This collection contains four diaries from Abner Phelps. Phelps was a clerk of the city court for Lafayette, a suburb of New Orleans that was annexed in 1852. Phelps' diaries contain brief accounts of his daily life, and typical entries include his activities, moods, and the weather. The diaries cover the years from 1837-1849.
Phelps frequently mentioned the diseases that famously plagued New Orleans, discussing yellow fever deaths in 1843 and 1846, and cholera in 1848. In May 1846, Phelps discussed recruiting volunteers to fight in the Mexican-American army under command of General Zachary Taylor. In 1849, Phelps left the city and set out, eventually ending up in North Fork digging for gold. Phelps eventually settled in San Francisco, where he died in 1873.