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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Louisiana Postcard Collection, 1904-1951. 507 items. Location: E:65 (short shelf). Postcards depict subjects, especially churches, schools, and some plantations in towns and regions of Louisiana. Louisiana towns and regions best represented in the collection include Abita Springs, Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Bogalusa, Convent, Covington, Donaldsonville, Franklin, Hammond, Houma, Jennings, Lake Charles, Mandeville, Monroe, Morgan City, New Orleans, Plaquemine, Saint Francisville, Shreveport, and Thibodaux. Included is a photograph depicting three women in front of a plantation house. The photograph is labeled "Alice Emilie Knapp, Forrest Home." For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3645.

Louisiana Sugar Planters Association. Papers, 1877-1917.1 linear ft. Location: U:212-213, G:16. Sugar planters' association based in New Orleans. Correspondence pertains to meetings; statistics on production; cane cutting machine; Spanish, Italian, and German immigrants working as plantation laborers; and supervisors and funding needed for a molasses refining test. Papers include articles reviewed by the association, including N. A. Helmer's "Evaporation in Multiple Effects" (June 1907). Material includes a minute book (1877-1891), a bill for membership in he American Protective Tariff League (1908) and letters relating to the Association's dues and resignations. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 266, 1492.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations

Lowry, K. B. Notice, 1862. 1 item. Location: Misc. Union lieutenant commander of the U.S. Gunboat Sciota in the Civil War. Copy of a public notice issued by Lowry threatening summary justice on James Humphreys or any member 'of his band of guerrillas' damaging the property of Mrs. Burbank, St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 753.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, Civil War

Loyd, Gladys Means and family. Papers, 1904-1975. 462 items, 10 volumes. Location: UU:215, P:18, 98:L. Schoolteacher of Ida (Caddo Parish) and St. Joseph (Tensas Parish), Louisiana. Papers include correspondence and genealogical notes on Ida, Louisiana, families; photograph albums on plantations, including Hundred Oaks Plantation in Baton Rouge; and scrapbooks on the history of Ida and Tensas Parish. Collection also includes ledgers of the Ida Hardware Store owned by James Taylor Means. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3224.

LSU Libraries: Louisiana collection photographs, 1862-1971. 624 items. Location: 11:6, OS:L. This collection contains photographic prints and some picture postcards of city buildings, plantation buildings, and other structures in several Louisiana cities and parishes, especially New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Mss. 4262.

Lyons, Henry A. Papers, 1829, 1834-1877. 611 items, 1 ms. Vol. Location: UU:106. Lawyer of St. Francisville, Louisiana, associate justice of the Supreme Court of California (1840); third husband of Eliza Pirrie Bowman of Oakley Plantation, West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Papers contain personal, legal, and financial records pertaining to Lyons' work as a lawyer in Louisiana (1829-1849); a supreme court justice in California (1850-1852); and his personal and business affairs in Louisiana, California, and France (1852-1877). His papers include his address to the first term of the Supreme Court of California. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1382.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Macarty, Jno. (John). Family Papers, 1764-1935 (bulk 1764-1837). 9 items. Location: B:50. Native of France and resident of New Orleans. Macarty owned a plantation home near New Orleans which was used by Andrew Jackson as a field headquarters in 1815. Papers pertain to the estate of John Macarty and include a forty-page inventory of the contents of his New Orleans residence and the Macarty plantation home. Also included is a roll of the Royal Legion of the Mississippi Militia (ca. 1798). In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 270, 496.

MacKowen, John C. (John Clay). Papers, 1846-1966 (bulk 1897-1901). 103 items, 3 printed vols. Location: E:54; OS:M. Planter and physician of Jackson, Louisiana, and owner of a property in Anacapri, Italy. Letters concern the education of John MacKowen and his brothers in New England schools, MacKowen's Confederate service during the Civil War, the education of African Americans by plantation women, and the MacKowen property in Italy. Some letters and papers in Italian and French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2465.

Macrery, Andrew. Papers, 1793-1855. 46 items. Location: S:121. Planter of Natchez, Mississippi, and owner of Roseland and Springfield plantations. Family correspondence concerns social life, health, and medical practices. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 3, Reels 10-11. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1403.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Medicine, Natchez, Mississippi

Madewood Plantation titles and deeds, 1816-1906. 1 ms. vol. [on 1 microfilm]. Location: Mss. Mf.:M. Plantation located in Assumption Parish, Louisiana. Copies of titles and deeds to Madewood Plantation record transfers of land ownership to the Pugh family and later through successions within the family. Filed in the online catalog under Titles and deeds of Madewood Plantation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2924.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Magill, David Weeks. Records, 1859-1861. Two items. Location: Misc.:W. Planter of St. Martin Parish, La., and grandson of David Weeks of Iberia Parish, La. Accounts for the purchase of household items, clothing, postage, and a gun, gun powder, gun wads and caps. Mss. 5267.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Magnolia Mound sale document, 1837, 1841. 2 items [photocopies]. Location: Misc. Plantation in Baton Rouge. Sales agreement records terms of transfer of property from owners Bernard and Jean-Baptiste Dubreuil Villars to Achille Murat. Included is a document recording the cancellation of the contract in 1841. Copied from the original in the East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court's office. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3059.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Baton Rouge

Magruder, Eliza L. Diary, 1846-1857. 2 vols., 1 typescript. Location: G:17, vault:18, microfiche 2729. A native of Maryland, Eliza Magruder (1803-1876), went to live at Arundo, the Jefferson County, Miss., plantation of her aunt and uncle, Olivia Magruder Dunbar (1786-1859) and Joseph Dunbar (1773-1846) around 1839. Arundo was located in Church Hill, Miss., near Natchez. After the death of Olivia Dunbar, Eliza Magruder moved to Oakland Plantation, the home of her aunt Lavinia Magruder Turpin (1786-1867) near Washington, Miss. In the diary, she comments on local social events and amusements, visiting friends, births and deaths, and treatment, care of, and unrest of slaves. She also records the weather, illness and death among slaves and friends and medical attention she provided, as well as her reading, sewing, and religious life, including comments on minsters and sermons she heard. In addition, she relates the activities of her aunt in running the plantation after the death of her husband. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reel 34. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 654.

Magruder, Samuel Bertron, Jr. Collection, 1968, 1971. 7 items. Location: Misc:M. LSU student. Photographs of the ruins of Windsor Plantation house, near Port Gibson, Mississippi, and related subjects. Included in the collection is a newspaper article from the New Orleans TIMES- PICAYUNE about Windsor. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2570.

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

Mandeville, Henry D. (Henry David) and family. Papers, 1815-1925 (bulk 1854-1883). 2 linear ft. Location: U:214-216. Henry D. Mandeville, originally from Philadelphia, was a factor in trade with China; his son Henry, Jr. was a lawyer in Natchez, Mississippi. Two other sons, Theodore and Ellwyn, served in the Confederate army. Collection includes personal and business correspondence documenting life in Natchez and New Orleans; the operation of Westwood Plantation (owned by Henry, Jr.) in Louisiana; and Civil War papers of Theodore and Ellwyn. Papers also include letters referring to musical performances in Arkansas, Virginia, Natchez, New Orleans, and Chicago; and materials documenting civilian life in New Orleans in the Civil War. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 3, Reels 3-6. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 491, 535.

Marchand Gin Company. Cotton book, 1900. 1 vol. Location: G:18. Cotton book of the Marchand Gin Company recording cotton ginned and shipped from September to December, 1900. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 280.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Transportation, Business

Marchant, James Alexander. Family Papers, 1860-1934 (bulk 1860-1887). 0.4 linear feet. Location E:112. Personal correspondence and papers, one diary, and photographs pertaining to the Marchant and DeArmond families of Clinton, East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, and, later, Brazil. Letters pertain primarily to conditions in Clinton and East Feliciana Parish after the Civil War, including labor relations with freedmen. A few Civil War letters are also present and pertain to the Battle of Vicksburg, the C.S.S. Arkansas, and Ship Island, Miss. Also included is a letter of introduction for James Marchant from the citizens of Clinton to those of Brazil, a diary kept by the Marchants' son Madison chronicling their journey to Brazil, and photographs of family members, Robert E. Lee, and Joseph E. Johnston. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3641

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War, African Americans

Marshall, George B. (George Benoist). Family Papers, 1807-1900 (bulk 1850-1880). 0.5 linear ft. Location: B:41, J:7. Sugar and cotton planter of Crescent Plantation, Cheneyville, Rapides Parish, Louisiana, and captain in the Confederate army. Collection includes records, daybooks, bills, receipts, and other documents related to the plantation. Includes a 1866 record of fines imposed on African Americans for breaking the peace. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reels 12-13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 969.

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

Marshall, John J. Plantation ledgers, 1866-1899. 4 vols. (on microfilm). Location: Mss. Mf.:M. Planter of Allendale Plantation, near Stonewall, DeSoto Parish, Louisiana. Plantation ledgers record wages and supplies given to freedmen laborers and include accounts of the Trinity Mission and the All Saints Church, rent records, crop production, and sick days of each laborer. Another ledger records butter production. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3025.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Plantations, African Americans

Marshall, Maria Chotard and family Papers, 1819-1868. 0.3 linear ft. Location: S:126. Family of businessmen and planters whose branches settled in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Letters of Sarah Foster Chotard to her daughter Maria Louisa Marshall, and Maria's to her sister Eliza Gould, discuss family, legal, and business affairs, social life, travel, and Civil War experiences. Memoirs by Eliza Gould deal with family history. Collection includes a biographical sketch of David Hunt, a planter of Natchez, Mississippi, and his wife Anne Ferguson Hunt. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3256.

Marshall-Furman Family Papers, 1794-1975 (bulk 1833-1905). 3,046 items, 35 vols., 8 microfilm reels. Location: W:59-68, OS:M, Mss. Mf.:M. Henry Marshall was a cotton planter and a member of the Louisiana Senate. S. C. Furman, Marshall's son-in-law, was a medical doctor and officer in the Louisiana Second Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. Correspondence deals with politics, economics, agriculture, and the Civil War. Also included in the collection are financial and professional papers, a muster roll, diary, account book, memorandum book, map, and scrapbook materials. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2740, 4042.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War, Medicine

Marston, Henry and family. Papers, 1818-1938 (bulk 1850-1890). 2,104 items, 59 volumes. Location: U:220-222, U:267, G:19. Planters of East Feliciana Parish and Red River Parish, Louisiana. Collection includes diaries; plantation records; legal documents; personal correspondence; bank records; and Civil War papers. Diaries comment on public health, yellow fever epidemic, race relations, labor and the political participation of African Americans. Other volumes record activities of the Clinton & Port Hudson Railroad and the Silliman Female Collegiate Institute. Papers of son , Bulow, reflect his activities as planter, steamboat operator, and warehouse owner. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5735 and 6061: University Publications of America, Confederate Military Manuscripts, Series B, Reel 13 and Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 2, Reel 14, or For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 624.

Martin, Robert Campbell, b. 1839. Papers, 1767-1932. 241 items, 75 vols. (68 ms. Vols., 8 printed vols.). Location: C:9, OS:M, O:18-19, 98. Sugar planter of Albemarle Plantation, Assumption Parish, Louisiana, and son of Robert Campbell Martin and Mary Winfred Pugh. Martin served as first lieutenant in the 26th Louisiana Volunteer Regiment during the Civil War. Papers include Pugh family property and estate records such as deeds and leases, an estate inventory, powers of attorney, and a promissory note. Other papers include a funeral notice, marriage license, muster roll, receipts, and voter registration form. Also included are record books of Albemarle Plantation, memorandum books, newspaper clippings, and printed items. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 3, Reels 7-11. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1045.

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

Martin, Sigur. Papers, 1905-1912. 236 items, 16 ms. Vols. Location: U:211, G:18. Sugar planter of Grand Point Plantation and a dealer in general merchandise and liquor in Paulina, St. James Parish, Louisiana. He later held office in the Treasury Department in Baton Rouge. Collection includes store records, accounts, invoices, and receipts, many with Baton Rouge merchants. Some items document Martin's management of a sugarcane plantation. Included are letters from the Colonial Sugars Company listing cane deliveries from tenant farmers working on Grand Point Plantation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 460.

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

Martin, W. L. Collection, 1831, 1863, 1869. 4 items. Location: 99:. Copy of a Benjamin Levy (New Orleans) imprint of a sugar statement for the year 1831 by Pierre A. Degelos which gives the names of the sugar planters by parishes; and three Thibodaux, Louisiana, newspapers. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1904.

Mason, Polly, 1855-1974, interviewee. Oral history interview, 1971. 1 sound cassette (45 minutes), 10 pages. Location: L:4700.0041. Former slave, born at Ulster Plantation near Alexandria, Louisiana. Mason was 115 years old at the time of the interview, and was residing in Woodworth, Louisiana. Mason describes her master, Judge Henry Boyce, and her life on his cotton plantation in Boyce, Louisiana. Included are her memories of Union soldiers in Louisiana during the Civil War and her sadness upon the assassination of President Lincoln. Mason also recalls the establishment of a station for the Texas and Pacific Railroad in the area, and her first view of an airplane. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0041.

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

Mather, George. Accountb0Books, 1782-1845. 4 volumes, 11 items. Location: G:18, MISC:M. Planter of St. James Parish, Louisiana. Account books pertain to plantation expenses, slave labor, sugar, taffia, and cotton. Volume one (1782-1845) contains some entries in French. Volume two relates to Mather's sugar operations and the taffia sold on the German Coast in present-day St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana (1798-1832). Entries in volume three contain memos on loans made and payments received (1813-1822). Entries in volume four also note cotton shipments to Liverpool and a letter in French to Tousaint Fauve of La Rochelle, France (1806-1817). Loose items consist of financial papers and three clippings. The collection is also available on UPA Microfilm 5322, (Records of ante-bellum southern plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War. Series I, Selections from Louisiana State University ; pt. 1, Louisiana sugar plantations, reel 8. Mss. 283, 568.

Mather, James. Letter, circa 19th century. Location: Misc. Letter from James Mather to his cousin George Mather, Saint James Parish, La., requests a loan to help him purchase a plantation from Mr. Weeks in the Attakapas District of Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 238.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Mather, Joseph. Diary, 1852-1859 (bulk 1855-1856). 1 vol. Location: V:68. Superintendent of Aurora Plantation, St. James Parish, Louisiana. Diary relates the day-by-day activities on a sugar plantation, noting the weather, work done at various times of the year, condition of crops, and health of slaves and stock. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 285.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, African Americans

Mathews, Charles Lewis and family. Papers, 1797-1919 (bulk 1840-1872). 3 linear ft. Location: U:224-227, OS:M. Family of Greenwood Plantation, West Feliciana Parish. Charles Mathews was the son of George and Harriet Flower Mathews, husband of Penelope Stewart. Papers document the family's plantations, managed by women: Greenwood, Georgia (Raceland), Coco Bend, and Chaseland, Rapides Parish. Included are factors' statements, slave records, overseer's letters; freedmen's contracts; and Civil War soldiers' letters. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 2, Reels 14-17. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 910.

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

Mathews-Ventress-Lawrason Family Papers, 1770-1934. (bulk 1797-1798; 1820-1933). 3 linear feet. Location: UU: 255-258, OS:M. Families were cotton and sugar planters of West Feliciana, Lafourche, and Pointe Coupee Parishes, Louisiana. 19th century papers reflect planting activities of Mathews family; 20th century materials reflect real estate management and investment activities of the Ventress and Lawrason families. Papers include personal and business correspondence, printed items, newspaper clippings, financial records, and legal documents. Financial papers centering on Harriet Flower Mathews, and records of legal work for Penelope Stewart Mathews. Ventress-Lawrason correspondence primarily addressed to Sallie Mathews Ventress, including series of letters from cousin Mrs. M. M. Slaughter. Also legal documents for land purchased by Sallie Mathews Ventress. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4358.

Maury Brothers. Ledger, 1851-1856. 1 vol. Location: M:20. James and Ruston Maury were New Orleans, Louisiana commission merchants. Ruston Maury conducted company business in Liverpool, New York, Charleston, and Richmond. Ledger records company income, expenses, and accounts of company partners. Accounts of cotton, sugar and corn shipped to England and the northern United States. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4676.

McCall, Henry. Speech, 1899. 1 item; typescript. Location: Misc. Speech, 'History of Evan Hall Plantation,' delivered to the Louisiana Historical Society, New Orleans, Louisiana, gives a brief history of Evan Hall Plantation, Ascension Parish, La., and its original owner, Evan Jones. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 271.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, New Orleans 1866-

McCollam, Andrew and Ellen. Papers, 1839-1867. 3 vols. [typescript copies]. Location: H:1. Andrew McCollam was a surveyor-planter of Ascension and Assumption parishes, Louisiana. Plantation diary (1842-1851) of Ellen McCollam pertains to family life, domestic activities, general plantation matters, and attendance at the theater. Travel diary (1866-1867) of Andrew McCollam contains entries for a trip to Brazil. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 550.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Performing arts, Women

McCrindell, Thomas. Account book, 1851-1855. 1 vol. Location: J:12. Commission merchant of Bayou Sara, West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Daybook listing names of customers and daily expenditures credited to each customer for plantation supplies, storage, and shipping. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 913.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business

McCutchon, Samuel, 1820-1874. Family Papers, 1832-1890 (bulk 1832-1874). 104 items, 8 vols. (5 ms. vols., 3 printed vols.). Location: U:158, P:19, Misc:M. Manager of Ormond Plantation, Saint Charles Parish, Louisiana, and manager (1866-1874) for the Young, Toledo and Company in Belize, British Honduras. Collection includes diaries documenting the operation and management of the sugar plantation and saw mills. Papers include business letters, record books, inventories, newspapers, broadsides, and plans. Includes papers and descriptions of plantation life in Belize. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 1, Reels 5-6. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1049, 1087, 1060, 1109.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Business

McDaniel-Gill. Letters, 1849-1859. 12 items. Location: Misc.:M. Caroline McDaniel and her planter husband Robert D. Gill. Letters written in Mississippi and Louisiana relate to western emigration, family life, and economic difficulties. The last letter by Gill to Caroline's mother announces his wife's death. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3416.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women

McDonogh, John. Papers, 1799-1938 (bulk 1801-1850). 3,595 items and 2 printed vols. [typescript copies]. Location: X:63-65. General commission merchant of New Orleans and planter of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. Papers consist primarily of business records, correspondence (1801-1850) with business associates, commission firms, merchants, planters, tenants and civil authorities. Papers also include personal correspondence, with some letters relating to the American Colonization Society and the Washington National Monument Society. Papers also relate to death, his will and the controversial issues of his estate. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1247.

McGehee, H.T. Papers, 1797-1954, undated (bulk 1870-1914). 2.3 linear feet. Location: X:40-42, OS:Mc. The collection, consisting primarily of financial, legal, and plantation business papers, relates to the H. T. McGehee family in Wilkinson County, Mississippi. Mss. 5213.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business

McGehee, J. Burruss (John Burruss). Papers, 1816-1951. 18.5 linear ft, 64 volumes. Location: 8:3-12, P:5-6, OS:M. Plantation owner in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, and Wilkinson County, Mississippi.Correspondence, business records, and printed items reflect the business ventures in agriculture, railroads, and real estate of John Burruss McGehee, his father, Judge Edward McGehee and his son, James Stewart McGehee. Early papers contain references to slaves and the destruction of Bowling Green Plantation by Union troops. Personal papers and photographs provide a family history and the genealogy of the McGehee and Stewart families. Mss. 1111, 1156, 1157.