Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Thiébault Family mss., 1733-1872, consist of the papers of multiple generations of an 18th-19th century Franco-British family: Dieudonné Thiébault (1733-1807); Dieudonné's son, Gen. Paul Charles François Adrien Henri Dieudonné Thiébault (1769-1846); and the General's son, Adolphe Thiébault (1797-1875). Other papers in the collection include those of Adolphe's wife, the English noblewoman Harriet Thayer (1791-1860), and his cousin Emma de Jouy (1793-1872).

A friend of Frederick the Great, Dieudonné Thiébault taught at the King of Prussia's École Militaire in Berlin, later becoming Keeper of the Archives in France and Sous-Chef of the Bureau de la Librarie. His son, Paul Thiébault, joined a national guard detachment at the outset of the French Revolution, enlisted in the regular army and rose to the rank of Major General in 1808; he was ennobled in 1811 and named a Baron de l'Empire, a title transferrable to male descendants. Adolphe Thiébault, Paul's son, was an army instructor and amateur antiquarian. His marriage of thirty-eight years to Harriet Thayer produced a daughter, Henriette Malvina (b. 1823). Emma de Jouy was the daughter of Étienne de Jouy (commanding officer of Paul Thiébault) and Isabella Walker (1763-1830).

The collection is divided between bound and disbound materials and is organized by the following series: I. Paul Thiébault materials – bound; II. Adolphe Thiébault materials – bound; III. Harriet Thayer materials – bound. IV. Emma de Jouy – bound; V. Unknown owners – bound; VI. Disbound papers. Each series contains various materials, including personal papers, correspondence, journals, legal records, scrapbooks, travelogues, and sketches. The disbound materials relate to different members of the family and contain the majority of the family correspondence as well as Paul Thiébault's autograph album, which features several letters between Dieudonné Thiébault and Frederick the Great.

Acquired: 1993-2009

Related manuscripts: Jouy mss.

Collection size: 6,000 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.