City Archives
New Orleans Public Library
Notes on Miscellaneous Orleans Parish Court Records

These notes are intended to give researchers some sense of the varied and sometimes rich content of court records filed in Orleans Parish during the period from 1804 through 1931. They indicate that it is often impossible to discern specific content of suit records merely from the names of the plaintiffs and defendants taking part in them. Few, if any, researchers are likely to do the record-by-record study that would be required to uncover all of the treasures in the collection. Many, many "accidental" discoveries, though, are certain to be made as research in the records progresses.

Most of the suits and cases represented below were selected from among a group of stray records left behind when the collection was reboxed during the summer of 2003. We will add more notes as we run across additional records of interest.

Court Docket # Plaintiff Defendant Date Notes
City Court 00185 Volta Caldwell 1830s Includes lists of music copies by Volta for Caldwell's Italian Opera Company in New Orleans.
City Court 00474 Green Caldwell 1822 Includes a list of performances at the Orleans Theatre during the year.
City Court 03427 Lefebvre Beluche
Includes record of goods supplied by Lefebvre to Rene Beluche of "the privateer schooner Spy."
City Court 16311 Vannier Davis 1830s Includes several manuscript letters (in French) from Vannier to Davis dealing with Vannier's employment to teach French to the Davis children.
Civil District Court 15442 Avet (Succession of)
1870s Includes documents relating to the importation, insuring, transportation, and storage of coffee in New Orleans.
Civil District Court 19666 Reeve (Succession of)
1866 Includes an inventory of Blackwater (later Belmont) Plantation near St. Francisville, bills for goods used on the property (from merchants in New Orleans and St. Louis), and two contracts with freedmen
to work on the plantation (contracts include names, ages, and other
information on each person). The record was transferred from Second
District Court (#28614) where it had been filed originally.
Civil District Court 35904 Milne (Succession of)

Includes a substantial amount of material relating to suits involving the city of New Orleans and funding for the Milne Municipal Boys Home. Included are several documents dealing with the operations of the institution.
Civil District Court 39987 Ball Electric Light Co. Enterprise Construction Co. 1890s Includes a minute book (15 pages) for the Enterprise firm for the years 1891-1893.
Civil District Court 60074 Desmaries et al. Andrieu & Escobedo Shoe Manufactory 1899 Includes inventory of equipment and goods owned by the company along with bills for goods supplied by another local firm.
Civil District Court 85023 Greer Bros. A. Blum 1908 Dispute over the installation of a heating system by Greer Bros. (Contractors in Heating & Ventilation of Buildings) in the residence being built for A. Blum at the corner of St. Charles and Palmer (since demolished for construction of Temple Sinai). Included are letters exchanged among the interested parties, a copy of the specifications for the residence, and transcriptions of the testimony of several witnesses, including Asa Biggs (of the architectural firm of McKenzie & Biggs, designers of the residence). See also building plan #R2155 which is a single sheet showing the location of the heating system in the basement of the residence.
Commercial Court 04160 Rogers Bank of the United States 1837 Includes a manuscript letter from Nicholas Biddle in Philadelphia to Lewis Rogers in New York.
Court of Probates
Broutin (Will)
1819 This is an 1837 copy of Narcisse Broutin's will. Filed with it are three letters (1837-1838) to his sister in Paris from New Orleans attorney E. Caillard.
Court of Probates
Smith (Succession)
1831 Includes documentation on a group of slaves shipped by Nathaniel Smith from North Carolina to New Orleans (shipping costs, clothing, medical treatment, and board).
Court of Probates
Gardien (Succession)
1841 Includes a French passport issued to Gardien in 1839.
Court of Probates
Jones (Succession)
1841 Included among the vouchers submitted are several for the treatment of slaves (and others) with "medicine cupps." Other interesting receipts are also included.
Fifth District Court 19808 Cousin & Brother Johnston 1868 Firm of Cousin & Brother supplied bricks to Samuel Johnston for construction of the Girod Asylum. Dispute over payment for the bricks.
First Judicial District Court 6910 Vincent Nolte & Co. Creditors ca. 1830 Among the individual documents filed in the record are:
  • Valuation of a portion of the firm's property (dated 1826) showing the names and values of slaves (grouped as whether they were household servants or presshands, along with equipment, apparently comprising a tobacco press.

  • Letters from Frederick Arnet in Livingston Parish to Charles W. Robinson in New Orleans.
    • One, dated 9/2/1835, asking Robinson to find a cook for him--"...a good old Negro woman for cook..."

    • Others discussing shipments of lumber down the Tangipahoa River and across the lake to New Orleans.

    • Others discussing his fears that he might be hung, possibly having to do with a trial that he hoped would be held in New Orleans rather than in Livingston.

  • Bill for work done on the firm's building at Camp and Gravier Streets.

First Judicial District Court 13532 Santa Anna Clark 1837 Includes a manuscript letter written and signed by Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna concerning the alleged theft of his medals following the battle of San Jacinto.
First Judicial District Court 17424 Miller Hamilton 1839 Suit to settle dispute arising from the dissolution of their partnership in a New Iberia rum distillery. Includes several accounts that provide some interesting detail on the operation of the distillery.
First Judicial District Court 18197 Freyer Louisiana State Marine & Fire Insurance Co. 1839 Includes letters, inventory of loss, insurance policy, etc. relating to a fire at the corner of Royal and Toulouse Streets apparently affecting both a dry goods store and a residence.
First Judicial District Court 20389 Taylor Chase 1841 Concerns a dispute over the lease of the Pensacola House Hotel in Pensacola, Florida.
First Justice's Court 03782 Anderson Gubernator & Terry and Terry 1877 Concerns a dispute over the shipping of wharf timber via the Chicago, St. Louis & New Orleans Railroad. Includes freight way bills for the railroad shipments and some testimony.
Fourth District Court 00665 Szymanski Ship Elisha Dennison 1847 Concerns a dispute over payment for compression of cotton into bales at the Branch Press. Includes receipts from that Press along with related receipts.
Fourth District Court 04726 Mussina Alling et al. 1850 Includes copies of deeds for purchase of land in Cameron County, Texas, in and around Point Isabel during the year 1849. Also includes testimony of persons living in Point Isabel and Brownsville.
Fourth District Court 3493-3496 Paradise, Lawrason & Co. [various insurance companies] 1850 Includes very detailed testimony of several individuals, including sea captains, concerning the destruction by fire of the Ship Russia, ca. 2/7/1850. Also included is an excerpt from the log of the Ship Creole from around that time period.
Fourth District Court 4656 Tonge Kennett & Co. 1850 Includes correspondence between Jas. C. Sellman & Son in Baltimore and the Kennett firm in New Orleans. Also includes shipping documents, etc.
Fourth District Court 4966 Arthur & Co. Steamboat Concordia 1851 Includes invoices (February 1851-January 1852) for goods purchased for the boat from I. W. Arthur & Co., Commission Merchants & General Grocers; MAY comprise the boat's provisions for voyages made during those months.
Fourth District Court 13756 Ellis Dills 1860 Dispute over payment of wages and supplies in connection with the care and training of two trotting horses. Includes bills and detailed testimony which describes how such animals were cared for during the mid-nineteenth century.
Fourth Justice's Court 14035 Lalmant Steamboat Crescent City 1854 Concerns a dispute over twenty-one sacks of potatoes that went rotten because of a delivery problem. Includes a bill of lading, other receipts, and testimony.
Parish Court 02157 Audubon Wilson, Bowen & Co.
Includes documents signed by Audubon.
Parish Court 12602 Walton & Co. Dakin & Dakin 1830s Includes detailed bills for materials used in building the Louisiana State Arsenal on St. Peter Street.
Recorders Court, Third Municipality ? State Lewis 1840 This is a one page record of testimony in a case involving the murder of one slave by another, both belonging to the Pontchartrain Railroad Co. The crime took place in Milneburg.
Second District Court 09452 Toliver (fmc, Succession of)
1860 Includes a certificate of title to a lot in the Girod Street Cemetery. The certificate, dated 1842, also refers to the burial place as Christ Church Cemetery.
Second District Court 16747 Vogel (Succession)
1861 Includes letters from the Widow Vogel in Paris between 1862-1864. In French except for one in English (possibly a translation; it is marked as a copy). In that letter she notes that her late husband had been Consul of Prussia in New Orleans. She appears to be using his/her status as Prussian nationals to protect her property in New Orleans from seizure by the federal authorities.
Second District Court 38244 McAuley (Wife of O'Brien, Succession of)
1875 Includes inventory of a millinery shop on Canal Street along with invoices from New York suppliers. Also includes letters from her husband to New York interests, including one in 1877 that refers to the disputed gubernatorial election of that year and its effect on judicial proceedings. Also includes bills from hotels in New York City and letters from Mr. & Mrs. O'Brien in that place, one of which tells of a miscarriage suffered by Mrs. O'Brien while there on a business trip.
Second District Court 38323 Drivon (Succession)
1876 Includes a "Genealogical Tree & Tableau of Heirs of Mrs. Jeanne Drivon."
Sixth District Court 02970 Rice Rice 1867 This suit record, for a divorce, includes detailed records relating to the construction of a residence on Camp Street between Antonine and Amelia Streets in Jefferson City. Charles Lewis Hilger was the architect, and several documents bear his signature.
Sixth District Court 5537 Union Planters Bank of Memphis A. N. Peale & Co. 1870 Includes shipping documents and correspondence between the firm and Frank W. Goodwyn of Memphis.
Superior Criminal Court 1569 State Carr 1877 The record includes several letters written by Mortimer Carr from Orleans Parish Prison to his partner, Louis R. Laun, as well as letters from Laun to Carr. Carr was accused of some fraudulent activity in the cotton business. The record includes a lengthy statement by Laun, apparently while he, too, was in prison.
Superior District Court 00820 Warmoth Pinchback 1870s Includes a manuscript letter written and signed by Pinchback.
Superior District Court 23127 Cook Mississippi Fire Company #2 and Mechanics Fire Company #6 1876 Concerns a dispute over $15 prize money for a pony race at the Fair Grounds as part of a "Grand May Festival" sponsored by the two fire companies. Cook claimed that his pony Billy won the race and that the sponsors refused to pay him the prize.
Third District Court 00349 Cohen Davis 1840s Includes the contract between Davis and Cohen's daughter Sarah, a minor, to dance at the American Theatre.
Third District Court 3944 Depierre freres Noel and Guiraud 1850 Suit involving a quantity of straw hats that the New Orleans firm of Noel and Guiraud sent to New York City to be sold, but the hats were out of fashion, faded, and otherwise defective, and could not be sold. The hats, along with other goods, came from the Depierre firm in Lausanne, Switzerland. They did not sell in New Orleans, so Noel and Guiraud sent them to New York in search of a market. The record includes testimony of merchants in New Orleans and New York. Also included is a copy of Noel and Guiraud's account with the Depierre firm along with other documentation from Switzerland.
Third District Court 10495 Keegan Wright 1870 Concerns a dispute over the filling and grading of a lot on Fulton Street between First and Second Streets, and the subsequent loss of/damage to rose bushes and other plants under cultivation on the property.
Third District Court 11530 Ewell Langhoff 1871 Includes testimony concerning a schooner that sank on a voyage from the Tickfaw River to New Orleans.
Third District Court 13454 Hogan Steamboat Telegram 1859 Includes testimony by deckhands as to Hogan's (a fireman on the boat) claim that he was put off the vessel in Baton Rouge for no cause.
Third District Court 14270 Reardon Steamboat Charmer 1859 Includes tickets; these may be tickets for passage or they may be tickets given to workers as proof of labor, later to be exchanged for cash.
Third District Court 14284 Rousset & Genin Steamboat Martha J. Ward 1859 Includes a survey by the Deputy Port Warden of the cargo as stored aboard the ship and another survey of goods in a store on Canal Street, comprising in part cargo from the ship. Also includes several shipping documents and testimony of the ship's master.
Third District Court 14285 Hennings Spaulding & Rogers 1859 Includes Hennings' bill for $15, one week's salary for playing the double bass at the Ampitheatre.
Third District Court 14302 Pepson et al. Steamboat Henrietta 1860 Includes bills showing the monthly wages of several persons employed in various capacities on the vessel.
Third District Court 14334 Bosworth & Co. Forget 1859 Concerns payments for ice delivered to Forget's "ice cream saloon" at Bayou Road and North Prieur Street. Includes a bill and testimony.
First Judicial District Court 3645 William Green & Co. Nashville Steam Boat Co. 1859 One of the partners in William Green & Co. is W.H. Harrison, later the 9th President of the United States.

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updated, 1/2/2013