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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A. Bell and Company. Papers, 1835, 1836. 2 items. Location: Misc.:B. Cotton broker of New York City. Letters from factors at Petersburg, Virginia, and Fayetteville, North Carolina, regarding the cotton market and amount of cotton expected from Tennessee and North Alabama. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2356.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business

A. Ledoux and Company. Record book, 1856-1857. 1 volume (110 pages). Location: W:53. Plantation record book kept by Samuel Leigh and Lewis F. Pulliam, overseers of the sugar plantation owned by A. Ledoux and Company, Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 1, Reel 9. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 964.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Business

Abraham Bell & Co. Letters and receipts, 1841-1844. 5 items. Location: Misc:A. Quaker-owned shipping merchant company of New York City, with business interests in New Orleans, Louisiana. Two receipts document cotton purchased in , for Abraham Bell & Co. One letter discusses American and English cotton and freight prices, and social matters. A bill of lading and a letter document the shipment of personal goods from New York. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4675.

Acadia Plantation records, 1809-2004 (bulk 1940-1979). 49 linear ft., 30 volumes, 8 rolls. Location: 93:7-30; J:4; 75:; MAP CAGE (UNNUMBERED CASE); 1 NORTH (ON TOP OF MICROFILM CABINET). A working sugar plantation, Acadia Plantation of Lafourche Parish, Louisiana is comprised of three major properties originally known as Acadia Plantation, St. Brigitte Plantation, and Evergreen Plantation. It was acquired in 1875 by Edward J. Gay, became the residence of Representative Andrew and Mrs. Anna Gay Price. Records are comprised of correspondence, financial and legal documents, printed items, volumes, maps, plats, and photographs. Papers document business and legal affairs of the plantation owners and operators, as well as plantation operations such as sugar cane farming, the crops of tenant farmers on the property, and the planning and development of the plantation lands throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Mss. 4906.

Account book, 1796-1799. 1 ms. vol., 1 mf reel. Location: Vault, Mss. Mf.:A. New Orleans, Louisiana, merchant. Account book recording names and accounts of customers. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1054.

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