Covering Louisiana

Jun 17, 2013 10:28 AM by Janet McConnaughey

Louisiana tobacco: Mississippi bubble, Natchez war

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - France sent thousands of colonists and slaves to Louisiana in the belief that tobacco would refill a treasury depleted by wars. That dream continued until an Army captain's land grab triggered a massacre by Natchez Indians, who burned the plantations, said Erin M. Greenwald, curator of an exhibit about the colony's tobacco history.

Between August 1717, when Scottish economist John Law got a French trade monopoly in Louisiana, and January 1731, when his company - which went through several names - formally gave up its charter, the colony grew from hundreds of residents to more than 4,000.

That period is the focus of "Pipe Dreams," an exhibit opening Tuesday and running through Sept. 15 at the Historic New Orleans Collection.

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