Trans. Status:

Linda Goudeau diary

Call Number: MSS 1026
Title: Linda Goudeau diary
Creator: Goudeau, Linda M., 1949-2008 (author) -- More information
Date of Creation: 1974-1979
Extent: approx. 200 pp., 1 volume
Object Name: diaries
Collection Type: Documents & Correspondence
Process/Technique: handwriting
Materials: paper (fiber product); ink
Language: English
Scope and Content: As a young woman Linda Goudeau encountered an array of legal difficulties, being associated with bank robberies in both New Orleans and Alaska. This item is a diary she maintained between 1974 and 1979 which chronicled her time incarcerated first in the House of Detention in New Orleans, in the Anchorage Alaska Correctional Center, and the California Institute for Women. The diary begins in 1974 while she is living in Alaska, and writing of her journey to "find myself." She frequently writes of her loneliness there, her lack of ties to the area, and her longing for family and friends in New Orleans.
In entries made between December 20, 1974 and January 24, 1975 she details her return to New Orleans, and subsequent arrest by the FBI for a bank robbery in Alaska, and her extended incarceration in the House of Detention as she awaited extradition to face charges of bank robbery in Alaska. She articulates how hurt her mother was by her arrest explaining, "the look on momís face nearly killed me. Never have I seen her so hurt. I would have rather spent 10 years in jail then to put her through that day." She provides exceptional detail of her time imprisoned in New Orleans, passing the time playing cards and frequent conflicts with both other inmates and staff. She discusses visits with family and attorneys and the tedium of waiting for extradition. Also discussed are medical care in the jail and dealing with mentally disturbed fellow inmates. She also notably mentions giving another inmate a prison tattoo. Interjected throughout the full diary are many entries which feature inspirational quotes, religious affirmations, and examinations of the bible.
Her next entries chronicle her time jailed in Alaska, as her attorney attempts to negotiate a plea deal, and her subsequent move to prison in California. She served her sentence in the California Institute for Women in Corona, California. Her entries in prison are intermittent, but frequently cover her romantic relationships with women in prison. Particularly significant is a December 16, 1975 entry which details for several pages a riot that took place at the CIW.
By November 9, 1976 Linda Goudeau was writing about her release from prison, and shortly thereafter she writes about her return to New Orleans. Between 1976 and 1979 she details her attempts to build a life outside of prison as well as the longer and sometimes shorter term romantic relationships she shared with women. She records being charged with a misdemeanor, but quickly dealing with the charge and serving no additional jail time. She also discusses holding several different jobs, some in warehouses and some in the healthcare field, which she preferred.
Notes: Linda Goudeau diary MSS 1026, Williams Research Center, The Historic New Orleans Collection
Restrictions: Researchers may be limited to consulting one or two items at a time, per the discretion of the Reading Room staff.
Reproduction of original documents, when permitted, must be performed by the Williams Research Center staff.
Requesting: Please provide the reference staff with the manuscript call number.
Collection Theme(s): Women
Social Reform and Activism
Subjects: Goudeau, Linda M., 1949-2008 -- More information
New Orleans (La.)
Lesbians -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Accession Number: 2019.0380