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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Kenner, Duncan Farrar. Papers, 1838-1905 (bulk 1838-1894). 0.8 linear ft., 3 volumes. Location: A:51, F:4, VAULT:1, VAULT MRDF 2. Planter of Ashland, Ascension Parish, Louisiana, and Confederate diplomat. Collection includes financial, legal, and personal papers related to Ashland Plantation and Kenner's investments and business dealings in New Orleans, especially with his brother-in-law, General Richard Taylor, in leasing the New Basin Canal in New Orleans, as well as horse racing and Kenner's diplomatic mission to France on behalf of the Confederacy. Available on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 1, Reel 14. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 198, 1402, 1477.

Kenner, William, 1776-1823. Papers, 1802-1832, undated. 371 items. Location: T:30. New Orleans factor and commission merchant affiliated with John Oldham and Richard Clague in a general mercantile and commission business under the firm name of William Kenner & Company. Business and personal papers of Kenner document territorial and antebellum economic and social life at New Orleans; conditions on the eve of the War of 1812; and details of the Battle of New Orleans. Included are papers relating details received at New Orleans on the Napoleonic Wars and their aftermath; and papers reflecting slavery and plantation life in Louisiana and Mississippi.Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 3, Reels 12-13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1477, 1491.

Ker, John, 1789-1850. Family Papers, 1803-1862. 27 items, 1 vol. Location: S:108. Medical doctor of Good Hope Plantation of Concordia Parish, Louisiana, and the father of Mary Susan and William H. Ker. Papers include letters from Stephen Duncan, Sr., of Natchez, Mississippi, and Philadelphia, to Dr. John Ker; and Civil War letters from William H. Ker, a Confederate soldier. Collection also includes a diary (1850-1851) of Mary Susan Ker with details on family life after her father's death. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reel 15. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3539.

Kerr family. Photograph album,| ca. 1890. 1 vol. Location: H:17. Photograph album of the Kerr family of Dixie Plantation, Franklin, Louisiana, includes photographs of Ringgold, Barrow, and Lidell family members. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4741.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Kerr, E. W. Papers, 1898-1951 (bulk 1925-1949). Approximately 12.5 linear ft. Location: 77:22-34, OS:K. Baton Rouge engineer. Kerr was an LSU professor of mechanical engineering (1905-1916), an efficiency engineer for the Cuba Cane Sugar Corporation of Havana, Cuba (1916-1931), and a consultant to southwest Louisiana sugar factories (1935-1949). Papers include correspondence, technical data and notes, blueprints and related printed items documenting Kerr's career in the sugar industry. Papers also include family letters and personal correspondence related to business matters. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1308.

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

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