• The Shadows is the first National Trust for Historic Preservation site in the Gulf South. The home and garden are as breathtaking as the history preserved here.

East yard showing Kitchen and Slave Quarter c. 1916

“Two brick buildings known as the ‘quaters’ were situated approximately where the Boxwood Walks end now. These were dilapidated and the kitchen itself very little less so.”- W. Weeks Hall 1940

The four cornerstones you see in the ground outline the location of a slave cabin located here in the 19th century. The outbuildings on the property were removed around 1918.

Its close proximity to the house indicates that it was possibly the home of enslaved housekeeper Louisa Bryant and her twelve children. Louisa shared a close relationship with the Weeks family and was often left in charge of the household for long periods of time whenever Mary Weeks Moore was absent.

 “Louisa is general overseer, attending to sick calves, garden, house, pantry & everything else.” – William F. Weeks, 1852

Mary’s will called for Louisa’s emancipation and required the family estate to provide her with a $50 annual salary. By Mary’s death in 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation had already been issued however the family estate honored the annual salary and Louisa maintained her close relationship and remained employed by the Weeks family until her death.

The structure was 16’x32’ and divided into two rooms with a fireplace in each room.

At the start of the Civil War, the Weeks family owned nearly 300 slaves. Only 40 of which worked at the New Iberia home- the remainder lived and worked on the Grand Cote (Weeks Island) sugar plantation.

Slave Quaters on Grand Cote Plantation

Funding for this exhibit made possible by a grant supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Trust for Historic Preservation