A Civil War Biography

Pierre Soule

Soule was born 31 August 1801 Castillon-en-Couserans near Bordeaux, France. He attended the Jesuit College at Toulouse, France then an academy in Bordeaux. He was exiled to Navarre, Spain at the age of 15 for anti-Bourbon activity and worked as a shepherd boy in the Pyrenees for a year. After he was pardoned in 1818 he returned to school in Bordeaux the studied law in Paris. He set up a practice and also became a journalist. He was imprisoned for publishing revolutionary articles in 1825 but escaped to England. He then went to Haiti and then to the United States. After traveling around the US Soule settled in New Orleans, Louisiana and established a law practice. He was elected to the state senate in 1846 and then to the US Senate to fill the vacancy created by the death of Alexander Barrow. Soule served in the Senate from 21 January 1847 until the term expired on 3 March 1847. Soule was elected US Senator from Louisiana and served from 3 March 1849 until he resigned on 11 April 1853. He was Minister to Spain from 1853 until he resigned in 1855 during which period he authored the Ostend Manifesto, published in 1854 outlining the attitude the US would take in regard to Cuba. He returned to New Orleans and resumed his law practice.

Although Soule opposed secession he followed his adopted state into the Confederacy. When New Orleans was captured Soule was was arrested and imprisoned in Fort Lafayette, New York for several months. He was paroled to Boston then fled to the Bahamas. He made his way to Richmond, Virginia and served in a minor role in the Confederate government from 1863 until 1864. He served as an aide to PGT Beauregard during the siege of Charleston, South Carolina.

Following the war Soule moved to Havana, Cuba. He eventually returned to New Orleans and resumed his law practice. He died there on 26 March 1870.

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