Mutinous Women: How French Convicts Became Founding Mothers of the Gulf Coast with Joan DeJean
The Cabildo
Greater New Orleans
New Orleans
Event Date: Thursday, September 8, 2022

Join us for an evening with Joan DeJean as she discusses her recent book, Mutinous Women: How French Convicts Became Founding Mothers of the Gulf Coast (Basic Books, 2022). This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Cabildo as part of the Second Thursday Lecture Series. It is free and open to the public but registration is required. The program will take place on Zoom on Thursday, September 8, 2022, 6:00–7:30 p.m. CDT. Please register here:

About the Book

In 1719, a ship named La Mutine (the mutinous woman), sailed from the French port of Le Havre, bound for the Mississippi. It was loaded with urgently needed goods for the fledgling French colony, but its principal commodity was a new kind of export: women.

Falsely accused of sex crimes, these women were prisoners, shackled in the ship’s hold. Of the 132 women who were sent this way, only 62 survived. But these women carved out a place for themselves in the colonies that would have been impossible in France, making advantageous marriages and accumulating property. Many were instrumental in the building of New Orleans and in settling Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, and Mississippi.

Drawing on an impressive range of sources to restore the voices of these women to the historical record, Mutinous Women introduces us to the Gulf South’s founding mothers.


About the Author

Joan DeJean is trustee professor at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of twelve books on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France, including How Paris Became Paris and The Essence of Style. She was born in southwest Louisiana and now lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Paris, France.