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Joaquin Joseph Crespo
Joaquin Joseph Crespo, b. 1854—d.1916, and Malvina Songy Crespo, b. 1868—d.1914, are interred in the St. Charles Borromeo Cemetery.
(Photos courtesy of Billy and Sidney Crespo)

Spanish Influence

"Joaquin arrived in New Orleans from Spain via Ellis Island in 1872. He worked at odd jobs and saved his money. On his travels along the muddy River Road on the east bank he was taken with a parcel of land in the present day St. Rose area. Joaquin purchased the parcel and built his home, which became Crespo Plantation. He married Elmire Becnel and they had a son and daughter. Joaquin was unable to speak English..." Read More

Louisiana Purchase Map. (Used with permission from the Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism, State of Louisiana Bicentennial brochure.)

The Louisiana Purchase – 1803

"Fearing Napoleonic France’s control of the mouth of the Mississippi River, and with a desire to preserve and expand the agricultural character of the United States, President Thomas Jefferson sent James Monroe and Robert Livingston to France in early 1803 to negotiate for the purchase of New Orleans and as much land east of the Mississippi River as possible. On April 29, 1803, Napoleon unexpectedly agreed to sell the entire Louisiana Territory for only $15 million..." Read More

State Constitution Delegates Gravesite. Gravesite of Jean-Nöel Destrehan deBeaupre and Stephen and Zelia Henderson. Stephen was Jean-Nöel’s son-in-law. Jean-Nöel Destrehan deBeaupre, b. 1759, d. 1823; son of Jean Baptist Honore Destrehan deBeaupre, royal treasurer of the French Colony, and Jeanne Catherine Gauvry; married Marie Celeste Robin deLongy in 1786; in 1802 purchased the deLongy family plantation; devoted husband and father of fourteen children; sugar planter and statesman. In 1803 was appointed first deputy mayor of the city of New Orleans; 1806 was named president of the legislative council, Territory of Orleans, and served as a state convention delegate; 1810 became president of the board of trustees of the Red Church; served as a delegate in the 1812 Constitutional Convention, chosen to accept statehood papers from President James Madison, and was elected to the U.S. Senate but failed to qualify; became a Louisiana State Senator from 1812 to 1817. Retired captain in the Spanish Army and in 1814 helped to direct defense of the city in Battle of New Orleans. Interred in St. Charles Borromeo Cemetery. 
Stephen Henderson, b. 1775, Scotland, d. 1838; immigrated to New Orleans ca. 1800; married Zelia Destrehan in 1825 after purchasing her parents’ home (Destrehan Plantation).
Extensive landowner, merchant, planter, businessman, philanthropist, and humanitarian. Served as a delegate in the 1812 Constitutional Convention; chosen as delegate to accept statehood papers; willed funds to churches, asylums, orphanages, charity hospital, and the poor of New Orleans; left land to the firemen of New Orleans. Interred next to wife in St. Charles Borromeo Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Marilyn Mayhall Richoux.)

Statehood – 1812

"In January 1811, Julian Poydras, delegate to Congress representing the Territory of Orleans, petitioned Congress for Louisiana’s statehood. On February 18, 1811, President James Madison signed the “Enabling Act and Admission to Union” to form a constitution and state government. The last condition for statehood, drafting a state constitution, was still to be fulfilled. Although Jean-Nöel Destrehan was originally opposed to statehood because he felt the “common people” were..." Read More

Nick Gendusa and his bride Annie Catanzaro Gendusa are shown with their wedding party. The Gendusa/
Catanzaro wedding was a traditional, formal Italian wedding. Nick Gendusa was a truck farmer living on River Road in St. Rose bringing his produce to the New Orleans market for decades.

Italians Arrive

"During the 1870s, many blacks left Louisiana for more desirable opportunities in the North, which caused a major labor shortage. The sugar producing parishes were particularly affected. Remaining laborers took advantage and threatened to strike for better wages. The planters organized to resolve this situation and a plan was formulated to enhance the labor pool and control the cost of ..." Read More

The former slave quarters of Destrehan Plantation became freed Negroes’ homes after the Civil War.

Reconstruction – 1866-1877

"The period from 1865 to 1877 has been called the “Reconstruction Period.” This term implies that building and reconstructing should have taken place. However, little of that occurred or was even addressed by the federal government. In reality, it marked a period of non-violent military occupation. Slaves were freed, the economy was in chaos, and poverty was widespread. Many of the slaves chose to remain on the plantations, residing in the same living quarters working for the..." Read More

President Abraham Lincoln

The Emancipation Proclamation

"On January l, 1863, President Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all slaves in those areas of the Confederate States of America that had not yet returned to Union control. Due to early control by the North, thirteen parishes were exempt from the proclamation as they were considered to be “Union parishes.” St. Charles was one of the thirteen. Congress then passed the Fourteenth Amendment..." Read More

Lieutenant General Richard Taylor, b.1826, d. 1879, was the owner of Fashion Plantation. He was the son of President
Zachary Taylor and the brother-in-law of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Taylor was a U.S. Senator, 1856–1860;a colonel in the Louisiana Ninth Infantry (appointed by Governor Moore); was
appointed brigadier general in 1861;fought with distinction under Generals “Stonewall” Jackson and Robert E. Lee; was a member of Louisiana Secession Committee and chairman of the
Committee on Military and Naval Affairs;and enacted the Conscription Act to enlist
aid to fight Union troops. He is interred with his wife at Metairie Cemetery.

Ordinance of Secession

"St. Charles was one of twenty-nine parishes that supported secession on January 26, 1861. General Richard Taylor of Fashion Plantation was elected to represent the German Coast. His signature is included among those signing the document with the notation “of St. Charles” directly below. The German Coast was then no longer a part of the United States. For two months the German Coast was part of a new nation named the Republic..." Read More