POSTED Tue. Nov 4, 2014

NOLA History

The Jacksonian Legacy in New Orleans
Written by NEW ORLEANS & ME

Andrew Jackson can plausibly be said to have been the first American celebrity in New Orleans. Note the relevant nationality identifier: first American celebrity. When Jackson arrived in the city to command an army during the Battle of New Orleans – an event that will mark its 200th anniversary old in January – New Orleans had been a part of the United States for barely over a decade.

Beginning on Nov 5, The Historic New Orleans Collection new exhibition, in conjunction with the bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans, outline the historical and cultural implications of that celebrity with Andrew Jackson: Hero of New Orleans. The exhibit will be available to the public at THNOC Royal St galleries at 533 Royal St.

“Jackson was the 19th-century equivalent of a rock star,” said Jason Wiese, exhibition curator and associate director of THNOC’s Williams Research Center. “He was one of the United States’ most famous heroes, as well as one of its most polarizing figures.”

Many visitors don’t realize New Orleans was a French, then Spanish, then French city again for nearly a decade before the Louisiana Purchase. The city’s early American days were a tumultuous time, as evidenced by our local curiously diplomatic nomenclature for what every other part of the country calls a median.

Tensions between the city’s existing Creole-European population and new settlers from the United States were high enough that the swathes of land that divided European and American communities were labeled neutral grounds, a New Orleanian naming convention that persists to this day.

Into this fray steps Andrew Jackson, sent to fight the British, who are resented by the Americans (former colonial subjects) and the French (traditional enemies). These two sides of New Orleans needed time, and perhaps, a common enemy to unite, as evidenced by the multi-national alliance of local militias and federal soldiers that held the line at the Chalmette Plantation.

The above narrative, like any historical reckoning, isn’t entirely sympathetic; part of what drove the Americans and Creoles into alliance was opposition to the British policy of liberating slaves from their occupied territory (it is also worth noting many Free People of Color fought for Jackson). But the battle, and Jackson’s role in it, are crucial to the development and identity of New Orleans, because it helps mark a definable moment when French-Creoles and American moved towards a singular urban identity. On a national level, victory at Chalmette convinced a young country that it was capable of world power status.

The seventh president has been a polarizing figure since his term in office, and has always assumed the role of a larger than life figure. According to THNOC, the exhibition will track Jackson’s rise from modest beginnings to war hero, and later president, without ignoring the controversies that have dogged his legacy, including martial law and Indian removal. The exhibition will include rare items, some of which belonged to Jackson, on loan from the Hermitage, the Library of Congress and elsewhere.

For more information, visit The Historic New Orleans Collection.

Above image: Official White House Portrait of Andrew Jackson by Ralph E.W. Earl (1835), courtesy of Wikipedia.

POSTED Dec 30, 2016

NOLA History

Bearing Witness at the Whitney Plantation

Bearing Witness at the Whitney Plantation

Visitors to New Orleans often make day trips to the old Gold Coast plantations along the Mississippi river, where wealthy landowners made a fortune growing sugarcane harvested with…....

Written by CREE MCCREE
POSTED Dec 5, 2016

Creative Culture

The Mermaid Lounge Rises Again

The Mermaid Lounge Rises Again

“Did you hear!? The Mermaid is closing!” Twelve years ago this month, in December 2004, that news was greeted with stunned disbelief by the hundreds of musicians, artists…....

Written by CREE MCCREE
POSTED Nov 30, 2016


Celebrating the Season the Islenos Way

Celebrating the Season the Islenos Way

The last vestiges of Spanish Colonial Louisiana reside in the least fancy of places: New Orleans East. Out in St Bernard Parish, just before the land tapers off…....

POSTED Nov 29, 2016

Creative Culture

A Creole's 'Krazy' Take on the Comics

A Creole's 'Krazy' Take on the Comics

When I moved to New Orleans in 2001, Michael Tisserand was then editor-in-chief at Gambit Weekly. When I worked there, I found him smart, funny, and deeply sympathetic…....


    Our Local Publisher Partners

    • The Arts Council of New Orleans
    • WWNO
    • WWOZ
    • PRC
    • NOMA
    • The Historic New Orleans Collection
    • Southern Food
    • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.


    WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at


    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.


    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.


    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.



    was added to your favorites.



    Share On Twitter Share On Facebook