Antoine Garrigues de Flaujac Letters
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of thirteen letters written by Antoine Garrigues de Flaujac between 1803 and 1807. Most are written to his mother, living in Cahors, along the Lot River in southwestern France, while one is written to his aunt in the same city. The first two letters were written while Garrigues was on the island of Saint-Domingue. The rest of the letters date from his first few years in the Louisiana Territory, as he moved between New Orleans, Opelousas, and a location he calls Chapitoulas. By the end of the letter sequence, Garrigues had married a local girl and seems to have settled into his life in Louisiana. The letters are concerned first and foremost with personal and business matters, including requests for items from France that he could use to set himself up in trade. They describe the difficulties he faced in finding a means to support himself, and his attempts to attract his younger brothers to join him. He occasionally mentions personal acquaintances in Louisiana and France, including the Messers. Didans (or Dédans), Mr. Bastit, and his friend Anduze. His caregiver during his first months in Louisiana, whom Garrigues calls Mr. Hardy de Bois-blanc, may have been Charles Joseph Hardy de Boisblanc (1757-1812) of New Orleans.
- Creation: 1803-1807
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Conditions Governing Use
Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Biographical / Historical
Antoine Garrigues de Flaujac was born on 5 September 1780 in Montfaucon (Lot), France, to Marie Jeanne Sabrejon and Jean Charles Garrigues. One secondary source cites his full name as Antoine Paul Joseph Louis Garrigues de Flaujeac. He signed his letters to his mother "Garrigues de Flaujac," and refers to himself therein as "Garrigues." He joined the French Revolutionary army while in his teens, and served in the Italian campaign of 1800. Garrigues arrived in France's Saint-Domingue colony on the island of Hispaniola in April 1803, apparently intent on engaging in trade, but failed to find a situation and served in the National Guard during the final chaotic months of the Haitian Revolution. The French were defeated at the battle of Vertières in November 1803, and the last troops left the island before the end of the year, allowing for the establishment of the Haitian republic. Garrigues seems to have left Saint-Domingue around this time, though his movements are not entirely clear. He mentions spending a few days on "Coubes" (Cuba?) before attempting to sail to Charleston, South Carolina. But his vessel was blown off course, and he ended up, feverish and starving, in the United States' newly purchased Louisiana Territory. Garrigues soon moved to Opelousas in St. Landry Parish, where he met and married Marie Louise Fontenot (1789?-1862), the daughter of a legislator in Natchez, Mississippi Territory. The couple lived in Opelousas and had six children, and Garrigues purchased a number of slaves. Garrigues served as a government surveyor, a judge, and a Louisiana state senator, and was a private in the 1st (Fortier's) Battalion of the Louisiana Militia during the War of 1812. He died in 1845 and is buried in Opelousas, Louisiana.
.25 Cubic Feet
Language of Materials
Thirteen personal letters written by the French immigrant Antoine Garrigues de Flaujac, mostly directed to his mother in France. The letters describe his experiences in Haiti and the Caribbean (1803-04) and in the area around New Orleans, Louisiana (1804-07).
The collection is in thirteen folders, with one letter per folder. Items are arranged chronologically.
- Antoine Garrigues de Flaujac Letters
- Kathryn Rose Sawyer
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