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[image ALT: The photograph of a balding man in late middle age, wearing wire-rimmed spectacles and sporting a moustache; below it is his signature: he is John Smith Kendall, author of the history of New Orleans a selection of which is onsite here.]

History of New Orleans
John Smith Kendall

The work presented here is a scholar­ly history of New Orleans published in 1922 and covering the entire history of the city down to that date: the author was for a quarter century a professor at Tulane University.

The first hundred years of the city's history, however, are dispatched in two chapters. Most of the remainder of Kendall's three volumes, some 700 pages, is taken up, in what sometimes seems like the most endless detail, with the American mayoral administrations and the mechanics of governance in the city — a subject which I finally measured in endurance rather than fascination. Yet though at first I had no intention of putting the entire book online, there were just enough chapters of interest to me that not putting the others up would have made this online transcription very patchy, and context would have been lost: so you're getting all 47 chapters of the book, thru p777. The printed text then continues, however, with another 400 pages or so of biographical appendices, duller still, on famous crayfish cannery or silk-screening company executives and their wives: I've omitted them.

For technical details on how the site is laid out, see below.


The author desires to express his appreciation of the assistance which he has received in the preparation of this volume from Mr. William Beer, librarian of the Howard Memorial Library; Mr. Gaspar Cusachs, president of the Louisiana Historical Society; Dr. William Dinwiddie, head of the research department of the Association of Commerce of New Orleans; Mr. T. P. Thompson, president of the Louisiana State Museum; Mr. Robert Glenk, curator of the Louisiana State Museum; Mr. Henry P. Dart, editor of the Louisiana Historical Quarterly; Mr. W. O. Hart, treasurer of the Louisiana Historical Society; Mrs. M. Pohlman, keeper of the archives of the City of New Orleans; Miss Carrie Freret, librarian of the Louisiana Historical Society; Dr. Charles Woodward Hutson, Gen. W. J. Behan, Col. J. D. Hill, Miss Marie Louise Points, editor of the "Morning Star"; Mr. Tiley McChesney, secretary of the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans; Mr. George Earl, of the Sewerage, Water and Drainage Board; Mr. George Ferrier, clerk of the Commission Council of the City of New Orleans; Prof. Melvin J. White, head of the department of history in the Tulane University of Louisiana; Prof. W. J. Waguespack, professor of equity in Loyola University; Mr. Norman Walker, of the editorial staff of the New Orleans "Times-Picayune"; Dr. G. Farrar Patton, Dr. I. M. Cline, Mr. Bernard Shields, secretary of the Board of Liquidation of the City of New Orleans; Messrs. Ellsworth Woodward, Louis Winterhalder, and the late Mr. J. J. McLoughlin. I am also under obligations to others to whom reference is made in the course of this work, in the notes appended at appropriate points, and also to many persons who in one way or the other have been of assistance, but of whom space does not permit more than this general acknowledgment. Finally, I desire to express my appreciation of the courtesy of Prof. Pierce Butler, dean, and Prof. J. E. Winston, of the department of history, in H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College; Mr. Henry G. Hester, secretary of the New Orleans Cotton Exchange, and Mr. Ernest L. Jahncke, who in conjunction with Messrs. Beer, Hart, Cusachs, Dart and Hutson consented to act as an advisory boat during the preparation of the work.

The only merit which the present volumes can claim is that they open up a field which has been hitherto neglected by historians, and may serve some future writer as the foundation upon which to erect a more comprehensive philosophical piece of literature. The fact that this was an excursion into unexplored territory, together with the peculiar difficulties attending a task executed in haste, made indispensable the assistance which was generously furnished me on all sides. Without the coöperation of those to whom I have referred above an undertaking of this character could not possibly have been brought to a conclusion as promptly as was necessary.

Tulane University,

August, 1922.


The French Domination

The Spanish Domination

The Transfer to the United States

Establishment of the Municipal Government

The First Two Mayors

The Battle of New Orleans

Macarty and Roffignac


The Genois, Freret and Montegut Administrations

Mayor Crossman

The Lewis and Waterman Administrations

Advance and Retrogression — Commercial and Political

The Know-Nothing Riot of 1858

New Orleans Under the Confederacy

The Passage of the Forts

The Surrender of the City

Butler in New Orleans

The Military Mayors

The Riot of 1866

Heath's Administration

Conway and Flanders


The Fourteenth of September

The Leeds and the Pillsbury Administrations


Mayor Patton

The First Shakespeare Administration

Behan and Guillotte

The World's Cotton Centennial Exposition

The Y. M. D. A.

The Lottery

The Fitzpatrick Administration

The Citizens' League Mayor

Paul Capdevielle, Mayor

Sixteen Years of Martin Behrman

Drainage, Water, Sewerage

The City Debt

The Work of the Dock Board

Commerce and Business

The City's Charities

Artistic and Literary Progress

Streets, Parks, Squares

Hotel Life in New Orleans

The Churches

The Carnival, Opera and the Drama

The Annexed Towns

Medical Progress, 1900‑1922

[decorative delimiter]

Technical Details

Edition Used

The edition transcribed here is what appears to be the first, and possibly the only edition, that of 1922 by the Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York. The book was copyrighted in 1922; it is thus in the public domain: details here on the copyright law involved.


As almost always, I retyped the text by hand rather than scanning it — not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with the work, an exercise which I heartily recommend: Qui scribit, bis legit. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if success­ful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

This transcription has been minutely proofread. In the table of contents above, the sections are shown on blue backgrounds, indicating that I believe the text of them to be completely errorfree. As elsewhere onsite, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme.

The foreword states that the book was written in something of a hurry; it will come as no surprise then that the printed work was poorly proofread, and is full of inconsistencies in punctuation, hyphenation, and spelling, which I let stand (except in the few cases where they led to actual misunderstandings) — as well as outright typographical or spelling mistakes. The errors I could fix, I did, marking the correction each time, when important (or unavoidable because inside a link), with a bullet like this;º and when trivial, with a dotted underscore like this: as elsewhere on my site, glide your cursor over the bullet or the underscored words to read the variant. Similarly, bullets before measurements provide conversions to metric, e.g., 10 miles.

Most of these typos were of a minor and obvious kind; but I've marked them nonetheless, as a reminder that there must surely be quite a few other errors that I could not catch: numbers, proper nouns.

Where an error is manifest, but for some reason I couldn't fix it, or where it appears in text not written by Kendall but quoted by him, or again where there might otherwise be some latitude, I marked it º. Inconsistencies in punctuation have been corrected to the author's usual style, in a slightly different color — barely noticeable on the page, but it shows up in the sourcecode as <SPAN CLASS="emend">. Finally, a number of odd spellings, curious turns of phrase, etc. have been marked <!‑‑ sic  in the sourcecode, just to confirm that they were checked; and the author's spelling, idiosyncratic even for the time, of words in -ant and -ance instead of -ent and -ence has been tacit­ly corrected thruout.

Any over­looked mistakes, please drop me a line, of course: especially if you have a copy of the printed book in front of you.

French and Spanish

The text includes a few words, passages, or quotations in foreign languages, especially French and Spanish. Kendall's Spanish seems to have been better than his French, or at least better tended to. I've corrected spelling mistakes to the usage of the appropriate period, and marked the corrections in each case with one of my little bullets. Accents are haphazard in the printed edition, and where the error was manifestly Kendall's, I've tacit­ly corrected them when I could; for some proper names it was impossible to tell, as for example when they may have been anglicized, and those I left, without comment.

Pagination and Local Links

For citation and indexing purposes, the pagination is shown in the right margin of the text at the page turns (like at the end of this line p57 ): it's hardly fair to give you "pp53‑56" as a reference and not tell you where p56 ends. Sticklers for total accuracy will of course find the anchor at its exact place in the sourcecode.

In addition, I've inserted a number of other local anchors: whatever links might be required to accommodate the author's own cross-references, as well as a few others for my own purposes. If in turn you have a website and would like to target a link to some specific passage of the text, please let me know: I'll be glad to insert a local anchor there as well.

[image ALT: An engraving of an eagle in flight, holding a long ribbon-like banner, over a seacoast being approached by many sailing ships. It is a stylized depiction of the city of New Orleans.]

The icon I use to indicate this subsite is a colorized version of the engraving reproduced on p76 of the printed text; I chose it because it graphically depicts the author's sympathies, which lie firmly — sometimes amusingly, sometimes irritatingly — on the side of the Anglo-Saxon domination of Louisiana.

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Site updated: 4 Sep 06