African History

Haiti’s First King And President, King Henri Was From An Igbo Descent

Haiti's First King And President, King Henri Was From An Igbo DescentHenri Christophe - image credit: face2face
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Henri I, whose name was Henri Christophe, was born on the 6th of October 1767.

King Henri was a free-born but was sold off as a teen. He was believed to be of Igbo descent in West Africa and a former slave of Bambara ethnicity.

 

 

Haiti's First King And President, King Henri Was From An Igbo Descent
Sculpture of King Henri I – image credit: face2face

Henri Christophe arrived Haiti – a French colony, formerly known as Saint Domingue, where he worked as a slave, engaging in numerous jobs like making billiards, bricklayer, he was also a sailor, and equally a bartender.

Henri worked so hard that he had to join the few Black slaves that bought their freedom. He was also skilled in the military field, considering that he was among those selected by the French to fight at the Siege of Savannah (State of Georgia) in 1780. An account reported that he worked as a bartender at Couronne and later married his master’s daughter. However, another statement contradicted that Henri married a French naval officer’s daughter after paying off for his freedom.

 

Haiti's First King And President, King Henri Was From An Igbo Descent
The revolts against France – image credit: face2face

Henri Christophe arrived Haiti – a French colony, formerly known as Saint Domingue, where he worked as a slave, engaging in numerous jobs like making billiards, bricklayer, he was also a sailor, and equally a bartender.



Henri worked so hard that he had to join the few Black slaves that bought their freedom. He was also skilled in the military field, considering that he was among those selected by the French to fight at the Siege of Savannah (State of Georgia) in 1780. An account reported that he worked as a bartender at Couronne and later married his master’s daughter. However, another statement contradicted that Henri married a French naval officer’s daughter after paying off for his freedom.

 

Haiti's First King And President, King Henri Was From An Igbo Descent
King Henri – image credit: face2face.

During his regime, he built the nation’s infrastructure. He made the famous fortress close to Cap-Haïtien and named it Citadelle Laferrière. He built the Sans Souci Palace. He produced eight palaces around the area, with six châteaux

In 1820, Henri suffered a paralytic stroke, which resulted in a revolt. And when people got knowledge of his condition, revolts broke out. He could not control the uproar, so he committed suicide, and his Kingdom went to the republic in 1821.

Henri Christophe died at 53 (8th of this October) at Cap-Haïtien, Haiti.

Among his children were; François-Ferdinand Christophe, Princess François-Amethyste, Princess Anne-Athenaira, Jacques-Victor Henry, and Thomas the Belliard.

 

Haiti's First King And President, King Henri Was From An Igbo Descent
The Palace of Henri Christophe – image credit: face2face

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Buchi Prinzy Henry
A lazy writer, and a freelancer. An African who believes in reviving back the African history and tradition back to our memories. Mental emancipation is my mission. I write on History Category at 54history.com

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