Faustin Soulouque, a Haytian emperor under the title of Faustin I., born in the district of Petit Goave, in the southern peninsula of Hayti, about 1785, died there in July, 1867. He was born a slave, but became free by the decree of 1790, took part in the negro insurrection against the French in 1803, served as captain under President Boyer in 1820, as colonel under Herard in 1844, as brigadier general under Guerrier in 1845, and was commander of a division at the time of the death of Riche in February, 1847. While the generals Souffran and Paul were disputing and plotting for the succession, the senate unexpectedly elected Sou-louque to the presidency, March 1, 1847. He belonged to the party of the mulattoes, but, jealous of their power, he began to attach the blacks to his interest, and to pursue a system of terror toward the citizens, whom he decimated in 1848 by confiscations, proscriptions, and executions. Like his predecessors he vainly sought to subjugate the republic of Dominica. In 1849 he caused the restoration of monarchy, ostensibly by the will of the people and the action of the chambers, was almost unanimously chosen emperor (Aug. 26), assumed the title of Faustin I., surrounded himself with a numerous court, founded a military and civil order and an order of nobility, and issued a constitution, reserving to himself the right at any juncture to rule as he pleased.
He was crowned in 1850, and a second time, with greater pomp, on April 18, 1852. In 1855 he repeated his attempt to conquer the neighboring republic, and took the field with a considerable army, but was so completely defeated by a few hundred Dominicans under Santana that he barely escaped capture, and his treasure and throne fell into the hands of the enemy. A campaign in the following year also terminated in his defeat. A commercial crisis in 1858 increased the general discontent, and Gen. Geffrard led a revolt, and was recognized as president of the republic of Hayti. Sou-louque was, however, allowed to depart (Jan. 15, 1850) with his wife and child for Jamaica. After the fall of Geffrard in 18G7, he returned to Hayti.