Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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DUCASSE, Jean Baptiste, governor of Santo Domingo, born in Bearn, France, in 1650 ; died in Bourbon L'Archambault in July 1715. He early went to sea and soon entered the service of the Senegal Company, by whom, in 1678, he was sent to San Domingo. Later he commanded the Banniere, engaged by this company in transporting Negroes from Africa to the West Indies. In 1691 he was appointed governor of Santo Domingo. On his arrival he found the business interests of the Island in a wretched state, but under his skilful management order was soon established, and the affairs of the colony became prosperous. Agriculture flourished and the native products were largely exported. In the invasion of the Island by the English and Spanish fleets he defended it, and. after he had expelled the enemy, directed the attention of the inhabitants to the cultivation of sugar and tobacco. In 1700 he was sent to Spain to negotiate a treaty between that country and France. Two years later, while in command of a French squadron, he defeated an English fleet much larger than his own, under the command of Admiral Benbow. His services in the French navy gained for him successive promotions till he became lieutenant general, in which capacity he commanded the marine force during the siege of Barcelona. Soon afterward he resigned his command on account of failing health.
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