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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S. Gumbel & Co., Ltd. Records, 1884-1942 (bulk 1884-1921). 66 volumes; 0.3 linear ft. Location: P:14, 22; 114. Records are comprised of correspondence, financial papers, legal documents and business ledgers concerning the financial transactions of S. Gumbel & Co. Ltd, New Orleans commission merchant firm of Simon Gumbel. Collections relates to real estate in Louisiana and Mississippi, and the cotton, sugar, and rice trade in Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1490.

Samuelson, Hyman, 1919- . Papers, 1936-2007. 3 linear ft. Location: X:16-18. Correspondence, diaries, personal narratives, military records, photographs, and illustrations reflect the life of a young Jewish man while attending Louisiana State University and his military experiences while serving in New Guinea in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 96th Battalion. They relate his academic and social activities in college and difficulties encountered as part of an engineering regiment of African American troops. Samuelson discusses military bureaucracy, troop morale, discipline, engineering projects, and tropical diseases. Throughout the diaries, he tells of his personal growth and his interpersonal relationships, especially with Dora Reiner. He also refers to damaged caused by a severe storm in the Pacific, probably Typhoon Helen. Mss. 4934.

Shlenker-Hirsch-Moyse family. Papers, 1878-1949, (bulk 1878-1896, 1907-1909, 1941-1949). 50 items, 2 volumes. Location: W:13. Jewish families of Mississippi and Louisiana. Correspondence, photographs, printed items, and two scrapbooks concern family matters, business life, and personal and social activities, particularly the wedding of Carrie Shlenker and Jacob Hirsch. Newspaper clippings also relate to the activities of the prominent Texas Rabbi Henry Cohen. Other items include Jewish-themed, printed illustrations. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4911.

Simon, Joseph. Family Papers, 1882-1944. 772. Location: C:80-81, O:3. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, jeweler and a member of the Jewish community. Papers include personal and professional letters, newspaper clippings, and various printed volumes. Materials related to Judaism include letters concerning the Baton Rouge Jewish congregation, an issue of "The Jewish Outlook' (1937). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2379.

Simon, Joseph and family. Papers, 1882-1948. 1.5 linear feet, 28 volumes. Location: 98:S, C:80-81, O:59-60, OS:S. Papers of Joseph Simon consist of tax, real estate, and financial documents, and store merchandise inventories related to J. Simon & Son, Simon’s jewelry business, and properties that he owned in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Other papers include correspondence related to Simon’s participation in Congregation B’nai Israel and its efforts to recruit newly arriving Jewish families in the city. Mss. 2379.

Tureaud, Benjamin. Family Papers, 1803-1932 (bulk 1849-1880). 3,332 items, 88 vols. Location: E:114-116, J:1-3, OS:T. Plantation and store owner of Bagatelle, Brule, and Houmas plantations in Ascension and St. James parishes, Louisiana. Papers include plantation records, business records, and correspondence of Benjamin Tureaud and his family. Some records document merchandise sold to African American laborers. Partly 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 3-13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 427.

Viener, R. and Company. Account books, 1880-1936 (bulk 1893-1930). 27 linear ft. (494 m.s.volumes and 9 printed volumes). Location: K:1-33. R. Viener and Company was a wholesale grocery, feed, flour, and paper firm of Natchez, Mississippi. Viener was the treasurer of the B'nai Israel Congregation of Natchez. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 518.

Wharton, Edward Clifton. Family Papers, 1819-1947 (bulk 1819-1901). 1,130 items, 11 vols. Location: UU:120-125, OS:W, 99:W. Resident of New Orleans, journalist, newspaper editor, playwright, author, and drama critic. Wharton served as a colonel in the Trans-Mississippi Department of the Confederate army. Papers of four generations of the Wharton family include correspondence, manuscript writings, manuscript volumes, photographs, printed items, and broadsides. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 22. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1553, 1575, 1594, 1610, 1613, 1663, 1714, 1736.

Zacharie, James Schatzell, 1844-1906. Diary, 1863-1864 (bulk 1863 Sept. 20-Nov. 5). 1 volume. Location: M:18. New Orleans writer and first president of the Louisiana State Museum Board of Curators. Diary reflects Zacharie's travels in Europe. He notes the occupation and living conditions of Jews in Amsterdam, Holland and Frankfort, Germany. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 965.