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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Dupré, Laurent. Affidavit, 1780. 1 item. Location: Misc:D. Affidavit by Derbonne regarding gambling by Jean Poiret and Pierre Decou at the home of a man named Nicolet. The affidavit was witnessed by several citizens and certified by Charles DeClouet. An annotation by Charles de Grand-Pre commandant of the Pointe Coupee District, and dated January 2, 1781, dismisses the case because it was not proved within the time required by statute. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4895.

Referenced in Guides: Acadiana, French

Ericson, Jean M., b. 1915. Photograph collection, circa 1890-1920. 22 copy prints. Location: 65:5. These photographs document rural and farm settings in south Louisiana and some Acadian French subjects. Mss. 3706.

Referenced in Guides: Acadiana

Fitch, Henry B. (Henry Bates). Hermitage Plantation pay and muster roll, June 1864. 1 item. Location: OS:F. Pay and muster roll for contraband slaves working on Hermitage Plantation. The pay and muster roll lists 118 named slaves and records the hours they worked, their monthly pay, the amount paid, amount due, etc. These freedmen are listed with their adopted surnames. Plantation was operated by Henry B. Fitch. Mss. 4881. 

Francis A. de Caro and Rosan A. Jordan, 1956-2009, undated (bulk 1966-2003) 13 linear ft. Location: 11:19, 15:15-21. De Caro and Jordan were folklorists, authors, and Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, La.) professors. The collection includes personal and professional correspondence, writings, exhibitions, photographs, printed items consisting of brochures, handbills, newspapers, and posters; and topical files that document de Caro's folklore class at LSU, his work with the Louisiana Folklife Commission, and Jordan's work with the women's movement. Writings as well as exhibitions comprise material primarily related to folklore within Louisiana and British colonial life in India. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3197, 4089, 4164.

Fremaux and LeBlanc Photographs, 1915. 2 photographic prints. Location: OS:F. Dealers in agricultural equipment and implements of Rayne, Louisiana. Photographic prints show men posing outside with binders. "Part of Fremaux and LeBlanc's 1915 binder sales" is inscribed at the bottom of each photograph. Mss. 5363.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Acadiana

Friends of Gillis Long. Records, circa 1966-1977 (bulk 1976-1977). 0.2 linear ft. Location: T:14. Records pertain to a fundraiser barbecue held by the Friends of Gillis Long on November 5, 1977 at the Port Allen Community Center. The fundraiser was held in preparation of U.S. Representative Gillis Long's 1978 re-election campaign for the Eighth Congressional District of Louisiana. Records consist of a binder (unbound) containing copies of correspondence to and from Gillis Long, staff lists, contributor and supporter lists, and fundraiser planning documents. Items of note include invitation letters from Gillis to Blanche Long, Katherine H. Long, Jimmie Davis, Mary Evelyn Parker, T. Harry Williams, Edwin Edwards, John J. McKeithen, and Speedy O. Long (filed in Special Letters section of binder). Mss. 5389.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Acadiana

Gautreau, Henry W. Papers, 1865-2013 (bulk 1970-1990). .5 linear ft. Location: T:81. Native of Gonzales, Louisiana and ordained priest for the Diocese of Baton Rouge. Papers include chiefly correspondence and printed materials related to Gautreau's involvement in the IT Corporation controversy and lawsuit in Ascension Parish and Gautreau's research on the Houma Indians. There are also printed items pertaining to Houmas House Plantation and the Houmas Central Sugar Factory. Mss. 5340.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Acadiana

Gay-Butler-Plater family. Papers, 1814-2016. 30.5 linear ft., 25 volumes. Location: G:43-85, OS:G, Q:1-6. Planters of Iberville, Lafourche, and Terrebonne parishes, Louisiana. Correspondence, financial records, legal records, photographic materials, and personal papers created and accumulated by the Gay, Butler, Plater, and Price families of Louisiana documenting their political, social, and financial affairs. Mss. 4872.

Haas, Samuel. Record books, 1881-1915. 11 volumes. Location: F:19, P:22, MSS.MF:H. Ten ledgers record orders for the sale of merchandise, the marketing and shipment of goods, the sale and purchasing of land, police jury per diems, and philanthropic donations. One letterpress copybook contains letters addressed to business associates and friends in Rapides, St. Landry, and Orleans parishes. Contains a few personal letters but primarily discusses merchandise, shipments, accounts with debtors and creditors, police jury matters, and land exchange. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3400.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Acadiana, Jewish Community

Hamilton, William S. Papers, 1780-1930 (bulk 1807-1861). 3 linear ft., 14 manuscript volumes, 16 microfilm reels. Locations: T:81-87, H:21, OS:H, MSS.MF:H. United States Army officer under General Wade Hampton; slave owner and planter of Holly Grove Plantation, West Feliciana Parish; and politician who served on the first board of trustees for the College of Louisiana and a term in the Louisiana Legislature. While most papers pertain to William S. Hamilton's social, political, and professional life, some papers also pertain to John Hamilton (William S.'s father) and the children of William S. and Eliza C. Hamilton. Papers reflect the administration of United States Army troops in the Territory of Orleans and Mississippi and give an inclusive picture of national and Louisiana politics. Included are descriptions of Southern college facilities and curricula and early medical treatments in hydropathy (hydrotherapy). The papers also document conditions in the United States Army during the Mexican War, land speculation in Texas, and various aspects of plantation life and economy (including purchasing and treatment of slaves). Part of the George M. Lester Collection. Mss. 1209.

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