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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Gourgues, Henry. Records, 1864. 70 items. Location: A:117. Collection consists of monthly statements, invoices and receipts for household items, saddlery, and groceries purchased by Henry Gourgues from various New Orleans merchants, and invoices from commission merchants for cotton and other farm products shipped. Some items in French. Mss. 5260.


Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Baton Rouge, French

Graham, Alice Walworth. Papers, 1884-1992, undated. 5.3 linear feet. Location: 104:2-4; J: 25; and OS:G. Novelist and native of Natchez, Miss., and sometime resident of New Orleans. Professional and personal correspondence includes letters document Graham's literary career. Scrapbooks and printed items contain literary reviews of her books and describe her personal appearances at literary functions. Graham describes Natchez plantations in manuscript drafts for many of her published and unpublished works including Cibola, The Natchez Woman, and Romantic Lady. The letters of Graham's mother, Lela Gordon Walworth, and her sister, Mary Walworth Whitaker of Baton Rouge, are also part of the collection, and pertain to personal and family matters. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4295.

Graham, George Mason, 1807-1891. Letters, 1848-1849. 3 items. Location: Misc.:G. Planter of Tyrone Plantation, Rapides Parish, Louisiana, and a member of the Board of Supervisors of the State Seminary of Learning at Alexandria, Louisiana. Letters to his sister of Gunston Hall, Virginia, concern family and plantation matters. Letter (1849) tells of emigrants in the area suffering severely from cholera and refers to the cholera epidemic of 1833 on Graham's plantation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 163.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Medicine

Graham, George Mason, 1807-1891. Letter, 1858 Sept. 30. 1 letter. Location: Misc. George Mason Graham was a planter of Tyrone Plantation, Rapides Parish, La. This letter to Mrs. Curtis (Martha) Grimes concerns the gift of a sewing machine to her, the health of several people, his corn and cotton crop yields, and other family news. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4346.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women

Graham, George Mason, 1807-1891. Letter, 1860 January 24. 1 item. Location: Misc.:G. Planter of Tyrone Plantation, Rapides Parish, Louisiana, and a member of the Board of Supervisors of the State Seminary of Learning at Alexandria, Louisiana. Letter to Senator John Moore of New Iberia, Louisiana, expresses his views on the merits of a military school. Original manuscript letter is in the David Weeks Family Papers. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1761.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Education

Grand Pré, Charles Louis Boucher de, 1754-1809. Succession Papers, 1809-1816. 16 items. Location: Misc. Governor of the Baton Rouge District, West Florida. Statements and receipts for payment of accounts filed in connection with the settlement of the estate of Grand-Pre by Pedro Favrot and Samuel Fulton, executors, George Mather, tutor for his minor children, and Philip Hicky and Gilbert Leonard, auditors. Included is a copy of an inventory of the goods and effects of Alexander See, a weaver, who died on Philip Hicky's plantation, Hope Estate. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1067.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Plantations

Gray, Lillie Trust. Papers, 1865-1920 (bulk 1886-1890). 178 items, 9 volumes. Location: U:154; F:9. Musician and teacher at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Convent, St. James Parish, Louisiana. Papers document Gray's teaching of and interest in music, and include a record book (1874-1900, 1902) containing lists of musical compositions and a diary (1900-1905) containing entries on music sung at Roman Catholic masses. Collection also includes household and farm entries; receipts for music lessons; and a payroll book (1865-1867) for Houmas Plantation. The payroll book is available on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 1, Reel 15. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 165, 965, 422, 2070.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Plantations, Performing arts, Women

Great Britain. Board of Trade. Records, 1700-1721. 1 vol. Location: M:21. The Council of Trade and Plantations (1696-1782) was a British administrative body that regulated trade, manufacturing, plantations, and the use of natural resources in British colonies. Collection contains reports and memoranda related to Britain's colonial commerce and relations with France, Spain, and Portugal, including trade in the West Indies. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 680.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Great Falls Manufacturing Company. Papers, 1834-1842. 23 items. Location: Misc. Located in Boston, Massachusetts. Letters to George H. Kuhn, treasurer, of the Great Falls Manufacturing Company pertaining to purchase of cotton from New Orleans factors for New England textile mills. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1404, 1417.

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

Green, Caleb, Jr. Letter, Aug. 2, 1835. 1 item. Location: Misc.:G. Resident of St. Martin Parish, La. In a letter to his father in Saratoga County, New York, Caleb Green, Jr. announces the birth of his daughter, describes suffering a heat related illness and the use of bleeding as a medical treatment. He also reports on the financial worth of two planter friends in Mississippi. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4406.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Medicine

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