Andre Bienvenu Roman
Born: March 5, 1795 in Opelousas District, Louisiana
Political Affiliation: Whig
Religious Affiliation: Catholic
Education: St. Mary's College (Maryland)
Career Prior to Term: State Representative and Speaker of the Louisiana House
How He Became Governor: Elected in 1831 and 1838
Career after Term: Delegate to the State Constitutional Conventions of 1845 and 1852; Served in the Louisiana Secession Convention of 1861 (opposed secession).
Died: January 26, 1866 in New Orleans
Andre Roman became governor by appointment after Jacques Dupre resigned before completing the term left open by Pierre Derbigny's death in office and Arnaud Beauvais's resignation. That succession crisis was solved by a special election in which Roman had no opposition.
Roman was the first Governor of Louisiana to use his membership in a national political party - in his case, the Whigs - to determine executive actions. He appointed fellow Whigs to state positions and he supported a protective tariff which was appreciated by south Louisiana sugar planters. The Pontchartrain Railroad and the New Basin Canal from Lake Pontchartrain into the heart of New Orleans eased transportation problems.
During Roman's first term, Louisiana experienced years of economic growth as the number of banks doubled and capital increased. His second term followed the Panic of 1837 which had been caused by an overexpansion of banks. Farmers, planters and merchants lost their enterprises, deposits dwindled and a depression settled into the state, relieved only by new banking laws passed at the end of Roman's term.
Roman opposed secession in the Secession Convention of 1861 and was ruined financially by the Civil War. He died in 1866 while walking on Dumaine Street in New Orleans.
He is buried in the St. James Catholic Cemetery in St. James, La.