Louis-Antoine de Bougainville | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Louis-Antoine de Bougainville

Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, Comte de Bougainville, soldier, sailor (born 12 November 1729 in Paris, France; died 20 August 1811).

Louis-Antoine Comte de Bougainville

After studying law and mathematics, Louis-Antoine de Bougainville published Traité de calcul intégral (1754–56) and was elected to the Royal Society (London). Having entered the military in 1750, he was posted to Quebec in 1756 as aide-de-camp to Montcalm. In 1758, he wrote a remarkable document recommending reforms that would free New France from the restrictions of mercantilism.

Bougainville was involved in the campaigns of the Seven Years' War leading up to the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Although he failed to bring reinforcements in time to alter the outcome, some considered Bougainville one of Montcalm's abler officers.

In 1763, he entered the French navy and proceeded to found a short-lived colony composed mostly of Acadians on the Falkland Islands. His scientific expeditions in 1766–69 were written up in Voyage autour du monde in 1771 (translated as A Voyage Round the World in 1772). The tropical vine "bougainvillea" was also named after him. He saw action in the French navy during the American Revolution. (See also American Revolution – Invasion of Canada.) Despite his royalist sympathies, he survived the subsequent French Revolution and received the patronage of Napoleon.

Donate to The Canadian Encyclopedia this Giving Tuesday!

A donation to The Canadian Encyclopedia today will have an even greater impact due to a generous matching gift from an anonymous donor. Starting November 28 until December 5, 2023, all donations will be matched up to $10,000! All donations above $3 will receive a tax receipt. Thank you for your support of The Canadian Encyclopedia, a project of Historica Canada.