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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Peniston, A. Notebook, 1854. 1 ms. vol. Location: M:20. Notebook containing medical memoranda. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 339.

Referenced in Guides: French, Medicine

Pennaud document, 1764. 1 item. Location: Misc.:P. Merchant of New Orleans. Lease of a house, property of the heirs of Mr. Pennaud, to Mr. Gabarret, signed by Mr. Duchros, legal representative of the heirs. In French. Mss. 111.

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

Periche, Philippe. Document, 1764. 1 item. Location: Misc. Resident of New Orleans. Louisiana. Sale of land and a house of Philippe Periche to Jean B. Rousselle. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 340.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Perrault, M. Letter, 1788 April 30. 1 letter. Location: Misc:P. Six-page letter (in French) with English translation gives a first-hand account of the 1788 fire that destroyed a large portion of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Discusses his own personal loss, and that of a man named "Leveau" as a result of the fire. Also discusses some unwise investments that his sister made in a Canadian mill, as well as unprofitable "seigneurie" investments. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4935.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Perret, Frank. Document, 1837. 1 item. Location: Misc. Resident of Le Havre, France. Power of attorney by Frank Perret to John and Lubin Garnier. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 341.

Referenced in Guides: French

Perrin, E. Notary Receipt, 1880-1889. 1 item. Location: Misc.P. Receipt of money paid by Leon Lefranc, notarized by E. Perrin of Montmirey-la-Ville, a village in the Jura department in France. Mss. 5342

Referenced in Guides: French

Jules and Auguste Perrodin. Records, 1864-1901. 0.3 linear ft., 26 volumes, 1 microfilm reel. Location: M:19, M:29-30, U:227, OS:P, MSS.MF:M (EDVIN MATT COLLECTION). General merchants of Opelousas, Louisiana. Records consist of daybooks, ledgers, letter file books, and waybills showing charges for freight on packets operating in the Opelousas and Atchafalaya area. Some loose records are in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2395, 2422, 2423.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Acadiana, French

Pestel papers, 1863-1877. 6 items. Location: Misc.:P, OS:P. Minister of the Netherlands to the United States. Official letters from Mr. Pestel to Amadee Couturie, consul of the Netherlands in New Orleans, La.. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 343.

Peters, Samuel J. Family Papers, 1789-1914 (bulk 1820-1863). 71 items, 1 ms. vol., 1 printed vol. Location: E:49. Prominent New Orleans merchant, financier, civic leader, and political figure. Papers consist of an autobiography, diary, political speech, and letters by Samuel Peters, Sr.; a biography of him; family correspondence; a printed volume of novelist and artist, Rodolphe Topffer; and a manuscript volume containing genealogical data. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1346.

Peyroux, Constance. Papers, 1832, 1835. 2 items. Location: Misc. Sale of a plantation and slaves in Faubourg Marigny, New Orleans, Louisiania, by the estate of Marie Eulalie Peyroux to Constance Peyroux (1832); and sale of a plantation and slaves in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, by Pierre A. Peyroux to Constance Peyroux. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 668.

Peytavin, John Ludger, b. 1859. Papers, 1806-1937. 342 items, 43 vols. Location: C:27-29, O:17, OS:P, 99:P. Attorney, author, composer, and planter of Ancient Domain Plantation in St. James Parish, Louisiana, and of New Orleans. Business and professional papers concern the operation of Peytavin's plantation and law practice. Personal papers include correspondence, manuscript copies of poems, songs, speeches, and historical sketches. Collection also includes programs for New Orleans theater, opera, and concert performances. Most of the legal papers before 1843 are in French, as is some of the post-1885 correspondence. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 465, 1067, 1071, 1072.

Philharmonic Society of St. James Parish. Records, 1875-1876. 10 items, 1 ms. vol. Location: Misc.:P, M:19. Journal contains miscellaneous records of the Society including a copy of the constitution. Loose items consist of bills and receipts in French, and a list of subscribers. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 345.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, French

Pichon Family Papers, 1769-1856. 28 items. Location: A:5, OS:P. French settlers in the Bayou Black region near Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana. Collection of papers including a land grant with notes by Governor Charles Phillipe Aubry; a baptismal certificate; land documents; and papers of Don Juan Acevedo including a will. Partly in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1588.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, French

Pistache, Jean B. Letter, 1828. 1 item. Location: Misc. Copy of a letter by Jean B. Pistache to his Uncle Eustache, published in New Orleans. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 935.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Polignac, Camille de. Letter, 1861 March 22. 2 items [one a photographic copy]. Location: Misc. Letter from Prince de Polignac of Paris, France, to Confederate General P. G. T. Beauregard, expressing his sympathy with the South, suggesting the possibility of a foreign legion, and offering his services for the Confederacy. In French with an English translation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1651.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, French

Pothier & Faucheux. Letter, 1859. 1 circular letter. Location: E:Imprints. This circular letter announces the dissolution of DeBlanc & Faucheux, merchants and importers of New Orleans, La., upon the death of Mr. Louis D. DeBlanc, and the formation of Pothier & Faucheux, which will continue the same services at the same location. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3705.

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

Poydras de la Lande, Benjamin. Papers, 1820-1844. 3 items. Location: Misc. Resident of Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Papers include a copy of a transfer of property from Paul More to Julien Poydras (original 1775); a power of attorney of Benjamin Poydras de la Lande to John and Lubin Garnier and Laurent Millaudon (1839); and a receipt for rent in New Orleans (1844). In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 352.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Pradel, Jean Charles de, 1692-1764. Family Papers, 1719-1954. 407 items on 1 microfilm reel. Location: Mss.Mf:P. Native of France and soldier and planter of New Orleans. He was married to Alexandrine de la Chaise de Pradel and operated Mon Plaisir Plantation. Papers include correspondence of Jean Charles de Pradel and his wife. His letters deal with business matters, the development of the Louisiana colony, and the discipline of slaves. Her letters deal with his estate and their daughters in France. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2866.

Prevost family papers, 1786-1814, 1843-1845. 30 items. Location: U:230, OS:P. Letters, legal documents, and related items of Pierre Prevost of St. Domingue; his daughter, Emilie Prevost Majestre of New York City; and his son, Maurice Prevost of New Orleans. Partly in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1560.

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

Printers' type specimens collection, 1799, 1850. 11 items. Location: E:83. Includes printers' type specimens for shipping papers, receipts, and legal documents. Includes items in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1178, 1189, 1919.

Referenced in Guides: French

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