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BUREAU, ALLYRE

BUREAU, ALLYRE (1810–1859). Allyre Bureau, political writer, Texas colonizer, musician, and composer, was born in Cherbourg, France, in 1810. He studied at the École Polytechnique and the Paris Conservatory, fought against the king in the July Revolution (1830), and was briefly an artillery officer. He was a Fourierist and friend of Victor P. Considérant. He wrote for Démocratie pacifique, a Fourierist publication, urged social changes in other publications, ran unsuccessfully for national office in 1848 and 1849, and spent some time in prison after the Paris riots of June 1848. He also translated English novels into French.

On September 26, 1854, in Brussels, he signed as a director the charter of the Société de Colonisation Europeo-Americaine au Texas, which founded the La Réunion colony of French and Swiss emigrants near Dallas, an experiment in the practical application of Fourier's theory. Bureau worked as part of the central agency in Paris and served on a subcommittee to initiate the society's operation. When the colony's financial problems became dire, he traveled to America with his wife, three sons, and daughter. They arrived at La Réunion on January 17, 1857. Upon the resignation of François J. Cantagrel, Bureau assumed the directorship of the colony, but, unable to reverse its deterioration, he dissolved the society on January 28, 1857. Bureau remained at the settlement, where his musical talent contributed much to the colony's reputation for good musical entertainment. He brought the first piano to Dallas and composed such songs including "Clang, Clang, Clang," and "Choose a Flower." One of his compositions appeared in a songbook used in the Dallas public schools. While beginning a trip to France with his wife and daughter for an extended visit, he contracted yellow fever and died in a sanitarium at Kellum Springs, about fifty miles north of Houston, in late 1859.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Dictionnaire de biographie française (13 vols., Paris: Letouzey et Ane, 1933–75). George H. Santerre, White Cliffs of Dallas: The Story of La Reunion (Dallas: Book Craft, 1955). Lota M. Spell, Music in Texas (Austin, 1936; rpt., New York: AMS, 1973).

Joan Jenkins Perez

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Joan Jenkins Perez, "BUREAU, ALLYRE," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbu26), accessed July 23, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.