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Justin Nystrom

educator, scholar, editor, and political activist, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Paul Trévigne Sr., a free, prosperous Afro-Creole carpenter and a woman known only as a Découdreau. Tévigne grew up in circumstances and enjoyed opportunities unknown to most African Americans living in the antebellum South. Few details of his childhood and education are known, but by around 1848 Trévigne, along with about a dozen other Afro-Creole educators, founded the Institution Catholique des Orphelins Indigents, a private institution for free black children in New Orleans, better known as the Couvent School. Here Trévigne taught foreign languages and developed a reputation among his peers as an accomplished teacher and scholar. By the time Union forces captured New Orleans in 1862 Trévigne had spent over a decade honing his craft as a political thinker and essayist He would put these skills to extensive use during ...