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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Evergreen Plantation. Painting, 1860. 1 item [photographic copy]. Location: E:65. Painting, gouache on paper, showing Evergreen Plantation, in West Feliciana or Iberville Parish, Louisiana. The artist is unidentified. Part of the Picture Collection. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3460.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Fair, James. Papers, 1833-1838. 4 items. Location: Misc:F. Owner of Grove Hill Plantation in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Papers pertain to Fair's mortgage of Grove Hill Plantations and its slaves. Land conveyance documents the sale of the plantation by Mrs. Maria Jones to Fair and an appraiser's certificate. There is also a questionnaire for stockholders of Citizens' Bank of Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 668.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, African Americans

Farar, Benjamin. Papers, 1773-1826 (bulk 1820-1826). 56 items (on 1 microfilm reel). Location: Mss.Mf:F. Planter of Laurel Hill Plantation near Natchez, Mississippi. Papers include personal and business correspondence (1820-1826) related to family matters, plantation operations, and social life in New Orleans. Includes some land grants in Spanish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1364.

Farrar, Alexander K. Papers, 1804-1931 (bulk 1831-1870). 2.25 linear ft. Location: UU:229-231; OS:F. Planter and lawyer of Kingston, Adams County, Mississippi, and Mississippi state senator. Personal, professional, and plantation papers concerning Farrar's law practice, including settlement of several estates, and his plantation and business interests. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 532: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 3, Reels 6-10. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 782, 850, 1348.

Farwell, F. Evans, 1906. Lecture and narration, 1980. 1 sound cassette (45 minutes), Index (1 page). Location: L:4700.14. President of Millican and Farwell Shipping Line. Farwell discusses the establishment of Millican and Farwell Shipping and family sugar cane plantations in Louisiana. He narrates a slide show, not contained in the collection, about changes in farming technology, especially pertaining to sugar cane. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.14.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations

Faulk, John T. Papers, 1833. 2 items. Location: Misc. Planter of Bayou DeSiard, Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. Letter of John T. Faulk to Mr. Goodwin, teacher, outlining the course of study desired for his sons; and a contract with William Henderson to board Faulk's children in order that they could attend the public school house in Prairie Maroughe, Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 877.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Education

Ferris, Livingston Polk. Papers, 1920-1968. 3 linear ft. Location: 10:45-46.]. Electrical engineer of Ashton Plantation, Lecompte, Louisiana. Professional correspondence (1920-1968) pertains mainly to his work on electric railroads and experiments with electrical shock. Other papers include reports of experiments, lectures, technical papers, notebooks, films, and other materials. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2829.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Fischer, Max. Max and August Fischer Papers, 1881-1907. 136 items. Location: E:52, O:20. Max and August Fischer were wholesale and retail dealers in general merchandise in Bayou Sara, West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. They also operated Kenmore Plantation, Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Collection contains ledgers, journals, and other business papers related to Kenmore Plantation and to Fischer's merchandise dealings. Includes account and sales records of the Grace Episcopal Church in Bayou Sara, and of prominent families in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1259.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Plantations, Business

Fitch, Henry B. (Henry Bates). Hermitage Plantation pay and muster roll, June 1864. 1 item. Location: OS:F. Pay and muster roll for contraband slaves working on Hermitage Plantation. The pay and muster roll lists 118 named slaves and records the hours they worked, their monthly pay, the amount paid, amount due, etc. These freedmen are listed with their adopted surnames. Plantation was operated by Henry B. Fitch. Mss. 4881. 

Fitz, Charles. Letter, 1865 November 28. 1 item. Location: Misc. American lawyer. Letter to Edwards Pierrepont dealing with a claim made by an ex-Confederate Louisiana planter against the U.S. government for property confiscated during the Civil War. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2564.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War

Fleming, George A. Papers, 1826-1881 (bulk 1838-1870). 18 items and 1 volume. Location: W:53, OS:F. Planter of Madison County, Mississippi. Account book (1838-1870) contains accounts with overseers; entries for sale of feed, hardware, and clothing, and for repairs, loans, travel and personal expenses. Papers (1826-1881) consist of tax receipts, letters patent, and deeds of conveyance. Available (with some omissions) 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. 462, 893, 936.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Flint, Lewis Herrick. Papers, circa 1954-1968. 0.5 linear ft. Location: A:27. Botanist at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Manuscript and three notebooks compiled in preparation of Flint's book, ROSEDOWN A REPORT ON ECHO HUNTING IN A LOUISIANA PLANTATION HOME (1968). Notebooks contain transcriptions of personal and business papers of the Turnbull, Bowman and related families of Rosedown and Oakley plantations of West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2199.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, LSU, Literature

Florence letter, 1884 August 24. 1 item. Location: Misc:F. Teacher residing in Lecompte, Louisiana. Personal letter mentions Rapides Parish and Alexandria, Louisiana, opportunities in the area, and the Wells-Wood Plantation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4604.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Education

Flournoy, Alfred. Papers, 1824-1936. 1 vol. Location: G:6. Medical doctor and cotton planter of Pulaski, Tennessee, and after 1838, cotton planter of Greenwood Plantation in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, and leader in the Democratic Party. Bound typewritten copy of a scrapbook, containing papers of Dr. Flournoy, Civil War letters to and from Flournoy's sons Alfred, Jr., and Alonzo, and related newspaper clippings and family histories. For further information, see online catalog.Mss. 628.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Plantations, Civil War, Medicine

Fluker, David J. Papers, 1839-1867. 54 items. Location: E:3. Resident of East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Estate papers of David J. Fluker consist of business papers to his wife I. Ann Fluker. A letter from Fellowes and Company, New Orleans, urges sale of the plantation 'Isabella Place,' 1856. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 727.

Fontenot, Ozemé and family. Papers, 1834-1949. 5 linear ft., 54 volumes. Location: UU:190-194; O:21; OS:F; 98:F. Planter of Grand Prairie, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. Plantation, business records, correspondence of Ozemé Fontenot and family. Some relate to the marriage and divorce of daughter Alma Parker, and to her hospitalization in New Orleans. Papers also deal with United Confederate Veterans activities. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 2, Reels 3-6. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3248.

Foster, James. Family Papers, 1829-1904. 92 items, 7 ms. vols. Location: U:117. O:3. 1Medical doctor of Natchez, Mississippi, and owner of the Hermitage Plantation near Natchez. Correspondence consists chiefly of personal letters from family members concerning travel in the East; yellow fever in New Orleans; and plantation affairs. Some letters relate to student life at Oakland College (Mississippi) and Harvard University. Three manuscript volumes contain poetry and four record books concern a Confederate monument in Natchez, listing subscribers to a memorial fund (1888-1889). Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 6. Mss. 1705.

Foster, Murphy J. and family. Papers, 1880-1955 (bulk 1880-1930). 4.3 linear ft. Location: UU:286-287, 98:F. The collection extensively documents Foster's political career, his relationship with his wife Rose Ker Foster, and their children's formative years. Materials in the collection include correspondence, financial papers, legislative papers, and printed items. Topics addressed include family matters such as the development and education of the Foster children; Rose's management of Dixie Plantation in Murphy's absences; and Foster's political career and the issues that concerned him, such as the Anti-Lottery campaign, a national income tax, regulating railway rates, flood control, poll taxes, and protection of sugar growers. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4710.

Fourniquet, E. P. Letter, 17 January 1838. 1 item. Location MISC:F. E. P. Fourniquet was the owner of Long Branch Plantation in Grand Gulf, Miss. Letter from Fourniquet to his overseer William Pugh gives instructions about the maintenance of Long Branch. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4862

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Natchez, Mississippi

Francis A. de Caro and Rosan A. Jordan, 1956-2009, undated (bulk 1966-2003) 13 linear ft. Location: 11:19, 15:15-21. De Caro and Jordan were folklorists, authors, and Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, La.) professors. The collection includes personal and professional correspondence, writings, exhibitions, photographs, printed items consisting of brochures, handbills, newspapers, and posters; and topical files that document de Caro's folklore class at LSU, his work with the Louisiana Folklife Commission, and Jordan's work with the women's movement. Writings as well as exhibitions comprise material primarily related to folklore within Louisiana and British colonial life in India. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3197, 4089, 4164.

Franklin, Benjamin Cromwell, 1805-1873. Brief, 1851. 1 brief. Location: MISC:F. Benjamin Cromwell Franklin was an attorney, judge, and legislator in Texas. The Benjamin Cromwell Franklin brief consists of one legal brief documenting the case of Nathaniel Bailey vs. Rachael Hicks. Rachael C. Hicks was sued for balances on accounts for supplies for her family, composed of William C. Hicks, her two daughters, two nieces, and some African Americans. Rachael was relieved from the charges because the purchases were made with the understanding that the accounts were being credited to a third party, Thomas Hicks of Louisiana. Mss.5129.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Frellsen, Henry, ca. 1800-1884. Plantation diary, 1878-1884. 1 vol. (101 pages). Location: G:17. Native of Denmark who fought in the Greek War of Independence (1824) and moved to Louisiana (ca. 1840). He was the Danish Consul in New Orleans, a cotton factor, and the owner of Fairview Plantation, St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. Entries document Frellsen's operation of Fairview Plantation. Weekly reports detail crop and weather conditions; record maintenance of a sugarhouse, machinery, and levees; and list farmhands (including children) and their wages. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3497

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, African Americans

Gassie, August. Account book, 1870-1871. 1 vol. Location: G:8. Merchant of West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Ledger records merchandise sales and cash accounts, many of which were made to Levert and New Hope plantations. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 478.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business, Baton Rouge

Gautreau, Henry W. Papers, 1865-2013 (bulk 1970-1990). .5 linear ft. Location: T:81. Native of Gonzales, Louisiana and ordained priest for the Diocese of Baton Rouge. Papers include chiefly correspondence and printed materials related to Gautreau's involvement in the IT Corporation controversy and lawsuit in Ascension Parish and Gautreau's research on the Houma Indians. There are also printed items pertaining to Houmas House Plantation and the Houmas Central Sugar Factory. Mss. 5340.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Acadiana

Gay, Andrew H. (Andrew Hynes) and family. Papers, 1857-1957. 222 items, 9 volumes. Location: Y:82, G:17, OS:G. Sugar planter of Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana. Papers include Civil War and Reconstruction correspondence, with letters by Confederate officers, including Elias B. Inslee. Diaries kept by Anna Maria Gay McClung, a daughter, record social life in Washington, D.C. and travel (1885-1898). Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reels 11-12. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2542.

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

Gay, Edward J. and family. Papers, 1797-1938 (bulk 1838-1910). 62 linear ft., 165 volumes. Location: H:25-27, OS:G, VAULT:1, VAULT:33, VAULT:40, Y:1-62, Y:81. Planters of St. Louis Plantation near Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana. Edward J. Gay was a U.S. representative (1884-1889); his grandson of the same name was a U.S. senator (1918-1921). Personal and business papers of the Gay and related families, containing materials on the Civil War and Reconstruction, St. Louis Plantation, the sugar cane industry, slavery. Also includes Representative Gay's congressional papers. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1295.

Gay-Butler-Plater family. Papers, 1814-2016. 30.5 linear ft., 25 volumes. Location: G:43-85, OS:G, Q:1-6. Planters of Iberville, Lafourche, and Terrebonne parishes, Louisiana. Correspondence, financial records, legal records, photographic materials, and personal papers created and accumulated by the Gay, Butler, Plater, and Price families of Louisiana documenting their political, social, and financial affairs. Mss. 4872.

Gayarré, Charles E. A. Collection, 1720-1895 (bulk 1845-1857). 588 items, 1 microfilm reel. Location: U:124-132, VAULT:7, MSS.MF:G. Louisiana planter, statesman, jurist and historian. Plantation and business records, legal documents, historical and political writings, and personal correspondence of Gayarré. The collection indicates national and state political sentiment and activities and records Gayarré's career as a historian and political analyst and the founding of Louisiana's state library. Partly in French, Spanish and German. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 156.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, Politics, Plantations, French, German, Literature

Gayarré, Charles E. A. Papers, 1781, 1830-1907 (bulk 1830-1895). 276 items, 4 volumes. Location: UU:9, VAULT:7, MSS.MF:G. Louisiana planter, statesman, jurist and historian. Papers pertain to Gayarré's association with Confederate leader J.D.B. DeBow, his literary career, and the management of his business affairs. Also included is personal correspondence of Gayarré's wife, Anne Shadie Sullivan Buchannon, with members of the William Woodson King family. Some items in French and Spanish. Part of the Grace King Collection. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1282.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, Plantations, Women, Civil War, French, Literature

George, John, 1854-1931. Papers, 1887-1931, undated 348 items and 6 vols. Location: W:9, FL12, Mss. Mf.:G. General merchant and cotton buyer in Tangipahoa, Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana. Collection consists of business papers and ledgers. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1550.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business

Gianelloni, Sabin J., Sr. Family Papers, 1780-1997, undated. 7.25 linear ft., 79 v. Location: UU:316-321, 328-329; J;20-21; OS:G. Sugar planter of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Papers consist of correspondence, business papers, personal papers, and printed items relating to the Gianelloni family, the operation of Longwood Plantation, sugar and cane syrup industries, and federal regulations affecting these industries. The correspondence also discusses the political and economic environments in Louisiana and Cuba. Printed items include photographs of field hands and the Longwood Plantation store. For further information, see the online catalog. Mss. 3458, 4279.

Gibbs, Joe. Affidavit, 1865 Aug. 29. 1 affidavit. Location: Misc. This affidavit, made in Vicksburg, Miss., by Joe Gibbs, relates the marking for government use of 200 bales of cotton owned by a Dr. Smith, his hiding some of the cotton in the woods at the end of the war, and the burning of his cotton gin the same night. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4401.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War

Gibson, Randall Lee, 1832-1892. Papers, 1848-1891. 164 items. Location: A:56. Confederate general, New Orleans lawyer, U.S. representative and senator from Louisiana. Early papers reflect student life at Yale University. Civil War papers include orders, general reports, and casualty reports. Letters discuss movements of troops at the Battle of Shiloh and Mobile Bay, Ala. Letter from his sister describes New Orleans in 1861. Later papers consist of business record, mortgages and leases for various plantations. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 6. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2402, 2412, 2423.

Gillespie, James A. and family. Papers, 1776-1929 (bulk 1840-1890). 1,530 items, 20 volumes. Location: E:22-24, E:118, G:16, 65:G, OS:G Vault:38. Planter of Hollywood Plantation, Adams County, Mississippi, and Indian Village Plantation, Concordia Parish, Louisiana. Collection includes plantation records, business papers, and correspondence of the Gillespie family and business papers of the Davis family. Papers include slave sales, land deeds, a will, diaries, portraits, maps, sheet music, and fashion publications. Includes some printed items in German. 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, Reels 5-8, or Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series I, Part 3, Reels 13-14. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 669, 695, 1104, 2086.

Girod, Joseph. Papers, 1816-1899 (bulk 1830-1880). 588 items, 6 ms. Vols. Location: U:133, G:8. Native of France and planter of St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, and nephew of Nicholas Girod, first elected mayor of New Orleans. Joseph Girod's brother, Francois Girod, lived in Paris, France, and New Orleans. Papers include letters from Francois Girod, some of them related to the estate of Nicholas Girod, which provided for the aid of New Orleans orphans of French parentage. Plantation journals (1838-1877) and a letter book (1825-1832) are also included. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 838, 853.

Gleason, David K. Papers, 1951-1992. 202 linear ft. Location: Ranges 87-90. Commercial photographer of Baton Rouge whose work included photographs of plantation homes along the Mississippi River. Gleason's work appeared in a number of books, including The Great Houses of Natchez (1986) and Plantation Homes of Louisiana and the Natchez Area (1982). Collection includes negatives, working proofs, prints, and notes. Unprocessed. Mss. 4520.

Godet, Desire. Papers, 1826-1881. 66 items. Location: U:133. French-speaking cotton planter of Port Barre, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. Papers include letters to his parents, brother, and sister in Rouen, France. There are also bills, statements, and receipts from Opelousas merchants and statements of account with A. A. Mouton, Planters' and Merchants Agency. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 159.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, French

Golsan Brothers. Papers, 1845-1876 (bulk 1866-1876). 15,645 items, 102 volumes. Location: UU:199-210, G:8-10, OS:G. New Orleans cotton factors and agents for the DuBois cotton gin, doing business with merchants, and commission firms in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Tennessee, and Texas. Business papers of Golsan Brothers consisting chiefly of bills and receipts for merchandise, printing, and advertising; waybills; invoices for cotton purchased; bank checks; trial balance sheets; telegrams; statements of account; and correspondence. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 501.

Good Hope Plantation: Papers, 1864-1867 (bulk 1865). .5 linear ft. (100 items). Location: U:145. Papers indicate that George Gilson Klapp of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and James D. Waters leased Tyconia Plantation in Concordia Parish, Louisiana, in 1864. Klapp and Waters jointly leased Good Hope and Hermitage plantations during 1865 and 1866. Papers focus largely on the operation and management of Good Hope and Hermitage cotton plantations in Concordia Parish, Louisiana. Legal papers include a plantation lease agreement, mule loans, an arms permit, and labor agreements with freedmen. Financial papers include promissory notes; receipts for goods, services, and taxes; and accounts of merchandise purchased by laborers. Available on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 2, Reel 11. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 161.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, African Americans

Gordon Family papers, 1848-1857. 50 items. Location: Misc:G. Owners of Woodland Plantation in Port Gibson, Mississippi, where they raised cotton. Papers mainly consist of receipts for cotton shipments and invoices for purchases in New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4666.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, New Orleans to 1861