OCTAVIA -- MARDI GRAS – COWBELLIANS -- MOBILE
BY Brenda Rees | Shaping Florida January 11, 2016
Mardi Gras connections to Madame Octavia Walton Le Vert – Florida – Mobile – New Orleans
Octavia was connected to early Mobile Mardi Gras Cowbellian activities and is honored now by Le Krewe de Bienville. (check AL.com for more information in 2015 post).
Most in Mobile probably don’t know Octavia’s ties to Walton County, Florida or Fort Walton Beach and Florida Territorial Secretary of State and Acting Governor George Walton, Jr. and Declaration of Independence Signer George Walton.
In the Krewe’s press release they just referred to Octavia as Le Vert. Octavia was very proud of her Walton name and always included it when describing herself – Madame Octavia Walton Le Vert. She spelled her last name different from her doctor husband Dr. Henry Levert, of Mobile, preferring the proper French.
In 2015, Pensacola had their Mardi Gras kickoff on January 4th. This made sense with famous former Pensacola, Florida resident Madame Octavia Walton Le Vert’s leadership in Mobile’s “Cowbellians.” Mobile’s Mardi Gras was before New Orlean’s Mardi Gras and “… its parades and celebrations at New Year and Twelfth Night were social events of the year …”, according to Octavia’s biographer Francis Gibson Satterfield, p. 69. The Cowbellians were known as – the Cowbellian de Rakian Society. Also, “Eventually the societies changed their Mardi Gras dates to prior to Lent as it seemed more appropriate for the descendants of the many old Spanish and French families.”
The Waltons moved to Mobile, Alabama around 1835 where George Walton, Jr. was soon elected Mayor of Mobile. Here is original research by Brenda Rees | Shaping Florida of his signature on an early Mobile document. © All Rights Reserved
Pictures by Brenda Rees | Shaping Florida © All Rights Reserved. Original portrait of Octavia as she looked when she lived in Pensacola with her family, now at Oakleigh House in Mobile. Picture of Brenda Rees portraying Madame Octavia Walton Le Vert in front of Walton House in Pensacola where the family lived 1821 to around 1835. T. T. Wentworth, Jr., Brenda’s great uncle, owned the Walton House and deeded it to Pensacola for $1. Octavia in front of the T. T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum which has a portrait of her family displayed. Octavia’s house in Mobile before it was torn down!!! Photo by Brenda Rees | Shaping Florida © All Rights Reserved by permission of Leora Sutton in her personal album in Pensacola.