“We acknowledge your valued order.”

“We acknowledge your valued order” (PIP #6)

 By Louise Peloquin

Our second peek into the past, “Judging us by our work,” posted on October 3rd, quoted Louis-A. Biron’s youngest child Marthe speaking about her father’s journalistic “independence of thought.” It was protected by revenue acquired from printing services.

Popping up here and there among L’Etoile’s columns, the following insert lists a variety of items.

Do you need

Business cards

Small circulars

Large circulars

Receipt booklets

Labels, all kinds

Invoices, all kinds

Letter head

Invitation letters

Envelopes of all kinds

Sales booklets with duplicates

Bread vouchers

Meal vouchers

Menus, Etc., Etc.

L’Etoile Publishing Company (1)

Biron advertised his own business but he also needed ads from others. Marthe talks about advertising.

French newspaper circulation was never huge. In order to support the newspapers, it was necessary to solicit advertisements at 35 cents an inch, often going door to door in the quest

With the newspapers, politicians and professionals seized the opportunity to rally votes and drum up business among the Franco-American readership. The budget from their ads was minimal.

Moreover, the newspaper exempted parishes from the cost of printing weekly bulletins. But their promoting, the newspaper was forbidden….

The newspaper team members perseveredand functioned like centipedes, from linotype to press, from typing to correcting proofs, in the search of advertisers.

A constantly renewed miracle, the paper managed to appearwith its message of life, its message of hope. (2)

Once the ads procured, L’Etoile followed through by encouraging readers to patronize the businesses in question.


Reserve your purchases for

The establishments which Publish

Their Advertisements in


You will be better served and you will

Serve your newspaper by maintaining it (3)

Canvassing for ads, publishing ads and encouraging “the establishments” appearing in L’Etoile, all made for a virtuous circle. The French term entraide, meaning mutual aid, comes to mind.

L’Etoile took a serious professional approach to advertising. Each business which entrusted the newspaper with an ad received the following letter, in English.

Here it is, in the interest of clarity.

Established 1886                                                          Telephone 2290


The Oldest French Daily in New England

24-26 Prince Street

Lowell, Mass.,———————-19 

Dear Mr.

     We acknowledge with thanks the receipt of your valued order for advertising space in our BUSINESS REVIEW PAGE.

     During the twenty-six weeks that this page is to run, you will be entitled to a reading-notice or Write-Upeach month without extra charge. We will be glad to receive any material or suggestion you may desire to have paper either in your advertisement or in the reading-notices.

     Herewith enclosed please find the duplicate copy of your order for your records.

     With renewed thanks and highest regards,

—————————————-PUB. CO.


While L’Etoile’s team certainly “valued” advertising “orders,” not all indiscriminately made it to print. Biron refused to publish ads for establishments which did not meet his moral standards. He rejected those which appeared to serve their own bottom line regardless of potential clients’ well-being.

Excerpts from a draft signed by Biron make this clear. It states:

Dear Mr. _______,

I received your letter and explain myself. I understand your position. It is difficult for LEtoile to give you satisfaction.

He goes on to express concern for his readership – the hard-working Franco-American families he served.

Without being privy to the work which your society does for the Franco-Americans, we have observedabuse of power

I do not believe inchargingexorbitant feesin order to growOne must not be naive. (4)

Details regarding this refusal to print an ad need not be exposed here. Suffice it to say that Biron was known never to compromise. Although fewer ads brought short-term losses for L’Etoile, staying true to his ethical code was Biron’s long-term investment.


1)       Translation by Louise Peloquin.

2)       Quotations from an interview of Marthe Biron Peloquin in “The Franco-American Press in New England (1865-1929)” by Stéphanie Rabin. Master’s Degree dissertation for the University of Paris Sorbonne,1995. Page 68. Translation from French by Louise Peloquin.

3)       Translation by Louise Peloquin.

4)       Translation by Louise Peloquin.