Manuscript Resources on The Sugar Industry

This guide describes manuscript collections documenting the sugar industry in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC) at LSU.  The records and personal papers of sugar planters and others whose livelihood came from growing sugar provide a wealth of documentation supporting research in agriculture, sociology, economics, history, and politics.

Researchers should also consult:

Sugar at LSU: Cultivating a Sweeter Future (Online Exhibition)

Documenting Louisiana Sugar 1845-1917

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Bragg, Braxton, 1817-1876. Letter, 1856 February 12. 1 item. Location: Misc:B. Confederate general in command of the Army of Tennessee during the Civil War. In reply to a request for biographical information from J. Furlong of Brooklyn, N.Y., Bragg discusses the circumstances of his situation as a sugar planter in Louisiana at the beginning of the Civil War, laments the misfortunes of his 125 former slaves, and briefly describes his military career for the Confederate States of America. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2537.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Civil War, African Americans

Bragg, Braxton, 1817-1876. Letter, 1875 February 12. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Confederate general in command of the Army of Tennessee during the Civil War. In reply to a request for biographical information, Bragg discusses his situation as a sugar planter in Louisiana at the beginning of the Civil War; laments the wartime misfortunes of his 'happy and contented' slaves; and describes his military career. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2537.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar

Breaux, John B. Papers, 1933, 1938, 1963, 1970-2004 (bulk: 1987-2004). Approx. 781 linear feet . Location: Room B6, Map Cage, Vault:54. Correspondence, briefing books, bills, reports, testimony transcripts, research files, news releases, printed materials, audio-visual and electronic files, photographs and memorabilia documenting the political and U.S. Congressional career of Louisiana Representative (1972-1986) and Senator (1987-2004) John B. Breaux, and the work of his office. In addition to Senate and House files, contains materials related to his campaigns, the Democratic Party, and the Washington Mardi Gras. Topics include, among others, flood control, abortion, transportation, energy, the environment, taxes, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and healthcare, consumer protection, wetlands conservation, base closures in Louisiana, commerce, trade, and agriculture policy, especially for sugar and rice. For additional information, see the online catalog. Mss. 4922.

Browne, Charles Albert. Report, 1932. 1 item (16 pages). Location: Misc.:B. Agricultural chemist. Report by Dr. Browne (1870 -1947) on the Chanpatia factory of the Champarum Sugar Company, India, containing historical background, drawing of factory compound, photographs of personnel, and interior and exterior of buildings. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1951.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Business

Bruce, Seddon, and Wilkins Plantation Records, 1741-1865 (bulk 1847-1854). 607 items, 6 ms. Vols. Location: S:124-125, J:20. William Webb Wilkins, James Coles Bruce, and James Alexander Seddon, partners in the ownership of sugar and cotton plantations, a saw mill, and a cooper's shop in Saint James Parish and Carroll Parish, Louisiana. Papers include legal documents, bills and receipts, correspondence, and manuscript volumes related to plantation operations and slave matters. Included are photocopies of a Union Army-issued circular and broadsides regarding slave employment and the subsistence of federal troops. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 1, Reels 9-10. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2668.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Civil War

Brusle, Charles A. Papers, 1854-1905. 32 items (includes 3 vols.). Location: U:20, F:11. Sugar planter of Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana; and Confederate army officer; state legilator; tax collector; and sheriff. Papers include a diary, a record book, and scrapbook, primarily concerning Brusle's activities in the Civil War and in politics. Diary contains an account of his trip to the Creek Nation, Indian Territory, to muster a regiment of Creeks into the military service of the Confederacy under orders from General Benjamin McCulloch. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 3. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 558, 1605, 1627.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Civil War

Burguières, Jules M., Jr. Papers, 1699, 1816-1957 (bulk 1911-1915). 2.5 linear ft. Locations: 78:1-2, OS:B, J:30, E:65. Sugarcane planter and researcher, land developer. Papers consist of correspondence, research notes, clippings, photographs, and financial records relating primarily to Jules M. Burguières, Jr.’s involvement in the sugar and timber industries of Louisiana and Florida. Some research material in French and German. The estate papers of Joseph E. Burguières are also included. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1927, 2026, 2134, 2264, 2525.

Burruss, John C. Family Papers, 1825-1882. 407 items. Location: C:56,Mss. Mf.:B Methodist minister of Virginia and planter of Wilkinson County, Mississippi. Correspondence, and personal and business papers of the Burruss and Edward McGehee families. Papers relate to the Methodist Church and plantation operationst, including sugarcane growing, rice planting, the construction of a sugar mill, and African American laborers. They also reflect Confederate military life, and civilian life during the Civil War. A group of poems concern the 1845 presidential election of James K. Polk and George M. Dallas.For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1514, 2296.

Butler family. Papers, 1663-1950 (bulk 1813-1915). 16.5 linear ft. Location: S:2-S:8, OS:B, 65:, Vault:2. Cotton and sugar planters in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Papers include letters, personal papers, financial and legal documents, photographs, and printed items. Papers discuss the Civil War; plantation life; Thomas Butler's judicial and political career; and antebellum life in the Gulf South states. Included is correspondence from prominent Louisiana residents and others. Letters from Anna Butler who lived in the White House (1849-1850) Collection also contains manuscript and published music, including the music of John Thuer.. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 5, Reels 13-27. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893, 965, 1026, 1076, 1217, 1240, 1309, 1353, 1381, 1640, 1649, 1913, 1938.

Butler, Margaret, 1821-1890. Correspondence, 1847-1880. .5 linear ft. Location: S:24. Daughter of Louisiana judge Thomas Butler and Ann Ellis Butler. She lived at the Cottage in West Feliciana Parish near St. Francisville. The Butlers were sugar and cotton planters. Letters from family and friends reflect the life of the Butler family in the antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction periods. Antebellum letters depict plantation life and religious life in the Episcopal church. Several family members served in the Confederate army and corresponded with Margaret, describing the life of army personnel. Later letters illustrate social and economic conditions after the war. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 5, Reel 2. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1068.

Butler, Richard, 1777-1820. Papers, 1795-1899. 1.25 linear ft. Location: S:2, OS:B, Vault. Richard Butler, army officer and sugar planter, was the son of American Revolutionary War figure Colonel William Butler and Jane Carmichael of New Orleans. Papers include correspondence, financial papers, and plantation records. A diary describes Butler's travels from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Natchez, Mississippi, to deliver army dispatches. Included are two letters from Andrew Jackson to Butler. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 5, Reels 2-3. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1000, 1069.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Natchez, Mississippi

Butler, Robert Ormond. Papers, 1848-1888. 1.5 linear ft. Location: S:25-26, OS:B. Medical doctor in New Orleans and Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, and sugar planter and molasses producer in Terrebonne Parish. Papers include correspondence, financial papers, legal documents, printed items, and photographs related to Butler's business and professional lives. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 5, Reels 3-4. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1068.

Cabassa, Luis G. Letter, 1917 April 3. 1 item. Location: Misc.:C. Inquiry addressed to the Dean of the University of Louisiana by a pharmacist of Caguas, Puerto Rico, as to fees and course of study in chemistry and sugar manufacture. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3616.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Education, Medicine

Caffery, Donelson and Family. Papers, 1580-1958 (bulk 1861-1909). 537 items, 39 vols. Location: C:74-75, O:23, OS:C. Planter of St. Mary Parish, Louisiana and U.S. senator. Papers consist of correspondence, genealogies, clippings, photographs, pamphlets, diaries, notebooks, postcards, scrapbooks, and financial records of the Donelson Caffery family. They concerns family matters, Louisiana politics, the Civil War, Caffery's senatorial career, the effects of the Mexican War on the sugar industry, Louisiana oil industry, plantation operations, Jewish hotel guests (v. 4,5) and the removal of Jews from Franklin (v.6). The papers of John Murphy Caffery also reflect his own navel career and the Louisiana sugar industry. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1865.

Carleton, Mark. Record books, 1883-1901 (bulk 1883-1885). 2 volumes. Location: F:19. Scientist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture who studied sugar cultivation and fungi. Record books include field notes and data of experiments related to sugar production conducted in Nebraska and specimens of fungi identified in Kansas. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 57.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar

Carroll, Daniel R. and family. Papers, 1864-1948. 191 items, 1 volume. Location: T:6, OS:C, VAULT:21, VAULT MRDF 13. Owner of Ackbar Plantation, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. Carroll was also a cotton broker in New Orleans. Papers include personal letters, scrapbooks, and genealogies of the Carroll and Parker families. Some papers document plantation management, including sugarcane growing, rice planting, the construction of a sugar mill, and African American laborers. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1514, 2296.

Chaffe record books, 1887-1895. 3 ms. vols. Location: H:23. John Chaffe & Sons, a cotton and sugar trading concern in New Orleans, was succeeded by Wm. H. Chaffe & Co., Limited. Wm. H. & J. C. Chaffe's Shingle Mill was a manufacturer of cypress shingles and lumber in Eugenia Louisiana. Collection includes a cotton market report book (1887-1893), an order book (1894-1895), and daily report forms (1893), respectively, for the three Chaffe businesses. For further information, see online catalog. Mss.1139.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, New Orleans 1866-, Business

Chaney, Thomas R. Papers, 1863-1916 (bulk: 1893-1900). 0.3 linear feet. Location: U:310, OS:C. Papers consist primarily of business correspondence, but also include photographs, plantation map, and a commemorative booklet printed after Chaney’s death.  The majority of the correspondence is from Benjamin Pring to Chaney reporting on the operations at Oneida Plantation in St. James Parish. Mss. 5162.

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

Chilton, St. John P. Papers, 1951-1977. 3 linear ft. Location: 7:8-10; OS:C. Professor and Chairman of Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, LSU. Personal and professional papers pertain to sugar technology, local politics, genealogy, and other matters. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2454.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Politics, LSU

Choppin, A. R. (Arthur Richard), Research reports, 1927. 1 volume. Location: W:5. Unbound volume of research reports and materials compiled by A. R. Choppin for a dissertation on 'The use of aluminum compounds in the manufacturing and refining of sugar.' For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2600-73.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Education

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