Tirésias Simon Sam

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Tirésias Simon Sam
16th President of Haiti
In office
March 31, 1896 – May 12, 1902
Preceded byFlorvil Hyppolite
Succeeded byPierre Nord Alexis
Minister of War and Navy
In office
December 27, 1894 – March 31, 1896
PresidentFlorvil Hyppolite
Preceded byAlson Verne
Succeeded byBorno Monpoint
In office
May 15, 1887 – August 10, 1888
PresidentLysius Salomon
Preceded byBrenor Prophète
Succeeded bySeïde Thélémaque
Minister of Interior and Agriculture
In office
September 1, 1879 – November 3, 1879
Preceded byArmand Thoby
Succeeded byEvariste Laroche
Member of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Haiti
In office
July 26, 1879 – October 23, 1879
Personal details
Paul Tirésias Augustin Simon Sam

(1835-05-15)May 15, 1835
Grande-Rivière-du-Nord, Haiti
DiedMay 11, 1916(1916-05-11) (aged 80)
Political partyNational Party
Spouse(s)Constance Salomon (first)
Victoire Labelle (second)
Alphaïde Metelly (third)
ProfessionMilitary general

Paul Tirésias Augustin Simon Sam[1][2][3] (May 15, 1835 – May 11, 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.


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. 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.

According to the constitution of Haiti, Sam was elected as the new Haitian President, a week after his predecessor Hyppolite died. 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, 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. Sam was sworn in on the 1st of April 1896.

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

Sam's predecessors had majored on infrastructure development, something that 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 to 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 Sam's 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 Sam was to remain in office until 15 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 15 May 1902.

Sam wrote a letter of resignation to the Haitian National Assembly on 12 May 1902, three days before the constitutional expiry of his presidential term. He left Port-au-Prince the following day. After Sam's resignation, 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 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" (in French). Republic of Haiti. p. 222. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Le Procès de la consolidation: documents et pièces judiciaires" (in French). Republic of Haiti. 1979. p. 188. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
Political offices
Preceded by
Florvil Hyppolite
President of Haiti
Succeeded by
Pierre Théoma Boisrond-Canal