Friday, January 21, 2011

Edgar A. Perilloux and the Carrollton Centennial

Edgar A. Perilloux (1895-1969), a New Orleans insurance executive, left behind his personal and business papers, which his wife donated to the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library in 1971. Although Mr. Perilloux was not widely famous, his papers provide enjoyable and surprising insight into the mid-twentieth century New Orleanian way of life.

The history of Carrollton was one of Mr. Perilloux’s special personal interests. The New Orleans and Carrollton Railroad, the forerunner of today’s St. Charles Avenue streetcar line, opened for business in 1835, connecting the city of New Orleans with the village of Carrollton. The town was incorporated by the state legislature in 1845, became a city in 1856, and was annexed into the City of New Orleans in 1874. Mr. Perilloux felt that the long history of his area was significant, and that it was important to retain its earlier name in common usage when referring to the area or neighborhood previously known as Carrollton, Louisiana, located in the “riverbend” section of New Orleans. As a leader of the Carrollton Business Men’s Association, he worked to organize the observation of the centennial, and authored Carrollton Centennial, 1845-1945, a book held in the Louisiana Research Collection (976.31 P444c). His notes, and drafts of his historical descriptions for the book are included in the archival collection, Edgar A. Perilloux papers (Manuscripts Collection 362), as are preliminary sketches for proposed advertisements he solicited from numerous local businesses for the commemorative publication. These drawings and mock-ups for advertisements are quite a bit more lively than the actual ads as they appeared in the book, which for the most part, are simple and plain.

The festivities celebrating the centennial included the unveiling of a monument erected in Palmer Park (at the corner of South Claiborne Avenue and South Carrollton Avenue), honoring the men and women of Carrollton who had so far served their country in World War II, as well as an evening banquet and dance at the Tulane Room of the Jung Hotel on Canal Street, featuring Johnny DeDroit’s Orchestra. Both events took place on Sunday, March 11, 1945.

Image captions: Top, preliminary sketch drawn on Regal Beer stationery, with ideas for an advertisement for the Round Table Restaurant, 8241 Oak St.; Bottom, the printed advertisement as it appeared on p. 53 of Carrollton Centennial, 1845-1945. (“Something to Crow About”)

Posted by Susanna Powers

Friday, January 14, 2011

Reading Room hours, MLK weekend

The Special Collections Reading Room, 202 Jones Hall, will be closed on Saturday January 15 and Monday January 17 in honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday.

The main Howard-Tilton Memorial Library building will be open Saturday and Sunday, but will be closed Monday.

Please see today's New Wave article which describes the Week for Peace events being sponsored by Tulane, Xavier, Loyola and Dillard universities, in the coming week, to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King.

Posted by Susanna Powers

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New finding aids released in December

Last month we released over a dozen new online finding aids. Here are some of the highlights:

John M. Galbraith papers (Manuscripts Collection 449) - This collection contains the Civil War diary of Lt. John M. Galbraith of the Washington Artillery, family correspondence, newspaper clippings and other items. The diary describes camp life, meetings with relatives, and includes a roster of soldiers. Galbraith was wounded at the Battle of Drewry's Bluff on May 16, 1864, and died on September 19, 1864.

U.S. Army Quartermaster records (Manuscripts Collection 356) - This collection contains account records of the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps in New Orleans during the Civil War. Accounts vary but include accounts for living expenses of officers, inventories of goods of registered enemies seized and sold, payrolls, and accounts of articles purchased (mostly ships).

Abner Phelps diaries (Manuscripts Collection 1064) - This collection contains four diaries from Abner Phelps. Phelps was a clerk of the city court for Lafayette, a suburb of New Orleans that was annexed in 1852. Phelps' diaries contain brief accounts of his daily life, and typical entries include his activities, moods, and the weather. The diaries cover the years from 1837-1849. Phelps frequently mentioned the diseases that famously plagued New Orleans, discussing yellow fever deaths in 1843 and 1846, and cholera in 1848. In May 1846, Phelps discussed recruiting volunteers to fight in the Mexican-American army under command of General Zachary Taylor. In 1849, Phelps left the city and set out, eventually ending up in North Fork digging for gold. Phelps eventually settled in San Francisco, where he died in 1873.

Junius Montgomery Macon papers (Manuscripts Collection 580) - The collection contains fourteen letters written by Captain Junius Montgomery Macon to Miss Sarah Clifford Pope of Eufaula, Alabama. Captain Macon served with the Army of Tennessee as A.A.G. to Major General H. D. Clayton and took part in the Atlanta and the Franklin and Nashville campaigns. Although the letters are of a personal nature, they include eyewitness accounts of battles and troop movements and comments on Macon's superior officers.

Mrs. Howard H. Bull papers (Manuscripts Collection 581) - This collection consists of correspondence and form letters received by Mrs. Howard H. Bull, president of the Chalmette Chapter, United States Daughters of 1812, relative to her work with the organization in getting the U.S. congress to pass a bill declaring the site of Chalmette Battlefield a national monument and to appropriate funds for the purchase of land adjacent to the Chalmette monument and national cemetery.

Benjamin Henry Latrobe papers (Manuscripts Collection 584) - Papers of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, relating to construction of water works in New Orleans. Included are ordinances authorizing construction, statements of accounts of materials and time sheets, and authorization to Louis Gleise to construct water works (May 10, 1810).

All of these collections are currently open for research to the public. For more information about using the Louisiana Research Collection's holdings, please see our website for more information.

Posted by Eira Tansey, Library Associate.