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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Johnson, Charles Andrew, 1818-1896. Papers, 1832-1896 (bulk 1858-1894). 514 items, 1 ms. vol. Location: UU:65, OS:J. Native of New Haven, Connecticut, and a lawyer in New Orleans. Johnson served as a judge in Donaldsonville, Louisiana (1843) and in 1855 began a partnership in a New Orleans firm. Collection contains passports, letters (1858), military passes (1863-1864), a receipt for bonds (1864), bank checks (1866-1869), and two letters and a newspaper clipping (1873) relating to lawsuits of Johnson. Some letters in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1318.

Johnson, William T and family. Papers, 1793-1937 (bulk 1830-1870). 6 linear ft., 54 volumes. Location: U:161-162, O:71-73, 65:, OS:J African American barber and planter of Natchez. Personal papers, commercial records, diaries, and music of the Johnson family reflecting the condition of cultured and educated free persons of color both before and after the Civil War. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 4, Reels 1-6. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 529, 561, 597, 770, 926, 1093.

Joly, Auguste. Document, 1811. 1 item. Location: Misc. Resident of New Orleans. Sale (notarized copy) of slaves by Auguste Joly to Louis C. deBlanc of Attakapas. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 190.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, French

Joly, Marianne Webb. Certificate, 1832. 1 item. Location: MISC:J. Copy of birth and baptismal certificate (1802) of Marianne Webb Joly from the records of St. John the Baptist Church, St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Women, French

Jones, Mary C. Notebooks, 1891-1893. 2 vols. Location: G:21. Resident of New Orleans. Notebooks (1891-1893) of Mary C. Jones containing literary material. In French and English. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 192.

Referenced in Guides: Women, New Orleans 1866-, French, Literature

Jourdan, Noel. Letter, 1828. 1 item. Location: Misc.:J. Resident of New Orleans. Personal letter from Noel Jourdan to his cousin. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 222.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

King, Grace Elizabeth. Selected papers, 1864, 1883-1933. 1 linear ft., 2 microfilm reels. Location: UU:31, MSS.MF:K, Vault:1. New Orleans writer and historian. Business and personal correspondence pertaining to Grace King's literary career, European travels, and social and family life; includes some family correspondence, principally of her sister, Annie R. King. Papers also include a copy of an order issued by Richard Taylor concerning the Battle of Mansfield (1864), a program for the memorial service for Jefferson Davis held in New Orleans (1903), and manuscript notes concerning the United States Army occupation of New Orleans (undated). Correspondence from Baron Edouard de Pontabla, Charles Wagner, Henry Vignaud, and Flora O'Gorencees discuss World War I. Partly in French. For further information, see online catalog. Part of the Grace King Collection. Mss. 1282.

Kleinpeter, George and family. Papers, 1804-1918 (bulk 1824-1890). 0.3 linear ft., 1 microfilm reel. Location: B:40, OS:K, MSS.MF:K. Farmer of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. He and Augustine Daigre married about 1830 and had at least four children, William, George Augustin, Alice, and Josephine. Papers include Civil War letters from William and George Augustin to their mother; legal documents; and miscellaneous family papers. Some items in French and Spanish. Also available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 11. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 864, 1029.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, Civil War, Baton Rouge, French

Kleinpeter, George, John, and family. Papers, 1786-1911. 32 items. Location: 7:57. The Kleinpeter family emigrated from Germany and eventually settled in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, where they were farmers. Photocopies of family documents belonging to the George and John Kleinpeter families of Louisiana. These include survey maps, land grants, land transfers, birth and death records, estate papers, receipts, and miscellaneous items. The Sharp family is also mentioned as they relate to the Kleinpeters. Mss. 4897.

Kleinpeter, Joseph and family. Papers, 1803-1895 (bulk 1820-1865). 0.25 linear ft., 2 volumes. Location: C:63, OS:K, J:6, 98:. Sugar planter of Variety Plantation in Iberville Parish, Louisiana. Papers include land records, slave sales, mortgages, and succession documents. A record book includes entries of slave births (1822-1852). There are also Civil War military papers and two Bureau of Refugees labor contracts (1865-1866). Some items in French. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 1, Reel 9. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1241.

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