If you get the opportunity to travel to the intersection of Camp and Prytania streets in uptown New Orleans, you will see the first statue to be erected to a woman in the United States. It is a monument to Margaret Haughery, an Irish immigrant and philanthropist. Margaret did well for herself in the city, opening a successful bakery called “Margaret’s Bread” as well as purchasing a dairy farm. Margaret fed the homeless every day and eventually opened several orphanages to help the children left without parents from the many diseases ravaging the city.
She was only sixty-nine when she died and upon her death, she left her entire estate to asylums for widows, orphans, and the elderly. As exceptional as her business acumen was, she signed her documents with an “X.” The woman that accomplished so much, only to enrich her community was illiterate. Let’s raise a glass of fine Irish whiskey to toast her rising above those shortcomings after trekking across the Atlantic to carve a new life in a strange land. This one is for you dear Margaret, may we all follow in your footsteps.
Crescent City Historic Tours