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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Key, Philip B. Letter, 1851. 1 item. Location: Misc.:K. Letter to Thomas T. Haley concerning activities and death of Haley's father, who served as overseer on a plantation in Ascension Parish, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2466.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Kidd, Edwin. Family Papers, 1792-1994, undated (bulk: 1836-1884). Location: UU:63. Edwin E. Kidd was a lawyer, politician, and businessman. Kidd served several terms in the Louisiana Legislature. Papers include correspondence from Edwin’s father, Wilson M. Kidd, and then later, from Edwin. Wilson M. Kidd fought in the Creek War of 1836 as a volunteer in the Alabama militia. Correspondece recounts Wilson Kidd's experiences in the militia and Edwin Kidd's education, experiences in the Civil War, and post-war political career. In addition to correspondence the collection includes photographs, receipts, legal documents, and genealogical information. Mss. 5178.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Plantations, Civil War, Education

Kilbourne, James Gilliam, 1828-1893. Family collection, 1838-1899. 565 items, 43 vols. Location: E:5-7, G:13, OS:K. Planter, jurist, state legislator, Confederate captain, and member of the law firm Fuqua and Kilbourne of East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Collection contains personal and business papers of three generations of the Kilbourne family. Papers include documents related to Kilbourne's legal career, Civil War letters from Kilbourne to his wife, and records of the Comite Plantation. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 11. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 690, 730.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Plantations, Civil War

Kilbourne, James Gilliam, 1828-1893. Family Papers, 1817, 1869-1939 (bulk 1869-1939). .3 linear ft., 2 vols. Location: T:29. Planter, jurist, state legislator, Confederate captain, and member of the law firm Fuqua and Kilbourne of East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Papers include letters to Mrs. James Gilliam Kilbourne from her children; and verse and music composed by a daughter, Margaret Gayden Kilbourne Breedlove. They also document family history, the Kilbourne library, and the succession of Peter Gilliam. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1058.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Performing arts, Women

Kilbourne, James Gilliam. Photographs, ca. 1890. 2 items. Location: Pict.Coll:K. Jurist of Clinton, Louisiana. Includes a photograph of Kilbourne and his home Bonnie Burn, which was the site of a Civil War skirmish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 236.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War

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