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Marie-Jeanne Lamartiniére (1772 - 1810)

Updated: Jan 17

Marie-Jeanne - A Heroine in the Haitian War of Independence


Marie-Jeanne Lamartiniére is one of the most celebrated historical figures in Haiti. She is regarded as a heroine for her courage and valor during the Haitian Revolution (1791–1804). The revolution was a fight for freedom from French colonial rule, and Lamartiniére was one of the key figures leading the struggle.



Marie-Jeanne Lamartiniére was born in 1774 in Jacmel, a city located in southeastern Haiti. She was raised by her aunt, who taught her how to read and write. It was during this time that Lamartiniére became passionate about politics and began to question French colonialism in Haiti. When she turned 18, she joined forces with Toussaint Louverture—the leader of the Haitian Revolution—and began to fight against France’s oppressive rule.


Lamartiniére quickly rose through the ranks and became an essential part of Louverture’s strategy. Her bravery on the battlefield earned her the admiration of many, including Louverture himself who praised her for being “as courageous as any man” in battle. She also served as an example for other women in Haiti who were inspired by her fearlessness and leadership skills.


In addition to being an exceptional soldier, Lamartiniére was also a skilled diplomat. She used diplomatic channels to negotiate peace treaties between rival factions during times of conflict, thus ensuring that no further bloodshed occurred due to internecine disputes between rebel groups. She also used diplomacy to reach out to foreign powers such as Great Britain, France, and Spain in order to gain their support for Haiti’s cause against French colonialism.


In 1803, Marie-Jeanne was captured by French soldiers but managed to escape with help from her followers. After her daring escape, she continued to lead troops until 1804 when Haiti declared its independence from France after thirteen years of struggle and bloodshed.

One of Marie-Jeanne’s most famous acts occurred during the Battle of Vertières in November 1803 where she fought alongside Toussaint Louverture against Napoleon Bonaparte’s army. During this battle, she bravely led a cavalry charge while carrying the Haitian flag aloft – an act which inspired other soldiers to follow and eventually led to victory for the Haitians over their oppressors. This act has made her an iconic symbol among women fighting against oppressive regimes throughout history.

Marie-Jeanne Lamartiniere was an inspiring figure who helped lead Haiti to freedom from French colonial rule. Not only did she help lead troops into battle but also showed great courage under fire while inspiring others with acts such as carrying aloft the Haitian flag during battle at Vertières - something which has made her an iconic symbol among women fighting against oppressive regimes throughout history. By becoming a symbol of anti-colonialism, she inspired countless women in Haiti who continue to honor her memory today as a hero and role model whose courage will never be forgotten. Her life serves as an inspiration not only for Haitians but all those around the world fighting against oppression and injustice everywhere it may appear!

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