Handed down from father to son, and always inhabited by persons of similar tastes and education, these old Creole homes have undergone only such changes as the needs of successive occupants demanded, leaving their original design without material alteration. The old trees-venerable centenarians—still stand where they were planted by the founders of the homestead. Here are still the same expansive patterasof quaintly-shaped beds, with centre-piece of curiously clipped pitti-sporum, and borders of sweet violets, where bloom in succession the old-fashioned jonquils, lilies and amaryllis, and where the fragrant myrtle and cape jessamine maintain their ground against the newer favorite of more modern gardens.

Winds, dews and sunshine indeed seem to have leagued with each generation, as it came, against such influences as would mar the beauties of the old homestead, or steal from the revered demesne any of its wealth of flower or foliage, or in any way disturb the peaceful harmony of form and color which have been so pleasantlv preserved in the long lapse of years.

And so the charming old Creole homestead comes down to its occupants of to-day, one of the few memorials of olden times, worth preserving, that have been well preserved. So many pleasant things cluster about its rooms and galleries and gardens that one wonders if there be any nook or corner wherein to stow a new one. There comes a time, however, during the warm summer months, when an added charm is bestowed upon the old homestead, a charm that casts over it a spell like that of enchantment.

The pretty Creole maiden born to it some dozen happy years before, returns from the convent where she had gone for her education, to spend the summer vacation at home. Although she may not have crossed the flowery borders of young maidenhood, one can realize the fascination slumbering in her dark eyes, as their fringed lids droop over them, softening, but not diminishing their brilliance. Her petite figure is formed with the grace and lightness of a fairy, and her voice is as musical as the song of a bird. Of course the little Creole maiden takes kindly to music. She has been as it were cradled in song. It is mother's milk to her. Her earliest lullabies were operatic airs. She comes of a musical family, and, would be untrue to its traditions if she were not a lover of the art musical. She is fond of the flowers of every hue that decorate the old garden-walks, which in their delicate loveliness seem akin to her, and of the feathered songsters of the woodlands, who cease their song to listen to hers.

Although the Creole maiden is naturally merry and vivacious, there is none of that wild rompishness about her for which others of the same age, but of different training, are often distinguished. Though at the sound of her voice Sisypus would rest upon his stone and pause to listen, there is none of that boisterous merriment which in other households defy the rules of etiquette and the frowns of mothers. And yet at all the merry-makings of the neighborhood demoiselle seems at the summit of girlish felicity. In the gay parties given her as she is about to return to her studies in the convent—the feast which ushers in the fast—she is the merriest of all the demoiselles assembled.

A year or two elapses—probably more, as fortune smiles or frowns upon the family. One day there comes into this old Creole homestead, with its oasis of verdure, a young girl, pretty as its flowers, happy as its birds. It is our little demoiselle of the vacation. She has finished her education at the convent, and enjoyed a brief but gay season at home or with some of her schoolmates. Orange blossoms shine like stars in the midnight of her hair, and a single rose-bud

iiestles in the while wonder of her bosom. She returns to her home with the benedictions of Holy Church, a Creole bride.

Travel where you will, you will not meet with one so fair, so fresh, so smiling, so graceful, merry and easily contented as she. See her once, whether in the happy family circle or in the dancing throng:, and it is a picture framed in memory undimmed forever.

Of course here is at once one of the brightest names on the illuminated page of society. In accordance with the law and custom of her peculiar circle, she selects her acquaintances and makes up her list of visiting friends, and is fastidious in her selection. She could not be more so if the destinies of the republic were at stake. None but the select are to be found at her receptions, and to be admitted at her reunions is a much coveted honor. All the surroundings of her home, even down to the little bits of porcelain of rare "Faience de Diane de Poitiers"—the heirlooms of honored ancestors—are comme ilfanf. elegant and refined. Her days are passed in fetes and entertainments of every description.

Is the fair Creole bride given over to the gauds and fripperies of fashionable life? Nay. The brighter parts of her character, which shine with increasing lustre with each passing year, have had their source in another school. Her unbounding generosity, her true nobility of thought and feeling, her courage and her truth, her pure, unsullied thought, her untiring charities, her devotion to parents and friends, her sympathy with sorrow, her kindness to her inferiors, her dignified simplicity—where could these have been learned save at the altars of her faith ? And as the family increases does the Creole matron give up her pleasant receptions and bals dansants ? And has the fashionable world only left to it a memory and a tear for what was so brilliant and recherche ? Not so. Not for her the recluse life of the household cypher or the nursury drudge—

''Retired as noontide dew, Or fountain in the noonday grove."

She unites the duties of home with the pleasures of social life. Her graceful influence is felt in both, pleasantly reminding one of the orange tree of her own sunny groves, which bears in its beautiful foliage in the same month the golden fruit of maturity with the fair blossoms of its spring.

With all her wealth of maternal affection the Creole matron is not imprisoned in her nursery to be devoured by her children. In them she has renewed her youth. With her maternity

'Another morn Has risen upon her mid-noon."

Her motherly virtue is her cardinal virtue. Care for her children seems to have contributed indeed to the number and the sensibility of the chords of sympathy and affection.

The Creole matron, however, does not squander upon the infancy of her children all the health necessary to their youth and adolescence, nor does she destroy their sense of gratitude and her own authority, and impair both their constitution and temper by indiscriminate and indiscreet indulgence. She economises her own health and beauty as she adds both to her offspring.

She is all the fonder of what many deem frivolities, because of her children. For them the gay reception, and the graceful dance are pleasant and harmless pastime. In such indulgences her children learn that ease of manner, grace of movement, and the thousand little prettinesses which are so adorable in after years. She has nursed her babies, prepared them for their studies in the convent school, and she thus finishes an important branch of their education which the school books could not furnish.

And thus another belle Creole grows up to womanhood under her loving eye. She is not permitted to form intimacies outside of home.

The watchful care of the Creole matron may be somewhat relaxed as the mind of demoiaelle

beoomes more perfeotly formed, but the invisible rein is still held with a firm, though gentle hand.

The Creole matron is the inevitable duenua of the parlor, and the constant attendant chaperone at all public assemblies ; an ever-vigilant guide, and protector against aught that may offend the fine feeline, the noble pride, or the generous heart of demoiselle. And when the time comes for la belle to marry she does not trust her own unguided fancies, although she may have read in story books of gallant knights, and had many pleasant dreams of such heroes as live only in the pages of poetry and romance. The Creole matron saves her all the trouble in the perplexing choice of a husband, and manages the whole affair with extreme skill, tact and ability. The preliminaries arranged, the selected husband infuturo is invited to the house, the drawing-room cleared of all superfluities, and the couple left to an agreeable tete-a-tete, during which they behave like sensible children and exchange vows and rings. The nuptial mass at the church follows, as there is no breaking of engagements or hearts in Creole etiquette.

The Creole matron grows old, as she does everything else, gracefully. She has not been shaken by the blasts of many passions, or enervated by the stimulants of violent sensations. There is no paled reflex of her youthful warmth in the glance she gives to the past, with its buried joys, or the present, with its all-pervading contentment and happiness.

Although an increased avoirdupois has added magnificence to her embonpoint, and her waltzing days are over, her pretty, well-shaped feet still beat time in unison with the spirit of its music. She is an artiste of conversation, and her bon mot is uttered with such natural avoidance of offense, and the arch allusion is so gracefully applied that she gives one the idea of a new use of language, and yet she is a marvelous listener. Her complaisance is ever ready; words come of themselves upon your lips merely from finding themselves so obligingly listened to ; and whilst others follow the conversation, it is she who directs it, who seasonably revives it, brings it back from the field from which it has strayed, restores it to others without ostentation, stopping with marvelous tact precisely at the proper point. And the world may not know how much of the stately dignity, the polished ease, the refined elegance that reign supreme in her household is the inspiration of its gay mistress, who remains, in age as in youth, the life and ornament of it.

And so with the snows of many winters on her head and the sunshine of many summers in her heart, surrounded by three or four generations of children, blessing and blessed, the Creole matron is at length gathered to her fathers.


Mr. Cable, in his later readings at the North, has given some specimens of the Creole dialect songs, which aroused a great interest in them. The number of these songs is almost without limit, but the following are a few of the most ancient and popular among them:

Z'autres qu'a di moin, ca yon bonneur; Et moin va di, ca yon peine ;— D'amour quand porte la chaine, Adieu, courri tout bonheur !

Pauvre piti' Mamzel Zizi!

Pauvre piti' Mamzel Zizi!

Pauvre piti' Mamzel Zizi! Li gagnin doulor, doulor, doulor,— Li gagnin doulor dans eoeuv a li!

Others say, it is your happiness :, I say, it is your sorrow : When we are enchanted by love, Farewell to all happiness !

Poor little Miss Zizi!

Poor little Miss Zizi i

Poor little Miss Zizi! She has sorrow, sorrow, sorrow ;— She has sorrow in her heart.

This appears to be an old fragment from either the beginning or from the ending of an entire song. A great number of Creole songs, having various airs and differing greatly iu their metrical construction, have similarly worded refrains. A very common burthen in these songs is—

" Mo l'aimin vous Comme cochon aimin la boue !

" I love you just as a little pig loves the mud !" This refrain is found attached, iu various forms, to at least half a dozen various ditties. Here is one specimen:

Si to te 'tit zozo

Et moi-meme mo te fusil

Mo sre tchoue toi— Boum!

Ah, cher bijou


Mo 1' aimin vous Comme cochon aimin la boue 1

If thou wert a little bird, And I were a little gun, I would shoot thee— bang!

Ah, dear little

Mahogany jewel, I love thee as a little pig loves the mud !

In another stanza of the same love song, the lover expresses a wish that his little "mahogany jewel" were a little pig and that he were a little knife, so that he might cut her little throat-zip ! The sound of the knife is well imitated.

Here are several odd little Creole songs, some of them very old. It is said that Bernard Marigny de Mandeville, of famous memory, used to have them sung in his house for the amusement of his guests—among whom, perhaps, was Louis Philippe himself. The airs are very lively and very pretty:

Delaide, mo la reine, Chimin-la trop longue pour alle :— Chimin-la monte dans les hauts ; Tout piti qui mo ye, M'alle monte la haut dans courant, C'est moin, Liron, qui rive M'alle di ye, Bon soir, mo la reine, C'est moin, Liron, qui rive,

'Delaide, my queen, the way is too long for me to travel;—that way leads far up yonder. But, little as I am, I am going to stem the stream up there. "I, Liron, am come," is what I shall say to them. My queen, good-night; 'tis I, Liron, who has come.

Tous les jours de Tan,

Tous les jours de Tan,

Tous les jours de 1'an, Vous pas vini 'oir moin : Mo te couche malade dans lit; Mo voye nouvelles appres mo la reine ; Vous pas seulement vini 'oir moin ; A present qui mo bien gaillard, Cher ami, mo pas besoin 'oir vous.

Every New Year's day you neglected to visit me. I was lying sick iu bed. I sent word to my queen. But you did not even once come to see me. Now that I am quite well, dear friend, I do not want to see you.

L'autre jour, mo couche deyors:

C'est toi qui courri di Madame.

Ah, c'est 'jordi, c'est 'jordi, c'est 'jordi I—

Ah, c'est jordi moin qu'alle connin toi!

Aie !—moin qu'alle connin toi !

Aie !—moin qu'alle connin toi 1 Mo te prend toi pour zami moin ; Pendant to te toujours trahi moin. Ah, c'est 'jordi, c'est 'jordi, c'est 'jordi 1—

Aie !—moin qu'alle connin toi!

The other night I slept out of doors ; 'Tis you who went to tell Madame. Ah, 'tis to-day, 'tis to-day, 'tis to-day ! Ah, 'tis to-day I am going to know you 1

Ay!—I am going to know you !

Ay!—I am going to know you ! I had taken you to be my friend, All the while you were betraying me. Ah, 'tis to-day, etc.

The French exclamation, " Aie 1" indicates pain or distress.

La chanson qui suit a etefaite pour ridiciUiser une mulatresse nominee Toucouton qui voulait se faire passer pour blanche.


Ah ! Toucouton!

Mo connin toi; To semble Morico •

Y'a pas savon

Qui assez blanc Pourlaverto la peau.


Quand blancs la yo donne yo bal,

To pas capable aller :

Comment t'a vaillant giabal.

Toi qui l'aime briller !

Ah! Toucouton! Mo connin toi, etc

Longtenips to cotume prend 'loge Avec gens comme il faut;

Asteur faut to Prend' Jacques—deloge! Y'a pas passe tantot,

Ab ! Toucoutou ! Mo connin toi, etc.

The following song was composed to ridicule a mulato girl named Toucouton, who tried to make herself pass for a white one :

v Ah, Toucouton ! I know you well; You are like a blackamoor ; There is no soap Which is white enough To wash your skin.

When the white folks give a ball,

You are not able to go there;

Ab, how will you be able to play the flirt?

You who so love to shine.

Ah, Toucouton, etc.

Once you used to take a seat Among the fashionable people; Now you must take leave, decamp, Without any delay whatever. Ah, Toucouton, etc.

The following Creole song was popular in Louisiana at the beginning of the century:

Moin pas conne qui quichose

Qui appe tourmente mom la; Moin pas conne qui la cause,

Coeur a moin brule comme 9a. Ah Die ! Qui tourment, qui peine,

Dipis longtemps quimbe moi; C'est tourment la passe chaine,

Plutot moin mouri youne f ois

Toi conne qui belle rigole

Qui coule dans bananiers, Ou toi te si fe la folle ,

La f oi qui toi te baijfwe.

D'leau la pas coule encore,—

Des fois li 'rete tout court,— Li semble regrette encore

Li pas baigne toi toujours,

Here is a free translation

" I do not know what it is which torments me thus.

"I can not tell what it is that makes my heart beat so.

" O God ! what torture ! what pains I have suffered so loug !

" It is worse than the pain of fetters ; I had rather die at once.

' Do you remember the pretty little brook that ran through the banana trees—

"Where you used to have such fun, when you used to bathe ?

" That water has ceased to run ;—

" Since the time it stopped all at once—

"It seems to me it died of regret

"That its wavelets could not embrace you forever."

The following is a remnant of a song which must be considerably over a century old, and which used to be sung by the blacks on the plantations in the early days of the century :

Di terns Missie d'Artaguette,

He ! Ho ! He ! C'etait, c'etait bon terns, Ye te menin monde a la baguette, He i Ho ! He! Pas negres, pas rubans, Pas diamans, Pour Dochans, He ! Ho ! He i

In the days of d'Artaguette,

H6 ! Ho ! He ! It was the good old time, The world was led straight with a switch, H<§ ! Ho ! He ! There were no negroes, No diamonds, For the vulgar, He" ! Ho ! He" !


Lizette quitt6 la plaine

Mon perdi bonher a moue";

Gie a moin semble fontaine

Dipi mon pas mue toue

La jour quand mon coupe canne,

Mon songe zamone a moue

La nuit quand mon dans cabana

Dans dromi mpn quimbe tone

Si to alle la ville Yo trouve jeune Candid Qui gagne pour tvomper fille Bouche doux passe sirop. Yo va crer yo bin sincere Pendant quior yo coquin tro ; C'ests rpent qui contrefaire Crier rat pour tromper yo.

Dipi mon perdi Lizette Mon pas souchie calinda Mon quitte Bra n bram sonnette Mon pas batte Bamboula Quandmo centre l'aut'negresse Mon pas gagne gie pone li. Font qui chose a moin mourri.

Mon inaigne tant com' gnon souche Jambe a moin taut comme roseau, Mange na pa doux dans bouche, Tafia meme c' est comme dyo. Q,uand mon sage tone Lizette, Dyo toujours dans gie moin, Magnel moin vin trop bete A force chagrin mange moin.

Lizet' mon taude nouvelle, To Compte bientot tourne ; Vini done toujours fidele Mire bon passe tande, N' a pas tarde davantage, To fai moin assez chagrin— Mon tant com' zozo dans cage Quand yo fait li mourri faim.


Mouch6 Pr6val Li donne grand bal. Li fait negue paye • Pou saute ain pe.

Danse Calinda, etc.

Li donne soupe Pou negue regale 5 So vie la misique Te baye la collique..

Mouche Preval Te capitaine bal, So cocher Louis Te raait' ceremoni.


Ala ein bourrique Tande la misique, Li vini valse Com quan li cabre.

Yave desnegresses Belle com ye maitresse ; Ye te vole bel-bel Dans Tormoir mamzel.

Blan et pi noir, Ye danse bamboula: Vou pas jamais voir Ain pli gran gala.

Ala gardien la geole, Li trouve' oa bin drole J Li dit: " Mo aussi Ma fait balici."

Et pile wacheman Ye tombe la dan Ye fait branle-bas Dans licherie hi.

Ye mene ye tous Dans la calabous, Lendemain matin Ye fouette ye bin.

Ye te vole bel chain, Ye te vole romaine, Ye te vole n'ecrin, Et pi souye fin.

Ain mari godiche Vini mande postiche Qui te servi so fenime Pou fe la bel dame.

"Comment, Sapajou,

To pran mo kilotte ?"

" Non, mo maite, mo diyou.

Mo jis pran you botte."

Pitit maitresse Li t'ape cri^* • 4 To voir oegressej C'esti mo robe to v<>u

Chez Mouche* Pre>al, Dans la ri n'Opital, Ye* t6 fait negue paye Pou saute ain pe.

Pove Mouche Preval, Mo cr6 li bien mal: Ya pli encor bal Dans la ri n'Opital.

Li paye cent piasse, Li couri la chasse, Li di, c'st fini, Ya pli bal sans permi.


Mo courri dan bois, Zami

Pou tonai zozo, Zami

Aforse mo laimai toi.

Ah! Celeste, Celeste, mo bel bijou

Mo laimai toi com coson laimai la bou.

Si totai zozo, Zami.

Ai motai fizi Zami

Motai touyai toi Zami

Aforse mo laimai toi

Ah ! Celeste, Celeste, mo bel bijou

Mo laimai toi com coson laimai la bou.

Si totai di rie Zami

Motai tourno Zami

Motai mange toi Zami

Aforse me laimai toi

Ah! Celeste, Celeste, mo bel bijou

Mo laimai toi com coson laimai la bou.

Si totai bayou Zami

Motai puaisson, Zami

Motai nagiaie dan toi Zami

Aforse mo laimai toi

Ah! Celeste, Celeste, mo bel bijou

Mo laimai toi com coson laimai la bou.

Si totai la bou Zami

Motai coson Zami

Motai rabourai dan toi Zami

Aforse mo laimai toi

Ah ! Celeste, Celeste, mo bel bijou Mo laimai toi com coson laimai la bou.


In the confused blending of races and nationalities and fragments of foreign communities that went to make up the population of Louisiana in its earlier and later colonial days, a small element in the incongruous whole was that represented by the fugitives from San Domingo, some of whom came directly hither after the massacre of the French in that island, and others found their way here by devious routes, down the Mississippi and by other means from various parts of the United States—Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and other States of the Union.

In a work published in Paris in 1803, by one of these refugees, who had spent the two or 1 three previous years in New Orleans, we are told that the " wretched colonists of San Domingo, escaped amid the flames and the horrors which made of their country a sort of hell, and seeking an asylum across the sea in the United States, were welcomed with open arms by the inhabitants of that country, who came in crowds to the places of landing and there disputed among themselves for the pleasure of taking to their homes the various families and of extending to them all the resources of humanity, in the most sympathetic manner and without the least suspicion of interested motives. All these unfortunate refugees, men, women, and children, of every description, of every color, found themselves, from the day of their arrival, fully assured of the first wants of nature, lodging, food, and clothing. Baltimore, above all, immortalized itself under these memorable circumstances, in the eyes of France, especially, and of the world in general, by the enthusiasm with which she came to the relief of this multitude of unfortunates, and offered a hospitable asylum to strangers without resources. The government of Maryland, co-operating nobly, in what concerned it, in this work of commiseration and magnanimity, moreover assured to these unfortunates pecuniary relief during the first six months of their arrival, as well as lodgings and provisions to those among them who desired lo live in private quarters."

Notwithstanding the alarm that had been aroused in the slave-holding States of the Union by the excesses of the blacks in San Domingo, which led many in those States to fear lest the example of revolt set by them might prove contagious among the negroes in this country, the Legislature of Maryland unanimously passed an enactment permitting the slaves in the service of the refugees who had accompanied their masters into that State to be admitted into Maryland, to serve their masters as usual. Relief proportionate to their condition was also furnished them, and the only condition exacted was that the masters should register them in the municipal offices of the localities in which they might reside. This course was the more commendable in view of the fact that since the adoption of the constitution of the State, a law had been in force which excluded from Maryland foreign blacks and slaves, the intention of the law having been to reduce the number of negroes and slaves in Maryland and to increase the white population. It is singular—but perhaps this was merely a coincidence—that from the time of the hospitable welcome accorded to the refugees, Baltimore began to increase in population and importance as a centre of commerce, manufactures, etc., and as the home of the arts.

While Maryland was thus extending a friendly reception to the exiles of San Domingo, with or without slaves, the eyes of many of the refugees were turned to Louisiana as a quarter of the globe most suitable in every way, from similarity of language and nationality, customs and interests, in which to seek an asylum in their tribulations and reverses of fortune. They remembered that in times past the people of San Domingo had not been lukewarm in testifying their interest in, and sympathy with, the colonists in Louisiana on occasions when trouble had come to them. Before /nd after the occupation of Louisiana by the Spaniards they offered the people of the Colony a refuge among them, and welcomed, without distinction, those who emigrated thither, many of whom obtained positions—positions of honor and profit in San Domingo. Moreover, on the occasion of the great fire of 1788 in New Orleans which reduced

half of this city to ashes, bringing with it universal suffering and ruin, the inhabitants of the island sent to the city relief in proportion to the demands of the citizens, and in other ways manifested their concern at the disaster that had overtaken the colonists here.

In their first flight from San Domingo, a few of the refugees from that island sought shelter in Louisiana. It does not appear that any legal objection to the residence of those unaccompanied by slaves was interposed by the Spanish authorities. Among those who thus managed, unin cumbered, to obtain a habitat in Louisiana, says Martin, was "a company of Canadians from Cape Francois.and the citv of New Orleans now enjoyed, for the first time, the advantage of regular dramatic exhibitions. Some of the other refugees, availing themselves of the wants of the province, opened academies for the instruction of youth. Hitherto, the means of education had been confined to a school in which a Spanish priest, aided by two ushers, taught the elements of the Spanish language, and the convent of the Ursuline nuns." In this testimony to the first presence of educators in the colony, with the exception of the two institutions mentioned, which were restricted to New Orleans, and which had been established by the Spaniards in 1772, we begin to catch a glimpse of the dawn of educational facilities in Louisiana. Nor is it difficult, with these facts before us, to understand how, even at a much later period, many adults of the province, among them some who regarded themselves as persons of consideration, were unable to read or write, and that the spectacle of a quaint Kaintock, who had floated down the Mississippi to New Orleans in his flatboat with his up-country produce, as he stood on the Levee figuring up his accounts on the head of a barrel, was regarded with mingled awe and astonishment by open-mouthed spectators, who observed his movements as rustics at a country fair watch the antics of a juggling mountebank—the silent tribute paid by ignorance to superior wisdom.

Among other benefits to undeveloped interests of Louisiana arising from the presence of these refugees, was the impetus given to the manufacture of sugar. Some of the new comers had been planters in San Domingo, others were mechanics acquainted with the manner of constructing and equipping sugar houses, while others still had been sugar makers and overseers, who solved the mystery of how to make the growth of sugar cane profitable in Louisiana. What had before been a problem that had failed of solution in spite of repeated efforts to solve it, was explained by these individuals, who seemed to have dropped from the clouds, as it were, for the benefit of the colonists of Louisiana. It is true the Louisianians were made to pay dearly for the instruction and service they received, and for the construction of their sugar-houses. But these first heavy expenses having been met, the subsequent profit was great; and thus, what had been the loss of San Domingo proved the opportunity of-Louisiana and her planters. While this class of the San Domingo refugees, who came to Louisiana with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a certain sort of skill and experience, which they knew how to turn to advantage, were allowed residence in the colony, being tolerated if not welcomed, there was another class, people with some means who had managed to escape the massacres with a greater or less number of their slaves and were hoping to find an asylum in Louisiana, who were met at the threshold of their venture by the passage of laws which practically forbade their admission into the colony. Scarcely had the news of the bloodshed in San Domingo reached Louisiana before, at the instance and request of the inhabitants of the colony, the Governor-General was requested hy the Cabildo to promulgate a law, which that body had passed and which expressly forbade the introduction into Louisiana of negroes from the West India Islands, and especially from the French islands, undei a penalty of a fine of $400 for each negro thus entered, to be paid by the master for the benefit of the colony, the arrest of the negroes and their prompt expulsion from the country. The Spanish Court ratified this measure in January, 1793. The Cabildo rigorously carried out their decrees, no exceptions being made in favor of the refugees already in the United States, large numbers of whom, but for this enactment, would have come hither and established themselves with the remnants of their fortunes and the few slaves who had remained faithful to them.

The restrictions thus imposed naturally restrained the refugees possessing slaves from seeking Louisiana. After the lapse of a few years, however, a few, ignorant of the decree, or perhaps imagining that time had weakened the enforcement of the law on the subject, came overland from Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia and Maryland to Louisiana with their slaves to take up their residence in the colony. The fact that they were provided with passports furnished by the Spanish Minister to the United States induced the Spanish authorities to admit them, tacitly if not willingly.

But the antagonism that had previously forbidden their admission was not extinct in the minds of many of the colonists of Louisiana.

Not long had the newcomers been settled in New Orleans before they fell under the ban of what may be, with justice, termed the canaille of the city. They were denounced to the authorities, were pursued with more or less severity, and their servants, women and children as well as men, were carried off before their eyes to prison, where for a longer or shorter period of time they were kept at the expense of their masters. The agitation looking to their expulsion from the colony was kept up for some time until finally, in some cases after a detention of fifteen months in prison and a corresponding expense to their masters for their maintenance there, the Governor, awaiting the propitious moment when the popular clamor had subsided, quietly restored them to their masters.

Short-sighted as was the policy that repulsed those of the San Domingo refugees whose residence in the colony would have been most desirable, its justification was found in fears that sprang paitly from ignorance and partly from an exaggerated view of the possibilities that might have bean entailed to Louisiana by the presence and conversation of the San Domingo negroes among those of Louisiana. The massacre of the French colonists in San Domingo was at that day the spectre rouge that excited the alarms of the Louisianians. In fact the tidings from San Domingo had reached tha ears of the negroes throughout the colony, mainly through overhearing unguarded conversations on the subject between the whites. It was, perhaps, a natural impulse that led the Louisiana blacks to dream of as sanguinary an uprising as that which, a few years previously, had secured self-government for their brothers in San Domingo. At all events, that such a view was taken by numbers of the negroes of Pointe Coupee is certain, and but for a dissension among the leaders of the plot, serious loss of life among the isolated families of planters would have followed.

In the year 1795 occurred the famous conspiracy which was hatched on tha Poydras Plantation, in the parish of Pointe Coupee. While a part of the white population, says Martin, evinced their anxiety to imitate the French in the struggle for freedom, it is not extraordinary that the slaves should have been seduced into an attempt to rise by the reports of the success of the blacks in Hispaniola. An insurrection was planned in the Parish of Pointe Coupee, an insulated one, in which the number of slaves was considerable.

The conspiracy was forced on the plantation of Julian Poydras, a wealthy planter, who was then absent on a journey to the United States, and had extended thence to all parts of the parish. The indiscriminate slaughter of every white man was intended. A disagreement as to the day the massacre was to take place gave rise to a quarrel among the principal leaders, which led to a discovery of the plot. Tha militia was instantly put under arms ; and the Baron (Carondelet), on the first information, sent a part of the regular force. The slaves attempted resistance, and twenty-five of them were killed before those that had been selected for trial were arrested and confined.

Serrano, the assessor of the inteadancy, went up to assist Dupart, the civil commandant, at the trials. Fifty were found guilty; others were severely flogged. Sixteen of the first were hung in different parts of the parish ; the nine remaining were put on board of a galley, which floated down to New Orleans. On her way one of them was landed near the church of each parish along the river, and left hanging on a tree. This timely exercise of severity quieted for a while the apprehensions of the inhabitants, who had been considerably alarmed.

It will thus be seen that fears of the danger that might arise from the intimate relations of the negroes from San Domingo with those of Louisiana may have had much to do with the course pursued by the colonists. But there was in course of time a development of personal and social antagonism between the refugees and the people among whom they sought shelter, which gave rise to a bitter feeling between the two classes that survived the generation among whom it originated. The words St. Domingue and Martinique, in connection with the refugees from those islands, became almost as offensive to the ears of the Louisianians of 1800 and later years as were those rude terms of contempt, Kalntock and Americain, applied to the first Americans who came to Louisiana.

To these San Domingans are due the first newspaper in Louisiana, the first theatre, and the cultivation of the sugar cane. To them also is due the word " Creole," to express the native Louisianian of French or Spanish descent. The word was originally Spanish, and applied only to the American descendants of Spaniards; but it spread to the French West Indies, and was brought by the San Domingans to Louisiana. The early settlers of Louisiana, who were mainly from Cr*iada, Acadia (New Brunswick), and Paris, did not use the word, and with them the Creoles w*»re the West Indians. The word, however, came in the course of time to include all the people of French descent except the Acadians.




The early origin of a people is generally obscured, and with reason, since it is almost always humble, base, often dishonorable. The nobility of England are proud to trace their descent from a gang of robber chieftains ; the ancestors of the hill people of Georgia were rescued from the London debtors' prisons, while Australia owes its first society and earliest patriots to ex-convicts and ticket-of-leave men. So, likewise, there are several stories of the first people of Louisiana—particularly of its first ladies—that the early colonists would gladly have covered up and hidden if they could have done so.


The original masculine portion of the population was well enough; it was, for the most part, honest but adventurous Canadian voyageurs and courreurs des bois —sturdy, bold, energetic men, who fought and worked their way overland and down the river, through an endless desert wilderness, peopled with dangerous savages. They came alone and without families, since none but men could endure the fatigues and hardships of this arduous journey. Here, they languished away in single blessedness and melancholy bachelorhood as long as they could stand it, save a few led astray by the dusky charms of some forest maiden. At last good King Louis took mercy on their loneliness and shipped, as an experiment, several cargoes of females; and just here comes in the bar sinister, for these females were prisoners from the royal prison of La Salpe-triere. Such were the first women of Louisiana, of whose morals the less said the better, for, as Gov. Cadellac declared to the parish priest when he proposed the purification of the colony by shipping these home : ' If I send away all the loose females, there will be no women left here at all, and this would not suit the views of the king or the inclinations of the people."

However, for want of better wives, the colonists welcomed these with open arms ; but although these satisfied them, they did not, by any means, satisfy the directors of the Louisiana Company, as they proved a failure in one of the most important needs of the new country-children.

To supply the deficiency a cargo of girls, known in Louisiana history as the fillesde la cassette, or casket girls, were sent over by way of experiment—girls, poor but virtuous. The experiment proved a signal success—the girls commanded fancy prices and supplied the needed want. In the infancy of the colony a Louisianian felt proud indeed if he could only trace his origin back to these " casket" instead of to the " correction " girls.

Such was the lowly origin of the first native-born Louisianians—a queer cross between the staid, sober Canadian and the gay, fickle Parisian.

It was some half a century after this that the first Acadian found his way to Louisiana. He came a persecuted wanderer, without country or home ; he was so hospitably received, fed. clothed and lodged, that, well pleased with the country and the people, he pitched his tents upon the soil of Louisiana and peopled its western prairies.


The Acadians were a sturdy, stalwart race, showing in their disposition and in every feature their Northern or Xorman descent. They were bony, sinewy, with high cheek bones, and their complexion swarthy and bronzed, all their features bearing so close a resemblance to those of our aborigines as to give rise to a somewhat wild theory that the climate of America had an

Indianizing effect on Europeans, and that a few centuries of it would convert us in complexion and disposition, into Sioux and Modocs. The true explanation of this undoubted Indian physiognomy is perhaps more easily and naturally explained in the frequency, in the earlier days, of Choctaw wiyes—a custom so prevalent in the colony at one time as to beget a schism between Church and State on this point—the parish priest coolly suggesting that if a man could get no better wife than an Indian squaw he had better remain single altogether.

The Cajan was as prolific as his Canadian cousin. In 1765-66 some 866 Acadians arrived at New Orleans ; in 1788 a few more came, making altogether, perhaps, 1,000, who, to-day, after the lapse of less than a century, number at least 40,000, covering the whole western portion of the State, and extending even to the Red and ^Mississippi rivers.

All will remember the story of the Acadians, so beautifully told by Longfellow in his " Evangeline." In Louisiana the expelled people were free from the persecution of the Americans and found a kindred tongue. They settled in the western portions of the State, on the prairies of the Opelousas, where they mainly live to this day, wonderfully increased in numbers, but the same primitive people they were when they left Nova Scotia.

Their homes are substantially-built cypress houses, the walls of which are sometimes reinforced with a thick layer of mixed mud and moss as a mortar. They cultivate cane, cotton, and vegetables, but as the marsh is approached, greater attention is paid to herding, as cattle thrive easily there in winter. Along the many intricate bayous leading out into the marsh around New Orleans, frequent cheniers or live-oak groves are found, like islands in this sea of waving rushes and reeds. In some places these cheniers assume larger proportions, and become known as islands- Lying back some distance from the Gulf, they can be approached from that direction only by the bayous, but by land the marsh inside is of firmer consistency, and affords foothold for horses and cattle. It is here that the Louisiana herdsmen, or what in Texas would be called "the cowboys," thrive. They differ essentially from their Texan brothers, as few of them speak anything but French. They are daring, skillful riders, and drive herds through marshes and swamps which, to the uninitiated, appear impassable. Swimming bayous is to them pleasant sport. Their horses are the small Creole ponies, descendants of the mustang, that never weary, and are as active and quick as panthers. Perhaps no horse has the peculiar, springy gait of these ponies. To the rider it is as if he were sitting on a chair of most delicate springs, and in long journeys this adds much to the comfort of the trip. This motion is the result of continued travel through the sea marshes, where at every step the pony sinks deeper than his knees. To keep from bogging or miring, a quick recovery of the feet is necessary, so that hardly has the entire weight been placed on one leg than it is rapidly withdrawn. This necessitates a quick, elastic step, so rare to highland horses. Where these plucky little fello .-. s travel mile after mile, the larger and stronger horse would fall and hopelessly flounder, rendering it impossible for the rider to retain his seat.

They, like all cattle ponies, are drilled to sudden turnings and wheelings, and can pei form intricate movements which would confuse the manege horses of the circus. A slight movement of the hand or the leg, and a sharp turn in his own tracks is made ; a slight prick of the spur, and he will take a plunge forward. All this is necessary for the safety of himself and rider, for Attakapas cattle have a reputation for belligerency not to be disregarded.


In the front, of the cattle, pushing along leg-deep through the waxy mud of the marsh, came two large brindle oxen with very long horns, who acted as leaders. These were very tame, having been trained thus to show the way to their less tractable fellows. When they approached the bayou, which was deep, these old Nestors at once took to the water and began swimming. The rest of the herd hesitated a moment, but the hallcos of the men behind soon decided them, and in they plunged. Swimming seemed an easy matter to them, even two little calves only

ten days old keeping up with the rest. One obstreperous fellow, when he reached the middle of the bayou, struck out in the direction of the Gulf, about 50 yards off. but the rolling breakers coming in made him alter his mind.

Then came the herdsmen. They plunged in fearlessly, and their tough little ponies, after breasting it bravely, crawled up on the other side. The landing was even more difficult than the swim, for when their fore feet struck the marsh they buried. With some floundering and plunging all were soon on the other sbore. As it was near dark and Chenier-au-Tigre was some eight miles down to the eastward, some of these men had to remain out on the marsh all night; yet they seemed to think nothing of such a prospect, though a narrow beach afforded the only solid foothold for miles. Thus they drive sometimes 150 miles to a market, swimming perhaps fifty bayous and riding through the treacherous marsh nearly all the way. Neither rain, wind, cold nor heat affects them, and they live to a hearty old age, without knowing what rheumatism is. They are all atldetic and of good stature and kind to a fault.

They have not changed since Longfellow limned them—

"Just where the woodlands met the flowery surf of the prairie,

Mounted upon his horse, with Spanish saddle and stirrups,

Sat a herdsman, arrayed in gaiters and doublet of deerskin.

Broad and brown was the face that from under the Spanish sombrero

Gazed on the peaceful scene, with the lordly look of its master."


The Spanish settlers of Louisiana were, for the most part, brought over by the government, fed, supported and cared for at the government's expense, and established in various posts throughout the State, as the Romans of old established their colonies in a conquered country, to assure its fidelity. The colonists were from the Canary Islands, just then suffering under a blight, and whose inhabitants were starving to death ; and were called by the Creoles, Islinges, a corruption of islenos (islanders). The settlement of these Canary Islanders at Terre aux Boeufs, in the immediate vicinity of New Orleans, is well worth a visit, as here the language and traits of Spain are preserved to this day.

The only other Spaniards in Louisiana were a few persons of Spanish-Mexican descent on the uncertain Texas border, the office-holders, a respectable class of good Castilian descent, who, living at New Orleans, intermarried with the Creole families until they lost all Iberian peculiarities, save their names, and some needy Catalans, the "Dagoes'" of those days, who have since melted away into other races. The other Spanish residents, never very numerous, left for Havana when the banner of Castile and Arragon no longer waved at New Orleans.


The negro population of Louisiana have always claimed an aristocracy of descent, and boasted that their hair was less kinky, their faces less African, than those of the less favored darkies of other States and climes—virtues they have always attributed to some mythical Indian ancestor.

The French in America, like the Greeks of old, enslaved their captives, and worked the vanquished Choctaws in the indigo fields. In the first few years of Louisiana life, these Indian slaves predominated in numbers over the negroes. They were poor laborers, however, lazy, idle, apt to run off or to use a tomahawk if worked too hard. The Louisiana planters, thoroughly disgusted with them, proposed an arrangement with the West Indian planters by which they were to swap off their Indian slaves for good stout negroes from Martinique and St. Lucie— three Indians to count for two negroes. The scheme failed, the West Indian planters sensibly

refusing to take the savages at any price. The Indian slaves were, therefore* sent back to the plow and the hoe, supplemented in their work by a few newly imported AMcans.

The two races, red and black, living as they did, in the same quarters and cabins, gradually melted into one race, in which the features and nature of the Indian was lost in the superior numbers of the negroes, while the latter improved in appearance, and boasted less woolly hair than the negroes of other parts of the country.

The first negroes came from Martinique, Gaudaloupe and San Domingo, but importations from these islands had soon to be forbidden by a special edict, the San Domingo negroes being too well acquainted with Voudouism and poisons, and showing even at that early period those bad traits they developed more thoroughly in 1791—being turbulent, riotous and often breaking into flagrant insurrection.

As early as 1724, Bienville, then Governor of Louisiana, published the first Black Code. It is significant that one of the first provisions of the code banished Jews from Louisiana, and prohibited the exercise of all other religions than the Catholic.

This code is not devoid of interest, as showing the feelings and the opinions of the epoch, and is a striking contrast between the past and the present. This decree of the French government made it imperative on masters to impart religious instruction to their slaves according to the tenets of the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church, no other mode of worship being permitted. Negroes placed under the direction or supervision of any other person than Catholics were liable to confiscation. Sundays and holidays were to be strictly observed, and all negroes found at work on such days were to be confiscated. Christian slaves were to be buried in con-secrated ground by their masters. Marriages between blacks and whites were crimes to be punished. Whites and even manumitted or free-born blacks were prohibited from living in a state of concubinage with slaves. The ceremonies and forms prescribed by the ordinance of Blois and by the edict of 1630 for marriages were to be observed both with regard to free persons and to slaves; but the consent of the father and mother of the slave was not necessary, that of the master only being sufficient.

Slaves were forbidden from carrying offensive weapons or heavy sticks. An exception was made in favor of those who were sent hunting or shooting by their masters, and carried with them a written permission to that effect, or were designated by some known mark or badge.

Slaves belonging to different masters were prohibited from gathering in crowds, either by day or by night, for any cause or under any pretext whatever, either at the dwelling or on the grounds of one of their masters, or elsewhere, and much less on the highways or in secluded places, under the penalty of the whip. Incase of frequent offenses of the kind, the offenders were branded with the mark of the flower-de-luce, and should there be aggravating circumstances, capital punishment might be inflicted at the discretion of the judges. Masters permitting or tolerating such gatherings were punished on conviction.

Negroes could not sell any commodities, provisions or produce of any kind without the written permission of their masters or without wearing their known marks or badges, and any person purchasing anything from negroes in violation of this decree was sentenced to pay the very high fine of 1,500 livres".

Very humane and minute provisions were made at length in that document for the clothing of the slaves and for their subsistence. "Slaves," said article 20 of the ordinance, "who shall not be properly clad, fed, and provided for by their masters, may give information thereof to the attorney-general of the Superior Council or to any officer of justice of an inferior jurisdiction, and may put the written exposition of their wrongs into their hands; upon which information, and even ex officio, should the information come from another quarter, the attorney-general shall prosecute said masters without charging any costs to the complainants. It is our royal will that this regulation be observed in all accusations for crimes or barbarous and inhuman treatment, brought by slaves against their masters."

Slaves, disabled from working, either by old age, disease, or otherwise, be the disease

incurable or not, were to be fed and provided for by their masters, and in case of being abandoned by said masters, said slaves were to be adjudged to the nearest hospital, to which said masters were compelled to pay eight cents a day for the food and maintenance of each of these slaves, and for the payment of this sum said hospital had a lien on the plantations of the master.

Soon after the annexation of Louisiana to the Union, occurred a serious slave revolt which began on one of the plantations of the German Coast. The negroes marched along the river toward the city, divided into companies, each under an officer, with beat of drums and flags displayed, compelling the blacks they met to join their disorderly crew, and before they could be checked they set fire to the houses of four or five plantations and made a few victims. Most of the planters, being apprised by their own slaves of the coming danger, had fled with their families. One of them, named Trepagnier, contented himself with sending to a place of safety his wife and children, but, deaf to their entreaties, remained at home for the protection of his property. Having provided himself with several fowling-pieces, which he loaded with buckshot, and having taken his stand on a high circular gallery which belted his house, and from which he could see to a distance, he awaited calmly the coming of his foes. In a short time bacchanalian shouts announced their approach, and they tumultuously made their appearance at the front gate which led to the planter's residence. But at the sight of the double-barreled gun which was leveled at them and which they knew to be in the hands of a most expert shot, they wavered, lacked self-sacrificing devotion to accomplish their end, and finally passed on, after having vented their disappointed wrath in fearful shrieks and demoniacal gesticulations. Shaking at the planter their fists and whatever weapons they had, they swore soon to come back for the purpose of cutting his throat. They were about 500, and one single man, well-armed, had kept them at bay.

The misguided negroes, who had been deluded into this foolish attempt at insurrection, were soon encompassed by a strong body of militia, backed by regulars under Major Milton, who had come down from Baton Rouge, and un<ter Gen. Hampton, who had hastened up with those under his command in New Orleans. To attack was to rout the blacks ; they fled in every direction with wild cries of despair, leaving sixty-six bodies on the field. Most of the prisoners were hung on the spot; sixteen were sent to the city for trial. The fugitives had taken shelter in the neighboring swamps, where they could be pursued with but extreme difficulty. Many of them, however, had been dangerously wounded, and every day corpses were discovered by the pursuers. The wretches sent to New Orleans were immediately tried and convicted. As it was intended to make a warning example of them, their heads were placed on high poles above and below the city along the river, as far as the plantation on which the revolt began. The ghastly sight spread terror far and wide, and further to insure tranquility and to quiet alarm, a part of the regular forces and of the militia remained on duty in the neighborhood for a considerable time.


In the romantic chapter of the history of Colonial Louisiana, the Indian, as was natural, figures largely.

Of the many thousands of aborigines who once held, under the superior patent of Nature, the vast territory that composed old Louisiana, the fifteen or twenty Choctaw women whom one sees at the French Market, sitting patiently, silent and motionless, waiting (with some contempt, if the truth were known) for the pale-face purchaser of their pounded laurel and sassafras leaves, from which is derived that triumph of Louisiana cookery, the gombojile • their baskets, strongly woven from the stalk and leaves of the latanier; their medicinal herbs—the drugs and simples of natural man—are, with the males of their families, almost the sole survivors of the race which inherited the land from their fathers. And it seems strange that these representatives of the aborigines should belong to that nation, the Choctaw, which was always hostile to the French

In colonial days the principal nations with which the French had dealings in peace or war were the Illinois, the Natchez, the Mobilians, the Choctaws, the Alabaraons and the Chickasaws. The Illinois and the Alabamons were the most friendly ; the Chicasaws and the Choctaws the most hostile.

Within a period as late as the memory of the old citizens of New Orleans, the remnant of the aboriginal population of Louisiana still frequented New Orleans in the winter time in great numbers. They had been accustomed to gather in this city annually under the Spanish domination in order to receive a certain allowance of woolen goods, guns, powder and shot, vermilion and other small presents which were given them as evidence of friendship and good will. Each band had its village beyond the city limits, composed of huts covered with the skins of bears and of deer, or with the leaves of the latanier. During the daytime they spread about the city and among the neighboring plantations, and in the evening they returned, men, women, and children, to their camps. The women, then as now, brought their small wares to market; the men were hunters of deer, ducks, squirrels, and other game. In those days the men wore on their heads a sort of helmet furnished with large feathers, and they still retained enough of their old fashions to paint their faces, on a vermilion ground, with blue transverse and spiral lines which, united to their costume, was in keeping with the Mardi-Graa season, the period in which they were found in greatest numbers in the city.

There are two or three very interesting Indian settlements in the neighborhood of New Orleans, one at Indian village near Bayou Lacombe just north of New Orleans, another at Bayou Lacroix, and still another on the Teche.

On one of the most sequestered bends of that picturesque stream, the Bayou Teche, the attention of the traveler is attracted by a number of small cabins built at little distances from one another with that irregularity which at once indicates they are not the usual plantation quarters. These small houses are of cypress, and their roofs are covered with the ~arge shingles of old Creole days. The overhanging oaks, that add so much to the romantic beauty of the stream, are draped in trailing tresses of Spanish moss^hat give a sombre tinge to the landscape, and the barely perceptible current of the bayou increases the drowsy effect of the sylvan vistas of deep shadows and mellow lights. The Teche, everywhere so beautiful, here retains much of her primeval loveliness, and the imagination hears the footsteps of laughing Dryades in every rustle of the breeze-blown live oaks. The wind murmurs pastorals without words, while the fretwork of gold and black trembles in unison to this music, on the grass beneath the trees where the sun with resistless pertinacity, has penetrated through the thick foliage.

About twenty-five miles above where the meandering Teche flows into the Atchafalaya is Indian Bend, and it derives its name from a little cluster of cabins which are situated there. Here for more than a century has dwelt the last remnant of the once powerful tribe of Attakapas. once the terror of all other red men hereabouts, for it was told of them that they devoured the flesh of their fallen foes.

The last remaining families now residing in Indian Bend are of the Chetimacha tribe, a branch of the Attakapas, and as relics of a once great nation they are most interesting to study. Far more difficult to approach and less communicative when approached than the Choctaws, it was not without much trouble that what is here given was learned.

The people living near them still hold them in something like awe and strangers are not escorted to their village without minute advice as to how they must behave, and even then much reluctance is shown. It is not a little curious to note the hesitancy with which a resident of that locality will endeavor to prevent one from making a visit to this Indian village. If you desire an introduction to these aborigines you are told that a very dangerous fever is prevailing among them. If you express a willingness to brave the disease you are informed it is not the proper time of day to call. When the proper time arrives it is said the sun is too hot.

There is an atmosphere of loneliness hanging over the Utile settlement, notwithstanding the three or four women moving languidly ajboul from one cabin to another in the vellow sunligltf.

Around their reservation waving fields of cane in bright apple-green speak of the growth of civilization that hemmed them in, but this does not seem to move their perfect apathy, for no attempt at cultivation is to be seen near their homes. No prattle of children, no song of mothers, no sound of life is to be heard. All is silent, as if animate life were extinct. At the sight of a stranger the women retire, and it is only when the door of a cabin is approached that a man shows himself.

In personal appearance they differ somewhat from our Choctaws. The men are somewhat darker than those who come to the city to sell their wares, their cheekbones very high and their eyes keen and quick of movement. Pursy, sensual mouths, indicate a deterioration of the race, but even with this drawback their expression is one of perfect self-assurance if not boldness. They are fully up to the average height of the white man, and their broad shoulders show that they come from a big-framed people. The women are neater and more comely than the men, and their faces betoken quick intelligence. All are dressed in the habits of the whites, the men in cottonade pants and calico shirt, the women calico skirt and bright colored waist or josey. In their intercourse with the outside world they speak the Creole patois, but between themselves still use their mother tongue. Their spoken language differs from all others of our known Indians. It is sui generis, and can be likened to nothing so much as to the twittering of birds. It is made up of labials and sibilants, and each syllable seems of sharp brevity. The absence of guttural sounds makes their speech sound more like an attempt at loud whispering which, with the short syllables, produces, as was said before, the twittering sound.

So far as has been observed, none of the ceremonies or festivals of their ancestors are followed or celebrated, but it is possible within their close community old rites may be regularly observed unknown to their neighbors.

One of the most remarkable arts they have preserved is basket-making. In this they excel. In fact, north of Mexico there is no tribe in which such exquisite specimens of both workmanship and color can be found.

Their baskets are really objects of art, and are highly prized by those who can secure them. They are made of cane, but so small and delicate are the strips, some appear to have been woven of the finest material. With their finger nails they strip off the hard cuticle from the ordinary wild cane, and the different dyes are applied before the weaving begins.

These dyes are imperishable, and, notwithstanding many temptations held out, they still refuse to divulge the secret of their manufacture. Such is their ingenuity of design no two of these baskets are alike. Squares, triangles, curious hieroglyphics and geometric patterns in white, red, chocolate, yellow and black, make each piece of work unique, and all so wrought that there is a unity in the composition evincing a remarkably high order of taste. The larger baskets are double, the outside being covered wifh designs, while the interior is plain, and such is their fineness they would hold water.

So much sought for are these baskets that it is with difficulty that they can be obtained, $15 to $20 being asked for the larger. They will not make them without an order, and even then they have to be coaxed and cajoled.

Their wants are very few, and when spoken to on the subject they invariably comment on the high price of coffee, a beverage of which they are immoderately fond. Hominy and a little salt meat make up the entire diet. Frugal in their tastes and economic by habit, they manage to live quite comfortably on their small income from basket making and light work. Never interfering with the neighboring whites on the plantations, they are almost forgotten by the residents of the locality, and, as they rarely disturb the Arcadian quiet they are respected by all.

Unlike most tribes they recognize female equality, and the twenty-five or thirty Indians left are now ruled by a queen, the chief having died




New Orleans can boast of once having been a fortress, second only to Metz and Strasburg. It had a very military, a very threatening and dangerous look on the map of that day, with its forts and redoubts, its bastions and its covered ways, its scarps, counter-scarps, glacis, friezes, revetments, and everything else military in name. A century ago it boasted of its walls—virgin walls, too ; no one had ever stormed them ; no one had ever tried to climb over them ; more, no unfriendly person had ever been near enough to get even a glance at them. Whether they were of any practical use in those days may well be doubted ; but, to New Orleans of this day, they certainly have been a benefit, for to them it owes the beauty and width of Canal, Rampart and Esplanade, whose neutral grounds mark the ancient fortifications, as the boulevards of Paris mark its older and dismantled walls.

New Orleans was well defended then. Forts innumerable were scattered over the country, generally where they were least needed. Suppose an enemy, with evil designs upon Louisiana, had determined on the capture of the city, what would he not have encountered before he could become its master? First, he would have found at the Balize a formidable fort, built on the treacherous mud, at considerable expense. This fort figured in at least one long and bloody war which history has somehow neglected to preserve. In the winter of 1793, a skiff-load of marines from the French sloop La Parisienne, attacked the Balize, and captured it with all its garrison—four men. Loss, a pack of cards and an old pistol. Masters of the fort, the French vigorously and courageously maintained themselves for several months against all the odds of Spain. Carondelet, then governor, and the other Spanish authorities, were greatly alarmed at this loss. Some months after, a company of Spanish troops was sent down to the Balize, the fort stormed in noble style, and the four imprisoned Spaniards that had served as a garrison released, nobody being hurt on either side in this second battle of the Balize. The French left immediately upon the appearance of the Spaniards, carrying off, as trophies, the four muskets they had captured, and some old, stale, damaged rations, to the great delight of the garrison, who now counted on getting something fresh. Thus, by Spanish valor, was the enemy repulsed and this bloody war brought to an end.

At English Turn, quite a distance up the river, was a second fortress, originally designed, upon the same scale of magnificence which characterized the other defenses of New Orleans, for forty cannon. They did get a few small guns, but the troops did not worry or bother over them in the least, finding life far pleasanter up at the cabarets in the city, and reasoning, very correctly, too, that if the enemy's ships could sail up the Mississippi River against the current, contrary winds, etc., nothing that they could do with their rusty old guns would have the least effect in delaying them.

In the rear of the town, commanding the entrance of Bayou St. John, stood and stands to this very day, a small fort of brick and earth, now newly painted and repaired, and debased to the condition of a restaurant. A few old guns lie around the yard as mementoes, as useful there as they ever were in the old days, for no enemy move dangerous than some predatory gar-fish in the bayou, ever disturbed the sleepy quiet of old Fort St. John.

If some adventurous enemy had attacked the fort, silenced its guns, stormea its walls, and then triumphantly dragged his boats over the three-foot bar at the mouth of the bayou, in how much betu-r ■■> condition would he have been? A few miles of weary struglingthrough


the shallow, muddy stream, and he would have found himself in a dismal, unfathomable cypress swamp, the resort of alligators, lepers, thieves and runaway negroes. If he got his men safely through this without any loss from the army ^mosquitoes that hung upon his flanks, he would have found himself, after all his journey, standing on the Congo field, where of a Sunday night, or on St. John's eve, the negroes used to dance the Voudou dance, with the walls of the city rising before him, cannon frowning at him from the embrasures, and soldiers ready to join issue with him. Genuine walls were there too, with a regular fosse in front like all European fortresses, forty feet wide by seven deep ; somewhat choked up, it is true, with weeds and grass, and seeming to offer a secure footing, but which would treacherously have plunged any enemy that had attempted to cross, save by the regular bridges, into the slime and mud at the bottom, the victim of poisonous congers, water moccasins and cray-fish.

Behind this was the wall, built of mud, like that Romulus gave his infant city, and resembling very much what we style nowadays a levee. Above this ran a line of wooden palisades or pickets, behind which the garrison might stand and pick off the enemy, if they were not particular about risking their own lives, as the palisades were no defense whatever.

Five forts protected this wall, two on the river bank, St. Charles and St. Louis, and three in the rear of the city, St. Joseph, St. Ferdinand and Burgundy. These forts were pentagonal in shape, built inside of brick, and afforded barracks, each for two companies of infantry. They were pierced for sixteen guns, four in the face, three on each flank, and two in the gorge, facing the city, in case the burghers should rise, for whose particular benefit these fortifications were built rather than as a protection against foreign enemies.

Beside these, there was a battery just in front of the city, for the benefit of any fleet that might have ventured up the river. But, however brilliantly designed these fortifications, they were but feebly carried out. One fort only—St. Charles—had its full complement of guns, the others were far short of the number, and some without any armament at all; so that it would have been utterly impossible to have brought more than ten small cannon to bear at the same time on any attacking enemy. "In fine," said old Gen. Collot, and he ought to know, as he was locked up some weeks in one of them—Fort St. Charles—" these bastions look more like children's playthings than genuine forts."

There were four wooden gates to the city, made of pickets, twelve or fifteen feet long, and defended by breastworks. Two were situated on the river bank, at the upper and lower end of Chartres street; another, Porte St. Jean, at the end of Dumaine street, on the road leading to the lake, and another still higher up. At the early hour of nine these gates were closed, and everybody expected to be at home. Outside, the serenos, as the Metropolitans of that day were styled, promenaded up and down the streets, crying out the state of the weather and the time o'clock. Off to the calabosa went any crowd of citizens that dared discuss politics or the situation in France, or any tipsy revellers trying to find their way home, but confused by the clumsy wooden trottoirs of that day.

The forts and covered way between them afforded comfortable accommodation for from twelve to fifteen hundred men. In addition there were in the city, on Barracks street, a large long one-story brick building, capable of holding fifteen hundred men, and on Chartres street another with lodges, stables, etc.. for five hundred dragoons ; so that there were quarters enough for an army of soldiers, but unfortunately no army for the quarters.

Those troops the Government had managed to collect together at some trouble were a very hard set. They spent most of their time singiug, drinking, and gambling in the cabarets on Toulouse street. They were allowed a good deal of freedom and did pretty much what they pleased. Occasionally, however, when, after a long spree on very bad tafia, they ran a-muck and grew so violent as to knock down and beat some quiet and inoffensive farmer from the German coast, come to the city with a cargo of cabbages to sell, they were locked up in the guard-house until they could sober off, and perhaps received in addition a dozen or so lashes.

This was far from agreeable medicine to them, and on the very first opportunity they mut-

inied, killed their officers, deserted, and, like Captain Dalgetty, entered the service of any country that would have them. If, however, they were caught, it fared badly, indeed, with them. Military discipline was loose enough in Louisiana—the men knew more about tafia than guns, and spent more of their time in cabarets than in the bastions—but military punishment had caught some of the nice little ideas from the Inquisition. A recaptured mutineer was treated in a very emphatic and exemplary manner. Dressed in the " wedding garments of the grave," he was nailed alive in a neat, comfortable cypress coffin, which was then slowly sawed In half by the executioner.

If the deserter escaped, but could not reach any neighboring nation—England, the nearest, was a thousand miles away—he generally took to the woods, fraternized with the savages, married a squaw, became a chief, and in a very short time had forgotten altogether his language, his religion and his name. Sometimes, however, he grew tired of this savage life, even with plenty of men and squaw?, and nothing to do but fight, and, after a few years' experience of it, would return to civilization, tattooed beyond recognition, and scatter around some of the fabulous stories he had picked up from the Indians, of gold mines, emerald caves, etc.

This would, of course, set the adventurous young men of the colony wild, until they got up some Black Hill expedition in search of gold ; from which a few survivors would return, wasted and worn with their irregular diet of pine-tops and berries, and bringing back nothing except chills and fever.

In fine, New Orleans, a century ago, might have boasted of being a very military city.


On the 23d of December, 1814, at half past 1 o'clock in the afternoon, the sentry at the door of General Jackson's headquarters, at No. 106 Royal street, announced the arrival of three gentlemen who had just come galloping down the street in hot haste, and desired an immediate audience with the General. These visitors were Major Gabrielle Villere, son of Major-General Villere, Colonel De la Ronde, and Mr. Dussan la Croix, who brought the stirring news of the approach of the vanguard of the British army, which was at that hour encamped on the Villere plantation, nine miles below the city.

"At the close of Major Villere's narrative, the General drew up his figure, bowed with disease and weakness, to its full height, and with an eye of fire and an emphatic blow upon the table with his clenched fist, exclaimed:

'"By the Eternal, they shall*not sleep on our soil !'

" Then courteously inviting the visitors to refresh themselves, and sipping a glass of wine in compliment to them, he turned to his secretary and aids and remarked :

" ' Gentlemen, the British are below. We'must fight them to night.'"

General Jackson dispatched a messenger to each oj" the corps under his command, ordering them with all haste to break up their camps and march to positions assigned them : General Carroll to the head of Bienvenu, Governor Claiborne to a point further up the Gentilly road, which road leads from Chef Menteur to New Orleans ; the rest of the troops to a plantation just below the city. Commodore Patterson was also sent for and requested to prepare the Carolina for weighing anchor and dropping down the river.

These orders issued, the General sat down to dinner and ate a little rice, the only food his system could then endure. He then lay down upon a sofa in his office and dozed for a short time. It was the last sleep the General was to enjoy for seventy hours or more—for five days and nights one writer positively asserts. Who else could have slept at such a time? Before 3 o'clock he mounted his horse and rode to the lower part of the city, where then stood Fort St. Charles, on ground now occupied by the Branch Mint building Before the gates of the fort he took his station, waiting to see the troops pass on their way to the vicinity of the enemy's position, and to give his final orders to the various commanders.


Drawn up near him, in imposing array, was one of the two regiments of regulars, the 44th Infantry, Colonel Ross, mustering three hundred and thirty-one muskets. Around the General were gathered his six aids, Captain Butler, Captain Reid, Captain Chotard, Edward Livingston, Mr. Davezac, Mr. Duplessis. The other regiment of regulars, the 7th Infantry, Major Peire, four hundred and sixty-five muskets, had already marched down the road, to guard it against the enemy's advance. With them were sixty-six marines, twenty-two artillerymen and two six-pounders, under Colonel McRae and Lieutenant Spotts, and the regular artillery. Captain Bears famous company of New Orleans riflemen, composed of merchants and lawyers of the city, were also below, defending the high road. A cloud of dust on the levee, and the thunder of horses' feet, soon announced to the expectant General the approach of cavalry.

Col. Hinds, of the Mississippi Dragroons, emerged from the dust cloud galloping at the head of his troops, whom he led swiftly by to the designated spot. Coffee, with his Tennesseeans, was not far behind. Halting at the General's side, he conversed with him a few minutes, and then, rejoining his men, gave the word, "Forward, at a gallop," and the long line of backwoodsmen swept rapidly past. Next came in view a parti-colored host on foot, at a run, which proved to be Major Plauche's fine battalion of uniformed companies. "Ah!" cried Jackson to his Aid Davezac, "Here come the brave Creoles." They had run all the way from Port St. John and came breathless into the General's presence. In a moment they too had received their orders and were again in motion. A battalion of colored freemen, under Major D'Aquin, and a small body of Choctaw Indians, under Capt. Jugeaut, arrived, halted, passed on, and the General had seen his available force go by.

The number of troops that went that afternoon to meet the enemy was two thousand one hundred and thirty-one, of whom considerably more than half had never been in action. The commanders of the different corps had all received the same simple orders : To advance as far as the Rodriguez Canal, six miles below the city and two miles above the Villere plantation; there to halt, take positions, and wait for orders to close with the enemy. The Rodriguez Canal was no more than a wide, shallow ditch, which extended across the firm ground from the river to the swamp.

During the bustle attending the departure of the troops, the city seemed still confident and cheerful. As the men hurried along the levee, the windows were crowded with ladies waving their handkerchiefs and hiding with smiles the anxiety that rent their hearts. Husbands, fathers, brothers, nephews, friends, were recognized in the moving masses of soldiers.

Wives, mothers, sisters were discerned at the familiar windows. The salutations then hurriedly given were the last that were ever exchanged between some of those panting soldiers and those they loved.

The result of the affair of December 23d was the saving of Louisiana, for it cannot be doubted that the enemy, had he not been attacked with such impetuosity when he had hardly effected his disembarkation, would that very night or early next morning, have marched agauist the city, which was not then covered by any fortification, and was defended by hardly five thousand men, mostly militia, who could not, in the open field, have withstood disciplined troops, accustomed to the use of the bayonet, a weapon with which most of the militia were unprovided.

The troops engaged in the action of the 23d, in the plain of Gentilly, were as follows:

"The right, commanded by Gen. Jackson in person, was composed of

A detachment of marines under command of Lieut. Bellevue 66

A detachment of artillery with two six-pounders, under the immediate command of Col.

McRae and Lieut. Spotts 22

7th Regiment, Major Peire 465

44th, commanded bv Capt. Baker .,,,.... 331


Major Plauche's Battalion Carabineers, Capt. Koche 86

Dismounted Dragoons, Major St. Geme 78

Louisiana Blues, Capt. White 31

Francs, Capt. Hudry 33

Chasseurs, Capt. Guibert 59


The Battalion of San Domingo men of color, Major D'Aquin 210

Choctaws, Capt. Pierre Jugeaut 18


The left, commanded by Gen. Coffee, was composed as follows :

Tennessee Volunteer Mounted Riflemen, forming Gen. Coffee's Brigade 563

Orleans Rifle Company, Capt. Beale 62

Mississippi Dragoons, Major Hinds 107


Total 2,131

When New Orleans was threatened by the British the Legislature passed a special law, authorizing the formation of a battalion of free men of color, which shortly took the field under Major Lacoste, a gallant officer, subsequently killed in a duel. Another battalion of free men of color was afterward formed under the direction of Col. Michel Fortier, a brave soldier and prominent citizen. Col. Savary, of San Domingo, organized this new corps, the members of which were refugees from that island. Its command was confided to Major D'Aquin, of the Second Regiment of Militia. These colored troops did excellent service in the field, and on the 8th of January were posted to the left of Plauche's Battalion.

Plauche's Battalion of Volunteers and Capt. Beale's Company of Orleans Riflemen contributed very largely to the success of Americans in the affairs of the 23d and 28th December, and the engagements of January.

The Plauche Battalion was composed mostly of Frenchmen by birth—merchants, lawyers, clerks—the flower of the population, and in the defense of New Orleans they displayed the personal valor, martial ardor and enthusiasm characteristic of the French nation.

Jackson's lines on the eighth of January, within five miles ot the city's limits at that day, ran along the limits of Rodriguez's and Chalmette's plantations, from the river bank to the. swamp. The parapet, mainly of earthwork, revetted with plank, in some places twenty feet thick f.nd five high, extended nearly a mile, being situated on the brink of an old saw-mill race, or coulee. Without entering into details, the disposition of the troops was as follows: The redoubt on the river, in front of the extremity of the line on the right, was manned by a company of the Seventh Regiment, Lieut. Ross. Within the line, on the right, was Capt. Beale's volunteer company; Seventh Regiment Regulars, Major Peire; Major Plauche's battalion of volunteers; Major Lacoste's battalion of men of color; Major D'Aquin's battalion of San Domingo men of color; the Forty-fourth Regiment Regulars, Capt. Baker; the troops of Gen. Carroll, supported by the Kentuckians under Gen. John Adair ; and on the rest of the line, to the swamp, Gen. Coffee's brigade. The batteries were stationed at intervals. Including 100 artillerists, the line was defended by 3,200 armed men, 800 of the available forces having been distributed in various detachments for the defense of the camp, the Piernis Canal and the out-skirts of the woods. Of this force two of the regiments were regular troops, and the balance volunteers and militia.

The British Army of Invasion aggregated, according to Eaton and Latour, 14,450 men. It seems certain that at least 12,000 advanced to the siege of New Orleans.

The attack began at dawn, on the left of the line, and by 8 o'clock the enemy had been repulsed with fearful loss, estimated by the best authorities at nearly 3,000 soldiers, in killed, wounded and missing. The casualties In the American line were six killed and seven wounded during the action. The entire casualties in the American forces, on both sides of the river.



January 8, were 13 killed and 39 wounded, 19 missing. Of the killed, 3 privates were serving at the batteries, 1 sergeant, 1 corporal from the Seventh Regiment, 1 private in Gen. Coffee's brigade, 1 sergeant, 3 privates in Carroll's division, 1 private in the Kentucky militia, l private of the colored volunteers, 1 private in Gen. Morgan's militia.

The loss of the British, according to their official reports, was, in killed, 2 major-generals (Pakenham and Gibbs), 1 lieutenant-colonel, 2 majors, 5 captains, 2 lieutenants, 2 ensigns, 11 sergeants, 1 drummer, 266 rank and file; wounded, 1 major-general (Keane), 3 lieutenant colonels, 2 majors, 18 captains, 38 lieutenants, 9 ensigns, 1 staff, 54 sergeants, 9 drummers, 1,126 rank and file ; missing, 3 captains, 12 lieutenants, 13 sergeants, 4 drummers, 452 rank and file. It was a bad day for the officers. The tremendous loss in their ranks speaks for their bravery. The chief effort of the enemy was directed against that part of the line defended by the West Tennessee militia and the Kentucky troops. The central portion of the line was not attacked, and on the right the British were driven back by the Seventh Regiment and Capt. Beale's Riflemen, after entering the redoubt.

In his general orders of January 21, General Jackson, in thanking the troops, paid special tributes to the Louisiana organizations, and made particular mention of Capts. Dominique and Belluche, and the Lafitte brothers, all of the Barataria privateers; of General Garrique de Flan-jac, a State Senator, and brigadier of militia, who served as a volunteer ; of Majors Plauche, St. Geme. Lacoste, D'Aquin, Captain Savary, Colonel De la Ronde, General Humbert, Don Juan de Araya. the Mexican Field-Marshal; Major-General Yillere and General Morgan, the Engineers Latour and Blanchard; the Attakapas^ragoons, Captain Dubuclay ; the cavalry from the Felicianas and the Mississippi territory. General Labattut had command of the town, of which Nicolas Girod was then the mayor.

The troops on the right bank were less successful in resisting the enemy owing to the inadequacy of the line of defense on the Cazelard plantation, the right of which was turned. The troops on the right bank were : the Second Regiment Louisiana Militia, Colonel Zenon Cavalier; First Regiment Louisiana Militia, Colonel Dejan ; Sixth Regiment (a detachment), and a detachment of General Adair's Kentuckians.


The headquarters of General Jackson during the battle of New Orleans was the residence of Wm. M. Montgomery, a rich merchant who possessed a suburban villa just below the city. From the Montgomery House General Jackson moved to the old Marigny Mansion on Victory (now Chartres) street, where he awaited the visiting multitudes. The house has since been destroyed by fire, so that the numerous buildings pointed out to strangers as Jackson's headquarters are bogus, being buildings where he probably spent an evening or so.


Taking its course from the city through Elysian Fields and Goodchildren streets, the Mississippi River, Terre aux Boeufs & Lake Borgne Railroad passes the abattoir and the fields where the cattle are penned ; the Chalmette Cotton Mills, the ancient battlefield where the opposing lines swept back and forth on that memorable day when New Orleans was saved from the British. Near it is the Chalmette Cemetery, containing the bones of 1,500 of those who fell in defense of this city, and conspicuous upon a tall mound the still unfinished monument to the hero of that field.

It passes also the ancient and ruined Villere house, where Pakenham made his headquarters before the struggle. The doors and windows are gone, the plaster tumbles from its sides, and weeds wave upon roof and lintel; a very noble old mansion it must have been in its time, but feeble, decrepit and tottering to its fall to-day.

US Historical sketch book.

It is the battlefield also where private wrongs were avenged ; the old duelling-ground, where in the chilliness of the early morning air many men have felt cold thrills which were not all owing to the mists of morning, but had some i*elation to the small dark hole in the end of a pistol or the gleam of keen steel.

Cabbage gardens are sprinkled about through these whilom bloody fields, and humbly flourish regardless of tragedy, and orange groves are being planted.


The capture of New Orleans by the Union Army in 1862 being confined mainly to the fleet, its story can be briefly told.

When the news reached New Orleans that the fleet had passed the forts and was approaching the city, the popular frenzy was unrestrainable and the wildest devastation followed.

Thenceforth there was no hope. Nothing but wild confusion, tumult, frenzy, reckless destruction of property. The order to burn all the cotton in the city to prevent it falling into the hands of the Federals, was executed with some deliberation. Ten or twelve thousand bales were rolled out of the cotton yards into the streets, or carted to the levee and set on fire, and guarded by soldiers until it should be totally destroyed. There was no demur to this grand sacrifice of this valuable staple. All assented to it as an indispensable burnt offering on the altar of patriotism. It was the property which the enemy most needed ; it was that, the want of which might impel European powers to intervene on their behalf. Not a pound of it should they get. Foreigners and natives subscribed to this policy. He who should oppose or protest against such destruction would have been in great danger of popular violence.

A vast deal of other property was burned as well as cotton. Some over-zealous patriot endeavored to set fire to the tobacco and the sugar in the warehouses. Next the ships at the wharves, already freighted with cotton, were consigned to the flames, cut adrift, and sent down the stream to announce to the coming enemy the desperate resolves whch prevailed in New Orleans. Then the steamboats, all that were unable to get up steam, were delivered to the fiery demon, until the river, for the whole extent of the city front, was fringed on both sides with solid and continuous belts of bright and lofty flames, while a vast and dense volume of smoke spread over the broad levee, a heavy, massive curtain of Cimmerian darkness. Beneath that canopy and in the glare of those flames could be seen thousands of men, women and children, engaged in a wild and reckless struggle for the spoils and plunder, to which they were invited by the general recklessness, and instigated by hunger as well as by avarice. Hogsheads of sugar, barrels of molasses, of pork, tierces of bacon, were broken open and their contents borne off in baskets, bags, buckets, and in the aprons of women and children. Even pieces of iron, of machinery, and half-burned cotton bales—everything of any value within their reach was seized upon by this wild mob and dragged to their hovels in the purlieus of the city. The great extent of the levee, which stretches a length of five or six miles in front of the city, favored this general depredation. The gutters of the streets ran molasses. The granite pavements were plastered with a thick coating ef fine brown sugar. Children were seen running about, sweating and groaning under the weight of large masses of bacon, and stout women rolled parcels along the sidewalks and in the middle of the streets.

So universal was the spirit of plunder and depredation, and so absorbed were the better part of the community in the great calamity that had overtaken them, that these scenes had gone on for some time without check or interruption from the authorities and good citizens. New Orleans was being sacked by her own people.

At last the foreign brigades attempted to suppress the general lawlessness and plunder. They had to do it at the point of the bayonet.

Frequently the rogues and ruffians would defy them, showering upon them all kinds of abuse, as Yankees in disguise who wanted to keep the provisions for that abhorred people.

The soldiers were compelled to keep in ranks for fear of assassination. They succeeded, however, after awhile, in arresting the violence and in clearing the levee of the worst part of this rahhle. The plunder ceased in a great measure, probably as muoh from the want of material as from a fear of the soldiers.

The levees and wharves had been swept of almost everthing except a few dismounted cannon, and the debris of broken and condemned machinery. The conflagation of the public material still continued. The basement of the Custom-house had been, used since the secession of the State, as a military workshop for the construction of gun-carriages, and the repair of cannon. There was a great deal of material in these rooms which would be useful to the enemy. It was all brought out and thrown into a grand pile in the middle of Canal street, and with several pieces of artillery already mounted, was thoroughly saturated with turpentine and than set on fire. It made a huge pyramid of fire, which burned for many hours, and required the care of a strong detail to keep it alive and ensure the total destruction of the whole mass. Other property that would prove useful to the enemy must be placed beyond their reach. Timber and wood-yards were then condemmed to the flames, and the work-shops on the opposite bank of the river were stripped of their machinery, and of the tools used in repairing vessels, which were thrown into the river. The large and valuable docks in Algiers, which cost millions of dollars to construct, which had afforded employment to hundreds of laborers, and were indispensable to the commerce of the city, were sunk.

The evening of the twenty-fourth closed with two incidents, which, for a while, engaged the popular attention. These were the departures of the Governor, his staff and various State and Confederate officials and their families, the families of Gen. Lovell and staff, some furloughed officers, some of the planters from the country and their families, making in all two good loads for the steamers "Magenta " and " Pargoud."

A more inspiriting scene, and one which produced a momentary thrill of enthusiasm among the people now engaged their attention, the sound of drums was heard and of a military band playing the Confederate airs, and a long column of dusty soldiers appeared marching to the field of battle. This was -the brigade of Brigadier-General Buisson, en route for the plains of Chalmette (Jackson's old battle-field), to execute the orders of General Lovell to make all possible resistance to a hostile fleet of twenty ships, carrying nearly 200 cannon of the largest calibre, and steaming along the surface of a stream several feet above the level of the plain in which General Buisson's brigade would be compelled to operate. This was certainly a forlorn undertaking, but the men marched along so spiritedly and bravely that the populace could not refrain from cheering them.

And thus closed the never-to-be-forgotten 24th of April, 1862, a day fraught with the bitterest memories and the saddest scenes which the history of New Orleans has ever recorded. The 25th dawned upon a city " clothed in sack-cloth and ashes." The fires which had been lighted early on the day before were not yet burned out, and the smoke, cinders and ashes filled the atmosphere and diffused an offensive and oppressive odor.

Early in the day there was a commotion and a rush of the crowd toward the levee. It is not. the enemy. They hare not yet passed the English Turn and the Chalmette batteries. What is it ? The groans and lamentations of the vast multitude which stretched for miles along the levee announced some new and fresh disaster. Those who were in front soon discovered the nature of it from actual observation ; others far down the streets and beyond the view of the river intuitively divined it. Here came a vast, heavy, massive, but symmetrically-shaped hull, blazing from stem to stern with a conflagration that seemed to occupy half the width of the river, sweeping everything before it, and roaring and tottering like some supernatural monster in its last agonies. " There goes the Mississippi," was the wailing cry of the crowd. And so it was—this immense, costly, ingenious structure, upon which so much skill, labor and money had been expended, from which such mighty results were expected, which lacked, its builders

asserted, but a few days to render it complete and effective, after many vain attempts with all the power that could be commanded to tow her up the river, was now, by order of her commander, Captain Sinclair, of the Confederate navy, committed to the flames and sent down the stream to announce her own destruction to the approaching enemy.

Active measures were taken to insure the peace of the city. Gen. Juge, an old citizen and gallant French veteran, had been placed by the mayor in oharge of the peace and order of the city—which duty he performed with great zeal and success, arresting pillage and tumult, and restoring peace and quiet. The mayor, by his various proclamations—inviting the traders to open their stores, the people to resume their ordinary avocations, promising to have the free market opened with an abundance of fresh provisions, fiercely denouncing the treason of those who refused to receive the paper money of the Confederacy, and assuring all classes that the honor and interests of the city and of the Confederacy were in good hands, succeeded in a great measure in calming the popular passions.

During all this tumult and excitement in the city, Farragut's squadron was slowly steaming up the river in quest of the innumerable batteries which he was led to believe lined the shores. He was surprised to discover the banks of the river for over sixty miles entirely bare of men and of batteries, save a few idle negroes and now and then a white man in peaceful garb, who contented themselves with derisive shouts and impotent execrations. Thus without opposition Farragut anchored before tke city, and New Orleans was practically captured.



The " code," as it is called, the duello, was universally recognized in New Orleans before the war, and even to this day duels occur, although growing rarer every year. The man who would not fight "in the days before the war" was regarded as not entitled to the treatment due a gentleman and was socially tabooed, and liable to the grossest insults.

All the efforts of the religious portion of the community to stop duelling proved a failure and aroused the most bitter prejudice. An Article was inserted in the Constitution of the State in 1848, disfranchising duellists. The Creoles complained bitterly of this, which they claimed was an attempt to drive men of courage from the State, and so vigorous was the oppo* sition raised—for nearly ail the leading men found themselves disfranchised by this provision-that the anti-duelling article was repealed four years later, and duellists restored to favor again.

In the early Creole days, the rapier or colechemarde was the weapon most in favor in duels, but broadswords and sabres were sometimes used. The Americans introduced the pistol, rifle and shot gun, which made dueling much more fatal. With the rapier, a slight wound was sufficient to satisfy honor, whereas with the shot gun or rifle one of the principals was nearly always seriously wounded. In fact, in a majority of the duels in which the shot gun was used, one or more deaths ensued.

There was no excuse for refusing to "fight." No matter how high your position, you must accept any challenge sent you by a gentleman. Thus, the first American Governor, Claiborne, left the gubernatorial mansion to fight Daniel Clarke, the State representative in Congress, an encounter which resulted in the severe wounding of Clarke. This duel took place at the mouth of Bayou Marechal.

In the annex of the Old Basin street division of the St. Louis Cemetery may be seen a neat marble shaft, erected over the remains of W. C. C. Claiborne, the first Governor of Louisiana, and the Protestant members of his family. On one of the four sides of this shaft there is the following epitaph:

Sacred to the Memory of * ' Micaj ah Lewis,

Brother-in-law and Secretary of

Governor W. C. C. Claiborne,

who fell in a duel, January 14,1804,

Aged, 24 years.


Young Lewis's death resulted from political antagonism, which provoked a bitter personal assault upon the Governor, whose wife, the sister of young Lewis, had recently died.

Lewis called to the field the author of this slanderous assault, and at the first exchange was shot through the heart. He was a young man of great promise and elevated sentiments, and his death gave infinite sorrow to the Governor and all his friends. The tomb at the time it was constructed was a very costly and tasteful one. The epitaph was directed by the Governor himself, who recognized the authority of the code at that period.

Gayarre, in his history of Louisiana, tells a story of a duel which occurred between six young French noblemen promenading on the green sward, on the very spot where New Orleans now has its centre of trade. One of them exclaimed, " Oh, what a beautiful night 1 what

a splendid level ground for a joust! Suppose we pair off, draw our swords and make this night memorable by a spontaneous display of bravery and skill!" Upon the word they drew, paired off, and under the clear light of the moon their shining blades gleamed in courteous and deadly encounter, and such valor was displayed as would have immortalized, in reasonable battle, these giddy-headed and light-hearted heroes. Two of them remained on the field, pale and bloody corpses, victims of a foolish but heroic bravado.

A very similar story is that of the duel between Major Henry, of Nicaraguan fame, and Major Joe Howell, renowned among all those who remember the old Louisiana traditions for coolness and daring. Howell and Henry had met in a coffee-house at the corner of Canal and St. Charles streets (where Joe Walker now keeps the Crescent Hall), and had had a difficulty which wound up in a challenge to fight that evening at the Half-Way House. It was impossible for the seconds to find out what was the origin of the trouble, Howell himself not recollecting anything about it. It seems that he and Major Henry—a noted brave of the Nicaraguan army —who had served with Walker, had had a mal-entendu in Nicaragua, and cherished no friendship for one another. They met, and Henry invited Joe to drink. Both were under the influence of liquor. Unfortunately two newsboys came in and commenced to fight. According to the theory of the times, Joe bet on one and Henry backed the other. Henry's newsboy caved in, when he then remarked that the fight would have been very different if he and Joe had been engaged instead of the boys. Joe nodded "Yes." "Well, then," put in Nicaragua Henry, "suppose we do have it." Joe whipped out his six-shooter, for short answer. "Hold on, old boy, I'm not ready; let us meet at five o'clock this evening at the Half-Way House; bring your navy; I will have mine." "All right," answered Joe, and the whisky straights, which had been losing some of their lightning by evaporation, instantly disappeared in well-accustomed channels; not, however, before the glasses had violently tinkled against each other. Just then two policemen put in an appearance, and both belligerents were taken to the station. Mutual friends, actuated as much by a desire to see the sequence as by any other Christian motive, soon obtained their release. Henry kept on drinking, and Joe went to sleep, as some great generals have done before him on the eve of mighty battles.

Both parties were known as men of indomitable pluck and desperate courage. Major Henry's reputation was proverbial; further on we will give some particulars of his eventful career. Joe Howell was a brother-in-law of Jefferson Davis, stood six feet seven inches in his boots, was admirably proportioned, and his body was covered with scars caused by wounds inflicted with knife, arrow and bullet.

At 4}£ o'clock Joe woke up, took one cocktail, and without the least nervousness or concern bid his friends au revoir and jumped into the carriage. Dr. Sam Choppin, acting surgeon on the occasion, followed.

On the way, as is customary in the fulfillment of his duty, Howell's second offered some advice to his man. He told him to endeavor to get the first shot in on his antagonist, to fire low and to cock with his right hand without lowering his pistol.

His answer was, after driving a cloud of smoke from his cigarette : " Tut, tut, my boy. teach your grandmother how to suck eggs ! "

The second said no more.

When the grounds were reached 300 persons were found there. AU the hacks and cabs had been engaged as soon as the news flashed over the city that these two men were about to meet in mortal combat. Not less than fifty Nicaraguans were there; but these were clustered around Henry, who could be seen some two hundred yards out in the field, resting on one elbow in a dry hollow.

Joe Howell had also many friends among the spectators and gayly chatted with them.

All efforts to settle the affair failed.

" Will you please give me your version of the cause of this difficulty," Howell's second asked.

" It don't matter; we are here to fight," was the sharp answer from Henry's second.

11 Well, but brave men don't fight like children, for nothing. We want to know what we are going to fight about; if we are wrong we may apologize, or vice versa."

"We don't know anything about it; but if there is to be an apology, Major Howell must make it."

"But if you are ignorant of the origin and cause of this difficulty how can you point out our wrong?"

"Wait; we will see Major Henry."

And off they went to the ditch where Henry sat leisurely resting.

In less than three minutes the Nicaraguans were back.

"Well?" asked Howell's man.

"Well," Major Henry says, "if Joe Howell will apologize it's no fight."

"Apologize for what?" asked the other with some animation.

"Don't know, and don't care," was the laconic reply.

"Then there is no possible way of arranging this matter amicably. Suppose both parties approach each other half way and shake hands without a word? Will you see Major Henry and tell him the proposition comes from our side?"

After some discussion they consented to this, but very reluctantly.

This time the seconds remained fully ten minutes by the side of their principal. There was animated discussion and much gesticulation among them, but they returned and said : " Major Henry says Joe ought to apologize, and then they can shake hands."

" Then it means fight. Load your navy, we will do likewise ; ten paces; six barrels loaded; fire at will, and advance."

The line of fire was a narrow path, flanked on either side by a small ditch. Howell stood six feet seven inches in his boots, and, contrary to advice, wore white pants and an alpaca coat, making him a dangerously conspicuous target.

The command was given:

" Gentlemen, are you ready ?"

Joe, who was facing the woods, answered firmly, "Ready!" but kept his eye looking steadily along the barrel of his cocked pistol. Henry, in a nonchalant fashion, threw his head on one side, his pistol dangling at his arm, and in a lazy tone said, "Ready." The word was then given: "Fire!" Both raised simultaneously, fired, and missed. Howell cocked with his right thumb and fired again before Henry was ready for his second shot. Howell's ball pierced Henry's left forearm, when Henry again fired and missed. Howell now came in with his third shot, striking Henry in the abdomen. To this Henry responded with a shot which threw up the dirt right at Howell's feet. The latter then advanced one step, and, taking deliberate aim, pulled the trigger. Seeing that Henry was done for, Howell's second rushed up and threw up Joe's pistol with his hand. The shot flew away up in the air, that certainly would then and there have killed Henry.

The other side having cried " Stop ! " according to agreement, in case of either party being badly wounded, uttered shrill cries of "Foul! Foul!" and immediately whipped out their revolvers. Then followed a scene of confusion, and for a long time it looked as if a wholesale duel would follow ; but the crowd interfered, and prevented the fight. The wounded man was taken to the Halfway House, where he remained for some weeks befoi*e he could be transported to the city.

Major Henry was, what is known in the vernacular of the ordinary novelist, a character. Retiring in disposition, little given to talk, of a melancholy temperament, he gave no external evidence of the power and determination of the man beneath. Those who knew him intimately and who were with him in the most desperate of dangers say that he was one of the few men they knew who had no appreciation of the word fear. He would face what appeared to be almost certain death with an equanimity that was startling. Joining Gen. Walker's filibustering expedition to Nicaragua, as an officer in the battles there, he was noted for his daring and

coolness. Without caring whether he was followed or not he would charge single-handed into the enemy's ranks, cutting and shooting, right and left, himself receiving: wound after wound. He seemed to bear a charmed life, for, notwithstanding the fact that his body was covered with scars, he received new wounds without, blenching, and so great was his vitality that he recovered in a very short time.

He served for many years as an enlisted soldier in the Seventh Regiment Infantry, United states army; was made quartermaster-sergeant of the regiment during the Mexican war on account of gallant conduct, and at the close of the war was promoted to a lieutenancy. In this capacity he was stationed for a long time in the Cherokee Nation, where his taciturn disposition made him very unpopular with the men, but his daring and recklessness in amorous exploits caused him to be quite a favorite with the squaws.

This came very near being the cause of his death, for one night at a ball he found himself suddenly environed by a crowd of Cherokee braves, and when they dispersed he was lying on the ground in a pool of his own blood, with seven stabs in his body. No other man would have recovered, but he did.

In the assault and taking of Monterey, during the Mexican war. Major Henry accomplished a feat which, for reckless daring, has scarcely a parallel in the annals of military venture.

It will be remembered that Monterey, like its sister city of Spain, the immortal Saragossa, was defended foot by foot and inch by inch. Every window was a fortalice from which murderous shots were fired, and every terrace a fortress dealing death and destruction to the advancing foe.

Major Henry, in the hottest of the fight, wagered a dinner with his friends of the regiment that he would ride three squares on a mule, at a slow pace, through the cross-fire of the Mexican patriots and return. And so indeed he did. The mule did not come back, however, having fallen pierced by a dozen balls, a victim to the temerity of its rider. Major Henry returned on foot, and won his wager somewhat the worse for his experience, with three bullets in his body.

During the Nicaraguan war this remarkable fighter distinguished himself on every occasion, and was much admired and respected as a soldier. His temper, however, was not such as would permit him to live in peace with his fellow-officers. He was noted for several brilliant duels during that eventful campaign—among which, one with Col. Jules Dreux, was fought at Messiah. He was major of the regiment of which Dreux was colonel, and they had a misunderstanding. Dreux waived his rank, and they fought with navy revolvers at twelve paces.

It was in 1843 that a very violent political campaign occurred in this State between the Whig and Democratic parties. The contest was for Representatives in Congress. Each party had brought forward its strongest candidates. The journals of the two parties were especially vigorous and aggressive in their assults upon the nominees of the adverse party. Personality and virulent criticism were never before earned to such a pitch in this State. The Tropic, a daily newspaper, conducted with great vigor and savagery by Col. McArdle, infused a fiercely belligerent tone into the party and its press throughout the State. Many personal confliets and affairs of honor resulted from this bellicose spirit. These quarrels of individuals were adopted by their parties, and the fights assumed the character of faction fights instead of personal affairs of honor. One of the most unhappy and tragic of these combats was that which resulted in the death of Hueston, the editor of the Baton Rouge Gazette. Hueston was of Northern birth, and had recently assumed editorial charge of the paper, which had previously maintained the reputation of a prudent, sedate and cautious Whig journal. Hueston gave an entirely new character to the Gazette. The Tropic had innoculated the Gazette with its partisan virus, and its editorials bristled with sarcasms and offensive personalities. One of the most offensive and unjustifiable of these, which led to the tragic scene we have to relate, was ccntained in a review of the Congressional candidates. The Democratic candidates in the Fourth and Second Congressional districts were Gen. Bossier and the Hon. Alcee La Branche. Both gentlemen were highly honored and admired by their party and large circles of personal friends. They were Creoles.

Mr. La Branche haa been Speaker of our House of Representatives; was the first Charge d'Affaires to Texas, and in all his relations was greatly esteemed as a gentleman of great propriety and dignity of behavior. So far from being a duelist, as has been charged, he was one of the few public men in Louisiana who had never been engaged in an "affair."

General Bossier on the other hand, the Democratic candidate in the Fourth district, had had several affairs of that character, in one of which, a sword combat, he slew General Gaiennie, the great Whig leader of his district. Now, the Baton Rouge Gazette, referring to these characteristics of the two Democratic candidates, taunted the Democrats of the Second district with a preference for a man destitute of spirit and manhood, and those of the Fourth district with a selection of a candidate who had, by his superior physical power, killed his antagonist, This article was regarded by Mr. LaB.'s friends as an insult of the grossest character to himself, his party and his friends. Shortly after the appearance of this article, Hueston visited New Orleans where he was received by the fighting men of his party as a "lion." His arrival was announced in one of the papers with a flourish. Thereupon Mr. LaBranche sought him in the St. Charles billiard-room, and demanded some reparation for the gross insult offered him. Receiving a defiant response, he struck Hueston with a cane or billiard-cue several blows, knocking him down and disabling him. Hueston was taken to his rooms. A surgeon was sent for, who attended to his wounds. Next friends (political friends) were called in, and from them two of the most experienced in such affairs were selected to make arrangements for the earliest possible meeting at the Oaks. These friends were Colonel W. H. McArdle and Richard Hagan, both of whom had been engaged in several affairs of a serious and sanguinary character. Hueston's wounds were of a more serious character than was at first imagined. His surgeon remonstrated against his going out for several days. But Hueston with an obstancy which characterized his whole conduct in this affair, insisted upon the meeting taking place within three days. Accordingly the arrangements were made. Mr. La Branche's friends were General John L. Lewis and Jos. Genois. The weapons selected were double-barreled shotguns, both barrels loaded with ball. Promptly the parties came to time at the Oaks at break of day. A crowd of spectators had been attracted to the scene. In consequence of this interruption and the rumored approach of the police, the parties changed the ground to a more remote locality. They could not elude the intruders, of whem nearly two hundred reached the spot selected The seconds proceeded rapidly with their arrangements. The ground was measured. Forty yards was the distance agree.1 on The words were: "Fire—one, two, three, four, five." The combatants must fire both barrels between the words "fire" and "five." The weapons were ordinary shot-guns, loaded with ball. General Lewis loaded Mr. LaBranche's gun and Colonel Hagan Mr. Hueston's. The worl was given by Colonel McArdle. Both parties were cool and determined. It was observable, however, that Mr. Hueston still bore marks on his face of his recent scuffle.

At the first fire both parties discharged their pieces nearly simultaneously. One of the balls from Mr. LaBranche's piece passed through Hueston's hat, another through his coat. Those of Huestou flew wide of the mark. It was obvious to the seconds and the spectators that Mr. LaBranche had the advantage of greater quickness and skill in handling his weapon.

The seconds of Mr. LaBranche approached those of Mr. Hueston with the usual inquiry whether their principal was satisfied. These gentlemen consulted Hueston. He shook his head with great positiveness, and requested them to load up.

A second exshange was then had, with similar results to the first. The two balls of LaBranche whizzed close by the head of Hueston, who again fired wild.

There was another interview of the seconds and a repetition of the emphatic shake of the head by Mr. Hueston. His seconds remonstrated and apologized to the seconds of the other side for the persistency of their principal, Col. Hagan remarking that after the next fire the distance should be shortened or the parties retired.

The spectators manifested the same sentiment by crying out that the affair should end

there. But Hueston was immovable, and with cool jocularity requested that the guns be reloaded. His obstinacy prevailed.

There was a third exchange. As the smoke cleared away the combatants were observed in the same position, apparently unhurt. One of the balls from LaBranche's gun had barely missed the skull of Hueston, passing through his hair and slightly puncturing the skin, causing blood to flow.

At the third interview of the seconds it was suggested that, Mr. Hueston being wounded, the combat should there end. This suggestion appeared to inflame the obduracy of Hueston. "Feel my pulse," he asked of the surgeon, "and say whether it does not beat steady and regular." The surgeon felt his pulse and declared that there was no irregularity, but added that the affair ought to end there. So thought and declared everybody else but Hueston. He was inflexible in his resolution to kill or be killed. With manifest sorrow and indignation arrangements were made for the fourth exchange of shots.

At the word the parties fired, as before. Each discharged both barrels. At the discharge of LaBranche's first barrel, this being his seventh shot, Hueston reeled and fell. He had dis charged both barrels of his gun. LaBranche's second barrel was discharged, being the eighth shot, before he could perceive the effect of the last. His friends and surgeon advanced to Hueston, who was prone on the ground, lifted him into a carriage, and bore him to the city. An examination discovered that he had been shot through the lungs, and had but a few moments to live. He was taken to the Maison de Sante, where, after the most intense agony, during which he begged one of his friends, as the last kindness he could render him, to fire a ball through his head and end his torture, he died.

Colonel S. L. Oakey came to this city from New York early in the thirties. He engaged at first in the wholesale dry goods business, and afterward in the commission business for the sale of planters' products.

In any pursuit in which he was embarked he displayed great activity, zeal and earnestness, a strong will and dauntless valor and determination. With these he combined a courtly and knightly bearing, a love of the drama, a taste for military display, an intense Democracy and an ardent patriotism.

As illustrative of these qualities in 1848, he assumed the championship of the cotton factors of the city against certain very bitter and denunciatory charges which had appeared in letters from this city in the Vicksburg Sentinel, then conducted by that famous polemical editor, Hagan, who, on account of similar articles, was involved a short time after in a combat, in which he was killed by the late General D. W. Adams.

The letters from this city were traced to an English cotton buyer, named Wright. As the house of Colonel Oakey was involved in the slanders published by the Sentinel, the colonel sought the writer and called him to account for the same. A personal rencontre ensued, which was deferred to the field of honor. Wright had boasted much of his skill as a marksman. The rifle was the weapon selected by him. Colonel Oakey had never fired a rifle in his life, and refused even to practice with the weapon. The parties met across the lake, in Mississippi. Wright was a large, stout man; Oakey was a small, insignificant-looking man, of calm, cool and determined manner, not vaunting, boastful, or demonstrative. The combatants were supported by gentlemen of prominence in the community. The distance was sixty yards. Oakey chose the Yager, known afterwards as the Mississippi rifle ; Wright used a highly-finished English rifle. At the word Wright fired precipitately ; Oakey received and returned the fire with great coolness His adversary fell at his discharge—shot on a line through the heart. The parties returned to the city that evening on the same steamer bearing the unfortunate victim of a duel conducted with the strictest punctilio.

The Creoles of New Orleans were always very spirited and courageous, but sometimes

fought on provocations which the Americans would not have resented in a manner so deadly.

The Creole element was impatient of dissent, and resorted to small arras on all occasions of

differences even among themselves. One paper was especially provocative of such disputes. The writers were Americans, who expressed their opinions without much circumlocution, and so provoked the fiery native greatly. There was one article upon a performance at the opera. This critique occasioned three duels, and upon reading it carefully one will be at a loss to find material to have justified one, even conceding that rational people should peril life at all on a question of singing or dancing.

There appeared in New Orleans, some forty years ago, a very learned savant and academician, from whom there was no appeal on any question of science, known as the Chevalier Tomasi. Tomasi published a communication on the hydraulics of the Mississippi. He would either stop the river, or make it deeper, or restrict it within boundaries specified by science. The style of the article was dogmatic and dictatorial. The Academy of Sciences in Paris was declared as omnipotent in physics as the Sorbonne had been in ethics. Americans were an ignorant tribe expelled from Europe for stupidity or other crimes. To cite a Creole authority only provoked a grimace or a sarcasm. It is proper to say that there was a vehement feud between the Creoles and French. Men grew tired of the society of their superiors, and to have Paris eternally thrown in their teeth, with a word now and then about thefilles de cassette and an assumption of general superiority, would disturb the equanimity of the most phlegmatic, much less of the most mercurial people.

So Tomasi was descanting to a Creole upon the perfection of the system, whatever it was, when a Creole associate ventured to remark that the Mississippi was a very headstrong stream, and that possibly the basis of calculation assumed for the smaller rivers of Europe would not be found applicable to so mighty a stream. At this Tomasi merely employed a gesture of contempt, and added with a sneer, " How little you Americans know of the world. Know that there are rivers in Europe so large that the Mississippi is a mere rill, figuratively speaking." To this the enraged Creole replied, " Sir, I will never allow the Mississippi to be insulted or disparaged in my presence by an arrogant pretender to knowledge." This he accompanied with the flirt of a glove in the face of the Chevalier. A challenge was the consequence, and Professor Tomasi was wounded, as is supposed, mortally. A day or two afterwards, however, the Chevalier appeared in the streets wearing what the surgeons call a T bandage about his face and jaw. He wore quite a ghostly aspect, and when asked about it, remarked, "c'est rien ; une egratignure settlement," 1 and stripped away the bandage, to show that the sword of his antagonist had duly vindicated the dignity of the Mississippi by passing entirely across the mouth of the defamer from one cheek to the other. " But," said the Chevalier, as he replaced his bandage, " I should have killed my antagonist but for the miserable character of your American steel. My sword, sir, doubled like lead. Had it been a genuine colichemarde he would have fared properly for having brutally outraged the sensibilities of a French gentleman. He here opened a lecture on the carbonization of iron, which could nowhere be effected properly except with wood cut in a certain forest of France. This lecture was delivered with pain and contortion of visage, but no doubt gave him great relief, as all his premises and deductions were accepted without dispute.

But to merely recount the duels that have taken place at New Orleans would fill a large volume. The Oaks, the favorite meeting place of the old days, and which now lie in what is styled the Lower City Park, just back of the cemeteries, between Canal and Esplanade streets, have witnessed hundreds of fatal duels. Since the war dueling has not been quite so much in favor as it was a quarter of a century ago, but hostile meetings are still frequent, and not a few of them have terminated fatally.



Opposite the Sixth district of New Orleans, on the right bank of the Mississippi, is a small canal, now used by fishermen and hunters, which approaches to within a few hundred yards of the river bank. The small craft that ply on this canal are taken up by cars which are taken into the water by an inclined plane. Following this canal, which runs nearly due west for five or six miles, you reach a deep, narrow and tortuous bayou. Descending this bayou, which for forty miles pursues its sluggish course through an impenetrable swamp, you pass into a large lake girt with sombre forests and gloomy swamps, and resonant with the hoarse croakings of alligators and the screams of swamp fowls.

From this lake, by a third and larger bayou, you pass into another lake, and from that to another, until you reach an island, on which are discernible, at a considerable distance, several elevated knolls, and where a scant vegetation and a few trees maintain a feeble existence. At the lower end of the island are some aboriginal vestiges, in the shape of high mounds of shells, which are thought to mark the burial-place of an extinct tribe. The lake or bayou finally empties into the Gulf in two outlets, between which lies the beautiful island of Grand Terre. Here may be found the foundations of houses, the brick work of a rude fort, and other evidences of an ancient settlement. This is the spot whi ,h has become so famous in the literature and romances of the Southwest as the " Pirate Home," the retreat of the dread corsair of the Gulf, whom the genius of Byron has immortalized as one who

"Left a corsair's name to other times,

Linked with one virtue and a thousand crimes."

Jean Lafitte, the pirate, was a blacksmith from Bordeaux, France, who kept his forge at the corner of Bourbon and St. Philip streets, in a building which remains to this day. He had an older brother, Pierre, who was a seafaring character, and had served in the French navy.

Shortly after the cession of Louisiana to the United States, a series of events occurred which made the Gulf of Mexico the arena of a most extensive and profitable privateering First came the war between France and Spain, which afforded the inhabitants of the French islands a good pretence to depredate upon the rich commerce of the Spanish possessions, the most valuable and productive in the New World. The Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean swarmed with privateers. Shortly after this the United States of Columbia declared its independence of Spain, and invited to its port of Carthagena all the privateers and buccaneers of the gulf. Commissions were promptly given or sold to them to sail under the Columbian flag and prey upon the commerce of poor old Spain. The privateers selected as their headquarters the little bay or cove of Grand Terre. It was called Barataria, and several huts and storehouses were built there, and cannon planted on the beach. Here rallied the privateers of the Gulf with their fast-sailing schooners armed to the teeth and nianued by fierce-looking men, armed with cutlasses-desperadoes of all nations.

Besides its inaccessibility to vessels of war, the Bay of Barataria recommended itself by another important consideration. It was near to New Orleans, where the spoils of the privateers, or as they can well be styled, pirates, could be disposed of. A regular organization was established, officers chosen and agents appointed in New Orleans to enlist men and negotiate the sale of goods-



Among these agents was the blacksmith Jean Lafitte, who by his address, enterprise and success soon obtained such ascendancy over the lawless congregation at Barataria that they elected him their captain or commander.

There is a tradition that tnis choice gave great dissatisfaction to some of the more warlike of the pirates, and particularly to one Gambio, a savage, grim Italian who did not scruple to prefer the title and character of pirate to the puling hypocritical one of privateer; and Lafitte found it necessary when one of Gambio's followers resisted him to shoot him through the heart before the whole band. His vigor and determination gave him supreme command of the pirates and he certainly conducted his administration with energy and ability. A large fleet of small vessels rode in the harbor, besides others that were cruising in the Gulf. Their store-houses were filled with valuable goods. Hither resorted merchants and traders from all parts of the country to purchase goods which, being cheaper obtained, could be retailed at a large profit. A number of small vessels were employed in transporting these goods to New Orleans, into which city they were carried by night and disposed of by the agents of the pirates there.

Several attempts were made to break up the band and the U. S. Grand Jury more than once indicted Lafitte, but the government could never arrest him. At the very lime when a Federal force was being equipped to descend upon the settlement of Barataria, the pirates were able to do the United States a great service, which saved New Orleans from capture by the British, and won for Lafitte the title of the "pirate patriot." When the British were arranging their expedition against the city, they prepared to advance on it by way of Barataria, and sent a man-of-war to the island, to make terms with Lafitte and secure the co-operation of the pirates in capturing New Orleans, offering as a bribe a large sum of money and to Lafitte personally a commission as captain in the British navy.

Lafitte affected acqueiscence in these proposals, but at the same time warned Governor Claiborne of the approach of the British, and thus enabled the United States to take steps for the defence of the city and to send General Jackson there.

Notwithstanding Lafitte's services, an expedition was fitted up against the pirates and the settlement captured. The Baratarians were ironed and committed to the Calaboose at New Orleans, and their spoils, consisting of an immense amount of valuable goods, money, etc., seized and conveyed to the city.

At the battle of New Orleans, General Jackson being short of gunners, appointed several of Lafitte's men to the artillery, where they did good service.

After the expedition against Barataria, the pirates were scattered in every direction. Some of them fled the country, and may have fallen into loose ways and sought to trade upon the name of Lafitte, thereby giving circulation to the fictitious stories, and multiplying the name and form of the pirate. Others remained in New Orleans and took to honest and regular pursuits, and several prospered and became rich and important personages. Two of them, who were famous fighting men, You and Bluche, managed to secure the admiration and respect of General Jackson to such a degree that he gave the latter, Bluche, a high certificate and recommendation, which procured him an appointment to the command of the fleet of one of the South American republics, and the other, old Dominique, was the first person the General inquired for on his last visit to the city. He lived to an advanced age, in great poverty, but with undiminished pride in his achievements as a warrior, and at his death was buried in the St. Louis Cemetery, where a pompous tomb was erected over him, and a quotation from Voltaire's " Henriade " testifies to his.greatness as a hero and warrior, " The victor in a hundred fights on sea and land."

>■ Lafitte himself returned to his old pursuits, and being unable to remain at Grand Terre, removed to Galveston (then known as Campeachy) island in 1817. Here he built a small town, having his quarters in a commodious house, painted red, where he was visited in 1819 by Col. W. D. C. Hall, in the endeavor to secure his co-operation with Gen. Long in his expedition to Mexico, but without success.

Lafitte's person is thus described: He was a well-formed, handsome man, about six feet two inches in height, strongly built, with large hazel eyes and black hair, and generally wore a moustache. He dressed in a green uniform and otter-skin cap. He was a man of polite and easy manners, of retired habits, generous disposition, and of such a winning address that his influence over his followers was almost absolute. He located bis town on the ruins of Aury's village, built a house which he painted red, and threw up around it a fort.

While Lafitte was located on the island he had five or six armed vessels, and a lai'ge number of followers. In 1819 the island was visited by a severe storm, and several of the vessels were driven ashore on the mainland. Shortly after the occupation, one of Lafitte's men stole a squaw from the Caranchua tribe of Indians, who often resorted to the west end of the island, and kept possession of her. This so enraged the Indians that they attacked a hunting party of the buccaneers and killed two of them. In return the Indians were attacked by Lafitte with two hundred men and two cannon, and a skirmish ensued, lasting two days, when the Indians were forced to flee to the mainland, after having thirty warriors slain.

While at Grand Terre, Lafitte had dealt largely in negroes taken from Spanish slavers, and continued the business during his stay here, and it was not a great many years since there were living witnesses that the price of an able-bodied negro was at that period only $40. In 1819 a desperado named Brown plundered an American vessel and was pursued to Galveston by the United States revenue cutter "Lynx," Captain Madison. Brown arrived before the cutter, and Lafitte getting wind of the affair, had him hung on a little island near the present harbor improvement works, then known as "Little Campeachy," and separated from the larger island by a channel seven or eight feet in depth. He also hung another of his men named Francois for engaging in a plot to rob and murder a Mr. Kuykendall, who, it is quite probable, visited the island for the purpose of purchasing a few of Capt. Lafitte's likely Africans.

The United States becoming tired of Lafitte's establishment, owing to the numerous complaints of depredations on American vessels, determined to break it up, and dispatched a naval force under Lieut. Kearney, with orders to see that Capt. Lafitte left. The pirate chief received the officer courteously, entertained him sumptuously at the Eed House, and issued instructions to his followers to prepare to depart. The buccaneers having everything in readiness, Lafitte ordered the town to be set on fire, and embarking on the " Pride," his favorite vessel, sailed from the island on the twelfth of May, 1820, never to return. After cruising in the Caribbean Sea for several years he located on the island of Mugeres, off the coast of Yucatan, where, according to the traveler Stevens, he died in 1826, leaving a widow and a hecatomb of turtle shells to honor his memory.

Twenty-five years ago piratical panics, alarming stories of bloody deeds on the Gulf, similar to those the novelists and story-mongers have related of their heroes of the Morgan, Kidd and Lafitte class, were periodically put in circulation, and the whole community was agog with excitement and alarm therefrom. Generally these sensational stories and panics resulted in some ludicrous exposures, and no more harm was done than to bring much laughter and ridicule upon the parties who had yielded with too easy a credulity to such exciting fictions,

But occasionally these piratical stories caused some trouble.

There was in New Orleans of old, a retired sea-captain of the name of Bossiere, who to gratify his unconquerable love for the sea had constructed or purchased a beautiful yacht, in which, during vacation, he was accustomed to cruise around the mouth of the river, visiting the islands of the Gulf, and boarding the vessels bound for the city.

His yacht was a long, low, black, raking schooner. His crew was composed of amateur sailors, friends from the city, who, investing themselves in tarpaulin hats, red flannel shirts and light duck pants, affected the airs and swagger of regular salts and relieved themselves of their surplus sportiveness by playing piratical pranks on the peaceful merchant and fishing vessels plying in tbe Gulf, such as displaying a black flag with a skeleton and cross bones. Unfortunately, the humor of their pranks were not perceived or appreciated. They were accepted as

certain indications of the real piratical character of the little yacht, and even reported in the city, with much exaggeration, as infallible evidences of the existence of a formidable pirate vessel, manned by some of the legitimate descendants or successors of Lafitte and the other famous pirates of the early days of the city. These stories had a large circulation throughout the country, and were gulped down with marvelous avidity by seafaring people. The packets plying between this and the northern cities were warned to look out for the long, low, black, raking vessel hovering off the mouth of the river. Captain Bossiere was insensible or indifferent to these pranks of his amateur crew. Perhaps he enjoyed the jocularity of the thing, but was too intent on his enjoyment of his favorite pleasure and recreation to give any heed to the genuine and real alarm his little vessel w T as exciting. So he continued without apprehension to approach, hail and board the packets bound for the city, with a view of interchanging civilities, news and articles of luxury, and indulging in conviviality with passengers who had been a long time at sea.

It happened that one day Bossiere, descrying a large packet which he recognized as a vessel formerly commanded by an old friend, shaped his yacht, and sailed swiftly toward her. Anchoring near the packet, and receiving no response to his hail, Bossiere leaped into his small boat and, with four of his amateurs at the oars, rowed over to the packet. As he approached the packet he could perceive no movement on board to indicate any consciousness of his approach or any disposition to extend to him the hospitalities he expected to enjoy. Reaching the side of the packet, Bossiere leaped from his boat, and, climbing up the ladder, jumped over the taff-rail on to the deck of the packet. In his impetuosity he did not discover, until too late, that he had leaped into a crowd of infuriated men, armed with marline spikes and every imaginable weapon which could be obtained from a merchant vessel, and who fell upon him with the utmost fury, knocking him down, breaking his ribs and fearfully bruising him, until he lay upon the deck apparently dead.

The men, the amateur pirates of Bossiere's yacht, hearing the din and tumult on deck, immediately put back to the yacht, on reaching which they unfurled their canvas, and made, with all the sail thjy could carry, for the mouth of the river. Bossiere, insensible and so terribly bruised, was taken into the cabin, where he was attended by some of the lady passengers and a few of the men, who proceeded to bathe his wounds, and sought to revive his vitality by pouring brandy down his throat. At last he revived, and, glancing around at the spectators, he overheard some of the young ladies remark : "What a handsome pirate he is I Poor fellow, how he has suffered for his crimes ! "

As soon as he could gather strength enough to speak, Bossiere asked for the captain. He discovered he was not his old friend, who had been superseded in command of the packet. "What do you mean by this cowardly and brutal treatment of a peaceful, unarmed citizen?" he asked. "You can't pass that chaff on me. We have heard of your doings around these

parts. We set a trap, and caught the vilest d d pirate that ever depredated on peaceful

vessels and people."

" You are a liar, scoundrel and coward," replied the prostrate and half-dead old sailor. " I'll make you pay for this when you get to the city."

Bossiere kept his word. He was kindly nursed by the passengers, his bones were set, and on reaching the city, tho still incredulous captain sending for the police to deliver over to them the body of the bloodiest pirate ever captured, experienced a sudden and violent revulsion of feeling when the policeman exclaimed, as his eyes fell upon his prisoner : "Why, this ain't no pirate. This is Captain Bossiere, a port warden and a quiet citizen ! "

It was a long time before Bossiere recovered from the injuries received in this adventure. His first task after regaining his strength was to hunt up the captain of the packet and to inflict upon him a severe caning, at the same time offering to respond to any invitation to any field or mode of combat to satisfy the just vengeance clue for his inhospitable and cowardly treatment.

The challenge was declined. Bossiere then employed Col. John R. Grymes to institute an action of damages for a large amount against the captain and owners of the ship upon whose decks he had heen so inhospitably and brutally used. It was on the trial of this action that the foregoing facts were brought out.

But the most interesting incident connected with Captain Bossiere was that which, many years ago, was quite familiar to many of our citizens. This was the fact that his vessel, the "Seraphine," was built for a special purpose, and a large sum of money was made up in New Orleans and in Charleston to carry out that object, and complete her in a style that would render her the fastest vessel in the world, the staunchest and most manageable.

Bossiere was the chief agent of the parties engaged in this plot. To him was assigned the supervision of the building and equipment of the vessel. When launched in the great enterprise to which she had been dedicated, Bossiere, with a picked crew, was to command her.

The object of the parties thus enlisted in the adventure in question was the rescue of the Emperor Napoleon from his rocky prison in the island of St. Helena. The plot was well laid. Several old French residents of New Orleans engaged warmly in it. Among these was Nicholas Girod, mayor of the city for several terms, the same who received Jackson on his entrance into the city in 1814, and of whose gallantry and efficiency Jackson bore eloquent testimony in his general orders. He was a sturdy, patriotic, and philanthropic old gentleman, and at his death made the handsome bequest to the city known as the Girod legacy.

Mr. Girod was an intense and devoted friend and admirer of the great Napoleon and a vigorous hater of the British. He never tired in his denunciation of the brutality of imprisoning so illustrious a man in that miserable island, and with other old Napoleonists was constantly engaged in devising plans for his escape, and never lost faith in his eventual safe transportation to New Orleans. As a proof of his confidence in this expectation he had erected what was then regarded the finest building in the city, at the corner of St. Louis and Chartres streets, which he intended to donate to the Emperor as his future residence in this city. There are strong reasons to believe that the plan of Napoleon's rescue was deliberately and carefully drawn up in communication with the confidential friends and staff officers of Napoleon, who accompanied him into his exile. Girod was deep in this plot and pledged the largest portion of his fortune to secure its success.