Hell Of San Domingo

This medley of people settled at first upon the northern and western coasts of San Domingo,—the latter being as yet unoccupied. A few settlements of Spaniards upon the northern coast, which suffered from their national antipathies and had endeavored to root them out, were quickly broken up by them. Their favorite haunt was the little island Tortuga, 3 so named, some say, from its resemblance to a turtle afloat, and others, from the abundance of that "green and glutinous" delight of aldermen.

Its northern side is inaccessible: a boat cannot find a nook or cove into which it may slip for landing or shelter. But there is one harbor upon the southern side, and the Buccaneers took possession of this, and gradually fortified it to make a place tenable against the anticipated assaults of the Spaniards. The soil was thin, but it nourished great trees which seemed to grow from the rocks; water was scarce; the bogs were numerous, smaller and more delicate than those of San Domingo; the sugar-cane flourished; and tobacco of superior quality could be raised; About five-and-twenty Spaniards held the harbor when these adventurers approached to take possession.

There were, besides, a few other rovers like themselves, whom the new community adopted. The Spaniards made no resistance, and were suffered to retire. There was cordial fellowship between the Flibustiers and Buccaneers, for they were all outlaws, without a country, with few national predilections,—men who could not live at home except at the risk of apprehension for vagrancy or crime,—men who ran away in search of adventure when the public ear was ringing with the marvels and riches of the Indies, and when a multitude of sins could be covered by judicious preying.

The Spaniards were the victims of this floating and roving St. Giles of the seventeenth century. If England or France went to war with Spain, these freebooters obtained commissions, and their pillaging grew honorable; but it did not subside with the conclusion of a peace.

They followed their own policy of lust and avarice, over regions too far from the main history of the times to be controlled. The word Flibustier is derived from the Dutch Vlieboot , fly-boat, swift boat, a kind of small craft whose sailing qualities were superior to those of the other vessels then in vogue. It is possible that the English made freebooter 4 ; out of the French adaptation. The fly-boat was originally only a long, light pinnace 5 or cutter with oars, fitted also to carry sail; we often find the word used by the French writers to designate vessels which brought important intelligence.

They were favorite craft with the Flibustiers , not from their swiftness alone, but from their ease of management, and capacity to run up the creeks and river-openings, and to lie concealed. From these they boarded the larger vessels, to plunder or to use them for prolonged freebooting expeditions. And their pursuits were interchangeable: the Buccaneer sometimes went to sea, and the Flibustier , in times of marine scarcity, would don the hog-skin breeches, and run down cows or hunt fugitive negroes with packs of dogs.

The Buccaneers, however, slowly acquired a tendency to settle, while the Flibustiers preferred to keep the seas, till Europe began to look them up too sharply; so that the former became, eventually, the agricultural nucleus of the western part of San Domingo, when the supply of wild cattle began to fail. This failure happened partly in consequence of their own extravagant hunting-habits, and partly through the agency of the Spaniards of the eastern colony, who thought that by slaughtering the cattle their French neighbors would be driven, for lack of employment, from the soil.

These hired or engaged men first appear in the history of the island as valets of the Buccaneers. But, in their case, misfortune rather than vice was the reason of their appearance in such doubtful companionship.

They were often sold for debt or inability to pay a rent, as happened in Scotland even during the eighteenth century; they were deluded to take ship by the flaming promises which the captains of vessels issued in the ports of different countries, to recruit their crews, or with the wickeder purpose of kidnapping simple rustics and hangerson of cities; they sometimes came to a vessel's side in poverty, and sold their liberty for three years for the sake of a passage to the fabled Ind; press-gangs sometimes stole and smuggled them aboard of vessels just ready to sail; very young people were induced to come aboard,—indeed, one or two cases happened in France, where a schoolmaster and his flock, who were out for a walk, were cajoled by these purveyors of avaricious navigators, and actually carried away from the country.

These were called "thirty- six months' men. This was done occasionally by the French in imitation of the English. Christophe, finding that they were not set at liberty at the expiration of their three years, and that their masters intended to hold them two years more, assembled tumultuously, and threatened.

This was in Their masters were not in sufficient force to carry out their plan, and the Governor was obliged to set at liberty all who had served their time. The amount of misery created by these various methods of supplying the islands with human labor cannot be computed. The victims were very humble; the manner of their taking-off was rarely noticed; the spirit of the age never stooped to consider these trifles of sorrow, nor to protect by some legislation the unfortunates who suffered in remote islands, whence their cries seldom reached the ears of authority.

Some of the most famous Buccaneers—for that name popularly included also the Flibustiers —were originally thirty-six months' men who had daring and conduct enough to make the best of their enforced condition. Their master left them to the mercies of an overseer, who whistled them up at daybreak for wood-cutting or labor in the tobacco-fields, and went about among them with a stout stick, which he used freely to bring the lagging up to their work.

Bad treatment, chagrin, and scurvy destroyed many of them. Oexmelin says that Cromwell sold more than ten thousand Scotch and Irish, destined for Barbadoes. A whole ship-load of these escaped, but perished miserably of famine near Cape Tiburon, at a place which was afterwards called L'Anse aux Ibernois. This class of laborers was eagerly sought by all the colonists of the West Indies, and a good many vessels of different nations were employed in the trade.

There was in Brazil a system of letting out land to be worked, called a labrados , 6 because a manager held the land from a proprietor for a certain share of the profits, and cultivated it by laborers procurable in various ways.

The name of Labrador is derived by some writers from the stealing of natives upon our northern coast by the Portuguese, to be enslaved. It is certain that they did this as early as , 7 and named the coast afterwards Terra de Laborador.

The Buccaneers, hunting in couples, called each other matelot , or shipmate: the word expresses their amphibious capacity. When a bull was run down by the dogs, the hunter, almost as fleet of foot as they, ran in to hamstring him, if possible,—if not, to shoot him. A certain mulatto became glorious in buccaneering annals for running down his game: out of a hundred hides which he sent to France, ten only were pierced with bulletholes.

When the animal was stripped of its skin, the large bones were drawn from the flesh for the sake of the marrow, of which the two matelots made their stout repast. These were transported to the little coves and landing-places, where they were exchanged for powder and shot, spirits and silver. Then a grand debauch at Tortuga followed, with the wildest gratification of every passion.

When the wine was all drunk and the money gamed away, another expedition, with fresh air and beef-marrow, set these independent bankupts again to rights. The Flibustiers had an inexpensive way of furnishing themselves with vessels for prosecuting their piratical operations. A dozen of them in a boat would hang about the mouth of a river, or in the vicinity of a Spanish port, enduring the greatest privations with constancy, till they saw a vessel which had good sailing qualities and a fair equipment.

If they could not surprise it, they would run down to board it, regardless of its fire, and swarm up the side and over the decks in a perfect fury, which nothing could resist, driving the crew into the sea. These expeditions were always prefaced by religious observances. On this point they were very strict; even before each meal, the Catholics chanted the Canticle of Zacharias, the Magnificat, and the Miserere, and the Protestants of all nations read a chapter of the Bible and sang a psalm.

For many a Huguenot was in these seas, revenging upon mankind its capability to perpetrate, in the name of religion, a St. Captain Daniel was a Flibustier with religious tendencies. These were not the fowls he wanted, but rather decoys to the fattest poultry-yards. The account of his exquisite mingling of business and religion gives us a glimpse into the interior of flibustierism.

They sent on shore for the proper accessories, and set up a tent on the quarter-deck, furnished with an altar, to celebrate the mass, which they chanted zealously with the inhabitants who were on board. It was commenced by a discharge of musketry, and of eight pieces of cannon with which their bark was armed. They made a second discharge at the Sanctus, a third at the Elevation, a fourth at the Benediction, and, finally, a fifth after the Exaudiat and the prayer for the King, which was followed by a ringing Vive le Roi.

Only one slight incident disturbed a little our devotions. One of the Flibustiers , taking an indecent posture during the Elevation, was reprimanded by Captain Daniel. Instead of correcting himself; he made some impertinent answer, accompanied with an execrable oath, which was paid on the spot by the Captain, who pistolled him in the head, swearing before God that he would do the same to the first man who failed in respect for the Holy Sacrifice.

But Daniel said to him, 'Don't be troubled, father; 't was a rascal whom I had to punish to teach his duty': a very efficacious way to prevent the recurrence of a similar fault. After mass, they threw the body into the sea, and paid the holy father handsomely for his trouble and his fright.

They gave him some valuable clothes, and as they knew that he was destitute of a negro, they made him a present of one,"—"which," says Father Labat, "I received an order to reclaim, the original owner having made a demand for him. One may judge from this what the early condition of religion must have been in the French colony of San Domingo, which sprang from these pirates of the land and sea.

And it seems that their reverence for the observances diminished in an inverse proportion to their perils. The chapel was not much better than an ajoupa , that is, a four-posted square with a sloping roof of leaves or light boards. The aisle had half a foot of dust in the dry season, and the same depth of mud during rain.

However, I did not omit to bless the water and asperse the people; and as I thought that the solemnity of the day demanded a little preaching, I preached, and gave notice that I should say mass on the following day. They came into the chapel as to an assembly, or to some profane spectacle; they talked, laughed, and joked.

The people in the gallery talked louder than I did, and mingled the name of God in their discourse in an insufferable manner. I mildly remonstrated with them three or four times; but seeing that it had no effect, I spoke in a way that compelled some officers to impose silence.

A well-behaved person had the goodness to inform me, after mass, that it was necessary to be rather more indulgent with the People of the Coast , if one wanted to live with them. These men were trying to become settled; and the alternative was between rapine with religion and raising crops without it. The latter became the habitude of the island; for the descendants of the Buccaneers could afford the luxury of absolute sincerity, which even their hardy progenitors were too weak to seize.

In the other islands, however, the priest had the colonists well in hand, as may be understood from the lofty language which he could assume towards petty sacramental infractions. At St. Croix, for instance, three light fellows made a mock of Sunday and the mass, saying, "We go a-fishing," and tried to persuade some neighbors to accompany them. The decent neighbors refusing, these three unfortunate men departed, and were permitted by an inscrutable Providence to catch a great number of little fishes, which they shared with their conforming neighbors.

All ate of them, but with this difference, that the three anti-sabbatarians fell sick, and died in twenty-four hours, while the others experienced no injury. The effect of this gastric warning is somewhat weakened by the incautious statement of the narrative, that a priest, who ran from one dying man to another, became overheated, and contracted a fatal illness.

The Catholic profession brought no immunity to the Spanish navigators. Our Flibustiers , strengthened by religious exercises, and a pistol in each hand, stormed upon the deck, as if they had fallen from the clouds. They were very minutely made out.

Here are some of the awards and reimbursements. The one who discovered a prize earned one hundred crowns; the same amount, or a slave, recompensed for the loss of an eye. Two eyes were rated at six hundred crowns, or six slaves.

For the loss of the right hand or arm two hundred crowns or two slaves were paid, and for both six hundred crowns. When a Flibustier had a wound which obliged him to carry surgical helps and substitutes, they paid him two hundred crowns, or two slaves.

If he had not entirely lost a member, but was only deprived of its use, he was recompensed the same as if the member had disappeared. Thus, the captain or chief is allotted five or six portions to what the ordinary seamen have, the master's mate only two, and other officers proportionable to their employ, after which they draw equal parts from the highest to the lowest mariner, the boys not being omitted, who draw half a share, because, when they take a better vessel than their own, it is the boys' duty to fire their former vessel and then retire to the prize.

Among the conventions of English pirates we find some additional articles which show a national difference. Whoever shall maltreat or assault another, while the articles subsist, shall receive the Law of Moses: this was the infliction of forty consecutive strokes upon the back, a whimsical memento of the dispensation in the Wilderness. The English generally wound up their convention with the solemn agreement that not a man should speak of separation till the gross earnings amounted to one thousand pounds per head.

Then the whole company associated by couples, for mutual support in anticipation of wounds and danger, and to devise to each other all their effects in case of death. While at sea, or engaged in expeditions against the coasts of Terra Firma, their friendship was of the most romantic kind, inspired by a common feeling of outlawry, and colored by the risks of their atrocious employment. They called themselves "Brothers of the Coast," and took a solemn oath not to secrete from each other any portion of the common spoil, nor uncharitably to disregard each other's wants.

Violence and lust would have gone upon bootless ventures, if justice and generosity had not been crimped to strengthen the crew. These buccaneering conventions were gradually imposed upon all the West-Indian neighborhood, by the title of uncompromising strength, and became known as the "Usage of the Coast. This was an allusion to the marine ceremony called in later times "Crossing the Line," and administered only upon that occasion; but at first it was performed when vessels were passing the Raz de Fonteneau, on their way to and from the Channel, and originated before navigators crossed the Atlantic or passed the Tropic of Cancer.

The Raz, or Tide-Race, was a dangerous passage off the coast of Brittany; some religious observance among the early sailors, dictated by anxiety, appears to have degenerated into the Neptunian frolic, which included a copious christening of salt water for the raw hands, and was kept up long after men had ceased to fear the unknown regions of the ocean.

Perhaps an aspersion with holy-water was a part of the original rite, on the ground that the mariner was passing into new countries, once thought uninhabited, as into a strange new-world, to sanctify the hardiness and propitiate the Ruler of Sea and Air. The Dutch, also, performed some ceremony in passing the rocks, then called Barlingots, which lie off the mouth of the Tagus.

Gradually the usage went farther out to sea; and the farther it went, of course, the more unrestrained it grew. This was the baptism which regenerated Law for the Buccaneers.

It also absolved them from the use of their own names, which might, indeed, in many cases have been but awkward conveniences; and they were not known except by sobriquets. But when they became habitans or settlers, and took wives, their surnames appeared for the first time in the marriage-contract; so that it was a proverb in the islands,—"You don't know people till they marry. The institution of marriage was not introduced among the Buccaneers for many years after their settlement of the western coast.

In the mean time they selected women for extemporaneous partners, to whom they addressed a few significant words before taking them home to their ajoupas , to the effect that their antecedents were not worth minding, but this , slightly tapping the musket, "which never deceived me, will avenge me, if you do.

These women, with the exception of one or two organized emigrations of poor, but honest, girls, were the sweepings of the streets of Paris and London. All the French islands were stocked in the same manner. Du Tertre devotes a page to the intrigues of a Mademoiselle de la Fayolle, who appeared in St.

Christophe with a strong force of these unfortunate women, in They were collected from St. Joseph's Hospital in Paris, to prevent the colonists from leaving the island in search of wives.

Mademoiselle came with letters from the Queen and other ladies of quality, and quite dazzled M. Aubert, the Governor, who proposed to his wife that she should be accommodated in the chateau. She had a restless and managing temper, and her power lasted as long as her merchandise. In there was an auction-sale of fifty girls without character at Tortuga.

They went off so well that fifty more were soon supplied. Schoeleher says that in the twelfth volume of the "Archives de la Marine" there is a note of "one hundred nymphs for the Antilles and a hundred more for San Domingo," under the date of Here were new elements of civilization for the devoted island, whose earliest colonists were pirates pacified by prostitutes.

They were the progenitors of families whom wealth and colonial luxury made famous; for in such a climate a buccaneering nickname will soon flower into titles which conceal the gnarled and ugly stock. Some of these French Dianas led a healthy and hardy life with their husbands, followed them to the chase, and emulated their exploits with the pistol and the knife. Some blood was thus renewed while some grew more depraved, else the colony would have rotted from the soil.

Nature struggles to keep all her streams fresh and clear. The children of adventurers may inherit the vices of their parents; but Nature silently puts her fragrant graft into the withering tree, and it learns to bud with unexpected fruit.

Inheritance is only one of Mother Nature's emphatic protestations that her wayward children will be the death of her; but she knows better than that, unfortunately for the respectable vice and meanness which flourish in every land and seek to prolong their line.

California and Australia soon reach the average of New York and London, and invite Nature to preserve through them, too, her world. She drains and plants these unwholesome places; powerful men and lovely women are the Mariposa cedars which attest her splendid tillage.

But a part of this Nature consists of conservative decency in men who belong to law-abiding and Protestant races. For want of this, surgery and cautery became Nature's expedients for Hayti, which was one of the worst sinks on her great farm.

We spend the night in the lobby area because they never fix the energy problem I don't even whan to continuing writing about it This would be a hotel if given the chance I would stay again. The views of the mountains were breathtaking. The rooms were clean and the bedding was all down and very plush. Almost didn't want to get out of bed to enjoy the delicious Dominican breakfast. The service was top notch and they were there for our every need. Make sure you visit the bar to look at a bit of history.

They have photos and old letters from the former Dictator Trujillo. I also loved the photos displayed thru out the hotel of the town taken by local photographer that should be in National Geographics Log in to get trip updates and message other travelers. La Mansion. Lowest prices for your stay. Guests 1 room , 2 adults , 0 children Guests 1 2.

Show Prices. Like saving money? We search up to sites for the lowest prices. Review of La Mansion. Date of stay: September Trip type: Traveled as a couple. Ask francisco c about La Mansion. See all 11 reviews. Nearby Hotels. Atlas Apart-Hotel. View Hotel. Villa Celeste Estate. Free Wifi.

Free parking. Pinar Dorado. Hotel Century Plaza. Camp David. Taking safety measures. Hotel Gran Jimenoa. Hotel Brisas Del Yaque Jarabacoa. Hotel Novus Caoba. View more hotels in San Jose de las Matas. Reviews Write a review. Filter reviews. Traveler rating. Excellent 2.

Leonora Sansay’s Secret History; or, The Horrors of St. Domingo provides a personal historical narrative surrounding the Haitian Revolution. A manuscript in this manner can offer historians a voice to elements of the Revolution that would otherwise be lacking or silent when studying other writings of the period.

8 Replies to “Hell Of San Domingo”

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