300 larger new orleans

An 1838 map of New Orleans

New Orleans was torn apart and then stitched back together again in the early 1800s as the city was divided into three separate municipalities.

After the Americans took over Louisiana in 1803, the animosity between the Creoles and the Americans in New Orleans was palpable. The French dismissed the newcomers as uncouth, and the Americans thought, among other things, the Creoles gave their slaves too much freedom. Some thought the solution would be to divide the city along racial lines in 1836.

The Creoles lived largely in the French Quarter and the Marigny, which were split into the First and Third municipalities, respectively.

The Americans lived in St. Mary, now the Central Business District, which became the Second Municipality. Each municipality had its own schools, tax collection and managed its own streets and most other services. Each district also had its own council. Representatives of the three municipalities came together once a year.Trade and commerce thrived in the Second Municipality, while poverty reigned in the Third. The system was abandoned and the city was reunited in 1852.