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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De Bordes Family Papers, 1765-1822. 106 items. Location: B:13, OS:D,Mss. Mf.:D Papers relating to land holdings and the operation of sugar and coffee plantations in Haiti and Santo Domingo; slave insurrections and the life of refugees from them in New Orleans; and decisions and decrees relating to trade, commerce, and emigration. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2246.

De La Vergne family. Papers, 1751-1972. 1 ft. and 1 reel of microfilm. Location: 77:21, O:22, Mss. Mf.:D Family of lawyers, planters, and businessmen of New Orleans. Correspondence, military papers, genealogical material, and other papers include material on banking and finance, the Consolidated Association of the Planters of Louisiana, defense of New Orleans during the War of 1812, and Jefferson College. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2642.

de Trujeda, Bernardino, Declaration, 1799. 1 volume (88 pages). Location: 111:1. Certified copy of declartion regarding financial condition of sugar plantation and mill at Hacienda Senora Santa Ana Tepoxtepec, owned by the Regidor Perpetuo of Cordova, Mexico, Bernardino de Trujeda. The declaration is dated October 23, 1789, but the certified copy was signed January 25, 1799 by public notary Mariano Francisco Zambrano at Puebla de los Angeles. The document is bound and contains petitions, claims, and wills, some signed by various church officials. It also includes an inventory, appraisal, and description of slaves and other property. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 4998.

DeClouet, Alexandre (Alexandre Etienne) and Family. Papers, 1787-1905 (bulk 1855-1888). 1.2 linear ft. Location: U:181, J:5. Sugar planter, Confederate congressman, and state senator from St. Martin Parish, Louisiana. Beginning in the 1860s, DeClouet was active in the White League, an organization opposed to rights for freedmen. Collection includes financial papers, legal documents, political papers, and correspondence. Financial records of Alexandre DeClouet and his son Paul document plantation management and labor issues. Political papers include White League materials. Some items in French. Available on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 3, Reels 5-6. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 74, 258, 461, 756.

Delcroix, Eugene A. Photographic prints, circa 1930-1950. 8 items. Locations: MISC:D, OS:D. Professional photographer of New Orleans, Louisiana. Eight photographic prints depict Louisiana oak trees, Oak Alley Plantation, Grand Isle, and a New Orleans courtyard and patio. Mss. 5356.

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