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Afro-Creoles and Americans
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Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division [LC-USZC4-2284]

Benjamin F. Smith

New Orleans from St. Patrick's Church

In 1837 Catholic Anglo-American clerics began construction of St. Patrick's Church for the city's first English-speaking parish. St. Patrick's accommodated the large influx of Irish immigrants who reinforced the burgeoning English-speaking "American" section of the city upriver from the French Quarter. A Creole-American clash led to the division of New Orleans into three independent municipalities between 1836 and 1852, and cultural tensions persisted into the twentieth century. The massive nineteenth-century influx of Anglo-American whites and European immigrants dealt a devastating blow to Afro-Creole workers, both free and slave, who dominated the city's skilled and unskilled occupations in the early nineteenth century. During the 1840s, German and Irish immigrants almost completely replaced the city's unskilled black workers.

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