Adventures with One
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Lew Toulmin


The Florian Letters


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Most Traveled Man
Jean Baptiste FLORIAN Jolly de Pontcadeuc and his wife Marguerite were two of the most amazing people to escape the French Revolution. With a mob of killer revolutionaries hot on their trail, they managed to flee to England, set up a school, catalogued much of the knowledge of the time, then set their sights on America. They (and their four daughters) emigrated to New Orleans in 1810, and became the great-ggg-grandparents of Lew, and of many other Americans alive today who have never even heard of the Florian family. The documents below describe the family, their fascinating letters, their travels, art, loves, ancestors, descendants and even a family shipwreck.

A recent and exciting addition to the known Florian documents is a letter from Laura Eugenie Florian (daughter of Jean-Baptiste Florian Jolly de Pontcadeuc) to a friend, describing in detail the 1815 Battle of New Orleans, one of the most famous and important battles in US history. This letter only surfaced in 2012 and was priced by the Raab Collection at $15,000. It was described as likely the first such eyewitness account to surface in a century. The letter was sold to the Historic New Orleans Collection (HNOC) research center, where it now resides. A transcript, image, articles and a school lesson plan on the letter from the HNOC are provided below.

Another Florian relation was Nicolas-Joseph Beaugeard (1775-1818), the uncle-in-law of Jean-Baptiste FLORIAN Joli de Pontcadeuc. Nicolas is thus the fifth great grand-uncle of Lew Toulmin. Nicolas was an amazing fellow whose story is told below in the document Un Hero Malouin. He was born in St. Malo, Brittany, France, served as Counselor and Secretary of Orders to Queen Marie Antoinette, tried to rescue King Louis XVI from the guillotine, and then after the first Bourbon Restoration served as Secretary to HRH Mme Duchess of Angouleme (1778-1851). She was the daughter of the Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Proofs of all these assertions are provided in the document below, written by the Comte de Bellevue in 1904. Enjoy!

Flight of a Suspect:the Adventures of the Florian Family and the
Immigrant Jean-Baptiste Florian Joli de Pontcadeuc
(PDF: 3.25 MB)

The Florian Letters 1801--1856 (PDF: 3.81 MB)

Shipwreck and Escape in the Dry Tortugas (PDF: 3.12 MB)

Descendants of the Father of Jean Baptiste Florian Jolly de Pontcadeuc (PDF: 293 KB)

Ancestors of Jean Baptiste Florian Jolly de Pontcadeuc (PDF: 90 KB)

Ancestors of Marguerite Marie Le Det de Segray (PDF: 67 KB)

Article p. 1 re Laura Eugenie Florian letter describing Battle of New Orleans

Article p. 2 re Laura Eugenie Florian letter describing Battle of New Orleans

Article p. 3 re Laura Eugenie Florian letter describing Battle of New Orleans

Image of entire Laura Eugenie Florian letter re Battle of New Orleans

Letter and lesson plan re Laura Eugenie Florian and the 1815 Battle of New Orleans (PDF)

Un Hero Malouin -- Nicolas Beaugeard (PDF)



Jean Baptiste Florian Jolly de Pontcadeuc
Pontcadeuc coat of arms

Joseph Marie LeDet de Segray in 1813
Marguerite Le Det de Segray