Document communicated by Herve Pichevin
Letter addressed by Laurence Blondel Rougery [ 1 ] to her Léontine
sister of the Rock [ 2 ]
which was in Paris
Saint-Pierre May 3, 1902
My dear Léontine
Great general agitation, we have been under ash for this night, the detonations which started
dully initially are accentuated since midnight. The volcano smokes more and more, one would
say of an immense fire, some even saw the flames. This night the spectacle was.... I regret of
having enjoyed. It is only this morning with 4 H ½ which, attracted by the odor of sulphur, I
approached the window in spite of the darkness, I realized that ash had very invaded, the
interior of the apartments, the sheets even were covered with it. Do the inhabitants heights
have a terrible fun fuient( ?) with an admirable spirit. It appears that this night Préchotins ( ?)
came in great number to ask asylum the church of the Fort. The college and the college gave
leave this morning, it... that many parents made claim their children. All the families which were
in the countryside regain the city pêle-mixes. The city is of a sadness without equal, covered
thus this immense gray coat, all is uniform, the streets, our houses, the trees, all is almost
white, that must be thus during the winter. The horses, cars, our clothing, all is powdered... If
that increases further, we will not be able to breathe perhaps any more. Two days ago, we had
three jolts of earthquake in the same afternoon, but very slightly, these jolts were not felt by
much. If that were renewed, I believe that panic would be terrible. Louis returns at the
moment and says to us that this ash gains everywhere, Extremely-of-France is covered with it
too. The service of the tram cannot be done any more at the Bottoms Coré, ash chokes the
travellers. The inhabitants of the Preacher continue to flee, the children choke. Louis [ 3 ] to
Joseph [ 4 ] will get informed about Saint-Clair [ 5 ] and of his family, I will give you news
progressively. The mail will leave only this evening. The governor has just arrived with his
Saint-Clair left Grand' Case this morning, with regret. He is very worried about his animals
which he had to leave in freedom, not having anybody to occupy itself some nor to make them
grasses. Charlot remained with River-White [ 6 ] . Raoul and Amélie [ 7 ] were not downtown
yet. They cannot be long in as fleeing, one says as the district is not livable. One speaks
already about mortality, but it is necessary to take account of the exaggeration and the fear
especially which enlarges all. I am of calms who astonish me, I await the events quietly,
annoyed only by this dust which penetrates everywhere though all is closed. Many people are
thrown into a panic, around us, one is rather calm, Maman [ 8 ] not worries about the whole.
Edith [ 9 ] only is worried until now. If death awaits us, we all in many company, will this be by
fire or asphyxiation will spin ? it will be what God will want. You will have our last thought.
Let us pass now on another subject. It is this morning that Robert [ 10 ] made his 1 Communion
era. The Priest made him a small special ceremony with the furnace bridge of the Virgin. All
his/her small comrades communié with him and sang canticles throughout the mass. After, the
Priest made him make his dedication to Sainte-Vierge and the restoration of the wishes of the
baptism. Many friends attended the ceremony which was really touching. After the mass,
comrades and parents met in Samuel to take the chocolate. These ladies all were more or less
tired, awaked since 1 H of the morning by the detonations, they étaent very worried and
feared that an unspecified event came to still put obstacle at the 1 era communion of Robert.
Finally very happened well extremely fortunately.
There are still changes in the inhabitants of the street Toraille [ 11 ] . Berté left to go to place
above the pharmacy which changed building also, they took the Dolivet store which was
transported in the old Reynard store, this one increased considerably by taking the Gerard
store and the two neighbors. In the absence of Amélie, they will join the children to the
Military Bridge. The position of the father was decreased by the 2/3 since the marriage of
Cecile. It is a kindness of Mr. Berté who wants to get rid some. They are the husbands Louis
Hayot and Me Préville which replace them, they move in already. They released " Pleasure "
(since the death of Alexis P) in spite of their lease and do not want to go back there any more.
Of Chaxel [ 12 ] prepare themselves to leave the 11 this month but they agree to take care of
the clock and of the knives, I will make pack as carefully the whole as possible. I already sent
the table runner to them which I am happy to be able to send to Clémentine [ 13 ] , it is not too
early. It is Gabrielle [ 14 ] which completed it, I were so occupied all these times that I could
not put a point at it. Gabrielle bit well with work for some time. Of imagination much especially
it likes these works and it does not discharge any too badly. She gained much for some time
and from all the points of view. I regret well for it the departure of of Chaxel because it does
not like at all to leave, it is there only that it goes readily.
Is Edith still with us, it counts for Bassigny ( ?) in a few days, you know that the stay of the
city does not suit him much. However, it seems to be liked it well better this time. Louis did not
make yet any decision [ 15 ] .
I frequently have news of Joby and from Rene [ 16 ] all these times, their young girl suffered
much from the belly, not knowing more that to make they made me consult Joseph [ 17 ] . Poor
Casimir, what a confidence it inspires ! Finally the young girl is better. Joby which had
gerçures had taken a nurse for a few days, it had to take again his/her daughter. The last
news was better. I do not believe that Sainte-Marie also received ash, the Low-Point did not
have anything. Lamentin and even the Sailor and Sainte-Anne were covered with it, that is
undoubtedly due to the direction of the winds. I have somebody who speaks close to me since
more than one fifteen minutes, I do not know more what I write, I am stopped at any moment.
I stop and hastens me to benefit from an occasion which arises for the post office. We send to
you with all force kisses to divide. Caresses particular to the small Louis [ 18 ] . Give our news
to Robert [ 19 ] , say to him that we are still of this world, that will not be perhaps more exact
when my letter arrives to you. Maurice [ 20 ] their wrote yesterday, I do not know if it will
have added a word today. Still a good kiss which will perhaps not be the last.
Always with you
[ 1 ] Last born of the 8 children of Louis Blondel Rougery (1815-1900)
and Elina Faure. Born 11/8/1862. Single person.
Victim of the eruption.
[ 2 ] Léontine Blondel Rougery, second child of the couple, born 18/7/1847 in Saint-Pierre, widow of Gustave of the
Rock (1830-1880). It was then in Paris near her Clémentine daughter of the Rock, marries of Roland Pichevin who
awaited a second child.
[ 3 ] Louis Blondel Rougery, husband of Edith de Gage and brother of Laurence and Léontine.
[ 4 ] Joseph Marry, brother of Raoul, half-brother of Saint-Clair Dujon. All three, cousins distant and friendly of the
Bondel families Rougery and the Rock escaped the eruption.
[ 5 ] Saint-Clair Dujon (1844-1910) exploits, with the assistance of his elder son Charlot (because, suffering of the
diabetes, it became blind), the " White River " and " Grand' Case ".
[ 6 ] Charlot Dujon (° 1876) wire of Saint-Clair and his first wife, Juanita Huc. The Dujon family escapes from accuracy
from the eruption, which destroys the White River and devastates Grand' Case.
[ 7 ] Raoul Marry and his wife Amélie Albert
[ 8 ] Elina Faure, 81 years, widow of Louis Blondel Rougery. Victim of the eruption.
[ 9 ] Edith de Gage, sister-in-law of Léontine
[ 10 ] Undoubtedly one of the children of Maurice and Marie Blondel Rougery ?
[ 11 ] It is there that the house of the Blondel family was Rougery. After the eruption, one did not find there that a
watch, stopped at 8. 05, and a penknife.
[ 12 ] Edme of Chaxel, his wife Marie Robillard and one their Marie girls (born in 1881) could not leave Saint-Pierre and
were victims of the eruption
[ 13 ] Clementine of the Rock, girl of Léontine and thus niece of Laurence Blondel Rougery
[ 14 ] Girl of Maurice and Marie Blondel Rougery ?
[ 15 ] They undoubtedly decided to leave Saint-Pierre in the following days because they survived.
[ 16 ] Rene of the Rock, (wire elder of Gustave and Léontine Blondel Rougery, Clementine brother) and Joby Prévoteau
of Clary lived then in Sainte-Marie where them girl had been born on April 4.
[ 17 ] Probably Joseph Marry, doctor, brother of Raoul and Louis
[ 18 ] Louis Pichevin, then 9 months old, Clementine wire of the Rock and Roland Pichevin
[ 19 ] Robert Blondel Rougery, another brother of Laurence ; it was then in metropolis
[ 20 ] Maurice Blondel Rougery, at the same time brother-in-law and first cousin of Laurence (husband of Marie Blondel
Rougery, sister of Laurence). They disappeared in the catastrophe, like 6 of their 7 children.
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