Sheriff Anacharsis Luminais

Served in office 1828 - 1852

The following are excerpts from a manuscript by Lynn Louque, 3 rue Rapine,44210 Pornic France; entitled Des Luminais, A Historical Perspective of Anacharsis Luminais and his Family. Sheriff Anacharsis Luminais was a great great great grandfather of Lynn Louque who provided the below information.

The newspaper “L’Avant-Coureur” of New Orleans, on Saturday 12 October 1867 carried the following obituary;

“On 2 October Mr. Anacharsis Luminais died in New Orleans, at the age of seventy-three years. Born in Nantes, France Mr. Luminais left his country in 1816 because the restoration of the Bourbons was repulsive to his liberal opinions. He came to St. John the Baptiste at the same time as Father Mina and Dr. Haudressy, two other distinguished gentleman who have passed away in recent years. Mr. Luminais allied himself with a créole family when he married a Miss Trouard. He was sheriff for twenty-two years of St. John the Baptiste and St. Charles when these parishes were called the “Côte des Allemands”. He was, in his public and private life, a man of irreproachable character and integrity. We hear time and again, talk of his generosity and kindness. Impoverished by the exercise of his noble qualities, he did not always find in his old age the recognition which was rightly his.”

Anacharsis Albanne Luminais was born on 18 April 1796 (according to his birth certificate, “vingt-neuf germinal, quatrième année républicaine”) in Bouin, France. At this time the town of Bouin was located on an island of the same name in the Vendeé region, on the western coast of France. Today, the island is surrounded on three sides by agricultural fields reclaimed from the sea by a series of dikes and canals. Born just after the height of the revolutionary excesses, most of his formative years were spent in the glory of the Empire. He was the fourth born, son of Laurent Alexandre Luminais and Marie Magdelaine Burgaud des Bouchauds. His name is a legacy of pre-Revolutionary French society’s fascination with Classical Greek and Roman revivalism. He and his brothers were named after Greek and Roman Republic heroes.

There is an empty space for Anacharsis and his time in New Orleans, from 1816 until 1824. It is possible that he travelled from New Orleans to Martinique and Saint Domingue as a merchant. I have not located any records for him in St. John Parish until 1824 when he signed a procuration to his uncle Rene Luminais to settle his affairs in the succession of his mother who died in 1821. He continued to live in St. John, because he was appointed deputy sheriff on 21 May 1827, and also served as parish Treasurer. He was elected as Sheriff of St. John in 1828 and served until 1854, longer than any other Sheriff. He owned a small plantation directly across the river from Antione Boudousquie’s plantation which he sold sometime prior to the Civil War, when he moved to New Orleans after he retired as Sheriff.

“Other distinguished members of his family in France are the Representative Luminais elected by the district of Indre-et-Loire to the Constituional Convention of 1848 and probably also the painter of Breton culture, Evariste-Vidal Luminais.” (Translation of the French original)

Anacharsis’s father, Laurent Alexandre Luminais and his uncles, Michel Pierre, and René Laurent, were educated in the principles of the Age of Reason. They were members of a generation of Frenchmen who believed in the Greek ideal of a statesmen as portrayed in the Century of Alexander. Their father Michel Luminay, Sieur des Cloudis, Procureur du Roi for the Isle of Bouin, raised his sons in a time of Greco-Roman revival in arts, literature, and politics. He held the equivalent position of District Attorney for the King from 1769 until he died in 1781. He was a lawyer and before becoming the Procureur for Bouin served as “Sénéchal” in the town of les Moutiers, and became “Marguillier en charge” of the town of Bougneuf in 1751. These positions were of a mid-level bureaucrat for the king’s interest in these regions, an Officer of the king’s court similar to Assistant D.A., Bailiff, and chief tax collector all in one. He also wrote the local “bulletins” which served as a kind of the local newspaper, although this position seemed to be of his own ambition since he wasn’t paid to do it.

The house, “maison du Martinet” in which Anacharsis Luminais was born, is still in standing in Bouin and is today a Hotel-Restaurant. It was built by his maternal Great-Grandfather Jean François Burgaud, sieur des Bouchards, about 1715. Jean François Burgaud was an armateur (he owned ships), merchant, and ship’s Captain who made a fortune trading slaves to the French Antilles and Louisiana in the late 1600’s and early 1700’s. His son, Jean Baptiste Burgaud, born in this house in 1720, inherited his father’s title, sieur des Bouchards, occupation, as well as the house after his father died in 1743. Anacharsis’s mother, Marie Magdelaine Burgaud, was born there in 1766. The house became the property of Laurent Alexandre Luminais and his wife Marie-Magdelaine Burgaud des Bouchards, on 26 October 1783. Three of Marie Burgaud’s brothers, one sister, and a brother-in-law were killed by royalist forces during the revolt in the Vendée, in March 1793. Only she and her younger brother Thomas were not murdered.

Anacharsis was baptised “Alphonse” in Bouin on 18 September 1804 after Napoleon established a quasi-normal relationship with the Catholic Church and was crowned Emperor by Pope Pius VII. This was in fact an early form of public relations showmanship on the part of local public officials, in this case Laurent Alexandre Luminais, supporting the new Franco-Vatican partnership. Baptized along with Anacharsis, were his brother Achilles (Napoleon) age 9, Virginie (Marie-Magdelaine-Octavie) age 7, and Cornélie, age 6. The same day in Bouin at least a half dozen more boys were baptized “Napoleon.”

On 7 August 1811 Anacharsis began his second year at the college in St. Jean de Monts where his father owned a home and had been a Judge. One of fifty students who studied through the “bienfaisance d’Empereur”, he was enrolled in a classic educational course of grammar, mathematics and Greek and Latin languages . This scholastic regime was the normal foundation for a career in law. Many of his classmates went on to become lawyers and politicians in France. In June 1813 after completion of his fourth year of college, instead of a career in law and perhaps to evade military service, he became a pilotin (an apprentice officer, a pilot) on a merchant vessel owned by Ulrich-Auguste Pelloutier , a friend, business associate and next door neighbor of his uncle, René Laurent Luminais. Anacharsis’ three older brothers were already in the service of the Emperor Napoleon; Alexandre was a surgeon in the Navy, aboard a ship moored in Brest. Achille and Aubin Brutus Luminais were in the Army on their way to the Austrian frontier to fight in the “Saxon Campaign”.

Anacharsis Luminais went to America at least once before he decided to stay there. In 1815, on the maiden voyage of the L’Atalante, he served as an apprentice pilot, sailing from Nantes in April to Saint Domingue, then on to New Orleans. On this voyage he met Mr. Charles Hardy de Boisblanc (fils) who sailed with him on the return voyage to Nantes. Charles Hardy’s grandfather, Pierre, was originally from la Rochelle, owned a number of ships and became rich trading in slaves. Pierre Hardy’s wife was Louise Taton from Martinique. The friendship with the younger Charles Hardy connected Anacharsis not only to important business interests in New Orleans but also many powerful families connected by blood and marriage, including his future father-in-law, Louis Jacques Trouard the son of Judge Achille Trouard. Charles Hardy (senior) was married to Marienne Constance Chauvin de Léry. Her brother married Adéle Trouard, Achille’s daughter, and Marienne’s cousin, Eliza Chauvin de Léry, married Prosper (Louis Alexandre) Trouard, Achille’s nephew.

There is a note to the 1815 voyage of the L’Atalante. Anacharsis is recorded as being a “pilotin” with one previous voyage. I have not been able to locate that previous ship’s manifest on which Anacharsis served. Perhaps he sailed from another port instead of Nantes.

When the manifest for the 1816 voyage was recorded, Alexandre Luminais, Anacharsis’s older brother was signed on as Ship’s surgeon. They sailed to St. Domingue, then to New Orleans, where on the 23 of July 1816, Anacharsis is recorded as having deserted ship in New Orleans. Alexandre would also stay in New Orleans, for the reason of being too sick to make the voyage back to France. He would eventually go to St. Pierre, Martinique where he became the Minister of Health and ran the hospital there until he died on 25 June, 1835. It is possible that many of the passengers and crew were sick on this voyage, because when they arrived in Saint Domingue there were some desertions and a death, then in New Orleans nine other crewmen also deserted before the ship sailed back to France, after having signed on new crew members.

There are family histories that concern Anacharsis that have some relevance. From different family lines of his children it is said he was a gambler. He loved to play cards. He probably travelled up and down the river on the Riverboats. I have located a document that indicates he sold some property in the center of New Orleans, which he managed to acquire illegally along with his brother-in-law, Caliste Trouard. It seems they took a marker from a man in a card game who used his wife’s property as collateral. Anacharsis and Caliste won the game and the property but had to relinquish control of the property because of this technicality.

Anacharsis is also said because of his position and business interests to have been challenged and participated in a number of duals. One, in which he chose the double-bladed, French war axe as his weapon of choice, his challenger never showed up. I also heard that either his father, brother or some other relatives from France visited him and he visited members of his family. I have not located voyages for these, but because of the correspondence and documents that his brother Alexandre visited him and possibly his cousin the painter, Evariste Luminais. His father died before he came to America.

When Anacharsis died in 1867, he still owned three estates in France, which were inherited from his mother and father. He rented these farms and received an income form them all of his life in Louisiana. The children of Anacharsis appointed someone to go to France in 1872, and sell these properties and the money was divided among the surviving children and grandchildren in New Orleans.

Anacharsis married 17 Feb. 1827, Jeanne Clara Trouard, the daughter of Louis Jacques Trouard and Marie Louise de L’Homme. They had 18 children including two sets of twins, only 9 of whom survived to be adults.

Jean Baptiste, 1828-1829
Louis Anacharsis, 1829-1831
Victorine Zoë, 1829-1871, married 29 May 1848, Pierre Edmond Bozenier Marmillion, ,
----------began building the “San Francisco House” plantation. Pierre died in 1854.
Marie Magdelaine 1830-1831
Jean Baptiste Florestan 1830-died before 1840
Clara Charlotte, 1832-1843
Lise Augustine, 1834-1867, married 15 Apr. 1857, Jacques Lucien Masicot
Alexandre, 1835-1915, married 29 Oct. 1855, Marie Celeste Trépagnier, daughter of Pierre
----Hérbert Trépagnier and Marie Therese Ermantine Boudousquie (This is my family line)
Marie Delphine, 1836-died before 1840.
Marie Hedvige, 1837-died before 1840.
Gustave Louis, 1838-died after 1891
Adrien, 1840-1853
François Anacharsis, 1842-1883, married 18 Feb. 1867, Louise Anna Delery.
Edgard Alphonse, 1844-1897, married Marie Eugenie Castera
Jules Albanne, 1846-1853
Jean Fernand Albanne, 1848-1884
Ernest Joseph, 1851-1872
Julia Marie, 1854-1933, Married 24 Apr. 1876, Dr. Oscar Rosenorn Lanng