Emily James <I>Blount</I> De Riviere

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Emily James Blount De Riviere

  • Birth 31 Mar 1841
  • Death 16 Oct 1917
  • Burial Mobile, Mobile County, Alabama, USA
  • Memorial ID 20674192

Daughter of Frederick Speight Blount and Emily (James) Blount.
Married 29 May 1865 Paris, France to Henri Arnous de Riviere (born abt 1841, d. 1909 France), Baron de Riviere, son of William Arnous Riviere.

Capt. Henry (Harry) Maury and Captain de Riviere, later called the baron, fought a duel in 1858 at Pascagoula. When the wounded Riviere was being carried back to Mobile, the convoy traveled on Spring Hill Avenue and passed directly by the Blount home, which then stood at the southwest corner of Spring Hill Avenue and Lafayette Street .Mrs. Emily J. Blount went out and stopped the procession, prevailing upon its members to leave the wounded man to convalesce in her home. Capt. de Riviere had been Miss Emily Blount's French teacher and was well known in the Blount home up to this time. After Miss Blount and the baron eloped, along with Emily's mother, to New Orleans, then to Havana and ultimately New York and were arrested at Hoboken, New Jersey.

Recollections of a Virginian in the Mexican, Indian, and Civil Wars (1894) by General Dabney Herndon Maury, cousin of Capt. Maury, states: "After the close of the troubles in Nicaragua, a Captain Henri de Riviere, who had been dismissed from the French army and had cast his lot with General Walker's expedition, returned with the surviving
adventurers to Mobile, and became a favorite in the gay society there. His impudent deportment aroused Henry's indignation, and a duel resulted. A steamer took the duelists down to Pascagoula. Doctors Knott and (Frank A.) Ross went along as surgeons, and a many gentlemen of Mobile, who desired "to see Harry shoot the Frenchman."

I was told by several eye-witnesses the remarkable history of this curious affair. The ground was near the residence of the proprietor, and a hammock was swinging on the veranda. Captain de Riviere advanced to Captain Maury and asked him if he might take and hour's nap in that hammock, as he felt very nervous. His request was granted, and his
second aroused him at the end of the hour. He arose apparently quite refreshed, and took his place for the duel. They were to begin firing revolvers at twelve paces, to advance a pace after each shot, and stop if either fell. At the first shot, the Frenchman staggered backwards
and seemed about to fall. His antagonist lowered his pistol, but kept his thumb upon the hammer and his eye upon the enemy, whom he detected in the act of cocking his pistol, but before he could raise it and fire, Maury shot him in the mouth. He was taken to the home of a gentleman in Mobile, whose sympathetic wife and beautiful daughter cared for him during some weeks.

"When he had recovered sufficiently to travel, he departed, accompanied by his devoted nurses. The head of the family went in pursuit of them, reaching Havana just after they had left for Nassau, and arriving at Nassau after they sailed for New York. In New York their escapade was
arrested by a lady who came out of the convent and claimed Captain Henri de Riviere as her lawfully wedded spouse. Then at last the bereft husband and father recovered his delinquent family, and returned to Mobile. Towards the close of the war between the States, the Marquis de
Riviere died in France, leaving his great fortune to his brother, Captain de Riviere. The head of the enamored family still living in Mobile assented to the urgent request of the new marquis that he would escort his wife and daughter to Paris, where the latter became the
Marquise de Riviere. They lived in great splendor till the
Franco-Prussian War, when the marquis was killed in battle."

Eventually Emily returned to the States with her one son and one of her two daughters. She was a popular member of Mobile society and attended many functions and parties until her death in 1917. She attended a reception on Dec. 13, 1906, at 910 Government Street hosted by R.V. Taylor and Mrs. Helen Buck Taylor, where her name is shown as "Madame de Riviere" on the guest registry.

She is buried not far from Harry Maury.

Family Members


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  • Maintained by: Ray Isbell
  • Originally Created by: Blount researcher
  • Added: 28 Jul 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 20674192
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Emily James Blount De Riviere (31 Mar 1841–16 Oct 1917), Find A Grave Memorial no. 20674192, citing Magnolia Cemetery, Mobile, Mobile County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by Ray Isbell (contributor 47188697) .