Manuscript Resources on African American History

This guide describes manuscript collections documenting African American history in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections at LSU. It includes the papers of African Americans and their families; oral histories done with African Americans; and other collections that document African American history in one way or another. In the early period, these collections include documentation of slavery, the slave trade, abolitionism, and apologies for slavery. In the modern period, they include collections that document issues like civil rights, integration, and race relations.

Indeed, the experience of African Americans before and during the Civil War is often documented through the papers of others--among them, planters who bought and sold them as slaves and Union soldiers who commented upon them in letters and diaries. LSU has such resources in abundance. Papers of early African Americans themselves are more difficult to find. But Louisiana and the lower Mississippi Valley had a relatively large population of free persons of color, some of whom did leave papers. They worked as artisans in cities like New Orleans or Natchez, or were planters and even slaveholders themselves. LSU's collections of the papers of free persons of color include the papers of William Johnson of Natchez, now famed as a diarist and commentator on Southern mores.

Displaying 81 - 90 of 752. Show 5 | 10 | 20 | 40 | 60 results per page.

Bradford, Roark. Letter, 1927. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Writer, 1896-1948. Novelist, short story writer, and journalist. Letter from Bradford to H. C. Leach of The Forum, referring to his story "The River Witch", and his "Book of Ethiopus", and probably "Ol' Man Adam An' His Chillun", published by Harpers in 1928. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1401.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, Literature

Bradfute, Mrs. Theresa S. Document, 1850 December 5. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Resident of New Orleans, Louisiana. Slave bill of sale (copy) by Mrs. Theresa Stringer McDonald Jones Bradfute, executor of the estate of Greenbury Ridgely Stringer, to James Stuart Hart. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 409.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, African Americans

Bragg, Braxton, 1817-1876. Letter, 1856 February 12. 1 item. Location: Misc:B. Confederate general in command of the Army of Tennessee during the Civil War. In reply to a request for biographical information from J. Furlong of Brooklyn, N.Y., Bragg discusses the circumstances of his situation as a sugar planter in Louisiana at the beginning of the Civil War, laments the misfortunes of his 125 former slaves, and briefly describes his military career for the Confederate States of America. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2537.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Civil War, African Americans

Bray, John A. Papers, 1838-1856. 4 items. Location: Misc:B. Cotton planter of 'Cotile,' Rapides Parish, Louisiana. Items include a bill for goods bought by Bray and for freight shipped aboard the steamboat Louisiana; a statement by New Orleans cotton factor A. Miltenberger recording Bray's sale of cotton; and a letter concerning the hire of a 'boy.' Included is a copy of a deed to land and slaves in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Breaux, John B. Papers, 1933, 1938, 1963, 1970-2004 (bulk: 1987-2004). Approx. 781 linear feet . Location: Room B6, Map Cage, Vault:54. Correspondence, briefing books, bills, reports, testimony transcripts, research files, news releases, printed materials, audio-visual and electronic files, photographs and memorabilia documenting the political and U.S. Congressional career of Louisiana Representative (1972-1986) and Senator (1987-2004) John B. Breaux, and the work of his office. In addition to Senate and House files, contains materials related to his campaigns, the Democratic Party, and the Washington Mardi Gras. Topics include, among others, flood control, abortion, transportation, energy, the environment, taxes, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and healthcare, consumer protection, wetlands conservation, base closures in Louisiana, commerce, trade, and agriculture policy, especially for sugar and rice. For additional information, see the online catalog. Mss. 4922.

Breazeale, Nita Sims. Family Papers, 1811-1981 (bulk 1905-1943). 9.5 linear ft., 3 v. Location: 47:8-12, OS:B, N:9, 65:3, vault. Baton Rouge, La. resident. Papers relate to the Breazeale and Sims families of Baton Rouge, Donaldsonville, and Natchitoches, La. They consists of correspondence, legal documents, printed material, photographs, and artifacts related to World War I and World War II, Bundles for Britain, Inc., genealogy, and state and local history. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 2442.

Brent, Rosella Kenner. Papers, 1865, 1902-1916. 0.1 linear ft. Location: U:245. Daughter of Ascension Parish, Louisiana, planter and politician Duncan Farrar Kenner and wife of Confederate brigadier general Joseph F. Brent. Two narratives of Brent's recollections of Ashland Plantation, including a sketch of slave Henry Hammond. She also recounts an 1862 incident in which her father escaped to Bayou Lafourche upon learning that Union troops were coming to arrest him. Three letters pertain to Rosella Kenner Brent's husband, Brigadier General Joseph L. Brent, C.S.A. A 1910 letter describes General Brent's service in the Confederate army. Available on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 1, Reel 14. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1167, 1822.

Brigadier General Mason Brayman letter, 1864. 1 item. Location: Misc:B. Letter to Brigadier General Brayman concerning the living conditions of freedmen in Natchez, Mississippi. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3666.

Bringier, Louis Amadee and family. Papers, 1786-1901. 2 linear ft. and 13 volumes. Location: T:96-97, F:9, OS:B. Planter of Ascension Parish, Louisiana; Confederate officer and commander of the 4th Louisiana Cavalry and the 7th Louisiana Regiment. Papers include military records, correspondence and business papers relating to the administration of Hermitage Plantation in Ascension Parish and Houmas, Burnside, and Bagatelle plantations. One letter report that a woman killed a federal soldier in New Orleans (1862); another describes Grand Ilse as a resort frequented by Jews. Some items in French. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 1, Reels 1-2, and microfilm 5322: Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series I, Part 1, Reel 13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 43, 139, 544.

Britton, A. C. (Audley Clark) and family. Papers, 1830-1929 (bulk 1843-1912). 1,760 items, 14 volumes. Location: S:141-143, O:16, OS:B. Banker and planter of Natchez, Mississippi. Papers include letters and descriptions of the family, plantation, and social lives in Natchez and documents specific to Britton's business activities. Miscellaneous items include photographs, autographs, poems, ledgers, and genealogies. Included are two letters to Eliza Britton written by Jefferson Davis. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 4, Reel 1. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1403, 1710.

Pages