J. JOHN PERRET COLLECTION
OF ADRIEN ROUQUETTE SERMONS
Size: 0.1 linear foot
locations: New Orleans, Louisiana
dates: ca. 1845-1859
Summary: Two sermons of Adrien Emmanuel Rouquette (1813-1887), a priest who served in New Orleans from 1845 to 1859 and thereafter as a missionary to the Choctaw of Bayou Lacombe.
Source: Gift, October 2007
Access: No restrictions on use in our reading room
Copyright: Physical rights are retained by the Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans
Citation: J. John Perret Collection of Adrien Rouquette Sermons, Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans
Adrien Emmanuel Rouquette (February 26, 1813 – July 15, 1887) was born in New Orleans to Dominique Rouquette, a wine merchant from Bordeaux, and Louise Cousin. After his father’s death in 1819, he was raised by his mother and her family near Bayou St. John and in St. Tammany Parish. Young Adrien developed a strong attachment to the Choctaw who lived in the vicinity, and they named him Chahta-Ima (“One of Us”).
Rouquette received his early education in New Orleans at the College d’Orléans and attended schools in Kentucky and New Jersey. He studied and traveled in France from 1829 to 1833 and attended law school there from 1834 to 1837. Back home in New Orleans, he sought admission to the bar but offended the Supreme Court judges, who, to his joy, declined his application. In 1841 Rouquette published his first collection of poetry, the widely acclaimed Les Savanes. His subsequent literary works included La Thébaïde (1852), L’Antoniade (1860), and La Nouvelle Atala (1879).
After several desultory years, in 1841 Rouquette decided to devote his life to the Catholic Church and entered the seminary at Plattenville. Ordained on July 2, 1845, he was alleged to be the first Louisianian to enter the priesthood since Louisiana became part of the United States. Assigned to St. Louis Cathedral, Rouquette filled the sanctuary with worshipers drawn by his eloquent oratory. The sermons in this collection are undated but probably were preached between 1845 and 1859, when Rouquette was at the Cathedral. One is addressed to “Monsieur l’Editeur:” and the other contains penciled instructions to a typesetter, suggesting that they were published in Le Propagateur Catholique, the
In 1859, after more than a decade of seeking release from his duties in New Orleans, Rouquette was allowed to devote his ministry to the Choctaw of Bayou Lacombe. He spent the rest of his life as a missionary to the Choctaw, living as a hermit and working on a dictionary of the Choctaw language. In his final years he became insane and died at the age of seventy-four. He was the brother of poet François Dominique Rouquette.
Sources: Glenn R. Conrad, ed., A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography (New Orleans: Louisiana Historical Association, 1988); Susan B. Elder, Life of the Abbe Adrien Roquette "Chahta-Ima" (New Orleans: L. Graham, 1913); Dagmar Renshaw LeBreton, Chahta-Ima: The Life of Adrien-Emmanuel Rouquette (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1947); Louisiana State University, “Creole Echoes,” http://www.lib.lsu.edu/special/exhibits/e-exhibits/creole/homepage/index.html (accessed October 7, 2010).
346-1 “Sur la Confession” [“On Confession”]
346-2 “Sur la Rosaire” [“On the Rosary”]
Rouquette, Adrien Emmanuel
Saint Louis Cathedral (New Orleans, La.)—Sermons