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
February 27, 1843-May 12, 1844

Name Office District Notes
Bertus, Paul Recorder First Mun.
Baldwin, J. Recorder Second Mun.
Lafonta, E. Recorder Second Mun. Clerk
Viavant, A. Recorder Third Mun.
Reynes, J. Secretary First Mun.
Calhoun, John Secretary Second Mun.
Layet, I. E. Secretary Third Mun.
Lasere, E. Sergeant of Arms and Custodian of Archives First Mun.
Pilie, J. Surveyor First Mun.
Pilie, H. Surveyor First Mun. Assistant
Pilie, J. Surveyor Second Mun.
D'Hemecourt, J. A. Surveyor Third Mun.
Cottam, John Tax Collector of Dog Tax Second Mun.
Elliot, M. Tax Collector of Drays and Vehicles First Mun.
Wheaton, W. H. Tax Collector of Drays and Vehicles Second Mun.
de Marans, Chas. Tax Collector of Drays and Vehicles Third Mun.
Rieffel, A. Tax Collector of Levee Dues First Mun.
Deacon Wm. Tax Collector of Levee Dues Second Mun.
Massicot, J. B. Tax Collector of Port Dues Third Mun.
Liautaud, A. Tax Collector of Public Houses First Mun.
Turner, S. H. Tax Collector of Public Houses Second Mun.
Montamat, L. Tax Collector of Public Houses Third Mun.
Lange, C. Tax Collector of Vessels First Mun.
Guirot, A. J. Treasurer First Mun.
Dureil, J. A. Treasurer First Mun.
Sloo, Jr., Thomas Treasurer Second Mun.
Dugarry, I. F. Treasurer Third Mun.
Colla, J. B. Wharfinger First Mun.
Butler, J. R. Wharfinger Second Mun.
Wiltz, Th. Wharfinger Third Mun.
Bodin, A. Attorney First Mun. Assistant
Roselius, C. Attorney First Mun.
Rawle, E. Attorney Second Mun.
Nautre, A. Attorney Third Mun.
Dutillet, F. Auctioneer First Mun.
Youenes, J. Captain of the Guard First Mun.
Harper, H. S. Captain of the Guard Second Mun.
Mazerat, E. Captain of the Guard Third Mun.
James, Wm. H. Commissary of Police First Ward Second Mun.
Guerin, L. Commissary of Police First Ward Third Mun.
James, Wm. H. Commissary of Police Fourth Ward Second Mun.
Prados, Jos. Commissary of Police Meat Market First Mun.
Lafferandrie, J. M. Commissary of Police Meat Market Third Mun.
O'Grady, J. C. Commissary of Police Poydras Market Second Mun.
Leonard, V. S. Commissary of Police Second Ward Second Mun.
Barosse, A. Commissary of Police Second Ward Third Mun.
Purdon, James Commissary of Police St. Mary Market Second Mun.
Wills, E. Commissary of Police Third Ward Second Mun.
Manchon, D. Commissary of Police Vegetable Market First Mun.
Calhoun, John Comptroller Second Mun.
Canon, J. Keeper of the Cemetery First Mun.
Planchard, E. Keeper of the Jail First Mun.
Eldridge, A. H. Keeper of the Jail Second Mun.
Cuvillier, J. Notary First Mun.
Christy, Wm. Notary Second Mun.
Cuvillier, J. Notary Third Mun.
Mercier, A. Physician of the Jail First Mun.
Osborne, J. B. Physician of the Jail Second Mun.
Dupas, J., Dr. Physician of the Jail Third Mun.
Pepin, J. F. Alderman/General Council First Mun.
Roselius, C. Alderman/General Council First Mun.
Busson, F. Alderman/General Council First Mun.
Taney, C. H. Alderman/General Council First Mun.
Hepp, W. T. Alderman/General Council Second Mun.
Leeds, J. Alderman/General Council Second Mun.
Avery, W. H. Alderman/General Council Second Mun.
Rogers, D. J. Alderman/General Council Second Mun.
Peyroux, G. Alderman/General Council Third Mun.
Lewis, A. S. Alderman/General Council Third Mun.
Vienne, J. R. Alderman/General Council Third Mun.
Gardere, F. Alderman/General Council Third Mun.
Bouligny, U. Alderman 1st Mun./1st Dist.
Crossman, A. D. Alderman 1st Mun./1st Dist.
Mc Neil, S. D. Alderman 1st Mun./1st Dist.
Musson, G. Alderman 1st Mun./1st Dist.
Meynier, A. Alderman 1st Mun./2nd Dist.
Forstall, L. E. Alderman 1st Mun./2nd Dist.
Peire Alderman 1st Mun./3rd Dist.
Relf, S. S. Alderman 1st Mun./3rd Dist.
Correjolles, F. Alderman 1st Mun./4th Dist.
Pilie, A. Alderman 1st Mun./4th Dist.
Latour, Z. Alderman 1st Mun./5th Dist.
Ramos, C. Alderman 1st Mun./5th Dist.
Lockett, H. Alderman 2nd Muh./2nd Dist.
Caldwell, J. H. Alderman 2nd Mun./1st Dist.
Flower, Wm. Alderman 2nd Mun./1st Dist.
Freret, J. P. Alderman 2nd Mun./1st Dist.
Dana, D. Alderman 2nd Mun./2nd Dist.
Hill, A. Alderman 2nd Mun./2nd Dist.
Peters, S. J. Alderman 2nd Mun./2nd Dist.
Whitney, B. Alderman 2nd Mun./3rd Dist.
Ross, James Alderman 2nd Mun./3rd Dist.
Simpson, A. P. Alderman 2nd Mun./3rd Dist.
Gaiennie, L. U. Alderman 2nd Mun./3rd Dist.
McFarlane, J. S., Dr. Alderman 2nd Mun./4th Dist.
Barthelemy, J. F. Alderman 3rd Mun./1st Dist.
Le Blanc, V. Alderman 3rd Mun./2nd Dist.
de Feriet, G. Alderman 3rd Mun./3rd Dist.
Delassus, A. Alderman 3rd Mun./3rd Dist.
Burreau, L. P. Alderman 3rd Mun./4th Dist.

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10/7/2002