By Maddie Tinsley
In 1847, three different enslaved women found themselves living in the heart of downtown Baton Rouge. Twenty-five-year-old Rhoda had been born in Maryland and was the mother of a two-year-old son named William, forty-one-year-old Celeste had been born in Louisiana and had been previously enslaved on a plantation in St. Mary Parish, and twelve-year-old Phoebe had been born in Mississippi but came to Baton Rouge from Plaquemine. Although these enslaved women were very different, in 1847, all three had one thing in common: they were all serving life sentences in the Louisiana State Penitentiary.
Between 1833 and 1861, at least 35 enslaved women were imprisoned within the Louisiana State Penitentiary located in Baton Rouge.The majority of these women had received life sentences for a variety of crimes. However, to many of these women, confinement in the Penitentiary was a new, but not unfamiliar, form of bondage.
Within the Penitentiary, enslaved women were forced to work from “sunup to sun down” for the financial gain of others. They resided in deplorable conditions and several would die of disease. Some of these women would even conceive and give birth to children while in the Penitentiary. For enslaved women, bondage in the Penitentiary was not unlike bondage on the plantation, only now, their enslaver was the State of Louisiana.
The situation of enslaved women imprisoned in the Louisiana State Penitentiary was also unique in the Antebellum South, as sentencing enslaved individuals to state penitentiaries was not a common practice. Louisiana was the only state in the Deep South to consistently sentence enslaved men and women to their State Penitentiary throughout the mid-1800s. In many ways, the experiences of these enslaved women are a historical anomaly. They formed a population that was exclusive to Louisiana and, more specifically, exclusive to Baton Rouge. The intense hardship these women faced and the uniqueness of their experience in Louisiana make them a critical part of the history of slavery in Baton Rouge.
Despite the historical importance of these women, little is known about their lives before, inside, or after the Penitentiary. Due to the limitations imposed on them by the institution of slavery, most enslaved people could not leave behind any historical records of their individual perspectives or experiences. In the case of enslaved women in the Louisiana Penitentiary, there is also very little information regarding their collective existence. This scant historical record is likely due to the controversial nature of these women’s circumstances. From the Louisiana Legislature to the men who ran the Penitentiary to the Union Army who occupied Baton Rouge during the Civil War, no one knew what to make of these women. Using information pieced together from Penitentiary Reports, newspaper articles, sale records, and military correspondence, this article aims to reconstruct the experiences of these enslaved women and return to them a historical identity.
Why Were Enslaved Women Sentenced to the Penitentiary?
The Louisiana State Penitentiary was unique throughout the Deep South as the only state penitentiary to consistently house both male and female enslaved prisoners within its walls. Based on the Penitentiary’s records, the first enslaved women to be sentenced to the Penitentiary were Eliza and Silvia, who arrived at the Penitentiary in 1833 after being sentenced to life imprisonment for the crime of poisoning.
Because both of these women were convicted on the same day in St. James Parish, they were likely convicted for the same act of resistance. These two women came to the Penitentiary together, and they would reside in the Penitentiary together until Silvia died in the late 1840s. From 1833 onward, a considerable portion of enslaved women and girls would be confined in the Penitentiary, with their population peaking at 18 in 1855.
The majority of enslaved prisoners had been sentenced to life imprisonment as an alternative form of punishment for capital offenses. According to Louisiana’s Black Code, a slave could be convicted of a capital crime for anything from murder to arson to simply striking a white person. The majority of enslaved women sentenced to the Penitentiary had been convicted for either arson or poisoning, two of the most common forms of resistance among enslaved women.
Although sentencing enslaved women was a fairly consistent practice in Antebellum Louisiana, it was also a controversial one. Even the Penitentiary’s officials occasionally questioned the logic of the practice. In their 1839 report to the Louisiana House of Representatives, the Penitentiary Committee expressed concern about the growing number of enslaved prisoners and suggested that these individuals either be returned to their masters or sent to labor on chain gangs in New Orleans. The Committee argued that “the doom of bodily labor [in the Penitentiary], though of the most humiliating nature, can scarcely be deemed a matter of great terror to a slave.” These men were not alone in their opinion. In 1851, a New Orleans judge presiding over the case of an enslaved girl accused of killing her father advised the jury when deciding the girl’s punishment to consider that “hard labor in the penitentiary is no punishment at all to a slave.” These opinions of these men show how members of Louisiana’s slaveholding society were aware of the obvious fallacy of sentencing already enslaved women to a life of imprisonment. This fallacy reinforces the question of why these enslaved women were sentenced to the Penitentiary.
There are several different factors that were likely at play in the sentencing of enslaved women to the Penitentiary. Changing national and international attitudes towards capital punishment may have lead judges and juries to occasionally extend leniency towards these women. The state and the men who leased the Penitentiary profited from convict labor, which could have also contributed to Penitentiary sentences in order to increase the labor force. There is also the possibility that specific circumstances in these women’s cases led to them being sentenced to the Penitentiary over other forms of punishment. While the exact reason these women were sentenced to the Penitentiary is unknown, what is known is that imprisonment within the Penitentiary permanently impacted these women’s lives.
Kitty vs. The State of Louisiana
For the majority of the enslaved women sentenced to the Louisiana Penitentiary, little is known about their lives before the Penitentiary or the details of their trials. Individual information about these women included in the Penitentiary Reports was limited to each woman’s name, place of birth, the parish that sentenced them, and occasionally their age. While this information yields some interesting demographics about these women collectively, individually they leave much to be desired. For some of these women, newspaper coverage of their arrests and court records of their trials survive. Although the information in these sources is limited and primarily from the perspectives of slaveholders, the experiences and perspectives of the enslaved women themselves can still shine through.
One example of these perspectives comes from Kitty, an enslaved woman from New Orleans who was sentenced to life imprisonment for poisoning her slaveholder, Levi Smelser. The poisoning reportedly occurred in May of 1855, but Kitty was not arrested for the crime until July. She confessed to a neighbor that she was put up to the poisoning by Mrs. Smelser and Adam Scott, a man Mrs. Smelser was having an affair with. Eventually, Scott and Mrs. Smelser were also arrested, and all three individuals were arraigned together on August 7th.
As enslaved individuals were not allowed to testify against whites, Kitty’s testimony was not heard until after the verdicts for Scott and Mrs. Smelser had been determined to ensure that her testimony was not “illegally used to prejudice Scott and Smelser.” Even when her confession was heard, Kitty was not allowed to testify herself and her statement was given by the neighbor she had initially confessed to. According to Kitty’s reported confession, Scott had purchased the poison himself and then gave it to Kitty to poison Mr. Smelser. Scott and Mrs. Smelser had apparently promised to free Kitty by taking her to Kentucky, from where she could escape to a free state. After suspicion started to arise over the circumstance of Mr. Smelser’s death, Scott and Mrs. Smelser locked Kitty in a room in Mrs. Smelser’s home and planned to sell her to Texas. Kitty managed to escape and ran to the home of a neighbor, where she confessed her role in the crime.
Adam Scott was found guilty and was sentenced to life imprisonment in the State Penitentiary. As the jury could not decide on a verdict for Mrs. Smelser, she was released from the Parish Prison on bail and never tried again. In March of 1857, almost two years after the poisoning, Kitty was tried before the New Orleans slave tribunal, where she was found guilty of “willfully, feloniously, and of her own malice” poisoning Mr. Smelser and sentenced to life imprisonment in the State Penitentiary.
Mrs. Smelser’s lawyer actually attempted to appeal Kitty’s sentence in the Louisiana Supreme Court on the grounds that her trial occurred five days before a new law was passed that changed the procedures for slave tribunals. However, this appeal was denied and Kitty was received by the Penitentiary on Jan 26th, 1858.
Although the records of Kitty’s arrest and trial are primarily from the perspective of slaveholders, they still reveal glimpses into her perspective and insight into the motivations of the enslaved women sentenced to the Penitentiary. According to the witness account of her confession, Kitty’s primary motivation for taking part in the poisoning was her desire for freedom. As an enslaved woman in the Deep South, Scott’s promise of taking her to Kentucky where she could escape to a free state was likely her best prospect for freedom. However, once it became apparent that Scott and Mrs. Smelser intended to sell Kitty to Texas, Kitty confessed to the poisoning. In doing so, she brought about her own arrest, but she also implicated Scott and Mrs. Smelser. Her confession itself was a demonstration of agency and an act of resistance. By resisting Scott’s attempts to sell her, she was in a way attempting to exert some form of control over her own life. Although her confession alone could not be used against them, by confessing that Scott and Mrs. Smelser put her up to the poisoning, Kitty was ensuring that she would not be the only one to suffer for the crime. Kitty’s actions show that for many of the enslaved women in the Penitentiary, the crime and acts of resistance they committed were primarily attempts to exert some degree of agency and control over their lives in a society that tried to dominate them.
Labor and Living Conditions
Like many other penal institutions during the 19th century, the Louisiana Penitentiary required convicts to perform hard labor throughout the duration of their sentences. In the late 1830 and early 1840s, the limited profits from the Penitentiary went to the State Treasury. To the State Legislature and the Penitentiary Committee, requiring convicts to work ensured the Penitentiary was “profitable for the state” as well as “rehabilitative” for those incarcerated. However, in 1844 the profits from the Penitentiary, as well as the responsibility of financing the Penitentiary, were transferred over to the institution’s first leasers, Charles McHatton and William Pratt
While labor within the Penitentiary varied, starting in 1839, most prisoners were employed in the production of cotton and wool clothing and were required to labor from sunup to sundown. For white prisoners, forced hard labor within the Penitentiary was designed to be a drastic change in their status and conditions. For the enslaved male and female prisoners, the wrongful ownership of their labor had simply been transferred to a different master, the state. Records indicate that, for the most part, enslaved women performed labor that was primarily gender-coded. The Penitentiary Report from 18939 lists nine women employed as washers and menders for the Penitentiary. Based on the convict registry for that year, six of these women were enslaved. Records also indicate that women’s labor in the Penitentiary was not segregated by race. A newspaper reporting on the conditions of the Penitentiary describes how “there are four colored women who work along with [a white woman].” Though these enslaved women were not treated equally, white and enslaved women working side by side shows that in the Penitentiary, the racial division of labor was somewhat blurred.
In addition to affecting their labor, gender and race also affected the living conditions of enslaved women within the Penitentiary. For a brief period of time, enslaved women were the only black prisoners in the Penitentiary. At the end of 1843, there were no black male prisoners within the Penitentiary. From 1843 to the start of 1845, all black men sentenced to the Penitentiary, whether enslaved or free, were instead sent to labor for the state Public Works. The beginning of the Penitentiary’s first lease with McHatton and Pratt in 1845 ended this practice. Enslaved women formed 100 percent of the Penitentiary’s black population for over a year and likely contributed to severe effects on these women’s treatment and living conditions. Race and gender continued to affect the living conditions of enslaved women in the Penitentiary, although those effects changed over time. In 1856, a separate building was constructed to house female prisoners. A newspaper article commenting on the conditions of these facilities described them as substantial and stated that female prisoners were “never brought in contact with men.” This suggests that although enslaved women’s gender separated them in terms of labor, it wasn’t until the late 1850s that they began living completely separately from male prisoners.
Children Born in the Penitentiary
In addition to having to live in the harsh confinement and poor conditions of the Penitentiary themselves, many of these enslaved women also had to raise their children in that environment. Between 1835 and 1862, fifteen children resided in the Penitentiary with their mothers. Some of these children’s mothers likely entered the Penitentiary already pregnant, such as Jinny, who entered the Penitentiary in March of 1859 and gave birth to her son Joe Wilson that same year. Marceline, an enslaved woman sentenced to five years for assaulting a white, entered the Penitentiary in 1853 with her nine-year-old daughter Henrietta. However, the vast majority of the children born in the Penitentiary were conceived after their mothers were imprisoned. In each case, the fathers of these children are unknown. Given that female prisoners did not live completely separately from male prisoners until 1856, it is possible that these children were fathered by male prisoners, enslaved or free. However, it is also possible that these children were fathered by the Penitentiary’s officers or leasers as these men worked in close contact with the Penitentiary and would have had access to the female prisoners.
Regardless of the identity of these children’s fathers, it almost certain that many of these children were the result of sexual assault. Much like enslaved women working on a plantation or in the homes of their slaveholders, the enslaved women in the Penitentiary were in a position that left them incredibly vulnerable to rape and sexual abuse.
Not only did these enslaved women have to birth and raise children in the harsh conditions of the Penitentiary, but they also had to watch as their children were taken away from them and sold. On December 11, 1848, the State Legislature passed an act stating that all children born to enslaved women imprisoned within the State Penitentiary would be taken from their mothers and auctioned off at the age of ten. The proceeds from these sales would be used to fund Louisiana’s public schools meaning that the suffering and commodification of black children were directly used to benefit the education of white children (Acts Passed at the Extra Session of the State Legislature. 1848). The first of these auctions occurred December 1, 1849, when thirteen-year-old Celeste and ten-year-old Frederick were both purchased by Charles G. McHatton, one of the Penitentiary’s leasers
From 1849 to 1861, nine more children would be taken from the Penitentiary and auctioned off to the highest bidder.
Most of these children were purchased by men closely affiliated with the Penitentiary, opening up the possibility that some of these children may have been purchased by the men who fathered them.
A few of the children were purchased by prominent slaveholders from Baton Rouge, such as Priscilla, who in 1860 was purchased by John Hill. Almost forty years after he purchased Priscilla for $1,010, John Hill would donate $33,000 dollars to Louisiana State University as the endowment for Hill Memorial Library.
When looking at the records of these children’s sales, the distress and suffering that they caused for these children and their mothers are evident. Each instance is uniquely heartbreaking. Azaline, who was imprisoned in the Penitentiary from 1839 to 1862, gave birth to two children, Joseph and Emeline, during that time and had to endure both of them being taken away from her. Henrietta, who had come into the Penitentiary with her mother Marceline, was sold in 1854, four years before her mother was released and returned to their former slaveholder. Susan’s son Washington was taken from the Penitentiary and sold in May of 1861, a year before the Union army would seize control of the Penitentiary and eventually release the enslaved prisoners. Throughout the Antebellum South, familial separation was one of the most feared aspects of their enslavement. For the enslaved women in the Louisiana Penitentiary, the sale of their children was not only a fear but a sad inevitability.
Leaving the Penitentiary
The majority of enslaved women imprisoned within the Penitentiary received life sentences and remained in the Penitentiary until the Civil War. However, between 1833 and 1861, eleven enslaved women were released from the Penitentiary.
Four of the enslaved women who were released had received shorter sentences, ranging from eighteen months to five years, and were released when those sentences were completed.
One of these individuals was Eliza, a twelve-year-old girl who had been sentenced to two years imprisonment for attempting to poison her master and mistress. Four of the other women who were discharged from the Penitentiary had been members of the William’s Gang, a group of enslaved convicts from other states that were brought into Louisiana to be sold in 1845. Since importing enslaved convicts for sale was illegal in Louisiana, these enslaved women were confiscated by the state government and placed in the Penitentiary until they were released in 1857. The remaining three women to be released from the Penitentiary were, surprisingly, released by a Governor’s pardon. Phoebe, the twelve-year-old girl who had been sentenced to life for wounding her mistress, was pardoned in 1857 after serving ten years in the Penitentiary. Lettie, an enslaved woman sentenced to life for attempted poison, was also pardoned in 1857 after serving three years. Lastly, Rhoda, a seventeen-year-old who had been sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, was pardoned in 1860 after having spent 21 years in the Penitentiary. For each of these women, the exact reason they were pardoned is unknown. However, the practice of pardoning enslaved individuals was extremely criticized by the Baton Rouge public, which likely explains the rarity of such cases.
For these enslaved women, release from the Penitentiary did not have the same meaning that it had for white prisoners. For white prisoners, release from the Penitentiary meant a restoration of their freedom. However, for enslaved women, release from the Penitentiary meant a return to their former slaveholders.
Prior to her imprisonment, Rhoda had been the slave of a man named Robert Stark in New Orleans. She was returned to him after being pardoned, and an enslaved woman matching Rhoda’s age appears on Robert Stark’s slave schedule for the 1860 Census.
Whether they were discharged or pardoned, for these enslaved women, release from the Penitentiary did not mean release from bondage.
The Effect of the Civil War
Just as it did for the rest of the Antebellum South, the outbreak of the Civil War had an immense effect on the lives of enslaved women in the Louisiana Penitentiary. At the start of the war in 1861, the Penitentiary’s leasers returned control of the Penitentiary to the state government so that the convict labor could be used to aid Louisiana’s war effort. From 1861 to early 1862, the prisoners were put to work producing clothing and cloth for the Confederate Army. When Union forces occupied Baton Rouge in May of 1862 and later repelled the Confederacy’s attempt to retake the city in August of 1862, they gained control of the Penitentiary as well. As a result, the Union Army had to determine what to do with the Penitentiary’s inhabitants, particularly its enslaved ones. Many of the enslaved male convicts were enlisted into the Union Army. However, the fate of the seventeen enslaved women and their four children held in the Penitentiary in 1862 is more uncertain.
Correspondence from Union Army officers provides little insight into the potential fate of these enslaved women and children. On August 16th, 1862, Union Captain R.S. Davis sent a letter to Colonel Halbert Paine, a commanding officer for the Union in Baton Rouge, about the necessity of evacuating Baton Rouge. Paine had apparently inquired about what to do with the enslaved convicts in a previous letter because, in his response, Davis instructed Paine to use his “best judgment” in determining what to do with them. However, in a p.s., Davis instructed Paine that “whatever disposition you make of them, do not bring them down here [New Orleans].” By practically proposing the abandonment of the remaining enslaved prisoners in Baton Rouge, Davis’s comment demonstrates how the complicated nature of these women’s situation leads to such little consideration being given to their fate.
Even Major-General Benjamin Butler, who had been placed in charge of Union-occupied Louisiana, did not have a clear answer of what to do with the enslaved women and children in the Penitentiary. In August of 1862, Moses Bates, the Union’s Superintendent for the Louisiana Penitentiary, sent a letter to Butler asking what he should do with the enslaved children in the Penitentiary given the imminent evacuation of Baton Rouge. In response, Butler instructed Bates to treat these children the same way he would any other “destitute children.” Interestingly, although General Butler stated that he could not condone Louisiana’s practice of selling the children into slavery, he did express that “if these children were born of female convict slaves, possibly the master might have some claim.”
By September of 1862, the Union Army had evacuated Baton Rouge and abandoned the State Penitentiary. Despite Captain Davis’ insistence, it is possible that the enslaved women of the Penitentiary and their children were evacuated to New Orleans. However, it is also likely that many of these women stayed behind, as the records of another Union officer reporting on the Penitentiary’s inmates mentions that “a few were left at Baton Rouge.” Given that those same records contain a detailed report of the enslaved male convicts identified for enlistment and the white male convicts who were placed aboard a steamboat, it is reasonable to assume that the enslaved women likely fell into the category of those left behind. However, what actually happened to these women and their children is largely unknown.
The relative silence of these records on what happened to the enslaved female prisoners and their children in a way speaks volumes about these women’s position. While Davis’ and Butler’s statements reveal little about what happened to the enslaved women after the Penitentiary was evacuated by the Union Army in September of 1862, they do reveal a great deal about the attitude the Union Army had towards these women. Given that neither Paine’s nor Bates’ inquiries into what should be done with the enslaved women and their children received clear answers, it is apparent that the Union Army did not know what to do with them. While the Union Army enlisted enslaved male convicts into their forces, a similar solution did not exist for the female convicts. Also, given that these women came from various parishes across the state, it would have been extremely difficult to place them on land contracts with their former enslavers as the Union Army did with other enslaved individuals in Union-occupied Louisiana. The unique nature of these women’s situation, the fact that they were in a way enslaved by the state itself, caused them to slip through the attention of both the Union army and the historical record.
What Happened to these women after the Civil War?
In general, determining what happened to formerly enslaved individuals after the Civil War is a daunting task. The majority of formerly enslaved individuals, or freedmen, ended up on land contracts with their former enslavers or in freedmen’s colonies. However, the records of the United States Freedmen’s Bureau that kept track of these individuals are massive and often inconsistent. While the Freedmen’s Bureau records typically list an individual’s name, age, former enslaver, and their current locations, it is often still incredibly difficult to identify a specific person due to the sheer amount of individuals these records kept track of. As many formerly enslaved individuals often did not have recorded last names, positively identifying them in census records is also extremely uncertain.
In the case of the enslaved women and children held in the Louisiana Penitentiary, determining what happened to them after the Civil War is even more difficult. This is primarily due to the lack of personal information about these women contained in the Penitentiary’s records, as the annual reports often only included the name of each woman and the parish they were from. The absence of the names of these women’s former enslavers and occasionally the absence of their ages makes identifying these women in Freedman’s Bureau records incredibly challenging.
In addition, for the women who were still in the Penitentiary when the Union Army occupied Baton Rouge, the uncertainty of whether they were left behind in the city or taken to New Orleans also complicates the process of locating them. While research into the records of both the Freedman’s Bureau and the US Census reveals several instances of individuals who “could be” one of these enslaved women, there is hardly any certainty in those claims. More extensive research into the original court cases of these women, many of which are likely buried in various parish archives, could provide more details to aid in identifying these women after the Civil War, but that is still only a possibility
However, the uncertainty of what happened to these women does not discount the significance of their experiences. Instead, it only increases the importance of ensuring that they are remembered. As a group, the enslaved women in the Louisiana Penitentiary represent a unique and poignant aspect of the history of slavery in Baton Rouge and deserve to be remembered as such. In addition to acknowledging the importance of their collective experience, the individual identities of these women need to be known to the extent that they can be. These were women with families and children, both in and outside of the Penitentiary. They had motivations for the acts of resistance and rebellion that sent them to the Penitentiary, whether those motivations were a desire for freedom, anger at their enslaver, or the want to exert agency in their own lives. Although the individual histories and experiences of these women remain unknown, their names are not. The names of each enslaved woman and child held in the Louisiana Penitentiary are listed below in hopes their collective as well as individual experiences can be recognized and remembered.
Names of the Enslaved Women and Children:
- Butler, Benjamin. “Letter to Moses Bates, August 20, 1862,” The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, ser. 1, 70 vols. (Washington, D. C., 1880-1901), 15: 553.
- Davis, R.S. “Letter to Colonel Halbert Paine, August 16, 1862,” The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, ser. 1, 70 vols. (Washington, D. C., 1880-1901), 15: 552.
- Derbes, Brett Josef. ““SECRET HORRORS”: ENSLAVED WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN THE LOUISIANA STATE PENITENTIARY, 1833–1862.” The Journal of African American History 98, no. 2 (2013): 277-90. Accessed April 27, 2021. doi:10.5323/jafriamerhist.98.2.0277.
- Forret, Jeff. “Before Angola: Enslaved Prisoners in the Louisiana State Penitentiary.” Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association 54, no. 2 (2013): 133-71. Accessed April 27, 2021.
- Fisher-Giorlando, Marianne & Dotter, Daniel, “Murder in Black and White: A Crime and Media Story in Antebellum Louisiana,” Women & Criminal Justice, 14:2-3, 59-87, DOI: 10.1300/J012v14n02_04
- Marshall, Jessie Ames., Butler, Benjamin Franklin. Private and Official Correspondence of Gen. Benjamin F. Butler: During the Period of the Civil War … Privately Issued. United States: Plimpton Press, 1917, 240.
- Laws of the State of Louisiana Relative to the Penitentiary, (Baton Rouge, 1834).
- Report of the Penitentiary by a Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives, (New Orleans, 1845).
- Annual Report of the Board of Control of the Louisiana Penitentiary to the House of Representative, (Baton Rouge, 1839; 1846).
- Annual Report of the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Penitentiary to the Governor of Louisiana, (Baton Rouge, 1847; 1848; 1852).
- Annual Report of the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Penitentiary to the Governor of the State of Louisiana, (New Orleans, 1856).
- Annual Report of the Board of Directors, Clerk, and Officers of the Louisiana Penitentiary at Baton Rouge for Year Ending December 31st, 1854, (New Orleans, 1855).
- Report of the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Penitentiary, (New Orleans, 1853; 1854).
- Report of the Penitentiary Agents for the Year 1856, (Baton Rouge, 1857).
- Report of the Board of Control of the Louisiana Penitentiary to the House of Representative, (Baton Rouge, 1858; 1859; 1860; 1861).
- Sheriff’s Sales Records, East Baton Rouge County Clerk Office, Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Book F, p. 154; Book G, p. 237; Book H, p. 6-7, 51, 221-223, 258. 275-276; Book I, p. 44-46.
- State of Louisiana v. Kitty, Slave, December, 1857, Louisiana Supreme Court, LASC Archives.
- The Baton Rouge Daily Gazette and Comet (Baton Rouge, La.), Jul 14th, 1857, p. 2.
- The Baton Rouge Tri-Weekly Gazette (Baton Rouge, La.), Apr 1st, 1860, p. 1.
- The Daily Delta (New Orleans, La.), Jun 8th, 1851, p. 3; Jul 15th, 1855, p. 3.
- The Sunday Delta (New Orleans, La.), Nov 23rd, 1856, p. 5.
- The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.), Jul 29th, 1855, p. 2; Aug 8th, 1855, p. 2; Aug 11th, 1855, p. 2; Dec 23rd, 1857, p. 2.