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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Leonard, Theodule. Papers, 1841-1896. 135 items. Location: C:55. Planter, tax collector, and sheriff of West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, and captain of Company O of the West Feliciana Regiment of the Louisiana Militia in the Civil War. Letters relate Confederate maneuvers around Columbus, Kentucky. Some papers and letters in French. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 12. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1209.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Plantations, Civil War, French

Letter to Chs. [Charles] Biberon, 1856, Dec. 1. 1 item. Location: Misc:L. Anonymous letter (in French, with English translation) that refers to the hurricane that struck Last Island, a barrier island south of Houma, La., in August 1856. Letter mentions the effect of the storm on families, and cane and cotton crops. Appears to be the first page of a longer letter, since it bears no closing or signature. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4936.

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

Lieutaud, Albert Louis. Collection, 1650, 1801-1965. 10 linear ft. Location: U:247-250, OS:L, 34:8-14.. Collection consists of letters, Christmas cards, receipts, printed material, sketches, photographic prints, and sheet music concerning various subjects in New Orleans and Louisiana history; the career of R.J. Morgan, a 19th-century English actor in the United States; railroad transportation in the United States; the American Civil War; and Lieutaud's own literary works and his work as an art and manuscript dealer. About two-thirds of the collection consists of about 140 presentation copies of books and pamphlets on Louisiana topics given to Lieutaud. Partly in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1407, 1700, 1771, 1784, 1853, 1936, 2046, 2211, 2369, 2469.

Livingston, Edward, 1764-1836. Papers, 1801-1836 (bulk 1820-1835). 0.3 linear ft. Location: U:219. U.S. congressman and senator from Louisiana, U.S. Secretary of State, and Minister to France. Documents and letters relating to the controversy over the Batture Ste. Marie in New Orleans. Includes letters from Denis Prieur, mayor of New Orleans, and a photostat of an Aaron Burr letter. Partly in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 516, 644.

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

Louis XIV. Document, 1665. 1 item. Location: Misc. Document signed by Louis XIV to the governor of the Bastille, sentencing a prisoner to the Bastille. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1664.

Referenced in Guides: French

Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Volume, 1770-1788. 1 vol. Location: Vault:31. Six pamphlets and one volume pertaining to the royal court of France during the reign of Louis XVI. Pamphlets relate to the wedding of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette (1770), the birth of their son Louis Joseph (1782), the peace at the end of the Anglo-French War (1783), and the meeting of the Parlement of Paris (1788). The manuscript is that of a French poem. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1861.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French, Literature

Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Cash journal, 1788-1793. 5 items, 1 vol. Location: Mss. Mf.:L, OS:l, vault 31. Cash journal for the royal household kept by M. Le Roy, cashier of the general treasury of the house of the King and Queen, and audited by Randon de la Tour, administrator of the public treasury. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1800.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

Louis XVIII, 1755-1824. Document, 1787. 2 items. Location:OS:L. Account sheet signed by Marie Josephine Louise, Countess of Provence and wife of Louis XVIII, listing household allowances for the year 1787. Also a lithograph portrait of the Countess of Provence by Delpech. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2025.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

Louise, Countess of Albany. Letters, circa 1802-1820. 19 items. Location: 31:. Louise, Countess of Albany, was the wife of exiled Prince Charles Edward Stuart, "Bonnie Prince Charlie," Jacobite claimant to the British throne. Letters written to Elizabeth Cavendish, the Duchess of Devonshire, document the Countess of Albany's opinions on major political topics and current events, including Napoleon's exile and the political situation in Italy following Napoleon's occupation. The letters also discuss Louise's daily life and activities, and many of the two women's friends, who include notable figures such as Cardinal Ercole Consalvi, Madame de Staël, Lady Charlotte Bury, and Lord Byron. There is also one partial letter written to an unknown correspondent. Part of the George DeForest Collection. Mss. 1350.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Women, French

Louisiana military payroll, 1767 December 11. 1 item. Location: Misc.:L, vault:1. Payroll sheet for a French colonial regiment garrisoned in New Orleans, giving names of officers and amounts due soldiers in settlement of their pay for the year 1759. Certified by Governor Louis Kerlerec and others in 1767. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1191.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Louisiana Constitutional Convention petition, 1879. 2 items. Location: OS:L. Petition of the citizens and taxpayers of New Orleans requesting the president and members of the Constitutional Convention of Louisiana to reject illegal debts of the State and to limit state taxation. A letter written by A. Garnier is attached. Letter in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 231.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, New Orleans 1866-, French

Louisiana Leper Home records, 1884-1921 (1895-1920). 11 linear ft.; 16 v. Location: 96:1-6; OS:L; O:18. Correspondence, legal documents, administrative and financial records relate primarily to financial operations. Correspondence also concerns rules governing patients; legal documents contain court orders confining individuals to the Home. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2515.

Louisiana Leper Home. Records, 1890-1921 (bulk 1895-1920). 14 linear ft., 16 ms. Vols. Location: 96:1-6; OS:L; O:18. Louisiana Leper Home was established by the Legislature in 1894. Records consist of correspondence, legal documents, printed items, administrative records, and financial records that relate primarily to the financial operations of the Home. Correspondence also concerns patient care and personal conduct. Legal papers contain court orders confining individuals to the Home. Manuscript volumes include bank books, cashbooks, ledgers, and a register of patients. Some correspondence in French and German. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2515.

Louisiana State Lottery collection, 1840-1905 (bulk 1879-1890). .3 linear ft. Location: OS:L. Incorporated in 1868, the Louisiana State Lottery Company operated in New Orleans until ca. 1894 when it relocated to Honduras. It was broken up by the U.S. Department of Justice in 1906. Collection includes letters received, order and remittance forms, lottery tickets, lists of prizes awarded, broadsides, publications, and newspaper advertisements; Anti-lottery League of Louisiana memorabilia; and imprints from out-of-state lotteries. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 854.

Louvell, Mrs. Auguste. Papers, 1811-1859. 10 items. Location: Misc. Resident of Brest, France. Papers include a bill, invitation, letter from banking house, business cards, a protest of a note of Peter Desanes, and settlement of accounts upon the dissolution of the partnership of Duchamp and Peillon. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 233.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

Macarty, Augustin. Broadside, May 1, 1817. 1 item. Location: Misc.:M. Sixth mayor of New Orleans, La. (1815-1820). Broadside contains articles 7 and 8 of the ordinance concerning the conservation and use of Bayou St. John, New Orleans, La. Signed by Aug[ustin] Macarty. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4407.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Macarty, Jno. (John). Family Papers, 1764-1935 (bulk 1764-1837). 9 items. Location: B:50. Native of France and resident of New Orleans. Macarty owned a plantation home near New Orleans which was used by Andrew Jackson as a field headquarters in 1815. Papers pertain to the estate of John Macarty and include a forty-page inventory of the contents of his New Orleans residence and the Macarty plantation home. Also included is a roll of the Royal Legion of the Mississippi Militia (ca. 1798). In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 270, 496.

MacKowen, John C. (John Clay). Papers, 1846-1966 (bulk 1897-1901). 103 items, 3 printed vols. Location: E:54; OS:M. Planter and physician of Jackson, Louisiana, and owner of a property in Anacapri, Italy. Letters concern the education of John MacKowen and his brothers in New England schools, MacKowen's Confederate service during the Civil War, the education of African Americans by plantation women, and the MacKowen property in Italy. Some letters and papers in Italian and French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2465.

Maison D'Education pour les Demoiselles invoice, 1856 Jan. 31. 1 invoice. Location: Misc. Maison D'Education pour les Demoiselles, a girls' finishing school, was operated by Mme. K. Desrayaux in New Orleans, La. This invoice records the itemized expenses for the Melles Lyons for the month of January 1856. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4400.

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

Manchosse document, 1820, November 20. 1 item. Location: Misc. Residents of Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Transfer of property (copy) of Charlotte L. and Augustine P. Manchosse to Augustine Bourgeas. In French. For further information,see online catalog. Mss. 276.

Referenced in Guides: French