Mayor T. Semmes Walmsley

City Archives
New Orleans Public Library

Date range: 1929-1936
Size of collection: 1 box
Terms of Access: Available to registered researchers by appointment

Historical Note

T. Semmes Walmsley (1889-1942) served as Acting Mayor of New Orleans from 1929-30 and Mayor from 1930-36, resigning two years into his second term. Born in New Orleans in 1889, he graduated from Tulane University, practiced law in the city, and entered politics under the "Old Regular" Democratic regime. From 1919 to 1924, he was Assistant Attorney General for Louisiana and from 1924 to 1926 served as City Attorney under the administration of Martin Behrman. He was elected Commissioner of Public Finance in 1926 and retained that post until he became acting mayor in 1929, succeeding Arthur J. O'Keefe, who resigned due to illness. Walmsley was elected mayor in 1930 and again in 1934.

Walmsley's administration was marked by the Old Regulars' on-going power struggle with Huey P. Long, who as governor and (from 1932) as U.S. Senator, stripped the city of much of the power afforded it by the City Charter. In 1936, following Long's assassination in September 1935, Walmsley resigned from office, having been assured that legislation restoring home rule to New Orleans would be enacted.

Scope and Arrangement

The records have been reconstructed from "fragments" dispersed in the City Archives. They consist primarily of incoming correspondence to the mayor, arranged alphabetically by name of corporate or individual correspondent. Correspondence marked with clear filing notes has been filed according to the subject designated in the note and arranged chronologically within the subject category. Among the subjects covered most substantially are the strike by workers constructing the Public Belt (Huey P. Long) Bridge, the activities of the federal Civil Works Administration, the administration of New Orleans Public Library (especially several employee conflicts , including controversy surrounding Head Librarian D.D. Moore), the Lakes -to-the-Gulf Waterway, and the National Rivers and Harbors Congress. Also of interest are a number of letters, filed by name of correspondent, supporting Walmsley's efforts to curb Huey Long's power over the city. Notable correspondents include Eddie Rickenbacker, Franklin D. Roosevelt, A.B. Freeman, and the mayors of several American cities.

Detailed Description of the Records

"A" Miscellaneous
Albania Plantation
Algiers Naval Station
American Bank & Trust Co.
American Bridge Co.
American Library Association
Audubon Park Commission

"B" Miscellaneous
Beverage Department
Broussard, Senator Edwin S.

"C" Miscellaneous
Central Trades & Labor Council
Cholet, T. [Mayor, Orleans, France]
City Attorney
City Council
City Hall [building]
City Hospital for Mental Diseases
City Planning and Zoning Commission
Congleton, Jerome T. [Mayor, Neward, New Jersey]
Consular Corps
Coste, O. & Bellonte, M. [French fliers]

"D" Miscellaneous
Delgado Succession
Diboll & Owen, Ltd.
Donnelly, Frederick W. [Mayor, Trenton, New Jersey]
Dupuy, Homer

"E" Miscellaneous
Employment Office, Huey P. Long Bridge

"F" Miscellaneous
Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works
Fifth Ward Civic League
Freeman, A.B.

"G" Miscellaneous

"H" Miscellaneous
Hoan, Daniel W. [Mayor, Milwaukee, Wisconsin]
Home Bank Loan Committee

Interorganization Committee on Library Service
Intracoastal Canal Association
Isaac Delgado Central Trades School

"J" Miscellaneous
Janssen, Marian

Kolb's [Restaurant]

"L" Miscellaneous
Lakes-to-the-Gulf Waterway
Lamkin, V.V. [Mayor, Alexandria, Virginia]
Library of Congress
Louisiana Public Service Commission
Louisiana Treasury Department

"M" Miscellaneous
McClintic-Marshall Corporation
MacDonald Engineering Company
Modjeski, Masters & Chase
Municipal Auditorium
Municipal Boys Home
Muscicians' Mutual Protective Union Local 174

"N" Miscellaneous
National Labor Board
National Rivers & Harbors Congress
New Orleans Association of Commerce
New Orleans Board of Trade
New Orleans Mid-winter Sports Association
New Orleans Public Library
New Orleans Real Estate Board

"O" Miscellaneous
Oge, John H. [Mayor, Grand Couteau, Louisiana]
Overton, Watkins [Mayor, Memphis, Tennessee]

"P" Miscellaneous
Palmisano Succession
Patrick, Martha
Police Board of the City of New Orleans
Police Jury Association of Louisiana
Pontalba Buildings
Porter, John C. [Mayor, Los Angeles, California]
Public Belt Railroad Commission
Public Finance, Department of
Public Utilities, Department of

Quebec, Ministere de la Voirie

"R" Miscellaneous
Reconstruction Finance Corporation
Rickenbacker, Eddie
Roosevelt, President Franklin D.

"S" Miscellaneous
Sandlin, Congressman John M.
Siems-Helmers, Inc.
Southern Railway System

"T" Miscellaneous
Tax Revision Committee
Touro Shakspeare Home
Towl, Roy N. [Mayor, Omaha, Nebraska]
Trust Funds
Twelfth Ward Federated Civic League

"U" Miscellaneous
United States Civil Works Administration
United States Department of Labor
United States Navy

"W" Miscellaneous
Wright, Harold E. [Aide to the Mayor]

"X,Y,Z" Miscellaneous
Young Men's Business Club of New Orleans
Young Women's Christian Association

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coded: January 8, 1999
coded by: Irene Wainwright

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