While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Robert Wooster

RIGAUD, ANTOINE (1758–1820). Antoine Rigaud (Rigau), Napoleonic general and officer at Champ d'Asile, was born at Agen, France, on May 14, 1758. After serving eight years in the French army he went to Belgium, where he fought in the 1788 campaign against Austria. Upon the formation of the First Coalition against France, Rigaud returned to his homeland and became a captain. He was seriously wounded at the battle of Rousselaer and was noted for bravery in combat. He participated in Napoleon Bonaparte's campaigns in the Germanies, Spain, and France and was made a general in 1807 and a baron in 1808. After the defeat of the First Empire, Louis XVIII selected Rigaud to head the Department of the Marne. Nonetheless, Rigaud rejoined Napoleon during the Hundred Days and was captured by the Russians at Châlons-sur-Marne in July 1815. His captors took him to Frankfurt, where he was freed late that year. He was sentenced to death for treason on May 16, 1816, and came to the United States in 1817. With a group of French exiles and adventurers, he led a shipload of men and supplies to Texas in early 1818. Under the leadership of Gen. Charles F. A. Lallemand they moved up the Trinity River and established the military colony of Champ d'Asile. The abortive colony failed within a year. Rigaud then moved with his daughter, Antonia, and son, Capt. Narcisse-Périclès Rigaud, to St. Martinville, Louisiana. The former baron subsequently criticized Lallemand's failure to distribute funds to the survivors of Champ d'Asile after the group's withdrawal. Rigaud died at New Orleans on September 4, 1820.

Biographie nouvelle des contemporains (Paris: Librairie historique, 1820–25), Vol. 18. Kent Gardien, "Take Pity on Our Glory: Men of Champ d'Asile," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 87 (January 1984). Nouvelle biographie générale depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu'à nos jours (Paris: Institut de France, 1852–66), Vol. 42.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Robert Wooster, "RIGAUD, ANTOINE," accessed July 11, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fri17.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...