« PreviousContinue »
In 1788 he was called to Versailles to take part in the Second Assembly of the leading notables of the kingdom. The ease with which he dispatched his duties, and the wisdom and sagacity displayed by him, made him a noticeable figure in the Assembly.
Charged by his office of magistrate with the duty of suppressing the popular riots at Toulouse, he was one of the first exposed to the abuses of the Revolution.
At his demand the Parliament of Toulouse refused to transcribe the decrees of the National Assembly, relative to the suppression of the courts of justice throughout the kingdom and the organization of a new judicial order, and he entered before the King and the people a solemn protest against the injuries done to society by the revolutionary innovations. The answer of the National Assembly to this was a decree denouncing the action of the Toulouse Parliament, and stigmatizing the protest of its attorney as the tocsin of rebellion, and commanding that the members who had taken a part in it be immediately arrested and brought before a tribunal, to be tried for the crime of rebellion. Fiftythree members of this Parliament died upon the scaffold, but Resseguier was so fortunate as to escape to the Spanish frontier and thence to England.
Returning to France, he concealed himself for a number of years in Paris, until the re-establishment of peace restored him to liberty. He died of a sudden and violent illness, Aug. 28, 1801, as he was about starting to meet his family in Languedoc.
Bernard Marie Jules de Resseguier (Count), son of the preceding, was born in Toulouse, Jan. 28, 1788. rents having fled from France, he passed several months with his grandmother (wife of the President de Resseguier) in prison, during the Terror, but upon the death of Robespierre regained his liberty. Later he was placed in the military school of Fontainebleau, and in 1806 had completed his studies and immediately entered into service as an officer of cavalry in the campaigns of Spain and Poland. His health having greatly suffered in consequence of the exposure and hardships of a military life, he left the army and returned to his native land, where, in 1811, he married Christine Pauline Charlotte de Mac-Mahon, and continued to reside in Languedoc, devoting himself to poetic composition. His first literary essays opened for him the doors of the Academy of the Jeux Floraux in 1818, and in 1822 he removed
to Paris and easily found his place in the foremost ranks of literature. He founded, with others (among them Victor Hugo), in 1823, The French Muse, a periodical much in favor in its day, and which took a large share in the contest between the Classical and Romantic schools of literature. Jules de Rességuier inclined toward the Romantic, but without sharing its exaggerations. He was kept from that by two qualities, which he possessed in the highest degree: good taste and good sense. Although imagination was the leading quality of his mind, it had been cultivated in a more serious vein, and his tastes as much as his poetic opinions inclined him to lend his help to the government of the Restoration; he entered the State's Council and was nominated Chevalier of the Legion of Honor at the end of the year 1823, and in his work won high praise and esteem. The essential stimulant to high political career, ambition, was absolutely wanting in Jules de Resseguier, and without ceasing to be faithful to the work of the State's Council, he always kept his preference for a literary life. In 1827 he published a volume of selected pieces under the title of Poetic Pictures, and its success was suffi. cient to definitely mark his literary vocation.
The Revolution of 1830 separated him entirely from politics, and he refused without hesitation the oath of allegiance which the new power asked of him. His leisure was of profit to literature, and secured to the several papers which were founded at that time, a great number of poems and short works of prose fiction, in which the poetic inspiration appeared no less than in the former.
But in the brilliant life of Paris he never forgot his native province, and in 1840 he returned to Toulouse and “Sauveterre,” the elegant home which he had built in view of the Pyrenees. The native soil and the domestic hearth became then his habitual themes. His writings, always harmonious and noble, became not
. more religious, for they had always been so, but more pious in all the sweet acceptations of that word, and also more touching.
His rare qualities were rewarded by a rare domestic happiness, and it was given him to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of his wedding. He reached the end of his career, strong of mind and of heart. A Christian eloquence which surprised even those who loved and admired him inspired his last days. He met death with serenity and found new accents of tenderness to bless his family gathered around him. He passed away on the 7th of September, 1862, in the 75th year of his age.
He belonged to a family where quickness of wit was hereditary; his sallies were always original and unexpected, but ever within the confines of good breeding.
Those whom he had once attracted never withdrew; as a friend he was always delightful and reliable, and his name will remain the accomplished type of the alliance of the best traditions of the old society with the most brilliant qualities of the new.
Albert de Resseguier (Count), son of the preceding, was born in Toulouse in April, 1816. He completed his studies at the German University, and was the author of a number of published works. He represented the Lower Pyrenees in the Legislative Assembly, and regularly voted with the monarchial and parliamentary majority. He proposed the reduction of the salaries of representatives; the modification of the forest laws; and moved the setting at liberty of Abd-el-Kader. He was a member of the permanent Algerian Commission, and caused to be adopted by the Assembly several propositions relative to this colony. He made a Report upon the regulation of the Laws of Petition, etc., etc.
On the 2d of December, 1851, he was a member of the reunion of the Governors of the Tenth District; signed the decree of the fall of the President of the Republic, and caused his imprisonment at Mont Valerien. He was a member of the municipal council of Pau, and of the general council of the Lower Pyrenees.
NOTE. - The above accounts were chiefly derived from the following works: Biographie Universelle, Michaud; Dictionnaire des Contemporains, G. Vapereau; Littérature Française Contemporaine; and Moniteur des Dates. Although search has been made through many encyclopedic volumes relating to vari. ous topics, and through a number of books of heraldry, nothing further con. cerning this name has been found,
THE RESSEGUIE FAMILY.
A star (*) prefixed to a name signifies that the person's number and family occur in the succeeding generation, the number being in the center of the line directly over the family record.
I. Alexander Resseguie was a settler in Norwalk, Conn., in 1709. Tradition has it that he was the younger son of one Alexandre Resseguie, a Huguenot refugee from France, who brought with him from the mother country a small hair-covered trunk, studded with iron nails, containing all of the family wealth he was able to secure, consisting largely of title deeds to property in France. Hoping to some day regain his abandoned possessions, he educated his eldest son to the profession of the law, intending when the time was ripe, he should return to France and establish a claim to the family estates. This hope was destined never to be realized, for the son died just previous to the time of his intended departure on this mission, and the father, disheartened, abandoned the undertaking; the trunk* and papers passed into the possession of the younger son, and at a subsequent period the latter were, the most of them, destroyed by fire.
Just how much of fact underlies this tradition we know not. It is the opinion of the compiler that the family fled to England, before coming to this country, and that one Alexandre de Ressiguier, from Trescléoux, in Dauphiny, who was known as a silk manufacturer in London, in 1696, was the father of Alexander of Norwalk. It is probable that an earlier residence
* This trunk is now in the possession of Col. George E. Gray of San Francisco. It is eleven and one-half inches long, seven inches wide, and four inches high; the top oval. The wood is worm-eaten ; very little hair remains upon the leather, and the nails with which it is studded are of hammered iron. The papers contained in the trunk were nearly all destroyed by fire, by the wife of Timothy Resseguie (14), during a fit of temporary insanity.
of the family in America would have been a matter of record, but no trace of the name of Resseguie (save one *) has been found prior to the appearance of Alexander in Norwalk, in 1709.
Thus we are compelled to record him as the head of the family, and the ancestor of the American Resseguies. On the first day of April, 1709, he purchased a tract of land of Samuel St. John, † and from this time for many years, he was interested in
*“Sigourney and his associates were accompanied on their return to Oxford (in 1697) by a French minister, lately arrived from England. This was Jacques Laborie, a native of Cardaillac, in the province of Guyenne, who had been officiating for several years in certain of the French churches in London. Laborie had ingratiated himself with Lord Bellomont, the new governor, who procured for him a yearly stipend of thirty pounds out of the Corporation money, together with a commission to labor among the Indians near New Oxford. He brought with him his wife Jeanne de Resseguier, and his little daughter Susanne. After ministering for some time to the French colony in New Oxford, Mass., and laboring as a missionary among the savages in the vicinity, he went to New York and took charge of the French church in that city, as Peiret's successor, for two years, Oct. 15, 1704, to Aug. 25, 1706. After this he engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery, and as early as the year 1716 settled in Fairfield County, Conn., as a physician, occasionally assisting the Church of England missionary.” — The Huguenot Emigration to America, by C. W. Baird. It is possible that Jeanne de Resseguier was a relative of Alexander, perhaps a sister, and that her emigration to this country was the bond that drew him hither. The residence of both in Fairfield County, if not accountable for in this way, was a rather singular coincidence.
t Copy of deed. “ To all people to whom these presents shall come, Greeting. Know ye that I, Samuel St. John of ye town of Norwalk in ye county of Fairfield, within his majesties Colony of Connecticut, in New England. For and in consideration of ye sum of six pounds current provision pay of said Colony to me in hand before the Ensealing hereof well and truly paid by Alexander Resseguie of ye aforesaid Town and County, the Receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge and myself therewith fully satisfied and contented, Have given, granted, bargained, sold, and by these presents do trooly, fully and absolutely give, grant, bargain, sell, aliene, convey and confirm unto him ye said Alexander Resseguie, his heirs and assigns forever, a certain piece of Land lying within the Township of Norwalk aforesaid, near unto and bearing South West from ye Land called ye Heth. Containing by Estimation, Five Acres and three Roods, be it more or less. Bounded in ye Southwest by ye Land of David Tuttle, North West by ye said St. Johns Land, North East and South East by Common Land. To Have and to Hold, said granted and bargained premises with all the appurtenances, priviledges and comodities to ye same belonging or in anywise appertaining to him the Said Alexander Resseguie, his heirs and assigns forever. To his and their only proper use, comfitt and behoof forever, And that the said Alexander Resseguie, his heirs and assigns shall and may from time to time and at all times forever hereafter by