New Orleans Public Library
|Administrations of the Mayors of New Orleans|
Jean Etienne de Bore (1740-1820)
Jean Etienne de Bore, the pioneer sugar manufacturer of Louisiana, was born at Kaskaskia, in the Illinois Territory of Louisiana, December 27, 1740, a descendant of an old Norman family; his father was Louis de Bore and his mother Therese Celeste Carriere de Mont Brun. His grandfather, Robert de Bore, was one of the councilors of Louis XIV. As was the custom in the colony, young Bore was sent to France to be educated, upon leaving school he became one of the King's Mousquetaires or guradsmen. No one could be a Mousquetaire who was not a member of nobility.|
In 1768 he returned to Louisiana. Finding no inducement to stay in the colony, which was no longer French, but Spanish, he returned to France in 1769 and was made a Captain of Calvalry.
On September 20, 1771, in Paris, France, he married Marie Marguerite, a daughter of D'Estrehan des Tours, a nobleman who for many years was royal treasurer of Louisiana under the French domination. In 1776 Etienne de Bore sailed for America and came to Louisiana with his wife, who possessed much property through inheritance from her father. He settled on a plantation, which is now Audubon Park, about 6 miles above the City of New Orleans, where he devoted his time to the culture of indigo. This not being renumerative, in 1794, he turned his attention to the growing of sugar cane. In 1795 de Bore successfully granulated cane juice, over which there was great rejoicing, as it had previously been attempted without success, and sold his first supply of sugar for $12,000, an event which revolutionized the agriculture of the Delta.
Etienne de Bore was the first man selected by Governor Claiborne to head our City Government, being the first Mayor of New Orleans under the Laussat regime. At this time he was fifty years of age. He served from 1803 to 1804; he resigned from office May 26, 1804, on the ground that his private affairs needed his attention. De Bore had on several occasions shown himself ill-disposed towards the Americans and gave Claiborne very little cooperation in bringing about and maintaining that tranquility to which Claiborne was bending every effort.
The resignation of the first Mayor of New Orleans under American Administration may be scorned by those who place profit and money above all things, but will be admired by those who believe in devotion to principle and who appreciate his genuine sentiments.
It would not be amiss to mention that, while Etienne de Bore was the first to granulate sugar, Valcour Aime, the princely planter and the philanthropist of St. James Parish, who owned the most magnificent sugar plantation of his time in Louisiana, was the first sugar refiner of the State. His plantation known as "Le Petit Versailles de la Louisiane," was famous for its hospitality, and here he welcomed friends and strangers continually. Valcour Aime was the benefactor of Jefferson College, having donated it to the Marist Fathers, a teaching order of the Catholic Church which was founded in the year 1816 at Lyons, France, and which, after many years of useful service, has ceased to exist.
During de Bore's administration in 1804, the Bank of Louisiana was founded through the efforts of Governor Claiborne - a very urgent need because prior to that time trade was conducted with Spanish Paper Money, called "Liberanza" and silver coins from Mexico.
It is not a well known fact that the home of Paul Morphy, famous chess player, was the site of the Bank of Louisiana, and that this historic landmark is today the epicurean rendezvous, known as the Patio Royal.
This type of architecture became popular after 1765. Bricks were used in construction and the buildings consisted of one or two stories with great arched gateways leading into the carriage entrance, or "Porte cochere," which was paved with flagstones and opened at the other end upon cool and beautiful gardens. At that period New Orleans had a population of about 10,000, the majority of the white inhabitants being Creoles.
Etienne de Bore lived twenty-four years after his great achievement and died on his plantation February 1, 1820 at the age of nearly eight years; he is buried in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.
He left $100,000 to each of his three daughters who had married B. F. Le Breton, Pierre Foucher and Mr. Gayarre, respectively, the latter being the father of the great historian, Charles Gayarre, of Louisiana.
|Members of the Bore Administration|
November 30, 1803-May 26, 1804
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