New Orleans Incorporated: 200 Years of the City Charter
Louisiana Division | New Orleans Public Library

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A major defect of the municipality scheme introduced by the 1836 Charter lay in the difficulty that the several governing bodies faced in retiring their individual and collective debts in the face of fierce competition for limited funding sources following the Panic of 1837. The 1852 Charter provided for the mayor, comptroller, and treasurer, along with the chairmen of the Finance Committees of the two boards making up the Common Council, to act as the Commissioners of the Consolidated Debt of New Orleans. That debt included the debt that was outstanding in 1836 when the city was divided into three municipalities, along with the separate debts undertaken by the individual municipalities during their existence. To this amount was soon added the debt of the city of Lafayette outstanding at the time of its annexation by the city of New Orleans. Shown here is the first page of the Commissioners’ minutes in which the Charter is cited as the body’s authority.
          [Minutes of the Commissioners of the Consolidated Debt of New Orleans]

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