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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Clifton, Christopher. Papers, 1871-1892. 53 items. Location: W:31. Sugar planter of Paincourtville, Assumption Parish, Louisiana. Clifton was associated with New Orleans sugar factors and commission merchants, including Howell and Ker, Pierre Lanaux, and E. M. Scott. Papers consist of business correspondence, financial statements, and receipts which document Clifton's production and sale of sugar and molasses and his financial relationships with agents in New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3022.

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

Coates, Charles Edward. Papers, 1891-1954. 3 linear ft. Location: 8:27-28, OS:C. LSU professor of chemistry and Audubon Sugar School. Correspondence, course materials, reports, patents, photographs, and postcards created and accumulated by Charles E. Coates pertaining primarily to sugar science, sugarcane cultivation, and sugar research at Louisiana State University. Mss. 2283.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Education, LSU

Cole, Christian Grenes. Family Papers, 1911-1935. .25 linear ft. Location: T:95. Correspondence, legal documents and financial papers reflect the business dealings of Robert Ruffin Barrow and Christian Grenes Cole of Terrebonne Parish, La. Papers relate to the bankruptcy of Myrtle Grove Syrup Co. Inc., confiscation of land in Terrebonne Parish, La., and a mortgage default in New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3648.

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

Comeaux, Louis, 1911-, interviewee. Oral history interview, 1993. 1 sound cassette (45 minutes), Index (3 pages). Location: L:4700.0744. Retired sugarcane sharecropper and life-long resident of Four Corners, an unincorporated community south of Franklin, Louisiana. Recollections of Comeaux's childhood as the son of a cane farmer. He recalls his work in an Avery Island salt mine; farming as a sharecropper; the routine of sugarcane planting and harvest; cane syrup production; farm labor; and early transportation. Comeaux also recalls traditional Cajun foods including couche-couche and cracklins; the boucherie; and social conditions in Four Corners. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0744.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Transportation, Acadiana

Consolidated Association of the Planters of Louisiana. Papers, 1791-1912 (bulk 1827-1882). 12.6 linear ft., 85 volumes. Location: U:27-43, F:12-14, OS:C, Vault:1, Vault:51-52. Financial records and personal papers of the Consolidated Association of the Planters of Louisiana, a land bank of sugar planters. Collection consists of banking papers, account books, legal documents, documents recording the sale of land and enslaved people, diaries, letter books, plantation records, correspondence, minute books, and printed materials, among other items. Mss. 82, 794.

Crabb, Edward L. (Edward Lewis). Papers, 1841-1886. 38 items. Location: A:77. Edward L. Crabb was a businessman of Brooklyn, New York, who worked in the sugar refining business. The papers primarily consist of letters received by Edward L. Crabb from his relatives discussing family news, the operation of the Cuba estates, a cholera epidemic in Cuba, the purchase of sugarcane and molasses, sugar refining, and other business issues. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4245.

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

Dardenne, Eugenie. Land document, 1856 March 24. 1 item (4 leaves). Location: Misc:D. Land conveyance recording the sale of slaves and one-third of the ownership of Dardenne Plantation, a sugar plantation in Iberville Parish, Louisiana. The sale was made to John A. Dardenne. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 668.

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

De Bordes Family Papers, 1765-1822. 106 items. Location: B:13, OS:D,Mss. Mf.:D Papers relating to land holdings and the operation of sugar and coffee plantations in Haiti and Santo Domingo; slave insurrections and the life of refugees from them in New Orleans; and decisions and decrees relating to trade, commerce, and emigration. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2246.

de Trujeda, Bernardino, Declaration, 1799. 1 volume (88 pages). Location: 111:1. Certified copy of declartion regarding financial condition of sugar plantation and mill at Hacienda Senora Santa Ana Tepoxtepec, owned by the Regidor Perpetuo of Cordova, Mexico, Bernardino de Trujeda. The declaration is dated October 23, 1789, but the certified copy was signed January 25, 1799 by public notary Mariano Francisco Zambrano at Puebla de los Angeles. The document is bound and contains petitions, claims, and wills, some signed by various church officials. It also includes an inventory, appraisal, and description of slaves and other property. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 4998.

DeClouet, Alexandre (Alexandre Etienne) and Family. Papers, 1787-1905 (bulk 1855-1888). 1.2 linear ft. Location: U:181, J:5. Sugar planter, Confederate congressman, and state senator from St. Martin Parish, Louisiana. Beginning in the 1860s, DeClouet was active in the White League, an organization opposed to rights for freedmen. Collection includes financial papers, legal documents, political papers, and correspondence. Financial records of Alexandre DeClouet and his son Paul document plantation management and labor issues. Political papers include White League materials. Some items in French. Available on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 3, Reels 5-6. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 74, 258, 461, 756.

Desobry, Louis. Partnership Agreement and Amnesty Oath, 1854-1865. 2 items. Location: Misc:D, OS:D. Sugar planter of Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana. Articles of agreement establishing a partnership for the ownership and operation of Irion Plantation, a sugar plantation near Plaquemine. The terms of the sale of land and slaves state that the partnership will be called 'Desobry's and Company'. Included is an oath of amnesty and allegiance to the United States signed by Louis Desobry (1865). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, African Americans

Devall-Hyams Family Papers and Photographs, 1824-1977 (bulk 1906-1913, 1918). 1.5 linear ft., 1 v. Location: T:31-32, J:20. Louisiana sugar planters. Collection consists of personal correspondence, legal documents, genealogies, and family photographs. Papers reflect family matters, personal activities, financial affairs, land transactions, and to a lesser extent the sugarcane crop at Orange Grove Plantation. Letters of Lillie Dickinson, Susie Devall comprise a large portion of the correspondence (1904-1913). Letters by Benjamin Devall concern military life in Georgia during World War II (1918). Photographs include an unidentified African American sugarhouse worker (undated). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4242.

Doussan Family Papers, 1827-1872. 94 items. Location: U:300. Correspondence, financial papers, and personal papers of members of the Doussan family (primarily Antoine Doussan, Louise Perrin Doussan, and Auguste Doussan) of East and West Baton Rouge Parishes, Louisiana, and France. Correspondence of Charles de Rabars of Bordeaux, France, is also included, as is a letter from General Baron Joachim Ambert. Most documents reflect the Doussans' planting operations in West Baton Rouge Parish; their financial and legal transactions in Louisiana and France; family activities, interests, and concerns; and the experience of French emigres in Louisiana as they encountered Anglo-American culture and society. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4800.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Women, Business, Baton Rouge, French

Drouillard, Jean Baptiste. Family Papers, 1794-1901, undated. 165 items. Location: S:121 and Mss. Mf: D. Planter of Santo Domingo and of New Orleans. Letters and documents concern labor and economic conditions on Santo Domingo after the rise to power of Toussaint l'Ouverture in 1793, and the lives of exiles from the island who resettled in the United States. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2590.

Dugas and LeBlanc. Account books, 1886-1933. 144 vols. Location: L:7-12. Merchants of Paincourtville, Assumption Parish, Louisiana, manufacturers of Westfield sugar and molasses. Records include account books, daybooks, and ledgers for the firm; and payroll books for Armelise, Magnolia, Westfield, and Whitmel plantations and for levee work in the Fourth Mississippi River District. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 611.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Business

Dugas, Honore and family. Papers, circa 1850-1910 (bulk 1880-1891). 1.75 linear ft. Location: T:24-25, OS:D. Sugar planter of Armelise Plantation, Paincourtville, Assumption Parish, Louisiana. Business and personal papers, and printed material contain contains correspondence, financial papers and printed material documenting the sugar industry in Louisiana, shipping on Bayou Lafourche, and the social and cultural life of New Orleans. There is also a carte-de-visite photograph of an unidentified elderly couple, circa 1850. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1645.

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

Duplantier, Armand Family Letters, 1777-1859. 95 items. Location: D:62. Armand Duplantier was a planter and owner of Magnolia Mound Plantation, La. Duplantier Family Letters contain items from four generations of the Duplantier family, including Armand Duplantier, his uncle Claude Trénonay, Armand’s son Armand Allard Duplantier, and granddaughter Amélie Augustine Duplantier Peniston. The letters relate to Louisiana under the French, Spanish, and Americans and the economic, political, and social conditions attendant on transitioning among the three powers; commerce with France; the succession of Trénonay; attitudes about the French Revolution; slavery and plantation matters; family news such as illness, births, deaths, and the education of Duplantier’s children; and travels in France by Amélie Duplantier. Mss. 5060.

Erwin, Isaac. Diary, 1848-1868. 1 volume. Location: W:16. Sugar and cotton planter of Shady Grove Plantation, Bayou Gross Tete, Iberville Parish, Louisiana. Diary (photocopies of a typescript) records plantation, personal, and family activities, and mentions local aspects of the Civil War, Reconstruction, epidemic diseases, floods, levee maintenance, and sugar and cotton production. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2933.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Civil War, Medicine

Farwell, F. Evans, 1906. Lecture and narration, 1980. 1 sound cassette (45 minutes), Index (1 page). Location: L:4700.14. President of Millican and Farwell Shipping Line. Farwell discusses the establishment of Millican and Farwell Shipping and family sugar cane plantations in Louisiana. He narrates a slide show, not contained in the collection, about changes in farming technology, especially pertaining to sugar cane. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.14.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations

Foreign trade price lists collection, 1824-1833. 3 items. Location: Misc:F. J. W. Bastian & Son was a firm in Bremen, Germany, importing coffee, sugar, tobacco, and other staples as well as linens, dyes, and spices. Mariatequi, Knight & Co. was a firm based in Havana, exporting sugar, coffee, molasses, and provisions to New Orleans, Louisiana, and other parts of the United States, and to Europe. The foreign trade price lists report the prices of commodities being exported and imported from Bremen, Germany (1824), St. Petersburg, Russia (1824), and Havana, Cuba (1833). Also listed are exchange rates, in London, Amsterdam, Hamburg, and Paris. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3326.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Transportation