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In Port-au-Prince, only a few killings had occurred in the city despite the orders.After Dessalines arrived on 18 March, the number of killings escalated.Yes, I have saved my country, I have avenged America." He referred to the massacre as an act of national authority.Dessalines regarded the elimination of the white Haitians an act of political necessity, as they were regarded as a threat to the peace between the black and the free people of color.Dessalines did not specifically mention that the white women should be killed, and the soldiers were reportedly somewhat hesitant to do so.In the end, however, the women were also put to death, though normally at a later stage of the massacre than the adult males.After the defeat of France and the evacuation of the French army from the former French colony of Saint-Domingue, Dessalines came to power.In November 1803, three days after the French forces under Rochambeau surrendered, he caused the execution by drowning of 800 French soldiers who had been left behind due to illness when the French army evacuated the island.
When these people left their hiding place, however, they were killed as well.
Dessalines did not try to hide the massacre from the world.
In an official proclamation of 8 April 1804, he stated, "We have given these true cannibals war for war, crime for crime, outrage for outrage.
When Dessalines arrived, he first spoke about the atrocities committed by former white authorities, such as Rochambeau and Leclerc, after which he demanded that his orders about mass killings of the area's white population should be put into effect.
Reportedly, he ordered the unwilling to take part in the killings, especially men of mixed race, so that the blame should not be placed solely on the black population.
According to a British captain, about 800 people were killed in the city, while about 50 survived.