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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Barrow, Abram Feltus and Family. Papers, 1804-1982. 6 linear ft. Location: 7:60-62, G:11, OS:B, Vault:1, Vault:36. The Barrow family moved to Nuevo Feliciana (now in Louisiana) in 1799 and built several plantation houses there. Papers document the business interests of the Barrow family and their involvement with various fraternal orders. Records of the People's Bank, St. Francisville, and the Creole Oil and Mineral Co. reflect the involvement of the Barrow and Leake families. Photographs depict family members and fraternal gatherings. Also included are records of St. John's Church, West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3696, 3745.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Plantations, Business, Medicine

Barrow, Bartholomew, 1836-1869. Family collection of sheet music, 1848-1891 (bulk 1861-1874). 4 items, 3 vols. Location: Range 65. Planter of Eldorado Plantation, a sugar plantation in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Collection of bound and loose vocal and piano sheet music collected by Barrow and his family. Some compositions in French, German, and Italian. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1379.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Performing arts, French, German

Barrow, Bennet H. Diary, 1833-1846. 1 volume. Location: Vault:9, W:24, Mss. Mf.:B. Cotton planter and owner of Highland Plantation in West Feliciana Parish, La. Diary reflects the management of Highland Plantation. Entries offer information on the cotton crop, weather conditions, personal activities, and treatment of slaves, specifically discipline and health care. Included are slave lists giving names and birth dates, and some financial records. Original volume housed in vault. Please use microfilm or typed transcription. Mss. 2978-2014.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, African Americans

Barrow, W. M. and family. Papers, 1847-1874, undated. 0.1 linear ft. Location: U:7. St. Francisville, Louisiana, merchant. Letters by Willie Macajah Barrow (1810-1853) and Civil War diary and letters of his son, Willie Macajah Barrow (1843-1863) reflecting economic and family life on a plantation in West Feliciana Parish. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 4, Reel 6. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 574.

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

Bass-Farrar Family Papers, 1827-1918 (bulk: 1829-1843, 1858-1867) 0.5 linear ft. Location: OS:B, R:41, VAULT:4. Papers of the Bass, Farrar, and Richardson families from Tensas Parish, La. and vicinity. Includes material on family matters, personal and professional activities, maintenance and overseeing of cotton plantations before and after the Civil War, life along the Mississippi River, life in Civil War Louisiana, and slavery. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4907.

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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