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50 Gourdes 2008. Bicentenary of the Haitian Revolution 1804-2004, Haiti

in Krause book Number: 274b
Years of issue: 2008
Signatures: Le Gouverneur: Charles Castel, Le Gouverneur Adjoint: Philippe W. Lahens, Le Directeur Général: Marc Hébert Ignace
Serie: 2004 Issue
Specimen of: 2004
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 156 х 65
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

50 Gourdes 2008. Bicentenary of the Haitian Revolution 1804-2004




The coat of arms of Haiti.


The coat of arms of Haiti was originally introduced in 1807, and has appeared in its current form since 1986.

It shows six draped flags of the country, three on each side, which are located before a palm tree and cannons on a green lawn. On the lawn various items are found, such as a drum, bugles, long guns, and ship anchors. Above the palm tree, there is a Phrygian cap placed as a symbol of freedom. On the lawn between the drum and the ribbon there were supposed to be two pieces of chain with a broken link symbolizing the broken chain of slavery.

The ribbon bears the motto: French: L'Union Fait La Force ("Unity Makes Strength"). This should not be confused with the national motto of Haiti, which according to the Constitution of Haiti is "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity."

The oldest use of a symbol for Haiti is known since 1807. The symbol shows several national flags, with two cannons and palm trees. The symbol indicates the battle for independence of the republic. The motto, in French, means 'Strength through unity'. The use of the symbol was interrupted twice; once was during the period of Henri I. The then president Henri Christophe declared himself as the Emperor of Haiti and adopted a Royal Coat of Arms. On the yellow shield of the arm there was a phoenix rising from its flames with five-pointed stars around it, and the motto Je renais de mes cendres (I will rise in my ashes) inscribed on a ribbon outlining the shield. Two royally crowned lions supported both sides of the shield, and the motto Dieu ma cause et mon épée (God, my cause and my sword) was placed on another ribbon at the bottom. In 1814 Henri I slightly changed his Royal Arm, the lions were removed and the motto was changed to a Latin one: Ex cineribus nascitur (Reborn from the ashes).[1] Another change occurred in 1849, when President General Faustin Soulouque crowned himself as Emperor Faustin I. He adopted new Imperial arms, showing two cannons and a French imperial eagle. Two lions were again used as supporters and the whole was placed in a purple mantle, with a motto similar to the one Henri I used: Dieu, ma patrie et mon épée (God, my country and my sword). The emperor was forced to leave the country in 1859, and the old symbol was later restored. Ever since the composition has been the same, but the colors and items have changed somewhat.


50 Gourdes 2008. Bicentenary of the Haitian Revolution 1804-2004

In top left corner is the coat of arms of Haiti (please, read watermark description).

François Capois

François Capois (or François Cappoix; 1766 – October 8, 1806, nicknamed Capois-La-Mort, also Cappoix-la-Mort, meaning "Capois-Death") was a Haitian officer in the Haitian Revolution (1791–1794) for independence from France.

He was born in Port-de-Paix, Saint-Domingue on the island of Hispaniola, on the plantation of Laveaux/Lapointe. His name was a transformation of the name cappouet, owner of the plantation.

His military career began in 1793 after a visit with independence leader Toussaint Louverture at Port-de-Paix. Then under the colonel Jacques Maurepas he was a member of the 9th brigade. His rank in the army changed quickly, first to Lieutenant, then to Captain of the 3rd Battalion. He participated under general Jacques Maurepas against all expeditions and invasions in the north-eastern region of the island. Capois is mostly known for his extraordinary courage and especially his herculean bravery at the Battle of Vertières in which the French general Viscount of Rochambeau, commander of Napoleon's army in Saint-Domingue (colonial Haiti), even called a brief cease-fire to congratulate him.

After receiving new troops from France, Rochambeau dispatched General Clauzel against Port-de-Paix which Capois was forced to evacuate, but the fearless black general redeemed his defeat by storming the Petit-Fort where he captured the ammunition, of which he was in great need. After his success at Petit-Fort, he decided to attack Tortuga island (Île de la Tortue). The most difficult problem he had in this attack was how to reach this island without ships. He made up for this lack by building a raft consisting merely of planks held together by lianas.

On the night of February 18, 1803, 150 soldiers under the command of Vincent Louis were huddled together on this frail means of transportation in tow of 2 rowboats. They fell unexpectedly on the garrison of Tortuga and for a while seemed to be the conquerors. But the French, who soon got over their surprise, rallied and defeated Vincent Louis, who succeeded in making his escape with some of his companions. The unfortunate blacks who were taken prisoner by the French were tortured to death in expiation of the audacious attempt.

The failure did not discourage the energy of Capois. On April 12, 1803, Capois stormed Port-de-Paix, and soon after, Vincent Louis on his raft was again on his way to Tortuga. He succeeded this time in taking possession of the island, which the French never recovered.

On November 18, 1803, Jean-Jacques Dessalines had ordered Capois to take Vertières, a fort situated upon a mount. Capois-la-Mort advanced with a demi-brigade which, horribly mutilated, soon recoiled before the cannon fire coming from the fort. He led it back for a second time, but was again driven to the bottom of the hill by the mitrailleuse.

The Haitian soldiers, dying, loudly sang the following lines in their dialect:

"Grenadiers a l'assaut ,!

sa ki mouri zafe a yo.

Nan pwen mamam.

Nan pwen papa

sa ki mouri, zafe a yo!

Grenadiers A l'assaut! "

Ulrick Jean-Pierre Ulrick Jean-Pierre

Centered, on background is the painting by Ulrick Jean-Pierre "François Capois at the Battle field".

The story continue:

Boiling with rage, Capois ran to seek other new troops and, mounting his horse, advanced for the third time; again the thousand deaths that vomited from the fortress repulsed him and his brigade. Now for the fourth time, he asked his men to follow him by saying "Forward! forward!". While he was at the head of his men, his horse was hit by a cannonball—he fell, but Capois took his sword, got up, and ran to place himself again at the head of his black soldiers by shouting "Forward! Forward!" His cap, garnished with plumes, was carried away by a shot. He replied to the insult which left him hatless by drawing his sword and again throwing himself into the assault.

Observing this, Rochambeau and his men shouted: "Bravo! bravo! bravo!" The firing in the fort ceased. Suddenly, the battle was still. A French staff officer mounted his horse and rode toward the intrepid Capois-la-Mort. With a great voice he shouted: "General Rochambeau sends compliments to the general who has just covered himself with such glory!" Then he saluted the Haitian warriors, returned to his position and the fight resumed.

The next morning, a French officer followed by his companions led to the headquarters of the Haitian army a horse caparisoned, and delivered him with these words: "The Captain-general (Rochambeau) offers this horse as a mark of admiration to the "black Achilles" to replace the one of his that the French army regrets having killed."

On October 8, 1806, Capois was on his way to Cap-Haïtien when, near Limonade, he rode into a trap set for him, and was killed by assassins on the orders of Henri Christophe.

Denominations in numerals are in top corners. in words - in top right corner.


50 Gourdes 2008. Bicentenary of the Haitian Revolution 1804-2004

Fort Jalousière map

Fort Jalousière, in Marmelade, is one of about twenty military structures, built on the territory of Haiti after independence in 1804. This defensive system was directed against a possible return of the French, former masters of the colony of Santo Domingo.

Denominations in numerals are in top corners. In words in lower right corner.