New Orleans was founded in 1718 by the French Mississippi Company and named for Phillippe II, Duke of Orléans, who was a Regent of France at the time. The colony was ceded to Spain in 1763. The port was an important part of the American Revolution, where aid, equipment, and supplies were smuggled up the Mississippi River to help the revolutionaries and was a key player in the ultimate defeat of the British. Following the Revolution, Napoleon famously sold the territory in 1803 to the then-newly formed United States. Because of its access to major waterways, the city became a hub for immigrants of various populations, including France, Africa, and Haiti, as well as Creole peoples (Louisiana-born people of French and Spanish descent), and later Irish, Germans, and Italians settled in the parish, melding the cultures and traditions we can see in the city today.
The history of New Orleans can be seen in the various architectural styles of its streets and buildings. Houses include the shotgun house, bungalow, Creole cottages and townhouses noted for their ornate ironwork in the French Quarter (link to Kendra’s neighborhood page) to the antebellum-era mansions found on St. Charles Avenue.