Jean Baptiste LeMoyne, Sieur de Bienville

Jean-Baptiste LeMoynede Bienville, the brother of the French Canadian explorer Pierre LeMoyned’Iberville was with his brother’s crew that explored the Gulf of Mexico coast in 1699. The brothers established Fort Maurepas near present-day Ocean Springs, the first permanent European settlement in the Mississippi valley The capital would later be moved to Mobile, then Biloxi. When Iberville left for France, he left his brother in charge of the fort. Bienville explored the Bay of St. Louis and founded a garrison there. A skillful negotiator, Bienville persuaded the Natchez Indians to help build Fort Rosalie on the Mississippi River in 1716. He also founded New Orleans and moved the capital of the colony there in 1722, serving as governor Bienville also wrote Le Code Noir, the “black code” of laws that outlined how slaves were to be treated.

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