Letter from Barataria and Lafitte, Louisiana

Less than an hour from New Orleans is deep bayou country, and if you happen to have grandchildren in town for Thanksgiving you could do a lot worse than distract them from their “mobile devices” by taking them to Barataria and Lafitte.

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Above is the Fleming Cemetery at Lafitte, with its Indian mound, on the banks of Bayou Barataria. No one knows for sure how old it is, but no one doubts its charm and picturesqueness.

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Here is Napoleon’s tomb at Goose Bayou; he is buried under the middle slab, between Jean Lafitte the pirate and John Paul Jones the naval hero. Napoleon died on the voyage from St. Helena, and that’s how he happened to be buried at Goose Bayou. The great porphyry tomb at the Invalides is magnificent, but empty.

For those who like to spot alligators, you can go to Kraemer where the keeper will provoke one, as below.

Thomas B. Lemann

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