In this episode, Katy and Joseph chat about "the de Lobel-Mahy notebook," the challenges of working with damaged historic documents, and talk about how these small excerpts from private correspondence can provide deep insights into family life in Louisiana and France, as well as the social and political climate of the time period.
As promised, we've included images of the pages below so our listeners can see condition of the document. Translations into English follow.
Mr le Baron de Meynard
Octobre 12, 1876
I thank him for the kind welcome he gave Raymond and congratulate him for his skillful management of la Thuilerie. The lease that he negotiated with Rensard (sp?) replacing Breuillé appears advantageous for me. We still hope to travel to Bourgogne to show him our appreciation. After assuring him of several details about the social disorder that reigns in Louisiana, I share with him our present hope of a coming change in favour of the Democrats [then the conservative, segregationist party in Louisiana].
I agree with Raymond's decision to acquiesce to Mr Meynard's insistence that he remain longer at Feÿ than he initially thought he would, since he had the great pleasure to be among friends who have retained the same feelings for us. I request that he communicate my respectful compliments to Mme de Meynard and our fondest memories to Mesdemoiselles Jeanne and France and send him friendly greetings.
Mr R.H. de Lobel-Mahy
October 15, 1876
I urge him to write to us every 15 days and urge him to not spare any details in his letters. I ask him for a directory of the school of the Jesuit Reverend Fathers. News of the elections in the States of Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia and Colorado, in the case of the last three States are favorable to us and give us the hope to elect Tilden and Hendricks, etc. etc.