Fabre Geffrard allowed African-Americans to settle in Haiti

Guillaume Fabre Nocolas Geffrard or simply Fabre Geffrard was the 10th President of Haiti who sworn in as the head of the Republic in 1859 and stayed in power till 1867. Few of his important achievements include placating peasants through revival of state-owned land selling practice and he also ended the differences with Roman Catholic Church. As the schism was erased, the Roman Catholic Church eventually played a very crucial role in improving the education system in Haiti.

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The first thing Fabre Geffrard did after coming to power was that he reduced the army size from 30,000 to its half at 15,000 and at the same time created presidential guards who were trained by Fabre Geffrard himself. In 1859, the National Law School was founded by him and the Medical School started by Boyer was reinstituted. Several lycea were established and modernized by his two ministers François Elie-Dubois and Jean Simon Elie-Dubois. In 1863, the colonial rule of building and maintaining roads were reintroduced. In 1861 African-Americans were allowed to settle in Haiti.

Despite these great achievements, Fabre Geffrard, by 1862, made changes to the Constitution for his personal benefits and gave himself two plantations, a raise and funded his personal luxuries from army and hospital funds. Being a Catholic, Fabre Geffrard renounced any Voodoo faith and demolished instruments, drums and altars used in Voodoo ceremonies. Voodoo practitioners killed a 6 year old girl in a gruesome manner in 1863 and Geffrard went ahead with a thorough investigation and publicly prosecuted the responsible Voodoo practitioners. This later became popular as Affaire de Bizoton.

Since 1859 to 1867, several rebellions came forward to overthrow Fabre Geffrard but they were futile. From 1865, Geffrard clashed with Major Sylvain Salnave who took over Artibonite and North parts of Haiti. This financially ruined Geffrard's regime and in 1867, Geffrard fled to Jamaica with his family and in 1878, he died in Kingston.

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Alette says...

My last name is Geffrard, my parents have both died, I have never been to Haiti but I am trying to do research to find some relatives in Haiti, wondering if I am in this family tree, can you offer me some assistance.

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