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Pierre Menard Papers

Identifier: MS-BC456

Scope and Contents

The Pierre Menard Papers, 1741-1910 (14 MS Boxes & 74 Bound Volumes) consists of 406 Tardiveau documents; 2,177 Menard correspondence; 1,968 Menard business papers; 54 Menard ledgers, and 21 miscellaneous ledgers. Series I: The Tardiveau Papers (Boxes 1-2) include correspondence, accounts, drafts, inventories, receipts, promissory notes, contracts, deeds, census figures, memorials to Congress, contracts and sundry legal documents. Significant items are the contract between Tardiveau and the French inhabitants of Kaskaskia, August 27, 1787; a similar contract with the American inhabitants of Illinois, August 27, 1787; several memorials to Congress on behalf of French and American inhabitants of Vincennes and Illinois, 1787-1788; a broadside issued by the Continental Congress regarding the Tardiveau memorials, March 31, 1788; and a commercial contract with the Spanish colonial government, April 10, 1793. Tardiveau corresponded or had business dealings with the following persons: Pierre Audrain, Jean Baptiste St. Gemme Beauvais, Thomas Bentley, Brodhead Jr., Baron de Francisco, Luis Hector Carondelet, Pierre Chouteau, George Rogers Clark, Mottin De La Balme, Derbigny, Pierre August Charles Bourgengnor d’lterbigny, Andre Fagot, A. Fowler, Charles Gratiot, Jean Baptiste Janis, Jean Baptiste La Chanse, Nicolas La Chanse, La Chappelle, La Jeunesse, Jean Baptiste La Source, Chevalier de la Luzerne, Pierre Charles de Hault de Lassus de Luziere, John Montgomery, Joseph Perault, Louis Perault, Josiah Rayen, Sivestre Sarpy, Francois Valle, Louis VenderBemden, Francois Vigo, and Richard Winston. Series II: The Menard Correspondence File (Boxes 2-9) is dated from 1805 to 1904 and contains 2,177 letters. Family and business letters are included. Among the correspondents are J.M. Amoureux, William Andersen, Amaranthe Atchison, William G. Barkley, Gemien Beauvais, B. Berthold, A. Devince Bienvenu, Ben Bond, Amable J. Brasier, Sidney Breese (28 items, 1837-1876), Daniel H. Brush (7 items, 1838-1851), John Campbell, Sophie A. Maxwell Chenu (16 items, 1863-1882), Berenice Menard Chouteau (18 items, 1827-1880), Brigitte Saucier Chouteau, Charles Chouteau, Cyprien Chouteau, Edmund F. Chouteau, F.A. Chouteau, Francois Chouteau (61 items, 1828-1838), Louis Pharamond Chouteau, Pierre Chouteau Jr. and Company (11 items, 1839-1843), Pierre Chouteau Jr. (69 items, 1809-1841), Pierre Menard Chouteau, William Clark (5 items, 1829), John D. Daggett, M.G. Dale (8 items, 1841-1843), Timothy Davis, Harmar Denny (14 items, 1823-1846), W.B. Denson (15 items, 1877-1886), Edmond De Pestre (5 items, 1818-1840), John Dowling, Lyman C. Draper, John P. Gillis, William Gilliss, Peter Hagner, Guillaume Henrie, William Henry (20 items, 1839-1863), Alzire M. Kennerly (11 items, 1831-1877), George Hancock Kennerly (7 items, 1839-1854), Catharine J. King, John A. Langlois, Delila Menard Leduc, R.A. Lockwood, P.A. Lorimier, Pierre A. Lorimier Jr., John McFarland, McGunnegle and Nay, F. Vigo McKee, Thomas L. McKenny, Sam B. Marshall, Ferdinand Maxwell (9 items, 1837-1877), L.B. Maxwell, Amedee Menard (46 items, 1831-1844), Amedee Hippolyte Menard (22 items 1873-1899), Augustine Menard (14 items, 1871-1886), Cyprien Menard (207 items, 1832-1866), Edmond Menard (157 items, 1826-1883), Francois Xavier Menard (41 items, 1823-1829), Hypolite Menard (5 items, 1826-1883), Francois Xavier Menard (41 items, 1823-1829), Hypolite Menard (5 items, 1836-1843), Michel Brindamour Menard (36 items, 1833-1844), Pierre Menard (216 items 1806-1844), Pierre Menard Jr. (166 items 1818-1871), Pierre H. Menard (53 items, 1857-1882), Saucier Menard (11 items, 1830-1853), Sophie Menard (32 items, 1832-1846), Menard and Valle (12 items, 1821-1834), Samuel Morris, Eloise P. Morrison (7 items, 1839-1845), J.L.D. Morrison, Robert Morrison, William Morrison, Edward Newsham, Frederic Notrelle, James O’Hara, Thomas O’Neall, John Paschall (10 items, 1836-1837), Narcisse Pensoneau, Francois Philippon, James Pool, Nathaniel Pope (5 items,1833-1839) Leston Prudhomme, Narville Prudhomme, R.T. Queen, John Reynolds, John Ruland, J.B. Sarpy (17 items, 1832-1843), E. Fred Saucier, Francois Saucier (8 items, 1805-1819), Sylvestre Saucier, R.B. Servant (15 items, 1838-1863), Adam Wilson Snyder, Savinien St. Vrain, J. Stone, J. Timon, Francois Tougas, Felix Valle (129 items, 1920-1875), Francois Vigo (4 items, 1816-1833), J. and E. Walsh (8 items, 1834-1839), Joseph Weaver, Albert S. White and Raphael Widen. Series III: The Menard Business Papers (Boxes 9-14) includes 1,968 items that date from 1741 to 1910. The papers are made up of two-thirds general business records and one-third property documents. They are arranged in one chronological group except for the Bienvenue estate documents and the Menard private family papers. The bulk of the general business material consists of Menard’s personal business records and of papers from the Menard and Valle business association. Included are trade receipts, company accounts, peltry shipment records, and Indian trade accounts and invoices. The documents relating to land transactions and estates include land lists, letters patent, deeds and indentures, records of the Kaskaskia common field, bounty claims, and papers concerning the settlement of the estate of Pierre Menard. Other types of business records to be found in the collection are shipping invoices and bills of lading, agreements and contracts, ferriage subscription lists, blacksmith accounts, butcher accounts, school accounts and receipts, and steam mill records. Official and legal papers include Indian trade licenses, memorials to Congress, Revolutionary War claims against the Commonwealth of Virginia, pension and bounty claims, court case records, powers of attorney, and grand jurors list. Persons, places, and events represented by the business papers, include accounts with William Morrison and the firm of Bryan and Morrison; accounts with P.A. Lorimier; invoices and annuities to the emigrating Delawares, Weas, Peankashaws, Shawnees, Peorias, and Kaskaskias; license signed by William Clark; drafts on the American Fur Company; deed of William Rector to Ninian Edwards; invoice of goods to the Kickapoos; Pierre Menard Jr. accounts with the Potawatomi, Ottawas, and Chippewas; shipping invoices and bills of lading from J and E Walsh; accounts, bills, receipts for the Sisters of the Visitation; deposition, Pierre Chouteau on the expedition of George Rogers Clark, 1778; account against Hugh Maxwell estate; memos on the William Morrison succession; memos of Cyprien Menard’s disbursements for Rocky Mountain expedition; reports on Kaskaskia commonfields; Pierre Menard estate settlement tax receipts to Edmond Menard, joint interest of Menard heirs in Texas lands. The Bienvenu Estate Papers (Box 14, Folder 5) consist of records dating from the sale of land by Kaskaskia Indians to Bienvenu (d. 1805) in 1741 to the final settlement of the estate in 1840. The collection of fifty items includes records of property, court actions, and letters testamentary to administrators Pierre Menard and J.B. Ste. Geme Bauvais. The Menard Family Papers (Box 14, Folder 6) consist of seventy two items, including the marriage contract between Pierre Menard and Angelique Saucier; school reports of Menard children; school exercise books; a few genealogical dates; board and medical bills; and miscellaneous items. Series IV: Bound Volumes: The seventy-four ledgers in the Menard collection date from 1791 to 1883. They are arranged into the following sub-series: (1) Ledgers of Pierre Menard, Blotters, 1810-1845, 5 volumes (BV 1-5); (2) Daybooks, 1793-1844, 9 volumes (BV 6-14); (3) Account Books, 1791-1843, 2 volumes (BV 15-16); (4) Ledgers of Menard and Valle, Blotters, 1825-1842, 12 volumes (BV 17-28); (5) Daybooks, 1826-1941, 9 volumes (BV 29-37); (6) Account Books, 1825-1841, 5 volumes (BV 38-42); (7) Special Ledgers, 1827-1837, 2 volumes (BV 43-44); (8) Miscellaneous Ledgers, 1825-1840, 6 volumes (BV 45-50); (9) Ledgers of Edmond Menard, 1839-1883, 6 volumes (BV 51-56); (10) Ledgers of Bryan and Morrison, Daybooks and (11) Account Books, 1800-1813, 7 volumes (BV 57-63); (12) Ledgers of Burr and Christy, 1818-1835, 4 volumes (BV 64-67); and (13) Miscellaneous Ledgers, 1818-1844, 7 volumes (BV 68-74).


  • Created: 1741-1910
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1785-1844


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research


14.83 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Illinois' first Lieutenant-Governor (1818-1822), Pierre Menard was an early French Canadian resident of Kaskaskia, Randolph County, related by marriage to the Saucier and Chouteau families. A trader and merchant, Menard invested in trapping and exploring expeditions. He was also involved in territorial politics and was appointed judge in Randolph County Courts in 1801, elected Representative to the Indiana Territorial Legislature at Vincennes from 1806 to 1807, Representative to the Illinois Legislature from 1812 to 1818, and sub-agent for the U.S. Indian Department between 1813 and 1833. The Menard collection includes personal and business correspondence, records, legal documents, and ledgers. The correspondence includes personal letters to and from family members and correspondence with business associates concerning a variety of subjects such as Indian affairs and the fur trade. Business papers concern accounts and receipts of trade in goods and furs, records of trade with Indians, exploring expeditions to the American West, shipping and ferriage records, legal and land documents.

Arrangement Note

Materials are arranged in four series: Series I, The Tardiveau Papers; Series II, The Menard Correspondence File; Series III, The Menard Business Papers; and Series IV, Bound Volumes. Series I includes the business papers of Barthelemi Tardiveau, including correspondence, accounts, drafts, inventories, receipts, promissory notes, contracts, and sundry legal documents, arranged chronologically. Series II consists of Pierre Menard's correspondence, including family and business letters, arranged chronologically. Series III contains the business papers of Pierre Menard, made up of two-thirds general business records and one-third property documents, arranged chronologically. Series IV includes ledgers, blotters, daybooks, and account books for Pierre Menard's business interests. This series is divided into 13 sub-series according to the business to which the bound volumes pertain and also by record type. Items within each sub-series are arranged chronologically.
Archon Finding Aid Title
Paula de la Cruz-Fernández and Karl Janssen
Description rules
Other Unmapped
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collection Repository

112 North Sixth Street
Springfield IL 62701 US
(217) 558-8923