Browse By Migrations Geography Timeline Source Materials Education Materials Search
Afro-Creoles and Americans
< Soldiers, Rebels, and PiratesAfro-Creoles and AmericansFrom Revolution to Romanticism >
First ImagePrevious ImageImage GalleryNext ImageLast Image
view larger imageview larger image request a copy request a copy

Louisiana State Museum [T0347.1991]

St. Louis Cathedral c. 1842

St. Louis Cathedral was the focal point of life for the city's French-speaking Afro-Creole community. Under the colonial Code Noir, church missionaries had incorporated the city's population of black, both enslaved and free, into the life of the church. Afro-Creole New Orleanians perceived the Spanish clergy as a useful ally and developed close ties to Father Antonio de Sedella, the head of the cathedral until his death in 1829, who preached to a racially mixed congregation and extended the Catholic rites of baptism, communion, and marriage to interracial couples and their illegitimate offspring. Later, the church passed under the control of conservative Anglo-American authorities. Both free and enslaved African Americans faced segregation, exclusion, and other restrictions on their participation in church services. This painting of St. Louis Cathedral on Chartres Street was done by Jules Lion, a free man born in France in 1816. He was a painter of portraits and miniatures, as well as a lithographer and a daguerreotypist. He died in New Orleans in 1866.

Show indexing information
First ImagePrevious ImageImage GalleryNext ImageLast Image
Home About Glossary The New York Public Library
Privacy Policy | Rules & Regulations | Using the Internet | Website Terms & Conditions

© The New York Public Library, 2005.