“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Thibodaux in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana — The American South (West South Central)

Leonidas Polk

Leonidas Polk Marker image. Click for full size.
January 13, 2018
1. Leonidas Polk Marker
Inscription.  Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1806, Polk attended the University of North Carolina before receiving an appointment to West Point, from which he graduated in 1827. He soon resigned his commission, however, was ordained an Episcopal priest, and in 1832 moved to a farm near Columbia, Tennessee. He combined farming with pastoral work with a colored congregation until 1838, when he was appointed missionary Bishop of the old southwest--the vast area comprising present-day Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Indian Territory. In that capacity, Polk resettled his family to Bayou Lafourche and resided on "Leighton Place" Plantation a few miles upstream from the town of Thibodaux.

Among Polk's first accomplishments here was the founding of St. John's Episcopal Church. Built in the style of a Greek temple, in 1843-1844, the church faced the Terrebonne Road (Jackson Street) on Ridgefield Plantation land donated by Polk's friend and ardent supporter George S. Guion.

Bishop Polk and his wife, Frances Devereaux, schooled their slaves, provided religious services for them, and established a lay nursery for servant's children. A cholera

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epidemic in 1849 killed many workers on the plantation. That disaster was followed by a tornado in 1850 which destroyed the sugar mill, many other structures, and the sugar cane crop. The plantation subsequently failed, and Polk moved in 1854 to New Orleans, where he became rector of Trinity Church on Jackson Avenue. He later helped establish the University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee.

In 1861, Leonidas Polk returned to service as a soldier, achieving a rank of Lieutenant General in the Army of the Confederacy. He was killed by a cannonball at the Battle of Pine Mountain, Georgia, June 14, 1864, and his remains later were interred in Christ Church Cathedral, New Orleans.
Erected by St. John's Historic Cemetery.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansAgricultureCemeteries & Burial SitesChurches & ReligionWar, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is June 14, 1864.
Location. 29° 47.632′ N, 90° 49.391′ W. Marker is in Thibodaux, Louisiana, in Lafourche Parish. Marker can be reached from Jackson Street south of Seventh Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 718 Jackson Street, Thibodaux LA 70301, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. St. John's Historic Cemetery (a few steps from this marker); James Mcallister

Leonidas Polk Marker image. Click for full size.
January 13, 2018
2. Leonidas Polk Marker
(a few steps from this marker); Morgan Springer (a few steps from this marker); John Carlton Beatty (a few steps from this marker); John Nelson & Andrew Jackson Donelson (within shouting distance of this marker); Marcus Pennington Zills (within shouting distance of this marker); Philip Sargent Armitage (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Leonidas Polk (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Thibodaux.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 21, 2019. It was originally submitted on January 14, 2018, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 317 times since then and 42 times this year. Last updated on January 31, 2018, by T. Patton of Jefferson, Georgia. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 14, 2018.

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May. 29, 2023