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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Stewart, Ashton L. Papers, 1790-1967. 0.6 linear ft. Location: 91:29. Lawyer for the law suit of the Recreation and Park Commission for East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, versus Al. H. German. Papers include correspondence, manuscript documents, Baton Rouge maps, and legal documents. There are also five color photographs of Magnolia Mound Plantation house and grounds. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2445.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Baton Rouge

Stones, Margaret. Native flora of Louisiana collection, 1974-2014, undated. 2.3 linear ft. Location: 42:, 43:57. Internationally known British botanical artist. Items pertain to Margaret Stones' work on the Native Flora of Louisiana watercolors and their subsequent exhibition and reproduction for Louisiana State University. Items include correspondence, memoranda, planning documents, printed materials, and photographs. Collection is unprocessed, and some materials are restricted. Mss. 4781. 

Referenced in Guides: Women, Baton Rouge, LSU

Stopher, Henry Wallace. Papers, 1882-1944 (bulk 1914-1940). 1.5 linear ft., 1 volume. Location: UU:134-135, OS:S. Head of the Department of Music and later Director of the School of Music, Louisiana State University (1915-1940). Collection includes Stopher's correspondence and related papers and his records during the period he was associated with LSU. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2224.

Stovall, James L. Papers, 1989-1992. 6.6 linear ft., 2 sound cassettes. Location: 10:67-70. Methodist minister of Baton Rouge. Papers include personal files related to the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism and documents related to David Duke. Includes correspondence, information sheets, advertisements, press releases, reports, speeches by Duke, and clippings. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4467.

Stumberg, Jo, 1902-, interviewee. Oral history interview, 1978. Transcript (109 pages); 2 sound cassettes (1 hour, 50 minutes). Location: L:4700.0061. Baton Rouge educator. Interview discusses campus life, Strumberg's first Master's thesis on women's occupations in Baton Rouge, and her career as elementary school teacher and LSU teacher. She mentions being fired by Huey Long, the expansion of LSU, and the status of women in 1920-1930s. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0061.

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

Survey Collection, 1786-1928. 2 linear ft, 1 mf reel. Location: E:106-107, OS:S, Mss. Mf:S. Collection consists of land surveys, chiefly by Spanish surveyors, in central, south, and southeastern Louisiana, including East Baton Rouge Parish and Orleans Parish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 552, 743, 933, 936, 955, 961. Container list.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, New Orleans to 1861, Baton Rouge

Suydam, G. H. Photograph collection, 1845-1864 (bulk 1863-1864). 26 items. Location: E:73, MISC:S, 98:Suydam. Captain in the 162nd New York Volunteers in the Civil War. Photographs depicting occupied Baton Rouge, Farragut's fleet, and a Union military headquarters and hospital, probably taken by Baton Rouge photographers McPherson and Oliver. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1394.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge, Medicine

Suydam, George H. Correspondence, 1861-1899, undated (bulk: 1863-1865). 1.2 linear ft. Location: E:72. Collection is comprised of correspondence received by George H. Suydam before, while, and after he served as a lieutenant and captain in the United States Army during the Civil War. Letters were received from family members and friends. Topics include information about daily life, family life, the war, and other current events. Collection also contains some printed materials. Mss. 5307.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, Baton Rouge, African Americans

Sykes, George. Letter, 1868 August 29. 1 item. Location: Misc.:S. Career United States Army officer. Letter written from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, addressed to General Charles P. Kingsbury concerning the murder of Dr. Brannan by Lieutenant McFee at the Baton Rouge Barracks. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3196.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Tate, General Foster Joseph. Photograph album, circa 1920-1929. 0.20 linear ft. Location: 65:2. Foster Joseph Tate was a field artillery officer who commanded a division in Italy during World War II and was awarded the Legion of Merit for his service. The photograph album (unbound) contains 103 black and white gelatin silver prints mounted on paper showing scenes from several locations in Louisiana during the 1920s. Mss. 4963.

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

Taylor, Cecil G., 1909- interviewee, Oral history interview. 12 sound cassettes (14 hours), Transcript (590 p.). LSU French professor, assistant to the president, dean of arts and sciences, and chancellor. In a series of 8 interviews, Taylor describes his career as a French professor and administrator at LSU. He describes his family background, his education at the University of North Carolina, and his French language studies and Cajun French. He also describes Baton Rouge beginning in the 1930s, Huey Long and Louisiana politics, and the desegregation of education in Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0071.

Taylor, John M. (John McCarthney), d. 1867. Papers, 1861-1866. 4 items. Location: Misc.:T. Editor of the Baton Rouge Advocate and captain of the Baton Rouge Rangers, mustered into the Confederate army as Company B, 1st Louisiana Cavalry, during the Civil War. Papers consist of a bond issued by the Police Jury of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, for the purpose of arming and equipping Taylor's company; and a U.S. Internal Revenue license issued for the occupation of manufacturer. Other items include a tax receipt issued to A. Monton, Jr., by the Board of Education for Freedmen for 1864 taxes in East Baton Rouge Parish; and a Confederate States tax receipt. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Tennant, William W. Picture collection, circa 1905-1909. 15 items. Location: U:238, OS:T. Photographs of LSU cadets; post card of LSU football team; and colored post cards of LSU Bird's eye view, Garig Hall, Louisiana State Capitol (old), and Governor's Mansion. Also includes a panoramic photographs of the cadets outside of the Pentagon Barracks of the old campus. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2063.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, LSU

Tessier Buildings invitation and porgram, 1978. 2 items. Location: Misc.:T. Judge Charles Tessier was owner and resident of the Tessier Buildings. Program and invitation for the dedication of plaques noting their designation as historic buildings by the National Register of Historic Places. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3393.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Tessier, Charles. Papers, 1810-1848. 26 items. Location: A:63. Parish judge in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Papers of Charles Tessier include a set of letters in French written by Tessier and J. Soulie, a representative of the firm Tanneret & Gourgon, concerning a court case involving a property dispute with a Mr. Dubreuil; letters from John Nicholson concerning Tessier's stewardship of the Baton Rouge branch of the Carrollton Bank of New Orleans; a cadastral map showing property owned by Tessier; and a letter of friendly salutations from Richard Raynal Keene. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 238.

The People, (Baton Rouge, La.), 1903 Oct. 12. 1 item (v. 33 cm.). Location: OS:P. Issue of "The People", a Baton Rouge newspaper, supporting General Leon Jastremski for governor of Louisiana in the Democratic primary. Other candidates announced include William G. Randolph for sheriff and Charles F. Ratcliff for representative from East Baton Rouge Parish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1155.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Baton Rouge

The Reviewers Records, 1920-2015 (bulk: 1960-1970).  0.6 linear feet.  Location: 6:64.  Minutes, bylaws, officer lists, and yearbooks of The Reviewers, a Baton Rouge women's book discussion club organized in 1920.  Mss. 5195. 

Referenced in Guides: Women, Baton Rouge

Thom, Evelyn. Papers, 1768-2005, undated (bulk 1960-2005). 5.5 linear ft. Location: 119:8-10, OS:T. A local historian and historic preservationist of Baton Rouge, La. Papers consist of photographs, newspaper clippings, correspondence, genealogical charts, meeting minutes, and publications. Subjects include Baton Rouge history, prominent Baton Rouge individuals and families, and historic preservation and restoration of historic properties in Baton Rouge. Mss. 5079.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Baton Rouge

Thompson, Josie. Papers, 1939-1995 (bulk 1946-1949). 1.25 linear ft. Location: X:14. Louisiana State University alumna and press correspondent for United Press International, who covered the Nuremberg Military Tribunals (1946-1949). Collection primarily consists of her typed reports of the trials and other events in post-WWII Germany. Also included are photographs, legal briefs, and personal items. Mss. 5046.

Thorn, (Jesse) Dale, (1942-2014) 1978-2013 (bulk 1981-1986) 1.25 linear feet. Location 43:69.

The materials in the Dale Thorn Papers consist of legal documents related to US v. Louisiana and the establishment of a higher education consent decree, professional writings and journal articles related to higher education administration, photographs and drafts for a book written by Thorn, greeting cards and materials from the Public Relations Society of America.

Dale Thorn was a journalist, press secretary, director of higher education in Louisiana and a journalism professor at LSU. He was born on October 7, 1942 in Brandon, Mississippi. He taught at LSU and was press secretary to Edwin Edwards during his first two terms as governor. He died on May 8, 2014.

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