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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Chinarel, Adolphe. Letter, 1840. 1 item. Location: Misc. Resident of Nantes, France. Business letter from Chinarel to John and Lubin Garnier of New Orleans pertaining to the bankruptcy of Chenard Freres. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 68.

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

Chol, Emmanuel, 1834-1916. Papers, 1845, 1854-1921. 1,213 items, 6 ms. vols., 31 printed vols. Location: U:163-164, 65:29, 98:. Native of France, music teacher and composer of Thibodaux, Lafourche Parish, Louisiana. Bills and receipts, manuscript and sheet music, pamphlets, and other imprints reflect Chol's professional career, his affiliation with the Catholic Church, and the education of his children in parochial schools. Partly in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1780, 1906.

Cior, Charles, 1819-ca. 1894. La musique, selon les sciences observes. L'histoire, la phylosophie, la physiologie, etc., etc., entendre, comprendre, se souvenir, 1885. 2 ms. vols. Location: H:20. Music teacher of New Orleans and native of Paris, France. Pedagogical manuscript containing lessons on music theory, exercises, and diagrams. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3287.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, New Orleans 1866-, French

Claiborne, William C. C. (William Charles Cole). Letter book, 1804-1811 (bulk 1804-1805). 3 items, 1 vol. Location: OS:C, VAULT:4, MSS.MF:C. Governor of the Territory of Orleans, first governor of the State of Louisiana. Correspondence concerns Claiborne's administration, relations with Native Americans, problems with the importation of slaves, Louisiana bank, Spanish land grants and land surveys in the Natchez District, and Catholic disputes in the district of Saint Bernard. Legislative act provides reimbursement for damaged houses and slaves killed or executed during the slave insurrection (April 25, 1811). One item in French. Letter book available on microfilm. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 71, 603, 965.

Clark, Gladys, b. 1918. Papers, circa 1890-2004 (bulk 1940-1997). 0.75 linear ft. Location: 128:. An accomplished spinner and weaver in the Acadian tradition, Clark received numerous awards during her career. The collection includes correspondence, photographs, and printed materials that document her artistic works and awards received, including a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1997. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4953.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Acadiana, French

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