Louisiana Division
New Orleans Public Library
Administrations of the Mayors of New Orleans
William Freret (1799-1864)
William Freret, elected tenth Mayor of New Orleans, served from May 11, 1840 to April 4, 1842.

He was born in New Orleans in 1799, the son of Jean Baptiste Freret, a merchant, who settled in New Orleans and Eugenie Rillieux, a Creole lady. He was one of a large family of brothers who have been regarded as some of the most influential, valued and exemplary citizens of New Orleans. The family of Frerets was well known throughout the State as well as New Orleans, since the seventeenth century.

Mr. Freret, during his eventful political career commencing in 1828, was connected with the old Wig Party and was an ardent and devoted friend of Henry Clay. He was several times elected to the legislature of the State, and was a member of the Council of the City. In 1840 he was a candidate of the Old American Party and was elected Mayor, in which position he was conspicuous for faithfulness and justice. Under his administration several changes in the local affairs of the city took place. In 1842 he was defeated in the election by the Democratic candidate, Denis Prieur, but was re-elected Feb. 20, 1843 taking office on Feb. 27, 1843 and relinquishing same on May 12, 1844.

Under President Taylorís administration he was, in 1880, appointed Collector of Customs of the port of New Orleans, which office he held for a brief time.

William Freret was one of the most efficient Mayors that New Orleans had; it was his habit to personally supervise all the public works in progress. He made it a point to visit the public institutions unexpectedly to make sure that they were properly looked after. It is related that on a cold winter night he went to inspect the prison as he wished to see if the inmates were properly provided with clothing, as several years before, many prisoners had frozen to death as a result of inadequate protection from the cold, due to dishonest jailers being in charge. The Mayor had resolved that a similar incident should not disgrace his administration.

The free public school system of New Orleans was organized in 1841. Previous to that, education had been greatly neglected. As far back as 1724, there is a record of a school being established by Father Cecil, a Capuchin, the fate of which is unknown.

His public-minded spirit prompted him to use his influence in supporting legislation which was being enacted in 1841 establishing a system of public schools in the city. The State Treasurer was obligated to pay annually a certain sum of money from each municipality to help support the schools. A Mr. Shaw, was brought from Massachusetts to become the first superintendent.

Freretís last act was to submit to the Municipal Council a message vetoing an ordinance ceding to the United States Government all rights and title to the piece of land on Esplanade Avenue and on which the Mint had been erected.

He died on June 14, 1864 at the age of 60, survived by his widow, Fanny Salkeld, a native of Liverpool and three children, William, Frederick and Fanny. Another child had died when quite young. He is buried in St. Patrick Cemetery.


Members of the Freret Administration
May 11, 1840-April 4, 1842

Name Office District Notes
Paul Bertus Recorder First Mun.
Baldwin, J. Recorder Second Mun.
Bright, Geo. Y. Recorder Third Mun.
Augustin, D Secretary First Mun.
Smith, Percifor, F. Secretary Second Mun.
St. Amand, J. B. S. Secretary Third Mun.
Duplessis, T. Treasurer First Mun.
Guirot, A. J. Treasurer First Mun.
Sloo, Thomas, Jr. Treasurer Second Mun.
Dugory, I. F. Treasurer Third Mun.
Montamat, L. Treasurer Third Mun.
Roselius, C. Attorney First Mun.
Duvignaud, S. Attorney First Mun. Assistant
Rawle, Edw. Attorney Second Mun.
Canon, E. A. Attorney Thrid Mun.
Delery, Ch. N. Attorney Third Mun. Assistant
Cuvillier, Jos. Notary 1st & 3rd Mun.
Marks, J. B. Notary Second Mun.
Communy, J. Surveyor First Mun.
Pilie, Jos. Surveyor Second Mun.
Grant, H. Surveyor Second Mun.
Szimansky, I. Surveyor Third Mun.
De St. Romes, J. C. Printer 1st & 3rd Mun.
Lunsten-Kendall & Co. Printer Second Mun.
Guesnard, W. Physician of the Jail First Mun.
Osborne, I. L., Dr. Physician of the Jail Second Mun.
Tricou, H. Physician of the Jail Third Mun.
Ramos, C. Warden of the Jail First Mun.
Canon, T. Keeper of the Cemetery First Mun.
Hotchkiss, D. C. Police Commissioner 1st Mun./1st Dist.
Viot, S. Police Commissioner 1st Mun./2nd Dist.
Clevon, E. Police Commissioner 1st Mun./3rd Dist.
Lafferenderie, M. Police Commissioner 3rd Mun./Dist. Unk.
Guerin, L. Police Commissioner 3rd Mun./Dist. Unk.
Youenes, John Captain of the Guard Third Mun.
Peyrat Clock Repairer First Mun.
Cornu, S. B. Syndic of the Bayou First Mun.
Grady, I. C. O. Commissioner of the Poydras Market Second Mun.
Purdon, James Commissioner of the St. Mary Market Second Mun.
Prados, Jos. Commissioner of the Meat Market First Mun.
Manchon, Diego Commissioner of the Vegetable Market First Mun.
Lange, C. Tax Collector of Vessels First Mun.
Rieffel, A. Tax Collector of Steamboats First Mun.
Colla, J. B. Wharfinger and Collector of Wharf Dues First Mun.
Butler, J. R. Wharfinger and Collector of Wharf Dues Second Mun.
Deacon, Wm. Wharfinger and Collector of Wharf Dues Second Mun.
Massicot, D. B. Wharfinger and Collector of Wharf Dues Third Mun.
Sheridan, E. Wharfinger and Collector of Wharf Dues Third Mun.
Liautaud, A. Collector of Taxes, Public Houses First Mun.
Turner, S. H. Collector of Taxes, Public Houses Second Mun.
Lambert, J. D. Collector of Taxes, Drays and Vehicles First Mun.
Wheaton, W. H. Collector of Taxes, Drays and Vehicles Second Mun.
Dutillet, F. Auctioneer First Mun.
Calhoun, J. Comptroller Second Mun.
Canon General Council First Mun.
Soule General Council First Mun.
Forstall General Council First Mun.
Fortier General Council First Mun.
Avery General Council Second Mun.
Ferriere General Council Second Mun.
Morgan General Council Second Mun.
Banks General Council Second Mun.
Lewis, J. General Council Third Mun.
Daunoy General Council Third Mun.
Dollhonde General Council Third Mun.
Leefe General Council Third Mun.
Crossman, J. D. Alderman 1st Mun./1st Dist.
Lafonta Alderman 1st Mun./1st Dist.
McNeil Alderman 1st Mun./1st Dist.
Musson Alderman 1st Mun./1st Dist.
Freret, J. P. Alderman 2nd Mun./1st Dist.
Jordy, F. Alderman 2nd Mun./1st Dist.
Burke, G. Alderman 2nd Mun./1st Dist.
Rogers, D. J. Alderman 2nd Mun./1st Dist.
Ducros, J. M. Alderman 3rd Mun./1st Dist.
Montamat, J. Alderman 3rd Mun./1st Dist.
Labatut, F. Alderman 1st Mun./2nd Dist.
Lesseps, C. Alderman 1st Mun./2nd Dist.
Peters, S. J. Alderman 2nd Mun./2nd Dist.
Yorke, E. D. Alderman 2nd Mun./2nd Dist.
Lockett, H. Alderman 2nd Mun./2nd Dist.
Hill, A. Alderman 2nd Mun./2nd Dist.
Rousseau Alderman 3rd Mun./2nd Dist.
Rigaud Alderman 3rd Mun./2nd Dist.
Cruzat Alderman 1st Mun./3rd Dist.
Forstall, Charles Alderman 1st Mun./3rd Dist.
Whitney, B. Alderman 2nd Mun./3rd Dist.
Jacobs, Chas. A. Alderman 2nd Mun./3rd Dist.
Hall, John Alderman 2nd Mun./3rd Dist.
Viennie, M. A. Alderman 2nd Mun./3rd Dist.
Dubuys, Wm. Alderman 3rd Mun./3rd Dist.
Viavant Alderman 3rd Mun./3rd Dist.
Peire, H. D. Alderman 1st Mun./4th Dist.
Delery Alderman 1st Mun./4th Dist.
Colson, Z. Alderman 3rd Mun./4th Dist.
Colson Alderman 1st Mun./5th Dist.
Gurley Alderman 1st Mun./5th Dist.

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11/18/2002