Jekyll Island in Glynn County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
Horton House Historic Site
the French Emigré
— Jekyll Island —
Christophe du Bignon was born in Brittany, France in 1739 to a poor noble family. His life was forever changed when his family sent him to sea at age 10 to work for the French India Company. Life at sea is not easy for a young boy, but Christophe grew up learning a trade that would provide great returns for him in this adult life.
Christophe stayed with the French India Company until it was disbanded in 1769. He continued with this profession and joined the merchant marines as a captain. This position took du Bignon around the world, but most importantly to the island of Mauritius, a French colony off the coast of Africa. There he met and married Marguerite Anne Lossieux Du Jong de Boisquenay in 1778.
Leaving life at sea in 1784, the du Bignon family settled into a comfortable life in France. After working at sea for 35 years,
This happiness and settled life did not last long however, as by 1789 the French Revolution was under way. As part of the merchant nobility, Christophe was not safe in France. Fortunately, an encounter in 1790 with Francois Marie Loys Dumoussay de la Vauve forever changed the du Bignon family's history.
The Sapelo Company
Dumoussay was the man behind the organization of the Sapelo Company. A group of Frenchman were in the process of acquiring land in America consisting of a large number of the islands off the coast of Georgia. Du Bignon was very excited about this opportunity and wasted little time investing in this venture. It would allow for du Bignon to move his family (a wife and two young sons), to a safer country.
Within a few years the group of Frenchmen began to quarrel, and before the venture collapsed, du Bignon exchanged properties and removed himself from any future disputes in the seperation of properties. Christophe du Bignon was the sole owner of Jekyll Island by 1800.
This family made everlasting changes to the island for nearly the next century.
Erected by Friends of Historic Jekyll
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Colonial Era • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1791.
Location. 31° 6.108′ N, 81° 24.921′ W. Marker is in Jekyll Island, Georgia, in Glynn County. Marker is on Riverview Drive near Major Horton Road, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Jekyll Island GA 31527, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Le Sieur Christophe Anne Poulain du Bignon (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Horton House Historic Site (a few steps from this marker); Poulain du Bignon and du Bignon Burying Ground (within shouting distance of this marker); Tabby (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Horton House Historic Site (within shouting distance of this marker); Major William Horton (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Horton House Historic Site (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Horton House Historic Site (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jekyll Island.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 16, 2019. It was originally submitted on March 25, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 940 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 25, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.