Saturday, July 28, 2007

This Explains EVERYTHING...

From Beautiful Crescent: A History of New Orleans (Garvey & Widmer, 2002, 11th ed.):

"Many paupers who strayed into Paris, or prisoners who would not volunteer were kidnapped and shipped, under guard, to fill the emptiness of Louisiana. Prostitutes, and the inmates of jails and hospitals, were all sent to populate the colony and to start the flow of wealth to the stockholders.

Franz, in his Kolonisation des Mississippitales (Leipzig, 106), writes [of the Company of the West, an entity charged with settling the new French colony]:

'The company even kept a whole regiment of archers which cleaned Paris of its rabble and adventurers, and received for this a fixed salary and 100 livres a head . . . . .Five thousand people are said to have disappeared from Paris in April, 1721, alone.'

'Prisoners were set free in Paris in September, 1721 . . . under the condition that they would marry prostitutes and go with them to Louisiana. The newly married couples were chained together and thus dragged to the port of embarkation.'"