Jean Baptiste d'Estrehan

Jean-Baptiste d'Estrehan de Beaupré (surname often written as Destrehan; died 26 February 1765, New Orleans, Louisiana)[1] was a high-ranking French official in colonial Louisiana and the founder of the Destrehan family there. A native of France, he was appointed Royal Treasurer of Louisiana early in the colony's history.[2] He arrived in New Orleans in 1722, the year it was designated as the capital of Louisiana (New France).


D'Estrehan is credited with the completion of the Harvey Canal on the west bank of the Mississippi River in 1739, which connected the river with Barataria Bay to the south and thus to the Gulf of Mexico.[1] The canal work took many years. He cultivated indigo as a commodity crop on his west bank plantation. In 1746, d'Estrehan was appointed as Comptroller of the colony. He held both this position and the treasurer position until his death in 1765.[1]

D'Estrehan married Jeanne Catherine de Gauvret (daughter of Jean-Baptiste de Gauvret, an officer of colonial troops, and Jeanne Catherine Pierre). They had six children together,[2] the most notable of whom was Jean Noel Destréhan, after whom the town of Destrehan was named. Another son, Jean Baptiste Honoré d'Estrehan, was the first husband of Marie Felicité de St. Maxent. After his death, she married Bernardo de Gálvez, a Spanish colonial governor during the decades of Spanish rule in the late 18th century. D'Estrehan's daughter, Marie Marguerite, married Étienne de Boré, who was appointed as the first mayor of New Orleans after the United States made the Louisiana Purchase. Daughter Jeanne Marie d'Estrehan, married Pierre Philippe de Marigny, the son of Antoine Philippe de Marigny, a French Creole geographer and explorer. She was the mother of Bernard de Marigny.[3]

In his role as a colonial official, d'Estrehan clashed with the colonial governor Kerlerec, who described him as being "too rich and dangerous."[4] Kerlerec ordered d'Estrehan to be returned to France, along with the Commissary-Commissioner Vincent de Rochemore and Antoine Philippe de Marigny, with whom the governor was in conflict.[4] In France d'Estrehan and the other men were briefly held in the Bastille. They convinced the colonial administration of their view, and Kerlerec was recalled and exiled from Paris for a year. He remained in France. D'Estrehan returned to New Orleans, where he lived for the remainder of his life.

See also


  1. Conrad, Glenn R., ed. (1988). A Dictionary of Louisiana biography. New Orleans, La.: Louisiana Historical Association. ISBN 978-0-940984-37-0. Archived from the original on 25 September 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  2. Stanley C. Arthur; Stanley Clisby Arthur; George Campbell Huchet de Kernion (1 June 2009). Old Families of Louisiana. Genealogical Publishing Com. p. 414. ISBN 978-0-8063-4688-5.
  3. Louisiana Historical Society Publications of the Louisiana Historical Society Vol. 5, 1911, p. 44
  4. King, Grace Elizabeth. Creole Families of New Orleans, pg. 16
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