Alfred Mercier, Adrien Rouquette, Placide Canonge: The Doctor, the Priest and the Dandy.

Alfred Mercier, Adrien Rouquette and Placide Canonge stood side by side on the New Orleans cultural stage where they played founding roles in the establishment of Creole literature and music. The variety of their interests typifies the vibrant cultural life of Nineteenth Century New Orleans in which people preferred dabbling in many artistic disciplines to specializing in just one. Mercier, a scholarly and kind-hearted physician, was as skillful in writing novels as he was in writing prescriptions. He was surrounded by an erudite group of Creole doctors, including Charles Deléry and Charles Testut, that shared his love of Francophone literature. While Adrien Rouquette dedicated his many talents to his work as a Catholic priest, he also diligently created poetic and musical compositions. Louis Placide Canonge was a jack-of-all-trades, working tirelessly on many journalistic, literary and theatrical projects. While these three men lived and worked primarily in Louisiana, they traveled often to France to oversee the publication of their work. Mercier, Rouquette and Canonge shared their considerable talents and recognized the importance of their colleagues’ literary efforts.

Case 9
Alfred Mercier, (1816-1894)

Alfred Mercier was born in Louisiana in 1816. His family, immigrants to Louisiana from South-West France, sent him to Paris at a very young age for his education. While he attended the prestigious Collège Louis le Grand and then went on to law school, he felt a greater love for literature than for the law. After several years spent in Louisiana and Boston, Mercier left in 1842 for a grand tour of Europe. His five-month stay in Italy and Sicily provided him with the inspiration for a novel he would publish in 1873, Le Fou de Palerme (The Fool of Palermo). During the 1848 Revolution in France he contributed articles to Louisiana newspapers about the events leading to the crowning of Napoleon III. He also married the daughter of the owner of his boarding house after a long and serious illness from which she helped him to recover. At 33, Mercier began his medical studies in Paris. After graduating, he moved his family back to New Orleans where he established his medical practice. During the Civil War Mercier returned to Paris and played an important part in efforts to convince France to support the Confederacy. Back in New Orleans again after the war, Mercier wrote reviews of performances given at the French Opera House for the New Orleans Picayune. A great lover of literature, Mercier spoke several languages and devoted himself to the preservation of the French language in Louisiana. He was a founding member of L'Athénée louisianais, and served as the organization’s secretary and treasurer until his death . In an article entitled "Progrès de la langue française" ("Progress of the French Language"), published in Les Comptes-Rendus de l'Athénée louisianais in September 1883, Mercier forecast the extinction of Francophone New Orleans in this nostalgic yet visionary prediction:

The day when we will no longer speak French in Louisiana, if that day ever arrives – which we do not believe – there will not be any more Creoles; the original and powerful group they formed in the great national family of the United States will have vanished, just as wine poured into a running river loses its flavor and color.

After publishing La fille du prêtre (The Priest's Daughter) in 1877, a novel that tackled the issue of ecclesiastic celibacy, Mercier was accused of being a free thinker and was nearly ostracized from the literary community in Francophone New Orleans. In 1881 he published L'Habitation Saint-Ybars (The Saint-Ybars Plantation). Reviews of this “récit social” (social narrative) praised Mercier’s liberal-mindedness and the boldness that drove him to compose much of the novel’s dialogue in the Louisiana Creole language. Grateful for his devotion to the French cause, the French government elected him “officier de la Légion d’Honneur” (officer in the Légion of Honor) in 1885. Mercier died in 1894 at the age of seventy-eight. top

See: Edward Larocque Tinker. Les écrits de langue française en Louisiane au XIXème siècle. Essais biographique et bibliographique. (Paris: H. Champion, 1932).

Adrien Rouquette, (1813-1887)

Adrien Rouquette was born in New Orleans in 1813. His father, a Frenchman from Bordeaux, established himself as a wine merchant in New Orleans in the early Nineteenth Century. He soon married a young Creole woman and had five children, two of whom would later become well-known Louisiana poets. Shortly after Adrien's birth, the Rouquette family moved to the outskirts of New Orleans near the Native American settlements along Bayou Saint John. Adrien quickly learned the language of his neighbors and later in life found in these early experiences a great source of poetic inspiration. Rouquette was first educated in New Orleans at the Collège d'Orléans and later continued at schools in Kentucky and New Jersey . Because he had lost most of his skills in French, he planned to pursue his education in the Collège Royal in Paris, but the political turmoil in the French capital drove him to the West of France--first to Nantes then to Renne. After traveling for a period in Europe, he returned to Louisiana in 1833 and settled in Bayou Lacombe, where he lived near another settlement of Native Americans. The following years were punctuated by comings and goings between France and Louisiana; many of Rouquette's poems bear the mark of his time in Paris and his unhappy love affairs. In 1841 he published one of his best collections of poems, Les Savanes. The well-known French critic Sainte-Beuve offered the following praise of Rouquette’s first poetic effort:

I took great pleasure in your Savanes at smelling many youthful and sincere fragrances. It seemed to me that I was in a country that was friendly but that had not lost the charm of the unexpected. It is a great accomplishment, dear sir, for you to have experienced this vast wilderness and to have captured it in your heart.

Rouquette's admiration for contemporary French poetry, and especially for Chateaubriand, is evident in the many poems that he dedicated to the famous French romantic poet. Writing under his pseudonym Chahta-Ima, which in Choctaw means "one of us", Rouquette published a short novel in 1879 entitled La nouvelle Atala ou fille de l'esprit (The New Atala, or Daughter of the Spirit)--a direct response to Chateaubriand's Atala. Back in Louisiana once again, he decided to devote the rest of his life to religion. In 1841 Rouquette entered the Plattenville seminary in Assumption Parish and was ordained a priest in 1845. He was posted to Saint Louis Cathedral in New Orleans and was eventually made vicar general. A highlight of his fourteen years in the priesthood was an inspiring speech he gave in New Orleans on January 8, 1846, commemorating the Battle of New Orleans. In 1860 he published Les Préludes de l'Antoniade (Preludes to the Antoniade), in which his deep attachment to Louisiana was lavishly developed in poems such as "La Louisiane et la Nouvelle-Orléans" (Louisiana and New Orleans)-- displayed here in both manuscript and published versions. Rouquette, choosing to spend his final years with his Choctaw friends, retreated to Bayou Lacombe and continued to perform his religious duties in a small Chapel . He met and made friends with the writer Lafcadio Hearn, temporarily back in Louisiana. Rouquette became insane in the later years of his life and died in 1887, at the age of seventy-four, while working on a dictionary of the Choctaw language. top

See: Dagmar-Renshaw Lebreton. Chahta-Ima. (Baton Rouge, LSU Press, 1947).

Case 11
Louis Placide Canonge (1822-1893)

Louis Placide Canonge was born in Louisiana in 1822. Canonge’s father, a distinguished New Orleans lawyer, was originally from Marseille but lived in the French colony of Saint-Domingue (Haiti) before coming to Louisiana. Louis Placide Canonge was sent to Paris for his education where he attended the Lycée Louis le Grand. Paris sharpened Canonge’s love for arts and literature and he returned to Louisiana a sophisticated and elegant man, known for his sharp wit and for being always on the lookout for cultural novelties. Because of his worldly interests, refined opinions, and sophisticated tastes, New Orleans came to regard Canonge as the prototypical Frenchman. Canonge was involved in many literary and journalistic projects, most of them short-lived. A true gentleman, Canonge fought in several duels (for which New Orleans was famous) risking his life to defend his honor or the honor of one of his friends. As the editor of the Courrier louisianais during the Civil War, he was forced into exile for too loudly expressing his distaste for the Yankee occupiers of New Orleans. After the war he created his own newspaper, L'Époque , and, when this venture failed, took a job at L'Abeille de la Nouvelle-Orléans which he held from 1882 until his death. Canonge contributed music and theater reviews to L’Abeille, often signing his articles with his pen name: René. He also found time to teach French. But Canonge’s true love was the theater. He wrote several plays, including Le comte de Carmagnola which debuted in New Orleans in 1852 and later had a run of one hundred performances in Paris. Canonge created two amateur theater clubs and served as the manager of the Orleans Theater in 1860 and of the French Opera House for two consecutive seasons between 1873 and 1875. Léona Queyrouze, with whom Canonge had a regular correspondence, dedicated the poem: "À l'Opéra" , to her friend. His life-long friendship and correspondence with Henri Vignaud, an old friend living in Paris, reveals the fragility and insecurity hidden beyond the confident veneer of this influential man . Canonge died in 1893 at the age of seventy-one. top

See: Edward Larocque Tinker. Les écrits de langue française en Louisiane au XIXème siècle. Essais biographique et bibliographique. (Paris: H. Champion, 1932).

Armand Lanusse and Les Cenelles: The First Collection of Poems by African Americans published in the United States.

The free people of color in New Orleans occupied a precarious middle position between black and white, between their French education, language, and culture and their American citizenship, between relative financial independence and profound social oppression. The Gens de Couleur Libres of New Orleans were free, but they faced many restrictions in a city where they aroused both jealousy and suspicion. In 1845, defying the ban put on the publication of works by people of color, New Orleans educator and poet Armand Lanusse gathered eighty-five poems written by seventeen free black Louisiana poets and published them under the title Les Cenelles. While Lanusse remained in the increasingly hostile New Orleans to continue his activism in the defense of people of color, several of the other contributors to Les Cenelles left Louisiana. Pierre Delcour, Camille Thierry and Victor Séjour preferred life in France, where they might encounter the luminaries of the French literary world, to the increasingly restrictive atmosphere of their Louisiana home. top

Case 12
Armand Lanusse (1812-1867) and the poets of Les Cenelles

Armand Lanusse was born in New Orleans in 1812. Historians disagree on the question of whether or not he was, like many young free men of color of his generation, sent to Paris to be educated in the finest institutions. Whatever the circumstances of his education, Lanusse was at an early age already distinguishing himself from his peers with his impassioned dedication to the cause of all people of African descent, whom he considered to be his own people, without drawing distinctions in skin shades. Lanusse's poetry resembles that of the other contributors to Les Cenelles in its idolization of French romanticism in general and of Alphonse de Lamartine's Méditations Poétiques in particular. Lanusse’s work comments on the plight of people of color in New Orleans. The poets who wrote for Les Cenelles tended to draw exclusively on commonplace romantic themes of melancholy and fantasy, individualism and the mal du siècle, while remaining silent about the political implications of their racial status. But in his poetry Lanusse alludes to highly charged issues like the institution of plaçage (see “Épigramme” )--the arranged extra-marital unions between young free women of color and wealthy white men. As he wrote in the introduction to Les Cenelles, Lanusse was convinced that education was the only way that people of color might hope to improve their situation in life:

We are beginning to understand that no matter what situation fate has placed us in, a good education is a shield against the hostile, malicious arrows shot at us.

Lanusse took part in the building of a catholic school for poor orphans of color, l’Institution Bernard Couvent. The school was completed in 1848 and Lanusse became its director in 1852, a position he was to occupy until his death. While Lanusse fought with the Confederate Army during the Civil War, his disgust at the treatment that black people received drove him to actively encourage many of them to leave the oppression in Louisiana for more hospitable racial climates. Lanusse’s dedication to the cause of back people is evident in his 1843 creation of L'Album Littéraire, Journal des Jeunes Gens, Amateurs de la Littérature (The Literary Album, A Journal for Young People and Lovers of Literature), a literary newspaper in which Lanusse collaborated with other future contributors to Les Cenelles. This short-lived project defied the ban on published works by people of color in Louisiana and led directly to the publication of Les Cenelles in 1845. The title of this collection of poetry, Les Cenelles, choix de poésies indigènes, alludes to the time-consuming local custom of collecting mayhaw berries in the swamps of Louisiana . While Lanusse was the most important contributor, Les Cenelles also included poems by Pierre Dalcour, Victor Séjour and Camille Thierry. These three men, members of prosperous New Orleans Creole of color families, all chose to pursue their literary careers in France where, in keeping with the ideals of their romantic poetry, they might enjoy relative artistic and social freedom. Dalcour was known for his friendship with Victor Hugo; Séjour served as the private secretary of Napoleon III; and Thierry settled down in Bordeaux, where he published his poetic works. All three men died in France, while Lanusse passed away in New Orleans in 1867 at the age of 55. top

See: Régine Latortue and Gleason R.W. Adams. Les Cenelles: A Collection of Poems by Creole Writers of the Early Nineteenth Century. (Boston: G.K. Hall 1979).

Sidonie de la Houssaye et Léona Queyrouze: Beyond the “Belle Créole”

Sidonie de la Houssaye and Léona Queyrouze both led lives that defied the traditional roles reserved for the mythic "belle créole". More than simply beautiful women distracted by idle pastimes, dependent on their husbands in all respects, and blindly faithful to the established order, de la Houssaye and Queyrouze were both able to make their voices heard in the man’s world in which they lived. After the death of her husband, Sidonie de la Houssaye turned to teaching and writing to support her large family. Léona Queyrouze, who was raised in the elite and culturally rich world of wealthy New Orleans, boldly pursued her literary ambitions. She made several amorous conquests among men of letters in pursuit of her dream of being a well-known writer. Both writers were progressive and emancipated women of letters writing in a man’s world. top


Case 13
Léona Queyrouze, (1861-1938)

Léona Queyrouze was born in New Orleans in 1861 to a wealthy Creole family. Her father was the son of a veteran of the Napoleonic wars who immigrated to New Orleans and sold wine and groceries imported from France. Her mother was a Creole from Saint Martinville. As she grew up Queyrouze’s parents held salons at their home that attracted the luminaries of the Creole intellectual world. Because she joined adult conversations at a very young age, the precocious Léona earned the nickname "little Mme de Staël," a reference to the woman writer who then enjoyed enormous popularity in France and Europe. At 15 Queyrouze’s parents sent her to France to improve her skills in the French language. Soon after she returned to Louisiana, she befriended the locally famous writer Lafcadio Hearn, forming a partnership that would play a great role in her future literary career. Their relationship soon became the talk of the town. Hearn encouraged her to write and he read her first poems. Queyrouze soon published poems in L'Abeille, which she signed with her male pen-name: Constant Beauvais--the name of her grandfather, a former Louisiana governor. "Vision", here displayed in manuscript and published versions, was one of her most well-known poems. From an early age, Léona Queyrouze was surrounded by older men who were at the same time her mentors, confidants or suitors. Her correspondence with Victor Cousin, a man forty years her elder, is typical of her relationships with the men in her life. When he first met her in 1881, Cousin recited the following lines to her:

I would have liked to have saved up for your sweet face/ All the kisses of bygone days;/ They are now but an abuse to your youth/ And are but an outrage to springtime.

In the pages of L'Abeille Queyrouze replied to her elderly suitor:

Under your beautiful white forehead, eternal youth/ Throbs, together with spring and all its tenderness/ And art still glows warmly in you.

This intense literary flirtation persisted for several years and Cousin's letters to Queyrouze all begin by calling her “ma lionne” (my lioness) instead of Léona. In 1888, in one of the last letters he wrote to her, the aging Cousin lamented his young muse's obvious indifference and he philosophically resigned himself to the capriciousness of the fair sex:

Will then you, my lioness, embody the truth of the words written by François I on one of the windows of the Chambord castle: Woman is fickle:/ Whoever trusts her is a fool!

In 1880 Léona Queyrouze published her "Étude sur Racine" ("Essay on Racine") in Les Comptes-Rendus de l'Athénée Louisianais. At the age of 23, Queyrouze tested the limits of contemporary tastes by giving a lecture at the Athénée Louisianais on the subject of "Indulgence" , the first public speech given by a young Creole woman in Louisiana. Word of Léona Queyrouze's literary abilities and bold personality soon reached France, where a Mr. Combes, president of the Academy of Sciences and Letters in Bordeaux, wrote a letter praising her talent. Combes' letter was published in L'Abeille on March 1st 1885 . A fervent admirer of the renowned French writer Émile Zola, Queyrouze wrote a letter to her idol that boldly included one of her poems. Zola took the time to send her a few lines in response. In 1886 Queyrouze spent a year in New York translating and adapting French dramas for the American stage. Back in New Orleans again, she gave a lecture on "Wagner and patriotism" which illustrated her wide ranging interests. The audience at this lecture included General Beauregard, Louis Placide Canonge, Alfred Mercier and Charles Gayarré, the patriarchs of the defense of the French language in Louisiana. But at 41, Léona Queyrouze once more defied the mores of Creole society by marrying quite late in life. She abandoned her literary ambitions for many years until, late in her life, she published an essay in English entitled The Idyll: my Personal Reminiscences of Lafcadio Hearn (1933). Queyrouze died in 1938 at the age of seventy-seven. top

See: Edward Larocque Tinker. Les écrits de langue française en Louisiane au XIXème siècle. Essais biographique et bibliographique. (Paris: H. Champion, 1932).

Case 14
Sidonie de la Houssaye (1820-1894)

Sidonie de la Houssaye was born in 1820 to a rich Creole family of both French and German descent that had played an important role in colonial Louisiana. As a girl, she was tutored by a French governess who instilled in her a love for the French language and its literature. At fourteen she married Pelletier de la Houssaye and settled down in Saint Martinville, a town that was nicknamed "Louisiana's little Paris". Since the late Eighteenth Century, St. Martinville had served as a refuge for French noblemen seeking to escape from the guillotine. Sidonie de la Houssaye gave birth to fourteen children of whom only three survived. She and her family moved to Franklin, Louisiana in 1841 and soon faced serious financial problems. These difficulties became worse when in 1863 Raymond Pelletier de la Houssaye died and Sidonie de la Houssaye undertook the task of raising and educating her children by herself. She began to earn money for her struggling family by teaching her neighbors’ children along with her own. She opened a school for girls in 1849, reopened it after the Civil War in 1867, and opened another school, with the help of a Miss Wallis, in 1882. Her daughter, Lilia, died in 1875, leaving her eight small children in the care of their grandmother. It was during this period that Mme de la Houssaye began to publish serial stories and various other literary works in newspapers like L’Abeille, her main goal being to meet her family's financial needs. Her texts were written in French and some of them were later translated into English by her grandchildren. She also wrote many stories for her grandchildren, most of which have never been published. Mme de la Houssaye found, in a diary written by her grandmother that she discovered in her attic, much of the material she used in writing her short fiction. The well-known writer George Washington Cable soon bought the rights to de la Houssaye’s work and borrowed from her grandmother’s diary in search of material for Strange True Stories of Louisiana (1889) and perhaps also for Old Creole Days (1879) and The Grandissimes, A Story of Creole Life (1880). In "How I got them," the introduction to this book, Cable briefly alluded to Mme de la Houssaye. The manuscripts borrowed or bought by Cable from de la Houssaye were photographed for Cable's text Strange True Stories of Louisiana. In 1878, Sidonie de la Houssaye began Les Quarteronnes de la Nouvelle-Orléans, seen here in both manuscript and published forms. These texts were published in the newspaper Le Méschacébé, but their subject matter was so controversial that the author signed them with her nom de plume, Louise Raymond. The stories were centered around the legendary beautiful women of mixed blood in New Orleans, known for arousing guilty passions in the men of high society. In 1890 L'Athénée louisianais awarded Mme de la Houssaye a gold medal for her active contribution to the promotion of the French language in Louisiana. She died in 1894, at seventy-four. Being in-step with the particular rhythm of Louisiana, punctuated as it was by upheavals and other historical troubles, Sidonie de la Houssaye was a privileged witness to the century. She saw creole life take shape on the plantation and in the Antebellum slave society, endure the Civil War and Reconstruction, and reemerge as the tenacious Creoles tried to preserve their unique culture. top

See: Edward Larocque Tinker. Les écrits de langue française en Louisiane au XIXème siècle. Essais biographique et bibliographique. (Paris: H. Champion, 1932).

Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Basile Barès: Crossing the Musical Color Line

Louis Moreau Gottschalk was the most prominent figure in Creole New Orleans music of the Nineteenth Century. His contemporary, Basile Barès was perhaps the first man of color ever to have had his music published while still a slave. Their compositions can be construed as two different models of the creolization of music. In his early work, Gottschalk capitalized on the stereotypes of Black Creole music, giving to his works titles such as "Bamboula, a Negro Dance", Barès was also inspired by Creole culture, notably the emblematic figure of the "Belle Créole". However unlike Gottschalk, Barès did not explicitly refer to the African influences on Creole New Orleans culture. It is interesting to notice that each of these two composers borrowed cliched images and stereotypes from the other's culture and how this borrowing enriched and complicated Nineteenth Century Creole music. top

Case 15
Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869)

Louis Moreau Gottschalk , the first American pianist and composer to achieve international fame, was born in New Orleans in 1829. His Creole mother and British father raised him in an environment full of contrasts. In the first years of his musical education in New Orleans, Gottschalk was influenced by the diverse culture of New Orleans, as “Le Bananier” (“The Banana Tree” and “Bamboula, Danse des Nègres” (“Bamboula, Negro Dance”), would later show. In 1842, at the age of 13, he went to Paris to pursue his studies and soon entered the elite circles of French culture, rubbing elbows with Victor Hugo, Alphonse de Lamartine, Frédérique Chopin, Jacques Offenbach and Hector Berlioz. During his first years in Paris, the young Gottschalk gave many public recitals. The novelty of his work, which displayed influences from the black and Creole cultures of New Orleans, earned Berlioz’s admiration. In 1846 and 1847 the two musicians performed together for a series of concerts at the Théâtre des Italiens. Before returning to America in 1853, Gottschalk performed hundreds of concerts in the major cities of Europe. While he had been praised in Paris as “the Louisiana pianist and composer,” Gottschalk realized upon disembarking in New York that his fame had arrived before he did. New York in turn brought him success and glory, but the death of his father brought Gottschalk new financial responsibilities, and he became the main bread winner for his large family. In 1854 Gottschalk traveled to Cuba to give a series of concerts. He went back to New York and became famous for his expensive piano lessons and adventurous love affairs. In 1857 he returned to the West Indies to begin a tour with Adelina Patti, the young singer who was later to perform with great success at the Theaters of New Orleans. Everywhere they traveled in Central and South America jubilant crowds greeted the pair. It was in the course of his five-year stay in the West Indies that Gottschalk started to keep a diary. His sister Clara later translated and published this diary under the title Notes of a Pianist. In Cuba, Gottschalk set up gigantic festivals and concerts during which he would perform such compositions as “La Fête champêtre cubaine” (“The Cuban Village Feast”), “La nuit des tropiques” (“The Tropical Night”), and “La Grande Marche” (“The Great March”). Adamantly opposed to slavery, Gottschalk renounced his loyalty to Louisiana and sided with the Northern cause before leaving Havana in 1862. During the Civil War, he toured frenetically around the United States, giving more than a thousand concerts between 1862 and 1865. While in California, Gottschalk was involved in a scandal with one of his students. The incident drove him back to Latin America in 1865 and he was never again to return to the country where he was born. Gottschalk’s life was characterized by intense travels, outstanding success wherever he performed and admission into the highest spheres of local societies. Gottschalk would often play concerts of his own music with immense orchestras of local musicians. He continued to compose new works throughout his lifetime and his published music sold well. Under the influence of Louis Fors, he became something of a local reformer, giving speeches in Buenos Aires or Montevideo about the advantages of the American public school system. In the spring of 1869 in Rio, he appeared weakened by an illness (probably yellow fever) that he had carried along with him most of his life. Gottschalk stopped his concert tour to rest. In November of the same year he collapsed over his piano in the middle of a concert. His doctor diagnosed an infection of the intestines and urged him to get some rest away from Rio’s heat. But on December 18, 1869, Gottschalk died at the age of forty. Rio gave him a majestic funeral but New York claimed his body the next year, and he was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn. top

See: William E. Korf. The Orchestral Music of Louis Moreau Gottschalk. (Henryville: Institute of Midaeval Music, 1983).

Case 16
Basile Barès (1845-1902)

Gottschalk’s success on the world stage demonstrated the vitality of the Nineteenth Century New Orleans music scene. Several composers of color born in Louisiana had successful careers in Europe. Edmond Dédé, probably the most well-known of this group of artists, studied at the Paris conservatory and served as a conductor and composer in Bordeaux. Basile Barès was another prolific and popular composer of color from New Orleans. Although little is known about his early life, Barès was probably born the slave of a New Orleans piano merchant; his 1860 piano piece “Grande Polka des Chasseurs à Pied de la Louisiane,” (“The Great Polka of the Louisiana Infantry”) was published while he was still a slave. Barès studied with New Orleans musician and composer Eugène Prévost, also teacher to the young Dédé. Barès traveled several times to Europe, but unlike Dédé, chose to remain in New Orleans and to there pursue his musical career. He often performed with two other Creoles of Color, Samuel Snaër and Victor-Eugène Macarty , to whom Barès’s dedicated his piano piece, “La Belle Créole” . These musicians performed in a variety of settings including benefits for Creole of Color benevolent organizations and off-season concerts in the theaters of the city. Barès’s popularity grew even outside of the Creole sector of New Orleans. He published over twenty pieces of piano music, with both French and English titles, and led a popular string band that performed at carnival balls . As is evident in his published sheet music Barès frequently invoked the iconography of Creole New Orleans made popular by Gottschalk. Unlike Gottschalk, however, Barès’s “Creole Music for Piano” does not explicitly refer to the African influence on Creole culture. While Gottschalk incorporated the imagery of an exoticized black New Orleans into his music, Barès chose romanticized Creole images and titles for his own published compositions. top

See: Lester Sullivan. “Composers of Color of Nineteenth Century New Orleans: The History Behind the Music.” in Creole: The History and Legacy of Louisiana’s Free People of Color. ed. Sybil Kein. (Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2000).

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Case 9 Alfred Mercier, (1816-1894)
Case10 Adrien Rouquette, (1813-1887)
Case 11 Louis Placide Canonge (1822-1893)
Armand Lanusse and Les Cenelles
Case 12 Armand Lanusse (1812-1867)
Sidonie de la Houssaye et Léona Queyrouze
Case 13 Léona Queyrouze, (1861-1938)
Case 14 Sidonie de la Houssaye (1820-1894)
Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Basile Barès
Case 15 Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869)
Case 16 Basile Barès (1845-1902)