Louisiana

New Orleans

 

New Orleans is one of the most beautiful american cities. In 16th century the Spains were already expanded into the Mississippi estuary. But the first one to reach the big sinuosity northeast of the water mouth, was in 1718 the Frenchman Jean Baptiste le Magne, Sieur de Bienville. Therefore he applies to be the founder of New Orleans. Therewith is meant the part of the city which is called today French Quarter (french Vieux Carré), cleanly constructed as rectangle, which streets parallel to the river or go vertical to it. It was occupied by colonial Spains and French, who hand no fear of contact at all but associated together blithely.

The french-spanish mixed population called themselves Creoles. To be a Creole is till now the finest what it gives in New Orleans. But also toward others they were tolerant. This was also for the numerous black that came from the Caribbean. As free (gens de couleur libre) also their matrimonies with Caucasian and their offspring (mulattos) were accepted by the society. Thereof that the authority in Louisiana changed from the French to the Spain in 1762 less was remarked in New Orleans. This changed in 1803 when the American came. Those weren't real friends, but were anxious for good neighbourhood. But between their own city and the Creoly city of the French Quarter they left a broad strip of barren land. Today the Canal Street runs there and is still visible as border: on one side mediterranean appearing houses of which no one may be higher than the cathedral of St. Louis; on the other side the skyscrapers of the american business quarter.

Behind and a little closer to the river the Americans have built their own gorgeous New Orleans, the so called Garden District. While the houses of the "french village" lay closely spaced and are mostly built around a shady patio, the plantation of the cotton-kings give an example in the "american village": column adorned entrys, spacious foyers and especially big, elaborate applied gardens. Historical interested should not fail to visit Chalmette Plantation, ten kilometers down the Mississippi, where Andrew Jackson in 1812 fought the last battle against the English and became a folk hero, whose statue dominates the most beautiful place in the French Quarter. "A Street named desire" will occure to literary assidous. Tennessee Williams liked to live in New Orleans, as well as William Faulkner. Both came from Mississippi. Mainly New Orleans means Dixie, Jazz and Mardi Gras for a Foreigner. At the end of the French Quarter the Louis Armstrong Park with the Congo Square is situated. There, so a much told version Jazz should be arisen from afro-caribbean rhythms. A visit of the sources seems to be dangerous. Anyway the official guide warns: "Avoid Rampert Street between St. Peter Street and Esplanade Avenue not only at night, but also at day." Directly behind indeed lays the Louis Armstrong Park, of which is said: "Don't risk to enter the park alone. Also during the day." To hear the best Jazz you don't need to set sail so far. Therefore Preservation Hall in St. Peter Street is advised. In French Quarter music is everywhere in taverns, bars and gin palaces and the bands rove around Jackson Square, Royal Street and Chatres Street till late at night.

 

On Mardi Gras the street fun hit its world famous peak. It is common the let end the long night only early in the morning in fact in "Cafe Monde" at the French Market.

 

 

Webmaster's remark: this text was written before "Katrina"

 

 

As already mentionned the music of Dixie and Jazz was invented in New Orleans. The history of this music already began in the 16th century, when the first slave ships landed at the shore and the Black brought also their culture and music from Africa.


Rhythmic working songs facilitated the work on the fields. After civil war, when much black were allowed to work in the city, their rhythm mixed up with the songs of the spanish, french and english immigrants. The Dixieland was generated, a mixture of various music styles. From the march music of the german and italian brass bands the Jazz arised in the black quarters. The first black brass bands played music in dark taverns. In Kansas City Scott Joplin (1868 - 1917) sat at the piano and invented the Ragtime. From the spirituals and hymns of the black Gospel Music developped. Buddy Bolden (1868 - 1931) made history as first black jazz musician, but refused to record the first jazz album because he feared that afterward everyone would play his music. 1917 the authority closed the district Storyville. The black musicians migrated to Chicago and New York, where the Jazz prospered during the 20th and 30th. Beneath the musicians that were banish from New Orleans was also Louis Armstrong (1900 - 1971). "Satchmo", how his fans called him, commercialized the Jazz and made it known in the whole world. Not to forget his legendary song "What a wonderful world".

 

In New Orleans a memorial was set to Louis Armstrong and a park named after him. Further to the north, ath the shore of the Mississippi and in Memphis they played the legendary Blues. William Christopher Handy (1873 - 1958) wrote "Mr Crump's Blues" in the year 1909, the first Blues in the music history and was honoured with a memorial in Beal Street. The Rhythm & Blues became the hit music of the afro-americans and later on united with the white sounds of Elvis & Co to Rock'n Roll. From Rockabilly, a rhythmic type of Rock'n Roll finally Country music developped, which also contains elements of Blues and the Folk of the european immigrants and developped to the most successful music of the american south especially in the late 80th.

 

As every city of the world also New Orleans possesses a mayor. The first mayor of New Orleans was in 1803 Etienne de Bore. 1991 Marc Morial assumed office as meanwhile 50th mayor. He served the city till 2002.

 

As I'm specialized in the years 1860 to 1880 I would like to present you the mayors of this period.

 

 

1860 - 1862

John T. Monroe (17.)

George F. Sheply

Godfrey Weitzel

Jonas H. French

Henry C. Deining

1863 - 1864

E.H. Durell

 

 

 

1865 - 1866

Hugh Kennedy (21.)

J.A.D. Rozier (22.)

George Clark (23.)

1867 - 1868

Eduard Heath (25.)

1870 - 1872

Benjamin Franklin Flanders (27.)

1874 - 1876

Charles J. Leeds (29.)

1878 - 1880

Isaac W. Patton

1862 - 1863

J.F. Miller

 

 

 

 

1864 - 1865

Stephen Hoy

Hugh Kennedy (18.)

Samuel Miller Quincy (19.)

Glendy Burke (20.)

1866 - 1867

John T. Monroe (24.)

 

 

1868 - 1870

John R. Conway (26.)

1872 - 1874

Louis Alfred Wiltz (28.)

1876 - 1878

Eduard Pilsberg (30.)