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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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.

Kowalski, G. Papers, 1839-1841. 5 items. Location: Misc. Resident of Bordeaux, France. Letters from G. Kowalski to Jean and Lubin Garnier, New Orleans, concerning wine shipments and business conditions. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 203.

L'Athénée Louisianais. Papers, 1876-1919. 570 items, 4 volumes. Location: UU:86, F:6. Society founded in 1876 to perpetuate French language and culture, successor to the French Society of New Orleans. Collection consisting of official correspondence and related items of the society. Partly in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1423.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans 1866-, French

La Clair, Fusellier de. Conveyance, 1764. 1 item. Location: Misc.:L. Resident of New Orleans. Sale of property by Fusellier de la Clair to Jacques Chaperon. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 204.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

La Coste, Marie Louise. Receipts, 1803. 2 items. Location: Misc.:L. Resident of New Orleans. Receipts for payment of rent. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1244.

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

La Cour, Antoine. Slave bill of sale, 1848. 1 item. Location: Misc. Resident of New Orleans. Sale (notarized copy) of a slave by Antoine la Cour to Eugene Rochereau. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 205.

La Freniere, Nicolas C. de. Document, 1764. 1 item. Location: Misc. Act of sale for land sold by Nicolas C. de la Freniere to Helen Fasende Laissard, New Orleans. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 207.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

La Houssaye, Sidonie de. Papers, circa 1880-1894. 22 volumes, 6 microfilm reels. Location: F:17, MSS.MF:L. French Louisiana author of Franklin, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. Manuscript drafts of short stories (in French) written by Madame Sidonie de la Houssaye : Volumes 1 and 2: L'etoile d'argent. Volume 2: Le fort de Keronec; Une paire de gants; Une poupee d'autrefois; Les fleurs et les bijoux de la grand'mere; Rose Blanche; Les petits vagabonds; Volume 3 Mythologies des petits enfants; Volume 4: George Gerard.For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 105.

La Poype, Jean Fran?ois, Marquis de. Letter, 1803 March 17. 1 item. Location: Misc.:L. General de Division (1793), Baron of the Empire (1812), and Officer of the Legion d'Honneur (1814); served in Saint-Domingue the Haitian Revolution. Letter to Admiral La Touche Treville telling of plans to send his wife and children back to France and requesting advice on how to send them. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3134.

Referenced in Guides: French

La Villebeuvre, Jean Ursin and Family. Papers, 1803-1917, undated (bulk 1840-1880). 1.75 linear ft. Location: W: 91-93, J:4, OS:L. Jean Ursin La Villebeuvre and his son, Elie Farault La Villebeuvre, were commission merchants in New Orleans, Louisiana. The collection includes the Papers of the La Villebeuvre family and the related Jourdain, Peytavin, Gray, Forstall, Roman, Peters, Toledano, and Hyman families of New Orleans and St. James Parish. Contents include business and legal records, account books, family letters, personal papers, and photographs. Mss. 812, 1208. 

Lacour Family. Papers, 1828, 1831. 2 items. Location: MISC:L. Acts of conveyance of sale of slaves to Pierre Lacour, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana (1828) and sale of land to Villery B. Lecour, Natchitoches Parish (1831). In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 849.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, French

Lafayette, Marquis de. Papers, 1817, 1830, 1848. 3 items. Location: MISC:L, VAULT:1. French reformer and participant in the American Revolution. Thank-you notes by the Marquis de Lafayette, and his son, George Washington Lafayette; and a letter by Lafayette's grandson, Oscar Lafayette. In French with English translations. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1541.

Referenced in Guides: French

Lafayette, Marquis de. Pointe Coupee Parish land records, 1805-1847. 118 items. Location: 102:. French reformer and participant in the American Revolution. Correspondence, legal files, and survey documents pertaining to land along the Mississippi River in Pointe Coupee Parish granted by the United States to the Marquis de Lafayette. Most items are in English, but a few are in French and Spanish. Mss. 1521.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, Acadiana, French

Lakanal, Joseph. Papers, 1793-1834. 22 items. Location: MISC:L, VAULT:12, VAULT MRDF 8-9. French educator, political figure; appointed president of the College of Orleans in Aug. 1822. Papers conprised primarily of correspondence. Correspondents include General Lafayette, Antoine Lavoisier, Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Daubenton and Sebastien Chamfort. Letter to Monsieur Arnault, member of the Institute of Paris, jjustifies Lakanal's resignation as president of the College of Orleans. Another relates to the punishment of young slave and problems of master-slave relations. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 244, 1312.

Lamarque, Charles. Slave bill of sale, 1850 August 12. 1 item. Location: Misc.:L. Resident of New Orleans. Sale of a female slave, Rosa, by Charles Lamarque to Henry Rance. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 208.

Lambremont, John D. Family papers, 1843-1978. 0.5 linear ft., 7 vols. (3 on microfilm). Location: OS:L, M:12, W:28, Mss. Mf.:L, Vault:1. Educator of St. James Parish, La. Items include historical materials on St. James Parish, a print of the Convent of Sacred Heart (1974), some U.S. currency (1860-1874), and a number of printed items and manuscript volumes. Some financial and legal papers concern his father-in-law, Nelson Paul Himel. Correspondence includes a typed letter from Warren Dicharry, in which he describes teaching in China (March 19, 1949). Some materials in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2863.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Education, French, Literature

Lanata, Dominique. Land Sale, 1845 June 31. 1 item. Location: Misc.: L. Land sale describes property sold to Dominique Lanata by New Orleans Municipality No. 1. In French. Mss. 5277.

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

Lanaux, George. George Lanaux and Family Papers, 1830-1915. 3 linear ft. (3,100 items). Location: UU:61-63, J:9, OS:L, 104-105. Planter of Bellevue Plantation in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, and later president of the New Orleans Insurance Association. Papers include correspondence, legal documents, financial documents, and photographs documenting the Lanaux family, plantation management, slave holdings, and land sales. Partly in French. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 1, Reels 11-13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1318.

Lanaux, Mrs. Arnold. Papers, 1810-1837. 8 items. Location: OS:L. Resident of St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. Papers pertain to the mortgage of lands and slaves from the estate of Arnold Lanaux, including an inventory of the estate of George Rixner (1810) and documents of the Citizens' Bank of Louisiana (1836). In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 668.

Referenced in Guides: Women, African Americans, French

Landry (Theodore E. and Lou Bird) Papers, 1931-1984. 15,000 items. Location: Z:30-31, Z:33, 43:26-28, 43:30-34, 82, 104-105. Landscape architects in Port Allen, La., Theodore E. and Lou Bird Landry were active in projects to restore plantation gardens to historical accuracy and donated their services to landscape churches in the Baton Rouge diocese. Personal and professional papers include correspondence, lectures, scrapbooks, and client files comprised of drawings, plans, photographs and color slides relating to landscape architecture. For additional information, see online catalog. Mss. 3771.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Plantations, Baton Rouge, French

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