The Initial Acadian Settlement

The Initial Acadian Settlement

A New Look at the Initial Acadian Settlement Location in the Attakapas

Donald J. Arceneaux

(last revised 6.10.15)  NOTE: This article is subject to additional revision should a “new” primary-source document (or documents) surface which would be relevant to the theory presented here.

In 1987, Carl A Brasseaux, a foremost scholar of Louisiana Acadian history, published The Founding of New Acadia: The Beginnings of Acadian Life in Louisiana, 1765-1803. Dr. Brasseaux noted that “the oldest of the pioneer communities, called first le dernier camp d’en bas and later Fausse Pointe, was established near present-day Loreauville by late June 1765.” He then suggested some Acadians soon moved and in 1766 the new colonists in the Attakapas were settled there and in three other locations. Two of these locations may have been adjacent to each other. The theorized locations were determined primarily upon examination of the 25 April 1766 Spanish Census and available land records.[1]

I began my interest in early Attakapas Post history about 1995. Over time, as additional primary-source documents have been located, the exact sites of ancient place-name locations have often been reconsidered in geo-historical studies. I studied and restudied the Spanish census and land records. Since 1987 different, previously unknown documents have surfaced. When I came across a reference to a deposition of Jean-Baptiste Broussard and then read a complete translation of it, I realized that one ancient Acadian himself told us where he and his extended family first settled in the Attakapas. Dr. Brasseaux said Broussard’s declaration was “a smoking gun.” I became more and more convinced that from 1765 to 1770 the Acadians were all settled in three adjacent neighborhoods/communities, in essence one location, along a section of Bayou Teche in the Fausse Pointe. Presented here are my answers to long-asked questions: “What were the initial Acadian settlement sites (or site) in the nascent Attakapas Post? What evidence implies their locations?” By piecing together the very early, relevant primary-source documents and the genealogical records for selected families noted in those documents – like constructing a jig-saw puzzle with missing pieces and then interpreting an incomplete picture – a new theory is here put forth regarding the initial Acadian settlement location.[2]


In late February 1765, French colonial officials, awaiting the appearance of their Spanish replacements, reported the arrival by sea of a large group of about 200 Acadians in New Orleans. These Acadians, former prisoners of the British at Halifax, Nova Scotia, had been set free in accord with provisions of the Treaty of Paris.[3] After a brief stop in Saint- Domingue (present-day Haiti), these new immigrants appeared without prior notice in Louisiana’s colonial capitol. Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil[4] was the chief leader of the group, comprised of about fifty-eight to sixty families, many of whom were related by blood or marriage.[5]

The Beausoleil group remained in New Orleans for about seven weeks. Nine baptisms and three marriages were performed in the city’s Catholic Church.[6] An attempt was made to redeem outdated French Canadian card-monies, a type of promissory notes that was held by thirty-two destitute Acadians.[7] Discussions and agreements concerning a settlement location took place between officials, established colonists, and the newcomers. Supplies were issued to the impoverished recent immigrants.[8] Preparations were completed for a move to a new, southern Acadian homeland.

The Acadians had experience raising crops and cattle in their old, north-temperate-climate homeland. A contingent of the Beausoleil group consisted of former residents of the Isthmus of Chignecto region, where profitable Acadian cattle ranching had been well established for decades.[9] After only about a week in New Orleans, the new immigrants were apparently offered land in the far western Attakapas frontier. Frenchmen Antoine-Bernard Dauterive and André Masse were Attakapas land partners. On 2 March 1765 in the City, the partners relinquished title to their frontier land, presumed to have been along Bayou Teche in the vicinity of present-day St. Martinville. In exchange for this ceded tract, the partners were given a large expanse of land named La Prairie du Vermillion located well west of St. Martinville. It is written that the Acadians were to settle specifically on the partners’ ceded east-bank land opposite St. Martinville. It is also reported that the partners’ relinquished land extended from the east-bank all the way to the mouth of Bayou Portage. Dauterive had cattle in the Attakapas. On 4 April in New Orleans, he made a compact with eight Acadian “chiefs” including: Joseph dit Beausoleil Broussard, Alexandre Broussard, Joseph Guilbeau, Jean Dugas, Olivier Thibodeau, Jean-Baptiste Broussard, Pierre Arseneau and Victor Broussard. These eight leaders were possibly also acting for their comrades not present at the formal meeting attended by the governor. Dauterive agreed to furnish five cows and one bull to each willing Acadian, once the newcomers were on the western frontier. After six years, Dauterive would get half their herd’s increases. From their shares, the Acadians would also return to Dauterive his initial investments.[10]

On 8 April in New Orleans, the governor gave Joseph Broussard a title and a responsibility. Beausoleil was named “Captain of Militia and Commandant of the Acadians going to settle on the land of the Acutapas [sic].” The governor reported on 24 April 1765 that the Beausoleil group had “departed New Orleans.” They traveled in boats with supplies bound for their new sub-tropical homeland. On that same date, possibly somewhere along the Mississippi River near present-day Plaquemine, the pastor at St. Francis Church of Pointe Coupée baptized one-day old Marguerite Broussard, daughter of Joseph [Petit Joseph] and his second wife, Marguerite Savoie. These parents were recorded as “Acadians going to establish a new settlement at Attakapas.” The newborn was a granddaughter of Beausoleil. Her male sponsor, André Masse, was absent at the baptism and represented by René Trahan, who was the brother-in-law of the father. Because the child’s parents choose Masse, they may have met the Frenchman before the baptism date, possibly in New Orleans, although there is no known record of Masse there in 1765. Could Masse have traveled with the Acadians to the Attakapas? Perhaps the parents stopped to give birth and Masse accompanied the rest of the Beausoleil group on west? That might explain why Masse was absent at the baptism.[11]

Jean François de Civrey, a Capuchin missionary priest, was assigned the tasks of accompanying the new Acadian colonists to the western frontier and serving them there. He did not perform the Broussard baptism in April on the river. On 11 May 1765, Father Jean François baptized one-day-old Marguerite-Anne Thibodeau. Her parents were Olivier and Marguerite Broussard. Olivier was a party to the Dauterive Compact; Marguerite was the daughter of Alexandre. Both the newborn and her mother died five days after the baptismal ceremony. Their deaths may have been the result of childbirth complications. This is the first known record identifying Acadians present in the Attakapas. The document date reveals that at least some, if not all, of the group had arrived in the Attakapas Post by mid-May 1765. [12]

Jean-Baptiste Semer, the son of Germain and Marie Trahan, his maternal grandmother, Isabelle Darois, and her four married Trahan children were all members of the Beausoleil group. In September 1766, authorities in France reported that they had received “the copy of a letter from Mr. Semer[,] an Acadian settled in Louisiana, addressed to his father, who resides in Le Havre.”[13] Although this letter’s existence was reported, for many years historians were unable to locate such a document. Finally, in 2005 a copy was located in France. This copy was dated 20 April 1766 in New Orleans.[14] It revels that Semer had departed New Orleans in April 1765 and was now back in the city one year later to help return boats used to transport his group to the Attakapas. This very important “new” document, now translated and published, may well be the earliest dated extant first-hand Acadian account of the arrival and settlement in the Attakapas. The complete document is worth reading. Only relevant parts of Semer’s letter are presented now:

I arrived here [New Orleans] in the month of February 1765 with 202 Acadian persons….Beausoleil led [the group]….seven or eight men [as scouts] have [had] been sent to look over the land and locations in order to find a suitable site, and we were told that at Attakapas there were magnificent grasslands with the finest soil in the world…. We [the Beausoleil group] went to Attakapas with guns, powder, and shot, but as it was already the month of May, the heat being so intense, we started to work in too harsh conditions. There were six plows that worked; we had to break in the oxen [and] travel fifteen leagues [to the Opelousas post area] to get horses. Finally, we had the finest harvest, and everybody contracted fevers at the same time and nobody being in a state to help anyone else, thirty-three or thirty-four died, including the children. Those who started again wanted to go and work on their wilderness properties, and they fell ill again, but we came down [to New Orleans] in the month of February 1766 of this year and here [there in the Attakapas] we all are, thank God very well and hoping for a very fine harvest this year, with God’s help, having cleared a great deal [of land]….They have granted us six arpents to married people and four and five [arpents] to young men, so we have the advantage, my dear father[,] of being sure of our land [ownership], and of saying I have a place of my own…. A person who wants to devote himself to property and make an effort will be comfortably off in a few years…. [15]

Semer states that scouts were sent to “look over the land and locations in order to find a suitable site….” He does not name any specific potential settlement locations in the Attakapas. It is also unknown when the scouts returned to make a report.   Were they still on their inspection journey when the land and cattle deals were made in New Orleans?   Regardless, once the Beausoleil group was actively settling on “a suitable site” in the western frontier, I believe Semer’s choice of the words “help” in the phrase: “nobody being in a state to help anyone else…” and “go” in “those who started again wanted to go and work on their wilderness properties…” are important clues to the Beausoleil group’s initial Attakapas settlement strategy, which will be discussed shortly.

The old, colonial Attakapas Post encompassed the modern civil parishes of St. Martin, Lafayette, Iberia, St. Mary and Vermilion.  Part of the post’s northern boundary was Bayou Fuselier.  The middle Teche drainage is rather narrow and defined by natural ridges along both banks.  The ridges can be less than a mile wide. The crests of these ridges are about 20 to 25 feet above sea level, and frequently they are only a short distance from the bayou’s edges. Hardwood and prairie vegetation grew on this “high ground.” The outer elevations of these ridges gradually drop until the decreasing high grounds often end in back lowland swamps or become the base-elevation landscape.   The westernmost bank of the ancient Mississippi River delta system, an escarpment locally called the Coteau, parallels Bayou Teche to the west.  In fact, eons ago the Teche was actually a channel of the Mississippi. At the Coteau, the land again rises to about 35 feet on average.  Beyond the Coteau, a vast prairie terrace, cut by small natural coulees and rivers, extends far toward the sunset. Colonial settlement of the Attakapas started on the Teche ridges (See Map 1).

LATEST Map #1, DJA, 08-22-15 - with Liz

When the Acadians appeared on the western frontier, there were at least five influential French colonists who claimed sizeable portions of Attakapas land along the Teche. Several other inhabitants, including Jean Berard, apparently occupied much smaller tracts of land. Some of these established colonists claimed their Attakapas lands through purchase or occupancy and use; they did not have royal concessions in 1765. Most or all the inhabitants seemed to have generally acknowledged each others’ land privileges. Several of the Frenchmen with large holdings were absentee land owners; most all of them had herds of cattle and horses. The cattle barons’ resident hired hands and Negro slaves were their ranch workers and drovers. Undoubtedly, many of the already established frontier inhabitants, both free and enslaved residents, became involved with the large group of new, Francophone exiles from Acadia.[16]

The 1765 Vermillion Prairie Concession already mentioned was included in a petition to secure land rights filed by the heirs of Bernard Dauterive in the Federal District Court in New Orleans in 1846. The district court ruled in favor of the heirs in 1848; The 1765 Vermillion Prairie Concession already mentioned was included in a petition to secure land rights filed by the heirs of Bernard Dauterive in the Federal District Court in New Orleans in 1846. The district court ruled in favor of the heirs in 1848; the US. Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s decision in 1850..[17]

A copy of the Transcript of Record for the Supreme Court’s case in question was located in December 2013. The 1765 La Prairie du Vermillion concession to Dauterive and Masse is included. The precise date, 14 May 1765, when Masse sold his interest to Dauterive, is now revealed.   Curiously, Masse was Dauterive’s partner in their new land grant for only two months; for an unknown reason, he sold out to his former partner about the same time the Acadians arrived in the Attakapas. Of particular interest among the court records is the 23 August 1836 Affidavit of Jean-Baptiste Degruys on behalf of Bernard Dauterive’s heirs.[18] Degruys settled in the Attakapas about 1777; he had known Dauterive prior to that time. Dauterive was never a full-time resident on his Attakapas land holding. He lived on his Bayougoula plantation along the Mississippi River, where he died in 1776. About 1778, the widow Dauterive and her four children relocated from their river plantation to their Attakapas land. Degruys married Dauterive’s widow in 1779. Duguys’ new family lived on and managed Dauterive’s Attakapas cattle ranch until about 1784. After that, the family relocated to the New Orleans area and essentially neglected their frontier land.

Degruys was 86 years old when he made his declaration; the record states that the old man still had a “very good memory.” However, I believe a relevant part of his affidavit, of interest here, is inaccurate. Some of his “good” memory and his objectivity may be questionable. By the time of the Supreme Court case in 1850, Degruys was deceased; his cross-examination was impossible.

The part of Degruys’ 1836 affidavit germane to this study reads:

Dauterive had extensive lands at Attakapas before the year 1765; he was then in partnership with Andre Masse; Masse had a concession in the upper part of bayou Teche, about two leagues above the church, in partnership with Dauterive; they had there a vacherie.

Some time after the arrival of the Acadians in this country, Dauterive and Masse allowed several of them to move and establish themselves on said land, and they gave to each family who had established themselves on the premises six cows and one bull.

Some time afterwards the number of Dautrive and Masse’s cattle having considerably increased, and many of them run [ran] away and became wild, this circumstance became the cause of constant quarrels between Dauterive and Masse and the Acadians, their neighbors. The Acadians presented then a petition to the governor, exposing to him the wrong that the wild cattle of Dauterive and Masse were doing [to] them, and bege [begged?] the permission of killing them. Tired and harassed with all these difficulties, Dauterive and Masse petitioned then for a new concession in the prairie du Vermillion, between the bayou Tortue, [and] the Vermillion and the Muddy prairies on the seashore, and offered to abandon to the Acadians the land on which they allowed them to establish themselves.

The concession was granted to them on this condition – it was towards the year 1765. They removed there immediately to their [new] vacherie and abandoned their [old] concession, situated on bayou Teche, to the Acadians, as they had agreed to. Since that time, neither Dauterive nor Masse ever pretended to raise or claim any right to [or] title to the said land on the bayou Teche. Shortly afterwards, Masse sold to Dauterive his portion in the land of vacherie du Vermilliom, and form [formed] an establishment in the lower part of bayou Teche, under Mr. Sorel, where he died. Dauterive had in the prairie du Vermillion, about three or four hundred tame cattles and about several thousand wild ones. Dauterive also had a concession on the bayou Teche of a latter date than the one of the prairie du Vermillion. That land was sold by the deponent and his wife, at the exception of six arpents. [19]

In brief, Degruy stated the following: Dauterive and Masse allowed several Acadian families to settle on their Bayou Teche land and gave each family some cattle; the Acadians and the Frenchmen became quarrelsome because the partners’ wild cattle were influencing the Acadians’ cattle; the Acadians complained to the governor; the partners decided to settle the dispute by ceding their Bayou Teche land to the Acadians in exchange for the Vermillion Prairie Concession; the associates moved their cattle operation to their newly granted land west of Bayou Teche; Masse then sold his interest in their new land and the livestock operation to Dauterive, who received, at a later date, a concession on Bayou Teche.

Some of Degruys’ time sequence does not fit the known progression of historic events; unfortunately, the unknowns are just that. The large Beausoleil group was in New Orleans from late February 1765 to about the third week of April. Semer reported that during this seven-week period, presumably in the early part, a few men of the group were sent to inspect the Attakapas’ grasslands. On 2 March 1765 in New Orleans, Dauterive and Masse ceded their old Attakapas land, which was not delineated in the concession document, to the Acadians in exchange for the Vermillion Prairie concession. Degruys identifies the location of the partners’ ceded land as being on Bayou Teche. Perhaps the scouts were to look over this land ceded to them and also identify other suitable sites? Semer does not report that any of the scouting party stayed in the Attakapas. No mention of a conflict over wild-ranging cattle as the reason for the land exchange is recorded in the 2 March document. The Dauterive Compact was agreed to on 4 April in New Orleans. Dauterive and eight Acadian leaders and the governor were present; Masse was also possibly present. In the compact document, Dauterive agreed to furnish five cows and a bull; Degruys stated six cows. The governor reported that 231 Acadians had departed the City by 24 April. This report does not mention whether they traveled to the Attakapas in one or several groups. Semer said the group arrived on the Attakapas frontier in the month of May. The first known Attakapas Acadian document records a birth there on 10 May. Masse sold his interests in the Vermilion Prairie cattle vacherie to Dauterive on 14 May.

Jean-Baptiste Degruys was not a witness to all the events that happened 71 years prior to what he reported as fact. He was possibly confused about the time progression of several events he reported. It is well documented that the Acadians, once well established, along with other small Attakapas cattle ranchers, did have repeated conflicts with the larger ranchers over some of their cattle running wild.[20] Degruys alleges that the Acadians were already in the Attakapas in control of some cattle when a particular conflict over Dauterive and Masse’s wild cattle prompted the partners to cede land to the Acadians along Bayou Teche and move their cattle ranch father west. However, other than Degruys’ questionable 1836 statement in this matter, I have not found direct evidence to suggest that Acadians were present in the Attakapas, except possibly a few scouts, on 2 March 1765, the date the Vermillion Prairie Concession was drawn in New Orleans.

Elements of Degruys’ affidavit may be accurate. It is possible that around mid-May, a number of Acadian families did briefly inhabit some of Dauterive and Masse’s ceded land in accord with the land exchange deal made back in New Orleans. Once on the frontier, these families may have also received cattle from Dauterive in agreement with the cattle compact made in the City. However, there is no known document that suggests the agreement was ever carried out. The identities and numbers of families that possibly landed on the ceded ground are not revealed in Degruys’ statement, nor is their exact settlement location along the Teche explained. The eastern boundary of Dauterive and Masse’s ceded land is reported to have been the mouth of Bayou Portage. That ancient boundary position can be located today on the ground; however, the exact size or shape of this ceded land is unknown. Some of the Beausoleil group may have chosen to settle on some of the ceded land in the vicinity of Bayou Portage rather than along the east-bank of Bayou Teche opposite present-day St. Martinville. This will be examined later.

On 4 September 1771, Dauterive received a Spanish land grant that straddled the Teche and included present-day St. Martinville. Degruys correctly noted this other “latter date” concession. It was one league fronting on both banks. Its depth extended from the Teche to Bayou Tortue on the west-bank and for one-half league on the east-bank.[21]   The cattle baron declared that he had “about 6000 animals [cattle and horses]” on his Attakapas ranch at that time.[22] Dauterive’s 1771 Bayou Teche grant apparently included some of the same land that he and Masse had ceded to the Acadians six years earlier. The 1771 grant did not include land along Bayou Portage. There are no extant land records which even remotely suggest that any Acadian families were settled on the land that Dauterive received in 1771. If Acadians families had actually begun to settle in mid-1765 on the partners’ ceded land along the Teche, possibly in the vicinity of St. Martinville, they did not remain there for very long. Finding a suitable location in 1765 for such a large number of newcomer families to settle on soon provoked some hostility with one cattle baron. However, the newcomers’ presence was also apparently accepted by some.

At least three of the established French colonists had direct, helpful contact with Acadians soon after the newcomers appeared in the Attakapas. All the frontier residents probably interacted with the new immigrants. André Masse signed Acadian baptismal certificates on 11 May and 19 June 1765. Augustin Grevemberg was the male sponsor for the infant baptized on 19 June. In August, Masse was the male sponsor at another Acadian baptism. That same month, Jean-Baptiste Grevemberg, probably Augustin’s younger brother, was a sponsor at yet another Acadian baptism.[23] Augustin and Jean-Baptiste Jr. were the sons of Jean-Baptiste Grevemberg Sr.; these brothers were managing their father’s Attakapas cattle ranch when the Acadians arrived in May 1765. Grevemberg’s land was adjacent to and south of Dauterive and Masse’s land. Grevemberg Sr. became upset with the Acadians because of their chosen settlement site soon after the newcomers appeared. The paper trail which now reveals more of their dispute is worthy of note.

For many years, researchers interested in the history of and settlement patterns in the early Attakapas Post have relied, in part, on historic land records found in the collection of the Louisiana State Land Office. Many of these documents are part of a collection called the Pintado Papers. About 2000, through previously published works, I became aware of a particular set of Pintado records that were relevant to my ongoing attempt to understand early Attakapas Post history. I reviewed microfilm of the records and found four short, typewritten, English-translated Pintado entries: the first was a Memorial of Grevemberg and the second was a concession awarded him by French officials based upon his memorial. Both were drawn in 1765.[24] The other two were a request by Grevemberg for land in 1770 and another concession also dated in 1770. I assumed the translations of the Pintado records were whole. I went to Baton Rouge to ask where the originals were located. Land office personnel looked in their collection, but could not find them. They said that possibly the originals were in the Vicènte Sebastián Pintado Papers Collection in the Library of Congress. I made an attempt to locate them there from afar, but was unsuccessful. I gave up the search and relied on the short, translated Land Office Pintado entries to continue my study. Many of the State Land Office Historic Records are now online. Later, I found out that some Pintado Paper originals are on microfilm in the Hill Memorial Library at LSU. I did not look there.

About three years ago, Shane K. Bernard, historian and archivist for McIlhenny Company, asked me what was the earliest reference to the word “Teche” that I had found thus far. I told him that it was “River Teche” in the translated 1765 concession to Grevemberg recorded in the Pintado Papers. He was interested in both the earliest known dated document to use the historic bayou name and how it was originally spelled. Dr. Bernard took up the search for the originals of the Grevemberg documents.

In October 2013, Bernard was informed that original documents concerning the Grevemberg family, including a 1765 land grant, were now in the archives of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) in Washington, D.C. The documents were donated by the Louisiana Society DAR to NSDAR in 2012.   The LSDAR had acquired them from the St. Mary Landmarks Society of Franklin, Louisiana. These originals were part of many Grevemberg family papers donated to the Franklin society over the years and kept in Grevemberg House Museum, an antebellum home maintained and operated by Landmarks. NSDAR gave the Franklin society the right to publish, share or use scans of the originals.[25]

On 8 November 2013, historian and genealogist David Lanclos completed the translations of six important “new” Grevemberg grant documents now with NSDAR. His timely work is much appreciated. It is as yet unclear if the first of the six, Grevemberg’s Memorial, is the one translated in the Pintado records. If the NSDAR documents are the primary-source originals, then the typewritten Pintado memorial is just a very short abstracted, translated version. It is also possible that these extant documents are approximate copies of the originals which have not surfaced yet. The name “Tuton” and the translated phrase “having more than three thousand cattle” found in the short Pintado memorial are not found on Lanclos’ translation of the six-paragraph memorial in the NSDAR collection. All six Grevemberg family grant documents were written with only a space between them on the old sheets. Each entry date and handwriting style is different. The six grant entries run on to each other; the six are actually, in essence, one document. The first four entries are of concern here. The interpretations of some of the language and meanings in the first entry, Grevemberg’s Memorial, are not easily understood by this researcher; nonetheless, an attempt is now made to present a basic, evolving understanding of this significant new find.

For unknown reasons, once actually in the Attakapas, the Acadians decided not to permanently settle on the Dauterive and Masse ceded land available to them near present-day St Martinville. It appears that the Acadians decided to claim by settlement and occupancy Attakapas land farther down Bayou Teche. The Beausoleil Acadians’ settlement choice resulted in an immediate conflict with Jean-Baptiste Grevemberg Sr. This established Attakapas colonist felt the newcomers were settling on ground he considered his land. He sent a lengthy memorial to French officials in New Orleans explaining the situation from his point of view and requesting royal concessions for all the lands that he considered his ground by purchase or use. The Acadians may have also presented the governor their own point of view of the conflict. The search for such a document is ongoing.

Grevemberg’s six-paragraph memorial is not dated; however it was undoubtedly written in the second-half of May or June or the first-half of July 1765. It is unclear if Jean- Baptiste Grevemberg Sr. wrote it, although a grevenber signature is present at the end. The Frenchman claimed that he had purchased a portion of Attakapas land thirteen years earlier. The boundaries of this parcel are not fully defined and what is written is not exactly clear. Grevemberg’s purchased land was apparently adjacent to the land of Sieur Mas [Masse and also Dauterive] and extended from Riviere de Teiche to Riviere de Vermillon. The parcel apparently included Lac du [sic] Taste [Tasse, also called Lac Flamand in colonial times – today’s Spanish Lake]. Grevemberg had a habitation of “cabins and establishments” at an unidentified site within his purchased tract where “he resides.” Although not included in the memorial, we know that Grevemberg’ sons, hired hands, and slaves were actually the full-time Attakapas residents. His principal residence was his plantation along the Mississippi below New Orleans. Like his neighbor Dauterive, Grevemberg’s Attakapas holding was essentially an additional property, a cattle ranch, possibly with some crop land.

From the Pintado memorial and other land records, we knew that Grevemberg’s purchased land was on the west-bank of Bayou Teche below the land Dauterive and Masse ceded in March 1765 and also apparently below some or all of the La Prairie du Vermillion issued to the partners at the same time. From the lengthy NSDAR memorial, we now know that Grevemberg also claimed another portion of Attakapas land either adjacent to or very near his purchased tract. It was within this “other land” that the Acadians were attempting to settle.

Grevemberg named this other land he claimed “presque isle [the peninsula]” nine times in his memorial. Grevemberg was upset that the newcomers had landed there. He believed that he was being dispossessed of this land by the Acadians. He claimed that the peninsula was never considered a common-use area. He felt that “The recent arrivals have come to encroach with impunity upon the possessions of the [established] inhabitants with the unique motive of expediency.” Where was this Peninsula? The tenth and final time in the memorial the disputed land was named “fausse pointe ou presque isle.” The Acadians apparently were settling on the peninsula formed by the large, irregularly-shaped oxbow of Bayou Teche, which is downstream from present-day Daspit and upstream from New Iberia (See Maps 1 & 2). Today, many refer to both banks of this Teche oxbow as the “Fausse Pointe.” However, just the west-bank land inside the oxbow, a true peninsula, was apparently named the “fausse pointe ou presque isle” in Grevemberg’s 1765 memorial.

Grevemberg was using this peninsula as a defined pasture for his cattle. He believed he had first-rights to the Presque Isle and his wording implies that the other established cattle ranchers did not challenge his claim to it. It is stated that Grevemberg intended to “build a fence in order to close off the isthmus with the view of preventing his animals [cattle] from leaving Presque Isle to go and cause damage to the cultivated lands….” Earlier in the memorial it is written:

His [Grevemberg’s] point of view concerning the lodgers [Acadians] is that they are to occupy [are now occupying?] the narrowest part of a strip of land [the isthmus] constricted between the Riviere Tecihe and Lac du Taste [sic] at which place by means of five or six arpents of enclosure [a fence] it bars passage of his animals [cattle] from that of his neighbors, but when allowed to go other than where intended they [the Acadians] will group in the middle of his property [the presque isle]. The Acadians, however, can only conclude that they should not occupy the presque isle since its acquisition does not determine the quantity of land that it encompasses. Rather, it is evident [to Grevemberg] that this acquisition [present Acadian occupation of the narrowest part of a strip of land?] can only have [other parts of] the said presque isle as its objective.[26]

From the wording of another part of the memorial, it appears that Grevemberg felt the Acadians were justifying their settlement on the Presque Isle because he did not have a royal concession for it, nor had he purchased that land. It is stated that “he [Grevemberg] was not able to purchase this Presque Isle because of his situation prior to determining the use he would have for it….” Now, the cattle baron was using the peninsula and considered it his property by-right-of-first-occupant. He said that the Acadians were wrong to assert that Presque Isle was the only place that could be suitable to them.

Grevemberg contends that the Acadians:

have told all who will listen that they are not permitted to settle on the Riviere Teiche all [at all?] because of the bad quality of the water and the lack of being able to drink from this source, [and] that here [author’s underline – it is unclear exactly where here was] all the land between the said Riviere Tecihe and that of the Vermillon [sic] has been granted to Mr. Masse and Dauterive from the time they settled there up to the present year, and that, additionally their animals [Acadian’s cattle] will mix each day with the undomesticated ones of the said Sieurs Masse and Dauterive. After the harvest, they [the Acadians] have no other alternative but to go and place themselves on the other side [west-bank] of the Riviere Vermillion where they will not be exposed to the above-mentioned inconveniences…. [27]

The disgruntled Frenchman does not mention that the water of the Vermilion would also be unfit for consumption. Surface water in South Louisiana is undrinkable without treatment. The “bad quality of the water” of the Teche did not prevent settlement along its banks.

The memorial does not inform us about the circumstance of Grevemberg’s cattle. Did he have only domesticated stock contained in an enclosure on his purchased tract? And were his cattle on Presque Isle undomesticated – cattle running wild in the woods and prairies, as was apparently the situation with some of the stock of his neighbors? From Degruys’ deposition discussed earlier, we are told that there was an immediate dispute between the Acadians and Grevemberg’s northern neighbors over cattle running wild. It appears that Grevemberg intended to construct a fence across the isthmus to contain his stock. Possibly he also wanted the Acadians to settle on the Vermilion far away from his cattle. Once the newcomers arrived in the Attakapas, some may have actually obtained cattle from Dauterive according to the terms of their compact made in New Orleans, although this is not documented. Amazingly, it is reported that the Acadians actually purchased some cattle from Grevemberg.[28] Was this purchase made before, during, or after their period of conflict with him? The Grevemberg brothers became godfathers of Acadian infants about the same time that their father was in conflict with the Acadians. At least these two sons seemed not to have totally shunned their father’s new, unwanted neighbors.

The memorial states that “after the harvest…the lodgers” should go and settle permanently beyond the Vermillion. This confirms Semer’s statement that the Beausoleil group had planted seeds soon after arrival. The planting location was possibly somewhere on the Presque Isle. Grevemberg may have realized that the newcomers would not easily move far away from their crops, so necessary for immediate survival. Possibly, he had to accept Acadian occupation of the peninsula through one growing/harvesting season, but apparently not for a second planting season.

Grevemberg petitioned officials in New Orleans to acknowledge his ownership of two different portions of Attakapas land by granting him legal concessions to the grounds he already considered his through rights of purchase and occupancy or use. At this time, Louisiana belonged to the Spanish king; Spanish officials had not yet arrived in the colony. French officials were functioning as a caretaker government. On 16 July 1765 in New Orleans, acting Governor Aubry and Controller Foucault granted “Sieur Grevemberg” the following:

La fausse pointe commonly called presque isle on la Riviere Tecihe in the quarter near [of] Attakapas [consisting of] about six leagues in all, extending to the mauvais bois, including the cul-de-sac, the said Fausse Pointe being bounded on one side by the Riviere Tecihe and on the other by the [River] Vermillon, and a [another] plot of land consisting of about one and a half leagues in length adjoining the said fausse pointe, the width being between the said rivers, [and] upon which plot of land he [Grevemberg] is established…. [29]

The concession document further states that Grevemberg can “…firmly hold only the part conceived [granted?] and occupied, the limits which can include certain costs at the time of possession, French or Spanish, in this country, on the conditions that the establishments he has are continued, and upon default as such, the said part will be returned to the domain of the king….”   The “mauvais bois” recorded in this document will soon be considered. The modern definition of a cul-de-sac is “a passage or alley with no exit.” The concession “cul-de-sac” probably referred to the isthmus of the Fausse Pointe, which is a passage onto the Presque Isle.[30]

Reviewing my interpretations of both documents seems to present a somewhat matter-of-fact story of the conflict between Grevemberg and the Acadians – that is, if my analysis is accurate. At least some, if not all, of the large group of newcomers was settling near the isthmus at the western end of the Fausse Pointe peninsular. They felt Grevemberg had no rights to the Presque Isle. Grevemberg considered it his land because he was using the peninsula as grazing ground for his livestock, although he had no legal rights to it and his actual ranch habitation was not on the Fausse Pointe. This peninsula, formed by the Bayou Teche oxbow, was the west-bank of the convoluted waterway. French officials sided with the cattle baron and issued him a patent for the Fausse Pointe and also for his purchased land along Bayou Teche. If the Fausse Pointe land in the document referred to the whole peninsula, and there is no reason to think otherwise, then after 16 July the Beausoleil Acadians would have been considered trespassers. It is unclear who would evict such a large group of determined people from their chosen settlement location after a harvest season. Their leader had been appointed captain of a new militia company by the same officials who sided with their adversary. There are some ambiguities and questions concerning the details presented in Grevemberg’s Memorial.

One of Grevemberg’s 1765 Fausse Pointe grant boundaries was recorded as the River Vermilion. This was obviously an error made by officials in New Orleans who were familiar with bayou names but unfamiliar with their relative locations on the ground. The Fausse Pointe is nowhere near the Vermilion. And where was this mauvais bois named in the grant document? A “bad woods” in colonial times meant a section of seasonally wet bottomland with dense undergrowth that was difficult to traverse or develop. The mauvais bois associated with Grevemberg’s 1765 Fausse Pointe grant was different from another mauvais bois identified in the 1765 La Prairie du Vermillion grant issued to Dauterive and Masse. A remnant of that “bad woods” is still present between Lafayette and Cypress Island. Today’s upper Bayou Tortue flows along its western edge. In the 1780s, there was also a place named “the swamp of Mauvais Prairie” east of Bayou Vermilion and north of present-day Interstate 10. The mauvais bois of Grevemberg’s 1765 grant may likely have been part of a marshy/swampy area shown on an 1863 Civil War map; this bottomland was located between the isthmus of the Fausse Pointe peninsula and Spanish Lake. Over time the margins of that mauvais bois have been partially drained, filled-in and developed. This will be discussed further. Likewise, human development on both Teche ridges in the Fausse Pointe area has increased considerably.[31]

Grevemberg’s Fausse Pointe concession was “about six leagues in all.” A Spanish linear league was about 2.6 miles. It is assumed that the general course of Bayou Teche, as it forms the unusually shaped Fausse Pointe peninsula, has not significantly changed in two-and-a-half centuries. The peninsula has a northern broad sweeping bend and a southern sharp bend. The distance following the Bayou from Daspit to New Iberia is about 16.5 miles. That is close to the “about six leagues” distance (15.3 miles +/-) noted in the grant document. Grevemberg’s granted land, the “Fausse Pointe commonly called Presque Isle on the River Teche,” was apparently only west-bank land inside the Teche oxbow. The east-bank land opposite the actual peninsula may have not been claimed by any other established cattle barons; this will be considered shortly. If the large Beausoleil group of Acadians was indeed excluded from settling on the Fausse Pointe peninsula, where would they go after the 1765 harvest season?

Jean-Baptiste Semer said the Acadians had already planted crops when the deadly epidemic struck in force. Where did they sow seeds? Grevemberg’s Fausse Pointe concession was issued just as Semer’s “fevers” began to seriously affect the new colonists. Father Jean François, missionary priest to the Beausoleil Acadians, became a very busy clergyman.

Between 1 July and 24 November 1765, Father Jean François recorded thirty-nine Acadian burials, the results of a deadly, unidentified epidemic – Semer’s “fevers.” The illness was perhaps smallpox, which was reported in the newly arriving Acadian immigrant population.[32] This malady could have also been yellow fever or typhoid, both of which could be epidemic in colonial Gulf Coast sweltering summers. The priest recorded three sites where twenty-one of the unfortunate victims were buried. Jean François’ Acadian place-names were: Le Premier Camp d’en Bas and Le Dernier Camp d’en Bas and Camp appellé Beau Soleil. Each camp is associated with certain extended families.[33]

Based upon the priest’s use of the word “camps” in association with specific families and Semer’s words “help” and “go,” I suggest that the initial Acadian Attakapas settlement strategy was to first cluster in extended-family communal base camps. The practice of related families first living together in a strange, unfamiliar environment would be very advantageous. Mutual assistance and group protection, especially in times of crisis, would be better assured. Once camp members had each selected undeveloped personal property, workers of a camp could go to each other’s parcels, where they could together help build more permanent shelters and also clear, plow, plant, and cultivate the virgin ground that each had claimed. In their former northern homeland, Acadians had lived for generations in family settlements, often adjacent to each other. The Attakapas newcomers had a history of communal work experience in Acadia; they carried that south. A deadly epidemic disrupted the Beausoleil group’s 1765 collective farming plans. Semer does tell us that by April 1766 some or all of the men had selected individual tracts of land. His statements do not necessarily suggest that by April 1766 these families were already living on their personal properties, nor do his statements suggest that the Acadians were settled in two or more far-separated locations in the Attakapas. By the date of Semer’s letter, the epidemic had passed and the Acadians were looking forward to a more successful second growing season, presumably on the same ground of the first planting season.

In early March 1766, the much-anticipated first Spanish governor, Antonio de Ulloa, arrived in New Orleans. He soon ordered a census made of all the residents of Spanish Louisiana under his jurisdiction. The 1766 Census of the Colony of Louisiana was compiled by combining individual censuses for each settlement area within the colony. The new Spanish governor and his counterpart, the former French governor, conducted an inspection tour of colonial settlements. The officials visited the Attakapas Post.[34]

Governor Ulloa’s colonial survey included an Attakapas Spanish Census that was dated 25 April 1766.[35] This was only five months after Father Jean François’ last burial date and five days after Semer’s letter date. In 2006 the translation of an untitled and undated French document was published; this new find is obviously a companion of the 1766 Attakapas Spanish census.[36] This French document does not have all the numerical counts found on the Spanish document. It also has some slight differences in names and spellings from its counterpart, a most important one being in place-names. Both documents identify the same three locations, each named a quartel [neighborhood/community/sector] on the Spanish census and a camp on the French census.

On the April 1766 Spanish census, there were 40 Acadian residents at Quartel de la Punta; 41 at Quartel de el Caño de Tortuga sand 42 at Quartel de la Manque (See endnote 24). I have combined the Spanish and the French place-names for the three locations. That the French place-names were “camps” suggests that some or all the epidemic survivors were possibly still living in the extended-family communal camps recorded by Father Jean François as late as 24 November 1765. Six months after the epidemic ended, all the extended families possibly had not yet moved from their initial base camp sites to their individual land parcels. Just as with the priest’s three place-names, the censuses’ three place-names are not found in later Attakapas documents. These earliest Acadian locations are not revealed in the documents recording them. Evidence will be presented that suggests that each of the 1765 priest’s camp sites was somewhere within the same general area of each of the 1766 censuses’ neighborhoods. I will also propose that all three neighborhoods were somewhat adjacent to each other along about a ten mile section of Bayou Teche. Together, I consider them one Attakapas location. The land conflict with Grevemberg will be considered further. The three Acadian sectors will be referred to here by their full italicized names or shortened versions.

Le Dernier Camp d’en Bas and Quartel de la Punta/Camp de la Pointe

Between 26 July and 22 October 1765, Father Jean François buried six Acadians at Le Dernier Camp d’en Bas and three at Le Camp d’en Bas. Alexander Broussard and Joseph Girouard were buried at Le Camp d’en Bas. Alexander’s wife, Marguerite Thibodeau, and his daughter, Théotiste Broussard, were buried at Le Dernier Camp d’en Bas. It seems very unlikely that husband and wife would have been buried at different camps. Jean-Baptiste Semer’s grandmother and Semer’s aunt, Ursule Trahan, were both also interred at Le Dernier Camp d’en Bas. Ursule’s first husband was Joseph-Grégoire Broussard, a son of Alexandre; her second was Joseph Girouard. One daughter of Alexandre and one of Joseph dit Beausoleil were each married to Ursule’s brothers, Jean and René Trahan respectively; these brothers were Semer’s maternal uncles. The Acadians were a tight-knit, clannish people. The other four Acadians buried at Dernier Camp were members of these combined extended-families. Other members perished, but their burial locations were not recorded.[37]

On the April 1766 Spanish census, all but one of Alexandre Broussard’s surviving family members were residents at Quartel de la Punta/Camp de la Pointe. Jean Trahan, Alexandre’s son-in-law, was at La Pointe. Trahan’s mother, sister and some of his wife’s family had all been buried at Le Dernier Camp in 1765. Joseph-Pepin Hébert, an orphan whose father was Alexandre’s wife’s first cousin, also resided at La Pointe. Joseph Guilbeau died during the epidemic. Like Alexandre Broussard, Guilbeau had been a participant in the Dauterive Compact. His 1765 burial place was not recorded. It may well have been at Le Dernier Camp, because Magdeleine Michel, Guilbeau’s widow, and her three unmarried sons and her unmarried daughter and her four married daughters were all at La Pointe in 1766. The unmarried Guilbeau daughter would marry Sylvain Broussard, a son of Alexandre, also a La Pointe resident. One of the unmarried Guilbeau sons and Joseph-Pepin Hébert would both marry daughters of Jean Trahan.

Where was Le Dernier Camp, clearly linked with Alexandre Broussard’s family and Jean Trahan’s family; and Quartel de la Punta/Camp de la Pointe, associated with these two families and the Guilbeau family?

In 1990, Glenn Conrad published Land Records of the Attakapas District: Volume I, The Attakapas Domesday Book, Land Grants, Claims, and Confirmations in the Attakapas District, 1764-1826. Conrad’s extensive work is a standardized, abstracted compilation of federal and state land records presented by township and range; it includes his editorial notes for some records. Digital copies of many historic Louisiana State land records are now available on the Internet. Conrad’s book has been used extensively in my research of early Attakapas history. The cover of my copy is much frayed; its pages have many penciled-in remarks.[38]

On page 271, one of Conrad’s editorial notes, “Additional information is provided,” sparked my curiosity years ago. In 1815, Louis Delahoussaye made a claim to the U.S. Board of Land Commissioners for inherited land. Conrad had abstracted a declaration made in 1799 by Jean-Baptiste Broussard, Alexandre’s oldest son and also a participant in the Dauterive Compact. Broussard’s statement dealt with land that he and his brothers had freely ceded in 1772 to Louis’ father, Paul Pelletier Delahoussaye.[39] The “additional information” was found in the American State Papers (ASP). I immediately reviewed Louis Delahoussaye’s land claim records in ASP to understand what this “additional information” revealed and was extremely and pleasantly surprised to learn that Jean-Baptiste Broussard himself told us where he and his family first settled in the Attakapas.

This very significant 1799 declaration, that I consider direct evidence, is the smoking gun mentioned earlier; it reveals the following:

[I]n the year 1772, Mr. de la Houssaye (here) arrived in the [Attakapas] post for the purpose of settling in it with his family; he [Jean-Baptiste Broussard] the deponent, Sylvaine [sic] Broussard, the [now] deceased Simon Broussard, and John Frahan [sic], their brother-in-law, have [had] ceded, by their free will, all their pretensions to the said La Houssaye, not only on their lands situated at Fausse Point, which they occupied seven years previous to that date, but he, the deponent, on his buildings where he immediately settled, cultivated, and resided for five years; and the land ceded by the four named contained forty arpents on each side of the river Teche.[40]

An Alexandre Broussard family member pointedly states “immediately settled…on their lands situated at Fausse Point…on each side of the river Teche.”

By the time of the 1799 declaration, Paul Pelletier Delahoussaye was deceased. The ASP land records reveal that he had petitioned Spanish officials for a frontier concession on 18 September 1771. On 8 October 1771 Delahoussaye was put in possession of the Attakapas land that he requested situated in the “post of Attakapas, quarter of Fausse Pointe.” This land was “Bounded on one side by land of Étienne de Vaugine and on the other side by royal domain [land].” Apparently a title in form was not issued to Delahoussaye in 1771. Jean-Baptiste Broussard said that Delahoussaye arrived in 1772. Delahoussaye may have actually arrived in 1771. De Vaugine, his brother-in-law, may have also arrived then. Both men were former French military officers. The ASP reported that “Mr. La Houssaye resided on the left side[41] of the river Teche, where his principle fields of cultivation were [located].” Delahoussaye’s house site may have been on a higher, well drained location on the east-bank ridge of the Teche; in south Louisiana, inches do matter. Perhaps Delahoussaye’s habitation was on the same site where Broussard declared he had immediately built buildings, resided and cultivated for five years. In 1773, an inventory of de Vaugine’s property was made at his plantation home located “at a place commonly called Fausse Pointe on the east bank of the river Teichte.”[42] The brothers-in-laws’ habitation sites were on the same bank. Again, were the Broussards’ residences “immediately” also on the east-bank? “Immediately” seems clear, yet Jean-Baptiste Broussard’s seven-year count in his 1799 declaration seems inconsistent.

The Acadians arrived in the Attakapas in mid-May 1765. Broussard said he and his brothers “occupied” their lands at Fausse Pointe for seven years “previous” to 1772, the year they ceded their lands to Delahoussaye. According to his “for seven years” count, Broussard’s family occupied their Fausse Pointe lands from 1765 to 1772. Broussard also said that he “immediately settled, cultivated and resided for five years” on land on both banks of the Teche at Fausse Pointe. His two brothers and their brother-in-law apparently also immediately settled in that general same location. By “immediately” did Broussard mean when the Beausoleil group first arrived in the Attakapas in mid-May 1765? If so, then, according to his “for five-years” count, Broussard resided and cultivated at Fausse Pointe from 1765 to 1770. So was Alexandre Broussard’s family at Fausse Pointe for five or seven years? The two statements seem inconsistent, unless “resided” and “occupied” meant different things to the deponent. If Broussard had said that he and his brothers “first occupied” their Fausse Pointe lands seven years “previous” to 1772, his two figures would be less ambiguous. As we shall soon learn, most all of the Alexandre Broussard family was not at Fausse Pointe in 1772. According to the land records noted above, Delahoussaye was put in possession of Fausse Pointe land in October 1771; this was at least three months before the Broussard brothers apparently ceded that land at an unknown specific date in 1772. Jean-Baptiste Broussard was 67 years old in 1799. Perhaps he was off by a year or two when he said “occupied…for seven years.” Even though Broussard made his statement thirty-five years after the fact, he would have probably remembered where he “immediately” settled in the Attakapas and also that at least five to seven years later he ceded his initial settlement location on both banks of the Teche at Fausse Pointe to “Mr. de la Houssaye.”

Paul Pelletier Delahoussaye’s original 1771 petition was for forty arpents of land. About 25 years later, Louis Delahoussaye needed clarification for the land he inherited from his father. The known location of the “forty arpents front on both sides” ceded by the Broussards in 1772 is based upon surveys made in 1796 and 1799. Some or all of this surveyed Delahoussaye land was the same land where the Alexandre Broussard family first settled for five years, starting in mid-1765. Delahoussaye’s original 1771 land, surveyed in the 1790s, includes Section 5,6,7,59,60 and 77, T12N R7E. That old tract is located along both banks of the Teche about three miles downstream from present-day Loreauville (See Map 2).

LATEST Map #2, Taylor ((Fausse Pointe) 08-21-15 - with Liz     updated map legend

The Teche makes a sharp turn (the lower, sharp point within the greater Fausse Pointe oxbow) three miles below Loreauville. Sometime before 18 August, 1772, Étienne de Vaugine was apparently issued a land grant that includs Section 2 and 58, T12N R7E (See endnote 42). He apparently had been occupying or had interests in that tract in October 1771 when his brother-in-law was placed in possession of adjacent land. It is written (without adequate citation) that de Vaugine was present on his land in 1764. I find this suspect. In 1773 it was reported that Delahoussaye and de Vaugine had “made only one harvest in the Attakapas.” [43] De Vaugine’s land grant was also along both banks of the Teche, upstream from and adjoining his brother-in-law’s land; it included the sharp point. The land that the Alexandre Broussard family freely ceded to Delahoussaye was just below that sharp point. This area along the Teche is within the present-day rural community called Belle Place. The center of the Delahoussaye 1790s surveyed land is near the bridge-crossing of the Olivier-Belle Place-Road/State Road 320. Highway 86 runs right over original Alexandre Broussard family land. And, just as Jean-Baptiste Broussard reported, “both sides” of the Teche are within Section 77, T12N R7E.

Jean-Baptiste Broussard’s statement that he and his family “immediately” settled on both banks of the Teche at Fausse Pointe seems at odds with the newly located 1765 Grevemberg grant document, which records that Jean-Baptiste Grevemberg was given the “Fausse Pointe commonly called the Peninsula.” After July 16, the actual peninsula, which is west-bank land, was apparently legally owned by Grevemberg.   If Alexandre Broussard’s family had honored Grevemberg’s royal land rights, then they would have only settled on the east-bank opposite the peninsula. On the other hand, in 1773 when de Vaugine’s inventory was made, the east-bank opposite the actual peninsula was also included in “a place commonly called Fausse Point.” The precise location of the early colonial place-name Fausse Pointe apparently could refer to a slightly different area depending on who used that name and when it was recorded on a primary-source document.

The epidemic struck the Acadians at about the same time that Grevemberg was in dispute with them over land rights on the peninsula. Did the epidemic affect Grevemberg’s attitude toward the newcomers? Given the turmoil of a deadly epidemic in a hot, humid season in a new, foreign homeland, could the Acadians have realistically moved off Grevemberg’s peninsula land in the summer of 1765 during a raging time of disease? After mid-July, did the Alexandre Broussard family disregard Grevemberg’s west-bank ownership, or did the French cattle baron actually allow the Acadians to remain on his land grant for the planting and harvesting season, as might be interpreted from his memorial? Did the Acadians first occupy only the east-bank opposite the peninsula, which was apparently royal domain land available to them, and then spill over onto Grevemberg’s west-bank land with or without his consent? The resolute Acadian families who arrived in the Attakapas had survived the trials of eight years of a horrific ethnic cleansing. For generations, the Acadians – a distinct North American Francophone culture – were known to be self-determined, industrious, persistent, pragmatic and, at times, obstinate. Did Grevemberg realize that he alone could not move the newcomers off the peninsula? Did the other French cattle barons support Grevemberg’s right to the peninsula? Did Grevemberg decide that he did not actually need the peninsula to continue his Attakapas cattle operation?

Grevemberg’s patent states that “he can firmly hold only the part conceived and occupied, the limits which can include certain costs at the time of possession….” The Frenchman apparently had cattle grazing on the peninsula in 1765. Was that enough to actually have a “firm hold” on the “part conceived and occupied”? Did Grevemberg have “certain costs [payments]” to the French or Spanish kings to fulfill the “limits [requirements]” of his new peninsula grant? If so, did he perhaps not pay them and default on the peninsular land, thereby allowing the Acadians to legally settle on both banks? The answers to all these and other related questions may never be fully answered. Regardless of the lack of details explaining the outcome of the dispute between Grevemberg and the Acadians, Alexandre Broussard’s oldest son nevertheless reported that his family “immediately settled…on both sides of the Teche…at Fausse Pointe.”

Grevemberg’s Memorial implies that some or all of the Acadians landed near the isthmus of the Fausse Pointe with the intent to occupy more of the peninsula. This was unacceptable to the colonist born in French Flanders; he wanted them to move elsewhere. Grevemberg was granted the peninsula in mid-July. Perhaps some of the unwanted newcomers moved farther east to the other end of the Fausse Pointe peninsula. Jean-Baptiste Broussard tells us that he immediately settled and cultivated on both banks of the Teche at Fausse Pointe. Jean-Baptiste Semer tells us that the Acadians had already planted seeds somewhere in the Attakapas when the fevers began. Father Jean François’ records tell us that the epidemic apparently first struck in force about the beginning of July and members of Jean-Baptiste Broussard’s family including his father, mother, sister, sister-in-law and her mother were all buried at or in the near vicinity of an extended family camp called Le Dernier Camp d’en Bas. The last burial at that camp occurred on 22 October 1765. Alexandre Broussard’s surviving family was settled in a neighborhood named Quartel de la Punta/Camp de la Pointe in April 1766.   Jean-Baptiste Broussard also tells us that he resided at the Fausse Pointe for five years. From all the evidence presented thus far, even with some inconsistencies and unknowns, the location of both the 1765 Le Dernier Camp site and also the 1766 Camp de la Pointe site must have been in the Fausse Pointe area because of Jean-Baptiste’s declaration, and because Alexandre Broussard’s extended family is clearly linked with Le Dernier Camp and were recorded at Quartel de la Punta/Camp de la Pointe. I suggest that the 1765 camp site and the 1766 neighborhood were in the same general Fausse Pointe location with the above noted sections in T12N R7E. There is other indirect evidence to support this.

Jean Berard was a young French merchant. He settled in the Attakapas about 1764. Although Berard was apparently present in the Attakapas in 1766, curiously he is not recorded on either the Spanish or French censuses drawn that year. He was a notary at the post in 1767. On 29 February 1768, Berard petitioned Governor Ulloa for a concession on the “left-bank” of Bayou Teche. On 1 June 1768, Ulloa issued Berard “a grant of land measuring six arpents by thirty at Atakapas in the place requested.” This grant was identified on a map included in a survey record made in 1798.  Berard’s 1768 grant was a long, rectangular tract that included Sections 51, T12S R6E and 19, T12S R7E (See Map 2).  This land grant location is within present-day New Iberia, running SW-NE from the City Park area to the Teche near Morbihan.[44] When Berard received his grant, the governor noted that “this concession becomes null if Jean Berard has neither wife nor children.” Sometime in 1768 or early 1769, the notary married Anne Broussard, a daughter of Alexandre.[45] Anne was a resident at La Pointe in 1766.  Berard’s 1768 grant was down the Teche from the land ceded by Alexandre’s family to Delahoussaye in 1772.  The location of Berard’s grant and his association with Alexandre’s daughter may support the contention that the La Pointe neighborhood was along the lower Fausse Pointe.  For years, Berard was a notary and an influential citizen in the Attakapas Post jurisdiction.  Along with Acadians, he undoubtedly interacted with Paul Pelletier Delahoussaye.

From Delahoussaye family land records and Jean-Baptiste Broussard’s 1799 declaration, we can now infer that the 1765 Le Dernier Camp d’en Bas site, where members of Alexandre Broussard’s family were interred, including Alexandre himself, and the April 1766 Quartel de la Punta/Camp de la Pointe neighborhood were both somewhere within the land “immediately” settled by Alexandre’s family. This general area included some or all of the land eventually granted to Delahoussaye and possibly some adjacent land granted to de Vaugine. Both the Le Dernier Camp site and the La Pointe neighborhood were somewhere along the Teche within the general vicinity of the modern Olivier-Belle Place Road bridge-crossing, probably on some of the highest grounds along one or both Teche ridges from upper Belle Place down to near Morbihan. The outside ridge on the east-bank might be a prime, first candidate for continued research into the footprint of the ancient Le Dernier Camp d’en Bas. Aside from Jean-Baptiste Broussard’s important 1799 declaration, actual civil land records for Acadians from 1765 to 1771 have not been located.

In his letter, written in April 1766, the same month that the Attakapas Spanish Census was dated, Jean-Baptiste Semer reported that the Beausoleil Acadians had already been “granted” land. Semer may have meant that by April the Acadians had been authorized to select and develop their individual parcels of Attakapas land consisting of a specific size. Semer said “my dear father…I have a place of my own….” Like Delahoussaye, who was put in possession of land without a title in form, I feel that in April 1766 the Acadians had probably not yet received official patents for their selected, authorized parcels, because on the 1771 Attakapas Census all of the Acadians had land “without a title,” possibly meaning that surveyed royal land grant documents had not yet been issued. The first records of land grants issued to some of the Beausoleil Acadians were dated June 1771.[46]

This first known set of Acadian grants was undoubtedly, at least in part, the result of decisions made in the beginning of 1770 by the second Spanish governor, General Alexandre O’Reilly. He reported that “complaints and petitions made by the inhabitants… of Attakapas” and other western posts prompted some changes. These complaints were presented to his representatives, military officers Eduardo Nugent and Juan Kelly, when they were in the Attakapas in December 1769 to administer a Spanish loyalty oath to the adult male residents.[47]

On 18 February 1770 in New Orleans, O’Reilly issued new, far-reaching concession and cattle ordinances for his entire Spanish colony.[48] He explained that “the tranquility of the settlers…demands a new set of regulations establishing the size of concessions….” Specific regulations limited the size of large Attakapas land grants to “one league frontage [on a waterway] by one league in depth” or “one and a half leagues by one-half league” if necessary. Another ordinance required a settler “to prove that he owns one hundred domesticated head of cattle, some horses and sheep, and that he has two slaves to tend to them” in order to acquire a concession of forty-two arpents frontage by forty-two arpents in depth.” One cattle ordinance required owners to brand their stock; if this was not done before the cattle reached eighteen months, then the ranchers could not claim them as their own. Colonial Attakapas brand records do not contain land location information. Another cattle ordinance dealt with the problem of unrestrained cattle. O’Reilly said that “Nothing is more harmful to the settlers than stray cattle.” He set a date, 1 July 1771, for cattle owners to round up and restrain or kill their stray stock to ensure a profit from them. After that date anyone could kill strays. It appears that the petit habitant Acadian settlers, with a few livestock and no slaves yet, complained in December 1769 that the French cattle barons were claiming most all Attakapas land along Bayou Teche and the Acadians had no room to expand as their family sizes increased.   They also complained that the cattle barons’ wild cattle were influencing their tame cattle and trampling their crops. The cattle barons’ original land claim amounts were reduced to a specified size; this opened some of their former large land quantities to new settlement. Some Acadians immediately took advantage of O’Reilly’s new regulations.

On 4 February 1770, the governor appointed Gabriel Fuselier de la Claire the commandant of both the Opelousas and Attakapas Posts. Sixteen days later, on the same day the new Spanish land ordinances were set forth, O’Reilly authorized and instructed Fuselier to “mark [the boundaries of] the properties…requested by Habitants….” We shall soon learn that some of these habitants were evidently the adult men of Alexandre Broussard’s and Joseph Guilbeau’s extended families who had been settled along the lower Fausse Pointe in the 1766 La Pointe neighborhood. They were now relocating. They had been some of Grevemberg’s neighbors to the southeast; now they would be well north of his ranch location.[49]

Back on 6 February 1770, two days after Fuselier became commandant, Jean-Baptiste Grevemberg Sr., together with his five sons, submitted a petition to the governor for an “immutable” concession of land consisting of “one and one-half leagues on the River Teche beginning from [at] the Isle du Copaline [Island of the Sweet Gums] adjacent to Mr. Dauterive [and] as far as Fausse Pointe and descending the river, and being fifty arpents in depth….” This request was signed by Augustin Grevenber [sic].[50] Curiously, this was twelve days before O’Reilly’s ordinances were dated. Perhaps the father was informed that his 1765 Attakapas concession for “one and a half leagues in length adjoining the said Fausse Pointe, the width being between the said rivers [the Teche and Vermilion]” was about to be reduced in size and he would soon have to surrender rights to land along the Vermilion. He was probably also about to lose any remaining rights he had to the Fausse Pointe peninsula.   We have already learned that some Acadians had been occupying the lower Fausse Pointe for five years.

There is an interesting revelation in Grevemberg’s February 1770 land petition. That year, beyond the Island of the Sweet Gums, Dauterive was Grevemberg’s adjoining northern neighbor on the Teche. Dauterive apparently had been occupying this land for over a year before he received a grant in September 1771. Back in March 1765 in New Orleans, Dauterive and Masse had ceded their land along the Teche to the Acadians in exchange for the Vermilion Prairie grant that was described as being between the “River Tortue” and the Vermilion. Masse sold out to Dauterive in May 1765, about the same time Acadians arrived in the Attakapas. Degruys stated that some Acadian families had settled on the partners’ ceded Bayou Teche land. I suggested earlier that, if indeed some families occupied the partners’ ceded land, they did not remain there for very long. I find Degruys’ statement suspect. The 1765 Grevemberg Memorial, made between mid-May and 16 July 1765 and discussed at length earlier, stated that “all the land between the said Riviere Tecihe and that of the Vermillion has been granted to Mr. Masse and Dauterive from the time they settled there up to the present year.” The memorial does not state that after March 1765 the partners no longer possessed the land between the Teche and the Tortue, nor does it state that Masse sold out to Dauterive. In his 1765 memorial, Grevemberg does not mention that the Acadians should settle on land ceded by Dauterive to them above his land. However, he is upset that the newcomers are settling on the Presque Isle. It seems unusual that Grevemberg would not have known of such important events involving his neighbors when he presented his memorial. That document implies that Dauterive and Masse were still partners and had land along the Teche. Grevemberg makes no mention of the Tortue, although he clearly refers to the Teche and Vermillion.

On 2 March 1770 in New Orleans, O’Reilly issued “Sieur Grevemberg dit Flaman [sic]” a concession for one and one-half leagues front by a half league in depth in the place designated in Flamand’s February request. The governor also stated that this amount of land was “prescribed in our regulation of the 18th of last February.”[51] Back on 6 February, how did Grevemberg know to request only the exact amount of land that would be legally available to him twelve days later? And, if Grevemberg’s 1765 grant to the peninsula had been upheld until 18 February, the Alexandre Broussard family would not have legally been able to settle along both banks of the Fausse Pointe for the previous five years. Regardless of what was the position of Grevemberg after 1765 regarding the Alexander Broussard family’s rights to lower Fausse Pointe land, these Acadians were beginning to move off the Fausse Pointe.

Alexandre Broussard’s and Joseph Guilbeau’s sons and sons-in-law, including Jean Berard, were heads of a group of ten families who relocated from their old La Pointe neighborhood to a new Acadian settlement location about twenty-four miles north along the Teche, where they all received Spanish land grants on 20 June 1771 at a place called La Pointe du Repos (See Map 3). This explains why Jean-Baptiste Broussard, his brothers, and Jean Trahan freely gave up interest in their former Fausse Pointe land at today’s Belle Place to Delahoussaye in 1772. Some or all of these Acadian families apparently were residing on their new lands for a time before they received their dated grant documents because on 4 February 1771, Silvain [Sylvain] Broussard submitted a formal requête (a petition) to the third Spanish governor, Luis de Unzaga, for a land grant of six arpents at a place “commonly called l’anse au [sic] la pointe au repos sur le bord Occidental [west-bank] de la Riviere Têche.” [52] Three months later, Sylvain and the other nine former residents from La Pointe were issued grants on both banks at that location.

LATEST Map #3 Taylor (Parks) 02-06-14

These grants, the first known set awarded to Beausoleil Acadians, were probably located on some ground formerly claimed by the established cattle barons. In 1762, Jean-Francois Le Dée, a businessman in New Orleans, purchased Attakapas land and cattle; the specific location is not identified in the sale document. In February 1769, Le Dée was issued a grant for a large tract of land, presumed to be the land he purchased seven years earlier.[53] His land was centered in the present-day Breaux Bridge area. Although not verified in land records, Le Dée’s original 1769 grant size probably was reduced to the prescribed size when O’Reilly’s new land regulations took effect. Some of Le Dée’s original land along the Teche included the upper La Pointe du Repos area where Acadians received grants in 1771.

Almost all of the 1766 La Pointe neighborhood settlers relocated north along the Teche to the La Pointe du Repos location about 1770-1771. This new Acadian settlement location was upstream from and including present-day Parks. These settlers’ old and new locations were both along prominent bends of the Teche; the 1766 La Pointe location, along the lower Fausse Pointe oxbow, was different from the La Pointe du Repos location at Parks. The La Pointe residents probably scouted their new location with the intent to relocate prior to the actual move. They possibly were planning to move when the 14 February ordinances were made official and new land became open for settlement. This may explain, in part, why O’Reilly ordered Fuselier to immediately begin marking boundaries on the same date the ordinances were publicly issued. There is another document that suggests that these Acadians were planning to move or were actually relocating in February 1770. On the 28th of that month, O’Reilly issued a directive to all the Attakapas residents.

O’Reilly’s 28 February 1770 order was issued “Based upon the presentations that were made to us [Nugent and Kelly] regarding L’ Isle nommée des Cypres Située aux atakapas being indispensably necessary to the settlers in that section.” The governor set aside L’ Isle des Cypres as a common, timber-harvesting ground. Wood was needed for building materials, fence posts, and firewood. This ancient commons was undoubtedly within today’s Cypress Island area, which is adjacent to Parks. Cypress Island is also an early Attakapas place-name. Some of “the settlers in that section” probably referred to the former La Pointe Acadians and four other Acadian families who will be discussed later. In early 1770, these Acadian colonists were probably starting to relocate north to land along Bayou Teche where a nearby common woodlot was established for them.[54]

In March 1771, Joseph-Pépin Hébert married Jean Trahan’s daughter. The newlyweds had both been singles at La Pointe in 1766. On 17 February 1772, Hébert was issued a land grant at La Pointe du Repos. This date was eight months after his father-in-law and the others from La Pointe received their grants. Back in 1769, Hébert had been living in the household of his second cousin, Jean-Baptiste Broussard. Could Broussard, his brothers and their brother-in-law, Jean Trahan, have waited for their relatives to marry before formally ceding land at La Pointe to Delahoussaye? If so, that might explain the year-discrepancy discussed earlier. By early 1772, all these former La Pointe residents were settled at La Pointe du Repos.[55]

The full name of the bend area at present-day Parks was L’ Anse de la Pointe du Repos. After 1800, in some church and civil records La Pointe du Repos was shortened to just La Pointe. In several records the bend at Parks was named Pointe des Acadiennes or Pointe du Bon Repos or L’Ance du Bon Repos. There are several significant named points/bends/turns along the Teche including: Grande Pointe, La Pointe du Repos, Fausse Pointe, Indian Bend and Irish Bend. The location named La Punta/La Pointe on the 1766 censuses was different from the location named L’Anse du la Pointe du Repos on Sylvain Broussard’s 1771 requête document.[56]

By piecing together all the relevant details and my interpretations of them in the primary documents presented here, I have inferred that the 1765 La Dernier Camp d’en Bas, associated with Alexandre Broussard’s extended family, and the 1766 Quartel de la Punta/Camp de la Pointe neighborhood, associated with the families of Alexandre Broussard, Joseph Guilbeau and Jean Trahan, were both located somewhere within the general area of Belle Place along the lower Fausse Pointe oxbow. Where were the other two 1766 Acadian neighborhoods?

Camp appellé Beau Soleil and Quartel de el Caño de Tortugas/Camp du Bayou des Tortue

Joseph Broussard, like his older brother Alexandre, was a casualty of the tragic epidemic. Father Jean François wrote that on 20 October 1765  le corps de feu [deceased] Joseph Broussard dit Beau Soleil, Capitaine Comandant les Acadiens des Atakapas ete inhume au camp appellé Beau Soleil.  The Captain is the only known person, in all of the thirty-nine burial records, interred at Camp Beausoleil. It appears that most of Beausoleil’s extended-family survived the epidemic; Alexandre’s family was not so fortunate. The probable general area of La Dernier Camp d’en Bas, Alexandre’s burial site, has just been put forth. What evidence suggests the general area of Camp Beausoleil? [57]

In April 1766, six months after Captain Joseph Broussard was interred at Camp Beausoleil, all his extended family were residents of a neighborhood named Quartel de el Caño de Tortugas/Camp du Bayou des Tortue [sic].[58] René Trahan, Jean Trahan’s brother and also Beausoleil’s son-in-law, and Jean-Baptiste Semer, the Trahan brothers’ nephew, were also there. Again, the French word Camp suggests that Beausoleil’s surviving family members might still have been living in the communal base camp area where they had buried their patriarch only six months earlier.

Given the April 1766 Acadian neighborhood named Quartel de el Caño de Tortugas/Camp des Bayou des Tortue, a place associated with Joseph Broussard’s family, it could logically be assumed that this 1766 Tortugas/Tortue location was along present-day Bayou Tortue – a waterway that runs between Spanish Lake and Bayou Vermilion. The upper Bayou Tortue area, named Côte Gelée in colonial times, was indeed one of the 1766 Acadian settlement locations proposed years ago by Dr. Brasseaux. In October 1765, was Camp Beausoleil also in this area? As will be explained below, after much examination, I question if any Acadians were actually settled in 1766 in the Côte Gelée area, which includes the present-day town of Broussard – a village that started in 1884.

The land settlement conflict in 1765 between Grevemberg dit Flamand and the Acadians and his two 1765 land grants have already been discussed in depth. Grevemberg’s grant for one and a half leagues in length apparently included Lac du Taste; this grant fronted on Bayou Teche and ran to the Vermilion. He had a habitation on this land, which may have included Bayou Tortue north of present-day Spanish Lake – a water body named both Lac Tasse and Lac Flamand in colonial times. Dauterive and Masse’s 1765 La Prairie du Vermillion grant was just above Grevemberg’s land. Their grant was “bounded east by the Riviere des Tortues and the Lac du Tasse, north by the Mauvais bois, west by the Riviére Vermillion….” Why Lac du Tasse was included in their boundary description is not clear, because Grevemberg may have actually had the land adjacent to Lac du Taste. In the Vermilion Prairie grant document, Riviere des Tortues undoubtedly referred to a historic waterway that ran from the northern Spanish Lake Basin to Bayou Vermilion; this waterway is present-day Bayou Tortue,

The Spanish Lake Basin and Bayou Tortue have both been altered considerably since 1765. The historic lake basin included a lake and adjoining marsh/pond/swamp lands on the north, east and southeast sides of the lake. The original lake surface area has been reduced and a drivable levee now encircles the existing open water. Some of the historic adjoining bottomlands have been drained and have filled in. Likewise, historic Bayou Tortue has been altered; its channel courses between St. Martinville and Broussard and joins the Vermilion at the east end of the Lafayette Regional Airport runway. Above Spanish Lake, a portion of the Tortue channel was dredged. Bayou Tortue is very noticeable and navigable passing under both Lady of the Lake Road and Smede Highway/State 92-1. However, to the north, the historic Tortue channel crossing at Duchamp Road is not so easily noticed. The reason is that south of Duchamp Road, starting in 1856, Bayou Tortue was redirected. This new channel, the Sproal/Eugene Canal, captured the Bayou Tortue flow; Sproal ran toward the east and then northward to connect with the Cypress Island Coulee Canal northwest of St. Martinville. Like the old channel at Duchamp Road, the historic Tortue channel is barely noticeable at its crossing of the Terrace Highway/State 96. Bayou Tortue again becomes a somewhat navigable waterway at its crossing under Bayou Tortue Road. Apparently once Bayou Tortue was redirected, its middle section dried up and filled in. Nonetheless, the entire historic waterway above Spanish Lake to the Vermilion may have been navigable to small watercraft and therefore apparently warranted the name Riviere des Tortues in 1765. (It is reported that there was also a waterway in the Opelousas area named “River Tortue” in 1764.)[59]

In the late 19th century a lock was proposed on Bayou Teche. The Keystone Lock and Dam facility was finally completed in 1913. As part of the overall operational plan, water from Spanish Lake Basin was redirected into the Teche. Today, water from the lake flows into a spillway and then flows through a north levee culvert into a short canal. This canal connects with today’s junction of the historic, dredged Bayou Tortue channel going toward the Vermilion and the dredged Joe Daigre Canal into the Teche. Initially, Joe Daigre Canal was cut through the west-bank Teche ridge to connect marshland in the northeast lake basin with the Teche just below the Keystone Lock. Eventually the channel was further dredged westward to join with the Tortue. Even in historic times, present-day Bayou Tortue water could either flow into or out of Spanish Lake Basin, depending on specific water levels.

When I first published this article in April 2014, I wrote there was “no was known [natural] connection between Spanish Lake/Bayou Tortue and the Teche drainage in colonial times.” I was mistaken in that statement. I had seen two historic maps (the Hutchins and Lafon maps cited later) that showed a line between the lake and the Teche; however, without any written evidence, I dismissed these lines as probable errors and/or I did not consider the lines noteworthy. I now realize they are significant. I also wrote that “In the future, another document may clearly reveal the truths of the Tortugas/Tortue name and its location and then possibly change some of the theory presented here.” An 1883 document (that “future, other” record) has now been located and studied describing a waterway between the Spanish Lake Basin and the Teche. Another document suggests that this waterway may have also been named Bayou Tortue, if only for a brief moment in colonial times. And another recently located historic map also clearly shows a doubled-lined channel drawn between the lake and the Teche. This current revision of my article is the result of interpretations of these newly located documents and historic maps. Here are the relevant parts of these “new” finds.

Archaeologist Donny Bourgeois recently located a digital online copy of an undated, historic map. The original carte is in a Spanish collection. [60] This old map of the Mississippi River, Atchafayaya Basin, and Rivieres [sic] Attakapas [Bayou Teche], along with a legend written in French, identifies sites, person’s names, and Amerindian tribes, particularly along the Mississippi. Thus far it seems the map was made between about 1772 and late 1775. This important carte is possibly now the earliest known extant, visual document identifying many specific water-feature place names and some location names within the Atchafayaya Basin and on the land west of the basin. On the map, a numbered water body is identified in the legend as Lac du Tase; this lake is west of Rivieres Attakapas – another name occasionally used for the Teche. The Fausse Pointe oxbow, although its shape is distorted on the old map, is identified as Cul des Sac de la Fausse pointe. From Lac du Tase, there are two double-lined waterways drawn on the map: one, at the southern end of the lake that connects with the Teche at the beginning of the distorted oxbow and another that connects with Rivieres des Vermillion. This northern waterway is numbered on the map and named in the legend as Bayou des Tortues. The southern waterway from the lake to the Teche is unnumbered. However, as we shall soon learn, at least once it may have also been named Bayou des Tortues.

Dr. Shane Bernard recently located two relevant primary-source documents, one from the Civil War era, the other from the post-reconstruction era. Dr. Bernard realized the probable significance of information in these documents and kindly shared them with me.

The Union Army marched up the Teche Valley in November 1863. A union soldier from Maine wrote a memoir of his participation in that campaign. [61] The Maine man recorded “The second day the army marched eighteen miles, passed through New Iberia and went into camp four miles beyond, on the shore of Lake Tasse, an enlargement of Bayou Tortue, one of the few tributaries of Bayou Teche.” Residents probably told the Yankees about the Bayou Tortue waterway system. The soldier’s reference to Bayou Tortue as a tributary of the Teche may suggest that the southern waterway from the lake to the Teche – drawn but not specifically named on the circa 1770 map – perhaps might have also been named Bayou Tortue by some locals.

In 1883, H. C. Collins, Assistant Engineer with the US Army, studied and took measurements and soundings in the Teche Valley. He then reported on his work as part of an effort to determine the feasibility of placing a lock in Bayou Teche.[62] Both the soldier’s memoir and the engineer’s report (made twenty years later) were not studied when I first presented the theory. A revelent part of Collin’s report is central to this present revision. Here is what Engineer Collins wrote in 1883:

“On the high land of the west side [of the Teche?] just above the upper end of the bend [beginning of the Fause Pointe oxbow?] is Spanish Lake…. Bayou Tortue is the present outlet at high water of the lake, but it only takes water at a height about 2 feet above the stage of last November, when I saw it. Inhabitants say that at the first settlement of the country the outlet [of the lake?] was through a slough at the southeast end [of the lake basin] which has since filled up; that it [the slough] ran into the Teche at Fausse Pointe bend; that at that time Bayou Tortue was an inlet bayou from the swamps to the northward [of the lake?] between the Teche and Vermillion; and that it [present-day Bayou Tortue?] had another mouth into the Vermillion. As the lower end of Spanish Lake filled in it raised the water in Bayou Tortue and found a discharge into the Vermillion…. The area of the lake is about 6 square miles of open water, 7 to 15 feet deep, and about half as much floating grass marsh, which rises and falls with the water of the lake, and would be nearly as useful as a reservoir as the open lake….”[63]

According to Collins, the historic Spanish Lake Basin was about 9 square miles; about 6 was open water. Today the open water of the lake is barely 2 square miles. The engineer clearly described being told that, when the middle Teche region was first settled, there was a historic “slough” waterway connecting the southeastern end of the basin with the Teche at Fausse Pointe bend. This first-settlement reference probably included the Acadians who settled along the Teche in 1765. When Collins made his report in 1883, this historic slough had “filled up.” His statements also confirm different mapmaker’s placement of a line, apparently representing this slough, between the lake and the Teche. Although not in the exact same outlet location on the different historic maps, these lines show the “slough” joining the Teche in the beginning bend of the Fausse Pointe oxbow.   If this slough was also named Tortue in 1766, then the place names Quartel de el Caño de Tortugas/Camp du Bayou des Tortue may have referred to a location along the Teche in the vicinity of the slough outlet. Unfortunately, to date, after a search in many collections and relevant publications, I have not found a document that clearly refers to Collin’s “slough” as being named Bayou Tortue in 1766. The search continues. Nonetheless, this revised theory considers the possibility that the slough in question was indeed also named Bayou Tortue, if only once. Where exactly on the ground today was Collin’s historic “filled up…slough” that connected the lake basin to the Teche,. More important, where was the slough outlet into the Teche?

In 1784, Thomas Hutchins published a report on Louisiana that included information about the Tage [Teche] River from its mouth to above present-day Leonville, located in the upper Teche Valley.[64] Hutchins may have never traveled along the Teche, but instead received information from some astute resident who knew about human presence along that important waterway and the distances between settlements. In his book, Hutchins recorded the “town of Nouvelle Iberie,” which had been established by Spaniards in 1779. Hutchins reported that six leagues above New Iberia on the Teche was “la Shute branch, which passes over a fall of about 10 feet, near where it enters into the Tage river….” This “branch” is the only waterway joining Bayou Teche along its entire course described by Hutchins in 1784. One of the historic maps mentioned above is found in the Thomas Hutchins Papers of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania; this crude, geographically-detailed map is not dated or signed. Although the map was not included in Hutchins’s book, he probably used this map to help describe the Teche section of his book. The map shows Lac de Flamand west of a waterway that is obviously Hutchins’ Tage River. There are two lines from the lake – one from the north side of the lake joining the Vermilion and the other from southeast side joining the Teche at the beginning of the roughly drawn Fausse Pointe oxbow. On the map, the word Shout [sic] was labeled inside the peninsula where the southern line from the lake meets the Teche. On the unpublished map, both this line from the lake and the word Shout represents Hutchins’s la Shute branch described in his book. [65]

In 1785, the year after Hutchins’ book was published, La Chute was identified in a civil document as a boundary between two properties in a land sale agreement. Another historic map, one made by Barthélémy Lafon in 1806, shows a wiggly line between L. du Tase and the Teche at the beginning bend of the Fausse Pointe oxbow. Lafon placed the word Chûtte just across the Teche from the wiggly line’s meeting with that bayou. This wiggly line probably also referred to Hutchins’s la Shute branch. Lines, drawn many years apart on the Hutchins and Lafon maps from Spanish Lake to the Teche, undoubtedly represented the historic “slough” described by the engineer as being “filled up” by 1883. An 1846 plat map for T12 R7E identifies Bayou La Chute; this bayou is the 1784 la Shute branch and the 1806 Chûtte. The old plat map accurately places the waterway outlet in the correct location. This historic waterway exists today and it is still named Bayou La Chute by some locals and on maps of fairly recent vintage.[66]

Bayou La Chute enters the Teche from the south in the vicinity of the mid-point of the bend that forms the beginning of the Fausse Pointe oxbow. The outlet is in Section 13 of T12S R7.   Present-day Blue Haven Subdivision is located on both the east bank of La Chute and the south bank of the Teche. La Chute has two forks (one from the east, the other from the west); both forks drain the peninsular of the Fausse Pointe oxbow, that is, the Presque’ isle de la Riviere de Teiche described in 1765 and also the Cul des Sac de la Fausse pointe on the circa 1770s historic map. Today the east fork is larger that the west fork. However, in this study it is the west fork that is the focus.

An 1845 plat map for T12S R6E shows that the southeast side of Lake Tasse/Spanish Lake Basin narrowed toward the east into a funnel that became a channel going east into T12S R7E. Individual section plat maps made in 1817 and 1818 show a double line feature (apparently a waterway) from the east end of the basin funnel to the present-day west fork of Bayou La Chute.[67] This waterway was most probably the historic “slough” described by Collins as being “filled up” by 1883. It was also represented by the lines drawn on historic maps between Spanish Lake and the Teche.

The funnel area of the former basin and the existing slough east of the funnel end filled up because a canal was dug within the east end of the basin funnel. This canal then turned north, cut through the Teche ridge, and joined the bayou. The man-made canal, today’s Belmont Canal, diverted water from the natural slough to provide water power for a sugar mill that was in operation by at least the beginning of the nineteenth century.[68] It also drained the basin funnel area. The natural slough area east of Belmont Canal dried up, “filled up” and then became agricultural land. However, from the old Belmont Canal diversion point to the present, obvious west fork of Bayou La Chute, there is still a shallow drainage channel that is undoubtedly the remnants of Collins’ historic “slough” from the lake basin to the Teche. The old slough course is very visible on a 1939 USGS topographic map.[69] The outlet of the historic slough into the Teche in colonial times was and still is Bayou La Chute.

I can find no direct evidence that Hutchins’s 1784 La Shute branch (later named Bayou La Chute) was named Bayou Tortue when the middle Teche was first settled in the mid-1700s.. The new clues found in the historic documents and maps just presented do suggest that perhaps, at least in two 1766 colonial documents, today’s Bayou La Chute was actually named Bayou Tortue. The Civil War soldier’s reference to Bayou Tortue as a tributary of the Teche might suggest that the slough waterway from the lake basin to the Fausse Pointe bend was perhaps named Caño de Tortugas/Bayou des Tortue on the April 1766 Spanish and French censuses. If that was the reality, then Camp du Bayou des Tortue in 1766 might have referred to a location in the vicinity of the historic “filled-up slough” outlet that joined Bayou Teche. Historic records presented when the theory was first published support this suggestion.

From land records and their interpretations, Grevemberg in 1765 held the lands along Lac du Taste and also probably along lower present-day Bayou Tortue; Dauterive and Masse held the land along present-day upper Bayou Tortue (the Riviere Des Tortue in 1765) including Côte Gelée. There is no record of Acadians settling on Grevemberg’s land along today’s lower Bayou Tortue/Spanish Lake area. He was disturbed with their land settlement choice on the Fausse Pointe oxbow. Likewise, there is no known document which revels or even suggests that Dauterive and Masse were upset with the Acadians over settlement along upper Bayou Tortue. We have already learned that in August 1765 Grevemberg complained about the Acadians settlement somewhere on the isthmus of the Fausse Pointe peninsula. The historic slough, the present-day west fork of Bayou La Chute, joins the Teche in this general area.

We have also already learned that the Alexandre Broussard family “immediately” settled on both banks of the lower Fausse Pointe oxbow in an area called, at least once, “post of Attakapas, quarter of Fausse Pointe.” (today’s Belle Place area), even though Grevemberg apparently held a title to the land on the west-bank in that area. In 1765, why would Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil and his family settle at Côte Gelée along present-day upper Bayou Tortue? That location is about 16 miles away from where Alexandre’s family settled along the lower Fausse Pointe. Back in their old homeland along the Petitcoudiac River, the brothers’ families lived near each other. In fact, the Acadian settlement pattern for generations was for extended families to cluster together in adjoining or nearby locations. It seems logical to assume that the Beausoleil group might do the same in a very different, foreign environment. It is only 3.1 miles from the Bayou La Chute outlet across the peninsula by land to the Belle Place-Olivier Bridge; along the Teche, it is 9.1 miles. The Fausse Pointe oxbow is one location where many families could live on individual parcels of land in relative close proximity, compared to a more linear section of the bayou.

We have no documents that clearly identify the location where Joseph Broussard’s family settled at Camp Beausoleil in October 1765 and then where they settled at Quartel de el Caño de Tortugas/Camp du Bayou des Tortue in April 1766. To this researcher, it seems reasonable to suggest that Camp Beausoleil was in the same general area where the family, six months later, was located, namely at a site named Camp du Bayou des Tortue. And given the fact that the historic “slough” was part of the Bayou Tortue system, described as a tributary of the Teche, it also seems reasonable to suggest that both the Beausoleil and the Tortue camp site locations were possibly somewhere on either natural ridge of Bayou Teche in the general vicinity of the present-day Bayou La Chute outlet.   In October 1765 the camp was named after the leader; six months later, the leader was deceased and now the camp was named after a prominent geographical feature in the vicinity. If indeed Joseph Broussard’s family was first settled in a communal site in the vicinity of La Chute, they did not remain in that immediate area. Possibly while still living together in their camp site, they began to select individual parcels of land down the Teche a few miles east of their initial camp location.

On 27 March 1771, Charles Dugas, a son-in-law of Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil, submitted a requête for land along both banks of La Riviere Teiche. The specific location along the Teche is not reveled in the document; however, Charles’ brother, Jean, and his brother-in-law, François Broussard, are recorded as the adjacent occupants of land above and below the petitioner. These three Acadians were living somewhere along the Teche at the time of this petition, which was made five years after Joseph Broussard’s family settled at Camp du Bayou des Tortue . [70]

On 17 February 1772, one year after Charles Dugas submitted his requête, Beausoleil’s four sons – Joseph dit Petit Joe, Claude, François and Amand – and his three sons-in-law – Charles Dugas, Baptiste LaBauve and René Trahan – and René’s nephew, Jean-Baptiste Semer, all received royal Spanish land grants (See Map 2). All had been residents at the Bayou Tortue camp in 1766. Except for a specific grant location for Beausoleil’s son, François, which is not obvious in Conrad’s compiled records, all these Broussard family grants were located side-by-side along the Teche in the broad, sweeping upper bend of the Fausse Pointe oxbow. The first of these grants (one to René Trahan) was about 1.5 miles below Bayou La Chute. They are all in T11S R7E.[71]

Eight sections — 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 32, 34, and 94 in T11S R7E — are not associated directly with any of Beausoleil’s immediate family in 1772. Four of these sections are indirectly associated with Beausoleil’s family.

For example, grants in 1772 for Sections 23 and 94 were issued to Michel Trahan and Jean Dugas; both men were the brothers of two of Beausoleil’s sons-in-law. A grant for Section 25 was issued to Jean-Baptiste Semer, who was a nephew of Michel and René Trahan. René was married to Beausoleil’s daughter. Back in April 1766, Semer had said “my dear father…I have a place of my own….” Semer, Dugas and these Trahan brothers were Camp du Bayou des Tortue residents that same month. Perhaps in 1766 Semer, and possibly others in that camp, had already selected individual parcels of land where they eventually received their 1772 grant patents.

Firmin Landry, his first wife, and their children (two sons and two daughters), including their oldest son Joseph, had been in Maryland in 1763. This father and his four children and possibly his wife (she has no record in Louisiana) arrived in Louisiana in late September 1766 with the first group of exiles from Maryland. In 1769, Firmin, his four children, and his second wife were settled in the Attakapas. In 1771, one of Firmin’s daughters married Beausoleil’s youngest son, Amand. On 17 February 1772, Section 26 was issued to Firmin’s son, Joseph Landry. This was the same day that Joseph’s brother-in-law, Amand, also received a grant in the same area. In 1775, Firmin’s other daughter married René Broussard, a grandson of Beausoleil. Rene’s father was Petit Joseph. Firmin Landry’s family is clearly associated with Beausoleil’s family. [72]

According to Conrad’s Attakapas Land Records Vol. 1, Section 28, T11S R7E, was “a complete Spanish land grant to Broussard, Joseph” (presumed to be Petit Joseph). This grant was most probably the one issued to Joseph Broussard on 17 February 1772 (see King’s list of Attakapas grants found in Appendix I in Conrad’s book).  This section’s records also mention François Broussard.  Although an entry for a grant issued to François Broussard on 17 February 1772 is also found in Appendix I, the location of this grant is not clearly presented in Conrad’s book. Petit Joe and François were Beausoleil’s sons. Section 29, upstream from 28, was granted to their brother-in-law, Charles Dugas. His 1771 requête, discussed earlier, is not included in Conrad’s compiled records for Section 29; however it is presumed that Dugas’ requête location was associated with his known grant location. In the requête document, François Broussard was Charles Dugas’ adjacent neighbor. In 1771, these Acadians did not yet have their royal patents, but they were apparently occupying the lands along the Teche where they received patents a year later.  It is as yet unclear why Joseph Broussard, instead of his brother François, is noted in Conrad’s compiled records as the grantee of the downstream section adjacent to Charles Dugas.

Other than Beausoleil himself, there are two known adult Joseph Broussards in the Attakapas in the 1760s. One Joseph was Petit Joe, the oldest son of Beausoleil; this Joseph was a resident at Camp du Bayou des Tortue in 1766. He is possibly the Joseph recorded as receiving a grant for Section 28 in T12S R6E. The other Joseph was the son of Joseph-Grégoire and Ursule Trahan. Joseph-Grégoire, a son of Alexandre, died before Ursule and her son, Joseph, arrived in Louisiana. Ursule and her second husband both died during the 1765 epidemic. In 1769, fourteen-year-old Joseph Broussard, an orphan, was with his uncle, Sylvain Broussard.[73]   Sylvain was a 1766 resident at Camp de la La Pointe. On 27 March 1771, a Joseph Broussard submitted a réquete for land along Bayou Teche, bounded above by Jean- Baptiste Semer and below by Michel Trahan.[74] On 17 February 1772, Section 23 was granted to Michel Trahan; he was Ursule’s and Réne’s brother, and also the younger Joseph Broussard’s uncle. On the same day, Section 24 was granted to a Joseph Broussard. This Joseph was most probably the seventeen-year-old nephew of Michel Trahan. Joseph was also a first cousin to Jean-Baptiste Semer. All three relatives had adjacent tracts of land.

On Taylor’s land grant map already cited, she noted that on 17 February 1772 a Joseph Broussard received a triangular-shaped land grant on the south side of Bayou Teche in the beginning of the Fausse Pointe oxbow. On her map, Taylor noted her sources for all her entries only once; unfortunately, she did not cite each entry. Thus far, I have been unable to locate the source of Taylor’s data for this grant. Her grant location corresponds to Sections 13, 14 and 15 on the T12S R7E map found in Conrad’s book. According to Conrad, a certificate was issued in 1812 for Sections 13 and 14 “founded upon settlement and occupancy” to Dubuclet, Clair Dauterive.” A certificate to Dubuclet for Section 15 was “founded on an order of survey in favor of De Villier, Louis.” Conrad’s compiled land records for these sections do not contain any note of a prior grant to any Broussard.[75]   With better luck and more persistence, Taylor’s citation source for a 1772 Joseph Broussard land grant in Sections 13, 14 and 15 of T11S R7E might be located. I could then remove “questionable” on Map 2 for the grant in question.

If Taylor is correct, this might better explain the location of Petit Joseph Broussard’s grant in 1772. The identity of a third adult Joseph Broussard in the Attakapas in 1772 has not been confirmed. Perhaps it was actually François Broussard who received a 1772 grant for Section 28, T11S R7E. That would conform to the identity of one of Charles Dugas’ recorded neighbors, François Broussard, in 1771. Curiously, Bayou La Chute joins the Teche at the top of Section 13 in T12S R7, in one of the very sections that Taylor associated with Joseph Broussard (See Map 2). Although not yet confirmed, perhaps Petit Joe, the oldest son of Beausoleil, was indeed granted the land where the family had apparently established a communal camp in 1765-1766. If Petite Joe was settled along Bayou La Chute in 1772, he did not remain there for a long time. He moved elsewhere and eventually Dubuclet occupied the land along La Chute. Regardless of which exact sections were Joseph’s and François’ original grants, both brothers were issued grants on the same day in 1772 along the upper Fausse Pointe oxbow.

Section 34, T12S R7E has no records at all in Conrad’s book; Sections 27 and 32 have records with dates later than 1772, but the records do not to pertain to the Broussard family. One, or all of these three sections – 27, 32, or 34 in T11S R11E – might have originally been also associated with Acadians of the Beausoleil group.

The triangular-shaped 1772 concessions of Beausoleil’s family and other associated Acadians straddled the Teche from about present-day Bacon Road/State 680 downstream into Loreauville (See Map 2). Again, in a different location, Highway 86 is right over original Acadian lands. The north boundary of these grants is a road that changes names four times. At its junction with Bacon Road, this old forty-arpent lane is now the Division-Pointe Claire Road; eastward it becomes Burton Plantation Highway/State 345 and then Gondron Road. Past its junction with the Coteau Holmes Road it becomes Harold Landry Road. The 1765 Camp Beausoleil site and the 1766 Tortugas/Tortue neighborhood were possibly located in the vicinity of the Bayou La Chute outlet. This is just upstream from the grant locations issued to former members of Camp du Bayou des Tortue. The possible 1765-1766 camp location and the known 1772 grant locations are both along the sweeping, upper bend of the Fausse Pointe oxbow.

Two and a half centuries of development along the historic bayou’s banks have taken place; this development has accelerated in recent decades. A residence, a driveway, a garage, an outbuilding, a garden, a business, or a parking lot might well be right over the historic graves of Captain Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil and Alexandre Broussard, leaders of their people. Some or most all original Acadian home site footprints along the Fausse Pointe may now be still occupied as house sites. The highest grounds along the Teche ridges have undoubtedly always been valued as building sites. However, by extreme good fortune, after 250 years, one or both grave sites and several original house sites could still be below a remnant of undeveloped land along the Teche ridges. Hopefully, new information will surface that could identify much smaller footprint areas for original Acadian sites along the Fausse Pointe than my research has been able to provide here.

Jean-Baptiste Grevemberg complained in July 1765 that the Acadians were settling on land that he believed was his by right-of-use. He wanted them to move. The Acadians were settling along the Fausse Pointe oxbow. Joseph Broussard and his extended family apparently chose lands along the sweeping upper bend area. Alexandre Broussard and his extended family “immediately” chose lands in the lower sharp bend area. The distance along the Teche between Bayou La Chute and the bridge of the Olivier-Belle Place Road is about nine miles; between Bacon Road and the bridge is about 7 miles.

I have just suggested that Beausoleil and his extended family probably settled in the summer of 1765 in a communal camp somewhere just above the area of his family’s set of 1772 grants. This camp area, possibly in the vicinity of the Bayou La Chute outlet, was where members of Camp Beausoleil buried their leader in October 1765. Beausoleil’s family was still living together in that general vicinity in April 1766 in a neighborhood named Quartel de el Caño de Tortugas/Camp du Bayou des Tortue. They selected individual parcels of land along the sweeping upper Fausse Pointe bend just downstream from their 1766 neighborhood/camp location. Jean-Baptiste Semer and Michel Trahan were also part of this group. Alexandre Broussard’s family was downstream from his brother’s family. Beausoleil’s family location along the Teche was the first Acadian sector downstream from what I feel was “the mauvais bois” associated with the “Presque Isle commonly called the Fausse Pointe.” described in Grevemberg’s 1765 grant. This mauvais bois was actually the historic part of the Spanish Lake Basin that was marsh/pond/swamp land on the east and southeast sides of the open-water lake. A remnant of that bottomland still exists adjacent to the present lake. Beausoleil’s family represented some of Grevemberg’s closest downstream Acadian neighbors. Although Grevemberg’s 1765 grant included the Fausse Pointe peninsula, which was the west bank of the Teche, it appears that the Acadians settled on some of his granted eastern peninsular land beyond the isthmus. It is reported that Grevemberg sold some cattle to the Acadians after they arrived in the Attakapas. I have also noted that two sets of Acadian parents choose two of Grevemberg’s sons to be the male sponsors at their infants’ Attakapas baptisms in late May and mid-June of 1765. This was during the time that their father was in a land conflict with the newcomers. The brothers did not seem to have shunned their new neighbors.[76]

The 1765 Camp Beausoleil site and also 1766 neighborhood named Tortugas/Tortue were possibly along the Teche in the vicinity of the La Chute outlet. Members of that neighborhood/camp then choose individual land tracts downstream along the upper Fausse Pointe oxbow. These tracts included the present-day village of Loreauville. Today, the bridge at Loreauville offers the only public access to Bayou Teche in the entire Fausse Pointe oxbow sector. A site just above Loreauville was a colonial access place to the Fausse Pointe. The site was named by at least the beginning of the nineteenth century (See Map 1).

An important route for travelers to and from the Attakapas and Opelousas Posts started where Bayou Plaquemine joins the Mississippi River. Plaquemine connected the “Big Muddy” to the intricate waterways of the Atchafalaya Basin system. Depending on the destination, once in the basin system, different routes lead to the upper, middle and lower Teche Valley. Although the Basin’s nature and hydrogeology has been altered considerably since colonial times, Lake Dauterive is still a bay connected to the north end of Lake Fausse Pointe. These lake names were not in use in 1765-1766. Both lakes are on the western side of the historic Atchafalaya system.   The Bayou Portage system drains the lands east of the St. Martinville area and also land north of the east-bank ridge along the upper bend of the Fausse Pointe oxbow. Bayou Portage flows east into the top of Lake Dauterive. Travelers going west from the Atchafalaya to the middle Teche area and beyond could move up Bayou Portage from Lake Dauterive by boat until water depth restricted further progress and then walk a distance overland to the Teche – thus this bayou’s name. Perhaps this was the route that the Beausoleil group used to enter the Teche Valley in 1765? William Darby, after visiting Louisiana for an extended time, including a stay in Attakapas country, drew a map of the state in 1817. He labeled Fausse Point Landing on Bayou Portage. It was an access point to the St. Martinville/Fausse Pointe area and the place where dependable seasonal passage by large water craft terminated. The landing was in the general vicinity of the present-day Coteau Holmes community. From Fausse Pointe Landing, relatively short overland treks lead to many locations in the middle Teche region. Today, Bayou Portage west of Coteau Holmes is a ditch named Pointe Claire Coulee. One headwater branch of Pointe Claire is north of the La Chute outlet. Darby also drew a waterway entering the Teche from the south in the Fausse Pointe peninsula on his 1817 map. Although not written on the map, this water feature was present-day Bayou La Chute. On the map La Chute has a long western fork that goes toward the labeled L. Tasse, but Darby did not connect the western fork with the lake.[77]

Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil, Captain of Militia and Commandant of the Acadians, arrived in the Attakapas in May 1765. It seems logical to assume that the Captain would establish himself at a strategic location. That would be an advantage for his large group of settlers, including men who formed a new militia company. The land along the upper bend of the Fausse Pointe is one such strategic place, located about four miles south of Fausse Point Landing. It would only be a “relatively short” trek to move people and supplies by land from the landing to the top of the oxbow. In April 1765 in New Orleans, the Acadians agreed to settle on Dauterive and Masse’s ceded land. Some of that land apparently extended eastward from the Teche in the vicinity of present-day St. Martinville to the mouth of Bayou Portage. Beausoleil’s family may have actually settled on land made available to them back in New Orleans; that is, if Dauterive and Masse’s original ceded land included ground south of Bayou Portage. The land between the Portage and the Teche is east-bank land; it is not the west-bank peninsula land given to Grevemberg in July 1765.

In October 1765, Captain Broussard was buried at Camp Beausoleil. The exact location of that camp is unrecorded. I have suggested that Beausoleil’s extended family continued to remain in the vicinity of their father’s grave site for at least six months. In April 1766, this camp site area, possibly in the vicinity of the La Chute outlet, was named Quartel de el Caño de Tortugas/Camp du Bayou des Tortue. Camp families began to select individual tracts a short distance downstream from their former campsite; each finally received a Spanish land grant below Fausse Point Landing in 1772. 

Le Premier Camp d’en Bas and Quartel de la Manque/Le Camp de la Manque

Unlike the other two named locations, I have not found extant primary-source documents that clearly link Le Premier Camp d’en Bas with Le Camp de la [sic] Manque.[78] More sketchy interpretations involving the Jean Dugas, Martin, Arceneau and Bergeron families do suggest a connection. Here, family genealogies are especially complicated and tedious; nevertheless, they are relevant and require more detailed explanations. The reader is asked to bear this in mind.

Between 29 July and 2 November 1765, eleven Acadians, including four infants one year old or younger, were buried at a place that Father Jean François called Le Premier Camp d’en Bas. Like the Broussard brothers in different camps, Augustin Bergeron and Jean Dugas were elders in Le Premier Camp. Both men were from the St. John River contingent of the Beausoleil group. Bergeron’s wife and Dugas’ father were first cousins. This base camp was also composed of extended families.

Augustin Bergeron and his nephews, Jean-Baptiste and Barthélémy Bergeron [III], and Barthélémy’s infant son died during the epidemic period; all four were buried at Le Premier Camp. A daughter of Jean-Baptiste also died. Her burial location was not recorded; it was probably with her father and her grand-uncle. Two other persons buried at that camp were apparently related by marriage to Augustin Bergeron.

Jean Dugas, a participant in the Dauterive Compact, and Marie, his married daughter, both died and were buried at Le Premier Camp. Records for Marie’s family are significant and will be discussed soon. A one-year-old Jean Dugas (his parents were not identified) and a Joseph Dugas (assumed to have been an adult) were also buried at Le Premier Camp. Because of their burial locations, both these Dugas victims were possibly members of Jean Dugas’ family.

Jean Dugas had a son, Joseph, who was married to Cécile Bergeron, a niece of Augustin. This couple’s six-day old daughter had died in New Orleans before they left for the Attakapas. When Cécile Bergeron remarried in 1767, she was listed as the “widow of Joseph Dugas, deceased at Attakapas.”[79] The adult Joseph Dugas buried at Le Premier Camp was most probably Cécile Bergeron’s husband. Two families with four members each, including the patriarchs, all with recorded burials at Le Premier Camp d’en Bas. Sorrow surely difficult to endure for the Bergeron and Jean Dugas families!

Yet, there was still more tragedy in Jean Dugas’ family. Jean’s wife, Marie-Charlotte Godin, the family matriarch, also died during the epidemic. Her burial location was not recorded; it was most probably with her husband at Le Premier Camp. The deceased couple’s daughter Madeleine, the wife of Anselme Broussard (Anselme was a son of Alexandre), also perished; her burial location was likewise not recorded; it was probably either with her husband’s father or with her father, mother, brother, and her sister, Marie Dugas.

Marie Dugas was married to Mathurin Landry. Father Jean François baptized this couple’s one-day-old son, Ysidore [Isidore], on 27 July 1765. Ambroise Martin [dit Barnabé] and Marie Arseneau were sponsors. Marie Dugas’ mother was Ambroise’s wife’s aunt. Marie Dugas died two days after giving birth and, as we have already learned, she was buried at Le Premier Camp. Isidore died on 2 September 1765. Although his burial location was not recorded, it was surely with his mother and grandfather. Isidore’s baptismal record presents a clear Attakapas connection between Marie Dugas and Ambroise Martin [dit Barnabé] and Marie Arseneau. On 19 September, one-year-old François Arseneau was buried at Le Premier Camp. His parents were not recorded; he was probably somehow related to Marie Arseneau and Pierre Arseneau, a participant in the Dauterive Compact. Three Arceneau brothers and their sister were all married to related Bergerons. The Jean Dugas, Martin dit Barnabé, Arseneau, and Bergeron families may have very likely been members of the same communal base camp.

The burial on 2 November of Jean-Baptiste Bergeron, Augustin’s nephew and also the husband of Catherine Caissie, was the last recorded at Le Premier Camp d’en Bas. Sometime thereafter, some of the families of that camp fled the Attakapas. They retraced their journey back across the Atchafalaya Basin and in April and June 1766 they were resettled on the Mississippi’s Acadian Coast among relatives from Halifax who had arrived in Louisiana after the Beausoleil group.[80] These new Acadian Coast residents, former Le Premier Camp survivors, included the Bergeron family with widow Catherine Caissie; the Jean Dugas family with widower Mathurin Landry; the Arseneau family and most of the Martin dit Barnabé family. However, I believe another segment of survivors of le Premier Camp, including one Martin dit Barnabé family member and her first cousins, stayed in the Attakapas.

The third Acadian neighborhood in April 1766 was named Quartel de la Manque/Le Camp de La Manque. The widow Marguerite Martin [dit Barnabé] was there. Marguerite’s husband, René Robicheau, and their son both died during the epidemic. Their burial locations were not recorded; it was possibly at Le Premier Camp. This Marguerite was Ambroise Martin’s sister. Ambroise Martin [dit Barnabé] is clearly linked in the Attakapas with Marie Dugas, who was buried at Le Premier Camp. Ambroise’s sister was also likely a member of that camp.   The siblings Claude, Joseph and Marguerite Martin, along with their nephew, Bonaventure Martin, were likewise at La Manque in 1766. This Marguerite Martin was married to Michel Doucet. Members of these two related Martin families, distinguished by one family sometimes being named “Barnabé” instead of “Martin,” were first cousins. Father Jean François’ last burial record, dated on 27 November 1765, was for the twenty-month-old daughter of Michel Doucet and Marguerite Martin. The child’s burial location was not recorded; it may have been Le Premier Camp. Because of the association between Marie Dugas and Ambroise Martin [dit Barnabé] in July 1675 and the residency of Ambroise’s sister, Marguerite, and her Martin first cousins in April 1766, I suggest that Le Premier Camp d’en Bas sat somewhere within the general area of the Quartel de la Manque/Le Camp de La Manque neighborhood.

There were four adult Thibodeaus who arrived in the Attakapas in 1765. Olivier Thibodeau, a participant in the Dauterive Compact, his brother, Amand, and their sister Marie were there. Marie was married to Pierre Surette. Their first-cousin-once-removed, Catherine Thibodeau, died during the 1765 epidemic; her burial site was not recorded. Catherine’s husband, Simon LeBlanc, was then a widower. Father Jean François’ last ceremony in the Attakapas was the baptism of Marie Pellerin on 11 January 1766. Her parents were Charles and Isabelle Thibodeau. The infant’s baptismal sponsors were Simon LeBlanc and a Marguerite Martin.   Simon’s deceased wife and the baby’s mother were sisters. The Pellerin baby’s female sponsor was either the widow Marguerite Martin [dit Barnabé] or Marguerite Martin, the spouse of Michel Doucet. Marguerite Martin’s [dit Barnabé] brother is linked with the 1765 Premier Camp d’en Bas. The Doucets, Thibodeaus, Surettes, and Pellerins, along with Simon LeBlanc and Marguerite Martin [dit Barnabé], were also possibly members of Le Premier Camp. These families were still all together in that communal campsite area now named Quartel de la Manque/Camp de la Manque in April 1766. I have suggested that the 1765 Premier Camp d’en Bas was originally perhaps somewhere within the April 1766 La Manque neighborhood. Before discussing the neighborhood’s apparent location, why was it named Quartel de la Manque/Camp de la Manque?

In a 1797 French-English dictionary, manque meant “want, lack. Il yacelade manqué, that is wanting or missing.”[81] Modern dictionaries include “lack, want; deficiency; absence shortage, defect.” In A Dictionary of the Cajun Language, the feminine word manque could also mean “a blank or empty space where something should be.”[82] Dr. Barry J. Ancelet, folklorist and linguist, says that “Manque can also refer to a gap” and in this context “it could refer to a gap in the bank or natural levee, or a gap in the natural vegetation.”[83] What was deficient or missing at La Manque in 1766? Could it have been adequate food, safe drinking water, firewood, high ground, good growing soil or any other natural product or feature? Perhaps that place had a gap where some land or vegetation was missing? Whatever was missing, we will probably never know for sure. Could “the missing” have referred to some of the survivors of Le Premier Camp d’en Bas who choose to vacate that ill-fated camp site and resettle along the Mississippi? They were indeed absent from the western frontier when the April 1766 Spanish and French censuses were drawn. Possibly it was understood at that time that the neighborhood, still called Camp de la Manque by the French in 1766, was the location where some former camp members were now absent from the Attakapas.

The Widow Marguerite Martin [dit Barnabé], a 1766 resident at La Manque, and possibly also a 1765 Le Premier Camp member, was not absent from the Attakapas. In October 1767, she made a marriage contract with Antoine Borda, a Frenchman. This contract is the first known Acadian marriage record drawn in the Attakapas.[84] The contract was written by notary Jean Berard “in the home of Michel Doucet.” Doucet’s wife was the bride’s first cousin. Claude Martin, another first cousin, was a witness. Like the bride, Michel Doucet and Claude Martin were residents in the La Manque neighborhood. I have already suggested that the November 1765 Le Premier Camp d’en Bas and the April 1766 Le Camp de la Manque were very possibly in the same general location. By October 1767, Michel Doucet and probably others were now living in their own new homes on individual parcels of adjacent land, still in the La Manque neighborhood area. About three years later, four families from that community would relocate.

Four Quartel de la Manque/Camp de la Manque men, Olivier and Amand Thibodeau, Claude Martin, and Simon LeBlanc, with their families relocated. François Martin, Claude’s brother, may have also moved then; his land records are less revealing. The four or five La Manque men probably moved at about the same time that the ten men from Quartel de la Punta/Camp de la Pointe already discussed moved north. On 20 June 1771, the same day that the La Pointe men received their grants, the four La Manque men also received grants in the La Pointe du Repos area (See Map 3). The grant locations of the La Pointe men and the La Manque men are not each bunched together in two tight, distinct groups. Sometime after April 1766, La Manque resident Simon LeBlanc remarried a daughter of Joseph Guilbeau; she and her deceased husband had been La Pointe residents. LeBlanc’s land grant was sandwiched between grants of his new Guilbeau in-laws, who had also been residents at La Pointe. This might suggest that the La Pointe men and the four from La Manque selected their individual parcels together within a narrow time period, possibly either soon before or just after the February 1770 new Spanish land ordinances were implemented. With the documents available at the time, Dr. Brasseaux placed the 1766 La Pointe site at La Pointe du Repos; he suggested that the 1766 La Manque site was possibly just upstream. I have already inferred, however, that no Acadians were settled in the present-day Parks area before 1769-1770.[85]

The following is another clue for discounting the area above Parks as the location of La Manque. On 4 September 1771, Grégoire Pellerin, a La Manque resident, was given a land grant along the Teche just south of present-day Jeanerette.[86] If the location of the 1766 La Manque neighborhood was where its residents received their land grants in 1771, was La Manque at Jeanerette or at Parks? La Manque was at neither. So, where was La Manque?

In early 1772, the Acadians families from the former La Pointe neighborhood and the four or five from La Manque were likely now well established on their adjacent grants at La Pointe du Repos. However, in early 1772, I believe that four adult Acadians still remained in their old La Manque neighborhood; these four were Michel Doucet and his wife, Marguerite Martin, and Bonaventure Martin and Marguerite Martin [dit Barnabé], who was now remarried to Antoine Borda. On 27 March 1771, (the same day that Charles Dugas of the 1766 Tortue neighborhood submitted his petition for land) both Michel Doucet and Bonaventure Martin, residents of the 1766 La Manque neighborhood, also submitted petitions for land.[87] On 17 February 1772, Doucet, Bonaventure Martin, and Borda each received adjoining land grants along the Teche below the grants given on that same day to the La Tortue men. [88] Paul Surette and his wife, Marie Thibodeau, were also La Manque residents. Surette died sometime after the April 1766 Attakapas censuses were drawn. Marie Thibodeau remarried Jean-Baptiste Semer, a Tortue resident. Semer received a land grant close above the grants issued to Doucet, Bonaventure Martin and Bordas. This suggests to me that the 1766 La Manque neighborhood was located in the general area where four of its residents received specific land grants along the Teche in 1772.

Quartel de la Manque/Camp de La Manque was probably along the Fausse Pointe oxbow between the upper and lower bends, that is, between Quartel de el Caño de Tortugas/Camp du Bayou des Tortue and Quartel de la Punta/Camp de la Pointe. Again, I also believe that the 1765 Le Premier Camp d’en Bas site was somewhere in the general area of the 1766 Le Camp de La Manque location, although the only clue that links the two sites is the 1765 baptismal association between the Marie Dugas and Ambroise Martin dit [Barnabé]. After Olivier and Amand Thibodeau, Claude Martin, and Simon LeBlanc relocated north from La Manque and Gregoire Pellerin moved south, their former lands were now vacant. Étienne de Vaugine may have occupied some of this land in 1771. His land grant possibly included some vacated Acadian land in the 1766 La Manque sector and some in the La Pointe sector. In February 1772, de Vaugine’s neighbor down the bayou was his brother-in-law, Delahoussaye. His upstream neighbors were some of the La Manque residents who did not relocate.

An Attakapas census circa December 1769 was drawn.  Unlike the earlier 1766 censuses, this document does not record place-names where residents were settled in late 1769.  On the 1769 document, most of the 1766 residents of Quartel de la Punta were listed first. Simon LeBlanc, a Quartel de la Manque resident was listed among his new Guilbeau relatives. The Quartel de la Manque residents were then listed. The inhabitants at Quartel de el Caño de Tortuga are recorded last on the census. It is unclear whether the Acadian households, generally grouped together by their 1766 neighborhood locations on the December 1769 census, were still all settled along the Fausse Pointe in late 1769. The La Punta families and the segment from La Manque discussed earlier may or may not have started their relocation north to a new settlement site at La Pointe du Repos by the end of 1769.[89]

There are four additional clues that support my contention that the initial Acadian settlement location from 1765 to 1770 was along the Fausse Pointe oxbow. This single location was actually three contiguous neighborhoods along the middle Teche.

1) I have theorized that Le Premier Camp d’en Bas site and La Manque neighborhood were both along the Teche between the southern side of Loreauville to the vicinity beyond the sharp lower bend of the Fausse Pointe oxbow and that Le Dernier Camp d’en Bas site and La Pointe neighborhood were both in the Belle Place area above Morbihan. Jean Dugas died on 4 September 1765 and was buried the next day at Le Premier Camp. Marguerite Thibodeau, the wife of Alexandre Broussard, and a Joseph Broussard, probably a member of Alexandre and Marguerite’s family, also both died on 4 September and were buried the next day at Le Dernier Camp That day was undoubtedly a sad one at both camps. The distance between downtown Loreauville and the sharp bend at Belle Place is about three miles. Internments on the same day at two different camp sites suggests to me that these two camps were close enough to each other for Father Jean François to travel in the late summer daylight of 1765 by land or water between the two camps and still have time to perform three sacred rites. Perhaps there was an Amerindian trail along one natural ridge of Bayou Teche. Travel by water may have been faster, unless the bayou back then had numerous obstructions. When the place-names were recorded in 1766, La Manque and La Pointe were adjacent neighborhoods along the Fausse Pointe.

2) In 1772, seven years after arrival, the survivors of the Beausoleil group and their children born in the Attakapas were now settled in two separated areas: the initial 1765 settlement location at Fausse Pointe and the 1770 location at Parks. In the mid-1770s, as the Acadian population continued to grow and their livestock herds increased, westward expansion began away from the narrow middle Teche Valley high grounds. Some families from the two settlements relocated to Côte Gelée along upper Bayou Tortue; other families moved to land along Bayous Vermilion and Carencro. On 6 September 1776, Jean-Baptiste Broussard, Alexandre’s son already discussed at length, received a Spanish land grant on the west bank of Bayou Tortue at Côte Gelée. His brothers, Simon and Pierre, also received grants at that location on the same day.[90] After relocating about 1770 from the La Pointe area along the lower Fausse Pointe to La Pointe du Repos in the Parks area, the brothers again relocated to land along Bayou Tortue. This new Acadian settlement location was within the defined Vermilion Prairie Concession issued to Dauterive and Masse in 1765. There is no known evidence to suggest that Madame Dauterive, a widow in 1776, objected to Spanish authorities giving her land to some Acadians. Because of O’Reilly’s 1770 land-size ordinance, Dauterive may have had to forfeit the Vermilion Prairie grant (which included Côte Gelée) in order to receive his 1771 Teche grant already discussed. After the ordinance was in effect, this prairie land was possibly open for settlement. Jean-Baptiste, Simon, and Pierre Broussards’ first cousins, Claude and François Broussard, also relocated to Côte Gelée along upper Bayou Tortue, but they came there from a different location.

On 3 April 1776, François Broussard, the son of Beausoleil, submitted a réquete for land along Bayou Tortue. In his petition, François stated that “he possesses only a small quantity of land on which is impossible for him to keep and raise his cattle.” This land was probably the land Broussard was granted along the Fausse Pointe in 1772. He was now requesting a larger grant for 10 by 40 arpents in a different location. This new land was bounded on one side by Simon Broussard and on the other by Claude Broussard. After review, the Attakapas commandant reported that the land requested was the “domain of the King,” and therefore it was available for the establishment of a “vacherie.”[91] On 5 January 1777, François received a Spanish land grant among his relatives in the Côte Gelée area along upper Bayou Tortue.[92] I have already suggested that the locations of the 1765 Camp Beausoleil and the 1766 Tortue neighborhood were in the same general area where Beausoleil’s family, including François and Claude, were finally issued land grants along the upper Fausse Pointe oxbow in 1772. If the 1766 Tortue neighborhood was instead somewhere along today’s Bayou Tortue, why would the brothers have first settled there and then relocated to Bayou Teche along the upper Fausse Pointe by 1772, only to return to Bayou Tortue in 1776? We will probably never answer that question.  However, I do not feel that the Acadian neighborhood named Quartel de el Caño de Tortugas/Camp du Bayou des Tortue in 1766 was anywhere along present-day Bayou Tortue.

3) In 1766, François Mercier and Michel Meau, “bachelors from Europe [France],” were recorded as “Inhabitants below the vacherie of Sieur Flaman [sic]” on the French census, which is the first record of Mercier and Meau in the Attakapas. Both men are not present on the 1766 Spanish census. Jean-Baptiste Grevemberg dit Flamand is also not listed on that document. Antoine Bonin and his family are listed on both censuses. In 1772 all three Frenchmen were issued land grants along the Teche just below the Bayou La Chute outlet. Mercier’s and Meau’s stated location “below… Flaman” in 1766 and the location of the three Frenchmen’s grants in 1772 are relevant to the theory presented here.

Already discussed several times, Grevemberg complained in 1765 about the Beausoleil Acadians’ settlement location choice. In July, Grevemberg was given the Fausse Pointe commonly called Presque Isle on the Teche extending to a mauvais bois. I have suggested that the Acadians, either with or without Grevemberg’s consent, continued to settle along the Fausse Pointe oxbow. At least three non-Acadians, Mercier, Meau and Bonin, also settled there; Flamand did not mention them in his memorial. François Mercier has no obvious Attakapas church records; he may have never married there or his records are missing. Michel Meau married into a large extended Acadian family.

In February 1770, Michel Meau married Isabelle Broussard, a daughter of Joseph-Grégoire and Ursule Trahan.[93] Isabelle was a granddaughter of Alexandre. Her uncle, Simon Broussard, was a witness to her marriage, along with two sons of Jean-Baptiste Grevemberg Sr. Isabelle’s father probably died before she arrived in Louisiana in the Beausoleil group with her mother and brother, Joseph. Ursule Trahan remarried in New Orleans before the group departed for the Attakapas. Ursule and her new, second husband both died in the terrible 1765 epidemic and were buried at Le Denier Camp. One of Ursule’s brothers, Jean Trahan, was married to her first husband’s sister, Marguerite Broussard. Jean’s wife died before he and his children arrived in New Orleans. Another brother of Ursule, René Trahan, was married to Isabelle Broussard; this Isabelle was a daughter of Joseph dit Beausoleil. Ursule, Jean, René, and Jean-Baptiste Semer’s mother were siblings. Isabelle Broussard, daughter of Ursule, and Jean-Baptiste Semer were maternal first cousins. Simon Broussard and his widowed brother-in-law, Jean Trahan, were residents in the La Pointe neighborhood in 1766. Both moved north to the Parks area about 1770 and then freely gave up their rights to land along the lower Fausse Pointe at Belle Place. René Trahan, his wife, and his nephew, Jean-Baptiste Semer, were residents in the La Tortue neighborhood in 1766.

In 1769, “Elizabet [sic] Broussard,” an eighteen-year-old single orphan, was a resident in the household of her uncle René Trahan and his wife.[94] Early the next year, the eligible Acadian orphan would marry Michel Meau, the “bachelor from Europe.” On the 1771 Attakapas Census, Michel Mo [sic], his new wife, and François Mercier were all recorded in one household. Meau and Mercier had land “without a title.” Then the next year these two Frenchmen each received Spanish land grants. I suggest that the bachelors had been living on that land “below” Grevemberg without a patent in April 1766. Meau was still there when he married in early 1770.

On 17 February 1772, the same day that René Trahan and Jean-Baptiste Semer received their grants along the upper Fausse Pointe, Antoine Bonin, François Mercier, and Michel Meau also received land grants along the Teche (See Map 2).[95] These three Frenchmen were settled just downstream from the present-day Bayou La Chute outlet.  Mercier’s grant was first below La Chute. Bonin’s grant was down stream from Mercier; Meau’s grant was below Bonin and adjacent to René Trahan’s grant. Meau’s wife, Isabelle Broussard, was a granddaughter of Alexandre, a maternal niece of René Trahan, and a paternal first cousin-once-removed of Trahan’s wife. With such close relationships and the same first name, perhaps Meau’s wife was the godchild of her uncle René’s wife. The two related Isabelle Broussards were indeed living with each other in 1769 and then next to each other in 1772. That may explain, in part, why Meau’s wife was not at Parks with the rest of her grandfather’s family. Jean-Baptiste Semer’s grant was farther down the bayou from his uncle René’s grant. The Acadians had always lived in close-knit family groupings. Mercier’s and Meau’s 1766 described place, “below the vacherie of Sieur Flaman,” and their 1772 grant locations along the Teche just above a group of Acadian settlers, who were all residents in Quartel de el Caño de Tortugas/Camp du Bayou des Tortue in 1766, supports the placement of that neighborhood also below the land of Flamand along the bend of Fausse Pointe.

4) Thomas Hutchins’ 1784 book has already been discussed. He reported that along the “Tage [Teche] River” it was:

3 leagues [downstream from New Iberia] to le Force Point, formally settled by French neutrals [The English sometimes referred to the Acadians as French neutrals]. It is now inhabited by creoles of the country, Spaniards from the Canarie islands; ans [sic] a few English from the eastern side of the Mississippi….[96]

Three Spanish leagues are about 7.9 miles; today, along the Teche from downtown New Iberia to the turn at Belle Place it is approximately 7.1 miles. The observations recorded in Hutchins’ book were published 19 years after the Beausoleil Acadians first settled in the Attakapas. Hutchins wrote that “French neutrals” had once been settled at “le Force Point.” In 1771 Paul Pelletier Delahoussaye’s family settled along the lower Fausse Pointe oxbow on land formerly occupied by Alexandre Broussard’s family. Paul Pelletier died in 1777.[97] Members of his family born in Louisiana were considered white Creoles. Hutchins’ “French neutrals…formally settled at le Force Point” were likely the 1766 La Pointe Acadians who moved up the Teche to the present-day Parks area about 1770. Hutchins’ specific “le Force Point” location was apparently in the area of today’s Belle Place community along the Teche. In the 1784 publication it appears that “le Force Point” did not necessarily refer to the entire Fausse Pointe oxbow. Although not recorded by Hutchins, in 1784 other French neutrals, some direct descendents of Beausoleil, were still settled along the upper Fausse Pointe oxbow near the old La Tortue neighborhood. From New Iberia to the top of the sweeping bend above Loreauville is approximately 10.5 miles or 4.2 leagues. Today, some descendents of Amand Broussard dit Beausoleil, Joseph’s youngest son, still live in or near Loreauville.

Hutchins also identified the present-day Parks area; he named it “the point settlement of the Acadians.” That location was actually La Pointe du Repos, a bend later also named Pointe Acadienne and, consistently in some early 1800 records, just La Pointe. The Acadian neighborhood at Parks was not the same neighborhood named La Pointe in 1766. It is interesting that Hutchins wrote both “French neutrals” and “Acadians” in the same primary document.

In Hutchins’ 1784 publication, the measured distance from “le Force Point [today’s Belle Place community along the lower Fausse Pointe]” upstream to “the point settlement of the Acadians [at present-day Parks]” was reported to have been “9 leagues [22.5 miles].” Today that distance is approximately 24 miles. Some have suggested that Father Jean François was referring to the Parks area in 1765 when he wrote d’en bas in two camp names; they suggest the two camps were below Parks. The Parks area was not an Acadian settlement site until about 1770. So, Le Premier and Le Dernier Camps were below what? And because the priest used the words “first” and “last” instead of the first and second, was there possibly another camp between the two? I have suggested that both camps were downstream from Camp Beausoleil along the Fausse Pointe oxbow. Nonetheless, Father Jean François’ use of the word “below” may not necessarily have referred to below Beausoleil’s camp. In the future, the discovery of a “new” primary document may better explain the meaning of d’en bas. Although not explaining the implication of d’en bas, another relevant primary-source document has recently been studied that geographically describes the initial Acadian settlement location.

As this article was nearing completion, I realized that I had not yet studied a document by André Claude Boutté that could be pertinent to the heart of this research.

Boutté settled along the Teche in the Morbihan area above present-day New Iberia in 1771. Jean Berard’s 1768 land grant, already discussed, was just below Boutté’s land. In 1773 Claude Boutté and Jean Berard were the appraisers of de Vaugine’s property. In December 1774, Boutté and Berard were witnesses to an Attakapas marriage. In 1785, Berard sold his 1768 land to François-Césaire Boutté, Claude’s son.[98] In the 1770s, Claude Boutté, Jean Berard, and some Acadians became entangled in conflicts with the Flamand brothers. The Flamands’ large herds of wild-ranging cattle were influencing the smaller ranchers’ domesticated, fenced-in stock. The document in question concerned this cattle-related issue.

On 24 February 2014, I was finally able to access a microfilm copy of Claude Boutté’s statement to Governor Gálvez made in New Orleans on 22 February 1777. This very lengthy document contained many more details than anticipated. Although my French translation abilities are very limited, I immediately realized that this document appeared to contain a relevant passage. The original document has substantial “bleed thru” on most of its 20 folios. I returned to the microfilm several days later to make a lighter, more readable copy. On 5 March 2014, David Lanclos again assisted this project by translating the first five folios. Boutté’s extensive 1777 document is an account of his point of view in an ongoing Attakapas cattle conflict, which resulted in some violence. It was also his plea for justice.[99]

Like Jean-Baptiste Broussard’s 1799 declaration regarding his family’s initial settlement location, I believe that the 1777 Representation of Claude Boutté eliminates conjecture about the initial settlement location of the Beausoleil group in the Attakapas. Here is what Boutté directly reported only twelve years after the Acadians arrived on the western frontier in May 1766.

There are several years that all of this vast country of Atakapas was taken up by only three or four vacheries, very spread out, and quite large, but at the same time very poorly cared for, by which the greater part of the cattle, due to the negligence of their proprietors, became wild to the point where they were unapproachable except by gunshot. Shortly before the arrival of Mr. Ulloa, under the administration of Mr. Aubry, forty or fifty Acadian families who escaped from New England [Nova Scotia was considered a part of New England], and took refuge in this Colony, having obtained permission from the government to establish themselves at the Atakapas, went there to take [and took] lands and to place [and placed] themselves one next to the other in a place called la fause pointe, below one of the above-mentioned vacheries belonging to Mr. Flamand, from whom they purchased a few cows in order to establish a herd. Eventually, various other inhabitants also went there to settle with the same intention of establishing herds….[100]

Earlier reports, however, noted 58 to 60 Acadian families in the Beausoleil group. Regardless of the exact number, Boutté’s 1777 historical account seems clear. The Acadians took Attakapas lands and placed themselves “one next to the other” in the Fausse Pointe “below” the ranch of Jean-Baptiste Grevemberg dit Flamand. The Acadian lands were not the first below Grevemberg, but rather they were beneath the lands of Mercier and Meau who were reported as “Inhabitants below the vacherie of Sieur Flaman.” Claude Boutté’s disclosure supports the conclusions here put forth, namely, that each of the 1765 Acadian camp sites sat somewhere within one of the three neighborhoods named in 1766. And all three neighborhoods were along the Fausse Pointe.

IN SUMMARY, here are the essential elements of the now revised, new theory that identifies the initial Acadian settlement location in the nascent Attakapas Post.

In May of 1765, a large group of Acadians, lead by Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil, appeared on the Attakapas frontier. These new colonists did not settle on the ceded, former land of Dauterive and Masse along Bayou Teche in the vicinity of present-day St. Martinville as they had apparently agreed to do back in New Orleans. The Acadians instead decided to settle farther down Bayou Teche along the Fausse Pointe, an odd-shaped peninsula formed by an extreme oxbow of the Teche. They all eventually took adjoining tracts of land. Jean-Baptiste Grevemberg claimed by use the Fausse Pointe peninsula where the Acadians were settling. He claimed by purchase the land adjacent to and northwest of the Fausse Pointe. He complained to French officials that the newcomers were settling on his cattle-grazing Fausse Pointe peninsula land. The officials granted the Fausse Pointe to Grevemberg in July 1765. But the Acadians did not vacate all of the west-bank land on the Fausse Pointe peninsula.

Soon after arrival, a deadly epidemic took the lives of no less than 39 Acadians. Father Jean François recorded the burials of these victims from the beginning of July to late November 1765. For 21 of these fatalities, the priest also noted the name of the camp site where they were interred. The exact burial sites were probably not right within the camping areas, but they were in the vicinity of the camps. Initially, the Acadians were grouped in at least three extended-family communal encampments, named Camp appellé Beau Soleil, Le Premier Camp d’en Bas and Le Dernier Camp d’en Bas. The immediate needs by such a large group for drinking water, foods – including wild game, fish, reptiles (turtles), etc., and native edible plants – and natural building materials probably necessitated the placement of the camps at separated, but “respectively” short, distances from each other. Quite likely, each camp had an adjacent, resource-survival gathering area. At the beginning of 1766, after the disease had subsided, the survivors were still settled in the areas of their original encampments. In April 1766 two Attakapas censuses were drawn, one in Spanish, the other in French. Both documents name three Acadian locations. The Spanish labeled the sectors “neighborhoods”; the French still used the word “camps” to describe the locations. The three identified Acadian communities were: Quartel de el Caño de Tortugas/Camp du Bayou des Tortue and Quartel de la Manque/Le Camp de la Manque and Quartel de la Punta/Camp de la Pointe. By October 1767, some or all of the Beausoleil Acadians were now settled in homes on authorized, individual tracts of land without titles in these neighborhood sectors.

Based upon the early Attakapas documents and land records presented here and their interpretations by this researcher, the Acadians’ initial Attakapas settlement location was along a roughly ten-mile stretch of today’s Fausse Pointe oxbow of Bayou Teche, downstream from below present-day Daspit to above Morbihan.[101] This single settlement location was actually three adjacent neighborhood sectors. The specific 1765 camp site locations are at present unidentified; however they were somewhere within the April 1766 neighborhoods.

Soon before or just after the February 1770 Spanish land ordinances were enacted, most all of the Acadian residents of the lower Fausse Pointe sector, the 1766 La Pointe neighborhood (today’s Belle Place community), and four families from an adjacent, upstream sector, the La Manque neighborhood (between Belle Place and Loreauville), relocated north to the present-day Parks area. These relocated Acadians received land grants at their new location, La Pointe du Repos, in June 1771. Some Acadians of the La Manque neighborhood did not relocate. They received land grants in their old neighborhood in February 1772. The Acadians of the upper-most Fausse Pointe sector, the original La Tortue neighborhood/camp location (possibly situated in the vicinity of the present-day Bayou La Chute outlet into the Teche), chose individual land tracts a short distance downstream from their camp location where they all received land grants in February 1772.

The Fausse Pointe oxbow was the initial settlement location of the Acadians in the Attakapas. They all lived in extended family clusters along the Fausse Pointe from soon after their arrival in May 1765 to about the beginning of 1770. In 1770-1771 some relocated to the Parks area. In the mid-1770s, some members of the Beausoleil group, including parents and their adult children, began to move west from the initial Fausse Pointe settlement area and the second settlement area at Parks.

Much Appreciation is given to Shane K. Bernard, Carl A. Brasseaux, Winston De Ville, Stephen A. White, George F. Bentley, David Lanclos and Barry J. Ancelet. These seven and many others not mentioned have influenced my research. My brother, Robert E. Arceneaux, and Liz Foster helped to create or modify the maps. Thanks to all, named and unnamed! I take full responsibility for any errors, omissions, or incorrect interpretations.


[1]Carl A. Brasseaux, The Founding of New Acadia: The Beginnings of Acadian Life in Louisiana, 1765-1803 (Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 1987), 76, 90-97 (See Map 2 on 93).

[2]George Bentley of Lafayette, La., is a passionate, long-time student of Attakapas history. His mother, the late Doris Broussard Bentley, a native of Loreauville, La., and my mother, the late Heloise Boudreaux Arceneaux, a native of Scott, La., and the daughter of Emelie Broussard Boudreaux, were second cousins. In the past, George and I have spent many hours discussing and debating elements of early Attakapas history. George has never felt that any Acadians settled in the present-day Parks, La. area in 1766.

[3]For a study of Acadian prisoners at Halifax, see Ronnie-Gilles LeBlanc, Acadians in Halifax and on Georges Island, 1755-1764 with Appendix (2013), at www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nsgrdpre/documents/dossiers/menudossiers.html., accessed on 18 January 2014.

[4]Joseph Broussard and his older brother, Alexandre, were born and lived their early lives in an area called “Beausoleil” along the Annapolis River in Nova Scotia. Both Broussards married Thibodeau sisters. Their families were living along the Petitcoudiac River in New Brunswick at the beginning of the Grand Dérangement. On 4 April 2014, Stephen White kindly provided the following analysis. In three pre-1765 civil records, each Broussard brother is recorded by his first and family name followed by dit Beausoleil (Joseph-twice and Alexandre-once). Some civil records identify just Beausoleil, or Broussard dit Beausoleil. Given the circumstance of several of these records, the brother named just Beausoleil is apparent. In all pre-1765 church records examined, the Beausoleil nickname was not recorded; only the first and family name of each brother was written. I have examined some civil and church records recording the names of each brother and his family members in Louisiana starting in 1765. Only Joseph Broussard, along with three sons and one grandson [Claude, François, Amand, and René of Petit Joseph], were recorded with dit Beausoleil in the civil records. Likewise, only Joseph, three sons, four grandsons, one granddaughter and one great-granddaughter [Claude and his son Jean-Joseph; François and his children: Olidon, Joseph, Jean and Marie-Carmeline; Amand and his daughter, Scholastique; and Petit Joseph’s son Joseph] were found with that dit name in Attakapas church records. Those records range from 1765 to 1848. In Louisiana, Alexandre and his family were apparently not recorded with the dit name that he and his brother were occasionally given in their old homeland.

[5]Carl A. Brasseaux, et al., trans. and ed., Quest for the Promised Land, Official Correspondence Relating to the First Acadian Migration to Louisiana, 1764-1769 (Lafayette, La.: Center for Louisiana Studies, 1989), 28-32, 34-37, 49, 54; Michael J. Foret, “Aubry, Foucault, and the Attakapas Acadians: 1765,” Attakapas Gazette XV (1980), 60-63; For discussions of the Acadian immigration and settlement in Louisiana, see Brasseaux, New Acadia; Brasseaux, “Acadian Immigration into South Louisiana, 1764-1768” and “Metamorphosis of Acadian Society in Late-Eighteenth-Century Louisiana,” Ensemble Encore Archive, at www.acadianmemorial.org; and Brasseaux, “Acadian Life under the Spanish Regime,” La Société Historique Acadienne, les Cahiers Volume 10, No. 4 (1979), 132-140.

[6]Earl C. Woods and Charles E. Nolan, eds., and comps. Archdiocese of New Orleans Sacramental Records, Volume 2, 1751-1771 (New Orleans: Archdiocese Archives, 1988), 26, 66, 105, 138, 177, 198, 259, 261, 268, hereafter cited as ANOSR.

[7][Card-Money List], 30 April 1765, Archives Nationales de France, Archives des Colonies (Paris), Series C 13a, Volume 45: 29; Brasseaux, et al., Quest, 54.

[8]Ibid., 28-47.

[9]Brasseaux, New Acadia, 122-125.

[10]Glenn R. Conrad, “The Acadian Story Continues to Unfold,” Attakapas Gazette XIII (1978) 89-90, fn. 6; Brasseaux, New Acadia, 92; Grover Rees, trans., “The Dauterive Compact: The Foundation of the Acadian Cattle Industry,” Attakapas Gazette XI (1976), 91; For discussions of land grants, see C. Richard Arena, “Land Settlement Policies and Practices in Spanish Louisiana,” in John F. McDermott, ed., The Spanish in the Mississippi Valley (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1974), 51-60; Glenn R. Conrad, Land Records of the Attakapas District, Volume I, The Attakapas Domesday Book, Land Grants, Claims and Confirmations in the Attakapas District, 1764-1826 (Lafayette, La.: Center for Louisiana Studies, 1990), ix-xxviii, 1-15, hereafter cited as Land Records Vol. 1; and Gertrude C. Taylor, “Colonial Land Grants in the Attakapas,” Attakapas Gazette XV (1980),13-23; For land grant maps, see Gertrude C. Taylor, Land Grants along the Teche, Part I, Part II, Part III (Lafayette, La.: Attakapas Historical Society, 1979, 1980).

[11]William H. Perrin, ed., Southwest Louisiana Biographical and Historical (New Orleans: Gulf Publishing Co, 1891, reprinted by Claitor’s Publishing, Baton Rouge, La., 1971), 189; Brasseaux, et al., Quest, 44; René B. Richard, et al., Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Church Records, 1b, Pointe Coupée 1722-1769 (Baton Rouge: Diocese Archives, 2002), 29, hereafter cited as DBRCCR.

[12]Father Jean François’ records are found in the original sacramental registers from 1756-1794, St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church, St. Martinville, La. I used a bound transcription, Copie d’un Vieux Registre, found in a 1922 typescript of the original registers by Olga Bienvenu on deposit in the Louisiana Room, Dupré Library, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 3-11, 35; translated abstracts of Jean Francois’ originals are found in Donald J. Hébert, Southwest Louisiana Records, Volume 1-A (1750-1800) Complete Revision (Rayne, La.: Hébert Publishing, 1996), hereafter cited as SWLAR.

[13]Brasseaux, et. al., Quest: 77.

[14]Jean-François Mouhot, ed., and Bey Grieve, trans., “Letter by Jean-Baptiste Semer, an Acadian in New Orleans, to his father in Le Havre, April 20, 1766,” Louisiana History XLVIII (2007), 219-226.

[15]Ibid., 223-225.

[16]For a discussion of the Attakapas French cattlemen, see Andrew Sluyter, “The Role of Blacks in Establishing Cattle Ranching in Louisiana in the Eighteenth Century,” Agricultural History Volume 86 (March 2012), 41-67.

[17]The United States, Appellants, v. Jean Baptiste D’Auterive and others, Heirs and Representatives of the Late Jean Antoine Bernard D’Auterive in Benjamin C. Howard, Reports of Cases Argued and Adjudged in the Supreme Court of the United States: December Term 1850, 2nd ed. (Albany, NY: Banks & Brothers, 1884), 608-621.

[18] “Supreme Court of the United States, No. 198, The United States, Appellants, vs. Jean Baptiste Dauterive and Al., Appear from the District Court, U. S., for the District of Louisiana,” U.S. Supreme Court Transcript of Record US v. D’Auterive: US v. D’Auterive’s Heirs, U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs 1832-1978, Gale Cengage Learning, Making of Modern Law [MOML] Print Editions (2011), 7, 14, 31-32.

[19]Ibid., 31-32.

[20]Brasseaux, New Acadia, 171-172.

[21]Glenn R. Conrad, “In the Beginning… The Origins of St. Martinville,” Attakapas Gazette, XXIX (1994), 1-5; Supreme Court Transcript of Record US v. D’Auterive, MOML, plat map between pages 35 & 36; Conrad, Land Records Vol.1, 171, 386.

[22]Antonio Barnabe vs. Bernardo Dauterive, 8 August 1771, Louisiana Historical Quarterly, Volume 8 (1929), 528-529.

[23]Vieux Registre, 3, 4, 6, 7; Hébert, SWLAR, 53-54, 735-736, 743, 752-753.

[24]Memorial of Grevemberg, 16 July 1765, Pintado Papers, Opelousas District, Book I, Part 2, 159-160, Register of State Lands, Baton Rouge. A microfilm copy (A9-056) is available at the St. Martin Parish Library.

[25]Land Grants, Grevemberg Family Documents, accession# 4125l, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution “NSDAR”, Americana Collection (Washington, D.C.).

[26]Ibid. (See Memorial of Grevemberg, undated, circa mid-April to mid July 1765).

[27]Ibid.

[28]Brasseaux, New Acadia, 92.

[29]Land Grants to Grevemberg, 16 July 1765, accession# 4125l, NSDAR, Americana Collection.

[30]Philip B. Grove, ed., Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged (Springfield, Mass: G. & C. Merriam Co., 1961), 551.

[31]Conrad, “The Acadian Story,” 90; Conrad, Land Records Vol. 1, 45, 46; U.S. Army, Department of the Gulf, “Atchafalaya Basin,” Map No. 8, 8 February 1863, Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.), A digital copy is on deposit at the Young-Sanders Center for the Study of the War Between the States in Louisiana, Franklin, La.

[32]Brasseaux, et al., Quest, 49.

[33]Vieux Registre, 3-11, 35.

[34]Brasseaux, et al., Quest, 55, 61.

[35]Padro y Lista de los Milicianos y Habitantes Acadianos establecidos ultimamente en los Atakapas segun – Revista passaia en 25 de Abril 1766, Archivo General de Indias, Audiencia de Santo Domingo, Legajo 2595, no folios, (Seville, Spain), translated by Jacqueline K. Voorhies in Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, Census Records of the Colony, 1758-1796 (Lafayette: USL History Series, 1973), 124-125. Note: Voorhies’ counts (tallied by this author) are: La Pointe, 38, La Tortue, 39 and La Manque, 45.

[36]Untitled and undated document [circa 1766 Attakapas French Census], General Archives of the Indies, Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, Legajo 109, folio 1415,(Seville, Spain), hereafter cited as AGI PPC with legajo and folio numbers. Microfilm copies of the AGI are available in the Louisiana Room, Edith Garland Dupré Library, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, translated by Judy Riffel in “1766 Attakapas Census,” La Raconteur Volume XXVI (December 2006), 219-220.

[37]Acadian genealogical records used in this work are from the following: Stephen A. White, Dictionnaire Généalogique des Families Acadiennes, Premiere Partie 1636 À 1714 en Deux Volumes (Moncton, New Brunswick: Centre d’Etudes Acadiennes Université de Moncton, 1999); Stephen A. White, Dictionnaire Généalogique des Families Acadiennes, Deuxième Partie 1715 À 1780 (in preparation); Hébert, SWLAR, Volumes 1-A, 2-B, 2-A, 2-B, 2-C. Much gratitude is given to Mr. White for sharing his research and for personally communicating with him over many years.

[38]Louisiana State Land Office online Historical Records at www.sloms.doa.la.gov.

[39]Conrad, Land Records Vol. 1, 270-271.

[40] Deposition of Jean-Baptiste Broussard, 15 April 1799, American State Papers “ASP”, Documents of the Congress of the United States Commencing December 4, 1815 and ending May 27, 1824, Class VIII Land Claims Series, III (Washington, D.C.: Gales and Seaton Publishers, 1834), 129-130.

[41]Although the description “left side” might suggest the west side on a map, this researcher feels “left side” here probably refers to the left bank while descending Bayou Teche. This would actually have been the east bank.

[42]Henry P. Dart, “A Louisiana Indigo Plantation on Bayou Teche in 1773,” The Louisiana Historical Quarterly Volume 6 (October 1926), 570.

[43]On her Land Grant Map, Part II, Gertrude Taylor noted a grant issued by Ungaza on 18 August 1772 for the section associated with Étienne de Vaugine. This date is a possible error. On that date de Vaugine wrote to Ungaza to express “my gratitude for the concession that you so kindly consented to grant me.” See AGI PPC, Legajo 198A, folio 36. Ungaza’s term of office began in March 1770. Apparently Ungaza issued de Vaugine his grant after March 1770 and before October 1771, when de Vaugine was recorded as being an adjacent neighbor to Paul Pelletier Delahoussaye; Gertrude C Taylor, “Étienne de Vaugine: Soldier, Planter, Trader,” Attakapas Gazette XV (1980), 55; Conrad, “In the Beginning,” fn. 14.

[44]English Abstract of 1768 Land Grant Records of Jean Berard, St. Landry Parish Miscellaneous Records, Accession No. P85-190, Louisiana Secretary of State, Archives Division (Baton Rouge), a microfilm copy is available at the Archives; Contestation between the Hébert family and J. B. Degruys, 1798-1801, St. Martin Parish Original Acts (St. Martin Parish Courthouse), Book 19, #26, survey map on sheets 10 and 11, hereafter cited as SMOA with book and document number; Conrad, Land Records Vol. 1, 163, 254, 262-263.

[45]Resencement General des Habitants des Atakapas et Bestieaux [circa 1769], AGI PPC, Legajo 210, folio 233, translated by Donald J. Arceneaux in, Attakapas Post in 1769: The First Nominal Census of Colonial Settlers in Southwest Louisiana (Baton Rouge:, Provincial Press, Claitor’s Publishing Division, 2014), 25.

[46]Recensement des Atakapas fait en 1771, AGI PPC, Legajo 188-C, no folios.

[47]Oath of Allegiance to the Spanish Crown by Colonists Residing and Settled at Attakapas, 9 December 1769, Colonial Documents Collection # 1769_12_09_01, Record Group 2, Louisiana State Museum Historical Center Collection (New Orleans) translated by Arceneaux in, Attakapas Post in 1769, 7-8.

[48]David K. Bjork, trans. and ed., “Documents Relating to Alexandro O’Reilly and an Expedition Sent out by Him from New Orleans to Natchitoches, 1769-1770,” Louisiana Historical Quarterly VII (1924), 23-39; Paulette G. Martin, trans. and ed., “Ordinance Regulating Concessions and Cattle in Spanish Louisiana, 1770,” Attakapas Gazette XII (1977), 180-182.

[49]List of Officials Appointed by O’Reilly, 4 February 1770, AGI PPC Legajo 1055; Order to Fuselier de la Claire, 18 February 1770, AGI PPC Legajo 188-A, folio 2-9, translated by Winston De Ville in “Fuselier de la Claire and the Lands of Attakapas and Opelousas in 1770,”Mississippi Valley Melanage, Volume One (1995), 36-37.

[50]Land Petition of Grevemberg, 4 February 1770, accession# 4125l, NSDAR, Americana Collection.

[51]Ibid., Land Grant to Grevemberg, 2 March 1770.

[52]Conrad, Land Records Vol. 1, 103-125, 158-177, 386; Requéte of Severin [Sylvain] Broussard, 4 February 1771, www.sloms.doa.la.gov,, Claim Papers, Southwestern District, T9S. R6E, Vol. 44, #510.00168_191 pdf, accessed on 29 October 2013.

[53]Jung to Le Dée, Land Sale Contract, 8 March 1762, Louisiana Historical Quarterly XXIII (1940), 902; Conrad, Land Records Vol. 1, 77, 386, 393.

[54]Directive of O’Reilly, 28 February 1770, AGI PPC Legajo 188-A folio 2-12, translated for author by Winston De Ville on 25 February 2005.

[55]Conrad, Land Records Vol. 1, 115, 386; Resencement General des Habitants des Atakapas et Bestieaux [circa 1769], AGI PPC, Legajo 210, folio 229, in Arceneaux, Attakapas Post in 1769, 17.

[56]Hébert, SWLAR, 1-B, 46, 496; Conrad, Land Records Volume I, 106, 110-112, 115; Glenn R. Conrad, Land Records of the Attakapas District Volume II Part I: Conveyance Records of Attakapas County 1804-1818 (Lafayette, La.: Center for Louisiana Studies, 1992), 12, 69, 94, 131, 193, 256, 314, 325.

[57]Many descendents of Joseph Broussard have asked the question: “Where exactly was Beausoleil buried?”   Both Joseph and Alexandre are my sixth maternal great-grandfathers and also my seventh paternal great-grandfathers. Given all the Acadian descendents now interested in their family histories, if just one grave site could be located – that was isolated from developments and became accessible to the public – it would undoubtedly become a revered, visited historic site. In 2013 the New Acadia Project began. NAP is a multidisciplinary project involving archaeological, historical and ethnographic research to find and investigate the 1765 settlements of New Acadia.

[58]Des implies a plural noun. It should read du tortue. It was clearly written des tortue on the French circa 1766 census and that spelling will be retained here.

[59]Ory G. Poret, Spanish Land-Grants in Louisiana (Ville Platte, La.: Provincial Press, 1999), 7. In the land records translated by Poret, Francois Mayeux received a 1764 French land grant in the Opelousas area along “River Torute.” Thus far, an unsuccessful attempt has been made to locate that specific colonial waterway.

[60]Undated map with ledged, Curso del Misipi desde Nueva Orleans hacia el Norte, y zona del delta de su derecha hasta el rio de los Atakapas y Vermillon, reproduced in Servicio Geografico del Ejercito, Carpeta 2, Luisiana, Cartgafia de Ultramar (1953) v. 2: pl. 101, at http://rla.unc.edu/emas/Ultramar.html#21, accessed 5 May 2015.

[61]Edwin B. Lufkin. History of the Thirteenth Maine Regiment (Bridgeton, Me.: H.A. Shorey & Son, 1908), 72.

[62]“Report of H. C. Collins, Assistant Engineer, 30 June 1883, New Orleans,” Annual Report of the Chief of Engineers, United States Army, to the Secretary of War, for the Year 1883 in Three Parts, Part II (Washington D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1883), Appendix Q, 1113-1116.

[63]Ibid., 1114-1115

[64]Thomas Hutchins, An Historical Narrative and Topographical Description of Louisiana, and West-Florida (Philadelphia: Robert Aiken, 1784, reprinted by University of Florida Press, Gainesville, Fl., 1968), 46- 49;

[65]Thomas Hutchins, “Courses of the Tage River,” circa 1780, AD (with map), Thomas Hutchins Papers, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

[66]Land sale from De Labarre and Dutillet to St. Marc Darby, 2 May 1785, SMOA, Book 4 # 64; Barthélémy Lafon, Carte générale du terrotorie d’Orléans comprenant aissi la Floride Occidentale et une portion du territoire du Mississipi (New Olerans: Barthélémy Lafon, 1806), original in the Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Louisiana State Land Office online Historical Records, US Check Plat Map, Southwestern District, T12S R7E, #526.01494_1, accessed 3 April 2015; For a discussion, copies of portions of some historic maps noted and photos see: Shane K Bernard, “La Chute: A Waterfall on Bayou Teche?” Bayou Teche Dispatches, 1 December 2011, http://bayoutechedispatches.blogspot.com/2011/12/la-chute-waterfall-onbayou-teche.html, accessed 5 May 2015.

[67]Ibid., US Check Plat Map, Southwestern District, T11S R6E, # 526.04338_1, accessed 4 May 2015; Ibid., Claim Papers, Southwestern District, T11S R6E, Vol. 53 #510.00163_133, & #510.00163_151, accessed 25 May 2015; Claim Papers, Southwestern District, T12S, R7E, Vol. 54, #510.00170_34 pdf, accessed 25 May 2015.

[68]Glenn H. Conrad, “Sale of an Early Sugar Plantation in the Teche Country,” Attakapas Gazette, Volume XXVII (1992), 22-26. Conrad included a map on page 24 that showed the basin funnel and the Belmont Canal..

[69]St. Martinsville Quadrangle Map, Grid Zone 0, 1/62500 – scale, Edition of 1939, N3000-W9145 /15.

[70]Requéte of Charles Dugas, 21 March 1771, St. Landry Colonial Documents, Accession # P1985-4, microfilm copy #1405937, Louisiana Secretary of State, Archives Division (Baton Rouge).

[71]Conrad, Land Records Vol. 1, 213-226.

[72]Gregory A. Woods, A Guide to the Acadians in Maryland in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (Baltimore, Md.: Gateway Press, 1995), 140; Brasseaux, et. al., Quest, 77; Resencement General des Habitants des Atakapas et Bestieaux [circa 1769], AGI PPC, Legajo 210, folio 231, in Arceneaux, Attakapas Post in 1769, 21; DBRCCR Vol. 2, 160; SWLAR Vol. 1A, 147.

[73]Resencement General des Habitants des Atakapas et Bestieaux [circa 1769], AGI PPC, Legajo 210, folio 231.

[74]Petition of Joseph Broussard for land on Bayou Teche, 27 March 1771, St. Landry Colonial Documents, Accession #P85-190 (microfilm copy unreadable, see digital scan in possession of State Archives), Louisiana Secretary of State, Archives Division, Baton Rouge.

[75]Conrad, Land Records Vol. 1, 218, 222, 262.

[76]Brasseaux, New Acadia, 92; Copie d’un Vieux Registre, 4, 6.

[77]For a copy of the 1817 map by William Darby, see Conrad, Land Records Vol. 1, frontispiece.

[78]In standard French, manque is masculine. It should read Le Camp du Manque. It was clearly written Le Camp de la manque on the French circa 1766 census and that spelling will be retained here.

[79]Woods and Nolan, ANOSR Volume 2, 17, 105.

[80]Etat des habitants sur la rive gauche du fleuve…la cotte de Kana-anoce, Louis Judice, 9 April 1766, AGI PPC, Legajo 187-A ; Estat de la coste de Kabahan Nossee…sur les deux rives du fleuve, Nicolas Verret, 29 June 1766, AGI PPC, Legajo 202, folio 225. Dr. Brasseaux counted 82 Acadians that fled the Attakapas in late 1765; see New Acadia, 122.

[81]A. Boyer, Dictionnaire Francois-Anglois et Anglois-Francois, en Abrege, Par A. Boyer, Premiere Partie (Paris, 1797), s.v. MAN.

[82]Jules O. Daigle, A Dictionary of the Cajun Language (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Edwards Brothers, Inc., 1984), 98.

[83]Personal communication by the author with Barry J. Ancelet on 16 February 2013.

[84]Borda-Martin Marriage Contract, Jean Berard, 31 October 1767, SMOA, Volume 1 #3, translated abstract in Hébert, SWLAR, 1-A, 80.

[85]Conrad, Land Records Vol. 1, 116, 386-387; Brasseaux, New Acadia, (See Map on page 93).

[86]Conrad, Land Records Vol. 1, 302, 386.

[87]Petitions of Michel Doucet and of Bonaventure Martin for lands on Bayou Teche, 27 March 1771, St. Landry Colonial Documents, Accession #P85-190 (microfilm copy unreadable, see digital scan in possession of State Archives), Louisiana Secretary of State, Archives Division, Baton Rouge.

[88] Conrad, Land records Vol. 1., 216, 386.

[89]Resencement General des Habitants des Atakapas et Bestieaux [circa 1769], AGI PPC, Legajo 210, folios 228- 233, in Arceneaux, Attakapas Post in 1769, 15-25.

[90]Conrad, Land Records Vol. 7, 145, 148, 38.

[91]Petition of François Broussard of Attakapas for land, 3 April 1776, St. Landry Colonial Documents, Accession #P1985-115 (microfilm copy not available, see digital scan in possession of State Archives), Louisiana Secretary of State, Archives Division, Baton Rouge.

[92]Conrad, Land Records Vol. 1, 146-147, 388.

[93]Hébert, SWLAR, 1-A, 560.

[94]Resencement General des Habitants des Atakapas et Bestieaux [circa 1769], AGI PPC, Legajo 210, folio 231, in Arceneaux, Attakapas Post in 1769, 21.

[95]Conrad, Land Records Vol. 1, 218, 286.

[96] Hutchins, A Historical Narrative, 47.

[97]Hébert, SWLAR, Volume 1-A, 236.

[98]Conrad, Land Records Vol.1, 263; Dart, “A Louisiana Indigo Plantation,” 570; Hébert, SWLAR, 1-A, 73; Jean Berard land sale to Boutté, fils, 1 July 1785, SMOA, Book 4, #82.

[99]Representation of Claude Boutté to Bernardo de Gálvez, 22 February 1777, AGI PPC, Legajo 190, folios 131-151.

[100]Ibid., folios 131-132.

[101]Driving along Highway 86 from Bacon Road to the Belle Place Middle School on 4 December 2014, the odometer mileage was 7.8 miles. The highway between these two points generally follows the course of Bayou Teche. Traveling by water on the bayou, the distance would be a little shorter. La Chute outlet is about two miles along the Teche above where the lane opposite Bacon Road meets the Teche.

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