Sunday, February 4, 2007

Deep Water timeline


1814-15Joseph Mercieca (later Macheca) is born to farming family on the Maltese island of Gozo. Peter Carvanna’s birth in Sicily coincides with Ferdinand’s return to the throne of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
1840sJoseph Macheca and Peter Carvanna settle in New Orleans, Louisiana. Macheca is a pioneer of the fruit trade. Carvanna is an outlaw.
1843Peter Carvanna Jr. (later Joseph Peter Macheca) is born to Peter and Marietta Carvanna in New Orleans. Peter and Marietta live as husband and wife.
c. 1847Peter Carvanna, convicted of a serious crime, receives a sentence of life in prison. Under Napoleonic Code, his relationship with Marietta dissolves.
c. 1848Joseph Macheca, 33, and Marietta, 23, marry. Though not legally adopted, Peter Jr.'s name is changed to Joseph Peter (“J.P.”) Macheca.
1851Son John, half-brother to J.P., is born to Joseph (37) and Marietta (27) on July 24.
1852Son Michael, half-brother to J.P., is born to Joseph (38) and Marietta (28) on Dec. 24.
1854Daughter Rosa Maria, J.P.’s half-sister, is born to Joseph (40) and Marietta (30), in early March. Rosa Maria is baptized in St. Louis Cathedral, May 28. Joseph and Celestine Saliba, immigrants from Malta and Joseph Macheca’s close friends, are the godparents.
1855Rosa Maria Macheca dies and is buried in St. Louis Cemetery II.
1856Whig Party collapses. Bands of armed men seize a number of New Orleans polling places and permit only Know-Nothings to vote. Attempted murder of court clerk Norbert Trepagnier, local Know-Nothing leader, prompts violent reprisals in New Orleans’ Sicilian colony.
1857David C. Hennessy is born to Margaret and David Hennessy Sr., 275 Girod St., New Orleans.
1859Joseph Macheca Sr., 44, establishes wholesale fruit business. He also sells fruit from a Front Street shop. J.P., 16, participates in the business. Joseph Sr. purchases an Old Levee Street business site on May 24.
1860New Orleans unveils a 14-foot statue of Henry Clay at the intersection of Canal and St. Charles/Royal Streets on April 12. Statue stands upon a seven-tier granite base. John Macheca, 10, travels to Malta for several years of schooling. Joseph, Marietta and Michael take the trans-Atlantic trip with him, leaving J.P. to handle the family business. In November, Republican Abraham Lincoln is elected U.S. President with less than forty percent of the nation’s popular vote.
1861Louisiana state legislature formally adopts the Ordinance of Secession on Jan. 26, separating the state from the federal Union. State seizes federal Mint and Customhouse buildings in New Orleans as well as nearby forts. Joseph, Marietta and Michael Macheca return to New Orleans. Louisiana joins Confederate States of America on Feb. 4. New Orleans experiences food and fuel shortages and unemployment as a result of a federal blockade of Gulf ports. J.P. Macheca enlists in the 22nd Louisiana Infantry of the Confederate Army on Sept. 10. Federal forces grabbed Ship Island near mouth of Mississippi in December.
1862Joseph Macheca Sr. dictates his will to notary Abel Dreyfous on March 31. Admiral Farragut's federal fleet bombards Forts St. Philip and Jackson at mouth of Mississippi on April 18 and later sails up the Mississippi to New Orleans. U.S. General Benjamin Butler, with 15,000 federal troops, takes command in New Orleans on May 2. New Orleanian William Mumford is executed for desecrating the American flag. J.P.’s enlistment period expires. He is allowed to return home. Peter Carvanna, allowed out of prison, visits Marietta. He is killed within days of the visit. J.P. Macheca, 19, and Bridget O'Dowd, 16, marry and leave New Orleans for Galveston, Texas. Macheca earns money by working with Confederate blockade runners.
1863Son John J. Macheca is born to J.P. and Bridget Macheca.
1865John Macheca, 13, returns to New Orleans from Malta. J.P. returns from Texas. Civil War major hostilities end as Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders on April 9. Lincoln is mortally wounded on the evening of April 14. He dies the following morning. Joseph Macheca Sr., 50, purchases Toulouse Street property from John Avegno for $8,400 on Nov. 11.
1866Louisiana Constitutional Convention at the Mechanics Institute turns into a bloody race riot. Thirty eight people die as police do little to halt the violence. State’s Reconstruction authorities dismiss the local New Orleans government and take control of the police.
1867Joseph Macheca Sr., 52, purchases Dauphine Street property from H. Rosselin on March 18. Son William W. Macheca is born to J.P. and Bridget Macheca. Republican authorities in Louisiana hire Republicans and African-Americans for police jobs, dismissing white Democrats. Arthur Guerin kills Special Officer David Hennessy Sr. in a barroom gunfight. The officer's son, David C. Hennessy is welcomed into the police force as a messenger.
1868Reconstruction government creates the Louisiana State Lottery. Due to a corrupting influence that appears to reach into every aspect of Louisiana life, it becomes known as “the Octopus.” J.P. buys the schooner Cecelia. Military occupation of Louisiana ends, but Republican-dominated state legislature forms Metropolitan Police, answering only to state officials. Crescent City Democratic Club and similar conservative organizations join in an anti-Republican White League network. J.P., 25, supports Presidential candidate Horatio Seymour of New York against Republican Ulysses Grant. J.P. assembles a large gang, comprised mostly of Sicilians and named the Innocenti (Innocents), leads them in violent attacks against New Orleans African-Americans starting Oct. 24. Prominent Democrats, fearful that the attacks will result in Republican reprisals, force J.P. to disband the Innocents in November. Innocenti member Litero Barba is murdered on his way home from an Oct. 28 party at the Orleans Ballroom. Sicilian immigrants from Palermo take up arms against those from Messina.
1869Sicilian gang warfare forces Messina faction leaders to hide briefly in Galveston, Texas. The leaders return in March and are attacked at New Orleans Poydras Market. J.P. secretly contests the leadership of Palermo Mafia leader Raffaele Agnello in the Sicilian community. During a walk toward the Macheca shop on April 1, Agnello is shot and killed. Monreale-based Stuppagghieri Mafia becomes the dominant force in New Orleans’ Sicilian underworld. Son Joseph Peter Macheca Jr. is born to J.P. and Bridget Macheca.
1870J.P. is full partner, with Joseph Sr. and Paul Biggio, in the Macheca business. Son Michael is born to J.P. and Bridget Macheca in January. J.P. reestablishes the Innocents as a “protection” force for Sicilian businesses. Paul Biggio dies on April 24. Michael Macheca, six months old, dies on July 24.
1871Daughter Mary "Mamie" is born to J.P. and Bridget Macheca. Deputy Criminal Sheriff James D. Houston shoots and kills Arthur Guerin outside a courthouse.
1872After the murder of Joseph Agnello in July, the underworld war between the Palermo and Messina factions quickly ends. By the end of the year, two men – Republican William Pitt Kellogg and Democrat John McEnery – claim to have been elected governor. Rival state legislatures are also formed.
1873Former Confederate General James Longstreet supports Republicans and wins appointment to lead the Kellogg government’s Louisiana state militia. McEnery government quietly forms its own militia under the leadership of Confederate Colonels John B. Angell and James D. Hill. Daughter Rosa is born to J.P. and Bridget Macheca.
1874Mardi Gras’ Rex parade becomes an annual event with its second edition in February. Son Joseph Robert Macheca is born to John and Maggie Macheca on June 11. In July, the Crescent City Democratic Club renames itself the Crescent City White League. Steamer Mississippi arrives at the Port of New Orleans Sept 12. with a shipment of weapons for the White League. Metropolitan Police board the ship and seize the weapons. Joseph P. Macheca, 31, captain McEnery Guards, leads an armed force of 300 Italians in the White League's revolt against the Republican state government on Sept. 14 (Battle of Liberty Place).
1875Son Arthur is born to J.P. and Bridget Macheca.
1877J.P. designs the speedy clipper-schooner Joseph P. Macheca and has it built in Bath, Maine. During a vacation trip with her husband, Marietta Macheca, 53, dies in Malta on Jan. 8 and is buried there. The business of Joseph P. Macheca, commission merchant, appears to separate from the traditional family business.
1878Joseph Macheca, 64, dies Aug. 8 aboard French ship Canada on return trip from Malta. J.P. and his brothers unite briefly in Joseph P. Macheca & Bro. business at 129 Old Levee Street, headquarters of the earlier Jos. Macheca & Co. Sicilian fugitive Giuseppe Esposito visits New York City.
1879Giuseppe Esposito arrives in New Orleans in spring. J.P. supports him as leader of the city's Sicilian underworld. John and Michael Macheca move to end J.P.’s involvement in the family business and to limit his inheritance of the estate left by Joseph Sr. and Marietta. Macheca Brothers business (John and Michael) acquires its first steamship, the Wanderer, built in Philadelphia. J.P. aids Bolivia in its brief war against Chile. Son Edward Michael is born to J.P. and Bridget Macheca.
1880J.P. aids Bolivians fleeing to the United States after the unsuccessful war against Chile.
1881J.P. Macheca & Co. serves as agent for fruit plantations in British Honduras, Bay Islands and Jamaica. New Orleans Mayor Shakespeare vetoes plan to reorganize municipal police force. Over his objection, the Common Council creates the Chief of Aides position and fills it with Thomas Devereaux. Daily States interviews J.P. Macheca at his offices (8 Toulouse Street) on June 12 about fruit market. Detectives David and Mike Hennessy apprehend Sicilian bandit Esposito on July 5. Esposito is taken to New York City for deportation hearings. Violence between rival Provenzano and Matranga Mafias erupts. Shootout between Devereaux and the Hennessys results in serious injury to Mike Hennessy and fatal injury to Devereaux. Hennessy cousins are charged with Devereaux's murder.
1882James D. Houston, leader of the Ring Democrats, manages the reelection campaign of Gov. Samuel D. McEnery. On April 27, the Hennessy cousins are found not guilty of murdering Thomas Devereaux. Upon release from custody, Mike Hennessy and his wife move to Houston. David Hennessy remains in New Orleans, works with private police agency. James D. Houston is involved in a shootout with rival Democrats at a primary election polling place.
1883Steamship Stillwater is built for Macheca Bros. John and Michael give J.P. a payment of $1,200 to end his involvement in family business. Bridget O'Dowd Macheca (36) dies July 14 of tuberculosis at a South Prieur Street sanatorium. The business of Joseph P. Macheca & Co., fruit sellers, fails at the end of July, leaving $100,000 in liabilities. J.P. and his children leave their Toulouse Street home and settle in a shotgun duplex at No. 279 Bourbon Street. J.P. goes to work in his brothers’ firm.
1884Steamship Clearwater is built for Macheca Bros as the firm also acquires the Kate Carroll. Macheca Brothers fleet wins a British commission to haul mail to the colony of Belize (New Orleans-Belize Royal Mail). After delays and financial problems, Cotton and World's Exposition at New Orleans opens in December. David C. Hennessy leads private police force of 300 men for Exposition security.
1885James D. Houston is seriously wounded (hand) in a gunfight against staffers at the offices of the New Orleans Mascot newspaper. Democratic party is deeply divided into Ring and Reform factions. Macheca Line and Leonard Mueller's shipping line are investigated May 23 for their role in transporting unwilling young men from New Orleans to plantations and railroad building projects in Honduras and Guatemala.
1886Matranga and Locascio stevedore firm underbids Provenzano firm, wins contracts from produce shipping companies and becomes the main agent for Sicilian longshoremen. Mike Hennessy is shot five times and killed while returning home from a Houston theater.
1887Reform Democrats campaign against Ring and lottery corruption. The Young Men’s Democratic Association, led by attorney William Parkerson, is the key Reform group within the City of New Orleans. James D. Houston manages campaigns of Gov. Samuel D. McEnery and Mayor J. Valsin Guillotte. Parkerson advises reform candidates Francis T. Nicholls and Joseph A. Shakespeare.
1888In a gunfight between Democratic factions early Jan. 1, Patrick Mealey of the reform group is shot and killed by a Ring thug. James D. Houston is blamed and loses much support around the state. At Jan. 10 Democratic convention in Baton Rouge, James D. Houston pledges to support reform candidates. Joseph Shakespeare wins election as mayor of New Orleans, appoints David C. Hennessy his new police chief.
1889Provenzano-Matranga feud heats up. Vincent Ultonino is found dead, his throat cut, in a roadside marsh on Jan. 5. Joey Mattaino found dead in his home, his head burned in the fireplace, on Feb. 24. Pietro Vitrano is discovered beaten to death in March. New Orleans municipal police department is reorganized. The chief of aides (detectives) position is eliminated. Hennessy is approved as the superintendent of a unified force. J.P. and his brothers part ways in the spring. They will not speak again. Hennessy and J.P. broker a peace conference between the Provenzano and Matranga underworld factions at the Red Lights Club. Mamie, daughter of J.P. and Bridget Macheca, marries Cheri Eugene Sarrazin on Sept. 28. Former state treasurer E.A. Burke is indicted for fraud and embezzlement. The influential Ring politician and newspaper editor is in England attempting to finance a Central American gold mining operation.
1890Early in the morning of May 6, a wagon carrying Matranga stevedores is ambushed at the corner of Claiborne and Esplanade Streets. Three men, including Antonio Matranga, are seriously wounded. Provenzano gang leaders are arrested. Ring attempts to extend lottery contract through a constitutional amendment. The Provenzano gang leadership is sentenced to life in prison for the ambush of the Matranga wagon. As the result of Chief Hennessy’s investigation into the Mafia in New Orleans and in Sicily and of a grand jury probe into police alibis for the Provenzanos, a judge orders a new trial for the Provenzano gang leadership. Hennessy intends to testify in the next trial. Hennessy receives a number of death threats through the summer. Police Chief David Hennessy is ambushed and mortally wounded outside his home. Hennessy dies at Charity Hospital, 9:06 a.m., Oct. 16. Hennessy attack is believed to have resulted from his threat to expose and eliminate the local Mafia. Many local Sicilians and Italians, including J.P., are arrested as suspects in the assassination.
1891J.P. Macheca and eight other defendants are brought to trial Feb. 27 for the murder of Police Chief David Hennessy. Defendant Polizzi experiences an apparent emotional breakdown in court March 2 and allegedly names J.P. Macheca and Charles Matranga the heads of the New Orleans Mafia. Jury decides March 13 that none of the defendants are guilty. Gunmen under the direction of anti-Ring Democratic reformer William S. Parkerson and under the guise of a spontaneously formed lynch mob break into Parish Prison and murder J.P. Macheca and ten other prisoners on March 14.

1 comment:

Trinidad Shipping said...

Thanks for the effort you took to expand upon this post so thoroughly. I look forward to future posts.
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