"View of the Famous Levee of New Orleans," Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, April 14, 1860

The Cotton Trade

This view captures the size and scale of the cotton trade in New Orleans, the South’s largest city. From here, cotton was shipped to textile factories in the northeastern states and overseas to England. New Orleans also served as a port for the Midwest, and in 1826, Lincoln took a flatboat of produce there from Indiana. For the first time, he saw a large number of slaves but he left no written record of his impressions.