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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Franklin, Benjamin Cromwell, 1805-1873. Brief, 1851. 1 brief. Location: MISC:F. Benjamin Cromwell Franklin was an attorney, judge, and legislator in Texas. The Benjamin Cromwell Franklin brief consists of one legal brief documenting the case of Nathaniel Bailey vs. Rachael Hicks. Rachael C. Hicks was sued for balances on accounts for supplies for her family, composed of William C. Hicks, her two daughters, two nieces, and some African Americans. Rachael was relieved from the charges because the purchases were made with the understanding that the accounts were being credited to a third party, Thomas Hicks of Louisiana. Mss.5129.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Frellsen, Henry, ca. 1800-1884. Plantation diary, 1878-1884. 1 vol. (101 pages). Location: G:17. Native of Denmark who fought in the Greek War of Independence (1824) and moved to Louisiana (ca. 1840). He was the Danish Consul in New Orleans, a cotton factor, and the owner of Fairview Plantation, St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. Entries document Frellsen's operation of Fairview Plantation. Weekly reports detail crop and weather conditions; record maintenance of a sugarhouse, machinery, and levees; and list farmhands (including children) and their wages. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3497

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, African Americans

Gassie, August. Account book, 1870-1871. 1 vol. Location: G:8. Merchant of West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Ledger records merchandise sales and cash accounts, many of which were made to Levert and New Hope plantations. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 478.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business, Baton Rouge

Gautreau, Henry W. Papers, 1865-2013 (bulk 1970-1990). .5 linear ft. Location: T:81. Native of Gonzales, Louisiana and ordained priest for the Diocese of Baton Rouge. Papers include chiefly correspondence and printed materials related to Gautreau's involvement in the IT Corporation controversy and lawsuit in Ascension Parish and Gautreau's research on the Houma Indians. There are also printed items pertaining to Houmas House Plantation and the Houmas Central Sugar Factory. Mss. 5340.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Acadiana

Gay, Andrew H. (Andrew Hynes) and family. Papers, 1857-1957. 222 items, 9 volumes. Location: Y:82, G:17, OS:G. Sugar planter of Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana. Papers include Civil War and Reconstruction correspondence, with letters by Confederate officers, including Elias B. Inslee. Diaries kept by Anna Maria Gay McClung, a daughter, record social life in Washington, D.C. and travel (1885-1898). Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reels 11-12. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2542.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Women, Civil War

Gay, Edward J. and family. Papers, 1797-1938 (bulk 1838-1910). 62 linear ft., 165 volumes. Location: H:25-27, OS:G, VAULT:1, VAULT:33, VAULT:40, Y:1-62, Y:81. Planters of St. Louis Plantation near Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana. Edward J. Gay was a U.S. representative (1884-1889); his grandson of the same name was a U.S. senator (1918-1921). Personal and business papers of the Gay and related families, containing materials on the Civil War and Reconstruction, St. Louis Plantation, the sugar cane industry, slavery. Also includes Representative Gay's congressional papers. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1295.

Gay-Butler-Plater family. Papers, 1814-2016. 30.5 linear ft., 25 volumes. Location: G:43-85, OS:G, Q:1-6. Planters of Iberville, Lafourche, and Terrebonne parishes, Louisiana. Correspondence, financial records, legal records, photographic materials, and personal papers created and accumulated by the Gay, Butler, Plater, and Price families of Louisiana documenting their political, social, and financial affairs. Mss. 4872.

Gayarré, Charles E. A. Collection, 1720-1895 (bulk 1845-1857). 588 items, 1 microfilm reel. Location: U:124-132, VAULT:7, MSS.MF:G. Louisiana planter, statesman, jurist and historian. Plantation and business records, legal documents, historical and political writings, and personal correspondence of Gayarré. The collection indicates national and state political sentiment and activities and records Gayarré's career as a historian and political analyst and the founding of Louisiana's state library. Partly in French, Spanish and German. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 156.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, Politics, Plantations, French, German, Literature

Gayarré, Charles E. A. Papers, 1781, 1830-1907 (bulk 1830-1895). 276 items, 4 volumes. Location: UU:9, VAULT:7, MSS.MF:G. Louisiana planter, statesman, jurist and historian. Papers pertain to Gayarré's association with Confederate leader J.D.B. DeBow, his literary career, and the management of his business affairs. Also included is personal correspondence of Gayarré's wife, Anne Shadie Sullivan Buchannon, with members of the William Woodson King family. Some items in French and Spanish. Part of the Grace King Collection. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1282.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, Plantations, Women, Civil War, French, Literature

George, John, 1854-1931. Papers, 1887-1931, undated 348 items and 6 vols. Location: W:9, FL12, Mss. Mf.:G. General merchant and cotton buyer in Tangipahoa, Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana. Collection consists of business papers and ledgers. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1550.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business

Gianelloni, Sabin J., Sr. Family Papers, 1887-1975, undated. 5.75 linear ft., 69 v. Location: UU:316-321, J;20-21, OS:G. Sugar planter of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Papers consist of correspondence, business papers, personal papers, and printed items relating to the Gianelloni family, the operation of Longwood Plantation, sugar and cane syrup industries, and federal regulations affecting these industries. Correspondence also discusses the political and economic environments in Louisiana and Cuba. Printed items include photographs of field hands and Longwood Plantation store. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3458, 4279.

Gibbs, Joe. Affidavit, 1865 Aug. 29. 1 affidavit. Location: Misc. This affidavit, made in Vicksburg, Miss., by Joe Gibbs, relates the marking for government use of 200 bales of cotton owned by a Dr. Smith, his hiding some of the cotton in the woods at the end of the war, and the burning of his cotton gin the same night. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4401.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War

Gibson, Randall Lee, 1832-1892. Papers, 1848-1891. 164 items. Location: A:56. Confederate general, New Orleans lawyer, U.S. representative and senator from Louisiana. Early papers reflect student life at Yale University. Civil War papers include orders, general reports, and casualty reports. Letters discuss movements of troops at the Battle of Shiloh and Mobile Bay, Ala. Letter from his sister describes New Orleans in 1861. Later papers consist of business record, mortgages and leases for various plantations. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 6. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2402, 2412, 2423.

Gillespie, James A. and family. Papers, 1776-1929 (bulk 1840-1890). 1,530 items, 20 volumes. Location: E:22-24, E:118, G:16, 65:G, OS:G Vault:38. Planter of Hollywood Plantation, Adams County, Mississippi, and Indian Village Plantation, Concordia Parish, Louisiana. Collection includes plantation records, business papers, and correspondence of the Gillespie family and business papers of the Davis family. Papers include slave sales, land deeds, a will, diaries, portraits, maps, sheet music, and fashion publications. Includes some printed items in German. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 4, Reels 5-8, or Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series I, Part 3, Reels 13-14. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 669, 695, 1104, 2086.

Girod, Joseph. Papers, 1816-1899 (bulk 1830-1880). 588 items, 6 ms. Vols. Location: U:133, G:8. Native of France and planter of St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, and nephew of Nicholas Girod, first elected mayor of New Orleans. Joseph Girod's brother, Francois Girod, lived in Paris, France, and New Orleans. Papers include letters from Francois Girod, some of them related to the estate of Nicholas Girod, which provided for the aid of New Orleans orphans of French parentage. Plantation journals (1838-1877) and a letter book (1825-1832) are also included. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 838, 853.

Gleason, David K. Papers, 1951-1992. 202 linear ft. Location: Ranges 87-90. Commercial photographer of Baton Rouge whose work included photographs of plantation homes along the Mississippi River. Gleason's work appeared in a number of books, including The Great Houses of Natchez (1986) and Plantation Homes of Louisiana and the Natchez Area (1982). Collection includes negatives, working proofs, prints, and notes. Unprocessed. Mss. 4520.

Godet, Desire. Papers, 1826-1881. 66 items. Location: U:133. French-speaking cotton planter of Port Barre, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. Papers include letters to his parents, brother, and sister in Rouen, France. There are also bills, statements, and receipts from Opelousas merchants and statements of account with A. A. Mouton, Planters' and Merchants Agency. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 159.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, French

Golsan Brothers. Papers, 1845-1876 (bulk 1866-1876). 15,645 items, 102 volumes. Location: UU:199-210, G:8-10, OS:G. New Orleans cotton factors and agents for the DuBois cotton gin, doing business with merchants, and commission firms in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Tennessee, and Texas. Business papers of Golsan Brothers consisting chiefly of bills and receipts for merchandise, printing, and advertising; waybills; invoices for cotton purchased; bank checks; trial balance sheets; telegrams; statements of account; and correspondence. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 501.

Good Hope Plantation: Papers, 1864-1867 (bulk 1865). .5 linear ft. (100 items). Location: U:145. Papers indicate that George Gilson Klapp of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and James D. Waters leased Tyconia Plantation in Concordia Parish, Louisiana, in 1864. Klapp and Waters jointly leased Good Hope and Hermitage plantations during 1865 and 1866. Papers focus largely on the operation and management of Good Hope and Hermitage cotton plantations in Concordia Parish, Louisiana. Legal papers include a plantation lease agreement, mule loans, an arms permit, and labor agreements with freedmen. Financial papers include promissory notes; receipts for goods, services, and taxes; and accounts of merchandise purchased by laborers. Available on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 2, Reel 11. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 161.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, African Americans

Gordon Family papers, 1848-1857. 50 items. Location: Misc:G. Owners of Woodland Plantation in Port Gibson, Mississippi, where they raised cotton. Papers mainly consist of receipts for cotton shipments and invoices for purchases in New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4666.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, New Orleans to 1861

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