21. Native Americans Along Bayou St. John and the lake front Used river and lake to tradeFrench Market was trading postBuilt homes out of palmetto leaves and tree branchesAte mudfish and crawfish; hunted wild animalsThe Native Americans introduced the French to the great portage along Bayou St John. It allowed people to trade north and east via the lake and north and south via the river. The port became an ideal location.
32. Spanish Explorers Hernando de Soto was in Florida First European to see Mississippi RiverCrossed river in 1541Not interested in settling or taking itHostile Native Americans
4Looking for adventureGoldReligious freedomOpportunity to improve life
5Spanish wanted goldLarge colony in the Caribbean, North and South AmericaRiver large and annoyingNo gold found in the marshes / swamps
63. French Explorers Robert LaSalle claimed LA for France in 1699 Brothers Iberville and Bienville explored the area at mouth of riverIberville was killed when he couldn’t find mouth on the returnBienville longtime governor of LA
7John Law People didn’t want to live in LA Swamp, hot, bugs, far from homeBusinessman sold promise of great landNot many cameFrance sent prisoners and unemployed to settle LAJohn Law said there were rivers of gold and kind Indians. The area was sure to become the next great tobacco growing empire. Sadly, tobacco didn’t grow too well in the swamp land. He was able to entice many Germans who settled along the German Coast, 20 miles upriver. Unlike their French counterparts, they were successful in cultivating the land. John Law’s experiment was called the “Mississippi Bubble”. It introduced the concept of paper money, state banking and created many millionaires but eventually destroyed the French economy. John Law had to run away and hide after the bubble popped. There’s a fantastic cartoon here:
8Not Successful Hurricanes destroyed new colony Difficult time with river, low landCouldn’t grow vegetables in swampUnable to harness potential of portThey had such a difficult time settling the area that many were forced to come. Prisoners could work off their prison term in New Orleans. The unemployed and poor could get a second chance. The problem was finding women for them. Some of the lower class ladies were sent to be wives, as well as good Catholic orphan girls (as shown in the picture above).
94. Enslaved AfricansTaken from Africa within one year of setting up cityPut to task of building city- clearing trees, building houses, leveesPlanted cash crops (cotton, sugar, tobacco)Like the Germans, Africans were much more skilled than the French in working the land, cultivating rice and growing okra from Africa. Legend has it that okra seeds were stowed away, hidden in the shirts of slaves traveling here only to be planted in Louisiana and become the base of the roux of our favorite local stew: gumbo.
105. Spanish take overTreaty of Fontainebleau (secret) and Treaty of Paris (public)Broke up Americas between Spain and BritainSecret until 1764Wanted to dump expensive colony
11Spanish Rule At first passive in the takeover More serious about colonyOpened up port (Treaty of San Lorenzo)Rebuilt French Quarter because of firesProgressive slave lawsColony begins being profitableThe Spanish were initially slow in taking over Louisiana. Military men were the main source of Spanish settlers. When they moved to Louisiana, they easily adapted to the Catholic, European culture, even speaking French and taking up residence in the French Quarter. However, once the French began resisting their take over, things got serious. There was a revolt in the city, with people storming the French Quarter and insisting the Spanish leave. This ended with the leaders of the revolt being captured and killed (their heads were impaled on stakes and posted along Esplanade Ave by the Mint!) In 1788 and 1794, there was a huge fire in the Quarter, destroying 80% of it. The Spanish rebuilt it, passing codes requiring wells on property, brick buildings and tall fire walls between buildings. Spanish architecture can be seen throughout the Quarter: archways, courtyards and iron work on balconies. The Spanish had hugely progressive slave laws (an oxymoron, no doubt). They had a policy of “coartacion”, or compensation. This allowed slaves to buy their freedom, with or without permission from their masters.
126. Cajuns Canada won by British Treaty of Paris gave 18 months for French Canadians to leave if they wantedMany Acadians leftCame to French colony (now Spanish)The story of their removal from Canada is disturbing. The men were called to local churches for a meeting and never returned. They were dragged to boats and shipped all over the place: France, the Carolinas and of course French speaking Louisiana.
13Cajun Life Lived along bayous Fur trapping Fishing Hunting Country livingWith increased land loss in Louisiana, their very existence is threatened.
147. Spain Gives LA Back to France Treaty of San IldefonsoNapoleon wanted to revive French EmpireWas conquering land all over1800
158. Louisiana Purchase 1803 Spain gave Louisiana to France in 1800… Nothing happened.France dealing with insurrection in HaitiFrance runs out of moneySells LA to America in Louisiana Purchase
16New Orleans becomes American? Still very French (Creole)Divided cityRICH citySteamship invented in 1811Port becomes profitableGolden Era of New Orleans