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Reply #89: Oldest black neighborhood and church in US [View All]

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Brewman_Jax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-21-07 04:10 PM
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89. Oldest black neighborhood and church in US
The Faubourg Trem neighborhood (usually shortened to Trem) of New Orleans is the oldest black neighborhood in US. Trem geographically is that part of New Orleans that lies between North Rampart and North Broad and from Canal Street to St. Bernard Avenue. The area received its name from Claude Trem, a model hatmaker and real estate developer who migrated from Sauvigny in Burgundy, France, and settled in New Orleans in 1783. Trem owned only a small portion of the area that bore his name and was in possession of that for just a decade. In later years, free persons of color and eventually those African slaves who either obtained, bought or bargained for their freedom were able to acquire and own property in Trem. There are hundreds of examples of 18th and early 19th century ownership of large and small land areas in Faubourg Trem by free peoples of color. The ability to acquire, purchase and own real property during an era when America was still immersed in slavery was remarkable, and only in New Orleans did this occur with any regularity and consistency. John Blassingame, in his landmark study of early New Orleans black culture, notes in his book Black New Orleans, that "the strongest economic base of the free Negroes rested on ownership of real property. By 1850, a decade before the outbreak of the Civil War, free blacks held $2,214,020 in real estate, with much of that in the center of the city." The seeds of this enormously successful business and social class of freed African slaves and free people of color would have a major impact not only on New Orleans, but on America. Also, in the Trem section is the oldest continuous black church in the US, St. Augustine Catholic Church, founded in 1842. /

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