Charles Etienne Arthur Gayarre - Encyclopedia




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CHARLES ETIENNE ARTHUR GAYARRE (1805-1895), American historian, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on the 9th of January 1805. After studying at the College d'Orleans he began, in 1826, to study law in Philadelphia, and three years later was admitted to the bar. In 1830 he was elected a member of the House of Representatives of Louisiana, in 1831 was appointed deputy attorney-general of his state, in 1833 became presiding judge of the city court of New Orleans, and in 1834 was elected as a Jackson Democrat to the United States Senate. On account of ill-health, however, he immediately resigned without taking his seat, and for the next eight years travelled in Europe and collected historical material from the French and the Spanish archives. In 1844-1845 and in 1856-1857 he was again a member of the state House of Representatives, and from 1845 to 1853 was secretary of state of Louisiana. He supported the Southern Confederacy during the Civil War, in which he lost a large fortune, and after its close lived chiefly by his pen. He died in New Orleans on the 11th of February 1895. He is best known as the historian of Louisiana. He wrote Histoire de la Louisiane (1847); Romance of the History of Louisiana (1848); Louisiana: its Colonial History and Romance (1851), reprinted in A History of Louisiana; History of Louisiana: the Spanish Domination (1854); Philip H. of Spain (1866); and A History of Louisiana (4 vols., 1866), the last being a republication and continuation of his earlier works in this field, the whole comprehending the history of Louisiana from its earliest discovery to 1861. He wrote also several dramas and romances, the best of the latter being Fernando de Lemos (1872).

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