12/6/52 - New Orleans BY-WAYS - 12/6/52 New Orleans - 1776 Urbana Rd., - Cleveland 12, Ohio

My dear Friends,

While two dear, wild Indians are temporarily tamed by the welcome god, Morpheus, their grandmother will attempt to retrace her steps to New Orleans and perhaps Baton Rouge. I beg the indulgence of the linotype operator, who has to translate this stuff to the printed page - as the pen is much quieter than the typewriter - but terribly prone to illegible writing. Somehow, I received no copy of the Saltsburg Press in which my first letter was printed, so I am not quite sure of what I have already written. I'll try not to repeat. So much has been written about New Orleans. Those friends and relatives who had not been there seemed to sigh with envy. It is true that New Orleans has a personality all its own. It is small enough to glamorize its ancient dwellings and the daring of the pirates, Jean and Pierre Lafitte, who helped Andrew Jackson win the Battle of New Orleans. The tourist guides point with pride to the old buildings in the Vieux Carre, or French Quarter, and explain that the City Commission permits the owners of these buildings to live tax fee, provided they make no alterations in the exterior of their homes and places of business. The owners or tenants may modernize and decorate the interior all they please. Jackson Square (named after "Old Hickory," the hero of (? {I can't read the letter, MY} almette) seems to be the center of the French Quarter. In the center of the square is a fine statue of Jackson on horseback, made by the artist Clarke Mills, nearly a century ago.

Bordering the Square are the St. Louis Cathedral, oldest in this country, the Cabildo, where the Louisiana Purchase was made, and the Pontalba Apartments, built by the Baroness Pontalba, and said to be the oldest apartment buildings in the U.S. It has that beautiful iron grill-work bordering every balcony; and three balconies encircle this four-story building. The Spanish and the French left a rich legacy in their graceful and lovely iron face work. New Orleans is a city of contrasts; the beautiful and romantic - and the wicked and the horrible. The tale of the Haunted House is gruesome beyond telling - depicting the cruelty of a slave-owner. In the Cabildo, which is now a state museum, we saw the auction block, on which the slaves were sold. There we saw the manades, the chains, the journal entries, with names and price paid for each.

It is said that Abraham Lincoln once visited New Orleans, witnessed a slave auction, and thereby resolved to put a stop to slavery, if he possibly could.

Florence B. Taylor
To be continued.

Next - 10/15/53 - Trip through New England
BY-WAYS Table of Contents