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What can you tell me about Audubon College and Louisiana College? 

Blake Pontchartrain: The New Orleans N.O. It All

Hey Blake,

  I was reading a brief biography about my great-great-grandfather, which included some information about his education. The bio stated he attended Audubon College and Louisiana College, both in New Orleans. What can you tell me about these two "ain't dere no more" colleges?


Dear Kathryn,

  Back in the day, the term "college" commonly was used for high schools as well as higher education institutions. Many high schools were chartered as colleges, including the College of the Immaculate Conception (Jesuit High School), St. Isidore's College (Holy Cross) and most likely the two you ask about.

  Louisiana College opened in 1851 on Dauphine Street between Ursulines and Hospital (now Gov. Nicholls) streets. It was founded by educator Louis Dufau, a native of France. An 1852 Times-Picayune advertisement said Dufau's goal was to "offer to the youth of Louisiana the same resources and advantages as the colleges of the North and of Europe." The college's time in the French Quarter was short-lived, however. In 1854, the college moved upriver to Convent in St. James Parish, partly be- cause of a yellow fever epidemic in New Orleans, and took over the campus formerly known as Jefferson College. Louisiana College closed in 1856, and the property changed hands several times. Since 1931, it has been the site of the Jesuits' Manresa House of Retreats.

  As for Audubon College, it was founded by teacher Simon Rouen, who came to New Orleans from his native France in 1809. According to John Smith Kendall's History of New Orleans, Rouen was a private tutor and principal before founding the college in 1855 at Burgundy and Dumaine streets. The faculty included Rouen's father-in-law, J.N.B. de Pouilly, who taught drawing classes. Pouilly is better known as the architect of St. Louis Cathedral, St. Augustine Church in Treme and many ornate tombs in the city's cemeteries.


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