Sanite Bélair

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Sanite Bélair on a Haitian 10 Gourdes note.
Suzanne "Sanite" Bélair (commonly: Sanite Bélair; also Sannite Belair) (1781? Verettes, Saint-Domingue - October 5, 1802 Le Cap, Saint-Domingue) an affranchis that fought with Toussaint Louverture's troops as a sergeant. In 1796 she had married Charles Bélair, 1 who fought with Toussaint as a Brigade Commander and later as a General.

Sanite Bélair is captured

After being taken captive in 1802 while fighting the troops of French General Leclerc, Charles Bélair her husband, in an effort to rejoin her, turned himself over to the captors. They were brought to Le Cap and condemned to death. Because she was a woman, the captors insisted on a different mode of execution for her and her husband Charles. Sanite Bélair was to be decapitated and Charles to be executed by firing squad. She refused to die like a common soldier and watched her husband die. He had spoken to her in in a calm voice asking for her to die bravely.

Sanite Bélair refused to be blindfolded and succeeded to have an execution in the same manner as her husband. She is regarded as one of the great heroes of the independence struggle as well as one of the countless important women, without which the Haitian Revolution could not have successful, leading to independence and freedom from slavery in 1804.

Note 1: Toussaint Louverture's nephew.


  • Jomini, Antoine-Henri. (1842). Histoire critique et militaire des guerres de la Révolution. Brussels.

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