The Esternay Project
For full information, please go to: http://esternay.carleton.edu/
The Esternay Project, based upon resources provided by Catherine Hennequin-Libert (Resource Associate) and research conducted by Carl Weiner is directed by Professors Carl Weiner and Scott Carpenter (Carleton College), Professor Daniel Ringrose (Minot State University) and Associate Professor Lynn Sharp (Whitman College) with technical assistance from Paula Lackie, Matt Bockol, and Aaron Miller. The site is available for use by students, teachers and researchers. Its archive currently contains 912 transcribed letters, 473 of which are accompanied by high quality scans of their originals. English translations have been provided for 194 of the letters. Additional transcripts, scans and translations are constantly being added to the site. The core of the collection is the familial, business, political and patronage correspondence of three generations of Poirrier notaries and landowners who lived in the town of Esternay (Marne) about 100 km from Paris. Jean François Poirrier, Louis François Poirrier and Alfred Poirrier consecutively held office at the municipal, cantonal, departmental and national level from the time of the French Revolution down to the death in 1898 of Alfred Poirrier. Apart from the letters of these men and the Poirrier women (Louise Eulalie Poirrier, Sophie Guillemain Poirrier and Denise Poirrier) and their friends and kin, the archive contains a selection from a much larger mass of notarial documents including the correspondence of various clients of the notarial office of Alfred, his father and his grand-father . We have also included a small sample of items from the documentary remains of Alfred's political and administrative career (at his death, he was vice-president of the conseil départemental of the Marne and a sitting senator) which provide insights into the everyday workings of power and politics in the first three decades of the Third Republic. Aside from the personal letters of the family, our site now offers only a sample of what could be included in a much expanded version of the Esternay Project (roughly four thousand more letters, drafts and administrative correspondence could be added to the site) but even so we believe the site can serve as a window into the lives of French men and women as they lived through what was certainly one of the most tumultuous periods in their nation's history.