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Andre' Penicaut

  • Completed 1723
  • First published in French 1883
  • Translated into English 1952/53
    by: Richebourt Gaillard McWilliams,
    Birmingham-Southern College.

  • Excerpted passages on Dauphin Island listed below ... (PDF format,
    some excerpts with multiple pages could be slow loading..)

    Being the Andre' Penicaut narrative of French adventure in Louisiana.

    (Archives editor: "An eye witness account!") "No truer painter of Indian customs and of pioneer life can be found, and no writer has ever told a better story," Mobile historian Peter J. Hamilton wrote about Penicaut, carpenter to the King's ships - turned chronicler.

    Penicaut's 22-year narrative of French adventure in Louisiana is no less than an eyewitness account of empire building. When Penicaut came to the New World with Iberville in 1699, the wilderness of Louisiana was still unmarked by civilization. He helped build two Biloxis, Mobile, Natchitoches, Natchez, New Orleans and, of course, Isle Dauphine. He traveled up the "Missicipy" to the Illinois country and even into Minnesota. He went overland from Mobile to Rio Grande to open trade with the Spanish.

    Penicaut first arrived in the New World in 1699. Returned to his native France in 1721 with a loss of his vision in both eyes. He finished the narrative in 1723.

    Originally published and translated in fragmentary parts in New York in 1869.

    Complete text published in French, Paris in 1883..

    Translated from the French manuscripts and edited with supporting footnotes 1952/1953 by Richebourt Gaillard McWilliams, Mary Collett Munger Professor of English in Birmingham-Southern College.

    Published 1953 by Louisiana State University Press.

    Book recovered and treasured by Ms Francis Young, Dauphin Island, AL
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