Two of Haiti’s founding leaders lost their lives in October. On October 17, 1806, Emperor Jean Jacques Dessalines was ambushed and killed by enemies who opposed his vision for the newly independent island. His remains were scattered until a private citizen, Denise Bazile, is believed to have given him a proper burial. Dessalines' enemies, both foreign and domestic, were outraged over his decision to execute former French slaveholders. Some were unsupportive of his decision to solidify his rule over both eastern and western sides of the island as a result of the Revolution and of the Treaty of Basel. Many were uncooperative with his decision regarding land ownership.
After Emperor Dessalines’ death, Henri Christophe created a separate kingdom in northern Haiti. He continued Toussaint and Dessalines’ vision of securing the island by surrounding it with fortresses. He built the Citadelle, the largest fortress in the western hemisphere. For nearly a decade, he built northern Haiti by instituting a progressive worker’s code and a school system that effectively lowered illiteracy. On October 8, 1820, rebellious forces led him to end his own life, leaving instructions for his remains to be secured within the Citadelle. Today the fortress functions as a mausoleum and as Haiti’s premier World Heritage Site.