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Butler (Thomas and Family) Papers

(Mss. 2850)

Biographical/Historical Note
Scope and Content Note
Index Terms


Size. 5.5 linear feet.

Geographic locations. Louisiana; Mississippi.

Inclusive dates. 1804-1945.

Bulk dates. 1863-1930.

Languages. English; French.

Summary. Correspondence and financial papers reflect the personal and financial matters of Judge Thomas Butler and his family in West Feliciana Parish and the sugar plantations owned by the family in Terrebonne Parish. Most materials concerning the plantations and other finances reflect business in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Civil war materials include military orders from the Confederate Army of the Gulf. Early items pertain to the Randolph family and also include letters received by Mary Louisa Stirling.

Related collection. Butler Family Papers (Mss #1026).

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

Biographical/Historical Note

Judge Thomas Butler (1785-1847), born in Pennsylvania moved to Pinckneyville, Mississippi Territory in 1809. An attorney, Butler worked for many of the merchants in Southwest Mississippi and in the Feliciana Parishes. In 1813, he was appointed judge of the Louisiana Third District Court after moving to West Feliciana Parish near St. Francisville and later was elected to the United States Congress, serving as a representative from 1818 to 1821. Butler was a Louisiana gubernatorial candidate twice in the 1820's and lost both elections.

In the late 1830's he began to develop sugar plantations in Terrebonne Parish. Butler's interests extended also to higher education, and he served as president of the Board of Trustees of the Louisiana College at Jackson, Louisiana. He was also a member of the Louisiana Historical Society.

Thomas Butler married Ann Ellis daughter of Abram Ellis in 1813, and they lived at The Cottage with their children Pierce, Richard, Robert, Edward, Margaret, Sarah, Anna and Mary(1). After his death in 1847 wife Ann and son Pierce continued to operate the sugar plantations.

Scope and Content Note

Family papers pertain primarily to household and business finances and include correspondence, bills, receipts, accounts, bills of lading, stock certificates and banking papers. The materials reflect the plantation economy in the antebellum and postwar periods. The twentieth-century financial papers consist primarily of bank accounts and stock interests.

Civil War papers include Confederate military orders and other official papers. Other papers are the Randolph family papers (1804-1938) and letters received by Mary Louisa Stirling (1833-1861) concerning family and social matters.

Index Terms



Banks and banking--Louisiana

Bank of Commerce

Bank of West Feliciana

Barrow, Gordon T.


B. Olinde & Sons Co.

Butler, Ann Ellis

Butler, Anthony W.

Butler, Edward Gaillard

Butler Family

Butler, Harry M.

Butler, James P. Jr

Butler, Louise.

Butler, Margaret

Butler, Marguerite

Butler, Pierce

Butler, Robert O.

Butler, Sarah Jane Duncan

Butler, Thomas, 1785-1847

Canal Bank (New Orleans, La.)


Cocke, R.W.

Confederate States of America Army


Cotton--Economic aspects--Louisiana

Cumberland Telephone and Telegraph Co.

Fairfax & Butler Investment Securities

Federal Land Bank (New Orleans, La.)

Fenner & Beane Brokers

Fontaine Martin & Co.


Insurance policies--Louisiana

Interstate Trust and Banking Co.


J.H. Baldwin & Co.

Julius Treyhan & Co.

Krewe of Proteus

Laurel Hill Plantation (La.)

Lawrason Bros.

Lawrason & Ryder

Lewis, William

Mahoney, E.

Merchant Mutual Insurance Co.

Metcalfe, A.M.

Minor Family

Minor, John

Natchez (Miss.)

New Orleans Cotton News Bureau



Perrin, A.P.

Plantations--Economic aspects--Louisiana

Plantations--Louisiana--Terrebonne Parish

Plantation life--Louisiana--West Feliciana Parish

Plantation owners--Louisiana

Randolph Family


Sansoni, Frank

Standard Oil Company

State Society of Cincinnati

Stirling, Mary Louisa