The Story of Spanish Moss
Spanish Moss once grew in great abundance on the DUELLING OAKS in City Park at New Orleans but it does not grow there now. The reason is not definitely known. It has been observed that trees shading dwellings are always free of moss, and that is generally attributed to the fumes or smoke which naturally arise from cooking and heating.
These oaks, in the lower section of the beautiful park, were known as "Chenes d' Allard" or Metairie Oaks. They are on a spot which was once the plantation of Louis Allard, a man of letters and a poet of considerable ability. That portion which is now the lower section was purchased before his death by John McDonogh at a sale made for foreclosure of a mortgage by the Citizens' Bank of New Orleans. McDonogh left it to New Orleans and Baltimore. The City of New Orleans acquired it in full ownership at a partition sale
Here under these magnificent oaks was the "field
of honor," where many duels took place. If a man so
much as smiled at the slight mishap of another or
ridiculed him in any manner he was likely to be
challenged to a duel. It is difficult for a person of
this generation to understand the inordinate vanity of
men of the duelling period of the history of New Orleans.
An apology was seldom offered, for it was almost certain
to be refused. Indeed, a man had to mind his manners or
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