Jean-Jacques Dessalines (20 September 1758 – 17 October 1806) was a leader of the Haitian Revolution. He was the first ruler of an independent Haiti under the 1805 constitution. He ordered the 1804 Haiti massacre of French settlers in Haiti, resulting in the deaths of between 3,000 and 5,000 people. He ruled in that capacity until being assassinated in 1806.
About Jean-Jacques Dessalines in brief
Jean-Jacques Dessalines (20 September 1758 – 17 October 1806) was a leader of the Haitian Revolution. He was the first ruler of an independent Haiti under the 1805 constitution. He ordered the 1804 Haiti massacre of French settlers in Haiti, resulting in the deaths of between 3,000 and 5,000 people. He ruled in that capacity until being assassinated in 1806. Haiti became the first country to permanently abolish slavery under his rule. He is regarded as one of the founding fathers of Haiti. His father had adopted the surname from his owner Henri Duclos. He had two brothers, Louis and Joseph, who also later took the name DESSalines. He became a lieutenant in Papillon’s army and followed him to Santo Domingo where he enlisted to serve in Spain’s military forces against the French colony of Saint-Domingo. In 1791 he joined the rebellion of the northern plains led by François Jean Papillon and Georges Biassou. This was first action of what would become the Haitian revolution of 1802-1804. He died in a battle at Cap-Henri on 10 October 1820. His son, Maréchal de Camp Monsieur, was killed by the revolutionaries in the same battle. He later became a privy councillor, secretary-general of the Ministry of War between 1811 and 1820, who received the degree of Knight of the Order of St.
Henry on 1 May 1811. His other son, Joseph, was a chamberlain to Prince Jacques-Victor Henry, the Prince Royal of Haiti, and major of the Grenadiers de la Garde, who was killed in 1816. He also became a member of the Royal Chamber of Public Instruction between 1818 and1820. He took the last name of the person who owned his mother at the time, Jean-Jacque Duclo. He worked for that master for about three years, until the slave uprising of 1791, which spread across the Plaine du Nord. He kept this name in freedom. He married a woman named Marie-Louise Dess alines in 1793. He went on to have two sons, Louis Dess Alines and Joseph DessAlines. His last son, Jacques, was also a soldier and served in the French army during the French invasion of Haiti in 1803. In 1804, he was chosen by a council of generals to assume the office of governor-general. Yet he ordered himself Governor-for-Life in the nation he had helped create. In September 1804 he was proclaimed Emperor of Haiti as Jacques I by the Generals of the Haitians Revolution Army. He declared that the Polish foreign mercenaries who defected from the French Legion could remain in the new country. His second son, Louis, became aide-de-camp to King Henry I, and was killed at the Battle of Cap- Henri in 1815.