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