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Re: "Cavalier in the Wilderness" by Ross Phares
Posted by: Rosie Morein Wells (ID *****1995) Date: July 15, 2002 at 04:58:30
In Reply to: de St. denis & DeSoto by Bill Swearingen of 142

Dear Bill,

"Cavalier in the Wilderness: The story of the explorer and trader Louis Juchereau de St. Denis" by Ross Phares, Louisiana Sate University Press, Baton Rouge

"For the greater part of the first half of the eighteenth century, Louis Juchereau de St. Denis was the guiding force on the Louisiana-Texas frontier. It is probable that no other man exercised such a determining influence over so long a period in the early affairs of Louisiana and Texas. His rare talents served a vital and peculiar need for colonial France in a critical and most formative period."

There is a copy of the book in the Birmingham Library. Ask your librarian if the book is in a library near you.

I first located "Fleur des Lys", also pub. by Louisiana State University. This book contains numerous references to Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, and on the back cover, I saw the title "Cavalier in the Wilderness..". Both books are excellent resources.

I found references to de St. Denis (vars. de St. Denys, St. Denis, Jucherot de St. Denis, Juchereau dit St. Denis) and Emmanuella: see Emmanuella Maria Stephania Sanchez Navarro in "Natchitoches: Abstracts of the Catholic Church Registers of the French and Spanish Post of St. Jean Baptiste des Natchitoches in Louisiana: 1729-1803" by Elizabeth S. Mills

Another one of my ancestors, "Joachin de Ortega y Prieto, progenitor of the Ortego family of Southwest Louisiana, was a fascinating, interesting, and far-sighted character. He apparently enjoyed a formal and highly-toned education in Spain and, when he married MARIA DAMASAINTE of the DE SOTO-ST. DENYS clan in Louisiana, at once he became an important figure in Louisiana colonial frontier life"
Source: "Joachin de Ortega y Prieto: The Spanish Ancestry of a Gateway Pioneer in Colonial Louisiana" by Winston de Ville, F.A.S.G. pub. "La Voix des Prairies" No. 10. "La voix des Prairies" is the quarterly newsletter of The Evangeline Genealogical & Historical Society, p. O. Box 664, Ville Platte, LA 70586, James Reed, Editor, "La Voix des Praries"

Mabel Alice Thompson writes in "Looking Back: A Narrative History of Bayou Chicot", p. 13

"Marie des Neiges Juchereau de St. Denys y Sanchez-Navarro was the daughter of the founder of Natchitoches, Louis Juchereau de St. Denys. According to the prominent French historian, Prof. Marcel Giraud, St. denys single-handedly guarded French interest in Louisiana prior even to the founding of the oldest permanent settlement in the state. In 1714, having blazed the Old Spanish Trail across Texas, while in Mexico, he met, fell in love with, and married Emmanuela Sanchez-Navarro, who is said to be a descendant of Cortez, conqueror of all Mexico. Their daughter, Marie des Neiges (which in French means 'Our Lady of the Snows') was born at Natchitoches in 1734. At the age of twenty, she was married to Emanuel Antonio de Soto y Bermuedez, a native of Galicia in Spain, and an officer of the Spanish king on the Texas frontier.

"There seems to be little doubt that the daughter of Louisiana's first Creole family and her husband were among the first, perhaps the very first, to settle the Bayou Chicot area of the Old Opelousas Post."

I have posted and replied to queries on Colonial Louisiana - enter my name, Rosie Morein Wells, and a list of the messages I have posted appears.

Avec mes meilleurs sentiments
(with my very best wishes)
Rosie Morein Wells
Birmingham, AL

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