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Marriage contract between Joseph Thomas Patrice Du Bourg

and Josephine Charlotte Benigne Brusle, widow of Mauleon

[Translated from the French by Patricia Jackson]

March 8, 1787

In the presence of the undersigned King's notary at le Cap francais, St. Domingue, and in the presence of the witnesses hereinafter named, were present Mr. Joseph Thomas Patrice du Bourg, merchant in le Cap and residing there, native of the city of Bordeaux in the parish of Sainte-Colombe, adult legitimate son of Mr. Pierre du Bourg inhabitant of le haut du Trou in the parish of Saint-Martin-du-Dondon and of his late wife Marguerite de Vaughizan his father and mother, the said Mr. du Bourg the son acting with the assistance agreement and consent of his said father here present, of the first part, and Josephine Charlotte Benigne Brusle widow by first marriage of the late Mr. Louis Poirel de la Tour of which marriage there is issue, one daughter aged five years who is living, and widow by second marriage of Mr. Jean Baptiste Joseph de Mauleon of which marriage there was no issue, the said widow inhabiting the district of la Marmelade in the parish of Sainte Marthe, native of the district of Dondon in the parish of Saint Martin, adult legitimate daughter of the late Mr. Antoine Exupere Brusle and of his wife Victoire Chauvet Dubreuil inhabitant of le haut de Trou in the said district and parish of Dondon, her father and mother, acting with the agreement and consent of her mother here present, of the second part.

Which parties in the presence of their parents and friends hereinafter named have made and jointly agreed upon settlements agreements and civil covenants of future marriage between the said Mr. du Bourg son and the said Mrs. de Mauleon which will be solemnized immediately before the Church in the following manner:

The future husband and wife will be united and hold in common all goods, furniture and acquired real property which they will have and will acquire only in the future, which community property will be ruled and governed according to the custom in Paris that is followed in this colony, although the future husband and wife may make their residence or acquisitions in future where there may be contrary laws and dispositions, the future couple expressly derogates those contrary laws and customs.

The future husband and wife will not be bound by the debts and mortgages made by either one before the future marriage is solemnized and any old debts will be paid and acquitted by him or her who made or created them on their goods without the other one being held accountable. The future husband and wife will each retain the goods and rights belonging to them, expired or to come due, both existing real and personal property will not become community property, but on the contrary will remain the property of the one who brought it to the union and in his or her family stock and line, by which means all personal property Negroes and animals and debts due to them are and remain immobilized.

The goods of the future wife consist firstly of those given to her by the distribution between her and Miss Poirel her daughter by a deed reported by the undersigned notary dated July 12, 1785, the details of whom follow.

Name followed by country of origin. Creole meaning native of St. Domingue]

1. Justine, servant, valued at ......... 4000

2. Azor Avada, barber.................. 3000

3. Noel, cook................................ 2400

4. Jean Francois creole................ 3000

5. Mercure Bambara 1800

6. Alexis Congo 2400

7. Souris Senegalais 2500

8. Thomas Congo 2000

9. Spadille Congo 2500

10. Jean-Pierre dit Corydon Bambara 1800

11. Antoine Congo 1500

12. Sophie Congo, barber 3000

13. Bonne mulatto daughter of Sophie 500

14. Rebelle mulatto daughter of Sophie 200

15. Louison Congo servante 3000

16. Grace Congo 3000

17. Felix Negro boy son of Grace 1500

18. Ninette daughter of Grace 450

19. Janvier creole 3000

20. Neptune Bambara 2000

21 Pierrot Congo 2400

22. Jean-Baptiste Congo 2600

23. Medor Congo migrant 2800

24. Alexandre Congo 2400

25. Cambon Mazinga 1900

26. Louis Congo 2500

27. Andre Congo 2400

28. Cupidon 1000

29. Baste Congo 2000

30. Toussaint Congo 3000

31. Paul, no estimate, memorandum

32. Marinette Soso 2800

33. Rosalie Congo 2500

34. Jean-Francois son of Rosalie 600

35. Zabeth Congo 2500

36. Noel creole son of Zabeth 1200

37. Julien creole son of Zabeth 50

38. Casimir son of Rosette 1000

Total 77,900

Secondly the goods of the future wife consist of Negroes arising from both her inheritance from her second husband the late Mr. de Mauleon as well as those acquired since his death, the details of whom follow:

39. Andre creole, aged 48 years courteous 2000

40. Francois Congo 48 years 2500

41. Cesar Nago 43 years 2500

42. Bon gout Congo 46 years 2500

43. Thelemaque Congo 37 years 2500

44. Gillo creole 26 years 3000

45. Edouard Congo 25 years 3000

46. Georges Congo 26 years 3000

47. Maurice Congo 23 years 3000

48. Eustache Congo 27 years 3000

49. Pascal Congo 23 years 2500

50. Boniface Congo 23 years 2500

51. Henri Congo 25 years 3000

52. Louis Congo 25 years 3000

53. Pierre Congo 17 years 3000

54. Jupiter Congo 18 years 2500

55. Hector Congo 17 years 2500

56. Simon creole 19 years 2000

57. Felix creole 20 years 2500

58. Alexis Congo 23 years 2500

59. Jean-Baptiste Congo 21 years 2500

60. Blaise Congo 22 years 2500

61. Aza Congo 18 years 2500

62. Paulidor 19 years 2500

63. Valere Congo 20 years 2500

64. Pyram Congo 20 years 2500

65. Zamar Congo 18 years 2500

66. Tinus Congo 2 years 2500

67. Figaro Congo 15 years 2500

68. Genevieve Aida 35 years 3000

69. Catherine Congo 33 years 3000

70. Nanette creole 36 years 2500

71. Suzanne Congo 38 years 2500

72. Olive Creole 19 years 3000

73. Venus Congo 23 years 2500

74. Julie Congo 23 years 2500

75. Couba Congo 22 years 2500

76. Helene Congo 21 years 2500

77. Claire Congo 23 years 2500

78. Rosalie creole 35 years 2200

79. Babichonne creole 19 years 2500

80. Flore Congo 19 years 2500

81. Minerve Congo 23 years 2500

82. Zenure Congo 18 years 2500

83. Fatime Congo 21 years 2500

84. Pauline Congo 20 years 2500

85. Zaire Congo 19 years 2500

86. Thisbe Congo 18 years 2500

87. Bache Congo 23 years 2000

88. Sebastien, Negro boy 500

89. Laurence negritte 15 years 2400

90. Adelaide 13 years 200

91. Marie 10 years 1200

92. Jeanne 6 years 800

93. Marie Claire 4 years 500

94. Angelique 3 years 400

95. Cite 18 months 200

Thirdly: the said future wife owns household goods, table linen, bed linen, silverware and utensils the detail of which has not been entered but which the future husband acknowledges to be worth 25,000 livres an evaluation agreed upon by both parties.

Fourthly: Fourteen pack mules in very good condition valued for a total of 12,000 livres.

Fifthly: A herd of horned animals valued at 2400

Sixthly: Three horses valued at 2100

Seventhly: Three domestic horses 900

Eighthly: The life-interest and enjoyment during her life in an established coffee plantation at la Marmelade arising from her inheritance from Mr. Mauleon which said life-interest is noted here as a mere memorandum.

Ninthly: Finally the future bride's goods consist of those which she inherited from her late father in an indivisible inheritance with her brothers, sisters and mother.

As for the goods of the future husband the parties have not demanded any description.

Notwithstanding the community property stipulated below the future husband cannot sell alienate or mortgage any of the personal property Negroes or animals of the future bride which are immobilized by the present contract without the express written consent of the future bride on paid of nullity of the said sales and if any of the said Negroes dies they will be replaced from community property by acquisition of other Negroes of the same value who will also remain immobilized by the said action and remain the property of the future bride her family stock and line.

The future husband has given and gives to the future wife the sum of 25,000 livres as a pre-fixed and unreturnable marriage settlement to have and to hold as soon as the marriage settlement takes place without being demandable at law on the goods of the future husband pledged for the present contract.

The survivor of the future couple will have and take the right to a preference share as a coheir in the clothing, linen, rings, jewels, and jewelry for his or her personal use, and in addition if the bride survives, her domestic servants, her horse, and that of her domestics and their saddles and also her bedroom completely furnished, and if the future husband survives he will have in addition his domestic servants, his horse, that of his domestics, their harness, his arms and greyhound.

It will be legal for the future bride and her children to renounce the dissolution of the community property (en ouivant?) and by so doing to retake all that can be justified as having been brought to the marriage by the future bride her marriage settlements and preference share etc. etc.

And for the perfect affection that the future bride and groom have for each other and wishing to give tangible proof of it, well and duly authorized by the husband's father and the bride's mother, they make by these presents a gift between the living, pure simple irrevocable and in the best form that a donation can be [details of the gifts exchanged by the living follow. . .]

That which has been wished, stipulated, agreed and consented to above by the parties, by thus promising obliging and renouncing in haut du Trou in the district and parish of Saint Martin du Dondon on the plantation of the said lady Brusle and her children in the year 1787 on the 18th March in the morning in the presence of:

Louis du Bourg merchant at le Cap, brother of the future groom

Francois Carrie inhabitant of the Dauphin district, and Marie du Bourg, wife of the said Carrie his brother-in-law and sister

Guillaume Carrere living at le Cap, his cousin

And on the part of the future bride:

Louis Chauvet Dubreuil inhabitant of Cap de Louise, her uncle

Louis Exupert Brusle, her brother

Jeanne, Perrine, Felicite, Louise Angelique and Elizabeth, her sisters

Also in the presence of:

Jean Baptiste Blaireau knight of the Royal Military Order of St. Louis, inhabitant of Dondon

Francois Charest de Lauzun, major in the Militia, inhabitant of la Marmelade

Jean Baptiste Pujos, inhabitant of Dondon, friends of the future husband

And also in the presence of

Jacques Decamp, lawyer in parliament residing at le Cap

Philippe Fournier, master surgeon living in haut du Trou, Dondon

Required witnesses who signed with all the parties, relatives and friends and ourselves, the draft of these presents remaining in the collective power of Mr. Fromentin the undersigned notary.

And in the margin is written registered and sealed by me the undersigned commissioned registrar in the court of the royal seat in le Cap the gift contained in the contract of marriage hereby attached and of the other parties required in the First of Charles [?] at le Cap March 30, 1787

Signed Fournier, commissioned registrar

Signed Fromentin


Note: (placed at the head of the original document)

The land titles of Mr. Joseph Thomas Patrice du Bourg mentioned in the attached contract of marriage have been registered in the registry of the Superior Council of St. Domingue upon the execution of his arrest on March 24, 1789, which mention we, Francois Andre Duplessis commissioned registrar in the royal set at le Cap, make by virtue of the ordinance of Monsieur le Senechal of the said seat rendered by the conclusions of Monsieur the king's prosecutor on this day and date.

At Cap Francais

March 24, 1790

Signed Duplessis

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