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Location: New Orleans Louisiana

Biographical Sketch of John Oden

John Oden, of England settled in Loudon County, Virginia. His children were Hezekiah, Thomas, John, Lewis, William, and Vinson. Hezekiah married Elizabeth Leach, of Virginia, and settled in Pike County, Mo., in 1828. They had John, William, Vinson, Harriet, Maria, Polly, Sally, and Alfred. Vinson married Mary House, and lives in Montgomery County. William and Polly died in Kentucky. Sally was married first to Joseph Thomas, and second to Garland T. Hudson. She is a widow again, and lives in Audrain County. Maria and Alfred married and remained in Pike County. Harriet married John King, who moved to New Orleans,...

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Biographical Sketch of James Glenn

James Glenn and his wife, Sarah Grigg, with their two children, James and Nellie, came from Ireland to America, and settled in Virginia. After their settlement there the following children were born Polly, William, Thomas, and Whitehill. Mr. Glenn and his three sons, William, Thomas, and Whitehill, moved to Ohio; the rest of the children married and settled in Kentucky. James, William, and Thomas were in the war of 1812, and the former was killed at the battle of New Orleans. The other two were with the armies that operated in Canada and the northern part of the United States. After the war Thomas married Lucinda T. Kendall, of Kentucky, and came to Missouri in 1815. He came in a wagon, which contained, in addition to his family and furniture, a set of wheel-wright’s tools, a gun and a dog. Mr. Glenn settled first on Cuivre River, but made about twenty settlements in all before he could find a location to suit him. These were all within the present limits of Montgomery County. He was a great hunter, and during the first year of his residence in Missouri killed fifty-six deer, one elk, and one bear. The names of his children were Julia A , Emily H., Sarah E., James M., and William...

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Biographical Sketch of John Jacobs

John Jacobs, of Germany, came to America and settled in Virginia, where he married Sarah Crawford. Their children were David, John, Peter, William, Elizabeth C., and Susan H. William married Margaret A., daughter of Daniel McDaniel and Mary Anderson, who were natives of Edinburgh, Scotland. By her he had Charles A., George R., Mary, Anna, Sallie, Sophia, and Catharine H. Mr. Jacobs died in Virginia in 1828, and in 1831 his widow removed to Missouri and settled in Montgomery County, where she died in 1850. Charles, who was a wealthy merchant of New Orleans, died without marrying. George R., who was a physician, married Louisa Parsons, of Virginia, and settled in Montgomery Co., Mo., in 1831, but subsequently removed to Boone County. Mary and Anna died single, in Montgomery County, one in 1843 and the other in 1844. Sophia married Dr. Gorge Y. Bast, of New Florence. Catharine H. married Henry Clark,...

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Biographical Sketch of Edwin Beard

Edwin Beard and his wife, Mary Bell, of Ireland, came to America and settled in Augusta Co., Va. They had William, John, David, Charles, and Samuel. The latter was a soldier in the revolutionary war, and was present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. He married Sarah Craig, of Staunton, Va., and settled first in Pennsylvania, from whence he removed to Kentucky in 1792, and to Missouri in 1827. His children were John, William, David, Samuel, Absalom, James, Mary B., Sarah L., and Elizabeth. William was a soldier in the war of 1812, under Gen. Harrison. He married Elizabeth Finley, of Lincoln Co., Ky., and settled in Missouri in 1830. David married Mary DeJarnette, and settled in Missouri in 1827. Samuel married Rebecca Fisher, and settled in Ohio. Absalom died unmarried, in New Orleans. James was married first to Mary J. Logan, and second to Martha A. Briggs, and settled in Missouri. Mary married Gabriel Reeds, of Kentucky, and settled in Lincoln Co., Mo., in 1830. Sarah was married first to William C. Finley, and after his death she removed to Lincoln Co., Mo., where she married McKenly Hays. She died, and Hays married her sister...

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The Battle of New Orleans

Once more the Creoles sang the “Marseillaise.” The invaders hovering along the marshy shores of Lake Borgne were fourteen thousand strong. Sir Edward Packenham, brother-in-law to the Duke of Wellington, and a gallant captain, was destined to lead them. Gibbs, Lambert, and Kean were his generals of division. As to Jackson, thirty-seven hundred Tennesseeans under Generals Coffee and Carroll, had, when it was near Christmas, given him a total of but six thousand men. Yet confidence, animation, concord, and even gaiety, filled the hearts of the mercurial people. “The citizens,” says the eye-witness, Latour, “were preparing for battle as cheerfully as for a party of pleasure. The streets resounded with ‘Yankee Doodle,’ ‘La Marseillaise,’ ‘Le Chant du Depart,’ and other martial airs. The fair sex presented themselves at the windows and balconies to applaud the troops going through their evolutions, and to encourage their husbands, sons, fathers, and brothers to protect them from their enemies.” That enemy, reconnoitring on Lake Borgne, soon found in the marshes of its extreme western end the month of a navigable stream, the Bayou Bienvenue. This water flowed into the lake directly from the west — the direction of New Orleans, close behind whose lower suburb it had its beginning in a dense cypress swamp. Within, its mouth it was over a hundred yards wide, and more than six feet deep. As they ascended...

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Why Not Bigger Than London

The great Creole city’s geographical position has always dazzled every eye except the cold, coy scrutiny of capital. “The position of New Orleans,” said President Jefferson in 1804, “certainly destines it to be the greatest city the world has ever seen.” He excepted neither Rouge nor Babylon. Put man’s most positive predictions are based upon contingencies; one unforeseen victory over nature bowls them down; the seeming certainties of tomorrow are changed to the opposite certainties of today; deserts become gardens, gardens cities, and older cities the haunts of bats and foxes. When the early Kentuckian and Ohioan accepted nature’s highway to market, and proposed the conquest of New Orleans in order to lay that highway open, they honestly believed there was no other possible outlet to the commercial world. When steam navigation came, they hailed it with joy and without question. To them it seemed an ultimate result. To the real-estate hoarding Creole, to the American merchant who was crowding and chafing him, to every superficial eye at least, it seemed a pledge of unlimited commercial empire bestowed by the laws of gravitation. Few saw in it the stepping stone from the old system of commerce by natural highways to a new system by direct and artificial lines. It is hard to understand, looking back from the present, how so extravagant a mistake could have been made by wise...

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New Orleans Sought – Louisiana Bought

“France has cut the knot,” wrote Minister Livingston to Secretary Madison. It is the word of Bonaparte himself, that his first diplomatic act with. Spain had for its object the recovery of Louisiana. His power enabled him easily to outstrip American negotiations, and on the 1st of October, 1800, the Spanish King entered privately into certain agreements by which, on the 21st of March, 1801, Louisiana, vast, but to Spain unremunerative and indefensible, passed secretly into the hands of the First Consul in exchange for the petty Italian “kingdom of Etruria.” When Minister Livingston wrote, in November, 1802, the secret was no longer unknown. On the 20th of March, 1803, M. Laussat, as French Colonial Prefect, landed in New Orleans, specially commissioned to prepare for the expected arrival of General Victor with a large body of troops, destined for the occupation of the province, and to arrange for the establishment of a new form of government. The Creoles were filled with secret consternation. Their fields, and streets, and dwellings were full of slaves. They had heard the First Consul’s words to the St. Domingans Whatever be your color or your origin, you are free.” But their fears were soon quieted, when Laussat proclaimed the design of their great new ruler to “preserve the empire of the laws and amend them slowly in the light of experience only.” The planters...

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Flush Times

The brow and cheek of this man were darkened by outdoor exposure, but they were not weather-beaten. His shapely, bronzed hand was no harder or rougher than was due to the use of the bridle-rein and the gunstock. His eye was the eye of a steed; his neck-the same. His hair was a little luxuriant. His speech was positive, his manner was military, his sentiments were antique, his clothing was of broadcloth, his boots were neat, and his hat was soft, broad, and slouched a little to show its fineness. Such in his best aspect was the Mississippi River planter. When sugar was his crop and Creole French his native tongue, his polish would sometimes be finer still, with a finish got in Paris, and his hotel would be the St. Louis. He was growing to be a great power. The enormous agricultural resources of Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee were his. The money-lender gyrated around him with sweet smiles and open purse. He was mortgaged to the eyes, and still commanded a credit that courted and importuned him. He caused an immense increase of trade. His extravagant wants and the needs of his armies of slaves kept the city drained of its capital almost or quite the whole year round. Borrower and lender vied with each other in recklessness. Much the larger portion of all the varied products...

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New Orleans in 1803

New Orleans had been under the actual sway of the Spaniard for thirty-four years. Ten thousand inhabitants were gathered in and about its walls. Most of the whites were Creoles. Even in the province at large these were three in every four. Immigrants from Malaga, the Canaries, and Nova Scotia had passed on through the town and into the rural districts. Of the thousands of Americans, only a few scores of mercantile pioneers came as far as the town – sometimes with families, but generally without. Free trade with France had brought some French merchants, and the Reign of Terror, as we have seen, had driven here a few royalists. The town had filled and overflowed its original boundaries. From the mast-head of a ship in the harbor one looked down upon a gathering of from twelve hundred to fourteen hundred dwellings and stores, or say four thousand roofs-to such an extent did slavery multiply outhouses. They were of many kinds, covered with half-cylindrical or with flat tiles, with shingles, or with slates, and showed an endless variety in height and in bright confusion of color and form-verandas and balconies, dormer windows, lattices, and belvederes. Under the river bank, “within ten steps of Tchoupitoulas Street,” where land has since formed and been covered with brick stores for several squares, the fleets of barges and flat boats from the west moored and unloaded, or...

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Fauborg Ste. Marie

If one will stand to-day on the broad levee at New Orleans, with his back to the Mississippi, a short way out to the left and riverward from the spot where the longvanished little fort St. Louis once made pretence of guarding the town’s upper river corner, he will look down two streets at once. They are Canal and Common, which gently diverge from their starting-point at his feet and narrow away before his eye as they run down toward the low, unsettled lots and commons behind the city. Canal Street, the centre and pride of New Orleans, takes its name from the slimy old moat that once festered under the palisade wall of the Spanish town, where it ran back from river to swamp and turned northward on the line now marked by the beautiful tree-planted Rampart Street. Common Street marks the ancient boundary of the estates wrested from the exiled Jesuit fathers by confiscation. In the beginning of the present century, the long wedge-shaped tract between these two lines was a Government reservation, kept for the better efficiency of the fortifications that overlooked its lower border and for a public road to No-man’s land. It was called the Terre Commune. That part of the Jesuits’ former plantations that lay next to the Terre Commune was mainly the property of a singular personage named Jean Gravier. Its farther-side...

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A Hundred Thousand People

What a change! The same Governor Villeré could not but say, “The Louisianian who retraces the condition of his country under the government of kings can never cease to bless the day when the great American confederation received him into its bosom.” It was easy for Louisianians to be Americans; but to let Americans be Louisianians!-there was the rub. Yet it had to be. In ten years, the simple export and import trade of the port had increased fourfold; and in the face of inundations and pestilences, discord of sentiment and tongues, and the saddest of public morals and disorder, the population had nearly doubled. Nothing could stop the inflow of people and wealth. In the next ten years, 1520-30, trade increased to one and three quarters its already astonishing volume. The inhabitants were nearly 50,000, and the strangers from all parts of America and the commercial world were a small army. Sometimes there would be five or six thousand up-river bargemen in town at once, wild, restless, and unemployed. On the levee especially this new tremendous life and energy heaved and palpitated. Between 1831 and 1S35, the mere foreign exports and imports ran up from twenty, six to nearly fifty-four million dollars. There were no wharves built out into the harbor yet, and all the vast mass of produce and goods lay out under the open slay on...

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Spanish New Orleans

In that city you may go and stand to-day on the spot still as antique and quaint as the Creole mind and heart which cherish it, where gathered in 1765 the motley throng of townsmen and planters whose bold repudiation of their barter to the King of Spain we have just reviewed; where in 1768 Lafrénière harangued them, and they, few in number and straitened in purse but not in daring, rallied in arms against Spain’s indolent show of authority and drove it into the Gulf. They were the first people in America to make open war distinctly for the expulsion of European rule. But it was not by this episode-it was not in the wearing of the white cockade-‘ that the Creoles were to become an independent republic under British protection, or an American State. We have seen them in the following year overawed by the heavy hand of Spain, and bowing to her yoke. We have seen them ten years later, under her banner and led by the chivalrous Galvez, at Manchac, at Baton Rouge, at Mobile, and at Pensacola, strike victoriously and “wiser than they knew” for the discomfiture of British power in America and the promotion of American independence and unity. But neither was this to bring them into the union of free States. For when the United States became a nation the Spanish ensign...

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Slave Narrative of Moses Smith

I was born in New Orleans, but don’t remember anything about that place for I was sold to Master Jack Dunn when a little boy and moved to Paris, Texas. Master Jack and his wife, Suda, owned four pretty big farms around Paris and he was kept busy all the time going around to each of them, with me going along sometimes on a horse beside him. He’d be gone for a week at a time, come home and get some home cooking, clean up and be gone again. There was twelve slave families on the farm where I lived and the overseers was three. More families on the other places, how many I don’t know, but the old master was well fixed with slaves and money, too. My father was Isom Smith. He lived on a different farm than mother and us children. Her name was Laura and my brother’s name was Max; my sister was Rochelle. We lived in a log cabin just like all the other houses on the farm. It was two rooms, one a kitchen, but they both had fireplaces made of mud, grass and sticks, and the biggest piece of furniture was the wooden bed put together with wooden pegs. Father worked out for extra money and every Saturday night he come over and give each of us children a nickel. That went...

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Slave Narrative of George Taylor Burns

Interviewer: Lauana Creel Person Interviewed: George Taylor Burns Location: Evansville, Indiana Ex-Slave Stories District #5 Vanderburgh County Lauana Creel THE LIFE STORY OF GEORGE TAYLOR BURNS [HW: Personal Interview] Ox-carts and flat boats, and pioneer surroundings; crowds of men and women crowding to the rails of river steamboats; gay ladies in holiday attire and gentleman in tall hats, low cut vests and silk mufflers; for the excursion boats carried the gentry of every area. A little negro boy clung to the ragged skirts of a slave mother, both were engrossed in watching the great wheels that ploughed the Mississippi river into foaming billows. Many boats stopped at Gregery’s Landing, Missouri to stow away wood, for many engines were fired with wood in the early days. The Burns brothers operated a wood yard at the Landing and the work of cutting, hewing and piling wood for the commerce was performed by slaves of the Burns plantation. George Taylor Burns was five years of age and helped his mother all day as she toiled in the wood yards. “The colder the weather, the more hard work we had to do,” declares Uncle George. George Taylor Burns, the child of Missouri slave parents, recalls the scenes enacted at the Burns’ wood yards so long ago. He is a resident of Evansville, Indiana and his snow white hair and beard bear testimony that...

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Slave Narrative of Mrs. M. S. Fayman

Interviewer: Rogers Person Interviewed: Mrs. M. S. Fayman Location: Baltimore, Maryland Place of Birth: St. Nazaire Parish LA Date of Birth: 1850 Reference: Personal interview with Mrs. Fayman, at her home, Cherry Heights near Baltimore, Md. “I was born in St. Nazaire Parish in Louisiana, about 60 miles south of Baton Rouge, in 1850. My father and mother were Creoles, both of them were people of wealth and prestige in their day and considered very influential. My father’s name was Henri de Sales and mother’s maiden name, Marguerite Sanchez De Haryne. I had two brothers Henri and Jackson named after General Jackson, both of whom died quite young, leaving me the only living child. Both mother and father were born and reared in Louisiana. We lived in a large and spacious house surrounded by flowers and situated on a farm containing about 750 acres, on which we raised pelicans for sale in the market at New Orleans. “When I was about 5 years old I was sent to a private School in Baton Rouge, conducted by French sisters, where I stayed until I was kidnapped in 1860. At that time I did not know how to speak English; French was the language spoken in my household and by the people in the parish. “Baton Rouge, situated on the Mississippi, was a river port and stopping place for all large...

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