New Orleans in Orleans Parish, Louisiana — The American South (West South Central)
Plessy v. Ferguson
Press Street Railroad Yards
—Site of the Arrest of Homer Adolph Plessy —
On June 7, 1892, Homer Aldolph Plessy was removed from the East Louisiana Railroad train and arrested by Detective C.C. Cain at the corner of Royal and Press St. He was charged with violating the 1890 Louisiana Separate Car Act that separated railroad passengers by race.
Plessy's act of civil disobedience was a test case organized by the Comité des Citoyens (Citizen's Committee) whose aim was to overturn segregation laws that were being enacted across the South. The philosophy and strategies of the Comité des Citoyens foreshadowed Civil Rights movements of the 20th century. Although the Supreme Court ruled against Plessy on May 18, 1896, his case marked the first post-Reconstruction use of the 14th Amendment's "equal protection" provision in a legal challenge to segregation. In their final statement after the Supreme Court verdict, the Comité des Citoyens proclaimed, "We as freemen still believe we were right and our cause is sacred...In defending the cause of liberty, we met with defeat but not with ignominy." Their position was vindicated when the Supreme Court upheld similar 14th Amendment arguments in the 1954 case of Brown v. Board of Education.
John Howard Ferguson was born in 1838 in Martha's Vineyard, MA. He was appointed judge in Section A of the New Orleans Parish Criminal Court 1892 and ruled against Plessy in November of the same year. He is buried in Lafayette Cemetery.
Members of the Citizens' Committee (1891-1896)
Arthur Esteves, President; C.C. Antoine, Vice-President; Firmin Christophe, Secretary; G.G Johnston, Asst. Secretary; Paul Bonseigneur, Treasurer; Laurent Auguste; Rudolph Baquie; Rodolphe L. Desdunes; A.J. Giuranovich; Alcee Labat; E.A. Williams, Pierre Chevalier; Louis A. Martinet; Numa E. Mansion; L.J. Joubert; A.B. Kennedy; Myrthil J. Piron; Eugene Luscy; Julius Hall; Frank Hall; Noel Bacchus; George Geddes; A.E.P. Albert.
Erected by Crescent City Peace Alliance.
Location. 29° 57.856′ N, 90° 2.907′ W. Marker is in New Orleans, Louisiana, in Orleans Parish. Marker is at the intersection of Press Street and Royal Street, on the right when traveling south on Press Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New Orleans LA 70117, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. St. Vincent De Paul Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Annunciation Church (approx. half a mile away); Fort St. Charles (approx. 0.6 miles away); Fauboug Marigny (approx. 0.6 miles away); United States Mint (approx. 0.6 miles away); Solomon Northup (approx. 0.6 miles away); New Orleans and the Domestic Slave Trade (approx. 0.6 miles away); Ninth Ward WWI Memorial (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Orleans.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
Also see . . . Plessy v. Ferguson. Wikipedia (Submitted on July 18, 2016.)
Categories. • African Americans • Civil Rights • Peace • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page was last revised on May 11, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 13, 2016. This page has been viewed 282 times since then and 64 times this year. Last updated on July 16, 2016. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 13, 2016. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.