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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Douglas, Lady Jane. Document, 1749. 1 item. Location: OS:D. Resident of Scotland. Document dealing with the family squabble between Lady Jane Douglas and her brother, and to the question as to whether the two children of Lady Jane and her husband Colonel John Stewart were born of Lady Jane in Rheims, France, or were adopted. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1691.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

Doussan Family Papers, 1827-1872. 94 items. Location: U:300. Correspondence, financial papers, and personal papers of members of the Doussan family (primarily Antoine Doussan, Louise Perrin Doussan, and Auguste Doussan) of East and West Baton Rouge Parishes, Louisiana, and France. Correspondence of Charles de Rabars of Bordeaux, France, is also included, as is a letter from General Baron Joachim Ambert. Most documents reflect the Doussans' planting operations in West Baton Rouge Parish; their financial and legal transactions in Louisiana and France; family activities, interests, and concerns; and the experience of French emigres in Louisiana as they encountered Anglo-American culture and society. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4800.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Women, Business, Baton Rouge, French

Dreux, Marie N. Document, 1801. 1 item. Location: Misc.:D. Resident of New Orleans. Will of Marie N. Dreux. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 122.

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

Drouillard, Jean Baptiste. Family Papers, 1794-1901, undated. 165 items. Location: S:121 and Mss. Mf: D. Planter of Santo Domingo and of New Orleans. Letters and documents concern labor and economic conditions on Santo Domingo after the rise to power of Toussaint l'Ouverture in 1793, and the lives of exiles from the island who resettled in the United States. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2590.

Duboscq, Madame Dumon. Item, undated. 1 item. Location: Misc.:D. Request from Duboscq, first name unknown, that Maccartie obtain some information concerning Madame Dumon and provide it to a merchant in Nantes. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 850.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

Duplantier, Armand Letters, 1796-1807. 4 items. Location: Misc.:D. Armand Duplantier was a planter and owner of Magnolia Mound Plantation, La. Letters (in French) detail plantation life during the post-Revolutionary period, while referencing social and business life in New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4914.

Duplantier, Armand Family Letters, 1777-1859. 95 items. Location: D:62. Armand Duplantier was a planter and owner of Magnolia Mound Plantation, La. Duplantier Family Letters contain items from four generations of the Duplantier family, including Armand Duplantier, his uncle Claude Trénonay, Armand’s son Armand Allard Duplantier, and granddaughter Amélie Augustine Duplantier Peniston. The letters relate to Louisiana under the French, Spanish, and Americans and the economic, political, and social conditions attendant on transitioning among the three powers; commerce with France; the succession of Trénonay; attitudes about the French Revolution; slavery and plantation matters; family news such as illness, births, deaths, and the education of Duplantier’s children; and travels in France by Amélie Duplantier. Mss. 5060.

Dupre and Metoyer and Company. Account book, 1830-1837, 1873. 1 vol. Location: F:15. General merchandise store in Isle Brevelle, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, owned by Emanuel Dupre and J. B. D. Metoyer, free African Americans. Inventory of stock of Dupre and Metoyer and Company. An entry in 1873 records a mortgage due to Oscar Dubreuil. Copies of songs and drawings by Leatter Dupre are included in the back of the book. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 834.

Dupré, Laurent. Affidavit, 1780. 1 item. Location: Misc:D. Affidavit by Derbonne regarding gambling by Jean Poiret and Pierre Decou at the home of a man named Nicolet. The affidavit was witnessed by several citizens and certified by Charles DeClouet. An annotation by Charles de Grand-Pre commandant of the Pointe Coupee District, and dated January 2, 1781, dismisses the case because it was not proved within the time required by statute. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4895.

Referenced in Guides: Acadiana, French

Dupuy, Helene. Diary, 1861-1865. 1 item. Location: Misc. Resident of Donaldsonville, Louisiana. Typewritten copy of a diary kept by Helene Dupuy during the Civil War. The diary mentions Louisiana Confederate units and Union activity around Donaldsonville. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, French

Duralde, Martin. Affidavit, 1795 Nov. 27. 1 affidavit. Location: Misc. Martin Duralde was captain of the militia and civil and military commandant of the Post of Opelousas, La. This affidavit concerns a 14-year-old debt for 200 piastres owed to Pierre Broussard by the late Jean Baptiste Grevenbert. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4400.

Referenced in Guides: Business, French

Duran de la Moitre document, 1764. 1 item. Location: Misc.:D. Sale (in French) of property of Duran de la Moitre to Mr. Demain, New Orleans, La. Mss. 102.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, French

Duranton, Jean B. Papers, 1841. 3 items. Location: Misc. Resident of Bordeaux, France. Papers of Jean Baptiste Duranton include a power of attorney to John Garnier and registrations of the succession of his wife, Galathee E. Duranton. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 129.

Referenced in Guides: French

Ellis, Hazel. Family Papers, 1848-1938 (bulk 1903-1911). 5,451 items, 15 vols. Location: U:67-90, G:1. Hazel and Nellie Ellis were members of the Caswell Prewitt Ellis family of Montgomery, Alabama, and New Orleans. Personal papers of the Ellis family include financial records, legal documents, photographs, and correspondence. Most correspondence relates to family matters, health, and social events including Hazel's trip abroad in 1902. Much of the correspondence dated 1905 pertains to social events related to Hazel as Queen of Mardi Gras. Other letters are those of suitors written to Hazel and Nellie. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 467.

Ellzey, Cecil C., 1919 or 20-1999. Papers, 1944, 1983-1989. 5 items. Location: Misc. Colonel Cecil C. Ellzey, a native of Tylertown, Miss., and resident of Franklinton, La., served as an aerial reconnaissance pilot for the Eighth Infantry Division's artillery in Europe during World War II. These papers primarily concern Ellzey's encounter with Soviet soldiers in 1945. Some items in French and Russian. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4364.

Referenced in Guides: French, 20th Century Wars

Erre, Louise. Papers, 1891-1892. 35 items. Location: U:120. A group of letters collected by Madame Louise Erre, and a letter from her to Charles Lasseigne, editor of Le Meschacebe, about the possibility of his using them in his journal. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 739.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

Etienne, Thomas François. Record book, 1845-1861. 1 vol. Location: B:16. Record book of Thomas François Etienne of St. Mary Parish, La., is a source of information on life and economy of the Attakapas area of Louisiana during the 1840s and 1850s. It contains entries of sales and accounts at Etienne's store and diary entries, including the planting of a garden according to the phases of the moon. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2161

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Business, French

Evans, J. Bruce, Papers, 1614-2005 (bulk 1930-1990). 31.5 linear ft., 26 v. Location: 92:82-109; OS:E; J:34-35; Vault:1. Baptist minister, religious counselor and civil rights activist. Correspondence, church records, sermons, workshop materials, printed items, photographs and audio tapes reflect Evans's ministerial career in Baton Rouge, La., at First Baptist Church and Fellowship Church. Personal papers [some items in French], business records and genealogical material document the ancestry of Evans and his wife, Anita Louise, and provide insight into the personal lives of family members. Papers also furnish histories of Bienville and Natchitoches parishes and Saline, La., and relate to Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve and to Dormon's activities as a naturalist. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4664.

Fadenville, Marie. Papers, 1874-1879. 27 items. Location: U:120. Letters from Marie Fadenville to her husband in Iberville Parish, Louisiana. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 238.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

Febles, Jose R. Papers, 1818, 1849. 2 items. Location: Misc. Surveyor. Papers include a certification of a survey of Camarioca (1818) and an anonymous letter (typed copy) to the French consul at Pensacola, Florida, pertaining to improvements of the government's system of bonded warehouses (1849). In Spanish and French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 609.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, French