Detail of McDonoghville Cemetery and Orleans/Jefferson Parish Line, Mississippi River Commission Chart No. 76, 1874


This file appears in: The Elephant in the Room: Burial Site of Enslaved People and Contested Jurisdiction at McDonoghville Cemetery
Detail of McDonoghville Cemetery and Orleans/Jefferson Parish Line, Mississippi River Commission Chart No. 76, 1874
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The history surrounding the ownership and municipal jurisdiction of McDonoghville Cemetery is complicated. In 1825, when the Louisiana State Legislature created Jefferson Parish by carving land out of Orleans Parish, the new parish line bisected McDonogh’s plantation. In the early 20th century, the Parish of Jefferson and the City of Gretna argued over who controlled the cemetery. According to The Daily Picayune, Councilman N.J. Zimmer stated that “he understood that the City Cemetery commissioners went to [McDonoghville Cemetery] and were refused admission on the ground, they were without authority.” [7] The City of Gretna responded by sending the Chief of Police to demand the sexton of the cemetery (appointed by the Jefferson Parish Police Jury) turn the keys over to the City of Gretna. [7] It is unclear whether any legal authority granted the City of Gretna, the Ehret cemetery commissioners, or their Chief of Police the right to take control of McDonoghville Cemetery.


This file appears in: The Elephant in the Room: Burial Site of Enslaved People and Contested Jurisdiction at McDonoghville Cemetery