Manuscript Resources on The History of New Orleans Before the Civil War

This guide to manuscripts collections on the history of New Orleans before 1861 covers topics such as trade and shipping; cotton and sugar; the War of 1812 and the Battle of New Orleans; the Mexican War; and art, opera, plays and literature in New Orleans. It includes the records of residents of and visitors to New Orleans, planters, physicians, attorneys, politicians, soldiers, clergymen, educators, merchants, factors and commission merchants, banks, and businesses located in New Orleans and other states.

Materials represented in this guide include land deeds and sales, slave sales, bills of lading, papers (personal, financial, legal, business), educational materials, personal and business correspondence, diaries, poems, sheet music, photographs, and newspaper clippings.

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A. F. Cochran & Co. Letter, 1848 Mar. 10. 1 letter. Location: MISC:A. A. F. Cochran & Co. of New Orleans, La., writes Messrs. Silas Peirce & Co. of Boston, Mass., regarding the sale of wine and fruit in New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4039.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Business

Abraham Bell & Co. Letters and receipts, 1841-1844. 5 items. Location: Misc:A. Quaker-owned shipping merchant company of New York City, with business interests in New Orleans, Louisiana. Two receipts document cotton purchased in , for Abraham Bell & Co. One letter discusses American and English cotton and freight prices, and social matters. A bill of lading and a letter document the shipment of personal goods from New York. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4675.

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.

Account book, 1796-1799. 1 ms. vol., 1 mf reel. Location: Vault, Mss. Mf.:A. New Orleans, Louisiana, merchant. Account book recording names and accounts of customers. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1054.

Account Book, 1847-1848. 1 volume. Location: N:1. This account book contains transactions for clothing, shoes, and boots. It also includes transactions for fabric and blankets. The transactions took place in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Business

Account book, 1888-1890. 1 vol. (513 p.). Location: B:72. Account book of printing or stationery business, probably located in New Orleans, Louisiana. Entries relate to stationery and printed products. Pages 1-134 contain general entries; pages 351 to 410 contain entries for Joseph J. Hooper; pages 451-477 contain entries for George Ellis. For further information, see online catalog. Mss.4541.

Adler, Barbara. Letter, 1833 March 2. 1 item. Location: MISC:A. Resident of New Orleans, Louisiana. Letter to Frau Madalina Eisenhart, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pertains to personal and family matters. In German. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2821.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Women, German

Allen, William M. Correspondence, 1858-1863. 22 items. Location: E:3. Farmer of Holmesville, Pike County, Mississippi. His sister, Letty, and her husband, John Houston, owned a farm in Minden, Webster Parish, Louisiana. William and his brother Felix were Confederate soldiers in the Mississippi Volunteers. Pre-Civil War letters from Houston discuss farming conditions, his advocacy of secession, and local social events. Civil War letters to Allen describe skirmishes in Kentucky and Louisiana, and war news such as the shelling of Port Hudson, Louisiana. Family affairs, illness and remedies, and attendance at the New Orleans School of Medicine are other topics in the letters. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 1. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 701, 2287.

Ambert, Joachim. Papers, 1838-1876. 9 items. Location: Misc.:A, OS:A. French military officer and nobleman. Personal papers consisting of passports and related items (1838-1840); two letters from Baron Ambert in New Orleans, Louisiana; a bill for accommodations in Niagara Falls, New York; and Ambert's French military service record. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1356.

Roman, André Bienvenu, 1795 – 1866. Photographs, circa 1850 - 1890. 8 items. Location: Misc:R. Roman served as governor of Louisiana for two terms, 1831-1835 and 1839-1843. Roman married Aimee Francoise Parent in 1816 with whom he had eight children. He is buried on his family estate in St. James Parish. Included are five cartes-de-visite of André Bienvenu Roman, one cabinet card portrait of Roman which has been retouched, and one cabinet card portrait of his wife, Aimee Francoise. Two of the cartes-de-visite are mourning portraits. The collection also contains a cabinet card portrait of Alfred Hennen (1786 – 1870). Hennen was a distinguished lawyer, professor of constitutional law at University of Louisiana (now Tulane) and director of the old Bank of Louisiana. Mss. 5170.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861

Andry, M. T. (Michel Thomassin), 1811-ca. 1871. Family Papers, 1840-1882 (bulk 1858-1879). 0.3 linear ft. (199 items). Location: UU:66. Sugar planter of St. John the Baptist and St. Charles parishes, Louisiana, and resident of New Orleans. Collection includes correspondence and legal and financial papers. Letters received by Andry's daughter Rosa from his sons describe their participation in the Battle of Shiloh, campaigns in Kentucky, and skirmishes at Camp Beauregard in the Civil War. Partly in French. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 1. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1318.

Anonymous account, 1786-1788. 1 item. Location: Misc:A. Account of an unidentified merchant in New Orleans, Louisiana. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 133.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Business, French

Anonymous commercial journal, 1836 July-August. 1 volume. Location: M:18. Journal belonging to a son of a New Orleans, Louisiana commission merchant, probably a schoolboy. Day-to-day entries made while he was working in his father's firm describe business transactions, office duties, and bank affairs; and record personal observations, descriptions of merchandise, and a few local incidents. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2168.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Education, Business

Anonymous diary, circa 1847. 1 diary. Location: MISC:A. Woman's diary. She writes mainly of being at her aunt and uncle's house, possibly a plantation, near Biloxi, Mississippi. She writes of leaving New Orleans, Louisiana and reaching Biloxi (June 24); of a boat race around Deer Island (August 23); and of Governor Albert G. Brown dining at her aunt and uncle's house (September 23). Mss. 5359.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Women

Anonymous letter about yellow fever, 1847. 1 item. Location: Misc:A. Letter from New Orleans, Louisiana, refers to the yellow fever epidemic. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1801.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Medicine

Anonymous New Orleans scrapbook, 1855-1867. 1 volume. Location: H:10. Scrapbook of newspaper clippings, mainly of poems published in New Orleans papers, and sentimental engravings. Items are glued over ledger entries (1855-1857). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3012.

Archinard, Cesario. Land grant, 1807. 1 item. Location: Misc:A. Resident of New Orleans. Land grant, signed by Luis Hector Baron de Carondelet, Spanish Governor of Louisiana, awarding land in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, to Archinard. The land was surveyed by Carlos Trudeau. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 254.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, Politics, New Orleans to 1861

Asbury, Francis, 1745-1816. Broadside, 1833 December 25. 1 item. Location: E:Imprints. First bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in North America. An elegiac poem written by Jesse Jennett at the death of Francis Asbury printed at the Creole Office at New Orleans, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 965.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, New Orleans to 1861, Literature

Aubert Document, 1764. 1 item. Location: Misc.:A Commandant of the fortress 'Laplace'. Notarized document describing the sale of a house and lot on Bourbon Street, New Orleans, by Aubert to La Foresto (1764). In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 16.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Avart, Valentine Robert. Document, 1806. 1 item. Location: Misc.:A. Notarized copy of a land conveyance for a plantation sold by V. Robert Avart to Lancelot Pearson at public auction. The plantation near New Orleans was given to receivers by its former owner, Charles Latours. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 18.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, New Orleans to 1861, French

Avery, Dudley. Letters, 1815 January. 2 items [photostats]. Location: Misc.:A. Physician, resident of Baton Rouge, and speaker of the house in the West Florida legislature. Letters from Dr. Avery to Mrs. Mary Ann Avery during his service as a volunteer medical doctor with the Louisiana militia in New Orleans. Letters contain an account of the Battle of New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1874

Avet, Joseph. Document, 1848. 1 item. Location: Misc.:A. Slave bill of sale for a slave sold by Joseph Avet to Lucien Gex, New Orleans, March 27, 1848. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 610.

Bancroft, Thomas P. Letter, 1839 Jan. 15-16. 1 letter. Location: Misc.: B. Thomas P Bancroft of New Orleans, La., writes to F. C. Lowell of Boston, Mass. about the cotton trade and prices. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3775.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Business

Bank of Mississippi. Bill of lading, 1824. 1 item. Location: Misc:W. Bill of lading for the transport of nine thousand dollars specie, contained in an iron bound keg, to Natchez, Mississippi, from the port of New Orleans aboard the steamboat ,Tanny. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3666.

Barel, Leona Queyrouze, 1861?-1938. Papers, 1800-1950 (bulk 1860-1937). 2,614 items, 31 printed vols., 23 ms. vols. Location: X:96-101, OS:Q, 99:Q, Q:27. French-language writer, poet, essayist, and musician of New Orleans and New York City. Her father, Major Leon Queyrouze, was commander of the Orleans Guard Battalion during the Civil War. Papers include letters from writers and editors; literary writings and musical compositions; materials on the Anti-Lottery League; and Civil War and business papers of her father, a member of the factors' firm Queyrouze and Bois. In French and English. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reels 18-26. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1204, 1222, 1278, 1314, 1323, 1335.

Bark Atticus account, 1848 Dec. 23. 1 letter. Location: Misc. Seth McLellan in New Orleans, La., writes his brother, Captain Jacob McLellan in Portland, Me., giving an account of expenses incurred at New Orleans at the close of the tenth voyage and the start of the eleventh voyage of the bark Atticus, as well as loans taken. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4023.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Business

Barker, Andrew S. Letter, 1835. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Probably a Northerner living in New Orleans. Letter to his sister in New York City describes the ceremonies which took place on the anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1399.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861

Barksdale, William. Receipt, 1815 February 25. 1 item. Location: Misc:B. Receipt for payment for 'going as express' with dispatches to Major Thomas Hinds of the Mississippi Territory Volunteer Dragoons by order of Brigadier General John Coffee of New Orleans. It is signed by Colonel Thomas Butler, Gen. Coffee's aide-de-camp. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1670.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861

Barron, Charles. Letters, 1840-1845. 6 items. Location: MISC:B. Seaman on the ship Sharon. Letters to Barron's parents in Topsham, Maine, written from New Orleans and New York. They describe individual ships and the shipping business trade from the Northeast to New Orleans and to Liverpool, England. Included are comments on freight, ship crews, weather, and activities at various ports. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1221, 1248, 1274, 1334.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Transportation

Barrow notebook, 1831. 1 vol. Location: M:18. Handwritten copies of poetry and quotations by British authors and excerpts from The Spectator, Life of Pope, and Art of Thinking. Some of the writings, particularly those in pencil, may be original poems. J.C.B., 1831, New Orleans, appears on the last page containing writing. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 24.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Literature

Bayou Lafourche passenger lists, 1835-1836. 14 items. Location: OS:B. Sheets from passage book of Pierre Gabaroche, Sheldrick Moore, S. G. Moore, and P. R. Lott listing names of passengers on the steamer Revenue and probably another steamboat from towns on Bayou Lafourche to New Orleans and return. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1738.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Transportation

Beauregard, G. T. (Gustave Toutant), 1818-1893. Family Papers, 1818-1912 (bulk 1850-1880). 671 items, 106 vols. (13 ms. vols., 93 printed vols.). Location: U:10-12, F:3, OS:B. American army officer, Confederate general during the Civil War, and superintendent of the New Custom House in New Orleans. Collection includes paper and items of financial, legal, political, and personal interest. Other items include recipes; scrapbooks; pamphlets; photographs; notebooks; and some papers of the Cenas family. Included are papers on New Orleans related to railroad, improvement, and other city projects. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 601.

Beeman, Daniel. Letter, 1833. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Resident of New Orleans. Letter from Daniel Beeman requesting information concerning his brother. For further information, see online catalog.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861

Beik, R. Letter, 1839 May 18. 1 letter. Location: Misc. R. Beik, a commission merchant in New Orleans, La., writes Haller Nott in Rodney, Miss., regarding the precarious state of the cotton trade. Mss. 4067.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861

Bell and Buchanan. Letters, 1833. 2 items. Location: Misc.:B. New Orleans commission merchants. Business letters from Bell and Buchanan to firms in Wheeling, Virginia. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 222.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Business

Bell, William R., ca. 1814-1874. Papers, 1842-1941 (bulk 1842-1874). 78 items, 2 vols. Location: C:6. Native of Scotland, mortician, and owner of Union Stables in New Orleans. Business papers document Bell's stable and mortuary and include transactions with Union soldiers occupying New Orleans. Correspondence with his family discusses economic conditions and the Civil War. Collection includes a photograph of Bell. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2117, 2118.

Bermudez, I. Document, 1846.1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Judge of the Court of Probates for the Parish and City of New Orleans. Petition of John L. Lewis regarding the status of sheriffs under the constitution of 1845. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 316.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861

Bernard, E. L. Account books, 1838-1851. 2 ms. vols. Location: F:2. New Orleans merchant and importer. Journal and letter book of E. L. Bernard, who did business with Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, and Missouri merchants. Many of the letters to business firms in France refer to merchandise being exported to New Orleans. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 813.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Business, French

Bertoli, Nicolas. Family Papers, 1807-1863 (bulk 1835-1855). 22 items. Location: U:20. Resident of New Orleans. Succession papers of Nicholas Bertoli and passports for J. B. Bertoli, merchant. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 721, 737.

Bienvenu family. Papers, 1779-1907. 143 items. Location: E:19. Planters of St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, and New Orleans. Business papers of Alexandre Devince Bienvenu and Pierre Armand Bienvenu largely concern land ownership and sales in the Attakapas region, St. Martin Parish and New Orleans. Collection also includes family letters and genealogical papers. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2604.

Bigelow, Jonas. Letter, 1835 June 20. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Letter from Fort Smith, Arkansas, to Otis Arnold, Cincinnati, Ohio, referring to Bigelow's business of running a steamboat and flat and keel boats, loaded with cattle and corn, down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2344.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Transportation

Billaud family. Papers, 1816-1868. 43 items. Location: U:20. Residents of New Orleans. Papers include correspondence documenting personal and business affairs, including the purchase and sale of skins; city and parish tax receipts; and a copy of Marie Isabelle Billaud's birth certificate. Letters in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 499, 1361.

Bishop, Wm (William). Letter, 1835 May 1. 1 item (4 leaves). Location: Misc:B. Resident of Mobile, Alabama. Letter from Bishop to Agents William McCauly and Nesbit in New Orleans regarding his financial assets and liabilities. Topics include property in Mobile, money owed Bishop, instructions regarding his house and slaves, and Mary Harral's education. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 28.

Black, Charles. Letter. 1846. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Resident of New Orleans. Letter from Black to his cousin, Harriet Houghton, apparently teaching at Danville, Kentucky, mentioning the celebration of Thanksgiving Day and that it was ridiculed by the Catholics. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1265.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, New Orleans to 1861

Blackburn, J. Letter, 1819 January 7. 1 item (2 leaves). Location: Misc:B. First officer of a ship owned by a company based in New Orleans. The ship's chandlers were Paterson & Philpot. Letter detailing Blackburn's involvement with settling his deceased captain's affairs. It comments on the need to consign the ship to another house or company and it reports the captain's debts and credits, mentioning an enclosed copy of his accounts. This copy is not included. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3326.

Blanc, Evariste. Land Sale, 1854 Sept. 26. 1 item. Location: Misc. B. Land sale by Evariste Blanc to the city of New Orleans for property located at Bayou St. John. Mostly in French. Mss. 5273.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Blanchet, Jean and Marie Mathilde Cabaret. Papers, 1841-1842. 11 items. Location: Misc.:B. Residents of New Orleans. Papers include a power of attorney, signed in Paris, France, granted by them to M. M. Thon and Lubin Garnier, New Orleans; and receipts of the Blanchets, New Orleans, for payment of state, parish, and city property taxes. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 31, 52.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Blineau, Olivier. Land Sale, 1832. 1 item. Location: Misc.: B. A land conveyance for the sale of property located on Rue de Sainte-Anne in New Orleans by Olivier Blineau to Grégoire Curto. In French. Mss. 5265.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Block, W. Letter, 1839 December 12. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. New Orleans commission merchant. Letter from Block to a Boston attorney explaining business losses in New Orleans-Boston trade. The letter contains a list of the spoiled produce together with the name of the person or firm from whom the merchandise was received. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1493.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Business

Bonnecaze, Leon, 1797-1872. Papers, 1807-1881. (bulk 1850-1870). 0.6 linear feet. Location: Y:84, OS:B. French Consul for Baton Rouge, lawyer, and prominent business man. Papers consist of documents conveying the personal, financial, and business life of Bonnecaze, as well as those of his relatives, and his associates. Most correspondence, financial and legal papers pertain to land ownership. Mss. 5074

Boothby, Charles W. Papers, 1861-1898 (bulk 1861-1874). 1 linear ft. Location: T:19, OS:B. U.S. Army captain, customs official, superintendent of education for New Orleans, and politician. Correspondence, printed military orders, and quartermaster's records reflect Civil War and postbellum New Orleans. Civil War papers document personal experiences, military engagements, African American soldiers, and political activity. Postbellum papers reflect the local and national political environment during Reconstruction. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4847.

Boudar, Thomas. Document, 1845. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Resident of New Orleans. Bill of sale (copy) for slaves sold to Marie Louise Paris of St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana by Boudar. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 25.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, African Americans

Bougaud, C. Letter, 1803 May 16. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Business letter written from New Orleans, La., addressed to Mr. Stre. Bossier, Opelousas, La., discusses the handling of C. Bougaud's account and his financial assets. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3482.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Bourcier, Catherine Silly. Document, 1840. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Widow of Fran?ois C. Bourcier. A document signed by the recorder of mortgages in New Orleans, certifying the non-encumbrance of a slave belonging to Madame Catherine Silly. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 36.

Bourcieu, Duree. Document, 1764. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Land conveyance by Duree Bourcieu, also spelled Bourcier, to Collet. Signed copy with signature of a New Orleans Notary. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 35.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Boutte, Baptiste. Papers, 1764, 1790-1791. 3 items. Location: Misc.:B. Papers include an original land deed (1764) and two promissory notes (1790 and 1791). New Orleans. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 38.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Bowling, L. Cotton record book, 1856. 1 vol. Location: M:18. Probably a clerk in a New Orleans cotton factor's office. Record book kept by Bowling lists the number of bales of cotton received, the names of steamers and railroads transporting the cotton, and the places of origin of the cotton. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1351.

Bradfute, Mrs. Theresa S. Document, 1850 December 5. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Resident of New Orleans, Louisiana. Slave bill of sale (copy) by Mrs. Theresa Stringer McDonald Jones Bradfute, executor of the estate of Greenbury Ridgely Stringer, to James Stuart Hart. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 409.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, African Americans

Braintree Manufacturing Company. Correspondence, 1844-1845. 7 items. Location: Misc.:B. Company located in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Letters to Jonathon Cushing, agent for the Braintree Manufacturing Company, from Washington Jackson and Company, New Orleans factors. Letters concern the sale and delivery of cotton gins. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1404, 1417.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, New Orleans to 1861, Business

Brazilian Newspapers: the DeForest collection, 1822-1828. 95 items. Location: 77:98. Collection of Brazilian newspapers and fliers, broadsides, and pamphlets, dating from the time of independence. Collection includes printed advertisements, an announcement for A FLAUTA MAGICA, and other items. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3074.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Performing arts

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