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St. Louis RisingThe French Regime of Louis St. Ange de Bellerive$
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Carl J. Ekberg and Sharon K. Person

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038976

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038976.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

The Coutume de Paris Rules

The Coutume de Paris Rules

(p.127) Chapter 7 The Coutume de Paris Rules
St. Louis Rising

Carl J. Ekberg

Sharon K. Person

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines how the Coutume de Paris (customary law of Paris) influenced nineteenth-century domestic affairs, especially inheritance practices, in a large swath of northern France, as well as in French colonies such as Missouri. Beginning in the 1720s, the Coutume was regularly cited in Illinois Country legal documents, with Charles-Joseph Labuxière, acting as the strict custodian of French law and legal traditions in St. Louis. French Canadians who settled early at Cahokia and Kaskaskia adhered loosely to many provisions of traditional French customary law, but it took a while for the Coutume to be fully institutionalized in the Illinois Country. This chapter analyzes the human dimensions of the Coutume as it was implemented in St. Louis by presenting case histories about marriages and marriage contracts, buying and selling property, and making arrangements for old age and death. These case histories illuminate how the law helped guide village families in the management of their mortal affairs.

Keywords:   marriages, marriage contracts, Coutume de Paris, inheritance, France, Missouri, Illinois Country, Charles-Joseph Labuxière, St. Louis, property

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