Academy of Sacred Heart & Lives of the Slaves
This month, the Festival of Words Arts Collective hosts an evening of history and an open mic. The event will feature Maureen J. Chicoine who will discuss her ongoing research of enslaved persons who lived and worked at the Sacred Heart Convent in Grand Coteau from 1821-1865 and their descendants. Maureen J. Chicoine, a Religious of the Sacred Heart, has a background in both history and genealogy and is happy to share what she has learned with others.
The Society of the Sacred Heart, a religious community of women, has a long history in Grand Coteau since they founded the Convent of the Sacred Heart in 1821. This school for girls has been in continuous operation since then. From 1821 until 1865 the Convent, like many Catholic institutions in the South, was a slave owner. As part of the bicentennial celebration of the arrival of the Society of the Sacred Heart in North America, the Society formed a committee to study the history of the enslaved persons who served in our Southern houses, with the greatest number at the Convent in Grand Coteau and St. Michael’s school in Convent, LA.
During the bicentennial in 2018, the Society plans to issue a statement recognizing their participation in the evil of slavery, hoping to recognize those enslaved persons whose identities we know and to find living descendants of three families who lived there. Although there were many other first names of men, women, and children, the families found in the research whose surnames were identified are Frank Hawkins and Jenny (Jane) Eaglin Martin; their sons Frank, Ben, James, John, their spouses and children; Wilson Jacobs and Marie Louise Philips, their children Firmin and Clara Eaglin Senegal, and their spouses and children. Other surnames such as Chenier, Doyle, Eaglin, Gilbeau, Litell, Marlborough, McCarty, Meche, Milton, Minix, Payne, Senegal, Stelly, Thomas, and Woods are being researched for descendants of daughters of Hawkins and Jacobs' families. Descendants of these families have been located locally as well as in other parts of Louisiana, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, and California.
The oral history presentation will be videotaped and placed in the Cajun and Creole Archives at the Center for Louisiana Studies collection. You are welcome to bring your own poems, songs or stories for the open mic. This free, community event is sponsored by
The Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective with support from the Center for Louisiana Studies at UL.
Chicory's Coffee & Cafe | 7pm | Free Admission
337-254-9695 219 E. Martin Luther King Dr. Grand Coteau, LA 70541 ADD TO MY TRIP PLANNER