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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Sanders, Jared Young and family. Papers, 1816-1950 (bulk 1860-1930). 4 linear ft., 1 microfilm reel. Location: C:32-33, 98:S, P:5, Z:7, MSS.MF:S. Sugar planter, Confederate officer, governor of Louisiana. Speeches by Jared Y. Sanders III constitute the bulk of this collection. Financial papers (1843-1861) reflect family life and business concerns. Correspondence pertains to family matters, business, the war, and the career of Sanders III. Civil War diaries recount the siege of Vicksburg, Miss., troop movements, camp life, and conditions in St. Mary Parish. Also included are legal documents concerning the impressment of a slave by Confederate Army. Papers from the Reconstruction period are chiefly concerned with the restoration and management of family property in St. Mary Parish. Scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, broadsides and correspondence document the political career Jared Y. Sanders III, including his opposition to Huey P. Long. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1081, 1105, 1126, 1757, 2405, 2490.

Savoy, Joseph and family. Papers, 1856-1909. 0.3 linear ft. (93 items). Location: W:31. Sugar planter on Bayou Lafourche, Assumption Parish, Louisiana. Papers include family correspondence, with two letters of Corrine Savoy discussing the election of 1900; business papers dealing with the sale of sugar and molasses in New Orleans; and insurance policies for Joseph Savoy's plantation and sugar house. One letter and one receipt 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. 3022.

Schloss Gin. Record book, 1916-1929. 1 ms. vol. Location: Misc.:S. Cotton gin located in Baton Rouge. Record book lists customers and costs of ginning services. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2975.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business, Baton Rouge

Scofield, Elizabeth Ann, Letter, 1865. 1 item. Location: OS:S. Eight-page letter and envelope from Scofield at the Catalpa Grove Plantation (La.) to her father Austin Phelps of Scipio, New York, during the first months of Reconstruction. Scofield writes about living conditions under the federal government and the political and economic situation of newly freed slaves. The letter is dated December 24, 1865. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 5001.

Scott, Eva and family. Papers, 1832-1959 (bulk 1870-1945). 1.25 linear ft., 10 volumes. Location: Y:101-102, H:10. Eva Scott was an owner of The Shades Plantation in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. She lived on the plantation with her aunt, Kate Scott. Papers include correspondence (1866-1877) written to Bettie Gordon Scott and family papers (1892-1900). Papers (1900-1959) include correspondence of Eva and Kate Scott. Cards and letters of Lyle Saxon and Sherwood Anderson are included. Business papers (1853-1941) pertain to the administration of The Shades Plantation. Manuscript volumes include 5 ledgers (1889-1913) recording supplies and wages paid to hired laborers. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reels 28-31. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2994.

Scott, Margaret J. E. Document, 1853. 1 item (copy). Location: Misc:S. Resident of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Sale of Montevideo Plantation and slaves by Mrs. Scott to Mr. Lewis G. Sterling, March 24, 1853. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 668.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, African Americans

Scott, Thomas W. Account book, 1838-1916 (bulk 1838-1857). 3 items. Location: Misc. Thomas W. Scott, a farmer in East Feliciana Parish, La., was appointed the first parish judge by Governor Thomas Bolling Robertson. This account book records debits and credits to the account of Sarah Ann Raiford, minor, kept by her tutor, Thomas W. Scott. It also records similar accounts kept by Scott for Daniel Waddelle, James B. Preusett, William A. Richardson, and the estates of several deceased people. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4543.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business

Seale, H. M. Diary, 1853-1857. 1 vol. Location: J:12. Manager of Houmas Plantation, Burnside, Ascension Parish, Louisiana, owned by Col. John Smith Preston. Plantation diary of Seale reflecting the plantation's management during the absence of its owner. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 1, Reel 13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 234.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Sebastopol Plantation. Documents, 1858, 1859. 2 items. Location: Misc.:S. Sale (notarized copies) of Sebastopol Plantation and slaves in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, from Ulger Henry Lauve of New Orleans to Henry Van Bibber al Trust in 1958. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 725.

Shadows-on-the-Teche photographs, circa 1930-1970. 8 items. Location: E:69. Plantation in New Iberia, Louisiana. Photographs show house exterior and gardens before and after restoration. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3249.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations