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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Prudhomme, P. Lestant. Diaries, 1850-1852. 3 v. (on microfilm). Location: Mss. Mf.:P. Son of a Natchitoches Creole planter. Personal diary reflects plantation life detailing social events, family affairs, personal activities, and local area news and weather. Entries also include possible sale of slaves (Feb. 12, 1850), visit to a former slave (April 27, 1850), and comments on secession (May 11, 1850). Several entries pertain to his many relations among the Metoyer, Cloutier, and Lambre families. Entry in French (page 133) discusses the birth of his cousin and significance of "baton" when a female child is born. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1578.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Plantations, African Americans, French

Pugh, Josephine Nicholls, 1820-1868. Record book, 1846-1939 (bulk 1846-1868). .3 linear ft.; 1 microfilm reel. Location: H:12, Mss. Mf:P. Wife of Colonel William W. Pugh, planter of Woodlawn Plantation, Assumption Parish, Louisiana. Record book documents public recognition of the Nicholls and Pugh families and includes published reports of Louisiana-related events from the Mexican War through the Civil War. In English and French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4275.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, French

Randon, Fran?ois. Ledger, 1876-1888. 1 ms. vol. Location: M:21. New Orleans dealer in sugar mill supplies. Ledger contains accounts for plantations along the Mississippi River from False River to New Orleans and on Bayou Teche. The volume also includes a record of household expenses. In French. Available on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 3, Reel 15. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 992.

Reed, William. Papers, 1860, 1870. 2 items. Location: Misc.:R. Resident of Ville Platte, Evangeline Parish, Louisiana. Letter from a cotton broker in New Orleans to William Reed regarding sale of cotton (1860) and a receipt for money paid by Read J. Tate to Blancand and Guite, New Orleans (1870). In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Regan, Godfrey Z., 1908-. Legal Opinions, 1948-1973. 25 vols. Location: 8:62-63. Member of a prominent Creole family; Justice of the Peace for the 2nd District of New Orleans, director of the Louisiana State Bank. Correspondence, essays, and business papers include letters describing civilian life in occupied New Orleans during the Civil War and conditions in the Confederate army. A record book describes a business venture of Polyxene Reynes. Some items in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1038.

Reggio Family. Papers, 1771-1860. 9 items. Location: MISC:R. Sugar planters of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. Papers include a petition (1771) by Francisco Maria Reggio to the King of Spain; papers (1812-1834) of Nicholas Reggio concerning property sales and mortgages; and papers (1836-1860) of Auguste Reggio, among them slave sales, mortgages, and accounts. Partly in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 363.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, African Americans, French

Regnier, Peter. Letter, 1811 January 19-20. 1 item. Location: Misc.:R. Letter to the Honorable Seth Lewis, Judge of the Parish of Attakapas, Louisiana, relates to measures taken after the slave revolt in Saint John the Baptist and Saint Charles parishes, La., in January 1811. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 364.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, French

Remy, Henry, 1810 or 11-1867. Collection, ca. 1843-1855. 315 items, 2 ms. vols. Location: B:46-47. Louisiana historian, essayist, and teacher. Research notes and materials covering the period 1704-1848 compiled by Remy for his history of Louisiana, entitled Histoire de la Louisiane. Includes copies of extracts from archival materials, newspaper articles, correspondence, and secondary sources. Two bound manuscript volumes contain a catalog of documents in the collection. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 938.

Referenced in Guides: Education, French

Remy, Henry. Collection, circa 1843-1855. 1 linear ft. Location: B:46-47. Louisiana historian, essayist, and teacher. Research notes and materials covering the period 1704 to 1848 compiled by Henry Remy for his history of Louisiana, entitled Histoire de la Louisiane.  Includes copies of extracts from archival materials, newspaper articles, correspondence, and secondary sources. Two bound manuscript volumes contain a catalog of documents in the collection. Mss. 938.

Referenced in Guides: French, Literature

Reynal document, 1795. 1 item. Location: Misc. Resident of St. Louis, Illinois. Sale of a slave of Mr. Reynal to M. de Blanc, commandant at Natchitoches. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 366.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, French

Reynès, Joseph and family. Papers, 1743-1929 (bulk 1862-1869). 624 items, 37 volumes. Location: C:87-88; P:20, OS:R. Resident of New Orleans and member of a prominent Creole family. Reynès was Justice of the Peace for the 2nd District of New Orleans and was later appointed as director of the Louisiana State Bank. Correspondence, essays, and business papers include letters describing civilian life in occupied New Orleans during the Civil War and conditions in the Confederate army. A record book describes a business venture of Polyxene Reynès. Some items in French. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reels 15-16. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 493, 494, 1033, 1034, 1038, 1039, 1240.

Robin, Jean. Document, 1764. 1 item. Location: Misc:.R. Resident of New Orleans. Sale of the plantation of Jean Robin to Phillip Perriche of New Orleans. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 423.

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

Rolling, Hubert, 1823-1898. Scrapbook, 1843-1898. 15 items, including 1 vol. Location: H:16, MISC:L. New Orleans pianist, composer, and music teacher, and a native of Alsace, France. Scrapbook (with some loose items detached) documenting Rolling's professional career. It includes articles from New Orleans and French newspapers and periodicals, correspondence from Louis Moreau Gottschalk and others, and two photos of Rolling. Some correspondence and newspaper clippings in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 997.

Roman, Alfred, 1824-1892. Papers, 1864-1887 (bulk 1884-1887). 38 items (photocopies). Location: A:4, Mss. Mf.:R. Military reports (1864-1865) and transcripts of letters (1874-1887) of Alfred Roman to General Beauregard discussing the writing, publishing and subsequent criticism of Roman's biography of Gen. Beauregard, and letters of Beauregard to Roman. In French and English. Originals are the property of Duke University Library and must be so cited. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 776, 815.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, French, Literature

Roman, Jacques Etienne. Land patent, 1806. 1 item. Location: OS.:R. Jacques Etienne Roman, father of Andre Bienvenu Roman, governor of Louisiana. Patent (registered in 1806) for land in St. James Parish, Louisiana, probably purchased by Jacques Etienne Roman and containing a survey (1781) authorized by Bernardo de Galvez, Spanish governor. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 254.

Referenced in Guides: French

Rosenbaum, Max. Family Letters and Photographs, 1898-1945, undated. 92 items. Location: S:136. World War I veteran and shopkeeper-resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Collection includes a series of letters written from Max Rosenbaum to his son, Bert Rosenbaum, who was in Europe serving in the United States Army during World War II. The collection is also comprised of photographs of Ruth (Elgutter) Rosenbaum's German-Jewish immigrant family. Mss. 4878.

Rouquette, Adrien, 1813-1887. Letter, 1860 May 6. 1 letter. Location: Misc. Adrien Emmanuel Rouquette was a Catholic priest in New Orleans before becoming a missionary among the Choctaw Indians. Rouquette writes to Charles Gayarré expressing thanks for Gayarré's compliments of his work. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4384.

Referenced in Guides: French, Literature

Roussel, Adelaide. Document, 1841. 1 item. Location: Misc.:R. Resident of St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana. Gift of a slave (copy) to Madame Julien Vienne from Adelaide Roussel. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 374.

Referenced in Guides: Women, African Americans, French

Saget, J. Receipt Book, 1873-1896. 1 volume. Location N:1. This receipt book records payments received and repairs made on various types of guns by J. Saget.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans 1866-, Business, French

Saint James Parish Justice of the Peace ledger, 1847-1858. 1 volume. Location: H:17. Volume containing court cases administered in Saint James Parish, La. Cases include monetary disputes, assaults, investigation of bodies found, quarrels among neighbors, and cases involving or brought against slaves. (Some entries in French). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4802.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, French

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