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Fort-Liberté on the Eve of Haitian Independence

Fine example of this detailed plan of the Bay of Fort Dauphin, oriented with south at the top, published in Paris in 1786.

The map provides an exceptionally detailed look at the Bay and environs, which would be captured 8 years later by a Spanish Naval expedition led by Gabriel de Aristzabal during the French Revolution.  The port was returned to France in 1801 and then surrendered to the British September 8, 1803, just 2 months before Haiti's declaration of Independence from France.

The town went through a number of name changes over the years, including Bayaja (1578), Fort-Dauphin (1732), Fort St. Joseph (1804), Fort-Royal (1811) and finally Fort-Liberté (1820), to honor its role as the place of Haiti's first declaration of independence on November 29, 1803.