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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Douglas, Emily Caroline, b. 1840. Papers, 1855-1913 (bulk 1855-1868). 9 items, 2 ms. vols., 1 printed vol. Location: U:49, Mss.Mf:D. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reels 8-9. Connecticut native and resident of Louisiana and Mississippi. Autobiography, diary, and writings describe life in New England; with her brother, the Rev. William Kirtland Douglas, near Natchez, Mississippi, during the Civil War; at New Iberia, Louisiana; in various Mississippi towns; and in New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 566.

Doussan Family Papers, 1827-1872. 94 items. Location: U:300. Correspondence, financial papers, and personal papers of members of the Doussan family (primarily Antoine Doussan, Louise Perrin Doussan, and Auguste Doussan) of East and West Baton Rouge Parishes, Louisiana, and France. Correspondence of Charles de Rabars of Bordeaux, France, is also included, as is a letter from General Baron Joachim Ambert. Most documents reflect the Doussans' planting operations in West Baton Rouge Parish; their financial and legal transactions in Louisiana and France; family activities, interests, and concerns; and the experience of French emigres in Louisiana as they encountered Anglo-American culture and society. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4800.

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

Drouillard, Jean Baptiste. Family Papers, 1794-1901, undated. 165 items. Location: S:121 and Mss. Mf: D. Planter of Santo Domingo and of New Orleans. Letters and documents concern labor and economic conditions on Santo Domingo after the rise to power of Toussaint l'Ouverture in 1793, and the lives of exiles from the island who resettled in the United States. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2590.

Dugas and LeBlanc. Account books, 1886-1933. 144 vols. Location: L:7-12. Merchants of Paincourtville, Assumption Parish, Louisiana, manufacturers of Westfield sugar and molasses. Records include account books, daybooks, and ledgers for the firm; and payroll books for Armelise, Magnolia, Westfield, and Whitmel plantations and for levee work in the Fourth Mississippi River District. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 611.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Business

Dugas, Honore and family. Papers, circa 1850-1910 (bulk 1880-1891). 1.75 linear ft. Location: T:24-25, OS:D. Sugar planter of Armelise Plantation, Paincourtville, Assumption Parish, Louisiana. Business and personal papers, and printed material contain contains correspondence, financial papers and printed material documenting the sugar industry in Louisiana, shipping on Bayou Lafourche, and the social and cultural life of New Orleans. There is also a carte-de-visite photograph of an unidentified elderly couple, circa 1850. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1645.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, New Orleans 1866-, Business

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