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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Jenkins, John C. (John Carmichael) and family. Papers, 1837-1900 (bulk 1840-1855). 100 items, 14 volumes. Location: B:66, G:21, OS:J, Vault:72. Experimental agriculturist and horticulturist and resident of Elgin Plantation, Adams County, Mississippi. Personal papers and diary of the Jenkins family. The diary records results of Jenkins' experiments at Elgin, plantation routine, financial transactions, travel, and social and literary activities. Purchases of slaves and health of slaves are noted. Jenkins' account book shows expenditures for the home, family, plantations, and slaves. Correspondence includes Civil War letters from Jenkins' son, a Confederate soldier. Also available on microfiche 2729 (Southern Historical Manuscripts, Plantation Records 1799-1900). Does not include 1846 letter, which was acquired after filming. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 141, 142, 184, 187.

Johnson (Alfred Grima) Collection, 1805-2001 (bulk: 1850-1950). 1.3 linear feet. Locations: 111:7, OS:J. Retired Central Intelligence Agency officer and historic preservationist. Collection consists of correspondence, financial and legal documents, research notes, photographs, and other records pertaining to the Grima, Montegut, Pitot, Foley, and Pugh families of South Louisiana. The records were accumulated for the purpose of studying genealogy and family history. Contains records in both English and French. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 5005.

Johnson, Bradish. Account books, 1819-1896 (bulk 1868-1886). 3 vols. Location: F:18. Planter, Whitney Plantation, St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana. Time book (1868) and pay roll book (1880-1886) for Whitney Plantation; an anonymous ledger containing accounts with early residents of St. John the Baptist Parish (1819-1822); and copies of letters written from Whitney Plantation (1896). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 753.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Johnson, Richard L. (Richard Lynn), Jr. Collection, circa 1920-1989. 3 copy prints, 3 photocopies. Location: MISC:J. Geneaologist. Collection contains 2 copy prints of Compton Cemetery (1983, 1989) and 1 copy print of John Compton and Amelie Compton's home (circa 1920) near Meeker, Louisiana. Photocopies are of images of Thomas Courtland Manning and Mary Louise Blair's tombstones in Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans. Mss. 4249.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women

Johnson, William T and family. Papers, 1793-1937 (bulk 1830-1870). 6 linear ft., 54 volumes. Location: U:161-162, O:71-73, 65:, OS:J African American barber and planter of Natchez. Personal papers, commercial records, diaries, and music of the Johnson family reflecting the condition of cultured and educated free persons of color both before and after the Civil War. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 4, Reels 1-6. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 529, 561, 597, 770, 926, 1093.

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