A Guide to the United States’ History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Haiti


Haiti is the second-oldest republic in the Western Hemisphere, after the United States. Though it won independence from France in 1804, Haiti did not receive U.S. recognition until 1862. Haiti experienced numerous periods of intense political and economic disorder, prompting U.S. military intervention in 1915. Following a 19-year occupation, U.S. military forces were withdrawn in 1934, and Haiti regained sovereign rule.

Modern Flag of Haiti


U.S. Recognition of Haitian Independence, 1862.

The United States recognized Hayti (Haiti) on July 12, 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln commissioned Benjamin F. Whidden was to act as a U.S. diplomatic representative to Hayti under the title “commissioner and consul-general.”

Diplomatic Relations

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations and the American Legation in Haiti, 1862.

Diplomatic relations and the American Legation in Port-au-Prince were established on October 1, 1862, when Commissioner and Consul General Benjamin F. Whidden presented his credentials to the Government of the Republic of Haiti.

Elevation of American Legation to Embassy Status, 1943.

Following a joint announcement on March 23, 1943, between the United States and seven American Republics that included Haiti, the Legations in the respective nations and the United States were raised to the status of Embassy. John Campbell White was promoted to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and presented his credentials to the Government of Haiti on April 14, 1943.


  • Department of State Country Fact Sheet: Haiti
  • Department of State Country Information: Haiti