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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De Flandren, Jean B. Document, 1764. 1 item. Location: Misc.:D. Resident of New Orleans. Sale of land and house of Jean Baptiste De Flandren. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 103.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

De Forest, George. Collection, 1548, 1604-1945. 44 linear ft., 149 vols. Location: 77:35-49; 31:25-30; 31:35-36; 31:63-65; OS:D; 98. New Orleans bookseller. Collection of American (including Louisiana), British, French, Latin American, and other documents, covering a wide range of occupations, including writers, lawyers, soldiers, clergy, and scientists. Includes a group of British travel diaries. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1350.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, French, Literature

De la Roche Family Papers, 1834-1839. 4 items. Location: Misc. Papers include an account of Pierre de la Roche with T. F. Laville, a petition to the Probate Court in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, by the widow of Pierre regarding her husband's estate, and a letter from Madame Pierre de la Roche to her attorney. Letter in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 106.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

DeBlanc, Charles. Slave bills of sale and memorandum, 1835-1854. 3 items. Location: Misc:D. French-speaking slave owner of New Orleans. Papers include slave bills of sale of Charles DeBlanc to Auguste and Octave Reggio of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, and an undated memorandum to Luis DeBlanc. Slave bills of sale in French, memorandum in Spanish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 100.

DeClouet, Alexandre (Alexandre Etienne) and Family. Papers, 1787-1905 (bulk 1855-1888). 1.2 linear ft. Location: U:181, J:5. Sugar planter, Confederate congressman, and state senator from St. Martin Parish, Louisiana. Beginning in the 1860s, DeClouet was active in the White League, an organization opposed to rights for freedmen. Collection includes financial papers, legal documents, political papers, and correspondence. Financial records of Alexandre DeClouet and his son Paul document plantation management and labor issues. Political papers include White League materials. 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, Reels 5-6. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 74, 258, 461, 756.

Degruy, P. H. O. Document, 1844. 1 item. Location: Misc. Resident of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. Bill of sale (notarized copy) for slaves sold to Madame Charles H. Delery of New Orleans. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 104.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, African Americans, French

Delelis, O. Leon. Scrapbook, 1843-1874. 1 ms. vol., 1 microfilm reel. Location: UU:252, Mss. Mf.:D. Schoolmaster and writer of St. Martinville and Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Scrapbook of manuscript writings and newspaper clippings, some pertaining to the Civil War and Reconstruction. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2677.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Education, French, Literature

Delsarte, Francois Alexandre Nicolas. Papers, 1811-1934 (bulk 1830-1899). 1,448 items, 107 volumes, 8 microfilm reels. Location: 35:, OS:D, MSS.MF:D. French educator, music and dramatic instructor, and originator of a widely recognized system of elocution. Professional papers contain materials relating to the study of pantomime; notes and manuscripts of writings by Delsarte's pupils, William Alger and James MacKaye, together with studies of the Delsarte system by S. S. Curry, Claude Shaver, and others. Partly in French. Preliminarily processed but open for use. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1301.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Education, French, Literature

Demolliens, Alexander. Papers, 1839, 1840. 2 items. Location: Misc. Resident of Paris, France. Papers pertain to the settlement of an account of Fran?ois Verrier, merchant of New Orleans, and include a power of attorney to Aumont Thieville & Company, Paris, and a letter to John and Lubin Garnier, New Orleans. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 108.

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

DeMunck, Eugene. Letter, 1819. 1 letter. Location: MISC:D. Personal letter from Eugene DeMunck in Brussels to Monsieur Reyer, alderman of Namur. DeMunck asks Reyer if the three nephews of DeMunck, who were returning from a trip to England, Scotland, and Ireland, could participate as soloists at his upcoming party. DeMunck speaks highly of his nephews' abilities and awaits the reply of Reyer. Mss. 822.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, French

Depoux letter, [1834]. 1 item [typescript copy]. Location: Misc. Letter describing the circumstances of the attempted assassination of Mme. de Pontalba by her father-in-law, who in turn killed himself. Typescript of an original at Tulane University. In French, translated. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 949.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

Derouen, Eloi Joseph. Notebook, 1844-1896, 1914. 1 ms. vol. on microfilm. Location:Mss. Mf.:D Cattleman of Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. Notebook containing genealogical data for the Derouen and Primeaux families; records of cattle markings and sales; a register of births of slaves; and a few daybook entries of accounts. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1953.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, French

Despau, Marie S. C. Document, 1799. 1 item. Location: Misc.:D. Request of Marie Carriere Despau for separation from her husband, Guillaume Despau of Opelousas, Louisiana. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 112.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

Devergés, Pierre. Land Sale, 1854 July 18. 1 item. Location: Misc.: D. A land sale between Pierre Devergés and Marie Thérése Vion, the widow of Charles Durant de St. Romes for property in the Faubourg Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans. In French. Mss. 5272.


Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Dissard Letter, 1805. 1 item. Location: Misc. Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, New Orleans. Letter from Mr. Dissard to A. Douce, head of the Lodge in Lafayette, Louisiana, about raising a subscription for a monument to George Washington. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 116.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Dodard, Jean, Mrs. Document, 1832. 1 item. Location: Misc.:D. Resident of Bordeaux, France. Power of attorney given to attorney, John Garnier, by Mrs. Jean Dodard to sell her slaves. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 118.

Referenced in Guides: Women, African Americans, French

Doerr, Charles T. and Family. Papers, 1837-1967. 0.6 linear ft. Locations: 12:13, OS:D. Child of German immigrants and jeweler in New Orleans, Louisiana who designed a chalice for St. Alphonsus Church. Collection consists of personal papers, printed items, newspaper clippings, photographs, and artifacts. Mss. 3312.

Dolhonde, Anthony. Receipt, 1834 April 10. 1 item. Location: Misc. Tax receipt by A. Cruzat for payment of Orleans Parish, Louisiana, taxes. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 850.

Referenced in Guides: French

Donaldsonville document, 1938. 1 item. Location: E:Imprints. Reprint of first charter granted Donaldsonville, Louisiana, March 25, 1813, issued as a broadside for the 125th anniversary celebration in 1938. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 119.

Referenced in Guides: French

Dornier, Jules. Account, 1859. 1 item. Location: Misc.:D. A fragment of an account for items purchased from Jules Dornier of St. James Parish, La.. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 120.

Referenced in Guides: Business, French

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