P-31: Diary of Charles de Hault de Lassus
Title: Diary of Charles de Hault de Lassus from New Orleans to St. Louis, 1836
Creator: Charles de Hault de Lassus (1764 – 1842)
Language: French, with a translation in English
Abstract: A diary by a French-born former Spanish military officer of repute, detailing his journey from New Orleans to St. Louis via steamboat, his stay in St. Louis of approximately six months, and his journey back to New Orleans.
Collection Number: P-31
Location: Special Collections
St. Louis Mercantile Library at UM – St. Louis
Thomas Jefferson Library Building
One University Boulevard
St. Louis, Missouri 63121
Biographical Note: Charles de Hault de Lassus (1764 – 1842) was a French-born Spanish military officer who requested a transfer to Louisiana in 1794, in order to be closer to his family, whom being French Royalist sympathizers, fled to the new world in 1790 or 1791. De Lassus continued to serve the Spanish until 1810, when he left Spanish service after his loyalty was questioned regarding the American takeover of West Florida. Sentenced to death in absentia by Spain in 1814, he became a resident of Louisiana and subsequently St. Louis, before returning to Louisiana in 1826, where he resided for most of the rest of his life.
The diary was written during a period of de Lassus’ life when he was hoping to sell some land in Missouri to increase his finances, which weren’t in good standing. Leaving New Orleans in late June of 1836, he sailed upriver to St. Louis via steamboat. The journey took ten days. De Lassus stayed in St. Louis about six months, during which he attempted to regain some wealth. He began his journey back to New Orleans in December, and his diary ends with his arrival in the city on December 30th.
Scope and Content Note: The diary was written in 1836 and consists of 72 pages, approximately 15,000 words. It is in French. Included with the original diary is a copy of the Diary in English, edited by John F. McDermott, which was originally published in The Louisiana Historical Quarterly Volume 30, No. 2, in April of 1947.
Access Restrictions: Due to rarity and condition, access to this collection is limited. Please contact the library at 314-516-7247.
Copyright Information: The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.
Citation: When citing material from this collection, the preferred citation is: From the Special Collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri − St. Louis.
Saint Louis (Mo.) – History -- Sources