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Jean Noel Destréhan, Louisiana State Museum

Jean Noel Destréhan (1754 – October 8, 1823) was a Creole politician in Louisiana and one-time owner of Destréhan Plantation, one of Louisiana's most famous ante-bellum historical landmarks. The city of Destrehan, Louisiana is named after him.

Destréhan was born in New Orleans to Jean-Baptiste Destréhan de Beaupre and Jeanne Catherine Gauvret and was educated in France. He married Marie Claudine Elenore Robin de Logny in 1786 and bought Destréhan Plantation in 1792. He served as president of the Louisiana Territory legislative council in 1806 and 1811. He was appointed to the United States Senate in 1812 (at the time, senators were chosen by state legislatures), but resigned before he took his seat. However, before he resigned, he took advantage of his position and had multiple affairs which resulted in illegitimate children that were biracial and white. He returned to planting and died in 1823. His illegitimate and legitimate children had a difficult time dividing the estate.

Destréhan pioneered new methods of slave discipline on his sugar plantations, becoming one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the territory through the use of forced labor. His slaves rebelled against this brutal regime, participating in the 1811 German Coast Uprising, the largest slave revolt in American history.

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United States Senate
Preceded by
None
United States Senator (Class 2) from Louisiana
1812
Served alongside: Allan B. Magruder
Succeeded by
Thomas Posey
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