Jean-Jacques Dessalines biography
Believed to be born around 1758 in Africa, Jean-Jacques Dessalines was enslaved in the French colony of St. Domingue. He worked as lieutenant under Toussaint l'Ouverture after the 1791 slave revolt and later repelled incoming French forces. Dessalines renamed the colony Haiti in 1804 and declared himself emperor. A severe, often times brutal leader, he was killed in a revolt on October 17, 1806, in Pont Rouge, near Port-au-Prince, Haiti.