(1813–87), born in New Orleans of a French father and a Creole mother, as a youth often ran away from his parents' summer home to live with the nearby Choctaw Indians, and returned to them even after he was sent to France to complete his education. His love of the primitive and of nature and his poetic feelings found expression in two volumes of verse, Les Savanes (1841) and Wild Flowers: Sacred Poetry (1848), and in a mystical prose work, La Thebaïde en Amérique, ou Apologie de la vie solitaire et contemplative (1852), the last two appearing after he had finally found direction by becoming a priest. His antislavery views, expressed through his sermons, made his life in New Orleans intolerable and so he once again went to the Choctaw, now as a priest. His later works include L'Antoniade, ou La Solitude avec Dieu (1860), mystical poetry; La Nouvelle Atala (1879), a romance inspired by Chateaubriand; and, under the pseudonym E. Junius, Critical Dialogue Between Aboo and Caboo (1880), a violent denunciation of Cable's depiction of Creoles in The Grandissimes.
From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.