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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Carriere, Joseph Victor. Papers, 1790-1844. 16 items, 2 vols. Location: A:1. Physician and druggist of St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana. Papers include baptismal certificates and records of slave sales. Medical account books (1819-1822) record patient visits, including slave patients. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 984.

Referenced in Guides: French, Medicine

Carriere, Severin. Papers, 1854-1871. 25 items. Location: B:10. Papers include personal and family correspondence all in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2543.

Referenced in Guides: French

Chaperon, Jacques. Papers, 1764. 2 items. Location: Misc. Resident of New Orleans. Notarized documents describe sales by Chaperon: a house and lot to Mr. De la Clair, merchant of New Orleans; and a house and lot to Mrs. La Tour. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 64.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Chaplin, Breazeale, and Chaplin. Papers, 1806-1925 (bulk 1860-1905). 7 linear ft., 61 volumes. Location: B:55-63, K:34-35, OS:C, 98:. Law firm of Natchitoches, Louisiana. Phanor Breazeale was an attorney, president of the Natchitoches Parish school board, a newspaper editor, and a U.S. congressman. Collection includes correspondence and related papers of Chaplin, Breazeale, and Chaplin. Also includes business and some official papers of Phanor Breazeale reflecting economic, political, and similar matters in the Natchitoches area. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 952, 967, 1028.

Charles Parlange, Sr. Letter, circa 1862. 1 item. Location: Misc. Letter from A. Parlany to Judge Haralson of Pointe Coupee Parish regarding appointment of an administrator for the estate of Marius Ternant. Parlany describes family disputes, marital troubles, and concern for the future of the Ternant children. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 337.

Referenced in Guides: French