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Pontalba2

And you think your in-laws are bad. This is the Baroness de Pontalba. Micaela Leonarda Antonia Almonester (1795-1874.)

She is known as one of the most colorful characters in New Orleans history.

Micaela inherited an enormous amount of money from her father, but like all family money, it was tied up with red tape. Her mother chose her husband- Xavier Célestin Delfau de Pontalba, a very feeble boy from a prominent family. His Dad, disappointed with her dowry tie-ups, shot Micaela 4 times at point blank range, but somehow (what.the.hell?!?!?!) she survived with a mangled hand and left breast. The Baron stepped over her body, went to his study and then shot himself in the head.

Fleeing France with her children, she went on to develop several beautiful properties in New Orleans- like the Pontalba buildings in Jackson Square. She had marvelous parties, balls, built statues, parks, and even threatened the mayor over a few rows of trees she wanted to keep. She died at the age of 78.

She is also the subject of an opera and several books. I highly recommend reading more about this fabulous, strong woman.

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