University of Notre Dame

Diocese of Louisiana and the Floridas 1795/12/29





1795 Dec. 29

(Besancon, O.M.C.) Father Sebastien Flavian

Census of the parish of St. Charles, first coast of les Allemands for the year 1795, drawn up by Father Sebastien flavian (de Besancon), a French Capuchin: I Men; a) White men from 1 year of age to 15-143; from 15 on--327. b) Free Half-breed from 1 to 15--18; from 15 on--24. c) Slaves from 1 to 15--163; from 15 on--905. d) Total 1580. II Women: a) White women from 1 to 15--143; from 15 on--62. b) Free Half-breed women from 1 to 15--14; from 15 on--24. c) Slaves from 1 to 15--132; from 15 on 277. d) Total--652. III Total of souls--2232. IV Baptisms and deaths of parishioners: a) In the year 1794, 27 Baptisms and 7 deaths. b) In the year 1794, there were 72 baptisms of colored people and 44 deaths. c) In 1795, 78 baptisms and 33 deaths. V a) That of all the souls over 15 years, only 8 have not fulfilled their obligations with the Church. b) All the parishioners are Catholic. c) The Church does not have other revenues but those of the pews that are fixed. In the present year, they have been rented for 80 "pesos." VI Concerning the temporal and spiritual welfare of the Church. The Church is altogether abandoned and the parishioners are ignorant. Nearly two-thirds of the population lives on the other side of the river and on the holy days they cannot come over to fulfill their religious duties because they do not have pirogues to cross the river. Accordingly, Father Flavien asks that the Church may be moved where the greater part of the population live because so there would be at Mass more than 100 parishioners who would be taught the necessary religious instruction. Moreover, Father Flavien spends the greater part of time on this side of the river with his chief sacristan. VII The Church needs: a) A silver or silvered cross. b) A violet chasuble with stole, maniple, and cloth (pano). c) Another complete green chasuble. d) A colored cope for the benedictions. e) A veil for marriages and nuptial benedictions. f) A canopy for the processions. g) A sacristy. h) A singer. i) A holy water basin for the entrance. Signed by Father Flavian. (Apparently included with the census is the following).

1795 Dec. (?)

Besancon, (O.M.C.) Father Sebastien Flavien de

to Bishop Penalver y Cardenas
(New Orleans)
?? sending the list asked by the latter and hopes he has not omitted anything. Abuses that exist in the parish of St. Charles:
a) The practice of baptizing children, with the short form, without consulting whether there is necessity and the other practice of not bringing them to baptism until too late.
b) The practice of presenting bread in the high Mass to be consecrated has been discontinued for a long time.
c) The parishioners do not confess when getting married until the eve or on the day of the marriage which might cause great difficulties.
d) The inhabitants exact that the adult negroes be baptized without being instructed.
e) The inhabitants make the negroes work on Sunday and even on the most solemn festivals.
f) The inhabitants send their slaves to be buried without notifying the pastor.
g) They send them also to baptism without specifying the sex, the age, the name of the mother, whence result many blanks in the registers.
h) When a sick parishioner has to send for the Pastor to receive the spiritual nourishment, a slave performs the task without any notification from his master, whence many difficulties may result.
i) The inhabitants of this side almost never attend Mass. In one word, irreligion is practiced in this parish. Signed by Father Flavian.

IV-5-d A.L.S. 1p. 4to. 2pp. 8vo. (Spanish)

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