|Caesar Carpetier Antoine|
|13th Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana|
|Preceded by||P.B.S. Pinchback|
|Succeeded by||Louis A. Wiltz|
|Louisiana State Senator from Caddo Parish|
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Shreveport, Caddo Parish
|Occupation||Barber, Editor, Businessman|
|Service/branch||United States Army: Seventh Louisiana Colored Regiment|
|Battles/wars||American Civil War|
When Antoine left office in 1877, he was the last Republican to hold the lieutenant governorship until 1988, when Paul Jude Hardy, a former Louisiana Secretary of State and a former Democrat, assumed the office.
Antoine was born in New Orleans, the son of a veteran of the Battle of New Orleans, fought on January 8, 1815, two weeks after the conclusion of the War of 1812. His mother was a native of the West Indies and the daughter of an African chief. Antoine attended private schools in New Orleans and was fluent in French and English. On reaching adulthood, he first worked as a barber.
After national troops occupied the Louisiana capital city of Baton Rouge in 1862, Antoine organized Company I, Seventh Louisiana Colored Regiment. As captain of the company, he engaged in minor engagements until the war ended in 1865. After the fighting, Antoine moved to the northwestern Louisiana city of Shreveport, the seat of Caddo Parish, where he established a family grocery business. He soon entered politics and became a delegate to the Louisiana constitutional convention of 1867-1868. At the convention, he advocated tax reforms, an extensive bill of rights, and application to the United States Congress for extension of the Freedmen's Bureau, which was established in 1865 and abolished in 1872.
Antoine served as a member of the Louisiana State Senate from Caddo Parish from 1868 to 1872 and was assigned to committees on Commerce and Manufacturers and on Education. He was a strong proponent of emerging public education. In 1875, he served by appointment on the Caddo Parish School Board.
Antoine was elected lieutenant governor in 1872 on the Republican ticket headed by William Pitt Kellogg, considered a Carpetbagger. Two other blacks, Oscar J. Dunn and P.B.S. Pinchback, respectively, preceded Antoine as lieutenant governor. The Republicans renominated Antoine for a second term in 1876 on a ticket headed by Stephen B. Packard as the gubernatorial choice. Packard and Antoine, however, were defeated by the Democrat "Redeemer" ticket headed by former Confederate States of America Brigadier General Francis T. Nicholls.
Antoine invested in railroad and lottery stocks and raised racehorses. In 1880, he became president of the Cosmopolitan Life Insurance Company. He also joined P.B.S. Pinchback as a copartner in a cotton factorage. He edited the semiweekly New Orleans Louisianan from 1870 to 1872.
Little is known about Antoine after 1887. He was vice president of the New Orleans group called the Comité des Citoyens (Citizens' Committee), which was formed in 1890 to wage a legal battle against racial discrimination. The committee collected more than $2,000 to challenge the constitutionality of the 1890 Jim Crow compulsory segregation law. The committee engaged Homer Plessy to test the public accommodations provision of the Louisiana law. Plessy's action ultimately led to the Plessy v. Ferguson decision by the United States Supreme Court, which affirmed the legality of "separate-but-equal" facilities. Antoine's committee also failed in an attempt to have the state law forbidding racial intermarriage declared unconstitutional.
Antoine purchased a small plantation in Caddo Parish and owned several city lots. He died in Shreveport and is interred there.
- "Caesar Carpetier Antoine". A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. 1 (1988), p. 16
- John W. Blassingame, Black New Orleans, 1860-1880 (1973)
- Dorothea Olga McCants, ed., Our People and Our History (1973)
- Charles Vincent, Black Legislators in Louisiana during Reconstruction (1976)
- Rayford W. Logan and Michael R. Winston, eds., Dictionary of American Negro Biography (1982)
|Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana
Caesar Carpetier Antoine
Louis A. Wiltz