Remembered as a leader of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century Haitian Revolution, this ex-slave served from 1807 until 1811 as President of the State of Haiti and subsequently became King of Haiti (Henry I of Haiti). His reign lasted from 1811 until his death and the abolishment of the monarchy in 1820.
He gained freeman status sometime before the Slave Uprising of 1791 and subsequently relocated to Haiti, where he became a military officer.
During his reign, he developed a Haitian legal system called Code Henry. An unpopular ruler, he ultimately committed suicide to avoid being assassinated.
The child of a free father and an enslaved mother, he is thought to have been born in Grenada and raised in slavery in the French colony of Saint-Domingue. His marriage to Marie-Louise Coidavid (later the Queen of Haiti) resulted in children named Francois-Ferdinand, Francoise-Amethyste, Anne-Athenaire, and Jacques-Victor Henry.
Christophe and fellow Haitian revolutionary Jean-Jacques Dessalines (the first ruler of independent Haiti) were both involved in the 1805 capture of Santo Domingo from the French.