Sam, Tirésias Augustin Simon (1835–1916)

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Sam, Tirésias Augustin Simon (1835–1916)

Tirésias Augustin Simon Sam (b. 15 May 1835; d. 1916), president of Haiti (31 March 1896–12 May 1902). Military potentate of his native North, minister of war and marine under the presidency of Lysius Salomon (1879–1888), Sam had strong ties within the then dominant dark-skinned faction of the oligarchy. He offered the Haitian elites the combination of force and compromise they expected. With limited formal training, he used his contacts to bring competence to the service of government. He encouraged the construction of railroads around Cap Haïtien and Port-au-Prince. Financial scandals, factionalism, and the renewed bullying of Haiti by foreign powers, notably Germany, France, and the United States, distracted him from an already loose agenda. Forced out of power when he tried to prolong his constitutional mandate, he predicted an endless civil war: "I am the last president of Haiti." In 1915, his son, Jean Vilbrun Guillaume Sam, was briefly the president of Haiti from February until his assassination on July 27.

See alsoHaiti .


Brenda G. Plummer, Haiti and the Great Powers, 1902–1915 (1988).

Additional Bibliography

Auguste, Yves L. Haïti et les Etats-Unis: 1862–1900. Port-au-Prince, Haiti: Impr. H. Deschamps, 1987.

Berloquin-Chassany, Pascale. Haïti, une démocratie compromise, 1890–1911. Paris: Harmattan, 2004.

Gaillard, Roger. L'état vassal (1896–1902). Port-au-Prince, Haiti: R. Gaillard, 1988.

Jolibois, Annie Hilaire. Démocrates et démocratie. Port-au-Prince, Haiti: s.n., 1994.

                                Michel-Rolph Trouillot