Alexandre Sabès Pétion

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Pétion, Alexandre Sabès


Born Apr. 2, 1770, in Port-au-Prince; died there Mar. 29, 1818. Haitian statesman and general.

Pétion, a mulatto, served from 1793 with French Army forces fighting the British interventionists who had seized the western part of Haiti. In 1802 he sided with Haitian patriots who fought for independence and in 1803 liberated Port-au-Prince from French troops. Pétion participated in the plot against Dessalines in 1806. From 1807 to 1818 he served as president of the Republic of Haiti.

Pétion represented the interests of the affluent mulattoes, who were landowners, merchants, and moneylenders. He promoted the development of capitalist relations, distributed state lands to peasants, and introduced free and universal education. He assisted Latin-American patriots in the struggle against Spanish rule by helping equip military expeditions.

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In exchange for military troops and aid, Bolivar promised President Alexandre Sabes Petion that if he was successful in his mission to decolonize Latin America, he would free the slaves.