Timeline of Key Events in Early Haitian History



*January 1st–Official Acte de l’Indépendance is issued.

*February 15th–Dessalines officially accepts his nomination as Emperor.

*April 28th–Dessalines’s famous, “I have avenged America,” speech is given.

*Louis Félix Boisrond-Tonnerre publishes first history of the Haitian Revolution to be written by a Haitian, Mémoire pour servir à l’histoire d’Haïti.

*Juste Chanlatte issues a 10-page pamphlet about the Haitian Revolution, À Mes concitoyens


*May 20th–Constitution d’Haïti is signed by Dessalines


*October 17th–Dessalines is assassinated.

*October 21st–General Henry Christophe is named as provisory president of Haiti.

*December 27th–The provisory government issues a new constitution.

*December 28th–Christophe is elected president.


*February 17th–After fleeing to the north, Henry Christophe sets up a separate state from the one in Port-au-Prince, naming himself as “President and Generalissimo of the forces of the earth and sea of the State of Haiti,” and issues a new constitution.

*May 7th–First issue of the Gazette Officielle de l’état d‘Hayti is published.


*According to the Gazette Officielle, by this time work is already well under way on the Palace at Sans Souci.

*July–Spanish defeat the French military in the reconquista of Santo Domingo (eastern 2/3 of the island of Kiskeya)


*Christophe renames Cap-Haitien, Cap-Henry.

*Juste Chanlatte publishes Le Cri de la nature, in homage to the abbé Grégoire.

*The southern region of Haiti, headed by President Pétion, experiences a further rift when André Rigaud returns to Haiti and assumes control over southwest Haiti.


*March 28th–Christophe issues a new royal constitution, naming himself as king.

*April 5th–an edict establishes a hereditary nobility.

*April 8th–the first princes, dukes, counts, barons, and knights are named.

*April 20th–the Ordre royal et militaire de Saint-Henry is created.

*June 2nd–Christophe and Marie-Louise Coidavid are coronated in the cathedral at Cap-Henry, where they become King Henry I and Queen Marie-Louise, respectively.

*September 18th–General André Rigaud dies and the territories he rules eventually become subsumed into the region controlled by Pétion

*Julien Prévost publishes his Relation des glorieux événemens qui ont porté Leurs Majestés Royales sur le trône d’Hayti


*February–Henry I’s kingdom issues the Code Henry

*Civil War escalates between Pétion’s republic and Christophe’s kingdom over the cities of Saint-Marc and Port-de-Paix.


*January–first mention of newspaper of northern Haiti under its new name Gazette Royale d’Hayti

*According to Vastey’s 1819 Essai sur les causes de la révolution et des guerres civiles d’Hayti, this is the year when construction of Sans-Souci and the Royal Church were completed.


*April 11th–Napoléon Bonaparte is banished to the island of Elba and Bourbon monarchy is restored.

*July–Baron de Malouet, the French Minister of the Marine, sends three spies to Haiti, Dravermann, Médina, and Lavaysse. Médina is captured, interrogated, and imprisoned by the northern government and possibly executed.

*October–Baron de Vastey publishes Le Systeme colonial dévoilé and his Notes à M. le baron de V.P. Malouet.


*March 20th–The Hundred Days period begins when Bonaparte escapes from the island of Elba and returns to the city of Paris to reassume control with nearly no opposition.

*A defamatory pamphlet, signed by dozens of men, is sent to Christophe from the southern republic: Le Peuple de la République d’Hayti à Messieurs, Vastey & Limonade.

*June–Baron de Vastey publishes a response to the pamphlet entitled, Le Cri de la conscience, ou Réponse à un Écrit, imprimé au Port-au-Prince, intitulé: “Le Peuple de la République d’Hayti” à Messieurs Vastey et Limonade.

*Baron de Vastey publishes Le Cri de la Patrie.


*March–Baron de Vastey publishes Réflexions sur une lettre de Mazères.

*June 2nd–Pétion issues a slightly revised constitution and declares himself president for life of the Southern Republic of Haiti.


*January–Christophe moves royal press to Sans-Souci and P. Roux is replaced as state printer by M. Buon.

*Vastey publishes Réflexions politiques sur quelques ouvrages et journaux francais concernant Hayti 

*Haiti’s first review begins to be published in the southern republic: L’Abeille Haytienne (1817-1820) will be edited by the poet, playwright and journalist, Jules Solime Milscent.


*March 29th–President Alexandre Pétion dies, and General Jean-Pierre Boyer immediately succeeds him.

*August 25th–Lightning strikes the Citadel, causing the structure to catch fire.

*Juste Chanlatte publishes Haiti’s first opera, L’Entrée du roi en sa capitale.


*Juste Chanlatte publishes a second play, Néhri, Chef des Haytiens, the first part being an anagram of Henri.

*Baron de Vastey publishes the first full-length history of the new nation written by a Haitian, Essai sur les causes de la revolution et des guerres civiles d’Hayti.

*November–The ardent detractor of Christophe’s government (and especially of Vastey, Prévost, and Chanlatte) Noël Colombel, issues a vicious response to Vastey’s Essai, entitled, Examen d’un pamphlet, ayant pour titre: Essai sur les causes de la revolution et des guerres civiles d’Haïti.


*Juste Chanlatte publishes a third opera, La Partie de chasse du roi.

*August 15th–Christophe suffers a stroke at a church in Limonade.

*October 8th–Christophe commits suicide at the Palace of Sans-Souci.

*October 18th–Christophe’s son, the heir apparent, Prince Victory Henry, is bayoneted.

*October 19th–Baron de Vastey, Jean-Philippe Daux, and other nobles are executed.

*President Boyer reunifies the northern and southern regions of Haiti into one government.

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