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Jean-Jacques Dessalines Death and Legacy statue.jpg
Dessalines is located in Haiti
Location in Haiti
Coordinates: 19°17′0″N 72°30′0″W / 19.28333°N 72.50000°W / 19.28333; -72.50000Coordinates: 19°17′0″N 72°30′0″W / 19.28333°N 72.50000°W / 19.28333; -72.50000
Country Haiti
Department Artibonite
Arrondissement Dessalines
 • Total 459 km2 (177 sq mi)
Population (7 August 2003)[1]
 • Total 127,529
 • Density 278/km2 (720/sq mi)

Dessalines (Haitian Creole: Desalin) or sometimes Marchand-Dessalines (Haitian Creole: Machan Desalin), is a commune in the Artibonite department of Haiti. It is named after Jean-Jacques Dessalines, a leader of the Haitian Revolution and the first ruler of independent Haiti. It is known as the First Black Capital of the New World.

Originally called Marchand, in 1804 the town was made capital of the newly independent state of Haiti. It was shortly renamed after Jean-Jacques Dessalines in honor of the first Haitian head of state. The imperial constitution of 20 May 1805 was proclaimed from the town Dessalines. After the emperor's assassination in October 1806 Port-au-Prince was declared the new capital of Haiti.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Institut Haïtien de Statistique et d'Informatique (IHSI)