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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Dart, Elisabeth K. (Elizabeth Kilbourne). Collection, 1774-2005. 5.5 linear feet. Location: 121:8-10, OS:D, Vault:5. Resident and local historian in St. Francisville, West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Wrote about West Feliciana subjects including the Railroad, biographies of notable figures, and tours for Grace Cemetery. Collection contains manuscript and research materials used for exhibits, lectures, tours, and writing on West Feliciana Parish. Manuscripts include deeds, correspondence, accounting records, legal papers, court cases, and receipts. Other records include published materials, copies of original materials, scrapbooks, photographs, notes, and exhibit text. Mss. 5023.

Davis, Joseph M., Jr., interviewee. Oral history interview, 1993. 1 sound cassette (45 minutes), Index (4 pages). Location: L:4700.232. Resident of Four Corners, a community south of Franklin, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana, who owned a trucking company and was a police juror for 20 years. Davis describes working as a child; his college career; involvement in his family trucking business, and challenges of breaking into the white dominated trucking industry; federal programs for minorities; his political involvement; and his family values. Davis also discusses the history of South Coast Plantation and his parents' employment there; plantation life in the 1950s and 1960s; and sugarcane. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.221.

Dawkins, Guilford. Petition, 1853 January 6. 1 item (2 leaves). Location: Misc:D. Plantation overseer of Madison Parish, Louisiana. Petition to the 10th Judicial District Court, Madison Parish, for redress regarding an injury inflicted on Dawkins by Dudley, a slave. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4515.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, African Americans

Dawson and Pipkin. Receipts, 1847-1850. 21 items. Location: MISC:D. Cotton planters. Receipts from New Orleans merchants reflect cotton sales and purchases of plantation supplies. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2950.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, New Orleans to 1861

Day of Jubelo Carte cartoon, 1865.1 printed item. Location: E:69. Carte-sized cartoon drawn by E. B. Bensell and printed in Philadelphia depicting emancipated slaves celebrating freedom in their former master's house. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2918.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War, African Americans

De Bordes Family Papers, 1765-1822. 106 items. Location: B:13, OS:D,Mss. Mf.:D Papers relating to land holdings and the operation of sugar and coffee plantations in Haiti and Santo Domingo; slave insurrections and the life of refugees from them in New Orleans; and decisions and decrees relating to trade, commerce, and emigration. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2246.

De La Vergne family. Papers, 1751-1972. 1 ft. and 1 reel of microfilm. Location: 77:21, O:22, Mss. Mf.:D Family of lawyers, planters, and businessmen of New Orleans. Correspondence, military papers, genealogical material, and other papers include material on banking and finance, the Consolidated Association of the Planters of Louisiana, defense of New Orleans during the War of 1812, and Jefferson College. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2642.

de Trujeda, Bernardino, Declaration, 1799. 1 volume (88 pages). Location: 111:1. Certified copy of declartion regarding financial condition of sugar plantation and mill at Hacienda Senora Santa Ana Tepoxtepec, owned by the Regidor Perpetuo of Cordova, Mexico, Bernardino de Trujeda. The declaration is dated October 23, 1789, but the certified copy was signed January 25, 1799 by public notary Mariano Francisco Zambrano at Puebla de los Angeles. The document is bound and contains petitions, claims, and wills, some signed by various church officials. It also includes an inventory, appraisal, and description of slaves and other property. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 4998.

DeClouet, Alexandre (Alexandre Etienne) and Family. Papers, 1787-1905 (bulk 1855-1888). 1.2 linear ft. Location: U:181, J:5. Sugar planter, Confederate congressman, and state senator from St. Martin Parish, Louisiana. Beginning in the 1860s, DeClouet was active in the White League, an organization opposed to rights for freedmen. Collection includes financial papers, legal documents, political papers, and correspondence. Financial records of Alexandre DeClouet and his son Paul document plantation management and labor issues. Political papers include White League materials. Some items in French. Available on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 3, Reels 5-6. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 74, 258, 461, 756.

Delcroix, Eugene A. Photographic prints, circa 1930-1950. 8 items. Locations: MISC:D, OS:D. Professional photographer of New Orleans, Louisiana. Eight photographic prints depict Louisiana oak trees, Oak Alley Plantation, Grand Isle, and a New Orleans courtyard and patio. Mss. 5356.

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

Desobry, Louis. Partnership Agreement and Amnesty Oath, 1854-1865. 2 items. Location: Misc:D, OS:D. Sugar planter of Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana. Articles of agreement establishing a partnership for the ownership and operation of Irion Plantation, a sugar plantation near Plaquemine. The terms of the sale of land and slaves state that the partnership will be called 'Desobry's and Company'. Included is an oath of amnesty and allegiance to the United States signed by Louis Desobry (1865). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, African Americans

Devall-Hyams Family Papers and Photographs, 1824-1977 (bulk 1906-1913, 1918). 1.5 linear ft., 1 v. Location: T:31-32, J:20. Louisiana sugar planters. Collection consists of personal correspondence, legal documents, genealogies, and family photographs. Papers reflect family matters, personal activities, financial affairs, land transactions, and to a lesser extent the sugarcane crop at Orange Grove Plantation. Letters of Lillie Dickinson, Susie Devall comprise a large portion of the correspondence (1904-1913). Letters by Benjamin Devall concern military life in Georgia during World War II (1918). Photographs include an unidentified African American sugarhouse worker (undated). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4242.

Dewees, John and Family. Papers, 1785-1954. 1.6 linear ft., 4 v. Location: W:47, M:19, OS:D. Consists of correspondence, legal and business papers, printed items, and photographs concerning the Dewees and related Postell, Gadsden, Lyman, and Colcock families, planters and slaveholders near Charleston, South Carolina and Eunice, Louisiana. Includes land and slave sale documents, tax receipts, stocks and bonds, court decisions, wills, deeds, estate settlements, marriage certificates, and property settlements. Photographs include two manuscript volumes: one a photograph album and the other a memory book with photographs and newspaper clippings. There are 185 loose photographs, most portraits of family members (1851-ca. 1920). Mss. 3089.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business, African Americans

Diary, 1835-1837. 1 vol. Location: M:19. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reel 33. Governess from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at Belfield Plantation near Natchez. Diary records reactions to plantation life, amusements, visits to neighbors, and expressions of discontent with the South. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 533.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, Natchez, Mississippi

Dougherty, John A., b. 1809. Papers, 1861-1890. 8 ms. vols. and 1 item (on 1 microfilm reel). Location: Mss.Mf:D. Native of New York, plantation owner, and prominent citizen of Baton Rouge. Dougherty served as a police juror and as president of the New Board of Control of the penitentiary. Six diaries of Dougherty and two receipt books, one of which belonged to A. T. Prescott. Diary entries report on family, neighbors, acquaintances, and associates; historical events and personages; social activities; and government, law, and health. Also included are entries reporting on the cotton and sugar plantation economy; climate; and dreams. Noteworthy are the entries pertaining to the Civil War and the daily notations on weather. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3528.

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

Douglas, Emily Caroline, b. 1840. Papers, 1855-1913 (bulk 1855-1868). 9 items, 2 ms. vols., 1 printed vol. Location: U:49, Mss.Mf:D. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reels 8-9. Connecticut native and resident of Louisiana and Mississippi. Autobiography, diary, and writings describe life in New England; with her brother, the Rev. William Kirtland Douglas, near Natchez, Mississippi, during the Civil War; at New Iberia, Louisiana; in various Mississippi towns; and in New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 566.

Doussan Family Papers, 1827-1872. 94 items. Location: U:300. Correspondence, financial papers, and personal papers of members of the Doussan family (primarily Antoine Doussan, Louise Perrin Doussan, and Auguste Doussan) of East and West Baton Rouge Parishes, Louisiana, and France. Correspondence of Charles de Rabars of Bordeaux, France, is also included, as is a letter from General Baron Joachim Ambert. Most documents reflect the Doussans' planting operations in West Baton Rouge Parish; their financial and legal transactions in Louisiana and France; family activities, interests, and concerns; and the experience of French emigres in Louisiana as they encountered Anglo-American culture and society. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4800.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Women, Business, Baton Rouge, French

Drouillard, Jean Baptiste. Family Papers, 1794-1901, undated. 165 items. Location: S:121 and Mss. Mf: D. Planter of Santo Domingo and of New Orleans. Letters and documents concern labor and economic conditions on Santo Domingo after the rise to power of Toussaint l'Ouverture in 1793, and the lives of exiles from the island who resettled in the United States. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2590.

Dugas and LeBlanc. Account books, 1886-1933. 144 vols. Location: L:7-12. Merchants of Paincourtville, Assumption Parish, Louisiana, manufacturers of Westfield sugar and molasses. Records include account books, daybooks, and ledgers for the firm; and payroll books for Armelise, Magnolia, Westfield, and Whitmel plantations and for levee work in the Fourth Mississippi River District. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 611.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Business

Dugas, Honore and family. Papers, circa 1850-1910 (bulk 1880-1891). 1.75 linear ft. Location: T:24-25, OS:D. Sugar planter of Armelise Plantation, Paincourtville, Assumption Parish, Louisiana. Business and personal papers, and printed material contain contains correspondence, financial papers and printed material documenting the sugar industry in Louisiana, shipping on Bayou Lafourche, and the social and cultural life of New Orleans. There is also a carte-de-visite photograph of an unidentified elderly couple, circa 1850. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1645.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, New Orleans 1866-, Business

Dunbar, Archibald. Document, 1836. 1 item. Location: Misc. Resident of Adams County, Mississippi. Sale (notarized) of slaves formerly attached to Ashwood Plantation by Archibald Dunbar to Peter M. and Joseph H. Lapice. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 668.

Duncan, Abner L. Papers, 1825-1866 (bulk 1841-1862) 13 items. Location: Misc.:D. Planter of Baton Rouge, La. Correspondence between Abner L. Duncan and his relatives concerning the management of his late father's estates, the deaths of family members, and issues of inheritance among family members. Also included is an exchange of letters between Leon Bonnecaze, the French vice consul at Baton Rouge, and David Farragut of the U.S. Navy, regarding the bombardment of Baton Rouge on May 28, 1862. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4199.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War, Baton Rouge

Duncan, Lucius C. Letter, 1822. 1 item. Location: MISC:D. Resident of New Orleans. Letter by Duncan to Rufus Flynt, who had befriended him while at school in Monson, Massachusetts, tells of visiting at the cotton plantation of his uncle, Colonel Abner Duncan, near Baton Rouge. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1334.

Duncan, Mary. Letter, circa 1862-1864. 1 letter, 1 transcript. Location: MISC:D. Daughter-in-law of Stephen Duncan and sister-in-law of Stephen Duncan, Jr. Letter from Mary Duncan, New York, to Major General Henry Halleck, General-in-Chief of the United States Army. Duncan writes seeking protection for her father-in-law Stephen Duncan's plantations and lands in Natchez, Mississippi and Franklin, Louisiana from Confederate forces and U.S. Army confiscation practices. She claims that her family's bales of cotton have been destroyed by Confederate forces and that U.S. Army forces have depredated the Duncan family's nine plantations, causing them to lose "many negroes," and her brother-in-law Stephen Duncan, Jr.'s house. Mss. 5378

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

Duncan, Stephen, 1787-1867. Correspondence, 1817-1877. 158 items, 2 vols. Location: S:120. Planter and banker of Natchez, Mississippi. Correspondence includes letters from friends and family concerning social, political, and economic problems of Reconstruction. Papers include legal documents, bills, and receipts. A daybook includes lists of slaves present at Homochitto Plantation. Included is a diary of W. P. Duncan, son of Stephen Duncan, Jr., describing his travels in France and Italy. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 6061 as the Stephen Duncan Family Papers, Mss. 1403, 1793: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 4, Reel 5. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1403, 1431, 1551, 1595, 1793.

Duncan, Stephen and Stephen Duncan, Jr. Papers, 1846-1899. 255 items, 11 ms. Vols. Location: U:49, F:17, Mss.Mf:D. Planter and banker of Natchez, Mississippi. Duncan plantations included L'Argent, Auburn, Camperdown, Carlisle, Duncan, Duncannon, Duncansby, Ellisle, Homochitto, Middlesex, Oakley, Rescue, Reserve, and Attakapas. Correspondence, business papers, diaries, and plantation and personal records of Dr. Stephen Duncan and his son, Stephen, Jr., who also resided in New York City. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 126, 721.

Duncan, Stephen, 1787-1867. Letters, 1855, 1859-1860. 72 items. Location: U:65. Planter and banker of Natchez, Mississippi. Duncan plantations included L'Argent, Auburn, Camperdown, Carlisle, Duncan, Duncannon, Duncansby, Ellisle, Homochitto, Middlesex, Oakley, Rescue, Reserve, and Attakapas. Includes letters written by Duncan to his financial advisor, Charles Leverich, related to the economic and financial activities of a wealthy planter and land owner. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4641.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Natchez, Mississippi

Dunwody, John, 1782-1862. Letter, 1851 Jan. 28. 1 letter. Location: Misc. John Dunwody, a cotton planter on Bayou Boeuf in Rapides Parish, La., writes to Buchannon, Carroll & Co., general merchants of New Orleans, making an order for foodstuffs and supplies for his plantation. Mss. 4067.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business

Duplantier, Armand Letters, 1796-1807. 4 items. Location: Misc.:D. Armand Duplantier was a planter and owner of Magnolia Mound Plantation, La. Letters (in French) detail plantation life during the post-Revolutionary period, while referencing social and business life in New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4914.

Duplantier, Armand Family Letters, 1777-1859. 95 items. Location: D:62. Armand Duplantier was a planter and owner of Magnolia Mound Plantation, La. Duplantier Family Letters contain items from four generations of the Duplantier family, including Armand Duplantier, his uncle Claude Trénonay, Armand’s son Armand Allard Duplantier, and granddaughter Amélie Augustine Duplantier Peniston. The letters relate to Louisiana under the French, Spanish, and Americans and the economic, political, and social conditions attendant on transitioning among the three powers; commerce with France; the succession of Trénonay; attitudes about the French Revolution; slavery and plantation matters; family news such as illness, births, deaths, and the education of Duplantier’s children; and travels in France by Amélie Duplantier. Mss. 5060.

Dupuy, Dugregiy. Family papers, 1852-1910. 64 items. Location: Misc. The Dupuy family were planters in Iberville Parish, La. The papers include eleven letters from Nicholas J. Hoey of New Orleans to Dugregiy Dupuy in Iberville Parish, four other business letters received by Dugregiy Dupuy, a petition against Joseph D. Dupuy for payment of $1,440 borrowed against his plantation and slaves, a program for the sale of Live Oak Point Plantation and 261 slaves, state and parish tax receipts for Prosper O. Dupuy, and a handful of other records concerning other Dupuy family members. Mss. 3816.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, New Orleans to 1861

Eggleston-Roach Papers, 1825-1903. 285 items, 6 vols. Location: U-51, OS:R. Planters of Wilkinson County and Vicksburg, Mississippi. Mrs. Elizabeth Eggleston of Vicksburg smuggled goods through Union lines to Confederate soldiers. She was subsequently imprisoned and banished from Vicksburg. Diaries and personal papers of members of the Gildart, Eggleston, and Roach families. Horace Nelson Gildart's diary gives an account of a journey through England and Ireland; Dick Hardaway Eggleston's diary records activities on Learmont Plantation. Included are correspondence and orders of Union military authorities concerning Elizabeth Eggleston's activities during the Civil War. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 4, Reel 5. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 832.

Elder, John Carroll. Diary, 1862-1863. 1 item. Location: Misc.:E. Diary notes the arrival of federal troops, number and type of Union vessels on local waterways, and the presence of runaway slaves and guerrillas. Elder describes the Union bombardment of Baton Rouge, meetings with neighbors regarding Union soldiers in the area, and his refusal to sign an oath of allegiance. He mentions Union and Confederate officers in the region, including Lieutenant Grimstead and the 21st Indiana Infantry regiment. Elder also refers to church attendance, weather conditions, and planting and selling crops. Includes list of items taken or destroyed by Union soldiers. Mss. 4353.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War, African Americans

Elliot, William St. John, 1800-1855. Papers,1824, 1835-1858.5 items. Location: OS:E. Cotton broker, planter, and owner of D'Evereaux Hall, Natchez, Miss. Among other properites in Adams County, Miss., he also owned Saragossa Plantation. Indentures and deeds for land in Adams County, Mississippi, purchased by William St. John Elliot from Stephen Duncan, Samuel A. Moore, and Henry Chotard; and a land survey of a plantation in Tensas Parish, La., owned by his wife, Anna F. Conner Bell Ruffin Elliot. Also includes a plat of land in Adams County owned by various members of the Conner family. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1147.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, Natchez, Mississippi

Ellis, E. John, Thomas C. W. and family. Papers, 1829-1936 (bulk 1870-1920). 9.3 linear ft., 72 volumes, 30 microfilm reels. Location: G:5; MSS.MF:E; OS:E; U:52-65. Sons of Ezekiel Parke Ellis, a judge and state legislator from Amite, Louisiana. E. John and Thomas C. W. Ellis were practicing attorneys who were active in Louisiana politics. Both men served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. Papers consist of correspondence, legal documents, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, and business papers of three generations of the Ellis family. Civil War correspondence includes letters by E. John Ellis from prison camp at Johnson's Island, Ohio. Politics occupies a large place in the correspondence and speeches of 1856-1861 and in the correspondence of the Reconstruction period. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reels 21-22. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 136.

Ellis-Farar Papers, 1768-1871 (bulk 1804-1833). 308 items. Location: S:1; OS:E; Vault:21. Richard Ellis, planter of White Cliffs, Homochitto, and Laurel Hill plantations, Natchez. His children included Mary (who married Captain Benjamin Farar), Jane, and Abram. Papers document plantation management and include deeds, vouchers, correspondence with overseers, and receipts. Jane took a special interest in managing Laurel Hill. Personal correspondence deals with education, plantation life, and family news. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 3, Reel 10. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1000.

Embree, Joseph. Family Papers, 1826-1884. .88 linear ft. (805 items, 1 vol.). Location: E:19-20. Cotton planter near Woodville, Wilkinson County, Mississippi, and soldier in the Confederate Army. Papers include letters, account statements of cotton brokers, land deeds, contracts, slave bills, receipts, and documents related to education in Wilkinson County. Includes a printed list of the 1879 Democratic state ticket. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 2, Reels 10-11. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 693.

Ende, Jacques F. de. Document, 1837 May 5. 1 item. Location: Misc.:E. Deposition given by Jacques F. de Ende, in New Orleans, Louisiana, reporting that his slave, Sep, had run away from his Avoyelles Parish plantation, and offering a fifty dollars reward for his return. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 537.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, African Americans

Eno, Frank. Letter, 1857. 1 item. Location: Misc. Teacher of a private school in Concordia Parish, Louisiana. Letter from Eno to a New York cousin, describing his teaching position and the effect of the Panic of 1857 on cotton planters. He also explains his move from the North to Concordia Parish, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1585.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Education

Evans, Nathaniel. Family Papers, 1791-1932 (bulk 1800-1850). 5 linear ft., 47 ms. vols. and 42 printed vols. Location: E:10-15, G:12, OS:E, 98:E, VAULT:6, VAULT:38, MICROFILM 5322. Postmaster and general merchant of Fort Adams, Wilkinson County, Mississippi; and owner of Oakland Plantation in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Papers consist of business and family correspondence and plantation records. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 2, Reels 1-10. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 670, 893, 913.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business, Natchez, Mississippi

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