Charles Rochon, a French Canadian who settled in the Louisiana colony in 1701, probably established the Dog River plantation in the 1720s. By this time, Indian and black slaves were cultivating his land, and Charles and his young wife Henriette were raising a family. But tragedy struck the Rochons in 1733. Within one month Charles, Henriette, and two children died, leaving an orphaned young family headed by two brothers, 17-year-old Charles and 16-year-old Pierre. But the family survived and within a few decades the Rochons were prosperous citizens of Mobile.
By the 1750s Pierre and a work force of slaves at the Dog River plantation were raising cattle, manufacturing brick, lumber, and naval stores, and building and repairing ships. He and his first wife, Catherine, had four children before she died in 1751. After her death, Pierre began a relationship with his mulatto slave named Marianne, who gave birth to six children. Around 1780 the plantation became the home of Pierre Rochon's neice Marie Louise and her husband Charles Orbanne Demouy.
|This ca. 1775 British map shows two small structures, perhaps a kitchen and warehouse, and the main house at Pierre's Dog River plantation. The eight smaller buildings arranged in two rows are probably slave cabins.
(Courtesy of PRO CO 700, North American Colonies, Florida 51.)