Monday, April 21, 2014

A letter from prison

                                             Military Prison, Johnson’s Island, Ohio, 7th May 1864.

Dear Parents:

            Father’s letter of the 25th Apr. reached me some days since.  There is no immediate prospect of an exchange of prisoners, so far as I can judge, although we have a great many rumors pro and con, and both sides are supported by much testimony.  For my own part, I am always hopeful, but believe nothing, except that every day that passes leaves one less to be endured.  My health continues as good as could be expected, and I hope to live to see the outside world, unless previously hung.  I am sorry we see things so differently and that our ideas of right and wrong are so much opposed on one another: but I am hopeful on that subject also, and confidently expect to see the day when we shall agree much better, or at least when our differences will be only on matter of history.  I could write quite a sermon on this subject, and the beauty of charity contrasted with iconoclastic zeal; but I presume you would never receive it if I did – and perhaps you are as charitable as I am, after all.  I suppose they are fighting in Virginia today – You are praying for one thing, and other good people are praying for another.  Doubtless all the prayers are heard, but Providence will order all for the best and defend the right.  I have that much faith, which I hope you will consider better than none.  Much love to all.  If I am moved from here you shall hear from me if possible before I go, whenever it may be.     


Henry Brown Richardson (1837-1909) was born in Maine, and in 1860 moved to St. Joseph, La., in Tensas Parish, where he worked as an engineer. He served in the Confederate Army in the American Civil War, and was captured and held at Johnson Island in Ohio from 1864-1865. His allegiance was firmly with the CSA; while in a military prisoner-of-war camp, he tried to explain his point of view to his parents, presumably still living in the northeastern United States, in words that would not result in censorship. After the war, he and his wife, Anna Howard Farrar Richardson (1846-1910), lived in New Orleans, at 1631 Foucher St., and raised their nine children. Members of allied families lived in New Orleans into at least the mid-twentieth century.

Caption: Farrar, Stamps, and Kempe families papers, 1856-1877 (Manuscripts Collection 493), box 1, folder 3.  Other letters written by H. B. Richardson are accessible in this collection, and also in the Richardson family papers, 1897-1961 (Manuscripts Collection 1069).  

Images of items in the Louisiana Research Collection may not be republished without permission.

Posted by Susanna Powers 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter weekend

 The Schiro Reading Room will be closed Friday April 18 and Saturday April 19, resuming normal current hours at 10:00 am on Monday April 21. Have a good weekend.

Image is from The Mammals of Louisiana and its Adjacent Waters by George H. Lowery, Jr.
p. 165, swamp rabbit.     QL 719 .L8 L68    LACOLL Reference.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tour of Toole's New Orleans, June 7, 2014

Cory MacLauchlin, author of Butterfly in the Typewriter, is planning to host a John Kennedy Toole event on Saturday, June 7, 2014.    He recently posted this information on his web site:


A tour of JKT’s New Orleans is being organized for June 7, 2014. We will escape from Baton Rouge! As your guide I will show you the sites and tell you the stories that inspired A Confederacy of Dunces. The tour includes a presentation of the Toole Papers at Tulane University, some of JKT’s favorite French Quarter haunts and a behind-the-scenes look at the Lucky Dog Warehouse.
Space is limited. Tickets are on sale now through the Manship Theatre. If you have any questions please contact Marti Luke at

The Louisiana Research Collection is honored to be a stop on the tour.  

Posted by Susanna Powers

PLEASE NOTE:  As of May 27, the June 7, 2014 tour has been CANCELLED.    It may be re-planned in the future.