Louisiana’s Lone Star Republic

The LSU Libraries announce a new exhibit, “Louisiana’s Lone Star Republic,” on display in LSU’s Hill Memorial Library.  Commemorating the bicentennial of the 1810 West Florida Revolution, the exhibit explores the tangled web of divided loyalties, international intrigue, and economic opportunism that gave rise to an independent, though short-lived, nation in what is now southeastern Louisiana.

Many of the manuscripts on display are new acquisitions, donated to the LSU Libraries in 2009 by historian Libby K. Dart, formerly of St. Francisville. “We were excited to find that the donation included drafts of letters to the Spanish governor of West Florida and of proclamations of the West Florida Convention,” said Tara Laver, Curator of Manuscripts. “These are documents that show history in the making.” Additional documents provide new sources of information about unrest and dissent in the young republic.

Michael Taylor, Assistant Curator of Books, selected materials for the exhibition and wrote about each item.  “It was interesting to explore why British and American settlers who had lived happily for almost three decades in the Spanish colony of West Florida rebelled in 1810 and declared their independence,” said Taylor. The exhibit also looks at why President James Madison viewed the little republic as a threat and annexed it to the United States, thus “completing” the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. In addition, visitors will learn about the history of the Lone Star flag, a proud blue and white banner that originally flew in Baton Rouge and St. Francisville and later became a symbol of independence throughout the South.

The exhibit will be on display in the library’s lecture hall from Sept. 7  through Dec. 18. Special Collections is open Monday- Friday from 9-5, Tuesdays 9-8, and Saturdays 9-1. For more information, contact Michael Taylor, Assistant Curator of Books, at (225) 578-6547.

Exhibitions Coordinator, LSU Libraries Special Collections https://news.blogs.lib.lsu.edu/category/exhibitions/

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