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Eyewitness to History The Amazing Story of the Talon Children in Texas A unique insight into three cultures on the Spanish/French Frontier in Texas.

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Presentation on theme: "Eyewitness to History The Amazing Story of the Talon Children in Texas A unique insight into three cultures on the Spanish/French Frontier in Texas."— Presentation transcript:

1 Eyewitness to History The Amazing Story of the Talon Children in Texas A unique insight into three cultures on the Spanish/French Frontier in Texas

2 Journal of Henri Joutel Documenting the Last Voyage of Sieur de La Salle to The Gulf of Mexico Henri Joutel was the trusted lieutenant of La Salle. He kept a detailed journal from the beginning of the Voyage in France until after the death of La Salle. His journal is the only complete account of the La Salle expedition. It is in his journal that we begin the story of the Talon Family.

3 The Talons A true tale of the Texas frontier The following is the timeline of the Talon siblings from the point they left Quebec, Canada as children, until their return to the New World as adults. Information about the Talons has been pieced together from various journals and documents. Their lives are divided into four distinct time periods.

4 The Talon Family Lucien Talon- father Isabelle Talon- mother Children: Marie-Elizabeth Marie-Madeleine Pierre Jean-Baptiste Lucien Robert

5 Four Periods 1684-1688 Voyage and Fort of St. Louis 1689-1691 Adoption by Native Americans 1691-1698 Life in Spanish Mexico 1700-1715 Guides and Interpreters for the Louisiana Territory

6 1684-1688 Voyage and Fort St. Louis Talon family sailed from native Quebec to France in 1684 Joined the La Salle expedition as colonists bound for the Mississippi. La Salle overshot the mouth of the Mississippi and landed in Matagorda Bay. La Salle moves upriver and establishes Fort St. Louis on Garcitas Creek. Lucien and Isabelle Talon’s family grew to include 2 girls and 4 boys while on the expedition.

7 Settlement struggles to survive, while La Salle attempts multiple expeditions to locate the Mississippi. Each time La Salle returns with fewer men. Lucien Talon (father) is lost during one of these expeditions, and the oldest daughter (Marie-Elizabeth) dies of disease. Eldest son, Pierre, goes with La Salle on his last expedition to find the Mississippi. La Salle is killed by his own men, Pierre is adopted by the Caddo Indians. Karankawa Indians learn of La Salle’s death and choose to attack the fort before the colony learns of La Salle’s fate. All colonists, including Isabelle Talon, are massacred except the remaining Talon children and another boy. These children are adopted by the Karankawa.

8 1689-1691 Adoption and Life with Local Native Americans Jean Baptiste, his sister and brothers live among different camps of the Karankawa. Pierre lives among the Caddo The children are tattooed with tribal markings on their hands, face, and arms. These tattoos remain with the Talons for the rest of their lives. The children were taught to run, shoot arrows and hunt like fellow tribesmen. Talons tell that the Indians always treated them with kindness and often sided with them in disputes with native children of the camp.

9 Jean Baptiste tells of a war against the Caddo. Pierre confirms that there was once war with a local native group. Talons witness medical practices among the Natives, and varied techniques with herbs. The Spanish have heard stories of a French settlement along the coast. DeLeon begins looking for it. DeLeon finds Pierre Talon among the Caddo. Pierre tells DeLeon of his brothers and a sister living among the Karankawa. The children are found and ransomed for tobacco and horses.

10 1691-1698 Life in Spanish Mexico Talons travel by land until they reach Mexico City. The Spanish decide the children should remain in Mexico. The Talons knew so much about the territory, the Spanish do not want the French to have so much information. The Talons are taken in by the Viceroy. They are regarded as household servants and naturalized citizens. Talons are able to make observations about Native and Mexican Relations in Mexico. The Viceroy retires and returns to Spain with Robert and Marie- Madeleine. The three older brothers are placed in the Spanish Navy.

11 The Spanish Military ship is captured by a French Warship. The Talon brothers are discovered on board and repatriated to France. After repatriation to France, the two eldest boys are placed in the French Service, the youngest Lucien is placed as a servant in Oleron, France. The Talons are interrogated in February of 1698 at the request of the French Minister of Marine. The Talons are then kept in France as reinforcements. Talons again sail from LaRochelle,France in 1699 and arrive in Biloxi in February of 1700.

12 1700-1715 Guides and Interpreters in the Louisiana Territory It is believed the Talons may have accompanied Saint Denis and his explorations around the Red River. The brothers are imprisoned in Portugal. No record of their crime has been located. For ten years there are no records of the Talons. 1713 The French begin a journey in search of Spanish missions, the expedition includes 25 Caddo Natives and Pierre and Robert Talon. Due to their tattoos and knowledge of language, they serve as interpreters among the natives on the expedition. The expedition reaches San Juan Bautista in 1714.

13 The Talons were recognized by Captain Martinez who had accompanied DeLeon on the rescue mission to Texas. The Talons are also able to serve as Spanish Interpreters for the expedition at this time. Other French members of the expedition are sent to Mexico City for further questioning by the Spanish.The Talons slip away and return to Mobile with letters and a possible map for the Sieur de Cadillac of present day Louisiana. Sieur de Cadillac made reports to the Council of Marine in 1716 based on recent information from the Talons.

14 Talon Family Comes Full Circle

15 Pierre Talon Pierre may have returned to France, but there is some indication he may have settled in Mobile and died at an early age.

16 Jean-Baptiste Talon Jean-Baptiste may have remained in Louisiana and settled at New Orleans.

17 Lucien Talon Nothing more is known of Lucien after he was sent to Oleron.

18 Robert Talon Robert is listed on the roster of the Mobile Parish register in 1721, married with two children and a carpenter by trade.

19 Marie-Madeleine Talon Marie-Madeleine married Pierre Simon of Paris in 1698. She had a son named Pierre in 1699. She is believed to have returned to Canada where the son was married in 1719, and then later lived in Quebec, WHERE THEIR STORY BEGAN.


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