Charles Francois was the oldest son of Jean Nicholas Francois and was the first of three brothers who came to America. The two younger brothers, Yacinthe, 20, and Theophile, 18, arrived in New Orleans on December 24, 1846. They departed home, Saulxures-Lex Vannes, Canton de Colombey, Department de la Meurthe-et-Moselle, in Novermber 1846. They traveled on the ship J.N. Copper from Port of Havre bound for New Orleans. The fare was 125 franks per person.
Theophile stayed in New Orleans to work in his Uncles's leather shop. Later he lived with Charles in Opelousas, called Prud'humme City (also called Bois Mallet). Charles was keeping a small country store. The census of 1850 lists the two brothers as storekeepers. Tanning hides was a skill he brought back from France. His father, Jean, was a tanner and a vigneron (grower of grapes).
Epidemics of yellow fever raged, each summer there was an outbreak. Charles and Yacinthe were very sick. Charles wrote to Marc, "Jevous dirais que les maladies on ete pres Au Opelousas. Yacinthe boucoup malade par la
fievre et moi pareillement. [I am telling you the sickness is bad in Opelousas. Yacinthe is very sick with the fever and so am I.]
On Feb. 6, 1856, Theophille Charles and possibly Yacinthe entered into a verbal agreement to form a "societe" or a business cooperative in Phud'homme called Francois Freres [Francois Brothers]. On March 21, 1862, this agreement was set in writing. Theophile was responsible for running the tannery, Charles devoted himself to running the store and overseeing the farmlands. Yacinthe was not included. Possibly he might have been in the army. No proof.
Charles died unexpectedly on the 29th of March 1879, at the age of 58. The cause of his death is unknown. He left his wife and 13 children, five of whom were married. He left an estate that included over 900 acres of land, a general store, a tannery yard, a new cotton gin, a store house, a very commodious home, numerous heads of livestock, various farm implements, and an uncertain amount of debts.
The widow lost everything.
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