JACQUES P. VILLERE was born in St. John’s Parish, Louisiana on April 28, 1760. His education was attained in France at the expense of Louis XVI. Villere served in the French Army, as first lieutenant of artillery, stationed in Saint Domingue. After returning to his native state, he served as a major general in the territorial militia and fought in the Battle of New Orleans. Villere entered politics in 1812, serving as a member of the first State Constitutional Convention. He was elected governor by a popular vote on July 1, 1816, and then confirmed by the legislature. This was the election procedure according to the 1812 State Constitution. Villere was sworn into office on December 17, 1816. During his tenure, legislation pertaining to the Black Code was sanctioned, the death penalty was imposed on anyone who killed a person in a duel, limitless immigration was banned, and negotiations between the American and Creole populations were conducted. After completing his term, Villere left office on December 18, 1820. Four years later, he ran unsuccessfully for reelection to the governor’s office. He later served as a presidential elector in 1826. Governor Jacques P. Villere passed away on March 7, 1830.
Dawson III, Joseph G. The Louisiana Governors: From Iberville to Edwards. Baton Rouge: Lousiana State University Press, 1990.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.