The Beauregard-Keyes House is located at 1113 Chartres Street, opposite the Old Ursuline Convent. The property was owned by the nuns until 1825, at which point they sold several pieces of land, including four lots purchased by auctioneer Joseph LeCarpentier. Here, LeCarpentier built his family home that would eventually become known as the Beauregard-Keyes House. It is named for two of its residents, Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant (P.G.T.) Beauregard and novelist Frances Parkinson Keyes.
The house is also frequently visited by fans of the famous chess player Paul Morphy, who was LeCarpentier’s grandson. Mrs. Keyes wrote a fictionalized account of Morphy’s life in her 1960 book, The Chess Players.
Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant (P.G.T.) Beauregard lived in the home from 1866-1868 while he was president of the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad. During the Civil War, the West Point graduate became the first Confederate brigadier general.
Noted engagements include:
- defending Charleston, S.C., at the start of the Civil War and from later naval and land attacks
- ordering the first shots of the Civil War and forcing the surrender of Fort Sumter, S.C.,
- winning the First Battle of Bull Run near Manassas, Va.
- commanding armies at the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee and the Siege of Corinth in northern Mississippi
- defending the city of Petersburg, Va., and the Confederate capital of Richmond, from an overwhelmingly larger Union Army forces in June 1864
The Louisiana-born hero returned to New Orleans after the war, living at 1113 Chartres Street from 1866 to 1868. Some of his furnishings and family portraits are on view at the Beauregard-Keyes House, including in the bedroom now called the Beauregard Chamber.
In August 1944, the entire second floor was rented to author Frances Parkinson Keyes, who used the home as her winter residence for 25 years until her death in 1970. During her tenancy, she also undertook intensive restoration of the property and eventually secured its transfer to a foundation to ensure its future.
Mrs. Keyes wrote many of her books while living in the house, including Dinner at Antoine’s, The Chess Players, Madame Castel’s Lodger and Blue Camellia.