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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Percy, J. H. (John Hereford). Papers, 1717-1978 (bulk 1905-1956). 2.5 linear ft., 23 manuscript volumes. Location: 48:3-4, OS:P. Author of The Percy Family of Mississippi and Louisiana, 1776-1943. Papers consist of genealogical research materials including correspondence, genealogy notes, family histories, transcriptions (mostly typescripts) of historical documents, and manuscript volumes created, compiled, and collected by J. H. Percy. Most genealogy research materials are related to Percy's creation of his book. There are also some business papers related to Percy's real estate, banking, development, and insurance activities in Louisiana and Mississippi. Mss. 4759.

Percy, Leroy. Family papers, 1894-1930. 5,509 items, 3 ms. Vols. [on microfilm]. Location: Mss.Mf:P. Lawyer, plantation owner, and U.S. senator of Greenville, Mississippi. Papers reflecting Percy's wide interests and including topics such as administration of large scale cotton farming and factoring; employment of immigrant labor, mainly Italians; railroad and levee policies; state politics; and his world-wide travels. Also covered is Percy's relationship to family, friends, and adversaries. Of special interest is a collection of correspondence on his outspoken stand against the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3275.

Perret, Frank. Letter, 1847 Nov. 19. 1 letter. Location: Misc. Frank Perret of New Orleans, La., writes to Robert Taylor of Opelousas, La., regarding insurance on Taylor's sugar and molasses, the destruction by fire of the sugar house of a Mr. Roman, and the going prices for sugar and molasses. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4014.

Peters, Emma Dell, 1941-, interviewee. Oral history interview, 1993. 1 sound cassette (45 minutes), Index (6 pages). Location: L:4700.0283. Resident of Four Corners, an unincorporated community south of Franklin, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. Peters lived on Sterling Plantation; her great-grandparents were slaves. For 26 years, Peters worked as a cook in the school system. Peters gives an account of her great-grandparents' purchases as slaves, and discusses slave religion, the treatment of slaves, and female slaves who bore children for their white masters. Included are spirituals she learned from her grandparents. Peters also gives accounts of illnesses, funeral customs, early jobs she held, poverty in her youth, and discipline and life in her large family. She also discusses Civil Rights legislation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0283.

Peyroux, Constance. Papers, 1832, 1835. 2 items. Location: Misc. Sale of a plantation and slaves in Faubourg Marigny, New Orleans, Louisiania, by the estate of Marie Eulalie Peyroux to Constance Peyroux (1832); and sale of a plantation and slaves in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, by Pierre A. Peyroux to Constance Peyroux. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 668.

Peytavin, John Ludger, b. 1859. Papers, 1806-1937. 342 items, 43 vols. Location: C:27-29, O:17, OS:P, 99:P. Attorney, author, composer, and planter of Ancient Domain Plantation in St. James Parish, Louisiana, and of New Orleans. Business and professional papers concern the operation of Peytavin's plantation and law practice. Personal papers include correspondence, manuscript copies of poems, songs, speeches, and historical sketches. Collection also includes programs for New Orleans theater, opera, and concert performances. Most of the legal papers before 1843 are in French, as is some of the post-1885 correspondence. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 465, 1067, 1071, 1072.

Pharr, John Newton, 1829-1903. Family papers, 1843-1934 (bulk 1908-1931). 85,762 items, 220 ms. vols., 141 printed vols. Location: UU:211-213, X:1-42, Q:15-27. Sugar planter, businessman, politician, and steamboat captain of St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. Papers and account books of Captain Pharr and records of the J. N. Pharr and Sons, Limited reflect the operations of all the Pharr family holdings including several plantations, Glenwild Sugar Refinery, the Fairview Dairy, and the Pharr Line. Also contains compilations of primary election returns for Jan. 28, 1908, and January 19, 1932. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 555.

Pinson, Nancy. Papers, 1820-1890. 1 linear ft. Location: C:62. Planter of Woodville, Wilkinson County, Mississippi. Correspondence and business papers of the Daniel B. Pinson family. Papers are comprised of bills and receipts for taxes, goods and services, and medical and dental treatments. Letters refer cotton trade, cholera, and family matters. Also included are statements from cotton brokers in New Orleans; contracts with freedmen; a slave list; and a letter mentioning that excitement over the slave riot subsided (June 21, 1853). Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 2, Reels 13-14. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 828, 1255.

Pintard, John M. Papers, 1796-1809 (bulk 1808-1810). 0.5 linear ft. (118 items; 5 vols.). Location: UU:67, H:10. Merchant, cotton planter of Laurel Hill Plantation, West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Papers include documents related to Pintard's plantation and store, transportation on the Mississippi River, and commerce before and during the War of 1812. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 2, Reel 14. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 887.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Transportation, Business

Pirrie, James. Papers, 1803-circa 1830. 0.2 linear ft. Location: UU:104. Member of a Scottish family, an alcalde under the Spanish, and owner of Oakley Plantation in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Papers include documents related to plantation and business matters, cotton marketing, and legal affairs of the family. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1382.

Plauche, Joseph. Papers, 1901-1946. 576 items, 78 vols. Location: O:58. African American planter of Natchez, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. Plantation account books, business papers, and personal correspondence reflect the extent of the Plauche's farming operations. Available on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 2, Reels 7-11. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 944.

Plough, Alonzo L. Papers, 1818-1866 [on microfilm]. Location: Mss. Mf.:P. New Orleans, Louisiana, dentist. Papers of Plough and of Edward Simon, and a plan of Jean Berard's plantation, now the town of St. Martinville, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2149.

Poche, Louis Aristee. Papers, 1937-1954. 8 items, 2 ms. vols. Location: Misc:P, Mss.Mf:P. Perique tobacco planter from Convent, St. James Parish, Louisiana. Papers include correspondence and record books documenting the cultivation of perique tobacco in St. James Parish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2882.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Polk, Horace M. Letters, 1860-1868. 16 items. Location: U:119. Planter on Bayou Bartholomew near Bastrop (Morehouse Parish), Louisiana, and delegate to the Louisiana Secession Convention. Letters from Polk to his father-in-law, Major John H. Bills of Bolivar, Tennessee, dealing with cotton and tobacco farming, prices for land, and African American labor issues. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1628.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War, African Americans

Polmer, Irving. Plantation time book, 1910-1911. 1 ms. vol. Location: G:18. Plantation time book from Irving Polmer of 'Ducros', containing monthly time record for laborers employed at Waubun, operated by John T. Moore Planting Co., Ltd., according to Bouchereau's Directory of . . . Cane Growers of Louisiana, 1909-1910. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1838.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations

Port Hudson journal, 1838-1839. 1 volume. Location: G:2. Journal for a general merchandise and cotton firm of Port Hudson, Louisiana. Part of the East Feliciana Parish Archives Collection. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1100.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business

Porteous, Thomas Clark, 1841-1919. Papers, 1858-1898. .5 linear ft. (137 items; 6 vols.). Location: C:68, J:9, M:21. Manager of Levois Drygoods Store in New Orleans and of Star Plantation, St. Charles Parish, Louisiana; and bookkeeper for the Godchaux Department Store in New Orleans. Porteous was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. Papers include documents related to Porteous' work at Star Plantation and at the stores. Included are letters, bank books, account records, receipts, and a map of the plantation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1200, 1201, 1316.

Porter, Alexander. Papers, 1811-1879 (bulk 1839-1844, 1879). 13 items. Location: Misc:P, OS:P. Sugar planter of Oaklawn Manor, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana, politician, Louisiana Supreme Court justice (1821-1833). Papers consist of correspondence, a 10-page biography of Alexander Porter, an 1821 certificate naming Porter to the Louisiana Supreme Court, and an 1811 certificate validating a land grant to a free person of color. Correspondence discusses Porter's involvement with the slave trade. and various lease agreements with the Leverich families over Oaklawn Manor. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4947.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, African Americans

Pradel, Jean Charles de, 1692-1764. Family Papers, 1719-1954. 407 items on 1 microfilm reel. Location: Mss.Mf:P. Native of France and soldier and planter of New Orleans. He was married to Alexandrine de la Chaise de Pradel and operated Mon Plaisir Plantation. Papers include correspondence of Jean Charles de Pradel and his wife. His letters deal with business matters, the development of the Louisiana colony, and the discipline of slaves. Her letters deal with his estate and their daughters in France. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2866.

Pre Aux Cleres Plantation. Record books, 1852-1854. 2 vols. Location: H:10. Plantation located in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, owned by J. H. McKnight. Record books of Pre Aux Cleres Plantation containing quarterly inventories of stock and implements and daily reports of plantation routines made by the overseer noting weather, progress of crops, work of slaves, and amount of cotton picked. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 2, Reel 19. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 684.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, African Americans