#244 - Nicolas Caillot dit Lachanse
#245 - and Judith Boyer
Nicolas Caillot dit Lachanse, a youthful supporter of the American Revolution
when George Rogers Clark took Kaskaskia from British control, later settled
in Ste. Genevieve District of Spanish Upper Louisiana, where he and family
members established St. Michael Village (Fredericktown). He and his wife,
Judith (Boyer), had at least one daughter and two sons.
Nicolas was born in 1759, first of thirteen children of Nicolas and
Marianne (Giard) Caillot. Their French-born father, one of the foremost
men of Kaskaskia, was a justice of the first American court established
there after Virginia's conquest of the Illinois country.
Nicolas and most of his nine brothers were well educated in French and
could read and write. As a youth, Nicolas served in Kaskaskia's militia
and took part in French Colonel Augustin Mottin de LaBalme's plan to take
Detroit from the British. His father not only backed the expedition but contributed
30 livres in particular for the two pounds of gunpowder for his son. The
plan--unfortunately--collapsed when LaBalme and many of his men were massacred
in a battle at the Miami.
At age 21, Feb 26, 1780 [Ste. Genevieve MR date], Lachanse was married
to Judith Boyer, daughter of Nicolas and Dorothe (Olivier) Boyer. She was
born on August 23, 1766, in Ste. Genevieve.
The young couple lived in Kaskaskia, having a daughter, Marie Louise,
and two sons, Nicolas Caillott , who was born on Jan. 16, 1785, and
After the war, overbearing dominance by American speculators
drove many French families to the Spanish side of the river.
Nicolas Lachanse's family settled at Ste. Genevieve some years before
his father and brothers, who helped to establish neighboring Nouvelle Bourbon.
In Ste. Genevieve, the enterprising Lachanse was the first entrepreneur
to open a billiard parlor. Late in 1792, he sold his parlor to Francois
Lalumandiere. Two years later, Lalumandiere bought another billiard
parlor, "equipped with six new balls and three old ones," and became Ste.
Genevieve's first vice lord.
All of the Caillots received Spanish land grants. On May 12, 1799 [US
Doc 16:200-201; MoLCM 4:515, 6:400, 7:71], Lieutenant-Governor Zenon Trudeau
granted 5,200 arpents at Mine la Motte to Nicholas Lachanse and twelve others,
including five of his brothers, Michel, Antoine, Gabriel, Joseph and Francois,
and two brothers-in-law, Paul Deguire and Pierre Chevallier. All, except
brother Michel and Deguire signed this historic petition while it bore
the "marks" (X) of the others. Each received a concession of 400 arpents.
This land was situated between Saline and Castor (Village) Rivers, tributaries
of St. Francois River.
After the manner of French settlers, they set about building a village
of rude log houses, and clearing and cultivating their land. They set up
sugar-making camps or worked in Mine la Motte's lead diggings, or both.
Within a year's time this became the site of St. Michael. A mission of Ste.
Genevieve's Catholic church was established there, although it did not become
a separate parish until 1829.
On July 23, 1801 [SGA, Mines #1], after settlers at Mine a Breton were
unable to resolve the murder of American O'Connor by another American named
Stone, Commandant Francois Valle appointed Nicolas Caillot as interim commissaire
police. Violence in the mining area continued, however, and, in 1802,
Joseph Decelle Duclos became its permanent police commissioner.
After President Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase, Lachanse found
himself living under the United States flag for a second time. Born under
the French colonial flag, he had lived under banners of Britain, the U.S.,
On Dec. 27, 1805 [Carter, Mo. Terr. Papers xiii:341], Lachanse and residents
of St. Michael expressed their confidence in embattled territorial Governor
James Wilkinson in a memorial to President Jefferson. On June 4, 1806 [Carter,
Ibid, xiii:554] this group and others sought appointment of Joseph
Browne as General Wilkinson's successor; Browne was well-acquainted with
the French element's problems and, besides, he spoke their language.
After a disastrous flood of Saline and Castor creeks, in 1814, St. Michael
was relocated on higher ground and given a new name, Fredericktown. When
Madison County was formed in 1818 from Ste. Genevieve and Cape Girardeau
counties, Fredericktown was made its seat of government.
The 56-year-old Nicolas Caillot dit Lachanse died about 1815 at his
farm home in the St. Michael's neighborhood.
His widow, Judith, survived him for many years. In 1830 [Madison Co
Census 1830:349:8] at age 64, she lived with the family of her son, Nicholas
Lachanse III, in Madison County, Liberty Township.
[there is no page 136]
122 - Nicholas Caillot dit Lachanse
123 - Cecile Chevallier
Nicholas Caillot dit Lachanse, first of his line to be born in an American
possession, lived under Spanish and both United States territorial and Missouri
state flags as he became a farmer in Madison County. He and his wife, Cecile,
had a large family, perhaps as many as a dozen children.
He was the third generation in succession by the name of Nicholas. As
the family became Americanized, many adopted the French "dit" (nickname),
Lanchanse (Lachance), as their surname.
Nicholas III was born on Jan. 16, 1785, and baptized in the ancient
Catholic Church in Kaskaskia. His parents, Nicholas and Judity (Boyer)
Caillot, both were natives of colonial Mississippi Valley. His father served
in Kaskaskia's militia after Geroge Rogers Clark conquered the Illinois
country. Near the end of the war, he and Judith were married at Ste. Genevieve.
They were living in Kaskaskia, however, when their children were born. Thus,
Nicholas actually was born after Kaskaskia officially became part of Illinois
County, Virginia, and before it became part of the Northwest Territory.
About 1790, several years before the rest of the Caillots crossed over
to Ste. Genevieve District, Judith and her husband brought their three young
children, Marie Louise, age 7, Nicholas, 5, and Jean Baptiste, 4, to the
Nicholas (III) and his siblings were raised in Ste. Genevieve, where
their father operated a billiard parlor, in Mine a Breton, where the elder
Caillot served for a time as chief of police, and in newly established St.
Michael's, the second village established on this side of the river by
his father and uncles. As a teenage boy, in fact, Nicholas "carried the
chain" for surveyor Antoine Soulard's deputy, Thomas Madden, when the
5,200 arpent landgrant was measured.
The Day of Three Flags was celebrated in Ste. Genevieve in March 1804
when the Lousiana Purchase went into effect, making the entire region a
United States territory. Six months later on Nov. 13, 1804 [Ste. Genevieve
MR Date], 19-year-old Nicholas Caillot dit Lachanse was married to Cecile
Chevallier. The bride, daughter of Pierre Joseph and Marie Rose (Deguire)
Chevallier, was born in 1786 in Ste. Genevieve. Her mother died on Nov.
13, 1804 [Note:
she died before 1797; she wouldn't have died on the same day her daughter
Her father then married Pelagie Caillot, daughter of
Nicholas and Marianne (Giard) Caillot, and he died on April 22, 1817 at
Young Lachanse was a farmer. He and Cecilia settled at St. Michael.
Their first two daughters were baptized in the old Ste. Genevieve church;
they were Marie Louise, born on Nov. 19, 1806, and Judith, who was born
on Nov. 5, 1808. After that a missionary branch was established at St. Michael
and their nine or ten other offspring were baptized there.
There's no question that Lachanse served in the Missouri Rangers during
the War of 1812. St. Michael had its own militia troop as a defense against
Indian attacks or depredations. No complete roster of the troop has been
After a disastrous flood of the Saline and Castor (Village) creeks in
1814, St. Michael was relocated on high ground and given a new name, Fredericktown.
When Madison County was formed in 1818, from Ste. Genevieve and Cape Girardeau
counties, Fredericktown was made its seat of government.
Nicholas Lachanse was involved in only two of numerous land transactions
by the family. On July 13, 1829 [Madison Deeds A:105], he sold property
to Paul Deguire. Previously, on June 30, 1827 [Madison Bonds A:355], he provided
bond for sale of Lachanse land to Huldy Stevenson.
Both Marie Louise and Judith Lachanse were married when the 1830 census
Marie Louise Caillot was married on Feb 6, 1826 [Madison MR Date], to
her cousin, Francois Caillot, 25-year-old son of Francois and Pelagie (Deguire)
Caillot dit Lachanse. They lived in St. Michael Township [Madison
Census 1830:342:8] with two young sons.
Judith Caillot was married on the day after Christmas, 1828 [Madison
MR A:44], to Louis Deguire, 29-year-old son of Louis and Marie (Dodge)
Deguire. He died less than five years later. On Feb. 6, 1833 [Madison MR
A:102], Judith was married again to 33-year-old Francis Aubuchon , himself
a widower. This marriage was performed by Rev. J.F. Brasseur, priest at
St. Michael's, and witnessed by a host of friends and relatives, including
J.B., R.B. and J.B.V. St. Gemme, Paul Deguire, Simon Aubuchon, W.H. Brookes,
Weisla Calliot, and Pelagie Chevallier.
Enumeration of Nicholas Lachanse's family, residing in Liberty Township
[Madison Census 1830:349:8], showed him with his wife, his 64-year-old
widowed mother, and 4 boys and 5 girls in his household. Francis J. Lachanse,
their eldest son, resided next to them, with his wife, Francis (Lacomb)
and their 3 youngsters born after theri marriage. On Jan. 6, 1827 [Madison
Lachance was still living on May 31, 1833 [US Doc. 16:#12:196-197; MoLCM
6:260-261,410], when at age 49, he appeared as a witness before Missouri's
Land Claim Commission and testified for his uncles, Michael Caillot and
Deguire in support of their claims. In the case of Michael Lachance,
Nicholas said he carried the surveyor's chain. In Deguire's case he noted
that one Charles L. Byrd jumped their claims and forced them to give it
Nicholas Caillot Lachanse died a short time after this, and presumably
was interred at St. Michael's by the then pastor, Rev. Cellini.
Lachanse's wife Cecile died on May 24, 1847 at 61 years of age. She was
buried by Father Cellini's successor, Rev. Lewis Tucker, parish priest of
St. Michael's, in the churchyard cemetery at Fredericktown.
Posted by Mary Jo Freeman