Antoine Crozat

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Antoine Crozat, marquis du Châtel (ca. 1655 – 7 June 1738), French founder of an immense fortune, was the first private proprietary owner of French Louisiana from 1712 to 1717.

Born in Toulouse, France the sons of peasants, he and his brother, Pierre, rose from obscurity to become two of the wealthiest merchants of France. By lending money to the government Antoine was ennobled as the marquis du Châtel, a noble title that he transmitted to his elder son Louis-François. He became a financial counsellor to Louis XIV. He invested in the Guinea Company and the Asiento Company, two lucrative overseas franchises. The king eventually offered him a 15‑year trade monopoly in Louisiana.

Portrait of Mme Crozat (1670-1742) by Joseph Aved (exhibited at the Salon of 1741)
Montpellier, Musée Fabre

He married Marguerite Legendre. They had four children: