M.D. Girard papers, 1774-1902 | Louisiana Research Collection

By Jazmin Smith

Collection Overview

Title: M.D. Girard papers, 1774-1902

ID: LaRC/Manuscripts Collection 638

Primary Creator: Girard, M. D. (Marie D.)

Extent: 1.0 Boxes. More info below.

Arrangement: Arranged chronologically. The collection consists of 1 box. It is 1.5 linear feet.

Subjects: Drivon, Antoine Tauvin Bernard., French -- United States -- History., French language -- Louisiana -- History., French language -- United States -- History., Girard, M. D. (Marie D.), New Orleans (La.) -- History., Women teachers -- United States -- History -- 19th century.

Forms of Material: Articles., Birth certificates., Clippings (information artifacts), Correspondence., Letterbooks., Marriage certificates., Notebooks., Writings.

Languages: English, French

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection consists mostly of French handwritten correspondence by Marie Drivon Girard (1814-1913); her father, Antoine Tauvin Bernard Drivon; her first husband, Jean Marie Aquart; and her cousins, the Alexanders. Also included are notebooks with theological and historical writings by Girard; account books; birth, baptismal and marriage certificates of members of the Drivon, Aquart and Girard families; French grammatical exercises; newspaper clippings from the Louisiana French newspaper, L'Abeille, including articles written by Girard; and a photograph.

Biographical Note

Marie Louise Hieroniyme Drivon de Perry, born Jan. 16, 1814, in Liverpool, England, came from an aristocratic family originating in Sainte-Lucie, in the Lesser Antilles. Her father was Antoine Tauvin Bernard Drivon and her mother was Jeanne Drivon. At the age of nine, she and her mother moved to Paris, where she was educated; eventually the two returned to Sainte-Lucie. Marie married Jean Marie Aquart in 1836, but he died just two years later. For economic reasons, the family was forced to abandon the once prosperous island plantation, and in the early 1840s purchased a home in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. She married Osiris Augustin Girard, who disappeared while fighting in the Mexican War. She had two children, both of whom got scarlet fever in 1853; the daughter, Marie Acquart, recovered and lived until 1906, but her son Auguste died. M.D. Girard became a prominent and admired teacher of the French language to the New Orleans community. She wrote a book entitled Histoire des Etats-Unis suivie de L'Historie de la Louisiane, published in 1881. She died in New Orleans in 1913 at the age of ninety-nine. A biographical memoir, Madame Girard, was written by Grace King in 1922.

Subject/Index Terms

Drivon, Antoine Tauvin Bernard.
French -- United States -- History.
French language -- Louisiana -- History.
French language -- United States -- History.
Girard, M. D. (Marie D.)
New Orleans (La.) -- History.
Women teachers -- United States -- History -- 19th century.

Administrative Information

Repository: Louisiana Research Collection

Alternate Extent Statement: 1.5 linear feet

Access Restrictions: Collection is open to the public. No known restrictions.

Use Restrictions: Physical rights are retained by the Louisiana Research Collection. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.

Preferred Citation: M.D. Girard papers, Manuscripts Collection 638, Louisiana Research Collection, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118.

Processing Information: Collection processed in 1981 by JHE.

Finding Aid Revision History: Finding aid information entered in Archon by LAC Group in 2011. Revised by LAC Group 8/17/11.

Other Note: OCLC Number: 458294594


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Box:

[Box 1: Marie Drivon Girard papers],
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Box 1: Marie Drivon Girard papers
Folder 1: Correspondence and family papers, 1774-1902

1774 July 9. Baptismal certificate of Jeanne Motet, daughter of Joseph Motet and Jeanne Laferre, born 1774 June 19 and baptized in St. Anne Parish, Island of Sainte Lucie (added notation acknowledging death of Jeanne Motet on 1875 September 26 in New Orleans and signed by Marie Drivon Girard, her daughter). In French.

1800 March 19. Marriage contract passed in La Soufrière [Castries], Sainte Lucie between Antoine Tauvin Bernard Drivon and Jeanne Motet, widow of Charles Francois Gervais; both parties reside in La Soufrière, Sainte Lucie. In French.

1814 September 29. Baptismal certificate of Marie Louise Hiéronyme Drivon, daughter of Antoine Thauvin Bernard Drivon and Jeanne Motet, born 1814 January 16 and baptized in Liverpool, England (certified copy). In French.

1824 April 19. Robertine Alexandre, Castries, Sainte Lucie to Marie Drivon, Paris. Discusses the upcoming arrival of Mary's father to France, fears that her cousin's poor health has caused her studies to suffer but recommends strict application and realizes that the death of her brother, Joseph, has been grievous for the family. Entreats Mary to write of news and notes the progress of Thorain. In French.

1828 August 19. Marie Drivon, Paris to Antoine Tauvin Bernard Drivon, Castries, Sainte Lucie. Expresses pleasure on receiving father's long letter and on learning of his restored health but feels anxious about brother Dominique's ill health. Informs father that she is learning Italian and discusses other subjects she is studying. In French.

Folder 2: Correspondence and family papers, 1774-1902

1828-1836. Account and letterbook of Jean Marie Aquart.

1828 October 7-December 1. Scattered entries of payments to various persons for books, notebooks, and flute and language lessons. In French.

undated. Fragment. States that his mother would have never allowed him to lend "them" to the neighbor for more than a week if he had not agreed to the condition. Reassures him that his own mulatto slaves are not diseased; only two were afflicted with the malady. And besides, if the neighbor discovers another ill one, he will have the good sense to return him immediately. In French.

undated. Letter to Mlle. Peamette. Entreats her to accept a little present as a sign of his esteem and friendship. Sends special endearments to her mother. In French.

1835 December 28. Letter to Euphemie. Expresses philosophy, love, and entreats her to explain his own inadequacies to his love, Marie Drivon. In French.

1835 December. Letter to Noel. Announces that he has accepted prematurely the plan for him to be one of the arbitrators at the inventory of the orange grove, stating that Noel should first inquire into the wishes of the Porc family. In French.

undated. Letter to Dr. Drysdale. Informs Drysdale that his mother wishes to allow his sister a free choice concerning marriage to him.

undated. Extract from a letter written to Dr. Drysdale according to Orasie Aquart's wish. States that Orasie will not sign the marriage bans till he fulfills a promise made to her. In French.

undated. Letter to Madame Joyeaux. Discusses her unfortunate financial plight but expresses gratitude for her promise to repay the debts owed him by next year. In French.

undated. Letter to Madame Coupérie, his aunt. Expresses pleasure of receiving her last letter, discovering that she is enjoying good health. In addition finds delight in thinking of her for it seems to reduce the distance which separates them. Also comments upon her uncle's upcoming arrival in France and the approaching marriage of his niece. In French.

undated. Letter to Clement Juge. Writes disparagingly of Juge, criticizing his propensity to accumulate debts and pretensions concerning his education. Also informs him that he has been legally appointed church warden and denies boasting of his full coffers, noting that this is more acceptable than being assailed by creditors. In French.

undated. Letter to Madame Coupérie. Sends special endearments and approves of niece's marriage. In French.

1836 January 11. Letter to Dr. Drysdale. Informs Drysdale that he must sign the marriage bans below Orasie's signature and includes the baptismal and proper names of his mother and father. Adds that Drysdale must supply proof of being at least 30 years old or that he has the permission of his parents to marry before Abby Chevalier. In French.

undated. Letter to Madame Drivon. Entreats her to accept the invitation on behalf of his mother and expresses the depth of attachment he feels for her. In French.

undated. Letter to Mademoiselle Robertine Alexander. Discusses pain of being deprived of her friendship but adds that they will be cousins after his marriage to Marie in April. Moreover, he states that he has obtained the assurances of being loved by Marie. Also sends news of her family. In French.

1836 February 4. Letter to Madam Coupérie. Notifies aunt that his sister's marriage occured last January 26 and his own will occur in the middle of April. Describes Marie and her talents and relays that he has permission of both families to marry. In French.

1836 February 4. Fragment. Letter to Broca. States that he has received the gun and two watches in good order and discusses payment of the bill. In addition, explains that the serious matter he was referring to was his approaching marriage to Marie Drivon. In French.

1836 February 21. Letter to his niece, Phiphenè. Notes that she is at the point of making her first communion and sends best wishes and blessings, hoping she will be able to receive God with dignity. Also forgives the past wrongs she committed against him and invites her to visit Gros Blet, the next time she is in Castries. In French.

1836 February 14. Letter to Marie Drivon. Entreats her to write for she must realize the degree of torment her silence causes him. In French.

1836 March 7. Letter to Marie Drivon. Explains that his failure to express any sort of gratitude for her father's friendly welcome was due to his preoccupation with the thought of separation from her. Sends news of Marie's mother and Mrs. Alexander; adds that Amable Druit left yesterday with his Excellency to repair the road from Demerie and that he himself has not yet completed the commission from Drivon. In French.

undated. Letter to Antoine Tauvin Bernard Drivon. Describes voyage from La Soufriére and spectacle in Castries last Saturday. The army paraded with an art which ceded nothing to the conquerors of Marengo and Austerlitz, and it was the governor who was object of this public admiration. Adds that this great outpouring of enthusiasm was comparable to viewing Napoleon, leading his great army to the walls of the Cremlin. In French.

1836 March 25. Letter to "Small." Invites "Small" to his wedding which will take place on April 12. In English.

Folder 3: Writings and manuscripts

1829 May 19. Manuscript offering advice on friendship and anxiety over past events. In English.

1829 June 10. Notebook entitled "Reflections on the Sermons from the Retreat Given by Abby Feran" and written by Marie Drivon, covering such topics as the necessity of a retreat, the last judgement, death, Hell, and the sacraments. Following each reflection is a resolution to meditate, pray or endure suffering with patience. Also there is a final comment by Abby Feran, entreating Marie to keep the book as a remembrance of the pleasure received from her first communion. In French.

1829 August 1. Notebook of writings concerning rules of behavior after first communion, written by Marie Drivon. Included is a final comment by Abby Feran, suggesting she reduce the number of mortifications as her goal. In French.

1829 November 13. Christine Alexander Lloyd to Madame Jeanne Drivon, Paris. Explains the reason for not writing as attributable to her ill health and informs aunt of the birth of her child five months ago. States that she will be leaving Sainte Lucie shortly. Also notifies her that Sir David Stewart is the new governor, an old friend with the Ministry for the Colonies, who has refused the admission of poor Italians to the island, thereby granting the inhabitants the justice to which they are accustomed. In French.

Folder 4: Notebooks

1829. Notebooks of Marie Drivon, dealing with such theological issues as prayer, the nature of God, and sin. Also included are resolutions, prayers to St. Augustine and to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. There is also a final comment commending her excellent analysis. In French.

1829. Notebooks of Marie Drivon, entitled "Universal History, Volume III," including an account of the early Roman emperors, with their chronology. In French.

Folder 5: Correspondence, 1830-1832

1830 August 10. Marie Drivon, Paris to Antoine Tauvin Bernard Drivon, Castries, Sainte Lucie. Informs father that mother's health has improved but reminds him that mother can not live in the warm climate of Sainte Lucie. Also describes the great Parisian revolution and the admirable union between the people, the bourgeoisie, and all the world, stating that the Tricolor flag now floats over the capital and the Duc of Orléans is king. Included is a description of the courageous efforts of the young men of the Ecole Polytechnique. In French.

1831 July 31. Antoine Tauvin Bernard Drivon, Castries, Sainte Lucie to Marie Drivon, Paris. Wants daughter to accompany André Girard back to the island and her mother to come as well for her presence is more necessary here. Admonishes Marie for not writing Christine and promises that her brother Dominique will write her if he arrives before André Girard departs. In French.

1832 March 9. Incomplete letter to Marie Drivon. Discusses eruption of Vésole, compares the writers of the past, like Homer and Virgil, to the contemporary scholars and describes activities, such as viewing the ballet and visiting St. Peter's Basilica. In French.

Folder 6: Correspondence and family papers, 1834-1837

1834 September 12. J.F. Macbreedy, Castries, Sainte Lucie to Marie Drivon. Expresses gratitude for kindness shown to himself and his wife by his cousin and her family; also reassures her that she will long live in remembrance of them both despite their departure. In English.

1836 March 7. Explains that his failure to express any sort of gratitude for her father's friendly welcome was due to his preoccupation with the thought of separation from her. Sends news of Marie's mother and Mrs. Alexander; adds that Amable Druit left yesterday with his Excellency to repair the road from Demerie and that he himself has not yet completed the commission from Drivon. In French.

1836 April 10. Jean Marie Aquart, Castries, Sainte Lucie to Marie Drivon. Professes feelings of profound love for Marie, believing that their union will be based on solid love. In French.

1836 April 13. Marriage contract passed in Castries, Sainte Lucie between Jean Marie Aquart and Marie Hiéronime Drivon; both parties reside in Castries, Sainte Lucie (certified copy dated 1845 May 1). In English and French.

1837 March 22. Jean Marie Aquart to Marie Drivon Aquart, Castries, Sainte Lucie. Is upset that Marie is still afflicted with the fever and hopes that her stay in Castries will be beneficial. Describes unsuccessful efforts to save a newborn calf and feels that the manager is lax in controlling the Negro workers, a fact which may be attributable to his lack of sobriety. In French.

Folder 7: Correspondence and family papers, 1838-1846

1838 June 3. Death certificate of Jean Marie Aquart, inhabitant of Sainte Lucie, who died on 1838 May 30 at the age of 30 (certificate filed in Martinique). In French.

1841 August. Antoine Tauvin Bernard Drivon, Bordeaux to Marie Drivon Aquart, Castries, Sainte Lucie. Describes the passengers on the vessel and states that he spends the majority of his time praying and reading. Also, longs for the opportunity to see Marie again, believes that she is one of God's elected ones, and expresses gratitude for the care and attention she gave him while he was in Sainte Lucie. In French.

1842 January 3. Antoine Tauvin Bernard Drivon, Pontaumur, France to Christine Alexander Lloyd, Sainte Lucie (however, the letter is written to Marie Drivon Aquart, his daughter). Describes his company on his departure from Boston, informs her that he has received her last letters, and expresses gratitude for little Marie's [the granddaughter] lines addressed to him. Also feels that it is prudent to allow her the opportunity to make a decision concerning her marriage to Osiris François Augustin Girard and grants his blessing. Added note to Girard, directing him to make his daughter happy, advises them not to delay their union, and lauds the value of good family. Finally, sends best to Christine with an additional note from Aunt Tardif to Marie, who sends blessings for the forthcoming marriage. In French.

1843 June 29. Antoine Tauvin Bernard Drivon, de Peyrie, Nimes to his children (letter seems to be written to Marie Drivon Girard and her husband). Expresses gratitude for receipt of her last letter and explains need to receive money from her so that he may pay for his lodging. Notes that the city is full of foreigners and that he was presented to the royal court by his cousin. Also feels afflicted because of his separation from the family in his advanced years and ends letter with special endearments to the family. In French.

1844 May 9. Baptismal certificate of Charles Jean Auguste Girard, son of Osiris François Augustin Girard and Marie Hiéronime Drivon, born 1843 November 2 and baptized in Ascension Parish (certified copy dated 1847 October 17). In French.

1846 August 5. Baptismal certificate of Marie Bertha Augusta Girard, daughter of Osiris François Augustin Girard and Marie Hiéronime Drivon, born 1845 October 9 and baptized in Ascension Parish (certified copy 1847 October 7). In French.

Folder 8: Correspondence, 1851-1858

1851 August 15. Auguste Girard, New Orleans to Marie Drivon Girard. Sends words of endearment to his mother on the Feast of the Assumption. In English. Attached sheet of a repeated sentence acknowledging the care parents give to children. In French.

1853 February 15. French dictation of Auguste Girard with line stating that this is the last dictation of her beloved child. In French. On verso: (S. St. A.?) to my dear mistress. Informs her that she accepts idea of having that woman take her place among us. In French.

1853 March 2. E.V. to Marie Drivon Girard, New Orleans. States that she can give her no consolation on the loss of her son, Auguste, realizing that only time will alleviate the pain. Also offers a bouquet of flowers for Auguste. In French.

1853 March 3. Hélène D'Aquin to Marie Drivon Girard, New Orleans. Regrets not writing sooner and feels that Madame Girard thinks her indifferent concerning the death of Auguste. Also explains that her mother prevented her from visiting when it was discovered that the children were afflicted with scarlet fever. Offers prayers and flowers for Auguste. In French.

1858 September 8. Adolphe C., New Orleans to Marie Drivon Girard. Improvisation whereby the author expresses profound feelings for Marie Drivon Girard. In French.

Folder 9: Manuscripts and correspondence, 1875-1911

1875 October 28. C. Tardif, Paris to Marie Drivon Girard, New Orleans. Writes cousin, acknowledging the death of her mother, adding that her mother's calm at the last moments must have been a source of comfort for the family. Also entreats Marie to return to France, so that they may see each other again and to send news of the family. In French.

1882 March 24. Richard Lesclide, Paris to Marie Drivon Girard, New Orleans. Letter expressing gratitude for her two-volume book, Histoire des Etats Unis suivie de L'Histoire de la Louisiane, she sent to Victor Hugo's grandchildren. In French.

1899 May 5. Unknown correspondent, Castries, Sainte Lucie to her dear aunt, Marie Drivon Girard, New Orleans. Expresses feelings of warmth for Marie's last letter written to Uncle Lloyd. Sends news of various members of the family, including the account of her remarriage, her husband's death by drowning, and the death of her two children. In French. Incomplete.

1911 November 7. Short description of the motivating force behind Northern agression in the Civil War and signed by Marie Drivon Girard. In English.

Folder 10: Newspaper clippings, 1895-1902

page 1

1895 March 23. Newspaper clipping entitled "Distinguished Women, Mme. Mary Drivon Girard - One of the Geniuses of New Orleans" from The Daily Item. In English.

page 2

1895 April 18. Newspaper clipping entitled "Jeanne D'Arc" from The Daily States, written by Marie Drivon Girard. In French.

1898 September 1. Newspaper clipping entitled "Les Medicis" from L'Abeille, written by Marie Drivon Girard. In French.

1899 September 1. Newspaper clipping entitled "Le Cid Campéador" from L'Abeille, written by Marie Drivon Girard. In French.

1897. Newspaper clipping eulogizing Sébastien Kneipp for his contribution to charity and his care for the suffering; although dead, his work will not perish. Published in L'Abeille and written by Marie Drivon Girard. In French.

page 3

1890 December 28. Newspaper clipping entitled "Au Docteur George Howe - Souvenir" and written by Marie Drivon Girard. In French.

1904 January 14. Newspaper clipping entitled "Dahlia" and written by Marie Drivon Girard. In French.

1902 June 7. Newspaper clipping entitled "St. Pierre, Martinique - Mes Souvenirs" from L'Abeille, written by Marie Drivon Girard. In French.

1902 August 31. Newspaper clipping entitled "Au Comte Ferdinand De Lesseps" from L'Abeille, written by Marie Drivon Girard. In French.

page 4

1900 April 15. Newspaper clipping entitled "Hosanna" from L'Abeille, written by Marie Drivon Girard. In French.

1900 September 1. Newspaper clipping entitled "La Princesse des Ursins" from L'Abeille, written by Marie Drivon Girard. In French.

Folder 11: French lessons, correspondence, and other papers, undated

E.A. Ferguson to her sister, Marie Drivon Girard, New Orleans. Is anxious for Marie has not written in a long time, laments the death of sister Bessie who has left eight young children and states that the country is in an upriorous state.  Incomplete.

French card with a tribute to Mary [Marie Drivon Girard].

French lessons defining different parts of speech and their use in sentences.  Seems also to have comments after each exercise.

French lessons listing the cases of nouns.

Folder 12: French lessons, undated

French lessons listing the cases of nouns. Seems to have comments after each exercise.

Lessons listing verb declensions in French and English. Seems to have comments following each exercise.

French lessons listing verb declensions. Seems to have comments following each exercise.

French lessons listing verb declensions. Seems to have comments following each exercise.

French lessons defining parts of speech and their use in sentences.

Folder 13: Photograph of Marie Drivon Girard, undated
Age 88.


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