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Reconstruction in Louisiana: The Battle of Liberty Place: Home

Capital Conflict

   In 1874, conservative resentment against the power of the Republican office holders led to the formation and spread of militaristic White League branches across Louisiana. That summer, Frederick Ogden Nash led the formation of the Crescent City White League, aided by false reports of violent "Black Leagues" published in the Picayune. On September 14, 1874, thousands of members of the White League attacked and defeated the city police and militia in the center of New Orleans, then the capital of Louisiana. They successfully overthrew the government of Republican Governor William Pitt Kellogg. A few days later, General William H. Emory and a group of Army officers sent by President Grant arrived in the city and negotiated its surrender back to Republican and Union control. None of the insurrectionists were ever prosecuted.


Engravings. Front page of Harper's Weekly Magazine, featuring 8 illustrations relating to the Battle of Liberty Place, or the September 1874 street battle between the Crescent City White Leagues and the Republican held government defended by Metropolitan police forces and state militias. Five of the eight illustrations are portraits, including Governor Kellogg, General Longstreet, John McEnery, D. B. Penn, and General Badger. Captions for the remaining three illustrations are, "Rendezvous of White Leaguers," at top left, "White Leaguers Guarding a Levee," at top right, and "A Street Barricade Guarded by White Leaguers," at bottom center.Courtesy Historic New Orleans Collection


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Francis Norton
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