Manuscript Resources on The History of Transportation

This guide to manuscript resources on the history of transportation in Louisiana includes a wide variety of materials, among them the records of merchants, factors, commission brokers, planters, attorneys, soldiers, ship owners, captains, steamboats, shipping companies, railroad companies, men, women and children travelers; record books; account books; bills of lading, waybills and receipts; log books of steamers; ship registers; travel diaries; and prints of river scenes and steamboats.

Major topics addressed include steamboats, schooners, the slave trade, shipping, and cotton and sugar (sale, trade, shipment and receipt).

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McAllister, Charles L. Letter, 1861 August 21. 1 item. Location: Misc:M. Confederate soldier. Letter to McAllister's mother, Mrs. C. LaCroze, describing his train trip from Memphis to Knoxville, Tennessee, via Chattanooga. He mentions civilian enthusiasm along the way, and gives an eyewitness account of the wreck of a train carrying troops. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2133.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Civil War

McCarstle, Cullen. Manuscript volumes, 1842-1843. 2 vols. (on microfilm) Location: Mss. Mf.:M. Record book contains bills of lading (1842-1843) for cotton loaded at Fontania, La., onto various steamboats bound for New Orleans. Scrapbook (undated) contains clippings and recipes, mostly for baked goods, and remedies for various diseases in animals and humans, including cancer, cholera, yellow fever, diphtheria and rheumatism. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2726.

McCulloch, James. Letter, March 16, 1837. 1 letter. Location: MISC:M. James McCulloch, in New Orleans, Louisiana at the time, writes to Isaac Abercrombie in Greenfield, Franklin County, Massachusetts. McCulloch mentions that he is sailing from New Orleans to New York, and he asks Abercrombie to write what the price of corn is in Greenfield. McCulloch also mentions that he will ship items up the Connecticut River in Hartford. Mss. 5355. 

McCutchon, A. D. Letters, 1889-1890. 22 items. Location: Misc. Inspector on the dredge clearing Bayou Lafourche near Donaldsonville, Louisiana. Copies of letters to Captain M. W. Fish, U.S. Corps of Engineers in New Orleans, reporting on work accomplished. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1049.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, New Orleans 1866-

McHugh, John A. Family Papers, 1850-1874. 5 items. Location: MISC:M. Resident of Baton Rouge. Papers include a tax receipt (1850), oath of allegiance to the United States (1863), Confederate States of America bond certificate (1864), a railway timetable (1869) and a description (1874) of Mr. Basilisco's fruit and cake store on Third Street in Baton Rouge, La. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Civil War, Baton Rouge

McMurray, Aldridge Leroy, 1902-1987. Papers, 1912-1987. 1 linear ft. Location: 77:50, OS:M, 102. Captain and pilot of steamboats on the Mississippi River. Captain's log books, photographs, autobiographical essay, printed items, and ephemera relate to the career and life of Aldridge Leroy McMurray. Some items relate to the river steamer Sprague. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4502.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation

McMurray, E. L. interviewee. Oral history interview, 1979. 1 sound cassette (1.5 hours), Transcript (34 pages). Location: L:4700.43. Master pilot on the Mississippi River and other rivers, resident of Bayou Sorrel and Plaquemine, Louisiana, and an employee of Standard Oil. Interview includes discussion of McMurray's early life and career as a riverboat pilot, and a description of the governmental control of the Mississippi and the debate about levees and spillways. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.43.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation

McNamara, Matthias. Document, 1776 March 5. 1 item. Misc.:M, vault:1. Governor of Senegambia (Senegal) from 1775-1778. Permint signed by McNamara granting permission to Edward Moffat, Master of the sloop SWALLOW, to sail to 'the River Mississipy'. Also signed by Charles Miller, Deputy Naval Officer. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3413.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation

McQuiston, Nelson, 1897-, interviewee. Nelson and Lottie McQuiston oral history interview, 1979. 1 sound cassette (1.5 hours), Index 2 (pages). Location: L:4700.0044. Nelson and Lottie McQuiston married in 1921 and lived in the Atchafalaya Basin area of Louisiana. They resided in Baker, Louisiana, at the time of this interview. They discuss geographical changes in the Atchafalaya Basin since 1929; the Atchafalaya spillway; lumbering in the area; local treatment of illnesses; residents shopping for groceries and clothing; mail service; education; boat building; and housing. They also discuss births; weddings and funerals; crops and livestock; fishing; and picking and ginning Spanish moss. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0044.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Women, Education, Medicine

Meeker, C. J. Letter, 1849 Jan. 26. 1 letter. Location: MISC:M. Operated C. J. Meeker & Co., commission merchants and agents for Philadelphia and Baltimore packets. Letter to Captain Alexander Jones from Meeker, writing from New Orleans. Meeker discusses errors in the accounts of B. Buck & Sons and the bark (shipping vessel) Elizabeth. In addition to his own signature, Meeker signed the letter for J. McPherson (most likely John McPherson). Mss. 5351.

Mickins, Dan. Day book, 1900-1901. 1 vol. Location: G:1. Day book of a livery stable keeper, probably Dan Mickins, with entries giving date of service; name of person; service rendered, such as horse and buggy, surry, saddle horse, or hack service; and in some instances place to which transportation was furnished and amount For further information, see onine catalog. Mss. 1100.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Business

Miller, Caleb. Letters, 1817-1824. 2 letters. Location: Misc:M. American slave trader on board vessels transporting slaves to Cuba and America. Edward Spalding, a merchant from Bristol, Rhode Island, was involved in the slave trade in Cuba and acted as agent for Jacob Babbitt and the DeWolf family. Letters documenting American involvement in the international slave trade after it was abolished in England and America in 1808. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3326.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, African Americans

Mississippi and Lafourche Railway Co., chartered under the laws of the State of Louisiana, 1896. 1 printed pamphlet, 34 p.; 21 cm. Location: E:Imprints. Prospectus and charter for railroad describes its route from the west bank of the Mississippi River in St. James Parish, Louisiana, to a junction with main track of Southern Pacific Railway in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, and lists officers of company. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2818.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Business

Mississippi River Bridge construction site photograph, 1938 April 11. 1 photographic print. Location 65:5. Photographic print is of the Old Mississippi River (Huey P. Long) Bridge under construction by Uvalde Construction Co. Pylon foundations and a train track are depicted. Mss. 3823.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Baton Rouge

Mississippi River Flood of 1927 Album, 1925-1928. 1 linear foot. Location U:243. The Mississippi River Flood of 1927 Album is a visual record of selected Louisiana losses from the 1927 Mississippi Basin flood. It was prepared for O. K. Allen (1882-1936), Chairman, Louisiana Highway Commission and later Governor, and presumably used for securing Federal disaster aid. The album contains 214 black and white photographs showing flood damage to roads, bridges, and buildings primarily in the Atchafalaya River region and the town of Melville, Louisiana. Besides images of damage, the photographs include depictions of repair crews, levees, barges, crevasses, and railroads. Some photos pre-date the flood and a few depict scenes from non-flooded areas. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4373.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation

Mississippi River Map Collection, ca. 1858-1878. 19 items, 1 manuscript volume, 4 CD ROMS and 1 microfilm reel. Location: OS:M, M:29, Mss.Mf:M., AA:(CD-ROM shelf). Loose manuscript maps of the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge to Jefferson Parish and land along the river, showing land parcels, landings, land ownership, and changes in the course of the river, and a bound volume of cut and pasted in maps of the Mississippi River from above Vicksburg to New Orleans, showing land parcels, land ownership, and landings. Included in the volume are pieces of Marie Adrien Persac's NORMANS CHART OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER FROM NATCHEZ TO NEW ORLEANS IN 1858. These maps depict the Mississippi River from above Vicksburg to New Orleans, showing land parcels, land ownership and plantation names, and landings For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4818.

Mitchell, William H. Letters, 1856. 1 item. Location: Misc:M. Mississippi railroad engineer. Letter to cousin, Clarence, requesting assistance in locating employment as an engineer in South America and discussing his current situation in Mississippi. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3635.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation

Mobile and Ohio Railroad Company. Receipt book, 1855-1856, 1859-1864. 1 vol. Location: H:24. Receipt book (1855-1856) for freight delivered by the Mobile and Ohio Railroad at the DeSoto, Mississippi, station. The agent's name was apparently Pardue. The volume was later used by a member of the Pardue family for a scrapbook (1859-1864). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1520.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation

Moore, John. Stock Certificate and Receipt, 1853, 1870. 2 items. Location: Misc.: A  stock certificate issued to John Moore shows ownership of forty shares of stock in the New Orleans, Opelousas and Great Western Rail Road Co. (July 13, 1853). A receipt verifies a payment of $13.20 paid by the estate of John Moore on a tax bill (Oct. 10, 1870). Mss. 3627

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Business

Morse, E. A. Account books, 1863-1865. 4 volumes, 1 photograph. Location: H:3, MISC:M. Account books and letter book kept by Capt. E. A. Morse for the New Orleans, Jackson, and Great Northern Railroad Company and the New Orleans, Opelousas, and Great Western Railroad Company while they were operated under the control of the United States Army at the latter part of the Civil War. Letter book contains copies of orders, circulars, and published notices issued by Morse and C. W. Greene, Assistant Superintendent. Additionally, there is a photograph of a Lafourche locomotive. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 503.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Civil War

Mouton, J. Andre. Papers, 1928-1975. 263 items, 7 vols. (6 ms. vols., 1 printed vol.). Location: N:8, 79:117, OS:M. Native of St. Martin Parish, Louisiana. Mouton worked for the Southern Pacific and Illinois Central railroads, the Moore-McCormack Steamship line, and the New Orleans Dock Board. The bulk of the collection consists of invitations, public relations materials, and photographs pertaining to Mouton's speaking engagements and his involvement in clubs and organizations. Scrapbooks (1929-1965) contain clippings. Diaries (1959-1972), some written in Salinas County, Arkansas, discuss gardening, participation in church and recreational functions, speaking engagements, family news, and the weather. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3828.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Acadiana

Murdock, John. Letter, 1841 Dec. 4. 1 letter. Location: Misc. John Murdock, master of Cane Mount Plantation near Lorman, Miss., describes his travel by ship from Louisville, Ky., to Rodney, Miss.; poor conditions and crop yields at the plantation; attitudes of the slaves; relations with neighbors; his oppressive debts; and their children. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4270.

Narrative of a Journey on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, 1839-1843, 1894. 1 v. Location: Misc.: N. volume is comprised of a narrative describing travel on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers from Opelousas, Louisiana, to Louisville, Kentucky. The unidentified author discusses fellow travelers, acquaintances, social activities and events, scenery, landscape, and conversations (Sept. 1843). William King, Mrs. George King and Henry Clay are among the many people the author mentions by name. The remainder of the volume is comprised of transcriptions of poetry (1839, undated). The front and back covers of the volume contain inscriptions by Edmona Walker King in which she quotes Cicero and comments on the origin of the closure rule (1894). Edmona Walker King was most probably a member of the King family of St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. Mss. 3540.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Literature

Nathan, George. Letter, 1851. 1 item. Location: Misc.:N. New Orleans, Louisiana, commission merchant. Letter from Nathan to James Birckhead, Wall Street, New York, discusses the arrival of coffee shipments, and prices obtained from each ship by name, and price lists for sugar, molasses, flour, pork, and cotton in New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 904.

Nelson, Solomon, 1827?-1882. Journal, 1862-1863. 1 ms. vol. Location:Misc:N. Union soldier serving in the 50th Regiment of the Massachusetts Infantry. Journal chronicles Nelson's experiences in the U.S. Army during the Civil War, giving detailed descriptions of the sights, scenery, and events beginning with his stay in New York, subsequent sea voyage to Louisiana, and his return trip north. Entries reflect camp life, movement of troops, scarcity of food, interaction with African Americans, and his personal reflections on the war. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3557.

New Orleans photographs, circa 1890. 3 photographs. Location: V:62. The New Orleans photographs contain three images of New Orleans, including the Parish Prison in Treme; a wharf with the steamboat, Assumption, docked; and the Henry Clay monument. Built between 1832 and 1836, the Parish Prison was located between Treme and Marais on Orleans Street. The photograph of the wharf contains African American stevedores preparing to load the ships. The image of the Henry Clay monument depicts the monument when it was located at Canal Street and St. Charles, prior to the move to Lafayette Square in 1901. Behind the Clay monument in the photograph is the building that houses A.M. Hill's watches and jewelry and street car tracks. Mss. 5104.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, New Orleans 1866-

New Orleans Port Commission Scrapbooks, 1896-1958. 36 vols. Location: 124:. Scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings, announcements, and advertisements on activities of the New Orleans Port Commission and on national, state, and local conditions affecting the economic and political situation of the Port of New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2772.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Transportation, New Orleans 1866-

New Orleans port papers, 1814-1818. 2 items. Location: MISC:N. Tables showing home products and imported products shipped through the port of New Orleans and the number of ships which paid duties at the port from 1814 to 1818. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 322.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Transportation, French

New Orleans port scene, circa 1900-1960. 1 item. Location: OS:N. Modern print, perhaps based on nineteenth-century engraving, showing an antebellum New Orleans riverfront scene with steamboats and sailing vessels, and cargoes on the dock. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3032.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, New Orleans 1866-

New Orleans shipyard photographs, 1941 May 30-June 19. 76 items. Location: W:11, OS:N. Shipyard owned by Louisiana Shipyards, Inc., located in New Orleans. Photographs show weekly progress of construction of shipyard facilities. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2989.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, New Orleans 1866-

New Orleans, Jackson, and Great Northern Railroad shipment record, 1870-1873. 1 volume. Location: G:22. The New Orleans, Jackson, and Great Northern Railroad, completed in 1858, ran from New Orleans, La., to Jackson, Miss. The ledger records items shipped between August 1870 and May 1873. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3837.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, New Orleans 1866-, Business

New Orleans, St. Louis, and Chicago Railroad Company Letters, 1874-1875. 14 items. Location: MISC:N. Letters written to L. H. Sellars, superintendent, from various general managers, concerning the labor force, specifications and materials for cars, accidents, and purchase of coal. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3364.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, New Orleans 1866-

Norman, E. B. and N. Philip. Collection, 1833-1969 (bulk 1929-1960). 1,994 items, 225 volumes. Location: 77:60-62; O:71-80; OS:N; 98:;102; VAULT:44, 88; MAP CAGE: MAP CASE 1, DRAWER 8. E. B. Norman was a resident of Alexandria, Louisiana; Dr. N. Philip Norman was a resident of New York City. Collection contains photographic prints, books, periodicals, newspapers, correspondence, copper plates, framed maps and pictures, blueprints, and other records concerning steamboats, the navigation of the Red River and lower Mississippi River. They relate to Louisiana parishes and regions, travel in the South, and General Banks' Red River Campaign. Periodicals include 'Waterways Journal' (1932-1967); Waterways Magazine (1942-1951); Steamboat Bill, the journal of the Steamboat Historical Society of America (1961-1969); and S & D Reflector, published by the Sons and Daughters of Pioneer Rivermen (1964-1969). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1084, 2458, 2578.

North Louisiana and Texas Railroad Company. Bond, May 20, 1869. 1 item. Location: OS:N. Bond with coupons for $1000 bearing the official seal of the State of Louisiana and the signature of Governor H. C. Warmoth. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3315.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Transportation

Nuebling, Max. Letter book, 1822-1826. 2 manuscript volumes. Location: J:12. German immigrant who settled in St. Francisville, Louisiana and worked in a general store owned by his uncle, Dietrich Holl. Holl's wife, Virginia Martha Brent Chisholm, married Nuebling after her husband's death, and they had one son, John. Letter book contains handwritten copies of letters by Neubling. Early letters were written at sea on board the S. S. Fortuna on a voyage from Bremen, Germany to New Orleans. Later letters describe his life in St. Francisville while he was working in his uncle's store. In German with a typewritten volume containing English translations. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 873.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Business, German

P. A. Giraud & Co. Letter, 1856 March 15. 1 item. Location: Misc:G. Commission merchants located in New Orleans, dealing in molasses and sugar. Edward James Gay, born in Virginia, married Lavinia Hynes. Upon his father-in-law's death, Gay assumed control of Hynes' property in Louisiana and moved there in 1856. Letter from New Orleans by P. A. Giraud and Company to Gay at Hynes Plantation 'near Plaquemine,' Louisiana, details the shipping schedule of molasses and sugar on the Mississippi River between St. Louis and New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3313.

Palfrey Family Papers, 1776-1918. (bulk 1806-1875). 388 items; 21 vols. Location: 77:89, H:22, Mss.Mf:P, 99. Family of planters, businessmen, politicians, public servants and author. Papers of John Palfrey (1768-1843) relate chiefly to the operation of Forlorn Hope Plantation, education of his sons, War of 1812, and reflect plantation life. Topics include the trade embargo, West Florida Controversy and the capture of Baton Rouge, War of 1812, slavery, cotton and salt production, and banking. Family papers pertain to Civil War battles, plantation economics, Confederate government, and Reconstruction. Papersof William Palfrey concern Ricahoc Plantation and a partnership David Weeks. They also discuss the Clinton and Port Hudson Railroad Company (1841-1842). Some items in French and Spanish. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 6061 and 5322: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 6, Reel 12; Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series I, Part 1, Reels 1-4. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 333, 334, 1409, 1442, 1632, 2076, 2580, 2773, 2857.

Parker, Edward G. Letter, 1859 October 5. 1 item. Location: Misc. Secretary and treasurer of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad Company. Letter encloses a check for the wages of a slave hired to work on the railroad. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2897.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Business, African Americans

Pearson, Sophie Cooley. Collection, 1843-1975. 3.5 linear ft. Location: AA:, 79:115-116, H:12, M:25, OS:P, W:40-42. Resident of Westwego, Louisiana, and daughter of L. V. Cooley, a steamboat captain. Pearson collected materials related to the history of steamboats on the Mississippi River and published a book on the topic. Papers include correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs, and printed items related to the history and operation of steamboats and transportation on the Mississippi River. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3237.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation

Pease, Charles G. Letter, 1863 January 10. 1 item. Union officer in the Massachusetts 47th Regiment in the Civil War. Letter describes in detail Pease's voyage on a transport ship from Boston to New Orleans and comments on his living quarters at Camp Kearney, New Orleans; General Banks; and his headquarters. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2268.