Tirésias Simon Sam

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tirésias Simon Sam
Tirésias Simon Sam portrait.jpg
16th President of Haiti
In office
March 31, 1896 – May 12, 1902
Preceded by Florvil Hyppolite
Succeeded by Pierre Nord Alexis
Minister of War and Navy
In office
December 27, 1894 – March 31, 1896
President Florvil Hyppolite
Preceded by Alson Verne
Succeeded by Borno Monpoint
In office
May 15, 1887 – August 10, 1888
President Lysius Salomon
Preceded by Brenor Prophète
Succeeded by Seïde Thélémaque
Minister of Interior and Agriculture
In office
September 1, 1879 – November 3, 1879
Preceded by Armand Thoby
Succeeded by Evariste Laroche
Member of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Haiti
In office
July 26, 1879 – October 23, 1879
Personal details
Born Paul Tirésias Augustin Simon Sam
(1835-05-15)May 15, 1835
Grande-Rivière-du-Nord, Haiti
Died 1916
Political party National Party
Spouse(s) Constance Salomon (first)
Victoire Labelle (second)
Alphaïde Metelly (third)
Profession Military general

Paul Tirésias Augustin Simon Sam[1][2][3] (1835–1916) was the President of Haiti from 31 March 1896 to 12 May 1902. He resigned the presidency just before completing his six-year term. A likeness of Simon Sam has been featured on several Haitian postage stamps.


Born in the year 1835, Tirésias Simon Sam was a well-received politician and he rose to become the country's president in the year 1896. Simon Sam resigned before completion of his presidential term. His political popularity has seen several postage stamps in Haiti bear his likeness. There were reports that Victoire Jean-Baptiste, the president’s mistress, had much influence on his leadership. This article looks into detail the governance of Tirésias Simon Sam.

According to the constitution of Haiti, Tirésias Simon Sam was elected as the new Haitian President, a week after his predecessor Hyppolite died. Simon Sam was instituted by the National Assembly which held a meeting in Port-au-Prince on the 31st of March 1896. Before the new position Simon Sam was the Secretary of War for Haiti. His new term was to run for a period of seven years according to the Haitian constitution.

All the relevant people in governance had accepted the election of the new president. Simon Sam was sworn in on the 1st of April 1896.

Despite humiliation and pressure from foreign authorities, especially United States and Germany, Haiti remained calm during the reign of the popular President Simon-Sam.

His predecessors had majored on infrastructure development, something that Tirésias Simon Sam embraced. During his governance a new structure to hold the country’s Court of Justice was started in Port-au-Prince. New railways were constructed to connect major towns with the Haitian capital. In 1900, Simon Sam’s government signed a treaty with France for reciprocity. In 1902 the US also signed a treaty with Haiti on naturalization.

Concerning his term in office, the Haitian General Assembly had misinterpreted the constitution. The issue had been published in local newspapers and was raising concerns. Whereas the National Assembly had declared that Tirésias Simon Sam was to remain in office until the 15th of May, 1903 this was contrary to the Haitian constitution. According to the Constitution of Haiti, article 93 reads: “In case of the death, resignation, or dismissal of the President, his successor is appointed for seven years, and his power must always cease on the 15th of May, even if the seventh year of his term be not completed.” This article was applicable to the presidential term of Simon Sam. His election was on 31 March 1896 and so he was supposed to leave the presidential seat on the 15th day of May, 1902.

President Sam wrote a letter of resignation to the Haitian National Assembly on the 12th day of May, 1902, three days before the constitutional expiry of his presidential term. He left Port-au-Prince the following day. After resignation of Tirésias Simon Sam, Haiti was left in the hands of an interim government that was led by General Boisrond Canal, a former Head of state of the country. This provisional government was responsible for maintaining law and order before an election of a legal president.

The cousin of Simon Sam, Vilbrun Guillaume Sam, was also a President of Haiti for only five months in 1915. His mistress, Victoire Jean-Baptiste, is said to have had some influence over him.


  1. ^ "Tiresias Augustin Simon Sam to the Secretary of State". The New York Public Library Digital Collections. Retrieved 29 March 2016. 
  2. ^ Ganthier, Claudius, ed. (1908). "Recueil des lois et actes de la République d'Haïti de 1887 à 1904, Volume 2". Republic of Haiti. p. 222. Retrieved 29 March 2016.  (French)
  3. ^ "Le Procès de la consolidation: documents et pièces judiciaires". Republic of Haiti. 1979. p. 188. Retrieved 29 March 2016.  (French)
Political offices
Preceded by
Florvil Hyppolite
President of Haiti
Succeeded by
Pierre Théoma Boisrond-Canal