Civil Courts Collection
New Orleans Public Library
Date range: 1807-1813
Size of collection: 19 boxes
Terms of Access: Available to registered researchers by appointment
The records, in French and English, are arranged in numerical order by docket number. They document a variety of business, property, and personal disputes between merchants, landowners, other New Orleanians from all walks of life, and individuals from aro und the world who had dealings in the city or with its citizens. Among the noteworthy individuals represented in the records are Edward Livingston, Bernard Marigny, Daniel Clark, Arsene Lacarriere Latour, Thomas Durnford, Pierre Lafitte, Jean Gravier, Bar thelemy Lafon, and Nicholas Girod. There are also suits involving various corporate bodies including the City of New Orleans, the New Orleans Navigation Company, the Bank of the United States (as well as various locally chartered banks), William Kenner & Co., Gurlie & Guillot, and Chew & Relf. Some of the individual records are very brief, with as little as a single page making up the entire record, while others comprise a fuller complement of petitions, orders, decrees, exhibits, notices, and other docum ents.
Only a small portion of the records were indexed in contemporary volumes. We were forced, therefore, to create an inventory of extant records from the suits themselves (see our processing notes for details on this complex task). We used Microsoft Access to create a database inventory of the individual records in the series. From the Access database, which we merged with the original database created from the two index volumes, we created fifteen HTML files, each containin g entries for 250 of the suit records. The database, and the HTML files, are in order by docket number. So as to make the online HTML files usable by researchers, we have supplied a search engine (provided by FreeFind). The search engine makes it possible for researchers to determine which, if any, of the fifteen HTML files include reference to suits involving named individuals. By presenting the database (via the HTML files) in docket number order, we've made it possible for researchers to look for possi ble organic relationships between individual suits (e.g., a series of suits filed against single defendant by a number of plaintiffs--something that would not be apparent had we presented the inventory in alphabetical order by name of plaintiff).
There are many problems with the database and with the HTML files listed below. Issues of legibility and inconsistent spelling on the original documents have resulted in misspelled names in trancriptions and in database entries. Time permitting, we will e ventually address these misspellings and correct them if possible. Rather than delay access to the records any longer, however, we have elected to post the imperfect inventory on the Internet so that researchers can begin to use these long-neglected recor ds on early New Orleans.
|Click on a number range for that section of the suit-by-suit inventory or use the search box at the right to find
the section(s) that contain a specific name.|
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coded: 4/17/2000 coded by: we