Boyer, Jean Pierre

Boyer, Jean Pierre

(zhäN pyĕr bwäyā`), 1776–1850, president of Haiti (1818–43). A free mulatto, he fought under Toussaint LouvertureToussaint Louverture or L'Ouverture, François Dominique
, c.1744–1803, Haitian patriot and martyr.
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 and then joined André RigaudRigaud, André
, 1761–1811, Haitian mulatto general in the wars that liberated Haiti. Educated, but vain, he believed in the superiority of mulattoes. He sought (1798–1800) unsuccessfully to wrest the leadership from Toussaint Louverture.
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, also a mulatto, in the latter's abortive insurrection against Toussaint. He returned in 1802 with the French army of Charles LeclercLeclerc, Charles Victor Emmanuel
, 1772–1802, French general. He served under Napoleon Bonaparte in the Italian campaign, married (1797) Pauline Bonaparte, and took part in Napoleon's coup of 18 Brumaire (1799). In 1801 he commanded the French expedition to Portugal.
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 but later joined the patriots under Alexandre PétionPétion, Alexandre
, 1770–1818, Haitian revolutionist. After taking part in the expulsion (1798) of the English from Haiti, he joined (1799) André Rigaud against Toussaint Louverture and commanded the heroic but tragic defense of Jacmel, a southern port.
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, who chose him as his successor.

Boyer united N and S Haiti after the suicide of Henri ChristopheChristophe, Henri
, 1767–1820, Haitian revolutionary leader. A freed black slave, he aided Toussaint Louverture in the liberation of Haiti and was army chief under Dessalines.
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 (1820), and in 1822, taking advantage of the weakness of Spanish Santo Domingo, he took control of the whole island. Compulsory labor was instituted. In 1825 a French fleet forced Boyer to pay an exorbitant indemnity in return for French losses; France then recognized Haitian independence. Financial embarrassment, combined with the labor policy and the devastation of an earthquake in 1843, brought about Boyer's overthrow and permanent exile.