Michael Hait has written about the genealogical importance or value of runaway slave advertisements, which is what this post references. You may read his article here.
You may also find a Plantation diary for Aime Valcour here. The diary begins in the year 1823 and is magnificent reading about the history of St. James Parish.
Valcour Aime writes a little about slaves:
“June 2, 1833 – Only seven hands hoeing on the 2d; lost three slaves to Cholera.”
“A patch of bananas, which when once planted gives every year a new crop from the sprouts, is all
the feeding they require; whilst our slaves are generally, at least as well fed and clothed as laborers are in Europe. ” p. 184
However, other websites indicate that a Frenchman, Elisee Recluse, hired as a tutor for the Aime’s family around 1850’s left Louisiana because of slavery.
“He reportedly left Louisiana because of it (slavery), writing that he “could not continue to earn money by tutoring the children of slave holders and thus steal from the Negroes who have truly earned through their sweat and blood the money that I put in my pocket.”
On the same page of the newspaper was another runaway slave belonging to Mr. Hasfort, a planter on the Amite river. A BLM GLO search did not discover any surnames with the exact spelling of Hasfort. A search of the Ibiblio Slave Database has records up to 1820 which returned many for the owner AIME, but NONE for HASFORT. 9 for VALENTIN with none with the name Louis (some listed as missing in the database) . 17 results for ARMSTRONG where Louis was found. If this is the same Louis as in the article above, which cannot be proven, Louis was born about 1810 and ran away at about age 24. And on about the 15th of May 1824 he was caught and imprisoned. As the article was written in November 1824, Louis, had been in the Orleans Parish prison for 6 months already.
Buyer’s Name: Armstrong
Seller’s Name: Armstrong
Year Document was created: 1814
Racial Designation: black
Document Location: St. Mary (1811)
Age (when this record was documented): 4.0
Name of the Seller: John Armstrong
Name of the Buyer: Louis Armstrong
Grouping: sold or inventoried as an individual
Selling Currency: D
Selling Value: 200
Selling Value: 200
Document: Information of the document that these records were retrieved.
Document Location: St. Mary (1811)
Document Date: 1814-10-14
Document Number (from the document): 268
Notary Name: Conveyance A-1
Coder (person that encoded this record: Philip McLeod
Type of document:
Any documents involving maroons, including reports of runaways, interrogation of caputred runaways, and testimony by slaves about runaways: no
Is this document of linguistic interest?: no
Is this inventory or sale of an estate of a free person of African descent?: no
Skill and Trade Information
Was this slave inventoried with his/her mother?: no
Was this slave sold with his/her mother?: no
Was this slave being emancipated?: no
Slave listed as dead?: no
The BLM GLO record for Aime Valcour was taken on 10 August 1846 and while the BLM GLO website indicates that this is from St. James Parish, the document itself states the Mr. Valcour Amie is of Acadia. Perhaps this was written so as not to confuse with the Southern most parishes of the German Coast.
The BLM GLO record also lists related materials which are helpful including a map taken in October – November 1829. You can see the Romans living next door. Valcour’s diary related a trip to Cuba with a neighbor, Mr. Lapice in 1845. Mr. Lapice does not appear on the map below, but a search of the Ibiblio for Lapise returned one female slave, Victoire, who was a cook and a laundress of her owner Dorothie Lapise. Dorothie purchesed Victoire from a deceased owner Descant, in 1818. A Jospeh Lapice appear in the 1850 census as having been born in St. Domingo, 50 years old, planter, in Concordia Parish along with several other records of war service for that surname LAPICE in 1812, the Civil War and more for the surname LaPice , LaPine, or Lapise. The only record of a female Lapice in 1822 is of a widow shoemaker, “Madame Lapice” , residing at 19th Burgundy corner of Bienville in Orleans Parish.
BLM GLO records indicate a Pierre Michel Lapice and a Joseph Francios Lapice of St. James Parish in 1845, much later than this map below. The related records show that Madame Simoneau sold property about 1842, evidently, to the Lapice family in this tract of land: LA Louisiana Township 12.0S Range 15.0E Section 50. The map below relates Pierre Simeneaus’ property adjacent to Aime below. The map below is marked 12 S 17 E, curiously close to the Lapice property in the same township but in Range 15.
Several Google books list the name of Valcour’s plantation home: Valcour Aime and Le Petite Versaille. Le Petite Versaille was said to be completed in 1846 the same year of the land grant above. Shortly after Valcour Aime’s marriage in 1816 he purchased a home and land that included slaves. Later, it is said that he owned over 200 slaves. Valcour grew his own vegetables to eat, had a zoo which included a kangaroo, and well landscaped gardens including a cave built after the death of his son.
St. James Parish
DAR Louisiana Portraits (b. 1797 d. 1867) Valcour, “Francis Gabriel” Aime
Orleans Parish Directory – 146 Conti Street 1852
Orleans Parish Directory – 260 Royal Street 1842
“All his life Jacques Roman had lived in the shadow of his brother-in-law, Valcour Aime. Valcour was richer, more successful, and more powerful. His plantation was bigger and much more magnificent that Jacques’ modest home. And Valcour’s gardens were known all over the country. Many guests passed by the Roman plantation on their way to visit the Aimes; often they never noticed the smaller house. Throughout Valcour Aime’s journals he mentions his brother-in-law, usually to compare himself favorably to Jacques. ‘My cane is higher than Jacques’,” he would say; or “my oranges are much tastier than his.” Louisiana History 101