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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MARCHAL, Nicolas (mar-shall'), Dutch traveller, born in Groningen in 1781; died in Amsterdam in 1802. He entered the Dutch colonial service, and resided many years in Java, and Sumatra. In 1783 he became lieutenant-governor of Dutch Guiana, and afterward was sent on missions to the West Indies and South America to ascertain how the Dutch government might peacefully recover its former possessions there. He ascertained everywhere that the descendants of the Dutch colonists were satisfied with their present condition and entertained no desire to return to Dutch dominion. The French revolution and the troubles that ensued in the West. Indies put a stop to the travels of Marchal, but he nevertheless assisted the French in many ways in their strife against the English, and carried to Victor Hugues (q. v.) in Guadeloupe, in 1794, re-enforcements and supplies, which enabled him to drive out his enemies. He afterward entered the service of the French republic, and held various commands in the West Indian colonies. He was sent in 1797 to Louisiana as agent of the French to study public opinion, and having reported that the people were willing to return to French rule provided slavery were maintained in their territory, the government began negotiations for the retrocession of that colony, which took place in 1800. Having become almost blind in 1799, Marchal returned home, where he died a few years later. His notes and manuscripts were published afterward, but, owing to subsequent events in Europe, they were scarcely noticed. His works include "Rapport au directoire de la republique Francaise sur l'opinion publique en Louisiane" (Paris, 1798) ; " Peregrinations d'un touriste g travers les principales Antilles" (2 vols., 1804); and " Histoire des colonies Hollandaises dans l'Amerique" (3 vols., Amsterdam, 1807).
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