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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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

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.

Ransdell, John H. Papers, 1842-1886 (bulk 1842-1869). 9 items, 2 ms. vols. (on 1 microfilm). Location: Mss.Mf:R, B:40. Planter of Elmwood Plantation in Alexandria, Rapides Parish, Louisiana. He and his wife, Amanda Thickman, had nine children, one of whom, Joseph E. Ransdell, became a U.S. congressman and senator from Louisiana. Papers include a plantation diary (1842-1863) and letters written from Elmwood Plantation to Governor Thomas Overton Moore (1863) describing destruction of property by federal troops. A plantation account book (1867-1869) contains accounts of laborers on Elmwood Plantation (1869). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 959.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Plantations, Civil War

Ravenswood Plantation property map, 1859. 1 manuscript map. Location: OS:R. Manuscript copy (created in 1859 by William J. McCulloh) of an 1826 township and range map (T.9N.R.10E.) showing the district north of Red River, Louisiana (chiefly areas in Concordia Parish and Tensas Parish). Handwritten notations identify Ravenswood Plantation as north of Lake St. John, southeast of Fletcher's Lake, and south of Azucena. "Yzanga" is written within the Ravenswood property note. Other handwritten notations of names include G. Ralston within the Azucena property note, George Marshall, and S. P. Duncan. Map also includes a table of contents with other claimants' names. John Maxwell (of the Surveyor's Office, Washington, Mississippi) is identified as surveyor of the land in 1829 as well. Mss. 5037.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Raymond, Clara C. Reminiscences, circa 1920-1948. 1 item [typescript]. Location: MISC:R. Resident of Evergreen Plantation. Reminiscences include a description of the plantation and scattered biographical data on members of the family. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 359.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women

Reagan, George N. Lease, 1807. 1 item. Location: Misc.:R. Planter in Concordia Parish, Louisiana. Copy of lease for rent of Reagan's plantation to Thomas Hall for one year. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1257.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Redhead, Joseph. Joseph and John A. Redhead diary, 1853-1870. 1 ms. vol. (on microfilm). Location: Mss.Mf:R. Doctor and planter of Wilkinson County, Mississippi. Diary and letters copied in it describe plantation activities and his family's experience of the Civil War. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1374.

Reed, Thomas, 1817-1891. Family Papers, 1787-1926 (bulk 1840-1890). 243 items, 8 vols. Location: A:12 and OS:R. Attorney in Natchez and resident of Cottage Home Plantation, Mississippi. Collection includes a land claim by the city of Natchez, documents related to Reed's law career, personal letters, genealogies, newspaper clippings, notes on Natchez history, and a bank book. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 783.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Natchez, Mississippi

Rees, Grover, 1891-, interviewee. Oral history interview, 1991-1992. Transcript (22, 25 pages), 2 sound cassettes (2.5 hours). Location: L:4700.0078. Native of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, and graduate of LSU (1912) and Harvard Law School (1915) who wrote a history of Breaux Bridge. Interview deals with his student years at LSU and Harvard; his book on Breaux Bridge; and his work at Gulf Oil Corporation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0078.

Reggio Family. Papers, 1771-1860. 9 items. Location: MISC:R. Sugar planters of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. Papers include a petition (1771) by Francisco Maria Reggio to the King of Spain; papers (1812-1834) of Nicholas Reggio concerning property sales and mortgages; and papers (1836-1860) of Auguste Reggio, among them slave sales, mortgages, and accounts. Partly in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 363.

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

Richland Plantation plat, 1874 November 16. 1 item. Map of Richland Plantation, a sugar plantation in Iberville Parish, Louisiana, in the vicinity of Bayou Goula, was surveyed and drawn by P.N. Judice, Civil Engineer. It is hand tinted on cloth and shows details of the large property, including the plantation's own railroad tracks, the dwelling, garden, old quarters, hospital, stable, sugar house, pond, saw mill, cow pen, blacksmith's shop, and surrounding woods For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3050.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations

Rives, Mary Elizabeth Carter, 1829-1900. Diary, 1865-1900. 1 vol., (on microfilm) Location: Mss.Mf:R. Widow and planter of Mansfield, DeSoto Parish, Louisiana. Diary records sentiments toward Confederate defeat and her experiences managing a plantation during early Reconstruction, including relations with freedmen. Also relates family activities and social life in Mansfield and Shreveport, Louisiana. Genealogical materials and remedies for smallpox, cancer, and scarlet fever are included. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2670.

Robertson, Frederick, D. Plantation record books, 1852-1923. 1 linear ft. (17 vols.). Location: H:13. Sugar planter of Plaquemine, Louisiana; owned and operated Island, Homestead, Myrtle Grove and Hunter's Lodge plantations. Five daybooks, three payroll books, and nine record books consisting of information regarding daily plantation activities such as cultivation of sugarcane and minor crops, payment of laborers, and expenditures and credits. Entries about Robertson's court cases are included in vol. 2. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 579, 687.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations

Robertson, Maria McKinne Winter, 1854-1932. Papers, 1894-1932. .2 linear ft. [photocopies]. Location: UU:166. Robertson was born on Fairview Plantation, Georgia, and lived in Augusta, Georgia, and New Orleans. Papers consist of anecdotal accounts of her own and other families, and focus primarily on her life in Georgia. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3479.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, New Orleans 1866-

Robin, Jean. Document, 1764. 1 item. Location: Misc:.R. Resident of New Orleans. Sale of the plantation of Jean Robin to Phillip Perriche of New Orleans. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 423.

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

Robinson, Chester B. Photographs, 1950. 0.2 linear ft. Location: 19:10. Commercial photographer specializing in photographic wall decor. Color 35mm slides, color 120mm negatives, black/white 4 x 5 negatives, and 35mm black and white negatives are present. Scenes depicted include Louisiana landscapes, agriculture, the seafood industry, plantations, Mardi Gras in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, the State Capitol, and Louisiana State University. Portraits of African Americans include the caretaker of The Cottage plantation. Mss. 4685.

Robinson, Joseph Toole. Papers, 183-, circa 1830-1866, undated. 13 items, 6 ms. Vols. Location: C:13. Cotton planter of Willow Point Plantation, Red River Parish, Louisiana. Plantation diaries, record books, and other records of Robinson and his family pertain to plantation operation; cotton growing; slaves; medical visits; weather observations and instrument readings; Indians in the work force; and skilled labor. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 2, Reel 20. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1413.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, African Americans, Medicine

Rose, Julia. Old South Baton Rouge Collection, 2004-2013, undated (bulk 2004-2005). 0.4 linear ft. Location: 119:3, OS:R. LSU doctoral student's notes and files compiled during her time as a research assistant of Dr. Petra M. Hendry and Dr. Jay D. Edwards. Research covers a project documenting the history of the Old South Baton Rouge neighborhood in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Mss. 5165

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Baton Rouge, African Americans

Rosedown Plantation Restoration. Photograph collection, 1961-1962. 0.5 linear ft. (650 photographs and safety negatives). Location: A:98. The main house at Rosedown Plantation was built (1834-1835) by cotton planter Daniel Turnbull in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, near St. Francisville. In 1956 Catherine Fondren Underwood purchased the plantation and began extensive renovation. Chiefly photographs and negatives taken in 1961 and 1962 by Louis 'Red' Martel, documenting the restoration work carried out at Rosedown Plantation. A few additional photographs and negatives depict livestock, grounds, and St. Mary's Episcopal Church. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4350.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Plantations, Women

S. Gumbel & Co., Ltd. Records, 1884-1942 (bulk 1884-1921). 66 volumes; 0.3 linear ft. Location: P:14, 22; 114. Records are comprised of correspondence, financial papers, legal documents and business ledgers concerning the financial transactions of S. Gumbel & Co. Ltd, New Orleans commission merchant firm of Simon Gumbel. Collections relates to real estate in Louisiana and Mississippi, and the cotton, sugar, and rice trade in Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1490.

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