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9/17 The Transformation of Creole

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Liz Skilton

on 19 September 2018

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Transcript of 9/17 The Transformation of Creole

First film essay due Monday 9/24
--Film Rubric posted online
--Make sure to cite (using parentheses), instructions posted on Moodle

Don't forget about Extra Credit options

Louisiana History
The Transformation of Creole
What steps did Louisianans need to take to become the 18th state?

What changed in Louisiana as they attempted to gain statehood?

How does the War of 1812 affect Louisiana?

The War of 1812
Why The US Goes To War
1. Trade Restrictions

2. Forced Conscription of Sailors

3. Warfare with N.A. on Canada border (potential English instigators)
Meanwhile ... In LA
Claiborne elected Governor of new Louisiana state (they loved him now!)

LA feels tension over trade restrictions (with Am-British relations)

LA knows New Orleans could become a central feature in the war
-Position on river
-Ability to damage US
-American Revolution retribution
First Steps Towards War
Jackson to the Rescue!
Jackson's Plan:
Defend the City
Sets up guns at entrances, blocks off sections, even fills in waterways (Bayou Manchec)
Do We Really Have To?
1. Britain places warships in Gulf to block entrance to MS River -- stalls trade!
2. Yet Louisiana residents (Creoles) prefer to "Sit fight out" -- Claiborne cannot get them to sign up for service
The Baratarians
Led by Jean Lafitte

Lived in Barataria Bay area

Wanted: $500
Wanted: $15,000
British troops freed by Napoleon's fall @ Waterloo
Claiborne panics as situation heats up, calls for reinforcement

US Army sends General Andrew Jackson
US General Andrew Jackson
British General Edward Pakenham
Major question: How to deal with Louisianans:
Place them under Martial Law
Accept EVERYONE Who Wanted to Serve (F.P.C., N.A., & Immigrants)
The British Attack
First at sea -- win

Next on land -- come through small ships to plantation of Jacques Villere

Son, Major Gabriel Villere escapes to warn Jackson they are only miles from the city (Chalmette)
Jackson Attacks!
Proactively before British can gather all of their supplies & men -- December 23, 1814

British confused by attack -- thought soldiers were N.A. tribe due to weapons

Retreat & hold by British -- Americans do not fear the fight
Retreat Buys Jackson Time
Able to build earthworks/barriers

Allow troops from KY & TN to arrive

Receive support from Louisiana Creoles (finally)!
Hay & line markers
December 28 - January 1
Dec. 28 -- British General Pakenham does reconnaissance on American earthworks, pushed back with massive losses

New Year's Day -- attempts to blow a hole in the American wall; unsuccessful

Probably should have just gone home at this point....but PRIDE
January 8 -- Battle of New Orleans
Pakenham orders full attack!

End of War
Actually Came Weeks Before
Ghent Peace Treaty -- Signed December 24, 1814!
--> news doesn't arrive until March 13, 1815, though!
British do not leave Gulf of Mexico until they receive news in March 1815
As A Result: Jackson Keeps New Orleans Under Martial Law Until March
3. Baratarians (pirates) become thorn in Claiborne's side
Why should we care?
Reach Out To Jean Lafitte & Baratarians
Offers Lafitte & men full pardon for past crimes

Serve a crucial role in bringing supplies
1st Battle!!!
2nd & 3rd Battles!!!
"I Should Have Won"
Come one, come all...
The FINAL Battle
End result:
Pakenham dies, British suffer HEAVY losses

-2,000 missing/wounded/killed
-Roughly 1 in 3 soldiers dead

Americans only suffer 71 casualties, 7 reported as killed

Why The Battle of New Orleans Matters
While it meant many things, at this time definitely was used to referred to "native" Louisianans --> whether black or white

-Identity did not include American loyalty

-Belief from both sides that Louisianans would NEVER truly be Americans
The "American" Battle
Battle of New Orleans linked Louisiana identity with American identity

Defense against British tyranny a NATIONAL tradition
--Proves American Revolution not a fluke
--Louisiana CHOSE the U.S. for a side
--Louisiana was PART of the U.S. -- not just the paid for "other"
Louisiana Spin On Commemoration
Re-live the glory of war -- commemorative items including postcards, paint-by-numbers, figurines, battle plans, etc. -- FILM LATER ON!

Massive celebration & memorial for all soldiers EXCEPT JACKSON!

Will eventually come to terms with Jackson
30 years later
by renaming Place d'Armes --> Jackson Square
A Transformation of Louisiana Identity
Representation on Film
Clip from
The Buccaneer

What stereotypes are presented here?

How do they portray the inhabitants of New Orleans/LA, the event itself, and Jackson?

From what perspective is the film showcasing? Americans or Louisianans

What is incorrect or accurate?
US General Andrew Jackson
British General Edward Pakenham
1815 - 1861
What We Think Vs. Reality
-Everyone has a plantation, large # of slaves, & copious wealth

-Very few in this group (1 in 100)

-Whites vs. Blacks (Dual Racial Caste System)

-Multiple Racial Caste System (including poorer whites & immigrants)

-Peaceful Southern values with duels, belles, & relaxed politics

-Often vicious politics, duels, & restrictive gender roles
The Culture Following War of 1812

Means consistent political conflict between Creoles & Anglo-Saxon/Pro-Mainstreaming Americans
A Growth In Population
A Boom in Industry
Trade restrictions lifted, more trade than EVER

Brief set-back in 1820s with massive rains, broken levees & floods in addition to financial depression in U.S.

By 1830s -- complete turn around
A Boom in Immigration
Most notable: Irish Immigration
3 Primary Waves -- 1790s, 1820s-30s, & 1845
1812-60/Antebellum Era:
Louisiana Grows by 14 More Parishes!
Population Statistics:

1812 -- 80,000 people
35,000 slaves

1860 -- 700,000 people
331,000 slaves
Yellow Fever





Changing Populations: Changing Ideas of Slavery
Changes Post-War of 1812
Louisiana Slavery
Becomes more uniformly defined during 1810s-50s

Also becomes increasingly worse to be a slave
-worsening treatment
-less legal protection
-less chances for freedom

A lot of this has to do with ideologies (beliefs) about slavery that are changing
Number of Slaves
Majority of slaveowners had 10 slaves or fewer

Although slave:planter ratio one of the highest in the Deep South

Definitely do see large plantations in Louisiana with 100+ slaves on them
Most worked in fields -- lines/gang labor

Do see a recognized emphasis on "special skills" -- blacksmiths, domestic servants, wetnurse, musical or culinary training

Also see hiring out of slaves with skills to other projects/owners/gov't -- levee construction
Entering Louisiana Slavery
The Domestic Slave Trade
New Orleans had the largest slave market in the U.S.

At a single day, you could find anywhere from 500-1,000 slaves for sale

Sale Stats
Cost of Slave -- $200-900
Earnings over Time -- $40K-160K (2011 Comp.)
Could not separate children under age of 10 from mothers
--> provision removed in 1840s

Usually kept families together

Price varied with price of cotton (10 c./1 lb. of cotton)

Smuggling remained a large issue
Everyday Lives:
Extremely Harsh in Louisiana
Overt -- runaways, active revolts (remember, no large revolt since 1811)

Subtle -- slow work, feigning sickness, stealing, burning dinner, destroying small items
Roll, Jordan, Roll: Community & Culture
Music & Identity
Housing & Everyday
Discipline & Punishment
After 1811 Slave Revolt (& with new state policies):
-Law sided with owner
-Allowed bypass of most legal rights & instead use of a tribunal

Most punishment did not take place in courts/via courts -- took place at home on plantation
-Whippings, chains, collars, other punishments
-Do see more extreme punishment, but if at all possible, slave was kept alive (WORK)
Congo Square
Why sell a slave?

1. Payment for debts
2. To settle an estate
3. As a division of property (divorce, separation)
Entering Louisiana Slavery
Original Method: International Slave Trade
Colonial America
Colonial Era:
Apathetic Condition
Slavery has always existed as societies develop

Old tradition; no real "defense" needed
Post-Revolution/Spanish & Territory Period

"The Necessary Evil"
"Yeah, we know it's bad but we need it" to grow the economy/our region

Really pushed by Spanish (GROWTH of Louisiana)
1800s-1820s -- The Positive Good
Intersection of Louisiana thought with American thought

"We are doing a service" by enslaving them

Ideas of
potentially setting slaves free
still do exist -- AFTER they are "reformed"
1850s: Natural Law
Creation of field of ethnology, theories of scientific racism, & "Natural Order" come into play

Enslaved populations are inherently inferior and can only survive in conditions of servitude

Setting slaves free would result in massive
Race War
; F.P.C. also a major threat to social order

1830s-1850s: Paternalistic Ideology
Belief that enslaved individuals need to be
"taught" how to be civilized

Also, that it was duty of slaveowner (
paternalistic/father figure
) to teach this

Still idea that enslaved population
could be set free
at some point

One of the most popular pro-slavery arguments because it had a redeeming quality (slaveholders as doing good)
The Defense of Slavery
Direct Response to Rise in Abolitionist Sentiment
As A Result: Slavery Laws Change
1857: Illegal to set slaves free
1859: F.P.C. could select an "owner" and voluntarily become a slave
1854: Fugitive Slave Law adopted
1857: Dred Scott Supreme Court Decision -- no longer have to recognize black rights (no matter free status)
Bad Slave Holders
Under American Black Codes:
Punished if found guilty, hard to find guilty
Not acceptable in eyes of community
Had to be extreme case to warrant attention

Several notable cases:
Madam Lalaurie
becomes story for abolitionist cause
Population Statistics:

1812 -- 80,000 people
35,000 slaves

1860 -- 700,000 people
331,000 slaves
F.P.C. Stats:

1840 -- 25,500

1860 -- 18,500
Which Brings Us To
The Case of Mad Madame Lalaurie
King Cotton, Queen Sugar, Princess Rice
Antebellum Louisiana

1. Population Changes

2. Shifting Ideologies Regarding Slavery

3. Growth of Sectionalism in LA

4. The 1860 Election Fallout: To Secede or not to Secede

5. The War of Southern Honor

1815 - 1861
focus today!
Pre-Civil War
Full transcript