Anne Louis de Tousard journal and letter book

About this collection

This digital collection consists of a journal and letter book of Colonel Anne Louis de Tousard (1749-1817). The journal dates to 1791-1792 and was compiled by Tousard while a prisoner at L'Abbaye accused of counter-​revolutionary activities during the 1791 slave insurrection in Saint Domingue (now Haiti) led by Toussaint L'Ouverture. The letter book, dated 1796-1802, documents Tousard's second career in the United States Army. The materials were digitized from microfilm copies. Click here for a detailed description of the letter book and click here for a detailed description of the journal.

    Image: Anne Louis de Tousard portrait. Click to view.

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Colonel Anne Louis de Tousard letter book, 1796-1802
Louis de Tousard's letter book documents his second career in the United States Army (1796-1802). It describes his activities as inspector of artillery and his involvement in the founding of the military academy at West Point. Tousard's visits to many of the United States' military coastal installations are well described. The letter book contains copies of Tousard's correspondence with many prominent military officers and government officials including: Colonel Timothy Pickering, Stephen Decatur, James McHenry, and Secretary of War Henry Knox., Louis de Tousard (1749-1817) was a French military officer who served in the American Revolution with Marquis de Lafayette. He was involved in the ill-fated Canadian campaign and in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown. After being wounded on August 28, 1778, he returned to France. In 1784 he was commissioned lieutenant colonel and went to Santo Domingo where he became involved in an effort to put down the 1791 slave insurrection led by Toussaint L'Ouverture. The French government arrested him on October 19, 1792, and accused him of being a counter-​revolutionary and corresponding with the rebellious slaves. He was confined to the infamous L'Abbaye prison where he remained until February 4, 1793 when he was released through the intercession of the American minister. He was then reinstated in the American army and promoted to inspector of artillery. Between 1800 and 1802 he helped organize the military academy at West Point. He returned to France in 1802 where he died fifteen years later., [Description and dates], Hagley ID, Box/folder number, Anne Louis de Tousard letterbook (Accession 796), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807