See also UPA microfilm:

MF 5750, Series E, Reels 13-14

Hyams (Henry M. and Family) Papers

(Mss. 1392)

Inventory

Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections

Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library

Louisiana State University Libraries

Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University

Reformatted 2007

Contents of Inventory

Biographical/Historical Note

4

Scope and Content Note

4

Series Description(s)

5-6

Index Terms

7

Container List

8-11

Use of manuscript materials. If you wish to examine items in the manuscript group, please fill out a call slip specifying the materials you wish to see. Consult the Container List for location information needed on the call slip.

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Proper acknowledgement of LLMVC materials must be made in any resulting writing or publications. The correct form of citation for this manuscript group is given on the summary page. Copies of scholarly publications based on research in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections are welcomed.

Summary

Size.

313 items, 7 printed volumes

Geographic locations.

New Orleans, La.; Carroll, St. Landry, Grant, Rapides, and Caldwell Parishes, La.; district north of Red River; Texas

Inclusive dates.

1843-1953

Bulk dates.

1901-1953

Language.

English

Summary.

Papers of the Henry M. Hyams family, consisting of letters and political and legal papers of Henry M. Hyams and his children.

Organization.

Series I, Personal and Business Papers

Series II, Legal Papers

Restrictions on access.

If microfilm is available, photocopies must be made from microfilm.

Related collections.

Judith Hyams Douglas Papers, Mss. 1392

Copyright.

Copyright of the original materials is retained by descendants of the creators in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Citation.

Henry M. Hyams Family Papers, Mss. 1392, 1564, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, La.

Stack location(s).

E:55; OS:H

Also available on:

Microfilm 5750, Series E, Reels 13-14

Biographical/Historical Note

Henry M. Hyams, a lawyer, was admitted to the Louisiana bar in 1830. In the 1830s, he was a member of a vigilante committee to oppose anti-slavery interests. He was elected as a Democrat to the State Senate in 1855 and served as lieutenant governor of Louisiana, 1860-1864. His son, Henry M. Hyams, Jr. (1846-1887), a lawyer in New Orleans, was the son-in-law of Baton Rouge Judge W. R. Rutland. Henry M. Hyams, Jr.'s daughter, Judith Hyams Douglas (1875-1955), also a lawyer in New Orleans, was a civic and social leader and was active in women's clubs.

Scope and Content Note

Papers consist of letters of Henry M. Hyams pertaining to the political situation in Grant Parish, Louisiana, in 1873 and the causes of the Colfax riot. Papers of Henry M. Hyams, Jr. relate to his work for the Court of Commissioners of Alabama Claims (1882-1887) and Hyams' family lawsuits concerning litigation and recovery of Hyams' lands, principally by Judith Hyams Douglas.

The collection contains land patents (1843-1863) and plats issued in Carroll, St. Landry, and Caldwell Parishes, Louisiana, and in the district north of Red River, and in parts of Texas.

Seven printed legal briefs concerning Hyams cases heard before the Louisiana Supreme Court are included.

Series Descriptions

Series I, Personal and Business Papers, 1862-1887, undated

The personal papers of Henry M. Hyams consist largely of correspondence. Many of the letters (1873-1875) are written to his son Henry M. Hyams, Jr. and discuss the Colfax riot in Grant Parish, La. They express dissatisfaction with affairs in the parish, possible causes, and the need for an investigation. Hyams also sends his son a pistol and cartridges (April 4, 1873). Other letters discuss business arrangements for Hyams, Jr. with New Orleans companies or provide advice about land options, mortgages, and legal matters. Still more letters discuss matters such as illnesses in the family (Aug.7, 1873) and the birth of Judith Hyams (Feb.27, 1875).

The correspondence of Henry M. Hyams, Jr. is also included, containing letters to his wife’s parents discussing flooding in New Orleans (1882-1883), a shortage of drinking water, opportunities to buy land (1886), and various legal cases (1885-1887).

Other papers include a Confederate currency note (1862), a U.S. Army inventory of household furnishings seized from the residence of Hyams during the occupation of New Orleans (July 10, 1862), and a certificate for the purchase of Confederate bonds (1864). The marriage license of Laura Hyams Shawcross (1871) and the renunciation to succession favoring Laura Smith Hyams (1874) are also included.

Business papers of Hyams, Jr. consist of various tax receipts, receipts for payment of membership dues in the Knights of Pythias (Oct.25, 1887), and lawyer fees.

Series II, Legal Papers, 1837-1953, undated

The rest of the collection consists of legal papers, the majority of which pertain to Hyams family property lawsuits. This includes acts of the sale of property in New Orleans and Texas (1853-1874), descriptions of boundaries in various cities in Louisiana (ca.1874), and maps and notes regarding the title of a tract of land on Louisiana Avenue in New Orleans (1878-1917). A number of the papers concern the purchase of lands from the heirs of John Slidell and litigation involving this (1872-1920). A map (1872) of drainage sections of New Orleans showing canals and proposed protection levees is included. Miscellaneous notes and legal documents contain acts of sale, acts of partition, succession papers, and briefs relating to the Henry M. Hyams, Jr. estate (1881-1887).

Later items consist of correspondence of Judith Hyams Douglas pertaining to the recovery of Hyams family property. Douglas’ correspondence with Louisiana Abstract and Guarantee Co. (1916-1922) and with the United States Department of the Interior (1901-1924) concerns land claims of the heirs of Henry M. Hyams. Judith H. Douglas also corresponds with Clarence D. Sprigg regarding his claims to property of Henry M. Hyams, Sr. (1917-1932). Documents surrounding Supreme Court decisions deal with Hyams land claims (1940-1950) and numerous notes of Judith Douglas illustrate her study to establish property rights of Hyams heirs (1953, undated).

Other papers include maps, plats, and notes pertaining to lands in Orleans and Catahoula Parishes and the Ouachita River (1872-1886), undated briefs of Judith Douglas, land grants (1837), and surveys of property.

Index Terms

Briefs.

Caldwell Parish (La.)--History.

Douglas, Judith Hyams, 1875-1955.

Grant Parish (La.)--History.

Hyams, Henry M. (Henry Michael), 1806-1875.

Hyams, Henry M., Jr., 1846-1887.

Land grants--Louisiana.

Land grants--Texas.

Lawyers--Louisiana.

Legal documents--Louisiana.

Levees--Louisiana--New Orleans.

Lieutenant governors--Louisiana.

Louisiana--Politics and government--1865-1950.

Louisiana. Supreme Court.

Money--Confederate States of America.

New Orleans (La.)

Plats.

Riots--Louisiana--Colfax.

Rutland, William R. (William Rutland)

Saint Landry Parish (La.)--History.

Container List

Stack Location

Box

Folder

Date

Contents

Series I, Personal and Business Papers, 1862-1887, undated

E:55

1

2

1862-1875

23 items:

U.S. Army inventory (copy) of household furnishings (July 10, 1862)

Confederate currency note (1862.)

Receipt for Louisiana taxes (1863); and 3 cancelled notes (1864-1865)

Certificate for purchase of Confederate bonds (1864)

Marriage license of Laura Hyams to Reginald Shawcross (1871); renunciation to succession favoring mother, Laura Smith Hyams, by other members of family (1874)

11 letters to son, Henry M. Hyams, Jr., 1873-1875:

Discusses affairs in Grant Parish, causes of Colfax riot, business arrangements, congratulates on birth of daughter,

2 memoranda in which Henry M. Hyams discusses mortgage of property for debt of another, ca. 1870, and family history, ca. 1875.

1

3

1882-1887 undated

31 items: Henry M. Hyams, Jr. Personal and Business Papers

Letters to “Ma” [Mrs. W. R. Rutland, mother-in-law] and “Pa” [Judge W. R. Rutland, step-father-in-law], Baton Rouge.

3 letters, 1882-1883:

Mentions flooded streets; discusses Hyams suits against Citizen’s Bank; discusses family matters, shortage of drinking water, and efforts of city to supply

11 letters and 1 card, 1882-1887:

Discusses points of law involved in legal cases, “Alabama” claims (Washington Treaty of 1871). case work. Oct. 14, 1885, and May 18, 1887.

“Alabama” claims, 1882-1887. 8 items, including recommendation of Henry, Jr. by B. F. Jonas, New Orleans lawyer, to practice before the judges of the Court of Commissioners of “Alabama” claims, July 3, 1885; copies of dockets of cases, Oct. 15 and 18, 1885; fees allotted Hyams by lawyer, Nov. 8, 1882.

7 miscellaneous items, 1884-1887, undated, including membership certificate in Louisiana State Benevolent Association, New Orleans, 1884, July 24; receipt for payment of membership dues in Knights of Pythias, Oct. 25, 1887; unfavorable criticism of Rapides Parish, undated

Series II, Legal Papers, 1837-1953, undated

1

4a

1853-1876

13 items: Hyams Family Property Lawsuits

13 items consisting largely of acts of sale of property in New Orleans and Texas, 1853-1874; description of boundaries of cities of Lafayette, Jefferson, and Carrollton, ca. 1874; statement of court fees for successions of Laura and Henry M. Hyams, 1876.

4b

1872-1920

undated

30 items: John Slidell

Papers pertaining to purchase of lands from heirs of John Slidell and litigation involving said lands. Included in papers is copy of map, 1872, of drainage sections of New Orleans showing canals and proposed protection levees and reservoir canals

4c

1878

2 items: Lewis v. Hyams

Concerning seizure of confiscated property, New Orleans, for debts of Henry M. Hyams.

4d

1878-1917 undated

12 items: Louisiana Avenue Tract

Legal documents, maps, and notes regarding title to tract of land in New Orleans, at Louisiana and Napoleon Avenues, and abstract showing Hyams property in Fee Simple (abstract mentions names of John Slidell, John McDonough, Judah P. Benjamin).

5

1881-1887

38 items: Hyams Family Property Lawsuits

Miscellaneous notes, letters, receipts, and legal instruments including acts of sale of property, act of partition, succession papers, briefs, contracts, etc. pertaining to the Henry M. Hyams, Jr. estate, Peter Green case, Porterfield script, Charnook suit, Sheperd Brown property.

6

1882-1887 1916, 1941, undated

10 items: Ingram R. Hyams Property Lawsuits

Legal deeds, letters, and notes pertaining to the succession of Ingram R. Hyams and the transfer of property from Ingram to his brother, Henry M. Hyams, Jr.

7

1921

1 item: Hyams Family Property Lawsuits

Abstract of title to Hyams lands prepared by the Louisiana Abstract and Guarantee Co., New Orleans, for Judith Hyams Douglas.

2

8

1916-1922

20 items: Hyams Family Property Lawsuits

20 items of correspondence pertaining to the preparation of an abstract of title to Hyams lands, including letters from Louisiana Abstract and Guarantee Co. and Judith Hyams Douglas.

9

1901-1924

24 items: Hyams Family Property Lawsuits

24 items consisting of notes, petitions, and correspondence between the United States Department of Interior and Judith Hyams Douglas concerning land claims of heirs of Henry M. Hyams.

10

1917-1932

8 items: Clarence D. Sprigg

correspondence between Clarence D. Sprigg and Judith H. Douglas regarding his claims to property of Henry M. Hyams, Sr.

11a

1931-1946, undated

25 items: Hyams Family Property Lawsuits

Notes of Judith Hyams Douglas pertaining to land patents of Henry M. Hyams, Sr., with briefs, letters, contracts, etc., used in establishing land claims.

11b

1872, 1877, undated

6 items: Miscellaneous Papers

Maps, plats, and notes pertaining to lands in Orleans and Catahoula Parishes, and the Ouachita River.

12

1940-1950

5 items: Supreme Court Decisions

Legal papers, including briefs, exception of prescription, and statements of Judith Hyams Douglas concerning land claims of Hyams heirs.

13

1953, undated

31 items: Notes of Judith H. Douglas

Notes prepared by Judith Douglas in her study to establish property rights of Hyams heirs.

14

undated

23 items: Champrety Suits

Notes by Judith Hyams Douglas summarizing laws in the Hyams case, fiduciary relationship, prescription, and tentative petition for use in the Champrety suits.

2

15

undated

7 printed volumes: Briefs

Legal briefs concerning Hyams cases heard before the Louisiana Supreme Court.

16

1844-1855

1917, undated

7 items: Texas Land Records

OS:H

--

1

1837-1872

undated

Land grants (1837); purchase of land (1861); plat of Hyams property in New Orleans (1886); survey and plan of Township 13, Range 11E

OS:H

--

2

1906

Blueprints of Louisiana Avenue tract

OS:H

--

3

1872-1873

Blueprint of New Orleans (1873); photograph of sketch of draining sections of New Orleans (1872);

MF 5750

Series E

Reels

13-14