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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Cuvillier, P. A. Correspondence, 1825-1826. 4 items. Location: Misc. Resident of New Orleans. Personal and business correspondence. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 222.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Dansereau, Hercules, b. 1832. Account Books and Papers, 1807-1907 (bulk 1859-1906). 32 items, 5 ms. vols. Location: Misc:D, OS:D, F:16. Physician of Thibodaux, Louisiana, and a member of the Scottish Rite Masonic Order. Papers include two medical ledgers (1860-1906) and a daybook (1874-1875); a minute book of the Scottish Rite Thibodaux Lodge No. 13 (1859-1861); and a minute book of the Philharmonic Society of Thibodaux (1861). Some manuscript volumes in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 823.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, French, Medicine

Daquin, Louis. Document, 1835 March 11. 1 item. Location: Misc.:D. Bill of sale (notarized copy) for the sale of slaves belonging to the heirs of the Daquin estate in New Orleans to August Reggio of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 94.

Darby power of attorney, 1809 June 15. 1 item. Location: Misc.:D. Power of attorney from the Darby heirs of St. Martin Parish, La., giving power to their brother, Jean Darby St. Marc, to go to Baton Rouge to claim their mulatto slave Maria del Carmen and her four children, and to sell them at the greatest advantage to the heirs. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 95.

Referenced in Guides: French

Dart, Elisabeth K. (Elizabeth Kilbourne). Collection, 1774-2005. 5.5 linear feet. Location: 121:8-11. Resident and local historian in St. Francisville, West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Wrote about West Feliciana subjects including the Railroad, biographies of notable figures, and tours for Grace Cemetery. Collection contains manuscript and research materials used for exhibits, lectures, tours, and writing on West Feliciana Parish. Manuscripts include deeds, correspondence, accounting records, legal papers, court cases, and receipts. Other records include published materials, copies of original materials, scrapbooks, photographs, notes, and exhibit text. Mss. 5023.

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