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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Duncan, Stephen and Stephen Duncan, Jr. Papers, 1846-1899. 255 items, 11 ms. Vols. Location: U:49, F:17, Mss.Mf:D. Planter and banker of Natchez, Mississippi. Duncan plantations included L'Argent, Auburn, Camperdown, Carlisle, Duncan, Duncannon, Duncansby, Ellisle, Homochitto, Middlesex, Oakley, Rescue, Reserve, and Attakapas. Correspondence, business papers, diaries, and plantation and personal records of Dr. Stephen Duncan and his son, Stephen, Jr., who also resided in New York City. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 126, 721.

Duncan, Stephen, 1787-1867. Letters, 1855, 1859-1860. 72 items. Location: U:65. Planter and banker of Natchez, Mississippi. Duncan plantations included L'Argent, Auburn, Camperdown, Carlisle, Duncan, Duncannon, Duncansby, Ellisle, Homochitto, Middlesex, Oakley, Rescue, Reserve, and Attakapas. Includes letters written by Duncan to his financial advisor, Charles Leverich, related to the economic and financial activities of a wealthy planter and land owner. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4641.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Natchez, Mississippi

Dunwody, John, 1782-1862. Letter, 1851 Jan. 28. 1 letter. Location: Misc. John Dunwody, a cotton planter on Bayou Boeuf in Rapides Parish, La., writes to Buchannon, Carroll & Co., general merchants of New Orleans, making an order for foodstuffs and supplies for his plantation. Mss. 4067.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Business

Duplantier, Armand Letters, 1796-1807. 4 items. Location: Misc.:D. Armand Duplantier was a planter and owner of Magnolia Mound Plantation, La. Letters (in French) detail plantation life during the post-Revolutionary period, while referencing social and business life in New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4914.

Duplantier, Armand Family Letters, 1777-1859. 95 items. Location: D:62. Armand Duplantier was a planter and owner of Magnolia Mound Plantation, La. Duplantier Family Letters contain items from four generations of the Duplantier family, including Armand Duplantier, his uncle Claude Trénonay, Armand’s son Armand Allard Duplantier, and granddaughter Amélie Augustine Duplantier Peniston. The letters relate to Louisiana under the French, Spanish, and Americans and the economic, political, and social conditions attendant on transitioning among the three powers; commerce with France; the succession of Trénonay; attitudes about the French Revolution; slavery and plantation matters; family news such as illness, births, deaths, and the education of Duplantier’s children; and travels in France by Amélie Duplantier. Mss. 5060.

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