Tag Archives: Staunton S. Burdette

New Orleans, Louisiana – Cemeteries – Lafayette Cemetery Number 1

21 Jun

Washinton Street Entrance to Lafayette Number 1

Lafayette Number 1 Cemetery is located in the middle of Historic Garden District, one of the best known historic districts of New Orleans.  For restaurateurs it lies across the street from the world famous Commanders Palace. The Historic Garden District of New Orleans boasts some of the grandest and most colorful houses in New Orleans, and one of the worlds best restaurants and one of the cities best known cemeteries. All of these areas are all accessible by the historic St. Charles Street Car Line if you are so inclined.

In the Garden District one will find streets and homes with park like settings along with good sidewalks and easily crossed streets that offer a relaxed visit.  In the middle of this setting one can stroll upon the Lafayette Number 1 Cemetery and while browsing these grounds one can discover a well planned layout of graves and Magnolia Tree lined streets.  Indeed a city of the dead.

Angel With Broken Wing in Lafayette Number 1

Lafayette Number 1 is one of the older cemeteries in the city.  It was surveyed by Benjamin Buisson a Lieutenant of artillery with the army of Napoleon. Bussion arrived in New Orleans in 1817.  He served as Parish Surveyor, and was a prominent civil engineer and architect.  At the start of the Civl War Buisson was placed in charge of city fortifications in New Orleans.  He was appointed Brigadier General of militia in 1862.  After the war he resumed his practice as a surveyor. His designs and surveying are still carried forward in Lafayette Number 1.
The cemetery derives its name because at the time it was established, in 1833, it was in the municipality of Lafayette and not New Orleans.  This part of town was referred to as the American Sector as opposed to the Creole sector in the French Quarter (known as New Orleans) on the other side of Canal Street. Later Lafayette would become a part of New Orleans.  Most of the residents here were American and Protestant as opposed to Catholic in the Creole sector.

Tunes Among the Tombs in Lafayette Number 1

The cemetery is officially dedicated to Theodore von LaHache, the founder of the New Orleans Philharmonic Society, who by the way, compiled the Catholic Hymnal. Well, not to be outdone the Protestants have interred here Mr. Staunton S. Burdette, who by the way, was the composer of the Baptist Hymnal.  Only in New Orleans, I am inclined to think.

New Orleans is paradoxical in many ways, even in it’s cemeteries.  In future postings I  will discuss some of the people buried here, some of the tombs and other facts related to Lafayette Cemetery Number 1.

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