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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Randon, Fran?ois. Ledger, 1876-1888. 1 ms. vol. Location: M:21. New Orleans dealer in sugar mill supplies. Ledger contains accounts for plantations along the Mississippi River from False River to New Orleans and on Bayou Teche. The volume also includes a record of household expenses. In French. Available on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 3, Reel 15. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 992.

Reggio Family. Papers, 1771-1860. 9 items. Location: MISC:R. Sugar planters of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. Papers include a petition (1771) by Francisco Maria Reggio to the King of Spain; papers (1812-1834) of Nicholas Reggio concerning property sales and mortgages; and papers (1836-1860) of Auguste Reggio, among them slave sales, mortgages, and accounts. Partly in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 363.

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

Richland Plantation plat, 1874 November 16. 1 item. Map of Richland Plantation, a sugar plantation in Iberville Parish, Louisiana, in the vicinity of Bayou Goula, was surveyed and drawn by P.N. Judice, Civil Engineer. It is hand tinted on cloth and shows details of the large property, including the plantation's own railroad tracks, the dwelling, garden, old quarters, hospital, stable, sugar house, pond, saw mill, cow pen, blacksmith's shop, and surrounding woods For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3050.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations

Robertson, Frederick, D. Plantation record books, 1852-1923. 1 linear ft. (17 vols.). Location: H:13. Sugar planter of Plaquemine, Louisiana; owned and operated Island, Homestead, Myrtle Grove and Hunter's Lodge plantations. Five daybooks, three payroll books, and nine record books consisting of information regarding daily plantation activities such as cultivation of sugarcane and minor crops, payment of laborers, and expenditures and credits. Entries about Robertson's court cases are included in vol. 2. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 579, 687.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations

Robinson, Chester B. Photographs, 1950. 0.2 linear ft. Location: 19:10. Commercial photographer specializing in photographic wall decor. Color 35mm slides, color 120mm negatives, black/white 4 x 5 negatives, and 35mm black and white negatives are present. Scenes depicted include Louisiana landscapes, agriculture, the seafood industry, plantations, Mardi Gras in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, the State Capitol, and Louisiana State University. Portraits of African Americans include the caretaker of The Cottage plantation. Mss. 4685.

Rolston, William A., Sr. Papers, 1911-1952. 846 items, 63 printed vols. Location: 79:45-48. Sugar technologist and superintendent of the Francisco Sugar Company, Francisco, Province of Camaguey, Cuba; and a native of Baton Rouge. Papers include correspondence, drawings, blueprints, reports, and files related to Rolston's work for the Francisco Sugar Company. Other papers relate to sugar growing and processing, building materials, engineering, and the lumber industry. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2038.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Business, Baton Rouge

S. Gumbel & Co., Ltd. Records, 1884-1942 (bulk 1884-1921). 66 volumes; 0.3 linear ft. Location: P:14, 22; 114. Records are comprised of correspondence, financial papers, legal documents and business ledgers concerning the financial transactions of S. Gumbel & Co. Ltd, New Orleans commission merchant firm of Simon Gumbel. Collections relates to real estate in Louisiana and Mississippi, and the cotton, sugar, and rice trade in Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1490.

Sanders, Jared Young and family. Papers, 1816-1950 (bulk 1860-1930). 4 linear ft., 1 microfilm reel. Location: C:32-33, 98:S, P:5, Z:7, MSS.MF:S. Sugar planter, Confederate officer, governor of Louisiana. Speeches by Jared Y. Sanders III constitute the bulk of this collection. Financial papers (1843-1861) reflect family life and business concerns. Correspondence pertains to family matters, business, the war, and the career of Sanders III. Civil War diaries recount the siege of Vicksburg, Miss., troop movements, camp life, and conditions in St. Mary Parish. Also included are legal documents concerning the impressment of a slave by Confederate Army. Papers from the Reconstruction period are chiefly concerned with the restoration and management of family property in St. Mary Parish. Scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, broadsides and correspondence document the political career Jared Y. Sanders III, including his opposition to Huey P. Long. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1081, 1105, 1126, 1757, 2405, 2490.

Savoy, Joseph and family. Papers, 1856-1909. 0.3 linear ft. (93 items). Location: W:31. Sugar planter on Bayou Lafourche, Assumption Parish, Louisiana. Papers include family correspondence, with two letters of Corrine Savoy discussing the election of 1900; business papers dealing with the sale of sugar and molasses in New Orleans; and insurance policies for Joseph Savoy's plantation and sugar house. One letter and one receipt in French. Available on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 3, Reel 15. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3022.

Savoy, Joseph and Paul. Papers, 1859-1885. 28 items. Location: A:10. Joseph Savoy was a sugar planter of Bayou Lafourche, Assumption Parish, Louisiana. His brother was Paul Savoy. Papers include bills of sale, account statements, correspondence, notes, and printed items related to Joseph and Paul Savoy's sugar operations and other business endeavors. Some items are in French, and some items bear the name of Mrs. Paul Savoy.  Mss. 5360.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Business, Acadiana, French

Shattuck, Albert R. Report, 1893, 1966. 1 ms. vol. Location: M:23. Report comparing the cost of raising cane; delivering it to the carrier; and manufacturing cane into sugar; and the price at which it was sold on Adeline, Calumet, Des Lignes, Glenwild, and Magnolia plantations for the year 1892. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2316.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations

Short, William J. letter, 1872 Dec. 10. 1 letter. Location: MISC:S. William J. Short was a Louisiana sugar planter. Letter from William J. Short to his uncle, W.B. Robertson, of Plaquemine, Louisiana. The letter discusses recent hunting expeditions, the death of Gervais Schlater, and the sugar crop. Mss. 5106.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations

Smithfield Plantation. Records, 1900-1970, undated 35 linear ft., 191 vols. Location: IMSMP, 124. Sugar plantation complex near Port Allen, West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Business records include correspondence; bills and receipts; cane yield reports; tax returns; stock orders; ledgers; journals; and production reports. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2908.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations

Spalding, Edward. Letter book, 1820. 1 item. Location: MISC:S. Shipping merchant and slave trader from Bristol, Rhode Island. Letter book contains handwritten copies of letters written by Spalding while in Trinidad, Cuba. Most letters are addressed to Jacob Babbitt & Co. in Bristol, Rhode Island. Letters discuss market conditions for sugar and molasses; the loading of cargo and the shipment of goods and major exports; the arrival of slave ships in the harbor; and the slave trade in the West Indies. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3416.

Spell, Viela. Photographs, circa 1910-1940. 0.2 linear ft. Location: E:54. Louisiana amateur photographer. Photographic negatives and prints depicting life in rural Louisiana. Candid photographs of family members, laborers, sugarcane fields, and agricultural scenes are also present. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4226, 4633.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Women

Stevens, Angulo and Co. Letterpress Copybook, 1856-1857. 1 vol. Location: G:20. Stevens, Angulo and Co. was a brokerage involved in sugar trade. Correspondence details international competition, prices and profits, and the partial crop failure in Louisiana. Correspondence also reflects economic conditions in the U. S., England, and France. For more information, see the online catalog. Mss. 4434.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Business

Stirling, Lewis and family. Papers, 1797-1938 (bulk 1830-1860). 4.25 linear ft. Location: B:76-81, Vault:1, Vault:22, Vault CD MRDF 5 and 16. The Stirlings were sugar cotton planters of Wakefield Plantation, West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Business and personal papers of the Stirling family reflect antebellum plantation economy, education, health, and travel. Military orders and receipts for supplies relate to Lewis' service in the Louisiana militia and at the Battle of New Orleans. After 1860 the papers diminish in number and consist primarily of family letters discussing labor problems with freedmen, migration to and life in Texas during the war, and plantation, household, and personal bills. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 2, Reels 21-25. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1866.

Stone Wall Plantation. Cashbook, 1872. 1 ms. Vol. Location: M:21. West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, sugar plantation. Entries are mainly for wages paid to laborers, giving name and type of work performed. Other entries are for freight and plantation supplies. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 483.

Stubbs, William Carter, 1846-1924. Papers, 1896-1924 (bulk 1896-1904). 22 items. Location: C:67. Director of the Louisiana Sugar Experiment Station and founder and head of the Audubon Sugar School. Professional correspondence discusses the management, organization, and finances of Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Stations and the agricultural curriculum at LSU in 1898. The 1904 letters address the development of a state agricultural museum. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893, 965.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, LSU

Stubbs, William Carter, 1846-1924. Letter, 1896 November 11. 1 item. Location: Misc.:S. Director of the Louisiana Sugar Experiment Station and founder and head of the Audubon Sugar School. Letter to LSU President Thomas D. Boyd outlines in detail the purpose and courses of the Audubon Sugar School and suggests that the School be established as part of the agricultural course at the University. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2283.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, LSU

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