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FC Port-au-Prince overlook

Port-au-Prince, 1735

Port-au-Prince is the capital and largest city of the Caribbean country of Haiti. located at the heart of the Gulf of Gonâve. During the early-mid 18th century it was a French colony, and the center of the Caribbean slave trade.


By the late 17th century, the colony was a remote region part of the Spanish Empire. In 1697, the Spaniards relinquished sovereignty over the territory and handed it over to France through the Treaty of Ryswick. The French begun to colonize the city and the island even before it was officially under their possession.[1]

In 1735, the Assassin Adéwalé washed ashore just outside the town following the loss of his vessel, the Victoire, in a storm. At the time of his arrival, the town was surrounded by three major sugar plantations, which fed the colony's trade. During the following two years, he greatly supported the ever-growing Maroon rebellion on the island.[2]

After 1749, Port-au-Prince was substantially developed.[1] On 21 November 1751, the city was devastated by a massive earthquake caused by the defense mechanism of a First Civilization site. The earthquake was accidentally triggered by the Assassin, Vendredi, who was sent there under the orders of his Mentor, François Mackandal. While the Assassin tried to make his escape, he was confronted by the Templar Lawrence Washington. Washington promised to save the Assassin, whose legs were crushed beneath the debris, in return for Mackandal's location. However, Washington killed Vendredi after he revealed his Mentor's hideout. The earthquake caused immense damage, which resulted Adéwalé to bring supplies from the Colonial Assassins to help the thousands of people who were left homeless, recruiting his son Babatunde Josèphe in the process.[3]

During the later part of the 18th century, the de Grandpré business sent ships to Port-au-Prince to import and export several goods.[4]

In 1770, the city was again struck by an earthquake that destroyed large parts of the territory. However, this did not prevent the city from replacing Cap Français as the capital city of Saint-Domingue.[1]



  • The use of the name "Port-au-Prince" to refer to the settlement in Freedom Cry is anachronistic. While there was a French colony in the area during the 1730s, the town was named L'Hôpital before 1749.