Christopher Neale Pasteur Obituary (The Times Democrat, 1908)

Oct. 1, 1908





Oldest Member of One of the Distinguished Families of Colonial Days in America
– Ancestors Were French Huguenots –
Was Eighty-Four Years Old


The death of Mr. Christopher Neale Pasteur on Wednesday, Sept. 30, removes from New Orleans the oldest member of one of the distinguished families of colonial days in America. Mr. Pasteur’s ancestors were French Huguenots, who came to this country in a ship specially chartered by M. Blouvett, a wealthy Frenchman, who brought his family to the new world and settled at Maniken Town or Williamsburg, Va. The vessel, Le Genervois, was the fourth in number […].

Among the passengers, twenty-three in all, were MM. Jean and Charles Pasteur, two young Huguenots, French gentlemen, Charles being the fiancé of his host’s daughter, Miss Blouvett, whom he subsequently married in Williamsburg, Va. The vessel landed in 1700 and they remained at this colony of Huguenots until 1709, when a number of them moved to North Carolina. Mr. Pasteur was the son of Abner Pasteur and Jane Lowthrop, and was named for his great uncle, Judge Christopher Neale, an eminent jurist of North Carolina, who was himself named for Baron de Graffenreid of Berne, Switzerland, who settled and named Newbern, N. C., to which point a number of Huguenots moved from Williamsburg, Va., among them several members of the Pasteur family, and from this Virginia line Christopher Neale Pasteur, who was born in Newbern in 1824, is a direct descendant. His family tree bears the names of men distinguished in the world of law, medicine and the Episcopal ministry. His grandfather, Dr. William Pasteur, was a surgeon of the staff of Gen. Washington, and his great uncle, Lieut. Thomas Pasteur, was a gallant officer also in the Revolutionary war. Rev. James Pasteur, his great-great uncle, was rector of old St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, in Norfolk, Va., in colonial days, dropped dead in the pulpit while delivering a sermon. Rev. Augustin Pasteur, another great uncle, preached in the old Bruton Church of Jamestown, Va. In 1802 Dr. Edward Griffith Pasteur (Mr. Pasteur’s uncle), acted as second for this friend, Richard Dobb Speight, Governor of North Carolina, in the famous and fatal duel he fought with John Stanley. Members of Mr. Pasteur’s immediate family have been representatives in their State government dating from 1785 to 1845.

On the maternal side Mr. Pasteur was descended from the Neale family, descendants of Thomas Neale of England, who settled in Virginia in 1693.

Mr. Pasteur’s father and uncle were educated at Princeton University, and other members of his family were graduates of the famous old William and Mary College. In 1812 Dr. Edward Pasteur, an uncle, with others, fitted out a vessel, the Snap Dragon, and saw active service throughout the campaign. On the paternal side Mr. Pasteur was related to Dr. Frederick Lent, the famous surgeon, his mother (Miss Pasteur) being a first cousin. Another cousin, Miss Mary Anne Pasteur, married Dr. Egbert Custis, nephew of the famous Nellie Custis. Among Mr. Pasteur’s living relatives is Judge Emory Speer of Georgia, the eminent jurist. On Nov. 4, 1852, Christopher Neale Pasteur married Miss Frances Jane Ellis, and of this union ten children were born, six of whom are living – Christopher Neale Pasteur, Jr. of Milwaukee; Mrs. John G. Woods and Misses Amelia, Eva, Cecile and Louise Pasteur, and two grandchildren, Herbert Neale Pasteur and Roberta Bayley Pasteur. Mr. Pasteur came to New Orleans in 1847 and was one of the pioneer cotton pressmen of this city, owning and operating one of the largest cotton presses here, which was confiscated during the civil war. At the outbreak of the civil war Mr. Pasteur joined Col. Mabry’s Brigade of Gen. Forrest’s Cavalry, and saw active service until the close of the campaign, when he returned to New Orleans and again engaged in the cotton business, in which he continued until twenty years ago, when he engaged in another line of business.

Mr. Pasteur had been in failing health for the past year, but his death was unexpected and came as a terrible shock to his devoted wife and family. He was laid to rest, according to his frequently expressed wish, in the Confederate uniform which he had worn at the last two reunions in this city, in which he took part as a member of Forrest’s Cavalry Corps, Louisiana Division, Camp 9, of the United Confederate Veterans. Mr. Pasteur had attained the age of eighty-four when he so gently passed from the earthly to the immortal sleep. He was buried on Oct. 1 in Odd Fellow’s Rest, with hundreds of beautiful floral tributes from friends far and near, who paid homage in this way to a noble life and character passed to its reward. Rev. A. Gordon Bakewell, chaplain of the brigade in which Mr. Pasteur served during the war, conducted the services of the Episcopal faith, of which the family of the deceased has been stanch advocates for generations.

Note: The account of the arrival of Christopher Neale Pasteur’s ancestors in Virginia is quite fanciful. For a more accurate account of Jean and Charles Pasteur arrival and settlement in Manakin Town, VA, please refer to the article Jean Pasteur, a French Huguenot who settled in Virginia in 1700.

Leave a Reply