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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Daumer, Simon G. Power of attorney, 1838. 1 item. Location: Misc.:W. Resident of New Orleans. Power of attorney (notarized copy) of Simon Gabriel Daumer to John and Lubin Garnier. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 96.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Davis, John. Document, 1839. 1 item [photofacsimile]. Location: Misc. Manager of the Orleans Theatre and the French Opera House in New Orleans. Last will of John Davis signed at Mandeville, Louisiana. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1048.

Day, Anita G., Digital Prints. 2000. Forty (40) 5 inches X 7 inches digital prints, matted to 11 inches X 14 inches. Location: 91:3. The collection consists of 40 digital prints of images created at the 1999 Festivals Acadiens, an annual cultural event that began in 1972. The Lafayette Jaycees, along with the help of Rubber Boots, Inc., organize the principal components of Festivals Acadiens, including four separate festivals: Festival de Musique Acadienne; La Vie Cadienne Wetlands Folklife Festival; Heritage Pavilion, and; Bayou Food Festival. These festivals are held in Girard Park in Lafayette, Louisiana. The 1999 festival, during which these images were created, was held from Friday, September 17, through Sunday, September 19. These prints were part of the exhibition, "Preservation as Public Spectacle: Festivals Acadiens," displayed in Hill Memorial Library in 2000. Mss. 4993.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Acadiana, French

Dayries, B. E. Family correspondence, 1829-1848. 8 items. Location: Misc. Residents of Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Correspondence of members of the Dayries family, principally Mrs. Dayries, from Mont-de-Marsan, capital of Landes, France. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1724.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

De Beguer, Emma. Letter, 1869. 1 item [photostat]. Location: Misc.:D. Resident of Baton Rouge. Personal letter by Miss de Beguer to a friend. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 778.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Baton Rouge, French

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