BOOK NINE:  The Bayou State

 

INTRODUCTION

BOOK ONE:        French Acadia

BOOK TWO:        British Nova Scotia

BOOK THREE:     Families, Migration, and the Acadian "Begats"

BOOK FOUR:      The French Maritimes

BOOK FIVE:        The Great Upheaval

BOOK SIX:          The Acadian Immigrants of Louisiana

BOOK SEVEN:     French Louisiana

BOOK EIGHT:      A New Acadia

BOOK TEN:          The Louisiana Acadian "Begats"

BOOK ELEVEN:  The Non-Acadian "Cajun" Families of South Louisiana

BOOK TWELVE:  Acadians in Gray

 

The steamboat Louisville arrives at Franklin via Bayou Plaquemine and the Atachafalaya Basin, April 1825.  ...01a

From Subjects to Citizens:  the Acadians and the Americans, 1803-1812

Becoming American did not change Louisiana Acadians fundamentally.  Despite American officials insisting that English was now the "official" language of the province, the great majority of Acadians still clung to their cultural verities and spoke their distinctive French patois, though some of them, especially the hand full of merchants and planters, learned English to communicate with les Américains.  A few of them welcomed the rough-and-tumble game of respresentative democracy the new Jeffersonian republic brought to them, while most watched the play unfold, so strange and discordant, from the safety of the political sidelines.  They were grateful to see that, unlike the British of Nova Scotia, the Americans tolerated their religious faith.  Only the priests and the hand full of devout Catholics among them complained when Protestant congregations appeared in their communities.  The economy of the region changed slowly but inexorably as the plantation system took hold; none, even those who lived on modest holdings, could escape the play of that peculiar game.  For those who held others in bondage or sought to do so, after it became clear that their new rulers had no intention of abolishing slavery in Louisiana, the American system of slavery held some appeal.  Louisiana's system of laws changed gradually, a pleasant surprise for most.  Universally concerned about the integrity of their Spanish land grants, they mastered the transformation of Spanish arpents into acres, sections, and townships.  But the transition from Spanish subject to American citizen was by no means trouble free.03

In 1804, Lieutenant Henry Hopkins of the United States army "arrived in the Attakapas region to formally raise the U.S. flag over the Teche."  A similar ceremony was held, no doubt, in the Opelousas District.  Late that year, "Spanish officials in Nacogdoches ... spread news of a royal decree that offered asylum to any slave escaping from American-held Louisiana into the province of Texas.  Officials in New Orleans," including Spanish "commissioner of limits" and former interim governor the Marqués de Casa Calvo, "confirmed its existence.  Within weeks rumors of insurrection spread through the lower part of the Louisiana district, and slaves began fleeing American territory for Texas," some of them likely from Attakapas and Opelousas farms and plantations.  Louisiana Governor William C. C. Claiborne beseeched the marqués to rescind the decree.  The Spaniard ignored him, and slaves continued to flee to Nacogdoches. 

The western Louisiana borderland, again, was a potential scene of conflict. 

In 1806, Spanish and American agents met on the Sabine River to work out a compromise.  The result was the Neutral Ground Agreement in which the disputants "agreed to a sort of 'demilitarized' zone between Texas and the United States, which they hoped would prevent war."  The Americans nevertheless insisted that the boundary resulting from Jefferson's Purchase and the creation of the State of Louisiana nine years later lay along the Sabine, while the Spanish placed the boundary there at Rio Hondo near their long-abandoned presidio at Los Adaes.  In February 1819, the Adams-Onís Treaty set the boundary between Louisiana and Texas along the lower Sabine, and Spain ceded the Floridas to the United States.  Not until after the treaty's second ratification in February 1821 did the spectre of war evaporate along the western frontier.  However, Mexico's war with Spain, which erupted the year the Adams-Onís Treaty was signed, promised to unsettle the area once again.  Mexico gained its independence in August 1821.  Seven years later, Mexico signed a "Treaty of Limits" with the United States that recognized the boundaries set in 1819, and the treaty went into force in April 1832.  The frontier remained quiet until 1835-36, when Texians fought for, and won, their own independence from Mexico.04 

By then, Acadians from Attakapas and Opelousas, now St. Martin and St. Landry parishes, left their homesteads in the old Neutral Ground and crossed the Sabine into eastern Texas.  ...

South Louisiana Geography and the Acadians, 1803-1861

Two years after the Purchase of 1803, the Attakapas District became Attakapas County in the Territory of Orleans.  When the Americans created the first civil parishes for Louisiana in 1807, the old Attakapas District became St. Martin Parish.  In 1817, the village that had grown up around the Attakapas church became the incorporated "city" of St. Martinsville (as it was originally spelled), later called by its residents La Petite Paris.  In the years that followed, the old Attakapas country became the civil parishes of St. Martin, St. Mary (1811), Lafayette (1823), Vermilion (1844), and, after the War of 1861-65, Iberia (1868).05

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After Jefferson's Purchase, the Opelousas District became the civil parishes of St. Landry, sometimes called Imperial St. Landry (1807), Calcasieu, also called Imperial Calcasieu (1840), and, after the War of 1861-65, Cameron (1870), Acadia (1887), Evangeline (1910), Allen (1912), Beauregard (1912), and Jefferson Davis (1912).  The last three prairie parishes, in fact, were among the final ones created by the State of Louisiana. ...

An interesting note can be found in five Opelousas marriages recorded between 27 December 1814 and 5 January 1815.   Father Michel Bernard Barrière had served as pastor of St. Martin de Tours church at St. Martinsville in the 1790s, retired for a time, and was transferred to St. Landry church at Opelousas in the early 1800s.  Father Barrière recorded a series of marriages on pages 261, 262, and 263 of volume 1-A of the parish's marriage register--those of German Creole Michel Bihm and Acadian Eugènie Lejeune on December 27, French Creoles Donatien Guillory and his cousin Selesie Fontenot on January 1, Spaniard Thomas De Los Santos Cortines and mulatresse libre Maria dite Pene Estaphania on January 1, French Creole Louis Carrière and Acadian Célestine Doucet on January 2, and French Creole Lucien Bergeron and German Creole Madeleine Guillaume Spargenberg on January 5--and included the notation: "The above five marriages ... were celebrated during Advent due to the war and the immediate departure of the militia leaving from here [Opelousas] on the 4th January 1815."  The culminating battle of New Orleans was fought at Chalmette Plantation four days later, so the Opelousas militia likely reached the city soon after the battle was fought.  ...10

For a few months during the War of 1861-65, Opelousas served as the capital of Confederate Louisiana. ...

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The great transition following Jefferson's Purchase inevitably led to geo-political changes in the Bayou Lafourche valley. ...

Ascension became the town of Donaldson in 1806 and Donaldsonville in 1823.  Thanks to the machinations of its founder, William Donaldson, the town served briefly as the state capital from 1829 to 1831 before the legislature moved the seat of government to Baton Rouge.  On upper Bayou Lafourche, the name Valenzuéla disappeared, replaced by the name Assumption, after the church located at present-day Plattenville.  Ascension and Assumption survived as the names of two of the 19 original civil parishes created by the legislature of the Territory of Orleans in 1807.  Donaldsonville became the seat of Ascension Parish, and remains so to this day.  The seat for Assumption Parish was eventually placed at the town of Napoleonville, where it remains. 

Interior Parish, farther down Bayou Lafourche, also was one of the original civil parishes.  In 1812, with the creation of the State of Louisiana, the legislature renamed Interior Parish, Lafourche Interior Parish.  Thibodauxville, a trading post named after local planter and politician Henry Schuyler Thibodaux, who served briefly as governor of the State of Louisiana in late 1824, was designated the seat of Interior Parish in 1807 and remained the seat of Lafourche Interior Parish in 1812.  The legislature incorporated  Thibodauxville as a town in 1830.  Eight years later, it was renamed Thibodeaux, but its name was usually spelled like the governor's surname.  Not until 1918 was it officially named Thibodaux.  Meanwhile, in 1853, the state legislature dropped "Interior" from the civil parish's name, and it became simply Lafourche Parish, with Thibodaux remaining as its seat.

In 1822, the state legislature carved a new civil parish, Terrebonne, French for "good earth," from the lower end of Lafourche Interior Parish.  The original seat of Terrebonne Parish was at the confluence of Bayous Cane and Terrebonne but was moved to the village of Houma on Bayou Terrebonne in 1834.  Houma, named after the Indians who had moved from the Mississippi to Bayou Cane during the late colonial period, was founded in 1810 (some sources say 1834) but was not incorporated until 1848. 

The Acadians and the Church in Antebellum Louisiana

The most memorable priest to serve Attakapas was Father Michel-Bernard Barrière, a fugitive from the French Revolution, who officiated at St.-Martin de Tours from 1795 to 1804.  Joseph Roger Baudier, historian of the Church in Louisiana, notes that Father Barrière "took up his residence about a mile from the village but he walked to the church every morning for Mass and he remained at the church all day on Sunday."  The St. Martin of Tours parish registers attest to Father Barrière's diligence in documenting the lives of his Attakapas parishioners.  Baudier goes on to call him "'The Apostle of the Teche Country', for to him is really due the laying of the foundation of the Faith in most of the present Catholic parishes in a wide area around St. Martinville, now independent church parishes, but then all children of the mother-parish of St. Martin of the Attakapas."01

New ecclesiastical parishes arose in Assumption civil parish during the antebellum period.  In 1839, Church authorities created a new parish, St. Élisabeth, at Paincourtville, a few miles up from Plattenville, on land donated by Miss Élisabeth Dugas along the west bank of Bayou Lafourche.  In the mid-1850s, St. Philomena Parish arose down bayou at Brûlé Labadie, now Labadieville, near the civil parish line; the first mass in the area had been held in the home of Widow Zacharie Boudreaux in the spring of 1842, soon after Brûlé Labadie had become a mission of the Thibodaux church, but St. Philomena did not officially become a parish until 1855. ...

Meanwhile, in 1817, Church authorities founded St. Joseph Parish at Thibodauxville.  ...

Church authorities created St. Francis de Sales Parish at Houma in 1847.  Today, St. Francis de Sales serves as cathedral and St. Joseph of Thibodaux as co-cathedral for the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, which Church authorities formed from part of the Archdiocese of New Orleans in 1977.  Reverend Warren L. Boudreaux, a native of Berwick, near Morgan City, and an Acadian descendant, served as the first bishop of the new diocese. ...

The Acadians and the South's Plantation Economy

Some Acadians played prominent roles in the region's plantation economy.  Most, especially the great majority who did not own slaves, were compelled to remain on the economic sidelines.   ...

Louisiana's Antebellum Acadian Governors and Lieutenant Governors

Extreme examples of Acadian capacity for assimilation into the dominant American culture can be found in the lives of two of Louisiana's governors who served during the antebellum period.  Both were born in the Bayou State, one the son of an exile from Chignecto, the other the grandson of a Minas exile.   

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The first indisputably Acadian governor of Louisiana and the state's first popularly-elected chief executive was a paragon of assimilation into American culture.  No Acadian of antebellum Louisiana accumulated more personal and political influence than Alexandre Mouton of Lafayette Parish. 

"Here is this one on a smooth green billow of the land, just without the town [of Vermilionville].  It is not like the rest--a large brick house, its Greek porch half hid in a grove of oaks.  On that dreadful day, more than a century ago, when the British in far-off Acadie shut into the chapel the villagers of Grand Pre, a certain widow fled with her children to the woods, and there subsisted for ten days on roots and berries, until finally, the standing crops as well as  the houses being destroyed, she was compelled to accept exile, and in time found her way, with others, to these prairies.  Her son founded Vermilionville.  Her grandson rose to power--sat in the Senate of the United States.  From early manhood to hale gray age, the people of his State were pleased to hold him, now in one capacity, now in another, in their honored service; they made him Senator, Governor, President of the Convention, what you will."

So writes the bard of the Creoles and Cajuns, George Washington Cable of New Orleans, in his story "Carancro," which appeared in the January and February 1887 issues of the then-popular Century Magazine.  He goes on:  "I have seen the portrait for which he sat in early manhood to a noted English court painter:  dark waving locks; strong, well-chiseled features; fine clear eyes; an air of warm, steady-glowing intellectual energy.  It hangs still in the house of which I speak.  And I have seen an old ambrotype of him taken in the days of this story:  hair short-cropped, gray; eyes thoughtful, courageous; mouth firm, kind, and ready to smile."  In the story, Cable is describing a character referred to only as "the ex-governor," but anyone familiar with the southwest Louisiana of that day would know the identity of the character's original.  "I am a Creole," a destitute widow says to the ex-governor when she comes to him for assistance.  "Yes," he tells her, "and, like all Creoles, proud of it, as you are right to be.  But I am an Acadian of the Acadians, and never wished I was any thing else."222  

Alexandre Mouton indeed was an Acadian whose paternal ancestors had lived in old Acadie.  Although Cable's character, the ex-governor, was based on Mouton, the character's genealogy is not quite the same as that of the real former governor of Louisiana.  ...223 

Alexandre's father Jean served under Spanish Governor Don Bernardo Gálvez in the fight against the British during the American Revolution.  In the late 1770s, he crossed the Atchafalaya Basin and settled along upper Bayou Teche in the Attakapas District.  There, in June 1783, at age 29, he married Marie-Marthe, called Marthe, daughter of a prominent resident of the Attakapas Post, surgeon Antoine Borda, a native of France and second husband of Marguerite Martin dit Barnabé, an Acadian born at Chignecto.  Jean and Marthe produced a large family:  sons Jean-Baptiste, Joseph, François, Charles, Louis, Pierre-Treville, Alexandre, Antoine-Émile, and Césaire, and daughters Marie-Modeste, Marie-Adélaïde, and Marie-Marthe--a dozen children in all.  Alexandre was born in November 1804, the year after the United States purchased Louisiana from France.  He was born at his father's plantation house on Bayou Carencro in present-day Lafayette Parish, where Jean had become a prominent sugar planter at the northern edge of the Attakapas District.224  

Alexandre, like other children of prominent planters, received an elementary education in the local district schools, where he was instructed in his native French.  He also learned to speak English fluently, which stood him in good stead when he enrolled in a prominent Jesuit school, Georgetown College in Washington, D.C.  Back home in Louisiana, he studied law first in the offices of Charles Antoine, then in St. Martinville with Judge Edward Simon.  In 1825, at age 21, he was admitted to the Louisiana bar and began his practice in Lafayette Parish.225

His career in the law was short-lived.  His father gave him a plantation near the village of Vermilionville, now the city of Lafayette.  Alexandre transformed the plantation into a major sugar-producing operation.  He would henceforth make his substantial living as a sugar planter, not as a lawyer, and become the quintessence of what a twentieth-century folklorist called a "genteel Acadian."  He lived first in a townhouse in Vermilionville that had been built by his father around 1805, when the community was called Grand Prairie.  Over the years, Alexandre amassed a plantation of 19,000 arpents, which he ran from the Greek revival home that he built in the 1830s on the banks of the Vermilion, a house he called Île Copal after the exotic trees that graced the property.  By 1860, he owned 121 slaves to work his extensive holdings.  No one in Lafayette Parish owned more slaves than ex-governor Mouton.226

Like his grandfather Salvator, Alexandre Mouton also married twice.  In 1826, he married French Creole Célestine Zelia, called Zelia, Rousseau, a granddaughter of Jacques Dupré, one of the wealthiest cattle ranchers in St. Landry Parish who later served briefly as acting governor of the state.  Among the four children of Alexandre and Zelia was Jean Jacques Alexandre Alfred, their third child and second son and the only son to survive infancy.  Alfred, as he was called, was born in February 1829 in St. Landry Parish.  Their other surviving children were daughters Henriette Odèide, Marie Cecilia Arcade, and Marie Céleste Mathilde.227

In the same year of his marriage, at age 22, Alexandre's political career began when he was elected to represent Lafayette Parish in the lower house of the state legislature.  He served in that body until 1832 and as its speaker in 1831-32.  He was an avid Jacksonian Democrat and served as an elector for that party's national tickets in 1828, 1832, and 1836, the year he was sent back to the state legislature to represent Lafayette Parish again.  The following year, in 1837, the state legislature chose him as United States Senator to serve out the term of Alexander Porter, who had resigned.  Alexandre was only 33 years old when he assumed this high office, only three years older than the minimum age of 30.  At the end of the Senate term, in 1838, he was elected to the United States Senate in his own right and served in Washington until March 1842, when he resigned his senatorial seat to run for governor of Louisiana.  

Alexandre's wife Zelia had died in Lafayette Parish  in November 1837, early in his senatorial career.  Two months before he left Washington to return to Louisiana to run for governor, in January 1842, at age 38, he remarried to Anne, 12-year-old daughter of Charles K. Gardner of New York.  Gardner had served as adjutant general of the United States Army during the War of 1812 and was at the time of his daughter's marriage to Mouton a clerk in the United States Treasury Department.  Alexandre and Emma had seven children, six of whom survived to adulthood:  daughters Marie Thérèse and Anne Eliza, and sons Alix Gardner, who died an infant, George Clinton, William Rufus King, Paul Joseph Julien, and Charles Alexandre.  

Alexandre Mouton, the first popularly-elected governor of Louisiana, was inaugurated in January 1843 and served until February 1846.  When he assumed the governorship, the state was deeply in debt, but by the time he left office, most of the state's indebtedness had been liquidated.  During his governorship, he was active in the 1844 presidential campaign of Jacksonian James K. Polk, helping the Democratic ticket carry Louisiana in the federal elections.  He promoted the development of railroads in the state and pursued this interest after he returned to private life.  He was chosen president of a railroad convention held in New Orleans in January 1852.228

Though he held no more elective offices after his term as governor, Mouton remained active in Democratic politics.  He served as a delegate to the Democratic national conventions at Cincinnati, Charleston, and Baltimore in 1856 and 1860.229

His most interesting public service after his governorship was as president of the 1858 vigilance committee created by prominent local leaders to rid the southwest prairie region of marauding cattle rustlers.  For years these outlaws had raided local cattle herds from their hiding places on the prairies west of Vermilionville.  By 1858, their numbers and depredations had increased to the point that local law enforcement could not control them.  The vigilance committee's armed force, led by the governor's son Alfred, a graduate of West Point, brutally suppressed the band of rustlers, and even hanged some of its leaders without trial.  ...

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In 1846, Trasimond Landry of Ascension Parish was elected the first lieutenant governor of Louisiana.  ...02

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During the late antebellum period, a scion of one of the largest families became the second Acadian governor of Louisiana.  Paul Octave, eldest son of Paul Hébert and his first wife Marie Eugènie Hamilton, was a native of Iberville Parish on the upper Acadian Coast, where he was born on his father's plantation in December 1818.  Paul Octave graduated first in his class at Jefferson College in St. James Parish in 1836.  He was age 18.  He also was first in his class at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1840.  He was age 22 when he graduated.  He married Cora Laetitia Wills, daughter of Anglo Americans Thomas C. Vaughn and Harriet L. Winn, at the St. Gabriel church in August 1842 while on active duty with the United States Army Corps of Engineers.  Their son Thomas Paul was born in July 1844 and Robert Octave in October 1846.  Paul Octave fought in the Mexican War in 1846-47 and was brevetted colonel for gallantry at Molino del Rey in the campaign against Mexico City.  After he resigned his commission, he was elected governor of Louisiana in 1851, the youngest ever elected to that office up to that time (he was only age 33), and served from January 1852 until January 1856.  From January to March 1861, he served on Louisiana Governor Thomas O. Moore's five-man state Military Board.  During the War of 1861-65, Paul Octave served as colonel of the 1st Regiment Louisiana Heavy Artillery and, like his double first cousin Louis Hébert of Iberville, rose to the rank of brigadier general.  Later in the war, Paul Octave commanded the Department of Texas with headquarters at Galveston, as well as the Subdistrict of North Louisiana.  After the war, he was active in Democratic Party politics.  He died of cancer in New Orleans in August 1880, age 61, and was buried at St. Raphaël Cemetery, near Bayou Goula, close to his birthplace.  If any of his sons married before 1870, they do not appear in local church records.  ...06

 

INTRODUCTION

BOOK ONE:        French Acadia

BOOK TWO:        British Nova Scotia

BOOK THREE:     Families, Migration, and the Acadian "Begats"

BOOK FOUR:      The French Maritimes

BOOK FIVE:        The Great Upheaval

BOOK SIX:          The Acadian Immigrants of Louisiana

BOOK SEVEN:     French Louisiana

BOOK EIGHT:      A New Acadia

BOOK TEN:          The Louisiana Acadian "Begats"

BOOK ELEVEN:  The Non-Acadian "Cajun" Families of South Louisiana

BOOK TWELVE:  Acadians in Gray

 

SOURCE NOTES - BOOK NINE

01.  Quotations from Baudier, The Catholic Church in LA, 239. 

01a.  See Bernard, Teche, 70-71; Brasseaux & Fontenot, Steamboats on Louisiana's Bayous, 41-42, 207-08; Johnson, W., River of Dark Dreams, chap. 3.

02.  See Marshall, M., Gallant Creoles, 8; Landry family page. 

03.  See Faber, Land of Dreams, xii, 5-6, 8-10; Hall, G. M., Africans in Colonial LA; McMichael, Atlantic Loyalites, 66-67, 70-71, 73-74.

For the many differences between the Spanish and Anglo-American systems of slavery, see G. M. Hall; McMichal; Book Eight. 

04.  Quotations from Bernard, Teche, 59; McMichael, Atlantic Loyalites, 63, 72; Gilbert C. Din, "Caso Calvo, Sébastien Calvo de la Puenta y O'Farrill, marqués de," in DLB, 158. See also McMichael, 73; online Wikipedia, "Adams-Onís Treaty," "Treay of Limits (Mexico-United States)"; Books Seven & Eight.

05.  Bernard, Teche, notes that the current spelling of St. Martinville did not appear until the early 20th centry.  See also Books Seven & Eight.

06.  See Books Ten & Twelve; Hébert family page

10.  Quotation from Hebert, D., Southwest LA Records, 2-A:63, 86, 203, 248, 311, 352, 394, 469, 619, 879.  See also Hebert, D., 1-A: Introductory Notes, 2-A:653, 2-A:85, 351, 470. 

222.  Quotations from Cable, Creoles & Cajuns, 248, 249.  See also photo.

For details on Henry Schuyler Thibodaux, who served briefly as governor of LA in late 1824, see Book Eight.  Thibodaux's connection to the Thibodeaus of Acadie has not been fully determined, hence the qualified language in calling Alexandre Mouton "The first indisputably Acadian governor of Louisiana."

223.  See also note 05, above. 

224.  See Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, 1-A: 728.

Jean's gravestone holds a plague that calls him a patriot of the American Revolution.  See photo

The Attakapas District was created and first settled by a hand full of Frenchmen, most of whom raised cattle, a decade before the Acadians arrived in 1765.  As a result, the church records for the district date back to 1756.  The site of the old French/Spanish post was renamed St. Martinville in 1817.  See D. Hébert. 

The Indian name is pronounced uh-TACK-uh-paw & is "officially" spelled Atakapas, but the name of the district is usually spelled Attakapas.  See Book Seven. 

To illustrate the point that "all" Acadians are related, Marguerite Martin, Alexandre Mouton's maternal grandmother, is one of the author's ancestors as well.  Her first husband was René Robichaux, & one of their daughters, Geneviève, married Amand Dugas, father of Rosalie Dugas, who married Pierre Cormier, père, called Pierre of Opelousas, one of the author's paternal great-grandfathers.  Who knows how many other Cajuns today share blood with Gov. Mouton.

225.  See DAB, 7:295; Perrin, W. H., SW LA, pt. 2:78. 

The spelling of Alexandre Mouton's given name, in the records as well as in books of history & reference, is inconsistent.  His grave stone and the article in the DAB spell it "Alexander," the anglicized spelling of the name.  All other sources spell his first name using the French version, "Alexandre," used here.  See photo for his likenesses and his gravesite, as well as a portrait of 5 of his children. 

Edward Simon was a native of Belgium who served as an associate justice on the LA Supreme Court from 1841-49.  Simon died at St. Martinville in 1867.  His son Arthur served as a major in the Confederate army under Alexandre's son Alfred.  See W. H. Perrin.

226.  See 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Slave Schedules, Lafayette Parish, 53-54; Dormon, Cajuns, 30; Rickels, "The Folklore of the Acadians," 223, 229-30.

The c1800 town house built by Jean, later called the Sunday House, is still standing in Lafayette as part of the Alexandre Mouton House Museum on Lafayette Street, near downtown.  See photo.  Jean Mouton is celebrated as the founder of Vermilionville/Lafayette.  Alexandre Mouton's slave count is from the 1860 Slave Schedules.  His slaves in 1860, 51 females & 70 males, ranged in age from 2 to 70 years old.  

For the origin of the term "genteel Acadian," see Dormon, who attributes it to folklorist Patricia K. Rickels.  Her essay, "The Folklore of the Acadians," categorizes Cajuns as "Genteel Acadians" and "Just Plain Coonasses."  (This author confesses he is one of the latter.)

227.  Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, 2-A:822, her baptismal record, spells her name Céleste Zilia, so there is also confusion in the spelling of Zelia Rousseau Mouton's name.  Her tombstone, like her birth record, spells her name "Zilia," but genealogical and family records spell it "Zelia," used here.  See photo.

228.  See <sec.state.la.us/33.htm>.

229.  See Bragg, LA in the Confederacy, 8-10, 12, 14-15, 27-46.

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Copyright (c) 2001-17  Steven A. Cormier