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National Heroes



Toussaint L'ouverture

Toussaint L'ouverture was an important figure in the Haitian Revolution. He was born a slave in Saint-Domingue and grew up a leader in his own right. He led enslaved workers to rebellion and eventually independence against European colonial powers. He abolished slavery and established native control over the land in 1797. After expelling the French commissioner, he established a new constitution and named himself governor for life. When Napoleon took control of France, he ordered L'ouverture and his family deported to France in 1802, where they remained until their deaths.


Jean-Jacques Dessalines

Jean-Jacques Dessalines was a leader of the Haitian Revolution. He was the first independent leader of independent Haiti under the dictatorial constitution of 1801. He crowned himself Emperor of Haiti in 1805. He is remembered as one of the founding fathers of Haiti. After the capture of Toussaint L'ouverture in 1802, Dessalines took over leadership of the revolution. He defeated the troops of Napoleon in 1803, and declared Haiti an independent nation in 1804. He was elected Governor-General by a Council of Generals in 1804. After he proclaimed himself Emperor in that same year, he ruled in that capacity until 1806.


Henri Christophe

Christophe was a long-serving Army officer, eventually becoming General of the Haitian Army. He became President of Haiti in 1807. He was proclaimed King of Haiti in 1811, and died on October 8, 1820. He was brought to Saint Domingue as a slave from St. Kitts.

 Alexandre Pétion

The "Founder of the Republic," Alexandre Pétion was born in Port-au-Prince in 1770, of a French father and a black mother. At 18 years of age, he became a soldier and was sent to France to study at the Military Academy of Paris. Jointly with Dessalines, he played a very important role in unifying blacks and mulattoes to fight together at the Independence War against the French army.

Pétion was elected President of the Republic of Haiti on March 9, 1806, elected again in 1811, and then in 1816 he was re-elected President for Life. He became the first President of Haiti. He designed the official flag and coat of arms of the second independent nation of the American continent. He also supported other countries of South America in their struggle to gain independence from Spain. After years of many hardships and challenges he confronted as a soldier and as president, Alexandre Pétion ill and tired died in Port-au-Prince on March 29, 1818.








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