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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Jackson, Andrew. See: Andrew Jackson account.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Jackson, Willie, 1889-, interviewee. Oral history interview. 1993. 1 sound cassette (45 minutes), Index (3 pages). Location: L:4700.0282. Resident of Four Corners, an unincorporated community south of Franklin, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. Jackson and his daughter, Emma Dell Peters, lived on Sterling Plantation; Jackson's grandparents were slaves. Jackson describes his childhood in Four Corners, work cultivating and harvesting sugarcane, and raising crops with his parents. He describes early transportation by horse, foot, and boat; churches in the area; and life on Sterling Plantation. Jackson also describes credit at the plantation store; illnesses; marriage customs; gambling on the card game 'Kotch'; use of French language; French language work songs; and schooling. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0282.

James, Francis Henderson. Papers, 1869-1973 (bulk 1909-1960). 1.2 linear ft. Location: UU:74-75, OS:J. Graduate of Louisiana State University (LSU), World War I veteran, and chief engineer at Salzburg Sugar Factory on Salzburg Plantation in St. James Parish, Louisiana. Papers include a diary (1937-1958) kept during his employment as chief engineer in which he recorded formulas, calculations, cane crop data, and administrative notes; a 1915 LSU calendar that includes campus photographs; and family portraits and photographs of him as a cadet at LSU and during his military service; letters and clippings. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4960.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Baton Rouge, LSU

James, John W. Papers, 1852-1858. 3 items. Location: Misc.: J. The papers consist of a plantation diary (1855-1856), an invoice for household goods (June 24, 1852) and a letter from the firm Simms and Cabin informing John James of the balance due on his account (Sept. 1, 1858).  The plantation diary reports the of plowing fields, and the planting and harvesting of corn. The back of the letter lists several slaves by first name. Mss. 3699.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, African Americans

Jefferson, Elizabeth. Collection, 1867-1885, ca. 1918. 10 items [photocopies]. Location: Misc. Reminiscences by Elizabeth Jefferson describing her antebellum Mississippi home, and the treatment of the slaves and free African Americans on the plantation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2329.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, African Americans

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