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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Harkins, John. Manuscript, 1967. 1 item (59 pages). Location: E:45. Poplar Grove, Sugar Plantation on the West Bank of the Mississippi River across from Baton Rouge,' term paper presented for Fine Arts 120 taught by Mr. James R. Reeves. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2250.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Education

Harris, William H. Papers, 1893-1930. 14 items, 1 vol. Location: MISC:H. Probably an African American who worked as a foreman or handyman around Augusta Plantation Sugar House, Bayou Goula, Iberville Parish, Louisiana. Papers include business correspondence and a Wholesale Pocket Business Directory of New Orleans for 1893. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3261.

Harrison, L. B. Letter, 1854 Mar. 23. 1 item. Location: Misc.:H. L.B. Harrison in New Orleans, La., remarks how his wife enjoyed the countryside around the Louisiana sugar plantations. He also recommends that spending a month in a sugar house at grinding season is a cure for lung diseases because of the beneficial effects of the vapors rising from the sugar kettles. Mss. 3858.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Medicine

Hawkes, John. Letter, 1863 January. 1 item. Location: Misc. Union soldier in the Civil War, a member of the 50th Massachusetts Regiment. Letter written from Camp Parapet, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, to a member of Hawkes' family in Maine. He mentions the fortifications at camp, guarding the plantation of a widow, and drinking the river water. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1265.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War

Hawkins, J. E. (Josiah Edwin). Papers, 1857-1929 (bulk 1880-1900). 6.7 linear ft. (4,464 items, 135 ms. vols., 52 printed vols.). Location: UU:309-315, J:8-9, OS:H, 98:H. Physician, surgeon, and farm owner in Bayou Chicot, Evangeline Parish, Louisiana. Hawkins was originally from Georgia and first practiced medicine in Columbia City, Arkansas. Collection includes professional, business, and personal papers related to Hawkins' medical career. Papers include medical daybooks, plantation diaries, financial records, maps, and newspapers from New Orleans and St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 982.

Haydel, Antoine. Records, 1856-1858. 5 items. Location: Misc.: H. Planter of St. John Parish, La. Accounts for the purchase of clothing and household items. In French. Mss. 5266.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, French

Hazard Company. Letters, 1839-1855. 88 items. Location: E:57. Rhode Island manufacturer of cotton and woolen clothing, shoes, and textiles, with agents operating in New Orleans. Correspondence deals with clothing and textiles sold to plantation owners of Louisiana and Mississippi, and clothing worn by slaves on plantations. Customers were primarily from the Feliciana parishes in Louisiana and the Natchez and Vicksburg, Mississippi, areas. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 789, 845, 942, 1194, 1232.

Henderson, John J., Jr. Account books, 1870-1900. 10 vols. Location: G:11. Resident of Avalon Plantation, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. Cash book, ledgers, and time books. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 536.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Henslee, Elizabeth Trowbridge. Collection, 1876-2004, undated (bulk 1899-1960). 1.85 linear ft. Location: 118:1. The granddaughter of Louisiana Governor and U.S. Senator Murphy J. Foster and Rose Routh Ker from Franklin, Louisiana. The collection contains personal papers, family photographs, political campaign ephemera, newspaper clippings, and cookbooks collected by the Henslee, Trowbridge, and Foster families. A significant component of the collection is the papers and correspondence of Elizabeth’s grandfather. Mss. 5154.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Plantations, Women

Herbert, Susan F. Papers, 1839, 1852-1857. 34 items. Location: C:61. Resident of Woodville, Wilkinson County, Mississippi. Statements from Payne and Harrison, New Orleans factor, for sale of cotton for the estate of T. S. Herbert and for his wife, Susan Herbert. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1209.

Herrin, Edmund. Papers, 1849-1891. 83 items, 1 vol. Location: E:39, G:11. Planter of St. Helena Parish, Louisiana. Papers include tax receipts, promissory notes, and bills; personal letters from the Roddy family, relatives, and from Herrin's brothers; an oath of allegiance to the United States and registration certificates; and a currency bill issued by Louisiana. Included is a fee book of Thomas H. Roddy, Sheriff of St. Helena Parish (1849-1855). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 711.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War

Hicky, Daniel and Philip. Papers, 1667, 1762-1846 (bulk 1814-1815). 33 items, 1 microfilm reel. Location: U:103, OS:H, Vault:1, Vault:8, MSS.MF:H. Planters of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Papers of Daniel Hicky include a land grant, a deed, and a passport. Papers of Philip Hicky mostly pertain to his involvement in the West Florida Rebellion and the Battle of New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 720.

Hicky, Daniel. Letter, 1793 April 10. 1 item. Location: MISC:H. Planter of District of Manchac, West Florida, Louisiana. Letter sent from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and addressed to his son, Philip Hicky, in New Orleans. Daniel Hicky mentions his painful gout, tells of the destruction wrought to levees and land by a Mississippi River flood, and remarks how the indigo crop was hurt by bad weather. He also gives an affectionate reminder to Philip to conduct himself properly. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3430.

Hicky, Daniel. Letter, 1867. 1 letter. Location: MISC:H. Letter from Daniel Hicky, Baton Rouge, La., to Judge D.D. Avery, requests a payment be made to R. Walsh from the estate of Philip Hicky and discusses plantation matters. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 238.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Baton Rouge

Hicky, Philip and Family. Papers, 1769-1901 (bulk 1769-1835). 20 items, 1 letter file book, 1 microfilm reel. Location: VAULT:8, OS:H, MSS.MF:H. Planter and colonel of East Baton Rouge Parish. Unbound and bound (in a letter file book) personal and official papers of Philip Hicky and the Hicky family. Papers pertain chiefly to the West Florida controversy and the Battle of New Orleans but also pertain to family matters and family history of the Hicky family. Some items pertain to the Walsh and Morgan families. Mss. 2007, 2035.

Hicky, Philip. Letter, 1815 February 28. 1 item [photocopy]. Location: MISC:H. Planter of Hope Estate Plantation, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Letter from Hicky to Major Charles Tessier concerning the latter's appointment to the office of East Baton Rouge Parish judge. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2704.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Baton Rouge

Hilliard, Isaac H. (Isaac Henry) and family. Papers, 1756-1924 (bulk 1845-1920). 173 items, 12 volumes. Location: E:50, H:21, OS:H. Isaac Hillard was a planter of Grand Lake, Chicot County, Arkansas. The Hillard family were merchants in Grand Lake Arkansas, Collection includes legal papers, correspondence, cashbooks, and diaries that document the personal, agricultural, and business activities of the Hilliard family. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1236, 1347.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business

Hilliard, Isaac H. (Isaac Henry), Mrs. Diary, 1849-1860 (bulk 1849-1850). 1 vol. Location: U:239, Mss. Mf:H. Wife of Isaac H. Hilliard, plantation owner of Grand Lake, Chicot County, Arkansas, originally of Henry County, Kentucky. Mrs. Hilliard was related by marriage to Leonidas Polk. Diary depicts plantation life from an affluent woman's perspective, describing family holidays, social occasions, steamboat travel, and trips to Louisiana, Mississippi, and Kentucky. Includes her son's expenses at Kentucky Military Institute (1866). Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reel 13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 178, 762.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Transportation, Women

Hillin, James. Document, 1791. 1 item. Location: Misc. Planter in the District of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Will of James Hillin, planter in the District of Baton Rouge, La., and the attestation.. In Spanish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 179.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, Plantations, Baton Rouge

Hines, Betty, 1948, interviewee. Oral history interview, 1993. 1 sound cassette (45 minutes), Index (3 pages). Location: L:4700.285. Resident of Four Corners, an unincorporated community south of Franklin, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. Hines was the foster child of a sharecropper. Hines' memories of childhood as the daughter of a sharecropper; sugarcane growing; the recollections of her great-grandparents' enslavement; difficulties of her early work with foster children; birth customs; and traditional foods. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.285.

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