Virtual Lecture: ‘The Mysteries of New Orleans:’ Fictions and Facts in the ‘Louisiana Staats-Zeitung,’ 1854″

Caroline Huey

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@ 6:00 pm

Free and open to the public, but registration is required.
Email Antje Petty ( to receive a link. 
Links will be sent on March 20, 2024.

This presentation will explore the complex and conflict-ridden society experienced by German immigrants who lived in antebellum New Orleans, a port city known for its multicultural and international population as well as for being a center of slavery with dozens of slave markets. Focusing on one year, 1854, when the city’s German population had reached a peak in numbers and cultural influence, Huey juxtaposes the political editorials of a local German paper, the Louisiana Staatszeitung, with a highly popular serial melodrama published in the same paper at the same time. On page two, the news editorials covered topics of national and international importance such as citizenship, slavery, and abolition. On the front-page, Ludwig von Reizenstein’s Die Geheimnisse von New-Orleans (The Mysteries of New Orleans) detailed the lives of New Orleans German immigrants in apocalyptic and graphic detail. While the editorials promoted democracy and urged immigrants to engage politically and socially, the serial novel’s harrowing events made readers uneasy, leading them to turn inward.

Caroline Huey is Associate Professor of Germanic Studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her most recent research has been about Germans in antebellum New Orleans.