Manuscript Resources on Jewish History 

This guide describes manuscript collections documenting Jewish history in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley (LLMV) Collections at LSU. It includes the papers of Jews, Jewish organizations, family papers with references to Jews, and other collections that document Jewish history in one way or another. Much information about the life of Jews in the LLMV can be obtained not only from the papers of Jews themselves, but also from references to them by others. Prominent Jewish figures include Isidore Cohn, Simon Gumbel, Samuel Haas, and Joseph Simon.

The collection of manuscripts pertaining to the Jewish that may be found in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC) of the LSU Libraries is varied in nature, ranging from the account books of Jewish merchants to tickets for a charity event benefiting the Jewish Widow's and Orphans Home in New Orleans. Personal papers, newspaper clippings, a diary, a scrapbook, and other artifacts are present in the manuscripts groups. A range of dates from the late eighteenth to the late twentieth centuries are present (see chronological listing).

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Aswell, James B. Papers, 1892-1959 (bulk 1909-1931). 3 linear ft. (1,301 items; 18 ms. v.). Location: U:172-174, OS:A, G:1, 98:A, Vault:38. Educator and U.S. congressman. Materials pertain principally to Aswell's political career and Louisiana politics; World War I; and post-war European conditions. Included are diaries documenting Aswell's official missions to Europe and scrapbooks on his career as an educator. Diary #4 discusses the presence of Jews in Poland following WWI. Notable individuals mentioned include Huey Long, John M. Parker, Gaston Porterie, Herbert Hoover, and Al Smith. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1408, 1426, 1468, 1483, 1620, 1621.

Batchelor family papers, 1852-1922. 124 items (on microfilm). Location:Mss. Mf.:B. Papers are comprised of family letters, plantation and business papers, family succession papers, and material related to an Episcopal Church. A letter from Sarah E. Archer describes a Jewish wedding, ca. 1901. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1293.

Bringier, Louis Amadee and family. Papers, 1786-1901. 2 linear ft. and 13 volumes. Location: T:96-97, F:9, OS:B. Planter of Ascension Parish, Louisiana; Confederate officer and commander of the 4th Louisiana Cavalry and the 7th Louisiana Regiment. Papers include military records, correspondence and business papers relating to the administration of Hermitage Plantation in Ascension Parish and Houmas, Burnside, and Bagatelle plantations. One letter report that a woman killed a federal soldier in New Orleans (1862); another describes Grand Ilse as a resort frequented by Jews. Some items in French. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 1, Reels 1-2, and microfilm 5322: Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series I, Part 1, Reel 13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 43, 139, 544.

Burns, Paul Y. Papers, 1953-2011, (bulk: 1970-2011). 4.3 linear ft. Location: Y:104-108, OS: B. Member of the faculty at LSU School of Forestry and an active member in several community service organizations. The papers of Paul Y. Burns reflect his commitment to social and economic equality for all individuals regardless of race, gender or ethnicity. The collection is comprised of files of several community service organizations of which he was an active member, and in some cases a member of the board.  Material consists of minutes, newsletters, reports, correspondence, newspaper clippings, flyers and photographs related to the work of these groups to improve race relations in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Mss. 5183. 

Butler, Margaret, 1821-1890. Correspondence, 1847-1880. .5 linear ft. Location: S:24. Daughter of Louisiana judge Thomas Butler and Ann Ellis Butler. She lived at the Cottage in West Feliciana Parish near St. Francisville. The Butlers were sugar and cotton planters. Letters from family and friends reflect the life of the Butler family in the antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction periods. Antebellum letters depict plantation life and religious life in the Episcopal church. Several family members served in the Confederate army and corresponded with Margaret, describing the life of army personnel. Later letters illustrate social and economic conditions after the war. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 5, Reel 2. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1068.

Caffery, Donelson and Family. Papers, 1580-1958 (bulk 1861-1909). 537 items, 39 vols. Location: C:74-75, O:23, OS:C. Planter of St. Mary Parish, Louisiana and U.S. senator. Papers consist of correspondence, genealogies, clippings, photographs, pamphlets, diaries, notebooks, postcards, scrapbooks, and financial records of the Donelson Caffery family. They concerns family matters, Louisiana politics, the Civil War, Caffery's senatorial career, the effects of the Mexican War on the sugar industry, Louisiana oil industry, plantation operations, Jewish hotel guests (v. 4,5) and the removal of Jews from Franklin (v.6). The papers of John Murphy Caffery also reflect his own navel career and the Louisiana sugar industry. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1865.

Cohn, Isidore. Papers, 1879-1972 (bulk 1920-1950), undated. 29 linear ft. Location: 34:136-174, OS:C, 102:69-70, VAULT:38. New Orleans surgeon and medical educator. Collection contains articles, lectures, letters, photographs, and printed material related to medicine. Includes material related to Lafcadio Hearn, LSU Medical Center, Tulane University Medical Center, and other medical organizations in Louisiana. Collection also includes audio recordings of Cohn (1955). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3425.

Dart, Elisabeth K. (Elizabeth Kilbourne). Collection, 1774-2005. 5.5 linear feet. Location: 121:8-10, OS:D, Vault:5. Resident and local historian in St. Francisville, West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Wrote about West Feliciana subjects including the Railroad, biographies of notable figures, and tours for Grace Cemetery. Collection contains manuscript and research materials used for exhibits, lectures, tours, and writing on West Feliciana Parish. Manuscripts include deeds, correspondence, accounting records, legal papers, court cases, and receipts. Other records include published materials, copies of original materials, scrapbooks, photographs, notes, and exhibit text. Mss. 5023.

Douglas, Judith Hyams, 1875-1955. Papers, 1897-1955. 700 items, 3 vols. Location: E:56-57, Mss. Mf.:D, vault:5. New Orleans, Louisiana, lawyer and civic leader. Papers consist of letters from prominent Louisiana writers and political figures, speeches, photographs, business papers, and newspaper clippings documenting her work in organizations pertaining to child labor, woman suffrage, peace movements, Jewish refugees, the juvenile court, clubs for women, and the Mississippi River flood control programs. They also contain two copies of the charter and by-laws of Le Petit Salon (1925, 1927) A scrapbook relates to Belgian relief efforts and war service. Scrapbook available on microfilm. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1392.

Gumbel, Simon and family. Papers, 1851-1949 (bulk 1922-1933). 2.5 linear ft. Location: P:21-23; OS:G. Jewish New Orleans commission merchant and owner of S. Gumbel & Co. Property tax receipts of the Gumbel family; business correspondence, minutes, financial papers relating to the administration and operation of the Sophie L. Gumbel Home. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1490.

Haas, Samuel. Daybooks, 1892, 1906-1907. 2 volumes. Location: N:1. Jewish merchant born in Alsace, France. Daybooks contain records of merchandise sold at Haas' general store in Bayou Chicot, originally located in St. Landry Parish and then Evangeline Parish once the latter was created. Items sold include soap, nails, matches, tobacco, clothing, food, seeds, and tableware. Entries include customers' names, prices of sales, amounts of item sold, and calculations. Mss. 3942, 3960.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Jewish Community

Haas, Samuel. Letterpress copybook, 1886-1887. 1 volume [on microfilm reel]. Location: MSS.MF:H. Born in Alsace, France and of Jewish descent. He immigrated to the United States around 1852 and operated a store in Bayou Chicot, Evangeline Parish. Letters are primarily to business associates and to friends in Avoyelles, Rapides, and (at that time) St. Landry parishes and New Orleans. A few personal letters, mainly to family members, are present. The book discusses contributions from residents in St. Landry Parish for the Jewish Widows and Orphans Home in New Orleans and for the rebuilding of a synagogue in Ingville, Germany. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3698.

Haas, Samuel. Record books, 1881-1915. 11 volumes. Location: F:19, P:22, MSS.MF:H. Ten ledgers record orders for the sale of merchandise, the marketing and shipment of goods, the sale and purchasing of land, police jury per diems, and philanthropic donations. One letterpress copybook contains letters addressed to business associates and friends in Rapides, St. Landry, and Orleans parishes. Contains a few personal letters but primarily discusses merchandise, shipments, accounts with debtors and creditors, police jury matters, and land exchange. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3400.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Acadiana, Jewish Community

Hardin, J. Fair, 1893-1940. Collection, 1718-1939. 2,225 items, 17 vols. Location: S-29-36, P-2, 78:66, OS:H, Map Cage, 98:H, Vault:3, Mss.Mf:H. Shreveport attorney, vice president of the Louisiana Historical Society, and author of historical articles and a three-volume history of Northwest Louisiana. Collection contains correspondence, articles, copies of speeches, research materials and related papers pertaining to historical sites or events. Included are Civil War letters, Confederate money and notes, and research notes on the Red River campaign. Also included are two bound manuscript volumes: J. W. Sims letter book (1863-1864) and a minute book (1904-1911). Earlier materials relate to Indian agents and the Caddo Indians in northwest Louisiana and settlement and land claims in the area. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1014.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, Civil War, French, Jewish Community

Heberle, Franziska. Letters, 1872-1986 (bulk 1936-1965). 0.25 linear feet [photocopies]. Location: Y:82. Immigrant from Germany, student of social welfare, employee of the Louisiana State Public Welfare Administration, and wife of LSU Boyd Professor of Sociology Rudolf Heberle. Letters to family and friends describing in detail experiences of the writer, her husband, and their three children while adjusting to life in the U.S. Included are accounts of travels in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Europe. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3624.

Heberle, Rudolf. Papers, 1918-1991 (bulk 1936-1980). 9.5 linear feet. Location: 78:93-98, OS:H, Vault:1. Native of Germany and Boyd Professor of Sociology at LSU. Personal papers consist primarily of correspondence (some in German) relating to his need to leave Germany and obtain a position in the U.S. Professional papers include correspondence with sociologists and colleagues world-wide, research on displaced persons in Mississippi and Louisiana, social problems in Germany, German immigration, and World War II, as well as his comments on Naziism. Also included are notes, lectures, published and unpublished writings, and research files. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1921, 2254, 2345.

Koch, Christian D. Family Papers, 1829-1912 (bulk 1845-1900). 3,526 items, 24 vols. Location: U:186-195, H:14. Koch family was of Danish descent and settled near Pearlington, Hancock County, Mississippi. Christian Koch was a master of a schooner. Early correspondence describes farm life and operating a schooner on the Pearl River and along the Gulf Coast. Civil War letters describe the privations of war, and later papers detail the family's movements in Montana. H.P.G. Koch, nephew of Christian, discusses how a German Jew passenger was the butt of jokes and fined $5 for smoking on the wharf in Charleston, South Carolina. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 202.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Civil War, Jewish Community

Korn, Bertram W. Correspondence, 1965-1972. 16 items. Location: Misc. Senior Rabbi of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. Letters to Mrs. S. J. Gianelloni, Jr. of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, about genealogical research of Jewish family in the U.S. and the scarcity of research in American Jewish history. The Monsanto, Dow, and Tessier families are mentioned. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3459.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Women, Baton Rouge, Jewish Community

Lanaux, George. George Lanaux and Family Papers, 1830-1915. 3 linear ft. (3,100 items). Location: UU:61-63, J:9, OS:L, 104-105. Planter of Bellevue Plantation in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, and later president of the New Orleans Insurance Association. Papers include correspondence, legal documents, financial documents, and photographs documenting the Lanaux family, plantation management, slave holdings, and land sales. Partly in French. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 1, Reels 11-13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1318.

Lazaro, Ladislas. Papers, 1894-1928. 6,235 items, 43 vols. Location: C:37-43; P:4; Z:15, 22. Louisiana physician, state senator, U.S. congressman, and planter. Papers contain correspondence, clippings, speeches, government publications, and memorandum books recording Lazaro's service as a U.S. Representative. Political papers reflect his interest in agriculture and the tariff question, state and local politics, and related national matters. Daybooks and ledgers document his medical practice in Grand Prairie (1894-1913). Some bound volumes include material about World War I. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1113, 1149.