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Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, marquis de (1757-1834) to unknown [fragment] [in French]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05315 Author/Creator: Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, marquis de (1757-1834) Place Written: s.l. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: circa 1 May 1805 Pagination: 3 p. ; 23 x 18.8 cm.

Summary of Content: Possibly written to Armand Duplantier 1 May 1805. No date indicated on document. Lafayette discusses lands he was granted in the Louisiana territory and the building of a brick factory. In reference to the factory, mentions thirty slaves.

Background Information: Duplantier was Lafayette's aide-de-camp in the Revolutionary War. He was later appointed to select land in Louisiana for Lafayette, as appointed by Congress following the Louisiana Purchase. Circa date and ...recipient according to Professor Robert Crout.See More

Full Transcript: I must add, Monsieur, to the information that you have received, the two following notes:
1st A while ago, a recently arrived merchant from Louisiana spoke to me of some ...land situated on the Canal of Condolet: he advised me to construct in the fields a brick factory. The means of my procuring the workers was not suitable for me, because it was a question of having thirty slaves; but supposing free workers the surplus of the expense was not greater than thirty thousand francs; the obliging person to whom I owe this idea assured me that in three years I would have recovered all of the capital and made a company of sixty thousand francs of revenue. This merchant knows the land. Miss Laure who has a brick factory close to the city will have the goodness to give all of the assistance that depends on her. The need for bricks is such that one cannot meet it to the degree that the city requires. It is understood that one would have, with the assistance of this factory and of the cypress wood, all of the materials necessary to build houses, making this speculation even more profitable. Many people with whom I have spoken about this were [2] of the same opinion.
2nd-The same merchant rendered me the service of showing me land of sixty [illegible] of prairie near the city; at the back there is a cypress wood and all belongs to the state. But since different circumstances made me think that it was the property of a family which itself realizes to have no claim over it, and since the prairie has served until now, without any title, as a communal space to the city, it is possible that the American government did not recognize this property as belonging to the state. I sent to the President and to Mr. Madison the precise description that one had the goodness to send me with the tenants. Two of these letters were brought by Mr. Livingston Ambassador of the United States and the other two by Mr. Touzard Chancellor of the French Consulate. It is probably enough that this land will be a part of the concession. The merchant, to whom I am [3] obliged, assures me that this land is worth at least four hundred thousand dollars [illegible] and that the total of the plot would sell on the field for one thousand [illegible], but he advises me not to give it for this price because of the immense advantage that it would have if one were to construct a house there. I await news from you and I greet you with all my heart.
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People: Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, marquis de, 1757-1834
Duplantier, Armand, 1753-1827

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Revolutionary War GeneralFranceLand GrantIndustryBuilding ConstructionFrontiers and ExplorationAfrican American HistoryFreemenEmancipationSlaveryManumission

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison

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