No other city in America keeps its history as vital or as accessible as New Orleans. Entire neighborhoods, whole buildings, cemetery crypts, manhole covers, cobblestone streets and ancient oaks serve as touchstones to vanished eras. In New Orleans, history can strut as loudly as a Carnival walking krewe or creep as softly as a green lizard on a courtyard wall.
During the American Revolutionary WarNew Orleans was an important port for smuggling aid to the rebelsand transporting military equipment and supplies up the Mississippi River.
Beginning in the s, Filipinos began to settle in, and around, New Orleans.
Thereafter, the city grew rapidly with influxes of Americans, FrenchCreoles and Africans. Later immigrants were IrishGermansPoles and Italians. Major commodity crops of sugar and cotton were cultivated with slave labor on nearby large plantations. Thousands of refugees from the Haitian Revolutionboth whites and free people of color affranchis or gens de couleur libresarrived in New Orleans, often accompanied by slaves of African descent.
While Governor Claiborne and other officials wanted to keep out additional free black people, the French Creoles wanted to increase the French-speaking population. The migration brought 2, whites, 3, free persons of African descent, and 3, slaves of African descent, doubling the city's population.
The city became 63 percent black, a greater proportion than Charleston, South Carolina 's 53 percent. Despite great challenges, General Andrew Jacksonwith support from the U. Navysuccessfully cobbled together a force of militia from Louisiana and Mississippiincluding free men of colorU.
Army regulars, a large contingent of Tennessee state militiaKentucky riflemen, Choctaw fighters and local privateers the latter led by the pirate Jean Lafitteto decisively defeat the British troopsled by Sir Edward Pakenhamin the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, The armies had not learned of the Treaty of Ghent that had been signed on December 24, however, the treaty did not call for cessation of hostilities until after both governments had ratified it.
Philip the Royal Navy went on to capture Fort Bowyer near Mobilebefore the commanders received news of the peace treaty.
Port Mississippi River steamboats at New Orleans, As a portNew Orleans played a major role during the antebellum era in the Atlantic slave trade. The port handled commodities for export from the interior and imported goods from other countries, which were warehoused and transferred in New Orleans to smaller vessels and distributed along the Mississippi River watershed.
The river was filled with steamboats, flatboats and sailing ships. Despite its role in the slave tradeNew Orleans at the time had the largest and most prosperous community of free persons of color in the nation, who were often educated, middle-class property owners.
The market expanded after the U. Two-thirds of the more than one million slaves brought to the Deep South arrived via forced migration in the domestic slave trade.
The money generated by the sale of slaves in the Upper South has been estimated at 15 percent of the value of the staple crop economy.
The slaves were collectively valued at half a billion dollars. The trade spawned an ancillary economy — transportation, housing and clothing, fees, etc. If a substantial proportion of free persons of color and slaves had not also spoken French, however, the Gallic community would have become a minority of the total population as early as The population doubled in the s and byNew Orleans had become the nation's wealthiest and the third-most populous city.
In this period, the state legislature passed more restrictions on manumissions of slaves and virtually ended it in They maintained instruction in French in two of the city's four school districts all were white.
The census recorded 81 percent as mulatto, a term used to cover all degrees of mixed race. Most blacks were still enslaved, working at the port, in domestic service, in crafts, and mostly on the many large, surrounding sugarcane plantations.Dear Twitpic Community - thank you for all the wonderful photos you have taken over the years.
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