James B. Eustis

James Biddle Eustis (August 27, 1834 – September 9, 1899)[1] was a United States Senator from Louisiana who served as President Cleveland's Ambassador to France.

James Biddle Eustis
United States Senator
from Louisiana
In office
March 4, 1885 – March 4, 1891
Preceded byBenjamin F. Jonas
Succeeded byEdward D. White
In office
January 12, 1876 – March 4, 1879
Preceded byWilliam P. Kellogg
Succeeded byBenjamin F. Jonas
United States Ambassador to France
In office
May 6, 1893 – May 24, 1897
PresidentGrover Cleveland
Preceded byT. Jefferson Coolidge
Succeeded byHorace Porter
Member of the Louisiana Senate
In office
Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
James Biddle Eustis

(1834-08-27)August 27, 1834
New Orleans, Louisiana
DiedSeptember 9, 1899(1899-09-09) (aged 65)
Newport, Rhode Island
Political partyDemocratic
RelationsGeorge Eustis Jr. (brother)
Charles Bohlen (grandsn)
ParentsGeorge Eustis Sr.
Clarice Allain Eustis
Alma materHarvard Law School

Early lifeEdit

Born in New Orleans, he was the son of George Eustis (1796–1858) and Clarice (née Allain) Eustis. His father was a lawyer who served as a Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court. James's brother, George Eustis Jr., was a United States Representative from Louisiana.[1]

James pursued classical studies, graduated from the Harvard Law School in 1854, was admitted to the bar in 1856.[1]


After his admission to the bar, he commenced practice in New Orleans. He served as judge advocate during the Civil War in the Confederate Army and resumed the practice of law in New Orleans.[2]

He was elected a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives prior to the Reconstruction acts, and was one of the committee sent to Washington, D.C. to confer with President Andrew Johnson on Louisiana affairs. He was again a member of the State house of representatives in 1872, and was a member of the Louisiana Senate from 1874 to 1878.[2]

Eustis was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy in the term commencing March 4, 1873, caused by the action of the Senate in declining to seat rival claimants William L. McMillen and P. B. S. Pinchback.[3] Eustis served from January 12, 1876 to March 4, 1879; he was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection, and was professor of civil law at the Tulane University Law School from 1877 to 1884, then called the University of Louisiana. He was again elected to the U.S. Senate and served from March 4, 1885 to March 4, 1891; he was not a candidate for reelection, and practiced law in Washington, D.C., in 1891.[2]

From 1893 to 1897 he was Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to France, and then settled in New York City.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

Eustis was married to Ellen Buckner (1836–1895),[4] a daughter of Henry Sullivan Buckner, a cotton broker who built a mansion at 1410 Jackson Avenue in New Orleans in 1856,[5] and Catharine (née Allan) Buckner.[6] Ellen was an aunt to Mortimer N. Buckner, president and chairman of the New York Trust Company. Together, James and Ellen were the parents of:[7]

  • William A. Eustis (1860–1863), who died young.
  • Marie Clarice Eustis (1866–1956), who married George Peabody Eustis Corcoran (1864–1936) in 1887. They divorced and she married pianist Josef Hofmann in 1905.[8]
  • James Biddle Eustis Jr. (1872–1915)[9]
  • Celestine Eustis (1877–1947), who married Charles Bohlen (1866–1936) in 1902.[10]

Eustis died in Newport, Rhode Island on September 9, 1899.[1] He was interred at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky.[11][12]


Through his daughter Celestine, he was posthumously a grandfather of diplomat Charles Bohlen (1904–1974), who served as the United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union, the Philippines and the France.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e Times, Special to The New York (September 10, 1899). "DEATH OF JAMES B. EUSTIS; Ex-Ambassador to France Expired Last Night at Newport. HIS DISTINGUISHED CAREER Served in the Confederate Army on Gen. Magruder's Staff and Was Fourteen Years in the Senate". The New York Times. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "EUSTIS, James Biddle (1834-1899)". bioguideretro.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  3. ^ Compilation of Senate Election Cases from 1789 to 1885 - Pages 483 - 512
  4. ^ "Remains of Mrs. James B. Eustis". The New York Times. November 1, 1895. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  5. ^ "Henry Sullivan Buckner House, 1410 Jackson Avenue, New Orleans". www.loc.gov. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. June 30, 1945. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  6. ^ "Soule Business College". old-new-orleans.com. Old New Orleans. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  7. ^ Atkins, Jennifer (2017). New Orleans Carnival Balls: The Secret Side of Mardi Gras, 1870-1920. LSU Press. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-8071-6758-8. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  8. ^ "MRS WOOD TO WED GEORGE M. EUSTIS; State Senator's Widow Is En- gaged to Son of Mrs. Josef Hofmann. MSSS DE FOREST BETROTHED Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd K. de Forest to Marry W. de B. Roberta, Prlnceton Graduate". The New York Times. May 11, 1923. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  9. ^ "JAMES BIDDLE EUSTIS". The New York Times. July 9, 1915. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  10. ^ TIMES, Special to THE NEW YORK (August 15, 1947). "Mrs. Charles Bohlen". The New York Times. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  11. ^ Times, Special to The New York (September 12, 1899). "Funeral of James B. Eustis". The New York Times. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  12. ^ "FUNERAL OF JAMES B. EUSTIS.; Service at Newport This Evening -- Burial Will Be at Louisville". The New York Times. September 11, 1899. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  13. ^ Phelps, Robert H. (January 2, 1974). "Charles Bohlen, Diplomat, 69, dies". The New York Times. Retrieved August 25, 2020.


External linksEdit

U.S. Senate
Preceded by
William P. Kellogg (– November 1, 1872)
Vacant (1872–1876)
U.S. senator (Class 3) from Louisiana
January 12, 1876 – March 4, 1879
Served alongside: Joseph R. West, William P. Kellogg
Succeeded by
Benjamin F. Jonas
Preceded by
Benjamin F. Jonas
U.S. senator (Class 3) from Louisiana
Served alongside: Randall L. Gibson
Succeeded by
Edward D. White
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
T. Jefferson Coolidge
U.S. Ambassador to France
Succeeded by
Horace Porter