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.
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.
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.