Nicholas Girod

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Nicolas Girod (French spelling) or Nicholas Girod (April 1751—September 1840)[1] was the seventh mayor of New Orleans, from late in 1812 to September 4, 1815.[2] Born in Cluses (Savoy, then part of the Kingdom of Sardinia), he presided over the then-Francophone city during the 1814-15 British invasion.

(General Andrew Jackson declared martial law upon entering New Orleans in December 1814, having marched overland from present-day southern Alabama and then crossing Lake Pontchartrain. He ruled over the city until ending martial law in March 1815.) [3]

Nicolas Girod was of Protestant faith, in a predominantly Catholic city. He was the first regularly-elected mayor of New Orleans after Louisiana's admission to the Union. He was initially elected on September 21, 1812. Girod took office on November 5 of that year and served until September 4, 1814; at which date he was re-elected, resigning on September 4, 1815.[4]

Girod was a member of a prominent family who owned considerable interests in shipping and mercantile enterprises. He was one of three brothers (Andre and Claude being the other two) who conducted commercial enterprises with area planters in what was known as the commission or factorage business. The Girods kept a wholesale and retail store in the vicinity of the levee landing, which in later years was transferred to the building at the corner of Chartres and St. Louis streets. He owned a large number of properties in the area of today's Central Business District, in the vicinity of Girod Street.[4]

New Orleans was full of excitement in the spring of 1821 when Girod remodeled and furnished the house on Chartres Street in readiness for Napoleon Bonaparte. The ship Seraphine was being outfitted for a secret voyage by Dominique You, and Nicolas Girod was one of the sponsors of the plan to rescue Napoleon from his exile in Saint Helena; but Napoleon's death frustrated this plan.[4]

Girod was quite a philanthropist. Among other provisions in his 1837 holographic will, he left a bon (obligation) of $100,000 to be applied to the construction of a facility in Orleans Parish for the housing and care of Louisiana's French orphans. Other institutions and individuals were recipients under this will, including Charity Hospital, $30,000.[4]

Nicolas Girod died on September 1, 1840, at his home located on the corner of Chartres and St. Louis streets.[4] His former residence in the French Quarter is now known as the Napoleon House. Both New Orleans and Mandeville, Louisiana, have a Girod Street, named in Nicolas Girod's honor.

Tomb of Nicolas Girod at Saint Louis Cemetery No. 2, New Orleans.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Birth and death dates inscribed on tombstone
  2. ^ Eric J. Brock (1999). New Orleans. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-0223-5. 
  3. ^ Remini, Robert V. (1999), The Battle of New Orleans.
  4. ^ a b c d e Profile of Nicolas Girod, dated Oct. 7, 2002 at New Orleans Public Library website

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Charles Trudeau
Mayor of New Orleans
October 8, 1812 – November 5, 1812
Succeeded by
LeBreton Dorgenois
Preceded by
LeBreton Dorgenois
Mayor of New Orleans
December 5, 1812 – September 4, 1815
Succeeded by
Augustin de Macarty