Immigration, Ethnicities and Historical Research in New Orleans

Hilton Riverside Hotel, Grand Salon 15
Monday, June 26, 2006
10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Banner with Fleur-de-lys emblem. Louisiana: Recover, Rebuild, Rebirth
Loyal to the fleur-de-lis and defiant in the wake of destruction, New Orleanians take on the rebuilding effort after Katrina. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley
Doullut Steamboat House
Doullut Steamboat house, just behind the Mississippi River levee in the Holy Cross neighborhood, Lower Ninth Ward. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley
19th century view of New Orleans riverfront
Reproduction of a 19th-century view of the New Orleans riverfront. Image courtesy of New Orleans Public Library, from its online River Exhibit

Western European Studies Section (WESS) 2006 Conference Program, cosponsored by the History Section of ALA’s Reference and User Services Association (RUSA).

Program Description

Multicultural roots form the core of New Orleans’ identity. Our panel of speakers explored the historical background, chronology, and impact of immigration on New Orleans. Each of our speakers drew upon their extensive use of local historic resources to study the ethnic groups that make up the fabric of New Orleans.

Panel members

  • John Magill, Historic New Orleans Collection

    The British influence in New Orleans, one of the West European influences one does not so often associate with French New Orleans. The English and Scottish were very much a part of the city’s financial community during its golden days, involved heavily in the cotton trade, insurance business and shipping.
  • Wilbur Meneray, Tulane University Library Special Collections

    Irish, Sicilian, and Jewish immigrants to New Orleans with emphasis upon the settlement patterns, inter-ethnic diversity, and the impact of the Civil War upon the immigrant population, as well as research in progress and resources for further study.
  • Emily Clark, Tulane University History Department

    The colonial and early national periods, roughly 1700-1810. In addition to an overview of French, Spanish, German, Haitian and “American” populations, there was special emphasis on using archival resources to reconstruct the experience of the largest group of immigrants during this period: people of African descent, including Creole African-Americans and free people of color. Although published scholarship on these early New Orleanians is still relatively sparse, the archival sources bearing witness to their arrival and lives are especially rich and were left relatively unscathed by Katrina. Details that emerge from sacramental and notarial records about family, religion, and economic networks suggest new ways to “see” the iconic architecture of the French Quarter.

Scope note: This program extended principally to European immigration and to those ethnic groups from Europe and Africa that have joined with immigrants from the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia, and other parts of the world in helping to form the unique society of New Orleans and surrounding areas.

Handwritten manuscript
From the Favrot family papers. Letter from Pierre-Joseph Favrot to Edmond-Charles Genet, 1794. Courtesy of Tulane University Special Collections, a division of Howard-Tilton Memorial Library.
Storefront window: Historic New Orleans Collection
Headquarters of Historic New Orleans Collection at 533 Royal Street in the French Quarter. Photo courtesy of R. Hacken
Detail of balcony ironwork
Detail of balcony ironwork, a part of the iconic architecture of New Orleans. Photo courtesy of Darryl E. Malek-WileyDetail of balcony ironwork, a part of the iconic architecture of New Orleans. Photo courtesy of Darryl E. Malek-Wiley


Brief Chronology

  • 1718: New Orleans founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, sieur de Bienville.
  • 1718-1764 :Under French control.
  • 1762: Secretly ceded to Spain.
  • 1803: Under Spanish control (a revolt in 1768 was quelled).
  • 1800-1802: Secret negotiations; Napoleon took control of Louisiana for France.
  • 1803: French takeover announced, but formal transfer ceremony took place after Napoleon had sold the Louisiana Territory to the U.S. New Orleans was under three flags in 1803: Spanish, French, then US.
  • 1860: Major period of expansion. New Orleans was the second largest port in the US and a major point of entry for immigrants to the nation, as well as being the largest city in the South.
  • 1861-1865: US Civil War. New Orleans captured and put under Northern occupation in 1862.
  • 1865 – 1877: Reconstruction.
  • 1890: Passage of Louisiana’s first “Jim Crow” law, requiring racial segregation in railroad cars; led to the unsuccessful challenge of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
  • 1864-1910: Immigration returns through or to New Orleans, particularly from the 1880s.

Historical Resources

Most of the following include extensive information about immigration to New Orleans.

  • Acosta Rodríguez, Antonio. La población de Luisiana española, 1763-1803. Madrid: Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, Dirección General de Relaciones Culturales, 1979.
  • American Institute of Architects, New Orleans Chapter. Guidebook Committee. Samuel Wilson, Jr., chairman.
  • A Guide to Architecture of New Orleans, 1699-1959. New York: Reinhold Pub. Corp.‚ c1959.
  • Another ed.: New Orleans?: Louisiana Landmarks Society, 1960, c1959.
  • Baroncelli, Joseph Gabriel de. Une colonie française, en Louisiane: essai historique. Nouvelle-Orléans: Geo. Muller, 1909.
  • Beers, Henry Putney. French and Spanish Records of Louisiana: A Bibliographical Guide to Archive and Manuscript Sources. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c1989.
  • Berquin-Duvallon. Vue de la colonie espagnole du Mississipi (sic), ou des provinces de Louisiane et Floride Occidentale, en l’année 1802. Par un observateur résident sur les lieux. Paris: Imprimerie expeditive, (1803).
    • English translation: Berquin-Duvallon. Travels in Louisiana and the Floridas, in the Year 1802: Giving a Correct Picture of those Countries. Translated and edited by John Davis. New York: I. Riley, 1806.
  • Bossu, Jean-Bernard. Nouveaux voyages aux Indes Occidentales: contenant une relation des differens peuples qui habitent les environs du grand fleuve Saint-Louis, appellé vulgairement le Mississippi: leur religion, leur gouvernement, leurs mœurs, leurs guerres & leur commerce. 2 vols. in 1. Paris: Le Jay, 1768.
    • The author’s observations during his first two visits to the country, 1751-1757 and 1757-1762.)
    • English translation (18th century). Bossu, Jean-Bernard. Travels through That Part of North America Formerly called Louisiana. Translated by John Reinhold Forster. London: Printed for T. Davies, 1771.
    • English translation (20th century). Bossu, Jean-Bernard. Travels in the Interior of North America, 1751-1762. Translated and edited by Seymour Feiler. 1st American ed. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press‚ 1962.
  • Brasseaux, Carl A. Denis-Nicolas Foucault and the New Orleans Rebellion of 1768. Ruston, La.: McGinty Publications: Dept. of History, Louisiana Tech University, 1987.
  • Cable, Mary. Lost New Orleans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1980.
  • Cable, George Washington. The New Orleans of George Washington Cable: the 1887 Census Office Report. Ed. by Lawrence N. Powell. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c2008.
  • Campanella, Richard. Bienville’s Dilemma: A Historical Geography of New Orleans. Lafayette, La.: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2008.
  • Campanella, Richard. Geographies of New Orleans: Urban Fabrics before the Storm. Lafayette, La.: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2006.
  • Campanella, Richard. Time and Place in New Orleans: Past Geographies in the Present Day. Gretna, La.: Pelican Pub. Co., 2002. (author has been interviewed more than once regarding post-Katrina New Orleans)
  • Campanella, Richard and Marina Campanella. New Orleans Then and Now. Gretna, La.: Pelican Pub. Co., 1999.
  • Carter, Hodding, ed. in chief, Wm. Ransom Hogan, John W. Lawrence, and Betty Werlein Carter, eds. The Past as Prelude: New Orleans, 1718-1968. New Orleans: Tulane University; distributed by Pelican Pub. House, 1968.
    • A Tulane University publication for the 250th anniversary of the founding of New Orleans.
  • Castellanos, Henry C. New Orleans As It Was: Episodes of Louisiana Life. New Orleans: L. Graham & Son, 1895.
    • Reprint ed.: Castellanos, Henry C. New Orleans As It Was: Episodes of Louisiana Life. Ed., with new introd., bibliography, and rev. index by George F. Reinecke. Baton Rouge: Published for the Louisiana American Revolution Bicentennial Commission by the Louisiana State University Press, c1978.
  • Chase, John Churchill. Frenchmen, Desire, Good Children — and Other Streets of New Orleans. New ed. Gretna: Pelican Publishing Co., 2001.
    • a humorist’s and cartoonist’s researched history of New Orleans through the street names; first published 1949, some outdated elements
  • Clapp, Theodore. Autobiographical Sketches and Recollections during a Thirty-Five Years’ Residence in New Orleans. Boston: Phillips, Sampson, 1857.
  • Clark, John G. New Orleans, 1718-1812: an Economic History. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press‚ 1970.
  • Conrad, Glenn R., general ed. Cross, Crozier, and Crucible: A Volume Celebrating the Bicentennial of a Catholic Diocese in Louisiana. New Orleans: Published by the Archdiocese of New Orleans in cooperation with the Center for Louisiana Studies, 1993.
  • Conrad, Glenn R., general ed. A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography. 2 vols. New Orleans, La.: Louisiana Historical Association, c1988. Published in cooperation with the Center for Louisiana Studies of the University of Southwestern Louisiana.
    • Supplement: Brasseaux, Carl A. and James D. Wilson, Jr., eds. A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography Ten-Year Supplement 1988-1998. Lafayette, La.: Louisiana Historical Association, c1999. Published in cooperation with the Center for Louisiana Studies of the University of Southwestern Louisiana.
  • Conrad, Glenn R. and Carl A. Brasseaux. A Selected Bibliography of Scholarly Literature on Colonial Louisiana and New France. Lafayette, La.: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, c1982.
  • Crété, Liliane. La vie quotidienne en Louisiane, 1815-1830. Paris: Hachette, 1978.
    • English translation: Crété, Liliane. Daily Life in Louisiana, 1815-1830. Translated by Patrick Gregory. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c1981.
  • Cruchet, René. En Louisiane: légendes et réalités. Bordeaux: Delmas‚ (1937).
    • English translation: Cruchet, René. In Louisiana: Legends and Realities. Translated by workers of the Writers’ Program of the Work Projects Administration of the State of Louisiana. New Orleans?: s.n., 1937?.
  • Dargo, George. Jefferson’s Louisiana: Politics and the Clash of Legal Traditions. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1975.
  • Dawdy, Shannon Lee. Building the Devil’s Empire: French Colonial New Orleans. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.
  • DeLatte, Carolyn E., ed. Antebellum Louisiana, 1830-1860. 2 vols. Lafayette, La.: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2004.
  • Din, Gilbert C. and John E. Harkins. The New Orleans Cabildo: Colonial Louisiana’s First City Government, 1769-1803. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1996.
  • Durell, Edward H. New Orleans as I Found It. By H. Didimus. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1845.
  • Forêt, Michael. Irresolution and Uncertainty: French Colonial Indian Policy in Louisiana, 1699-1763. M.A. thesis, University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1982.
  • Freiberg, Edna B. Bayou St. John in Colonial Louisiana, 1699-1803. Ill. by John Chase. New Orleans, La.: Edna B. Freiberg, c1980.
  • Garvey, Joan B. and Mary Lou Widmer. Beautiful Crescent: a History of New Orleans. 11th ed. New Orleans, La.: Garmer Press, 2002, c1982. (fairly light reading)
  • Giraud, Marcel. Histoire de la Louisiane française. 1. éd., 4 vols. to date. Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1953-
    • Later ed.: 4. éd. mise à jour. 1971 (1 v.)
    • English translation: Giraud, Marcel. A History of French Louisiana. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press‚ 1974- (5 vols. to date (vol. 5 published 1993), covering 1698-1731.)
  • Greater New Orleans Archivists – list of archival research repositories in New Orleans
  • Gulf Coast History and Humanities Conference (3rd : 1971 : Pensacola, Fla.) The Americanization of the Gulf Coast. Edited by Lucius F. Ellsworth. Pensacola: Historic Pensacola Preservation Board, 1972.
  • Hall, A. Oakey (also appears as A. Oakley Hall). The Manhattaner in New Orleans, or, Phases of “Crescent City” Life. New Orleans: J.C. Morgan, 1851.
  • Hanger, Kimberly S.   A Medley of Cultures: Louisiana History at the Cabildo. New Orleans: Louisiana Museum Foundation, c1996. (historical essays)
  • Hardy, Arthur. Mardi Gras in New Orleans: an Illustrated History. 1st ed. Metairie, LA: Arthur Hardy Enterprises, c2001.
  • Hirsch, Arnold R. and Joseph Logsdon, ed. Creole New Orleans: Race and Americanization. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c1992. (collection of essays)
  • Historic New Orleans Collection (HNOC) Early colonial records, Ursuline Collection, 19th-century land survey records, German community records, etc., etc.
  • Historic New Orleans Collection. Guide to Research at the Historic New Orleans Collection.
    • 2d ed. New Orleans: Historic New Orleans Collection, 1980.
  • The Historic New Orleans Collection Newsletter. New Orleans, La.: The Collection, 1983-(1991). v.1 (1983)-v.9 (1991).
    • Continued by: The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly. New Orleans, La.: The Historic New Orleans Collection, 1992- v. 10 (1992)-
  • Historical Epitome of the State of Louisiana: with an Historical Notice of New Orleans, Views and Descriptions of Public Buildings, etc., etc. New Orleans: s.n.‚ 1840.
  • Hogue, James Keith. Uncivil War: Five New Orleans Street Battles and the Rise and Fall of Radical Reconstruction. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c2006.
  • Holmes, Jack D. L. A Guide to Spanish Louisiana, 1762-1806. New Orleans: A.F. Laborde‚ 1970. (Louisiana Collection Series of Books and Documents on Colonial Louisiana ; 2)
  • Huber, Leonard Victor. New Orleans: a Pictorial History. New York: Crown, 1971.
  • Jackson, Joy J. New Orleans in the Gilded Age: Politics and Urban Progress, 1880-1896. Baton Rouge: Published by Louisiana State University Press for the Louisiana Historical Association, 1969.
  • Jumonville, Florence M. Bibliography of New Orleans Imprints, 1764-1864. 1st ed. New Orleans, LA: Historic New Orleans Collection, 1989.
  • Jumonville, Florence M. The Vieux Carre Survey. New Orleans: Historic New Orleans Collection, 1981.
  • Labbé, Dolores Egger, ed. The Louisiana Purchase and its Aftermath, 1800-1830. Lafayette, La.: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1998.
  • Laborde, Errol. Marched the Day God: a History of the Rex Organization. New Orleans: School of Design, c1999.
  • Latour, Arsène Lacarrière. Historical Memoir of the War in West Florida and Louisiana in 1814-15: with an Atlas. Ed. by Gene A. Smith. Expanded ed. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, c1999.
  • Latrobe, Benjamin Henry. Impressions Respecting New Orleans: Diary & Sketches, 1818-1820., ed. Samuel Wilson, Jr. New York: Columbia University Press, 1951.
  • Le Gac, Charles. Immigration and War: Louisiana, 1718-1721: from the Memoir of Charles Le Gac. Translated, edited, and annotated by Glenn R. Conrad. Lafayette: University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1970.
  • Leavitt, Mel. A Short History of New Orleans. San Francisco: Lexikos, 1982.
  • Lewis, Peirce F. New Orleans: the Making of an Urban Landscape. 2nd ed. Santa Fe, N.M.: Center for American Places ; Charlottesville, Va.: Distributed by the University of Virginia Press, c2003. (historical geography; referred to frequently following Katrina)
  • Long, Alecia P. The Great Southern Babylon: Sex, Race, and Respectability in New Orleans, 1865-1920. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c2004.
  • Louisiana, a History. Written by C.E. Richard; based in part on an original script written by Anna Reid Jhirad; hosted by Stephen E. Ambrose; narrated by Lynn Whitfield. Production of Louisiana Public Broadcasting. Baton Rouge, LA?: Louisiana Educational Television Authority, c2003. :DVD: 6 videodiscs.
  • Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Conference (2003 : New Orleans, La.) The Louisiana Purchase and its Peoples: Perspectives from the New Orleans Conference. Edited by Paul E. Hoffman. Lafayette, La.: Louisiana Historical Association : Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, c2004.
  • LOUISiana Digital Library
  • Louisiana Library Network’s set of digital collections includes:
  • Louisiana State Museum
    • Historical Center includes colonial period records, French and Spanish, etc.Website on the Cabildo includes history of immigration to New Orleans (particularly under “Colonial Louisiana” and “Antebellum Louisiana II”)
    • Presbytere normally houses an exhibit on Mardi Gras in New Orleans and rural areas.
    • See commentary in New Orleans Online Museums listing.
      • “Visitors will learn about the Mardi Gras celebrations in the state’s rural areas, with rites that resemble those associated with village festivals of 12th-century Europe.”
  • Mahé, John A., II, and Rosanne McCaffrey, eds. Encyclopaedia of New Orleans Artists, 1718-1918. Assistant eds., Charles S. Buchanan … (et al.); general editor, Patricia Brady Schmit. 1st ed. New Orleans, La. Historic New Orleans Collection, c1987.
  • McGowan, James T. The Creation of a Slave Society Louisiana Plantations in the Eighteenth Century. Ph. D. thesis, University of Rochester, 1976.
  • McKinney, Louise. New Orleans a Cultural History. Oxford; New York Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • McMurtrie, Douglas C. Early Printing in New Orleans, 1764-1810 with a Bibliography of the Issues of the Louisiana Press. New Orleans Searcy & Pfaff, 1929.
  • McMurtrie, Douglas C. Louisiana Imprints, 1768-1810 in Supplement to the Bibliography in “Early Printing in New Orleans.” Hattiesburg, Miss. The Book Farm, 1942.
  • McNab, Donnald (sic) and Louis E. Madère, Jr. A History of New Orleans. Manuscript late 1983; rev. and updated 1991, 1992-2004; Web version. (Last update winter 2004)
  • Miller Surrey, N. M. The Commerce of Louisiana during the French Régime, 1699-1763. Introd. by Gregory Waselkov. Tuscaloosa University of Alabama Press, 2006. Published version of the author’s Ph. D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1916.
  • Moore, John Preston. Revolt in Louisiana the Spanish Occupation, 1766-1770. Baton Rouge Louisiana State University Press, c1976.
  • New Orleans. Documentary produced by Amanda Pollak, Stephen Ives, Jenny Carchman; written by Michelle Ferrari; directed by Stephen Ives; an Insignia Films production for American Experience in association with Louisiana Public Broadcasting, WGBH Boston. DVD videorecording Alexandria, Va. PBS Home Video, c2007.
  • New Orleans As it Is its Manners and Customs, Morals, Fashionable Life, Profanation of the Sabbath, Prostitution, Licentiousness, Slave Markets and Slavery, &c., &c., &c. By a Resident. Utica, N.Y. DeWitt C. Grove, Printer, 1849. (At head of title “Truth is stranger than fiction.”)
  • New Orleans Museum of Art
  • New Orleans Notarial Archives Research Center – Notarial records, 1731- (special project in Sept. 2005 to go into still-closed city to rescue documents; center re-opened 9 Jan. 2006)
  • New Orleans Public Library (limited opening post-Katrina; 90% of staff laid off in October 2005)
    • Also includes City Archives (not separately active link as of 29 Jan. 2006)
    • Part of the City Archives were in an offsite storage facility that sustained heavy roof damage during Katrina; the materials have been removed for remediation or (if judged not of historical significance) destruction; the materials sent offsite had all been microfilmed.
    • One example of NOPL resources: a part of the River Exhibit addresses 19th-century immigration, ships’ lists (exhibit closed 1998; online exhibit still available, viewed 31 Dec. 2005)
  • O’Neill, Charles E. Church and State in French Colonial Louisiana Policy and Politics to 1732. New Haven Yale University Press, 1966.
  • Pitot, James. Observations on the Colony of Louisiana, from 1796 to 1802. Translated from the French, with an introd., by Henry C. Pitot. Baton Rouge Published for the Historic New Orleans Collection by the Louisiana State University Press, c1979. Translation of manuscript entitled Observations sur la colonie de la Louisiane de 1796 à 1802.
  • Powell, Lawrence N. and J. Mark Souther, eds. Reconstructing Louisiana. Lafayette, La. Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2001.
  • Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans (in connection with architectural history)
  • Queen of the South New Orleans in the 1850s. VHS video, written and produced by Karen Snyder; narrated by John McConnell; music by Sanford Hinderlie. New Orleans The Historic New Orleans Collection, c1999.
  • Reeves, William D. Historic Louisiana an Illustrated History. 1st ed. San Antonio, Tex. Historical Pub. Network, 2003.
  • Reinders, Robert C. End of an Era New Orleans, 1850-1860. Gretna, La. Pelican Pub. Co., 1964.
  • Published version of the author’s thesis A Social History of New Orleans, 1850-1860. Ph. D. thesis, University of Texas, 1957. Reprint ed. Gretna, La. Pelican Pub. Co., 1998.
  • Robertson, James Alexander, ed. and tr. Louisiana under the Rule of Spain, France, and the United States, 1785-1807 Social, Economic, and Political Conditions of the Territory Represented in the Louisiana Purchase as Portrayed in Hitherto Unpublished Contemporory Accounts by Dr. Paul Alliot and Various Spanish, French, English, and American Officials. Cleveland Arthur H. Clark Co., 1911. 2 v.
  • Robin, C. C. Voyages dans l’intérieur de la Louisiane, de la Floride occidentale, et dans les isles de la Martinique et de Saint-Domingue, pendant les années 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805 et 1806 contenant de nouvelles observations sur l’histoire naturelle, la géographie, les mœurs, l’agriculture, le commerce, l’industrie et les maladies de ces contrées, particulièrement sur la fièvre jaune, et les moyens de les prévenir en outre, contenant ce qui s’est passé de plus intéressant, relativement à l’établissement des Anglo-Américains à la Louisiane suivis de la Flore louisianaise … 3 vols. Paris F. Buisson, 1807.
    • (Attributed to Claude C. Robin, but 1966 translator cites evidence that the author is Charles-César Robin.)
    • English translation Robin, C. C. Robin’s Voyages dans l’intérieure de la Louisiane. Translated and annotated by Irene Blanche Pujol. 2 vols. Master’s thesis, Louisiana State University‚ 1935.
    • English abridged translation, from vols. 2-3 Robin, C. C. Voyage to Louisiana, 1803-1805. Abridged translation by Stuart O. Landry, Jr. New Orleans Pelican, 1966.
  • Roeder, Robert Earl. New Orleans Merchants, 1790-1837. Ph. D. thesis, Harvard University, 1959. Ruff, Verda Jenkins. The Cabildo Records of New Orleans, 1769-1785 an Index to Abstracts in the Louisiana Historical Quarterly. Forest Hill, La. s.n., c1987.
  • Schott, Matthew J., ed. Louisiana Politics and the Paradoxes of Reaction and Reform, 1877-1928. Lafayette, La. Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2000.
  • Shepherd, Samuel C., Jr., ed. New Orleans and Urban Louisiana Lafayette, La. Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2005. (The Louisiana Purchase bicentennial series in Louisiana history ; v. 14)
  • Siegel, Martin, comp. and ed. New Orleans a Chronological & Documentary History, 1539-1970 Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. Oceana Publications, 1975. (American Cities Chronology Series)
  • Sublette, Ned. The World That Made New Orleans From Spanish Silver to Congo Square. Chicago Lawrence Hill Books Distributed by Independent Publishers Group, 2008.
  • Sullivan, Lester. New Orleans Then & Now. San Diego, Calif. Thunder Bay Press, c2003.
  • Surrey, Nancy Maria Miller. Calendar of Manuscripts in Paris Archives and Libraries Relating to the History of the Mississippi Valley to 1803. 2 vols. Washington, D. C. Carnegie Institution of Washington, Dept. of Historical Research, 1926-1928.
  • Surrey, Nancy Maria Miller. The Commerce of Louisiana during the French Regime, 1699-1763. New York Columbia University Press, 1916. Reprint ed. 1st AMS ed. New York AMS Press‚ 1968.
  • Tinker, Edward Larocque. Creole City its Past and its People. 1st ed. New York Longmans, Green, 1953.
  • Trask, Benjamin H. Fearful Ravages Yellow Fever in New Orleans, 1796-1905. Lafayette, La. Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2005.
  • Tulane University – Howard-Tilton Memorial Library Special Collections
  • University of New Orleans – Louisiana and Special Collections Dept.
    • Includes 20th-century ethnic records (UNO library open, but limited hours, Jan. 2006)
  • Ursuline Convent
  • Ursulines in New Orleans since 1727 / Old convent 1100 Chartres Street. The old convent building is open Monday-Saturday, 10-4.
  • Ursuline Archives and Museum located at Ursuline Academy, 2635 State Street.
  • Vaugine de Nuisement, Etienne Martin de. Journal de Vaugine de Nuisement (ca 1765) un témoignage sur la Louisiane du XVIIIe siècle. 1st critical ed. by Steve Canac-Marquis et Pierre Rézeau.
  • Québec Presses de l’Université Laval, c2005.
  • Villiers du Terrage, Marc de. Les dernières années de la Louisiane française le chevalier de Kerlérec, d’Abbadie-Aubry, Laussat. Paris E. Guilmoto, (1904?).
    • English translation Villiers du Terrage, Marc de. The Last Years of French Louisiana. Translated by Hosea Phillips; edited by Carl A. Brasseaux and Glenn R. Conrad; annotated by Carl A. Brasseaux. Lafayette, La. Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, c1982.
  • Villiers du Terrage, Marc de. Histoire de la fondation de la Nouvelle-Orléans (1717-1722). Paris Imprimerie nationale, 1917.
  • Waggoner, Mary Rush Gwin, ed. Le plus beau pais du monde Completing the Picture of Proprietary Louisiana, 1699-1722. Lafayette, LA Center for Louisiana Studies, c2005.
  • Wall, Bennett H., ed. Louisiana, a History. Written by Charles Edwards O’Neill et al. Arlington Heights, Ill. Forum Press, c1984.
  • Wharton, Thomas Kelah. Queen of the South New Orleans, 1853-1862 the Journal of Thomas K. Wharton. Ed. by Samuel Wilson, Jr., Patricia Brady, and Lynn D. Adams. 1st ed. New Orleans, La. Historic New Orleans Collection; New York New York Public Library, 1999.
  • Wilson, Samuel, Jr. The Architecture of Colonial Louisiana Collected Essays of Samuel Wilson, Jr., F.A.I.A. Compiled and edited by Jean M. Farnsworth and Ann M. Masson. Lafayette, La. Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1987.
  • Wilson, Samuel, Jr. Bienville’s New Orleans a French Colonial Capital, 1718-1768. Edited and designed by Roulhac B. Toledano. Photos by New Orleans Blue Print, Beau Bassich. New Orleans Friends of the Cabildo‚ 1968. (Record of an exhibition at the Louisiana State Museum of a collection provided by the French government.)
  • Wilson, Samuel, Jr. A Guide to the Early Architecture of New Orleans. New Orleans Louisiana Architects Association, (196-).
  • Wilson, Samuel, Jr., et al. New Orleans Architecture. Compiled and edited by Mary Louise Christovich et al. Photos by Betsy Swanson et al. Gretna La. Pelican Pub. Co.‚ 1971- 8 vols. to date (the most recent vol. pub. 1997).
  • Woods, Patricia Dillon. French-Indian Relations on the Southern Frontier, 1699-1762. Ann Arbor, Mich. UMI Research Press, c1980. (Originally presented as the author’s Ph. D. thesis (Louisiana State University, 1978) under title The Relations Between the French of Colonial Louisiana and the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Natchez Indians, 1699-1762.)
  • Young, Perry. The Mistick Krewe Chronicles of Comus and His Kin. New Orleans Carnival Press, 1931. Reprint ed. New Orleans Louisiana Heritage Press, 1969, c1959.

Immigration and Ethnicity

  • Amistad Research Center. Guide to ARC Light a Series of Multi-Image Shows about Afro-Americans, Other Ethnic Groups, and Race Relations History from the Amistad Research Center. New Orleans Amistad Research Center, (1983).
  • Arthur, Stanley and George Huchet de Kernion, eds. Old Families of Louisiana. New Orleans Harmanson, 1931.
  • Brasseaux, Carl A., ed. A Refuge for All Ages Immigration in Louisiana History. Lafayette, La. Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1996.
  • Center for Cultural and Eco-Tourism (ULL CCET) at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
  • Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies. Located at Southeastern Louisiana University, in Hammond. Concentrates on the history and culture of the Florida Parishes, including collections reflecting the area’s ethnic diversity.
  • Conrad, Glenn R., trans. and comp. The First Families of Louisiana. Baton Rouge Claitor’s Pub. Division, 1970. (Translations of lists on deposit at the Archives Nationales in Paris.)
    • Index Mills, Donna Rachal. The First Families of Louisiana an Index to Glenn R. Conrad’s 2-Volume Series of 1970. Tuscaloosa, Ala. Mills Historical Press, 1992.
  • Conrad, Glenn R. and Carl A. Brasseaux, comps. “Gone but Not Forgotten” Records from South Louisiana Cemeteries. Lafayette, La. Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, c1983.
  • Conway, Alan A. New Orleans as a Port of Immigration. Master’s thesis, University College, London, 1949.
  • Cook, John W., ed. Perspectives on Ethnicity in New Orleans. New Orleans Committee on Ethnicity, 1980.
  • De Ville, Winston. The 1795 Chimney-Tax of New Orleans a Guide to the Census of Proprietors and Residents of the Vieux Carré. Index by Ramona Amelia Smith. Ville Platte, La. Smith Publications, 1994.
  • De Ville, Winston. Louisiana and Mississippi Lands a Guide to Spanish Land Grants at the University of Michigan Properties at Ascension, Attakapas, Baton Rouge. Ville Platte, La. Evangeline Genealogical and Historical Society, 1985.
  • De Ville, Winston, comp. and trans. Louisiana Colonials Soldiers and Vagabonds. Mobile, Ala. W. De Ville, 1963.
  • Dell’Orto, Jean. Immigration et colonisation en Louisiane lu à “l’Athénée Louisianais,” séances des 12 et 26 avril 1876. Nouvelle Orléans Imprimerie cosmopolite, 1877.
  • DePascual, Linda, Jean Greenfield, Susan Miller, Barbara Molnar, Christye Robley, Mary (Polly) Starnes, and Judith Wester. New Orleans Neighborhood Talk Examining the Original Dialects of the New Orleans Ninth Ward Neighborhood. New Orleans Loyola University of New Orleans, c1994. (discusses the New Orleans dialect, including its history and survival in the Ninth Ward and the Irish Channel)
  • Forsyth, Alice D., ed. Louisiana Marriages. Volume 1 A Collection of Marriage Records from the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans … 1784-1806. New Orleans Polyanthos, 1977.
  • Forsyth, Alice D. and Ghislaine Pleasonton, comps. Louisiana Marriage Contracts a Compilation of Abstracts from Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana during the French Regime, 1725-1758. Index by Yvette Guillot Boling. New Orleans Polyanthos, 1980.
  • Forsyth, Alice D., comp. and trans. Louisiana Marriage Contracts. Volume II Abstracts from Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana, 1728-1769. New Orleans Genealogical Research Society of New Orleans, c1989.
  • Fossier, A. E. New Orleans the Glamour Period, 1800-1840 A History of the Conflicts of Nationalities, Languages, Religion, Morals, Cultures, Laws, Politics, and Economics during the Formative Period of New Orleans. New Orleans Pelican Pub. Co.‚ c1957.
  • Gaudet, Marcia, and James C. McDonald, ed. Mardi Gras, Gumbo, and Zydeco Readings in Louisiana Cultures. Jackson Miss. University Press of Mississippi, c2003.
  • Genealogical Research Society of New Orleans
  • Hebert, Donald J. Index of New Orleans Confirmations, 1789-1841. Eunice, La. Hebert Publications; Baton Rouge, LA Distributed by Claitor’s Pub. Division, c1984. (Index to the work of Alice Daly Forsyth entitled Confirmaciones.)
  • Hintz, Martin. Ethnic New Orleans A Complete Guide to the Many Faces and Cultures of New Orleans. Linwood, Ill. Passport Books, NTC Publishing Group, 1995.
  • Hirsch, Arnold R. and Joseph Logsdon. The People and Culture of New Orleans.
  • Jacob, Harold A. Ancestors Searching Index. Destrehan, La.? German-Acadian Coast Historical & Genealogical Society, 1988.
  • Klein, Selma Louise. Social Interaction of the Creoles and Anglo-Americans in New Orleans, 1803-1860. M.A. thesis, Tulane University, 1940.
  • Leavitt, Mel and David H. Jones. New Orleans, America’s International City a Contemporary Portrait. 1st ed. Chatsworth, Calif. Windsor, 1990.
  • Logsdon, Joseph. “Immigration through the Port of New Orleans,” in Stolarik, M. Mark, ed. Forgotten Doors the Other Ports of Entry to the United States. Philadelphia Balch Institute Press; London Associated University Presses, c1988.
  • Louisiana Bureau of Immigration. Information for Immigrants into the State of Louisiana. Published officially by J. C. Kathman, chief of the Bureau of Immigration. New Orleans Republican Office, 1868.
  • Louisiana Folklife Program New Populations Project
    • Promotes and coordinates research and publication on members, particularly recently arrived members, of the larger, more established non-Western-European ethnic communities in Louisiana. The research listed focusses heavily on the New Orleans area.
    • An online bibliography is also available.
  • Mennen, Ferol E. A Comparative Study of the Relationship between Extended Family Networks and Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Marital Status.Thesis (D.S.W.)–Tulane University, 1987. (research on family structures and relationships in New Orleans)
  • New Orleans Genesis. New Orleans Genealogical Research Society of New Orleans. 1961- v. 1 (1961)-
  • New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network (NOMTN)
    • While the focus of this organization is on people of color, it also states a more general mission “to identify and promote the cultural diversity of New Orleans and to increase leadership, career and business opportunity at all levels of the hospitality industry.”
  • Newton, Lewis William. The Americanization of French Louisiana a Study of the Process of Adjustment between the French and the Anglo-American Populations of Louisiana, 1803-1860. New York Arno Press, 1980. Reprint of the author’s thesis, University of Chicago, 1929.
  • Riquelmy, Christina, ed. Documenting Selected Louisiana Ethnic Groups A Theme Issue of LLA Bulletin. (Vol. 57, No. 1.) Baton Rouge, LA Louisiana Library Association, 1994.
    • Groups discussed Italians, Lebanese, Vietnamese, and Louisiana Indians Chitimacha, Coushatta, Tunica-Biloxi, Caddo, Choctaw Apache, Clifton Choctaw, Jena Band of Choctaw, and the United Houma Nation.
  • St. Louis Cathedral. Libro primero de confirmaciones de esta parroquia de Sn. Luis de la Nueva Orleans contener folios y de principio al folio 1, consigne hasta g. Dios no Señor–ea servido confirmacions (sic) / First Book of Confirmations of this Parish of St. Louis of New Orleans Containing Folios from the Beginning up to the Present. Limited ed. New Orleans, La. Genealogical Research Society of New Orleans, c1967.
  • Spletstoser, Fredrick Marcel. Back Door to the Land of Plenty New Orleans as an Immigrant Port, 1820-1860. Ph. D. dissertation, LSU, 1978.
  • Tipton, E. M. and Ema L. Tipton, comps. Marriages and Obituaries from the New Orleans Christian Advocate with Complete Index. Bossier City, La. Tipton Print. & Pub. Co., 1980- v. 1. 1851-1860
  • Treat, Victor Hugo. Migration into Louisiana, 1834-1880. 2 vols. Ph. D. thesis, University of Texas, Austin, 1967.
  • Voorhies, Jacqueline, trans. and comp. Some Late Eighteenth Century Louisianans Census Records, 1758-1796. Lafayette, La. University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1973.
  • Woods, Earl C. and Charles E. Nolan, eds. Sacramental Records of the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. New Orleans, La. Archdiocese of New Orleans, 1987- (19 volumes so far, covering 1718-1831.)
  • Yeah You Rite! the Way They Talk in New Orleans. Center for New American Media; directors, Louis Alvarez and Andrew Kolker.
  • New Orleans, La. Center for New American Media; New York, NY (Distributed by) Cinema Guild, 1985, c1984. 1 VHS videocassette.
  • “The English language as spoken in New Orleans has been influenced by the city’s rich and varied history, leaving it with dozens of unique words and phrases that all New Orleanians understand but which frequently baffle visitors.”

Ethnic Groups in New Orleans and in Southeastern Louisiana

N. Lopez and Grand Route St. John street signs
An intersection of a street with a Spanish name, encountering one with a somewhat Anglicised French name. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley.


New Orleans African-American Museum of Art, Culture, & History
New Orleans African-American Museum of Art, Culture, & History. Located in the historic Faubourg Tremé, its collections document the development of the distinctive African-American culture of New Orleans. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley
Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club Inc entrance
The headquarters of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club (on Broad Street, in Mid-City), one of many such organizations that have supported and bonded together members of the African-American community in New Orleans since the 19th century. Zulu, one of the most prestigious, is famous for organizing the Mardi Gras Day Zulu Parade. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley
Tee-Eva's Creole Soul Food shop and mural
Tee-Eva’s Creole Soul Food shop, on Magazine Street in Uptown New Orleans. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley

(see also Creoles as well as Middle Eastern and North African)

People of sub-Saharan African descent or partial African descent formed the largest element in the population of New Orleans during the colonial period, as they do today. In addition to the many who were transported here as slaves, a substantial number of free people of African descent arrived from France or from the Caribbean. Furthermore, under the colonial legal systems of the French and Spanish, slaves could be freed or obtain their freedom, while free people of all races could hold property, intermarry (or legitimize the offspring of more informal relationships), file lawsuits, and conduct business as they chose.

Even though the legal status of slaves and free blacks was less favorable after Louisiana became part of the US, the gens libres de couleur continued to do well through the 1840s. Quite a few were educated in France; many were successful as merchants and professionals; many others plied trades as craftspeople, shopkeepers, hairdressers, or free servants; some served as soldiers; and yet others became priests or nuns. The Francophone community, in particular, was characterized by racial and residential mixture, maintaining ties with their European-descended relatives. Freed and escaping slaves, primarily Anglophones, made their way from other parts of the country to the city. The substantial, confident population of free people of color was a distinctive and crucial aspect of New Orleans history and culture prior to the US Civil War.

A large slave market continued to operate in New Orleans, however, and slavery lasted up until 1863, particularly in rural areas. The 1850s saw a decline in both the status and numbers of free people of color, due to tensions leading up to the Civil War, which caused many to emigrate, and to severe yellow fever epidemics. The period of Reconstruction (1865-1877) was mixed in its impact on African-Americans in southeastern Louisiana, with opportunites for political participation and leadership on the one hand, but riots, massacres, and violent repression on the other. Along with the rest of the South, they suffered after the imposition of Jim Crow laws from 1890 through the period of segregation. (In the landmark 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case, in which the US Supreme Court justified segregation, the unsuccessful plaintiff, Homer — or Homère — Adolphe Plessy, was a racially mixed New Orleanian Creole.) Nevertheless, a tradition of political activism continued from the pre-Civil War days and manifested itself again during the Civil Rights movement and beyond.

People of African descent have made fundamental contributions to the culture of New Orleans throughout its history. The characteristic buildings and ironwork in historic districts of New Orleans, including the French Quarter, while exhibiting Spanish and other European influences, were to a considerable extent the work of craftsmen of color, slave and free. Musicians, poets, and artists of color also have flourished, as illustrated, for example, by the output of 19th-century French-language literary works, twentieth-century jazz, and a range of visual arts. New Orleans music, dance, religious life, and cuisine continue to reflect African roots.

Recent immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa include small communities of West African and Ethiopian origin. There is also a group of Haitian immigrants in New Orleans, who reinforce historical ties with Afro-Caribbean cultures, as well as maintaining a Francophone/Creole element into the 21st century.

  • African American Heritage Museum, Hammond, Louisiana (parish seat of Tangipahoa Parish, north of Lake Pontchartrain)
    • A new museum and education center, which includes a “genealogy lab” to help visitors trace their ancestry. Opened 19 February 2007.
  • Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy, 1719-1820
    • Databases compiled by Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, professor emerita of history, Rutgers University.
  • Amistad Research Center
    • A center for archives and published resources on the history of African Americans, as well as other ethnic groups in the US.
    • Located in New Orleans (currently on the campus of Tulane University), it is a rich resource for local and area history.
  • Anderson, R. Bentley. Black, White, and Catholic: New Orleans Interracialism, 1947-1956. 1st ed. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2005.
  • Backstreet Cultural Museum
    • Focuses on aspects of African-American culture in New Orleans, including jazz funerals, social aid and pleasure clubs, and the “Mardi Gras Indians.” Located in the Tremé neighborhood, the Backstreet Cultural Museum was impacted by Katrina but was able to conduct its annual All Saints Day parade on 1 November 2005 and has since re-opened.
  • Bennett, James B. Religion and the Rise of Jim Crow in New Orleans. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, c2005.
  • Billings, Edward C. The Struggle Between the Civilization of Slavery and that of Freedom, Recently and Now Going on in Louisiana. An address delivered by Edward C. Billings, Esq., of New Orleans, at Hatfield, Mass., Oct. 20, 1873. Northampton, Mass.: Gazette Printing Co.’s Steam Press, 1873.
  • Blassingame, John W. Black New Orleans, 1860-1880. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973.
  • Christian, Marcus Bruce. Negro Ironworkers in Louisiana, 1718-1900. Gretna La.: Pelican Pub. Co., 1972.
  • Christian, Marcus Bruce. Negro Soldiers in the Battle of New Orleans. New Orleans: Battle of New Orleans, 150th Anniversary Committee of Louisiana, 1965.
  • Clark, Emily and Virginia M. Gould. “The Feminine Face of Afro-Catholicism in New Orleans, 1727-1852,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser. 59:2 (April 2002): 409-448.
  • Clayton, Ronnie W. Mother Wit: the Ex-Slave Narratives of the Louisiana Writers’ Project. New York: Peter Lang, 1990.
  • Daniels, Nathan W. Thank God My Regiment an African One: the Civil War Diary of Colonel Nathan W. Daniels. Edited by C.P. Weaver. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c1998.
  • Deggs, Mary Bernard. No Cross, No Crown: Black Nuns in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans. Edited by Virginia Meacham Gould and Charles E. Nolan. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, c2001.
  • DeVore, Donald E. Race Relations and Community Development: the Education of Blacks in New Orleans, 1862-1960.:Ph. D. thesis, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, 1989.
  • Draper, David Elliott. The Mardi Gras Indians: the Ethnomusicology of Black Associations in New Orleans. Ph. D. thesis, Tulane University, May 1973. 2 vols.
  • Everett, Donald Edward. Free Persons of Color in New Orleans, 1803-1865. Ph. D. thesis, Tulane University, 1952.
  • Fairclough, Adam. Race & Democracy: the Civil Rights Struggle in Louisiana, 1915-1972. Athens: University of Georgia Press, c1995.
  • Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans.
    • Documentary by Lolis Eric Elie and Dawn Logsdon; directed by Dawn Logsdon; written & co-directed by Lolis Eric Elie; produced by Lucie Faulknor, Lolis Eric Elie, Dawn Logsdon. Co-production of Serendipity Films LLC, WYES-TV/New Orleans & Louisiana Public Broadcasting in association with Independent Televsion Service (ITVS) & National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC). DVD distribution: San Francisco, Calif.: California Newsreel, c2008.
  • Fireside, Harvey. Separate and Unequal: Homer Plessy and the Supreme Court Decision that Legalized Racism. Introd. by Marc H. Morial. 1st ed. New York: Carroll & Graf, c2004.
  • Follett, Richard J. The Sugar Masters: Planters and Slaves in Louisiana’s Cane World, 1820-1860. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c2005.
  • Gehman, Mary. The Free People of Color of New Orleans: an Introduction. New Orleans, LA: Margaret Media, 1994.
  • Gould, Virginia Meacham, ed. Chained to the Rock of Adversity: To Be Free, Black & Female in the Old South. Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, c1998. (covers the Natchez, Mississippi, region and the New Orleans region)
  • Guillory, Monique. Some Enchanted Evening on the Auction Block: The Cultural Legacy of the New Orleans Quadroon Balls. Ph. D. thesis, New York University, 1999.
  • Hair, William Ivy. Carnival of Fury: Robert Charles and the New Orleans Race Riot of 1900. Updated ed. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2008.
  • Hall, Ardencie. New Orleans Jazz Funerals: Transition to the Ancestors. Ph. D. thesis, New York University, 1998.
  • Hobratsch, Ben Melvin. Creole Angel: The Self-identity of the Free People of Color of Antebellum New Orleans. M.A. thesis, University of North Texas, 2006.
  • Hogue, James Keith. Uncivil War: Five New Orleans Street Battles and the Rise and Fall of Radical Reconstruction. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c2006.
  • Hollandsworth, James G. An Absolute Massacre: the New Orleans Race Riot of July 30, 1866. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c2001.
  • Ingersoll, Thomas N. Mammon and Manon in Early New Orleans: the First Slave Society in the Deep South, 1718-1819. 1st ed. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, c1999.
  • Published version of the author’s Ph. D. thesis, University of California, Los Angeles, 1990, presented under title: Old New Orleans: Race, Class, Sex and Order in the Early Deep South, 1718-1819.
  • Jacobs, Claude F. and Andrew J. Kaslow. The Spiritual Churches of New Orleans: Origins, Beliefs, and Rituals of an African-American Religion. 1st ed. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, c1991.
  • Jenkins, Velesta. River Road: a Rural Black Community in Southeastern Louisiana. Ph. D. thesis, University of California, Berkeley, 1976.
  • Johnson, Jerah. Congo Square in New Orleans. New Orleans: Samuel Wilson, Jr. Publications Fund of the Louisiana Landmarks Society, c1995.
    • Reprinted from Louisiana History (Spring, 1991), p. 117-157, where it originally appeared under the title “New Orleans’s Congo Square: an Urban Setting for Early Afro-American Culture Formation.”
  • Johnson, Walter. Soul by Soul: Life inside the Antebellum Slave Market. Cambridge, Mass.; London: Harvard University Press, 1999.
  • Louisiana Office of Tourism. Textures: Louisiana’s Guide to African American Culture. Special Louisiana Purchase ed. :Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana Office of Tourism, (2003).
  • Mabe, Philip Matthew. Racial Ideology in the New Orleans Press, 1862-1877. Ph. D. thesis, University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1977.
  • Macdonald, Robert R., John R. Kemp, and Edward F. Haas, eds. Louisiana’s Black Heritage. New Orleans: Louisiana State Museum, 1979. Papers presented at the Louisiana State Museum’s symposium, Louisiana’s Black Heritage, held in New Orleans, April 15-16, 1977.
  • Malone, Ann Patton. Sweet Chariot: Slave Family and Household Structure in Nineteenth-Century Louisiana. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, c1992. (The Fred W. Morrison Series in Southern Studies)
  • Medley, Keith Weldon. We as Freemen: Plessy v. Ferguson. Gretna, La.: Pelican Pub. Co., 2003.
  • Nelson, William James. The Free Negro in the Ante Bellum New Orleans Press. Ph. D. thesis, Duke University, 1977.
  • Nero, Charles Isidore. “To Develop our Manhood”: Free Black Leadership and the Rhetoric of the New Orleans Tribune. Ph. D. thesis, Indiana University, 1991.
  • New Orleans Public Library African American Resource Center
    • While its scope covers the African diaspora in the Americas, this Center includes resources for local history.
  • Rankin, David Connell. The Forgotten People: Free People of Color in New Orleans, 1850-1870. Ph. D. thesis, Johns Hopkins University, 1976.
  • Reddick, Lawrence Dunbar. The Negro in the New Orleans Press, 1850-1860: a Study in Attitudes and Propaganda. Ph. D. thesis, University of Chicago, 1939.
  • Ricard, Ulysses S., Jr. African Americans in Louisiana: Selected Works along with Some Genealogical References. New Orleans, La.: Chicory Society of Afro-Louisiana History and Culture, c1989.
  • Rogers, Kim Lacey. Humanity and Desire: Civil Rights Leaders and the Desegregation of New Orleans, 1954-1966. Ph. D. thesis, University of Minnesota, 1982.
  • Rogers, Kim Lacy. Righteous Lives: Narratives of the New Orleans Civil Rights Movement. New York: New York University Press, c1993.
  • Rohrer, John H., and Munro S. Edmonson, eds. The Eighth Generation Grows Up: Cultures and Personalities of New Orleans Negroes. Co-authors: Harold Lief, Daniel Thompson, and William Thompson. New York: Harper & Row, 1964.
  • Roussève, Charles Barthelemy. The Negro in Louisiana: Aspects of His History and His Literature. New Orleans: Xavier University Press, 1937.
  • Roussève, Charles Barthelemy. The Negro in New Orleans. New Orleans: Archives of Negro History, c1969.
  • Roux, Vincent M., and Kenneth D. Roux, comps. Louisiana’s Households of Free People of Color Residing outside of Orleans Parish & the City of New Orleans in 1810 & 1820. San Francisco: V.M. Roux, c1995.
    • Records extracted from the 1810 and 1820 U.S. Census.
  • Sancton, Tom. Song for My Fathers: a New Orleans Story in Black and White. New York: Other Press, c2006.
  • Sandel, Mary Eleanor. Black Names in Louisiana. Louisiana?: M.E. Williams, c1992.
  • Schafer, Judith Kelleher. Becoming Free, Remaining Free: Manumission and Enslavement in New Orleans, 1846-1862. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c2003.
  • Smith, Michael P. Mardi Gras Indians. Foreword by Alan Govenar. Gretna, La.: Pelican Pub. Co., 1994.
  • Smith, Michael P. The “Mardi Gras Indians” and the New Orleans Second-Line. New Orleans, La.: New Orleans Urban Folklife Society, 1992.
  • Smith, Michael P. Spirit World: Pattern in the Expressive Folk Culture of Afro-American New Orleans: Photographs and Journal. Introd. by Nicholas R. Spitzer. 1st ed. New Orleans, LA: New Orleans Urban Folklife Society, 1984.
    • “An exhibition and catalog sponsored by the Louisiana State Museum and the Amistad Research Center under a major grant by the Louisiana Committee for the Humanities.”
  • Sterkx, H.E. The Free Negro in Ante-Bellum Louisiana. Rutherford N. J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press‚ 1972
  • Tallant, Robert. Voodoo in New Orleans. 1st Collier Books ed. New York: Collier Books; London: Collier-Macmillan, 1962, c1946.
  • Tulane University Special Collections: William Ransom Hogan Jazz Archive
    • Sound recordings of music and oral histories; photography and film illustrating the history of jazz; manuscripts, sheet music, and publications from around the world about jazz and the people who have created it.
  • Vincent, Charles, ed. The African American Experience in Louisiana. Lafayette, La.: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1999-2000.
  • Vincent, Charles. Black Legislators in Louisiana during Reconstruction. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University‚ 1976.
  • Walker, Daniel E. No More, No More: Slavery and Cultural Resistance in Havana and New Orleans. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, c2004.


(see also Italian)

Among the immigrants who came to New Orleans from Sicily during the late 19th and early 20th centuries were the Arbreshe of the village of Contessa Entellina. The Arbreshe, or Gheghi, were descended from Albanian refugees who had settled in Sicily during the 15th century. They were Byzantine Catholics and continued to speak a distinctive language. Prior to Katrina, New Orleans had the greatest concentration of Contessioti in the US. The well-known local Italian-American family of Schiro, for example, traces its roots to Contessa Entellina.


(see also Chinese)
(see also Filipino)
(see also South Asian)
(see also Thai)
(see also Vietnamese)

People of East, Southeast, and South Asian descent live throughout the New Orleans metropolitan area, particularly in the suburbs. In addition to reflecting a mixture of American assimilation and the awareness of specific cultural traditions, these Asian Americans also bond together based on themes of common heritage and concerns.

The first Asian Heritage Festival since Hurricane Katrina was held 21 April 2007.

  • Asian Pacific American Society of New Orleans (APASNewOrleans)
    • Members include New Orleanians with roots in Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, the Philippines, Indonesia, Korea, China, Taiwan, India, Bangladesh and Malaysia. Within less than a year of the December 2004 Asian tsunami, this organization had to turn its efforts from relief work in Asia to post-Katrina work with its own members. (2011 update Since 2006, APAS has renewed its activities; for example, it organizes an annual Asian Heritage Festival in New Orleans.)
  • University of New Orleans. Center for the Pacific Rim. The Asian Peoples of South Louisiana an Ethnohistory. New Orleans University of New Orleans, 1990.


A few British came to New Orleans during the colonial period, but they were not prominent as a group. The most notorious British individual associated with the colonial city was John Law, a Scot working for the French monarchy, but he just set up the financial scheme associated with its establishment (the Company of the West, later the Company of the Indies) and never lived in Louisiana.

The area north of Lake Pontchartrain, which was part of West Florida and is sometimes referred to as “the Florida parishes,” was taken over by the British in 1763. While it was taken over again by the Spanish, then declared a republic in 1810, British settlers remained in the area, including retired soldiers and Tories from the rebelling thirteen colonies. The history and ethnic background of this part of southeastern Louisiana is therefore somewhat distinctive.

During the 19th century, more British immigrants arrived in New Orleans. Some had already lived in other parts of the US and settled, together with US-born migrants, in neighborhoods and communities upriver from the French Quarter. (Still others entered the country through the port of New Orleans but did not stay in the city.) Many residents of English and Scottish origin were active in the booming commerce of pre-Civil-War New Orleans, being well represented in the cotton trade — particularly with Liverpool — shipping interests, and insurance. Ties were maintained with British-based firms. Anglo-Americans also increasingly occupied positions of local political leadership.

New Orleanians of British origin made some significant contributions to the community. One notable example, James Henry Caldwell (1793-1863), an immigrant from Manchester (via Virginia), was one of the developers of the Faubourg St. Mary, now the city’s central business district. He also built and managed the first English-language theatre in the city, introduced gas lighting in the 1820s and 1830s, and became a prominent bank president and politician. Another was Hull-born architect Thomas K. Wharton. A number of the grandest mansions of the Garden District were built for immigrants from Britain. Business leaders with British roots were among the founders of the city’s earliest and most prestigious Mardi Gras organizations, such as the Mystick Krewe of Comus (formed in 1857 and initially associated with the Pickwick Club) and the Krewe of Rex (formed in 1872 by members of the Boston Club).

A number of immigrants from the UK have come to New Orleans during the 20th and 21st centuries, drawn by the distinctive culture, career opportunities, or both.

  • Caledonian Society of New Orleans – connected with Scottish Country Dancing, Highland Dancing groups, and other Scottish cultural events.
  • (The Society’s headquarters are at 8131 Cohn Street in New Orleans.)
  • Celtic Society of Louisiana
  • A statewide organization with headquarters in Baton Rouge.
  • De Ville, Winston. British Burials and Births on the Gulf Coast Records of the Church of England in West Florida, 1768-1770. Ville Platte, La. W. De Ville, 1986.
  • De Ville, Winston. English Land Grants in West Florida a Register for the States of Alabama, Mississippi, and Parts of Florida and Louisiana, 1766-1776. Ville Platte, La. W. De Ville, 1986.
  • The English-Speaking Union of the United States New Orleans Branch
    • Local branch of an international organisation that supports educational and cultural activities celebrating the English language as a global unifier. The New Orleans branch has sponsored visiting British speakers and performing artists.
  • Hostetler, Paul Smith. James H. Caldwell Theatre Manager. Ph. D. thesis, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, 1964.
  • St. Andrew Society of Louisiana (founded 1807 in New Orleans, per Web page of St. Andrew Society of Baton Rouge)


(see also Asian)

A very small number of Chinese immigrants lived in southeastern Louisiana prior to the U.S. Civil War (some with anglicized or Spanish names). With the emancipation of the slaves and the end of that war, groups of Chinese laborers were brought in through New Orleans to work on sugar plantations in Louisiana and Arkansas. Some of them came from Cuba and spoke Spanish. A number of them became cotton mill workers.

By the mid-1870s and 1880s, more Chinese immigrants were settling in New Orleans itself. In addition to working in Chinese importing companies, they worked as cigar makers and sellers, grocers, restauranteurs, and other types of retail entrepreneurs. They were particularly noted for the numerous Chinese hand laundries. The arrival of groups of Chinese and Chinese-American women from 1894 made possible the establishment of a more stable, if still small, Chinese-American community in the city. While they lived throughout the city, a cluster of businesses and social and religious institutions formed a small Chinatown section in downtown New Orleans, which which was identifiable until 1937.

The New Orleans Public Library has made available a list of Chinese businesses in the city in 1897.

During the 20th century, the Chinese Americans, like a number of other ethnic groups, tended to migrate outwards to the suburbs. Perhaps the best-known local Chinese American was the late Harry Lee, a long-time Jefferson Parish Sheriff.

Outside of the city, from the 1870s into the 20th century, Chinese and Filipino immigrants worked as shrimp dryers along coastal southeastern Louisiana.

(source: Campanella, Richard. Geographies of New Orleans: Urban Fabrics before the Storm. Lafayette, La.: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Louisiana at Lafayette 2006)

Croatian / Dalmatian

Drago's Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar
Drago’s Restaurant, on North Arnoult Road in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie (Jefferson Parish), run by father and son Drago and Tommy Cvitanovich. Croatian-American oyster harvesters have supplied its most famous specialty for decades. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley

Croatians settled especially in Plaquemines and Lower St. Bernard parishes, southeast of New Orleans, where their descendants continue to live, often working as fishers. Some also live along the Pearl River, on the Louisiana-Mississippi border. (A group extremely hard-hit by Katrina and to some extent by Rita.)

  • Lovrich, Frank M. The Social System of a Rural Yugoslav-American Community: Oysterville. San Francisco: R and E Research Associates, 1971. Reprint of the author’s Ph. D. thesis, South Dakota State College, 1963.
  • Pejovic, Luka M. Jugosloveni na Jugu. Sveska 2: Louisiana. Texas. Mississippi. New Orleans: s.n., 1935. (printed: New Orleans: Dameron-Pierson). Includes section in English, with running titles: Yugoslavs in the South, and, A glimpse of New Orleans.
  • R. Christopher Goodwin and Associates. An Ethnohistory of Yugoslavs in Louisiana: Short Report. Prepared for National Park Service, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park. New Orleans?: National Park Service, 1988.
  • Riden, Carl Marie. Staying In or Getting Out: Social Capital and Occupational Decision-Making among Louisiana’s Croatian Oyster Harvesters. Ph. D. thesis, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, 2003.
  • Vujnovich, Milos M. Yugoslavs in Louisiana. Gretna La.: Pelican Pub. Co., 1974 Reprint ed.: Gretna, La.: Pelican Pub. Co., 2000.
  • Ware, Carolyn. “Croatians in Southeastern Louisiana: Overview.” Reproduced from Louisiana Folklife Miscellany, 1996.


Common maritime interests, a proximity to offshore oil deposits, and a similarly vulnerable, low-lying situation have brought the Netherlands and New Orleans together at different times during their history. In addition to the shipping industry, during the heyday of the oil industry in the 1960s and 1970s, many Dutch citizens connected with Royal Dutch Shell came to work in the city.

The Wood pumps — designed by New Orleans engineer A. Baldwin Wood in 1913-1915 to improve the pumping and drainage of land in New Orleans below sea level — served as a model for 20th-century Dutch pumps. In turn, following Hurricane Katrina, city and state officials and engineers seeking enlightenment on ways to improve the hurricane and flood protection of Southeastern Louisiana visited the Netherlands on a fact-finding mission.

  • Holland Club of New Orleans
    • Founded 1957. Membership in this Holland Club is open to Dutch immigrants, New Orleanians of Dutch descent, and others interested in the Netherlands. Among the festivities celebrated are the April observance of the “Queen’s Birthday,” a St. Nicholas Day Sinterklaas party, and Cajun- and Indonesian-themed pot-luck suppers. The organisation survived Katrina, has a calendar of events lined up for 2006, and is planning for its 50-year anniversary in 2007.
    • A bilingual English-Dutch newsletter, entitled The Holland Club of New Orleans, is available on its Web site.


(see also Asian)

There is evidence that during the 1760s, under Spanish rule, the shores of Lake Borgne, east of New Orleans, were the location of the first Asian settlement in what later became the US, made by a group of Filipinos. By the 1870s, Filipinos, along with Chinese, were among the shrimp dryers living in the coastal areas of Louisiana, where one community was named Manila Village and another Saint Malo. Changing eating and shipping patterns led to the decline of this industry in the 20th century, and a deserted Manila Village was wiped out during Hurricane Betsy in 1965.

The 2004 census update recorded 6801 Filipinos in Louisiana, most of them in the southeast. There was a Filipino consulate general in New Orleans. (source: The Filipino Express Online date not in downloaded, forwarded version

Local festivals include the Filipino Santa Cruzan / Flores de Mayo celebration and the Fiesta Filipina.

  • Espina, Marina E. Filipinos in Louisiana. New Orleans: A. F. Laborde & Sons, 1988. (cited in )
  • New Orleans Filipino-American Lions Club
    • Chartered in 1987, this association represents members from throughout the New Orleans metropolitan area. Its regular events include the annual Fiesta Filipina and a Mardi Gras ball.

French, French-Speaking and Creole

Storefront: La Boulangerie
An authentic French bakery on Magazine Street in Uptown New Orleans, La Boulangerie, run by first-generation immigrants. Notice the fleur-de-lys-inspired croissant logo. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley
Tee-Eva's Creole Soul Food shop and mural
Tee-Eva’s Creole Soul Food shop, on Magazine Street in Uptown New Orleans. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley
Sign: Prere de ne pas stationner devant cette porte
Parking sign in the French Quarter. Photo courtesy of R. Hacken

Many French settled in New Orleans during the colonial period; some arrived directly from France, while others came from Canada or the West Indies. The original groups following the city’s foundation included more-or-less involuntary immigrants such as convicts, indentured servants, rounded-up vagrants, and former prostitutes, together with speculators enthused by John Law’s financial enterprise. The Ursulines, who arrived in the city in 1727, took young, marriageable women from respectable French families under their care and established a convent, hospital, school, and orphanage, thus helping to develop a more stable population.

From 1765 through 1785, Acadians exiled from Canada came to Louisiana, although most settled in rural areas west of New Orleans. The late 18th century and beginning of the 19th brought many French-speaking immigrants to the city who were fleeing unrest in revolutionary France and/or the revolt in Saint-Domingue.

French and francophone immigrants continued to arrive through the first half of the 19th century, sometimes via the West Indies. A number of New Orleanians maintained ties with extended family members in France and returned there for part of their

In recent decades, some of the French who came as students or tourists have ended up staying in a city perceived as a French cultural outpost.

Creoles: In colonial New Orleans, native-born New Orleanians (“criollos” or “creoles” as opposed to those fresh off the boat from Europe), whether of French, Spanish, African, or Amerindian descent, tended to mix freely with one another, resulting in a cultural and racial mixture later also termed “Creole.” In New Orleans, one does not speak as much about “French-Americans,” “Spanish-Americans,” etc., as about “old Creole families,” who typically spoke French, sometimes into the 20th century, have retained French surnames, and are Catholic. In the days of Jim Crow laws, some of these families ended up being classified as “white” while others were classified strictly as “Negro,” projecting backwards racial dichotomies inconsistent with much of the city’s complex history and ethnicities.

  • L’Abeille de la Nouvelle Orléans
    • The New Orleans Bee / L’Abeille de la Nouvelle-Orléans was a French language newspaper published in New Orleans beginning on September 1, 1827. An English section was added three months later. The newspaper continued as a dual language publication until 1872 when the English portion was dropped and once again it became French only. Briefly (1829-1830) there was also a Spanish language section. The New Orleans Bee was originally published three times a week, but became a daily after a few years. Publication ceased in 1925.
  • Acadie tropicale: poésie de Louisiane. Photos de Philip Gould. Lafayette, La. Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, c1983.
  • Adams, Ben Avis. A Study of Indexes of Assimilation of the Creole People in New Orleans. M.A. thesis, Tulane University, 1939.
  • Allain, Helene d’Aquin. Souvenirs d’Amérique et de France. Par une Créole. Paris: Bourguet-Calas‚ (1883).
  • Allain, Mathé and Barry Ancelet. Littérature française de la Louisiane: anthologie. Bedford, N.H.: National Materials Development Center for French, 1981.
  • Anthony, Arthe Agnes. The Negro Creole Community in New Orleans, 1880-1920: an Oral History. Ph. D. thesis, University of California at Irvine, 1978.
  • Archives nationales (France). Inventaire des Archives coloniales: correspondance à l’arrivée en provenance de la Louisiane. Compiled by Marie-Antoinette Menier, Etienne Taillemite, and Gilberte de Forges. Paris: Archives nationales: Diffusion la Documentation française, 1976-1983. 2 v.
  • Barrois, Anna, comp. The Old Ursuline Convent, 1734-1972. New Orleans, 1973.
  • Baudier, Roger. Through Portals of the Past: the Story of the Old Ursuline Convent of New Orleans. New Orleans: s.n.,1955.
  • Beers, Henry Putney. French and Spanish Records of Louisiana: A Bibliographical Guide to Archive and Manuscript Sources. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c1989.
  • Bénard de La Harpe, Jean-Baptiste. Historical Journal of the Establishment of the French in Louisiana. Translated by Olivia Blanchard. New Orleans: Survey of Federal Archives in Louisiana, 1940.
  • Bell, Caryn Cossé. Revolution, Romanticism, and the Afro-Creole Protest Tradition in Louisiana, 1718-1868. Baton Rouge; London: Louisiana State University Press, c1997.
    • Reprint ed.: Louisiana pbk. ed. Baton Rouge; London: Louisiana State University Press, 2004.
  • Benfey, Christopher E. G. Degas in New Orleans: Encounters in the Creole World of Kate Chopin and George Washington Cable. New York: Knopf, 1997.
  • Binder, Wolfgang, ed. Creoles and Cajuns: French Louisiana (La Louisiane française). Frankfurt am Main; New York: Peter Lang, c1998.
  • Brasseaux, Carl A. The “Foreign French”: Nineteenth-Century French Immigration into Louisiana. 3 vols. to date, covering 1820-1852 (Vol. 3 pub. 1993). Lafayette, La.: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, c1990-
  • Brasseaux, Carl A. France’s Forgotten Legion: Service Records of French Military and Administrative Personnel Stationed in the Mississippi Valley and Gulf Coast Region, 1699-1769. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c2000. CD-ROM with printed introductory text.
  • Brasseaux, Carl A. French, Cajun, Creole, Houma: a Primer on Francophone Louisiana. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c2005.
  • Brasseaux, Carl A. and Glenn R. Conrad. The Road to Louisiana: the Saint-Domingue Refugees, 1792-1809. With translations by David Cheramie. Lafayette, La.: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1992.
  • Cable, George Washington. The Creoles of Louisiana. Introd. and notes by Arlin Turner. 1884. Reprint ed.: New York: Garrett Press, 1970.
  • Cable, George Washington. The Dance in Place Congo & Creole Slave Songs; Containing also The Congo Dance. New Orleans: Faruk von Turk, 1974.
    • The Cable articles first appeared in the Century Magazine, 1886; “The Congo Dance” appeared in Kunkel’s Musical Review, 1884.
  • Caulfeild, Ruby Van Allen. The French Literature of Louisiana. New York: Institute of French Studies, Columbia University, 1929.
  • Centre des archives diplomatiques de Nantes. Présence française en Louisiane au XIXe siècle. Nantes: Médiathèque de la ville de Nantes, 1992. Exhibition catalogue.
  • Childs, Frances Sergeant. French Refugee Life in the United States, 1790-1800: an American Chapter of the French Revolution. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1940.
  • Clark, Emily. Masterless Mistresses: the New Orleans Ursulines and the Development of a New World Society, 1727-1834. Williamsburg, Va.: Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture; Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007.
  • Claudel, Calvin Andre, trans. Louisiana Creole Poems. Edited by Sue Walker. Mobile, Ala.: Negative Capability Press, c1981.
  • Conrad, Glenn R., ed. The French Experience in Louisiana. Lafayette, La.: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1995.
    • Council for the Development of French in Louisiana
    • Conseil pour le développement du français en Louisiane
    • Focus on teaching of French language and Francophone culture, maintenance of cultural ties with France; also addresses history of French descendents in Louisiana.
  • Cowan, James L., comp. La marseillaise noire et autres poèmes français des Créoles de couleur de la Nouvelle-Orléans (1862-1869). Illustrations de Philippe-Henri Turin. Lyon: Editions du cosmogone, c2001.
  • Créole Classique: Music for a New Orleans Soirée. Premiering works by French/Creole composers: Basile Barès, Edouard Deéjan, Anthony Peter Moore, Eugène Prévost, and Samuel Snaër. New Orleans, LA: Gumbo People Products, p2000. Music CD.
    • French and Spanish music performed by descendants of Louisiana Creoles and presented as it might have been at a Creole soiree in 19th century New Orleans with a special emphasis on Louisiana composers known or suspected to have been “racially mixed.” Includes both classical and popular works.
  • Dawdy, Shannon Lee. La ville sauvage: “Enlightened” Colonialism and Creole Improvisation in New Orleans, 1699-1769. Ph. D. thesis, University of Michigan, 2003.
  • Delanglez, Jean. The French Jesuits in Lower Louisiana (1700-1763). Washington, D. C.: Catholic University of America, 1935.
  • Desdunes, Rodolphe Lucien. Nos hommes et notre histoire: notices biographiques accompagnées de reflexions et de souvenirs personnels, hommage à la population créole, en souvenir des grands hommes qu’elle a produits et des bonnes choses qu’elle a accomplies. Montréal: Arbour & Dupont, 1911.
    • English translation: Desdunes, Rodolphe Lucien. Our People and Our History: Fifty Creole Portraits. Translated and edited by Dorothea Olga McCants. Louisiana pbk. ed.
    • aton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2001.
  • De Ville, Winston. French Troops in the Mississippi Valley and on the Gulf Coast, 1745. Ville Platte, La.: s.n., 1986.
  • Domínguez, Virginia R. White by Definition: Social Classification in Creole Louisiana. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, c1986. Published version of author’s Ph. D. dissertation (Yale, 1979) Behind the Semantic Curtain: Social Classification in Creole Louisiana.
  • Dormon, James H. Creoles of Color of the Gulf South. 1st ed. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, c1996.
  • Edwards, Jay Dearborn and Nicolas Kariouk Pecquet du Bellay de Verton. A Creole Lexicon: Architecture, Landscape, People. Illustrations by William Brockway, Charles Funderburk, Mary Lee Eggart. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c2004.
  • Fandrich, Ina Johanna. The Mysterious Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveaux: a Study of Powerful Female Leadership in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans. New York: Routledge, 2005.
  • Fiehrer, Thomas. “The African Presence in Colonial Louisiana: an Essay on the Continuity of Caribbean Culture,” in Macdonald, Robert R., John R. Kemp, and Edward F. Haas, general eds. Louisiana’s Black Heritage. New Orleans: Louisiana State Museum, c1979.
  • From La La to Zydeco.:Produced by Robert Willey. Lafayette, La.: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, c2005. DVD: 1 videodisc.
    • “Combines cinema vérité musical performance to present a joyful portrait of Louisiana Creole culture and their fast-paced music known as Zydeco. Shows the music performed by various performers.” (includes southwestern LA)
  • Gayarré, Charles. The Creoles of History and the Creoles of Romance: a Lecture Delivered in the Hall of the Tulane University, New Orleans by the Hon. Charles Gayarré on the 25th of April, 1885. New Orleans: C. E. Hopkins, (1885).
    • An articulation of the late-19th-century notion of racial “purity” among “white Creoles,” presented here as history (even though it was inconsistent with the speaker’s own experiences). Partly intended as a rebuttal to George Washington Cable’s writings.
  • Griolet, Patrick. Cadjins et créoles en Louisiane: histoire et survivance d’une francophonie. Paris: Payot, 1986.
  • Hachard, Marie-Madeleine. Relation du voyage des dames religieuses Ursulines de Rouen à la Nouvelle-Orléans. Rouen: Antoine le Provost, 1728.
    • Composed of 4 letters and a “Relation,” which, in the opinion of the editor of the 1872 ed. (G. Gravier), were written under instructions from the Mother Superior of the author’s convent, Mother Marie Tranchepain de St. Augustin (or St. Augustin de Tranchepain).
    • Reprint ed.: Relation du voyage des religieuses Ursulines de Rouen à la Nouvelle-Orléans en 1727. Précédée d’une notice par Paul Baudry. Rouen: H. Boissel, 1865.
    • Reprint ed.: Relation du voyage des dames religieuses Ursulines de Rouen à la Nouvelle-Orléans. Ed. par Gabriel Gravier. Paris: Maisonneuve, etc., 1872.
    • Reprint ed.: De Rouen á la Louisiane: voyage d’une Ursuline en 1727. Avant-propos de J.-P. Chaline. Rouen: Association d’êtudes normandes, c1988.
    • English translation: Voyage of the Ursuline Nuns to New Orleans. Translated from the French of Gabriel Gravier by Olivia Blanchard. New Orleans: Survey of Federal Archives in Louisiana, 1940.
    • English translation: The Letters of Marie Madeleine Hachard, 1727-28. Translated by Myldred Masson Costa.1st ed. New Orleans: s.n., 1974.
    • English translation: Voices from an Early American Convent: Marie Madeleine Hachard and the New Orleans Ursulines, 1727-1760. Edited by Emily Clark. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c2007.
  • Hall, Gwendolyn Midlo. Africans in Colonial Louisiana: the Development of Afro-Creole Culture in the Eighteenth Century. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c1992.
  • Hamel, Réginald. La Louisiane créole: littéraire, politique et sociale, 1762-1900. 2 vols. Ottawa: Les Editions Lemeac, 1984.
  • Hanger, Kimberly S. Bounded Lives, Bounded Places: Free Black Society in Colonial New Orleans, 1769-1803. Durham, (N.C.) ; London: Duke University Press, 1997.
  • Hanger, Kimberly S. Personas de Varias Clases y Colores: Free People of Color in Spanish New Orleans, 1769-1803. Ph. D. thesis, University of Florida, 1991.
  • Hankins, Jonn Ethan and Steven Maklansky, eds. Raised to the Trade: Creole Building Arts of New Orleans. Essays by Mora J. Beauchamp-Byrd et al. New Orleans: New Orleans Museum of Art, 2002.
  • Hauck, Philomena. Bienville: Father of Louisiana. Lafayette, La.: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1998.
  • Heaney, Jane Frances. A Century of Pioneering: a History of the Ursuline Nuns in New Orleans, 1727-1827. Ed. Mary Ethel Booker Siefken. New Orleans: Ursuline Sisters of New Orleans, Louisiana, c1993. Published version of the author’s Ph. D. thesis, St. Louis University.
  • Herrin, M. H. The Creole Aristocracy: a Study of the Creole of Southern Louisiana, His Origin, His Accomplishments, His Contributions to the American Way of Life. New York: Exposition Press, 1952.
  • Hirsch, Arnold R. Dutch Morial: Old Creole in the New South. New Orleans: College of Urban & Public Affairs, University of New Orleans, (1990).
    • Political study of Ernest “Dutch” Morial, the first African-American mayor of New Orleans.
  • Historic New Orleans Collection. Common Routes: St. Domingue-Louisiana: a Comprehensive Look at the History of St. Domingue (Haiti) and the Impact of its Revolution on Louisiana. New Orleans?: Dreamsite Productions, c2005. DVD of a film by Walter Williams.
  • Historic New Orleans Collection. Common Routes: St. Domingue-Louisiana: The Historic New Orleans Collection, March 14-June 30, 2006. Ed. Lynn D. Adams. New Orleans: The Historic New Orleans Collection; Paris: Somogy Art Publishers, c2006. Exhibition catalogue.
  • Holtman, Robert B. and Glenn R. Conrad, eds. French Louisiana: a Commemoration of the French Revolution Bicentennial.
    • afayette, La.: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, c1989.
  • Houzeau, Jean-Charles. My Passage at the New Orleans Tribune: a Memoir of the Civil War Era. Edited, with an introd., by David C. Rankin; translated by Gerard F. Denault. Louisiana pbk. ed. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2001.
    • Translation of: Mon passage à la Tribune de la Nouvelle-Orléans.
    • The New Orleans Tribune / Tribune de la Nouvelle-Orléans was the first African-American daily newspaper in the US.
  • Huber, Leonard Victor. Creole Collage: Reflections on the Colorful Customs of Latter-Day New Orleans Creoles. Lafayette, La.: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, c1980.
    • Based largely on sketches written 1933-1960 by Roger Baudier.
  • Kein, Sybil, ed. Creole: the History and Legacy of Louisiana’s Free People of Color. Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2000.
  • Kein, Sybil. Gumbo People. Illustrations by Diane M. Deruise. Rev. expanded ed. New Orleans, La.: Margaret Media, c1981. Added title page (p. ix)
    • Gombo people : poésie créole de la Nouvelle-Orléans / par Sybil Kein = Gombo people : New Orleans Creole Poetry / by Sybil Kein; introduction, French Creole editing, glossary and linguistic notes by Ulysses S. Ricard, Jr.; cover design and illustration by Diane M. Deruise.
    • Poems in Louisiana French Creole and English. Section three: Contributions of the Creoles, in English.
  • King, Grace. Creole Families of New Orleans. Illustrations by E. Woodward. New York: Macmillan, 1921.
  • Labarre St. Martin, Gérard and Jacqueline K. Voorhies, eds. Ecrits louisianais du dix-neuvième siècle: nouvelles, contes et fables. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c1979.
  • Lanusse, Armand, comp. Les cenelles: choix de poésies indigènes. Nouvelle Orléans: H. Lauve, 1845. Later ed. (20th century)
  • Lanusse, Armand, comp. Creole Voices: Poems in French by Free Men of Color: First Published in 1845. Edited by Edward Maceo Coleman. A Centennial ed. Washington, D.C.: Associated Publishers, 1945.
    • English translation: Latortue, Regine and Gleason Rex Adams, trans. Les Cenelles: a Collection of Poems of Creole Writers of the Early Nineteenth Century. Boston: G.K. Hall, c1979. Later ed. (21st century)
  • Lanusse, Armand, comp. Les cenelles: choix de poésies indigènes. Texte établi par Mia D. Reamer. 1. éd. Les Cahiers du Tintamarre. Shreveport : Les Editions Tintamarre, 2003.
  • Latortue, François. Haiti (ex Saint-Domingue) et la Louisiane: leurs liaisons passées et leurs rôles dans l’émergence du colosse américain. Port-au-Prince, Haïti: Bibliothèque nationale d’Haïti, (2001).
  • Laussat, Pierre-Clément de. Memoirs of My Life to My Son during the Years 1803 and After, which I Spent in Public Service in Louisiana as Commissioner of the French Government for the Retrocession to France of that Colony and for its Transfer to the United States. Translated from the French, with an introd. by Agnes-Josephine Pastwa ; ed. by Robert D. Bush. Baton Rouge: Published for the Historic New Orleans Collection by the Louisiana State University Press, c1978.
    • Translation of: Mémoires sur ma vie.
  • Lauvrière, Emile. Histoire de la Louisiane française, 1673-1939. Paris: G.-P. Maisonneuve, 1940. Another ed.: University, La.: Louisiana State University Press, 1940.
  • Louder, Dean R. Vieux-Carré et Vieux-Québec: Urban Vestiges of French America? :S.l.: Projet Louisiane, 1978.
  • Maguire, Robert E. Hustling to Survive: Social and Economic Change in a South Louisiana Black Creole Community. S.I., s.n., 1989.
  • Marigny, Bernard. Mémoire de Bernard Marigny, habitant de la Louisiane: addréssée à ses concitoyens. Paris: Trouvé, 1822.
  • Martin, Gilbert E. The Creole Story: an Historical Handbook. New Orleans, La.: Mandingo Press, c1986.
  • Melancon, Megan Elizabeth. The Sociolinguistic Situation of Creoles in South Louisiana: Identity, Characteristics, Attitudes. Ph. D. thesis, Louisiana State University, 2000.
  • Michaelides, Chris. Paroles d’honneur: écrits de Créoles de couleur néo-orleanais, 1837-1872. Ed. critique. Shreveport: Editions Tintamarre, 2004.
  • Náñez Falcón, Guillermo, ed. The Favrot Family Papers: a Documentary Chronicle of Early Louisiana. 5 vols. – Vol. 5 edited by Wilbur E. Meneray. New Orleans: Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane, 1988-2001.
  • New Orleans Tribune / Tribune de la Nouvelle-Orléans. New Orleans, La.: L.C. Roudanez, 1864-1870.
    • The first African-American daily newspaper in the US
  • Ochs, Stephen J. A Black Patriot and a White Priest: André Cailloux and Claude Paschal Maistre in Civil War New Orleans. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2000.
  • O’Neill, Charles Edwards. Viel: Louisiana’s Firstborn Author with Evandre, the First Literary Creation of a Native of the Mississippi Valley. Lafayette, La.: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, c1991.
  • Owen, Lyla Hay. Créoles of New Orleans: People of Color (gens de couleur). Photographs by Owen Murphy. New Orleans: First Quarter Pub. Co., c1987.
  • Pénicaut, André. Fleur de lys and Calumet: Being the Pénicaut Narrative of French Adventure in Louisiana. Translated and edited by Richebourg Gaillard McWilliams. Tuscaloosa, Ala.: University of Alabama Press, (1988), c1981.
  • Puech. Odyssey of a Santo Domingan Creole: a Sprightly Account of American Manners by a Refugee from Haiti. Edited and translated by Edward Larocque Tinker. Worcester, Mass: American Antiquarian Society, 1957. Reprinted from the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, April 1957.
  • Rodriguez, J. Défense fulminante contre la violation des droits des peuples. La Nouvelle-Orléans: s.n., 1827.
  • St. Augustin de Tranchepain, mère. Relation du voyage des premières Ursulines à la Nouvelle-Orléans et de leur établissement en cette ville. Avec les lettres circulaires de quelques unes de ses sœurs, et de la dite mère. Nouvelle York, isle de Manate: De la Presse Cramoisy de Jean-Marie Shea, 1859.
    • In the opinion of Gabriel Gravier, probably written by Marie-Madeleine Hachard under instructions from the mother superior of the convent, Mother Marie Tranchepain de St. Augustin (or St. Augustin de Tranchepain).
    • English translation: Journal of the Voyage of the First Ursulines to New Orleans, 1727. Trans. Olivia Blanchard. New Orleans: Survey of Federal Archives in Louisiana, 1940.
  • Séligny, Michel. Homme libre de couleur de la Nouvelle-Orléans: nouvelles et récits. Compilation, introduction et notes par Frans C. Amelinckx Sainte-Foy, Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval, c1998.
  • Shapiro, Norman R. Creole Echoes: the Francophone Poetry of Nineteenth-Century Louisiana. Introduction and notes by M. Lynn Weiss. Urbana Ill.: University of Illinois Press, c2004.
  • Smith-Thibodeaux, John. Les francophones de Louisiane. Paris: Editions Entente, c1977
  • Spitzer, Nicholas R. Zydeco and Mardi Gras: Creole Identity and Performance Genres in Rural French Louisiana. Ph. D. thesis, University of Texas at Austin, 1986.
  • Stacey, Truman. Louisiana’s French Heritage. Lafayette, La.: Acadian House, c1990.
  • Tinker, Edward Larocque. Bibliography of the French Newspapers and Periodicals of Louisiana. Worcester, Mass.: American Antiquarian Society, 1933.
    • Supplement to the author’s Les écrits de langue française en Louisiane au XIXe siècle.
  • Tinker, Edward Larocque. Les écrits de langue française en Louisiane au XIXe siècle: essais biographiques et bibliographiques. Paris: H. Champion, 1932 (i. e. 1933).
  • Tinker, Edward Larocque. Gombo, the Creole Dialect of Louisiana: Together with a Bibliography. Worcester, Mass.: American Antiquarian Society, 1936. Reprinted from the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, April 1935.
  • Toups, Neil J. Mississippi Valley Pioneers. Lafayette, La.: Neilson Pub. Co.‚ 1970.
  • West, Christopher. A Selective Bibliography of Books, Articles, Theses, Dissertations, and Phonodiscs Pertaining to the New Orleans’ Black Créoles. Santa Cruz, California: s.n., 1980.
  • Woods, Frances Jerome. Marginality and Identity: a Colored Creole Family through Ten Generations. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University‚ 1972.

German and German-Speaking

Sign: Haydel's Bakery, since 1959
The descendants of 18th century German immigrant, Hans Jacob Heidel, set up this bakery on Jefferson Highway in Metairie (Jefferson Parish). Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley
Reuter's Seeds for the South, Spring 1931, seed packet
A colorful 1931 seed catalogue from the Reuter Seed Company (named for its German founders). Courtesy of Tulane University Special Collections, a division of Howard-Tilton Memorial Library.

There were some colonial-period Germans living in New Orleans, including speculators lured over by John Law’s enterprise. Many other Germans, including Swiss-Germans, colonized an area of farmland along the Mississippi River upriver from the city. The term “German Coast” (Côte des Allemands) is still used for this area in St. Charles and St. John parishes; the town name “Des Allemands” also commemorates German presence, as do place names based on German surnames.

More German immigrants came to New Orleans in the first half of the nineteenth century. While some remained in the New Orleans area, particularly settling in communities just west or south of the city that soon turned into nineteenth-century suburbs, many other Germans entering through the port moved on from New Orleans to more northerly and westerly parts of Louisiana and the US.

During the period 1864-1898, a third wave of German immigration through New Orleans took place; however, most of these arrivals did not remain in the city.

  • Arndt, Karl John Richard. The German Language Press of the Americas. Pullach/München, Verlag Dokumentation (1973- ).
    • List of German newspapers and periodicals published in New Orleans: vol. I, pp. 175-184.
  • Bailey, John. The Lost German Slave Girl: the Extraordinary True Story of Sally Miller and her Fight for Freedom in Old New Orleans. 1st American ed. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, (2005).
  • Blume, Helmut. Die Entwicklung der Kulturlandschaft des Mississippideltas in kolonialer Zeit: unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der deutschen Siedlung. Kiel: Im Selbstverlag des Geographischen Instituts der Universität Kiel, 1956.
    • English translation: The German Coast during the Colonial Era, 1722-1803: the Evolution of a Distinct Cultural Landscape in the Lower Mississippi Delta during the Colonial Era: with Special Reference to the Development of Louisiana’s German Coast. Translated, edited and annotated by Ellen C. Merrill. Destrehan, La.: German-Acadian Coast Historical and Genealogical Society, 1990.
  • Calvert, Raymond Neil. The Establishment of German Catholic Churches in the Diocese of New Orleans During the Administration of Bishop Antoine Blanc, 1835-1860. New Orleans?: the author?, ca. 1980s
  • Conrad, Glenn R. The German Coast: Abstracts of the Civil Records of St. Charles and St. John the Baptist Parishes, 1804-1812. Lafayette, La.: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, c1981.
  • Deiler, J. Hanno. Die ersten Deutschen am unteren Mississippi und die Creolen deutscher Abstammung: Vortrag, gehalten am 16. September 1904 vor dem “Germanistischen Congress” in der Congresshalle der St. Louiser Weltausstellung New Orleans, La.: J. H. Deiler, 1904.
  • Deiler, J. Hanno. Die europäische Einwanderung nach den Vereinigten Staaten von 1820 bis 1896. New Orleans, La.: J.H. Deiler, 1897.
  • Deiler, J. Hanno. Geschichte der Deutschen Gesellschaft von New Orleans: mit einer Einleitung: die europäische Einwanderung nach den Vereinigten Staaten von 1820 bis 1896, New Orleans als Einwandererhafen und die europäische Einwanderung über New Orleans. Bestschrift zum goldenen Jubiläum der Gesellschaft. New Orleans: Im Selbstverlage, 1897.
  • Deiler, J. Hanno. Geschichte der New Orleanser deutschen Presse. Erster Theil. Nebst anderen Denkwürdigkeiten der New Orleanser Deutschen. New Orleans: Im Selbstverlage des Verfassers, 1901.
  • Deiler, J. Hanno. Louisana, ein Heim fur deutsche Ansiedler. Herausgegeben von der Deutschen Gesellschaft von New Orleans. New Orleans: Druck der “New Orleans Deutsche Zeitung”, 1895.
  • Deiler, J. Hanno. The Settlement of the German Coast of Louisiana and the Creoles of German Descent. Philadelphia: American Germanica Press, 1909. Reprint ed.:Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1969.
  • Deiler, J. Hanno. Eine vergessene deutsche Colonie, eine Stimme zur Vertheidigung des Grafen de Leon, alias Proli, alias Bernhard Müller. New Orleans, La., 1900.
  • Deiler, J. Hanno. Zur Geschichte der Deutschen am unteren Mississippi, und der Deutschen Einwanderung über New Orleans. I. Das Redemptionssystem in Louisiana. New Orleans: Im Selbstverlage des Verfassers, 1889. No more published.
  • Deiler, J. Hanno. Zur Geschichte der deutschen Kirchengemeinden im Staate Louisiana: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Deutschen am unteren Mississippi: mit einem Census der New Orleanser deutschen Schulen und der fremdgeborenen Bevölkerung von 1850 bis 1890. New Orleans, La.: Im Selbstverlage des Verfassers, 1894.
    • English translation: A History of the German Churches in Louisiana (1823-1893). Translated and edited by Marie Stella Condon. Lafayette, La.: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, c1983. Reprint ed. of translation: Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992.
  • Deutscher Unterstützungs-Verein. Constitution und Neben-Gesetze des Deutschen Unterstützungs-Vereins von Algiers La.: Organisirt den 29ten April 1879. New Orleans: Druck von Geo. Müller, 1893.
  • Deutsches Haus – Archives of German memorabilia, on extended loan to HNOC
    • Among other activities, a focus is on the Oktoberfest, an annual celebration of German food, wine, music, etc., organised by the German Heritage Festival Association. A German Christmas dinner has also been held.
    • Oktoberfest of 2005 was cancelled, but the Deutsches Haus held its grand post-Katrina re-opening over the last weekend of September 2006, in time for its next Oktoberfest. Oktoberfesters paraded through the French Quarter to its downtown location. For five weekends, the neighborhood rang with Bavarian-and-beer-inspired bands and singers. (2011 update: More recently, the Deutsches Haus has moved to a new location in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, in Jefferson Parish.)
  • Forsyth, Alice D. and Earlene L. Zeringue, comp. and trans. German “Pest Ships,” 1720-1721. New Orleans: Genealogical Research Society of New Orleans, 1969.
  • German-American Cultural Center of New Orleans
    • Located in the historic center of the city of Gretna (in Jefferson Parish), across the Mississippi River from the city of New Orleans itself. Exhibits include 18th- through 20th-century art and artifacts reflecting the life of German immigrants and their descendents in the lower Mississippi River Delta region. Helps to organise a German Beer Garden at the annual Gretna Heritage Festival.
  • The German Churches of New Orleans: an Inventory of Records (as of 29 Jan. 2006, last updated 3/2003)
  • German New Orleans. Produced by Terri Landry; narrated by Eric Paulsen. New Orleans, La.: Greater New Orleans Educational Television Foundation, c2004. DVD: 1 videodisc. — Also issued on videocassette (currently only available as a DVD).
  • German Society of New Orleans. Die Deutsche Gesellschaft von New Orleans = The German Society of New Orleans. One broadside. New Orleans, La.: The German Society, 1885.
    • English text is not a literal translation from the German but rather a general synopsis: “The Society will endeavor to procure cheap and safe passages to those bound for the interior; and by means of their intelligence office, occupation to such as choose to remain in the city.”
    • Other Titles: German Society through their agent, Mr. (blank) tend their services, free of charge, to all immigrants speaking the German language.
  • Kondert, Reinhart. The Germans of Colonial Louisiana, 1720-1803.
    • English translation of Die Deutschen in der Kolonie Louisiana, 1720-1803. Stuttgart: Academic Pub. House, 1990
  • Louisiana. Bureau of Immigration. Auskunft für Einwanderer nach dem Staate Louisiana. New-Orleans: Officiell publicirt von J.C. Rathmann, Chef des Einwanderungs-Bureaus, 1868.
  • Merrill, Ellen C. Germans of Louisiana; foreword by Don Heinrich Tolzmann. Gretna: Pelican Publishing Co., 2005.
  • Nau, John F. The German People of New Orleans, 1850-1900. Hattiesburg: University of Southern Mississippi, n.d.
  • Nau, John Fredrick. The Lutheran Church in Louisiana. M.A. thesis, Tulane University, 1948.
  • Olidé Schexnayder Collection — early photographs of a community along the German Coast:Part of the LOUISiana Digital Library.
  • Reizenstein, Ludwig von, Baron. Die Geheimnisse von New-Orleans: Roman. 5 vols. in 1. New Orleans: G. Lugenbühl und E.H. Bölitz, 1855.
    • Later ed.: Reizenstein, Ludwig von, Baron. Die Geheimnisse von New-Orleans: Roman. Herausgegeben von Steven Rowan. Shreveport: Editions Tintamarre, 2004.
    • English translation: Reizenstein, Ludwig von, Baron. The mysteries of New Orleans, trans. Steven Rowan. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, c2002.
  • Robichaux, Albert J. German Coast Families: European Origins and Settlement in Colonial Louisiana. Rayne, La: Hébert Publications, c1997.
  • Voss, Louis. History of the German Society of New Orleans. New Orleans: Senker Printing Service, 1927.
    • Later edition: Voss, Louis. Louisiana’s German Heritage, ed. Don Heinrich Tolzmann. Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, 1994
  • Voss, Louis. Louisianas Einladung an deutsche Landwirte und Kolonisten: Eine wahrheitsgetreue, auf amtlichen Quellen beruhende und ausführliche Schilderung der Bodenbeschaffenheit, des Klimas, der Gesundheitsverhältnisse, des Erziehungswesens und der Erzeugnisse des Staates. Mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der dortigen deutschen Ansiedelungen und etwa zu gründender Kolonien. 2nd ed. New Orleans: G. Müller, 1907.
  • Westbrook, Laura. In Our Own Words: Reflections on German American Life in Louisiana.
    • On Louisiana Folklife Program, Louisiana’s Living Traditions Web pages, viewed 18 June 2011.


Sign: Greek Beignets & Coffee
A local twist on Greek doughnut-like pastry! Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley
Greek Orthodox Cathedral and reflection in pond
The Greek Orthodox Cathedral on Robert E. Lee Boulevard, along Bayou St. John, in the Gentilly/Lakeview neighborhood. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley
Banner advertising GreekFest 2006
The 33rd annual Greek Festival (2006) was held over Memorial Day weekend on the grounds of the Greek Orthodox cathedral and the Hellenic Cultural Center despite flooding that had hit the church as well as the homes of most of its organisers. Attendance was higher than expected, over 20,000. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley

Greek immigration to New Orleans continued throughout the 19th century and into the 20th, beginning relatively early due to maritime connections. There were enough Greek residents for an association to be formed in the 1840s. The Church was established in 1864 — the oldest Greek Orthodox congregation in the United States.

A Greek-American identity beyond the first-generation immigrants has been maintained more clearly and actively than for most European ethnic groups in New Orleans, probably partly because of the distinctive religious affiliation and church. As of the early 21st century, there are members of this community who still hold property in Greece and speak of retiring there.

One main focus of community activity is the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral. It has sponsored a Festival since 1974, a popular local event attended by many of both Greek and non-Greek descent.

The church is being rebuilt after having been badly flooded following Hurricane Katrina.


A cluster of people of Hungarian descent live in the small Livingston Parish community of Albany.
See also the Gateway to New Orleans website.

A number of refugees from the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 have settled in the New Orleans metropolitan area.

  • The Alexander Bartus Collection on the largest rural Hungarian community in the United States is among those found at the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies.
  • Arceneaux, Anna Kovach, and Witcher, Maxine Miller. Living Heritage Hungarian Folk Songs and Dances. Lafayette Acadiana Music, 1979.
  • Carter, C. Problems of Adult Education Classes Among the Hungarians in Tangipahoa and Livingston Parishes. M.A. thesis, Louisiana State University, 1935.
  • Hungarians of Louisiana
    • A New Orleans-based cultural organization that highlights historical connections between Hungary and Louisiana as well as providing cultural and social activities for its members, such as the May 2007 Hungarian Picnic. “Hungarla” is open to residents of Hungarian ancestry, Hungarian citizens currently in the area, and others interested in Hungarian culture. Its Web site is maintained by the Honorary Consul of Louisiana.
  • Mocsary, Victoria Ann. Arpadhon The Largest Rural Hungarian Settlement in the United States. Hammond, LA Center for Regional Studies, Southeastern Louisiana University, 1990.
  • Romero, Virginia. “Hungarian Folklife in the Florida Parishes of Louisiana.”
    • 2nd ed., reproduced, with minor editorial changes, from chapter in Hungarian Folklife… in the Florida Parishes. Hammond Louisiana Folklife Program, Southeastern Louisiana University Center for Regional Studies, 1988.
  • Romero, Virginia. Hungarian Folklife “The Sweet Taste of Yesterday” in the Florida Parishes of Southeast Louisiana. Hammond Center for Regional Studies, Southeastern Louisiana University, c1987.


Fleur de Lys flag and Irish flag on a porch
Fleur-de-lis and Irish flags around St. Patrick’s Day, on Henry Clay Avenue near Audubon Park in Uptown New Orleans. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley
The Kerry Irish Pub sign
Kerry Irish Pub on Decatur Street in the French Quarter. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley

A few Irish came to New Orleans during the colonial period. One well-known example was Alexander (Alejandro) O’Reilly, a military leader in the employ of the Spanish monarchy, who put down the 1768 rebellion against the Spanish.

Most Irish immigrants came over during the first half of the 19th century. The “Old Irish,” who settled 1800-ca. 1830, tended to be more prosperous, often professionals from Ulster, whereas the “New Irish” arrived ca. 1830-1862, especially during the Potato Famine, and generally worked as manual laborers, such as ditch diggers and dock workers, or as servants. (The New Basin Canal route still has a Celtic cross as a memorial to those who died digging the no-longer-extant canal.) While the Irish lived in various parts of city, one area became known as the “Irish Channel.”

A more recent wave of immigration includes many Irish who moved to New Orleans from the 1970s, including artists, musicians, and proprietors of Irish pubs in the French Quarter. Prior to Katrina, a semi-regular Celtic Nations Festival, organised primarily by Irish immigrants, was held in the New Orleans area every other year or so.

  • Brennan, Patrick. Fever and Fists Forging an Irish Legacy in New Orleans. Ph. D. thesis, University of Missouri-Columbia, 2003.
  • Celtic Society of Louisiana
    • A statewide organization with headquarters in Baton Rouge.
  • Collins, Robert Anderson. The Social Construction of an Ethnic Identity in an Urban Environment an Ethnography of an Irish Public House in the City of New Orleans.Ph. D. thesis, University of New Orleans, 2000. (case study of O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub)
  • Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, New Orleans Branch – “”
    • Focus is on traditional Irish music, song, dance
  • Ellis, E. John. The Irish Question a Speech Delivered before the Land League of the 6th District of New Orleans, at St. Stephen’s Hall, New Orleans, Louisiana, on the Evening of March 17th, 1882. Washington, D.C. R.O. Polkinhorn, 1882.
  • Finn, John. New Orleans Irish Arrivals, Departures. Jefferson, La. J. Finn, 1983. (Printed Kenner, La. Pirogue Press)
  • Finn, John. New Orleans Irish Famine Exiles. Luling, La. Holy Family Church, 1997.
  • Fitzpatrick, John. The Merchant of Manchac the Letterbooks of John Fitzpatrick, 1768-1790. Ed. by Margaret Fisher Dalrymple. Baton Rouge Published for the Baton Rouge Bicentennial Corp. by the Louisiana State University Press, c1978.
  • Irish-Italian Parade
    • A multi-ethnic event that takes advantage of the proximity in dates of St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) and St. Joseph’s Day (March 19).
  • Irish New Orleans a Culturally Authentic Portrait of the Irish in New Orleans. Writer producer, Terri Landry; narrated by Ed Clancy. New Orleans, La. WYES-TV; S.l. First Film and Tape, 1999. DVD 1 videodisc. Also issued on videocassette (currently only available as a DVD).
  • Kelley, Laura D. Erin’s Enterprise Immigration by Appropriation the Irish in Antebellum New Orleans. Ph. D. thesis, Tulane University, 2004.
  • Niehaus, Earl F. The Irish in New Orleans 1800-1860. Baton Rouge Louisiana State University Press, 1965.
    • Reprint ed. New York Arno Press, 1976, c1965. (The Irish Americans)
    • Another reprint ed. North Stratford, NH. Ayer, 1998, c1965.
  • Spitzfaden, Thomas Joseph. Irish Redemptorists in New Orleans, 1848-1878. Ph. D. thesis, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 1977.
  • Wilson, Samuel. St. Patrick’s Church, 1833-1992 a National Historic Landmark Its History and Its Pastors. Photographs by Robert S. Brantley and Jan White Brantley. New Orleans St. Patrick’s Church, 1992.

Los Isleños

Los Isleños sign and house
Los Isleños Heritage & Cultural Society Headquarters in St. Bernard Parish, pre-Katrina. Photo from Society website

(see also Spanish)

Canary Islanders arrived in southeastern Louisiana 1778-1783, settling particularly in St. Bernard Parish. Some Spaniards from Spain proper also joined the St. Bernard communities.

Some descendants of Los Isleños continued to speak a Spanish dialect into the 20th century. Spanish surnames can still be found among prominent St. Bernard families (one representative being current parish president Henry “Junior” Rodriguez).

St. Bernard Parish was hit very hard by Katrina.

  • Armistead, Samuel G. The Spanish Tradition in Louisiana. 1 Isleño Folkliterature. Musical transcriptions by Israel J. Katz. Newark, Del. Juan de la Cuesta, c1992.
  • Canary Islanders Heritage Society of Louisiana – Founded 1996.
    • Includes post-Katrina information; current address is in Slidell, with meetings held in Baton Rouge, but those areas not necessarily always the focus (many people who evacuated from Chalmette now live in the Slidell area, north of Lake Pontchartrain, or in Baton Rouge).
  • Din, Gilbert C. The Canary Islanders of Louisiana. Baton Rouge Louisiana State University Press, c1988.
  • Holloway, Charles E. Dialect Death the Case of Brule Spanish. Amsterdam; Philadelphia, PA John Benjamins, c1997. (study of Canary Islander dialect in Ascension Parish)
  • Los Isleños Heritage & Cultural Society
  • The Isleños Heritage and Cultural Society sponsored Los Isleños Festival in March 2007, held in Chalmette. There are plans to build a replica of the museum building pictured in the photo above, a 19th-century cottage destroyed in Katrina.
  • Santana Pérez, Juan Manuel and José Antonio Sánchez Suárez. Emigración por reclutamientos canarios en Luisiana. Las Palmas de G.C. Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Servicio de Publicaciones, c1992.
  • Villeré, Sidney Louis. The Canary Islands Migration to Louisiana, 1778-1783 the History and Passenger Lists of the Islenos Volunteer Recruits and their Families.
  • New Orleans Genealogical Research Society of New Orleans, 1971.


Our Lady of the Rosary
Our Lady of the Rosary Italianate Church behind typical Creole architecture near Bayou Saint John in Faubourg St. John. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley
Banner on restaurant: Mandina's Restaurant We Shall Return
Mandina’s Mid-City restaurant has indeed returned – it re-opened on 7 February 2007. Photo, taken March 2006, courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley
Banner: Welcome to Cabrini High School Bayou Bash
Cabrini High School (on Moss Street in Faubourg St. John) meets the Bayou. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley

(see also Albanian)

Some Italians settled in New Orleans from the earliest period, although their names sometimes appeared in quasi-French form. A number arrived before and during the US Civil War, including explorers, business founders, soldiers, and clergymen. The first mutual aid society for Italian immigrants in the US was founded in New Orleans in 1843, and from 1850 to 1870, more Italians were settled in this city than in any other in the country. The main period of Italian immigration actually took place 1890-1910, particularly bringing over a large group from Sicily. Initially, these immigrants worked primarily as farmers, laborers, citrus importers, and shopkeepers, especially grocers. The French Quarter became known as “Little Sicily” or “Little Palermo” during the early 20th century.

The neighborhoods in which Italian immigrants settled were typically racially and ethnically integrated. As one result of this vibrant cultural mixture, a number of Italian New Orleanians made significant contributions to the early development of jazz; among the best-known of these musicians were Nick LaRocca and Louis Prima.

Today, Italian-Americans are active throughout the New Orleans metropolitan area’s economy and political life, with increasing intermarriage with members of other ethnic groups. In recent decades, most have moved out from the city itself into the suburbs, in surrounding parishes.

New Orleans area Italian-Americans have become known for the celebration of the St. Joseph’s Day parade, which has evolved into the “Irish-Italian Parade,” and their preparation of St. Joseph altars. Italian groceries can still be found in the French Quarter and elsewhere, while many beloved New Orleans neighborhood restaurants are run by Italian-descended families and feature “Italian Creole” cuisine.

American Italian Cultural Center
Promotes Italian American culture, including the New Orleans heritage, by providing Italian-language classes and sponsoring area events as well as trips to Italy. It houses the American Italian Museum & Research Library.

See also the New Orleans Online: Museums listing.

Admission to the American Italian Renaissance Foundation Museum and Research Library is free (donations are accepted). The Museum is located at 537 South Peters in the Warehouse Arts District. It is open Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

  • Baiamonte, John V., Jr. Immigrants in Rural America a Study of the Italians of Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana. Ph. D. thesis, Mississippi State University, 1972.
  • Gambino, Richard. Vendetta the True Story of the Largest Lynching in U.S. History. Toronto Guernica, 1998. (A study of the imprisonment and lynching of 11 Italian immigrants in New Orleans in 1891.)
  • Giordano, Paul Anthony. The Italians of Louisiana Their Cultural Background and Their Many Contributions in the Fields of Literature, the Arts, Education, Politics, and Business and Labor.Ph. D. thesis, Indiana University, 1978. Irish-Italian Parade
    • A multi-ethnic event that takes advantage of the proximity in dates of St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) and St. Joseph’s Day (March 19).
  • Italian-American Society of Jefferson Auxiliary. Italian-American Heritage Cook Book of Jefferson. Westwego, La. Italian-American Society of Jefferson Auxiliary, 1979. Reprint ed. The New Orleans Italian Cookbook. Gretna, La. Pelican Pub. Co., 1984, c1979.
  • Italian New Orleans. Written and produced by Terri Landry; narrated by Bob Del Giorno. New Orleans, La. WYES-TV; S.l. First Film and Tape, 2001. DVD 1 videodisc. Also issued on videocassette.
  • Macaluso, Joseph N. Italian Immigrant Families Grocers, Proprietors, and Entrepreneurs the Story of the Italian/Sicilian Corner Grocers and Markets of Algiers, LA.Pittsburgh, Pa. RoseDog Books, c2004.
  • Margavio, A.V. and Jerome J. Salomone. Bread and Respect The Italians of Louisiana.Gretna Pelican Publishing Co., 2002.
  • Maselli, Joseph and Dominic Candeloro. Italians in New Orleans. Charleston, SC Arcadia Publishing, c2004.
  • McCafferty, Kerri (author/photographer). Saint Joseph Altars Gretna, La. Pelican Publishing Co., 2003.
  • Micale, Cristina. Sicilian Immigration to Southern Louisiana, 1880-1910 A Change of Identity. Master’s thesis, Université des sciences humaines Descartes, 1993.
  • Orso, Ethelyn Gay. The St. Joseph Altar Traditions of South Louisiana. Lafayette, La. Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, c1990.
  • Rimanelli, Marco and Sheryl L. Postman, eds. The 1891 New Orleans Lynchings and U.S.-Italian Relations A Look Back. New York P. Lang, c1992.
  • Riviere, Mary Ann, comp. From Palermo to New Orleans. United States M.A. Riviere, c1987.
  • Sandel, Elias Wesley and Mary E. Sandel. From Italy to the United States Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana. Florien? La. E.W. & M.E. Sandel, c1986.
  • Sandel, Elias Wesley, Mary E. Sandel, and Edward Sandel, eds. Italian Immigrants in the 1910 U.S. Census of Tangipahoa Parish, La. Roseland, La. Tabor-Lucas Publications, c1993.


Tuoro Synagogue
Touro Synagogue on Saint Charles, Uptown — Second oldest synagogue in the United States. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley
Banner: Touro Synagogue Presents Jazz Fest Shabbat, Friday, April 28
Close-up of Jazzfest Shabbat advert: now, that’s fusion… Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley
Plaque: Woldenberg Riverfront Park. Relief image of Malcom Woldenberg 1896-1982
Woldenberg Riverfront Park, by the French Quarter. (It is basically adjacent to the spot where we got on the John James Audubon for the WESS cruise.) Named for Malcolm Woldenberg, a local Jewish entrepreneur and philanthropist. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley

There has been a large and thriving Jewish community in New Orleans since the 19th century. Only a few Jewish immigrants were able to live in the colonial city; they were technically barred by law (not always enforced) from doing so. From 1803, however, more began arriving, from other parts of the US or from the Caribbean as well as from Europe. The first wave of Jewish settlers were both Sephardic and Ashkenazi, generally coming from Portuguese, Spanish, German, and Alsatian roots, with some Polish immigrants by the 1850s. Later 19th-century Jewish immigrants tended to be of Polish and other Eastern European background, in addition to Alsatians emigrating after the Franco-Prussian War.

The earliest Jewish congregation, Shangarai Chasset (Gates of Mercy), was established in 1827. Others, followed, often initially based on particular national groups. Two of the largest were Temple Sinai, founded in 1870, and Touro Synagogue. The latter was formed in 1881 from the merger of the Gates of Mercy with the Dispersed of Judah (Nefutshoh Judah); it was named for a prominent former patron, Judah Touro. The congregations tended to move to buildings further from the center of the city as it grew, so that today many Jews and their synagogues are located in the suburb of Metairie.

While some arrived as small peddlers or manual workers, a number of New Orleans Jews soon became prominent as bankers, lawyers, physicians, and academics. A few were politically active during the 19th century; Judah P. Benjamin was elected in 1852 as the first openly Jewish member of the US Senate. Jewish family-owned clothing, jewelry, and department stores frequently became local institutions by the early 20th century. Jewish New Orleanians have also been active as philanthropists and civic leaders, in both Jewish and secular organizations. Jewish donors founded local entities such as Delgado College, Touro Infirmary, the Isaac Delgado Museum of Art — later renamed the New Orleans Museum of Art — and the “K&B” (Katz and Besthoff) art plaza.

  • Alexander, Daniel Bernard. Congregation Gates of Prayer 150 Years of Service to the Jewish Community. Metairie, La. Congregation Gates of Prayer, 2001.
  • Ashkenazi, Elliott. The Business of Jews in Louisiana, 1840-1875. Tuscaloosa University of Alabama Press, c1988.
  • Feibelman, Julian Beck. A Social and Economic Study of the New Orleans Jewish Community. Philadelphia s.n., 1941. Ph. D. thesis, University of Pennsylvania, 1939.
  • Garthwaite, Elloyse and Tom Ireland. Isaac Delgado His Life and Impact on New Orleans and the State of Louisiana a Study. New Orleans Delgado College Development Foundation, 1980.
  • Goldberg, David J. The Dryades Street Jews, 1920-1930 Finding Foundations for a United Community. New Orleans? D.J. Goldberg‚ (2004).
  • Hebrew Congregation of the “Dispersed of Judah.” Constitution and By-Laws of the Hebrew Congregation of the “Dispersed of Judah” Together with a Complete List of Members from its Organization to the Present Date. New Orleans Clark & Brisbin Printers, 1860.
  • Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans
  • Jewish Federation of New Orleans and Jewish Welfare Fund. Self Study of the Jewish Community of New Orleans Group Work and Recreation Report Summary Findings and Recommendations with Guide for Further Examination and Implementation. New Orleans Jewish Federation of New Orleans‚ 1957.
  • Jewish Historical Publishing Company of Louisiana. History of the Jews of Louisiana Their Religious, Civic, Charitable and Patriotic Life. New Orleans Jewish Historical Publishing Company of Louisiana, (1903?)
  • The Jewish Ledger. New Orleans A. Steeg, 1895-1963. Vol. 1 (1895)-v. 123 (1963).
  • The Jewish Population of New Orleans, La., 1953 a Demographic Study. Consultation and analysis Alvin Chenkin; direction of study, and of field operations Benjamin B. Goldman. New York Council of Jewish Federation and Welfare Funds, 1953.
  • The Jewish Times. New Orleans, La. Jewish Times, Inc. Vol. 1, no. 1 (May 24, 1974)-
    • “Official publication of the Jewish Welfare Federation of New Orleans.”
  • Korn, Bertram Wallace. The Early Jews of New Orleans. Waltham, Mass. American Jewish Historical Society, 1969.
  • Lachoff, Irwin, and Catherine C. Kahn. The Jewish Community of New Orleans. Charleston, SC Arcadia Publishing, c2005.
  • Louisiana Historical Records Survey. Inventory of the Church and Synagogue Archives of Louisiana Jewish Congregations and Organizations. University, La. Dept. of Archives, Louisiana State University, 1941.
  • Malone, Bobbie. Rabbi Max Heller Reformer, Zionist, Southerner, 1860-1929. Tuscaloosa University of Alabama Press, c1997.
  • (Includes theme of the Americanization of Max Heller)
  • Nasatir, Abraham Phineas and James R. Mills. Commerce and Contraband in New Orleans during the French and Indian War A Documentary Study of the Texel and Three Brothers Affairs. Cincinnati American Jewish Archives, 1968.
  • New Orleans Jewish Community Center
    • An active center for the New Orleans-area Jewish community, also sponsoring activities open to the general public. Through a series of name chages, its origins go back to 1855. The JCC provides meeting rooms, athletic and fitness facilities, a children’s day camp, etc. Since Fall 2005, it has also served as the site of a FEMA center.
  • Opinions and Attitudes of the New Orleans Jewish Community Report of a Personal Interview Survey. Sponsored by the Jewish Welfare Federation of New Orleans; conducted by Louis, Bowles and Grove, Inc. New Orleans, La. Jewish Welfare Federation of New Orleans‚ 1973.
  • Pushcarts & Plantations Jewish Life in Louisiana. Produced and directed by Brian Cohen; edited by Benjamin Leb. New York Apple West Productions, c1997. (VHS videorecording of a PBS documentary.)
  • Reissman, Leonard. Profile of a Community A Sociological Study of the New Orleans Jewish Community. New Orleans Jewish Federation of New Orleans, 1958.
  • Rosen, John Charles. A Study of Jewish Leadership in New Orleans, Louisiana. M.A. thesis, Tulane University, 1960.
  • Shpall, Leo. The Jews in Louisiana. New Orleans Steeg Print. & Pub. Co., 1936.
  • Simons, Andrew. Jews of New Orleans An Archival Guide, ed. Lester Sullivan New Orleans, La. Greater New Orleans Archivists, c1998.
  • Solomon, Clara. The Civil War Diary of Clara Solomon Growing Up in New Orleans, 1861-1862. Ed. by Elliott Ashkenazi. Baton Rouge Louisiana State University, c1995.
  • Temple Sinai. Our First Hundred Years. New Orleans Temple Sinai‚ 1970.
    • The Manuscripts Department in Tulane’s Special Collections Division holds a number of Jewish institutional collections, with some sources dating back to the 19th century.
  • Weil, Therese Hirsch. A Study of Fifty-Five Refugee Cases Known to the Jewish Federation of New Orleans. M.S.W. thesis, Tulane University, 1943.

Middle Eastern and North African

Storefront: Lebanon's Cafe
Lebanon’s Cafe on Carrollton Avenue in the Lower Carrollton area of the city. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley
Sign: Mona's Cafe, Middle Eastern Cuisine, International Grocery
The original Mona’s café and deli, on Banks Street in Mid-City (branches have been opened in other neighborhoods, as well). The restaurant features Lebanese cuisine; known for its locally baked pita bread. The grocery is international in scope, particularly Middle Eastern. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley
Sign: Jamila's Cafe, Tunisian Meditteranean Cuisine
Jamila’s Café in the Riverbend neighborhood of Uptown / Lower Carrollton New Orleans, along Maple Street. Run by a couple from Tunisia and known for Tunisian and French-inspired dishes. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley

Immigration to New Orleans from the Middle East dates back well over a century, as people from Syria-Lebanon settled in the city during the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (1870s-1920s). The primary waves of immigrants from the Middle East (including North Africa) have arrived since World War II, drawn from different sources ranging from Morocco to Iran, with relatively large numbers of Lebanese, Palestinians, and Egyptians. They have settled in different parts of the metropolitan area, currently particularly in the suburbs.

In addition to their national identifications, Middle Eastern Louisianans have often formed religious communities. The earliest immigrants were usually Christian — Lebanese Maronite and Syrian Orthodox, in addition to ethnically Greek Christians coming from Turkey and Egypt. Over the years, mosques and churches have been formed, with some of the former serving African-American Muslims as well as Middle Eastern and South Asian Muslims.

The full impact of people of Middle Eastern background on the economic life of the city goes beyond the visible, numerous Middle Eastern / North African restaurants and grocery stores — popular as those establishments often are with New Orleanians of all ethnic backgrounds. People with Middle Eastern names own many other types of properties. They are also well represented in the professions and academia (including even the odd librarian). A few Louisiana political figures are of Middle Eastern extraction.

In the wake of Katrina, Middle Easterners have shown particular resilience (possibly partly a result of conditioning through challenging experiences in their countries of origin?). In more than one neighborhood, including some devastated ones, among the first businesses to re-open after the storm were Middle Eastern restaurants, along with laundromats and small groceries run by Middle Eastern immigrants. A few entrepreneurs of Middle Eastern background have even opened new businesses in New Orleans in 2006, making a financial as well as symbolic commitment to the city’s recovery.

Abboud, Elaine June. Syrian-Lebanese Folklore in Louisiana Particularly New Orleans.
M.A. thesis, University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1969.

Islamic Center of New Orleans Located in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans.
Worshippers at this center have been African-American and Middle-Eastern-American.
It has re-opened since Katrina, although attendance is still below pre-Katrina levels.
Information found at the Harvard Pluralism Project. Jefferson Parish Muslim Association.

St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church This Egyptian church, located in the Gentilly neighborhood of New Orleans, sustained extensive flooding (7 feet of water) after Katrina.

Following cleanup and restoration work, services have been held there again, beginning in September 2006.
Additional information from Web site of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States.


Norwegian Seaman's Church
Norwegian Seaman’s Church on Prytania Street in the Lower Garden District. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley

New Orleanians of Norwegian descent constitute a small, cohesive group, with about 200 in metropolitan New Orleans prior to Hurricane Katrina, according to the Louisiana Folklife Center website. Norwegian sailors continue to pass through and stop in the port city.

The Norwegian Seamen’s Church (1772 Prytania, phone (504) 525-3602) was founded in 1906 and is celebrating its centenary this year. It is also known as the “Jazzkirk” because of its jazz performances during services. This institution is connected with the Norwegian Seamen’s Mission – Sjømannsmisjonen (see Norway Times article).

Serving both immigrants and Norwegians passing through town, it continues to be a place where Norwegian can be spoken and heard and where congregation members and visitors of all ethnicities can purchase imported Scandianavian food, Norwegian publications, and, in December, traditionally Norwegian Christmas items.


  • Codrescu, Andrei. New Orleans, Mon Amour Twenty Years of Writings from the City. 1st ed. Chapel Hill, N.C. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2006.

South Asian

(see also Asian)

South Asians have come to the New Orleans area, from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. primarily during the later 20th into the 21st century. The majority live in suburban neighborhoods, as professionals and their families. The best known South-Asian-American in Louisiana, who lived for a time in the Greater New Orleans area, is Indian-American Governor Bobby Jindal (born Piyush Jindal).

Members of the South Asian community in Greater New Orleans represent multiple ethnicities and religions.

  • India Association of New Orleans (IANO)
    • Established in 1966, IANO covers the Greater New Orleans area and vicinity, with its headquarters in the suburb of Kenner. This secular organization has sponsored local cultural and charitable events.

Spanish and Spanish-Speaking

When New Orleans was the Capital of the Spanish Province of Luisiana 1762-1803 this street bore the name Calle D Conde
A reminder of the time when Spain governed “Luisiana.” The sign is made of Talavera Spanish tile and was installed in 1962. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley
Restaurant storefront: Felipes Taqueria
Felipe’s Mexican Taqueria, on South Miro Street in the Broadmoor neighborhood. One of a number of new establishments to open in New Orleans since Katrina that reflect the post-storm influx of Hispanic migrants and immigrants. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley

(see also Los Isleños)

While many Spaniards came to New Orleans during the colonial era, they were more limited in number than inhabitants of French descent. They tended to mix in quickly with French and other New Orleans residents, forming a French-speaking Creole (criollo) mix of native-born New Orleanians. (See also “French, French-Speaking and Creole.”)

Some Spanish immigrants continued to settle in the area during the first half of the nineteenth century. A specific Spanish identity was retained longer outside of New Orleans, in St. Bernard Parish, among “Los Isleños” and, to some extent, in New Iberia (southwestern Louisiana).

Since 1959, most Spanish-speaking immigrants to metropolitan New Orleans have come from Latin America, particularly Cuba and Central America. This community has been the driving force behind Spanish-language periodical publications issued locally, at least prior to Katrina.

The Spanish element in New Orleans has, of course, left its mark on the typically Spanish-colonial architecture of the Vieux Carré. It also survives, in hints, in some building and street names, such as the Cabildo and the Pontalba building on Jackson Square and Galvez and Gayoso streets (named for governors during the Spanish period).

The most recent wave of at least temporary migration to the New Orleans area has been an influx of Hispanic workers who have come since September 2005 to help with the post-Katrina cleanup and rebuilding. (This Hispanic group consists of a higher percentage of Mexican nationals and Chicanos than the previous mix of Hispanic Louisianans incorporated.) While the long-term impact of these new New Orleans inhabitants is not yet known, Latino-oriented food stands have quickly appeared on streets, and local residents working with this group have been brushing up their Spanish or seeking the assistance of representatives of the local Hispanic community.

A Celebración Latina was held in late April 2007.

  • Arena, Carmelo Richard. A Social Study of the Spanish Land Tenure System in Spanish Louisiana, 1762-1803. M.A. thesis, Tulane University, 1954.
  • Arthur, Stanley Clisby. Index to the Archives of Spanish West Florida, 1782-1810. New Orleans Polyanthos, 1975.
  • Arthur, Stanley Clisby, ed. Index to the Dispatches of the Spanish Governors of Louisiana, 1766-1792. New Orleans Polyanthos, 1975.
  • Beers, Henry Putney. French and Spanish Records of Louisiana A Bibliographical Guide to Archive and Manuscript Sources. Baton Rouge Louisiana State University Press, c1989.
  • Bracken, Mary Karen. Restructuring the Boundaries Hispanics in New Orleans, 1960-1990. Ph. D. thesis, University of New Mexico, 1992.
  • Din, Gilbert C. Francisco Bouligny A Bourbon Soldier in Spanish Louisiana. Baton Rouge Louisiana State University Press, c1993.
  • Din, Gilbert C. Spaniards, Planters, and Slaves The Spanish Regulation of Slavery in Louisiana, 1763-1803. College Station Texas A&M University Press, c1999.
  • Din, Gilbert C., ed. The Spanish Presence in Louisiana, 1763-1803 Lafayette, La. Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1996.
  • Hanger, Kimberly S. Bounded Lives, Bounded Places Free Black Society in Colonial New Orleans, 1769-1803. Durham, (N.C.) ; London Duke University Press, 1997.
  • Hava, J. G. Emigration espagnole en Louisiane. Nouvelle-Orléans Imprimerie Cosmopolite, 1881.
  • Henao, Luis Emilio. The Hispanics in Louisiana. New Orleans? Latin American Apostolate, 1982.
  • Henao, Luis Emilio. Ministering to the Minorities the Hispanics in Louisiana. New Orleans, La.? Latin American Apostolate, 1980.
  • Heros, Patricia de la and Patricia M. O’Connor, comps. Guide to Hispanic Resources in New Orleans / Guía de fuentes hispanas de Nueva Orleans. New Orleans, La. Tulane University, Center for Latin American Studies, 1984?.
  • Holmes, Jack D. L. Gallegos notables en la Luisiana. Madrid C. Bermejo, 1964.
  • Holmes, Jack D. L. Gayoso The Life of a Spanish Governor in the Mississippi Valley, 1789-1799. Baton Rouge Published by Louisiana State University Press for the Louisiana Historical Association‚ 1965.
  • Hough, Granville W. and N.C. Hough. Spain’s Louisiana Patriots in its 1779-1783 War with England during the American Revolution. Midway City, CA SHHAR Press, c2000.
  • King, William. You Thought New Orleans was French? Guess Again! Spanish is Heard All Over a Report on the Spanish Speaking Community in New Orleans. New Orleans? s.n., 1970
    • “A special report of the Human Relations Committee, December 1970.”
  • Lipsett, Sonya Andrea. A Study of the Spanish Administration of Louisiana Collective Biography of Past Commandants. M.A. thesis, Tulane University, 1984.
  • Maduell, Charles R. Index of Spanish citizens entering New Orleans January 1820 through December 1839. New Orleans? s.n., 1968
  • El Misisipi. New-Orleans Wm. H. Johnson & Co., 1808-1810. N.-Orleans Imprenta del Misisipi, 1834-at least 1835. In Spanish and English.
    • “Earliest Spanish-language periodical published in the United States.” (Cf. Guittérez, F. “Spanish-language media in America.” Journalism History, v. 4 (1977), p. 34-41.)
  • Montero de Pedro, José, marqués de Casa Mena. Españoles en Nueva Orleans y Luisiana.
  • Madrid Ediciones Cultura Hispánica del Centro Iberoamericano de Cooperación, 1979.
    • English translation Montero de Pedro, José, marqués de Casa Mena. The Spanish in New Orleans and Louisiana. Trans. Richard E. Chandler. Gretna Pelican Publishing Co., 2000.
  • O’Dell, Manoah Jack. Congregational Development Development of Hispanic Ministries in the West New Orleans Metropolitan Area. D. Min. thesis, Emory University, 1992.
  • La Patria. Nueva Orleans J.L. Sollée, 1846-1850 Vol. 1, no. 1 (11 de enero de 1846)-?
  • La Prensa. Nueva Orleans, La. Nacionalidades Unidas, 1983. Vol. 1, no. 1 (9 de feb. de 1983)-v. 1, no. 21 (30 de jun. 1983). In Spanish, Feb. 9-June 2, 1983. In Spanish and English, June 9-30, 1983. Weekly.
  • Continued by La Prensa U.S.A. Nueva Orleans La Prensa, 1983-19??. Vol. 1, no. 22 (7 de jul., 1983)-? Spanish and English Weekly
  • La Prensa Nueva Orleans. Metairie, LA New Orleans Pub. Group, 1995-2000. Vol. 1 (1995)-v. 6, no. 2 (feb. 2000) Spanish and English Monthly
  • Continued by La Prensa. Metairie, LA MC Media, 2000- Vol. 6, no. 3 (marzo 2000)-“El periódico Latinoamericano de Nueva Orleans.”, Spanish and English, Monthly
  • Que pasa New Orleans. New Orleans, La. s.n., 1986- Vol. 1, no. 1 (marzo de 1986)-
    • “Louisiana Spanish-language monthly magazine.”
  • La Risa enciclopedia de estravagancias. Ed. americana. New Orleans Alemán, Gómez y Ca, 1848-(1849). Tom. 1, entrega 1 (oct. 25 de 1848)-t. 3, mayo 26, 1849. “Publícala la Sociedad Literaria Española de N. Orleans.”
  • Ross, Elmer Lamar. Factors in Residence Patterns among Latin Americans in New Orleans, Louisiana a Study in Urban Anthropological Methodology. New York Arno Press, 1980, c1973. Published version of the author’s Ph. D. thesis, University of Georgia, 1973.
  • Weeks, Charles A. Paths to a Middle Ground the Diplomacy of Natchez, Boukfouka, Nogales, and San Fernando de las Barrancas, 1791-1795. Tuscaloosa University of Alabama Press, c2005.


(see also Asian)

  • Westbrook, Laura. Thai Customs of Loy Krathong. On Louisiana Folklife Program, Louisiana’s Living Traditions Web pages, viewed 18 June 2011.


Signs: Nghiem D. Nguyen Ph.D. D.D.S.Dentistry, Ken's Pharmacy, Kim Khanh Jewelry
One of several clusters of small businesses run by Vietnamese New Orleanians and supported by the local Vietnamese community. This set of small retail and professional establishments is located in New Orleans East, along Alcee Fortier Boulevard — named for a Tulane Romance Languages Department professor and local historian and folklorist (Alcée Fortier, 1856-1914). Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley
Phu Oc Loc Supermarket Sign
Another Vietnamese business in New Orleans East, along Alcee Fortier Blvd. (The pig in the picture looks remarkably cheerful under the circumstances.) Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley
A Vietnamese Buddhist temple
A Vietnamese Buddhist temple and center located in New Orleans East, along Chef Menteur Highway. Although clearly damaged by Hurricane Katrina, it has re-opened. Photo courtesy of R. R. Malek-Wiley

(see also Asian)
(see also French, French-Speaking and Creole)

One of the largest concentrated communities of Vietnamese Americans lived in New Orleans East prior to Hurricane Katrina. About 20,000-25,000 people of Vietnamese origin lived in the overall New Orleans metropolitan area, including the “West Bank” of the Mississippi River, in the suburbs of Algiers and Gretna. Large numbers of Vietnamese found their way to New Orleans following the fall of South Vietnam in 1975; many, in fact, have their roots in three Vietnamese villages. Members of the older generation continue to speak Vietnamese rather than English, as well as using some French. The public library branch in New Orleans East used to stock titles in Vietnamese.

In addition to small business owners, many Vietnamese New Orleanians work as fishers, shrimpers, boaters, and, especially in the second generation, professionals. Clusters of small businesses display Vietnamese signs. Characteristic vegetables are grown along the slopes of drainage canals, then brought to the Saturday open-air market, sold in Asian grocery stores, or served in restaurants. Area institutions include Vietnamese churches as well as Vietnamese Buddhist temples. Among the local activities are the New Year Dragon Dance, the mid-autumn festival Tet Trung Thu, and — this being New Orleans — music recording.

The members of this group were among the first New Orleans East residents to return to this devastated area following Katrina and to begin rebuilding. As of May 2006, 45 of 50 Vietnamese-owned businesses in the Village de l’Est neighborhood (also known as Versailles), around Mary Queen of Vietnam Church had managed to re-open. This cohesion has been reinforced by the Vietnamese churches, in addition to being sustained by the prior experience of fleeing as refugees, then starting over. The neighborhood association is actively planning and designing a Vietnam Town that would visibly highlight its presence and potentially attract visitors, while providing services to community members of all ages.

  • Bankston, Carl L., III. Ethnic Community Involvement and Academic Achievement among Vietnamese American Secondary School Students a Community Study.Ph. D. thesis, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, 1995.
    • A study of high school students in the Vietnamese community in New Orleans East.
  • Butler, Robert Olen. A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain Stories.1st ed. New York H. Holt, 1992. Later edition 1st Grove Press ed. New York Grove Press, c2001.
    • Includes several short stories about Vietnamese Americans in New Orleans and the suburb of Gretna.
  • Butler, Rose W. Critique of the Ragas-Maruggi Study “Vietnamese Refugee Living Conditions in the Metro Area.” Ed. Sharon Stockard-Martin. New Orleans Urban League of Greater New Orleans, Inc., 1979.
  • Kilbourne, Kathy. “Vietnamese Folklife in New Orleans”. Reproduced from Louisiana Folklife Festival booklet, 1990.
  • Le, Peter Hong. Developing a Vietnamese Ministry Training Center to Equip the Lay Leaders at the Vietnamese Baptist Church of New Orleans to Perform Ministry Skills More Effectively According to the Church’s Five Purposes. D. Min. thesis, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 2003.
  • Nash, Jesse William. Vietnamese Catholicism. Photographs by James R. Watson. Harvey, La. Art Review Press, 1992.
  • Nash, Jesse William. Vietnamese Values Confucian, Catholic, American. Ph. D. thesis, Tulane University, 1987.
  • Nash, Jesse W., and Elizabeth Trinh Nguyen, eds. Romance, Gender, and Religion in a Vietnamese-American Community Tales of God and Beautiful Women. Lewiston, N.Y. Edwin Mellen Press, c1995.
  • New Orleans Vietnamese Online
  • Nguyen, Si T. The Relationship of Acculturation and Certainty to Math or Science Career Choice in Vietnamese American and Other Asian American College Students.Ph. D. thesis, University of New Orleans, 2000.
    • A study of college students at the University of New Orleans and Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge).
  • Ragas, Wade R., and Vincent Maruggi. Vietnamese Refugee Living Conditions in the New Orleans Metro Area. New Orleans Division of Business and Economic Research, University of New Orleans, 1978.
  • Soberano, Rawlein G. The Vietnamese of New Orleans Adapting to American Social Structure. 1980. “Submitted to the National Institute of Education and New Mexico State University.”
  • Soberano, Rawlein G. The Vietnamese of New Orleans Problems of America’s Newest Immigrants. New York Available from ERIC Clearinghouse, Teachers College, Columbia University.
  • Tran, Amber Ngoc-Thuy. Acculturative Stressors affecting Vietnamese American Adolescents and their Families. Ph. D. thesis, Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, 2002.
    • A study of Vietnamese American teenagers and parents in San Jose, California, and New Orleans.
  • Truitt, Alison. “Offerings to Kings and Buddha Vietnamese Ritual Activities at Chua Bo De”. Louisiana Folklife Program, Louisiana’s Living Traditions Web pages, viewed 20 May 2007.

A Quote Regarding Assimilation in New Orleans

“A discerning young Bostonian … remarked on what he called the striking tendency of New Orleans to ‘humanize’ people, finding many of his resettled New England friends ‘divested of much of that cautious reserve which is said to belong especially to Yankees.'”

Joseph G. Tregle, Jr., “Creoles and Americans,” in Creole New Orleans Race and Americanization (Baton Rouge Louisiana State University Press, 1992), p. 163; citing Benjamin Lincoln to George C. Shattuck, Feb. 25, 1826, in Shattuck Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

See also

Kaslow, Andrew Jonathan. Neighbors Soul of the City. Photographs by Andrew J. Pickett. New Orleans, La. Arts Council of New Orleans, c1985.

Send changes or corrections to Rebecca R. Malek-Wiley ( or Richard Hacken (