Louisiana Division
New Orleans Public Library
Administrations of the Mayors of New Orleans
Edward Heath (1819-1892)
Mayor Edward Heath was born in Lisbon, Maine, in the year 1819. He attended the county schools and high school, preparing himself for the teaching profession and eventually became a teacher. In 1842 he came to New Orleans. His brother-in-law Seth W. Nye, was a surveyor of the port and Mr. Heath was employed in the custom house by Collector Denis Prieur. He later became a prominent merchant and eventually his firm which specialized in House Furnishings became known as Heath, Schwartz & Co., Ltd.

On March 28th, 1867 he was appointed Mayor by General Phil. Sheridan after the removal of John T. Monroe on account of the riots of July 30th, 1866.

He had hardly taken his seat when he became involved in a serious controversy with the City Council over the question of the city finances. Heath asked the Council to order an investigation due to considerable complication of affairs confronting him. The matter was referred to the city attorney, who declined to issue an injunction to stop the issue of city money. The controversy was carried out in an exchange of mutual accusations.

Being identified with the extreme wing of the radical party, he undertook to introduce negro children in the schools for white children. This caused intense excitement and the City Council to pass an ordinance appropriating a large sum of money for separate schools.

The following is a condensed excerpt from the New Orleans Republican of June 11th, 1868:

“Yesterday at 12 o’clock, Mr. J. R. Conway presented himself at the office of Mayor Heath and handed him a printed copy of General Buchanan’s order giving the names of newly elected municipal officers, announcing at the same time his election as chief magistrate of the city. Mr. Heath replied that he knew of no law authorizing said election and refused to acknowledge General Buchanan’s authority to issue said order. He declined to give up the office and Mr. Conway then proceeded to military headquarters. An hour later an orderly arrived at the Mayor’s office with a communication from General Buchanan addressed to Mayor Heath requesting him to call at military headquarters, the communication was signed by John R. Johnson, acting assistant secretary of civil affairs. To this Mayor Heath replied that he was duly appointed by military authority and that his appointment was confirmed by Congress. That he knew of no election by which Mr. Conway was elected Mayor and could not recognize General Buchanan’s authority directing Mr. Conway to assume the duties of the office of mayor.

Captain DeRussey who had in the meantime arrived on the scene suggested that Mayor Heath should leave quietly, but Heath replied that he would not vacate his post voluntarily, in fact he would not vacate at all unless compelled to by superior force. Captain DeRussey then arrested the Mayor and demanded the keys of the office which Heath refused to do unless furnished with a written order. When this written order was produced, Heath turned over the keys and Conway seated himself in the Mayor’s chair. Heath was then escorted by the police down the broad granite steps of the city hall and the waiting crowd burst into a shrill exultant rebel yell.”

Mr. Heath was a member of the Board of Health during Dr. White’s administration. He also was a member of the board of administrators of the Straight University and stood prominent in Masonic Orders. He was a member for many years of the Orient Lodge and also a Royal Arch Mason as well as a Knight Templar. The Unitarian Church counted him as an active member.

He married his cousin, Miss Heath at Bath, Maine, in 1855, of this union a daughter, Manie A. Heath, was born, who became the wife of Clarence E. Clinton. She died April 23, 1889 and was buried in Brunswick, Maine.

Mayor Heath died in Malden, Massachusetts, January 13th, 1892, at the age of 73.

Members of the Heath Administration
March 28, 1867-June 10, 1868

Name Office District Notes
Neville, Julien Recorder First Dist.
Vennard, H. T. Recorder Fourth Dist.
Gastinel, A. Recorder Second Dist.
Letten, J. A. Recorder Third Dist.
Childs, Geo. T. Secretary

Overall, J. W. Secretary

Marks, Theo. Secretary
Baker, Wm. Street Commissioner

Westerfield, L. C. Surveyor
Bell, Wm. H. Surveyor

Brown, J. H. Surveyor
Haskell, Wm. Wharfinger

Mahan, F. C. Wharfinger

Williamson, J. J. Chief of Police

Buchanan, A. M., Judge City Attorney

Fish, S. S. City Attorney

Dibble, H. C. City Notary

Howell, Stoddard City Treasurer

Mouney, Francis City Treasurer
Mohan, P. G. Comptroller

Mandel, D. E. Comptroller

Brower, S. G. Comptroller
Whitney, Norman Alderman

Bosworth, A. W. Alderman
Stith, Gerard Alderman

Smith, Wm. Alderman

Clark, Geo. Alderman

McKnight, Thos. Alderman

White, E. D. Alderman

McCloskey, James Alderman

McCulloch, Wm. Assistant Alderman

Moore, Thos. S. Assistant Alderman

Pasley, John Assistant Alderman

Cummings, P. H. Assistant Alderman

Prague, J. B. Assistant Alderman

Lurges, F. Assistant Alderman

Cunningham, J. B. Assistant Alderman

Montamat, J. P. Assistant Alderman

Prados, V. Assistant Alderman

Kaus, Geo. D. Assistant Alderman

Sturcken, H. F. Assistant Alderman

Kranz, J. F. Assistant Alderman

Kaiser, P. Assistant Alderman

Higgenbotham, T. H. Assistant Alderman

Woolfley, F. A. Newly Elected Alderman

O'Donnell, Peter Newly Elected Alderman

Mary, A. Newly Elected Alderman

Clay, John R. Newly Elected Alderman

Burbank, E. W. Newly Elected Alderman

Stapleton, K. G. Newly Elected Alderman

Dewees, D. S. Newly Elected Alderman

Dumas, T. Newly Elected Alderman

Graham, James Newly Elected Alderman

Grieff, A. D. Newly Elected Alderman

Dunn, O. J. Newly Elected Assistant Alderman

Thizen, S. Newly Elected Assistant Alderman

Joubert, F. B. Newly Elected Assistant Alderman

Seuvinet, C. S. Newly Elected Assistant Alderman

Sampson, C. C. Newly Elected Assistant Alderman

Gumbel, E. S. Newly Elected Assistant Alderman

Lapene, Jules Newly Elected Assistant Alderman

Straight, S. Newly Elected Assistant Alderman

Goldman, E., Dr. Newly Elected Assistant Alderman

Gouche, J. Newly Elected Assistant Alderman

Flood, E. Newly Elected Assistant Alderman

Davies, John L. Newly Elected Assistant Alderman

Rigney, E. Newly Elected Assistant Alderman

Sterry, John L. Newly Elected Assistant Alderman

Perkins, F. W. Newly Elected Assistant Alderman

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