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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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

Fuqua, Henry L. (Luce), interviewee. Oral history interview, 1979. 1 sound cassette (1 hour); transcript (54 pages). Location: L:4700.0021. Son of Henry Luce Fuqua, Louisiana governor. Interview discusses his family, living in Baton Rouge, the Flood of 1912, his father's work as head of the penitentiary in Baton Rouge (1916) and Angola, his involvement with LSU and Southern University, and his gubernatorial campaign (1924). Notable individuals mentioned include Felton Clark, William H. Dalrymple, Thomas D. Boyd, Annie Boyd, and Huey Long. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0021.

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

Fuqua, Henry L. Jr. Lytle Photograph Collection and Papers, 1863-1978. 1.5 linear feet. Location: T:13, E:65, D:92. Son of Henry Luce Fuqua, Louisiana governor. Photographs by Andrew D. Lytle, Baton Rouge photographer, of the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola State Farm, Hope State Farm on Bayou Teche, and a levee camp on the Atchafalaya For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1898.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Fuqua, James O. (James Overton). Papers, 1857-1878. 118 items, 1 ms. vol. Location: Misc:F, UU:67. Slaveholder, property owner, and Confederate soldier of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. He was a member of the Baton Rouge law firm Fuqua and Callahan. His son, Henry Luce Fuqua, served as governor of Louisiana (1924-1926). Financial papers including receipts for Fuqua's purchase of slaves and receipts for state, parish, and Baton Rouge municipal taxes paid by Mrs. Fuqua. Papers of the law firm Fuqua and Callahan pertain to legal cases and other business matters. A letterpress copybook records Fuqua's legal correspondence. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893, 1438.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, African Americans

Furlow, Kent. Photographica Collection, circa 1860-1965 (bulk: circa 1900-1955). 68 items. Location: 145: 58-61, 63-65, 69. Sixty-eight items consisting of: forty-two cameras; nineteen pieces of photographic equipment; two pieces of related photographic materials, and; five photographic images. Mss. 4754.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Gardner, Joel. Papers, 1978-2021 (bulk 1980-1985). 3.5 linear ft. Location: G:86-87. Joel Gardner is a journalist and oral historian from Louisiana. Contains assorted oral histories, grant proposals, workshop materials, recordings from participants, entertainment articles written by Gardner for lifestyle magazines, assorted scholarly articles written on oral histories, and theory-related materials. Mss. 3954, 3562.

Garig, William Wallace and Family. Papers, 1855-1959, undated (bulk 1900-1953). 1.75 linear ft., 10 manuscript volumes. Location: 7:58-60, OS:G. Confederate veteran and poultry breeder of Baton Rouge, La. Papers pertain chiefly to W. W. Garig's animal husbandry work and social life and the teaching careers and social lives of his daughters Mercedes and Louise Garig. Materials include correspondence, writings, financial documents, photographic items, printed materials, scrapbooks, and diaries (including W. W. Garig's Civil War diaries). Mss. 2993

Gassie, August. Account book, 1870-1871. 1 vol. Location: G:8. Merchant of West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Ledger records merchandise sales and cash accounts, many of which were made to Levert and New Hope plantations. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 478.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business, Baton Rouge

Gay-Butler-Plater family. Papers, 1814-2016. 30.5 linear ft., 25 volumes. Location: G:43-85, OS:G, Q:1-6. Planters of Iberville, Lafourche, and Terrebonne parishes, Louisiana. Correspondence, financial records, legal records, photographic materials, and personal papers created and accumulated by the Gay, Butler, Plater, and Price families of Louisiana documenting their political, social, and financial affairs. Mss. 4872.

Gayle family collection, 1846-1916, undated 56 items. Location: U:113. Collection of printed materials consisting of broadsides pertaining to the Mexican War and Louisiana politics; funeral notices for Baton Rouge and area residents; and programs for entertainment given by Baton Rouge schools and institutions. Mss. 1818.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Education, Baton Rouge

Gebelin-Walsh-Hynes-Frenzel family. Papers, 1860-2007 (bulk 1900-1970). 2.5 cubic feet. Location: 92:69-71, OS:G, AA:, MSS.MF:G. This collection of photographs and a few textual materials provides a largely visual record of the allied Gebelin, Walsh, Hynes, and Frenzel families. Beginning in the 1860s and continuing through the 1980s, portraits and informal photographs document the lives of family members and family friends and acquaintances. A few images, beginning 1900 and continuing until the 1960s, record three family homes in Baton Rouge. The bulk of the material documents the life and times of Elizabeth Gertrude Gebelin Hynes (Feb. 20, 1911-Feb. 9, 1982) including her childhood, marriage, travels, family events, and social life and customs of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4983.

George Rodrigue print, ca. undated. 1 item. Location: OS:R. Print of a George Rodrique painting depicting Louisiana Lt. Governor Bobby Freeman (1980-1988) and his wife in front of the Old State Capital in Baton Rouge. Print is signed by Bobby Freeman. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4432.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Gianelloni, Sabin J., Sr. Family Papers, 1780-1997, undated. 7.25 linear ft., 79 v. Location: UU:316-321, 328-329; J;20-21; OS:G. Sugar planter of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Papers consist of correspondence, business papers, personal papers, and printed items relating to the Gianelloni family, the operation of Longwood Plantation, sugar and cane syrup industries, and federal regulations affecting these industries. The correspondence also discusses the political and economic environments in Louisiana and Cuba. Printed items include photographs of field hands and the Longwood Plantation store. For further information, see the online catalog. Mss. 3458, 4279.

Gladden, Henrie Sentell, 1898-1983. Memoirs, 1983. 58 leaves. Location: Misc., Mf. Gladden attended Louisiana Industrial Institute in Ruston, La., and taught at schools in Baton Rouge and Plain Dealing, La. She describes her family, education, and social life living in Bunkie, Baton Rouge, Baker, and Collinsburg, La., primarily between her youth and the time of her marriage. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4239.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Education, Baton Rouge

Gleason, David K. Papers, 1951-1992. 202 linear ft. Location: Ranges 87-90. Commercial photographer of Baton Rouge whose work included photographs of plantation homes along the Mississippi River. Gleason's work appeared in a number of books, including The Great Houses of Natchez (1986) and Plantation Homes of Louisiana and the Natchez Area (1982). Collection includes negatives, working proofs, prints, and notes. Unprocessed. Mss. 4520.

Gourgues, Henry. Records, 1864. 70 items. Location: A:117. Collection consists of monthly statements, invoices and receipts for household items, saddlery, and groceries purchased by Henry Gourgues from various New Orleans merchants, and invoices from commission merchants for cotton and other farm products shipped. Some items in French. Mss. 5260.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Baton Rouge, French

Grace, Lucille May. Scrapbooks, 1908-1956. 127 items and 13 ms. vols. Location: A:27, 84:1-6, OS:G. Register of the State Land Office. Series of eleven scrapbooks (1929-1950) and political campaign items (1956) of Lucille Grace Dent; and two scrapbooks and newspaper clippings (1908-1927) of her father, Fred J. Grace, Register of the State Land Office from 1908 until his death in 1931. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1863, 2145.

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

Graham, Alice Walworth. Papers, 1884-1992, undated. 5.3 linear feet. Location: 104:2-4; J: 25; and OS:G. Novelist and native of Natchez, Miss., and sometime resident of New Orleans. Professional and personal correspondence includes letters document Graham's literary career. Scrapbooks and printed items contain literary reviews of her books and describe her personal appearances at literary functions. Graham describes Natchez plantations in manuscript drafts for many of her published and unpublished works including Cibola, The Natchez Woman, and Romantic Lady. The letters of Graham's mother, Lela Gordon Walworth, and her sister, Mary Walworth Whitaker of Baton Rouge, are also part of the collection, and pertain to personal and family matters. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4295.

Graham, C. R. and Company. Account books, 1846-1848. see C.R. Graham and Co. account books.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Baton Rouge

Gras-Lauzin family. Papers, 1783-1917 (bulk 1783-1866). 1 linear ft. Location: U:267. Don Antonio Gras was an early settler, merchant, and shipper of Baton Rouge and Natchez, Mississippi. Others in the family included Lewis Valentin Foelekel and Dr. Jean Lauzin. Papers include financial records of Antonio Gras and Lewis Foelekel; a thesis of Dr. Jean Lauzin (Paris, 1832); and personal letters from friends of the Lauzin family who lived in France. Collection also includes Civil War letters from Francis F. Palms, a Confederate soldier, and others to Henrietta Lauzin. Some items in the collection are in French and Spanish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 5, 893.

Greater Baton Rouge postcard album, circa 1930-1939. 1 album. Location: E:65. An album of color picture postcards and a few photographs of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, buildings and landmarks, as well as business cards and letterheads of Baton Rouge businesses. Some postcards depict African-American life in the rural South. Mss. 4978.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Baton Rouge, African Americans

Gueymard, Earnest. Programs, 1948-1972. 127 items. Location: W:5, OS:G. Programs for a variety of civic, social, and cultural activities in Baton Rouge, New Iberia, and New Orleans, Louisiana, collected by Gueymard. Includes programs for three world premiere performances. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2600.

Hackett, Derek L. A., Collection, 1970-1971. 111 items. Location: A:11. Professor at the University of Sterling, Scotland. Collection pertains to the 1971 White House Conference on Youth at Estes Park, Colorado and includes delegates' instructions, reports, summaries and printed items from the Young Americans for Freedom, White Youth Alliance and Baton Rouge Peace Action Group. For more information, see online catalog. Mss. 2593.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge

Hall, George Otis and family. Papers, 1856-1900, 1990 (bulk 1856-1880). 0.7 linear ft., 1 volume. Location: T:54, J:21. George Otis Hall and his wife Charlotte Emma LeDoux Hall, owners of Magnolia Mound, a sugar and indigo plantation in Baton Rouge. From 1860 on they lived in England and Europe. Papers include correspondence, photographs, social invitations, and newspaper clippings. Topics include the education of the Hall children in Louisiana and Europe, the family's resettlement in Europe, and Magnolia Mound. Partly in French. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reels 12-13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4320.

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

Hamilton, William S. Papers, 1780-1930 (bulk 1807-1861). 3 linear ft., 14 manuscript volumes, 16 microfilm reels. Locations: T:81-87, H:21, OS:H, MSS.MF:H. United States Army officer under General Wade Hampton; slave owner and planter of Holly Grove Plantation, West Feliciana Parish; and politician who served on the first board of trustees for the College of Louisiana and a term in the Louisiana Legislature. While most papers pertain to William S. Hamilton's social, political, and professional life, some papers also pertain to John Hamilton (William S.'s father) and the children of William S. and Eliza C. Hamilton. Papers reflect the administration of United States Army troops in the Territory of Orleans and Mississippi and give an inclusive picture of national and Louisiana politics. Included are descriptions of Southern college facilities and curricula and early medical treatments in hydropathy (hydrotherapy). The papers also document conditions in the United States Army during the Mexican War, land speculation in Texas, and various aspects of plantation life and economy (including purchasing and treatment of slaves). Part of the George M. Lester Collection. Mss. 1209.

Hand-colored photograph of hay gathering on Louisiana State University campus, circa 1930. 1 hand-colored photograph on glass, 11 x 14 inches. Location: VAULT:79, MISC:H. Photograph is of African-American men gathering hay onto a cart in a field on Louisiana State University campus. The War Memorial Tower can be seen in the background. Mss. 3994.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, African Americans, LSU

Harbour, S. B. Account book, 1863-1865. 1 vol. Location: G:11. Keeper of a livery stable in Baton Rouge. Ledger records entries of rental and upkeep of horses. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 637.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Business, Baton Rouge

Harding Field Heroes File, 1941-1946 (bulk 1944-1945). 2.5 linear feet. Location: 78:48-50, OS:H, Room 304. Harding Field was a United States Army Air Corps base located nine miles north of Baton Rouge, La., that operated between 1941 and 1945. From February 1944 to March 1945, Colonel W.G. Schauffler Jr. (1891-1951) was the commanding officer at Harding Field. In June 1944, Col. Schauffler was informed that his only son had been killed in action over the Pacific theater which led directly to the development of the Harding Field Heroes File. The collection includes letters, photographs, and newspaper clippings solicited by Col. Schauffler and sent by next of kin of pilots who graduated from Harding Field. The collection also contains newspaper clippings about the airbase which range from the establishment of the base in 1941 to its decommissioning in 1945. It contains 51 photographs of groups of pilots, individual portraits, and pinning ceremonies. It also contains a casualty list and a painting with the "72 Fighter Wing" emblem. Mss. 0893.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, 20th Century Wars

Harris, Thomas H., 1869-1942. Manuscript, 1941. 1 item (881 pages). Location: C:25. Handwritten draft of 'The Memoirs of T. H. Harris' (Baton Rouge: Bureau of Educational Material and Research, College of Education, LSU, 1963). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2188.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, LSU, Literature

Harrison, T. S. Travel account, 1888.1 broadside. Location: E:Imprints. Account titled 'Among the Southerners' describes a steamboat voyage from Baton Rouge to Greenville, Mississippi, mentioning scenery, river traffic, labor problems, river damage to 'Natchez-Under-The-Hill,' and the fear of a yellow fever epidemic. E:Imprints. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2897.

Harrower, G. T. Letters, 1863 March-August. 4 items. Location: Misc. Union colonel in the 161st New York Volunteers Regiment in the Civil War. Four letters written from Baton Rouge and Port Hudson, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1484.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Hart-Bonnecaze-Duncan Family Papers, 1775-1949 (bulk 1840-1875, 1905-1940). 2 linear ft., 2 mf reels. Location: T:18, OS:H, Mss.Mf:B. Baton Rouge families related by marriage. Leon Bonnecaze was a businessman and French consular agent; Samuel Hart was the first chief of the Baton Rouge Fire Department; Robert Hart served as Baton Rouge mayor in 1898-1902. Papers include correspondence and writings; legal records; financial records; ephemera; sheet music; and photographs. Papers provide some information on civilian conditions in the Civil War and on the Baton Rouge Fire Department. Partly in French and Spanish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3371, 4208.

Hatcher, William B., Papers, 1904-1947 (bulk 1941-1946). 1.5 linear ft. Location: 11:13-14, OS:H. LSU President (1944-1947), History Department faculty member, and long-time Superintendent of East Baton Rouge Parish Schools. Consists of correspondence, photographs, and other personal and administrative records from Hatcher's career as an educator, administrator, and community fixture. Notable correspondents include Jimmie H. Davis and G.B. Erskine. For additional information, see online catalog, Mss. 4242.

Haymaker (Richard W.) collection on Yoshihiro Hattori, 1984-2016. 14 linear feet. Location: 2:22-28, OS:H. Yoshihiro Hattori was a Japanese foreign exchange student living with the Richard W. Haymaker family of Baton Rouge, La. He was shot and killed by homeowner Rodney Peairs. when he and Webb Haymaker mistakenly went to the wrong house looking for a Halloween party. Armed with a 44 Magnum revolver, Peairs shot the teen, claiming he feared for his life. The collection consists of correspondence, reports and studies on gun violence, civil trial testimony, and state and federal gun legislation. Also included are project and events files, printed items, audiovisual material, and the files of several activist organizations. The collection chronicles the death of Yoshi Hattori and the subsequent criminal trial of Rodney Peairs and a wrongful death suit brought against him by Yoshi's parents, Masaichi and Mieko Hattori. The collection follows the Haymakers' involvement in control gun, a speaking tour in Japan, and a meeting with President Bill Clinton and Masaichi and Mieko Hattori at the White House. Mss. 4698.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Baton Rouge

Heard, H. J. Letter, 1864 June 11. 1 item. Location: MISC:H. Judge and resident of Baton Rouge. Letter from Judge Heard states that business activity in New Orleans has ceased because African Americans were celebrating that emancipation was in the State Constitution of 1864. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 238.