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 British shipping

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.