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Judge Pierre Crabitès was born in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, 17 February 1877. Like so many in New Orleans, Pierre Crabitès was a Creole. His father was a wealthy French immigrant, and his mother was a Virginian. Crabitès grew up without want, attending the best private schools and universities that New Orleans had to offer. His family connections helped him when President Taft nominated Crabitès to a seat on the Mixed Courts of Egypt in 1911, and he sat on the bench in Cairo for the next twenty-five years, rendering decisions on many important cases, including the case for the sequestration rights to the tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamen. His career as a judge on the Mixed Courts coincided with a period of British dominance over Egypt, and his anti-British sentiments thus evolved during his stay in Egypt. Several accidents led Crabitès to take up writing as a hobby. He published many book sand articles, and these works exhibit the environment in which he grew up and his anti-British opinions. These anti-British feelings ultimately barred his appointment to the Mixed Courts' Court of Appeals and later hindered his work for the OSS. After serving on the Mixed Courts for twenty-five years, Crabitès took up a post lecturing on law at Louisiana State University. When not busy teaching, Crabitès spent much of his time giving speeches on popular subjects in the 1930s, such as politics and the war. President Roosevelt appointed Crabitès as the American delegate to the Montreaux Convention, which resolved to slowly phase out the Mixed Courts. Crabitès finally realized his goal of obtaining a foreign service post when he accepted a job working for the OSS and Colonel Bill Donovan; however, his anti-British sentiments continued to haunt him when he returned to the Middle East, and he was subsequently transferred from Egypt to Iraq. Unfortunately, Crabitès died soon after his arrival in Iraq on 10 October 1943,in Baghdad.
Pierre Crabites, Mixed Courts, Tutankhamen, Egypt
Date of Defense
August 4, 2005.
A Dissertation Submitted to the Department of History in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Peter Garretson, Professor Directing Dissertation; Alec Hargreaves, Outside Committee Member; Paul Strait, Committee Member; Jonathan Grant, Committee Member; Michael Creswell, Committee Member.
Florida State University
Parkinson, B. R. (2005). Judge Pierre Crabitès: A Bourbon Democrat in Egypt, 1877-1943. Retrieved from http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_migr_etd-2208