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Abstract

Basques have found their way to many corners of the world, and one of those is the distinctive city of New Orleans in the United States. The relationship of Basques with Louisiana antedates the independence of the United States, and, of course, incorporation of that territory into the American Union. The Basque presence was most evident throughout the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth, when a significant community of Basque mariners resided in New Orleans. This article provides a historical overview of the Basque connection to Louisiana, from the expulsion of the Acadians that sent Basques south, the arrival of Basque mariners, and those relocated Basques from Mexico. General immigrants found their way there as merchants, storekeepers, accountants and blacksmiths and in time a Basque District emerged. There was also a Basque religious presence. The article brings to light the Basque presence.

About the Author

Koldo San Sebastian has been incredibly prolific in chronicling the Basque story. Born in Avilés, Spain in 1953, he studies at the universities of Oviedo in Navarre and the University of the Basque Country. Since 1969 he has collaborated with various entities reporting on Basque identity including Radio Popular de Pamplona, La Voz de Asturias, Muga, Euzkadi, Alderdi and BBC Radio International. For about twenty years he also worked with the Basque newspaper Deia. Since 1986 he has remained active in the International Federation of Journalists and has participated in numerous seminars and conferences. During the 1990s he wrote and directed several documentaries for the Basque television station ETB. He has published various books and articles, including Crónicas de postguerra, Historia del Partido Nacionalista Vasco, Nacionalismo y heterodoxia, Memoria de un pueblo en marcha, Tiempos difíciles (con I. Anasagasti), Vascos en México (con A. M. Salazar) o El exilio vasco en Venezuela (con Peru Ajuria).

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