Manuscript Resources on Acadian History

In 1755, a group of French-speaking people were exiled from their homeland by British military tactics in a part of Nova Scotia then known as "French Acadia". Those Acadian immigrants who relocated to Southern Louisiana adapted to the unique challenges the region provided, to become known as the "Cajuns," an ethnic and cultural group much celebrated, and sometimes misunderstood.

The collection of manuscripts pertaining to the Cajuns that may be found in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC) of the LSU Libraries is varied in nature, ranging from the large group of records compiled by the Acadian Handicraft Project to a single French Acadian Music Festival program. Oral history interviews, personal papers, cartoons, photographs, scripts, and other artifacts are present in the manuscripts groups. A range of dates from the late nineteenth to the late twentieth centuries are present (see chronological listing).

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Liddell, Moses and St. John Richardson. Family Papers, 1813-1919 (bulk 1838-1870). 6.5 linear ft., 39 vols., 11 mf reels. Location: U:200-209, G:21, 98:, Mss.Mf:L, microfiche 2729. Planters of Woodville, Mississippi and Catahoula Parish, Louisiana, Confederate officers. St. John Richardson Liddell was Moses Liddell's son. Bulk of the material is that of St. John Richardson Liddell, Confederate officer and son of Moses Liddell. Papers consist of plantation records, personal correspondence, slave lists, business and legal papers, account books, notebooks, plantation diaries, and persecution of Jews. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 531.

Long, Russell B. Papers, 1774-2004 (bulk 1938-1986). 772 linear ft., 9 microfilm reels. Location: 21:-27:, MAP CAGE, MSS.MF:L, VAULT:47, AA:. Shreveport, Louisiana attorney and U.S. senator. Papers include correspondence; legislative, committee, federal agency, special project, and political campaign files; press releases; speeches; audio tapes; motion picture film; videotapes; and photographs, relating chiefly to Long's senatorial career. Topics include tax reform, petroleum issues, and employee stock options. Materials on the personal and political activities of other Long family members, among them Huey Long, are included. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3700.

Louisiana Folklife Program project files, 1973-2013 (1979-2007). 44 linear ft. (manuscript materials), 30 linear ft. (sound recordings), 3 linear ft. (video tapes). Location: 63:1-35, 33:9-13, 109:26-31, OS:L, L:45-50, 115:24-30, L:2a-4a, AA:. The Louisiana Folklife Program is one of the programs of the Division of the Arts. The mandate of the Folklife Program is to identify, document, preserve, and present Louisiana's traditional cultures. Collection includes correspondence, financial documents and papers, grant drafts. Also included are Folklife Program publications data, printed materials, newspaper clippings, posters, photographs, oral history recordings, videos, and contracts with musicians and craftspeople and completed applications, different commissions' minutes and materials, and correspondence and documentation on different folklife projects and folklife festivals. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4730.

Louisiana Folklore Society. Records, 1956-2014. 2 linear ft. Location: UU:262. Organization of folklorists, academics, teachers, and others interested in the study, preservation, and promotion of Louisiana folk culture. The records include correspondence, programs, minutes, financial records, and subject files relating to organization projects, publications, and meetings. Mss. 4168.

Louisiana Geological Survey. Louisiana earthquakes questionnaires and letters, 1983, 1991. 0.3 linear ft. Location: 107:18. Completed questionnaires that were submitted by Louisiana residents in response to a survey studying earthquakes that hit the state. Some questionnaires are in response to the October 16, 1983 tremor that was recorded in the area south of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Others are requests for information from residents who felt a tremor in southeast Louisiana on December 3, 1991. The 1983 study was conducted by Donald Stevenson of the Baton Rouge office of the Louisiana Geological Survey. The questionnaires were printed in newspapers and respondents provided information by indicating "yes" or "no" responses or by circling a level of activity as provided on the form. Many respondents included their addresses and attached letters to their forms. Also included are geological maps of Louisiana indicating sites of quakes and a seismogram. Mss. 4940.

Referenced in Guides: Acadiana

Lyon Lumber Company Records, circa 1903-1938. 58 linear ft., 3 manuscript volumes. Location: J:28, OS:L, IMLLC (offsite; collections in remote storage require a minimum of 48 hours notice for retrieval). Lumber company with a home office in Chicago and a sawmill in Garyville, Louisiana. Records include invoices, price lists, inventories, correspondence, and other business and financial materials. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1461, 1502.

Machine Shop and Telephone Switchboard Office Photographs, circa 1900-1949. 3 photographic prints. Location: MISC:M. Three photographic prints, two mounted, show the interiors of unidentified machine shops and a telephone switchboard office. Prints show personnel posing around a lathe and switchboard operators at work. It is possible that the photographs were taken in Jennings, La. or Lake Charles, La. Mss. 5364.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Business, Acadiana

McIlhenny, John A. Letter, 1893 Sept. 21. 1 letter. Location: MISC:M. Letter addressed to Alfred Pavy, Opelousas, Louisiana, from John A. McIlhenny. Concerns McIlhenny's property in St. Landry Parish. Mss. 3728.

Referenced in Guides: Acadiana

Melville and Port Barre, Louisiana flood photographs, 1927. 7 black-and-white photographic prints. Location: MISC:M. Prints (3 in. x 5 in.) showing buildings and other structures partially submerged in flood waters, caused by the Mississippi River flood of 1927. Six of the prints are of scenes in Melville, and one print is of Port Barre. The Port Barre print shows a partially submerged church. Mss. 5395.

Referenced in Guides: Acadiana

Meullion family. Papers, 1869-1915. 61 items. Location: W:3. A family of free people of color prior to the Civil War. The collection consists of post-Civil War personal correspondence, accounts, tax receipts, and printed religious material. A note stating the boundaries of a tract of land in Acadia Parish, which was owned by the estate of Alphonse Meullion is also present. Mss. 3627.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Acadiana, African Americans, French

Miller Warehouse and Milling Co., Inc. Photographs, circa 1900-1919. 2 photographic prints. Location: OS:M. By photographer C. J. Duncan of Jennings, Louisiana. One photograph shows Miller Warehouse and Milling Co., Inc. display signs on a building. The signs advertise feeds. The other photograph shows an indoor fixture displaying a special brand of feeds called "horse-shoe feeds." Mss. 5362.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Acadiana

Miller, Ben R., Sr. Papers, 1920-1983 (bulk 1950-1979). 22 linear ft. Location: 46:5-14, 47:1, OS:M, MAP CAGE. Attorney and judge in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and active member of the American Bar Association. Papers address the legal profession, legal reform, and the evolution of the state and federal judiciary systems. Materials include correspondence, legal papers, memoranda, statements, reports, notes, photographs, and printed materials. Mss. 3785.

Miro, Estevan Rodriguez, 1744-1795. Letters, 1782-1791. 20 items [typed copies]. Location: Misc.:M, Vault MRDF 3, Vault:1. Governor of Spanish colonial Louisiana. Letters from Miro to Alexandre de Clouet, Commandant of Attakapas and Opelousas, and to St. Marc Darby and Juan de la Villebeuvre, government officials at Opelousas pertaining to administrative matters including successions, road repairs, and a decree restricting the movement of Acadians. In French and Spanish with English translations. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 298.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Acadiana, French

Mouton, J. Andre. Papers, 1928-1975. 263 items, 7 vols. (6 ms. vols., 1 printed vol.). Location: N:8, 79:117, OS:M. Native of St. Martin Parish, Louisiana. Mouton worked for the Southern Pacific and Illinois Central railroads, the Moore-McCormack Steamship line, and the New Orleans Dock Board. The bulk of the collection consists of invitations, public relations materials, and photographs pertaining to Mouton's speaking engagements and his involvement in clubs and organizations. Scrapbooks (1929-1965) contain clippings. Diaries (1959-1972), some written in Salinas County, Arkansas, discuss gardening, participation in church and recreational functions, speaking engagements, family news, and the weather. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3828.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Acadiana

Olivier, André A. Papers, 1843-1977 (bulk 1924-1977). 1 linear ft. Location: 52:, OS:O. Native of St. Martinville and known as the historian, guide, and ambassador of Evangeline and Teche country. Papers include correspondence, writings on local history topics, a writ of seizure and sale (written in English and French; 1843), printed materials, visitors' books from Olivier's Evangeline Museum, postcards, photographic prints, illustrations, a sketch, a scrapbook, and artifacts (buttons). Materials of interest include broadsides from Olivier's New Army Store, postcards of various buildings and structures in St. Martinville, and photographic prints from the set of the movie "Evangeline" (circa 1929). Mss. 3156.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Acadiana, African Americans, French

Jules and Auguste Perrodin. Records, 1864-1901. 0.3 linear ft., 26 volumes, 1 microfilm reel. Location: M:19, M:29-30, U:227, OS:P, MSS.MF:M (EDVIN MATT COLLECTION). General merchants of Opelousas, Louisiana. Records consist of daybooks, ledgers, letter file books, and waybills showing charges for freight on packets operating in the Opelousas and Atchafalaya area. Some loose records are in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2395, 2422, 2423.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Acadiana, French

Photograph of steamboat William Garig, circa 1904-1918. 1 photographic print. Location: MISC:P. Hand-colored mounted photographic print of the steamboat William Garig, a shipping vessel that plied between Melville, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans. Photograph shows the steamer docked with passengers aboard. Mss. 5116.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Baton Rouge, Acadiana

Post, Lauren Chester. Papers, 1899-1977. 10 linear ft. Location: 7:11-22, 65:, W:10, OS:P. Native of Rayne, Louisiana, professor of geography at San Diego State University, and author of "Cajun Sketches" (1974) and "Louisiana As It Is" (1969). Correspondence, an autobiography, research materials, published and unpublished works, newspaper clippings, recordings of folk music, interviews, photos, and other material related to Post's books and research on Cajun folk-life and other topics. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2854.

Saint John the Baptist Parish records, 1791-1909. 198 items. Location: 36:4. Chiefly receipts and notes apparently from the succession papers of Jean Webre (1791-1829); Antoine Haydel (1831-1860); and F. Haguenier (1870-1875). Also three bills to the School Board. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 965.

Referenced in Guides: Education, Acadiana

Saint John the Baptist Parish scrapbook, 1873-1892. 1 volume. Location: P:20. Scrapbook kept by George W. Coombs and John Webre, tax collectors of Saint John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana, containing newspaper clippings, letters, notices, and blank forms pertaining to the business of the Tax Collector and Assessor Office. Mss. 1071.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Acadiana

Saint John the Baptist Parish volumes, 1852-1896. 6 volumes. Location: 36:4. Volumes contain the records of the tax collector for state, parish, and levee district taxes (1876-1896) and the records of the parish treasurer (1852-1871) for Saint John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana. Mss. 1057.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Acadiana

Savoy, Joseph and Paul. Papers, 1859-1885. 28 items. Location: A:10. Joseph Savoy was a sugar planter of Bayou Lafourche, Assumption Parish, Louisiana. His brother was Paul Savoy. Papers include bills of sale, account statements, correspondence, notes, and printed items related to Joseph and Paul Savoy's sugar operations and other business endeavors. Some items are in French, and some items bear the name of Mrs. Paul Savoy.  Mss. 5360.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Business, Acadiana, French

Simms, Mary Cannon. Memoir, circa 1942. 15 pages. Location: MISC:S. Native of Plaquemines Parish. Memoir (copy of a typewritten manuscript) recounts events including "the big gale of 1860" (a hurricane); the death of family members because of a yellow fever outbreak in 1878; and the New Orleans Levee Board forcing Simms to sell family land. Mss. 5336.

Referenced in Guides: Women, New Orleans 1866-, Acadiana

Sims, William. Diary, 1859-1860. 1 volume. Location: M:18. Member of the Confederate States Army. Diary relates his journey by horse and foot from Chapel Hill, North Carolina to the Hermitage Plantation, Louisiana. His 145 page journal contains descriptions of the terrain, towns, and people he encountered from September to December 1859. The final five pages of the diary list Sims' expenses for 1860. Mss. 4690.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Acadiana

St. Martin Parish motion, 1820.1 item. Location: MISC:S. Motion to Seth Lewis, district judge for the Fifth Judicial District of St. Martin Parish, from petitioners Joseph Dusuau Delacroix, Francois Dusuau Delacroix, and other Delacroix and DeBlanc family members. Petitioners charge that Furcy Hollier and Valerie (also spelled Vallery in the document) Bara, who purchased a slave woman named Perrine (or Perine, aged 20) at a public sale of property belonging to the Widow Dusuau Delacroix, have not paid the agreed upon amount. Petitioners seek for Perrine to be seized from Hollier and Bara. Mss. 5383.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Acadiana, African Americans, French

Sundberry, Frederic Oscar. Papers, 1923-1966. 0.1 linear ft. Location: T:14, OS:S. Son of Oscar Charles Sundbery (1888-1939) and Caroline (Carrie) Awles. Oscar worked cypress lumber and sugar industries. Frederic married Florence Sidney Mize in 1940. They were residents of Houma, Louisiana. Papers document primarily Frederic Oscar Sundbery and Oscar Charles Sundbery's involvement with Freemasonry in Louisiana. Items of note in the papers include Frederic's ritual volume (Brashear Chapter No. 82 at Houma, Louisiana; 1941); a copy of "The Louisiana Monitor..." by G. C. Huckaby (1941); a resolution of respect for Frederic issued by Unity Lodge No. 267, Houma (1966); and images (one a printed item and one a photographic print) of class reunions outside of the Scottish Rite Temple in New Orleans (1944). Oversize items include Master of the Royal Secret degrees for both Frederic and Oscar, issued by the Grand Consistory of Louisiana in the Valley of New Orleans, Orient of Louisiana (1923, 1944); a certificate signed by Governor Robert Kennon appointing Frederic as Aide-de-Camp (1952); a Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children membership certificate issued to Frederic by the Jerusalem Temple of New Orleans (undated); and other certificates. Mss. 5392.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans 1866-, Acadiana, Medicine

Taylor, Cecil G., 1909- interviewee, Oral history interview. 12 sound cassettes (14 hours), Transcript (590 p.). LSU French professor, assistant to the president, dean of arts and sciences, and chancellor. In a series of 8 interviews, Taylor describes his career as a French professor and administrator at LSU. He describes his family background, his education at the University of North Carolina, and his French language studies and Cajun French. He also describes Baton Rouge beginning in the 1930s, Huey Long and Louisiana politics, and the desegregation of education in Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0071.

Texas Gas Transmission Corporation, Gas Supply Department. Report, 1957 October 1. 1 report. MISC:T. Report contains details of gas reserves by fields and contracts; south Louisiana system map and index; gas gravity reports of south Louisiana fields; and field summaries and gathering system maps. Mss. 5369.

Referenced in Guides: Acadiana

Trudeau, Carlos. Papers, 1800, 1804. 7 items. Location: MISC:T. Surveyor general of Spanish Louisiana in the early 1780s, he served in that capacity until his resignation in 1805. Papers (in Spanish) include an official statement concerning land in Attakapas and surveys of lands on Lake Ponchartrain and Tangipahoa River. Mss. 426.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, Acadiana

Voorhies, Felix. Miscellany, 1859-1965. 18 items. Location: 98:V, A:70, OS:V, VAULT:49. Lawyer, politician, and judge born in St. Martinville, Louisiana. Collection is composed of various materials related to the life and work of Voorhies. Materials include typescripts of historical sketches concerning St. Martin Parish; correspondence; newspaper clippings of Voorhies' historical sketches and writings; two photographs of Voorhies; other printed materials; and a scrapbook. Mss. 804, 2033, 2056, 2153, 2154.

Referenced in Guides: Acadiana, French, Literature

White Castle Moss Factory. Records, 1908-1956. 0.3 linear ft., 34 volumes. Location: 5:24-26. A firm processing and dealing in Spanish moss run by Luke B. Babin and located in White Castle, Iberville Parish, Louisiana. Papers include correspondence, bills, and receipts recording sales. Articles and printed pamphlets about the moss industry are included along with a list of moss ginneries in Louisiana and materials related to the White Castle Farmers' Cooperative, Inc. Manuscript volumes include ledgers, sales records, rent records, journals, ledgers of the company's accounts at the Whitney National Bank, and a notebook containing invoices. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3021.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Acadiana

Womble-Abell-Norman family. Papers, 1859-2011 (bulk 1900-1955). 4.3 linear ft. Location: 103:40-44, OS:W. Womble-Abell-Norman family papers document five generations of personal activities, family life, and the genealogy of the Womble-Abell-Norman family and the related Buie family. Collection is comprised of correspondence, photographs, personal family papers, and professional papers of Evelyn Abell Norman. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4879.

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