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Tricentennial History: Filles à la Cassette


In the eighteenth century, New Orleans, then under French rule, began receiving young women known as filles à la cassette. Traveling from France by boat, these women were sent to help colonize the new land. They were housed in the Ursuline convent once they arrived in New Orleans.

These filles à la cassette were so named because of the small suitcases (“caskets” or cassettes) they carried with them from France. Many stories arose about these young women as they arrived from 1704-1728, ranging from their undead origins (some believed they were vampires) to their mark on creole cuisine (see Petticoat Rebellion).

Scott Hutcheson, Senior Advisor to the Mayor on the Cultural Economy

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