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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Bayou Attanobe land grant, 1828. 1 item. Location: E:Imprints. Official printed pamphlet giving the report of The Committee on Public Lands...on the case of Ebenezer Cooley; a land dispute concerning a plot on the Mississippi River in Louisiana settled as an indigo plantation in 1767. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3365.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Beech Grove Plantation house photograph. 1 item. Location: 32:81. Mss. 4048.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Beech Grove Plantation home photograph, circa 1900-1950. 1 photographic print. Location: 65:5. This photograph is a copy print of the Beech Grove Plantation home near St. Gabriel, La. Mss. 4048.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Behrnes, J. P. (J. Polite), b. 1829. Journal, 1853-1893 (bulk 1853-1880). 1 v. Location: Misc. This journal of J.P. Behrnes of Irene Plantation in East Baton Rouge Parish, La., records rains; temperatures; and the planting, cultivation, harvesting, and yields of cotton and other crops. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4335.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War

Belmont Plantation scrip, undated 8 items. Location: Misc.:B. Plantation in Iberia Parish, Louisiana. Scrip money used in exchange for merchandise at the plantation store. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2584.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

Bennett, Ezra. Family Papers, 1818-1881. 217 items [on microfilm]. Location: Mss.Mf:B. Planter and storekeeper of Cheneyville, Rapides Parish, Louisiana. Papers include letters written from Port Hudson and Camp Pratt, Louisiana, during the Civil War. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2896.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War, Business

Bennett, George W. Account books and papers, 1838-1917. 16 linear ft., 346 vols. Location: W:71-87, 89; O:6-13; OS:B. Merchant, postmaster, sugar and cotton planter of Rapides Parish, Louisiana. Papers records comprised of correspondence, ledgers, daybooks, journals, receipts, leases, agreements, labor contracts with freedmen, invoice books, record books, stock inventories, and other items relating to Bennett's commercial interests. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1010.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Business, African Americans

Benson family. Papers, 1775-1969, undated. 2,790 items, 27 volumes (on 11 microfilm reels). Location: E:105, MSS.MF:B. Cotton planters of DeSoto Parish, Louisiana. Letters, documents, and plantation diaries reflect plantation economy, the administration of secondary schools, the history and administration of the Baptist Church, and civilian and military participation in the Civil War. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2424, 2440.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Plantations, Civil War, Education, Business

Berbice Colony slave records, 1826-1827. 3 items, 1 microfilm reel. Location: OS:B, Mss.Mf:B. Deed of arrangement between owners of three sugar plantations in Berbice (Guyana), and lists of slaves attached to the plantations as of October 20, 1826, citing names, ages, employment, places of birth, and distinguishing marks. Also listed are children born to slave mothers on the plantations (1819-1826) with names, dates of birth, ages, and names of mothers noted. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2934.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Women, African Americans

Bertrand, Charles, Jr. Papers, 1866-1928. 728 items, 38 ms. vols. and 1 printed vol. Location: UU:141, H:14. Planter of Cloutierville, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. Business papers and records of Charles Bertrand, Jr., and family documents (1676-1884) of members of the family in Couches-les-Mines, France. Partly in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 840, 867, 978.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, French

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