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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.
CREATOR: Charles de Hault de Lassus (1764 – 1842)
LANGUAGE: French, with a translation in English
SCOPE: The diary was written in 1836. 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.
EXTENT: One diary: 72 pages, approximately 15,000 words, with accompanying English translation.
HISTORY: 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.
Restrictions: This is collection P-031. Due to rarity and condition, access to this collection is limited. When possible, this collection is available for on-site use only in the Rare Book and Manuscripts Reading Room. Some of the collection may be photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, depending on condition. Researchers are advised to call ahead concerning changes in hours due to University intersessions and holidays. The St. Louis Mercantile Library is located on levels one and two of the Thomas Jefferson Library building. More information about conducting research with the archival collections of the Library, including current building hours and reading room policies, can be found on our Research page.
All inquiries regarding the use of this collection may be directed to the Curator of the Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library.
Preferred Citation note: The preferred citation for this collection is "From the collections of the Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.”
Saint Louis (Mo.) – History -- Sources