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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Febles, Jose R. Papers, 1818, 1849. 2 items. Location: Misc. Surveyor. Papers include a certification of a survey of Camarioca (1818) and an anonymous letter (typed copy) to the French consul at Pensacola, Florida, pertaining to improvements of the government's system of bonded warehouses (1849). In Spanish and French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 609.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, French

Filhiol, Juan. Papers, 1794-1881. 18 items on 1 microfilm reel. Location: A:31, Mss.Mf:F. Commandant at Fort Miro, Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, during the period of Spanish governance. Collection contains transcriptions of letters (1794, 1796) from Baron de Carondelet and Marquis de Maison Rouge concerning land claims in Ouachita Parish. Other documents deal with immigrants to Louisiana and a transfer of property in 1836. French transcriptions and English translations, written by G. Filhiol, date from 1842. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2438.

Referenced in Guides: French

Fleury, Hippolyte de Saint-Anthoine, comte de. Letters, 1850, 1882. 2 letters. Location: Misc. Two letters to Hippolyte de Saint-Anthoine, comte de Fleury, a French poet and secretary-general of the Institut d’Afrique in Paris, a French abolitionist group. Letters from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to Paris, France, discuss the Institut d’Afrique, Fleury’s poetry, and other matters. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 238.

Referenced in Guides: French, Literature

Focillon, Henri, 1881-1943. Letter, 1923 January 4. 1 item. Location: Misc. Professor at the Sorbonne, art critic, and authority on Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Brief letter to an associate. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2600.

Referenced in Guides: Education, French

Fontenette, Jacques. Document, 1812. 1 item. Location: Misc. Resident of St. Martin Parish, Louisiana. Will (copy) of Jacques Fontenette. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 146.

Referenced in Guides: French

Forcelle, Francois O. Letter. 1835. 1 item. Location: Misc. Resident of St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana. Personal letter inviting the parish priest to dinner. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 222.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, French

Forstall, Nicolas. Letter, 1790. 1 item. Location: Misc.:F. Spanish colonial official in New Iberia. Official letter from Nicolas Forstall to Estevan Miro requesting authorization and funds to repair a road to New Orleans in the vicinity of Bayou Courtableu. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 382.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Fouque, Gabriel. Account book, 1838-1846. 1 ms. vol. Location: Misc. Native of France and teacher in St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana. Accounts of Gabriel Fouque. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1724.

Referenced in Guides: Education, French

Fouque, Gabriel. Correspondence, 1831-1852. 16 items. Location: Misc. Native of France and teacher in St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana. Correspondence from members of his family and friends in France. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 222.

Referenced in Guides: Education, French

Fourchy, Alexandre Francois, 1787-1854. Family Papers, ca. 1848-1908, undated 185 items and 2 pamphlets. Location: U:117. Lawyer and writer of New Orleans. Family papers consist of correspondence and related items (1891-1895); family and religious cards; and 66 New Orleans trade cards. Included is a copy of Fourchy's Quelques Mots, a literary work dedicated to the memory of Napoleon I. Partly in French and in Spanish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1692, 1694.

French cooking recipes, circa 1900-1950. 58 items. Location: E:Imprints. Copies of handwritten recipes printed on cards. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1915.

Referenced in Guides: French

French consular and diplomatic documents, 1786-1822. 4 items. Location: Misc.:F. Documents from the French consulates of New York City and Baltimore, Maryland, pertaining to commercial and other interests of French citizens; and a draft of a communique (1822) from the French charge d'affairs in the United States. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1186.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, French

French House Collection, 1974-1991. 0.5 linear ft. Location: W:7. The French House (La Maison Française) at Louisiana State University opened in September 1935 to house selected advanced French-language students to live immersed in French language and culture. The collection consists of three scrapbooks documenting the history of the house compiled by Gertrude M. Beauford and four oral history interviews with Anita Olivier Morrison, head resident of the house between 1935 and 1958. Mss. 2760, 3018A.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, French, LSU

French Society of New Orleans Papers, 1851-1947 (bulk 1872-1891). 5 items, 7 vols. Location: U:114, F:8. New Orleans organization. Certified copies of minutes of meetings of the General Assembly of the French Society of New Orleans (Société Française de Bienfaisance et D'Assistance Mutuelle), forerunner to L'athénée louisianais, as well as minute book of the Committee of Thirty, registers of tombs, and printed histories and reports. Partly in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 318, 1012.

Froisy, Godefroy Etienne, Jr. Papers, 1844-1864. 3 items. Location: MISC:F. A transcription made before her wedding in 1844 copies the baptismal record of Marie Marguerite Trègre, baptized at St. John the Baptist Parish Church on October 7, 1827. Godefroy Etienne Froisy Jr. of the 30th Louisiana Infantry Regiment writes two letters to his parents in St. John the Baptist Parish from Pascagoula, Mississippi on October 24, 1863 and from Mobile, Alabama on May 20, 1864. He relates news of his service in the war. Mss. 5085.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, French

Gaaton, C. Letter, 1836. 1 item. Location: Misc. Letter from C. Gaaton reproaching a friend for his lack of confidence in the future payment of interest. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 151.

Referenced in Guides: French

Garland, Henry Lastrapes, 1826-1908. Papers, 1778-1940 (bulk 1860-1940). 804 items. Location: 79:94, Vault MRDF 2, Vault:1. Lawyer and landowner of Opelousas, Louisiana. Correspondence, land documents, and legal and business documents of Garland and his wife Celeste. Papers include a legal agreement in French (1778), letters of Confederate civilians, materials relating to St. Landry Parish schools, and materials on railroads in the state. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3087.

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

Garnier, John and Lubin. Papers, 1820-1859, undated 371 items. Location: U:121. New Orleans commission merchants. Papers consists of legal papers; correspondence; miscellaneous receipts; miscellaneous accounts of Lubin Garnier and Mme. de La Roche of Bordeaux, France; and accounts relative to the inheritance of Benjamin Poydras of Pointe Coupee Parish, La. Business letters comprise correspondence. Legal papers document the sale of a slave by Charles Louis Garnier to Pierre Michel (Jan. 13, 1829); sheriff's sale of Charles P. Fonterman's property in New Orleans (Feb. 4, 1831); notarial acts, consular acts, contracts and powers of attorney. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 155, 752.

Gasparin, Agenor de, 1810-1871. Letters. 1862-1871. 57 items. Location: U:100. French statesman, philanthropist, and writer on religion and abolition. Letters to the American translator of his books discussing the American editions and commenting on American politics, Abraham Lincoln, abolition, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1350.

Gayarré, Charles E. A. Collection, 1720-1895 (bulk 1845-1857). 588 items, 1 microfilm reel. Location: U:124-132, VAULT:7, MSS.MF:G. Louisiana planter, statesman, jurist and historian. Plantation and business records, legal documents, historical and political writings, and personal correspondence of Gayarré. The collection indicates national and state political sentiment and activities and records Gayarré's career as a historian and political analyst and the founding of Louisiana's state library. Partly in French, Spanish and German. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 156.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, Politics, Plantations, French, German, Literature

Gayarré, Charles E. A. Papers, 1781, 1830-1907 (bulk 1830-1895). 276 items, 4 volumes. Location: UU:9, VAULT:7, MSS.MF:G. Louisiana planter, statesman, jurist and historian. Papers pertain to Gayarré's association with Confederate leader J.D.B. DeBow, his literary career, and the management of his business affairs. Also included is personal correspondence of Gayarré's wife, Anne Shadie Sullivan Buchannon, with members of the William Woodson King family. Some items in French and Spanish. Part of the Grace King Collection. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1282.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, Plantations, Women, Civil War, French, Literature

Gayarré, Charles. Journals, 1835-1872 (bulk 1835-1868). 1 microfilm reel, 5 volumes. Location: VAULT:7, MSS.MF:G. Louisiana planter, statesman, jurist and historian. A manuscript copy of Gayarré's 'History of Louisiana" written in French (circa 1835). Four volumes (in French and English) contain historical notes, excerpts of letters and documents, and agricultural notes, with the fourth volume containing a draft of the biography of General Jackson. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4688.

Referenced in Guides: French, Literature

Gendron, Charles E. Papers, 1879-1914. 780 items, 27 ms. vols. Location: C:53, H:23, O:4, 98:G. Storekeeper of Edgard, Saint John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana, and agent for the Mississippi Packet Company. Papers mostly pertain to Gendron's work as an agent for the Mississippi Packet Company, including cashbooks, account books, and ledgers. Some personal papers are included. Collection contains French and English copies of the newspapers Le Meschacebe (1908-1912) and L'Observateur (1913). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 988, 1199.

Referenced in Guides: Business, French

Gentil, Fran?ois J. Class roll book, 1853. 1 ms. vol. Location: M:21. Professor at Louisiana College, St. James Parish, Louisiana. Roll book containing names, attendance records, and grades of students. Caricatures are drawn on the pages throughout the book and initialed 'J. G.'. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 676.

Referenced in Guides: Education, French

Gentil, Jean-Sylvain. Papers, 1874-1902. 74 items. Location: W:15. Native of France and Louisiana poet, teacher, journalist, and publisher of Le Rappel Louisianais in Convent, Louisiana. Papers consist of handwritten, proof copies, and newspaper clippings of poetry by Jean-Sylvain Gentil. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1336.

Referenced in Guides: French, Literature

Gilcreast, William. Document, 1793. 1 item. Location: Misc.:G. Liquidation of a mortgage of property of William Gilcreast held by Joseph Roy of Opelousas Parish, Louisiana. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 756.

Referenced in Guides: French

Girard, Jeanne F. Letters, 1893-1899. 3 items. Location: Misc.:G. Proprietor of the Hotel La Sarge in Pawhuska, Oklahoma Territory. Transcriptions and translations of two letters of Jeanne F. Girard to her brother, Albin Regnier; and a letter of Joe A. Regnier, son of Albin Reginier, written from Dallas, Texas, to his sister Anne. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 968.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

Girard, M. D. Account books, 1847-1874. 2 vols. Location: G:8. French teacher in New Orleans. Journal recording pupils and income received for her lessons; record book including lectures contributed by members of her salon in 1865, and questions and answers asked at seances which she conducted. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 502.

Girard, William. Notebook, 1885-1888. 1 vol. Location: G:8. Notebook of William Girard containing material covered in his lectures on history. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 158.

Referenced in Guides: Education, French

Girault, Auguste, ca. 1790-. Papers, 1808-1845. 12 items. Location: Misc., OS:G. Music professor in New Orleans. Girault (earlier known as Giraud) was a native of Nantes, France. Papers include passports, a discharge from military service, and correspondence, among it a letter from Dulisse Alleye recalling two years spent in prison with Girault. In French, one item in Spanish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1145.

Girod, Joseph. Papers, 1816-1899 (bulk 1830-1880). 588 items, 6 ms. Vols. Location: U:133, G:8. Native of France and planter of St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, and nephew of Nicholas Girod, first elected mayor of New Orleans. Joseph Girod's brother, Francois Girod, lived in Paris, France, and New Orleans. Papers include letters from Francois Girod, some of them related to the estate of Nicholas Girod, which provided for the aid of New Orleans orphans of French parentage. Plantation journals (1838-1877) and a letter book (1825-1832) are also included. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 838, 853.

Godet, Desire. Papers, 1826-1881. 66 items. Location: U:133. French-speaking cotton planter of Port Barre, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. Papers include letters to his parents, brother, and sister in Rouen, France. There are also bills, statements, and receipts from Opelousas merchants and statements of account with A. A. Mouton, Planters' and Merchants Agency. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 159.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, French

Gottschalk, Louis Moreau. Letter, circa 1850-1865. 1 item. Location: Misc. Louisiana composer and musician. Letter to 'Mon cher Antony' introducing Louisa Scheibel, a pupil of Gottschalk. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1454.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, French

Gourgues, Henry. Records, 1864. 70 items. Location: A:117. Collection consists of monthly statements, invoices and receipts for household items, saddlery, and groceries purchased by Henry Gourgues from various New Orleans merchants, and invoices from commission merchants for cotton and other farm products shipped. Some items in French. Mss. 5260.


Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Baton Rouge, French

Gras-Lauzin family. Papers, 1783-1917 (bulk 1783-1866). 1 linear ft. Location: U:267. Don Antonio Gras was an early settler, merchant, and shipper of Baton Rouge and Natchez, Mississippi. Others in the family included Lewis Valentin Foelekel and Dr. Jean Lauzin. Papers include financial records of Antonio Gras and Lewis Foelekel; a thesis of Dr. Jean Lauzin (Paris, 1832); and personal letters from friends of the Lauzin family who lived in France. Collection also includes Civil War letters from Francis F. Palms, a Confederate soldier, and others to Henrietta Lauzin. Some items in the collection are in French and Spanish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 5, 893.

Grima, Alfred. Papers, 1863-1868 (bulk 1864-1866). 68 items. Location: U:154. Personal letters by Alfred Grima from Richmond, Mobile, Paris, London, Cairo, and New Orleans, to members of his family in New Orleans and Augusta. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 816.

Grima, Edgar. Letter book, 1899-1900. 1 volume. Location: MSS.MF:G, VAULT:60. New Orleans, Louisiana, attorney and notary. Letter book contains correspondence relating to civil cases, finances, property, land sale, and the settlement of personal estates. In English and French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1804.

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

Grima, Felix. Drafts, 1852. 5 items. Location: Misc. Drafts payable to Miss B. A. Martin and signed by F[eli]x Grima. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1916.

Referenced in Guides: French

Gros, Cypriere. Papers, 1843, 1845. 2 items. Location: Misc. Resident of Lascallagne, France, and owner and Louisiana property owner. Papers of Cypriere Gros include a power of attorney for the sale of houses (1843) and a letter to Lubin Garnier concerning house rents (1845). In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 167.

Referenced in Guides: French

Guillory, Claude. Slave bill of sale 1783. 1 item. Location: Misc. Resident of Opelousas Parish, Louisiana. Sale of slave (in French) by Claude Guillory of the Opelousas District to Jacques Michel and Jacques Gomez. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 756.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, French

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