Frenchtown’s roots stretch back to 1825 when the U.S. government gave a Tallahassee township to French General Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de Lafayette, for his help during the Revolutionary War.
According to accounts, French colonists came to Tallahassee to establish a
plantation of grapes, mulberry trees, and olive trees. Facing extreme elements, many moved to New Orleans or back to France.
After Emancipation, the newly freed struggled with establishing a life, and new society, for themselves. The establishment of the Freedmen’s Bureau (now the Union Bank) helped the emancipated secure relief and start the unprecedented social reconstruction that would bring freed people to full citizenship.
By the mid 1870's a permanent settlement had been established: Frenchtown.
In the coming days, we'll explore the transformations of Frenchtown.
- there are anecdotal musings that Frenchtown came not from Lafayette, but from a builder/landlord in the area with the last name of French, e.g., "French's Town." It was being called Frenchtown by at least the early 1880s, and probably earlier.