As part of The Haitian Times’ special coverage of Haitian Heritage Month, Haitians Across Borders, here are some of Haiti’s historical monuments located in the Northern Department.
Bois Caïman is a site located near where Lenormand de Mézy’s house was, a former French settler in nothern Saint Domingue, Haiti today.
On the night of August 14, 1791, slave and Vodou priest Dutty Boukman, organized a Vodou ceremony there for a great number of slaves to command the general uprising of the slaves. A pig was sacrificed and Cecile Fatima, a Vodou priestess, distributed the blood to the assembly. They believed that the blood made them invincible.
A week later on Aug. 22, many houses were burned down, and several settlers were killed with their wives and kids. For more than a week the northern plain was ravaged. They counted about 1000 settlers killed, 161 sugar and 1200 burnt coffee plantations.
Boukman was killed by authorities while moving with his troops to Cap-Français. Bois Caïman ceremony is considered the gathering of slaves where they made the pact to live free or to die. It also led to the first revolution of slaves.
Fort du Picolet
Citadelle La Ferriere
Sans-Souci Palace is a castle, located in Milot, northern side of Haiti. The castle alongside its outbuilding was built in 1810 by Henry Christophe.
Henry Christophe is one of the father figures of Haiti’s independence. He proclaimed himself king in 1811 and was referred to as Henry I. Cap-Haitien was called Cap-Francais during colonial times, then became Cap-Henry and was the capital of Haiti under Henry’s reign.
The work was completed in 1813. Aside from the castle there was a chapel with a large dome and numerous annexes including barracks, hospital, ministries, printing press, banks, schools, art academy, farm, and more. It can be favorably compared to any English or French royal courts of the 14th and 15th century. The king and his wife Marie Louise and their kids resided there with their councils and personnel. At the start of the northerner revolution, Christophe became sick and unpopular and he killed himself on October 8, 1820. He was 53.
The Heroes of Vertieres