Founder of the Resurrection Fern Foundation Kelly Jackson is preparing for an event in honor of her ancestor, Marie Therese “CoinCoin.”
CoinCoin was born a slave in 1742 in the household of Natchitoches’ founder, Louis Juchereau de St. Denis. While serving the St. Denis family, CoinCoin was leased to a Frenchman named Claude Thomas Pierre Meter.
The pair had 10 children in 20 years, and Meter bought and freed CoinCoin in 1778. Her sons later built Melrose Plantation and St. Augustine Catholic Church.
Jackson moved to Natchitoches from California after finding information about her family history on Facebook in 2010.
“I came for six months, and it turned into four years,” Jackson said.
After moving to Louisiana, Jackson motivated the state to recognize Marie Therese CoinCoin Day. 2017 is the fourth year of the day’s recognition.
The fourth annual event of The Life and Times of Marie Therese “CoinCoin” is Feb. 11 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Badin-Roque House. The event is free to the public and will include refreshments, live performances and a silent auction of folk art.
Betty Metoyer-Roque will perform a monologue at the event and Professor of History at NSU and President of the Creole Heritage Center Pete Gregory will be one of the guest speakers.
Many of the event’s participants will dress in period costumes that reflect the time in which CoinCoin lived.
In addition to this event, Jackson is also working on a film, a documentary and a book.
Jackson plans to make a film that spans multiple generations of family history. Her documentary is entitled “Yesterday’s Cane River Folk Tales” and will feature interviews with residents from the Cane River area.
“I’m also working on making monuments that honor women from around the area,” Jackson said. She is currently advocating for the building of statues that honor CoinCoin, Clementine Hunter, Kate Chopin and other notable Louisiana women.