Aux Cayes

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Les Cayes in the 1910's.
Aux Cayes (also Les Cayes, La Ville Des Cayes or La Cayes; Kreyòl: Okay; Note: Les Cayes is the current name) (8°12'N 73°45'W) has Haiti's main southern port and is located in the department Sud (South). Les Cayes is located about 196 km (122 miles) South-East of the capital Port-au-Prince.

Les Cayes during the Haitian Revolution

In 1796 rioting against European colonial settlers erupted in Aux Cayes, killing many.

Toussaint Louverture wrote in his autobiographical notes: "...When I returned to Cayes, after the departure of Gen. Rigaud, the treasury was empty..." (Beard p. 323)

At a meeting in July of 1803 at Camp Gérard, near the town of Les Cayes, the Generals of the southern army under Geffrard, formed an alliance with Jean-Jacques Dessalines.

Birthplace of famous Haitians

André Rigaud.
John James Audubon1 (1785 – 1851) a Franco-American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter was born in Les Cayes. Audubon became famous for his life like drawings of birds.

Les Cayes is also the birthplace of André Rigaud (1761) a mulatto leader, who fought the War of Knives against Toussaint Louverture.

Born in Cayes were also General Geffrard (1761) and presidents Charles Hérard the elder, Michel Domingue, Lysius Félicité Salomon Jeune (1815), Boisrond Canel (1832) and Antoine Simon (1843).

Simón Bolívar's stay in Aux Cayes

Simón Bolívar.
In 1815, the South American liberator Simón Bolívar first landed in Aux Cayes. Bolívar left Haiti on April 10, 1816 for Venezuela, but returned in mid September of that year to this Haitian coastal town after lost battles in South America. Resupplied by the Haitian President Pétion he sailed again from Haiti on December 28, 1816, this time to successfully conclude his struggle for South American liberation from colonialism.

Les Cayes today

Les Cayes is an important shipping port for agricultural goods and is situated near several pristine beaches. Antoine Simon Airport is a regional airport located in Les Cayes.

See also


  • Beard, J. R. (John Relly) (1863). Toussaint L'Ouverture: A Biography and Autobiography. Chapel Hill, NC: Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH. Online Publication
  • Extrait du rapport addressé au Directoire executif par le citoyen Toussaint Louverture, general en chef des Forces de la République française a Saint-Domingue. (1797) Chez P. Roux, imprimeur. Cap-français, n.d. [1797].
  • Les Cayes. The Columbia Gazetteer of North America, edited by Saul B. Cohen. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000. [1]. [Accessed on 1/30/2006].

External links