De La Boulaye and D'Honincthun Letterbook, 1828-1830
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Brief Description:

This letterbook contains the correspondence of managers of the Doukitt indigo plantation and Jay store near Saint Louis, Senegal. The owners of these businesses, although unnamed in the letterbook, seem to have been the Abbé Pierre de la Boulaye, General Secretary of the Marine in France, and Auguste Henri Cazin d’Honincthun, Baron and captain of the Cavalry.

Mr. Brian, in charge of the store, and Mr. Brunet, in charge of the indigo plantation, sent regular news about the needs and management of the businesses. Of note, Mr. Brian discusses the workers in charge of making bricks and wheelbarrows, their discontent regarding food allocation and workload. The letters mention the workers’ refusal to put up with work conditions and the flight of many in previous years.

The letterbook also contains a few letters written from France in 1830, after the Doukitt plantation was burned down during the civil and religious unrest that plagued the region in the late 1820s, in which one of the business managers asks for credit to set up his own store.

This letterbook is a valuable source to understand not only the effects of European encroachment in West Africa, but also the commercial and work relations that established themselves between Europeans and Africans.

Held at:
Louisiana Research Collection
202 Jones Hall
6801 Freret Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
Phone: 504-865-5685
Email: larc [at]
Record Series Number: LaRC/Manuscripts Collection M-1172
Volume: 50.0 Letters
Arrangement: Letters are arranged in chronological order.
Access Restrictions: Collection is open to the public. No known restrictions.
Languages of Materials
French [fre]
Rights/Use Restrictions: Physical rights are retained by the Louisiana Research Collection. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.
PreferredCitation: De La Boulaye and D'Honincthun Letterbook, Manuscripts Collection M-1172, Louisiana Research Collection, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118.