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Employees of the Marine in the Colony of Louisiana, 1759

Employees of the Marine in the Colony of Louisiana, 1759

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List of employees maintained in Louisiana by the French ministry of the Marine in 1759 for operation of the port of New Orleans.
List of employees maintained in Louisiana by the French ministry of the Marine in 1759 for operation of the port of New Orleans.

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Published by: petitepresse on Sep 07, 2008
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10/24/2011

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Translation © Donald E. Pusch 2000, Some Rights Reserved.This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, CA, 94105, USA.
Employees of the Marine in theColony of Louisiana, 1759
1by Donald E. Pusch
Among the administrative records related to the French colony of Louisiana arenumerous muster rolls, pay lists, and items of correspondence related to military personnelserving under the Ministry of the Marine.
1
To augment the military, especially for tasksinvolving maintenance, provisioning, and transport, the Marine also took under its employvarious technical personnel, tradesmen, and mariners—some holding military rank—andapplied them to specific, non-combat, support functions in the colony. The documentpresented here, an annual pay summary for the year 1759,
2
lists fifty-three employees whowere supporting port operations at New Orleans, the Balize,
3
and Mobile. One additionalemployee, the ship’s carpenter-calker Roy, is listed as being at the Illinois garrison.
4
The port of New Orleans is located some 100 miles upriver from the passes at the farsouthern tip of the Mississippi River delta. Unlike today, however, the lower river wascompletely unimproved, and its outflow into the Gulf followed multiple, naturaldistributaries, only a few of which were navigable. To transit the area below Head of Passes,
5
ships required the assistance of experienced river pilots who were familiar withthe area and knowledgeable in regard to the conditions and water depths within thesevarious passes. When an incoming ship arrived in the vicinity of the Balize, a pilot wouldcome aboard, advise the captain as to the condition of the passes, and assist with thevessel’s upriver navigation.
6
Found on the 1759 pay list are the names of two such pilots:Roquigny and Colette. Also, the port captain, Jacques Livaudais, whose name appearsfirst on the pay list, was known to have been an experienced river pilot.
7
Other specialties mentioned in the pay list include those of sail maker, pulley maker,calker, and ship carpenter, ranging in skill levels from apprentice to master craftsman.These were essential for the maintenance of vessels used in local port operations but werealso available, when needed, for the repair and maintenance of vessels transiting thecolony.
8
To support general nautical operations, a number of boat masters,
 patrons
,
9
andsailors were also employed. On the current pay list, mention is also made of one cabin boy.Dated 31 December 1759, the pay list itemizes a total outlay of 26,810
livres
for theemployees named therein. The scrivener is Alexis-Philippe Carlier, a Marine
écrivain
and,according to his marriage record,
10
the son of a financial officer of the
Ferme générale
.
11
A note below the tally states that he was acting in the absence of a controller, there beingnone in New Orleans at the time. Approving the list is Denis-Nicolas Foucault,
12
performing the function of 
ordonnateur 
, the senior financial administrator in the colony.The final page of the document contains a formal certification to the Crown that thedisbursements were actually made. According to that certification, receipts were obtainedwhenever an employee received an incremental payment of 50
livres
or more.
 
1
First published in
The Louisiana Genealogical Register 
, vol. 47, no. 3 (September 2000).
 
2The list gives an interesting glimpse into the manpower used to sustain port operationsin the colony of Louisiana, but it also has significant genealogical value, as it places thenamed individuals in the Marine’s employ, gives their annual salaries, and, in some cases,lists their professions and places of assignment. We note also that there are implied father-son relationships among some of the individuals listed.To supplement the genealogical value of the list, the author has attempted to identifyeach employee through the use of available primary and secondary sources. Principalamong the latter are the published abstracts of the Archdiocese of New Orleanssacramental records and French Superior Council records. The resulting biographicalinformation is presented at the end of the list and all sources used are cited in the endnotes.The author would like to thank staff members at The Historic New Orleans Collectionfor providing copies from the collection’s microfilms of Colonies C
13A
documents. Thanksare also extended to Mr. Robert de Berardinis, Houston, Texas, for locating severalColonies D
2C
and D
2D
documents in the transcripts and microfilm collections of the Libraryof Congress.
 
3
The Pay List
“Appointements et Gages des officiers de Port, Pilottes, et autres Entretenus pour leservice de la Marine, à la Nouvelle Orleans,” 31 December 1759, AN, Colonies D
2D
10,documents arranged by year; Library of Congress microfilm, Louisiana Colonial RecordsProject, reel 30.New OrleansColony of Louisiana1759Salaries and Wages of the Port29150
#
officers, Pilots, and others maintained for Service26810
#
of the Marine at New Orleans25 Sep 1767Account of the Sums paid to the Port officers, Pilots25 Sep 1767and others maintained in the colony of Louisiana for1750their Salaries and Wages of the year one thousand sevenhundred Fifty-Nine.1769To Wit:#sd
13
to the Sieur Livaudais, port captain, forhis salary of the said year 1759, the sum of.............................1200.""to the named Roquigny, working pilot-in-training(
eleve pilotte pratique
) of the river, for
idem
14
.......................1000.""to the named Loüis Colette
idem
for
idem
.........................................600.""to the named Duverge, ship master at NewOrleans, for his wages of 
idem
...............................................1200.""to Jean Cosset, master carpenter,
à
 
idem
.........................................1200.""to Jean Veillon
à
 
idem
....................................................................1000.""to Jean Cosset
 fils
 
ainé 
15
 
à
 
idem
.......................................................300.""to Jacque Cosset
cadet 
16
 
à
 
idem
........................................................300.""to Julien Morin
à
 
idem
......................................................................300.""to the named Jean-Baptiste Veillon
 fils
 
ainé 
, apprenticecarpenter,
à
 
idem
.....................................................................150.""to the named François Veillon
cadet 
 
à
 
idem
......................................150.""to the named Raimond Bardon, pulley maker,
à
 
idem
......................................................................................900.""to the named Mathieu Parent
à
 
idem
.................................................900.""to the named Champion, master sail-maker,
à
 
idem
...........................600""to the named Negrier
 père,
17
 
 patron
of transportboats,
à
 
idem
...........................................................................720.""_____________Total........10,580.""[end page 1]

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