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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Weeks, David. Family Papers, 1782-1957 (bulk 1830-1870). 10,106 items, 15 vols. Location: 70, J:6, X:76, Mss. Mf.:W . The Weeks and related Conrad, Moore, and Gibson families were planters of New Iberia, Louisiana, and other areas in south Louisiana. Papers document the sugar plantation economy; cotton planting; slaves and free African American laborers; railroad building; state and national politics; education; and the Civil War and Reconstruction. Includes early papers of Charles N. Conrad, U.S. senator; political correspondence of John Moore, U.S. congressman; and a microfilmed inventory of The Shadows in New Iberia. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution to the Civil War, Series I, Part 6, Reels 1-20. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 528, 605.

West Indies land and property records, 1798-1883. 14 items. Location: Map Cage: Map Case 14, Drawers 5-6. Selected public documents reflecting land tenure mainly in the Parish of Vere, Jamaica, principally for George Radcliff, a sugar planter (1809-1839). Other documents pertain to lands in the West Indies and include a conveyance (1798) for the sale of a plantation, slaves, and livestock on the island of Antigua and a mortgage and lease for two coffee plantations in the colony of Berbice, British Guiana (1813). Additionally, one item documents the surrender of the charter of the Levant Company (1825), a group of British merchants trading in the eastern Mediterranean area, particularly with Turkey. Part of the West Indies Collection. Mss. 622.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Women, Business

Whipple, William. Papers, 1794-1958 (bulk 1920-1958). 2.25 linear ft., 15 volumes. Location: R:3-4, OS:W. Sugar technologist and professor of steam engineering at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Printed material, which comprises the majority of this collection, correspondence, photographs, and records of the Cinclare Center (sugar) Factory of West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Printed items relate to cotton production, sugar manufacturing, the sugar industry, engineering, and the U.S Military. Photographs include images of sugar mills, travel to Cuba, the Panama Canal, and the Mississippi River floods of 1912 and 1927. Of particular interest is a picture postcard of an African-American man hanging from a road sign in West Baton Rouge Parish. Mss. 1899.

White, Maunsell, ca. 1780-. Letterbook, 1845-1850. 1 ms. vol. Location: Mf.:W., Misc.:W. Sugar planter of Deer Range Plantation, Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. Letterbook containing family and business letters dealing with sugar planting, processing, and slavery; politics; support for a university in Louisiana; and the planning and construction of the State Capitol Building in Baton Rouge. Original letterbook is located at the University of North Carolina Library. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2888.

Williams, A. M. Letter, 1847 July 21. 1 letter. Location: Misc.: W. A. Sugarcane planter of the Attakapas District, La. Charles P. Leverich was a commission merchant for Leverich & Co. of New York, N. Y. and New Orleans, La. In a letter to Charles P. Leverich, Williams discusses his sugarcane crop. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3775.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Business

Wilton Plantation sugarhouse plan, circa 1830-1870. 1 item. Location: OS:W. Sugar plantation owned by the Bruce, Seddon, and Wilkins Company near Convent, St. James Parish, Louisiana. Floor plan of a sugarhouse shows the location and dimensions of rooms and equipment. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2763.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations

Wise, James Calvert. Papers, 1860-1917. 1.75 linear ft., 2 volumes. Locations: UU:154-155, K:37, OS:W, Vault:1. Native of Maryland who settled in Rapides Parish, Louisiana. During the Civil War he organized the Red River Rebels, which became part of the First Louisiana Regiment. Wise owned Grand Bend Plantation on the Red River. Collection contains Wise's personal, political, business, and military papers. Printed items include Confederate tax forms, currency, a notice to planters and freedmen from the U.S. Army, and papers related to the Republican party. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3239.

World War I broadsides, 1918. 2 items. Location: Misc.:W. Notices, distributed by the Standard Oil Company of Louisiana at Baton Rouge, announcing the amount of sugar allowed each employee per meal in accordance with the monthly allotment by the United States Food Administration. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1359.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Business, Baton Rouge, 20th Century Wars

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