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de Bautte Family

Updated March 10, 2001

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Hippolyte-Prudent de Bautte de Tours (Preudonyme: Prudent d'Artlys). 1821-1861

He was the scion of an old Norman family that owned the chateau d'Ecrammeville
near Bayeux, France. Born in Normandy in 1821 and the only son of Eugenie
Paphillar and Commandant P. de Bautte de Tours, former officer of the Imperial Guard
and officer of the Legion of Honor.

Young de Bautte was sent to Paris to complete his studies and there he contracted
the republican virus which at that time (1845-48) spread over France like an epidemic.
His case was particularly grave. As Director of Le Corsair at Paris before he was 26
years old, he inserted into that paper articles on political questions of the day so
violent that he was thrown into prison. His father, the commandant, could have used
his influence to save him, but the old royalist gentleman was so scandalized to see his
son proclaim subservive opinions that he refused to intervene.

It has been said that Hippolyte de Bautte took part in the Revolution of February
1848, but in January 1848 he was in New Orleans and published articles in La Revue
Louisianaise. It is probable that after a brief imprisonment he was able to embark for
Louisiana. Which he reached at the end of 1847. After a few years of teaching, he
threw himself impetuously into journalism in New Orleans. He made his debut in
January 1848 and contributed each week in La Revue Louisianaise a "revue of
the week" which he signed d'Artlys, ex-editor of Le Corsair. Placide Canonge
cast some doubt on his right to that title, but de Bautte insisted that he had occupied
that situation. At the same time he was assistant editor of :"Echo National, an
affiliate of La Revue Louisianaise, with the same owners. Besides, he found leisure to
publish a little paper of his own, called Le Cetace. That year he was inexhaustible
fountain of ink; he also wrote in La Presse des deux Mondes. The esteem of the
proprietors of that Journal for him was such that, in January 1849, they appointed him
editor-in-chief of the paper- an unhoped- for good fortune, because La Revue
Louisianaise and L'Echo had disappeared the preceding month.

In the course of the following years he married Arthemise Landry, daughter of a
Creole planter of St. Mary Parish, and settled at Lucy, near Bonnet Carre Point, the
west bank of the river. That curious name was given to that area because of the
headdress worn by the wives of the German peasants who were the first colonists of
that land. The passengers of the boats going up or down the river, at the sight of the
women, never failed to explclain, "Ah! Here is Square Bonnet Point."

The indefatigable de Bautte founded, at Lucy, another journal, Le Meschacebe. A
generouse steamboat captain brought, gratis, from New Orleans the hand press and
the printing types. The outset was good; the journal prospered; in 1857 de Bautte
sold it at a profit to Eugene Dumez and Ernest Legendre.

But de Bautte was a stranger to rest. At Donaldsonville Le Vigilant failed, and F.C.
Aubert sold it to Eugene Supervielle in October 1858. A Frenchman and a friend of de
Bautte, Supervielle invited the latter to help him to set the journal afloat again and de
Bautte accepted.

During those times he had learned English, which he read, understood and wrote very
well, but which he pronounced badly; people who heard him speak English could not
restrain themselves form laughing. That laughter set him beside himself; he then
ceased to speak English, saying "I am of such a fiery temper that I would strike
anyone who laughs at me if I though they were making fun of me, I would always be on
tenterhooks if I spoke English."

Yes, his temperment was fiery. It was good for three or four duels. Marcice
Edrington had started a rival paper next door to hi

 
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