Download A River and Its City: The Nature of Landscape in New Orleans by Ari Kelman PDF

By Ari Kelman

This attractive environmental historical past explores the increase, fall, and rebirth of 1 of the nation's most crucial city public landscapes, and extra considerably, the function public areas play in shaping people's relationships with the flora and fauna. Ari Kelman makes a speciality of the battles fought over New Orleans's waterfront, studying the hyperlink among a river and its urban and monitoring the clash among private and non-private keep an eye on of the river. He describes the effect of floods, sickness, and altering applied sciences on New Orleans's interactions with the Mississippi. contemplating how town grew distant—culturally and spatially—from the river, this publication argues that city parts supply a wealthy resource for knowing people's connections with nature, and in flip, nature's influence on human history.

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Additional info for A River and Its City: The Nature of Landscape in New Orleans

Sample text

But his plan for the batture was complicated because he 24 Chapter 1 owned none of the riparian lots in the faubourg. Nonetheless, he reclaimed a portion of the batture in front of the settlement by erecting an artificial levee to keep approximately four hundred square feet of sediment dry year-round. 6 This plan to reclaim the deposited land seems to have progressed until Gravier attempted to prohibit people from using the St. Mary batture. —suddenly aroused protests from New Orleanians, who, in dry seasons, were accustomed to using the batture for storage, landfill, and a promenade.

Chapter 1 A Batture Laid Out for the Particular Use of the Public who owns big muddy ’ s mud+ On May 23, 1807, an audience at the superior courthouse of the Territory of Orleans waited to hear the outcome of the case John Gravier v. Mayor, Aldermen, and Inhabitants of the City of New Orleans. Among the onlookers, three men were especially interested. One of them, Edward Livingston, attorney for the plaintiff and a renowned New York City politician, had arrived in Louisiana just three years earlier.

Finally, New Orleanians, sub- A Batture Laid Out 39 scribing to the era’s medical misconceptions, believed that digging in the city gave rise to murderous epidemics by releasing foul, pestilential vapors into the air. Each of these convictions suggested a cautious approach to improving the waterfront. Livingston took Derbigny’s cue, as he too began publishing pamphlets, evidence entered into New Orleans’s court of public opinion. In December 1807, he responded to Derbigny with a point-by-point rebuttal of the Creole’s arguments.

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