News & Notes

Hill documents featured in new book

Posted in Resources, Special Collections Tagged with:

Louisianians (or Luisianeses) and Their Hill Documents Featured in Hispanic Americans in Congress, 1822-2012

A recent publication by the U.S. Government Printing Office offers further glimpses into how Louisiana and its citizens (Luisiana and Luisianeses in Spanish) have figured in the Hispanic contribution to American history. The third volume in a series on women and minorities who have served in the House and the Senate, Hispanic Americans in Congress, 1822-2012 was published by the U.S. House of Representatives, Office of the Historian and Office of the Clerk, toward the end of 2013. Deriving part of its vast amount of information from two collections housed at LSU Special Collections, the reference book presents biographical profiles of 91 Hispanic members of Congress in chronological order through 2012. Along with an introduction and appendices, four general essays set various periods of Congressional service in historical context: the era of U.S. continental expansion (1822-1898), the age of U.S. colonialism and global expansion (1898-1945), the Civil Rights era (1945-1977), and recent legislative trends and power sharing among Hispanic Americans in Congress (1977-2012).

Among the 91 Hispanic members of Congress examined in the study, two hail from Louisiana: Ladislas “Doc” Lazaro (1872-1927) and Joachim Octave “Joe” Fernández (1896-1978). In compiling the essay on the former, editors drew heavily from LSU’s Ladislas Lazaro Papers (Mss. 1113, 1149). For the latter, they quoted from a Paul Maloney oral-history interview in the T. Harry Williams Papers (Mss. 2489, 2510), which is also in LSU’s Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections.

As only the second Hispanic representative in Congress (after Californian Romualdo Pacheco, who served from 1879 to 1883), Lazaro was also only the second Hispanic member eligible to chair a committee. Born on the family plantation near Ville Platte, Lazaro descended on his mother’s side from the Ortegos, one of Ville Platte’s founding Hispanic families. After attending the forerunner of Holy Cross High School in New Orleans, he graduated from Louisville Medical College (Kentucky) in 1894. “Doc” Lazaro practiced medicine in Washington, Louisiana, and was chosen by his colleagues to serve as first vice president of the state medical society in 1907. A Democrat, he was propelled into national office in 1912 as a supporter of Woodrow Wilson’s Progressive platform. Serving as U.S. representative from 1913 to 1927, Lazaro tended to the agricultural interests of his Louisiana district, focusing on protective tariffs and improving farmers’ access to markets through waterway and railway projects. Lazaro advocated for the completion of the Intracoastal Waterway, voted against Prohibition, and opposed a string of measures granting women the right to vote on the grounds that states would be yielding too much power to the Federal Government in the process. By the early 1920s, he was the longest-serving Hispanic member of Congress to that point. Late in the 69th Congress (1925-1927), Lazaro died of complications from an abscess following abdominal surgery. Hispanic Americans in Congress draws considerable information for the Lazaro article from speeches, campaign pamphlets, and letters in LSU’s Ladislas Lazaro Papers.

00008973-217x300Native New Orleanian “Joe” Fernández was the grandson of a Spanish immigrant merchant and son of Octave Gonzales Fernández, who served in the Louisiana State House of Representatives and died in office in 1921. Attending neither high school nor college, Fernández worked as an expert on shipping fees and storage tariffs. The same year as his father’s death, he was elected to the Louisiana State Constitutional Convention. He then won election to the Louisiana Legislature, serving for much of the 1920s. Endorsed initially by the New Orleans Democratic machine, Fernández switched his allegiance to Huey Long in 1930. He served as U.S. representative from 1931 to 1941, his workload centered on assisting individuals with issues such as pension adjustments, benefits, and military discharges. He also concentrated on acquiring land for local projects involving levees, bridges, streets, and public buildings. Throughout the 1930s, he introduced a series of bills to establish the Chalmette National Historical Park and sought to revive the Algiers Naval Station. His political career having become intertwined with that of Huey Long, it began to decline following the Kingfish’s assassination in 1935. After leaving Congress in January 1941, Fernández served in active duty as a U.S. Naval Reserve lieutenant commander until 1943. Following retirement from politics, Fernández worked as a tax consultant and passed away in New Orleans shortly before his eighty-second birthday.

Hispanic Americans in Congress, 1822-2012 was launched as a web exhibition at that is current through the present Congress. The online exhibit includes the additional 11 Hispanic-American representatives and senators who reported to Capitol Hill for the 113th Congress, and it will be updated to reflect future changes. Hispanic Americans in Congress is available through the U.S. Government Printing Office, which will produce a free, downloadable e-book version from its site within the month.

Posted in Resources, Special Collections Tagged with:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Recent Faculty Publications


Comeaux, Dave;  Emily Frank; and Mike Waugh. “Supporting Student Success: E-books as Course Materials,” CODEX: Journal of the Louisiana Chapter of the ACRL. Volume 5, Issue 2 (Fall/Winter 2019).

Miles, John David. “Colfax, Kate Grant, and the Domestication of Reconstruction’s Violence,” Civil War Book Review. Volume 21, Issue 2 (Spring 2019).

Miles, John David. “The Loyalty of West Point’s Graduates Debated,” Civil War Book Review. Volume 21, Issue 1 (Winter 2019).

Miller, Marty. “Curriculum, Departmental, and Faculty Mapping in the Visual Arts Department,” Art Documentation, Volume 38, p 159-173 Issue 1 (March 2019).

O’Neill, Brittany; and  Allen LeBlanc. “Evaluating Trends in Instruction Scheduling Management: A Survey of Louisiana’s Academic Libraries,” CODEX: Journal of the Louisiana Chapter of the ACRL. Volume 5, Issue 2 (Fall/Winter 2019).

Russo, Michael, “The Moon Belongs to Everyone:  ResearchGate and Subscription Databases Compared.”  Louisiana Libraries. Winter 2019 (v. 81, no. 3).

Russo, Michael, “Information Literacy through Service Learning”  in Library Collaborations and Community Partnerships: Enhancing Health and Quality of Life.  Fannie M. Cox, Henry R. Cunningham, and Vickie Hines-Martin, eds., 2019.

Simms, Sarah; Hayley Johnson. “Hidden in Plain Sight,” 64 Parishes (Magazine of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities). Issue 4, Summer 2019.

Ziegler, Scott; and Cara Key. “More Than a Pretty Interface: The Louisiana Digital Library as a Data Hub,” CODEX: Journal of the Louisiana Chapter of the ACRL. Volume 5, Issue 2 (Fall/Winter 2019).


Hebert, Andrea. “Information Literacy Skills of First-Year Library and Information Science Graduate Students: An Exploratory Study,” Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Volume 13, Issue 3 (September 2018).

Miller, Marty. “Sacred vs. Profane in The Great War: A Neutral’s Indictment: Louis Raemaekers’s Use of Religious Imagery in Adoration of the Magi and Our Lady of Antwerp.” Catholic Library World, vol. 89, no. 1, Sept. 2018, pp. 20–32.

Rasmussen, Hans. “The Life and Death of Raquette in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans,” Sport History Review 49 (May 2018): 23-38.

Wilder, Stanley. “Delayed Retirements and the Youth Movement among ARL Library Professionals,” Research Library Issues, no. 295 (2018).

Wilder, Stanley. “Hiring and Staffing Trends in ARL Libraries,” Research Library Issues, no. 295 (2018).

Wilder, Stanley. “Selected Demographic Trends in the ARL Professional Population,” Research Library Issues, no. 295 (2018).

Ziegler, Scott; and Richard Shrake. “PAL: Toward a Recommendation System for Manuscripts,” Information Technology and Libraries, Vol. 37, No. 3 (2018).


Caminita, C.; Cook, M.; and Paster, A. (2017). Thirty years of preserving, discovering, and accessing U.S. agricultural information: Past progress and current challenges. Library Trends, 65(3), 293-315.

Dauterive, Sarah; John Bourgeois; and Sarah Simms. “How little is too little? An examination of information literacy instruction duration for freshmen.” Journal of Information Literacy, 11.1 (2017): 204-219.

Fontenot, Mitch; Emily Frank; and Andrea Hebert. “Going Where the Users Are: Three Variations on a Theme,” Louisiana Libraries, Fall 2017.

Hawk, Amanda K. “Highflying Crowdfunding: Creating a Successful Partnership with a Campus Donor,” Archival Outlook, July/August 2017: 12-13, 19.

Hebert, Andrea; and Marty Miller. (2017). Using FSA-OWI photographs to teach information and visual literacy. Louisiana Libraries, 79(3), 19–25.

Johnson, Hayley. “#NoDAPL: Social Media, Empowerment, and Civic Participation at Standing Rock,” Library Trends, Fall 2017.


Special Collections Hours

Contact Special Collections

Public Services Desk: (225) 578-6544

Reference Desk: (225) 578-6568

Fax: (225) 578-9425


Submit a reference question

RSS Feed RSS - Special Collections Posts