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Spiritualism in Nineteenth-Century New OrleansThe Life and Times of Henry Louis Rey$
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Melissa Daggett

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781496810083

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496810083.001.0001

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(p.116) Chapter 8 Transitions
Spiritualism in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans

Melissa Daggett

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines Henry Louis Rey’s tenure as a director of the Orleans Parish School Board. The Battle of Liberty Place, another bloody street confrontation, underscored the fragility of the Republican government. The roles of Frederick Ogden, Octave Rey, former Confederate General James Longstreet, Governor Kellogg, and Superintendent Badger in this battle are discussed. Spiritual communications reflected the ongoing political turmoil. The official end of Reconstruction in Louisiana in 1877 heralded the arrival of a new political era in Louisiana, and the Redeemers now controlled the state government. Legal challenges to the dismantling of the interracial public schools foreshadowed the landmark Supreme Court decision of Plessy v. Ferguson. Fraternal organizations such as the Economy Society supplied a welcomed respite from the new postbellum normal. Rey is appointed secretary and wrote his first letter of condolence to the widow of his childhood friend, Joseph Lavigne. The Cercle Harmonique terminates in 1877.

Keywords:   Liberty Place, Longstreet, Lavigne, Redeemers, Plessy v. Ferguson

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