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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Kimball, Fredrick. Letters, 1804-1812, 1833. 21 items. Location: VAULT:11, MISC:K, MSS.MF:K. Cotton planter of Pinckneyville, Wilkinson County, Mississippi Territory. Letters (originals and transcriptions) refer to the embargo in the West Florida Rebellion, slaves for hire, and alleged mistreatment by the United States of the rights of persons in the Mississippi Territory after the annexation of the Florida Parishes to the Union. Mss. 893.

King, Grace Elizabeth. Papers, 1851-1941 (bulk 1864-1932). 3,800 items, 49 volumes, and 24 microfilm reels. Location: UU:10-18, UU:23-24, UU:27-31, 98:K, N:6, OS:K, Vault:11, MSS.MF:K. New Orleans writer and historian. Correspondence, literary writings in notebooks, photographs, bound manuscript volumes, and printed material concern the literary career of Grace King, historical interests, travels, and personal affairs. Her correspondence and diaries describe her extensive travel throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Diary 3 describes her childhood experiences at L'Embarass plantation in St. Martin Parish. Her correspondence also describes yachting in Florida and other Southern states. For further information, see online catalog. Part of the Grace King Collection. Mss. 1282.

King, Roswell, Jr. Diary, 1838-1845. 1vol. Location: M:19. BTC. Agent for the Butler family and farmer of South Hampton, Georgia. Entries record periodic trips to the plantations on Butler Island and give routine plantation information. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 2, Reel 20. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 201.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

King, William W. and family. Papers, 1833-1954 (bulk 1837-1936). 9,400 items, 174 volumes. Location: N:6-8, OS:K, UU:32-57, Vault:27. New Orleans lawyer and father of writer Grace King. Papers of correspondence, bills and receipts relating to the law firm of Elmore and King; L'Embarrasse Plantation in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana; and the period during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Also included are papers concerning the education of the children; the social, cultural, religious, and economic life of New Orleans; the anti-lottery movement; and travel in the U.S. and Europe. For further information, see online catalog. Part of the Grace King Collection. Mss. 1282.

Kleinpeter, Andrew. Papers, 1827-1833. 20 items. Location: B:40. Resident of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Correspondence from relatives in Spencer County, Kentucky, and letters from James Neilson, attending school in Lexington, Kentucky, commenting on Henry Clay after attending a party in his home, and mentioning a shooting by supporters of Clay and Jackson. Includes business letters of Isidor Larguire, cotton broker, of New Orleans; and a letter of A. Jones, Baton Rouge, concerning the treatment of cholera. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 238.

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