From The Root:
1492 – Dec. 5, Columbus lands on a large island he names Isla Española (Spanish Island), later changed to Hispaniola. It is inhabited by Taino and Arawak Indians.
1503 – First Africans brought to Hispaniola for labor after pleas from a Spanish priest who wants to save the Indians from extinction.
1592 – Spanish governor executes Queen Anacaona, the last Taino chief.
1659 – First official settlement on Tortuga (off the coast of Haiti) by French buccaneers who hunt wild cattle and by pirates who attack ships sailing from South America to Europe.
1664 – French West India Company takes control of Western third of the island and names it Saint-Domingue.
1670 – First French settlement on the main island, named Cap Francois, later Cap-Français and now Cap-Haitien, the second largest city in Haiti. Settlers grow cacao, coffee, tobacco and indigo and begin importing slaves as labor.
1685 – Louis XIV enacts the Code Noir, which regulates the treatment of slaves and sets obligations for owners. Corporal punishment is allowed, sanctioning brutal treatment.
1697 – Spain formally cedes the Western third of the island to France via the Treaty of Ryswick.
1749 – Port-au-Prince is founded.