Jacon Meyers was from Pittsburgh, Penn., and was the father of
Benjamin Meyers. Joseph McCourtney was a native of Ireland, and
married a daughter of John
Prickett, who came from Virginia. David Gray was from
Massachusetts; his wife, Dinah Gray, obtained a legal seperation
from her husband, and for many years
kept up a sort of boarding house in New Madrid. She is said to
have been a woman of more than ordinary intelligence.
John Lavallee, the last commandant under the old regime,
has several descendants still residing in New Madrid County. He
was the father of Charles A. Lavalle,
and a man of intelligence and education. He was reccomended by
De Lassus as follows: "He is a zealous and skillful officer,
recommended for a long time for captain.
I appointed him commandant ad interim of New Madrid. He
was recognized by the Government, and I think would have been
retained but for the change. Every time I
employed him he gave me great satisfaction in the manner in
which he acquitted himself. He speaks and writes Spanish,
French and English, and is a firm, brave and
prudent man." He remained at New Madrid until his death, and
served for three years as judge of the court of common
In July, 1789, Gov. Miro sent Lieut. Pierre Forcher, with two
sergeants, two corporals and thirty soldiers, to build a fort,
and to take civil and military command of
the post at New Madrid. Upon his arrival, Forcher laid off a
town between Bayou St. John and Bayou de Cypriere, and built a
fort upon the bank of the river, which he
named Fort Celeste, in honor of the wife of Gov. Miro. Lieut.
Forcher was a man of energy and administrative ability, and soon
established order and prosperity in the
community. He was recalled, however, in about eighteen months,
and was succeeded by Thomas Portell.