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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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

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