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Board of Commissioners of the Fink Asylum Fund

Identifier: CA-CCF

Scope and Contents

Manuscript records, mostly of a financial nature, dealing with the construction and operation of the Fink Asylum and with the investments made with Fink legacy funds.

  • Cashbooks (2 vols., 1861-1957) provide a daily record of cash derived from investments, real estate sales, and sundries, along with detailed cash expenditures
  • Ledgers (3 vols., 1861-1957) list the monthly activity of each account within the Fink Fund.
  • Also included is one volume of Board minutes (1861-1866), a record of checks (1861-1869), bills receivable (1861-1864), and a financial journal (1882-1901).


  • Creation: 1861-1957


Conditions Governing Access

Available to registered researchers by appointment. Materials are partially microfilmed. Request by call number.

Requesting Materials

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction or use of materials is prohibited without the permission of the City Archives & Special Collections. Please review the Archives' Permission to Publish note.

Biographical / Historical

In an 1855 will, John D. Fink, a prominent New Orleans realtor, bequeathed the proceeds of his estate to the City of New Orleans. The purpose of the bequest was to fund the erection and maintenance of an asylum for Protestant widows and orphans. The will was contested by Fink's heirs after his death in 1856 and it was not until 1861 that the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled in the City's favor. In that year the City Council formally accepted the Fink bequest which amounted to $170,000. It established the Board of Commissioners of the Fink Asylum Fund, which power was vested in the sitting Finance Committee of the Council. The enabling ordinance further directed that when the principle of the fund reached $200,000 through investments, the Board would purchase a site and erect a building to be used for the asylum using $100,000 of the fund. The remainder of the monies would remain invested under the Board's direction and revenues from the investments were to be spent for the support and maintenance of the institution.

The Civil War postponed further action by the Board until 1874 when it was reconstituted and authorized to proceed with the erection of an asylum. The Board was required to report quarterly to the Council regarding expenditures as well as regarding the inhabitants of the Asylum once it commenced operations. In June, 1875 the Mayor was authorized to sign and execute necessary instruments for the act of sale of a site bounded by Camp, Amelia, Antonine, and Chestnut Streets. Additions to the asylum building were authorized in 1891.

The 1954 Home Rule Charter placed administrative responsibility for the Fink Asylum under the Board of City Trusts. The Fund itself remained idle until 1959 when Mayor Morrison urged the Board to take immediate action to dispose of the Fund in the best interests of the community. In 1961 the City Council, on recommendation of the Board, voted to resign from ownership of the Asylum and to recognize a new board of nine members, appointed by the New Orleans Federation of Churches, as the administrative body for the Fink legacy. The Asylum thus became a trusteeship independent of city government.


9 Volumes (9 volumes, available on 1 roll of microfilm)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred to the City Archives Collection by the Department of Finance in 1971

Related Materials

Published reports of the Board of Commissioners are available as part of the City Documents collection (Call number FT200) for the years:

  • 1880-1881
  • 1890-1891
  • 1892-1895
  • 1896-1899
  • 1900-1905
  • 1906-1909
  • 1910-1913
  • 1914-1917

The Ledger of the Touro Shakespeare House and Fink Asylum Fund includes additional finacial information on the Fink Asylum.

Board of Commissioners of the Fink Asylum Fund
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
based on findings aids created by NEH and other City Archives Staff; reformatted for ArchivesSpace by bsilva in 2023

Repository Details

Part of the City Archives Repository

City Archives & Special Collections
219 Loyola Avenue
New Orleans LA 70112