Haiti’s Influence on Louisiana

Haitians are the dominant Creole culture of New Orleans. Currently there are 5,000 people of Haitian descent that live in the New Orleans area. 

In 1709 (dayiti: I believe the author means 1791 because that’s when the Revolution started) after the Haitian Revolution that ended French rule and gave Haiti its independence 90% of the Hatian refugees settled in New Orleans. The immigration of Haitians, both white and free people of color (gens de couleur libres) brought 2,731 whites, 3,102 free persons of African descent and 3,226 slaves to the city. This one event doubled the population of New Orleans in one year and had an important social and cultural impact on Creole Louisiana that still influences it to this day.

The Hatian Creole population settled in the French Quarter and brought a distinct culture and architectural tradition giving New Orleans a reputation as the nation’s Creole Capital. They brought with them what was to become the rhythm and soul of New Orleans. The Crescent City would not be what it is today without these contributions.

Haitians played a major role in the development of Creole cuisine, the perpetuation of voodoo practices and preserving the city’s French character. Among the most notable Haitians in New Orleans history were; the pirate Jean Lafitte born in Port-au-Prince around 1782. Marie Laveau, the undisputed Queen of Voodoo (dayiti: Her portrait is above), born in [Saint Domingue] in 1794.

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