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HART-BONNECAZE-DUNCAN FAMILY PAPERS

(Mss. 3371, 4208)


 

Summary

Biographical/Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

Series and Subseries Descriptions

Selected Subjects

Container List

Appendix

 


Summary

Size:  2 linear feet.

Geographic locations:  Louisiana.

Inclusive dates:1775-1949, n.d.

Bulk dates: 1840-1875, 1905-1940.

Language: English, French, Spanish.

Summary: Personal and business correspondence, writings, legal records, financial records, ephemera, sheet music, and photographs of the Hart, Bonnecaze, and Duncan families of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. The papers document land transfers, the cotton trade, and assorted mercantile transactions and provide some information on civilian conditions during the Civil War and on the development of the Baton Rouge Fire Department.

Source: Gifts, 1979 and 1989.

Access: No restrictions.

Related collection: S.M. Hart and Company Account Books (Mss. #992).

Copyright:  Physical rights are retained by the LSU Libraries. Copyright of the original materials is retained by the creators, or their descendants, of the materials in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Citation:  Hart-Bonnecaze-Duncan Family Papers, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Stack Locations:  T:18, OS:H.

Biographical/Historical Note

Avery, Daniel D. (1810-1879). Baton Rouge attorney and South Louisiana planter.
Justice of the peace in Baton Rouge Parish by the mid-1830s, Avery became a planter at Petite Anse Island (later Avery Island).

Bonnecaze, Leon (ca. 1797-1872). Baton Rouge businessman and longtime French consular agent.
Bonnecaze's midcentury political and social activities included his being a Baton Rouge selectman and a trustee of the College of Baton Rouge. His Baton Rouge soap factory was damaged extensively during the Federal occupation.

Calliham, David M. (d. ca. 1888). Shreveport (Louisiana) attorney.
Calliham's business letterhead ca. 1875 identified him as an attorney and counselor at law. Sometime around 1888 he died, aged 32.

Duncan, Abner L.H. (d. ca. 1846). Louisiana attorney.

Duncan, Abner L. (d. 1881). Resident of East Baton Rouge Parish.
Duncan married Anna Belle Hart (daughter of Samuel M. Hart).

Hart, Robert A. (1858-1939) Baton Rouge real-estate investor and politician.
Hart served at various times as fire chief, member of the police jury, and mayor (1898-1902). Son of Samuel M. and Sophie Martin Hart, he was vice-president of The First National Bank of Baton Rouge; president of Fuqua Hardware Company, Limited, hardware wholesaler; and owner of S.M. Hart and Son, a general insurance and real estate business.

Hart, Samuel M. "Major" (1816-1898). Baton Rouge banker and insurance executive with investments in Baton Rouge industries.
Born in the Midwest, Hart came to Baton Rouge around 1840. Around the mid-1840s he founded S.M. Hart & Co. (later S.M. Hart & Son), a Baton Rouge commission firm. With F.E. Hebert, in association with Adolph Huguet, he founded the Hart & Hebert bank. In 1862 Hart, Bradford, and Company filed a claim concerning a Baton Rouge tannery destroyed by Federal forces.
In 1844 Hart became a member of the Washington Fire Company Number One and served as its treasurer for two years before becoming its foreman from 1850 to 1860. He returned to active duty with the Company around 1865 and, still on its active roll, became first chief of the Baton Rouge Fire Department in 1875. At that time he began working to establish a central governing agency for all three Baton Rouge volunteer fire companies. He resigned as fire chief in 1877.

He was a member of St. James Lodge Number 47 (Baton Rouge) of the Free andAccepted Masons.

Lorente, Manuella nee Macias (ca. 1797-1866). Longtime resident of Baton Rouge and owner of Beauregard Town property.
In the 1830s Lorente began over thirty years of residence in Baton Rouge, where her family operated the Verandah Hotel. In 1857 she legally adopted Sophie Martin Hart (1824-1907), Samuel M. Hart's wife.

Scope and Content Note

The Hart-Bonnecaze-Duncan Family Papers contain personal and business correspondence, writings, funeral notices, cards, invitations, notations from publications, legal records, financial records, a minute book, ledgers, issues of a serial publication, ephemera, newspaper clippings, sheet music, and photographs.

Series I, Correspondence and writings, ranges in date from 1841 to 1945 and contains correspondence, almost entirely incoming, of the Duncan, Bonnecaze, and Hart families. For the latter there are also a few writings. Additional correspondence is present for the Calliham family and for Jonathan A. Addison. This series also contains funeral notices, cards, invitations, and notations from publications.

Series I, Subseries 1, the Duncan family correspondence, consists almost entirely of incoming correspondence. Most of the letters are from relatives and describe family events and concerns, including but not limited to deaths and estate settlements. Subseries 2, the Bonnecaze family correspondence, consists primarily of French-language business-related letters received by Leon Bonnecaze. Subseries 3, the Hart family correspondence, contains incoming correspondence pertaining to Hart family businesses, the cotton trade, the Louisiana Penitentiary, Louisiana politics, Civil War civilian conditions in Louisiana and Mississippi, and Baton Rouge fire companies, in addition to general family topics. The few Hart family writings include, among other items, short pieces of creative writing. In Series I, Subseries 4, Other correspondence and writings, most of the dated items precede 1900.

Series II, Legal records, ranges from 1775 to 1930, with most of the records predating 1870; some are undated. Among the records, almost exclusively from Baton Rouge, are succession files that include many routine financial documents with the legal records. The Bonnecaze family legal records, primarily in French through the 1850s, are in English thereafter. They are almost exclusively related to land. The legal records of the Samuel M. Hart fmaily document property and other claims. The Duncan family legal records constitute succession records for Abner L.H. Duncan (1853, Leon Bonnecaze, administrator of estate) and for Abner L. Duncan (1888). The Manuella Lorente records (Daniel D. Avery, agent) consist primarily of land records. Most of the Sherburne family, A.L. Dixon, Eliza A. Walsh (Daniel D. Avery, agent), and B.F. Harney records of other individuals are primarily land records in Spanish (1775-1798), French, and English from East Baton Rouge Parish, St. Helena Parish, and Interior LaFourche Parish.

Series III, Financial records, ranges in date from 1842 to 1948 (and undated), with the bulk of the records predating 1900. This series provides information on Baton Rouge businesses in the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, cotton sales in the 1860s and 1870s, and Washington Fire Company Number One (Baton Rouge) from 1856 through 1866. The financial records of the Duncan and Bonnecaze families consist mostly of checks. The Bonnecaze family financial records, some of which are in French, include accounts for cotton sales. For the subject of the cotton market in 1865 through 1867, sources include the Hart family financial records with the New Orleans cotton factors S.H. Kennedy and Company and S. and Joseph Menard. The Hart family financial files on particular businesses, all located in New Orleans, provide evidence of bank transactions (Pike, Lapeyre, and Brother) as well as purchases of building materials (S. and Alexander McConnell), groceries and fodder (John T. Moore), and lumber and related materials and services (Alexander and Brother). The Hart family financial records are almost exclusively from Baton Rouge businesses. Here can be found information on Hart family enterprises in the cotton trade, banking, and real estate. The Pastoral Aid Society Bank Book is signed by Sophie Hart, Treasurer. Financial records of other individuals represent mostly routine financial transactions. Of interest in regard to Washington Fire Company Number One (Baton Rouge) is a minute book.

Series IV, Serials and ephemera, comprises three issues of the New Orleans Price Current, broadsides and other ephemera, and a small number of newspaper clippings. There are three issues of the serial, the New Orleans Price Current, one each for 1870, 1871, and 1872. The ephemera pertain to a wide range of topics, the periods best represented being the 1870s and the 1930s. Topics represented include but are not limited to Louisiana education; goods and services offered from inside and outside Louisiana, and selected legal and insurance cases; there are two or three items related to each of those topics. Of the five newspaper clippings, most pertain to family events such as deaths. The deteriorating originals of the clippings were photocopied onto permanent paper and replaced.

Series V, Sheet music, consists of sixteen intact or incomplete piano music publications, more than half of them undated. See the Appendix for a list of the sheet music. Series VI, Photographs, comprises a small number of mostly undated black-and-white photographs, postcards, and cartes de visite.

Series and Subseries Descriptions

Series I. Correspondence and writings, 1841-1945, n.d.
Subseries 1: Duncan family correspondence, 1841-1945, n.d.
Primarily letters received from relatives, with a focus on estate settlements and other family concerns.

Subseries 2: Bonecaze family correspondence, 1842-1906, n.d.
Incoming correspondence, for the most part French-language business letters, with some family letters.
The Civil War is the subject of a few letters.

Subseries 3:Hart family correspondence, 1845-1945, n.d.
Received letters pertaining to Hart family businesses, the cotton market, the Louisiana Penitentiary, Louisiana politics, Civil War civilian conditions, and Baton Rouge fire companies. The small number of writings includes, among other items, two very short creative pieces.

Subseries 4:Other correspondence and writings, 1857-1932, n.d.
Funeral notices, business and other cards, invitations, and notations from publications. A small amount of correspondence of the David M. Calliham family (Shreveport, LA) deals with his legal practice. The scant Jonathan A. Addison (Baton Rouge) correspondence concerns Addison's New Orleans property.

Series IILegal records, 1775-1930, n.d.
In English, French, and Spanish. Such property records as inventories, property titles, and deeds of sale, with some incoming correspondence, comprise the bulk of the series and pertain to the lower Mississippi Valley in the Spanish colonial period and primarily to the Baton Rouge area in later periods. Informative for Baton Rouge business relationships are promises of payment, monetary judgments, and other routine legal records as well as succession files containing both financial and legal records. Claims against the Federal government for Civil War damages and twentieth-century railway articles of incorporation also relate to Baton Rouge. Several governmental appointment certificates are present.

Series III.Financial records, 1842-1948, n.d.
Mostly from before 1900, these records provide information on Baton Rouge businesses, cotton sales, and Washington Fire Company Number One (Baton Rouge). Checks, promises of payment, account statements, payment and purchase receipts, tax receipts, and invoices predominate. Other contents comprise incoming correspondence, steamboat waybills, business reports, stock certificates, bank books, parish bonds, an insurance policy, a minute book, and sales ledgers. Also present are letters and account statements from cotton factors located in New Orleans and New York.

Series IV.Serials and ephemera, 1870-1949, n.d.
Best representing the 1870s and the 1930s, three issues of the New Orleans Price Current, broadsides, programs, invitations, incoming form letters, a printed speech, and a small number of newspaper clippings. Topics represented include but are not limited to goods and services, Louisiana education, and selected legal and insurance cases. Most of the newspaper clippings pertain to family events.

Series V.Sheet music, 1858-1895, n.d.
Sixteen piano music publications, more than half undated and some damaged or partial. Many or all were published in New Orleans. Publishers represented are A.E. Blackmar, W.H. Leeson, H.E. Lehmann, Junius Hart, and Louis Grunewald. Louisiana composers include but may not be limited to Theodore von La Hache and Basile Bares (see Appendix for list of sheet music arranged by composer).

Series VI. Photographs, ca. 1870-1928, n.d.
Mostly undated, these black-and-white photographs consist of cartes de visite, postcards, and other photographs ranging from portraits to Baton Rouge scenes.

Selected Subjects

SubjectsSeries

Baton Rouge (La.)--Commerce I-IV, VI
Bonnecaze, L. (Leon), d. 1872 I-III
Confederate States of America--Economic conditions I-II
Cotton trade--Louisiana I, III-IV
Duncan, Abner L.H., d. ca. 1846 II-III
Fire-departments--Louisiana--Baton Rouge I, III
Hart, Robert A., 1858-1939 II
Hart, Samuel M., 1816-1898 I-III
Land titles--Registration and transfer--Louisiana II
Louisiana State Penitentiary I-II
Louisiana--History--Civil War, 1861-1865 I, II
Magnolia Mound Plantation (Baton Rouge, La.) I
Pastoral Aid Society III
Steamboat III

Container List

Stack location

Box

Folder(s)

Contents

 

 

 

Series I. Correspondence and writings

T:18

1

1-4

Subseries 1. Duncan family correspondence, 1841-1945, n.d.

 

1

5-7

Subseries 2. Bonnecaze family correspondence, 1842-1906, n.d.

 

1

8-16

Subseries 3. Hart family correspondence, 1845-1945, n.d.

 

1

17-22

Subseries 4. Other correspondence and writings, 1857-1932, n.d.

 

 

 

Series II. Legal records

T:18

1

23

Bonnecaze family legal records, 1831-1852

OS:H

 

folder 24

Bonnecaze family legal records, May 9, 1856

T:18

1

25-26

Bonnecaze family legal records, August 6, 1856-1907, n.d.

 

1

27

Hart family legal records, 1862, 1865

OS:H

 

folder 28

Hart family legal records, January 17, 1866

T:18

1

29

Hart family legal records, February 20, 1866

OS:H

 

folder 30

Hart family legal records, 1867-1898

T:18

1

31

Hart family legal records, 1920-1930, n.d.

T:18

2

32

Abner L.H. Duncan succession records, 1853

 

2

33

Abner L. Duncan succession records, 1887-1888

 

2

34-35

Mrs. Manuella Lorente legal records, 1843-1863

 

2

36-37

Mrs. Eliza A. Walsh legal records, ca. 1844-1859

 

2

38

Sherburne family legal records, 1850-1865

 

2

39

Benjamin F. Harney succession legal records, ca. 1860-1861

 

2

40

A.L. Dixon legal records, 1865, n.d.

 

2

41-48

Legal records of other individuals, 1775-1927, n.d.

 

 

 

Series III. Financial records

T:18

2

49

Duncan family financial records, 1858-1948

 

2

50

Bonnecaze family financial records, 1853-1859

OS:H

2

folder 51

Bonnecaze family financial records, 1860-January 7, 1863

T:18

2

52

Bonnecaze family financial records, ca. July 1863-1873, n.d.

T:18

2

53-54

Hart family-S.H. Kennedy and Company records, 1865-1867

 

2

55-56

Hart family-S. and Joseph Menard records, 1865-1866

 

2

58

Hart family-S. and Alex. McConnell records, 1865-1866

 

2

59

Hart family-Pike, Lapeyre, and Brother records, April-November 1865

OS:H

2

folder 60

Hart family-Pike, Lapeyre, and Brother records, December 7, 1865

T:18

2

61

Hart family-Pike, Lapeyre, and Brother records, December 9, 1865-ca. 1865

 

2

62

Hart family-Alexander and Brother records, 1866-1867

 

2

63-64

Hart family financial records with other businesses, 1857-1946, n.d.

 

2

65

Hart family steamboat waybills, 1865

 

2

66

 Hart family tax receipts, 1866-1875

T:18

3

67

Pastoral Aid Society Bank Book, 1856-1862

 

3

68-69

Mrs. Manuella Lorente financial records, 1860-1866, n.d.

 

3

70

Mrs. Manuella Lorente bank book, 1858-1861

 

3

71

Financial records of other individuals, 1842-June 1866

OS:H

3

folder 72

Financial records of other individuals, September 1866-1869

T:18

3

73

Financial records of other individuals, 1875-1948, n.d.

 

3

74

 Washington Fire Company Number One (Baton Rouge) Minute Book, 1856-1866

 

3

75

Ledger R, 1856-February 16, 1857

 

3

76

Ledger S, February 20, 1857-1858

 

 

 

Series IV. Serials and ephemera

T:18

3

77

New Orleans Price Current, 1870-1872

 

3

78-79

Ephemera, 1871-1893, 1928-1947

OS:H

 

folder 80

 Ephemera, n.d.

T:18

3

81

 Newspaper clippings, 1890-1949

 

 

 

Series V. Sheet music

OS:H

 

folder 82

 Sheet music, 1858-1895, n.d

 

 

 

Series VI. Photographs

T:18

3

83-84

Photographs, ca. 1870-1928, n.d.

Appendix

Sheet Music Arranged by Composer

Bares, Basile.  La Creole, Souvenir de la Louisiane. New Orleans:  A. E. Blackmar, 1969.

Beyer, Ferd.  Fantaisies Instructives Sur Des Motifs, D'Operas Favoris. New Orleans:  A. D. Blakcmar, n.d.

Beyer, Ferd.  La Marseillaise pour la piano forte.  New Orleans, W. H. Leeson, n.d.

Beyer, Ferd.  Robert le Diable de G. Meyerbeer, Bouquet de Melodies. New Orleans:  A. E. Blackmar, n.d.

Cole, E. K., M.D. Do They Think of Me At Home, Brilliant Variations on Glover's Beautiful Melody.  New Orleans:
    Blackmar & Co., 1864.

Croisez, A. L'Hirondelle et La Prisonnier, Caprice De Genre.  New Orleans:  A. E. Blackmar, n.d.

Despommier, Victor. Louisiana Naval Reserve March.  No Place:  P.T. Wayne, 1895.

Francis, W.T., arranger.  Castanera, Mexican Melody.  New Orleans: Junius Hart, 1885.

Francis, W.T., arranger.  Chloe, Danza Mexicana.  New Orleans:  Junius Hart, 1885.

Joungmann, Albert.  Heimweh.  New Orleans:  Louis Grunewald, n.d.

Ketterer, E.  Caprice Hongrois, Etude de Concert.  New Orleans:  A. E. Blackmar, n.d.

La Hache, Theod. von.  Improvisation for Piano, or My Southern Sunny Home.  New Orleans, Blackmar & Co., 1865.

Lehmann, H. E.  Il Trovatore, Polka Mazurka.  New Orleans:  H. E. Lehmann, 1858.

Navarro, Francis J.  Maria Mazurka, n.d. (Bound with Francis' Castanera.)

Strauss.  Trovatore Waltz.  New Orleans:  Louis Grunewald, n.d. (Front cover only.)

Woodson, Harry.  Carry Me Back to Old Virginny.  Boston:  John F. Perry & Co., n.d. (Front cover only.)