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History of Early American Landscape Design

Charles François Adrien le Paulmier, le Chevalier d’Annemours

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Charles François Adrien le Paulmier, le Chevalier d’Annemours (1742- 1809) served as French Consul General at Baltimore from 1779 to 1793. He developed formal gardens at his homes in Baltimore and Louisiana.


Fig. 1, Charles Varlé (artist), Francis Shallus (engraver), Warner & Hanna's Plan of the City and Environs of Baltimore [detail], 1801.

After leaving his native Normandy for Martinique at the age of twelve, the Chevalier D'Annemours divided his time between France, England, the West Indies, and America. He established a number of business ventures in Philadelphia and made influential connections. [1] Between 1773 and 1776, while resident in France, he wrote four memoirs on the subject of the American colonies. [2] Returning to America in 1777, he represented France in various official capacities, including Consul General at Baltimore for the five southern states of Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, and North and South Carolina. [3] An amateur student of natural history, D'Annemours was elected a foreign member of the American Philosophical Society in 1783 and received a visit from his compatriot, the French botanist André Michaux (1746-1802), on August 24, 1789. [4] D'Annemours came to regard the United States as his adopted country, and he demonstrated his respect by erecting America's first monument in honor of Christopher Columbus at Belmont, his private estate on the outskirts of Baltimore. An obelisk over 44 feet in height, the monument was dedicated on October 12, 1792, the 300th anniversary of Columbus’s arrival in the New World. [] [5] When the French consulate at Baltimore closed in 1793, D’Annemours retired from official service but preferred to remain in America rather than return to France. [6]

In 1796 D'Annemours purchased the De La Baume plantation on the Ouachita River in Spanish Louisiana, where he built "a very pretty house" and laid out formal English gardens. [7] The gardens stunned the French writer Charles Cesar Robin, who toured the property in 1804, and scoffed at the folly of creating elaborate gardens in the Louisiana wilderness — deeming it a waste of effort that should have gone into raising corn, beans, and pumpkins. [8] In a memoir written in 1803 D'Annemours provided a detailed account of the geography of Louisiana (particularly the Ouachita District) with a view to promoting the agricultural and economic potential of the Louisiana Territory. [9] Hoping to interest the American Philosophical Society in publishing D'Annemours's "most excellent account of the Washita River," Thomas Jefferson sent it to the Society's librarian, John Vaughan (1756-1841), on May 5, 1805, together with a letter describing the Frenchman as "a man of science, good sense, & truth, ... [who] may be relied on in whatever facts he states." [10]

--Robyn Asleson


  • Anonymous, August 17, 1792, Claypole’s Daily Advertiser (Philadelphia) (quoted in Thompson 1906: 246) [11]
“[The Chevalier d’Annemours built] an obelisk to honour the memory of that immortal man—Christopher Columbus . . . in a grove in one of the gardens of the villa Belmont. . . on the 3rd of August, 1792, the anniversary of the sailing of Columbus from Spain.”




  1. Anne Mézin, Les Consuls de France Au Siècle Des Lumières (1715-1792) (Ministère des affaires étrangères. Direction des archives et de la documentation, 1998), 398-99, view on Zotero; “Notice Sur Le Chevalier Charles François-Adrien le Paulmier d’Annemours,” Maryland Historical Magazine,’’ 5 (1910), 38-39, view on Zotero; Henry F. Thompson, “The Chevalier D’Annemours,” ‘’Maryland Historical Magazine’’, 1 (1906): 241, view on Zotero.
  2. Henry F. Thompson, “The Chevalier Palmier d’Annemours,” Maryland Historical Magazine’’, 1 (1906): 242, view on Zotero.
  3. Peter B. Hill, French Perceptions of the Early American Republic, 1783-1793, Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1988), 180: 6, 18, 49, 83, 90-91, 142, 168, view on Zotero; “Notice sur Le Chevalier Charles François-Adrien Le Paulmier d’Annemours,” 39-43 , view on Zotero; Henry F. Thompson, “The Chevalier D’Annemours,” Maryland Historical Magazine’’, 1 (1906): 243-44, view on Zotero; Francis Wharton, ‘’The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States’’ (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1889), 5: 396, view on Zotero.
  4. André Michaux, "Journal de André Michaux," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 25, no. 122 (March 1889): 58.
  5. William Elleroy Curtis, Christopher Columbus: His Portraits and His Monuments: A Descriptive Catalogue’’, Part 2 (Chicago: The W. H. Lowdermilk Co., 1893), 43-44, view on Zotero see also Herbert Adams and Henry Wood, Columbus and His Discovery of America’’, Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science, Tenth Series, vols. 10 and 11 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1892), 30-35, view on Zotero .
  6. “Notice sur Le Chevalier Charles François-Adrien Le Paulmier d’Annemours,” 43-45, view on Zotero; Thompson, 1906, 246, view on Zotero.
  7. Butler, Anne, The Pelican Guide to Plantation Homes of Louisiana, 8th edn (Gretna, La.: Pelican Publishing Corporation, Inc., 2009), 133 view on Zotero; Ed Lewis, "Monroe Landmark Moving to a New Location," Monroe News-Star(Friday June 18, 1971), The O'Kelly Family Collection website, https://okellyfamily.wordpress.com/tag/danemours/; Charles François Adrien Le Paulmier le Chevalier d’Annemours, Memoirs by Charles François Adrien Le Paulmier Le Chevalier D’Annemours,’’ ed. Wendy Bradley Richter, trans. Samuel Dorris Dickinson (Arkadelphia, Ark. : Clark County Historical Association : Institute for Regional Studies, Ouachita Baptist University, 1994), ____ view on Zotero; George Sabo II “Review of Charles François Adrien Le Paulmier: Le Chevalier D’Annemours,” The Arkansas Historical Quarterly‘’, 54 (1995): 221, view on Zotero.
  8. Charles Cesar Robin, Voyages Dans L’intérieur de La Louisiane, de La Floride Occidentale, et Dans Les Isles de La Martinique et de Saint-Domingue, 1802-1806 (Paris: F. Buisson, 1807), __, view on Zotero.
  9. Charles François Adrien Le Paulmier, chevalier d’Annemours “Memoir of Le Paulmier d’Annemours, Former Consul General of France in America, about the Ouachita District,” April 21, 1803, Pierre Clément de Laussat Papers, MSS 125, Box 4, Folder 148, Williams Research Center, The Historic New Orleans Collection, view on Zotero.
  10. Thomas Jefferson to John Vaughan, May 5, 1805, Founders Online, National Archives (http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/99-01-02-1679 [last update: 2015-02-20]).
  11. Henry F. Thompson, "The Chevalier D’Annemours," Maryland Historical Magazine, 1 (1906), 241–46 view on Zotero

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History of Early American Landscape Design contributors, "Charles François Adrien le Paulmier, le Chevalier d’Annemours," History of Early American Landscape Design, , https://heald.nga.gov/mediawiki/index.php?title=Charles_François_Adrien_le_Paulmier,_le_Chevalier_d’Annemours&oldid=7541 (accessed December 9, 2023).

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