Pierre Etienne LeBourgeois, Livingston, St. James and Orleans Parishes,
Louisiana File prepared by D.N. Pardue

From the French Settlement Historical Register, published by the French
Settlement Historical Society, French Settlement, Louisiana 70733. The
LaGenWeb Archives thanks them for contributing this information.

Vol. 5, December 1980

Originally submitted to the FSHR by Mariette L. Lambert.


     Pierre was born on the twentieth of August 1787 and baptised in New
Orleans at the Cathedral of St. Louis on the ninth of September 1789.  He was
the son of Pierre LeBourgeois, a native of Caen in Normandy, France and Marie
Margarita Reine, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana.

     In the Battle of New Orleans in 1812 Pierre is listed as a First

     Pierre married in St. James Parish, La. the 26th of December 1825,
Artimise Matherne, daughter of Pierre Matherne and Celestine Fontenot.  A few
years later he negotiated with John McDonough, who was a neighbor in St. James
Parish, to buy a tract of land on the Amite River.  This property was the site
of a Spanish Fort.  It was also known as the Benjamin Key headright.  There
right on the banks of the river, was a stone-house, where Pierre and Artimise
lived.  It was known as the old LeBourgeois Place.  After the Civil War, a new
farm house was built about a quarter of mile inland from the stone-house, the
new house was given the name "Whitehall".

     No death dates have been found for Pierre and Artimise, however on
this property there is a small family cemetery and I would like to believe
they are buried there.

     In the 1850 Census of Livingston Parish the family of Pierre
LeBourgeois and Artimise is listed as follows:

LeBourgeois, Pierre     age 63
             Artimise   age 44
             Aris       age 21
             Peter      age 18
             Louis      age 14
             Stephen    age 10
             Louisa     age 11

     On the following pages are translated copies of the correspondence
between Pierre LeBourgeois and "The John McDonough".  Pierre's letters
were beautifully penned in French.  McDonough's letters were in English and
very hard to decipher.

Letter No. 1

                      St. James Parish, october 24, 1828

Mr. McDonough
New Orleans


     Knowing that you own some lands along the Amite River,
and intending to settle in that neighbor hood, I would like
for you to do me the pleasure of letting me know if it were
possible for you to sell me a portion which would be advanta-
geous to me, either for cultivation or for some other purpose.
As I recall having heard you say formerly, that the lot on
which your sawmill is located, was advantageous to a man will-
ing to work.  Should you wish to sell this portion to me at a
reasonable price and with reasonable conditions, perhaps I
would be able to make arrangements with you.  I think I
should tell you that I am not rich, I dare flatter myself
that you will have regard for my situation.  In case these
sawmill lands no longer belong to you, I will ask you to
please give me the necessary information so that I may know
to whom to address myself.
     Please have the complacency of answering my letter right
away, and believe me to be

                            With Consideration
                            Your Very Humble And
                            Obedient St. And Friend

                            (signed) Pre LeBourgeois

(On back: Mr. McDonough, New Orleans)

Letter No. 2

                              New Orleans, November 3, 1828

Mr. P. LeBorgeois


     Your favor of the 24th was this moment handed to me and
as you requested I will reply.  You inform me of your inten-
tion to establish, on the River Amite and request to know
whether I can sell you a tract of land in that District, and
particular a tract where I formerly had a sawmill.  To this
I have observed that I will sell you a tract (with great
pleasure) of valuable land, any where within my surveys, that
you may select -- with the exception of a few tracks which I
wish to reserve, but as I had two sawmills on that river, one
propelled by steam, the other by water power -- I do not know
which you referred to.  The steam mill was near the lake,
this tract I do not wish to sell, the other was high up on the
Amite, above the mouth of the Comite.  This situation with the
improvement of land I will sell you, if it is what you wish.
     Not knowing what your particular object is, I cannot say
which part of the country would suit you best.  If your object
is commerce the country above at this time is the place for
a store.  If your view is agriculture, the land below is best

adapted as they are generally rich.  The whole country from
the Lake to Galvez is a rich body of land.  Those lands are
now cheap being worth from 4 to 5 cents the acre.  Say 160 to 200
dollars for six (?) acres front by 40 arpents in depth.  But
in a very short time, will settle the country and make the
land very valuable,  as in a few months  we will be established**.
It has been in contestation for 25 years and has kept the
country from settling.  The conditions will be made (East of
the river) and I will feel pleasured of being of service if
it is in my power.  The lumber business becoming a great
object (in New Orleans).  Two or 3 negroes even in making pine
cord wood would make a great deal of money.  It sells to the
steam boats generally at 5 or 6 dollars for four cord and one
half -- at times they cannot procure it.  On the Tickfaw River
there is a great deal of pine.  I send you a rough sketch of
the lines of my survey for your information.

                 With Esteem and Regard

                                    Verfied Lot 12


P.S. Parish of St. Jacques
I have tracts of lands in vaious situations on the side of the lake--
some of which perhaps might suit your object better than the Amite.
**Reference to the establishment of Livingston Parish (Founded 1832)


                      St. James, November 18, 1828

Mr. McDonogh

New Orleans

My Dear Sir:

     This morning I had the honor of receiving yours of Nov. 3,
in answer to mine of October 24th last.  I am deeply grate-
ful for the good offers you make me, and for the kindness you
had in sending me expressions of your friendship.  I did not
know that you had two sawmills on the River Bank, one operated
by steam which was located one league from Lake Maurepas.
The other seemed to me, to be too far from the Capital.  I had
the occasion to travel through a good part of the Amite River,
and the only place which could answer my purpose, would be the
1st where your steam operated sawmill was located.  My wife
(Artemise Matherne) who was raised in the country bordering on
the Amite, is worrying me for a long time to make these ar-
rangements with you.  She wants to bring there her family,
which is very numerous and very poor.  It consists of first
of all, her father (Piere Matherne), three or four brothers,
as many sister, brothers-in-law and all of them have fathers
and mothers of families of childrens.  So that with from 5 to 6
slaves that I have, we will make a total of from 25 to 30 per-
sons -- they are industrious people accustomed to field-work.  I
will use some to cultivate the ground, others to make cord wood,
posts, shingles, stave-wood.  Besides, we will have the facil-

ities for many animals, such as cattle, hogs, sheep, chickens,
and being near to New Orleans, by using a bark, we will be able
to carry on a commerce which will enable us to pay you more
readily.  You are rich my dear Mr. McDonogh, you can easily do
without this land, in the name of old friendship which existed
between you and us, sell it to me, or sell me a portion of it.
I promise you as an honest man, it is to facilitate the lives
of these good people as it is for me.  I will be at their head,
you will have to deal only with me.

               I have the honor of being with consideration
               Your very humble & obedient
               St. & friend

               (signed) Pre LeBourgeois

Mr. John McDonogh
New Orleans


Letter No. 4

                 New Orleans, November 28, 1828

Mr. Piere LeBourgeois,

                 (my draft)

     I have the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of your
esteemed favor of the 18th.  In the contents of which I note
and in reply have to observe that I have refused twenty times
to sell to rich men the tract of land you wish to purchase of
me and only then says I will, to a gentlemen with 50 slaves
who wished to establish it as a sugar estate, but when you
ask me to join you in the doing a good act (one that does you
great honor) the objecting to make a dozen poor families com-
fortable and happy, I confess I cannot refuse you.  I will
therefore do all I can for the poor community you are desirous
of serving, and upon how you will become their father.  I will
sell you a part of the tract of land you wish where I had my
steam mill fronting the Amite River so as to include a suffi-
cient body for all your friends.  When your time will admit,
take your horse and come down, that I may converse and explain
to you in person, as I write you in haste being much occupied.
     Present my respects to your venerable mother* and your lady**,
and believe me to be in great regard and esteem,

                   Your friend and well wisher,

                   (signed) JMcD

*  Mother -- Marguerite Reine
** Lady (wife) -- Artemise Matherne

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