Pierre Evariste Jean-Baptiste Bossier
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Louisiana's 4th district
March 4, 1843 – April 24, 1844
|Preceded by||District established|
|Succeeded by||Isaac Edward Morse|
|Louisiana State Senator from Natchitoches Parish|
1833 – 1843
|Born||March 22, 1797|
Louisiana (New Spain)
|Died||April 24, 1844 (aged 47)|
|Resting place||Catholic Cemetery|
|Parents||François Paul Bossier|
Catherine Pelagie Lambre
Pierre Evariste Jean-Baptiste Bossier (pronounced Boh Zhay) (March 22, 1797 – April 24, 1844) was a planter, soldier and politician born in Natchitoches, Louisiana. He is the namesake of Bossier Parish (pronounced BO zhure), located east of the Red River across from Shreveport in northwestern Louisiana. Bossier City and the Pierre Bossier Mall shopping center in Bossier City are among the other places named for him.
Early life and education
Born in Natchitoches, Louisiana, in 1797, while it was still a colony, Pierre Evariste Jean-Baptiste Bossier was the son of the planter François Paul Bossier and the former Catherine Pélagie Lambre. An ethnic French Catholic Creole, he was privately educated by a tutor in the classics.
Bossier was a planter like his father and cultivated cotton and sugar as commodity crops on his plantation, Live Oaks, on the Cane River, depending on the labor of large gangs of enslaved African Americans. This waterway was formerly a segment of the Red River, in Natchitoches Parish. Like other native-born creoles of the planter elite, Bossier served in the state militia, gaining the rank of general.
He entered politics as a Democrat. Bossier was elected as a member of the Louisiana State Senate in 1832, defeating Whig Louis Gustave De Russy. Of French descent, De Russy (also known as Lewis DeRussy, in an anglicized form of his name) was born and grew up in New York City, where his father had taken the family after fleeing from the violence on Saint-Domingue during the Haitian Revolution. Bossier served from 1833 to 1843.
In the summer of 1839, a political argument between a prominent Whig, General F. Gaiennie, and State Senator General P. E. Bossier, a Democrat, escalated to recriminations published in the local newspaper. Gaiennie, also a general in the state militia, had denounced Bossier as a coward. Bossier demanded a duel and Gaiennie accepted, choosing rifles as the most deadly weapon available. The duel occurred the following autumn on the grounds of Cherokee Plantation, which was owned by Emile Sompayrac in Natchitoches Parish. Gaiennie fired first and missed, Bossier hit Gaiennie in the heart, killing him instantly. Another eleven men died in the aftermath, as animosities related to the duel continued to play out.
Bossier was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the newly established Louisiana's 4th congressional district, serving from March 4, 1843, until his death in office a year later on April 24, 1844 in Washington, D.C. before his first term had ended. He committed suicide.
Bossier's remains are interred at the Catholic Cemetery in Natchitoches.
Legacy and honors
Bossier City, Bossier Parish, and Pierre Bossier Mall in Bossier City, and Bossier Street in Natchitoches, are all named in his honor.
- Louisiana State Senate records on line begin with the year 1880.
- Steven M. Mayeux, Earthen Walls, Iron Men: Fort DeRussy, Louisiana, and the Defense of Red River, University of Tennessee Press, 2007, Appendix A, pp. 275-276
- Louis Raphael Nardini, Jr., My Historic Natchitoches, Louisiana and Its Environment, (Natchitoches, LA: Nardini Publishing, 1963), p. 167
- "Pierre Bossier", A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. 1 (1988), p. 92
- Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- David Colvin, "Bossier's Forgotten Man," Shreveport Times, October 24, 1965
- United States Congress. "Pierre Bossier (id: B000651)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- BOSSIER, Pierre Evariste Jean-Baptiste in Louisiana Historical Association's Dictionary of Louisiana Biography (Scroll down.)
- Pierre Bossier at Find a Grave; Louisiana interment
- Pierre Bossier at Find a Grave; D.C. cenotaph for "The Honourable Peter E. Bossier"
|U.S. House of Representatives|
|New district|| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 4th congressional district
1843 – 1844
Isaac Edward Morse