Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Adrien Emmanuel Rouquette

New Orleans

Creole poet, priest, and hermit-missionary
who lived with the Choctaw Indians

"Mr. l'Abbé Rouquette was born in New Orleans; was educated at the college of Nantes in France, and prepared for the practice of law. He soon gave up the law to take ecclesiastical orders in the Papal Church; and is now a priest, attached, I believe , to the Catholic Seminary of New Orleans as chaplain, although resident at his retreat a few miles out of the city.

He is one of the few men who have written books in two languages; and one of the very few who have written well in both."

[James Wood Davidson, The Living Writers of the South 484-489 (New York: Carleton, 1849)]

Rouquette's brother, François Dominique Rouquette was also a a literary man, poet, and lawyer. [Note: Among the Franco-American littérateurs, we would also include Oscar Dugué.]

In Robert Bain, Joseph M. Flora & Louis D. Rubin, Jr. (eds.), Southern Writers: A Biographical Dictionary 386 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979) we learn that Rouquette attended schools in New Orleans, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania before returning to France in 1829 where he "received his baccalaureate from Rennes in 1833. Then he studied law in France and Louisiana, but he abandoned his legal studies in 1839."

[See also, "Adrien Emmanuel Rouquette," in Alexander Nicolas De Menil, The Literture of the Louisiana Territory 127-132 (St. Louis: St. Louis Nes Co., 1904)]

Rouquette Brothers
Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography

Living with the Choctaw


"The Wild Lily and the Passion-Floor"
"To Nature, My Mother"
Thomas M'Caleb, The Lousiana Book


Adrien Rouquette, Les Savanes Poésies Américaines (Paris: J. Labitte & Nouvelle-Orléans: A. Moret, 1841)

______________, Wild Flowers Sacred Poetry (New Orleans: T. O'Donnell, 1848)

______________, L'Antoniade, ou La Solitude avec Dieu (trois âges) poème érémitique (Nouvelle-Orleans: [Impr. de L. Marchand], 1860)

______________, Proèmes Patriotiques. Suite de l'Antoniade. Poème érémitique ([New Orleans]: L. Marchand, 1860)

______________, Le Vingt-cinquième Anniversaire du Pontificat de Pio Nono, 17 juin ([New Orleans: Propagateur catholique?], Imprimerie du Propagateur catholique), 1871)(poem signed: Chahta-Ima, missionnaire catholique parmi les indiens)


Adrien Rouquette, Discours prononcé a la Cathédrale de Saint-Louis (Nouvelle-Orlèans, 1846), a l'occasion de l'anniversaire du 8 janvier (Paris: Librairie de Sauvaignat, 1846)(par l'Abbé A. Rouquette)

______________, La thébaïde en Amérique, ou, Apologie de la vie solitaire et contemplative (Nouvelle Orleans: Imprimerie Méridier, 1852)

______________, La question americaine ([Nouvelle-Orleans], 1855)(par Mucius [pseud.])

______________, La nouvelle Atala; ou, La fille de l'esprit; legende indienne (Nouvelle-Orleans: Imprimerie du Propagatetr catholique, 1879)(par Chahta-ima pseud.)

______________, Critical dialogue between Aboo and Caboo on a new book, or A Grandissime ascension (Mingo City [New Orleans]: Great publishing house of Sam Slick Allspice, 1880)(defense of the Creoles against Geo. W. Cable's Grandissimes)


S.B. Elder (ed.), Life of the Abbe Adrien Roquette "Chahta-Ima" (New Orleans: Bienville Assembly, Knights of Columbus, 1913)

Eleanor Van Trump Glenn, Calendar of the Rouquette Material in the Archdiocesan Archives of New Orleans (Masters thesis, Tulane University, 1942)

Dagmar-Renshaw Lebreton, Chahta-Ima, the Life of Adrien-Emmanuel Rouquette (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1947)

"Adrien Emmanuel Rouquette," in Alexander Nicolas De Menil, The Literature of the Louisiana Territory 127-132 (St. Louis, Missoui: St. Louis news Co., 1904)

Research Resources

University of Notre Dame Library
Notre Dame, Indiana