City Archives
New Orleans Public Library

New Orleans Police Department
      Correspondence and Reports, 1899-1913 [bulk 1910-1913]

      Size of collection: 1.5 cubic feet
      Terms of Access: Available to registered researchers by appointment

Historical Information

Act 66 of 1888 created a "Police Board for the City of New Orleans" and defined its powers and duties. Among various provisions, the Act established the structure of the city's police force, to be headed by a Superintendent of Police, and outlined in detail the duties of the members of the force. The "Police Act" was amended in 1904, adding an "Inspector of the Police Force" to head the force, with a Superintendent (as well as captains, sergeants, corporals, patrolmen, supernumeraries, clerks, operators, doormen, stablemen, the chief of detectives and detectives) who reported to the Inspector.

Scope Note

The records consist of reports from precinct captains (or other police officers) to the Superintendent of Police or, after 1904, the Inspector of Police regarding various matters as indicated in the series descriptions below. Also included is correspondence to and from the Inspector of Police. The records are clearly fragmentary and limited exclusively to non-violent offences against municipal regulations having to do with such matters as business permits, sanitary conditions, accidents to pedestrians, the condition of streets and public buildings, and, of particular interest, saloons, brothels, and houses of prostitution. Series 1, for example, is limited almost exclusively to reports from Precinct Captains to the Superintendent either recommending or denying the waiver of buisiness permit fees, generally to certain peddlers or small business operators for whom the permit fee would be a financial hardship.


The records were originally housed in pasteboard file boxes, with labels attached giving the date range and the general content of the box. Each "series" below represents the records found in each box, with the original description of the content preserved. These descriptions are accurate, for the most part, but individual series could contain a few reports or letters that do not relate directly to the series description. The records are arranged by date (the papers within each folder are not in strict chronological order).

NOTE: Before final processing, the records were referred to informally as the "Correspondence of the Inspector of Police," and may have been cited as such by earlier researchers.


Box 1

Series 1: "Police Department. Investigation by Police of Various Business Permits, etc."

September-December, 1898
February, 1898
March 1899
April 1899
May 1899
June 1899
July 1899
August 1899
September 1899
October 1899
November 1899
December 1899

Series 2: "Investigations of sanitary conditions of hotels, restaurants, etc. Reports on various accidents to pedestrians. Reports on disorderly houses. Permits for various businesses, etc."

January 1899
March 1901
1910 (no specific date)
January 1910
February 1910 (2 folders)
March 1910

Box 2

Series 3: "Police reports to Mayor Behrman relative to accidents and complaints about streets, gutters, public buildings, and immoral houses. Vacate notices to Immoral houses"

January 1910
October 1910
December 1910
January 1911
February 1911
March 1911
April 1911

Series 4: "Letters relative to accident reports. Complaints of various saloons violating Gay Shattuck Law. Complaints of cattle roaming at large. Vacate notices to immoral houses outside of limits"

March 1911
April 1911
May 1911

Box 3

June 1911
July 1911 (2 folders)
August 1911
September 1911

Series 5: "Complaints on immoral houses outside the district. Saloons violating Gay Shattuck Law.
Noise at dance halls, etc."

January 1912
February 1912
October 1912
November 1912
January 1913
February 1913
March 1913

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