1) Louisiana: A History – Bennett H Wall, John C. Rodrigue, Light Townsend Cummins, Judith Kelleher Schafer, Edward F. Haas, Michael L. Kurtz
Wiley-Blackwell | 2014 | PDF
Covering the lively, even raucous, history of Louisiana from before First Contact through the Elections of 2012, this sixth edition of the classic Louisiana history survey provides an engaging and comprehensive narrative of what is arguably America’s most colorful state.
• Since the appearance of the first edition of this classic text in 1984, Louisiana: A History has remained the best-loved and most highly regarded college-level survey of Louisiana on the market
• Compiled by some of the foremost experts in the field of Louisiana history who combine their own research with recent historical discoveries
• Includes complete coverage of the most recent events in political and environmental history, including the continued aftermath of Katrina and the 2010 BP oil spill
• Considers the interrelationship between Louisiana history and that of the American South and the nation as a whole
• Written in an engaging and accessible style complemented by more than a hundred photographs and maps
2) French Colonial Louisiana and The Atlantic World – Bradley G. Bond
Louisiana State University Press | 2005 | PDF
French colonial Louisiana has failed to occupy a place in the historic consciousness of the United States, perhaps owing to its short duration (1699–1762) and its standing outside the dominant narrative of the British colonies in North America. This anthology seeks to locate early Louisiana in its proper place, bringing together a broad range of scholarship that depicts a complex and vibrant sphere.
Colonial Louisiana comprised the vast center of what would become the United States. It lay between Spanish, British, and French colonies in North America and the Caribbean, and between woodland and eastern plains Indians. As such, it provided a meeting place for Europeans, African, and native Americans, functioning as a crossroads between the New World and other worlds. While acknowledging colonial Louisiana’s peripheral position in U.S. and Atlantic World history, this volume demonstrates that the colony stands at the thematic center of the shared narratives and historiographies of diverse places. Through its twelve essays, French Colonial Louisiana and the Atlantic World tells a whole story, the story of a place that belongs to the historic narrative of the Atlantic World.
3) The Nation’s Crucible: The Louisiana Purchase and the Creation of America – Peter J. Kastor
Yale University Press | 2004 | PDF
In 1803 the United States purchased Louisiana from France. This seemingly simple acquisition brought with it an enormous new territory as well as the country’s first large population of nonnaturalized Americans–Native Americans, African Americans, and Francophone residents. What would become of those people dominated national affairs in the years that followed. This book chronicles that contentious period from 1803 to 1821, years during which people proposed numerous visions of the future for Louisiana and the United States. The Louisiana Purchase proved to be the crucible of American nationhood, Peter Kastor argues. The incorporation of Louisiana was among the most important tasks for a generation of federal policymakers. It also transformed the way people defined what it meant to be an American.
4) The Sugar Masters: Planters and Slaves in Louisiana’s Cane World, 1820–1860 – Richard J. Follett
Louisiana State University Press | 2005 | PDF
Focusing on the master-slave relationship in Louisiana’s antebellum sugarcane country, The Sugar Masters explores how a modern, capitalist mind-set among planters meshed with old-style paternalistic attitudes to create one of the South’s most insidiously oppressive labor systems. Richard Follett explains that in exchange for increased productivity and efficiency sugar planters offered their slaves a range of incentives, such as greater autonomy, improved accommodations, and even financial remuneration. These material gains, however, were only short term. According to Follett, many of Louisiana’s sugar elite presented their incentives with a “facade of paternal reciprocity” that seemingly bound the slaves’ interests to the apparent goodwill of the masters. Slaves responded to this display of paternalism by trying to enhance their rights under bondage, but the constant bargaining process invariably led to compromises on their part, and the grueling production pace never relented. Until recently, scholars have viewed planters as either paternalistic lords who eschewed marketplace values or as entrepreneurs driven to business success. Follett offers a new view of the sugar masters as embracing both the capitalist market and a social ideology based on hierarchy, honor, and paternalism. His stunning synthesis of empirical research, demographics study, and social and cultural history sets a new standard for this subject.
5) Louisianians in the Civil War – Lawrence Lee Hewitt, Arthur W. Bergeron Jr.
University of Missouri | 2002 | PDF
Louisianians in the Civil War brings to the forefront the suffering endured by Louisianians during and after the war—hardships more severe than those suffered by the majority of residents in the Confederacy. The wealthiest southern state before the Civil War, Louisiana was the poorest by 1880. Such economic devastation negatively affected most segments of the state’s population, and the fighting that contributed to this financial collapse further fragmented Louisiana’s culturally diverse citizenry. The essays in this book deal with the differing segments of Louisiana’s society and their interactions with one another.
Louisiana was as much a multicultural society during the Civil War as the United States is today. One manner in which this diversity manifested itself was in the turning of neighbor against neighbor. This volume lays the groundwork for demonstrating that strongholds of Unionist sentiment existed beyond the mountainous regions of the Confederacy and, to a lesser extent, that foreigners and African Americans could surpass white, native-born Southerners in their support of the Lost Cause. Some of the essays deal with the attitudes and hardships the war inflicted on different classes of civilians (sugar planters, slaves, Union sympathizers, and urban residents, especially women), while others deal with specific minority groups or with individuals.
Written by leading scholars of Civil War history, Louisianians in the Civil War provides the reader a rich understanding of the complex ordeals of Louisiana and her people. Students, scholars, and the general reader will welcome this fine addition to Civil War studies.
6) The Louisiana Scalawags: Politics, Race, and Terrorism During the Civil War and Reconstruction – Frank J. Wetta
Louisiana State University Press | 2013 | PDF
During the Civil War and Reconstruction, the pejorative term ”scalawag” referred to white southerners loyal to the Republican Party. With the onset of the federal occupation of New Orleans in 1862, scalawags challenged the restoration of the antebellum political and social orders. Derided as spoilsmen, uneducated ”poor white trash,” Union sympathizers, and race traitors, scalawags remain largely misunderstood even today. In The Louisiana Scalawags, Frank J. Wetta offers the first in-depth analysis of these men and their struggle over the future of Louisiana. A fascinating look into the interplay of politics, race, and terrorism during Reconstruction, this volume answers an array of questions about the origin and demise of the scalawags, and debunks much of the negative mythology surrounding them.
Contrary to popular thought, the white Republicans counted among their ranks men of genuine accomplishment and talent. They worked in fields as varied as law, business, medicine, journalism, and planting, and many held government positions as city officials, judges, parish officeholders, and state legislators in the antebellum years. Wetta demonstrates that a strong sense of nationalism often motivated the men, no matter their origins.
Louisiana’s scalawags were most active and influential during the early stages of Reconstruction, when they led in founding the state’s Republican Party. The vast majority of white Louisianans, however, rejected the scalawags’ appeal to form an alliance with the freedmen in a biracial political party. Eventually, the influence of the scalawags succumbed to persistent white terrorism, corruption, and competition from the carpetbaggers and their black Republican allies. By then, the state’s Republican Party consisted of white political leaders without any significant white constituency. According to Wetta, these weaknesses, as well as ineffective federal intervention in response to a Democratic Party insurgency, caused the Republican Party to collapse and Reconstruction to fail in Louisiana.
7) Creole City: A Chronicle of Early American New Orleans – Nathalie Dessens
University Press of Florida | 2015 | PDF
In Creole City, Nathalie Dessens opens a window onto antebellum New Orleans during a period of rapid expansion and dizzying change. Exploring previously neglected aspects of the city’s early nineteenth-century history, Dessens examines how the vibrant, cosmopolitan city of New Orleans came to symbolize progress, adventure, and culture to so many.
Rooting her exploration in the Sainte-Gême Family Papers harbored at The Historic New Orleans Collection, Dessens follows the twenty-year correspondence of Jean Boze to Henri de Ste-Gême, both refugees from Saint-Domingue. Through Boze’s letters, written between 1818 and 1839, readers witness the convergence and merging of cultural attitudes as new arrivals and old colonial populations collide, sparking transformations in the economic, social, and political structures of the city. This Creolization of the city is thus revealed to be at the very heart of New Orleans’s early identity and made this key hub of Atlantic trade so very distinct from other nineteenth-century American metropolises.
8) The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans – Lawrence N. Powell
Harvard University Press | 2012 | PDF
This is the story of a city that shouldn’t exist. In the seventeenth century, what is now America’s most beguiling metropolis was nothing more than a swamp: prone to flooding, infested with snakes, battered by hurricanes. But through the intense imperial rivalries of Spain, France, and England, and the ambitious, entrepreneurial merchants and settlers from four continents who risked their lives to succeed in colonial America, this unpromising site became a crossroads for the whole Atlantic world.
Lawrence N. Powell, a decades-long resident and observer of New Orleans, gives us the full sweep of the city’s history from its founding through Louisiana statehood in 1812. We see the Crescent City evolve from a French village, to an African market town, to a Spanish fortress, and finally to an Anglo-American center of trade and commerce. We hear and feel the mix of peoples, religions, and languages from four continents that make the place electric-and always on the verge of unraveling. The Accidental City is the story of land-jobbing schemes, stock market crashes, and nonstop squabbles over status, power, and position, with enough rogues, smugglers, and self-fashioners to fill a picaresque novel.
Powell’s tale underscores the fluidity and contingency of the past, revealing a place where people made their own history. This is a city, and a history, marked by challenges and perpetual shifts in shape and direction, like the sinuous river on which it is perched.
9) Leander Perez: Boss of the Delta – Glen Jeansonne
University Press of Mississippi | 2006 | PDF
A biography of the tumultuous career of one of Louisiana’s staunchest segregationist politicians
Leander Perez (1891-1969) was more than simply another Neanderthal segregationist. He was a political boss who held absolute power in Plaquemines Parish to an extent unsurpassed by any parish leader in Louisiana’s history. Leander Perez: Boss of the Delta is his full history.
A bit of a social reformer, a political figure of national stature, an oil tycoon worth millions of dollars, Perez was known to one and all, including himself, as the Judge, although the office he held for most of his career was that of district attorney. He got his political start in the early 1920s, when Huey Long was beginning to attract statewide attention. But, even after Long was gunned down in 1935, the Judge continued to dominate life in the lower delta for thirty-four years, until he died from a heart attack in 1969. Above all, Perez relished power, and the essence of his might lay in his skill as a backroom broker and in his personal friendships with such idologues as J. Strom Thurmond, Ross Barnett, Lester Maddox, Orval Faubus, and George Wallace. his grip on the parish was partly economic and partly political, and it was enforced by an iron will stronger than the will of any other man in the lower delta.