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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Bradford, David, d. ca.1816. Letters, 1798-1805. 25 items [typescripts]. Location: H:16, U:120. Planter and owner of the Myrtles Plantation,West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Photocopies of letters written to David Redick of Pennsylvania relate to the settlement of Bradford's debts, the disposition of his property in Pennsylvania, and economic and political matters in Spanish West Florida. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 855.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Plantations

Bradford, David, d. ca.1816. Family Papers, 1798-1882 (bulk 1833-1838). 50 items. Location: U:120. Planter of the Myrtles Plantation, Bayou Sara, West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Papers include Spanish land grants, surveys, plats, conveyances, appraisals, and mortgages for land owned by David Bradford and family, chiefly in West Feliciana and East Baton Rouge parishes. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 735.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Baton Rouge

Bragg, Braxton, 1817-1876. Letter, 1856 February 10. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Confederate general in command of the Army of Tennessee during the Civil War. Letter to Bragg's wife describes Bivouac, a 2000-acre plantation three miles from Thibodaux, Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, which he had just purchased. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2025.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Bragg, Braxton, 1817-1876. Letter, 1856 February 12. 1 item. Location: Misc:B. Confederate general in command of the Army of Tennessee during the Civil War. In reply to a request for biographical information from J. Furlong of Brooklyn, N.Y., Bragg discusses the circumstances of his situation as a sugar planter in Louisiana at the beginning of the Civil War, laments the misfortunes of his 125 former slaves, and briefly describes his military career for the Confederate States of America. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2537.

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

Braintree Manufacturing Company. Correspondence, 1844-1845. 7 items. Location: Misc.:B. Company located in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Letters to Jonathon Cushing, agent for the Braintree Manufacturing Company, from Washington Jackson and Company, New Orleans factors. Letters concern the sale and delivery of cotton gins. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1404, 1417.

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