Bougainville, Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, Comte de

Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, Comte de Bougainville, soldier, sailor (b at Paris, France 12 Nov 1729; d there 20 Aug 1811). After studying law and mathematics, he published a Traité de calcul intégral (1754-56) and was elected to the Royal Society (London). Having entered the military in 1750, he was posted to Québec in 1756 as aide-de-camp to Montcalm.

Bougainville was involved in the campaigns of the Seven Years' War leading up to the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Although he failed to bring reinforcements in time to alter the outcome, some considered Bougainville one of Montcalm's abler officers. In 1758 he wrote a remarkable document recommending reforms that would free New France from the restrictions of mercantilism.

In 1763 he entered the French navy and proceeded to found a short-lived colony composed mostly of Acadians on the Falkland Islands. His scientific expeditions, 1766-69, were written up in Voyage autour du monde (1771; trans A Voyage Round the World, 1772), and the tropical vine "bougainvillaea" was named after him. He saw action in the French navy during the American Revolution and, despite his royalist sympathies, survived the subsequent French Revolution and received the patronage of Napoleon.