|“||We have given these true cannibals war for war, crime for crime, outrage for outrage. Yes, I have saved my country, I have avenged America."||„|
|~ Jean Jacques Dessalines, explaining his motives.|
Jean-Jacques Dessalines, 20 September 1758 – 17 October 1806) was a leader of the Haitian Revolution and the first ruler of an independent Haiti under the 1805 constitution. Under Dessalines, Haiti became the first country in the Americas to permanently abolish slavery. Initially regarded as governor-general, Dessalines was later named Emperor Jacques I of Haiti (1804–1806) by the Generals of the Haitian Revolution Army. He is regarded as one of the founding fathers of Haiti.
He previously served as an officer in the French army, when the colony was fending off Spanish and British incursions. Later he rose to become a commander in the revolt against France. As Toussaint Louverture's principal lieutenant, he had led many successful engagements, including the Battle of Crête-à-Pierrot.
However, he also had a morally dark side. He was known to have ordered the 1804 Haiti massacre of the remaining white population of native French people, and French Creoles. He had decreed that all that were suspected of conspiring in the acts of the expelled army were to be put to death.
He was assassinated by disaffected members of his administration on 17 October 1806.