Wisconsin Animal Life

Animal life in Wisconsin was once as varied as the topography. Fur-bearing animals attracted white men to the northwest territories, but, as the areas of human occupation widened, many of the larger animals retreated northward. Today many species originally found over the entire State live only in the northern part, and some species have altogether disappeared.

Within the evergreen forests of northern Wisconsin lived the wildcat, the wolverine, the Canada lynx, the marten, and fishers, all now rare, weasels, otters, minks, muskrats, raccoons, and beavers. In the northern lakes region roamed herds of elk and northern Virginia deer; the latter is the only member of the deer family that remains. The only moose reported in recent years were a pair that strayed across the border from Minnesota, roamed about for a short time, and then returned to their haunts. The herd of some 30 elk in Vilas County is not native but is the progeny of two carloads imported in 1915 from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Timber wolves and black bear are now comparatively rare, but brush wolves, or common coyotes, are numerous. The red fox, the porcupine, and the smaller mammals -- the chipmunk, deer mouse, woodchuck, skunk, snowshoe hare, star-nosed mole, shrews, and squirrels -- are still abundant. The flying squirrel, red-backed vole, bog lemming, marsh shrew, and several species of bat are common to all parts of the State.

At one time the elk, black bear, eastern cougar, timber wolf, and beaver lived not only in the northern forests but also in the deciduous forests farther south. These deciduous forests came within the Alleghanian faunal area, and in them a large number of animals reached the northern limit of their range. Typical small species in the south were the southern flying squirrel, fox squirrel, striped ground squirrel, gray squirrel, woodchuck, cottontail rabbit, long-tailed weasel, Wisconsin gray fox, prairie mole, opossum, small shrew, and prairie vole.

In the thickets edging the forest openings of the southeast the Franklin ground squirrel, skunk, jumping mouse, chipmunk, and shorttailed shrew are still to be found, and in the prairie openings themselves live some pocket gophers, prairie jumping mice, and badgers. Large herds of bison formerly grazed the more extensive prairie of the southwest, home of the prairie red fox, the coyote, the white-tailed jackrabbit, the ground squirrel, and pocket gopher. However, most of the large native mammals of the southern half of the State have been exterminated; such imported pests as the Norway rat and the house mouse thrive where once deer, bear, and porcupine lived in great numbers.

Whereas such species of reptiles and amphibia as the garter snake, the snapping turtle, painted turtle, and mud puppy are found throughout the State, the swamp tree frog, cricket frog, skink, milk snake, and racer live only in the southern area. Parts of the southeast are favorable to the pickerel frog, the bullfrog, the soft-shelled musk, spotted and map turtles, the green and the garter snake, the bull snake, and the rock rattler.

Wisconsin's fish fauna, with over 200 species, is rich and varied. Once the many lakes and rivers swarmed with fish. Now fish are less abundant, especially in the south, where conditions favorable to breeding have not been maintained. The northern lakes and streams still abound in game and near-game fish. Among them are brook trout, German brown trout, bluefin, largemouthed black bass, a common whitefish, smallmouthed black bass, black crappie, pickerel, and wall-eyed and other varieties of pike. The lake sturgeon is now comparatively rare. But king of all game fish and the fisherman's dream is the hard-fighting muskellunge, a species peculiar to the lakes of northern Wisconsin and Minnesota.

A few of the fishes common to the Mississippi River and its tributaries are the spoonbill, shovel-nosed sturgeon, the fish-destroying gar pike, river lamprey, common buffalo fish, carp, sucker, eel, the Mississippi catfish, and the hickory shad. Many other species, also plentiful farther northward and eastward, abound in this area -- the channel catfish, common bullhead, common sucker, golden shad, yellow perch, yellow bass, sheepshead, and the smallmouthed and the largemouthed black bass.

Bowfin, mooneye, short-nosed pike, mud minnows, common pike, grass pickerel, white crappie, rock bass, burbot, pike, perch, red-spotted and blue sunfish are common in nearly all Wisconsin lakes. The smaller lakes and streams are rich in brook stickleback, nine-spined stickleback, mud cat, black bullhead, stone cat, tadpole cat, yellow cat, common red-horse, green sunfish, long-eared sunfish, Miller's thumb, and several species of darters (small fish belonging to the perch family).

The hog sucker is found occasionally in some rivers. New species that have been introduced into Wisconsin waters include the rainbow and brown trout and the German carp, now widely distributed. Smelt, first introduced from Green Lake, Maine, into Lake Michigan in 1906, now occur there in great numbers. In Lake Michigan also, and in the State's deeper lakes, the whitefish, Menominee whitefish, lake herring or cisco, bluefin, perch, and yellow bass are abundant.

Lying within the path of the mid-continental spring and fall migration, Wisconsin is visited by great flocks of birds. Of the hunted migratory waterfowl the Canada goose, flying in great V's, honking over cornfields, resting by the thousands on Lake Wisconsin, is perhaps the most spectacular and the most familiar. The fish-eating mergansers migrate in greatest numbers along the Lake Michigan shore and breed regularly in Door County. Mallard, blue-winged teal, black duck, and shoveler breed within the State, as does the beautiful wood duck. Canvasback, redhead, and pintail attract hunters yearly during the fall migration. Of the non-breeding migrants the lesser scaup, or little blue-bill, occurs in greatest number.

Wisconsin's first settlers found the region particularly rich in upland game birds. The sharp-tailed grouse was originally common in the southern half of the State. This species has since retreated to the northern half, and the "prairie chicken" of southern Wisconsin is now the pinnated grouse. Ruffed grouse still occurs in well-forested areas, and bobwhite is fairly common except in the extreme north and in counties bordering Lake Michigan. The Canada spruce grouse is found in the northernmost counties. The wild turkey has disappeared as a native Wisconsin bird, and the sandhill crane is reduced to a remnant. Woodcock and jacksnipe are still taken as game. The Eastern Chinese ring-necked pheasant and the Hungarian partridge have been introduced and are increasing in numbers. In 1939 the chukar partridge was introduced.

The common loon breeds on Wisconsin's northern lakes, and the red-throated loon is sometimes seen on Lake Michigan, especially in winter. The little pied-billed grebe is a frequent summer resident, and the handsome horned grebe a common migrant. Holboell's grebe is a rare breeder. There are nesting colonies of the double-crested cormorant, the great blue heron, and the black-crowned night heron. On inland waters the green heron is always a familiar sight. The American egret used to breed regularly in Wisconsin, but for a time it disappeared entirely as a breeding bird and for years was only a rare straggler from the south. More recently juvenile birds have occurred regularly in July and August, and at least three pair of egrets bred in the State in 1939.
Wisconsin marshes harbor coots, Florida gallinules, king, Virginia, and sora rails, American and least bitterns, and black terns. Herring gulls breed on the islands of Green Bay. Except for the spotted sandpiper and the killdeer, most shorebirds are known as migrants only, although the upland plover and the Wilson's phalarope breed in small numbers.

Raptors are well represented among Wisconsin's birds. The most abundant hawks are Cooper's, marsh, and red-tailed. The duck hawk breeds here and there on limestone cliffs. The bald eagle is much less rare than the golden. Sparrow hawks nest in small numbers, but the pigeon hawk is rare. Goshawks and snowy owls occur in the northern part of the State and are occasionally seen farther south. The barn owl, which has a relatively southern range, is not common here. There are long-eared and short-eared owls, barred owls (especially in the Wisconsin River bottoms), and great horned owls. The screech owl is very common, the saw-whet much less so.

Hairy, downy, and red-headed woodpeckers are common permanent residents, although many redheads leave in winter. Flickers are abundant in summer, and yellow-bellied sapsuckers are commonest during migrations in the southern counties. Well-timbered country provides the breeding habitat for pileated woodpeckers, and in the northern counties there are a few nesting pairs of American three-toed and Arctic three-toed woodpeckers. The red-bellied woodpecker is fairly common in the Wisconsin River bottomlands.

Other birds peculiar to the Wisconsin River country are the lark sparrow, the blue-gray gnatcatcher, the Kentucky warbler, and the yellow-breasted chat. Blue-winged and golden-winged warblers breed here, and the two hybrid forms, Lawrence's and Brewster's warblers, have been found. The beautiful prothonotary warbler nests in holes in bottomland timber, and sometimes nests in wren houses or tin cans. In the southern part of the State the yellow warbler, northern yellowthroat, and redstart are common breeders. More warblers, of course, nest in the northern counties. Both the northern and Louisiana waterthrushes are seen in migration, and ornithologists look for the western form, Grinnell's.

Many although the upland plover and the Wilson's phalarope breed in small numbers.
Raptors are well represented among Wisconsin's birds. The most abundant hawks are Cooper's, marsh, and red-tailed. The duck hawk breeds here and there on limestone cliffs. The bald eagle is much less rare than the golden. Sparrow hawks nest in small numbers, but the pigeon hawk is rare. Goshawks and snowy owls occur in the northern part of the State and are occasionally seen farther south. The barn owl, which has a relatively southern range, is not common here. There are long-eared and short-eared owls, barred owls (especially in the Wisconsin River bottoms), and great horned owls. The screech owl is very common, the saw-whet much less so.

Hairy, downy, and red-headed woodpeckers are common permanent residents, although many redheads leave in winter. Flickers are abundant in summer, and yellow-bellied sapsuckers are commonest during migrations in the southern counties. Well-timbered country provides the breeding habitat for pileated woodpeckers, and in the northern counties there are a few nesting pairs of American three-toed and Arctic three-toed woodpeckers. The red-bellied woodpecker is fairly common in the Wisconsin River bottomlands.

Other birds peculiar to the Wisconsin River country are the lark sparrow, the blue-gray gnatcatcher, the Kentucky warbler, and the yellow-breasted chat. Blue-winged and golden-winged warblers breed here, and the two hybrid forms, Lawrence's and Brewster's warblers, have been found. The beautiful prothonotary warbler nests in holes in bottomland timber, and sometimes nests in wren houses or tin cans. In the southern part of the State the yellow warbler, northern yellowthroat, and redstart are common breeders. More warblers, of course, nest in the northern counties. Both the northern and Louisiana waterthrushes are seen in migration, and ornithologists look for the western form, Grinnell's.

Many western birds, such as the yellow-headed blackbird, the western meadowlark, the western grebe, Brewer's blackbird, and Gambel's sparrow occur in greater or lesser numbers. Certain southern species, such as the cardinal and the tufted titmouse, are extending their range in the State.

In the fall the prairie horned lark is replaced by the northern horned lark, the migrant shrike by the northern shrike. The common seedeaters in Wisconsin fields include the slate-colored junco and the tree sparrow. In severe weather the regular winter residents may be joined by such winter visitants as the Lapland longspur, the snow bunting, the pine and evening grosbeaks, and the Bohemian waxwing.

Wisconsin Plant Life

Once great forests, rising 65 to 125 feet above the mold, covered most of what is now Wisconsin; only in the southern and western hilly sections were there tracts of open prairie. Lakes and streams were plentiful in the northern and eastern forest regions; the southwestern portion, which the glaciers had missed, presented a diverse landscape of green-topped crags, rich valleys, and flower-strewn prairies. Today, despite the work of lumbermen and farmers, much of the native flora remains; the only surviving stands of virgin timber are preserved in State, national, and county forests or in a few privately owned tracts.

In general the northern part of the State held a coniferous type of forest. On its best soils were pure stands of hardwood or mixed forests of conifers and hardwoods. Norway pine grew where the soil was sandy or gravelly, and the sandy barrens of the north were also favorable to the jack pine. Farther south were forests of deciduous trees. Bogs with sphagnum and heath undergrowth and tamarack and spruce stands lay in the low areas throughout the State.

After 1870 lumbering became an important industry and the forests of the north began to disappear. Here the white pine was most plentiful. Other evergreens -- Norway pine, jack pine, white spruce, tamarack, balsam, fir, and white cedar -- were interspersed with deciduous species such as the paper birch, aspen, red and burr oak, black and white ash, and the yellow birch. On richer soils throughout this area a shrub stage of red raspberry, blackberry, pin cherry, and sumac followed in the wake of fires and lumbering; aspen and white birch saplings sprang up in some sections. The sandy regions of the northern and central parts of the State now grow only jack pine, sweet fern, bracken fern, blueberries, and June berries.

The many shrubby plants replacing the ruined forests of the north are not without beauty. In the thinned woods and along old fencerows grow beaked hazel, chokecherry, northern gooseberry, wild black currant, and bush honeysuckle. In winter the shiny, leathery leaves of the pipsissewa and the delicate needles of the yew and juniper are green beneath the snow.

When it is warmer, even before the snow has disappeared, the pink trailing arbutus blossoms over rocks and mulchy forest floors. The bogs, low meadows, and wet woods of the north support dwarf birch, wintergreen, bog rosemary, mountain fly honeysuckle, red-berried elder, cranberry, willow, and red osier dogwood.

Aside from the many kinds of mushrooms, grasses, sedges, and rushes, the northern coniferous area shelters various herbaceous plants. The commonest ferns are the brake, shield fern, and beech fern. One of the most interesting of the mosses is the club moss or ground pine, the spores of which are sometimes gathered and marketed as Lycopodium powder, a modern representative of a family that flourished in the coal-forming era. Early in the spring the hepatica puts forth a small, enamel-like blossom, varying from bluish-lavender to pink; then come the straw-colored Clintonia and the dwarf Solomon's seal, a mass of white flowerets. Ladyslippers, including the yellow and pink moccasin, grow widely, as do the related rein orchis and saprophytic coral root. In bogs and swamps are the pitcher plant, whose streaked purple leaves trap insects for nourishment, and the sundew, which also captures insects, but with the glue-tipped tentacles on its leaves. The fragrant pink twin-flower and the waxy, white, bell-shaped flowers of the shinleaf are found in late spring. In the fall evergreens and mixed broadleafs, turning yellow, orange, red, and purple, blend with goldenrod, purple asters, and scarlet swamp maple-gleam.

Near Bailey's Harbor lies a 400-acre tract of ridges and valleys with a wealth of plant varieties typical of northern Wisconsin. Here are found 30 of Wisconsin's 45 species of native orchids, the bird's-eye primrose and fringed gentian, rare elsewhere in the State, and all but two of the State's evergreens.

Common to all or most of the State are such trees as red oak, wild plum, quaking aspen, black willow, cottonwood, hornbeam, and hickory, and various bushes such as raspberry, gooseberry, and currant. Many herbaceous plants are likewise common, among them the white water lily, wild rose, and violet. The violet, of which Wisconsin has at least 20 species, was selected as the State flower by the vote of school children on Arbor Day of 1909. No particular species was chosen, but probably the children had in mind either the common early blue violet or the pale blue bird's-foot violet. Other common species are the yellow, the arrow-leaved, and the small fragrant white violet. The white water lily blooms in early summer in many Wisconsin lakes and rivers; and the American lotus, once in danger of extinction, has lately become abundant in lakes and in the sloughs of the Mississippi.

Originally the southern part of the State was covered with forests consisting mostly of hard maple, slippery elm, beech, white elm, burr oak, red oak, and ironwood. Less common were aspen, basswood, black cherry, green ash, hackberry, hickory, and butternut. Along the Mississippi and the lower Wisconsin Rivers a few trees characteristic of the Kentucky-Tennessee forest area reached their northern limit -- the honey locust, chinquapin oak, and black maple; others, such as black oak, shell bark hickory, black walnut, and wild crabapple, also common in this forest area, extend farther up the State. Characteristic shrubs were the prickly and Missouri gooseberries, the thornapple, chokecherry, June berry, prickly ash, staghorn sumac, alternate-leaved dogwood, roundleaved dogwood, poison sumac, nannyberry, and honeysuckle; there were also a few climbers -- the bittersweet, wild grapevine, Virginia creeper, and moonseed.

The southern part of Wisconsin is made up of three distinct regions: the southwestern uplands, the central sandy plain, and the southeastern marshes, woodlands and prairies.

At the northwest end of the deep-cut southwestern plateau, the valley bottoms and narrow ridges were originally covered with a deciduous forest. On the prairies of the broad upland levels Pasque flowers, growing by the millions, spangled the wheat grass, beard grass, and buffalo grass. Later each spring came a profusion of rich blue bird'sfoot violets, and white and pink shooting stars blossomed in mid-May. Though most of the prairie vegetation has been destroyed by cultivation and grazing animals, the steeper southern slopes and railway right-ofways are still full. Among the remaining prairie plants, besides a wide variety of grasses, are the grass-like herbs called blue-eyed and yellow star grass and the herbs curiously named for fruit trees -- ground plum, ground cherry, and prairie apple. A few plants, mostly lower forms such as mosses, are peculiar to this region and the central sand country, both of which were not glaciated, while other plants such as leatherleaf and small cranberry grow everywhere else in the State but in these two regions.

Northeast of the region of broad highland prairies and narrow wooded valleys, in the central part of the State, is an extensive, ovalshaped terrain with mesa-like bluffs and characteristic vegetation. Originally this area, where bogs and marshes are now abundant, was covered by forests of white pine, jack pine, jack oak, and red pine. Now only some of the tamarack and spruce bogs of the undrained lowlands, and the meadows of sedges and rushes, retain their original vegetation; the remainder of the area consists of cutover land grown to jack pine and aspen. Bogs that have been drained and burned are largely covered with aspen and with thickets of blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

Conspicuous plants of the marshy areas are the sedges, bulrushes and cat-tails, the swamp milkweed with its rose-purple flowers, the blue iris, the arrowhead, and various willows. In the bogs and on the sandstone ledges are labrador tea and blueberry; huckleberry and bearberry thrive on the rocky banks and bluffs. In May the sandy open woods and fields are dotted with blue spiked lupine and orange hoary puccoon.

The southeastern part, by far the most fertile in the southern half of the State, was originally covered by deciduous trees, except for scattered bogs and marshes and for prairie openings throughout the south. Where the soil was boggy, tamarack was the most common tree. In the marshes and sloughs the usual reeds, sedges, rushes, and cat-tails mingle with a variety of moisture-loving plants -- the arrowhead, water crowfoot, water persicaria, iris, water cress, swamp milkweed, water hemlock, water parsnip, tufted loosestrife, marsh marigold, and sticktight. The forest edges along the oak openings contained shrubs and small trees such as the dogwood, bladder nut, raspberry, bittersweet, hawthorn, and hazel.

In spring the woodlands throughout the south have large-flowered trilliums, fawn lilies, spring beauties, and a few large yellow ladyslippers. Though much of the undergrowth has died out, many of the more striking species of herbaceous plants remain.

In the rich soil of densely shaded slopes grow Virginia grapefern, interrupted fern, maidenhair fern. Among the first flowers to appear are the pink and lavender hepatica, the milk-white bloodroot, and the marsh marigold. Often the waxy-white golden-centered trillium and purple-striped Jack-in-the-pulpit grow here, and the showy, ladyslipper, with purple hood arched over its white spur-like lip. Bellwort, Dutchman's breeches, violet and purplish-brown ginger blossom in early May. Phlox and Jacob's ladder form patches of pale lilac or blue, and the mitrewort extends its spike of flowerets. Spring beauties, which close when a cloud obscures the sun, make solid sheets of pink in the hardwood copses before the trees put forth leaves. In low-lying wooded lands and in ravines among the ostrich fern, shield fern, lady fern, and green dragon, the fawn lily expands large white flowers. The water leaf also grows here, and the jewelweed, with pendant orange and yellow flowers to attract the humming bird. More common in the upland woods are the yellow ladyslipper and the rattlesnake plantain -- Wisconsin's only orchid with variegated leaves -- the rein orchis, and the shinleaf. The red-flowered columbine grows in rocky places; bees, growing impatient, often cut into its nectar cup from below, leaving the task of pollination to the ruby-throated humming bird.

Wisconsin Geology

Successive geologic changes by which visible Wisconsin was shaped are revealed in exposed rock masses in many parts of the State. Oldest of these, the Archean fire-born stones of the north, found at Wausau, Rhinelander, and Chippewa Falls, may be remnants of the earth's primeval crust. They are part of the foundational body of the early North American Continent, which extended from Alaska to Labrador and thence south to the present latitudes of southern Missouri and Tennessee. This land was a barren expanse surrounded by seas that held only the simplest of single-celled life. Wind, rain, frost, sun, and all corrosive chemistries slowly planed the heights. Then, with a downward movement of the earth's crust, the continent sank into the sea where surface waste had already been deposited.

Into the waters covering what is now Wisconsin poured sediments from southern and eastern shores; they settled and eventually became thick deposits of hard crystalline sandstones and conglomerates. Finally the sunken land began slowly to rise again, and, as it presented its new face to the elements, portions of the great mass folded and fractured to form mountains. During the process molten rock welled up from deep within the earth and invaded the roots of the mountains. Pressure and heat metamorphosed sandstone into quartzite, shale into slate, limestone into marble. This period of flood and subsequent land elevation and the period of like action which immediately followed are known as the Lower and Upper Huronian stages in Wisconsin's geologic history. The purple-grey rocks seen in the present Baraboo Ranges are quartzite of these periods. Huronian slate and marble are both revealed near Mellen. Some of the rock formations are rich in iron; good examples are found at Hurley.

The alternation of deposition and erosion continued. Still a third sea terminated millions of years of levelling. Differing from the previous oceans whose beds lay quietly gathering their sedimentary stores, the third presented a restless floor. Alternate short terms of erosion and deposition occurred as the ocean's bottom frequently emerged from the deep, then sank again. Volcanic activity accompanied these processes, and great surface areas were covered with the hot spread of lavas. Upon cessation of volcanic action sandstone was deposited. A final movement upheaved the earth's crust again, and mountains were made. Thereafter northern Wisconsin was depressed in a mighty downward fold of the earth, the Lake Superior syncline. St. Croix Falls, Mellen, and Superior afford good outcroppings of the Keeweenawan masses of lava, sandstone, and conglomerate. In places the formation reaches a thickness of 55,000 feet.
With the end of the Keeweenawan period more than half of the earth's estimated billion years of record had passed; living things had developed slightly in complexity but, without backbone or shell, were still confined to water.

Then began a long age of land rest, with the bulk of Wisconsin protruding above waters whose northern boundary lay close to the present Illinois-Wisconsin line. The elements continued to wear away the land until the only heights that remained were a few rock masses in the central part of the State and the early Huronian mountains, including the Baraboo Ranges. The waters gradually crept over the land until northwest Wisconsin became an extensive peninsula compartioned only by offshore islands of rock. With complete inundation came the deposition of sands, fine muds, and clays that form the Cambrian series of rocks, examples of which are present at Madison, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Camp Douglas, Trempealeau, and Lodi. Soft and porous, the Cambrian sandstones are the natural reservoirs that supply water to many Wisconsin cities.

While the ancient sea sometimes covered Wisconsin, sometimes claimed only parts, two more geologic periods passed. Animal and plant life had progressed materially. Shelled fauna were plentiful, corals built their limey colonies, and earliest fishes swam through the weeds. In southern and eastern parts of the State the stacked formations of Ordovician and Silurian times lie in ordered sequence save where complete erosion of a formation or insufficient deposition has caused a "lost interval"; in such places rocks of one series lie directly upon those of an older series, without trace of the missing term in the structural record.

First of the Ordovician deposits is the lower Magnesian limestone, a heavy rock quarried near Madison and La Crosse and used for road building and general construction. Frequently complete erosion of this particular limestone resulted in a "lost interval," indicated by the abutment of the second Ordovician formation immediately upon the Cambrian series.

St. Peter sandstone, a formation of the second Ordovician deposit, which appears, for example, at Viroqua, is a source of water supply for southern and eastern Wisconsin. Because of insufficient St. Peter deposition the next formation, Platteville limestone, rests in some places upon Lower Magnesian limestone.

Two limestone deposits, Platteville followed by Galena, were made in Ordovician time. Small quantities of lead and zinc are distributed throughout the Galena formation and are most concentrated in southwestern Grant, Iowa, and Lafayette Counties. A thickness of one hundred to five hundred feet of shale completes the Ordovician system in the State. Along the east side of Lake Winnebago near Fond du Lac, Richmond shale is dug out and used in the making of tile and brick.

Clinton iron ore is derived from deposits made in the Silurian period. Once mined at Iron Ridge in Dodge County, the low grade ore of the Clinton formation is not in sufficient demand to be profitably mined. Directly above the Clinton deposits is a series of limestone beds known as the Niagara formation. It is believed that these thick deposits are in part compounded of extensive coral reefs which were reduced to sedimentary muds by erosive water action. Appearing as a line of westfacing cliffs all the way from a point slightly north of Waukesha to the tip end of Door County, the formation is known as the Niagara escarpment and is a prominent physiographic feature of Wisconsin. Racine, Waukesha, Chilton, Sturgeon Bay, and Green Bay lie on or near it.
Devonian time was a signal period in the State's geologic evolution. Shallow seas deposited limestone and shale -- the Milwaukee formation -- in a small area along the Milwaukee shore of Lake Michigan. After Devonian time all the area that is now Wisconsin rose above sea level, and there, as far as can be ascertained, it remained. Millions of years passed; through erosion old mountains were again exposed; the Baraboo Ranges took their place as surface features.

Animals and plants became more detailed in bodily structure, more varied in kind.

Another radical altering of surface features began within the Pleistocene period, one million or more years ago, when great ice sheets advanced upon the continent; in their course they covered all but the southwestern quarter of Wisconsin. Moving cumbrously over ridges, deep valleys, and rounded hills, the glaciers ground away the hill tops and filled the valleys with the accumulation of their grinding and scouring. Sand, clay, gravel, and even huge boulders were all parts of the glacial load. In periods of warm temperature the forward parts of the ice sheets melted, but each time when the cold returned the glaciers again extended south. There were four major advances or forward movements of the ice.

When the continental glaciers melted away, probably only a few tens of thousands of years ago, they left a vastly changed Wisconsin, with only the "driftless" or unglaciated area of the southwest representative of previous surface features. Irregular humps and depressions were now characteristic configurations. The former are the kames, eskers, drumlins, and moraines -- mounds of glacial accumulation which the ice sheets dropped in temporary periods of melting or in their final recession. The valleys, which were dammed by glacial deposit, and the depressions left where buried ice masses melted are the basins for most of the lakes in the State.

Wisconsin Geographic Areas

Geographers divide the State into five major areas, three of which lie in the belted plain covering all of central and southern Wisconsin. This belted plain is so named because it includes a ring of ridges, each with a short steep descent on one side and a long gentle slope on the other, marking the junctures of weak sedimentary rocks with more resistant, overlapping formations. Such ridges are called cuestas.

First of the three areas within the belted plain is the Western Upland, which begins in southern Polk County and widens southward until, at the Wisconsin-Illinois border, it extends from the Mississippi River to beyond the middle of the State. With elevations above sea level ranging between 900 and 1,200 feet, it has the highest altitudes of the belted plain. Two cuestas -- the Galena-Black River and the Lower Magnesian, of much greater length -- are salient land features in this region of 13,250 square miles. The Baraboo Ranges intersect the Magnesian Cuesta at Sauk County. A section of the Galena-Black River Cuesta, extending from Fennimore to Mount Horeb, is widely known as the Military Ridge. The Green Bay-Prairie du Chien Military Road, built in 1835, followed the crest of the cuesta. Other wellknown heights are Blue Mounds of 1,716 feet, highest point in southern Wisconsin, situated near Mount Horeb; and Platte Mounds and Sinsinawa Mound in the vicinity of Platteville.

Most of the Western Upland was never covered by the glaciers and therefore retained its early rugged landscape. But in the eastern part of the Baraboo Ranges the ice tore away huge blocks of the quartzite rock, deposited moraines, and created Devils Lake; in a region near the St. Croix and Chippewa rivers the glaciers deposited a thick drift. Nearly all of that portion of the Magnesian Cuesta which extends for 35 miles through Polk and Barron Counties is covered by glacial deposit. Drift left by some of the earliest ice sheets is spread throughout the Upland near Beloit and Monroe. The area north of the Baraboo Ranges affords good examples of glacial lake deposits.

Chief rivers of the Western Upland are the Chippewa, St. Croix, Trempealeau, Black, La Crosse, Wisconsin, and the Mississippi on the western border. The latter two have terraced their valleys and cut exceptionally deep gorges; the gorge of the Mississippi is cut to a point more than 500 feet below the level of the Upland Ridges. Interstate Park on the St. Croix River, Perrot, Merrick, and Wyalusing State Parks along the Mississippi, and Devils Lake and Tower Hill State Parks are regions of great natural beauty.

The province known as the Eastern Ridges and Lowlands covers 13,500 square miles in eastern and southern Wisconsin. Its western boundary reaches southwest from the Menominee River in Marinette County to the Wisconsin River in Sauk, thence southeast to the southern limit of the State in Rock County. The eastern boundary touches on Lake Michigan from the tip of Door County south to the Illinois line. Along this eastern boundary abandoned beaches, wave-cut cliffs, and terraces are found at varying distances inland. Door, Racine, and Kenosha Counties possess the best preserved of the ancient shorelines of the glacial predecessors of Lake Michigan.

The Eastern Ridges and Lowlands is a glaciated plain, flanked by northeast-southwest running cuestas of Lower Magnesian and Black River limestone on the west, and by a broader and higher parallel escarpment of Niagara limestone on the cast. In contrast to the cuestas of the Western Upland the escarpments are generally of lower altitude and are simpler in outline. Between the two cuesta flaakings a lowland, underlain by Galena-Black River limestone and St. Peter sandstone, provides the level topography and fertile soil which make this province the foremost agricultural portion of the State.

For a distance of some ninety miles in the upper part of this Green Bay-Lake Winnebago-Rock River Lowland the topography is that of a smooth plain, made so by evenly spread glacial lake deposits. From here south topography is progressively more irregular until in the southern lowland the area is marked by a glacially made landscape of modified hills, moraine and drumlin mounds, many small streams, and lakes. A great kettle moraine, an irregular mass resulting from glacial accumulation between two lobes of the ice sheets, and marked by deep hollows and knobs, is an important topographical feature of the area from Kewaunee County south to Walworth County.

The principal lakes of the Lowland are the Oconomowoc group and the Lake Geneva group in the south, a large group north of the Oconomowoc group, the Madison chain, and Lake Winnebago; the chief river systems are the Rock and the Fox of Illinois in the south and the Fox of Wisconsin in the north. A series of rapids in the northern Fox River provides the most valued water power in the State. Important manufacturing cities have developed at the sites of the rapids, and these, with Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Madison, and the cities of the Lake Michigan shore, make the Eastern Ridges and Lowlands region the most highly populated and industrialized of the five geographic provinces. The lake regions, Terry Andrae, Peninsula, and Potawatomi State Parks, and the coastal islands and mainland of Door County are notable for their scenery.

Between the Western Uplands and the Eastern Ridges and Lowlands is the great crescent-shaped Central Plain. With the exception of a small area in the northwest portion which is floored by Keeweenawan lavas, all of the area is immediately underlain by Cambrian sandstone. Elevations vary from 685 feet above sea level (at Ellis Junction) in the eastern end of the plain to 1,242 feet at the western end.

Within the 13,000 square miles of the crescent are both driftless and glaciated areas. The unglaciated Camp Douglas country extending from Wisconsin Dells through Mauston and Camp Douglas to Tomah, and from Camp Douglas through Wyeville and Black River Falls to Merrillan and Humbird, a flat expanse of sandy, arid-looking landscape broken frequently by isolated buttes and mesas, is typical of Central Plain "driftless" country. Roche à Cris, standing 225 feet above the plain, and Friendship Mound, even higher, are well known among scores of castellated ridges and mounds.

Though the Camp Douglas country was never overridden by the glaciers, the water from the melting ice sheets covered the region with lake deposits -- sand, gravel, and clay. Some of the Camp Douglas country is within a much larger area, which was once the basin for glacial Lake Wisconsin, and much of the Camp Douglas sand is sand of that lake bottom.

The glaciated landscape of the Central Plain is one of low, rounded hills and moraines, with occasional castellated hills, called nunataks, which were surrounded by the ice during the glacial period but never overridden by it.

Three-quarters of a million acres of swampland lie within the Central Plain. One great swamp covers an area of 30,000 acres between Wisconsin Rapids, Camp Douglas, and Black River Falls.
Lakes are few within the crescent. Some lie in the northwestern part of the section and a few others in the east within Waushara County. Green Lake in Green Lake County is deepest of all inland Wisconsin lakes; Lakes Shawano and Poygan, associated with the Wolf River, are among the largest lakes of the Central Plain. Major rivers are the Wisconsin, Wolf, Fox, Black, Chippewa, and St. Croix. The Wisconsin and the St. Croix rivers have both cut deep gorges, the beautiful Dells of the Wisconsin at Wisconsin Dells and the Dalles of the St. Croix at Interstate Park near St. Croix Falls. Rapids on the Chippewa River provide water power for the furniture factories and paper mills at Eau Claire.

With the exception of a relatively small area touching on Lake Superior, all of Wisconsin outside the belted plain is Northern or Lake Superior Highland. This plain, covering 15,000 square miles, shield-shaped and gently arched -- with elevations ranging between 700 and 1,700 feet -- is part of a great upland area which reaches beyond Wisconsin to Canada, Labrador, and Hudson Bay. Its moderate topography and underlying pre-Cambrian rock are evidence of the Wisconsin which was once all lofty mountains. Now only in the Northern Highland and a few other places are the early gneisses, quartzites, granites, schists, and lavas exposed.

Certain ridges and monadnocks are remnants of the early landscape. These more resistant metamorphic rocks stood above the ancient plain much as they do now. The eighty-mile long Penokee-Gogebic Range in the northern part of Ashland and Iron Counties is an outstanding example of a pre-Cambrian ridge. The quartzite Barron Hills of Barron County, the Flambeau Ridge of Chippewa, and quartzite Rib Mountain near Wausau are prominent. The latter, rising 1,940 feet above sea level, is the highest known outcrop in the State. The mountain summit has been designated a State Park.

Most of the Northern Highland was glaciated, but a small area near Wausau, Stevens Point, and Wisconsin Rapids escaped the ice. Some hundreds of square miles in Marathon, Wood, Clark, Taylor, Lincoln, and Langlade Counties are within an old drift area which was abandoned by the ice earlier than other parts of the highland. Here the lakes and swamps have practically all been drained and filled, the landscape shows great erosion, and the pre-Cambrian rock is almost everywhere very near the surface.

Areas of younger glaciation have abundant lakes and swamps and many moraines and drumlins; they are covered with a great thickness of drift. Lakes of the glaciated Northern Highland fall into two groups those of northwestern Wisconsin, of which Lakes Court Oreilles, Upper St. Croix, Chetek, and Namekagon are probably best known, and those of the extreme northern part of the State in Vilas, Oneida, and adjacent counties. The latter, the Highland Lakes group, are numbered in the hundreds. Most of the lakes lie in holes, called kettles, that were left by the melting of ice blocks buried in the drift.

Principal rivers of the Northern Highland are the St. Croix, Chippewa, Menominee, Wolf, and Wisconsin. All of these rivers have rapids and waterfalls and are a source of water power. Extensive marshes, numerous boulders, and frequent areas of poor sandy soil that are found in the glaciated parts of the Northern Highland, combined with a short growing season, make much of this region better suited to forestry and recreation than to farming.

The Lake Superior Lowland, fifth and last of the geographic provinces, is a comparatively small region of 1,250 square miles -- all within Douglas, Bayfield, and Ashland Counties in the northwest corner of the State. It is essentially a plain, with altitudes ranging between 600 and 1,000 feet above sea level.

Presumably this area was one part of a great pre-Cambrian peneplain which included the area now occupied by Lake Superior, the Northern Highland, and areas extending northwest into Minnesota and northeast into Canada. Unlike the hard bedrock of most of the peneplain, a relatively small part of the area was of weak sandstone and shale. In a period of uplift the rock weathered and was worn away to such an extent that the area became a lowland. Eventually the continental ice sheets covered the lowland, scoured its surface in some places, and left deposits in others. The water from the melting glaciers formed a mammoth lake whose waters spread and retreated, becoming finally the present Lake Superior.

The Lake Superior Lowland is covered by the deposits made when the lake extended farther inland; abandoned beaches and shorelines are frequently evident. The sand and clay soil, largely compounded of Lake Superior deposit, makes the region better adapted for grazing and for hay production than for grain and general agriculture. Glacial drift is thick in certain parts of the lowland and contains some native copper.

For a considerable distance inland from Lake Superior the postglacial streams have cut deeply into the plain, and here the landscape is one of ravines and hills.

The most prominent relief feature of the Lowland is the escarpment which extends southwest to northeast from the Wisconsin-Minnesota line to the Apostle Islands and marks the boundary between Superior Lowland and Northern Highland. A companion escarpment edges a lowland of Minnesota. The two indicate the abutment of weak sandstone against the hard lavas and other older rocks of the Northern Highland. The Superior escarpment appears at Ashland as a low sloping wall and, south of the city of Superior, as the South or Douglas "Copper" Range.

As the St. Louis, Nemadji, Brule, Bad, and Montreal rivers descend over the Superior escarpment to the lake, they have developed cataracts which are among the steepest in the State. The Copper Falls of the Bad River and the falls at the juncture of Tylers Fork and the Bad River may be seen at Copper Falls State Park near Mellen. Little Falls and Manitou Falls on the Black River (tributary to the Nemadji) are in Pattison State Park south of Superior. Manitou Falls, one hundred and sixty feet, is the highest cataract in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Climate and Soils

A mean annual rain and snow precipitation of 31 inches is one of the chief climatic factors that make the State a uniformly humid region with a constant water supply for all but the smallest of streams. The heaviest rains fall in the spring and summer months. As well as plentiful rain, there is plentiful sun; half of Wisconsin's days are shiny.

Wisconsin's position between 42° 30' and 47° north latitude places it in the belt of prevailing westerly winds and within the temperate zone. Weather changes are numerous and rapid and there is a marked difference between summer and winter. Lakes Superior and Michigan have only a very limited influence in checking the temperature extremes of the very cold winters, like those of northern Sweden and central Russia, or of the hot summers, comparable to those of France, Germany, and southeastern England. Fifty degrees below zero to 111 degrees above are the recorded limits of Wisconsin temperatures. Within these extremes, temperatures vary according to the altitude of a given region, according to the northern or southern position of that region, and according to the proximity of lake bodies. Thus the growing seasons range between a shortest season of 75 days for a small part of Wisconsin that borders Michigan and a longest season of 175 days for the southwestern corner of the State.

Among Wisconsin's greatest natural assets are its soils, many of them immensely rich deposits of the glaciers. The latter, including tills or unsorted clays and sands, assorted gravels and sands, and red clays of glacial lake beds, cover the larger part of the State. Other Wisconsin soils are divided between residual -- products of weathering of underlying rocks -- and those transported by the wind. The residual and wind-blown soils include a sandy soil, the results of the weathering of sandstone, and a clay soil mixture composed of weathered limestone and a wind-brought silt called loess.

Wisconsin area topography rivers

Wisconsin's area of 56,066 square miles, in the north central portion of the United States, is defined by a ragged boundary. Lake Michigan lies on the east, Lake Superior and the Menominee, Brule, and Montreal Rivers on the north, the St. Louis, St. Croix, and Mississippi Rivers on the west. Only the southern border and some relatively few miles at the State's northern limits follow a line unsuggested by natural water courses.

The topography today is essentially the same as it was immediately following the Ice Age. Broadly, it may be described as a composite of large areas of plains, smaller areas of stream-cut plateaus, and large areas of erosion-worn mountains. Elevations above sea level range between 581 feet where Wisconsin's eastern border edges Lake Michigan to a highest point of 1,940 feet at Rib Mountain near Wausau. The mean altitude for Wisconsin is 1,050 feet. Generally speaking, the elevation of the north is higher than that of the rest of the State.

Streams to the west of Wisconsin's major watershed, a broad land arch extending north and south through the middle of the State, empty by way of the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico. Chief among these streams are the St. Croix, Chippewa, Black, and Wisconsin Rivers, the latter the State's largest interior waterway. Each joins the Mississippi at some point along Wisconsin's western border. The Rock River and some few small streams flow through Wisconsin into Illinois, where they join the Mississippi system. Streams to the east of the watershed. empty into the Atlantic Ocean by way of Lake Superior or Lake Michigan. The St. Louis, Brule, Bad, Nemadji, and Montreal Rivers find their way to Lake Superior; the Menominee, Peshtigo, Oconto, Wolf, Sheboygan, and Milwaukee Rivers, together with numerous smaller waterways, are a part of the Lake Michigan system.

Wisconsin is bordered by more than five hundred miles of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior; the State Possesses close to 4,000 mapped interior lakes. To the northeast, chiefly in Vilas, Oneida, and Iron Counties, are the hundreds of small waters of the highland lake district. In the northwest, especially in Sawyer, Barron, Polk, Burnett, and Washburn Counties is a second group of small, closely set lakes. Eastern and southeastern Wisconsin have a generous number of moderatesized, scattered lakes. Lake St. Croix, an interruption the St. Croix River, and Lake Pepin, a widening of the flow of the Mississippi, are both long narrow bodies associated with hundreds of small flood plain lakes within the bottom lands that line these rivers. Of all Wisconsin lakes, Winnebago, in the Fox River Valley, is largest, covering 215 square miles.

New Orleans Eating and Drinking

Eating and drinking rank as fine arts in New Orleans and the traveler finds the flavor of the past kept vitally alive in its restaurants. Year after year the older institutions go on, in the same buildings and the same atmosphere, serving the famous Creole dishes in undiminished excellence; and even the newer restaurants conform to the tradition of good food and service.

New Orleans Creole cuisine, evolved many years ago, had as its basis French delicacy piquantly modified by the Spaniard's love of pungent seasoning, the Indian's use of native herbs, and the Negro's ability to mix and bake. Into its evolution, too, went a singularly abundant and diverse food supply, with not only a wide variety of fish, game, and vegetables at the very door and exotic products available from the nearby tropics, but a steady flow of delicacies imported from the old country. A traveler to New Orleans in 1803 commented on the astonishing import of luxuries, 'out of keeping with so small and new a place: Malaga, Bordeaux, Madeira, olive oil (a most important article of consumption), brandied fruits, liqueurs, vinegars, sausages, anchovies, almonds, raisins, prunes, cheese, vermicelli.'

New Orleans restaurateurs still scour far countries for certain important ingredients of their dishes; and, although game, long the piece de résistance of restaurant cuisine, has been made contraband by recent laws, and many of the flavorous old herbs have disappeared, much remains. The Gulf pompano, which Mark Twain called 'delicious as the less criminal forms of sin'; the sheepshead, a fish almost equally as popular; redfish, red snapper, oysters, shrimp, crabs, crawfish, and frog legs; chicken or poulet, cooked in a hundred different ways, each one better than the last; avocados, burr artichokes, fresh pineapple, fresh mushrooms, and fresh asparagus -- these are only a few of the products available to local chefs today as in the past.
New Orleans, having taken the trouble to concoct its delicious, manytasting foods, may raise a quizzical eyebrow at the occasional spinach and lettuce-leaf devotee who happens along, but to the appreciative gourmet she extends a joyous welcome. This spirit of gracious catering, found alike in the noted restaurants and in many of the humblest, is a sort of noblesse oblige deriving from the fine tradition of the past; for the city boasts of a long line of distinguished old hostelries.
The first restaurateurs were largely Spaniards, who laid small emphasis on food and featured rather delectable drinks, Spanish music, and Spanish dancing. Fashionable Creole gentlemen, when they foregathered to sip their wines and discuss the price of indigo, the imminent duel, or the latest news from Europe, preferred, however, the quieter and more elegant cafés: Maspéro's, Hewlitt's, or John Davis's. If a man required good, solid food and was unfortunate enough not to be able to eat at home -- the prevailing practice -- there was only the Restaurant d'Orléans, the exclusive Le Veau Qui Tète, and the somewhat rowdy Hôtel de la Marine, haunt of the Lafitte pirates and other colorful characters.

With the period of phenomenal wealth which began about 1830, the habit of dining out really began. Many brilliant banquets were given under the frescoed dome of the old St. Louis Hotel, or at the St. Charles, whose famous gold service was brought out on state occasions. Suppers and after-the-theater parties took place at those rival city restaurants, Moreau's and Victor's, who vied in the excellence of their dishes and the distinction of their guests. And the Gem sprang into fame with its fabulous free lunches.

But it was at the suburban inns that the most skillful chefs presided and memorable feasts occurred. At Carrollton Gardens, near the levee where today the St. Charles street-car turns into Carrollton Avenue, inviting meals were served on the broad verandas of the hotel overlooking the grounds, with their summer houses and pagodas, their jasmines and honeysuckle vines. The 'lake end' restaurants at Milneburg, Spanish Fort, and West End were popular. These were quaint wooden buildings with large rooms and many porches, set on piles over the lake, with welltended parks and flower gardens in front. It was at Milneburg, and under the supervision of the noted chef Boudro, that a dinner was tendered in 1856 to Thackeray. 'At that comfortable tavern on Pontchartrain,' Thackeray commented afterward, 'we had a bouillabaisse than which a better was never eaten at Marseilles -- and not the least headache in the morning, I give you my word.'

At a later date, came 'Léon's,' a resort of both high-class gamblers and fastidious epicures; the unique market restaurants, Begué's, Maylié's, Tujague's; and the innumerable little French restaurants, with names like Les Quatres Saisons (The Four Seasons), Le Pèlerin (The Pilgrim), etc., of which Lafcadio Hearn said, 'Each one, like those of Paris, has some particular specialty, and the chicken, shrimps, mushrooms, and wines are universally excellent.'

Today, the restaurants are largely French and Italian, but it is also possible to get good German and Mexican food.

New Orleans Development in the 20th Century

The birth of the twentieth century marked the start of an era of prosperity and municipal development for New Orleans. The Federal census of 1900 disclosed a population of 287,104; one hundred years of growth had seen the number of the city's inhabitants increase by more than 2800 per cent. Total commerce in 1900 was valued at $430,724,621. Many changes were in evidence: the river passes, had been brought under control; the steamboat had yielded first place to the railroad, the bulk of all freight now arriving in New Orleans by rail; export shipments were carried mainly in foreign ships; and a large proportion of freight was delivered directly to the steamship side and reshipped without the necessity of the old style of rehandling on the levee.

Along with commercial and industrial expansion came labor disputes and serious strikes. In 1902 there occurred a violent dispute between the various street-car companies operating in the city and their employees. The trouble was brought about through the introduction of a larger type of car and a change in schedule which enabled the companies to dispose of a large number of men. The street-car men, interpreting the action as a direct violation of a previous agreement, walked out on strike on September 27, demanding that the discharged men be returned to their jobs, the working day be reduced to eight hours, and an hourly wage of twenty-five cents be paid. In the fifteen-day strike that ensued, public sympathy was, for the most part, on the side of the strikers. Using buggies, wagons, automobiles, and improvised vehicles, the citizens boycotted the street-cars. No violence occurred until October 8, when the companies attempted to run four cars under police guard with strike-breakers imported from the Middle West. Strikers attacked the cars at Galvez and Canal Streets and quickly put them out of commission, several men being injured in the disturbance. Street-car service was finally resumed with the work day fixed at ten hours, the hourly wage at twenty cents, and only such men as were necessary to operate the larger cars taken back into the company.

Another serious strike occurred in 1907, when 8000 dockworkers walked out on a strike which began when 'screwmen' demanded that the stowage of 160 bales of cotton should constitute a day's work for which they should be paid six dollars instead of the old pay of five dollars for the stowage of 250 bales. Numbers of strike-breakers were imported from outside cities. However, a few concessions were won by the strikers.

The year 1907 saw the completion of the magnificent publicly owned water purification and pumping plant which still serves the city. In 1908 another important step in municipal ownership was taken when the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad was constructed. Efficient and economical operation soon effected material reductions in former excessive switching and handling charges. Two large girls' schools, the Sophie B. Wright and John McDonogh High Schools, were built in 1911, costing $195,777 and $188,037 respectively. Crowded conditions which had prevailed for some time were greatly relieved. Warren Easton High School for boys was completed in 1913, at a cost of $311,000.

Radical changes were made in' the form of the city government in 1912. The aldermanic system was done away with and the commission form instituted.

A tropical hurricane of great intensity struck the city and vicinity on September 29, 1915. The wind attained a speed of from 80 to 110 miles per hour, while 8.36 inches of rain fell within 21 hours. The waters of Lake Pontchartrain overflowed into the city. During the succeeding fifteen days more than twenty-two inches of rain fell, seriously handicapping the drainage and sewerage systems. Property damage ran into the millions and scores were injured, but only one person was killed.

Shortly after the United States entered the World War several important military camps were established in New Orleans. The largest of these was located on the site of the old City Park racetrack,' where thousands of soldiers were quartered and trained. Various civic organizations led the citizenry in a patriotic and full-hearted response to the Government's appeal for money and military supplies. The influenza epidemic of 1918 and 1919 was at its height when the Armistice was signed. Thousands were stricken -- at times the death toll reached one hundred daily.

In 1921 the New Orleans Inner-Harbor Navigation Canal, connecting Lake Pontchartrain with the Mississippi River, was completed at a cost approximating $20,000,000. This waterway is now an important link in the intracoastal canal system.

New Orleans Growth of the City

After the Civil War the city boundaries expanded rapidly. The city of Lafayette had been absorbed in 1852, and Algiers and Jefferson City were annexed in 1870 as the fifth and sixth districts; two years later Carrollton became the seventh district, rounding out the present boundaries of the city and parish.

The Faubourg Ste. Marie extended at first only to Delord Street (Howard Avenue), but soon reached Felicity Road. The city of Lafayette began at Felicity Road and extended to Toledano Street, from which line Jefferson City extended to Upperline Street. Several plantations, including the present Audubon Park, lay between Jefferson City and Carrollton, which began at Lowerline Street. These boundaries included many smaller communities such as Hurstville, Greenville, and Burthville.

The city developed much more slowly toward the lake because the swamp had to be cleared and drained. Bayou Road led to the old French settlements on Bayou St. John near the present head of Esplanade Avenue. Faubourg Trémé developed back of Congo Square in the 1830's, and the building of the Pontchartrain Railroad in 1831 developed Elysian Fields Avenue and Milneburg. There was also a road along Bayou St. John to Spanish Fort. In the 1840's Common Street was the chief road to the cemeteries and Metairie Race Track. A bridge crossed the New Basin Canal at this point and a shell road, a favorite 'speedway,' led to Lake End (now West End). Until about 1858 Canal Street still had an old plank-covered canal from Claiborne on, and was slow in developing.

The present thickly settled Dryades Market section was a swamp with a dirty shallow lake called Gormley's Basin until about 1870. All of the residential sections of the city beyond Claiborne Avenue, with the above exceptions, were swamp tracts and dairy farms until the drainage system was built and their development began -- about 1900.

In 1878 the city was again visited by its ancient and devastating scourge -- yellow fever. Panic ensued as thousands of inhabitants left the city for the Gulf Coast. The mortality rate among children was pitiable -in one block there were 105 cases, with an average of five deaths per day. In all more than 3800 people died.

After five years of brilliant effort, in 1879 Captain James B. Eads succeeded in overcoming the greatest single obstacle in the commercial development of New Orleans -- shallow water at the mouth of the Mississippi. A depth of from twenty-six to thirty feet was secured by a system of jetties which forced the current to deepen its channels and carry the silt out into the Gulf of Mexico. Incidentally, this was accomplished along lines similar to those proposed by Adrien de Pauger more than one hundred and fifty years before.

After the jetties proved successful, railroad expansion began. Legislative franchises for railroads being obtained, new lines were constructed. Rates favored the railroads, and the steamboat business, although active and important up to the Spanish-American War, steadily declined. Five large trunk lines entered New Orleans by 1880, and a new era in the commercial development of the city began. The volume of railroad business increased from 937,634 tons in 1880 to 5,500,000 tons in 1899.

In 1882 Canal Street was illuminated by electric lights. Royal Street came next in 1884, while the system was extended to include practically the entire city in 1886.

In 1884 and 1885 the Cotton Centennial Exposition, popularly called the 'World's Fair,' was held in New Orleans on the present site of Audubon Park. Hundreds of thousands of visitors were drawn to the city. The Exposition did much to bring about a better understanding between the North and South, and gave an added impetus to the city's fast recovering commerce.

In 1892 the first electric street-car was operated along St. Charles Avenue. Within a year or so several electric lines were in service, supplanting the horse cars which had been used for years.
The legislature of 1868, which was made up almost entirely of carpetbaggers, had granted a twenty-five-year charter to the Louisiana Lottery, in exchange for a yearly payment of $40,000 to the New Orleans Charity Hospital. Renewal of this charter became a major political issue. It was felt that the proposed fee of $1,000,000, to be paid to the State annually was not sufficient for the privileges of running what was generally conceded to be a 'gold mine,' to which the company replied that 93 per cent of its revenue was drawn from sources outside of Louisiana. Au article granting the company a three-year lease was put into the State Constitution in 1892, but the lottery was definitely outlawed by both the Federal and State Governments in 1895, after which it operated in Honduras as the Honduras Lottery Company.

Between 1890 and 1895 a semi-private organization called the Sewerage and Drainage Company undertook the construction and operation of the city's first extensive system of sewage disposal. The company went into receivership in 1895, however, and that important phase of public improvement lagged for several years.

New Orleans the City Reconstructed

The years between 1865 and 1877 were the blackest in the history of New Orleans. It was a period of violence, lawlessness, political agitation, and corruption. Politics, as the order of the day, colored and shaped every activity. Returning Confederate soldiers found Unionists in charge of all civic affairs. Negroes, bewildered by their new liberties and constituting a threatening problem to the whites, crowded the city under the protection of the Freedmen's Bureau. Northern fortune-hunters -- derisively called 'Carpetbaggers' -- were coming into the city daily and were fast taking possession of commercial as well as political vantage points. The Southerners, however, earnestly went to work to repair their shattered fortunes and regain their former place in the community. This they did successfully, in spite of poverty and dispossession. The Unionists fearing a return of the Southerners to power, and the Carpetbaggers fearing that they might be ousted, took action which resulted in the 'massacre' of July 30, 1866, at the Mechanics' Institute, in which four white men and forty-four Negroes were killed and over one hundred and sixty others wounded. The Reconstruction Acts and the Fifteenth Amendment soon followed, and New Orleans became a city occupied by Federal troops under the ruthless control of General Phil Sheridan.

City and State affairs were closely allied during the Reconstruction Period. During the War the City Hall had been the State Capitol, which was next moved to the Mechanics' Institute on Dryades Street, and then to the old St. Louis Hotel, in 1872. The Democrats managed to retain control of the city government, although the State became Republican with the election of Governor Warmoth in 1868. This control was soon taken from them by a new city charter establishing an administrative form of government and providing for the appointment by the Governor of all officials.

The city was slow in recovering its, former commercial advantages. Successive crop failures, as well as the increased advantage held by the Northern railroads, kept down the volume of commerce. River trade revived slowly but never again became what it was in ante-bellum days. Only one railroad -- the Jackson Road, afterwards the Illinois Central -connected the city with the outside world. The extravagance of the city and State governments caused the bonded debt of the city to pile up rapidly. Tax collections were increasingly bad because of business conditions. Real-estate values declined steadily, and empty stores were to be seen in every block. Work and money were scarce, and floods of local paper money complicated the situation. White people were compelled to adjust themselves to the strange experience of living under Negro officials and Negro police, and were also required to associate with them on an equal footing in restaurants, railroad cars, and schools. It cannot be said that the white population adjusted itself very gracefully to these conditions; it practically abandoned the public schools to the Negroes, education receiving a setback that required years to remedy.

The political situation went steadily from bad to worse. The Republicans began fighting among themselves because Governor Warmoth proved too moderate to please their aims. Fights, often resulting in fatalities, occurred at every election. Administrations were installed and ousted at the City Hall by military edict regardless of election results, while crowds milled about in Lafayette Square. Voting was an adventure surrounded with menacing dangers; getting the vote counted was quite as bad. Gambling houses and low dives ran wide open on the main streets, and to walk through the streets at night was to invite trouble. Dan Byerly, manager of the Bulletin, met ex-Governor Warmoth on Canal Street one day and attacked him with a cane. Warmoth clinched, and in the resulting fight stabbed Byerly to death. Violence and robbery were daily occurrences, and the city seemed doomed and hopeless.

The Crescent White League, an organization military in character, was formed in June, 1874, for the defense of white rights against Negro aggression. A call was issued for a gathering of citizens at the Clay Statue on Canal Street on the morning of September 14, 1874, where plans were made to take possession of the city and State governments, thus once and for all breaking the power of the Metropolitan Police. The crowd dispersed to reassemble in the afternoon with arms and equipment at their headquarters at Camp and Poydras Streets. General Longstreet stationed his Metropolitan Police at vantage points in Jackson Square and around the Custom House, the main body taking position under General Badger at the head of Canal Street. Governor Kellogg sought safety in the Custom House, where a company of United States soldiers was quartered.

The White League forces formed in Poydras Street, and a large body under General Behan advanced down the levee at four o'clock. General Badger saw them coming and opened artillery fire. Having no artillery of their own, the White Leaguers charged and in a few minutes cleared Canal Street of Metropolitan Police. The White Leaguers swept on around the Custom House and drove the police back to Jackson Square. Both sides remained armed during the night, and in the morning the police surrendered the State House, Arsenal, and Jackson Square. The White Leaguers suffered twenty-one killed and nineteen wounded; the Kellogg forces, eleven killed and sixty wounded. Liberty Monument, around which the street-cars turn at the foot of Canal Street, marks the site of the battle and commemorates the valor of those who fought in it.

Victory was short-lived, and although Lieutenant-Governor Penn was installed in the State House by jubilant citizens on the afternoon of the fifteenth, President Grant immediately sent reinforcements and demanded the reinstatement of Kellogg without delay. Governor McEnery promptly complied upon his return to the city on September 17. The full fruits of victory were not enjoyed by the White Leaguers until two years later, when on April 24, 1877, Governor Francis T. Nicholls was given possession of the State House (the act is said to have been the result of Louisiana's casting of the deciding electoral votes in Hayes's favor), and the carpetbag politicians were deprived of power and removed to other fields of action. The White League was then disbanded.

New Orleans the Federals Capture the City

Because it, more than any other city of the South, depended upon slavery and the cotton crop for prosperity, New Orleans had little choice when it became necessary to make a decision on the question of secession -- as the cotton States went the city had to follow. The small ' Union Party' was silenced by the tide of circumstances. The much larger 'Co-operationist' group likewise found its efforts futile after South Carolina forced the issue. Citizens of all opinions began preparing themselves for war after the State legislature adopted the ordinance of secession on January 26, 1861. A week later the Custom House and Mint in New Orleans were seized by the State militia.

For more than a year the city saw no fighting. Instead of war there was preparation -- enlisting and equipping troops for action on distant fronts. Gold and silver disappeared, and Confederate money became the leading currency. The price of food and clothing rose as the value of money went down. The State had one paper issue, the city another. First there was a lack of currency and then a flood of 'shin-plasters'; merchants issued their own 'money,' in which enterprising liquor dealers took the lead. A joke was current that 'you could pass the label of an olive-oil bottle because it was greasy, smelt bad, and bore an autograph.'

As the port of the Mississippi Valley, and an important' source of supplies for the Confederacy, the city became the objective of a Federal offensive in 1862. With the intention of cutting the Confederacy in two by gaining control of New Orleans, a fleet of twenty-five wooden ships and nineteen mortar schooners, under Admiral David G. Farragut, a former citizen of New Orleans, passed through the mouth of the river and opened fire on Forts Jackson and St. Philip below the city.

For five days and nights the unceasing bombardment continued from the mortar schooners situated at a bend in the river two miles below the forts. Although great damage was done to the forts, they continued firing, and Farragut, overruling his staff, decided to attempt a passage with his war vessels. At 2 A.M. on the morning of April 24, 1862, while the mortar schooners poured bombs into the fortifications, seventeen ships in three divisions began the hazardous ascent. Lack of fire-rafts, and the ease with which the great chain stretching across the river was broken, permitted the fleet to slip by. As the ships passed they poured broadside after broadside into the forts, which replied ineffectually. The Confederate boats in the river made a heroic effort to stay the advance, but the Federal armada was not to be stopped.

After passing the fortifications at Chalmette without much difficulty, Farragut arrived at New Orleans in a pouring rain on April 25. Since General Lovell and his 3000 men had been dispatched elsewhere, the Federal forces had only the half-armed citizenry to fear. The city authorities refused to surrender, and Farragut threatened to open a bombardment, an act he was reluctant to perform. Crowds gathered in the streets shouting that they had been betrayed, and milled about in futile rage, committing senseless acts of violence. Cotton was tumbled out on the levees and set on fire, and ships lying at anchor were cut loose to drift down the river in flames.

On May 1, General Butler's troops marched into the city and assumed command. The municipal authorities were removed from office and Federal officers appointed in their place. The hand of a stern ruler was felt throughout the city. In an attempt to restrain any manifestation of the people against the Federal occupation a woman was sentenced to two years on Ship Island under Negro guards for laughing during the funeral of a Federal officer, and a man was given the same punishment for displaying a skeleton as that of a Union soldier. William Mumford, who had removed the United States flag from the Mint before the city had been surrendered, was tried by court-martial and hanged. Under the 'Woman's Order', any woman who might 'by word, gesture, or movement show contempt for any officer or soldier' was to be treated as a 'woman of the town plying her vocation.' Special taxes were levied against those who had aided the Confederacy, and soldiers were sent to search the houses of citizens for arms; any slave offering information against his master in this respect was freed. All persons over eighteen years of age were required to take an oath of allegiance to the Federal Government or surrender their property and leave the city.

Such acts, whatever may have been their justification, aroused the resentment of the whole Confederacy and led President Davis to decree that General Butler, should he be captured, was to be treated as an outlaw and hanged. Popular opinion in France and England was also affected, and pressure brought to bear in Washington was influential in bringing about General Butler's removal. He was succeeded by General Banks, who was more moderate in attitude. Under his direction a Union Government was formed for the State.

New Orleans Becomes a Metropolis

New Orleans entered upon an era of almost unbroken tranquillity, prosperity, and commercial expansion, which lasted until the Civil War. The value of exports reached nearly $10,000,000 in 1815. After the Fulton-Livingston monopoly of Mississippi steamboat traffic had been declared null and void by the United States Supreme Court, steamboats multiplied rapidly, and increased from 21 in 1814 to 989 in 1830. As the steamboat became an accepted fact, trade along the entire extent. of the Mississippi increased, and New Orleans began to vie with New York as an important port for European commerce. The levees at New Orleans were piled high with merchandise, and thousands of dock-hands unloaded steamboats to transfer the cargo to ships which carried the produce of the valley to ports all over the world. Cotton, tobacco, grain, and meat came down the river in enormous quantities, as sugar, coffee, and European manufactures went back to the pioneer homes of the new settlements.

As commerce grew, the city rapidly expanded. The American Quarter came into its own and was recognized as a very definite factor in the city's growth. Tchoupitoulas Road, near Canal Street, was by now an important commercial center. Under Samuel J. Peters, James H. Caldwell, and William H. Sparks the suburbs beyond what is now Howard Avenue were developed, and rural homes, dairies, orchards, and farms grew closer together as the region took on an urban aspect. Below Esplanade Avenue the Marigny Plantation was being developed as a suburb, while beyond Rampart Street along the Bayou Road numerous homes were being erected.

Immigration of gamblers, criminals, and riffraff from all over the world, lured to New Orleans because of its reputation as a lawless river town, brought on an acute crime problem, and the city's first criminal court was established to cope with the situation in 1817. A custom of the time for the preservation of peace -- one which lasted for many years -- was the sounding of the curfew nightly. A cannon was fired at 8 and at 9 P.M. to warn those who were out without permission to return to their homes, and sailors to return to their ships. A special pass issued by a respected merchant or employer was required of those wishing to be on the streets after curfew. At nine o'clock most of the taverns and shops closed their doors, although some of the better hotels or taverns, by virtue of their position, were not restricted by the curfew.

In March, 1818, the first steam waterworks was completed. Located on the levee near the French Market, it supplied water for both drinking and general use. Prior to its being put into operation, most of the drinking water taken from the Mississippi had been peddled through the streets at a picayune (about 6 ¼ ¢) for four bucketfuls.

In 1821 the city was excited by a rumor that an expedition was being fitted out under Dominique You with the intention of rescuing Napoleon Bonaparte from St. Helena. Ever since Napoleon's incarceration on the island, certain French citizens in the city had been interested in a plan to bring him to New Orleans. Nicholas Girod, mayor from 1812 to 1815, offered his house at the corner of Chartres and St. Louis Streets as a refuge for the former emperor, and legend has it that he had a boat built and provisioned for the rescue. Three days before sailing word was received that Napoleon had died, and the expedition was abandoned. Legend persists in investing at least two houses on Chartres Street with importance as being possible homes of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Because of the French-speaking population, theaters had limited their offerings to that language. An English actor by the name of James H. Caldwell presented, in 1820, the first English play to be staged in New Orleans. His success was so great that in 1822 he laid the cornerstone of the ' American Theater' on Camp Street between Gravier and Poydras, the first building of any pretension to be constructed in the American Quarter. With the opening of this theater in 1823 New Orleans was introduced to illuminating gas.

Within the next few years many civic improvements took place. Two hundred and fifty street lights were placed in the diagonals of the principal streets in 1821. Each intersection was hung with twelve lanterns, but although street lighting was greatly improved, the old custom of carrying a lantern when going abroad after dark was continued until 1840. A few streets were partly paved, Chartres Street having the distinction of being the only street paved its full length. The first paving in the American Quarter was done when two squares of St. Charles Street were laid with cobblestones and covered with fine gravel. Those streets which were not paved had wooden gutters and sidewalks, swept and kept clean by Negro chain gangs. Trees were planted in the Place d'Armes, along the levee, in Congo Square, and along many of the streets. Sycamores were the principal trees chosen.

Masked balls and street masking became features of the Mardi Gras celebration early in Colonial times. They were continued under the Spanish until the governors suppressed street masking because of rowdyism. Street masking again came into vogue about 1835 and the newspapers described a Mardi Gras parade for the first time.

In 1831 the Pontchartrain Railroad was put into operation between New Orleans and Milneburg, a distance of four and a half miles. A financial success from the start, the railroad soon increased its facilities for freight and passengers, and a harbor and a town (Milneburg) were laid out at the lake end of the line.

The city was visited by a terrible epidemic of yellow fever and Asiatic cholera in 1832 and 1833. In the two-year period that the epidemic raged, approximately ten thousand people died.
The Medical College of Louisiana, the forerunner of Tulane University, was founded in 1834, and was opened the following year with sixteen students in attendance. The school grew slowly until it was made the University of Louisiana by legislative act in 1847, and became Tulane University in 1883, after a large bequest was left to it by Paul Tulane.

Ill feeling between the Americans and Creoles was manifested in many ways, more so because the Creoles outnumbered the Americans in the City Council, and as a result received the benefit of Council enactments. This animosity came to a climax in 1836 when a young American was killed in a duel by a Creole. In conformance with the law, the survivor was placed on trial, but was acquitted. The decision was taken by the Americans as an individual insult, and justice was demanded by a mob which surrounded the judge's home. The State, taking heed of the trouble in the city, withdrew the charter and issued another, with the provision that the city be divided into three separate municipalities, to be governed over by an autonomous board of elected aldermen, presided over by a recorder. A fourth board, which was to constitute the City Council, was drafted from the three boards and was presided over by the Mayor. Only those problems which were of common interest to all three municipalities were handled by the City Council. The first municipality embraced the Creole section, the second comprised the American or uptown section, and the third contained the remainder of what is now New Orleans. In 1852, after sixteen years of tripartite government, the city was reunited into a single municipality.

The nationwide panic of 1837 caused a serious disruption of business in New Orleans and threatened to disturb the financial structure of the city. Fourteen banks announced suspension of the payment of specie. In an attempt to improve financial conditions, more money was put into circulation, each municipality issuing its own money, which ranged in denomination from twenty-five cents to four dollars. In the mad scramble for money, which depreciated as rapidly as it was issued, corporations, and even individuals, issued their own money. Depreciation was so great that money had to be carried about in large sacks. Credit was stagnated until 1839, when prosperity returned, and the city again forged ahead.

By 1840 New Orleans, with 102,192 inhabitants, had grown to be the fourth largest city in the United States. Second only to New York as a port, it was contesting with that city for first place. Commerce of that year reached the total of approximately $200,000,000. Imports, which in 1815 had represented 50 per cent of the total commerce when New Orleans was the only port of entry for the upper valley, declined to 33 ⅓ per cent by 1840, a diminution attributable to changing trade conditions following the construction of the Erie Canal and the building of railroads from the Atlantic Seaboard to the Middle West. Competition from Eastern seaports for the valley trade became noticeable after 1835, when thousands of tons of produce were moving out of the Ohio country to New York instead of to New Orleans. No impression was made upon the business interests of New Orleans, however, because the continued increase in the population of the Mississippi Valley caused an actual increase in river shipments, notwithstanding the divergence of trade to the East. From 1830 to 1850 railroads were regarded largely as local feeders to river and canal, but after 1850 connections were completed between Chicago and the Atlantic coast and the trade of the Valley began, slowly at first, but with increasing rapidity, to leave the river route. Warning came in 1846, when, for the first time, flour and wheat receipts at Buffalo exceeded those at New Orleans. Little concern was felt in New Orleans at this shift in trade routes, since cotton was becoming more and more the chief economic reliance of the city. By 1850 it accounted for forty-five per cent of the total commerce. Along with the shift to cotton as a commercial staple went the trade in slaves, New Orleans becoming the greatest slave market in the country.

Literature and the arts kept pace with economic and social development, as New Orleans became the cultural center of the South. Opera flourished, theaters attracted European stars, artists abounded, and bon vivants thrived in a city which had already become famous for its fast and loose manner of living. Gambling, horse-racing, dueling, steamboat racing, and cock- and dog-fighting, in addition to the magnificence of balls, receptions, and Mardi Gras, made New Orleans, which was even then becoming a winter haven for well-to-do Northerners, a gay metropolis.

A new public-school system was put in effect in 1847, the State providing funds on the basis of educable children ranging in age from 6 to 16 years. In 1848 approximately 7000 children attended the free schools, and by 1860 the number rose to 12,000. After 1850 the public-school system was enlarged to a great extent through the beneficence of John McDonogh.

Yellow fever broke out sporadically in 1852, to reach epidemic proportions in the following summer. At the height of this, the worst epidemic in the history of the city, barrels of tar were burned at the street corners and cannon were fired to purify the atmosphere, a practice which threw the sick into convulsions. Doctors and nurses toiled heroically, and many who might have fled from the city remained behind to volunteer their services. Money was contributed from all parts of the country. After 'Black Day,' August 31, 1853, on which 230 deaths from fever were reported, the plague began to abate. The number of deaths from all causes between June and October is estimated to have exceeded 11,000, yellow fever accounting for 7,189.

The frequency with which yellow fever and cholera epidemics occurred and the abnormally high death rate (said to have been 100 per cent higher in 1849 than that of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, or Charleston) gave New Orleans the reputation of being the graveyard of the Nation. Local pride, which persisted in regarding yellow fever as a 'strangers' disease,' a conception curiously borne out by the fact that very few natives were stricken by the malady (only 87 native-born Orleanians perished in 1853), caused the citizens to minimize the extent of the recurrent scourges, the attitude being taken that denial of its presence was the best cure for fever. Lack of underground sewers, the filthy condition of the streets, and pools of stagnant water, in which mosquitoes bred freely, were contributing factors which, though offset to some extent by quarantine regulations, continued to make yellow fever the greatest peril to the city. Only after the true origin of the disease was determined and efforts were made to control mosquito breeding, was New Orleans made a healthy city.

The Battle of New Orleans

Had there been faster means of communication in those days, news of the signing of peace at Ghent, December 24, 1814, would have been received to lift the siege and avert the battle of January 8. As it was, the morning broke with the roar of cannon and the orderly advance of the British main army. Preceded by showers of Congreve rockets, the British, carrying scaling ladders, advanced with precision and arrogant slowness. The main attack was directed to the American left near the cypress swamp, where Generals Carroll, Adair, and Coffee were stationed with their 'dirty shirts,' as the British called the riflemen from Kentucky and Tennessee. Grape and canister were poured into the ranks of the oncoming redcoats, while the backwoodsmen, unabashed by either the elegance or the reputation of the veterans who had harassed Napoleon, cut great swaths in the enemy line. Standing knee-deep in mud and water, these bedraggled, tobacco-chewing mountaineers handled their 'shootin' irons' with great precision and devastating efficiency. British reserves came up to keep the line intact, but the advance was checked short of the breastwork, the British retreating from the hail of fire that crackled across the plain. Pakenham, in an attempt to rally his men, was shot from his horse and carried to the rear, mortally wounded. A second rally was effected but was completely routed, only a few valiant British meeting death at the American breastwork. By 8:30 in the morning the enemy was entirely defeated, and retreated, leaving the field covered with dead and wounded. Thirteen of Jackson's men were killed, 30 wounded, and 19 missing, as compared to the British casualties of 700 killed, 1400 wounded, and 500 missing.

The Americans kept up a ceaseless artillery fire until January 17, when the British retired to their fleet, leaving the Americans in possession. The march of the victorious defenders into the town was a triumphant procession. January 23 was declared a day of Thanksgiving, and an impressive ceremony was given in Jackson's honor in the square now bearing his name. A huge throng gathered to watch him pass under an arch, as girls tossed flowers in his path. A Te Deum was sung in the Cathedral, and in the evening the city and suburbs were 'splendidly illuminated.'

New Orleans Redcoasts Strike at the City

In the last year of the War of 1812 New Orleans became the objective of an attempted British invasion of the Mississippi Valley. Throughout the war an attack had been anticipated, but it was not until after the sack of Washington that the British turned their attention to the Gulf. The Spanish port of Pensacola was used as a base, from which a campaign was conducted against General Andrew Jackson. The Lafitte brothers, Pierre and Jean, who had built up a lucrative privateering business at Barataria, were invited to join forces with the British.

Although the British offered him rank as captain and protection for his buccaneering enterprises, Jean Lafitte rejected the offer, but, feigning acceptance, sent the letters of the English official to Governor Claiborne, along with an offer of aid in the defense of New Orleans. The 'hellish banditti,' with whom Jackson was loath to associate, later acquitted themselves bravely during the Battle of New Orleans.

Jackson and his troops arrived in New Orleans on December 2, 1814, six days after General Sir Edward Pakenham had left Jamaica with his fleet and the pick of Wellington's Peninsular Veterans. Immediate preparations were made for the defense of a town which looked to the future with 'distrust and gloomy apprehension,' in which banks because of lack of specie had suspended payment on notes for several months, and which hoped to be saved 'only by miracle.' The outlying forts at Chef Menteur, the Rigolets, and along the river were inspected and reconditioned; the coastal bayous were ordered to be blocked against the British ascent.

The enemy arrived at Chandeleur Island December 10, 1814. Since Lake Borgne was too shallow to permit the frigates to land troops, a transfer was made to small boats. An engagement for the control of the waterway occurred on December 14, in which the British with forty-five open boats manned by twelve hundred men defeated five American gunboats detailed for scouting purposes in Lake Borgne. During the following week, while two British officers' succeeded with the help of some Spanish fishermen in reconnoitering Bayou Bienvenue as far as the Villeré Plantation, seven miles below New Orleans, seven thousand troops were transferred to the mainland.

News of the defeat on Lake Borgne excited feverish activity in the city. Jackson assumed dictatorial powers and declared martial law. Lafitte's men were enlisted and messengers were sent to hurry Carroll and Thomas with their detachments of Tennessee and Mississippi volunteers; Coffee and his men, who had been sent to Baton Rouge, were ordered to advance by forced marches. Great patriotic fervor swept the town; the Marseillaise, Yankee Doodle, and Chant du Départ rang through the streets, as men of many nationalities -- white, black, and Indian -prepared to repulse the redcoats who were coming from no one knew what direction.
At noon, December 23, 1814, the vanguard of the British army succeeded in advancing unseen, via Bayou Bienvenue, as far as the Villeré Plantation, where Major Villeré and the militia under his command were captured. While the British set up camp and brought up troops from the fleet at anchor in Lake Borgne, General Andrew Jackson, having been notified of the strength and position of the invaders, mobilized his men and drew up plans for an immediate attack. The war-schooner 'Carolina' was to anchor off of the levee close to the enemy encampment and give the signal for a general attack by pouring a broadside of hot shot at the British. Coffee and his Tennesseans, who had previously marched 120 miles in two days, were to move through the cypress swamps and fall upon the British flank and rear, while Jackson and his regulars, Plauché's city volunteers, who ran all the way to New Orleans from Fort St. John (now commemorated in the Jackson Day Run), d'Aquin's colored battalion, McRea's marines, and eighteen Choctaw Indians were to strike along the river.

At 7:30 P.M. the 'Carolina' sidled up to the levee and opened fire upon the unsuspecting British as they were cooking supper and preparing their bivouacs. Confusion reigned as the redcoats put out their fires and ran for shelter behind a secondary levee. Simultaneously, Jackson and Coffee advanced to the attack. In the 'hand-to-hand combat in the dark, in which bayonets, tomahawks, hunting knives, and fists were used to advantage, the Tennesseans made murderous inroads on the British right flank, although Jackson's charge was met with stubborn resistance. After two hours' fighting a heavy fog terminated the battle, neither side having gained any decisive advantage.

The American forces retreated two miles toward New Orleans during the night and established a breastwork on an abandoned canal between Chalmette and Rodriguez Plantations. During the following week, while the intervening area was flooded by a break in the levee to impede an advance by the enemy, eight batteries were erected and preparations made for the British attack. The army under Jackson consisted of about five thousand men made up of volunteers, free Negroes, Choctaw Indians, Baratarians, and volunteers from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi. This motley crew, as strange a force as ever served under one flag, was expected to withstand the assault of between eight and nine thousand British veterans.

The British, with Pakenham now at their head, brought up more troops and artillery. On January 1, in an effort to open breaches in the American fortifications, twenty-four English guns began a steady fire upon the entire extent of Jackson's line. The Americans, with twelve or thirteen guns, replied with enthusiasm. Round after round rattled down the breastwork from the river to the swamp as the defenders of the city manned their batteries in the manner that had won for Americans the reputation of being the best artillerymen of their day. So steady were their rounds of fire and so deadly their aim that within an hour the fire of the enemy was broken. By three o'clock in the afternoon the British ceased firing and abandoned their guns, conceding victory to Jackson's men, among whom none handled their guns better than You and Béluche, battle-scarred members of the Barataria brigade.

Pakenham now elected to wait for reinforcements to come up from his fleet. Jackson benefited little by the delay, for although two thousand Kentuckians arrived, few could be put into service due to a shortage of guns and equipment. While rumors circulated to the effect that New Orleans was to be burned to the ground in the event of defeat, or was to be surrendered to the British by the city officials who were unduly alarmed by the reputed watchword of the enemy, 'Beauty and Booty,' preparations went ahead for a major encounter.

Old New Orleans

At this period in its history, New Orleans was still a small town extending about a mile along the turn of the river, from Fort St. Charles to Fort St. Louis. Three suburbs skirted the fossé and the dilapidated palisades of the original city (now the French Quarter); the Faubourg Ste. Marie on the south in the region that is now the commercial section; the Faubourg Trémé on the west above Rampart to the cypress swamps of Bayou St. John; and the Faubourg Marigny on the east below Esplanade, on the lands of Bernard de Marigny. In this entire area there were twelve to fourteen hundred buildings, housing a population of approximately 10,000 - 4000 whites, 2500 free Negroes, and the remainder slaves.

The Place d'Armes (Jackson Square), slightly larger then, opened on the river. Facing the square and the Mississippi stood the most imposing building in town, the twin-towered St. Louis Cathedral. Quite as magnificent was the Principal or Hôtel de Ville (Cabildo) beside the church, back of which stood the Calaboose or prison. Other public buildings were the Ursuline Convent, the Custom House, two hospitals, a barracks, and a government house.

The buildings on Levee (Decatur), Chartres, and Royal Streets were constructed of brick, faced with lime or stucco, and had roofs of tile and slate. Those in the rear were made of cypress with shingle roofs, and were so combustible that an ordinance had to be passed forbidding the further erection of timber buildings. As a precaution against flooding during rainstorms the houses were set on pillars, leaving a kind of cellar on the surface of the ground. Flights of stairs, vestiges of which remain to this day in the Vieux Carré, encroached upon the banquette, a sidewalk four or five feet wide, constructed of bricks with a retaining wall of cypress planks.

Visitors to the city at this time were unanimous in their condemnation of the unpaved streets which, though well laid out, were little better than muddy canals. The city blocks were three hundred and twenty feet long; the streets were thirty-seven feet wide and were lined with ditches to carry off the seepage from the levee. Advantage was taken in the construction of the sewerage system of the curious phenomenon of water draining away from the river. Criss-cross ditches, when flooded by means of sluices in the levee, carried the refuse of the town to the swamps and Lake Pontchartrain. The system proved a failure, however, because of the indolence of the garbage men (four carts were detailed for removing filth from the streets), who permitted the conduits to become clogged. As a result, the slop and garbage thrown in the gutters created a stench that was only dispelled by flushing rains. The blocks after a hard rain were completely surrounded by water, and as a consequence came to be called îlets. The streets were lighted by means of lanterns hung from hooks attached to corner buildings. They swung in the wind, were put out by rain, and at best afforded poor light. What with the pitfalls, the uneven banquettes, and the detours occasioned by lakes of standing water, walking was an adventure. On more than one occasion high-born ladies went to balls with their skirts lifted high and their party shoes and stockings in their hands.

Fire-fighting must have been a thrilling and terrifying affair. The Dépôt des Pompes (engine house) was located at the Cabildo and housed four engines, twelve dozen buckets, twelve ladders, ten grappling irons and chains, ten gaffs, twelve shovels, twelve pickaxes, and ten sledgehammers. From twelve to twenty-two men served each machine, all volunteers, with an additional company of 'sappers' whose duty it was to tear down buildings if the fire threatened to spread. When a fire broke out it was announced to the town by the watchman who stood on the porch of the St. Louis Cathedral for that purpose. He rang the alarm bell of the church and waved a flag to indicate to the people the direction of the fire. All policemen who could be spared were obliged to aid in the fire-fighting, as were the townspeople met on the way. A reward of fifty dollars to the engine company first reaching the fire encouraged speed.

The police force, which was frequently reorganized in an effort to preserve law and order, continued inadequate, judging from the complaints made to the City Fathers about the numerous pigsties permitted within the city limits, the removal of ground from places reserved for the town, and the reckless driving of Negro cart drivers, who violated the ordinance against standing while driving. Censure was also brought on the City Guard when a murdered man found in the Faubourg Ste. Marie was buried by 'charitable persons' after the police had left him lying in the streets for three days. To improve the efficiency of the force in catching desperados stalking the streets at night a sentry box was placed every four blocks, around which watchmen, carrying swords and lances, were to patrol in the 'greatest silence,' since the noise that they had hitherto made enabled the prowlers to know of their whereabouts.

Two cotton mills and a crude sugar refinery were the main industries of the city. Seafaring craft anchored at the levee near the Place d'Armes, and barges and flatboats from the Mississippi. Valley tied up at the Batture, ten steps from Tchoupitoulas Street. Three banks, the first of which opened in 1805 on Royal between Conti and St. Louis Streets (now the Patio Royal), administered to the business needs of New Orleans.

Described by travelers as a Babylon where Creoles, English, Spanish, French, Germans, Italians, and Americans did little else than dance, drink, and gamble, New Orleans soon gained notoriety as a 'wide-open' town. Every sort of entertainment was afforded the citizenry, from bearand bull-baiting to Voodoo rites conducted by the Negroes in Congo Square (now Beauregard Square). In fact, such was the gaiety of New Orleans on Sundays that horrified visitors were wont to think it a 'convenient religion' which, while it administered to the needs of the soul, took care that it did not 'interfere with the more important pleasure of the body.'

The mania for dancing kept a public ball going twice a week during the winter, adults attending one day and children the other. Dancing lasted from seven until 'cock-crowing the next morning.' Quadroon balls, at which ladies of slight color and of extraordinary beauty entertained the jeunesse dorée of the town, were gay affairs compared to the sedate balls held by the white women of society. Latin temperament ran high, and swords or pistols were often resorted to when a question of honor arose. Concubinage between whites and blacks was an established custom, but New Orleans 'society,' with its roots imbedded in European culture and elegance, ran its course sedate and unperturbed.

In addition to these amusements the general public found entertainment at the French theaters on St. Philip and St. Peter Streets. They were open three times a week, drawing the greatest crowds on Sunday. Their presentations, as they were announced in the newspapers, competed for public favor with exhibitions of elephants and displays of fireworks.