HAAS (SAMUEL) LETTERPRESS COPYBOOK

(Mss. 3698)

Inventory

Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections

Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library

Louisiana State University Libraries

Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University

Reformatted 2003

Revised 2010

CONTENTS OF INVENTORY

SUMMARY .................................................................................................................................... 3
BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE ...................................................................................... 4
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE ................................................................................................... 4
LETTER DESCRIPTIONS ............................................................................................................ 5
CROSS REFERENCES ................................................................................................................ 12
CONTAINER LIST ...................................................................................................................... 14

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SUMMARY

Size.

1 volume (on 1 microfilm reel)

Geographic locations.

St. Landry Parish (today, Acadia Parish)

Inclusive dates.

1886-1887

Bulk dates.

N/A

Language.

English

Summary.

Letters from a Louisiana merchant to business associates, family members, and friends.

Organization.

Letters copied chronologically within a bound volume.

Restrictions on access.

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

Related collections.

Samuel Haas Record Books, Mss. 3400

Copyright.

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

Citation.

Samuel Haas Letterpress Copybook, Mss. 3698, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, La.

Stack location(s).

Mss.MF:H

BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE

Samuel Haas, of Jewish descent, was born in Alsace, France. He immigrated to the United States around 1852 and operated a store in Bayou Chicot, Evangeline Parish, Louisiana. Haas married Martha A. Cole in 1862, and they had five children. During the Civil War, Haas was first lieutenant and captain in the Prairie Rangers, Company K, 3rd Louisiana Cavalry. He returned to his mercantile business, which eventually became one of the largest mercantile establishments in St. Landry Parish. This business allowed Haas to acquire hundreds of acres in four central Louisiana parishes. He was a member of the St. Landry Parish Police Jury, 1892-1907, and the Democratic Parish Executive Committee. Haas was also postmaster in Bayou Chicot for a time.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

Letters are written primarily to business associates and friends in Avoyelles, Rapides, and St. Landry (later Acadia) parishes and New Orleans. Haas discusses orders for, and the sale of, merchandise from New Orleans and elsewhere; shipment of goods via Washington and Bunkie, La.; marketing of cotton, horses, cattle, hides and wool, timber and lumber; accounts with debtors; and legal and land issues. A few personal letters, mainly to family members, are also present. Major subjects Haas covers include trading cattle from the "Piney Woods" area; buying and selling Creole and other breeds of horses and ponies, mules, and asses; details on the June 1886 flood in his region; references to local politics and Police Jury business; Jewish philanthropy; and lawsuits and crime. In a June 1886 letter, Haas provides a three-and-a-half page description of the St. Landry Parish vicinity and its people. Furthermore, there are two items dated October 1886 that refer to the creation and eventual formation of Acadia Parish out of St. Landry.

LETTER DESCRIPTIONS

Prior to the numbered pages, an index by name and page is given.

Page # of Letter

Contents of letter

4

Refers to his brother, Captain A. M. Haas.

10

Letter of condolence to Jewish friends.

14

Relates news of children and where they are studying. Son after 3 years has graduated from Philadelphia Medical College and now practices in Opelousas, daughter graduated at Holly Springs, Mississippi, and lives with him; 12 yr. old son at school in Tennessee, sons 9 and 7 yrs. are at home.

27

Nephew, D. W. Haas.

53

Grand Jury to meet and investigate shooting to see if African American man drew his pistol first, the man‟s son is safe if that is so.

61

Expresses hope that he will become a Master Mason although certain men may threaten to speak against him.

71

To R. T. Marshall at Hiwassee College, Tenn., where several boys from St. Landry, La., are attending and giving advice on purchasing tickets on the train to come home

81

Sends $5.00 to help rebuild the synagogue in Ingville, Germany (his sister lived in that town).

96, 98

Alludes to a shooting scrape

116

Concerning the selling of lots in Bunkie, La.

129

Discusses excellent fishing grounds at Belle Cheney Springs, La., where over 400 perch were caught at one time.

149

(June, 1886)writes to W. W. Cooper of Pennsylvania describing the St. Landry country concerning water, soil, etc., fertilizers used, temperature, few African Americans but many Northerners and Westerners located there. Answers questions given him.

153

Mentions that timber from that area is shipped in barges or rafts.

Letters on cotton crop and getting criminals out on bond.

Page # of Letter

Contents of letter

174-218

June 19, 1886 contains details on the flood in that area and his rescue efforts; water 10 feet deep in places; all bridges were destroyed; elderly of 70 years never saw water that high; asks legal opinion of Gilbert Dupre concerning a cattleman who drove his herd to the hill of another farmer and was charged rent; poor crop prospects due to flood.

216-220

Has received buggy from Naydock Bros., St. Louis; also writes M. D. Kavanagh at Baton Rouge and asks aid for the flood victims.

222

Mentions Creole mares and horses and asks about the chances of selling them and whether he would advise trying to sell broken ones.

226

Writes a schoolmaster and says that a good teacher will do well at that place.

228

To A. B. Irion, member of U. S. Congress, Washington, D. C., July 10, 1886explains his ward as being pro-Irion and blames Dossman for Irion‟s getting only one vote in his ward, with the rest voting Republican ticket; Chicot ward gave Irion all of its vote; asks Irion‟s aid in establishing other post offices and mail service.

246

Orders tobacco “a little off” from New Orleans

256

To Irion, July 20, 1886promises that the delegation from St. Landry Parish to the District Convention will be for him; deals with needed mail route;

Letters trying to collect debts.

281-282

July 23, 1886wool for sale and is going to woods to hunt cattle

283

Is forwarding hides and wool to Alexandria

287

Had 40 ponies for sale but sent them to Ouachita, many were unbroken

291

Concerning the purchase of ponies (July, 1886)

293

Wants someone to visit his area to teach how to castrate horses

303

Bought 3 mares

311

Discusses horses

312

Aug. 1886discusses cattle

318

Cattle gathered in the Piney Woods

Page # of Letter

Contents of letter

319, 321

On trying to sell a plantation; neighbors speak both English and French

326

Mentions that the prairies and Pine Woods have suffered from wind, rain, and overflows (Aug., 1886)

331

Wants special price for cypress lumber

332

Writes that a friend wants to sell cypress logs

344

Stock for sale

348, 350

Sends resignation as member of the Parish Executive Committee due to absence for several weeks during its meeting (Aug. 9, 1886).

351

Purchase of cypress to cover a house of Haas‟

354

As a member of the Parish Democratic Party Executive Committee and the “Little Committee,” Haas has resigned so he won‟t be inconsistent in action between the two.

386

Writes that he has bought buggies from Cincinnati and is trying to sell them locally.

391

Oct. 5, 1886thinks his end of St. Landry Parish is entitled to be their own parish; locally, there is no interest in the forthcoming election; heavy costs of prosecuting crimes in other parts of the parish.

403

Was on a two month trip to the North and West (Oct. 7, 1886)

412

Concerning contested ownership of mares

414

Advice to men who want to homestead

416

Emphasizes the value of a good education

417, 430

Orders „jacks” and tells what he is looking for in them

423

Orders a spark pipe to keep sparks from the flue falling on his gin house and burning it; nearly lost it recently.

436

Discounts a man‟s payment on debt for the “parish paper”

443

Is serving as a cotton buyer for R. L. Walker, Lloyd‟s Bridge, cotton crop and lists shipments by names of men

Page # of Letter

Contents of letter

460

Rev. J. Parker‟s credit was extended by him due to loss of crop demonstrates Haas‟ concern for his fellow man.

462

Cattle shipment sent to Washington, Louisiana.

470

Will have to seize African American man‟s corn, etc., for rent owed Dossman.

470-472

Letter to nephew, Oct. 22, 1886, says that they have divided parish and “Acadia” will be in full bloom in a few weeks.

Purchases of lumber

505

Asks George Elms for a “blank” for Confederate soldiers, Jacob W. Pentawse(?) of the 1st Louisiana Battalion (Wheat‟s), wounded at Manassas, also brother, Daniel.

510

Inquires concerning men in the state penitentiary for horse stealing.

511

Wants to buy a “jack” and Holstein bull after the Texas State Fair closes

544

On the breaking of a “jack.”

547-548

Nov. 13, 1886speaks of labor and anarchist agitations in the North, relieved that the extreme South has been spared so far.

549

To his brother, Capt. A. M. Haas at Haasville.

549, 550

Speaks of Creole horses and asks if any horse thieves(?) have been arrested recently

566

On the renting of a farm he owned

570-572

Oct. 15, 1886on buying “jacks” in New Orleans and Holstein yearling.

576

Places an order for children‟s schoolbooks and lists them by title, Nov. 22, 1886.

587

Buys hunting supplies such as shells, primers, etc.

596

States his prejudice against “drinking” men.

611

Letter to his sister, Fanny Moch, at Ingville(?), Germany.

626

Cloth goods ordered and listed by types

627

Dec. 8, 1886orders from New Orleans: toys and other items presumably for

Page # of Letter

Contents of letter

Christmas

659

Writes V. and A. Meyer & Co., New Orleans, asking about Judge Gervais Baillio‟s property and judgments against it; the judge has written him that it is the first time that he has fallen behind in years.

667

Terms made by Haas for renting a place for 1887

678

To M. Lazarro, Ville Platte, Dec. 23, 1886

692

Dec. 28, 1886learns that there are Creoles (horses) in the Prairie.

700, 702

Writes Nashville, Tenn., inquiring as to the price of two “Jacks”

712

Dec. 30, 1886describes where an old rice farmer‟s land is trying to be taken on a legal technicality.

716

Letter of introduction for his former bookkeeper of 11 years, John D. Currie

728

91 bales of cotton shipped to Washington, Jan. 1887.

729

Mentions that he is 18 miles away from a telegraph office.

737

Order of hunting shells, etc.

738

Orders tax receipt for various local persons.

740

To J. Massie Martin, New Orleans, Jan. 11, 1887concerning the Farmers‟ Convention to meet in Lake Charles and will support Martin‟s recommendation.

743

Writes Judge Baillio saying V. & A. Meyer & Co. in New Orleans would have been happy to make the loan

745

Writes G. Katz, Treasurer, N. O., and lists the names of 5 donors and the amounts given to the Jewish Widows and Orphans‟ Home

751

Posts bond for the Johnson brothers who were arrested for trespassing on U. S. timber land; thinks them innocent.

756-757

Gives advice to a school teacher at Godwin‟s Mill, La.; states that Piney Woods people are poor but honest.

767

Writes concerning the payment of taxes for a number of people in his area.

Page # of Letter

Contents of letter

774

Writes and lists other contributions to the Widows and Orphans‟ Association by the doctors Hawkins and Haas (different names from p. 745)

776

Writes his sister in Germany and sends her relief

780

Sends a gypsy mule and horse to a buyer

789

Writes debtor that he will take stock in lieu of cash on a debt

790

Returns tax receipts where an overcharge has been made; lists 15 names; states that poll taxes have been charged to two women and asks tax assessor to correct same

791

Defends the Johnson brothers against trespassing

803

Has paid court costs in a “dirty” little lawsuit

809

Writes his son, Dr. John A., at Chataignier, La.

809

Writes that William Prescott wishes to sell his 1,700 acre plantation.

814

Orders riding equipment from New Orleans and lists items needed

813-815

Orders cloth and articles of women‟s apparel

836

Sends commission as a road overseer from the Police Jury

848

Orders a “jack” from Nashville, Tenn.

861

Purchases hardware, ammunition, etc.

864

Pays the licenses for 5 men in his area (to the courthouse)

866

To S. L. Compton, Oakland Plantation, Bayou Boeuf, trying to sell mules and horses

872

In answer to an inquiry states that Louis Oliff in his region makes bricks

874

Writes Y. Vidrine, Ville Platte, President of the Ville Platte Tournament and Railroad Club, saying that he is glad he is on the committee and will try to get subscriptions

877

To Bertrand Weil, Alexandria, although some friends have received their invitations to the ball, he has not.

887

Mar. 4, 1887ships 86 hides to New Orleans via Washington

Page # of Letter

Contents of letter

899

To Thomas H. Lewisrefuting the statement that court hasn‟t met in the last six months; discusses illness of official

908

Offers to sell mule and horse

914

To H. & A. Kahn, Evergreen, La., Mar. 12, 1887writes that he would not condone violence and bulldozing against them, even if it meant death; glad entire community did not condone it.

915

Writes to Felix Bouar, Cottonport, La., a similar letter as the one above concerning bulldozing.

918

Asks friend in New Orleans to check with the Times Democrat office to ascertain the best cost available for advertising in the newspaper and printing circulars; wants the Texas and Pacific Railroad to make a branch to Ville Platte

929

At next Police Jury meeting, promises to present a motion for money for a bridge (near Cheneyville)

932

Mar. 1887to John D. Currie, Ville Platte, expressing surprise that Old Tatum and Conway want to nominate someone against Haas; promises to protect Currie even if they try to bulldoze him as was done in Evergreen and Cottonport.

934

Shipped 36 dry skins to New Orleans

938

To M. Lazarro, Ville Platte, Mar. 19, 1887sends his commission for road overseer.

954

Mar. 25, 1887writes of African American man arrested in Avoyelles for horse stealing and suspects that he is also guilty of the murder of Young.

960-961

Two letters. One to Auburn, Ky., asks about buying horses and “jacks;” one to Nashville, Tennessee, concerning prices for jacks.

974, 987

Letters to J. A. Erwin, Science Hill, La., from Haas answering charge made to Erwin that Haas (as Postmaster?) has read his mail.

984

Writes that he has received the wine cask

997

Last page of the volume

CROSS REFERENCES

Subject

Date

Description of relevant documents

Jewish merchants--Louisiana.

1886-1887

Letter book kept by a Jewish businessman from Bayou Chicot, Louisiana, containing correspondence with other Jewish firms, including V. & A. Meyer & Co. of New Orleans, and others. (For names represented see the index in the front of the volume.)

Jews--Louisiana--Charities.

1886-1887

Contributions from residents in St. Landry Parish for the Jewish Widows and Orphans Home, New Orleans, and toward the rebuilding of a synagogue in Ingville (?), Germany, pages 81, 745, 774.

Saint Landry Parish (La.)--History--19th century.

1886-1887

Correspondence from a Bayou Chicot businessman concerning residents, crops, politics, and social conditions in that part of St. Landry Parish which became Acadia Parish later.

Description written to W. W. Cooper of Pennsylvania of the St. Landry country containing details on its physical features and its people, p. 149; description of the “Piney Woods,” pp. 318, 326 (1886).

Acadia Parish (La.)--History--19th century.

1886-1887

Correspondence from a Bayou Chicot businessman concerning residents, crops, politics, and social conditions in that part of St. Landry Parish which became Acadia Parish later.

Two letters discussing the movement to form a new parish out of St. Landry Parish and the eventual formation of Acadia Parish, pp. 391, 470 (1886).

Cattle trade--Louisiana.

1886-1887

Letters describing the collecting of cattle from the Piney Woods and their marketing and sale of hides.

Horse trading--Louisiana.

1886-1887

Correspondence concerning the buying and selling of Creole horses, ponies, and mares, mules, and jack asses; also, letters to dealers in New Orleans, Nashville, Kentucky, and Texas regarding horses and mules; order of riding apparatus, p. 817.

Floods--Louisiana.

1886-1887

Details on the flood covering Bayou Cocodrie, Elm Bayou, Black Lake, Bayou Boeuf, and Little Crocodile Lake area in June of 1886, pp. 174-218, and requesting state aid for the flood victims, p. 220.

Subject

Date

Description of relevant documents

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

1886-1887

Letters written from Bayou Chicot by a businessman, police juror, and member of the parish Democratic Executive Committee, relating to matters on the ward level, voting, support of candidates and issues, the Republican Party police jury appointments, and with state officials and politicians.

References to two instances of “bulldozing” in Avoyelles Parish, without any particulars, one at Evergreen, p. 914, and one at Cottonport, p. 915; promise to protect a friend if bulldozing is tried in St. Landry, p. 932 (1887).

Cotton trade--Louisiana.

1886-1887

Correspondence with factors in New Orleans regarding cotton shipped from St. Landry and Rapides Parishes

Lumber--Louisiana.

1886-1887

Letters discussing the cutting and selling of timber and occasional references to local sawmills.

Crime--Louisiana--Saint Landry Parish.

1886-1887

Letters discussing crimes committed locally, the arrest of suspects, and posting of bond for offenders, the inconvenience caused by distance of the parish seat in trying crimes, and other matters.

Fishing--Louisiana.

1886

Account of excellent fishing grounds at Belle Cheney Springs and one trip which resulted in over 400 perch.

CONTAINER LIST

Stack

Location

Reel

Contents (with dates)

Mss.MF:H

1

Samuel Haas Letterpress Copybook

April 15, 1886 -- April 1, 1887