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Sat, 09.10.1836

Caesar Antoine, Soldier, and Businessman born

Caesar Antoine

*Caesar Antoine was born on this date in 1836. He was a Black soldier, businessman, editor, and politician.

Caesar Carpentier Antoine was born a Creole-free man of color in New Orleans. His father, Pedro Antoine, was a veteran of the Battle of New Orleans, and his mother, Mary Gasso, was a native of the West Indies. His paternal grandmother, an enslaved woman of color, bought her freedom and was a midwife. During the American Civil War, he served as Captain in the 7th Louisiana Regiment Infantry and the 10th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery Regiment. After the war, he moved to Shreveport, Louisiana.

He was a member of St. Paul's Colored Methodist Episcopal Church and lived in the Allendale neighborhood. He was elected as a state senator for Caddo Parish in 1868, partaking until 1872, when he was elected as Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana, the third man of color to hold that position. He co-founded a newspaper with P. B. S. Pinchback. He became a Worshipful Master in 1884. Shreveport's Freeman Lodge Number 185 of the Price Hall Masons is named in his honor.

In 1887, he co-founded Comité des Citoyens, which fought the case that became Plessy v. Ferguson, and became its vice president. On September 10, 1921, at 85, Antoine died at his residence at 1941 Perrin Street in Shreveport's Allendale section. However, an influential member of St. Paul's Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, Antoine, is buried in the New Bethlehem Baptist Church Cemetery. He was influential in Louisiana during the Reconstruction era, and the C. C. Antoine Park on Milam Street in the Allendale area is named after him. Dedicated on May 26, 1984, a granite marker stands at the park's center bearing a portrait of Antoine and a list of his political accomplishments.

His Perrin Street home, Antoine's sole surviving Louisiana residence, was entered into the National Register of Historic Places on August 20, 1999, but was lost to a fire in May 2022. Shreveport also hosts a C. C. Antoine Black History Month Celebration that began in 2008.

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