Manuscript Resources on Plantation Society and Economy

This guide describes manuscript collections documenting plantation society and economy in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC) at LSU. The plantation records and personal papers of planters, factors, merchants, and others whose livelihood came from plantations provide a wealth of documentation supporting research in plantation economy, slavery, and the social history of Southern landholding elites.

The collections described below touch upon all facets of plantation life. They include the papers of tutors, preachers, lawyers, and doctors who provided services to planters. They include the letters of Northerners who visited plantations in the antebellum period and wrote home about them, and those of Union soldiers who marched past plantations and sometimes plundered them. While the majority of collections are from the prewar years, there are substantial holdings on postbellum plantations as well. The sugar and cotton plantation records in LLMVC are among its most noteworthy and famed collections, and among the earliest collections that LSU acquired.

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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.

Dupuy, Dugregiy. Family papers, 1852-1910. 64 items. Location: Misc. The Dupuy family were planters in Iberville Parish, La. The papers include eleven letters from Nicholas J. Hoey of New Orleans to Dugregiy Dupuy in Iberville Parish, four other business letters received by Dugregiy Dupuy, a petition against Joseph D. Dupuy for payment of $1,440 borrowed against his plantation and slaves, a program for the sale of Live Oak Point Plantation and 261 slaves, state and parish tax receipts for Prosper O. Dupuy, and a handful of other records concerning other Dupuy family members. Mss. 3816.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, New Orleans to 1861

Eggleston-Roach Papers, 1825-1903. 285 items, 6 vols. Location: U-51, OS:R. Planters of Wilkinson County and Vicksburg, Mississippi. Mrs. Elizabeth Eggleston of Vicksburg smuggled goods through Union lines to Confederate soldiers. She was subsequently imprisoned and banished from Vicksburg. Diaries and personal papers of members of the Gildart, Eggleston, and Roach families. Horace Nelson Gildart's diary gives an account of a journey through England and Ireland; Dick Hardaway Eggleston's diary records activities on Learmont Plantation. Included are correspondence and orders of Union military authorities concerning Elizabeth Eggleston's activities during the Civil War. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 4, Reel 5. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 832.

Elder, John Carroll. Diary, 1862-1863. 1 item. Location: Misc.:E. Diary notes the arrival of federal troops, number and type of Union vessels on local waterways, and the presence of runaway slaves and guerrillas. Elder describes the Union bombardment of Baton Rouge, meetings with neighbors regarding Union soldiers in the area, and his refusal to sign an oath of allegiance. He mentions Union and Confederate officers in the region, including Lieutenant Grimstead and the 21st Indiana Infantry regiment. Elder also refers to church attendance, weather conditions, and planting and selling crops. Includes list of items taken or destroyed by Union soldiers. Mss. 4353.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War, African Americans

Elliot, William St. John, 1800-1855. Papers,1824, 1835-1858.5 items. Location: OS:E. Cotton broker, planter, and owner of D'Evereaux Hall, Natchez, Miss. Among other properites in Adams County, Miss., he also owned Saragossa Plantation. Indentures and deeds for land in Adams County, Mississippi, purchased by William St. John Elliot from Stephen Duncan, Samuel A. Moore, and Henry Chotard; and a land survey of a plantation in Tensas Parish, La., owned by his wife, Anna F. Conner Bell Ruffin Elliot. Also includes a plat of land in Adams County owned by various members of the Conner family. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1147.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, Natchez, Mississippi

Ellis, E. John, Thomas C. W. and family. Papers, 1829-1936 (bulk 1870-1920). 9.3 linear ft., 72 volumes, 30 microfilm reels. Location: G:5; MSS.MF:E; OS:E; U:52-65. Sons of Ezekiel Parke Ellis, a judge and state legislator from Amite, Louisiana. E. John and Thomas C. W. Ellis were practicing attorneys who were active in Louisiana politics. Both men served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. Papers consist of correspondence, legal documents, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, and business papers of three generations of the Ellis family. Civil War correspondence includes letters by E. John Ellis from prison camp at Johnson's Island, Ohio. Politics occupies a large place in the correspondence and speeches of 1856-1861 and in the correspondence of the Reconstruction period. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reels 21-22. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 136.

Ellis-Farar Papers, 1768-1871 (bulk 1804-1833). 308 items. Location: S:1; OS:E; Vault:21. Richard Ellis, planter of White Cliffs, Homochitto, and Laurel Hill plantations, Natchez. His children included Mary (who married Captain Benjamin Farar), Jane, and Abram. Papers document plantation management and include deeds, vouchers, correspondence with overseers, and receipts. Jane took a special interest in managing Laurel Hill. Personal correspondence deals with education, plantation life, and family news. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 3, Reel 10. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1000.

Embree, Joseph. Family Papers, 1826-1900, undated (bulk 1830-1860). 1.0 linear ft. Location: E:20, OS:E. Planter from Woodville, Wilkinson Country, Mississippi, and Clinton, East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Business papers include receipts and bills for business expenses, letters and statements of account from cotton brokers, labor contracts, land deeds, and an account book. Personal papers include receipts and bills for household expenses, correspondence, miscellaneous printed items, and undated writings. The business papers of Embree's father-in-law, Benjamin Rawlins, are also present.  Mss. 692.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War, Business

Ende, Jacques F. de. Document, 1837 May 5. 1 item. Location: Misc.:E. Deposition given by Jacques F. de Ende, in New Orleans, Louisiana, reporting that his slave, Sep, had run away from his Avoyelles Parish plantation, and offering a fifty dollars reward for his return. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 537.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, African Americans

Eno, Frank. Letter, 1857. 1 item. Location: Misc. Teacher of a private school in Concordia Parish, Louisiana. Letter from Eno to a New York cousin, describing his teaching position and the effect of the Panic of 1857 on cotton planters. He also explains his move from the North to Concordia Parish, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1585.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Education