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Set in motion

July 05, 2017 1:15 PM
Ryan Rivet rrivet@tulane.edu




Two letters acquired by Tulane University in 1889 were the first acquisitions of what became the Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC). In one of the letters, left, sent from Monticello and dated Sept. 24, 1808, Thomas Jefferson writes to M. Du Plantier of New Orleans, discussing their mutual friend the Marquis de Lafayette, whose investment land was underwater. Jefferson writes, Understanding that much of the lands adjoining the city were covered with water, but very shallow, I recommended … surrounding the submerged part with a ditch and dike sufficient to reclaim it, an operation with which we are familiar here, and of little expense.” In the 128 years since that first procurement, the LaRC has acquired nearly 4 linear miles of books and documents about New Orleans and Louisiana.