Interior Forms - Interior Functions - Communities and Families: - Family Life and Living Conditions in Eighteenth Century Louisbourg

Interior Forms - Interior Functions

Communities and Families:

Family Life and Living Conditions in Eighteenth Century Louisbourg

Kenneth Donovan
Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Park in Nova Scotia


This paper examines the nature of dwelling interiors on île Royale during the first half of the eighteenth century. It explains, among other things, how Louisbourg families coped with the relatively cramped living conditions of their homes.


L'auteur étudie l'intérieur des habitations dans l'île Royale pendant la première moitié du ⅩⅦe siècle. Il explique, entre autres choses, comment les familles de Louisbourg s'accommodaient de l'espace relativement restreint dans lequel elles vivaient.

The Community Study

Fig. 1. Detail from a view of the town of Louisbourg, 1731, by Verrier fils, son of the chief engineer of Louisbourg.
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(Photo: Parks Canada; from Bibliothèque Nationale, France, Section des Cartes et Collections géographiques, c. 1830.)

1 Although sociologists, psychologists, and anthropologists have long since conducted both empirical and theoretical research into the nature and function of contemporary families, it is only within the past two decades that French and English historians, and more recently their American counterparts, have come to recognize the central role of the family in moulding society. Seeing the paucity of community and family-oriented studies in general, a new generation of historians undertook to fill the void by producing so-called microstudies.1 Taking a broader view of the family and the community as a whole, demographic historians have employed a new methodology which entails not only reconstructing but examining in detail the records of local communities.

2 Convinced that novel methods of demographic analysis could be used to investigate key problems in social history, these demographic historians sought the answers to such questions as how many children were in each family, at what ages did people marry, how much control did parents have over their children, and why did children remain in their parents' community. But merely uncovering particulars as to the size and composition of the domestic group would prove a fruitless exercise indeed were not such information applied to effects on behaviour. With such an end in view, New England scholarship in the late 1960s and early 1970s emphasized local or, more precisely, community studies. Of course, the authors of the New England community studies owe a tremendous debt to French and, to a lesser extent, British scholars, for they have pioneered sophisticated techniques of local analysis.2 The demographic findings and the methodologies that have evolved in France and Europe as a whole, not to mention the United States, are relevant to an examination of Louisbourg.3 Various French local works emphasize that the average colonial American's living standard was significantly above that of his western European counterpart. At the same time numerous studies of New England towns also underscore the often neglected similarities between American and French villages of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.4 And to the extent that the history of Louisbourg is closely allied to France, the history of French families from the sixteenth through the eighteenth century provides a blueprint for an evaluation of the Louisbourg experience.

3 Utilizing such data as probates, land transactions, court records, and vital statistics, this relatively new scholarship tackled the social history of the local community from a radically new perspective by employing two basic statistical techniques: aggregate analysis and family reconstitution. Aggregate analysis is essentially the compilation of data on local communities and relies primarily on a chronological series of original records of births, marriages, and deaths. After the information has been accumulated, historians can analyse it for various demographic trends including rates of population growth, decline, and mobility. Population trends in various communities thus can easily be compared. The principal limitation of this approach with regard to Louisbourg is the relatively short history of the fortress town. Louisbourg was occupied by the French a mere forty-two years, 1713-45 and 1748-58, hardly enough time for an on-going pattern of development to emerge, even if all the data were extant.

4 By far the most useful methodological tool for the study of Louisbourg is family reconstitution, for it is concerned with the lives of particular families within the communities as opposed to the more general patterns of population growth in various communities. But this is not to say that aggregate analysis should not be utilized in a demographic examination of Louisbourg, for the town should not be studied in isolation. In fact, this is one of the key areas where microstudies differ decisively from the traditional community study; unlike the latter which more often than not lapsed into ancestor worship, the new community studies, apart from using a new methodology involving quantitative analysis, are keenly appreciative of a broader historical context of which their respective works form only a minor part.

5 However, before any family reconstitution or community-oriented investigation may even be attempted, there must be a thorough set of records. Louisbourg, with some major exceptions, more than fits the bill, and a good case can be made for overkill, for in the archives of the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Park is the comprehensive parish record file with its records of baptisms, marriages, and deaths in île Royale. Moreover, there is an index of occupants of the reconstructed part of the town (approximately one-fifth of the fortress), with upwards of 45,000 references to roughly 1,000 names.5 And there is the literary evidence. Frequently the latter is less important to the new methodology which stresses the value and importance of quantifiable data, nevertheless, the significance of subjective factors — there are thousands of pages of official correspondence between Louisbourg and France—must not be overlooked in any study of the Louisbourg community.

6 Based on the voluminous judicial records extant at Louisbourg, there is every reason to believe that the people of Louisbourg, not unlike those of New England, went to court more often than the average citizen today. Admittedly, the great majority of Louisbourg's citizens, perhaps as many as 70 per cent, were illiterate, but many appeared in court and some of their views have been preserved as testimony in legal proceedings. The clerks of the various courts, most notably the plumitif of the Superior Council and to a lesser extent the bailiff's court or royal court, recorded the statements of various defendants and witnesses. If Louisbourg citizens were prepared to drag their neighbours into court for the least offence, justice must have been relatively inexpensive. Civil cases of less than 200 livres that were judged summarily cost only 3 livres.6 In protracted civil and criminal suits, however, justice was by no means moderately priced because fees were charged by officers of the court at virtually every level for the preparation of documents required by law. Of course, the court records necessarily convey a negative bias, if for no other reason than they tell us of what the community disapproved. Nevertheless, they are still one of the best sources for Louisbourg social history.

7 Another critical source for an examination of Louisbourg family life is the inventory of estate. Although not unique to France and its possessions, French inventories were most exacting: under French civil law an inventory was required of the estate of each person who died with heirs. Naturally, when a spouse died, the co-ownership of the community of goods between a husband and a wife was dissolved. Since the inventory was primarily intended to protect the inheritance of the minors, an exact enumeration was made of all the goods and property and the appraisers subsequently set the value of the estate. After the inventory was complete, the estate was divided with the surviving spouse receiving half and the children equally sharing the remaining half.

8 By outlining the number of rooms and describing their contents, these inventories provide a wealth of information about the household of the deceased. Indeed, the difficulty in using them is knowing how to sort out the mass of data and make meaningful generalizations. At first glance, the inventories describe only those possessions owned by the colonists and hence give a formal view of family life. But the inventories actually provide clues to various questions about family interrelationships: Who owned what? How many rooms were in the house? Did the children sleep with their parents? Did the family eat at one or more tables? How much privacy did the family enjoy? In the end, the historian is faced with a formidable task, for to answer such questions he must come to terms, either by deduction, impression, or, where possible, quantification of the data, with certain personal and emotional patterns of behaviour which are critical for an overview of family life.

Fig. 2. A faience platter with a scalloped rim section showing six lead staples embedded on either side of a break. Excavated from the fifth casemate on the right side of the King's Bastion, the platter has a white tin glaze with a dot, diaper, and hatch pattern separated by a foliate design.
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(Photo: Danny Crawford. Parks Canada, Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Park. Catalogue No. 1B.4N19.20.)

9 Even a cursory glance at the 187 Louisbourg inventories reveals a wide variance among households in terms of material possessions. Of course, this is understandable in view of the different social ranks of the people inventoried. Louisbourg inventories run the gamut of the town's society, including such notables as government officials, artisans, merchants, military officers, and ship's captains. By far the largest single occupation inventoried in Louisbourg are the lowly fishermen, with no less than 35 extant inventories. Of these 35, the majority are disappointingly small, usually comprising a couple of pages outlining the few worldly possessions of a drowned fisherman. Notwithstanding the fishermen's inventories, there are actually few inventories of the very poor in Louisbourg.

10 The comprehensive Louisbourg collection of artifacts also provides the opportunity of utilizing physical evidence. Historians have naturally felt more comfortable examining literary sources rather than physical remains. Although the answers may not be readily forthcoming and, at best, will be inferential, historians must ask questions about physical evidence to broaden our knowledge of social history. What Louisbourg historian could possibly ignore the thousands of pipe stems and wine bottles unearthed at the fortress site. This archaeological evidence reveals, to a much greater extent than the documents, that smoking and drinking spirits were cherished pastimes. Moreover, in terms of family life and household living conditions, archaeological evidence is particularly pertinent; occasionally it is the only available source for determining the size and appearance of a house and its contents.

The Louisbourg Community

11 Just how applicable is the community-oriented approach to eighteenth century Louisbourg? A colonial aristocracy eventually emerged there that was military, bureaucratic, and commercial, but Louisbourg's settlement had a communal character and small communities cannot sustain a vast range of social roles let alone a substantial differentiation of labour. Moreover, Louisbourg's founding settlement, comprising approximately 160 people (mostly soldiers), was small by today's standards. Within the context of eighteenth century colonial North America, however, the settlement was anything but minute. By 1710 — three years prior to the founding of Louisbourg — there were only 60,000 people in all of Massachusetts and, more important, the average town had less than 100 adult males.7 By 1737, Louisbourg, with approximately 1,500 people, was one of the most populous towns in North America.

12 In compliance with the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht, which officially ended the War of the Spanish Succession in 1713, Acadia and Newfoundland were ceded to Britain leaving France , île Royale (Cape Breton Island) and lie Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island). According to the terms of the treaty, the French were entitled to emigrate to French territory within a year, taking their moveable goods with them. île Royale was established as a French colony primarily because of the efforts of one man: Jerome Phélypeaux, Comte de Pontchartrain. A veteran administrator who succeeded his father as minister of marine in 1693, Pontchartrain sought to maintain France's preeminence in the North Atlantic fishery and hence, during the last two years of his tenure, île Royale became his first priority in colonial affairs. Thus, the settlement on île Royale and particularly Louisbourg, was intended to replace Placentia as the headquarters for the fishery and serve as a haven for trading ships and privateers.8

13 Placentia was handed to the English and by early September 1713 its inhabitants had arrived in île Royale. The 116 men, 10 women, and 23 children all had a common background; they, and the people that followed them, formed the backbone of an eighteenth century fishing community.9 Established as a key French fishing settlement as early as 1662, Placentia had been provided with a garrison not only to protect the fishermen but to enable them to fish in nearby harbours. Although the great bulk of the vessels came out from France in the spring and returned in the autumn with their crews, Placentia had become an important depot for the fishery and consequently, as early as 1687 there were approximately 123 settlers or inhabitants who wintered in the colony.10 By 1711, there were only 600 people in Placentia, of which fewer than half were full-time residents of the colony.11 It was this small fishing community which would form the founding core of Louisbourg's population.12

14 These few hundred settlers seemed hardly enough, even if the majority of them transferred to île Royale, to fend off any concerted attack. What was essential to Pontchartrain was the assemblage of the largest possible force in one place and, although he was not unalterably opposed to the formation of other settlements, he pressed for concentration on the founding and subsequent fortification of Louisbourg.13 Thus, after 1713 he called for the fishermen on the island of Saint-Pierre to move to île Royale and he waged a concerted effort to encourage the Acadians to emigrate to a land "de leur nation".14 To urge the Acadians to forsake their diked marshlands and emigrate to île Royale for purely patriotic reasons was for them a hollow argument; as Pontchartrain himself noted, Louisbourg had been chosen for one reason: the "abondance de la pesche qui s'y trouve a determine Sa Ma'é ay faire taire le et principal Etablissement...."15

Fig. 3. A green glazed coarse earthenware bowl, radius 14.5 cm., from the Saintonge region, France. The bowl, excavated from the sixth casemate on the right side of the King's Bastion, has eight mend holes.
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(Photo: Danny Crawford. Parks Canada, Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Park. Catalogue No. 1B.4P11.14.)

15 It was all very well for the French Ministry of Marine to adopt a policy calling for the settling of île Royale, but obviously some incentive had to be offered to the Placentia fishermen and the Acadian farmers to encourage them to uproot their families and emigrate to an inhospitable new colony. That exceptional incentive was to be freehold tenure. To a settler of peasant stock, the thought of having legal title to his own land must have been nothing short of enthralling. Certainly there was no question that the people of Placentia were initially accorded a special status, at least in terms of land grants; they were the first settlers to be offered land concessions in Louisbourg, whereas the masters of vessels coming annually from France were to have access to the beaches in the nearby harbours of Mira and Scatary.16 The Placentia refugees were to be granted land, not merely beach frontage, as compensation for leaving Newfoundland, the land of their birth.17 Beach frontage was distributed to the people from Placentia in proportion to the amount of land that they owned in Newfoundland, and according to the number of chaloupes they possessed.18 Furthermore, the granting of land in Louisbourg was all the more significant because throughout most of the eighteenth century in Newfoundland no private property had been granted except in association with the fishery.19

16 Such was not to be the case in Louisbourg or île Royale because the Acadians had enjoyed the benefits of private property for over a century and if there was to be any hope of luring them to Cape Breton, they had to be offered their own land. Accordingly, Pontchartrain took steps to assure not only the Acadians but the settlers from Placentia that there would be no seigneurial concessions granted on île Royale in contrast to Canadian settlement along the St. Lawrence.20

17 The concessions of land on île Royale measured approximately two to four acres frontage by four to six in depth. However, Pontchartrain reminded Governor Costebelle that it served no purpose to give the settlers more land than they desired because other settlers would be prevented from establishing there. Furthermore, he did not want the land along the Mira River to be granted first because it was the most suitable land for cultivation.21 And this was precisely the crux of the problem for the Acadians because there was so little arable land on the island. Above all, the Acadians were farmers and, over a century of relative isolation from France, they had created an indigenous culture. Why should they forsake their bountiful land to take up farming or fishing in île Royale.22 The Acadians wished to settle, if any where on the island, at Port-Dauphin which was better suited to farming. In the end, only 67 Acadian families, some 500 people, emigrated to Cape Breton between 1713 and 1734.

Fig. 4. An English soft-paste porcelain bowl base shaped for re-use. Special care has been taken to maintain the centre design of a boy fishing. Excavated from the Cassagnolles-Detcheverry storehouse in the île du Quay.
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(Photo: Danny Crawford. Parks Canada, Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Park. Catalogue No. 47L.90H2.1.)

18 To the Acadians, Louisbourg's population must have appeared a tight corporate group, as indeed it was, since eighteenth century man was much more group conscious than his present-day counterpart. People knew their role in society, and the pre-industrial man conformed to the norms of his group. Not surprisingly, the eighteenth century French peasant identified himself with his most important group, the family, and then with his village.23 There is no reason to suspect that the founding settlers of Louisbourg would think any differently. Had not their fishing village just been transferred wholesale to Louisbourg!

19 Even though the Acadians did not arrive as anticipated, by March 1714 there were more than 300 men at Louisbourg.24 The transfer from Placentia appeared orderly enough (actually it caused tremendous hardship for the people involved), but Pontchartrain cautioned that the wives and children of the workers must not be sent to île Royale for the first year. These families would have to be looked after: "il vaut mieux," he insisted, "que ces familles attendent l'année prochaine pour y passer parce que Alors les Ouvriers Seront Etablies et en Etat les recevoir."25

20 Pontchartrain's suggestion that the families of the workers should delay their departure was not carried out completely, however; by early October 1714 Placentia had been fully evacuated.26 The French departure from Placentia had been speeded up in order to avoid an imbroglio over the interpretation of the text of the treaty. Although the French had been granted a year to remove their valuables, some confusion arose over whether the year began, as the French presumed, the day they handed over their territory to the English or the day they signed the treaty? The latter was the English position and the French had little choice but to concede eventually. Pontchartrain therefore advised Governor Costebelle that it was necessary for the French to leave Placentia as quickly as possible.27

21 Since the people who came to Louisbourg clearly came to stay, the community-oriented concept appears all the more valid when applied to the fortress town. Of the eight officers who signed the original declaration claiming île Royale as a possession of Louis ⅩⅥ, the descendants of no less than six participated in the defence of the fortress in 1745 and numerous descendants of former officers were present at the siege of 1758.28 Prior to 1745 the original immigrants from Placentia virtually dominated the Superior Council, holding four of the five council positions.29 Even the île Royale soldier, recruited as a member of the Compagnies Franches de la Marine, served to a much greater extent than his counterpart in France or Canada in terms of unlimited engagements which usually amounted to lifetime appointments.30

22 Yet, in the midst of this obstensibly staid society there was also a great deal of mobility, for the habitants-pêcheurs, residents of the colony who owned the boats and shore facilities, hired hundreds of fishermen for each season. Although approximately one-third of these fishermen wintered in the colony, most of them came out each year from France. However, there was a critical distinction between the mobile sector of île Royale's population and Louisbourg society which was remote and restricted, at least for its full-time residents. Within such a relatively closed society, marriage alliances opened avenues to wealth and influence; the children of prominent families, of bourgeois merchants, administrators, or senior officers, easily inter-married. The resulting extended relationships and close bonds produced a feeling of local identity and a sense of exclusiveness towards outsiders.31

23 French economic policy accentuated the attitude of exclusiveness. Like his father, Pontchartrain retained the principal dogmas of mercantilism. In keeping with this policy the French endeavoured, mostly in vain, to establish a monopoly over île Royale's fishery. From the outset, Pontchartrain adopted measures intended to make the colony even more insular. Attempting to protect the settlement from exploitation, he stipulated as early as 1714 that tavern keepers, especially those from France who were retail merchants as well, would not be permitted to settle in Louisbourg because they lived off the work of others. But ultimately it was not so much French official policy as fortuitious circumstances and the business acumen of the Louisbourg merchants which contributed to their growing role in the colony's fishing industry and supply trade. Louisbourg's merchant-fishermen dominated île Royale's economy and they stimulated and helped to maintain a spirit of independence and nativism within the burgeoning town. As a result, colonial Louisbourg became a community, not merely in numbers, but in spirit and feeling.

Family Life and Living Conditions

24 Bountiful evidence, together with an expanded historical outlook and various quantitative techniques, render a community-oriented investigation of eighteenth-century Louisbourg most attractive. As important as the methodology, however, is the new conceptualization itself, for the family and generational development provides an excellent model for psycho-social analysis.

25 Louisbourg was constructed in a desolate spot. Notorious for its dampness, the fortress was erected on a peninsula which takes the brunt of the southwest Atlantic winds; it is often shrouded in fog when the rest of the island, including the north shore of the harbour three miles away, enjoys sunshine. Relying only on a fully banked fireplace in a reconstructed period building at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic site can be a chilling experience in mid-winter. Insulation as we know it was unheard of in the eighteenth century, and given their relatively inefficient fireplaces it is only to be expected that the French spent much of their time trying to keep warm. Colonial officials continually bemoaned the hardships of Louisbourg winters to their superiors at Versailles. Writing in December 1727, Governor Saint-Ovide reported to the minister of marine that "wood is as necessary here as bread".32 Louisbourg's inventories of estates confirm Saint-Ovide's contention; by October householders had as many as fifteen cords of wood in preparation for the long winter months.33 A 1735 account of the fuel used in the soldiers' guardroom of the King's Bastion barracks shows that they burned thirty cords of wood "in the 8 months of winter between the month of October and the end of May."34

26 In large measure, the townspeople relied on the troops of the garrison to supply fuel, for the soldiers were encouraged to earn extra income by cutting firewood. As might be expected the climate exacted its greatest toll during the winter, and it was continually being cited in correspondence as the cause of respiratory congestion and rheumatism. Charles Knowles, English governor of Louisbourg from 1746 to 1747, lamented in the spring of 1747: "I have struggled hard to weather the winter, which I've done thank God, tho was not above three times out of my room for 5 months... I am convinced I shou'd not live out another winter at Louisbourg...."35 Like Knowles, James Johnstone grudgingly tolerated the Louisbourg weather. A former captain in Bonnie Prince Charlie's army during the jacobite rebellion, as well as a translator and lieutenant in the Louisbourg garrison, Johnstone lived in the town from 1752 until the eve of the capitulation in 1758. In his memoir, Johnstone referred to "The bad climate of Louisbourg, where one does not see the sun sometimes for a month; the extreme misery which you experience from that..." The climate, continued Johnstone, "contributed to cause me to acquire a taste for reading and studying philosophy, very seldom going out of my room except to attend to my duty...."36

27 Patients in the Louisbourg hospital huddled around stoves in winter for warmth. In 1749, the hospital purchased "neuf bancs de bois de pin pour la commodité des malades autour des poêles...."37 Nathaniel Knap, a carpenter from Newbury, Massachusetts, and member of the British force which had captured Louisbourg in 1758, described on 25 January 1759, how bitterly cold days brought work to a standstill: "This Day so cold that we Did but little work & had enough to do to keep ourselves warm by yee fire."38

28 Louisbourg's citizens coped with frigid temperatures by installing brick and iron stoves, surrounding their beds with heavy serge curtains, wearing mittens and gloves, and having their clothing lined. Despite such precautions, most adults and particularly children, could hardly be expected to remain out of doors for long periods of time during the winter months.39 Such harsh climatic conditions, combining humid yet long, cold winters, forced the average family to live together even more intensely.

29 And what were the living conditions? On the whole, dwellings were smaller than those of today and parts were not used during winter. Moreover, most families were extended by in-laws, domestic servants, or slaves. This was certainly the case in Joseph Lartigue's family. Emigrating from Placentia in 1714, Lartigue soon made his mark in Louisbourg, employing sixteen fishermen and beach worers by 1715. Lartigue's household injanuary 1715 included his younger brother, who was a surgeon, his mother-in-law, two sister-in-laws, his brother-in-law, and a Madame Tossoire, as well as his wife, Jeanne Dhiarse, and a son and daughter.40 Given the rigours of establishing a new settlement in a hostile environment, it was only natural that Lartigue would welcome his relatives into his home, at least until they could build their own houses.

30 What contributed to the extension of Louisbourg families was not only the lack of accommodation at the founding of the settlement, but also subsequent marriages among the townspeople. It became common practice in Louisbourg for prosperous fathers to offer as part of their daughter's dowry free room and board for one or more years. Of 566 marriages registered in the Louisbourg parish records between 1722 and 1758, there are marriage contracts for only 176. In 26 of the marriage contracts the parents offered to share their households with the newly married couple for periods ranging from one to ten years.41 The case of Jeanne Beauché, widow of Jean Guyon Préville, is typical. When her daughter Jeanne-Angélique married Joseph-Mathieu Guillet, a boat-builder from Cap Saint-Ignace, Canada, in 1741, Jeanne Beauché promised to provide free accommodation in her house "pendant deux ans qui commenceront du jour de leurs Epousailles."42

Fig. 5. Three gaming pieces, excavated from the De la Perelle storehouse, carved from the base of a faience plate. At the bottom, there is a gaming piece chipped from the base of a Chinese export porcelain plate decorated in the Imari style. Excavated from the trash and collapse of the Guion-Claparede-Pugnant house.
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(Photo: Danny Crawford. Parks Canada, Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Park. Catalogue Nos. 17L.21C3.18 a,b,c and 2L.17H3.2.)

31 Some parents even offered free accommodation for their children as long as they desired it. Such was the case with Pierre Rousseau de Souvigny, a captain in the Louisbourg garrison, when his daughter Josephe married ensign François-Nicolas Chassin de Thierry in 1734. Son of Nicolas Chassin, controller general of the house of Madame la Dauphine, François-Nicolas obviously came from a well-to-do background and was a desirable suitor. Rousseau not only promised to provide accommodation for his daughter and son-in-law but, in case either family did not wish to continue sharing the same household, he offered his daughter and son-in-law a rent-free house on Rue Royale.43 Numerous other parents, especially those of poorer families, welcomed their newlywed children into their homes on an informal basis, that is, without providing a written guarantee of occupation in a marriage contract.

32 Joseph Lartigue who opened his house to his brother and in-laws in 1715 seems to have welcomed the opportunity of extending his family. "Je suis chargé d'une grosse famille", asserted Lartigue in November 1737, "qui est composée de ma femme et neuf enfants, quatre garçons et cinq filles."44 Lartigue's personal fortunes, however, had more than kept pace. Relinquishing his fishing operations in the early 1720s, he soon figured among Louisbourg's most prosperous traders. Equally important, he gained a seat on the prestigious Superior Council in 1723, and eight years later was appointed keeper of the colony's seals. The crowning glory for this ambitious merchant came in 1734 when he was selected to be the first judge in Louisbourg's bailiff's court.

33 Obviously, a man of Lartigue's social and economic stature required a suitable dwelling, and his house, measuring approximately twenty-four by sixty-five feet, must have appeared appropriate. Located on the town water-front just west of Block 1, Lartigue's 1½ storey charpente house and property was considered to be "the finest in the town."45 The dwelling however was certainly crowded. Yet even though they had nine children and in all likelihood still employed a domestic, Lartigue and his wife promised, when their daughter Magdelaine married Léon Fautoux in early January 1738, "de Loger Le sd futers Epoux pendant Les pace de Cinq années gratis, dans sa maison Site en Cette Ville."46 From our perspective, this offer seems remarkable. With thirteen people in one household, many of them adults, this house must have been a hive of activity. And yet this home, headquarters for the sessions of the bailiff's court, was considered comfortable. Colonial Louisbourg's standards of comfort were clearly inferior to our own. Crowded or not, the scrupulous Léon Fautoux, a prosperous Louisbourg négociant, took full advantage of his future parent's magnanimous offer. Within three years, he and Magdelaine had added another three children to the Lartigue household.47

34 In July 1738, six months after Magdelaine had married Léon Fautoux, another of Lartigue's daughters, Marguerite, married Michel Rodrigue, who eventually became a prosperous Louisbourg négociant and merchant. Michel and his new bride rented a house in the northeast corner of Block 17 of the town, not far from Judge Lartigue's house. Although a substantial house, measuring approximately twenty-six by fifty-four feet, space was at a premium in the ½ storey dwelling because Michel shared the house with his younger brother Pierre and probably with his brother Antoine as well. But both Pierre and Antoine were navigators and would have been at sea for considerable periods of time. In 1745, Michel Rodrigue was still renting the same house but his family had grown to include five young children, ranging in age from one to six years. After his mother had left for France in 1742, Michel, in his role as legal guardian, had probably invited his 12-year old brother, and his 14-year old sister to live with him. His two brothers were still residing with him. Moreover, he owned a black slave and employed a Micmac servant named Marguerite. There were then a total of thirteen people living in the house.48

35 The Rodrigues, however, were by no means an untypical Louisbourg household, for many of the town's families were large and were extended by in-laws, domestics, or slaves. During its brief history there were upwards of 100 people enslaved in the town, and in 1737 alone Louisbourg households employed 229 domestics, 15 per cent of the total permanent population.49 Certainly there was much less privacy than today, and the social consequences of such cramped living conditions upon the family and the community as a whole need to be examined further.

36 What was the relationship among family members and in-laws in an extended household? Because of limited accommodation and resources, some extended families shared such personal possessions as eating utensils, table napkins, furniture, and possibly even bedclothes. Witness the case of the négociant Blaise Lagoanere who married Catherine Daccarrette, daughter of prosperous Louisbourg négociant Michel Daccarrette, in 1733. Catherine died in 1742, two days after giving birth to their ninth child. Upon returning to Louisbourg in 1749, Blaise and his seven surviving children shared their charpente house on Rue du Port with his brother Cyprien, also a négociant, and his wife Anne and their four young children. The Lagoanere families shared their household possessions: when Blaise died in September 1753, his estate could not be inventoried because Cyprien's family possessions were mixed with those of his brother. When he visited the house on the day of Blaise's death, François-Laurent de Domingué Meyracq, the king's councillor, noted:

the said Mr. Siprien Lagoenere did tell us that since he shared the household with the said deceased part of his moveables, linen and other household items were mixed with those of the said deceased and that he could not produce them for us at present but that he would seek on their separation to produce them for us when required.50
Fig. 6. An English bottle fragment, excavated from a latrine to the southwest of the DeGannes house, ground down so that the bottle could be kept as a container. The bottle fragment is similar to the English bottle on the left, which has a shape common prior to 173K.
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(Photo; Danny Crawford. Parks Canada, Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Park. Catalogue No. 17L31B7.2.)

37 In a number of marriage contracts the parents of the bride promised not only to share their house with the newlyweds but to feed them at their table. When fifteen-year-old Mathurine Santier, daughter of Louisbourg master butcher Maurice Santier, married Michel Valet, a 26-year-old beach master, in 1732, Santier and his wife "ont promis & se sont obligés loger dans leur maison & nourrir à leur même pain, pot & feu led. futurs époux & épouse av« les enfants qui proviendront de leur mariage & ce pendant 4 années entières & consécutives, sans en prétendre aucun payement ny faire aucune diminution sur la dot de leur fille, lesd. 4 années à commencer du jour de leur mariage."51 In 1752 Pierre Gauthier, second pilot on the king s frigate Fidelle, married Marie-Jeanne Lecluzeau, daughter of master surgeon, Guy Lecluzeau. As part of their daughter's dowry, the Lecluzeaus provided a bureau, a feather mattress, a bolster, a blanket, three pairs ot sheets, two dozen serviettes, two tablecloths "& en outre prometent de fournir aux futurs conjoints la pension à leur table pendant le temps & espace de 2 années....'52

38 Pierre Gauthier's presence at the Lecluzeau residence doubtless posed few difficulties for the Lecluzeau family since Gauthier would have been at sea for much of the year. The same could not be said for 23-year-old Louis Pellissier, a native of Languedoc and a lieutenant in the Artois regiment, who married 16-year-old Louise-Marguerite Vallée. Louise, daughter of Louis-Félix Vallée, an artillery officer, and Marie-Josephe Le Large, gave birth to a son fathered by Pellissier on 21 November 1757. Twenty-one days later Pellissier and Louise were married at her parent's home. The previous day Vallée and his wife had agreed, as part of their daughter's dowry, "de loger & nourrir chez eux pendant dix ans, tant les futurs époux que leurs enfants nés ou à naître, comme aussy s'entretenir de toutes hardes & napes, bois à brûler, blanchissage, médicaments & toute espèce de traitmens pendant les dix ans."53 At the time of this agreement Marie Vallée was four months pregnant and there were two boys, and a girl living at home.

39 Why had the Vallées agreed to compromise their personal and family privacy over such an extended period, especially since they had granted their daughter a dowry of 10,000 livres during the first three years of her marriage? Moreover, Pellissier was heir to properties in France which he promised to bring into the marriage. Clearly, the overriding concern for Louis and Marie Vallée was the welfare and happiness of their 16-year-old daughter and her infant son. For the Vallées, inviting their daughter, husband, and child into their home was not so much a sacrifice of familial privacy as a workable compromise in living arrangements practiced in most Louisbourg homes.

40 Other extended families did not share personal and household possessions because the two families living in the same house may have separated their daily activities completely. Louis Emery, a king's pilot from Rochefort, married Marianne Chevalier in 1717. Marianne's father, Jean Chevalier, promised to provide the couple with a furnished bed, clothing, and linen plus "la moitié d'une maison"54 In 1735 Marie-Angélique Henry, daughter of habitant-pêcheur Pierre Henry, married Pierre Delastre, a native of Martinique. For his daughter's dowry Pierre Henry agreed to give half of his house, fish sheds, beach, and staging on the condition that they maintained the stock, beach frontage, and equipment in good repair.55

41 In 1751 Jean Noel, a master cooper, married Marie-Anne Poirier, daughter of habitant-pêcheur Julien Poirier and Magdelaine Radou. As part of the dowry Elenne Turin, Marie's aunt, agreed

to lodge the said future groom & bride in half of the house alloted to her by the division made with the said Mathieu Turin, her son, & to allow the bridal couple to enjoy the said 1/2 of the house for a period of six consecutive years beginning today unless the death of one partner or the other impedes the enjoyment of the said surviving member for the duration of the said 6 years....56

42 Dual or multiple occupancy of a house in Louisbourg did not usually result in its division in two sections. Nevertheless, there is evidence of internal divisions of homes in which one or more families lived together. Many young married Louisbourg couples were given a separate room which was completely furnished. Thus, the newlyweds had the option of being self-sufficient within their room. In 1739 Anne Richard, the daughter of merchant Jean Richard and Anne Samson, married Jean-Baptiste Lascoret, a clerk to François Du Pont Duvivier. As part of their daughter's dowry, the Richards

promised to feed & lodge with them free of charge the said future husband & wife for a period of three years & moreover also promised to give to the said Anne Richard in advance settlement of the said future inheritance a fully furnished room consisting of a bed complete with bedding, Six chairs, an arm chair, six pairs of sheets, 4 dozen napkins, an armoire, 4 table cloths, a table, two silver table settings, a mirror, two dozen pewter plates, two pewter serving platters, a large pewter platter, a pair of andirons, a shovel, a pair of tongs, a pair of copper candlestick holders with their snuffers which are also made of copper. The said furnishings will then belong to the community of the said future bride & groom.57

To fulfil their contractual obligations, the Richards could have provided the Lascorets with food to eat in their own room since they had a fireplace, a table, serviettes, and dishes. Furniture and household possessions could easily be shared among one or more families because various provisions in the Custom of Paris, the French civil law, and particularly marriage contracts required heads of households to keep detailed lists of their personal possessions.

43 To people of the twentieth century with more living space per capita than at any previous time, Louisbourg's domestic living conditions were doubtless crowded. Yet household life was far from unbearable in colonial Louisbourg, because the people displayed a spirit of improvisation and flexibility. One solution to a crowded house is to expand it by constructing extra rooms, a costly undertaking. But an alternative was widely employed in Louisbourg: the erection of lightweight, inexpensive, and non-bearing partitions. Constructed of one- and two-inch boards which were aligned vertically and grooved together, the partitions were either nailed to the floor and ceiling or fastened with wooden mouldings, known as tringles. Since they were not framed into the surrounding walls and did not support overhead flooring joists, the partitions could easily be disassembled and placed where desired.58 It was this flexibility that enabled Judge Lartigue to invite his newly married daughter and son-in-law into his home for five years. By using partitions, he could easily construct eight small bedrooms upstairs alone.

44 Louisbourg inventories and court records abound with references to partitions. They were even included in construction estimates for a number of the king's buildings.59 Partitions were frequently cited in rental agreements. In April 1731, for instance, Antoine Paris rented a house situated at the corner of Rue d'Orléans to Jeanne Preville and stipulated in the lease that Madame Preville could construct partitioned rooms, but only at her own expense. Furthermore, the renovations would not cause her rent to be reduced and she could not remove the partitions when she vacated the house.60

45 These simple moveable walls had profound implications for personal interrelationships in Louisbourg households. Well-to-do Louisbourg parents could easily partition off more rooms and hence maintain an acceptable standard of privacy. But what is an acceptable standard of privacy? Clearly, privacy cannot be measured solely in terms of square feet per capita because privacy is both subjective and intangible. How much privacy any one family requires, be it extended or otherwise, depends on the individuals that comprise that family. Admittedly, the parents, children and in-laws of such Louisbourg families did not sleep together in one room; yet thin board partitions could only provide a minimal level of privacy, since it was easy to hear and see through them. Well aware of these deficiencies, some citizens attempted corrective measures. In 1756 the négociants Jean-Baptiste Silvain and Philippe Leneuf de Beaubassin had an English charpente house constructed in Block 5 of the town. Silvain and Beaubassin instructed the building contractor that "touttes les cloisons seront faitte de planche du pais, les plus épaisses qui Pourront se trouver."61 Heavy serge curtain hangings for beds also provided some privacy but not all parents could afford expensive serge curtains. By the early 1750s a used calico or red damask bed hanging sold for approximately 30 livres, almost the equivalent of a servant's wages for a year.62 Thus, with bed hangings and partition wall providing little privacy, many Louisbourg children from an early age must have witnessed or heard their parents and others engaged in sexual intercourse.

46 How did Louisbourg households cope with such seemingly discomforting living conditions? Families in Louisbourg accommodated themselves admirably well, largely because the eighteenth century family had many more functions to perform than its present-day counterpart. There were few institutions outside the family and hence, to a much greater extent than today, the family was the material, social, and psychological mainstay of society. Besides providing such basic necessities as food, shelter, and sexual release, the family functioned as a welfare institution, a school, a church, and a business. Is it any wonder, given the range of duties incumbent upon the family, that people adjusted themselves to apparently awkward living conditions!

47 Family life then was much less segmented than our own since individuals were more constantly together. Clearly, flexibility was an accepted facet of Louisbourg home life, and in relation to domestic furnishings it was further enhanced by a need for orderliness. With a limited number of square feet per capita, everything had to have its place. Thus, in the kitchen of widow Marie-Charlotte Berichon was a large table "Sous la qlle est une Cabane pour Coucher un garçon."63 At night Marie-Charlotte's youngest son or her servant presumably pulled the bed out from under the table to sleep and tend the fire.

48 The small bed under the table is representative of a number of specific pieces of furniture which were easily stored but readily accessible when needed. Feather mattresses were even more convenient than small bedsteads for they could be moved near a fireplace during the winter months. The furnishings of the Julien Auger, dit Grand-champ, inn in Block 2 of the town demonstrate the portability of lightweight feather mattresses. A native of Poitou and a former carpenter, Grandchamp died on 1 April 1741 at the age of seventy. Eighteen days after his death the inventory of the part of the inn reserved for guests revealed that eight feather mattresses and bolsters, together with seven wool blankets and a calico quilt, were stored downstairs in the main dining-room, measuring approximately nineteen by twenty-four feet. Besides a fireplace, the room contained a large and a small dining-table and eighteen straw chairs. The mattresses, bolsters, and blankets, valued at 375 livres, were the most valuable furnishings in the inn.64 During the day, the mattresses were probably stacked against a wall, while at night they would have been spread on the dining room floor and the floor of the adjoining kitchen. In the attic, which was undoubtedly closed for the winter, there were seven "old bedsteads" which were valued at only 2 livres each. Various eighteenth century European travel accounts reveal that it was common practice to spread straw as well as mattresses on the floors of inns, particularly those catering to a lower class clientele, to accommodate overnight guests.65 The guests in the Grandchamp inn, a poorly furnished water-front establishment, apparently were more than willing to bed down in the warmth of the dining-room.

49 Carrying one's mattress or palliasse and sleeping in a room near a fire was one means of keeping warm during the cold months but what about those rooms that did not have fireplaces? In Louisbourg brick and to a lesser extent iron stoves were popular in most households. Constructed each fall, the brick stove would be dismantled in the spring, the damaged bricks discarded and the iron door, top plate, and stove-pipe stored as a space-saving measure.66 Moreover, the bricks, which usually survived for only one season, were the least expensive part of the stove. In 1738 surgeon Dominique Collongue had a stove installed in a patient's house. Of the 63 livres 10 sols expended on the stove, 23 livres were paid for the stove-pipe and door, 30 livres for the iron top plate, 4 livres 10 sols for 200 bricks, and 6 livres for assembling the stove.67

50 Iron stoves, while considerably more expensive, could also be assembled and dismantled quickly. The scientist and astronomer, the Marquis de Chabert, during his stay at Louisbourg in the winter of 1750, had two stoves installed in his apartment in the governor's wing of the King's Bastion barracks.68 Brick and iron stoves provided a degree of comfort unheard of in most of Europe. Throughout the eighteenth century, fireplaces were much more common in France than stoves, which were more prevalent in colder northern and eastern countries.69 One priest serving in Canada was convinced that, in spite of the colder climate, interior living conditions were more comfortable in New France than the mother country because of the use of stoves. Writing from Sault-Saint-Louis, opposite the present-day town of Lachine on the St. Lawrence River, Luc-François Nau noted on 2 October 1735: "More precautions against the cold are taken here than in France. We are warmly clad, and our apartments are heated with stoves. All in all, I suffered every year more from cold in France than in Canada."70

51 Brick and iron stoves — in Louisbourg practically every home had one — were an obvious example of how individuals and families in the eighteenth century town adapted their interior living conditions to suit the climate. Other pieces of furniture, while hardly distinctive to Louisbourg, were equally serviceable, especially in crowded homes. A common and extremely practical piece of furniture was the folding table. Antoine Paris had no fewer than five in his dining-room while Pierre Boisseau, a Louisbourg innkeeper, had "quatre tables avec leurs pieds ou plians" in a cabinet next to the kitchen. The tables, valued at only 15 livres, were inexpensive and functional, for at mealtime they could easily be assembled either in the cabinet or the kitchen.71

Fig. 7 A Chinese export porcelain bowl base, excavated from the Santier yard, shaped for re-use.
Thumbnail of Figure 7Display large image of Figure 7
(Photo: Danny Crawford. Parks Canada, Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Park. Catalogue No. 4L.56 A3.5.)

52 Straw and cane chairs that could be stacked on top of each other were equally portable; there was no shortage of them in Louisbourg. Michel de Cannes, a captain in the Louisbourg garrison, had twenty-four chairs in his relatively small house.72 A widower with possibly five children living at home by the time of his death in 1752, de Cannes doubtless brought out the chairs when guests arrived. When not used for entertaining, the seven straw and four cane chairs could easily be stored. Pierre Benoist, an ensign in the garrison, had no fewer than fourteen straw chairs tucked away in one bedroom, while Louis Delort, a member of Louisbourg's Superior Council, had eighteen straw chairs in his ante-chamber.73 Equally popular was the coffre or flat-topped chest. At a time when few houses had closets, the chest served not only as a bureau for clothes but also as a seat or table, to say nothing of being a decorative piece of furniture.

53 Many furnishings in Louisbourg homes served multiple purposes. Tapestries of various sizes were hung on walls, used as carpets or coverings for tables and, in colder weather, used as heavy blankets. Of course almost any fabric could serve as a blanket. On 9 September 1739 Etienne Clinchant, a seaman on the vessel Providence, died at the storehouse of Monsieur Lachoux where he was residing. The inventory of Clinchant's possessions included "un vieux capot servant de couverture double de toile."74 Mattresses could also function as blankets. In February 1735, the widow Dastrait, proprietor of a tavern near Louisbourg's Dauphin Cate, had "un espèce de petit matelas servant de couverture" on one of her beds. The widow also demonstrated her resourcefulness when it came to starting a fire. Obviously, kindling was necessary but how did the French light their kindling? Paper was far too valuable and one alternative to wood chips was old dried leaves. In the main room of her inn the widow Dastrait had "vingt livres de vielles feuilles".75

54 In terms of the multiple use of furnishings in Louisbourg, necessity became the mother of invention. If families or individuals could not obtain or afford a particular furnishing or houseware they had little choice but to devise a workable alternative. For instance, in 1718 Pierre-Auguste de Soubras, Louisbourg's commissaire-ordonnateur, noted that 151 aunes (approximately 176 yards) of linen had been sent to Louisbourg to be used as burial shrouds. The linen was supposed to have been delivered to the Brothers of Charity at the hospital but it was eventually employed "a diferens usages comme a doubler les chambres d'officiers."76

55 Lining one's room with government-purchased linen was a luxury hardly available to the poor of Louisbourg who had to rely on their own meagre resources. One such family was the Birons who lived on the north shore of Louisbourg harbour. A native of Poitou, Gabriel Biron, dit Lagelée, was a former soldier in the Louisbourg garrison who, after his discharge, was employed in the town as a labourer and gardener throughout the 1720s and 1730s. Biron and his wife lived in a one-room piquet house with a bark roof. The house, measuring thirteen by twenty-five feet, was a modest dwelling since in 1733 the house, courtyard, garden, and lot were valued at only 1,200 livres. The furnishings in the house, described as being "mostly worn out", were valued at only 500 livres. With few amenities, the Birons were accustomed to making do with what they had. Their tableware utensils, for instance, consisted of the following pewter: three platters, five plates, one porringer, and two small measures; they also had seven earthenware dishes, three faience goblets, one salt-cellar and a tin pepper-shaker. The stone fireplace in the cottage was as ill equipped as the dining-table. The fireplace equipment included "one frying pan, one grill, one spit, two trivets, four or five iron hooks serving as a pot hanger, the lot more than half worn out...."77 The Birons did not have an armoire but his posed little difficulty because they constructed a "cupboard serving as an armoire beside the fireplace."

56 Eighteenth-century Louisbourg, and the pre-industrial age in general, represented the antithesis of present-day planned obsolesence. Because practically all consumer goods were imported from France and New England, furniture and household ware were expensive and not to be discarded when worn or broken. Numerous Louisbourg inventories of estates contain furniture and housewares described as being "hors de service" but obviously the items retained some value for they were kept and sold at the auctions of the estates.

57 One witness to the capitulation of Louisbourg in 1745 described how the French took even the most worthless furniture with them upon their expulsion from île Royale:

all the furniture that was even of the most inconsiderable value was taken out of the Houses by the French such as a large Quantity of Empty old Chests, Trunks, Cupboards, Tables & Chairs which were fit for Nothing but Fuel, & they Stripped the Walls of Coarse Hangings & the Doors of their Locks & Hinges which were all carryed away by them except such part as they met with a Price for agreeable to their Demand....78

58 Even in homes of the well-to-do, old and broken furniture was not necessarily discarded. Jean Seigneur, a prosperous innkeeper residing in Block 2, had "un mauvaise armoire servant de buffet."79 Rather than dispose of the old armoire, valued at only 3 livres, Seigneur simply put shelves in it and presumably stored linen and other household wares in what had become a converted buffet. Similarly, Jean-Pierre Daccarrette, a well-to-do Louisbourg négociant, had a "large pine armoire which serves as a buffet" in his household.80

59 Archaeological excavations at Fortress Louisbourg confirm the reuse of various household wares. Numerous broken earthenware bowls from French contexts have been painstakingly repaired. One green, glazed, coarse earthenware bowl from the Saintonge region of France, with a radius of fourteen and one-half centimetres, had been repaired with four pairs of drilled holes on either side of a fracture which would have been wired together. In similar fashion, an excavated faience platter with a broken scalloped rim section has six lead staples embedded on either side of a crack.81 The lead staples, joined on the back of the platter, were sanded smooth on the surface to preserve the appearance of the dish.

60 Other artifacts which have been adapted for reuse include two English bottle fragments broken at the base of their necks. The jagged edges of the bottle were ground down so the bottles could be kept as containers. Even dishes that were broken beyond repair were not necessarily discarded for parts of the dish could be remade for gaming pieces. Included in the Louisbourg artifacts collection are three gaming pieces which were probably carved from the base of a faience plate, as well as one which was chipped from the base of a Chinese export porcelaine plate decorated in the Imari style.82 Some artifacts appear to have been reshaped for decorative purposes. One English soft-paste porcelain bowl base has been cut so as to maintain the centre design of a boy fishing, and a Chinese export porcelain bowl base had been chipped in the same style.83

61 Repaired earthenware bowls and faience plates, together with armoires converted to buffets, flat-topped chests, folding tables, stacking chairs, and moveable walls, to name but a few, were merely outward symbols of a people's willingness to improvise, especially in terms of their domestic relations. In view of this flexibility, it is perhaps more understandable how the citizens of Louisbourg, and indeed those of the eighteenth century in general, could cope with such seemingly squalid living conditions, ranging from the enclosed and fetid atmosphere of smoke-filled rooms to dirty floors and a generally inadequate standard of personal cleanliness.

1 Some of the most important American local studies include: Kenneth A. Lockridge, A New lingland Town: The First Hundred Years: Dedham, Massachusetts. 1636-1736 (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1970); Philip J. Greven Jr., Pour Generations: Population, Land and Family in Colonial Andover, Massachusetts (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1970); J.M. Bumsted, "Religion, Finance and Democracy in Massachusetts: The Town of Norton as a Case Study," Journal of American History 57 (1970-71): 817-31; J.M. Bumsted and J.T. Lemon, "New Approaches in Early American Studies: The Local Community in New England," Social History! (November 1968): 98-112; Richad L. Bushman, From Puritan to Yankee: Character and the Social Order in Connecticut. 7690-176.5 (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1970); Michael Sukerman, Peaceable Kingdom: New England Towns in the Eighteenth Century (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1970). For a comprehensive overview of American local studies, see David J. Russo, Families and Communities: A New View of American History (Nashville: American Association for State and Local History, 1974).
2 Some of the most important works by French scholars who have developed such techniques include: Etienne Gautier and Louis Henry, lui population de Crulai paroisse, Normandie: Elude historique (Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1958); Pierre Goubert, Beauvais et le Beauvaisis de 1600à 1730 (Paris; 1960), and "Historical Demography and the Reinterpretation of Early Modern French History: A Research Review," in The Family in History, ed. T.K. Rable and R.I. Rotberg (New York: Harper & Row, 1971); Fernand Braudel and Ernest Labrousse, eds., Histoire économique et sociale de la France (Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1970); Pierre Valmarry, Eamilles paysannes au Ⅷe siècle en Bas-Quercy: Etude démographique (Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1965). See also Louis Henry, "Passé, présent et avenir en démographie," Population 3 (mai-juin 1972): 383-96. More recent works on the family in France include James F. Traer, Marriage and the fatuity in eighteenth-century France (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1980), and Robert Wheaton and Tamara K. Hareven, eds., Family and sexuality in French history ( Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1980).In terms of historical demography and local analysis, the English have followed quickly on the heels of various French scholars. Among the most significant English works of recent years are: D.V. Glass and D.E.C. Eversley, eds., Population in History: Essays in Historical Demography (London: Edward Arnold, 1965); Peter Laslett et al., An Introduction to English Historical Demography, ed. E. A. Wrigley (London: Weindenfeld and Nicolson, 1966); Peter Laslett, The World We Have Lost (2nd ed., London: Methuen & Co., 1971).
3 See J.M. Bumsted's thought-provoking article, "Puritan and Yankee Revivival: Recent Writings on Early New England of Interest to Atlantic Scholars, "Acadiensis 11, no. 1 (Autumn 1972): 3-21, apd Stephen Patterson, "In Search of the Massuchusetts-Nova Scotia Dynamic, "Acadiensis Ⅴ, no. 2 (Spring 1976): 138-43. More than their English-speaking counterparts, French Canadian historians have led the way in terms of demographic studies. See Jacques Henripin's pioneering work, La population canadienne au début du ⅩⅧe siècle (Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1954); Louise Dechène, Habitants et marchands de Montréal au ⅩⅧe siècle (Paris and Montreal: Pion, 1974); and Hubert Charbonneau, Vie et mort de nos ancêtres: étude démographique (Montreal: Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 1975).
4 See especially Lockridge, New England Town, ⅷ, 187-88; Philip J. Greven Jr., Child Rearing Concepts, 1628-1861 (Ithaca, III., 1973), 2.
5 Canada, An Historical Magazine-Louisbourg: A Special Issue (Hamilton: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1974), 76—77.
6 T.A. Crowley, "Government and Interests: French Colonial Administration at Louisbourg, 1713-1758" (Ph.D. diss., Duke University, 1975), 348.
7 Zukerman, Peacable Kingdom, 47.
8 T.A. Crowley, "France, Canada and the Beginning of Louisbourg: In Search of the Great Fortress Myth" (Papers and Abstracts for a Symposium on Isle Royale During the French Regime, compiled for the Canadian Historical Association annual meeting, June 1972), 54.
9 J.S. McLennan, Louisbourg from its Foundation to its Fall. 1713-1758 (Sydney, N.S.: Fortress Press, 1969), 11-12.
10 H.A. Innis, The Cod Fisheries: The History of an International Economy (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1954), 123.
11 See J.D. Rogers, Historical Geography of Newfoundland, vol. V, pt. IV, of the Historical Geography of the British Colonies, ed. Sir Charles Lucas (Oxford, 1911), 88-89.
12 France, Archives nationales, Archives des Colonies (hereafter AN, Col.), E, 93, pièce 81, Recensement des habitants de Plaisance et des isles St. pierre rendus à Louisbourg avec leurs femmes et enfants, 5 novembre 1714. There were a total of 32 people listed in the census. Twenty civilians were engaged in the fishery and they had transported 80 chaloupes to Louisbourg. There were also six officers who participated in the fishery and they had brought 25 chaloupes from Placentia to Louisbourg. See also AN, Col. G1, 466, pièce 52, Recensement des habitants avec leurs familles qui rentent a Louis-bourg et les dépendances cette année 1716 avec le nombre de pêcheurs et garçons quils hivernent, 1716. Three years after the initial settlement of Louisbourg there were 56 inhabitants in the harbour. Of these 56, 21 were listed as former residents of Placentia and they comprised the largest single group of the civilian population of Louisbourg. The 21 heads of families from Placentia employed 198 fishermen.
13 AN, Col, B, 36, ff. 436-37, Pontchartrain à Costebelle, 22 mars 1714.
14 Ibid., 35, reel 1, f. 33, Pontchartrain à Gaulin, 29 mars 1713.
15 Ibid., 36, 435, Pontchartrain à Costebelle, 22 mars 1714.
16 Ibid., 36, 7, Pontchartrain à Boyles et Jurats de St. Jean de Luz & Siboure, 1 février 1714.
17 Ch. de La Morandière, Histoire de la pêche française de la morue dans l'Amérique. Vol. 2 (Paris: G.P. Maisonneuve et Larosse, 1962), 650.
18 AN, Col., B, 36, reel 2, f. 422, Pontchartrain à L'Hermine, 26 janvier 1714.
19 R. Cole Harris and John Warkentin, Canada Before Confederation: A Study in Historical Geography (New York: Oxford University Press, 1974), 176.
20 AN, col., B, 36, ff. 439-40, Pontchartrain à Gaulin, 22 mars 1714.
21 Ibid., f. 439, Pontchartrain à Costebelle, 22 mars 1714.
22 J.B. Brebner, New England's Outpost: Acadia Before the Conquest of Canada (Hamden, Conn.: Archer Books, 1965), 67. See also W.S. MacNutt, The Atlantic Provinces: The Emergence of Colonial Society 1712-1857 (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1968), 13.
23 J.B. Cameron, "The French Village in the Eighteenth Century," Forums in History, ed. P.N. Stearns (St. Charles, Miss.: Forum Press, 1975), 4. "Early societies", noted the renowned French historian Marc Bloch, "were made up of groups rather than individuals. A man on his own counted for very little." See his French Rural History, An Essay on its Basic Characteristics (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1970), 150.
24 AN, Col., B, 36, f. 93, Pontchartrain à Vauvré, 2 mars 1714.
25 Ibid., ff. 103-4, Pontchartrain à Beauharnois, 7 mars 1714.
26 Ibid., C11B, 1, f. 108, Marly à Le Cher de Saujon, 19 novembre 1714.
27 Ibid., B, 36, f. 435, Pontchartrain à Costebelle, 22 mars 1714.
28 McLennan, Louisbourg, 48. Not all sons of Louisbourg residents, however, could hope to obtain brides within the colony and thus they had to be prepared to emigrate if they wished to marry. See Barbara Schmeisser, "The Population of Louisbourg, 1713-1758" (Parks Canada, Manuscript Report no. 303, Ottawa, 1976), 120.
29 Crowley, "Government and Interests", 327.
30 Allan Greer, "The Soldiers of Isle Royale, 1720-1745" (manuscript, Fortress of Louisbourg, 1976), 63.
31 See AN, Col., F3, 50, f. 150, "Ordonnance du Roi," 30 juin 1723. The ordinance stipulated that men who had no wives or family in île Royale and were not born there were not permitted to buy beaches and land for fish stages or rent out those they already owned. For further examples of this attitude towards outsiders, see MacNutt, Atlantic Provinces, 26; McLennan, Louisbourg, 49; and Robert J. Morgan and Terrence D. MacLean, "Social Structure and Life in Louisbourg," Canada, An Historical Magazine 1, no. 4 (June 1974): 74.
32 AN, Col. C11B , 9, f. 40, St. Ovide et Le Normant au ministre, 15 décembre 1727.
33 AN, Outre-mer, G3, 2044, pièce 19, L'inventaire et description générale de tous les biens et immeubles de Pierre Boisseau et la dite veuve, sa femme, 24 octobre 1755.
34 Charles S. Lindsay, "Louisbourg Guardhouses," in Canadian Historic >Sites, Occasional Papers in Archaeology and History (Ottawa: Parks Canada, 1975), 58.
35 William L. Clements Library (Ann Arbor, Mich.) George Clinton Papers, 5, Charles Knowles to George Clinton, Louisbourg, 5 April 1747.
36 Memoirs of the Chevalier de Johnstone, trans. Charles Winchester, vol. 1 (Aberdeen: D. Wyllie & Son, 1870), 178.
37 AN, Col., CllB , 29, f. 295, Bordereaux de Louisbourg, toisé 10, 15 novembre 1750.
38 The Diary of Nathaniel Knap of Newbury (Boston: Society of Colonial Wars, 1895), 26.
39 For further information on children at Louisbourg, see Kenneth Donovan "Rearing Children in Louisbourg — A Colonial Seaport and Garrison Town, 1713-1758" (Paper delivered at the Atlantic Society for 18th Century Studies, Mount Saint Vincent University, 26-28 April 1979), and "Social Status and Contrasting Lifestyles: Children of the Poor and Well-to-do in 18th Century Louisbourg" (Paper delivered at the Atlantic Society for 18th Century Studies, College of Cape Breton, 1 May 1980).
40 AN, Outre-mer, G1, 466, pièce 51, Recensement des habitants Etablis dans le Havre de Louisbourg, 14 janvier 1715.
41 The majority of Louisbourg marriage contracts were prepared within a week prior to the marriage. Prosperous Louisbourg parents may have been willing to invite their daughters and sons-in-law into their residences because, as in eighteenth-century France, they were accustomed to little privacy in their own homes. See Jean-Louis Flandrin, Families in Former Times: Kinship, Household and Sexuality (London: Cambridge University Press, 1976), trans. Richard Southern, 92. For the lack of privacy in New England, see David H. Flaherty, Privacy in Colonial New England (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1967), 53-55.
42 AN, Outre-mer, G3, 2046-2, no. 12, Contract de Mariageentre Joseph Mathieu Guillet et Jeanne Angélique Guyon Préville, 14 juillet 1741.
43 Ibid., 2039-1, no. 14, Contrat de mariage entre François Nicolas Chassin de Thierry et Josephe Rousseau, 23 décembre 1734.
44 AN, Col., C11B , 19, f. 267, Lartigue à Maurepas, 2 novembre 1737.
45 Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. III (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1974), 357.
46 AN, Outre-mer, G3, 2046-1, pièce 97, Contrat de Mariage entre Léon Fautoux et Magdelaine Lartigue, 13 janvier 1738.
47 The Fautoux children were born in October 1738, March 1740, and May 1741; see the Léon Fautoux family reconstitution file in the Louisbourg archives.
48 H. Paul Thibault, "L'îlot 17 de Louisbourg, 1713-1768" (Ottawa: Direction des Parcs nationaux et des Lieux historiques, 1972), 80-81, 163-65.
49 AN, Outre-mer, G1, 466, pièce 73, Dénombrement fait en 1737 des Personnes Etablies dans les Ports de L'Isle Royalle, 1737.
50 Ibid., G2, 202, dossier 284, pièce 2, Proces-verbal d'apposition des scellés sur les biens de feu Biaise Lageonere, 12 septembre 1753.
51 Ibid., G3, 2038-1, pièce 88, Contrat de mariage entre Michel Valet et Mathurine Santier, 24 décembre 1732.
52 Ibid., 2047-2, pièce 10, Contrat de mariage entre Pierre Gautier et Marie Jeanne Boudouin Lecluzeau, 15 janvier 1752.
53 Ibid., 2045, pièce 108, Contrat de mariageentre Louis Joseph Donna-Dieu Pellissier Dugrés et Louise Marguerite Vallée, 28 octobre 1757.
54 Ibid., 2056, pièces 19 et 20, Contrat de Mariage entre Louis Emery et Marianne Chevalier, 24 juin 1717.
55 Ibid., 2028-1 pièce 91, Contrat de mariage entre Pierre Delastre et Marie Angélique Henry, 5 juin 1732.
56 Ibid., 2041-1, pièce 87, Contrat de mariage entre Jean Noel et Marie Anne Poirier, 19 décembre 1751.
57 Ibid., 2046-1, pièce 170, Contrat de mariage entre Jean Baptiste Lascoret et Anne Richard, 6 juillet 1739.
58 Eric Krause, "Domestic Building Construction Techniques of île Royale, 1713-1758" (unpublished report. Fortress of Louisbourg); see the section on partitions. See also Linda Hoad, "Partitions, Lambris and Panelling," vol. 3 (manuscript, Fortress of Louisbourg, 1972) 1-16.
59 AN, Col., C11B, 16, ff. 206-17, Toise des ouvrages...fait pour la construction du logement de l'ingénieur en chef, 30 septembre 1734.
60 AN, Outre-mer, G3, 2038-1, no. 6, 10 avril 1731.
61 Ibid., 2044, pièce 53, Marché entre Monsieur Beaubassin et Dubenca, Louisbourg, 30 mai 1756.
62 Ibid., G2, 202, dossier 283, Proces-verbal de vente d'un coffre et hardes fait a la requête de Tanguy Mervin, négociant, 6 septembre 1753.
63 Ibid., 208, dossier 476, pièce 41, Apposition des scellés dans la Maison du défunt Monsieur Berrichon après le décès de son Epouse, 28 avril 1732.
64 Ibid., 197-2, dossier 142, no. 5, Inventaire et estimation des meubles de la succession de feu Julien Auger dit Grandchamp, 19 avril 1741.
65 See, for example, César de Saussure, A Foreign View of England in the Reigns of George I and George II: The Letters of Monsieur César de Saussure to His Family, trans. and ed Madame Van Muyden (London: John Murray, 1902), 13-14, 25-26. For other references to overnight guests sharing the same room in French inns, see Laurence Sterne, A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy (London, 1768; Penguin English Library edition, 1968), 145-48; Arthur Young, Travels in France During the Years 1787, 1788 and 1789, ed. Jeffry Kaplow, (1792; Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, 1976), 30-32.
66 For this paper I have examined 105 inventories of estates, 77 of Louisbourg householders. Thirty-three of the latter either had brick or iron stoves in their residences. See Kenneth Donovan, "Stoves in Louisbourg" (manuscript, Fortress of Louisbourg, September 1981). Besides inventories of estates, Louisbourg's official correspondence contains numerous references to stoves, see, for example, AN, Col., C11B, 29, 15 novembre 1750. In a list of yearly official government expenditures there are references like the following: "Le façon de dix poêles qui ont été construits dans les chambres des officiers estimés trois livres pièce," f. 284. See ibid., f. 293, ordonnateurs residence, "Reparation des poêles des appartements et bureaux, estimé pour fourniture et façon trente trois livres." For stoves imported into Louisbourg, see Chris Moore "Commodity Imports of Louisbourg" Parks Canada, Manuscript Report no. 317 (Ottawa, 1975), 83.
67 AN, Outre-mer, G2, 185, ff. 218-95, Succession de feu Joseph Dallemand, marchand, 12 novembre 1738.
68 AN, Col, C11B, 29, f. 278v., Bordereaux des depenses, 15 novembre 1750. For further information on Chabert's stay at Louisbourg, see Kenneth Donovan, "Canada's First Astronomical Observatory, 1750" Canadian Geographic 100, no. 6 (December 1980 — January 1981-36-43.
69 Fernand Braudel, Capitalism and Material Life, 1400-1800, trans. Miriam Kochan (New York: Harper & Row, 1973), 218-20.
70 Reuben Gold Thwaites, ed., The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents: Travels and Explorations of the Jesuit Missionaries in New France, 1610-1791, vol. ⅬⅩⅧ: 1720-1736 (New York: Pageant Book Co., 1959), 263.
71 AN, Outre-mer, C3, 2044, pièce 19, Inventaire et description générale de tous les biens et immeubles de Pierre Boisseau et la dite veuve, sa femme, 24 octobre 1755. See also AN, Outre-mer, G 2, 1S1, f. 62, Inventaire des effets d'Antoine Paris, 20 février 1732. Pierre Benoist also had three folding tables in his house; See ibid., 182, ff. 995, 1000, Inventaire après le décès de dame Anne Levron à la Requête de Monsieur Pierre Benoist Enseigne des Compagnies de la Marine, son mari, 19 décembre 1733.
72 AN, Outre-mer, G2, 201, dossier 254, pièce 2, Inventaire des meubles de la succession de Michel de Gannes de Falaise, 31 octobre 1752.
73 Ibid., 202, dossier 296, Inventaire et Estimation des biens meubles et effets de la dite communauté entre Barbe Le Neuf de la Vallièreet feu Louis Delort, 22 décembre 1753. Ibid., 182, f. 996, Inventaire.
74 Archives départementales, Charente-Maritime, B, 6113, dossier 18, Louisbourg, 12 septembre 1739, Inventaire des hardes d'Etienne Clinchant matelot du navire la Providence (capitaine André Lachoue Dutestre de Saint-Malo) décédé dans le magasin du Sieur Lachoue le 9 septembre 1739.
75 AN, Outre-mer, G3, 2039-U pièce 66, Inventaire, estimation et description de tous les biens meubles et immeubles de la dame veuve Jean Dastrait, Jeanne Galbarette, 13 février 1735.
76 AN, Col., C11B, 4, f. 31, 28 mars 1719 Soubras, "Etat des Effets et Vivres qui manquent," 20 décembre 1718.
77 Ibid., G2, 182, ff. 556-69, Inventaire et estimation des biens de la communauté d'entre Gabriel Biron dit lagelee, Magdelaine Rimbeau, et ses enfans de son premier mariage avec Longue Epée, 16 juin 1733.
78 Massachusetts Historical Society, Louisbourg Papers, I, f. 25, Answer to the Memorial upon the Execution of the Capitulation of Louisbourg Presented by Commissary Seigneur at Bruxelles.
79 AN, Outre-mer, G2, 199, dossier 197, L'inventaire deseffets mobiliers délaissés après le décès de feu Jean Seigneur dit la Riviere, pièces 2,4, 5.
80 Ibid., 200, dossier 202, Papiers concernant la succession de feu Sieur Jean Pierre Daccarrette, 18 février 1745.
81 I would like to thank Andrée Crépeau, Louisbourg archaeologist, and Jim Campbell, artifact collection supervisor, for their assistance in helping me to select and describe the artifacts cited in this paper. The Louisbourg artifacts catalogue number of the green, glazed, coarse earthenware bowl is 1B.4P11.14; the number of the faience platter with the lead staples is 1B.4N19.20.
82 Louisbourg Artifact Collection, English bottle fragments: 17L.31B4.1 and 17L.31B7.2; three tin-glazed gaming pieces: 17L21C3.18 a,b, c; porcelaine gaming piece: 2L. 17H3.2.
83 The catalogue number of the English soft-paste porcelain bowl is 471.90H2.1; the Chinese export porcelain bowl base, 4L.56A3.5.