Destrehan Plantation was an important landmark during the German Coast Uprising/1811 Slave Revolt, the largest slave insurrection on American soil. When explorer Rene-Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle claimed Louisiana as a territory for France, the banks of the Mississippi River promised riches to those who settled there. Jean Baptiste Honore Destrehan took the opportunity, and Destrehan Plantation resulted.
The plantation played a role in history of Louisiana’s African American heritage. Charles Delondes from St. John the Baptist Parish led his fellow slaves on a march in hopes of reaching Governor Claiborne in New Orleans with a message to abolish slavery in Louisiana. Along the way slaves from other plantations joined in. Destrehan Plantation acted as the midpoint for the revolt, as it became the stage for the first trials of the 150+ men accused of participating in the revolt. The original plantation owner’s son, Jean Noel Destrehan, was one of those chosen to interrogate and sentence participants. The revolt ended in defeat only days after it started when the New Orleans militia fought back and executed the slaves who attempted this feat.
Today, visitors can tour the Destrehan Plantation home, as well as experience the Unheard Voices of the German Coast tour, which honors the life of the slaves, German farmers, Acadians, and Native Americans. Visitors can tour the property and the dependency buildings, and view the 1811 Slave Revolt exhibit to see historical documents from this event, paintings, and a diorama depicting this important event.