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Board of Commissioners of the McDonogh School Fund

Identifier: CA-CCM
McDonogh 10 Front Elevation
McDonogh 10 Front Elevation

Scope and Contents

All records are original manuscripts. The School Plans are original water color renditions (elevations and floor plans) of the first twenty schools erected by the Fund. These drawings were apparently based on the original plans of the buildings executed by architects Charles Lewis Hillger and William A. Freret. As a whole the records are particularly useful for documenting the construction and maintenance of this important group of educational buildings.

Additional records include meeting minutes, correspondence, ledgers, and various ofther financial records held by the Board of Commissioners of the Fund.


  • Creation: 1858-1958

Conditions Governing Access

Available to registered researchers by appointment. Partially available on microfilm. 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

John McDonogh died in 1850 leaving his estate to the cities of New Orleans and Baltimore, in equal proportions, for the establishment and support of free schools in the two cities and their suburbs. Through this bequest the City of New Orleans came into possession of real estate valued at $620,029.73. These lands were sold and the proceeds were invested in bonds. Ordinance number 3958, passed on May 27, 1858, specified that the interest from these bonds was to go to the support of public schools as provided for in McDonogh's will. In 1855 the Board of Commissioners of the McDonogh School Fund was created. The first schools built with these funds were McDonogh Schools 1, 2,and 3 in 1874. By 1895 thirty schools had been built providing classroom space for over 16,000 students.

In 1950 the New Orleans City Council authorized liquidation of all securities of the fund and turned them over to the Orleans Parish School Board. As the schools were no longer the function of city government, there was no necessity to retain a Board to have custody and control of the fund. With the 1954 City Charter the Board of Commissioners for the McDonogh School Fund was abolished and the remaining monies were placed under the care of the Board of City Trusts.


14 Volumes (14 volumes available on 2 rolls of microfilm)

Language of Materials



The records include:

  • Minutes of Board meetings (1905-1939)
  • Financial Journal (1860-1931)
  • Cashbooks (1858-1951)
  • Checkbook (1859-1860)
  • Ledgers (1858-1958)
  • Incoming Correspondence (1904-1911)
  • Receipts for Repairs (1895-1899)
  • Bills Receivable (1860-1869)
  • Rents Due and Collected (1858-1859)
  • School Plans (ca. 1870's-1890's)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These records were transferred to the City Archives Collection by the Department of Finance in 1971.

Related Materials

John McDonogh Papers

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

Board of Commissioners of the McDonogh School Fund
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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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