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Bibliothèque nationale de France

Diogène, March 8, 1857

Victor Séjour

Native New Orleanian Juan Victor Séjour Marcou (1817-74) enjoyed remarkable success as one of France's most popular nineteenth-century playwrights. Séjour was the son of Louis Séjour, a successful Haitian refugee merchant who probably arrived in 1809, and Heloïse-Philippe Ferrand, a free woman whose family may have been from Saint Domingue. Victor, officially a "free quadroon", spent his early youth in a Creole intellectual community dominated by republican émigrés from Haiti and France. His father, a veteran of the Battle of New Orleans, was a member of La Société des Artisans. La Société's enthusiastic reception of the teenaged Victor's literary work convinced his father to send him to France for further study. The young writer's short story "Le Mulâtre," an attack on slavery published in Paris in 1837, marked the beginning of Séjour's long and successful career in France as a writer and playwright.

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