Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. II., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.
THE BLANCHET FAMILY.
Prominent among the old French residents who settled in Bottle Hill, now called Madison, New Jersey, at the beginning of the present century, was Monsieur Nicholas du Rest Blanchet. This gentleman was a native of Bordeaux, France, where some of his descendants—the de Bragelongnes— still reside in the family chateau, which was built several hundred years ago. Monsieur du Rest Blanchet came to this country direct from the island of Guadeloupe, where he possessed extensive and important interests; he also owned considerable property in old Bottle Hill, now Madison, as well as a fine estate of some thirty thousand acres in Grant county, Kentucky. He kept “open house” in those days, and was considered one of the wealthiest men of this locality. In 1812 he was united in marriage to Mademoiselle Henriette de la Rousseliere Roux, whose people were from St. Onge, France, and among the early French settlers on the island of Mauritius, which at that time was called “L’Isle de France.”
To Monsieur Blanchet and his wife were born twelve children, of whom the following record is presented: Augustus D., afterward Major Blanchet, married Miss Sara Henriques, daughter of Jacob Henriques, a prominent New York banker. Henry married Miss Caroline du Puy, the daughter of an old and well known French-Swiss New York family. Hyacinth married Miss Jane Cooley, a resident of Greenwood Lake, New Jersey, and a sister-in- law of the artist, Jasper F. Cropsey: they reside in Blanchet, Kentucky. Leo, who promised his father, when the latter was dying, to devote himself to the care of his mother, fulfilled his promise, and the more effectually to do so remained single. His death occurred in 1893. Two other sons of Monsieur Blanchet died in infancy.
The daughters of the family were as follows: Laure Marie Antoinette, who, in 1824, at the age of ten years, was one of the delegation of young girls selected to welcome General LaFayette to Bottle Hill. In 1837 she became the wife of Monsieur Amedee Foignet, who came to America from Guadeloupe, in 1834. He was the eldest son of Monsieur Alexandre Foignet, a native of Paris, France, who was sent to the island of Guadeloupe as procureur du roi, and was decorated by Louis Philippe for distinguished services rendered to the colonies. His wife was a Mademoiselle Marguerite Nadine del Rieu, also a member of one of the distinguished French families of the island. Monsieur Foignet, pere, lost the greater part of his fortune in consequence of the devastating earthquake of 1843 and subsequent fire, and accordingly his son, Amedee, who had not been reared to any business pursuits, found it necessary to replace, by some means, the income he had received from the island. Consequently he entered the institute of Dr. Francis L. Hawkes, St. Thomas Hall, at Flushing, Long Island, as instructor of the French language. Some years later he opened a high-grade French academy for the instruction of boys, the principals being Foignet and Taylor. The institution was located at No. 739 Broadway, New York, and will be remembered by many prominent residents of that city to-day. In 1857 Monsieur Foignet formed a partnership with his son-in-law, Robert H. Hunter, which connection was continued until the death of Mr. Hunter on September 14, 1874. Mr. Hunter was well known in New York business circles, and owned a beautiful summer residence in Madison, where he spent much of his time. Monsieur Foignet died in New York city, August 24, 1877. Adele, the second daughter of Monsieur Blanchet, married Alfred du Champ de Chastaignier, who also was from Guadeloupe, but a native of Toulon, France. For many years he resided in this vicinity, reared a large family, and eventually removed to the island of Martinique with his family, his death occurring there. Anais became the wife of H. H. Casey, a wealthy merchant of New York, and they had four children, the eldest of whom alone survives and is the widow of Colonel George Bliss, lately deceased. Cecelia married Dr. Gregory Phelan, and they moved with their children to San Francisco, California, where they now reside. Louise became a sister of charity and is now in a convent in Brooklyn, Long Island. Emma, the sixth daughter of M. Blanchet, died in infancy.
This biography was contributed by Brianne Kelly-Bly.
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