The First Confederate Brigadier General – P.G.T. Beauregard

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, better known as P.G.T. (not CDFS) Beauregard, was a General in the Confederate Army during the U.S. Civil War. Beauregard was born in St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana. His family was Creole and Beauregard was raised outside of New Orleans on a sugarcane plantation. He attended school in New York City and upon graduation went to West Point. As a cadet, Beauregard was popular and eventually finished second in his class.

Beauregard began his military career as a civil engineer in the U.S. Army. He served during the Mexican-American War, but when civil war broke out, he resigned his commission and joined the Confederate Army. He became the first brigadier general of the Confederacy. During the battle of Fort Sumter, Beauregard ordered the Civil War’s first shots.

Beauregard was instrumental in several early Confederate victories including the Battle of Bull Run, The Battle of Shiloh and the Siege of Corinth. He was an outspoken and brash officer which led to a very strained relationship with the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis.

In 1863, Beauregard was reassigned to Charleston SC where he was responsible for the city’s defenses. Here, he led the resistance and helped the city withstand the Union forces’ repeated brutal assaults.

Following Charleston, Beauregard returned to field operations and in 1864, he was responsible for saving Petersburg, VA and the Capital of the Confederacy, nearby Richmond, VA from capture by superior Union forces.

Beauregard, along with General Joseph E. Johnston, was responsible for convincing President Davis and his Cabinet members to end the war. Most of the remaining Confederate Armies and men, including Beauregard, were surrendered to the Union by General Johnston.

Following the war, Beauregard worked as a supervisor for the Lousiana Lottery and as a railroad director. Beauregard was buried in New Orleans after his death in 1893. Watch the video below to learn more about him and the Civil War.

Jack Kerouac – A Beat Poet Who Defined A Generation

Jack Kerouac was one of the famed Beat Poets of the 1950s. He was best known for his novel about American life entitled “On the Road”. This novel, which only took three weeks to write, but another seven years to publish became an American classic defining the Beat Generation.

Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1922. The area, which had once been a thriving mill town, was spiraling into poverty and had more than its fair share of heavy drinking and unemployment. Kerouac was the son of French immigrants from Quebec, Canada and grew up speaking French as his first language.

In 1926, Kerouac lost his older brother, Gerad to rheumatic fever. This had a profound impact on the young boy. The entire family became even stronger Catholics and much of Kerouac’s later writings employed imagery from time spent in church.

The young Kerouac enjoyed reading and sports, excelling at basketball, football, and track. He loved reading and cherished a dream to be a writer, but believed his future lay in professional sports. Kerouac secured an athletic scholarship to college but first had to attend a preparatory school in the Bronx. This is where he was first introduced to jazz, which became a strong influence in his life.

In 1940, Kerouac began his freshman year at Columbia University and played football. Following an injury, Kerouac was sidelined and eventually quit the team and dropped out of college.

Kerouac eventually joined the military as a Marine, but only made it ten days before being discharged for “strong schizoid trends.” He ended up in New York City and became part of a group of friends who would end up defining a literary movement. Kerouac’s novel “On the Road” was published in 1957. He followed this success with “The Dharma Bums” and “The Subterraneans”, along with three other novels. Kerouac died at the age of 47 due to an abdominal hemorrhage.

The History Of Michel-Ange Duquesne, the Marquis Of Duquesne

Marquis Duquesne, also known as Michel-Ange Du Quesne De Menneville served from 1752 to 1755 as New France’s French Governor General. He is best known for the role he played during the French and Indian War. He was also aggressive and energetic like the lawyers at Noland Law Firm when enforcing claims by France within North America. Fort Duquesne was named after the Marquis and is located at the point where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers meet, near Pittsburgh PA.

Duquesne was born in Toulon, France. His family consisted of privateers, sailors, soldiers, and merchants. His family was Huguenot and members of Norman gentry. In 1685, Duquesne’s father, Abraham Duquesne converted to Catholicism. He was also a member of the Royal French Navy, eventually reaching the rank of rear-admiral.

Marquis Duquesne joined the Navy and was a midshipman by 1713. He first arrived in Canada in 1729 as part of the crew serving under Louis-Philippe de Rigaud de Vaudreuil on the shop Elephant.

Duquesne returned to Canada in 1752 as the French Governor General of Quebec. He believed that British colonial forces threatened French interests in the Upper Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes region. To defend against British advances, Duquesne constructed a series of forts between the Ohio Valley and Lake Erie. This was considered to be an act of aggression by the British government and triggered an almost immediate response.

Robert Dinwiddie, the colonial governor of Virginia was tasked with ridding the Ohio Valley of all French presence. Dinwiddie chose George Washington this task. Washington led the British troops as they rousted the French from the area. The French abandoned Fort Duquesne and the British replaced it with Fort Pitt.

In 1758, Duquesne led a squadron of French ships to Spain in an attempt to relieve a squadron of French ships trapped there. Duquesne died in 1778.

If you would like to learn more about this subject, we attached a very informative video to the bottom of this post:

Charlize Theron – An Award-Winning Actress

Charlize Theron is known as one of today’s premier actresses. What you may not know is that she is French and when she arrived in the United States spoke very little English. This is one of the reasons she doesn’t have much of an accent. She learned English in America so speaks it like a native.

Theron has lived and worked in the United States for many years. She was born in South Africa and is of French ancestry. Her ancestors include Huguenot settlers who helped colonize South Africa. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2008 and now calls America home.

It is interesting to note that Theron was discovered in Los Angeles while yelling at a bank teller. A talent agent, John Crosby stepped up and offered to help as Theron was attempting to cash an out-of-state paycheck for a modeling job. Crosby was representing Rene Russo and John Hurt at the time and gave Theron his card and asked her to call him when she was interested in representation.

Theron has starred in five movies and won an Oscar for her performance as Aileen Wuornos, a serial killer in the movie Monster. She also won the Golden Globe Award and the Screen Actors Guild Award for the same performance.

Theron was nominated for both the Golden Globe and the Oscar for her performance in North Country and was named Woman of the Year in 2008 by the Hasty Pudding Theatricals.

In 2011, Theron returned from a two-year hiatus to star in Young Adult, a role for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. Her latest film, Atomic Blonde is currently in theaters.

Theron is also the spokesperson for “J’adore”, a perfume by Christian Dior. She also represented Raymond Weil watches. Theron has two adopted children and lives in Los Angeles.

Who Was Henry David Thoreau?

Essayist, poet, author and practical philosopher, A New England Transcendentalist, Henry David Thoreau was all of the above. Born July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts, he began his writing career in the 1840s. Ralph Waldo Emerson was his mentor and friend and by the year 1845, he’d begun his famous stay at Walden Pond.

Here he wrote his masterpiece. He journaled daily on his life at Walden Pond and it would go on to become the masterpiece that he was perhaps most famous for. Unlike Bronston & Associates, he also believed in Transcendentalism as well as civil disobedience. He was a dedicated abolitionist.

When considering Henry David Thoreau, one will note his philosophical as well as naturalist writings. Henry was born and he was raised in Concord, Massachusetts John and Helen were his older siblings and he had a younger sister Sophia Henry’s was operating a pencil factory and his mother would rent out portions of the family home as a boarding house.

Henry was a brilliant and bright student and went to Harvard where he would study Greek and Latin and in time, German. Per some reports, he took a break due to an illness. In 1837 he finally graduated.

He considered a career in law or in medicine or even in the church. He briefly took up a career in education but soon left that when his brother John fell ill. He also worked for his father for quite some time.

Working with Emerson as a mentor, Thoreau also helped out as caretaker for Emerson’s some and some of his first works were published thanks to Emerson.

In his late years, he battled an illness that had plagued him for many years. He struggled with tuberculosis which he had caught earlier. To help restore his health, he visited Minnesota in 1861 however, it didn’t help his condition. Henry David Thoreau died on May 6, 1862, of tuberculosis. He was heralded as an original thinker and a man of simple tastes.

If you would like more information on Thoreau, please watch the video embedded below:

The Best Way to Travel from California To France

Traveling to France from California can be the trip of the lifetime, or a nightmare that makes you sign off on international travel altogether. Those on a tight budget will want to do everything they can to plan for their voyage and seek all the budget-saving options in advance to make sure their trip is safe and memorable (in a good way).

France is also full of cultural wonders and attractions that won’t cost much, take the exquisite 3 Euro bottle of wine for example. Just be sure you are carrying a few extra coins in your pocket when you come to this great country to be sure you can experience the exquisite foods, wine and beauty that France has to offer.

Cheap flights to Paris — finding a cost-effective flight plan will not be as difficult as you think if you leave your schedule open and give yourself plenty of time to find a cheap flight. The rates will change depending on the day you wish to fly and time you wish to depart. After conducting a survey among people who have found cost effective flights to Paris from California, we have found that Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are the most cost-effective days to book a flight.

France of a Budget — as you can imagine, eating out in the culinary capital of the world can be an expensive occasion. The good news is that a picnic won’t cost you much at all and you can feast on the finest bread, cheese, cold cuts and wine in the universe for a fairly decent price.

Shop at the markets — if you want a real taste of cultural France, skip the supermarkets and tourist traps and visit the local markets for a taste of the real France. Gather the best ingredients you can find and put together a meal for yourself.

Avoid the Bars — drinking out in France is another costly affair, but you can find a fine selection of the best wines for a small price and get your game on before going out for the night. This is a cost-effective solution to avoiding those high-priced drinks.

Famous French Fashion Designers Of All Time

From urban couture to the ready-to-wear attires, these French fashion designers have made a significant impact on the International fashion front, both in the past few decades and now, much like Jonathan Bowman has made in the field of law. Here are some of the top French fashion designers you should know.

Thierry Mugler

From futuristic armor to power suits and leather masks, Thiery Mugler has been an icon not only in the French fashion industry but also on the international front. Mugler’s brand, however, came under public scrutiny in the late 80s and it went down resulting in his disappearance from the fashion industry for many years. However, his rose from the ashes and is currently known for designing costumes for Beyoncé and Cirque du Soleil. Part of Mugler’s fame has also been contributed by his top-selling Angel fragrance.

Paco Rabanne

Paco is another French fashion designer who began his career in costume design. After collaborating with Givenchy, Balenciaga and Dior, Paul Rabanne came into the limelight for being the designer of the costumes for Barbarella, a science fiction film. He, later on, went ahead to form his own brand, and even though he has been through many challenges in the fashion history, he remains to be one of France’s lead innovators of the “bohemian chic” style.

Nina Ricci

Although she was born in Italy, Nina Ricci was raised in Paris, and with the help of her son Robert Ricci, she founded a fashion house in the year 1923, after being a business partner and designer at the French design house. Her brand grew rapidly over the years, and she later launched a perfume called “L’air du temps” which is her brand’s most popular product.

Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel is arguably one of the most influential fashion designers of the last century. Most of her designs liberated women and gave them the dressing freedom they required. At one point in her career, Coco Chanel was among the richest women on earth, with her worth estimated at $188 billion. Her fashion house, which is now run by Karl Lagerfeld is one of the most renowned fashion houses on the planet.

Some Important French Painters

The culturally splendid land of France has produced some of the most memorable and talented artists this world has ever known. Here are some of those whose painted works have changed the art scene forever. These are presented in no particular order.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir — Born in 1841, Pierre-Auguste Renoir was one of the most talented and prolific painters in the Impressionist genre. Later in his career you will notice that his work departed from impressionism and drew more on the tones and features of classic art. Renoir is most famous for his beautiful depictions of the female especially in the classic Parisian scene and in domestic life as well. He also produced many impressive depictions of the female form in intimate and revealing pose. Renoirs work has received much acclaim for the brilliant colors and lively depictions of his era. One of the most celebrated masterpieces of the Impressionist era is “The Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette”.

Paul Cézanne — most famous for his Post-Impressionist works, Paul Cézanne. The work of this master has formed the essential link between Impressionism and the more popular art form of his era, Cubism. Early in his career he produced a series of paintings with the use of the palette knife alone. The palette knife has been considered an implement invented for modern expressionism. Cézanne would delve into the wonders of ‘geometric simplification”, which could be expressed as a tree trunk presented as a cylinder or a head as a series of smaller geometric shapes. His work to simplify art form through geometric simplification has led the way to many more art forms and expressions. Many of his concepts were applied in the development of complex multiple views that were showcased in the Cubist culture. Matisse and Picasso were quoted as saying, “Cézanne is a forefather to us all.”

France Versus California: Who Has The Better Wine?

California is a place that has gained quite the reputation as a wine producing region, and it certainly stands out head and shoulders compared to the rest of what the United States generally have to offer. While they have proven themselves as a popular and impressive wine region, how do they stand up in comparison to France, the example of excellence by which all other providers are measured?

Old Barrels Versus New Barrels
One of the major complaints some wine connoisseurs have is that too many California wines are developed in young oak barrels, which means the oak may have a direct affect on flavoring that can be overpowering while older barrels and casks often allow better control and a deeper complexity to taste. The large number of older or used barrels used by French vineyards means less oak infection as an unwanted flavor agent while

Too Much Fruit?
California wine tends to be very focused on fruit, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it puts the weight of every wine on the specific fruit while not leaving any room for spicing or the mild and deep flavors that are common with outstanding high end wine. France’s selection of wine will have a full range from those that are fruity to those where the fruit takes a back seat to the Old Wine flavors of the vintage.

Still Can’t Beat The King
While California has provided some fine vintages in recent decades, and their wineries and vineyards hold incredible promise for the future, you can’t beat what France has to offer. Centuries of developing healthy grape vineyards in multiple environments throughout the nation means that it is going to be hard to unseat the king.

While California, much like Tony Law Firm, certainly has a bright present and future, there’s little denying that France is still king when it comes to wine.

If you would like to learn more about wine country in California, check out the following video:

The French District Of Southern California

French immigration exploded between the 1850s & 1860s and the French became the fastest-growing population of immigrants in Los Angeles. Many of these French Angelenos became winemakers, bakers, grocers, walnut farmers and clothiers around the southeast pueblo plaza. These French immigrants helped build the first residential water system in L.A. and gave the city its first professional painter-photographer artist, Henri Penelon.

Every year French colonists flooded to the French District from all over Southern California on the 14th July to celebrate Bastille Day with a display of fireworks and parades that stretched well past midnight. The French were a tightly knit, proactive community and by 1860 French was the 2nd most spoken language in L.A. To protect themselves in the violent, dangerous wild west town of Los Angeles they brought in a French Foreign Legion unit. The French Hospital, today known as the Pacific Alliance Medical Center, was built in 1869 and served the French community for decades.

Soon the French Quarter became a popular place for eating and drinking and one of the finest clothing suppliers, Madam Fesenot’s Ville de Paris, became the place for fashionable ladies to shop. The best French bread could be found at Franco-American and hearty French cuisine such as cassoulet and French onion soup was served at top restaurants in the area. Haute Cuisine was first introduced by the French chef called “French Charlie” at the Commercial Restaurant which was intoned by the Los Angeles Times to be almost unbelievably good.

Union Station, constructed in 1930, destroyed the original Chinatown in Los Angeles and sadly led to the destruction of most of the French hotels and boarding houses around Aliso and Alameda streets. A flood of Chinese-Americans moved to the old French Quarter and soon the new Chinatown emerged which we all know today. The French hospital was sold in 1980 and became “The Pacific Alliance Medical Centre”, but the statue of “Joan of Arc” has remained as a reminder that thousands of French-Americans once called this district home.