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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Randon, Fran?ois. Ledger, 1876-1888. 1 ms. vol. Location: M:21. New Orleans dealer in sugar mill supplies. Ledger contains accounts for plantations along the Mississippi River from False River to New Orleans and on Bayou Teche. The volume also includes a record of household expenses. In French. Available on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 3, Reel 15. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 992.

Ransdell, John H. Papers, 1842-1886 (bulk 1842-1869). 9 items, 2 ms. vols. (on 1 microfilm). Location: Mss.Mf:R, B:40. Planter of Elmwood Plantation in Alexandria, Rapides Parish, Louisiana. He and his wife, Amanda Thickman, had nine children, one of whom, Joseph E. Ransdell, became a U.S. congressman and senator from Louisiana. Papers include a plantation diary (1842-1863) and letters written from Elmwood Plantation to Governor Thomas Overton Moore (1863) describing destruction of property by federal troops. A plantation account book (1867-1869) contains accounts of laborers on Elmwood Plantation (1869). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 959.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Plantations, Civil War

Ravenswood Plantation property map, 1859. 1 manuscript map. Location: OS:R. Manuscript copy (created in 1859 by William J. McCulloh) of an 1826 township and range map (T.9N.R.10E.) showing the district north of Red River, Louisiana (chiefly areas in Concordia Parish and Tensas Parish). Handwritten notations identify Ravenswood Plantation as north of Lake St. John, southeast of Fletcher's Lake, and south of Azucena. "Yzanga" is written within the Ravenswood property note. Other handwritten notations of names include G. Ralston within the Azucena property note, George Marshall, and S. P. Duncan. Map also includes a table of contents with other claimants' names. John Maxwell (of the Surveyor's Office, Washington, Mississippi) is identified as surveyor of the land in 1829 as well. Mss. 5037.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Raymond, Clara C. Reminiscences, circa 1920-1948. 1 item [typescript]. Location: MISC:R. Resident of Evergreen Plantation. Reminiscences include a description of the plantation and scattered biographical data on members of the family. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 359.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women

Reagan, George N. Lease, 1807. 1 item. Location: Misc.:R. Planter in Concordia Parish, Louisiana. Copy of lease for rent of Reagan's plantation to Thomas Hall for one year. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1257.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Redhead, Joseph. Joseph and John A. Redhead diary, 1853-1870. 1 ms. vol. (on microfilm). Location: Mss.Mf:R. Doctor and planter of Wilkinson County, Mississippi. Diary and letters copied in it describe plantation activities and his family's experience of the Civil War. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1374.

Reed, Thomas, 1817-1891. Family Papers, 1787-1926 (bulk 1840-1890). 243 items, 8 vols. Location: A:12 and OS:R. Attorney in Natchez and resident of Cottage Home Plantation, Mississippi. Collection includes a land claim by the city of Natchez, documents related to Reed's law career, personal letters, genealogies, newspaper clippings, notes on Natchez history, and a bank book. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 783.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Natchez, Mississippi

Rees, Grover, 1891-, interviewee. Oral history interview, 1991-1992. Transcript (22, 25 pages), 2 sound cassettes (2.5 hours). Location: L:4700.0078. Native of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, and graduate of LSU (1912) and Harvard Law School (1915) who wrote a history of Breaux Bridge. Interview deals with his student years at LSU and Harvard; his book on Breaux Bridge; and his work at Gulf Oil Corporation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0078.

Reggio Family. Papers, 1771-1860. 9 items. Location: MISC:R. Sugar planters of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. Papers include a petition (1771) by Francisco Maria Reggio to the King of Spain; papers (1812-1834) of Nicholas Reggio concerning property sales and mortgages; and papers (1836-1860) of Auguste Reggio, among them slave sales, mortgages, and accounts. Partly in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 363.

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

Richland Plantation plat, 1874 November 16. 1 item. Map of Richland Plantation, a sugar plantation in Iberville Parish, Louisiana, in the vicinity of Bayou Goula, was surveyed and drawn by P.N. Judice, Civil Engineer. It is hand tinted on cloth and shows details of the large property, including the plantation's own railroad tracks, the dwelling, garden, old quarters, hospital, stable, sugar house, pond, saw mill, cow pen, blacksmith's shop, and surrounding woods For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3050.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations