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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Magill, David Weeks. Records, 1859-1861. Two items. Location: Misc.:W. Planter of St. Martin Parish, La., and grandson of David Weeks of Iberia Parish, La. Accounts for the purchase of household items, clothing, postage, and a gun, gun powder, gun wads and caps. Mss. 5267.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Magnolia Mound sale document, 1837, 1841. 2 items [photocopies]. Location: Misc. Plantation in Baton Rouge. Sales agreement records terms of transfer of property from owners Bernard and Jean-Baptiste Dubreuil Villars to Achille Murat. Included is a document recording the cancellation of the contract in 1841. Copied from the original in the East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court's office. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3059.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Baton Rouge

Magruder, Eliza L. Diary, 1846-1857. 2 vols., 1 typescript. Location: G:17, vault:18, microfiche 2729. A native of Maryland, Eliza Magruder (1803-1876), went to live at Arundo, the Jefferson County, Miss., plantation of her aunt and uncle, Olivia Magruder Dunbar (1786-1859) and Joseph Dunbar (1773-1846) around 1839. Arundo was located in Church Hill, Miss., near Natchez. After the death of Olivia Dunbar, Eliza Magruder moved to Oakland Plantation, the home of her aunt Lavinia Magruder Turpin (1786-1867) near Washington, Miss. In the diary, she comments on local social events and amusements, visiting friends, births and deaths, and treatment, care of, and unrest of slaves. She also records the weather, illness and death among slaves and friends and medical attention she provided, as well as her reading, sewing, and religious life, including comments on minsters and sermons she heard. In addition, she relates the activities of her aunt in running the plantation after the death of her husband. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reel 34. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 654.

Magruder, Samuel Bertron, Jr. Collection, 1968, 1971. 7 items. Location: Misc:M. LSU student. Photographs of the ruins of Windsor Plantation house, near Port Gibson, Mississippi, and related subjects. Included in the collection is a newspaper article from the New Orleans TIMES- PICAYUNE about Windsor. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2570.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, New Orleans 1866-, LSU

Mandeville, Henry D. (Henry David) and family. Papers, 1815-1925 (bulk 1854-1883). 2 linear ft. Location: U:214-216. Henry D. Mandeville, originally from Philadelphia, was a factor in trade with China; his son Henry, Jr. was a lawyer in Natchez, Mississippi. Two other sons, Theodore and Ellwyn, served in the Confederate army. Collection includes personal and business correspondence documenting life in Natchez and New Orleans; the operation of Westwood Plantation (owned by Henry, Jr.) in Louisiana; and Civil War papers of Theodore and Ellwyn. Papers also include letters referring to musical performances in Arkansas, Virginia, Natchez, New Orleans, and Chicago; and materials documenting civilian life in New Orleans in the Civil War. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 3, Reels 3-6. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 491, 535.

Marchand Gin Company. Cotton book, 1900. 1 vol. Location: G:18. Cotton book of the Marchand Gin Company recording cotton ginned and shipped from September to December, 1900. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 280.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Transportation, Business

Marchant, James Alexander. Family Papers, 1860-1934 (bulk 1860-1887). 0.4 linear feet. Location E:112. Personal correspondence and papers, one diary, and photographs pertaining to the Marchant and DeArmond families of Clinton, East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, and, later, Brazil. Letters pertain primarily to conditions in Clinton and East Feliciana Parish after the Civil War, including labor relations with freedmen. A few Civil War letters are also present and pertain to the Battle of Vicksburg, the C.S.S. Arkansas, and Ship Island, Miss. Also included is a letter of introduction for James Marchant from the citizens of Clinton to those of Brazil, a diary kept by the Marchants' son Madison chronicling their journey to Brazil, and photographs of family members, Robert E. Lee, and Joseph E. Johnston. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3641

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War, African Americans

Marshall, George B. (George Benoist). Family Papers, 1807-1900 (bulk 1850-1880). 0.5 linear ft. Location: B:41, J:7. Sugar and cotton planter of Crescent Plantation, Cheneyville, Rapides Parish, Louisiana, and captain in the Confederate army. Collection includes records, daybooks, bills, receipts, and other documents related to the plantation. Includes a 1866 record of fines imposed on African Americans for breaking the peace. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reels 12-13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 969.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Civil War, African Americans

Marshall, John J. Plantation ledgers, 1866-1899. 4 vols. (on microfilm). Location: Mss. Mf.:M. Planter of Allendale Plantation, near Stonewall, DeSoto Parish, Louisiana. Plantation ledgers record wages and supplies given to freedmen laborers and include accounts of the Trinity Mission and the All Saints Church, rent records, crop production, and sick days of each laborer. Another ledger records butter production. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3025.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Plantations, African Americans

Marshall, Maria Chotard and family Papers, 1819-1868. 0.3 linear ft. Location: S:126. Family of businessmen and planters whose branches settled in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Letters of Sarah Foster Chotard to her daughter Maria Louisa Marshall, and Maria's to her sister Eliza Gould, discuss family, legal, and business affairs, social life, travel, and Civil War experiences. Memoirs by Eliza Gould deal with family history. Collection includes a biographical sketch of David Hunt, a planter of Natchez, Mississippi, and his wife Anne Ferguson Hunt. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3256.