|Nickname||Admiral Hammerton Killick|
|Born||April 18, 1856|
|Died||September 6, 1902 (aged 46)|
Hammerton Killick (April 18, 1856 – September 6, 1902) was an officer (called an admiral) in the navy of Haiti. A naval base in Port-au-Prince is named after him. In 1943, he was honored with a postage stamp.
Military service[change | change source]
Haiti was a poor country. Its had to borrow officers other countries. It had very few ships. In 1899 its ships were old, some were not seaworthy, many needed paint, and they were being cannibalized for parts. Sailors sometimes were not paid. Sailors did not get enough good food. The political situation in Haiti was not stable. There was a rebellion against President Florvil Hyppolite.
One of Killick's goals was to get more ships for the navy. In January of 1894 an American Yacht called the Natalie went missing. Some people thought the Natalie was carrying weapons for fighting against Hyppolite. Her captain said there were no weapons on board. He said the trip was just a pleasure trip. The Natalie was seen close to Long Cay, Bahamas in February. A short time later two Haitian ships, the Defence and the Dessalines, with Killick onboard, showed up near the Natalie. The Defence was carrying $25,000 in American gold to buy the Natalie, and the Dessalines was carrying $60,000 in gold coin to buy the Natalie. Killick bought the Natalie for £5,208 6s 8d, or $25,000. The Natalie was retrofitted and added to the Haitian Navy.
In 1896 Haiti bought a new ship, the Crête-à-Pierrot. The Crête-à-Pierrot was to be the flagship of the navy. It was built in England and armed in France. It had 11 guns, could steam 15 knotts, and displaced 940 tonnes of water. In 1899 the captain said the Admiral often came aboard.
In July of 1898, Admiral Killick went missing for nineteen days.
Rebellion and death[change | change source]
In May of 1902, Haitian President Tirésias Simon Sam resigned. He was ashamed because of what happened with Emil Lüders. The constitution said the National Assembly should name a president, but the people wanted direct elections. A temporary government was made to supervise the election of deputies who would help the National Assembly appoint the president. Many people wanted Anténor Firmin to be president, but the military and the temporary government, wanted Pierre Nord Alexis instead. By June of 1902 a civil war had started.
Admiral Killick wanted Firmin. This means that Alexis had the support of the military, but Firmin had the support of the navy. On May 15, Killick took the Crête-à-Pierrot, to Cap-Haïtien to get Firminist troops and take them to Port-au-Prince. Meanwhile, the other ship in Haiti's navy, the Toussaint Louverture, was in Gonaïves. Firmin had many supporters in Gonaïves.
Firmin wanted to be elected deputy of both Cap-Haïtien, and Gonaïves. He was elected deputy for Gonaïves, but on June 28th fighting began in Cap-Haïtien between his supporters and soldiers controlled by Alexis. The soldiers had been sent there to supervise the elections. After the fighting broke out Firmin left on the Crête-à-Pierrot and sailed to Gonaïves. He protested against the way the elections were being done.
Killick attacked Cap-Haïtien with both ships. When he left Cap-Haitien he accidentally wrecked the Toussaint Louverture on a reef. Through the rest of the summer Killick and the Crête-à-Pierrot moved soldiers for the Firminist cause, attacked towns on the coast, and caused problems for Alexis' soldiers. Other soldiers loyal to Firmin were lead by Jean Jumeau and marched on Port-au-Prince by land.
By July 26 Firmin had been named president by the people of several other regions of Haiti, even though the election was not over. Jumeau's soldiers were said to be one day away from Port-au-Prince, and the Crête-à-Pierrot was in the harbor at Port-au-Prince.
Killick tried to block the harbor at Cap-Haïtien. On September 2, 1902, Killick and his crew captured a German ship, the Markomannia. The Markomannia was on the way to Cape Haitian to give weapons to Alexis' soldiers. Alexis asked Germany for help with a pirate ship. Germany sent the SMS Panther to find and capture the Crête-à-Pierrot.
On September 6, the Crête-à-Pierrot was in port at Gonaïves. Killick and most of the crew were on shore leave when the Panther got there. Killick ran back to the ship and his crew to leave. When all but four people had left the ship Killick dressed himself in the Haitian flag and blew up the ship and weapons. He didn't want the Germans to have them. Killick and the four people still on the ship went down with the ship.
Gallery[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- Haiti: A Slave Revolution: 200 years after 1804. International Action Center. September 2004. ISBN 978-0974752105. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "Haiti stamp for defier of Germans". New York Times. September 26, 1943. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
- Hesketh-Prichard, Hesketh Vernon (October 15, 2012). Where Black Rules White: A Journey Through and About Hayti. Wermod and Wermod Publishing Group. pp. 77–84. ISBN 9780956183583.
- Prence, Katherine (August 3, 1902). "ON THE EVE OF REVOLUTION; The Preliminary Fighting in the Streets of Port-au-Prince – Fusillades of Musketry from Soldiers of Contending Parties – Cabinet Minister Who Attends a Voodoo Church – Admiral Killick Runs Off with the Navy – How He Defied the Authorities". New York Times. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "THE STORY OF THE NATALIE.; Triumph of Haitian Diplomacy Over the Revolutionary Cause". New York Times. March 14, 1894. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "Natalie Captured and Crew Shot". New York Times. March 11, 1894. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "Yacht Natalie's Captain Here". New York Times. March 13, 1894. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "The Natalie Mystery". Los Angeles Herald (Volume 47 Number 157). March 27, 1984. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- Officer, Lawrence. "Dollar-Pound Exchange Rate From 1791". Measuring Worth. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- "Admiral Killick Returns". New York Times. July 3, 1898. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- Dubois, Laurent (January 3, 2012). Haiti: The Aftershocks of History. Macmillan. ISBN 9780805095623.
- Léger, Jacques Nicolas (1907). Haiti: Her History and Her Detractors. New York and Washington: Neale Publishing Company. pp. 252–253. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "Article 6 - Untitled". New York Times. May 16, 1902.
- "Battle in Haiti Expected". New York Times. May 15, 1902. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- World Today. Current Encyclopedia Company. 1902. p. 1802.
- Cite error: The named reference
Haitiwas used but no text was provided for refs named (see the help page).
- Clough, Joseph. "The Firminist War". Haiti An Island Luminous. Digital Library of the Caribbean. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- Smith, Matthew (October 20, 2014). Liberty, Fraternity, Exile: Haiti and Jamaica after Emancipation. UNC Press Books. ISBN 9781469617985.
- "SITUATION IN HAITI.; Admiral Loses His Commission for Disobeying the New Government". New York Times. July 13, 1902. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
- "THE REVOLUTION IN HAITI.; Provisional Government Declares Firmin an Outlaw – Great Excitement at Port-au-Prince". New York Times. July 27, 1902. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- Nicholls, David (1996). From Dessalines to Duvalier: Race, Colour, and National Independence in Haiti. Rutgers University Press. p. 140. ISBN 9780813522401.
- "Killick Went Down with His Warship". New York Times. September 11, 1902. Retrieved 3 February 2015.