Julien Poydras Selected Writings
Julien Poydras’ legacy in Louisiana steadfastly withstands the strands of time. Today, he remains a household name reflected by streets bearing his name, schools and buildings in his honor, and his portrait hanging in museums.
We know pieces and events of his life in Louisiana as though we are talking about an old dear friend. His testament before his death, where he directed the emancipation of his slaves with a condition of twenty-five years until freedom, leaves us all to wonder what he envisioned for the future of Louisiana and her plantation society entangled with slave labor.
We know he was a poet, merchant, planter, large slave owner, land owner, creditor, philanthropist, orator, commandant of the post of Pointe Coupée, soldier of politics, statesman, advocate for public education, and a French gentleman. His legacy continues through works of historians, biographers and celebrations in his honor.
For a closer glimpse into the man, we can walk through the pages of his inventory, taken immediately after his death. Through each page we imagine his home and his possessions as they define the man who lived a life as a very successful late 18th century entrepreneur. The records reveal his holdings, including his main plantation that faced the Mississippi River side of Pointe Coupée Parish—about where Delta and Pointe Coupee roads intersect today. The other plantation, back to back, faced False River - each with a store and a road connecting the two (road approximately where the Delta Road and major Parkway corridors are today). Sieur Poydras was self-educated, multi-lingual, and eloquent with words and thoughts, and a connoisseur of art and fine customs.
With these selected writings we honor Julien Poydras. These records have been translated from French and Spanish to English, without analysis or conjecture. Through his own eloquent words we have an opportunity to take a closer peek inside the heart and mind of a revered legacy of Louisiana, illuminating a historical glimpse of life in de la Louisiane!
Merci mille fois to Monsieur Poydras for leaving such a fine legacy through his devoted words and actions for the benefit of his adopted Louisiana!