We, H. Christophe, Clerveaux, Vernet, Gabart, Petion, Geffard, Toussaint, Brave, Raphael, Roamin, Lalondridie, Capoix, Magny, Daut, Conge, Magloire, Ambrose, Yayou, Jean Louis Franchois, Gerin, Mereau, Fervu, Bavelais, Martial Besse…
well in our name as in that of the people of Hayti, who have legally constituted us faithfully organs and interpreters of their will, in presence of the Supreme Being, before whom all mankind are equal, and who has scattered so many species of creatures on the surface of the earth for the purpose of manifesting his glory and his power by the diversity of his works, in the presence of all nature by whom we have been so unjustly and for so long a time considered as outcast children.
declare that the tenor of the present constitution is the free spontaneous and invariable expression of our hearts, and the general will of our constituents, and we submit it to the sanction of H.M. the Emperor Jacques Dessalines our deliverer, to receive its speedy and entire execution.
Art. 1. The
people inhabiting the island formerly called St. Domingo, hereby agree to form themselves into a free state sovereign and independent of any other power in the universe, under the name of empire of Hayti.
is forever abolished.
of Hayti are brothers at home; equality in the eyes of the law is incontestably acknowledged, and there cannot exist any titles, advantages, or privileges, other than those necessarily resulting from the consideration and reward of services rendered to liberty and independence.
law is the same to all, whether it punishes, or whether it protects.
law has no retroactive effect.
is sacred, its violation shall be severely prosecuted.
quality of citizen of Hayti is lost by emigration and naturalization in foreign countries and condemnation to corporal or disgrace punishments. The fist case carries with it the punishment of death and confiscation of property.
quality of Citizen is suspended in consequence of bankruptcies and failures.
person is worth of being a Haitian who is not a good father, good son, a good husband, and especially a good soldier.
and mothers are not permitted to disinherit their children.
Citizen must possess a mechanic art.
whiteman of whatever nation he may be, shall put his foot on this territory with the title of master or proprietor, neither shall he in future acquire any property therein.
preceding article cannot in the smallest degree affect white woman who have been naturalized Haytians by Government, nor does it extend to children already born, or that may be born of the said women. The Germans and Polanders naturalized by government are also comprized (sic) in the dispositions of the present article.
acception (sic) of colour among the children of one and the same family, of whom the chief magistrate is the father, being necessarily to cease, the Haytians shall hence forward be known only by the generic appellation of Blacks.
Empire of Hayti is one and indivisible. Its territory is distributed into six military divisions.
military division shall be commanded by a general of division.
generals of division shall be independent of one another, and shall correspond directly with the Emperor, or with the general in chief appointed by his Majesty.
following Islands are integral parts of the Empire, viz. Samana, La Tortue, La Gonave, Les Cayemites, La Saone, L'Isle a Vache, and other adjacent islands.
Government of Hayti is entrusted to a first Magistrate, who assumes the title of Emperor and commander in chief of the army.
people acknowledge for Emperor and Commander in Chief of the Army, Jacques Dessalines, the avenger and deliverer of his fellow citizens. The title of Majesty is conferred upon him, as well as upon his august spouse, the Empress.
person of their Majesties are sacred and inviolable.
State will appropriate a fixed annual allowance to her Majesty the Empress, which she will continue to enjoy even after the decease of the Emperor, as princess dowager.
crown is elective not hereditary.
shall be assigned by the state an annual income to the children acknowledge by his Majesty the Emperor.
male children acknowledged by the Emperor shall be obliged, in the same manner as other citizens, to pass successively from grade to grade, with this only difference, that their entrance into service shall begin at the fourth demi brigade, from the period of their birth.
Emperor designates, in the manner he may judge expedient, the person who is to be his successor either before or after his death.
suitable provision shall be made by the state to that successor from the moment of his accession to the throne.
Emperor, and his successors, shall in no case and under no pretext whatsoever, have the right of attacking to their persons any particular or privileged body, whether as guards of honour, or under any other denomination.
successor deviating from the dispositions of the preceding article, or from the principles consecrated in the present constitution shall be considered and declared in a state of warfare against the society. In such a case, the counselors of state will assemble in order to pronounce his removal, and to chose one among themselves who shall be judged the most worthy of replacing him; and if it should happen that the said successor oppose the execution of this measure, authorized by law, the Generals, counselor of state, shall appeal to the people and the army, who will immediately give their whole strength and assistance to maintain Liberty.
Emperor makes seals and promulgates the laws; appoints and revokes at will, the Ministers, the General in Chief for the Army, the Counselors of State, the Generals and other agents of the Empire, the sea offices, the members of the local administrations, the Commissaries of Government near the Tribunals, the judges, and other public functionaries.
Emperor directs the receipts and expenditures of the State, Surveys the Mint of which he alone orders the emission, and fixes the weight and the model.
him alone is reserved the power of making peace or war, to maintain political intercourse, and to form treaties.
provides for the interior safety and for the defense of the State: and distributes at pleasure the sea and land forces.
case of conspiracies manifesting themselves against the safety of the state, against the constitution, or against his person, the Emperor shall cause the authors or accomplices to be arrested and tried before a special Council.
Majesty has alone the right to absolve a criminal and commute his punishment.
Emperor shall never form any enterprize (sic) with the views of making conquests, nor to disturb the peace and interior administration of foreign colonies.
public act shall be made in these terms: "THE EMPEROR I. OF HAYTI, AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE ARMY BY THE GRACE OF GOD, AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW OF THE STATE."