Three: "Barbarous Strife and Drunken Debauch"

After a year or two in New Orleans, the elder Kokernot sent the younger son to apprentice at one of the authentic hellholes of the western hemisphere. At the Balize, a hundred miles below New Orleans, the shifting sandbar across the mouth of the river presented a hazard to arriving vessels. Bar pilots stationed there guided those vessels across the bar and collected a handsome fee for the service. It required little skill and left the pilots with plenty of spare time. The Balize already had a century’s history of drunkenness, violence, and deceit among the pilots, traits that David quickly learned as he lost his Jewish ethic.

David's father died in 1827, but his mother and older brother joined the Jewish community of New Orleans and built a thriving dry goods business as well. Though he spent periods in the city, David spent far more time in “wicked pursuits,” to use his own term, at the Balize, in Europe, New York, and Haiti. During one of his brief stays in New Orleans, David met and married Caroline Dittmar, a German gentile who had just arrived from Philadelphia, but, restless as always, he was soon off again, in pursuit of another adventure.


David Reminisces
War Again!
To the Waters of Peach Creek
Tories Strike Back
Tory Chase
Revolution!
David and Caroline Kokernot's Children
Finest Looking Man I Ever Saw
Well Nigh Dead
Barbarous Strife and Drunken Debauch
"I Came to the United States with My Father"
"I Was Born in the City of Amsterdam"
Who Was David Kokernot and Why Should You Know Him?
The Author