Episode 150: Executive Action – The Presidency and New Orleans

A teenager named Abraham Lincoln was once part of the crew of a packet boat bringing goods downriver to New Orleans. As they approached the city they camped on the river banks up shore from New Orleans. There were rough characters who worked along the river. That night, young Lincoln and his group were attacked and beaten up. Fortunately, for history’s sake, he survived and made it to New Orleans where he had another experience that also favored history’s sake.

He saw the city’s slave markets and was appalled. What he saw in New Orleans influenced his attitude about slavery that would shape his political career.

Author and professor Ted Widmer will moderate a panel, including New Orleanians Richard Campanella (who has written about the above Lincoln story) and the author C. W. Goodyear, titled “Hail to the Chief, New Orleans and the American Presidency.” Goodyear is the author of a new book about James Garfield.

Widmer joins Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot, to talk about presidents who spent time in the city either earlier before their time in office or as incumbents. It is a fascinating conversation a president whose reputation was made in New Orleans.

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