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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Prescott, M. R. E. (Mary Rose Emma), d. 1864. Record book, 1850-1863. 1 ms. vol. Location: Misc:P. Wife of planter Aaron Prescott. Infrequently-dated notations listing slaves of Cedar Grove Plantation, Rapides Parish, Louisiana; clothing and tobacco issued to them; and other related information. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4276.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, African Americans

Prichard, Walter, 1887-1965. Collection, 1804-1950 ca. (bulk 1804-1897). 196 items. Location: C:11-12. Professor of History, LSU. Collection contains the papers relating to the cotton trade, the career of Thomas Bolling Robertson, a politician and jurist, and Jane Dunbar Ferguson, a planter of Washington, Mississippi. Papers concern the Louisiana political activities of Robertson, the friction between the French and Americans in Louisiana, and yellow fever in New Orleans. Family letters of Ferguson discuss travel from New Orleans to New York, education, family matters, and Natchez acquaintances. Papers also contain with transcriptions, research notes, and footnotes by Prichard. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2509.

Prudhomme, P. Lestant. Diaries, 1850-1852. 3 v. (on microfilm). Location: Mss. Mf.:P. Son of a Natchitoches Creole planter. Personal diary reflects plantation life detailing social events, family affairs, personal activities, and local area news and weather. Entries also include possible sale of slaves (Feb. 12, 1850), visit to a former slave (April 27, 1850), and comments on secession (May 11, 1850). Several entries pertain to his many relations among the Metoyer, Cloutier, and Lambre families. Entry in French (page 133) discusses the birth of his cousin and significance of "baton" when a female child is born. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1578.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Plantations, African Americans, French

Pugh (Thomas and Family) Papers, 1832-1946 (bulk:1852-1882). 0.3 linear feet. Location: U:217; OS:P. A sugar planter who built Madewood Plantation on Bayou Lafourche in Assumption Parish, La. Consists of correspondence, legal documents, photographs, certificates and diplomas related to the succession of Thomas Pugh and the personal affairs of the Pugh, Ballard, Vance and Barton families. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4437.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Pugh, Alexander Franklin, 1819-1883. Papers, 1850-1865. 0.25 linear ft. (11 items, 7 ms. Vols., 3 transcript vols.). Location: 77:88. Part owner and manager of Augustin, Bellevue, Boatner, New Hope, and Whitmell plantations on Bayou Lafourche in Assumption and Lafourche parishes, Louisiana. Papers include plantation diaries describing crop yields, behavior and health of slaves, economic conditions, and Civil War news. Includes a payroll account of former slaves (1865). Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 1, Reels 6-7. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 354.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Civil War, African Americans

Pugh, Josephine Nicholls, 1820-1868. Civil War account, circa 1865-1868. 2 items (17 pages). Location: Misc.:P. Wife of Colonel William W. Pugh, planter of Woodlawn Plantation, Assumption Parish, Louisiana. Personal account titled 'Dark Days: A Woman's Record,' describes the occupation of Assumption Parish by Union troops in 1862 and comments on the behavior of the occupying troops, the reaction of slaves, and Confederate civilian experiences. Included is a reminiscence of Mrs. Pugh by her husband. Available on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 3, Reel 7. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2618.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, Civil War, African Americans

Pugh, Mary W. Papers, 1882-1925. 1.5 linear ft. 17 vols. Location: A:6-8, P:20, OS:P. Widow of Richard L. Pugh, of Live Oak Plantation, Lafourche Parish, Louisiana. Correspondence of Mrs. Pugh principally from her children. Contains a letter concerning African American labor problems; and memorandum book #5 and time books for the Thibodaux Brick Works. Photographs of Live Oak Plantation and the Maguire home in Tennessee are also included. For further information, see online catalog. Available on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 3, Reels 13-14. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 897, 1055.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, African Americans

Pugh, W. W. (William Whitmell), 1811-1906. Welman F. Pugh diary, 1844-1864 (bulk 1862-1863). 8 items, 1 vol. Location: Misc.:P, H:22. Planter of Woodlawn Plantation, Assumption Parish, Louisiana, state representative, and president of the Board of Levee Commissioners. Confederate diary of Col. W. W. Pugh's fifteen year old son (1847-1863) of Woodlawn Plantation, Assumption Parish, Louisiana. Includes eight items removed from the diary. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2113.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War

Pugh, William W. Letters, 1891-ca. 1900. 20 letters. Location: T:35. Planter of Bayou Lafourche, Assumption Parish, La., Civil War officer and president of the Board of Levee Commissioners. Letters to Ellen Pugh discuss politics, plantation crops, sugar legislation, the sugar trade, weather, and the Spanish-American war. They also report on health, social activities and family matters. Pugh writes about the right to vote and literacy, presidential election of 1898 (Sept. 14, 1898, ca. 1900), and he refers to the mumps (Aug. 16, 1897) and yellow fever in New Orleans and Mississippi (1897-1898). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3578.

Pugh, William W. and family. Plantation records, 1830-1933 (bulk 1903-1908). 131 items, 14 volumes. Location: G:38-39, OS:P. Planter of Woodlawn Plantation, Assumption Parish, Louisiana, state representative, and president of the Board of Levee Commissioners. Papers include correspondence, legal and financial papers, township maps and survey plats, and printed materials. Financial records deal with Woodlawn, Himalaya, and Mount Lawrence plantations. Papers also include minutes of the Woodlawn Planting & Manufacturing Co., of which Pugh was chair; maps of land holdings in Assumption Parish; and cashbooks, ledgers, record books, and a time book. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 3, Reel 12. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 740, 753.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Plantations, Business

Pugh-Williams-Mayes Family Papers, 1844-1933 (bulk 1855-1884). 1.5 linear ft. (283 items, 15 vols.). Location: D:98, H:11. Plantation owners and slaveholders in Louisiana. Richard Pugh served as a private in the Louisiana 5th Company Battalion of the Washington Artillery during the Civil War. His family fled to Texas before Union troops invaded the Bayou Lafourche area. Papers include genealogical notes on the Pugh family, Civil War correspondence between Mary and Richard Pugh, correspondence from friends and relatives, legal documents, financial papers, and financial manuscript volumes. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 3, Reel 7, and Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 4, Reel 11. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 730, 733, 741.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, Civil War, African Americans

Purvis, George C. Family Papers, 1831-1956. 1,706 items and 115 volumes. Location: UU:151-153, 159-161, H:15, 99:P. Planter of Richland Parish, Louisiana. Collection encompasses personal and business correspondence of Purvis, Hatch, and Evans family members, residing in Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, and Washington. Included are ms. Volumes, printed items, photographs, postcards, newspapers, and miscellanea. A letter to Carrie Purvis from Holden, West Virginia remarks that any work was preferable to working for J. Norman, the Jew of Maugham. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2971.

Quitman, John Anthony, 1798-1858. Letter, 1821 December 20. 1 item. Location: Misc.:Q. Natchez, Mississippi lawyer, soldier, politician, and planter. Letter to E. L. Hazelius, written from Natchez, Mississippi, discussing his reasons for leaving his former home in Ohio, his impressions of Mississippi and Natchez, and his professional prospects. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3218.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Plantations, Natchez, Mississippi

Quitman, John Anthony, 1798-1858. Papers, 1823-1872, 1919. 145 items, 12 vols. Location: B:8, OS:Q, H:10, 99:. Natchez, Mississippi lawyer, soldier, politician, and planter. Personal and family papers include record books, correspondence, broadsides and other printed documents, and diaries. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1403, 1431, 1471, 1595, 1793.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Plantations, Natchez, Mississippi

Quitman, John Anthony, 1798-1858. Letter, 1848 April 29. 1 item. Location: Misc. Natchez, Mississippi lawyer, soldier, politician, and planter. Letter from 'Monmouth' to Peter G. Washington listing a series of biographical and factual corrections possibly for Frost's history of the Mexican War published about that time. Filed in the online catalog under Quitman, John A., 1798-1858. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2139.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Plantations, Natchez, Mississippi

Quitman, John Anthony, 1798-1858. Note, 1855. 2 items. Location: Misc.:Q. Natchez, Mississippi lawyer, soldier, politician, and planter. Items include an autographed note to the Library of Congress and a brief published biographical sketch. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1955.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Plantations, Natchez, Mississippi

Rabb, Nicholas, b. 1799. Family Papers, 1799-1919 (bulk 1836-1876). 99 items,(8 vols. (on 1 microfilm) Location: Mss.Mf:R. Blacksmith and planter of Jefferson and Madison counties, Mississippi. His oldest son, Constantine N. Rabb, was a planter and general merchant of Madison County, Mississippi, and Evangeline and Vernon parishes, Louisiana. Papers include diaries, memoranda, daybooks, and a record book, documenting plantation management, social life, and blacksmith fees. Rabb family genealogical information is in the record book. Constantine Rabb's papers (1851-1905) include letters, tax receipts, and other items reflecting his work as a planter and general merchant. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1843.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business, Natchez, Mississippi

Randolph, John H. (John Hampden) 1813-1883. Family letters, ca. 1780-1860. 23 items. Location: W:3. Lawyer, planter, and circuit court judge. Randolph was born in Virginia and moved with his family to Wilkinson County, Mississippi, in 1819. In 1841 he moved to Iberville Parish, Louisiana, where he owned Nottoway Plantation. Letters written from Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana by various members of the Randolph family discuss family matters, plantation crops, and the family's move from Virginia to Louisiana. An early letter (1820) describes traveling through Indian territory. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4673.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Natchez, Mississippi

Randolph, John H. (John Hampden). Papers, 1823-1890 (bulk 1834-1889). 1.3 linear ft. Location: A:123-124, OS:R, Vault:21. Lawyer, planter, and circuit court judge. Randolph was born in Virginia and moved with his family to Wilkinson County, Mississippi, in 1819. In 1841 he moved to Iberville Parish, Louisiana, where he owned Nottoway Plantation. Collection includes records and documents related to Randolph's cotton and sugar plantations in Woodville, Wilkinson County, Mississippi, and Iberville and Catahoula parishes, Louisiana. Includes items related to the White League, an organization which promoted white racial interests in Louisiana. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: UPA Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 1, Reels 14-15. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 355, 356.

Randon, Fran?ois. Ledger, 1876-1888. 1 ms. vol. Location: M:21. New Orleans dealer in sugar mill supplies. Ledger contains accounts for plantations along the Mississippi River from False River to New Orleans and on Bayou Teche. The volume also includes a record of household expenses. 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. 992.

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