“Your aid-de-camp, General, has delivered to me your letter of this day. I have the honor to inform you, that I could not deliver up the forts and posts entrusted to my command, without previous orders from the governor general, Toussaint Louverture, my immediate chief, from whom I hold the powers with which I am invested. I am fully convinced that I have to do with Frenchmen, and that you are the chief of the armament called the expedition; but I wait the orders of the Governor, to whom I have dispatched one of my aid-de-camps, to acquaint him with your arrival, and that of the French army ; and cannot permit you to land until I have received his answer. If you put in force your threats of hostility, 1 shall make the resistance which becomes a general officer: and, should the chance of war be in your favour, you shall not enter Cape Town till it be reduced to ashes; nay, even in the ruins I will renew the combat.
“You say, the French government has sent to St. Domingo forces capable of reducing the rebels, if any such be found. It is your coming, and the hostile intentions you manifest, that alone could create them among a peaceable people in perfect submission to France: the mention of rebellion is an argument for our resistance.
“The troops which you say are at this moment landing, I consider as so many pieces of cards, which the slightest breath of wind will dissipate.
“How can you hold me responsible for the event ? You are not my chief. I know you not; and can therefore make no account of you till you are acknowledged by Governor Toussaint.
“As to the loss of your esteem, General, I assure you that I desire not to earn it at the price you set upon it; since to purchase it, I must be guilty of a breach of duty.
I have the honour to salute you. (Signed,) H. Christophe.”
Henry Christophe, General of Brigade, Commandant of the Arrondissement of the Cape, to the General in Chief Le Clerc (3 February 1802), quoted Sir James Barskett, History of the Island of St. Domingo: From Its First Discovery by Columbus to the Present Period (New York: Mahlon Day, 1824)