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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Conner, Lemuel Parker and family Papers, 1810-1953, 1985 (bulk 1850-1940). 12.5 linear feet and 28 volumes. Location: AA:, A:106-117, 120-121, 98:C, OS:C, 65: Vault:34, J:24. Planter from Natchez, Mississippi. Papers include correspondence, cotton statements, legal and business papers (including slave testimony in an alleged slave uprising, 1861), plantation records, and Civil War papers of Confederate soldiers and civilians, family letters from LSU and Smith College, and First Presbyterian Church (Natchez) records. Also included are papers of Levin R. Marshall, the Sessions family, and Henry R. Chotard; 256 pieces of published sheet music (1824-1883); a minstrel show program (1879); and miscellaneous programs of Natchez concerts and music recitals. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 3, Reels 14-18. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 81, 1403, 1431, 1475, 1551, 1595, 1710, 1793, 1859, 1934, 1999.

Cordier, Marie Noel. Slave Mortgage, 1858-1860. 5 items. Location: Misc.: C. Freewoman of color who resided in New Orleans, Louisiana. A mortgage and receipts (in French) concern the conveyance of slaves, and a document from the Office of Mortgages of the City of New Orleans in the Parish of Orleans (in English) states no other mortgages standing in the name of Marie Noel Cordier. Mss. 5254.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Business, African Americans, French

Courrege, Oscar René Papers, 1895-1952 (bulk: 1918-1919). 0.3 linear ft. Location: X:96. Oscar René Courrege served in the United States Army during World War I, as a private in the 35th Service Co., Signal Corps. The collection contains photographs, postcards, personal and business papers belonging to Courrege. Materials relate primarily to his military service in France during World War I. Mss. 5225.

Referenced in Guides: French, 20th Century Wars

Crusius, John. Land Sale, 1855 Mar. 5. 1 item. Location: Misc.: C. Land sale by John Crusius to Francois Gabriel Levasseur for lots sold in the Trémé neighborhood in New Orleans. In French. Mss. 5271.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Cucullu, Simon. Papers, 1853. 3 items. Location: Misc:C. Papers documenting the sale at auction of land and slaves of the succession of Simon Cucullu to Joseph and M. Cucullu, including certificates of the sale and mortgage of the property. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 537.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, French

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