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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Duplantier, Armand Family Letters, 1777-1859. 95 items. Location: D:62. Armand Duplantier was a planter and owner of Magnolia Mound Plantation, La. Duplantier Family Letters contain items from four generations of the Duplantier family, including Armand Duplantier, his uncle Claude Trénonay, Armand’s son Armand Allard Duplantier, and granddaughter Amélie Augustine Duplantier Peniston. The letters relate to Louisiana under the French, Spanish, and Americans and the economic, political, and social conditions attendant on transitioning among the three powers; commerce with France; the succession of Trénonay; attitudes about the French Revolution; slavery and plantation matters; family news such as illness, births, deaths, and the education of Duplantier’s children; and travels in France by Amélie Duplantier. Mss. 5060.

East Baton Rouge aerial photographs, 1912 May 12. 2 items. Location: OS:B. J. G. Ewing photograph, in duplicate, giving a panoramic aerial view of the Mississippi river shoreline. The caption reads: 'Baton Rouge during record high water from the fighting top of the USS Nebraska'. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3415.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

East Baton Rouge Parish ward book, circa 1900-1960. 1 ms. vol. Location: M:21. Alphabetical list of persons living in Wards One through Ten of East Baton Rouge Parish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1397.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

East Baton Rouge Parish aerial photographs, 1964. .5 linear ft. Location: V:65. Photographs. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4474.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

East Baton Rouge Parish School Board. Teacher's contract, 1923. 1 printed item. Location: E:Imprints. Contract signed by public school teachers listing monthly salary and terms of employment, including required standards of personal behavior. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3000.

Referenced in Guides: Education, Baton Rouge

East Baton Rouge Parish Volunteer Fund letter, 1861. 1 item. Location: E:Imprints. Printed letter from the corresponding committee of the Volunteer Fund for Confederate volunteers, appealing for gifts of various articles to be sold at some public place in Baton Rouge. Names of members of various committees are listed. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1415.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Edgerton, Claude Wilbur. Photograph collection, circa 1920-1965. 0.1 linear ft. Location: T:72. Professor at Louisiana State University (LSU) in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology. Collection is comprised of contact sheets created from 35mm nitrate film negatives. Contact sheets are arranged and labeled according their original roll numbers and contain images depicting the following: a parade celebrating Huey P. Long's election as governor of Louisiana (roll 5); Long visiting the LSU College of Agriculture and crops (rolls 6 , 10, and 101A); crops, U.S. service persons, and various buildings on LSU campus (rolls 101B, 101C, and 101D); Long's funeral services (rolls 102 and 103); and Long's inauguration ceremony as governor of Louisiana (roll 115). Additionally, there are photographic prints of select images from the rolls. Mss. 4033.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Baton Rouge, LSU, Long Family

Edwards, Marianne. Letters, 1855-1866 (bulk 1855-1863). 72 items. Location: U:239. Marianne Edwards, formerly of Evansville, Indiana, was the wife of Guy M. Edwards, a Massachusetts sea captain. She took voyages from Boston to New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Letters concern voyages to New Orleans, France, and Spain, among others. Letters (1862-1863) about a voyage along the lower Mississippi River, describe conditions during the Union occupation of New Orleans and the Battle of Port Hudson. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1850.

Elam, James Essex, 1829-1873. Papers, 1846-1853 (bulk 1846-1852). 3 items; 1 vol. Location: H:15, Misc:E, OS:E. Mostly letters to former Baton Rouge mayor and Judge James Essex Elam pertain primarily to family news, but some also relate to national political affairs, local events and conditions in Baton Rouge, the Mexican War, the California gold rush, and antebellum college life. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 672, 2464.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Baton Rouge

Elks, Benevolent and Protective Order of Baton Rouge, no. 490. Letter and dues notice, 1915. 2 items. Location: Misc.E. The Elks lodge in Baton Rouge, La. was chartered on May 20, 1899 with twenty-five members, and constructed its own theater and office building at the corner of Third and Florida Streets in 1900. Comprised of a letter and dues notice for John J. Mundinger from the Elks Lodge in Baton Rouge. For more information, see online catalog. Mss. 4961.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Evans, J. Bruce, Papers, 1614-2005 (bulk 1930-1990). 31.5 linear ft., 26 v. Location: 92:82-109; OS:E; J:34-35; Vault:1. Baptist minister, religious counselor and civil rights activist. Correspondence, church records, sermons, workshop materials, printed items, photographs and audio tapes reflect Evans's ministerial career in Baton Rouge, La., at First Baptist Church and Fellowship Church. Personal papers [some items in French], business records and genealogical material document the ancestry of Evans and his wife, Anita Louise, and provide insight into the personal lives of family members. Papers also furnish histories of Bienville and Natchitoches parishes and Saline, La., and relate to Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve and to Dormon's activities as a naturalist. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4664.

Ewing Studio Inc. Baton Rouge photographs, 1925-1929. 14 gelatin silver photographic prints, 16 copy prints. Location: 65:5. These 14 images document locales around Baton Rouge, La. Copy prints are of originals. Mss. 3961.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, LSU

Ewing Studio Inc. Photographs of Henry L. Fuqua's inauguration, 1924 May 24. 3 gelatin silver prints. Location: MISC:E. Prints are of Henry L. Fuqua's inauguration as governor of Louisiana. One photograph shows Fuqua giving his inaugural address in front of the Old State Capitol. Another photograph shows the Louisiana State University Marching Band performing during the inaugural parade, and another photograph shows the USS Richmond's Sailor's Band performing during the inaugural parade. Both band are marching past Hotel Alvis. Mss. 5322.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Performing arts, Baton Rouge

Ewing, Inc. American Red Cross nurses at Louisiana's Old State Capitol photograph, circa 1910-1930. 1 panoramic photograph. Location: 104:-105:. Group shot of American Red Cross nurses outside of the Old State Capitol. African-American nurses are standing at the right side of the group. Mss. 5372.

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

Ewing, Jasper G. & Sons, Inc. Photographs and papers, circa 1930-1949 (bulk 1930-1939). 1.5 linear feet. Location: 11:18. Jasper G. Ewing was a Baton Rouge based photographer. His company is listed in the city directory from 1913 to 1945. He ran the photography studio and audiovisual equipment business with his sons after 1936. This collection contains photographs, negatives, and printed materials from their time in Baton Rouge. Mss. 3141.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, LSU

Falk, Myron, interviewee, Oral history interview, 1995. 1 sound cassette (.5 hours), transcript (9 p.). Location: L:4700.0723. Former director of the United Way in Baton Rouge and a writer and advocate of social welfare who endowed a scholarship in the School of Journalism at LSU. The interview describes transients in Baton Rouge during the Depression, the Old Penitentiary Receiving Station, Community Chest, and his role as director of the United Givers Fund and the United Way. He also describes cooperation between the Salvation Army and Volunteers of America (VOA), funding for VOA, and the role of women in VOA. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0723

Referenced in Guides: Women, Baton Rouge, LSU

Fauver, Eleanor Dalrymple, interviewee. Oral history interview, 1977. Transcript (80 pages), 2 sound cassettes (1 hour, 35 minutes). Location: L:4700.0016. Daughter of Dr. William Dalrymple, who taught Veterinary Medicine at LSU in the early 1900's. Interview contains Eleanor Dalrymple Fauver's recollections of her father's childhood in England and their life in Louisiana. Includes information related to William Dalrymple's career at LSU, including relations with Thomas Boyd and James Nicholson. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0016.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Baton Rouge, LSU

Favrot, H. L. Account book, 1888. 1 ms. vol. Location: G:6. Resident of Port Allen, West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, and dealer in groceries and drygoods. Indexed ledger of H. L. Favrot. G:6. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 475.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Baton Rouge

Favrot, Joseph St. Clair, 1872-1943. Family Papers, 1900-1924. 25 items. Location: UU:73. The Favrot family (Joseph, Beverly, and Joseph, Jr.) was active in amateur theater productions in Baton Rouge. Papers include Baton Rouge theater programs and other ephemeral printed material; and six photographs, some by A. D. Lytle, depicting Baton Rouge scenes, including some Civil War scenes. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3317.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Civil War, Baton Rouge

Favrot, Pedro. Papers, 1799, 1804. 2 items. Location: Misc:F. Resident of the District of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Land grant (copy) issued to Don Pedro Favrot, 1799; and attestation of the grant, 1804. In Spanish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 668.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, Baton Rouge

Feitel, Henry. Account book, 1884-1885. 1 vol. Location: G:6. Resident of West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Daybook of Henry Feitel records general merchandise sales. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 476.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Baton Rouge

Ferraro, Louis, and Sam Adams. Manuscript, 1969. 2 items. Location: UU:169. Louis Ferraro, Associate Professor of Music, and Sam Adams, Professor of Education, at LSU. Handwritten manuscript by Ferraro and typewritten 'translation' by Adams of Music: Imaginative Listening (Baton Rouge: Claitor's Publishing Division, 1969). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2439.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Baton Rouge, LSU

FILLMORE RANGER, 1856 Aug. 18. 1 item. Location: Newspapers- MCAGE. Political paper published in Baton Rouge, George C. M'Whorter, editor. Contains the platform of the American Party; a letter by an old line Democrat of Georgia supporting former President Millard Fillmore, America or Know-Nothing Party candidate; and articles about James Buchanan. Partly in French and not complete. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Baton Rouge

Fisher, Lucy Maria W. F. Memoirs, 1889. 1 item; 25 pages [photocopy]. Location: Misc. School teacher from Connecticut who became a resident of Louisiana and taught in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans schools. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2497.

Referenced in Guides: Women, New Orleans 1866-, Education, Baton Rouge

Fitzgerald, John H. Business records, 1913-1955. 2 linear ft. and 26 vols. Location: 79:97-98, F:6, Misc.:F, O:5. Baton Rouge contractor and realtor.Records pertain to Fitzgerald's contracting business and include journals, payroll books, bills, and receipts for building of homes and other contracting business. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2004, 2523.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Baton Rouge

Fleming, Walter L. Collection, 1848-1914 (bulk 1860-1890). 2 linear feet. T:64-65. Collection consists of transcriptions of material pertaining primarily to the organization, history, and administration of Louisiana State University. Correspondence relating to official University business comprises bulk of the collection. Some early correspondence reflects political views at the time of the Civil War, and later correspondence of Walter Fleming and Leroy S. Boyd, son of David F. Boyd, relates to the history of the LSU. Other material consists of reports, printed items, writings, and the research notes. Also included are photographs of early LSU Boards of Supervisors, faculty, and other persons associated with the University. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 890, 893.

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

Fort of St. Charles at Baton Rouge Map, 1825. 1 map (color photocopy). Location: OS:F. Manuscript map of Fort St. Charles and adjoining parts of Baton Rouge by Andre Lesage, parish surveyor of East Baton Rouge Parish, La., showing streets, lots, and names of property owners. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4984.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Fourrier, Joseph Amadee. Sheet music. 1844-1912. 34 items and 1 vol. Location: 65:. Baton Rouge music store proprietor and organist at St. Joseph's Church. Sheet music (1844-1912), some illustrated, includes both popular and sacred works. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2600-73.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Performing arts, Baton Rouge

Fourth Annual Short Course for Boys and Girls. Photograph, August 1917. 1 panoramic photograph. Location: 104:-105:. Shows participants of the short course at Louisiana State University (LSU). The course was offered through the Cooperative Extension Service as part of LSU's land grant mission. Mss. 5118.

Referenced in Guides: Education, Baton Rouge, LSU

Fox, Frank Cleveland, 1892-1982. Scrapbook, 1917-1980. 1 v., 20 items. Location: Mf. Frank Cleveland Fox of Rosedale, La., was drafted into the U.S. Army in September 1917 and trained with the 114th Field Signal Battalion at Camp Beauregard, La. The scrapbook contains personal letters, photographs, and military forms and records documenting Fox's service in the U.S. Army during World War I. It also contains membership cards for several organizations to which he belonged later in life. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3473.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, 20th Century Wars

Francis A. de Caro and Rosan A. Jordan, 1956-2009, undated (bulk 1966-2003) 13 linear ft. Location: 11:19, 15:15-21. De Caro and Jordan were folklorists, authors, and Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, La.) professors. The collection includes personal and professional correspondence, writings, exhibitions, photographs, printed items consisting of brochures, handbills, newspapers, and posters; and topical files that document de Caro's folklore class at LSU, his work with the Louisiana Folklife Commission, and Jordan's work with the women's movement. Writings as well as exhibitions comprise material primarily related to folklore within Louisiana and British colonial life in India. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3197, 4089, 4164.

"Frank Leslies's Illustrated Newspaper", 1862 May 24, 1875 Jan. 30. 3 items. Location:OS:F. Issues and supplement containing articles on and sketches of Baton Rouge and New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1534, 2751.

Freeland, Emile C. Papers, 1877-1986 (bulk: 1926-1967). 14 linear ft. Location: 77:35-48, OS:F. Chemical engineer for W. R. Grace & Co. and USAID. Collection includes technical reports compiled while Freeland was working for W. R. Grace & Co. and USAID, as well as pamphlets, notes, and printed articles related to the sugarcane, bagasse, and biofuel industries. Professional and personal correspondence, and photographs of W. R. Grace & Co. activities in Guyana, Ecuador, Pakistan, Israel, Taiwan, Colombia, and other countries are included. There are also personal photographs of Freeland during his travels, and of his family in Louisiana, as well as drafts and other material from "The History of the Book of Common Prayer up to 1662" and "Tales of a Sugar Tramp." Mss. 2210, 2259, 2496, 2603.

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

Freemasons. St. James Lodge, No. 47 (Baton Rouge, La.). Records, 1819-1957. 6.5 linear ft., 4 microfilm reels. Location: 33:29-32, MSS.MF:F. St. James Lodge was formed in 1844 and operates under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, New Orleans. Records include minutes, membership files, financial records, and correspondence between St. James and other lodges and related societies (such as Knights Templar and Odd Fellowships) throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2860.

French House Collection, 1974-1991. 0.5 linear ft. Location: W:7. The French House (La Maison Française) at Louisiana State University opened in September 1935 to house selected advanced French-language students to live immersed in French language and culture. The collection consists of three scrapbooks documenting the history of the house compiled by Gertrude M. Beauford and four oral history interviews with Anita Olivier Morrison, head resident of the house between 1935 and 1958. Mss. 2760, 3018A.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, French, LSU

French, Cornelius R., 1786-1863. Family Papers, 1800-1920. 234 items, 6 vols. Location: U:123, 98:F. Doctor and resident of Baton Rouge. Personal and business papers of Dr. French and his family. Collection contains correspondence, medical items, and photographs; bills, receipts, and bank notes; and death notices, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous items. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, Medicine

French-Clarke family. Papers, 1809-1861 (bulk 1830-1920). 1.3 linear feet, 16 volumes. Location: 1:32-35, OS:F, 98:F. Largely composed of correspondence between members of the French family of Baton Rouge and extended family regarding Baton Rouge, family news, health, and genealogy. Legal documents include bills of sale for slaves, land documents, wills of the French and Clarke families. Personal financial records, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings of current events, especially pertaining to the opening of the state capital and Louisiana State University campus life in the early 1900s. Ledgers and printed items relate to Julia Edwards Clarke and her husband William's employment at the Louisiana State School for the Blind. For further information, see online catalog, Mss. 3494.

Frenzel, Michael J. and Mary Anne Hynes and family. Papers, 1808-2010 (bulk 1943-2007). 5.3 linear ft. Location: 91:3-6, OS:F, AA:, VAULT:1. Prominent Baton Rouge family. Collection of photographs, printed material and manuscripts document the lives of Michael J. and Mary Anne Hynes Frenzel, including childhood, marriage, travels, family events, and community and social activities. Additional material provides a family history of the allied Frenzel, Jeanfreau and Dielenschneider families of Louisiana. The collection also illustrates Michael J. Frenzel’s twenty-year military career as an officer and pilot in the United States Air Force. Mss. 5054.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Women, Baton Rouge

Fuchs, Peter Paul. Papers, 1956,1959, 1976. 5 items. Location: MISC:F. Composer and conductor of the Baton Rouge Symphony. Papers consist of three speeches pertaining to music theory and production, an English-language adaptation of the libretto of Verdi's 'Un Ballo in Maschera,' and the libretto of a one-act lyrical comedy, 'Serenade at Noon,' by Ann Vermel. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3051.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Baton Rouge

Fuqua, Henry L. (Luce), interviewee. Oral history interview, 1979. 1 sound cassette (20 minutes); index (1 page). Location: L:4700.0012. Son of Henry Luce Fuqua, Louisiana governor. Interview identifies photos of buildings from Hope Farm, New Iberia, and the Atchafalaya swamp levees; and discusses the old Governor's Mansion and his father's defeat of Huey Long. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0012.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Baton Rouge, Long Family