L’Union, New Orleans Tribune honored

The Louisiana Creole Research Association will host a forum and unveiling of a new historic marker this weekend for L’Union (1862-1864), the South’s first Black newspaper, and the New Orleans Tribune (1864-1869), America’s first Black daily paper.

The forum takes place this Saturday, June 16 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.at the Williams Research Center at the Historic New Orleans Collection, 410 Chartres Street. The marker unveiling will immediately follow the forum, and the event is free and open to the public.

From The Advocate article:

In response, Roudanez formed L’Union with his older brother, Jean Baptiste Roudanez, as publisher and Paul Trevigne as the paper’s first editor.

As soon as L’Union began publishing, the three men faced repeated threats of arson and death, but in response, they decided to expand their audience by publishing the daily Tribune.

As the paper editorialized in 1869, its goal was not to be a journal dedicated merely to beautiful prose. “We plead for equality not as philosophers (who) in their closet write beautiful essays about abstract principles,” the editorial said. “We are seeking to throw off a tremendous load which has been our inheritance for centuries. With us, it is a reality and no abstraction.

Found at 527 Conti Street (at Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights showroom building)

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Portage Bike Roll 2018

The Historic New Orleans Collection is offering free bicycle tours with A Bicycle Named Desire every Wednesday and Sunday through June 3 as part of the upcoming exhibition Art of the City: Postmodern to Post-Katrina, presented by The Helis Foundation.
The six-mile trip highlights the public art, history, and architecture along the Esplanade corridor, starting in the Marigny, through Tremé, down Esplanade to City Park, then looping back to finish in the French Quarter at THNOC, 533 Royal Street. There, guests will be able to preview some of the works that will be on view in Art of the City when THNOC’s new exhibition center opens in fall 2018. That preview also opens today at 533 Royal Street, with a special event at 6 p.m. featuring UK artist Robin Reynolds, whose work New Orleans: Between Heaven and Hell anchors the display.
Maps for self-guided tours are now available at THNOC and A Bicycle Named Desire, 632 Elysian Fields Avenue. The free guided tours are offered Wednesdays and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. May 9–June 3. The afternoon tour on June 3 will take place by bus. Registration is required for all guided tours. Participants must be 16+ years old and capable of strenuous physical activity and a six-mile bike ride. For more information, contact A Bicycle Named Desire at abicyclenameddesire@gmail.com or (504) 345-8966.

 

Archaeology and New Orleans

Just attended the very excellent morning event at the Monteleone Hotel for the Making New Orleans Home: A Tricentennial Symposium.

This free set of events is happening today at the Monteleone, tomorrow at Xavier, and Sunday at UNO.
This morning’s talk, by Shannon Lee Dawdy, professor of anthropology at University of Chicago and D. Ryan Gray at University of New Orleans, was focused on the archaeological evidence found at a few sites in the French Quarter over the last 20 years, as well as  those professors using the tricentennial spotlight to state the clear political need to getting New Orleans a designation as World Heritage Site or at least an ordinance established on excavating properly before a new development is begun. (Professor Dowdy’s comment about how dire this situation was before Katrina was illustrated by her estimation of having only “5 cubic meters” of excavated of Colonial-era material available before Katrina.)
The two speakers were both known to me previously; Dowdy through her brilliant book, Revisiting the Devil’s Empire: French Colonial New Orleans – which is one of my top books on New Orleans history – and Gray through his digs, especially the one around the corner at 810 Royal, the details of which can be found here.
Dowdy’s focus has been on what she terms the “rogue colonialism” of the period from 1699-1769, and especially the years before the “administrative abandonment” of New Orleans by the French Crown in the 1730s. That abandonment was a result of the failure of Law’s Company of the West (more popularly known as The Mississippi Company) which ended in the economic failure known as The Mississippi Bubble.
(Of course, the French Crown retained control of the colony until the 1760s, but did little with it and so it was not until the Spanish rule that the infrastructure expanded along with the population.)

Professor Dowdy’s theory is that during the earlier Colonial period shipping and trade were actually more robust than official accounts of the time offer because so much of what was happening was technically illegal (as it was meant to be managed exclusively by Law and later by or through the Crown.) Even during and after the Bubble, locals amassed wealth which was indicated by findings on these digs analyzed as goods procured via smuggling routes, particularly with Cuba, Mexico and the Carribean islands. With her 2004-2005 dig at the Rising Sun Hotel on the Conti block between Chartres and Decatur, the 2009 St. Anthony’s Garden dig at the back of St. Louis Cathedral and the 2011 dig at the old Ursuline Convent, many of the artifacts date from the 1750s and include Mexican pottery, Spanish coins, gilded glass long before Spanish control. Her St. Anthony’s Garden dig gave material evidence to the idea of the Native American settlement, with huts that predate the 1726 gridlines of New Orleans as do a significant number of artifacts found at the Convent site.
The dig at the back of the Cathedral (Dowdy confesses this was her favorite New Orleans dig) indicates a robust market operating there from the 1740s to 1788, including extensive evidence of camping which suggests that many people came to town to sell or barter there.

After Dowdy presented, Professor Gray used the old St. Peter Cemetery as an excellent example of the lack of protection around our buried history. That cemetery was between Rampart and Burgundy and Toulouse and St. Peter and operated between 1725 and 1789 as a Catholic cemetery for both enslaved and free citizens. After it was no longer used, the ownership of the cemetery was tangled between the Cabildo and the Church so when the Cabildo sold off parcels of it, the Church refused to move the bodies.
Since then, it has been up to private developers and lot owners in that area to undertake an archaeological dig, as happened during the building of the Maison Dupuy in the 1970s, during condo development in the 1980s and most famously, during a potential swimming pool addition by homeowner Vincent Marcello who contacted UNO which resulted in the removal of 15 bodies to a vault in St. Louis #1.

The best comment of the morning was from Professor Gray summing up the current problem: “For a city that cares so much about its history, very few protections are in place to preserve the material past.”

…to the midday, double feature, picture show by H N O… (apologies to Rocky Horror)

Clarence John Laughlin documentary double feature

Admission is free. Reservations: wrc@hnoc.org or (504) 523-4662 

HNOC Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres Street

As part of its acclaimed exhibition about Louisiana photographer Clarence John Laughlin (1905–1985), The Historic New Orleans Collection will host a double-feature screening of two documentaries about the eccentric artist on Saturday, March 4, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The screenings include The Phantasmagorical Clarence John Laughlin (2015) by Gene Fredericks and Clarence John Laughlin: An Artist with a Camera (2009) by Michael Frierson and Michael Murphy. The filmmakers for both works will be present to answer questions and discuss their films at each screening.

More information.

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Storyville ‘Guidebooks to Sin’ subject of upcoming events 

“Guidebooks to Sin: The Blue Books of Storyville, New Orleans”

  • Author lecture: Pamela Arceneaux will discuss the book
  • Queen Anne Ballroom of the Hotel Monteleone: 214 Royal St.
  • When: Friday, Feb. 3, 5:30 p.m.
  • More information: The lecture will be followed by a reception and signing at the collection, 533 Royal St. The lecture is free, but reservations are required. They can be made by writing wrc@hnoc.org or calling 504.523.4662.

“What the blue books give you is the sizzle but not the steak,” Arceneaux said.

 

This promises to be a landmark book uncovering an often misunderstood era of New Orleans. Arceneaux is a very well-respected librarian and researcher and an expert on Storyville. The event on Friday will be fascinating but if you miss it you can grab a copy of the book at HNOC’s lovely gift shop in the 500 block of Royal.

 

Source: Storyville ‘Guidebooks to Sin’ subject of upcoming events | NOLA.com

Guidebooks to Sin

Join THNOC on Friday, February 3, for the release of Guidebooks to Sin: The Blue Books of Storyville, New Orleans by Pamela D. Arceneaux. Between 1897 and 1917, a legal red-light district thrived at the edge of the French Quarter, helping establish the notorious reputation that adheres to New Orleans today. Though many scholars have written about Storyville, no thorough contemporary study of the blue books–directories of the neighborhood’s prostitutes, featuring advertisements for liquor, brothels, and other goods and services–has been available until now.
Arceneaux’s examination of these rare guides invites readers into a version of Storyville created by its own entrepreneurs. A foreword by the historian Emily Epstein Landau places the blue books in the context of their time, concurrent with the rise of American consumer culture and modern advertising. Illustrated with hundreds of facsimile pages from the blue books in THNOC’s holdings, Guidebooks to Sin illuminates the intersection of race, commerce, and sex in this essential chapter of New Orleans history.
The book, which retails for $50, will be available for purchase at The Shop at The Collection, local independent bookstores, and national online retailers beginning Friday, February 3. The book release event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. Email wrc@hnoc.org or call (504) 523-4662 to make reservations.
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Friday, February 3

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.: Lecture with
Pamela D. Arceneaux, THNOC senior librarian/rare books curator, at the
Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal Street
6:30 – 8 p.m.: Reception and book signing
The Historic New Orleans Collection
533 Royal Street
Admission is free, but reservations are required. Email wrc@hnoc.org or call (504) 523-4662 to make reservations.
The Historic New Orleans Collection presents
February 4, 2017
Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal Street
Registration is required to attend the symposium, and early registration is available through Friday, January 13, with rates ranging between $40 and $75. Rates will increase to $50 – $85 on Saturday, January 14, and registration will remain open as long as space is available. Register online or call (504) 523-4662 to register via telephone.
Though the citizens of New Orleans may not have known it at the time, the year 1917 was a pivotal moment in the city’s history. The first jazz recording, “Livery Stable Blues,” was released, and Storyville, the famed red-light district, closed. One hundred years later, the 2017 Williams Research Center Symposium, Storyville and Jazz, 1917: An End and a Beginning, examines the ways in which the neighborhood and the musical movement have shaped perceptions of New Orleans around the world. A schedule of talks is available online. Early registration is available through Friday, January 13.
The 22nd annual Williams Research Center Symposium is presented by The Historic New Orleans Collection with support from Hotel Monteleone and ClearBridge Advisors, Inc. Additional support is provided by St. Denis J. Villere & Co.; Becker Suffern McLanahan, Ltd.; AOS Interior Environments; Baptist Community Ministries; Bywater Woodworks, Inc.; Exterior Designs, Inc.; Milling Benson Woodward, LLP; Waggonner & Ball Architects; New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau; New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation; Premium Parking; and Solaris Garage.

Shopping 1825-1925

Our best French Quarter museum, The Historic New Orleans Collection, has another interesting exhibit that just opened and will run for 6 months over on Royal Street. Their exhibits are free and are conveniently located just off the gift shop. The exhibit is called Goods of Every Description: Shopping in New Orleans, 1825–1925.

So much of what we ate, wore and used in this colonial city was imported from other American cities and in the case of the furniture or finer household items, quite often from European makers. One of the luxuries of being a significant port city.

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Mule-drawn streetcar model; between 1865 and 1870; silver, gold; by Zimmerman’s (New Orleans); The Historic New Orleans Collection, acquisition made possible by the Laussat Society, 2015.0464.20

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