Local History: Who Was Bossier?
Most Shreveporters know the namesake of their hometown, Henry Miller Shreve, and how he cleared The Great Raft to open up what would become the Port of Shreveport-Bossier.
But who is the other person in that equation? Who was Bossier? Believe it or not, there is a clue on one of the area's most popular shopping spots, Pierre Bossier Mall.
Pierre Evariste Jean-Baptiste Bossier was born March 22, 1797 in Natchitoches, Louisiana (New France) to François Paul Bossier and the former Catherine Pelagie Lambre. Bossier received a private classical education.
In his Wikipedia article, it states:
Bossier was a cotton and sugar planter on his plantation, Live Oaks, on the Cane River, formerly a segment of the Red River, in Natchitoches Parish. He was also a general in the state militia.
Having entered politics as a Democrat, Bossier was a member of the Louisiana State Senate from 1833 to 1843. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives in the newly established Fourth Congressional District in north Louisiana from March 4, 1843, until his death in office a year later in Washington, D.C.
Here's the real kicker...if you think politics is a crazy game today, read this next part about Pierre Bossier. This comes from the National Park Service Website about Cherokee Plantation:
In the summer of 1839, a political argument between a prominent Whig, General F. Gaiennie, and a Democrat, State Representative General P. E. Bossier, escalated to open incriminations in the local newspaper. To put an end to the feud, Bossier demanded a duel. Gaiennie accepted the offer and chose rifles, considered the most deadly weapon of the time. The duel took place that autumn on the grounds of Cherokee Plantation. Though Gaiennie fired early, Bossier won the duel, shooting his opponent through the heart. According to local legend, political tensions surrounding the duel led to the death of eleven more citizens, including the suicide of General Bossier in 1844.
No talk of gun control in that day and age. Guns WERE the control.
Bossier is buried at the Catholic Cemetery in Natchitoches.