Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Mitchell, Mary Niall

Second Advisor

Mosterman, Andrea

Third Advisor

Gray, Gray


The official history of New Orleans City Park, published in 1982 offers a narrow history of its grounds and land ownership before it opened as a park in 1854. The published text Historic City Park New Orleans contains a two-part narrative. The first narrative tells the identity of Louis Allard, his plantation land, and the mystique surrounding his death. The second narrative focuses on John McDonogh, an enslaver and local legend, his purchase of the Allard Plantation, and his donation of the plantation to the city of New Orleans for the creation of what is now lower New Orleans City Park. This official history obscures the actual history of City Park and its extensive plantations along Bayou St. John. It also excludes any mention of the enslaved men and women who lived and labored within the Allard Plantation or any other portion of the park grounds. This thesis uncovers the fourteen plantations that once occupied City Park grounds: the Allard, Roquigui, Girardy, DesRuisseaux, Milne, Jung, Lorreins, Alpuente, Castillon, Dugué, Zamora, St. Maxent, Almonester, and Morant. Through colonial documents, auction receipts, bills of sales, and court cases, this thesis lays the ground work for an ongoing public history project which will tell the named and unnamed enslaved people related to each of these plantations. The final section focuses on how the City Park space can be interpreted by and for the public through educational outreach and re-memorialization. The goal of this thesis is to provide a more wholistic historical narrative to locals and visitors of City Park and to honor the lives of enslaved Indigenous, African, and African American people forced to labor on its grounds.


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License