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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McGehee, James Stewart, 1860-1945. Collection, 1724-1929 (bulk 1862-1880). 5 ms. vols. Location: H:1. Planter and businessman of Wilkinson County, Mississippi, and St. Louis, Missouri. James' grandfather, Edward McGehee, owned Bowling Green Plantation in Mississippi, and was president of the West Feliciana Railroad. Collection contains typewritten copies of McGehee family papers including reminiscences, biographical sketches, genealogical notes, diaries, and obituaries. Includes an account of the Veal family, a family of slaves associated with the McGehees. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 326.

McGehee, James Stewart, 1860-1945. Papers, 1826-1912 (bulk 1903-1904). .25 linear ft. Location: C:26, OS:Mc, VAULT:21, VAULT MRDF 6. Planter and businessman of Wilkinson County, Mississippi. His grandfather, Edward McGehee, owned Bowling Green Plantation in Mississippi and was president of the West Feliciana Railroad. Papers include family letters, McGehee's autobiography, the history of a slave family, and financial documents. Includes items related to the destruction of Bowling Green Plantation in Mississippi by Union and African American troops. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2302, 2789.

McKowen-Lilley-Stirling Family. Papers, 1797-1921 (bulk 1877-1901). 829 items (on microfilm). Location: MSS.MF:M. Thomas William Lilley founded Springfield Plantation in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. His daughter Edith married John Stirling. John McKowen, an Irish immigrant, was a resident of Jackson, Louisiana. Papers include Lilley-Stirling legal documents and financial papers; McKowen family correspondence; and legal papers, and medical correspondence of John C. MacKowen, a Louisiana physician. Other papers relate to McKowen's property in Anacapri, Italy. Some items in Spanish, Italian, French, and German. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4356.

McMurran, Alie Austen, d. 1899. Journal, 1856-1889 (bulk 1856-1878). 1 v. Location: G:18. This typescript copy of the journal of Alice "Alie" Austen McMurran recounts her marriage in Maryland and subsequent life in antebellum Natchez, Miss.; her life in Natchez and Maryland during the Civil War; political and social events at the close of the war; and family affairs in Mississippi and Maryland during the three years after the war and sporadically recorded through 1878. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4304.

McMurran, John T. and family. Papers, 1820-1895. 0.2 linear ft. Location: S:121. Planter, lawyer, and state senator of Natchez, Mississippi. Correspondence and business and legal papers of John McMurran, his wife, and their daughter, concern travel, social life, and the administration of the Woodlands and Killarney plantations. Letters mention judgeships in Mississippi, the funeral of Henry Clay, the sale of the plantation of a mulatto politician, the effects of Reconstruction, and problems of plantation management during Reconstruction. Also included are estate papers of William B. Griffith and papers of William T. Griffith while a student at Oakland College, Mississippi. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 3, Reel 18. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1403.

McMurran-Austen Family Papers, 1846-1878; 1942, undated (bulk:1856-1868). 0.6 linear feet. Location: U:298, OS:M. John T. McMurran family of Melrose in Natchez, owners of Louisiana plantations, son John, Jr., married Alie Austen of Maryland. Primarily correspondence related to family matters, the Civil War, home life, politics, plantation operation, and attitudes toward federal forces. Newspapers clippings, cartes de visites of family members, a household inventory, J. T. McMurran, Jr.'s discharge from the Confederate army in 1862, and military passes are also present. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4795.

Meade, George G. (George Gordon), 1815-1872. Letter, 1867 November 5. 1 item. Location: Misc.:M. Union army general in the Civil War. Letter to the Commissioner of Agriculture seeking employment for his niece indicating that her family's plantation in Mississippi, on the direct route of Grant's army, had been destroyed. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2761.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, Civil War

Mercer, William Newton. Papers, 1789-1936 (bulk 1827-1874). 2 linear ft., 2 microfilm reels. Location: U:1, UU:79-81, VAULT:1, OS:M, MSS.MF:M. Surgeon and planter of Adams County, Mississippi; Louisiana; and Illinois. Collection includes slave records, diaries, business and personal correspondence, and financial documents. Correspondence includes letters from Henry Clay, Abraham Lincoln, and Benjamin Butler. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 6061 and 5322: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 4, Reels 9-10, and Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series I, Part 3, Reels 1-3. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 292, 1051, 1233, 1364.

Mercer, William Newton. Slave List and Inventory, 1846-1848. 2 items. Locations: Misc.:M, OS:M. Plantation owner of Adams County, Mississippi. A booklet titled "List of Negroes" lists the names and ages of slaves, and in some cases the names of parents and other family members at William Newton Mercer's Buckhurst, Ellis Cliffs, Ormande, and Laurel Hill plantations (1846-1848). Lists date from 1846 with later notations in 1847 and 1848. Also included is an inventory of clothing distributed to sailors aboard the USS Jamestown (ca. 1845-1847). Inventory is signed by Master Wilmer Shields who later served as the manager of Mercer's plantations. Mss. 5210.

Merrick, Edwin Thomas, 1808-1897. Papers, 1830-1917 (bulk 1866-1871). 0.3 linear feet (229 items; 1 printed vol). Location: C:45, 99:M. Lawyer of New Orleans who served as chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court. He married Caroline Thomas of Cottage Hall Plantation, East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Letters (1830-1838) from Merrick to his mother, Ann Merrick, and his brother, William Winston Merrick record Merrick's activities as a prep student in Wilbraham, Mass., and his law studies and early legal career in Ohio. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1137, 1752.

Merrill, A. P. and Aylett Buckner. Papers, 1787-1870 (bulk 1830-1860). 0.5 linear ft., 1 volume. Location: U:228, M:19, OS:M. A. P. Merrill of Natchez, Mississippi, was a physician and the cashier of the Agricultural Bank. Aylett Buckner settled in Natchez around 1830, where he was an attorney, cotton factor, and director of the Commercial Bank of Natchez. Collection primarily consists of financial and legal papers of Merrill, Buckner, and Jane Dunbar Ferguson, a planter of Washington, Adams County, Mississippi. Other items include plats of the property of Abner Green and the deed to Patesi Plantation and its slaves. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 598.

Meullion family. Papers, 1776-1906 (bulk 1776-1866). 0.2 linear ft., 1 microfilm reel. Location: U:230, OS:M, MSS.MF:M. Free African American family of St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. Louis Augustin Meullion and his son Jean Baptiste (whose mother was a slave) were slaveholders; the son owned a plantation on Bayou Teche. Collection includes slave bills of sale, land sales, and other financial records; manumission papers for Maria Juana and her son Baptiste Meuillon; and an amnesty oath taken in 1865 by Miss Belazaire Meuillon. In French, English, and Spanish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 243, 294.

Mignon, Francois. Papers, 1939-1970, 1992. 17,000 items (on 41 microfilm reels). Location: MSS.MF:M. Journalist, horticulturist, and curator of Cammie G. Henry's Melrose Plantation, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. Correspondence, journal, writings, and subject files describe and relate to thirty years spent by Mignon at Melrose, which also served as an artists and writers colony. Among his correspondents are African American artist Clementine Hunter and Louisiana writers Lyle Saxon and Harnett Kane. Many ideas expressed in the journal later appeared in 'Cane River Memo,' Mignon's column in the Natchitoches newspaper Enterprise. Microfilm reels are of originals at the University of North Carolina. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4484.

Millard, Albert and Company. Account, 1834. 1 item. Location: Misc. Statement of account for plantation supplies from Albert Millard and Company, Thibodaux, La., to Messrs. Oulerbridge (?) Horsey and John Lee. For further information, see onine catalog. Mss. 2186.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business

Millikin, James Shaw. Scrapbook, [1874]-1917 (bulk 1881-1898).11 items, 1 ms. vol. Location: U:238. Merchant and planter, of Millikin near Lake Providence, East Carroll Parish, Louisiana. Scrapbook. For further information, see onine catalog. Mss. 1990.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business

Mills, John. Letters, 1795, 1807. 2 items. Location: MISC:M. Planter and merchant of West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, founder of Bayou Sara, and a leader of the West Florida Rebellion. In letters to Gilbert Jackson of New York, John Mills refers to a slave insurrection and the indigo harvest (1795). He discusses the treatment of slaves, destruction of the cotton crop by the cut worm, and the considerable amount of commerce on the Mississippi River (May 19, 1807). He also states that severe weather caused the Choctaw Indians to kill planters' livestock for food. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1375.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business, African Americans

Minor family. Papers, 1774-1914 (bulk 1774-1891). 24 items, 1 printed volume, 1 microfilm reel. Location: T:35, OS:M, MSS.MF:M. Planters of the Concord Plantation and governor of the Spanish district of Natchez. Collection includes correspondence related to plantation and family matters in Mississippi and Louisiana; a sugar producer's license; a printed item signed by President John Adams; and a will. Includes land titles for and personal correspondence of the Stephen, William J., and Henry C. Minor families of Natchez and Terrebonne Parish. Some letters in Spanish and French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 859, 947.

Minor family. Photograph collection, 1885, undated. 6 unique copy prints, 9 35mm negative strips. Location: MISC:M, E:65. William J. Minor was a sugar planter of Terrebonne and Ascension Parishes, Louisiana. His father, Stephen Minor, owned a plantation and a home in Natchez, Mississippi. Ayres P. Merrill was the U.S. Minister to Belgium. Collection contains formal portraits of William J. Minor, John Minor, Mrs. Minor (probably the wife of William J. Minor), and Ayres P. Merrill II. Included are photographs depicting Oakland, the Minor family home, and Elmscourt, the Merrill family home, also in Natchez. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3173.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Women, Natchez, Mississippi

Minor, Henry C. Papers, 1846-1956 (bulk 1918-1956). 1,263 items, 86 volumes (85 printed volumes, 1 manuscript volume). Location: T:8-9, X:87-88, F:5. Sugar planter of Southdown Plantation, Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. Papers relate to the estate of Henry C. Minor and contain letters, maps, photographs, reports, and items reflecting the management, reorganization, and financing of sugar plantations, including the Southdown Plantation, especially during the 1930s. Many materials relate to sugar technology and the revival of the Louisiana sugar industry in the 20th century through the introduction of fungus resistant P.O.J. sugarcane. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1509, 1607.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations

Minor, John. Account book, 1815-1823. 1 volume [on 1 microfilm reel]. Location: MSS.MF:M. Executor of the estate of his brother, Stephen Minor. Journal listing the income received from cotton and other produce on Concord Plantation, Adams County, Mississippi; Waterloo Plantation, Ascension Parish, Louisiana; and Lake Plantation, Concordia Parish, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1035.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Natchez, Mississippi

Minor, Katherine Surget. Letter, 1867 Dec. 5. 1 item. Location MISC:M. Katherine Surget Minor was a native of Natchez and wife of Natchez plantation owner John Minor. The Minor and Surget families owned several plantations in Louisiana and Mississippi. Letter to C. E. [Charles E.] Leverich expresses Minor's dissatisfaction with an employee of the Freedman's Bureau and with economic conditions during Reconstruction in Mississippi. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4867.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, Natchez, Mississippi

Minor, Rebecca A. G. Papers, circa 1860-1870. 786 pages (on 1 microfilm reel). Location: MSS.MF:M. Wife of William J. Minor and executrix of his estate. Case files of Rebecca Minor against the United States, filed in the U.S. Court of Claims, for the seizure by Union military authorities of sugar, molasses, and supplies at Hollywood and Southdowns plantations, Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 857.

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

Minor, William J. and family. Papers, 1779-1898, 1941 (bulk 1830-1870). 410 items, 37 volumes, 1 microfilm reel, 70 microfiche. Location: U:229, H:2, MSS.MF:M, VAULT:1, OS:M, MICROFICHE 2729. Sugar planter of Southdown and Hollywood Plantations in Terrebonne Parish and Waterloo Plantation in Ascension Parish, Louisiana. Minor was president of the Agricultural Bank of Natchez, Mississippi. Collection includes plantation records; banking papers; and personal correspondence of the Stephen, William J., and Henry C. Minor families of Natchez and Terrebonne Parish. Some letters in Spanish and French. Some items available on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 3, Reels 1-4. Some items available on microfiche. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 519, 594.

Minor, William J. Papers, 1845-1862, undated. 18 items, 2 printed volumes. Location: U:229. Sugar planter of Southdown and Hollywood Plantations in Terrebonne Parish and Waterloo Plantation in Ascension Parish, Louisiana. Minor was president of the Agricultural Bank of Natchez, Mississippi. Letters chiefly concern racing, management and breeding of thoroughbred horses, and the horses Lexington, Lecomte, and Pryor. Letters mention Duncan F. Kenner, Colonel Adam L. Bingaman, and others, referring to their horses, betting, racing news, and items in the sporting journal SPIRIT OF THE TIMES. Letters also comment on yellow fever and cholera outbreaks, and the political environment. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 859.

Mississippi River Map Collection, ca. 1858-1878. 19 items, 1 manuscript volume, 4 CD ROMS and 1 microfilm reel. Location: OS:M, M:29, Mss.Mf:M., AA:(CD-ROM shelf). Loose manuscript maps of the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge to Jefferson Parish and land along the river, showing land parcels, landings, land ownership, and changes in the course of the river, and a bound volume of cut and pasted in maps of the Mississippi River from above Vicksburg to New Orleans, showing land parcels, land ownership, and landings. Included in the volume are pieces of Marie Adrien Persac's NORMANS CHART OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER FROM NATCHEZ TO NEW ORLEANS IN 1858. These maps depict the Mississippi River from above Vicksburg to New Orleans, showing land parcels, land ownership and plantation names, and landings For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4818.

Monette, James. Day book and diary, 1848-1863. 1 vol. Location: G:17, microfiche 2729. Cotton planter in Bastrop, Louisiana, and the son of Samuel Monette. Typescript of a day book and diary, including frequent references to what the women were doing on a given day. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reel 16. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 590.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women

Monette, John W. Letters, 1850. 2 items. Location: Misc. Planter of Islington Plantation, Richmond, Louisiana. Letters from Monette to his brother, James Monette of Vicksburg, Mississippi, concerning personal and plantation matters. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 612.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Montgomery, George W. Papers, 1866-1932. 191 items, 43 vols. Location: B:18, P:23, P:2. Planter of Montrose Plantation, Tallulah, Madison Parish, Louisiana. Volumes contain records for the Montrose, Morgan Fields, Lower Banks, Cape Place, Okalona, and Islington Plantations. Entries chiefly relate to the accounts of tenant farmers and sharecroppers. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1015, 1091.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War, African Americans

Montgomery, Joseph. Papers, 1806-1886 (bulk 1866-1868). 0.3 linear ft.; 1 volume, 1 microfilm reel. Location: U:240, H:13, MSS.MF:M. New Orleans cotton broker, owner of Belmont plantation near Port Gibson, Mississippi, and husband of Amelia Smylie. Papers of the Montgomery and Smylie families. Joseph's document financial matters; Amelia's written from Belmont relate to family matters, rumors of civil war, slaves, African American laborers, shortages, and plantation management during Reconstruction. Available on microfilm 6061: University Publication of America Records of Southern Plantation from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 4, Reel 10. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1019.

Moore, John, 1788-1867. Letter, 1823 August 23. 1 item. Location: Misc:M. Sugar planter, judge, and politician of St. Mary, St. Landry, and Iberia parishes, Louisiana. Moore was a member of the Louisiana and U.S. House of Representatives; and built Magnolia Ridge and later owned Shadows-on-the-Teche in New Iberia. Letter from Opelousas, Louisiana, addressed to Messrs. Gales & Seaton, editors of the National Intelligencer, Washington, D.C. It refers to an enclosed subscription payment of five dollars to be paid each to Benoit Vanille (?) and Clement A. Mudd. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2343.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Politics, Plantations, Business

Moore, John, 1788-1867. Family Papers, 1831-1880. 47 items. Location: W:31. Sugar planter, judge, and politician of St. Mary, St. Landry, and Iberia parishes, Louisiana. Moore was a member of the Louisiana and U.S. House of Representatives; and built Magnolia Ridge and later owned Shadows-on-the-Teche in New Iberia. Papers consist of legal and business papers and correspondence of Moore, his daughters, and his sons-in-law. Included are bills of lading, crop production statements, slave documents, mortgages, and promissory notes. The collection also includes land grants (1860) for acreage in Opelousas, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2973.

Moore, Thomas O. Papers, 1832-1977 (bulk 1856-1871). 711 items and 1 microfilm reel. Location: H:3, OS:M, MF:5322, MSS.MF:M, U:231. Sugar planter of Rapides Parish, Louisiana; member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and state Senate; and governor of Louisiana for most of the Civil War (1860-1864). Moore fled Louisiana after the Civil War but later returned. Papers include personal correspondence, business papers, and political and legal documents. Antebellum materials include slave sales and accounts of physicians treating slaves. Papers from 1859 to 1871 deal largely with Moore's political activities. They include gubernatorial papers concerning his nomination, the Democratic Party, the transport of the state archives from Baton Rouge, the Louisiana Secession Convention, and other matters. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 2, Reels 18-19. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 305, 893, 1094.

Morancy, Honoré P. and family. Papers, 1780-1936 (bulk 1840-1897). 120 items; 2 printed volumes. Location: C:73, M:14, OS:M. French Catholic planter of Milliken's Bend, East Carroll Parish, Louisiana. Morancy's father emigrated from France to Santo Domingo before 1789; the children were orphaned and raised in Louisiana. Papers include family letters concerning social life, the Catholic Church, and education, in northeastern Louisiana and Kentucky. Confederate civilian letters describe hardships during the Civil War; later letters (Reconstruction period) document relocation of refugees and the demands of African American laborers. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reels 16-17. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2430.

Moreland, William F. Diaries and account book, 1834-1867. 3 vols. [on microfilm]. Location: Mss. Mf.:M, P:20. Resident of LaGrange, Georgia. Microfilm copy of a plantation diary and account book of William F. Moreland of LaGrange, Ga. (1834-1849, 1861-1867) and typescripts of two small diaries of a trip from Macon County, Ala., by way of New Orleans to Texas (1850). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 939.

Morgan Family Papers, 1772-1941 (bulk 1827-1911). 220 items, 7 vols. Location: Y:83, H:22. Planters and jurists of Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Thomas Gibbes Morgan was a lawyer and judge. James Morris Morgan was a lawyer, planter, and journalist involved in politics. Relatives include the Frellsen, Hicky, Erksine, and Bunyan families. Correspondence, genealogical notes, family histories, and other papers document the Morgan, Frellsen, and related families. An autobiography by Margaret Benson Erksine (1840) describes her captivity with Shawnee Indians in Kentucky. Included is a grounds survey of the Baton Rouge State Capitol (1847) and a contract for the construction of a levee on Fairview Plantation, St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2090.

Morgan family history, 1938. 4 items. Location: E:54. Typescript of the Morgan family history compiled in 1938 includes the diary (1854-1864) of Aurora Margueritte Morgan, daughter of Colonel Charles Morgan and Hyacinthe Allain of Morganza, La. Two photographic prints of portraits of Colonel Charles Morgan and his wife, Hyacinthe Allain, and a medal given from Miss Gaétan to Charles Morgan Abrams (1871) are also included. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1368, 1936, 2015

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women

Morris-Sibley family. Papers, 1846-1939 (bulk 1846-1879). 93 items; also available as a bound typescript. Location: A:2, H:3. Thomas Henry Morris moved from Wales to Louisiana and married Mary White Sibley in 1854. She was born in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, and her family owned Mount Elon Plantation. Papers consist of family correspondence, including that of Mary Wells Sibley and Mary White Morris; Civil War correspondence of Thomas H. Morris and others; and letters from the Morris sons describing life at a school in North Carolina, 1878-1879. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reel 34. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 562.

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

Muggah-Glover-Guyther. Family Papers, 1844-1896, 1906 (bulk 1844-1852). 14 items. Location: UU:168. The Muggah, Glover, and Guyther families lived in Natchez, Mississippi and Pattersonville, Louisiana. Papers nclude correspondence, photocopies of newspaper clippings, and photographs. Correspondence consists mostly of letters between women discussing marriage, family life, domestic obligations, religion, social events, and customs. Mss. 4790.

Murdock, John. Letter, 1841 Dec. 4. 1 letter. Location: Misc. John Murdock, master of Cane Mount Plantation near Lorman, Miss., describes his travel by ship from Louisville, Ky., to Rodney, Miss.; poor conditions and crop yields at the plantation; attitudes of the slaves; relations with neighbors; his oppressive debts; and their children. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4270.

Murphy, Carolyn. Bound manuscript, 1967. 1 vol. (on microfilm). Location: Mss. Mf.:M. Graduate student in the Department of History, Louisiana State University. Term paper of 38 pages, 38 plates, and two maps, on Longwood Plantation in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2228.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Education, Baton Rouge, LSU

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