Relation, or True Chronicle of what Occurred in the Country of Louisiana for Twenty-two Consecutive Years from the Start of the French Settlement in the Region


André Pénicaut, born around 1680 in La Rochelle, France, was a “carpenter in the construction of royal ships” and an interpreter. This manuscript is his account of the 22 years he spent in Louisiana between 1699 and 1721. Pénicaut first sailed for Louisiana in September 1698 on Le Marin, captained by the Count of Surgères, as part of the expedition led by Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville (1661‒1706), founder of the French colony of Louisiana. Based on his daily notes, Pénicaut’s account is extremely rich, describing in turn the geography and natural resources of the region, French wars against the Indians, the establishment of a land-holding system and the founding of New Orleans in 1718, as well as the religion and customs of the native population, particularly the Natchez. The narrative of his Mississippi adventures is likewise filled with anecdotes about relations between the French and the native populations. The 324-page manuscript is organized chronologically, with one chapter devoted to each year. Each chapter is introduced with a number of headings that summarize the main topics or incidents covered in the chapter.


Title in Original Language

Relation, ou annale véritable de ce qui s'est passé dans le païs de la Louisiane pendant vingt-deux années consecutifes, depuis le commencement de l'établissement des François dans le païs

Type of Item

Physical Description

374 pages ;  21 centimeters


  1. Benjamin Franklin French (editor), Historical Collections of Louisiana and Florida: Including Translations of Original Manuscripts Relating to Their Discovery and Settlement (New York: Sabin, 1869).
  2. Elizabeth McCann, “The Early History of Louisiana as Recounted by the Chronicler André Pénicaut 1699‒1704,” (Master’s Theses, 1943, Paper 647, Loyola University Chicago).

Last updated: November 20, 2015