4: Scenes along the Gulf Coast
<< 3: Diplomatic Scenes in Southern Locales || 5: Epilogue >>
Alcohol trafficking along the U.S. Gulf Coast appeared rampant and organized. By the
mid-twenties, gangsters and racketeers controlled most of the international liquor trade from
importation to market. Thus, smuggling along the Gulf Coast indeed transformed into big
business. Since no legal venue existed to market alcoholic beverages, a black market
appeared, featuring a cast of shady underworld characters all attracted to the potential
for high profits. Initially, these underworld groups cultivated alcohol markets along the
Atlantic seaboard. While the Gulf Coast always displayed high levels of smuggling
activity, the region took on more significance for the underworld syndicates by the
mid-twenties. Federal government resources in the South lagged behind those available in
the larger population center along the north Atlantic coast, which made it easier to land
liquor along the southern coastline.
Louisiana and Mississippi served as appealing locations for landing
foreign liquor destined for nationwide markets. Both states offered miles of rural
coastlines as well as chains of archipelagoes that provided opportunities to smuggle
liquor. Not only did federal prohibitions agents battle foreign rum smugglers, they
contended with rampant moonshining from native populations not averse to distilling liquor
on its own. Prohibition agents also encountered widespread law enforcement corruption at
the local level. Five South Louisiana parishes did not record a single violation of the
Volstead Act from 1925-27, while local police logged nearly 6,000 arrests for
prostitution. Indeed, federal sweeping of
the southern coastline for distilled spirits proved just as arduous a task as in the
Coastal rumrunners operated brazenly all throughout the Gulf Coast.
Numerous navigable lakes, bayous and rivers cut the Southern coastline from Texas to
Pensacola, Florida. Moreover, the Gulf of Mexicos rum row moved
laterally to different positions off the coast line, unlike the famous Atlantic coast Rum
Row, which was mostly stationary. This was particularly evident by 1925 when an escalating
federal presence and publicity rove the Gulf Coast rumrunning fleet from anchorages off
Louisianas Breton Island and the Chandeleur Islands to a new site below Timbalier
Light, west of Bayou Lafourche (See Map 4).
During this period, Coast Guard patrols east of the Mississippi River met with little
activity compared to a bevy of smuggling ships anchored west of the river near strategic
positions from which speedy rum boats dashed in and out of the numerous tributaries.
The Mississippi Gulf Coast attracted hordes of rumrunners because of
its relatively low population density, its strategic position to New Orleans and
accessibility to northern markets by railroad and highways. In 1922, Gulfport, Mississippi
authorities realized that a brisk rumrunning trade existed off the coastal shores of
Harrison County after the bodies of two Mexican seaman washed ashore. Police later linked
the two corpses to the William Tell, a notorious rumrunner. By 1923, Mississippi
officials announced that liquor trafficking along the coast had assumed unbelievable
proportions. Authorities estimated illicit coastal importations reaching the
Mississippi shoreline at about 3,000 cases a month, valued at $360,000. A Gulfport police
chief later commented that the federal government lack enforcement skill needed to track
illegal liquor movements throughout the Mississippi sound. Furthermore, local police
departments together with the county sheriffs force were inadequate to effectively
cover twenty-five miles of Harrison County coastline, and co-operative attacks by federal
authorities in the area never developed.
Federal enforcement policy, however, was still in its infancy and ill-prepared for the
onslaught of illicit trading in the early twenties. According to U.S. Customs Service
director, the national smuggling rate skyrocketed 800 percent between 1920 and 1922.
Between Havana and the mouth of the Mississippi River scores of boats ranging in sizes
from large gasoline vessels to small steamships scoured the shores of the Gulf Coast
making attempts to connect with their stateside contacts. The high smuggling activity
along the Gulf Coast, particularly in New Orleans, prompted the Customs Service to conduct
coastal surveys to determine how to block the burgeoning traffic, which also included
narcotic and merchandise smuggling.
Many rumrunners anchored off the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts
expanded their illicit trade to include various narcotics. In addition to alcohol, federal
authorities seized escalating amounts of opium, morphine, heroin and cocaine. Small
quantities entered the United States by lawful means; the narcotics were taxed and
earmarked for medical purposes. Most of the illegal narcotics moved in the United States
from Europe through the Caribbean. The larger Gulf rum ships typically obtained their
loads from Belize and Honduras as well as Nassau, Bimini, and Havana, most of which passed
through the New Orleans market. Lax regulations of these narcotics in Europe and Asia made
them readily available there, and drug dealers conveniently co-opted the circumstance of
widespread liquor smuggling to reach new drug users in the United States.
The sizeable volume of smuggling in Southern waters by 1925 prompted
the leader of prohibition enforcement to move on a different tack. Secretary Andrews
called for a sea offensive on rum ships operating in the Gulf of Mexico as part of a
general campaign along all the U.S. land and sea borders. Part of this revamped
enforcement included making New Orleans one of the Customs Services forty-eight
designated entry ports, giving officers broader authority to admit or confiscate
merchandise and to enforce navigation laws. New Orleans served as the Customs District 20,
which encompassed all of Louisianaexcept Cameron and Calcasieu Parishesand the
state of Mississippi above the thirty-first north latitude. Cameron and Calcasieu Parishes
came under Customs Sabine, or District 21, jurisdiction with Port Arthur, Texas
serving as the principal port site. This district additionally included Texas from the
Sabine Pass, north along the Texas-Louisiana border to Shelby County, Texas and south to
the Gulf of Mexico. District 21 police Lake Charles, and the Texas areas of Beaumont,
Orange and Sabine. Customs additionally specified Mobile as its District 19 headquarters,
which encompassed all of Alabama, including Mississippi south of the 31st
degree north latitude. Other Customs locales within the District 19 domain included:
Birmingham, Alabama, and the Mississippi towns of Gulfport and Pascagoula.
Secretary Andrews also named New Orleans as the command site of the
Prohibition Units Tenth District and beefed-up the Coast Guard presence along the
Gulf Coast. In addition to Louisiana, the Tenth District included Mississippi, Alabama,
and Arkansas. Events preceding New Orleans selection as a hub-site stemmed directly
from the fast developing underworld activity on the Gulf Coast. A Coast Guard base was
also established in New Orleans coupled with a separate detachment at Grand Isle,
Louisiana. Grand Isle later served as the mooring site of the Coast Guards swift
vessel, Tallapoosa, which monitored vessel traffic moving along coastal Louisiana
and through Bayou Barataria. The Grand
Isle-based Coast Guard detachment soon became noted for its intelligence tracking of
liquor-laden ships moving in Bayou Barataria. Federal authorities faced a major obstacle,
however, because the many canals and smaller bayous splintering off Bayou Barataria
provided safe cover for rumrunners. Also, virtually no adequate road systems existed along
these coast Louisiana areas, which further put police forces at a disadvantage.
Prohibition and Coast Guard officers policing of coastal
Louisiana illustrated the harsh difficulties associated with sweeping an undefined and
meandering delta coastline. Louisianas Bayou Lafourche area and other waterways on
both sides of the Mississippi River provided a plethora of opportunities to move liquor
inland from the Gulf of Mexico. A boat that passed through shallow bayous could go just
about anywhere in South Louisiana. After taking on cargo around Timbalier Islands,
rumrunners typically darted up Bayou Lafourche outrunning anything the government owned.
The lack of roads made land chases impossible and the non-navigable geography provided
a rumrunner with sanctuary from federal patrols. With government agents in pursuit, a
rumrunning skipper might unload his liquor-laden cargo into one of the many side canals
and returnempty and innocentback to the Gulf of Mexico only to tote back
additional contraband that would be added to the liquor already hidden in the swampy
underbrush. Also, large rumrunning schooners hauling between 200 and 1,000 cases of liquor
often broached the Louisiana coast undetected. In many instances these slower and larger
vessels masked themselves as fishing boats and freight carriers in the heavy inland
waterways trade. The opportunities for hiding or running contraband, in fact, were
virtually infinite and frustrating for prohibition enforcers. (See Map 5).
If a rumrunner elected not to come by Bayou Lafourche area, more
stealthy opportunities existed to the west. A four-bayou system existed in Terrebonne
Parish that the New Orleans Times Picayune claimed rumrunners used whenever more
cautious inland encroachments were desired. The newspaper reported that no federal patrol
could hope to apprehend a smuggler once a vessel made it into either Bayous Terrebonne,
Little Caillou, Grand Caillou or Dularge, since these remote and swampy areas featured so
many opportunities to hide (See Map 3 and
Map 4 ). Other routes included waterways by Fort Livingston, which
required a rumrunner to keep a watchful eye out for the Grand Isle-based Coast Guard ship Tallapoosa.
Also, the use of seaplanes eventually became a viable alternative for rumrunners. Liquor
traffickers eventually began using seaplanes to move liquor from vessels anchored on the
Gulf of Mexico to interior points along the Gulf Coast and the inland Mississippi River.
One seaplane, reportedly, could transport a 2,000-pound load of distilled spirits after
pulling along side a liquor-laden vessel. The use of these aircraft additionally confirmed
to federal authorities the gathering of sophisticated liquor networks operating in the
Gulf of Mexico since the presence of an air fleet represented a significant financial
Federal clashes with southern traffickers escalated after the 1925
because of two prime factors. The surge in national enforcement that occurred in the wake
of Secretary Andrews police reorganization stimulated movement by liquor smugglers
to southern markets where the federal pressure was less intense than in Atlantic seaboard.
Organized smuggling rings deployed faster and more maneuverable rumrunning boats along the
Atlantic areas during the mid-to-later half of the twenties, while the slower, but larger,
boats moved into the Gulf of Mexico, as was the case with the rumrunning vessel Im
Alone. The second reason for this
southward movement was that the federal government did not equally resupply manpower and
equipment to both the North and South after reorganizing its enforcement attack. During a
1927 appearance before another subcommittee on liquor trafficking, Coast Guard Admiral
Billiard later affirmedalbeit reluctantlythat the funding disparity between
the two regions hampered marine patrols in the South. Billiard conceded that the Coast
Guard did not know the full extent of smuggling volume along the Gulf Coast because
we have not the facilities on all coasts that we have in the north Atlantic
area. Prior to this concession, Billiard had announced proudly how Coast Guard
forces ferreted out significant portions of the North Atlantic rum row fleet,
thus greatly reducing the amount of smuggling along the U.S. coast. Billiards
euphoria dampened significantly upon cross examination by a committee member who
persuasively demonstrated that the U.S. success in the north Atlantic did not indicate
anything but a movement of the rumrunning fleets from the Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico. Thus, despite the counter-attack waged by
the Customs Service and Coast Guard agencies, the organized maritime liquor trafficking
trade in the South thrived.
The Times Picayune described the Gulf Coast syndicates as
an actual and real, though more or less undefined organization of financiers and
operating directors. By the
mid-twenties, southern liquor groups anticipated the federal government enforcement
efforts. In response, the liquor trafficking moved farther west along the Louisiana coast.
Some illicit trading continued in the Breton Island area, but it existed mostly to divert
prohibition agents away from the principal trading in the west. Very wet New Orleans,
however, still served as the major artery of smuggling activity in Louisiana. Since the
enactment of the Eighteenth Amendment, law enforcement agents focused on the New Orleans
area, raiding stills in the nearby marshes and arresting those who transported liquor. As expected, federal authorities met with
vehement opposition to prohibition in New Orleans and in southwest Louisiana. Natives
residing in these areas featured high concentrations of Italians and non-Anglo-Saxon
immigrants, which not surprisingly resisted government reformers who ardently touted
prohibition. The Eighteenth Amendment
prodded many of these New Orleans immigrants to develop highly refined information
networks within the city to keep abreast of federal movements against liquor trafficking
as well as prostitution and gambling operations.
Louisiana Prohibition Director O.D. Jackson scored some enforcement
victories against the New Orleans underworld. Jackson understood that routine raids on
local backyard stills and speakeasies did not pierce the armor of the citys
rumrunning syndicates, particularly those running alcohol in from Mexico and the Caribbean
basin. In at least one instance in 1925, Jackson exposed the extent of underworld
development in New Orleans, which included sophisticated communication systems of coded
and cabled message directives orchestrating Gulf Coast alcohol smuggling.
In this particular case, Jackson enlisted the aid of an undercover
agent to combat what was then called one of the largest liquor conspiracies ever exposed
in the United States. Undercover agent
Patrick Needham posed as a disgruntled, underpaid prohibition agent who infiltrated a New
Orleans underworld run by Alonzo Patterson, a powerful Louisiana liquor trafficker who
controlled a vast network of bootleggers and corrupt government officials. Patterson
eventually confided in Needham and allowed the St. Helena Parish native into the
syndicates inner circle. Needham, in the meantime, gathered evidence on corrupt St.
Bernard and Orleans Parish law enforcement officers while accepting payoffs from
Pattersons syndicate for protection from federal shakedowns. The amount of money at
the immediate disposal of the syndicate was immense. One payoff included a $10,000 graft
payment to Needham on the supposition that it would be given to Director Jackson.
Jacksons probe culminated in thirty-four federal indictments,
including many individuals holding high profile positions in Louisiana government and law
enforcement. Among those indicted were: Walter L. Cohen, leader of the Republican Party in
Louisiana and controller of the New Orleans Customs district; L.A. Meraux, sheriff of St.
Bernard Parish, and Joseph Johnson, a New Orleans city police captain. Meanwhile, Treasury
officials in Washington assessed the significance of the New Orleans case.
New Orleans has been a hot bed of bootleggers for years, and the headquarters of
gangs that apparently operated without restraint. The New Orleans bootleggers
well organized, had plenty of money, found it easy to get supplies and dispose of them.
Washington appears convinced that official collusion aided the New Orleans bootleggers, a
defect in the government enforcement that has been present in other jurisdictions.
The impact of the Patterson case, however, reached far beyond the
arrests of notable Louisiana characters. In this one operation, federal agents seized
about 10,000 cases of liquor worth approximately $1 million in cash. Treasury officials
learned later that the New Orleans liquor ring had imported its supplies from Havana and
Belize, which allowed government agents to learn the location of rum storage areas while
gathering intelligence on loading, transportation of illicit alcohol shipments to its
Washington-based prohibition officials regarded the triumph in New
Orleans as a major blow to organized crime, and viewed the case as second in significance
only to the outright blockade of the north Atlantic coast. Federal officials conceded that
it had been comparatively simple to land liquor along the Gulf Coast. In the
aftermath, Jackson received a promotion as the administrative head of the Prohibition
Units Tenth District. Jackson continued to work out of New Orleans until 1930 when
the federal government again reshuffled its enforcement policy by dividing responsibility
between the Treasury and Justice Departments.
Despite the federal governments enforcement success in 1925,
brisk smuggling along the Louisiana and Mississippi coast continued, and largely remained
a federal responsibility. In May 1926, Louisiana legislators ignored President Calvin
Coolidges order to draft state, parish and municipal officers into the
federal prohibition force. State officials pointed toward a clause in the Louisiana
constitution disallowing dual holding of state and federal offices. Lawmakers also applied
the office restrictions to those employed within parish and municipal governments also. Again, federal forces found themselves
without local cooperation in enforcing the Eighteenth Amendment.
The Louisiana legislature passed the Hood Law affirming statewide
prohibition, but later softened its commitment in the wake of large scale smuggling and
bootlegging. Political controversies erupted among legislative incumbents and those moving
to amend the Volstead law. Lawmakers eventually offered a concurrent resolution
petitioning Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution to permit wine and beer sales. This
proposal had the support of U.S. Senator Edwin Broussard, who represented a predominant
South Louisiana constituency, but not Senator Joseph E. Ransdell, who hailed from Lake
Providence in the states northeastern delta region. Not surprisingly,
Ransdells constituency comprised 40 percent of the state population that already
lived in dry communities before the adoption of the Eighteenth Amendment. The political division on the alcohol issue clearly
reflected the opposing attitudes that divided the Northern and Southern regions of
Upon observing the large profits from foreign liquor trafficking,
residents of many South Louisiana communities produced and marketed their own home brews
and distilled liquor. Areas such as Leonville, Donaldsonville, Napoleonville, Opelousas,
Arnaudville, and Pecaniere occasionally attracted notoriety and profits through the
distillation and bootlegging their liquor (see Map
2). Heavily wooded underbrush concealed perhaps hundreds of illicit stills from federal
revenuers in these areas. Economic depression characterized these rural, south
Louisiana communities, while other areas in the United States basked in the prosperity of
the roaring twenties. Not surprisingly, these Louisiana communities engaged in bootlegging
for extra money. In some instances even local law enforcement officials protected this
trade by advising local moonshiners of imminent federal raids.
Protection rendered by local authorities to bootleggers was quite
prevalent in the southwest Louisiana parish of St. Landry. Sheriff Charles Thibodeaux and
the deputy marshal of the Western Louisiana district Dudley Briley often colluded to send
advance warnings of imminent raids to those boiling corn liquor in the brush along the
Bayou Teche. Typically whenever Briley informed the St. Landry sheriff of a planned
federal raid in the parish, Thibodeaux sent deputy sheriffs to pass the word along to
moonshiners. The geographical remoteness of many St. Landry parish communities necessarily
precluded the chance that any stranger went unnoticed anyway. In one case, Leonville
residents often reacted to strange vehicles suspected of harboring federal officers by
sounding off on deer hunting horns. The alarm alerted all moonshiners within earshot to
vacate the woods. Federal agents seized stills, but logged no arrests to show for their
efforts. The moonshiners, meanwhile, simply regrouped and rebuilt their stills.
Many who entered the illicit alcohol trade possessed limited
financial resources, and moonshining provided them with a means to making quick money. As
in other south Louisiana areas, economic hardship drove many families in St. Landry Parish
into the moonshining and bootlegging trade. A moonshining venture required only enough
capital to acquire materials to make a still and to procure a few pounds of sugar. Then, a
moonshiner was in business. In some instances, dramatic material possessions appeared.
Some families donned new clothes and shoes, while new and refurbished homes appeared amid
backdrops of abject poverty. In most instances, the pressure to earn more income
outweighed any conflict associated with the illegalities of alcohol trafficking.
Meanwhile, several moonshiners in the St. Landry areas of Opelousas
and Leonville refined their liquor formulas so expertly they earned reputations for a high
quality product even in markets outside the state. A former alcohol bootlegger from
Mississippi recalled several areas in St. Landry Parish featured liquor of premium
When I wanted whiskey for my own use I went to Opelousas. There were three areas over
there that had the best liquor. It was aged and those people put brand names on their
bottles. The (illicit) production in that part of Louisiana was among the most wide open I
remember being around.
St. Landry Parishs reputations for spirit
production, however, also attracted hordes of federal enforcement agents. Many local
traffickers not only had to contend with federal raids, but also with
highjackers, or groups of bandits who lurked along highways to steal a
bootleggers liquor. Leonville resident Joseph Stout recalled that when this occurred
all you could do was go back into the house and forget about that load of whiskey.
You couldnt make a claim because it was already against the law. While a local pint of moonshine sold for
about $1, certain St. Landry bootleggers could command up to $25 a gallon for their
whiskey. Not surprisingly, these prices
attracted highway piracy.
The federal government, meanwhile, did not limit its enforcement
scope solely to one area. One of the states largest seizures of bootleg whiskey and
whine occurred after federal authorities smashed a liquor ring near Crowley and Rayne in
southwest Louisiana. Federal agents staged about fifty-five to sixty raids principally in
Rayne and Crowley and along the Southern Pacific railroad between these two communities in
Acadia Parish. The captured drink
amounted to about 1,000 gallons of whiskey and 10,000 to 15,000 gallons of wine, brandy,
and beer and authorities logged approximately 75 to 100 arrests. Other areas that drew federal attention included St. Mary,
Iberia, St. Martin, and Assumption parishes, all ardently Catholic and pro-wet areas. As
in St. Landry, many opponents of prohibition among the residential population also took
advantage of opportunities to profit from the smuggling, moonshining and bootlegging
trade. In effect, a local and organized underworld economy developed. Furthermore,
national crime syndicates that participated principally in the Gulf Coast rum trade made
connections with these rural coastal areas that opposed prohibition. As a result, a
pervasive smuggling and bootlegging trade developed all across south Louisiana, which
local authorities either encouraged or ceded exclusive enforcement responsibility to an
ill-equipped federal government.
Even high state officials appeared impervious to the illicit trade.
Louisiana Governor Huey Long, who assumed office in 1928, rarely concerned himself with
alcohol smuggling issues. Long once refused requests by Alabama authorities to extradite a
man arrested on liquor trafficking charges. Long advised Alabama Governor B.M. Miller that
he viewed liquor possession as a misdemeanor and therefore refused to execute the
extradition warrant. In another instance, Long created a stir following a meeting in New
Orleans with Atlanta Mayor James Lee Key. After key returned to Georgia, the mayor told an
Atlanta church group that the Louisiana governor claimed that state authorities did not
enforce prohibition laws. Long later denied Keys allegation:
I met Mayor key sometime ago in New Orleans, Long claimed. But I never told him that. I
merely remarked that there were a lot of prohibition violators in Louisiana.
To this Mayor Key replied, I asked the
governor what Louisiana was doing to enforce Prohibition. (Longs) reply was:
Not a damn thing. Thus,
the political and social controversies coupled with the economic opportunities precluded
any serious threat to smuggling, bootlegging or moonshining in south Louisiana.
By 1930 federal enforcement officials again termed
smuggling conditions in New Orleans and along Gulf Coast as highly
unsatisfactory. Federal officers did manage another successful raid in April 1931,
which netted more than 100 arrests, but the case was equally portentous. An underworld
group had developed a sophisticated radio communications system that used airplanes and
speedboats to land distilled liquor at Pearl river, Mississippi and along Louisianas
innumerable bayous. The New Orleans organizational development spanned the area from
Vancouver, Canada to Belize, Central America, up to the Gulf Coast and into Chicago. The investigation yielded evidence that
millions of dollars of smuggled whiskey continued to land along the Gulf Coast, which
defied federal efforts to arrest the trade. Authorities tracked the liquor from Vancouver
and Belize to the Mississippi-Louisiana coasts where it was transferred to railroad cars
consigned as lumber shipments. Federal agents believed that 100 ships at a time moved
alcohol inland. By use of shortwave radio, local contacts navigated rumrunning ships
through the federal enforcement posts. The federal government countered by using the
wiretap to compile evidence and eventually seized eleven loaded rum boats and three rail
cars laden with liquor along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The high level of organization
and syndicate equipment evident in this case convinced federal authorities that Al Capone
furnished much of the money needed to bring the alcoholic spirits to the Chicago and New
In November 1932, the Louisiana Legislature anticipated the
inevitable in Washington by voting to repeal its state prohibition law. The vote, however,
drew a legal challenge from many of Louisianas northern parishes, which legally
blocked promulgation of the vote until national repeal occurred the following year. During
the interim, the political situation reverted to local option. Southern parishes,
meanwhile, gave local option little thought, although more than half of Louisianas
sixty-four parishes operated under no-(liquor)license restrictions. Ironically, the
political dynamics in Louisiana never really reflected any change from the
pre-prohibitionary times. Dry parishes prosecuted alcohol violations and wet areas in the
South and along the coastline resisted efforts to suppress alcoholic consumption.
Congress, House, Subcommittee of the Committee of the Ways and Means, Enforcement of
Customs, Narcotic and Prohibition Laws, 69th Cong., 2d. session,
February 21, 1927, 444. Microfiche.
York Times, March 4, 1932.
Picayune, June 14, 1925.
Interview with Gulfport Chief of Police published in the Times Picayune, April 17,
1923 and April 19, 1923.
Van Doren, director of the Customs Service Special Agency Division, Times Picayune,
December 25, 1922; Times Picayune, December 29, 1923.
Picayune, May 26, 1923; Congress, House, Subcommittee of the Committee of the Ways and
Means, Enforcement of Customs, Narcotic and Prohibition Laws, 69th
Cong., 2d. session, February 21, 1927, 444; annual report of the Commissioner of
Prohibition, For the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1928, (Washington D.C.: Government
Printing Office, 1928), 12; A. Hyatt Verill, Smugglers and Smuggling, (New York:
Duffield and Company, 1924), 213; also see Malcom F. Willoughby, Rum War at Sea,
(Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1964), 118.
Treasury Department, Bureau of Customs, Customs Regulations of the United States,
Prescribed for the Instruction and Guidance of Customs Officers, ed. of 1931,
(Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1932), 1-6.
Picayune, June 14, 1925
December 6, 1924, June 14, 1925 and June 24, 1925.
Picayune, June 14, 1925.
is not explicitly clear from the news source the location of this four-bayou system off
the Louisiana coast. Terrebonne Parish, which abuts Lafourche Parish to the west, has a
four-bayou system, each of which parallel one another as they twist and meander through
the parish before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. Terrebonne Parish officials contacted
about this geographic reference believed that Bayous Terrebonne, Little Caillou, Grand
Caillou, and Dularge are indeed the tributaries referred to by Times Picayune news
store on June 14, 1925.
York Times, May 29, 1925.
Sources of general note on Gulf Coast rumrunning are detailed in the Times Picayune,
1919-1933; U.S. State Department, Im Alone Case, Arbitration Series No. 2,
vole. 3, 35-7; also see Willoughby, Rum War at Sea, 117-30.
Congress, House, Subcommittee of the Committee of the Ways and Means, Enforcement of
Customs, Narcotic and Prohibition Laws, 69th Cong., 2d. session, February
21, 1927, 444. Microfiche; also see Willoughby, Rum War at Sea, 118.
Picayune, June 14, 1925.
Robert Hartsell Russell, New Orleans and Nation-wide Prohibition as Reflected in the
Times Picayune, 1918-1920, (Masters Thesis, Louisiana State University,
1954), 9; William E. Leuchtenburg, The Peril of Prosperity, 1914-1932, 2d.,
(Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1993), 40-1; C.H. Gervais, The Rumrunners, A
Prohibition Scrapbook, (Scarborough, Ontario: Firefly Books, 1980), 11.
Congress, House, Subcommittee of the Committee on Alcoholic Liquor Traffic, Survey of
Alcoholic Liquor Traffic and the Enforcement of the Eighteenth Amendment, 68th
Cong., 2d. sess., February 19, 1925, 89-90; Times Picayune, May 4, 1923; William E.
Leuchtenburg, The Peril of Prosperity, 1914-1932, 2d., (Chicago: The university
Chicago Press, 1993), 40-1.
Picayune, June 14, 1925; New York Times, March 28, 1925 and September 13, 1925.
Jackson, Prohibition in New Orleans: The Unlikeliest Crusade, Louisiana
History, vol 19, (Winter, 1978), 273; New York Times, September 13, 1925 and
March 28, 1925.
York Times, September 13, 1925 and March 28, 1925; Jackson, Prohibition in New
Orleans, 273-77, which contains oral history accounts from undercover agent Patrick
York Times, August 8, 1925 and September 13, 1925.
Ibid., September 13, 1925.
Ibid., September 13, 1925.
York Times, May 25, 1926.
Ibid., April 17, 1923; Correspondence, Edwin Broussard, Broussard papers; H.W. Rickey,
Prohibition Movement in the South, (Masters Thesis, Tulane University,
1924), 308; T. Harry Williams, Huey Long, (New York: Vintage Books, 1981), 219
Oral taped interviews conducted in July 1994 with Elie Speyrer, Y.Z. Gauthier, Joseph
Stout, and Rodney Beb Bergeron all residents of Leonville and Pecaniere during
the Prohibition era. It must be critically noted that these interviewees recalled memories
that occurred during their teen-aged years.
Interviews with Speyrer, Gauthier, Stout and Bergeron.
Oral taped interview in August 1994 with Davis White of Amite County, Mississippi. White
said he trafficked liquor in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama from 1929-1932 before
being forced to quite because police pressure on his bootlegging exploits became too
severe. White claimed he earned a weekly income of $350 during his three-year stint as a
Interview with Joseph Stout.
Interviews with Speyrer, Gauthier, Stout and Bergeron.
Acadia Parish abuts St. Landry Parish to the southwest.
Picayune, July 21, 1923.
York Times, April 5, and October 1, 1931.
Ibid., March 4, 1931 and April 5, 1931.
Ibid., April 5, 1931.
Picayune, January 8, 1933; Rickey, Prohibition Movement in the South, 278.
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