Cavaignac, Jean Baptiste
CAVAIGNAC, JEAN BAPTISTE (1762-1829), French politician, was born at Gourdon (Lot). He was sent by his department as deputy to the Convention, where he associated himself with the party of the Mountain and voted for the death of Louis XVI. He was constantly employed on missions in the provinces, and distinguished himself by his rigorous repression of opponents of the revolution in the departments of Landes, Basses-Pyrénées and Gers. With his colleague Jacques Pinet (1754-1844) he established at Bayonne a revolutionary tribunal with authority in the neighbouring towns. Charges of cruelty were preferred against him by a local society before the Convention in 1795, but were dismissed. He had represented the Convention in the armies of Brest and of the Eastern Pyrenees in 1793, and in 1795 he was sent to the armies of the Moselle and the Rhine. He filled various minor administrative offices, and in 1806 became an official at Naples in Murat's government. During the Hundred Days he was prefect of the Somme. At the restoration he was proscribed as a regicide, and spent the last years of his life at Brussels, where he died on the 24th of March 1829. His second son was General Eugène Cavaignac (q.v.).
The eldest son, Eléonore Louis Godefroi Cavaignac (1801-1845), was, like his father, a republican of the intransigeant type. He was bitterly disappointed at the triumph of the monarchical principle after the revolution of July 1830, in which he had taken part. He took part in the Parisian risings of October 1830, 1832 and 1834. On the third occasion he was imprisoned, but escaped to England in 1835. When he returned to France in 1841 he worked on the staff of La Réforme, and carried on an energetic republican propaganda. In 1843 he became president of the Society of the Rights of Man, of which he had been one of the founders in 1832. He died on the 5th of May 1845. The recumbent statue (1847) of Godefroi Cavaignac on his tomb at Montmartre (Paris) is one of the masterpieces of the sculptor Francois Rude.
Jean Baptiste's brother, Jacques-Marie, Vicomte Cavaignac (1773-1855), French general, served with distinction in the army under the republic and successive governments. He commanded the cavalry of the XI. corps in the retreat from Moscow, and eventually became Vicomte Cavaignac and inspector-general of cavalry.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)