French-Language Manuscript Materials

The imprint of French culture on Louisiana and the Lower Mississippi Valley has been deep and long lasting. French explorers and colonists were among the earliest Europeans to arrive in the region, beginning in the seventeenth century. Louisiana, named for Louis XIV, belonged to France for much of the 1700s and again from 1800 until it was sold to the United States in 1803. French settlers came to Louisiana both directly from France and indirectly from other areas. The latter included Acadians expelled from present-day Nova Scotia in the mid-eighteenth century and refugees from St. Domingue (present-day Haiti) in 1804. Some followers of Napoleon arrived in Louisiana after their leader's defeat in 1814. Other French immigrants came to Louisiana for a variety of reasons throughout the nineteenth century.

The French-language manuscript resources in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC) at LSU touch upon all these sources of French cultural influence. This guide to these resources includes descriptions of the papers of early colonists, French-speaking planters and free people of color in the nineteenth century, and residents of cities and towns like New Orleans and Natchitoches. The documents it describes came from farmers and merchants, writers and artists, women and men, the famous and the anonymous.

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Acadia Plantation records, 1809-2004 (bulk 1940-1979). 49 linear ft., 30 volumes, 8 rolls. Location: 93:7-30; J:4; 75:; MAP CAGE (UNNUMBERED CASE); 1 NORTH (ON TOP OF MICROFILM CABINET). A working sugar plantation, Acadia Plantation of Lafourche Parish, Louisiana is comprised of three major properties originally known as Acadia Plantation, St. Brigitte Plantation, and Evergreen Plantation. It was acquired in 1875 by Edward J. Gay, became the residence of Representative Andrew and Mrs. Anna Gay Price. Records are comprised of correspondence, financial and legal documents, printed items, volumes, maps, plats, and photographs. Papers document business and legal affairs of the plantation owners and operators, as well as plantation operations such as sugar cane farming, the crops of tenant farmers on the property, and the planning and development of the plantation lands throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Mss. 4906.

Acadian Handicraft Project. Records. 1936-1962. 9.5 linear ft. Location: 7:98-106, OS:A. Project launched in 1942 to preserve the language and culture of the French-speaking people of Louisiana; project was suspended around 1962. Project launched in 1942 to preserve the language and culture of the French-speaking people of Louisiana. Records consist of general office files, program files for festivals and exhibitions, and records relating to the promotion, the production and sale of handicrafts. Some itmes are in French. Mss. 1880.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Women, Acadiana, French

Account book, 1796-1799. 1 ms. vol., 1 mf reel. Location: Vault, Mss. Mf.:A. New Orleans, Louisiana, merchant. Account book recording names and accounts of customers. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1054.

Acosta, Juan. Papers, 1833-1876. 9 items. Location: MISC:A. Papers document land transactions in Assumption and Pointe Coupee parishes, consisting of an application to purchase land with Thomas Pinto; deeds for the sale of land to Antonio Dalferes, Thomas Lyon, and William C. Mylne; deed for the sale of land by Manuel Acosta and Thomas Fernandez to John H. Ilsley; lease of land by Nicholas Deemus to Andre Acosta; and itemized accounts of Andre Acosta. Some items in French. Mss. 552.

Referenced in Guides: Acadiana, French

Addison, George W. Receipt, 1837. 1 item. Location: Misc.:A. Resident of St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, and editor of the Opelousas Gazette. Receipt by George W. Addison for notice of the succession of Valry Roy. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: French

Agenda commercial de la Louisiane pour l'année, 1858-1877. 1 item. Location: Misc:A. Printed French journal book (1858) contains notes on the progress of the Civil War and the 'Trent Affair', a diplomatic incident between the U.S. and Great Britain. Other topics include poetry; songs; partial plays in commedia dell'arte style; notes on Renaissance Italian history and notes on Daniel Deronda by George Eliot. Also included are listings for businesses and consulates in New Orleans, and public officials in Paris. Alternate title: Anonymous manuscript volume. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3545.

Agramonte, Aristides. Notebook, undated 1 ms. vol. Location: M:18. Notebook containing notes on grammar, philosophy, jurisprudence, rhetoric, mathematics, and agriculture; and a series of questions and answers. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 974.

Referenced in Guides: Education, French

Ambert, Joachim. Papers, 1838-1876. 9 items. Location: Misc.:A, OS:A. French military officer and nobleman. Personal papers consisting of passports and related items (1838-1840); two letters from Baron Ambert in New Orleans, Louisiana; a bill for accommodations in Niagara Falls, New York; and Ambert's French military service record. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1356.

Andry, M. T. (Michel Thomassin), 1811-ca. 1871. Family Papers, 1840-1882 (bulk 1858-1879). 0.3 linear ft. (199 items). Location: UU:66. Sugar planter of St. John the Baptist and St. Charles parishes, Louisiana, and resident of New Orleans. Collection includes correspondence and legal and financial papers. Letters received by Andry's daughter Rosa from his sons describe their participation in the Battle of Shiloh, campaigns in Kentucky, and skirmishes at Camp Beauregard in the Civil War. Partly in French. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 1. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1318.

Anonymous account, 1786-1788. 1 item. Location: Misc:A. Account of an unidentified merchant in New Orleans, Louisiana. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 133.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Business, French