Monday, April 12, 2010

Arnold Louis de Büren 1775-1854

Arnold Louis was the first son of Louis de Büren (1735-1806) and Marguerite de Sinner (1754-1842). Arnold Louis started his military service in 1792 as an aide-de-camp for his father. He would later become a member of the Artillery forces and then a Cavalry soldier. In 1797 he would enter the University of Leipzig, but his stay would be short as the eminent danger to Bern in 1798 by French forces called him home. Upon his return he would reprise the role of aide-de-camp for his father, the now General Louis de Büren.

Engraving of Louis de Büren, Arnold Louis' father in 1792. Arnold Louis, his aide-de-camp is probably within the frame.

After the French defeat of Bern in 1798, Anold Louis still in his 20s would leave Switzerland to become a Hussard soldier for Frederick Augustus, Elector of Saxony. In 1800 he would leave Saxony to join a Swiss regiment in the service of England. During his service for England he fought battles against the French in Germany. In 1803 he would leave the foreign service and return to Bern where he became a member of the Grand Council from 1811-1815.

Rio Illustration from Daniel P. Kidder's Brazil and the Brazilians portrayed in historical and descriptive sketches.

Sensing an opportunity to make a new life for himself and his family outside Switzerland, in 1820 he left alone for Brazil. After doing some research it seems likely that he went to Nova Friburgo (New Fribourg) near Rio. He did not find the situation in Brazil to his liking, his notions of colonization dashed, he would return 12 months later to Bern.

Nova Friburgo, Brazil in 1820

Interestingly enough, he would pass his sense of adventure onto his sons Louis Amedé and Frédéric who would leave for Indiana in 1830. The descendants of Louis Amedé form the third branch of the family and live in the United States to this day.

Arnold Louis was singular mix of qualities and flaws. He was affable and generous, was very well educated and could have made a great name for himself. He had very strong opinions and was high-minded, but he lacked follow-through and self-discipline. He started to have liver problems in 1847, and his health would slowly deteriorate. He would die in 1854 at the age of 78.


In 1801 Arnold Louis would marry Marie de Herrenschwand (1778-1822), daughter of Amedé de Herrenschwand, Major in the service of France and Knight Order of Merit, and Elisabeth Julie de Herrenschwand.

He had three children by his wife:

1. Arnold Louis Amedé (1802-1879) ∞ Anna Bühler
2. Charles Louis Antoine Frédéric (1804-1878)
3. Emilie Marie Anne (1811-1887)

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