Determined to Rise: The Woman’s Suffrage Movement in Louisiana

Special one week viewing of Determined to Rise: The Woman’s Suffrage Movement in Louisiana
September 29 – October 2
Vermilionville Living History Museum and Folklife Park Visitor Center
10am – 4pm Tuesday – Friday, 10am – 8pm Thursday

A traveling exhibit, Determined to Rise: The Woman’s Suffrage Movement in Louisiana, celebrates the challenges and triumphs of the women’s suffrage movement in Louisiana in celebration of the 100th anniversary of ratification of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Developed by the Centennial Women’s Suffrage Project (CWSP) at Southeastern Louisiana University and with grant support from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH) Rebirth grant program the exhibit consists of eight panels depicting photos of Louisiana suffragists, a timeline of significant events, the movement from the African-American woman’s perspective, laws that have changed since women gained the vote, and Louisiana women who have made their mark on history.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex




Cattle, Cowboys, and Drives

Whether they were used as draught animals or brought to New Orleans to be sold for beef, cattle played a central role in 19th century southwest Louisiana. The prevalence of large Acadian cattle ranches coupled with the number of enslaved persons among them places black laborers as some of the earliest “cowboys” in the region (Sluyter). A genome project in Texas describes the cattle brought over from Spain to North America as having a genome ancestry from Indian and African cattle as well (Decoding the Genetic History of the Texas Longhorn).

Acadians settled in southwest Louisiana as farmers and cattle ranchers with an agreement between the Acadian leaders and the commandant of the colony, and Acadians started their cattle farms here. The Acadians received land, seeds, and later livestock to restart their lives in Louisiana after expulsion from Nova Scotia. Acadians were not the only cattle ranchers on the prairies of Louisiana. French, German, and free people of color settled along the bayous and raised cattle, driving them to New Orleans for sale. Maison Buller at Vermilionville was moved from the prairies of Ville Plat, where a German descendant married to an Irish woman built the house in the early 1800s.

Cattle drives from and through southwest Louisiana depended on an extensive network of river crossings, housing, and labor. A Louisiana plantation owner told his granddaughter that for some river crossings, a swimmer had to guide the head steer across, and the other cattle would follow (Buchanan). One Texas cattle rancher describes crossing Louisiana on his way to New Orleans, stopping to stay at plantations, city inns, and camping in the marches. William journaled that he paid unnamed black cowboys to help him through sections of Louisiana, but it is unclear if some were enslaved cowboys or contracted free people of color. He passed though Opelousas and Vermilionville in 1855, suffering symptoms that align with malaria:

“Monday 29th Felt rather badly this morning. Weather very cold. After breakfast went to Vermillionville with Martin in his buggy intending to return & start on after dinner. When I Got to Martins felt too unwell to travel, pains all over, & so chilly that I could not leave the fire stall” (William Duncan).

Once in New Orleans, Cattle were slaughtered and sold, leading to dangerous health conditions and river pollution that became the subject of a US Supreme Court case in 1873. The Crescent City Live-Stock Landing and Slaughter-House Company centralized slaughtering for health reasons, and individual butchers sued them for access to the thousands of cattle driven to New Orleans every year. Carole Gelderman argues that because the state upheld the state’s slaughterhouse statute, it affirmed states’ “police power” and weakened the 14th Amendment.

Read, Listen, Watch more stories about cattle

Black Ranching Frontiers: African Cattle Herders of the Atlantic World, 1500-1900 by Andrew Sluyter, Ph.D 

Diary of William Duncan Liberty Texas 1954-1855, Courtesy of Julia Duncan Welder Collection, housed at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, part of the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

“Uncle Major’s Account of the Early Cattle Drives.” Anne Spotsworth Buchanan. Attakapas Gazette, 1980 vol 15.

64 Parishes. “Slaughterhouse Case,” Carol Gelderman.

University of Texas at Austin. “Decoding the genetic history of the Texas longhorn.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2013.

Neil MacGregor’s world history encounters four miniature cows made from Nile mud over 5, 500 years ago.

How to yoke oxen

Quartier Bayou Vermilion

La Cuisine de Maman




Vermilionville est ouvert six jours par semaine, Mardi par Saturday de 10:00 du matin à 16h00 Veuillez garder à l'esprit que nous cessons de prendre 15:00 tous les jours car il faut environ une heure à une heure et trente minutes pour visiter notre village historique.

Notre village historique est fermé sur Les lundis et pour grandes vacances y compris le réveillon du Nouvel An et le jour de l'An, le jour du Mardi Gras, l'Action de grâces, la veille de Noël et le jour de Noël.



Copyright © 2019 Bayou Vermilion
District Tous droits réservés




Adultes (19 - 65 ans): $10.00 par personne

Personnes agées (65 ans et +): $8.00 par personne

Étudiants (5 à 18 ans): $6.00 par personne

Les enfants (moins de 5 ans): sans frais


*Adultes (de 19 à 65 ans et plus): $8.00 par personne

Étudiants (5 à 18 ans): $5.00 par personne

Les enfants (moins de 5 ans): sans frais

* Avertissement: Afin de bénéficier du tarif réduit, les groupes doivent être réservés à l'avance et un paiement doit être effectué à l'arrivée.


(337) 233-4077

(866) 992-2968

(337) 233-1694 (Numéro de fax)


AAA: Adulte $9.00, Senior $7.00, Etudiant $5.00

Militaire actif et personnes à charge: $5.00; $7.00 Senior et retraité

Le Guide Routard: $6.00

Association des anciens de l'ULL (doit présenter l'ID membre actuel): $6.00

Radiodiffusion publique en Louisiane: $2.00 hors admission

Préservation nationale de la confiance historique: $2.00 de réduction sur l'admission



Vermilionville est entièrement accessible aux personnes handicapées. Nos attractions sont équipées d'une large rampe d'accès pour les fauteuils roulants et les promeneurs. Si vous avez besoin d'un fauteuil roulant, veuillez vous renseigner dans la boutique de cadeaux et nous serons heureux de vous en fournir un à utiliser lors de votre visite.


Vermilionville est situé au cœur de Lafayette, en Louisiane, juste en face de l'aéroport régional de Lafayette au large de Surrey St.

300 Fisher Road Lafayette, Louisiane 70508