Catherine-Josephine of Saint Aiane
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Diary of Mademoiselle la Princesse d'Aïana

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By: madamedaiana
Posted in: Journal Entry
Diary of Mademoiselle la Princesse d'Aïana

21 juin 17xx

This morning, I had the pleasure of meeting with Pierre-Louis Baumé, my new steward, whose expertise and dedication will be instrumental in managing the estate. Though his primary responsibility is overseeing my father's farms in this region, I have also entrusted him with providing guidance on the coffee and estates in Saint-Domingue. His knowledge and experience are exactly what we need to ensure both domains flourish.

Our discussion was thorough and insightful. Pierre-Louis possesses a keen understanding of agricultural management and has already proposed several improvements for the farms here. His suggestions for my late Maman's estates in Saint-Domingue are equally promising. We reviewed the accounting books together, despite his hesitations, and he provided valuable insights into optimizing production and enhancing our trade routes. I am confident that with his stewardship, we will see considerable growth and prosperity.

In addition to the administrative duties, I have dispatched a commission for new furnishings. The current decor, though charming, does not reflect the vibrant and renewed spirit I wish to cultivate here. I have chosen pieces that embody elegance and comfort, aiming to create an atmosphere that is both welcoming and reflective of my heritage. This endeavor will not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of the château but also signify a fresh start for all who reside and visit here.

This afternoon, I had a heartfelt meeting with Father Antoine, the local priest. Our conversation was deeply moving, as he shared the needs and struggles of the parish. I have pledged to increase donations to the church, ensuring that it remains a pillar of support and faith for the community. Additionally, I am establishing a charitable fund dedicated to aiding the poor. This fund will provide essential resources and assistance to those in need, reflecting our commitment to social responsibility and compassion.

Reviewing the detailed account book has been both enlightening and somewhat daunting. The expenses, while necessary, are substantial. Household staff salaries alone amount to a significant sum, but I am grateful for their loyalty and the seamless operation they ensure at the château. The salaries for Jacques Lefevre, our butler, Elise Martin, our cook, and the rest of the dedicated staff are well-earned, and I am committed to maintaining their welfare as they do ours.

Agricultural costs and estate management fees also add up, yet they are crucial for the sustainability of our farms and estates. Pierre-Louis’s fee is a worthwhile investment, given the value he brings in overseeing and improving our operations. The expenses for farm workers in both France and Aiyana are essential for maintaining productivity and ensuring the quality of our produce, from wheat and wine to coffee, sugar, and rum.

Personal expenses, while reflective of my station, must be managed judiciously. Clothing, shoes, jewelry, and hair styling are not just indulgences but symbols of the dignity and status my family has upheld for generations. Still, I am mindful of the need to balance these costs with the overall financial health of the estate.

As I write this entry, I am filled with a sense of purpose and hope. The work ahead is substantial, but with the help of capable individuals like Pierre-Louis and the guidance of Father Antoine, I am confident that we will achieve our goals. Château d'Aïana is not just a residence; it is a symbol of resilience, renewal, and generosity.

With unwavering resolve,