Charette de la Contrie Family Papers – Susanne de Charette Van Stockum Collection, 1586-2000

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator: Charette de la Contrie

Title: Family Papers – Susanne de Charette Van Stockum Collection, 1586-2000.

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Curator of Special Collections.

Size of the Collection: 6 cubic feet

Locator Number: Mss/A/C472

Biographical Note

The Charette de la Contrie were a prominent family in French history, a noble family that played a major role in the Vendee rebellion that supported the monarchy and the Catholic Church against the forces of the French Republic in the 1790s. Francois-Athanase de Charette was executed in 1796 for his role in leading the rebellion. The papers continue as the family become related to the royal family through Amy Brown and her children in the early 19 th century.

In the middle years of the 19 th century Athanase-Charles-Marie de Charette, the great nephew of Francois-Athanase de Charette, also rose to notoriety as a member of the Papal Zouaves defending the Pope in Italy. The Zouaves later fought the Prussians in the Franco-Prussian war at the battle of Liogny-Poupry. Athanase-Charles-Marie de Charette became known as the General Baron de Charette and a hero of the war as well as a defender of the Catholic Church. He made a tour of French Canada and remained involved in the reunions of the Zouaves in France until his death in 1911.

The General Baron’s son, Charles-Antoine (Tony) de Charette married Susanne Henning from Shelby County, Kentucky and they had one child, Susanne. de Charette served in the French Army in the First World War in the first French Armored unit as a tank driver. After the war, he became a dealer in antique documents and divorced Susanne. During the Second World War, Tony served in the Red Cross during the occupation and liberation of France. He died in 1947. His daughter married Ronald Reginald Van Stockum, who later retired from the United States Marine Corps as a Brigadier General.

Scope and Content Note

The family papers of the de Charette family of France. Susanne de Charette Van Stockum inherited these papers as her children are the last heirs to the de Charette line. The collection is almost completely in the French language. The de Charette family includes Francois-Athanase de Charette de la Contrie, a leader in the Vendee rebellion in 1796 and Athanase-Charles-Marie de Charette de la Contrie a hero of the Papal Zouaves and the battle of Loigny – Poupry, France 1870. There are many other letters and accounts that date from the 19 th century. The papers continue into the 20 th century with Tony de Charette’s papers up to 1949 when he died. Tony was in the French Army Tank Corps in the First World War and served in the Red Cross during the Second World War. Items of particular interest include a scrapbook kept by the General Baron de Charette of his 1880’s tour of French Canada and the reunion of the Papal Zouaves at Basse Motte in the 1890’s and letters from his family in the late 1800’s. There are also papers and letters from the late 18 th and early 19 th century dealing with the estate of the de Charettes of Vendee fame and papers from Amy Brown.

Folder list

Folder 1: French document. One item dated 14 March 1586. “Papiers Confernans la louis mepinieve” written under the date.

Folder 2: French document. One item on parchment dated 22 January 1635. “Contrat de Louis, Les challe de 44 th du Nante.”

Folder 3: French document. One item. The date 1695 in text.

Folder 4: French letter. One item dated 28 June 1718. To Monsieur Leray from Dureoui.

Folder 5: French document and letter. Document is dated 6 May 1719 and letter was with document but no date.

Folder 6: French document. One item on parchment dated 3 April 1723. Signed Cailleleau and Gregoire.

Folder 7: French document. One item titled ‘Partage”. Division of estate includes the name deLaville and dated 23 September 1754.

Folder 8: French Document. One item titled “Extrait der regisres du Greffe du Siege Dresidial de Nantes.” Stamped with Bretange seal and dated 1776.

Folder 9: French Document. One item titled “Partage en deux Lottiea” and dated 1777.

Folder 10: French document. One item signed “Louis” (Louis XVI) and dated 1779.

Folder 11: French document. One item dated 11 June 1784.

Folder 12: French document in poor condition. One item dated 1787.

Folder 13: French document in poor condition. One item dated 1789.

Folder 14: French documents and letters. Eight items dated 1790.

Folder 15: French document. One item dated 24 November 1791.

Folder 16: French documents. Seven items dated 1793.

Folder 17: French documents. Three items dated [1796]. Two of the documents are dated 24 Fructidor of the year 4 of the Republic and are from the Department de La Loire Inferieure.

Folder 18: French document. One item dated [1797]. Dated to the 5 th year of the Republic.

Folder 19: French Letters. Two items dated 1803. Letter dated 13 June 1803 from Mlle. Chere Lousiue to Mlle. de Charette. Letter dated 12 August 1803 from Mlle. Chere Congiue to Mlle. de Charette.

Folder 20: French Letter. One item. Letter dared 1805.

Folder 21: French documents. Three items dated 1807.

Folder 22: French document. One item dated 11 June 1809 with a seal “Empire Francais”.

Folder 23: French document. One item dated 14 March 1811 with a seal “Empire Francais”.

Folder 24: French letter. One item dated 26 April 1813 to Charette de la Contrie.

Folder 25: French documents. Three items dated 1817.

Folder 26: French document. One item dated 3 March 1819 legal document to Monsieur le Prefet.

Folder 27: French documents. Three items dated 1821. Charette de la Contrie military service.

Folder 28: French letter. One item dated 1822 dealing with de Charette de la Contrie and his wife.

Folder 29: French documents. Two items dated 23 and 24 December 1823.

Folder 30: French documents. Three items dated 1824 dealing with Baron de Charette.

Folder 31: French documents and letter. Five items four documents and one letter dated 1825.

Folder 32: French documents and letter. Nine items eight documents and one letter dated 1826.

Folder 33: French documents and letter. Nine items eight documents and one letter dated 1828.

Folder 34: French documents. Seven items dated 1829.

Folder 35: French document. One item dated 1830 from the Ministere de la Guerre.

Folder 36: French list. List of letters ending in 1832.

Folder 37: French letters. Two items. Letters dated 1833 from Marie Caroline.

Folder 38: French letter. One item dated 29 March 1835 from Marie Jeanne.

Folder 39: French letter. One item dated 5 March 1836.

Folder 40: French letter. One item dated 16 August 1837.

Folder 41: French documents. Two items dated 1839.

Folder 42: French documents and letter. Three items dated 1840. Two documents and one letter dated 22 December 1840 and signed “Henri”.

Folder 43: French document. One item dated 19 April 1845 with the seal “Timbre Royal”.

Folder 44: French letter and booklet. Two items dated 1846. Letter dated 25 February 1846 and signed “Henri”. Booklet titled “Eloge de Monsieur Francois-Athanase de Charette de la Contrie”.

Folder 45: French genealogical information. Five items dated 1847 giving genealogy of and biographies of de Charette family.

Folder 46: French document. One item dated 1852.

Folder 47: French document. One item dated 1853.

Folder 48: French document. One item dated 1859 from the “Supremo Comando Generale”.

Folder 49: French (Italian) document and post card. Two items dated 1860. Document from Ministero Belle Armi and dated 18 Maggio 1860. Post card dated 18 Settembre 1860 and has small illustration of “S. Pietro – Roma”.

Folder 50: French letter and document. Two items dated 1863. Letter dated 7 September 1863. Document dated 24 April 1863 and titled “Constantinus Miseratione Divina”.

Folder 51: French letter and document. Two items dated 1864. Letter dated 21 November 1864 to Athanase from his brother. Document dated 12 August 1864 and titled “Constantinus Miseratione Divina”.

Folder 52: French letter. One item dated 1865.

Folder 53: French letter. Two items, letter and envelope. Letter dated 12 June 1866 to “Mon General”.

Folder 54: French document. Two items, document and envelope. Document titled “Pius PPIX” and dated 1867.

Folder 55: French letters. Two items dated 10 May 1868 and 27 August 1868.

Folder 56: French letter and document. Two items. Letter dated 3 December 1869. Document dated 19 April 1869 and has a seal “Timbre Imperial”.

Folder 57: French booklets. Two copies of the same item. Booklet titled “Anniversaire de Loigny” and dated 2 Decembre 1870.

Folder 58: French documents. Seven items dated 1871. Small broadside with photograph of General de Charette dated 1871. Photocopy of Amy Brown death certificate with letter. Blank documents from the Zouaves Pontificaux. A print of General Baron Athanse de Charette de la Contrie.

Folder 59:French letter and documents. Six items dated 1873.

Folder 60: French document. One item dated 9 November 1874 appears to be an accounting page.

Folder 61: French documents and letter. Five items dated 1875. Letter dated 1 December 1875. Four documents appear to be certificates given to members of the Papal Zouaves.

Folder 62: French documents and letter. Five items dated 1876. Two of the documents are photocopies.

Folder 63: French letter. One item dated 24 January 1877.

Folder 64: French letters and documents. Eight items dated 1878.

Folder 65: French letters. Thirteen items dated 1879.

Folder 66: French documents. Two items dated 1880. Marriage contracts?

Folder 67: French letters. Three items dated 1881.

Folder 68: French letters and documents, English poem. Nineteen items dated 1882. Poem written for ‘Madame de Charette” by John Allan Wyeth, the soldier surgeon.

Folder 69: French letters and documents. Seven items dated 1883.

Folder 70: French letters and documents. Five items dated 1884.

Folder 71: French documents and letter. Three items dated 1885.

Folder 72: French letter and photocopies of French documents. Twenty-four items/pages dated 1886. The letter is dated 26 March 1886 from the Baron General de Charette to his wife.

Folder 73: French letters, documents and poem. Nine items dated 1887. Poem nicely illustrated and titled “Pour la Corbeille” by Emile Grimaud.

Folder 74: French letters and documents. Eight items dated 1888. Three certificates for Zouaves.

Folder 75: French letters, documents and newspaper. Twenty-three items dated 1889.

Folder 76:French letters, documents and newspaper. Eighteen items dated 1890.

Folder 77: French letters and documents. Seventy-seven items dated 1891. Many are certificates for Zouaves.

Folder 78: French letters and booklets. Forty-four items dated 1892. Two booklets – one titled “Confrerie Sacre-coeur” and the other “Madame la Baronne de Charette”.

Folder 79: French letters, booklets and cards. Thirty-three items dated 1893.

Folder 80: French letters. Forty-one items dated 1894.

Folder 81: French letters and cards. Twenty-five items dated 1895.

Folder 82: French letters and documents. Thirty-two items dated 1896.

Folder 83: French letters and documents, with dried flower in envelope. Nineteen items dated 1897.

Folder 84: French letters. Three items dated 1898.

Folder 85: French letters, document, song and newsletter. Twelve items dated 1899. Newsletter titled “Bulletin Salesien” and song titled “La Banniere de Loigny”.

Folder 86: French letters. Fifteen items dated 1900.

Folder 87:French letters, documents, newsletters and booklets. Thirty-eight items dated 1901. Many dealing with a pilgrimage to Lourdes.

Folder 88: French letters, accounts and booklet. Six items dated 1902. Booklet titled “Ligue Contre le Duel”.

Folder 89: French letters and post cards. Nine items dated 1903. Post cards have had the stamp cut away, damaging the cards.

Folder 90: French letters, print booklet and biography. Thirty items dated 1904. Biography is hand written and titled “Charette” and dated 1904.

Folder 91: French letter and book. Two items dated 1905. Book is an illustrated guide to the uniform of Papal soldiers titled “De Equestri Ordine Militiae Auratae”.

Folder 92: French letters and cards and one English letter. Nineteen items dated 1906. English letter dated 6 June 1906 and inquires about a portrait of Marie Antoinette.

Folder 93: French letters. Four items dated 1907.

Folder 94: French letters and documents. Sixteen items dated 1908.

Folder 95: French letters, postcards, booklet and clippings. Thirteen items dated 1909. Clipping of reunion of Zouaves. Booklet from the 39 th anniversary of the battle of Loigny.

Folder 96: French letters and booklet. Three items dated 1910. Booklet titled “Une Vie Chretienne”.

Folder 97: French letters, cards, documents and program – one English letter. Papers from the Baron General’s pockets at his death – eleven items. Ninety-seven items dated 1911. Many cards from the Baron de Charette’s funeral. English letter 16 May 1911 is from A. Henquenet to Mr. Henning and describes his life in America after being a Zouave in de Charette’s unit. He claims to be a founder of Hope, Kansas and its first mayor.

Folder 98: French letters. Six items dated 1912.

Folder 99: French letter. One item dated 1913.

Folder 100: French letters and documents. Eleven items dated 1914.

Folder 101: French letter and invitation. Two items dated 1916.

Folder 102: French article and booklet. Two items. Article is dated 22 June 1918 and is about French Ace Nungesser. The booklet is titled “Les Anciens Combattants des Chars D’Assaut.”

Folder 103: French letters and documents. Seven items dated 1917. Documents deal with Tony de Charette’s war record.

Folder 104: English newspapers. Three items. Articles about the de Charette family and the French Ace Nungesser.

Folder 105: French inventory. One item. Inventory from 1922 of contents at Basse Motte.

Folder 106: English newspaper clipping. One item. 1923 clipping about violence in Warsaw, Poland.

Folder 107: French note. One item – note dated 1924.

Folder 108: French letters. Three items. Letters dated 1926.

Folder 109: French letter. One item dated 19 October 1928.

Folder 110: French letters. Two items dated 1930.

Folder 111: French letters. Twenty-two items dated 1931.

Folder 112: French letters, invitations and documents. Thirty-three items dated 1932.

Folder 113: French letters and invitations. Twelve items dated 1933.

Folder 114: French letters and English letters. Nine items dated 1934. Three letters in English from Rebecca Polk discussing Tony’s legal and financial problems.

Folder 115: French letter and invitation. Six items dated 1935.

Folder 116: French and English documents. Three items dated 1936. French document appears to be a military pension booklet for Tony. The English document is the document of United States citizenship for Susanne Henning de Charette.

Folder 117: French invitations and newspaper clipping. Six items dated 1937.

Folder 118: French letters and invitations. Twelve items dated 1938.

Folder 119: French documents and cards. Nine items dated 1939. One document is an identification document for Tony de Charette.

Folder 120: French documents, letters and Red Cross Arm Bands. Thirty-six items dated 1940. Includes records from the divorce of Susanne and Tony de Charette.

Folder 121: French document and invitations, English letters and American passport. Ten items dated 1941. Letters deal with when Susanne de Charette reclaimed her American citizenship.

Folder 122: French documents and letters. Ten items dated 1942.

Folder 123: French documents, letters and map. Six items dated 1943. Map of France shows zones of occupation and routes for refugees.

Folder 124: French letters. Six items dated 1944.

Folder 125: English notes and Identification cards. Seventeen items dated 1945. Identification cards are for Tony de Charette and the notes identify him as working for either the Red Cross or with the United States Army as a civilian coordinator.

Folder 126: French and English notes, Red Cross Ribbon and sketch. Five items dated 1946. Notes deal with Tony de Charette’s service to the American Red Cross. The sketch is of Tony de Charette.

Folder 127: Small envelope with dried flower, lock of hair, photographs and French newspaper clipping. Five items dated 1947.

Folder 128: French postcard and receipt, English letter. Three items dated 1949. Letter discusses Tony’s death.

Folder 129: French newspaper clipping. One item dated 25 February 1958.

Folder 130: French and English letters. Two items dated 1984.

Folder 131: French letters, English translations and English reply letter. Fifteen items dated 1986.

Folder 132: French newspaper articles. Nineteen items dated 1996. Articles about the bicentennial of the Vendee Rebellion and the trip by the Van Stockum children to the celebration.

Folder 133: Funeral program. One item dated 20 May 2000. Funeral program for Susanne de Charette Van Stockum.

Folder 134: Undated Postcards. Forty-two items. Subjects are places in France and religious cards of Popes and religious artwork.

Folder 135: Undated letters and maps. Thirty-five items. Many documents look to be early 1800’s. Maps look to be for land in France, perhaps Basse Motte.

Folder 136: Undated newsletters and song. Seven items. Three copies of two newsletters and a piece of sheet music titled “La Vendeenne”.

Folder 137: French letters and accounts. Thirteen items undated.

Folder 138: French documents and letters. Six items, undated but probably related to Francois Athanase de Charette (1763-1796).

Folder 139: French letters, documents and clippings. Twenty-seven items undated.

Folder 140: French letters. Seventy-five items undated letters from siblings of the Baron General de Charette.

Folder 141: French letters and envelope of French stamps. Eleven items undated.

Folder 142: French letters and profile sketch. Fifty-four items undated. Sketch is cut like a silhouette but has details sketched in and is of a man.

Folder 143: French letters. Sixty-one items undated.

Folder 144: French letters. Fifty-four items undated.

Folder 145: French letters. Sixty-four items undated.

Folder 146: French and English newspaper clippings. Thirteen items, undated. English clippings are about the Baroness de Charette – entertaining Americans at Basse Motte and her obituary.

Folder 147: French letters, accounts and broadsides. Ten items, undated, dealing with Basse Motte, the estate of Baron General de Charette.

Folder 148: French letters and cards. Sixty-nine items, undated, dealing with Amy Brown and Berry Family.

Folder 149: Print and check. Print of Generaal Baron Athanase de Charette de la Contrie. Check is to Susanne de Charette.

Folder 150: Registration book and some loose pages. Book is a very nice velvet – maroon with gold embroidery cover titled “Confrerie du Sacre-Coeur 1894-95” with nice calligraphy for title page and list the contributions from individual Zouaves attending the reunion at Basse Motte. The individual pages are additional contributions.

Folder 151: French diary. A ‘Book of Thoughts” written by Henriette de Charette, 1863-1889 who died in childbirth at the age of 25.

Folder 152: Genealogy book. Hand written book titled “Maison Charette” that is a genealogy of the Charette family with hand drawn coat of arms for different families and photographs of portraits and other items pasted in the pages.

Folder 153: Registration book. Hand written and illustrated book. Cover has the Banner of the Sacred Heart of Jesus with “Rome 1860-1870” and “France 1870-1871” on either side of the Banner. The inner cover has an illustration of a Zouave soldier in uniform and carrying a rifle. The rest of the book is filled with hand written names – females in blue ink – and is dated “Basse Motte 27 Juin 1891”.

Folder 154: Small ledger / diary. Booklet of the names of soldiers from the 1870-1871 campaign in categories of the dead, missing and wounded.

Folder 155: Index book. Alphabetical list of people who visited between 1869 and 1874. Names include J C Breckinridge, T. Beauregard and Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson Davis.

Folder 156: Two books. The first is a booklet titled “Conseils Pratiques Donnes Aux Concrits Par un General”. The other is an address book with no cover and many loose pages.

Folder 157: Book. Untitled book with names and locations handwritten on the pages. Possibly a book of Zouaves and where they came from when they enlisted.

Folder 158: Book. Undated address book.

Folder 159: Book. Undated and untitled address book that is organized by location.

Folder 160: Book. Registration book titled “Confrerie de la Basse Motte 1892”.

Folder 161: Check book. A book of unused checks and check stubs dated from 1873. The checks are engraved with the banner of the Sacred Heart.

Folder 162: Map. Very good quality map of the Morlaix district of France dated 1856.

Folder 163: Manuscript. A typed manuscript for a three act play titled “Un Homme Naitra”. Inside the cover is a short essay in English titled “False beliefs cause all our troubles”, a photograph of a marble bust of a woman and an invitation to the re-opening of L’Aiglon.

Folder 164: Ledger. An Accounting Ledger which runs from 1834 to 1847.

Folder 165: Book. A hand written history titled “Portrait de Ferdinand-Maximilion d’Autriche, Emperour de Mexique par Victor de Varehere”.

Folder 166: Journal. Hand written in French, journal or log titled ‘A bord de la Maroussia en rue de Lissa, le 21, 4/1900″.

Bound Volumes Wrapped

Folder 167: Guest Book. The Guest book from Basse Motte with the signatures of the people who visited there from about 1885 to 1920.

Folder 168: Scrap book. Scrap book from the General Baron de Charette’s trip to Canada and reunion of the Zouaves at Basse Motte. Includes original artwork including a watercolor by Gustave Jean Jacquet of a political rally, a charcoal and or pen and ink drawing of Pope Pius IX, and several other landscapes or alter settings in charcoal or watercolor. There are also many 1885 photographs of Montreal and Quebec. There are also several prints of people and places as well as hundreds of letters (in French). There are also handwritten pages with location titles that could be the General Baron’s description of his travels and pages from a magazine (in French) that could discuss the 1892 reunion at Basse Motte.

Oversized Folder 169: Book titled “Souveniers sur S.E. le Cardinal Sarto Sa Saintete’ lw Pape Pie X par Madame G. de Montgomery”. Sheet music titled “Hommage an General de Charette, an aux Zouaves Pontificaux”. Document in French titled “Congregation de la tres Sainte Vierge Aux Zouaves Pontificaux”. Song titled “La Banniere De Loigny ou Les Zouaves De Charette A Patay”. Sheet music for song “Vieux Chant Vendeen (Monsieur D’Charette A Dit). Print of a poem titled “L’Oustau de Baumaniere”. Marriage Contract on Parchment dated 1586. Two certificates from Societe Heraldique de France dated 29 September 1913. Certificate from Pieuse Union des Cooperateurs Salesiens dated 2 February 1899. Print of Georges de Rarecourt de la Vallee Marquis de Pimodan. Five sepia toned copies of the painting of the Battle of Loigny.

Artifacts from the collection:

Bronze Medallion in box: Labeled “Marengo 1800” – bust of man on one side, rider on a horse on the other side.

Military medal in red velvet box: Looks Islamic with script and star in a crescent moon symbol and a red and green stripe ribbon.

Silk Lining from the Banner of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Twenty-two lace dollies / coasters.

One piece of stained glass in a box – a foot with a business card.

Broken stained glass shards wrapped in newspaper and in envelope: Probably from Basse Motte.

Several dozen brass medallions in a plastic bag: Medallions for soldiers in the Papal Zouaves with Pope Leo XIII on one side with the motto “Bene Merenti” on the back side.

Small locket wrapped in paper and in envelope: Locket has red cloth, a yellow six pointed star, a border of silver wire and “Franc. Sal.” on paper inside of locket.

Small brass monogram taped to a piece of paper and in an envelope: Looks to be an intertwined “S” and “C”.

Leather wallet: Black leather that held some papers.

Leather photograph wallet: Black leather with plastic sleeves for photographs.

Red Cross arm band in plastic bag: White arm band with a red cross from World War II.

Empty photograph cover.

Subject Headings

Brown, Amy 1783-1876

Canada – Description and travel

Catholic Church – Clergy

Catholic Church – History – 19th century

Charette de la Contrie, Athanase-Charles-Marie de, 1832-1911

Charette de La Contrie, François-Athanase de, 1763-1796

Charette, Antoinette Van Leer Polk de, 1847-1919

Charette, Charles-Antoine de, 1880-1947

Charette, Henrietta de 1863-1889

Daunant, Gilbert Colomb de

France – Description and travel

France – History – German occupation, 1940-1945

France – History – Wars of the Vendée, 1793-1832

France – History, Military

France – Maps

Franco-Prussian War, 1870-1871 – Campaigns

Franco-Prussian War, 1870-1871 – Regimental histories – France

Italy – History – 1840-1870

Jacquet, Gustave

Kansas – History

Leo XIII, Pope, 1810-1903

Loigny-Poupry, Battle of, France, 1870

Maximilian Franz, Archduke of Austria, 1756-1801

Mexico – History – European intervention, 1861-1867

Nungesser, Charles, 1892-1927

Papal States. Esercito. Zuavi pontifici

Patriotic music – France

Pius IX, Pope, 1792-1878

Pius X, Pope, 1835-1914


Polk, Rebecca b.1858

Red Cross and Red Crescent – France

Van Stockum, Susanne de Charette, 1915-2000

World War, 1914-1918

World War, 1939-1945

World War, 1939-1945 – Occupied territories

World War, 1939-1945 – Refugees – France

World War, 1939-1945 – War work – Red Cross

Wyeth, John A. (John Allan), 1845-1922