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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Bossier, Mrs. V. P. Account, 1838. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Statement of account receipted by Follain, Fux & Co. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 33.

Referenced in Guides: Business, French

Boucry Family Papers, 1814-1884, 1910 (bulk 1830-1884). 6 items, 3 vols. Location: 77:88, Mss. Mf.:B.Sugar planters of Bonne Esperance Plantation, St. James Parish, Louisiana. Papers include record books of Helene Boucry containing financial and genealogical information about the Boucry, Bonnecaze, Webre, and related families. Partly in French. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 1, Reel 8. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 790, 800.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Women, French

Boudousquie, Charles. Document, 1840. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Sale of slaves to Charles Roussel, signed by a notary, with seal. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 34.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, French

Boudreaux, Maximilien E. Family Papers, 1856-1927 (bulk 1866-1905). 0.4 linear ft. (78 items, 15 ms. Vols., 1 printed vol.). Location: E:41. Sugar planter in Assumption Parish, Louisiana. Boudreaux and his son Rene may have practiced tenant farming in the 1890s. Papers pertain largely to the cultivation and sale of sugar cane and the purchase of merchandise, and include correspondence, cashbooks, time books, a letterbook, and a memorandum book containing genealogical information. 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, Reel 15. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1099.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, French

Bougaud, C. Letter, 1803 May 16. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Business letter written from New Orleans, La., addressed to Mr. Stre. Bossier, Opelousas, La., discusses the handling of C. Bougaud's account and his financial assets. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3482.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French