The New International Encyclopædia/New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS, ôr′lē̇anz. The largest city in Louisiana, and, with the exception of Natchitoches, the oldest. It is situated on both banks of the Mississippi, 107 miles from its mouth, in latitude 29° 58′ N., and longitude 90° 04′ W. (Map: Louisiana, F 4). Its distance from Washington in direct line is 960 miles; from Saint Louis by rail, 639; and from Chicago by rail, 923. The city proper occupies a strip of land between the river and Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain, with the latter of which it is connected by two canals. The corporate limits of the city embrace the whole parish of Orleans and a portion of Jefferson on the right bank (the town of Algiers, or Fifth District). The official boundaries thus inclose an area of 191 square miles, though the inhabited portion covers only about 37 square miles. The city lies about ten feet below the level of the Gulf, and is so far below the level of high water in the Mississippi that it is protected from overflows by levees twenty feet high in places. Its sobriquet, the ‘Crescent City,’ is derived from the fact that the original city followed the curve of the river in front of the old Place D'Armes; but as the inhabited portion has been gradually extended, its shape more nearly resembles the letter S. It has a frontage of more than twelve miles on the river, which is about half a mile wide in front of Canal Street and from 40 to 200 feet deep.
Canal Street, 200 feet broad, is the great business thoroughfare, and cuts the city in two, the portion below being known as the French Quarter, or Vieux Carré, and the portion above as the American Quarter. The French portion, with its narrow streets, its occasional tiled roofs, its old cathedral, its Spanish city hall or Cabildo, and its porte-cochères, is far more picturesque than the American Quarter, which contains the great business houses, the banks, and also the handsomest private dwellings. In the French Quarter, however, many beautiful residences, surrounded by flowers and semi-tropical plants, are to be seen on Esplanade Avenue. Here dwell the old Creole families, descendants of the early French or Spanish settlers; here French is still spoken as a mother tongue, and though there has been much intermarrying and social intercourse with Americans, French customs are still observed, and visitors feel as if they had happened upon an aristocratic faubourg of Paris. Traces, also, of the Spanish régime are to be found in many interesting specimens of the Hispano-Moresque style of architecture, which, with the red-tiled Spanish houses and the exquisite wrought-iron of the balconies, make this portion of the city unique. Above Canal Street the principal residence streets are Saint Charles Avenue and Prytania Street. These stretch for miles through the prettiest section of the city. Here are the most beautiful gardens. The palm, the palmetto, the fig, the orange, and the magnolia grow in tropical abundance, and even in winter the atmosphere is often perfumed with the odor of roses, violets, and sweet olive. Owing to the curve of the river, the streets do not run at right angles; they follow what is sometimes called ‘the line of beauty.’ Between the main thoroughfares of this portion of the city are interpolated a number of small streets, which, seeming to begin nowhere and end nowhere, cause great perplexity to strangers. The total extent of streets is 700 miles, of which only 204 miles are paved at all. The lack of paving, resulting in the disuse of the unpaved streets, which in bad weather become almost impassable, has a tendency to congest traffic on the few streets that are paved. The street railways cover a total mileage of 176. Recently they have been consolidated under one company. A belt line, twelve miles long, extends around the most attractive portion of the city. There is also an electric line connecting with West End, a suburban resort, nearly seven miles from the head of Canal Street.
Climate. The Weather Bureau reports have been carefully kept for the last thirty-two years. They show that the average rainfall is 58.01 inches. In winter there is generally some ice and occasionally snow. The summers are long, but the heat is seldom excessive, and prostrations are rare. The average annual relative humidity is 74 per cent. The large surrounding bodies of water render the climate more equable than in the interior. The annual mean temperature is 69°. In thirty-two years the temperature has never reached 100°, except in 1901.
Buildings. Among the secular buildings of New Orleans, the most interesting is the Cabildo (now the Supreme Court building). It was built at the expense of the Government near the close of the eighteenth century, during the Spanish régime. In it the formal transfer of the Province of Louisiana from Spain to France and from France to the United States took place with elaborate ceremonies in 1803. Other notable structures are the Custom House and Post Office building (cost $5,000,000), which is of massive granite, but not beautiful as to architecture; the City Hall, of Ionic order, and modeled after a Greek temple; the new Court House; the New Saint Charles Hotel, one of the most famous hostelries in the South; the Howard Memorial Library; Gibson Hall (a part of Tulane University); the Charity Hospital; the Medical College; the Milliken Memorial Hospital; the Harmony Club (an aristocratic Jewish association); the Cotton Exchange; the Sugar Exchange; the Athenæum; the Jewish Orphans' Home; and the new Tilton Memorial Library (also a portion of Tulane University). Among the splendid office buildings that are rapidly rising in the business centre of the city may be mentioned the Hennen building, the Liverpool and London and Globe, the Morris, the Masonic Temple, and the Tulane-Newcomb. Of the ecclesiastical edifices the most prominent are the Saint Louis Cathedral (Catholic), in which General Jackson attended services after his great victory at Chalmette in 1815; the Archiepiscopal Palace (1730), the oldest building in the Mississippi Valley; the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Saint Joseph's Church, the First Presbyterian, Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal), Trinity Church, Saint Paul's, Temple Sinai and Touro synagogues, the Prytania Street (Presbyterian) Church, and the Coliseum Place (Baptist) Church.
Parks. The total park area of the city is 742.66 acres. The two largest and most interesting parks are the City Park and Audubon Park, which are both being rapidly improved. City Park, which is situated on Metairie road, between the city and the lake, contains 160 acres. It was formerly a plantation, and beneath its ancestral oaks, draped with festoons of Spanish moss, occurred nearly all the famous duels which were a marked feature of Creole life before the Civil War. Dueling has now passed away. In this park young men find amusement in golf and polo. Portions of it are still wild. Audubon Park, in the upper portion of the city, contains 249 acres, and was also a plantation in days gone by. It was here that in 1796 the first successful attempt was made to granulate sugar—marking an epoch in the industrial history of the State. Its superb live oaks, its miniature lakes, and its great greenhouse, 300 feet long, and full of rare tropical plants, make this park a favorite resort. It also contains an interesting sugar experiment station, supported by the State. Besides these parks, there are two squares that attract attention on account of historical associations. These are Congo Square (now Beauregard Square) and Jackson Square. The former was in old times the resort of the slaves, and here they assembled for their wild dances to the sound of bones and drums. Jackson Square was not only associated with the exciting events that occurred in connection with the two transfers of the province in 1803, but was also the scene of the triumphal entry into the city of General Jackson after the Battle of New Orleans. The square contains a fine equestrian statue of General Jackson, by Clark Mills. Flanked by the old cathedral and the court buildings on one side and by the fine Pontalba rows on the other two sides, this square is regarded as one of the most symmetrical and beautiful public places in the United States. Near the square is the French market, which is one of the ‘sights’ of New Orleans. Visitors crowd to it early Sunday mornings to listen to the babel of tongues—French, Spanish, Italian, Creole patois, and English—to drink ‘café noir,’ and to buy gombo filé (pounded sassafras) and baskets of the Choctaw Indians, who still frequent it.
Cemeteries. There are a number of cemeteries in various portions of the city. The most interesting are the Catholic cemeteries, of which the oldest is Saint Louis No. 1, and the most curious is Saint Roch's Campo Santo. The handsomest cemetery is the Metairie, which contains, among its fine monuments, the tomb of the Army of Tennessee, surmounted by the splendid equestrian statute of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston. As it is not possible in New Orleans to dig much below the surface without finding water, the curious custom prevails of burying in vaults, or ‘ovens,’ rising in tiers sometimes eight feet above the ground line. Jews, however, bury beneath the ground, as do some of the poorer classes. On All Saints' Day (November 1st), which is a general holiday in the city, the Catholics visit the cemeteries and decorate the tombs of the dead.
Public Institutions. While New Orleans has no such enormous libraries as are found in some of the Northern cities, it is fortunate in possessing several of importance. Among the smaller ones of a quasi-public character should be mentioned those owned by the Jesuits' College, the Tulane Medical College, the Parish Medical Society, the New Orleans Bar Association, and the H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College. The larger libraries are the State Library, with about 25,000 volumes; the Tilton Memorial Library of Tulane University, with 20,000 volumes and 2000 pamphlets; the Howard Memorial, with 45,000 volumes and 12,000 pamphlets; and the New Orleans Public Library, with 52,000 catalogued and 10,000 uncatalogued books. The Howard Memorial, which is privately endowed, is a reference library, and has perhaps the best collection in the world of books concerning the history of the Mississippi Valley. The Public Library, embracing the former Fisk and Lyceum libraries, has an increasing circulation, amounting in 1902 to 110,000 volumes. There are also in the city three private libraries containing valuable collections of original documents on American history. In the Howard Memorial Hall are a number of interesting relics of the Civil War. Andrew Carnegie offered the city $250,000 to erect a new library building with branches, and the offer has been accepted.
Charitable Institutions. The city is rich in such institutions. The principal one is the Charity Hospital, built in 1832. It treats about 5000 patients every year, without charge. It receives from the State .$05,000 annually, with additional sums for improvement of buildings, etc., and is controlled by a board appointed by the Governor. The city supports a home for aged and infirm, a house of refuge for boys, and an insane asylum. There is also an eye, ear, nose, and throat hospital, maintained by private contributions. The Jews have several well-organized charitable institutions, among which the principal are the Jewish Orphans' Home and the Home for Aged and Infirm Jews. The Touro Infirmary, endowed by a wealthy Hebrew philanthropist, has a free clinic, where the poor of all sects are treated. The Catholics have the most numerous charitable institutions under their control. The most prominent are the Poydras Asylum, the New Orleans Female Orphan Asylum, Saint Vincent's Infant Asylum, and the House of the Good Shepherd. There are also for colored people a Boys' Home and a Home for the Aged, founded by a colored philanthropist. Of recent foundation is the Kingsley House, modeled after the famous Hull House of Chicago. It is supported by private subscriptions. Finally, the Charity Organization Society has undertaken to organize the many charities of the city, and by the careful investigation of its agents to prevent pauperization.
Educational Institutions. The organization of the public school system is thorough and complete. A large number of the handsome schoolhouses of the city were built from the income of a fund given by a former citizen. John McDonogh, which now amounts to about $800,000. The city makes such appropriations for the public schools as it thinks proper, but it cannot appropriate less than eight-tenths of a mill for any one year. Besides this appropriation it receives its share of the current school fund collected by the State. There are no ‘mixed’ schools. The number of public schools for whites is 61, and for negroes 12. The number of teachers is 800 white and colored. The total enrollment for 1902 was 31,205, of whom 26,133 were white and 5072 were colored. The public school system consists of one normal, three high, 68 grammar and primary, 18 kindergarten, one teachers' practice school, and one teachers' kindergarten training school. These schools occupy 69 buildings, 32 of which were erected by the city, 28 by the commissioners of the McDonogh fund, and two donated. The total cost of maintaining the schools per annum is $510,573. The estimated expenditure for each pupil is $16.36. Free instruction is also given to young children by six kindergartens, supported partly by churches and partly by private funds. The number of private schools in the city is 145 for whites and 14 for negroes. Among the most prominent colleges may be mentioned the College of the Immaculate Conception (established by the Jesuit Fathers in 1847); the Soulé Commercial and Literary Institute (established 1850); Spencer's Business College and Institute of Shorthand (established 1897); the Blake Institute; and the Home Institute (established in 1883). The last-named institution, besides its regular work, conducts a free night school, in which instruction is given to nearly 1300 men and boys. For the education of the colored youth there are four universities, or more properly colleges: Leland University (1870), Straight University (1870), New Orleans University (1873), and the Southern University (1881). Only the last of these is supported by the funds of the State. For the whites there is only one university, the Tulane University of Louisiana (q.v.), with the H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College for Women.
Amusements. New Orleans is famous for its French opera. For forty years before the Civil War troupes were brought over from France to furnish this entertainment, and with brief intervals the custom has prevailed ever since. Such is the passion for music and singing, especially among the Creoles, that even in times of great financial depression the city has managed by private subscription to support these foreign companies. No other city in the Union has shown equal enthusiasm. Thousands of visitors are attracted to the city during the winter season by the opera; but a still greater attraction for many years has been the Carnival celebration. As early as 1840 tableaux on floats were drawn through the streets, and, except during the Civil War, the custom has continued to the present day. These superb pageants are now given by four secret organizations—Momus, Proteus, Rex, and Comus—and each is followed at night by a gorgeous ball. Other secret organizations have sprung into being of late years, and the series of masked balls now extends with brief intervals from Twelfth Night to Mardi Gras, or Shrove Tuesday. When the morning of Ash Wednesday dawns every vestige of this prolonged revelry has vanished. The subjects represented in the parades are drawn from mythology, romance, and history. The floats are designed by artists of established reputation, who, with their assistants, spend many months in elaborating them. The expense of these parades is about $200,000 a year. Nowhere else in the world are similar pageants to be seen.
Clubs. The principal social clubs of New Orleans are the Boston, the Pickwick, the Chess, Checkers and Whist, the Harmony, the Louisiana, the Era (a women's club), the Round Table, the Variété, and the Southern Yacht Club. The Louisiana Historical Society devotes itself to the investigation and preservation of the history of the State, while the Athénée Louisianais was founded for the study and preservation of the French language.
Drainge and Sewerage. The surface of the city being entirely flat, with the exception of Metairie Ridge, which has an elevation of about two feet, the problem of drainage and sewerage has been a perplexing one ever since the founding of New Orleans. The average rainfall being 58 inches, tropical downpours are not infrequent, and they sometimes flood the principal streets to the depth of several feet. To this inconvenience is added the fact that strong winds often force the waters of Lake Pontchartrain over the rear of the city, and keep it submerged for several days. Various plans for draining the city were tried, but they all failed. Finally the city appropriated for this purpose a large amount of money derived from the sale of street railway franchises, and under a drainage board appointed in 1896 the immense work of digging canals and establishing pumping stations was begun. Much yet remains to be done, but the system as far as completed was put into practical operation in March, 1900. Meanwhile (1899), the property owners of the city voted a special tax of two mills to run forty-two years to provide the necessary funds for “sewerage, drainage, and municipal water-works.” A new board was then appointed, but a troublesome litigation in the courts tied its hands for many months. Recent decisions of the courts, however, in favor of the city give promise of speedy and successful execution of this great work. At present New Orleans is insufficiently supplied with river water, and a large majority of the inhabitants depend upon rain water, collected in great wooden vats or cisterns, which, rising nearly as high as the houses, form a unique feature of the city.
Health. New Orleans has always been subject, at intervals, to visitations of yellow fever, and its sanitary reputation has been thereby seriously impaired. Before the Civil War the worst epidemics were those of 1832, when more than 8000, out of a population of about 55,000, died of yellow fever and cholera; of 1847, when nearly 2500 died of yellow fever alone; and of 1853—the ‘Great Epidemic’—when fully 16,000 died from yellow fever and other causes. In 1878 there was one which carried off 4000 persons in Louisiana. In 1882, however, a thorough system of disinfecting vessels was established at the mouth of the Mississippi, and for fifteen years the fever was kept outside the boundaries of the State. In 1897 it was again introduced from a town in a neighboring State, where the disease had prevailed for some time without being recognized. In that year, according to the official report, there were in Louisiana 1935 cases, most of them in New Orleans, but the total number of deaths was only 306. In the two subsequent years the disease appeared again, but still in a very mild form and with a low rate of mortality. In 1853 the death rate per 1000 of the population from yellow fever alone was 50.9; in 1854 it was 15.4; in 1878, 19.20; in 1897, 1.90; in 1898, .20; and in 1899, only .07. Hence the city board of health has declared that “this once dreaded disease is no longer worthy of a place of dignity in our statistics as a life destroyer.” It may be added that the general cleaning up that has been given by the United States to the city of Havana is regarded as an important protective measure for New Orleans. Finally, the mildness of the climate of New Orleans, and the outdoor life which such a climate renders possible, preserve the inhabitants to a large extent from many of the terrible diseases common in other cities. The mortality among the colored population, which is generally improvident and careless of sanitation, is much higher than among the whites.
Industry and Commerce. As a manufacturing centre New Orleans has many advantages, among which may be mentioned the following: The climate is moist enough for cotton manufacture and favorable for continuous labor throughout the year; the raw materials need but short transportation; the laboring class is numerous and contented; fuel is brought cheaply by water; and the exporting facilities are excellent. It is estimated that in the last twenty-five years the value of the products of factories in the city has increased six fold. The chief industries are rice cleaning and sugar refining, and the manufacturing of boots and shoes, furniture, men's clothing, cotton goods, tobacco, cigars, and cigarettes, cottonseed oil, and planing-mill products. The last census (1900) gives the number of wage-earners in all industries as 19,435; the total wages paid as $7,645,167; and the value of the total output as $63,514,505. The value of all products in 1890 was only $48,234,924. There are in the city 1624 manufacturing enterprises, devoted to 150 different industries, with a total capital of $52,000,000. The United States Government recently constructed at New Orleans one of the largest floating dry docks in the world. This has shown its ability to lift and sustain the largest ship in the American Navy. New Orleans is the second export city in the Union, being excelled only by New York. Six great railroad lines, with a total mileage of 26,881, have their terminus here. These are the Southern Pacific, Illinois Central, Louisville and Nashville, Texas and Pacific, Southern, and the Queen and Crescent. The last two enter New Orleans over the tracks of another line. There are six great grain elevators along the docks. The docks, which are for the most part uncovered, extend for six miles along the left bank. As the gateway of the Mississippi Valley the city is well situated for foreign commerce. The jetties at the mouth of the river give a channel of about thirty feet, and the depth of the river in front of the city is ample for the largest vessels. Direct lines of steamships connect with New York, the West Indies, Central America, and Europe, and there is even a direct line via the Suez Canal to Japanese ports, carrying raw cotton for manufacture. At present there are thirty steamship lines connecting New Orleans with the principal ports of the world. As soon as the Isthmian Canal is built a great impetus will be given to the commerce of the city. The foreign trade consists very largely of exports, the annual value of which is about $150,000,000. The imports, however, are increasing, being over $23,000,000 for the ten months ending April, 1903.
Government. In 1890 the present charter of the city was granted by the Legislature. It is largely in accord with the suggestions of the Municipal Reform League of America, and is in many respects a radical departure from the previous charters. The executive powers are vested in a mayor, a controller, a treasurer, a commissioner of police and public works, and a city engineer. The first three are elected for four years, while the rest are appointed by the mayor with the consent of the council. As has been the custom in other great cities of late years, large appointive power is vested in the mayor, who is held responsible for his appointees. The only exception made is in the case of the keepers of the people's money. The council, which is unicameral, is elected for four years. By an unusual provision, each member receives a salary of $20 a month if he has attended all meetings. The granting of franchises, the usual pitfall of councils, is carefully safeguarded. Connected with the city government proper, but in some respects largely independent of it, are a number of boards, with various functions, such as the civil service commission, the board of liquidation of the city debt, the police board, the board of fire commissioners, the school board, the board of health, the New Orleans levee board, the port commission, the drainage commission, and the water and sewerage board. Besides the numerous city courts, the State Supreme Court, the United States District, the Circuit Court, and the Circuit Court of Appeals hold sessions in New Orleans.
Finance. The report of the city controller for 1902 gives the bonded debt of the city as $17,286,490, and the valuation of real and personal property as $147,201,984. The rate of taxation was 22 mills, consisting of: city expense tax, 10 mills; interest and redemption city bonds, 10 mills; special tax for water, sewerage, and drainage, 2 mills. To this tax of 22 mills should be added the State tax of 6 mills and the tax of 1 mill for the maintenance of levees, making the total rate 29 mills. There is also a poll tax of $1, which is devoted to the support of public schools.
Population. The census of 1900 gave New Orleans a population of 287,104, making it the twelfth largest city in the United States. This total included 30,325 persons of foreign birth and 77,714 of negro descent. The increase in population, according to the censuses of former years, is shown as follows: in 1870, 191,418; 1880, 216,090; 1890, 242,039.
History. New Orleans was laid out in 1718 by Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, then Governor of Louisiana, and it was named in honor of the Duke of Orleans, Regent of France. The centre of the new settlement was the old Place d'Armes, now called Jackson Square. In 1722, when New Orleans became the capital of the French territory in this vicinity, its low, marshy site was visited by Père Charlevoix, who records in his journal that he found only a hundred barrack-like buildings, with a large wooden storehouse, and “two or three residences that would be no ornament to a village in France.” With prophetic eye, however, he added: “I have a well-grounded hope that this wild and desert place, which the reeds and trees do yet almost wholly cover, will be one day—and perhaps that day is not far distant—an opulent city and the metropolis of a great and rich colony.” In November, 1762, France ceded the whole of Louisiana to Spain, but the people in New Orleans, who first heard of the transaction in 1764, strenuously objected to the change and forcibly expelled the first Spanish Governor, who came in 1766. In 1769 Alexander O'Reilly (q.v.), who had just been appointed Governor of Louisiana, punished with unsparing severity those who had been prominent in the uprising. In the same year the census taken by Governor O'Reilly shows that the city possessed only 408 houses, with a population of 3191. Of these the free persons numbered 1901, the slaves 1230, and the domesticated Indians 60. During the rest of the Spanish period there was but slow growth, perhaps on account of the burdensome commercial restrictions of the Spanish régime. During the American Revolution New Orleans was the headquarters of the Spanish forces on the North American continent, and the place from which a number of expeditions were sent out by Governor Bernardo Galvez (q.v.) against the British. In 1800, by the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso (q.v.), Louisiana was retroceded to France, but the French Government did not take formal possession until November 30, 1803, just twenty days before American deputies came to take possession for the United States in pursuance of the Louisiana Purchase. By this year the population had increased to a little over 8000. In 1802 the products shipped from New Orleans consisted of flour, 50,000 pounds; tobacco, 2000 hogsheads; cotton, 34,000 bales. Some 5000 casks of rum were produced in the distilleries around the city, but the manufactures were mostly confined to cordage, hair-powder, vermicelli, and shot.
As for the government during the French and Spanish régime, the whole province was nominally in the hands of a Superior Council, which was a judicial body and theoretically a legislative one. In truth, however, this body, which was appointive, not elective, had very little power. All laws for Louisiana were made in France. There was no self-government either under the French or the Spanish. Under the Spanish a Cabildo (assembly) was substituted for the Superior Council. It was composed of six perpetual regidores, two ordinary alcaldes, an attorney-general syndic, and a clerk. The Governor presided. By a curious provision, the offices of regidor and clerk were obtained by purchase, and in the first instance at auction. The ordinary alcaldes and the attorney were elected annually by the Cabildo. The ordinary alcaldes were judges within the city for criminal and civil cases. The regidores were the standard-bearer, the high sheriff, the receiver of fines, etc. There was an appeal from this tribunal to the Captain-General of Cuba, and from him to the Royal Audience in Santo Domingo, and thence to the Council of the Indies in Madrid. As under the French, the laws were issued by the Governor in the name of the King. Even the police regulations were issued by the same official.
In 1804, the year after the United States obtained possession, President Jefferson said that “the position of New Orleans certainly destines it to be the greatest city the world has ever seen;” but the growth for many years, though rapid, did not come up to the general expectations. In 1805 New Orleans was regularly incorporated, and the inhabitants elected a city council. This was the first occasion on which the right of public suffrage was ever exercised in Louisiana. Americans now crowded into the newly acquired city. In the winter of 1806-07 wild rumors were abroad that Burr intended to make New Orleans the capital of a new empire. The city was placed under martial law by General Wilkinson, and it was some time before the excitement subsided.
A great impetus to the prosperity of the city was given in 1812, when the first steamboat arrived from Pittsburg. The Mississippi was now to become a great highway of commerce, and New Orleans was to flourish accordingly. Growth was checked for a time by the war with Great Britain, which followed soon. When, however. General Jackson won his great victory at Chalmette in 1815 (see New Orleans, Battle of), attention was speedily directed to the city that he had saved, and its population increased more rapidly than ever before. By 1830 it had risen to 46,000, and in 1840 to 102,000. The city was extended beyond its old boundaries, gas and other improvements were introduced, and a more cosmopolitan spirit began to appear. In 1837 the city became involved in the speculative mania of the day and suffered severely from the ensuing panic. Nothing, however, could permanently check the prosperity of New Orleans, not even the terrible ravages of the yellow fever, which in the decade before the Civil War were more fatal than ever before. In 1836 the Creoles were so little in accord with the Americans that a novel form of government was tried. The city was divided into three municipalities, each with a recorder and a council of aldermen. There were a mayor and a general council (embracing the councils of the different municipalities) to control the affairs of general interest, but each municipality could tax itself and manage its local affairs. This anomalous state of things continued until 1852. In 1849 the State capital was transferred to Baton Rouge, but later New Orleans was again for a time the capital (1868-80).
In the Civil War New Orleans was an important centre of Confederate military and commercial operations until captured by a Federal fleet under Admiral Farragut in April, 1862. (See Fort Jackson.) Thereafter it proved an important strategic point for attacks upon other parts of the Confederacy. Under the administration of Gen. B. F. Butler (q.v.), which lasted from May to December, 1862, the city suffered the extreme rigor of martial law. Butler's successor, Gen. N. P. Banks, was far more conciliatory. During the period of reconstruction New Orleans was the headquarters of the politicians and of the ‘carpetbaggers’ who, with their freedmen allies, governed the State during this stormy period. In 1866 there was a serious riot at Mechanics' Institute (now Tulane Hall), in which a constitutional convention was broken up by the Democrats and a number of persons killed. In 1874 the Republican Governor, William Pitt Kellogg, fearing an uprising of the people, denied the inhabitants the right to bear arms, and whenever arms were found on any person they were seized by the police. ‘The White League,’ a Democratic organization, determined to procure arms at all hazards. Arms were ordered by steamer from the North, and when the steamer arrived at the levee, the League, arming itself as best it could, marched down to the dock on Canal Street to receive them. Here a conflict was precipitated with the metropolitan police of the Governor. The police were scattered, and the artillery which they had placed upon the levee was turned against themselves. The White Leaguers lost sixteen men. Seventeen years later a monument was erected to their memory on the spot where they fell. While an appeal to the President once more restored the Governor to power, this affair of September 14, 1874, is generally regarded as the beginning of the end of reconstruction in Louisiana. In 1877 the United States troops were withdrawn, and with them the ‘carpetbag’ rule disappeared. With a free government restored, the city turned its attention to the development of its great opportunities, and steady progress has marked its subsequent history. In 1884 a Cotton Centennial Exposition was held here—the first bale of cotton exported from this country having been shipped from Charleston in 1784. In 1880 the capital of the State was removed from New Orleans. In 1891 nine Italians, members of the Mafia (q.v.), who had been arrested for the murder of the chief of police, David C. Hennessy, were lynched by a mob, after being acquitted by the courts. This gave rise to considerable controversy between the United States and the Italian governments.
Consult: Standard History of New Orleans (Chicago, 1900); King, New Orleans, the Place and the People (New York, 1890); Martin, History of Louisiana (New Orleans, 1882); Gayarré, History of Louisiana (ib., 1903); King and Ficklen, History of Louisiana (ib., 1893); Waring and Cable, “Social Statistics of Cities, History and Present Condition,” in Tenth United States Census (Washington, 1881); Howe, “Municipal History of New Orleans,” in Johns Hopkins University Studies, ser. vii., No. 4 (Baltimore, 1889); Commercial, Industrial, and Financial Outlook for New Orleans (Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1894).
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