2016 Sunset Report

OLG & DCRT Strategic Plan
2020-21 through 2024-25


Did you know?

The Arrival of Religious Diversity

Colonial Catholicism Events Surrounding the Purchase A Wall of Separation The Battle of New Orleans
W.C.C. Claiborne and The State Seal The Arrival of Religious Diversity Religion, Race, and Slavery Antonio Sedella & Religious Diversity

Although small numbers of Protestants were in Louisiana as early as the 1720s, public expressions of their faith, including worship services, were illegal during the colonial period. Soon after the Louisiana Purchase, however, Protestant missionaries came to the region to seek converts and establish churches. Though their early efforts were disappointing, by the 1830s numerous Protestant denominations had established congregations in New Orleans and in other areas of settlement around the state.

In 1806 a group of approximately fifty Protestants gathered and voted to designate themselves Episcopalian. Some of that congregation’s earliest services took place in the Cabildo.

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The Christian Mirror, Portland, Maine
October 1, 1824
Irby Trust Acquisition
This article from a Protestant newspaper printed in Portland, Maine suggests that distributing religious tracts to the thousands of boatmen who came to New Orleans each year would be a promising way to gain converts and spread the message of the Protestant Gospel.

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Dr. Benjamin Morgan Palmer (1818-1902)
c. 1845
Unknown artist
Gift of Professor A. Caldwell
Dr. Palmer was a native of Charleston, South Carolina and arrived in New Orleans to lead the First Presbyterian Church in 1856. In a short period of time, he became a leading citizen whose views on a variety of issues, both sacred and secular, were influential in shaping public opinion and governmental policy.

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Judah Touro (1775-1854)
c. 1930
Lucienne de St. Mart after Adolph D. Rinck
Judah Touro was a native of Newport, Rhode Island who came to New Orleans on the eve of the Louisiana Purchase. He made a fortune as a merchant, about half of which he gave to various charitable causes and institutions. Although he made significant contributions to Jewish religious institutions and charities, he also gave unstintingly to individuals and institutions affiliated with other faiths. When the Rev. Theodore Clapp was ejected from the Presbyterian Church in 1832, Touro stepped in and paid the mortgage on Clapps’s church building, enabling him to continue his ministry without interruption.

Gift of Lucienne de St. Mart