Jean-Jacques Dessalines (1758-1806), was born as a slave in Grande-Riviere-du-Nord on Haiti. He first served as an officer in the French army and later rose to become a commander in the revolt against the same colonial power. After the capture of Toussaint L'Ouverture in 1801 Dessalines became leader of the revolution and after defeating the French troops sent by Napoleon in November 1803, he declared Haiti independent. In 1804 he made himself Emperor as Jacques I of Haiti, but was assassinated in 1806 after an oppressive rule.

The national anthem of Haiti, La Dessalinienne, is in his honor.

See also: History of Haiti