Haiti bicentennial banknote, 1804-2004, featuring Santite Belair on the front.

“Long live Liberty, Down with Slavery”, were the last words of Suzanne Belair.

Well, did a contemporary Haitian leader name her The Tigress.

 

Detail from front of Haiti bicentennial banknote
Detail from front of Haiti bicentennial banknote.

Not quietly uttered, not in hushed tones, but shouted in the face of the French firing squad.  Sanite Belair faced the squad and refused a blindfold.

The witnessing townspeople, who the French hoped would be intimidated into submission at the sight of this woman’s execution, instead were fired up and continued the resistance.

Suzanne died in late 1802, and the French soon abandoned the Western Hemisphere entirely.

Suzanne was born around 1781.  She was born a free black woman, which afforded her a status better than the black slaves and worse than free whites.  But she despised slavery, joined the cause and married brigade commander Charles Belair, the nephew of the great Haitian freedom fighter Touissant  Louverture.  Together they instigated the uprising at L’Artibonite, which became one of the great battles of the Haitian Independence War.

Back side of Haiti bicentennial banknote, 1804-2004.

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