Port-Au-Prince, a city, capital of the republic of Hayti, at the head of the bay of Gonaives, on the W. coast of the island; lat. 18° 33' N., Ion. 72° 21' W.; pop. about 21,000. The town is on a rising ground. The streets, though generally wide, are ill paved and very filthy, and the houses, mostly built of wood, are generally dilapidated. Among the public edifices are the president's residence, the senate house, a church, the custom house, mint, and hospital. There are also a lyceum, a college, and a few schools. The surrounding country is for the most part marshy. Notwithstanding the extent and beauty of the bay of Gonaives, the roadstead of Port-au-Prince is small and shallow, and vessels drawing over 10 ft. of water are in danger of dragging on the muddy bottom. There is a monthly steam service to New York, and a very active coasting trade. Coffee, cacao, cotton, logwood, fustic, mahogany, tobacco, wax, tortoise shell, hides, molasses, and rum are exported. The climate is hot, moist, and unhealthy for foreigners; the mean annual temperature is 81° F., and the extremes 63° and 104°. - Port-au-Prince, sometimes called Port Republican, was founded in 1749. It has suffered from earthquakes, especially those of 1751, 1770, and 1842, when the city was almost completely razed.
Disastrous fires are common; that of January, 1843, destroyed one third of the houses.