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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Bourcier, Catherine Silly. Document, 1840. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Widow of Fran?ois C. Bourcier. A document signed by the recorder of mortgages in New Orleans, certifying the non-encumbrance of a slave belonging to Madame Catherine Silly. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 36.

Bourcieu, Duree. Document, 1764. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Land conveyance by Duree Bourcieu, also spelled Bourcier, to Collet. Signed copy with signature of a New Orleans Notary. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 35.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Bourgeois, Louis Alexander. Certificate, 1788. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Louis Alexander Bourgeois was born and baptised in 1762, the son of James Henry Bourgeois and Marie Anne Belamy. Copy of his baptismal certificate made from original records in the archives of the Parish of St. Roche, Paris, France (1788). In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: French

Bourgeois, Pierre. Family Papers, 1771-1821. 3 items. Location: Misc.:B. Papers include a land transfer (1771), a property sale (1775), and a petition regarding ownership of slaves (1821). Partly in French and in Spanish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 37.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, African Americans, French

Boutte, Baptiste. Papers, 1764, 1790-1791. 3 items. Location: Misc.:B. Papers include an original land deed (1764) and two promissory notes (1790 and 1791). New Orleans. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 38.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Breaux, John B. Papers, 1933, 1938, 1963, 1970-2004 (bulk: 1987-2004). Approx. 781 linear feet . Location: Room B6, Map Cage, Vault:54. Correspondence, briefing books, bills, reports, testimony transcripts, research files, news releases, printed materials, audio-visual and electronic files, photographs and memorabilia documenting the political and U.S. Congressional career of Louisiana Representative (1972-1986) and Senator (1987-2004) John B. Breaux, and the work of his office. In addition to Senate and House files, contains materials related to his campaigns, the Democratic Party, and the Washington Mardi Gras. Topics include, among others, flood control, abortion, transportation, energy, the environment, taxes, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and healthcare, consumer protection, wetlands conservation, base closures in Louisiana, commerce, trade, and agriculture policy, especially for sugar and rice. For additional information, see the online catalog. Mss. 4922.

Breaux, Manuel. Papers, 1785, 1831. 2 items. Location: MISC:B. Sale of property (copy) in St. James Parish, Louisiana by Marguerite Breaux to Manuel Breaux (1785) and a document listing several land claims as found in the decisions of the Board of Commissioners for the Eastern District of Orleans (1831). In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 42.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

Breazeale, Nita Sims. Family Papers, 1811-1981 (bulk 1905-1943). 9.5 linear ft., 3 v. Location: 47:8-12, OS:B, N:9, 65:3, vault. Baton Rouge, La. resident. Papers relate to the Breazeale and Sims families of Baton Rouge, Donaldsonville, and Natchitoches, La. They consists of correspondence, legal documents, printed material, photographs, and artifacts related to World War I and World War II, Bundles for Britain, Inc., genealogy, and state and local history. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 2442.

Breazeale, Robert. Certificate, 1794. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Certificate signed by Durel, in 1794, verifiying Chitimachas Indian land in the Attakapas District cultivated by Robert [Breazeale]. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 889.

Referenced in Guides: French

Breda, Jean Philippe, 1808-1882. Family Papers, 1776-1921. 1,070 items and 31 vols., 3 mf reel. Location: B:64-65, J:13, 98:, OS:B, Mss.Mf:B, Vault:3. Physician and druggist of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. Letters, personal papers, and business records of Dr. Breda concerning his medical practice, Louisiana politics, and family matters; together with correspondence and papers of his son, J. Ernest Breda, relating to the Civil War and politics. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 953, 966, 1021.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Civil War, French, Medicine

Bringier, Louis Amadee and family. Papers, 1786-1901. 2 linear ft. and 13 volumes. Location: T:96-97, F:9, OS:B. Planter of Ascension Parish, Louisiana; Confederate officer and commander of the 4th Louisiana Cavalry and the 7th Louisiana Regiment. Papers include military records, correspondence and business papers relating to the administration of Hermitage Plantation in Ascension Parish and Houmas, Burnside, and Bagatelle plantations. One letter report that a woman killed a federal soldier in New Orleans (1862); another describes Grand Ilse as a resort frequented by Jews. Some items in French. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 1, Reels 1-2, and microfilm 5322: Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series I, Part 1, Reel 13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 43, 139, 544.

Brion letter, 1769. 1 item [typescript copy]. Location: Misc.:B. Treasurer for the French colonial troops at New Orleans. Letter from Brion to his brother J. B. Brion, clerk of court in Paris, on the overthrow of the French troops in Louisiana and the lack of pay for the soldiers. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 949.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Brouard, G. Arsene (Gerfroy Arsene) 1867-1938. Papers. 1895-1940. 1 linear ft. Location: S:107, S:108, OS:B. French monk and botanist. Correspondence, research notes, printed material, personal papers, photographs, plant samples, and diagrams by Brother Arsene Brouard. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3568.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Education, French

Brown, James, 1766-1835. Letter, 1827 September 13. 1 item. Location: Misc. Attorney in New Orleans who became Secretary of Louisiana (1804), United States attorney for the Orleans District (1805), U.S. Senator from Louisiana (1813-1817, 1819-1823), and Minister to France (1823-1829). Letter to the director of the Royal Museum of Paris, requesting permission for three of his fellow countrymen to visit the museum at a time when it was closed for a coming exposition. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1240.

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

Brown, James. Papers, 1764-1811 (bulk 1804-1811). 0.25 linear ft. Location: U:20, F:9, OS:B. Attorney in New Orleans who became secretary of Louisiana (1804), U.S. attorney for the Orleans District (1805), U.S. senator from Louisiana (1813-1817, 1819-1823), and minister to France (1823-1829). Collection consists of legal and business papers and correspondence of James Brown. Legal and business papers include documents recording sales of slaves and legal disputes. Most of the letters are from William N. Brown and General James Wilkinson. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 44.

Brunet, Francis. Document, 1788, Oct.9. 2 items. Location: Misc.:B. Two certified copies of a land sale in Opelousas, Louisiana, to Charles Vivant by Francis Brunet. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 46.

Referenced in Guides: Business, French

Brunot, James M., d. 1856. Family Papers, 1827-1877. 27 items. Location: E:52, OS:B. Lawyer of Baton Rouge. Letters from Brunot to family members in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, deal with the death and estate of his brother Felix; economic development in Baton Rouge; and Louisiana inheritance laws, among other topics. A printed letter (1873) in French from the General Union of the French Societies of Mutual Aid in the United States supports republican government in France. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1242.

Referenced in Guides: Baton Rouge, French

Burel Family. Letter, 1839. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Resident of St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana. Personal letter from Mr. Burel to his family in Lyon, France. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 222.

Referenced in Guides: French

Burguières, Jules M., Jr. Papers, 1699, 1816-1957 (bulk 1911-1915). 2.5 linear ft. Locations: 78:1-2, OS:B, J:30, E:65. Sugarcane planter and researcher, land developer. Papers consist of correspondence, research notes, clippings, photographs, and financial records relating primarily to Jules M. Burguières, Jr.’s involvement in the sugar and timber industries of Louisiana and Florida. Some research material in French and German. The estate papers of Joseph E. Burguières are also included. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1927, 2026, 2134, 2264, 2525.

Callout, Joseph. Document, 1828. 1 item. Location: Misc.:C. Land conveyance (notarized copy) describes the sale of property in St. James Parish, Louisiana, by Caillouet to Pierre Michel. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 54.

Referenced in Guides: French

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