Black emperor of Haiti. A former slave, he served under Toussaint L'Ouverture in the wars that liberated Haiti from France. Although illiterate, he had a declaration of independence written in his name in 1804. With the defeat of the French in a war of extermination he became governor-general of Haiti, and in late 1804 had himself crowned Emperor Jacques I. The ferocity of his rule precipitated a revolt of mulattos in 1805. Dessalines was killed while trying to put down this rebellion.
Subjects: World History.