Pierre Nord Alexis
Pierre Nord Alexis was President of Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

 from December 21, 1902 to December 2, 1908. He was son of Nord Alexis, a high-ranking official in the regime of Henry Christophe, and Blézine Georges, Christophe's illegitimate daughter. Alexis joined the army in the 1830s, serving President Jean-Louis Pierrot
Jean-Louis Pierrot
Jean-Louis Pierrot was a career officer and general in the Haïtian Army. He became president of Haïti on April 16, 1845. During the first Haïtian Kingdom, Henry I promoted Pierrot to the rank of Lieutenant General in the Army and granted him the hereditary title of Prince. As President of Haïti,...

, his father-in-law, as an aide-de-camp. In the ensuing years, he had a tumultuous career: he was exiled in 1874, but returned to Haiti a few years later by President Pierre Théoma Boisrond-Canal
Pierre Théoma Boisrond-Canal
Pierre Théoma Boisrond-Canal was a Haitian politician who served as the President of Haiti three times....

. During the presidency of Lysius Salomon
Lysius Salomon
Lysius Salomon was the President of Haiti from . Salomon is best remembered for instituting Haiti's first postal system, and his lively enthusiasm to modernize the country.....

, he was a vocal leader of the opposition, enduring several jail sentences before Salomon was finally ousted in a revolt. The new president, Florvil Hyppolite
Florvil Hyppolite
Louis Mondestin Florvil Hyppolite was the President of Haiti from 17 October 1889 to 24 March 1896. He was a career soldier, a general. He was installed as president by a constitutional council....

, gave him an important military position in the north, but when President Tirésias Simon Sam
Tirésias Simon Sam
Tirésias Antoine Auguste Simon Sam 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...

 resigned, he joined Anténor Firmin
Anténor Firmin
Joseph Auguste Anténor Firmin , better known as simply Anténor Firmin, was a Haitian anthropologist, journalist, and politician. Firmin is best known for his book De l'Égalité des Races Humaines , which was published as a rebuttal to French writer Count Arthur de Gobineau's work Essai sur...

 in a march on Port-au-Prince
Port-au-Prince is the capital and largest city of the Caribbean nation of Haiti. The city's population was 704,776 as of the 2003 census, and was officially estimated to have reached 897,859 in 2009....

 in an effort to seize control of the government.

The new president, however, was his old ally, Boisrond-Canal, who had returned him from exile some twenty years earlier. Canal defused the tension by appointing Alexis as his Minister of War, driving a wedge between him and Firmin. Troops loyal to Firmin were finally defeated in Port-au-Prince
Port-au-Prince is the capital and largest city of the Caribbean nation of Haiti. The city's population was 704,776 as of the 2003 census, and was officially estimated to have reached 897,859 in 2009....

, leaving only two strongholds, St. Marc and Gonaïves
Gonaïves is a city in northern Haiti, the capital of the Artibonite Department. It has a population of about 104,825 people . The city's name derives from the original Amerindian name of Gonaibo. It is also known as Haïti's "independence city"...

, opposed to the new government of Canal and Alexis. Alexis took advantage of the situation by negotiating with the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and declaring himself in support of American interests in the Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

. The U.S. responded by imposing a naval blockade on the two centers still loyal to Firmin, paving the way for Alexis to seize control of the government for himself.

He did this on December 21, 1902, by leading troops loyal to him into the country's Chamber of Deputies and forcing the legislators to declare him president. Alexis managed to hold on to power for the next six years, though his regime was plagued by rebellion, and the government he presided over was frequently accused of corruption. In January 1908, Alexis, already in his eighties, decided to have himself proclaimed president for life. This reunited the supporters of Firmin, who launched a new revolt against Alexis. While the revolt was crushed, it exacerbated the country's existing economic problems. A famine in the south that same year led to violent food riots and a new rebellion, this time from the south, led by General Antoine Simon
François C. Antoine Simon
François C. Antoine Simon was President of Haiti from 6 December 1908 to 3 August 1911. He led a rebellion against Pierre Nord Alexis and succeeded him as president.-Biography:...

. Ousted from power on December 2, Alexis went into exile in Jamacia and later relocated to New Orleans with his family, where he died on May 1, 1910. He is buried in St.Louis 2 Cememtery in New Orleans.
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