Pierre-Clément de Laussat Information
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Pierre-Clément de Laussat
Portrait by unknown artist
|1st Governor of French Republic Louisiana|
First Consul of France
Juan Manuel de Salcedo|
as Spanish Governor of Louisiana
William C.C. Claiborne|
as Governor of the Territory of Orleans
William Henry Harrison Sr.
as Governor of the Louisiana District
|2nd Colonial Prefect of Martinique|
|Preceded by||Charles-Henri Bertin|
Sir George Beckwith|
|2nd Commandant of French Guiana|
|Preceded by||Jean-François Claude Carra de Saint-Cyr|
|Succeeded by||Pierre Bernard Milius|
|Born||November 23, 1756|
|Died||April 10, 1835 (aged 78)|
|Spouse(s)||Marie-Anne-Joséphine de Péborde de Pardiès|
Kingdom of France|
French First Republic
Kingdom of France
Pierre-Clément de Laussat (23 November 1756 – 10 April 1835) was a French politician, and the 24th Colonial Governor of Louisiana, the last under French rule. He later served as colonial official in Martinique and French Guiana, as well as an administrator in France and Antwerp.
Laussat was born in the town of Pau. After serving as receveur général des finances in Pau and Bayonne, he was imprisoned during the Terror, but was released and recruited in the armée des Pyrénées. On April 17, 1797, he was elected to the Council of Ancients. After the coup of 18 Brumaire, he entered the Tribunat on December 25, 1798.
He was appointed by Napoleon Bonaparte to be colonial prefect (governor) of Louisiana in 1802 and arrived in the colony on March 26, 1803, just two weeks before Bonaparte made his decision to sell Louisiana to the United States. Laussat was initially only to be the interim head of Louisiana until arrival of the Governor General Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte appointed by Bonaparte. However, when Bonaparte rejected Bernadotte's request for additional settlers and support for the posting, Bernadotte declined the governorship.  This left Laussat ruling as governor for several months, during which time he abolished the local cabildo and then published the Napoleonic Code in the colony.
Within several months, Laussat heard that Louisiana had been sold to the U.S. but he did not believe it. On July 28, 1803, he wrote to the French government to inquire whether the rumor was true. On August 18, 1803, he received word from Bonaparte that France had declared war on Great Britain and that he was to transfer Louisiana to the United States.  
On November 30, 1803, Laussat served as commissioner of the French government in the retrocession of Louisiana from Spain to France. A few weeks later, on December 20, 1803, Laussat transferred the colony to the U.S. representatives, William C.C. Claiborne and James Wilkinson.
On April 21, 1804, Laussat left Louisiana to become colonial prefect of Martinique, serving until 1809 when he was captured and imprisoned by the British.
In 1810, Laussat returned to France and sought a new governmental posting. He was sent to the French Netherlands to oversee the port of occupied Antwerp (1810–1812) and then to serve as prefect of Jemmape (1812–1814). During the Hundred Days, he served as prefect of Pas-de-Calais until the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. 
- Laussat, Pierre-Clément de (1831). Mémoires sur ma vie à mon fils: pendant les années 1803 et suivantes, que j'ai rempli des fonctions publiques, savoir à la Louisianne, en qualité de commissaire du gouvernement français pour la reprise de possession de cette colonie et pour sa remise aux Etats-Unis; à la Martinique, comme préfet colonial; à la Guyane française, en qualité de commandant et administrateur pour le roi [Memoirs on my Life to My Son During the Years 1803 and following, that I Filled Public Office in Louisiana, as Commissioner of the French Government for the Repossession of This Colony and for Surrender to the United States; in Martinique, as Colonial Prefect; and in French Guiana, as Commander and Administrator for the King] (in French). Pau, France: É. Vignancour, Imprimeur - Libaire. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
- Laussat, Pierre Clement de (1978). Bush, Robert D. (ed.). Memoirs of My Life: Beyond the Bayou. Translated by Pastwa, Agnes-Josephine. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: LSU Press. ISBN 978-0-8071-2870-1. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
- Laussat, Pierre-Clément de (1989). Lebel, Maurice (ed.). Louisiana, Napoleon and the United States: An Autobiography of Pierre-Clément de Laussat, 1756-1835. Translated by Pastwa, Agnes-Josephine. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America. ISBN 978-0-8191-7448-2. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
- Rosal, Angelita (1993). Kuka, Jon; Rosal, Angelita; Lemmon, Alfred Emmette (eds.). A Guide to the Papers of Pierre Clément Laussat: Napoleon's Prefect for the Colony of Louisiana and of General Claude Perrin Victor at the Historic New Orleans Collection. New Orleans: The Historic New Orleans Collection. ISBN 978-0-917860-33-1. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
- Olivier, Jean-Marc (2010). "Bernadotte, Bonaparte, and Louisiana: the last dream of a French Empire in North America" (PDF). In Belaubre, Christope; Dym, Jordana; Savage, John (eds.). Napoleon's Atlantic: The Impact of Napoleonic Empire in the Atlantic World. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. pp. 141–150. ISBN 978-9004181540. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
- Langlois, Gilles-Antoine (2004). "La Nouvelle Orleans: Etat Sommaire des Espaces Urbains et Sociaux a l'Époque de Pierre Clement des Laussat (Mars 1803-Avril 1804)" [New Orleans: Summary of the State of Urban and Social Spaces at the Time of Pierre Clement de Laussat (March 1803-April 1804)]. French Colonial History (in French). 5 (1): 111–124. doi: 10.1353/fch.2004.0009. ISSN 1543-7787.
- Rodriguez, Junius P. (2002). The Louisiana Purchase: A Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 181. ISBN 978-1-57607-188-5. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
- Staes, Jacques (April 2003). "Une Lettre de Pierre-Clément de Laussat Concernant la Situation Religieuse en Béarn (1788)" [A Letter from Pierre-Clément de Laussat Concerning the Religious Situation in Béarn (1788)] (PDF). Centre d'Etude du Protestantisme Béarnais (in French) (33): 23–25. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
- Puyo, Jean-Yves Puyo (2008). "Mise en valeur de la Guyane française et peuplement blanc: les espoirs déçus du baron de Laussat (1819-1823)" [Enhancement of French Guyana and White Settlement: The Disappointed Hopes of Baron de Laussat (1819-1823)]. Journal of Latin American Geography (in French). 7 (1): 177–202. doi: 10.1353/lag.2008.0005. JSTOR 25765204.
Juan Manuel de Salcedo
As Governor of Spanish Louisiana
Governor of French Republic Louisiana
William C.C. Claiborne
As Governor of the Territory of Orleans
William Henry Harrison Sr.
as Governor of the Louisiana District