City Archives
New Orleans Public Library


Records of the Office of the Mayor
At right is Mayor A.D. Crossman, the first mayor (1846-1854) of the consolidated city of New Orleans, taken from Cohen's New Orleans Directory for 1852.

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AA205
1846-1850
New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Slaves emancipated by the Councils of Municipalities One, Two, and Three, 1846- 1850.
1 v.

With the abolishment of the Police Jury for the Left (East) Bank of Orleans Parish in 1846, responsibility for controlling the emancipation of slaves fell to the three municipality councils. This volume consists of reports by the First Municipality Council of slaves whose emancipations were approved by that body. Loose reports from the other two municipalities are also included within the record. Generally the records show the names of owners, names of slaves (along with age and, in some cases, "color"), and date of council approval.

Available as part of mf roll #89-308, filed under the call number shown above.

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AA250
1832-1836
New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Oaths of office, 1832-1863.
7 v.

Section 7 of the 1805 city charter required that the Mayor, Recorder, Aldermen, and other subordinate officers take an oath to perform the duties of their positions to the best of their knowledge before assuming those offices. The Mayor was to take his oath before the Governor and the others before the Mayor. This requirement was modified in the 1852 charter which prescribed the oath of office required by the Louisiana constitution as the oath for city officials. The Mayor's oath was to be taken before a Justice of the Peace while the others continued to take theirs before the Mayor.

Volume 1 consists of manuscript oaths signed by the individual officials (whose positions are identified in the oath) and by the Mayor. This book also contains at the rear a record of those men appointed to serve as constables at the various theatres and other public amusement places in the city. The remaining volumes are made up of printed forms with names, dates, and positions filled in by hand and signed by the officer and by the Mayor. These records should be useful in determining office holders during the period and may also be useful in validating signatures on other documents.

Forms part of the New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor records.

Inventory

AA250
1832-1863

Oaths of office for aldermen, recorders, and other city officials, 1832-1863.

[mf roll #89-117]
v.1 April 12, 1832 - January 26, 1847
v.2 February 3, 1847 - June 14, 1849
v.3 June 25, 1849 - September 28, 1850
v.4 September 28, 1850 - March 22, 1852

[mf roll #89-118]
v.5 March 25, 1852 - March 25, 1854
v.6 April 10, 1854 - December 29, 1857
v.7 January 5, 1857 - January 10, 1863

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AA253
1831
New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Lists of slaves imported for sale in the city of New Orleans, 1831.
1 folder

The Conseil de Ville, by ordinance of October 19, 1831, required that any person importing slaves from other states into the city for sale first make a declaration before the Mayor. The declarations were to show the number of slaves imported, along with the sex, age, name, and place of origin of each individual slave. The Mayor was to record this information in a book and issue certificates to the person making the declaration. The ordinance also set fees and penalties.

This ordinance appears to have been designed as a substitute for the 1829 state law governing the importation of slaves. That act had been repealed in March, 1831.

The records are manuscript declarations made before the Mayor by the master of the ship carrying the slaves or by the person to whom the slaves were consigned. In addition to the data called for in the ordinance, the each list also states the name of the ship and its place of origin & date of arrival. Each list is signed by the individual making the declaration and is also signed and dated by the Mayor.

These documents previously were described and microfilmed as "Slaves arrived in New Orleans, 1831." The records are now available as item 1 of 35mm microfilm roll #906709, filed under the call number noted above.

Available as item 1 of microfilm roll #906708, filed under the call number noted above. [NOTE: a single freedom pass was filmed with this record series]

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New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Oaths and bonds for city licenses on vehicles, 1834-1866.
40 v.

The 1805 city charter authorized the Mayor to "license all taverns and boarding houses, hackney coaches, or other carriages for the conveyance of persons for hire, and all carts and drays for the carriage of goods, or other articles for hire, subject to such restrictions as the said mayor and city council shall by ordinance direct." Beginning in 1814 the City Council implemented regulations setting forth the obligations of licensees and requiring that they subscribe "jointly and severally with another solvent person to the satisfaction of the Mayor," security bonds for the proper execution of those obligations. The amount of the bond varied according to the purpose or occupation being licensed.

Printed forms with manuscript entries. In most cases the record gives the type of license, the names of the licensee and the individual acting as his security, the amount of the bond, the date, and some reference to the conditions of the bond agreement. In some cases the addresses of the licensee and/or the security are also given. Some of the bonds are marked to signify cancellation or other alteration. These records may be useful in locating individuals in the city at a specific time and in identifying exact addresses for some of those individuals. They may also be valuable in studies of the early transportation system in New Orleans, both quantitatively and in identifying individuals active in the various aspects of that activity. A study of the role of those acting as security for the licensees may also be of interest, i.e., did they have a business interest in the activities carried out by the licensees beyond any fee that they may have charged for putting up the bond.

Forms part of New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor. Records.

Available on 35mm microfilm. See the following inventory for roll numbers.

Inventory

AA256c
1845
1st Mun.

Security bonds for having a public cart.

January 2, 1845 - December 8, 1845 [Roll 89-106, item 1]

AA256ca
1844
1st. Mun.

License bonds for having a carriage in the 1st Municipality.

January 20, 1844 - October 30, 1844 [Roll 89-106, item 2]

AA256car
1857-1864

Security bonds for having private carriages.

v.1 February 5, 1857 - June 1, 1859 [Roll 89-106, item 4]
v.2 January 9, 1862 - September 12, 1864 [NOT FILMED, POST-1861]

AA256car
1844
2nd Mun.

Security bonds for having private carriages in the Second Municipality.

January 4, 1844 - December 13, 1844 [Roll 89-106, item 3]

AA256cc
1848-1850
lst Mun.

Security bonds for having public cabs and carriages in the First Municipality.

v.1 l/6/1848 - 4/25/1848 [Roll 89-106, item 6]
v.2 1/7/1848 - 10/18/1850 [Roll 89-106, item 5]

AA256cc
1854-1866

Security bonds for having public cabs and carriages.

v.1 1/2/1854 - 12/14/1854 [Roll 89-106, item 7]
v.2 1/4/1858 - 11/4/1858 [Roll 89-106, item 8]
v.3 1/6/1862 - 10/11/1866 [NOT FILMED, POST-1861]

AA256cd
1831-1835

Security bonds for having carts and drays.

v.1 1/1/1831 - 12/14/1831 [Roll 89-107, item 1]
v.2 9/1/1834 - 12/15/1834 [Roll 89-107, item 2]
v.3 1/1/1835 - 11/2/1835 [Roll 89-107, item 3]

AA256cd
1841
lst Mun.

Security bonds for having carts and drays in the First Municipality.

January 2 - December 14, 1841 [Roll 89-107, item 4]

AA256cd
1840-1852
3rd Mun.

Security bonds for having carts and drays in the Third Municipality.

v.1 6/2/1840 - 11/28/1840 [INCORRECTLY CATALOGED; NOT FILMED]
v.2 1/2/1844 - 2/2/1844 [Roll 89-108, item 1]
v.3 1/3/1848 - 1/29/1849 [Roll 89-108, item 2]
v.4 1/6/1851 - 4/22/1852 [Roll 89-108, item 3]

AA256cd
1852-1859

Security bonds for having carts and drays.

v.1 4/20/1852 - 11/22/1855 2nd dist. [Roll 89-109, item 1]
v.2 7/18/1853 - 12/3/1853 lst dist. [Roll 89-109, item 2]
v.3 1/2/1854 - 12/7/1854 3rd dist. [Roll 89-109, item 3]
v.4 4/16/1855 - 7/3/1855 lst dist. Ind. [Roll 89-109, item 4]
v.5 7/3/1855 - 12/22/1855 lst dist Ind. [Roll 89-109, item 5]
v.6 1/3/1857 - 12/3/1857 4th dist. [Roll 89-110, item 1]
[NOTE: There is no page 188 in the original volume]
v.7 1/4/1858 - 11/26/1858 2nd dist. [Roll 89-110, item 2]
v.8 1/4/1858 - 9/3/1858 4th dist. [Roll 89-110, item 3]
v.9 1/4/1859 - 13/13/1859 4th dist. [Roll 89-110, item 4]
v.10 1/4/1859 - 11/21/1859 3rd dist. [Roll 89-110, item 5]

AA256cp
1834-1863

Oaths and bonds for having a Private Cart.

v.1 January 14, 1834 - October 30, 1835 [Roll 89-111, item 1]
v.2 1836 [Roll 89-111, item 2]
v.3 January 1 - May 19, 1857 [Roll 90-113, item 1]
v.4 May 20, 1857 - January 27, 1858 [Roll 90-113, item 2]
v.5 January 28, 1858 - December 1, 1859 [Roll 89-112, item 2]
v.6 1860 [Roll 89-112, item 3]
v.7 March 4, 1862 - March 9, 1863 [NOT FILMED, POST-1861]
v.8 March 10, 1863 - October 30, 1863 [NOT FILMED, POST-1861]

AA256cp
1844
1st Mun.

Oaths and security bonds for having a Private Cart in the First Municipality.

1844 [Roll 89-111, item 5]

AA256cp
1837
2nd Mun.

Oaths and security bonds for having a Private Cart in the Second Municipality.

1837 [Roll 89-111, item 3]

AA256cp
1843-1850
3rd. Mun.

Oaths and security bonds for having a Private Cart in the Third Municipality.

v.1 1843 [Roll 89-111, item 4]
v.2 1848 - October, 1850 [Roll 89-112, item 1]

AA256o
1859

Security bonds for having an omnibus.

January 4 - November 21, 1859 [Roll 90=113, item 3]

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New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Oaths and bonds for city licenses on taverns, coffee houses, hotels,
boarding houses, and other establishments, 1828-1863.
23 v.

The 1805 city charter authorized the Mayor to "license all taverns and boarding houses, hackney coaches, or other carriages for the conveyance of persons for hire, and all carts and drays for the carriage of goods, or other articles for hire, subject to such restrictions as the said mayor and city council shall by ordinance direct." Beginning in 1814 the City Council implemented regulations setting forth the obligations of licensees and requiring that they subscribe "jointly and severally with another solvent person to the satisfaction of the Mayor," security bonds for the proper execution of those obligations. The amount of the bond varied according to the purpose or occupation being licensed.

Printed forms with manuscript entries. In most cases the record gives the type of license, the names of the licensee and the individual acting as his security, the amount of the bond, the date, and some reference to the conditions of the bond agreement. In some cases the addresses of the licensee and/or the security are also given. Some of the bonds are marked to signify cancellation or other alteration.

These records may be useful in locating individuals in the city at a specific time and in identifying exact addresses for some of those individuals. They should also be useful in studies of the early hospitality trade in New Orleans, both quantitatively and in identifying participants in the various aspects of that activity. A study of the role of those acting as security for the licensees may also be of interest, i.e., did they have a financial stake in the activities carried out by the licensees beyond any fee that they may have charged for putting up the bond.

Forms part of New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor. Records.

Available on 35mm microfilm. See the following inventory for roll numbers.

Inventory

[mf #89-114]

AA257c
1863

Security bonds for having coffee houses, cabarets and taverns.

April 15, 1863 - November 3, 1863 [NOT FILMED, POST-1861]

AA257c
1845-1847
1st Mun.

Security bonds for having coffee houses, cabarets and taverns in the First Municipality.

v.1 January 2 - December 30, 1845
v.2 1847 [BLANK BOOK - NOT FILMED]

AA257c
1847-1853
3rd Mun.

Security bonds for having coffee houses, cabarets and taverns in the Third Municipality.

v.1 1847 [BLANK BOOK - NOT FILMED]
v.2 January 7, 1848 - January 11, 1853

AA257h
1836

Security bonds for having a hotel, boarding house, billiard table, restaurant, and ten-pin alley.

January 4 - August 31, 1836

AA257h
1853-1855

Security bonds for having a hotel, boarding house, billiard table, restaurant, and ten-pin alley.

v.1 1853 - 1854
v.2 January 29 - July 23, 1855

AA257h
1836-1844
2nd Mun.

Security bonds for having a hotel, boarding house, billiard table, restaurant, or ten-pin alley in the Second Municipality.

v.1 September 5, 1836 - December 5, 1837
v.2 June 2, 1840 - December 22, 1840
v.3 January 2 - November 2, 1843
v.4 January - June 18, 1844

AA257h
1843-1850
3rd Mun.

Security bonds for having a hotel, boarding house, billiard table, restaurant, or ten-pin alley in the Third Municipality.

v.1 January 2 - October 26, 1843
v.2 January - March, 1850

AA257L
1832-1836

Security bonds for having a liquor store selling by the pint and above (Also referred to as a "half license bond").

v.1 1832 (also includes some boarding houses.)
v.2 January 2, 1836 - September 8, 1836

[mf #89-115]

AA257L
1839
1st Mun.

Security bonds for having a liquor store selling by the pint and above, (also referred to as a "half license bond"), in the First Municipality.

January 4 - December 27, 1839

AA257L
1843
3rd Mun.

Security bonds for having a liquor store selling by the pint and above, (also referred to as a "half license bond"), in the Third Municipality.

January 2 - November 10, 1843

AA257t
1828-1832

Security bonds for having a tavern.

v.1 1828
v.2 January 1, 1829 - November 14, 1829
[mf #89-116]
v.3 January 1, 1830 - December, 1830
[mf #89-116A]
v.4 August 1, 1832 - October 1, 1832

AA257t
1843
1st Mun.

Security bonds for having a tavern in the First Municipality.

January 2, 1843 - November 29, 1843

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AA329
1856-1859 New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.
Complaint book, 1856-1859.
1 v.
Manuscript messages left for the Mayor (and for the Street Commissioner, in some cases) by citizens complaining of various undesirable conditions. Many of the complaints are accompanied by notes showing how they were handled, or at least noting to whom they were referred for correction (usually the Street Commissioner). Most of the complaints deal with street obstructions, unsanitary conditions, and disrepair of area buildings.

Available as part of mf roll # 89-308, filed under call number AA205 1846-1850.

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AA530
1823-1832
New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.
Decisions of the Mayor in criminal cases, 1823-1832.
2 v. (3.5 in.)
The charter of the city of New Orleans as passed by the Louisiana legislature in 1805 named the Mayor and the Recorders of the city as Justices of the Peace. Justices of the Peace were empowered, also by act of the state legislature passed in 1805, to hear and examine complaints of breach of peace and to take the bond of any party charged with such a breach. Justices were also empowered in certain cases to turn offenders over to the custody of the sheriff to hold until the due course of law could be followed. As such the Mayor acted as a hearing officer, making preliminary determinations in criminal matters that were later to be decided by the Criminal Court.

Manuscript records of criminal matters heard by the Mayor. The records are arranged by date and give the title of the case, a brief statement of the offense, and a statement of the action taken by the Mayor. Each individual record is signed by the Mayor. In most cases the Mayor ordered the offender to be committed in the Parish Prison pending trial in the Criminal Court. Some of the cases involve vagrants who were ordered to pay surety bonds or serve time in the prison, some involve deserters from ships in the port who were imprisoned until their ships were ready to leave the city, and some involved free persons of color who were in the city in violation of various state laws. Also included in the record books are pasted-in receipts left by representatives of the Criminal Court upon receiving the evidence in a case from the Mayor.

See also New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor. Receipts for papers in criminal cases, 1834-1844.

Forms part of New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor. Records.

Available as part of one roll of 35mm microfilm, roll #89-219, filed under the call number noted above.

Inventory

AA370
1823-1832

Decisions of the Mayor in criminal cases, 1823-1832.

v. 1 February 1, 1823 - January 4, 1827
v. 2 January 4, 1827 - February 28, 1832

NOTE: On the microfilm of these records, the call number given in the description portion of this inventory is AA530 rather than AA370. There are also two technical filming errors as indicated below:

  • page [120]--A folded-back insert covers a portion of this page.
    The covered portion reads:
    "Feb 2 [1824]
    The State vs. Charles Williams
    Whereas the defendant in this case stands charged before me on oath with having entered forcibly the house of John O'Neil in Bagatelle Street, on the 1st instant at 9 o'clock at night and assaulted & beaten said O'Neil, he is committed to the parish prison until he be delivered in due course of law
    J. Roffignac
    Mayor"
  • page [260]--the insert was not unfolded and filmed; it reads:
    "Recu de Mr. John Macoin les papeurs dans l'affaire de Etat de la Louisiane vs. Shug Beare [sic]
    Octave L. Rousseau
    Dep Clerk"
  • also, the insert covers the following text:
    "July 22, 1825
    The State vs. Hugh Beard
    Whereas the defendant in this case stands charged before me on oath of having last evening at the suburb St. Mary stabbed and murdered Wm. West, the defendant has been sent in jail until he be delivered in due course of law
    J. Roffignac
    Mayor"

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AA413
1852-1893
New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Records of the disposition of destitute orphans, 1852-1893.
2 v.

Link here for TRANSCRIPTIONS of these records.

In November, 1852, by ordinance #420, the Common Council authorized the Mayor to take care of, "at the expense of the city, all such orphan children and foundlings found within the city, as may be in destitute circumstances--at the lowest possible price, until such time as said children can be otherwise provided for." This law remained in effect until its repeal in 1888.

The record books are manuscript volumes recording by date the names of children & their ages, names and residences of persons making affidavits before the mayor, and "how disposed of." In the earlier (1852-1875) entries the last column in most instances records only the name of the asylum in which the children were placed by the Mayor; the later records provide more detail about both the disposition and origin of the children. Volume 1 covers the period from December 18, 1852 through November 21, 1893. Volume 2, December 18, 1852-February 12, 1861, appears to be a duplicate of the first book.

The records are available as part of one roll of 35mm microfilm. On the film, volume 2 appears before volume 1.

Available as item 5 of microfilm roll #903962, filed under call number LMC430 1835-1844. A second film copy is available under call number AA413 1852-1893.

Inventory

AA413
1852-1893

New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Records of the disposition of destitute orphans, 1852-1893.
v. 1 December 18, 1852 - November 21, 1893
v. 2 December 18, 1852 - February 12, 1861

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AA420
1812; 1818-1831
New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Record book of licenses, bakers' declarations, and statements of public works, 1812, and passports, 1818-1831.
1 v.
This manuscript volume was originally used in 1812 to record several types of information. It lists holders of licenses for cabarets and similar establishments; for the sale of beverages and liquors; for private boarding houses; and for carts, carriages, and luxury carriages. The data given for each category of license may include all or a portion of the following: license number, date of license, name and address of holder, name of person acting as security for the license holder, name of person taking over the license and date of takeover, other observations, and change of domicile.

Also included are statements of bakers giving their names and addresses along with monthly totals of bread produced. There is also a section of records dealing with public works, specifically the maintenance of embankments, streets, and drainage ditches. These monthly statements show the names of proprietors whose slaves and/or carts were used in such work, along with the amounts due to them for that use. Others contributing to the maintenance work, including carpenters, are also credited.

At the rear of the book is a section recording passports issued by the Mayor from August 24, 1818 - March 15, 1831. These were passports given to free persons of color to travel outside New Orleans (and presumably to be able to legally reenter the city) or to white masters who wished to take their slaves on journeys with them. An example, from April 14, 1820: "To Mr. James T. Wilson of N. Orleans for a negro woman his slave named flora aged of 16 years, 4 feet 11 3/4 inches high. Black complexion to go to Matanza [sic] in the Island of cuba on board of the sloop Gold Huntress whereof Martin is master." There is a name index to the first 18 pages of passports.

Available as part of microfilm roll #89-236, filed under the call number noted above.

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AA420
1822-1831
New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Record book of licenses issued to peddlers, 1823-1826, and of deserters from ships in the ports of New Orleans, 1822-1831.
1 v.

The Conseil de Ville, by ordinance of November 23, 1822, required a license from the Mayor in order for peddlers to sell merchandize in the public squares or on the public streets. The license was to specify the time and location permitted. Slaves could not be directly licenses, but free persons could purchase a license and specify a slave to do the actual selling. The Mayor was further allowed to grant up to twenty five gratis licenses each year. Peddlers of bread, vegetables, milk products, wood, and fodder were exempted from the provisions of this law.

The front portion of this volume includes records of licenses for peddlers and journeyman butchers for the years 1823-1826. The record shows the number of each license, the date issued, the name of the license holder (and the name of the slave who actually did the selling where appropriate), the street where licensed to peddle, and remarks (usually referring to the date when the license was discontinued.

At the rear of the volume is a record of deserters from ships in the ports of New Orleans from March 7, 1822 - April 1, 1831. Each entry gives the date, name of the captain, name of the ship and its home port (or most recent port of call before New Orleans), and the names and, in some cases, partial descriptions of the deserters. The descriptions are generally limited to such identifications as "seaman," "sailor," or "cook," but there are also references to free men of color who deserted.

Available as part of microfilm roll #89--236, filed under call number AA420 1812; 1818- 1831.

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AA430
1840-1864
New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Register of free persons of color entitled to remain in the state, 1849-1864.
4 v.

On March 16, 1830, the Louisiana Legislature passed an act "to prevent free persons of color from entering into this state." Section 12 of this act required "all free negroes, griffs and mulattoes of the first degree" who had entered the state after the adoption of the Constitution of 1812 and before January 1, 1825 to enroll themselves with the office of the Parish Judge of their resident parish or with the office of the Mayor of the City of New Orleans. The rolls kept by these offices were to include the person's "age, sex, colour, trade or calling, place of nativity and the time of their arrival in the State." A fee of fifty cents was charged at the time of enrollment.

Section 13 of the same act instructed the Parish Judges (or, later, recorders) to send a certified copy of their books to the Mayor of New Orleans "before the first of July next." From these books and from the book kept in his office, the Mayor was to compile a general list and to keep the list in his office. None of these general lists have survived in the City Archives collection. The volumes that remain in the collection appear to be those kept for the City of New Orleans alone. Section 14 and 15 of the 1830 act established the penalties for failing to comply with the law. Persons of color who failed to enroll themselves were liable to "a fine not exceeding fifty dollars, and to an imprisonment not exceeding one month." Judges or recorders who neglected to send their books to the Mayor of New Orleans were to be fined not less that fifty dollars.

The records are manuscript volumes, volume 1 in French and English, volumes 2 - 4 in English. Each volume lists the name of the person registering, sex and color, age, profession, place of birth, time of arrival in the state (or date of emancipation), and "observations" or "remarks." The observations or remarks consist, in general, of a statement substantiating the person's claim to be free. In volumes 2 - 4, the statements are uniform in format; typical examples are "Recorded upon Certificate of Baptism, on file in this office dated 30 Jan'y 1857" or "Recorded upon affidavit of John H. Pope, before Andrew Hero, Not. Pub. parish of Orleans, June 27th 1864--on file--." Others refer to acts of emancipation, court judgements, wills, etc. Occasionally, the remarks in these volumes also record the person's height. The observations in volume 1 contain statements similar to those in the later volumes, but they are often less uniform in language and more detailed in terms of physical description, sometimes including distinguishing marks--for example, "certificate under oath by Stephen and Edward Owens creoles of this state. 6 feet high--scar on the left temple" or "emancipated in 1830 by Widow Hawkins living on Lake Providence in this state, lost his certificate of freedom and obtained new papers from said Lady in 1838. Recommended by Honore Faure and Simeon Mond both creoles of this city." Occasionally the remarks consist only of a name, presumably that of someone attesting to the person's freedom. Also included in volume 1 are several inserted letters stating that the writer knows the person registering to be free.

The bulk of the records in each volume end in June of the last date listed; however, all of the volumes contain a few records from later that year or from the following year. Volume 1, for example, contains several records dated l857; volume 2 contains at least one from l860, and volume 3 contains a number of records from the second half of l861, even though volume 4 begins in June, 1861.

Available as items 2-5 on 35mm microfilm roll #1309932, filed under call number TK840 1804 -- additional copies are filed under film call number AA430 1840-1864.

Inventory

AA430
1840-1864

New Orleans (La.) Mayor's Office.

Register of free persons of color entitled to remain in the state, 1840-1864.
v. 1 1840-1856
v. 2 1856-1859
v. 3 1859-1861
v. 4 1861-1864

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AA505
1836-1852; 1860-1862
New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Messages to the Council, 1836-1852; 1860-1862.
10 v. (originals)
2 v. (translations)

Letter books in which are recorded the outgoing letters of the Mayor to the various Councilmanic bodies functioning in the city during the indicated years. They are arranged in subseries according to the individual Councils represented as follows:

I -- First Municipality Council
II -- Second Municipality Council
III -- Third Municipality Council
IV -- General Council
V -- Common Council

These communications served more or less as official messages to the Council, although there does not appear to be any statutory basis for the practice.

The messages contain a wealth of sometimes detailed information on the problems facing the city and the manner in which those problems were addressed. Typically, the Mayor would notify the Council of the existence of a problem requiring attention, possibly suggesting a solution of his own. Also included are notices of the Mayor's approval or disapproval of Council ordinances and resolutions. In some instances communications addressed to the Mayor, or copies of such communications, were included for the information of the Council. A reading of the proceedings of prior and/or subsequent Council meetings along with the individual letters should provide a fuller understanding of the processes at work.

The messages in subseries I duplicate in part the original communications in the series: New Orleans (La.) First Municipality Council. Messages from the Mayor, 1836-1851 (AB505 1836-1851 1st Mun). Those in subseries IV duplicate in part the original communications in the series: New Orleans (La.) General Council. Messages from the Mayor, 1836-1852 (AB505 1836-1852 General). These, and additional messages, may also be transcribed in the proceedings of the various Councils and may also be included with the published proceedings of Council meetings in the newspapers and elsewhere.

Volume 2 of subseries I is also available in a typewritten translation (in two books) prepared by the WPA. The translators also prepared detailed tables of contents in preparing the typewritten volumes.

Available on 2 rolls of 35mm microfilm; see the following inventory for roll numbers.

Inventory

AA505
1836-1852; 1860-1862

New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Messages to the Council, 1836-1852; 1860-1862.
[mf roll #89-220]
Subseries I
v. 1 April 30, 1836 - February 27, 1843
v. 2 May 11, 1840 - March 24, 1852
Subseries II
v. 1 April 30, 1836 - May 8, 1838 [also includes May 10, 1840 - January 20, 1843]
v. 2 May 19, 1840 - March 25, 1852
Subseries III
v. 1 April 30, 1836 - October 26, 1842
v. 2 May 18, 1838 - April 25, 1840
v. 3 May 23, 1840 - March 24, 1852
Subseries IV
v. 1 May 6, 1839 - May 4, 1840
v. 2 May 14, 1840 - April 10, 1852
Subseries V
v. 1 June 18, 1860 - June 13, 1862

AA506
1840-1852

New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Messages to the Council, 1840-1852 [translations].
Subseries I
v. 2a May 11, 1840 - October 25, 1847
v. 2b November 8, 1847 - March 24, 1852
[NOTE: These two volumes are items 4 & 5 on mf roll #85-20, filed under call number AA505 1836]

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AA511
1811-1920
New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Letter books, 1811-1920.
120 v.

NOTE: Only the pre-1862 portion of this record series is described herein.

Manuscript and letterpress copies of outgoing correspondence of the Mayor's Office. The letters are addressed to individuals in the city and elsewhere who were engaged in some type of business with the municipal government. Several of the volumes also include copies of the Mayor's messages to the City Council (see also the original messages arranged by councilmanic body and the copies described as Office of the Mayor, Messages to the Council).

Among the correspondents noted are Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Edward Livingston, Thomas B. Robertson, James Brown, Judah Touro, William C. C. Claiborne, Jacques Philippe Villere, Edward Douglass White, Daniel Webster (dated July 9, 1834), Pierre Soule, James Buchanan (dated August 5, 1848), Judah P. Benjamin, and Isaac Johnson.

The 1811-1827 volume is partially indexed (L-Z). Volumes for all or portions of 1838- 1843, 1851-1852, and 1855-1860 are missing.

Available on four rolls of 35mm microfilm. See the following inventory for roll numbers.

Inventory

AA511
1811-1920

New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Letter books, 1811-1920.

[mf roll #90-144]

v. 1 January 16, 1811 - November 22, 1827
v. 2 November 23, 1827 - December 29, 1832

[mf roll #90-145]

v. 3 January 2, 1833 - May 7, 1838
v. 4 March 2, 1843 - September 27, 1848
v. 5 September 27, 1848 - December 31, 1850

[mf roll #90-146]

v. 6 April 13, 1852 - December 29, 1854
v. 7 July 7, 1860 - November 19, 1860

[mf roll #90-147]

v. 8 November 19, 1860 - April 16, 1861

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AA520
1816-1827
New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Record of bonds for members of the City Guard and other police officers, 1816- 1827.
1 v.

In November, 1817, the Conseil de Ville passed an ordinance that, among other things, required prospective Commissaries of Police and members of the City Guard to pledge security bonds for the faithful performance of their duties for the time required by law.

The record book is made up of printed forms with manuscript entries giving the names of the officer and his security and the date of the bond. There is also a space for the age of the officer to be recorded, but that space is not consistently filled in (perhaps 40% of the bonds have this space blank). Each bond is signed by both the officer and his security. There is an name index to the first forty-three bonds only.

Available as part of microfilm roll #89-236, filed under call number AA420 1812;1818- 1831.

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AA520
1855-1862
New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Bonds for police officers, 1855-1862.
9 v.

Ordinance #25, approved on May 14, 1852, established a Department of Police with the Mayor as its chief executive. Ordinance #2100 of 1855 required that prospective police officers had to be recommended to the Mayor by at least three freeholders of New Orleans and also had to have been two years resident in the city and a citizen of the United States. All officers were further required to give bond and security to the Mayor for the faithful performance of their duties.

The records are in nine volumes of printed forms with manuscript entries. Each page contains the bond for one officer, and shows the district serving in, the date of the bond, the position appointed to (policeman, supernumerary, sergeant, lieutenant, chief of police, etc.), the officers name, the name of the freeholder acting as security for the officer, and the amount of the bond pledged as security. Each bond is signed by the officer and his security and, in some cases, by the Mayor as well. While most of the bonds are for police officers, other positions are also included. Among those noted are Assistant Street Commissioner, Commissary of the Treme Market, and "to arrest stray animals."

Available on seven rolls of 35mm microfilm. The inventory below gives film roll and call numbers.

Inventory

AA520
1855-1862
New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Bonds for police officers, 1855-1862.
v.1 April 27,1855 - September 12, 1855
[mf roll #89-308; filed under call # AA205 1846-1850]

v.2 September 13,1855 - November 22, 1856
[mf roll # 89-309; filed under call # AA520 1855-1856]

v.3 November 27, 1856 - November 20, 1857
[mf roll # 89-310; filed under call # AA520 1856-1857]

v.4 November 25, 1857- July 20, 1858
[mf roll # 89-311; filed under call # AA520 1857-1858]

v.5 July 20, 1858 - September 20, 1859

v.6 July 1, 1859 - March 28, 1860
[mf roll # 89-312; filed under call # AA520 1858-1860]

v.7 March 29, 1860 - June 29, 1860

v.8 July 9, 1860 - March 12, 1861
[mf roll # 89-313; filed under call # AA520 1860-1861]

v.9 March 19, 1861 - May 14, 1862
[mf roll # 89-314; filed under call # AA520 1861-1862]

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AA530
1834-1844
New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Receipts for papers in criminal cases, 1834-1844.
1 v.

The charter of the city of New Orleans as passed by the Louisiana legislature in 1805 named the Mayor and the Recorders of the city as Justices of the Peace. Justices of the Peace were empowered, also by act of the state legislature passed in 1805, to hear and examine complaints of breach of peace and to take the bond of any party charged with such a breach. Justices were also empowered in certain cases to turn offenders over to the custody of the sheriff to hold until the due course of law could be followed. As such the Mayor acted as a hearing officer, making preliminary determinations in criminal matters that were later to be decided by the Criminal Court.

Manuscript volume, January 2, 1834-June 15, 1844, of receipts signed by individuals receiving papers relative to criminal cases that originally came before the Mayor. In most instances the receipts are dated and give the names of the accused party/parties, along with the offenses with which they were charged. Some of the receipts also give the title of the individual signing for the papers. Several of the records contain additional detail, such as a listing of the evidence being turned over by the Mayor's Office.

While the majority of these receipts are for papers in criminal cases, the manuscript title at the beginning of the volume, "Recus divers du Bureau de la Maire," indicates that it also contains receipts relative to other matters. An example, dated August 12, 1840, is signed by Edward Hall, Consular Agent, Republic of Texas, indicating his receipt of "the copper plates for Bonds Change Notes and patents engraved by Edicott and Clark for the Republic of Texas."

See also New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor. Decisions of the Mayor in criminal cases, 1823-1832.

Forms part of the New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor records.

Available as part of one roll of 35mm microfilm, roll #89-219, filed under call number AA370 1823-1832.

Inventory

AA530
1834-1844

New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Receipts for papers in criminal cases, 1834-1844.
January 2, 1834 - June 15, 1844

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AA650
1847-1852
New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Renunciations made by owners of vaults fronting on St. Louis Street in the old Catholic Cemetery No. 1, 1847-1852.
1 v.

On December 8, 1846, the First Municipality Council resolved to appoint a committee of three to consult with the Wardens of the St. Louis Church "on the expediency of removing the range of owners of the Old Cemetery encroaching on St. Louis Street" and to urge the Wardens, "in view of the completed improvements of that part of this Municipality," to come to an understanding satisfactory to all parties.

On February 17, 1847 the Board of Church Wardens agreed to relinquish to the First Municipality the section of the cemetery in question (fronting on St. Louis Street and encroaching upon the line running from Basin Street toward Bayou St. John), under the condition that the municipality construct new vaults on the Basin and Conti Street sides of the cemetery for the remains in the displaced vaults. The resolution also provided that if any families preferred to remove their relatives' remains to private vaults, the municipality would pay for the construction of these vaults, on ground designated by the Wardens. Finally, the Wardens asked that the municipality fill any low spots in the cemetery and build sidewalks and a "wall of suitable dimensions" on the St. Louis Street side.

The First Municipality Council accepted the Wardens' proposal on March 4, 1847 and further resolved to accept sealed bids for the construction of 150 vaults on the Conti Street side of the cemetery. The Surveyor was authorized to superintend the building of the vaults and to fill the low spots in the cemetery. The Council authorized the mayor to give new vaults to those able to prove title to old vaults "provided that such person or person's family or families renounce forever their rights to the same."

The record is one bound manuscript volume in French and English containing statements signed before Mayor A.D. Crossman by the owners of vaults (or someone authorized to act for the owner) renouncing all rights and claims to the vaults "encroaching on St. Louis Street." The earliest is dated September 20, 1847 and the latest, August 9, 1852 (although the cover of the volume is stamped 1847 to 1850). Some of the statements are written on slips of paper pasted or inserted into the volume. Also inserted are duplicates of several receipts dated 1819 for the original purchase price of the tomb. Among the statements included in the volume is that of "Mary Laveau," signed with her mark on September 18, 1847.

The records were originally cataloged as "Mayor's Office. Renunciations made by owners of vaults fronting on St. Louis Street in the Old Catholic Cemetery No. 1, 1847-1852" (LMA360). They are available on one roll of 35mm microfilm, roll #903966, filed under call number LM433 1841-1842c -- a second copy is filed under call number AA650 1847- 1852.

Inventory

AA650
1847-1852

New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Renunciations made by owners of vaults fronting on St. Louis Street in the old Catholic Cemetery No. 1, 1847-1852.

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AA660/661
1809-1843

New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Indentures, 1809-1843
6 v.

An Act passed by the Louisiana Legislature on May 21, 1806 outlined the "rights and duties of Apprentices and Indentured Servants." The Act stipulated that indentures were to be signed in the presence of at least two witnesses "before the mayor of any city, or the judge of any county." Minors could be bound only with the consent of a parent, guardian or curator or, in their absence, with the consent of the mayor or county judge of their place of residence. The Act specified the form the agreement should take and set a fee of five dollars for the services of the mayor or judge. Should the apprentice's master or mistress die during the term of the indenture, mayors and judges were also given the power to reassign unexpired terms to another "suitable person of said trade, or calling, mentioned in the indenture" and the power to penalize apprentices or bound servants who "absconded."

Evidence suggests that the law concerning apprentices and bound servants changed in some respect between 1806 and 1826; however, details of those changes cannot be traced. In 1826, the Legislature repealed Articles 158 and 159 of the Civil Code (both concerning the treatment of minors bound as apprentices) and revived the 1806 law "in everything which is not contrary or repugnant to the provisions of the Civil Code, which are not expressly repealed by this act. . . . " Since the records that exist indicate no substantial changes in form or content, we can assume that any changes to the law were minor.

The records are bound volumes in French and English containing indenture documents signed before the mayor of the City of New Orleans or his representative. Included in the documents are the name of the person indentured, his/her age, place of birth, race (e.g. "free quadroon); orphans are identified, and, for minors, the name of the person(s) giving permission for the minor to be bound is given. Also listed is the name of the merchant or tradesperson to whom the apprentice or servant is bound, his/her trade, and the terms of the agreement. The agreement is signed by the parties involved, by two or three witnesses, and by the mayor or his representative. Some documents are appended by statements, agreed to by all parties, canceling the previous agreement. Also included are agreements by slave owners binding their slaves as apprentices or servants, agreements binding parties for repayment of debts or of ship passage or to avoid a prison term, and collective labor agreements.

Also available are a typewritten English translation of volume 1 made by the Works Progress Administration [AA 661] and an index to and analysis of the documents, compiled by Prof. Paul Lachance of the University of Ottawa.

The records are available on three rolls of 35mm microfilm, with the translation of volume one filmed at the end of the series. See the following inventory for roll numbers. The computerized index is not available on film.

Inventory

AA660
1809-1843
New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Indentures, 1809-1843

[mf roll #903963]
v. 1 1809-1814
v. 2 1815-1818

[mf roll #903964]
v. 3 1818-1822
v. 4 1823-1830

[mf roll #903965]
v. 5 1830-1843

AA661
1809-1814
New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.
Indentures [translations], 1809-1814

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AA670
1829-1852

New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

License records, 1829-1852.
5 v.

Section 11 of the 1805 city charter provided that the Mayor was to license all taverns and boarding houses as well as carts, drays, and other conveyances. There is nothing to indicate that this responsibility was changed by the terms of the 1836 charter. That law did, moreover, call for the General Council, rather than the individual municipality councils, to set citywide license fees and rates. This would appear to support the continuance of a centralized license-issuing process within the Office of the Mayor.

Collectors of the various license taxes were employed by the city of New Orleans and later by each of the municipalities. These men were probably acting as agents of the several Treasurers. This illustrates the shared nature of the licensing process in New Orleans, in that the Treasurer's Office was responsible for collecting license taxes, and that the Mayor actually issued the license, probably on being presented with a certificate from the Treasurer indicating payment.

The records are manuscript volumes as follows:

Register of licenses for carts and carriages, 1829-1832 [AA670c]--begins with entry for license #394;

Register of licenses for coffee houses, etc., in the First Municipality, 1852 [AA670ch 1st Mun]--includes records for coffee houses, groceries, restaurants, billiard tables, beer houses, private boarding houses, oyster houses and wine retail stores; appears to have been continued in use by the Treasurer's Office following consolidation;

Register of licenses for coffee houses, etc., in the Second Municipality, 1852 [AA670ch 2nd Mun]--includes records for coffee houses, cabarets, ten pin alleys, billiard tables, hotels, bars, beer houses, and "powder licenses;" also appears to have been used after consolidation, probably by the Treasurer's Office;

Register of cabaret licenses in the Third Municipality, 1836 [AA670ch 3rd Mun];

Register of licenses for drays, etc. in the Third Municipality, 1847-1848 [AA670d 3rd Mun]--includes records for drays, carts, carriages, peddlers & hawkers, merchants, and professions.

These records generally record the names of licensed individuals, often with their residence or place of business also listed. Dates of licensing, amounts paid, and references to the transfer of licenses are also recorded in some instances.

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AA822
1822

New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor.

Passenger lists of ships arriving at New Orleans, 1822.
1 box (oversized)

By ordinance approved December 12, 1807, the Conseil de Ville required registration with the Mayor of "all persons who may come to this city, and are not inhabitants of the same." The ordinance made it the responsibility not only of the foreigners or strangers themselves to register, but also required that masters of vessels carrying such persons, and proprietors of inns, etc., boarding such persons, likewise to register them with the Mayor's Office. All of this was to be done within twenty-four hours of the arrival of said persons into the city. The reports were to include the name, age, and profession of each person, and were also to note where the person had come from and whether the person intended to remain in the city or to leave it "instantly." Fees were set for such registrations, and penalties established for failure to register.

The records consist of individual manuscript lists of incoming passengers compiled by ship masters. These lists identify the name, port of origin, and date of arrival of each ship, along with the master's name and signature. Generally, the lists give the name, age, place of birth, occupation, place last from, nation owing allegiance to, and remarks (sometimes referring to means of subsistence) of each passenger. Many of the lists also include a physical description of each passenger, including height and complexion. Lists written in foreign languages generally are accompanied by manuscript English translations, possibly made at a later date by archives workers.

In addition to the individual ship lists, there are also manuscript monthly lists of all vessels entering the port of New Orleans (excepting those at Bayou St. Jean), giving date of entry, name and type of vessel, master's name, "whence from," tonnage, and remarks. These lists are signed by D. Prieur, who served as Recorder for the city during 1822.

At least some of the individual passenger lists in this series also appear in the Customs lists now held by the National Archives. This series also includes, however, lists from ships arriving from other U.S. ports, whereas the National Archives lists represent vessels arriving only from foreign ports..

These records formerly were described, and microfilmed, as "Passenger lists, vessels arriving at Port of New Orleans, 1822," with call number mf LN100. They are available as part of 35mm microfilm roll #906709, filed under the call number noted above.

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