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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Sugar imprints collection, 1765-1860. 27 items. Location: E:Imprints. British and French imprints pertaining to the sugar industry. Included are bills of lading for sugar shipped from Port-au-Prince; and ordinances and decrees issued by the French royal council and the national convention of French Republicans. Also included are acts of Parliament pertaining to production; a statement of the value of sugar exports from Great Britain; and a pamphlet illustrating production methods. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2880.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, French

Sugar plantation postcards, circa 1900. 4 picture postcards. Location: 65:5. Two of three photolithographic postcards of sugar workers cutting cane identify Florida as the location, while a photographic postcard documents a sugarcane press in Tobago. Mss. 4144.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar

Sumner, William Graham. Papers, 1876. 2 items. Location: Misc.:S. A correspondent in New Orleans writes Sumner lamenting the end of Reconstruction in Louisiana with the collapse of republican institutions and the poor condition of African-American sugar plantation workers (Nov. 17, 1876). Stephen Whitney writes Sumner from Woodland Plantation inviting him to visit to see a sugar plantation in operation (Nov. 18, 1876). Mss. 3858.

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

Swaye, Frank J. Collection, circa 1839-1999, (bulk 1955-1969). 0.75 linear ft. Location: V:99, 104:-105. Materials related to Swaye's studies as a student in geography at Louisiana State University. Materials cover field research of the Mississippi River Delta and South Pass mudlumps (1966-1970). Field notes and photographs by Fred B. Kniffen cover trips to False River and Pierre Part, Louisiana (circa 1955). Collection materials comprise research-related photographs, slides, field notes, maps, printed materials, and news clippings. Mss. 5212.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, New Orleans 1866-, Baton Rouge, Acadiana, LSU

Taussig, Charles William. Collection, 1667-1922. 1 linear foot. Location: 111:22, OS:T. Charles W. Taussig was an author and businessman. He served as the chairman of the board of Sucrest Corporation (formerly the American Molasses Company) of New York, New York. The collection contains manuscripts and printed materials pertaining to the planting, production, and processing of sugarcane; domestic and international trade and commerce in sugar, molasses, and rum; the slave trade and slave labor. Mss. 2220, 2284.

Taylor, Miles, 1805-1873. Family Papers, 1821-1954 (bulk 1821-1890). 200 items. Location: U:236, 99. Congressional representative, lawyer, judge, and sugar planter of Assumption Parish, Louisiana. Taylor's son, Thomas, was a sergeant in the 8th Louisiana Volunteers in the Civil War. Collection includes family letters, photographs, manuscript writings, genealogical and biographical materials, and reprints of speeches Taylor made in Congress (1856-1857). Mrs. Taylor's mother lived in Natchez and the collection includes letters between the two of them; and Civil War letters from Thomas Taylor as a prisoner of war in Saratoga Springs, New York. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reels 18-19. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1378, 1448, 1636, .

Taylor, William, d. circa 1850. Diary, 1838-1842. 1 vol., 1 microfilm reel. Location: Mss. Mf.:T, Vault:25. Planter of Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana and cousin of General Zachary Taylor. Plantation diary describes the routine activities and operations of his sugar and cotton plantations, Lakeland and Briers plantations. Taylor records the visits of many relatives and friends, including the family of Zachary Taylor. He also discusses local politics. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 899.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Politics

Thibaut, James. Account book, 1878-1879. 1 vol. Location: M:20. Commission merchant of St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. Account book records sugar and molasses sold for various plantations in Louisiana, listing names of plantations and consignees; and contains written reports on the conditions of crops, health, weather, and the Mississippi River. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 421.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Business

Thomas Butler Family Photographs and Plantation Journal, 1844-1907, 1952, 1961, undated (bulk:1844-1907). 0.3 linear feet. Location: S:16. The Thomas Butler family were cotton and sugar planters of West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, and resided at The Cottage. Collection consists of a plantation journal for Grand Caillou and Le Carpe Plantations, Terrebonne Parish, ca. 1844-1866, and photographs of family members and home interiors. The journal, kept during Thomas Butler and later Richard E. Butler's ownership of the plantations, contains financial accounts and a list of overseers' names (1842-1859), as well as slave registers that record births, deaths, and parents of children. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 4347.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, African Americans

Thurston, George N. Family Papers, 1843-1907. 64 items, 3 vols. Location: C:45. Mississippi River steamboat captain for the New Orleans Ice Company, and a sugar planter at Baskerville Plantation, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. Papers include personal and business letters related to Thurston's work, and diaries and account books kept by his wife, Mary Thurston, concerning the household and plantation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1124.