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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Bertrand, Alvin Lee, 1918- interviewee. Oral history interview, 1995. 5 sound cassettes (7.5 hours), transcript (276 p.). Location: L:4700.0524. LSU alumnus and Boyd Professor of Sociology/Rural Sociology. Bertrand discusses growing up in rural Louisiana and the French language and Cajun culture. Bertrand also discusses loss of the small farm way of life, agricultural mores, and the impact of mechanization on rural life in Louisiana. Bertrand describes the general layout of the LSU campus in 1936, the creation of the LSU lakes, the LSU stadium, and student social activities. He comments on the many changes he witnessed while at LSU and details his long association with LSU and the Sociology Dept. He also discusses the development of rural sociology at LSU; his own involvement in international organizations; his work as an international rural sociologist; and his research and studies on health care needs. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0524.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Education, Acadiana, French, Medicine, LSU

Bertrand, Charles, Jr. Papers, 1866-1928. 728 items, 38 ms. vols. and 1 printed vol. Location: UU:141, H:14. Planter of Cloutierville, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. Business papers and records of Charles Bertrand, Jr., and family documents (1676-1884) of members of the family in Couches-les-Mines, France. Partly in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 840, 867, 978.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, French

Bichot, Jean Baptiste. Petition, 1781 March 29. 1 item. Location: Misc:B. Bichot was an official of the area under the jurisdiction of the post of Pointe Coupee, in Louisiana. Item is a petition to Charles de Grand-Pré,, commandant of the post of Pointe Coupee, requesting permission to inform Madame de Rocheblave to pay her debt to Sieur du Doigt. A list of her debts is included. An endorsement by Grand-Pré, approves the action, and an addendum by Bichot records Rocheblave was informed to pay the debt. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4894.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Acadiana, French

Bienvenu family. Papers, 1779-1907. 143 items. Location: E:19. Planters of St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, and New Orleans. Business papers of Alexandre Devince Bienvenu and Pierre Armand Bienvenu largely concern land ownership and sales in the Attakapas region, St. Martin Parish and New Orleans. Collection also includes family letters and genealogical papers. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2604.

Billaud family. Papers, 1816-1868. 43 items. Location: U:20. Residents of New Orleans. Papers include correspondence documenting personal and business affairs, including the purchase and sale of skins; city and parish tax receipts; and a copy of Marie Isabelle Billaud's birth certificate. Letters in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 499, 1361.

Blanc, Evariste. Land Sale, 1854 Sept. 26. 1 item. Location: Misc. B. Land sale by Evariste Blanc to the city of New Orleans for property located at Bayou St. John. Mostly in French. Mss. 5273.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Blanchard Family Papers, 1782, 1806, 1828. 3 items. Location: Misc.:B. Residents of St. James Parish, Louisiana. Description and plat (one document), 1782; transfer, 1806; and lease of lands belonging to the Blanchard family. Partly in French and Spanish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 30.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, French

Blanchard, Joseph. Document, 1825. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Resident of Iberville Parish, Louisiana. Sale (notarized copy) of land and slaves of Joseph Blanchard to Timoleon Boissac. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 668.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, French

Blanchet, Jean and Marie Mathilde Cabaret. Papers, 1841-1842. 11 items. Location: Misc.:B. Residents of New Orleans. Papers include a power of attorney, signed in Paris, France, granted by them to M. M. Thon and Lubin Garnier, New Orleans; and receipts of the Blanchets, New Orleans, for payment of state, parish, and city property taxes. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 31, 52.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Blineau, Olivier. Land Sale, 1832. 1 item. Location: Misc.: B. A land conveyance for the sale of property located on Rue de Sainte-Anne in New Orleans by Olivier Blineau to Grégoire Curto. In French. Mss. 5265.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Bonaparte, Napoleon. Document, 1792. 1 item. Location: OS:N. First Consul of the Republic of France. Document signed by Napoleon Bonaparte commissioning Louis Guichard to the rank of Chief of Battalion, with a full acccount of his services. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1583.

Referenced in Guides: French

Bonnegent, Marie Jeanne. Document, ca. 18th century. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Fragmentary inventory and appraisal of a succession proceeding which lists property in St. Domingue. Document witnessed by Bullet. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1257.

Referenced in Guides: French

Book of prayers to Saint Anthony of Padua, 1800-1840. 1 v. Location: Misc.: B. A handwritten booklet in French, contains nine prayers to Saint Anthony of Padua, patron saint of lost and stolen articles (circa 1800-1840). Mss. 3699.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, French

Bookter, Alexander. Succession Papers, 1805 May 10. 1 item (9 leaves). Location: Misc:B. Slaveholder of St. Helena Parish, Louisiana. Slaves and other property were seized and sold at public sale after the death of Alexander Bookter by the Sheriff of St. Helena Parish for the payment of Bookter's debts. Affidavits of Ann Liles, William Liles, and John Mink regarding ownership of slaves and other property in the estate of Alexander Bookter. Signed by Spanish commandant of Louisiana, Carlos de Grand-Pre. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4514.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, African Americans, French

Bordelon, Leonce P., Diaries, 1876-1931, 2005. 15 v. Location: J:28. Avoyelles Parish, La., planter. Diaries of Leonce P. Bordelon reflect Louisiana plantation life in rural Avoyelles Parish during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Entries pertain primarily to plantation operations, the effects of climate on those operations, social activities, health and local elections. Some entries in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4952.

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

Bossier, Mrs. V. P. Account, 1838. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Statement of account receipted by Follain, Fux & Co. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 33.

Referenced in Guides: Business, French

Boucry Family Papers, 1814-1884, 1910 (bulk 1830-1884). 6 items, 3 vols. Location: 77:88, Mss. Mf.:B.Sugar planters of Bonne Esperance Plantation, St. James Parish, Louisiana. Papers include record books of Helene Boucry containing financial and genealogical information about the Boucry, Bonnecaze, Webre, and related families. Partly in French. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 1, Reel 8. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 790, 800.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Women, French

Boudousquie, Charles. Document, 1840. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Sale of slaves to Charles Roussel, signed by a notary, with seal. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 34.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, French

Boudreaux, Maximilien E. Family Papers, 1856-1927 (bulk 1866-1905). 0.4 linear ft. (78 items, 15 ms. Vols., 1 printed vol.). Location: E:41. Sugar planter in Assumption Parish, Louisiana. Boudreaux and his son Rene may have practiced tenant farming in the 1890s. Papers pertain largely to the cultivation and sale of sugar cane and the purchase of merchandise, and include correspondence, cashbooks, time books, a letterbook, and a memorandum book containing genealogical information. Some items 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. 1099.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, French

Bougaud, C. Letter, 1803 May 16. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Business letter written from New Orleans, La., addressed to Mr. Stre. Bossier, Opelousas, La., discusses the handling of C. Bougaud's account and his financial assets. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3482.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

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