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Prisoners, Prostitutes and the New World

In 1719, the French decided to offer prisoners in Paris something they could not refuse. They offered them their freedom as long as they were willing to marry a prostitute and head off to Louisiana. Anyone who agreed to the bargain was shackled together until they boarded a ship to sail to the Gulf Coast. The French went as far as to raid hospitals for drunks and disorderly soldiers, find prostitutes and the black sheep of society, paupers and just about anyone who wouldn’t put up a fuss, and they were then forcibly taken to the docks to be shipped off to the colony. Those who came willingly were offered land and provisions.

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