Jean-Jacques Dessalines (20 September 1758 – 17 October 1806) was a leader of the Haitian Revolution and the first ruler of an independent Haiti under the 1804 constitution. Initially regarded as governor-general, Dessalines later named himself Emperor Jacques I of Haiti (1804–1806). He is regarded as a founding father of Haiti.
After the betrayal and capture of Toussaint Louverture in 1802, Dessalines became the leader of the revolution. He defeated a French army at the Battle of Vertières in 1803. Declaring Haiti an independent nation in 1804, Dessalines was chosen by a council of generals to assume the office of governor-general. He ordered the 1804 Haiti massacre of the white Haitian minority, resulting in the deaths of between 3,000 and 5,000 people, between February and April 1804. In September 1804, he proclaimed himself emperor and ruled in that capacity until being assassinated in 1806.