Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Plough's New Orleans Necropolis Plan

In the summer of 1837, New Orleans surgeon and dentist A.L. Plough developed a necropolis plan, which he placed on display in his Canal Street office. He hoped that the city's recent cholera epidemic would prompt the citizenry to adopt his new "sepulture" system:

"I call upon every individual, from the Executive of the State to the most humble citizen -- for this concerns every one, the poor as well as the rich -- and in fact all who possess the slightest glow of humanity, every citizen who has the pride and spirit of a man, and who regards the future prosperity of our beloved and growing city, its moral and physical condition, its reputation at home or abroad, should lend its countenance or support to the accomplishment of an object so desirable. I therefore sincerely hope that this call will not be in vain."

Although Plough had the support of New Orleans' leading architects (advertisement above), his plan failed to garner the support of the city's leading newspaper, The Picayune. An unidentified editorialist dismissed the surgeon's plan as altogether "too grand and expensive."

Image above from The Picayune (22 September 1837), p. 1.

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