Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division, Dallas Public Library

Santerre and Cretien Families Collection

La Reunion Materials

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Santerre and Cretien Families
Title: Santerre and Cretien Families Collection
Dates: 1793-1890, 1955-1965
Accession No.: MA63-2
Quantity: 6 Boxes
Language: The records are in French and English.
Repository: Texas/Dallas History & Archives, Dallas Public Library 1515 Young St Dallas, TX 75201


The rise of socialism in the nineteenth century was centered in Europe. The unrest in France between the French Revolution of 1789 and the Second Empire in the 1850s created an opportunity for new ideas, but also brought suppression and hardship. The followers of French socialist Francois Charles Fourier believed in a Utopian form of socialism, which called for equality between work and wealth. The natural instincts for greater wealth and self advancement by an individual would create an atmosphere of competition, which would promote the wealth of the group because the end results, profits, belonged to the society as a whole. Attempts for colonies failed in France. The leaders looked towards America, as a free thinking country, too young for the problems of Europe. One leader, Victor Prosper Considerant traveled around the United States looking for a proper place. He chose an area slightly west of the small village of Dallas on the Trinity River in Texas.

In 1854, the European-American Colonization Society in Texas was formed in France. Its members were stock holders for an experiment to colonize in Texas. Some who bought stock came to Texas, others remained in France. By 1855 approximately three hundred immigrants from France, Switzerland, and Belgium settled on Considerant's chosen spot and named it La Reunion. The settlement survived only three years. Drought and insect infestation destroyed the crops. General disillusionment in the socialist principles also led to failure. The members eventually dispersed, some moved to Dallas, others went to New Orleans or returned to France. The members who moved to Dallas became productive and often times prominent citizens.

Scope and Contents

The Santerre and Cretien Families were among the original settlers of La Reunion. When the colony failed they moved to Dallas. This collection contains personal family correspondence, ship tickets, stock receipts, and photographs, plus several fascinating French historical documents probably from A.J. Santerre, as a commander of citizen army during the First French Republic (1793- ). A portion of the materials are the notes and research materials from White Cliffs of Dallas written by George Santerre, 1955.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
European-American Colonization Society in Texas
Family Names:
La Reunion (Tex.)
Dallas (Tex.)
Colonization - Texas
Santerre and Cretien Families Collection

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

MA63-2 Santerre and Cretien Families Collection, Texas/Dallas History & Archives Division, Dallas Public Library

Processing Information

Processed by Cindy C. Smolovik, Archivist


Santerre, George H. White Cliffs of Dallas. Dallas: The Book Craft, 1955

Hammond, William and Margaret. La Reunion, a French Settlement in Texas. Dallas: Royal Publishing Company, 1958

The Fulfillment!! or Twelve Years Afterwards. Dallas: The De Golyer Foundation, 1963

Colman, Marion Moore, "New Light on La Reunion," Arizona and the West, 6 (1); p41-68, 1964

Blain, Samuel Shannon. La Reunion: A Fourieristic Colony Founded by Colonist from France, Switzerland, and Belgium, in Dallas County, Texas. bound by Dallas Public Library.

Detailed Description of the Collection


Documents - Santerre

Box Folder
1 1 Register
2 Title Page: Documents, Letters, and Memorandums of Francois Santerre French Colonist of La Reunion... ca. 1956
3 (in French) Affidavit. Two parchment sheets, both 24cm x 18cm, August 27, 1781
4 (in French) Document signed by Jean Marie Collot-d'Herbois, Jean Nicholas Billaud-Varrenne and Antoine Saint Just - From the Committee of Public Safety - with seal of the French Republic/Committee of Public Safety. (1 page English Explanation included.) 22cm x 30cm, March 28, 1794
5 (in French) Two documents signed by Jacques Reverchon on Republic Stationary. 19cm x 27cm, 1794 and, 21cm x 32xm, 1797
6 (in French) Stock share M. Santerre in European American Society of Colonization of Texas, 27cm x 21cm, 1854
7 (in French) Two items. Song Sheet: "Les Emigrants" Poem, "Meo Vingt Ano" [1854} and translations: total four items. 20cm x 15cm, 10cm x 15cm, 16cm x 10cm, 10cm x 14cm
8 (in French) Remond's List of settlers at La Reunion. 4 Sheets - only partial pieces 13cm x 5xm, 13cm x 9cm, 13cm x 13cm, 13cm x 20cm. [1855]
9 (in French) Two sublease contracts
Box Folder
1. Francois Santerre and Joseph Alexandre Baptiste Riby, 15cm x 20cm, 1859
2. Francois Santerre and Augustin Boudin, 36cm x 25cm, Feb. 13, 1859
Box Folder
1 10 (in French) Augustin Boudin to Francois Santerre, 27cm x 21cm, January 23, 1861
11 Two Confederate Receipts
Box Folder
1. April 19, 1865 - Bill of sale, 40 heads of sheep - 400$
2. April 15, 1865 - Tax Assessment of crops produced in 1864 - signed by Santerre and J.M.E. Perry, Assessor
Box Folder
1 12 Tax Receipt(s) - July 25, 1866 and August, 1867
13 Dallas County Tax Receipts September 30, 1868 (2)
14 3 letters in French. J. Chillett to Francois Santerre January 21, 1870; February 1, 1870; February 4, 1870
15 2 Letters. June 30, 1870, Letter to Louis from Collins reply to request concerning stock. April 8, 1870, Louis request concerning stock.
16 Letter from Boudin to Santerre. September 28, 1872
17 Receipt, certificate of deposit, received as a duplicate receipt issued November 6, 1869 that had been lost. February 6, 1875
18 (in French) Letter to Santerre, signature unreadable. [14] April, 1876
19 School tax receipt, Dallas County - F. Santerre, October 13, 1876
20 "Observation of the migratory grasshopper or western locust...." by J. Reverchon for Prof. G. Boll, Naturalist. [1877]
21 (in French) Letter to Santerre from Cantagrel, 1878
22 Field notes of M. Santerre's timber tract. Surveyed April 11, 1878 by R.M. Cooke, County Surveyor.
23 (in French) Property settlement between Jules Louis Chillet and Francois Santerre - Translation of the original document on 4 sheets is also present. September 24, 1881, translated and entered in Dallas County, September 9, 1885
24 "Field Notes of 25 1/2 acres of land made for M. Santere [sic] out of the L.G. Coombs survey." Surveyed by J.M. Strong, September 17, 1885
25 Receipt for 6000 francs for F. Santerre, signed in Paris, August 24, 1887
26 Two Stock Receipts: Canal de Panama signed October 19, 1887 and October 30, 1888
27 (in French) Three bills of sale of Panama Canal Stock. Dated May 18, 1888, August 20, 1888, and November 12, 1888 to F. Santerre
28 Two letters concerning sale of Panama Canal Stock, signed Audre Girad to Santerre, September 27, 1888 and March 9, 1889
29 4 Items
Box Folder
1.Letter from Audre Leuflizer, Sr. October 9, 1889
2. Stock certificate of Transatlantique, October 12, 1889
3. Note of Finances on verso of telegraph station of Banque Transatlantique n.d.
4. Receipt to Santerre for 2132 francs. October 10, 1889


George Santerre Research and Historical Files

Box Folder
2 1 Items for White Cliffs of Dallas: 15 engravings used in book.
2 Folder with pictures (11) and a printed list of colony members from White Cliffs pictured:
Box Folder
1. Pierre Philip Frichot
2. Athanase Cretien
3. Julien Reverchon
4. Benjamin Long
5. Victor Considerant
6. Francois Santerre
7. Charles Voirin
8. John B. Louckx
9. Emile Remond
10. Jean Piriot
11. Unknown
Box Folder
2 3 Notes on French History: French Revolution - First Republic, 1790-1804
4 Notes on French History: French Revolution - First Republic, 1789-1804
5 Notes on French History: Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte [Napoleon III] 2nd Empire 1848-1852, 1852-1870. Includes reprint of a photograph and signature
6 French Currency
7 Santerre Family History, 1060-1418
8 Jean Baptiste Santerre, 1651-1717
9 Antoine Joseph Santerre, 1752-1804
10 Formation of the European American Society of Colonization, 1854
11 Texas Colonization Maps (3)
Box Folder
1. Colonial Texas 1822-1836
2. Texas in 1835
3. Republic of Texas and boundaries claimed by Texas December 19, 1836 to November 25, 1850
Box Folder
2 12 Francis Fourier, 1722-1837
13 Julien Reverchon, 1837-1905
14 Victor Considerant, 1808-1893
15 La Reunion, Francois Jean Cantagrel, 1810-1887
16 "Survey and Partition of an Estate in Dallas County, belonging to the European and American Society of Colonization and known under the name of Reunion..." - Filed June 14, 1858 at 2'o clock P.M.
17 La Reunion - Route of the colonist
18 French Colony Cemetery on Fish Trap Road - Photographs. 1857 and [1961]
19 Photographs, (7) or Ruins of La Reunion
20 (in French) with translation. - Reprint - Rules and Regulations for Passangers [sic]
21 Copies of clippings concerning La Reunion, 1824-1944, and The Southwestern Historical Quarterly - Volume XLIII - July 1939 to April 1940 pages 472-477 "La Reunion: The French Colony of Texas" compiled by Ermance V. Rejebian
22 Photographs [5]
Box Folder
1. Francois Jean Cantagrel
2. Josephine Cantagrel
3. Bureau Family
4. drawings - houses
5. George Cretien and Rene and Leon Huvelle [1890-95]
Box Folder
2 23 List of Santerre Family Gifts to Dallas Historical Society
24 Correspondence - George Santerre with Gabrielle Rey, 1961-1962
25 Guestbook for 103rd Anniversary exhibit - Dallas Public Library Jue 25 to July 26, 1958
26 Scrapbook - George Santerre 1950-1963


Cretien Family

Box Folder
3 1
Box Folder
a. Photograph Main St.at Sycamore (Akard) [1880s]
b. Biography of Private Alfonso Steele
c. Poem - "Your Little Soul"
d. engraving of Palace Shaving Parlors and Artesian Bath House - on envelope - addressed to George Cretien signed by Rudolph Fretz
Box Folder
3 2 Correspondence - George Cretien to his Mother Justine - October 1870
3 Correspondence - Justine Cretien to her son George - May-July, 1896
4 Correspondence - Frank M. Cockrell to George Cretien - 1931-1933
5 Family Tree and wedding announcement of Lizzie Gramatky to Mr. George Cretien and Annie Gramatky to Mr. Paul Hartmann, Wednesday, September 15, 1897
6 Deeds of Trust 1896, 1897
7 Clippings and Articles by W.S. Adair on La Reunion
8 Drawing Book: Lizzie Gramatky
9 Scrapbook - 1880
10 Dallas Times Herald - June 5, 1927
11 Notes - George Santerre
12 Thermostat Copies of Clippings
13 Library Clippings and Microfilm copies on La Reunion
14 Swiss Colonist - Swiss Fortnight, Neiman Marcus 1963
15 Letter to Jacque Guiet from Pierre Guiet - Dallas County, Texas April 16, 1865
16 Deed - Victor Prosper Considerant - Filed - Bexar County, Texas. 1861


Oversized Documents

Box Folder
4 1 Documents from the family of Jean Piriot
Box Folder
a. In French, dated 1766, signed agreement for the partition of personal property
b. In French, dated 1838, bears the royal seal - heading reads "Louis Phillipe, King of the French and to all whom it may concern." Document appears to be a court settlement.
Box Folder
4 2 Documents from the Committee of Public Safety
Box Folder
a. 7th Day Germinal Year Two (March 27, 1794) orders to the French Army of the Alps signed by four prominent members of the Committee de Salut: Collot-Herboise, Carnot, B. Barere, C.A. Prieu.
b. 7th day Germinal Year Two (March 27, 1974) laws against all opposing the French Republic from the Committee of Public Safety, signed by: Collot-Herboise, Carnot, B. Barere, C.A. Prieau, Billaud-Varrenne and initialed MR by Maximillian Robespierre
Box Folder
4 3 Document dated May 23, 1808, in French. Marriage contract between Pierre Santerre and Madeleine Gaudin - 3 Sheets - Seal of the French Empire
4 Santerre Family - Military Service
Box Folder
a. Certificat de Bonne Conduite (Certificate of good conduct) dated September, 1842, given to Francois Santerre
b. Conge de Liberation - (Discharge Papers) given to Francois Santerre, son of Pierre and Madeleine - shows he enlisted March 16, 1809 - Dated December 31, 1843
Box Folder
4 5 Societe de Colonisation Europeo - Americaine Au Texas,....Action A Dividendes de Cinq Dollard - Two stock certificates dated September 26, 1854 (in French) #1521 and 1522. 5.00$ each, stock in La Reunion.
6 Document in French, [1855] - Essay "Parallele de Napoleon en de Washington" Translation of title: Parallel of Napoleon and Washington. Author unknown
7 Passport - Francois Santerre dated at Galveston, November 1858 - document in French, signed by Francois Santerre, P. Arbethier, Agent of Vice Consul of France - Translation Included
8 Passenger Ship Ticket - Francois Santerre document in French, March 4, 1859
9 Record of land transactions between European-American Colonization Society represented by Victor Considerant, and F. Cantagrel, Francois Santerre representing Joseph Alexader Baptiste Riby. Recording sales of land between 1855-1861. 2 copies
10 Document in French - Agreement between Jean Baptist Chillet and Francois Santerre. February 1870
11 Deed of Sale: Recorded English translation May 6th 1899 in Vol. 233, Page 149 - Deed Records Dallas County. French Copy in 3 sheets. Land sold by Augustin Boudin and Joseph Alexandre Baptiste Riby to Francois Santerre
12 Oak Cliff Broadside, dated October 1890
13 Survey and play map of the partition of Santerre Lands - Dated May 12, 1892. Signed by Santerre Family Members. Recorded survey dates include March 15, 1892 and April 29, 1892
14 Photo of Early May Day Celebration held May 1, 1884, Shady View Park


Photographs - Cretien Family

Box Folder
5 1 Mrs. Athanase Cretien and daughters Eugene and Louise. Albumen silver print (cabinet card) c. 1885
2 Mrs. J.F. Gramatsky. Albumen silver print (cabinet card) n.d. (c.1880s)
3 Home of Mr. and Mrs. Athanase Cretien (Masnes, France). Collodio-chloride print. n.d. [c.1890-1900]
4 George Cretien. Albumen silver print (cabinet card) c. 1885-1890
5 Annie Gramayky; Elizabeth Gramatky (Lizzie), and others, Shady Grove Park - North Dallas. May 12, 1896
6 1. Emile Cretien and George Cretien [as children] c. 1865-70 2. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Gramatky [as a child] photo says c.1885 but more likely 1875-80
7 Emile Cretien (1857-1931) Gelatin silver print n.d.
8 Garza Dam. 6 photographs taken by R. Fretz, February 1925
9 Athanase Cretien; Justine Gullios Cretien and Benhamin Long (Lang) copy prints
Box Folder
6 1 Athanese Cretien - copy print
2 Justin Guillios Cretien - copy print
3 Henrietta Boll - copy print
4 Maximillian Reverchon - copy print
5 Francois Santerre - copy print



Box Folder
7 Hammer