Visiting History – argents and pounds


By Judge (Ret.) W. Peyton Cunningham Sr.

Editor’s Note: Articles from “NATCHITOCHES, Translations of Old French and Spanish Documents” by Germaine Portre-Bobinski, 1928. The documents, from which these translations were made, are filed at the Natchitoches, Louisiana, Courthouse. These papers are in their original form, lack capitals, correct punctuation, spelling and grammar.

This deed talks “pounds” which in 1734 was what we refer to now as money. Measurements of the land conveyed is given in arpents, a French unit of length that equals 192 (+/-) feet and a unit of area equals a square arpent is 0.84 acre. All of this predates the “Public Land Survey System” of Section, Township and Range.

April 5, 1734

We, undersigned, have agreed on the following, that is: I, H. Jensen, Infantry officer, for the amount of two hundred pounds, give up and transfer my dwelling, consisting of four “arpents” frontage and forty in depth, with all buildings and dependencies belonging to it. This dwelling is close to a ditch (words torn out) on the side of the Sieur Bocquet. And I, de St. Denis, commandant of Natchitoches, take the obligation to pay to said Sr. H. Jensen, through Mr. Dubreuil in New Orleans, and add that the present bargain has the same value as if it had been passed in front of a notary.

Done at Natchitoches the 5th of April, 1734.

April 9, 1734

On the back of above-We, Louis de St. Denis, commandant of the Natchitoches, give up and transfer to Estiene Chamard the property, including all the buildings and dependencies I have purchased from Monsieur Jensen. The said Estiene Chamard may have the use of all o fit, provided as he acts as instructed by me.

Done at Natchitoches, April 9, 1734.