Slidell, John, 1793-1871, American political leader and diplomat, b. New York City. He became a prominent lawyer and political figure in New Orleans and served as a Democrat in Congress (1843-45). In 1845, Slidell was appointed special U.S. envoy to Mexico to adjust the Texas boundary and to negotiate the purchase of California and New Mexico; the Mexican government, which had broken off diplomatic relations after the U.S. Congress had provided for the annexation of Texas, refused to receive him (see Mexican War). Senator from Louisiana (1853-61), he was influential in securing the nomination and election of James Buchanan to the presidency (1856) and was a power in the administration. Slidell joined the Confederate cause early in 1861. Appointed Confederate commissioner to France the same year, he figured with James M. Mason in the Trent Affair. Although cordially received in Paris, Slidell was unable to get official recognition or any material aid for the Confederacy from the French emperor, Napoleon III. After the Civil War, Slidell resided in France.

See L. M. Sears, John Slidell (1925); B. Willson, John Slidell and the Confederates in Paris (1932, repr. 1970).

Slidell, city (1990 pop. 24,124), St. Tammany parish, SE La., near Lake Pontchartrain, there crossed by a bridge to New Orleans; inc. 1888. Originally a shipbuilding and brick-manufacturing town in a farm and timber region, it serves primarily as a bedroom community for the aerospace industry. A large NASA computer complex is there, and a NASA test site is nearby. Seafood and meat products, furniture, chemicals, boats, concrete, apparel, and machinery are produced. Slidell suffered severe damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Slidell is a city situated on the northeast shore of Lake Pontchartrain in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 25,695 at the 2000 census.



Slidell was founded on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain in 1882 and 1883 during construction of the New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad (N.O.N.E.). The N.O.N.E. line connected New Orleans to Meridian, Mississippi. The town was named in honor of American politician John Slidell, and officially chartered by the Louisiana State Legislature in 1888.

Twentieth Century

Around 1910, Slidell began a period of economic and industrial growth. A large creosote plant was built, and Slidell became home to St Joe's, a major producer of bricks. A lumber mill and shipyard were also built. Following the construction of Interstate 10, Interstate 59 and Interstate 12, Slidell became a major crossroads for those traversing the Gulf States.

In 1915 the creosote plant burned to the ground killing 55 workers and 3 firefighters. The plant was rebuilt on Bayou Lane, closer to a water source and closer to a fire station. Eventually, creosote polluted the bayou which was a source of drinking water for many of Slidell's residents. The creosote plant was abandoned in 1986 and then became an EPA Superfund site. The canal was dredged and waste incinerated until completion of the cleanup in 1996. At that time a boat launch was built and Heritage Park was constructed on the former site.

With the advent of the U.S. space program in the 1960s, NASA opened the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, the John C. Stennis Space Center in nearby Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and a NASA computer center on Gause Boulevard. This nearly tripled Slidell's population over a period of ten years, and the city became a major suburb of New Orleans. Slidell is also the location of the National Weather Service forecast office for greater New Orleans.

The city hosts several parade krewes each Carnival season. Slidell suffered extensive damage from the effects of Hurricane Katrina which hit the region on August 29, 2005. The city is said to have experienced a 23' - 26' storm surge from Lake Pontchartrain.


Slidell is located at (30.279040, -89.777744) and has an elevation of . It is at the southeastern tip of St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana's Ozone Belt and is approximately three miles from the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.1 square miles (31.4 km²), of which, 11.8 square miles (30.5 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.8 km²) of it (2.64%) is water.


Slidell has a humid subtropical climate, with short, generally mild winters and hot, humid summers. Precipitation in winter usually accompanies the passing of a cold front. Hurricanes also pose a threat to the area, and the city is vulnerable because of its low elevation.


As of the census of 2000, there were 25,695 people, 9,480 households, and 7,157 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,178.5 people per square mile (841.5/km²). There were 10,133 housing units at an average density of 859.1/sq mi (131.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 83.13% White, 13.56% African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.72% Asian, 2.05% Hungarian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.62% from other races, and 1.43% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.67% of the population.

There were 9,480 households out of which 36.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.4% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.5% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 92.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $42,856, and the median income for a family was $48,298. Males had a median income of $40,211 versus $26,050 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,947. About 9.5% of families and 11.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.6% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.


Public schools in Slidell are operated by the St. Tammany Parish Public Schools. There are three public high schools in Slidell: Northshore High School, Salmen High School, and Slidell High School, and two private high schools: Pope John Paul II High School (affiliated with the Catholic church) and First Baptist Christian School.


Amtrak's daily Crescent connects Slidell with New York City; Philadelphia, PA; Baltimore, MD; Washington, D.C.; Charlotte, NC; Atlanta, GA; Birmingham, AL and New Orleans, LA. The Amtrak station is situated on Front Street.

Slidell is located on the southwest corner of the intersection of I-10, I-12 and I-59 and U.S. Highway 11. The I-10 Twin Span Bridge runs from Slidell over Lake Pontchartrain to New Orleans East.

Rather than using the airport codes of ASD and KASD for the existing Slidell Airport, or NEW and KNEW for the original New Orleans Lakefront Airport, or even MSY and KMSY for the Louis Armstrong International Airport, NWSFO Slidell uses IATA airport code "LIX" and ICAO airport code "KLIX" despite not corresponding to any actual airport.

Famous Slidellians

Slidell in the media

  • Bayou Liberty is featured in a boat chase scene in the 1973 James Bond film Live and Let Die when James Bond is chased in a motor boat by Dr. Kananga's henchmen in motor launches.
  • Chacko George, who was a student at Northshore High School at the time, won the 2000 Jeopardy! Teen Tournament championship.
  • Slidell is named in the Lucinda Williams song "Joy," from the 1998 Album, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.
  • It is also the title of a song in the 2005 Grayson Capps album If you knew my mind.
  • Slidell is mentioned in the song Lake Pontchartrain by Ludo
  • Slidell attracted attention in the month of June, 1967, when Jayne Mansfield was killed in a car accident in the city at the age of 34.
  • Slidell is the home of Matthew Poncelet, the main character in the film Dead Man Walking. He mentions that it is hard for his family to visit him in prison at the Louisiana State Penitentiary because "it's a long drive from Slidell."


External links

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