This letter was written by 24 year-old Charles H. Ozanne, a native of Guernsey, Channel Islands (England), who arrived in New Orleans on 25 September 1847 aboard the ship Sea Lion. His occupation was given as “student” in the ship register. We learn from the letter that Charles was pursuing a medical degree and I do find notice of him at the St. Thomas Medical School (London) in May 1844. Apparently his declining health caused him to seek a warmer and more agreeable climate, however, so he came to New Orleans to live with his brother. Unfortunately, death records in Orleans Parish indicate that Charles died of consumption on 20 March 1852 at age 30. He is buried in Cypress Grove Cemetery.
The 1851 New Orleans City Directory shows Charles H. Ozanne living with his brother, Peter Martin Ozanne, at the corner of Pecanier and Orange Streets. No employment is given for Charles who may have already been debilitated by consumption.
Ozanne wrote the letter to Charles LeBoutillier (1797-1876), also a native of Guernsey in the Channel Islands off the coast of Normany, France. He emigrated to the United States in 1844, arriving and settling in Philadelphia. He died in Parson, Labette County, Kansas.
Addressed to C. LeBoutillier, Esq., 218 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
New Orleans [Louisiana]
December 14th 1847
Charles LeBoutillier, Esq.
My arrival in this portion of the Union having again placed us within convertible distance, I seize the opportunity of renewing our acquaintance interrupted by my absence in Europe. I am here rather from necessity than choice — my health being so uncertain as to compel me to resort to a Southern climate for an indefinite period or till I deem it safe to brave a northern winter. In the meantime, I have accepted a situation in an Importing Dry Goods House in this city where I am turning to good use the knowledge obtained under your auspices. I am residing with my brother [Thomas] who still retains his post at the Custom House.
As I have already passed some months here, the Guernsey news I might give would possess but little interest for you.
It would afford me much pleasure to receive any of your news as I feel a strong interest in all that concerns your welfare & I know nothing of your progress since the time I was with you.
I think this place offers a good opening for a business conducted like yours and I am working with a view to this at a future period should my health not admit of a resumption of my medical studies. My brother’s large circle of acquaintances & that which I would by that time form would be od some consequence in such an undertaking; besides the house I am now with would feel inclined to lend a helping hand. What do you think of it?
I received a letter from my old friend Mr. Monrose by last post in which he informs me he has retired from business on a competency. He gave a rather gloomy view of business in your city but this I presume is not general.
With kindest remembrance to Mrs. Le Bontellier and the individual members of your family.
Believe me ever, sincerely yours, — Charles H. Ozanne
Care of T. Medley & Co., New Orleans