Two hundred years ago this month, the elite in New Orleans were making their usual preparations for Mardi Gras. Plantation owners were planning all-night parties, and the women of the house were looking forward to elaborate masquerades and balls.
What they didn't know is while they were planning for their annual carnival festivities, their slaves were planning a little something of their own.
On one fateful night, 500 armed slaves rose up from the plantations and set out to conquer the city.
Weekend All Things Considered host Guy Raz talks with Daniel Rasmussen about the little-known events of the slave rebellion of 1811. Rasmussen is the author of the new book American Uprising: The Untold Story of America's largest Slave Revolt.