Butler finally succeeded in getting possession of the St. Charles, which he threw open as a hotel for his army officers, acting as manager of the establishment himself for several days. The ladies' parlor was occupied during this period by Mrs. Butler, and a general invitation extended to the ladies of New Orleans to visit her.

A few days afterwards Butler took possession of General Twiggs' house, which he occupied as his headquarters during the remainder of his stay, and the hotel was surrendered to its lessees.

During the remainder of the war the St. Charles was kept open, but rather as a boarding-house than 9 hotel, as the travel between New Orleans and other places was very slim*

In 1865, after the city was filled with returned Confederate soldiers, thousands of whom came back to their old homes without a cent in their pockets, and with a very scanty supply of clothing to their backs, the whole population of the city went earnestly to work to make them as comfortable as possible, and all kinds of charitable schemes were devised to aid them. The hotels did their share of this good work, for they threw open their doors and welcomed home these long-lost sons of Louisiana, with the understanding that those who could pay should do so, but that those who could not should be entertained free. Both the St. Charles and City Hotels thus gratuitously entertained several thousand ex-Confederates, and the books of the former establishment show bills amounting to $30,000 that were never sent in or collected.

With 1866 prosperity again came to New Orleans. The city was full of people and the hotel did a rousing business. This era of business revival, however, was short .and lasted only two years, and in 1868 "hard times " came again.

During this period several other changes had taken place in the management of the hotel. Hildreth sold out his interest to Hall in 1865. In 1869 it was leased to Rivers & Foley. They were succeeded by Eivers & Lonsdale, and afterwards by Rivers & Bartel.

Since the war the St. Charles has been the central point of the very stormy politics of Louisiana. In its rotunda Democrats, Republicans, members of every political party, have met to exchange views and to discuss the affairs of the State and the nation. Parlor P alone has made for itself a national reputation. It has been occupied by no less than six congressional investigating committees, trying to understand that chaotic condition of affairs which at that time became known over the country as "the Louisiana question." But it is not in political history alone that Parlor P is famous. Countless other associations, to discuss great questions of trade and commerce, have been held there ; railroad meetings to build new railroads, and meetings of ladies to solve great problems of balls and dress. There, too, comes Rex when a visitor to New Orleans, Parlor P being his recognized official headquarters for his short reign of two days during the carnival.

In 1878 it became evident that the hotel needed repairing. It had been hastily constructed after the fire of 1851, and the upper rooms did not enjoy enough light. The building had not been improved, moreover, for twenty years, and hotel-building had made great strides during that period. The falling of some of the plaster-work on the front hastened this work, and the St. Charles Hotel Company ordered the building thoroughly repaired, which somewhat changed the style of the hotel and gave it a large number of additional rooms.

The hotel, as it stands to-day, can comfortably accommodate between 600 and 700 guests. There are besides 30 parlors and 100 bath-rooms. The lower or ground floor contains a number of fine stores, fronting on St. Charles, Common and Gravier streets. The bakery, wash-room and bar-room and billiard saloon are also located here. On the second floor are the two dining-rooms, the servants' dining-room, pantry, scullery, kitchen, ladies' ordinary and the various parlors and drawing-rooms.

The -old service of the hotel, estimated to be worth $16,000, should not be forgotten. It is, of course, only used on extraordinary occasions.

The best season of the hotel is during the carnival, when the building is always filled to overflowing. During the remainder of the busy season the St. Charles averages about 300 guests a day.


When the idea of building the St. Louis Hotel was first conceived, 45 years ago, there were only two hotels of any consequence in the city—the Strangers' Hotel, presided over by a famous caterer named Marty, and the Orleans Hotel, by Mrs. Page, a lady famed for her beauty and winning manners. These houses were situated within a few doors of each other, on Chartres street, but only the former, at its original locality, still survives the vicissitudes of half a century.. The store of Judah. Touro was located on the ground floor of the Orleans Hotel.


As the prosperity of New Orleans was about entering upon the fullness of its meridian splendor, her coffers rapidly filling with the profits of the sugar and cotton traffic and her streets with strangers from other States and climes, the scheme of building a hotel on a scale commensurate with the growing splendor and importance of New Orleans was advocated, and eagerly caught up by the enterprising officials of the Improvement Bank, one of the financial colossi of those days, and a suitable site for the edifice was sought.

The selection finally fell upon the square bounded by St. Louis, Toulouse, Chartres and Royal streets, in the heart of the then business portion of the city, and it was at first intended to erect a structure covering the entire square. This, however, the commercial crisis of 1837 compelled the company to abandon, after the building had been begun in 1836, under the superintendence of an eminent architect named Depouilly, who died only a few years ago.

The grand old building in the rear of the hotel on Toulouse street, long fallen into disuse and decay, and occupied as the domicile of the Citizens' Bank for many years, was begun at the same time for the use of the Improvement Bank. This enterprising corporation was at that time presided over by the celebrated lawyer and statesman, Pierre Soule, and numbered among its directors the most prominent men of the day. The total cost of the hotel and outbuildings was within a small sum of $1,500,000. The structure was an imposing one, exceeding in beauty and massiveness even the present one. The magnificent rotunda was decorated by Canova. It was truly a noble monument of the wealth, elegance and commercial prosperity of New Orleans.

The site of the hotel had been occupied by residences and stores of various kinds, aud in the near neighborhood were the places of business and residences of prominent merchants and bankers.

At the corner of Chartres and St. Louis streets was the celebrated Hewlett's Exchange, kept by a well-known sporting man of that name, subsequently one of the most popular proprietors of the hotel. This exchange not only contained the finest bar-room in the city, but the principal auction mart, where slaves, stocks, real estate and all kinds of property were sold from noon to 3 o'clock p.m., the auctioneers crying their wares in a multitude of languages, the English, French and Spanish predominating. The entire upper portion of the building was devoted exclusively to gambling and billiard-rooms for the use of Mr. Hewlett's guests and patrons.

Adjoining the Exchange, on the St. Louis street-side, stood a small building, in which was a cock-pit run by a man named Hicks, said to have been a partner of Hewlett.

At that time Exchange alley had not yet been opened, and where it now enters St. Louis street, and adjoining the notary office, stood the establishment of an Englishman who dealt exclusively in beer, one of the few establishments in the city where this beverage was sold.

In those days the principal business portion of the city extended from Toulouse to Customhouse street, and from Royal street to the Levee. Chartres street was then what Canal street is to-day ; the value of real estate on the former having been equal to that of the finest property on that present great thoroughfare.

The first manager of the St. Louis Hotel was Pierre Maspero. In 1841 the magnificent structure was entirely destroyed by fire, and in June of 1842 this loss and the financial troubles of the year caused the suspension of the Improvement Bank. The year was a particularly unfortunate one to the banks, as out of the seventeen then in the city only five survived.

The present imposing structure was erected upons the ruins of the first St. Louis Hotel, the property having passed into the hands of the Citizens' Bank, with whom it has remained the greater portion of the time. They have repeatedly sold it, but a fatality seemed to hang over it, as they were compelled in every instance but the last to foreclose the mortgage on account of non-payment by the purchasers.

The first manager of the second St. Louis Hotel was a Spaniard named Alvarez, a very popular man, whose principal assistant was Joseph Santini.


Alvarez's successor in the management of the St. Louis Hotel was James Hewlett, the popular proprietor of Hewlett's Exchange, under whose direction the hotel reached its meridian splendor, becoming the most celebrated caravansary in the South. Then it was that the celebrated annual "Beds de Societe" or subscription balls were inaugurated, bringing together the wealth, beauty and refinement of the Crescent City, in the magnificent ball-room of the hotel. Among the splendid entertainments of which this ball-room was the theatre 40 years ago, was the magnificent "Bal Travesti," 1 given in the winter of 1842-43, and the entertainment gotten up in the same winter in honor of Henry Clay's visit, by his New Orleans friends and admirers.

There were 200 subscribers to the Clay fete, each paying the subshription price of $100, the ball and supper costing the enormous sum of $20,000. At the feast of regal magnificence to which 600 ladies and gentlemen sat down, in the spacious dining-hall of the hotel, the famous orchestra of the French Opera discoursed sweet music, and the illustrious statesman, in whose honor the fete was given, delivered the only public speech he ever made in Louisiana, in which he gallantly took occasion to pay a glowing tribute to the beautiful women of New Orleans.

The convention of 1845, which had been called to meet at Jackson, La., sitting there for some time, finding New Orleans a more convenient place, held their remaining sessions in the famous ball-room of the St. Louis Hotel. Among the members was nearly every man of talent and influence in Louisiana, such as John R. Grimes, Pierre Soule, Christian Roselius, Roman, Downs, Conrad, Marigny, Brent and Eustis.

In 1851 the property was sold to Hall & Hildreth, but for the cause named above, returned to the possession of the Citizens' Bank. In 1871 it was sold again, this time to the St. Louis Hotel Association, composed of prominent citizens of the Second district, of which Mr. E. F. Mioton was president. A large sum was spent in the remodeling and renovation, made under the direction of Mr. A. Suari, architect, assisted by Mr. L. U. Pilie, ex-city surveyor.

In 1872 Mr. Mioton secured the services of Hiram Cranston, for many years proprietor of the New York Hotel in the city of that name, and a well-known hotel man. At the end of the year Mr. Cranston gave up the undertaking after making the most signal failure ever known to have been made by a hotel man. Mr. Mioton then took charge in person as manager for tbe company, aided by competent assistants, but also failed after running it one season. The furniture was sold out at auction, realizing a handsome sum, and the hotel again returned to the possession of the Citizens' Bank.

Under Mr. Mioton's management an attempt was made to revive the glories of former days in the annual subscription balls, but with the failure of the enterprise this also went under.

In 1874 the New Orleans.National Building: Association was organized for the ostensible purpose of running the hotel, but ultimately to sell it to the government. The property was purchased on September 8,1874. from the Citizen's Bank by the association, and in the spring of 1875 sold to the State for $250,000.

From the time of the formal transfer of the property to the State must date the annals which form part of the history of Louisiana, if not of the nation, for in 1874 the Kellogg government leased the hotel from the association, and shortly after the adjournment of the Legislature of that year took possession of it and formally declared it to be the State House.

A record of the events which followed the establishment of the executive office in the building would fill a large volume.

The St. Louis was the central figure in the outbreak of September 14th, 1874, by which the State government was overturned.

On the morning of Sunday, the 13th of September, 1874. there appeared in every paper of the city but one, a call for the people to assemble on the following day at Clay Statue, and to declare "in tones loud enough to be heard throughout the length and breadth of the land, that you are, of right ought to be, and mean to be free."

On the same morning that this call appeared, the steamship New Orleans arrived at the landing near the French Market, bearing two cases of guns for the White League, an organization of citizens which had been forming for months. A force of police was on the levee almost as soon as the ship touched the wharf, and patiently awaited the discharge of the cases over the side of the vessel, to seize them. The arms were held by the captain of the steamer on the assurance of two gentlemen who had formally called upon him, that on the day following the White League would come down and get them.

Sunday passed quietly, but on Monday morning, the 14th, the people began to move early. Few stores were opened and business was practically suspended. There was an ominous calm over all, men met and greeted each other but said little, and when they did speak it was in a subdued tone.

At 11 o'clock, the hour fixed for the mass meeting, there were several thousand men gathered about Clay Statue. But few speeches were made, and those were short and to the point, and then there was submitted a set of resolutions which called upon Kellogg, then Governor of the State, to abdicate forthwith. They were carried with a cheer, and a committe was appointed to visit Kellogg at the State-House, and make known the demand of the people.

The committee made the visit, They found the State-House barricaded, and filled with an armed force of several hundred men. Kellogg refused either to receive the committee or to communicate with it. This fact was reported to the meeting, and the people were directed to go home, arm themselves and return later, prepared to enforce their demands.

While the meeting was in progress the White League had assembled, and at 5 o'clock several companies started down the levee to get the arms from the steamship New Orleans. They were met on the levee at Girod street by the Metropolitan police in force. A pitch battle resulted. The police lost 40 killed and 200 wounded, while the loss of the citizens was 19 killed and about as many more wounded. The White Leaguers or citizens made preparations for a grand assault on the State-House or St. Louis Hotel, the morning of the 15th. and in the early hours of that day a move in force was made upon the building. On the approach of the citizen soldiers a white flag was displayed, and the garrison surrendered without firing a shot.

The officers of the Kellogg government were not there ; they had taken refuge on the day before in the Custom-House.

The fall of the hotel was the signal for an uprising in every parish in the State, and when the sun set on the 15th of September the Kellogg government was no more.

For two days the State-House.remained in possession of the people, but on the morning of the 17th of September a formal demand for its surrender was made by the officers in command of the United States troops in the city, and at the same time martial law was declared.

The demand was not to be resisted, and on the same evening Gov. John McEnery formally surrendered the building to Gen. Brooks, of the United States army. In a few days after the Kellogg government was reinstated.

The year 1874 passed, and with the coming in of 1875 the attention of the nation was again directed to the hotel.

The Legislature was to meet on the first Monday in January, and in anticipation of the event the building was once more prepared for a siege.

Early on that Monday morning, January 4, 1875, the United States troops were on the move. To the number of 500 they left their quarters at the corner of Magazine and Julia streets and marched to the levee, along which they continued until the junction of Old and New Levee streets was reached, and at this point, which was within a square or two of the hotel, a company of infantry and a squad of artillery with a heavy piece of cannon were stationed. About 200 of the remaining force were distributed along the levee, and the rest, numbering over 200, along St. Louis street and in front of the building.

Through this line of troops the Democratic members of the Legislature had to pass. The

Republicans had entered the building on the night before. There was but one door open, that on St, Louis street, and it was heavily guarded. The hotel was filled with policemen and hired bullies.

At noon the Legislature was called to order. All interest seemed to be centered on the House, and the scene in and around the hall was one never to be forgotten by any who looked upon it.

The corridors leading to the hall were filled with excited men, the lobby was packed with them; the galleries groaned and trembled beneath their weight, and they filled every window overlooking the floor, having gained the position by climbing on the roof of the balcony which runs round the building.

The Clerk of the old House called the roll, and when he had finished the storm burst.

A Democratic member moved the election of L. A. "Wiltz as temporary chairman. The member who had made the motion put it to the House and declared it carried, and a cheer went up which could be heard for squares. It was caught up by the multitude on the outside, and a move was made on the building, but the bayonets of the United States troops forced the crowd back.

While the cheer was still echoing, Mr. Wlltz jumped on the Speaker's stand, being followed to the steps by the Democratic members, who had surrounded him with a rush. He snatched the mallet out of the hands of the Clerk, and then there arose a yell of exultation and a yell of rage which mingled together in one mighty volume of discord. The hall was pandemonium, and the fiends of passion had broken loose. Pistols and knives were drawn. They shone in the lobbies, glistened in the galleries and flashed from the windows overlooking the floor. It was a fearful, a terrible moment.

Having taken the oath, Speaker Wiltz rapped with his mallet several times, and cried, " The House will come to order." His bearing and the tone of command in which he spoke were magical in their effects. The tumult subsided on the instant, and for one moment there was silence. The Eepublican members then left the hall and complained to Kellogg. The latter appealed to the Federal authorities, and, on instruction, the United States troops invaded the hall, deposed Speaker Wiltz, and unseated and forcibly ejected from the House several members.

The Democrats, led by Mr. Wiltz, withdrew, and once more the State House was in possession of Kellogg.

In 1876 the hotel was again brought before the nation, tor it was on the third floor of the building, in a little room overlooking the court-yard, that the Returning Board met and compiled the returns of the Presidential election of that year, the returns on which the Electoral Commission subsequently passed, and which led to the seating of R. B. Hayes as the chief officer of the United States.

On the first Monday in January, 1877, it being the first day of that year, the Legislature met. The Democratic members marched in a body to the hotel, and were refused admission, and their entrance was barred by arcned men. The United States troops were not in the building at the time, but they were quartered in large force in a house on Chartres street, immediately adjoining, and part of the walls of the State House had been removed and a passage made, through which they could come into the hotel at a moment's notice.

The Democratic members of the Legislature retired and went to St. Patrick's Hall, and then organized. Nothing of special note occurred after that until January 8, on which day Gov. Francis T. Xicholls and Lieut.-Gov. Wiltz were sworn in ;at St. Patrick's Hall, and the same ceremony was performed with S. B. Packard and C. C. Antoine at the hotel. The Republican members of the Legislature never left the building from the first day of their entrance. They boarded and lodged there, and neither day nor night did they venture out.

On the day after the inauguration, the citizen soldiers, under the direction of Gov. Nicholls,



took possession of all the public buildings in the city, with the exception of the hotel, and installed the Democratic officers. The officers recognized and commissioned by Gov. Nicholls were also inducted into their positions in the different parishes, and when the sun of January 9th went down, the Nicholls government was established, and Packard's authority did not extend beyond the doors of the barricaded building.

For more than two months this siege continued. The Republicans in the State-House, to the number of 800 or 900 remained barricaded in there; many of them never leaving the building by day or night. The place became horribly filthy, as there was no way of removing the dirt and 'garbage, and small-pox broke out among the garrison of the fortress, creating considerable alarm,'as the officers in the building refused to allow any representative of either the State or City government to enter it.

On the 3rd of March came an order from President Grant to the troops to keep their hands off. The order was received with the greatest enthusiasm by the supporters of the Nicholls government, and it was proposed to attack the State-House, and not only proposed but the propriety of so doing was seriously urged and considered. Calmer counsel, however, prevailed, and the people waited quietly for the order for the troops to be removed from the city.

This order came on the 21st of April, and on the evening of the 24th the United States soldiers left the building on Chartres street and went to the Barracks. That night the Packard police vacated the building and the Packard government disappeared.

They left the old hotel in a most horrible condition. All the filth and garbage of the large force stationed in the hotel for four months had been dumped into the paved yard, and the halls and parlors had been used for barracks. When deserted, the building was scarcely fit for use, and the St. Louis was soon after given up as a State-house, and the capital removed to Baton Rouge.

After this the building remained uninhabited for several years, growing more dilapidated and forlorn each year. The flooring rotted away, the windows were broken, and the hotel remained nothing but a mere shell. In 1884, Mr. Robert Rivers, proprietor of the St. Charles Hotel, leased the St. Louis from the State at a bargain, and began at once the work of rebuilding and repairing it. The result is seen to day in the Hotel Royale.


Old New Orleans had its famous hostelries as well as London's Temple Bar, but most of them, in that helter-skelter go-as-you-please race of communities after wealth, are remembered only by the few sturdy octogenarians left behind.

Take any bright September morning in the year 1826, before the day of hotels, with a fresh south wind blowing across the river, dashing the spray on the huge flatboats lying along the levee, and frisking the tails of the little Creole ponies like pennants, as they pranced along the city front—take such a morning, and about 11 o'clock drop in at the corner of St. Louis and Chartres , streets. Then it was only a two-story building, with a front on Chartres street, and ran down St. Louis street about 90 feet. A large and elegantly fitted up cafe occupied the lower floor, the full length of the building, and about the long room were scattered a score or so of little tables with their complement of chairs. This was La Bourse de Maspero, or, as the Americans called it, Maspero's Exchange, and thither at this hour most of the commercial and professional men gathered daily. Playing dominoes at the different tables were some of the old Creole planters in the city on a visit, sipping their claret and ice as they drew for the double six. There over in one corner was a sort of private circle. This was the press. Those assembled there were the editors of the Louisiana Advertise?', Mercantile Advertiser, St. Rome's Courrier de la Louisiane, the

Argus and the Bee. The mail then was distributed only at 11 o'clock at night, necessitating the postponement of closing up the newspaper forms until after that hour, and it was the next morning that the gentlemen of the quill would meet to discuss ths late hurricanes or the affairs in Europe, then 20 days old. Lounging about, picking up here and there bits of knowledge about cane prospects and the condition of the indigo, were the merchants all congregated at Maspero's, as now they would at the Cotton and Stock Exchanges. When the conversation weakened on the crops, politics were taken up.

Gen. Lafayette's visit the year before was talked over and the merits of the coming troupe at Caldwell's new American Theatre, on Camp street, where now stands the emporium of Kice, Born & Co., were passed upon by the connoisseurs of dramatic art.

Many is the duel, the preliminaries of which were arranged here, and many a jovial guest has taken his glass of eau sucree over that counter to go out to greet the morning sun with the flashing of his colichemard or rapier. It was an uncommon thing in those days for a week to pass without some little event of this kind occurring, and it was at Maspero's old enemies met after their sword practice to shake hands and wipe off old scores with a bottle of wine.

The Eotunda became the centre of the city and its bar was considered the pattern for all others. Kunning around the outside of the circular room where the auction stands were, on every Saturday slaves were put upon the block and knocked down to the highest bidder. To know what was transpiring in the city or its neighborhood it was necessary only to visit this place, for it was here that all the gossip and society small talk was related.

It was the headquarters for both Whig and Democrat, and to this day there remains opposite the hotel a sheet-iron game cock perched on the back of a Whig raccoon—a sign of an old Democratic coffee-house.

In 1826 there was another place here that was equally as popular a place of resort, particularly for the jeunesse doree, the young bloods of that day, and that was John Davis', on Orleans street, between Royal and Bourbon, where the Criminal Court once was. Mr. Davis was the proprietor of the theatre and ball-room adjoining, and not to know John Davis was not to know the Crescent City. Bewitching brunettes with eyes that ravished even the anchorites, languishing blondes with tender grace, led the brave Creole boys through the mazy labyrinths of love and jealousy to the merry music of the cachucha and waltz. On ball nights Orleans street was ablaze with the light from the Opera House windows, and by midnight the floor was crowded with dancers. This was naturally a far worse place for duels than Maspero's, and it is almost impossible to enumerate the "affairs" which dated their origin from the ball-room and cafe, and from the smiles given by some coquettish fair one.

There are besides the St. Charles and the Hotel Royale, a number of other hotels in New Orleans, as follows :

Cassidy's, 174 Gravier.

City Hotel, Camp, corner of Common.

Hotel Chalmette, 98 St. Charles.

Hotel Vonderbanck, 40 to 46 Magazine.

Waverley House, Poydras, corner of Camp.

The boarding houses of New Orleans are too numerous to mention, amounting to several hundred, from the very cheapest lodging-house to the finest establishments whose prices exceed those of the hotels. The down-town boarding houses are situated mainly on Royal, Chartres, Rampart and Customhouse streets. Up-town the boarding house centres are Camp, St. Charles, Carondelet and Baronne, between Delord street and Canal. Around Lafayette square is congregated a regular boarding house settlement. Uptown, on St. Charles, Prytania and other streets, are a number of fashionable houses, which accommodate, however, only a few families. Many private families will receive and care for a small party of visitors during the winter when the city is very crowded, as, for instance, during the Carnival. An information bureau is

usuaUy established then, where the names of those housekeepers wishing to accommodate one or more boarders are inscribed in a book, together with the prices charged. This system of boarding is very agreeable to those who desire to have a quiet, homelike time.

If in wandering through the Creole portion of the city, one sees the sign "Pension " or "Pension Privee," he should understand that it is a Creole boarding house, where he can live in purely Creole style, hear nothing but French spoken, and eat nothing but Creole dishes. Another sign which will be found dangling from thousands of galleries in that portion of the city reads, "Chambres Garnies," ov simply, "Chambres a Louer." Here one can secure from the landlady (who is certain to prove either a very stout Creole, or, more likely a quadroon or octoroon) a furnished room, always kept in the neatest of order. To get his meals, he must either dine out at some neighboring restaurant—and there is certain to be one only a square or two off—or he can have them served at the house by some of the innumerable caterers and cook shops that flourish in the lower portion of New Orleans. This system will be found emely agreeable to bachelors.



To its first-class restaurants in the olden times New Orleans owed its peculiar and pet reputation as an unsurpassed "eating and drinking city," at least in this country. In those good old days when the better class of French tastes and customs were dominant in NouveUe Orleans, French culinary artists, tried and tested in the furnace fires of many years, found here an attractive field for the exercise of their talents. These skillful professors were patronized "byalargeand thoroughly appreciative audience,"as the playbills are wont to insinuate; people accustomed to European culture, and connoisseurs in choice wines and viands. They were wealthy, too; and the fine arts flourish most in cities well supplied with the circulating medium.

To day, the situation has slightly changed, but New Orleans still preserves its reputation for good cooking; Its great restaurateurs and chefs of old have died, but others have taken their places, and the old recipes are preserved and still in use.

While New Orleans cooking still possesses characteristics distinctively French, many variations from the French have been introduced. The Creoles have invented or improved on quite a number of dishes : gombo, for instance, of which there are several varieties, the gombo aux herbes, gombo file, gombo aux ecrevisses, is essentially a Creole dish, and the bouilleabaisse and court bouillon have been greatly improved and rendered "a dish for a king." The large Italian and Spanish colonies living in New Orleans have introduced many of the delicacies of those countries. The finest dish of maccaroni—the genuine article, made from the flinty wheat of Parma, and cooked in pure Italian style—can be obtained in New Orleans, as well as all the dishes peculiar to Spain. One of the great gastronomic attractions of the city, lies in the fact that you can dine in any fashion, or in any country you wish, Spain, France, Italy, the United States, or even China, without going half a dozen squares from your room.

Another advautage possessed by New Orleans is the great variety of its market supplies. It has both fresh and salt water fish in its immediate neighbourhood, oysters at its very doors, early vegetables, ahead of any city in the Fnion, and game in abundance in its encircling swamps. This, coupled with good cooking, makes the cuisine of New Orleans the finest in America.

A large proportion of the population of this city dine out, at restaurants and eating houses, and to accommodate these, there are establishments of every variety of style and price, among which you can choose, according to the capacity of your purse.

You wish to show your friendly feelings for some of your relatives or old comrades—a party of a dozen—and you think the best way is to give them a tip-top dinner at one of the leading restaurants or hotels. Your relatives and comrades don't object. We've never known any of 'em to do so yet.

The eleven guests and the one host enter the elegant and cosy dining-room, glittering with light, and take seats at the table, gleaming with white drapery, and French china, and silver or gold service, and flowers in vases. The twelve dilettanti pick up the bill of fare, and enjoy a few moments of quiet chat and cosy settling down, preparatory to several hours' innocent and unadulterated enjoyment.

If you are at loss how to select among the dainties of the menu, you cannot do better than to copy the bill of fare of a dinner given to his friends by a gentleman who has a great reputa-

tion in the gastronomic world and who understands what articles are best in the New Orleans market, and the mode in which New Orleans chefs can best cook them.

Oysters— On the half shell.

Sovp —Green turtle.

Fish— Broiled pompano, a la maitre d'hotel; sheephead a la Normande.

Beleves— Filet de boeuf, piquees a la Flamande ; croquettes de pomme de terre a l'lmperial; petits bouches a la Reine.

Entrees— Pigeon a la royale ; cotelettes d'agneau, a la Pompadour ; salmi de b6cassines, a la Richelieu ; filet de poularde, a la Toulouse.

Vegetables--Cauliflower, with butter sauce; spinach, with cream; asparagus, with drawn butter ; green peas, English style.

Second Course—Roast mallard ducks ; woodcocks, with water cresses ; turkey stuffed with truffles ■ omelette souffle ; pastry and dessert; coffee.

The cost of this choice repast was twenty dollars each person, not including the wines.

At a dinner given some years ago by an AJabama gentleman, to twelve of his friends, the cost, including wines, was over $700. The St. Charles " gold service " figures conspicuously in such feasts as this. The entree dishes, wine coolers, spoons and forks, castors, salt cellars, flower vases, are in solid gold ; the rest of the service is of the finest French porcelain.

Now for the Restaurant Festive Display :

Bill of fare of a dinner given at the leading restaurant of New Orleans, by a gentleman of that city to several friends :

Soups— Tortue; bisque.

Hors tPCEkwrea— Melon ; olives; salade d'anchoix ; saucisson ; pate" de foie gras ; bouch6es a la reine.

Poisson —Snappers, a la Chambord ; crabes nioux ; turban de filet de sole, a la Venitienne.

Entrees— Filet de boeuf, pique a la Richelieu; filet de volaille, au supreme; riz-de-veau en demideuil; salmis de becassines a la regence.

Legumes— Choux-fleurs a la creme ; asperges de Lubecq ; croustade de champignons ; petits pois Francais ; fond d'artichaux, a la d'Artois.

Botis— Dinde truffee ; becasses.

Salade—De cresson de fontaine.

Dessert— Piece montee ; pyramide de creme-a-la-glace ; petits fours, une regente ; corbeille de fruits et mendiants (nuts and raisins).

This cost the hospitable host $6 for each person at table, not including the cost of the wines.

For an ordinary dinner, a hungry man, dropping casually into a restaurant, should take a soup and some fish ; then an entree, say a sweetbread, or a lamb chop ; then say a spring chicken, or roast beef, or roast mutton or veal, with one or two dishes of vegetables. For dessert, some fruit or jelly, and cheese, and a cup of coffee. With a half bottle of claret, this would cost from $1.50 to $2.00

But New Orleans is not considered really visited without a trip to the lake, or a fish or game dinner. There are three places to choose from, Milneburg, W 7 est End and Spanish Fort, and several restaurants at each place. Milneburg was for a long time the favorite, and Boudro, who made his first reputation as restaurateur to Jenny Lind, Miguel and others there, were world-famous. The West End or New Lake End, was also in former years a great favorite as it afforded an agreeable termiuus to a handsome drive over the shell road. As for Spanish Fort it was in those days the club house of the Elkin Club, aud not open to the general public.

To-day the dinners at these lakeside places are as good as they were in the best days of old, but immensely cheaper and within the reach of all. Patrons can have either a salon particuliere, private room, or dine in the general dining-room. Some of the hotels also set a table d^hdte at a prix fixe, at which the diner may choose so many plats.

All the resorts at the Lake have plenty of airy rooms, cool galleries, trees and flowers and walks, and a pleasant, shady, quiet, cosy, comfortable look generally. f The Lake artists will serve your fish dinner in the following grand divisions :

Soups— Oysters, terrapin, turtle, crabs, crawfish, chowder, bouille-a-baisse.

Boiled— Hard shell crabs, lake and river shrimps, red snapper, biack fish, red fish, cod fish, sheephead, stingaree.

Stewed— Shrimps, eels, perch, red fish, red snapper, sheephead, grouper.

Baked— Terrapin, hard-shell crabs, fresh and saltwater trout, flounder, and all the other leading classes of fish.

Fried— Soft-shell crabs, croakers, trout, and the other principal varieties.

Salad, or Mayonnaise, being cold fish with cold sauces. The lake shrimp is in the foremost rank for a salad.

Broiled— Spanish mackerel, blue fish and pompano. The other varieties are also broiled, but besides these three they pale their ineffectual fires.

The sheephead, red snapper, red fish and croaker are all the year round fishes. The shrimp, soft-shell crab, blue fish,black fish, Spanish mackerel and pompano bless our palates only in the spring, and for a while in the summer and fall. The pompano is acknowledged to be the very quintesssence of good eating, anywhere ; and, what is one of its great merits, is, that the art of the cook is best displayed in treating this delightful morsel from old Neptune's table with artless simplicity. He is like the lily of the valley; he needs no adornment to enhance his rare merits.

We shall not rush blindfold into ruin and destruction by attempting to describe the various artistic methods of preparing these treasures of the deep for the table. We would simply allude, in a modest way, to a crawfish bisque; to a bouille-a-baisse, a Marseilles dish that Thackeray has made immortal; to the French and the Spanish courtbouillon; to the matelotte of eels and perch ; to the mayonnaise, a recipe from Italy or from Provence; to the gratin, French or Spanish ; to the bouille d la Genoise, with anchovy sauce; to the red snapper a la Hollandaise; the tortue au gratin ; and to those delightfully innocent, tender creatures, soft-shell crabs.

During the war, a poor fellow, born and raised in New Orleans, when trying one cold, rainy day, just as he was out of hospital, to eat some tough blue beef, suddenly startled his .comrades by exclaiming in a semi-tragic, semi-comic tone : " Oh ! If I could get back home just for a day, boys; and could go down to the Lake, and eat a dinner of soft-shell crabs and pompano, once more, I'd be willing to eat blue beef all the rest of my life !"

The excursionist to the Lake restaurants can select his fish dinner to suit his own tastes and pocket; but he can hardly get a good fish dinner there under $2.50 to $5, without wines.

If you wish a game dinner, you have a great variety to select from. The best judges regard New Orleans' superiority over other markets, to be chiefly in its fish and game. Its beef and mutton are no better than that secured in Northern cities, and the vegetables, although coming to the market earlier, are about the same. But in game and fish, it is unexcelled both in variety and cheapness. A good pair of ducks can be purchased in the New Orleans market at 80 cents, which would cost anywhere else from $2.00 to $3.00.

In choosing a game dinner, you have the following to select from :—

Winter Game— Mallard or French duck, canvas-back duck, teal duck, black duck, pin-tail duck. There are many other kinds of wild ducks, but they are "fishy," and therefore not patronized by gourmets. The question, as to how to distinguish fishy from gamey ducks, is one that has long puzzled housekeepers. The fishy ducks cannot be recognized by their odor ; and the only mode of selecting is to observe the color of the wings. If these are decorated with a line of white feathers, the duck is apt to be fishy ; if green, it is fit for the table. Other favorite varieties of game, are :—

Snipe, woodcock, plover, robins, partridge, grouse, wild turkey, squirrels, rabbits, venison, bear.

Summer Game—The large and small grasset, which comes in September: the papabotte, and the caille de laurier. All three of these are peculiar to Louisiana, and all three are considered by gourmets as unsurpassed by any other game.

The eating house is an institution in New Orleans somewhat different from the restaurant. It is not quite as comfortable, the accommodation in seats, table room, knives, forks, spoons, cookery, etc., being more simple, but neat and plentiful; the cooking is generally fair; the variety of refreshments is great, and prices are comparatively low.

Since the war the eating-house has become a very prominent feature in the public refreshment business, and «ome of these establishments tread closely on the heels of the largest restaurant. Here is a sample bill of fare :

Soup— Three kinds, and five kinds of gombo; each at 25 cents.

Fish— Eight kinds, from Louisiana waters; pickled mackerel and codfish, roe herring; hardshell crabs, plain and stuffed ; soft-shell crabs. Prices ranging from 25 to 40 and 60 cents.

Cold Dishes— Meats, tongue, chicken, sardines, four salads, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50 cents.

Broiled— Four meats and poultry, 25 and 30 cents.

Boast— Four meats and poultry, 25 cents; with fruit sauce and jelly, 10 cents.

Vegetables— Twenty-one kinds, 10 to 15 cents for the ordinary ones; 40 cents for green peas and asparagus, 50 cents for mushrooms.

Entrees— Spring chicken and mushrooms, 40 cents ; mutton and potatoes, 25 cents; giblets with butter beans, 25 cents ; veal fricassee, 25 cents ; baked maccaroni and cheese, 25 cents.

Dishes to Order— Twenty-two : Tenderloin beefsteak, 50 cents ; sirloin, 40 cents ; porterhouse steak, $1; mutton steak or chops, pork steak or chops, veal cutlet or chops, turtle steak, ham and eggs, omelette with ham or oysters, Hamburg steak, calves' brains, Welsh rarebit, 40 cents; spring chicken, $1, half ditto, 50 cents ; eggs on toast. 35 cents ; tripe, liver or kidney, 30 cents; eggs—boiled, fried, scrambled, shirred or poached, omelette, ham, breakfast bacon, corn or rice cakes, batter cakes, mush and milk, 25 cents.

Oysters— Kept on ice and cooked as may be desired, 50 to 60 cents per dozen.

Dessert— Peach cobbler, 10 cents ; apple or banana fritters, 25 cents ; pie, 10 cents ; rum omelette, 50 cents; tea, coffee or milk, hot or iced, 10 cents; chocolate, 15 cents; tea, coffee or chocolate, without any of the above dishes, and with bread and butter, 25 cents.

Wines, liquors, malt iiquors, etc., a full list. A winter bill of fare for these eating-houses of repute, would show French duck, teal duck, partridge, squirrels, rabbits, grouse, venison, etc.

On Chartres street are to be found some of the cheap French restaurants with such queer names as Les Quatres Saisons, Le Pelerin, etc. A very comfortable dinner well cooked will cost here from forty to fifty cents. Here is a sample of the charges : Soup, 10c; gombo, 15c; four croakers, 20c; broiled sheep head, 35c; roast mutton, 15c; a stew, 15c ; potatoes or other vegetables, plain, 10c; custard, 10c ; pudding, 10c; fruit, 10c; coffee, 10c; claret, half a bottle, 20c.

As you approach the French market, you go down in the social scale, and the price of dinner grows cheaper.

The visitor to New Orleans who wants to buy some bananas will be shown this in a very conspicuous manner, if he prices this food at each stand between Canal street and the market. Bananas which, on Canal, are worth 30 cents a dozen, will be 25„ cents two squares away, 20 cents at Jackson square, 15 cents in the market, and by journeying to the front landing a square further, you can purchase at 10 cents per dozen from the boys who pick up those that fall from the bunches as they are landed from the Central American vessels—identically the same bananas in size, appearance and taste as cost 30 cents on Canal street.

In the same way, the price of a dinner grows cheaper as you go towards the market. In some of the cheap hotels facing that institution, the acme of cheap eating is reached. These hotels are nearly all located over bar-rooms.

The hungry man who visits them will have set before him, successively, a soup, a dish of

soup meat, fish twice a week and a roast, changed every day. When the hotel Is full, mutton chops, sausages, etc., are added to the meats. In addition, the diner will be provided with five or six dishes of vegetables, including salad, and a dessert, one day of pie, the next of pudding. All this for 30 cents to the casual diner, and cheaper to the regular boarder.

In the market itself will be found eating stands, well patronized by the poorer class of people, and a great convenience to many midnight wayfarers as they keep open at all hours of the night, when other restaurants and eatinghouses are closed.

There are two varieties of these market restaurants—one the cafe, where only cake and chocolate, both prepared in the best Creole fashion, and tender little biscuits are sold. These are patronized by the very best people, and it is customary to take a cup of cafe noir (black coffee), cafe au lait (coffee with milk), or chocolate whenever you visit the market.

The second class are nearly restaurants with the following limited, but very cheap bill of fare : One soup, changed daily ; roast pork ; roast ham ; roast veal; roast beef; corned beef; beef sausage; pork Jsausage; beefsteak; beef stew; tripe stew; fried trout; fried catfish; baked beans ; beet salad ; cucumber salad ; potato salad ; eggs, boiled or fried. Each dish 10 cents.

Tea, coffee, chocolate, or milk, 5 cents. Bread and doughnuts, gratis. Coffee and doughnuts alone, 5 cents.

Market eatinghouses of this kind are to be found in Poydras, Magazine, Dryades, and indeed at all the city markets.

There is no city in the world where such free lunches are set as in the first-class saloons of New Orleans. San Francisco patterned after it many years ago, but never quite came up to the menu of New Orleans.

These free lunches were instituted by Alvarez, who ran the bar-room in the old St. Louis Hotel in 1837. Gentlemen doing business in New Orleans, which was mainly conducted in what is now the French portion of the city, complained that, as many of them resided as far down as the lower cotton press, and some as high up as Julia street, they could not find time during the middle of the day to go home and get a bite and they did not want to pay restaurant prices for a mere plate of soup and a sandwich.

To gratify this large class and secure their custom, the then only first-class bar-rooms in the city—St. Louis Hotel, Hewlitt's (afterward City Hotel), Arcade, Veranda, St. Charles Hotel-inaugurated free lunches. Hotel bars were then the only ones ranking first-class.

The lunches in those old days were served on a narrow table-cloth running the whole length of the counter and covering one-half of it. Soup, a piece of beef or ham and potatoes, meat pie or oyster patties comprised the bill of fare. On the innermost side of the counter each customer's drink was served before him. The coffee houses were then the principal places of resort, and much business was transacted at their tables which is now done in the various commercial exchanges.

In the course of time, the free lunches became more and more popular, and the bill of fare was increased. Several attempts have been made by the restaurateurs to do away with these lunches as injurious to the restaurant business, but without success, and they are more patronized now than ever. The lunch is generally served from 12 m. to 1 p. m., but some houses keep open from 10 a. m. to 2 p. m. A very comfortable meal can be procured at any of the places, and it is said that many impecunious persons Mve wholly at the free lunch counter.

Here are the bills of fare of several leading bar-rooms, given simply to show the character of the lunches served in New Orleans :—

ST. CHARLES SALOON, ST. CHARLES STREET. For Monday— Onion soup or beef broth, roast beef, mutton stew, mashed potatoes, bread and butter and pickles.

Tuesday— Oyster or turtle soup, roast of beef, veal stew, mashed potatoes and pickles.

Wednesday —Rice and tomato soup, roast beef, mashed potatoes, macaroni and the other side dishes as on the other days.

Thursday— Turtle soup, roast beef, stew, mashed potatoes, bread and crackers, pickles, etc.

Friday— Crab soup or beef broth, fish, red snapper with courtbouillon sauce or cream sauce, potatoes au gratin, stew and pickles.

Saturday— Gombo, roast beef, macaroni, mashed potatoes, etc.


Sunday— Pea soup, roast beef, pickles, mashed potatoes.

Monday— Vermicelli soup, roast beef, hash, mashed potatoes.

Tuesday— Turtle soup, roast beef, hash and rice, sliced ham.

Wednesday— "Vermicelli soup, pork and beans, hash, etc.

Thursdat— Pea soup, roast beef, mashed potatoes, hash, etc.

Friday —Fish, turtle soup, red snapper, hash.

Saturday —Vermicelli soup, pork and beans, hash.

Butter, corned beef, cheese, crackers, rye bread, butter crackers, served always.


Monday— Beef soup, stew, corned beef, shrimp or lobster salads, potato, tripe and lettuce, cold slaw and beets, mashed potatoes.

Tuesday— Turtle soup, roast beef, ham, same salads and meat salads, cold slaw, beets, cucumber, mashed potatoes.

Wednesday— Ox-tail soup, hash, same salads, hogshead cheese, sausage, mashed potatoes.

Thursday— Pea soup, roast beef, Bologna sausage, same salads, mashed potatoes.

Friday— Potato soup, red snapper, ham, fish salads, mashed potatoes.

Saturday— Turtle soup, roast beef, mashed potatoes, lobster salad, tripe, potatoes.

Corn bread, light bread, black bread, crackers and cheese.


Monday— Onion soup, sirloin roast, baked beans, hash, stew, fried tripe, fried hominy, green corn, salads, cucumbers and onions, succotash.

Tuesday— Turtle soup, roast of sirloin, baked beans, hash, fried tripe, fried hominy, salads jambalaya.

Wednesday —Oyster soup, sirloin roast, baked beans, fried tripe, fried hominy, corn and tomatoes, salads, radishes.

Thursday— Crab gombo and rice, jambalaya, roast beef, baked beans, shallots, salads, fried tripe, fried hominy, succotash.

Friday— Oyster or crab or turtle soup, fish chowder, red snapper, boiled shrimp, potatoes green corn, soft-shell crabs, fried oysters.

Saturday —Vegetable soup, roast sirloin, baked be&us, succotash, hash, fried tripe, cucumbers and onions, salads.

Sunday— Macaroni soup, boiled ham, stew, hash, corn and tomatoes.


Monday— Vegetable soup, roast beef, beef stewed with potatoes, stewed kidney, baked macaroni, corn, tomatoes, lettuce, green onions, potato salad, beets, cold slaw.

Tuesday— Gombo, roast beef, dry hash, stewed liver, boiled Irish potatoes, baked beans, boiled rice, lettuce, green onions, potato salad, beets and cold slaw.

Wednesday— Pea soup, roast beef, beef stewed with tomatoes, sauerkraut and boiled pork, stewed carrots, green peas, baked sweet potatoes, lettuce, green onions, potato salad, beets and cold slaw.

Thursday— Bean soup, roast beef, beef stewed with potatoes, boiled onions, fried tripe, baked macaroni, stewed tomatoes, boiled turnips, lettuce, green onions, potato salad, beets and cold slaw.

Friday— Oyster soup, baked red snapper, roast beef, boiled ham, mashed Irish potatoes, stewed corn, rice jambalaya, lettuce, green onions, potato salad, beets and cold slaw.

Saturday— Gombo, roast beef, beef stewed with green peas, corned beef and cabbage, baked beans, baked sweet potatoes, boiled Irish potatoes with jackets on, lettuce, green onions, potato salad, beets and cold slaw.

Here is a sample cold lunch at the Continental:

Cold mutton, veal, ham, shrimps, Boston brown bread, Goshen butter. The soups are : Cn Mondays, pea soup ; Tuesdays, chicken soup ; Wednesdays, mulligatawny soup; Thursdays, Julienne soup ; Fridays, turtle soup; Saturdays, ox-tail soup. Salads, tomato, potato, lettuce.

The markets of New Orleans present the greatest variety of food, and the housekeeper can easily market for a large family at very little expense. The French market still maintains its reputation for cheapness, and as having the best fruits and vegetables. Poydras market claims to be'the best fish market, while Magazine leads in meats. Game is abundant at all.

One can now obtain the choicest beef for twenty cents per pound, such as the tenderloin and sirloin, and rib pieces for fifteen cents, but when the animal is corn-fed and fat sometimes twenty-five cents are asked. The other portions sell for a price varying from five to fifceen cents, the neck bringing about five cents. For a good soup-bone containing enough meat to make a soup nutritious ten cents are asked, and round steaks off the thighs the same price per pound demanded. Yeal brinars, on the average, fifteen cents per pound, and the markets furnish a fine quality of it. Its delicacy of fibre and facility of digestion make it a favorite summer article of diet. For pieces more or less bony, twelve and a half cents are asked.

In mutton about the same prices rule, except when there is a very choice leg a fancy sum is placed upon it, as is the case with large streaked chops, which are generally all taken by the restaurants. A roast of pork costs fifteen cents per pound.

Of fish there is an almost endless variety on the stands. The grouper, rock fish, red fish, red snapper, flounder, bass, trout (green and speckled) sakalait, perch, croakers, moonfish, Spanish mackerel and pompano can be found, their prices varying somewhat, according to the demand. For thirty cents a red snapper large enough for a family of five can be had, and for twenty-five cents enough croakers for three. In those large fish that are sliced up, twenty-five cents will purchase enough for an ample meal for four. Crabs sell for sometimes four, sometimes five, and sometimes six for a dime, and enough lake shrimp for two for a nickel.

In the vegetable line prices vary considerably. A pile, as it is called, of sweet or Irish potatoes sufficient for a family can be had for five cents. Tomatoes bring five cents for six or eight good-sized ones. Almost half a bucket of string beans is given for the same sum, while for squashes ten cents is asked for five.

Of butter-beans, an ordinary cupful sells at from five to ten cents. Egg-plants sell, at the beginning of the season, at about two cents a piece.

Cabbages never vary a very great deal. In winter, it is true, the supply is large, but for ten cents a head sufficient for a small family can be purchased at all times.

Onions sell for $2 50 and $3 00 a barrel at wholesale, and about seven are given for five cent* at retail.

Cantalopes and watermelons bring about twenty cents apiece for those of fair size.

Out of these meats and vegetables, it ought to be possible to make up a very handsome dinner. Here are some excellent cartes for a family dinner.

Vegetable Soup—Soup bone, 10 cents; bunch of vegetables, 5 cents. Steak, 30 cents; stuffed egg plants, 10 cents ; string beans, 5 cents; Irish potatoes mashed, 5 cents. Dessert-Watermelon, SO'cents. Total, 85 cents.

Or if this be too high, the following may be had for poorer families;

Vermicelli Soup—Vermicelli, 5 cents : soup boue, 10 cents. Veal stew, 20 cents; for brisket piece, corn and tomatoes, 15 cents ; sweet potatoes, 5 cents. Total, 55 cents.

If it be fish day, then the frugal wife can give the following :

Baked redfish, 25 cents ; string beans, 5 cents ; stuffed egg plants, 10 cents ; Irish potatoes, mashed, 5 cents ; tomatoes, 5 cents. Total, 55 cents.

The great dish of New Orleans, and which it claims the honor of having invented, is the GOMBO. There is no dish which at the same time so tickles the palate, satisfies the appetite, furnishes the body with nutriment sufficient to carry on the physical requirements, and costs so little as a Creole gombo. It is a dinner in itself, being soup, piece de resistance, entremet and vegetables in one. Healthy, not heating to the stomach and easy of digestion, it should grace every table.

Here is a recipe for gombo, direct from an ancient Creole lady who knows how to make it, and it can be strongly recommended. We give it just as it came from her:

Premie chose le prens la viane la qui ye pele " tasso," et mette li dans to chodiere avec en ti bren la graisse et en ti bren la farine, lese li toune so couleur empe brun, apres 9a mette empe dezonion et empe dulaye, pas tros dulaye, paske ca va fai li senti movai; apres mette asse do lo pour fai tan qui veulai, quan li presque flni mette file la ; main moblie di vous mete trois ou quat feuille lerie la dan. Si to gaien des crab ou de chevrette to capab mette ye la dan.

Voye li bien qui li pas brule, et to va fai bon gombo.

Moblie di, fo mange li avec du riz.

If this prescription is carefully followed the gombo is certain to be a success.




Prior to the year 1832 there was not, properly speaking, a single close, private social club in New Orleans. There were, it is true, a number of public places at that and at preceding periods, places by courtesy called "bourses" or exchanges, to which gentlemen of leisure, merchants and professional men, resorted in the evening, and after the closing of business, but these were public, free and open to all. In reality such places of rendezvous were nothing more than saloons or barrooms, with seats and other accommodations for their visitors and customers, wherein games of cards, chess, dominoes and billiards, were allowed and played, as even now is the case in some of the old cafes and barrooms below Canal street.

As all such places in the olden time, under French and Creole regime, were owned and managed by polite and well-mannered men, and the good breeding and gentlemanly conduct of their visitors in those days precluded the possibility of any disturbance or turbulence, these "bourses," such as those of Elkin, La Sere and Maspero, located on St. Louis, Royal and Chartres streets, supplied the place of social clubs.

These public places of rendezvous did not, however, satisfy the more fastidious tastes of some of the worthies of that period, who desired a little more privacy and seclusion in their recreations and social pleasures. This they could only find in a close social club wherein membership and the selection of association could be made to depend upon the wishes and votes of an inside organization. This desire led to the organization of the first social crab in New Orleans, about the year 1832. Before this date one Harvey Elkin, notable for his capacity and qualifications as a caterer and manager of places of public entertainment, had already established an elegant and well appointed hostelry on the Bayou St. John, on the same site where is now located the Spanish Fort Hotel. Through insufficiency of patronage and other causes he had become involved in financial difficulties, which led to insolvency and to the sale of all his property on the lake shore, known as Elkinburg. Here an opportunity offered to secure a favorite site for a summer club-house, and it was promptly seized by John Slidell and other friends of Elkin, who at once purchased Elkinburg, with all its buildings, hotels, improvements and other appurte* nances, and immediately thereafter organized the first social club of New Orleans, which, in compliment to the previous owner of the land and hotel, who was to continue as manager and steward, was designated the Elkin Club.

The original membership of that social organization comprised some of the well-known and most prominent citizens of New Orleans of olden time. Among these were John R. Grymes ; Horace Cammack, John Slidell, John Linton, first president of the Canal Bank, Glendy Burk<, also a president of the same institution, " Steeple " Dixen, Dr. Rogers, William Clarke, Jr., brother of Thomas Allen Clarke, Jacob Wilcox, the first to attempt the manufacture of artificial ice in New Orleans, and many others. Not one of these members, it is sad to think, now lives to corroborate the pleasures, episodes and events enjoyed or enacted at Elkin, which we now propose to relate.

The members of the club were all well-to-do men, professionally or commercially, keeping horses and carriage, so that every day at the close of business they were wont to drive over the shell-road to their club, where elegant dinners waited their coming. The appointments of the club were complete, so far as services and attendance were concerned; while its prominent attraction was its chief, whom Elkin had secured, a Frenchman, Bertrand by name, a cordon bleu in gastronomy. Those were the days of high betting on cards and horses, the days when the


fascinating game of brag was indulged in, to an extent almost fabulous. Several members of the Elkin Club were known to have lost large sums at the gaming table, thereby enriching some of the more fortunate fellows, and one in particular, to whose success at brag was ascribed the foundation of his subsequent large fortune.

Feasting and gaming were not the only pleasures and pastime at Elkin. Those were also bibulous days; but to the honor and credit of that period be it said, there was no whiskey drank in the club ; in truth, that beverage was then, if not unknown, at least rejected from all social indulgencies. Madeira—and the Madeira of 1830 was famous—Madeira, sherry, clarets and Burgundies, those were the wines drank by the Elkin Club men. A wine-drinking bout at that club, which was the subject of a bet, was in after years described by Mr. Grymes at a private dinner party given to the judges of the Supreme Court, which provoked considerable merriment.

Addressing the host, Mr. Slidell, who with him had been a member at Elkin, Mr. Grymes inquired whether he remembered the occasion and dinner, wben twelve bottles of various wines, to be topped by a bottle of anisette, was to be drank by each man at the table, those remaining uncrippled in the bacchanalian contest, to be the winner or winners of the purse.

"Ah," said Grymes, "you and I, Slidell, had to divide the spoils ; we two alone of the party held our ground ; all the rest were recuperating under the board." At which sally and reminiscence of the gallant old Colonel, one of the judges, with a knowing wink, retorted that the two wily winners had doubtless thrown off on their innocent competitors.

The gentlemen of the club were, however-, far from being selfish, egotistical and crabbed old bachelors. On the contrary they were full of the spirit of gaiety, hospitality, and cultivated a chivalric admiration for the fairer sex; and music, dancing and other entertainments often relieved the monotony of the lake shore, and the best society of New Orleans graced the halls and piazzas of the club. After a few years of brilliant existence, this organization came to an end about 1838, in consequence of the financial revulsions brought about by the great commercial panic of 1837.

The seed had nevertheless been sown, the first New Orleans social club had been organized, and the advantages of private social organizations had been so satisfactorily demonstrated, that from the debris of the Elkin a nucleus of membership was secured, from which, in 1843, was organized another and a grand club, the Pelican.

This, the second social club inaugurated upon the ruins of the Elkin, soon became a large and influential body in New Orleans society. It was from the first a very close, very exclusive institution, and within its sacred precincts no one was admitted unless his position in one of the three departments of finance, commerce or politics, was well established. Its members were generally capitalists, bankers, cotton buyers, English representatives of large British houses, lawyers and physicians, distinguished in their professions, and acknowledged political chieftains.

It was to this club that Henry Clay and Gen. Scott would invariably repair when they visited New Orleans, and where they would challenge aspirants to honors at the game of whist to meet them in contest for superiority, both of these great Americans being proud of their skill in this game. Very few, if any, young men were ever admitted to membership, and, strange to say, the prejudices as to social castes, were such in the Pelican, that trades and pursuits constituted grounds for admission or exclusion.

It is amusing at the present day, when entree to almost any circle is made to depend solely on the possession of numerous shekels, obtained or gathered from any source, fas autnefas, to hear that at this " old Pelican Club " while cotton buying and selling, sugar and cotton raising, banking, stock and exchange dealing were classed as respectable occupations, conferring cactets of gentility on those therein engaged, merchandizing in groceries, dry goods, hard ware, and the like, were held as plebeian in their nature, and as disqualifications for membership.

High credit and an unspotted financial record were required, and so far was this exaction pressed, that many applicants for admission were black-balled on account of unredeemed obliga,-

tions, although they had been honorably discharged in bankruptcy. There was a signal illustration of this rigid rule when a prominent citizen, who since that time signalized himself by his dash and gallantry in the Confederate armies, dying at the head of a Louisiana brigade in a grand charge at Sharpsburg, applied for admission to the Pelican and was black-balled by a distinguished banker, who lately died in Ohio, merely because he had failed, and because, even after bankruptcy and discharge, he had omitted to pay, in whole or in part, a commercial note held by the said banker.

Notwithstanding all this rigidity, exclusiveness and aristocratic tendencies, the club \va< strong and flourished ; its members were nearly all wealthy men, wielding influence at home and abroad. From 1843 to 1851 the Pelican domicile was established in the Second district, at the corner of Royal and Customhouse, where all distinguished visitors to the city were received and entertained. These attentions to strangers never failed to secure their admission to the best circles of society.

In 1851 Mr. Felix Labatut, a capitalist at that period, erected especially for the use of the club that spacious and elegant structure at the corner of Baronne and Canal streets, afterward the Perry House. The whole building was occupied by the club, whose membership had largely increased, and the whole lower floor, now occupied as stores, constituted the club restaurant and private dinner apartments.

This latter department, a new departure in club life, was liberally patronized and well sustained by the members, a large portion of whom were Englishmen, who were in the city only during the cotton season, their families remaining in England.

Those were brilliant and happy days indeed. Money was plenty; feasts, banquets and festivals were numerous and frequent. The Englishmen sojourning in New Orleans in those days were not slow in responding to the many hospitalities extended to them by the ladies and gentlemen of the city, and in return for all these, in the year 1853, the Pelican Club, under the inspiration of its English members, gave, as a compliment to the ladies, a ball, which for magnificence and completeness in every detail—music, floral decorations, supper and attendance —surpassed any occurrence of this kind which had ever taken place in New Orleans.

The Pelican Club flourished to its last day. and its dissolution was due to no inherent weakness, nor to want of support. It fell under the inexorable stroke of war.

Another club, which likewise has ceased to exist, but which was once the most popular and for a while unquestionably the most brilliant of all, was the Orleans Club. As before recited, the Pelican Club, by its exclusiveness and the severity of its standard of membership, had virtually closed its doors to a large number of young merchants, young professional men, and high spirited young bloods, sons of wealthy citizens or planters. These young men had no places of resort and meeting, save the theatres and ball-rooms, for bar-rooms and coffee-houses had not the attractions for the youth of that period which they have for those of the present. They would meet in groups or around the convivial tables of a restaurant, at Sickle's drug store, on Canal street, and often at Thompson & Nixon's, on Camp, where they would discuss with them the advisability of organizing a 3 r oung men's club. The project was soon matured and developed, and the result was the opening of the Orleans Club in 1850 on Canal street, in one of the Three Sisters, a building owned by Mrs. Vance, and now forming the entrance to the Grand Opera House as well as the locus of the Varieties Club.

The membership of the Orleans increased so rapidly that new and larger quarters were required for their accommodation. At this juncture, this was in 1851, twenty members of the Club, all young men, proposed to purchase on their own account a suitable building for the club, and their proposition being favorably entertained they immediately purchased at a cost of forty-thousand dollars, Mr. James Robb's spacious and elegant private residence on St. Charles street, the same now occupied as a beer saloon, restaurant and hostelry by Krost.

After the purchase and the furnishing of the domicile in the most elaborate and elegant ptyle—all without regard T<» cost—the club transferred itself thereto, and from that dav

launched out in a career of unequaled prosperity. Its membership increased amazingly, approximating at one time some four hundred, and including in its numbers all the editors and proprietors of the city papers.

There were Lumsden, Wilson, Wagner, Sigur, Bonford, Breckinridge, of the Louisiana Courier, Corcoran, Frost, and others. All the prominent turfmen of the South and Southwest were also members of this club. Among these were Bingaman, Capt. Minor, Wells, Hunter. Golding, Gen. Camp, Hebert, Zysmanski, etc.; in fact the racing fraternity was strongly represented, and that the club soon became very " horsey," goes without saying, and racing and merits of horses were topics well understood and knowingly discussed. On the occasion of great races in the grand days of the " Old Metairie " the parlors, halls, lunch rooms, refreshment and card rooms of the Orleans Club were most lively and exciting places.

Who that was there can ever forget the occasion of the great inter-State post stake race, when Lexington, Lecompte, Arrow and Highlander, representing respectively Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, were pitted against each other, to run for a purse of twenty thousand dollars. Then the excitement, the hopes and fears, the betting and bantering at this club, when in the same week Lecompte and Lexington ran, and Lecompte won, to the great discomfiture of his friends and backers, mainly Kentuckians, of whom there were a good number in the club, and who lost untold sums on that race.

Not only were the members of the Orleans Club all present on these gala days, but their numbers were multiplied by invited guests, who had come from all quarters of the country to attend the spring meeting of the Metairie and to witness the contest. Among these guests the betting was no less high, and much money changed hands, one individual alone winning $20,000.

Of the spreads and lunches of this old Orleans Club it may be well to make passing mention. Santini was caterer, and he had carte blanche. Clubs in London, Paris and New York have surpassed, and may surpass, the Orleans in a studied, ordered and elaborate dinner, but it is doubtful whether any club anywhere ever surpassed the Orleans for lunches. It is almost sacrilegious to apply the term lunch to a recherche spread, where woodcock, snipe, partridge, canvas back and teal were in profusion ; where terrapin stew, oysters in every style, turkey, wild and domestic, Westphalia hams, and all rareties and delicacies of home and foreign supply loaded long tables daily for two or three hours. The chef d'oeuvres of Santini at this club in those days were marvelous, and no wonder is it that the great restaurateurs of that time, Victor and Moreau, were loud in their lamentations and complaints against the club for cutting them off from the patronage of customers whose appetites were satiated by the abundance and excellence of club fare.

The Orleans flourished as no other club ever did, but unfortunately, want of discipline, the introduction of reckless and unlimited gambling, the invasion of politics and party feeling during the exciting and contentious Know-Nothing times, all these elements of discord sapped the foundations of the club and from these causes its close and fall ensued. The club-house, the property of the twenty original members, was then sold by them, and for their account, by auction, bringing $50,000, a handsome profit on the investment.

Thus ends another chapter in club history of New Orleans, an ending not unrelieved by fortunate results and consequences. From the membership of the Orleans, another club, a great favorite this day, in part derived its origin. The existence of the Pickwick can be traced to the brave Gen. Gladden, a member of the Orleans, ably assisted by two other members of same club, Joseph and William Ellison.


The Boston Club, the oldest in the city, is now located in the old Mercer mansion, on Canal street, alongside the Pickwick and Louisiana Clubs,

The Boston holds the "age " of the other leading clubs. It was organized in 1845 by thirty leading merc^tile, and professional gentlemen q| tn . e pitv : , heafcdj of families v men of suhst.a.nce

on the shady side of life, yet full of bonhommie, and fond of the good old game of ''Boston." In honor of this game the club was christened, and to it and other trick games the members devoted their social energies and their superfluous ingenuity, holding in deserved contempt the modern and unscientific round'games.

John Hewlitt was the first president, and its first quarters were in the old post-office building on Royal street. Thence the club moved to Canal street, occupying the building where now is located Eyrich's book store. Here it grew in numbers and in prosperity; its name for hospitality and good fellowship grew among club men and bon vivants. The Boston was never a close club, and to this day all its members hold the privilege of extending its courtesies to their friends, and officers of the army and navy are its guests during their stay in the Crescent City, being different in this respect from the other New Orleans clubs.

Among the ante-bellum presidents of the club were Temple Doswell, S. H. Kennedy and Phoenix N. Wood. When the war broke out, the then limit of membership—15u—had been reached. When Butler was in command of the city the club qua'ters, still on Canal street, were closed by the Provost-marshal, and the organization was broken up until 1867. On the 6th of April of that year the Boston was reorganized. The just now abandoned quarters on Carondelet street were secured, and Victor Burthe was chosen president. He was succeeded a few years later by the gallant and now lamented Gen. Dick Taylor, who resigned in 1873 and was succeeded by Dr. Sam'l Chopin. Under the administration of Dr. Chopin the club reached its greatest membership, 200, the limit being 250. The present membership is 180, and of these mauy are non-residents of New Orleans, but from all over the United States. Since the war the club has had as its guests many distinguished citizens, among whom may be mentioned Gen. U. S. Grant. Hon. Jefferson Davis visits the Boston Club whenever he comes to the city. The white exterior of the old Mercer mansion is as familiar as any house in New Orleans. Its plain facade rises three spacious stories on Canal street. Its wide doorway opens upon a marble paved hallway, opening to the left into the parlors of the old mansion, which have been thrown into one spacions apartment looking out through a bay window upon a side garden running the full length of the house. This apartment has been flitted up as a sitting-room. Its doors and a handsome buffet are of solid old mahogany, and two Eastlake mantels of red cherry are highly ornamental. On its walls hang the portraits of Presidents Hewlitt and Chopin and the old secretary, Wm. Bell. Handsome pier glasses add to the luxurious effect. Cool, light-colored paper and India matting invite rest.

Behind this is the building which has been added to the old mansion by the club. First is a fifteen-foot lateral hall-way, opening upon a wide gallery and the garden beyond. The gallery runs to the full length of the addition, seventy-five feet deep, and along each of the three stories of which it is composed. In the hall-way is a chef d'ceuvre, the feature of the new club-house— an old English staircase, winding to the roof in square sections, of solid cypress and oak, finished in Eastlake style.

The ground floor rear apartment is the lunch room. It is forty-five feet deep, its mantels finished in the prevailing Eastlake style in oak, with illuminated encaustic tiles in the hearth and jamb. The lunch counter in the rear is alike finished in oak, of which wood is also the wainscot running around the room. The coloring of the walls is again cool and light, and handsome bronze chandeliers are pendant above the lunch tables.

Up the noble staircase on the second floor, is the card-room : second floor front. Here are the black-oak buffets, pier glasses and other furniture, which the club has used since 1867. Here the walls are of warmer hue, and suggest long winter evenings and glowing grates.

In the rear is the dining-room, finished also in oak and cypress doors, wainscot and mantels, with two large pier glasses, framed to correspond,

The third floor front is the bUUard-room, remarkable for its eighteen-foot ceiling. It is ventilated by the large bay window (as are the three front apartments) and a number of small windows near the roof. The back portion of this floor is taken up with servants' room.s. and.

the extreme rear with the kitchen. In the latter the appointments are complete in every particular, and its elevation guarantees the club against the annoyance of smelling beforehand the roast meat it is to have for dinner. The floor is of cement, and an elevator nullifies the disadvantage of the situation. A glimpse into the huge refrigerator is as cooling as a claret punch.


In the good year 1857, just thirty years after the Pickwick Papers were published, the New Orleans Pickwick Club held its meeting, early in the month of January, when the heart and head are full of the bonlwmmie and kindly feelings incident to the New Year in our city of New Orleans. Some fifty gentlemen received through the mail a neat little card, inviting them to meet in a parlor over the present Gem Saloon, on Royal street, for a purpose not made known.

Care was taken in the selection of those invited that they were all gentlemen of culture and refinement and acquainted with the belles lettres. Much circumspection was used that there should be none in the meeting who had not the prerequisites of social standing, genial disposition and good-fellowship. The meeting was held, and the Pickwick Club of New Orleans was born. Unlike its progenitor, it discarded scientific disputation, and held in common with its namesake across the water only a dutiful respect for the old gentleman whose name it bears. The meeting at the Gem was a success, and when the name of Pickwick was adopted there was a general expression of satisfaction. The first president of the club was Gen. A. H. Gladden, of South Carolina, who had passed successfully through the Mexican war, as lieutenant-colonel of a South Carolina regiment, and had settled in New Orleans. He afterwards fell at Shiloh in command of the First C, S. Regulars.

The club was to be what is known as a close club, and in a month its membership had swelled to over sixty.

The first quarters obtained were on the third floor of No. 57 St. Charles street, just above Gravier, and here for some time remained. The third floor became too small to hold the fast augmenting membership, and the second floor was leased ; and after two years' stay the building at the corner of Canal and Exchange alley, where now is the Liedertafel Club, was secured on a lease.

These premises the club beautified at a cost of over $5,000, and made it one of the most comfortable and cosy club houses ever seen in our city. Finding that its growing popularity and increase in membership demanded more space, it moved further back on Canal street, and entered into another lease. A habitation of its own was what it desired, and last year an arrangement was made with Mr. Heine, the Parisian banker and owner of the lots on the corner Canal and Caroudelet streets, to erect there a house suitable to the club.

On July 1, the present club house, one of the handsomest specimens of Norman architecture in the country was completed and turned over to the governing committee. Built of Philadelphia pressed brick of a rich deep red, its two fronts are set off by ornamental carved trimmings of Indiana limestone. Its roof rises with sharp slope high above the surrounding cornice, and gives to the whole edifice an effect inspiring and lofty. Rising from a cluster of polished granite columns of almost diminutive length, and surmounted by a bowl-shaped stone support resting on the back of griffins, is a circular turret which extends to the roof and forms in its length place for oriel windows in each story. Jutting out as it does from the wall apparently unsupported, it catches the eye at once.

The elevation on Canal street shows a large entrance to the stores or offices which occupy that frontage, and on each side of this entrance are two polished granite columns with carved capitals surmounted with griffins, which, with the ornament over the doorway, form a support for the gallery of the first floor. Above this balcony is a second forming a hood supported by six ornamental brackets, and above this again is a third balcony smaller than those below it.

On the Carondelet street side is the main or club entrance, over which is a large balcony

extending over the banquette and capable of holding 150 persons, and on the extreme upper side on this street is the servants' and freight entrance.

The windows throughout the building are unusually wide to afford ample ventilation, and on the lower floor there are three circular ones of rare design in stained glass.

The gorgeous entrance on Carondelet street is paved in richly colored encaustic tiles. Here is a vestibule more than thirty-three feet in depth and fourteen in width, leading to the grand staircase.

Facing the door is a large window of stained cathedral glass, a large central panel with a smaller one on either side. Conspicuous in design and attractive in color, stands in the central panel the illustrious Pickwick himself, deftly wrought in stained glass, radiant in his bottle-green coat, of which he was so fond, the costume completed by the well-known tights and gaiters. Before him is the inevitable punch-bowl, over which he is addressing his admiring friends. The work is artistically done, and is the finest piece of stained glass work ever seen in New Orleans. In the vestibule stand the marble statues of Canova's two dancing girls and near the head of the stairs, contemplating the incoming guests, is the marble bust of Plato.

The reception room is on the right of the Carondelet street entrance. All the furniture and ornaments are of old English. The floor is of delicately tinted tiles ; the chairs and tables, highly carved Queen Anne oak, and the high old-fashioned English mantel is enriched with beautiful tiles. Behind the parlor is the chess room, with a high oak mantel, and the grate hung on a crane.

The furniture is of mahogany and finished in bright bronzed stamped leather, in Pom-peiian style. In the middle of the floor stand the chess tables, with the boards inlaid in their tops, and just beyond, against the wall, rich in age, is a large bookcase, elaborately carved, of the bog oak of Ireland, the most costly wood known to the furniture-maker.

On the Carondelet street side, back of the stairway, is the gentlen^n's dining-room, a most commodious apartment with heavy club tables and chairs. It is here that the members dine, and a dumb waiter descends to it from the kitchen above. In the hall stands a large table of Irish bog oak, around which the governing committee meets. At the end of this hall is the assembly room sixty-four by sixty-four, with opera chairs for four hundred, where the general meetings of the club are held. Back of these, on Carondelet street side, is the kitchen, probably the finest in the South in all its appointments. The wine-room adjoins the kitchen. The Canal street front on this floor is used as a billiard-room.

On the Carondelet street front, above the vestibule on the second floor, is the steward's or business office, to which from each of the forty rooms in the building run the electric wires.

Next to the office is the cafe, a large room, well ventilated, and containing twelve cherry tables with chocolate and white-veined Tennessee marble tops. The cherry mantel in this cafe is one of the richest in the building, and like the rest is of the high English type. Its top is ornamented with a large bronze plaque, on which is embossed a scene representing a Grecian academy, with all the sciences personified ; while its border displays artistic figures playing on various musical instruments. The tiling of both hearth and fireplace is rich, and sets off to advantage the old-fashioned brass andirons. The parqueterie on the floor is in cherry and oak, in keeping with the furniture.

Other rooms in this portion of the building are the writing room and the reading room or library, but the handsomest in the whole building is the reception room. It occupies the entire Canal street front. Three large mirrors cover the back wall, and as a novelty through the middle of two of these highly ornamented gas brackets are run. The rear end of the room is almost taken up with a mantel, wrought of black walnut, the carving being of intricate and elaborate finish, which with the artistic fire-place and antique grate give an Elizabethan air to the apartment. The top of the mantel is a large mirror, and the back of the grate an open cinquefoil. A huge rug composed of brown bear skin, bordered with black, is a fit companion

to such a fire-place. In the corner of the room is an oriel window of stained glass in blues and yellows, with jewel ornaments, and in this alcove stands a dignified-looking stork, of life-size, and wrought in bronze.

In front of the large windows stand the statues of two dancing girls in marble, whose pose is full of the poetry of motion. In fine, in the perfection of its appointments, this club ranks with the finest in the Union. In no two of the forty rooms of the building is the furniture alike, and all of it is of the most elegant workmanship and artistic design.

Nearly all the rooms contain fine works of art, statues, bronzes and handsome pictures, water colors and engravings.


In 1877 the young business and professional men of New Orleans began to feel that the habits, constitution and membership of the clubs of the city did not afford them exactly the thing they wanted ; and a hundred and ten young men whose ties of friendship, formed by a boyhood and youth of intimacy, were cemented upon the verge of manhood by a similarity of tastes and fortunes, established the Louisiana Club. These were the jeimesse dor'te of the city, young men, as a rule of family and of expectations, licentiates of the learned professions or apprentices to the business of their fathers, some already embarked for themselves on the sea of commercial life. Few had reached their twenty-fifth year, but all, or nearly all, were men whose character gave assurance of stability in manhood.

Their organization was not, however, accomplished in full faith of the success they have since achieved. The club was an experiment. Unpretentious rooms were chosen at 24 Baronne street, where now is the hall of the Sugar Planters' Association. The nr~aber of members was but slightly increased, when in October, 1S77, the club quarters were removed to corner of Bourbon and Canal streets.

In the succeeding year came the great epidemic, bringing to the club its share of the general affliction. Of the sixty-eight members who remained in the city twenty-two were seized with yellow fever, but of these only four died. Throughout that terrible time the devotion of these clubmen to their sick fellows completed the entente cordiale among them. What in every other respect was to them as to the city a great misfortune proved the most effectual means of perpetuating and intensifying that intimacy and unity of spirit which distinguishes the club.

When the pestilence had passed and the club was rehabilitated with the reviving business of the city, another move was made, this time to 180 Canal street. Here the popularity and prosperity of the institution grew apace, and the club was no longer an experiment, but became a most decided success. Other young men of the city were attracted, and in October, 188S, it became necessary to seek quarters more commodious and more convenient to the business of the city* with which most of the members were actively identified. This time the eyes of the club fell upon a milliner's establishment. But this time there was no intention of going upstairs. The \ club had grown to 180 in numbers, and its wealth and capacity were more than proportionately 'increased. It was determined to secure the whole of that building so long occupied by Mme. Olympe.

The present club house is 144 Canal street, just between the Pickwick and Boston clubs. It is of red pressed brick and granite, three and a half stories high. It was originally built as a residence, but is most admirably adapted to the purposes of a club-house. The ceilings are lofty and the apartments spacious and conveniently arranged.

At the end of the hallway a pretty little room fitted up in terra cotta and gold serves for the reception of strangers, who are not allowed elsewhere in the club-house, the privacy of the club being closely guarded.

Another door from the hallway leads to a back gallery opening upon a court, where are located the kitchen, bath-rooms, servants'-rooms, etc Upstairs, over the sitting-room below,

are two sitting-rooms equipped with cool cane-bottomed furniture. The bar and lunch-room is situated between the maiu building and the rear wing, and upstairs is the billiard-room.

The first president of the club was Alfred Frellsen; next, Hon. F. A. Monroe; next, Hon. E. D. White, formerly of the Supreme Court bench. The present incumbent, Mr. Phelps, succeeded Judge White.

The membership of the club is now 200, which number is the limit fixed by the constitution, and at present there seems little disposition to remove the limit. The club, though close in the strictest sense of the word, has yet done much for the social and cultured life of the city, taking an active part in the spectacular exhibitions which have added so much to the fame and the prosperity of New Orleans.


During the latter part of June, 1880, a number of gentlemen who had formerly belonged to chess clubs in this city, and who had witnessed with no little regret, the untimely dissolution of each and all of them, at several informal meetings discussed the project of re-establishing such a club in New Orleans, to be kept up for recreation in the idle days of summer and abandoned as the busier period of the fall should approach. Naturally these discussions were confined to a very limited circle, but they eventually resulted in a search (and a prolonged one it was) for rooms suitable for the intended organization and within the very slender means anticipated for it. This difficult task was undertaken by a self-appointed committee, and notwithstanding energetic efforts it was nearly the middle of the succeeding month before anything definite was accomplished. However, on Thursday, July 21,1880, the intended club held its first informal meeting over Eugene Krost's saloon, 128 Gravier street. Mr. Charles A. Maurian was elected president, and Mr. James D. Seguiu secretary, each pro tern., and a committee was appointed to draft a constitution.

It had already been suggested that, to insure greater attraction and a more enlarged interest the games of checkers and whist should be added to that of chess, and the committee on constitution were instructed to report accordingly. The second meeting of the club occurred July 24, 1880, with thirty-five members present out of a membership that had already reached fifty-two, and the constitution reported by the committee was adopted.

The project of the originators meeting with an encouraging and speedy success, it soon became necessary to seek more commodious quarters, and a comfortable suite of rooms was found over the saloon of Frank Berkes, 168 Common street. On October 21,1880, the club moved into its new location. It now numbered one hundred and ten members, with a prosperous future before it. On December 31 the club made its second move, going into rooms over Mrs. Droste's saloon, 166 Common street. At the meeting of January 6,1881, one hundred and forty members were present, and a small assessment, the first and only one in the history of the club, was levied for the purpose of providing a fund with which to furnish the rooms. The first whist tournament was played in the latter part of October and early part of November, 1880, and lasted about three weeks.

On February 10, 1881, the club moved for the third time, having engaged the spacious rooms at 184 Common street, corner of Varieties alley. At this time there were one hundred and seventy-five names on the roll, and the rooms over Hawkins' saloon were large, commodious and elegantly furnished.

On August 21,1880, the first chess tournament was inaugurated, and continued somewhat desultorily until February 20, 1881.

During February, 1881, the club entertained as a guest Capt. Geo. H. Mackenzie, the celebrated chess player, and champion of America, and subsequently during the months of December, 1881, and January, 1882, Capt. Mackenzie was again its guest. In January, 1883, Herr Wilhelm Steinitz, the famous Austrian master, was similarly entertained by the club, and

during April, 1884, Dr. Zukertort, the great Prussian player and winner of the London Interna tional Tournament of 1883, was likewise its guest.

The club with careful management prospered wonderfully in its Common street quarters. During its stay in this location, up to November, 1883, a number of very interesting and successful tournaments of chess, draughts, billiards and whist were carried out; a large and copiously supplied reading-room was established, and many other improvements introduced. The membership rose with astonishing rapidity, reaching at one time over 600.

About the middle of 1883 the club having now a net strength of about 500 members, and being in fine financial standing it was decided to be both necessary and wise to secure more elegant and commodious quarters.

The governing committee were, therefore, authorized to secure the Perry House, at the corner of Canal and Baronne streets and fit it up for permanent club-rooms.

On the 1st day of December, 1883, the club took possession of their present magnificent quarters.

On the first floor to the right is'the chess room, containing thirteen heavy black walnut chess-tables, with elegant inlaid boards ; the walls are hung with fine pictures, and the mantels hold the photographs of the world's great chess players. Besides, the room is fitted up with all the other appliances and comforts necessary to a first-class chess room.

There are besides these, a number of other rooms in the building, the library and reading room, parlor, music room, reception room, writing room, domino and checker room, billiard room, card room—where, however, playing is only allowed for amusement, no money play being permitted in the building—euchre, backgammon and cribbage room, and finally pool room.

The growth of the club has been phenomenal, and it now includes 1050 members.


The present Harmony Club is the successor of the "Deutscher Company" and the "Young Bachelors' Club," the two having been merged under the present name.

The "Deutscher Company" was organized in 1862, and thus christened with the idea of showing to New Orleans society, that the class of amusements generally pursued by those assemblies which had hitherto contemptuously been dubbed Deutscher companies was not the limit of German accomplishments.

There were only twelve members at the time of organization. Mr. Sol. Marx was made president, and the meetings of the club were held in a little room upstairs over 12 Chartres street. The objects of the club were social, literary and scientific. The founders were all Hebrew gentlemen, A year or so after the organization the quarters of the club were removed to more commodious rooms above Krost's saloon, on Common street, between St. Charles and Carondelet. The club continued to increase in membership, and a general desire was expressed for a club-house of their own, and in pursuance of this idea, they helped to build the house corner of Bienville street and Exchange alley, having the quarters of the club fitted up with a stage and theatrical appurtenances. Here the club remained for five years, and during this time instituted a series of amateur theatricals and concerts, the members being assisted on frequent occasions by outside talent and distinguished professional artists. A number of lectures were also given, Rev. J. K. Gutheim, Dr. Crawcour and other gentlemen of eminence contributing their -wisdom and eloquence for the benefit of the club. While here the name "Deutscher Company " was abandoned, and the club rechristened the Harmony.

During this five years also occurred the union of the Harmony Club with the Young Bachelors, composed of thirty young Hebrew gentlemen, who devoted their energies alike to their own and the ladies' entertainment. At the time of the union the Harmony club numbered 120

members, young and old. In 1867, Mr. Joseph Magner was elected president, serving in this capacity a number of years.

At the expiration of the five years' lease of the corner of Bienville street and Exchange alley the club removed to Odd Fellows' Hall, taking the apartments now occupied by the Continental Guards. The new quarters were fitted up at an outlay of $5,000, and the club entered upon a new era of prosperity and pleasure. Fortnightly entertainments, social, literary and scientific, were instituted, and six or seven grand balls were given each season, and the children were given an entertainment every two weeks. The club remained here for four or five years.

Mr. Magner was succeeded as president by Joseph Kohn, and he in his turn was succeeded by M. L. Navra, under whose administration, the club moved in 1878, to the present place on the comer of Delord and Camp streets, the old Hale house, one of the most elegant mansions in the city.

The club house contains elegant parlors for ladies and gentlemen, dressing rooms for ladies, a well stocked library, dining room, card rooms, billiard rooms, while in the broad yard, covered by the softest and greenest turf, and shaded by the most beautiful shrubbery, is an archery range and bowling alley.

And the Harmony Club does not keep all of this to themselves. Their apartments are always at the service of benevolent associations, while their entertainments are continually filling the luxurious parlors with pleasant company. When theatrical exhibitions are given the gentlemen's parlor seats 250 people, and the library and dining room, being thrown into one with the parlor, make up an excellent auditorium. To complete the character of the club for breadth and liberality, there is no sectarianism about it, for though founded and conducted to its present state of prosperity almost entirely by Hebrew gentlemen, some of its prominent and active members are Christians. The total membership now is 140.

New Orleans possesses beside these a number of other clubs, such as the Commercial, Claiborne, etc., while as for social organizations for the purpose of giving balls, theatrical performances and entertainments of various kinds, their name is legion.

To these clubs much of the pleasure and success of the New Orleans carnival is due. The handsome parades and masquerades then made, are, with few exceptions, paid for by these clubs out of their own treasuries. As some of these parades exceed $25,000 in cost, it will be seen that they prove a heavy tax to the clubs, who receive no benefit from them except the amusement and pleasure afforded to their friends. The fact that the invitations to a carnival ball have to be submitted to a committee of the club giving it, renders it certain that only people of the very highest standing will be present.



On Chartres street, between St. Peter and St. Ann, directly in front of Jackson square, stands the Catholic cathedral of St. Louis, the most impressive building in New Orleans and surrounded by the richest historical memories.

The history of this building and its predecessors, for it is the third or fourth church that has arisen on this same site, is the history of Catholicism in Louisiana, almost the history of the colony itself.

In 1717, one year before the foundation of New Orleans, the Capuchins of the province of Champagne in France, seizing time by the forelock, secured for their body exclusive ecclesiastical jurisdiction over New Orleans and a large portion of the territory of Louisiana. In 1718, Bienville, who was for a second time appointed Governor of the French colony, founded New Orleans. With his loyal and valiant sword he traced the site to be occupied by the present church, and designated the ground on the left upon which to build the Presbytery. Charts issued in 1727 indicate that this site is the one upon which the Cathedral now stands. A wooden and adobe structure was erected under the auspices of the French government, and in honor of the King of France named the Church of St. Louis, about 1720, from which time date the archives of the Catholic Church in New Orleans.

In January, 1721, Father Charlevoix, a Jesuit missionary, reached New Orleans from Canada by way of the Illinois and the Mississippi rivers, and in his description of the infant city he sums it up as consisting of one hundred cabins, placed without much order, a large wooden warehouse, two or three dwelling houses that would not have adorned a village, and a miserable storehouse which had been at first occupied as a chapel—a shed being now used for this purpose. The population of the city did not then exceed 200 persons.

On the eleventh of September, 1723, a fearful tornado or hurricane devastated the colony and played particular havoc with the little city. The hospital and thirty houses were swept from the ground as though made of cardboard. Three vessels that lay in the river at the time were driven on shore, and houses and crops on the plantations, above and below the city, irreparably ruined. The wind had no respect for the sacred, as it blew into atoms the little insignificant parish church, the first place of worship ever erected in Louisiana. This terrible visitation plunged the colonists into such misery and despair, that many attempted to leave the colony, and it was long before the inhabitants recovered from the calamity. The ruined portions of the little city were rebuilt, and in 1724 or 1725 a new and substantial parish church was erected —this time of brick—which served the purposes of the community for over sixty years; the venerable building surviving the ravages of time, but succumbing at last to the flames.

The territory of Louisiana at that time was divided into three grand ecclesiastical districts. The first, extending from the mouth of the Mississippi to the Illinois, was entrusted to the care of the Capuchins, who were the first to administer to the spiritual wants of the people of New Orleans. The bare-footed Carmelites had jurisdiction over the second, which included the districts of Mobile, Biloxi and the Alibamons. The country, watered by the Wabash and Illinois rivers, formed the last of the three divisions, which was the especial care of the Jesuits. Churches and chapels were constructed at convenient points throughout the colony. Heretofore, the only places of worship were sheltered spots in the forest marked by large wooden crosses. The spirit of intolerance among the colonists was very strong, and this was encouraged

by an edict of Governor Bienville's, issued in March, 1724, which prohibited the exercise of any other religion than the Catholic, and Jews, especially, were ordered to be expelled from the colony as enemies of the Christian name.

In the fall of the same year two Capuchin friars or monks of the order of St. Francis reached New Orleans from France, to whom was given the spiritual control of New Orleans.

An arrangement was made with the Jesuits, by which Father Petit, the Superior of that order, was permitted to reside in New Orleans, but could not exercise any ecclesiastical functions without the permission of the Superior of the Capuchins, under whose spiritual jurisdiction New Orleans was placed. He was to be furnished by the Company with a chapel, vestry room, and a house and lot for his accomodation, and for the temporary use of such Jesuits as might arrive in New Orleans on their way to their posts in the northern portion of the territory. The Jesuit missionaries were conveyed to Louisiana at the expense of the India Company, and they were each paid a yearly salary of 60Q livres ($133.33), with an extra annual allowance of 200 livres ($44.44) for the first five years, Each missionary received at the start an outfit of 450 livres ($100), and a chapel, and at each mission either money or goods were furnished to defray the expenses of building the chapel and presbytery. The Jesuit lay brothers received their passage and a gratification of 150 livres ($33.33), but no salary. The house and chapel constructed for the Superior in New Orleans, was situated upon a concession of ten ai'pents of land fronting on the river a little above what is now Canal street. The Jesuits improved the front of their land with a plantation of the myrtle wax shrub, and remained upon it until their expulsion in 1764. Father Bruno, the Superior of the Capuchins, was appointed Vicar-General of New Orleans by the Bishop of Quebec, in whose diocese the territory of Louisiana was then included. He acted as curate of the parish with the assistance of two monks as vicars. A monastery, erroneously called a convent, was erected for the Capuchins, resident in New Orleans, on the square below the church, the site of the present presbytery.

On the 13th of September, 1726, an agreement was also made with two Ursuline nuns of the convent of Rouen, named Marie Fransoise Tranchepain, known as Sister St. Augustin, and Marie Anne le Boulanger, known as Sister St. Angelique, with the assistance of Mother Catharine Bruscoli, of St. Amand, and four other nuns of their order, to take charge of the education of the young girls of the new oolony and to nurse the sick in the hospital. According to contract they were to reside permanently in Louisiana; were to be transported with four servants, at the cost of the Company, and to receive as a gratuity, before their departure, the sum of 500 livres. The Ursuline nuns embarked with Jesuit missionaries in a Company ship, and arrived in New Orleans in the summer of 1727. The hospital, then situated at the corner of Chartres and Bienville streets, was put in possession of the nuns upon their arrival, and they resided in it until a more convenient dwelling could be built for them. The Company conceded to the hospital a tract of land on the side of the city opposite the Jesuit plantation, fronting eight acres on the Mississippi and forty in depth, as a plantation to supply the wants of the L^rsulines and to afford them a sufficient remuneration for their services in the hospital. Each of the nuns received 600 livres a year until their plantation was in full cultivation. In the agreement made with them by the India or Western Company, it was expressly stipulated that, if they ceased to serve in the hospital as agreed upon, they would forfeit their plantation and the immovables attached to the hospital, and retain only the negroes and other movables.

Soon after the arrival of the nuns the India Company laid the foundation of a very large edifice for a nunnery in the lowest square on the levee, on Conde street (now Chartres), between Barracks and Hospital streets, and a military hospital was built near it. The nuns removed to their new quarters in the latter part of 1733, when it was completed, and continued to occupy it until 1824, when they moved to their present more spacious and delightful retreat on the banks of the river below the city. At that time it was three miles from the city walls. Up to the time of the construction of this convent the old one was the largest house in Louisiana.

In 1755 there sprang up in the colony a sort of religious warfare, which added to the dis-

traction produced by the expectation of perils from abroad. It was called the War of the Jesuits and the Capuchins, and produced great excitement at the time. Gayarre chronicles the history of that exciting and memorable controversy as follows: "In the agreement entered into with the India Company in 1726, the Jesuits had taken care to procure, as an apparently insignificant favor, that their Superior might reside in New Orleans, on condition that he should not discharge there any ecclesiastical functions, unless it should be with the consent of the Superior of the Capuchins. This was an entering wedge which the dexterity of the Jesuits turned to good purpose, so far as their interest was concerned."

But in 1764 the Capuchins were rid of their redoubtable adversaries, in consequence of the famous Order of Expulsion issued by the French Government againft this celebrated religious order. All their property in Louisiana was seized, confiscated, and sold for $180,000, a very large sum at that time. It is well known that the Jesuits of Spain and Naples shared the same fate with those of France, and that they were almost simultaneously expelled from all the domains appertaining to those three kingdoms.

The ancient plantation of the Jesuits was immediately above the old city, and included all of what is now the First district of that city, its commercial and manufacturing centre.

On the twenty-second of February, 1770, General O'Reilly, who had taken possession of the province in the name of the King of Spain, upon its transfer to the Spanish government, issued a proclamation instituting several changes. No change, however, took place in the ecclesiastical government of the province. Father Dagobert, curate of New Orleans, was permitted to continue in the exercise of his pastoral functions and in the administration of the southern part of the diocese of Quebec, of which the bishop had constituted him vicar-general. The other Capuchins were maintained in the curacies of their respective parishes.

The attendance of the Ursuline nuns in the hospital, according to a bull obtained from the Pope, was dispensed with ; their service had become merely nominal, being confined to the daily attendance of two nuns during the visit of the King's physician. After noting his prescription they withdrew, contenting themselves with sending from the dispensary, which was kept in the convent, the medicines he had ordered.

The Spanish government, deeming it a matter not merely of policy, but of necessity, for the preservation of its peculiar institutions, that the rising generation of the colony should be instructed in the Spanish language, sent over from Spain, in 1772, a priest and two assistants to teach that language. In the same year four young Spanish novices arrived from Havana, who, upon taking the veil in the convent of the Ursulines, were also employed in teaching Spanish to young females. This, the solitary instance of interest manifested by the Spanish government in the encouragement of learning during its administration of affairs in Louisiana, produced almost a revolution among the French Creoles, the young women in particular rebelling against this attempt to make them recite their lessons in Spanish. So earnest was the protest that this attempt to introduce the Spanish language into Louisiana proved a complete failure, and although Castilian was one of the official languages of the colony as late as 1803, it died very soon after the departure of the Spanish troops to Havana.

In the year 1779. six Capuchin friars arrived from Spain, and among them was the celebrated Father Antonio de Sedella, better known as Father Antoine, whose memory is revered to this day by the faithful. He was curate of the parish for nearly fifty years, and the Cathedral is almost inseparably connected in the minds of old residents with the excellent old man, adored for his universal benevolence. He is said to have performed nearly one-half of the marriage and funeral ceremonies of the inhabitants of the province during his curacy. He was instituted curate on the twenty-fifth of November, 1785, and exercised his pastoral functions until his death, at the age of nearly ninety years, in 1827.

And now appears upon the scene an individual who was the instrument of much good inhis day. He, his descendants and contemporaries, l.aYe played prominent parts in the annals of £few Orleans, and the history of the city could not be written without mention of his career,

We refer to Don Andres Almonaster-y-Roxas, the founder of the St. Louis Cathedral. After the terrible conflagration of 1788, which destroyed the brick Parish Church, built in 1734 or 1725, mass was celebrated in a temporary building erected for the purpose. In the latter part of 1788, Don Almonaster offered to the Superior Council or Cabildo, to rebuild the church on a still grander and more massive scale at his own expense, the government to repay him for his expenditure upon the completion of the edifice. His proposition was accepted, the foundation of the Cathedral laid in the spring of 1792, and completed two years later. He also secured the contract for, and built the buildings on each side of the Cathedral, the one on the left intended for a presbytery, now occupied by the Civil District Courts and the Civil Sheriff, and the one on the right built for a town-hall and jail, in which the Cabildo held its sessions, now occupied by . the Supreme Court, the Second Recorder's Court and the Third Precinct Station.

Hardly had the new Cathedral been built, when, on the fete of the Immaculate Conception, ' the eighth of December of the same year (1794), another great conflagration consumed the principal portion of the city. The only edifice of importance which almost miraculously escaped destruction was the newly-built Cathedral.

Don Andres Almonaster-y-Roxas, a native of Mayrena, Province of Andalusia, Spain, was of noble birth, a colonel of the provincial troops in Louisiana, and a cavalier of the royal and distinguished order ot Carlos III. His parents were Don Miguel Jose Almonaster and Donna Maria Joanna de Estrada-y-Roxas. In August, 1769, he was appointed a King's Notary, similar to notary public to-day, and in 1779 chosen by the Cabildo or Governing Council (analogous to the City Council), for ordinary Alcalde or Justice of the Peace, for the years 1789 and 1790, in conjunction with a certain Don Ortega. He also succeeded Don Regnio as Perpetual Regidor and Alferez Ileal wilich positions he held during life, and was succeeded, upon his death, by his father-in-law, M. Pierre Denys de Laronde.

Besides having been the builder or founder of the Cathedral and the buildings on either side of it, Don Almonaster founded the St. Charles Charity Hospital and its chapel, the chapel of the Lazarists, the chapel of the Ursulines Convent, a hospital for lepers, schools for little children and the Presbytery of the Cathedral. Don Almonaster was married in the Parish Church on the twentieth of March, 1787, just a year before it was destroyed by the great fire, to Mile. Louise de Laronde, a beautiful young Creole of New Orleans, daughter of M. Pierre Denys de Laronde. Don Almonaster's only child and daughter, MicaelaLeonarda Antonia, afterwards the celebrated Mme. Pontalba, was born on the sixth of November, 1795, her father being then 71 years of age. On the twenty-third of October, 1811, she was married in the Cathedral by Father Antonio to Joseph Xavier Celestine Delfau de Pontalba, a native of New Orleans, son of Joseph Xavier Delfau, Baron de Pontalba, in the presence of a brilliant assembly. Col. Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville representing Marshal Ney, Due d'Elchingen, the celebrated comrade in arms of Napoleon, gave the bride away, and the Cavallero de Macarty, M. Ignace Delino de Chalmet, M. Laselve de St. Avid and Mme. Deverges de St. Sauveur, officiated as witnesses. Mme. de Pontalba died on the twentieth of April, 1874, at her magnificent hotel, No. 41 Faubourg St. Honore, Paris, leaving three sons to inherit the wealth and vast landed estates which she had inherited from her father. Her husband died three or four years later at the age of eighty five. His father, also a native of New Orleans, had been, in his day, a colonel of the Royal Exercitot, and commandant of the Cote d 1 Allemande (German Coast" and the Parish of Iberville.

Don Andres Almonaster-y-Roxas died in New Orleans at the age of seventy-three years, on the twenty-sixth of April, 1798, and was buried in the grand old edifice built under his superintendence, bringing him so much substantial benefit in life and glory after death, He lies in front of the Altar of the Sacred Heart and of St. Francis of Assisi, and in the floor over his grave is a large marble slab, on which are inscribed his eoat-of^arms and the record of his life, his honors and his deeds.

In 1808, when the United States took control- of Louisiana, there was not in the entire coionv, a Protestant church or Jewish synagogue Indeed., there was a plentiful lack; q{

Catholic churches, as the St. Louis Cathedral was the only church of any description or faith in the city, if we except the chapel of the Lazarists. and that attached to the Ursuline Convent and Charity Hospital.

It was feared at first that the transfer of the colony to the United States, would cause a trouble on account of the religious differences : and Governor Claiborne, the new American Governor, found the religious excitement very strong, and threatening considerable difficulty.

On the eleventh of July, Governor Claiborne received a letter from Vicar-General Walsh, in which he complained " of the interruption of public tranquility, which had resulted from the ambition of a refractory monk, supported in his apostasy by the fanaticism of a misguided populace and by the countenance of an individual I the Marquis of Casa-Calvo 1 , whose interference was fairly to be attributed less to zeal for the religion he would be thought to serve, than to the indulgence of private passions and the promotion of views equally dangerous to religion and to civil order/' He also informed Governer Claiborne that two individuals had gone to Havana for the express purpose of procuring a re-inforcement of monks to support Father Antonio de Sedella in " his schismatic and rebellious conduct;" and prayed for such relief and assistance as the Executive could afford him. Claiborne's reply was, "that under the American government, where the rights of conscience are respected and no particular sect is the favorite of the law, the civil magistrates were bound carefully to avoid interference in religious disputes, unless, indeed, the public peace should be broken or menaced, and then it became their duty to act." In recommending harmony and tolerance to the priest, Governor Claiborne observed : " For if those who prof ess to be the followers of the meek and humble Jesus, instead of preaching brotherly love and good will to man, and enforcing their precepts by example, should labor to excite dissension and distrust in a community, there is, indeed, ground to fear that the Church itself may cease to be an object of veneration."

Though the Abbe Walsh's attempt to enlist Governor Claiborne's support in his cause, as against that of Father Antoine, was unsuccessful, he yet insinuated some doubts into the Governor's mind, as to the loyalty of the popular curate. As a result of his doubts and fears, Governor Claiborne thus addressed the Secretary of War, after adverting to other matters, "We have a Spanish priest here who is a very dangerous man. He rebelled against the superiors of his own church and would even rebel, I am persuaded, against this government whenever a fit occasion may serve. This man was once sent away by the Spanish authorities for seditious practices, and I am inclined to think that I should be justifiable, should I do so likewise. This seditious priest is Father Antoine. He is a great favoiite of the Louisiana ladies, and has married many of them and christened all their children. He is by some citizens esteemed an accomplished hypocrite ; has great influence with the people of color, and report says, embraces every opportunity to render them discontented under the American government." Following up his apprehensions, Governor Claiborne requested Father Antoine to report to the Government House. There, in the presence of the Mayor of the city and of Col. Bellechasse, member of the Legislative Council, the Governor informed him of the reports which were being circulated about his conduct. Father Antoine listened to them with his usual humility, solemnly protested his innocence, and pledged his word to support the government and promote good order. Governor Claiborne, nevertheless, thought it proper to administer to him the oath of allegiance, and caused his conduct to be carefully watched. "The priest," wrote the Grovernor, in his report to the authorities at Washington, "declared the reports to have originated in the malice of his enemies. The division in the Catholic churoh has excited many malignant passions, and it is not improbable that some injustice has been done to this individual."

In February, 1850, the principal tower of the Cathedral fell, injuring' the roof and walls to a great extent. When the wardens set about having the Cathedral repaired, they concluded to alter and enlarge the building to its present dimensions and appearance. It is the prevalent erroneous belief that the Cathedral was torn down ana; rebuilt in 1850, This is a mistake, as [\

was simply altered and improved, and not rebuilt. The following is a description of the Cathedral before its renovation and alteration in 1850: "The architecture of the Cathedral is by no means pure, but is riot wanting in effect on this account. The lower story is of the rustic order, flanked at each of the front angles by hexagonal towers, projecting one-half of their diameter, showing below Tuscan antae at each angle, and above pilasters of plain mason-work, in the same style, with the antique wreaths on the frieze of the entablatures. These towers are crowned by low spires, erected after Latrobe's designs, about a. d. 1814. The grand entrance to the Cathedral is in the middle of the front, being a semi-circular arched door, with two clustered Tuscan columns on either side. This entrance is flanked by two smaller doors, similar to the principal one. The second story of the front has the same general appearance as to the same number of columns, etc, as the lower one, but is of the Roman Doric order. Above, and corresponding to the principal entrance, is a circular window, with niches on either side of the side doors below. On the apex of the pediment of this story rises the principal turret, being in the Tuscan style, and in two parts—the lower being square, about twenty feet in height, with circular apertures on each side, the upper hexagonal having a belfry, witli apertures on each side for letting out the sound, flanked by antae. The proportions of the order are not observed in this belfry, which was erected about 1824 by Le Riche. The Cathedral has a tenure, to speak in legal phrase, of every Saturday evening offering masses for the soul of its founder, Don Ai dres Almonaster-y-Roxas, and every evening of that day as the sun sets does the mournful sound of the tolling bell recall his memory to the citizens."

The remains of the celebrated curate, Father Antoine, and many of his successors in office, lie buried under the floor of the vestry in the Cathedral, back of the altar of Notre Dame de Lourdes. Underneath the marble pavement of the Cathedral, in front of this altar and on the side opposite the grave of Don Almonaster, lie the remains of three cavaliers, of noble descent whose names are prominent in the early annals of Louisiana. They are, as the French inscription on the marble slab in the floor relates : Francois Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville, founder of the old Creole families of Marigny and Mandeville. He was a Chevalier of the Royal and Military Order of St. Louis and Major de Place, of New Orleans, born at Bayeux in Normandy, and died in New Orleans, Nov. 1st, 1728. The second is the son, Antoine Philippe, Chevalier of the Royal and Military Order of St. Louis, and Captain of Infantry in the service of France; born at Mobile, Feb. 28th, 1722; died in New Orleans, Nov. 6th, 1779. And lastly, the son of the preceding, Pierre Philippe, Chevalier of the Royal and Military Order of St. Louis and Captain of Infantry under fhe Spanish Government, born in New Orleans, June 15th, 1751, died May 11th, 1800.


It would, indeed, be strange if the Spanish domination had not bequeathed to New Orleans something of ecclesiastical, as well as of legal and of military romance—something of monastic legend as well as the history-graven tablets of severe and extraordinary laws, or the traditions of colonial wars and soldier-governors, austerely dignified as the portraits of Velasquez. It would be strange if the priests and the friars of hieratic Spain had not taken a hand in the early history of Louisiana, and left behind them popular memories much more clearly outlined than the picturesque figures of Alcaldes or Alferez-Reals. It would be stranger still, however, if the sombre-garbed and iron-featured ecclesiasticism of Catholic Spain, and the almost jovially pious, paternally benevolent ecclesiasticism of Catholic France had encountered one another without producing in the social body a disturbing ferment, as of antagonistic chemicals brought into sudden conjunction. The spirit of church discipline in France, from the period of Louis le Grand—and, indeed, long before it also—until the fall of the old regime, had softened fehe austerity of its countenance in accordance with the polished luxury of the period ; while that of Spain had relaxed nothing of its gloomy and grim severity, and had lost but little of its fear-inspiring judicial power. The Inquisition was still mighty when Louisiana was ceded to Spain ;


and at this very time the French ecclesiastics who administered ghostly comfort to the Creoles were leading rather jolly lives. At least it is certain that the Spanish monks who came to the colony with the new administration were greatly scandalized at what they heard and saw; there was much fuss and fury in consequence ; and the history of that church quarrel is one of the most curious episodes in the chronicles of Louisiana.


Father Dagobert, of sainted memory, was the thorn upon which the newly arrived piety of austere Spain unexpectedly sat down. He was Superior of the French Capuchins of Louisiana, and Vicar-General of the diocese. There had been a tremendous row in 1755 between the Jesuits and the Capuchins, which ended in the expulsion of the Jesuits from the territory, owing in chief to the wonderful diplomacy of Father Hilaire de Geneveaux, Superior of the Capuchins. Father Geneveaux was, if not a strict disciplinarian, at least a learned abbot; but he refused to assist the Superior Council in their scheme of revolt against the Spanish Government, which proved at last so fatal to the schemers. So they shipped Father Hilaire out of the country, and Father Dagobert reigned abbot in his stead.

There were many things about the character of this Father Dagobert which remind one of Balzac's jolly friars. Were it possible to believe what the Spanish monks wrote of him, he might be compared to the monk Amador, " who was a glorious abbot of Turpenay." He lived comfortably and wore cleanly attire. He was fat and rubicund, and hated trouble much more, perhaps, than he hated even the devil. Nevertheless he would have put himself to trouble at any time in preference to troubling anybody else. He loved a good dinner and enjoyed a good laugh; he delighted to go to christenings and weddings; he liked a glass of good wine, and revelled in an uproarious joke ; he enjoyed the fun of pinching a rosy cheek and poking a sly joke at some pretty maiden ; he mixed piety with joviality as he mingled water with wine ; he made it a rule of his life never to disagree with anybody when he could help it; and he ate with publicans and sinners. He agreed with the Supreme Council in their scheme of revolt; but he also agreed to receive Count O'Reilly and the Spanish troops, as Vicar-General of the colony, and to bless the Spanish colors. Such is the joy-loving, merry-making, charity-bestowing character of this holy man, as pictured to us by the historians of Louisiana ; and it is not surprising that the Creoles loved him and revered him at once. Nobody but Father Dagobert had married any French couple or christened any French children for years before the Spanish monks came from Havana to the city of New Orleans.

Before that time, of course, the fame of Father Dagobert had gone abroad. He had a reputation even in Havana as a most holy and influential ecclesiastic. He was reported to be a saint. He was believed to live like a hermit. It was rumored that he wore sackcloth and flagellated himself with appalling severity, and almost starved his body of the necessaries of life. What other manner of holiness, indeed, could the mind of a Spanish ascetic comprehend? When the Spanish Capuchins appeared upon the scene, they found that mere rumors cannot always be trusted. Instead of finding Father Dagobert mourning for his own sins and everybody else's, they found him a constant visitor at wedding banquets and christening dinners; instead of being seated in sackcloth and ashes, they found him perambulating the streets of New Orleans in comfortable raiment; instead of being gaunt with mortifications and pale with prayer, they found him fat and sleek beyond the ordinary degree ; instead of being poor and miserable they discovered that both he and his monks were rich and happy; instead of being utterly secluded from the world and its temptations, they saw that he lived in a fine building well furnished with comforts, and was daily waited upon—O shocking revelation !—by handsome quadroons and mulatresses.

Just at this unpleasant juncture of affairs, the Spanish monks fell in with Father Hilaire de Geneveaux, the former Superior of the Cupuchins, who had returned to the colony, and who,

as you may well suppose, was in no amiable frame of mind on the subject of Father Dagobert. He became their guide, philosopher and friend ; he gave them much advice which they did not require, and taught them to believe many things which they had not even imagined. What; had seemed to them shocking, he magnified to the proportions of outrageousness ; what at first appeared to them simply bad, he taught them to recognize as diabolical. Very soon Father £irilo, who had led the Spanish Capuchins to the scene of scandal, wrote a series of terrible letters to the Bishop of Havana, whose spiritual jurisdiction extended over the colony. Some of these letters, as translated and preserved by Charles Gayarre in his admirable history of Louisiana, are most curious and amusing. Others he has omitted to use, dismissing them with the remark that they are written with a freedom of language worthy of a Juvenal, and hardly fitted for aa English dress. Tho object of Cirilo was to have Dagobert removed from his position of ecclesiastical authority as a person unfitted by reason of his own wickedness to assume the tutelage of souls. The first letter Cirilo wrote was very long and cunningly worded ; it treated of the number of young colored women in the convent, and other matters, in a manner calculated to excite the suspicions of the bishop; but it was not violent nor openly uncharitable. His subsequent letters were of a very different kind, however, as the following extracts from one of them will show :

"Illustrious Sir— The evils by which we are surrounded compel us to expose the wicked actions which these monsters, rather than Capuchins, perpetrate against our persons, against God and His holy things. It is not my intention, most excellent sir, to trouble you with trifles; and therefore, with regard to what concerns ourselves, I shall merely say that the very Spanish name is an object of abomination to these friars, because they cannot even bear the sight of the things which are of God and which appertain to our divine religion, because these friars or monsters think that we have come to repress the abuses which they love, and to reform their evil ways. Therefore they hate us. * * * When they have bags full of dollars, we are obliged to have recourse to our friends to relieve our necessities. * * * What is most deplorable is to see in the convent the concubine of the friars, for such is the reputation she bears. She has three sons, although who her husband is God only knows. They eat at our table, and off the plate of Father Dagobert, who, without shame, or fear of the world at least, if not of God, permits them to call him papa. She is one of the mulatresses who are kept in the house. She is the absolute mistress of the establishment, and the friars have for her so much attachment that they strive who shall send to the cherished paramour the best dish on the table before any one else is allowed to taste it. * * * There are, however, greater evils which afflict our hearts, and which are the sins they clearly commit against God and His holy sacraments. Baptism is administered without any of the ceremonies prescribed by the Romish ritual; and the consecrated oil itself is impure and stale. * * * As to the Eucharist, that mystery which makes angels tremble with awe, we found that the sacramental elements were so full of insects which fed upon them, and presented so disgusting an appearance that we were obliged to fling them away, as if they had been the veriest filth. So great is the detestable negligence of these friars that I think they must be the disciples either of Luther or Calvin. * * * You must also be made to know, most excellent sir, that the Viaticum is not administered to the blacks, to the mulattoes, nor to the culprits who are sentenced to death ; and having asked Father Dagobert for the cause of it, he answered that it was to establish a distinction between the whites and the blacks. Did you ever hear a more cruel answer? * * * These priests also demean themselves in the choir, where they are seen stuffing their noses with tobacco, crossing one leg over the other, staring in all directions, and moving the very angels to wrath. * * * The perversity of these men is such that they are not content with being wicked themselves, but they also wish us to follow their example, a"nd to abstain from fasting and observing the holy days. As an excuse for their doings they say they are not Spaniards. * * * I can assure your grace that they spare no pains to make me like one of them, and to induce me to wear a shirt and stockings and to become as lax in my morals and habits as they are.*'

However great may have been the discerning powers of the illustrious dignitary to whom these poignant epistles were addressed; however plainly he may have been able to perceive, as we can easily do at this day, a certain spirit of jealousy and malevolence in the letters of Father Cirilo, yet he could hardly receive such information without experiencing a feeling of righteous anger against Abbot Dagobert and the French Capuchins. At the same time he felt puzzled as to what course he should pursue. Cirilo, while stirring up all the discord, had not lost sight of the fact that it would prove a very dangerous undertaking to remove Father Dagobert from his office at once, and he bad taken the precaution to inform the bisbop of this. Abbot Dagobert was so much loved by the colonists that it was actually feared his removal would depopulate the colony, that his flock would follow him whithersoever he might be sent, or that, in the event of his remaining in the city, his suspension would excite a riot among the people. At this juncture Gov. Unsaga interfered on the side of the French Capuchins, and wrote a respectful letter of remonstrance to the bishop, in which the Spanish friars were severely handled. The bishop took offense at the boldness of the Governor's rebuke, and referred the matter to the Spanish court at Madrid. So, likewise, did the Governor, who was determined that the French Capuchins should not be persecuted. The Government, without uttering any decisive opinion upon the issues of the quarrel, gravely advised both prelate and Governor to compromise their disagreement in such a fashion as would best preserve harmony between the civil and ecclesiastical authorities in Louisiana. This austere advice had a most beneficial and cooling effect, as of an application of ice water to local inflammation. The quarrel ended, and Father Dagobert was not subjected to further molestation. Still, his memory is kept holy in Louisiana.


But there was also a Spanish monk, who in after years made himself not less beloved by the colonists than was Father Dagobert. That monk was Father Antonio de Sedella, whom the French Creoles yet speak of reverentially, as the Pere Antoine, the same Pere Antoine who figures so romantically in a certain legend concerning the date-palm on Orleans street. Yet Father Antonio came to New Orleans under peculiarly inauspicious and unpleasant circumstances. In fact he was sent to Louisiana from Madrid as a commissary of the Holy Inquisition ; and with the advent of Father Antonio began and ended the only attempt ever made to introduce the Inquisition into the colony. It was in 1789 that that attempt was made, and the just, humane and fearless Don Estevan Miro was then Governor of Louisiana. The commissary of the Holy Inquisition hastened to pay respects to his excellency; to exhibit his papers, and to demand that the troops be placed at his disposal whenever they should be needed in the matter of arresting or punishing heretics. Don Estevan Miro received the Inquisitor graciously, and, with a peculiar and sinister smile which delighted Father Antonio, informed him that trooops should be promptly sent to his residence. Then the holy man retired and zealously commenced his secret preparations for the detection and extinction of heresy in the city of New Orleans. One night, shortly after he had gone to bed, he heard the heavy tramp of armed men booming along the convent corridor ; then came the bang of the musket butt against the cell door, and opening it the Father beheld without a file of Spanish soldiers, headed by an officer in gorgeous uniform. Surprised, yet well pleased, the priest informed the officer that he did not just then want them for active duty, but that he would send for them when necessary, and that for the time being they might retire with the blessing of God. " That is all very fine," replied the moustached officer, grimly; "but the fact is, father, that we want you, and that right speedily." To the utter stupefaction of the Inquisitor, who vainly threatened the soldiers with the vengeance of the Holy Inquisitor, they hurried him down to the levee, put him on board a Spanish vessel, and shipped him direct to Cadiz.

A few years later Father Antonio came back again, but not, indeed, as a wolf in sheep's Slothing, A change had come over the spirit of his dream. He returned, indeed, to purify

souls, but to purify them with holy water rather than by holy fire. He had become rather independent in spirit for a priest, and administered to the wants of men's souls as he himself thought proper. But he made himself so beloved by the people that his memory is yet revered as that of a great saint by the Catholics of New ^Orleans; and, indeed, Father Antonio had quite as good a claim to canonization as any religious man of his age. He is buried under the altar of St. Francis, in the Cathedral; but there are not many who know his resting-place, and even the priests of the old church have forgotten it. Several portraits of him are still in existence. The shadow of the monk thus preserved compels respect and admiration. He seems to have had a grand old face, long and yet massive in its length; if one might speak of the architecture of a face, his was Gothic of the Middle Period. His snowy beard flowed down even to the hempen girdle at his waist, and together with his tonsure, lent him the holy aspect of a medieval St. Anthony; his habit was of the coarsest brown material, and his naked feet were protected by wooden sandals.

He lived like an anchorite, though dwelling in the heart of the city. In the rear of the old St. Louis Cathedral—where he had slept, good soul! since 1829—he built himself a rude hermitage. It was a hideous little hut of planks and boughs, much more uncomfortable than a dog kennel, and much more exposed to weather than a cow shed. It had no furniture but a bed, made of two hard boards, a stool and a holy-water font. But here the good priest slept and ate and prayed; blessing God alike whether it rained or froze ; dispensing alms to the poor and fighting the devil and his angels. Although at his death he left little or nothing, his income must certainly have been enormous; for he never visited a scene of birth, of marriage, or of death, without receiving some gift of the world's goods; and his daily visits were many. His charity, however, was greater than his income ; and his purse, like that of the fairy tale, was being forever emptied, though fresh gold always glittered there in the place of that taken out. This purse, tradition says, was a great bag filled with clinking coin and carried at the girdle. Whenever Father Antonio appeared upon the street, with cowl and sandaled feet, and that delightful purse, all the children of the French quarter followed after him, like the children of Hamelin after the Pied Piper. They would always kneel down beside him in the mud to ask for his blessing when opportunity offered, and they never failed to demand that a lagniappe, in the shape of a small coin, be thrown in with the blessing. It is probable that they cared much more for the lagniappe than they did for the blessing; but the good father never refused either.