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Haiti - History : 165th anniversary of the death of Empress Dessalines
09/08/2023 11:07:38

Haiti - History : 165th anniversary of the death of Empress Dessalines
Tuesday, August 8, 2023, as part of the "Year of Haitian Heritage" Emmelie Prophète Milcé, the Minister of Culture paid a vibrant tribute to the heroine Marie Claire Heureuse Félicité Bonheur Dessalines on the occasion of the 165th anniversary of her death on the night of August 8 to 9, 1858.

She was crowned Empress, with her husband, General Jean-Jacques Dessalines, on October 8, 1804.

On this memorable occasion, the Minister recalled "the immeasurable support of the Empress for the independence of the first Black Republic. Thanks to her courage and bravery, she ranks among the women who have marked Haitian society with strong ink."

During the siege of Jacmel in 1800, she became known for her work on behalf of the wounded and convinced Dessalines, who was one of the besiegers, to allow a few roads to be opened so that the wounded in the town could receive medicine. aid. She provided the women and children with food, clothing, and medicine that she was able to bring to the city, and then cooked food for them in the streets.

During the War of Independence, she treated wounded soldiers during the clashes between the Indigenous Army and the Napoleonic army and was recognized as the first known nurse in the history of Haiti.

The wife of Emperor Jean Jacques Dessalines was born in Léogâne in 1758, she experienced slavery and worked in the fields of education and health. It was she who taught Dessalines the first notions of reading and writing.

After the deposition and death of her husband in 1806, she refused the hospitality of Henri Christophe. As her spouse's property had been confiscated, she lived in poverty in Saint-Marc until August 1843. She went to live with her granddaughter and lived in poverty until her death on the night of August 8-9. 1858 in Gonaïves at over a hundred years old.

A reminder to all Haitians, of all political and ideological beliefs, of the nobility of great compromises between brothers and sisters bound by a common destiny.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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