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Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division

Harper's Weekly, August 5, 1865

Le Cap

Le Cap, a port city in northern Haiti, was claimed by the Spanish in the fifteenth century but seized in 1670 by French buccaneers and named Le Cap Français. For the next century, it remained the capital of the French colony until it was replaced in 1770 by Port-au-Prince. Locally known as Le Cap, the city had an excellent harbor and strategic location, which made it central to the sweeping events of the Haitian Revolution. The French army sent by Napoleon in 1802 to regain the colony and reestablish slavery seized Le Cap and deported a constant stream of "troublesome" men, women, and children of African descent to France between June 1802 and the summer of 1803. With Haiti's independence in 1804, the city was renamed Cap Haïtien.

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