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Abner Phelps diaries

Identifier: LaRC-1064

Scope and Contents

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.


  • 1837-1849


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. No known restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Physical rights are retained by the Louisiana Research Collection. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.

Biographical / Historical

Abner Phelps resided in New Orleans, La., from 1837-1844. He lost his first wife and two children in a yellow fever epidemic. He served as a colonel in the Mexican-American War. In the 1850s, Phelps settled in San Francisco, Calif., where he died on Dec. 28, 1873. The Abner Phelps House at 1111 Oak St., San Francisco, still stands in the twenty-first century, as a privately-owned historic landmark.


0.25 Linear Feet (4 volumes)

Language of Materials



The collection consists of 4 diaries. Volumes 1 and 2 are large, blank ledger sized volumes. Volumes 3 and 4 are small, pre-printed (dated) diaries. The collection is 0.25 linear foot.

Physical Access Requirements

Please note that volumes 1 and 2 are missing pages. Some pages from volume 2 have been recovered in a folder. Please handle with care.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Gordon G. Phelps. Date acquired: 08/05/1997.

Eira Tansey
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Tulane University Special Collections Repository

Jones Hall Room 202
6801 Freret Street
New Orleans 70118 US