The most picturesque and interesting part of the city is that termed colloquially the "French Quarter." Here every square has its story of realistic or legendary lore. The tall, brick buildings looking dreamily over the narrow streets teem with facts of historic or romantic interest. Down the dim ages come the stories of the high-bred dames and gallant knights, who laughed and sang and danced and loved while the "fleur-de-lis" of France floated from the flagstaff in the old Place d'Armes. Then comes the stately echo of the Spanish domination, the days of the grand senors and high-born ladies of Spain; the days of the influx of French and Spanish noblesse, and the gradual amalgamation of the two races into that peculiar type of American civilization, the Creoles of Louisiana.
Amid the echoes of the music and the dance and the first notes of the drama that marked the complete reconciliation, we hear the sound of the axe and the saw, the anvil and the hammer, and the rumble of bricks and mortar all over the Faubourg, and there stands out the "Vieux Carre,," or the old "French Quarter," practically unchanged, as we see it to-day.
This is the city of Gayarre and Lafcadio Hearn, the city around which Cable wove his wonderful romances. Their genius has made the Quarter famous wherever the name of New Orleans is known.
Poetry and romance, beautiful traditions and legends have combined to cast an air of unreality over the history of this old section, but truth is stranger than fiction and the legends associated with points of interest in the old "Carre" as indicated in this Guide, have been verified by careful historians.
In order to see the French Quarter at its best, and breathing in these latter days all the quaint poetry and foreign atmosphere of early days in New Orleans, the tourist must make up his mind to rise early and loiter laxily through the quaint Faubourg, for he will want to stop at every parrot call, at every "clang of wooden shoon," at every note of a gay bacarole floating down from the dormer windows set in the queer tile roof; he will want to peep into the quaint old Spanish courtyards, fresh and fair and cool, with sunny marble-flagged pavements and palms and olives and magnolias growing within; to stop a moment to listen to the soft musical French of the passers-by, to catch a glimpse of the fair Creole girls as they stand in the fragrant old-fashioned gardens, wafting a kiss on a rose to "mamma," sitting on the jalousied veranda or at the jasmine-twined window above; or see them as they pass demurely out of the grim buildings, prayer-book and rosary in hand, on the way to early mass in the old Cathedral.
It is in the morning that the dreamy beauty of this old city dawns upon you, and you see in the dull gray belfries and tall steeples and gilded crosses of her sanctuaries, the roses climbing over the beautiful wrought iron work of the old verandas, and the lovely women you meet, with their sweet foreign ways, the things that have given thought and inspiration to poets and romancers of old New Orleans.
All through this old Latin Quarter the houses retain many of the characteristics of the French and Spanish dominations, and all along the narrow, ill-paved streets will be heard a Babel of tongues and there will be seen convents and chapels and cemeteries, mostly of the Catholic faith. These appeal to the imagination with extraordinary charm; each has its history, its tradition, its lingering memory of other days.
In early Creole days, Royal Street was the main street of the city. The fashionable section was in the vicinity of Jackson Square. Bearing in mind this fact, the tourists will do well to begin his explorations in
diverging every now and then, as this Guide will indicate, a square or so to right or left, to view some interesting landmarks just within the radius than receiving attention.
As you walk along do not fail to note the hand-wrought balconies of iron work, the beautiful courtyards, the tunnel-like entrances to houses enriched with arched mullioned windows, and the spiked galleries that project over the sidewalks.
At the corner of Royal and Iberville Streets is a large building, ornamented with handsome granite columns. It was erected for bank purposes, and was occupied for many years by the Citizens' Bank.
In the vicinity of Royal and Iberville, in the same square as the old bank building, stood formerly the Merchants' Exchange, where the United States Court held its sessions previous to the building of the Custom-House.
The old postoffice was in the centre of the square bounded by Exchange Alley, Customhouse, now Iberville, Royal and Canal Streets.
Just around the corner from Iberville, in a building the precise location of which is not known, Lopez organized an expedition against Cuba, the disastrous result of which aroused a great deal of public attention in 1851.
The square on the river side, between Iberville and Bienville, was once the site of Bienville's country house.
In the vicinity of Bienville Street will be found a number of quaint auction marts, where the wares chiefly sold are old furniture, antiquated bric-a-brac, and dingy family relics of various kinds. It is amusing, indeed, to look through these places, where many curious things will be found. New Orleans has been for years a favorite stamping ground for the relic hunter, and scores of valuable finds have awarded his search. The prizes are all gone now.
At the corner of Bienville Street diverge one square toward the lake and see the old Absinthe House. It dates from the year 1798, and has been doing business since 1826.
Returning to Royal Street, at 403, was housed the first Bank ever organized in the Mississippi Valley. The three corners of Royal and Conti Streets were formerly occupied by banks - the Bank of Louisiana, the Louisiana State Bank and the United States Bank. They have long since removed, although one of the buildings is now a branch depositary of the State Natioual Bank.
The large building on the upper, river corner of Conti is the Mortgage Office. Admission is unrestricted. It is a curious sight to see the interior filled with desks, upon which repose hundreds of huge folios containing the real estate records.
In the middle of the block, between Conti and St. Louis, at 417 Royal, Paul Morphy, the celebrated chess player, once made his residence. He died in his bathroom, on the second floor. The building may be recognised by the beautifully worked iron balcony, and by the circular lunettes piercing the wall, just under the eaves. The ground floor is now occupied by a plumbing establishment. One of the most picturesque courtyards in New Orleans is in the rear.
During the year 1903, some of the most historic buildings in New Orleans were demolished in the square bounded by Royal, Chartres, Conti and St. Louis Streets, to make way for the erection of the new Court House which will be situated in this square. The most interesting of the buildings destroyed was that in which Gen. Jackson made his headquarters in 1812 and from which point he directed his preparations for meeting the English army under Packenham. For many years, till the period of its demolition, the building was the residence of the distinguished Southern writer, Mrs. Mollie E. Moore Davis. Mrs. Davis now resides at No. 505 Royal Street.
At the corner of Toulouse diverge one square toward the lake, and at the corner of Bourbon and Toulouse see the
This immense structure was built in 1860 from a design by the noted local architect Gallier. It seats about 2,800 persons. There are four tiers, each of which retains its peculiar name. For instance, the dress circle is called "les loges;" the balcony, "les secondes;" while the gallery is popularly known as "le paradis." The boxes on the parquet floor are termed "baignoires grilles." There is a handsome "foyer," capable of holding 1,000 persons, on the second floor.
The central part is the theatre proper, or "la salle," as it is technically termed. There are small courtyards on either side, and on the outside, wings occupied by dressing-rooms and administration offices. The office of the "comptrolleur" is at the foot of the double staircase.
The origin of the opera in New Orleans is exceedingly curious and interesting. Between 1808 and 1811 there were two French theatres in successful operation, one in St. Peter Street and one in Royal Street. At the latter period John Davis, a French emigrant from San Domingo, built the Orleans Theatre, on the square behind the St. Louis Cathedral. In 1813 Davis engaged in Paris, the first French Opera Company ever brought to this country, and many of the great classics of the operatic stage were produced for the first time in America in New Orleans. On the death of Davis his son assumed management of the opera, and most ably conducted it for twenty-two years. Under his management Fanny Elssler and Damoreau were brought to New Orleans.
In 1859 Charles Boudousquie formed a stock company, by whom the present splendid building was erected. During the Civil War the opera was suspended. It was revived in 1868. From 1871 to 1872 Placide Canonge, a distinguished Creole journalist and playright, obtained a lease of the opera house and re-established the ancient brilliant traditions of this temple of the lyric art. The opera has continued almost uninterruptedly ever since. The enterprise is under the auspices of the French Opera House Association, composed of leading capitalists.
It is impossible to review in this space, even briefly, the history of the French Opera House. Here Adelina Patti made her debut in "Le Pardon de Ploermel". Here, too, were heard the dying notes of another great Italian artist, Mme. Freszolina Etelka Gerster sang here; so did Fursch-Madi, Devoyod, Dumestre, Dela-branche, Ambre, Picot, Michot and Orlins. The house contains many curiosities, including magnificent collections of music in MSS., and scenery, among others the original sets for "Aida," as produced in Egypt before the Empress Eugenie.
New Orleans is the only city in America which has maintained uniformly an operatic troupe. The great carnival balls take place in this building.
Returning to Royal Street, the next point of interest is the
It stands in the heart of the French Quarter. The original building, erected in 1835, at a cost of $1,500,000, was completely destroyed by fire in 1841, but another palace was immediately erected on the same site, and soon reached a meridian of splendor almost unparalleled in the history of the United States. The building still stands a monument to the elegance, wealth and prosperity of those days. The hotel was the resort of the wealthiest planters and largest slave-holders in the South. The lower rotunda was frequently used by the negro slave traders as an auction mart. The names of the auctioneers may still be seen carved in the walls. The place is in rather a dilapidated condition just now (January, 1903), but it has recently been purchased by a strong corporation, at the head of which is Mr. J. A. Mercier, and it will be thoroughly renovated. Tourists should not fail to see the beautiful domed banqueting hall nor the famous old ballroom, in which were inaugurated the grand subscription balls of ante-bellum days. The frescoing in the hall was done by a nephew and pupil of the great Canova. In this hall Henry Clay delivered the only speech he made in Louisiana, famous "bal travesti," the most magnificent entertainment, it is said, that ever occurred in New Orleans, was given in honor of Henry Clay's visit, and the supper served cost $20,000. General Boulanger and the Prince of Brazil, grandson of Dom Pedro, were entertained magnificently here, and a few years ago the late President Mckinley sat down to a supper there after an evening's arduous campaigning.
The hotel has seen many singular vicissitudes. It has been a statehouse and a besieged fortress. In reconstruction days it was the headquarters of the Radical Government. In 1874, when the people of New Orleans rose against Packard and his oppressive administration, the Radicals were confined to the hotel for several months, fighting taking place outside the building. When the garrison capitulated the building was found in a terrible state of ruin and desolation. Before the war entrance was had through the stately portico in St. Louis Street, but now the entrance is in Royal Street.
Between St. Louis and Toulouse, at 517 Royal Street, is an archway flanked by cannon embedded in the ground. This was the Commanderia, or headquarters of the army during the Spanish domination.
In the vicinity will be found a number of curio and second-hand shops, where the antiquarian and bibliophile have often picked up treasures. These stalls are extremely inviting, reminding one, in the nature and value of their possessions, of the book stores along the Seine in Paris. It is said that more rare French and Spanish volumes are to be found at these places than anywhere else in the country.
At the corner of Royal and St. Peter Streets will be found a four-storied structure of stuccoed brick. It was built in 1819, and was the first four-storied building ever erected in New Orleans. It figures in one of Cable's romances as "Sieur George's House." By this name it is almost universally known. It is a handsome specimen of the old city residences of the great Louisiana planters.
The next point of interest in Royal Street, is in the square between Orleans Place, on the south side, and St. Anthony's Place on the north. Immediately behind the pretty garden, so gracefully laid out in palms and ferns, and magnolia trees, stands the historic
Turn into the dim Cathedral Alley, past the quaint brick buildings looking down so silently over the entourage of vines and flowers, and enter through the side door the famous old shrine, whose history may indeed be said to be the history of New Orleans. The Cathedral occupies the site of the first church ever erected in the great expanse known afterward as the "Louisiana Purchase." This church was erected by Bienville when he laid out the city in 1718, and named St. Louis, after the patron saint of the then reigning monarch of France.
The primitive Church was destroyed by fire and a new church was erected in 1721. This, too. was burnt to the ground in the memorable conflagration of Good Friday, 1788. As the entire city almost was consumed the disaster seemed to preclude the possibility of erecting a new church, when Don Andres Almonsater y Roxas, a wealthy Spanish nobleman, erected at his own expense this Cathedral Church at a cost of $50,000, on condition that a mass would be said in perpetuity every Sunday for the repose of his soul. The design was the usual Spanish style, with three round towers in front. In 1851 the building was remodelled, and steeples were raised on the towers. The present portico, with its columns and pilasters, dates from that period. The beautiful frescoing was done by the famous painter, Humbrecht. The large mural painting above the high altar represents "King Louis of France proclaiming the Ninth Crusade." The statues which surmount the high altar are Faith, Hope and Charity.
To the left of the sanctuary is the archiepiscopal throne, surmounted by the symbols of episcopal authority, the miter and the crossed keys and crozier. On the walls of the sanctuary appear many tablets inscribed to the memory of the dead Bishops and Archbishops of New Orleans, most of whom are buried in the crypt beneath the grand altar. A reproduction of the famous grotto of Lourdes forms one of the side altars; the water which trickles perpetually over the rocks is supplied from the miraculous shrine at Lourdes. The side chapel on the north side is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Don Andres Almonaster sleeps beneath a large slab on which is inscribed in Spanish his many deeds. Many quaint institutions maintain at the Cathedral, not the least curious of which is the sexton or "Suisse," who attends with cocked hat, sword and halbert all the services. Notable events in the history of New Orleans have been linked with the Cathedral, most important perhaps of which was the solemn high mass offered by Bishop Dubourg at the request of General Jackson after his famous victory on the plains of Chalmette. It was attended by General Jackson and his army and a solemn "Te Deum" of Thanksgiving was sung. In 1893 the centennial of the Cathedral was celebrated with great pomp and ceremony, and in December, 1903, were held in the Cathedral the religious services incident to the Louisiana Purchase Centennial celebration.
In the St. Louis Presbytery, facing the Cathedral Alley, may be seen curious old portraits, among them the only one in existence of Don Almonaster, Mgr. Peñalver, the first Bishop of New Orleans, and Père Antoine, whose memory is so linked with early days in the French Quarter. His name was given to the pretty garden fronting on Royal Street, with the Cathedral as a background. Père Antoine was a Spanish priest who came to New Orleans toward the close of the eighteenth century and who worked many years at the Cathedral. He died beloved by all. His name is given to the beautiful little square in the rear of the Cathedral; For many years, too, his name was associated with a palm tree that stood until recently in a woodyard at the corner of Bourbon and Orleans Street. This yard formed part of the land on which Père Antoine lived. Innumerable tales were told of how this strange palm came to be there, not the least romantic of which was that it sprang from the heart of a young girl who was buried in this spot, and who died dreaming of her native palm-befringed shore. At 625 St. Anthony Place are kept the ancient archives of the Cathedral.
Crossing into Orleans Street, is a large brick building, with handsome walls covered with brown stucco. A cross surmounts the roof. This is the Convent of the Holy Family. In other days it was the famous
of New Orleans. Adjoining is a three-story brick building, an orphanage connected with the convent. It stands upon the identical spot on which stood the old Orleans Theatre. No section of New Orleans is invested with more romance than the square in which these buildings stand. As mentioned above, in the building now the Convent of the Holy Family took place those "Quadroon balls," at one time celebrated throughout the world. No women were more beautiful than the quadroon women of New Orleans. The slight negro taint was betrayed only in the soft olive skin and the deeply increased brilliancy of the eye, while no one, not versed in the signs by which the Louisianian recognizes at once the person of mixed blood, could distinguish in feature, hair or form any resemblance to the African type.
It was while the quadroon women were in the zenith of their unsavory glory that there rose clam and serene, like a star of promise for the colored race, the Sisterhood of the Holy Family. It was founded by the Abbé Rousselon in 1835, with the hope of regulating a condition of affairs that saddened the hearts of the Archbishops of New Orleans. Among those who went to confession to the old Abbé were three colored women who were slaves; one was a quadroon, another a griffe, a third a mulatto, representing the various grades of evolution from the African proper. They were good, virtuous, pious, Christian women, reared in Christian households by noble masters and mistresses They felt keenly the degradation of their race. The Abbé Rousselon knew this
and in his far-seeing wisdom knew, too, that religion alone could give these women the right conception of the duties imposed by God. He conceived a great plan, and obtaining the freedom of the three slaves, he sent them to a convent in Europe to be trained and educated. After seven years they returned to New Orleans and he founded the Sisterhood of the Holy Family. It was a struggling little community; it had the sympathy of the white ladies of New Orleans and the unfailing support of the Bishops and priests. The war came and then the work of the Sisterhood began in earnest. They gathered in the orphans and the aged and afflicted of their race, now freed and thrown upon the world. The South had been beggared; it was a race for subsistence everywhere. But all shared with the humble Sisterhood, for the men and women of Louisiana appreciated their work. The old Orleans Theatre had long been burned down; the ancient quadroon ballroom still remained. In 1881 this place was offered for sale. Before the day was out the Sisterhood had gathered in the means to purchase it. And here, in the very house where folly once reigned and music sounded and graceful figures floated dreamily to and fro, the Sisters have erected their chapel, and above the doors are inscribed the words: "Silence, my soul, God is here." The old ballroom, so long used as a chapel, but now as a community room for the sisters, is said to have the finest dancing floor in the world. It is made of cypress three feet in thickness. Above the stairway the Sisters have placed the significant inscription: "I have chosen rather to be an abject in the house of the Lord than to dwell in the temple with sinners." Silence and prayer and work now reign in these halls, and no community is more esteemed than the Sisterhood of the Holy Family, which has done more than any other body for the elevation and education of the colored race in Louisiana.
Turning again into the dreamy Rue Royale, just along the Cathedral Ave. are the Catholic book stores for the sale of religious articles. The
also have their abode along this section. On the approach of All Saints' Day, Nov. 1, the day set apart in New Orleans as sacred to the dead, the windows in Royal Street are aglow with wonderful beaded wreaths and flowers, wax and paper flowers, enriched with various mottoes: "A Mon Père," "Á Ma Mère," "Á Une Epouse Chérie," as the sacred thread of memory runs. Very quietly all the year round the flowermakers sit at work in the rear of these ancient stores so that at All Saints' time they may rival one another in the beauty, the variety and the skill of their productions."
The "Café des Exilés," made famous by Cable, stood at the corner of Royal and St. Ann Streets. On Dumaine, between Royal and Bourbon Streets, is a low-browed frame house, with dormer windows and a long veranda supported by a brick pavement. This is the house bequeathed by M. John, of the "Good Children's Social Club," to "Zalli and Tite Poulette," as veraciously set forth in Cable's story of "Tite Poulette."
At 1122 Royal Street are quaint courtyards surrounded by old Spanish portals. They are all that remains of the old Spanish Barracks. The place is now used as a seltzer water factory.
Just around the corner from Royal Street, at 817 St. Philip Street, is the Convent of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. They are devoted to the work of elevating to the dignity of true citizenship the swarm of Italian and Sicilian emigrants which pours into New Orleans. The Sisterhood came to New Orleans shortly after the lynching of eleven Italian prisoners in the old Parish Prison of New Orleans, twelve years ago. The deadly work of the Mafia had been gaining ground day by day; scarcely a month passed without chronicling some terrible secret murder, directly traceable to this society. At length the members became so bold as to defy justice and secretly shot down the Chief of Police of the city while engaged in the discharge of his duties. The murderers, strange to say, were six of them acquitted and a mistrial entered as to the other three, but the citizens rose in arms and slew the prisoners in the Parish Prison. The Sisterhood is doing a noble work in instructing these emigrants and their children in their duties to God, their neighbor and country. They have the cordial support of the citizens, and many ladies of the finest families have joined their order. The courtyard and garden of the convent are very quaint, and the institution itself well repays a visit.
A half square further on, at the corner of St. Philip and Bourbon Streets, once stood the famous smithy of the Lafitte brothers, the
whose romantic history and bravery form one of the most interesting chapters of the life of old New Orleans. Here these polished gentlemen, under the guise of blacksmiths, smuggled goods into New Orleans and established such an enormous trade that the United States Government stepped in and sought to apprehend them. But it was all of no avail. The old Creoles, smarting under the unjust mercantile laws of Spanish colonial days, had learned to love the Lafitte brothers, who brought such beautiful and expensive wares to New Orleans and sold them so cheap. They sought to shield them from arrest. As soon as the United States revenue cutter was spied in the distance coming up the river, the brothers were notified. At once the great piles of smuggled goods were hidden away, usually in the fastnesses of the woods of Barataria Bay; the smithy was in full blast, and Jean and Pierre Lafitte the busiest and most industrious of workers. At last they were forced to take up their residence in Barataria Bay altogether, for the United States made it very hot for them in New Orleans. At this time the war with Great Britain broke out. Lafitte was offered a large sum by the British if he would allow them to land at the pirate's trysting place in the Barataria woods and steal quietly into New Orleans. The two brothers were also offered commissions as officers in the British Army. But Lafitte was a brave patriot and a true Louisianian, despite his piratical inclinations. He scornfully rejected the British offer, told General Jackson of the approach of the enemy, placed all the documents in his hands, and then, advancing to the defense of New Orleans, he himself organized his pirates into a regiment for the defense of the city. No braver service was rendered on the day of the great battle of New Orleans than that of Latitte's Regiment. In consideration of his services the United States, upon the recommendation of General Jackson, granted the brothers and their men full and free pardon for past offenses on condition that they would give up smuggling and lead the lives of respectable American citizens. The offer was accepted and Lafitte was welcomed into the best society in New Orleans. The stories told of the Barataria pirates would fill a volume.
The headquarters of the Italian organ grinders are a half square further on in St. Philip Street. These people live in an old and dilapidated tenement building opening upon a great yard. They spend the day eating macaroni and singing songs, and at evening emerge in numbers, with their hand organs on their backs, and go from corner to corner of the old Faubourg, playing their tunes, to the delight of the little children, who dance to the music and to the dismay of the older folks, who like not the twanging instruments.
At 1140 Royal Street, corner of Hospital, stands a fine old house which has a story as strange and terrible as any German castle. This is the famous
which every visitor to New Orleans wishes to see, and whose singular history caused Cable to embody it in his "Strange True Stories of Louisiana." Here, in 1831, lived Mme. Lalaurie, who moved in the most wealthy and aristocratic Creole circles of her time. She was beautiful, educated, accomplished; she was a member of one of the most ancient and honored families of Louisiana. She inherited numerous slaves, whom she treated with the most abominable cruelty, starving, and torturing them to death, until, her barbarities becoming known to the public, she was compelled to flee for her life. The indignant populace rose in its wrath, wrecked the house, threw the most costly mirrors and cabinets from the windows and smashed them into atoms on the banquette below. The imprisoned and half-starved slaves, many of whom were found held in chains fastened to the dungeon below, were released. Three old slaves, tortured almost to death, were taken in a dying condition to the "Cabildo."
Human bones were found in the well and a curious old trap door, still to be seen in the wall, is said to have been the avenue by which Mme. Lalaurie let down these slaves into gloom and darkness and death. Ever since the house is said to have been haunted. It is said that no tenant can occupy it for any length of time. The Creoles tell the most wonderful stories of how at times the ghosts of the murdered slaves hold high carnival in the old mansion. The principal ghost haunting the house is said to be that of a little negro girl, who, being pursued by her mistress with a lash, fled up and up the winding stairs to the belvidere and committed suicide by leaping from the roof into the courtyard below. On dark and stormy nights it is said the little girl appears
her moans and sobs being heard above the storm, and on moonlight nights, when the atmosphere is very rare, her wraith, fleeing from her infuriated mistress, is seen leaping with a wild shriek from the cupola to the flag-stoned courtyard below. Many are the stories told of how Mme. Lalaurie effected her escape on that awful night away back in the thirties. Some say that after the mob had wrecked the house she caused herself to be nailed in a coffin, gave out that she had died of fright and was taken out in a hearse to the Metairie Road, whence she made her escape to France. But the true manner, learned by the writer from an eye-witness to the scenes, was that Mme. Lalaurie saw that a crisis had come and nothing but a bold effort would save her life. She dressed herself beautifully for her evening drive, ordered her coachman to drive her carriage to the main entrance of the house, and, smiling radiantly, she bowed like a queen to the infuriated mob. Taken unaware, the crowd fell back, wondering
what would happen next. This was the opportunity that Mme. Lalaurie had calculated upon. She bowed again with her sweetest smile, stepped through the crowd into her carriage, and ordered her coachman to drive at breakneck speed out the ancient fashionable route of Bayou Road. It had all happened in the twinkling of an eye. The crowd recovered itself, realized that it was to be cheated out of its victim and followed in close pursuit. It was a race for life, and Mme. Lalaurie won. She reached the Half-way House a few moments ahead of the crowd. A schooner stood in the bayou. She thrust a purse of gold into the Captain's hand and he steered out toward the lake. Mme. Lalaurie made her way to Covington, thence to Mobile, where she embarked for France. She became noted in Paris for her many charities. She was killed in a boar hunt in the forests of Versailles. For many years after her departure the house remained closed. The people said the house was haunted and would show the well in the courtyard where Mme. Lalaurie buried her victims, the murder of whom had been perpetrated in the loft immediately beneath the roof.
Turning from this eerie spot, just two squares beyond, is the Rue Esplanade and In the section bounded by Decatur, the Levee and Barracks Street, is the
It occupies the site of the old Fort St. Charles. The building cost $182,000. The Mint is capable of turning out $5,000,000 per month. Admission to the Mint is easily effected, and a polite official is always ready to show the visitor through the various departments. In December, 1814, General Jackson stood on the rampart of Fort St. Charles to review his army as it marched past on its way to meet the British at Chalmette. In 1862 William Mumford was hung in front of the Mint, by order of General Benjamin F. Butler, for tearing down
the United States flag from the roof of the building after the Union Army had taken possession of the city. For years after, a sad, gray-haired woman wandered aimlessly about the Faubourg. "Hush!" the little children would say as she approached; "that is Mumford's mother." "No, she is not," others would answer; "she only thinks she is." And the old Creole grand dames would take up the thread and say, in hushed voices: "Yes, children; she is Mumford's mother."
where slaves were brought from all sections of the Southern States, but principally from Virginia and Maryland, to be sold at auction in New Orleans, were located at the corners of Chartres and Esplanade Streets. The large brick building, now one of the finest residences on the avenue, was erected on the site of the long row of brick buildings which stood on the river side of Chartres Street, from Esplanade to Peace Street. On the side toward the woods, in the same boundary, stood a long row of frame buildings (two-story), with iron balconies reaching to the banquette, and a three-story kitchen with little pigeon-hole-windows guarded in by iron bars. Both of these sides of Chartres Street were known as the slave quarters, and millions of dollars changed hands in this slave-traffic.
Adjoining almost all the ancient homes in this section are two and three-storied kitchens separated from the main house. These were the quarters used by the family servants, or the slaves who were attached directly to the household departments.
On the corner of Elysian Fields and the levee, and visible from Chartres Street where it crosses Esplanade, is the massive brick building, with a lofty smokestack, used as a power-house by the Claiborne Street Railroad. The power-house occupies the site of the old Manderille de Marigny residence. This was the residence of Philippe Marigny who is buried before the altar in the St. Louis' Cathedral. Marigny, as mentioned in the historical chapter of this Guide, was a grand seigneur in every sense, and when Louis Philippe was in America, before his accession to the French throne, he entertained the exiled Prince for sometime in magnificent fashion. Lafayette, Moreau and other celebrated personages were his guests at other times. All this portion of the city was, in those times, known as the "Faubourg Marigny."
Many are the stories told of his magnificence and lavish use of money, among others the common story that he used to light his cigar with $10 bills, and carelessly throw away the burning fragments.- The Picayune's Guide to New Orleans (1904) - As Written
The "French Quarter", or the Downtown Section of New Orleans
Revised and Enlarged
Price, By Mail 30¢
At Picayune Counter 25¢
Picayune Job Print
The Picayune, New Orleans, La.
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