Molly Vernier

Woman of Color





1017 Esplanade
New Orleans, La.




Molly Vernier,

free woman of color


A somewhat different case of inheritance was that of Molly Vernier, free woman of color, a slave emancipated by her mistress, Mrs. Anna Duperron, widow of Philippe Vernier. In her 1842 will, the widow revealed that she had been born in Santo Domingo, was eighty-five years old and had “only one living son, of whom I have not had news since 1802”.

“I give,” she continued, “to Molly, age about 53, her freedom in recompense for the long and faithful service which she rendered me… also to Molly the house I own on Esplanade, between Craps and Love (Burgundy and North Rampart).”





At the conclusion, the notary mentioned that because of faiblesse the widow could not sign, and so she made her mark. After Mrs. Vernier’s death, Molly received both her freedom and the house, taking the surname of her former mistress.

In 1855 she sold the property for a paltry $1,850 in an act of sale where she too made her mark. Today the property is at the site of 1017 Esplanade.





Photos Courtesy


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