Manuscript Resources on Baton Rouge History

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was first discovered and named by the French explorer Iberville in 1699, almost three centuries ago. In the eighteenth century, it was ruled successively by the French, British, and Spanish. Incorporated in 1817, Baton Rouge became the state capital in 1849, though it lost that status during the Civil War and would not regain it until 1882.

This guide to manuscript resources on Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish, of which it is a part, includes a wide variety of materials on the history of the area, among them the papers of Baton Rouge families; the records of businesses and organizations; photographs; newspapers; maps; and oral histories. Although Louisiana State University has been a major part of Baton Rouge for many years, collections relating to LSU are included only if they also relate explicitly to Baton Rouge--for example, the papers of an LSU professor who was also active in community organizations and whose papers documented those organizations. Similarly, the papers of individuals in state government are not included unless they also relate explicitly to Baton Rouge.

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James, Francis Henderson. Papers, 1869-1973 (bulk 1909-1960). 1.2 linear ft. Location: UU:74-75, OS:J. Graduate of Louisiana State University (LSU), World War I veteran, and chief engineer at Salzburg Sugar Factory on Salzburg Plantation in St. James Parish, Louisiana. Papers include a diary (1937-1958) kept during his employment as chief engineer in which he recorded formulas, calculations, cane crop data, and administrative notes; a 1915 LSU calendar that includes campus photographs; and family portraits and photographs of him as a cadet at LSU and during his military service; letters and clippings. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4960.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Baton Rouge, LSU

Jastremski, Leon, 1843-1907. Family Papers, 1836-1947. 336 items, 3 ms. vols. Location: W:23, M:21, OS:J, 98:J, Mss.Mf:J. Polish-born Louisiana politician, journalist, and newspaper publisher who served as mayor of Baton Rouge (1876-1882) and United States consul in Callao, Peru (1893-1897). Correspondence pertains to Jastremski's military service in the Civil War, his political career in Baton Rouge, and his term as U.S. Consul in Peru. The collection also contains copies of speeches made by Jastremski, photographs, and prints. Included are three scrapbooks containing clippings and articles about Jastremski's political career. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2951.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Civil War, Baton Rouge, Long Family

Jerrard, Simon G. Papers, 11862-1902 (bulk 1862-1863). 1154 items. Location:C:64-65. Union colonel, 22nd Regiment, Maine Volunteers. Papers consist of military records and some personal papers. Military records relate to the organization, training, movement of the regiment from Maine to Louisiana, via Virginia and to his service under General Nathaniel P. Banks. Personal papers contain Jerrard's history of the 22nd Maine Infantry, which discusses mortality at Camp Banks in Baton Rouge, La., the regiment's role in suppressing African-American uprisings, and the siege of Port Hudson. Also included are appointments to various local and county offices in Maine after the war. For further information, see the online catalog. Mss. 1180, 1266, 1285.

Jewett, Thomas E. Letter, July 7, 1863. 2 items. Location: Misc.:J. Union soldier. Letter [with typed transcription] describes camp life, water levels in Baton Rouge, military engagements, surrender of Port Hudson and the fall of Vicksburg, Miss., Adjutant General's Office, and naval activity on the Mississippi River. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4576.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

John B. Heroman, Sr. Photograph Collection, ca. 1885-1940. 1 cu. ft. Location: 91:2-3, OS:H. Photograph albums, loose photographs, postcards, one tintype, one greeting card, and three printed texts. All materials relate to the Heroman family of Baton Rouge and New Orleans, La. The albums contain images of the Heroman family, Heroman family dwellings in Baton Rouge, scenes around Baton Rouge, and New Orleans Mardi Gras scenes. Four of the loose unassociated album page groups contain Baton Rouge flood images from 1897, 1912. The Cirkut camera panoramic print documents Louisiana State University cadets in formation on the Parade Grounds of the University in its then three year old location in south Baton Rouge, 1928. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4951.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans 1866-, Baton Rouge, LSU

Johnson (Alfred Grima) Collection, 1805-2001 (bulk: 1850-1950). 1.3 linear feet. Locations: 111:7, OS:J. Retired Central Intelligence Agency officer and historic preservationist. Collection consists of correspondence, financial and legal documents, research notes, photographs, and other records pertaining to the Grima, Montegut, Pitot, Foley, and Pugh families of South Louisiana. The records were accumulated for the purpose of studying genealogy and family history. Contains records in both English and French. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 5005.

Johnston, Henry. Letter, 1863. 1 item. Location: Misc. Union soldier in the Civil War. Letter describes the training of his regiment on Long Island, the sea voyage from New York to New Orleans, back upriver to Baton Rouge, and African American soldiers in the Union army. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2466.

Kahao, Mary Jane. Mary Jane Fly Kahao collection of photographs and ephemera, [ca. 1887-1910]. 26 items. Location: UU:250. This collection includes twenty-three photographs from people in the Baton Rouge area. Eight of these portraits were made by Baton Rouge photographer Andrew D. Lytle. Also in the collection are invitations to commencement ceremonies from the LSU Corps of Cadets (1891), Silliman Collegiate Institute (1887), and the S. A. K. Literary Society (1891). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4703.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Education, Baton Rouge, LSU

Kahao, Mary Jane (Mrs. Kenneth). Papers, 1965, 1966. 4 items. Location: Misc. Newspaper clipping from the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate of a biographical article on botanical writer and illustrator Caroline C. Dorman. Correspondence with Dorman chiefly concerns a proposed exhibit of wild flowers and plants at LSU. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2700.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Baton Rouge, LSU

Kennon, Robert Floyd. Papers, 1904-1972 (bulk 1948-1956). 11.5 linear ft., 8 volumes. Location: 6:9-15, OS:K. Minden, Louisiana, attorney, judge, Louisiana Supreme Court justice, and Louisiana governor. Papers include office files, personal correspondence, speeches, photographs, scrapbooks, political campaign materials, and newspaper clippings. The collection pertains to politics, the Democratic Party and Robert Kennon's political career, particularly his term as governor (1952-1956). Some material reflects his military service during World War II and his position on segregation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2719.

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