Son of Tinette Lespérance and Deny Légitime, François Déus was born in Jeremie, on November 20, 1841. Before becoming President of Haiti, he occupied many official positions. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs under President Boisrond-Canal; Minister of Agriculture, Interior, Education and Justice, under President Lysius Salomon; Minister of commerce and Finance, still under President Lysius Salomon. François Déus was also a General in the Haitian Army before getting into politics. He Married Rose Marie Isaure Marion, with whom he had 9 children.
While serving as Minister of Commerce and Finance, he was accused of aspiring to the presidency; fearing for his life, he went into exile in Jamaica, where he would stay for 3 years.
After the fall of Lysius Salomon, the followers of François Déus asked him to come back and on October 7, 1888, he was elected President of the Provisional government. His mission was to ensure a democratic election. Seide Thelemaque, a General in the Army, denounced the election as fraudulent and attempted to overthrow François Déus, but was subsequently killed by Denys supporters. On December 16, 1888, François Déus Légitime became the 16th President of Haiti. Despite a large numbers of supporters from the population, a plot to either overthrow or assassinate him was already being planned by another Haitian General, Florvil Hyppolite, who eventually will gain control of the Haitian Army. On August 22, 1889 he again went into exile in Jamaica. He would not return to Haiti until 1896, when then President Vilbrun Guillaume Sam granted a general amnesty. François Déus Légitime died in Port-au-Prince on July 29, 1935.