A quote from Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder and the Battle for Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist:
According to one early historian, “Disorderly soldiers, black sheep of distinguished families, paupers, prostitutes, political suspects, friendless strangers, unsophisticated peasants straying into Paris–all were kidnapped, herded, and shipped under guard to fill the emptiness of Louisiana.”
French jails and hospitals were ransacked for potential colonists, while men with an opportunistic bent were enticed with promises of free transportation, free land, and the fabulous riches derived from a region of unimaginable abundance. To deal with a chronic shortage of women, prospective wives were also imported from the Old Country, among them eighty-eight inmates from a Parisian house of correction known as La Salpêtrière. As a result, the town was–already famous as a den of iniquity, a place “without religion, without justice, without discipline, without order, and without police.”
My kind of town….