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Louisiana Capital Locations: Home

and some capitol places

Of Capitals and Capitols

Most Louisianan's are familiar with the giant Art Deco skyscraper that is the Louisiana State Capitol, and that it was conceived by Gov. Huey Long. However, the history of the state's capital (and its capitol) goes back much further.

Pinning down exactly where each Governor had his office, and where the two houses of the legislature met, for each and every session, is not as easy as one may think. Some years have no newspaper coverage, and years that do have coverage often do not mention locations. Also, the term "State-house" was applied to whichever building in which the legislature met or had offices. Street names change. Information that is available is sometimes incorrect.

In the first few years after 1812, the Senate Journal would state when the Senators met in New Orleans at "Government House." This building was originally built by Spain, and sat on the northeast corner of Levee (now Decatur) and Toulouse Streets. However, the House Journal would frequently state that the House of Representatives members would meet "in the hall prepared for the sittings of the house of representatives."

The city (capital) and building (capitol) changed frequently. Often, the struggle was between New Orleanians, who wanted New Orleans as the capital, and the population of the rest of the state, who wished it out of New Orleans. Purchases of land and rentals of buildings led to charges of graft and the undue influence of special interests. Twice fires forced a change of location. The Civil War led to competing legislatures, governors, and capitols. This libguide will present what I could find.

Moving Locations

27 July 1812: The First Session of the First General Assembly was begun and held in the City of New Orleans.

4 January 1830:  The Second Session of the Ninth Legislature was begun and held in Donaldsonville.

3 January 1831: The First Session of the Tenth Legislature was begun at Donaldsonville, and then adjourned. 

8 January 1831: The First Session of the Tenth Legislature resumed in New Orleans.

21 January 1850:   The Third Legislature of the State of Louisiana, held and began their session in the Town of Baton Rouge.

December 1862, January 1863: The "Twenty-seventh" Legislature in Extra Session met in Opelousas.

4 May 1863:   The Sixth Legislature of the State of Louisiana held its Extra Session in the City of Shreveport.

18 January 1864:  The Seventh Legislature of the State of Louisiana held its First Session in the City of Shreveport.

4 October 1864: The First General Assembly of the State of Louisiana held its sessions in New Orleans, at City Hall.

16 January 1865:  The Seventh Legislature of the State of Louisiana held its Second Session in the City of Shreveport.

23 November 1865:   The Legislature in Extra Session begun and held their session at the Mechanic's Institute in New Orleans, built on the site of  the old State House Square.

June 1874: The Commission leases the St. Louis Hotel for use as a State House.

8 May 1882:  The legislature's session is begun and held at the City of Baton Rouge.

16 May 1932:  Dedication of the new capitol building.

Louisiana: Comprising Sketches of Parishes, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form


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