Puslapio vaizdai

her independence, and which the popular mind has become so accustomed to associate with independence that it did not seem prudent for any Government there entirely to remove them. The one all pervading national idea is that which was expressed in the first constitution and has been in effect reproduced in all subsequent revisions of that instrument, to wit: "The Republic of Haiti is one and indivisible, essentially free, sovereign and independent. Its territory and the dependent islands are inviolable and can not be alienated by any treaty or any convention." (See the Constitution of 1889.) On this subject of complete autonomy, the Haitian people are an indivisible and extremely sensitive unit.

If one will pause to recollect that it was not until the 26th of April, 1862, that the Senate of the United States acting on the recommendation of President Lincoln, voted to recognize the political independence of Haiti (and of Liberia at the same time), and to recollect also that it was not until January 1, 1863, that slavery was abolished in the great American Union, one can easily see that the Haitian people hardly had suitable guarantee and encouragement to abate the restrictions referred to until nearly two full generations after the achievement of their own independence.

As a rule, the natives are more comely in form and feature than the same race of people in the United States. Their ordinary habits of life are simple, and longevity among them is common. No more honest, cheerful, hospitable people exists any where than the Haitian peasantry. It is asserted that one could travel from end to end of the country with his pocket filled and clinking with gold coin at every step without losing a penny's value, or a night's free lodging, or incurring any personal danger on that account. The great crimes, felonies like arson, rape, highway robbery, murder for gain, scarcely exist there, or at all events, are extremely rare. The language of Haiti is French, which is spoken and written in all its purity by the educated classes. Indeed, it is a saying in Paris that the only classes of foreigners who speak French with

out a trace of foreign accent are Haitians and Russians. This is not surprising as far as the former are concerned, because it is and for more than two generations has been quite the rule for the wealthy and well-to-do citizens to send their sons, and their daughters, too, to France for their education, and to have them in addition, spend a year or two in England or Germany, and often in both, in order to acquire a knowledge of the languages of those countries. It is, however, asserted that preference would be given to the United States for these purposes, if it were not for the color prejudice there existing, a prejudice of which the blackest Haitian, according to his own testimony, never finds any trace in Europe.

The country people generally speak only what is called the creole, which almost deserves to rank as a separate language, though it is really only a dialect. Everybody in the Republic, the educated and the uneducated alike, speaks this creole, which is absolutely necessary in dealing with the country people. It is a very interesting form of human speech. Spoken by the educated classes among themselves, it is always a sign of familiarity and good feeling. Probably, it had its origin in the condition of things during the time of slavery when the master class spoke only French, while Africans of different tribes and many dialects, were brought among them in numbers equal to their (the white's) own every year. Under these conditions, it was but natural that some common form of speech should have been evolved, having French as its basis; still Frenchmen, as well as Americans, there to-day seem, notably from indifference, the last to learn to use it, though it is not at all difficult of acquisition.

The creole is essentially an unwritten language. Its leading characteristic is abbreviation. Little attention is paid to distinctions of gender, number and case; plurality is indicated by a particle only when it is absolutely necessary, and the feminine adjective seems to be preferred. The article, that stumbling block to the foreigner learning French, cuts a very small figure in the

creole. The verb is never changed in form, five monosyllabic particles serving to distinguish the modes and tenses. There is only one form each for the personal pronouns. Conjunctions, prepositions and all similar parts of speech, though in use, are, as a rule, mercilessly sacrificed, yet shades of thought and emotion can be as clearly expressed in the creole as in our more cultivated forms of speech.

This peculiar dialect abounds in proverbs and quaint sayings. A collection of more than a thousand of these has recently been gathered together and published by an enterprising Haitian citizen, Mr. J. J. Audain, of Port au Prince; and some years ago, a Roman Catholic priest caused the ritual of his church to be printed in a book so that one page was in French and the opposite page in Creole.

There are other publications of earlier date on the French Creole. In 1802, M. S. J. Ducoeur-July issued at Paris a manuel de habitants de Saint-Domingue. Volume 11, pages 282-355 of this work, contains a vocabulaire Français et Créole, and on pp. 357-391, are found Conversations Créoles.

On pages 131-135 of James Redpath's Guide to Haiti (Boston, 1861) there are a scheme of Creole conjugations and some other general statements on the subject.

In 1869, Mr. J. J. Thomas, of Port of Spain, published there his Theory and Practice of Creole Grammar, which is considered a valuable work.

In the same year, M. Marbot issued Les Bambous: Fables de La Fontaine, travesties en patois Créole.

It must, however, be borne in mind that the Creole of Haiti differs very materially from that of Martinique and Guadaloupe, and indeed, there is a marked difference even between the patois of these two latter islands.

Contributions to Creole Grammar by Addison Van Name of Yale College (see Transactions of the American Philological As

sociation, 1869-70), is a learned and instructive examination of the Creole dialect.

For any intelligent foreigner desiring it and on the spot, the Creole is easy to acquire, a residence of a few months sufficing generally for a fair beginning to that end. Here, for example, is the Lord's Prayer in Creole as it is pronounced among the mountain people:

Papa nou qui ciel, nou vlé nom on sanctifié, règne ou rivé, volonté ou faite nou té comme nou ciel. Baille nou jaudi pain nou chaque jou. Pa(r)donné nou péché (or offense) nou comme nou pa(r)donné moun qui ti offensé nou; pas quitté nou tombé nou tentation, mais ouété nou nou main satan (sometimes this is mais délivre nou toutte mal). Ainsi soit-il (or Amen).

Chapter IV.


It has been noted in another chapter of this work that in Haiti the recognition of the principle of full religious toleration was cotemporaneous with the Declaration of Independence. In some repects, this is a most remarkable fact.

From Columbus's discovery of the island in 1492 to the Declaration of 1804, a period of more than three centuries, the Roman Catholic church was the only Christian denomination there-a quite natural consequence of the joint domination of Spain and France. The Reformation of the sixteenth century never obtained a foothold in Spain and had only a precarious existence in France. The Huguenots did not, therefore, seek refuge in colonies of those countries, of which Haiti was one.

Religious toleration in other countries has come after long struggles between different religious denominations and as a result of their actual existence there. Haiti was an exception to all such precedents in this as in some other respects, inasmuch as without possessing, so far as is known, a single Protestant citizen, and certainly without a single Protestant church or meeting ever having been held there, she boldly proclaimed religious freedom and her independence at the same time.

The reasons and motives for this remarkable step were probably: (1) That the French clergy left the country when the old colonist planters were driven out by the insurrection of the blacks and

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