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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Batchelor family papers, 1852-1922. 124 items (on microfilm). Location:Mss. Mf.:B. Papers are comprised of family letters, plantation and business papers, family succession papers, and material related to an Episcopal Church. A letter from Sarah E. Archer describes a Jewish wedding, ca. 1901. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1293.

Batchelor, Albert A. (Albert Agrippa). Papers, 1852-1930 (bulk 1870-1900). 27 linear ft., 41 volumes. Location: S:143-170, J:13, 98:B, OS:B. Personal and business papers, correspondence, diaries, and account books pertain principally to local events, and the operation and management of several plantations in Pointe Coupee Parish, including Bella Vista Plantation, Lakeside Plantation, Phoenix Plantation, Highland Plantation, and Normandy Plantation. Early letters among Batchelor family members describe conditions at the Kentucky Military Institute and the Silliman Female Collegiate Institute, and mention events such as slave insurrections and military operations. Several letters describe Civil War battles, including the 1862 Battle of Kernstown and the 1863 battles of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville. Available on microfilm 5735 and 6061: Records of southern plantations from emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Selections from Louisiana State University, pt. 5, Louisiana sugar plantations, reels 1-15; Confederate Military Manuscripts, Series B, Holdings of Louisiana State University, reels 1-2. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 919.

Batchelor, Ruth Ker. Batchelor-Nutt collection, 1835-1960. 24 items, 2 vols. Location: B:46, F:16. James Batchelor was a planter and legislator of Amite County, Mississippi. Rushwell Nutt, his father-in-law, of Laurel Hill Plantation in Jefferson County, Mississippi, was a planter, physician, scientist, and world traveler. Collection includes papers, photographs, and ephemera of the Nutt and Batchelor families and the Davenport family of Louisiana. Letters include local and family news, and one letter describes teaching in Texas schools. Included are trade card scrapbooks of 19th century companies, and an article (1960) on Beech Grove Plantation in Amite County, Mississippi. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3018.

Bateman, Mannah W. Family Papers, 1840-1879. 439 items on 1 microfilm reel. Location: Mss.Mf:B. Louisiana planter of Avalon Plantation. Correspondence, receipts, legal papers, and other items related to Mannah W. Bateman and family, and to their management of Avalon. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3332.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Bateman, Mary. Diary, 1856. 1 vol. [typed transcripts]. Location: M:19. Young girl living with relatives at Argyle Plantation, near Greenville, Mississippi. Diary gives personal observations of local plantation social life. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 661.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women

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