France, where he died April 27, 1803. Indignant at the capture of their leader, the negroes immediately renewed hostilities under Dessalines, who prosecuted the war with vigor and success; and the yellow fever, having broken out in the French army, became a more fearful and fatal antagonist than the marshalled negroes. In the midst of this calamity Leclerc died, and was succeeded in command by Gen. Rochambeau. The first act of this general was the renewal of the armistice, but it proved of no advantage to him; the blacks continued to receive reenforcements, the fever raged violently, and to add to his embarrassment, an English fleet appeared off the coast. When the period for which the armistice had been proclaimed expired, his army was reduced to a mere handful of men, powerless for either offence or defence, and was soon after driven into Cape Haytien, where on Nov. 30, 1803, the French general capitulated to the commander of the English squadron. On Jan. 1, 1804, the Hay-tians formally asserted their independence; and Dessalines, who had conducted the war to its close, was appointed governor for life.
Not content, however, with the simple title allotted to his station, and in imitation of Bonaparte, who had six months before grasped the imperial sceptre of France. Dessalines assumed (Oct. 8, 1804) the title of Jean Jacques I., emperor of Hayti; but his reign was troublous and brief, and terminated in a military conspiracy on Oct. 17, 1806, he himself being assassinated on the same day. Hayti was now divided among several chieftains, the principal of whom were Henri Christophe in the northwest and Petion in the southwest. The eastern part of the island was repossessed by Spain. Christophe was appointed chief magistrate for life; but in 1811, having become dissatisfied with his present honors, he changed his title to that of king, calling himself Henri I., and had the kingly office made hereditary in his family. Petion continued to act as president of the southwest till March, 1818, when he died, universally lamented by his people. On the other hand, the despotic Christophe by his arbitrary acts provoked the vengeance of his subjects, and shot himself during a revolt against his authority in October, 1820. Boyer, who succeeded Petion in power, now united all the governments of the west, and ruled over the whole Haytian territory.
The retrocession of the eastern colony had been made at the instigation of the English government; but it was never fully acquiesced in by the inhabitants, and its possession by Spain had since been rather nominal than real. The proximity of a free republic, separated only by a conventional line, was also fraught with danger, and encouragement to revolt was not otherwise wanting. At length the people determined to be as free and independent as their neighbors, and on Nov. 30, 1821, threw off the Spanish yoke and declared their country a republic. Profiting by the dissensions that followed, Boyer, the Haytian president, now invaded the disturbed country, and in 1822 united the whole island under his government. France acknowledged the independence of its former colony in 1825, on the condition that Hayti should pay 150,000,000 (subsequently reduced to 90,000,000) francs, as an indemnity for the losses of the French colonists during the revolution. Boyer retained the presidency till 1842, when a revolution broke out against his power and compelled him to flee; and soon after the inhabitants of the east, under the leadership of Juan Pablo Duarte, rose against the Haytians, overpowered them, and in February, 1844, formed themselves into an independent state under the style of the Dominican Republic. In the following years the supreme power in Hayti was successively held by Herard, Guerrier, and Pierrot, till March, 1847, when Gem Faustin Soulouque was elected president.
He renewed the attempt to subjugate the eastern republic; but he, at the head of an army 5,000 strong, was opposed by Santana with only 400 men, and signally defeated at Las Carreras on the river Ocoa in April, 1849. Soulouque was a member of the secret order of Vaudoux; he was superstitious and illiterate, but possessed of great ambition. On Aug. 20, 1849, aided by the blacks, he assumed the title of emperor as Faustin L, and caused the constitution to be altered to meet the changed circumstances of affairs; and to consolidate his power, he surrounded himself by a court composed of princes of the blood, dukes, counts, barons, etc, and established two orders of knighthood, that of St. Faustin and the legion of honor. He was crowned with great pomp J in 1850. His policy, which had become despotic; his habits, too expensive for the condition of the country; and above all his impudent robberies of the public funds, gave rise to a sullen discontent, which soon pervaded the whole country. On Dec. 22, 1858, he was deposed; and on the following day a republic was proclaimed under Fabre Geffrard. On Jan. 10, 1859, Soulouque made an attempt to regain the crown, but was compelled to surrender to Geffrard, and on the 15th he set sail for Jamaica. In September a band of conspirators attempted to assassinate Geffrard, but succeeded only in murdering his daughter.
The ' assassins were apprehended and executed. A series of impolitic acts soon rendered the new administration as unpopular and odious as had been that of Soulouque. On the night of Feb. 22, 1807, the citizens of Port-au-Prince rose in insurrection; and Geffrard, foreseeing that a change was contemplated and imminent, tendered his abdication and fled to Jamaica, having previously secured a large amount of public money. A triumvirate was now appointed, composed of Nissage-Saget, Chevalier, and Salnave; but in June the last named was elevated to the presidency, and the present constitution at once promulgated. A new insurrection broke out against Salnave in 1868. After having been several times defeated by the revolutionists, he fortified himself in Port-au-Prince; but his fleet having been captured, the town bombarded, and the grand palace completely destroyed, he was compelled to seek safety in flight, and yielding to the persuasions of the British consul, he endeavored to escape to Dominican territory. He was, however, captured by Cabral, and on Jan. 11, 1870, surrendered to Nissage-Saget, who had meantime been called to the capital by the victorious Gen. Brice, by whom the city had been bombarded.
Salnave was tried by court martial, on charges of bloodshed and treason, sentenced to death, and shot on the steps of his ruined palace. On May 29 Nissage-Saget was named president of the republic of Hayti; and he has now (April, 1874), in spite of numerous attempts to overthrow his government, almost completed his term of office, a good fortune which few of his predecessors enjoyed.