Louisiana: 200 Years of Federal District Courts

Louisiana became a State of the Union in 1812, so this year is the bicentenary not only of this event, but of the establishment of the Federal Courts in Louisiana. For a copy of the Constitution, see http://www.louisianadigitallibrary.org/u?/lapur,15852.

On this side of the Atlantic, it is worth remembering that this was the year of the outbreak of war between Britain and the U.S.A, declared not long after the new constitution was adopted, one of the greatest battles of which was that of New Orleans on 8 January, 1815 (the combatants unaware that peace had been concluded on 24 December 1814). The senior British Commander during the War was the Scotsman, Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane, who landed the force that burned Washington, and whose bombardment of Fort McHenry at Baltimore led to the writing of the "Star-Spangled Banner". Wellington attributed the failure of the British campaign at New Orleans to Cochrane. Whatever the justice of these comments, it did not harm Cochrane's career. The episode raises interesting speculations about what might have happened had the British succeeded in this campaign, now that war in Europe was ended.

A Conference organised on the afternoon of 13th April in New Orleans on the theme of "Tracking Louisiana's Legal Heritage: Celebrating 200 Years of the Federal District Courts in Louisiana" marks this event. The interestngly varied programme is as follows:

Warren M. Billings, PhD, Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus, University of New Orleans and Visiting Professor of Law, the College of William and Mary Law School – Moderator

Professor Richard Campanella, Associate Director, Center for Bioenvironmental Research, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Tulane University – "A Walk Through the Streets of New Orleans at the Time of the Court's Foundation"

John Magill, M.A., Curator/Historian, The Historic New Orleans Collection – "Transient Justice: 200 Years of United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana Courthouses"

John Randall Trahan, J.D., Louis B. Porterie Professor of Law, Paul M. Hébert Law Center, Louisiana State University – "The Civilian Aspects of Louisiana Law"

Mark F. Fernandez, PhD, Professor of History, Loyola University New Orleans – "Creoles and Americans: The Cultural and Political Background to the Foundation of the Court"

Jason Wiese, Assistant Director, Williams Research Center, The Historic New Orleans Collection – "Andrew Jackson's Quarrel with Judge Dominick A. Hall"

Raphael Cassimere, Jr., PhD, Seraphia D. Leyda University Teaching Professor, Emeritus, University of New Orleans – "The Role of the Federal Court in the Early Civil Rights Movement in Louisiana"

Further information may be obtained from:

Camille Zeller, Attorney Conference Center
Hale Boggs Federal Building, Room 364
500 Poydras Street     
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
Phone: (504) 589-7990    Fax: (504) 589-7995
Email: fbano@bellsouth.net