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New Orleans, Mr. Soulé, and ask him, “Sir, suppose you had been placed at the head of an army to meet in deadly combat your own countrymen, could you, would you, have done so ?' Sir, I tell you that you have inflicted upon him unjust provocation, and give you to distinctly understand that I take up the glove in his behalf, and, sir, I trust that you will not complain of my not being a native of the country, since I descend from those ancient warriors who conquered the country, and here represent six generations of Louisianians. Fortunately for me, all your fine quotations are lost upon me. I have never read any of those works which are supposed to make a logical man. But, Mr. President, I am one of those who, looking at things as they are, feel myself able of meeting the emergency of the hour, and of according my political acts to the political needs of my country. But, sir, I ask you by what right do you expect to disfranchise in 1845 those who have rights guaranteed them in 1812. Sir, I tell you, I, Bernard Marigny, tell you that you are, after all, nothing but the servant of the people, nothing more, nothing less; presume upon your authority, and they will soon bring you to a just appreciation of their power over you, and it would not at all surprise me if they were to obstinately persist at the very next election in selecting a Governor from the very men whom you are now so anxious to exclude. The laws of the country recognize no distinction between one class of citizens and another. Is there any principle of free government, any principle of republicanism, to sanction such a pretension? They say that a naturalized citizen is not to be entrusted with the powers we confer upon our Governor. What, sir, is the power of that Governor, compared with the power we are administering now? (De Bow's Review, 1846.)
Of him we have the following pen picture:
Louisiana Portraits-Bernard de Marigny: “Mr. Marigny is one of the largest property holders in Louisiana. He owns about one-third of New Orleans, which bears his name. The Third Municipality is called Faubourg Marigny. Beside being the owner of that part of the town which he has reclaimed from the marshes, Mr. Marigny has founded the charming colony of Mandeville, across Lake Pontchartrain. Mr. Marigny's father had the honor of receiving, in 1796, at his home, the Duke of Orleans.”
Settlements with his children and depreciation in real estate values in later years greatly diminished his fortune. In course of time “Fontainebleau” was sold to Mr. Pierre Poutz, one of the foremost cotton buyers at the time, and from its mills came the timber used in the construction of our United States Custom House This estate later became the property of our esteemed citizen, Mr. William Nott, president of the Citizens' Bank, who sold it lately to a timber corporation for a handsome consideration.
Mr. Bernard de Marigny died in New Orleans in 1868, aged eighty-three. We cull from the Paris papers of the time the following obituary:
“Advices from the United States announce the death in New Orleans of Mr. Bernard Xavier de Marigny de Mandeville, one of the oldest residents of French origin in Louisiana. Mr. de Marigny had inherited from his famliy an immense fortune, which he dispersed during a long life of liberality and reckless munificence. He figured at one time at the court of Louis Philippe, and this inroad into the domain of politics had cost him some of his choicest estates. On his return to New Orleans he did not, however, cease to be an example of chivalric devotion. He leaves the memory of having been an independent character, bent on doing right, and well worthy of the esteem of all those who knew him well. He died suddenly whilst promenading in Royal street. He was eightythree years old.”
Says another chronicler:
“The marble slab over the remains of the Counts de Marigny de Mandeville, in the St. Louis Cathedral, shows their coat of arms and gives their epitaph in French. One of these, Bernard de Marigny, was a princely planter in Louisiana. He received and aided the exiled Duke of Orleans, Louis Philippe. After many years de Marigny became poor, but the King of former years, though he knew of his benefactor's distress, made no effort to assist him. He never retrieved his fallen fortunes. He died poor, it is said, but without a stain upon his proud escutcheon. Many still living in New Orleans knew and revered this illustrious nobleman.”
Mr. Bernard de Marigny was twice married. On May 28th, 1804, he married Miss Mary Ann Jones, daughter of Evan Jones and of Marie Verret.
Mary Ann Jones died in Philadelphia June 4th, 1808, and her body was transferred to New Orleans August 4th, 1808. She was buried in a new sepulchre, built by her husband in a corner of the garden on his plantation, extra muros of New Orleans, the lot and tomb having been previously blessed by the Reverend Father Antonio de Sedella. Deceased appeared to be twenty-five or twenty-six years old. By this union were born two children:
1. Prosper François de Marigny, born March 17th, 1807, who died in Natchez October 23, 1836. He married his cousin, Marie Celeste d’Estrehan. (His widow remarried Mr. Alexander Grailhe, a barrister of more than local fame.)
Prosper François de Marigny left two children:
Gustave Philippe, born July 20, 1827, married to Miss Elmina Bienvenu, and Marie Odile, born July 16, 1828, married to Alphonse Miltenberger.
2. Gustave Adolphe, born June 15th, 1808; killed in duel October 26th, 1830; no issue.
About 1809 or 1810 Bernard de Marigny was remarried to Anna Morales, daughter of Don Ventura Morales, former Spanish Intendant and Royal Contador of the Colony in Louisiana, and of Catherine Guesnon, widow of Don Manuel Joseph Ramos.
By this union he had five children:
1. Antoine James, born November 21st, 1811, died June 3rd, 1890, aged eighty years. He had married Miss Sophronie Claiborne, daughter of Charles Cole Claiborne, first American Governor of Louisiana. She died February 19th, 1890. Three children were born to them, who died without issue:
Marie Felicité, born October 15th, 1845, died June 1st, 1849.
Felicité Medora, born March 30th, 1849, died December 6th, 1850.
James Mandeville, died February 15th, 1884, aged thirtyfour years.
2. Rosa de Marigny, born September 9th, 1813; married to Mr. de Sentmanat of Mexican fame. They had three daughters; one married Nelvil Soulé, son of Pierre Soulé, the other married Allain Eustis, descendants living in Europe, and the third married Philippe Villeré, no issue. Rosa de Marigny remarried in 1832 J. A. Enould de Livaudais; no issue by this marriage.
3. Angela de Marigny, born January 19, 1817; married Mr. F. Peschier, Swiss consul in New Orleans. They had several children, one of whom, the daughter, married our most esteemed and prominent fellow citizen, the late Leon Joubert de Villemarest.
4. Armand de Marigny.
5. Mathilde de Marigny, born January 21st, 1820; married Albin Michel de Grilleaud, son of the French consul of that name in Louisiana. Descendants living in Europe.
It is almost superfluous to add that these descendants of Mr. de Marigny still enjoy the highest social pre-eminence, both here and in Europe.
By the death of Bernard Prosper de Marigny, great-grandson of Bernard de Marigny and Mary Jones, his first wife, in Mandeville, on Monday, August 20th, 1910, the name of Marigny becomes extinct in Louisiana, where it held sway for over 200 years.
J. W. CRUZAT.
DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO IN THIS ARTICLE,
LETTERS PATENT. Du Lundy, cinquiesme Octobre, 1671, de relvés. Le conseilassemblé ou présidait Me. Daniel de Reny, etc., auquel assistoient Me. Jean Falon, etc. Me. François Laval, etc., Messieurs de Tilly, d'Amours, Tesserie, Dupont, et de Mouchy; le substitut présent:
Veu par le Conseil, les lettres patentes du Roy données à Paris, au mois de Decembre, 1654, signées Louis et sur le reply, Par le Roy, Phelipeau, et scellées du grand sceau de cire verte, par lesquelles, pour les causes et considerations y contenues, sa dicte Majesté aurait annobly et decoré du titre de noblesse, Pierre Philippe, Sieur de Marigny, ensemble ses enfans, posterité et lignée, naiz et à naistre, comme il est plus amplement porté par les dictes lettres, addressées à la Cour des Aydes, et Chambre des Comptes à Rouen, et à tous Bailiffs, Seneschaux, leurs lieutenants et autres Justiciers et officiers, chacun comme il appartiendra, pour y estre registrées sur lequel reply est l'acte d'enregistrement à la dicte cour des aydes du vingt sept janvr. 1656, Signé Becu, avec paraphe.
Autres lettres patentes données à St. Germain en Laye, le seize Mars dernier, signées Louis et sur le reply, par le Roy,