French statesman; born at Paris Feb. 26, 1841; died Jan. 28, 1903. The son of a merchant, he was brought up for a commercial career, and in 1862 he founded the house of Astrue et Raynal in Bordeaux. There he became acquainted with Gambetta. During the Franco-Prussian war he held the rank of major of the volunteers of the Gironde.
Raynal entered public life in 1874, when he became alderman for Bordeaux. In 1879 he was elected deputy, and took his seat among the republican unionists. In 1880 he was appointed general secretary in the Department of Public Works. Reelected in 1881, he became minister of that department, under Gambetta. Resigning with the cabinet in Jan., 1882, he accepted the same portfolio under Jules Ferry in Feb., 1883; but again resigned with the cabinet in 1885. Reelected in 1885, 1889, and 1893, he became in Dec., 1893, minister of the interior, but resigned in May of the following year, when Casimir-Périer withdrew from the presidency of the French republic. During this time Raynal was a member of the parliamentary finance committee, and belonged to the republican unionists.
In Jan., 1897, Raynal was elected senator for the department of the Gironde, joining the left wing of the republicans in the Upper House. He served as president of the commission for the improvement of the merchant navy. Raynal took an active part in the debates of both houses, being an able speaker.
- Curinier. Dict. Nat. ii. 43;
- La Grande Encyclopédie;
- Nouveau Larousse;
- Jew. Chron. Jan. 30, Feb. 6, 1903.