German-Language Manuscript Resources

From the "German Coast" villages, also known as the Cote des Allemands (in present day St. John the Baptist and St. Charles Parishes), to the scattered planters throughout the Lower Mississippi River Valley, German immigrants had a presence in Louisiana and the lower Mississippi River valley that began early in the colonial period. The first Germans moved from New Biloxi to inland points of Louisiana. In 1768, they joined with Acadians from the Cabannocé Post area to march on New Orleans and overthrow Spanish colonial governor Antonio de Ulloa. Their close association with the Acadians led to intermarriage, and many Cajuns came to be known as "German Cajuns" as a result.

The German-language resources in the Lousiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC) at LSU touch upon a range of topics and dates. The authors of these various papers, letters, notebooks, and other materials were students, planters, merchants, soldiers, and housewives, among other roles. The collections contain descriptions of aspects of the Civil War, plantation life, immigration experiences, business practices, travel accounts, the Nazi regime, and many other subjects. The dates of these materials range from 1776 to 1979 (see Chronological Listing, below).

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Speeg, George. Papers, 1895-1918. 562 items, 13 ms. vols., and 45 printed vols. Location: 79:78-83. Blacksmith and wheelwright of Lobdell, West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Speeg, a German immigrant, came to Port Allen, Louisiana, in the 1890s and operated a blacksmith ship on the River Road just outside of Port Allen for over 50 years. German language account books, periodicals, newspapers, and bound printed volumes of George Speeg. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1735.

Referenced in Guides: Business, German

Steib family papers, 1817-1993 (bulk 1817-1822). 6 items. Location: Misc. Franz (François) Steib emigrated from Germany around 1804 and settled on Louisiana's German Coast. The Steib Family Papers consist of an article on the origin of the Steib family in Louisiana (1990), two sets of genealogical tables for the Steib family, and three letters exchanged between Franz Steib in Louisiana and his brother Jacob in Niederwalluf, Germany, between 1817 and 1822. The three letters are in German with modern German transcriptions and English translations. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4510.

Referenced in Guides: German

Stopher, Henry Wallace. Papers, 1882-1944 (bulk 1914-1940). 1.5 linear ft., 1 volume. Location: UU:134-135, OS:S. Head of the Department of Music and later Director of the School of Music, Louisiana State University (1915-1940). Collection includes Stopher's correspondence and related papers and his records during the period he was associated with LSU. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2224.

Thilly, Frank. Notebooks, 1888-1889. 7 vols. Location: H:20. Notebooks of Professor Frank Thilly while attending the University of Heidelberg contain lecture notes on logic, ethics, and general philosophy courses. Part in German. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 498, 520.

Referenced in Guides: Education, German

Thompson, Josie. Papers, 1939-1995 (bulk 1946-1949). 1.25 linear ft. Location: X:14. Louisiana State University alumna and press correspondent for United Press International, who covered the Nuremberg Military Tribunals (1946-1949). Collection primarily consists of her typed reports of the trials and other events in post-WWII Germany. Also included are photographs, legal briefs, and personal items. Mss. 5046.

Vallas, Antal. Family papers, 1831-1995 (bulk:1841-1968). 2.25 linear feet. Location: 109:33-34; J:26-27; OS:V; Vault:1. A native Hungarian who served as a professor at the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy and an Episcopalian minister in New Orleans. Contains correspondence, printed items, personal papers and photographs related to the professional and family life of Vallas and his descendants. Consists of materials in English, Hungarian, German, French, Spanish and Latin. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4439.

Werner, Edgar S. Papers. 1866-1907. .3 linear ft. (101 items, 1 ms. vol., 2 printed vols.). Location: C:67. Owner and editor of WERNER'S MAGAZINE, a speech journal published in Albany, New York, and in New York City (1879-1902). Papers include newspaper articles, broadsides, research papers, and a notebook related to speech patterns and stuttering. Includes one broadside in German. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1290.

Referenced in Guides: German

Weydemeyer, Luise, Family correspondence, 1849-1869. 100 items. Location: A:67. German immigrant living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Letters from relatives and friends concern personal and business matters and discuss Union army recruitment and training during the Civil War. Letters from Union general Franz Sigel's wife describe her husband's military activities and civilian career. Primarily in German. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1350.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Women, Civil War, German