City Archives
New Orleans Public Library

Records Relating to the Port of New Orleans
At right is the Port of New Orleans, from Crescent City Business Directory for 1858-1859.

  • Collector of Levee Dues.
  • Wharfinger of the First Municipality.
    • Register of vessels arriving in the First Municipality, 1839-1843.
  • Wharfinger of the Second Municipality.
    • Reports of flatboats arriving at the port of the Second Municipality, 1845-1852.
    • Register of sea vessels in the Second Municipality, 1845-1849.
    • Report of steamboats arrived in the port of the Second Municipality, 1847-1849.
  • Wharfinger of the Third Municipality.
  • Wharfinger for the Second and Third Districts.

QN420
1806-1823

New Orleans (La.) Collector of Levee Dues.
Registers of flatboats, barges, rafts, and steamboats in the port of New Orleans, 1806-1823.

2 v.

The City Council, by ordinance of March 21, 1806, required the Collector of Levee Dues to keep two books, one to record ships loading and unloading in the port, and the other to record flatboats, barges, rafts, and other craft arriving therein. In addition the Collector was to include an account of taxes collected on rum and tafia imported into the city. In 1818 anew ordinance provided for the appointment of two collectors, one for ships and the other for flatboats and other vessels.

Manuscript records, mostly in French, giving the date of arrival,name, type, and amount of levee dues for each flatboat, barge, raft, and steamboat in the port. In some cases the name of the owner or master of the vessel is also given and in some instances the cargo carried by the vessel is specified. The accounting for rum and tafia imports, though present, is irregular. At the end of each month there is a recapitulation and a certification by the Mayor. Volumes recording ship, as opposed to flatboat,etc. arrivals, kept both before and after the 1818 ordinance revision, are missing.

Previously described and microfilmed as part of the "Wharfinger Records." Recataloged, 2/22/1989.

Presently available as items 2 & 3 of 35mm microfilm roll #75-109; filed under call number QN205 1845-1851 2nd Mun.

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QN420
1839-1843
1st Mun

New Orleans (La.) Wharfinger of the First Municipality.
Register of vessels arriving in the First Municipality, 1839-1843.

1 v.

[mf roll #90-158, item 1]

Although there is some evidence in the ordinances and resolutions of the First Municipality Council that there were two Wharfingers, one for ships and one for steamboats and other vessels, the keeper of this volume signed himself as Wharfinger of the First Municipality and that designation has thus been used to describe the record. Clearly, though, additional research into the administration of the port of the First Municipality is needed.

Manuscript volume, in French, giving the name, type, date of arrival, and tonnage of each ship, steamboat, pirogue, flatboat, and other craft in the port of the First Municipality. The records are certified over the Wharfinger's signature each month and each page is approved by signature of the Comptroller as well. Beginning in May, 1840 only sea-going ships are listed following the adoption of an April 20 ordinance putting collection of levee dues for steamboats into the hands of the separate Wharfinger of Steamboats.

Previously described as part of the "Wharfinger Records." Recataloged, 2/27/1989.

Added entries:

Shipping -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Steamboats -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Harbors -- Louisiana -- New Orleans -- Port charges.
Flatboats -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Shipping -- Mississippi River.
Coastwise shipping -- Gulf Coast (U.S.)
Merchant ships -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Flatboats -- Mississippi River.
New Orleans (La.) Ship Wharfinger of the First Municipality.

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QN205
1845-1851
2nd Mun

New Orleans (La.) Wharfinger of the Second Municipality.
Reports of flatboats arriving at the port of the Second Municipality, 1845-1852.

2 v.

On May 12, 1836 the Second Municipality Council passed an ordinance providing for the appointment of a Wharfinger "for the landing of the Second Municipality." He was to direct the landing of all ships in the port and perform other duties specified by that and later ordinances. The law also specified that he keep an account of the port's business in a set of books, one for ships and other sea-going vessels, one for steamboats, one for flatboats,and one for barges and other craft. An abstract from these records was to be furnished to the Comptroller each month.

In 1838 the Council authorized the position of assistant or deputy Wharfinger. On April 20, 1847 it provided for the appointment of two Wharfingers, one to perform duties relative to steamboats and the other for sea-going vessels and other craft. The former officer was called the Steamboat Wharfinger and the latter the Ship Wharfinger. In February, 1850 a new ordinance adjusted responsibilities of the two officials so that the Steamboat Wharfinger was responsible for all vessels docked below St. Joseph St. and the Ship Wharfinger for all those lying above that street.

Manuscript record of flatboats arriving in the port of the Second Municipality. The 1846-1852 volume apparently was used until May, 1847 when the Wharfinger became the Steamboat Wharfinger. It was again used after February, 1850 when he assumed responsibility for all vessels, including flatboats, in his half of the port. The other volume (1845-1851) apparently was kept by the Deputy Wharfinger (his signature appears at the end of the book)and may have been continued by the Ship Wharfinger for flatboats in his half of the port after February, 1850. The former volume includes for each boat the date of arrival, boat's name, cargo carried, it's origin, and the levee dues assessed it, while the latter includes all of the same information except for the origin, which is omitted.

Previously described as and microfilmed as part of the "Wharfinger Records." Recataloged, 2/27/89.

Available on parts of two rolls of 35mm microfilm, see the following inventory for roll/call numbers.

Inventory

QN205
1845-1851
2nd Mun

New Orleans (La.) Wharfinger of the Second Municipality.
Reports of flatboats arriving at the port of the Second Municipality, 1845-1852.

v. 1 January 1, 1845 - June 8, 1851
[mf roll #75-109, item 1]
v. 2 1846 - 1852
[mf roll #73-478 (part) -- only one copy of this film is available]

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QN420
1845-1849
2nd Mun

New Orleans (La.) Wharfinger of the Second Municipality.
Register of sea vessels in the Second Municipality, 1845-1849.

1 v.

[mf roll #90-158, item 2]

On May 12, 1836 the Second Municipality Council passed an ordinance providing for the appointment of a Wharfinger "for the landing of the Second Municipality." He was to direct the landing of all ships in the port and perform other duties specified by that and later ordinances. The law also specified that he keep an account of the port's business in a set of books, one for ships and other sea-going vessels, one for steamboats, one for flatboats,and one for barges and other craft. An abstract from these records was to be furnished to the Comptroller each month.

In 1838 the Council authorized the position of assistant or deputy Wharfinger. On April 20, 1847 it provided for the appointment of two Wharfingers, one to perform duties relative to steamboats and the other for sea-going vessels and other craft. The former officer was called the Steamboat Wharfinger and the latter the Ship Wharfinger. In February, 1850 a new ordinance adjusted responsibilities of the two officials so that the Steamboat Wharfinger was responsible for all vessels docked below St. Joseph St. and the Ship Wharfinger for all those lying above that street.

Manuscript volume giving for each ship the date of arrival, name,name of owner, name of consignee, tonnage, and levee dues assessed.

Previously described as and microfilmed as part of the "Wharfinger Records." Recataloged, 2/28/89.

Added entries:

Shipping -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Harbors -- Louisiana -- New Orleans -- Port charges.
Merchant ships -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Coastwise shipping -- Gulf Coast (U.S.)
New Orleans (La.) Ship Wharfinger of the Second Municipality.

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QN420
1847-1849
2nd Mun

New Orleans (La.) Steamboat Wharfinger of the Second Municipality.
Report of steamboats arrived in the port of the Second Municipality, 1847-1849.

1 v.

[mf roll #90-158, item 3]

On April 20, 1847 the Second Municipality Council provided for the appointment of two Wharfingers, one to perform duties relative to steamboats and the other for sea-going vessels and other craft. The former officer was called the Steamboat Wharfinger and the latter the Ship Wharfinger.

Manuscript volume giving for each ship the date of arrival,number, name, name of master, place from whence it had come, tonnage, levee dues assessed, and occasional remarks.

Previously described as part of the "Wharfinger Records." Recataloged, 3/2/89.

Added entries:

Shipping -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Harbors -- Louisiana -- New Orleans -- Port charges.
Steamboats -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Coastwise shipping -- Gulf Coast (U.S.)
Steamboats -- Mississippi River.

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QN420
1836-1839
3rd Mun

New Orleans (La.) Wharfinger of the Third Municipality.
Register of arrivals in port of vessels from sea and elsewhere, 1836-1839.

1 v.

[mf roll #90-158, item 4]

An ordinance of the Third Municipality Council passed on May 11,1836 required the Wharfinger to keep a book in which was written the names and tonnages of all ships found in the limits of the Municipality.

Manuscript volume in English with some French, listing for each ship its date of entry, nationality, class, name, master, place from whence it came, consignee, tonnage, amount of levee dues, and date of departure. Some records also include remarks (e.g., "ready for sea," "one month in port," etc.). The amounts of levee dues and many of the remarks are entered in a different ink, suggesting that another officer, possibly the Collector or the Comptroller, was also using the record book. Most of the records included are for ships but there are also several steamboats and flatboats as well.

Previously described as part of the "Wharfinger Records." Recataloged, 3/2/89.

Added entries:

Shipping -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Harbors -- Louisiana -- New Orleans -- Port charges.
Merchant ships -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Coastwise shipping -- Gulf Coast (U.S.)
Steamboats -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Steamboats -- Mississippi River.
Flatboats -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Flatboats -- Mississippi River.

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QN420
1857-1871

New Orleans (La.) Wharfinger for the Second and Third Districts.
Journal of ships and other sea-going vessels, 1857-1871.

1 v.

[mf roll #90-158, item 5]

Ordinance #54, passed by the Common Council in May, 1852, provided for the appointment of two Wharfingers who, along with their duties relative to the supervision of the port, were to make weekly reports to the Comptroller of all and every vessel entering the port, with the tonnage, etc. for each. Ordinance #3151 (December, 1856) further required them to keep their own set of books to record the arrival and departure dates, names, masters or consignees,and tonnage for each vessel in separate books according to class of ship.

The 1870 charter placed the general supervision of the city's wharves in the hands of the new Administrator of Commerce. In 1896 the state Legislature created the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans and the city government lost direct control of port revenues and other port business.

Manuscript volume giving the date of arrival, name, master or consignee, tonnage, levee duty, and date of departure for each vessel in the Fifth Section of the port. Remarks are also included for some ships. There is a gap in the record from March 29, 1859 until the beginning of August, 1862,after which time the record covers all of that portion of the port lying in the Second and Third districts.

Previously described as part of the "Wharfinger Records." Recataloged, 3/7/1989.

Added entries:

Shipping -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Harbors -- Louisiana -- New Orleans -- Port charges.
Merchant ships -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Coastwise shipping -- Gulf Coast (U.S.)

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