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COLLECTION Identifier: A/A941

Papers of the d'Autremont family, 1764-1955 (inclusive), 1764-1897 (bulk)


Typed translations of family letters and genealogical information of the d'Autremont family.


  • 1764-1955
  • Majority of material found within 1764-1897

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Originals closed; use digital images.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by the d'Autremont family is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


3 folders

D'Autremont family papers contain typed copies of translated letters and other translated documents related to the d'Autremont family. Included are English translations of Marie Jeanne d'Autremont's correspondence, especially letters between her and her son Louis Paul while he was living in Paris, France (1797-1807). These letters provide insight into the establishment and management of a frontier farm in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. They discuss shortages and high prices of household goods; the high cost of labor, travel, building materials, and land; relations with family members, particularly Alexandre's wife; and the purchase of enslaved girls and "Negro servants." Letters from Louis Paul d'Autremont also include personal and business advice to his mother, information on business ventures, land purchases, marriage, and prospects for his brothers. Collection also includes translations of other letters between Louis Paul and Auguste (Augustin) and other family members and acquaintances; a photograph of Charles d'Autremont, Jr. (1852); newspaper clipping about Azilum; French will and testament of Augustin Guillaume Dohet (1830s); genealogical materials of the d'Autremont family; excerpt of a diary of Hubert d'Autremont, the husband of Marie Jeanne d'Autremont; excerpts of birth certificates; and correspondence among d'Autremont descendants about their family history. Also included are letters from or with information about Victor du Pont de Nemours.


Marie Jeanne d'Autremont (1745-1809) was born in France in 1745, and came to America around 1792 with her three sons, Louis Paul (born 1770), Alexandre Hubert (born 1776), Augustin (Auguste) Francois Cecile (1783-1860), her sister, Marie Genevieve Dohet le Fevre and her sister's husband, Antoine Barthelemy Louis le Fevre. They lived and farmed in various places in or near New York State, first on a piece of land that she had purchased while still in France, and later in Azilum (Asylum), Butternuts, and Angelica.

At the time of the French Revolution a handful of families of French royalists who escaped from France settled on the Susquehanna river in northern Pennsylvania, in a colony called Azilum (Asylum), also known as French Town. For a while Marie Jeanne d'Autremont resided there with her three sons. Around 1796 French diplomat Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, who had been living in exile in the United States, returned to France with Louis Paul d'Autremont, who accompanied him as his private secretary. Louis Paul became a speculator in land and at various times sent his mother and brothers sums of money to invest in land in the United States, where he also had claims to large tracts of land. In 1832, Louis Paul returned to the United States for a short time.

The colony of Azilum dissolved in the early 1800s. Marie Jeanne d'Autremont and her two sons, Alexandre and Augustin, left for a place called Butternuts in New York State. They lived there until 1806 when they then left for Angelica, New York. They traveled to Angelica with a French American diplomat, politician, and businessman Victor du Pont de Nemours (1767-1827) and a French aristocrat, diplomat, and politician Jean-Guillaume, Baron Hyde de Neuville.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 77-M44

The papers of the d'Autremont family were given to the Schlesinger Library by Suzanne d'Autremont Pratt via Frank Freidel, in 1976-1977.

Processing Information

Processed: July 1985

Updated and additional description added: November 2020

By: Laura Peimer

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

d'Autremont family. Papers of the d'Autremont family, 1764-1955 (inclusive), 1764-1897 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Pforzheimer Fund for the Schlesinger Library, Sybil Shainwald Fund at the Schlesinger Library, Mary Mitchell Wood Manuscript Processing Fund, and Class of 1956 Schlesinger Library Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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