Preserve Louisiana will host a Heritage Lecture with author David Plater on The Butlers of Iberville Parish, Louisiana, on Thursday, March 9 at 6:30 p.m. Plater will explore the remarkable lives of a Louisiana family during one of the most tumultuous periods in American history.
Plater exposes the life of Edward G.W. Butler and his wife Frances Butler as they face triumphs and turmoil in the 1800s. Butler lived in Iberville Parish at the Dunboyne Plantation with his wife and son. The couple began a sugar cane plantation and as their land holdings grew, they amassed more slaves and improved their social prominence in Louisiana's antebellum society.
Yet, when the war cut off agricultural markets and all but destroyed the state's plantation economy, the Butlers were left in financial ruin.
Their experiences at Dunboyne over the next 40 years demonstrated the transformations that many land-owning southerners faced in the nineteenth century, from the evolution of agricultural practices and commerce, to the destruction wrought by the Civil War and the transition from slave to free labor and finally to the social, political and economic upheavals of Reconstruction.