Jacques Marcus Prevost

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Jacques Marcus Prevost
9th colonial governor of Georgia
In office
1779–1779
Preceded by Archibald Campbell
Succeeded by James Wright
Personal details
Born 1736
Switzerland
Died 1781 (aged 44–45)
Jamaica
Profession Army officer and governor

Jacques Marc, Jacques-Marc, James Marcus or Mark Prevost (1736, Geneva – 1781) was a British Army officer of French-Swiss origin. After being commissioned in Europe, he commanded troops of the British Army in North America and the West Indies, including during the French and Indian War, the North American front of the Seven Years' War.

Prevost was recalled to service during the American Revolutionary War, when he served briefly as British governor of Georgia in 1778 after the British occupied Savannah, Georgia. He also served more than once in the West Indies and died in Jamaica of wounds suffered earlier in the war.

Early life[edit]

Prevost was born in 1736 in French-speaking Switzerland to a family originating in Savoy. He had eight siblings, including elder brothers Augustine (born 1723) and Jacques Prevost (born 1725) (he likely had a distinguishing middle name; Jacques was frequently used as a given name in many families.) The two elder brothers both served in the army of the King of Sardinia, who then ruled the Dutch Republic.

Seven Years' War[edit]

Jacques Marcus appears to have joined his two brothers in the military in the Netherlands. They were recruited and commissioned as officers by Great Britain for its new Royal American Regiment: Augustine received the rank of major, Jacques as a colonel, and Jacques Marcus as a captain. In the Thirteen colonies, Britain recruited German and Swiss immigrant settlers as soldiers for the Regiment after General Benjamin Braddock's defeat in 1755 in western Pennsylvania in the French and Indian Wars. Britain was threatened by war with France as part of the Seven Years' War in Europe.

The three Prevost brothers were sent as officers to North America in 1756. Jacques Marc was wounded at the Battle of Carillon in New York in 1758. Augustine was also seriously wounded that year, while serving with General James Wolfe's army near Quebec. The two Prevost brothers recuperated in New York City. Augustine served further with the Royal American Regiment, especially in the Caribbean, rising to lieutenant colonel.

After recovery, in 1761 Jacques Marcus traveled with Henry Bouquet, a Swiss colonel in the Royal American Regiment, to set up a British post at Presque Isle (present-day Erie, Pennsylvania). They intended to deter French troops at Fort Niagara. Prevost was next assigned to command a body of troops in New York City; after Britain defeated France and military activity was reduced, he was put on half pay.

Marriage and family[edit]

While in New York City convalescing, Jacques Marc had met Theodosia Stillwell Bartow. They married in Trinity Church in 1763 after the end of the war. They had five children together, including Augustine James Frederick Prevost (1765-1842) and John Bartow Prevost (1766-1825).

His widow Theodosia Bartow Prevost formed a relationship with the ten years younger American politician Aaron Burr and married him in 1782. They had two children together, but only their daughter Theodosia survived to adulthood.

Northwest wars[edit]

Prevost's next assignment was to command a detachment of Bouquet's force at Fort Loudoun on the Pennsylvania frontier. He fought against Native American forces in the Muskingum River Valley of present-day Ohio, returning to Theodosia in New York in 1765.

Prevost went back onto half pay for several years. After his unit was posted to the West Indies in 1772, he returned to New York in 1773. By then the couple had moved to their Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey residence, called The Hermitage.

American War of Independence[edit]

At the outbreak of the American War of Independence, Prevost was a lieutenant-colonel living in Paramus, New Jersey. After the British captured Savannah in December 1778, he was briefly assigned as British governor of Georgia, in succession to Archibald Campbell. Sent with troops to Jamaica to put down an uprising in 1781, he died there that year of wounds suffered earlier in the war.

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