Whirty: Gentleman Dave Malarcher: The plantation connection

From SABR member Ryan Whirty at Home Plate Don’t Move on March 10, 2015, with mention of SABR member John Holway:

In my previous post, I asserted that Negro Leagues legend (and should-be Hall of Famer) Dave Malarcher was the descendent of the slaves of a transplanted French aristocrat who owned a sprawling sugarcane plantation in what is now officially St. James Parish but what has been colloquially known as Cabanocey, according to author Lillian C. Bourgeois.

In this post I’ll attempt to prove the connection between David Julius Malarcher, a.k.a. Gentleman Dave; Chevalier Louis Joseph D’Aspresment Malarcher; and Cabanocey, modern-day St. James Parish.

David Julius Malarcher unequivocally was born — and is now buried — in St. James Parish. He is a native of Cabanocey, a settlement originally monikered with a Choctaw Native-American word, Kabahannossé, a settlement that, over the decades and centuries, become home to both numerous sugar plantations and thousands of displaced Acadians from Canada.

When, in an undated transcript from a conversation with noted Negro Leagues historian John Holway, Dave Malarcher stated that his father worked a plantation along the river called “Charbony,” it’s likely that the name of that sprawling sugar farm was distorted from that original Choctaw word, a word that eventually became commonly known as Cabanocey.

On a note that seems tangential at best but is actually crucial to the Dave Malarcher story, different biographies of Gentleman Dave give his birthplace as alternately “Union” or “Whitehall,” Louisiana.

Read the full article here: https://homeplatedontmove.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/gentleman-the-plantation-connection/

Originally published: March 10, 2015. Last Updated: March 10, 2015.