Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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KERgERSEAU, Antoine Nicolas, Baron de (kair'-vair'-so'). French soldier, born in Jeremie, Santo Domingo, in 1751; died in Rochefort, France, in July, 1802. He studied in Le Cap, and when eighteen years of age was commissioned lieutenant in the army of Santo Domingo. He served in the expedition against Tobago in 1778, and in 1780 on the continent under Saint Simon: was present at Yorktown, and led his regiment in the successful assault on that town, where he was wounded. Returning to Santo Domingo at the conclusion of peace in 1783, he took command of the district of Saint Marc. At the time of the French revolution he accepted democratic principles and afforded valuable aid to the colonial assembly of Santo Domingo, which met at Saint Marc, 25 March, 1790. The governor-general, Marquis de Peynier, ordered Kerverseau to dissolve the assembly; but the latter permitted the new constitution to be promulgated in May following, and, on his repeated refusal to interfere, was threatened with arrest. He then sought refuge on the frigate "Leopard," and sailed for France to seek redress before the National assembly. On his arrival he was arrested, but liberated in 1795, and served under Bonaparte in Italy. When the first consul resolved to re-conquer Santo Domingo, Kerverseau asked to serve in the expedition, and was sent to subdue the Spanish part of the colony. Marching toward Seybo, he took Hato Mayor, and, after a successful engagement with the negroes at Bayaguana, arrived, on 16 February, 1802, before Santo Domingo. The city after some resistance fell into his hands oil 20 February, 1802, and he immediately assumed command of the province, governing with such severity that a rebellion spread among the troops, who were disappointed in their hopes of pillage, and General Ferraud, claiming to be the superior officer, deposed Kerverseau, imprisoned him, and finally sent him to France, where he died a few days after his arrival. See Hazard's "History of Santo Domingo" (New York, 1875).
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