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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Kleinpeter, Joseph and family. Papers, 1803-1895 (bulk 1820-1865). 0.25 linear ft., 2 volumes. Location: C:63, OS:K, J:6, 98:. Sugar planter of Variety Plantation in Iberville Parish, Louisiana. Papers include land records, slave sales, mortgages, and succession documents. A record book includes entries of slave births (1822-1852). There are also Civil War military papers and two Bureau of Refugees labor contracts (1865-1866). Some items in French. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 1, Reel 9. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1241.

Knox, J. P., d. 1893. Family Papers, 1851-1921. 2 linear ft., 9 vols. Location: E:25-26, vault:1. Cotton planters of Clinton, East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, and proprietors of Clinton Brick and Tile Company and the East Louisiana Land Investment Company. Letters (1861-1863) from Granville L. Alspaugh to his mother describe his service in the Confederate Army at Vicksburg. Papers (1851-1893) also reflect social, personal, and business matters, including the sale of cotton through factors in New Orleans. Letters of Robert Granville Knox (1890-1899) describe student life at Louisiana State University, his partnership in a drugstore in Hammond, La., and his participation in the Spanish American War, with Roosevelt's Rough Riders. Later correspondence (1900-1921) include letters written to Miss Elise Walker by soldiers during World War I. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reels 11-12. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 715.

Lanaux, George. George Lanaux and Family Papers, 1830-1915. 3 linear ft. (3,100 items). Location: UU:61-63, J:9, OS:L, 104-105. Planter of Bellevue Plantation in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, and later president of the New Orleans Insurance Association. Papers include correspondence, legal documents, financial documents, and photographs documenting the Lanaux family, plantation management, slave holdings, and land sales. Partly in French. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 1, Reels 11-13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1318.

Landreth, John. Field notes book, 1819. 1 volume. Location: M:19. Surveyor. Volume contains Landreth's field notes (January-April 1819), created during his survey expedition for live oak and red cedar timber lands in Louisiana, for a commission from the United States Navy. Daily field notes include notations of directions and distances traveled, landmarks sighted, and short narrative descriptions of daily events and people met. Locations described include Franklin, St. Martinville, New Orleans, and a variety of bayous, lakes, and waterways. Mss. 5386.

Landry (Theodore E. and Lou Bird) Papers, 1931-1984. 15,000 items. Location: Z:30-31, Z:33, 43:26-28, 43:30-34, 82, 104-105. Landscape architects in Port Allen, La., Theodore E. and Lou Bird Landry were active in projects to restore plantation gardens to historical accuracy and donated their services to landscape churches in the Baton Rouge diocese. Personal and professional papers include correspondence, lectures, scrapbooks, and client files comprised of drawings, plans, photographs and color slides relating to landscape architecture. For additional information, see online catalog. Mss. 3771.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Plantations, Baton Rouge, French

Landry family. Papers, 1831-1903, undated. 0.5 linear ft. Location: U:198, G:15, OS:L. Residents of Paincourtville, Assumption Parish, Louisiana. The majority of letters are personal and are written by various members of the family, including some relatives from Quebec. The later correspondence has a good percentage of business letters. The documents include bills, receipts, and sugar sales. Some in French. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 1, Reel 8. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 731.

Landry, Charles. Mortgage, 1860. 1 item. Location: Misc. Mortgage on a sugar plantation in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, giving the size of the plantation and names and ages of slaves. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1927.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, African Americans

Landry, Elu. Estate record book, 1848-1851. 1 ms. vol. (on microfilm). Location: Mss. Mf.:L. Louisiana sugar planter.Record book kept by the administrator of Elu Landry's Louisiana sugar plantation includes accounts of money paid and received by the estate, a list of debts, and a plantation diary (1848-1850) describing daily work assignments, sugar harvest, levee construction and maintenance, and a cholera epidemic. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3106.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, African Americans, Medicine

Landry, Severin. Family Papers, 1838-1887 (bulk 1843-1882). 148 items, 2 vols. Location: U:199, G:15. Sugar planter of Assumption Parish, Louisiana. Collection includes personal and family correspondence, business and financial records, plantation regulations, and a daybook (1846-1849) and journal (1846-1865) kept by Dufossard Landry recording sales of plantation produce. Chiefly in French. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 1, Reel 8. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 210.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, French

LaReunion Plantation document, 1812. 1 item. Location: Misc. Plantation located in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. Sheriff's seizure and sale of LaReunion Plantation to Charles V. M. Pelletier includes an inventory of property and slaves. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 508.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, African Americans

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