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Monday, March 25, 2013

French Blood in America, by Lucian J. Fosdick, c1906

Dedicated to All Patriotic Americans

Arti et Veritati ~ Arts and Facts

King Henry of Navarre
Queen Margaret of Navarre
(Queen of Navarre and France, and spouse of Henry of Navarre)
John Calvin
Admiral Gaspard De Coligny

The Rise of Protestantism in France

The French Protestants in America


"For two hundred years France had been like a vast furnace; the fires of persecution had been refining and testing until only the pure gold was left."
I will go on record, as stating my disbelief that there can be any good resulting from persecution.

Ok, since James II's wife, Lady Anne Hyde, and two daughters, Queen Mary II and Queen Anne, were descended from a Denman, I am supposedly somehow related to them, albeit distantly.  If so, that would make both James II (the Catholic king who was overthrown) and his usurper (and son-in-law), William of Orange (Queen Mary's co-ruler), related to me through marriage.
Anne Hyde was born a Protestant, but converted to Catholicism secretly, while married to James, the Duke of York and eventual king of England.  (New York was named after the same man, by king Charles II.)  However, their daughters were nevertheless raised with Protestant values; and both finally succeeded in permanently wresting England from the grip of Roman Catholicism for the Church of England (Anglican or Episcopal Church).  This all occured during times of intense political and religious conflict in Europe, known as the Reformation.

Battle of the Boyne

Battle of Quebec

"Intermarriage began before the Pilgrim or Puritan or Huguenot came to America, and it continued all through colonial years."

"There have been few people on earth so upright and single minded, so faithful in the discharge of their duties toward God and man, so elevated in aim, so dignified in character.  The enlightened, independent, firm, God-fearing spirit of the French Protestants has blended its influence with that of the Puritan to form our national character and to establish those civil and religious institutions by which we are distinguished and blessed above all peoples."

"So skilled were they [Huguenots] in the arts, such a spirit of economy and thrift characterized them, such loyalty had they to the principles of our national life, such sane and tolerant views in religious matters, such uprightness and excellence and nobility of character, such high and commanding genius in statesmanship, that their presence, even though they formed but a small body as to numbers and were so assimilated as to sink their identity in the common body, exerted a moulding and ennobling influence upon the entire fabric of our national life."


Transactions of the Huguenot Society of South Carolina, 4-9 (above) and 10-14.

The Huguenot Lovers a Tale of the Old Dominion, by Collinson Pierrepont Edwards Burgwyn, c1889.
Lineage Book of the DAR, volume 3 (John Sevier in this one).
Cocke Family of Virginia, Huguenot descent, genealogy.
Albion's Seed, Four British Folkways in America, by David Hackett Fischer, c1989 by Oxford University Press.
Many of the earliest Huguenots started out in Virginia.
The Huguenot, Bartholomew Dupuy and His Descendants, by Rev. B. H. DuPuy, c1908.  Many Puritans, Episcopalians and Huguenots became Presbyterians after emigration to America (members of my own family among them).  This book is great, because it also has a lot of general Huguenot history in it.  Also of interest is that we are very distant relations, through John Sevier and probably an Allie Denman.
More Dupuy family history.
Documents, Chiefly Unpublished, Relating to the Huguenot, volume 5... Virginia Historical Society, c1886... One could easily spend hours poring over these pages.
Buckingham County, Virginia; awesome old map.
Virginia history.

The Huguenot Lovers, by John Everett Millais
From this I gather that they wore pretty clothes, and were romantic!
Persecution of the Waldensians in the Massacre of Merindol, 1545
(Warning: most pictures depicting the persecutions are quite disturbing.)
The Waldensians (along with practically any other Protestant groups of the times) received similar treatment as the Huguenots, by Rome.
Catholic Propaganda against Huguenots...  The truth is that Huguenots, while very verbally critical of Roman Catholicism, were never violent or aggressive, except in self defense.
Henri le Bon (Good King Henry, Henry of Navarre, or Henry IV), here depicted as the heroic Hercules (Heracles, in Greek).
Jean Hasbrouck House
They built quite lovely, cozy homes.  And they were meant to last for many generations, even for centuries -- not how they're built today.
Canterbury, England, homes of Huguenot weavers.  They were masters of many crafts, including textiles.
Silk:  that explains why their clothes were so beautiful; nothing takes up a color like silk.
The cruel death of Jean Calas, who was broken on the wheel at Toulouse, 9 March, 1762...  By then, my ancestors had already escaped first to England, then on to America.
Seige of Orleans
The author claims that Joan of Arc, a Catholic victim of the Inquisition, was herself a true Huguenot, at least in spirit.
"... [H]er spirit was to live again, in the Huguenots."
Birthplace of Joan of Arc, now a museum.
Origins of the term "Huguenot" are obscure.

The immorality of the Catholic clergy was notorious in the sixteenth century.
"When Henry of Navarre was made king of France he found it politically necessary to abjure his Huguenot faith and turn Catholic.  But he never forgot his old allegiance to the Reformed religion, and strove in every way to give his former comrades their just rights as citizens of France."
He wrote the Edict of Nantes (law protecting freedom of religion).  After his death by assassination, the Catholic church and king Louis XIV succeeded in reversing it with the Revocation (in 1685).
"Most tyrannical of all the provisions [of the Revocation]... was that which forbade any Huguenot from leaving the kingdom under penalty of serving a life sentence in the galleys [brutal forced slavery, no one lived long under those conditions]."
The women and children were not spared tortures, death and slavery, either.
As many of them as could manage it, fled to Switzerland, Germany, Holland and England.

"The greatest variety of stategies [for escape] was resorted to:  some shipped themselves to England inside empty wine casks; noble ladies disguised themselves as peasants and drove herds of cattle across the Dutch frontiers; others ventured out to sea in open boats to board some friendly ship." 

"...[T]he effort to crush heresy... gave to it new fire and fury, and fumed... from its blood the seed of new disciples."  (The Catholic preacher, Massillon).

They rallied their courage by singing hymns in French language based on Psalms of the Bible.

Massacre of Vassy

My great-grandmother, Marie Madelaine Gerneaux (Mary Gano, or Ganeau, Gunnough), was just a baby when her family sailed from La Rochelle to New York in ca.1666.

"The last minister to receive the death sentence was Beranger, in 1767 -- but only his effigy was hanged.  The last pastor to be imprisoned was Broca, who was thrown into a dungeon in 1773.  The last Protestant assembly to be attacked by the dragoons was the Church of Orange.  Eight of those present were captured, and the officer in charge begged them to escape.  This they refused, saying it was for public authority to set them at liberty.  They remained in prison for two months and then a pardon from the king gave them freedom... [T]he Roman Catholic clergy sent a petition to Louis XVI asking him to recommence persecution again, but he refused.  Seven years later the Edict of Toleration put in an appearance.  It caused a great debate in the Parliament of Paris.  One delegate declared that the Virgin had come to him in a dream and bidden him fight the heretics.  Holding aloft a crucifix he demanded, 'Will you crucify Jesus again?'  But public opinion was for abolishing the Inquisition, and the Edict passed.  It provided that Protestants could marry, bury their dead, engage in a trade, and hold private worship.  In 1802 the Huguenots were [finally] given the privilege of holding public services..."
Gabriel Beranger
Pastor Gilles de Broca

The French Protestant Hospital ~ Victoria Park, 1866

"The French Revolution was the ultimate result of the Roman Catholic effort to crush out Protestantism in France.  In that reign of terror the Church had to meet what it had pitilessly inflicted upon the Huguenots... Frenchmen are proud to-day to claim as ancestors those martyrs who helped with their blood in establishing the great principle of religious freedom."
Ironically, the king who had most mercifully refused to commence persecution of Huguenots for the Catholic Church was himself a devout Catholic and was killed with wife, Marie Antoinette, at the guillotines, during the French Revolution.
Both Louis XVI and Henry IV were Bourbon kings; and it seems that both were friends of the Huguenots.
History of the French Protestant Refugees, by Charles Weiss, c1854.
Suggested reading of the Huguenot Society.
A History of the Huguenots of the Dispersion, by Reginald Lane Poole, c1880.
Life in the Galleys

c1908, from the Harvard Theological Library

A superbly animated, authentic model of a French galley ship.

An excerpt from an 1843 manuscript.

Massacre of Ribault
Rene Goulaine De Laudonniere
Jean Ribault
English Translation of a 1757 French autobiographical manuscript.
Only slightly off-topic, Napoleon also made use of forced labor in the galley ships.
Also noted, is that king Louis XIV (the "Sun king" of France, revoker of the Edict of Nantes) used Irish men for galley slaves, too.
Fort Caroline, in Florida, Site of the Massacre of Huguenots by Catholic Spanish Conquistadors
Admiral Gaspard De Coligny
(Previously, Huguenots had also tried unsuccessfully to settle in Brazil, finally succumbing there to the Portuguese.)
Only a preview, but I love the cover picture on this one.
History of Huguenot Settlements, by Samuel Smiles, c1868
The John Alden House at Duxbury, Massachusetts
Colonial Boston, Massachusetts Bay
"The case of Priscilla Molines is more or less typical of the record of other Huguenot emigrants.  Her name was distorted into the uneuphonious appellation of Mullins, and her identity was swallowed up in all its superficial aspects by the outward characteristics of her alien neighbors.  It is easy to account for the changes which took place in the French names:  even common English names of that period were spelled in a great variety of ways, according to the whim or degree of learning, and so it is not to be wondered at that the strange and unfamiliar names of the French emigrants should have been mangled almost out of all resemblance to the originals... And while the Huguenots did not lose the essential traits of character which are the pride of their descendants, they were very adaptable, and soon learned to conform to the outward customs of the people among whom they found themselves.  They entered into the spirit of the civilization by which they were surrounded and thoroughly identified themselves with it.  For these reasons it is often extremely difficult to separate their history from the history of the country at large, just as... it would be an almost impossible task to convince the general public that Priscilla Mullins, the flower of early Puritan civilization, was in reality a daughter of France."
Priscilla Mullins was a lovely young girl of marriageable age, who caught the eye of Miles Standish.  However, in courting her, he was too bashful to speak to her in person, so sent John Alden to do the talking for him.  She wisely fell in love with Alden instead, leaving Standish to figure out another way to woo a wife.
An Old Painting of the Mayflower (1882)
There were a number of noteworthy Huguenot individuals among the earliest European settlers in North America.  And like Paul Revere, John Sevier, and Mary Gano, the spellings of their names were altered, Anglicized.
The Boston Massacre
Old Huguenot Chair and Boston State House
Notice that the chair is triangular, lol.
The Ballou Church ~ 1640
(Attended by President Garfield's mother.)
Hosea Ballou
The Ballous were Freemasons / Religious Universalists, of Huguenot ancestry.
Boston Old Latin School Where French Church Met
Paul Revere, Silversmith and Revolutionary Hero
Exquisite Portrait of Paul Revere, by Copley
The Revere surname was originally "Revoir", in French language.
Peter Faneuil
They say he was a slave trader, which would probably account for his great wealth.

Faneuil Hall and the Old Feather Store

 The Faneuil Mansion on Tremont Street, Boston
Earliest View of New Amsterdam
Earliest Map of New Amsterdam
New Amsterdam, in 1664
Antique, museum-quality furniture from that period and region.
The Fall of New Amsterdam, to British Tyranny ~ 1664
New Amsterdam was also known as New Netherlands.
(Near the place where my first American Denman ancestor, John, son of Puritans Judith Stoughton and John Denman, met and married his wife, Sarah Hollander.  The French also settled in parts of Maine.)
Huguenot Influence upon Puritan Character
"Perhaps nowhere does the difference [between the English and Americans] stand out more conspicously than in the treatment of women by the men -- a treatment that has made the American husband and father a standard of excellence and genuine chivalry."

The Huguenot in New England
Article, c1894, by Horace Graves

New France and New England, by John Fiske

"There are two classes of French; and that which came to America to seek a home and religious liberty possessed a remarkable combination of traits -- a mingling of the sanguine, light, cheerful, witty, sincere, devout, and amiable.  Disposed to enjoy life, even under hardest circumstances, the Frenchman was the best of companions... 'His countenance is open and at first sight speaks a thousand pleasant, amiable things.  His eloquence is often deafening, but his good humor casts a veil over his failings.'
"This is the stock that intermingled with the Puritan and wrought the change, and it is strange that historians should not have given them larger credit for their racial influence.  It is equally strange that only recently has the extent of the Huguenot immigration been recognized in any adequate degree... The Huguenots and the Puritans had both suffered bitter persecution.  They had faced death from devotion to the same religious principles.  Moreover they were not strangers to one another... In one particular they differed radically, and that favoured the loss of recognition by the Huguenots.  The English were fearful lest they should lose their English name and tongue; while the French seemed indifferent to their native speech, and were ready to translate their names into equivalent Dutch or English, according to the predominant population of the community in which they happened to be.  They soon merged into New Englanders..."
That explains the Dutch sounding surname, Scudder, which is found on my own American Colonial family tree.  Scudder (also "Schuder") is listed among Huguenot surnames in their official Society.  So that makes at least three or four (including Montgomery) Huguenot surnames for me (that I'm aware of, anyway).

"The thrift of the Protestant French is proverbial.  It found speedy expression in New England in commerce and in devising new subjects of manufacture and exportation... As the exhiled French were founders of many British industries when they settled in England, so they were most efficient in developing the resources of the new country [America] in which they were heartily given asylum.  But they were never so engrossed in trade that they allowed their passion for civil and religious liberty to expire."

"... [T]he [Huguenot] refugees were generally of the higher and cultivated classes of their native land."

"... [F]amilies like those of Agassiz and Audubon are known as Swiss, while there is little doubt that their origin was French... English, whose real name was L'Anglois, became owner of a large number of ships and a great deal of other property.  For years he imported young men to be apprenticed as sailors and young girls to be employed as domestics.  They were all of Huguenot ancestry and their descendants to-day disclose their French origin in their personal appearance.  Between the Connecticut River and Massachussetts Bay, young men of that line of ancestry are by no means rare, with large brown eyes, black hair and slender, graceful figures, which proclaim them Frenchmen in everything except speech; and yet their forefathers have been inhabitants of eastern Massachussetts since the beginning of the seventeenth century.  In a little seaport near Salem there are to be found to-day at least fifty family names which are distinctly French; yet those who bear them now have never suspected that they were of other than English origin."
I'm finding that the same really also holds true for the Denman surname, of Norman origin (originally probably Plucket or Plunket, etc., later Anglicized after the Norman Invasion of England) -- and one of the earliest settlers of Salem, Massachussetts (1635).  And to make things even more complicated:  many or perhaps most of the French Huguenots and Normans were originally of Germanic, Flemish, or Danish Viking extraction.

"The exodus from France continued for full fifty years from 1666, and within that time at least a million Frenchmen were expatriated, and those the flower of the nation.  It is not possible that less than four or five thousand came to dwell in New England."
I suspect too, that many of the Protestant Reformationists known as Puritans who fled England earlier, were like the Denmans and Stoughtons also ultimately of very ancient Norman, Flemish, German, Danish, and/or French ancestry.  And yet strangely enough, there is definitely a great deal of Celtic admixture also within those very same ethnic groups, such as found in my paternal lineage.

"How rapidly nationalities merge..."

"... [C]reating on our continent a new type, comprising the best qualities of Protestant English and Protestant French -- the best type of American perhaps yet to be found.  Certain it is that New England character cannot be explained without the presence of the French blood."
The Brain of the Nation, by Gustave Michaud
Early Presidents and Officers of the Huguenot Society of America:
John Jay
Henry G. Marquand
Frederick J. De Peyster
William Jay
T. J. Oakley Rhinelander
Mrs. James M. Lawton
"While the Dutch long had all the credit of founding New Amsterdam, which afterwards became New York, later historical researches have brought to light the fact that French Protestants had an important part in the early settlement, and were among the original company that established a colony on Manhattan Island.  The Walloons were French who had fled from the province of that name, on the northern boundary of France, to escape religious persecution, and had taken up their residence in Holland, where other French Protestant refugees came at one time and another during the century that followed the massacre of St. Bartholomew."
I believe the Scudders may have been Walloons.  And I'm not sure, but maybe the Hollanders, too.

The French Church in New York, in 1906
The Old French Churchyard and Belltower

Original Bayard House in Harlem, near First Avenue, New York
The Bayard family aligned themselves with Andrew Jackson and the Democratic Party.

The Rappelyea Estate, foot of Thirty-fifth Street, North River
New Rochelle
Interesting to note that my hero, Thomas Paine, was granted 300 acres in New Rochelle following the American Revolution.
Jean Machet House, New Rochelle
Jean Machet is mentioned in this book, History of the Huguenot Emigration to America, by Charles Washington Baird, c1895.
Berriam [Berrian] House, New Rochelle
The Baxters are related to the Berriens.

In 1709 the French Reformed Church of New Rochelle conformed to the Church of England.

View of the Old Fort, the Church, and Neighboring Houses, New Amsterdam
John Jay, First Justice of the Supreme Court

Liberty Hall, Birthplace of Mrs. Jay
Memorial History of the City of New York, Volume III.
Alexander Hamilton, First U.S. Secretary of the Treasury
Hamilton's father was Scotch-Irish, but his mother was of Huguenot descent.  He was also second president-general of the Order of the Cincinnati, after George Washington.

Alexander Hamilton's Home, the Grange
Other Notables with Huguenot Connections, According to Fosdick:
General Richard Montgomery (and Quebec)
(Montgomery is one of our family surnames, but I'm not sure what our connection is to the great general, if any.  Montgomery is an old Normandy family.)
"This noble martyr to liberty, who fell in Quebec on the last day of 1775, was descended from the Huguenots through that Comte de Montgomerie who mortally wounded Henry II of France, July 10, 1559, in a tournament in honour of the marriage of his daughter.  Though the King forgave the Count, the queen mother, Catherine de Medicis, did not, but pursued the brave Huguenot with implacable vengeance till she brought him to the scaffold, May 27, 1576.  His family fled to Ireland and won distinction.  Richard Montgomery was third son of an Irish baronet..."

Henry David Thoreau
Philip Freneau ("the Poet of the American Revolution")
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
John Greenleaf Whittier

Churchyard, Belltower
Etienne De Lancey
Coat of Arms of the De Lancey House
Jesse de Forest
("...leader of a group of Walloon Huguenots...")
List of surnames recognized by at least one Huguenot Society.  I see that our surname, Scudder is on here, and so is Ganeaux, and Montgomerie, but oddly not Sevier or Xavier (whose family were technically originally Spanish Basque, not really French, Huguenots).
Matthew Vassar (founder of Vassar College)
(Originally a women's college, it is located in Poughkeepsie, New York.)
Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet
(co-founder of the first permanent school for the deaf in North America)
Elisha Gallaudet
(engraver, designer of the first U.S. coin)
 Peter Wallace Gallaudet
(personal secretary to President George Washington)

"A minister of prominence in New York and New Jersey during the Revolutionary period was Rev. John Gano, a Baptist.  This exceptionally able man, who was to come into somewhat intimate relations with [President George] Washington, was a descendant of the French refugee family of Ganeau, which settled in Rhode Island.  It was John Gano's great-grandfather Francis who came to this country to escape persecution.  John was born at Hopewell, New Jersey... His father was a Presbyterian, but his mother was a Baptist..."
Francis Ganeau, John's great-grandfather, was my sixth great-grandmother's, Mary Gano's, father.  So, John Gano was probably her grandnephew.  Mary was also possibly Presbyterian at some point in her life, and later moved from Long Island, resided and is buried in New Jersey.
John Gano married Sarah Stites, the daughter of the mayor of Elizabeth-Town, New Jersey.  Elizabeth-Town is also where my Denman ancestors and Mary Gano once resided.  The Presbyterian minister of Elizabeth-Town, Reverend Caldwell, was a Revolutionary hero and martyr known as the "Fighting Chaplain".
Reverend James Caldwell, also of Huguenot ancestry... Not at all surprising.

"Like John Gano, [son Stephen] possessed great personal magnetism and charm.  He had the French clearness of style, vividness of imagination, warmth of temperament, and flow of language... He was a leader in Providence [Rhode Island, where his ancestor, Francis Ganeau, had found refuge], as John Gano was in New York and later in Kentucky.  As pastor of the historic First Baptist Church of Providence -- the church founded by [first Rhode Island Governor, and Reverend] Roger Williams [Welsh ancestry], that great apostle of religious liberty -- Stephen Gano exerted a wide influence."
So Stephen Gano was probably Mary Gano's great-grandnephew.  Also, I note yet another circumstantial connection between our family and that of Roger Williams.  Mary Gano's son, John Denman, married Mary Elizabeth Williams, said to have been of Welsh descent, like Roger Williams.  And, there are the geographical and chronological intersections between the families.
Furthermore, it was another native of the same New Jersey vicinity, John Elston, who married yet another of my Huguenot ancestors:  Elizabeth Sevier Clark, granddaughter of John Sevier.

Second French Church on Pine Street, 1704, used till 1831, New York
(Baptist preacher, Revolutionary War chaplain, and friend of George Washingtion; descended from Huguenots -- and somehow related to our family... 1727-1804.)
Supposed to have Baptized George Washington
(The Religious Herald, c1933)
(Same as above, only on
(Clergy of America, c1849)
(Article includes a great bibliography.)
John Gano's autobiography, published in 1806.
Same book, but on
Stephen Gano
(third son of Rev. John Gano; physician and Baptist pastor; 1762-1828)

Ok, with a little bit of study, I should be able to determine our exact relationship to the Gano men.  My sixth great-grandfather, John Denman, married Mary Gano in the late seventeenth century.  I would guess that John Gano was probably a grandnephew of Mary.  He was born in New Jersey, where Mary resided with the Denman clan after her first husband's death.
Lowies Du Booys
(founder of New Paltz, New York)
Old Map of New Paltz
Huguenot Street Historic District is a sightseers' destination.
Old Huguenot House at New Paltz ~ Apparently the Jean Hasbrouck House

Two Story Stone Huguenot House, New Paltz
Second Stone Church ~ New Paltz
(Incidently, the old Congregational Church in Inglis, Levy County, Florida, that my maternal grandmother attended, was also built of native stone.)
Pennsylvania and Delaware [and probably nearly every Colony] also held communities of early Huguenot settlers.  The author of this book, Lucian Fosdick, lists numerous family names in those and every Colony covered therein.
"Huguenots were among the earliest settlers of Germantown, in the vicinity of Philadelphia..."
Elias Boudinot, Jr.
(President of the Continental Congress)
Boudinot was from Elizabeth [Town], New Jersey, which is the region my Denman (and Gano) ancestors resided after moving away from New Amsterdam / New York (Long Island, Queens County, originally called Middleburgh, then Newtown).
Stephen Girard
(Founder of Girard College in Philadelphia)
(A banker who began his career as a penniless runaway; born in Bordeaux, France)

(Girard focuses on the education of poor children.)
"[Girard]... wished to spare other boys the sorrows of his own early life..."
Michael Hillegas
(First Treasurer of the United States)
1907 $10 Gold Note, engraved with Hillegas' image.
Admiral S. F. DuPont and the American Armada at Port Royal

Third French Church, Marble, at Franklin and Church Streets, New York
Slightly off-topic, but a very interesting website.
Clement Marot
Theodore De Beze
(Co-author of the Marot Psalter.)
Gabriel Manigualt
(Portrait of Gabriel Manigault, Charleston South Carolina merchant, by Jeremiah Theus.)
(Portrait of Mrs. Gabriel Manigault, by Jeremiah Theus.)

General Francis Marion ~ "the Swamp Fox"
Henry Laurens
(Although a wealthy slave-trader following British Colonial tradition, Henry Laurens and his son, John, like many true Americans, especially Huguenots, Quakers and Puritans, both "abhored slavery".  Son John quite proactively attempted to win freedom for slaves.)

Henry Laurens drafted the South Carolina resolution to resist British tyranny.

"In France these Huguenots were a law-loving and law-abiding people.  They feared God and honoured their king.  They were reared in habits of sobriety and virtue.  They may be said to have inherited cultivated manners, so careful were their parents to set examples to their children... Enduring the hardships of a new colony in a foreign land, they preserved the amenities of life.  In their distress and in their prosperity, they never forgot that they sprung from the most polished country in the world.
"The habits of both mutual and self respect, of social intercourse and enjoyments, of activity and enterprise, created the wealth and formed the manners of South Carolina.  Frank, urbane, cultivated, kind, resolute, energetic, the descendants of colonies composed of Huguenots and English and Scotch-Irish intermingled and amalgamated, hold an enviable place among the sisterhood of states."

"...[G]eniality, a spirit of comraderie and honour... made them model settlers.  They bore hardships with little complaint, and soon put a new face on everything with their skill.  Their plantations [farms] were sure to be the best and most attractive.  Their gardening was justly famous, and their taste was manifest.  They were not too busy wrestling with the virgin soil for livelihood to cultivate flowers and gratify their esthetic natures.  In all these respects they differed materially from the Puritan type.  Yet they were as devoutly and staunchly religious, as the fact of their exhile proved.  They generally bought lands, and some of them had means of purchasing large tracts, which they portioned out and sold at a low price to their distressed brethren.  "We do not hear of any instance of oppression among them," says Allen, "either excercised towards each other or [toward any] Americans."
A Huguenot House in classic genuine Colonial style, which is supposedly haunted.
Petition to colonize Virginia, led by Jesse De Forest

"... Virginia's loss was New Amsterdam's gain..."
The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia [Rockingham County] is where my Sevier ancestors began their American lives later, in the mid-eighteenth century.  John Sevier founded New Market, Virginia.
Valentine Sevier II, John Sevier's brother.
The oldest part of this structure, on the far right, was the colonial building belonging to Valentine Sevier ("the Immigrant", who ran away from his London home, jumping ship with his brother as stowaways who eventually landed in Baltimore).  It was known as the "Toll House", in reference to Valentine's occupation of toll collection.  Valentine married Joanna Goad.
(These family trees are helpful, but not always entirely complete.  For example, it is known that John Sevier had ten children with his first wife, Sarah Hawkins, and eight more children with second wife, Catherine Sherrill.)
(John Sevier's arch-foe, Andrew Jackson.)
Notable Southern Families, a book in the Harvard Library Collection, includes the Seviers.  Also found herein are the Gaines' family, to whom we are related by marriage (my maternal great-aunt).
John Sevier (nee Jean Xavier), "the Commonwealth Builder", born in Rockingham County, Virginia

"... an invincible Indian fighter..."

"A rule like his was never before nor since known in this country."

"... governor of 'the Free and Independent State of Franklin.'"

A Sketch of Paul Revere's Birthplace ~ South Square, Boston
"Bonnie Kate" (Catherine Sherrill, John's second wife) always steals the limelight, lol.  We are descended from his eldest daughter, Elizabeth Hawkins Sevier, with first wife, Sarah Hawkins.
"If Colonel Sevier is king here, his gracious lady [Catherine Sherrill] is certainly queen of the Franks.  She is gifted with great beauty and the art of hospitality, but above all is to be esteemed her discreet understanding."  (Major Elhorn, an officer of Pulaski's Legion... to the governor of Georgia)
Elizabeth Hawkins Sevier married William H. Clark.  Their eldest daughter, Elizabeth Sevier Clark, married John Elston of New Jersey (near where my Denman ancestors once lived).  Their daughter, Neaty Elston, married my third great grandfather, Blake Denman, I think in Georgia, although they are buried together in Alabama.
John Fontaine
Memoirs of the Fontaine Family, c1853 (I include links to different versions, because they're all interesting one way or another.)
Lafayette at Mount Vernon with George Washington
Grand Master of the Massachussetts Grand Lodge, Paul Revere, and Worshipful Master of the Knoxville Lodge in Tennessee, John Sevier, both Masons.  Huguenots were involved in Freemasonry since the time of the opening of the Secret Society's first official Lodge, in England.  Although perfectly understandable, it is not a fact of which I am proud -- but, simply a fact that I recognize.
Order, or Society, of the Cincinnati
(Did you know that America has its own Royalty?  I didn't until now, although I'd heard rumors, of course.  It is strictly hereditary, so if you're born into the "right" families, you're in, if not -- too bad.  Ironic, since their first president was the childless George Washington.)
They have an A-list, people.
So, if you're just an ordinary American citizen, regardless of how long your family has lived here or how much they have contributed to our nation -- you don't rate.
HSC = Hereditary Society of the Cincinnati [Order]
William E. Ver Planck also wrote a history of the Order of the Cincinnati.
(The Order is named for a Roman Dictator.)
(A Mississippi Senator was named after Cincinnatus, too.  He also served under President Grover Cleveland, as U.S. Secretary of the Interior.)
(The life of a Roman dictator is the focus of a group called, "Leadership Now".)
(When does 'leadership' become 'ownership'?  I suppose that would be whenever the 'leaders' are either dictators or monarchs.)
He is lauded by a corporation called, Optimum Cable.
In case you're wondering, Alexander Hamilton (Huguenot / Scotch-Irish descent) was the second president-general of the Order, following the death of George Washington.
Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI's royal consort, was conveniently utilized as a scape-goat as a wedge to replace the Bourbon monarchy with the Republic.
Although Thomas Paine was anti-monarchy, he nevertheless was one of the few who spoke out against the executions of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
Dr. Guillotin was a Freemason.
Louis XVIII, brother and eventual successor (upon the restoration of the French monarchy) of Louis XVI.  Louis XVII was Louis and Marie Antoinette's son, who died in prison at age ten.
The Freemasons, who like the Huguenots conflicted with the Roman Catholic church, nevertheless took a more aggressive, proactive political stance in opposing it along with its advocates and supporters, the French monarchy.  They, along with some Huguenot allies, many of whom were also Freemasons, were very much the driving force behind the French Revolution.  In overthrowing the monarchy, they also succeeded in quashing the Catholic Church in France.  However, unlike the Huguenots, the Freemasons practiced a Secret Society type of religion, which favored both Paganism and Atheism.
So in conclusion, the Huguenots shared with Freemasons a distaste for Roman Catholicism -- that was their common ground; however, because Freemasonry is and always has been an extremely secretive religion of sorts, the Huguenots were not and could not have been fully informed about what they were involving themselves, when joining to them as allies.  Thus, as some of them rose in power within the organization, devout Christians that they were in reality, they most likely eventually became disillusioned upon learning exactly with what sort of madness they had unwittingly become entangled.  But like any criminal syndicate or other kinds of secretive organizations requiring blood oaths, I'm sure they must have found it extremely difficult then, to graciously and safely disengage themselves.

Moving right along... early French Americans were often cleverly gifted inventors, and frequently leaders of social reform.
"The art of living happily seems to be a native possession of the French, while it is not so with the Anglo-Saxon."
"The Huguenot... was devout, less ambitious, affectionate of heart, artistic, cultivated, adaptable and also highly endowed with the commercial instincts and skilled capacities.  He brought to America the arts, accomplishments and graces of the highest civilization then known, together with a sweet cheerfulness all his own."

"... [A]lthough most of the refugee Huguenots had been prosperous in France, and not a few had been wealthy and influentual noblemen and citizens, not many had been able to take much money away with them -- the circumstances of their flight precluded that; but they had all brought energy, industry, thrift, and power of endurance, as well as that truly delightful birthright of their nation, an invincible lightness of heart, while many of them also possessed skill in some hitherto peculiarly French handicraft, or in mechanical methods of unusual scope; and others had equally high talents in the professions, in trade, and in civil affairs."

"Their homes, to judge by the specimens which remain in New Rochelle, were neither large nor fine, but they were substantial and as comfortable as was then possible.  Tradition says that the first to utilize the remnants of worn-out garments by cutting them into strips and weaving them into carpets were the French.  The rag carpet was in its day an advance agent of comfort and culture..."
I think both myself and my father inherited that Huguenot love of arts and handcrafts.  I love sewing, needlework, painting and drawing; Dad made beautiful jewelry from antique sterling flatware.  And Dad was additionally a very gifted engine mechanic.

"The cultivated taste and the dainty arts brought from France made the homes of the Huguenots much more attractive in appearance than those of the other colonists, even though the latter might have far more wealth.  The same difference was manifest in dress.  The French-woman's fine eye for colour, and her delicate skill with brush, needle and bobbin, united to produce more attractive results.  Similar touches of taste and skill appeared everywhere, and gave distinction to the Huguenot homes, whatever the owner's social standing in France.  As neat as their Dutch neighbors, they devised labour-saving methods to maintain perfect cleanliness without being slaves to it.  As liberal as the English, they were far more economical, and by their skill in cooking they rendered palatable and digestible the coarsest fare."

"... They were the first to introduce yeast [for bread-making], where leaven was the common resort.  We owe to them delicately flavored soups, the light omelettes, and the delicious entrees, besides the rolls and buns.
My favorite liqueur just happens to be French (orange flavored).  I love flavoring my pound cakes with it, too.
"In spite of temperamental light-heartedness, the Huguenot had a peculiarly hard lot.  He was not a voluntary colonist, but a refugee.  Now there is no more patriotic people than the French.  They love their country and homes and customs.  The Huguenot was ready to sacrifice everything but his religion in order to remain in his own land.  An exhile, his feeling toward the government and [Catholic] Church which had made him an outcast was bitter... To the land of their adoption [America] the Huguenots transferred to the full all the inborn loyalty of their characters... The Huguenots made loyal and noble American citizens." 

"Doctrinally the Huguenots and Puritans were the same, but in practice they differed not a little... [They had a more relaxed attitude toward Sabbath-keeping]... Children were instructed with a degree of gentleness and consideration quite in contrast with the sterner ways of the English or Dutch.  Cheerfulness and even gaiety was the rule.  A gloomy Huguenot was an anomaly to be pitied and apologized for.  Such happy dispositions as were common among the French produced a very great impression, and their customs did much to break down an unnatural restraint that could not exist permanently without defeating the high ends aimed at by zealous and godly people [ie Puritan and Dutch-reformed individuals]."

"[At Vassar College for Women]... The pupils were taught how to avoid all awkwardness of movement or carriage; how to bear themselves gracefully erect; how to enter and leave a room, to greet properly all ages and conditions, to arrange and preside at a dinner table with elegance, to dress with taste and effect, and to dance gracefully.  Incidentally with all these things, a great deal of valuable instruction was given in the finer graces of courtesy and courteous speech, and all that gentle consideration for others which is at once the flower and root of good breeding."

"The Huguenots endeavoured to transmit to their children the traditions of politeness they had brought from France.  Even in their games and amusements good manners were taught..."
Elizabeth Hamilton
Sarah Jay
John Bayard
Dr. Samuel Provoost (Anglican, or Episcopal Church Bishop)
Professor Henry M. Baird
Historian of the Huguenots
History of the Rise of the Huguenots, Volume 1 of 2
Reverend Alfred V. Wittmeyer
Founder of the Huguenot Society of America

Celebration of the Adoption of the Constitution in 1788 (Ship on Wheels)
"In attempting to estimate the influence of the Huguenots in America, three facts must be taken into account:  first, that they were Frenchmen; second, that they were Frenchmen of marked ability; and third, that they had been fitted by long and severe persecution for exceptional influence."
Johannis De Peyster
Late seventeenth century Mayor of New York City.  He would have been a contemporary of my first cousin (nine times removed?), Lt. Gov. of Massachusetts Bay Colony, William Stoughton.

George Washington Smitten by Huguenot Maiden, Mary Philipse
(She married Captain Roger Morris.)
Portrait of Mary Philipse Morris, by John Singleton Copley, one of the finest painters of all time.  Remember, in those days they had no cameras, lol.  Heck, they didn't even have digital photography, when I was young.
Tracing Some Obscure Lineages; Betsey Ross, who made the first American Flag, was quite likely of French descent (Griscom, Ros).

General Nathaniel Lyon
(Union Army)
William Lyons
(American colonist)
Sir Roger de Leonne
Some English Names of French Derivative
Byron (Norman-French, Biron)
Campbell, and Gamble (Norman-French)
An officer named Campbell managed to cheat John Sevier out of official awards for valor (a ceremonial sword and a set of pistols) that had been promised to him by Congress, after the Revolution, Battle of King's Mountain.
Chamberlain (Chambellan, H. L., 1618)
Judith Stoughton's sister, Elizabeth, married a Chamberlain
Cheney (French, Chesnais)
Cheney family histories.

Collier, Collwer (French, Collioure)

Jasper (H. L. Jaspard)
Julian (Julien)

Plunkett (Plunkitt, Plugenet)

President James A. Garfield
Vice President Hannibal Hamlin
General John C. Fremont
General Robert Anderson
Admiral Dewey
U. S. Senator Robert La Follette
Biography of Henri le Bon, beautifully illustrated. has many good histories of Henry IV of France and Navarre


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