Monday, April 4, 2016

Philippine American: 1763 Filipinos in Louisiana

1883 picture of Saint Malo, from Hearn 1883

Not very many people know that Filipinos first lived in the New World in the late 1700s when some sailors deserted Spanish galleons. Known as Manilamen, they settled in the marshlands of Louisiana and established small fishing villages such as Saint Malo. The Manilamen  married Cajun, Indian, and other women.

These men reportedly fought in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, having signed up with Jean Lafitte to join the army of Major General Andrew Jackson. 

They introduced shrimp drying, which is still done by the Cajuns of Louisiana.

Some descendants of the Manilamen continue to live in Louisiana today.

I first heard about the Manilamen when I visited New Orleans years ago and had the opportunity to interview the historian Marina Espina.

I grabbed the old pictures from the internet. Please check the links because the information is very interesting. 

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