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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New Orleans Municipal Records, 1765-1898 (bulk: 1790-1837). 7.3 linear ft. Location: T:55-60, OS:N. Records consist of financial and legal papers created by the city governments of New Orleans. The papers are primarily the work of the City Council (or Conseil de Ville) and mayor. Some records date to the Spanish colonial Cabildo; most are from later years. A majority of the papers are in French, with a smaller amount in either Spanish or English. Financial papers pertain to public finances, including receipt and disbursement of monies, levy and collection of taxes, collection of fees on vehicles, markets, street peddlers, butcher shops, and city lots, and pay rolls for various public employees such as police and light service. Legal papers consist of resolutions and ordinances, which include records of legal matters settled by the council, and communications between the council and mayor regarding municipal affairs; and contracts and public works records, which include contracts for sale of property, agreements for the purchase of raw materials for street paving and other projects, and a small amount of material pertaining to the contract and purchase of fire protection equipment and services for the city. License bonds were issued for tavern keepers, boarding house owners, cart or dray drivers, and a small number of cabarets and coffee houses. Mss. 719, 721, 726, 734, 737, 742, 792, 795, 805, 824, 852, 902, 908, 1189, 1190, 1198, 1436.

New Orleans payment mandate, 1819 March 2. 1 item. Location: Misc:N. Payment for forty-three days' work performed by M. Bauduc's slave Thomas. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4174.

New Orleans port papers, 1814-1818. 2 items. Location: MISC:N. Tables showing home products and imported products shipped through the port of New Orleans and the number of ships which paid duties at the port from 1814 to 1818. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 322.

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

Olivier, André A. Papers, 1843-1977 (bulk 1924-1977). 1 linear ft. Location: 52:, OS:O. Native of St. Martinville and known as the historian, guide, and ambassador of Evangeline and Teche country. Papers include correspondence, writings on local history topics, a writ of seizure and sale (written in English and French; 1843), printed materials, visitors' books from Olivier's Evangeline Museum, postcards, photographic prints, illustrations, a sketch, a scrapbook, and artifacts (buttons). Materials of interest include broadsides from Olivier's New Army Store, postcards of various buildings and structures in St. Martinville, and photographic prints from the set of the movie "Evangeline" (circa 1929). Mss. 3156.

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

Opelousas and Attakapas Districts collection, 1777-1805. 123 items. Location: C:8. Original and certified copies of papers filed with the governor general and commandants of the civil and military post of Attakapas and Opelousas during Spanish colonial rule of Louisiana. Papers consist primarily of inventories of property, wills and succession documents, petitions, mortgages, and marriage contracts. Some items restricted due to fragility. In French and Spanish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 756, 1171.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, French

Opelousas Post Records, 1776, 1788. 44 items. Location: A: 72. Legal documents, most of which were written in the presence of Nicolas Forstall, commandant of the Poste des Opelousas, and deal with property and work transactions, sale and emancipation of slaves, assorted legal matters, and an investigation into a murder. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4581

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, French

Orléans, Philippe, duc d', 1674-1723. Philip, Duke of Orleans letter, 1721. 1 item. Location: Misc.:O. Regent of France. Letter to the Baron des Adrets concerning his legal dispute with M. de Montbrun in which the Regent refuses to take sides in the case, but trusts the judges with make a fair decision. The envelope is sealed with his seal as regent of France. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1599.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, French

Orléans, Philippe, duc d', 1674-1723. Duke of Orleans document, 1723 April 23. 1 item. Location: OS:O. Regent of France. Document signed at Versailles, April 23, 1723. A document signed at Versailles by Philippe d'Orléans and Pierre-François Doublet concerns property that Marie-Eleonore Hersant inherited at Tournelles following the death of her father, Pierre Hersant.In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2261.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Women, French

Oulie, M., and Company. Receipt, 1870. 1 item. Location: Misc. Receipt of M. Oulie and Co. by G. Gandin to Numa Jacob, St. James Parish, Louisiana. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 329.

Referenced in Guides: Business, French

Pailloux, Paul. Inventory, 1727. 1 item. Location: OS:P. Resident of New Orleans. Inventory of the property of Paul Pailloux. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 91.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Palao, Rosalie Andry. Document, 1813. 1 item. Location: Misc. Resident of St. James Parish, Louisiana. Ale of land and slaves (in French) by Rosalie Palao of St. James Parish, Louisiana, to Evariste Villiavasse. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 668.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, French

Palfrey Family Papers, 1776-1918. (bulk 1806-1875). 388 items; 21 vols. Location: 77:89, H:22, Mss.Mf:P, 99. Family of planters, businessmen, politicians, public servants and author. Papers of John Palfrey (1768-1843) relate chiefly to the operation of Forlorn Hope Plantation, education of his sons, War of 1812, and reflect plantation life. Topics include the trade embargo, West Florida Controversy and the capture of Baton Rouge, War of 1812, slavery, cotton and salt production, and banking. Family papers pertain to Civil War battles, plantation economics, Confederate government, and Reconstruction. Papersof William Palfrey concern Ricahoc Plantation and a partnership David Weeks. They also discuss the Clinton and Port Hudson Railroad Company (1841-1842). Some items in French and Spanish. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 6061 and 5322: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 6, Reel 12; Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series I, Part 1, Reels 1-4. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 333, 334, 1409, 1442, 1632, 2076, 2580, 2773, 2857.

Papet, Charles. Papers, 1819, 1834. 2 items. Location: Misc. Resident of New Orleans. Sales (copies) of property of Charles Papet to Mrs. Virginia Livaudais (1819) and to Fran?ois Gardere (1834). In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 335.

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

Pardo, Jean. Papers, 1837-1846. 7 items. Location: Misc:P. Resident of New Orleans. Papers consisting of mortgages, acts of sale for slaves, and a document (1846) of L. B. Macarty containing instructions for the manumission of his slaves. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1862.

Partin, Pauline Thibodeaux. Papers, 1864-1930 (bulk 1897-1905). 40 items. Location: U:119. Resident of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Correspondence and a few miscellaneous items of Pauline Thibodeaux Partin and the related Arceneaux and Brown families. In French and English. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1642.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

Pascal, Fran?ois. Document, 1839. 1 item. Location: Misc. Resident of New Orleans. Mortgage bond (notarized copy) of Fran?ois Pascal in favor of Benjamin de la Lande of Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 338.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Pearson, Lancelot. Bill of sale, 1809. 1 item. Location: Misc. Resident of New Orleans. Original, notarized copy (in French) of the sale of a house in the succession of Lancelot Pearson, New Orleans, by Simon Ducournau, administrator of the estate, to Laurent and Achille of New Orleans. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 123.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Pecquet du Bellet de Verton and Kariouk family. Papers, 1856-1991. 1.5 linear ft. Location: 49:14, 98:P, OS:P. French aristocratic family that emigrated from France to Haiti during the early years of the nineteenth century, and later moved to New Orleans. Pierre Paul and Pierre Francois Pecquet married two sisters, and lived in France and Louisiana. Writings are comprised of family histories, correspondence, and regalia of the Pecquet du Bellet de Verton and Kariouk family; and memoirs that detail historical and political events which surrounded the family from 1793-1989. Some material deals with Pierre Paul's attempt to get French government support for the Confederacy in the Civil War. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4702.

Peichardiere, Aldric Lottin de la. Papers, 1863-1881. 148 items and 3 ms. vols. Location: A:3. Reverend Father of the Marist Society, prefect of the Senior Division, and professor of French literature at Jefferson College, Convent, St. James Parish, Louisiana. Correspondence, books of meditations, and personal papers. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1231.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Education, French

Peniston, A. Notebook, 1854. 1 ms. vol. Location: M:20. Notebook containing medical memoranda. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 339.

Referenced in Guides: French, Medicine

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