Pagès, Pierre Marie François de (1748–1793)

By: Marilyn M. Sibley

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: August 4, 2020

Pierre Marie François de Pagès, French naval officer, world traveler, and writer, was born of a noble family in Toulouse in 1748. Following the settlement of the Seven Years' War and the relaxed French-Spanish rivalry in North America, Pagès crossed Texas on the first lap of a journey around the world. Leaving his naval vessel at Santo Domingo on June 30, 1767, he sailed to New Orleans, traveled by the Mississippi and Red rivers to Natchitoches, then across Texas and into Mexico by way of the Old San Antonio Road. He returned to France by way of the Far East and then wrote an account of his adventure. The English translation of his book, Travels Round the World, in the Years 1767, 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771 (1791), is perhaps the oldest description of Texas in an English-language book. Pagès later became a captain in the French navy, received the Croix de St. Louis, and became a corresponding member of the Académie des Sciences. He accompanied an expedition toward the South Pole in 1773–74 and one toward the North Pole in 1776. After fighting with the French navy in the American Revolution, he retired to a plantation in what is now Haiti, where he was killed in a slave uprising in 1793.

Biographie universelle ancienne et moderne (Paris: Delegrave, 1870–73). Marilyn McAdams Sibley, ed., "Across Texas in 1767: The Travels of Captain Pagès," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 70 (April 1967).

  • Exploration
  • Explorers (French)
  • Peoples
  • French
  • Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
  • Authors and Writers
  • Military
  • Soldiers

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

Marilyn M. Sibley, “Pagès, Pierre Marie François de,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 17, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 4, 2020