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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Mississippi River Map Collection, ca. 1858-1878. 19 items, 1 manuscript volume, 4 CD ROMS and 1 microfilm reel. Location: OS:M, M:29, Mss.Mf:M., AA:(CD-ROM shelf). Loose manuscript maps of the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge to Jefferson Parish and land along the river, showing land parcels, landings, land ownership, and changes in the course of the river, and a bound volume of cut and pasted in maps of the Mississippi River from above Vicksburg to New Orleans, showing land parcels, land ownership, and landings. Included in the volume are pieces of Marie Adrien Persac's NORMANS CHART OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER FROM NATCHEZ TO NEW ORLEANS IN 1858. These maps depict the Mississippi River from above Vicksburg to New Orleans, showing land parcels, land ownership and plantation names, and landings For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4818.

Monget, Joseph William. Papers, 1898-1944 (bulk 1912). 0.5 linear feet, 13 volumes. Location: W:16, J:29. Civil engineer and surveyor of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Diaries record professional activities and travel. Collection includes photographs of the Mississippi River flood of 1912 and efforts at flood control near New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2929.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans 1866-, Baton Rouge

Montan, Douglass C. Collection, circa 1860-1896. 4 items. Location: Misc. Baton Rouge author and businessman. Newspaper obituary and photographs of Douglass C. Montan and a photograph of his wife, Isabel Montan. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1501.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Baton Rouge, Literature

Moore, Thomas O. Papers, 1832-1977 (bulk 1856-1871). 711 items and 1 microfilm reel. Location: H:3, OS:M, MF:5322, MSS.MF:M, U:231. Sugar planter of Rapides Parish, Louisiana; member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and state Senate; and governor of Louisiana for most of the Civil War (1860-1864). Moore fled Louisiana after the Civil War but later returned. Papers include personal correspondence, business papers, and political and legal documents. Antebellum materials include slave sales and accounts of physicians treating slaves. Papers from 1859 to 1871 deal largely with Moore's political activities. They include gubernatorial papers concerning his nomination, the Democratic Party, the transport of the state archives from Baton Rouge, the Louisiana Secession Convention, and other matters. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 2, Reels 18-19. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 305, 893, 1094.

Moore, W. Henson, 1939-, Papers 1974-1994. 383 linear feet. Location: Remote Storage IMWHM. Correspondence, political files, legislative files, speeches, press releases, photographs, campaign materials, and press clippings of W. Henson Moore, Republican Congressman from Louisiana who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975-1987. Unprocessed. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4100.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Baton Rouge

Moreno, Manuel. Letters, 1849, 1854. 2 letters. Location: Misc. The May 30, 1854, letter from Thomas J. Cooley, judge of the Ninth Judicial District Court, conveys instructions for his imminent visit to Baton Rouge to hear recused cases. The July 11, 1849, letter is from Havana, Cuba, and is written in Spanish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 238.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, Baton Rouge

Morgan Family Papers, 1772-1941 (bulk 1827-1911). 220 items, 7 vols. Location: Y:83, H:22. Planters and jurists of Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Thomas Gibbes Morgan was a lawyer and judge. James Morris Morgan was a lawyer, planter, and journalist involved in politics. Relatives include the Frellsen, Hicky, Erksine, and Bunyan families. Correspondence, genealogical notes, family histories, and other papers document the Morgan, Frellsen, and related families. An autobiography by Margaret Benson Erksine (1840) describes her captivity with Shawnee Indians in Kentucky. Included is a grounds survey of the Baton Rouge State Capitol (1847) and a contract for the construction of a levee on Fairview Plantation, St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2090.

Morgan, Henry Gibbes, 1843-1925. Letter, 1863 September 24. 1 item. Location: Misc:M. Confederate soldier in the 13th Louisiana Infantry during the Civil War. Letter written from Port Hudson, Louisiana, to Morgan's mother, Mrs. Caroline Morgan of Baton Rouge. The letter concerns the location and use of the family's hired hands, Morgan's stay at Port Hudson, and his association with Captain C. E. Fenner. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2035.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Morgan, Philip Hicky, 1825-1900. Letter, 1865 June 16. 1 item. Location: Misc:M. Lawyer of Baton Rouge. He worked in partnership with his father, Thomas Gibbes Morgan. Morgan's letter to his cousin, Morris Barker Morgan of Providence, Rhode Island, relates plans for sending his cousin, Henry Gibbes Morgan, to New York to stay with family. The letter describes Henry's condition after his service in the Civil War. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2035.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Morgan, Thomas Gibbes, 1799-1861. Letters, 1859,1861. 5 items. Location: Misc:M. Baton Rouge lawyer and judge. Morgan's letters to his nephew in providence, Rhode Island, describe the death and funeral of his grandfather, Philip Hicky of Hope Estate. Letters (1861) refer to the appointment of his son, James Morris Morgan, as a midshipman in the Confederate navy. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2090.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Moyse-Gottlieb-Sommer Family Papers, 1886-1986 (bulk 1910-1960). 3 linear ft., 2 v. Location: U:317, OS:M, M:19. Members of the Moyse, Gottlieb, and Sommer families were predominantly merchants, businessmen, and bankers in Louisiana, primarily Baton Rouge. Correspondence, financial documents, photographs, printed items, scrapbooks, and writings reflect the personal and professional lives of a Jewish family from the 1880s to the 1980s. Central topics include Hermann Moyse Sr.'s involvement in the First World War and his employment at City National Bank, the educational activities of Ray and Lydie Sommer, and the family's association with Temple B'nai Israel. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4671.

Murphy, Carolyn. Bound manuscript, 1967. 1 vol. (on microfilm). Location: Mss. Mf.:M. Graduate student in the Department of History, Louisiana State University. Term paper of 38 pages, 38 plates, and two maps, on Longwood Plantation in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2228.

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

Murrill, Paul, 1934-, interviewee. Radio interview, 1975. 1 sound cassette (1.5 hours), Transcript (26 pages). Location: L:4700.0049. Chancellor of LSU. Interview broadcast on WJBO's radio program TOPIC TODAY. Murrill responds to questions on the topics of increasing student enrollment in vocationally-oriented programs, housing and fee increases at LSU, and funding for higher education in Louisiana. He also answered questions on the topics of educational achievement of students, standardized testing, employment opportunities for graduates, and broad goals of higher education. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0049.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Myers, W. G. Letter, 1865 March 26. 1 item. Location: Misc.:M. Federal surgeon stationed at the U.S. army general hospital in Baton Rouge in the Civil War. Letter giving detailed information concerning the city of Baton Rouge and describing the plantation area along the Mississippi River in Southeastern Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1506.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War, Baton Rouge, Medicine

Nicholls, Francis T., 1834-1912. Letter, 1889 October 14. 2 items. Location: Misc.:N Confederate general in the Civil War and governor of Louisiana (1877-1880). Letter written from the Executive Department, Baton Rouge, refutes a wartime rumor that Nicholls had been arrested as a spy. Included is a small portrait of Nicholls in military uniform (undated). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3035.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Civil War, Baton Rouge

Old State Capitol interior photograph, circa 1915. 1 item. Location: E:68. Photograph depicting four persons seated at a table, identified are Turner Merritt, Ben Burnett, and Henry Jastremski, probably in the Louisiana State Land Office. Part of the Picture Collection. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3730.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Page, Frank Crawford. Papers, 1923-1972, undated. 0.5 linear ft. Location: W:135, OS:P. Organist and professor of music at LSU, originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Papers include correspondence, notes, and printed materials related to teaching activities, recitals, general music studies, pipe organ specifications, church music, and limericks. Mss. 2837.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Education, Baton Rouge, LSU

Paille, Clara. Copy book, 1911. 1 ms. vol. (on microfilm). Location: Mss. Mf.:P. Student of St. Joseph's Academy in Baton Rouge. Copy book containing essays on various subjects including race, Louisiana history, geometry, and architecture, illustrated with original drawings. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2711.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Education, Baton Rouge, African Americans

Paine, Halbert E. General orders no. 6, 1862 August 12. 1 item. Location:E:74. Military order issued from the headquarters of the 2nd brigade of the 19th U.S. Army Corps in Baton Rouge, La. It states that citizens are to be allowed within brigade lines only by written permission, that brigade officers must communicate the order to those their successors, that firearms should not be discharged except as required in the regular performance of military duties, and that officers in the brigade should remain in camp. Part of the United States Army Collection. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3365.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Palfrey Family Papers, 1776-1918. (bulk 1806-1875). 388 items; 21 vols. Location: 77:89, H:22, Mss.Mf:P, 99. Family of planters, businessmen, politicians, public servants and author. Papers of John Palfrey (1768-1843) relate chiefly to the operation of Forlorn Hope Plantation, education of his sons, War of 1812, and reflect plantation life. Topics include the trade embargo, West Florida Controversy and the capture of Baton Rouge, War of 1812, slavery, cotton and salt production, and banking. Family papers pertain to Civil War battles, plantation economics, Confederate government, and Reconstruction. Papersof William Palfrey concern Ricahoc Plantation and a partnership David Weeks. They also discuss the Clinton and Port Hudson Railroad Company (1841-1842). Some items in French and Spanish. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 6061 and 5322: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 6, Reel 12; Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series I, Part 1, Reels 1-4. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 333, 334, 1409, 1442, 1632, 2076, 2580, 2773, 2857.