Special thanks to John M. Kelleher
20 Country Way
Shrewsbury, MA

For contributing this translation to my web site.

Constitution of 1807 (In Force in the North)

The executives below signed, empowered by the people of Haiti and legally summoned by His Excellence the Head of the Army.

Imposed of the necessity of making them enjoy their mandates to the sacred, imprescribable and inalienable rights of man.

Proclaim in the presence and under the auspices of the Allmighty the articles contained in the present Constitutional Pact.


The State of the Citizens

Article 1. Every resident person in the territory of Haiti is free in full right.

Article 2. Slavery in Haiti is forever abolished.

Article 3. Nobody shall be able to violate the asylum of a citizen or enter his house violently, except by emanated order of a superior and competent authority.

Article 4. Property is protected by the Government, every attack against the goods of a citizen is a crime that the law punishes.

Article 5. The law punishes murder with the death penalty.


The Government

Article 6. The Government of Haiti is composed:

1. Of a First Magistrate who takes the title and quality of. President and Generalissimo of the forces of land and sea of Haiti. Any other denomination remains forever prohibited.

2. Of a Council of State

The Government of Haiti takes the title and will be known under the denomination of State of Haiti.

Article 7. The Constitution names the General-in-Chief: Henry Christophe, President and Generalissimo of the forces of land and sea of Haiti.

Article 8. The position of President and Generalissimo of the forces of land and sea is for life.

Article 9. The President shall be able to choose his successor; but only from amongst the generals and with the following formalities:

Said selection will be secret and it will be noted down on a closed sheet, which will only be opened by the Council of State, solemnly gathered for the purpose.

The President shall take all the precautions necessary to make known to the Council of State the place where he deposits this sheet.

Article 10. The Armed Forces of land and sea are under the orders of the President, as is the direction of Finances, whose administration he shall entrust to a Superintendent General and supervisors designated by him.

Article 11. The President can conclude treaties with foreign Nations, to establish commercial relations with them as well as to secure the independence of the State.

Article 12. It pertains to him to negotiate peace and to declare war to maintain the rights of the Haitian people.

Article 13. He shall be able to suggest the means that favor the augmentation of the population of the country.

Article 14. He proposes laws to the Council of State, which, after having adopted them and transcribed them, returns them for his sanction, without which they cannot be executed.

Article 15. The allocation of the President is set at forty thousand gourdes per year.


The Council of State

Article 16. The Council of State is composed of nine members named by the President of whom at least two-thirds shall be generals.

Article 17. The functions of the Council of State consist of receiving the bills presented by the President, and of transcribing them in the manner which he judges advisable.

Article 18. On the initiative of the President, the Council of State shall decide the amount of the taxes and the manner of collecting them.

Article 19. The sanction of treaties concluded by the President with foreign Nations shall pertain to the Council of State.

Article 20. It pertains to the Council to decide the form of recruitment of the Army.

Article 21. A summary of the income and expenses of the State and a summary of its resources shall also be presented to the Council every year by the Superintendent-General of Finances, according to the orders of the President.

Article 22. The Council of State gathers in the place of residence of the President whenever he summons it to him.


The Superintendent of Finances

Article 23. The Government of Haiti shall have a Superintendent-General in charge of Finances, the Navy and the Interior.


The Secretary of State

Article 24. There shall be a Secretary of State named by the President in charge of the transcription and countersignature of all the public acts of the Government, and of the internal and external correspondence


The Courts

Article 25. In each Division a Court shall be established which will know civil matters as well as penal ones.

Article 26. A Court of Commerce shall be established in each Division.

Article 27. In each Parish there shall be a Justice of the Peace who can judge at first solicitation, up to the sum that the law determines. However, all citizens shall be able to have their differences judged by friendly arbitrators.

Article 28. Special Councils for military crimes shall also be established; these special Councils shall be appointed by the President, dissolving after the execution of each sentence.

Article 29. The form of procedure in civil matters as well as in penal ones shall be regulated by a special code.



Article 30. The Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Religion is the only one recognized by the Government. The exercise of others is tolerated, but shall not be done publicly.

Article 31. There shall be an Apostolic Prefect in charge of the divine worship and all related to this; he communicates directly with the President, he proposes regulations concerning the Church, and he denounces to the President the irregularities that may occur.

Article 32. The State does not at all provide the sustenance of any Minister of Religion; but the law shall determine the agreed emoluments and recompense to his ministry.

Article 33. Nobody has the right to disturb the exercise of any worship.


The Public Education

Article 34. A central school shall be established in each Division and proper schools shall be established in each District.

Nevertheless, all citizens shall be permitted to maintain private houses of education.

Article 35. The salaries of professors and teachers as well as the monitoring of the schools shall be regulated by a special law.


Guarantee to Neighboring Colonies

Article 36. The Government of Haiti declares to the Powers that have colonies in its vicinity its unshakeable decision to not disturb the regime by which they are governed.

Article 37. The nation of Haiti shall not in any way make conquests outside the Island, limiting itself to conserving its territory.


General Dispositions

Article 38. No association or corporation which intends to disturb the public order shall be tolerated in Haiti.

Article 39. Every seditious meeting shall be dissolved by the Armed Forces when the verbal order of a competent authority is not enough to do so.

Article 40. All Haitians between 10 and 50 years are obligated to lend their services to the Army as many times as the security of the State requires.

Article 41. The Government solemnly guarantees to foreign merchants the security of their persons and their goods, and it assures the most effective protection to them.

Article 42. Because of the advantages which foreigners in Haiti enjoy, they shall be subjected, during their stay, to the laws of the Country, as though they were Haitian subjects.

Article 43. A special law shall divide the territory in the manner most advantageous.

Article 44. The application of the Constitution shall be suspended in all places of the territory of Haiti in which disturbances take place that force the dispatch of the Armed Forces to restore order.

Article 45. The uniformity of weights and measures shall be general in Haiti.

Article 46. Divorce is rigorously prohibited in Haiti.

Article 47. Marriage, being a civil and religious bond that fosters moral convention, shall be honored and specially protected.

Article 48. Fathers and mothers shall not have the right to disinherit their children.

Article 49. Agriculture, as the first, noblest, and most useful of all the crafts, shall be fostered and protected.

Article 50. National celebrations celebrating Independence, the Constitution, Agriculture, and the Saint's Days of the President and his wife shall be established and shall be fixed by law.

Article 51. No law can have retroactive effect.

Done in Le Cap, the 17th of February of 1807, year IV of Independence.


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