Le Messager

St. James Parish

The French-language newspaper Le Messager was founded in July 1846 in the town of Bringier in St. James Parish, Louisiana, an area then known for its prosperous sugar plantations. Its first editor was Charles A. Pieron, formerly associated with the Sentinel in Lafayette (a suburb of Jefferson Parish annexed by New Orleans in 1854), the American Republican in New Orleans, and the Express in Carrollton. By the early 1850s, Charles Moroy and Auguste Lagardere, both natives of France, were editing Le Messager.

The four-page weekly carried miscellaneous local, national, and international news. The recently admitted states of California and Texas received much attention, as did the Crimean War in Russia. Judicial announcements, notices of public sales, advertisements for local businesses, and the minutes of the police jury (the governing body of the parish) occupied a third or more of each issue. The paper’s fiction section was typically pirated from French novels, but works by Louisiana writers were occasionally printed, such as Ernest Le Gendre’s Deux Parisiens en Louisiane (Two Parisians in Louisiana), a comedy in two acts. Politically, Le Messager was affiliated with the Whig Party, and in the mid-1850s it commented on nativist sentiment in Louisiana.

The last known extant issue of Le Messager dates from August 1860.