Skip to main content

College of Louisiana



In 1825, the Louisiana State Legislature established the College of Louisiana at Jackson, Louisiana, and granted a charter to the college’s trustees. The original trustees of the college included the Louisiana governor, Louisiana Supreme Court judges, and twenty-eight people named by the legislature. The board of trustees included a board president, secretary, and treasurer. Much of the college’s business was handled by trustee committees. The trustees were responsible for appointing the college’s president, faculty, and staff; overseeing student discipline; and delivering an annual report to the Louisiana State Legislature. Each year, the trustees held two regular meetings as well as occasional called meetings.

In January 1826, classes began at the College of Louisiana and were initially held in the parish courthouse building. The college constructed dormitory buildings in 1833 and 1837.

The courses offered by the college occasionally changed. In 1829, the college’s bylaws were revised to list the following courses: English, French, Spanish, Latin, Greek, mathematics, natural philosophy, chemistry, natural history, geography, moral and political philosophy, ancient and modern history, logic, and rhetoric. In addition to offering college-level courses, the institution also operated a preparatory department for lower grades.

By 1845, the trustees faced mounting financial problems and low student enrollment. That year, the trustees approved dissolving the board and surrendering the college’s charter to the Louisiana State Legislature. In June 1845, the legislature sold the college’s property and buildings to Judge Edward McGehee, who donated it to the Mississippi Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South for the new location of Centenary College, formerly located at Brandon Springs, Mississippi.

Found in 9 Collections and/or Records:

Stephen Pearl Andrews autobiography

Identifier: SC-Cent. Misc. Mss. 493
Scope and Contents Typed transcript of Stephen Pearl Andrews’s autobiography covering his life from the 1810s until 1835. The autobiography includes details about his family members and childhood in Templeton (Massachusetts) and Hinsdale (New Hampshire). In 1830, he moved to Jackson (Louisiana) where he describes working at the Jackson Female Seminary, an institution founded by his brother and sister-in- law. During the fall of 1831, Andrews worked as a tutor of Latin at the College of Louisiana (Jackson,La.);...
Dates: circa 1862

Elias Boatner letter

Identifier: SC-Cent. Misc. Mss. 9
Scope and Contents

Photocopy facsimile of a letter from Elias Boatner to his son, Mark Boatner, who was a student at the College of Louisiana (Jackson, La.) during the 1830s. Describes parents’ disappointment and advice about Boatner’s poor student behavior as reported from the college president.

Dates: 1837

Nancy Fuqua Boone letter

Identifier: SC-Cent. Misc. Mss. 10
Scope and Contents

Photocopy facsimile of a letter from Nancy Fuqua Boone to her sister, Phebe Olds Fuqua Woods Peirce. Includes news about family and friends as well as information about the community of Jackson, Louisiana. Nancy writes that her nephew, Van Woods, stopped attending the College of Louisiana, and she does not recommend the school at present. Nancy also invites her sister to attend the college’s exhibition taking place in July 1844.

Dates: 1844

William Marbury Carpenter correspondence

Identifier: SC-Cent. Misc. Mss. 163
Scope and Contents

William Marbury Carpenter correspondence consisting of two photocopy facsimiles of letters written by Carpenter to the Academy of Natural Sciences (Philadelphia, Pa.); originals located at the Archives of the Academy of Natural Sciences. Carpenter’s first letter (1840 July 2) relates to his new membership in the Academy. Carpenter’s second letter (1847 December 11) recommends the ornithology work of Dr. E. Pilate of Opelousas, Louisiana.

Dates: 1840 - 1847

Collection of William Marbury Carpenter materials

Identifier: SC-Cent. Misc. Mss. 207
Scope and Contents

This collection consists of material about William Marbury Carpenter (1811-1848). It includes a photocopy facsimile of a botanical specimen collected by Carpenter in Saint Helena Parish, Louisiana, in 1842; original specimen is located at the United States National Herbarium. Also includes a photocopy facsimile of the journal article: R. S. Cocks, “William M. Carpenter, A Pioneer Scientist of Louisiana,” Tulane Graduates’ Magazine 3 (1914): 122-127.

Dates: 1842 - 1914

College of Louisiana records

Identifier: CCL-COL
Scope and Contents This collection consists of records of the College of Louisiana (Jackson, Louisiana). It includes an act of incorporation (1825), property records (1816-1826), board of trustees minutes (1825-1851), faculty minutes (1828-1844), and a letter about student disciplinary problems (circa 1835).The board of trustees minutes of meetings (1825-1845) are recorded in a manuscript volume; the archives book collection contains a typescript of these minutes. The manuscript volume also...
Dates: 1816 - 1845

Walter McGehee Lowrey papers

Identifier: SC-Mss. Coll. 77
Scope and Contents This collection relates to the professional life of history professor Walter McGehee Lowrey. This includes research notes, writings and speeches, Centenary College of Louisiana material, and Louisiana United Methodist material.Series 1: Research notes (1818-1989) contains seven indexes of notecards as well as additional folders with notes. Index Box 1 contains Centenary College of Louisiana and predecessor institutions’ board of trustees members (1825-1989). Index Box 2 contains...
Dates: 1818 - 1989

S. H. Shipley receipt

Identifier: SC-Cent. Misc. Mss. 4
Scope and Contents

Receipt to S. H. Shipley for his salary as a teacher in Matthews Academy, which operated as a preparatory department at the College of Louisiana. Shipley may be Samuel Herman Shipley (1815-1849).

Dates: 1840

Otto S. Varnado thesis excerpt

Identifier: SC-Cent. Misc. Mss. 260
Scope and Contents

Photocopy facsimile of an excerpt of Otto Stanley Varnado’s thesis, “A History of the Early Institutions of Higher Learning in Louisiana,” which was written for his master of arts degree at Louisiana State University. The excerpt contains a history of the College of Louisiana (Jackson, La.) and Centenary College of Louisiana (Jackson, La.).

Dates: 1927

Additional filters:

Correspondence 3
Abolitionists 1
Autobiographies (literary works) 1
Charters 1
Education -- Louisiana -- History 1