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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Gaaton, C. Letter, 1836. 1 item. Location: Misc. Letter from C. Gaaton reproaching a friend for his lack of confidence in the future payment of interest. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 151.

Referenced in Guides: French

Garland, Henry Lastrapes, 1826-1908. Papers, 1778-1940 (bulk 1860-1940). 804 items. Location: 79:94, Vault MRDF 2, Vault:1. Lawyer and landowner of Opelousas, Louisiana. Correspondence, land documents, and legal and business documents of Garland and his wife Celeste. Papers include a legal agreement in French (1778), letters of Confederate civilians, materials relating to St. Landry Parish schools, and materials on railroads in the state. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3087.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Civil War, Education, French

Garnier, John and Lubin. Papers, 1820-1859, undated 371 items. Location: U:121. New Orleans commission merchants. Papers consists of legal papers; correspondence; miscellaneous receipts; miscellaneous accounts of Lubin Garnier and Mme. de La Roche of Bordeaux, France; and accounts relative to the inheritance of Benjamin Poydras of Pointe Coupee Parish, La. Business letters comprise correspondence. Legal papers document the sale of a slave by Charles Louis Garnier to Pierre Michel (Jan. 13, 1829); sheriff's sale of Charles P. Fonterman's property in New Orleans (Feb. 4, 1831); notarial acts, consular acts, contracts and powers of attorney. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 155, 752.

Gasparin, Agenor de, 1810-1871. Letters. 1862-1871. 57 items. Location: U:100. French statesman, philanthropist, and writer on religion and abolition. Letters to the American translator of his books discussing the American editions and commenting on American politics, Abraham Lincoln, abolition, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1350.

Gassie Family. Papers, 1825-1959, undated. 0.5 linear ft. Location: V:104. The Gassie Family Papers contain correspondence, legal documents, and ephemera created or collected by the Emile P. Gassie family of Brusly, Louisiana. Mss. 5205

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