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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Foster, Murphy J. and family. Papers, 1880-1955 (bulk 1880-1930). 4.3 linear ft. Location: UU:286-287, 98:F. The collection extensively documents Foster's political career, his relationship with his wife Rose Ker Foster, and their children's formative years. Materials in the collection include correspondence, financial papers, legislative papers, and printed items. Topics addressed include family matters such as the development and education of the Foster children; Rose's management of Dixie Plantation in Murphy's absences; and Foster's political career and the issues that concerned him, such as the Anti-Lottery campaign, a national income tax, regulating railway rates, flood control, poll taxes, and protection of sugar growers. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4710.

Freeland, Emile C. Papers, 1877-1986 (bulk: 1926-1967). 14 linear ft. Location: 77:35-48, OS:F. Chemical engineer for W. R. Grace & Co. and USAID. Collection includes technical reports compiled while Freeland was working for W. R. Grace & Co. and USAID, as well as pamphlets, notes, and printed articles related to the sugarcane, bagasse, and biofuel industries. Professional and personal correspondence, and photographs of W. R. Grace & Co. activities in Guyana, Ecuador, Pakistan, Israel, Taiwan, Colombia, and other countries are included. There are also personal photographs of Freeland during his travels, and of his family in Louisiana, as well as drafts and other material from "The History of the Book of Common Prayer up to 1662" and "Tales of a Sugar Tramp." Mss. 2210, 2259, 2496, 2603.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Education, Baton Rouge, LSU

Frellsen, Henry, ca. 1800-1884. Plantation diary, 1878-1884. 1 vol. (101 pages). Location: G:17. Native of Denmark who fought in the Greek War of Independence (1824) and moved to Louisiana (ca. 1840). He was the Danish Consul in New Orleans, a cotton factor, and the owner of Fairview Plantation, St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. Entries document Frellsen's operation of Fairview Plantation. Weekly reports detail crop and weather conditions; record maintenance of a sugarhouse, machinery, and levees; and list farmhands (including children) and their wages. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3497

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, African Americans

Gautreau, Henry W. Papers, 1865-2013 (bulk 1970-1990). .5 linear ft. Location: T:81. Native of Gonzales, Louisiana and ordained priest for the Diocese of Baton Rouge. Papers include chiefly correspondence and printed materials related to Gautreau's involvement in the IT Corporation controversy and lawsuit in Ascension Parish and Gautreau's research on the Houma Indians. There are also printed items pertaining to Houmas House Plantation and the Houmas Central Sugar Factory. Mss. 5340.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Acadiana

Gay, Andrew H. (Andrew Hynes) and family. Papers, 1857-1957. 222 items, 9 volumes. Location: Y:82, G:17, OS:G. Sugar planter of Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana. Papers include Civil War and Reconstruction correspondence, with letters by Confederate officers, including Elias B. Inslee. Diaries kept by Anna Maria Gay McClung, a daughter, record social life in Washington, D.C. and travel (1885-1898). Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reels 11-12. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2542.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Women, Civil War

Gay, Edward J. and family. Papers, 1797-1938 (bulk 1838-1910). 62 linear ft., 165 volumes. Location: H:25-27, OS:G, VAULT:1, VAULT:33, VAULT:40, Y:1-62, Y:81. Planters of St. Louis Plantation near Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana. Edward J. Gay was a U.S. representative (1884-1889); his grandson of the same name was a U.S. senator (1918-1921). Personal and business papers of the Gay and related families, containing materials on the Civil War and Reconstruction, St. Louis Plantation, the sugar cane industry, slavery. Also includes Representative Gay's congressional papers. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1295.

Gay, Edward J., III. Congressional file, 1888-1921. 18 linear ft. Location: Y:62-80, OS:G, Vault:1. Comprised of official congressional files that document the political career of U.S. Senator Edward James Gay III. Files consist of correspondence, legal documents, and printed material pertaining to political campaigns, state and national elections, political patronage, legislative bills, Dept. of Agriculture, construction of levees by the Mississippi River Commission, and the participation in elections and political support of African-Americans. Legislative correspondence discusses pending bills concerning pensions, tariffs, health of rural populations, the creation of the Department of Education, and the transportation, storage and marketing of livestock. Files also contain selected subject materials relative to the American Legion bonus (1920), cotton, sugar, League of Nations (1919-1920), the United States Post Office, railroads, women's suffrage, and U. S. military academies. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1295.

Gay-Butler-Plater family. Papers, 1814-2016. 30.5 linear ft., 25 volumes. Location: G:43-85, OS:G, Q:1-6. Planters of Iberville, Lafourche, and Terrebonne parishes, Louisiana. Correspondence, financial records, legal records, photographic materials, and personal papers created and accumulated by the Gay, Butler, Plater, and Price families of Louisiana documenting their political, social, and financial affairs. Mss. 4872.

George J. Wainwright & Co. Letter, 1839. 1 item. Location: MISC:G. Letter written from Liverpool, England, discussing West Indies sugar trade, working conditions of African-Americans in Jamaica, and international trade. Letter is written on conjugate leaf of the LIVERPOOL PRICES CURRENT (April 19, 1839). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3676

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Business, African Americans

Gianelloni, Sabin J., Sr. Family Papers, 1780-1997, undated. 7.25 linear ft., 79 v. Location: UU:316-321, 328-329; J;20-21; OS:G. Sugar planter of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Papers consist of correspondence, business papers, personal papers, and printed items relating to the Gianelloni family, the operation of Longwood Plantation, sugar and cane syrup industries, and federal regulations affecting these industries. The correspondence also discusses the political and economic environments in Louisiana and Cuba. Printed items include photographs of field hands and the Longwood Plantation store. For further information, see the online catalog. Mss. 3458, 4279.

Gilchrist, Ray W. Oral history interview, 1979. 1 sound cassette (.5 hours), Index (1 page). Location: L:4700.24. Resident of Iberville Parish, Louisiana, where his father operated a community syrup mill in the 1930s. Gilchrist discusses his family and early background, his father's community syrup mill near Bayou Sorrel, and the community's involvement and socializing at syrup making time. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0024.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar

Gilmore, John Young, 1837-1900. Family Papers, 1862, 1900-1910. 121 items, 2 vols. Location: U:133, J:11. Resident of New Orleans, editor of the Sugar Planters' Journal, and major general of the Louisiana Division of the United Confederate Veterans Association. Papers include letters of condolence to Gilmore's wife at the time of his death, correspondence of Mary Gilmore Harnett from officers of the Louisiana Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and a scrapbook containing obituaries. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 798.

Gordon, Forstall, and Co. Account and correspondence, 1832 April - 1832 June. 1 item. Location: OS:G. Gordon, Forstall, and Co. were merchants in New Orleans, La. with in Mexico that dealt in items such as sugar and woolens. Manuscript copies of multiple letters and financial statements from 1832 exchanged between the merchants representing Gordon, Forstall, and Co. in Mexico, and the office in New Orleans refer to stock status, account information, foreign relations, poor sales, the political climate in Mexico, and how smugglers and imposed taxes by the local government were making business increasingly difficult. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4857.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, New Orleans to 1861

Guion, Lewis. Diary, 1862-1863. 1 volume. Location: M:18. Lawyer, Confederate officer, sugar planter. Diary describes Guion's departure from New Orleans on April 24, 1862; his company's march through Louisiana; and military activities around Chickasaw Bayou and Yazoo Lake. Entries after May 18, 1862, give an account of the siege of Vicksburg. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 6. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 826.

Guion, Lewis. Record books, 1859-1865. 2 volumes, 1 microfilm reel. Location: U:238, MSS.MF:G. Lawyer, Confederate officer, sugar planter. Francis T. Nicholls. Two record books, one containing law examination questions from the University of Virginia, French language notes, and cash entries. The second is an official record book of Louisiana 26th Infantry Regiment, Col H. Some notes in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1903.

Gutleben, Dan. Publications, 1950-1962. 5 items, 2vols. Location: U:145. Chronicler for THE SUGAR TRAMP. Publications and related items of Dan Gutleben, chronicler for "The Sugar Tramp." The collection contains "The Sugar Tramp," 1950, Hawaiian issue; and 1954, Michigan issue. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1835.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar

Hall, George Otis and family. Papers, 1856-1900, 1990 (bulk 1856-1880). 0.7 linear ft., 1 volume. Location: T:54, J:21. George Otis Hall and his wife Charlotte Emma LeDoux Hall, owners of Magnolia Mound, a sugar and indigo plantation in Baton Rouge. From 1860 on they lived in England and Europe. Papers include correspondence, photographs, social invitations, and newspaper clippings. Topics include the education of the Hall children in Louisiana and Europe, the family's resettlement in Europe, and Magnolia Mound. Partly in French. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reels 12-13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4320.

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

Hamilton, William S. Papers, 1780-1930 (bulk 1807-1861). 3 linear ft., 14 manuscript volumes, 16 microfilm reels. Locations: T:81-87, H:21, OS:H, MSS.MF:H. United States Army officer under General Wade Hampton; slave owner and planter of Holly Grove Plantation, West Feliciana Parish; and politician who served on the first board of trustees for the College of Louisiana and a term in the Louisiana Legislature. While most papers pertain to William S. Hamilton's social, political, and professional life, some papers also pertain to John Hamilton (William S.'s father) and the children of William S. and Eliza C. Hamilton. Papers reflect the administration of United States Army troops in the Territory of Orleans and Mississippi and give an inclusive picture of national and Louisiana politics. Included are descriptions of Southern college facilities and curricula and early medical treatments in hydropathy (hydrotherapy). The papers also document conditions in the United States Army during the Mexican War, land speculation in Texas, and various aspects of plantation life and economy (including purchasing and treatment of slaves). Part of the George M. Lester Collection. Mss. 1209.

Hamilton, William Sutherland. Papers, 1766-1879, 1942. .5 linear ft. Locations: UU:148, OS:H. United States Army officer; slave owner and planter of Holly Grove Plantation, West Feliciana Parish; and politician who served on the first board of trustees for the College of Louisiana and a term in the Louisiana Legislature. Papers consist chiefly of letters received and written by William S. Hamilton but also other Hamilton family members, including John Hamilton and Eliza C. Hamilton, and other friends and relatives. In addition to documenting family news and communications, correspondence reflects aspects of plantation economy; health problems and diseases, including yellow fever; medical treatments; conditions in the United States Army during and after the War of 1812; and the political and economic situation in Texas (1840-1844). Mss. 3167.

Harkins, John. Manuscript, 1967. 1 item (59 pages). Location: E:45. Poplar Grove, Sugar Plantation on the West Bank of the Mississippi River across from Baton Rouge,' term paper presented for Fine Arts 120 taught by Mr. James R. Reeves. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2250.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Education