Manuscript Resources on Baton Rouge History

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was first discovered and named by the French explorer Iberville in 1699, almost three centuries ago. In the eighteenth century, it was ruled successively by the French, British, and Spanish. Incorporated in 1817, Baton Rouge became the state capital in 1849, though it lost that status during the Civil War and would not regain it until 1882.

This guide to manuscript resources on Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish, of which it is a part, includes a wide variety of materials on the history of the area, among them the papers of Baton Rouge families; the records of businesses and organizations; photographs; newspapers; maps; and oral histories. Although Louisiana State University has been a major part of Baton Rouge for many years, collections relating to LSU are included only if they also relate explicitly to Baton Rouge--for example, the papers of an LSU professor who was also active in community organizations and whose papers documented those organizations. Similarly, the papers of individuals in state government are not included unless they also relate explicitly to Baton Rouge.

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Wyckoff, Elias. Correspondence, 1862-1863. 11 items. Location: MISC:W. Farmer from Jasper, Steuben County, New York, and a member of the 161st New York Volunteers in the Civil War, serving with an ambulance corps. Exchange of letters between Wyckoff and his wife refers to the military situation in Baton Rouge and Port Hudson, Louisiana. Wyckoff comments on his duties as an ambulance driver. His wife writes of money scarcity, farm problems, and life in Jasper. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1396, 1428, 1437.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, Baton Rouge, Medicine

Wynne, Michael D. Collection, 1826-1976. 6 linear ft., 13 volumes. Location: W:34-35; P:19; 5:31-32, 43; VAULT MRDF 6; VAULT:1, 25; OS:W. Resident of Lafayette, Louisiana, and collector of historical materials on south Louisiana history and culture. Collection includes papers of planters, Civil War soldiers, politicians, and professionals. It contains letters, Confederate currency, sheet music, photographs, newspaper clippings, and scrapbooks documenting New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and surrounding parishes. Also included are papers of the Mayer Brass Band of Opelousas, Louisiana (1892-1909). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3053.

Zackman, William. Letters, 1862-1863. 2 items. Location: Misc.:Z. Union soldier from Maine encamped at Baton Rouge and Port Hudson, Louisiana. Zackman's letters to family members, showing the enthusiastic reaction of a Northerner to southern scenery and tropical foods upon his arrival in Baton Rouge and later his disgust with the Louisiana climate and the hardships of military life. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1418.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

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