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Santo Domingo by Otto Schoenrich

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It is remarkable how little has been written about the Dominican
Republic, a country so near to our shores, which has for years had
intimate commercial and political relations with our country, which is
at present under the provisional administration of the American
Government, and which is destined to develop under the protection and
guidance of the United States. The only comprehensive publications on
the Dominican Republic, in the English language, are the Report of the
United States Commission of Inquiry to Santo Domingo, published in
1871, Hazard's "Santo Domingo, Past and Present," written about the
same time, and Professor Hollander's notable Report on the Debt of
Santo Domingo, published in 1905. The first and the last of these
publications are no longer obtainable; hence, Hazard's book, written
almost half a century ago, is still the chief source of information.

These considerations prompted me to indite the following pages, in
which I have essayed to give a bird's-eye view of the history and
present condition of Santo Domingo. The task has been complicated by
two circumstances. One is the extraordinary difficulty of obtaining
accurate data. The other is the fact that the country has arrived at a
turning point in its history. Any description of political, financial
and economic conditions can refer only, or almost only, to the past;
the American occupation has already introduced fundamental innovations
which will shortly be further developed, and a rapid and radical
transformation is in progress. Santo Domingo at this moment is a
country which has no present, only a past and a future.

My personal acquaintance with Santo Domingo and Dominican affairs is
derived from observations on several trips to the Dominican Republic
and Haiti, from friendships formed with prominent Dominican families
during a residence of many years in Latin America, and from experience
as secretary to the special United States commissioner to investigate
the financial condition of Santo Domingo in 1905, and as secretary to
the Dominican minister of finance during the 1906 loan negotiations.

In compiling this work I have endeavored to read all books of any
consequence which have been published with reference to Santo Domingo
and Haiti and have especially consulted the following:

José Ramón Abad,
"La República Dominicana";
Santo Domingo, 1886.

Rudolf Cronau,
"Amerika, die Geschichte seiner Entdeckung";
Leipzig, 1892.

Enrique Deschamps,
"La República Dominicana, Directorio y Guía General";
Barcelona, 1906.

José Gabriel García,
"Compendio de la Historia de Santo Domingo";
Santo Domingo, 1896.

H. Harrisse,
"Christophe Colomb";
Paris, 1884.

Samuel Hazard,
"Santo Domingo, Past and Present, with a Glance at Haiti";
New York, 1873.

Jacob H. Hollander,
"Report on the Debt of Santo Domingo";
59th Congress, 1st Session, Senate Executive Document;
Washington, 1905.

Antonio López Prieto,
"Informe sobre los Restos de Colón";
Habana, 1878.

Fernando A. de Meriño,
"Elementos de Geografía Física, Política e Histórica
de la República Dominicana";
Santo Domingo, 1898.

Médéric Louis Elie Moreau de Saint-Méry,
de la partie espagnole de l'isle Saint-Domingue";
Philadelphia, 1796.

Casimiro N. de Moya,
"Bosquejo Histórico del Descubrimiento y Conquista
de la Isla de Santo Domingo";
Santo Domingo, 1913.

F.A. Ober,
"A Guide to the West Indies and Panama";
New York, 1914.

Publications of the Dominican Government.

Publications of the Bureau of American Republics
and the Pan-American Union.

Annual Reports of the General Receiver of Customs of the
Dominican Republic to the Bureau of Insular Affairs,
War Department, Washington, 1907 to 1917.

"Report of the United States Commission of Inquiry to Santo Domingo";
42d Congress, 1st Session, Senate Document,
Washington, 1871.

Emiliano Tejera,
"Los Restos de Colon";
Santo Domingo, 1878;
"Los dos Restos de Colon";
Santo Domingo, 1879.

L. Gentil Tippenhauer,
"Die Insel Haiti";
Leipzig, 1892.

A. Hyatt Verrill,
"Porto Rico, Past and Present, and San Domingo of To-Day";
New York, 1914.

William Walton, Jr.,
"Present State of the Spanish Colonies, including a particular
report of Hispañola";
London, 1810.

O. S.

New York, _January_, 1918.


CHAPTER I. Historical Sketch-Days of the Conquest--1492 to 1533

Aborigines--Discovery--Founding of Isabela--Disaffection of the
colonists--Indian wars--Oppression of the Indians--Founding of
Santo Domingo City--Roldan's insurrection--Humiliation of
Columbus--Ovando's administration--Extermination of the
natives--Administrations of Diego Columbus--Treaty with Indian

CHAPTER II. Historical Sketch--Colonial Vicissitudes--1533 to 1801

Decline of the colony--English attacks on Santo Domingo
City--Settlement of Tortuga by freebooters--French settlements in
western Santo Domingo--Border wars--Cession of western coast to
France--Return of prosperity--Effect of French Revolution--Negro
uprising in French Santo Domingo--Rise of Toussaint
l'Ouverture--Cession of Spanish Santo Domingo to France--Evacuation
by Spain.

CHAPTER III. Historical Sketch--Changes of Government--1801 TO 1844

Rule of Toussaint l'Ouverture--Exodus of whites--Capture of Santo
Domingo by French--War with negroes--Government of
Ferrand--Incursion of Dessalines--Insurrection of Sanchez
Ramirez--Reestablishment of Spanish rule--Proclamation of Colombian
State of Spanish Haiti--Conquest by Haiti--Haitian rule--Duarte's
conspiracy--Declaration of Independence.

CHAPTER IV. Historical Sketch--First Republic and Spanish
Annexation--1844 TO 1865.

Constitution of the government--Santana's first administration--Wars
with the Haitians--Administration of Jimenez--Victory of Las
Carreras--Baez' first administration--Santana's second
administration--_Repulse of Soulouque_--Baez' second
administration--Period of the two governments--Santana's third
administration--Annexation negotiations--Annexation to Spain--War of
the Restoration.

Chapter V. Historical Sketch--Second Republic-Revolutions and
Dictatorships--1863 TO 1904.

Restoration of the Republic--Military presidents--Cabral's
administration--Baez' fourth administration--Annexation negotiations
with the United States--Civil wars--Heureaux's rule--Administrations
of Jimenez, Vasquez and Woss y Gil--Election of Morales.

Chapter VI. Historical Sketch--American Influence-1904 to date (1918)

Financial difficulties--Fiscal convention with the United
States--Caceres' administration--Provisional presidents--Civil
disturbances--Jimenez' second administration--American intervention.

Chapter VII. Area and Boundaries

Area of Republics of Haiti and Santo Domingo--Boundary
disputes--Harbors on north coast--Character of shore--Samana
Bay--Character of east and south coast--Harbors of Macoris and Santo
Domingo--Ocoa Bay--Islands--Haitian frontier.

Chapter VIII. Topography and Climate

Mountains--Valleys and plains--Rivers--Lakes--Temperature and
Rainfall--Hurricanes--Health conditions.

Chapter IX. Geology and Minerals

Rock formation--Mineral
stone--Petroleum--Mineral springs--Earthquakes.

Chapter X. Flora and Fauna

Agricultural conditions--Land titles and measures--Wet and arid
fruits--Forest products--Insects--Reptiles--Fishery--Birds--Cattle

Chapter XI. The People

Population--Distribution--Race--Descendants of American
negroes--Language--Physical traits--Mental
traits--Amusements--Dances, theatres, clubs,


Catholic religion--Concordat--Ownership of church
buildings--Clergy--Religious sentiment--Shrines--Religious customs
and holidays--Religious toleration--Protestant sects.

CHAPTER XIII. Education and Literature

Education in Spanish times--Work of Hostos--School
organization--Professional institute--Primary and secondary
education--Literacy--Libraries--Newspapers--Literature--Fine arts.

CHAPTER XIV. Means of Transportation and Communication

Railroads-Samana--Santiago Railroad--Central Dominican
Railway--Roads--Mode of traveling--Inns--Principal highways--Steamer
lines--Postal facilities--Telegraph and telephone lines.

CHAPTER XV. Commerce

Exports and imports--Foreign trade--Trade with the United
States--Ports of entry--Wharf concessions--Domestic
trade--Business houses--Banks--Manufactures.

CHAPTER XVI. Cities and Towns

General condition of municipalities--Santo Domingo City; ruins,
churches, streets, popular legends--Other towns of Santo Domingo
Province--San Pedro de Macoris--Seibo--Samana and
Sanchez--Pacificador Province--Conceptión de la Vega--Moca--Santiago
de los Caballeros--Puerto Plata--Monte Cristi--Azua--Barahona.

CHAPTER XVII. The Remains of Columbus

Burial of Columbus--Disappearance of epitaph--Removal of remains in
1795--Discovery of remains in 1877--Resting-place of Discoverer
of America.


Form of
Secretaries--Land and sea forces--Congress--Local
subdivisions--Provincial governors--Communal governments.

CHAPTER XIX. Politics and Revolutions

Political parties--Elections--Relation between politics and
revolutions--Conduct of revolutions--Casualties--Number of
revolutions--Effect of revolutions.

CHAPTER XX. Law and Justice

Audiencia of Santo Domingo--Legal system--Judicial
organization-Observance of law--Prisons--Character of offenses.

CHAPTER XXI. The dominican debt and the fiscal treaty with the United

Financial situation in 1905--Causes of debt--Amount of debt--Bonded
debt--Liquidated debt--Floating debt--Declared claims--Undeclared
claims--Surrender of Puerto Plata custom-house--Fiscal convention of
1905--Modus vivendi--Negotiations for adjustment of debt--New bond
issue--Fiscal treaty of 1907--Adjustment with creditors--19l2
loan--Present financial situation.


Financial system--National revenues--Customs tariff--National
budget--Legal tender--Municipal income--Municipal budgets.

CHAPTER XXIII. The Future of Santo Domingo

Attraction by the United States--Political future of Santo
Domingo-Economic future of Santo Domingo.

APPENDIX A. Chiefs of State of Santo Domingo, 1492-1918

APPENDIX B. Old Weights and Measures in Use in Santo Domingo

APPENDIX C. American-Dominican Fiscal Convention of 1907



Columbus Monument on Cathedral Plaza, Santo Domingo City.

Map of Santo Domingo

Historic Gateway "La Puerta del Conde," where
the independence of the Dominican Republic
was declared:
View from within the city
View from without, during a revolution

The Strongest Presidents of Santo Domingo:
President Pedro Santana
President Buenaventura Baez
President Ulises Heureaux
President Ramon Caceres

Four Prominent Dominicans:
President Juan Isidro Jimenez
President Horacio Vasquez
Minister of Finance Federico Velazquez
Archbishop Adolfo A. Nouel

One of the Many Beautiful Spots on the Shores
of Samana Bay

Partaking of Cocoanut-water

Street in Bani

Street in Puerto Plata

A Roadside Store

Building a House with the Products of the Palm-tree

Room in "Casino de la Juventud," Santo Domingo City

A Holiday Gathering, Santo Domingo City

Ruins of San Francisco Church, Santo Domingo City

A "Calvario" in the Road

Road Scene: A Mudhole

Wharf and Harbor of San Pedro de Macoris

Entrance to Cathedral of Santo Domingo

"House of Columbus," Ruins of Diego Columbus' Palace

The "Tower of Homage," the oldest fortification erected by white men
in America:
View from mouth of Ozama River
View from within fort

Puerto Plata Scene: Milkmen

Puerto Plata Scene: The Ox as a Riding Animal

Sanctuary of Santo Domingo Cathedral

Diagram of Sanctuary of Cathedral

Lead Box found in 1877 with Remains of Columbus

Inscription on Lid of Lead Box

Obverse Side of Silver Plate

Reverse Side of Silver Plate

The Bane of Santo Domingo: Intrenchment at Puerta del Conde during a

Independence Plaza, Santo Domingo City

Cathedral Plaza, Santo Domingo City




Aborigines.--Discovery.--Founding of Isabela.--Disaffection of the
colonists.--Indian wars.--Oppression of the Indians.--Founding of
Santo Domingo City.--Roldan's insurrection.--Humiliation of
Columbus,--Ovando's administration.--Extermination of the
natives.--Administrations of Diego Columbus.--Treaty with Indian

When Columbus, in December, 1492, sailed along the northern coast of
the island of Haiti or Santo Domingo, he was more enchanted with what
he saw than he had been with any of his previous discoveries. Giant
mountains, covered with verdant forests, seemed to rise precipitately
from the blue waters and lift their heads to the very clouds.
Beautiful rivers watered fertile valleys, luscious fruits hung from
the trees, fragrant flowers carpeted the ground, and the air was
filled with the songs of birds of gay plumage. There were scenes of
nature's magnificence such as are found only in the tropics. Columbus,
as he gazed upon them in admiration, little thought that this
beautiful island was to witness his greatest sorrows, that it was to
be his final resting place, and that it was in later generations to
become the theater of long years of war and carnage.

At the time of its discovery the island of Santo Domingo was thickly
inhabited. The native Indians were Arawaks belonging to the same race
as those who occupied the other larger West India Islands. Unlike the
fierce Caribs who inhabited some of the smaller Antilles, the Arawaks
were of a gentle and meek disposition. They were inclined to idleness
and sensuality. Columbus lauded their kindliness and generosity; the
possession of these traits, however, did not prevent them from
fighting bravely when exasperated.

Living in the stone age, they knew none of the useful metals, but gold
ornaments were used for adornment. Older men and married women wore
short aprons of cotton or feathers; all other persons went entirely
nude. Their favorite amusements were ball games and savage dances with
weird, monotonous music; their religion was the worship of a great
spirit and of subordinate deities represented by idols, called
"zemis," carved of wood and stone in grotesque form, and of which some
are still occasionally found in caverns or tombs. They dwelt in rude
palm-thatched huts, the principal article of furniture being the
hammock. Simple agriculture, hunting and fishing provided their means
of livelihood.

The natives called the island Haiti, signifying "high ground," but the
western portion was also called Babeque or Bohio, meaning "land of
gold" and the eastern part Quisqueya, meaning "mother of the earth."
The name Quisqueya is the one by which Dominican poets now refer to
their country. The inhabitants lived in communities ruled by local
caciques, and the country was divided into five principal regions,
each under an absolute chief cacique, as follows:

Magua, signifying "watered plain," the northeastern part of the island
and comprising most of what is to-day known as the Cibao--that part of
the Dominican Republic lying north of the central mountain-range. The
chief was Guarionex.

Marien, or Mariel, comprised the northwestern portion of the island
and was ruled by Guacanagari.

Jaragua comprised the southwestern part, its chief being Bohechio, the
oldest of the caciques.

Maguana extended from the center of the island to the south coast near
Azua and was ruled by the proud Caonabo.

Higuey, or Higuayagua, the most bellicose portion of the country,
comprised the entire southeast and was ruled by Cayacoa.

Columbus happened upon the island on his first voyage. After
discovering Guanahani on October 12, 1492, and vainly searching for
Japan among the Bahama Islands, he discovered Cuba and while skirting
along the north shore of what he supposed to be the mainland heard of
an island said to be rich in gold, lying to the east. Taking an
easterly course, he was abandoned by the Pinta, one of his caravels,
whose captain, disregarding the admiral's signals, sailed away to seek
his fortune alone. Continuing with his remaining caravels, the Santa
Maria and the Niña, Columbus reached Cape Maisi, the easternmost point
of Cuba, where he sighted a high mountainous land lying in a
southeasterly direction. On the following day, December 6, 1492, he
reached this land, which he called la Española, because it reminded
him of Andalusia. In English histories the name is modified to
Hispaniola. The port Columbus called San Nicolas, as he had entered it
on St. Nicholas day, and it is now known as Mole St. Nicolas.

Columbus then sailed along the north coast of the island and entered
the pretty little port known to-day as Port-à-l'Ecu. Here, on December
12, he solemnly took possession of the country in the name of his
sovereigns, erecting a wooden cross on a high hill on the western
side of the bay. He then visited Tortuga Island, to the north, giving
it this name on account of its shape and the great number of turtles
in the water near its coast. After stopping in a harbor which he
called Puerto de Paz, Port of Peace, because of the harmony which
prevailed at the meetings with the natives, Columbus continued in an
easterly direction, but adverse winds compelled him to put into the
bay of Santo Tomas, to-day bay of l'Acul, where the cordial
intercourse with the natives was renewed. Here he received an embassy
from the chief of the district, Guacanagari, inviting him to visit the
cacique's residence, further along the coast, and bringing him as
presents a wampum belt artistically worked and a wooden mask with
eyes, tongue and nose of gold.

To accept the invitation Columbus set sail on the morning of December
24. In the evening when the admiral had retired the helmsman committed
the indiscretion of confiding the helm to a ship's boy. About midnight
when off Cape Haitien, near their destination, the vessel was caught
in a current and swept upon a sandbank where she began to keel over.
During the confusion which followed, Columbus had the mainmast chopped
down but all efforts to right the ship were in vain, and Columbus and
the crew were obliged to take refuge on the little Niña.

As soon as Guacanagari received news of the disaster he sent large
canoes filled with men to help the strangers transport their stores to
the shore. The relations between the Spaniards and the Indians became
most cordial, especially as the Spaniards were gratified to obtain
much gold in exchange for articles of insignificant value, owing to
which circumstances and to the natural advantages of the location,
Columbus determined to build a fort with the wreckage of his vessel.
The fort was on a hill east of the site of the present town of Cape
Haitien. Columbus gave it the name of La Navidad because he had
entered the bay on Christmas day, and leaving thirty-nine men as
colonists set out on the Niña on January 4, 1493, on his return
trip to Spain.

Near the great yellow promontory on the north of the island, to which
Columbus gave the name it still retains of Monte Cristi, the Pinta,
which had deserted the other vessels off Cuba, was sighted. Columbus
having heard the excuses of the Pinta's captain, took no action with
respect to the latter's delinquency, but set about exploring a large
river in the vicinity to which he gave the name of Rio de Oro and
which to-day is called the Yaque. Continuing the journey along the
coast of the island the vessels rounded the giant promontory of Cape
Cabron and that of Samana and entered the great bay of Samana which
Columbus at first took to be an arm of the sea. Here it was that the
first armed encounter between sons of the old world and the new took
place. The Indians set upon the Spaniards when they landed but were
quickly driven to flight, one of their number being severely wounded.
On the following day, however, a more pleasant meeting took place and
presents were exchanged. On January 16 the two vessels set sail
for Spain.

The immense excitement produced in Spain by the discoveries of
Columbus made the preparation of another expedition an easy matter,
and on September 25, 1493, the admiral again set out from Spain, this
time with sixteen ships and some 1300 men. After touching at several
of the Leeward Islands and Porto Rico, the fleet sighted the Samana
peninsula on November 22, 1493, and three days later arrived at Monte
Cristi. Here the finding of two corpses of Spaniards filled the
members of the expedition with grave apprehensions, which proved
justified when two days later they arrived at La Navidad and found the
fort completely destroyed, the Indian village burnt to the ground, and
the whole neighborhood silent and desolate.

Guacanagari was found at a village further inland and according to his
story and that of other Indians, a number of Spaniards had succumbed
to disease, others were killed in brawls among themselves and the
remainder died at the hands of the inland caciques Caonabo and
Guarionex and their warriors, who attacked and destroyed both the fort
and the village of Guacanagari. At the same time it was stated that
the Spaniards had made themselves hateful to the natives by their
domineering disposition and their lewdness and covetousness. The
finding in some of the native huts of objects that had belonged to the
colonists, as well as other suspicious circumstances, caused Father
Boil and other companions of Columbus to doubt the chief's story and
insist that sanguinary vengeance be taken. Columbus, however, affected
to be satisfied with the explanation given and determined to take no
further action, but to seek a new location for the colony. From this
time forward discord divided not only the Spaniards and Indians but
also the Spaniards themselves.

As the fleet was sailing east the weather obliged it to put into an
indentation of the coast fifty miles east of Monte Cristi. The place
so charmed the Spaniards that it was decided to found a town here. The
first city of the new world was therefore laid out and Columbus gave
it the name of Isabela, in honor of his royal patron. During the
construction of the city Columbus sent two expeditions to the Cibao
mountains, both of which succeeded in collecting a large amount
of gold.

It soon became evident that the neighborhood of Isabela was not a
healthy one. Fever invaded the colony; Columbus himself was not
exempt. Discontent came and an uprising among the soldiers was nipped
in the bud. On recovering from his illness Columbus resolved to make
an exploration of the interior; and with drums beating and flags
flying a brilliant expedition left Isabela. The beautiful Royal Plain
was soon reached and friendly relations established with its peaceful
inhabitants, whose wonder at the Spaniards and terror at their horses
knew no bounds. A fortress was founded on the banks of the Janico
river and called Santo Tomas. Columbus then returned to Isabela to
find the town in a state of excitement on account of petty quarrels
and the general sickness. Picking out the principal malcontents he
sent them to Santo Tomas, and ordered that another fortress be
founded. On April 24, 1494, he left the island with three vessels for
a voyage of exploration to the west, entrusting the government of the
colony to his brother Diego and an executive council.

But a short time elapsed before new dissensions broke out, followed by
troubles with the Indians. A military expedition dispatched to the
interior committed numerous depredations and drove the natives into
the ranks of Caonabo, who was planning the expulsion of the strangers.
The commander of the expedition, Moisen Pedro de Margarite, was called
to account by Diego Columbus; but conspiring with Father Boil, the
religious head of the colony, the two contrived to excite a popular
insurrection against the governor, which may be regarded as the first
Dominican revolution. At this time Bartholomew Columbus, another
brother of the admiral, arrived with provisions, and the
insurrectionists, taking possession of the ships, returned in them to
Spain where they lost no opportunity to disparage the achievements of
Columbus and to slander him and his brothers.

The principal caciques of the island now formed an alliance and
uniting their forces laid siege to Santo Tomas. Only Guacanagari
refused to join them and hurried to Isabela to offer his services to
the Spaniards. At this juncture, on September 29, 1494, Columbus, sick
and weary, returned from his voyage, during which, after other
discoveries, he had explored a portion of the south coast of the
island. As soon as he had recovered sufficient strength he led an
expedition into the interior, relieved Santo Tomas, won numerous
victories over the natives and founded another fortress, La
Concepcion, in the Vega Real, or Royal Plain. Caonabo, however,
assembled a vast number of warriors and forced Columbus to renewed
efforts. The Spaniards and Indians met where the ruins of the old city
of Concepcion de la Vega now are, and the famous battle of the Royal
Plain was fought on March 25, 1495. The natives are alleged by the
Spanish historians to have numbered 100,000, while the Spaniards had
but 200 men and 20 horses, besides the warriors of Guacanagari. In the
battle, a bloody one, the Indians were completely beaten, their
discomfiture being due principally to the superior arms of the
Europeans and the fear inspired by the horses and by twenty
blood-hounds brought into the fight by the Spaniards. On the occasion
of this battle the miracle of the Santo Cerro, or Holy Hill, is said
to have occurred, when, according to the Spanish chroniclers, the
Indians captured an eminence on which the Spaniards had erected a
wooden cross, but were unable to destroy the cross with fire or
hatchet, and were finally frightened away by the apparition of the
Virgin Mary.

This one crushing defeat definitely broke the Indians' power, for
though there were subsequent outbreaks they were only sporadic and,
with one exception, of comparatively little importance. Caonabo still
remained at large and the Spaniards secured possession of his person
by one of those feats of individual prowess which mark the history of
the conquest. The Spaniard Alonso de Ojeda went out in search of the
cacique, and having found him with his warriors, suggested that they
repair to Isabela together to arrange terms of peace with Columbus.
The suggestion being accepted, they set out and on crossing the Yaque
river Ojeda pressed the Indian to put on a pair of handcuffs,
asserting that these bracelets were a distinction of the king of
Castile. Caonabo acceded, whereupon the Spaniard sprang upon his horse
and swinging the chief upon the croup, fled from the midst of the
astonished warriors and bore him a prisoner to Isabela. Caonabo was
later embarked for Spain but died on the voyage.

A beginning was now made of the harsh oppression which was soon to
cause the entire disappearance of the native race. A quarterly tribute
was imposed on every Indian above the age of fourteen. Those who lived
in the auriferous region of the Cibao were obliged to deliver as much
gold dust as could be held in a small bell, others were to give
twenty-five pounds of cotton. Many natives fled to the mountains to
escape the onerous tax and new settlements were established by the

The enemies of Columbus had in the meantime been sufficiently
successful in Spain to cause one de Aguado to be sent out with the
object of investigating conditions in the colony. His conduct from the
very first was so arrogant that the admiral determined to return at
once to justify himself before the court. On March 10, 1496, he
embarked for Spain, leaving his brother Bartholomew as governor of
the colony.

Before his departure the news arrived of the discovery of several rich
gold mines in the southern part of the island. They were found by a
soldier named Miguel Diaz, who having fled to the wilderness to escape
punishment for wounding a comrade, had established conjugal relations
with an Indian woman near the present site of Santo Domingo City.
Noticing that her consort was tiring of her, the lady tried to retain
him by revealing the existence of gold deposits in the region; and
Diaz promptly secured his pardon and promotion by reporting the find
to Isabela. The romance had a sad ending, for the Indian, shocked at
the cruel treatment accorded her countrymen by the Spaniards who came
to the place, abandoned her husband and children and disappeared in
the forest.

On arriving in Spain, Columbus wrote his brother to found a town on
the south coast at the mouth of the Ozama. Bartholomew Columbus
immediately set out to select a site and on August 4, 1496, laid the
first stone of the new city on the left bank of the Ozama, calling it
Nueva Isabela, in honor of the queen. The name was afterwards changed
to Santo Domingo in honor, so tradition has it, of the saint to whom
the day of its foundation was dedicated. As the location of this city
was much healthier than that of fever-ridden Isabela on the north
coast, the settlers in an ever increasing stream removed to the new
town which flourished as the other decayed, until after a few years
Isabela was entirely abandoned. The only vestiges now remaining of it
are a few ruined foundation walls and shapeless heaps of stone
overgrown with rank tropical vegetation.

Bartholomew Columbus busied himself with further explorations of the
interior, founding a number of strongholds, among them Santiago de los
Caballeros, which commanded the Royal Plain. While at Concepcion de la
Vega he was informed that several Indians had burned an altar erected
by friars in the interior, and had buried the sacred images. The
bigoted governor had the Indians apprehended and burnt alive in the
public square. This cruel act induced fourteen caciques to conspire
for an uprising; but their designs being betrayed, they were captured
by a bold stroke and two of them executed. Determined to crush the
spirit of the natives, Bartholomew Columbus invaded and devastated the
district of Monte Cristi, driving the Indians into the remote forests
and capturing and imprisoning their chiefs.

His severity was not confined to the Indians, but the Spaniards,
naturally restive under the government of a Genovese, were also made
to feel it until their disaffection developed into open rebellion.

At the head of the conspiracy was Francisco Roldan, the judge of the
colony, a man ambitious and seditious by nature, but who owed Columbus
many favors. Others, disgusted because their dreams of gold had not
been realized, followed him and the insurrection was soon well under
way. The rebels took Isabela and sacked the government storehouse and
then took steps to besiege Bartholomew Columbus at Concepcion de la
Vega. The arrival of fresh troops and stores from Spain enabled the
governor to hold the rebels in check.

Such was the deplorable state of affairs when Columbus returned to the
island on August 30, 1498. Realizing Roldan's strength, he consented
to make terms under which the insurgents were to receive stores and
other property and return to Spain. By the time their vessels were
ready most of them had changed their mind and declined to go, but
they wrote letters to Spain bitterly complaining of the admiral and
his brothers, and accusing them of oppression and despotism. Columbus
found himself obliged to agree to the most humiliating terms with the
rebels, conceding a complete pardon, restoring them to their official
posts, promising to pay their salary in arrears and distributing lands
and Indians among them. Nevertheless, other quarrels followed,
Columbus was forced to take severe measures and the complaints
against him grew.

Little by little the stories of arrogance and oppression circulated
with reference to the Columbus brothers undermined the esteem in which
they were held by the sovereigns, who were also disappointed at not
seeing the fabulous wealth they had expected from the new discoveries.
They determined to send to the island of Española a person authorized
to investigate conditions and decide all disputes.

Their choice for the mission was unfortunate; it fell on Francisco
Bobadilla, a spiteful, arrogant and tactless man. On arriving in Santo
Domingo on August 23, 1500, he immediately began to annul dispositions
made by Columbus and sent for the admiral who was in the interior. As
soon as Columbus appeared, Bobadilla, far exceeding his authority,
caused him to be put in chains and confined in a cell of the fortress
of Santo Domingo. He also imprisoned the brothers of Columbus and sent
them to Spain together with the Discoverer, all chained like infamous
criminals. At the same time he made a report attributing malfeasance,
injustice and fraud to all.

The administration of Bobadilla was disastrous. In his efforts to
ingratiate himself with Columbus' enemies he heaped favors on Roldan
and his followers and gave them franchises and lands. He made the
slavery of the Indians more galling than ever, obliging them to labor
in the fields and mines. Columbus' property and papers were
confiscated and Columbus' friend, the explorer Rodrigo de Bastidas,
was imprisoned and his property seized.

The captain of the vessel bearing Columbus treated his distinguished
prisoner with all possible deference and offered to take off the
chains, but the Discoverer, whose heart was breaking under the
indignities heaped upon him and the injustice of which he was the
victim, proudly refused. When the vessel arrived in Spain the
sovereigns, shocked at Bobadilla's proceedings, commanded the
immediate release of Columbus, ordered that his property be restored
and overwhelmed him with distinctions, though providing that his
dignities as viceroy were to remain temporarily suspended; probably
because the calculating spirit of King Ferdinand believed that too
much power had been vested in his subject. Bobadilla was removed from
office, and Nicolas de Ovando, a member of the religious-military
order of Alcantara, was appointed governor in his place.

Ovando arrived in Santo Domingo on April 15, 1502, with a fleet of
thirty vessels, the largest which up to that time had arrived in the
new world, carrying stores of every kind and over 1500 persons, among
them many who later attained distinction in conquests on the mainland.
He was courteous to Bobadilla, but took measures to send Roldan and
the most turbulent of his companions back to Spain on the return of
his fleet, the largest vessel of which was placed at the disposition
of Bobadilla.

Just before the sailing of the fleet, on June 30, 1502, Columbus
unexpectedly appeared before the city on his fourth voyage, and asked
permission to enter the port for protection from a hurricane which he
believed was approaching. Ovando, either because he had secret orders,
or perhaps because he feared Columbus' presence might cause renewed
disturbances, denied the request, and the great man, deeply wounded by
the refusal, sought shelter further up the coast.

The pilots of the great fleet derided Columbus' prediction and the
ships set sail. They had not reached the easternmost point of the
island when a terrific hurricane broke loose. All but two of the
vessels were lost, and by a strange coincidence one of these two bore
Rodrigo de Bastidas, the friend of Columbus, while the other, the
smallest and weakest vessel of the fleet, was the one that carried
Columbus' property. Bobadilla, Roldan and other enemies of the
admiral, and many other passengers and Indian captives perished and
large stores of gold were lost. Columbus' squadron rode out the storm
in safety in a cove of the bay of Azua, whereupon he continued
his voyage.

On land, too, the hurricane wrought great destruction. The houses of
the town of Santo Domingo were demolished and as the right bank of the
Ozama was higher and seemed more suitable, Ovando ordered that the
town be rebuilt on that side, where it now stands.

Ovando now inaugurated a period of general prosperity. He established
peace and order, issued rules for the different branches of the public
service, placed honest men in the posts of responsibility and
encouraged industry and agriculture. Yet, strange mixture of energy
and cruelty, of valor and bigotry that he was, his treatment of the
Indians was most oppressive. To each Spanish landholder was assigned a
number of Indians under the pretext that they were to be given
religious instruction and accustomed to work; but so onerous and
unremitting was the labor imposed that they succumbed to disease by
thousands, while thousands of others perished by their own hand in an
epidemic of suicide which swept through the country, and many fled to
almost inaccessible mountain regions.

But two Indian chieftains still reigned in the island, one the Indian
queen Anacaona in the district of Jaragua, the other the chief of
Higuey. Ovando's severe measures against the natives made him ready to
believe the tales of conspiracies brought to him. He therefore sent a
troop of 300 infantry under Diego Velazquez, the future conqueror of
Cuba, and 70 horsemen, to the territory of Anacaona, where they were
received with every mark of kindness. The Spaniards invited the
natives to witness a military drill and when the queen, her principal
caciques and a great crowd of Indians were assembled, the exercises
commenced. The Indians were awed by the spectacle so new and imposing
to them, when suddenly the trumpets gave a signal, the infantry opened
fire and the cavalry charged on the defenseless spectators. All the
Indians who could not escape by flight were massacred without respect
to age or sex. Anacaona alone was spared and carried off to Santo
Domingo where she was shortly afterwards ignominiously executed, on
the pretext that she was not sufficiently sincere in the Catholic
religion which she had recently professed! A tenacious persecution of
the Indians who would not become slaves was instituted and but few
were able to hide in the mountains of the interior.

In 1503 the subjugation of the last remaining independent chieftain,
Cotubanama, lord of Higuey, in the extreme eastern part of the island,
was undertaken. Near this province a Spaniard wantonly set his hound
upon one of the principal natives, and the Indian was torn to pieces,
whereupon the chief, indignant at his friend's death, caused a
boatload of Spaniards to be killed, thus giving Ovando a welcome
excuse for the invasion. Four hundred Spaniards dealt death and
desolation throughout the region, pursuing the Indians into the
mountains and forests and sparing neither women nor children. When at
last they captured and hung an aged Indian woman revered as a
prophetess, the terrified aborigines sued for peace and agreed to pay
a heavy tribute. A fortress was erected at Higuey, but the conduct of
the Spanish garrison was so outrageous that the Indians in desperation
again rose, and killed every Spaniard in the district. Ovando then
began a war of extermination and the Indians were killed off by
thousands, Cotubanama resisted heroically but in vain, and after being
beaten in a number of desperate battles he withdrew to the island of
Saona, southeast of Santo Domingo. Here he was surprised and captured
by the Spaniards, his remaining warriors mercilessly shot and he
himself taken to the city of Santo Domingo and hung. With his death
the island was thoroughly pacified, though at a bloody cost, and the
conquest proper ended.

On August 13, 1504, Columbus once more arrived in Santo Domingo. On
his ill-fated fourth voyage he had been shipwrecked in Jamaica and one
of his men crossed the ocean in an open boat, to solicit aid of
Ovando. The latter, after dallying for months, finally yielded to the
murmurings of the colony and sent for the Discoverer. He received
Columbus well, but subjected him to humiliation by arbitrarily
liberating a mutineer imprisoned by the admiral. Disappointed and sad,
the great navigator left the shores of the island he loved and
returned to Spain where his death occurred two years later. The
golden age of the colony was now at hand. Ovando built up the city of
Santo Domingo, constructed forts and other defences, and laid the
foundations of most of its public buildings. Fine private residences
and great churches and convents were erected. Sugar-cane was
introduced in 1506 and gave rich returns, the production of the gold
mines continued to increase, and cattle raising brought large profits.
The Indians were dying out under the rigorous treatment, and others
were imported from the surrounding islands under the pretense of
converting them to Christianity; and when these also succumbed, the
importation of negroes from Africa was commenced. About 1508 the
island began to be called Santo Domingo, but for almost three
centuries royal decrees continued to refer to it as Espanola. So
flourishing was its state at this time that thirteen of its towns were
granted coats of arms and three were declared cities. The colony was
and for many years continued to be a starting point for voyages of
discovery and conquest in the islands and along the shores of the
Caribbean Sea.

After the death of Christopher Columbus his son Diego made fruitless
efforts to recover the honors of which his father had been despoiled,
but it was not until he married Maria de Toledo, the beautiful niece
of the Duke of Alba, that he met with partial success, probably more
because of the influence of his wife's family than because of the
justice of his claims. In 1509 he was appointed governor of Santo
Domingo to succeed Ovando and arrived in the colony with his wife, his
uncles, and a brilliant suite.

Diego Columbus inaugurated his administration with a splendor till
then unknown in the new world, establishing a kind of vice-regal
court. He built the castle of which the ruins are still to be seen
near the San Diego gate in the city of Santo Domingo, and which in its
glory must have been an imposing structure. Unfortunately many persons
transferred to the son the hatred they had borne the father and he
found his plans balked. Intending to carry into effect the royal
dispositions relative to the release of the Indians from slavery he
incurred the hostility of the planters and when he desisted owing to
their opposition, he was attacked by the friars. Complaints poured in
upon King Ferdinand; the accusation most calculated to arouse the
suspicious monarch's fears was that the second admiral, as Diego
Columbus was called, harbored the intention of proclaiming himself
sovereign of Santo Domingo. Ferdinand accordingly instituted the
audiencia or high court of justice of Santo Domingo, which was
invested with a comprehensive jurisdiction, being authorized to hear
appeals even from decisions of the governor, whose powers were thus
materially curtailed.

This circumstance, as well as a new distribution of the Indians, made
over the head of the governor, induced Diego Columbus to return to
Spain in 1515 in order to defend his interests. During the term of the
two governors who succeeded him, various dispositions were made for
the protection of the natives whose numbers were rapidly diminishing
notwithstanding importations from the other islands and from South
America. The only result of these orders was a change of masters; for
when Diego Columbus returned as governor in 1520, he found the Indians
exploited by the priests and officers of the crown to whom they had
been intrusted ostensibly for religious instruction, while the
mine-owners and planters now employed negro slaves.

Almost simultaneously with the return of the second admiral began the
insurrection of a young Indian cacique known as Enrique. This noble
Indian, a relative of Anacaona, had been converted to Christianity and
educated by the Spaniards, but was nevertheless enslaved in one of the
"repartimientos," or distributions. His wife having been gravely
offended by the Spaniard to whom they were assigned, he retired to the
almost inaccessible mountains in the center of the island, and many of
the remaining natives fled to join him. Efforts to dislodge him were
in vain and negotiations only elicited from him the promise to act on
the defensive alone, which was equivalent to an indefinite truce. The
number of negro slaves had in the meantime increased, and the
treatment given them was as harsh as that which had been accorded the
aborigines. As a result an insurrection, the first negro uprising in
the new world, began near Santo Domingo City on December 27, 1522.
Several Spaniards were murdered, but the troops overpowered the
mutineers and a number were hung.

Diego Columbus continued in his efforts to promote the welfare of the
colony, but became involved in a quarrel with the royal audiencia and
found himself obliged in March, 1524, to return to Spain where he died
two years later. The new governor, Bishop Sebastian Ramirez de
Fuenleal, was appointed president of the royal court, and the offices
of governor and president of the court were thenceforth consolidated.
Both he and his successor used their best efforts to promote
immigration into the colony which was beginning to suffer on account
of the draughts of men that left for the mainland. An army was
dispatched against the insurgent chief Enrique who still menaced the
tranquillity of the colonists from his mountain fastnesses. When it was
found impossible to reach him, peaceful methods were employed.
Negotiations were opened, and a treaty of peace signed in 1533, on an
island in the beautiful lake still known as Lake Enriquillo. By this
treaty the Indians, now reduced to not more than 4000 in number, were
freed from slavery and assigned lands in Boya, in the mountains to the
northeast of Santo Domingo City. From this time forward there is no
further mention of the Indians in the island's history; they
disappeared completely by dying out and by assimilation.



Decline of the colony.--English attacks on Santo Domingo
City.--Settlement of Tortuga by freebooters.--French settlements in
western Santo Domingo.--Border wars.--Cession of western coast to
France.--Return of prosperity.--Effect of French revolution.--Negro
uprising in French Santo Domingo.--Rise of Toussaint l'Ouverture.
--Cession of Spanish Santo Domingo to France.--Evacuation by Spain.

Within forty years after its discovery Santo Domingo had passed the
zenith of its glory. The vast and wealthy countries discovered and
conquered on the mainland of America absorbed the attention of
colonists and of the government, and Santo Domingo quickly sank to a
position of economic and political insignificance. So little
importance was given the island by chroniclers during the ensuing two
hundred and fifty years and so few are the records remaining, that not
even the names of all the governors and the periods of their rule can
be accurately determined. The colony barely existed, the monotony of
its life was interrupted only by occasional attacks or menaces of
attacks by pirates or other foes.

Every effort was made to prevent decay. Decrees were issued forbidding
emigration or the recruiting of troops for expeditions of discovery,
but they were evaded. Thus Louis Columbus, the grandson of the
Discoverer and one of the most influential men of the colony, fitted
out an expedition against Veragua. African slaves continued to be
imported to take the place of the exterminated Indians, but as their
importation was expensive the mines were abandoned and the number of
sugar estates declined. For the greater part of the period from 1533
to 1556 the government was in the hands of an energetic man,
Licentiate Alonso de Fuenmayor, Bishop of Santo Domingo and La Vega,
and later first Archbishop of Santo Domingo. He pushed to a conclusion
the work on the cathedral and other religious edifices then building,
repaired the edifices belonging to the state and constructed the walls
and bastions which still surround the city. He was able to ward off
the attacks of corsairs, who multiplied in West Indian waters to such
an extent that in 1561 the Spanish Government forbade vessels to
travel to and from the new world except under convoy.

In 1564 the cities of Santiago de los Caballeros and Concepcion de la
Vega were completely destroyed by an earthquake and the few remaining
inhabitants reestablished the towns at short distances from the
original sites. The entire intercourse of the colony with Spain was
reduced to two or three caravels a year and the revenues sank so low
that the salaries of state officials were paid and continued to be
paid for over two hundred years, from the treasury of Mexico.

The year 1586 was marked by the capture of Santo Domingo City by the
noted English navigator, Sir Francis Drake, during the celebrated
cruise on which he took the strongest towns on the Spanish main. On
the morning of January 11, 1586, the inhabitants of Santo Domingo City
were thrown into consternation at seeing eighteen foreign vessels in
the roadstead, in a line which stretched from Torrecilla Point to the
slaughterhouse. To the joy of the people the fleet set sail for the
west, but their joy was short lived, for the next morning messengers
arrived with the news that the enemy had landed at the mouth of the
Jaina River and was marching on the city. Preparations were made for
defense, but terror gained the upper hand and soon the civil and
religious authorities, the monks and nuns and the entire population
were fleeing in confusion on foot, in carts and in canoes, leaving
their belongings behind. Some one hundred and fifty men remained to
dispute the passage of Lieutenant-General Carliell who appeared at the
head of a thousand men. They were quickly dispersed by the invaders
who entered the gates with little loss and proceeded to the plaza
where they encamped. For twenty-five days Drake held the deserted
city, carrying on negotiations meanwhile for its ransom. When these
flagged he ordered the gradual destruction of the town and every
morning for eleven days a number of buildings were burned and
demolished, a work of some difficulty on account of the solidity of
the houses. Not quite one-third of the city was so destroyed when the
residents paid a ransom of 25,000 ducats, about $30,000, for the
remainder. Drake thereupon embarked, carrying with him the bronze
cannon of the fort and whatever of value he found in the churches and
private houses. He also ordered the hanging of several friars, held by
him as prisoners, in retaliation for the murder of a negro boy whom he
had sent with a flag of truce.

Seventy years later Santo Domingo was again attacked by English
forces, this time with the object of making a permanent landing.
Oliver Cromwell after declaring war against Spain sent a fleet to the
West Indies under the command of Admiral William Penn, having on board
an army of 9000 men. The fleet appeared off Santo Domingo City on May
14, 1655, and a landing was effected in two bodies, the advance guard
under Col. Buller going ashore at the mouth of the Jaina River while
the main body under General Venables disembarked at Najayo, much
further down the coast. Buller met with strong resistance at Fort San
Geronimo and was forced to retire to Venables' intrenchments. The
united English forces made several attempts to march on the capital,
but fell into ambuscades and sustained heavy losses. Despairing of
success, the fleet and army left the island on June 3 and proceeded to
Jamaica, which they captured.

The rovers of the sea and the restrictive trade regulations imposed by
the Spanish government, which limited trade with the new world to the
single port of Seville in Spain, made development of the island's
commerce impossible. The trade restrictions had the effect of
encouraging a brisk contraband traffic with Dutch vessels on the north
coast, to stop which the Spanish government adopted the incredible
expedient of shutting up every port except Santo Domingo City and
ordering the destruction of the north coast towns. Puerto Plata, Monte
Cristi and two villages on the coast of what is now Haiti were thus
destroyed in 1606 and the inhabitants transferred to towns almost in
the center of the island, where they were far removed from temptation
to smuggle. The measure temporarily stopped contraband trade on the
north coast, but destroyed all legitimate trade in that region,
transformed the coast into a desert and furnished an opportunity for
the settlement of the buccaneers in the northwest.

The English, French and Dutch, in resisting Spain's claim to sole
trading rights in the new world, authorized the fitting out of
privateers that often degenerated into pirates. The bays and inlets of
the coast of Santo Domingo became favorite resorts for such ships. The
depot of the corsairs on the island of St. Christopher having been
destroyed by the Spaniards in 1630, a number of refugees sought
shelter on the island of Tortuga, on the northwest coast of Haiti.
Some of them began to cultivate the soil, others took to hunting wild
cattle on the mainland of Haiti, while others indulged in piracy.
Tortuga soon became the busy headquarters of reckless freebooters of
all nations, who here fitted out daring expeditions and returned to
waste their gains in wild carousals. In 1638 the Spanish governor of
Santo Domingo made a descent on the island and destroyed the
settlement, but most of the buccaneers were absent at the time and the
only result of the raid was to cause them to organize under the
captaincy of an Englishman named Willis. French national pride
asserted itself, however, and with the assistance of a French force
from St. Christopher, the English inhabitants of Tortuga, who were in
a minority, were persuaded to leave for Jamaica, and Tortuga
thenceforth continued under French governors.

In 1648 the Spaniards of Santo Domingo made another fruitless attempt
to expel the buccaneers; but in 1653 the Spanish governor, the Count
of Peñalva, collected a force which caught the island unawares and was
strong enough to overawe the inhabitants, who were permitted to leave,
though abandoning all their property. The Spaniards left a garrison
but the persistent Frenchmen returned and drove it out. In 1664 the
French West India Company took possession, established a garrison, and
appointed as governor an energetic man, D'Ogeron, under whom the
country rapidly advanced in prosperity and commerce. With the idea of
encouraging permanent settlement, D'Ogeron had women brought over from
the slums of Paris and portioned out as wives to the rude colonists.

The rapidly increasing population caused settlements to be made on
the Haitian mainland, and the city of Port-de-Paix was founded on a
beautiful bay opposite Tortuga. The city flourished to such an extent
and the advantages of settlement on the mainland were so superior that
the settlers of Tortuga gradually left the smaller island and settled
along the Haitian coast. Within twenty years Tortuga was practically
deserted and it so continues to this day.

A better class of people now arrived from France. Families were
brought in from Anjou and Brittany, and the French settlements
continued to spread all the way down the western coast of the island,
the French settlement at Samana being withdrawn. Slaves were imported
from Africa, and in 1678 a rising took place among them, which was
easily put down. In 1684 the French government formally sent out
commissioners to provide for the regular government of the colony, and
churches and courts of justice were established.

The Spanish inhabitants of Santo Domingo meanwhile made attack after
attack on the French, but the Spanish colony was in such reduced
straits that no extended efforts were possible. Where the French were
repulsed the Spaniards were too few numerically to hold the territory
and it was soon reoccupied. Angered at the repeated aggressions,
D'Ogeron sent out an expedition under Delisle in 1673, which landed at
Puerto Plata and marched inland to Santiago. The inhabitants fled to
La Vega and only avoided the burning of their city by paying a ransom
of 25,000 pesos, whereupon Delisle returned to the French colony.
D'Ogeron at this time proposed to the French government the conquest
of the entire island for France, and would probably have attempted to
carry out this plan, had not his death occurred shortly after.

Cordial relations existing between France and Spain in 1685,
tentative boundary agreements were made between the French and Spanish
authorities, but each side accused the other of violations and the
strife continued as before. When in 1689, war broke out between Spain
and France, the French governor organized an expedition to invade the
Spanish section. He reached Santiago where some of his men died after
consuming meat and wine found in the deserted houses. Believing them
poisoned, he ordered the torch to be applied to the city and retired
after seeing it reduced to ashes. Admiral Perez Caro, the Spanish
governor, thereupon made preparations for a telling blow on the
French. The colony's militia and regular troops sent by the viceroy of
Mexico invaded the French section and on January 21, 1692,
administered a crushing defeat on the opposing force in the plain of
La Limonade, killing the French governor and his principal officers.
The victorious army marched through the French settlements, desolating
the fields and putting all prisoners to the sword. At the same time a
new settlement the French had made at Samana was exterminated.

The new French governor found the affairs of his colony in very bad
condition; but with the assistance of refugees from other islands he
sent an expedition to Jamaica, from where over 3,000 slaves together
with stores of indigo and other property were carried off. In
retaliation the English and Spanish fleets combined and with 4,000 men
aboard set sail from Manzanillo Bay in 1695, and sacked and burned
Cape Français and Port-de-Paix, the English carrying off all the men
they took prisoners and the Spaniards the women and children.
Hostilities were ended in 1697 by the peace of Ryswick by which Spain
recovered territory conquered from her by the French and ceded the
western part of the island of Santo Domingo to France. The occupation
of the western coast by France, so long resented as an intrusion, was
thus formally recognized.

The French colony immediately entered upon an era of prosperity which
soon made it the richest country of the West Indies. Great plantations
of tobacco, indigo, cacao, coffee and sugar were established. The
country came to be known as the paradise of the West Indies and the
wealth of the planters became proverbial. The grave defect was that
this prosperity was built on the false foundation of slavery. In 1754
the population numbered 14,000 whites, 4000 free mulattoes and
172,000 negroes.

The Spanish colony on the other hand sank lower than ever. Practically
abandoned by the mother country, there was no commerce beyond a little
contraband and only the most indispensable agriculture, the
inhabitants devoting themselves almost entirely to cattle raising. The
ports were the haunts of pirates, and a number of Dominicans also
became corsairs. By the year 1730 the entire country held but 6000
inhabitants, of whom about 500 lived in the ruined capital and the
remaining urban population was disseminated among the vestiges of
Cotui, Santiago, Azua, Banica, Monte Plata, Bayaguana, La Vega, Higuey
and Seibo. Such was the poverty prevailing that a majority of the
people went in rags; and the arrival of the ship from Mexico, which
brought the salaries of the civil officials and the military, was
hailed with the joyful ringing of church bells.

To how great an extent this depression was due to trade restrictions
is evident from the circumstance that when in 1740 several ports were
opened to foreign commerce there was an immediate change for the
better. Agriculture expanded, exports and imports increased, money
circulated, the cost of the necessaries of life fell, the population
rapidly increased and many new towns sprang up. According to an
ecclesiastical census the population had in 1785 advanced to 152,640
inhabitants. Of these only 30,000 were slaves, owing to the Spanish
laws which made it easy for a slave to purchase his freedom. Many of
the freemen were negroes or mulattoes.

In 1751 the colony was visited by a severe hurricane, which caused the
Ozama to leave its banks, and by a destructive earthquake which
overthrew the cities of Azua and Seibo and did much damage to the
church buildings of Santo Domingo. Azua and Seibo were reestablished
on their present sites. Another earthquake in 1770 destroyed several
towns in the French part of the island.

From the beginning of the century the boundary between the French and
Spanish colonies of Santo Domingo had been a source of constant
friction and bickerings. A preliminary agreement had been made in
1730, but in 1776 a permanent treaty was drafted, it was ratified at
Aranjuez in 1777, and the boundary was marked with stone monuments.

When the French revolution broke out in 1789 both the Spanish and
French colonies of Santo Domingo were enjoying a high degree of
prosperity. In the French colony there were about 30,000 whites, and
the haughty white planters were wont to indulge in every form of
luxury and sybaritic pleasure; the negro slaves, whose number had
grown to almost half a million, were subjected to the most barbarous
ill-treatment; and a class of about 30,000 ambitious free mulattoes
had arisen, many of whom where cultured and wealthy, but who were all
rigidly excluded from participation in public affairs. It was evident
that but a spark was needed to produce what might turn out to be a
general conflagration.

The spark came in the formation of the National Assembly in France and
its declaration of the rights of man. The mulattoes at once petitioned
the National Assembly for civil and political rights, which were in
1790 equivocally denied and in 1791 finally granted them. The whites
resisted the government decrees and uprisings began. The first of
these was a revolt of the mulattoes under Ogé, which was quickly
suppressed. Ogé fled to Spanish Santo Domingo, but was surrendered by
the Spaniards on condition that his life be spared, a promise that was
not kept for he was publicly broken on the wheel. Jean François,
another mulatto, then raised an insurrection of the negroes in the
north, marching on Cape Français, burning and murdering, with the body
of a white infant carried on a spear-head at the head of his troops.
His forces were defeated by the whites, who commenced an
indiscriminate slaughter of their victims. The negroes thereupon rose
in every direction and the paradise of the West Indies became a hell.
The great plantation houses were burned, the wide estates desolated,
white women were ravished and murdered and white men put to death with
horrible tortures, while the liberated slaves indulged in orgies at
which the beverage was rum mixed with human blood. It was a fearful
day of reckoning.

In 1793, France went to war with England and Spain. The Spanish
authorities of Santo Domingo made overtures to negro leaders of whom a
number entered the Spanish army as officers of high rank, among them
Toussaint, an intelligent ex-slave who later assumed the surname of
l'Ouverture and who showed remarkable military and administrative
qualities. The French government sent commissioners to the colony,
whose tactless handling of a difficult situation fanned the flames of
civil war. The English attacked the colony, captured Port-au-Prince,
and enlisted the aid of the revolted slaves in overrunning the
surrounding country. When they besieged Port-de-Paix the French
commander sent secret emissaries to Spanish Santo Domingo and induced
Toussaint to desert from the Spanish ranks and with his negro
followers help to drive out the English. Killing the Spanish soldiers
he found in his way, Toussaint went to fight the English, with such
success that in 1797 he was made general-in-chief of all the French
troops. The English, decimated by disease, were obliged to leave in
1798 and sign a treaty of peace with Toussaint by which the island was
recognized as an independent and neutral state during their war with
France. The operations in Santo Domingo are said to have cost the
English $100,000,000 in money and 45,000 lives.

In the meanwhile border fights were going on in Spanish Santo Domingo
between Toussaint's troops and forces collected from the various
Spanish possessions on the Caribbean Sea. They continued until 1795,
when by the treaty of Basle peace was declared between France and
Spain and the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo was--to the dismay of
its inhabitants--ceded to France, the whole island thus passing under
French control. Toward the end of that year part of the Spanish troops
and members of religious orders embarked and an emigration of the
better families began, many taking their slaves with them. The
Spaniards also exhumed what they supposed to be the remains of
Columbus in the cathedral of Santo Domingo and carried them to Havana.
One of the terms of the treaty was that the colony should formally be
delivered when French troops were sent to occupy it, but as the
French were at this time kept busy in the western portion, the Spanish
governor and authorities continued to administer the country for
several years. Little by little troops and civil officials were
withdrawn and in 1799 the royal audiencia or high court was
transferred to Puerto Principe, in Cuba, most of the lawyers of the
colony leaving at the same time with their families.

Toussaint l'Ouverture was now in supreme command in the west, though
nominally holding under the French republic. He displayed considerable
ability in promoting peace, ordered the blacks to return to work and
gave protection to the whites. It was evident, however, that he aimed
to make himself absolute master of the whole island. Pursuant to this
plan he called on the Spanish governor, General Joaquin Garcia, to
surrender the Spanish colony in accordance with the stipulations of
the treaty of Basle, Governor Garcia prepared to resist, but Toussaint
invaded the colony with an army, was successful in a skirmish on the
Nizao River and appearing before the capital protested that he came as
a French general in the name of the French republic. Garcia had no
alternative but to comply with the negro chief's demands. On the 27th
of January, 1801, Toussaint l'Ouverture entered the capital with his
troops and formally took possession. Amid the booming of cannon the
Spanish ensign was lowered and the French tricolor raised; and
Toussaint invited the authorities to the cathedral where a Te Deum was
chanted. Governor Garcia immediately embarked for Cuba with the
remaining Spanish civil and military authorities.



Rule of Toussaint l'Ouverture.--Exodus of whites.--Capture of Santo
Domingo by French.--War with negroes.--Government of Ferrand.
--Incursion of Dessalines.--Insurrection of Sanchez Ramirez.
--Reestablishment of Spanish rule.--Proclamation of Colombian
State of Spanish Haiti.--Conquest by Haiti.--Haitian rule.--Duarte's
conspiracy.--Declaration of Independence.

Toussaint l'Ouverture's occupation of Santo Domingo occasioned a new
exodus of white families who were fearful of what might happen under
negro rule. From the French portion of the island the whites had been
emigrating since the first uprisings; a number had fled into the
Spanish colony and these now also left. It is estimated that in the
decade beginning with 1795 the Spanish portion lost over 40,000
inhabitants, more than one-third of its population. Most of the
persons who abandoned the island during these troublous times settled
in Cuba, Porto Rico and Venezuela, where they established coffee and
sugar plantations, to the great advantage of these countries. Some of
the most prominent families of Cuba to-day are descendants of families
which left Santo Domingo at this time.

Toussaint tried to stem the tide of emigration by issuing conciliatory
proclamations; but when he found his efforts in vain, it is claimed
that he conceived the idea of a general massacre of the whites
remaining in the capital. He ordered the entire population, without
distinction of age or sex to gather on the plaza and the men, women
and children to be separated into different groups, the whole plaza
being surrounded by strong forces of cavalry. Appearing before the
terrified people Toussaint declared slavery abolished and began to
walk up and down and ask the women in broken Spanish whether they were
French or Spanish, touching them with his cane in an ever more
insolent manner. It was too much for one high-spirited young woman,
who commenced to upbraid him for daring to touch her. At this critical
moment a severe storm, that had been gathering since he appeared on
the plaza, broke, and Toussaint, apparently regarding it as a sign of
divine disapproval, ordered the children removed, then permitted the
women to retire and finally sent the soldiers to their barracks,
leaving the men to disperse of themselves.

Toussaint divided the Spanish part of the island into two departments,
making his brother Paul l'Ouverture governor of the south with
headquarters at Santo Domingo and General Clervaux governor of the
Cibao, with headquarters at Santiago. He then made a journey through
the country, being everywhere received by the frightened inhabitants
with every mark of distinction. Upon his return to the French section
he promulgated, in July, 1801, a constitution for the island, by which
he was declared governor for life and commander-in-chief, with the
right of appointing his successor and with an annual salary of 300,00
francs. At the same time he confiscated the property of persons who
had emigrated.

Toussaint's constitution was a challenge to Napoleon Bonaparte, who
having temporarily made peace with England, determined to reestablish
French authority in the island. He accordingly dispatched to Santo
Domingo a fleet with a well-equipped army of 25,000 men under his
brother-in-law, General Le Clerc. Upon arriving in Samana Bay the
force was divided into several bodies which were to operate in
different parts of the island. The reconquest of the Spanish part was
confided to Generals Kerverseau and Ferrand.

General Ferrand landed in Monte Cristi and without difficulty took
possession of the Cibao while the colored chief, Clervaux, knowing the
hostility of the population toward him, retired without giving battle.
General Kerverseau took Samana by assault and then sailed for Santo
Domingo City. The negro Governor Paul l'Ouverture prepared to resist,
but a brave Dominican, Colonel Juan Baron, organized an
insurrectionary force and placed himself in communication with
Kerverseau. The first attempt at uprising was a failure, as his plans
were betrayed, and a rough sea prevented the French from landing. His
enemies took the opportunity to sack the town of San Carlos, outside
the city gates, and to murder a number of Dominicans. Baron gathered a
larger force and in unison with Kerverseau demanded the surrender of
the city. Paul l'Ouverture reluctantly capitulated and the French thus
assumed command of the Spanish portion of the island, with Kerverseau
as governor. When Toussaint heard of what had occurred he ordered the
murder of a battalion of Dominican soldiers whom he had retained
as hostages.

The war waged between the French and the blacks in the old French
Colony of St. Domingue was characterized by nameless atrocities
committed on both sides. The last vestiges of former prosperity were
swept away and the country converted into a wilderness. Toussaint was
captured through treachery and died in a European prison, but yellow
fever invaded the French ranks and did great havoc. Le Clerc died, and
Rochambeau, his successor, was unable, even with reinforcements, to
hold his own. England, again at war with France, impeded further
reinforcements and actively assisted the insurgent negroes. Death by
disease and wounds made the great French army melt away, and towards
the end of 1803 the last remnant was forced off the island. On January
1, 1804, the negro generals proclaimed the island an independent
republic under the name of Haiti, one of the island's Indian names.
Jean Jacques Dessalines, a rough, illiterate negro, but of
indefatigable energy, was made governor for life, with dictatorial
powers. One of his first acts was to order the extermination of such
whites as still remained. Dessalines a year later assumed the title
of emperor.

Ferrand, the French general in the Cibao, conceived the project of
disobeying his orders to evacuate and of trying to hold Spanish Santo
Domingo for France. Finding that Kerverseau was ready to capitulate,
he determined to assume command himself, feeling sure that the French
government would approve his action, if his plans were successful. He
therefore marched to Santo Domingo City and after a few days'
parleying deposed Kerverseau, placed him aboard a vessel that carried
him to Mayaguez, in Porto Rico, and assumed the governorship.

Dessalines did not long keep him waiting. Desiring to extend his
authority over the whole island, and angered by an injudicious decree
of Ferrand, which permitted the enslaving of Haitians of over fourteen
years found beyond their frontier, he invaded the country with a horde
of 25,000 men. The population of the border towns fled before him in
terror, the very slaves remaining with their masters rather than join
him. Victorious in an engagement on the Yaque river, he laid siege to
the capital on March 5, 1805. In the meantime his lieutenant,
Christophe, overran the Cibao, sacking the towns and committing
horrors. Santiago was captured before the inhabitants had time to
flee, and a large number were murdered by the savage invaders. The
members of the municipal council were hung, naked, on the balcony of
the city hall; the people who had sought refuge in the main church
were put to the sword and their bodies mutilated; and the priest was
burnt alive in the church, the furniture of the edifice constituting
his funeral pyre.

Santo Domingo City had been placed in a state of defense and artillery
mounted on the tower of Mercedes church and the roofs of the San
Francisco and Jesuit churches. The garrison consisted of some 2,000
men, but to maintain these and the 6,000 inhabitants of the city as
well as the refugees there were only limited supplies on hand. Food
quickly ran low when, providentially, a French fleet appeared before
the city. The admiral, who thought the entire island abandoned by the
French, was delighted to find the French flag still flying and gladly
rendered assistance. A desperate sortie was made on March 28, the
twenty-third day of the siege, with such success that Dessalines
precipitately retired, abandoning his stores. The main body of the
Haitians retreated by way of the Cibao, the others through the south,
all devastating the country as far as they could. Azua, San José de
las Matas, Monte Plata, Cotui, San Francisco de Macoris, La Vega,
Santiago and Monte Cristi were reduced to ashes. In Moca 500
inhabitants, deceived by the promises of Christophe, returned from
their hiding places in the hills and assembled for divine service in
the parish church, where they were butchered by the negro soldiers. In
La Vega and Santiago the Haitian troops made prisoners of numerous
families, aggregating 900 persons among men, women and children in La
Vega and probably more in Santiago, and forced them to accompany the
army to northern Haiti, where they were kept in captivity, working
practically as slaves for their captors, for four years. The march was
full of horrors for the poor prisoners, who were prohibited from
wearing hats or shoes and were brutally treated by their guards.

As a civil administrator Ferrand did excellent work. He encouraged the
resettlement of the abandoned fields, persuaded emigrated families to
return, established schools and began to build water-works for the
capital, a work which he nearly completed, but which was abandoned by
his successors and has never been realized in the century that has
since transpired. Napoleon on hearing of Ferrand's conduct not only
approved everything he had done but sent him the cross of the Legion
of Honor and financial assistance. Ferrand was especially impressed
with the importance of Samana Bay and made plans for a city to be
located west of the town of Samana, to which he intended to give the
name of Napoleon. The peaceful conditions to which the country
returned were only troubled by British vessels which occasionally
attempted to establish blockades. On February 6, 1806, a British
squadron of eight vessels under Sir John Duckworth badly defeated a
French squadron, also of eight vessels, in a hotly contested fight off
Point Palenque to the southwest of Santo Domingo City.

Although Ferrand was personally liked, discontent began to brew in the
country. The inhabitants were loyal to Spain and chafed under foreign
rule; many believed there was danger of Haitian invasion so long as
the French remained; certain tax exactions stirred up animosity; and
the stories of Spain's resistance to Napoleon's aggressions inflamed
the spirits of the leading men. Conspiracies ensued, fomented
principally by a Cotui planter named Juan Sanchez Ramirez, who had
emigrated in 1803, but returned after four years of exile, and the
Spanish flag was formally raised in Seibo in October, 1808. Ferrand
immediately set out to quell the uprising and on November 7, 1808, met
Sanchez Ramirez at Palo Hincado, about two miles west of Seibo. He was
vigorously attacked by the revolutionists, his native troops deserted,
and his other troops were cut to pieces. Seeing that all was lost and
that all his work was ruined, Ferrand blew out his brains with
a pistol.

The revolutionists received assistance from the governor-general of
Porto Rico and from their former enemy Christophe, who had made
himself king of northern Haiti; a British squadron took Samana, the
only post held by the French outside of Santo Domingo City, and raised
the Spanish flag; and Sanchez Ramirez laid siege to the capital, where
the French general Barquier had assumed command, while British vessels
blockaded it by sea. The siege lasted almost nine months, during which
the besieged suffered greatly from want of provisions, being reduced
to eating dogs and cats, and the surrounding country was devastated by
sorties and foraging parties. The severest fighting took place about
San Geronimo castle, on the shore three miles west of the city, which
was taken and retaken. In the sixth and seventh months of the siege
the city was repeatedly bombarded from land and sea, but without
result. At length Sanchez applied to the governor of Jamaica and a
British force under Sir Hugh Lyle Carmichael was sent to his
assistance. It landed at Palenque and took up a position in San
Carlos. A general assault had been determined upon, when the brave
little defender of the city, realizing the hopelessness of further
resistance, agreed to capitulate to the English. On July 9, 1809, the
French flag was lowered and the country again became a dependency of
Spain, and in 1814 Spain's dominion was confirmed by the treaty
of Paris.

Spain had been busy fighting the French within her own borders, and
when normal conditions were restored had her hands full in keeping
order and in trying to bring her revolting colonies of America back to
obedience. She had little time for affairs in Santo Domingo, and did
nothing to ameliorate conditions. The colony was left to vegetate in
absolute poverty. This second Spanish era came to be known as the
period of "Espana boba," "stupid Spain," as the home government
remained so indifferent to the colony's affairs. The only redeeming
feature was the return of a number of exiled families. Sanchez
Ramirez, who had been proclaimed governor-general, was confirmed in
the office and held the same until his death in 1811, being succeeded
by Spanish military officers.

In the first years of the new Spanish colony there was an undefined
attempt at uprising on the part of a few white hotheads, and an
attempt to incite the slaves against their masters on the part of a
few black ones, but in both cases the ringleaders were captured and
put to death. The great struggle for independence in South America
gradually influenced the minds of the inhabitants of Santo Domingo;
Bolivar's brief visit to Haiti also had its effect, and secret
separatist societies began to be founded. In the beginning of 1821 a
conspiracy was discovered and numerous arrests made. Plotting
continued nevertheless, stimulated by a prominent lawyer, José Nuñez
de Caceres, who dreamed of making the country a state of Bolivar's
Colombian Republic. On the night of November 30, 1821, the conspiracy
culminated in an uprising in the capital; most of the troops had been
won over to the cause of independence and offered no resistance; the
rest were taken by surprise; and the revolutionists without difficulty
made themselves masters of the gateway "Puerta del Conde" and of the
other gates and forts. The Spanish governor was placed under arrest
and put aboard a vessel sailing for Europe, and the Colombian flag was
raised. Public proclamation was made of the independent and sovereign
State of Spanish Haiti, affiliated with the Republic of Colombia, and
José Nuñez de Caceres assumed the office of political governor and
president of the State, while the provincial assembly became a
provisional junta of government.

The State of Spanish Haiti lasted barely nine weeks. An emissary sent
to Colombia for assistance in maintaining independence was
unsuccessful. Another emissary sent to President Boyer of Haiti, for
the negotiation of a treaty, brought back the answer that "the whole
island should constitute a single republic under the flag of Haiti."
For several years Boyer, a dark mulatto, who had united Haiti under
his rule, had been endeavoring to influence the colored people on the
Spanish side of the border, to such an extent that the activities of
his agents repeatedly provoked protests from the Spanish governors,
and he now recognized that his opportunity had come. Invading the
country in the north and south his forces captured the most important
points. He met with no resistance, due to the fact that the temporary
government was entirely unprepared, that the population feared a
repetition of the horrors of 1805, and that many were in sympathy with
him while others were indifferent. On February 9, 1822, Nuñez de
Caceres was obliged to deliver the keys of Santo Domingo City to the
invader and the whole island came under the dominion of Haiti.

The twenty-two years of Haitian rule marked a period of social and
economic retrogression for the old Spanish portion of the island. Most
of the whites, especially the more prominent families, the principal
representatives of the community's wealth and culture, definitely
abandoned the country, some immediately upon the advent of the
Haitians, others in 1824, when a hopeless conspiracy in favor of a
restoration of Spanish rule was quenched in blood, and others in 1830,
when a quixotic demand of the Spanish king for a return of his domain
was refused by Boyer. The Haitians, anxious to eliminate the whites,
encouraged such emigration and confiscated the property left by the
emigrants. The policy of the Haitian government was to build up a
strong African state in the whole island, and in pursuance of this
policy it emancipated all slaves, colonized Haitian negroes on the
Samana peninsula and in other parts of the Spanish-speaking territory
and brought in colored people from the United States. Some of these
remained in Puerto Plata, others in Santo Domingo City, but the larger
number settled on the Samana peninsula, where their descendants still
form the bulk of the population. Every effort was made to Haitianize
the country by extending the Haitian laws, and imposing Haitian
governors. Representation was also accorded in the Haitian congress.
In 1825 the French government recognized the independence of the
French part of the island in consideration of the payment of an
indemnity, toward which the Haitians forced the Spanish part to

The wanton acts of the Haitian authorities, their hostility to whites
and lighter colored mulattoes, their opposition to the Spanish
language and customs, and their neglect of the country's development,
caused much discontent, and the idea of separating from Haiti began to
be entertained. An enthusiastic young man, Juan Pablo Duarte, who had
been educated in Europe, in 1838 founded a secret revolutionary
society, called "La Trinitaria," to work for the country's
independence. In May, 1842, an earthquake destroyed Santiago and La
Vega, as well as Cape Haitien and other towns in the western part of
the island, and with lesser earthquakes which followed caused a panic
throughout the country, which in turn made conditions more favorable
for a change of government.

In the meantime opposition to Boyer had spread in Haiti also, and in
1843 gave rise to a revolution, as a result of which Boyer was driven
from the country and Charles Hérard installed as dictator-president.
Duarte redoubled his activities for independence, struggling against
the opinion of many who thought such an aspiration hopeless, but his
plans were discovered and he and others obliged to flee. His work had
been well done, however; his ideas continued to spread, and it was
determined to proclaim the independence of Santo Domingo on February
27, 1844. Late that night a large group of Dominicans under Francisco
del Rosario Sanchez appeared at the principal gateway of Santo Domingo
City, "Puerta del Conde," and received the surrender of the guard, and
on the following morning the Dominican flag, as designed by Duarte,
was waving over the gate.

Dessalines, the emperor of Haiti, had adopted red and blue, two of the
colors of the French Republic's flag, for the flag of Haiti, leaving
out white, because to this hated color he attributed all the
misfortunes of his country and his race. Duarte took the Haitian
colors, arranged them in four alternate squares and placed a white
cross in the center to signify the union of the races through
Christianity and civilization.

The other points of vantage were quickly occupied and the Haitian
general, finding himself shut up in the fort "La Fuerza" without hope
of successful resistance, surrendered and was permitted to withdraw
with his officers. On the same day or within a few days afterward the
flag of the new republic was raised in every town of the old Spanish
colony of Santo Domingo, except certain towns in the west which are
still in possession of the Haitians, and the country entered upon the
period of independence.



Constitution of the government.--Santana's first administration.--Wars
with the Haitians.--Administration of Jimenez.--Victory of Las
Carreras.--Baez' first administration.--Santana's second
administration.--Repulse of Soulouque.--Baez' second administration.
--Period of the two governments.--Santana's third administration.
--Annexation negotiations.--Annexation to Spain.--War of the

Immediately upon the declaration of independence a central council of
government was formed for the provisional administration of the
country's affairs. The new republic assumed the name of Dominican
Republic and the people were thenceforth known as Dominicans. The
first business before the central council of government was to prepare
for the defense of the territory against the Haitian president,
Hérard, who was advancing with an army to reestablish his authority.
An encounter took place near Azua, in which the Dominican forces,
under General Pedro Santana, were victorious, but instead of following
up his victory, Santana fell back on Bani and permitted the enemy to
occupy Azua. In the meantime another Haitian army was advancing in the
north. In the midst of his operations Hérard was interrupted by the
news of a revolutionary movement against him in Haitian territory, and
hastily recalling his troops, retired to combat it, burning Azua and
devastating the country through which he passed.

Many prominent Dominicans were in doubt as to whether the republic
would be able to maintain a stable government and resist the
incursions of the Haitians, and believed that the best course for the
safety and prosperity of the country would be to seek the protection
of a foreign power. These men, who came to be known as conservatives
and who counted Santana among their number, began to spread their
doctrines and were bitterly opposed by a different element, calling
themselves liberals, among whom were Duarte, returned from exile, and
the members of the central council of government. A number of
prominent conservatives were obliged to go into hiding in order to
escape imprisonment, and the central council of government appointed
Duarte its representative in the north and ordered that General
Francisco del Rosario Sanchez supersede Santana in command of the
troops in the south. Duarte was proclaimed president of the republic
by the people of the north, but Santana's soldiers refusing to
recognize any other leader, marched on the capital, which they entered
on July 12, 1844, and deposed the central council of government,
declaring Santana chief of state with dictatorial powers. Thus the
unhappy series of revolutions which have done such harm to the
Dominican Republic was inaugurated within five months after the
declaration of independence.

Santana organized a new central council of government and sent
emissaries to the Cibao, or northern part of the republic, where he
won over the army and the principal leaders. Duarte, Sanchez and
others who had risked their lives and spent their fortunes in behalf
of Dominican independence were arrested, imprisoned in irons in the
ancient "Tower of Homage" of Santo Domingo and exiled as traitors to
their country!

A constitutional convention was called, which met at San Cristobal
and drafted the first constitution of the Republic, taking the
constitution of the United States as a model. It was promulgated on
November 6, 1844. In accordance with a provision of the constitution
that the convention elect the president for the first two terms,
General Santana was chosen, as was to be expected. General Pedro
Santana, who thus became the first constitutional president, was a
rough, uncouth and uneducated man, but possessed of keen perception
and great personal bravery. He had a strong strain of negro and
probably also of Indian blood. Born in Hincha, he had left his native
town during the troubles of the early part of the century and settled
in the province of Seibo, where he acquired an ascendency over the
population that made him a kind of local demigod.

Conspiracies against Santana's government were immediately set on foot
by the liberals, but were discovered and three ringleaders were
executed on the first anniversary of the Republic's independence. In
the spring of 1845 the first Congress met and proceeded to organize
the government.

In the meantime a guerilla warfare had been going on with the Haitians
along the border, and President Pierrot, who had overthrown Hérard,
was preparing to invade the Dominican Republic. His two armies were at
first successful and captured several border towns, but that which
entered in the south was repulsed at Estrelleta, while that which
invaded the north was defeated at Beler. A small Haitian fleet which
set out to attack Puerto Plata blundered on a shoal where it was left
high and dry and captured by the Dominicans.

Steps were now taken to secure the recognition of the republic by
foreign powers. The government soon found itself in financial
difficulties, as it was expensive to maintain the country in a state
of defense against the Haitians, and an issue of paper money without
sufficient guarantees made matters worse. Revolutionary mutterings
were heard, and though a number of leaders were shot, the public
discontent grew greater and more apparent. Santana comprehended the
situation and determined to resign the presidency, which he did on
August 4, 1848. The cabinet officers temporarily carried on the
government and called an election, as a result of which General Manuel
Jimenez, who had fought the Haitians and had been secretary of war
under Santana, was declared president, entering upon office on
September 8, 1848.

In his efforts to face the economic troubles of the government Jimenez
disbanded part of the army and reduced military expenses. The moment
was inopportune, for the implacable Haitians, who continued to
consider Santo Domingo as Haitian territory in revolt, were preparing
for another invasion. Soulouque, who had attained the presidency of
the black republic, made a sudden incursion and marched victoriously
as far as Azua. The Dominican government observed a vacillating policy
which provoked general distrust and protests from the friends of
Santana, whose partisans in the Congress called on him to take command
of the army. Jimenez at first demurred but finally consented, and
Santana, emerging from retirement, collected a few hundred ragged
troops at Sabana Buey, near Azua. Soulouque attempted to move eastward
by way of the canon of El Número, but was prevented by a Dominican
force under General Duvergé; he then tried the pass of Las Carreras
and was met and utterly defeated on April 21, 1849, by General
Santana. The Haitians retreated to their own territory, burning Azua
and other towns on the way. Quarrels between President Jimenez and
Congress continued meanwhile, and his opponents induced the army to
declare itself against the president and request General Santana "not
to lay down his arms until a government was established which would
respect the constitution and the laws and forever banish discord from
Dominican soil." The Congress called the president to appear before
it, and some of the officers of his staff, hearing him harshly
criticised, drew swords and pistols to punish the offending
congressman, and only the energy of the speaker, Buenaventura Baez,
averted a bloody conflict. Congress adjourned to San Cristobal, the
most important towns of the country rose against the administration,
and Santana laid siege to the capital. After the siege had lasted a
week, and the suburban town of San Carlos had been destroyed by fire,
President Jimenez yielded to the arguments of the British, French and
American consuls and agreed to resign the presidency and leave the
country on a British warship. Santana entered the city at the head of
his army on May 30, 1849, and assumed the reins of government, one of
his first measures being a wholesale expulsion of Jimenez followers.
He was crowned with honors by Congress and given the title of

The electoral college having been convened, Santiago Espaillat was
chosen president, but refused to accept, realizing that Santana would
expect to manage him as a puppet. Colonel Buenaventura Baez was then
chosen and on December 24,1849, entered upon his first term as
president of the Dominican Republic.

Baez, who was to play a leading part in the history of his country
during the next thirty years, was the antithesis of Santana in manners
and education. Born in Azua in 1812, the oldest of a family of seven
children, his father had sent him to Europe to study and he returned
one of the most polished and best educated Dominicans of his day.
Under Haitian rule he was a member of the Haitian congress and of one
of the Haitian constitutional assemblies. Almost white himself, he
here distinguished himself by his boldness in opposing measures
restricting the rights of whites in Haiti. After the declaration of
independence of Santo Domingo he was a member of the first
constitutional assembly and speaker of the first congress, being
elected from the province of Azua, where his influence was similar to
that enjoyed by Santana in Seibo. Until he became president he was a
close friend of Santana.

Baez determined to take the offensive against Haiti, and a small naval
campaign was undertaken in which Dominican government schooners
captured Anse-à-Pitre and one or two other villages on the southern
coast of Haiti, which were sacked and burned by the Dominicans. At the
same time Baez requested the mediation of the United States, France
and England to put an end to the struggle between Haiti and the
Dominican Republic. Soulouque, who had meanwhile proclaimed himself
Emperor of Haiti, offered to agree to peace and recognize Baez, but on
condition that the Haitian flag be raised in Santo Domingo and the
sovereignty of Haiti be admitted. His conditions were naturally
rejected by the Dominicans, and the mediating powers informed the
negro emperor that if he persisted in his plans of invading Santo
Domingo they would be obliged to impose a suspension of hostilities
for ten years. Nevertheless his forces continued to mass on the
frontiers and small bodies actually entered Dominican territory, but
were driven back. Upon the protests of the three powers Soulouque
explained the incursions as having been due to disobedience to orders,
and under pressure agreed to a truce for one year, during which
negotiations were to continue for a definite treaty of peace or an
armistice of ten years. In December, 1852, the minister of foreign
affairs of France notified Haiti that the maritime nations of Europe
were disposed to maintain the independence of Santo Domingo.

A period of peace now began which afforded a breathing-spell to the
country. Upon the expiration of Baez' four year term, Santana was
again elected president and entered upon the office on February 15,
1853. It was one of the occasions, only too rare in Dominican history,
on which a president served out his term and personally delivered up
the office to his successor.

The domineering spirit of Santana gave rise to serious dissensions. He
quarrelled with the clergy, which had been taking an active part in
politics since the declaration of independence, forced the archbishop,
under penalty of expulsion, to take the oath of allegiance to the
constitution, and banished several priests. One of the reasons for his
stand was perhaps the circumstance that Baez had sought to attract the
church. For several years Santana had become jealous of the extension
of Baez' influence and wrathful at the independent spirit displayed by
his former protegé. It soon became apparent that the retirement of
Baez was equivalent to a fall from power. In July, 1853, Santana
issued a proclamation in which he accused Baez of treason and of
playing into the hands of the Haitians, and ordered his banishment.
Baez fled from the country and answered with a fiery counter-appeal,
justifying himself and accusing Santana of despotism, whereupon the
breach between the two strong men was complete. Santana also quarrelled
with Congress and banished or shot his principal adversaries. In
1854 a constitutional convention assembled to draft a constitution
more to Santana's taste than the existing one. The presidential term
was extended to six years and the office of vice-president was
introduced, General Manuel de Regla Mota being elected to this office
when General Felipe Alfau declined it. This constitution did not last
six months, for before the end of the year Santana had it further

Under fear of foreign complications Haiti had remained quiet for
several years, but in 1855, when England and France were engaged in
the Crimean war, the emperor Soulouque made a last determined effort
to subjugate Santo Domingo. One army advanced by way of the south,
another through the central valley; both captured the border towns and
drove the Dominican outposts before them; and both were defeated on
the same day, December 22, 1855, the southern army at Cambronal, near
Neiba, by a Dominican force under General Sosa, and the other on the
savanna of Santomé, by a force under General José Maria Cabral. Not to
be deterred, Soulouque rallied his men within Haitian territory, shot
a few of his generals, and, believing all the Dominican forces
collected in the south, marched north to invade the Cibao. Here he was
met by another band of Dominicans at Sabana Larga and again defeated,
retreating precipitately to his dominions. It was the last Haitian
invasion, but Haiti did not formally recognize the independence of the
Dominican Republic until 1874.

The harsh measures of Santana had provoked general dissatisfaction and
the friends of Baez seized the opportunity to conspire in his favor.
Santana realized that the days of his government were numbered, and
resigned the presidency as he had done in 1849, retiring to his farm
near Seibo. Manuel de Regla Mota, the vice-president, thereupon on
March 26, 1856, became president. Baez soon after arrived in the
country and was elected vice-president; thereupon Regla Mota resigned
as president and Baez thus slid into the presidency in a perfectly
legal manner.

The second administration of Baez opened with a revolution against him
in the Neiba district, which was promptly put down. Baez then had
Santana arrested and exiled, feeling uncomfortable while his former
chief remained in the country. But he was not destined to have peace.
An ill-considered issue of more paper money, when the rate of exchange
with gold was already fifty to one, created indignation in the tobacco
region of the Cibao and on July 7, 1857, Santiago declared itself in
revolution. The movement rapidly spread, a provisional government was
set up in the Cibao, the forces of Baez were repulsed, and soon the
president held only Santo Domingo City and Samana. The revolutionists
called a constitutional convention which met at Moca and in February,
1858, promulgated another constitution, designating Santiago as the
capital. An election was held in the midst of the war and General José
Desiderio Valverde was declared elected president. For months there
were thus two governments in the country. The revolutionists began the
siege of Santo Domingo City towards the end of July, 1857, and later
Santana arrived and took charge of military operations. There were
frequent artillery duels, the fourteenth anniversary of Dominican
independence, February 27, 1858, being celebrated by a cannonade along
the Ozama River lasting all day. Fortunately the most distinctive
feature of the combats was the noise, but the Baez family suffered,
two of the president's brothers being killed in the war. Baez held out
for eleven months, but after the fall of Samana and when Santo
Domingo was reduced to starvation he at length yielded to the
entreaties of the foreign consuls and capitulated on June 12, 1858. As
soon as he had embarked for Curaçao, General Santana marched into the
city with the victorious army.

It was not compatible with Santana's character to be subordinate to
anyone else, and by the end of July he had with the government
at Santiago and set up a government of his own "in order
that the lovers of liberty be not disquieted, in order that peace
prevail, and in order that the nation be saved," as he said in his
proclamation. The Santiago government attempted to resist but was
overcome and its members banished. Santana declared the constitution
of December, 1854, in force again and called an election at which he
was, of course, chosen president, taking the oath of office on January
31, 1859. He thereupon crushed a revolution in Azua, executing the
leaders. As the large amount of paper in circulation caused
difficulties, he coolly repudiated the greater part, upon which a
number of European countries temporarily broke off diplomatic
relations because of the injury done their citizens and forced him to
retire the paper by issuing in lieu thereof certificates acceptable
for customs dues. This trouble removed, he devoted himself to securing
the annexation of Santo Domingo to Spain.

From the earliest days of the Dominican Republic the most prominent
men had believed that the happiness of the country depended upon
securing the protection of a strong power, capable of preserving
order, and the years of warfare confirmed them in their opinion. The
hope of remaining in power was also an incentive to the party which
happened to be in control. Spain and France were preferred, for
reasons of identity or similarity of language, customs and religion.
Many also favored the United States, but while the republican form of
government and the probability of commercial advantages were
attractions, the existence of slavery and of prejudice against the
colored race inspired misgivings. As early as 1843, even before the
declaration of independence, an attempt was made to secure a French
protectorate, and during the first war with Haiti, Santana continued
the negotiations. In 1846 an attempt was made to obtain a Spanish
protectorate. In 1849 President Baez in his message to Congress
referred to the advisability of "hastening a solution of the matter by
obtaining the intervention and protection of a strong nation which
would offer the most advantageous terms, for on this depends public

On October 18, 1849, the Dominican minister of foreign affairs in a
note to the French consul, stated that "the present situation of the
country and the barbarous wars with the Haitians, obliged him to beg,
in the name of his government, that the government of France give a
definite solution to the important matter of the protectorate; and if
the decision of France should unfortunately be in the negative, that
it at least be not deferred too long to prevent him from addressing
himself to the special representative of the United States, who had
just arrived." The United States was mentioned as a bogey, for when
France declined, the Dominican government stated that it could not
consider the negative as final and appealed to the French sentiments
of humanity. In 1854 another strong attempt was made to secure a
Spanish protectorate. Neither France nor Spain was anxious to annex a
hornet's nest, and Spain was fearful that any uprising against her
authority would find an echo in Cuba and Porto Rico. In 1855

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