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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David F. Boyd Hall pencil drawing, circa 1930-1939. 1 drawing. Location: OS:B. A pencil drawing of David F. Boyd Hall on the campus of Louisiana State University. Mss. 265.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, LSU

Davis, E. F., 1841-1899. Papers, 1856-1899 (bulk 1872-1886). 0.25 linear feet. Location: A:72. Baton Rouge businessman who, along with several partners including Thomas B. Brown, formed the Grange Store and the Baton Rouge Cooperative Association. Collection consists of financial and business papers of the Grange Store, meeting minutes of the Baton Rouge Cooperative Association, photocopies of personal letters, and a death and funeral notice. One letter comments on the Civil War in Baton Rouge. Also includes the financial and legal papers of Thomas B. Brown, one of Davis' business partners. These papers consist of ledger sheets and bills for the sale and purchase of cotton, tax receipts, and promissory notes. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4312.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Business, Baton Rouge

Dawson, Mrs. Frank D. Collection, 1925, 1928, undated 4 items. Location: Misc. Papers consist of a program for the laying of the corner stone of the First Methodist Church of Baton Rouge (1925) and Christmas cards from Governors Long and Allen and their families. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1324.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Baton Rouge, Long Family

De Beguer, Emma. Letter, 1869. 1 item [photostat]. Location: Misc.:D. Resident of Baton Rouge. Personal letter by Miss de Beguer to a friend. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 778.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Baton Rouge, French

De Saulby, A. B. Manuscript map of Baton Rouge, ca. 1862. 1 item. Location: Misc.:D. Lieutenant of the Engineer Corps. Ink drawn map of Greenwell Springs Road and parallel Benton Ferry Road to the Comite River and Amite River at Denham Springs, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3623.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Dearborn, J. A. Letter. 1851. 1 item. Location: Misc. Methodist minister. Letter from Dearborn upon his arrival in Baton Rouge from Kentucky, giving a humorous account of travel on the Ohio River and telling of church work in Baton Rouge. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1525.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Transportation, Baton Rouge

Dehn, Adolf. Watercolors, 1943. 2 items. Location: OS:D. 20th century painter and lithographer . Watercolors of the Esso Standard Oil Refinery at Baton Rouge, La., entitled BUTADIENE STORAGE SPHERES AT NIGHT and PIPES LEADING FROM DOCKS TO THE REFINERY. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4497.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Baton Rouge

Derman, Herbert. Scrapbook, 1937-1939. 1 volume. OS:D, AA:. Herbert Derman earned a Bachelor of Science from Louisiana State University in 1941, followed by a medical degree in 1943. Scrapbook contains newspaper clippings dated from 1937-1939. Most are from the Daily Reveille and pertain to the LSU football team. Others concern campus social events, such as speakers, dances, military parades, campus improvements, Homecoming, and political cartoons. Additional newspapers featured include the New Orleans Item and Knoxville News-Sentinel. Due to the fragility of the original, patrons must use digital scans. Mss. 5241.

Referenced in Guides: Education, Baton Rouge, LSU

Desmond, John. Papers, 1954-2003. 140 linear feet. Location: 32:-33:, 148:-149:, Map Cage. Office files, architectural drawings (design development, working, and final), photographs, and slides recording the architectural career of John Desmond, native of Hammond, La. and an award-winning Baton Rouge architect. He designed many of Baton Rouge's most recognizable buildings, including the LSU Union, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, the Louisiana State Library, the Louisiana State Archives, and many area churches. Some business records and informational and promotional materials about the firm are present as well. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4792.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Baton Rouge, LSU

Devall-Hyams Family Papers and Photographs, 1824-1977 (bulk 1906-1913, 1918). 1.5 linear ft., 1 v. Location: T:31-32, J:20. Louisiana sugar planters. Collection consists of personal correspondence, legal documents, genealogies, and family photographs. Papers reflect family matters, personal activities, financial affairs, land transactions, and to a lesser extent the sugarcane crop at Orange Grove Plantation. Letters of Lillie Dickinson, Susie Devall comprise a large portion of the correspondence (1904-1913). Letters by Benjamin Devall concern military life in Georgia during World War II (1918). Photographs include an unidentified African American sugarhouse worker (undated). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4242.

Dixon, Margaret. Scrapbook, 1935-1972. 1 volume. Location: M:21. Native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Dixon was a journalist, editor, and dean of the Louisiana Capitol Press Corps. Scrapbook contains newspaper clippings, photographs, and other items which document Dixon's career as a journalist and editor of the Baton Rouge paper, Morning Advocate. Included are obituaries of Dixon and other posthumously collected materials.  Mss. 3003.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Women, Baton Rouge

Dixon, William Y., 1843-1874. Papers, 1860-1905 (bulk 1860-1874). 14 items (9 ms. vols.). Location: UU:119. Confederate soldier, student. Diaries record the battles at Baton Rouge (Aug. 1862), Vicksburg (1862), and Port Hudson (1863) and casualties suffered. Entries also refer to camp life 1860-1864), transportation of troops by steamboats (1863), diseases among soldiers and civilians (1860-1864), and the involvement of African American soldiers at Port Hudson. Other material relates to his education and financial affairs. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 4. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3423.

Dougherty, J. W., Mrs. Pass, 1865. 1 item. Location:Misc.:D. Pass issued by Headquarters, Northern Division of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, April 21, 1865, to pass the lines and return. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, Baton Rouge

Dougherty, John A., b. 1809. Papers, 1861-1890. 8 ms. vols. and 1 item (on 1 microfilm reel). Location: Mss.Mf:D. Native of New York, plantation owner, and prominent citizen of Baton Rouge. Dougherty served as a police juror and as president of the New Board of Control of the penitentiary. Six diaries of Dougherty and two receipt books, one of which belonged to A. T. Prescott. Diary entries report on family, neighbors, acquaintances, and associates; historical events and personages; social activities; and government, law, and health. Also included are entries reporting on the cotton and sugar plantation economy; climate; and dreams. Noteworthy are the entries pertaining to the Civil War and the daily notations on weather. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3528.

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

Doussan Family Papers, 1827-1872. 94 items. Location: U:300. Correspondence, financial papers, and personal papers of members of the Doussan family (primarily Antoine Doussan, Louise Perrin Doussan, and Auguste Doussan) of East and West Baton Rouge Parishes, Louisiana, and France. Correspondence of Charles de Rabars of Bordeaux, France, is also included, as is a letter from General Baron Joachim Ambert. Most documents reflect the Doussans' planting operations in West Baton Rouge Parish; their financial and legal transactions in Louisiana and France; family activities, interests, and concerns; and the experience of French emigres in Louisiana as they encountered Anglo-American culture and society. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4800.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Women, Business, Baton Rouge, French

Dubreuil, L. Document, 1823. 1 item. Location: Misc. Affidavit by L. Dubreuil in support of the claim of John Poret to ownership of houses in Baton Rouge near the fort from which he had been evacuated by military forces under the command of General Wade Hampton. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 936.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Duchein (Annie), b. ca. 1872. Sketchbook, 1870, 1886-1887. 1 vol. Location: J:25. Resident of East Baton Rouge Parish. Sketchbook contains drawings of local buildings, animals, authors, and historical figures. Mss. 4751.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Baton Rouge

Dumas, Woody, 1917-1993, interviewee, Radio interview. 1 sound cassette (1 hour); index (2 p.). Mayor-President of Baton Rouge (1964-1980). Interview discusses local economy, airports, and city planning. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0011.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Baton Rouge

Duncan, Abner L. Papers, 1825-1866 (bulk 1841-1862) 13 items. Location: Misc.:D. Planter of Baton Rouge, La. Correspondence between Abner L. Duncan and his relatives concerning the management of his late father's estates, the deaths of family members, and issues of inheritance among family members. Also included is an exchange of letters between Leon Bonnecaze, the French vice consul at Baton Rouge, and David Farragut of the U.S. Navy, regarding the bombardment of Baton Rouge on May 28, 1862. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4199.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War, Baton Rouge

Duncan, Lucius C. Letter, 1822. 1 item. Location: MISC:D. Resident of New Orleans. Letter by Duncan to Rufus Flynt, who had befriended him while at school in Monson, Massachusetts, tells of visiting at the cotton plantation of his uncle, Colonel Abner Duncan, near Baton Rouge. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1334.