Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 5

Kristen Cassels 11/7/11 Francis Redding Tillou Nicholls Francis Redding Tillou Nicholls was not just the

governor of Louisiana nor your average politician. Mr. Nicholls was a successful attorney, a respected judge, and he served as a general in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War. He successfully served two terms as

governor of Louisiana. Once from 1876 to 1880 and then from 1888 to 1892. He was injured twice in combat, losing both an arm and a foot, and was held a prisoner of war. Francis R. T. Nicholls was born in Donaldsonville, Ascension Parish, Louisiana, on the 20th of August, 1843. His father, Thomas C. Nicholls, was a native of Maryland; he practiced law in Donaldsonville, and was a District Judge and Judge of the Court of Errors and Appeals. His mother was Louisa H. Drake, was a native New York. Judge Nicholls had filled several judicial positions; but the crowning honor of his life is the fact that to him is due the organization of the first temperance society of Louisiana, he himself being the first President. Governor Nicholls began his education at Jefferson Academy in St. James Parish where he was partially educated. Mr. Nicholls went on to complete his studies at West Point, where he graduated in 1855, receiving at the same time a lieutenancy in the Second Regiment of United States Artillery. Later he passed into the Third Regiment, from which he resigned in the latter part of 1856, with the intention of preparing for the legal profession. After completing his law course he was examined before the Supreme Court and licensed in 1858, when he began practicing in Donaldsonville.

At the outbreak of the war Governor Nicholls donned the grey, and his military record proved he was brave as the bravest who wore it.(Dehart, 121) He was at first elected captain of a company, the lieutenant colonel of the Eighth Regiment of Louisiana Volunteers. Here he fought in the battle of Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston. Two weeks after the surrender of Fort Sumter, Nicholls wed Caroline Zilpha Guion, the daughter of George Seth Guion and the Caroline Lucretia Winder. He married Caroline Zilpha Guion on April 26th, 1860. The couple had one son, Francis Welman Nicholls (born 1863), and six daughters. (Reich) Nicholls joined the Confederate Army in 1861. It was here that he participated in the First Battle of Bull Run and in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign in Virginia. At the first place he lost his left arm and was captured. On October 14, 1862, Nicholls was appointed Brigadier General from Lieutenant Colonel. Nicholls was given command of the brigade of the Fifteenth Louisiana Infantry. Only a few days later he received the commission of Brigadier General, commanding the Second Louisiana Brigade. Governor Nicholls was no Carpet Knight;(Dehart,124) his was an active part at Winchester, Chancellorsville, and Port Royal. During the Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, in May 1863, a shell ripped off Nicholls' left foot. But neither prison nor wounds could dampen his ardent love of his country. So soon as he was exchanged, so soon as his wounds would permit, he took the field again. He was ordered, after Chancellorsville, to take charge of the defense of Lynchburg, Virginia, and, in 1864, was placed in control of the Conscript Bureau of the Trans-Mississippi Department: there the close of the war found him.

After he laid down his arms he resumed the practice of law in the Parish of Assumption. When the night of reconstruction encompassed the land and the people of Louisiana could no longer endure the evils of carpet-bag government, they called upon Francis T. Nicholls to lead them out of the darkness.(Wall, 240) He was nominated for Governor in 1876 by the

Democratic Party. Although he was elected by a majority of more than eight thousand votes, the notorious Republican Returning Board declared his opponent, S.B. Packard, elected. Governor Nicholls brushed aside this unconstitutional obstacle to the gubernatorial chair, took his seat, and by force installed the government elected by the people, thus establishing a de facto State Government which the Federal government later was compelled to recognize. Upon the adoption of the new constitution, Governor Nicholls resumed the practice of the law in New Orleans. He was again called to the gubernatorial office in 1988, and served until 1892. It was during this tern of his administration that the Louisiana Lottery Company made the desperate effort to obtain an extension of the charter, which met with defeat, to which no one contributed so much as did Governor Nicholls by his persistent, bold and unflinching opposition. (Wall, 241) At the close of this second term as Governor, he was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Louisiana, which high position he filled with distinguished ability. In 1911 ill health compelled his retirement. Mr. Nicholls retired to his plantation home in 1911 where he worked his farmland and grew sugar cane. His death came at his plantation near Thibodaux on January 4, 1912. He is buried in St. Johns Episcopal Church Cemetery at Thibodaux. Francis Redding Tillou Nicholls made an impression if not only Louisianas history but in our nations history. As a decorated member of the military, a respected attorney and judge,

and as a successful governor of Louisiana. The changed that Mr. Nicholls made to this state post war era are still in effect today. He turned a war torn state around and ended his career on a high note.

Works Cited Dehart, Jess. Louisiana's Historic Towns. New Orleans: Hamlet House, 1983. Print.

Nystrom, Justin A. Louisiana after the Civil War: Race, Politics, and a New Birth of Freedom. Baltimore: John Hopkins UP, 2009. Print. Reed, Micheal. "About Louisiana." The official website of the state of Louisiana. Native. Web. 01 NOV. 2011. http://louisiana.gov/Explore/About_Louisiana/ Riech, Christopher S. The Governors of Louisiana. Gretna: Pelican, 2008. Print. Wall, Cummins, Schafer, Haas, Kurtz, Rodrigue. "Chapters 1 - 12." Louisiana A History. 5th ed. Wheeling: Harlan Davidson, 2008. 1+. Print.