Date of Award

Fall 12-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Mary Niall Mitchell

Second Advisor

Albert Kennedy

Third Advisor

Connie Atkinson


Women in antebellum New Orleans have often been memorialized as Voudou queens, slave-torturers who continue to haunt houses, prostitutes, and light-skinned concubines to wealthy, white men. This study focuses on women’s contribution to New Orleans’s economy through the hospitality industry as female bar owners from 1830-1861. In addition, it provides an overview of the role that alcohol and beverage consumption patterns played among men and women of all races, classes, and cultural backgrounds in antebellum New Orleans. Antebellum tourists, in addition to cotton and sugar, were an important source of income for many New Orleanians before the Civil War. As bar owners, these women profited from male-dominated spaces while providing for themselves, and in some cases, their families. A study of the hospitality industry in antebellum New Orleans is essential to those studying both economic and social histories of the city during the antebellum era.


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