Notes and Documents
Additional Notcs on the Champ-d'Asie
Translated and edited by
JACK AUTREY DABBS
HE almost complete obscurity engulfing the efforts of the
French to settle in the Gulf Coast area in 1818-1819 is in
stark contrast to the flurry of popularity that attended
the settlement in the French press of that era. The story of the
French colony was widely publicized in France, and subscriptions
were solicited to aid its members;' poems were written in praise
of the effort,' letters from satisfied colonists were printed,3 and
the sentimental romanticism of the age found expression in a
short novel and the promise of another.4 All these publications
give the reader a bucolic picture of French political and military
exiles turning from the sword to the plow and finding happiness
in agricultural life. The reader is presented with a picture of
colonists' seeking a peaceful home in a far-away land. The ac-
counts agree so closely as to raise the suspicion that if all were
not written by the same authors, the later books at least were
based on and influenced by the earlier ones.
1Louis Franois L'HCritier, Le Champ-d'Asile, Tableau topographique et his-
torique du Texas (2nd ed., Paris, 1819); C . D. , Le Champ-d'Asile, au Texas
ou notice curieuse et interessante sur la formation de cette colonie jusqu'd sa
dissolution; avec des renseignemens propres a dclaircir les faits, et a venger les
malheureux colons des calomnies qu'on leur a prodigudes (Paris, [182o]); Hart-
mann and Millard, Le Texas, ou Notice historique sur le Champ-d'Asile (Paris,
189); English translation in the second part of Donald Joseph, The Story of
Champ d'Asile (The Book Club of Texas, [c1937]). Also Just Girard, The Adven-
tures of a French Captain (Cincinnati, [1878?]). Edith Philips, Les Rdfugids
Bonapartistes en Amdrique (1815-1830) (Paris, ), listed by Harris Gaylord
Warren in The Sword Was Their Passport (Baton Rouge, 1943), was not available
to this writer.
2G..n F..n, L'Hdroine du Texas, ou Voyage de Madame xxx aux Atats-Unis et
au Mexique (Paris, 1819), 117; Jesse Siddall Reeves, The Napoleonic Exiles in
America (Baltimore, 19o5), 634 (Poem by B6ranger). For advertisement given the
colony in the Minerve franGaise, see Anna Elsa Shumway, A Study of the Minerve
frangaise (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 1934), 28, 6o, 12o.
3See appendices to Hartmann and Millard, Le Texas.
4This novel is L'Hdroine du Texas, cited note i above. See also Agatha Sheehan,
A Study of the First Four Novels of Texas (Ph.D. dissertation, Catholic University
of America, Washington, 1939). For an English translation, see Donald Joseph,
The Story of Champ d'Asile. The promise is made by Millard at the end of Le
Texas to write a romance about an "Adrienne" and an "Edward."
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/. Accessed March 5, 2015.