Timeline from Columbus to the Revolution
1492: Columbus’ first landing
on Hispaniola (Ayiti:
‘mountainous place’ in Arawak)
1493: Columbus returns to Hispaniola
with 17 ships and 200 soldiers. He institutes slavery and puts the natives to
work mining for gold.
1517: Bartolomo de las Casas predicts the extermination of the Arawak Indians and recommends replacing them as
mine-laborers them as mine laborers with African slaves.
17c. French Buccaneers (boucan- one who
dries and smokes flesh on a boucan after the
manner of the Indians (OED)) use Haiti as a raiding base against Spanish and
1685 Louis XIV proclaims the Code Noir
which defined the conditions of slavery in the French colonial empire,
limiting the types of violence that could be used against slaves.
1697: Massive French naval raid on Spanish settlement at Cartegna
on the coast of what is now Columbia. In the Treaty of Ryswick, Spain ceded
the western section of Hispaniola to the French, and they created the colony
of Saint Dominigue.
1700-04: The French establish a plantation economy in the colony to produce
sugar, molasses and coffee.
1789: Saint Dominigue is the richest colony in the Western Hemisphere, and
Cap Francais on the north coast of the island has
become a town as large as Boston.