Visiting History: St. Denis inventory Circa 1744


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.

Check out the civility, courtesy and respect in this 1748 letter. Rare today where respect is an unknown attribute.

New Orleans, February 10, 1748

I beg you to receive my humble thanks for your token of esteem and souvenir, which you were kind enough to send me in the letter, when you did me the honor of writing at the beginning of this year.

On my part, I wish you a most happy New Year, full of all kinds of satisfactions. It would be a great joy to me, if I could prove to you my sincere affection and the respect with which, Madam, I am, Your very humble and very obedient servant Lenormand It seems to me, Madam, that Mr. Jucheraus de St. Denis, who is in town, owes you and your children something for a share in a house he bought.

You should send your procuration to someone to end this business. To do so, you need your deed of guardianship together with your procuration and that of Mr. de Mezieres, since he married your daughter.

This is a classic example of a Natchitoches 1752 I.O.U.

Was Mr. Pain an ancestor of the local citizens named Payne? My brother’s middle name is Payne. Our grandmother (paternal) was a Payne. I want to comment more about my brother being a Payne, but I think you can guess where it would go.

August 1st, 1752

I testify that I have received from Mr. Pain, storekeeper of the king, in charge of inventories and auction sales, the amount of thirty pounds granted to Eustache Doucet, called St. Eustache, soldier, acting as clerk (of court) for all the rights of street crier and scrivener. For the said amount of thirty pounds I shall credit Francis Doucet in his biggest account

dated August 1, 1752 to August 1753.

30 £ for the right of Eustache, Crier