Archive for October, 2004

Antebellum Louisiana and Alabama: Two Color Lines, Three Endogamous Groups

October 15th, 2004

This essay introduces two out of the four societies, within what became the United States, whose color-line customs differed from the mainstream—Alabama and Louisiana. The other two were South Carolina and Florida. Alabama and Louisiana had two mildly endogamous color lines separating three groups: White, Colored, and Black. Both regions could trace their color line traditions to French colonies in general and to Haiti in particular. They are presented in three topics: English-Speaking Alabama describes an English-speaking three-caste society. French-speaking Louisiana depicts the better known Colored Creole society. An Echo of Haiti summarizes the origins of these cultures.