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François Marie Perrin du Lac, a French émigré, was an administrator in Saint Domingue during the time of the revolution and fought on the side of the colonials against Toussaint L'Ouverture. In 1791, he accompanied French officials to the United States to seek help from Congress to combat the insurrection. Prevented from returning to France as a result of the war between France and England, he traveled through the United States and explored the southern and western states, visiting Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Illinois, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. The result of this journey was his Travels Through the Two Louisianas, and Among the Savage Nations of the Missouri; Also, in the United States, Along the Ohio, and the Adjacent Provinces, in 1801, 1802, & 1803, published in London in 1807.

Like a number of other newcomers or visitors to New Orleans, du Lac found more to criticize than to praise. His chapter on the city during the last days of Spanish rule begins, "New Orleans, at which I arrived in six weeks, does not merit a favorable description." du Lac found the city dirty, smelly, and unhealthy, the Spanish officials corrupt and foolish, the clergy debauched, and the Creoles vain and overly fond of pleasure. Nevertheless, he lamented the loss of the French empire in the New World. On the page shown here, he lists the income derived by Spain from the Louisiana colony (and hints that if not for Spanish corruption and mismanagement, the colony could provide far more riches).
     [François Marie Perrin du Lac. Travels Through the Two Louisianas . . . (London, 1807)]

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