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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Murrell, John D. Papers, 1839-1852. 41 items. Location: T:88. Resident of Lynchburg, Virginia, and owner of Tally-Ho Plantation in Iberville Parish, Louisiana. Letters addressed to J. D. Murrell, some written by L. Hewett, overseer at Murrell's Tally-Ho Plantation. Other letters, concerning business, finance, and real estate are with the law firm of Preston & Rings, and with the attorney Shackleford. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3366.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Myers, W. G. Letter, 1865 March 26. 1 item. Location: Misc.:M. Federal surgeon stationed at the U.S. army general hospital in Baton Rouge in the Civil War. Letter giving detailed information concerning the city of Baton Rouge and describing the plantation area along the Mississippi River in Southeastern Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1506.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War, Baton Rouge, Medicine

Nashua Manufacturing Company. Correspondence, 1840-1841. 54 items. Location: E:57. Company located in Boston, Massachusetts. Correspondence of James S. Amory, treasurer of the Nashua Manufacturing Company, from company agents in New Orleans, Louisiana, about the purchase of cotton from factors for New England textile mills. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1383, 1404, 1417.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, New Orleans to 1861, Business

New Orleans cotton sales receipt, 1846 May 16. 1 item. Location: Misc:N. Receipt for 47 bales of cotton purchased by Fearn Crenshaw and Company, New Orleans, from John Robinson, giving weights of bales and charges. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3228.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, New Orleans to 1861, Business

Newell, Robert Aiken, b. 1819. Papers, 1841-1887 (bulk 1863-1864). 250 items. Location: U:235, 65:. Irish immigrant and owner of Oak Grove, Cheneyville, Louisiana. The collection consists chiefly of personal papers of Newell and family. Personal correspondence of the 1850s and 1860s reflects the plantation and social activities of the Newell, Forman, and Keary families. Some letters were written from Newell to his wife during a trip to his home in Ireland (1859). Civil War letters from family in the 16th Louisiana Infantry and 8th Louisiana Heavy Artillery at camps in the state discuss the quality of Louisiana conscripts, provisions, the Red River campaign, Vicksburg, and deserters. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 14. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 653.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, Civil War

Nicholas, Robert Carter, 1793-1857. Letter, 1840 June 9. 1 item. Location: Misc. U.S. Senator, Louisiana Secretary of State, and planter from Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. Letter to William G. Harrison from Baltimore referring to the quantity of sugar imported into the U.S. between 1838-1839. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3117.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Politics, Plantations

Norwood plantation store ledger, 1887. 1 ms. vol. Location: F:14. Store owned by William A. West and Max C. Bridges, Norwood, East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Ledger records sales of merchandise. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3036.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business

Norwood, Abel John, 1818-1896. Papers, 1844-1897.34 items, 6 ms. vols. Location: G:18, Misc:N, Mss.Mf:N. Judge and planter of Hollywood Plantation near what is now Norwood, East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Norwood also owned several firms in the parish, was the proprietor of a commissary, a cotton gin, and a sawmill, and was a cotton factor. Manuscript ledgers and a cashbook reflect Norwood's activities as a planter, store owner, and commission merchant. Included are volumes relating to the estates of Elias and Catherine Norwood; J. and N. Nettles; and David E. Brunson. Diary of Hollywood Plantation records details of daily plantation management including accounts of the weather, the conditions of slaves, work done on the plantation, and the capture of runaway slaves. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 2, Reel 15, or Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series I, Part 2, Reels 12-13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1373.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business, African Americans

Norwood, George, b. 1847. Papers, 1797-1901. .3 linear ft. Location: E:7. Planter and miller of East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, who served on the police jury of the seventh ward for many years. He married Stella Currie, daughter of Malcolm M. Currie, a planter and former senator from Franklin County, Mississippi. Papers of George and Stella Norwood and related families include deeds and land grants in East Feliciana Parish and Franklin County, Mississippi. Correspondence and cotton trade records from Clinton to Port Hudson are included. Also included are the papers of Thomas W. Scott, judge of East Feliciana Parish, that pertain to the settlement of the estates of James Winter, William J. Boatner, James H. Cason, and G. W. Jelks. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 677.

Nottoway photograph, circa 1930-1950.1 item. Location: E:68. Plantation in Iberville Parish, Louisiana. Photograph of three men in a sugar house at Nottoway Plantation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2600-73.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations

Picture of Nottoway Plantation home, ca. 1900-1950. 2 items. Location: E:68. Home of John H. Randolph, Bayou Goula, Iberville Parish, Louisiana. Picture postcard of Nottoway Plantation, accompanied by an photographic print of the same image. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1331.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Oaklawn Manor Photograph, fcirca 1900-1940. 1item (28 x 35 cm.). Location: OS:O. Plantation house built by Louisiana Supreme Court Judge Alexander Porter in 1827. The house fell into disrepair after the Civil War. In 1927, steamboat captain C. A.Barbour purchased, restored, and rebuilt the house. Photograph depicting front and side view of Oaklawn Manor, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3268.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Occupied New Orleans collection, 16 January-14 November, 1864. 7 items. Location: MISC:O. Certificates, receipts, and bills of lading. documenting business activities in occupied New Orleans, including the sale and shipping of corn and cotton and the purchase of groceries and soap. Three receipts and one certificate were issued to A[uguste] Lesseps of St. Clair Plantation in Plaquemines Parish, La. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4863.

Oge, John M. Papers, 1838-1939 (bulk 1915-1932). 0.5 linear ft. Location: W:53-54, OS:O. Resident, politician, and planter of Grand Coteau, Louisiana. His political offices included mayor of Grand Coteau, deputy sheriff of St. Landry Parish, and representative in the Louisiana State Legislature. Financial papers relate to the production of agricultural products. Early business correspondence discusses cotton and a property dispute. Personal correspondence from Oge's sons discusses employment, the military, and WWI. Political correspondence reflects the political atmosphere in Louisiana during the early 20th century with letters from the Louisiana governor's office, Huey P. Long, and political allies. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4207.

Olcott, Joseph H. Letter, 1844 June 20. 1 item. Location: Misc. Cotton planter on the Red River above Alexandria, Louisiana, in 1860. Letter giving information on the economy of the Red River Valley and on persons in the Alexandria area. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2125.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Owen, George S. Account books, 1857-1906 (bulk 1874-1896). 36 vols. Location: H:8-9. Postmaster, commission agent, steamboat agent, and general store owner at Pilcher's Point, East Carroll Parish, Louisiana. Shapley Owen was a planter of Owenton Plantation, Bunch's Bend, East Carroll Parish. Collection consisting of volumes relating primarily to Owen's management of the general store at Pilcher's Point but including some records kept by Shapley Owen as a planter of Owenton Plantation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 332.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business

P. A. Giraud & Co. Letter, 1856 March 15. 1 item. Location: Misc:G. Commission merchants located in New Orleans, dealing in molasses and sugar. Edward James Gay, born in Virginia, married Lavinia Hynes. Upon his father-in-law's death, Gay assumed control of Hynes' property in Louisiana and moved there in 1856. Letter from New Orleans by P. A. Giraud and Company to Gay at Hynes Plantation 'near Plaquemine,' Louisiana, details the shipping schedule of molasses and sugar on the Mississippi River between St. Louis and New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3313.

Palfrey Family Papers, 1776-1918. (bulk 1806-1875). 388 items; 21 vols. Location: 77:89, H:22, Mss.Mf:P, 99. Family of planters, businessmen, politicians, public servants and author. Papers of John Palfrey (1768-1843) relate chiefly to the operation of Forlorn Hope Plantation, education of his sons, War of 1812, and reflect plantation life. Topics include the trade embargo, West Florida Controversy and the capture of Baton Rouge, War of 1812, slavery, cotton and salt production, and banking. Family papers pertain to Civil War battles, plantation economics, Confederate government, and Reconstruction. Papersof William Palfrey concern Ricahoc Plantation and a partnership David Weeks. They also discuss the Clinton and Port Hudson Railroad Company (1841-1842). Some items in French and Spanish. 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 6, Reel 12; Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series I, Part 1, Reels 1-4. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 333, 334, 1409, 1442, 1632, 2076, 2580, 2773, 2857.

Patrick, R. W. Family Papers, 1803-1918 (bulk 1845-1900). 123 items, 8 ms. vols. Location: E:40, H:10. Deputy clerk of court of Clinton, East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Personal papers and journal of Reuben Woodworth Patrick; the Civil War diary of his son, Robert D. Patrick; and excerpts from diaries of Patrick's grandson, Jay Nash of Nash Plantation, near Clinton. Earlyapers consist of land deeds of the Patrick family of New York state. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 686, 712.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War

Peck, Charles C. See: Charles C. Peck letter.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Peirce, C. Letter, 1832. 1 letter. Location: Misc. Letter from C. Peirce of Baton Rouge, La., to the City Bank of New Orleans at Baton Rouge, requesting a loan of $3,200 on mortgage of his plantation south of Baton Rouge and on 14 slaves. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 238.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Baton Rouge, African Americans

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.

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