THE ICON: Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville
THE LEGACY: Bienville, a French-Canadian explorer and colonizer, found a sliver of high ground strategically situated on a crescent near the mouth of the Mississippi River that he believed would be easy to defend and safe from tropical weather. The small community Bienville founded on May 7, 1718, in what is now the Vieux Carre was named New Orleans, in honor of the Duc d’Orleans and would become one of the most important and interesting cities in North America.
THE ARTIST: Maddie Stratton, WhereYart.net
THE INSPIRATION: “We are working at New Orleans with as much zeal as the shortage of working men will allow. I have myself conveyed over the spot to select the place where it will be best to locate the settlement. … All the ground of the site, except the borders, which are drowned by floods, are very good and everything will grow there.” — Bienville, writing in a June 1718 entry in his diary