Martinez Nursery School
E. Glapion Jr.
.....was born on
March 17, 1806 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Norbert was born a free man,
although his mother was a slave. His father was a wealthy White engineer
involved in the cotton industry. As a child Norbert was educated in the
Catholic school system in New Orleans but was sent to Paris, France for
advanced schooling. He studied at the L'Ecole Centrale and at age 24 became
an instructor of applied mechanics at the school. Eventually Rillieux
returned home to his father's plantation which was now also being used to
process and refine sugar.
become the dominant crop within Louisiana, but the sugar refining process
employed at that time was extremely dangerous and very inefficient. Known as
the "Jamaica Train", the process called for sugarcane to be boiled in huge
open kettles and then strained to allow the juice to be separated from the
cane. The juice was then evaporated by boiling it at extreme temperatures,
resulting in granules being left over in the form of sugar. The danger
stemmed from the fact that workers were forced to transport the boiling
juice from one one kettle to another, chancing the possibility of of
suffering sever burns. It was also a very costly process considering the
large amount of fuel needed to heat the various kettles.
During the 1830s,
France witnessed the introduction of the steam-operated single pan vacuum .
The vacuum pan was enclosed in an area with air of the air removed (this was
necessary because liquids can boil at a lower temperature in the absence of
air than with air present, thus costing less.) Rillieux decided to improve
greatly on this efficiency by including a second and later a third pan, with
each getting heating by its predecessor.
1833, Rillieux was approached by a New Orleans sugar manufacturer named
Edmund Forstall. Because numerous sugar producers had received complaints
about product quality, Forstall persuaded Norbert to become the Chief
Engineer of the Louisiana Sugar Refinery. Unfortunately, almost as soon as
Norbert took the job, an intense feud developed between Forstall and his
father, Vincent Rillieux. Out of loyalty to his father, Norbert left his
position with the company. A few years later, Norbert was hired by Theodore
Packwood to improve his Myrtle Grove Plantation refinery. In doing so he
employed his triple evaporation pan system which he patented in 1843. It was
an enormous success and revolutionized the sugar refining industry improving
efficiency, quality and safety.
In the 1850s, New
Orleans was suffering from an outbreak of Yellow Fever, caused by
disease-carrying mosquitos. Rillieux devised an elaborate plan for
eliminating the outbreak by draining the swamplands surrounding the city and
improving the existing sewer system, thus removing the breeding ground for
the insects and therefore the ability for them to pass on the disease.
Unfortunately, Edmund Forstall, Norbert's former employer was a member of
the state legislature and spoke out against the plan. Forstall was able to
turn sentiment against Rillieux and the plan was rejected. Disgusted will
the racism prevalent in the south as well as the frustration of local
politics Rillieux eventually left New Orleans and moved back to France
(ironically, after a number of years in which time the Yellow Fever
continued to devastate New Orleans, the state legislature was forced to
implement an almost identical plan introduced by white engineers.
After returning to
France, Rillieux spent much of his time creating new inventions and
defending his patents as well as traveling abroad. Rillieux died on October
8, 1894 and left behind a legacy of having revolutionized the sugar industry
and therefore changing the way the world would eat.
Henriette Delille was born in 1813 in
New Orleans to Jean Baptiste Delille-Sarpy and Pouponne Dias. Her mother was
a quandroon and the mistress of her father, who was an aristocrat.
Henriette's great great grandmother, Nanette, was a slave. Henriette was
trained from an early age, like most young quandroon women during this time,
to be conversant in French literature, to have a refined taste in music and
to be able to dance gracefully.
Henriette's mother taught her nursing
skills and how to prepare medicines from herbs. As a teenager, Henriette's
lifestlye included going to balls in New Orleans for the purpose of meeting
members of the aristocracy. The quandroon women were expected to become
mistresses of the aristocracy. In 1824, Henriette pursued a course different
from the one expected of her. During a ball, she was introduced to a French
nun named Sister St. Marthe Fontier. This was the first member of a
religious community that Henriette had met. She was impressed by Sister St.
Marthe's dedication to God and her vows and acts of charity. Sister St.
Marthe was a member of the Dames Hospitlier, a French religious order. She
had purchased land on Barracks Street with the assistance of the free people
of color in New Orleans. She opened a Catholic school for young girls in
this building and it had become the nucleus for missionary activities among
Negroes, bound and free. During the night Sr. St. Marthe taught classes in
morals and faith to adults and during the day, the young girls were given
religious instruction. In order to secure more teachers to help her, Sister
St. Marthe trained young colored girls to become teachers. As a result,
Henriette began to teach at the Catholic school when she was fourteen years
Henriette become consumed by her work.
In addition to teaching, she visited the sick and the elderly and helped to
feed the poor of the city. For Henriette, prayer was a necessity in her
life. She often went to the Ursuline Convent's chapel to offer daily
devotions. Henriette's family tried to persuade her to give up her work and
pursue finding a member of the aristocracy to fall in love with. However,
Henriette chose celibacy instead. Henriette's family was passing as white
and did not like Henriette's recognition of her mixed ancestry and her
association with blacks in the City. Henriette refused to stop her work and
her mother had a nervous breakdown. A curator was appointed to handle her
mother's accounts and in 1835, he signed a Civil Court document declaring
Henriette to be of legal age.
When Henriette was declared to be of
legal age, she sold all her property and began to found a community of Negro
nuns with the assistance of a French woman, Marie Jeanne Aliquot. On
November 21, 1836, Aliquot, Henriette and eight other colored women became
the Sisters of the Presentation. They cared for the sick and poor and taught
the freedmen. Their motto was "to be of one heart and one soul."
In 1837, Father Etienne Rousselon came
to New Orleans from France to take charge of the chapel next to the school
founded by Sister St. Marthe. Father Rousselon obtained permission for
Henriette Delille to found a religious community of Negro nuns. Henriette
and her companions raised money for the new Catholic church, which was
completed in 1842. The community was changed from the Sisters of the
Presentation to the Sisters of the Holy Family.
Within a few
years, Henriette had opened a home for the aged, the sick, and the poor who
had nowhere else to go. She was later able to purchase a home, which she
used as a community center where slaves and free black people came to
socialize and learn the Christian faith. The religious community found
creative ways to keep money coming in, holding lotteries and fairs. Her
sister Cecilia, by this time the mistress of a rich Austrian businessman,
introduced her to many wealthy people who gave generously to her cause. That
the Sisters of the Holy Family accomplished so much in a time of tremendous
obstacles is even more impressive when one considers that for the first
seven years there were only three of them.
Although Delille had always suffered from poor health, she refused to slow
down so long as there were souls who needed her ministry. Finally, worn out
by her work, Henriette died on November 17, 1862. In her obituary it was
written, "The crowd gathered for her funeral testified by its sorrow how
keenly felt was the loss of her who for the love of Christ had made herself
the humble servant of slaves."
Last fall, the American bishops voted unanimously to endorse "the
appropriateness and timeliness" of Mother Henriette's cause for sainthood.
After a formal biography is submitted, the Vatican will appoint historians
and theologians to review it for thoroughness and accuracy. If everything is
in order, then a study must be written on the virtues Delille possessed. If
the Vatican's Congregation for the Cause of Saints and the pope approve,
then she could be called "Venerable."
At this point, the Church would place the material aside and wait for a sign
from God that its decision was correct: At least two miracles - such as a
cure for a disease for which no medical explanation is possible - are
required. If canonized, Henriette Delille will be the first native-born
Black American saint.
After over 150 years, the Sisters of
the Holy Family still carry on Henriette Delille's tradition of dedication
to God and charitable endeavors. Today, there are over 190 Sisters of the
Holy Family who teach, care for the elderly in their nursing homes and
retirement centers, and run free schools for disadvantaged children. The
Sisters have missions in Louisiana California, Texas, Washington, D.C. and
Belize Central America.
NOTE From Doctor
Because of the
tragedy surrounding Hurricane Katrina, the Sisters of the Holy Family in New
Orleans have been displaced.
The Sisters are in three
locations, but their headquarters – where Sister Thibodeaux & Sister Doris
are located is as follows:
Sisters of the Holy Family
Maryhill Renewal Center
600 Maryhill Road
If you would like to
submit a financial donation, please send to the address above and make out
the check to “Sisters of the Holy Family.” This will help them a
lot in needs for clothing, food, medications, housing, etc.
Also, please keep them in your prayers and send your love.
They have received permission from the bishop to house as many Sisters as
possible (limited to about 28, I think) at Maryhill for as long as they need
it, which appears to be months.
These are the Sisters in
the Catholic order founded by Mother Henriette
Delille, free woman of color, who lived during pre-Civil War
days in New Orleans and devoted her entire life to caring for the poor,
orphaned, abandoned, aged, slaves, and the forgotten.
Mother Deliile is attributed to miracles and her
cause for canonization was submitted to Rome this summer, through the
archdiocese of Galveston-Houston where a miracle occurred.
Pray to Henriette Delille,
and let the Sisters of the Holy Family know that they are not forgotten.
HELPS STUDENTS GET A HEAD START
Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA)
Kim Marie Vaz, Contributing writer
people called Mildred Martinez crazy because she believed children could be
taught to read before they were 6 years old.
1934, she and the teachers at her kindergarten, Martinez Nursery School,
have been doing just that. And now, she's added Spanish to her kindergarten
'Because I taught my children to read at the age of 5, I was called
everything except a teacher,' Martinez said, recalling the early years
when she started the first kindergarten for black children in New
was not called by name, by both races,' she said. 'I was called a "crazy
woman" or "that woman." They couldn't see that I was Negro trying to help
all Negro children."
only did she help black students, many of the children she taught to read
in her little school in downtown New Orleans are now city leaders. Among
her students: Mayor Sidney Barthelemy,
Liberty Bank President Alden McDonald and Orleans Parish School Board
member Gail Glapion."
began in the early 1930s, after Martinez married and had her first child,
Maurice. Martinez said her son played with Jewish children in her
neighborhood, some of who she noticed could
read better at 5 years than children she had taught in second grade. She
had been forced to give up her job after she married , as married women
were not allowed to continue teaching, she said."
Maurice was 4,one of his playmates said Maurice would be attending
Isidore Newman School with him the
following year. "That put me on the spot," Martinez said, "because at that
time no Negroes were admitted
into Newman School. There was no chance that he might attend, and I knew
he was going to come up with a complex. There were no
kindergartens in the whole city of New
Orleans, other than Newcomb College for
their faculty, Newman and Kingsley House," she said. "None were available
for Negro children."
the teachers at Newman suggested Martinez establish a kindergarten of her
own with Maurice and the children of
Martinez's friends. The teachers gave
Martinez their curriculum and discussed it with her. She patterned her
school after Newman.
children were separated on the basis of age and sex. Basic concepts,
phonic and math were emphasized. The atmosphere was charged with
self-esteem. Martinez stressed that her
students were the most beautiful children in the city.
first class consisted of 15 students. They all were the
valedictorian's of their graduating
classes in the years that followed. Every one of the students from that
class now hold key positions in their respective fields, Martinez said.
first, she was not convinced that
children should not be taught to read early, Martinez said. As a result,
she selected only those she thought had the ability to take on reading and
math. "They were reading better than the children at Newman School," she
said. "The Newman teachers were amazed."
Martinez became a prestigious center of learning for young black children.
Black professionals, black public
school teachers, the children of the faculty of
Dillard University, all wanted what the
school had to offer.
But Martinez said many black professionals, "condemned me for teaching the
others. I couldn't tell the 9th Ward child, 'Your mama is a welfare
person, I can't teach you." Martinez opened her school to all children.
Classes were crowded and she maintained a waiting list of more than 60
local black educators did not accept her teaching methods, she said. Proof
came when desegregation arrived, however. When
desegregations came in, the School
Board was accepting applications. The children would have to be tested to
get into the first integrated class,"
Martinez said. Of approximately 50
children tested, five were accepted, and four of the five were
proved whatever I was doing was needed in the city of New Orleans," she
though Kindergartens now exist in all
public schools, Martinez said she still offers her students something
special. "They still don't give them as much as I do," she said. "We still
have a curriculum based on phonetic
reading and the 45 combinations of addition and subtraction."
addition, the curriculum includes Spanish, dance, printing and the
identification of basic concepts. Children
participate in the black history program at St. John Divine Baptist
Church and the annual crowning of the Virgin Mary at Corpus
Christi Catholic Church.
Martinez claims to be among the first
to offer kindergarten graduations in the city and to sponsor Carnival
activities for her students" At Carnival time, there were always pictures
of little people who were kings and queens in the newspapers, but
nobody had a king and a queen for Negroes. I did it to make our children
feel that they were really somebody."
Roy E. Glapion
Credited with Helping Bring Zulu to the Forefront
This article is presented through the courtesy of MardiGras Unmasked
website. You must read the whole article by clicking on the LINK at the
bottom of this excerpt
with the tradition of formalizing the selection of royalty at their annual
pre-Mardi Gras Coronation Ball, members of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure
Club crowned Roy E. Glapion Jr. at his home on December 26, as the City
Councilman and former Zulu president lay stricken with colon cancer. Hours
before he passed away two days later, at age 64, the club, by voting
unanimously not to elect a replacement king, honored one of Glapion's dying
wishes: to go down in the record books as King Zulu 2000.
Known among friends as "Glap" or "Coach," he
will be sorely missed not only by Zulu, an organization that benefited
greatly from his leadership, but by the greater New Orleans community as
well. Highlighting his legacy of public service: a 36-year career as an
educator and athletic coach with the New Orleans Parish School System,
followed by his election, in 1993, as District D councilman, a position he
served with distinction until he entered into eternal rest. He is survived
by, among others, his wife of 41 years, Joyce Smith Glapion, his mother,
Mercedes Tervalon Taylor, and his children: Desiree Glapion Rogers, who is
Queen Zulu 2000, and Roy A. Glapion, a Zulu member who will serve as a
King's Duke in the 2000 festivities.
Glapion joined Zulu at a time of generational transition, in 1972. The club
was just beginning to recover from a tumultuous period that began around
1960, after the Louisiana legislature attempted to block the desegregation
of New Orleans public schools.
A coalition comprised mostly of black social
clubs called for the black community to boycott Mardi Gras in 1961.
Famous for parading in blackface makeup and grass skirts, and handing out
that began, in the early 1900s, as a form of satirical commentary on the
Carnival customs and racial stereotypes of the white community—the
Zulus came under particularly heavy fire. Civil rights reformers took out an
the black community's newspaper, The Louisiana Weekly—
denigrating the club's Fat Tuesday procession: "...Negroes are paid by white
merchants to wander through the city drinking to excess, dressed as
uncivilized savages, and throwing coconuts like monkeys." The krewe
ultimately resisted pressure to withdraw the parade, but had no queen that
year and kept the identity of the king secret.
Carnival Historian Reid Mitchell, in his book
All on a Mardi Gras Day: Episodes in the History of New Orleans Carnival,
observes that as the protests continued into the mid-1960s, the Zulus
underwent an identity crisis. For Mardi Gras 1965, the krewe, whose
membership ranks were rapidly dwindling, gave up blackfacing and grass
skirts. But this "new look" didn't sit well with some members of the old
guard, and a couple of years later, the Zulus returned to the their old
ways. "No more of that dignity stuff," Milton Bienamee—a
deputy criminal sheriff for Orleans Parish and a church deacon who reigned
as King Zulu in 1965—announced
Much of the leadership of the New Orleans civil rights movement was
comprised of the so-called "Creole elite"—educated
citizens of mixed-race descent who were raised in the Catholic faith. Born
in New Orleans on December 3, 1935, Glapion was a member of the Creole
elite. He attended St. Peter Claver and Xavier Preparatory, and went on to
obtain a post-secondary degree from Xavier University, a certificate in
Corrective Therapy from Tuskegee Institute and a master's degree in
education from Southern University.
Rosette Rochon was born around 1767 in colonial Mobile, the daughter of
Pierre Rochon, a shipbuilder from a French Canadian family (possibly related
to the Bienville and Iberville LeMoynes), through his mulatto slave consort
Marianne, who bore him
five other children. When Rosette came to a suitable age, she was freed by
her father and given as placée to a Monsieur Hardy, with whom she relocated
to the colony of Saint Domingue. During her sojourn there, Hardy must have
died or relinquished her, for in 1797 during the Haitian Revolution, she
escaped to New Orleans, where she later became the placée of Joseph Forstall.
Rochon came to speculate in real estate in the French Quarter; she
eventually owned rental property, opened grocery stores, made loans, bought
and sold mortgages, and owned and rented out slaves. She also traveled
extensively back and forth to Haiti, where her son by Hardy had become a
government official in the new republic. Her social circle in New Orleans
once included Marie Laveau, Jean Lafitte, and the free black contractors and
real estate developers Jean-Louis Dolliole and Joseph Dolliole. In
particular, Rochon became one of the earliest investors in the Faubourg
Marigny, acquiring her first lot from Bernard de Marigny in 1806. Bernard de
Marigny, the Creole speculator, refused to sell the lots he was subdividing
from his family plantation to anyone who spoke English. While this turned
out to be a losing financial decision, Marigny felt more comfortable with
the French-speaking, Catholic free people of color (having relatives, lovers
and even children on this side of the color line); consequently, much of
Faubourg Marigny was built by free black artisans for free people of color
or for French-speaking white Creoles. Rochon remained largely illiterate
dying in 1863 at the age of 96, leaving behind an estate valued at $100,000
(today, an estate worth a million dollars).
The Following Comments were submitted by Reynard Jean Paul Rochon with
credits to David A. Sprinkle, who
apparently has done quite a bit of research into this subject.
wanted to add and correct something for you. In the Rosette Rochon segment
of Creole History, You list that Rosette was the daughter of Pierre Rochon;
that he freed her at a suitable age and might be related to Iberville &
Bienville. Yes and no. Rosette and all the Children of Pierre and
Marriene were freed at birth very publicly in the Mobile Register, and by
all accounts were COMPLETE members of Pierre's family proper. Marriene on
the other hand remained a slave of Pierre until his death. Pierre's
1st wife Catherine Paux had already died.
(This says something about the French in America as opposed to the
English.-- that this would be so public. Thomas Jefferson had all those
children with Sally Hemmings, but never acknowledged them even though it was
widely known during his lifetime)
Also Pierre was not related to Iberville and Bienville but definitely served
Louis XIV with them. Pierre's parents Charles Rochon and Henriette Colon
(daughter of Catherine Exipakinoea of the Huron and Illiniwek of the Great
Lakes) sailed with Henri Tonti on the
missions of discovery. Bienville convinced Charles Rochon to stay in the
south instead of returning to Quebec with the a land grant of the Dog River
Plantation in Mobile.
Pierre and his brother Charles Jr. took control of the plantation at the
time of Charles Sr. death. Yeah ... funny how far the branches go and how
connected we all are. Great site! God bless the puffy arrogant French blood
that runs through OUR veins!
Hey take it easy, enjoyed the site.
Marie Laveau, who was known as the voodoo queen of New
Orleans, died in 1881; however, she was born sometime between 1794-1801 as
the daughter of a white Haitian plantation owner, Charles Leveaux, and his
mixed black and Indian placée Marguerite Darcantel (or D'Arcantel). Because
there were so many whites as well as free people of color in Haiti with the
same names, Leveaux could also have been a free man of color who
owned slaves and
property as well. All three may have escaped Haiti along with thousands of
other Creole whites and Creoles of color during the slave uprisings that
culminated in the French colony's becoming the only independent black
republic in the New World. At 17, Marie married a Creole man of color,
Jacques Paris, but Paris either died, disappeared or deliberately abandoned
her (some accounts also relate that he was a seaman or sailor) after she
produced a daughter. Laveau was styling herself the widow Paris and was a
hairdresser for white matrons (she was also reckoned to be an herbalist and
yellow fever nurse) when she met Louis Christophe Duminy de Glapion and
sometime during the early 1820s, they became lovers. Marie was just
beginning her spectacular career as a voodoo practitioner (she would not be
declared a 'queen' until about 1830), and Duminy de Glapion was a fiftyish
white Creole veteran of the Battle of New Orleans with relatives on both
sides of the color line. Recently, it was discovered that Duminy de Glapion
was so in love with Marie, he refused to live separately from her according
to racial custom. In an unusual decision, Duminy de Glapion passed as a man
of color in order to live with her under respectable circumstances--thus
explaining the confusion many historians have had whether he was truly white
or black. Although it is popularly thought that Marie presented Duminy de
Glapion with fifteen children, only five are listed in vital statistics and
of these, two daughters--one the famous Marie Eucharist or Marie Laveau
II--lived to adulthood. Marie Eucharist closely resembled her mother and
startled many who thought that Marie Laveau had been resurrected by the
black arts, or could be at two places at once, beliefs that the daughter did
little to correct.
Daniel J. Roque
Most people probably
drive right by Roque's (pronounced "Rock") Garage without paying too much
attention to it. I have done so many times. But last October 2009, I just
to stop. I got out of my car and walked around to the side of the building
where 2 men were working on a tractor. One was Mr. Daniel J Roque, Sr., the
owner of this timeless business.
I was amazed as I studied the many antique
farm implements around the garage and sleeping dormantly out in the fields
rusting in colors of red, orange and green.
On the right side of the garage, I found
crude pit that is used when you have to work under a vehicle. It consisted
of two heavy planks that stretched from the garage lot and elevated out over
a shallow creek bed. Very clever and a lot less expensive than a modern day
hydraulic car lift.
The Roque stated
that the business was started by his father, Joseph D. Roque, back in the
1930's. His father was killed in 1950, at which time, he took over the
business and has operated it up to this date.
So, if you are in the area, stop and have a chat with Mr. Roque, a very
friendly, Creole Gentleman.