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Butler (Richard) Papers

(Mss. 1000)


Biographical/Historical Note
Scope and Content Note
Index Terms


Size. 1.25 linear feet.

Geographic locations. St. Charles Parish, Louisiana; Pointe Coupee, Louisiana; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Natchez, Mississippi.

Inclusive dates. 1795-1899.

Bulk dates. 1798-1821.

Languages. English, French.

Summary. Correspondence, a diary, financial papers, and plantation records document the personal and professional life of Richard Butler, an Army officer and sugar planter at Ormond Plantation in St Charles Parish, Louisiana. The diary (1798) records a trip from Pittsburgh down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to Natchez. Other papers pertain to plantation administration, sugar sales, household administration, the Embargo Bill of 1808 and the settlement of the Estate of Richard Butler.

Related collections. Butler (Thomas and Family) Papers; Benjamin Farar Papers (mf 5322).

Citation. Butler (Richard) Papers, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Biographical/Historical Note

Richard Butler, born in 1777, was the son of the American Revolutionary War figure Colonel William Butler and Jane Carmichael of New Orleans. He served as a subaltern in General Anthony Wayne's Army and as a lieutenant in the Second Infantry under the command of his uncle, Colonel Thomas Butler.

In 1798, Richard Butler traveled down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers from Pittsburgh to Natchez, Mississippi, a journey he recorded in a travel diary. At Natchez, he delivered dispatches to Captain Guion.

He married Margaret Farar, daughter of Dr. Benjamin Farar of Pointe Coupee Parish, in 1799. In 1805, he purchased Ormond Plantation, in German Coast County (St. Charles Parish), from the widow of Pierre Trepagnier. At Ormond, named for the Irish family seat of one of his ancestors, he planted sugar. The Butlers also owned a house built by architect Henry S. Latrobe on Royal Street in New Orleans in 1817.

Butler and his wife died childless in 1820 during an epidemic of yellow fever. The settlement of the estate proved difficult in establishing heirs. Rebecca McCutchon, Richard's sister, and her husband Samuel McCutchon inherited the New Orleans house.

Scope and Content Note

Early papers (1795-1803) consist of: correspondence including a letter received by Jane Carmichael Butler praising the military career of her son Richard Butler (1795); Richard Butler's travel diary (1798); legal agreements pertaining to the Estate of Benjamin Farar; receipt for purchase of slaves; and merchandise receipts.

The majority of papers reflect Richard Butler's finances and administration of the sugar plantation including: lists of slaves to be taxed (1805); correspondence concerning sugar shipments and plantation conditions; statements of accounts and invoices; cash books; legal papers concerning the settlement of the Richard Butler Estate; and a record book kept by Richard Butler and others (1796-1889).

Other significant items are an appointment of Richard Butler to the Council of Administration of the Charity Hospital of New Orleans signed by William C.C. Claiborne (1811), correspondence concerning the Embargo of 1807-1809 and testimony before a military court (1808), articles of agreement and indenture (1809), statement of account concerning the estate of Colonel William Butler (1814), and letters to Richard Butler from Andrew Jackson (1816-1817).

Index Terms

Bank of the United States (1816-1836)

Butler, Anthony Wayne

Butler Family

Butler, Richard, 1777-1820

Butler, Thomas, 1785-1847

Butler, William

Carmichael, John

Charity Hospital (New Orleans, La.)

Clark, Daniel, 1766-1813

Ellis, Richard

Embargo, 1807-1809

Farar, Benjamin

Flower, Samuel

Fort Franklin

Hancock County (Miss.)

Hunt, Abijah

Jackson, Andrew, 1767-1845

Kemper, Reuben

Kenner, William, 1774-1824

Laurel Hill Plantation (Miss.)

McCutchon, Samuel

Ormond Plantation (La.)

Plantation owner--Louisiana


Poydras, Julien, 1746-1824

Randolph, Edward

Saint Charles Parish (La.)

Saul, Joseph



Sugar growing--Louisiana

Sugar--Prices--United States--Louisiana


Wilkinson, James, 1757-1825