Photos by Joyce M. Tice
Retyped for Tri-Counties by Anne PRATT Slatin
(Joyce's Third Cousin)
Many thanks to the Tri-Counties guest who sent this book to Joyce and who wishes to remain anonymous.
In September, 1792, a few French exiles settled at the "Butternuts," a few miles above Binghamton, N. Y. Among them were Madame Marie Jeanne d'Ohet d'Autremont, whose husband had been guillotined by the Revolutionists in Paris. Her three sons, Louis Paul, aged 22; Alexander Hubert, aged 16, and Augustus François Cecile, aged 9; Madame d'Autremont's brother-in-law, Antoine Bartholomay Louis Lefevre, and W. Prevost were residents of the same place. Their surroundings being unpleasant, and an Indian reservation being located near by, they decided to remove to Asylum. In 1794, Mr. Talon sent up a boat and brought the whole colony down. Wherever the French exiles happened to be when they heard of Asylum, they turned their steps towards the place.
September 25, 1794, James Montule wrote to Judge Hollenback as follows:
"The following articles, I hope, you will be so kind as to secure in your store, to be forwarded to Asylum to Mr. Keating by the first opportunity, as I intend to move up very soon with a part of my family."
He described his effects as consisting of three chests covered with "leather and skin." Two chests of plain wood, and a large bundle of bedding, also two good horses, one of which was blind, both of which he wanted to sell.
These Frenchmen understood the value of good roads.
They improved the roads leading to Asylum, laid out a road to Dushore,
and opened it as far as Laddsburg. A settlement was begun in the south
end of Terry township not far from New Era, where two large houses were
begun for the reception of the King and Queen of France who had been dethroned,
and whom they supposed would be allowed to leave France. The news of their
execution put a stop to their work. Clearings were begun in the vicinity
of New Albany and at Laddsburg. Near New Albany the frame of a sawmill
was erected, made of oak timber, every stick of which was planed - which
showed how fond they were of good looks - for they knew as well as anybody
that the planing would not make the mill cut one single foot more of lumber,
nor last a day longer before rotting down. The mill irons were brought
on the ground, but never put in place, because the news from France indicated
the probability of their return to their beloved country. They loved beer,
or expected to sell it, as they built a brewery on a little stream that
crosses the road near the (later) Gilbert homestead.