Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Leading Early American Scholarship Since 1943


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The Memoir of Lieutenant Dumont, 1715–1747

A Sojourner in the French Atlantic

Gordon M. Sayre and Carla Zecher

Cloth ISBN 9780807837221

Copyright 2012 by the University of North Carolina Press

A Prize-Winning Book

  Honorable Mention, Lois Roth Award for a Translation of a Literary Work, Modern Language Association of America (2012)

Visit the University of North Carolina Press web page for this book.

Dumont de Montigny’s account of his adventures, designed to demonstrate his skills, display his sensibility, and defend a contested reputation for merit, provides a wonderfully fresh and detailed portrait of the struggles for power and prestige among the colonists and of encounters between settlers and native peoples. This Memoir offers important new insights into the negotiation of personal identity in journeys between the Old World and the New.

--Patrick Coleman, University of California, Los Angeles

Dodging death and success from La Rochelle to Biloxi and back, with some gardening in between, Dumont de Montigny survived to put quill to paper. His restless memoir, now briskly translated, offers a stereotype-shattering window onto eighteenth-century transatlantic life and writing.

--Catherine Desbarats, McGill University

Gordon Sayre is to be applauded for making this memoir accessible for the first time in English as well as for his introduction, notes, and an especially useful biographical dictionary that valuably embeds Dumont’s narrative in its literary, historical, and transatlantic contexts. A welcome addition to the growing literature on colonial Louisiana and the multilingual Atlantic world.

--Jennifer M. Spear, Simon Fraser University

The editors have done the growing field of French Atlantic studies a great service with this outstanding volume.

--Journal of Southern History

Gordon Sayre and Carla Zecher have done a great service for the study of the lower Mississippi Valley in the eighteenth century with the publication of The Memoir of Lieutenant Dumont.

--Arkansas Historical Quarterly

Recommended to anyone studying the French colonial experience, regional Native American culture, the French Marines, or the natural history of the southeast before wide-spread European occupation.

--Louisiana History

Puts an important primary source on Native American culture within reach of a wide audience. . . . [R]epresents a significant advance for several academic fields.

--William and Mary Quarterly