[Santo-Domingo] Notes about M. Jean-Paul Daure
Handwritten notes entitled "Notes sur M. H. Daure, Ex-préfet Colonial de St Domingue" (n.p.n.d. [C. 1802-1803]). 2 pp. 1/3 large in-folio.
These notes describe the situation of Saint-Domingue and the French expeditionary corps "in pluviose year 10".
He begins with this description of the state of the troops: they had no funds "[...] not even those which could be necessary to him until the conquest of the isle allowed to establish the system of the public incomes."
The writer then evokes the role of Mr. H Daure, his functions and indicates that he reorganized the local administration. He goes on to say, "But no sooner had this organization been completed than the black leaders Toussaint L'ouverture and Dessalines betrayed the confidence of General-in-Chief Leclerc, and caused almost all of the Negroes to rise up. The consequences of this betrayal were the nullity of the harvests, and consequently the nullity of public revenues. [...]".
The author then announces the death of General Leclerc (November 2, 1802), who "was replaced in command by General Rochambeau. Then the political, military, administrative and financial position of the colony of St. Domingue was most criticized. Indeed, Rochambeau will go down in history for his brutality, his massacres and his incompetence in managing the colony.
The author continues by describing the state of the administration, the actions of General Rochambeau and evokes in filigree the consequences of these "The coffers were empty and the needs multiplied and pressing [...] The Government had authorized [...] to draw each month on the treasury of the metropolis, for two million [...]. General-in-Chief Rochambeau took advantage of the Government's authorization and decreed the issue of bills of exchange. From then on, all services began to be paid with [...] Prudence dictated that subsistence supplies be made, and considerable purchases were made in the United States [...] The Colony of St. Domingue was in this unfortunate position, when government orders placed it under the absolute administration of the Navy Department. [...] Thus Mr. Daure [...] was recalled to France. [...] Very shortly after the departure of Mr. Daure, the French army evacuated the Coloniede St Domingue [...]".
The end of the manuscript briefly presents the opening of a study commission (reported accounting of the colony). Notwithstanding the conclusions favorable to Hector Daure, the author indicates that he "remained since his return from Saint-Domingue without function [...]" whereas other signatories of bills of exchange found an "activity on their return from France".
This Manuscript was written most probably by a supporter of Hector Daure. This one, follows the line traced by Daure at the time of these proclamations in Saint-Domingue, i.e., it idealized the general Leclerc and his action as well economic as military. This text being written after these events, the author allows himself, however, to openly criticize General Rochambeau.
This testimony, even if partisan, shows the incapacity of the French to "take back" the island as Bonaparte wished.
Cf: Bernard Gainot, Mayeul Macé, Fin de campagne à Saint-Domingue, novembre 1802-novembre 1803. in Outre-Mers, revue d'histoire, Haïti Première République Noire, 2003 (pp. 15 -40)
Beaubrun Ardouin, Etude sur l'histoire d'Haïti, Dezobry et E. Magdeleine, Lib.-editors, 1854 (Volume 5).
Jean-Pierre-Paulin-Hector Daure entered the French army as a second lieutenant of hussars in 1791. During the following years, he became aide-de-camp to General Custine before being appointed commissioner of wars under Moreau. In 1797, he was commissioner of the Italian army, and the following year, he participated in the Egyptian expedition where Napoleon appreciated his talents and appointed him chief commissioner. But after Napoleon's departure and Kléber's assassination, Daure was associated with the generals Reynier and Damas and arrested with them in May 1801.
Back in France, Daure was appointed to take part in the expedition to Saint-Domingue as chief quartermaster of the army and colonial prefect. Upon his arrival, the situation in Santo Domingo was very complicated and he had great difficulty in administering the island. On his return to France, he appeared before the High Court, for having signed in the name of the government, during the blockade of Santo Domingo, the bills that ensured the pay of the troops.
After this scandal, Daure was left unemployed by the government for many years until 1809, when Marshal Murat, who had become King of Naples, summoned him to Naples. Murat appointed Daure State Councillor, Minister of War and Navy and Count. Two years later, he was forced to return to France.
In 1812, Daure was engaged in the Grand Army for the campaign against Russia as chief commissar. The following year, he served in the German campaigns as chief quartermaster of supplies, ensuring the supply of food.
In 1815, when Napoleon returned from exile for the Hundred Days, Daure was intendant general. Twenty years later, under Louis-Philippe, he became director of the war administration.
He died on January 8, 1846 in Paris.