Date of Award
Dr. Mary Niall Mitchell
Dr. Connie Atkinson
Dr. Michael Mizell-Nelson
Margaret Haughery (1813-1882), a widowed, illiterate Irish immigrant who became known as “the Bread Woman” of New Orleans and the “Angel of the Delta” had grossed over $40,000 by the time of her death. She owned and ran a dairy farm and nationally-known bakery, donated to orphanages, leased property, owned slaves, joined with business partners and brought lawsuits. Although Haughery accomplished much in her life, she is commonly remembered only for her benevolent work with orphans and the poor. In 1884, a statue of her, posed with orphans, was erected by the city’s elite, one of the earliest statues of a woman in the nation. This thesis argues that it was Haughery’s willingness to engage in the mundane business practices of the day, including slaveholding, that made her veneration as a benefactress possible. Using acts of sale, property records, wills, newspaper articles, advertisements, and representations of Haughery, this thesis explores the life behind the image of the “Bread Woman.”
Luck, Katherine Adrienne, "Finding Margaret Haughery: The Forgotten and Remembered Lives of New Orleans’s “Bread Woman” In the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries" (2014). University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations. 1821.