Lucy Cheatam
Free Woman of Color




529 and 533 Esplanade
New Orleans, La.


529 and 533 Esplanade



Lucy Cheatam

a free woman of color


involved in the circumvention of inheritance laws, lived on a more pretentious block than most of her counterparts in the Third District.

The two Greek Revival townhouses at 529 and 533 Esplanade were built for her on land inherited by her two sons from John Hagan, a wealthy white cotton factor, undoubtedly the boys’ father (Hagan’s will, March 5, 1856).

Because of the technicality that her sons owned the land, Lucy was within the law when she contracted for the building of the houses, paid for them with her own funds, and made all decisions as owner n their erection.

Although the sons were legally William and A. Cheatam, Lucy sometimes assumed the name of her deceased lover, and her signature may be observed on the floor plans attached to the building contract for 533 Esplanade.



Photos Courtesy




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