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des Bouquets, population 20,000, and up the mountain side, near the capital, is the charming summer resort, Pétionville; population, 15,000.
Although these towns and communes and others not here mentioned do not always present the well-regulated, pleasing aspect of cities and towns in the United States or in Europe, they nevertheless do suggest important possibilities in the future.
As it has been already stated at the beginning of this chapter, the roads in the interior leading to and from these places are in a very unsatisfactory condition, being in fact, in most cases, little more than mere mule paths. This is due partly to neglect and partly to topographical conditions which expose the roads in the interior to the destructive influences of the torrential tropical rains.
In the times of the French occupation, however, many of them were kept in excellent condition, and as late as the empire of Soulouque, carriages and other vehicles could be freely used through quite a number of localities where that kind of transportation is not now practicable.
The fact that Haiti once had good roads and that in the island of Martinique, where the conditions for maintaining them are quite as difficult as in Haiti, French engineering has established and maintains the best of highways, prove the possibilities in this respect for the latter-named country.
The present Government appears to be alive to the necessities in this and in other kindred respects.
In the President's annual message addressed to the National Assembly, June 22, 1892, occurs (page 2) the following passage, which throws some light on this phase of purpose toward progress in Haiti:
Our agriculture is seeking to rise again from the ruins heaped up on all sides by our recent civil strife. The employment of machinery adapted better than mere work by hand to cultivating the soil; our highways and public buildings now in course of construction or repairs; iron railways on the point of being constructed in all directions, but principally in our great centers of production;
concessions of land sought from the Government at all points of our territory, and which must by agricultural cultivation, established on a large and fruitful basis, furnish to our commerce, now lagging, a support which, constantly renewed, will be at once life and force to our social body; lines of telegraph which, in two or three months or later, will bind together the most distant points of the Republic, all this shows that a new era is open to us if only we give ourselves up to the useful and remunerative works of peace and invite to our shores the foreigner and his capital.
There appear to be at present, under promising consideration, projects and contracts for lines of railway principally as follows: (1) From Port de Paix to Gros Morne, with offshoots; (2) from the Grand Saline, near the mouth of the Artibonite, up through the whole stretch of the great plain of that name; (3) from Cape Haitien to Onanaminthe, including a line to Gonaïves, if that should be thought best, and touching the arrondissements of the Nord. The contract for this line, with its offshoots, was signed with M. Nemours Auguste, March 22, 1892. (4) From Port au Prince to the Lakes, running through the Plaine du Cul de Sac, for which the contract was signed March 23, 1892, with Dr. Dantès Destouches.
There are other minor projects on foot and in process of execution for improving and extending the facilities for communication and transportation throughout the Republic.
It will be readily inferred that the common and in fact almost the only way of traveling through the interior is on horseback. Mules and donkeys are, of course, in demand for this purpose as well as horses.
Foreigners thus passing through the country are not infrequently struck by coming unexpectedly upon some neat and cosy village or upon the remains of roadways and buildings which must have been admirable in their day. A noticeable fact also is the distribution of the population. There seems to be no section of the Republic which is not inhabited.
Much has been written about Christophe's magnificent palace of Sans Souci and the remarkable citadel constructed by him called La Ferriére, both near Cape Haitien. If the circumstances
and the time of these remarkable constructions be duly considered and if they be taken together, the latter being on the top of a mountain 5,000 feet above the sea level, with walls 80 feet high, 16 feet thick, and of the most solid masonry, the whole covering the entire mountain peak, they ought almost to be ranked as a wonder of the world. Gen. Hyppolite's Government has, within a year or two, caused all the ruins there to be carefully photographed by Mr. W. Watson, an English photographer at Port au Prince.
President Hyppolite opens his annual message to the Corps Législatif in 1891 with this passage:
If there is one sentiment which is more and more emphasized among modern nations, it is that of their community of interests. It is this that renders them constantly more and more attentive to investigate and know one another better and to strengthen the cords that bind them together. It seems, in fact, that, though a state be crowned with every material prosperity and be in possession of the most powerful of equipments, it can not feel itself prosperous or happy if it be isolated in its grandeur, if other nations do not unite to surround it, if not with their sympathy, at least with their esteem and their consideration. Therefore, it is an imperious necessity for every state to preoccupy itself most especially with its foreign relations.
However trite these views may seem, they nevertheless serve to show the importance and the necessity which Haiti attaches to the onward march of the nations as well as their steady trend toward a fuller recognition of independence.
In a preceding chapter, mention has been made of the hesitancy and tardiness with which the great powers admitted Haiti into the family of States, but the progress of events and the spirit of the time long since did away with all that, and to-day, almost all those powers, except Russia, are represented at the Haitian capital by either a diplomatic or consular officer.
France maintains there a minister plenipotentiary, the United States, Germany, Great Britain,* and Liberia each a minister resi
*Great Britain has lately maintained only a consular officer in Port au Prince. For years, she had a chargé d'affaires. In 1874, the rank was raised to that of minister resident.
dent; Santo Domingo a chargé d'affaires, and Spain a consul who has a quasi-diplomatic character, while Portugal, Belgium, Holland, Norway and Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Gautemala, Honduras, Venezuela, the United States of Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Argentine, and Uruguay are each represented by a consul, and a majority of all these powers have also vice-consuls or consuls at the other open ports of the Republic.
Haiti is in treaty relations with several of these States, especially with all the great powers, and she maintains six legations abroad: Ministers plenipotentiary at Paris, Washington, Berlin, London, Madrid, and Santo Domingo, at an aggregate ordinary cost of $81,000 per annum. Each Haitian minister abroad receives a salary of $10,000 and $1,500 for incidental expenses per annum, and is in addition to that, allowed a secretary of legation whose compensation is $3,000 per annum, except that the salary of the minister at Santo Domingo is $7,000 a year, and with it, goes in addition an appropriation of $900 for a secretary and $600 for
Haiti has also in its service more than fifty consuls-general, consuls, and vice-consuls, who are stationed at so many different ports in the United States, on the Isthmus, in the Antilles, in Europe, and elsewhere. Appropriations are made every year so that each one of these officers receives compensation, the average ordinary pay for each being about $500. The highest annual salaries on this list are paid to the consuls at Colon, Barbados, and Martinique, each being $1,800. The presumption is that the functions of these three last named officers are quasi political in character.
It is perhaps hardly necessary to add that Haiti is considered to have always shown good judgment in the selection of her diplomatic agents. They have all acquitted themselves creditably, and each one of them speaks the language of the country to which