The Tio family is best known as a prominent contributor to early jazz of the 20th century, notably the addition of a “Mexican Tinge” to the genre. However, the Tios were, in fact, native New Orleanians who had lived in the city since the late…

Congo Square is, for many, the site that inspires the most fantastical images of enslaved life in New Orleans. From the 1840s to the 1880s, intellectuals and artists like George Washington Cable, Louis Gottschalk, and Lafcadio Hearn brought Congo…

After the Confederate retreat and Admiral Farragut's capture of New Orleans and the surrounding area by May 1, 1862, federal forces continued to use the fortification and even improved it significantly. Most of the work was conducted by "contraband"…

Founded in 1841, St. Augustine is the oldest African-American parish in the United States. The church was founded by free people of color, who purchased additional pews for the enslaved. Civil Rights activists Homer Plessy and A.P. Tureaud,were…

Could an enslaved child be seized and sold to pay for the expenses of raising him? No, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled in 1860, in a case originally decided by District Judge Victor Burthe, Parish of Jefferson. In 1849, Andre Marchesseau left…

The site of New Orleans first appealed to the city's founder, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, in 1699. Native Americans had informed him about Bayou St. John, a shortcut from Lake Pontchartrain to the higher land on the banks of a defensible…

In the eighteenth century, working sugar plantations existed on this land. They faced the Mississippi River, which is straight ahead about a half mile. Pierre Foucher planted long alleys of live oak trees to frame his house. His neighbor Etienne de…