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David M. Carletta

In August 1888 a political uprising forced Lysius Salomon, the Haitian president, to sail off into exile after allegedly attempting to make himself president for life. In his absence, rebel leaders set up a provisional government, which included François D. Légitime and Louis Modestin Florvil Hyppolite. In the elections for a constituent assembly, only Port-au-Prince supported Légitime, who received prompt recognition from France, Haiti's former colonial ruler, as well as from England. A civil war followed, during which opponents of Légitime formed a government of their own under the leadership of Hyppolite at Cap-Haïtien in northern Haiti.

The Democratic administration of President Grover Cleveland maintained a policy of neutrality in the conflict Légitime lacked an adequate supply of armaments and a sufficient number of ships to close off Haiti s northern ports The French unwilling to arouse the anger of the United States did not sell Légitime enough ...


Born in the Farquhar Islands, Seychelles, Albert René spent his youth on a plantation that his father managed. He attended Saint Louis College, in Victoria on the island of Mahé, and later a school in Saint Moritz, Switzerland. After abandoning plans to become a priest, he studied law in England at Saint Mary's College, King's College, and the London School of Economics (1962–1964), where he became active in the British Labour Party. Returning home in 1964, he founded the Seychelles People's United Party (SPUP), as well as the nation's first labor union. Elected to the legislative assembly in 1965, René vocally attacked British Colonial Rule and opposed plans endorsed by James Mancham, leader of the rival Seychelles Democratic Party (SDP), to integrate the Seychelles into the British Commonwealth. Upon independence, in 1976 René became prime minister in a coalition government headed by Mancham ...


Raymond Pierre Hylton

college administrator, entrepreneur, and first and sixth president of Liberia, was born either in Norfolk, Portsmouth, or Petersburg, Virginia, the son of James Roberts and Amelia (maiden name unknown). A persistent rumor that his father was an unidentified white man remains no more than mere speculation. James Roberts and his wife were freed people and had seven surviving children. The family ran a boat and trading business that plied the James River. The Robertses probably lived for a while in Norfolk and later moved to Petersburg, where Joseph alternately worked for his father and in a barbershop owned by the Reverend William Nelson Colson, an African American minister and businessman. The Colson business was located at Wythe and Sycamore streets—an historical marker indicates the actual site.

By 1829 James Roberts had died leaving considerable financial assets and property in Petersburg Joseph as the eldest child ...


Peter J. Duignan

fifth president of the Republic of Liberia, was born in Newark, Ohio, the son of John Roye, a wealthy merchant. His mother's name is unknown. His father died in 1829, leaving some personal property and land to Roye. He went to public schools in Ohio, attended Oberlin College, and taught for a few years in Chillicothe. He also tried his hand as a sheep trader and shopkeeper in various parts of the Midwest. After his mother died in 1840 he was influenced by the emigration movement to escape American prejudice. He rejected the idea of going to Haiti and instead traveled to Liberia in 1846 just before an independent republic was installed there in July 1847, taking with him a stock of goods.

At the time of Roye s arrival the new republic faced a variety of ills The dominant Americo Liberians remained a small minority threatened ...


Ari Nave

Albert Zafy was born in Antsiranana in northern Madagascar. He traveled to France in 1954 to attend medical school in Montpellier and remained in France until 1971. Upon his return to Madagascar, he joined General Gabriel Ramanantsoa’s regime as minister of public health. When Lieutenant Commander Didier Ratsiraka assumed power in 1975, Zafy resigned from his post and took a position at the University of Madagascar. In 1989 he returned to politics and created the National Union of Democrats for Development (UNDD). The following year Zafy became the leader of a coalition of opposition parties, the Comité des Forces Vives (CFV). Never having served under Ratsiraka’s Democratic Republic of Madagascar, Zafy was seen as an ideal candidate to spearhead opposition to Ratsiraka.

On July 16 1991 the CFV unilaterally announced the formation of a new government with Zafy as prime minister The sixteen member CFV shadow ...