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At right is Gallier Hall, completed in 1850 as the seat of the Second Municipality Council; from 1853 to 1958, Gallier Hall housed New Orleans' municipal government. The image is from the Crescent City Business Directory for 1858-59.

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AB300
1769-1803

New Orleans (La.) Cabildo.

Acts and deliberations of the Cabildo, 1769-1803.
5 v.
10 v. [English translation, AB301]
10 v. [Spanish transcripts, AB302]

Don Alejandro O'Reilly, Governor and Captain-General of the province of Louisiana, appointed, on December 1, 1769, six perpetual regidors or aldermen to form a city council, or cabildo, "for the administration of justice and preservation of order" in the city of New Orleans. These aldermen also were assigned individual administrative and/or judicial responsibilities. The Cabildo annually elected other officers, including judges, an attorney general, and a treasurer.

The Cabildo met weekly, "for the purpose of deliberating on all that may concern the public welfare." All decisions made by the Cabildo were to be recorded by the body's secretary in a book of resolutions. The various "decrees, royal provisions, and dispatches, which may be addressed to the corporation either by the governor or other authorized minister," were to be recorded and the originals preserved in the archives of the Cabildo.

The detailed rules, regulations, and instructions for government by the Cabildo, presented to the body by O'Reilly on February 23, 1770, are available in translation in B.F. French, Historical Memoirs of Louisiana... (New York, 1853), V, 254ff.

The records are five manuscript volumes, in Spanish. Volume begins with an account of O'Reilly's arrival in the province, followed by a chronological journal of the minutes of the Cabildo's meetings, along with copies of documents presented to the assemblage. These minutes are signed by the members present at each meeting, as well as by the secretary of the Cabildo.

Spanish transcriptions and English translations, made by the Works Progress Administration, are available in typescript. Also available is a typewritten Digest of the acts or records of the Cabildo, 1769-1803. The original records, as well as the WPA products, are also available on microfilm. The following inventory provides exact location references for the microfilm copies.

A separate card index [not microfilmed] to subject matter represented in the records is available as well.

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

Inventory

AB300
1769-1803

New Orleans (La.) Cabildo.

Acts and deliberations of the Cabildo, 1769-1803.

v. 1 August 18, 1769 - August 27, 1779
[pp. 1-111, see item 3 of mf #1309934--call number AB320 1800-1803; pp. 112-end, see item 1 of mf #1309935--call number AB300 1769-1779 (part)]
v. 2 September 8, 1779 - June 25, 1784
[item 2 of mf #1309935--call number AB300 1769- 1779 (part)]
v. 3 July 2, 1784 - April 10, 1795
[item 3 of mf #1309935--call number AB300 1769- 1779 (part)]
v. 4 April 24, 1795 - July 17, 1802
[pp. 1-210, see item 4 of mf #1309935--call number AB300 1769-1779 (part); pp. 209-end, see item of mf #310563--call number AB300 1795-1802 (part)]
v. 5 July 19, 1802 - November 18, 1803
[see item 2 of mf #310563--call number AB300 1795-1802 (part)]

AB301
1769-1803

New Orleans (La.) Cabildo.

Acts and deliberations of the Cabildo, 1769-1803, [English translations].

[mf roll #91-14]
[Digest of the acts or records of the Cabildo, 1769-1803]
[another copy of the Digest appears on mf roll #1309934, item 2, filed under call number AB320 1799-1803]
v. 1 August 18, 1769 - August 27, 1779
v. 2 September 8, 1779 - June 25, 1784 [pp. 1-150; continued on next reel]

[mf roll #91-15]

v. 2 September 8, 1779 - June 25, 1784 [pp. 151-end; continued from last reel]
v. 3, bk. 1 July 2, 1784 - December 14, 1787
v. 3, bk. 2 January 1, 1788 - May 18, 1792
v. 3, bk. 3 May 25, 1792 - April 17, 1795

[mf roll #91-16]

v. 4, bk. 1 April 24, 1795 - July 7, 1797
v. 4, bk. 2 July 14, 1797 - December 20, 1798
v. 4, bk. 3 January 1, 1799 - September 12, 1800
v. 4, bk. 4 September 19, 1800 - July 17, 1802 [pp. 1-135; continued on next reel]

[mf roll #91-17]

v. 4, bk. 4 September 19, 1800 - July 17, 1802 [pp. 136-end; continued from last reel]
v. 5 July 19, 1802 - November 18, 1803

AB302
1769-1803

New Orleans (La.) Cabildo.

Acts and deliberations of the Cabildo, 1769-1803, [Spanish transcriptions].

[mf roll #91-11]

v. 1 August 18, 1769 - August 27, 1779
v. 2 September 8, 1779 - June 25, 1784
v. 3, bk. 1 July 2, 1784 - December 14, 1787
v. 3, bk. 2 January 1, 1788 - May 18, 1792
[pp. 1-56; continued on next reel]

[mf roll #91-12]

v. 3, bk. 2 January 1, 1788 - May 18, 1792
[pp. 57-end; continued from last reel]
v. 3, bk. 3 May 25, 1792 - April 17, 1795
v. 4, bk. 1 April 24, 1795 - July 7, 1797

[mf roll #91-13]

v. 4, bk. 2 July 14, 1797 - December 20, 1798
v. 4, bk. 3 January 1, 1799 - September 12, 1800
v. 4, bk. 4 September 19, 1800 - July 17, 1802
v. 5 July 19, 1802 - November 18, 1803

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AB320
1770-1803

New Orleans (La.) Cabildo.

Petitions, letters, and decrees of the Cabildo, 1770-1803.
3 v.

O'Reilly's regulations and instructions called for the recordation of the various "decrees, royal provisions, and dispatches, which may be addressed to the corporation either by the governor or other authorized minister," and for the preservation of the originals in the archives of the Cabildo.

The original manuscript documents have been bound into three volumes. A detailed inventory of these documents appears in the 1845 "Inventory of the archives," made by the secretary of the general council (see AB160 1845). More recent listings, prepared as part of the translations made by the Louisiana State Museum of these records, are also available, as are photocopies of the translation of volume 1 (1770-1792). See also the translation (by Ronald Morazan) of the 1800 portion of volume three. A translation of volume 2 (1792-1799) may be available at the Louisiana Historical Center of the Louisiana State Museum.

The first 10 documents, along with documents #11-17 are missing from the records. They are indicated as missing on the 1845 inventory. It is suspected that at least a portion of these missing documents were the regulations and instructions presented to the Cabildo by O'Reilly in February, 1770.

The original documents are available on three rolls of 35mm microfilm. See the following inventory for specific microfilm call numbers.

Inventory

AB320
1770-1803

New Orleans (La.) Cabildo.

Petitions, letters, and decrees of the Cabildo, 1770-1803.

v. 1 1770-1792 (documents #10-200)
[documents #10-170, see item 6 of mf #1309932-- call number TK840 1804; documents #171-200, see item 1 of mf #1309933--call number AB320 1770- 1792 (docs. #171-200)]
v. 2 1792-1799 (documents #201-333)
[item 2 of mf #1309933--call number AB320 1770- 1792 (docs. #171-200)]
v. 3 1799-1803 (documents #334-432)
[item 1 of mf #1309934--call number AB320 1799- 1803]

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AB320
1803-1804

New Orleans (La.) Conseil municipal.

Letters, proclamations, and decrees from Pierre-Clement de Laussat, 1803-1804.
1 v.

On August 20, 1802, Napoleon appointed Pierre-Clement de Laussat to the position of Colonial Prefect of Louisiana, making him the highest ranking French civilian in the province. Following the Louisiana Purchase, though, his office was changed to that of official commissioner of the French government for the retrocession of Louisiana from Spain to France, and later from France to the United States.

Laussat took formal possession of Louisiana for France on November 30, 1803 and on that date also established a municipal government for the city of New Orleans, composed of a Mayor, a Municipal Council of twelve members, and a Recorder-Secretary. The city was governed by these officers until March 11, 1805, when the new Mayor and Conseil de Ville were installed, as provided for in the 1805 city charter. Laussat, meanwhile, completed his responsibilities in New Orleans in April, 1804, and left for his new post in Martinique during that month.

The records include printed proclamations (many with woodcuts of Laussat's official seal or other figures) and decrees issued and signed by Laussat, along with manuscript letters and other documents transmitted by him to the Council. Included are Laussat's proclamations of possession of the province, of the establishment of the municipal government, and of the appointment of numerous provincial officials. Also included are documents relative to issues that came before the Prefect for disposition. These range from the December 17, 1803 decree for the superintendence and discipline of the slaves in Louisiana, to a January 20, 1804 letter concerning an investigation of the former treasurer, Juan de Castanedo. Of special interest is an inventory, dated December 10, 1803, of the archives of the Spanish Cabildo turned over to the municipal government on Laussat's order.

The individual documents received by the Council from Laussat were numbered sequentially, in a continuation of the numerical series begun for the Letters, Petitions, and Decrees of the Cabildo, 1770-1803. They were later bound into a single volume. That volume has since been disbound and the individual documents filed in folders and boxed. The documents were individually listed in an 1845 inventory of the archives collection. The original inventory is available on microfilm, filed under call number AB160 1845. For a translation of this inventory, please consult the archivist.

Available as item 1 of microfilm roll #90-155, filed under the call number noted above.

Inventory

AB320
1803-1804

New Orleans (La.) Conseil municipal.

Letters, proclamations, and decrees from Pierre-Clement de Laussat, Colonial Prefect of Louisiana, 1803-1804.

November 30, 1803 - March 31, 1804 [#433-#478]

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AB
1805-1836

New Orleans (La.) Conseil de Ville.

Records, 1805-1836.
95 v.

On March 11, 1805, the new Mayor and Conseil de Ville, provided for in the 1805 city charter were installed, replacing the interim government established by Laussat in 1803. The Council was to meet at least once each month "for the despatch of business." It had the power to make all laws and ordinances for the government of the municipal corporation and for regulation of the police of the city. Powers of taxation, of both real and personal property, were also given to the Council under the city charter.

The Conseil de Ville was composed of fourteen aldermen, with two of those officers being elected from each of the city's seven wards. A charter amendment in 1806 set the term of office for aldermen at two years and provided that two be elected from each of the city's first six wards, with one each coming from wards seven and eight. This law also made elective the office of Recorder, who had been named in the charter as the presiding officer of the Council.

The Conseil de Ville was empowered to elect its own clerk, doorkeeper, and other officers, as well as to name a Treasurer for the city. Subsequent charter amendments and municipal ordinances further defined the powers and responsibilities of the Council. It remained the city's legislative authority until the adoption of a new charter in 1836. That law provided for separate municipality councils to govern various sections of the city, along with a general council that retained some authority over the entire city.

The records are arranged in series as follows:

Official proceedings, 1803-1836.
Official proceedings (translations), 1803-1829.
Journal of minutes and proceedings of secret sessions, 1823- 1836.
Ordinances and resolutions, 1805-1836.
Ordinances and resolutions (translations), 1805-1835.
Letters, petitions, and reports, 1804-1835.
Messages from the Mayor, 1805-1836.
Resolutions, contracts, and documents, 1830-1835.

Separate finding aids are available for each of these record series.

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AB300
1803-1836

New Orleans (La.) Conseil de Ville.

Official proceedings, 1803-1836.
7 v.

The records are manuscript volumes containing the minutes of the individual council meetings, beginning with the session of 8 Frimaire An XII (November 30, 1803) and continuing through the period of the Conseil Municipal and into that of the Conseil de Ville. In addition to the proceedings proper, these records also list the individuals provided monetary relief by the Council. There is a gap in the proceedings from February, 1829 to September, 1831.

All of the volumes in this series have suffered water damage to some extent. Some of them were also victimized by more recent mold infestation, with the result that portions of some pages (particularly in volumes 6 and 7) are illegible.

Also available are typewritten translations (made by the Works Progress Administration and related agencies) of the first five (1803-1829) original volumes of official proceedings. In preparing these volumes the translators also compiled descriptive tables of contents for each. In the inventory that follows, the volume numbers correlate with those for the original manuscripts; the translations for each of those volumes were bound into separate books, represented by the book numbers within each volume.

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

Inventory

AB300
1803-1836

New Orleans (La.) Conseil de Ville.

Official proceedings, 1803-1836.

[mf roll #89-284]
v. 1 8 Frimaire An XII (November 30, 1803) - July 6, 1807
v. 2 July 6, 1807 - May 31, 1817
v. 3 June 7, 1817 - September 14, 1822

[mf roll #89-285]
v. 4 September 21, 1822 - October 8, 1825
v. 5 October 15, 1825 - February 7, 1829
v. 6 September 28, 1831 - September 27, 1834

[mf roll #89-286]
v. 7 October 4, 1834 - April 23, 1836

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AB301
1803-1829

New Orleans (La.) Conseil de Ville.

Official proceedings (translations), 1803-1829.
18 v.

Pierre-Clement de Laussat took formal possession of Louisiana for France on November 30, 1803 and on that date also established a municipal government for the city of New Orleans, composed of a Mayor, a Municipal Council of twelve members, and a Recorder-Secretary. The city was governed by these officers until March 11, 1805, when the new Mayor and Conseil de Ville were installed, as provided for in the 1805 city charter.

The 1805 charter called for the Council to meet at least once each month "for the despatch of business." It had the power to make all laws and ordinances for the government of the municipal corporation and for regulation of the police of the city. Powers of taxation, of both real and personal property, were also given to the Council under the city charter.

The records are typewritten translations (made by the Works Progress Administration and related agencies) of the first five (1803-1829) original French manuscript volumes of official proceedings. Volume 1, book 1 includes the proceedings of the Conseil Municipal as well as those of the first meetings of the Conseil de Ville.

In preparing these volumes the translators also compiled descriptive tables of contents for each. In the inventory that follows, the volume numbers correlate with those for the original manuscripts; the translations for each of those volumes were bound into separate books, represented by the book numbers within each volume.

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

Inventory

AB301
1803-1829

New Orleans (La.) Conseil de Ville.

Official proceedings (translations), 1803-1829.

[mf roll #90-218]
v. 1, bk. 1 November 30, 1803 - March 29, 1805
v. 1, bk. 2 April 4, 1805 - February 12, 1806
v. 1, bk. 3 February 15, 1806 - July 1, 1807

[mf roll #90-219]
v. 2, bk. 1 July 8, 1807 - December 28, 1808
v. 2, bk. 2 January 14, 1809 - December 26, 1810

[mf roll #90-220]
v. 2, bk. 3 January 12, 1811 - November 17, 1818
v. 2, bk. 4 November 28, 1812 - October 1, 1814
v. 2, bk. 5 October 8, 1814 - May 6, 1816

[mf roll #90-221]
v. 2, bk. 6 May 7, 1816 - May 31, 1817
v. 3, bk. 1 June 7, 1817 - December 29, 1818
v. 3, bk. 2 January 2, 1819 - February 29, 1820

[mf roll #90-222]
v. 3, bk. 3 March 4, 1820 - March 17, 1821
v. 3, bk. 4 March 19, 1821 - January 5, 1822
v. 3, bk. 5 January 12 - September 14, 1822
v. 4, bk. 1 September 21, 1822 - May 29, 1824

[mf roll #90-223]
v. 4, bk. 2 June 1, 1824 - October 8, 1825
v. 5, bk. 1 October 15, 1825 - June 14, 1827

[mf roll #90-224]
v. 5, bk. 2 June 16, 1827 - February 7, 1829

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AB300
1823-1836
sec sess

New Orleans (La.) Conseil de Ville.

Journal of minutes and proceedings of secret sessions, 1823- 1836.
1 v.

The 1805 charter was amended by act of the state legislature approved on March 14, 1816. Among the provisions of this act was the following, "in future the sittings or assemblies of the city Council of New-Orleans shall be public, except where, at the request of two thirds of the members present in said Council, the said Council shall deem it necessary to deliberate behind closed doors."

The minutes of these closed door, or secret, sessions were recorded in separate books from the regular minutes and proceedings. This manuscript volume includes such minutes for the Conseil de Ville from November 13, 1823 through February 2, 1836. Following the division of the city in 1836, the volume was continued in use to record the secret sessions of the First Municipality Council.

Available as item 1 of microfilm roll #89-354, filed under the call number noted above.

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AB310
1805-1836

New Orleans (La.) Conseil de Ville.

Ordinances and resolutions, 1805-1836.
27 v. (including indexes [AB309])

The Conseil de Ville had the power to make and pass all by-laws and ordinances for the better government of the affairs of, and for regulating the police and preserving the peace and good order of, the municipality. These laws, once passed by the Council, were to be transmitted to the Mayor for his consideration. If he approved of the act he was to sign it and return it to the Council, and it would have the effect of law. If he did not approve of it, the Mayor had five days to return it to the Council with his objections, otherwise the legislation would gain the effect of law. Disapproved ordinances and resolutions could still become law upon two- thirds vote of the members of the Council.

The records are manuscript volumes, in French, which have been grouped into subseries as indicated below:

I -- Individual ordinances and resolutions apparently extracted from the journals or other record books of the Conseil de Ville. Each is signed by the Recorder and by the Mayor. They apparently were originally stored folded, with manuscript endorsements on the top of the folded sheet for filing purposes. At some later point they were bound into thick volumes. These records date 1805-1821.

II -- These volumes appear to be made up of the bound acts (ordinances, resolutions, etc.) passed at each session of the Conseil de Ville. Each act is signed by the Recorder and some are also signed by the Mayor.

III -- English copy of the ordinances and resolutions (for March 5, 1831 - April 23, 1836 only). Signed by the Recorder, with some also signed by the Mayor.

IV -- Copies, unsigned (for August 20 - November 17, 1825 only). This volume also contains the proceedings of the Board of Inspectors of the Workhouse, House of Refuge, and Prison, First Municipality, March 26, 1842 - July 11, 1843.

A comparison of the overlapping portions of subseries I and II supports the interpretation of group I as being extracts from other records of the Conseil de Ville since there are many acts recorded in II that are not represented in I. Since there are no pre-1816 records in subseries II, it would appear that the acts for that period (as represented in subseries I) are incomplete. Information about such earlier acts, if not the complete text thereof, can be found by reference to the proceedings of the Conseil de Ville and the messages of the Mayor to that body.

In addition to the ordinances and resolutions themselves these volumes also contain lists of individuals for whom relief benefits were authorized by the Conseil de Ville as well as numerous letters and other documents. This is especially true in the volumes for the earlier years. Among the correspondents represented in these letters are Rev. Patrick Walsh, Vicar General of Louisiana; Jacques Villere; Sister de Ste. Michel Gensoul, Superioress of the Ursuline Nuns in New Orleans; Louis Moreau-Lislet; Benjamin Henry Latrobe. There are also letters from various local institutions and/or their representatives, including the Library Society, the Medical Society, the Church Wardens of the Church of St. Louis, and the Trustees of the Presbyterian Church.

The English language volume (subseries III) is the only one that is indexed, for 1832-1836 only (see AB309 in inventory listing). The indexes prepared for the WPA translations (see below), however, should also be useful finding aids for these records.

Available on six rolls of 35mm microfilm, see the following inventory for roll numbers.

See also:

WPA translations of the Conseil de Ville ordinances and resolutions, (AB311) and
Digest of ordinances and resolutions of the city of New Orleans, 1831 and 1836 (AB312).

Inventory

AB309
1832-1836

Index to ordinances and resolutions, 1832-1836.

[Partially indexes the record in subseries III]

[mf roll #89-224]
v. 1 1832-1834
v. 2 1835-1836
v. 3 1835-1836 [also includes pencilled index, apparently to 1843 ordinances]

AB310
1805-1836

Ordinances and resolutions, 1805-1836.

Subseries I
v. 1 March 11, 1805 - December 20, 1815
v. 2 December 24, 1815 - February 19, 1821

[mf roll #89-225]
Subseries II
v. 1 January 20 - December 31, 1816
v. 2 January 4 - December 27, 1817
v. 3 January 3 - December 29, 1818
v. 4 January 2 - December 31, 1819

[mf roll #89-226]
v. 5 January 5 - December 30, 1820
v. 6 January 6 - December 29, 1821
v. 7 January 5 - December 28, 1822
v. 8 January 4 - December 27, 1823
v. 9 January 3 - December 31, 1824

[mf roll #89-227]
v.10 January 11 - December 31, 1825
v.11 January 4 - December 30, 1826
v.12 January 6 - December 29, 1827
v.13 January 5 - December 27, 1828
v.14 January 3 - December 20, 1829
v.15 January 2 - December 31, 1830
v.16 January 15 - December 31, 1831

[mf roll #89-228]
v.17 January 11 - December 19, 1832
v.18 January 2 - December 30, 1833
v.19 January 6 - December 27, 1834
v.20 January 3 - December 26, 1835

[mf roll #89-229]
v.21 February 6 - April 23, 1836 [also includes records for the First Municipality Council, September 2 - December 19, 1836]

Subseries III
v. 1 March 5, 1831 - April 23, 1836

Subseries IV
v. 1 August 20 - November 17, 1825 [also includes proceedings of the Board of Inspectors of the Workhouse, House of Refuge, and Prison, First Municipality, March 26, 1842 - July 11, 1843]

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AB311
1805-1835

New Orleans (La.) Conseil de Ville.

Ordinances and resolutions (translations), 1805-1835.
21 v.

The Conseil de Ville had the power to make and pass all by-laws and ordinances for the better government of the affairs of, and for regulating the police and preserving the peace and good order of, the municipality. These laws, once passed by the Council, were to be transmitted to the Mayor for his consideration. If he approved of the act he was to sign it and return it to the Council, and it would have the effect of law. If he did not approve of it, the Mayor had five days to return it to the Council with his objections, otherwise the legislation would gain the effect of law. Disapproved ordinances and resolutions could still become law upon two- thirds vote of the members of the Council.

The records are typewritten translations (made by the Work Projects Administration, Project #665-64-3-112) of the original French manuscript volumes. They have been grouped into subseries as indicated below:

I -- Individual ordinances and resolutions apparently extracted from the journals or other record books of the Conseil de Ville. These records date 1805-1821.

II -- These volumes appear to be translations of the bound acts (ordinances, resolutions, etc.) passed at each session of the Conseil de Ville. The last two volumes in the original series were not translated by the WPA project. View an online SAMPLE from the 1832 volume in this series.

A comparison of the overlapping portions of subseries I and II supports the interpretation of group I as being extracts from other records of the Conseil de Ville since there are many acts recorded in II that are not represented in I. Since there are no pre-1816 records in subseries II, it would appear that the acts for that period (as represented in subseries I) are incomplete. Information about such earlier acts, if not the complete text thereof, can be found by reference to the proceedings of the Conseil de Ville and the messages of the Mayor to that body, both series of which are available in English translations.

In addition to the ordinances and resolutions themselves these volumes also contain lists of individuals for whom relief benefits were authorized by the Conseil de Ville as well as numerous letters and other documents. This is especially true in the volumes for the earlier years. Among the correspondents represented in these letters are Rev. Patrick Walsh, Vicar General of Louisiana; Jacques Villere; Sister de Ste. Michel Gensoul, Superioress of the Ursuline Nuns in New Orleans; Louis Moreau-Lislet; Benjamin Henry Latrobe. There are also letters from various local institutions and/or their representatives, including the Library Society, the Medical Society, the Church Wardens of the Church of St. Louis, and the Trustees of the Presbyterian Church.

The translators also prepared indexes to the ordinances and resolutions. These appear at the beginning of each volume.

Available on six rolls of 35mm microfilm; see the following intentory for roll numbers.

See also:

Digest of ordinances and resolutions of the city of New Orleans, 1831 and 1836 (AB312).

The original ordinance and resolutions (AB310).

Inventory

AB311
1805-1835

Ordinances and resolutions, 1805-1835.

[mf roll #90-210]
Subseries I
v. 1 March 11, 1805 - December 20, 1815
v. 2 December 24, 1815 - February 19, 1821

Subseries II
v. 1 January 20 - December 31, 1816

[mf roll #90-211]
v. 2 January 4 - December 27, 1817
v. 3 January 3 - December 29, 1818
v. 4 January 2 - December 31, 1819
v. 5 January 5 - December 30, 1820

[mf roll #90-212]
v. 6 January 6 - December 29, 1821
v. 7 January 5 - December 28, 1822
v. 8 January 4 - December 27, 1823

[mf roll #90-213]
v. 9 January 3 - December 31, 1824
v.10 January 11 - December 31, 1825
v.11 January 4 - December 30, 1826
v.12 January 6 - December 29, 1827

[mf roll #90-214]
v.13 January 5 - December 27, 1828
v.14 January 3 - December 20, 1829
v.15 January 2 - December 31, 1830
v.16 January 15 - December 31, 1831

[mf roll #90-215]
v.17 January 11 - December 19, 1832
v.18 January 2 - December 30, 1833
v.19 January 6 - December 27, 1834
v.20 January 3 - December 26, 1835 [This volume was not translated in the WPA project]

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AB320
1804-1835

New Orleans (La.) Conseil de Ville.

Letters, petitions, and reports, 1804-1835.
3 v.

Essentially the incoming correspondence of the Conseil de Ville (and of the Conseil Municipal, prior to March 11, 1805). Manuscript letters, for the most part, but also including petitions of citizens for various improvements and some reports on sundry subjects. Correspondents include Presidents James Madison and Andrew Jackson; Governors William C.C. Claiborne, Jacques Villere, Henry Johnson (also letters from his terms as U.S. Senator), and A.B. Roman; and such prominent citizens as Daniel Clark, Edward Livingston, Bernard Marigny, and Benjamin Henry Latrobe.

The subject matter of these communications is quite varied, ranging from issues of public health, to interests of private property, to the defense of the city against the British invaders, and to the establishment of protestant congregations in New Orleans. Several of the letters are accompanied by drawings, most notably a set of four watercolor plans annexed to an 1816 essay on flood control written by Latrobe.

The documents are numbered sequentially, beginning with number 466 in 1804. Brief filing notes were added to the documents along with these document numbers. Some numbered documents actually are made up of two or more individual letters and/or enclosures. These documents were bound together into three volumes, probably sometime after 1845. They have recently been disbound for microfilming, but the existing volume designations have been retained in this description.

This series of documents is a continuation of the Petitions, decrees, and letters of the Cabildo, 1770-1803, which began the document numbering sequence noted above. All of the documents in this numerical sequence were part of a loan of materials made by the city to the Louisiana State Museum in 1915. While in the custody of the Museum translations/typescripts of these documents were prepared. The original documents were returned to the City Archives Collection in 1947, but the translations/typescripts remain at the Museum (photocopies of some of the volumes are available in the archives).

The tables of contents prepared for the State Museum translations/transcripts (see above) serve as finding aids for at least a portion of these documents. The entire numerical series of letter, petitions, and decrees were listed in an 1845 inventory, which is available on microfilm under call number AB160 1845. For a translation of this inventory, please consult the archivist.

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

Inventory

AB320
1804-1835

New Orleans (La.) Conseil de Ville.

Letters, petitions, and reports, 1804-1835.

v. 1 January 15, 1804 - October 24, 1814 [#479-#600]
[mf roll #90-155, item 2; filed under call number AB320 1803-1804]
v. 2 March 23, 1815 - July 21, 1822 [#601-#685]
[mf roll #90-156, item 1]
v. 3 1823 - December 15, 1835 [#686-#780]
[mf roll #90-156, item 2]

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AB505/506
1805-1836

New Orleans (La.) Conseil de Ville.

Messages from the Mayor, 1805-1836.
17 v. (original manuscripts)
17 v. (typewritten translations)

Manuscript letters addressed to the Conseil de Ville by the Mayor over his signature. 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 January 2 - April 23, 1836 volume also includes Messages from the Mayor to the First Municipality Council, April 30, 1836 - December 30, 1839.

These records were previously cataloged as part of: Mayor's Office. Messages of the Mayor with the General Council, 1805-1869.

Also available are WPA translations of the messages. The typewritten translations also include tables of contents compiled by the translators to indicate the topics covered in each of the messages.

These messages may also be transcribed in the proceedings of the Conseil de Ville and may also be included with the published proceedings of Conseil de Ville meetings in the newspapers and elsewhere.

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

Inventory

AB505
1805-1836

New Orleans (La.) Conseil de Ville.

Messages from the Mayor, 1805-1836.

[mf roll #89-164]
v. 1 March 14 - December 27, 1805
v. 2 January 4, 1806 - December 30, 1807
v. 3 January 11, 1808 - December 13, 1809

[mf roll #89-165]
v. 4 January 17, 1810 - December 28, 1811
v. 5 January 11, 1812 - December 30, 1813
v. 6 January 8, 1814 - December 30, 1815

[mf roll #89-166]
v. 7 January 6, 1816 - December 20, 1817
v. 8 January 3, 1818 - December 31, 1819
v. 9 January 5, 1820 - December 29, 1821

[mf roll #89-167]
v.10 January 5, 1822 - December 27, 1823
v.11 January 3, 1824 - December 31, 1825

[mf roll #89-168]
v.12 January 4, 1826 - December 29, 1827
v.13 January 5, 1828 - December 30, 1829
v.14 January 9, 1830 - December 31, 1831

[mf roll #89-169]
v.15 January 4, 1832 - December 30, 1833
v.16 January 6, 1834 - December 25, 1835

[mf roll #89-169A]
v.17 January 2 - April 23, 1836 [also includes Messages from the Mayor to the First Municipality Council, April 30, 1836 - December 30, 1839]

AB506
1805-1836

New Orleans (La.) Conseil de Ville.

Messages from the Mayor, 1805-1836 [translations].

[mf roll #85-16]
v. 1 March 14 - December 27, 1805
v. 2 January 4, 1806 - December 30, 1807
v. 3 January 11, 1808 - December 13, 1809
v. 4 January 17, 1810 - December 28, 1811

[mf roll #85-17]
v. 5 January 11, 1812 - December 30, 1813
v. 6 January 8, 1814 - December 30, 1815
v. 7 January 6, 1816 - December 20, 1817
v. 8 January 3, 1818 - December 31, 1819
v. 9 January 5, 1820 - December 29, 1821

[mf roll #85-18]
v.10 January 5, 1822 - December 27, 1823
v.11 January 3, 1824 - December 31, 1825
v.12 January 4, 1826 - December 29, 1827
v.13 January 5, 1828 - December 30, 1829
v.14 January 9, 1830 - December 31, 1831

[mf roll #85-19]
v.15 January 4, 1832 - December 30, 1833
v.16 January 6, 1834 - December 25, 1835
[NOTE: The last item on this roll actually belongs to another series]

[mf roll #85-20]
v.17 January 2 - April 23, 1836 [also includes Messages from the Mayor to the First Municipality Council, April 30, 1836 - December 30, 1839]
[NOTE: Items 2-5 on this roll actually belong to another series]

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AB950
1830-1835

New Orleans (La.) Conseil de Ville.

Resolutions, contracts, and documents, 1830-1835.
1 v.

This manuscript volume appears to record, in summary fashion, matters considered at sessions of the Conseil de Ville. The information recorded is less complete than either the minutes or the ordinances & resolutions. It seems to have been designed to provide summaries of, rather than to serve as an index to the sessions.

Available as item 7 of microfilm roll #89-354, filed under call number AB300 1823-1835 sec sess.

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AB160
1845

New Orleans (La.) General Council.

Inventory of the archives, 1845.
1 v.

This manuscript inventory is signed "Nouvelle Orleans, November 3, 1845, Reynes, Secretaire." The 1846 city directory for New Orleans lists Joseph Reynes as secretary of the First Municipality Council and also secretary of the General Council. A resolution passed by the earlier Conseil de Ville (September 12, 1833) refers to the "Archives of the Council" and indicates that the Secretary of that body had at least some supervisory responsibilities relative to the archives. It would appear, therefor, that this inventory was made by Reynes in his capacity as Secretary of the General Council.

The inventory lists the individual documents described elsewhere as Letters, proclamations, and decrees from Pierre-Clement de Laussat [to the Conseil Municipal], 1803-1804 and Letters, petitions, and reports [to the Conseil de Ville], 1804-1835. Also listed, though generally in less detail, are the other documents then housed in the archives, not all of which survive in the present City Archives collection.

Also available is a typewritten English translation of the original inventory, apparently made by Works Progress Administration workers. A microfilm copy of this translation is available as well.

Researchers should note that this inventory will differ in some instances from the later inventories made independently by WPA workers translating the above-mentioned letters, proclamations/petitions, etc. Some items present in 1845 and described by Reynes were missing by the time that the WPA project got under way. Two 1825 letters from General Lafayette are among the now missing documents.

Available as part of microfilm roll #89-356, filed under the call number noted above.

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AB300
1830-1839; 1847-1850
Gen

New Orleans (La.) General Council.

Official proceedings, 1838-1839; 1847-1850.
2 v.

Section 20 of the 1836 city charter provided that, on May 31 of each year, and whenever requested by the Mayor or two of the municipality councils, there would be a meeting of the aldermen of the three councils, "when matters of general interest shall be discussed and decided upon." The Recorder of the First Municipality presided at these General Council meetings.

Only specific powers were granted to the General Council; all other powers belonged to the individual municipality bodies. The specific powers were as follows:

1) To set a uniform wharfage rate for the city;
2) To set a uniform drayage rate, taxes on vehicles, and rates of ferriage;
3) To fix uniform license fees for pedlars, tavern keepers, and other specified occupations;
4) To fix the salaries of the Mayor and the Secretary of the General Council;
5) To make regulations for the management of the City Guard;
6) To enact general police regulations, to be uniform in all parts of the city.

The General Council was also to continue to exercise powers enjoyed by the its predecessor, the Conseil de Ville, relative to the various private companies whose charters provided for actions by the city.

The records are manuscript volumes. The first, covering the period May 7, 1838 - October 18, 1839, records the minutes and proceedings of the General Council. No other original minutes of this body exist in the City Archives collection. The second book is an index to the minutes and proceedings for the years 1847-1850. Unfortunately, however, the original record indexed by this volume is missing.

Available as part of microfilm roll #89-356, filed under call number AB160 1845.

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AB310
1840-1852
Gen

New Orleans (La.) General Council.

Ordinances and resolutions, 1840-1852.
2 v.

Section 20 of the 1836 city charter provided that, on May 31 of each year, and whenever requested by the Mayor or two of the municipality councils, there would be a meeting of the aldermen of the three councils, "when matters of general interest shall be discussed and decided upon." The Recorder of the First Municipality presided at these General Council meetings.

Only specific powers were granted to the General Council; all other powers belonged to the individual municipality bodies. The specific powers were as follows:

1) To set a uniform wharfage rate for the city;
2) To set a uniform drayage rate, taxes on vehicles, and rates of ferriage;
3) To fix uniform license fees for pedlars, tavern keepers, and other specified occupations;
4) To fix the salaries of the Mayor and the Secretary of the General Council;
5) To make regulations for the management of the City Guard;
6) To enact general police regulations, to be uniform in all parts of the city.

The General Council was also to continue to exercise powers enjoyed by the its predecessor, the Conseil de Ville, relative to the various private companies whose charters provided for actions by the city.

The records are manuscript copies of the original ordinances and resolutions adopted by the Council. They are arranged in chronological order by date of the Council session at which they were passed. There is no index to these laws, nor do the originals (or copies of the 1836- 1840 acts) exist in the archives collection.

See also the published 1845 digest of the ordinances and resolutions of the General Council [AB312 1845 Gen].

Available on microfilm roll #89-232, filed under the call number noted above.

Inventory

AB310
1840-1852
Gen

Ordinances and resolutions, 1840-1852.

v. 1 May 4, 1840 - May 8, 1848
v. 2 June 16, 1848 - April 10, 1852

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AB505
1836-1852
Gen

New Orleans (La.) General Council.

Messages from the Mayor, 1836-1852.
2 v. (original manuscripts)
1 v. (typewritten transcriptions)

Manuscript letters addressed to the General Council by the Mayor over his signature. 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.

These records were previously cataloged as part of: Mayor's Office. Messages of the Mayor with the General Council, 1805-1869.

The May 2, 1836-December 26, 1845 volume is also available as part of a WPA translation of the Mayor's messages to the Conseil de Ville. These typewritten translations also include tables of contents compiled by the translators to indicate the topics covered in each of the messages.

The messages are duplicated in part in subseries IV of the series: New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor. Messages to the Council, 1836-1852, 1860-1862 (AA505 1836-1852, 1860-1862). These, and additional messages, may also be transcribed in the proceedings of the General Council and may also be included with the published proceedings of General Council meetings in the newspapers and elsewhere.

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

Inventory

AB505
1836-1852
General

New Orleans (La.) General Council.

Messages from the Mayor, 1836-1852

[mf roll #89-176]
v. 1 May 2, 1836 - December 26, 1845
v. 2 May 23, 1849 - January 3, 1852

AB506
1836-1845
General

New Orleans (La.) General Council.

Messages from the Mayor, 1836-1845 [translations].

v. 1 May 2, 1836 - December 26, 1845
[NOTE: This volume is item 3 on mf roll #85- 19, filed under call number AB505 1832-1835]

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AB
1st Mun

New Orleans (La.) First Municipality Council.

Records, 1836-1852.
135 v.

Arranged in series: Journals of minutes and proceedings, 1836-1852 (AB300, 9 v., including 2 v. of indexes); Published editions and/or translations of minutes and proceedings, 1836-1852 (AB301, 36 v.); Ordinances and resolutions, 1836-1852 (AB310, 21 v., including 6 v. of indexes); Translations of ordinances and resolutions, 1836-1843, 1846 (AB311, 58 v.); Digest of ordinances and resolutions, 1846 (AB312, published); Index to letters and petitions received, 1849-1852 (AB320); Record of messages, reports, etc. referred to the Committees of the Council, 1846-1852 (AB406, 3 v.); Messages from the Mayor, 1836-1851 (AB505, 5 v.); and Letterbook of the Finance Committee, 1843-1851 (ABJ510).

The city charter of New Orleans passed by the Legislature in 1836 provided for the division of the city into three municipalities, each with distinct municipal powers. The existing first through fourth and eighth wards (basically extending from Canal St. to Esplanade Ave., from the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain) became the First Municipality. It retained the old ward boundaries, but the eighth now became the fifth ward.

Under this charter each municipality was to be governed by a Council composed of a Recorder and a number of Aldermen to be determined on the basis of censuses conducted for the purpose of making such an apportionment. They were to be elected by the qualified voters of the municipality. The qualifications and duties of the Recorder and Aldermen remained for the most part as they had existed under the prior laws of the city. Other existing laws of the city of New Orleans also remained in effect under the new charter, but each municipality was given the right to make and enforce public laws within its limits and was also authorized to regulate and make public improvements therein. Certain legislative and administrative powers were specifically given to the General Council of the city.

Ordinance #26 (April, 1838) provided for the appointment of fourteen permanent committees: Finance, Paving, Prisons, Levees & the Harbour, Improvements, Claims, Public Health, Conflagrations, Judiciary, Public Works, Vigilance over the Guard, Police, Charity, and Public Education. Each committee was to be composed of three members, except for the Committee on Charity, which was to be made up of one member from each ward. This system of government remained in effect until the consolidation of the city as a single body in 1852. The First Municipality became the Second Municipal District under the new arrangement.

Manuscript and typescript volumes. The minutes & proceedings journals, the ordinance & resolutions books (and the translations of each series), the digest, and the messages from the Mayor are described in separate records.

The index to letters and petitions is arranged by first letter of the last name of the petitioner and gives the date received along with a brief description of the purpose of the communication. The records of messages, etc., referred to the committees are arranged by committee, giving date of referral, a brief description of the matter under consideration, and, in some cases, a notation of the action taken on the matter. The letterbook is a slim volume containing copies of letters sent by the committee along with copies of letters sent by other officers (e.g., the Comptroller); all, however, are of a financial nature. These volumes are available on microfilm roll #89-170, filed under call number AB320 1849-1852 1st Mun.

Unpublished finding aids available in the Division.

Inventory

AB320
1849-1852
1st Mun

Index to letters and petitions received, 1849-1852.

[NOTE: There is no page [3], nor is there a page [23] in the original volume]

AB406
1846-1852
1st Mun

Record of messages, reports, etc. referred to the Committees of the Council, 1846-1852.

v. 1 1846-1848
v. 2 1848-1849
v. 3 1849-1852

ABJ510
1843-1851
1st Mun

Letterbook of the Finance Committee, 1843-1851.

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AB300
1836-1852
1st Mun

New Orleans (La.) First Municipality Council.

Official proceedings, 1836-1852.
6 v.

Manuscript volumes containing the minutes of the regular and extra meetings of the First Municipality Council. In addition to recording legislative proceedings, including various elections as well as the text of and votes on ordinances and resolutions, the records also include transcriptions of numerous reports made to the Council.

Following the dissolution of the Orleans Parish Police Jury in 1846, and the assumption of slave emancipation powers by the several municipality councils, the proceedings also include records of the Council's deliberations relative to petitions by masters to free their slaves.

The first three volumes (1836-1847) are recorded in French; the records are in English thereafter. There is an overlap between volumes 3, which runs through December 27, 1847, and 4, which begins with July 21 of the same year. It appears that there existed two earlier volumes of English-language proceedings (see discussion of indexes, below); there might well also have been French-language volumes subsequent to 1847.

There are two index volumes for these records, indexing selected subjects considered at the meetings for the period 1844-1852. These indexes are in English and volume 1 (1844-1850) refers to two earlier volumes (1844-1845 and 1845-1847) of English-language proceedings. These two earlier books are no longer extant, but the indexing for books 3-5 does correlate with volumes 4-6 of this series.

Published versions of these proceedings, in both English and French, are also available in AB301 1st Mun as well as in the newspaper. The proceedings of the secret meetings of the Council may be found following the same records for the Conseil de Ville, in AB300 1823-1836 SS.

Available on 35mm microfilm; see the inventory below for roll numbers and locations.

Inventory

AB300
1844-1852
1st Mun
Index

New Orleans (La.) First Municipality Council.

Index to official proceedings, 1844-1852.

v. 1 1844 - 1850 [roll #78-45, item 1]
v. 2 1850 - 1852 [roll #78-45, item 2]

AB300
1836-1852
1st Mun

New Orleans (La.) First Municipality Council.

Official proceedings, 1836-1852.

v. 1 April 30, 1836 - August 30, 1841 [roll #78-45, item 4]
v. 2 September 6, 1841 - December 1, 1845 [roll #78-46, item 1]
v. 3 December 8, 1845 - December 27, 1847 [roll #78-46, item 2; continued on roll #78-47, item 1]
v. 4 July 21, 1847 - February 19, 1849 [roll #78-47, item 2]
v. 5 February 26, 1849 - November 28, 1850 [roll #78-47, item 3]
v. 6 December 9, 1850 - April 5, 1852 [roll 78-48, item 1]

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AB300
1836-1841
1st Mun
summ

New Orleans (La.) First Municipality Council.

Summaries of sessions, 1836-1841.
1 v.

This manuscript volume appears to have been used to record the summaries of the sessions of the council. There is a manuscript notation referring to the record as an index, but it is not in normal index format.

This volume has been microfilmed as item 2 of roll #89-354. Note that pages 16-17 are blank in the original document.

Available as item 2 of microfilm roll #89-354, filed under call number AB300 1823-1836 sec sess.

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AB300
1836-1846
sec sess
1st Mun

New Orleans (La.) First Municipality Council.

Index to the journal of minutes and proceedings of secret sessions, 1836-1846.
1 v.

This manuscript volume is arranged alphabetically by the first letter of the name, place, or subject matter of the action taken during the sessions. Within each alphabetical section the entries are arranged chronologically, with date of meeting, description of the action, and page reference recorded.

The secret sessions indexed by this volume are themselves recorded in the journal of minutes and proceedings of secret sessions of the Conseil de Ville, dated 1823-1836, and continued in use by the First Municipality Council from 1836-1848.

Available as item 3 of microfilm roll #89-354, filed under call number AB300 1823-1836 sec sess.

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AB310
1836-1852
1st Mun

New Orleans (La.) First Municipality Council.

Ordinances and resolutions, 1836-1852.
22 v. (including indexes [AB309])

The 1836 city charter provided that the powers and duties of the municipality councils, within their own municipalities, and of the Mayor, were to be the same as existed under the laws in force at that time. Essentially this meant that the provisions of the 1805 charter relative to those powers and duties remained in effect. Thus the First Municipality Council had the power to make and pass all by-laws and ordinances for the better government of the affairs of, and for regulating the police and preserving the peace and good order of, the municipality. These laws, once passed by the Council, were to be transmitted to the Mayor for his consideration. If he approved of the act he was to sign it and return it to the Council, and it would have the effect of law. If he did not approve of it, the Mayor had five days to return it to the Council with his objections, otherwise the legislation would gain the effect of law. Disapproved ordinances and resolutions could still become law upon two-thirds vote of the members of the Council.

The records are manuscript volumes which have been grouped into subseries based on the apparent use/purpose of each volume. These subseries are:

I -- Original ordinances and resolutions, signed by the Recorder and/or the Mayor. The records are in French through September 21, 1846 and are in English thereafter.

II -- Copies of ordinances and resolutions, signed by the Recorder, retained by the Council while the original ordinances and resolutions were being considered by the Mayor. In English; subseries ends with September 21, 1846, after which date the records in subseries III are in English

III -- Copies of ordinances and resolutions retained by the Council while the original ordinances and resolutions were being considered by the Mayor. In French through September 21, 1846; in English thereafter.

In addition to the ordinances and resolutions themselves there are lists of individuals for whom relief benefits were authorized by the Council as well as occasional letters and other documents included in the records.

Partially indexed (see AB309 in inventory listing).

Also available on four rolls of 35mm microfilm; see the following inventory for roll numbers.

See also:

WPA translations of the First Municipality ordinances and resolutions, (AB311) and
Digest of ordinances and resolutions of the First Municipality, 1846 (AB312 1st Mun).

Inventory

AB309
1836-1840; 1842; 1848-1852
1st Mun

New Orleans (La.) First Municipality Council.

Index to ordinances and resolutions, 1836-1840; 1842; 1848-1852.

[mf roll #90-138]
v. 1 April, 1836 - January 7, 1839 [this volume indexes in part, v. 1 of subseries II (1836-1845)]

[mf roll #90-139]
v. 2 January 14, 1839 - January 28, 1839 [this volume indexes in part, v. 1 of subseries II (1836-1845)]
v. 3 January, 1840 - March, 1840 [this volume indexes in part, v. 1 of subseries II (1836-1845)]
v. 4 January, 1842 - August, 1842 [this volume indexes in part, v. 1 of subseries II (1836-1845)]2
v. 5 June 26, 1848 - March 8, 1852 [this volume indexes v. 3 of subseries III (1848-1852; it does not appear, however to reference all matter contained in that record book]

AB310
1836-1852
1st Mun

New Orleans (La.) First Municipality Council.

Ordinances and resolutions, 1836-1852.

Subseries I
v.1A May 10 [?], 1836 - October 28, 1836 [for partial records, September 2 - December 19, 1836, see the Ordinances and resolutions of the Conseil de Ville (French), February 6 - April 23, 1836]
v.1B January 2, 1837 - December 18, 1837

[mf roll #90-140]
v. 2 January 10, 1838 - December 31, 1838
v. 3 January 7, 1839 - December 23, 1839
v. 4 January 7, 1840 - May 6, 1840
v. 5 May 11, 1840 - December 27, 1841
v. 6 January 3, 1842 - December 23, 1843

[mf roll #90-141]
v. 7 January 2, 1844 - December 29, 1845
v. 8 January 28, 1846 - December 27, 1847
v. 9 January 3, 1848 - December 20, 1849

[mf roll #90-142]
v.10 January 7, 1850 - December 29, 1851

Subseries II
v. 1 April 30, 1836 - June 23, 1845
v. 2 June 30, 1845 - September 21, 1846 [also includes record of the proceedings of the First Municipality Council, in English, September 28, 1846 - July 17, 1847]

Subseries III
v. 1 May 11, 1840 - July [sic, really August] 29, 1842
v. 2 September 5, 1842 - May 18, 1846
v. 3 May 25, 1846 - June 19, 1848
v. 4 June 26, 1848 - March 8, 1852

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AB350
1846-1851
1st Mun

New Orleans (La.) First Municipality Council.

Emancipation docket, 1846-1851.
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 manuscript volume, covering the period July 1, 1846 - July 7, 1851, records chronologically the deliberations of the Council in matters of slave emancipations. The record of each individual emancipation is filed under the date of the council meeting at which the emancipation petition was received and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. Following this record is a record of the succeeding session at which the Committee report was made and the full Council acted on the matter.

Generally the record for each emancipation includes the name of the owner desiring to emancipate and the name(s) of the slave(s) being emancipated (sometimes with their age(s) and color(s) included).

See also the reports to the Mayor's Office of slaves emancipated by the municipality councils (AA205 1846-1850).

Available as item 6 on microfilm roll #89-354, filed under call number AB300 1823-1836 sec sess.

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AB505
1836-1851
1st Mun

New Orleans (La.) First Municipality Council.

Messages from the Mayor, 1836-1851.
5 v. (originals)
2 v. (translations)

Manuscript letters addressed to the First Municipality Council by the Mayor over his signature. 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's First Municipality 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.

For Messages, April 30, 1836-December 30, 1839, see Messages from the Mayor to the Conseil de Ville, January 2-April 23, 1836.

These records were previously cataloged as part of: Mayor's Office. Messages of the Mayor to the First Municipality Council, 1836-1851.

Portions of this series are also available in translations prepared by the WPA. These typewritten translations also include tables of contents compiled by the translators to indicate the topics covered in each of the messages.

The messages are in part duplicated in subseries I of the series: New Orleans (La.) Office of the Mayor. Messages to the Council, 1836-1852, 1860-1862 (AA505 1836-1852, 1860-1862). These, and additional messages, may also be transcribed in the proceedings of the Council and may also be included with the published proceedings of Council meetings in the newspapers and elsewhere.

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

Inventory

AB505
1836-1851
1st Mun

New Orleans (La.) First Municipality Council.

Messages from the Mayor, 1836-1851.

[mf roll #89-177]
v. 1 January 11, 1836 - December 30, 1843 [for Messages, April 30, 1836-December 30, 1839, see Messages from the Mayor to the Conseil de Ville, January 2-April 23, 1836]
[NOTE: pages 39-40 were filmed out of place; they should follow page 34]
v. 2 January 29, 1844 - December 15, 1845
v. 3 January 28, 1846 - December 27, 1847
v. 4 January 3, 1848 - December 20, 1849
[NOTE: page 58 should follow page 52; page 53 should follow page 54]
v. 5 January 7, 1850 - December 29, 1851
[NOTE: pages 6 & 7 are blank in the original]

AB506
1836-1845
1st Mun

New Orleans (La.) First Municipality Council.

Messages from the Mayor, 1836-1845 [translations].

v. 1 January 11, 1840 - December 30, 1843 [for Messages, April 30, 1836-December 30, 1839, see Messages from the Mayor to the Conseil de Ville, January 2-April 23, 1836]
[NOTE: This is item 2 of mf roll #85-20, filed under call number AB506 1836]
v. 2 January 29, 1844 - December 15, 1845
[NOTE: This is item 3 of mf roll #85-20, filed under call number AB506 1836]
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New Orleans (La.) Second Municipality Council.

Records, 1836-1852.
32 v.

Arranged in series: Journals of minutes and proceedings, 1836-1852 (AB300, 10 v., including 2 v. of indexes); Ordinances and resolutions, 1836-1852 (AB310, 17 v., including 1 index volume); Digests of ordinances and resolutions, 1840, 1846, and 1848 (AB312, published); Journal of minutes and proceedings of the Committee on Streets and Landings, 1848-1849 (ABG300); Journal of minutes and proceedings of the "distribution" committee, 1844 (AB300f); and Letterbook, 1836-1852 (AB511).

The city charter of New Orleans passed by the Legislature in 1836 provided for the division of the city into three municipalities, each with distinct municipal powers. The existing sixth and seventh wards (that portion of the city from Canal Street to the Jefferson Parish line at Felicity St.) became the Second Municipality.

Under this charter each municipality was to be governed by a Council composed of a Recorder and a number of Aldermen to be determined on the basis of censuses conducted for the purpose of making such an apportionment. They were to be elected by the qualified voters of the municipality. The qualifications and duties of the Recorder and Aldermen remained for the most part as they had existed under the prior laws of the city. Other existing laws of the city of New Orleans also remained in effect under the new charter, but each municipality was given the right to make and enforce public laws within its limits and was also authorized to regulate and make public improvements therein. Certain legislative and administrative powers were specifically given to the General Council of the city.

At the September 13, 1836 meeting of the Council six committees were appointed: Finance, Streets and Landings, Claims, Police, Fire, and Health. Each committee was to be composed of three members. This system of government remained in effect until the consolidation of the city as a single body in 1852. The Second Municipality became the First Municipal District under the new arrangement.

Manuscript and printed volumes. The minutes & proceedings journals, the ordinance & resolutions books, and the digests are described in separate records.

The minutes of the 1844 distribution committee (appointed to apportion a $1000 appropriation for the relief of the victims of an October fire in the Fourth Ward) mainly includes a record of how the relief funds were spent, although there is also information on the committee's procedures and on donations made to the relief effort. A separate volume lists the names of the fire victims, along with a brief description of their families and losses, with the committee's appropriation toward their relief also recorded.

The letterbook includes copies of communications from the secretary of the Council and from the Recorder in his capacity as a member of that body. Bulk dates of the volume are May 7, 1836-November 11, 1839 and December 12, 1850-January 13, 1852.

The Committee on Streets and Landings minute book includes considerations of matters relating to public improvements in the municipality.

Inventory

AB300f
1844
2nd Mun

Journal of minutes and proceedings of the "Distribution" Committee, May 21 - November 20, 1844.

[mf roll #89-179, item 1]

AB430f
1844
2nd Mun

List of fire victims and their losses, 1844.

[mf roll #906701, item 4; one copy filed under this call number, a second copy filed under call number TH240 1913-1924;      Link here for a TRANSCRIPTION of this volume. ]

AB510
1836-1852
2nd Mun

Letterbook, 1836-1852.

[mf roll #89-179, item 2]

ABG300
1848-1849
2nd Mun

Journal of minutes and proceedings of the Committee on Streets and Landings, 1848-1849.

[mf roll #89-179, item 3]

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AB300
1836-1852
2nd Mun

New Orleans (La.) Second Municipality Council.

Journals of minutes and proceedings, 1836-1852.
11 v.

Manuscript volumes, part of the Second Municipality Council records. The first six volumes (1836-1852) were filmed in an earlier microfilming project by the Louisiana State Archives and Records Service, along with the volume of minutes and proceedings of "secret sessions" of the council, 1836-1847, and a volume of "yeas and nays" of the council for 1851. The latter record was filmed as volume 7 of the regular minutes and proceedings series.

The SARS project, however, did not include the last volume of the regular minutes and proceedings series, covering the period February 10 through March 29, 1852. That volume is filmed separately, along with two index volumes for the minutes and proceedings series, one covering 1836-1839 and the other 1839-1844.

See the following inventory for microfilm roll numbers and locations.

Inventory

AB300
1836-1847
2nd Mun
Sec Sess

New Orleans (La.) Second Municipality Council.

Journal of minutes and proceedings of secret sessions, 1836- 1847.
[mf roll #78-48, item 2; under call number AB300 1850-1852 1st Mun]

AB300
1836-1852
2nd Mun

New Orleans (La.) Second Municipality Council.

Journals of minutes and proceedings, 1836-1852.

v. 1 1836-1839 [mf roll #78-48, item 3; under call number AB300 1850-1852 1st Mun]
v. 2 1839-1844 [mf roll #78-49, item 1]
v. 3 1844-1846 [mf roll #78-49, item 2]
v. 4 1846-1847 [mf roll #78-50, item 1]
v. 5 1847-1849 [mf roll #78-50, item 2]
v. 6 1850-1852 [mf roll #78-51, item 1]
v. 7 1851 [actually record of "yeas and nays"] [mf roll #78-51, item 2]
v. 8 1852 [mf roll #89-354, item 4, filed under call number AB300 1823-1836 sec sess]

AB300
1836-1844
Index
2nd Mun

New Orleans (La.) Second Municipality Council.

Index to journals of minutes and proceedings, 1836-1844.

v. 1 1836-1839 [mf roll #89-354, item 5, filed under call number AB300 1823-1836 sec sess]
v. 2 1839-1844 [mf roll #89-354, item 6, filed under call number AB300 1823-1836 sec sess]

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AB310
1836-1852
2nd Mun

New Orleans (La.) Second Municipality Council.

Ordinances and resolutions, 1836-1852.
16 v.

The 1836 city charter provided that the powers and duties of the municipality councils, within their own municipalities, and of the Mayor, were to be the same as existed under the laws in force at that time. Essentially this meant that the provisions of the 1805 charter relative to those powers and duties remained in effect. Thus the Second Municipality Council had the power to make and pass all by-laws and ordinances for the better government of the affairs of, and for regulating the police and preserving the peace and good order of, the municipality. These laws, once passed by the Council, were to be transmitted to the Mayor for his consideration. If he approved of the act he was to sign it and return it to the Council, and it would have the effect of law. If he did not approve of it, the Mayor had five days to return it to the Council with his objections, otherwise the legislation would gain the effect of law. Disapproved ordinances and resolutions could still become law upon two- thirds vote of the members of the Council.

The records are manuscript volumes which have been grouped into subseries based on the apparent use/purpose of each volume. These subseries are:

I -- Original ordinances and resolutions, signed by the Recorder and the Mayor. The pre-May, 1840 volumes in this subseries contain ordinances and resolutions that for the most part are signed by the Recorder only, although some are also signed by the Mayor. These books, however, do contain letters addressed to the Mayor, suggesting that they are indeed made up of the original laws as submitted to the Mayor. That these laws are actually written on individual sheets that were later bound into volumes further supports this interpretation.

II -- Copies of ordinances and resolutions retained by the Council while the original ordinances and resolutions were being considered by the Mayor.

III -- Ordinances and resolutions passed at secret sessions (Additional ordinances and resolutions passed at special sessions are included in the general ordinance and resolution books.

IV -- Miscellaneous additional versions of ordinances and resolutions. Prior to May 5, 1840 the ordinances and resolutions are arranged under date of the Council session at which they were passed. Following that date the laws were assigned numbers and arranged in numerical order. Except for the 1840-1843 volume of series I, there is no extant indexing for these ordinances. A single, undated index with a title page reading "Alphabet of the ordinances of Municipality #2" does not match any of these volumes and will be recataloged.

See also the digests of ordinances and resolutions of the Second Municipality (AB312 2nd Mun).

Inventory

AB310
1836-1852
2nd Mun

Ordinances and resolutions, 1836-1852.

[mf roll #90-133]
Subseries I
v. 1 May 2, 1836 - December 27, 1836
v. 2 January 2, 1838 - December 18, 1838
v. 3 January 2, 1839 - December 31, 1839 [for January 7, 1840 - April 28, 1840, see Subseries III, v. 2]
v. 4 May 5, 1840 - March 28, 1843 (#1-545, indexed)
v. 5 April 4, 1843 - May 27, 1845 (#546-1134)

[mf roll #90-134]
v. 6 June 3, 1845 - May 5, 1846 (#1135-1390)
v. 7 June 9, 1846- May 25, 1847 (#1391-1824)
v. 8 June 1, 1847 - February 5, 1850 (#1825-2759)

[mf roll #90-135]
v. 9 February 19, 1850 - March 29, 1852 (#2760-3675)

Subseries II
v. 1 May 2, 1836 - April 28, 1840

[mf roll #90-136]
v. 2 May 5, 1840 - October 22, 1844 (#1-902)
v. 3 October 29, 1844 - December 28, 1847 (#903-2048)
v. 4 January 4, 1848 - September 16, 1851 (#2049-3422)

[mf roll #90-137]
v. 5 September 30, 1851- March 29, 1852 (#3423-3675)

Subseries III
v. 1 May 17, 1836 - November 9, 1837

Subseries IV
v. 1 May 6, 1836 - October 25, 1836
v. 2 June 7, 1836 - August 9, 1836 [in French; also includes, in English, January 7, 1840 - April 28, 1840]

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ABL300
2nd Mun.

New Orleans (La.) Second Municipality Council. Committee on Streets and Landings.

Journal of minutes and proceedings, 1848-1849.
1 v.

The "Rules for conducting business in the Council of the Second Municipality," adopted on May 2, 1836, provided for four standing committees. Of these the Committee on Streets and Landings was charged with "the consideration of all subjects connected with the paving, opening, or widening the streets, and in any manner tending to their improvement." Matters relating to the port of the Second Municipality also came within the purview of the committee. Communications from the Street Commissioner and from the Surveyor were referred to this committee, which was also responsible for examining and certifying expenditures for street and port related activities. This, along with the other standing committees of the Council, was composed of three members, one appointed from each of the municipality's three wards. Appointments were made annually, in the month of May, but the Council had the option to make them for terms of as little as three months.

Manuscript volume arranged by date of committee meetings. The minutes for each meeting include brief records of the petitions and other communications received by the committee, along with a memorandum of its actions on each. Members present for each meeting are also noted. There is a reference at the end of the volume to a continuation in book #3. None of the other volumes in the suggested series remains in the City Archives Collection.

Available as item 3 of 35mm microfilm roll #89-179; filed under call number AB300f 1844 2nd Mun.

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AB300
1836-1852
3rd Mun

New Orleans (La.) Third Municipality Council.

Official proceedings, 1836-1852.
4 v.

Manuscript volumes containing the minutes of the meetings of the Third Municipality Council. In addition to recording legislative proceedings, including various elections as well as the text of, and votes on, ordinances and resolutions, the records also include transcriptions of numerous reports made to the Council.

The first two volumes (1836-1846) are recorded in French; the records are in English thereafter. The minutes for the period between March 27, 1848 and April 29, 1850 are missing.

Available on two rolls of 35mm microfilm; see the inventory below for roll numbers and locations.

Inventory

AB300
1836-1841
3rd Mun

New Orleans (La.) Third Municipality Council.

Official proceedings, 1836-1852.

v. 1 April 30, 1836 - December 6, 1841 [roll #78-51, item 3; filed under call number AB300 1850-1852 2nd Mun]
v. 2 December 20, 1841 - June 4, 1846 [roll #78-52, item 1]
v. 3 June 22, 1846 - March 27, 1848 [roll #78-52, item 2]
v. 4 April 29, 1850 -March 24, 1852 [roll #78-52, item 2]

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AB310
1836-1852
3rd Mun

New Orleans (La.) Third Municipality Council.

Ordinances and resolutions, 1836-1852.
15 v. (including indexes [AB309])

The 1836 city charter provided that the powers and duties of the municipality councils, within their own municipalities, and of the Mayor, were to be the same as existed under the laws in force at that time. Essentially this meant that the provisions of the 1805 charter relative to those powers and duties remained in effect. Thus the First Municipality Council had the power to make and pass all by-laws and ordinances for the better government of the affairs of, and for regulating the police and preserving the peace and good order of, the municipality. These laws, once passed by the Council, were to be transmitted to the Mayor for his consideration. If he approved of the act he was to sign it and return it to the Council, and it would have the effect of law. If he did not approve of it, the Mayor had five days to return it to the Council with his objections, otherwise the legislation would gain the effect of law. Disapproved ordinances and resolutions could still become law upon two-thirds vote of the members of the Council.

The records are manuscript volumes which have been grouped into subseries based on the apparent use/purpose of each volume. These subseries are:

I -- Original ordinances and resolutions, signed by the Recorder and/or the Mayor. The records are in French.

II -- Copies of ordinances and resolutions retained by the Council while the original ordinances and resolutions were being considered by the Mayor. In French through May 2, 1846; in English thereafter.

In addition to the ordinances and resolutions themselves there are lists of individuals for whom relief benefits were authorized by the Council as well as occasional letters and other documents included in the records.

Volume 1 of subseries II also includes, at the rear of the book, records of slave emancipations before the Third Municipality Council, June 29, 1846 - March 3, 1851. These records include copies of the petitions for emancipation (giving name of petitioner, name and age of the slave(s), and date of consideration of the petition) and a record of the proceedings ratifying decisions initially made on each petition.

Partially indexed (see AB309 in inventory listing).

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

Inventory

AB309
1836-1852
3rd Mun

[mf roll #90-161]

List of (and index to) ordinances and resolutions, 1836-1852.

v. 1 April 30, 1836 - December 6, 1841
v. 2 December 20, 1841 - June 10, 1846
v. 3 June 22, 1846 - March 20, 1848
v. 4 September 2, 1850 - March 16, 1852 [Index only]

AB310
1836-1852
3rd Mun

Ordinances and resolutions, 1836-1852.

Subseries I
v. 1 April 30, 1836 - December 28, 1836 [NOTE: pp. 22-23 are blank]
v. 2 January 4, 1837 - August 17, 1837
v. 3 August 31, 1837 - September 28, 1837
v. 4 January 3, 1838 - December 28, 1838
v. 5 January 4, 1839 - December 28, 1839

[mf roll #90-162]
v. 6 January 4, 1840 - April 30, 1840

Subseries II
v. 1 April 30, 1836 - December 28, 1836 [also includes records of slave emancipations, June 29, 1846 - March 3, 1851]
v. 2 May 11, 1840 - December 23, 1843
v. 3 January 6, 1844 - May 17, 1847
v. 4 May 24, 1847 - August 20, 1850
v. 5 September 2, 1850 - March 16, 1852

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AB310
1852-1862

New Orleans (La.) Common Council.

Ordinances and resolutions, 1852-1862.
40 v. [including indexes, AB309]

The 1852 city charter provided that each Board of the Common Council could originate, amend, concur in, or reject any ordinance or resolution. No such law would take effect, however, until it had passed both Boards. Ordinances levying a tax, making an appropriation of over $1,000, or providing for the purchase of real estate had to be passed by a majority of the members elected to each Board, not merely by a majority of members present at a given meeting.

These laws, once passed by both Boards of the Council, were to be transmitted to the Mayor for his consideration. If he approved of the act he was to sign it and return it to the Council, and it would have the effect of law. If he did not approve of it, the Mayor had five days to return it to the Council with his objections, otherwise the legislation would gain the effect of law. Disapproved ordinances and resolutions could still become law upon three-fifths vote of the members elected to serve on the Council.

The Mayor had the responsibility of seeing that all ordinances and resolutions passed by the Common Council were published in the newspaper selected by the Council.

The records are manuscript volumes which have been grouped into subseries according to the Board which originated the legislation. These subseries are:

I -- Original ordinances and resolutions, passed by the Board of Aldermen. Each is signed by the President of both Boards and, if he approved, by the Mayor.

II -- Original ordinances and resolutions, passed by the Board of Assistant Aldermen. Each is signed by the President of both Boards and, if he approved, by the Mayor.

There is also a subseries III, made up of copies of ordinances and resolutions, the actual purpose of which is uncertain (possibly they were copies made for retention by the Boards while the original documents were being considered by the Mayor). This subseries may be particularly useful in the case of ordinances or resolutions missing from the other subseries, or in cases where the original document is wholly or partially illegible.

These ordinances and resolutions were assigned serial numbers, apparently when they became law. Unfortunately the existence of the bicameral Council system prevented the laws from being arranged into a single numerical order (i.e., since each Board's legislation was entered into its own record book). As a result there is no way, given only an ordinance number, to know in exactly which record book the ordinance is to be found. In order to make such a determination a bit more simple, the attached inventory includes lists of the number sequences contained in each volume.

Partially indexed by records in AB309. These indexes appear to have been created by different agencies and for different purposes. While some may have actually been produced by the Common Council as indexes to the ordinance books themselves, others seem to have been put together by the Mayor's Office and other departments. At least one of the index volumes was actually created during the Union occupation of the city by the Bureau of Finance, apparently to enable officials in that office to find laws on specific subjects. Whatever their origins and purposes, these volumes do act as useful finding aids to at least a portion of the ordinances/resolutions. The indexes have been arranged chronologically (although dates are approximate only) regardless of their provenance (which is impossible to ascertain is some cases anyway).

See also the published Digest of ordinances and resolutions, 1857 (AB312 1857).

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

Inventory

AB309
1852-1862

New Orleans (La.) Common Council.

Indexes to ordinances and resolutions, 1852-1862.

[mf #89-357]
v. 1 1852-1853 [#1-826]
v. 2 1852-1853 [#1-1274]
v. 3 1852-1857 [#1-4592]
v. 4 1853-1854 [#522-1933]
v. 5 1853-1854 [#803-814]
v. 6 1854-1855 [#1465-2116]
v. 7 1855-1856 [#2118-2831]
v. 8 1856 [#2537-3193]
v. 9 1856-1857 [#2832-3395]
v.10 1856-1857 [#2850-3662] (also contains index references to other unidentified records)
v.11 1856-1857 [#3121-3214]

[mf #89-358]
v.12 1856-1859 [#2832-4316]
v.13 1856-1859 [#3196-4230]
v.14 1858-1859 [#3677-4317]
v.15 1860-1862 [#4876-6092] "A-H"
v.16 1860-1862 [#4876-6092] "I-P"
v.17 1860-1862 [#4876-6092] "Q-Z"

[mf #89-358, item 7; filed under call number AB309 1852-1862 v. 12-17]

AB310 1852-1862

New Orleans (La.) Common Council.

Ordinances and resolutions, 1852-1862.

[For a DETAILED INVENTORY of the ordinance numbers used by the Board of Aldermen (Subseries I) and the Board of Assistant Aldermen (Subseries II) LINK HERE]

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AB
1852-1857

New Orleans (La.) Common Council.

Miscellaneous records, 1852-1857.
4 v.

For a brief description of the administrative history of the Common Council, see the catalog record for the minutes and proceedings series.

These records are manuscript volumes arranged in subseries as follows.

Calendars, 1853-1857 [3 v.]
These volumes, one for each of the years 1853, 1854, and 1857, list ordinances and resolutions according to the board (Aldermen or Assistant Aldermen) in which they originated. Each record includes the title of the legislation along with dates of referrals to committees, referral to the opposite board for concurrence, etc. None of the three books appears to be a complete record of legislation for the years indicated.

Register of communications referred to the committees of the Council, 1852-1855
Arranged by committee and chronologically thereunder. Each communication is described briefly, showing date, sender, and subject matter.

Available on microfilm roll #89-293, under call number AB400 1853-1857.

Inventory

AB400
1853-1857

New Orleans (La.) Common Council.

Calendars, 1853-1857.

v. 1 1853
v. 2 1854
v. 3 1857

AB430
1852-1855

New Orleans (La.) Common Council.

Register of communications referred to the committees of the Common Council, 1852-1855.

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AB300
1852-1867
New Orleans (La.) Common Council. Board of Aldermen.

Journals of minutes and proceedings, 1852-1867.
13 v.

The third charter of the city of New Orleans, passed by the state Legislature in 1852 (Act #71), placed the legislative power of the municipal government in the hands of a Common Council composed of a Board of Aldermen and a Board of Assistant Aldermen. The former body included eleven members and the latter twenty-four. Each of the city's three municipal districts elected a set number of these representatives. Act #72 of 1852 provided for the annexation by New Orleans of the former city of Lafayette and further called for the election of one additional alderman and two assistant aldermen from the new Fourth District. The size of each board was to be adjusted following censuses to be taken every five years. In 1856 a charter revision changed the number of aldermen to nine and the number of assistant aldermen to fifteen.

Legislation could originate from either house, but no ordinance was binding until it had passed both bodies nor could any pass both houses on the same day. Each board appointed its own president and chose its own clerks and other officers. Impeachment power lay in the Board of Assistant Aldermen, with officers so impeached to be tried by the Board of Aldermen. A three-fifths majority of both houses was needed to override Mayoral vetoes. Sessions of each board were to be open, "except when the public welfare shall require secrecy." The proceedings of all open meetings were to be published in a local newspaper to be chosen by the Council. The rules of the Board of Aldermen called for meetings to be held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.

On June 27, 1862, General G.F. Shepley, Military Commander of New Orleans, ordered the suspension of Common Council meetings; the legislative processes of the municipal government thus remained shut down for the duration of the Civil War. Council meetings did not resume until after the municipal elections of 1866 and the end of military rule in the Crescent City. In 1870 a new charter introduced the administrative form of government to New Orleans, with the Mayor and seven administrators, each with a separate governmental responsibility, combining to form the City Council.

Manuscript proceedings of the meetings of the Board of Aldermen. In addition to the regular meetings there are also minutes of numerous special meetings and at least some joint meetings were held. Also included in the proceedings are manuscript copies of letters, reports, and other communications received by the Board. One volume includes minutes of a single executive/secret session in 1852. There is, of course, a gap in the records from 1862-1866 during the suspension of Council activities.

See also the published proceedings in the local newspapers.

Forms part of the New Orleans (La.) City Council Records.

The records through 1862 are also available on three rolls of 35mm microfilm; see the following inventory for roll numbers.

Inventory

AB300
1852-1867
Ald.

Journal of minutes and proceedings, 1852-1867.

[mf roll #89-315]
v. l March 29, 1852-April 8, 1853
v. 2 April 11, 1853-April 8, 1854
v. 3 April 20, 1854-April 7, 1855

[mf roll #89-316]
v. 4 April 9, 1855-June 5, 1856
v. 5 June 16, 1856-June 10, 1857
v. 6 June 15, 1857-June 1, 1858
v. 7 June 21, 1858-June 16, 1859

[mf roll #89-317]
v. 8 June 20, 1859-June 12, 1860
v. 9 June 18, 1860-June 11, 1861
v. 10 June 17, 1861-June 17, 1862
v. 11 March 19, 1866-March 12, 1867 [POST-1861, NOT FILMED]
v. 12 March 28, 1867-July 30, 1867 [POST-1861, NOT FILMED]

AB300
1852-1857
Ald.
Sec. Sess.

Journal of minutes and proceedings, executive and secret sessions, 1852.

April 12, 1852

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New Orleans (La.) Common Council. Board of Assistant Aldermen.

Journals of minutes and proceedings, 1852-1869.
26 v.

The third charter of the city of New Orleans, passed by the state Legislature in 1852 (Act #71), placed the legislative power of the municipal government in the hands of a Common Council composed of a Board of Aldermen and a Board of Assistant Aldermen. The former body included eleven members and the latter twenty-four. Each of the city's three municipal districts elected a set number of these representatives. Act #72 of 1852 provided for the annexation by New Orleans of the former city of Lafayette and further called for the election of one additional alderman and two assistant aldermen from the new Fourth District. The size of each board was to be adjusted following censuses to be taken every five years. In 1856 a charter revision changed the number of aldermen to nine and the number of assistant aldermen to fifteen.

Legislation could originate from either house, but no ordinance was binding until it had passed both bodies nor could any pass both houses on the same day. Each board appointed its own president and chose its own clerks and other officers. Impeachment power lay in the Board of Assistant Aldermen, with officers so impeached to be tried by the Board of Aldermen. A three-fifths majority of both houses was needed to override Mayoral vetoes. Sessions of each board were to be open, "except when the public welfare shall require secrecy." The proceedings of all open meetings were to be published in a local newspaper to be chosen by the Council.

On June 27, 1862, General G.F. Shepley, Military Commander of New Orleans, ordered the suspension of Common Council meetings; the legislative processes of the municipal government thus remained shut down for the duration of the Civil War. Council meetings did not resume until after the municipal elections of 1866 and the end of military rule in the Crescent City. In 1870 a new charter introduced the administrative form of government to New Orleans, with the Mayor and seven administrators, each with a separate governmental responsibility, combining to form the City Council.

Manuscript proceedings of the meetings of the Board of Assistant Aldermen. In addition to the regular meetings there are also minutes of numerous special meetings and at least some joint meetings were held. Also included in the proceedings are manuscript copies of letters, reports, and other communications received by the Board. Also included are two volumes of rough minutes and one containing the minutes of a single executive/secret session held in 1860. There is, of course, a gap in the records from 1862-1866 during the suspension of Council activities. There is also an unexplained gap from just after March 17, 1868 until the end of February, 1869.

See also the published proceedings in the local newspapers.

Forms part of the New Orleans (La.) City Council Records.

The journals beginning in 1861 and earlier are also available on seven rolls of 35mm microfilm; see the following inventory for roll numbers.

Inventory

AB300
1852-1869
Asst. Ald.

Journal of minutes and proceedings, 1852-1869.

[mf roll #89-338]
V1. March 29, 1852-November 19, 1852
V2. November 23, 1852-July 25, 1853

[mf roll #89-339]
V3. July 26, 1853-January 30, 1854
V4. February 6, 1854-April 7, 1854
V5. April 10, 1854-December 12, 1854

[mf roll #89-340]
V6. December 14, 1854-April 7, 1855
V7. April 9, 1855-December 26, 1855
V8. January 2, 1856-April 1, 1856
V9. April 8, 1856-June 13, 1856

[mf roll #89-341]

V10. June 16, 1856-November 20, 1856
V11. November 25, 1856-April 28, 1857
V12. May 5, 1857-December 22, 1857

[mf roll #89-395]
V13. December 29, 1857-June 18, 1858

[mf roll #89-342]
V14. June 21, 1858-January 26, 1859
V15. February 8, 1859-June 16, 1859
V16. June 20, 1859-April 3, 1860
V17. April 3, 1860-June 12, 1860

[mf roll #89-343]
V18. June 18, 1860-October 30, 1860
V19. November 13, 1860-July 30, 1861
V20. August 2, 1861-June 17, 1862

[POST-1861; NOT FILMED]
V21. March 19, 1866-February 15, 1867
V22. February 19, 1867-March 17, 1868
V23. February 27, 1869-December 18, 1869

AB300
1858-1870
Asst. Ald.
(rough)

Rough minutes, 1858-1870. [NOT FILMED]

V1. April 27, 1858-February 1, 1859
V2. December 18, 1868-April 8, 1870

AB300
1860
Asst. Ald.
Sec. Sess.

Journal of minutes and proceedings, executive and secret sessions, 1860.

December 12, 1860 [NOT FILMED - PHOTOCOPY AVAILABLE, see archivist]

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ABG

New Orleans (La.) Common Council. Board of Assistant Aldermen.
Committee on Streets and Landings.

Records, 1858-1870.
4 v.

At the organizational meeting of the Board of Assistant Aldermen on March 29, 1852, there were appointed eleven standing committees of five members each. The rules of the Board, adopted at the April 15 meeting, provided essentially that the Committee on Streets and Landings was "responsible for the consideration of all subjects connected with the paving, opening, or widening the streets, and in any manner tending to their improvement."

Matters relating to the port also came within the purview of the committee. Communications from the Street Commissioner and from the Surveyor were referred to this committee, which was also responsible for examining and certifying expenditures for street and port related activities. Ordinance #102 of 1852 specified that all certificates issued by the Surveyor and the Street Commissioner for work done under contract with the city were to be approved by the chairmen of the two committees on streets and landings before the certificates were to be paid by the Comptroller. Ordinance #2176 (1855) further required that the committees on streets and landings approve all specifications for city work before those specifications were published.

Manuscript volumes of minutes, 1858-1870 (ABG300) and one register of certificates, 1861-1862 (ABG650).

The minute entries are signed by the secretary of the committee and include listings of the items of business heard at each committee meeting, along with the action taken by the committee. While the entries do not give much detail on the projects under discussion, the minutes as a whole give an overview of the process by which the city's infrastructure was maintained during the period. A sample entry from the May 26, 1859 meeting reads "#6, communication from Mssrs. Surgi and Passau with a plan for erecting a fountain in Lafayette Square -- lay over."

The register lists certificates issued by the Surveyor and the Street Commissioner for services performed by contractors, apparently indicating acceptance of the work by the city. Each entry includes the certificate number, date, name of the certifying officer, name of the contractor, a statement of the work performed, a reference to the resolution or ordinance authorizing the work, the period of time for which the payment is being made, the basis for payment, and the amount to be paid. This register appears to have been maintained jointly by the chairmen of the two Committees on Streets and Landings. The remainder of this volume was used to record the minutes of the Bureau of Streets and Landings from June 2, 1862 through June 30, 1863.

Forms part of the New Orleans (La.) City Council Records.

Inventory

[microfilmed volumes are on roll #90-129]

ABG300
1858-1870

New Orleans (La.) Common Council. Board of Assistant Aldermen. Committee on Streets and Landings.

Minutes, 1858-1870.

v. 1 1858-1862
v. 2 1869-1870 [not filmed; post-1861]

ABG 300j
1866

New Orleans (La.) Common Council. Board of Assistant Aldermen. Committee on Streets and Landings.

Minutes of joint meetings with the Finance Committee, 1866. [not filmed; post-1861]

ABG650
1861-1862

New Orleans (La.) Common Council. Board of Assistant Aldermen. Committee on Streets and Landings.

Register of certificates, 1861-1862.

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ABI

New Orleans (La.) Common Council. Board of Assistant Aldermen. Committee on Fires.

Records, 1852-1855.
2 v.

At the organizational meeting of the Board of Assistant Aldermen on March 29, 1852, the president of the Board appointed eleven standing committees of five members each. The rules of the Board, adopted at the April 15 meeting, provided that all matters pertaining to the Fire Department should be reported on by the Committee on Fires before being acted on by the Board.

Ordinance #2492, approved on December 8, 1855, provided that the Fire Department be operated by a contractor chosen by public bid for a five year term. The contractor was to be furnished with an inventory of all of the department's property belonging to the city, that inventory to be made by the Surveyor and the chairmen of the Finance Committees of the two Boards. The chairmen were to have general supervision of the department, its buildings, and other property. They were periodically to report to the Boards as to the efficiency of the department, of the contractor, and of the officers and men of the department.

The ordinance also created a Board of Fire Commissioners to be composed of the chairmen of the Finance, Fire, and Judiciary Committees of the two Boards along with a committee of six persons to be elected by the presidents and agents of the insurance companies operating in New Orleans. The Board had full power to hear and determine complaints of citizens touching on the Fire Department and its operations. If three-quarters of the members of the Board declared the contractor to be guilty of gross neglect or inefficiency, the contract would be dissolved.

Manuscript volumes: (1) Calendar of resolutions, 1852-1853 (ABI400)--a chronological listing giving date, a brief description of the subject matter of the resolution, and the Committee's action. Also included are records of the Board's action on each resolution and, in some cases, a reference to that of the Board of Aldermen as well. In the rear of the volume are records of appropriations made to the individual fire companies making up the department during the 1850-1853 period, along with inventories of the equipment belonging to each company dated February 1, 1853. (2) Memorandums, ca. 1855 (ABI951)--includes the names of officers of some fire companies and some inventories of the equipment of companies (some dated 1855). Additional miscellaneous entries are located in this volume.

See also: Records of the Board of Fire Commissioners, in the City Archives Collection.

Forms part of the New Orleans (La.) City Council records.

Added entries:

Fire-departments--Louisiana--New Orleans.

Inventory [microfilmed on roll #90-129]

ABI400
1852-1853

New Orleans (La.) Common Council. Board of Assistant Aldermen. Committee on Fires.

Calendar of resolutions, 1852-1853.

ABI951
ca. 1855

New Orleans (La.) Common Council. Board of Assistant Aldermen. Committee on Fires.

Memorandums, ca. 1855

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ABJ

New Orleans (La.) Common Council. Board of Assistant Aldermen. Finance Committee.

Records, 1855-1870.
16 v.

The rules of the Board, adopted at its April 15, 1852 meeting, stated that the Finance Committee "shall take into consideration the reports and accounts of the Comptroller and Treasurer and all matters connected with the revenue, expenditures, or public debt of the city that may be referred to them, and particularly the appropriations of moneys and report whether the moneys have been disbursed in accordance with the ordinances and shall also from time to time suggest to the Board the best means to promote the economy of the administration and the accountability of the officers of the city."

Subsequent legislation specified additional duties and responsibilities of the Finance Committee. Ordinance #2175 (1855) provided that all bills and certificates whether from contracts or otherwise were to be approved by the Committee before being paid by the Comptroller. Later in 1855, #2321 further required that the Committee approve all applications for orders from any city officer involving the expenditure of money. In 1856 #2932 authorized the Finance Committees to have notes of the city discounted, "as from time to time may deem advisable to the interests of the city, and for the purpose of applying the money so obtained to meet the current expenditures." Ordinance #2959, also in 1856, required the committees to report to the Common Council any notes so discounted.

Although each of the two Boards had its own Finance Committee the extant records all seem to reflect joint operations. Some of the legislation noted above refers to the Finance Committee as if it were one body, although there is no evidence of an ordinance or resolution combining the committees of the two boards.

Manuscript volumes:

Minutes, 1866-1870 (ABJ300, 2 v.);

Record of claims referred, 1855-1858 (ABJ360);

Requisition book, 1866-1870 (ABJ390);

Record of yeas and nays, 1858-1859 (ABJ430) gives date of vote, names of members and how each voted, and description of the issue being voted on; in absence of actual minutes for these years, this record serves as a partial substitute;

Record of bills arising out of contracts and ordered to be paid, 1857-1860; 1866-1870 (ABJ464, 5 v.)

Correspondence (outgoing), 1855-1865; 1869-1870 (ABJ510, 3 v.--volume 2 (1858-1865) includes letterpress copies of Finance Committee letters through April, 1862 and of Bureau of Finance letters from July, 1862 through November, 1865);

Record of city notes destroyed, 1869 (ABJ524c, including signatures of witnesses to the destruction);

Receipt book, 1854-1866 (ABJ534,receipts signed by various city officials for papers and other property received from the Finance Committee during 1857-1858; remainder of volume used for memorandums and/or rough minutes of the Bureau of Finance, 1864-1866).

Also included is one volume containing copies of minutes of joint meetings held by the Finance Committees with the Committees on Streets and Landings during the period August 9-27, 1866.

Forms part of the New Orleans (La.) City Council. Records.

Recataloged, 6/22/89.

Added entries:

Finance, Public--Louisiana--New Orleans.
Minutes--Louisiana--New Orleans.
Letters--Louisiana--New Orleans.
Bills (financial)--Louisiana--New Orleans.
Requisitions--Louisiana--New Orleans.
New Orleans (La.) Bureau of Finance.

Inventory

ABJ300
1866-1870

Minutes, 1866-1870; 2 v. [not filmed; post-1861]

ABJ300j
1866

Minutes of joint meetings with the Committee on Streets and Landings, 1866. [not filmed; post-1861]

ABJ360
1855-1858

Record of claims referred, 1855-1858.

[mf roll #90-129]

ABJ390
1866-1870

Requisition book, 1866-1870. [not filmed; post-1861]

ABJ430
1858-1859

Record of yeas and nays, 1858-1859.

[mf roll #90-129]

ABJ464
1857-1860
1866-1870

Record of bills arising out of contracts and ordered to be paid, 1857- 1860; 1866-1870.

v. 1 1857-1860; [mf roll #90-129]
v. 2 1866-1867 [not filmed; post-1861]
v. 3 1867-1868 [not filmed; post-1861]
v. 4 1868-1869 [not filmed; post-1861]
v. 5 1870 [not filmed; post-1861]

ABJ510
1855-1865
1869-1870

Correspondence (outgoing), 1855-1865; 1869-1870.

v. 1 1855-1858 [mf roll #90-129]
v. 2 1858-1865 [mf roll #90-130]
v. 3 1869-1870 [not filmed; post-1861]

ABJ524c
1869

Record of city notes destroyed, 1869. [not filmed; post-1861]

ABJ534
1854-1866

Receipt book, 1854-1866.

[mf roll #90-130]

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AB420
1861-1862

New Orleans (La.) Common Council. Volunteer Relief Committee.

Records, 1861-1862.
3.5 in. (4 vols.)

On August 2, 1861, the Board of Assistant Aldermen proposed the appointment of a Volunteer Relief Committee to make a plan for the relief of the families of volunteers in the service of the Confederate Army. This was approved by the Board of Aldermen on August 7, 1861, as resolution #5726. Prior to this approval the Committee (composed of four members of each of the two aldermanic boards) met and issued a report on August 5. This report called for an appropriation of $10,000 to be used for the relief of needy families of volunteers absent or killed in the Confederate service. Special care was to be taken to insure that only the truly needy were entered on the books.

As hostilities progressed the initial funds were apparently exhausted and the Board of Aldermen, through its Finance Committee, sought new means of assisting the needy families. These efforts culminated on March 25, 1862 in the creation of a new committee organized on a ward basis to carry out functions similar to those of the original agency. This new body was called the Committee on Subsistence to Families of Volunteers. Presumably all such relief activities on behalf of Confederate families came to an end following the capture of the City by Federal forces.

The records consist of four manuscript volumes, one for each municipal district. Each volume records the name of each family head eligible for relief, his/her place of residence, his/her relationship to the volunteer (including number of children), the name of the volunteer, his rank and unit, and the amount of relief to which the family was entitled. The volume for the first district contains, in addition to the above information, the amount of payment made to each family by the Committee on Subsistence to Families of Volunteers.

Available on one roll of 35mm microfilm, filed under the call number noted above.

Inventory

AB420
1861-1862

New Orleans (La.) Common Council. Volunteer Relief Committee.

Records, 1861-1862.

v. 1 District 1
v. 2 District 2
v. 3 District 3
v. 4 District 4

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Rev., 5/8/2003