Thursday, February 26, 2015

Latrobe's New Orleans

Some images of antebellum New Orleans.

This image of the riverfront dates from 20 years after Latrobe's visit, but gives you a good idea of the scene that greeted him.

Marie Adrien Persac, New Orleans riverfront, 1858.
Here is a photo gallery of the Latrobe Building on Royal Street, designed by Benjamin Latrobe (the father) and built in 1822.

We have been considering the changes that took place in New Orleans between 1805 and 1855, a time of rapid demographic growth and economic expansion, both in the Mississippi Valley, and also in New Orleans. Although the city grew during the 50 years between 1745 and 1795, it was nothing like what the steamboat revolution brought about.

Consider the population boom before 1860:
1810: 17,242 (7th largest)
1820: 27,176 (5th largest)
1830: 46,082 (5th largest)
1840: 102,193 (3rd largest) - passes Philadelphia and Boston. (Charleston S.C. begins decline)
1850: 116,375 (5th largest) - retaken by Boston and Philly. (Think immigrants, Irish and German)
1860: 168,675* (6th largest) - only city in South with meaningful immigrant growth.

*This does not factor the transient slave population, which could be as much as 25,000!

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