PACALE, Yves dit, planter. Baptized, January 2, 1736, at Post St.-Jean-Baptiste des Natchitoches under the Christian name Yves, but more commonly called by his African name, Pacalé; son of Jean-Baptiste dit Flondor and wife Marie, both slaves on the estate of the late subdélégué and garde-magasin, François Dion Desprès Derbanne (q.v.). Upon the final division of the Derbanne estate, Pacalé was inherited by the youngest heir, Pierre Dion Derbanne, on whose plantation he labored for several decades. After the death of Widow Pierre Derbanne in 1798, Pacalé was manumitted, at his own request. As a septuagenarian and octogenarian freedman, he became a planter and slaveowner in the Isle Brevelle area of Natchitoches Parish. He also purchased the freedom of his one known daughter, Thérèse (b. ca. 1772) and another slave woman of unknown relationship, Marie Louise. By the terms of his last will and testament, drafted in 1810, he bequeathed his entire estate to the free Negress Marie Jeanne, and named the free Negro Athanase as his executor; that will was rescinded in 1812, however, and his newly manumitted daughter was named sole beneficiary. The home in which Pacalé died, on December 10, 1818 (known as the Roque House in honor of later occupants), was in the 1960s moved to the banks of Cane River Lake in the Town of Natchitoches, where it has served as a museum and office of the Louisiana Outdoor Drama Association. G.B.M. Sources: Gary B. Mills and Elizabeth Shown Mills, Tales of Old Natchitoches (1978); Mills, “Pacale,” Dixie (May 10, 1978); Documents 2857, 2979, 3047, 3321, 3870, 4026, 4058-4059, 4096-4097, 4099, 4140, 4150, French Archives Series, Natchitoches Parish Records; Registers 1 and 5, Parish of St. François des Natchitoches.
PACKARD, Stephen B., politician. A native of Maine; attained the rank of captain in the Union Army during the Civil War; was named United States marshal for the District of Louisiana in 1871; became leader of the Customhouse Ring, that faction of the Radical Republican party opposed to Governor Warmoth (q.v.); directed the campaign of William Pitt Kellogg (q.v.) for governor in 1872; saw to it that Warmoth was impeached when the election was disputed thus removing him from office until his term expired; secured federal recognition of P. B. S. Pinchback (q.v.) as governor for the remainder of Warmoth’s term; Kellogg was then recognized as the legitimate governor by the national administration. Packard was the Radical Republican candidate for governor in 1876; both he and his opponent, Francis T. Nicholls (q.v.), were inaugurated. As a result of the famous Compromise of 1877 the electoral vote of Louisiana was counted for Rutherford B. Hayes and his administration offered no opposition to Nicholls’ complete assumption of the governorship. Named United States consul at Liverpool as a reward for his services to the Republican party. J.B.C. Sources: David C. Roller and Robert W. Twyman, eds., The Encyclopedia of Southern History (1979); Joe Gray Taylor, Louisiana Reconstructed, 1863-1877 (1974).
PAILLOUX DE BARBEZAN, Jacques, soldier, administrator. Born a Protestant in Cevennes, France. Arrived in Louisiana ca. 1714 with rank of ensign. Acting aide-major of the Louisiana garrison, 1714(?)-1716. Breveted aide-major, 1716. Accompanied Bienville (q.v.) on expedition to subdue Natchez Indians, 1716. Named commandant of Natchez Post by Bienville and assigned to supervise construction of Fort Rosalie, built by Natchez Indians as part of the peace settlement. Left post by spring of 1717. Commissioned major general, December 31, 1717. Coordinator of governmental efforts to build New Orleans and to place concessionaires on their land grants in the Bayou St. John and New Orleans area, ca. 1720. Established a plantation on east bank of Mississippi River, opposite New Orleans. Was a protégé of Bienville, who intervened with Company of the Indies to prevent Pailloux’s dismissal for his unauthorized use of credit to purchase large quantities of goods. Led a detachment of sixty men to quell a Natchez uprising, November 1722. Returned to New Orleans without achieving his objective. Subsequently charged with incompetence and demoted to rank of major. Fathered a daughter by his Indian slave. Returned to France, 1724. Died in France, 1726. C.A.B. & S.L. Sources: Marcel Giraud, Histoire de la Louisiane française, II (1958); III (1966); IV (1974); François-Xavier Martin, The History of Louisiana, from the Earliest Period (1882; reprint ed., 1963); James Register, The French at Old Natchez, 1682-1762 (1969).
PAIN, Daniel, administrator, surgeon. Born, France ca. 1722; son of Daniel [Sr.] and Marianne Pain. On March 5, 1748, he signed a marriage contract with Jeanne Rougeot (d. 1795), the daughter of Edme François Rougeot and Angélique Chartron of Natchitoches. At that time Pain was keeper of the king’s warehouse and finance officer at the Natchitoches Post. As a colonial official his duties at various times included royal notary, recorder, judge of the District of Natchitoches, finance officer and surgeon major at the post. He presided over an investigation and hearing of a criminal case in January 1766 in Natchitoches which was lauded as “a fine example of the method of procedure in criminal cases near the close of the French regime.” Pain, his wife, and their children, François Daniel (b. 1751), Pélagie (b. 1755), Louis (b. 1757), Marie Adélaïde Victoire (b. 1759), Marie Françoise (b. 1761), Marie Elisabeth Rosalie (b. 1765), and Jean-Baptiste-Augustin (b. 1769), moved to the German Coast of Louisiana (St. Charles Parish), about 1771. Died, December 5, 1788. D.J.P. Sources: Superior Council of Louisiana Document 4493 (March 5, 1748); St. Charles Parish civil records; Immaculate Conception Church, Natchitoches, La.; St. John the Baptist Church, Edgard, La.; Henry P. Dart, “Cabildo Archives, II,” Louisiana Historical Quarterly, III (1920); Louis Raphael Nardini, My Historic Natchitoches, La. and Its Environment (1963).
PAJEWSKI, Charles, industrialist. Born, London, England, 1851; son of Hypolite Pajewski, (exile from Warsaw, Russian occupied Poland). Immigrated with parents to St. Louis, Mo., 1854. Removed to New Orleans, La. Education: public schools of New Orleans. Embarked on a successful cigar manufacturing business, accumulated much property. Married Kate N. Deidle, native of Stanbach, Germany, 1873. Two children. In early 1870s began manufacture of furnaces and stoneware; proprietor of Southern Clay Furnace Manufactory, New Orleans, whence his business extended throughout the South, especially in Texas. Director of Lewis Schwartz Machinery & Supply Co., and member of H. Oertling Hardware Co. Member: Knights Templar, Indivisible Friends Commandery, No. 1; Knights of Pythias; Eagle Lodge No. 57; Knights of Honor; Friends of Harmony Lodge, No. 58 Free and Accepted Masons; Orleans Delta Chapter, No. 1, R.A.M. Died, November 10, 1935. L.S. Sources: Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Louisiana (1892; reprint ed., 1975); New Orleans Times-Picayune, obituary, November 11, 1935.
PAKENHAM, Edward Michael, soldier. Born, Pakenham Hall, Westmeath, Ireland, April 18, 1778; second son of Baron Pakenham, Earl of Longford and Catherine Rowley. Education: Royal Classic School in Armagh. Family bought his commission as a lieutenant in the Ninety-second Foot Regiment when he was sixteen. Served with the Twenty-third Light Dragoons against the French in Ireland, later served in Nova Scotia, Barbados, Saint-Croix. Led his men in an attack on Saint Lucia in 1803 where he was wounded; fought in Denmark and under General Beckwith against Martinique where he was wounded again. Served in the Peninsular War as adjutant-general with Sir Arthur Wellesley (later Duke of Wellington), who was married to his sister, Catherine. Given command of the Third Division at Salamanca where he distinguished himself in battle, but was returned to the post of adjutant-general. Promoted to rank of major-general in 1812; sent to America. Commanded the British troops in the Battle of New Orleans which occurred after the peace treaty of Ghent had been signed. Arrived at New Orleans to find the British already in a position to make his experience and efforts useless. Soundly defeated by American troops under command of Gen. Andrew Jackson (q.v.). Died, Chalmette, January 8, 1815; interred Killucan in Westmeath, Ireland. Monument in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. J.F.T. Sources: Valerie McNair Scott, Lady Pakenham, Major-General Sir Edward M. Pakenham (1965).
PALFREY, William T., merchant. Born, New Orleans, 1834. Worked as a commission merchant. Civil War service: private, Fourth Company, Washington Artillery, 1861-1862; lieutenant, First Louisiana Heavy Artillery, 1862-1863; captain and artillery staff officer, 1864-1865. Merchant in New Orleans after the war. Married Grace Harriet Turpin. Cashier for New Orleans National Bank after May 1875. Died, June 29, 1912. A.W.B. Sources: Clement A. Evans, ed., Confederate Military History, 13 vols. (1899); New Orleans Times-Picayune, obituary, June 30, 1912.
PALMER, Benjamin Morgan, clergyman. Born, Charleston, S. C., January 25, 1818. Married Augusta McConnell, Columbia, S. C., October 7, 1841. Education: Amherst; University of Georgia, graduated 1838; Columbia Theological Seminary, 1841. He received the D. D. from Oglethorpe in 1852, the LL.D. from Westminster in 1870. Served the First Presbyterian Church in Savannah, 1841-1842; Columbia, S. C., 1843-1855, also taught in the Columbia Seminary, 1853-1856; First Presbyterian Church in New Orleans, 1856-1902. His Thanksgiving sermon in 1860, defending slavery and calling for secession, was widely distributed and probably had a great influence in bringing Louisiana into the Confederate camp. When Union forces occupied the city, Dr. Palmer sent his wife and children to her father’s plantation in South Carolina, and himself spent the remainder of the war in preaching for the Confederate soldiers. One of the most eloquent speakers of his day, his address opposing the Louisiana Lottery is said to have doomed that institution. The organization of the Presbyterian Church came as a result of Dr. Palmer’s initiative. He preached the opening sermon, and was elected its first moderator. When the Synod of Louisiana was formed in 1901, he was also elected the first moderator of that body. His writings include a life of J. H. Thornwell, and volumes of sermons and theological treatises. Died, New Orleans, May 25, 1902. W.D.L. Sources: E. C. Scott, Ministerial Directory of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, 1861-1941 (1950; reprint ed., 1975); Thomas Cary Johnson, Benjamin Morgan Palmer (1906); Louis Voss, Presbyterianism in New Orleans (1931); Penrose St. Amant, History of the Presbyterian Church in Louisiana (1961).
PALMER, Melvin P., postmaster, businessman. Born, Aurora, Ill., May 22, 1866; son of Charles C. Palmer of Aurora, Ill. Married Daisy Wear of Princeville, Ill. One daughter, Gaydelle, born 1890 in Princeville, Ill. Removed with family to Morgan City, La., in 1904; employed by Wells Fargo Express Agency. Later entered the insurance business. Appointed Morgan City postmaster, September 1, 1923, and reappointed to serve continuously until June 16, 1936, during which time Morgan City’s new post office (now on the National Register of Historic Places) was built. Served as secretary of the Morgan City Chamber of Commerce and was active in B.P.O.E. #1121 and Doric Lodge #205, F. & A.M. He was a member of Pharr Chapel, Methodist Church, Morgan City. Died March 5, 1946; interred Morgan City Cemetery. L.K.L. Source: Palmer Family Papers, Morgan City Archives.
PARADIS, Edouard L., landowner. Emigrated from Quebec, Canada, 1856. Married Louise Elizabeth Soulagnet; one child died in infancy. Town of Paradis named for subject. Paradis estate sold to D. W. Crawford, 1906. Same year post office established and named Paradis. Died May 30, 1902. F.L.* Sources: Succession of Edouard Paradis, Act #80, 28th Judicial District Court, filed June 10, 1902, St. Charles Parish Courthouse, Hahnville, La.; Yoes, A History of St. Charles Parish to 1973 (1973); Clare d’A. Leeper, Louisiana Places (1976).
PARET, George Lock, geologist, businessman, cattleman, forester, boy scout and civic leader. Born, Kansas City, Mo., November 9, 1902; son of Milnor Peck Paret and Letitia Lock. Education: local schools; Lehigh University, 1921-1922; Louisiana State University, 1922-1924. Married, May 23, 1923, Jane Winterhaler, of Lake Charles, daughter of Charles Henry Winterhaler and Caroline Keener. Children: George (b. 1924), Charles (b. 1927). Democrat. Divisional landman for Stanoline Oil and Gas Co., 1932-1941, afterwards became an independent lease broker. In 1941 became president and general manager of Edgewood Land and Logging Co., Ltd., and Lock Moore and Co., Ltd. In same year, became president and manager of Goosport Graveyard Endowment and Lock Playground Endowment; president, Calcasieu Area Council, Boy Scouts of America; director, Southwest Louisiana Fat Stock Show; president, Lake Charles United Appeals; director, executive board, and president, Louisiana Forestry Association; chairman, Louisiana Forestry Commission, 1953-1959; director and president, Louisiana Brahman Association, and member, American Brahman Breeders Association; member, Calcasieu Parish Cattlemen’s Association; Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association; and the New Orleans Petroleum Club; voted king of Krewe of Contraband, 1970; sold blooded cattle and won awards worldwide; made a donation of land to boy scouts for Camp Edgewood. In 1976 the Southwest District Fat Cattle Show was dedicated to him. Honored in 1977 as father of “Beef for Father’s Day.” Died, Lake Charles, July 8, 1979; interred Goos Cemetery. D.J.M. Source: Lake Charles American Press, obituary, July 9, 1979.
PARKER, Joel, clergyman, author, theologian, slavery apologist. Born, Bethel, Vt., August 27, 1799. Hamilton College, graduated 1824; studied at Auburn Theological Seminary, 1824-1826; Princeton, D. D., 1839. In 1826 ordained as pastor, Rochester, N.Y. Resided in New York City, 1830-1832; and in New Orleans, 1832-1838. Arriving as an abolitionist, Parker became unpopular for public criticism. After return to New York, however, he moderated his views, thereby creating opposition among anti-slavery spokesmen. Harriet Beecher Stowe used the well-known Parker as a negative model in her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It is likely and perhaps ironic that Parker’s abolitionist views changed as a result of his years in New Orleans. From 1838 to 1868, he preached at churches in New York, Philadelphia, and Newark, N. J. His Northern parishioners numbered many wealthy and influential businessmen with important links to Southern commerce. Parker also served as president of Union Theological Seminary, 1840-1842. Died, New York City, May 2, 1873, after prolonged illness. T.F.R. Sources: “Parker, Joel, D. D.,” Encyclopedia of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America: Including the Northern and Southern Assemblies, ed. by Allen Nevins (1884); “Parker, Joel,” Appleton’s Cyclopedia of American Biography, ed. James Grant Wilson and John Fiske (1888); “Parker, Joel,” Dictionary of American Biography, XIV; Timothy F. Reilly, “Religious Leaders and Social Criticism in New Orleans, 1800-1861” (Ph. D. dissertation, University of Missouri-Columbia, 1972).
PARKER, John Milliken, planter, businessman, politician, governor. Born, Bethel Church, Miss., March 16, 1863; oldest son of John Milliken Parker and Roberta Bunchner. Parker and Bunchner families then having extensive plantation properties in Mississippi. The senior Parker removed to New Orleans, 1871, where he prospered as a cotton factor. Suffering from poor health as a youth, subject attended private schools including Chamberlain Hunt Academy at Port Gibson, Miss.; Belle View Academy in Virginia; and Eastman’s Business School in Poughkeepsie, N. Y. At about seventeen Parker worked briefly on a family plantation near Port Gibson; joined his father’s cotton business; and in 1884 formed Parker-Hayes, Co., a wholesale grocery business. In the late 1890s and early 1900s subject was described as one of the wealthiest businessmen and planters in the South, and was also a prominent spokesman for various commercial and agricultural interests, having served in the 1890s as the youngest president in the history of the New Orleans Cotton Exchange and the New Orleans Board of Trade; later he was an organizer aand first president of the Southern Commercial Congress, 1908-1911. He promoted agricultural diversification and federalization of flood control. As his father before him, Parker was prominent among New Orleans business leaders who opposed the Democratic party organization of professional politicians, commonly identified as the city machine. He was secretary of the Young Men’s Democratic Association in 1888; a supporter of Gov. Francis T. Nicholls (q.v.) and active in the Anti-Lottery League and the Citizens’ League in 1892 and 1896, respectively. After 1904 he opposed the New Orleans Choctaw Club, the Democratic party organization whose alleged power and corruption became the principal issues in the state campaigns from 1908 to 1920. Parker emerged to prominence statewide as an advocate of civil-service expansion, governmental consolidation, and electoral reform. In 1910 he helped persuade Luther E. Hall (q.v.) to run for governor as the candidate of the Good Government League which Parker had founded. Elected governor, Hall disappointed Parker despite enactment of a commission form of government for New Orleans, one of the reformers’ goals. In 1912, Mayor Martin Behrman (q.v.) and his machine ticket was victorious; removal of Behrman, who had served as mayor since 1904, became the leading issue in state politics as Parker ran for governor as the Progressive party candidate in 1916 and successful Democratic primary candidate in 1920. Parker joined the national Progressive party formed by former President Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 when the third party challenged Republican President William Howard Taft and Democrat Woodrow Wilson. Parker had been frequent host and hunting companion of Roosevelt in Louisiana; and Roosevelt’s support for federalization of flood control and the sugar tariff appealed to Parker and South Louisiana planter and sugar interests. In 1912 Parker was the leading Southern Progressive responsible for the exclusion of blacks from Southern Progressive party organizations; in 1916 he received 38% of the vote against Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ruffin G. Pleasant (q.v.) whose allies claimed that the Progressives challenged white supremacy. Repudiated by its leader, the national Progressive party in 1916 nonetheless re-nominated Roosevelt for president and Parker for vice-president, in which position he effectively campaigned for the re-election of Wilson. He served under Herbert Hoover as the Louisiana Food Administrator during World War I; in 1918 rejoined the Democratic party to commence his triumphant quest for the governorship. During the period 1912 to 1920 Parker espoused causes associated with progressivism, including women’s suffrage, abolition of child labor, income and inheritance taxes, and conservation. Candidate for governor, he advocated increased support for public education and eleemosynary institutions, expansion of Louisiana State University, and, with the support of Huey Pierce Long (q.v.), increased state regulation of utilities, notably oil and gas pipelines controlled by Standard Oil of New Jersey. His priorities as governor were the elimination of the New Orleans machine, structural reforms and modernization of state services to be achieved partly through the adoption of a new state constitution. While the Parker administration was controversial, the period 1920 to 1924 witnessed a reordering of the traditionally dualistic framework of New Orleans machine-antimachine conflict, to one in which conservative, liberal, populist, and progressive forces would be identified with Long-anti-Long factionalism. Parker established an agenda of reform which Long, in opposition, refashioned in a more popular and, from Parker’s viewpoint, radical and irresponsible form. Long and machine leaders, formerly Parker’s supporters, later attacked various aspects of his reform program. Parker assisted in defeating Behrman in 1920, but the mayor returned to office in 1925; he failed to deliver cheap gas to New Orleans, as promised; he vigorously and arguably successfully fought the Ku Klux Klan movement at the growing support for his critics. The lengthy and cumbersome Constitution of 1921 did incorporate structures for modernization of state services and provisions for additional revenues. Reaching “gentlemen’s agreements” with industry leaders, Parker introduced or raised severance taxes on natural resources and increased the regulatory powers of the Public Service Commission. His methods of negotiation, limits imposed on taxes, and dispersal of revenues resulted in charges, forcefully articulated by Long, that the governor was a tool of corporate interests. Parker’s admirers have claimed that he was principally responsible for the mapping of a modern highway system and establishment of Louisiana State University as a major institution. During his administration appropriations for state institutions increased from $12.3 million to $28.1 million with significant improvement in the treatment of the insane as many were transferred from state prisons to charity hospital facilities. After 1924, Parker devoted himself to his experimental farm at Bayou Sara near St. Francisville; directed flood relief in Louisiana in 1927; became a leader of the anti-Long Constitutional League, 1930-1932. Nominally Presbyterian, Parker was a member of the Boston and Pickwick clubs of New Orleans, the Audubon Club, and the Masonic fraternity. He married Cecille Airey, daughter of a New Orleans cotton broker in 1888. Children: Saidee, Virginia, John Milliken, and Thomas Airey. Died, Pass Christian, Miss., May 20, 1939; interred Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans. M.J.S. Sources: Matthew J. Schott, “John M. Parker of Louisiana and the Varieties of American Progressivism” (Ph. D. dissertation, Vanderbilt University, 1969); Spencer Phillips, “Administration of Governor Parker” (M.A. thesis, Louisiana State University, 1933); New Orleans Times-Picayune, May 18, 1924, obituary, May 21, 1939; papers, University of North Carolina; papers, University of Southwestern Louisiana.
PARKS, Joseph, teacher, missionary. During Civil War he and wife entered South Louisiana (1864) as members of the American Missionary Association and sought to improve educational status of freedmen and women. Both endured persecution from local white community and were depicted as typifying the hardships suffered by many white Northerners who attempted broad racial reforms before, during, and after Reconstruction. T.F.R. Sources: Joe M. Richardson, Christian Reconstruction: The American Missionary Association and Southern Blacks, 1861-1890 (1986).
PARLANGE, Charles, attorney, politician, lieutenant governor, jurist. Born, New Orleans, July 23, 1851; son of Col. Charles Parlange, native of France, and Virginie Trahan, widow of Claude Vincent de Ternant. Spent his early years on family plantation, Parlange, on False River near New Roads, La. Education: private tutors; attended Centenary College, Jackson, La., from which, in later years, received an honorary M. A. degree; studied law and admitted to the bar in 1873. Practiced law in Pointe Coupée Parish. Named United States commissioner from Louisiana to Paris Exposition of 1878; was a delegate to state constitutional convention in 1879; elected to the state senate in 1880 and 1884. Married, September 12, 1882, Louise Denis, daughter of Arthur Denis. Children: Walter Charles, Evelyn, and Lillian. Appointed United States attorney for Eastern District of Louisiana in September 1885; practiced law in New Orleans; active in formation of Anti-Lottery League in 1890; was chief author of the Anti-Lottery postal bill which was signed into law on September 19, 1890, by President Harrison. Elected lieutenant governor in 1892; in 1893 was appointed to the state supreme court and also federal judge of the eastern district. Died, New Orleans, February 4, 1907; interred Metairie Cemetery. J.B.C. Sources: Berthold C. Alwes, “The History of the Louisiana State Lottery Company,” Louisiana Historical Quarterly, XXVII (1944); Judges of the United States (1978); Harnett T. Kane, Plantation Parade (1945).
PARSONS, Edward Alexander, attorney, historian, lecturer, bibliophile. Born, New Orleans, March 28, 1878; son of Robert Parsons of Leicester, England, and Clara du Chiron of the House of Beauharnais, Loire, France. Education: private schools; Jesuit College, New Orleans, M.A.; New Orleans College of Oratory, B.O.; Tulane University, LL.B.; Loyola University, LL.M.. Married (1), October 11, 1899, Maude Olivia Watson. Children: Marcia, Maude (Mrs. J. Wallace Paletou) and Edwarda (Mrs. Charles Macmurdo). Married (2) Agnes MacArthur. No children. Admitted to Louisiana bar, 1898, law practice in New Orleans. Member, Board of Education, New Orleans, 1908-1912; librarian, New Orleans Public Library, 1932-1935. Vice-president, board of curators, Louisiana State Museum; member, board of administrators, Isaac Delgado Museum. Member: Pontalba Commission; Commission to Defend America and Fight for Freedom, Inc. (vice-chairman, Louisiana Chapter); American, Louisiana and International bar associations; American, Society International Law; American Antiquarian Society; Texas State Historical Association; Hakluyt Society, London; Renaissance Society of America; Mexico Society, New Orleans; Italian Chamber of Commerce; Vieux Carré Association, chairman. New Orleans Monument Advisory Commission. Vice-chairman and director, Bienville Monument Commission. Vice-president, Orleans Foundation. President, Louisiana Historical Society. President, Le Petit Opéra Louisianais; president, 1946, honorary life president, New Orleans Opera House Association. Founder, first president, Japan Society of New Orleans. Trustee, Community Music Fund; master of rolls, Shakespeare Society. Honorary vice-president, director, Societa Nazionale Dante Alighieri; director, Bibliographical Society of America; director, New Orleans Spring Fiesta; vice-president, Lafcadio Hearn Society of New Orleans; chairman of the board, English Speaking Union, New Orleans Branch. Author: Stones of Reims (1922); Dante Alighieri (1924); The Latin City: A Plea for Its Monuments (1925); Jean Lafitte in the War of 1812: A Narrative Based on the Original Documents (1941); The Alexandrian Library, Glory of the Hellenic World: Its Rise, Antiquities, and Destruction (1952); The Original Letters of Robert R. Livingston, 1801-1803, Written During His Negotiations of the Purchase of Louisiana (1953); A History of Opera in New Orleans, A Sketch (1959); The Wonder and Glory: Confessions of a Southern Bibliophile (1962); contributed to Encyclopedia Britannica; many articles to publications of learned societies including “The Noble Art of Printing: An Exposition, With Some Accounts of Johan Gutenberg, the Father of Printing,” 1940. Dedicated: Warren Easton High School, 1912; monument of Robert E. Lee, 1953; monument of Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, sieur de Bienville, 1955. Delivered addresses: golden jubilee, St. Simeon’s Select School, 1912; Shakespeare Tercentenary, 1916; Virgil Bimillennium, 1930; Carrollton Centenary, 1945; Il Centenario of Leonardo da Vinci, 1952. Lecturer on Louisiana, Egypt, Greece, Italy. Awarded: Order of Merit (Ecuador); Order of the Crown (Italy); Centenary Medal (Uruguay); cited by government of Venezuela (Centenary of Simon Bolivar); commander of the Order of Isabella the Catholic (Spain). Collector of library (Bibliotheca Parsonia, one of the finest private collections in the country) of over 50,000 items of original historical documents, manuscripts, prints, bindings, ancient and modern books. Clubs: Grolier, New York; Bibliophile, Boston; Chess, Checkers and Whist, Colonial Country, New Orleans. Died, New Orleans, February 19, 1962; interred Metairie Cemetery. B.R.O. Sources: Louisianians and Their State: A Historical and Biographical Text Book of Louisiana, Its Notable Men and Leading Institutions (1919); Who Was Who in America with World Notables, 1961-1968 (1968); Works by Edward Alexander Parsons: Stones of Reims (1922); Dante Alighieri (1924); The Latin City: A Plea for Its Monuments (1925); Jean Lafitte in the War of 1812: A Narrative Based on the Original Documents (1941); The Alexandrian Library, Glory of the Hellenic World, Its Rise, Antiquities, and Destruction (1952); The Original Letters of Robert R. Livingston, 1801-1803, Written During His Negotiations of the Purchase of Louisiana (1953); A History of Opera in New Orleans, A Sketch (1959); The Wonder and Glory: Confessions of a Southern Bibliophile (1962); “The Noble Art of Printing: An Exposition, With Some Account of Johan Gutenberg, the Father of Printing,” 1940.
PASCALIS DE LA BARRE, François, soldier, planter, colonial official. Son of Jacques Pascalis and Renée Le Royer. Came to Louisiana at the age of 28 in 1749 or early 1750. Married Marie Charlotte Volant (d. 1802) between 1750 and 1754. Children: François Pierre Volant, Charlotte, and Marie. Commissioned an officer in the Second Ordinary Company of the Heudicourt Regiment (1743) and left in 1746 to pursue career in the military where he had become a captain. Eventually owned several plantations with first one bought in 1750. Served as criminal sheriff, chief of police, city treasurer, member of the court of appeals, liquor inspector and city councilman. Inspected city after second great fire (1794) and made a list of every destitute family. Died, New Orleans, December 24, 1803. A.E.D. Source: William D. De La Barre Reeves, Life of a French Creole Family in Louisiana (1980).
PASSMAN, Otto E., Congressman. Born in the Franklinton, La., area , June 27, 1900. Educated at Soulé Business College in New Orleans, where he majored in business administration and economics. Served as a lieutenant-commander in the United States Navy during World War II. Elected to the United States House of Representatives from the fifth district of Louisiana, 1946; served fifteen consecutive terms, ending in 1976. While in Congress, Passman served as member of the public works committee and as chairman of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee on Appropriations, where he earned a reputation as a fiscal conservative in government lending to foreign countries. Voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1965 and fought both presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson over civil rights legislation. Indicted on federal charges of income tax evasion relating to bribes allegedly received by Passman from a South Korean rice dealer, 1978; eventually aquitted of all charges. Died, Monroe, La., August 14, 1988. L.F.P. Sources: WPE, May 23, 1973; Monroe Advocate, July 15, 1978 and March 3, 1979; Baton Rouge State-Times, August 16, 1988.
PATOUT, Armand Hypolite, planter, businessman. Born on his father’s plantation, St. Mary Parish, La., December 10, 1830; son of Pierre Simeon Patout (q.v.) and Napoléone Geneviève “Appoline” Fournier Patout (q.v.). Manager of family’s plantation after father’s death in 1847. In partnership with mother, and later brother Félix (q.v.), following the Civil War. Key figure in the postwar recovery of the Patout plantation and a major force in late Reconstruction politics in Iberia Parish. Inventor of a cane cultivator in 1873. President, Iberia Parish White League in 1874; president, Iberia Parish Executive Committee of the Democratic party, 1876. Married, September 23, 1852, Mary Ann Schwing (q.v.) of Grosse Tête, La., daughter of George Schwing and Christina Anselm. Children: Cora Christina (b. 1853), Hypolite, Jr. (1855), Mary Ida (b. 1857), Ada Lelia (b. 1859), George Simeon (b. 1861), Mary Flora (b. 1864), Rosa Ludie (b. 1867), Rivers Aristide (b. 1870), Ludie Irma (b. 1872), William Schwing (b. 1875), Ida Claire (b. 1877), Annie Tenie (b. 1879). Died, April 8, 1882; interred St. Nicolas Cemetery, Patoutville, La. M.G.W. Sources: Patout Family Genealogy; New Iberia Louisiana Sugar Bowl; Glenn R. Conrad, New Iberia: Essays on the Town and Its People (1986); Succession of Appoline Patout, #287, Iberia Parish; Stuart Omer Landry, The Battle of Liberty Place (1955).
PATOUT, Felix F., planter, businessman, banker. Born on his father’s plantation, St. Mary Parish, La., November 28, 1834; son of Pierre Simeon Patout (q.v.) and Napoléone Geneviève “Appoline” Fournier Patout (q.v.). Education: France; Georgetown University, Washington, D. C. Confederate veteran; member, United Confederate Veterans’ Camp No. 1788. After war, co-proprietor with his mother and his brother Hypolite (q.v.) of Patout Brothers Plantation (Enterprise) at Patoutville, near Jeanerette, La. Inventor of a cane stubble shaver patented in 1871. Lived in France 1873-1876. Resumed partnership in Enterprise, 1876-1883, then sold his interest to Mary Ann Schwing Patout (q.v.), his brother’s widow. Removed to New Iberia and continued planting interests with purchase of Hope Plantation. In 1884, member, Iberia Parish School Board. In 1887, was one of the organizers and member of the initial board of directors of the New Iberia National Bank. Also president, 1911, of the short-lived Citizens Bank of New Iberia. Built Hotel Frederic, the largest New Iberia hotel of its time, in 1913. Married (1) 1871 or 1872, Eleanore Adele Taté (d. 1875) of Marvil on Ourcq, France. Child: Gaston Felix (b. 1875). Married (2), first wife’s sister, Claire Taté, September 21, 1877, in France. Children: Marie (b. 1878), Claire (died infancy), Henry Felix (b. 1882), Sidney (b. 1884), Gaston (b. 1887), Frederic George (b. 1889), and Lillian (b. 1896). Died, New Iberia, December 8, 1918; interred St. Peter’s Cemetery. M.G.W. Sources: Patout Family Genealogy; Glenn R. Conrad, New Iberia: Essays on the Town and Its People (1986); New Iberia Louisiana Sugar Bowl; Succession of Appoline Patout, #287, Iberia Parish.
PATOUT, Mary Ann Schwing, planter, businesswoman. Born, Grosse Tête, La., March 17, 1836; daughter of George Schwing and Christina Anselm. Married, September 23, 1852, Armand Hypolite Patout (q.v.) of Patoutville, La.; son of Pierre Simeon Patout (q.v.) and Napoléone Geneviève “Appoline” Fournier Patout (q.v.), St. Mary (later Iberia) Parish sugar planters. Children: Cora (b. 1853), Hippolite, Jr. (b. 1855), Mary Ida (b. 1857), Ada (b. 1859), George (b. 1861), Mary Flora (b. 1864), Rosa Ludie (b. 1867), Rivers (b. 1870), Ludie Irma (b. 1872), William Schwing (b. 1875), Ida Claire (b. 1877), and Annie (b. 1879). Grew up in a busines environment and brought to her marriage a considerable aptitutude for commercial pursuits. After death of husband in 1882, she bought Enterprise Plantation from her brother-in-law and partner, Félix Patout (q.v.). Recognizing that survival in the sugar business depended upon modernization and economies of scale, and building upon the work of the Patout brothers, she directed a daring capital investment program that included the installation in 1893 of a narrow-gauge rail system to haul cane to the Patout mill from their lands and those of neighboring farms. In 1894, she purchased and erected a completely new sugar mill. Under her guidance, Enterprise gained recognition as a model of agricultural and technological innovation in the Louisiana sugar industry. She used profits to invest in further modernization and to diversify family holdings, acquiring land in the growing towns of New Iberia and Jeanerette and assembling a stocks and bonds portfolio. She is perhaps the key figure in the post-Civil War survival and prosperity of Enterprise Plantation, which incorporated in 1910 as M. A. Patout and Son, Ltd. With the assistance of Félix Patout, she was a founding stockholder of the New Iberia National Bank. She later served as a member of the bank’s board of directors, making her one of the first American women to occupy such a position. Died, July 10, 1907; interred family cemetery, Patoutville, La. M.G.W. Sources: Iberia Parish Conveyance Records; Patout Family Papers; Interview with Mrs. George P. Broussard, Sr.; Henry E. Chambers, A History of Louisiana (1925); Michael G. Wade, “The M. A. Patout History Project,” Institute News (North Carolina Institute of Applied History), IV (October, 1985); reprinted in Attakapas Gazette, XXI (1986).
PATOUT, Napoléone Geneviève “Appoline” Fournier, planter. Born, Lizy sur Ourc, France, May 25, 1805; daughter of Nicolas François Charlemagne Fournier and Marie Marguerite Nicole Mourant. Married Pierre Simeon Patout (q.v.) of Ussy sur Marne, France, May 21, 1826. Children: Pierre Simeon, Jr. (b. 1827); Pauline Adèle (b. 1828); Armand Hippolite (q.v.); Zelie Irma (b. 1832); Félix (q.v.); Hortense (birth year unknown); Hélène Coralie (b. 1837); Florestine Clémence (b. 1838); Zulmée (b. 1841); Ernestine (b. 1847). Immigrated to Louisiana, 1829. Family began development of a sugar plantation at Ile Piquant, now Patoutville, St. Mary Parish, La., in late 1830s. First recorded crop, 1845. Widowed in 1847. Left with a large family, Appoline Patout assumed control of the plantation which prospered under her direction in the 1850s. A devout Catholic, Appoline had a chapel built at Ile Piquant in the early 1850s. This led to the establishment of St. Nicholas Parish there in 1869. By 1860, Appoline operated one of the more successful plantations in St. Mary Parish (now Iberia Parish). The plantation was occupied and looted by Union troops in late 1863, leading Mme Patout to seek compensation from the federal government on the grounds that she was a neutral foreign national. This claim, later entered as Hippolite Patout v. The United States, was pursued until World War I and was ultimately unsuccessful. Operated the plantation in partnership with surviving sons after the Civil War and managed to keep it in business during the harsh postwar years. Died, March 1, 1879; interred Patoutville, La. M.G.W. Sources: Patout Family Papers, George S. Broussard Papers (SAMC); Records of the French and American Claims Commission (NARA); St. Mary and Iberia Parish Court Records; Diocese of Lafayette Records; Roger Baudier, The Catholic Church in Louisiana.
PATOUT, Pierre Simeon, planter, merchant. Born, Ussy, Seine and Marne District, France, 1791. Son of Pierre Patout and Marie Marguerite Platrier. Married Marie Louise Morel (d. 1823) of Armentières, France. Children: Isadore (b. 1820), Armand Philippe (b. 1822), and Louis François (b. 1823). Married (2) Napoléone Geneviève “Appoline” Fournier Patout (q.v.) of Lizy sur Ourcq, France, on May 21, 1826. Children: Pierre Simeon, Jr. (b. 1827), Pauline Adèle (b. 1828), Armand Hippolite (q.v.), Zelie Irma (b. 1832), Félix (b. 1834), Hortense, Hélène Coralie (b. 1837), Florestine Clémence (b. 1838), Zulmée (b. 1841), and Ernestine (b. 1837). Family owned vineyards at Isle des Meldeuses near Lizy sur Ourcq. Emigrated to Louisiana in 1829. Apparently tried, but failed, to grow wine grapes in St. Mary Parish. Turned to other types of farming, raised cattle, and established a mercantile store. In the late 1830s began developing Enterprise Plantation to raise sugarcane. The home he built, Enterprise, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The community of Patoutville grew up around the plantation store and mill. Patout’s Store served as a local polling place. Patout himself was influential in local affairs and served as a road commissioner prior to his death on September 21, 1847, just before the harvesting of his first cane crop. The plantation and mill still operate as M. A. Patout and Son, Ltd. Died, St. Mary Parish, September 21, 1847; interred St. Peter’s Cemetery, New Iberia, La. M.G.W. Sources: Michael G. Wade, “The M. A. Patout History Project,” Attakapas Gazette, XXI (1986); Courthouse records, St. Mary Parish; Franklin Planter’s Banner; Patout Family Papers.
PATRICOLA, Tom, actor. Born, New Orleans, January 27, 1894. Entered the entertainment business as a stage and vaudeville actor. Became a screen actor in 1929. Appeared in thirteen motion pictures, and at least nine film shorts between 1929 and 1945. Died from complications following brain surgery, Pasadena, Calif., January 1, 1950. C.A.B. Sources: Evelyn Mack Truitt, ed., Who Was Who on Screen:: Illustrated Edition (1984); Internet Movie Database, World Wide Web, December 26, 1997.
PATTON, Isaac Williams, planter, politician, mayor of New Orleans. Born, Fredericksburg, Va., February 4, 1828, son of John M. Patton and great-grandson of Gen. Hugh Mercer. Educated at Fairfax Institute near Alexandria, Va.; studied law under father. Mexican War service: second lieutenant, infantry, March 8, 1847; Tenth U. S. Infantry, April 9, 1847; second lieutenant, Third U. S. Artillery, July 13, 1848; first lieutenant, October 2, 1853; resigned February 15, 1855. Married Frances E. Merritt of Richmond, Va., 1855. Removed to Louisiana 1857. Owned cotton plantation in Madison Parish; later operated sugar plantation below New Orleans. Raised company at start of Civil War; captain, Company F, Twenty-first Louisiana Infantry, March 28, 1862; major and quartermaster on staff of Gen. M. L. Smith, July 16, 1862; colonel, Twenty-second Louisiana Infantry, April 4, 1863; colonel, Twenty-second Louisiana Consolidated Infantry, January 26, 1864. Commission agent in New Orleans after war. Elected criminal sheriff, Orleans Parish, 1872. Involved in Battle of Liberty Place, September 14, 1874. Mayor of New Orleans, 1878-1880. Adjutant General of Louisiana, 1877-1878. In 1884 elected city treasurer. Later, registrar of voters. Appointed (1888) tax collector for Fourth District of Orleans Parish. Died, New Orleans, February 9, 1890; interred Washington Cemetery. A.W.B. Sources: John S. Kendall, History of New Orleans, 3 vols. (1922); Joy Jackson, New Orleans in the Gilded Age (1969); Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, 2 vols. (1903); Evans J. Casso, Louisiana Legacy: A History of the State National Guard (1976); New Orleans Daily Picayune, February 10, 11, 1890.
PATTON, John Sparks, educator, politician. Born Lisbon, La., September 23, 1894. Superintendent of schools, Claiborne Parish, 1920-1937. President, Louisiana Teachers Association, 1923-1924. Early advocate of free school books. Ran on Huey Long (q.v.) ticket for state superintendent of education, 1928, and lost to T. H. Harris (q.v.). Lost again, 1932, as an independent. Elected to Louisiana Public Service Commission, Third District, 1938. Lost to Jimmie Davis (q.v.), 1942. Returned to Homer, La., as school administrator. Appointed by Gov. Earl K. Long (q.v.) as superintendent, State School for the Deaf, Baton Rouge. Served there until death, October 30, 1961. A.S.J. Sources: L.T.A., Louisiana Schools XXXIX (March, 1962), obituary; T. Harry Williams, Huey Long (1969).
PAUGER, Adrien de, engineer, surveyor. Born in France. Appointed engineer in 1707, chevalier of St. Louis in 1720 and captain of the Regiment of Navarre. Named by the Company of the West as one of the assistant engineers of the Louisiana colony under Pierre Le Blonde de La Tour (q.v.) in 1719. Arrived at Biloxi in 1720, and was then sent to New Orleans in 1721 to examine the town’s site and determine its safety from inundation. Upon his conclusion that it was indeed safe, he drew up a plan for the town which is the present Vieux Carré. With approval of the plan in Paris in 1722, the capital of the colony was moved from Biloxi to New Orleans. Named chief engineer in 1724 following the death of Le Blonde de La Tour which occurred the year before. Construction projects in New Orleans for which Pauger drew up plans include: the first St. Louis Catholic Church, the first presbytère for the Capuchin priests, and the corps de garde, all of which faced the public square (now Jackson Square). Planned the beacon (the balize) and other structures at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Died, New Orleans of fever, June 10, 1726; interred New Orleans, possibly in the then unfinished St. Louis Church, as he requested. J.T.M. Sources: Eugene M. Violette, entry from Dictionary of American Biography; Jean M. Farnsworth and Ann M. Masson, The Architecture of Colonial Louisiana: Collected Essays of Samuel Wilson, Jr., F.A.I.A. (1987).
PAVAGEAU, Alcide “Slow Drag,” dancer, jazz musician. Born, New Orleans, La., March 7, 1888; claimed to be nephew of voodoo queen Marie Laveau. Married Anne B. Pavageau. Career: Around turn of century became well-known in New Orleans as dancer, excelling at waltz, cakewalk, Scottish mazurka and, of course, the slow drag; around 1905 gave up dancing to play guitar; in 1927 switched to homemade three-string bass; performed with numerous renowned jazz musicians, including clarinetist George Lewis and banjoist Lawrence Marrero, with whom he recorded a seminal version of “Burgundy Street Blues”; around 1961 joined Eureka Brass Band and earned title “Grand Marshal of the Second Line”; made several anonymous TV and film appearances, and performed with Preservation Hall All-Star Jazz Band. Died, New Orleans, January 19, 1969; interred St. Louis Cemetery No. 2. S.K.B. Sources: Leonard Feather, The Encyclopedia of Jazz (1955); William L. Grossman and Jack W. Farrell, The Heart of Jazz (1956); Rex Harris, The Story of Jazz (1955); Orrin Keepnews and Bill Grauer, Jr., comps., A Pictorial History of Jazz: People and Places from New Orleans to Modern Jazz (1966); Al Rose and Edmond Souchon, M.D., New Orleans Jazz Family Album (1984); Samuel Barclay Charters IV, Jazz: New Orleans, 1885-1963, an Index to the Negro Musicians of New Orleans (1963); Al Rose, I Remember Jazz: Six Decades Among the Great Jazzmen (1987); New Orleans Times-Picayune, obituaries, January 20, 21, 1969; see also Baton Rouge State-Times, January 22, 1969; Shane K. Bernard, “A Biographical Sketch of Alcide ‘Slow Drag’ Pavageau,” Louisiana History 35 (1994).
PAVY, Benjamin Henry, jurist. Born, Coulée Croche, St. Landry Parish, La., October 16, 1874; son of Laperle Guidry and Alfred Pavy. Education: schools of Opelousas, La. Married Ida Veazie of Opelousas, November 4, 1896. Children: A. Veazie, Yvonne, Marie, Evelyn, and Ida Catherine. Employed at age 17 in parish clerk of court’s office; worked there again when father was court clerk, 1896; began law practice, Opelousas, 1901, after reading law in office of future father-in-law, Edward Veazie; elected district judge of St. Landry-Evangeline parishes, 1910; served continuously until gerrymandered out of office by the rearrangement of the district during the administration of Huey Long (q.v.). His son-in-law, Dr. Carl A. Weiss (q.v.), was the alleged assassin of Huey Long. J.B.C. Sources: New Orleans Times-Picayune, obituary, April 20, 1943; Donald J. Hebert, Southwest Louisiana Records, 33 vols. (1974-1984).
PAVY, F. Octave, legislator, physician, and civic leader. Born, Grand Coteau, La., November 27, 1879; one of ten children born to Alfred Pavy and Lapearl Guidry Pavy. Married Fanny Dupré, December 17, 1905; three children: Edmond Estilette, Lapearl (who died in infancy), and Garland. Education: St. Landry Parish public schools; St. Charles College, Grand Coteau, La.; Louisiana State University; and Tulane University where he earned a degree in medicine, 1904. Upon completion of his education, Pavy served as marine medical inspector for the Louisiana State Board of Health, traveling between Central America and New Orleans. Subsequently opened a medical office in Leonville, La., where he maintained a practice until 1947, when he moved to Opelousas, La. Served one term in the Louisiana House of Representatives; private secretary to Lt. Gov. Albert Estopinal; clerk of the senate appropriation committee during an extra session of the legislature. Lost a bid for the lieutenant governorship in 1928; vice president of the Arnaudville, La., drainage district; member, St. Landry and Louisiana medical societies, and Woodmen of the World Society. Died, May 13, 1962; interred, Myrtle Grove Cemetery. B.S.C. Sources: Alcée Fortier, Louisiana (1914); New Orleans Times-Picayune, May 14, 1962.
PAXTON, William Edwards, attorney, preacher, author. Born, Little Rock, Ark., June 24, 1925; son of David Coulter Paxton and Lucy Edwards. Education: private schools; Georgetown College, Georgetown, Ky., B. A., 1847 and M. A., 1849. Admitted to the Louisiana bar, February 20, 1854, and practiced law in Bienville Parish, La., 1854-1861. Civil War service: captain and quartermaster, Company C., Nineteenth Louisiana Infantry Regiment, December 1861-June 1962; private, Company E, Thirteenth Battalion, Fourth Cavalry Regiment, 1863; assistant enrolling officer for Bienville Parish, 1864-1865. Married (1) Sarah J. Mothershed, 1851; (2) Rebecca Wardlaw. Children: Lucy (b. 1857), William (b. 1859). Married (3) Margaret Eugenia Hargrove Fuller, 1866. Children: Lizzie Clare (b. 1871), Eloise (b. 1873), Viva (b. 1875). Pastorates: Ordained as a Southern Baptist minister, 1865; pastored churches in Minden, 1865-1872, Summer Grove (Shreveport), 1872-1877; and Warren and Ft. Smith, Ark., 1878-1883; president of Shreveport University, 1872-1874. Literary and journalistic work: editor of the Sparta Jeffersonian, 1859; founder and editor of the Sparta Southern Banner, 1860-1861; author of The Rights of Laymen (1859); The Apostolic Church (1876); A History of the Baptists of Louisiana (1888); and many articles in the Louisiana Baptist and the Arkansas Evangel. Died, Ft. Smith, Ark., January 9, 1883; buried in that city. K.D. Sources: Ken Durham, “‘Dear Rebecca’: The Civil War Letters of William Edwards Paxton,” Louisiana History, XX (1979); Eloise Paxton Hutchison, Out of the Past: The Tale of Two Modern Cities, Little Rock and Shreveport (1943); William Edwards Paxton, A History of the Baptists of Louisiana (1888).
PAYTON, Eugene W., businessman. Born, 1891. A sawmill owner and manager in 1929, when Payton Lumber Co. began. With brother, Lee Payton, owned and operated sawmill until 1935, when company became the Saline Lumber Co., with subject as sole owner. Married Pearl Graham. Children: Edwin Payton and Pauline Payton. Died, 1960. G.L.B. Source: Mrs. J. O. Evans, Saline, La.
PEARCE, Benjamin Wiley, planter, lieutenant governor. Born Georgia, December 15, 1816. Grew up in Alabama. Education: University of Virginia and University of Alabama Law School. Civil War service: organized Company C, Ninth Louisiana Infantry Volunteers (Bienville Blues) and was elected captain. Married, July 21, 1842, Anne H. Hall of Alabama. Children: Sarah H., wife of H. M. King; Mary Anne, wife of Dr. S. B. DuBose; William J.; Julia (died in infancy); Kate T., wife of B. P. Edwards; and Stephen D. Subject practiced law in Alabama and Arkansas before removing to Franklin Parish, La., 1848. Removed to Bienville Parish, 1851, settling near present town of Bienville. Operated extensive cotton plantation, gin, and mill. Elected state representative in both Arkansas and Louisiana and state senator in Louisiana. Elected lieutenant governor of Louisiana, 1862. Member: Methodist church, Masonic Lodge. Died at residence, Bienville Parish, October 8, 1870. P.C.C. Source: Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northwest Louisiana (1890).
PECK, William Raine, planter, soldier. Born, Jefferson County, Tenn., January 31, 1818. Removed to Louisiana in the 1840s and operated a large cotton plantation near Milliken’s Bend. Raised a company of volunteers and elected captain at the outbreak of the Civil War. Mustered into Confederate service July 7, 1861, as captain of Company E, Ninth Louisiana Infantry Regiment. Elected lieutenant colonel of his regiment April 24, 1862; promoted to rank of colonel October 8, 1863. Acted as brigade commander in several battles. Fought in almost every major engagement of the Army of Northern Virginia. Promoted to rank of brigadier general, February 18, 1865. Paroled at Vicksburg, Miss., June 6, 1865. Resumed the supervision of his plantation after the war. Died, Madison Parish, La., January 22, 1871; interred Jefferson City, Tenn. A.W.B. Sources: Ezra J. Warner, Generals in Gray (1959); Andrew B. Booth, comp., Records of Louisiana Confederate Soldiers and Louisiana Confederate Commands, 3 vols. (1920).
PECK, William Smith, merchant, planter, banker. Born, December 27, 1873; son of W. S. Peck and Florence Celeste Lovelace. His paternal grandfather was Dr. Henry J. Peck of Battleground Plantation, Sicily Island, and his maternal grandfather was John H. Lovelace of Ferry Plantation, Sicily Island. Received education at St. Francis Xavier in Alexandria, La., and at St. Stanislaus in Gulfport, Miss. Married Barbara Estelle Woodward, of Mississippi, 1915, daughter of Rev. W. T. Woodward and Rose Bacot. Peck was a merchant, planter, and banker. Outstanding in the agricultural and educational development of the parish. In 1920 he was elected to the legislature and served two terms as state representative (1920-1928). Died, 1946. S.C.H. Source: Author’s research.
PECOT, Charles L., politician. Born Charenton, St. Mary Parish, La.; son of Aspasie Frere and former sheriff Paul Pécot. Married Evelyn Strong of Bay St. Louis, Miss., 1902. Child: Charles M. Removed to Franklin, La., 1896; was town marshal until 1908; deputy sheriff, 1908-1916; elected sheriff, 1916; served until 1940; was state campaign manager for Huey Long (q.v.), 1928. Died, Franklin, June 16, 1843; interred Charenton cemetery. J.B.C. Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, obituary, June 17,1943.
PEEBLES, Henry Wyche, planter. Born, Brunswick County, Va., 1795; grandson of Douglas Wilkins and Tabitha Ann Wyche; son of Martha Wilkins and Dr. James Sterling Peebles; brother of Joseph Dudley Peebles. Married his cousin Anne Wilkins Cocke in Kentucky, 1835. Six children. Lived in Christian County, Ky., until 1840. Removed to Monroe County, Miss., then to St. Martin Parish, La., about 1850. Settled on Peebles plantation, purchased for him by his uncle, John Douglas Wilkins (q.v.) in 1829. Also acquired property in vicinity of Breaux Bridge and along Bayou Teche near St. Martin-Iberia parish line. Became prosperous farmer and sugar producer. Methodist. Oldest daughter, Mary Robinson, married John Fletcher Wyche in 1858 and resided at Belmont Plantation, Iberia Parish, which she inherited from her father. Died 1864, interred Rosehill Cemetery, New Iberia, La. G.C.T.† Source: Author’s research.
PELLERIN, Curtis, politician. Born February 3, 1921. Married: Annie G. Pellerin; one child: Ellis. Represented District 5 (the Rayne, La., area) on the Acadia Parish Police Jury from June 1972 until September 1997; president, 1989-1994; was the only incumbent police jury member reelected in Acadian Parish in the 1995 election. Member: St. Joseph Catholic Church, Rayne, La.; St. Joseph Society; St. Joseph Ushers. Member and commander, Arceneaux Post 77, American Legion. Died, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, Lafayette, La., September 8, 1997; interred Rayne, La. C.A.B. Sources: Lafayette Daily Advertiser, September 10, 1997; information provided by the Acadia Parish Police Jury office, Crowley, La.
PELLERIN, Harris J., businessman. Born, Breaux Bridge, La., May 11, 1901; son of Frank Pellerin and Aurelia St. Germain. Education: local schools; Peabody College, Nashville, Tenn.; Gupton Jones Mortuary School, Tennessee; Soulé Business College. Owner and president, Pellerin Life Insurance Co. and Pellerin Funeral Homes, St. Martin Parish. Married, April 24, 1935, Rowena Thibodaux. Children: Jeanette, Raymond, Harris, Jr., Mary Elizabeth. Member, Rotary Club, Lions Club, Y.M.B.C., Breaux Bridge Fire Department. President, Louisiana Funeral Director’s Association; president, Southwest Louisiana Funeral Director’s Association; recieved Mortician of the Southwest Award. Member, Catholic church. Died, Breaux Bridge, March 11, 1971; interred Breaux Bridge. D.S. Source: Author’s research.
PELLERlN, Louis Gérard, soldier, entrepreneur, Opelousas post commandant. Born, ca. 1729; baptized at New Orleans, January 2, 1730; son of Gérard Pellerin and Françoise Ruglan. Educated in local schools. Married (1) Françoise Alexandre Vielle in 1756; and after her untimely death, married (2) Marie-Marthe Hubert de Bellaire, 1757. The latter union allied the young Pellerin with such influential families as the Chauvins, Delachaises, Darensbourgs, and Prévosts at New Orleans. Children: Marie Françoise (b. 1757), Louis Jacques Gérard (b. 1760), Bathélemy Louis (b. 1762), Nicolas Louis (b. 1764), Charlotte Louis (b. 1766), Françoise Marie Marthe Louise (b. 1769), Jean Baptiste Louis (b. 1772), and Louise Joseph (b. 1776). Career: commissioned enseigne en second in the Louisiana garrison on October 6, 1752. The subsequent years were uneventful for Pellerin, until his second marriage in 1757, when family connections caused a dramatic improvement of his fortunes. Served as an unsuccessful emissary for Governor Louis Billouart de Kerlérec to the French Minister of Marine and Colonies, 1761; detained at Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti) by a British naval blockade of the French Antilles until the end of active duty in the Seven Years War in 1763. Returned to New Orleans, but retired from the French Army shortly thereafter. Received a royal land grant along the upper reaches of Bayou Teche (Prairie Basse), measuring three-fourths of a league frontage by one and one-half leagues in depth, 1764; also appointed first commandant of the Opelousas post. In 1765, conveyed his Teche concession to Jacques Courtableau, a prominent Opelousas pioneer, and subsequently acquired a 2700 acre royal land grant along Bayou Bellaire in the Gradenigo Island vicinity, near the Opelousas Indian villages. Established a trade monopoly with the aboriginal inhabitants; instituted despotic rule at the post; alienated the Acadians, other French settlers, and the Roman Catholic clergy; court-martialed in 1787 for malfeasance; retired to the lower Teche region; died ca. April 9, 1785, interred at Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans, Louisiana. K.P.F. Sources: American State Papers, Public Land Series (1837; reprint 1992); Winston Deville, Opelousas: The History of the French and Spanish Military Post in America, 1716-1803 (1973); Donald J. Hébert, Southwest Louisiana Records (1974-1996); Earl C. Woods, et al., Sacramental Records of the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans (1988); Carl A. Brasseaux, “Frontier Tyranny: The Case of Louis Pellerin, 1764-1767,” McNeese Review (1980); Opelousas Post Colonial Records, 1764-1805, Saint Landry Parish Clerk of Courts Archives, Opelousas, La.
PELLERIN, May, educator, civic and religious leader. Born, Breaux Bridge, La., April 23, 1897; daughter of Godfroy Pellerin and Leida Bulliard. Education: elementary and high school in local schools; teachers’ certificate from Normal (now Northwestern State University); University of Southwestern Louisiana, B.A. Teacher, forty years, elementary schools of St. Martin Parish. Member of the St. Bernard Catholic Church; Catholic Daughters of America; of the Ladies Altar Society; Attakapas Historical Association; New Orleans Genealogical Society; Home Demonstration Club; parish, state and national teachers organizations; Lafayette Community Concert Association; St. Martin Parish Economic Planning Board, 1950; teacher of religion; staff member of newspaper L’Echo du Teche; member of Phi Kappa Phi (U.S.L.); Civic Cup Award, 1945. Died, December 29, 1979; interred St. Bernard Mausoleum, Breaux Bridge. J.C. Sources: Family papers; author’s research; St. Martinville Teche News, January 3, 1980; St. Martin Parish taped interview (1975).
PELSIA, James William “J. W.,” Cajun musician. Born in Evangeline, La., December 31, 1931; son of Henry Pelsia and Dora Regan. Married (1) Sybil Guidry; children: Kermit and Debbie. Married (2) Jennette DesHotel, children: Blake, Bridgette, and Troy. Married (3) Patricia Robinson. Began to learn to play steel guitar at the age of eight; at the age of twelve, he began to perform professionally with Saul Crochet’s band. During the early years of his musical career, Pelsia performed with John Oliver’s band and the Adams band from Crowley, La. In the late 1940s, Pelsia played with Vorris “Shorty” LeBlanc and The Hillbilly Ramblers, Austin Pitre and The Evangeline Playboys, Lionel Cormier and The Elton Playboys, Lawrence Walker (q.v.) and The Wandering Aces, Iry LeJeune (q.v.) and The Lacassine Playboys, and “Pee Wee” Kershaw and The Continental Playboys.” Entered the Air Force in 1951; settled at New Iberia, La., where he found employment as a meat cutter, following his discharge in 1955. Later relocated to Crowley, where he worked as a meat cutter. Subsequently drove a school bus in Acadia Parish for fifteen years while also working in the insurance department for Bordelon Motors of Eunice. Eventually became the body shop foreman at Bordelon Motors. Following his return to civilian life, Pelsia played Cajun music with Nathan Abshire (q.v.) and The Pinegrove boys, Dewey and Rodney Balfa (q.v.) and The Balfa brothers, Robert Bertrand and The Louisiana Ramblers, and Austin Pitre (q.v.) and The Evangeline Playboys, ca. 1956. Performed on a musical program on radio station KEUN with Austin Pitre around the 1950s. In the mid-1970s, Pelsia formed The Musical Cajuns with D. L. Menard, Nathan Menard, Ray Thibodeaux, Dick Richard, Raymond Cormier and Lennis Richard, Jr. The band released an album for Folkways, recorded by Sam Charters at Master-Trak Sound Recorders of Crowley, Louisiana, in February 1980. Disbanded the band after suffering a heart attack in 1981. Retired to a rural home at Roberts Cove, Louisiana, where he performed occasionally with various Cajun bands. Died at Roberts Cove, La., on December 11, 1994. J.H.B. Sources: J. W. Pelsia; KRVS archives.
PELTIER, Harvey Andrew, Jr., businessman, politician. Born, January 1923, Thibodaux, La.; son of Harvey Andrew Peltier, Sr. (q.v.), and May Ayo. Education, attended local parochial schools; graduated in 1944 from Spring Hill College, Mobile, Ala. Married Erma Gaheeb. Career: Enlisted United States Navy; owned Peltier Insurance Agency, Thibodaux, La.; served as president of Lafourche Insurance Exchange; in 1964 elected to state senate, serving on the Committee on Education and was the chairman of Committee on Transportation; in 1974 replaced his father on State Board of Education; Peltier won seat in his own right in 1975 and that same year joined Board of Trustees of Colleges and Universities, of which he remained a member for life; said to have provided financial aid informally to many Nicholls University students, and in 1968 established twenty $100 scholarships “to perpetuate his feeling that all students should be able to obtain university educations”; also said to have donated his senatorial salary to police juries in his district “for recreational purposes for youth”; served in numerous fraternal and civic organizations, including Thibodaux Democratic Executive Committee and American Legion. Died, December 5, 1980, St. Charles Hospital, New Orleans, after a lengthy struggle with cancer; interred, St. Joseph Cemetery, Thibodaux. S.K.B. Sources: Lafayette, La., Daily Advertiser, June 19, 1966; August 3, 1969; December 7, 1980; New Orleans Times-Picayune, January 1, 1966; October 26, 1968; December 23, 1971; April 20, 1974; New Orleans Times-Picayune / States Item, December 7, 1980; January 6, 1981; Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, December 6, 1980; see also Shane K. Bernard, “A Biographical Sketch: Harvey Andrew Peltier, Jr.,” Louisiana History 34 (1993).
PELTIER, Harvey Andrew, Sr., politician. Born, Thibodaux, La., October 20, 1899; son of Ozémé E. Peltier and Héloïse Cancienne. Married May Ayo at Raceland, La., December 22, 1921; five children: Harvey Andrew, Jr. (b. 1923), Bernice Marie (b. 1924), Donald Louis (b. 1926), James Robert (b. 1930), and Richard Benton (b. 1938). Education: graduated from Thibodaux College, 1916; B. A., Louisiana State University, 1919; LL. B., Louisiana State University Law School, 1921; editor of the Reveille, L.S.U.’s student newspaper, during his junior year; also served in the university’s cadet corps. His education was interrupted by World War I. Military service: commissioned second lieutenant in the United States Army, 1918; initially stationed Fort Sheridan, Ill.; subsequently transferred to Kansas City, Mo., where he became a tactics instructor; honorably discharged at Kansas City, December 24, 1918. Returned to L.S.U. following his discharge. Admitted to the Louisiana bar, October, 1921; established a law practice with Lawrence H. Pugh at Thibodaux; firm of Pugh and Peltier was dissolved in 1924. Practiced law independently at Thibodaux, 1924-1930. Established a law partnership with Huey P. Long, 1930; partnership dissolved in 1932; Peltier subsequently reestablished an independent practice. Political career: state representative from Lafourche Parish, 1924-1929; state senator from the 12 Senatorial District (Assumption, Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes), 1929-1939; was floor leader of the state senate throughout his career in the upper chamber; ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor of Louisiana on the Earl K. Long ticket; accusted by the Louisiana press of having amassed a fortune from political graft and corruption; Peltier maintained that he had speculated wisely; the accusations ended his political career. A staunch ally of the Long political dynasty, Peltier served as campaign manager of Huey Long’s successful 1932 campaign for the United States Senate; also served as campaign manager for John H. Overton’s senatorial campaign and Oscar K. Allen’s 1932 gubernatorial campaign. Member, L.S.U. Board of Supervisors, 1929-1939. An organizer (1935) and later president of Lafourche Sugars Corporation, which operated the Leighton sugarmill. Founder and president, Peltier Realty Company, Inc., 1949; Peltier Super Market, Inc., Peltier Warehouse, Inc., Peltier Farms, Inc; and Peltier Packing Company, Inc. Vice president and board member, Citizens Bank and Trust Company, Thibodaux. Civic service: chairman, Red Cross and War Bond drives, Lafourche Parish during World War II; chairman, fund-raising drive for St. Joseph’s Hospital, Thibodaux, ca. 1953. Member: Lafourche Parish Chamber of Commerce, Lafourche Parish Bar Association; Louisiana Bar Association; American Bar Association; Ferdinand Lefort Post No. 11, American Legion. Awards: Golden Lifetime Membership Card, American Legion; Francis M. Durel Service Award, Thibodaux Memorial Post No. 5097, Veterans of Foreign Wars; honorary life member, Thibodaux Fire Department; Outstanding Citizen of the Year, Thibodaux, 1952. Established the philanthropic Peltier Foundation, Inc., which helped fund establishment of the Lafourche Home fo rthe Aged and Informed and helped the City of Thibodaux acquire land for recreational parks. An avid horse racing fan, Peltier raised Louisiana quarter horses. Died, Thibodaux, November 12, 1977; interred, St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Thibodaux. C.A.B. Sources: Rules of Order and Roster of the Legislature 1938); L. S. U. Alumni News (March, 1937); The Story of Louisiana (1960), 2:485-488; vertical file, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collection, Hill Memorial Library, Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge; New Orleans Times-Picayune, November 13-14, 1997.
PEMBERTON, John Peter, artist, instructor. Born, New Orleans, 1873; son of William Pemberton and Corinne Blanchin; cousin of French sculptor, Louis Veray. Education: local schools; studied drawing under William Woodward at Tulane University; painting in Paris, under Bougersan, Ferrier, Julian, Calarossi. Art instructor, Tulane High School and night school, 1892-1894; professor of Drawing, Newcomb Art School. Exhibited in New York, New Orleans, Paris; won first honors at Julian Art School exhibit, Paris. Renowned for pen and ink sketches, landscapes in water color with subject themes depicting blacks and New Orleans Carnival scenes. Paintings in permanent collections of Louisiana State Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, The Historic New Orleans Collection. Member, Round Table Club, New Orleans. Died, Castel-Nou, near Perpignan, France, December 27, 1914. B.R.O. Sources: American Art Annual (1916); May U. Mount, Some Notables of New Orleans: Biographical and Descriptive Sketches of the Artists of New Orleans and Their Work (1896); New Orleans Daily Picayune, obituary, January 4, 1915; New Orleans Daily States, obituary, January 5, 1915.
PENALVER Y CARDENAS, Luis Ignacio María, clergyman, prelate. Born, Havana, Cuba, April 3, 1749; son of Diego de Peñalver and Luisa de Cárdenas. Early studies at St. Ignatius College, Havana; University of Havana, theology degree, 1771. Ordained priest, April 4, 1772. Vicar general of Santiago for Bishop Echeverria y Elquezua until the latter’s translation to the Diocese of Puebla de los Angeles (Tlaxcala) in Mexico. Subsequently served under José de Trespalacios, bishop of the newly created Diocese of Havana. Elected to newly created Diocese of Louisiana and the Floridas, April 25, 1793. Consecrated April 26, 1795. Took formal possession of his see in New Orleans, August 2, 1795. Administrative ability shown in the series of regulations sent to the pastors in his diocese on December 21, 1795. Instrumental in restoring Fr. Antonio de Sedella (q.v.) as pastor of St. Louis Cathedral. Four visitation tours covering the whole diocese between 1795 and 1798. Founded ecclesiastical parishes in Avoyelles (Mt. Carmel, later St. Paul, Mansura, La.) 1797, and at Bayou Sara (New Feliciana) around 1798. Asked to be transferred to “another and less burdensome” see in 1799. Request not acted upon until July 20, 1801, because of the revolutionary turmoil in Europe. Appointed sixth archbishop of Gulatemala. Later, retired to Havana. Died, Havana, July 17, 1810. J.E.B. Sources: Roger Baudier, The Catholic Church in Louisiana (1939); J. B. Code, Dictionary of the American Hierarchy (1964); M. J. Curley, Church and State in the Spanish Floridas, 1783-1822 (1940); J. A. de Rodriguez, Don Luis de Peñalver y Cardenas Sexto Arzobispo de Guatemala (1972).
PENICAUT, André-Joseph, carpenter, memorialist. Native of La Rochelle, France, where on September 24, 1699, he signed a deed of indenture as ship’s carpenter. Came to Louisiana on Iberville’s second voyage. Established himself in Mobile. Married Marguerite Catherine Prévot (sometimes called Marie Prevot). Children: René-André, baptized October 27, 1708; Jacques, March 28, 1710. Accompanied Pierre Le Sueur (q.v.) on his expedition to the Upper Mississippi in search of mines and journeyed with Juchereau de Saint Denis (q.v.) to the Presidio San Juan Bautista in the futile attempt at opening trade with Mexico. Wrote a detailed and lively “Relation” of his travels. Left Louisiana to return to France, October 3, 1721. Always signed his name “Pénigault.” M.A. Sources: Richebourg Gaillard McWilliams, Fleur de Lys and Calumet: Being the Penicaut Narrative of French Adventure in Louisiana (1954); “Penicaut as Alabama’s First Literary Figure,” Alabama Review, V (1952).
PENN, Alexander Gordon, planter, politician, congressman. Born near Stella, Patrick County, Va., May 10, 1799. Removed with parents to Lexington, Ky. Completed preparatory studies and attended Henry and Emory College, Marion, Va. Removed to St. Tammany Parish, La., 1821, engaged in planting near Covington; sheriff of St. Tammany Parish, 1824-1829. Married Emeline Hosmer in 1831 Served in the state house of representatives; postmaster of New Orleans from December 19, 1843, to April 18, 1849; delegate to the Democratic National conventions in 1844, 1852, 1856, and 1860. Elected as a Democrat to Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of John H. Harmanson (q.v.); reelected and served from December 30, 1850, to March 3, 1853. Returned to St. Tammany Parish and engaged in planting and the operation of a lumber mill near Covington. At the conclusion of the Civil War returned to Washington, D. C. Died, Washington, D. C., May 7, 1866; interred Glenwood Cemetery. J.B.C. Sources: Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1949 (1950); Frederick S. Ellis, St. Tammany Parish, L’Autre Cote du Lac (1981); Index to the Marriages, St. Tammany Parish, 1812-1900.
PENN, David Bradfute, businessman, soldier, politician. Born, Lynchburg, Va., 1836, son of Alfred Penn. Removed to New Orleans at age 13. Education: Spring Hill College, Mobile; Virginia Military Institute; studied law, University of Virginia, and in law offices of brother-in-law, James Lyons of Richmond, Va. Returned to New Orleans, December 1858. In cotton press business until outbreak of Civil War. In 1861, organized a company of his cotton press employees, named captain; company became part of Seventh Louisiana Regiment; promoted to rank of major. Regiment at battles of Blackburn’s Ford, First Manassas, “Dog Town,” Cross Keys, and Port Republic. Named commander of regiment. Wounded in Seven Days Campaign; recovered and fought at Second Manassas, Second Winchester, Sharpsburg (again wounded), Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, and Rappahannock Station. Captured, made prisoner on Johnson’s Island, 11 months. Exchanged, rejoined Confederate Army. Captured, Athens, Ga., paroled and returned to New Orleans. Resumed cotton press business and became sugar planter. Elected, 1872, lieutenant governor on ticket of John McEnery (q.v.). When Kellogg declared elected, crisis developed leading to events of September 14, 1874. Penn authorized meeting at Clay Statue, called out militia, and led attack on Kellogg forces. Took statehouse, but was compelled to withdraw by federal authorities. Appointed state adjutant general in first Nicholls administration; resigned to become recorder of conveyances in New Orleans. Represented state at 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Member, Boston Club. Married (wife’s name unknown); six children, including two sons, Alfred and Davidson. Died, New Orleans, November 15, 1902; interred Pass Christian, Miss. TAG, LA Source: Author’s research.
PENNELL, Joseph, illustrator, writer, lithographer. Born, Philadelphia, Pa., July 4, 1857; son of Larkin Pennell and Rebecca A. Barton. Education: Pennsylvania Quaker schools, Pennsylvania School of Industrial Art; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Received first commission from Pennsylvania Historical Society to illustrate its Journal, 1881. Sent to New Orleans by Century Magazine to make sketches for series of articles by Lafcadio Hearn. In four months, in 1882, made 40 drawings and $400. Illustrated George Washington Cable’s Creoles of Louisiana, 1885. Served on jury at World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, 1884-1885. Harper’s, Scribner’s and others sent him all over eastern U.S., Europe, 1883, Russia, 1891, western U.S., and Panama, 1912. Married Elizabeth Robins of Philadelphia, a writer, 1884. Returned to New Orleans on lecture tour, ca. 1921. Member: Art Workers’ Guild, The Johnson Club, Philadelphia Etching Club, Society of Friends. Awarded: medals, Paris Exposition, 1900, St. Louis Exposition, 1904. Author of several books and articles. Died, New York, April 23, 1926; interred Friends Burial Ground, Philadelphia. J.L.S. Sources: The Historic New Orleans Collection, Encyclopaedia of New Orleans Artists, 1718-1918 (1987); Joseph Pennell, Adventures of an Illustrator (1925).
PERCHE, Napoléon Joseph, clergyman, journalist, editor, prelate. Born, Angers, France, January 10, 1805, son of Florent Perche and Marie Jeanne Berthélémi. Attended Grand Séminaire, Beaupréau, France; ordained to priesthood, Beaupréau, September 19, 1829. After pastoral work in Murs-Erigne and Turquant in France, removed to United States in 1837. Pastoral work in Diocese of Bardstown, Ky., 1837-1842; transferred to New Orleans, 1842. Chaplain to Ursuline School and Convent in New Orleans, 1842-1870; eloquent orator and preacher. Founded Le Propagateur Catholique, 1842, which he edited and in which his strong articles frequently appeared. Forceful defender of Bishop Antoine Blanc (q.v.) in controversy with St. Louis Cathedral churchwardens. Strong defense of church against Know-Nothings and Nativists occasioned physical attack on newspaper press. Ardent Confederate; placed under house arrest and newspaper suppressed during Federal occupation. Consecrated titular bishop of Abdera and coadjutor bishop of New Orleans at St. Louis Cathedral, May 1, 1870; succeeded to see of New Orleans, May 25, 1870. Held Third Provincial Council of New Orleans, 1873. Appointed first resident pastors to Catholic communities: Brashear City (Morgan City), 1870, Rayne, 1872, New Texas Landing, 1872, Kenner, 1872, Loreauville, 1873, Larose, 1873, Port Barre, 1873, Carencro, 1874, Napoleonville, 1874, Bayou du Large (Theriot), 1875, Taft, 1877, Bayou Goula, 1877, Jeanerette, 1879, Broussard, 1883 and Mermentau, 1883. Fostered establishment and expansion of Catholic schools; renovated and added to former Almonester Chapel on Chartres Street in New Orleans and opened there archdiocesan seminary, 1870-1881. Advocate and benefactor of needy. Rapid expansion of parishes and schools coupled with financial difficulties of post-war years resulted in large archdiocesan debt and transfer of administration of archdiocesan temporal matters to Bishop Francis Xavier Leray (q.v.), 1879. Died, New Orleans, December 27, 1883; interred St. Louis Cathedral. C.E.N. Sources: Napoléon Perche Papers in Archives of the Archdiocese of New Orleans; Roger Baudier, The Catholic Church in Louisiana (1939); Joseph Code, Dictionary of the American Hierarchy, 1789-1964 (1964).
PERCY, Robert, pioneer. Born, Kilkenny, Ireland, September 1, 1762; son of Charles Percy (d. 1794) who came to British West Florida, 1776. Entered Royal Navy, commissioned first lieutenant, April 18, 1783, for gallantry at Quebec during American Revolution; obtained leave to come to America to settle father’s estate, 1794; returned permanently and settled in Feliciana, Spanish West Florida, 1802. Married Jane Middlemist (1772-1831) in London, September 15, 1796. Alcalde, Fourth Division, New Feliciana, 1808-1810. Died November 19, 1819; interred Beech Woods Plantation, present-day West Feliciana Parish, La. E.K.D. Sources: John H. Percy, The Percy Family (1943); Stanley C. Arthur, Audubon, An Intimate Life of the American Woodsman (1937).
PERCY, Walker, physician, writer. Born, Birmingham, Ala., May 28, 1916; son of Leroy Pratt and Martha Phinizy Percy. Married Mary Beatrice Townsend, November 7, 1946 Percy’s father committed suicide when he was eleven and his ≈mother died when he was thirteen; subsequently adopted, along with his two brothers, by William Alexander Percy, a relative in Greenwood, Miss. Education: B. S., Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1937; medical degree with honors from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, 1941; spent three years in medical school studying Freudian analysis. Worked at a medical clinic in Greenville, Miss., fall of 1941; interned at Bellevue Hospital, New York City, 1941; subsequently contracted pulmonary tuberculosis, 1942; entered Trudeau Sanitorium, Adirondacks, New York, 1942-1944; taught Pathology, Columbia University, 1944. Moved to New Orleans, La., ca. 1946; a modest family inheritance allowed Percy to abandon medicine and concentrate on writing. Resettled in Covington, La., 1950. After a decade of obscurity, he published The Moviegoer, which won the National Book Award for 1962. Other novels included: The Last Gentleman (1966), Love in the Ruins (1971), Lancelot (1977), The Second Coming (1980), and The Thanatos Syndrome (1987); non-fiction works included: The Message in the Bottle (1975) and Lost in the Cosmos (1980). Died, Covington, La., May 10, 1990. J.D.W. Sources: Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, May 11, 1990; Louis Rubin, et. al., Southern Writers: A Biographical Dictionary (1979).
PERE ANTOINE, see SEDELLA, Antonio de
PERELLI, Achille, sculptor, art teacher, painter. Born Milan, Italy, ca. March 7, 1822. Studied: under Galli, Academy of Arts, Milan; awarded first prize for sculpture in national competition, 1847. Fought under Garibaldi in revolution of 1848; was exiled upon his defeat; fled to United States. Arrived in New Orleans and opened a studio, 1850; specialized in portrait busts and fish and game still lifes. Considered Louisiana’s first sculptor in bronze. Taught: Classical and Commercial College, 1870; A. V. Romain School, 1871-1872; De Montluzins School, 1873; Sylvester Larned Institute, 1874-1875; Southern Art Union School of Design, 1881-1884; and Artists’ Association of New Orleans School of Art, 1891. Married. Children: four sons and a daughter. Member: Dante Lodge of Masons, Artists’ Association of New Orleans, Cup and Saucer Club, Southern Art Union. Exhibited: New Orleans art associations and galleries. Died, New Orleans, October 9, 1891; interred St. Louis Cemetery I. J.L.S. Source: The Historic New Orleans Collection, Encyclopaedia of New Orleans Artists, 1718-1918 (1918).
PEREZ, Leander Henry, attorney, politician, segregationist. Born, Star Plantation, Plaquemines Parish, La., July 16, 1891; son of Roselius E. (“Fice”) Perez and Gertrude Solis Perez. Education: New Orleans schools; Louisiana State University; Tulane University Law School. Married Agnes Chalin, 1917; two sons and two daughters. 1914, began practice of law in New Orleans and Plaquemines Parish. 1916, defeated as candidate for parish representative. 1919, appointed judge of Twenty-fifth Judicial District to fill unexpired term. 1920, won four-year term by defeating local machine run by parish representative John Dymond (q.v.). 1924, elected district attorney. 1924-1926, involved in dispute over trapping lands which ended in a shootout, the “Trappers’ War”. 1928, became ally of Gov. Huey Long (q.v.); successfully defended Long in 1929 impeachment trial. 1930s, became multi-millionaire by subleasing state mineral lands. 1940, State Crime Commission investigated Perez at direction of Gov. Sam Jones (q.v.). 1943, Jones sent state troops to Plaquemines to enforce his appointment of an anti-Perez parish sheriff. Became leader of conservative cause in national politics, opposing every Democratic presidential nominee, 1948-1968. 1948, led Strom Thurmond’s presidential campaign in Louisiana. 1949-1952, director of national office of States’ Rights Democratic Committee. 1960, state finance chairman, Presidential Free Elector Campaign. 1964, chairman of “Democrats for Goldwater” in Louisiana. 1968, state campaign manager for George Wallace for president. Opposed desegregation of Louisiana schools. Wrote and researched much of legislation sponsored by Louisiana’s Joint Legislative Committee on Segregation. Helped found Citizens’ Council of Greater New Orleans. 1962, excommunicated from Catholic Church for opposing racial desegregation. 1960, retired as district attorney; elder son Leander Perez, Jr. succeeded him. 1961, wrote new charter for parish; elected president of parish commission council. Responsible for construction of schools, roads, and libraries. 1967, retired as president of commission council; succeeded by his younger son Chalin. Died, Plaquemines Parish, March 19, 1969. Revealed that he had been re-admitted to Catholic church. Requiem mass said at Holy Name of Jesus Church, Loyola University. Interred at home, Plaquemines Parish. G.J. Source: Glen Jeansonne, Leander H. Perez: Boss of the Delta (1978)
PERIER, Etienne de, governor. Born, Le Havre, France, ca. 1690. Along with his younger brother Antoine Alexis, he was attracted to a naval career at an early age, serving as a naval captain in the latter stages of the War of the Spanish Succession. Following the end of the war, he entered the employ of the Company of the Indies, serving in a variety of capacities. Dedication to company interests led to his nomination as commandant-general of Louisiana, then under company control. On August 9, 1726, the king ratified the company’s nomination. Married Catherine Le Chibelier. At least two children, the second named after his Louisiana plantation, Monplaisir. Catherine’s son by a previous marriage, De Chambellan Graton, accompanied them to New Orleans. Arrived in New Orleans, March 15, 1727, and immediately assumed office from Boisbriand (q.v.). Accomplishments as governor included stimulation of the agricultural sector, encouragement of tobacco cultivation, an attempt to establish citrus production, and an experiment with silk culture. Greatest successes came in the areas of public and charitable works. He supervised the construction of levees, deepened the main channel of the Mississippi, completed work on a prison and a conservatory, and began construction of the Ursuline Convent. He also attempted to improve the morality of the colonists. Unfortunately, constant wrangling with other royal and company officials and a shortsighted Indian policy clouded his administration. Worst disaster of the entire French period occurred on November 28, 1729, when Natchez Indians attacked the French settlement at Natchez killing 236 settlers. On July 1, 1731, when the company returned control of the colony to the crown, Perier was promoted in title to governor. On March 2, 1733, was recalled from office and replaced by former governor Bienville (q.v.). Following retirement from office established residence at Brest and was rewarded with the Cross of St. Louis and a modest pension. Sold his Louisiana plantation, Monplaisir, to Jean-Charles de Pradel (q.v.). Died ca. 1755. B.C. Sources: Dunbar Rowland and Albert G. Sanders, eds., Mississippi Provincial Archives: French Dominion, 3 vols. (1927-1932); Rowland, Sanders, and Patricia Galloway, eds., Mississippi Provincial Archives: French Dominion, vols. IV-V, (1984); Pierre Heinrich, La Louisiane sous la Compagnie des Indes, 1717-1731 (1908); Jacob M. Price, France and the Chesapeake: A History of the French Tobacco Monopoly (1973); Charles E. O’Neill, Church and State in French Colonial Louisiana: Policy and Politics to 1732 (1966); Patricia D. Woods, French-Indian Relations on the Southern Frontier, 1699-1762 (1980).
PERKINS, Archie Ebenezer, educator, orator. Born, Smithdale, Miss., June 21, 1879; son of former slaves, John and Phebe Perkins. Education: Alcorn A & M College, B.S., 1906; New Orleans University (now Dillard University), M. A., 1925; studied at Harvard University, 1913-1914. Married Julia Ligon Hutchins, 1909. Principal, Biloxi Public School, 1906-1911; supervising principal, New Orleans Public School, 1918; professor of Biological Science, Alcorn College, Lormon, Miss., 1911-1918; director, New Orleans College, Summer Normal, 1918-1922. Offices held and memberships: president, New Orleans Parish Principals’ Association, 1929; Louisiana State Teachers Association; New Orleans Teachers Association; National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools; Masons. Delegate by appointment of Gov. E. F. Noel of Mississippi to Education Congress in Denver, Colo., 1908; delegate to the A.M.E. General Louisiana Industrial Life Insurance Co. Board Conference, Kansas City, Mo., 1912. Author of Negro Spirituals from the Far South (1923); Who’s Who in Colored Louisiana (1930); A Study of the Haitian People; Historical Sketch and Romances; Sunday School Plans and Outlines, (1922). Political party: Republican. Religion: Methodist (A.M.E.) C.T. Sources: Who’s Who in Colored America, 5th ed. (1940); A. E. Perkins, ed., Who’s Who in Colored Louisiana (1930).
PERKINS, Dosite Samuel, physician, politician, philanthropist. Born Rose Bluff, near Sulphur, La., December 12, 1866; son of Eli A. Perkins (q.v.) and Anna Broussard. Education: local schools. Southwestern University, Georgetown, Tex.; Tulane Medical School, New Orleans, La., 1899. Registered pharmacist, assistant to Dr. LaPlace, New Orleans specialist antiseptic surgery. Began medical practice in Sulphur, 1899, establishing Paragon Drug Store. Married Septima E. Postell, of Plaquemine, La., daughter of Dr. P. S. Postell and Pauline D. Postell. Children: Philip Samuel (b. 1894), Mabel (b. 1899), Ruth (b. 1901), Logan Postell (b. 1905). Active in Democratic party; member, Louisiana legislature, two terms; Sulphur mayor, 1914-1916; member, city council. Member: Methodist church, official board; Phi Delta Theta fraternity; parish, district, state medical associations; director and vice president, Lake Charles Savings and Trust Bank and First National Bank of Lake Charles; president, Calcasieu Board of Health (4 years); president, Calcasieu-Cameron School Board (6 years). Donated building sites for Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic and First Baptist churches, first three brick school buildings; monetary equivalent for Methodist Episcopal church building. D. S. Perkins Elementary School, Sulphur, named for subject. Died, Sulphur, December 13, 1939; interred Lake Charles Orange Grove Cemetery. G.S.P. Sources: Erbon W. Wise, Brimstone! The History of Sulphur, Louisiana (1981); Perkins Family Papers.
PERKINS, Eli A., lumberman, cattleman, farmer, businessman, politician. Born, Big Woods, Calcasieu Parish, La., July 16, 1833; son of James Perkins and Catherine Henderson. Married Anna Broussard of Calcasieu Parish, daughter of Joseph A. Broussard, who emigrated from France, prominent in early development of southwestern Louisiana. Children: Catherine (b. 1860), Minerva, Howell, Henderson, Dosite (q.v.). Civil War service: Louisiana Regiment. Removed to Rose Bluff on Calcasieu River, engaged in lumbering, farming, cattle raising. Removed to Sulphur, La., 1876, established first business. Active in Democratic party; member, state legislature. Member, Baptist Church. Died, Sulphur, April 7, 1917; interred Big Woods Cemetery, Edgerly, La. G.S.P. Sources: Erbon W. Wise, Brimstone! The History of Sulphur, Louisiana (1981); Perkins Family Papers.
PERKINS, John, Jr., politician, jurist, congressman. Born “near Natchez” (probably in Louisiana), July 1, 1819; son of John Perkins, Sr., and Mary Rives Bynum (widow of Benjamin Bynum). Education: Yale College, 1840; Harvard University, law degree. Practiced law in New Orleans. Instrumental in reorganization of Louisiana Historical Society, 1846; travelled to France, 1848-1849, for purpose of determining scope of French archival materials relating to Louisiana. Married (1) briefly, 1850, to Mary Potts of New York. Removed to Madison Parish, La., 1851; appointed district judge. Elected as a Democrat to U. S. House of Representatives, served one term, 1853-1855. Married (2) Evelyn May, Widow Bailey, of Petersburg, Va.; no children. After Civil War, became refugee in Mexico; after Maximillian’s downfall, removed to Europe, remaining there until 1878. Returned to the U. S. and Hapaka Plantation, Madison Parish. Spent last years travelling in Canada and the U. S. Died, Baltimore, November 28, 1885; interred Natchez Cemetery, Natchez, Miss. G.R.C. Sources: Robert Dabney Calhoun, “The John Perkins Family of Northeast Louisiana,” Louisiana Historical Quarterly, XIX (1936); John L. Wakelyn, Biographical Dictionary of the Confederacy (1977); U. S. Congress, Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1949 (1950); Alcée Fortier, Louisiana . . . , 3 vols. (1914).
PERKINS, John, Sr., pioneer, jurist. Born May 17, 1781, Somerset County, Md.. Removed to Mississippi Territory, 1802, and to Concordia Parish, Territory of Orleans, 1809. Cotton planter and owner of the vast plantation known as Somerset Estate, located in present-day Tensas Parish, La. Named judge of Concordia Parish, 1813, by Gov. W. C. C. Claiborne (q.v.); served until 1818. Married (1), 1817, Mary Rives, widow of Benjamin Bynum. Children: William and John Jr. (q.v.). Married (2) Zilpha Calvitt. No children. Died at his home, The Oaks, November 30, 1866; interred Natchez Cemetery, Natchez, Miss. G.R.C. Source: Robert Dabney Calhoun, “The John Perkins Family of Northeast Louisiana,” Louisiana Historical Quarterly, XIX (1936).
PERRET, Jean Noël, planter, militiaman. Born on the German Coast (St. Charles Parish) of Louisiana, December 23, 1755; son of Alphonse Perret and Marianne Pujol. Grandson of Jean Perret of Grenoble, France, a Louisiana pioneer, and Anne Marie Morel. Contracted to marry Marie Françoise Pain, September 2, 1780; daughter of Daniel Pain (q.v.), formerly surgeon major and judge at the Natchitoches Post, and Jeanne Rougeot. Nine children. Many years an officer of the militia of the German Coast, having served for twenty-two years in that organization and for almost nine years as an officer in the German Coast Disciplined Provincial Militia. Eventually rose to the rank of captain. Served as an officer under Gov. Bernardo de Gálvez (q.v.). Participated in the siege and capture of Fort Bute at Manchac and Baton Rouge in 1779, and was with Gálvez at the fall of the British fort at Mobile, Ala. A planter in St. John the Baptist Parish. Died November 2, 1830; interred church cemetery of St. John the Baptist Church, Edgard, La. D.J.P. Sources: Spanish Colonial Records, Document #382, File 3752; St. John the Baptist Parish civil records; St. John the Baptist Church, Edgard, La.; C. Robert Churchill, S.A.R. Spanish Records ; Jack Holmes, Honor and Fidelity (1965).
PERRIN, William Henry, editor, historian. Born, Breckinridge County, Ky., March 27, 1834. Married Edmonia B. Orendorff, 1868; five children: William Guy, Mary D., Taylor Orendorff, Ben Hardin, and Edmonia Ormsby. Educated in Breckinridge County schools, graduating from Webster Academy. Remained on his family’s farm until the age of thirty; he did work as a clerk in the area general store for two years and sometimes taught at a local school. Forced to flee Breckinridge Country during the Civil War, Perrin settled in Louisville, where he worked on the Louisville Journal. Stayed with the Journal when it merged with the Louisville Courier to become the Courier-Journal in November, 1868; also worked on the Louisville Daily Democrat during this period. Perrin went to Illinois in 1875 and began “historical work” in 1878. Perrin wrote or edited eleven county histories for the states of Kentucky, Illinois, and Ohio between 1880 and 1884. In 1885 Perrin published his most substantial work Kentucky: A History of the State . . . , which he edited with J. H. Battle and G. C. Kniffen; Perrin also wrote The Pioneer Press of Kentucky . . . (1888). From 1887 to 1891 Perrin contributed articles to several national magazines. Perrin came to Louisiana in 1890 to collect information for a history of the state which he was to write; headquartered in New Orleans, Perrin visited many parts of the state, but devoted most of his time to the southwestern region. Perrin contracted malaria after a few months in New Orleans, returned to Kentucky, and died on September 14, 1891. Southwest Louisiana: Biographical and Historical was published in 1891 by The Gulf Publishing Company of New Orleans; although Perrin edited the work most of the information it contained was contributed by local southwestern Louisiana newspaper editors, and its importance to the historiography of this part of the state can not be overstated. J.D.W. Sources: Pearl Mary Segura, “Introduction” to the 1971 reprint edition of Southwest Louisiana: Biographical and Historical.
PERRY, Harold R., Catholic clergyman. Born, Lake Charles, La., October 9, 1916; son of Frank Perry and Josephine Pitre. Education: St. Augustine Seminary, Bay St. Louis, Miss.; St. Mary’s Seminary. Ordained a Roman Catholic priest, 1944; associate pastor at various churches in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas, 1944-1952; founding pastor, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Broussard, La., 1952-1958; rector, St. Ausgustine Seminary; 1958-1964; provincial superior of the Southern province of the Society of the Divine Word, 1964-1965. Member of the delegation of African American clergymen that met with President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to discuss peaceful desegregation of public accommodations. Named auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, September, 1965, and consecrated as such, January, 1966. First African American Catholic bishop appointed in the United States since 1875 and only the second in American history. Was also the first African American clergyman to deliver the opening prayer before the United States Congress, 1964, and the first African American ever raised to fullness of priesthood, 1965. Served the New Orleans Archdiocese as vicar general, coordinator for higher education, archdiocese consular, and vicar for religious activities. Served as pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, both in New Orleans; rector of the national shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, New Orleans; national chaplain and national chaplain emeritus, Knights of Peter Claver; board member, National Conference for Interracial Justice. Died, New Orleans, July 17, 1991; interred, St Louis Cemetery No. 3, New Orleans. J.D.W. Sources: Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, July 18, 1991; New Orleans Times-Picayune, January 12, 1991; July 23, 1991; Who’s Who Among Black Americans, fifth edition (1988).
PERRY, Robert S., attorney, jurist. Born, Lafayette Parish, La., April 12, 1834; son of Robert Perry and Ezemeley Booth. Education: Kentucky Military Institute; attended law school, University of Louisville. Began law practice in Anderson, Tex.; removed to Vermilion Parish, La. During Civil War, enlisted in Company C, Eighth Louisiana Regiment; served in Army of Northern Virginia until taken prisoner, 1863. After war, resumed legal career in St. Martin Parish, La. Married (1), July 5, 1870, Marie Antoinette Berthe Gary, daughter of Pierre Gary and Helene Briant. Children: Bertha, Lelia, and J. Robert. Removed to New Iberia, La., practiced law. Married (2), 1883, Camille Vedrines (d. Oct. 1883). Served in state senate, 1879-1883; elected circuit judge by legislature, 1888. Died, New Iberia, February 24, 1900; interred St. Peter’s Cemetery. G.R.C. Sources: Glenn R. Conrad, New Iberia: Essays on the Town and Its People (1986); Glenn R. Conrad and Carl A. Brasseaux, “Gone But Not Forgotten”: Records from South Louisiana Cemeteries, vol. I, St. Peter’s Cemetery, New Iberia, Louisiana (1983); Donald J. Hebert, Southwest Louisiana Records, 33 vols. (1974-1984).
PERRY, Stella George Stern, author, humanitarian. Born, New Orleans, 1877; daughter of George and Carolyn (Silverstein) Stern. Education: Southern Academic Institute, New Orleans, 1893; Newcomb College, 1893-1894; Barnard College, Columbia University, A. B. degree, 1898. Advertising writer and editorial worker, New York, 1899-1906. Married George Hough Perry, New York, September 19, 1906. One child: Ralph R. Perry. Worked on many civic projects, Consumers League, New Jersey State Child Labor Commission and Juvenile Protection Association, 1914-1915; Children’s Relief and General Welfare Society, Hackensack, N. J.; Special Inspector of Labor, New Jersey, 1912-1913; wrote child labor pageant All the Children for the 1915 Panama Exposition. Founder of Alpha Omicron Pi Fraternity, of which she wrote the history (1953). Lecturer to the Louisiana Society of California and other clubs. Member, Unitarian church. Husband died in 1945. Although she lived most of her adult life in New York (making her home in Brooklyn for many years), she used Louisiana as the setting for several stories and novels. Come Home (1923), dedicated to her son, is a romance set in the Louisiana rice lands, and Palmetto (1920) is the tale of a Louisiana girl. Her works include: Go to Sleep (1911), Melindy (1912), The Kind Adventure (1914), When Mother Lets Us Act (children’s plays ), Little Bronze Playfellows (1915), Clever Mouse (1916), Angel of Christmas (1917), The Girls’ Nest (1918), Barbara of Telegraph Hill (1925), The Defenders (1927), Extra Girl (1929), and Richardson: General Server (1940). She wrote scenarios, poems, and stories, as well as novels. Her non-fiction includes: The Sculpture and Murals of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, official handbook (1915), The Sculpture of the Exposition, with A. Sterling Calder (1915), and Down the Avenue of Ninety Years (1924). D.H.B. Sources: American Authors and Books: 1640 to the Present Day (1943); Childhood in Poetry; Who’s Who in America, 1924-25, 1926-27; Who Was Who in America, III (1951-60); Lizzie McVoy, A Bibliography of Fiction by Louisianians and on Louisiana Subjects (1935).
PERSAC, Marie Adrien, artist, teacher, architect, photographer, lithographer, and engineer. Born in France, probably Lyons, ca. 1823; son of Pierre Edouard Persac and Marie Sophie Pauline Falloux. Married, December 8, 1851, Marie Odile Daigre, of Manchac, La., daughter of Zenon Daigre and Eloise Martinez. Children: Marie Edouard Adrien (1853-1898), Marie Octave Joseph (b. 1854), and Marie Alfred (b. ca. 1865). Operated an apple orchard in Indiana, ca. 1851-1854; most noted for “Norman’s Chart of the Lower Mississippi River by A. Persac”; artist for a view of Baton Rouge, ca. 1857, view of Camp Moore, 1861, and paintings of many plantation houses in southern Louisiana; partner with Baton Rouge photographer William G. Vail, 1865. Collaborated with New Orleans artist Paul Poincy (q.v.) on a portrait of Horace Greely, 1872. Died, Manchac, La., July 21, 1873; interred Baton Rouge Catholic Cemetery. J.A.M. Sources: The Historic New Orleans Collection, Encyclopaedia of New Orleans Artists (1987); Eleanor H. Gustafson, “Museum Accessions,” Magazine Antiques, (June, 1977); marriage certificates, St. Joseph’s Church, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; New Orleans Notarial Archives, D. Seghers, September 13, 1873, vol. II, p. 64.
PETERS, Samuel Jarvis, businessman, founder of the New Orleans public school system. Born, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, July 30, 1801; son of William and Pattie Peters. Family removed to Hebron, Conn. Education: local schools, then went to New York to learn business affairs in a French countinghouse; also learned the French and Spanish languages. In October, 1821, sailed for New Orleans, arriving in November. Soon employed by J. H. Leverich and Company, a wholesale grocery firm. Married, November 1822, Angélique de Silly, from Saint-Domingue. Children: Samuel Jarvis, Jr. (1823-1863); Henrietta (1825-1854); William (1826-1829); Corinne (1829-1832); Amanda (1830-1832); Myrthee (1828-1854); Benjamin Franklin (d. 1908). In 1823, Peters entered partnership with Thomas Millard to form Peters and Millard, a wholesale grocery firm; became one of the foremost grocery firms in city. With James H. Caldwell (q.v.) Peters was chief founder of American District (Second Municipality) in New Orleans. In 1829, Peters elected to city council by First Ward and served as head of Committee on Streets and Landings, then in second year as head of Finance Committee. Retired from council in 1831. In 1830 became involved in Pontchartrain Railroad Company with Morris Hoffman (who originated the idea) and others; railroad opened April 24, 1831, and Peters served on its board of directors for many years. On March 12, 1832, Peters elected president of the new City Bank of New Orleans and served to 1848 when it was merged into State Bank of Louisiana; Peters then became president of State Bank and served until his death. With other civic leaders, Peters was instrumental in the beginnings of other New Orleans institutions: Commercial Bank of New Orleans, formed to pipe water from Mississippi into New Orleans houses; New Orleans Chamber of Commerce; and building famed St. Charles Hotel, completed in 1837. Became member of council of Second Municipality, 1837, and named chairman of its Finance Committee, holding position for 14 years; was considered the guiding force on the council during this period. In 1841, Louisiana legislature passed act requiring each municipality to establish a public school. Peters, who had traveled and studied the schools of New England and was acquainted with educator Horace Mann, took lead in establishing new school system in the Second Municipality; served as a director in school system for a number of years. Proposed a public school library which opened in October, 1845; many of its books were personally chosen by Peters on a visit to New York. Because of contributions, Peters is called the “Father of Public Education” in New Orleans. Also active in many social and fraternal organizations including New England Society of Louisiana. In 1848, went to national Whig convention and played prominent role in nominating Zachary Taylor (q.v.) for president; it was rumored that Peters would be named secretary of the treasury, but since Taylor was also a Southerner, Peters was not selected because other parts of the country had to be represented. In April, 1849, Taylor named Peters collector of customs at port of New Orleans; he took office but his confirmation was later rejected in a vote split along party lines. When a vote in April, 1850, to reunite the three New Orleans municipalities carried, Peters retired from the council but still continued his civic leadership in ensuing years. Died, August 11, 1855; interred Washington Cemetery (also called Lafayette No. 1 Cemetery), New Orleans. K.H. Sources: Rita Katherine Carey, “Samuel Jarvis Peters,” Louisiana Historical Quarterly, XXX; George C. H. Kernion, “Samuel Jarvis, The Man Who Made New Orleans of To-day and Became a National Personality,” Publications of the Louisiana Historical Society, VII; New Orleans Daily Picayune, August 12, 14, 1855; November 28, 1897.
PETERSON, Albert A., dentist. Born, Morrison, Ill., January 21, 1864; son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Peterson. Education: completed course in medicine and dentistry at a Chicago college. Removed to Jennings, La., 1893 where he practiced dentistry until his retirement, 1932. Promoter of first telephone system and operator of first all-grocery in Jennings; affiliated with early Jennings oil field production. In 1900 married Arlie Twitchell (1892-1932), an active community leader. Died, 1952; interred Jennings Cemetery. M.H.N.† Sources: Jennings Carnegie Library historical files; Jennings Daily Times, August 23, 1952; Half-Century Records of Early Jennings Pioneers, compiled for the 50th Birthday Celebration, 1934.
PETIT, Joseph, merchant, conspirator in the revolt of 1768. Petit was a merchant living in New Orleans, married with three children and nine slaves. Arrested August 19, 1769, Petit was accused of conspiring against Gov. Antonio de Ulloa (q.v.). At trial treasurer Martín Navarro (q.v.) testified that Petit was active in both the rebellion and the conspiracy. He supervised the disarming of the French ship, the César, which conducted Ulloa to the Balize. After this, claimed Navarro, he acted in a most insulting manner to Spanish officials. Still, his role was minor and on October 24, 1769, Petit was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was imprisoned in El Moro, a fortress prison in Cuba. In late 1769 he petitioned to visit with his three-year-old son. The request was denied. However, in 1770, he was given an early parole and may have returned to France with his family. B.C. Sources: Judicial Acts of the Spanish Cabildo, Louisiana State Museum (LSM), #177102281; Jacqueline K. Voorhies, Some Late Eighteenth Century Louisianians (1973); Vicente Rodriguez-Casado, Primeros años de dominación española (1942); David Ker Texada, Alejandro O’Reilly and the New Orleans Rebels (1970).
PETTY, Crit, mathematician, civic leader, educator, surveyor, plantation bookkeeper, farmer, rural letter carrier, salesman for Petty Art Pottery. Born, Many, La., September 21, 1879; son of Mary Josephine (Mollie) Byles and Marshall Benton Petty. Long-time resident of Ida, La. Methodist. Life member, Ida Lodge No. 324 F & A.M., Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons of Louisiana; member of northwest Chapter 52 of Vivian; life member, Purity Chapter No. 68, Order of Eastern Star. Married Gypsy Bell Williams of Bells, Tenn., September 30, 1905. Children: Joseph, Myrtle, Frank, Ingles, Crit, Jr., Damaris, Merwin, Douglas. Largely self-taught. Began study of mathematics at age 7 and by age 10 could work any problem the townspeople of Many could bring him. When 11 taught spelling to beginners in a private school in Many for $2.00 per month (his tuition). At 16 he could work any problem in algebra or geometry. Took examination and received a first-class teachers certificate. Attended Peabody College in Tennessee on a scholarship, ca. 1902, and taught in the mathematics department. Taught in Sabine Parish, Shreveport, Ida, Elton, Vivian. In 1917 moved to his farm at Lakeport (northwest Bossier Parish). Returned to Ida, 1919. Rural letter carrier, Ida Post Office, 1923-1949. Traveled extensively for Petty Art Pottery during World War II. Helped to get a highway bridge built across Red River at Miller’s Bluff. Died, Vivian, La., March 10, 1967. G.D.P.B. Source: Author’s research.
PEYROUX DE LA COUDRENIERE, Henri, politician, author. Born in France, ca. 1743; son of Marguerite-Suzanne Peyroux. Married to Portuguese woman, née Rodriguez. No children. Migrated to Louisiana 1783; recruited Acadians to settle in Spanish Louisiana; wrote memorandum on agriculture; commandant in Ste. Geneviève, 1787-1794. Visited Philadelphia and met Jefferson; removed from Ste. Geneviève as politically suspect; cleared and appointed commandant in New Madrid; dismissed in 1803 and returned to France. Date and place of death unknown. C.J.E. Sources: Carl J. Ekberg, Colonial Ste. Genevieve (1985); Abraham P. Nasatir, Spanish War Vessels (1962); Oscar W. Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey (1955).
PEYTON, Balie, attorney, politician, public official. Born, Summer County, Tenn., November 26, 1803. Education: Gallatin College, Tenn.; studied law. Married Ann Smith, daughter of William Eaton Smith of North Carolina. Three children. Brother of Joseph Hopkins Peyton, U. S. congressman from Tennessee, 1839-1843. Colonel, Fifth Louisiana Volunteers, Mexican War, President Polk refused service of regiment; aide to Generals W. J. Worth and Z. Taylor (q.v.), Mexican War; Louisiana voted him a sword of honor for his services under General Taylor. Law practice, Gallatin, Tenn., 1824-1837; in U. S. House of Representatives from Tennessee, 1833-1837; law practice, New Orleans, 1837-1849; U. S. district attorney, Louisiana, 1837-1845; declined secretaryship of war, President J. Tyler’s cabinet, 1841; envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Chile from August 9, 1849, to September 26, 1853, declined reappointment; U. S. district attorney, San Francisco, Calif., 1853-1859; returned to Gallatin, Tenn., law practice, 1859-1861; unsuccessful candidate for U. S. Senate, 1866; Tennessee state legislature, 1869-1870. Presidential elector for Bell-Everett, Constitutional Union ticket, 1860; Thurlow Weed urged his appointment as secretary of war, 1861. Active in Whig party. Wrote on U. S.-Chilean relations, Pacific coast, and international trade. Peytonsville, Tenn., named in his honor. Died, Gallatin, Tenn., August 18, 1878; interred family estate. T.D.S. Sources: National Cyclopedia of American Biography, VII; Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1971 (1971); Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Louisiana (1892; reprint ed., 1975); U. S. Dept. of State, United States Chiefs of Mission, 1778-1973 (1973).
PHARES, James K., physician. Born, Sugar Town, Calcasieu (now Beauregard) Parish, La., March 31, 1882. Education: Mount Carmel elementary school; Fort Jesup Academy; University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn., M. D. Married Sally Gibson in Winchester, Tenn., December 1906. Children: Ross, a prominent Louisiana author; Glen; James; and Edna Cole. Taught school at Middle Creek, Sabine Parish, La. Coroner of Sabine Parish for 28 years and parish health officer for 12 years. Served as sheriff of Sabine Parish, 1943-1944, filling unexpired term of D. J. Derrick. Member, First Baptist Church of Many, La.; charter member, Kisatchie Lodge No. 156 F. & A.M. Began practice of medicine in Hornbeck, Vernon Parish, La., 1906; removed to Negreet in 1909; removed to Many, 1925, to practice medicine and serve as coroner. Died, April 30, 1961. J.H.P. Sources: John G. Belisle, History of Sabine Parish (1912); Sabine Index, May 5, 1961.
PHARR, John Newton, businessman, politician. Born, Mecklenburg County, N. C., March 19, 1829. Family removed to Tennessee, 1837, and later to Mississippi. Pharr removed to St. Mary Parish, La., 1849. Operated a sugar plantation. Civil War service: Private, Company A, Seventh Louisiana Cavalry Regiment, 1864-1865. After Civil War, owned and operated a steamboat line between Morgan City and New Iberia. Senior member of the lumber firms of Pharr and Gall of New Iberia and Pharr and Williams of Patterson. One of Louisiana’s wealthiest men by 1890. Left the Democratic party to become a Republican. Gubernatorial candidate on the Republican-Populist fusion ticket, 1896; vote fraud gave the election to Murphy J. Foster (q.v.). Married, August 11, 1868, New Iberia, to Henrietta C. Andrus, daughter of Lewis Andrus. Died, Fairview Plantation, near Berwick, La., November 21, 1903. A.W.B. Sources: Henry N. Pharr, Pharrs and Farrs (1955); William I. Hair, Bourbonism and Agrarian Protest (1969).
PHELPS, Ashton, businessman, newspaper executive. Born, New Orleans, July 14, 1853; son of John Phelps and Clara Clark. Education: New Orleans and Bellview, Va., schools. Married Blanche Moulton, May 21, 1885. Two children. Engaged in cotton business with father for short time, then, 1879, turned to newspaper work on the Times-Democrat. Later, associate editor, New Orleans Times-Picayune and president, Times-Picayune Publishing Co., until 1918. Member, Board of Liquidation of City Debt; board of trustees, Tulane University; president, Louisiana Club; member, Boston Club; board of directors, Kingsley House; member, Cotton Exchange; vice president, Young Men’s Democratic Club. Episcopalian. Died, Cincinnati, Ohio, December 11, 1919. G.R.C. Sources: Who Was Who in America, 1897-1942; New Orleans Times-Picayune, December 13, 1919.
PHILLIPS, Andy Eugene, educator. Born, Newport, Ark., August 7, 1879; son of Francis Marion Phillips and Martha Combs. Education: Mt. Pleasant Academy, Mt. Pleasant, Ark.; Arkansas College, Batesville, Ark.; George Peabody College, Nashville, Tenn.; summer courses, Louisiana State University and Tulane University. Married, 1911, Enid Freeman of Shelbyville, Tenn. Children: Francis Marion and William Russell. Principal, Welsh (La.) High School, 1906-1907; De Ridder (La.) High School, 1908-1909; Houma (La.) High School, 1910-1914. Taught education classes, Tulane University, summers 1913 and 1914. Superintendent of schools, Arkadelphia, Ark., 1914-1916. Principal, Marksville (La.) High School, 1917-1918. Taught education classes, summer school, Louisiana State Normal College (now Northwestern State University), 1918. Director, Teacher Training and classes for in-service teachers, Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, Ruston, La., 1918-1940. Member, Presbyterian church, served on board of deacons; Masonic Lodge; Phi Delta Kappa; Progressive Education Association; National Educaitonal Association; president, Louisiana Teachers Association; helped organize Louisiana State Athletic Association. A. E. Phillips Lab School, Louisiana Tech University, named for subject. Died, October 4, 1940; interred Greenwood Cemetery, Ruston. M.N.N. Sources: Rodney Cline, Builders of Louisiana Education (1963); Alumni Directory, Peabody College; Louisiana Tech Bulletin, XL (June, 1942).
PHILLIPS, Thomas M., law-enforcement officer. Born, Many, La., July 28, 1900; son of William H. and Della Crews Phillips. Education: Many, La., schools, graduated 1917. Served in the military in World War I. Worked as a clerk at O. E. Williams Mercantile Co. Married Rachel Fore of Arkansas in 1927. One child: Thomas Fore Phillips. Elected to Sabine Parish school board in 1938. Resigned from school board when elected sheriff in 1944. Served as sheriff of Sabine Parish for twenty-four years. Member, Louisiana Peace Officers Association; National Association of Sheriffs and Peace Officers; served four years on the Sheriff’s Retirement and Pension Board. Member of Many Lions Club; Many Lodge 411 F. and A.M., serving as secretary and treasurer; director, Sabine State Bank; member, Woodmen of the World; treasurer, Sabine Parish Red Cross; finance chairman, Sabine Parish Library Board; director, Salvation Army; member, American Legion Post 172. Treasurer of First Baptist Church, Many, for many years. Died, September 4, 1977; interred Many Cemetery. J.H.P. Source: Centennial Edition, Sabine Index, September 6, 1979.
PHILLIPS, Ulrich Bonnell, historian of American South whose interpretations, original research methods, and literary style deeply influenced the course of Southern historiography. Born, La Grange, Ga., November 4, 1877; son of Alonzo Rabun Phillips and Jessie Young. Education: local schools and at Tulane Preparatory School, New Orleans, 1891-1893. This was the first of Phillips’ two sojourns in Louisiana, each of which proved to be decisive in his academic development and outlook. Tulane’s prep school enabled him to enter the University of Georgia at Athens; at the time, there were few public schools in the South capable of providing comparable academic preparation for college. At Athens, he majored in history, receiving both the bachelor’s degree and the master’s degree, 1899. He received the doctorate in history at Columbia University, 1902, where he had been a student, but not a disciple, of William A. Dunning. During his highly successful teaching career, Phillips held prestigious posts in the history departments of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1902-1908; Tulane University, 1907-1911; the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1911-1929; and Yale University, 1930-1934. His second residency in New Orleans allowed him new opportunities to gather original manuscripts for research and writing. His heavy concentration on plantation records was central to his interpretative thesis of class, race, and economic livelihood in the Old South. His defense of the patriarchal planter regime inspired considerable praise as well as some controversy. While almost all critics praised his research, writing genius, and keen analysis of his selected evidence, several scholars complained of the author’s paternalism toward the Negro slave and his dismissal of the yeoman farmer’s contribution to the South’s economy and social fabric. His best known works include American Negro Slavery (1918), Life and Labor in the Old South (1929), and an article entitled “The Central Theme of Southern History” (1928); six other books and more than three dozen articles and book reviews comprise his scholarship. Despite the arguments his writings engendered, Phillips is still generally regarded as perhaps the greatest American historian of the Southern aristocracy; he was, himself, a scion of the Old South’s privileged class. Married, February 22, 1911, Lucie Mayo-Smith of New York City, daughter of Richmond Mayo-Smith, a wealthy statistics professor at Columbia and founder of the American Economics Association. Four children: Ulrich, Jr., Mabel, Worthington, and Richmond (died in infancy). Died, July 21, 1934, of cancer, a few years after attaining Yale professorship. T.F.R. Sources: Merton L. Dillon, Ulrich Bonnell Phillips: Historian of the Old South (1985); Wendell Holmes Stephenson, “Ulrich B. Phillips: Historian of Aristocracy,” in The South Lives in History: Southern Historians and Their Legacy (n.d.).
PHILLIPS, Uriah Burr, attorney, legislator. Born, North Salem, N. Y., November 20, 1817. Removed to West Feliciana Parish, La., ca. 1841. Read law with James Turner and admitted to Louisiana bar, 1842. Married Evalina Turner, daughter of James Turner, January 11, 1844; superintendent West Feliciana Public Schools, 1848-1850; elected to Louisiana legislature, 1852; member of Committee for Internal Education, 1852; appointed to codify laws of Louisiana, 1855; Phillips Revised Statutes published 1856; unsuccessful candidate for associate justice, Louisiana Supreme Court, 1858. Died, March 6, 1859, following explosion of steamboat Princess; interred Grace Church Cemetery, St. Francisville, La. E.K.D. Sources: West Feliciana Oath Book; Bayou Sara Ledger, December 4, 1858; Clinton Feliciana Democrat, March 5, 1859; Grace Church Register; House Journal.
PHILLIPS, William Ellison, educator. Born, Liverpool, St. Helena Parish, La., April 1, 1887; son of William Day Phillips and Jane Bridges. Education: local schools; Louisiana State University, B.A., 1909. Married (1), December 26, 1909, Mamie Yarborough (d. 1923) of St. Helena Parish. Children: Ava Lea, William Day, Minnie Dean, Mamie Ida. Married (2), December 18, 1925, Mamie Womack. Began teaching career in 1909. Superintendent of St. Helena Parish Schools, 1921-1925. Principal, Greensburg (La.) High School, 1920-1954. Between 1925 and 1930, postmaster, Greensburg. Active in Republican party, serving for many years on the State Central Committee. Member: Day’s Methodist Church. Died, Greensburg, March 3, 1957; interred Center United Methodist Cemetery. I.B.T. Sources: St. Helena Echo, March 8, 1957; Phillips’ Family Records; Cemetery Records, Center United Methodist Church; Louisiana State University Alumni Office.
PICKETT, John Samuel, attorney, jurist, educator. Born, Miller County, Ark., March 3, 1892; son of George Alonzo Pickett and Mary Ella Sheppard. Married Margaret Cecilia Hatcher, 1919. Children: John S. Pickett, Jr., Eleanor Joy Pickett Phillips, Mary Charlotte Pickett Ruffin. Education: public school, Ida, La.; Centenary College, Shreveport, La., B.A.; attended Valparaiso University, Indiana; Tulane University, New Orleans; Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Began his teaching career, 1912; taught at Bannister, Merryville, Pitkin, Cedar Grove, Mitchell, and Fisher high schools; was principal of Fisher High School for many years. Postmaster at Fisher, La., for several years and during this time studied law. Admitted to the Louisiana bar in 1929; elected judge of the Eleventh Judicial District in 1962 where he served until his retirement at age 80. Was a member of the Sabine Parish School Board for more than twenty years; served many years on the Sabine Parish Democratic Committee. Member of the Florien Masonic Lodge; a Royal Arch Mason; owned Pickett Abstract and Title Company of Many, La. Member of the First Baptist Church of Many. Died, May 13, 1981; interred Many Cemetery. J.H.P. Source: Private family papers of John S. Pickett, Jr.
PICKHIL, Alexander, painter. Died, New Orleans, between 1840 and 1850. D.D.C. Source: Rodolphe Lucien Desdunes, Our People and Our History, translated and edited by Sister Dorothea Olga McCants (1973).
PIERCE, Joseph de LaCroix “De De”, jazz musician (trumpet). Born, New Orleans, February 18, 1904. Married Wilhelmina “Billie” Gootson, March 28, 1935. Lived in New Orleans all his life. In 1933 “De De” joined Paul Barnes swing band. He also marched with the Young Tuxedo Band for several years. During his later years he usually performed with his wife Billie in backing blues singers with trumpet and piano accompaniment. In the early 1950s he was blinded by glaucoma and his career languished. But with the revival of interest in Dixieland Jazz and the founding of Preservation Hall in the 1960s, “De De” and his wife became leading figures in the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and soon became a popular jazz figure with the band on national and international tours. Died October 29, 1973; interred St. Louis Cemetery II, New Orleans. H.C. Sources: New Orleans States-Item, March 24, 1967; New Orleans Times-Picayune, obituary, November 27, 1973; Second Line (Winter 1974); Noel Rockmore, Preservation Hall Portraits (1968); Eileen Southern, Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians (1982).
PIERCE, Webb, country music singer and song publisher. Born near West Monroe, La., August 8, 1921; son of Webb and Florine Pierce. Raised on a farm near Monroe, Pierce’s early exposure to country music came from the radio and his mother’s record collection. He learned guitar and, by the age of 15, was regularly performing on KMLB in Monroe. After serving in the United States Army in World War II, Pierce relocated to Shreveport, supporting himself and his wife by working at Sears during the day and singing in honkytonks at night. In 1949, he cut his first records for the 4-Star label and shortly thereafter, joined the Louisiana Hayride program on KWKH. His emotional singing, often described as “whiskey-voiced,” gained the attention of Decca Records, which signed him to a contact in 1951. He then embarked on one of the most successful and important careers in the history of country music. His music confronted the realities of alcoholism (“There Stands the Glass”) and infidelity (“Back Street Affair”) candidly and unapologetically, making him the natural heir to Hank Williams, whom he replaced on the Grand Ole Opry in 1952. Pierce first introduced the pedal steel guitar to a national audience with his 1954 recording “Slowly.” He dominated the country music charts in the 1950s, taking thirteen singles to the number one position, a record matched by no other artist in the decade. Pierce was also very well known for his flamboyant personality. He was one of the first country artists to wear rhinestone studded suits; he built guitar shaped swimming pools and drove silver-dollar encrusted convertibles, thus creating the gaudy image often associated with Nashville stardom. Pierce took an active interest in aiding younger stars such as Faron Young, Willie Nelson, and the Wilburn Brothers. He also proved to be one of the shrewdest businessmen in the industry, owning several radio stations and ruthlessly guarding his copyrights. He cofounded Cedarwood Music, which was the major rival of Acuff-Rose Publishing and counted many prominent country artists as clients. Pierce quarreled frequently with the Nashville elite, and left the Opry in 1957 rather than give up lucrative Saturday night performances. Pierce’s career went into decline in the 1960s, as tastes in country music evolved into the popularly oriented Nashville Sound and an appearance-conscious industry looked unfavorably on his extravagant “hillbilly” lifestyle. Pierce never abandoned the hard country sound that made him famous, a trait that endeared him to his many fans and made him obselete in the new music environment. He retired in the 1980s as his health began to fail. A perennial candidate for membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame, the honor eluded him. Died, February 24, 1991, Nashville, Tenn. K.S.F. Sources: Author’s research; Bill C. Malone, Country Music, U.S.A. (1985); Otto Kitsinger, booklet accompanying Webb Pierce: The Wondering Boy, Bear Family BCD15522.
PIERITE, Joseph Alcide, Jr., Tunica-Biloxi Indian leader. Born, Marksville, La., 1935; son of the last Tunica-Biloxi Indian chief, Joseph Alcide Pierite. Married Fannie Ben of the Coushatta Indian tribe. On October 14, 1973, he was elected tribal chair; subsequently brought together diverse tribal groups, unifying them as one tribe. As tribal chair Pierite worked to preserve tribal heritage and assist members in locating jobs and adaquate housing; under his tenure the Tunica-Biloxi became a federally recognized Indian tribe. Pierite later moved to Kenner, La., where he worked in the construction industry as a ironworker. He was an active member of the Coalition of Eastern Native Americans and the National Congress of American Indians. Died, March 16, 1977; interred in the family plot on the Tunica-Biloxi reservation. L.F.P. Sources: Marksville Advocate, March 18, 1976; New Orleans Times Picayune, September 2, 1994; Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Register; interview fith Rose Pierite White, December 15, 1997.
PIERNAS, Pedro Joseph, soldier, administrator. Born, San Sebastián, Spain, 1729. Entered the army as a cadet, 1746, and rose to the rank of colonel in 1785, the same year he became commandant of the Louisiana Fixed Regiment. After service in Spain and Ceuta (North Africa) and as a widower, he volunteered for duty in America. He left Spain in 1765 with his ten-year-old son Joseph and arrived in New Orleans with Governor Ulloa (q.v.) in 1766. He built Fort San Luis de Natchez (opposite modern-day Natchez), 1767-1768. In 1768 Ulloa ordered him to assume command of the Spanish forts at the mouth of the Missouri River. He took charge in 1769, only days before he was ordered to evacuate Louisiana because of the French Creole rebellion. He was among the last Spanish soldiers to leave for Cuba but returned in late 1769. In 1770, Gen. Alejandro O’Reilly (q.v.) appointed him lieutenant governor of Spanish Illinois, where he served until 1775. He remained thereafter with army headquarters in New Orleans, acting as governor during Governor Gálvez’s (q.v.) absences in the war, 1779-1782. A popular officer, he carried out his assignments with ability and zeal. In Louisiana he married Félicité Robineau de Portneuf about 1771. A son Luis was born of this union in 1780. Died, New Orleans, 1790. G.C.D. Source: Author’s research.
PIERRE and PHILIPPE LUXEMBOURG, see LUX-EMBOURG, Pierre de and Philippe de
PIERSON, Clarence, physician. Born at Natchitoches, La., July 16, 1868; son of Judge David Pierson and Sidney Amanda Piper. Married Martha Louise Hunter, July 7, 1903. Children: Clarence Jr. (b. August 16, 1904), Martha Louise (b. March 15, 1906), David (b. May 5, 1911), and Robert (b. March 25, 1923). Received a Bachelors of Science degree from Louisiana State University (1889), and a medical degree from Tulane University (1894). Specialized in mental and nervous diseases, with practices in New Iberia and, later, Alexandria. Served as head of the state mental hospital in Jackson, 1905-1921, and as superintendent of the Central Louisiana Hospital at Pineville. Charter member of the Rapides Parish Medical Society. President of the Louisiana State Medical Society (1917-1918), and of American Medical Association (fellow/delegate, 1918). Served as superintendent of New Iberia schools, New Iberia coroner, and president of the Commerce Bank and Trust Company of Alexandria. Served as a examining surgeon in the United States Army in the Spanish-American War and World War I. Died, New Orleans, December 27, 1934. J.D.W. Sources: Nancy Jo Texada, The Research and Romance of Medicine: Rapides Parish, Louisiana Medical History and Physician Biographies (1995); Vertical File, Louisiana State Library, Baton Rouge.
PILCHER, William H., composer, organist. Born, St. Louis, Mo., December 19, 1854, into a family of celebrated organ builders. Removed to New Orleans as a child. In 1867, toured the northern United States and Canada. Studied piano in New York with Robert Goldbeck; in Germany with Hans von Bülow and Franz Liszt. Studied organ in Paris with Edouard Batiste, organist of St. Eustache, and in London with W. T. Best, organist of the Royal Albert Hall. Awarded a degree of doctor of music in 1880. Returned from Europe and settled in New Orleans where he built up a repertory of some 9,000 pieces, 4,000 of which he played from memory. During the World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, 1884-1885, gave 300 recitals during which he performed over 3,000 different works on the Great Exposition Organ, built by his father, William Pilcher. In 1896, removed to New York as organist and choir master of the Church of the Nativity. In 1904, returned to New Orleans. Went to Chicago in 1909 as organist of the Warren Avenue Congregational Church. Completed 106 compositions, including five masses and assorted voice and instrumental pieces. Died, Rosedale, Kan., September 14, 1918, while on a concert tour. M.A. Sources: New Orleans Daily Picayune, September 16, 1916; Charles Panzeri, Louisiana Composers (1972).
PILIE, Gilbert Joseph, surveyor, architect, civil engineer. Born, Mirebalais, Saint-Domingue; son of Louis Pilié and Marguerite Elisabeth Deschamos. Taught figure, landscape, and architectural drawing on Royal Street, 1808. Married, 1813, Thérèse Anne Deyant, of Dondon, Saint-Domingue, daughter of Louis Christophe Deyant and Marie Thérèse Valade. Children: Louis Joseph, who succeeded father as city surveyor; Pierre Marie Hipolite (d. 1830); Marie Thérèse Célina Joséphine (b. 1816) who married Jacques T. Roman (q.v.), of Oak Alley Plantation. Scenic artist at St. Philip Street Theatre, 1816 and Olympic Circus, 1817. Elected city surveyor, April 18, 1818. Employed by U. S. government to survey New Orleans area lakes and to establish forts between Bayou St. John and Mobile, Ala. Designed riverfront vegetable markets, triumphal arch honoring Gen. Lafayette, 1825, twenty-five-foot cenotaph honoring Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, 1826, and other memorial structures. Reelected city surveyor through 1842. Died, New Orleans, June 29, 1846. J.L.S. Sources: The Historic New Orleans Collection, Encyclopaedia of New Orleans Artists, 1718-1918 (1987); Stanley C. Arthur, Old New Orleans (1944); Samuel Wilson, A Guide to Architecture of New Orleans, 1699-1959 (1959); Louisiana Courier, April 2, 1830; Stanley Clisby Arthur and George Campbell Huchet de Kernion, Old Families of Louisiana (1971).
PILLSBURY, Edward, cotton factor, commission merchant, mayor of New Orleans. Born, Eastport, Me., 1823. Removed to New Orleans with father, Timothy Pillsbury, merchant shipper, who later served in the Texas legislature and the United States Congress, 1834. Most details of Pillsbury’s life remain unknown. Married Desirée Perret. Three children survived him. City commissioner of finance, 1874-1876. The Democratic nomination for mayor in 1876 seems to have been Pillsbury’s reward for conceiving a scheme while finance commissioner to reduce the city’s bonded indebtedness. As mayor, Pillsbury initiated modest street repairs and other public improvements. Died, New Orleans, August 10, 1882; interred St. Louis Cemetery. M.T.C. Sources: M. G. Holli and Peter d’A. Jones, ed., Biographical Dictionary of American Mayors, 1820-1980: Big City Mayors (1981); New Orleans Daily Picayune, August 11, 1882.
PINCHBACK, Pinckney Benton Stewart, attorney, lieutenant governor, governor, newspaper editor, inspector of customs. Born, Macon, Ga., May 10, 1837, eighth of ten children of William and Eliza (Stewart) Pinchback. Educated, Gilmore High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, studied law at Straight University, New Orleans, and admitted to the bar, 1886. Married, 1860, Nina Emily Hawthorne. Six children: four boys and two girls. 1854-1861, worked as cabin boy and deckhand. 1862-1863, enlisted and served in Union Army as captain of Company A, Second Louisiana Native Guard; recruited and organized, “Corps d’Afrique,” a company of black volunteers; 1867, organized Fourth Ward Republican Club; 1868, delegate to state constitutional convention; 1868, delegate to national Republican convention. 1868-1871, member of Louisiana senate. 1871-1872, president pro tempore of state senate and lieutenant governor. 1872-1873, governor of Louisiana; 1872, elected to Congress, but election contested and opponent won; 1873, elected to U. S. Senate, but contested and seat denied; 1882, appointed by President Arthur as surveyor of customs in New Orleans. Died, Washington, D. C., December 21, 1921; interred Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans. D.D.C. Sources: Lerone Bennett, Before the Mayflower (1969); Arna W. Bontemps, 100 Years of Negro Freedom (1961); Elizabeth F. Chittenden, Profiles in Black and White (1973); Dictionary of American Biography, Vol. XIV; Roy Glashan, American Governors and Gubernatorial Elections, 1775-1975 (n.d.); Agnes Smith Grosz, “The Political Career of Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback,” Louisiana Historical Quarterly, XXVII (1944).
PIPES, David Washington, attorney, planter. Born, New Orleans, August 6, 1886; son of David Washington Pipes, Sr., and Anna Fort. Education: private and public schools, Clinton, La.; Washington and Lee University, B. A., 1906. Studied law and admitted to bar in Virginia, 1908; Tulane University, LL. B., 1910. Admitted to the Louisiana bar. Practiced law in New Orleans for three years. Married Mary Louise Minor, daughter of Henry Chotard Minor and Anna Louise Butler, 1910. Children: David W. Pipes, III (b. 1912); Anna Fort (b. 1914); Henry Minor (b. 1916); John Butler (b. 1919); Katharine Minor (b. 1922); Mary Minor (b. 1925); Margaret Gustine (b. 1927). Began managing Southdown Plantations in 1913 and removed to Houma, La., in 1915 to manage Estate of H. C. Minor, which consisted of many sugar plantations including Southdown. Among the first to recognize (1920s) mosaic disease crippling the sugar industry. Worked with the U. S. Department of Agriculture to develop mosaic-resistant cane. Efforts successful. Served on the Vestry of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. Member, civic and industry-oriented organizations. A candidate for U. S. House of Representatives from the Third Congressional District, 1940. Died, September 6, 1968; interred Magnolia Cemetery, Houma. H.M.P.† Sources: Family papers and author’s research.
PIPES, Lillian, see BARHAM, Lillian Pipes
PITKIN, Helen, see SCHERTZ, Helen Pitkin
PITKIN, John Robert Graham, attorney, public official. Born, New Orleans, February 12, 1841; son of John Waldo Pitkin and Adeline Graham. Education: New Orleans and New England schools; University of Louisiana (now Tulane University), graduated 1861. Married (1) Helen Fearing Fuller. Children: Helen and Waldo. Married (2) Annie Lovell. Children: Robert and Joseph. Law practice in New Orleans, 1863-1889; principal of a New Orleans public school, 1861-1863; appointed register of bankruptcy, 1867-1871; U. S. marshal for Louisiana, 1876-1877, 1882-1885; master of chancery in the suit, Missouri Pacific Railroad Company v. Texas and Pacific Railroad Company, 1885-1888; envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Argentina from July 26, 1889, to August 15, 1893, declined reappointment; 1898-1901, postmaster in New Orleans. Louisiana delegate to Southern Loyalist Convention, Philadelphia, 1866; president, Trans-Mississippi Congress, 1900; founder, American Shipping and Industrial League. Died, New Orleans, July 4, 1901; interred New Orleans. T.D.S. Sources: National Cyclopedia of American Biography, XI; U. S. Department of State, United States Chiefs of Mission, 1778-1973 (1973).
PITOT, Genevieve, musician, pianist, arranger and composer of dance and ballet music. Born, New Orleans, May 20, 1901; great-great-granddaughter of James Pitot (q.v.) and François Gardère (q.v.), and great-granddaughter of Fergus Gardère (q.v.); born New Orleans, May 20, 1901. Attended Julliard School in New York City, 1917-1918, studied under Ernest Hutcheson, the noted American music educator; 1919-1922, in Paris studying under Alfred Cortot, the world-famous concert pianist. Returned to New Orleans and then removed to New York City in 1926 where she transcribed classical music to piano rolls, for which she was honored in recent years by collectors of such rolls. Began her association with the ballet and dance in the early 1930s; played for classes taught by Martha Graham and other leading American modern-dance choreographers; composed dance scores for Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, Hanya Holm and Helen Tamiris. Best remembered for her work in the 1940s and 1950s, in arranging and composing dance sequences for seventeen Broadway shows, including Kiss Me, Kate, Call Me Madam, Can-Can, Silk Stockings, Shangri La, and Li’l Abner. Among her Broadway cheoreographer collaborators were Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille, Michael Kidd, and Donald Saddler, for whom she composed two ballet scores. Also composed much of the score for Walter Terry’s American Dances which toured the United States in the 1960s. Died, New Orleans, October 4, 1980; interred St. Louis Cemetery I. H.C.P. Sources: New York Times, October 9, 1980; Ballet News, December 1980.
PITOT, James (Jacques-François), businessman, politician, mayor of New Orleans, jurist. Born, Villedieu-les-Poeles, Normandy, France, November 25, 1761. Lived in Saint-Domingue, 1781-1792 where he was in the sugar business. Returned to France in 1792 during the slave uprisings; 1793, immigrated to the United States and settled in Philadelphia; 1796, became an American citizen in Philadelphia and removed to New Orleans where he was elected a syndic of commerce shortly after his arrival, the start of a successful career as an importer and exporter that ended during the War of 1812 shipping blockade. 1802, elected by the Spanish cabildo as ward commissioner of New Orleans; 1804, member of the New Orleans Municipal Council; 1804-1805, mayor of New Orleans; 1812-1831, judge of the parish court of New Orleans; 1813-1830, president of the Orleans Parish Police Jury. Died, New Orleans, November 4, 1831; interred St. Louis Cemetery II. H.C.P. Sources: Henry C. Pitot, James Pitot, 1761-1831: A Documentary Study (1968); James Pitot, Observations on the Colony of Louisiana from 1796 to 1802, trans. by Henry C. Pitot (1979).
PITRE, Austin, Cajun musician (accordion and violin), bandleader, and singer. Born, Ville Platte, La., February 23, 1918. Instrumental in Cajun music revival after World War II; recorded in 1940s through 1970s; recorded by Ralph Rinzler for the Newport Folk Foundation and the Smithsonian Folklife Program; active on the national folk festival circuit, including performances at the National Folk Festival (Wolftrap Farm), the Smithsonian Folk Festival (Washington), and the A la mode de chez nous tour throughout the eastern U. S. Died, Ville Platte, 1981. B.J.A. Source: Author’s research.
PLACIDE, Jane, actress. Born, Charleston, S. C., 1804; daughter of Alexandre Placide and Charlotte Wrighten. Member of distinguished theatrical family that included sisters Eliza and Caroline and brothers Henry and Thomas Placide. Debuted as a dancer, later a singer/actress. Engaged in 1823 by James Caldwell (q.v.) for his dramatic company then appearing at the Théâtre d’Orléans, New Orleans. Remained a member of this troupe in leading roles for the following twelve years, playing after 1824 at the new Camp Street (American) Theatre. Near the end of the 1826-1827 season an unexplained accident cut short her appearances. She recovered and in subsequent seasons was seen intermittently, her last appearance being on March 18, 1835. Died, New Orleans, May 16, 1835; interred Girod Street Cemetery; later reinterred Hope Mausoleum, New Orleans. J.B.** Sources: John S. Kendall, The Golden Age of the New Orleans Theatre (1952); Leonard V. Huber and Guy F. Bernard, To Glorious Immortality: The Rise and Fall of the Girod Street Cemetery (1961); Glenn Hughes, A History of the American Theatre, 1700-1950 (1951).
PLAUCHE, Vance Gabriel, attorney, politician. Born, Plauchéville, La., August 25, 1897; son of Etienne Arthur and Maria Gremillion Plauché. Education: public and private schools of Marksville, La.; St. Francis Xavier’s College, B. S., 1914; Loyola University of the South, LL. B., 1918 (president of senior class). Law clerk in the attorney general’s office, 1916-1918; secretary, Louisiana Board of Pardons, 1916-1918. Military service: private in Base Hospital 102 in Italy, 1918-1919. Married Marie Amire Bush of New Orleans, September 24, 1923. One son: Vance William. Admitted to the bar, 1918; practiced law in Lake Charles firm of Plauché and Plauché, 1920-1927 and Plauché and Stockwell, 1931-1975. Director, Calcasieu Savings and Loan Association and Plauché Engineering, Inc. Public offices: city attorney, Lake Charles, 1928-1932; district counsel, Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, 1933-1935; secretary, Louisiana Civil Service Commission, 1940; delegate, Democratic State Convention, Baton Rouge, 1940; elected as a Democrat from the Seventh Congressional District to the United States House of Representatives, 1914-1943 (not a candidate for reelection); trustee, Lake Charles Public Library. Honors: dubbed Knight of St. Gregory by Pope Pius, February 1949. Memberships: American Bar Association; Louisiana Bar Association; Greater Lake Charles Chamber of Commerce; American Legion; Veterans of Foreign Wars; Serra Club (chapter president); Knights of Columbus (grand knight of Calcasieu Council 1207; charter member of Msgr. Cramers’ General Assembly of the Fourth Degree); Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (president of Southwest Louisiana Chapter); Kiwanis Club; Order of the Elks; Pioneer Club; Lake Charles Golf and Country Club. Member, Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church. Enjoyed the study of ancient and modern history. Died, April 2, 1976; interred Consolata Cemetery, Lake Charles. J.F.G. Sources: Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1971 (1971); Who’s Who in the South and Southwest (1950); Henry E. Chambers, A History of Louisiana (1925); Lake Charles American Press, April 2, 1976; Members of Congress Since 1789 (1977).
PLEASANT, Ruffin Golson, attorney, politician, governor. Born, Shiloh, Union Parish, La., June 2, 1871; son of Benjamin Franklin Pleasant and Martha Washington Duty. Education: Ruston College, Louisiana, 1885-1886; Mount Lebanon College, Louisiana, 1887-1889; Louisiana State University, graduated 1894; studied law at Harvard and Yale. Served in the Spanish-American War as lieutenant-colonel of the First Louisiana Regiment of Infantry, U. S. Volunteers. Admitted to the Louisiana bar, 1899, and began practice in Shreveport. Married, February 14, 1906, Anne Ector, daughter of Matthew Duncan Ector and Sarah (“Sallie”) Parish Chew. City attorney of Shreveport, 1902-1908; attorney-general, 1912-1916; elected governor, 1916. As governor, during the years of World War I, he directed the war efforts of the state which ranked among the highest in the nation for contributions both in volunteer soldiers and in financial support. After retiring as governor he resumed the private practice of law at Shreveport. A delegate to the Democratic National Convention, 1916; elected and served as a member of the Louisiana constitutional convention, 1921. Elected delegate at large to the Democratic National Convention, 1924. Member: Presbyterian church. Died, September 12, 1937; interred Forest Park Cemetery, Shreveport. S.R. Sources: Roy Glashan, American Governors and Gubernatorial Elections, 1775-1975 (1975); Miriam G. Reeves, The Governors of Louisiana (1962); interview, July 5, 1983, with John R. Pleasant; letter, July 4, 1983, from Mrs. Thomas Haller Jackson, niece of Anne Ector Pleasant.
PLESSY, Homer Adolph, plaintiff in landmark Supreme Court decision. Born, probably in New Orleans, ca. 1862; of mixed descent of seven-eighths Caucasian and one-eighth Negro blood. Married Louise Bordenave, July 14, 1888, St. Augustine’s Church, New Orleans. New Orleans city directories dated 1886-1924 list his occupations as shoemaker, laborer, clerk, and insurance agent. On June 7, 1892, paid for first class passage on the East Louisiana Railway from New Orleans to Covington, La.; took a vacant seat in a coach reserved for white passengers; refused to vacate the seat and was arrested; charged with criminally violating a Louisiana statute of 1890 requiring separate transportation accommodations; contended the law violated the Thirteenth and Fourteenth amendments; petitioned the state supreme court to prohibit Judge John H. Ferguson from holding a trial; the court held the law constitutional but allowed his writ of error to the United State Supreme Court; the majority opinion of that court in 1896 held that the statute did not violate the amendments, with only Judge John M. Harlan dissenting; although the decision did not involve education, it formed the basis of separate school systems for nearly sixty years; the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education overturned Plessy v. Ferguson. Died, New Orleans, March 1, 1925; interred St. Louis Cemetery I. J.B.C. Sources: Rayford W. Logan and Michael R. Winston, eds., Dictionary of American Negro Biography (1982); Encyclopedia Americana (1981); Robert R. MacDonald, et al., eds., Louisiana’s Black Heritage (1979); Jack Belsom, “Marriages of St. Augustine’s Church, New Orleans,” New Orleans Genesis, IV (1965); New Orleans Times-Picayune, obituary, March 3, 1925; Soard’s New Orleans Directory, 1886, 1889, 1901, 1911, 1920, 1924.
POCHÉ, Felix Pierre, lawyer, state supreme court justice, state senator. Born, St. James Parish, La., May 18, 1836; son of Alzina Melançon. Married Selima Deslattes, 1860; two daughters and at least two sons. Educated at a plantation school until the age of nine, when he entered the area’s public school; attended the Jesuit-administered St. Joseph’s College, Bardstown, Ky. Read law in the office of ex-Kentucky governor Charles A. Wickliffe (father of Louisiana governor Robert Charles Wickliffe [q.v.]) before being admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1858. Return to Louisiana and read law in the office of J. J. Roman, Thibodaux, La.; admitted to the Louisiana bar, 1859. Taught at the college in Thibodaux during the late antebellum period. Open a private law practice in St. James Parish while also supervising his father-in-law’s plantation, 1860. Defeated by a nine-vote margin for the state legislature, 1860. Enter the Confederate army as a captain of an infantry company, 1862; subsequently served under several different commanders, seeing action at Mansfield, Pleasant Hill, Mansura, and Yellow Bayou; received special commendation in general orders and army reports for his gallantry in rescuing the Eighteenth Louisiana Regiment when they were lost inside enemy lines at the Battle of Yellow Bayou. At the close of the war, Poché resumed his legal practice in St. James Parish. Elected to the state senate, 1866; served until the adoption of a new state constitution in 1868; returned to his legal practice. An avid Democrat, Poché attended that party’s state conventions of 1868, 1870, 1872, 1874, 1876; president of the 1879 convention that nominated Louis Wiltz (q.v.) for governor. A delegate to the state constitutional convention of 1879, he served on the several committees and was particularly active in the adoption of the universal suffrage article. Appointed to the state supreme court by Gov. Wiltz, April 5, 1880; served until April 5, 1990. Resumed private legal practice until his death at New Orleans, June 21, 1895. J.D.W. Sources: Louisiana Report, vol. 133 (1913); Goodspeed Publishing, Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Louisiana (1892), vol. 2:314-16.
POINCY, Paul E., portraitist, religious, and genre painter. Born, New Orleans, March 11, 1833; son of Rosignol des Dunes de Poincy and Louise Allemand de Chateauneuf. Education: St. Charles College, Grand Coteau, La.; St. Louis, Mo.; and École des Beaux Arts, Paris. Studied art under Léon Cogniet, Marc-Gabriel-Charles Gleyre, and Bernard-Romain Julien, Paris. Returned to New Orleans and opened art studio, 1859. Married, May 1861, Marie Durel (ca. 1839-1869), daughter of New Orleans city treasurer and Celestine Durel (?). Children: Louise, later Mrs. DeBlanc (b. 1862); Jeanne, later Mrs. Thomas Hatrel (b. 1866); Marie (b. 1868); and one son (died in infancy). Civil War service: with Confederacy until war’s end. In partnership with Victor Pierson, painter, 1872-1873. Member: Southern Art Union. Founding member, Artists’ Association of New Orleans; taught perspective drawing and “antique” in Association’s School of Art, 1885-1887. Exhibited: with Artists’ Association, 1886-1901, and at local galleries. Name was inscribed on frieze of Isaac Delgado Museum of Art, 1911. Died, New Orleans, November 14, 1909; interred St. Louis Cemetery II. J.L.S. Sources: The Historic New Orleans Collection, Encyclopaedia of New Orleans Artists, 1718-1918 (1987); Works Progress Administration, “Lives of New Orleans Artists”; U. S. Census (1870), roll 523; U. S. Census (1900), roll 572.
POISSOT, Rémy dit Bourguinon, militia officer, planter. Baptized at Notre Dame de Dijon, France, October 9, 1706; son of the master chef Mamet Poissot and of Marie Susanne Pongey. Immigrated to colony before 1737 and dispatched to the post of Natchitoches with the company of Capt. Barthélémy Daniel de Macarty, Poissot soon after retired and settled a habitation on the outskirts of the post. Married Anne Marie Philippe dite Marthe (b. 1707-1709, Meinz, Germany; d. 1781, at Natchitoches), widow of Jacques Dupré. Children: Rémy, Jr. (b. 1738); Marie Anne (b. 1740), married Jacques Lambre; Marie Françoise (b. 1742), married Jean-Baptiste Brevel, Jr.; Marie Catherine (b. 1744), married Pierre Baillio; Christophe Athanase (bapt. 1746); Pierre (1748-1749); Pierre (bapt. 1750-1772); and Julien (bapt.1752). Poissot served as elder marguillier of the church for a period in the 1750s and as lieutenant of the frontier militia from ca. 1766-1774. In that latter year, Commandant Athanase Christophe Fortunat Mauguet de Mézières (q.v.) submitted to the governor Poissot’s resignation, describing him as “of continual indisposition, weak eyesight, and old age, for he is nearly seventy.” Poissot subsequently enjoyed a number of years of retirement before dying at the home he shared with his widowed daughter, Mme Lambre, Died, February 4, 1788; interred in now-unmarked grave in present confines of American Cemetery, Natchitoches. E.S.M. Sources: Elizabeth Shown Mills, Natchitoches, 1729-1803: Abstracts of the Catholic Church Registers of the French and Spanish Post of St. Jean Baptiste des Natchitoches in Louisiana (1977); Elizabeth Shown Mills, Natchitoches Colonials: Censuses, Military Rolls, and Tax Lists, 1722-1803 (1903); Winston DeVille, Marriage Contracts of Natchitoches (1961); Herbert Eugene Bolton, Athanase de Mézières and the Louisiana-Texas Frontier, 1768-1780 (1914); “Records of the Superior Council,” Louisiana Historical Quarterly, VI (1923); XVIII (1935); XIX (1936); Book 2, Parish of St. François, Archives of Immaculate Conception Church, Natchitoches; Registres des Familles, Archives Municipales, Dijon, France.
POLK, Lamar, attorney and politician. Born, Rosalie Plantation, Rapides Parish, La., May 4, 1894; son of William Polk, Jr., and Ella Baillio. Married Thelma Gilham; children: William P. and Mrs. William A. Culpepper. Education: private tutoring; attended local private elementary schools; graduated from Alexandria High School, 1911; Attended Washington and Lee University; LL. B., Tulane University Law School, 1918. Military service: after graduation from law school, enlisted in the 141st Field Artillery Support Battalion; stationed along the Mexican border; discharged, 1919. Established a private law practice at Alexandria, 1919; maintained practice until his retirement in 1977. Political career: chairman, Rapides Parish Democratic Party Executive Committee, 1924-1964; member for fourteen years and president for six years, Rapides Parish School Board; served one year as interim judge, Ninth Judicial District Court. Civic service: board member, Federal Land Bank Association of Alexandria; board chairman, and president for twenty years. Member: North Carolina Society of the Cincinnati, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church. Named Man of the Year by the Louisiana Council of Farm Cooperatives, 1976. Died, Annie Mae Matthews Nursing Home, Lecompte, La., November 6, 1979. C.A.B. Source: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, November 7, 1979.
POLK, Leonidas, bishop, soldier. Born, Raleigh, N.C., April 10, 1806. Education: University of North Carolina, 1821-1823; United States Military Academy, West Point, graduated 1827, eighth in a class of thirty-eight. Commissioned second lieutenant of artillery; resigned December 1, 1827. Attended Virginia Theological Seminary and ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1831. Became missionary bishop of the Southwest in 1838 and first bishop of Louisiana in 1841. Operated Leighton Plantation near Thibodaux, 1842-1854. Rector at Trinity Church in New Orleans, 1854-1861. Instrumental in establishing the University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn., 1860. Appointed major general in the Confederate army, June 25, 1861, and assumed command of Department No. 2 at Columbus, Ky. Relieved September 15, 1861, and became commander of the First Division of the department. Commanded the I Corps, Army of the Mississippi, at the Battle of Shiloh, Tenn., April 6-7, 1862. He led a corps of the Army of Tennessee under Gen. Braxton Bragg from September 1862 until October 1863. Promoted to rank of lieutenant general, October 10, 1862, for gallantry at the Battle of Perryville, Ky. Assumed command of the Army of Mississippi, October 23, 1863, and the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana, December 23, 1863. Led a corps in the Army of Tennessee from May 1864 until his death. Killed by an enemy cannon shell, Pine Mountain, Ga., June 14, 1864; interred Augusta, Ga.; reinterred Christ Church Cathedral, New Orleans, 1945. A.W.B. Sources: Joseph H. Parks, General Leonidas Polk, C. S. A.: The Fighting Bishop (1962); William M. Polk, Leonidas Polk: Bishop and General, 2 vols. (1915).
POLLOCK, Oliver, merchant, patriot. Born, Coleraine, Ireland, ca. 1737; son of Jaret Pollock. Immigrated to Carlisle, Pa., 1760. Business activities: affiliated with Philadelphia firm of Willing and Morris, 1762; resided in Havana as corresponding merchant, 1762-1768; removed to New Orleans, 1769; received contract from Alejandro O’Reilly (q.v.) to supply Louisiana garrison with flour, 1769; engaged in extensive trading operations and land speculations in colony, 1768-1778; and owner of Old Tunica Plantation, St. Francisville, 1788-1823. Married (1), 1770, Margaret O’Brien of New Orleans (d. 1799). Eight children. Government service: appointed commercial agent in Mississippi Valley for Continental Congress, 1777; supply officer for campaigns of James Willing and George Rogers Clark, 1778-1779; accompanied Spanish forces at the conquests of Manchac, Baton Rouge, Mobile, and Pensacola, 1779-1781; United States Commercial Agent at Havana, 1783-1785; and unsuccessful Federalist party candidate for Congress from Cumberland County, Pa., 1804. Bankrupted his personal fortune and lost all assets in financing American Revolutionary cause in lower Mississippi Valley. Resident of Carlisle and Philadelphia, 1785-1819. Married (2), 1805, Winifred Deady of Baltimore (d. 1814), no children. Retired St. Francisville area. Died, December 17, 1823; interred Pinckneyville, Miss. L.T.C. Sources: James A. James, Oliver Pollock: The Life and Times of an Unknown Patriot (1937); John Walton Caughey, Bernardo de Gálvez in Louisiana, 1776-1783 (1934).
POMEREDE, Léon, artist. Born, Tarbes, France, 1807. Arrived in New Orleans in 1830. Married Clementine Mondelli between 1837 and 1840. Formulated, while in St. Louis, his famous Mississippi panorama “From the Ohio River to St. Louis,” 1843. The painting stood about 12 feet high and 900 feet long. It was presented on rollers and was illuminated with gas lamps. The panorama no longer exists, it burned in Newark in 1850. Pomerade died in 1892 when he fell from a scaffold in Hannibal, Mo. The painting in the W. E. Groves collection that now belongs to the University of Southwestern Louisiana Art Center, is most likely one of the smaller studies of the same subject in the panorama. F.L. Source: Louisiana Painters & Paintings “From the Collection of W. E. Groves” (1971).
PONTALBA, Micaëla Leon Arda Antonio Almonester, baroness de. Born, New Orleans, November 6, 1795; daughter of Andrés Almonester y Roxas and Louise de La Ronde. Educated at the Ursuline Convent. Married Joseph Xavier Celestin Delfau de Pontalba, New Orleans, October 23, 1811. Four children. Became heir to the Almonester fortune, 1827. Separated from husband, 1831; gained custody of children after divorce, but father-in-law, the elder Baron Pontalba, had certain supervisory rights over children’s education. Scandal occurred in Paris when father-in-law shot Micaëla and then committed suicide. Recovered from wound; returned to New Orleans, 1848. Beautified Place d’Armes; constructed Pontalba Buildings, reputed to be first apartment buildings in U. S. Contributed to changing name of Place d’Armes to Jackson Square and to converting it from a parade ground to a formal garden. Later removed to France. Died in France, 1874. M.P. Sources: Clayton Rand, Stars in Their Eyes (1953); Stanley Clisby Arthur, Old Families of Louisiana (1931; reprinted 1971).
PONTCHARTRAIN, Jérôme Phélypeaux de, administrator. Born March, 1674; son of Louis de Pontchartrain, a minister of the navy and colonies, and Marie de Mapeou. Was received in parlement, March 29, 1692, at the secretariat of state, 1693. Succeeded his father as minister of navy and colonies in 1699 after a period of collaboration. Married (1) Eléonore Christine de Roye de Rochefoucault (d. 1708), daughter of Frédéric Charles de Roye de Rochefoucault and Isabelle de Durfort, at St. Eust, February 28, 1694. Married (2) Hélène-Rosalie-Angélique de l’Aubespine, daughter of Estienne de l’Aubespine, marquis de Venderonne, July 10, 1712. Fort Rosalie, Natchez, named in her honor. Resigned his position in 1715. While minister of the navy and colonies, collaborated closely with Iberville (q.v.) and Bienville (q.v.); encouraged settlement and exploration in Louisiana, emphasizing economic concerns within the sphere of Colbertism. By his two wives had several children, among whom were Jean-Frédéric-Philippe, future count of Maurepas and minister of the navy and the colonies, born, July 9, 1701; Paul-Jérôme, marquis de Pontchartrain and lieutenant general; and Charles-Henri, bishop of Blois. Lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas named for members of this family. Died, Versailles, France, February 8, 1747. S.L. Sources: Marcel Giraud, Histoire de la Louisiane française, I (1958); August Jal, Dictionnaire critique de biographie et d’histoire (1970); Harriet Magruder, A History of Louisiana (1909); James Register, Fort Rosalie: The French at Old Natchez (1682-1762) (1969).
POPE, Nathaniel, physician, journalist. Born in Kentucky (?), 1789. Clerked for Audubon & Rozier, Louisville, 1811. Friend of J. J. Audubon (q.v.). Enlisted in Simrall’s Mounted Troop, serving in Western Country and at Battle of New Orleans, 1812-1815. Removed to St. Francisville prior to 1818, began medical practice; resumed friendship with Audubons, 1821-1830. Trustee, Town of St. Francisville, 1823. Married Martha Johnson, daughter Isaac Johnson ([I] q.v.) and Mary Routh, February 23, 1823. Assumed control of Feliciana Asylum, St. Francisville, and combined medical and journalistic careers from April 22, 1823, to March 13, 1824. Police juror, West Feliciana Parish, 1824-1827. Elected to Louisiana legislature, 1826-1828. Suffered financial reverses, 1829. Removed to West Baton Rouge Parish, La., 1836. Died, West Baton Rouge Parish, July 2, 1836. E.K.D. Sources: Stanley Clisby Arthur to Elrie Robinson, n. d.; West Feliciana Public Records; Feliciana Asylum, St. Francisville, April 22, 1823; March 13, 1824; House Journal.
PORTER, Alexander, jurist, U. S. senator, planter. Born, County Donegal, Ireland, June 24, 1785; son of James Porter and Anna Knox. Father executed by the English during the Irish Rebellion, 1798. Arrived United States, 1801, settled at Nashville, Tenn. Educated in Ireland and United States, studied law. Probably removed to Louisiana, 1809, encouraged to migrate by Andrew Jackson (q.v.). Soon settled in St. Mary Parish. Member of the committee to write the Louisiana constitution, 1811. Married, July, 1815, Evalina Baker, daughter of Joshua Baker. Two daughters: Evalina, Anne. State legislator; associate justice, Louisiana Supreme Court, 1821-1833; U. S. senator, 1834-1837. A founder of the Whig party in Louisiana. Bought large acreage on Bayou Teche, built Oaklawn Plantation house; raised sugar; raised thoroughbred horses. Spent his later years traveling and developing Oaklawn. Reelected to the U. S. Senate, 1843; died before taking office. Died, Oaklawn Plantation, January 13, 1844; interred Old City Cemetery, Nashville, Tenn. J.F.T. Sources: Wendell Holmes Stephenson, Alexander Porter: Whig Planter of Old Louisiana (1934); Lucile Barbour Holmes, Oaklawn Manor: Ante-Bellum Plantation Home (1966).
PORTER, William Sidney (pen name O. Henry), author. Born, Greensboro, N. C., September 11, 1862; son of Algernon Sidney Porter and Mary Jane Virginia Swaim. Arrived in New Orleans in 1896 after fleeing Texas on an embezzlement charge resulting from his employment as a bank teller. While in New Orleans, he lived in the French Quarter and worked for both the Daily Delta and the Daily Picayune. Although he spent only a brief time in New Orleans, the Crecent City left a lasing impression oh him. A number of his short stories refer to the Crescent City, including “Cherchez la Femme,” “Whistling Dick’s Christmas Stocking,” “Blind Man’s Holiday,” “Renaissance at Charleroi,” and “Hostages to Momus.” Porter later claimed that he adopted the pseudonym, O. Henry during his stay in New Orleans. In 1897, he fled the United States for Honduras to avoid prosecution, but later returned and served a three-year prison sentence for embezzlement and evading the law. Porter died on June 5, 1910. N.P.W. Sources: Leonard V. Huber, New Orleans: A Pictorial History (1971); Dictionary of American Biography 15 (1946); Gerald Langford, Alias O. Henry: A Biography of William Sidney Porter (1957).
PORTERIE, Gaston Louis, attorney general, jurist. Born, Mansura, La., January 22, 1885; son of Louis Porterie and Felice Monnin. Education: local schools; Louisiana State University, B.S., 1904. Principal, Mansura High School, 1905-1909; superintendent, Avoyelles Parish Schools, 1909-1913. Returned to LSU, awarded LL.B. 1915. Elected, 1916, district attorney, Fourteenth Judicial District. World War I, served as captain of American Red Cross, September 1918 to February 1919. After war, married Viola Joffrion of Avoyelles Parish, October 15, 1919. Children: Gaston Louis and Louis Bennett. Attorney general of Louisiana, 1932-1939. President, National Association of Attorneys General, 1938-1939; member-at-large, Louisiana Democratic Executive Committee, 1928-1940. First president, Louisiana Bar Association, 1935. Originator of the theory that Louisiana could extend its territorial limits to twenty-seven miles into the Gulf of Mexico. Appointed, January 24, 1939, U. S. judge for the Western District of Louisiana by President Franklin Roosevelt, served until death. Presiding judge, Southern District Court of New York, 1946-1947. Died, Marksville, La., March 24, 1953; interred Cushman Cemetery. G.R.C. Sources: James M. Thomson, ed., Louisiana Today (1939); Who Was Who in America, 1951-1960.
POSEY, Edouard Lloyd, attorney, politician, real estate investor. Born, Opelousas, La., February 22, 1851; son of John Lloyd and Mary Taylor Posey. Education: St. Charles College, Grand Coteau, La.; Spring Hill College, Mobile, Ala.; University of Louisiana (now Tulane University) graduated 1874. Practiced law continuously in New Orleans. Married, December 20, 1884, Mathilde Cook, of New Orleans, daughter of Frederick H. Cook. Children: Ethel, Mathilde, Lena, Rosalie, and E. Lloyd, Jr. Member of the New Orleans Law Association. A Democrat; in 1888, the nominee of the Young Men’s Democratic Association for state senator, from the Fifth Senatorial District; elected and served, 1888-1890. Active in campaign against the lottery and in the Citizens League and Jacksonian Democratic and Home Rule fights. Member Crescent City Democratic Association, the Commercial Club, and the Chamber of Commerce. Member, Roman Catholic church. Died, New Orleans, December 25, 1911; interred St. Louis Cemetery III. J.B.C. Sources: Goodspeed’s Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Louisiana (1892; reprint ed., 1975); New Orleans Daily Picayune, December 26, 1911.
POSEY, Thomas, soldier, politician, U. S. senator. Born, Fairfax County, Va., July 9, 1750; son of Capt. John Posey, a neighbor and friend of General Washington. Education: limited schooling. Removed to the western frontier of Virginia, 1769. Married Mary Alexander. One son, Lloyd. served in the French and Indian War. Member, Virginia Committee of Correspondence. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War was appointed captain in a Virginia regiment and served under Washington, Morgan, and Gates in New Jersey and New York, 1776-1778. Promoted to the rank of major in 1778 and the next year to the rank of colonel. Commanded battalion under General Wayne in 1779 and was one of the first to enter the enemy’s works at Stony Point. Was at the surrender of Yorktown in 1781. Held various county and militia offices; appointed brigadier general in 1793. Removed to Kentucky in 1794; served in the state senate and was its presiding officer in 1805 and 1806; lieutenant governor of Kentucky for four years. Major general of Kentucky levies after 1809. Removed to Opelousas, La., appointed to the U. S. Senate by Gov. W. C. C. Claiborne (q.v.) to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John N. Destréhan (q.v.); served from October 8, 1812, to February 4, 1813; was unsuccessful candidate for re-election. Governor of Indiana Territory, 1813-1816; appointed Indian agent in 1816, and held the position until his death. Died, Shawneetown, Ill., March 19, 1818; interred Westwood Cemetery. J.B.C. Sources: Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1949 (1950); Goodspeed’s Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Louisiana (1892; reprint ed., 1975).
POSEY, William S., politician. Born 1848. Educated for a total of five months at Orphans Home School, Baldwin, La. Superintendent of the school system at Patterson, La. Became mayor of Patterson after incorporation of the town; appointed postmaster of Patterson, La.; 1870 appointed deputy of U. S. supervisor of elections in Franklin, La.; served as justice of the peace, 1872-1874; appointed U. S. deputy marshall of elections in St. Mary Parish. Served in house of representatives of Louisiana, 1883-1888. Republican. Methodist, member of the General Conference of the A. M. E. Church. C.T. Sources: Archie E. Perkins, ed., Who’s Who in Colored Louisiana (La., 1930); Alonzo Willis, ed., Sepia Socialite: The Negro in Louisiana (1942).
POST, Lauren Chester, academic, author. Born near Rayne, La., September 6, 1899, third of eight children of William W. Post and Harriet Davis. Education: public schools in Duson and Rayne; University of California, Berkeley, A. B., 1924, M. A., 1931, Ph. D., 1937, all in the field of Geography. Taught at several schools in Washington and California, and at Louisiana State University, 1934-1936. In 1937 appointed to faculty of San Diego State University and remained as professor of Geography until retirement in 1969. During World War I was a radio electrician aboard the torpedo boat destroyer USS Whipple off the coast of France. Married, June 16, 1927, Valeria Postnikova, daughter of Feodor Alexeievich Postnikov, civil engineer, and Marie Nicolaievna Smirnova. No children. Authored the book Cajun Sketches (1962, 1974, 1981), which won the Louisiana Literary Award for the best book on Louisiana in 1962; also edited Louisiana As It Is (1969). Authored many scholarly articles on Cajuns, California, and cattle. One of the founders of the California Council for Geographic Education, and president for one year. Originated, edited, and mailed worldwide to former San Diego State University students a newsletter during World War II. Regarded as an excellent teacher who encouraged and inspired students. Died, San Diego, Calif., January 21, 1976, interred there. M.L.C. Sources: Malcolm L. Comeaux, “Lauren Chester Post,” California Geographer, XVI (1976 this includes a complete bibliography); A. P. Nasatir, “Lauren C. Post,” Louisiana History, XVII (1976); The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, LIX (1980); San Diego Union and San Diego Evening Tribune, January 22, 1976; Post family papers.
POSTL, Karl, see SEALSFIELD, Charles
POUPET, Pierre Cyprien, merchant, conspirator in the revolt of 1768. Born, La Rochelle, France. Arrived in New Orleans in 1763 and acted as an agent for numerous La Rochelle merchants trading with Louisiana. Arrested on August 19, 1769, Poupet was charged with conspiring against the Spanish governor. Although not implicated in the planning of the revolt, testimony revealed that he had been an advocate of the establishment of the Banque du Mont de Piété and had acted as fiscal officer of the rebels in the period after October 29, 1768, even donating funds to the treasury. Convicted on October 24, 1769, Poupet was sentenced to six years imprisonment in the fortress prison El Moro in Cuba. From prison he wrote letters protesting the meager allowance provided by the Spanish jailer. He was given an early parole in 1770 and returned to France. An examination of his sequestered estate showed assets of 49,540 livres, but debts of 15,221 livres. B.C. Sources: Acts of Andrés Almonester y Roxas, Book 3, pp. 38-39, 119; Spain. Archives General de Indias, Audencia de Santo Domingo, legajo 2586, #101-125; Jacqueline Voorhies, Some Eighteenth Century Louisianians (1973); Moore, Revolt in Louisiana (1976).
POUSSETT, Francis, pioneer. Born in England. Arrived Mobile, British West Florida, December 1763. Speaker of First Assembly of West Florida, 1766-1767; acquired lands near Fort Adams, Thompson’s Creek, Manchac, Bayou Sara, and Bayou Rouge, 1768-1783; resident Baton Rouge District, 1786; resident Bayou Sara, 1792; syndic, Natchez District representing Bayou Sara, 1795-1796; resident Baton Rouge, 1799. Died, December 18, 1802. E.K.D. Sources: Jack D. L. Holmes, Gayoso (1965); Robert V. Haynes, Natchez District and the American Revolution (1976); Margaret F. Dalrymple, ed., Merchant of Manchac (1978); W.P.A. Translations, Spanish Archives.
POYDRAS, Julien de Lalande, planter, merchant, philanthropist. Born, Rezé, near Nantes, France, April 3, 1746; son of François Poydras and Magdelene Simon. While serving in the French navy he was captured by the British in 1760, but escaped to Saint-Domingue. Arrived in New Orleans ca. 1768. Became a peddler, and traveled widely over the lower Mississippi Valley. Bought a home in the district of Pointe Coupée, which proved to be an excellent trading post, and rapidly expanded his businesses. Built a store on False River, later a cotton gin there, and extended his operation to Texas. Wrote poem La Prise du Morne du Baton Rouge to celebrate Spanish capture of British fort, 1779. Prevented from returning to France by Revolution there. Built reputation for honest dealing and became well-known philanthropist. Became a friend of Louisiana’s territorial governor W. C. C. Claiborne (q.v.) and entered public service. Became civil commandant at Pointe Coupée in 1804, and was president of the first Legislative Council of the Territory of Orleans later the same year, and delegate to Congress, 1809-1811. President of the convention which drafted Louisiana’s Constitution of 1812, and a presidential elector that same year. In 1812-1813, again in 1820-1821, president of the state senate. Published five pamphlets supporting the rights of the people in the “Batture Controversy.” At the time of his death he owned six plantations, real estate in New Orleans, and more than 500 slaves. Never married. His closest relative was a nephew, Benjamin Poydras Delalande (q.v.). Died, June 23, 1824; interred New Roads, La. His will provided manumisison for his slaves twenty-five years after his death, and pensions for his slaves over sixty years of age. He left large sums to Charity Hospital, and the Poydras Female Orphan Asylum in New Orleans; $30,000 to Pointe Coupée Parish to establish an academy; and $30,000 each to the parishes of Pointe Coupée and West Baton Rouge, the income from which was to provide dowries for the poor girls of these parishes. W.H.A. Sources: Annie Lee West Stahl, “The Free Negro in Ante-Bellum Louisiana,” Louisiana Historical Quarterly, XXV (1942); Dictionary of American Biography.
POYDRAS DELALANDE, Benjamin, planter and champion of slaves’ legal rights. Born Nantes, France, September 27, 1778; son of Claude Poydras DeLalande and Françoise Lawrence, nephew of Julien Poydras (q.v.). Arrived Louisiana 1804. Captured by the Spanish en route. Arrived Pointe Coupée Parish, 1805; became United States citizen, 1812; justice of the peace, 1813; held this office off and on until 1841 when he left Louisiana to visit France. While a resident of Pointe Coupée Parish owned several large plantations on the Mississippi River, real estate in New Orleans and many slaves. His uncle died 1824, leaving a will in which his slaves were to be kept together and not sold away from the land and were to be freed twenty-five years after his death. DeLalande, styling himself “protector of the slaves,” went to court repeatedly to insure that these stipulations were met. From Poydras’s death to 1842 the courts issued contradictory decisions. DeLalande won often but often the court ruled that Poydras’s will was “impracticable and contrary to the spirit of our institutions.” Litigation continued until after the Civil War; no slaves ever freed, although the courts would not permit them to be sold away from the land. Married, September 12, 1835, Cecile Richard de la Roulière of Nantes, who never came to Louisiana. Children: Benjamin Georges Julien Poydras DeLalande (b. 1837), Cecile Marie Françoise Poydras DeLalande (b. 1839), and Julien Benjamin Georges Poydras DeLalande (b. 1844). DeLalande made frequent visits to France. In 1841, he fell ill in France and never returned to Louisiana. Died, Nantes, France, August 28, 1851. J.K.S. Sources: DeLalande v. Bormeau, 1 Rob. (La.) 315 #4197, New Orleans, February 1842; Succession of DeLalande, unreported Supreme Court Case #3197, New Orleans, April 1854; DeLalande v. DeLalande, 10 La. Ann. 220 #2941, New Orleans, March 1855; DeLalande v. Poydras, 25 La. Ann. 405, #3828, New Orleans, May 1873; Mary F. P. Russell, “The Life of Julien Poydras” (M.A. thesis, Louisiana State University, 1940).
PRADEL, Alexandrine de la Chaise, planter, confidante of Foucault. Born, Auvergne, France, ca. 1715; daughter of Jacques de la Chaise, director general of the Company of the Indies in Louisiana, and Marguerite Cailly. Accompanied her father and mother to New Orleans in 1724. Married Jean-Charles de Pradel (q.v.), March 1730. Children: Alexandrine (b. 1731, in France), Charles, Jeanne-Henriette, and Marie Louise. The two eldest daughters were sent to be educated at the Ursuline Convent at Quimperlé, France, in 1749. Marie Louise joined them in 1753. With her husband she helped make their plantation, Monplaisir, the center of social life in New Orleans. Close personal friend of Governor Vaudreuil and his wife. Severe financial problems brought on by the Seven Years’ War and reckless spending by their children in France, hastened her husband’s death in 1764. Eldest daughter preceded him in 1761, and Charles died en route from Saint-Domingue, January 8, 1764. Following her husband’s death, she took over management of Monplaisir. A close friend of Denis Foucault (q.v.), she unsuccessfully attempted to influence her daughter Jeanne-Henriette to marry him. The conspiracy which culminated in the Revolt of 1768 had its beginnings in secret meetings held in the gardens of her plantation which adjoined that of Nicolas Chauvin de La Frénière (q.v.). Never prosecuted for her part in the conspiracy. Sold all remaining properties, January 1773, and returned to France, 1774. B.C. Sources: A. Baillardel and Prioult, eds., Le Chevalier de Pradel (1928); Acts of Andrés Almonester y Roxas, Book 4, p. 3, 237, Orleans Parish Notarial Archives; Pradel Papers, Dept. of Archives, Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge.
PRADEL, Jean-Charles de, soldier, merchant, planter. Born, Uzerche, France, April 12, 1692; son of Jacques de Pradel, sieur de Lamase, and Gilon-Paule de Maledent. Education: College St. Michel, Paris. Joined regiment of the Marine as an ensign, assigned to service in Louisiana in 1714. Returned to Paris 1721 and obtained a more prestigious commission before returning to New Orleans in 1722. Began trading ventures in 1719 and continued them after appointment as commandant at Fort Chartres in 1724. Commandant at Fort Rosalie, Natchez, 1731-1732. In 1736 he purchased Monplaisir, a plantation formerly owned by Gov. Etienne Perier (q.v.) and over the next twenty years constructed a fabulous plantation house and developed a profitable plantation, cultivating indigo, exporting lumber, and selling wax, fruits, and vegetables. Married, 1730, Alexandrine de La Chaise (q.v.), daughter of Jacques de La Chaise, former official of the Company of the Indies, and Marguerite Cailly. Children: Alexandrine (b. 1731), Charles, Jeanne-Henriette and Marie Louise. Died at Monplaisir, May 28, 1764, beset by severe financial problems caused by the reckless spending of his children. B.C. Sources: Patricia Woods, “Jean Charles de Pradel in French Colonial Louisiana, 1714-1764” (M.A. thesis, Louisiana State University, 1972; A. Baillardel and A. Prioult, eds., Le Chevalier de Pradel. Vie d’un colon en Louisiane au XVIIIe siècle (1928); Pradel Papers, Dept. of Archives, Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge.
PRAT, Jean, physician, botanist. Studied medicine at Montpellier, under François Chicoyneau, later personal physician of Louis XV. Awarded doctorate, 1731. Appointed director of the New Orleans hospital, 1735, in replacement of his brother Louis who occupied the post from 1723 to 1734 (and served on the Superior Council from December 11, 1725). Corresponded with Bernard de Jussieu, distinguished French botanist and director of the Jardin Royal (today’s Jardin des Plantes) to whom he sent seeds and specimens for the garden. Wrote a treatise on the wax bearing shrub, sent to Maurepas, January 1745, drawing the minister’s praise. Because of ill-health, returned to France, 1746. M.A. Sources: Roland Lamontagne, “Le Dossier biographique de Jean Prat,” Revue d’Histoire de l’Amérique Française, XVI (1962); Documents in the Colonial Records Collection, Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana.
PRATT, John Galbraith, soldier. Born, Hartford, Conn.; son of Joseph Pratt and Fanny Wadsworth of Hartford. Removed to St. Landry Parish, La., 1845. Married (1), August 26, 1846, at Opelousas, Adela Bland King (d. 1858), daughter of George King (q.v.), judge of St. Landry Parish, and Amelie Mathilde LeJeune. Children: Mathilde Amelie (b. 1847); George King (b. 1849), Charlotte Wadsworth (b. 1853), Fanny Wadsworth (b. 1855), and Adela Overton (b. 1858). Married (2), November 1, 1860, at Portland, Conn., Mary Ann Hall. No children by second marriage. A sugar planter, he was also interested in politics. An ardent states-righter, he was chosen as a delegate to represent Louisiana in Charleston, S. C., immediately preceding its secession, and at the outbreak of hostilities was appointed colonel of the Opelousas Regiment. On April 18, 1861, promoted to rank of brigadier general and commander of the First Brigade, Fourth Division. Succeeded to command of the Fourth Division with the rank of major general, October 22, 1861. When Governor Moore re-organized the militia in early 1862, he was appointed a brigadier general to command the Ninth Brigade, and was in command of the first Confederate success after the fall of New Orleans in the skirmish at Bayou des Allemands and Boutte Station, where the Federal outpost was captured and many prisoners were taken. Established a training camp for recruits on the outskirts of New Iberia, named Camp Pratt in his honor. Because of ill health was forced to resign and was captured by Federal troops in Grand Coteau, October 1863, and imprisoned on North Rampart Street in New Orleans. Later paroled, he returned to St. Landry Parish and was commissioned by the governor and state legislature to report on the depredations of Yankee soldiers in their occupation of Louisiana, which was published in a document called Official Report Relative to the Conduct of Federal Troops in Western Louisiana during the Invasions of 1863 and 1864. A candidate for Congress in 1865, he was defeated. Died, Portland, Conn., July 30, 1866. G.K.P.M. Sources: Charles Whittlesey, The Ancestry and Descendants of John Pratt of Hartford Connecticut (1900); State of Louisiana, Archives and Records Service, Baton Rouge, La.; Louisiana Review, II (Winter, 1976); Department of Cultural Resources, Division of Archives and History, Raleigh, North Carolina; War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vols. XV, XXVI, LIII; Series II, Vol. VI; Donald J. Hebert, Southwest Louisiana Records, 33 vols. (1974-1984); Portland, Conn., Town Clerk.
PRESCOTT, Willis Benjamin, educator. Born, Washington, La., November 23, 1874; son of Willis Prescott and Eleanor Offutt. Education: local schools, Louisiana State University. Assistant principal, Washington, La., 1897-1901. Removed to Opelousas, 1901, principal, Opelousas High School, 1901-1916. Married, December 27, 1905, Lucille F. Anderson of Opelousas, daughter of William Anderson and Virginia Garland. Seven children: William Marshall, Roland Amberg, Willis Benjamin, Jr., Charles Anderson, Catherine Leigh, James, Leslie. Superintendent, St. Landry Parish Schools, 1916-1943. Member: Louisiana Teachers’ Association, president, 1929-1930; St. Landry Council of Defense (World War I); local draft board (World War II); local Red Cross, served as chairman; St. Landry Tuberculosis and Public Health Association, served as chairman; local Rationing Board (World War II); Rotary. Died, Opelousas, La., August 12, 1943; interred Catholic cemetery. J.L.F. Sources: Henry E. Chambers, History of Louisiana (1925); obituary, Eunice New Era, August 18, 1943; Opelousas Daily World, July 29, 1982.
PRESTON, John Smith, planter, soldier. Born, near Abingdon, Va., April 20, 1809; son of Sarah Buchanan Campbell and Francis Smith Preston. Education: attended Hampden-Sydney College, 1823-1825, and the University of Virginia, 1825-1827; studied law briefly at Harvard. Married Caroline Martha Hampton, daughter of Gen. Wade Hampton (q.v.) and Mary Cantey, April 30, 1830. No children. Admitted to the bar, ca. 1827, and practiced law in Abingdon. Removed to Louisiana from South Carolina to supervise the Hampton sugar plantation. Built the Greek Revival mansion known as Houmas House in 1840 near present site of Burnside; preserved the original four-room dwelling at the rear, which was later attached to the great house by an arched carriageway. Sold Houmas House and 12,000-acre plantation for one million dollars to John Burnside (q.v.) in 1858. Returned to Columbia, S. C., 1848; served in the state senate, 1848-1856; served in the Civil War as lieutenant colonel; promoted to rank of brigadier general, 1864. Spent the remainder of his life defending the Confederacy and principles of state’s rights. Died, Columbia, S. C., May 1, 1881; interred Hampton family cemetery. J.B.C. Sources: Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896 (1967); John Amasa May and Joan Reynolds Faunt, South Carolina Secedes (1960); Historic Houmas House, 1800-1840.
PREVOST, Eugène, composer, conductor. Born, Paris, France, April 23, 1809. Educated Paris Conservatoire. Awarded Grand Prix de Rome for composition, 1831. Orchestra leader, Le Havre, 1835-1838. Engaged, 1838, as conductor for Théâtre d’Orléans, New Orleans, remaining in that post for over twenty years. Prolific composer. Operas: Cosimo (1835), Les Pontons de Cadiz, Le Bon Garçon (written while in France), Esmeralda (1842); La Chaste Suzanne (1845); Adolphe et Clari (1846); Blanche et Renée (1871), cantatas, marches, orchestral works and Masses during his tenure in New Orleans. Conductor at the new French Opera House, 1859-1861, then returned to France during the Civil War. Orchestra leader there of Offenbach’s Bouffes Parisiens and of Concerts des Champs-Elysées. Returned to New Orleans, 1868, and devoted remaining years to teaching and composition. Married Eleonore Colon. Children: Léon, Eugène, fils (d. 1856), Regina, (others?). Died, New Orleans, August 20, 1872; interred St. Louis Cemetery II. J.B.** Sources: Louis Panzeri, “Louisiana Composers,” Le Courrier, May 17, 1955; New Orleans Daily Picayune, May 17, 1855; New Orleans Bee, August 20, 1872.
PREVOST, François-Marie, surgeon. Born, at Pont-de-Ce, France, ca. 1764; son of Marie-Anne Kenotaire and Jean-Pierre Prévost. Studied medicine in Paris; went to Saint-Domingue as health officer of Port-de-Paix. December 13, 1799. Married (1) Marie-Thérèse Burruchon. Removed to Louisiana and settled at Donaldsonville where he practiced medicine for nearly fifty years. Performed successful Caesarean sections, saving seven out of eight lives at a time when the operation proved almost inevitably fatal in the world’s greatest hospitals. Only one American surgeon is known to have performed a successful section before him, Dr. Jesse Bennett of Rockingham County, Va., January 14, 1794. Prévost’s first operations probably performed 1822 and 1825. The third and fourth 1825 and 1831 performed on slave women with the stipulation that the patient be freed if she recovered. Thomas E. Cottman, a graduate from the University of Maryland, settled in Donaldsonville in 1831, and learned his methods of performing Caesarian sections. Married (2) Victorine Castellain, May 29, 1838. Died Donaldsonville, May 18, 1842. M.A. Source: Dictionary of American Biography, XV.
PRÉVOST, John B., lawyer, jurist. Born, West Indies, 1770; the son of a British officer. Prévost’s mother moved to New York, and in 1782 married Aaron Burr. Prévost served as a recorder in New York, 1804. Commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson as a judge for the Superior Court for the Territory of Orleans, March, 1804 . Arrived at New Orleans, October 29, 1804. (A second judge, Ephraim Kirby, was appointed at the same time, but he died in route to New Orleans.) Prévost subsequently opened the territorial high court in New Orleans, November 5, 1804; he was the only federal judge in New Orleans until he was joined by William Sprigg and George Mathews in January, 1806. Prévost presided over the famous Garcia and Bollman cases. Retired from the territorial court, November 14, 1808; subsequently practiced law in New Orleans for many years. Appointed United States special agent to investigate the rights of rebels in the Spanish colonies, 1822. Died between 1830 and 1840. J.D.W. Sources: Louisiana Report, vol. 133 (1913).
PRICE, Andrew, attorney, planter, congressman. Born, Chatsworth Plantation, near Franklin, La., April 2, 1854; son of James Barry Price. Education: local private schools; Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tenn., graduated from law department, 1875; Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., graduated from law department, 1877. Admitted to bar of Missouri and practiced in St. Louis, 1877-1880. Married Anna Margaret Gay (1855-1939) of St. Louis Plantation, Plaquemine, La., June 26, 1879. Removed to Acadia Plantation near Thibodaux, 1881, and engaged in sugar planting. Delegate, Democratic National Convention, 1888. Elected as a Democrat to fill vacancy caused by death of father-in-law, Edward J. Gay I (q.v.). Member of Congress from December 2, 1889, to March 3, 1897. Hobby: raising, driving, and racing trotting horses and pacers on farm near Nashville, Tenn. Largely responsible for present-day appearance of Acadia Plantation house. Died, Acadia Plantation, February 5, 1909; interred Mt. Olivet Cemetery, near Nashville, Tenn. R.C.P. Source: Author’s research.
PRICHARD, Walter, academic. Born, Edinburg, Ind., June 5, 1887; son of Sarah Jane Jenkins and Ira Lutrell Prichard. Education: Indiana University, B. A. and M. A. degrees, graduate student, 1914-1916; University of Illinois, graduate student, 1916-1917. Married Mary Ellen Welborn, September 7, 1927. Children: Sarah Belle and Nancy Ellen. Career: grade school teacher and high school principal, Indiana, 1906-1914; graduate fellow in history and tutor and graduate assistant in history, Indiana University, 1914-1916; research assistant, Illinois History Survey, 1916-1917; acting professor of History, University of New Mexico, 1917-1918; and Southwestern University, Georgetown, Tex., 1918-1919; professor and history department head, Louisiana State University, 1919-1946; dean of men, LSU, 1927-1930; editor, Louisiana Historical Quarterly, 1934-1948; contributed numerous articles and book reviews to historical journals and encyclopedias; François Xavier Martin Chair of Louisiana History, 1946-1957; founder of LSU Archives; retired in 1957. Member, American, Mississippi Valley, Southern, and Louisiana Historical associations; honorary fellow of Kansas State Historical Society, Southwest Political and Social Science Association, National Council for Social Studies, American Association of University Professors, LSU Fifty Year Club, Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Gamma Mu, Mason. Democrat. Officier d’Académie avec les Palmes, French government, 1938. Died, August 2, 1965, Baton Rouge; interred Elwood Cemetery, Elwood, Ind. J.B.C. Sources: Who’s Who in America, XXVI; Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, obituary, August 3, 1965.
PRIEUR, Denis, soldier, merchant, politician, mayor of New Orleans. Born in Saint-Domingue, 1791; son of Prosper Magloire Prieur, a prominent Parisian merchant who settled in the West Indies in the 1780s, and Marie-Jeanne Félicité Casenauve. Fled with parents to Louisiana following the uprisings in Saint-Domingue (1790s). Enlisted in local militia, serving with distinction at the Battle of New Orleans. At war’s end joined father in business, but following Prosper’s death (1820) turned to politics. Served as collector of customs before entering race for mayor of New Orleans, 1828. Won handily, due in part to his association with Andrew Jackson (q.v.) whose popularity was sweeping the country. Helped found the Democratic party in Louisiana, 1828; hosted President Jackson’s triumphant return to New Orleans. Elected mayor 1832, 1834, 1836. Sought governorship of Louisiana, but defeated due to anti-New Orleans sentiment in other areas of the state and to an unfortunate duel in which he mortally wounded U. S. Senator George Waggaman (q.v.). After defeat, Prieur retired from active politics. Died, November 9, 1857. J.H. Sources: New Orleans Public Library (Municipal Archives Section, Mayors’ Papers); Louisiana Historical Quarterly, various issues; Bertram Wallace Korn, The Early Jews of Louisiana (1969).
PRIM, J. Francis, clergyman, civic leader. Born, Trier, Germany, April 24, 1866; son of Francis Prim. Educated for the priesthood at the American College of the University of Louvain, Belgium. Ordained at Louvain, February 24, 1893. Emigrated to the United States, 1893. Appointments: 1893-1898, the archbishopric in New Orleans where he served as secretary to Archbishop Francis Janssens (q.v.), as the chancellor of the archdiocese under Archbishop Placide Louis Chapelle (q.v.), and acting pastor of the scattered Catholics in the territory of Barataria Bay; 1899-1933, pastor of Mater Dolorosa Parish in the Carrollton section of New Orleans; received instructions to gather all Carrollton Catholics into one parish with no national lines of any sort. Succeeded in bringing together the linguistically splintered groups into one parish. Built Mater Dolorosa Church, dedicated in 1909. Also built a new parish school and played active role in the founding and construction of Notre Dame Seminary, located on South Carrollton Avenue. Instrumental in having a bank established in Carrollton, 1906. As president of the Carrollton Improvement Association, induced city to pave Carrollton Avenue from the River to Bayou St. John, 1910. Named a domestic prelate, 1920, and prothonotary apostolic, 1924. Died, February 22, 1933; interred St. Roch Cemetery, New Orleans. E.F.N. Sources: Henry C. Bezou, Metairie: A Tongue of Land to Pasture (1973); Roger Baudier, “The Catholic Church in Carrollton;” Ray Landon, “In the Heart of Carrollton.”
PRIMA, Louis, jazz singer, trumpeter, band leader. Born, New Orleans, December 7, 1911. Brother Leon Prima, trumpeter. Sister, Mary Ann, pianist. Played violin from the age of 7, then in 1925 taught himself trumpet on his brother’s trumpet. Studied at Jesuit High, then led his own band for local night clubs. Played regularly in Saenger Theatre Orchestra. Worked mostly in New Orleans in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Played many places in the 1930s, including Cleveland, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, as well as New Orleans. Led own big band in 1940s, led own small show band in the 1950s and 1960s. Achieved great commercial success. Married vocalist Keely Smith in 1952. Divorced in 1961. Appeared in films and was heard on soundtracks. Underwent surgery for a brain tumor in 1975, remained in a coma for 3 years and died of pneumonia on August 24, 1978, New Orleans. M.S.W. Sources: Charles Claghorn, Biographical Dictionary of Jazz (1982); obituary, Down Beat, November 2, 1978, 45:14; New York Times, November 6, 1978.
PROVOSTY, Olivier Otis, politician, jurist. Born, Pointe Coupée Parish, La., August 3, 1852; son of Auguste Provosty, state legislator (1850-1861) and member of state secession convention, and Eliska Labry. Education: private tutors; Poydras Academy, New Roads, La.; Georgetown University. Unable to complete studies at Georgetown because of father’s death. Returned home and studied law at University of Louisiana (now Tulane University). Admitted to Louisiana bar, 1872. Married, December 21, 1876, Euphémie Labatut of Pointe Coupée Parish. Children: Marie Olive, Olivier O., Jr., Adina Albertine, Eliska Paule, Andrée Jeanne, Michel, and Olivier O., III. Active in Democratic party: district attorney for Pointe Coupée, Avoyelles, and West Feliciana parishes, 1873-1876; state senator, 1888-1890; as senator, opposed Louisiana Lottery and convict lease system and sponsored legislation establishing Atchafalaya Basin Levee District. President, Poydras Academy, Pointe Coupée Parish, 1888-1890. Subsequently served as attorney for Pointe Coupée Parish Police Jury. Member, 1898 state constitutional convention. Bankruptcy referee, Baton Rouge division, eastern judicial district of Louisiana, 1898-1901. Chairman, Torrens Land Law Commission, 1904. Associate justice, Louisiana Supreme Court, 1901-1921. Chief justice from January 2 to December 30, 1922. Appointed to Louisiana Tax Commission, 1912. Member: Roman Catholic church, Boston Club, New Orleans Country Club, Audubon Golf Club, French Opera Club, Order of the Elks, Knights of Columbus. Died, New Orleans, August 3, 1924. C.A.B. Sources: Dictionary of American Biography, XV; Henry E. Chambers, A History of Louisiana, 3 vols. (1925); “Olivier O. Provosty, Eleventh Chief Justice of Louisiana,” Louisiana Historical Quarterly, VI (1923).
PRUDHOMME, Jean-Baptiste “Jeanneaux,” planter, physician, militiaman. Born, Poste St. Jean-Baptiste des Natchitoches, 1736; son of Jean Pierre Philippe Prudhomme, a soldier from Dauphiné, and of the Parisienne Catherine Meillier, one of a shipload of girls sent from the Salpétrière aboard La Baleine in 1719. As a physician, Prudhomme received his training at Natchitoches, apparently, under the tutelage of the surgeon-major Daniel Pain (q.v.). A document executed by the youth at the age of seventeen, as heir to his godfather Pierre Fosse, indicates that he was not yet literate, while post records reveal that within three years he had taken over the medical practice of Pain (who had since 1750 been serving also as garde-magasin of the post). Under these circumstances, Prudhomme’s practice was short-lived; the transfer of Louisiana to Spain in 1763 and the imposition of more stringent requirements for the licensing of physicians by the new regime forced his early retirement. Serving a short term as captain of the Natchitoches militia, ca. 1766, Prudhomme thereafter devoted his activities to the development and expansion of the nine arpents of frontage land immediately below the post, which he had purchased in 1758 with his inheritance from Fosse. In this endeavor he enjoyed considerable success, becoming one of the most prosperous planters of the frontier. An historical marker today marks the site of the Prudhomme plantation. Twice married, Prudhomme left issue only by his second wife. Married (1) May 5, 1756, at Natchitoches, his cousin Marie Françoise Chever (d. 1757). Married (2), July 13, 1758, Marie Françoise Joseph Henriette Charlotte Corantine (b. ca. 1737/1738-1788), a New Orleans native who had been at Natchitoches since 1753. Children: Jean Baptiste (1759-1766); Marie Louise (b. 1760); Emanuel (b. 1762); Antoine (b. 1765); Dominique (b. 1767); Anne “Annette” (b. 1768), married at New Orleans, March 1788, Guillaume Dupare; Suzette (b. 1774). Died, Natchitoches, October 21, 1786. E.S.M. Sources: Elizabeth Shown Mills, Natchitoches, 1729-1803: Abstracts of the Catholic Church Registers of the French and Spanish Post of St. Jean Baptiste des Natchitoches in Louisiana (1977); Elizabeth Shown Mills, “Natchitoches Baptisms, 1724-1776: A Supplement to Mills’ Natchitoches, 1729-1803,” The Natchitoches Genealogist, VII (April, 1983); Elizabeth Shown Mills, Natchitoches Colonials: Censuses, Military Rolls, and Tax Lists, 1722-1803 (1981); Alice Daly Forsyth, Louisiana Marriages, Volume I: A Collection of Marriage Records from the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans during the Spanish Regime and the Early American Period, 1784-1806 (1977); Docs. 121, 223, Colonial Archives, Office of the Clerk of Court, Natchitoches; Roll of La Baleine, Colonies F5, B:54, Archives Nationales, Paris.
PRUDHOMME, Jean Michel, Sr., soldier, entrepreneur, and planter. Born, Strasbourg, Alsace, circa 1739. Married (1) Catherine Raidnar (Ritter). Children: Marie Louise, Mary, and Julienne. Married (2) Marie Snayter. Children: Michel, Jr (b. 1780), André (b. 1 785), and Céleste (b. 1788). Career: apparently, arrived as a Hessian soldier in the British American colonies during the Revolutionary War; deserted his military unit and emigrated to the Opelousas post in Spanish colonial Louisiana. A fusilier with the Opelousas post militia, 1776; engaged in agricultural and entrepreneurial pursuits; donated 120 arpents to Saint Landry Roman Catholic Church for erection of a new house of worship, 1796. Died, Saint Landry Parish, August 20, 1817; interred in the nave of Saint Landry Roman Catholic Church next to Father Buhot. K.P.F. Sources: Donald J. Hébert, Southwest Louisiana Records (1974-l996); Opelousas Post Militia, 1776, Archivo General de Indias Seville, Spain, Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, legajo 161; William H. Perrin ed., Southwest Louisiana Biographical and Historical (1891, reprint 1976); Land Donation: Michel Prudhomme, et ux to Saint Landry Roman Catholic Church, October 16, 1796, Donation No. 1, Microfilm OP 314; Estate of Michel Prudhomme, November 1817, No. 93; Saint Landry Parish Clerk of Courts Archives, Opelousas, La.
PRUYN, Robert L., businessman, politician. Born in New York, 1834. Drummer in the band of the Seventh U. S. Infantry Regiment in the Mexican and Seminole wars; discharged Tampa Bay, Fla., 1849. Worked as a carpenter in New York. Removed to Baton Rouge, 1853. Civil War service: private, Company A, Fourth Louisiana Infantry Regiment, April 1861; promoted to rank of captain, Company B, May 1862; escaped from Port Hudson during its siege carrying dispatches; promoted to rank of major and assisted in raising a cavalry regiment in western Louisiana, 1864-1865. After war, worked as a contractor and builder in Baton Rouge. Elected mayor of Baton Rouge in 1902. Died, Baton Rouge, July 30, 1917; interred Baton Rouge National Cemetery. A.W.B. Sources: Catherine Z. Winters, “A Sketch of Major Robert L. Pruyn, C.S.A.,” Proceedings of the Historical Society of East and West Baton Rouge, II (1917); Clement A. Evans, ed., Confederate Military History, 13 vols (1899).
PUGH FAMILY. Whitmell Hill Pugh, 1781-1834, physician; Augustin Pugh, 1783-1853; Thomas Pugh, 1796-1852, half-brother of the other two. Three Pugh brothers removed to the Teche country in 1818 from Albermarle County, N. C., together with William (1811-1906), son of Whitmell. After one unsatisfactory crop and high mortality among their slaves, they moved in 1820 to Bayou Lafourche near Napoleonville. They were among the first “American” settlers in that predominantly French area, and remained to expand there in numbers, land holdings, and family and business relationships. On the eve of the Civil War the Pughs and their circle owned 18 plantations and 1,918 slaves; the Pughs alone had 13 plantations and 1,502 slaves. The family is memorable in the state’s architectural history for construction of Madewood and Woodlawn, two splendid plantation houses designed by Henry Howard (q.v.), architect. Woodlawn Plantation was purchased in 1836 by William W. Pugh who assumed direction upon death of his father Whitmell and built the house during the following years. William was active in state government and in the Civil War. His uncle, Thomas, began the construction of Madewood but, victim of yellow fever, did not survive to complete the work. The two houses, about a decade apart in date, stood about a mile apart on the left bank of Bayou Lafourche. Madewood remains; Woodlawn disappeared gradually in the 1940s. William Pugh married Josephine Williamina Nicholls, daughter of Thomas Clark Nicholls (q.v.). William Pugh died in 1906.. B.L. Sources: Barnes Fletcher Lathrop, “The Pugh Plantations” (Ph. D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1945); W. W. Pugh, “Bayou Lafourche . . . —Its Inhabitants, Customs and Pursuits,” The Louisiana Planter and Sugar Manufacturer, September 29-October 27, 1886; R. Dana Russell, The Pughs of Bayou Lafourche (1985); Mary Flower Pugh Russell, Growing Up in Louisiana, 1913 to 1933 (1984).
PUJO, Arsène Paulin, attorney, congressman. Born, Rose Bluff community near Lake Charles, La., December 16, 1861; son of Paul Pujo and Eloise Minerva LeBleu. Education: public and private schools in Lake Charles; read law under Gabriel A. Fournet; admitted to Louisiana bar, October 23, 1886, practiced law in Lake Charles. Married, December 16, 1889, Gussie Brown, of Orange, Tex., daughter of Dr. Samuel Moore Brown and Georgia Malone. Children: Mrs. Elaine Pujo Riley and Mrs. Mona Pujo Malter. President, Lake Charles Steam Engine Company No. 1; member, Lake Charles Board of Trade; Commercial Club; helped organize Calcasieu Fair Association; member, board of trustees for Carnegie Library in Lake Charles. Appointed delegate from Louisiana to Western Waterways Convention, Memphis, Tenn., 1899; helped organize a Louisiana Waterways Association. President, First National Bank of Welsh, La.; director, First National Bank of Lake Charles. Active in Democratic party; delegate to Democratic National Convention, 1912; Democratic National Committeeman from Louisiana, 1919-1920; member, William Jennings Bryan Advisory Committee of Louisiana. Active in Anti-Lottery campaigns of 1888 and 1892; delegate to the Anti-Lottery Farmers Union. Elected delegate-at-large to 1898 Louisiana constitutional convention. U. S. representative from Seventh Congressional District, 1903-1913; member of Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Commerce and Labor, 1905-1911; member, Committee on Banking and Currency, 1903-1911, chairman, 1911-1913; sponsored bill creating Western Judicial District of Louisiana, 1905; sponsored bill creating Intracoastal Waterway from Mermentau to Sabine rivers; chairman of Pujo Money Trust Investigating Committee, 1912-1913, focused attention on banking reform which led to the Federal Reserve Act. Member, Louisiana State Council of Defense, 1917; chairman, District Board of Selective Service, 1917. Member: Roman Catholic church. Died, New Orleans, December 31, 1939; interred Lake Charles Orange Grove Cemetery. J.C.B. Sources: James C. Beam, “The Public Career of Arsène P. Pujo: Louisiana Congressman, 1908-1913” (M.A. thesis, Louisiana State University, 1963); Lake Charles American Press, obituary, January 1, 1940.
PULITZER, Samuel Clarence, businessman, civic leader. Born, New Orleans, September 15, 1905; from a family of eleven, he was placed in the Jewish Children’s Home for Orphans at age six. Education: attended Isidore Newman School, Warren Easton High School, and Soulé Business College. With his brother Emanuel, Pulitzer founded Wembley Industries, Inc., 1925; the company, whih started out with the two brothers as traveling necktie salesman covering the back roads from Alabama to Texas, gradually grew into a multi-million-dollar enterprise selling neckties and sporting good around the world. In 1936 Emanuel bought a suit made of Priestly’s Nor East Non-Crush fabric, his brother promptly cut up the suit and made it into neckties; the brothers subsequently used this fabric for all their neckties. In an age before the widespread use of synthetic fabrics, this was a revolutionary advancement that put Pulitzer’s company ahead of the competition. The company changed its name to WEMCO, Inc. and for many years was one of New Orleans largest family-owned businesses. Pulitzer was a member of the John Purdy Masonic Lodge since the age of twenty-one; board member of the Touro Synagogue, Lakewood Country Club, and the Jewish Children’s Home; and member, board of directors, Touro Infirmary. Helped organize both the local New Orleans branch and the Louisiana state branch of the Association for Retarded Children; chaired a fund-raising drive that help build the Willow Wood Home for Jewish Aged. President of the National Men’s Tie Foundation for four consecutive years; Pulitzer also received the Manufacturer of the Year Award from the National Neckwear Association and was inducted into the New Orleans Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame. Died, New Orleans, October 20, 1989; interred, Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans, La. J.D.W. Sources: New Orleans Times-Picayune, October 21, 1989.