Processing and conservation for this
collection were funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the
The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Lamarque, Jean Baptiste, d. ca. 1802
Jean Baptiste Lamarque Papers
2 linear feet (4 boxes)
The Jean Baptiste Lamarque
Papers contain personal, business, and governmental papers of Lamarque, a French
citizen and resident of Saint Lucia in the West Indies during the early years of the
SERIES I. Personal Papers SERIES II. Business Papers SERIES III. Saint Lucia Government Papers SERIES IV. Miscellaneous Papers
Scope and Content Note
The Jean Baptiste Lamarque Papers contain personal,
business, and governmental papers of Lamarque, a French citizen and resident of
Saint Lucia in the West Indies during the early years of the French Revolution.
These papers reflect his mercantile business and the activities of the St. Lucia
government while Lamarque was a member of the Colonial Assembly and mayor of
Castries, from 1791 to 1794. This collection also includes a 1746 will of Maurice de
Saxe and documents relating to an article published on Saxe. This collection has
been arranged into four series.
Series I. Personal Papers include Lamarque's journal,
which was written as a series of letters to his friend and business associate,
Lambert, in Bordeaux. Although there is some mention of trading conditions in the
West Indies, the bulk of the letters give a detailed narration of the political and
social upheaval on Saint Lucia, and the surrounding islands of Martinique and
Guadaloupe. Activities of the French Government during the early years of the French
Revolution, 1790-1791, are discussed in Lamarque's nephew, Maximein's, letters.
These contain information on discussions or actions taken by the National Assembly
and on the French Army's movements. The remaining correspondence to Lamarque
primarily discusses deaths, illnesses, and activities of family members, with only a
few references to events in France.
This series also includes the legal papers of Lamarque, consisting of
correspondence, agreements, and court orders produced from Lamarque's attempts to
retrieve money, in the form of slaves, owed him by a Mr. Fressenjat. There are also
papers generated during Lamarque's deportation from Saint Lucia. These include a
list of his property, property subrogation agreements, and an untranslated document
concerning his deportation.
Series II. Business Papers contains Lamarque's
mercantile papers, miscellaneous correspondence, and financial papers, from 1771 to
1802. The bulk of the mercantile papers is comprised of correspondence from other
merchants in Bordeaux discussing the current prices and sales of Lamarque's sugars
and cotton goods. There are also letters from Lamarque's captain, Napias, of the
The miscellaneous correspondence contains letters to and from business
associates and friends in France. These primarily discuss favors rendered and
payments of debts. There are a few references to political events in both France and
the neighboring Windward Islands. Letters written during Lamarque's last two years
(1793-1794) on Saint Lucia often relate to political events and convey an idea of
the social and political unrest of the inhabitants. Also included here is a series
of letters written by Lamarque from Salem, Massachusetts, to friends and family in
France and Saint Lucia. Here he describes the 1794 conquest of Saint Lucia by the
British and the conditions of his deportation. In addition, there is a letter dated
1802, from Lamarque's nephew to Mr. Robinson inquiring about the whereabouts and the
return of a trunk containing the papers which comprise this collection. Additional
letters from Lamarque to Joshua Ward, concerning the return of these same papers,
are located in the Ward Family Papers (MSS 46, Box 16, Folder
7). Within the miscellaneous accounts and bills are a list of
"habitations burned and number of Negroes in insurrection" and an inventory of
Negroes owned by Lamarque.
Series III. Saint Lucia Government Papers covers the
years 1787 to 1794 and includes correspondence, speeches, decrees, and notes
generated by the Colonial Assembly, the Commandant of the local military group, and
by Lamarque as mayor of Castries, the capital city of Saint Lucia. These papers
discuss the proceedings of the Colonial Assembly, resolutions and laws made in
France to be implemented in her colonies, and military and political activities of
the local governments on Saint Lucia and Martinique. They reveal the problems of a
colonial government neglected by its mother country, and its attempts at dealing
with the social and political unrest resulting from different class structures, and
the laws and ideology passed on by the French Revolution.
Series IV. Miscellaneous Papers contains material
relating to a Maurice de Saxe, including his will, correspondence, and an article
written about him. Also included in this series are the original transcriptions of
the material, from French to English.
Jean Baptiste Lamarque, a native of Bayonne, France, was a
sugar and cotton merchant residing on Saint Lucia island during the French
Revolution (1789-1794). In addition to his mercantile exportation to France,
Lamarque was very active in the colonial government. He held the posts of the Chief
of the National Guard, member and president of the Colonial Assembly, and mayor of
Castries, the capital city of Saint Lucia. He held the position of mayor from 1791
to 1794, during the island's struggles against the contra-revolution and Great
Britain. When Great Britain captured the island in 1794, Lamarque was offered the
commissary at Fort Charlotte, Saint Lucia. He declined the post and was placed on a
transport vessel under adverse conditions. Ransomed from captivity, he was deported
from the colonies on the first American vessel which carried him to Salem,
Massachusetts. He resided in Salem for a year, returning to France in July 1795. His
several attempts to retrieve the trunk full of books and papers, which he left in
Salem in the care of Joshua Ward, were unsuccessful. He died in approximately
This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons,
or places should search the catalog using these headings.
De Saxe, Maurice
Account books--Merchants--West Indies
Diaries--Social conflict--West Indies
Restrictions on Access
This collection is open for research use.
Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in
writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex
This material is an integration and reorganization of four boxes, one account book,
and several miscellaneous folders. In 1795, Lamarque left his papers in a trunk in
the care of Joshua Ward. It is unknown who donated these papers to the Essex
Institute. The majority of the manuscripts are written in French, but are
accompanied by English translations, transcribed by Amelia E. Mac Swiggen in the
1950s. Two letters regarding Lamarque's attempts to retrieve his trunk have been
added from the Ward Family Papers, MSS 46. A bill of
lading for Joshua Ward's ship, Betsy, has been moved to
the Ward Family Papers.
Collection processed by Prudence K. Backman, October 1982. Updated by Hilary
Streifer, November 2014.
Ward Family Papers, 1718-1946. MSS 46.
West Indies: Memorial of Pierre Lamolie and Jean Baptiste Lamarque, Merchants of
Grenada, Regarding Land Held by Charibbs at St. Vincent. The National Archives, Kew,
The Jean Baptiste Lamarque Papers contain personal, business, and governmental papers of Lamarque, a French citizen and resident of Saint Lucia in the West Indies during the early years of the French Revolution.
France--Colonies; France--History--Revolution, 1789-1799; Saint Lucia--History; De Saxe, Maurice; Account books--Merchants--West Indies; Cotton manufacture; Diaries--Social conflict--West Indies; Shipping--West Indies; Slavery
Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.
This material is an integration and reorganization of four boxes, one account book, and several miscellaneous folders. In 1795, Lamarque left his papers in a trunk in the care of Joshua Ward. It is unknown who donated these papers to the Essex Institute.