Boyer, Jean Pierre
Jean Pierre Boyer (zhäN pyĕr bwäyā´), 1776–1850, president of Haiti (1818–43). A free mulatto, he fought under Toussaint L'Ouverture and then joined André Rigaud, also a mulatto, in the latter's abortive insurrection against Toussaint. He returned in 1802 with the French army of Charles Leclerc but later joined the patriots under Alexandre Pétion, who chose him as his successor. He united N and S Haiti after the suicide of Henri Christophe (1820), and in 1822, taking advantage of the weakness of Spanish Santo Domingo, he took control of the whole island. Compulsory labor was instituted. In 1825 a French fleet forced Boyer to pay an exorbitant indemnity in return for French losses; France then recognized Haitian independence. Financial embarrassment, combined with the labor policy and the devastation of an earthquake in 1843, brought about Boyer's overthrow and permanent exile.