The French sent young girls to marry in Alabama

Read this story and more in: ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Exploration: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 1)

When Alabama was first settled by the French, they faced a big problem. There was a shortage of women so France came up with a solution. They recruited a number of young women to settle in Alabama and sent them to Alabama to become wives of the early colonists.

They were conspicuous by reason of their virtue. Normally women were supplied to the colonists by raking the streets of Paris for undesirables, or by emptying the houses of correction. The cassette girls, however, were recruited from church charitable institutions, usually orphanages and convents, and, although poor, were practically guaranteed to be virgins.

Alabama Footprints Tales of Exploration Book one final_html_787e0daa

These young women were quickly named the ‘cassette’ girls because the French government gave each volunteer some clothing and a small trunk called a ‘cassette’ to take with them to America. Some of the young ladies died of illness after arrival or fell ill aboard ship. The first consignment reached Mobile in 1704, Biloxi in 1719. On arrival they all soon found mates among the male colonists.

map of Mobile

Location of Mobile, Alabama

The book “Old Mobile Fort Louis de la Lousiane 1702-1711” by Jay Higginbotham, (University of Alabama Press): Describes their shipboard experiences and the travel to Mobile. It also tells whom they actually married, and there are some children named when it was known or documented. Jay Higginbotham is the archivist in Mobile, Alabama. There are notes which reference the resource where the information was found, dates etc..


  1. Wikipedia
  2. Pickett, Albert J. History of Alabama


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Read this story and more in: ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Exploration: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 1)



  1. Alabama was settled long before the french ever set foot here ,so how did the French settle this state again

    1. Read the words carefully so as to grasp what is actually being said. No call for contention here.

    2. I did read it carefully ,and I read that the French settled Alabama ,not that the French settled in Alabama ,you can create something that has already been created ,so no contention here simply facts The AMERICAN INDIANS WERE ALREADY HERE and settled !!!

    3. Windy, there is no disrespect for the American Indians intended in the statement. The dictionary meaning of the word settle used here is ‘to take up residence’ – or ‘to migrate, colonize’. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/settle?s=t

    4. The French were successful in taking up residence in Alabama. The Americans Indians have been in the Americas forever. The information just references to the start of the European being successful in settlement. 🙂 Happy New Year!

    5. Wendy if you were so proud of your heritage, you would speak of it correctly. “Native Americans”! American Indian would be a person from India now a citizen of America. Christopher Columbus just thought he landed in India…..

    6. I am very proud of who I am and please spell my name right ,it is spelled this way for a reason and if you want to be so technical I am a CHEROKEE Indian and my ANCESTORS were here long before anyone else ,so do you feel better ,and Columbus did think that he landed in India but that does not mean that an AMERICAN Indian was from India ,just because a person thinks that they are in one place does not change the name or the geological graphics of a place it simply means that person was wrong about where he was Patrick Parsons

    7. Wow how easily some are offended

    8. The French settled in Nova Scotia in the 1600’s.

    9. Im not offended ,however I truly wish that people would get history right ,and yes I am aware that history is written by those that won even by spreading DISEASE and hunting the lands to extinction ,by driving the INDIANS off of their lands and starving and murdering them into submission ,if you want to pretend that I am offended well that’s your right to be miss- informed / wrong with the rest of em

    10. One-eighth of my ancestors were Cherokee. I have no problems with the way this history is told. It’s a new year. Let’s relax and be kind and cool to one another.

    11. Let it go W’e’ndy you can’t change history…. I’m happy you’re proud of your ancestry… We all are, hence the reason we are reading this article.

    12. Windy Jarrett if anybody doesn’t know the Indian’s were here first they are crazy and yes they were taken advantage of but for most of us our lives began here from our relatives.

    13. The articles are good. I am also Native American and take no offense. Good or bad, history is history.

    14. Wow y’all are trying to make my comments out to be wrong ,oh well I know what’s is right and I’m not scared to point out when something is wrong ,I will stand up for what I believe in without ever giving in ,I am a direct descendant of the Shoemake blood line of CHEROKEE in North Alabama and I know that my ANCESTORS settled here and were already hunting these lands and any one that feels that I am wrong can easily find what I am saying to be the truth.

    15. Lawd jesuzzz the butthurt begins —-on day 1 in 2016

    16. Everyone is saying you are right Windy… No one person is making you out to be “wrong”… The thing that everyone is saying is that NO ONE CARES… Because we all know you are right and we are talking about something different, more recent… Get over yourself and your history and learn about a more recent history (which does not deny yours)…

    17. Oh good grief…. and which tribe was here first? Which ones were run off by the mound builders migrating east? How far back would you like to take this victimhood?

    18. I don’t expect IDIOTS to care about anyone other than themselves so YALL ARE forgiven

      1. Windy, I respect you, your heritage, and your opinions. I don’t like the designation “native American” because anyone born in America is a “native American”. Although as far as I can determine all my ancestors were of European stock, but all had emigrated to America before the “civil war” and a ll but one were here before the revolution. We are all emigrants or descended from emigrants.

    19. Indians are respected… Your comments really are making them look bad… And less respectful.. Congratulations 😉

  2. They did the same thing in NY/Quebec

  3. The French also did this ion other locations–most notably Canada..

    1. Yes, that’s correct – here, they were called “les filles du roi”, or the King’s daughters.

  4. Great story, would love more details

  5. In the history hooks these young ladies were called “cassette girls” because they brought all their possessions in small suitcases called cassettes.

  6. Who care,thank God I am white.

  7. Don’t forget ignorant Timothy Thorton!! Don’t forget to thank your god that you are dumb as dirt!

  8. Thank you for such an interesting article.

  9. Would these ladies be the same “daughters of the king”

  10. Is this the same as the casquette girls? I have ancestors who were on the previous ships (taken from the prisons in Paris and such) including two who were Baliene Brides. But I haven’t found if any of mine were Casquette Girls yet. I will have to check out that book.

  11. I have been told one of these girls is an ancestor of mine.

  12. My ancestors were DeLaBars from the Whistler area of Mobile. I wonder if this story fits into my history?

  13. I too am Cherokee. My paternal grandmother was full-bloodied Cherokee. It mean that I am at least one-fourth Cherokee, and I also received some Cherokee from my mother’s side, about one-eighth. I treasure my Native American heritage. I have visited Cherokee, North Carolina and found it extremely interesting and fascinating! I recommend to anyone who haws Native Americas blood to search their ancestry.

  14. Tyler Elliott remember these girls?

    1. Tyler Elliott the cassette girls! We learned about them when you were in 4th or 5th grade.

  15. interesting part of history

  16. My sister had DNA profile that showed French Ancestors. We had never heard anything but Irish. No doubt it came through one of these ladies since we grew up 60 miles away.

  17. I did not know this…facinating.

  18. Beth Cook White, local Mobile author has a series of 3 books. 1st book is Pelican Bride about these girls. Really good book. Check it out.

  19. Alabama when the French first settled on the Gulf Coast.

  20. Interesting ! I am French and I had no idea

    1. Liliane Petit I think it happened quite a bit here. Women were “procured” to be wives for the early settlers of our newly formed nation.

    2. It would be nice to have ancestors in Alabama ! <3

  21. Randall Ladnier has written a book titled “the Brides of La Baleine” about the young French women sent to Biloxi/Ocean Springs,MS in 1720…a similar “mission” to populate the French colonies.

  22. Hate it when they don’t finish what they start.

  23. Stephenie Walker and did you know this?
    Abby Rose Melson

  24. I call b.s. on this story.

    1. Ben Wiggins it’s not all bs

  25. This is an important story.

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