Bernard, Gildas. "Archives Nationales.
Section Moderne", in Guide des recherches sur l'histoire
des familles, pages 273-276. Paris: Archives Nationales, 1981.
LDS call number 944.D276. See Select
NOTE: No attempt was made to "translate" the Republican dates, as each new Republican year started on 22 September, encompassed two years. Any conversions mentioned below were done by the author. For a better context of the records being discussed, the reader is referred to the above publication.
Information about the refugees of the
colonies, notably those of Saint-Domingue, can be found in the
sub series F7 (Police générale), F12
(Commerce et industrie) and F15 (Hospices
AID TO THE COLONISTS OF SAINT-DOMINGUE.
Research on the colonists of Saint-Domingue can be accomplished principally from the dossiers of aid given to the colonists remaining in France because of the troubles in the Island in 1790, or those who sought refuge in the mother country (métropole) following the burning of Cap François, which occurred on 20 June 1793.
Aid was granted to the colonists of Saint-Domingue beginning November 1793. [See end note] Revertible to spouses and direct descendants, this aid was paid out until the death of the recipient. The dossiers housed in the Section moderne of the Archives Nationales, which are dossiers d'inscription aux états de secours [dossiers of written reports on the state of aid], cover the period running from the Year II to 1890.
The formalities employed by a colonist in order to obtain aid for himself and the members of his family consisted of furnishing:
A certificate of indigence delivered by the municipal administration of the place where the colonist resided. This record should contain, as well as the first and surnames, the age or date of birth;
A declaration made by the colonist giving the makeup of his family (age of the wife, age and sex of the infants), accompanied by an extract of the act of marriage, contracted before June 1793;
An affadavit of a fellow citizen proving that the refugee colonist was a proprietor of Saint-Domingue, and that he carried on a gainful occupation there before the Revloution;
The passport given to the deportee,
upon his arrival in France.
Beginning in the Year XIII the demande d'inscription had to be complemented by a certificate of the Minister of the Marine, delivered on the advice and report of the Comité des colons notables, set up to work with the Minister of the Marine.
Claims for payment "in arrears" had to be accompanied by the record of death of the colonist and an attested affadavit, establishing/verifying the number of heirs, as established by the judge of the country.
Claims of revertibility for a spouse or direct descendants had to contain: the record of death of the colonist, an attested affadavit relative to the death, the record of marriage, the record of birth of the claimant, a certificate of existence and need delivered by the municipal administration of the place of domicile of the claimant.
The administrations charged with giving aid to the colonists were successively, from the Year II to the Year XII, the Commission des Secours publics puis le ministère de l'Intérieur (jointly by the order of 16 Messidor, Year X/4 July 1802 with the Minister of the Marine); from the Year XIII (order of 8 Fructidor, Year XII/26 August 1804) to December 1818, the ministère de la Police générale (2e arrondissement); from 1819 to 1830, the ministère de l'Intérieur; from 1831 to 1890, the ministère des Travaux publics et du Commerce becoming in 1839 ministère de l'Agriculture et du Commerce, then ministère du Commerce et de l'Industrie. This succession [of govern ment agencies] explains the manner of distribution of the corresponding archives between the sub-series F7 (Police générale), F12 (Commerce et Industrie), and F15 (Hospices et secours). There is often interference between the three Sub-series. It is necessary to conduct research in ALL of the various groups of individual dossiers.
Amongst the groups mentioned below, some, we note, do not uniquely concern Saint-Domingue.
F7. Police générale.
F7 36445 to 364430. Aid to refugee colonists and to Maltais , Year IV-1815 (filed by département: Allier to Vienne). [Amongst the principal départements which sheltered and fed the colonial refugees, these notably stand out: les Bouches-du-Rhône (F7 36446-8), la Charente-Inférieure (F7 36449-12) and le Morbihan F7 364422-23).]
F7 12306 to 12308. Aid to refugee colonists: receipts of mandats et quittances (giving the names and domicile), 1812-1828.
F12. Comemerce et Industrie.
In the group of F12 2716 to 2891, concerning only aid to the former colonists of Saint-Domingue, one should particularly consult:
F12 2736. Matriclue générale [general lists] by département, of the colonists, 1824.
F12 2737 and 2738. Individual fiches [card files] (filed by year of birth), 1765-1832.
F12 2740 to 2883. Individual dossiers (filed alphabetically), 18th-19th centuries.
One should also consult:
F12 7623 to 76321. Aid to the colonists and others taking refuge from Saint-Domingue, from Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, and from Canada: Status of aid and dossiers of the beneficiaries (alphabetical series), 1882-1890.
F15. Hospices et secours.
In the group F15 3349 to 3490, one should especially consult:
F15 3362 to 3426. Aid to the colonists (particularly of Saint-Domingue): individual dossiers (filed alphabetically), Year II-Year XII.
F15 3442. General lists of refugee colonists in the départements, 1832.
F15 3455 to 3490. Accounting of aid rendered, 1822-1846. [filed by département (Aisne to Yonne) and by year.]
Concerning the colonists of Saint-Domingue, one can also find bibliographical information in:
D XXV. Fonds du Comité des colonies.
D XXV 60 to 76. Colonial Assemblies of Saint-Domingue, 1790-1793.
D XXV 76 to 78. Petitions of colonists detained in prisons, as suspects of counter-revolutionary intrigue, or concerning emigration, Year II-Year III. (filed alphabetically.)
D XXV 85 to 90. Archives of the Société des colons réunis à l'hotel Massiac, 1789-an III.
AID TO REFUGEES OF OTHER COLONIES.
Outside of the above-mentioned groups of F-documents, in connection with the refugee colonists from Saint-Domingue, one should consult:
Refugees of Saint-Pierre et Miquelon.
F15 3427 to 3431. Aid: dossiers, filed alphabetically, Year II-Year XII.
F15 3513. Accounts and correspondence, Year XIII-1814.
Acadian and Canadian refugees.
F15 3432. Aid: dossiers, filed alphabetically (A through T), Year II - Year IV.
Of special interest is the footnote on page 274, which is a comment on "Aid was granted to the colonists of Saint-Domingue beginning in November of 1793." It takes up half the page and reads:
The principal ministerial decrees, laws, orders, and decisions with reference to this aid are the following:
Decree of 8 Frimaire, Year II (28 November 1793) awarding provisional/temporary/ interim aid.
Decree of 27 Vendemiaire, Year III (18 October 1794) and interpretative decree of 26 Brumaire, Year III (16 November 1794), awarding permanent and recurrent/periodic aid;
Law of 28 Germinal, Year VII (17 April 1799), which established the formalities necessary for the refugee colonists to go through, and which served as a base for all later decisions;
Order of 16 Messidor, An X (4 July 1802) which continued the aid only to the colonists taking refuge in the seaport cities (Bordeaux, Lorient, Marseille, Nantes and la Rochelle);
Decision of the Minister of the Marine of 3 Germinal Year XII (24 March 1804) establishing a Comité de colons notables, charged with determining the colonists eligible to receive aid;
Ordonnance of 1 May 1814, re-establishing aid for ALL of the colonists;
Ministerial decisions of 30 October 1820 and 21 April 1824, relative to the rights of the children of the deceased colonists;
Ministerial decision of 21 April 1829, which struck down the conditions of distribution of aid to the colonists indemnified by the law of 17 April 1825;
Ministerial decisions of 13 January 1831, 24 July 1837, and 13 March 1838, relative to reinstating the conditions of aid to the colonists.
Ministerial decisions of 30 June 1842 concerning the discontinuance of the Comité des colons notables de Saint-Domingue and of 11 September 1854 concerning the direct/expeditious receipt of aid by the colonists.