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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesLouisiana

Pierre SOULÉ

(1801-1870)
Senate Years of Service:
1847-1847; 1849-1853
Party:
Democrat; Democrat

SOULÉ, Pierre, a Senator from Louisiana; born in Castillon-en-Couserans, near Bordeaux, France, August 31, 1801; attended the Jesuit College at Toulouse and later an academy in Bordeaux; exiled to Navarre at the age of fifteen for anti-Bourbon activity and worked as a shepherd boy in the Pyrennes for a year; pardoned in 1818 and returned to school in Bordeaux; studied law in Paris and practiced; engaged in journalism; imprisoned for publishing revolutionary articles in 1825, but escaped to England; went to Haiti in 1825, and then to the United States; after travelling around the nation, commenced the practice of law in New Orleans, La.; member, State senate 1846; elected as a Democrat in 1846 to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Alexander Barrow and served from January 21 to March 3, 1847; again elected to the United States Senate and served from March 3, 1849, to April 11, 1853, when he resigned; chairman, Committee on Agriculture (Thirty-second Congress); Minister to Spain from 1853 until his resignation in 1855; author of the Ostend Manifesto in 1854, outlining the attitude the United States should take in regard to Cuba; resumed the practice of law in New Orleans, La.; was opposed to secession, but abided by the action of his State; when New Orleans was captured, he was arrested and imprisoned in Fort Lafayette, N.Y., for several months; paroled to Boston and fled to the Bahamas; travelled to Richmond, Va., to aid the Confederacy; moved to Havana, Cuba, but subsequently returned to New Orleans, La., and died there March 26, 1870; interment in St. Louis Cemetery No. 2.

Bibliography

American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Freeman, Arthur. “The Early Career of Pierre Soulé.” Louisiana Historical Quarterly 25 (October 1942): 970-1127; Moore, John Preston. “Pierre Soulé: Southern Expansionist and Promoter.” Journal of Southern History 21 (May 1955): 203-23.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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