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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Louisiana Postcard Collection, 1904-1951. 507 items. Location: E:65 (short shelf). Postcards depict subjects, especially churches, schools, and some plantations in towns and regions of Louisiana. Louisiana towns and regions best represented in the collection include Abita Springs, Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Bogalusa, Convent, Covington, Donaldsonville, Franklin, Hammond, Houma, Jennings, Lake Charles, Mandeville, Monroe, Morgan City, New Orleans, Plaquemine, Saint Francisville, Shreveport, and Thibodaux. Included is a photograph depicting three women in front of a plantation house. The photograph is labeled "Alice Emilie Knapp, Forrest Home." For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3645.

Louisiana Sugar Planters Association. Papers, 1877-1917.1 linear ft. Location: U:212-213, G:16. Sugar planters' association based in New Orleans. Correspondence pertains to meetings; statistics on production; cane cutting machine; Spanish, Italian, and German immigrants working as plantation laborers; and supervisors and funding needed for a molasses refining test. Papers include articles reviewed by the association, including N. A. Helmer's "Evaporation in Multiple Effects" (June 1907). Material includes a minute book (1877-1891), a bill for membership in he American Protective Tariff League (1908) and letters relating to the Association's dues and resignations. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 266, 1492.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations

Lowry, K. B. Notice, 1862. 1 item. Location: Misc. Union lieutenant commander of the U.S. Gunboat Sciota in the Civil War. Copy of a public notice issued by Lowry threatening summary justice on James Humphreys or any member 'of his band of guerrillas' damaging the property of Mrs. Burbank, St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 753.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, Civil War

Loyd, Gladys Means and family. Papers, 1904-1975. 462 items, 10 volumes. Location: UU:215, P:18, 98:L. Schoolteacher of Ida (Caddo Parish) and St. Joseph (Tensas Parish), Louisiana. Papers include correspondence and genealogical notes on Ida, Louisiana, families; photograph albums on plantations, including Hundred Oaks Plantation in Baton Rouge; and scrapbooks on the history of Ida and Tensas Parish. Collection also includes ledgers of the Ida Hardware Store owned by James Taylor Means. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3224.

LSU Libraries: Louisiana collection photographs, 1862-1971. 624 items. Location: 11:6, OS:L. This collection contains photographic prints and some picture postcards of city buildings, plantation buildings, and other structures in several Louisiana cities and parishes, especially New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Mss. 4262.

Lyons, Henry A. Papers, 1829, 1834-1877. 611 items, 1 ms. Vol. Location: UU:106. Lawyer of St. Francisville, Louisiana, associate justice of the Supreme Court of California (1840); third husband of Eliza Pirrie Bowman of Oakley Plantation, West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Papers contain personal, legal, and financial records pertaining to Lyons' work as a lawyer in Louisiana (1829-1849); a supreme court justice in California (1850-1852); and his personal and business affairs in Louisiana, California, and France (1852-1877). His papers include his address to the first term of the Supreme Court of California. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1382.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Macarty, Jno. (John). Family Papers, 1764-1935 (bulk 1764-1837). 9 items. Location: B:50. Native of France and resident of New Orleans. Macarty owned a plantation home near New Orleans which was used by Andrew Jackson as a field headquarters in 1815. Papers pertain to the estate of John Macarty and include a forty-page inventory of the contents of his New Orleans residence and the Macarty plantation home. Also included is a roll of the Royal Legion of the Mississippi Militia (ca. 1798). In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 270, 496.

MacKowen, John C. (John Clay). Papers, 1846-1966 (bulk 1897-1901). 103 items, 3 printed vols. Location: E:54; OS:M. Planter and physician of Jackson, Louisiana, and owner of a property in Anacapri, Italy. Letters concern the education of John MacKowen and his brothers in New England schools, MacKowen's Confederate service during the Civil War, the education of African Americans by plantation women, and the MacKowen property in Italy. Some letters and papers in Italian and French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2465.

Macrery, Andrew. Papers, 1793-1855. 46 items. Location: S:121. Planter of Natchez, Mississippi, and owner of Roseland and Springfield plantations. Family correspondence concerns social life, health, and medical practices. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 3, Reels 10-11. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1403.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Medicine, Natchez, Mississippi

Madewood Plantation titles and deeds, 1816-1906. 1 ms. vol. [on 1 microfilm]. Location: Mss. Mf.:M. Plantation located in Assumption Parish, Louisiana. Copies of titles and deeds to Madewood Plantation record transfers of land ownership to the Pugh family and later through successions within the family. Filed in the online catalog under Titles and deeds of Madewood Plantation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2924.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations