Ignace François Broutin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Wolf River's watershed (everything above the red dotted line), as surveyed in 1740 by Ignace Francois Broutin, chief engineer of French Louisiana. The French had named the Wolf "Riviere a Margot"
A postcard of the ruins of Fort Rosalie, 1907

Ignace François Broutin (La Bassée, 1690[1]–1751) was a French Chevalier of the Order of St. Louis military officer, commander of Fort Rosalie among the Natchez people, and later an architect and Captain of Engineers of the King in the Province [2] in colonial Louisiana.[3] He is chiefly remembered for designing the Ursuline Convent, now "the only remaining intact French colonial building in New Orleans."[4]

A native of La Bassée in northern France, Broutin arrived in Louisiana in 1720 and married Madeleine la Maire (likely a cousin - his mother's maiden name was la Mairée), widow of François Philippe de Marigny and mother of Antoine Philippe de Marigny. In 1748, his daughter, Madeleine Marguerite de Broutin (1730 - 1805), married a grandson of French-Canadian judge and poet, René-Louis Chartier de Lotbinière, Louis-Xavier Martin de Lino de Chalmette. The de Lino plantation, called "Chalmette", became the site of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans, and was later adopted as the name of the seat of St. Bernard Parish: Chalmette.[5] Their son, Ignace de Lino, reportedly died suddenly, a month later, devastated by the extensive damage to his inherited family mansion during the Battle.

In the year following the 1755 death of her first husband, Louis-Xavier, at just 35, Madeleine Broutin then wed another grandson of René Chartier's, Major Pierre Denys de La Ronde (1726 - 1772). Their only son together, Colonel Pierre Denis de La Ronde (1762 - 1824), played an "essential" role in the Battle of New Orleans, which had also claimed his plantation, bordering his half-brother de Lino's, being, first, the main site of the definitive Night Battle, December 23–24, 1814, in which General Edward Pakenham lost his life, then, secondly, commandeered by the British Army as a field hospital.

At least two descendants reflected his architectural legacy: grandson Colonel Denis de La Ronde (1762–1824), whose stately "house was similar in plan and exterior to the Ursuline Convent designed by Broutin"[6] (albeit now widely misnamed as Versailles, Louisiana), today an historic ruins;[7] and his niece, the tragic, yet highly creative survivor of the murderous Baron Joseph Delfau de Pontalba's final attempt to steal her fortune. Micaela Almonester, Baroness de Pontalba, whose personal legacy endures, as does her great-grandfather's, with the famed Pontalba Buildings gracing Jackson Square in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, and with the official residence of the United States Ambassador to France, the Hôtel de Pontalba in Paris.

François Broutin is said to have died in New Orleans, on August 9, 1751; but the whereabouts of his remains are unknown.[8]


  1. ^ Regio Basiliensis - Volumes 18 à 20 - Page 68 Geographisch-Ethnologische Gesellschaft Basel - 1977 "... der Witwe Marie-Madelaine Le-Maire verehelichte, belegen, dass dieser, ein Sohn von Pierre Broutin und Michèle la Mairée, um 1690/91 in la Bassée, einem Flecken bei der heutigen Stadt Lille in Nordfrankreich zur Welt gekommen war.
  2. ^ "Creole Families of New Orleans, by Grace Elizabeth King; Macmillan; USA; 1981, p. 75."
  3. ^ "Research Laboratories of Archeology: Colonial Louisiana: Early Architectural Drawings
  4. ^ Vestiges of Grandeur: Plantations of Louisiana's River Road, by Richard Sexton; Chronicle Books; USA; 1999, p. 18. ISBN 0-8118-1817-9.
  5. ^ Stanley Clisby Arthur, George Campbell Huchet De Kernion Old Families of Louisiana; 1998, pp. 91-92, 123, 322: "Madeleine Marguerite Broutin, daughter of Ignace François Broutin, royal engineer in the colony and commandant of the Natchez Post, and Madeline le Maire."
  6. ^ "The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly, Vol. XXVII, Number 2; Spring 2010, p. 9."
  7. ^ "Historic marker dedication held at De La Ronde Ruins in Chalmette"; The Times-Picayune; December 8, 2014.
  8. ^ Ignace Broutin on Find a Grave