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Florvil Hyppolite

Mole St. Nicholas as potential US naval base for Canal of Panama

Mole St. Nicholas as potential US naval base for Canal of Panama

Here is a picture of Môle St. Nicholas in Haiti as a strategic location as potential US naval base to protect Canal of Panama.

Ex-President Florvil Hyppolite, eager to have the might of the United States behind him during a trying period, began to have negotiations with Admiral Bancroft Gherardi, a negotiator appointed to represent US President, Benjamin Harrison, to talk about the US's acquisition of Môle St. Nicholas as a US naval base for the Panama Canal. At that period, the elevated limestone peninsula was thought to be impregnable, and the US, seeking a Caribbean site for their base, was eager to acquire the 5.5km piece of land. The deal fell through, however, as the sale would have been against the Haitian Constitution.

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Florvil Hyppolite, his extra marital affair with Victoire Jean-Baptiste

Florvil Hyppolite, his extra marital affair with Victoire Jean-Baptiste

The story of President Florvil Hyppolite and his extra marital affair with Victoire Jean-Baptiste, better known by the nickname "La Belle Victory"

Haitian President during the late 1880's and the early 1890's Florvil Hyppolite had a long-standing, very public affair outside of his marriage with Victoire Jean-Baptiste. Long before Bill and Monica, the relationship between the President and the beautiful peasant woman, who worked for First Lady Gelyne Hyppolite, sensationalized the nation, not only for the aforementioned facts, but also because Jean-Baptiste became more prominent in her role as faux-first-lady upon the death of Hyppolite's wife, and because of her supposed affairs with his Minister of War and even his son.

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President Florvil Hyppolite and Ministers in 1889

President Florvil Hyppolite and Ministers in 1889

Here is a picture of President Florvil Hyppolite and his entire Ministers in 1889.

At the start of the last decade of the 19th century, Haiti welcomed a new leader in the stylish President Florvil Hyppolite, along with the equally stylish First-Lady Adelaide Marcial Florina Charles. His slightly controversial death (so for the speculation as to the circumstances surrounding his fall from a horse) was no more interesting than his time before becoming president, specifically the year before he took power.

At the time, David Blaine, the US secretary of state was sent by President Benjamin Harrison to treat with Hyppolite on the exchange. Blaine took with him to meet Hyppolite, Haiti's General Consul, Frederick Douglass. The deal however, was viewed as unconstitutional; not even a lease could be considered. The situation was weighed over by the Minister of External Affairs, Antenor Firmin, who put paid to the whole idea by citing the edicts of the Haitian Constitution.

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250th Anniversary of Port-Au-Prince and President Florvil Hyppolite

250th Anniversary of Port-Au-Prince and President Florvil Hyppolite

These Haitian bank notes were created in commemoration of the 250th Anniversary of Port-Au-Prince and President Florvil Hyppolite

Born as Louis Mondestin Florvil Hyppolite, he was a black man of the elite class who was chosen by the Constituent Assembly of Haiti, on a meeting in Gonaives on October 9, 1889, to be the nation's president, a title he would hold for a period of seven years. The decision was made following Hyppolite's clash with the then president, François Denys Legitime, who Hyppolite would overthrow. Within that war it is said Legitime had the backing of France and the British, while Hyppolite had tried to secure that of America by guaranteeing the US a Haitian region named Mole Saint Nicolas. From the deal, Hyppolite would receive aid and additional security.

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President Florvil Hyppolite Haiti's famed Iron Market

President Florvil Hyppolite Haiti's famed Iron Market

President Florvil Hyppolite was credited for many infrastructure accomplishments during his short government in Haiti. One of them is the establishment of telephone lines. He also created a diligent Ministry of Public Works, under which Haiti's famed Iron Market was built.

Haiti's famed Iron Market has received some reasonable amount of press in the last few months due to the timely renovation of the historical attraction. What hasn't garnered equal fame is the Market's founder, President Louis Mondestin Florvil Hyppolite. President Hyppolite was born in Cap Haitian in March of 1828 and became the leader of the country after defeating and overthrowing Legitime. What we will remember today, however, is not Hyppolite's birth, not his Iron Market, not his rise to power, but rather, his Panama Hat.

Many Haitians took this as a sign of his impending death. There were tales of strange objects, such as a cock's head and a dried human liver, being found sewn into his coat. His persona as a ruthless man, as well as the President of Haiti, meant that rumors of poisoning also abounded. Whatever the true cause of his death, the song that immortalizes it, ending with the line, "Whoever wants can go 'head and pick it up for me," has kept up throughout Haitian history.

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President Louis Mondestin Florvil Hyppolite and his Panama Hat

President Louis Mondestin Florvil Hyppolite and his Panama Hat

There is a Haitian folk song dated back to President Louis Mondéstin Florvil Hyppolite and we are still singing it. The famous story of his Panama Hat

To be a Haitian President, one needed, especially in the 1800's, to be well dressed. Few could imagine a better dressed man than one who was donning the very stylish and increasingly essential Panama hats that were all the rage. Hyppolite, already considered a well-dressed man with his glasses tinted blue and white suits was immortalized as the man in the Panama hat when, upon his death, a song that would live on through generations was born. In typical Haitian satire, the circumstances of his death, having fallen off a horse under what some called mysterious circumstances (though some say it was a simple heart attack), made for a catchy tune that seemed to reference an incidence five years before when his Panama hat had, indeed, fallen off his head.

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Michel Martelly at Marche Hyppolite in Cap-Haitian

Michel Martelly at Marche Hyppolite in Cap-Haitian

Here is a picture of the Haitian president michel Martelly in a tour of the Marche Hyppolite in Cap-Haitian in July, 2011. He was in the region to promote tourism in several regions in Haiti. Although the Marche en fer in port-au-Prince has recently received all the glories due to the major invest ment of the executive director of Digicel company, our own Marche hyppolite in Cap-Haitian is as historic as the one in Port-au-Prince.

It was also a great gesture for the presiden of Haiti Michel Martelly to pay a visit to the Marche Hyppolite in Cap-Haitian

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