Maximilian Ferdinand Bonzano papers, 1846-1895 | Louisiana Research Collection

By LAC Group

Collection Overview

Title: Maximilian Ferdinand Bonzano papers, 1846-1895

ID: LaRC/Manuscripts Collection 829

Primary Creator: Bonzano, Maximilian F.

Extent: 1.0 Boxes

Arrangement: The collection is arranged in no discernable order. It consists of one box.

Date Acquired: 00/00/1934

Subjects: Bonzano, Maximilian F., Executive orders., Hurricanes., Mint of the United States., Slaves -- Emancipation., Surveyors -- Louisiana -- Port of New Orleans.

Forms of Material: Biographies., Clippings (information artifacts), Diaries., Inventories.

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Maximilian Ferdinand Bonzano (1821-1895) was a physician, minter, and administrator. The collection consists of a diary, observations and calculations on time, an executive order making Bonzano in charge of a lighthouse, an inventory of the surveyor general's office in New Orleans, payment records, and clippings. The inventory of the surveyor general's office was taken while Maximilian Bonzano was surveyor general of the Port of New Orleans. The diary details the sinking of the ship New York in a hurricane and the rescue of passengers by the ship Galveston in 1846.

Biographical Note

Maximilian Ferdinand Bonzano (1821-1895) was a physician, minter, and administrator. Born in Ebingen, Germany, he arrived in New Orleans in 1835, working first in a printing office as a roller boy and then as a printer. He then became a druggist apprentice and a pharmacist. In 1843, he began to study medicine at Charity Hospital, and upon graduation was appointed a visiting physician. In 1848, President Polk appointed him melter and refiner of the New Orleans mint and was later appointed assayer, a position that he kept until the Civil War. Bonzano opposed slavery and secession and fled to New York City until New Orleans was captured by Union Forces. He returned to New Orleans in 1862 as superintendent of the New Orleans Mint. He also became a lighthouse engineer and inspector. He was elected from his district as a delegate to Louisiana's 1864 constitutional convention where he chaired the committee on emancipation and wrote the ordinance that freed the state's slaves. Louisiana's first Republican convention elected him as a delegate to the party's 1864 national convention. He was elected to Congress but Congress refused to seat the state's delegation. In 1872 he chaired the state's Republican electoral college and the following year received an appointment as surveyor-general of the port of New Orleans, giving up that position in 1874 to become superintendent of the mint until the mint became an assay office in 1875. After the extension of silver coinage in 1878 and the reinstatement of the mint, he took the position of coiner and also served as melter and refiner until he retired in 1883. He was defeated the same year as the Republican nominee for state treasurer. He retired to a plantation in St. Bernard Parish.

Subject/Index Terms

Bonzano, Maximilian F.
Executive orders.
Hurricanes.
Mint of the United States.
Slaves -- Emancipation.
Surveyors -- Louisiana -- Port of New Orleans.

Administrative Information

Repository: Louisiana Research Collection

Access Restrictions: Collection is open to the public. No known restrictions.

Use Restrictions: Physical rights are retained by the Louisiana Research Collection. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.

Preferred Citation: Maximilian Ferdinand Bonzano papers, Manuscripts Collection 829, Louisiana Research Collection, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118.

Processing Information: Collection processed in 1991 by HB and ML.

Finding Aid Revision History: Finding aid information entered in Archon by LAC Group in 2011.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Box:

[Box 1: Maximilian Ferdinand Bonzano papers],
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Box 1: Maximilian Ferdinand Bonzano papers
Folder 1: Diary, 1846
Entries of September 6-9 tell of sinking of the ship New York in a hurricane and rescue of passengers by the Galveston. Diary attributed to Dr. M. Bonzano. Weekly Delta, 1846 September 14. Manuscript volume.
Folder 2: Observations and calculations on time, made at New Orleans, 1856-1889
Biographical chronology of author, page 169. Manuscript volume.
Folder 3: Special order number 183 assigning Maximilian Ferdinand Bonzano the charge of light house and beacons near Forts Barrancas and McCrea, 1862
Manuscript (xerox).
Folder 4: Inventory of surveyor general's office, Louisiana, 1873-1874
Certified statements by H. Gascon, chief clerk; Maximilian Ferdinand Bonzano, surveyor general, 1873; Harry Lott, register; O.H. Brewster, surveyor general, 1874. Has list of land owners.
Folder 5: Payments to Franz Melaczyk for services at Hermitage Plantation from Maximilian Ferdinand Bonzano's estate, 1895
Manuscript (xerox).
Folder 6: News clipping about settlement of dispute over Maximilian Ferdinand Bonzano's will, 1895


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