casket girl, also widely known as a
cassette girl, refers to one of the women brought
from France to the
French colonies of Louisiana to marry.
derives from the small chests, known as cassettes, in which they
carried their clothes. They were conspicuous by reason of their
virtue. Normally women were supplied to the colonists
by raking the streets of Paris for
undesirables, or by emptying the houses of correction.
casket girls, however, were recruited from church charitable
institutions, usually orphanages
, and, although poor, were
practically guaranteed to be virgins. For this reason it later
became a matter of pride in Louisiana to show descent from
consignment reached Mobile in 1704,
Biloxi in 1719, and New Orleans in 1728.
They inspired Victor Herbert
to write Naughty Marietta