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Francisco Bouligny
Portrait of Francisco Bouligny, Unknown Painter (circa 1770s)
Born (1736-09-04)September 4, 1736
Died November 25, 1800(1800-11-25) (aged 64)
Place of birth Alicante, Spain
Place of death New Orleans, Louisiana
Allegiance Spain Spanish Bourbons
Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg Viceroyalty of New Spain
 Kingdom of Spain
Service/branch Spanish Army
Years of service 1758–1800
Rank Brigadier general
Battles/wars Louisiana Rebellion American Revolutionary War
Spouse(s) Marie-Louise Le Sénéchal d'Auberville
Other work Military Governor of Louisiana (1799)
Signature Fran. co Bouligny

Francisco Domingo Joseph Bouligny (/frənˈsɪs.k bl.əɡˈn/;[1] 4 September 1736 – 25 November 1800) was a high-ranking military and civilian officer in Spanish Louisiana; he served as lieutenant governor under Bernardo de Gálvez and as acting military governor in 1799. He founded the city of New Iberia in 1779.[2][3]

Early life[]

Bouligny, called "Frasquito" by his family,[4] was born in Alicante, Spain, to Jean (Juan) Bouligny, a successful merchant, and Marie Paret, both of French descent. At the age of 10, he was sent to a boy's school founded by the bishop of Orihuela, from which he graduated in 1750 and joined the family import-export business.[5]

Military career[]

In 1758, Bouligny enlisted in the Spanish army, joining the Regiment of Zamora.[6] A year later, he transferred to the Royal Regiment of Spanish Guards and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the infantry and sent to Havana, Cuba, in 1762. He was stationed there until 1769 when he joined Alejandro O'Reilly's expedition to put down the Louisiana Rebellion. Since Bouligny was fluent in French, he was charged with delivering the Spanish government's messages to the Francophone inhabitants of Louisiana[4][7][8] and he acted as an interpreter during the military trial of the rebellion's leaders.[9] Bouligny was promoted to the rank of brevet captain in the new Louisiana Battalion. In 1772 he was appointed a full captain. In 1775, Bouligny was granted leave to return to Europe to settle family affairs. While in Spain, Bouligny wrote a discourse on the population of New Orleans and Spanish Louisiana (Memoria histórica y política sobre la Luisiana).[10]

Return to Louisiana[]

In 1777, Bouligny returned to Louisiana where he was named lieutenant governor by Gov. Bernardo de Gálvez. Among his responsibilities was managing trade and relations with Native American tribes and founding new settlements. In April 1779, he brought a group of 500 Malagueños colonists up Bayou Teche to establish the city of New Iberia.[3] During the American Revolutionary War, Spain attacked British holdings in West Florida. In 1780, Bouligny lead an expedition against Mobile and he later participated in the Siege of Pensacola.

In 1783, Bouligny was charged with eliminating a colony of fugitive slaves (cimarróns) south of New Orleans. The expedition captured 60 people and the resulting investigation implicated a dozen slaves in helping to plan escapes.[11][12] In 1791, he was appointed colonel and placed in command of the Louisiana Regiment.[13]

Following the death of Gov. Manuel Gayoso de Lemos on 18 July 1799, Francisco Bouligny was appointed military governor of Louisiana with Nicolás María Vidal as civil governor until the arrival of the new governor general, Sebastián Calvo de la Puerta y O'Farrill, Marquis de Casa Calvo, on 18 December 1799.[4] Bouligny died following a long illness on 25 November 1800 in New Orleans, and he was buried in St. Louis Cathedral.[14] He had been appointed brigadier general in September 1800, but the commission did reach Louisiana until after his death.

Personal life[]

On 29 December 1770, Bouligny married Marie-Louise Le Sénéchal d'Auberville (1750–1834).[15] They had four children, including Charles Dominique Joseph Bouligny who would represent Louisiana in the U.S. Senate in the 1820s.[4] At the time of his death, Bouligny left behind an extensive library of 148 books and a wine cellar that included some 500 bottles of wine.[16]



  1. Eakin, Sue; Culbertson, Manie (June 1998). Louisiana: The Land and Its People (4 ed.). Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing Co.. pp. 532. ISBN 9781565542891. 
  2. Bergerie, Maurine (2000). They Tasted Bayou Water. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing Co.. ISBN 1455612995. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Din, Gilbert C. (Spring 1976). "Lieutenant Colonel Francisco Bouligny and the Malagueño Settlement at New Iberia, 1779". pp. 187–202. JSTOR 4231587. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Martin, Fontaine (1990). A History of the Bouligny Family and Allied Families. Lafayette, Louisiana: The Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana. ISBN 0940984512. 
  5. Ribes Iborra, Vicent (2002). "II. Luisiana: Bouligny, la vigillia de la razón". Presencia valenciana en los Estados Unidos: ss. XVI-XIX. Valencia, Spain: Biblioteca Valenciana. pp. 33–55. ISBN 844823023X. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  6. "Certificate of service of Colonel Francisco Bouligny". Rosemonde E. and Emile Kuntz collection: Spanish colonial period, 1769-1803 (Tulane University). Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  7. Weddle, Robert S. (1995). Changing Tides: Twilight and Dawn in the Spanish Sea, 1763-1803. Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 978-0-89096-661-7. 
  8. Cormier, Steven A. (in progress). "Book Five: A New Acadia". The Acadians of Louisiana: An Introduction. Jennings, Louisiana: self published. Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  9. de Pedro, Marqués de Casa Mena, José Montero (2000) [1979]. The Spanish in New Orleans and Louisiana [Españoles en Nueva Orleans y Luisiana]. Pelican Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4556-1227-7. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  10. Bouligny, Francisco (16 Aug 1776). Memoria histórica y política sobre la Luisiana. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  11. Din, Gilbert C. (1999). Spaniards, Planters, and Slaves: The Spanish Regulation of Slavery in Louisiana, 1763-1803. Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 0890969043. 
  12. Hall, Gwendolyn Midlo (1995). Africans in Colonial Louisiana: The Development of Afro-Creole Culture in the Eighteenth Century. Louisiana State University Press. ISBN 0807119997. 
  13. Din, Gilbert C. (1993). Francisco Bouligny: A Bourbon Soldier in Spanish Louisiana. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. ISBN 0807117951. 
  14. Find A Grave. "Find a Grave: Don Francisco Bouligny". Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  15. The Historic New Orleans Collection. "The Francisco Bouligny Lecture". Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  16. Hanger, Kimberly S. (2006). A Medley of Cultures: Louisiana History at the Cabildo. New Orleans, Louisiana: Louisiana Museum Foundation. Retrieved 2013-04-04. 
Preceded by
Manuel Gayoso de Lemos
Spanish Governor of Louisiana
July 1799-Decemember 1799
With: Nicolás María Vidal
Succeeded by
Sebastián Calvo de la Puerta y O'Farrill

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