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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Wagner, Peter K., 1787?-1864. Letter, 1815. 1 letter. Location: Misc. Unsigned copy of a letter to Peter K. Wagner, publisher of the Orleans Gazette, requesting a copy of the newspaper issue containing a statement by General D.B. Morgan criticizing the writer’s conduct on the West Bank of the Mississippi River during the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815. For further information, see online catalog. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 238.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Wallace, James Burns, 1813-1836. Diary, 1835-1836. 1 bound vol. Location: H:23, Misc.:W. Native of Canaan, New Hampshire, printer, and merchant. Diary of travels by horseback through northwest Louisiana, then by steamboat down the Red River to New Orleans. Wallace's diary then recounts his travel homeward by Mississippi River steamer, via Natchez and Vicksburg, Mississippi; Louisville, Kentucky; and Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio. Typewritten transcription of the text is available. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3476.

Walton, J. B. Papers, 1858. 2 items. Location: Misc.:W. Commander of the Washington Artillery. Papers consist of an order to Captain Walton to fire the National Salutes, together with a bill for services from the Artillery, at the New Orleans Independence Day celebration. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1198.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861

Wartelle, Pierre Gabriel,1787-1869. Family Papers, 1811-1976. 2 linear ft., 10 v. Location: UU:322-323, OS:W, O:62-63. French ex-patriate, New Orleans businessman, and sugar and cotton planter of St. Landry Parish, La. Collection consists of legal documents, account books, correspondence, printed material and personal papers that pertain to the business interests, plantation operations, and history of the Wartelle Family and Moundville Plantation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 5025.

Waterman, Andrew S. Letters, 1849-1850. 2 letters. Location: Misc. Andrew S. Waterman, a commission merchant of New Orleans, La., writes letters regarding the local cotton trade to his brother, John C. Waterman of Warren, R.I. (Sept. 12, 1849) and to A.S. Lockwood & Co. of Providence, R.I. (Dec. 7, 1850). Mss. 4067.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861

Watson, J. (Joseph). Correspondence, 1826-1846 (bulk 1826-1828). 13 items. Location: Misc.:W. Mayor of Philadelphia. Earliest correspondence (1826-1828) refers to the recovery of five free black children kidnapped in Philadelphia and sold as slaves in Louisiana and Mississippi. Other items include a letter of Clara Baxter of New Orleans proclaiming her dislike of the city. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reel 32. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1872.

Webb, Maria Stuart, ca. 1786-1846. Succession documents, 1846, 1848. 4 items. Location: Misc. These four documents concern the death of Maria Stuart Webb, a native of London, England, who died in Lafayette, Jefferson Parish, La., on October 25, 1846. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4346.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Women

Webb, William, Sr. Papers, 1835. 2 items. Location: Misc.:W. Resident of New Orleans, Louisiana. Mortgage of slaves of William Webb, Sr. to William Porter, to whom Webb was indebted, and certification of the mortgage by the bureau of mortgages in New Orleans. The mortgage indicates that the slaves mortgaged were Effy, aged 30, Lucinda, aged 26, and Lucinda's two children, Mississippi and Janus, aged ten and six respectively. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 443.

Wehrmann, Henry. Scrapbook, 1838-1939. 1 v. Location: A:110. Music composer, arranger, and publisher of New Orleans, La. Scrapbook contains articles and programs documenting theater and opera in New Orleans. Mss. 3999.

Weld Company correspondence, 1833-1851. 96 items. Location: E:62. Commission merchants of Boston, Massachusetts. Correspondence with New Orleans commission and forwarding merchants. Subjects include the controversy following the Compromise of 1850, New Orleans business conditions, the cotton trade, and the death of President William Henry Harrison. Papers also include scattered shipping records. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1194, 1206, 1220, 1232, 1256, 1289.