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PONTEVES-GIEN, Henry Jean Baptiste (pont-ray), Viscount de, commonly known as COUNT DE PONTEVES, French naval officer, born in Aix, Provence, in 1740; died in Fort Royal, Martinique, 23 July, 1790. He entered the navy as a midshipman in 1755, and served in Canada during the war of 1756-'63. He was attached afterward to the station of Martinique, and in 1776 employed to make soundings along the Newfoundland banks and the coast of St. Pierre and Miquelon islands, preparing charts of those regions. When France took part in the war for American independence he was on duty at Brest, but, requesting to be employed in more active service, he was appointed to the command of a division, with which he destroyed the English establishments and forts oft the coast of Guinea between the river Gambia and Sierra Leone. Upon his return he was promoted "chef d'escadre," and charged with escorting a convoy of eighty sail to the United States. Afterward he participated in the engagements with Lord Byron, assisted Bouille at the capture of Tobago, was with De Grasse at Yorktown in October, 1781, and served under De Vaudreuilles till the conclusion of the campaign. He commanded the station of the Leeward islands in 1784-'90, became in January, 1790, governor pro tempore of Martinique, and during his short administration not only promoted the best interests of the colony, but appeased all the troubles that had been provoked by the French revolution, leaving Martinique at his death in a state of perfect tranquillity, while all the other French possessions in the West Indies were in insurrection. By public subscription his statue was erected in one of the squares of Fort Royal.
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