Daniel Desdunes

Daniel Desdunes, a son of Rodolphe Desdunes, was a musician (later a teacher of music at Boys' Town) and a member of the Comité des Citoyens, formed by his father and fellow Creoles of color. In a planned maneuver to test Act 111 of 1890 of the Louisiana Legislature (the "Separate Car Act"), Daniel Desdunes boarded a white-only car in a train bound for Mobile and was subsequently arrested and tried. The court acquitted him, since the provisions in the Louisiana law regarding interstate travel were incompatible with federal law. The Comité's next attempt to test the law, this time focusing on in-state travel, resulted ultimately in the famous Plessy v. Ferguson case, a defeat which was to legalize segregation for more than half a century to come.