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Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html


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Madame Elizabeth Ortes.

MADAME ELIZABETH ORTES was born September 27th, 1764, at Vincennes, a French military post of great importance on the Wabash. To have been in Indiana at that early date, was to have been in a wilderness, and a vast region on both sides of the Mississippi went by the name of Illinois. Her mother's name was Marguerite Dutremble, and that of her father Antoine Barada, who, previous to his marriage, was a French soldier, and served for some years in the French army, then commanded by Louis St. Ange de Bellerive. When Vincennes had been given up to the English, the very year after her birth, her parents still remained at the post; but seeing, day by day, the old customs gradually dying away, which, from long use, had become necessary to their existence; and feeling, also, that dislike to the English natural to the French, they removed to St. Louis in 1768. Madame Ortes was then four years of age, and St. Louis was founded seven months before her birth.

At the age of four years, the memory had commenced to retain upon its delicate tablet impressions of external objects, and Madame Ortes distinctly recollects her removal from Fort Vincennes to St. Louis, and knows well the time when the little log church was built on Second street, near Market, on the same square where the cathedral now stands. The church was built by Jean B. Ortes, who became her future husband. She distinctly recollects the time when the French flag was lowered, and the town was delivered to the Spaniards by Louis St. Ange do Bellerive, who was then commandant. She well remembers the appearance of that distinguished general of the French, and the time when he died, at the house of Madame Chouteau, situated on the square opposite the Missouri Republican office. She distinctly remembers Pierre Laclede Liguest, the founder of the city, and was thirteen years of age when he died, on the Mississippi, at the mouth of the Arkansas.

At fourteen years of age, Mademoiselle Elizabeth Barada was married to Jean B. Ortes, one of the companions of Liguest, who was a native of the same place, the county of Bion, on the borders of France; and their birth-spot was in the shadow of the towering Pyrenees. Both emigrated to America at one time, and they were together when the site of St. Louis was chosen and the trees marked where the erection of the buildings was to be commenced. He was a carpenter and cabinet-maker, and died in 1813, at the age of seventy-five years.

Madame Ortes is now nearly ninety-six years of age, and has lived ninety-two years in St. Louis. She has seen all the different phases of the Mound City, from 1768 to the present time. She was a little girl during the first French domination, and saw Piernas, the first Spanish governor, when he arrived in the town. She had grown to womanhood when the town was attacked by the savages, in 1780. She was intimate with the families of the different Spanish commandants, and was in the fortieth year of her age when the city was again delivered to the commissioner of the French, and on the following day was consigned to a

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representative of the United States, and the star-spangled banner floated from the battlements. She has witnessed all the changes St. Louis has undergone during the almost century of its existence. She has seen the little log cabins of one story, as they grew tottering by the decaying fingers of Time, supplanted by palatial buildings. She has seen the gay, convivial, and happy inhabitants that once formed the population, go, one by one, to their "narrow house;" and a new people, with different tastes, and animated by mercenary motives, are living and breathing around her. Every thing has become more attractive to the eye — shows the march of intellect and civilization; but the atmosphere created by sympathetic influence has been chilled, and the warm sunshine of happiness, which radiated the days of the former inhabitants, is now wanting.

Time has dealt gently with Madame Ortes. Though ninety-six years of age, her health is good, spirits buoyant, and her mind lucid and active. Her memory is most astonishing, and she loves to talk of the time that has passed, of the persons who were the companions of her childhood, and with whom she associated in the spring and summer of her life. She was always of a happy nature, lived a retired life, never was troubled by worldly wants, and, to use her own graphic expression, "her cellar was always full." To these salutary causes is to be attributed the health and the length of life she has enjoyed. We are happy to relate that she has resided, since the death of her husband, in the house of Mr. Joseph Philibert, her son-in-law, having at her command all worldly comforts. She is surrounded by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and in their society almost forgets the infirmities and regrets of age, and lives a life of comparative happiness.

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Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html
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