Bill Norris Book Signing

First Book Signing A Grand Success

Last Saturday, January 9, 2016, I held my first official book signing with Down in New Orleans: True Stories of a Fabled City at the French Market gift shop A Tisket A Tasket located at 910 Decatur St. in New Orleans.  Lisa Jones, Business Manager, was a great help in meeting the public.  This was my first experience promoting my book directly to the public.  Lisa’s advice was to simply explain why the book is special.  Pique their interest, pull them in, get them excited about reading the book.

The simple summary I shared is that the book reveals significant personalities who  helped create the character of the city over the past three hundred years. Many are widely known, but there are a lot of new faces in this book: Madeline Hachard who wrote the first book about New Orleans om 1727; Jean Louis, boat builder, who endowed a hospital that grew into the benchmark healthcare system for the population, Charity Hospital; Juan St. Malo, an African seeking freedom; Nicholas Roosevelt and his wife Lydia Latrobe Roosevelt who brought the first steamboat to the city and numerous others.

Hearing my summary led some folks to ask insightful questions about the book or New Orleans or myself.  One young lady asked if the French Market looked like this 100 years ago.  Telling her that from where we stood aromas from famous Madam Begue’s kitchen would be swirling by.  We would hear people speaking German, Creole French, Spanish and languages from around the world.  Then passing us would be mules pulling carts of vegetables, flowers, fish and game from the farms, fields and waters that surround New Orleans.  All from the place we were standing.  That young lady bought the first  book of the day.

It was a great afternoon and I owe great thanks to Lisa and A Tisket A Tasket.  She’s planning another event for February.

New Book “Down In New Orleans” by Bill Norris

DOWN IN NEW ORLEANS: True Stories of a Fabled City

Inspired by years of storytelling, meeting people and enjoying their questions, I decided to write a book of the stories. That came to life on Kindle and Amazon in December of 2015.  DOWN IN NEW ORLEANS: True Stories of a Fabled City gives a visitor, resident or tour guide down to earth stories that represent the history, character and flavor of an enchanted city. I approach the history from the viewpoint of a raconteur, a storyteller. History is theories of what happened, detailed accounts, conclusions, footnotes and bibliographies. DOWN IN NEW ORLEANS tells the stories.

It’s available on Kindle and Amazon.

Down In New Orleans - True Stories of a Fabled City

Native American Projectiles of LA

Louisiana Projectile Points Listed by Shape

Corner notched           Basal notched             Contracting stem         Lanceolate

Leaf                             Side notched               Notched expanded head

Stemmed                     Articulate                    Triangle

Native Americans in Louisiana by Richard Anderson

Pre-historic Native American Cultures: There are not any written records for the Prehistoric era. The major difference between the Prehistoric era and the Historic era of the Native Americans is the introduction of writing by the Europeans. “The first Louisiana man was estimated to be in the lithic stage or culture.” He was not the most primitive because he was able to hunt large animals that were abundant for those days. The primitive cultures that lived in the coastal marshes had an abundance of animal and agricultural supplies. On the negative point, the insects and weather did not help. North of the marshes were the grasslands that consisted of woods and rivers. These prairies did not have a lot to offer to the primitive Indians. The floodplains of the major streams were almost as good as the marshes. The floodplains had an abundance of animal life, fish, and berries. Last were the pine flatlands and hills, these areas were not as attractive the Indians as the others; game was not as abundant and neither were the plants that could be gathered. Plus the soils were the poorest of the regions. “Three generalized chronological eras have been devised: Paleo-Indian (from Greek palai, “ancient”; 15,000-6,000 B.C.), Meso-Indian (from Greek mesos, “middle”; 6,000-2,000 B.C.) and Neo-Indian (from Greek neos, “new”; 2,000 B.C. to the present). (Going & Caldwell ’95). The Paleo-Indians were hunters and gatherers in an ecosystem of broad grasslands and large mammals, which included the bison, mammaths, and sloths. When meat was not available, wild plants were consumed. Tribes migrated during this period. After time passed, the Meso-Indian tribes had risen. These tribes slowly but surely started moving toward a more settled sequence. Food sources included the mammoth, deer, bear, water foul, and fish. This era included the development of pottery, which lead to better tools. This era also learned how to conserve their vegetation and game. During the Neo-Indian, pottery development took on a more specialized and decorated form and became more abundant as well. “Domesticated maize, beans, squash, melons, sunflower’s tobacco, and gourds dominated the food supply, supplemented still by hunting, fishing, and gathering.”(Going, Caldwell, 95) Salt and other raw materials were used for trade.

“At the time of French exploration and settlement of present-day Louisiana, six Indian linguistic groups – The Caddoan, Tunican, Natchezan, Muskogean, Chitimachan, and Atakapan – were scattered throughout the territory.” Caddoan tribes occupied the northwest region of Louisiana. The Caddoan tribes included the Adai, Doustioni, Natchitoches, Ouachita, and Yatasi. The Koroa, Tunica, and Yazoo occupied both sides of the Mississippi River, which covered the northeast. “Downriver from them lay the Natchezan linguistic group, the Natchez, Taensa, and Avoyel tribes.” The Florida parishes produced tribes of the Muskogean group. This group included the Houma, Bayougoula, Acolapissa, Quinapisa (Mugulasha), Okelousa, and Tangipahoa tribes. Located by the Atchafalaya River were the Chitimacha, Washa, and Chawasha tribes.

The size of these villages or tribes ranged to a dozen or more. A chief or temple was the center point of these settlements. Most of these villages were located along banks, streams, or lakes due to the abundance of food and means of transportation for trade and communication between tribes. Indian religion viewed humans as only one part of the whole natural world. They were considered one with animal or plant, both living and dead.