Jacques Cathelineaii, generalissimo of the Vendeans in the revolt of 1793 against the revolutionary government of France, born at Pin-en-Mauges, in Anjou, Jan. 5, 1759, died at St. Florent, July 11, 1793. After having been engaged in the business of his father, who was a mason, he became a linen peddler, and after the outbreak of the French revolution was poor, with a large family. His religious devotion was so well known in the province, that he was called the saint of Anjou. A bloody fight that took place at St. Florent, March 12, 1793, between the republican troops and the royalists, on the occasion of a levy for the army according to a recent decree of the convention, roused the spirit of Cathelineau, and at the head of a body of youth he attacked and expelled the garrisons of Jallais and Chollet. As the number and courage of his bands, though without regular arms, were continually increasing, he fought several engagements, mostly with success. After the taking of Saumur, June 13, he was elevated to the dignity of general-in-chief, as the most popular of the leaders. He marched against Angers, which made no resistance; but an attack on Nantes ended, after a whole day of desperate struggle (June 29), in the dispersion of his troops.
Cathelineau was wounded and carried to St. Florent, where he died after 12 days. After the restoration of the Bourbons his surviving children were rewarded with pensions, and a statue was erected to his memory at his birthplace, which was broken in 1832 by the soldiers of Louis Philippe. - His son, also named Jacques, born March 28, 1787, took part in an anti-Napoleonic movement in La Vendee in 1815, and was shot in 1832 while engaged in the conspiracy of the duchess of Berry.