High ground adjacent to the Mississippi River, New Orleans was strategically positioned so as to be a gateway for commerce, providing world-wide transportation through the Gulf of Mexico. As a testament to its deliberate geographical placement, the New Orleans French Quarter has survived natural disasters for hundreds of years. In Buddy Stall’s French Quarter Montage, Buddy Stall takes the reader back to the inception of this historic district, explaining the reason for the location and describing John Law’s involvement in this high-stakes real estate deal.
Some of the more memorable French Quarter denizens have ranged from politicians and capitalists to religious leaders and artists. One such notable is Antoine Peychaud, a local pharmacist credited with mixing the first cocktail. Another is William Ratcliffe Irby, a colorful philanthropist who restored many historic buildings in the 1920s. Pére Antoine, pastor of the Saint Louis Cathedral in the late 1700s, was the most beloved and respected of all those who served in that position. Arriving in 1821, John James Audubon, world-famous ornithological artist, had studios in the French Quarter and found the Mississippi River delta to be a fertile backdrop for his work.
New Orleans architecture is internationally known for its old-world styling. The U.S. Custom House, U.S. Mint, Vitascope Hall, and 919 Royal Street all are historic buildings of note in the French Quarter. Mardi Gras and its significance to the French Quarter, Jackson Square, the church and its leaders and educators all are a part of the montage. If we listen carefully to the voices of our ancestors, we will be able to both hear and see the past. Stall has provided us all a way to get to know them in this book.