How Frenchmen Street got it’s name

This is a clip of a recent letter to Blake Ponchartrain a Local Writer for Gambit Magazine.All credit for Story is his and I agree with Him.

I just read in a tourist magazine that Frenchmen Street was named to commemorate the French New Orleanians who died rebelling against Spain. I can trace my genealogy back to Karl Frederick von Arensbourg on my mother’s side. He was born in 1693 and came to Louisiana in 1721, when he was 28 years old. He was selected to head up the German colonists in Louisiana, and the first German village became known as Karlstein. In 1765, he became a chevalier (knight) of the French military order of St. Louis and was the commandant of the German Coast. I know he had something to do with the overthrow of the Spanish in New Orleans. Can you tell me if Frenchmen Street has anything to do with my ancestor and where he may be buried?

Lance Levesque

Dear Lance,

It all began when France gave New Orleans to Spain in 1763 in the secret treaty of Fontainebleau. Three years later, the first Spanish governor, Don Antonio de Ulloa, arrived, and the French were not pleased to see him. On Oct. 27, 1768, hundreds of New Orleans residents and settlers from the German Coast (a settlement upriver near LaPlace) assembled and took over the city. Ulloa didn’t have sufficient troops to put down the revolt and was forced to flee by ship.

As commandant of the German Coast, your ancestor — also known as Charles D’Arensbourg — was concerned about the commercial policies of the Spanish. He also was a close family friend of Nicholas Chauvin de Lafreniere, attorney general of the colony and leader of the revolution.

Days before the insurrection, Ulloa sent an emissary to D’Arensbourg with money to pay for grain that had been appropriated. D’Arensbourg refused the money — and any other gesture of good will from the Spanish — and arrested the emissary.

D’Arensbourg ordered Capt. Joseph Villere, head of the German Coast militia, to send 400 men to New Orleans to join the revolution. Unwilling to tolerate such behavior, Spain sent Alejandro O’Reilly as Ulloa’s replacement, accompanied by a huge force to crush the rebellion. They arrived in August 1769 and restored order, punished the rebels and organized a Spanish government. With the absolute power of the Spanish king behind him, O’Reilly arrested many of the citizens who had opposed Ulloa. The principal conspirators were Lafreniere, Denis-Nicolas Foucault, Balthasar de Masan, Pierre Marquis, Jean Baptiste de Noyan, Bienville Noyan, Julien Doucet, Jean and Joseph Milhet, Pierre Caresse, Joseph Petit, Pierre Poupet, Pierre Hardi de Boisblanc and Villere.

After a trial for treason and rebellion, Lafreniere and four others were shot on Oct. 25, 1769, in the Champs de Mars, or parade ground, in front of Fort St. Charles, near the point where Chartres Street and Esplanade Avenue intersect today. Six others were imprisoned in Morro Castle in Havana. “Bloody O’Reilly,” as he came to be known, granted amnesty or pardoned some who had signed a petition to have Ulloa expelled, as well as others who were involved in the uprising.

The story goes that O’Reilly intended to have D’Arensbourg executed, but the commandant was spared. D’Arensbourg lived in St. Charles Parish until he died Nov. 18, 1777.

Also There is the Wikipedia for the Louisiana Rebellion of 1768


And if you really want to get down with the history.



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