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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Historical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Accession Numbers

OCLC Number

Description of Series

Inventory

University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

Natchez Trace Collection Provincial and Territorial Records, 1759-1813



Title: Natchez Trace collection provincial and territorial records
Dates: 1759-1813
Abstract: The Provincial and Territorial Records of the Natchez Trace Collection are mainly civil records of the various jurisdictions of colonial Louisiana, Mississippi, and adjacent areas from the middle of the 18th century through 1812, the year that Louisiana officially entered the Union as the 18th state.
Identification: camh-arc-004255
Extent: 4.44 linear feet
Language: Materials are written in English, French, and Spanish.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

Historical Note

From the middle of the 18th century through 1812, Louisiana and part of Mississippi were governed as a colonial province or territory of France, Spain, and finally the westward-expanding United States. As the United States took control of these jurisdictions, both France and Spain removed their administrative records but left most of the civil records pertaining to property and personal matters of the region's inhabitants. These lawsuits, wills, estate inventories, notarized bills, IOUs, accounts, contracts, slave sales and manumissions, and other civil records reflect the shifting jurisdictions and cultures of colonial Louisiana. Many of the documents are written in two languages.

In order to understand the many developments and shifts in the administrative jurisdictions of colonial Louisiana that created these records, users should consult the detailed guide prepared by Henry P. Beers, French and Spanish Records of Louisiana (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989). The guide discusses not only the administrative entities and records of Louisiana but also those of Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, and Arkansas.

The role of the notary deserves special mention here. In both the French and Spanish regimes, property transfers, contracts, marriages, wills, and other such acts had to be executed, witnessed, and duly registered by a notary in order to qualify as authentic acts. The fact that local commandants, or in some cases local civil notaries, exercised both juridical and notarial functions meant that both types of records often were kept together. This explains, for example, why the commandant at Ouachita, Juan Filhiol, signed off on trials and lawsuits as well as simple bills, accounts, and other transactions. For further details on the significance of notaries and notarial records in colonial Louisiana, see the discussion in Beers, French and Spanish Records of Louisiana, pp. 5, 8, 30-33.

The case of Natchez, which is the principal focus of these records, illustrates this administrative complexity. Under the French and Spanish regimes, Natchez was the administrative center of a district encompassing both sides of the Mississippi River. In 1798, the United States took control of Natchez, which then became the seat of Adams County in the Mississippi Territory. Meanwhile, the Spanish had moved across the river to Vidalia, Louisiana, in Concordia Parish.

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Scope and Contents

The Provincial and Territorial Records of the Natchez Trace Collection are mainly civil records of the various jurisdictions of colonial Louisiana, Mississippi, and adjacent areas from the middle of the 18th century through 1812, the year that Louisiana officially entered the Union as the 18th state.

This collection contains unprocessed materials.

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Arrangement

Although they are mainly civil court and notarial proceedings, these records were acquired over many years by a private collector. They came to The Center for American History in an unorganized state as a subset of "colonial records" in the Natchez Trace Collection. The records now are organized alphabetically by jurisdiction, then by date. All Louisiana jurisdictions come first, followed by Mississippi--whose western portion originally was part of eighteenth-century Louisiana--then by other locations in America and abroad. The cutoff date of 1812 (1813 in one instance) reflects the end of the colonial, or territorial, era in Louisiana history and the beginning of Louisiana's modern era of statehood.
For consistency in the records, all documents with the dateline "Natchez"--whether created before or after 1798--are filed under Natchez. Documents labeled "Adams County" or "Concordia Parish" are filed under those jurisdictions. In each case, the location given in the document is the determining factor in where it is filed.

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Restrictions

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no use restrictions on this collection. Publisher is responsible for complying with copyright law.

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Index Terms

Subjects
Colonies
Court records
Estates (Law)
Slave bills of sale
Places
Adams County -- Mississippi
Iberville Parish -- Louisiana
Louisiana
Mississippi
Natchez
Document Types
Wills

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Natchez Trace Collection Provincial and Territorial Records, 1759-1813, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin

Processing Information

Processed by Briscoe staff. Revised by Laura Grove, 2020.

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Accession Numbers

85-311; 2000-212

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OCLC Number

76174996

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Inventory

Louisiana Jurisdictions
box
2E984 [SRH1230006714] Acadia, 1812
Attakapas, 1777
Avoyelles, 1783, 1791-1800, 1805-1806, undated
Avoyelles, fragments, 1794-1798, undated
Baton Rouge/East Baton Rouge, 1798, 1805-1812
box
2E985 [SRH1230006715] Concordia, 1803-1812
box
3So35 [SRH1230022179] Concordia, 1807
box
2E985 [SRH1230006715] Feliciana/West Feliciana and fragments (1810), 1793-1794, 1800-1812
German Coast ("Allemant"), 1768
Iberville, 1772-1777, 1787-1800, 1804-1810, undated
box
3So35 [SRH1230022179] Iberville, 1805
box
2E985 [SRH1230006715] The Missouri, 1784-1787
Natchez, 1772, 1779-1793
box
2E986 [SRH1230006716] Natchez, August 1794-1795
box
2E987 [SRH1230006717] Natchez, September, 1796-1806, 1808-1812
box
3So35 [SRH1230022179] Natchez, 1793, 1795-1796, 1804
box
2E988 [SRH1230006718] Natchez, undated
Natchez, fragments, 1783, 1791-1797, undated
Natchez, autograph fragments, undated
Natchitoches, 1764, 1791, 1796, 1798, undated
New Orleans, 1767, 1772-1777, 1783-99
New Orleans manuscript: Recueil des recettes et secrets, 1796
box
3So35 [SRH1230022179] New Orleans, 1799
box
2E988 [SRH1230006718] New Orleans, 1800-1812, undated
New Orleans, fragments, 1776, 1790, 1796, 1808, undated
Opelousas, 1777, 1787, 1791-1792, 1794, 1797, undated
Ouachita, 1784-1792
box
2E989 [SRH1230006719] Ouachita, 1793-1797
box
2E990 [SRH1230006720] Ouachita, 1798-1811, undated
box
3So35 [SRH1230022179] Ouachita, 1786, 1806, undated
box
2E990 [SRH1230006720] Ouachita, fragments, 1788-1800, undated
box
2E991 [SRH1230006721] Pointe Coupée, 1759-1777, 1786-1792, 1809-1812
Rapides, 1793-1796, 1810
St. Helena, 1804, 1812
box
3So35 [SRH1230022179] West Florida, 1776-1779
box
2E991 [SRH1230006721] West Florida, 1807-1811
box
2.325/AA14c [SRH1230010031] McBride's Machive by W. Thornton (oversize), undated
Mississippi territory
box
2E991 [SRH1230006721] Adams Co., 1799-1811
box
3So35 [SRH1230022179] Adams Co., 1801-1803
box
2E991 [SRH1230006721] Claiborne Co., 1805-1813
box
2E992 [SRH1230006722] Jefferson Co., 1802-1808
Warren Co., 1811
Washington Co., 1804-1805, 1811-1812
Wilkinson Co., 1804, 1808
Location not given, 1808
Other locations
box
2E992 [SRH1230006722] Georgia, 1785
Kentucky, 1800-1801, 1806
Massachusetts, 1810
box
3So35 [SRH1230022179] North Carolina, 1790
box
2E992 [SRH1230006722] Northwest Territory, 1785, 1789
Pennsylvania, 1782-1783, 1797, 1801, 1804
South Carolina, 1774, 1789
box
3So35 [SRH1230022179] South Carolina, 1801
box
2E992 [SRH1230006722] Tennessee, 1795-1796
Western Territory of the U. S. (Ohio), 1794
England, 1798
France, 1762-1789
box
3So35 [SRH1230022179] France, 1809
Spain, 1786
box
2E992 [SRH1230006722] Spain, 1789, 1797, 1805
Location not given, 1768, 1773, 1776, 1781-1812, undated
Autographs clipped from documents, 1783-1798, undated
Blank pages, circa 1970s

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