Short URL for this page:

[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]

[Link to a series of help pages]
[Link to the next level up]
[Link to my homepage]
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

A Selection of Articles
the Louisiana Historical Quarterly

From time to time, as part of my Louisiana history site, I'll be putting online a few articles from the Quarterly. Students seeking access to the entire corpus of the journal, now nearing a century of publication, are encouraged to join the Louisiana Historical Society, on whose website members may consult all the articles, including the most recent.

Vol. I No. 1

Official Mexican Report of 1828 on the Texas-Louisiana Boundary

The border between Mexico and the United States has been the source of ongoing warfare between the two countries for a long time; the question is still very much of topical interest.


Bernardo de Galvez' Diary of the Operations against Pensacola

Galvez, Governor of the Spanish colony of Louisiana from 1777 to 1785 (and the man after whom Galveston, TX is named), was also responsible for wresting Western Florida from the English in 1781, by his successful siege of the British fort and town of Pensacola; he was thus an indirect contributor to the success of the American Revolution. His "diary" — actually a sort of log — details the siege and includes the Articles of Capitulation, a very interesting witness to the realities and courtesies of war in the 18c.

Vol. I No. 2

General James Wilkinson

The subject of this paper has generally been viewed, by both his contemporaries and scholars thru our own time, as a scoundrel and a traitor. Understandably, this riled his great-grandson and namesake — who puts up a spirited defense of his ancestor; up to us to make our own judgments; although even more damning evidence against him, probably conclusive, has been found since the author wrote.

The article is too long to fit decently on a single webpage, so I broke it into three pages. If, working from a reference, you know what page you want, these links will take you to the right section directly:

pp79‑103 103‑142 142‑166

Vol. I No. 3

Excerpts from Bossu's Travels in North America

In 1751, Jean-Bernard Bossu served in Louisiana as a junior officer in the French army; he returned ten years later, and eventually published a book on his North American experiences. Here we have some excerpts on the mores of the Natchez tribe and their massacre of the French in 1729.

Vol. I No. 4

General Collot's Reconnoitering Trip Down the Mississippi:

In the fall of 1796, General Georges Victor Collot, in the service of the new revolutionary French Republic, arrived in New Orleans at the end of a slow trip down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. He had made lots of notes and several detailed maps of the territory he had crossed: he was immediately taken into custody as a spy by the Spanish Governor of the Louisiana Territory. Vol. I No. 4 of the Quarterly includes:

an article by Heloise Hulse Cruzat, telling the basic story;

source documents on the General's arrest;

and an excerpt from Collot's book, on Etienne de Boré's sugar house — which was to prove of great technological and economic importance to Louisiana.


The Admission of Louisiana into the Union

Almost nothing is as simple and straightforward as it looks or as one would wish; and so it was in 1812 with the statehood of Louisiana. What might seem to involve only the suitability and viability of a new state was in fact a test of the flexibility of the Constitution and its applicability to people who were not of English origin and to an area not formed out of the territory of the original Thirteen Colonies; it also dragged in the question of what rights the free black population might have, and the potential for triggering a war with Spain.

Vol. II No. 1

Fray Antonio de Sedella — an Appreciation

The enigmatic Capuchin known as Père Antoine, so prominent in New Orleans from his arrival in 1780 to his death in 1819, was held in affection and veneration by many Louisianians, especially toward the end of his life; yet several historians view him as a villainous figure. This article by C. W. Bishpam seeks to rehabilitate him; I can't say I'm convinced, but here it is.


Jackson Square

A brief article details the mid‑19c improvements to the Place d'Armes: the Pontalba buildings, the dedication of Jackson's statue.

Vol. II No. 2

Historical Memoir of the War in West Florida and Louisiana

The bombardment of Fort St. Philip in January, 1815, from the pen of involved eyewitnesses. Though the engagement itself was relatively minor, the successful resistance of the fort played its part in the victorious American outcome of the Battle of New Orleans.

Vol. II No. 3

The Emblematic Bird of Louisiana

An eagle turned pelican: a history of the seal of the State, notions of the pelican in Christian symbolism, and nature notes on the two species of pelicans to be found in Louisiana — by a prominent Louisiana ornithologist.


Historical Data of Spanish Fort

A quick summary of the history of Fort St. John.


A Modern Quasimodo

We contribute the way we can: the well-adjusted life of a singer in the chorus of the French Opera House of New Orleans.


Reminiscences of Days that are Gone

The lives of a wagonload of African slaves imported in about 1805.

Vol. II No. 4

Lafitte, the Louisiana Pirate and Patriot

The colorful and even epic life of yet another of those ambiguous figures that Louisiana seems to have specialized in.

[decorative delimiter]

Technical Details

Printed Source

I am transcribing my selection from original exemplars of the Quarterly, and only of course those now in the public domain: details here on the copyright law involved. Unless otherwise stated, any illustrations are those accompanying the original article in the journal.


As almost always, I retype texts by hand rather than scanning them — not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with them, an exercise which I heartily recommend: Qui scribit, bis legit. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if success­ful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

These transcriptions have been minutely proofread. In the table of contents above, the articles are shown on blue backgrounds, indicating that I believe the text of them to be completely errorfree; red backgrounds would indicate they had not been proofread. As elsewhere onsite, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme.

The original articles in the Quarterly, however, do not seem to have been proofread with the same care, and in the course of my own reading I've therefore had the opportunity to make a number of corrections, marking the correction each time with a bullet like this:º as elsewhere on my site, glide your cursor over the bullet to read the variant. Similarly, bullets before measurements provide conversions to metric, e.g., 10 miles.

Most of these typos were of a minor and obvious kind; but I've marked them nonetheless, as a reminder that there must surely be quite a few other errors that I could not catch: numbers, proper nouns.

Where an error is manifest, but for some reason I couldn't fix it, or where it is uncertain whether it is poor proofreading of the translated text or it might just have been made in the original documents (which, with the exception of any sample pages reproduced in the Quarterly, I have not seen), or again where there might otherwise be some latitude, I marked it º. Inconsistencies in punctuation have been corrected to the text's usual style, in a slightly different color — barely noticeable on the page, but it shows up in the sourcecode as <SPAN CLASS="emend">. Finally, a number of odd spellings, curious turns of phrase, etc. have been marked <!‑‑ sic  in the sourcecode, just to confirm that they were checked.

Any other mistakes, please drop me a line, of course: especially if you have a copy of the printed journal in front of you.

Pagination and Local Links

For citation and indexing purposes, the pagination is shown in the right margin of the text at the page turns (like at the end of this line); p57  these are also local anchors. Sticklers for total accuracy will of course find the anchor at its exact place in the sourcecode.

In addition, I've inserted a number of other local anchors: whatever links might be required to accommodate the author's own cross-references, as well as a few others for my own purposes. If in turn you have a website and would like to target a link to some specific passage of the text, please let me know: I'll be glad to insert a local anchor there as well.

[image ALT: A version of the seal of the state of Louisiana.]

The icon I use to indicate this subsite is a color-reversed copy of the seal of the State of Louisiana as it appears in (the title page of Vol. I No. 3 of) the Quarterly.

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Site updated: 26 Apr 13