Early New Orleans, under both Spanish and American governance, was a city of chameleons: men and women who dressed themselves in an expansive variety of ethnic, racial, gender, business, religious, and personal clothing. The cliched historical popular view of a city populated by foppish French planters, cruel Spanish soldiers, naive young Americans, and groaning slaves simply is not the truth - not that there weren't some of each. New Orleans was also a city where French planters were getting muddy in the fields, Spanish officers were educating the populace (including free blacks and women) and boldly defeating the British Army, the arriving Americans were worldly, conniving, and corrupt, and free black militiamen drilled proudly in the main square.
The Irish and Jews and free people of color spoke Spanish, the Spanish spoke Italian, the slaves and old women spoke a quaint French: I would be as likely to find a white man speak Dutch or the tongue of the Danes as to hear my native English. I must insist this was a city of chameleons rather than men.