City of Migrants
City of Migrants
The French Revolution in 1789 affected all of France’s colonies. As slave revolts broke out on Saint-Domingue, New Orleans became a sanctuary from the Caribbean island war. In New Orleans, Creole descendants of the Bienville era had to negotiate between their French identity and their loyalty to the king of Spain. The new governor, Francois Louis Héctor, baron de Carondelet, expanded military operations and cracked down on potential slave revolts. The Catholic Church in New Orleans had its own upheavals. Antonio de Sedella returned to New Orleans in 1795 and Cirilo of Barcelona was later sent back to Spain. The Black community in New Orleans had a rich religious and ceremonial culture, especially slaves from the Catholic, African nation of Kongo. Music and dancing crossed racial divides. After coming to power in 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte bargained with Carlos IV for the return of Louisiana, sealing the deal in a secret treaty in 1801. Napoleon invaded Saint-Dominigue, hoping to return the island to slavery, while negotiations between the U.S. and France for New Orleans were underway. Napoleon ultimately lost Saint-Domingue, which became the Republic of Haiti. The Louisiana purchase was signed on April 30, 1803, giving New Orleans to the U.S.
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