It was inevitable that I, number one bee fan, would find this, wasn’t it? The wonderful old newspaper “The New Orleans Bee.” I was really only trying to find beekeepers or even a special Louisiana bee that I might be able to paint and write about. But what could be better than to start the New Orleans part of the blog with such a wonderful image from just one hundred years ago today.
It is really thanks to the Jefferson Parish Library who has digitised all of the publications from September 1827 to December 1923 which are accessible here. Their brief description of The Bee:
“The New Orleans Bee/ L’Abeille de la Nouvelle-Orléans was a French language newspaper published in New Orleans beginning on September 1, 1827. An English section was added three months later. The newspaper continued as a dual language publication until 1872 when the English portion was dropped and once again it became French only. Briefly [1829-1830] there was also a Spanish language section. The New Orleans Bee was originally published three times a week, but became a daily after a few years. Publication ceased in 1925."
Wikipedia here has a little more to tell:
“Initially published three times a week in French, an English section was added on November 24, 1827,and in this form it was the most successful of New Orleans daily newspapers in the middle of the nineteenth century….Until at least 1897 L'Abeille remained "almost certainly the daily newspaper of choice" for French officials in New Orleans. The title was purchased in 1921 by The Times-Picayune and was published weekly until it closed in 1925.”
We shall be here for a while so I shall be posting a few pieces from this fascinating paper on the corresponding dates.
So today, 100 years ago, on the 29th Nov 1910, the English section of the New Orleans Bee was concerned with the demise of the Passenger Pigeon, the lack of respectable refuges for women in London, the rebinding of an exquisite Book of Hours with a gold cover attributed to Benvenuto Cellini in Paris and this little story:
“Parrot mistaken for Man
Interrupts Young Woman’s Bath and the Human Pet Rushes in Causing Consternation
Philadelphia – Pat is a parrot owned by Mr and Mrs William Harrington. The other afternoon noticing that the door of his cage was unfastened Pat made for the window and perched on the sill of an adjoining bathroom window.
Inside there was much splashing and feminine laughter. Nora the maid was giving her young mistress a bath. Not finding the soap in its place she called to her husband whose name happened to be Pat “
Fetch the soap Pat and be quick about it”
The parrot hearing his name shrieked “Who wants Pat?”
Hearing the sound from the outside both women screamed and swooned thinking some one was endeavoring to enter by the fire escape. The man Pat hearing the commotion dashed into the bathroom and made matters worse, especially for the young woman, by breaking into the room.”
I am very taken with this newspaper and feel I might just appropriate the perfectly appropriate name for my stay here.
And where, might you ask, would a “New Orleans Bee” like to stay? Well, how about a Creole Garden? Which is exactly where I am. I’m at the delightful Creole Gardens B&B .. more of all that to come.