Date of Award
Mitchell, Mary N.
Historians have debated to what extent the free people of color in New Orleans were members of a wealthy privileged elite or part of a middle or working class in the South's largest antebellum city. This study steps outside the debate to suggest that analysis of the censuses of 1850 and 1860 shows correlations between neighborhoods, household structures, and occupations that reveal a heterogeneous population that eludes simple definitions. In particular this study focuses on mixed-race households to shed light on this segment of the free colored population that is mostly unstudied and generally misrepresented. This study also finds that immediately prior to the Civil War, mixed-race families, for no easily understood reason, tended to cluster in certain neighborhoods. Mostly this study points out that by the Civil War, the free people of color in New Orleans had evolved into a diverse mostly working class population.
Lovato, Frank Joseph, "Households and Neighborhoods Among Free People of Color in New Orleans: A View from the Census, 1850-1860" (2010). University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations. Paper 1174.