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Gonaïves is a coastal city in northern Haiti, located 150 km (93 miles) Northwest of Port-au-Prince. It is the capital of the Artibonite department. Gonaïves is also known as Haiti's City of Independence because it was there that Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared Haiti, the former Saint-Domingue independent from France on January 1, 1804 by reading the Act of Independence, drafted by Boisrond Tonnerre, on the Place d'Armes of the town.

Marie-Claire Heureuse Félicité, the wife of Jean-Jacques Dessalines died here in August of 1858.

The Gulf of Gonaïves is named after the town.

See also


  • Gonaïves. The Columbia Gazetteer of North America, edited by Saul B. Cohen. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000. [1]. [accessed March 11, 2006].