Dictionary of Louisiana Biography – Q

Dictionary Q

QUERBES, Andrew, banker, planter, civic leader, mayor of Shreveport. Born, New Orleans, July 10, 1864; son of Antoine Querbes and Louise Alterieu. Education: New Orleans schools; Harvey School, Mandeville. Removed to Shreveport, 1886, and entered the retail grocery business; in 10 years had largest wholesale grocery business in North Louisiana; retired from the business in 1903. Became vice president of First National Bank in 1906 and president in 1909. Served on the police jury for four years and mayor of Shreveport for two terms, 1902-1906. As mayor he was noted for his emphasis on law enforcement and rehabilitation of the city’s finances. Was a cotton planter and served as president of the Louisiana Cotton Growers Association. President, Shreveport Ice Delivery Company; director, Shreveport Mutual Building and Loan Association; member, board of directors, Louisiana State Fair; Shreveport Chamber of Commerce. Member, Catholic church, Elks and Rotary Clubs. Married, February 12, 1889, Alexandrine Ricou. Children: Andrew, Jr., Justin R., and Randolph A. Died, May 24, 1939. P.L.M. Sources: Lilla McLure and J. Ed Howe, History of Shreveport and Shreveport Builders (1937); J. Fair Hardin, Northwestern Louisiana (1939).

QUESTY (sometimes rendered Questi) Joanni, writer, poet, educator. Born, New Orleans, 1817; locally reared and educated. His father’s family came from Ragusa, modern Dubrovnik, a seaport on the Dalmatia coast, in the ninetenth century part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire but now in Bosnia-Herzegovina. A Creole of Color, Questy taught French, Spanish, and English at the Institute Catholique pour l’Instruction des Orphelins Indigents in New Orleans. He also served as assistant principal and principal of the school. Held in high esteem by his students and in literary circles, Questy contributed poems and a short story, “Le chêne du chemin du Bayou” to L’Album Litteraire (1843) and poems to Les Cenelles (1845). His works “A vous” and “Le Prisonnier” appeared in La Chronique, May 13, 1849 and February 20, 1848. During the Civil War, Questy lived in Mexico and was a correspondent for La Tribune de la Nouvelle-Orléans, a militant newspaper founded in 1864 by Charles Louis Roudanez (q.v.). The newspaper was an organ for the revendications of civil equality for Creoles of Color and liberated slaves. Questy returned to New Orleans in 1865 and became associate editor of this newspaper. Published several poems and essays in it. Questy’s novel Monsieur Paul was published in La Tribune, October 25-31, November 3, 1867. It was the first realistic novel published in the United States. The novel was translated by Alfred Guillaume, Jr., and published in Louisiana Literature, 1 (1984). Died, New Orleans, La., August 26, 1869. F.C.A. Sources: Charles B. Rousseve, The Negro in Louisiana: Aspects of His History and His Literature (1937); Rodophe Lucien Desdunes, Our People and our History, trans. Dorothea Olga McCants (1973); Edward Larocque Tinker, Les Ecrits de langue française en Louisiane au XlXe siècle (1932); Auguste Viatte, “Complément à la Bibliographie de Tinker,” Revue de Louisiane. Louisiana Review, (1974); author’s personal research.

QUEYROUZE, Léona, poet, essayist, translator, composer. Born in New Orleans, May 23, 1866; daughter of Léon Queyrouze and Anne Marie Clara Tertrou; sister of Maxime Queyrouze. She was reputedly the granddaughter of a former Louisiana Louisiana, and she was assisted in her early career by such members of the Creole gentry as Charles Gayarré (q.v.), P. G. T. Beauregard (q.v.), Armand Mercier (q.v.), Alfred Mercier (q.v.), Anatole Cousin, and Charles Testut (q.v.). Married Pierre Marie Etienne Barel (of Nantes, France, 1901). Read “Etude sur Racine,” before Athenée Louisianais (1880). Published extensively in French-language newspapers including L’Abeille, Le Franco-Louısianais), often using pseudonym Constant Beauvais. Early poetry was influenced by Alphonse Marie Louis de Prat de Lamartine and Victor Hugo. Queyrouze’s most notable early poems include “Désir,” “Vision” (1885), “Larmes et Sourires” (1888). A controversial essayist, Queyrouze published on race relations in The Crusader under the pseudonyms Adamas and Salamandra the following columns: “The Race Problem Logically Discussed,” and “The Complete Answer to the Absurd Objections” (1889). She was a believer in mesmerism. She defended accused murderer Deschamps in 1889-92; and argued for economic leveling in “Le Nivelisme” (L’Abeille: 1895). Met Lafcadio Hearn (q.v.) in 1887; insisted on keeping her poetic “dark side,” over his objections. Her most notable poems from this period include “Réponse à L.H.” (L’Abeille, 1887); also “Magdalena” (1892), “Samson” (1899). Traveled to New York and translated plays; Toured Europe, 1906-08. Enjoyed extensive contacts with the leading women of the “Louisiana renaissance,” including Mollie Moore Davis, Léonie Pichot, Elisabeth Bisland (q.v.); attended salons, wrote prefaces, obituaries, correspondence, and personal journals. Published The Idyll: Reminiscences of Lafcadio Hearn in 1933; wrote mystical novella “A Flower of Nirvana” (unpublished manuscript, 1933). Died in New Orleans in 1938. C.L.L. Sources: Léona Queyrouze Barel Collection, Hill Memorial Library (L.S.U.); Léona Queyrouze Barel Papers in Hutson Family Papers, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library (Tulane); Edward Laroque Tinker, Les Ecrits de lanque française en Louisiane (1928).

QUINCY, Samuel Miller, attorney, politician, soldier. Born, Boston, 1833; son of Josiah Quincy, mayor of Boston, 1846-1848, and Mary Jane Miller. Grandfather, Josiah P. Quincy, served as a congressman, mayor of Boston, and president of Harvard University. Graduated from Harvard, 1852, admitted to the bar in Massachusetts, and edited the Monthly Law Review. Was serving in the Massachusetts legislature when the Civil War began. Accepted a commission as captain in the Second Massachusetts Infantry, May, 1861. Seriously wounded and captured by the Confederates in August, 1862, at the Battle of Cedar Mountain. Spent two months in the Confederate Libby Prison in Richmond, Va. Kept a diary of his prison experiences which was later published. After his release and return to the North in October, 1862, was stationed in Washington, D. C. while recuperating from battle injuries. Returned to active duty in 1863 and commanded his regiment in the Battle of Chancellorsville. A recurrence of ill health forced retirement from the Union Army on June 5, 1863. Re-enlisted in November 1863 with the rank of lieutenant colonel, commanding the Seventy-third U. S. Colored Infantry. Served in the Port Hudson campaign and as president of the board of examiners set up in Louisiana to recruit black officers for the Union Army. Was brevetted a brigadier general of the U. S. Volunteers in March, 1865. Appointed mayor of New Orleans by General Nathaniel P. Banks (q.v.) on May 4, 1865, replacing Hugh Kennedy (q.v.). Served as mayor from May 5 to June 8, 1865, and, acting on orders from Gen. Banks, reinstated officials the former mayor had removed from office. Was removed from the mayor’s post when a reorganization of the U. S. Army’s Deparmtent of the Gulf placed Gen. Edward R. S. Canby (q.v.) in military command of Louisiana. General Canby was under orders from President Andrew Johnson to cooperate with Louisiana governor James Madison Wells (q.v.). This led to Quincy’s removal as mayor and the restoration of Mayor Kennedy. Was transferred to the Ninety-sixth U. S. Colored Infantry in September, 1865. In the postwar period, practiced law in Boston, edited the Reports of Cases of his great-grandfather, Josiah Quincy, and served on the board of aldermen and in the Massachusetts legislature. Died at Keene, N.H., March 24, 1887. J.J.J. Sources: “Administration of the Mayors of New Orleans, 1803-1936” (in Main Branch, New Orleans Public Library); Mark Mayo Boatner III, The Civil War Dictionary (1959); Peyton McCrory, Abraham Lincoln and Reconstruction: The Louisiana Experiment (1978); New Orleans Herald Tribune, March 25, 1887; New York Times, March 25, 1887.

QUINN, James “Jimmie,” actor. Born, New Orleans, ca. 1885. Became a movie actor in 1919. Served as an Irish character actor in numerous motion pictures, including: Afraid to Fight, Rags to Riches, 1922; Mile-a-Minute Romeo, Second Hand Love, 1923; Broadway After Dark, 1924; Red Hot Tires, The Dixie Handicap, Pretty Ladies, Speed Madness, The Wife Who Wasn’t Wanted, On Thin Ice, Soft Shoes, 1925; The Imposter, 1926; Two Flaming Youths, 1927; The Spieler, Ginsberg the Great, Women Who Dare, 1928; Come and Get It, The Dance of Life, The Argyle Case, 1929; Hold Everything, 1930; I Hate Women, 1934; The Gilded Lily, 1935. Is perhaps best remembered for a series of racetrack shorts with Billie Sullivan. Became ill on the set of the movie Little Nancy Kelly; subsequently died of a heart attack, Hollywood, Calif., August 21, 1940. C.A.B. Sources: Evelyn Mack Truitt, ed., Who Was Who on Screen: Illustrated Edition (1984); New York Times, August 23, 1940.

QUINTANILLA, Luís de, friar and Capuchin missionary. A native of Castille, Spain, Quintanilla arrived in Louisiana on July 19, 1772 with Fray Cirilo de Barcelona (q.v.), who had been sent to replace the French Capuchins. Quintanilla’s colonial career, which spanned nearly three full decades, was marked by a constant turbulence of his own making. A zealot in his efforts to stamp out vice, immorality, and impiety—and imperious in his disdain for secular authority—he first waged (and lost) a nine-year campaign to reform the outpost of Natchitoches. After a far briefer but equally disastrous stint at Pointe Coupée, he was brought back to the colonial capital, where he was relegated to various administrative, subsidiary, or temporary posts. Although the crown required individual Capuchins to serve only ten years in colonial missions, Quintanilla’s Louisiana superiors refused to release him—despite pleas from both him and his flocks. In a colony plagued by too many far-flung settlements and too few priests, his poor rapport with the predominantly French population—attributable to his “tedious, disagreeable, and interminable sermons and his atrocious rendition of French idioms”—and his flagrant, public disrespect for even the governor himself were irritants the church had no choice but to accept. Quintanilla’s service record can be reconstructed from payrolls, parish registers, and various notarial records: Natchitoches, which he abandoned in a fit of pique, June, 1775-March, 1777; Natchitoches, to which he was ordered to return, and where the post commandant was charged to “treat him well and protect him as much as possible in order that he may remain willingly,” August, 1777-February, 1783; New Orleans(?), 1783-86; Pointe Coupée, from which he was removed for the “ridicule excited by his sermons,” 1786-1790; New Orleans, assistant pastor, March 1791-1800; subsidiary service as collector and auditor, January 1791-July 1795; and chaplain to the Ursuline nuns, March 1791-ca. August 1795. One strikingly aberrant document deserves note: after temporary service at St. Gabriel, Quintanilla was replaced in January 1795, at which time a new commandant marked his removal with the enigmatic comment, “The people here are sad and cried at his departure because he was well loved.” Last on record at New Orleans in 1800, Quintanilla’s pay records note his death on February 1, 1801. E.S.M. Sources: Service pay lists, legajo 539-B; Bernardo de Gálvez to Athanase de Mézières, July 28, 1777, leg. 1232; 1786 census of Pointe Coupée, leg. 2361; and Martin Duralde to Baron de Carondelet, February 28, 1795, leg. 128; all of the foregoing documents are in the Archivo General de Indias, Seville, Spain, Papeles Procedentes de Cuba; Rex v. de Soto, doc. 1227; Rex v. Varange, doc. 1308; De Mézières to Cirilo de Barcelona, doc. 1341; and Quintanilla v. Rouelle, doc. 1343—all in French Archives, Natchitoches Parish Clerk of Court’s office; Records of the Diocese of Louisiana and the Floridas (microfilm, University of Notre-Dame), roll 1, various entries, 1792-95; Roger Baudier, The Catholic Church in Louisiana (1939), 182, 184, 190, 194, 198, 234, 238; “Intestate Succession of Mr. De St. Denis,” Laura L. Porteous, trans., “Index to Spanish Judicial Records of Louisiana,” Louisiana Historical Quarterly, 13 (1930): 180.

QUINTERO, Joseph A., soldier, attorney, journalist. Born, Havana, Cuba, May 6, 1829; son of Antonio Quintero, a Cuban tobacco planter, and Anna Woodville, a native of England. At age 12 entered Harvard College, Cambridge, Mass.; completed studies there. Returned to Cuba, ca. 1848, and graduated in law in Havana. Through his interest in Cuban independence, entered journalism and wrote passionately for that cause. Three times arrested by Spanish authorities for published opinions. During ill-fated expedition of Narciso Lopez (q.v.), confined to Moro Castle and condemned to death after trial by court martial. Escaped from Cuba and briefly visited New Orleans. Removed to Texas; became editor of the San Antonio Ranchero. Again in New Orleans in 1857, but in 1859 was editing a Spanish illustrated paper published by Frank Leslie in New York. With outbreak of Civil War, joined Quitman Guards in Texas; unit sent to Virginia. Met Jefferson Davis (q.v.) who, on September 4, 1861, commissioned subject as confidential agent of the Confederacy in Mexico. Credited with securing in Mexico supplies of lead, powder, and other munitions for use in the Confederacy’s Trans-Mississippi Department. Remained there until end of war. Established himself in New Orleans after war; read law in offices of Semmes and Mott, admitted to Louisiana bar and practiced law in New Orleans. Married Eliza Bournos, a native of New Orleans. Children: Lamar C. (q.v.), John Marshall. At the same time returned to journalism and joined staff of New Orleans Daily Picayune as editor. Also served as consul for Belgium and Costa Rica in New Orleans. A poet; translated Longfellow’s poems into Spanish. Died, New Orleans, September 7, 1885; interred tomb of the Army of Northern Virginia, Metairie Cemetery. G.R.C. Sources: New Orleans Daily Picayune, September 9, 1885; Times-Picayune, January 25, 1937; Frank Lawrence Owsley, King Cotton Diplomacy (1931); Fayette Copeland, “The New Orleans Press and Reconstruction,” Louisiana Historical Quarterly, XXX (1947).

QUINTERO, Lamar C., attorney, consul general, journalist. Born, New Orleans, September 7, 1865; son of Joseph A. Quintero (q.v.) and Eliza Bournos, a native of New Orleans. Named for Gen. M. B. Lamar, father’s law partner in San Antonio, Tex. Education: Jesuit College, New Orleans; Tulane University, law degree 1890. Entered journalism at age 16, joining staff of New Orleans Daily Picayune in 1881. In his long association with that paper and its successor, the Times-Picayune, served as counsel and drama and opera critic. Married Emma Peniston, daughter of Fergus Peniston and Emma Alain of New Orleans. No surviving children. After admittance to bar, formed partnership with brother John Marshall Quintero and Donelson Caffery (q.v.). For ten years represented the tropical division of United Fruit Co. Succeeded father as consul of Costa Rica in New Orleans, 1883; eight years later named that country’s consul general for the South. Declined President McKinley’s nomination as an associate justice of the Philippines supreme court. In 1910, named by President Taft as delegate to Fourth International Conference of American Countries and the U. S. representative at the centennial of Chile. Member and president, Pickwick Club; member, Boston Club, several carnival organizations. Died, New Orleans, October 30, 1921; interred Metairie Cemetery. G.R.C. Sources: New Orleans Times-Picayune, October 3, 1921; January 25, 1937; Alcée Fortier, Louisiana . . . , 3 vols. (1914).