Historical Memoirs on Louisiana, Including the Most Interesting Events from 1687 to the Present

Description

Mémoires historiques sur la Louisiane: contenant ce qui y est arrivé de plus mémorable depuis l'année 1687 jusqu'à présent (Historical memoirs on Louisiana, including the most interesting events from 1687 to the present) is based on a manuscript text by soldier Jean-François-Benjamin Dumont de Montigny (born 1696) that was completed in France in 1747. The work was compiled and edited by the Abbé Jean-Baptiste Le Mascrier and published in Paris in 1753. Dumont’s original manuscript is preserved in the Newberry Library in Chicago. It narrates the events of Dumont’s life between 1715 and 1747, including his experiences in Louisiana from 1719 to 1737. Dumont took part in the French attack on Pensacola, helped build forts in New Biloxi and Yazoo, explored the Arkansas River, and described in great detail the city of Natchez as it appeared before the massacre of 1729. He includes accounts of expeditions against the Natchez and the Chickasaws, and he offers his reasons for the misfortunes of the Company of the Indies and the retrocession of the colony to the king in 1731. The second section of the memoir, the printed text of which is presented here, describes Louisiana, settlements, and Indian practices and customs. Le Mascrier eliminated much of the sharpness and crudity of the original account, but the work remains a rich original source of ethnographic information about the Louisiana Indians, especially the Natchez.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Claude Jean Baptiste Bauche, Paris

Language

Title in Original Language

Mémoires historiques sur la Louisiane : contenant ce qui y est arrivé de plus mémorable depuis l'année 1687 jusqu'à présent : avec l'établissement de la colonie françoise dans cette province de l'Amérique septentrionale sous la direction de la Compagnie des Indes : le climat, la nature & les productions de ce pays, l'origine & la religion des sauvages qui l'habitent, leurs moeurs & leurs coutumes

Type of Item

Physical Description

338 pages

References

  1. The Newberry Library, Chicago, record for Ayer manuscript 257, Mémoire de Lxx Dxx officier ingénieur, contenant les evenements qui se sont passés à la Louisiane depuis 1715 jusqu’à present [manuscript] : ainsi que ses remarques sur les moeurs, usages, et forces des diverses nations de l’Amerique Septentrionale et de ses productions.
  2. Gordon Sayre, “Dumont de Montigny, Jean-François-Benjamin” in American National Biography (New York and Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press for the American Council of Learned Societies, 1999). http://www.anb.org/articles/06/06-

Last updated: November 20, 2015