Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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RIGAUD, Benoit Joseph Andre (re-go), Haytian soldier, born in Los Cayes, Hayti, in 1761; died there in 1811. He was a mulatto, and held a subordinate command in the militia of the colony at the time of the revolution of 1789. At first he fought against the French, but he afterward espoused their cause, was made a brigadier-general, and in 1798 became commander against the British. In association with Alexandre Petion (q. v.), he defeated Dessalines at Grand Goave, took Jacmel, and defeated Toussaint L'Ouverture near that place; but, his resources being exhausted and his army reduced to a few hundred men, he abandoned the colony in August, 1800, and passed to France, where he lived in retirement. In 1810 he landed at Port au Prince, and was appointed by Petion commander of the Cayes; but he had scarcely arrived in the latter place when he proclaimed himself dictator of the southern counties. Petion's advisers urged an expedition against the rebel, but the president, being afraid of the popularity and military talents of his rival, acknowledged his independence. Rigaud died a few months later after thoroughly organizing the administration of his republic. He was noteworthy for his magnanimity in contrast with the useless cruelties of the other Haytian chiefs.
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