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In the chapter relating to the Tardy family, I stated that John A. Tardy was for a long time a clerk with the late Joseph Bouchaud, who was a great merchant in his day, and did an immense amount of business with France, Mexico, Campeachy, and South America. He came to this country about 1805, having been sent for when quite a lad by Joseph Thebaud. He formerly resided at Nantes. Joseph Thebaud wrote to his correspondent in France to send him a competent and reliable young man to take charge of the interior department of his counting-house. Joseph Bouchaud was the young gentleman selected, and possessing testimonials of the highest character in his native country, arrived in this city in 1805, being then twenty-two years of age. JOSEPH THEBAUD Joseph Thebaud, his patron, came to the United States near 1793. He was the agent of the French East India Company, and representative of several French capitalists and merchants. He first settled in Boston, remained there a short time, then changed his residence to New Haven, where he became acquainted with and married Miss Le Breton, a daughter of a highly respectable Martinique gentleman of that place, and from thence came to the city of New York, where he permanently established himself in mercantile affairs, and up to his death remained one of the leading merchants of this city. He resided at No. 121 Beekman street, and had his counting-room opposite, at No. 11. He possessed what in those days was esteemed a magnificent country place, situate where orchard street now runs. The old family mansion, built of brick, situate on the westerly side of that street, near Rivington, still stands, although somewhat modernized. Could it speak, what glorious tales it could tell of the hospitality, the festive scenes, and the old French regime style its four walls have witnessed! Old Joseph Thebaud was a great botanist and passionately fond of flowers. He possessed magnificent green-houses, at that time the wonder of the town. He took great pride in showing his flowers, and was the intimate friend of old Dr. Hosack, whose taste in this respect was similar. His neighbors were David Dunham, Cornelius Dubois, and the Stuyvesants. He spent a great deal of his time in his green-houses, to which is ascribed his early death, which occurred in the year 1811, aged 45. He was a very benevolent, kind-hearted man, and was the originator of the French Benevolent Society of this city, and was a leading director and friend to the old Mechanics' Bank. At the time of his death the newspapers of this city teemed with flattering and highly eulogistic obituary notices of him. Previous to his death he recommended his wife and children to the constant care and watchfulness of Mr. Bouchaud, entrusting them to his protection, and to that counsel and suport which he knew he could rely upon their receiving from him. JOSEPH BOUCHAUD He left a very large estate, and appointed Joseph Bouchaud, his clerk, together with Mr. John S. Roulet, his executors. His children at the time of his death, being all minors, Bouchaud immediately took charge of the estate, continued the business of his late employer, and married his widow. In the meantime, two of Joseph Thebaud's sons, John and Edward, returned to New York, having completed their education at the Moravian school at Bethlehem, Penn, (which still exists), and found handsome fortunes awaiting them. Edward Thebaud, of industrial habits, entered the house of Gardner G. Howland, principally to acquire a knowledge of business, where after remaining some years, Joseph Bouchaud, wishing to increase his capital, made propositions to him as well as to his brother John J., which were accepted, and in 1820, the house of Bouchaud & Thebaud was formed. Mr. Bouchaud became acquainted with a gentleman named John L. McGregor, of Charleston, S.C., and he introduced Mr. Bouchaud to the South American trade. McGregor settled at Campeachy and Yucatan, and the house and he did a joint business together, purchasing and sending goods from this market, receiving in return specie, log wood, sisalhemp, goat skins and hides. He also did a large business with Bordeaux, Havre and Marseilles. Up to 1824 the house of Bouchaud & Thebaud was the largest importer of French brandies in the city of New York. They were constant and heavy shippers of goods. In sie, Mr. Bouchaud was a very small man, but in bold mercantile operations he was a very large one. He moved his store to No. 37 South Street, a great business part of the town for foreign merchants, and at this period his residence was at No. 109 Fulton street, a favorite street for Frenchmen. Edward Thebaud married in 1823 Miss Boisaubin, a daughter of a distinguished French noble exile in this country, a victim to the French Revolution. In 1824, the house was obliged to suspend payment, having been involved to a large amount by the failure of Le Seigneur, Alexandre, Freres & Co., of Havre. After having honorably settled the affirs of the concern, the partnership of Bouchaud & Thebauds was dissolved, at which time Mr. Tardy's connection with the house ceased. Edward Thebaud, retiring into the country, near his father-in-law, lived the life of a country gentleman upon a beautiful estate at Morristown, New Jersey, and John J. went to Mexico, engaged in some financial scheme, where he was overtaken with a prevalent disease of that country, and died. In a short while after, Joseph Bouchaud resumed business on his own account upon a capital of $5,000, loaned him by his mother-in-law, Madame Le Breton, together with consignments which were made hime to a large amount by his old and steadfast friend, McGregor of Campeachy. By his frugal management, together with his indomitable perseverance, he again became successful, and with the first fruits of his returning fortune, paid with interest the loan so kindly made him by his mother-in-law. At this period, his store was at No. 64 Exchange place, corner of New Street. From this time forward, his business became one of considerable lucrativeness. He afterwards purchased the property 171 Duane street, where he resided until he removed, a few years before his death, to 258 Fourth street, opposite Washington Parade Ground. Meanwhile, matters had remained in statu quo with Edward Thebaud, who in the beginning of the year 1835, wrote to his old partner and father-in-law, Mr. Bouchaud, representing that from the increase of his family and the accumulating demands appertaining thereto, he thought of abandoning his rural life among the blue hills of Jeresy, and once more embarking in mercantile pursuits. Mr. Bouchaud invited him to an interview, which resulted in his generously tendering him a partnership on an equal footing, which being accepted, led to the re-establishment of the house of Bouchaud & Thebaud, the latter contributing to the capital about $15,000. The new firm continued the business at 64 Exchange Place, and afterwards removed to 35 New Street. In about the year 1850 the firm was changed to Bouchaud, Thebaud & Company, having admitted into their firm the eldest son of Edward Thebaud. In 1851, at his new residence in Fourth street, Joseph Bouchaud died. He was an honest, upright man, and endeavored to emulate the virtues and high-toned principles of his benefactor and patron, Joseph Thebaud. He was an active member of the French Benevolent Society, and connected with many of the leading banks of this city, more especially with the National bank, which was regarded and generally called the Frenchman's Bank. Mr. Bouchaud had three children, a son and two daughters. The son died of the croup about the time his business troubles commenced. His youngest daughter Celeste married Joseph A. Voisin, a French importing merchant. She has left one son, Joseph A. Voisin, Jr., a student of medicine. The other sister, Estelle N. Bouchaud, married Victor Arnaud, a French gentleman of Paris. The other partner, Edward Thebaud, retired from active business shortly after the death of his old partner, and now lives in quiet elegance near the homestead of his wife, in Madison, New Jersey. His old house, under the name of Edward Thebaud's Sons, was continued by two of his sons for some years, when each forming alliances with other mercantile houses in this city, dissolved this old mercantile house which had been in existence since 1796. It is the boast of this establishment, that since the day of its formation to the day of its disolution, from old Joseph Thebaud down to Edward Thebaud's Sons, their word was as good as their bond. Source: The Old Merchants of New York City Author: Walter Barrett, Clerk Second series Publisher: Carleton, Publisher, 413 Broadway Entered according to the Act of Congress 1863 _____________________________________ Researched, Prepared and Contributed by Miriam Medina For the Brooklyn Information Page Back To The OLd Merchants of NYC 1863 Back To BUSINESS Main Return to BROOKLYN Info Main Page