CAP HAITIEN, Cape Haïtien or Haytien, a seaport of Haiti West Indies. Pop. about 15,000. It is situated on the north coast, 90 m. N. of Port au Prince, in 19° 46' N. and 72° 14' W. Its original Indian name was Guarico, and it has been known, at various times, as Cabo Santo, Cap Français and Cape Henri, while throughout Haiti it is always called Le Cap. It is the most picturesque town in the republic, and the second in importance. On three sides it is hemmed in by lofty mountains, while on the fourth it overlooks a safe and commodious harbour. Under the French rule it was the capital of the colony, and its splendour, wealth and luxury earned for it the title of the "Paris of Haiti." It was then the see of an archbishop and possessed a large and flourishing university. The last remains of its former glory were destroyed by the earthquake of 1842 and the British bombardment of 1865. Although now but a collection of squalid wooden huts, with here and there a well-built warehouse, it is the centre of a thriving district and does a large export trade. It was founded by the Spaniards about the middle of the 17th century, and in 1687 received a large French colony. In 1695 it was taken and burned by the British, and in 1791 it suffered the same fate at the hands of Toussaint L'Ouverture. It then became the capital of King Henri Christophe's dominions, but since his fall has suffered severely in numerous revolutions.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)