Gaston had led a promising life and had had much success in the military. The council was frightened at the thought of a foreign country gaining a foothold in the Empire. For an eighty-year-old woman who was born in Africa, enslaved as a child, lived through a revolution, and died free and wealthy in New Orleans, Couvent made a powerful statement with her bequest for the school.
She would insist on wearing mourning wear for a year, and had a picture of Saint-Elisabeth, mother of Saint-John the Baptist, hung in her rooms. The effect of ocean warming and acidification was investigated on a natural plankton assemblage from an oligotrophic area, the bay of Villefranche NW Mediterranean Sea.
She was remarked as being very close to the young Louis Chretien Hercules de Rochechouart de Mortemart , which would continue through her adult life. Though Mademoiselle de Paulmy could have executed Sophie herself, it would have been too obvious. In , with the death of Philippe IV, King of Spain, Marie believed she finally had acquired that so desired opportunity.
Thus, the young Marie was born into a climate surrounded by distrust and discord.