JEFFERSON COUNTY, NEW YORK
PIONEER BOSSUOT FAMILY
1. Jean Baptiste Bossuot (1754-26 July 1847) born in Ariege Parish, Troye France, son of was Louis Bossuot of Belgium. Jean was a French émigré that arrived from France in 1793 to early 1794. It is believed that he left France to escape his family's disdain for he had married beneath him. This was also the time of the Great French Revolution, many fled France. Jean sailed from Marseilles, France to America on the ship "Heureux" on his first trip to America on 26 September 1777 with General Von Steuben, arriving in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on 1 November, 1777. He returned to France and married Abigail 'Julia' Denow (d abt 1830).
His first two sons, Lewis and Augustus were both born in Troye, France. He returned to America as a servant to Simon Desjardin, an agent to the ill-fated French settlement venture, Castorland on the Black River in northern New York. Jean's name is mentioned many times in their logs as working for the Castorland Company with the Castorland French Aristocrat Colonists. Jean Baptiste Bossuot was known as Baptiste or Baptis or Bettis. He helped build and he was one of the first trustees of St. James Church, the first Catholic church in the region, dedicated in 1818 by Bishop Connelly of New York. Jean was buried in their cemetery. Jean and other graves that were buried in the St. James cemetery were moved to the new St. James cemetery in Carthage to make way for a road. Jean kept a boarding house for the hands employed at the church. He was one of the earliest contributors to the church. About 1830 shortly after his wife Julia died, Jean returned to his childhood home in Troye, France to find none of his family or friends, they had all either died or moved on. He returned to Carthage, never to return to France.
In April, 1798, Jean as an emigrant was authorized by a state act of New York to hold and purchase real estate. He was deeded one square acre of land from the Five Nations Indians on the Black River in April of 1805. On his land there was an old Indian village where four old Indian huts remained when he took over. He and his wife Julia built and maintained a Tavern/Inn, small goods store, and ferry at the head of Long Falls on Black River. The land is found on what is now called Dock and Canal Street in Carthage. Carthage was first known as High Falls, the name changed to Lyons Falls, after Caleb Lyon, then later to Long Falls. Currently it's called Carthage. His ferry service lasted till the New Carthage Bridge was built in 1812.
Those who knew Jean & Julia said that they never denied shelter or food to moneyless travelers or refused to ferry anyone across the river for lack of funds. Their son George was the first white child born in Carthage. Besides owning the tavern and ferry he was also known as an early explorer of the area. Jean's business partner and good friend Henry Boutin who had come over with Jean and General Steuben, shared a 1000 acre tract of land. Two years after their arrival, Boutin was swept to his death on the Black River in one of its rapids while on a return trip back to France. Jean was not listed on the land deed and was left with only his one acre. After Boutin's death, Jean and his family were the only white settlers in the Long Falls area for many years. Jean was a medium height man who was very well liked and respected by the Indians, he was very active in local civil affairs and was appointed assessor for the town of Le Ray and Wilna.
Jean, known as a well dressed man who would bow in French style, was a friendly, industrious and a versatile man, very honest and generous in his dealings. He was known to pay social visits and always offered a pinch of snuff; in his later years he became very deaf. He and Julia had six children, Louis (1791-10 September 1859), who married Ellen Forrest; Augustus (1792-1878), who married Mary Ann (Polly) Ellingsworth. He moved to Minnesota and is buried in Le Sueur, Minnesota; John Bonaparte (5 Sept 1798- 25 December 1874), who married Mary 'Elizabeth' Faver; George (6 May 1804-1871), who is buried in Berlin, Ontario, Canada; Peter and a Julia who both died at an early age. Peter drowned in the Black River. All of their children remained in or near the Carthage area for many generations except Augustus who married and moved his family to Minnesota. Jean died while living with his son John Bonaparte in Champion, New York at the age of 93.
He married, in France,
ABIGAILl 'JULIA' DENOW (d abt 1830).
2 i LOUIS BOSSUOT (1791-10 September 1859), married ELLEN FORREST
3 ii AUGUSTUS BOSSUOT (1792-1878), married MARY ANN (POLLY) ELLINGSWORTH. He moved to Minnesota and is buried in Le Sueur, Minnesota
4 iii JOHN BONAPARTE BOSSUOT (5 Sept 1798- 25 December 1874), married MARY 'ELIZABETH' FAVER
5 iv GEORGE BOSSUOT (6 May 1804-1871), who is buried in Berlin, Ontario, Canada
6 v PETER BOSSUOT d.y. He drowned in the Black River.
7 vi JULIA BOSSUOT d.y.
For further information, contact: Harry P. Caldwell
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