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Louisiana

Crossroads of the Atlantic World

Edited by Cecile Vidal

Publication Year: 2013

Located at the junction of North America and the Caribbean, the vast territory of colonial Louisiana provides a paradigmatic case study for an Atlantic studies approach. One of the largest North American colonies and one of the last to be founded, Louisiana was governed by a succession of sovereignties, with parts ruled at various times by France, Spain, Britain, and finally the United States. But just as these shifting imperial connections shaped the territory's culture, Louisiana's peculiar geography and history also yielded a distinctive colonization pattern that reflected a synthesis of continent and island societies.

Louisiana: Crossroads of the Atlantic World offers an exceptional collaboration among American, Canadian, and European historians who explore colonial and antebellum Louisiana's relations with the rest of the Atlantic world. Studying the legacy of each period of Louisiana history over the longue durée, the essays create a larger picture of the ways early settlements influenced Louisiana society and how the changes of sovereignty and other circulations gave rise to a multiethnic society. Contributors examine the workings of empires through the examples of slave laws, administrative careers or on-the-ground political negotiations, cultural exchanges among masters, non-slave holders, and slaves, and the construction of race through sexuality, marriage and household formation. As a whole, the volume makes the compelling argument that one cannot write Louisiana history without adopting an Atlantic perspective, or Atlantic history without referring to Louisiana.

Contributors: Guillaume Aubert, Emily Clark, Alexandre Dubé, Sylvia R. Frey, Sylvia L. Hilton, Jean-Pierre Le Glaunec, Cécile Vidal, Sophie White, Mary Williams.

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

Cover

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pp. 1-3

Title Page

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p. 4-4

Copyright Page

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p. 5-5

Table of Contents

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pp. 6-7

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Introduction. Louisiana in Atlantic Perspective

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pp. 1-18

...would have cried out to the Sieur Rivière, a merchant in New Orleans, on one street of the Louisiana capital on a Sunday afternoon in 1766. Witnesses, some neighbors who watched the fight, told the judge that the Sieur Rivière was hitting the slave with a stick and that Antoine Paul was trying to defend himself...

Part I. Empires

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Chapter 1. “To Establish One Law and Definite Rules”: Race, Religion, and the Transatlantic Origins of the Louisiana Code Noir

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pp. 21-43

...In 1724, the Superior Council of Louisiana registered one of the lengthiest and most comprehensive royal edicts ever promulgated in a French Atlantic colony. As stated in its preamble, the Edict of March 1724, soon to be known as the Code Noir de Louisiane, was intended to “maintain the discipline of...

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Chapter 2. Making a Career Out of the Atlantic: Louisiana’s Plume

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pp. 44-67

...“If I have proposed augmentations of expenditures, it is because I have found them indispensable.” Thirty- two years of service for the king had made Honoré- Gabriel Michel de Villebois de la Rouvillière bold. The peremptory conclusion to his otherwise impassioned plea for increased credits for Louisiana...

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Chapter 3. Spanish Louisiana in Atlantic Contexts: Nexus of Imperial Transactions and International Relations

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pp. 68-86

...Between 1763 and 1803, the Mississippi Valley stood at center stage in that long historical process described by Jeremy Adelman as the “pan- Atlantic struggle for mercantilist control, political loyalty, and ultimately for military alliance that brought about the crisis of the old régime.” A tightly woven web...

Part II. Circulations

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Chapter 4. Slaves and Poor Whites’ Informal Economies in an Atlantic Context

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pp. 89-102

...One September day in 1764, Foÿ, a thirty- five- year- old Bambara (non- Muslim) slave was sitting in front of the entrance to the poor hospital in New Orleans. He was cutting out shirts and breeches from a length of linen sail cloth and readying to sew the panels together with a borrowed needle. The...

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Chapter 5. “Un Nègre Nommè [Sic] Lubin Ne Connaissant Pas Sa Nation”: The Small World of Louisiana Slavery

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pp. 103-122

...In 1795, a slave named Lubin, along with five other African slaves, was put up for sale by Guillaume Despau. Despau was a French man of modest origins from Libourne, an inhabitant of New Orleans at least part of the year, the owner of several farms or plantations in Opelousas, and the husband of...

Part III. Intimacies

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Chapter 6. Caribbean Louisiana: Church, Métissage, and the Language of Race in the Mississippi Colony during the French Period

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pp. 125-146

...Over the Spanish and early American periods, the slave trade from Jamaica, Dominica, and Martinique was very important, as Jean- Pierre Le Glaunec has highlighted in the previous chapter. This testifies to the centrality of the connections with the Caribbean, in addition to transatlantic migrations, in shaping...

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Chapter 7. Private Lives and Public Orders: Regulating Sex, Marriage, and Legitimacy in Spanish Colonial Louisiana

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pp. 147-164

...Few choices seem more personal than the decisions to have sex, to marry, or to bear a child, and yet those choices have long been subject to regulation through laws, religious doctrine, and social mores. For quite some time, historians have examined these forms of regulation to learn more about particular societies and how those societies developed hierarchies of gender, race...

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Chapter 8. Atlantic Alliances: Marriage among People of African Descent in New Orleans

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pp. 165-183

...of the “quadroon balls” where they met wealthy white suitors, and of the illicit concubinage to which they were driven by their refusal to mix with men of African descent. His portrait was retraced, often word for word, in dozens of subsequent travel accounts, newspaper stories, and literary fiction...

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Conclusion. Beyond Borders: Revising Atlantic History

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pp. 184-204

...On a balmy day in 1803 a crowd gathered in the Place d’Armes to witness the transfer of the French colony of Louisiana to the United States. After presenting the keys of the city to William C. C. Claiborne, the new American governor, the French colonial prefect, Pierre Clément, Baron de Laussat, led...

Notes

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pp. 205-270

List of Contributors

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pp. 271-272

Index

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pp. 273-278

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 279-282

...This book was born from workshops I organized at the Center for North American Studies, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, in Paris, and at Tulane University in New Orleans. I would like to thank very much both institutions for their financial support. The Parisian session was financed...


E-ISBN-13: 9780812208733
E-ISBN-10: 0812208730
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812245516
Print-ISBN-10: 0812245512

Page Count: 304
Illustrations: 3 illus.
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Early American Studies
Series Editor Byline: Series Editors: Daniel K. Richter, Kathleen M. Brown, Max Cavitch, and David Waldstreicher

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Louisiana -- History -- To 1803.
  • Louisiana -- History -- 1803-1865.
  • Louisiana -- Ethnic relations.
  • Louisiana -- Social life and customs.
  • Slaves -- Louisiana.
  • African Americans -- Louisiana -- History.
  • Atlantic Ocean Region -- History -- 18th century.
  • Atlantic Ocean Region -- History -- 19th century.
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