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responsible for the individual debts of its members or of its several houses, each house being alone responsible for its debts, but the courts decided against the Society and they appealed from the decision of the courts to the Parliament of Paris, which confirmed the judgments of said courts, with order to pay Lavalette's debts within one year.
Lavalette was found guilty by his superiors of having engaged in a trade, contrary to the rules of the Society, and was expelled from its membership.
By reference to the History of the Society of Jesus, by Cretineau-Joly, at pages 249 and 250, I read the following:
"The Parliament had acted in the interest of the creditors, it struck them out from the debate, as soon as it could reach higher. The scandal of the failure served as a stepping stone to passions which had been too much compressed for not bursting out. The Parliament forgot the creditors of Lavalette, who were never paid, not even after the confiscation of the property of the Society; and it attributed to itself the right to judge the foundation of the Institute. The house of Martinique and the lands of Dominique were purchased by the victorious English, for the price of 4,000,000 livres; said properties consequently being able to answer, over and above the debt of 2,400,000 livres."
I will also quote the following passages from a letter written by Father F. P. Watrin, dated Paris, September 3rd, 1764, a Jesuit, who was in Louisiana at the time of the seizure and sale of the Jesuits' Plantation, to be found in Vol. LXX, entitled “The Jesuit Relations,” edited by the Secretary of the State Historical Society of Minnesota:
"In the proceedings of the Supreme Council it was decreed that the Institute of the Jesuits be brought to the Council for examination; and the decree of the court was to the effect that the Institute was hostile to the royal authority, to the rights of the bishops, and to the public peace and safety; and that the vows uttered according to said Institute were null; prohibiting the Jesuits to use their name hereafter, or to wear their customary garb; they to assume that of the secular ecclesiastics; with the exception of their books and some wearing apparel which was allowed to them, all their property, real and personal, was seized and sold at auction. It was further decreed that the chapel ornaments and sacred vases of New Orleans be delivered up to the Capuchin Fathers, that the chapel ornaments and sacred vessels of the Jesuits in Illinois be delivered up to the Royal Procurator for that country, and that the chapels should then be demolished; and that finally the Jesuits should return to France, embarking upon the first ships ready to depart, prohibiting them meanwhile from remaining together; a sum of 600 livres was assigned to pay each one's passage and another of 1500 francs for their sustenance and support for six months. They were to present themselves after that term to the Duke of Choiseul. to ask him for the pensions which would be assigned from the proceeds of the sale of the property. The decree also mentioned the fact that the reasons for judgment were that the Jesuits had not taken care of their missions; that they had thought only of making their estate valuable; and that they were usurpers of the vicariate-general of New Orleans."
The letter concludes that the above was not substantiated by facts in the case.
Among the many valuable papers in the State Museum archives in this city is to be found a printed copy of letters patent granted by the King of France, at Versailles, on June 3rd, 1763, relative to the seizure of the properties of the Society and Company of Jesus, situated in the French Colonies, in which it appears that by a decree rendered by the Parliament of Paris, on April 23rd, 1762, permission was granted to the creditors of said Society to form themselves into a syndicate, with power to seize all their property, without exception. By letters patent rendered on August 1st, 1764, without derogation to the other letters patent of February 11th, 1763, and of June 3rd, 1763, granted to said creditors concerning properties situated in Louisiana, it was ordained that the proceeds of the sale of said properties be remitted directly into the hands of the duly constituted agents of the general syndics, to be sent either in kind or by bills of exchange drawn on merchants in France, payable to the Sequestrator or depository named by decree of Parliament of Paris, rendered on May 19th, 1762, in order to facilitate the payment of the aforesaid obligations.
It appears from the above decrees that the proceedings instituted against the Jesuit Fathers before the Superior Council of the Province of Louisiana were not in the nature of a confiscation by the French government, but were a seizure and sale to satisfy the claims of their creditors. It may be said that the ulterior motive of these proceedings against the Jesuits probably was the ill feeling which the French government then bore towards them, using as a pretext the failure of Lavalette to down the Society ;-as properly said by one of the Jesuit Fathers, that: “Lavalette's conduct made a fine handle for the whip to scourge the Jesuits, but it was not the motive of the scourging."
On December 1st, 1764, by royal edict of the King of France, the Society of Jesus was dissolved throughout the King's dominions. On the 1st day of April, 1767, the Jesuits in Spain and their colonies were banished and sent to the Papal states, and in 1772 Pope Clement XIV ordered the closing of the principal college at Rome, pronouncing the suppression of the Order of Jesuits, which then numbered over 22,000 members, scattered all over the world.
The Jesuit Fathers, after the dissolution of their Society, remained in the various countries where they resided, and devoted themselves mainly to the education of boys. On August 7th, 1814, Pope Pius VII reinstated the Order of Jesuits in all Catholic countries.
And in conclusion allow me to state that the Jesuit Fathers, through their energy and intelligence, cultivated extensively the plantation above described, in indigo, corn, sugar cane and agricultural products, and they were the first during the colonial days to demonstrate how valuable and rich was the soil of Louisiana, on the Mississippi River; they were the first to encourage the establishment of a tannery on the upper limits of their plantation by the Durand Brothers; they were the first to introduce sugar cane in Louisiana, which they planted and cultivated with success in the year 1751, on their plantation; in fact, they took a leading part in all the affairs tending to the progress and welfare of the Colony. .
The Jesuit Fathers, after an absence of seventy-two years, came back to Louisiana under the banner of the Stars and Stripes, in 1835, to enjoy the rights of life, liberty and property guaranteed under the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana.
• CHARLES T. SONIAT. New Orleans, La., November 17th, 1909.
REMINISCENCES OF JOHN JAMES AUDUBON.
By THE REVEREND GORDON BAKEWELL
An Address Delivered Before the Louisiana Historical Society,
In response to the request that I should give some of my reminiscences of Mr. Audubon, I beg your indulgence while I endeavor to give you something of interest on this subject.
To elucidate one point in his history which for a long time was questionable, I begin with extracts from the Autobiography of Mr. Audubon, addressed to his sons, which was discovered after his death among his papers (without date), and which but few have read. He says: “The precise period of my birth is yet an enigma to me; and I can only say what I have often heard my father repeat to me on this subject, which is as follows: It seems that my father had large properties in Santo Domingo, and was in the habit of visiting, frequently, that portion of our Southern States called and known by the name of Louisiana, then owned by the French government. During one of these excursions he married a lady of Spanish extraction, who, I have been led to understand, was as beautiful as she was wealthy and otherwise attractive, and who bore my father three sons and a daughter, I being the youngest of the sons, and the only one who survived extreme youth. My mother, soon after my birth, accompanied my father to the estate of Aux-Cayes, on the Island of Santo Domingo; and she was one of the victims during the ever-tobe-lamented period of the negro insurrection of that island.”
The evident conclusion from this statement of his father must be, that Audubon was a native of this State; for if his mother did not leave Louisiana for Santo Domingo till shortly after his birth, he certainly was born here. But at