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Louisiana Indians Enslaved and other places where the Indians were Whitewashed and Black Scrubbed

Two pictures of Tom Torlino, a member of the Navajo Nation, depicting him before and after his time at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, 1882.

Industrious Lumbee

Entwined Threads of Red and Black: The Hidden History of Indigenous Enslavement in Louisiana, 1699-1824 Leila K. Blackbird University of New Orleans

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After contact, these networks were also used by those settlers able to gain access to them. Frenchmen traded their goods up and down the Mississippi River into New France, in present-day Canada [Fig. 1].

13 Opelousas, the primary trading post located between colonial New Orleans and Natchitoches, was claimed by the French in 1720. It was there, during the mid-1760s, that a coureur de bois named Duchêne operated, buying and selling Native people to Frenchmen.

14 In 1765, Duchêne sold a young girl, 11 years and five months of age – referred to in the records solely as a prisoner of war, a “pure Indian squaw” – in the humid, backwater swamp at Barré Landing.

15 The buyer, Joseph Chrétien, called her Angélique, perhaps after his mother, Marie-Louise-Angélique Migneron.

16 Shortly after, Joseph also became the owner of a 3000-acre plantation, Chrétien Point, which was Opelousa-Atakapan tribal land, stolen and allotted through a royal land grant to Louis St. Germain.

17 There, Angélique gave birth to her daughter; fathered by the slave-trader Duchêne, Agnès was baptized a slave. 18 Duchêne later tried to buy Agnès from Joseph in exchange for another enslaved child, but he refused. Instead, Joseph enslaved multiple Natives in addition to Angélique and Agnès; faint documentary traces remain of Marie-Anne, Catherine, Narcisse, Thémier, Pierre, and Jeanne.19

1811 Slave Revolt begins at Andry Plantation in LaPlace with slaves marching along Mississippi River Road toward New Orleans. (Courtesy of folk artist Lorraine Gendron of Hahnville. An exhibit of the 1811 slave revolt created by Lorraine Gendron is on display at Destrehan Plantation.)

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