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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Shattuck, Albert R. Report, 1893, 1966. 1 ms. vol. Location: M:23. Report comparing the cost of raising cane; delivering it to the carrier; and manufacturing cane into sugar; and the price at which it was sold on Adeline, Calumet, Des Lignes, Glenwild, and Magnolia plantations for the year 1892. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2316.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations

Shepherd family. Papers. 1788-1884. 0.5 linear ft. Location: OS:S, VAULT:1, VAULT MRDF 4. Shepherd family of Salisbury Plantation, Wilkinson County, Mississippi. Papers relate primarily to the sale and transfer of land in Wilkinson County. Also includes Moses Hooke's armed services appointment (March 11, 1799), an agreement with Secretary of War, Henry Dearborn, for Oliver Ormsby to provide rations to U.S. troops (May 24, 1804), a deed and abstract for Woodstock Plantation, which belonged to Richard Butler, and documents concerning the estates of Richard Butler and Harriet Browder. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2718.

Shields, Joseph D. (Joseph Dunbar), 1820-1886. Papers, 1802-1960 (bulk 1843-1897). 1802-1960 (bulk 1843-1897). 712 items, 4 ms. Vols., 2 printed vols. Location: T:37-T:44; 99:S; Vault; OS: S. Resident of Natchez who was a judge, legislator, planter, and author. His son Joseph Dunbar Shields, Jr., served under J. E. B. Stuart in the Civil War and was killed at Culpepper, Virginia. Papers consist of personal, political, financial, Civil War, and plantation management correspondence and papers; historical, literary, legal, and political manuscripts; and printed items, documenting three generations of the Shields family. Includes letters from Joseph Dunbar Shields while attending the Univeristy of Virginia and drafts of his writings. Plantation papers relate to the family's plantation Pecano, in Waterproof, Tensas Parish, Louisiana. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 4, Reels 12-15, or Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries, Series E, Reel 34. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 390, 1526, 1542, 1709, 1821, 1996, 2053.

Short, William J. letter, 1872 Dec. 10. 1 letter. Location: MISC:S. William J. Short was a Louisiana sugar planter. Letter from William J. Short to his uncle, W.B. Robertson, of Plaquemine, Louisiana. The letter discusses recent hunting expeditions, the death of Gervais Schlater, and the sugar crop. Mss. 5106.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations

Simmons, Sion R. and Washington L. See: Sion R. and Washington L. Simmons papers.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Sims, James T. Letter, 1841. 1 item. Location: Misc. Letter addressed to William Kelly in Fishdam, Union District, South Carolina, with information on Kelly's earnings from his plantation, crop conditions, and land values in Chickasaw Indian territory. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3464.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Sion R. and Washington L. Simmons Papers, 1839-1862. 4 items [photocopies]. Location: Misc:S, H:16. Residents of Bolivar County, Mississippi, Confederate soldier and prisoner of war during the Civil War. Papers consist of a tax receipt, letters, and a map showing the location of a plantation in Bolivar County, Mississippi. One of Washington Simmons' letters describes Concordia, Mississippi. The other letter discusses his marriage and mail disruption between North and South. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 505.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War

Skipwith, Fulwar, 1765-1839. Correspondence, 1797-1826. 37 items, 1 mf reel. Location: Vault:22, Mss.Mf:S. Consul to France during the French Revolution and later a planter in Baton Rouge. Most of the correspondence is addressed to Skipwith at Montesano Plantation near Baton Rouge, and relates to political and civic matters, and financial affairs. Collection also includes an account book (1795-1797). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2024.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Plantations, Baton Rouge

Slowey, Robert M. Photographs, circa 1961-1979. 1,912 color slides [35mm]. Location: V:48. 1941 graduate of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La. Images depict various plantations (buildings, grounds, and remains), historic markers, churches, banks, schools, museums, courthouses, hospitals, cemeteries, ruins, landscapes, and other architectural sites in Louisiana and Mississippi. Mss. 4598.

Smith, Joseph Davis, 1817-1876. Papers, 1865-1901. 13 items. Location: Misc.:S. Medical doctor , planter of Solitude Plantation, St. Francisville, West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Letters between family members describe life during Reconstruction in Louisiana, including problems with freedmen, taxation, and the imprisonment of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Included are two letters from Davis to his daughter Varina. Later papers concern legal disposition of the family graveyard area on Solitude Plantation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2493.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, African Americans