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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Cale, John G. (John Gustav), 1922-. Abstract, 1967. 1 item. Location: Misc.:C. Genealogical data on the Henri Fourrier family of Baton Rouge taken from a paper by Cale, which he gave at an American Musicological Society meeting in New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2304.

Canaday, Nicholas. Papers,1960-1982 (bulk 1960). 31 items. Location: Misc:C. Professor of English at Louisiana State University and a citizen activist. Photocopies of newspaper clippings and letters about desegregation and the public schools in Baton Rouge and statements and speeches by Canaday as leader of the Citizens' Committee and the Organization for Public Education Now (OPEN). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4773.

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

Cannon, Andrew and family Papers, 1829-1868, undated (1850-1862). 110 items. Location 11:15, OS:C. Andrew Jerome Cannon family of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, employee at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. Correspondence related to professional, personal business, and family life in Baton Rouge, as well as the Civil War. Financial papers consisting of bills, invoices, promissory notes, and receipts are also present. For further information, see online catalog, Mss. 4979.

Carnegie, S. Steve. Papers, 1929-1969. 8.5 linear feet. Location 91:43-47. Contract civil engineer and resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Papers include engineering files, correspondence, subject files, personnel files, and photographic materials which document civil engineering and construction projects in Baton Rouge and other Louisiana towns. Towns include Amite, Baldwin, Bogalusa, Crowley, Independence, Morgan City, Plaquemine, Port Allen, Rayne, St. Martinville, Slidell, Sulphur, and Vinton. Projects include sewerage and sanitation works, highway construction, subdivision plans, parks, and public facilities. Photographic materials consist of photographic prints, negatives, and 16mm motion picture films depicting engineering and construction work and Carnegie's personal life. Some films depict flooding in Baton Rouge, hurricane Camille, and LSU football. Mss. 2531.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Baton Rouge, LSU

Carondelet, Luis Héctor barón de. Papers, 1791-1819 (bulk 1792-1796). 11 items. Location: MISC:C, VAULT:32, VAULT MRDF 10. Francisco L. H. Carondelet, Spanish governor of Louisiana from 1792 to 1797. Letters address the debts of Nicolas Forstall and Guillermo Armand and securing a passport for Ygnacio Maria Spiller. Official issues include the boundary between Avoyelles and Rapides districts and completion of an inventory of military records. Included is a copy of sixteen rules of commerce by Carondelet and Andres Lopez Armesto governing the trade of the Spanish colonies (1793). In French and Spanish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 59.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, New Orleans 1866-, Baton Rouge, French

Causey, R. J. Correspondence, 1863. 4 items. Location: Misc:C. Letters from Causey's wife comment on a riot near Tickfaw involving African Americans, Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana; Confederate farm taxes; and transportation difficulties of sending cotton to Baton Rouge. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2133.

Cavalleria rusticana opera scrapbook, circa 1936-1937. 1 volume. Location: T:98. Contains a program for the opera Cavalleria rusticana and a recital of modern dance, performed during the 1936-1937 Louisiana State University Opera Season by the School of Music and the Dance Center, sponsored by The Baton Rouge Grand Opera Association. Scrapbook also contains black and white photographic prints (portraits) of the opera's cast, including Marcella Uhl as Lola. Mss. 5380.

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

Cazayoux Family Papers, 1929-1999 (bulk 1939-1979). 1.3 linear ft., 7 v. Location: UU:289-291, J:24, OS:C. Catholic family of Baton Rouge, La., includes Rev. Clair Cazayoux, a Jesuit priest, teacher and, and missionary; Gene Cazayoux, Catholic brother; librarian Vivian Cazayoux; and Drs. Francis and Robert Cazayoux. Papers consist of correspondence, sermons, church publications, travel pamphlets, speeches, and scrapbooks, reflecting careers, education, and the Catholic Church. Collection also offers insight into the political events and social conditions in Ceylon and India, and the U.S. military involvement in Korea during the 1950s and early 1960s. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4827.

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

Cazes, Bertrand. Papers, 1863-1864. 4 items. Location: Misc.:C. The collection consists of four documents, mostly in French, pertaining to the purchase, sale, and storage of cotton by Bertrand Cazes in Natchitoches Parish, Avoyelles Parish, and West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Mss. 5311.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Chadbourne, Danville S. Letters, 1862-1863. 13 items. Location: C:72. Private in the 22nd Maine Infantry in the Civil War. Chadbourne's letters relate his experiences while stationed in Louisiana as part of General Nathaniel Banks' army at Baton Rouge, Donaldsonville, Morgan City, Washington, and Port Hudson. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1128.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Chandler, Thomas W. Papers, 1983-1985. 2.8 linear feet. Location: 48:22-23, OS:C. The collection contains materials gathered for Chandler’s landscape architecture thesis analyzing one-hundred ninety identified residences in Spanish Town, the oldest neighborhood in Baton Rouge, La. (established 1805).  The thesis was completed in 1985. The materials consist of completed and uncompleted questionnaires used to survey residents, audio tapes of interview with residents, color photographic prints and negatives of the residences, black & white photographic negatives and contact sheets, and black & white photographic prints used as illustrations in the thesis. Printed materials include items created for an exhibition associated with the thesis, three Spanish Town newsletters, and a “presentation copy” of the thesis itself.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Chase, George W., Correspondence. 4 items. Resident of Baton Rouge (1846) and later of Danville, Maine. Letter to Chase by Andrew White describes his journey from New Orleans to General Zachary Taylor's headquarters at Matamoros, Mexico (1846). Baton Rouge letters from other Chase associates deal with local people and events. Topics in these letters include the new Jesuit College and visits to Baton Rouge by presidents Zachary Taylor and James K. Polk. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1310, 1398.

Chatsworth Plantation store records, 1865-1893. 0.7 linear ft. Location: 33:33. Plantation in Louisiana purchased by the Gardere family in 1866 and managed by Fergus Gardere until 1895. Gardere also operated a cotton gin in partnership with Joseph Staring in the 1880s. Papers relate to the operation of the store and plantation at Chatsworth, and to the Gardere and Staring families. They include store ledgers recording accounts and payrolls. There is also material from a plantation journal in French and English. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4589.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Baton Rouge, French

City of Baton Rouge and Louisiana State University Coordinating Committee. Records, 1958-1973. 0.1 linear ft. Location: MISC:C. Established on July 26, 1972 by the Baton Rouge City Council. Records include correspondence, meeting minutes, agendas, resolutions, and memoranda of the Committee mainly related to the creation of bicycle paths around campus. Mss. 5368.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Baton Rouge, LSU

Claiborne, William C. C. (William Charles Cole). Order, 1814 Feb. 18. 1 item [photocopy]. Location: MISC:C. Governor of the Territory of Orleans, first governor of the State of Louisiana. Order to Charles Tessier, commander of the militia regiment of Baton Rouge, directs him to bring his men to New Orleans to join U.S. military forces there. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2674.

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

Clark, Samuel M. D. Ledgers and papers, 1826-1869. 46 items, 3 vols. Location: M:25, C:76. Jeweler in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, in the 1820s, and Justice of the Peace for West Baton Rouge Parish in the 1840s and 1850s. Collection includes three ledgers containing jewelry business and Justice of the Peace records. Miscellaneous materials include receipts, court records, and oaths. Partly in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3169.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Business, Baton Rouge, French

Coates, Charles E. and Ollie Maurin. Family Papers, 1862-1980 (bulk 1937-1972). 17.5 linear ft. Location: 12:15-23, OS:C. LSU professor of Chemistry. Correspondence, printed items, photographs, and writings of Charles Coates; and papers documenting Charles Coates and Ollie Coates involvement in Baton Rouge theater and pageantry. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3579.

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

Coates, Raymond, 1875-1965. Manuscript music, 1953, 1956, undated 9 items. Location: 65:82. Composer and music teacher of Baton Rouge. Seven compositions of Raymond Coates, a composer and music teacher of Baton Rouge, La., and two copies of Felix Mendelssohn's "Concerto for the Violin" (Op. 64). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2382, 2406.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Education, Baton Rouge

Coco family. Papers, circa 1885-2009 (bulk 1964-2008). 12 linear ft., 1 compact disc. Location: AA:, OS:C, X:4-13. Residents of Mansura, Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana. Materials include personal and professional correspondence, printed items, personal papers, recordings (available for access on compact disc), and photographic items. Personal correspondence pertains primarily to the lives of Merlin, Lucy, Greg, and Linda. Major topics include family life and local matters in Mansura, the education of Greg and Lucy, and Greg's enlistment in the U.S. Army and activities in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Professional correspondence documents mostly Greg's career as a park ranger in Gettysburg. Printed items, personal papers, and photographic items pertain chiefly to Coco family history and the lives of the aforementioned Coco family members. Recordings were created by Greg while in Vietnam and document his experiences there. Mss. 5019.

Cohn, Margie de Bretton and Family. Papers, 1945-1982, undated (bulk 1945-1968). 1 linear foot. Location: E:122. Primarily papers of Maggie deBretton Cohn and daughter Margie, both of Baker, La. Includes writings, correspondence, and miscellaneous files related to Maggie deBretton Cohn's writing, and Margie deBretton Cohn's English translation of an 1828 German text describing travelling through the Mississippi River Valley. Letters to Margie while a student at LSU are included, as well as religious writings by other family members and items related to the family's 1964 donation of the Laurens Henry Cohn Sr. Memorial Plant Arboretum to the Baton Rouge Recreation and Park Commission. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 4472.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Women, Baton Rouge, LSU, Literature

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