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Guide to the New Orleans Collection
1770-1904 (bulk 1804-1836)
  MS 1944

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Melissa Haley

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 02, 2011
Description is in English.

Historical Note

(Events in the city's history most relevant to items in collection)

1718 New Orleans founded by John-Baptiste Le Moyne, as capital of the French territory of Louisiana
1764 Louisiana ceded to Spain
1766 Spain takes possession, establishes the Cabildo (City Council)
1785 Census of New Orleans reports 4,980 inhabitants
1800 Spain cedes territory back to France
1803 April France agrees to sell Louisiana to the U.S.
1803 Nov. 30 Territory is transferred from Spain to France
1803 Dec. 20 Territory transferred to the U.S.
1805 City of New Orleans is incorporated; municipal government consists of Mayor, Recorder, Treasurer, and Conseil de Ville (City Council) with 14 Aldermen
1805 Census of New Orleans reports 8,212
1806 Garde de Ville (police force) established
1810 Census reports 24,552
1812 First steamboat arrives in New Orleans; city soon becomes a major early nineteenth-century port
1815 Jan. 8 Battle of New Orleans fought against the British, tail end of the War of 1812
1817 Yellow fever outbreak; Board of Health established
1821 Street lighting efforts begun
1822 City waterworks project completed
1832, 1833 Cholera and yellow fever outbreaks
1833 City of Lafayette founded; absorbed by New Orleans in 1852
1835-1842 Banking capital of New Orleans exceeds New York's
1836-1852 New city charter divides New Orleans into three separate municipalities (First Municipality, Second Municipality, Third Municipality); one mayor still serves
1840 Population 102,192; second largest port in U.S. behind New York
1845 City of Carrollton founded; absorbed by New Orleans in 1874
1861 Jan. 26 Louisiana secedes from Union
1862 Apr. Union troops capture New Orleans

(Sources: Herbert Asbury, The French Quarter; Henry Rightor, ed.,  Standard History of New Orleans, Louisiana (1900); Gilbert C. Din and John E. Harkins,  The New Orleans Cabildo: Colonial Louisiana's First City Government, 1769-1803; Louisiana State Museum,  The Cabildo: Two Centuries of Louisiana History [http://lsm.crt.state.la.us/cabildo/cabildo.htm]; Kimberly Hanger,  A Medley of Cultures: Louisiana History at the Cabildo.)

French words frequently found in collection:

Arrete Agreed upon, decreed
Bail a loyer Lease of house, etc.
Banquette Sidewalk
Bienfaisance Charity
Cercueil Coffin
Charrette Cart
Chemin Path, road, route
Doit Debit/debtor side of account
Droit Right, equity; right to claim, title, fee, due (tax), duty, customs duty
Esclave/esclavage</emph>:<emph render="italic"> Slave/slavery
Faubourg Suburb
Geole Jail
Mairie Mayor
Pension Boarding house
Poste Post/station; guardhouse
Rapport Report/account
Tombereaux Carts
Vente Sale
Voyer Surveyor/inspector

Mayors of New Orleans, frequently found in collection:

Nov. 30, 1803-May 26, 1804 John Etienne Bore
June 2, 1804-July 26, 1805 James Pitot
July 27, 1805-March 8, 1807 John Watkins
March 9, 1807-May 16, 1812 James Mather
May 16, 1812-Oct. 8, 1812 Charles Trudeau (acting)
Nov. 6, 1812-Dec. 4, 1812 LeBreton Dorgenois (acting)
Oct. 8, 1812-Sept. 4, 1815 Nicholas Girod
Sept. 4, 1815-May 13, 1820 Augustin Macarty
May 14, 1820-May 10, 1828 Joseph Roffignac
May 12, 1828-Apr. 9, 1838 Denis Prieur

(Source: New Orleans Public Library, City Archives & Louisiana Division Special Collections, Fact Finder, http://nutrias.org/~nopl/facts/mayors.htm)