Port Au Prince
PORT AU PRINCE (originally L'HOPITAL, and for brief periods PORT HENRI and PORT REPUBLICAIN), the capital of the republic of Hayti (western portion of the island of IlAYTI, q.v.), lies in 18° 34' N. lat. and 72° 20' W. long. at apex of the vast triangular bay which strikes inland for about 100 miles between the two great peninsulas of the west coast, and has its upper recesses protected by the beautiful island of Gonaives (30 nules long by 2 broad). The city (an archbishopric since the concordat of 1860) is admirably situated on ground that soon begins to rise rapidly towards the hills ; and it was originally laid out by the French on a regular plan with streets of good width running north and south and inter-sected by others at right angles. Everything has been allowed to fall into disorder and disrepair, and to this its public buildings-a state-house, a national bank, a hos-pital, a lyceum, a custom-house, &c.-forin no exception. The national palace remains as the flames of revolution left it in 1869, and the president lives in an ordinary house. The principal church is an " overgrown wooden shed." Every few years whole quarters of the town are burned down, but the people go on building the same slight wooden houses, with only here and there a more substantial warehouse in brick. The state of the streets is deplorable in the extreme ; and, in spite of the old French aqueduct, the water-supply is defective ; while the harbour is rapidly being filled by fetid deposits. From June to September the heat is excessive, reaching 95° to 99° in the shade. According to Ad. Ackerman, the average rainfall for the four years 1864-67 was 61.35 inches, distributed over an average of 152 days. The population, mostly Negroes and mulattoes, is estimated at 20,000. Port au Prince was first laid out by IN-I. de la Cuza in 1749. In 1751 and again in 1770 it was destroyed by earthquakes.
See Edgar La Selve (professor in the Port au Prince lyceum), in Tour du Monde, 1879, and Spenser St John, Hayti, or the Blade Republic, 1884.