Louis Mondestin Florvil Hyppolite (1828–1896) 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.
Hyppolite died of a heart attack while in office, on a trip to address a civilian revolt in the city of Jacmel. A tale of Haitian folklore describes how Hyppolite’s hat fell off his head before arriving to Jacmel that day, something that was considered a bad omen among everyday Haitians. The incident is remembered in the Haitian children song “Panama M’ Tombé”, which is still sung to this day.
The track “Panama’m Tonbe” can be found on the Smithsonian Folkway’s website, Track 203: http://www.folkways.si.edu/TrackDetails.aspx?itemid=24023
United Nations singers performing Panamam’ tonbe (2008)