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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Duboscq, Madame Dumon. Item, undated. 1 item. Location: Misc.:D. Request from Duboscq, first name unknown, that Maccartie obtain some information concerning Madame Dumon and provide it to a merchant in Nantes. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 850.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

Duplantier, Armand Letters, 1796-1807. 4 items. Location: Misc.:D. Armand Duplantier was a planter and owner of Magnolia Mound Plantation, La. Letters (in French) detail plantation life during the post-Revolutionary period, while referencing social and business life in New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4914.

Duplantier, Armand Family Letters, 1777-1859. 95 items. Location: D:62. Armand Duplantier was a planter and owner of Magnolia Mound Plantation, La. Duplantier Family Letters contain items from four generations of the Duplantier family, including Armand Duplantier, his uncle Claude Trénonay, Armand’s son Armand Allard Duplantier, and granddaughter Amélie Augustine Duplantier Peniston. The letters relate to Louisiana under the French, Spanish, and Americans and the economic, political, and social conditions attendant on transitioning among the three powers; commerce with France; the succession of Trénonay; attitudes about the French Revolution; slavery and plantation matters; family news such as illness, births, deaths, and the education of Duplantier’s children; and travels in France by Amélie Duplantier. Mss. 5060.

Dupre and Metoyer and Company. Account book, 1830-1837, 1873. 1 vol. Location: F:15. General merchandise store in Isle Brevelle, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, owned by Emanuel Dupre and J. B. D. Metoyer, free African Americans. Inventory of stock of Dupre and Metoyer and Company. An entry in 1873 records a mortgage due to Oscar Dubreuil. Copies of songs and drawings by Leatter Dupre are included in the back of the book. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 834.

Dupré, Laurent. Affidavit, 1780. 1 item. Location: Misc:D. Affidavit by Derbonne regarding gambling by Jean Poiret and Pierre Decou at the home of a man named Nicolet. The affidavit was witnessed by several citizens and certified by Charles DeClouet. An annotation by Charles de Grand-Pre commandant of the Pointe Coupee District, and dated January 2, 1781, dismisses the case because it was not proved within the time required by statute. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4895.

Referenced in Guides: Acadiana, French