Friday, April 21, 2006

I got Old Hickory's back

On my way to and from work I always walk through Lafayette Square. I don't know why but I really like it. It's surrounded by trees and has a few statues and plaques. One of the more interesting plaques is in French.

One of the statues is of Henry Clay. I don't understand why. It's seems really odd to have that here in a city that celebrates Andrew Jackson so much. Wasn't Clay the guy that cost the hero of the battle of New Orleans the presidency in 1824? The corrupt bargain? I'm no historian but I'm pretty sure Andrew Jackson hated his guts. They say the city put it up to honor Clay for the compromise of 1850, keeping the country out of civil war for another decade. There had to be other reasons. I think his brother lived here in the "Clay House" which is somewhere in the French Quarter. Maybe he had something to do with it. Who knows, maybe I'm the only history nerd who wonders about this.

Also in the square are statues of Benjamin Franklin and some local philanthropist but oddly enough, no statute of the Marquis de Lafayette. All they have is a plaque in front of a tree that says the tree was planted in his honor.

It's a quiet little place whenever I walk by but I learned today that they have music festivals there every Wednesday during this time of year. I haven't seen anything. Maybe I'm walking by at the wrong times.


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