- Floyd D. Cheung
Mercier, Alfred (03 June 1816–12 May 1894), writer and physician, was born Charles Alfred Mercier in McDonoughville, Louisiana, the son of Jean-Baptiste Mercier, a plantation owner, and Marie-Héloïse Leduc. In accordance with the practice common among upper-class French families in Louisiana of educating their Creole sons in Paris, Mercier’s parents sent him to the Collège Louis le Grand in 1830. Inspired by his reading there of classical and romantic works—especially those by Sir Walter Scott, Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Chateaubriand, and Lamartine—Mercier put off his previous intention of studying law in favor of pursuing literary ambitions. In 1838 he went back to Louisiana and then visited Boston to improve his English, but when his brother-in-law ...