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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De Beguer, Emma. Letter, 1869. 1 item [photostat]. Location: Misc.:D. Resident of Baton Rouge. Personal letter by Miss de Beguer to a friend. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 778.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Baton Rouge, French

De Flandren, Jean B. Document, 1764. 1 item. Location: Misc.:D. Resident of New Orleans. Sale of land and house of Jean Baptiste De Flandren. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 103.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

De Forest, George. Collection, 1548, 1604-1945. 44 linear ft., 149 vols. Location: 77:35-49; 31:25-30; 31:35-36; 31:63-65; OS:D; 98. New Orleans bookseller. Collection of American (including Louisiana), British, French, Latin American, and other documents, covering a wide range of occupations, including writers, lawyers, soldiers, clergy, and scientists. Includes a group of British travel diaries. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1350.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, French, Literature

De la Roche Family Papers, 1834-1839. 4 items. Location: Misc. Papers include an account of Pierre de la Roche with T. F. Laville, a petition to the Probate Court in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, by the widow of Pierre regarding her husband's estate, and a letter from Madame Pierre de la Roche to her attorney. Letter in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 106.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

DeBlanc, Charles. Slave bills of sale and memorandum, 1835-1854. 3 items. Location: Misc:D. French-speaking slave owner of New Orleans. Papers include slave bills of sale of Charles DeBlanc to Auguste and Octave Reggio of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, and an undated memorandum to Luis DeBlanc. Slave bills of sale in French, memorandum in Spanish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 100.

DeClouet, Alexandre (Alexandre Etienne) and Family. Papers, 1787-1905 (bulk 1855-1888). 1.2 linear ft. Location: U:181, J:5. Sugar planter, Confederate congressman, and state senator from St. Martin Parish, Louisiana. Beginning in the 1860s, DeClouet was active in the White League, an organization opposed to rights for freedmen. Collection includes financial papers, legal documents, political papers, and correspondence. Financial records of Alexandre DeClouet and his son Paul document plantation management and labor issues. Political papers include White League materials. Some items in French. Available on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 3, Reels 5-6. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 74, 258, 461, 756.

Degruy, P. H. O. Document, 1844. 1 item. Location: Misc. Resident of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. Bill of sale (notarized copy) for slaves sold to Madame Charles H. Delery of New Orleans. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 104.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, African Americans, French

Delelis, O. Leon. Scrapbook, 1843-1874. 1 ms. vol., 1 microfilm reel. Location: UU:252, Mss. Mf.:D. Schoolmaster and writer of St. Martinville and Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Scrapbook of manuscript writings and newspaper clippings, some pertaining to the Civil War and Reconstruction. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2677.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Education, French, Literature

Delsarte, Francois Alexandre Nicolas. Papers, 1811-1934 (bulk 1830-1899). 1,448 items, 107 volumes, 8 microfilm reels. Location: 35:, OS:D, MSS.MF:D. French educator, music and dramatic instructor, and originator of a widely recognized system of elocution. Professional papers contain materials relating to the study of pantomime; notes and manuscripts of writings by Delsarte's pupils, William Alger and James MacKaye, together with studies of the Delsarte system by S. S. Curry, Claude Shaver, and others. Partly in French. Preliminarily processed but open for use. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1301.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Education, French, Literature

Demolliens, Alexander. Papers, 1839, 1840. 2 items. Location: Misc. Resident of Paris, France. Papers pertain to the settlement of an account of Fran?ois Verrier, merchant of New Orleans, and include a power of attorney to Aumont Thieville & Company, Paris, and a letter to John and Lubin Garnier, New Orleans. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 108.

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

DeMunck, Eugene. Letter, 1819. 1 letter. Location: MISC:D. Personal letter from Eugene DeMunck in Brussels to Monsieur Reyer, alderman of Namur. DeMunck asks Reyer if the three nephews of DeMunck, who were returning from a trip to England, Scotland, and Ireland, could participate as soloists at his upcoming party. DeMunck speaks highly of his nephews' abilities and awaits the reply of Reyer. Mss. 822.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, French

Depoux letter, [1834]. 1 item [typescript copy]. Location: Misc. Letter describing the circumstances of the attempted assassination of Mme. de Pontalba by her father-in-law, who in turn killed himself. Typescript of an original at Tulane University. In French, translated. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 949.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

Derouen, Eloi Joseph. Notebook, 1844-1896, 1914. 1 ms. vol. on microfilm. Location:Mss. Mf.:D Cattleman of Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. Notebook containing genealogical data for the Derouen and Primeaux families; records of cattle markings and sales; a register of births of slaves; and a few daybook entries of accounts. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1953.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, French

Despau, Marie S. C. Document, 1799. 1 item. Location: Misc.:D. Request of Marie Carriere Despau for separation from her husband, Guillaume Despau of Opelousas, Louisiana. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 112.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

Devergés, Pierre. Land Sale, 1854 July 18. 1 item. Location: Misc.: D. A land sale between Pierre Devergés and Marie Thérése Vion, the widow of Charles Durant de St. Romes for property in the Faubourg Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans. In French. Mss. 5272.


Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Dissard Letter, 1805. 1 item. Location: Misc. Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, New Orleans. Letter from Mr. Dissard to A. Douce, head of the Lodge in Lafayette, Louisiana, about raising a subscription for a monument to George Washington. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 116.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Dodard, Jean, Mrs. Document, 1832. 1 item. Location: Misc.:D. Resident of Bordeaux, France. Power of attorney given to attorney, John Garnier, by Mrs. Jean Dodard to sell her slaves. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 118.

Referenced in Guides: Women, African Americans, French

Doerr, Charles T. and Family. Papers, 1837-1967. 0.6 linear ft. Locations: 12:13, OS:D. Child of German immigrants and jeweler in New Orleans, Louisiana who designed a chalice for St. Alphonsus Church. Collection consists of personal papers, printed items, newspaper clippings, photographs, and artifacts. Mss. 3312.

Dolhonde, Anthony. Receipt, 1834 April 10. 1 item. Location: Misc. Tax receipt by A. Cruzat for payment of Orleans Parish, Louisiana, taxes. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 850.

Referenced in Guides: French

Donaldsonville document, 1938. 1 item. Location: E:Imprints. Reprint of first charter granted Donaldsonville, Louisiana, March 25, 1813, issued as a broadside for the 125th anniversary celebration in 1938. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 119.

Referenced in Guides: French

Dornier, Jules. Account, 1859. 1 item. Location: Misc.:D. A fragment of an account for items purchased from Jules Dornier of St. James Parish, La.. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 120.

Referenced in Guides: Business, French

Douglas, Lady Jane. Document, 1749. 1 item. Location: OS:D. Resident of Scotland. Document dealing with the family squabble between Lady Jane Douglas and her brother, and to the question as to whether the two children of Lady Jane and her husband Colonel John Stewart were born of Lady Jane in Rheims, France, or were adopted. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1691.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

Doussan Family Papers, 1827-1872. 94 items. Location: U:300. Correspondence, financial papers, and personal papers of members of the Doussan family (primarily Antoine Doussan, Louise Perrin Doussan, and Auguste Doussan) of East and West Baton Rouge Parishes, Louisiana, and France. Correspondence of Charles de Rabars of Bordeaux, France, is also included, as is a letter from General Baron Joachim Ambert. Most documents reflect the Doussans' planting operations in West Baton Rouge Parish; their financial and legal transactions in Louisiana and France; family activities, interests, and concerns; and the experience of French emigres in Louisiana as they encountered Anglo-American culture and society. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4800.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Women, Business, Baton Rouge, French

Dreux, Marie N. Document, 1801. 1 item. Location: Misc.:D. Resident of New Orleans. Will of Marie N. Dreux. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 122.

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

Drouillard, Jean Baptiste. Family Papers, 1794-1901, undated. 165 items. Location: S:121 and Mss. Mf: D. Planter of Santo Domingo and of New Orleans. Letters and documents concern labor and economic conditions on Santo Domingo after the rise to power of Toussaint l'Ouverture in 1793, and the lives of exiles from the island who resettled in the United States. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2590.

Duboscq, Madame Dumon. Item, undated. 1 item. Location: Misc.:D. Request from Duboscq, first name unknown, that Maccartie obtain some information concerning Madame Dumon and provide it to a merchant in Nantes. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 850.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

Duplantier, Armand Letters, 1796-1807. 4 items. Location: Misc.:D. Armand Duplantier was a planter and owner of Magnolia Mound Plantation, La. Letters (in French) detail plantation life during the post-Revolutionary period, while referencing social and business life in New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4914.

Duplantier, Armand Family Letters, 1777-1859. 95 items. Location: D:62. Armand Duplantier was a planter and owner of Magnolia Mound Plantation, La. Duplantier Family Letters contain items from four generations of the Duplantier family, including Armand Duplantier, his uncle Claude Trénonay, Armand’s son Armand Allard Duplantier, and granddaughter Amélie Augustine Duplantier Peniston. The letters relate to Louisiana under the French, Spanish, and Americans and the economic, political, and social conditions attendant on transitioning among the three powers; commerce with France; the succession of Trénonay; attitudes about the French Revolution; slavery and plantation matters; family news such as illness, births, deaths, and the education of Duplantier’s children; and travels in France by Amélie Duplantier. Mss. 5060.

Dupre and Metoyer and Company. Account book, 1830-1837, 1873. 1 vol. Location: F:15. General merchandise store in Isle Brevelle, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, owned by Emanuel Dupre and J. B. D. Metoyer, free African Americans. Inventory of stock of Dupre and Metoyer and Company. An entry in 1873 records a mortgage due to Oscar Dubreuil. Copies of songs and drawings by Leatter Dupre are included in the back of the book. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 834.

Dupré, Laurent. Affidavit, 1780. 1 item. Location: Misc:D. Affidavit by Derbonne regarding gambling by Jean Poiret and Pierre Decou at the home of a man named Nicolet. The affidavit was witnessed by several citizens and certified by Charles DeClouet. An annotation by Charles de Grand-Pre commandant of the Pointe Coupee District, and dated January 2, 1781, dismisses the case because it was not proved within the time required by statute. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4895.

Referenced in Guides: Acadiana, French

Dupuy, Helene. Diary, 1861-1865. 1 item. Location: Misc. Resident of Donaldsonville, Louisiana. Typewritten copy of a diary kept by Helene Dupuy during the Civil War. The diary mentions Louisiana Confederate units and Union activity around Donaldsonville. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, French

Duralde, Martin. Affidavit, 1795 Nov. 27. 1 affidavit. Location: Misc. Martin Duralde was captain of the militia and civil and military commandant of the Post of Opelousas, La. This affidavit concerns a 14-year-old debt for 200 piastres owed to Pierre Broussard by the late Jean Baptiste Grevenbert. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4400.

Referenced in Guides: Business, French

Duran de la Moitre document, 1764. 1 item. Location: Misc.:D. Sale (in French) of property of Duran de la Moitre to Mr. Demain, New Orleans, La. Mss. 102.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Duranton, Jean B. Papers, 1841. 3 items. Location: Misc. Resident of Bordeaux, France. Papers of Jean Baptiste Duranton include a power of attorney to John Garnier and registrations of the succession of his wife, Galathee E. Duranton. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 129.

Referenced in Guides: French

Ellis, Hazel. Family Papers, 1848-1938 (bulk 1903-1911). 5,451 items, 15 vols. Location: U:67-90, G:1. Hazel and Nellie Ellis were members of the Caswell Prewitt Ellis family of Montgomery, Alabama, and New Orleans. Personal papers of the Ellis family include financial records, legal documents, photographs, and correspondence. Most correspondence relates to family matters, health, and social events including Hazel's trip abroad in 1902. Much of the correspondence dated 1905 pertains to social events related to Hazel as Queen of Mardi Gras. Other letters are those of suitors written to Hazel and Nellie. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 467.

Ellzey, Cecil C., 1919 or 20-1999. Papers, 1944, 1983-1989. 5 items. Location: Misc. Colonel Cecil C. Ellzey, a native of Tylertown, Miss., and resident of Franklinton, La., served as an aerial reconnaissance pilot for the Eighth Infantry Division's artillery in Europe during World War II. These papers primarily concern Ellzey's encounter with Soviet soldiers in 1945. Some items in French and Russian. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4364.

Referenced in Guides: French, 20th Century Wars

Erre, Louise. Papers, 1891-1892. 35 items. Location: U:120. A group of letters collected by Madame Louise Erre, and a letter from her to Charles Lasseigne, editor of Le Meschacebe, about the possibility of his using them in his journal. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 739.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

Etienne, Thomas François. Record book, 1845-1861. 1 vol. Location: B:16. Record book of Thomas François Etienne of St. Mary Parish, La., is a source of information on life and economy of the Attakapas area of Louisiana during the 1840s and 1850s. It contains entries of sales and accounts at Etienne's store and diary entries, including the planting of a garden according to the phases of the moon. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2161

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Business, French

Evans, J. Bruce, Papers, 1614-2005 (bulk 1930-1990). 31.5 linear ft., 26 v. Location: 92:82-109; OS:E; J:34-35; Vault:1. Baptist minister, religious counselor and civil rights activist. Correspondence, church records, sermons, workshop materials, printed items, photographs and audio tapes reflect Evans's ministerial career in Baton Rouge, La., at First Baptist Church and Fellowship Church. Personal papers [some items in French], business records and genealogical material document the ancestry of Evans and his wife, Anita Louise, and provide insight into the personal lives of family members. Papers also furnish histories of Bienville and Natchitoches parishes and Saline, La., and relate to Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve and to Dormon's activities as a naturalist. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4664.

Fadenville, Marie. Papers, 1874-1879. 27 items. Location: U:120. Letters from Marie Fadenville to her husband in Iberville Parish, Louisiana. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 238.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

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