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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DERBIGNY, Pierre Auguste Charles Bourisgay, fifth governor of Louisiana, born in France" died in New Orleans, 6 October 1829. Compelled to leave France (luring the Revolution, he first went to Santo Domingo, and thence to the United States, living for a while in Pittsburgh, Penn., where he married the sister of Chevalier de Lozier. He removed to Missouri and to Florida, and finally settled in Louisiana. in 1803 he acted as Mayor Borsee's secretary, and in the latter part of the same year his linguistic acquirements led Governor Claiborne to appoint him interpreter of languages for the territory. During Governor Claiborne's administration in January 1805, the petition of "the merchants, planters, and other inhabitants of Louisiana," signed by Destre1eau, Sauve, and Derbigny, their delegates, was read and referred in the U. S. Senate. The delegates in this memorial energetically insisted on the rights of the inhabitants of Louisiana to be promptly admitted into the confederacy as citizens of a sovereign state. But, notwithstanding their zeal and the ability displayed by them, Derbigny and his coadjutors were not successful in their efforts.
In March however, an act was approved " providing for the government of the territory of Orleans." The three agents set forth their views in a sensational pamphlet, having been convinced that the government was uncandid to the agents and unjust to the inhabitants of Louisiana. Mr. Derbigny afterward held other offices in the state, such as clerk of the court of common pleas, secretary of the legislative council, member of the lower house of the first state legislature, and judge of the Supreme Court. He delivered the first fourth-of-July oration made in the territory, and was appointed in 1820, with Livingstone and Moreau, to revise the laws of Louisiana; in the same year receiving the first license to run a steam ferry across the Mississippi at New Orleans. As a personal friend of General Lafayette, he was his representative in legal and business affairs in Louisiana until his death, when Lafayette's power of attorney was transferred to the son, Charles Derbigny. In 1828, when Governor Johnson's term of office expired, he was succeeded by Pierre Derbigny, the first year of whose administration was marked by the visit to New Orleans of General Jackson, who had been invited by the legislature to participate in the celebration of the anniversary of his victory of 8 January 1815. Governor Derbigny was killed, soon after the expiration of his first year as stage executive, by being thrown from his carriage.
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