Louisiana: A History

Louisiana: A History

Louisiana: A History

Louisiana: A History

Synopsis

Like its well-loved predecessor, the fourth edition of this classic Louisiana survey textbook is the combined effort of four authors: Light T Cummins on Colonial Lousiana, Judith Kelleher Schafer on the Antebellum and Civil War Period, Edward F Haas, on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and Michael Kurtz, who takes the Louisiana saga from the depths of the Great Depression all the way to the summer of 2001. Once again, the authors have re-examined their own research as well as that of many other scholars in order to present the most comprehensive history of the many different peoples that have and currently do make the rich, colourful land known as Louisiana their home.

Excerpt

Louisiana has a distinctive history. It has occupied a position in the mind of most Americans unlike that of any other state. Poets, novelists, songwriters, artists, historians, and essayists have found in its past a wealth of material. Many dispute the claim of Huey P. Long, Louisiana's bestknown political leader, that he was sui generis (one of a kind), but few quarrel with the application of that term to the state.

Despite the influx of other cultures, many elements of Louisiana's French heritage and some of the Spanish influences lingered well into the twentieth century. Louisiana has long been the destination of travelers heading downriver from the interior of the continent-ranging from the early, canoe-paddling voyagers to steamboat passengers-and upriver from the sea. As the culture of the increasing number of Anglo Americans became dominant, the French-Spanish culture of Louisiana gradually receded. European statesmen and later the leaders of the new nation that emerged along the Atlantic Coast wisely coveted the Great River, the Mississippi. And when migrants from the Old World and the new United States pushed up the river or across the Appalachian Mountains into what is now Louisiana, they found a land and resources undreamed of in those early years.

Louisiana did not escape the horror that was slavery; the enslavement of African Americans, and some Indians, indeed ensued early in its history. In some ways this chapter refuses to be closed, for some minorities still are not treated as equals throughout the United States. So it is with Louisiana. For years southerners outside Louisiana threatened slaves who violated rules with the admonition that they would be sold “downriver.” Many and dark were rumors spread of slave life and treatment in Louisiana. Yet the evidence does not support the allegation that the form of slavery practiced in Louisiana merited the reputation it held throughout the South and the nation. In effect, “selling a slave downriver” might have expressed black peoples' fear of being sold down the Niger or Congo Rivers (as slavery had indeed existed in their native Africa) as much as . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.