Biography of Josephine Louise Le Monnier Newcomb

Josephine Louise Le Monnier Newcomb was born in 1816 in Baltimore and died in New York City in 1901. In the period 1871-1886, she searched for a suitable memorial to her deceased daughter Sophie’s life (1855-1870). This would be the H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College which opened its doors in fall, 1887, within the all male Tulane University of New Orleans. More

Letter of Donation, October 11, 1886. University Archives, Tulane University. For a printed version, click on image above. Of interest is the use of this letter in Montgomery v. Tulane, 51, Southern Reporter, 3rd series. 60 (2010) by the dissenting Judge Tobias.

To compare her wording to the letter of donation of Paul Tulane.


JLN always wrote all her own letters. She once said, “I am my own secretary.” Paul Tulane, on the other hand, discussed the need to have a scribe; he was not used to handwriting his own letters.

Josephine Louise Newcomb, ca. 1888. Unknown photographer. Newcomb Archives, Tulane University.

JLN in her letters often spoke of a great personal interest in New Orleans, as well as in the memory of her daughter. She lived in New Orleans after the death of her mother in 1831, and at least, from 1837 to 1845, lived in the house pictured below. During the time from her marriage in 1845 to 1899, she lived in the homes of her husband’s relatives or in hotels in Louisville, Kentucky; New York City, and other places.

Exhibit 23, in Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Judicial Department. No. 505 (cont). ““In the Matter … of the Estate of Josephine Louise Newcomb” described as the Henderson Home on Magazine Street, near the corner of Melpomene “on the wood side” of the street, “numbers 393 or 443 old numbers and 1351 new number.”