Alexandre Mouton, Governor, U.S. Senator

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About Alexandre Mouton, Governor, U.S. Senator

Alexander Mouton, elected as the first Democratic Governor of Louisiana, led the Constitutional Convention of 1845. The new Constitution directed the legislature to begin a public education system and eliminated property qualifications to vote or hold office. Mouton reduced state expenditures and sold off state property to avoid raising taxes.

Later, in 1861, Mouton chaired the Louisiana Secession Convention and led the overwhelming vote to pass the Ordinance of Secession. During the war, Union troops seized his plantation to use as their headquarters; they burned the sugar mill and released his slaves.

He died in 1885 in Vermilionville, present-day Lafayette, a city founded by his ancestor, Jean Mouton.

Alexandre Mouton (November 19, 1804 - February 12, 1885) was a United States Senator and the 11th Governor of Louisiana.

Early life

He was born in Attakapas district (now Lafayette Parish) into a wealthy plantation owning Acadian family. He pursued classical studies and graduated from Georgetown College. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1825, and commenced practice in Lafayette Parish. He married Zelia Rousseau, the granddaughter of Governor Jacques Dupre, and they had 13 children before her death. In 1829, he married Emma Kitchell Gardner; this marriage had six children.

Political career

From 1827 to 1832 was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, serving as speaker in 1831 - 1832. He was a presidential elector on the Democratic ticket in 1828, 1832, and 1836, and was an unsuccessful candidate for election in 1830 to the Twenty-second Congress. In 1836 he was again a member of the State house of representatives.

Mouton was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Alexander Porter, was reelected to the full term, and served from January 12, 1837, until his resignation on March 1, 1842. While in the Senate he was chairman of the Committee on Agriculture (Twenty-sixth Congress).

From 1843 to 1846, Mouton was Governor of Louisiana. As governor, Mouton reduced expenditures and liquidated state assets to balance the budget and meet bond obligations without raising taxes. He sold state-owned steamboats, equipment and slaves used to remove the Red River Raft in 1834 under Governor Roman. As governor he opposed all expenditures for internal improvements. He leased out state penitentiary labor and equipment. He supported the call for a constitutional convention, removal of property qualifications for suffrage and office holding and the election of all local officials and most judges.

Civil War

He was president of the State secession convention in 1861 and an unsuccessful candidate to the Confederate Senate. Actively involved in railroads, he was president of the Southwestern Railroad Convention.

He was an active supporter of the Confederacy, devoting a large amount of his wealth to the cause. His son Alfred Mouton became a general and died at the Battle of Mansfield. His daughter married Confederate Major General Franklin Gardner, whose older sister became his own second wife.


He died near Vermillionville (now Lafayette) in 1885. He is buried in St. John's Cemetery.

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Alexandre Mouton, Governor, U.S. Senator's Timeline

November 19, 1804
Lafayette, Lafayette Parish, LA, USA
February 18, 1829
Age 24
Opelousas, LA, USA
Age 26
Lafayette, LA, USA
March 21, 1834
Age 29
Lafayette, LA, USA
August 19, 1836
Age 31
Age 39
November 2, 1848
Age 43
June 28, 1851
Age 46
September 13, 1853
Age 48
July 23, 1855
Age 50