Simon, Antoine (1844–1923)

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Simon, Antoine (1844–1923)

Simon, Antoine (b. ca. 1844; d. ca 1923), president of Haiti (1908–1911). Simon overthrew Pierre Nord-Alexis and became the first black since Lysius Salomon to occupy the president's chair. From southern Haiti, uneducated, and with real sympathy for common folk and folk culture, Simon exhibited populist qualities. But overwhelming problems isolated him from those whom he might have served well.

Growing U.S. capitalist interests burdened his administration. The City Bank of New York extended its interests in the Bank Nationale d'Haiti and financed the McDonald contract—based on grants to James P. McDonald to build a railroad from Port-au-Prince to Cap Haitien. The McDonald contract especially irked rural cacos of northern Haiti, who envisioned the confiscation of their small farms to build the hated American railroad. German and French capitalists also were active in the Haitian economy.

Simon's oppression of mulattoes, arbitrary arrests of protesting schoolteachers, and mass slaughter of a caco town in northeastern Haiti focused foreign scorn on him. In August 1911 he went into exile.

See alsoHaiti; Nord, Pierre Alexis; Salomon, Louis Étienne Lysius Félicité.


James Leyburn, The Haitian People (1941); David Nicholls, From Dessalines to Duvalier: Race, Colour, and National Independence in Haiti (1979); Brenda Gayle Plummer, Haiti and the Great Powers, 1902–1915 (1988).

Additional Bibliography

Dent, David W. The Legacy of the Monroe Doctrine: A Reference Guide to U.S. Involvement in Latin America and the Caribbean. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999.

Gaillard, Roger. La république exterminatrice. 6 v. Port-au-Prince: R. Gaillard, 1984.

                                          Thomas O. Ott