Life in France, French Views of the United States

The personal papers of families and individuals include vivid depictions of life in France during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These collections describe aspects of French society and culture, such as the interactions among family members, parenting, courtship rituals, and management of domestic resources. A majority of Hagley’s holdings are from up-and-coming families like du Pont, Garesché, and Keating, making them valuable sources for studying the lives of middle and upper-class French citizens.

These papers also provide insights into the United States during this period from the perspective of French emigrants, travelers, and entrepreneurs. Collections at Hagley contain accounts of American landscapes, politics, businesses, people, and culture that are colored by experiences in France and Europe. These papers give a variety of impressions representing both the positive and negative sentiments French natives felt toward the United States.


Collections on Life in France and America:

D’Autremont Family Papers (1764-1897), Accession 771 -- Sections of these papers document life on the New York frontier during the late eighteenth century.

Gabrielle Josephine de la Fite de Pelleport du Pont (1770-1837) Papers, 1753-1847 -- Memoir of life in eighteenth-century South Carolina, on the New York frontier, and of the American business ventures of her husband, Victor Marie du Pont.

Margaret Izard Manigault (1768-1824) Papers, 1779-1857 -- Although Margaret Izard Manigault was an American, she had extensive ties to Victor Marie du Pont and other French citizens living in the United States.

Keating Family Papers, Accession 2431 -- The Keatings were both descended from and associated with several notable French families. These papers include information on these families and their lives in France and the United States.