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Haiti - Diaspora : Death of Dessalines, message from the Embassy of Haiti in Washington
17/10/2017 09:48:51

Haiti - Diaspora : Death of Dessalines, message from the Embassy of Haiti in Washington
In a historical reminder message, the Embassy of Haiti in Washington, DC commemorates the death of our founding father, Jean-Jacques Dessalines (September 20, 1758 – October 17, 1806), a leader of the Haitian Revolution and the first ruler of an independent Haiti. He is regarded as a founding father of Haiti.

Message from the Embassy of Haiti :

"Dessalines was born a slave in Cormier, a plantation in the northern part of the French colony of Saint-Domingue. Working in the sugarcane fields as a laborer, Dessalines rose to the rank of commandeur, or foreman. In 1791, Dessalines joined the slave rebellion of the northern plains led by Jean François Papillon and Georges Biassou. This rebellion was the first action of what would become the Haitian Revolution. It was then that Dessalines met the rising military commander Toussaint Louverture, who was fighting with Spanish forces on Hispaniola. These men wanted above all to defeat slavery. In 1794, after France declared an end to slavery, Louverture switched allegiances to the French, who were fending off Spanish and British incursions on the island. Dessalines joined Louverture, becoming his chief lieutenant and rising to the rank of brigadier general by 1799. As Louverture's principal lieutenant, Dessalines led many successful engagements, including the Battle of Crête-à-Pierrot.

After the betrayal and capture of Louverture in 1802 by the French, Dessalines became the leader of the Haitian Revolution. He dealt the French army its ultimate defeat at the Battle of Vertières in November 18, 1803 and declared Haiti an independent nation on January 1, 1804. Dessalines was chosen by a council of generals to assume the office of governor-general. In September 1804, he proclaimed himself emperor and adopted the name Jacques I. He ruled in that capacity until his assassination on October 17, 1806."

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