Jacmel

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Map of Jacmel in 1799.
Sketch of the siege of Jacmel in 1800.
Jacmel (also: Jacquemel, Kreyòl: Jakmel) is a coastal city in Haiti (Department: Sud-Est (South-East), 18°14'N 72°32'W).

The city is located on on the Caribbean Sea in the Baie de Jacmel about 40 km (25 miles) Southeast of the capital Port-au-Prince.

History of Jacmel

The city was created in 1698 as the capital of the south eastern part of the French colony Saint-Domingue.

The War of Knives

Toussaint Louverture fought over Jacmel in the so-called War of Knives between him and André Rigaud. This war began in June of 1799. By November the rebels were pushed back to this strategic southern port, the defence of which was commanded by Pétion. Jacmel fell to Toussaint's troops in March of 1800 and the rebellion was effectively over. Pétion and other mulatto leaders went into exile in France.

Rochambeau brings Napoléon Bonaparte's Genocide to Jacmel

In 1803 Genaral Rochambeau's arrival at Jacmel was signalized by a horrible crime: by his orders, about 100 natives, who were only suspected of having little zeal for France, were thrown into the hold of a man-of-war 1, the hatchways of which were tightly closed; the men were then suffocated by the fumes of the ignited sulphur, their corpses being afterward thrown into the sea." (Léger p. 130

Francisco de Miranda creates the Venezuelan flag

A predecessor of Simón Bolívar in the liberation struggle from colonialism in Spanish ruled South America, Francisco de Miranda, created the first Venezuelan flag near Jacmel. Anchored in the Bay of Jacmel (Baie de Jacmel), he first raised the flag on March 12, 1806 on the Corvette Leander. This day is still celebrated as Venezuelan Flag Day.

Jacmel today

The port town is internationally known for it's vibrant art scene and elegant townhouses dating to the 1800's. In recent years Jacmel has been host to a large film festival. It's carnival, the nearby Bassins Bleu (blue water pools), and the beaches attract many visitors.


Note 1: A man-of-war refers to an armed naval vessel.


References