Pierre Laclède

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Pierre Laclede
Pierre Laclede Liguest.jpg
Born (1729-11-22)22 November 1729
Bedous, Béarn, France
Died 20 June 1778(1778-06-20) (aged 48)
Near the mouth of the Arkansas River

Pierre Laclède Liguest or Pierre Laclède (22 November 1729 – 20 June 1778) was a French fur trader who, with his young assistant and stepson Auguste Chouteau, founded St. Louis in 1764, in what was then Spanish Upper Louisiana, in present-day Missouri.


Laclède was born on 22 November 1729 in Bedous, Béarn, France.

Laclède was sponsored by the New Orleans merchant Gilbert Antoine de Saint-Maxent in 1763 to construct a trading post near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Laclede and Chouteau set out from New Orleans in August, arriving at the confluence in December. The confluence area was too marshy to build a town, so they selected a site 18 miles (29 km) downriver. Legend has it that St. Louis was founded on Saint Valentine's Day of 1764.

Laclède returned to St. Louis in April 1764 with a design for the town, where Chouteau was overseeing clearing of the land. He was followed soon after by his common-law wife, Marie-Therese Bourgeois Chouteau (Madame Chouteau), who had a teen-aged son, René Auguste Chouteau, Jr.

Laclède had four children with Madame Chouteau: Jean Pierre (1758), Marie Pelagie (1760), Marie Louise (1762), and Victoire (1764) Chouteau. Because divorce was prohibited by the Roman Catholic Church and by law in France, these children were baptized as the children of Madame Chouteau's legal husband, René Auguste Chouteau (père). René Chouteau had returned to France, after having abused and abandoned Madame Chouteau. Laclede and his descendants were influential in the St. Louis and regional economy and politics for many years. Auguste and Jean-Pierre Chouteau were partners in fur trading, and had a monopoly for several years with the Osage Native Americans up the Missouri River.

The St. Louis downtown riverfront area is named Laclede's Landing in his honor. He is also the namesake of Laclede County, Missouri,[1] Laclede, Missouri, the Pierre Laclede Honors College at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, and the Pierre Laclede Elementary School in St. Louis. Laclede is also recognized with a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. [2]

See also


  1. Eaton, David Wolfe (1916). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. p. 182.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. St. Louis Walk of Fame. "St. Louis Walk of Fame Inductees". stlouiswalkoffame.org. Retrieved 25 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links