Originally from Marseilles, France, François Xavier Martin moved to Martinique and then traveled to America toward the end of America’s war for independence. After settling in New Bern, North Carolina, he became a printer and eventually started his own newspaper. In 1789 he became a lawyer, which led him to compile and publish books on law.
In 1804, Mr. Martin published A Collection of the Statutes of the Parliament of England in Force in the State of North Carolina. Appointed judge of the superior court of the territory of Mississippi in 1809, he became judge of the superior court of the territory of Orleans a year later. Martin practiced Louisiana law throughout the struggle between the French and Spanish for control of the Louisiana Territory, and became the attorney general when Louisiana was first admitted into the Union.
Mr. Martin’s The History of Louisiana is considered the first history of Louisiana. He also wrote The History of North Carolina, as well as various legal reports on cases decided in the territory of Orleans. He died in New Orleans in 1848.
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