France and a River
Our history begins with a muddy river called the Mississippi and dense swamplands. Rene-Robert Cavelier Sieur de Salle traveled the beginning of the river to its end. He claimed the territory for France anticipating it to be a source of great wealth for the country. A young son of a Paris financial family, which was part of the court of Louis XV, packed his trunks and sailed to the new world. Destined to find a family that would have a profound impact on Louisiana and the entire United States, he helped set standards by which new territories would be included into the union and shaped the laws of the State of Louisiana. Little did this young man suspect that his son's family home would still be standing in the 21st century; the home we now refer to as Destrehan Plantation.
A Royal Treasurer for Louisiana
The Destrehan family in Louisiana begins with Jean Baptiste Honore Destrehan, Sieur De Peaupre (1716-1765). He was the son of Jean Baptiste Destrehan (ca. 1670-1740), who was councilor to King Louis XIV and treasurer of all arts and crafts guilds in Paris and its environs. In 1730, when Jean Baptiste Honore Destrehan arrived in Louisiana, he took a job as a clerk in the office of ordonnateur held by Edme Gatien de Solmon. After Salmon's dismissal, the new ordonnateur, Lenormant appointed Destrehan the treasurer of the colony.
Marriages and Liaisons
In 1745, Jean Baptiste Honore Destrehan married Catherine de Gauvry and moved into her family home. Jean Baptiste Honore and Catherine had seven children.
- Jean Baptiste Honore Destrehan (b. 1749, d. 1775)
- Jeanne Marguerite Destrehan (b. 1751, d. 1814)
- Jeanne Marie Destrehan (b.1753, d. 1798)
- Marie Elizabeth Isabel Destrehan (b. 1755, d. 1817)
- Jeanne Catherine Destrehan (b. 1756, d. 1773)
- Jean Baptiste Louis Destrehan (b. 1758, d. 1776)
- Jean Noel Destrehan (born 1759, d. 1823)
- Catalina "Catiche" (born 1738, d. 1821) illegitimate daughter born to one of Jean Baptiste's slaves, Marie Genevieve Bienville.