Faustin-Élie Soulouque

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Soulouque, Faustin-Élie

 

Born circa 1782 in Petit-Goâve, Haiti; died there Aug. 6,1867. Haitian state and military figure.

The son of a Negro slave woman, Soulouque remained illiterate throughout his life. He was set free in 1793. From 1802 to 1803, he took active part in the war for Haiti’s independence from France. He became a general in 1843 and president of Haiti in 1847. In 1849 he adopted the title of emperor and as Faustin I established a bloody, despotic regime. In 1849 and in 1855–56 he attempted to seize the Dominican Republic. The army rose up against Soulouque in December 1858, causing him to abdicate, and in January 1859 he fled to Jamaica. He returned to Haiti in 1867.

The name “Soulouque” was used by Marx and by Engels, as well as by many publicist-democrats, as a contemptuous nickname for Napoleon III.