June 7, 1868
|Marie Laveau, the "Queen of the Voodoos,"
was forced to give up her throne because of old age.
Laveau was born free in New Orleans around 1796. She was a beautiful woman of mixed racial heritage who worked as a professional hairdresser in the homes of some of the city's most prominent white women.
Under Laveau's leadership, Louisiana Voodooism blended a distorted form of Catholicism with West Indian beliefs in the magical powers of certain objects. This unusual mixture made the cult very popular and helped it gain acceptance. Laveau's main source of power was her ability to convince blacks and whites that she could bring them good luck and protect them from evil. She dominated Voodooism in New Orleans for nearly forty years, becoming the most famous and powerful of all the Voodoo queens. Laveau died in 1879.