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MSS 249 - Marcus Christian Collection, Addendum 1


(Mss 249)


Earl K. Long Library

University of New Orleans

October 1992




Size:                           1 box



Locations:                Primarily New Orleans, La.



Dates:                        late 1930s-early 1940s, 1954


Summary:                             Typescript copies of New Orleans newspaper articles (n.d. and 1837-1941) on African Americans produced by members of the WPA's Federal Writers Program - Dillard Unit in late 1930s and early 1940s.  Included are a few stray transcriptions of a later date.



Collections:             Marcus Christian Collection (Mss 11)


Source:                     Gift, October 1992


Access:                     No restrictions


Copyright:                Physical rights, copyright, and literary property rights are retained by the Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans.


Citation:                    Marcus Christian Collection, Addendum 1, Louisiana and Special Collections, Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans

Biographical/Historical Note



            Marcus Bruce Christian, the son of Emanual Banks Christian and Rebecca Harris, was born on March 8, 1900, in Mechanicsville (now incorporated into Houma), Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana.  The son and grandson of teachers, he was educated at Houma Academy and an evening public school in New Orleans.  Orphaned at thirteen, Christian moved to New Orleans in 1919 and resided there until his death on November 21, 1976.


            From 1926 until 1935, Christian owned and operated a dry-cleaning business.  In 1936 he joined the Federal Writers’ Project and was assigned to the “Colored Project” at Dillard University, eventually becoming its director and holding that post until the project’s demise in 1943.  Under Christian’s authority, the Dillard project contributed information about black writers to the New Orleans City Guide (1938) and Louisiana: A Guide to the State (1941), both published by the Federal Writers’ Project.


            Upon the termination of the Writers’ Project, Christian served as director of the Dillard University War Information Center.  Also in 1943, he received a Julius Rosenwald Fellowship to pursue historical research on African Americans in Louisiana.  A year later, he was appointed assistant librarian at Dillard.  During this period he also operated his own printing company.  From 1972 until his death in 1976, Christian held the post of special instructor in English and history at the University of New Orleans.


            Widely acclaimed as poet laureate of the New Orleans African American community, Christian composed some two thousand poems over the course of his life.  His first book of poetry was published in 1922, and he contributed poetic, literary, and historical works to the Afro-American, the Pittsburgh Courier, Opportunity, Crisis, the Dillard Arts Quarterly, the New Orleans States-Item, the New York Herald-Tribune, Phylon, and the Louisiana Weekly.  He also served as poetry and contributing editor of the Louisiana Weekly.  An active historian, Christian did extensive research on Louisiana and assisted in the writing of “A Black History of Louisiana,” an unpublished manuscript produced by the Federal Writers’ Project.  His published works include Negro Ironworkers of Louisiana, 1718-1900; Battle of New Orleans; From the Deep South; and Common People’s Manifesto of World War II.

Container List



249-1              The series includes the following headings which were originally selected by members of the WPA's Federal Writers Program - Dillard Unit.


                                    Accidents and Mortality, 1865-1876


                                    Carnival, 1874-1941


                                    Clinton Riot, 1875


                                    Colfax Riot, 1873


                                    Crime Against Freedman, 1865-1876


                                    Crime by Slaves, 1840-1859


                                    Crime - General, 1858-1874


                                    Crime Laid on the Negro, 1866-1868


                                    Emancipation and Emigration, 1868-1880


                                    Fraternities, Lodges, Benevolent Associations, 1875-1881


                                    Free Colored Crime, 1857


                                    Freedmen, 1865-1874


                                    Fugitive Slaves, 1856-1858


                                    Fusionist Party, 1873


                                    Kansas Question, 1856-1858


                                    Longevity, 1855


                                    Mechanics Institute Convention and Riot, 1866


                                    Negro Churches, 1874-1941


                                    Negro Dances, 1874


                                    Negro Droll Stories and Attempted Witticisms, 1866-1881


                                    Negro Education, 1873-1874


                                    Negro in Politics in Louisiana, 1866-1921


                                    Negro in Theater, 1875


                                    Negro Soldiers, 1845-1941


                                    Negro Suffrage, 1865-1941


                                    New Orleans Tribune Editorials, 1865


                                    Other States, 1866-1867


                                    Politics, 1859


                                    Politics in Louisiana, 1850-1880


                                    Quadroon Balls, Slave Balls, 1841


                                    Republican Refutation of Reconstruction Slanders, 1873


                                    Riots, Uprisings, 1867-1880


                                    Runaway Rewards, 1837 - ca. 1859, n.d.


                                    Secession Discussion, 1850


                                    Slave Stealing, 1841-1860


                                    Slavers and Slave Trade, ca. 1854-1858


                                    Southern Newspapers on Abolition, 1854


                                    Suits, 1855-1859


                                    Want Ads, 1874

Index Terms


African Americans—Louisiana—Sources

Christian, Marcus B.

Federal Writers’ Project—Louisiana