He’d seen much trouble even at that youthful age, and was going to see much more.
His father died in September 1765, just weeks after their arrival at Poste des Attakapas, leaving Amand an orphan. He lived until 1770 with his brother Claude, who was only 17 when their father died.
In 1770, he began to establish himself in his own right. He married Helene Landry, the daughter of Firmin Landry and Francoise Thibodeaux, and apparently planned to raise cattle, registering his brand in St. Martinville. Amand and Francoise had just begun to get themselves established when their son Josephat was born on Nov. 29, 1771.
But then more trouble came. Helene died, leaving Amand heartbroken.
Amand persevered, however, and was awarded a Spanish land grant in 1772, and was married again in 1775 to Anne Benoit, daughter of Alexis Benoit and Helene Comeaux. Their first child was born Oct. 15, 1777, and others followed almost as quickly as nature would allow. Amand and Anne had 13 children together and reared Josephat, the child of his first marriage.
It’s a good thing that Amand apparently had gumption and a good head. He had a lot of mouths to feed.
By 1792 he’d become an affluent cattleman and planter. He bought the land grants of his brothers Claude and Joseph, along with other large tracts on both sides of the Teche and several others to the west, and built a roomy
Acadian-style house on the east side of the Teche on land near Loreauville that he’d bought from Joseph.
That house still stands, but in the late 1970s it was barged down the Teche from its original site to a place alongside the bayou on East Main Street in New Iberia.
Amand is listed among those who fought with Gov. Bernado de Galvez in support of the American Revolution and is listed as a Patriot of the American Revolution, and continued to be active in the militia afterward. He was about 60 years old when he served as a private in Baker’s Regiment of the Louisiana Militia during the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812.
When he died in January 1818 at the age of 64, his succession showed that Amand had moved from penniless orphan to a man of substance over the preceding half century.
He owned six substantial tracts of land, and his main plantation included not only his house but a separate kitchen, at least two barns, a schoolhouse and schoolmaster’s residence, a cotton mill, and a blacksmith shop.
Amand’s widow, Anne Benoit, continued to live in the old family home until her death in September 1830.
You can contact Jim Bradshaw at email@example.com or P.O. Box 1121, Washington LA 70589.