Collections of family papers contain items saved by various individuals over long stretches of time. These archival collections, often including genealogical and biographical research notes, are rich resources for studying changing lifestyles and cultural values. The Louisiana Research Collection holds a wealth of archival collections containing documents and objects considered important enough to pass on to a family's next generation.
An advanced search of the library catalog for LaRC archival collections with the phrase “family papers” or “families papers” in the title retrieves 146 results. The oldest of these is the De la Villesbret family papers, 1534-1937, and the youngest is the Nuhrah family papers, 1967-1996. Another example, which will be of interest to students of American history, is the Hoffman and Bowman families papers, 1832-1929 (LaRC Manuscripts Collection 982).
Collection 982 is composed of personal papers of members of the Hoffman, Bowman, and allied families in the United States, particularly in Louisiana. Primarily family correspondence, it also includes stamped mailed envelopes, telegrams, items of social ephemera such as invitations and Carnival items, school papers and certificates of Alice Bowman, prescriptions and home remedies, undated poetry and songs, legal and financial documents including partially printed stock certificates, diaries, photographs, an estate inventory, a will, a theater program, newspaper clippings and other printed items. Correspondence originated in a variety of locations including Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and California. Some of the letters are in fragile or damaged condition; several appear to have been saved from fire.
2 oz. Origannum oil
2 oz. Gum camphor
2 oz. Amonia
2 oz. ... Turpentine
2 oz. Laudnum
1 quart alcohol
to bath the whole body.
it will take away the pain.
A black coffee cup full of Linimint in 1/2 pint of hot water - bathe quickly
Ne Varietur (s) M. M. Boatner, Judge. Apl. 24, 1929.
Will of Alice Bowman, spinster.
Sound in body & in mind, I, Alice Bowman, spinster, make this my last will & testament, revoking all other wills of date anterior to this date.
I name as my executors, my Lawyer, Miss. Florence Loeber & my nephew, John Maurice Orville Bowman, relying upon their good judgment & feeling assured, they will carry out the details of this, my last will & testament.
To my cousin, John Maurice Harrison, in memory of his mother, my aunt, Elizabeth Harrison, I leave the use during his life, whatever revenues, my property may realize.
After the death of this cousin, John Maurice Harrison, I desire that my property be thus divided.
To my great neice & namesake, Alice Bowman Craighead, five hundred dollars ($500.00).
All remainder of my property, I wish equally shared between, Emma S. Hullin, widow of my brother, Maurice Nathaniel Bowman, & their five children, herein named.
Katherine Bowman, unmarried, Palmyre Hullin Bowman, wife of Charles D. Craighead, Elizabeth Bowman, wide of H. L. Keen, Ruth Green Bowman, unmarried, & John Maurice Orville Bowman, husband of Marie Therese Voorhies.
Thus do I write, date & sign this, mu last will & testament, regretting as I sign, that I have not more to leave to my dear ones.
(S) Miss. Alice Bowman
New Orleans, November 19th, 1921.
#326 Audubon Boulevard.
Ne Varietur (S) M. M. Boatner, Judge. Apl. 24, 1929.
Captions: top, prescriptions and home remedies, Hoffman and Bowman families papers, Manuscripts Collection 982, Box 1, Folder 47; bottom, 1929 typed version of Alice Bowman's 1921 will, Box 1, Folder 22. Images of items in the Louisiana Research Collection may not be re-published without permission.
Posted by Susanna Powers