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The New Generation

When, on the 10th of May 1743, the Marquis de Vaudreuil landed in New Orleans, private enterprise-the true foundation of material prosperity-was firmly established. Indigo, rice, and tobacco were moving in quantity to Europe, and lumber to the West Indies. Ships that went out loaded carne back loaded again, especially from St. Domingo; and traffic with the Indians, and with the growing white population along the immense length of the Mississippi and its tributaries, was bringing money into the town and multiplying business year by year. Hope ran high when the Marquis was appointed. His family had much influence at court, and anticipations were bright of royal patronage and enterprise in the colony and in its capital. But these expectations, particularly as to New Orleans, were feebly met. There was an increase in the number of the troops and a great enhancement of superficial military splendor, with an unscrupulous getting and reckless spending of Government goods and money, and a large ‘importation of pretentious frivolity from the Bourbon camps and palaces. By 1751, every second man in the streets of New Orleans was a soldier in dazzling uniform. They called the governor the “Grand Marquis.” he was graceful and comely, dignified in bearing, fascinating in address, amiable, lavish, fond of pleasure, and, with his marchioness, during the twelve years of his sojourn in Louisiana, maintained the little colonial court with great pomp and dissipation. Otherwise the period was of a quiet, formative sort, and the few stimulants to growth offered by Government overshot the town and fell to the agricultural grantees. The production of tobacco and myrtle-wax was encouraged,...

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