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Document of the Month - 2014 Archive

We were pleased to begin these pages in April 2012 and have presented a variety of historical documents of interest to our members and visitors. This page is an archive of documents for the year 2014 in reverse chronological order.

Marie Laveau's War of 1812 Pension Application

(12/1/14) Marie Laveau, a descendant of white and enslaved Africans, was born in New Orleans in 1801 as a free person of color. She became well known for her spiritual work and was referred to as a Voudou priestess. In 1819, she was married to Jacques Paris, a free quadroon, who died or disappeared around 1824. By 1826, she had entered a domestic partnership with Louis Christophe Dominic Duminy de Glapion, a white man who died in 1855. Based on his service during the War of 1812, Marie Laveau applied for a pension. This month's document is one of three applications she made in 1869, 1874, and 1876 to the State of Louisiana, in which she declared she was the "legitimate" widow of Glapion, whose name is sometimes spelled Clopion. Laveau died in New Orleans in 1881. The Bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans will be commemorated in January of 2015. It was the last battle of the War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain. This document can be found at the Louisiana State Archives in a collection entitled War of 1812 Pension Applications (Accession P1975-4). A new and improved index to this collection was published in the December 2014 issue of Le Raconteur.

Document of the Month
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Judah Touro's Death Certificate � 1854

(11/1/14) In recognition of International Jewish Genealogy Month (the Hebrew month of Cheshvan), this month's document is the death certificate of Judah Touro who died in New Orleans 18 January 1854. A descendant of the Touro family of Newport, Rhode Island, Judah Touro bequeathed his fortune to a wide variety of Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish charitable institutions, as well as to Touro Hospital, formerly known as the Hebrew Hospital in New Orleans. Touro's death certificate is found in the Orleans Deaths Certificates (vol. 15, p. 499) on file at the Louisiana State Archives. The Archives also has a copy of the microfilm of the early records of Touro Hospital, some of which have been published in Le Raconteur and are available on the Members' Page.

Document of the Month
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Martin Van Buren's Signature � 1830

(10/1/14) Most documents housed in the Louisiana State Archives are state, parish, or local records. So, it was surprising to find a document signed by a future President of the United States. This month's document is a certification dated 5 October 1830 by Martin Van Buren that James Ord was a Justice of the Peace for the County of Washington, District of Columbia. Ord had drawn up a power of attorney for Nicolas P. Trist to conduct some business for him in Ascension Parish, Louisiana. Van Buren was then serving as Secretary of State of the United States. He would later go on to serve as Minister to the United Kingdom, Vice President of the United States, then President of the United States. The document is found in a collection entitled Ascension Parish Civil Records (Accession S1987-180), Folder #296. Abstracts of documents from this collection were published in the March, June, and September 2014 issues of Le Raconteur.

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Earl K. Long's Death Certificate � 1960

(9/1/14) Born in Winn Parish in 1895, Earl Kemp Long was a younger brother of Huey Pierce Long. He followed in his brother's footsteps and served as Louisiana governor for three non-consecutive terms. His first term was from 1939 to 1940 and resulted from the resignation of Richard Leche who stepped down as governor due to corruption charges. "Uncle Earl," as he became known, was twice elected governor and served from 1948 to 1952 and 1956-1960. Just prior to his death in September of 1960, he had been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, but died before he could assume office. He died at Baptist Hospital in Alexandria. The cause of death listed on his death certificate was coronary thrombosis due to arteriosclerosis. He was buried in Winnfield. A copy of his death certificate shown here can be found in the Statewide Death Certificates (1960, vol. 14, #701) on file at the Louisiana State Archives.

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Amand E. Broussard's Barber License Photograph

(8/1/14) Acadian researchers may recognize the name Amand Broussard as one of the sons of the famous Acadian leader Joseph "Beausoleil" Broussard, who led a group of Acadian deportees to settle in the Attakapas. This month's document is a photograph of one of Amand's direct descendants, Amand Edwin Broussard. Born in New Iberia in 1881, he was the son of Rodolphe Broussard and Olympe Bayard, and was married in Jeanerette in 1905 to Julia Burns. He worked as a barber in Sulphur (1910), Colfax (1920), Homer (1930), and Baton Rouge (1940). In 1928, the State Legislature passed a law requiring barbers to obtain a certificate of registration. The Louisiana State Archives has a large collection of barber licenses which can be found in State Board of Barbers General Records (Accession P1984-596). Many of the licenses contain photographs. Broussard's file contains this photograph of him taken in 1958. His is license #238 found in Box 1 of the collection.

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Dudley LeBlanc's WWI Service Record

(7/1/14) One hundred years ago this month the first shots were fired starting what would become known as World War I. The United States declared war in 1917 and began drafting American men. Over four million Americans would eventually serve. This month's document is the service record for Dudley J. LeBlanc (1894-1971) indicating his service in the Army from July to December of 1918. Known as "Couzan Dud", LeBlanc was the inventor and marketer of an elixir called Hadacol. His WWI service record can be found at the State Archives in a collection entitled World War I Records (P1988-182). The collection has been digitized and is available on DVD. LeBlanc's record is filed among the records for Vermilion Parish.

LeBlanc doc
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Andrew Jackson Higgins' Death Certificate � 1952

(6/1/14) June 6th marks the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, the landing operation of the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II. The "Higgins Boat," manufactured by Andrew Jackson Higgins in New Orleans, played a critical role in the success of that operation. These boats were designed to quickly unload men and equipment from the bow of the boat that dropped to form a ramp. Higgins was a native of Nebraska, but moved to New Orleans where he formed a lumber company and later, a boat building firm. During WWII, Higgins manufactured a variety of equipment for the Navy. General (later President) Dwight Eisenhower is quoted as saying, "Andrew Higgins. . . is the man who won the war for us." Higgins died in 1952 at the age of 66 in New Orleans and is buried in Metairie Cemetery. A copy of his death certificate can be found in the Statewide Death Certificates (1952, vol. 0, #4683) on file at the Louisiana State Archives.

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Bonnie Parker's Death Certificate � 1934

(5/1/14) The two-year crime spree of the infamous bank robbers Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker ended 80 years ago this month. On the morning of May 23, 1934, the pair was gunned down by the authorities while traveling down Louisiana Highway 154 in Bienville Parish. Featured here is a copy of Parker's death certificate indicating that she was 23 years old, married but separated from her husband Roy Thornton, and the daughter of Charlie Parker and Emma Krouse of Texas. She was originally buried in Fish Trap Cemetery (today known as La Reunion Cemetery) in Dallas, Texas, but was later reinterred in Crown Hill Memorial Park. A copy of this document can be found in the Statewide Death Certificates (1934, vol. 16, #6206) on file at the Louisiana State Archives.

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1732 Natchitoches Land Record

(4/1/14) The City of Natchitoches celebrates its Tricentennial this year with a calendar chocked full of activities. In recognition of the event, Le Comité is publishing a group of early Natchitoches baptismal records in the March and June issues of Le Raconteur. Additionally, this month's document is the earliest item found in a microfilm collection at the Louisiana State Archives. It is a land exchange between Natchitoches Commandant Louis Juchereau de St. Denis and Antoine Germain dit Brullemeson dated 1 April 1732. The collection is entitled St. Denis Papers, 1732-1885 (Accession P1976-62). A complete inventory was published in the June 2007 issue of Le Raconteur.

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Certificate to Practice Medicine for Julia Stoddard Wood

(3/1/14) March is Women's History Month and to commemorate the event, this month's image is a certificate to practice medicine in the State of Louisiana granted the 3rd of November 1902 to Julia Stoddard Wood. Born in Oakfield, Wisconsin in 1861, Dr. Wood came to Louisiana around 1902 with her husband, Dr. Willis S. Wood, and they set up practice in Jennings. An advertisement in The Jennings Daily Record of 6 December 1902 states that Dr. Julia was a specialist in diseases of women and children. She was the daughter of John I. Stoddard and Mary Tunnison and died at the age of 67 in Jennings. Wood is one of only two women (Gertrude Wilcox was featured in March 2013) whose certificates can be found in this collection , State Board of Medical Examiners: 1902-1908 (Accession P1978-141), on file at the Louisiana State Archives. An index to this collection was published in Le Raconteur (December 2007).

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Henry White Family Photograph, Kentwood, Louisiana

(2/1/14) This photograph of a well-dressed African American family is labeled "Henry White, Kentwood, La." Although undated, it probably dates to the turn of the century. Henry White and his wife, Elizabeth, can be found on the 1880 St. Helena and 1900, 1910, and 1920 Tangipahoa Parish censuses. Based on his age in 1880, Henry White was born around 1853. He died in June of 1921 in Kentwood. The photograph can be found in the James P. Britton Collection: 1920-1940 (Accession N1991-16) at the Louisiana State Archives. The digital image was graciously provided by the Louisiana Secretary of State: Archives Division.

Henry White document
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Lead Belly's Penitentiary Record

(1/1/14) Huddie William Ledbetter, best known as Lead Belly, was an American folk and blues song writer and musician. He was born January 23, 1889, on the Jeter Plantation in Mooringsport (Caddo Parish), and his family moved to Texas when he was a child. When just a teenager, he began performing in the Shreveport area. In 1930, he was convicted of assault with intent to murder and sentenced to six to ten years at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. This month's document is his convict record at Angola. It shows a prior stint at the Texas State Penitentiary under the assumed name of Walter Boyd. Louisiana Governor O.K. Allen commuted Ledbetter's sentence. After his release in 1934, he performed for audiences in the Northeast and on radio. He died in 1949 of ALS. In 2008, he was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. The record can be found on file at the Louisiana State Archives in Convict Records, vol. 32, State Penitentiary Records: 1866-1960 (Accession P1980-353). The collection is also accessible on FamilySearch.

Ledbetter document
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