President Lysius Salomon's Corrupt and Bloody Rule

Lysius Salomon was Haiti's 15th president, beginning his first term in 1879. Born to a black-elite wealthy family, he fought with them against the more politically dominant mulatto elite. The Salomons, after a heightened conflict with the elite, fled Haiti.


When Faustin Soulouque assumed the presidency, Lysius returned to become his Finance Minister. He began engaging in corruption practices, permitting contraband, extortion, and marauding of trade commerce. When Soulouque's reign crumbled, Lysius fled to Europe.

In 1879, by popular demand, Lysius re-entered Haiti to run for the presidency. He won by a landslide. His ambitious agenda included reinstituting public education, restoring solvency to government finances, and cleaning up waste and fraud in government departments. He paid particular attention to the Haitian National Army, strengthening the infantry and artillery divisions. This proved necessary due to impending coups from Haitian political exiles in Jamaica and Cuba.

Lysius's administration was also under siege from rebels within the country. The Cacos rebels in the north began rebelling, were defeated, and survived to rebel several more times against his government. The Cacos rebellion grew to include the south, and Haitian exiles from Jamaica and Cuba joined the insurrectionists. The violence culminated in a blood-bath in Port-au-Prince, with killings and burning government buildings.

Lysius survived to retain his hold on power another three years until 1887. New internal uprisings caused a government break-down and Lysius finally gave up and retreated. He fled back to Paris, dying there a year later.

Reply to this article

Read more: Caco, Lysius Salomon, Newsletter Articles

Main | Les Cayes A Beautiful Town In Haiti »

Return to Articles List

Leave a Reply

Name (required)

E-mail (required, will not be published)

Subject: President Lysius Salomon's Corrupt and Bloody Rule edit

» »

Our objective is to share with you news and information about Haiti and the people of Haiti. Traditions, habits and the way we were  or  grew are alive in this site. We highly recommend that you Subscribe to our Newsletter and also share with us some of the things that are memorable and made us unique people.