The Planters’ Banner was a newspaper that published in St. Mary and Iberia parishes from 1836 to 1871. It sounds like it should have printed crop reports, but it was a hodgepodge of items.
It had poetry.
Obituaries from the East Coast (the publisher hailed from Maine).
Lots and lots of attorney ads. Some things never change.
And cures for chlorea – a very helpful recipe in the 1800s. Basically, you administered deer horn, wine, cold water and sugar. Then you did a lot of praying because there’s no way in hell that recipe cured anything.
What disappoints me about the paper is the scarcity of local news. The paper would give you tales of haunted houses in England and gold certificate robberies on the streets of New York, but local goings-on were a bit sporadic.
The really good stuff was dug up by other newspapers and reprinted, like this woeful story from 1871.
Alcee Gautreaux’s father owned a plantation called Hard Times in Assumption Parish. Optimistic name for a farm, huh?
The Gautreaux family leased the plantation to a Mr. T. T. Cobry, who threatened to shoot anyone who came onto the property even after his lease expired. Alcee convinced carpenters with the last names of Bergeron and Gilbert to go with him to Hard Times for the purposes of assessing needed repairs to the sugar house.
Knowing this wasn’t going to be a picnic in the park, Alcee grabbed a double barrel shotgun for the excursion. When the trio got there, Cobry was standing in the road dressed in his shirt sleeves. Spying the men, he ran into the blacksmith shop and retrieved a revolver.
Cobry didn’t seem to be the most reasonable of guys. He asked the men if they had a deputy with them and then started swearing. An argument ensued. Cobry was shot and killed.
The carpenters were probably just sorry they agreed to accompany Alcee that day since the whole matter ended up in court with Alcee acquitted of murder for acting in self defense.
Here’s The Assumption Pioneer’s tribute of sorts to Mr. Cobry, may he rest in peace:
Now, if only I could figure out if that Bergeron was a relative. Alas, no first name was reported.