The d’Hauterive, Billaud & Allied Families of Louisiana

Note by Jim Phillips, President, The Attakapas Historical Association:
I received a phone call from Marianne Allen Corradi.   She was curious, “what was happening with the Attakapas Historical Association and The Attakapas Gazette?”
Ms Corradi seemed excited that The Attakapas Gazette has been resurrected, and that it is an appropriate vehicle to share the years of research and work she had just finished – a family genealogy book titled THE D’HAUTERIVE, BILLAUD AND ALLIED FAMILIES of LOUISIANA.  She sent a letter and a copy of her book to me as promised.  I will first share a few snippets from her letter.  Her letter opened,

“Dear Jim, I enjoyed our conversation today and was happy to clear up the mystery of The Attakapas Historical Association and The Attakapas Gazette.

This book is a self-published, 500 page, non-copyrighted, account of my mother’s Cajun and Creole genealogy complete with maps, photos and documents. It has been accepted by the Library of Congress and the Mormon Library and I am sending copies of the book to the Public Libraries of Breaux Bridge and St. Martinville, as well as to others in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas. My cousin, Robert Billeaud, will donate his copy of the book to the Lafayette Public Library when he is finished with it and a copy will go to the Dupre Library of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

I am enclosing two CDs of the book that you might use to make copies, or to digitize parts of it if you wish. You may use any of the book in your digital or print publications and you have my permission to do so.

Enjoy!!! Very truly yours, Marianne A. Corradi

The first thing I noticed when I opened the book to the Introduction page was a quote from Louisiana and Acadiana’s beloved Glenn R Conrad.

“These records serve as a constant reminder that it is easy to glory in the legends of the past, but it is glorious to know the facts from which the legends sprung.”

– From the Land Records of The Attakapas District, Vol II, by Glenn R. Conrad

Bravo, Marianne A. Corradi, and thank you for your love for legends of the past and for your “glorious” work to present the facts from which the legends spring.
I have taken the liberty given to copy passages directly from one of the CD’s.  This book presents a great overview and introduction to Louisiana history and sets up a solid foundation for understanding the detailed accounts in this extensive piece of genealogical research – especially for “newbies” like me.  I suggest that after reading these portions of her book here on our online Attakapas Gazette, that you go straight to one of the libraries mentioned above, find this book and read the numerous and fascinating legends of which esteemed Glenn R. Conrad spoke of that are documented in Ms. Corradi’s book.
– Sincerely. Jim Phillips, AHA

Excerpts from THE D’HAUTERIVE, BILLAUD AND ALLIED FAMILIES of LOUISIANA – by Marianne Allen Corradi

A LITTLE HISTORY AND OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION

I have included the following overview of Louisiana history in this book because I felt that it was necessary to give some background and chronological information to the reader of this Family History. The history must be understood in order to place the family members in the proper context of the times and to begin to understand the world they lived in.

From The Fortier Family, by Estelle Cochran:

“The vast area which lay between Canada on the north and the Gulf of Mexico on the south, and enclosed on the east and west by two chains of mountains, was the Valley of the Mississippi, the land which became the province of Louisiana, a colony of France. In the early seventeenth century, the area was inhabited only by Indian tribes. Some colonization had been started by the Spaniards in the Florida area to the east and the Texas-Mexican area in the west.

To the north lay Canada. This land attracted the French, who began, as early as the middle sixteenth century, to send explorers. Colonization was begun there in the early seventeenth century. Under the direction of Cardinal Richelieu, a company was organized which was to take to Canada three hundred colonists a year, only French Catholics. Though the company had many hardships and failures, many French colonists settled there, among which were some of our ancestors….

In their exploratory travels, Pere Marquette and Joliet, the great Canadian explorers, had gone south from the St. Lawrence River, and, in 1673, had established a mission at the small village of the Kaskaskia Indians. {The French explorer, Robert Cavalier, Sieur de} La Salle, entered the Illinois area, so called for the Illinois Indians, and, in 1679, built Fort Crevecoeur. Soon other Canadians crossed into the Illinois country, establishing trading posts and missions….

Quoting from Ruben Gold Thwaites, ‘France in America’, from The American Nation, Vol. 7: ‘French Jesuits had operated in the Illinois country as early as Marquette, but their ministrations were in Indian villages along the Illinois River. In 1699, the Suplicans opened a mission on the Mississippi River, and the year following the Jesuits removed their establishment to the neighboring Kaskaskia. Fort Chartres, a stout fortress designed to check growing English encroachments on the Ohio and Mississippi, was built in 1720.'”

From History of Iberia Parish and Area, by Mrs. J.S. Brown, Jr.:

“LaSalle explored the Mississippi River from Canada….by canoe to its mouth and the Gulf of Mexico. On April 9, 1682, LaSalle erected a stone monument declaring that the country through which the Mississippi River flowed and all the land it drained was the property of King Louis XIV of France. He named the vast territory Louisiana, after King Louis XIV and his Queen Anna.

King Louis XIV, pleased with LaSalle’s discovery, gave him four ships with colonists and supplies to form a strong colony at the mouth of the Mississippi, but on his return, LaSalle and his men could not find the mouth of the Mississippi River and were lost. Sailing on, they finally landed in Texas four hundred miles west of the Mississippi. Here they built Fort St. Louis, while LaSalle left them with scouts to search for the vast Mississippi River. His unhappy colonists did not know how to brave the Texas wilderness. They died from illness and starvation. One of them was a traitor and killed LaSalle, who was only thirty-four.”

From The Fortier Family, by Estelle Cochran:

“In 1697, Pierre le Moyne, Sieur d’Iberville, native of Montreal, Canada, was commissioned by the Marine Minister of France to found a settlement at the mouth of the Mississippi River. He left Brest, France, with four vessels, and reached Mobile Bay in January of 1699. There he built Fort Maurepas, which was the first permanent French settlement on the Gulf Coast. This was near what is now Biloxi, Mississippi. Mobile was settled in 1702, and was made the capital of Louisiana. In 1717, (his brother) Jean Baptiste de Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, was sent to found New Orleans, and, in 1722, the capital was changed from Mobile to New Orleans.”

From History of Iberia Parish and Area, by Mrs. J.S. Brown, Jr.:

“France did establish its first permanent settlement in the vast empire (later known as the Louisiana Purchase), naming it Natchitoches. It was established by the French under (Louis Antoine Juchereau de) St. Denis in 1714. It is believed that the first white men to settle in this region were a few French trappers, ranchmen and smugglers. Some French settlers were here by the mid 1700’s.”

From The Fortier Family, by Estelle Cochran:

“Until 1717, there were very few persons attempting the hazards of a new, undeveloped country. At that time, however, the Western Company, later known as the Company of the Indies, was formed (in France), the leading spirit of which was the notorious Scotch financier, John Law. Dieler, in The Settlement of the German Coast of Louisiana said: ‘This company received the trade monopoly for twenty-five years. It was granted the right to issue an unlimited number of shares of stock, and the privilege not only of giving away land on conditions, but also of selling it outright. For these and other considerations the company obligated itself to bring into the colony during the life of its franchise at least 6,000 white people and 3,000 Negroes’. (This company failed and the monopoly reverted back to the King)….

A large tribe of Indians, the ‘Attakapas’, occupied land prior to the settlement of the French. It encompassed that portion of Louisiana along the Teche River (or Bayou) which now comprises the Parishes of Vermilion, St. Mary, St. Martin, Iberia and Lafayette….

St. Denis was largely responsible for gaining the friendship of this tribe of Indians and he became their great Chief and benefactor. Gradually, as tracts of land were bought from the Attakapas tribesmen, French settlements were started. The land was fertile, the crops became abundant and the livestock began to multiply. Trading Posts were established along the Bayous, the most important of which were Opelousas and St. Martinville, the latter being considered the most prominent, and was called ‘Poste des Attakapas’. It enjoyed all of the prestige and responsibility attached to other posts or forts of the era. It is asserted by some historians that some of the most important officers of the Province were located there, and that the area was vying, at one time, with New Orleans in its social, military and political status.”

From History of Iberia Parish and Area, by Mrs. J.S. Brown, Jr.:

“By 1723 the French had divided Louisiana into seven districts, with the Attakapas area within the Orleans District. Each district was served by a commandant and a judge for its military and civil needs….

One of the first to settle in the Attakapas area was a man named Masse, from a rich Grenoble family….In 1765 his name appears in a court case giving testimony that Edward Masse and Jean Antoine Bernard D’Hauterive, in partnership, operated a vacherie (cattle range) on the Bayou Teche in what is now Iberia Parish….

In 1757, the tiny French military post in the wilderness called the Poste des Attakapas (now known as St. Martinville) was established. In 1756 a priest stationed in Point Coupee Parish began to minister to the Catholic settlers regularly.   In 1765, the St. Martin Church Parish was organized and a chapel built (on land donated by Jean Antoine Bernard D’Hauterive).”

From “Some Effects of Acadian Settlement” by Lyle Givens Williams in the Attakapas Gazette:

“Among the earliest French colonists in the New World, the Acadians had lived for nearly 150 years in Nova Scotia when Great Britain gained possession of all French territory in Canada (about 1750). The boundaries of Acadia, never clearly defined, roughly embraced the North American Coast from Cape Breton to the shores below the Hudson River. Of sturdy peasant stock, the Acadians had for generations earned their livelihood by fishing, farming, and raising cattle. They were ardent Roman Catholics with a zealous, almost fanatic love for their families and for France….The Acadians, charged by the English with disloyalty, were believed to menace the English colonial possessions from within. (In 1755), by an act of extreme severity, over 4,000 of these Acadians were uprooted from their homes and dispersed to other English colonies and to England and France–called “Le Grand Derangement”….The Acadians suffered many hardships on their long odyssey which finally brought some four to six thousand of them to Louisiana….They were treated kindly and settled along the Mississippi above New Orleans (following the Treaty of Paris of 1763 which granted permission to the Acadian refugees to migrate)….on lands in what are today St. James and Iberville parishes. Later arrivals were sent by Spanish governors to the more remote areas; Natchitoches, the Opelousas, and the Attakapas.”

From “Cajuns in the 18th Century”, in Acadian-Cajun Genealogy and History, by Tim Hebert on the Internet (www.iscuo.org/acadiancajun/hiscaj2b.html):

“The first twenty Acadians to arrive in Louisiana came in 1764. They were apparently settled at Cabanocey (on the Mississippi River) by d’Abbadie….the French officer in charge of Louisiana who died in 1765. The next highest officer, Capt. Charles Philippe Aubry, took charge until Spain sent someone. (Spain had acquired Louisiana from the French in 1762 but did not formally take possession of the Colony until 1769.) In the final week of February 1765, almost 200 Acadians arrived in New Orleans. Led by Joseph Broussard, dit Beausoleil, they were Acadians who had been kept at Halifax (in Canada). After sailing to Santo Domingo, they changed ships for Louisiana. Though directed to provide them with the bare essentials, (Commissaire Ordonnateur Denis-Nicolas Foucault, the chief administrative officer) took pity on them and spent money on food, tools, guns, and construction material for them.

The acting governor, Charles Philippe Aubry….sent them to the Attakapas region….The following year, a decree was made ordering new Acadian arrivals to be settled along the Mississippi River. Over 1000 Acadians arrived from 1764 to 1768….Aubrey was interested in developing farming to provide for New Orleans.

Antoine Bernard Dauterive made a contract with eight of the Acadians (in the Attakapas area) on April 4, 1765 to provide cattle. Dauterive, a retired French officer, and Edouard Masse had obtained a large land grant in 1760 in the region. Acadians were supposed to work for him for six years; in return, they got the land and half the increase in livestock….

The Acadians were given supplies (salted pork and beef, rice, hardtack, and flour) to last them for six months. They were also given seed (rice and corn) and farming tools to sustain themselves in the long run….Eventually (they settled) between Fausse Pointe (Loreauville) and La Manque (Breaux Bridge). This was to be their New Acadia. They spread out and another group of Acadians settled in the nearby Opelousas area (at Prairie des Coteaux).

When the Acadians got to Dauterive’s land, located on the east bank of Bayou Teche at present-day St. Martinville, they found that the neighbors considered them trespassers. So, instead of raising cattle for Dauterive, the Acadians bought cattle from Jean Baptiste Grevemberg after going to Fausse Pointe. When they tried to patent the land, Grevemberg, since he considered the land on the west bank of Bayou Teche between the Vermilion River and Fausse Pointe as his, wrote Governor Aubrey, asking for a patent to the land he had for 14 years. But the government allowed the Acadians on the land.

In 1766, 216 Acadians arrived from Halifax. There were 406 who arrived from Maryland from 1767 to 1768 (including our Landry ancestors). Commandant Joseph Orieta placed one group of Acadians at St. Gabriel (on the Mississippi River)….Other Acadians were assigned land along the River at San Luis de Natchez….The settlement area on the River became known as the Acadian Coast (in St. James Parish). These first Acadians on the River were mainly from the Cobequid area (of Acadia). Most of the Acadians who followed the first group were from the Minas/Pisiquid area of Acadia.

From Ten Flags in the Wind, by Charles L. Dufour:

“Early in the administration of Esteban Miro (an early Spanish Governor of Louisiana) the largest transatlantic movements of colonists in American colonial history reached Louisiana. This was the Spanish Crown’s importation from France in 1785 of more than 1600 Acadians, who had settled there after their expulsion by the English from Nova Scotia (Acadia) in 1755.

The first Acadians to reach Louisiana had drifted in about 1763, although undocumented tradition claims that the earliest arrivals settled on the bayous of South Louisiana in 1760. By 1768….there were about 1500 refugees from Acadia in Louisiana, along the Mississippi above New Orleans and on the banks of Bayous Lafourche, Teche, Vermilion, and other streams.

Meanwhile, in France, there languished an enclave of Acadians, numbering about 3,000. For years they had led a hand-to-mouth existence, neglected by the French crown from whom they had expected assistance. In 1784, Peyroux de La Coudreniere, a resident of Nantes, who had spent seven years in Louisiana, conceived the idea of inducing the Spanish King to transport to Louisiana at his expense the unhappy Acadians of France.

Peyroux approached the Spanish ambassador in Paris, Count de Aranda, who was so impressed with the idea that he immediately transmitted it to the Spanish court. To Charles III, it seemed an ideal and economical way of introducing a substantial number of worthwhile colonists, mainly in family groups, and he quickly approved the project. Arrangements were soon completed by the Spanish and French governments and on May 10, 1785 Le Bon Papa sailed from France for Louisiana with 156 Acadians on board. Before it reached New Orleans on July 29, three other vessels were at sea with nearly 800 more Acadians – La Berge (273); Le Beaumont (180); and St. Remy (341).

Seven expeditions in all came to Louisiana, the three last – Amistad (270); La Villa Arcangel (309); and La Carolina (80) – depositing their cargoes at New Orleans, by the middle of December. In barely seven months, in 1785, Spain had transported from France to Louisiana nearly 400 families of Acadians. Everybody, it appears, was happy about the migration. To the impoverished Acadians, generally landless in France, Louisiana offered the opportunity for a fresh start in life, with land, seeds, tools, and livestock provided them by the Spanish authorities. To the latter the Acadians appeared to be exactly the kind of colonists Louisiana needed.”

From “Cajuns in the 18th Century”, in Acadian-Cajun Genealogy and History, by Tim Hebert on the Internet (www.iscuo.org/acadiancajun/hiscaj2b.html):

“Spain became an ally of the American Colonies during the American Revolution. The Acadians didn’t mind being on the side of the enemies of England and a number of them joined the Spanish militia (including Josef Bernard D’Hauterive de Valliere)….Spanish Governor Ulloa arrived on March 5, 1767 with 90 soldiers….He started making rules that upset the locals….such as only Spanish ships could carry commerce and trade to only Spanish ports (importing only Spanish wine!). Finally the native population were tired of Ulloa and his rules and a revolt (led by Nicolas Chauvin la Freniere) took place on October 28, 1768. About 400 people assembled. Ulloa took refuge on a ship in the harbor. Aubry’s troops refused to fight the crowd. They made up a petition and sent it to Spain protesting Ulloa’s actions. Ulloa left for Havana. Another petition was sent to Spain in October. The series of acts that year were referred to as the Revolution of 1768.

Alejandro O’Reilly arrived at Balize (at the mouth of the Mississippi River) on August 17, 1769 with 24 ships and over 2000 men. He brought Don Luis de Unzaga to be governor when he left. O’Reilly, a great general in Europe, had orders to stop the rebellion. The colony was officially transferred (to Spain) by O’Reilly in a ceremony on August 18, 1769. The leaders of the rebellion were put on trial. Some were executed (including La Freniere), some put in prison. He (O’Reilly) changed the government from French to Spanish. He visited the interior to survey the land. He had surveyors map out property lines. He issued a land ordinance on February 18, 1770. Each newly arriving family would get frontland (by 40 arpents in depth) on a river or bayou. The grantee had 3 years to build a levee and drainage ditches, to clear the frontland, and to build a fence around the cleared land. A road behind the levee with bridges over the ditches had to be built….Some areas could get larger grants for cattle raising. Cattle had to be branded before 18 months old….He also had a census taken.

O’Reilly made Unzaga governor on December 1, 1769 and left for Spain on October 29 of the following year….(Unzaga) was easier on the colonists. He left in 1776. Galvez, commander of the Spanish troops, became governor in 1777….(Because of Galvez’s military victories against the British during the American Revolution) Spain got the Floridas (under the terms of the Treaty of Paris) when peace was made in 1783….The very successful and well-liked Galvez left in 1784 to become Viceroy of Mexico, but died in 1786. Don Estevan Miro became governor in 1784.

Fire destroyed much of New Orleans (856 buildings, including the Cathedral) in about 5 hours on Good Friday, March 21, 1788 when a lit candle fell against some lace draperies in the home of the treasurer of the colony (Vicente Jose Nunez). Miro was allowed to return home in 1791. He was replaced by (Don Francisco Luis Hector, Baron de) Carondelet on December 30, 1791.”

From The Heart of the Sugar Bowl, by Albert L. Grace:

“UNDER FRENCH LAW – Louisiana was a French province from 1682 to 1762, during which time the French law was introduced. The province was under the jurisdiction of a governor general, assisted by a superior council, which, besides the French law, provided certain ordinances and customs. The province was subdivided into districts, for each of which a commandant was appointed, who administered justice generally, passing all sales, appeals being made to the governor general and his council in New Orleans. The province was sparsely settled and there was little litigation, the duties of the commandant being confined mainly to transfers and land grants.

UNDER SPANISH LAW – France ceded Louisiana to Spain in 1762. The offices of governor general and commandant were retained. The Spanish legal system was installed, appeal being made to the governor general and his Cabildo in New Orleans….Spain ceded Louisiana back to France, Dec. 1, 1800, but retained practical control until Nov. 30, 1803.”

From History of Iberia Parish and Area, by Mrs. J.S. Brown, Jr.:

“In 1779, Spanish governor Bernardo de Galvez sent Lt. Colonel Francisco Bouligny with nearly five hundred Spanish and Canary Island colonists to establish a settlement on the lower Bayou Teche in the Attakapas country….They named the settlement Nueva Iberia (New Iberia) after their own Spanish Iberian country. Among the best known Spanish grants of that period is….the Darby property on Spanish Lake…. AHA Editors note: [These settlers actually hailed from Málaga, Spain, and arrived in 1779.]

About the time that the Spanish government here was busily giving land grants to colonize our region, the French Revolution broke out in 1789. Many French noblemen and their families came to Louisiana to escape the guillotine. Finding their way to St. Martinville, they carried their memories of the gay life of Paris and began to create in the new world they found a “Petite Paris”. Their homes reflected elegance, as did their new city….The spacious old home of Dauterive Dubuclet on Spanish Lake (Lake Tasse), now the property of the Trappey family and renamed Dulcito Plantation, was built in 1788 and is of the period we now speak.

In the beginning of the nineteenth century Napoleon, the ruler of France, convinced Spain’s King….to give Louisiana to France in exchange for a certain province in Italy. This was done, and France owned Louisiana once more. (Napoleon) sold the Louisiana Territory to the United States (in 1803) for fifteen million dollars. It was the most important event during the eight years that Jefferson was President….

Nine years later, in 1812, a small part of the Louisiana Territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Louisiana….President Jefferson….commissioned W.C.C. Clairborne, Governor of the Mississippi Territory, to assume the provisional government of Louisiana….

Life on the farms and the great plantations had reached a state of patriarchal dignity and simplicity, combined with wealth and power. This gave French Louisiana its peculiar character and charm to the visitor. Our country was still French, and Spanish custom, except outside of the town of New Orleans, and perhaps the New Iberia area, had taken but little hold upon the real life of the people. Few Spanish settlers had come to the colony save those emigrants from the Canary Islands who had established the Nueva Iberia and some in St. Bernard Parish and the vicinity of the capital, not a thousand in all. The people spoke French, and all the greater plantations were held under French grants.

In 1807, after the Louisiana Purchase, nineteen parishes were created and the Attakapas District was called St. Martin Parish. In 1811, the Parish of St. Mary was created by dividing a part of that Parish of St. Martin. In 1823, the Parish of Lafayette was created by taking a part of the western section of St. Martin Parish, reducing the size of St. Martin Parish once more. In 1844, Vermilion Parish was formed. On October 30, 1863, the Parish of Iberia was formed by taking a part of St. Martin Parish and a part of St. Mary Parish. This made a total of five parishes out of the former Attakapas or St. Martin Parish.”

From Southwest Louisiana Records, Volume I (1756-1810), by Father Hebert:

“Many books have been written about Louisiana and her colorful past….The early settlers were for the most part both French and Catholic….

The history of Louisiana has been truly unique. French policies dominated much of her history. The Spanish period saw the arrival of the Acadian exiles who found hospitality here. Then after 1812, when Louisiana became a state, we notice the arrival of English settlers and especially planters coming from the colonies to Southwest Louisiana….

Louisiana has been called a genealogist’s paradise. Her unique history has left her a wealth of documents from both ecclesiastical and civil archives that can serve as a continuing source for searching into our past. Knowledge of our ancestor’s history helps us to appreciate the sacrifices they made in order to come to Louisiana and settle in our beautiful Acadiana.”

THE CIVIL WAR IN LOUISIANA

From The Attakapas Country, by Henry Lewis Griffin:

“When hostilities began (in 1861) many brave men hastened to fight for their homes and for the southern cause. The first body of troops from (Lafayette) to enter the Confederate army was composed of twenty-five men who went to St. Martinville to join the company enlisted there by Captain Alcibiades de Blanc. The first full company to be recruited from the parish was known as the Acadian Guards….On the formation of the Eighteenth Louisiana Regiment the Acadian Guards became company one….This regiment did its first fighting at the battle of Shiloh. (The regiment became part of a brigade which) transferred to the Trans-Mississippi Department where this brigade became part of General Dick Taylor’s division. The next (two) companies recruited from the parish were attached to the Twenty-Sixth Regiment….

In the spring of 1863 (Union) General Banks advanced from New Orleans to drive out and destroy the Confederate forces holding the Teche Valley under General Taylor. Banks had twenty thousand men against Taylor’s three thousand. Consequently all that Taylor could do was to retreat northward, doing all he could to retard the advance of Banks. The retreat led through the town of Vermilionville….(and) Opelousas and on to Mansfield where Taylor finally made a stand. There the army of Banks was decisively defeated by General Taylor.”

From Breaux Bridge Centennial News, March 25, 1959:

“Available records do not show when the first bridge was built (at Breaux Bridge over the Bayou Teche), but it, or some other wooden bridge replacing it, was burnt during the Civil War in 1863….In a report made by Major Power Gallway, in command of some New York Infantry Troops (in the area)….’On the afternoon of the 17th (of April 1863)….I left the main column….while on march through St. Martinville, with my regiment….and proceeded by the road along Bayou Teche close to Breaux Bridge. When within five miles of the bridge ten of my men, whom I had mounted….encountered the pickets of the enemy, whom they drove in, taking two prisoners and three horses….Shortly afterward I discovered a heavy smoke above the town of Breaux Bridge, and on reaching the town, found the bridge from its main street across the Bayou Teche in flames. I was there informed that the Steamboats Darby, Louise, Blue Hammock and Uncle Tom had passed up the bayou the day before….having valuable stores belonging to the enemy. The enemy had, until within an hour of our arrival there, a force of 500 cavalry in the neighborhood of Breaux Bridge….The poor of the surrounding country….are suffering greatly.’”

From Louisiana, It’s Colonial History and Romance, by Charles Gayarre:

“New Iberia and almost the whole of the Teche Country fell into Federal hands in 1863 during General Banks’ Red River Campaign. The town had provided the Confederates with large quantities of salt, which was mined near-by on Avery Island, and its capture was a serious blow to the South. New Iberia did not suffer, however, from any military engagement; upon the arrival of the Federals there was no force adequate to challenge them, and the town submitted quietly.”

From Southwest Louisiana Biographical and Historical, 1891, by William Henry Perrin:

“During the four long years that the Civil War lasted, the lands remained untilled, and the destruction of property in the parish (of Lafayette) by the enemy was simply appalling. The war closed, and the gallant Confederate soldiers returned only to witness the desolation of their homes, with ruin and poverty staring them in the face.”

From Encyclopedia of Forts, Posts, Named Camps, and Other Military Installations in Louisiana,

1700-1981, by Powell A. Casey:

Camp Dauterive -This confederate camp in Iberia Parish was located at Dauterive’s sugar house about one mile from Grand Lake and seven miles from Camp Fausse Point. Elements of the Confederate Guards Response Bn. and the Yellow Jacket Bn. were there between December 1862 and February 1863. Some reports and correspondence refer to the camp as ‘deHuitreve’ or ‘doctrive’”.

The Confederates in late 1863 had two small cannons emplaced at Dauterive Landing located at the upper end of Lake Fausse Point in the northeast corner of Section 21, Township 11 South, Range 7 East, St. Martin Parish which were captured in a raid on November 12, 1863 by Federal Cavalry under Colonel John Mudd.

Camp Deblanc -This camp, near Lafayette and a few acres from Lake Fayse in April 1865, was the headquarters of the 4th Regiment of Louisiana Cavalry.

Camp Pratt -This camp was established in May or June 1862 as a camp of instruction for conscripts in Louisiana living south of Red River and west of the Mississippi River. It was located about five miles north and northwest of New Iberia on the southwest side of Lake Tasse. During the course of the war both Confederate and Federal units occupied the camp. There were skirmishes at the camp in October and in November 1863. For a few days in the latter month the Headquarters of the Federal 19th was there. A year earlier the 18th Louisiana and the Crescent Regiment had been there, both Confederate units.

Camp Taylor -The camp was on Bayou Vermilion near present day Lafayette. The Consolidated Crescent Regiment was there in September, 1863. The 18th LA Regiment was there in July/August 1863.”

A CHRONOLOGY OF RELEVANT LOUISIANA HISTORY

1648 – French explorers from Canada reach the Mississippi from Canada

1661-1692 – Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle, explores the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico

1682, 9 April – La Salle claims Louisiana for France

1699 – First settlement at Biloxi by Pierre le Moyne, Sieur d’Iberville (Fort Maurepas)

1702 – Fort Louis de la Mobile erected in Mobile – colony moved there

1706, July – Iberville dies in Havana, Cuba – Jean Baptiste le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, in command of the

French settlement

1712 – Louis XIV granted to Antoine Crozat a fifteen-year monopoly on trade in the undefined limits of Louisiana. Governor Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac sent Louis Juchereau de St. Denis to seek trade with Spanish in Texas – expedition failed

1714 – Natchitoches established by St. Denis

1716 – Second St. Denis Texas expedition with three Chauvin Brothers, D’Herbanne and Graveline – they arrived back in Mobile on October 25, 1717 with nothing to show for their year of hardship

1718, Spring – New Orleans established by Bienville

1721, 11 September – Great hurricane floods German villages, damages New Orleans

1722 – Capitol changed from Mobile to New Orleans

1723-1774 – Louis XV reigns in France

1724 – “Black Code” promulgated (refer to “Some Definitions and/or Explanations”)

1725 – Second Natchez War – Bienville attacked with 500 men and reported, “the savages, wherever we could find them, burned their villages and wasted their fields, until they sued for peace”

1729, 28 Nov – Post of Natchez massacred by neighboring Natchez Indians and 144 men, 35 women,

56 children died

1736, March 25 – Battle of Chickasaw Bluffs – Louis du Tisne and 16 others were burned at the stake

1736, May 20 – Battle of Ackia – near present site of Memphis, fought by French against Chickasaws –

Renaud d’Hauterive was Captain of Grenadiers

1740 – Chickasaw Campaign – Wm. de Cloches de St. Aignet burned at the stake by Indians

1755 – About 4,000 Acadians expelled from Nova Scotia by British – sent to England, France and to

English colonies along the coast of North America

1762, 13 Nov – Secret Treaty of Fontainebleau – France (Louis XV) ceded all of French Canada and east of Mississippi to the British. New Orleans and the rest of Louisiana were ceded to Spain (Charles III) – New Orleans found out about this in fall of 1764

1764-1803 – Louisiana governed by Spanish

1765, April 4 – Dauterive Contract signed – Acadians arriving in New Orleans sent to Attakapas District

1766, 5 March – Spanish Governor Don Antonio de Ulloa arrives in New Orleans

1768, 28 October – Revolt of French colonials against Ulloa and Spanish rule in New Orleans

1768, 1 November – Ulloa forced into exile and sails for Cuba

1769, 24 July – Governor O’Reilly arrives in New Orleans and formally takes possession of Louisiana for

Spain – suppresses Revolution led by Nicolas Chauvin LaFreniere

1769, 25 October, Execution of Louisiana patriots (LaFreniere, Noyan, Caresse, Marquis and Milhet)

1779 – Spanish and Canary Islanders settled in New Iberia under Lt. Colonel Francisco Bouligny. AHA Editors note: [These settlers actually hailed from Málaga, Spain, and arrived in 1779.]

1783 – End of American Revolutionary War with the Peace of Paris

1785 – Seven ships with 400 Acadian families arrive from France in Louisiana

1788, March 25 – Immense fire in New Orleans – 856 houses burned, Cathedral destroyed

1789 – French Revolution begins – many aristocrats flee to Louisiana

1794, 8 December – Second great fire in New Orleans

1800, 1 October – Louisiana ceded to France by Spain in Treaty of Ildefonso

1803, 30 April – Louisiana Purchase by United States from Napoleon

1804, 26 March – Territory of Orleans created

1805 – Attakapas District becomes County of Attakapas

1807, March 31 – Territory of Orleans is divided into 19 civil parishes.

1811, April 17 – County of Attakapas divided into 2 parishes: St. Martin and St. Mary along the upper line of the plantation of Francisco Boutte

1812, 30 April – Louisiana enters the Union as the 18th State – shortly afterwards the Poste des Attakapas was incorporated and renamed St. Martinville

1813 Dec/Jan 1814 – Battle of New Orleans at Chalmette Plantation in St. Bernard Parish – Andrew

Jackson’s victory after the end of the War of 1812

1823 – St. Martin Parish divided by the creation of Lafayette Parish

1836, March 11 – Town of Vermilionville incorporated

1839 – Severe yellow fever epidemic

1844 – Vermilion Parish formed

1848 – Asiatic cholera struck several plantations along the Teche

1855 – Yellow fever epidemic in Louisiana

1859 – Disastrous fire destroyed a large part of St. Martinville

1859 – Town of Breaux Bridge was incorporated

1861, January 10/26 – Louisiana seceded from the Union – Civil War begins

1863 – Parish of Iberia established from parts of St. Martin and St. Mary Parishes

1865, 2 June – Civil War ends

1867 – Yellow Fever epidemic in Louisiana

1878 – Yellow Fever epidemic in Louisiana

1884 – Vermilionville now called Lafayette

1899, October – Fire devastates the downtown area of New Iberia

1927 – The building of higher levees in the Mississippi devastates the Teche region by causing extensive flooding


SOME DEFINITIONS AND/OR EXPLANATIONS

ACADIANS – From www.essortment.com/all/acadianhistory_rubg.html: “The Acadians {from Acadia in Nova Scotia} were of French descent, dating back to the first hardy fishermen from France (who came to Canada) in the 16th and 17th Centuries. As the fishermen saw the advantage of year round settlement, some Acadians began farming in the fertile Annapolis Valley by the Bay of Fundy. By the time of the British expulsion, begun with earnest in 1755, Acadians numbered about 18,000. Not only did the Acadians already occupy the best land and had for generations; they refused to pledge allegiance to Britain; their first language was French; they far outnumbered the British occupation force; and they got along well with the local Indians….In 1755, the expulsions began. Settlements and farms were burned. Men and boys were separated from women and children, and all were loaded into cargo vessels and dispersed throughout the colonies….Some historians estimate 50% of these died as a direct consequence of British action….

Many Acadians eventually made their way to southern Louisiana….Records indicate that the first Acadians, four families, arrived in Louisiana from New York in 1754. Immediately after the expulsion, more began straggling in, mostly from the French West Indies and Maryland. The first significant influx was during the 1760’s. During 1785-90, the next major wave of Acadians arrived in Louisiana, some 4000 from France. Over time the Acadians in Louisiana became known as Cajuns.”

ACADIAN HOUSE MUSEUM – From a History of St. Martinville, Chamber of Commerce Pamphlet: “The grounds on which the Acadian House Museum stands and all of the land in the Longfellow Evangeline State Park were part of an original estate owned by {Jean Antoine Bernard} D’Hauterive, who arrived from France in 1763 or 1764 (?). The land which now comprises the park grounds were bought by Chevalier Paul Augustin le Pelletier de la Houssaye who established his home site here, clearing unwanted trees and leaving others, including a giant oak now known as the Gabriel Oak.” Ownership of this land has been traced directly back to D’Hauterive – see History of the Longfellow Evangeline State Park Pamphlet.

From Louisiana’s Historic Towns, by Jess DeHart: “The house was built for Chevalier M. D’Hauterive and later owned by the widow of Chevalier Paul Augustin le Pelletier de la Houssaye, a Commandant of the Poste des Attakapas. The old home is constructed from hand-hewn and pegged cypress logs, handmade bricks and bousillage walls. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.”

ARKANSAS POST – From Indians and Pioneers, by Grant Foreman: The “Arkansas Post was established in 1686 on the Arkansas River, fifty miles above the mouth, by members of LaSalle’s party; the French maintained a garrison there for many years, and it remained a small but important outpost.” Joseph Bernard D’Hauterive de Valliere was the Commandant of the Arkansas Post (1787-1790).

ARPENT – An old French land unit which equals 192 square feet or 84.6% of an acre. One acre equals 1.18 arpents. The average size of a land grant was six or eight arpents front on a stream with a depth of forty arpents. Forty arpents was approximately one and four-tenths miles.

The arpent unit of area measurement is equal to one square arpent. The arpent of area equals 900 square toises, 100 (square) perches, approximately 0.8445 acre, 0.3419 hectare (3419 square meters) or 36,801 English square feet.

ATTAKAPAS – Home of the Attakapas Indians. From The Attakapas Country, by Henry Lewis Griffin: “St. Denis, Commandant at Natchitoches, set up trading posts at Attakapas and Opelousas and maintained a licensed merchant in each place to trade with the Indians (1715-1744)….About 1754 (Masse and D’Hauterive) acquired land there. Gabriel Fuselier de la Claire became the first Commandant of Attakapas after it became a military post (1760)….Commissioner Aubry reported he sent 230 destitute Acadians to the Attakapas District (1765)….With the arrival of the Acadians Father Jean Francois was appointed resident priest. He built a small frame church on land donated by Captain Dauterive (1765) in present-day St. Martinville….The new Spanish Governor Alexander O’Reilly transformed the trading centers of Attakapas and Opelousas into military stations with a commandant exercising the powers of a military ruler and justice of the peace (1769)….

The early settlers of the Attakapas and Opelousas districts acquired their lands originally in four different ways: 1. By purchase from the Attakapas Indians; 2. By grant from the French or Spanish governor evidenced by a patent; 3. By order of survey issued by the governor; 4. By occupation later confirmed by the government.”

From Land Records of the Attakapas District, Vol. 1: “A large portion of the Attakapas land grants went to retired French army officers and administrative officials. Examples of this category of grantee can be found in Paul Augustin Le Pelletier Delahoussaye, Etienne Nuisement de Vaugine, Benoit de Ste-Claire, Jean Antoine Bernard D’Hauterive, Louis Charles deBlanc, Jean-Baptiste Macarty, Alexandre Declouet, Oliver de Vezin, Jean-Baptiste St. Marc Darby, and others.” (Also Andre Claude Boutte and Gabriel Fuselier de la Claire)….

A major category of grantee in the Attakapas was composed of the exiled Acadians who had settled in the region beginning in 1765. Among the first of these settlers to benefit from Governor Unzaga’s land grants were Oliver Thibodeaux, Fermin Landry, Pierre Broussard, and Claude Martin.”

From They Tasted Bayou Water, by Maurine Bergerie: “In 1785 the districts of Attakapas and Opelousas had a population of 2,408; and in 1801 there were 7,250, of which 3,500 were slaves. In 1810 the population was 13,774.”

BARATARIA – From Place Names of Jefferson Parish: “The swamp area across the Mississippi from New Orleans was a lush forest of cypress surrounded by watery bayous and lakes.”

BELLE ISLE – According to Winnie Billeaud Allen, the mother of the author of this book, Jean Francoise Gonsoulin was given a land grant for trapping and lumber on an island called Belle Isle in the Atchafalaya area of Southern Louisiana. Later lawyers forgot to pay taxes and squatters claimed the rights to the land. The ownership litigation never came to trial because the lawyers were allegedly bought off. Later a lawyer married an heir and spent his life working on this case. Finally it got settled. Sulpher, oil and salt had been discovered. Sun Oil Company and others had rented acerage, but the family had retained the mineral rights. Gonsoulin land was leased or sold when Agnes Billeaud Dauterive (Winnie’s mother) was a girl, but Agnes got small (about $30) regular checks for years. Later her daughter, Winnie Billeaud Allen, inherited this payment as Gonsoulin Heir No. 101699, Payee No. 74292, from the State Mineral Board Trust which was handled through Reggie and Reggie, Attorneys at Law, 1 Northview Lane, Crowley, LA 70526 in 2002.

BIENVILLE – Called the “Father of Louisiana”. From A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. 1, by Glenn R. Conrad: “Jean Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, born in Montreal on February 23, 1680, the eighth of eleven sons of Charles Le Moyne and Catherine Tierry. He came to Louisiana with his brother, Iberville, in the King’s service in 1699 and explored the lower Mississippi. He was instrumental in establishing settlements on the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi, including New Orleans. He served in Louisiana as commandant and was governor between 1701-1713, 1718-1724, and 1733-1743. He requested retirement in 1740, returned to France in 1743 and died in Paris on March 7, 1768 at the age of eighty-eight.”

BLACK CODE – A Code which regulated relations between the races which was promulgated in Louisiana in 1724 in the name of the King of France. It expelled the Jews from the colony; required that slaves should be brought up in the Roman Catholic faith; stated that no other religion should be tolerated; that if the owners were not true Catholics their slaves should be confiscated for public use; and that no intermarriage of races should be allowed. It was also made death to maim or kill any horse or cattle belonging to another.

BREAUX BRIDGE – One of the chief towns of St. Martin parish, situated on the Bayou Teche, it was originally settled in the eighteenth century. There were fifteen households in the area in 1766 and it was incorporated in 1850.

The town of Breaux Bridge or “Pont Breaux” was not always known by that name. All of the early records covering lands in this locality refer to it as “la Pointe”, but by 1817 it was generally called Breaux Bridge – named for the bridge across the Bayou Teche which connected lands owned by the Breaux family.

CABILDO – From The Last Years of French Louisiana, by Marc du Terrage: “In the month of November 1769 he (Governor O’Reilly) did away with the (French) Superior Council….He replaced it with a Cabildo. The name changed more than the institution did. Besides O’Reilly placed in it mostly old citizens of Louisiana. Francois-Marie de Reggio, Pierre Francois Oliver de Vezin, Jean Baptiste Fleuriau, Antoine Bienvenu, Joseph Ducros, and Denis Braud were the first members. Louis Antoine de la Chaise de Saint Denis and Jacques de La Chaise, both from old families in the colony, became magistrates of New Orleans for the year 1770….The Cabildo was the colony’s chief judicial body, consisting of two ordinary alcaldes, the alferez real, the provincial alcalde, the bailiff, the comptroller, the provincial attorney general, the ‘mayordomo de proprias’, the scribe or notary, and the governor.”

CAJUN – French settlers in Louisiana whose ancestors (the Acadians) originated in Acadia, Nova Scotia, Canada.

CATHOLIC CHURCH IN LOUISIANA – Louisiana belonged to France when St. Martin de Tours Church and parish were first established in St. Martinville in 1765. (St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans had been founded earlier.) At that time Louisiana was under the jurisdiction of the diocese of Quebec, Canada. Later, when Louisiana was ceded to Spain, the church belonged to the diocese of Santo Domingo. Then, when Louisiana again became French territory, the church was returned once more to the diocese of Quebec. After the Louisiana Purchase (1803) the church became part of the diocese of Baltimore, Maryland. Later, it was placed in the diocese of New Orleans, and finally the church and its parish became part of the nearby diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana.

CECILIA – The unincorporated community of Cecilia was originally known by the Spanish as “La Punta”, describing a deep bend in the Bayou Teche. This was translated by the French into “La Grande Pointe”, a name that was used by many people until modern times.

CHAPITOULAS (Tchoupitoulas) – From Frenchmen, Desire, Good Children, by John Chase: “The word first appears as the name of the settlement or plantation of the Chauvin brothers on the east bank of the Mississippi, across from Nine Mile Point. That means the Tchoupitoulas Settlement was nine miles above the St. Louis Cathedral. Application for this concession of land was filed by Joseph Chauvin de Lery in March 1719, just one year after the establishment of New Orleans….The Chauvin Plantation was directly beyond the huge grant of Bienville’s which extended along the river from the present line of Common Street to Monticello Street in Carrollton. This whole area was called The Chapitoulas….The road which ran parallel with the river was the Tchoupitoulas Road. This is Tchoupitoulas Street in New Orleans today.”

COMPANY OF THE INDIES – From Mississippi Provincial Archives 1729-1740, by Rowland and Sanders: “A commercial company organized in France in 1717 with the title of the Mississippi Company by the notorious adventurer John Law, it was reorganized in 1719 with the title of the Company of the Indies. Its objects were to exploit the colony of Louisiana and to establish colonies on the Mississippi. The plan proved to be unmanageable, and burdensome and the company surrendered its charter in 1731” to the King.

CREOLE – From They Tasted Bayou Water by Maurine Bergerie: “The word comes from one used by the Spanish ‘criolla’: to designate their pure-blooded offspring. In Louisiana the word Creole meant the pureblooded white children born in the colony of a mixture of French and Spanish parentage. It soon came to mean the descendants of the old French and Spanish settlers.”

DUVERNAY, JOSEPH PARIS – From Frenchmen, Desire, Good Children, by John Chase: “Among the most powerful tax farmers at the time of (John) Law (in the 1750s) were the four Paris brothers, who were natives of the province of Dauphine.”

From The Fortier Family, by Estelle Cochran: “The entire family was ennobled under the reign of Louis XV, and the Paris family acquired one of the most extensive fortunes of their time….When the Western Company, organized by John Law in 1717, for the purpose of exploiting and developing the resources of French Louisiana, took possession of the colony in the following year, some fifteen large land grants were made to influential and enterprising persons in France who would undertake to establish agricultural settlements on the fertile lands bordering the Mississippi and other streams in the lower part of the Colony. One of these grants, located in the country of the Bayagoula Indians, opposite the point where the Bayou Manchac leaves the Mississippi, was assigned to Paris Du Vernay.

Joseph Paris, called Du Vernay….was the third in age, the most eminent and last survivor of the four Paris brothers, famous financiers of the eighteenth century. Joseph Paris Du Vernay was born in 1684, and died in 1770. They made their fortune from Army contracts during the latter years of the reign of Louis XIV.”

From A History of the Bouligny Family, by Fontaine Martin: Duvernay was “the French financier who had organized one of the few reasonable successful Louisiana colonization efforts during the John Law period….(In 1751) he was the French equivalent of national collector of internal revenue, so that Lieutenant (Jean Antoine) D’Hauterive’s father was one of his subordinates.”

FORCED HEIRSHIP AND COMMUNITY PROPERTY – From The Attakapas Domesday Book, by Glenn R. Conrad: “Community property simply stated that any real or movable property acquired after marriage, whether with community funds or commingled personal funds, was the property of both spouses and could not be alienated without the consent of both partners. Forced heirship dictated that all offspring of a marriage share equally in their parent’s community property upon the death of their parents. When a spouse died, community property was divided equally between the surviving spouse and the offspring of the marriage. If the surviving offspring were minors at the time of their parent’s death, the law demanded that a tutor or guardian of the minors’ property rights be named….

The tutor was usually a member of the deceased parent’s family. Also named was an undertutor, usually a member of the surviving spouse’s family. The undertutor was responsible for seeing to it that the tutor truly acted in the best interests of the minors. There were many variations on this theme; for example, the surviving parent, so long as he or she remained unmarried, could act as tutor of the minor children. The moment the surviving parent decided to remarry, however, he or she was bound to call a family meeting at which a new tutor for the children was named….Whenever the heirs were adults, they acted on their own behalf with regard to rights of inheritance.

Once the tutor and undertutor were named, if need be, the surviving parent was obligated to have taken an inventory of the community property with each item inventoried being appraised by two or more independent appraisers. Once the appraised value of the community was determined, the one half of it belonging to the deceased spouse was divided equally, either literally or on paper, one half going to the surviving spouse and one half being divided among the children of the marriage….

(If the wife died and the husband remarried), he and his intended wife usually entered into a marriage contract which could exclude from their future community all propery which they owned previous to their marriage. Thus, when the man died, his personal property would be divided among the children of his first marriage. They would also receive one half of their father’s share of the community property accumulated with his second wife.

If the surviving spouse was female, a slightly different scenario might follow the legalities of tutorship, inventory, and partition of the father’s share of the community property. The widow could sell her share of her husband’s estate to her children….If the children were all minors, she might do nothing after the determination of her husband’s share of the community except to guarantee to the children receipt of their inheritance upon attaining adulthood. If, however, the widow remarried, then she had to settle her husband’s estate with her children by the first marriage, whether directly or through their tutors. Finally, if the children were adults, they could agree to give their mother usufruct, that is “use of” their share of the community property for her benefit….Colonial laws and, after the purchase, Louisiana law demanded that children inherit in equal shares their parents’ community property.”

Property, which was not part of the community, such as that which belonged to the individual mother or father before the marriage, could be sold or given away by that person as they saw fit.”

FORT DE CHARTRES – From Indians and Pioneers, by Grant Foreman: In 1718 “young Pierre Duqui Boisbriant, the newly appointed commandant of French military affairs in Illinois, arrived at Kaskaskia with instructions to erect a fort on the Mississippi; and he completed the construction of Fort Chartres in 1721.”

From Kaskaskia Under the French Regime, by Natalia Maree Belting: “Kaskaskia itself, along with the villages of Fort de Chartres and St. Philippe, no longer exists. The last French commandant, Noyon de Villiers, left the Illinois country in June, 1764 with most of his troops.” The fort was turned over to the British on October 10, 1765 following the treaty of peace. “Fort de Chartres is now a state park and the stone fort of 1752 is in the process of reconstruction (1948).”

FORT TOULOUSE, ALABAMA – From The Memoire Justificatif, by Howard and Rea: “The chief bastion defending French Louisiana against the incursions of Georgians and Carolinians and their Indian allies, was a typical frontier post. Built upon the banks of the Coosa River, not far from modern Wetumpka, Alabama, it….boasted a palisade and ditch which gave it a formidable appearance….(During Monberaut’s time as Commander) the garrison numbered only forty to fifty men and officers and its walls mounted but six guns.”

GRENOBLE, FRANCE – From The Fortier Family, by Estelle Cochran: “Grenoble is the capital of the department of Iseres located in southeast France on the bank of the Iseres River. It is a mountainous region with a group of fortresses guarding the city from strategic points on the slopes of Mont Rochais. Grenoble is a seat of bishopric dating from the 4th century, and the 11th century Cathedral of Notre Dame is located there.” Aoste, the baptismal town of Jean Antoine Bernard D’Hauterive, is included in the Province of Grenoble.

HOUMAS HOUSE – Colonial archival records show the Houmas Plantation was part of a large land grant to the Marquis d’Auconis and Alexandre Latil for the production of lumber that was cut and then floated downriver to New Orleans. They also show that in 1712 Louis XIV had granted exclusive trading rights to all land drained by the Mississippi to Antoine Crozat.

Latil built the first house on the plantation in the last quarter of the 18th century while Louisiana was under Spanish domination. In 1840 the magnificent Greek Revival mansion was built in front of the old house and named Houmas, after the Indians in the area.

Through the years the Plantation passed into the hands of a number of owners and became the leading sugar producer in America. John Burnside, who owned it during the Civil War, succeeded in preventing a disastrous occupation by Union forces. Colonel Miles was the owner in 1899. When he died most of the lands were sold and the grand old mansion fell into disrepair.

In 1940 the house and remaining grounds were purchased by Dr. George Crozat, a descendant of Antoine Crozat. Houmas had returned to the family. The authentic restoration is a result of Dr. Crozat’s and his family’s efforts.

IBERVILLE – From Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. 1, by Glenn R. Conrad: “Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville was born in Montreal and baptized there on July 20, 1661, the son of Charles Le Moyne de Longueuil de Chateauguay and Catherine Thierry. He came to Louisiana with his younger brother, Bienville, on orders of King Louis XIV, to secure the claims of the explorations of de la Salle. They found the entrance to the Mississippi River and penetrated several hundred miles into the interior. Iberville constructed Fort Maurepas (Biloxi) in April 1699 and later transferred fortifications to Mobile. He turned the colony over to his brother, Bienville, and returned to France in April 1702. Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville died of yellow fever at Havana harbor in July 1706.”

ILLINOIS COUNTRY – From Dictionary of American History, Vol. III, by James T. Adams: “This was the term commonly applied in the 17th and 18th centuries to the region which eventually became the state of the same name. As originally used by the French explorers, the term designated the country occupied by the Illinois Indians.”

KASKASKIA – An important French military and trading post on the upper Mississippi in the Illinois Country, the site of Fort de Chartres.

From Kaskaskia Under the French Regime, by Natalia Maree Belting: “Kaskaskia itself, along with the villages of Fort de Chartres and St. Philippe, no longer exists. The last French commandant, Neyon de Villiers, left the Illinois country in June, 1764, with most of his troops and quite a few of the habitants, without waiting the arrival of the British soldiers who were to take over the Illinois country under the treaty of peace. Louis St. Ange Bellerive was called from his post at Vincennes and left in command of the almost empty fort until October 10, 1765, when it was surrendered to Captain Thomas Stirling and his detachment of a hundred men of the Black Watch regiment….In 1818 Kaskaskia became the first capital of the state of Illinois, but in the next year the seat of the government was moved eastward to Vandalia. Gradually the population of Kaskaskia diminished….The village site today is entirely gone” but was undergoing reconstruction in 1948.

KERLEREC – Louis Billouart, Chevalier de Kerlerec, was Governor of Louisiana from 1753 to 1763. From Louisiana, The Pelican State, by Edwin Adams Davis: Kerlerec “was a bluff, hearty, honest naval officer with twenty-five years of service to his credit. He was accustomed to discipline, which he insisted should be rigidly enforced. He was not a man of great ability, however, and simply could not handle adequately the many problems which faced the colony during his term of office. The Indian trade caused Kerlerec much trouble….(the France of Louis XV ignored the colony and) conditions in Louisiana grew worse….agriculture declined and (the French and Indian) war prevented foreign trade….On November 3, 1762, by a secret treaty signed at Fontainebleau, France ceded the Isle of Orleans and the rest of Louisiana west of the Mississippi River to Spain….It was not until October 1764, however, that the people of Louisiana found out that they were now Spaniards instead of Frenchmen….The French continued to control and govern the colony until the arrival of Spanish Governor Don Antonio de Ulloa in March 1766….After Louisiana had been given to Spain (in 1762), Kerlerec continued to act as Governor. These were troubled days in Louisiana. Finally, in 1763, Kerlerec was recalled to France and thrown into prison.”

LAFAYETTE – From Louisiana, A Guide to the State, by WPA Writers Program: “Lafayette originated as a plantation settlement about the time of the American Revolution, in a region once inhabited by the fearful Attakapas. Early colonists were almost exclusively French, many of them the sons and daughters of exiled Acadians. They first named the village Vermilionville, after near-by Bayou Vermilion which means cinnamon-red in French.

Jean Mouton, who donated land for the courthouse and the Catholic Church, laid out Vermilionville as the seat of Lafayette Parish in 1824. It was incorporated in 1836. Early activity in this section centered around cattle raising.

Retarded by two yellow fever epidemics and Civil War engagements, Vermilionville remained little more than a village until the construction of the New Orleans, Opelousas and Great Western Railway in 1878, and its extension to Houston, Texas, in 1881. In 1884 the name was changed to Lafayette.”

LEAGUE – A land measurement of eighty-four arpents, or three miles.

LISLOY – The Alabama plantation of Henri Montault de Monberaut. Peter Hamilton, in Colonial Mobile: “located the plantation between the headwaters of Bayou Labatterie and Fowl River. An English officer who visited Lisloy described it as situated 27 miles from Mobile on the coast on the way to New Orleans. The governor of Louisiana granted confirmation of ownership to this land {to Henri} in 1763. Cattle were pastured in the low swampy land and Henry claimed to possess 500 cattle and 50 horses, not to mention flocks of sheep and pigs. His domestic household included a family of eight and 26 Negro slaves. In 1763 New Orleans was given to the Spanish and the Lisloy area was given to the English. After working briefly for the British, he was ordered to take the oath of allegiance to George III or leave the province in one month. Henri went to New Orleans.”

From The Memoire Justificatif of the Chevalier Montault de Monberaut, by Howard and Rea: “Because of his rapid departure he had had to sell all his goods on credit as well as at far less than their real value. Lisloy went for nothing to the purchaser of its herds in order that the sale might be completed.”

LOREAUVILLE – The birthplace and early home of Marie Agnes Dauterive Billeaud, was primarily an agricultural center that was named in the 1840’s for Ozaire Loreau from France. Mr. Loreau gave the property for the Catholic Church and for the cemetery. Adrien Gonsoulin was instrumental in the growth of the town. He constructed the area’s first railroad so that his cane could be transported from his plantation to his sugar mill.

METAIRIE – The four Chauvin brothers established themselves on land just above the huge grant of Bienville’s that extended from what is now Common Street to Monticello Street in Carrollton, on the Mississippi River. They called their place Tchoupitoulas Plantation.

From Frenchmen, Desire, Good Children, by John Chase: “There were two ways for the farmers of the Tchoupitoulas Plantation to get their produce to the people in New Orleans – by way of the Tchoupitoulas Road – or via Bayou Choupic and the Ridge Road which was its bank. The latter was shorter. It became the way to and from the farm of the Chauvins, and both the bayou and the road came to be called Metairie Bayou and Metairie Road – the bayou and road which led to the farm or ‘metairie’ (land or small farm) of the Chauvins.”

Later when this area, along Metairie Road, became a fashionable suburb of New Orleans, it was named Metairie and is today a western suburb of New Orleans.

MOBILE – From http://wikipedia.org: “Mobile began as the first capital of colonial French Louisiana (part of New France). Mobile remained a colony for France until 1763, when Britain took control of the colony….Of the ninety-eight French families then at Mobile, only about forty remained, the rest withdrawing to New Orleans or to French Louisiana west of the Mississippi. Some seventeen years later, on March 14, 1780, the British garrison surrendered to the Spanish under Galvez. Spain captured the colony during the American Revolutionary War and retained control for the next thirty years. Mobile first became a part of the United States of America in 1813 when it was captured by American forces, the city left the United States with the state of Alabama in 1861 to become a part of the Confederate States of America and then reverted back to the United States in 1865 at the close of the American Civil War.”

NEW IBERIA – From Louisiana, a Guide to the State, by WPA Writers Program: “Whether the French or Spanish were the first to settle in the immediate vicinity is a matter of some dispute, but it was the Spanish who gave the district the ancient name of their country.”

According to Charles Gayarre in History of Louisiana; “Some of the Canary Islanders, brought over at the King’s expense during the administration of Bernardo de Galvez, were sent under the command of Francisco Bouligny to the Teche Country in 1799.”  AHA Editors note: [These settlers actually hailed from Málaga, Spain, and arrived in 1779.]

In 1868 New Iberia was made the seat of Iberia Parish which had been formed from parts of St. Martin and St. Mary and it became a busy shipping center especially during periods of low water in the Teche.

The present city limits of New Iberia comprised land grants to seven persons by the Spanish government, confirmed later by the American Commissioner. The two most extensive were that of Louis Charles de Blanc (nephew of Marie Rose Juchereau de St. Denis de la Chaise) and Francois Cezar Boutte. Jean Baptiste d’Espagnet de Blanc, son of Louis, was the owner of Lady of the Lake Plantation on Lake Tasse (Spanish Lake), the home built in 1827 by Alexandre Devince and Terence Joseph Bienvenu (brother-in-law of Francois St. Marc Darby who built “Darby House” on the opposite shore).

The spacious old home of Dauterive Dubuclet on Spanish Lake, called Dulcito Plantation, had been built in 1788.”

OPELOUSAS – From The Attakapas Country, by Henry Lewis Griffin: “The post was named after the Opelousas Indians who had their camp on the site of the present city of Opelousas. The name is said to mean ‘black leg’ or ‘black foot’. The District of Opelousas extended to the Texas border and included the present parishes of St. Landry, Evangeline, Acadia, Jefferson Davis, Allen and Calcasieu.” A trading post here was mentioned as early as 1720.

In 1764 “Louis Pellerin, an officer of colonial troops stationed at the post, was granted a concession of 126 acres by 63 arpents at the Opelousas Post in order to establish a settlement there. This grant is considered to be the beginning of the town of Opelousas….The first church in the territory was built (1774) at Church Landing, now Washington….The church was named “La Iglesia Paroqual de Immaculada Conception del Puesto de Opelousas”….The Catholic Church was moved….to the Poste Opelousas and rebuilt on the present site….and renamed St. Landry’s Church (around 1796)….The District was officially named St. Landry Parish (1810).”

PIASTRE – A silver coin used in Turkey and Egypt, worth about four cents in U.S. money. In early colonial history it was a silver coin of Spain worth about a dollar, and familiar in historical romance as the “piece of eight”. This name refers to the subdivision of its value into eight silver reals.

ROYAL AND MILITARY ORDER OF ST. LOUIS – From “The Story Behind the SAR Badge”, by Duane L. Galles, in Sons of the American Revolution Magazine, Spring 1980: “The ancient chivalric Order of St. Louis was founded by King Louis XIV of France in 1693. The Royal and Military Order of Saint Louis was part of a package of war veterans’ benefits decreed by the Sun King at that time to reward officers for distinguished service and merit. The Order was named after his namesake and patron, Louis IX, saint, crusader and king of France. It was also richly endowed so that a member received not only a decoration but also a pension. In addition, a member was exempt from certain taxes….During the French Colonial period something like 300 Chevaliers of St. Louis saw service in North America.”

  1. GABRIEL CHURCH – From Plantation Life on the Mississippi, by William Edwards Clement: “Saint Gabriel on the left bank of the Mississippi is the oldest settlement in the parish and the first church edifice was built there in 1761. However, the Church was established in 1760 since the first records show that date. The last entry in the records of this early Catholic Church was made in February 1807.

About 1765 a few settlers located around Bayou Goula and what is now Plaquemine. In 1769 there were only 376 men, women and children in the parish, not counting the Indians. These settlers were mostly Acadians. It is interesting to know that early church records with births, marriages and deaths going back to the 17th century were brought down from Canada by the Acadians and deposited in the St. Gabriel Church. In 1897 high water threatened the church and the Acadian records were brought to New Orleans and placed in the record vaults of the Cathedral.”

From Unraveling Myths of the Old St. Gabriel Church, by David Broussard: “Located nine miles below Plaquemine on the east bank of the Mississippi River, it is the oldest surviving church structure of the entire Mississippi Valley – about 73% of the original building remains. Iberville District Commandant Louis Dutisne wrote in a letter dated January 1772, that ‘all of the settlers have been distributed land and are all satisfied and that 27 houses have been framed up.’ In a December 1774 letter he writes, ‘The settlers have begun the construction of the church on November 20th.’ On July 7, 1776, Dutisne writes, ‘The church will be finished by the end of the month. It is very beautiful.'”

  1. MARTIN PARISH – On April 17, 1811 a territorial act divided the county of Attakapas into two parishes: the parish of St. Martin and the parish of St. Mary. The act decreed that: “The parish of St. Martin contained all of the country north, or above the line running east from the upper line of the plantation of Francisco Boutte, on the Bayou Teche, to the great lake, and west from the said Francisco Boutte to the mouth of the petite Anse on the Bay; and the parish of St. Mary shall contain all the remainder of the county, that is to say, all that is south or below the said line.”
  1. MARTINVILLE – From Louisiana’s Historic Towns, by Jess De Hart: “It began as a military trading post called Poste des Attakapas, set up by the Commandant of Natchitoches, Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, located right in the middle of the Attakapas Indian nation. Land for the poste was purchased from Rinemo, Chief of the Attakapas. One of the first settlers of the district, Gabriel Fuselier de la Claire, was named first commandant of Poste des Attakapas.

Early settlers of the district were French, some were Acadian exiles from Nova Scotia, while others were Royalist immigrants from Paris who had fled France during the revolution….The influx of Royalists, with their refined customs, elegance and wealth gave the poste the name “Le Petite Paris.”

French was always the dominating language and because of the prominence of aristocracy with refined polish, pure European French was the overpowering fashion.”

In 1771 Bernard D’Hauterive donated a tract of land 6 arpents wide by 40 arpents deep on either side of the Bayou Teche as “his share for the edification of the church and priest’s house” and the members of the congregation built a small frame church on a portion of this land to serve the needs of the community. The present church of St. Martin de Tours was completed and dedicated on June 2, 1844.

From The New Iberia Enterprise of March/April 25, 1899 by Dr. Alfred Duperier: “Saint Martinville during the ante bellum period, was the most attractive town in the whole of the Attkapas and Opelousas country. Settled principally by a class of intelligent French emigrants, such as the DeBlancs, DeClouets, Delahoussayes, Pellerins, Darbys, Dauterives, Gonsoulins and others, she gave tone to society….

The firm of Rousseau and Tertrou furnished full loads from their immense warehouses to steamers plying between the {Bayou} Teche and New Orleans via Plaquemine. This company was of such a size that it could dictate the terms for transportation to and from New Orleans. The class of steamers that navigated the Teche in those early days were luxurious in their treatment of passengers. Freight and passage, the result often of contracts, were moderate considering the length of the journey. The regular passenger fare for a three-day trip to New Orleans was from seven to eight dollars. Annually, with the end of winter, there was a general exodus of farmers and merchants to New Orleans. The first of March, being the accepted period for settling all business transactions, merchants and planters would return from the commercial metropolis with their yearly supplies….

It was after the annual pilgrimage to New Orleans that the gala days were transferred from the latter place to St. Martinville. The removal of the Opera troupes for the summer made St. Martinville the center of gaiety, pleasure and amusements. Visitors from all sections of Attakapas and Opelousas would flock to the “Petite Paris” to enjoy the society of her intelligent population.”

On Aug. 14, 1810, the St. Martin Parish Police Jury purchased land at what would become St. Martinville “in order to lay out a town and build a city hall”….On January 30, 1817, Gov. Villere signed the act passed by the Louisiana legislature incorporating the town of St. Martinville.”

NOTE: The earliest records of the Church of St. Martin of Tours in St. Martinville, are contained in a 78 page volume called “Recueil, Baptemes, Sepultures, et Mariage, 1756-1794” which was a compilation made by Father Michel Barriere from an old register and loose papers which he found when he became pastor in 1795.

For St. Martin Parish History, by Betty Pourclau, contact Curtis Media Corp., 1931 Market Center Blvd., Ste. 105, Dallas, TX 75207.

SPANISH LAND GRANT REQUIREMENTS – During the Spanish period, the following actions were required to be performed in order to obtain a grant of land in Louisiana:

  1. Requete (Request) for land sent to Commandant of Post
  2. Certification of approval then sent to Governor in New Orleans
  3. An Order of Survey or Concession was produced to have the land surveyed
  4. Landowner then requested Commandant to “Certify the Survey”
  5. Patent or Title given to landowner by Governor
  6. Owner had to occupy the land within three years. If this was not done, the land reverted to the Royal Domain

SUCCESSION – From www.Louisianasuccessions.com/faq.htm – “Refers to the body of law concerning the distribution of a person’s property after he has died. Depending on the value of the property, the debts of the decedent and some other factors, the process may be very simple or it may be very complicated….An individual case will usually be referred to as the ‘Succession of John Doe’ of simply ‘the Succession’….If an individual executed a valid testament, he is said to have died testate. If he had not executed a testament, if he had revoked his testament before he died, or if a testament is declared invalid by a court of law, he is said to have died intestate.”

SUPERIOR COUNCIL – From http://judgepedia.org/index.php/Louisiana_Supreme_Court on the Internet: “Under French rule – Before 1712, only the existential rule of explorers existed–but in that year, a French charter created, and bestowed, a Superior Council with executive and judicial powers. Four years later, the court reorganized and became a court-of-last-resort for civil and criminal cases. In 1802, France would regain the Louisiana territories (after 33 years of Spanish-rule), but sell them to the United States via the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Under Spanish Rule – French rule gave way to Spanish dominance in 1769, when the territorial rule of the French Superior Council was replaced by the Spanish establishment of the Cabildo. Cabildos consisted of executive judicial officers, falling into one of two categories: regidors or alcaldes. The alcaldes were judges who had general jurisdiction over New Orleans. They were selected by regidors. In minor cases, they were final arbiters; for appeals cases, two regidors and one alcalde would preside. Regidors were superior judges who appointed alcaldes. Neither elected or appointed, they purchased their judgeship.”

VAUDREUIL, PIERRE RIGAUD – Governor of Louisiana from 1743 to 1753. From Louisiana, the Pelican State, by Edwin Adams Davis: “Pierre Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil, was the son of a Governor of Canada and belonged to a family which was very influential at the French Court. He had a genial and kindly nature; he had soldierly courtliness and great dignity and his manners were elegant; and he enjoyed giving magnificent entertainments, formal ceremonies, and military displays.   Throughout his governorship, he maintained in New Orleans a fashionable little court which closely resembled the court at the King’s palace at Versailles in France.”   He subdued the Chickasaw Indians in 1752 and encouraged agriculture, and so the colony prospered under his administration. He “remained in favor with the officials in France and he was promoted to a similar post in Canada in 1752.”

gulfcoast_map_16

Attakapas Gazette is an exclusive trademark of The Attakapas Historical Association, Louisiana, USA
Copyright 2013-14 © The Attakapas Historical Association
Please use proper citations when referencing articles on this website
Editors:  Sue Schleifer, Sally O. Donlon, Jim Phillips  Consultant:  Shane K. Bernard

Leave a Reply