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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Saint-Maxent Family History and Genealogy, 1795-1972. 1 v. Location: A:118. Gilbert Antoine de St. Maxent played a major role in the development of French and Spanish Louisiana. Volume contains correspondence, clippings, printed articles, genealogies, family histories, and legal  and church records pertaining to the family history of Gilbert Antoine de Saint-Maxent and his descendants. The volume is almost entirely comprised of photocopies of the originals. A few 20th century original letters are included. Some items in Spanish and French. Mss. 5255.

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

Sarpy, Gerome. Document, 1852-1876. 2 items. Location: Misc:S. Act of retrocession of lease by Gerome Sarpy to Caspari Leopold (1852), and a receipt signed by S. E. Aspari of Isle Brevelle, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 849.

Referenced in Guides: French

Saucier, Gertrude B. (Gertrude Bott), 1881-1978. Family Papers, 1821-1960. 351 items, 1 ms. Vol., 2 printed vols. Location: UU:82; OS:S. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 17. Resident of Baton Rouge, the daughter of John Phillip and Mary Buchel Bott. Both sets of Saucier's grandparents were of German origin. She was an honorary president of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Papers consist primarily of business, personal, and legal papers of the Buchel and Bott families, with a few items from the Saucier family. Collection includes thirty-one muster rolls of Louisiana Confederate regiments. Photographs in the collection include studio portraits, views of Baton Rouge houses, and a banquet of the United Daughters of the Confederacy meeting in 1947. Some items in German, French, and Latin. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3293.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, Baton Rouge, French, German

Savoy, Joseph and family. Papers, 1856-1909. 0.3 linear ft. (93 items). Location: W:31. Sugar planter on Bayou Lafourche, Assumption Parish, Louisiana. Papers include family correspondence, with two letters of Corrine Savoy discussing the election of 1900; business papers dealing with the sale of sugar and molasses in New Orleans; and insurance policies for Joseph Savoy's plantation and sugar house. One letter and one receipt 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. 3022.

Savoy, Joseph and Paul. Papers, 1859-1885. 28 items. Location: A:10. Joseph Savoy was a sugar planter of Bayou Lafourche, Assumption Parish, Louisiana. His brother was Paul Savoy. Papers include bills of sale, account statements, correspondence, notes, and printed items related to Joseph and Paul Savoy's sugar operations and other business endeavors. Some items are in French, and some items bear the name of Mrs. Paul Savoy.  Mss. 5360.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Business, Acadiana, French

Schmidt, Charles E. Letterbook, 1882-1889. 1. Location: F:6. New Orleans lawyer. Letterpress copy book pertaining to Schmidt's legal practice. In French and English. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2159.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans 1866-, French

Schmidt, Gustavus. Correspondence, 1861-1863. .1 linear ft. Locatin: Misc:S. New Orleans attorney whose sons Charles E. Schmidt and Albert J. Schmidt both served as Confederate soldiers. Charles enlisted in the Crescent Regiment, Louisiana Infantry; Albert enlisted in the Ascension Cannoniers, Louisiana Artillery. Correspondence includes three letters from Albert Schmidt and one letter from Charles Schmidt to their father describing wartime experiences in Virginia, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Some correspondence in French. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 18. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2133.

Siguera, L. Letter, 1851. 2 items. Location: Misc.:S. Resident of San Francisco, California. Letter from Siguera to his wife in New Orleans, Louisiana, commenting on their separation during the California gold rush. In French with English translation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1244.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Skipwith, Fulwar, 1765-1839. Document, 1807. 1 item. Location: Misc:S.. Consul to France during the French Revolution and later a planter in Baton Rouge. Official letter from the director of the General Liquidation of the Public Debt of France. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1257.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Business, Baton Rouge, French

Slave sale broadside, 1820. 1 item. Location: Misc.:S. Broadside advertising the sale of eleven slaves in Iberville Parish, Louisiana. In English and French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3472.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, French

Smith, Charles Roach, 1807-1890. Letters, [1868], 1872, 1885, undated 5 items, 1 printed item. Location: Misc. English antiquary, archeologist, and writer. Letters reply to requests for antiquarian and heraldic information, and discuss the publication and distribution of his book Collectanea Anqua. In English with some French translations. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1350.

Referenced in Guides: French

Sobert Family Papers, 1767-1873. 5 items. Location: Misc.:S. Civil and parochial documents pertaining to baptisms, civilian and military service, and property of the Sobert, Hebert, and Fremin families of France and Lafourche and Assumption parishes, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1182.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, French

Société des Servantes des Pauvres poem, circa 1850. 1 item. Location: E:Imprints. Poem entitled 'Les Servantes des Pauvres,' published by the Society des Servantes des Pauvres. Also printed on the sheet: 'Matinee Concert, offerte par les artistes de l'opera.'. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2600.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, French, Literature

Soubie, Armand. Papers, 1809-1862. 155 items and 2 ms. vol. Location: A:35. New Orleans merchant and importer of guns. Correspondence consisting of personal and business letters principally from France and England; 43 maritime bills of lading (1843-1860); and a journal (1846-1849) containing entries for merchandise under names of ships. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 400, 1211, 1707, 3877.

Southern Cotton Press. Papers, 1865. 7 items. Location: Misc.:S. Documents related to law suit against U.S. Government, by widow of Dr. D.F.E. Boulin, both citizens of France, and owners (since 1859) of the press which was seized by occupation forces in New Orleans (La.) in 1862. Papers appeal seizure, directed to the French ambassador in Washington, D.C. Judgment rendered in favor of plaintiff. Most items are in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3476.

St. Andre, Jacques. Inventory and appraisal, 1823. 1 item. Location: OS.:S. Resident of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. Inventory and appraisal of the goods, furniture, stock, and slaves of the late Jacques St. Andre made at the request of his brother Andre St. Andre, by a notary public, Jean Pierre Dubois. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 849.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, French

St. Denis-DeBlanc Family Collection, 1922. 2 items. Location: Misc.:S. Collection consists of a story about St. Denis's founding of Natchitoches, the holographic will of Louis Charles de Blanc, grandson of St. Denis, and genealogical information about the St. Denis and de Blanc families. The will and genealogy are written in French and the story, in English. Mss. 4803. For further information, see online catalog.

Referenced in Guides: French, Literature

St. Julien, Louis Felix. Family papers, 1906-1915, 1942-1944. 14 letters, 1 diary. Location: A:119. Louis Felix St. Julien and Louise Comeaux, both of Broussard, La., were married on April 18, 1906. The papers consist of 14 letters received by the St. Juliens between 1906 and 1915 and a diary kept by Staff Sergeant James E. St. Julien during his service in Australia and New Guinea with the 41st Fighter Squadron during World War II. Letters in English and French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3619.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Women, French, 20th Century Wars

St. Landry Parish marks and brands register, 1810-1832 (bulk 1810-1823), 1890 ca. 2 items and 1 ms. vol. Location: C:8. St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, cattle brand book showing designs and noting transfers; a description and plat of land; and a copy of an undated remedy for dysentery. Partly in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 378.

Referenced in Guides: French, Medicine

St. Martin Parish motion, 1820.1 item. Location: MISC:S. Motion to Seth Lewis, district judge for the Fifth Judicial District of St. Martin Parish, from petitioners Joseph Dusuau Delacroix, Francois Dusuau Delacroix, and other Delacroix and DeBlanc family members. Petitioners charge that Furcy Hollier and Valerie (also spelled Vallery in the document) Bara, who purchased a slave woman named Perrine (or Perine, aged 20) at a public sale of property belonging to the Widow Dusuau Delacroix, have not paid the agreed upon amount. Petitioners seek for Perrine to be seized from Hollier and Bara. Mss. 5383.

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