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Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches. The Exchange Coffee House was operated by Bernard Tremoulet from to , and by Pierre Maspero from until his death in It was also the site of auctions of land, buildings and slaves. The original building was replaced in by the new, larger City Exchange, which extended along St.
Louis Street from Royal Street to Chartres. Louis Streets. For the purpose of adding to knowledge, historical accuracy of place is extremely important. For things like targeting archaeological investigations, understanding how a battle unfolded, and investigating historical patterns of settlement, it matters quite a lot whether historical locations are correctly identified.
But history serves many purposes, and if the purpose of a marker, or a monument, or a historic site, is to educate the public about a historical event, does it matter if the location is off-kilter? In a controversy over moving an existing marker 4, feet to more accurately indicate where Union general Joshua Chamberlain was wounded during the Second Battle of Petersburg in , a representative of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources observed:.
As James W. Sometimes the historical marker becomes more important than the site itself. If the place has changed, the plaque offers something to see, a way to connect with the event…. The story is told on the marker — or it should be. When we visit a location, we do not see what those who were there in the past saw.
Trees are planted or cut down; rivers change course; buildings are replaced. How many of us have had the experience of returning to a place we knew in childhood only to find that it is no longer recognizable. The landscape may be so transformed that we are unable to find the precise spot we are looking for.
Even historical preservation involves rehabilitation, restoration and reconstruction. And that is often based on incomplete evidence of what the place originally looked like. Does a diner enjoying a meal in a late 18th-century building really care that the building is not the particular historical site that it claims to be?
British poet Edward Thomas put it eloquently:.
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There are many places which nobody can look upon without being consciously influenced by a sense of their history. It is a battlefield, and the earth shows the scars of its own wounds; or a castle or cathedral of distinct renown rises among the oaks; or a manor house or cottage, or tomb or woodland walk that speaks of a dead poet or soldier. Then, according to the extent or care of our reading and the clearness of our imagination, we can pour into the groves or on the turf tumultuous or silent armies, or solitary man or woman.
It is a deeply-worn coast; the spring tide gnaws the yellow cliff, and the wind files it with unceasing hiss, and the relics of every age, skull and weapon and shroudpin and coin and carven stone, are spread out upon the clean, untrodden sand, and the learned, the imaginative, the fanciful, the utterly unhistoric and merely human man exercises his spirit upon them, and responds, if only for a moment.
When we muse deeply upon the old road worn deep into the chalk, among burial mound and encampment; we feel rather than see the innumerable companies of men like this, following their small cattle to the stream or the dew-pond, wearing out the hard earth with their naked feet and trailing ash staves. If the important thing is feeling that connection, does the specific location of the cue really matter?
Is anywhere in the vicinity close enough? Cenotaphs and war memorials can trigger this kind of remembrance even when they are far from the site of a battle. And yet…something happened in the past at a specific location: a battle took place; slaves were auctioned; somebody died.
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Unlike with historical films and novels, in which one anticipates some historical license being taken, visitors to historical sites expect that those sites are what they claim to be. If a marker is in the wrong place, it could be an indication that other things said about that site, or historical event, are also wrong. These misrepresentations on the American landscape help keep us ignorant as a people, less able to understand what really happened in the past, and less able to apply our understanding to issues facing the United States today. Even when it comes to evoking a feeling of connection to the past, historical accuracy of place is important.
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Being at the place where history was made has a certain power. You feel cheated. Fake News About Napoleon Bonaparte.
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Napoleon at the Pyramids: Myth versus Fact. Of course it is often more difficult to pinpoint locations in urban settings, where buildings of historical significance may have been destroyed after or even because of the event. Nice article.