Legislative Branch

Guide to House Records: Chapter 17: Levees and Improvements of the Mississippi River

Chapter 17. Records of the Public Works Committees

Table of Contents

Records of the Committees Relating to Public Works (1815-1988) from Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States, 1789-1988

Committee records described in this chapter.

Records of the Committee on Levees and Improvements of the Mississippi River (1877-1911)

History and Jurisdiction

17.18 The committee was established November 7, 1877, in the 45th Congress. This was done by changing the name of its predecessor, the Committee on the Mississippi Levees. The purposes of the committee included building and repairing levees as well as making other improvements on the Mississippi River. The committee was terminated in the 62d Congress on April 5, 1911. Its successor was the Committee on Rivers and Harbors.

Records of the Committee on Levees and Improvements of the Mississippi River (1877-1911)

Record Type Volume Congresses (Dates)
Minute Books 3 vols. 51st-52nd (1889-93), 61st (1911)
Docket Books 5 vols. 45th (1877-79), 48th (1883-85), 51st-52nd (1889-93), 60th-61st (1907-11)
Petitions and Memorials 1 in. 47th-48th (1881-85), 51st (1889-91), 61st (1909-11)
Committee Papers 1 in. 48th (1883-85), 52nd (1891-93), 60th-61st (1907-11)
Bill Files 1 in. 61st (1911)
TOTAL: 3 in. and 8 vols. (8 in.)  

Committee Records Summary Table

17.19 The minute books contain cursory summaries of a few committee meetings. For example, the volume for the 61st Congress includes minutes for only one meeting. The docket books include one volume with entries for the 45th Congress and the first session of the 48th Congress; its spine is mislabeled "Minutes.''

17.20 The small quantity of petitions and memorials include appeals from State legislatures, city governments, and business groups for various projects to improve navigation and stream control on the Mississippi River. One unusual 1890 petition was signed by the "colored citizens'' of six counties in the State of Mississippi (51A-H12.1).

17.21 The minuscule collection of committee papers includes some committee prints of bills and resolutions. There is also a small group of papers from 1884 of Representative John Floyd King of Louisiana (48A-F18.2) and a bundle of blueprints from 1892 for levees from Memphis to Vicksburg (52A-F24.1).

17.22 Bill files exist only for the 61st Congress (1909-11). They include a hearing transcript and reports from the Chief of Engineers and from the Rock Island office of the Corps of Engineers on relief for the Sny Levee District in Illinois (61A-D10).

Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to the Records of the United States House of Representatives at the National Archives, 1789-1989: Bicentennial Edition (Doct. No. 100-245). By Charles E. Schamel, Mary Rephlo, Rodney Ross, David Kepley, Robert W. Coren, and James Gregory Bradsher. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1989.