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Common Routes: St. Domingue Ñ Louisiana

Everybody knows that Christopher Columbus discovered America, but what he really discovered was Haiti, known as St. Domingue when it was Louisiana's colonial French sister in the Caribbean. And when Haitian slaves successfully rebelled against their French and free black masters, all those wealthy French and gens de coleur libres (freemen of color) packed up and moved to -- guess where. Exactly. By 1810 the population of New Orleans was half Haitian, and if you think they left no mark you've never been to that sultry island where the architecture is strikingly familiar and where their very own Mardi Gras Indians strut their stuff. Through paintings, maps and artifacts from all over the world, Common Routes explores the common connections of two former colonies that evolved differently even as some things remained the same. -- D. Eric Bookhardt

Through June 30

Historic New Orleans Collection, 533 Royal Street, 523-4662; www.hnoc.org

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