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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Caillouet, Joseph. Conveyance, 1828 October 19. 1 item. Location: MISC:C. Land conveyance (notarized copy) describes the sale of property in St. James Parish, Louisiana, by Caillouet to Pierre Michel. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 54.

Referenced in Guides: French

Campbell, Zoe J. Diaries, 1856-1866. 5 items; 10 volumes. Location: P:1, Misc: C. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reels 4-5. Resident of New Orleans; daughter of James and Zoe Lambert Campbell and sister of Lambert Campbell, a Confederate soldier in the Civil War. Diaries document expenses, condolence visits, and piano lessons. Beginning in May 1861, they deal with the Civil War, including events in occupied New Orleans. Papers also include a funeral announcement for Campbell and a personal letter. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1274.

Cannon, Andrew and family Papers, 1829-1868, undated (1850-1862). 110 items. Location 11:15, OS:C. Andrew Jerome Cannon family of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, employee at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. Correspondence related to professional, personal business, and family life in Baton Rouge, as well as the Civil War. Financial papers consisting of bills, invoices, promissory notes, and receipts are also present. For further information, see online catalog, Mss. 4979.

Carondelet, Luis Héctor barón de. Papers, 1791-1819 (bulk 1792-1796). 11 items. Location: MISC:C, VAULT:32, VAULT MRDF 10. Francisco L. H. Carondelet, Spanish governor of Louisiana from 1792 to 1797. Letters address the debts of Nicolas Forstall and Guillermo Armand and securing a passport for Ygnacio Maria Spiller. Official issues include the boundary between Avoyelles and Rapides districts and completion of an inventory of military records. Included is a copy of sixteen rules of commerce by Carondelet and Andres Lopez Armesto governing the trade of the Spanish colonies (1793). In French and Spanish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 59.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, New Orleans 1866-, Baton Rouge, French

Carr, J. C. Letter, 1825 October 17. 1 item. Location: Misc. Resident of Natchitoches, Louisiana. Letter by J. C. Carr to J. P. M. Dubois, of Cloutierville, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, pertaining to the succession of P. Quierri. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1464.

Referenced in Guides: French