Algernon Badger Family Papers, 1813-1920

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Badger is best-known as Chief of the Metropolitan Police of New Orleans from 1870 to 1875. As police chief, Badger was on the front lines of the increasing political unrest between Southern white conservatives and Louisiana’s Reconstruction-era government. During his tenure, he defended the city of New Orleans from multiple riots and attempted insurrection by the White League. The most notable of these conflicts was the Battle of Liberty Place. He resigned to become state tax collector and went on to hold a number of political offices in Louisiana, including postmaster of New Orleans and Customs House appraiser. This collection includes correspondence, legal documents, financial records, photographs and ephemera collected or created by the Badger family. Much of the correspondence is focused on the military and political career of Algernon Badger. The majority of the letters are addressed to John Beighton Badger, Algernon Badger's father. A significant portion of the records deal with family affairs taking place in Milton, Massachusetts, Algernon Badger's hometown. Algernon Badger's letters to his father detail his rise through the ranks of the Union Army during the Civil War, as well as his life in New Orleans during Reconstruction. Highlights of his letters include a description of a Union army camp at Harper's Ferry, his account of the Battle of Liberty Place in New Orleans, and his experiences campaigning and working alongside Governor William Pitt Kellogg.
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