St. Denis inventory Circa 1744

33

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.

Family Doctors

These papers are in their original form, lack capitals, correct punctuation, spelling and grammar. When St. Denis died in 1744, his widow notified the local village clerk and the fort lieutenant that an inventory of his belongings should be taken.

The list is interesting, in that it contains French words such as surtout, now called a coat; breeches, now pants; tister for teester. Notice the names of those present at the event: de Navarre, Triche, Besson, Taillefert, Juzand and LeCour. June 16, 1744

We were notified by Dame Emmanuelle Schanch de Navarre, widow of the late Monsieur de St. Denis, commandant for the King of the Post of Natchitoches, that the clothes would decay before guardianship could be secured for the children not of age. We knew this. Henry Triche, keeper of the said belongings, came at the request of the said lady, to tell us the same. We have allowed the said lady to have the seals broken by Maitre Besson, clerk, in front of the Sieur de Taillefert, lieutenant, and the Sieurs de Juzand and Lecour and Henri Triche, keeper. We ordered the said clerk to list the said goods.

De Terrepien (du Terpin)

We Besson, clerk, accompanied by Mr. de Taillefert and the Sieurs Juzand and Lecour, cadet, went to Dame Emmanuelle Schach de Navarre, widow of the lant Monsieur de St. Denis, Commander of the post of Natchitoches. In front of Henry Triche, keeper of said goods and seals, and in obedience to instructions received from Monsieur du Terrepints, commander, we have broken the seals from the closet. We found the following things:

One damask surtout (coat) braided with silver lace at the bottom of the flares

A —— (word not legible)

One black taffeta surtout with silver braid at the bottom

One damask surtout with silver braid at the bottom

One black velvet surtout with silver braid at the bottom

One black velvet surtout with silver braid at the bottom

One scarlet surtout with silver braid at the bottom

One scarlet surtout with silver braid at the bottom

One green damask surtout with gold braid at the bottom

One black taffeta surtout with silver braid at the bottom

One damask surtout with silver braid at the bottom

One blue taffeta surtout with silver braid at the bottom

Four surtouts in (not legible) of India

A coat (cloth) with gold buttons

A scarlet cloth vest with goat skin buttons

A gold embroidered vest

A man’s dark dress with gold buttons

A yellow taffeta waistcoat

A red jacket with cotton blouse

Monsieur Don Louis’ dress-russet brown color with silver waist and waistcoat

Scarlet breeches

Five caps, different kinds of taffeta

A red velvet cape with gold braid all around

A wicker basket, in the shape of a chest, which contains several things such as capes, muslin and other trifles.

A bolt of cotton material, nine years old.

Two dozen napkins and two table cloths that Mrs. De St. Denis said belonged to Mr. St. Denis

Two quilts

A lace tister

A small box containing children’s trinkets

Two hats, one of which is new

Another basket in which are some ravelings

Another hat belonging to Mr. Don Louis

We have left everything to the said lady and Henry Triche, keeper, who will show them to us when they will be requested to do so. We sign together with Henry Triche, Keeper, who states he could neither sign no write and has made his mark. Done according to decree at Natchitoches this June 16, 1744

De Taillefert, eldest

Marque de Juzand

Henry Triche Lecourt

Done by me Besson, acting clerk.