De Bore, Granulated Sugar, and Louisiana Sugar cane contributes millions of dollars to Louisiana's economy. Of the U.S. sugar producing areas, Louisiana is the oldest and most historic. Sugarcane is being produced on nearly 450,000 acres of land in 23 Louisiana Parishes. Granulated sugar from sugar cane is now a fixture in homes across Louisiana now. Jean Étienne De Boré played a major role in the birth of granulated sugar business in Louisiana in 1795.
De Bore, Granulated Sugar, and Louisiana Etienne de Bore was born in Kaskaskia, Illinois on December 27, 1741 to Louis de Bore and Celestene Therese Carriere. At four years old the family returned to France. He was educated there. He attended military school as well. On November 5, 1771, he married Jeanne Marguerite Marie Destrehan des Tours, a member of a prominent and wealthy Louisiana family. Upon being married, he and his bride returned to Louisiana. In 1776, the couple and settled in St. Charles Parish.
De Bore, Granulated Sugar, and Louisiana In 1781 he was granted extensive property above New Orleans (which included the present-day Audubon Park.) He embarked upon an agricultural career with the planting of indigo. The Council of the Indies had introduced indigo in and it became one of Louisiana’s agricultural staples. By the 1790’s the colony’s indigo crops were bringing in $180,000 a year.
De Bore, Granulated Sugar, and Louisiana After a couple of years of drought and insects attacking the plants, the issues of the bare stalks in the indigo fields were discouraging planters. De Bore and other planters were on the verge of bankruptcy. So he decided to gamble on sugar cane crops. The Jesuits had first introduced sugar cane into Louisiana to make molasses, but it never developed into a commercial crop. Attempts to crystallize the syrup into granules had failed until that time.
De Bore, Granulated Sugar, and Louisiana Although he knew that historically, the production of granulated sugar had been a failure in Louisiana, De Bore, was determined to try and give it a chance. A number of expert sugar-makers were among the refugees who had escaped from Santo Domingo in1791, so he sought their advice. Obtaining cane from two of the Spanish growers, he planted a crop.
De Bore, Granulated Sugar, and Louisiana After his crops were harvested, De Bore and his slaves worked hard planting and harvesting the cane, digging to bring water from the Mississippi River into the fields. It was a small operation by most standards of plantation living. On his estate, he set up a sugar mill. With the aid of Mendez and Lopez and the use of the Spanish method of making molasses, De Bore wanted more. Wanting to go a step further in granulizing the molasses, his hard work and determination eventually paid off. Etienne de Bore was delighted as he stood in the drying room of the Sugar House while his first crop of Creole Cane was drying as granulated brown sugar. He had finally succeeded in crystallizing the syrup into sugar granules.
De Bore, Granulated Sugar, and Louisiana Louisiana planter Jean Etienne de Bore became the first to granulate sugar in the colony in 1795. Once proven that sugar could be granulated, and De Bore’s industry began to grow. Etienne De Bore then granulated sugar on a commercial scale in Audubon Park. He sold his 1796 crop for $12,000 and a new industry was born in Louisiana.
De Bore, Granulated Sugar, and Louisiana The success of a wealthy Louisiana planter Jean Étienne De Boré in making sugar on a substantial scale in 1795 caused a rapid shift of planters from indigo to sugarcane. The result of De Bore’s venture completely revolutionized agriculture in Louisiana.
De Bore, Granulated Sugar, and Louisiana Etienne de Bore was appointed the first New Orleans mayor by Governor William C. C. Claiborne in 1803. However, he resigned to look after his personal affairs the following year. Governor William C. C. Claiborne 1st New Orleans Mayor Etienne de Bore
De Bore, Granulated Sugar, and Louisiana Louisiana's economy since that time, has been able to profit from Etienne De Bore’s granulated sugar. When the United States took possession of Louisiana in 1803, there was already a small thriving sugar industry in south Louisiana. Within a decade, production of granulated sugar would transform the kitchens around the world. Jean Etienne De Bore died at 79 years old on February 1, 1820 leaving a “sweet legacy” of granulated sugar in his wake.
Think about this….. • Can you imagine life without granulated sugar? Explain your reasons. • How did granulated sugar affect Louisiana and sugar cane crops at the time of its discovery and now? • How do you think the success of granulated sugar and cane crops affect slavery in Louisiana? Explain your reasons.