The Creoles of Louisiana

Cable, George Washington and Pennell, Joseph. The Creoles of Louisiana. Charles Scribner’s Sons. 1884.

Why Not Bigger Than London

The great Creole city’s geographical position has always dazzled every eye except the cold, coy scrutiny of capital. “The position of New Orleans,” said President Jefferson in 1804, “certainly destines it to be the greatest city the world has ever seen.” He excepted neither Rouge nor Babylon. Put man’s most positive predictions are based upon …

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Who are the Creoles?

Take the map of Louisiana. Draw a line from the southwestern to the northeastern corner of the State; let it turn thence down the Mississippi to the little river-side town of Baton Rouge, the State’s seat of government; there draw it eastward through lakes Maurepas, Pontchartrain, and Borgne, to the Gulf of Mexico; thence pass …

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The West Indian Cousin

Between 1804 and 1810, New Orleans doubled its population. The common notion is that there was a large influx of Anglo-Americans. This was not the case. A careful estimate shows not more than 3,100 of these in the city in 1809, yet in the following year the whole population, including the suburbs, was 24,552. The …

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The School-Master

The year 1841 dates the rise in New Orleans of the modern system of free public schools. It really began in the German-American suburb, Lafayette; but the next year a single school was opened in the Second Municipality “with some dozen scholars of both sexes.” All the way back to the Cession, efforts, snore or …

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The Pirates of Barataria

It has already been said that the whole Gulf coast of Louisiana is sea-marsh. It is an immense, wet, level expanse, covered everywhere, shoulder high, with marsh-grasses, and indented by extensive bays that receive the rivers and larger bayous. For some sixty miles on either side of the Mississippi’s month, it breaks into a grotesquely …

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The New Generation

When, on the 10th of May 1743, the Marquis de Vaudreuil landed in New Orleans, private enterprise-the true foundation of material prosperity-was firmly established. Indigo, rice, and tobacco were moving in quantity to Europe, and lumber to the West Indies. Ships that went out loaded carne back loaded again, especially from St. Domingo; and traffic …

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The Insurrection

New Orleans, in 1768, was still a town of some thirty-two hundred persons only, a third of whom were black slaves. It had lain for thirty-five years in the reeds and willows with scarcely a notable change to relieve the poverty of its aspect. During the Indian wars barracks had risen on either side of …

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The Great Epidemic

Three-quarters of a century had passed over the little Franco-Spanish town, hidden under the Mississippi’s downward-retreating bank in the edge of its Delta swamp on Orleans Island, before the sallow spectre of yellow fever was distinctly recognized in her streets and in her darkened chambers. That it had come and gone earlier, but unidentified, is …

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The First Creoles

What is a Creole ? Even in Louisiana the question would be variously answered. The title did not here first belong to the descendants of Spanish, but of French settlers. But such a meaning implied a certain excellence of origin, and so came early to include any native, of French or Spanish descent by either …

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The End of The Pirates

New Orleans emerged from the smoke of battle rather the tardy news of peace, which had been sealed at Ghent more than a fortnight before the battle. With peace came open ports. The highways of commercial greatness crossed each other in the custom-house, not behind it as in Spanish or embargo days, and the Baratarians …

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The Days of Pestilence

The New Orleans resident congratulates himself – and he does well – that he is not as other men are, in other great cities, as to breathing-room. The desperate fondness with which the Creole still clings to domestic isolation has passed into the sentiment of all types of the city’s life; and as the way …

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The Creoles’ City

Scarcely had the low, clay chimneys of a few woodsmen’s cabins sent up, through a single change of seasons, their lonely smoke-wreaths among the silent willow jungles of the Mississippi, when Bienville began boldly to advocate the removal of the capital to this so-called ” New Orleans.” But, even while lie spoke, the place suffered …

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The British Invasion

Paterson and Ross had struck the Baratarians just in time. The fortnight asked of the British by Lafitte expired the next day. The British themselves were far away eastward, drawing off from an engagement of the day before, badly worsted. A force of seven hundred British troops, six hundred Indians, and four vessels of war …

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The Battle of New Orleans

Once more the Creoles sang the “Marseillaise.” The invaders hovering along the marshy shores of Lake Borgne were fourteen thousand strong. Sir Edward Packenham, brother-in-law to the Duke of Wellington, and a gallant captain, was destined to lead them. Gibbs, Lambert, and Kean were his generals of division. As to Jackson, thirty-seven hundred Tennesseeans under …

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The Americans

Carondelet had strengthened the walls that immured the Creoles of New Orleans; but, outside, the messenger of their better destiny was knocking at the gate with angry impatience. Congress had begun, in 1779, to claim the freedom of the Mississippi. The treaty of 1783 granted this; but in words only, not in fact. Spain intrigued, …

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