The New International Encyclopædia/Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE, băt′on ro͞ozh (Fr., red baton or stick). The capital of Louisiana, 89 miles by rail northwest of New Orleans, on the eastern bank of the Mississippi, and on the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley and the Texas and Pacific railroads (Map: Louisiana, D 3). It is a picturesque city, built on the river bluff, and many of its houses are quaint and old, of French and Spanish styles. Baton Rouge is the seat of the State University, organized in 1860, and contains State educational institutions for the deaf and dumb and blind, orphan asylums. State penitentiary, and State Agricultural Experiment Station. Other features of interest are: The State Capitol, the courthouse, city hall, post-office, high-school building, and a national cemetery. There are extensive manufacturing interests, including lumber, cottonseed products, brick, sugar, and artificial ice. The city is governed, under a charter of 1898, by a mayor, elected every four years, and a city council, which has power of election in departments of police, improvements, finance, and judiciary. Baton Rouge was one of the earliest French settlements in Louisiana. At the beginning of the Revolution it was strongly garrisoned by the English, but in September, 1779, was taken by a large Spanish force under Governor Galvez. Baton Rouge became the capital of the State in 1849, and on January 26, 1861, the Louisiana ordinance of secession was adopted here. On August 5, 1862, a Union force, under Gen. Thomas Williams, was fiercely attacked here by a strong Confederate force under Gen. John C. Breckenridge, the latter being repulsed after two hours of severe fighting, though General Williams lost his life. Population, in 1890, 10,478; in 1900, 11,269.