Cavaignac. I. Jean Baptiste, a French revolutionist, born at Gordon in 1762, died in Brussels, March 24, 1829. In 1792 he was elected to the national convention, where he voted for the death of Louis XVI. As commissioner to the army in La Vendee, and afterward to that in the Pyrenees, he gave evidence of energy and talent. He took part with the Thermidoreans against Robespierre, and was sent on a third mission to the army of the Rhine and Moselle. On the 1st Prairial (May 20), 1795, he commanded the troops who vainly attempted to protect the convention against the insurgents. On the 13th Vende-miaire (Oct. 5) he was assistant to Barras and Bonaparte in repelling the attack by the sections. For a short time he was a member of the council of 500. In 1806 he entered the service of Joseph Bonaparte at Naples, and was continued under Murat. In 1815, during the hundred days, he was prefect of the Somme. On the second restoration, he was expelled from France as a regicide, and took up his residence in Brussels, where he lived in obscurity.
H. Eleonore Louis Godefroy, a French journalist, son of the preceding, born in Paris in 1801, died May 5, 1845. He was one of the most popular leaders of the republican party during, the restoration and the reign of Louis Philippe. He distinguished himself in the revolution of July, but upon the elevation of Louis Philippe to the throne he took part in the conspiracy for the overthrow of the new dynasty and was several times arrested and put on trial. He was one of the founders of the societe des amis da peuple, and of the societe des droits de l'homme. After the outbreak of April, 1834, he was arrested and sent to prison, but escaped, July 13, 1835, and retired to Belgium. In 1841 he returned to France, and became one of the editors of the Reforme, the most violent of the opposition journals. III. Louis Eugene, a French general, brother of the preceding, born in Paris, Oct. 15, 1802, died at his country seat, Chateau Ournes, department of Sarthe, Oct. 28, 1857. He was educated at the polytechnic school, entered the army as sub-lieutenant of engineers, took part in the French expedition to the Morea, and was appointed to a captaincy in 1829. On the revolution of 1830 he declared for the new order of things, but soon entered the association nationale, an organization of the opposition, in consequence of which he was for a while discharged from active service.
In 1832 he was sent to Africa. Being intrusted in 1836 with the command of Tlemcen, he held this advanced fortified post for three years against the assaults of the Arabs. In 1839, his health having been impaired, he asked to be placed on leave; he was then a major. A few months later he returned to Africa, where his defence of Cherchell was no less brilliant than that of Tlemcen. In 1840 he was promoted to the colonelcy of the zouaves, and in 1844 he was made brigadier general and governor of the province of Oran. On the revolution of February, 1848, he was appointed governor general of Algeria, and promoted to the rank of general of division. The same year he was elected to the constituent assembly, and was allowed to leave Algeria to take his seat as a representative. He reached Paris two days after the disturbance of May 15, and was immediately appointed minister of war. In a few weeks 75,000 regular troops were gathered within the walls, while 190,000 national guards were ready to support them against the threatened rising of the working classes. Vet the insurrection broke out on the dissolution of the ateliers nationaux. On June 22 barricades were erected in the most central parts of the city.
Cavaignac concentrated his troops in order finally to hear on the principal points with irresistible force. The assembly having invested him with dictatorial powers, the struggle commenced June 23, and was continued with internecine fury for 70 hours, resulting in a complete government victory. On June 29 Cavaignac resigned his dictatorship, and the assembly unanimously elected him chief of the executive power. Several propositions, which he declined, were made in the assembly to make him president for four years without recourse to an election. The election for president took place Dec. 10; and out of 7,327,345 votes, Cavaignac received but 1,448,-107. After the coiqj d'etat of December, 1851, he was arrested and taken to the castle of Ham, his name being placed at the head of the list of the proscribed. Having been set at liberty, he lived for a time in retirement in Belgium, and when he returned to France resided mainly at his country seat in the department of Sarthe. In 1852 he was elected to the legislative body, but refused to take the oath of allegiance to the emperor. In 1857 he was again chosen by the electors of the third district of Paris, but again refused to take the oath. This was the last public act of his life.
One morning, as he was leaving the house to visit a friend, he suddenly expired in the arms of an attendant without uttering a word.