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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Exxon Mobil Corporation. ExxonMobil Baton Rouge historic collection, 1924-2016 (bulk 1950-1999). 9 linear ft., 1 manuscript volume. Location: 76:1-8; 104:-105:; OS:E. The collection consists of printed materials (1924-2016) created by or about Exxon Baton Rouge, its predecessors or divisions, and the oil industry, and photographs (bulk 1950-1999) related to the production of Exxon Baton Rouge’s and its predecessors’ in-house print media, especially the Baton Rouge Record. Photographic materials are arranged as they arrived from the corporation in two large divisions-one identified by the publication in which the images were used and the other by topic. Mss. 5030.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Baton Rouge

1st United States Infantry Regiment of Louisiana Volunteer Corps d'Afrique, Company II. Muster roll, 1863. 1 item (21 x 30.5 in.). Location: VAULT:72. In April 1863 Brigadier General Daniel Ullman was sent by the U.S. War Department to New Orleans, Louisiana, to raise a brigade of African-American troops; Major General Nathaniel P. Banks, at Opelousas, proposed the formation of the Corps d'Afrique. Muster roll identifies Edward Carter as captain, Spencer H. Stafford as colonel, and the regiment's sergeants, corporals, musicians, a teamster, and privates. Soldiers are listed by their names, and further description includes rank, time and location of enrollment, time and location mustered into service, and pay roll information. Most soldiers enrolled and were mustered in at New Orleans, while others were at Baton Rouge, St. Mary Parish, Bayou Ramos, Fort Jackson, Fort St. Leon, and Thompson Creek. Verso of item also contains lists of deceased, discharged, deserted, and resigned soldiers in the regiment. Several soldiers are listed as being killed in action before Port Hudson. Muster roll covers the period from July 1 to August 31, 1863, while pay roll covers the period from June 30 to September 1, 1863. Mss. 5379.

Acadia Plantation records, 1809-2004 (bulk 1940-1979). 49 linear ft., 30 volumes, 8 rolls. Location: 93:7-30; J:4; 75:; MAP CAGE (UNNUMBERED CASE); 1 NORTH (ON TOP OF MICROFILM CABINET). A working sugar plantation, Acadia Plantation of Lafourche Parish, Louisiana is comprised of three major properties originally known as Acadia Plantation, St. Brigitte Plantation, and Evergreen Plantation. It was acquired in 1875 by Edward J. Gay, became the residence of Representative Andrew and Mrs. Anna Gay Price. Records are comprised of correspondence, financial and legal documents, printed items, volumes, maps, plats, and photographs. Papers document business and legal affairs of the plantation owners and operators, as well as plantation operations such as sugar cane farming, the crops of tenant farmers on the property, and the planning and development of the plantation lands throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Mss. 4906.

Achord, M. H. Map, 1931. 1 item. Location: OS:A. Map drawn from memory by M. H. Achord depicting an area on the boundary of East Baton Rouge Parish and Livingston Parish, Louisiana. The map indicates that a Civil War skirmish or other war-related incident took place in this area. Available on University Publications of America microfilm 5735: Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 1. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Ada C. Pollock-Blundon Association letter, 1929 Dec. 10. 1 item. Location: MISC:A. The Blundon School and Orphanage reportedly had its beginnings at the Wesley United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge. Signed by Gertrude Snell Brown thanking Mr. Edgar M. Hurlburt for his contribution to their organization. She reports on the number of children enrolled in the home and the seven day schools, as well as the work done on the new nursery. Mss. 4905.

Referenced in Guides: Education, Baton Rouge, African Americans

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