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REPUBLIC OF HAITI. .
The recognized authority of the French in the western part of the island, which the natives called Haiti, and the Spaniards named La Española and afterwards Santo Domingo, dates, as stated in the chapter relating to the Dominican Republic, from 1641, at which time, under the arrangement entered into by Governors SEGURA and LEVASSEUR, a limit was fixed between the territory belonging to Spain and the territory occupied by French settlers—and much more officially, if that can be said and with much more legal force, from 1697, when, in conformity with one of the treaties signed at Riswick, the King of Spain formally ceded that territory to the King of France.
The French part of the island succeeded, for various reasons, in attaining a condition of extreme prosperity. The colony was often cited as being one of the most favored places in the world. The importation of African slaves, by which many thousands of laborers were annually brought to its fertile soil, caused the resources of that portion of the island to be developed to an almost incredible extent. În 1789, when the French revolution broke out, and an era of disturbances and dire calamities began in what was up to that time the most precious jewel of the Crown of France, the population of Haiti consisted of about 40,000 white inhabitants and over 640,000 negroes, most of them African slaves. In fact, according to ARDOUIN,“ the number of free colored people at that time in the colony did not exceed 40,000. Referring to the 600,000 slaves, the same writer remarks that the number should have been much larger, because the Haitian censuses of those days "disguised” as much as possible "the numerical force” of the slave element.
The clash between the doctrines of most radical character proclaimed in France with respect to liberty, equality, and fraternity, and the conservative attempts of the French planters in Haiti, could not possibly be postponed, or deprived of unusual violence. But neither is this the proper place to refer, except by a passing remark, to the horrors of what is called “The Negro Insurrection in Santo Domingo," or “The Massacre of the Whites,” which put the country in the hands of the ex-slaves, or, better to say, of their leaders, nor is that reference indispensable for the intelligent study, which is intended in these “Notes,” of the origin and development of constitutional law and doctrine among the Haitian people.
a Etudes sur l'Histoire d'Haiti, vol. 1, p. 23.
It is necessary, however, to state that on January 1, 1804, JEAN JACQUES DESSALINES, Commander in Chief of the Haitian Army, associated with other generals serving under him, issued at Gonaïves a proclamation, which is usually known as the “Declaration of Independence of 'Haiti,” by which it was said and proclaimed “to the whole world and to posterity” that the signers of that document “ renounced forever their allegiance to France, and were ready to die sooner than submit to and live under her domination."
Exactly on the same date, and signed by the same generals except the Commander in Chief, another proclamation was issued, announcing to the world that they, the said generals, had appointed JEAN JACQUES DESSALINES Governor of Haiti for life, and that they bound themselves “ to blindly obey the laws emanating from his authority.”
DESSALINES accepted the position, but no later than six weeks thereafter, February 15, 1804, he issued an “Address to the Generals of the Army and to the Civil and Military Authorities, Organs of the People,” informing them that Haiti bad become an Empire, and that the august title” of Emperor had been bestowed upon him.
A Constitution of the Empire of Haiti, framed by the generals, “as faithful organs and interpreters of the will of the Haitian people, was approved by the Emperor and promulgated on May 20, 1805.a
DESSALINES was killed by Haitian troops in rebellion against his authority, on October 17, 1806, and a Provisional Government was then established upon the ruins of the Empire. Gen. HENRI CHRISTOPHE was placed at the head of this Government. A Constitutional Assembly was called to convene, at Port au Prince, and framed a Constitution, which bears the date of December. 27, 1806, and changed the Empire into a Republic. This Constitution was based to a great extent upon the French one which had created the Directory. The President was not given by it any power of importance; but whatever it was, the election held by the Assembly on December 28 vested it in CHRISTOPHE.
After different vicissitudes, which need not be mentioned here, civil war broke out in the country, and caused it to be divided into a Republic in the southern part and a Monarchy in the northern. PETION (ALEXANDRE) was made President of the former, and exercised his authority as such until 1818, when he was succeeded by BOYER (JEAN PIERRE), the seat of the Government being Port au Prince; and CHRISTOPHE was made King, and exercised his authority as Henry I, “King of Haiti and Sovereign of the Islands of Tortuga, Gonaive, and others adjacent thereto," until October 16, 1820, when he committed suicide at his fortified palace at Sans Souci, the seat of his Government being Cape Haitien. The death of CHRISTOPHE brought about the reunion of the two sections as one Republic, the Presidency of which was given to BOYER, who retained it until 1843, when he was compelled to emigrate. During his occupancy of the position of Chief Magistrate of the Republic, the French Government formally recognized (1825) the independence of Haiti.
BOYER was succeeded by SOULOUQUE (FAUSTINE), who in 1849 reestablished the Empire and became an Emperor under the name and title of Faustine I. Nine years thereafter (1858) he was dethroned and driven out of the country.
a Ardouin: Etudes, etc., Vol. VI, pp. 30, 31, 98, 146, 147.
The restoration of the Republic brought GEFFRARD (FABRE NICHOLas) to the Presidency, and he remained in office until 1866, when he was exiled and replaced by SALNAVE, who also became an Emperor, was dethroned, condemned to death, and executed in 1870.
Between the latter date and the date of the Constitution, the text of wbich follows these “Notes”—that is to say, for a period of nineteen years—Haiti has passed through further trials and disturbances, but everything seems now to indicate that peace and order, under the beneficent influence of that well-meditated instrument, will finally prevail in that country.
(October 9, 1889.)
Le peuple haïtien proclame la The Haitian people proclaim the présente Constitution pour consa- present Constitution to consecrate crer ses droits, ses garanties civiles their rights, their civil and politiet politiques, sa souveraineté et cal guaranties, their sovereignty, son indépendance nationales. and their national independence.
ARTICLE 1. La République ARTICLE 1. The Republic of 'd'Haïti est une et indivisible, essen
Haiti is one and indivisible, essentiellement libre, souveraine, et tially free, sovereign, and indeindépendante.
pendent. Son territoire et les îles qui en Its territory and the islands ad. dépendent sont inviolables et ne jacent thereto are inviolable, and peuvent être aliénés par aucun ou can not be alienated by any peraucune convention.
son or through any convention. Ces îles adjacentes sont: La These islands adjacent are: La Tortue, la Gonave, l'île à Vaches, Tortue, La Gonave, L'Isle à les Cayemittes, la Navase, la Vaches, Les Cayemittes, La NaGrande Caye, et toutes autres qui vase, la Grande Caye, and all the se trouvent placées dans le rayon others to be found within the limits des limites consacrées par le Droit of the zone established by the Law
of nations. ART. 2. Le territoire de la Ré- ART. 2. The territory of the publique est dïvisé en Départe- Republic is divided into Departments.
ments. Chaque Département est sub- Each Department is subdivided divisé en arrondissements, et into districts (arrondissements), chaque arrondissement en com- and each district into communes. munes.
Le nombre et les limites de ces The number and limits of these divisions et subdivisions sont dé- divisions and subdivisions shall be terminés par la loi.
determined by law.
ART. 3. Sont Haïtiens:
ART. 3. Haitians are: 1. Tout individu né en Haïti, 1. All those born in Haiti or ou ailleurs, de père haïtien. elsewhere of a Haitian father.
2. Tout individu né également 2. All those born in Haiti or en Haïti, ou ailleurs, de mère haï- elsewhere of a Haitian mother, tienne, sans être reconnu par son and not recognized by their father. père.
3. Tout individu né en Haïti, 3. All those born in Haiti of a de père étranger, ou, s'il n'est pas foreign father, or, if not recogreconnu par son père, de mère nized by their father, of a foreign étrangère, pourvu qu'il descende mother, provided that they belong de la race africaine.
to the African race. 4. Tous ceux qui jusqu'à ce 4., All those who up to the presjour ont été reconnus comme haï- ent date have been recognized as tiens.
Haitians. ART. 4. Tout étranger est habile Art. 4. All foreigners may beà devenir haïtien suivant les règles come Haitians by following the établies par la loi.
rules established by law. ART. 5. L'étrangère mariée à ART. 5. A foreign woman marun haïtien suit la condition de son ried to a Haitian shall follow the mari.
condition of her husband. La femme haïtienne mariée à un A Haitian woman married to a étranger perd sa qualité d'haï- foreigner shall lose her Haitian tienne.
character. En cas de dissolution du mariage, In case of dissolution of the marelle pourra recouvrer sa qualité riage she may recover her Haitian d'haïtienne, en remplissant les for- nationality by complying with the malités voulues par la loi.
requisites established by law. L'haïtienne qui aura perdu sa À Haitian woman who has lost qualité par le fait de son mariage her national character by her maravec l'étranger, ne pourra posséder riage to a foreigner shall be disni acquérir d'immeubles en Haïti, qualified from holding oracquiring à quelque titre que ce soit. by any reason whatever real prop
erty in Haiti. Une loi réglera le mode d'expro- The law shall provide for the priation des immeubles qu'elle condemnation of the property possédait avant son mariage. owned by her before her marriage.
ART. 6. Nul, s'il n'est haïtien, ne ART. 6. Haitians alone can be peut être propriétaire de biens owners of real property in Haiti fonciers en Haïti, à quelque titre or acquire it by any means whatque ce soit, ni acquérir aucun immeuble.
ART. 7. Tout haïtien qui se fait ART. 7. Haitians after being naturaliser étranger en due forme, naturalized in due form in a forne pourra revenir dans le pays eign country shall be disqualified qu'après cinq anées; et s'il veut from returning to Haiti before the redevenir haïtien, il sera tenu de lapse of five years; and if they remplir toutes les conditions et wish to reacquire their original