The Melungeons.

Creole Women

Then and now

Annabelle Le Toussainte DeLacroix
Her Great, Great, Great Grandaughter
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Louisianas' First Women


Creole and Mulatto Women


Creole Women ...A Video Tribute

A History of The Louisiana Antebellum Creole Women click here


The Beginning of the Louisiana Free People of Color in Louisiana

The "free persons of color" are found in French colonial Louisiana as early as 1725. on August 14, 1725 Jean Raphael, a free Negro from Martinique, married MarieGaspart from Brugues in Flanders.


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Cane River Creole Women Click here

The Creoles

Creole is the non-Anglo-Saxon culture and life-style that flourished in Louisiana before it became a part of the United States in 1803.

Louisiana Creole is a blending of three different ethnic influences: the west European, west African, and includes a significant input from the Native American.

The Creole functioned in an elitist structure, based on family ties. In its philosophy, economics and politics, European custom and modern thought were thrown out and, in their place, strict, self-serving pragmatism, born out of the isolation and desperation that characterized Louisiana in her formative years. The earliest, tragic lessons of survival in Louisiana created a family-oriented world that would, for centuries, put little value in public education or public works and even in the rule of law.

Creole Louisiana was a place where class, not race, determined social status, where rural life conformed to rigid disciplines, where human bondage created wealth, where adherence to the family business and tradition was paramount, where women ran businesses and owned property, where democratic ideals and individualism were held in contempt and where, until the 20th century, people spoke French and livedthis way, separate from the dominant White-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant American culture.

The Creole experience in Louisiana is a close cousin to Creole cultures world-wide. The nearest examples are found in the Caribbean: Cuba, Haiti, Guadeloupe and Martinique. The Indian Ocean holds: Réunion, Mauritius, Seychelles and Goa. In South America, the Guianas and Brazil are recognized as Creole countries.

All these places have similar ethnic mixtures, strong links in cuisine, architecture, music, folklore, life-styles, religion, family values and colonial economies. Louisiana is just one small member of this Creole family that stretches across the globe, but is the only part found in the United States.

Over the last 200 years, the meaning of Creole has changed, often dictated by many varying Anglo definitions, all based on the idea of race. These imposed meanings varied from: descendants of French and Spanish aristocrats, to racially mixed or to anyone of African blood. In the Creole mind, such distinctions are not only irrelevant, they contradict and hide the essential nature of this vanishing, alternative culture.



Political discrimination did not block financial power. Several persons

of color amassed outstanding fortunes, particularly in real estate. However, the vast majority of ethnic and social middle group lived by arduous toil in trades. Most typical were the occupations of tailor, barber, carpenter, mason, cigar maker, shoemaker and hack driver.

A Creole Portrait .....Click here

Without ever according political equality the Louisiana Supreme Court steadily protected the middle position of the free persons of color against the more militant whites.

In the ante bellum era, a recent study concludes, "free Negroes in Louisiana can be considered as possessing the status of quasi-citizenship and as such enjoyed a better position than any of their counterparts in other states of the South." Yet the free man of color continued to be denied legal suffrage, the right to run for public office, and made the subject of discriminatory legislation because of his color.

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As the abolitionist movement intensified, feeling against the free persons of color increased. The fear of slave rebellion was ever present, and the free Negro was, in the mind of the dominant but slightly outnumbered race, the most likely leader of any such uprising.

Thus between 1830 and 1860 social pressure and legislative action increased against emancipations, against immigration of free Negroes, and in favor of colonizing resident free Negroes out of the state. Finally in 1857 legislation was passed putting an end completely to manumissions in Louisiana.

During the Civil War three regiments of men of color in New Orleans were the only organized Negro soldiery on the Confederate side." With what freedom and under what pressure they enlisted is not clear.



Overconfident Louisiana leaders dismissed these militiamen as not needed. After the Federals took New Orleans in 1862, the city's men of color, jointly with newly freed slaves, composed the first colored regiment of the Federal army.

Louisiana furnished more colored troops for the war than any other State, but the majority of them were freedmen, who in the general population far outnumbered the free person of color. (f.p.c.)



Australian Creole

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