A Brief History
On May 7, 1718, the city of New Orleans in what is now the State of Louisiana was founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, the French Governor of Louisiana in what was then New France, the French colonial enterprise in North America.
Also called Sieur de Bienville, Bienville was born in Ville-Marie, now Montreal, Quebec, New France, now Canada, and was sent by French colonial authorities to the Gulf Coast to explore and establish a foothold for France.
Bienville’s travels led to the founding of Mobile, Alabama and Biloxi, Mississippi as well as New Orleans, or “La Nouvelle-Orléans” in French, named in honor of the Duke of Orléans.
Considered the “Father of Louisiana” as well as “The Father of New Orleans,” Bienville is memorialized by a statue erected in 1955, appropriately located in The Big Easy as New Orleans is often called.
Bienville died in Paris in 1767, at the age of 87.
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For more information, please see…
King, Grace. Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur De Bienville. Wentworth Press, 2019.
Powell, Lawrence. The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans. Harvard University Press, 2013.
The featured image in this article, a map of New Orleans in 1728, is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 70 years or fewer.
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