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Hyacinth Lasselle family collection

Identifier: L127

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of personal and business papers of the Hyacinth Lasselle family, and papers of a number of Vincennes families connected with the Lasselles through family or business relations, including the French merchants, Francis Bosseron and Antoine Marchal. The Hyacinth Lasselle papers include his account books (1798-1843); receipts, contracts, land documents, and other legal and business documents from Vincennes and Logansport (1796-1843); business correspondence, primarily regarding the Indian trade and Lasselle’s land interests; papers relating to his service in the War of 1812 (1812-1815), including correspondence and orders from Colonel William Russell, papers relating to Fort Harrison, and muster rolls, equipment returns, and other official military papers relating to Lasselle’s company; Indiana militia papers from Knox and Cass counties (1820s-1830s); papers relating to St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Vincennes (1817-1825); papers relating to the case of Lasselle v. Polly Strong, a woman of color, regarding the right to own slaves in Indiana (1820); business papers of the Terre Haute Company, regarding land sales and development of the site of Terre Haute (1820-1824); and plat maps of land in Cass County and neighboring counties (1830s-1850s).

Charles B. Lasselle papers include his correspondence with his family while he was a student at Indiana University (1836-1839); his business letters, contracts, and other documents relating to his legal business in Cass County and northern Indiana (1846-1880s); his account books (1847-1895); letters from family members in Fort Wayne, Logansport, and Peru, Indiana; Monroe, Michigan and Louisiana (1840s-1870s); papers relating to the family’s land claims based upon an 1826 treaty with the Pottawatomi Indians (1840s-1860s); correspondence regarding Democratic Party politics and the work of the Indiana legislature (1860s-1870s); letters to Lasselle from William P. Lasselle, an officer in the 9th Indiana Regiment, and other Civil War soldiers; his letters to his fiancée (1870); his letterbook for his law business (1870-1877); correspondence of Lasselle and T. C. Buntin of Terre Haute regarding family claims based upon Francis Bosseron’s Revolutionary War service (1878-1880s); Lasselle’s papers as Cass County probate commissioner (1888-1904); correspondence regarding his interests in early Indiana history; his historical writings, including essays on the life of John Tipton (1851), and the history of Fort Wayne (1850), Cass County (1859), and the early French in Indiana; and his meteorological records made at Logansport (1836-1883).

Stanislaus Lasselle papers include account books, bills, statements of account, receipts, and business correspondence of the Lasselle and Polke dry goods company (1836-ca. 1842); his journal of a boat trip from Logansport to Vicksburg, Mississippi (1840); his correspondence with his sister in Logansport while he was serving in the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), including his letters from camp in New Albany, Indiana, and from Texas and Mexico; certificates of disability, muster rolls, and other military papers for his company; his drawings of camps and battlefields in Mexico; summary of remarks made by Henry S. Lane at a dinner given by Lasselle in Matamoros, Mexico (1847); a diary of his trip to California (1849); his letters to his family from the San Francisco, California area (1852); and account books for his California store (1851-1857).

Hyacinth Lasselle, Jr. papers include his business accounts in Logansport (1830s-1840s); his letters regarding family business written from New Orleans (1840-1841); and letters to his wife, written primarily from Washington, D.C. while he was seeking federal appointments, and pursuing Indian claims (1848-1854).

Jacques M. Lasselle papers include his correspondence with his family while he was a student at Indiana University (1834-1836); and his correspondence with his sister while he was serving in the Mexican-American War.

Also included are papers relating to the early history of Vincennes, principally from the period 1760-1815. Included are papers of Hyacinth Lasselle’s father, Jacques, and his brothers, Jacques, Antoine, and Francois (1790-1830), including their correspondence relating to the fur trade at Detroit and Vincennes (1803-1810), and their business accounts, including their accounts with Hyacinth Lasselle; papers of Francis Bosseron, including his account books (1777-1791), his correspondence regarding the fur trade (1778-1791), receipts, accounts, and other business documents (1763-1791), his accounts with Leonard Helm and other members of George Rogers Clark’s army at Vincennes (1778-1780), and transcripts of documents relating to Bosseron’s involvement with Clark’s campaign; papers of French immigrant and Vincennes merchant Antoine Marchal (d. 1816), including his correspondence with his partner, Louis Nicolas Fortin of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana (1801-1816), his business correspondence with merchants in St. Louis, Kaskaskia, Fort Wayne, and Kentucky, including Pierre Menard and Manuel Lisa (1798-1816), his accounts and other business papers (1795-1816), his account book (1798-1800), his accounts with the Scioto Company (1790), and his estate papers (1816-1819).

Also included are papers of Vincennes merchant Francois Bizayon (d. 1810), including his account book (1807-1810), receipts and other business papers (1801-1810), and his estate papers (1810-1812); papers of Cape Girardeau trader Louis Lorimier, consisting of business letters, receipts and accounts (1781-1805); military and business papers of Captain Robert Buntin (1793-1812), including military letters and orders to Buntin at Fort Knox from officers at Fort Washington (1795-1797), and receipts, contracts and other Vincennes business papers (1797-1812); letters to merchant David Gray at Vincennes, from his associates George Sharp and George Ironside at Miamis (1786-1787); military papers of Pierre Andre, captain in the 1st Indiana Militia Regiment (1811-1813) and the U.S. Rangers (1813-1815), including his correspondence on military matters with Colonel William Russell, Lasselle, Ensign David Gregg, and others at Vincennes and Fort Harrison (1813-1815), and provision returns and other business documents for his company (1811-1815); papers of Ensign David Gregg of the U.S. Rangers, stationed at Vincennes and Fort Harrison, including letters from his family in Kentucky, letters on military matters from Colonel William Russell, and papers relating to Fort Harrison (1813-1819); plat maps for the town of Vincennes, drawn by U.S. surveyor Samuel Baird (1792); and marriage contracts, land contracts, receipts, and other legal and financial documents for people in Vincennes.

The collection includes documents and letters of Samuel Baird, Horace P. Biddle, James Bigger, J. J. Bingham, Bishop Simon Brute de Remur, John C. Calhoun, Lewis Cass, John T. Chunn, Schuyler Colfax, Alexis Coquillard, John D. Defrees, John B. Dillon, Thomas Dowling, Lyman C. Draper, Toussaint Dubois, George G. Dunn, Jacob P. Dunn, William H. English, George W. Ewing, John Ewing, Graham Fitch, Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget, Alexander Fraser, Pierre Gibault, John Gibson, Gabriel Godfroy, Isaac P. Gray, John Francis Hamtramck, John Cleves Symmes Harrison, Thomas A. Hendricks, Joseph Henry, Daniel Wait Howe, Henry Hurst, Jonathan Jennings, General Washington Johnston, John Rice Jones, Joseph H. Lane, John Law, Manuel Lisa, Louis Lorimier, William McIntosh, Mahlon Manson, Pierre Menard, William H.H. Miller, Lambdin P. Milligan, Benjamin Parke, Samuel Parry, John U. Pettit, Thomas Posey, Daniel D. Pratt, William Prince, Frederick Rapp, James Brown Ray, John Francis Rivet, William Russell, Louis St. Ange, Adhemar St. Martin, Samuel C. Sample, Benjamin Sebastian, Solomon Sibley, Thomas Smith, Elihi Stout, W.H.H. Terrell, John Tipton, John Todd, David Turpie, Henry Vanderburgh, Francis Vigo, James Whitcomb, Albert S. White, William W. Wick, James D. Williams, George Winter, Simon Yandes.

Additionally, there are 5 oversize folders, including Charles B. Lasselle's weather observations, 1856-1857, and notary public certificates, 1890-1902 (OB196, Folders 1 and 3) and Hyacinth Lasselle's will and military papers, including a muster roll dated June 30, 1815, a map of the Battle of Buena Vista from 1847, and undated return of militia tables, circa 1713-1904 (OB196, Folder 2; OBE010). There are also 97 volumes (V091), which are largely account books ranging from 1779 to 1895.


  • 1713-1904


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

The Lasselle family included Hyacinth Lasselle (1777-1843), a French trader at Fort Wayne (1794-1796), at various points along the Wabash River (1797-1805), at Vincennes, Knox County (1805-1833), and at Logansport, Cass County (1833-1840); he was a lieutenant in the Indiana Militia (1812), and the U.S. Rangers (1813-1815); served as temporary commander of Ft. Harrison, near present-day Terre Haute (1814-1815); appointed major general in Indiana Militia (1825); married Julia Bosseron, daughter of Vincennes trader Francis Bosseron (d.1791).

Lasselle’s children included Charles B. Lasselle (1819-1908), a student at Indiana University, Bloomington (1836-1839), law student under Daniel D. Pratt (1839-1842), Logansport lawyer (1842-1908), prosecuting attorney in Cass County (1847-1850), Democratic member of the Indiana House of Representatives (1863-1865) and the Indiana Senate (1869-1871), mayor of Logansport (1880s), Cass County probate commissioner (1890’s); Stanislaus Lasselle (1811-1853), publisher of the Logansport Canal Telegraph (1834-1836), associated with Benjamin Polke in dry goods firm, Lasselle and Polke in Delphi, Carroll County (1837- circa 1842), lieutenant and captain in the 1st Regiment, Indiana Volunteers in the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), participated in the California Gold Rush, and operated dry goods business near San Francisco (1849-1853); Hyacinth Lasselle, Jr.(1806-1876), a lawyer and merchant in Vincennes and Logansport, and publisher, with historian John B. Dillion, of the Logansport Telegraph (1836-1849); and Jacques Magloire Lasselle (1817-1851), a student at Indiana University, Bloomington (1834-1836), lawyer in Logansport (1841-1851), a sergeant in the 1st Regiment of Indiana Volunteers during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), judge of the Cass County Probate Court (1851).


18.5 Cubic Feet (24 manuscript boxes, 98 volumes, 4 oversize folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from the Charles Lasselle Estate during November 1908.


No further additions are expected.

Related Materials

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN:

SP080: Lasselle family photographs

Processing Information

Collection processing completed by Pamela Wasmer during 1991. Finding aid completed by Mark Vopelak during October 2010. EAD finding aid revised 2021/10/21 by Lauren Patton.
Hyacinth Lasselle family collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.