Degas family. | Tulane University Special Collections
Name: Degas family.
Historical Note: The Musson family's cotton business had financial relations with the transatlantic import-export company operated by Edgar Degas' brothers René and Achille. In addition, the Musson family worked with the banking firm headed by Degas' father, Auguste, in France. Estelle Musson was married to René Degas and they had five children: Gaston, Odile, Jeanne, Pierre, and Josephine Balfour. He later deserted them in New Orleans to marry another woman. The Degas-Musson clan was involved in an ill-fated scheme of investing in Confederate bonds during the American Civil War. A large loss in cotton futures in 1866 also created a large debt that plagued the Degas bank during the 1870s. Edgar Degas' uncle Eugène Musson slowly descended into insanity during this period. Michel Musson, another uncle living in New Orleans, was director and president of the New Orleans Mutual Insurance Association, as well as a former Confederate and leader of the White League, a racist organization that incited street fighting in New Orleans during the early 1870s, in the attempted ousting of radical Republican rule.
Sources: Manuscripts Collection 226
Note Author: LAC Group