MISSISSIPPI SCHOOL VISITS
LIFE IN LA LOUISIANE
Time: 20 minutes
Madeline LaSalle gives a first hand account of her family’s adventures as they sail from France to Massacre Island (present-day Dauphin Island, AL) in 1702. Her three sons are typical brothers, so they don’t always get along. She lets students see and touch artifacts as she tells about life aboard ship. Students feel her fear when pirates try to capture the ship! She tells funny stories about the men at Fort Maurepas—becoming friends with the Indians near Biloxi Bay; helping shipwrecked Spanish sailors from Pensacola. Madame LaSalle explains how the Spanish, the French, and the Indians help each other.
Grades: 4-8 Time: 60 min.
Madeline LaSalle tells about her family’s adventures with pirates on their voyage from France and lets students see and touch artifacts. She tells about Iberville’s explorations of Mississippi in 1699 and the building of Fort Maurepas. She vividly describes hair-raising experiences of a teenage cabin boy who lived in various Indian villages to learn native languages (gore appropriate for age levels). Her son, Nicolas learns about Indian burial customs and develops respect for bone-pickers.
Presentation complements information in Discovering Mississippi history textbook.
Daring Adventures of a Cassette Girl*
Grades: 9-12 Time: 60 min.
Marie Boisrenaud shows artifacts as she recounts the dangerous voyage of French girls to La Louisiane. Restless young men—having served at Fort Maurepas and now at La Mobile—eagerly awaited their arrival. Each girl had her wedding things in a small trunk called a cassette, and all were soon married except Marie. Battle lines were drawn when the strong-willed young woman sided with colonists against Bienville. She complained about his methods of running the colony, and he retaliated by preventing her marriage to the man she loved. Marie tells sad and funny tales about life in the wilderness—colonists battling disease, Indians, and each other.
Learn interesting (gory) tidbits
about Iberville and Bienville’s explorations in Mississippi; life at Fort
Maurepas; and a teenage cabin boy used as a pawn in the Choctaw and
Chickasaw conflicts. Local archaeological information is included.
* This first group of young women called the Pelican Girls—the name of their ship—is often referred to as Cassette Girls. However, the Cassette Girls came to La Louisiane about 20 years later.