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Blakeview: Jean Etienne de Bore

A brief history of New Orleans' first mayor

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As New Orleans prepares to elect its next mayor, we remember the city's first mayor, Jean Etienne de Bore. Born in 1740 in Kaskaskia, Illinois, de Bore was sent to France for his early education. In 1771, de Bore married Marie Marguerite d'Estrehan, a member of the Destrehan family, whose father had been royal treasurer of Louisiana under French rule. De Bore's wife inherited a large amount of property, and the couple settled in New Orleans. De Bore took over a large indigo plantation on land near what now is Audubon Park. He spent two decades cultivating indigo before entering the sugar trade. He became the first person to plant and process sugar on a large scale, beginning in 1773, and perfected a method to granulate it, earning him the reputation as a father of the commercial sugar industry. In 1803, Gov. William C.C. Claiborne selected de Bore as the first mayor of New Orleans following the Louisiana Purchase. De Bore served only a year before resigning. He died in 1820 and is buried in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.

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