The City of Carrollton

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Historical Marker on Carrollton Avenue

Photo Credit: Kenneth, Kahle. "Historical Marker on Carrollton Avenue." 2015. JPEG file.


The City of Carrollton, formerly located west of New Orleans but now annexed into the city, is and has been a detrimental part of New Orleans history along with being a hub for culture with food, shopping, music, and art while also hosting larger businesses and bars.

Background and History

The City of Carrollton was established by Charles Zimpel in 1833 on the site of the Macarty Plantation, which was home to many slaves, and the city was named after General Carroll of Kentucky, who was a general during the battle of New Orleans. [1] The city itself stretched up to the Mississippi River with its historical and often credited boundaries being Lowerline Street on the east side, Fig Street as the northern boundary, and the border cutoff of Jefferson Parish being the lower boundary. Officially, the city was established as a legitimate city on March 10, 1845 and in 1852, Carrollton won the election to “relocate the seat of Jefferson Parish government,” giving the city the ability to build a courthouse and jailhouse. [2] These buildings were constructed in 1855 and remained the head of government for Jefferson Parish up unto the annexation into the city of New Orleans in 1874.

Carrollton as a City

The City of Carrollton was only an independent city for 41 years but in that time it was definitely held its own as a city population-wise and culturally. It kept up its own newspaper, formal business stores, intervened in Jefferson Parish Courts, owned city sheriffs, issued own licenses and insurance, and held elections for city officials, just to name a few of its city-credible attributes. During the time Carrollton was serparate from New Orleans, a public school was set up by the mayor and Council are “required and authorized” to set up a public school to educate only white students who live in the city. The mayor and Council would set up a committee of seven directors to maintain and support these school while also containing the powers vested by administrators of public schools set in law by the state of Louisiana. The first school set in place by this was in 1845 a public school was erected at Hampson and Dublin, to be followed by a high school built in 1858, followed by several other private institutions. [3] Another power granted by the mayor at any time is the power to issue licenses, particularly liquor licenses and drug store licenses. The mayor could issue fines for liquor sold without a license breaching over a gallon sold or if they have a license, less than a pint, while also given the power to control the opening and closing of bars. On the same hand, you had to get a signed letter from the mayor to open a drug store or even a stall or cart to sell goods in the market. Building-wise, the mayor was also given the power to issue licenses for the building of certain buildings and necessary infrastructure locations. For instance, the mayor was to maintain and watch over the building of the jailhouse, watch-houses, and the courthouse. The mayor had much control over the general infrastructure of the city but other things such as bridges and the cemetery were not maintained by the mayor but were set up in the original City of Carrollton Ordinances. Also, other important structures such as the pound and the docks and shipyard were maintained and established by the Commissary. In relation to 19th century New Orleans, Carrollton was friendly but still separate. From their Ordinances, it is clear they wanted easy commutes to and from each city with the building of quality roads and the allowance of a railroad set up by the Jefferson and Lake Pontchartrain Railroad companies on Levee and Upperline streets. On top of that, The City of Carrollton required permits for carts and carriages and for the surrounding cities (New Orleans, Jefferson City, and Jefferson Parrish) there would no be fine as long as they have a permit for their cart or carriage in the respected city they came from. From this, people were able to expand the commerce out of Carrollton to the surrounding areas, bringing in increased population, expanding the economy, and later extending the boundaries of the city in all directions. [4] Nowadays, the neighborhood commonly attracts Loyola and Tulane students along with locals around New Orleans for shopping, bars, and restaurants along with events along Oak Street such as Poboy Fest.

Carrollton during the Civil War

The City of Carrollton, along with the rest of Louisiana seceded from the Union in 1861. Although not too detrimental to the war effort and being slightly included in battles occurring in New Orleans, the establishment of Camp Roman and Camp Lewis, and close proximity to Fort Parapet, Carrollton simply provided an area of bars and housing for soldiers to seek relief. Camp Roman was established on the upper area of the Mississippi River in order to defend ships coming down, outfitted with “earthworks, gun emplacements, and ditches” while being supplied and cared for by the citizens of Carrollton. [5] On soldier cited an event in which he noted all the soldiers stationed in Carrollton had been heavy whiskey drinkers, engaging in hard binge drinking with permission from their leader, General Phelps of the Union Army, despite being forbade by General Butler and the general ordinances established with the creation of the city. Otherwise, with the Union soldiers at his hand, General Phelps ventured around Carrollton plantations and took slaves off the land and allowed them to fight along side himself on the front lines. [6] Despite the allowance of soldiers to buy liquor and stay overnight at Carrollton, no major battles or truly influential events occurred during the war.

Annexation into New Orleans

Despite its similar culture and proximity to New Orleans, the City of Carrollton was not technically a part of New Orleans until 1874 when it was annexed. From the massive growth of New Orleans in the mid to late 19th century, it was critical that Carrollton was annexed as soon as possible to further expansion. Carrollton and New Orleans had already cooperated together in various infrastructural feats including the building and maintenance of levees at the head of St. Charles Avenue to defend both cities along with a railroad connecting them to each other and other cities. The annexation was greatly supported for in New Orleans but slightly frowned upon by the residents of Carrollton as they had come out of debt and didn’t want to integrate with another city. The Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Louisiana on March 23, 1874 released Act 74, section 1 which states: “That all that portion of the parish of Jefferson being and lying below the centre of Upper Line Street of the city of Carrollton…shall be and constitute the upper boundary line of the parish of Orleans and the city of New Orleans; and all that portion of the city of Carrollton thus detached from the parish of Jefferson and added to the city of New Orleans and parish of Orleans shall be governed by the mayor and administrators of the city of New Orleans, in accordance with existing laws, except so far as not inconsistent with this act.” Then, in the same Act, section 5, it is claimed that all rights, titles, buildings, land, money, obligations, etc. that belonged to the City of Carrollton and individual’s property now reside in and to the city of New Orleans. Finally, in section 12 of the same Act, it is claimed that all laws of the City of Carrollton that are in conflict with those set in New Orleans that they be repealed and replaced with whatever New Orleans had in place. [7]

Works Cited

  • Kendall, John. “Kendall’s History of New Orleans • Chapter 46.” Kendall’s History of New Orleans • Chapter 46. July 11, 2013. Accessed April 10, 2015.*.html.
  • Mary Ann Wegmann, “Carrollton Courthouse,” New Orleans Historical, accessed March 8, 2015, http:/?/?www.?neworleanshistorical.?org/?items/?show/?478.?
  • Kendall, John. “Kendall’s History of New Orleans • Chapter 46.” Kendall’s History of New Orleans • Chapter 46. July 11, 2013. Accessed April 10, 2015.*.html.
  • Hinton, I. T. “Ordinances, Resolutions and Permanent Orders of the City of Carrollton, La, from the Date of Incorporation of the City to Feb. 19th, 1862.” Ordinances, Resolutions and Permanent Orders of the City of Carrollton, La, from the Date of Incorporation of the City to Feb. 19th, 1862. Accessed April 10, 2015.
  • John D. Winters, The Civil War in Louisiana, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1963, ISBN 0-8071-0834-0, p.26.
  • John D. Winters, The Civil War in Louisiana, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1963, ISBN 0-8071-0834-0, p.43, p.137.
  • “95 U.S. 644.” 95 U.S. 644. Accessed March 7, 2015.

This page was last modified on 08 March 2015, at 03:16