The sieur de 'Sauvolle' (sometimes spelled 'Sauvole'), to give him the only name known with certainty to be his, was the first governor of the French territory of Louisiana. He accompanied the brothers Iberville and Bienville on their first voyage to Louisiana in 1699, and their explorations inland; on May 2 he was appointed commander of the new Fort Maurepas; in January 1700 he became the territory's governor. His journal is one of the earliest sources for the history of the region. He died suddenly, of fever or of sudden cardiac arrest, on August 21, 1701.
Despite the survival of his journal, almost nothing is known about him: neither his ancestry nor the year of his birth, nor even much of his name. Statements by various historians that his first name was Antoine, or alternately François-Marie; that he was sieur de la Villantry; and that he was a brother of Iberville and Bienville, are mere assertions unsupported by the sources.