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The Home of Marie-Claire Heureuse

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The Home of Marie-Claire Heureuse

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Marie-Claire Heureuse Félicité Bonheur, the first Empress consort of the independent Haiti, was the daughter of two poor but free Haitians from Leogane. She was born sometime in 1758. After becoming widow of her first husband Pierre Lunic in 1795, she married Jean-Jacques Dessalines in 1800 and became the Empress consort of Haiti (1804-1806) as the spouse of Jean-Jacques Dessalines. In early 1804, when Jacques Dessalines (born 20 September 1758, died 17 October 1806) issued drastic order, the extermination of the entire White population of Haiti, Marie-Claire was adamantly opposed to this policy and she made no secret of the fact. From her earliest days, she had been a nurse and teacher by heart. She maintained her principles and values, relentlessly worked to alleviate the suffering of prisoners and wounded men irrespective of their colors and races. In 1843, she was granted a modest pension by the government, but it was not because she was a former imperial consort; it was offered because the government confiscated all of her husband's extensive properties leaving nothing to her. Marie died on 8 August 1858 (aged 99-100).

Tags: woman, women, historic site, haitian women, History, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Marie-Claire Heureuse

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