Friday, August 21, 2009
First Journey to Louisiana
Mary Ann Hardey was a "spoiled" and solitary pet of her grandmother's home until she was five. Now she found herself living with an "older" sister, Ann, and two other sisters who were younger, the baby was Matilda; the other sister's name is not known. Mary Ann slowly found her gaiety again surrounded by her mother's love and the other children.
Shortly after her arrival, her uncle Anthony who had moved to Louisiana, urged his relations to come, too. Sarah encouraged Frederick to accept and her parents gave them much to take with them, including more slaves. By the time they were ready to move, they had one hundred slaves to take with them and provide for on the journey. They had to cross the Alleghenies in covered wagons. When, at last they reached the Ohio river, they had to get flat-boats to transport them down to the Mississippi and then all the way down to New Orleans! Mary Ann is seven by this time and helped to mind the baby, but it was tiresome having to sit still so long for this active child. Her uncle met them in New Orleans and they had several days in that fascinating city. While supplies were being replenished, Mary Ann went with her mother and met her first "nun" at the Urseline convent. Soon they were off again in a long caravan; this time they road in ox-carts.
The little town of Opelousas was the nucleus for less than a hundred far-flung plantations. Some were owned by Crioles, some by newly arrived Americans, and some by Acadians.