Melrose • Metoyer • Cloutier

Claude Thomas Pierre Metoyer (1743-1815), son of Nicolas Francois Metoyer (1715-1776) and Marie Anne Drapron (1714-1748) was born on March 12,1744 in La Rochell (St. Barthelemy) Charente-Maritime, France.

In the mid 1760’s he immigrated from France to the outpost of Natchitoches in the Louisiana Territory where he became a successful merchant and plantation owner. He later had a liaison with an African slave, Marie Therese dite Coincoin, by whom he fathered ten children. Marie Therese and her children became free men and women of color (gens de couleur libre), eventually owning 1200 acres of farm land which would become Melrose Plantation.

Marie and her family (former slaves) would own 200 slaves to become one of the wealthest families of free men of color in the United States. Claude served as marechal de logis (quartermaster) in the 1780 company that Governor Bernardo de Galvez dispatched to Mobile amid the American Revolution from 1772-1791.

In 1788 he married Marie Therise Eugenie Buard widow of his good friend Etienne Pavie with whome he fathered three children. Their son Francois Benjamin Metoyer married Marianne Aurora Lambre and fathered Marie Louise Aimee Metoyer who married Charles Alexis Cloutier, my great grandmother and grandfather (see The Campti- McKnight Cloutier Connection).