French Capitulation in Saint-Domingue (1803)

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Jean-Jacques Dessalines on a Haitian 25o Gourdes note..
The Battle of Vertières.
One day after the crushing defeat in the Battle of Vertieres, Napoléon Bonaparte's top commander in Saint-Domingue surrenders to Jean-Jacques Dessalines. This paves the way for the Haitian declaration of Independence on January 1, 1804.

This day, the 27th Brumaire, of the 12th year [November 19, 1803], the Adjutant Commandant Duveyrier, having received full power from General Rochambeau, Commander-in-Chief of the French army, to treat for the surrender of the town of Cape, and Jean-Jacques Dessalines, General of the native army, have agreed on the following articles, viz. :

I. The town of the Cape and the forts dependent thereon shall be given up in ten days, reckoning from to-morrow, the 28th of Brumaire, [November 20, 1803] to General-in-Chief Dessalines.
II. The military stores which are now in the arsenals, the arms and the artillery of the town and forts, shall be left in their present condition.
III. All the ships of war and other vessels which shall be judged necessary by General Rochambeau for the removal of the troops and inhabitants, and for the evacuation of the place, shall be free to depart on the day appointed.
IV. All the officers, military and civil, and the troops composing the garrison of the Cape, shall leave the town with all the honors of war, carrying with them their arms and all the private property belonging to their demi-brigades.
V. The sick and wounded who shall not be in a condition to embark shall be taken care of in the hospitals until their recovery. They are specially recommended to the humanity of General Dessalines.
VI. General Dessalines in giving the assurance of his protection to the inhabitants who shall remain in the town, calls at the same time upon the justice of General Rochambeau to set at liberty all the natives of the country, whatever may be their color, who under no pretext of right should be constrained to embark with the French army.
VII. The troops of both armies shall remain in their respective positions until the tenth day after the signature hereof, which is the day fixed on for the evacuation of the Cape.
VIII. General Rochambeau will send, as a hostage for the observance of the present stipulation, the Adjutant-General Urbain Devaux, in exchange for whom General Dessalines will send an officer of the same rank.

Two copies of this Convention are hereby executed in strict faith, at the headquarters of 'Haut-du-Cap' on the day, month, and year aforesaid.



  • Léger, Jacques Nicolas. Haiti Her History And Her Detractors. (1907). The Neale Publishing Company. New York. available online p. 148f.

See also